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Comment Buying my hybrid today (Score 2) 998

What timing... I take delivery of my first hybrid today, a 2012 Toyota Prius. I did some basic math in making my decision, so I'll share:

This vehicle will replace a 2005 Chevy Uplander that we drove an average of 27,500 miles per year. The Uplander is getting 17.9 MPG at this point (according to the onboard computer), consuming 1,536 gallons of fuel annually. At the current price of $3.95 per gallon in my area, it costs $6,068 per year in just fuel (87 octane). Running the numbers again for the Prius, and assuming 45MPG, fuel will cost $2,413 per year... a savings of $3,655 annually, or $304 per month. Even after my wife added all the bells and whistles and extended warranty (she did that while I was out of the room), we will only be seeing a net outlay of $170 per month. And when my 13-year-old son goes to college, he will take this vehicle with him.

The Prius owners that I know are extremely satisfied, and one has had his since 2003. Although there are many other factors to consider, my monthly budget is certainly a major factor. I'm viewing this purchase this way: I'm buying a new car for $170 per month.

Comment Re:solution: (Score 1) 557

I'm a 20-year veteran of Fire and EMS, and I love what I do. In that time, I've seen some really nasty stuff (both accidental and intentional) like dead babies, shotgun suicides, etc. But I watched one of the beheading videos as well... and I wasn't ready for what I saw (or even worse, heard). It bothered me for a very long time because the sound of a dying man screaming through a gash in his throat is pretty fucking brutal.

Comment Re:I really don't know. (Score 1) 496

There are several calorie calculators on the Internet to determine your daily needs. Once you've determined that, you can use the Daily Plate feature at to track your daily intake. Using that site and a $20 kitchen scale, I've lost 25 lbs in 3 months just by trimming 300 calories a day from my suggested caloric intake.

Comment What about POI? (Score 1) 422

I guess I'm in a niche market then.

One thing that I've not seen discussed is a POI (Point of Interest) database. There are tons of these on the Internet that you can download and then upload to your GPS unit. As a Volunteer firefighter, I developed a POI database of every Fire Department in my state for use by the Fire Marshal's office. They are uploading them to their GPS units in the Investigator's vehicles. In addition, I'm developing a POI database of every fire hydrant in my department's jurisdiction in order to make water-supply location much easier. Then we will purchase a GPS unit for each fire apparatus and use the database regularly.

Just a couple weeks ago, we used GPS units in a very rural area with heavy tree cover to assist in finding a mentally handicapped person who had wandered away from home. With no reliable cell signal, and with dense forest, we would have been lucky to have been able to use a smartphone to track or log our movements. Once we layed out the search area and followed the GPS data, we were able to find him and return him to his family.

Along those same lines, we have landed the local aeromedial helicopter in rural areas using coordinates from our handheld GPS unit.

If you are only using your GPS for turn-by-turn directions, you are only scratching the surface. These units offer so much more. Oh, and did I mention that a GPS unit doesn't require a data plan?

Submission + - Entertainment Software Assoc. following RIAA?

cavis writes: "My organization just received an e-mail from the Intellectual Property enforcement division of the Entertainment Software Association. In part, it reads (with my redactions):

"The Entertainment Software Association ("ESA") is a U.S. trade association that represents the intellectual property interests of numerous companies that publish interactive games for video game consoles, personal computers, handheld devices and the Internet(hereinafter collectively referred to as "ESA members"). ESA is authorized to act on behalf of ESA members whose copyright and other intellectual property rights it believes to be infringed as described herein.

Based on the information at its disposal on 24 Nov 2008 01:09:08 GMT, ESA has a good faith belief that the subscriber using the IP address [IP address] infringing the copyright rights of one or more ESA members by copying and distributing unauthorized copies of game products (through peer-to-peer or similar software/services), in violation of applicable copyright laws, through internet access that [agency name] provides directly to the [IP address] or through a downstream provider that purchases this access for [IP address]."

it goes on to name the filename and the application (Limewire). Has anyone had any contact with this group? Are they following the RIAA's lead and pursuing litigation for peer-to-peer piracy? I'm just trying to evalutate what I am in for as I try to battle P2P within my network."

Comment Re:Even less dependency on foreign oil (Score 1) 315

Excuse my luck of HTML skill, but let me quote from CNN: (

"Power from thousands of wind turbines that would line the corridor could be distributed throughout the country via electric power transmission lines and could fuel power plants in large population hubs, the oil baron said.

Fueling these plants with wind power would then free up the natural gas historically used to power them, and would mean that natural gas could replace foreign oil as fuel for motor vehicles, he said."

And I have no problem with T. Boone Pickens making money off this venture. You don't think that the ICGs and Massey Coal companies don't roll in the cash? And what environmental impact does coal have? Ever seen mountaintop removal? How about the emission reports from coal fired power plants? How about the homes and towns destroyed because the coal companies changed the water runoff for their sites?

Yes, we have coal to mine, but it normally comes at a high price.

Comment Even less dependency on foreign oil (Score 4, Insightful) 315

About a month ago, I was travelling on I-68/I-70 in Maryland, over the Cumberland Gap, when I saw a several wind turbines in the distance. After I got over the neat factor (even though we have them here in WV), I quickly realized that with each revolution of those turbines, we could/would be cleaning up the environment that much more. That alone makes me back this program 100%. Will it reduce foreign dependency as well? Let's hope so.

But, we are all going to have to get over seeing them as ugly or migratory-bird killers for this program to work. I truly want a future where we use very little foreign energy, and we harness renewable energy sources. I say we get those new turbines into the wild as quickly as possible. T. Boone Pickens, get to work!

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