There's an economic argument that progressive taxes can act as automatic stabilisers that dampen fluctuations in real GDP of the economy. So in an expansionary economy people pay more as a proportion of their income in tax, and in a recessionary economy it's the opposite. This can help to avoid government action which generally lags significantly and can just amplify the boom or bust.
githin writes: "Lawmaker wants to replace traditional incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones by 2012 in move to reduce energy use, greenhouse gases. A California lawmaker wants to make his state the first to ban incandescent lightbulbs as part of California's groundbreaking initiatives to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. For more, http://money.cnn.com/2007/01/31/news/companies/bc
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Warner Music is planning an aggressive attempt to replace the CD by pushing consumers to buy their music on specially outfitted DVDs, the Wall Street Journal reports. It's music to the ears of some struggling retailers who seek a new physical product to re-capture some of the online (and file-sharing) market. 'As a retailer I'm going to be holding on desperately for any compelling physical product,' said Eric Levin, who owns two independent stores called Criminal Records in the Atlanta area. 'So the introduction of a new format...is cause for excitement.' More from the article: 'But there are some stumbling blocks that may discourage consumers from embracing DVD albums. The new discs would not play on normal CD players, meaning consumers could not simply pop their new discs into their car stereos or other players. And users would not be able to copy the main audio mix onto their computers. On the proposed DVD album, the main audio mix is to be protected by the same software that already protects the content on normal DVDs.'"
An anonymous reader writes "With today's release of three movies on Blu-ray, Warner Home Video has become the first studio to release movie titles on both high-def formats, making it finally possible to do an apples-to-apples comparison of the same titles on both formats . High-Def Digest has just posted reviews of all three titles — 'Training Day,' 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' and 'Rumor Has It' — comparing video, audio and extras to the previous HD DVD releases. Their verdict? Due to issues with image cropping, audio selection and supplemental features on the Blu-ray discs, the HD DVD versions win this first face-off."
Craig Mason writes "The BBC Reports that "Microsoft has been fined 280.5m euros ($357m; £194m) by the European Commission for failing to comply with an anti-competition ruling. The software giant was hit by the fine following a long-running dispute between the US firm and EU regulators. The move follows a landmark EU ruling in 2004, which ordered Microsoft to provide rivals with information about its Windows operating system. EU regulators also warned Microsoft it could face new fines of 3m euros a day.""