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Comment: The hidden news in this study (Score 1) 542

by francisstp (#31609558) Attached to: High Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Bigger Weight Gain In Rats

come from this part : "Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same (my emphasis).

While the study was not designed to test that hypothesis, it provides evidence that weight change is affected by factors other than caloric intake, at least in rats. This study is thus a serious blow to the "a calorie is a calorie is a calorie" paradigm of obesity research.

Seems like Gary Taubes was right all along.

Comment: Re:Paid off the house (Score 1) 582

by francisstp (#30704584) Attached to: Best estimate of monthly spending on food:shelter

You don't have to pay $1000 in interest, and you have $0 in your pocket? What about that $1000?

You can put it the way you want, my math is correct.

Most people aren't financial wizards, and even the wizards can lose their asses, as the last two years have shown. Personally, I paid off the house, and invest that money that would otherwise be interest payments, and have done quite well by having a slightly slower approach. More importantly, MY HOUSE IS PAID OFF. That means that no matter what happens, I have a nice place to live. Yes, if you can borrow the money for 5% and get more than a 5% return on your investment, then you can make more money. My point is that most people over the last two year have LOST money doing this. Paying off the house is less risky and has a guaranteed, tangible benefit, not just one "on paper".

So we agree then

Comment: Re:Paid off the house (Score 1) 582

by francisstp (#30691206) Attached to: Best estimate of monthly spending on food:shelter

You always want to pay off your house if you can. People talk about "I need the deductions", but if you are in the 25% tax bracket, you have to *spend* $1000 to get $250 in tax reduction. This still means you are out the $750

Sounds nice enough, unfortunately it doesn't add up. Let me show you with your example.

Option A : pay the mortgage, don't pay $1000 in interest. In your pockets : $0

Option B : don't pay the mortgage, invest the principal in some revenue generating activity that is equal to the interest rate on the mortgage (that's the part you forgot about). In your pockets : -$1000 in interest + $1000 in revenue + $250 in tax deductions = $250.

Clearly you win by not paying your mortgage if only looking at the numbers. IRL it's often best to mix low-risk (e.g. paying off the mortgage) with higher-risk (e.g. stock market investments), and other non-financial considerations obviously differ for each person. So paying off your mortgage as fast as possible is not necessarily a bad option in practice, although it is financially not the "right" answer.

Comment: Re:Wait a minute (Score 1) 167

by francisstp (#30590696) Attached to: Following In Bing's Footsteps, Yahoo! and Flickr Censor Porn In India
What? TFS is about Yahoo actually censoring adult search results. The question of how successful they are is not especially relevant. They're able to filter at least some results; anyone who has had to deal with the safe search filters at Yahoo of Google can agree that they do work a great majority of the time. So like I said, they can't "claim that filtering porn is infeasible".

Comment: Re:I've nearly last count... (Score 1) 958

by francisstp (#29671113) Attached to: How many countries have you visited?

That would be a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act if you are over 40.

Only if the regulators are as literal as you are applying the law. I'm sure screening applicants for aptitude to travel is legal, and people with families happen to be less apt for this particular, required-for-the-job task.

Comment: Re:Not Hefty? (Score 1) 406

by francisstp (#29644769) Attached to: Hidden Fees Discovered For "Free" Windows 7 Upgrade

Variable costs !- total costs. Just because a cost has already occurred (dvd printing or automating your warehouse) doesn't mean the company should not pass it to its customers. How else are they supposed to recoup these costs? Pricing should account for total costs in the long term.

I think in this situation, the major argument against charging s&h costs is that customers have already paid for them when buying Vista, when what they really wanted (and were promised) in the first place was 7.

Comment: Re:similar to Snow Leopard (Score 2) 406

by francisstp (#29644627) Attached to: Hidden Fees Discovered For "Free" Windows 7 Upgrade

But hey, if you feel "ripped off", then don't buy it.

Thing is, the customers in question here think they've already bought Windows 7. They got a computer with Vista, which they don't want, with a promise of a free upgrade. They don't care what shipping and handling cost the retailers, they've already had to live with Vista for 3 months and now can finally get what they really paid for in the first place.

Sure they'll pay the fee. Better pay 17$ than losing your 300$ purchase, yet it's still a huge PITA.

Comment: Bad news, good news (Score 1) 200

by francisstp (#29542889) Attached to: Canadian ISP's Fight Back, Again
Markets have a way to circumvent these monopolies. It's called innovation. Wanna bet that 20 million dissatisfied broadband Internet customers are a tremendous incentive for smaller companies to offer a wireless Internet solution? Or something new altogether? Investment in alternative technologies will without a doubt increase if Bell and Telus don't allow competitors to have their slice of profits.

"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc

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