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Comment: Out of State Driving Trips (Score 1) 826

by joelsherrill (#49736153) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Assuming the per mile tax were acceptable, no one has mentioned that it assumes that all miles are driven within their jurisdiction. I drive approximately 10K miles per year including commuting and road trips. Being about 20 miles from the state line in one direction and 60 in another, the road trips end up with most of their miles out of state. This plan would have me fill up the car in another state and pay taxes at home.

Also consider the classic "Wally World" vacation driving trip. I live in the southeastern US. It is approximately 2000 miles to LA. In the past, I have done multiple three week driving trips to the west where my total mileage was between 5000 and 6000 miles[1]. All but say 100 miles of that was out of state but would be taxed by both where I actually drove and purchased fuel and by my state.

[1] The first day out and last day home were long driving days in shifts. We would knock out most of the distance to the first point of interest and actually be doing something the next day. Other drives were shorter and in between attractions. The trips would always include at least a couple of three-five day stays somewhere worthy.

Comment: Twenty Years Ago in Ventura County (Score 4, Insightful) 395

by joelsherrill (#49646133) Attached to: 25 Percent of Cars Cause 90 Percent of Air Pollution

That this would be a new idea surprises me. In 2009, the US had the Car Allowance Rebate System (aka Cash for Clunkers) program which likely helped reduce emissions even it was more of an economic program. Further back, twenty years ago Ventura County offered money to get old clunkers off the road strictly for emissions reasons. In 1995 per the article I link below, "More than 50% of the smog comes from vehicle emissions and a large percentage of that comes from older, pre-1974 clunkers." If you look at the distribution of cars, many are late model, well-maintained, and operating at or very near their peak. But as cars age and lose value, newer cars are built to higher emissions (and safety) standards, the parts get worn, routine maintenance gets done but many repairs aren't done because it isn't worth it based on the value of the vehicle. In areas without emissions testing, there is absolutely zero incentive to worry about it with an older vehicle. I realize this every time I get behind a vehicle that is smoking or burns my eyes because it is in such bad shape. This is not even about zero or low emissions, it is simply about getting extreme polluters off the road.

Bottom line: Encourage people to replace clunkers and keep their vehicle well-maintained.

As an odd aside, there are articles that show a similar distribution of costs in emergency room. A small number of patients dominate ER costs in the US because they have no insurance and chronic conditions. Google that one for yourself.

Ventura County Reference: http://articles.latimes.com/19...

Comment: Re:IBM selling Mainframes to the Nazis? (Score 1) 110

by joelsherrill (#49309511) Attached to: A Sucker Is Optimized Every Minute

They sold tabulating machines based on Hollerith cards (yes punch cards). They were indeed put to use for the US census around 1890 if memory serves. These machines were apparently also used by US in tracking who was in the Japanese internment camps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

Comment: Re:Curated Collection (Score 1) 139

by joelsherrill (#49291619) Attached to: Google 'Experts' To Screen Android Apps For Banned Content

OTOH, Google Play was launched in March, 2012 (yeah, I was surprised, too!) ; so, I'd still say that Apple's App Store can safely be said to have "come first"...

Nice try there. Thanks for playing.

It may have been renamed Google Play in March 2012 but you could get Android applications from the Android Market long before that. The original Android ADP (aka HTC Dream or T-Mobile G1) had access to the marker. Our friend Wikipedia contradicts your statement and notes the Android Market had a launch date of 22 October 2008. So only July to October difference on the launch dates which more or less makes them concurrently developed.

Comment: Re:What about the 136 other Organizations Accepted (Score 1) 53

by joelsherrill (#49206087) Attached to: KDE Accepted To Google Summer of Code 2015

I am pretty sure over 50% of the organizations that apply are not accepted in any given year.

The requirements you list are minimum ones. Speaking as an organization administrator for GSoC (and ESA SOCIS), there is a lot of work that must be done so an organization can do a good job with students. The ideas must be summer-sized projects with clear goals. You want an easy on-ramp for new developers with a welcoming community. You realistically need multiple mentors per student, to be responsive to those students, and to track them so they don't fall into a pit. You are also responsible for helping them set realistic mid-term and final goals that they can be evaluated against.

And this ignores helping promote the program, recruit students, and try to keep the students involved in your organization or free software in general after the summer is over.

If you haven't mentored or been an organization administrator for GSoC, then you don't know how seriously all organizations take being able to be prepared and do a good job for their students. The IRC meeting with discussions on why some organizations didn't make it this year is at: http://infobot.rikers.org/%23g.... It starts at 16:00. Not sure how much detail they got into. I just did a quick scan.

Comment: Re:Its a cost decision (Score 1) 840

KitchenAid? I don't have enough time to give you my long-winded rant over the craptastic products that I have had the pleasure of repairing with none of my major kitchen appliances being over six years old. Let's start with a microwave door that developed cracks within six months of being new, oven controls that "stuck" and had to be replaced, dishwasher rollers that are apparently not made with heat rated plastic, an oven door handle screw that fell out inside the door, cracks in the back of refrigerator wall, broken refrigerator drawers and trays, and that's not counting that I can see the non-metal bottom of the stainless steel dishwasher starting to deteroiate. I currently have an ice maker in a box waiting for me to replace the broken one in the refrigerator and a new cover for the microwave since the handle finally pulled completely through. I found out that the cover needed six tabs which were broken on the old one (from the factory). So I looked up the parts and ordered them. Plastic tabs about 1/2" long and 3/8" wide with a screw hole. Whirlpool and every third party parts place wants about $25 a piece for the six plastic tabs ($150!!) that hold the cover in place if I ordered white or stainless. Luckily, you can't see them so I was happy with the $3.75 a piece black ones.

From the web, I can tell that the products under there other various names (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whirlpool_Corporation#Major_brands) are built with the same quality.

I have to give props to my wife who has on more than one occasion grabbed the parts when they arrived and fixed things herself. There are some amazing videos on YouTube showing how to repair appliances and the web makes it easy to order parts. Just a damned shame that you have to do it because the item you are repairing it shite the day it leaves the factory. Google "whirlpool lawsuit defective design" and add a word like refrigerator or icemaker.

Sometimes it isn't that one can't repair or doesn't want to. It is that the appliance in question is shite from the factory and parts are priced in such a way that repairs become increasingly expensive and you hate the damned appliance. If Whirlpool were to give me replacements, I would take them but I am adding them to the list of companies I don't want anything from. So Whirlpool ... if anyone there cares... you have a chance to redeem yourself. But my previous attempts to get satisfaction failed just like the appliances.

Comment: Fix Their Wifi (Score 1) 170

by joelsherrill (#48253713) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unlimited Data Plan For Seniors?

Why don't you directly solve the problem and help them improve their Wifi coverage? It could be as simple as buying something more modern with more power and some repeaters. At least see if they would let you investigate it. A few hundred dollars might side step the mobile and make all of the residents live easier.

Maybe some local company would donate services or equipment to help you do this. Talk to their ISP. Who knows until you beg?

Comment: Re:Drivers, its all about the drivers (Score 2) 110

by joelsherrill (#46771505) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft

We have used a Raspberry Pi to compile RTEMS (rtems.org) to target the space hardened SPARC V7 ERC32 as well as gdb including a simulator. The Raspberry Pi does this and runs the tests on a simulator at approximately the same performance level as a mid-90s Sun workstation. It is a respectable CPU and great for many "ordinary" computer tasks.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.

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