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Comment: Re:toposhaba (Score 1) 792

by phatvw (#29435059) Attached to: Congress Mulls Research Into a Vehicle Mileage Tax

What tax is this proposed tax replacing?

When we all drive electric or homebrew biodiesel cars, there will be no gas tax to pay for roads.

And as fuel economy increases from better engine design and lighter/smaller cars, existing gasoline tax revenue drops. The gasoline tax model is simply not sustainable. Most states already require cars to come in for emissions checkups every other year. Why not require electric cars to come in for a mileage check and tax accordingly? Isn't this the model for public utilities? Some municipalities have automated utility meters that send real-time usage data back to HQ. If folks are OK with that, why not mileage tracking on cars? (BTW your cellphone company, and probably the goverment already knows where you go if you leave your cellphone on all the time. Who needs GPS lol!)

Another option is to make a default use tax for each vehicle and offer rebates the less you drive. You purchase the right to drive up to 15,000 miles via monthly fees, but get a big rebate at the end of the year when you only drive 10,000 miles. Insurance companies are already doing this, so why not the government? You can even have special provisions for low-income households who have to drive a long way to work and are underserviced by public transit.

But these are just ideas. Ideas are bullshit. Execution is what matters, and thats fucking hard to do.

Comment: RE S/PDIFnot working (Score 1) 359

by phatvw (#29334435) Attached to: Steve Ballmer Directing "House Party 7"

S/PDIF ceased working after installing Windows 7. It sees the device but no sound comes out. This is a bummer. I hope there is a fix for this.

Can you please post the hardware PNPID of your audio devices? With this information Microsoft can investigate and post an appropriate fix via Windows Update. You better beleive MS employees are scouring all the interweb forums including slashdot to address real customer issues!

Best bet is to post a dxdiag log file as that will contain all the driver information and perhaps help to address your other issues as well:

  • start - dxdiag.exe - save all info

In the mean time, try force-installing the Vista driver via your vendor's website.

Image

Physicists Prove That Vampires Could Not Exist 11

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-science dept.
You can put away your wooden stakes, and stop hanging garlic around the windows, thanks to Physicists Costas Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi. The pair have published a paper where they demonstrate, by virtue of geometric progression, that vampires could not exist. It turns out that the vampire's method of feeding and reproduction would deplete their food supply very quickly. Their paper, "Cinema Fiction vs. Physics Reality," assumes that the first vampire appeared on January 1, 1600 and shows that everybody on the planet would have had their blood drained by June, 1602.

Comment: Re:Did you turn off Aero? (Score 1) 898

by phatvw (#26266067) Attached to: First Look At Windows 7 Beta 1

Most nerds seem to turn it off assuming it is "flasy useless eye candy". Little do they know they basically turned off hardware accelleration. You do know that Vista, with Aero enabled, will delegate most of the window drawing to the video card. In fact, the more ram on your video card, the better, Vista stores all the window data on that instead of your system RAM.

In Vista there are actually multiple copies of the "window data" in BOTH system and Video ram. That's one reason why dwm.exe commit size is so large in Vista.

If you have a WDDM 1.1 compatible video card in Windows 7, however, the memory savings is huge. Especially if you frequently have a lot of windows open simultaneously. All this was presented at WinHEC/PDC. All of this means that you can actually run Win7 with 1GB quite well without any disk thrashing. You can certainly run WinXP with 1GB or less, but you don't get all the cool stuff that all kids love.

So how do you know if your current Video card is WDDM 1.1 compatible? From looking at the INF files distributed with the BETA, you can deduce that any DirectX 10 capable card is also WDDM 1.1. Presumably the graphics guidelines for Windows 7 system builders will be published soon to verify this. Until then, get your latest WDDM 1.1 drivers from Windows Update Catalog

The Courts

+ - Faulty FBI Bullet Science Exposed->

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "It's something that dates back to President Kennedy's assassination — bullet lead analysis. This technique is built upon the premise that every batch of bullets has its own impurities and chemical makeup that make it possible to distinguish between two bullets from different batches and link fired bullets to unused bullets in someone's possession. Something fishy was up two years ago when the FBI stopped using this technique and instead said it still supports the science behind it. Now the Washington Post & 60 Minutes are uncovering what could be hundreds of wrongly imprisoned people. The National Academy of Sciences denounced the 'science' of bullet lead analysis in 2004 with this core criticism: 'In 1996, the bureau switched to a new method called "inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy," in which scientists identified and measured seven trace elements in the bullets, adding the elements bismuth, cadmium, tin and silver. The goal was to increase the precision of the tests. But at the same time that it was measuring more elements, the FBI doubled the margin of error for declaring matches. "Not enough suspects were being caught in the new net using seven elements, so they chose to use a bigger net," said Clifford Spiegelman, a statistician at Texas A&M University who reviewed the FBI's statistical methods for the science academy.'"
Link to Original Source
Wireless Networking

+ - Unlimited gall to cost Verizon $1 million->

Submitted by netbuzz
netbuzz (955038) writes "Unlimited really means unlimited, even in advertising. So says the New York State Attorney General's Office in squeezing a $1 million settlement out of Verizon Wireless for disconnecting 13,000 of its customers who had the temerity to believe that the unlimited service they were promised came with unlimited service. Verizon's statement explaining the settlement is a gem, too.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/20981"

Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - Watchdog to Represent eBay Seller in Autodesk Suit->

Submitted by
New10k
New10k writes "Following up on a recent Slashdot entry, nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen has agreed to provide an attorney to eBay seller Timothy S. Vernor, who is suing Autodesk in federal court. This is not the first time Public Citizen has represented an eBay seller. The advocacy group has identified elements of the Vernor case as one of its key litigation priorities for 2007. The article includes an interview with Vernor's new lawyer, Greg Beck, who was a software engineer for Microsoft before going to law school."
Link to Original Source
United States

+ - US may require European visitors to register

Submitted by maximus1
maximus1 (970460) writes "According to this article, Europeans may have to register online two days before they visit the US under a proposal being examined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The online registration would complement the Automated Targeting System, a program disclosed by the DHS in November that assigns a "risk assessment" to people entering and leaving the U.S.. The registration system would likely require approval by the U.S. Congress before it could be introduced, says Hugo Teufel III, chief privacy officer for the DHS. "It's a fairly new initiative in that we've been discussing it internally for about a month.""

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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