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Comment: Re:Vehicle Weight (Score 1) 827

by rhsanborn (#49736613) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
As tepples mentioned, the road wear goes up exponentially, which is why the discussion of fuel taxes and hybrid drivers is so frustrating. Automobiles have a very limited impact on roads compared to heavy, loaded, tractor trailers. According to this GAO report (http://archive.gao.gov/f0302/109884.pdf) a fully loaded tractor trailer does ~9,600 times the damage to roads that a car does. An average driver does ~15k miles per year and gets 25 mpg. Using the Michigan gas tax, that car would pay about $110/year in gas tax which is supposed to support the roads. If we're interested in assigning fees based on road wear and impact, that truck needs to pay over $1M. It's a regressive tax that has general drivers subsidizing business use of the roads. I know we need goods, but if we forced businesses to assume the cost to move their goods, they may get a lot better at distributing goods more efficiently (trains, boats, etc.)

Comment: Re:Spike and pesticide correllation (Score 1) 220

"Environmentally friendly" doesn't mean, "can't be bad for certain elements of the environment". Sure, maybe today's pesticides to kill off predatory birds, but removing the "kill predatory bird" chemical doesn't imply that "kill the bees" isn't present in today's pesticides.

Comment: Re:Paranoia (Score 3, Insightful) 152

by rhsanborn (#49672213) Attached to: The Best Way To Protect Real Passwords: Create Fake Ones
It's better to ask these questions now, before we do have things to hide, like ebanking info. It's been considered that chip-and-pin would eventually push the liability for lost funds onto the consumer on the assumption that the consumer was negligent in losing his PIN. Bitcoin is another example of a thing that if you lose it, it's gone. It's not mainstream now, but I have heard of the Canadian mint experimenting with encrypted digital copies of it's currency (to allow electronic transactions, but ostensibly to make sure the Canadian government is notified of transactions so they can take a tax cut). It's conceivable you would have little to no recourse in recovering these funds. It's better to have the tools before we need them.

Comment: Re:Yep, they were... (Score 1) 369

by rhsanborn (#49645813) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods
Companies tend to do way better when their intent isn't to screw customers. Steve Jobs was a delusional, but he believed locking down the software and forcing it to only work on Apple hardware provided the best user experience for the customer. That works out well for the company making the hardware, but the company didn't look for the money first and implement the product second. Keurig saw companies making money by lock-in and thought that lock-in was what it needed to do. Instead, it needed to make the best coffee pods. It needed to make them so much better that customers wouldn't want to use other coffee pods. If that involved lock-in, customers would have been fine with it. As it happens, the secret isn't the pods, it's the coffee, and lots of other people know that too, so lock-in wasn't ever a viable option, unless your goal was to piss off your customers.

Start making products people want, and they'll be happy to be locked-in with you.

Comment: Re:Finally, a decent April Fool's Day article from (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by rhsanborn (#49390997) Attached to: Amazon Moves "Buy Now" Into the Physical World, With the Dash Button
Amazon does ridiculous stuff like this regularly. Free shipping for Prime members was a crazy idea when it was first introduced. Now several companies have copied their prime model. I don't think these buttons are the end-game. They may be a wedge/marketing gimic that gets people to start buying household products from Amazon. I buy laundry detergent locally because I usually don't think about it until I'm almost out. Having a button staring me in the face reminds me 1) that Amazon sells it, and 2) that I might want to think about it a few days in advance on needing it. Once I get that habit, it won't be a stretch to get rid of the buttons and simply have a phone app that lets me easily order non-perishables.

Alternately, Amazon is hoping the price for these buttons becomes negligible as "Internet of Things" chips ramp up. Either way, homeowners buying name brand products through Amazon without even thinking about the price, is good for Amazon.

Comment: Re:Thanks Obama (Score 1) 223

by rhsanborn (#48991691) Attached to: US Health Insurer Anthem Suffers Massive Data Breach
It's an anachronism of the early concerns of the US founders. They wanted to balance the interests of the more populated colonies/states with the interests of the less populated colonies/states. So they setup the house that is strictly based on the proportion of population to "represent the will of the people, and the Senate which has 2 votes per state regardless of population to ensure smaller states aren't drowned out in this republic. They never foresaw the effects of gerrymandering on the House. It's the downside of being the first modern democracy, we had to work some kinks out. I think there is value in discussing proportional representation, but the existing interests would never let that happen.

Comment: Re:And no consequences? (Score 1) 223

by rhsanborn (#48988351) Attached to: US Health Insurer Anthem Suffers Massive Data Breach
The scary thing is that this is in the industry with the most consumer data protection laws (healthcare). We've never had a breach this large, so we have no idea on the fine size. The largest fine levied so far was a combined $4.8M split between two entities. Unfortunately, I suspect the cost of securing a network this large accumulated over 5 years is probably more than the fine. The bigger pain will be the knock on effects of lost business, remediations, etc. The only other similar breach is Community Health Systems who lost ~4.5M records around August. Fines haven't been announced that I know of, but the all-in estimate is about $100-$150M.

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