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Comment: Same Danger as Congestion Pricing (Score 1) 803

by speedlaw (#49738477) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax
The overall desire to track everyone is the goal. In NYC, we had a Congestion Pricing plan put forth. The bottom line was that there HAD to be a financial toll, as they wanted to track everyone. Luckily, Upstate NY didn't think that charging a toll to see NYC was fair, but.... This is the same idea, with a different "reason". Try this one...index fuel taxes to inflation (not that that number is accurate anymore, at least as issued by the Feds). If you drive a prius, less tax. Drive an Escalade, more tax. Drive an 18 Wheeler, still more tax. Fair, anonymous, and fixes the system. Oh, I'm sorry. This is America, land of the Oligarch. We have to give this to a private company, make sure that it is enforced outside the court system, and make some Wall Street guy able to buy a west coast beach house as well as an east coast beach house.

Comment: Re:The horrible TV control interface (Score 1) 241

by speedlaw (#49732361) Attached to: Why Apple Ditched Its Plan To Build a Television
The problem is that every remote has one or two functions that can't be done on a universal. You can get crazy with a Harmony remote but you have to do everything in sequence. Eventually you end up with one remote per box..... Manufacturers all don't work together, so they can influence you to stay brand loyal. Tech support for Grandma can be dicey.

Comment: All Fake (Score 1) 532

by speedlaw (#49635081) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery
I got a bill for an ER visit. Five stitches. $2500 Best was a $400 adjustment. It was the difference between one charge and another. They would not give me the "negotiated" rate as it was under deductible. Written requests to the insurer and hospital both refused citing confidentiality...to me, the patient. Bastards. Charged more because my insurer got out from under.

Comment: Re:Used to work at an immigration firm (Score 3) 636

by speedlaw (#49582813) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers
I was only the piano player. I did all the non immigration work there. I'm only reporting what I saw. Would it be better if I didn't report it ? I never appeared in any Imm proceedings, or drafted the paperwork, personally. Immigration is generally a very effed up area of law. All the illegals aren't wrong...they know there will be eventual amnesty, like in the past, and will show up with coffee cans full of cash to pay whatever penalty fee the INS comes up with.

Comment: Used to work at an immigration firm (Score 5, Informative) 636

by speedlaw (#49582497) Attached to: Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers
IAAL. Learned in a stint at an immigration law firm, that H1B means you write a job description that only your candidate can fill. For example, if I wanted an airplane engineer who knew jumbo jets, I could get a thousand Americans for the job. If I needed a jumbo jet guy who also could work on Bleriot biplanes, that might be a lot less. If I also said he needed to be fluent in Mandarin and Farsi, I've just written an H1-B for my candidate. The key to success is making sure that only your guy can meet the job description that YOU create. Had a friend who was H1-B, even though he was raised in the states...he never bothered for the green card, took the easy way through school, etc. Had a falling out with his boss, and the H1-B went "poof". This essentially American had to relocate to Europe, and when he didn't self deport, was excluded for five years. H1-B means your employer owns your ass. Sadly, it is now a means to "on shore" a docile labor force.

Comment: Re:Speed cameras reduce fatalities? (Score 1) 247

by speedlaw (#49565805) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues
You can get camera location databases for most satnavs as a subscription. It is worth it. The sort of free way is to use Waze. The crowd source works very well for fixed threats. Friend goes to Wash, DC. Two camera tix, speed and red light. I go, zero over more miles. When the goal is "gotcha", not safety, the bing-bing of the Garmin is good to know. Really, there's no excuse if you own a smartphone or can pony up $80 for a cheap nav and $30 for a subscription.

Comment: 160 characters to die for (Score 2) 247

by speedlaw (#49565783) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues
The biggest danger to driving, drivers and pedestrians is the cell phone. Folks walk out into traffic staring at the samsung. Go 10 blocks in Manhattan, you will get at least a dozen of these folks. No spatial awareness at all. In public. I saw a guy holding a cell phone conversation on speaker while bicycling yesterday. The guy who doesn't move from the light when it goes green didn't stall his manual, he's texting. Left Lane blocker ? contractor or housewife in huge SUV/Pickup...62 in a 70...ON THE PHONE. Really, just close your eyes instead and go lalalalalalaaa

Comment: Re:ad blocker? (Score 1) 358

by speedlaw (#49440679) Attached to: Google To Offer Ad-Free YouTube - At a Price
I'm sufficiently concerned that I use a private company for my mail. I could do it for "free", but prefer to pay for my work files not being data mined... You mean there are folks who don't ad-block ? Oh, and yes, I do FF commercials. The second thing I did with my Tivo was to activate the 30 second skip. That alone is worth the monthly subscription fee.

Comment: I feel your pain (Score 2) 249

by speedlaw (#49395351) Attached to: Sony Buys, Shuts Down OnLive
I had two of the excellent Sony HDD 250 DVRs. They are/were better than Tivo until this last generation....well built, and a good first effort. They got data from TV Guide onscreen. Listings, info, and time. TV Guide onscreen was a listing service that would download from an OTA or cable station, interlaced into the signal. It was carried by PBS in the analog era, then CBS when digital transition took place. TV Guide was sold to Rovi (Macrovision). Shortly thereafter, the listing service was shut down. Sony and Rovi were both mute as to those of us who had bought into TV Guide onscreen. I mean, really, who could get screwed by TV GUIDE ???? So much for the old economy and assumptions. We were left high and dry. There was no alternate way to get the listings. Some units with later versions of TV Guide onscreen were internet compatible, but these weren't. Now, I'm not ranting about free listings. These units would not take a time stamp from anything other than a TVGOS source, over the air... So, once the TVGOS service died, your clock did too. No, there was no "clock set" in the menu. Whose idea or requirement this was should be shot. Twice. Some convoluted work arounds were devised, but the simple fact is that you had a random clock when you plugged it in. For the normal person, you just bricked it. No TVGOS signal = no clock = no programming. Thanks Sony.

Comment: You can't hit people at work (Score 1, Offtopic) 662

by speedlaw (#49345641) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear
Moron. Won't change a thing here. Cut the cable cord a while back, Hulu for back episodes, and non usian web sites for the current season. The Stig-The Stig The Snob-to be replaced The Bloke-Hammond The Bard-May Reboot with another Snob. I can only imagine what his real snob position as real or faker is in the brit class system. Here in the US we don't pick up on that fine gradation.

Comment: Re:HackRF, Ham it up, and the TV on a stick chips. (Score 1) 135

I find it fascinating that everyone now carries a digital spread spectrum, full duplex device. When I was a kid, messing with (yes) 11 meters, and later graduation to ham, this was a fantasy from sci-fi. When the first brick cell phone came out, hams had already been "phone patching" to local repeaters for years. Try to explain to someone why they can or cannot get a signal, basic propagation knowledge, and you get a blank stare. No one has a clue how any of this works. We have seen Heinlein's Law in my lifetime !

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