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Comment: Re:The story is tagged "rideabike" (Score 1) 894

by swordfishBob (#28090787) Attached to: The Great Ethanol Scam

On journeys of 100km, cycling isn't feasible as it's too slow.
The journeys that are more feasible tend to be:
- short, where overheads of starting a car engine from cold significantly sway the economics
- short but slow, where traffic congestion is an issue - also hitting on a motorcar's economy

Ride a bike! CO2 is taken care of naturally, and apart from eu-de-sweaty-human, there aren't other toxic emissions to worry about.
Or ride a bike with an outboard motor; just don't put ethanol in its plastic tank.

Comment: misleading (Score 2, Informative) 894

by swordfishBob (#28090745) Attached to: The Great Ethanol Scam

Some good points, but most of the cited evidence of damage relates to either:
- concentrations of ethanol greater than they were supposed to be
- putting ethanol-blended fuel into something that wasn't designed for it

That's not a good argument against all use of ethanol blends, but does go against mandating all octane-ish fuel be blended.

Comment: yawn (Score 1) 414

by swordfishBob (#26565343) Attached to: Microsoft Brings Back DRM

Maybe you'll be sick of those songs by then, and just get new ones for your new phone..

Maybe people will come to think that replacing your phone every 18 months is ridiculous..

Maybe I don't care as I still buy music on CDs, ie unencrypted on physical media.. for the small qty of music I could be bothered obtaining.

Comment: Der. So does Vista. (Score 2, Interesting) 515

by swordfishBob (#26476793) Attached to: Ubuntu Download Speeds Beat Windows XP's

XP's TCP/IP stack is much the same as NT has been using for quite a while. It takes ages to ramp up the TCP window size. It makes for terrible results on "speed tests" unless the test is quite a long download.
Vista is much more aggressive in increasing the receive window.

Run a throughput monitor of some sort while performing the test - preferably one that graphs throughput against time.

Comment: Just the beginning. (Score 4, Interesting) 713

by swordfishBob (#26271945) Attached to: Oregon Governor Proposes Vehicle Mileage Tax

Add a few more players to the game, and you get:
- A national system of tollways, with microcharging so it's useable on roads of any size
- A billing system for parking stations, event parking, or even roadside parking at all in city zones
- Ability to charge more for certain roads during peak periods (like a congestion tax)
- A speed tax?

Comment: Re:MAP vs Price Fixing (Score 1) 272

by swordfishBob (#26024889) Attached to: Battle Over Minimum Pricing Heating Up

I've been a consumer of ameteur music & sound equipment for a while, in Australia. I've been appalled at the way such things are priced here. US web prices are less than half the local "discount" and online prices, let alone in-store small-retailer prices. Even paying international air freight on individual items, it's a huge difference.

I spoke with a retailer about it, and it comes down to there being only one distributor who fixes the minimum prices locally, with the threat of shutting off access to ALL brands if a retailer attempts parallel imports or breaches the specified price. I can empathise with a low-turnover retailer, but not with a sole importer holding a captive market.

Australian law explicitly allows parallel or grey imports, but cannot force a distributor to deal with a retailer. Further, international web sellers are often prevented from selling internationally by their own supplier contracts.

I'm most appreciative of Behringer's policy on international pricing, which stops me being ripped off by a monopoly importer.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun