I find this particularly amusing, as 8/10 of the states that get the highest ratio of spending to revenue are Republican (for at least 3 of the last 4 presidential elections), while 8/10 of the lowest ratio states are Democratic (of the other two, Colorado was Republican for 3 of the last 4 elections, and Nevada was 2 for each.)
So actually, Republican states are getting more back from their taxes than they pay, subsidized by Democratic states. In other words, people in the cities see the benefits of higher taxation, despite not getting their fair share, while people in rural regions get more than what they pay for, and still bitch about it.
You had me until the second to last paragraph. Macs wouldn't evolve nearly as fast if there wasn't Windows (and to some extent, Linux) adding new stuff. With a lot of the cool things Apple do, they aren't the one to first do something, they are the first to do it in a way that appeals to the mainstream. Look at smartphones, Windows Mobile phones were around way before the iPhone, but they were never popular in the mainstream because they didn't have the "cool factor". And if it weren't for webOS and Android, iOS would quite possibly still have the crap notifications system that just got replaced with iOS 5.
So, yes, Apple are great at what they do, but to say that they would be where they are without the competition is ridiculous.
No, manuals are what really shine in the city. My family have a '98 Toyota Camry manual, and an '06 Hyundai Sonata auto. Both have the same EPA rating, both get about the same mileage for long distance highway trips. But in the mixed driving my family usually does, we get about 31MPG in the Camry, and 27MPG in the Sonata.
The reason for this is that during acceleration, the manual is a physical connection, while the automatic is lucky to be 80% efficient. DSG transmissions make up for this by being automated manual transmissions, they have a clutch (that the driver doesn't push), just like a manual. The only way an auto with a torque converter can get close to a manual is if it is a CVT, and that is because it can lock the torque converter (so it's basically a physical connection), and then hold the engine revs near the most efficient. Even with these new-generation automatics, they can virtually never beat a driver that's driving carefully (for both efficiency and safety, most gas saving tricks involve being more aware of your surroundings.)
No need for higher fuel taxes, just stop paying subsidies to the oil giants, and gas prices will go up naturally, and the government will have reduced spending. Then again, some conservative will point out that it's not okay to stop giving money to private companies, they'd much rather the government stopped giving healthcare to the elderly.
I'm all for capitalism, but not when it means that the government is spending the little guys' money on making the big guys bigger.
Yes, and not only that, but the article is more about how SUVs should be for people that *need* the space than how small cars are bad for safety. The only thing making small cars unsafe is the number huge vehicles that so many people drive without reason.
EuroNCAP (who do safety tests like the IIHS) quite clearly state that crashes are only comparable within a class, and then mass wins over safety features. Interestingly, the side impact test is done with an object which is always the same weight, which shows that some light cars are actually better than their heavier counterparts in a side-on accident.
There is nothing stopping iTunes-bought music being played on other devices. TV shows and movies are another story, but from what I could see when I got my Android phone, practically all smartphones and even a lot of feature phones support playing AAC files.
The matter of getting music on to an iOS device is a bit more complex, as the only way to load new music onto the device is with the iTunes Store App or iTunes. Up until now, iTunes has been required to use an iOS device, so getting music from other sources has been simple. However, with iOS 5, Apple are saying that no computer is required, so it is possible that a user could be stuck in the position where the only possible way to get music on his/her iOS device is via the iTunes Store App, effectively boosting iTunes music sales with the popularity of iOS devices.
"Free markets select for winning solutions." -- Eric S. Raymond