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Comment Re:Calm before the hyperbole (Score 5, Insightful) 566

Good point. It also sounds like at least some of the folks at Fox were trying to prevent the footage from going live, and they apologized immediately afterward. Buzzfeed, on the other hand, deliberately posted the footage with full knowledge of its contents.

I think Fox has the moral (relative) high ground here.

Comment Pipeline on wheels? (Score 1) 124

This smacks me as being a bit odd and inefficient. Given the volume being produced, wouldn't a pipeline make more sense? It'd be safer and cheaper in the long run. Of course, given the troubles the Keystone XL pipeline is having, maybe it's more economic to truck it than to try and get through all the red tape for a pipeline.

Comment Re:Private security theater is no better than publ (Score 1, Interesting) 585

I used to travel abroad at my previous job, and I had similar, though often worse, experiences in other countries. For example, when leaving Luanda, Angola, here was the process:
  1. Arrive at airport, get in line
  2. Go through metal detector, have your itinerary checked against your passport
  3. Get in line for the check-in desk. Start filling out a passenger information sheet
  4. Get interviewed for a few minutes by a security person who again checks your itinerary against your passport
  5. Airline checks your itinerary against the passport and the passenger information sheet
  6. Move to the next line to actually check in
  7. Stand in another security line, bags get xrayed, you go through the metal detector
  8. Go into a small room to be interviewed to make sure you're not carrying any Angolan currency out
  9. Go wait in waiting area (not by the gate) until it's about time to board
  10. Go through another check of boarding pass vs. passport
  11. Bag search to *really* make sure you're not carrying currency
  12. Pat-down to *really* *really* make sure you're not carrying currency
  13. Another check of boarding pass against passport (by airport security)
  14. Another check of boarding pass against passport (by the airline)
  15. Go out the door to board a bus which takes you to the airplane

Comment Arbitrary efficiency standards lower costs? (Score 4, Insightful) 153

Uh, perhaps there's some measure in the law which places tariffs on higher-polluting sources, but I can't recall any time when mandatory, arbitrary efficiency/emissions standards have lowered costs. If higher efficiency truly creates savings, then the mandates aren't necessary. Witness the boom in demand for fuel-efficient cars as gas prices go up.

Comment Consistent problem? Or paranoia? (Score 2) 131

I don't recall hearing much in the way of incidents involving lithium-containing batteries combusting during shipping. This leads me to wonder which of the following is going on. Is it:
1) A response to actual incidents?
2) An over-reaction to the potential of an accident, much like the no-electronic-gadgets rule on airplanes?
3) Something more sinister involving patents and/or protectionism?

Given the USPS's boneheaded management style (e.g. you still can't buy first-class postage on their site, only the much more expensive Priority and Express), I'm thinking option #2, but that's just speculation

Comment Re:Obama knows how to play politics if anything. (Score 3, Insightful) 834

The money has to come from *somewhere*. TANSTAAFL. A few things to note: The Senate bill would raise taxes permanently, and it will take ten years of that tax increase to cover one year of the student loan interest freeze. Secondly, the money cut in the House bill comes from a portion of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which is pretty much just a slush fund. The proposal is to cut spending which hasn't happened yet. Third, it's good to have educated workers. But that education ain't worth much if potential employers can't hire the graduates, and taking money away from potential employers makes it that much harder for them to hire those graduates.

Comment There's a big leap of faith there (Score 4, Interesting) 429

The author throws this premise and assumption in without giving it too much examination:

a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous...

That's a big leap. Countries with high populations densities, such as those in Europe and the Far East, will have a much easier/cheaper time of building out the infrastructure for reliable high-speed internet to a vast majority of their population. Here in the US, however, it's a lot more expensive. Simply hand-waving the "once such connections become ubiquitous" ignores the cost of installing that infrastructure, and the time required to extend it to enough households.

Besides, a 1080p movie is going to suck a lot of bandwidth, and I'm guessing most people won't want to pay for a connection fast enough when they can save a few bucks with a slower connection. Not to mention the whole throttling/bandwidth cap issue.

Comment Re:Boom & Bust (Score 4, Informative) 182

I suspect you're not familiar with the specifics of the bill--it limits how much an individual can invest in such a company--only up to 10% of their income or $10k (whichever is less) in the less-restrictive version of the bill. It ain't gonna make any investor go bankrupt who isn't headed there already.

Comment Re:When was it made illegal? (Score 2) 182

Crowdsourcing is not specifically illegal, but there are many regulations and laws which apply to companies that allow investments. For a small business, these regulations can be enormously onerous--rules for how finances are tracked, requirements for independent auditors, etc. Mostly, this bill waives the requirements for such a small business for the first few years. I think there's an assumption that the company will either die out in that period or become large enough that it can afford those regulatory expenses.

Comment Re:Christ, (Score 5, Informative) 652

Let's put some numbers to it as well. Annual car sales are about 6 million/year in the US. At a cost of $200/vehicle, that's a total incremental cost of $1.2B. That puts the "cost to save a life" at $1.2B/200 = $6 million per life saved, assuming that the backup cameras prevent every single death. I would posit that it's more likely to be half that effective at best, so $12M/live saved.

IMHO, such numbers put this proposal squarely in the same category as proposals to increase the required age/height/weight for children not to sit in booster seats--they result in a huge financial outlay by the public to offset a (statistically-speaking) relatively minor problem. The US sees about 2.4 million deaths per year. Two hundred is 8.3 thousandths of one percent of the death toll.

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