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Comment Re:Getting the rates (Score 1) 434

I suspect it would cost the state more to investigate the problem than it could collect in fines.

Also, the merchants are collecting and remitting the tax in good faith, therefor any court judgement - if it went to court - would be in favor of the merchant - even if the evidence that the merchant where informed of the error was irrefutable.

Besides, except in the case of income tax where tax payers file a form showing what they owe vs what they paid, the government has no motivation to refund overages of collected taxes..

If it were shown that the merchants were keeping overages in collected sales tax rather than remitting all collected tax (minus the amount they are allowed to keep to cover the cost of remitting the taxes), then the government would have motivation. But most likely, any tax and fines reclaimed from the merchant would be kept by the state.

Comment Re:RTFA (Score 1) 976

He doesn't say that bicycles produce more CO2 than cars, he says that:

  • Cycling increases your respiration rate so produces more CO2 than not cycling.

Both of these are true. ... the second point is refuting the point that bikes are environmentally friendly. The second point is debatable: it's a question of what the basic comparison is. Cycling is more polluting than staying at home, less polluting than driving a car.

Depends on what you are doing at home, how many lights are on, PC, TV, game console, other devices. If all that is on, even a couch potato could indirectly be producing more CO2 and other greenhouse gasses and pollutents.

(some other congress person: CO2 is used by plants, so is not a pollutent.)

(rephrasing: Excess CO2 is a pollutent.)

Comment Re:Your VCS should manage this (Score 1) 384

More likely it would be the linker detecting that one or more symbols is unreferenced.

The linker my team is using in our current projects has an option to log warnings about unreferenced symbols. We enable this because it provides an extra line of defense against coding errors - and documentation errors.

Comment Re:Going to get modded down as sexist for this, bu (Score 1) 690

My girlfriend had this to say:

Funny, his experience at the boys' school was very similar to my experience at a school for smart kids - a co-ed school. I'm not saying he didn't benefit from the all-male environment. I am saying he probably benefited more from a school that gave him a real challenge. I started at a public school and was very bored. Fortunately, my teacher recognized I truly was way beyond "See dog. See dog run" and other kindergarten stuff. After talking with my parents, she arranged an interview with the private school. 2 weeks later, I started at that school under a full scholarship - at 2nd grade level (the school covered grades K through 12). It was both very demanding and relaxed. We could "cut up" with out being disciplined (yes, girls "cut up", too) - as long as we as settled down quickly. We had more subjects (like music and drama) than the public school, and school-sponsored after-school activities. All the students - girls and boys - did very well. And I am happy our daughter earned a scholarship to a similar school.

Comment Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 353

A few years ago, there was a Slashdot discussion of a town that started to implement a plan where each home owner would own a fiber link to a central data center where any ISP could install equipment to provide service to any of the home owners with fibers terminated in that data center. The residents voted overwelmingly in favor and made down payments toward thos fiber links. Unfortunately, one of the incumbant companies managed to stall the plan in court long enough to deploy its own FTTH infrastructure, so mooting the project before deployment could start.

Comment Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 353

Where I currently live, there was a local, minority ownwd cable company that had an exclusive franchise with the county. The company was bought by a much larger company that was neither local nor minority owned, so the exclusivity clauses of the franchise automatically expiired. Since then, the only "compettition" to deploy in our area has been the phone company with their DSL service. For maybe a year, the 2 companies were actually competing - because a lot of people switched over because of the promotional rates offered. The cable company put out some promotional rates, too. Then the cable company deployed some low cost equipment upgrades in their local data center and neighborhood and pushed out firmware updates to the subscriber modems, doubling the data rate. Very quickly, all the customers who wanted the higher data rate switched back, but the phone company did not and still hasn't upgraded its service, claiming it would have to upgrade the "last mile" drops in order to increase data rate (they even said that if a subscriber was willing to pay them $300 per hour for technician time, they would upgrade those customers who chose to do so). So, effectly, the 2 companies have apportioned the market into a "high" and "low" segments. Since the cable company does offer low data rate plans (and the phone company offers high rate to hose willing to pay for last mile upgrades), there is no way to prove collusion, even if they did collude.

I am accross the street from a block that is served by 2 cable companies, so I have asked the other cable company why they have not extended in to my block, they cited the high cost of deploying new infrastructure. They also said that if I had neighbor in the block they did serve, they'd be happy to provide "second unit" service to that neighbor's house, billed to me, but I would have to arrange my own means to bridge the service to my house (easily done using an extra wifi router and 2 directional 2.4 GHz antennae. Unfortunately, that neioghbor has since moved out so I no longer have that option). Presumably, they would not have offered this sneaky way to get service to me if they weren't confident there was no longer an exclusitivity provision "protecting" the incumbant cable company.

Comment Re:If we're going to survive long term (Score 1) 352

He believes it, I believe it, and the overwhelming majority of medical science agrees that intelligence isn't hereditary.

So, you're saying that, because our daughter was reading and doing arithmetic at a fourth grade level by the age of 6, my girlfriend and I are exceptionally good parents?

Comment Re:It's a very sad thing to admit, but (Score 1) 260

Interesting. I've always had lots of trouble with Intel graphics, but never any trouble with Nvidia. My current (2 year old) Dell laptop has an FX 1800. It really kicks tail compared to the newest ones some of my coworkers are using. Their (also Dell) laptops have Intel graphics (don't know which).

Comment Re:Indian sweat shops (Score 1) 441

One of my coworkers used to work in one of those sweat shops. Then, when she was 30, she met an engineer (electronics) from a customer of my company's. She's been working here for over 2 years, now, and is very happy - has learned a lot more, is paid much, much more and only works 8 to 10 hours per day (like the rest of us SW people in my company).

Comment Re:Mentions boring iPhone apps, but no apple newto (Score 1) 105

I liked the Newton, but it was too expensive for me at the time. Fortunately, I had a friend who had one, so I got to play with it. I really liked the "graffiti" writing-to-text feature. Palm also had a similar writing-to-text feature. I still have an old Palm T3, that I used for many years. I'd still be using it except the only way to exchange data between it and anything else is with SD cards (well, it does have IR communications, but nothing else I use does.) I am mostly happy with the Android tablet I now have, but I really miss the writing-to-text feature that worked so very well for me on the T3 and the Newton.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 388

Difficult is relative. An admin trained on Linux is going to have (some) difficulty retaining to admin Windows. It won't be as easy for her/him as for someone starting fresh (and has nothing to unlearn).

Whatever the "tool", there is always the perception that the "other tool" is harder. And there is always the perception that learning even a radically different new version of the "same tool" is easier than learning the other tool, even if the other tool is lot more like the current tool than the new version compared to the current tool.

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