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Comment Re:United Kingdom (Score 1) 762

There are certain categories of product in the UK that Amazon must charge VAT and then pay that to the Gov; if they can do it here - and elsewhere in Europe - why not in the US?

From a technical (as opposed to a legal standpoint) the problem is that both the sales tax rate and the types of products to which the sales tax applies is set individually by each state, and in some cases, by individual cities or counties. According to wikipedia, Michigan charges a 6% sales tax on books, but no sales on magazines, while Texas exempts "school supplies" from its 6.25% to 8.25% sales tax (rate depends on the location) one weekend each year.

Comment Re:Not sure how reliable wireless will be (Score 1) 496

Right now activity is so low that radio is breaking down (nothing to bounce off of). But in the future, activity will be much higher and interfere in the other direction.

WLAN's use frequencies around 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Under best case conditions, the ionosphere can only reflect radio waves with frequencies below 250 MHz. WLAN signals simple aren't going to refract off of the ionosphere regardless of solar activity.

Even if some freak of nature allowed the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz signals to refract off the lower layers of the ionosphere, the minimum path length (from the ground, straight up to the D-layer, and back to the ground) is around 100 km.

Comment Re:not the solution (Score 1) 585

If you don't have the IPass, you have to take something that almost looks like an exit ramp and either throw some coins in a machine or give money to an actual human.

I visited Chicago right after they went to open-road tolling, and it was a royal pain in the neck because the exits to the toll plazas were only signed about a quarter mile before the ramp. I probably missed half of them simply because I couldn't get through 2-5 lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic to reach the toll plaza. Of course, since the car I was driving was registered to my out-of-state employer, I never saw any kind of a bill for the toll/fines/etc.

I think the open road tolling is great, but they need to pay some attention to making the tolls easy to pay for visitors who don't have the transponder. Snapping a picture of the plate and sending a bill doesn't sound like that bad of an idea.

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