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Comment Re:Ah, America! (Score 1) 562

Because many of us North Americans have "Moneyback" or "AirMiles" deals on our credit cards. After I've spent the first $1,000 each year on Visa, I get 1% back from them on everything thereafter. On the other hand, my Mastercard gives me 1 Airmile (real air miles, i.e. one hundred airmiles means you get a one hundred mile round trip ticket) for every $15 spent on the card. I've taken the whole family to Cuba twice on this deal in the last few years.

Plus, if I buy something on the 25th of December, I get the bill January 22nd and it's not due until February 14th.

Comment Re:Corporations select candidates??? (Score 1) 381

They don't keep you from running, they keep you from winning, often at the primary stage or earlier. If rich and poor in the US had an equal chance of winning elections then Congress wouldn't consist almost exclusively of multimillionaires.

Admittedly this presumes some connection between corporations and multimillionaires, but I'm willing to make that leap.

Comment Surely this is why one has kids... (Score 1) 344

Almost completely automatic -- I offered my 11-year old fifty cents per clock and only had to pay six bucks total. This includes him getting out ladders to get up to several clocks mounted above my reach, so he had fun and I didn't have to schlep ladders all over the house. He didn't break anything either!

Comment Re:So this is better than a MakerBot why? (Score 1) 195

Well it's true that if you want a MakerBot assembled instead of a kit the price doubles ($2499 vs. $1299). And the kit is not for beginners, nor do they guarantee anything at all if you choose the kit option. Nevertheless, it's a pretty impressive device.

But I do admit that if I didn't use for 3D prototypes in my job, it would probably just be infrequently used for toys / game bits and the occasional novelty item.

Comment Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 195

It's complicated to make, but it's not complicated to use -- any ten-year-old playing games like DND or Warhammer 30000 can use it easily to make any pieces they want -- and they can find thousands of them online. Saves more than the cost of the machine just in stupid pewter models.

Comment Simple, really (Score 1) 2

Simple. They print whatever money they need to run the government (i.e. the income they used to get from taxes). That way the currency automatically devalues by the same percentage as the effective tax rate.

For example, if the country "has" $1,000, and the government wants $200, then after the end of one year, they print $250. The people still have $1,000, but it's only worth 1000/1250 = 80% of what it used to be. The government has $250, but it's also only worth 80% of what it used to be (= $200 in old dollars, which is what they wanted in the first place).

Good idea, really, but you'd have to throw away the entire financial system and start again: for starters, five year loans would have to be paid off in ever-increasing installments, and salaries would have to go up at least as much as the government devalued the currency every year...

Comment Re:Get rid of the penny? pff (Score 1) 444

Sorry, I was unclear. I should have said "...to the penny. How many of those (cash transactions) do you actually make in a day?".

The point I was trying to make is:
- When using debit or credit cards, nothing changes;
- When buying more than one article, the total is rounded to the nearest nickle but it almost always balances out (because they can't know how many things you will buy);
- When buying one article, the cost is rounded to the nearest nickel, which some claim will usually wind up being upwards.

So one only loses out in the last case -- buying a single item with cash -- each instance of which will at worst cost you two cents.

Comment Re:Get rid of the penny? pff (Score 2) 444

No. At least not necessarily so.

If they do it in the same way as e.g. the (pre-Euro) Netherlands, the prices don't change at all. It's only rounded when you pay, and it's the total purchase amount that gets rounded up or down, not each item. So if you buy one carton of milk, it's $0.98, and you have to pay $1.00 -- thus they get 2 cents. But if you buy two, it's 1.96, and you pay $1.95 -- and you get a penny. So the most you can win or lose is two cents per store you visit, and even with clever pricing on the store's part, it often works in your favor anyway.

Anyway, it's only on cash transactions, as debit and credit transactions are still always done to the penny. How many of those do you actually make in a day?

Comment Don't forget the PITA factor (Score 1) 349

Having more than once been in your boss's role, you mustn't forget the costs involved with doing what you ask. Since (we assume) the company is not yet public, then depending on the current structure, this could involve significant legal fees to set up. In my experience, which is limited, this has ranged from $5,000 to $30,000. Of course, this doesn't apply if the company already has a mechanism to provide equity to its employees.

In addition to the other suggestions, be sensitive to whether or not they can easily make this change.

Comment Re:Not Exactly News, But Consider This... (Score 1) 399

In installations where the speakers are not near the amp (e.g. speakers in other rooms), a 50m run (= 100m round trip) of 14 gauge copper wire has a reactance of about 1.47 ohms at 1kHz. If your speakers are 8 ohms, this means your amp is trying to drive about 9.5 ohms, and about 16% of the power is being lost in the wire.

Not a huge amount, but worth evaluating the cost of upgraded wire vs. upgrading your amp.


Submission + - Slashdot not fixed (slashdot.org) 3

mustPushCart writes: Slashdot popular around the world with basement dwellers and secretively anti corporate white collars alike has not yet changed its design after its January 25, 2011 redesign broke hearts and browsers, bringing out its passive aggressive readership into active fist shaking before sending them back into its idle section. The design continues to remain broken on Chrome in addition to being slow, clunky and generally silently hated. Slashdot editors could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press

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