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Comment Re:Boring (Score 1) 40

But you can figure out form the GPS Cords where the person lives. I know my truck spends about 1/3 of it's time at my house, 1/4 of it's time right outside where I work. Google (or several other services) can do the coords to address lookup. I'd say that's pretty personally identifible.

Comment Re:It needs to be a simple tax. (Score 1) 705

I worked for a company that handled all this mess because they had a tax nexus in all states. There's companies that deal with this whole mess for you, and they keep all of their data up to date with the different tax laws. All you have to do is classify each product in one of about 100,000 categoires and you're set. It was easy for us because everything fell into like 3 categories, but I'd hate to be Amazon having to go through and classify their whole inventory. Tax law is horribly complex... in some states you pay the selling point's tax rate, some states you pay the recipient's tax rate. And then you fall into crazy tax holidays. In Texas we have a pre-school tax holiday. All school supplies are tax free, along with clothing, and sporting goods (in case your kids are taking baseball for example) except for luxury items like golf equipment. It starts getting crazy when you start asking "Do golf shoes count as clothing, sporting goods, or golf equipment?" The category system helped you get it all figured out. The last update I remember seeing had an categories for water heaters, based on their power effency and size. My guess is some state gives you a tax break on high efficency water heaters. Other then huge volume sellers like Amazon that sell a crazy amount of different items, I really don't see the burden of doing it as being very hard. All you have to do is during checkout, hit a database (provided by the tax company) for their correct city/state/zip/in-city info. Match it against quantity, orderitem amount, category, etc, and you're done. I didn't name any companies here because I'm not promoting any of them, I'm just saying the burden isn't really that high. You just pay the tax company to figure out the taxes for you, and for us it was a minimal cost, once a month we just updated our raw data and we're done.

Comment Re:Wow, what will THAT outlet look like? (Score 1) 335

200A services are actually common where there is electric central heat and electric water heating. It has nothing to do with "New big AC units" They are actually much more efficent then 20 year old ones. I replaced my Mid-80's Outdoor unit with a modern high-efficency unit, and the breaker went from a 50A to a 20A. That's a much lower expected power useage.

And a new service is more like $1500 to have one of the big-chain companies do it, last time I checked.

100A wire is smaller then my pinky, but it costs a few dollars per foot (and you want a 220 plug?, that means you need a black, red and white wire at that size, plus a smaller ground wire)

Comment Re:Wow, what will THAT outlet look like? (Score 1) 335

I googled for what the Chevy Volt takes for a recharger (It's just what jumped to mind, I've seen too many ads for it) A statement on in this page says it's a 16 Amp, 220V plug. A normal "dryer" plug is a 50Amp, 220v plug. So if you had the ablity to use something as large as a dryer plug, It'd let your car recharge about 3x as fast. But to do that, you also need a larger electrical service in some cases. Some older houses don't have a very large service, and so you'd end up causing problems (either your main breaker tripping, or worse a fire) if you tried running your dryer, your household heater (or A/C) and charging your car at the same time.

Comment Re:Total Moves Not Moves/second (Score 1) 76

What I acutally ended up doing was borrowing a co-worker's cube and messing with a bunch. Once you solve it a few dozen times, the action gets a lot smoother and it's faster to handle. I know the solutions I was doing were a lot more then 30 moves, but they were very simple to memorize, so I was able to do them quickly. I think I memorized a total of about 8 patterns, this is the site I used. There are a few cases where I have to do the same pattern multiple times, but they are simple, so I learned to do them quickly without much delay.

Comment Re:Total Moves Not Moves/second (Score 5, Informative) 76

The best solution for a rubix cube is always less then 20 moves (see ) It averages around 18 moves for the best solution. That's 27 seconds to solve on average. Where this 11 second youtube video shows a guy solving a cube.. in less then 11 seconds. I can do it in about 60 seconds and I'm not very good. Also, before using computerized solutions, you have to know your whole solution. The manual solutions you can figure out as you go along... you can figure out your next steps while you're manipulating your current step.

Submission + - The Future of Publishing? (

radtea writes: The "Machine of Death" anathology got its start from a Dinosaur Comics episode that speculated on what the world would be like if there was a machine that could tell people how they were going to die. This led to a call for authors to submit stories, a lengthy winnowing process, and an even more lengthy struggled to get the book published that illuminates many of the issues for writers today. The book is an anthology of unknowns inspired by a Web comic. The pitch to publishers was: the Internet can be an effective marketing tool for complete unknows. It worked for Jonathon Coulton. The question is: is this model reproducible? Will unknown authors in the future be able to bypass most of the traditional publishing industry and effectively market directly to readers, the way musicians are increasingly trying to reach listeners? We know it's a viable hobby, but is it a viable business? (Full disclosure: I am the author of the last story in the book, "Cassandra", but have no direct financial interest in the book's success. That said, you can buy it here:

Submission + - Cameras,radar,sensors all part of your future car (

coondoggie writes: In theory at least, as cars are outfitted with more advanced electronics, safer vehicles should be at least one of the main results. A report out today predicts that the market for ultrasonic, LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), radar and camera-based sensors for automotive applications will grow rapidly, from $0.7 billion in 2009 to $2.4 billion in 2017.

Submission + - Did Apple Get the Keys to Google’s Kingdom? (

An anonymous reader writes: A reissued patent for Apple covers a way of employing profiles of users’ interests to help rank the relevance of search results. The language of the claims is broad enough in scope as to potentially cover what such companies as Google, Amazon, and even Facebook regularly do, to say nothing of virtually every Internet advertising network in existence. If unchallenged, it could provide Apple with a significant bargaining chip in business negotiations with many other companies.

Submission + - London's Invisible Wall (

An anonymous reader writes: Tens of thousands commute to work in the City of London every day, but how many realise London's financial centre is so locked down so that less than twenty roads provide vehicle access to the area? The resulting maze of one way systems, CCTV contolled access points and creative pedestrian management is explored in this article by Diamond Geezer.

Submission + - GM's R2 Robonaut Headed To Space Station Next Week (

thecarchik writes: General Motors is in th business of building cars, and it's also in the business of building androids. Real, space-going humanoid robots. That's right, the NASA-GM built Robonaut 2 is finally going up to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Discovery November 1. So why, exactly, did GM build a space-going android when it's ostensibly in the business of making and selling cars? According to Alan Taub, GM's vice president of global R&D, "We envision the R2 technology transfer will enable GM to build better, safer, higher quality vehicles in a more flexible, more competitive and safer manufacturing environment."

Submission + - The Top Green-IT Organizations Named (

Blitz092 writes: Earth Rangers, a nonprofit environmental organization located in Woodbridge, Ontario has been honored as part of the Top 12 Green IT organizations in the world by Computer World Today. Earth Rangers ranked #4 below such giants as PricewaterhouseCoopers LLO, Citi Group Inc. and State Street Corp.

At Earth Rangers, they believe in leading by example, and as a result their IT infrastructure is a highly virtualized data centre, housed in a LEED Gold certified building that eliminates 90% of the hardware and nearly 85% of the energy costs that a conventional server deployment would require. Earth Rangers' mission is to empower children to Bring Back the Wild.

This is achieved through educating children about the importance of biodiversity and the threats facing animals and their habitats and engaging children to take action using the unique site, Online, kids are encouraged to create a profile with their own avatar and to choose 1 of 4 animals to help protect. Kids also have access to sharing and fundraising tools to promote their cause, can be entertained by playing any of the 25 eco-themed Flash games, or get involved with the Wild Wire: Earth Rangers kid friendly blog.

Every year, Earth Rangers reaches hundreds of thousands of young people and their families through in-school live animal shows, community events, monthly television exposure on YTV, a facility at the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as an online community of children from across Canada with more than 55,000 members. Through these programs, Earth Rangers is creating a generation of environmental stewards to protect endangered species and their habitats. To learn more about Earth Rangers and their programs, visit


Submission + - Wikileaks Shows Rumsfeld and Casey Lied about the (

An anonymous reader writes: Recent revelations by Wikileaks show how top American leaders lied, knowingly, to the American public, to American troops, and to the world. Ellen Knickmeyer on the carnage she saw as Baghdad bureau chief. "Thanks to Wikileaks, though, I now know the extent to which top American leaders lied, knowingly, to the American public, to American troops, and to the world, as the Iraq mission exploded."

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