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Comment But that's the why the bonds even sell. (Score 1) 79

Government bonds don't give a very good return, and honestly at this point I start to question their stability a little bit.

So what reasons would anyone have to purchase such bonds? The fact that you could buy them pre-tax s the key, and the reason why the bonds do not have to have much of a yield to find a lot of buyers.

If you "fixed" this problem you would pretty much have to have the government start paying a much higher yield on bonds which would create an immediate cash-flow disaster for the government.

Comment You know who else we are paying? Nazis. (Score 4, Insightful) 79

Far worse than Apple being given our hard-earned money, is the fact that somewhere, sometime, a real life Illinois Nazi has bought a government bond. Who knows how many DECADES we taxpayers have been paying these loathsome groups?

Clearly what the government needs to do to cut off the funds to monsters like Apple and Nazis is default on all government bonds today and declare no more will we be paying anyone these ill-gotten gains labeled with the seemingly innocent moniker "interest".

Comment Why not have your cake and eat it too? (Score 1) 203

Even if services that offer same-day movie screening as they hit cinemas arrive, I would rather go to a theatre and watch it on the big screen.

So would I. That's why I got a projector.

The actual viewing field is not as big as a (real) iMAX screen, but it's bigger than many smaller theaters, especially when you try to sit back in the middle of the theater.

The sounds system at home is arguably better even with cheap speakers because I can tailor it to hear more details instead of just going for OMG LOUD. As long as you have a subwoofer, close enough.

The only aspect of the theater experience I can't really replicate at the moment is 3D, which is only because something between the PS4, projector, receiver, and the 3D glasses I bought simply does not work and the 3D flickers on and off. But I'm sure if you put more thought to all the components of the system before you bought you could have a home 3D experience that worked quite well.

I do have tickets for RogueOne in a real theater on opening day, but that's really because I don't want to have to avoid spoilers after that day. If I could pay to watch it at home on release day (which I'm pretty sure would cost less or at least about the same than the $19 I paid for my own ticket) I'm pretty sure I would do that - especially since I'd probably be able to watch it a few times.

Watching a movie, in my opinion, isn't just about watching the movie. It's the experience, something I feel I wouldn't be able to replicate on my smartphone or TV at home.

Well you could always put up flyers around downtown and nurseries inviting homeless and children in your area to come to your house for the evening. You could also go to Target, buy some candy then leave your wallet in the parking lot.

Comment Smart defaults from Epson, but bad programming (Score 1) 56

If there is a silver lining in this cloud it's Epson's choice of printer defaults - I just set up a ew Epson printer at home a few days ago and in browsing though the settings I noticed "Google Cloud Print" was set to "off".

"What's that"? I wondered, but made no move to enable it... now I'm rather glad.

So it seems like not nearly as many Epson users will be affected as might have been...

It's interesting to think about where blame should be apportioned in all this. At first you might think it's Google, but honestly can they be expected to test every device that uses an API they publish? It seems more like Epson should have had better safeguards against the API changing or getting responses that were nonsense.

You can just imagine a failure to catch an exception somewhere in the code leading to a code path that shuts the printer down entirely so that turning it on again will reset the system...

Comment Re:Fake! (Score 1) 207

Well if you had read the article you would have noticed the migrants got evacuated to the countryside a month ago.

Well if you had thought at all you would realize that's enough time for camps to re-form.

Furthermore in the pictures you would not have seen any trace of a wood fire because you would just not find any wood to burn in Paris.

I was in Paris this summer, when was the last time you were there?

Never mind the wide abundance of trees everywhere, and in the winter so much dead foliage from which a camp could easily pull material to burn, you could keep a campfire going all night every night simply by burning trash people leave along the river pathways every evening. I imagine that's reduced in the winter but there are still a ton of trashcans everywhere you could raid for flammable material.

Comment Re:Great System (Score 1) 207

This is for two days. It's not likely even the ultra rich are going to buy a new Mercedes specifically to bypass this rule when the maximum in fines they'll suffer will be EUR35. Not unless Europe has seen some significant deflation lately and EUR34 is the cost of a brand new Mercedes.

Comment Re:Banish cars from the city center (Score 2) 207

I used to walk half way across Reading, in the UK, from Sainsburys in the city center to my flat, carrying four or more bags of groceries. Older people had little carts, resembling carry on bags (the type with a slide out handle and two wheels) you'd see in an airport, to do the job.

And in the event I really had too much weight in those bags to contemplate walking that distance, I'd take a bus.

Why would you think you'd need a magical transportation device for more than one grocery bag?

Comment Re:Way ahead of you (Score 1) 207

One issue with public transportation in the US (not so much in the EU) is that everyone assumes that the primary incentive to get people to use it must be cost. As a result, it's usually run on an absurdly low budget, given revenues are only a fraction of costs, and inevitably it ends up not being terribly useful. Which means few people ride it, at any cost.

If you want public transportation to be popular, you need to make it useful. Make it useful enough, and people will use it, even if the prices are similar to, or even higher than, other forms of transportation.

One Parisian above claims that it takes an hour and a half to cross the city to get from one suburb to another, while it takes 20 minutes by car. That, to me, is a sign that there aren't enough buses filling in the gaps. Here in Martin County, Florida the "bus system" appears to be designed to turn tax money into jobs, rather than provide a useful service, with buses spaced an hour apart, taking an inordinate length of time to cross the county, only offered during daylight hours, and providing no effective county to county service. If they ran every ten minutes, with express buses linking to nearby county systems, I'd probably use it, because I hate driving.

On a wider scale (yes, I know this isn't directly comparable, it's to demonstrate the point about usefulness vs price), Amtrak's Acela Express charges passengers orders of magnitude more per mile than, say, the Silver Meteor. It also carries 10-20x as many passengers. Why? Because it's useful. It links major population centers with an hourly service, rather than linking minor towns and cities with a once-a-day service. So people are willing to pay big money to travel on it. Which is why it makes double what it costs, as opposed to the Meteor which makes half of what it costs.

Build a useful service and they will come. You don't need to make it free. In fact, making it free is probably the worst possible thing you can do.

Comment I find possibility overload harder to handle (Score 2) 74

I don't mind information overload, because I can quickly skim or toss aside anything I don't find valuable. Computers are pretty good at helping me refine a lot of information.

More troubling is possibility overload, that is the plethora of tools around that let us create amazing websites or apps or images... there are so many choices now that I often get caught in paralysis where I spend so much time trying to decide what tool to use I end up doing nothing.

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