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Comment Re:Cost is not the issue (Score 1) 654

Having the truck paid off is not really an argument - if you sold your truck you could probably fund bus tickets for the rest of your life. Also, what about insurance? I'd guess that's in the same order of magnitude as the bus fare. I can fully understand not wanting to take the bus, and in your case it doesn't really sound feasible. I am driving a car to work every day even though it only saves me only about 20min - simply because public transport stresses me out while driving a car is relaxing for me. But money is usually not a good argument for doing that, at least for people living in urban areas with good public transport.

Comment DE = Browser Border (Score 1) 818

Should I really care which system is drawing the borders around my Firefox or Chrome windows? Only when I need special software, like Photoshop or Gimp or a Java IDE or a game, the OS or desktop environment still matters. Unfortunately KDE apps are not in most people's 'special software' lists.

Submission + - Most Ancient, 'Impossible' Alien Worlds Discovered ( 1

astroengine writes: "Two exoplanets have been discovered by scientists at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy orbiting the star HIP 11952. But according to conventional thinking, these worlds shouldn't exist. You see, HIP 11952 is a "metal-poor" star and planetary formation is hindered around stars with low metallicity. This isn't the only thing; as metal-poor stars were the first stars to form when the Universe was very young, these two worlds also formed around the same time. They are therefore the most ancient exoplanets discovered to date having lived through 13 billion years of cosmic evolution."

Submission + - Google to Hold Back 'Honeycomb' From Phones

adeelarshad82 writes: Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group, informed that Google will hold back its Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" to smaller phone manufacturers for undisclosed period of time. He said that Honeycomb was designed for tablets, not phones, and that it had more work to do before Honeycomb was released in an open-source format. Since OEMs like HTC or Motorola already have the code, it puts smaller phone manufacturers at a disadvantage plus carriers like Cricket Wireless, and its plans to carry forthcoming seven-inch Anydata tablet that will run on Honeycomb, up in the air.

Comment Re:Domination (Score 3, Informative) 198

The Japanese elite *may* have outlived the European/American elite but I'm gonna [citation needed] you on that one... The Japanese common man, however, certainly did NOT live longer or better than his Western counterpart.

I refer you to "Standard of Living in Japan Before Industrialization: From what Level did Japan Begin? A Comment" by Yasukichi Yasuba in The Journal of Economic History Vol. 46, No. 1 (Mar., 1986), pp. 217-224.

Yasuba takes to task the notion that life for the commoner in Japan was better than that in the West. While economic development HAD been ongoing throughout the Tokugawa shogunate, and circumstances had improved for the Japanese laborer, the reality of the situation is that farmers here and farmers there both were treated very poorly. He also points out, specifically, the flaw in Hanley's research (which estimated life expectancy to be around 40 years in Japan) specifically used a source which excluded year 0 deaths, and then substituted Western infant mortality rates in its place. At the time, Japan would be much closer to India than the West. By using data which matches temple records more closely, Yasuba suggests that the actual life expectancy of the time was around 35, which (again) puts it below the West.

Comment Re:Ban drive thru restaurants while you're at it (Score 1) 509

Actually many newer european cars have a start-stop-automatic (as soon as your car stops, the engine turns off; if you press the gas-pedal it turns on automatically), so there does not have to be any idling. IIRC this is not popular in the US because its savings would not be included in the official MPG ratings, but some manufacturer (can't remember which) is going to introduce it in the US soon.

Comment Re:Given how much oil it takes to make plastic.... (Score 2) 223

Hmm.. but in that case, the bottle would be made of less valuable components. Which would mean that the demand for the components required for a plastic bottle is lower than the demand for the other components, and thus plastic bottle are merely a by-product. So I wonder, would reducing the number of plastic bottle have any impact on the general oil consumption?

After all, even if there wouldn't be any plastic bottles anymore, the oil would still be needed because of the other components.

Comment Re:Given how much oil it takes to make plastic.... (Score 2) 223

"So your average plastic water bottle requires about 1/4 a litre of refined oil products to be produced."

I have no idea of plastic production, but it looks wrong to me: if oil costs about $40 per barrel (159l), 1/4 litre is about $0.05. I can't imaging a plastic bottle costing that much - I can buy a bottle of water in a supermarket for not much more than 5 cent. Am I missing something?

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