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Comment The taxes were supposed to be split among counties (Score 2) 239

Sierra, which is where TorC is, Dona Ana, which is where Las Cruces and New Mexico State is, and at one point Otero, which has Alamogordo and both part of White Sands and Holloman AFB. The increase of a gross receipts tax increase (effectively a sales tax, but on services as well as goods) was required to be approved by the voters and was, back in 2008. The biggest economic drivers in those counties are NMSU/Las Cruces and the various Federal installations like Holloman AFB, White Sands Missile Range, Ft. Bliss (though that's more in El Paso), and so on. I had no problem with the idea and voted for it at the time. I still don't think it's a terrible idea if launches actually get started--outside money from Virgin Galactic, outside money from tourists and passengers, and possible use of it for other launches. There is simply not much of an economic driver in TorC or all of Sierra County, unless you want to spend the night in a little hotel with a hot spring fed directly into your bathtub. There's some beautiful country in the county, but that's not going to drive lots of tourism. I'm sure I've driven past TorC on I-25 far more than I ever stopped there. I have no problem with more state funding going to it. Eventually, the plug might have to be pulled if it really never happens, but big ideas are a risk and governmental funds should be used.

Comment Re: in-vehicle concierge (Score 1) 417

Stereo controls on the steering wheel is nice. The two cars I've had with them are simple enough--volume, cycle presets up/down, change input, and one has a mute button. The volume gets used a lot, the presets get used when I'm listening to the radio, and I can do it all with my left thumb without having to look away from the road. I've actually turned down cars (and other features I'd like) because of the touch screen controls. I like physical buttons and dials for things so that I don't have to look.

Comment I just want the Kindle Keyboard back (Score 1) 321

I bought myself a Kindle Keyboard and have gotten great use out of it over the years. It's handy having a physical keyboard for when I do want to do text entry, whether that's using the Silk browser or looking to buy a book directly through the device interface. Amazon has gone all-touch with the Kindle line these days which I think is a shame. I'd definitely buy a Paperwhite with a keyboard.

Comment Re:Better leave now (Score 1) 239

There's the idea (to some degree) in Allen Steele's "Coyote" series as well. The initial colonists weren't beat to the planet (actually an inhabitable moon of a gas giant) by later colonists with FTL but still only arrived about a year before the second wave. It's what sets up the conflicts for the second and third books. And the first two books are mostly just the short fiction published in Asimov's.

Comment We had several different ones, including EB (Score 2) 288

My family had a computer for years (the first was a 286 around 1987) and about 1992 bought a fancy new 486 from Gateway. It was an even bigger day when Dad got us a 4X CD-ROM drive to replace the 1X that the computer came with. About the time we switched to Windows 95, Dad bought a copy of Encarta. Over the next few years, one or two more versions were purchased. We also got a copy of Encyclopaedia Britannica (don't ask me when) and one of something made by Grolier before the acquistion by Scholastic. My parents weren't against large volumes of printed references (they own a condensed OED) but Dad saw the potential of the CD format (DVD as well) right away. The fact that Encarta was much cheaper was a bonus.

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