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Comment Re:Yes, let's tax the poor (Score 1) 619

If the majority of the cost of goods in a store or restaurant goes towards the shipping costs of getting those goods delivered... then they need a new business model. If shipping costs are 5% or a business' expenditures, and those costs go up by 3%, then you're talking about a 0.15% increase in expenditures. The 5% number is a random guess, I hope most businesses manage to spend more of their money on their products, employees, rent, utilities, insurance, advertising, etc.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 4, Insightful) 619

I think a tax on gasoline is far easier to implement than a tax on mileage, and makes a lot of sense. The government wants to give incentive to high mileage vehicles and electric vehicles, so unless you have a different rate category for the mileage tax it would effectively punish them. Also, the amount of wear caused by a vehicle is proportional to its weight, so to be fair you'd need to put a higher mileage tax on heavy vehicles... That's already basically accounted for with a gasoline tax, since the heavy vehicles necessarily use more fuel, and at least for now you won't find too many EV/Hybrid semi trucks out on the road.
I'm not necessarily opposed to having some sort of tax based on usage (based on odometer readings I suppose, which would require all states to adopt annual inspections) but I think the tax on gasoline is a necessity as well. I guess I'm the opposite of the person you were responding to. :)

Comment Re:That was last year (Score 1) 151

The prices of all the altcoins are tightly linked to the price of bitcoin. People speculate with digital currencies, but in the end they are usually trading altcoins for bitcoins which they can then turn into cash. So, when bitcoin went down, all the scrypt coins went down too, so GPU mining was less profitable. Then, a bunch of scrypt ASICs started appearing, making GPU mining less profitable. Bitcoin has been going up, but it's among promises of much higher hashrate Scrypt ASICs just on the horizon- so there's a steady stream of people that want to ditch GPU's.

Comment Re:Wasteful (Score 2) 48

TFA says the money was raised through a $250 million campaign. Donors WANT this. The parts are free, they just have to be found, and the museum just has to cover the shipping and paperwork costs. Doesn't sound wasteful to me, sounds like the obvious and worthwhile thing to do. Or would you prefer these parts to be sold wholesale for scrap?

Comment Re: Missing is the "why" here. (Score 4, Insightful) 48

You... don't really get "museums," do you? They're trying to preserve history. Are you really saying a museum shouldn't try to use the original historic parts when they're available, just because it's harder to acquire a few of them? Do you really think middle schoolers are the best metric to rate the value of a preservation effort?

Comment This sounds amazing (Score 1) 48

I never got to see a space shuttle launch, and it's one of those things that I'm going to regret forever. On the flip side, I've been able to get up-close and personal with 2 shuttles now, the Enterprise and the Discovery, thanks to the awesome displays in NYC and DC. Getting a chance to see the entire stack on display would just blow my mind, so I really hope this project comes to fruition. I'm probably going to make the trek to the west coast at some point to see the shuttle, but it'd be so much cooler to see the whole stack.

Comment Re:What's wrong with Tokens? (Score 2) 196

Well, everybody else is saying tracking.. but there are legitimate reasons to use fare cards. One is that you gain the ability to have unlimited ride passes- pay a flat fee and ride the train for free all month. Hard to do that with tokens. Also, many cities charge variable amounts depending on how far you go on the train. You swipe your card to go in, and swipe again when you leave, and it charges based on distance. That way, short trips can be cheaper. It's also possible to have different prices for different services- like NYC charging a higher fare for an express bus or for the AirTrain to JFK.

Comment Re:Many of those bulbs due for replacement anyway (Score 3, Informative) 372

They are replacing High Pressure Sodium lamps, which are not incandescent. The funny thing is, by the standard measure of efficiency used in the industry, the new street lamps probably will be LESS efficient than the old ones. HPS lamps can get above 100 lumens per watt pretty easily, and low pressure sodiums can even get up to 200 lumens per watt. They've been able to get efficiency like that in labs for LED's, but for production fixtures it's not very common.

Of course, LED's often win out in real-world comparisons, because all the lumens are more efficiently directed where they need to go. Still, to get that much brightness, it's going to cost quite a lot of money.

Comment Geeky in multiple ways (Score 1) 129

I am using my Pi to provide video for a costume I'm making. It's for a character who has a television for a head, and being the electronics nerd that I am, I decided to make my costume version with a functioning TV. I got a cheap old LCD TV from eBay, and put some content on a loop on the Pi, and got some batteries to power it all. Very simple, and the connection is straightforward since the Pi has an RCA composite video out.

Of course, it's going to be a crappy costume unless I can figure out a way to make a nice shell to cover it all. So far my attempts at using fiberglass have been....mixed. :/ But for reference, the character is Prince Robot IV.

Comment Re:Actually, I like the dead trees (Score 1) 192

In one of the articles, they mention that the materials on the iPad are the instructor-written texts. They also mentioned that 50% of the texts used in classes were instructor-written. So, it sounds to me like you pay 50% of the cost of buying textbooks to get an iPad, which has 50% of your textbooks on it. You're still going to need to spend all the money on the other textbooks that you normally would have, so it's sort of a wash, although you do end up with a gadget to hold onto in the end.

If it actually ends up teaching the material better, then great. I just worry it's a gimmick, and I doubt I would do as well reading on an iPad as sitting with my classmates in the library poring over the textbooks.

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