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Volkswagen Agrees To Record $14.7B Settlement Over Emissions Cheating (cnn.com) 143

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNNMoney: Volkswagen's deliberate cheating on emissions tests will cost it a record $14.7 billion. And that's just the start of its problems. The settlement is only a preliminary step in the case; the automaker still faces possible criminal charges, as well as civil penalties for Clean Air Act violations. The Department of Justice is investigating possible criminal charges against both the company and individuals, said Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Up to $10 billion of the funds will be paid out to owners of the 487,000 affected diesel cars in the U.S., sold under the VW or luxury Audi brands. How much an owner gets will depend on whether an owner chooses to fix their car or just have VW buy it back -- they have until May 2018 to decide. Repurchasing the cars will cost VW between $12,500 to $44,000 per car. The $14.7 billion settlement estimate assumes that all the cars are repurchased. Owners who elect to get their vehicles fixed will also get a cash payment of between $5,100 and $10,000 to compensate them for the lost value of the cars, as well as for Volkswagen's deceptive promise of "clean diesel." Most of the buyers paid extra for a car with a diesel engine. In addition to the customer payments, Volkswagen will pay $2.7 billion for environmental cleanup and $2 billion to promote zero-emission vehicles. The clean up money will be used by individual states to cut other diesel emissions by replacing older, government-owned trucks, buses and other diesel engines now in use. Volkswagen is betting big on electric vehicles after this emissions scandal. It plans to deliver 30 electric plug-in models by 2025.

Comment GA Governor's Honors (Score 1) 116

I attended the Governor's Honors program in Georgia the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. It was like a 6-week college experience. It was even held on a college campus. We had dorm rooms, intramural sports, mixers, and cafeteria food. We had to do our own laundry and had to keep the dorms tidy. We each had a major and a minor subject. The best part was being put together with kids of similar drive and talent but with very diverse backgrounds and interests. It helped me to break out of my sheltered mindset and understand that not everyone has the same worldview as I do. 23 years later, I am still in touch with several of my fellow students, one of which ended up being a groomsman in my wedding. That summer "nerd camp" was undoubtedly the peak of my high school experience.

Comment One hour, one time - not one hour a day (Score 2, Interesting) 366

Let's look at the actual requirements at scouting.org. It says, "Play an appropriate video game with a friend for one hour." That means one hour, once. Furthermore, that requirement is one of nine, only six of which must be fulfilled in order to earn the Video Games pin. As a scout leader, I can tell you that the Boy Scouts of America does not promote spending a lot of time playing video games. We do, however, recognize that video games are a normal part of a kid's life experience. So why not teach our kids how to evaluate systems and games from every aspect? Why not teach them how to think critically about selecting and playing video games? There is no specific mention in the BSA guidelines about first-person shooters or any other kind of game. The requirement is to understand the ESRB rating system, to be able to explain it, and to be able to make good choices about selecting games. The guidelines don't even prescribe what it means to make good choices; rather, they assume that the boys and their parents are intelligent enough to make their own decisions. I am a software developer, lifelong gamer, and dad of a scout.

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