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Comment Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 161

It's economies of scale, mostly. When big companies (not just retailers, either) are saving $30/PC and they buy hundreds of thousands a year, it relieves stresses on other parts of their infrastructures that can lead to them spending more in other areas of the economy. The average consumer isn't directly affected, but even a minor drop in the cost of a component becomes a big cost saver for the major players.

Comment e-Books up my number (Score 3, Interesting) 363

I find that I'm reading for pleasure a lot more now that I have an e-reader than I did before. Of course, I read a lot of manuals and technical books for work, but I didn't count those for this. I doubt I'll get back to the height of my reading rate until I'm retired, though. I miss college and blowing off...err...postponing homework to finish a Gibson or Jordan.

Comment Re:Car insurance? (Score 1) 637

They rolled out a similar system in Oklahoma within the last few years as well. The auto insurance companies send up-to-date policy holder information to the State and then every time someone is pulled over, their plates are run against that database. If they don't have current coverage, they get an extra ticket. You also have to turn in a copy of your current insurance when you renew your license plate or get a new one.

Comment Re:Car seized? (Score 1) 637

That's a pretty wide-spread misunderstanding of uninsured motorist coverage. According to my agent (and the Wikipedia article linked above, though that's a lot less reliable), uninsured motorist coverage actually only covers medical bills, not vehicle repair costs. If you have good health insurance, you don't need to waste the money on UIMC and you'll still get stuck having to pay out of pocket to get your car fixed.

Comment Re:Another Stab At a Canadian DMCA (Score 2, Insightful) 237

Since you have a British-style parliament, aren't you able to do things like votes of no confidence to get rid of a PM (or any MP, for that matter)? That's a far sight better than what most of the U.S. states have -- wait for the term to expire and hope like hell you can get another candidate with better name recognition on the ballot.

Salad Spinner Made Into Life-Saving Centrifuge 87

lucidkoan writes "Two Rice University students have transformed a simple salad spinner into an electricity-free centrifuge that can be used to diagnose diseases on the cheap. Created by Lauren Theis and Lila Kerr, the ingenious DIY centrifuge is cobbled together using a salad spinner, some plastic lids, combs, yogurt containers, and a hot glue gun. The simple and easily-replicated design could be an invaluable tool for clinics in the developing world, enabling them to separate blood to detect diseases like anemia without electricity."

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