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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

characterZer0 Re: Lucky sods (334 comments)

US drivers effectively indirectly subsidize the transportation industry through their gas purchases, and get their shocks and tires prematurely worn out as thanks.

Which indirectsly subsidizes the delivery of all the stuff that the drivers buy.

about a month and a half ago
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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

characterZer0 Re:Lucky sods (334 comments)

I stand corrected. However, does gas tax and VED revenue match or exceed road construction and maintenance expenditure in the UK?

about a month and a half ago
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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

characterZer0 Re:Lucky sods (334 comments)

In UK, the gas taxes pay for the roads. In the USA, gas taxes cover less than half, with the rest coming out of general taxes. And the US has about four times the length of road per capita than the UK does. It is not that UK gas taxes are low, it is that US separates tax source from target to avoid discouraging driving. Remember, what's good for GM is good for America.

about a month and a half ago
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Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

characterZer0 Re:It's all funny money... (267 comments)

The US dollar has value because that is what you need to pay your taxes. Everybody needs to pay their taxes, so they need the money. There is demand, so there is a value.

about 4 months ago
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Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

characterZer0 Business decisions (371 comments)

Should I halt work on the next version for a month to do custom work for this important customer?

Should I save time by making the system very inflexible in this regard to get it out the door for a narrow market at the expense of a wider market later?

Should I follow the spec that management and business analysts wrote even though it seems wrong, or go up the chain or to the customer and likely fix or rewrite the spec?

These are the kind of business decisions I used to find myself making. In most cases it turned out that I made the correct decision in hindsight, but I got a lot of fighting from management in the process about that not being my job, even though there was nobody else competent to do it.

The biggest problem I run into is that the management assumes that the engineers are completely unable to talk to customers and look at outside non-technical specifications. I have found that engineers tend to be better at it than managers and all but the best business analysts.

about 4 months ago
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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

characterZer0 Re:TCO (158 comments)

Because shit won't break trying to upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008?

about 5 months ago
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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

characterZer0 Re:Index it to inflation (619 comments)

They do already. Gas taxes provide less than 50% of the road maintenance cost in the US. The rest comes from general taxes, which the cyclists and pedestrians are paying to subsidize the drivers.

about 6 months ago
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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

characterZer0 Re:Good! (619 comments)

Gas taxes go to roads, and they cover less than half of the road budget.

about 6 months ago
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$57,000 Payout For Woman Charged With Wiretapping After Filming Cops

characterZer0 Re:This needs to happen more often (216 comments)

It is the taxpayers' money to begin with.

Where do you think the shortfall is going to come from? Either reduced services to taxpayers or higher fees (e.g. speed traps, bogus parking tickets, etc.).

about 6 months ago
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Invention Makes Citibikes Electric

characterZer0 What is wrong with pedals? (166 comments)

Oh, right. They are too cheap and reliable. We need big business to be able to make money on bicycles, otherwise they are just toys.

about 10 months ago
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ICANN Considers Using '127.0.53.53' To Tackle DNS Namespace Collisions

characterZer0 Re:is 10.0.0.0/8 really needed to be private? (164 comments)

That does not address the issue they are trying to address here.

Also, there are so many people using addresses in 10.0.0.0/8 but not in 10.0.0.0/12 that you would have to give years lead time to let them get that changed. May as well go to IPv6.

about 10 months ago
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Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Legislation

characterZer0 Re:First blacks, (917 comments)

It is not okay for a state to tell an individual person who he must do business with.

It is okay for the state that sanctions the legal constructs called "corporations" to tell those corporations who they must do business with.

about 10 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

characterZer0 Re:The declining suburbs....or not.... (606 comments)

NYC sucks because the downtown area is so big and expensive that residential areas (e.g. neighborhoods with reasonably well packed houses with small yards) are too far from the city center. Smaller cities (100,000-500,000) are great. The downtown areas are small, and surrounded by reasonably priced houses. I live in a house, and can walk to restaurants and grocery stores out in my neighborhood, and ride a bike downtown in 10 minutes, or get a bus in 20. It isn't too crowded, it doesn't smell, and it is not expensive.

The problem is that most of the tech companies want to have spiffy new building out in the strips at the outer ends of the suburbs, so there are a ton of people driving out of the city every day while half the buildings downtown are empty. The 1%ers like it becaues they live even further out in mansions in huge sprawling developments, but it sucks for those of us who need a car to drive 20mph on the expressway for an hour a day.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

characterZer0 Re:That's still limited (876 comments)

trying to build castles with toothpicks. If I moved the wrong way or wasn't utterly careful, the structure would fall.

If you are not careful when building castles out of rocks and bricks, they fall too. Many large buildings throughout history fell down during construction or shortly thereafter because the designers did not understand the required engineering principles. Software is the same.

If you want to throw together a shed, you can grab some some prefabricated bits and stick them together. If you want to build a castle, you need to understand and utilize the properties of rock, brick, mortar, and wood.

If you want to throw together a simple shell script, you can grab some snippets from stackoverflow and stick them together. If you want to build a more complex site (like /.) you need to understand a lot more. If you just take the latest design elements from the mock-turtleneck-and-crayons guys and shove them together, you end up with something like Beta.

about 10 months ago
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Protesters Block Apple and Google Buses In California

characterZer0 Re: How is it their fault? (653 comments)

It may encourage sprawl and sub-optimal land use, but the traffic congestion is caused by stupid zoning and heavy subsidation of private car usage. (Also designed to protect the haves and insiders.) Sprawl could still be accomodated by better zoning (interspersed commercial zones instead of alternating commercial strips and huge tracts of residential suburbs) and public transportation (instead of subsidized gas, cars, and roads).

about a year ago
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Protesters Block Apple and Google Buses In California

characterZer0 Re:How is it their fault? (653 comments)

Also a bad thing for people who want to stay in the home they have lived in for years but can no longer afford the increased property taxes.

That is the fundamental flaw of property taxes - the taxes can go up even if your property stayed exactly the same just because a bunch of people around you overpaid.

about a year ago
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U.S. Will Not Provide Financing For New International Coal-Fired Power Plants

characterZer0 Re:Why Should the US Help At All (329 comments)

They are poor because of their own incompetence, corruption, and lawlessness.

Why aren't we poor because of our own incompetence, corruption, and lawlessness?

about a year ago
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Firefox's Blocked-By-Default Java Isn't Going Down Well

characterZer0 Re:Accepting a signature on a tablet (362 comments)

Signature tables have far more advanced capabilities than a Wacom tablet or HTML5 canvas. They can record pressure and speed at points on the stroke so the resulting data can be used for analysis to compare signatures in case of a dispute. They can also do encryption in the device to cryptographically tie the signature data to a key fed to the device, typically a representation of the data or document being signed.

about a year ago

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