Curious about Arduino

I took a couple of programming courses in college – Fortran and PL/1.  How hard can this Arduino stuff be?

My first project worked like a charm (after a lot of debugging and moving wires around.)

 

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TomTom GPS “Lifetime” Maps – Hah!

More bastards!  Several years ago, before Google Maps, I bought a TomTom GPS unit with “lifetime maps”, thinking that I would get free map updates for ever.  Or at the very least, for the life of the TomTom company.  Not so, I found out today.

From the TomTom websitetomtom.com/lifetime (which redirects to TomTom site in the UK)

What does “lifetime” mean?

Lifetime is the useful life of the device, which means the period of time that TomTom continues to support your device with software updates, services, content or accessories. A device will have reached the end of its life when none of these are available any more.

TomTom has an offer for the dozens of models affected: 20% off two of their newer models, bringing the prices down to $250 – $350.  Double Hah!

Current tax policies discriminate against human workers in favour of robots

“…..This all stems from the fact that tax policies are designed to tax labour rather than capital.”

Bill Gates suggested taxing robots. That would encourage companies to shift their investment in automation to jurisdictions that don’t tax robots. This article provides more nuanced (if less far-reaching) proposals to tinker with the tax code.

My modest suggestion: enable companies to deduct 150% of their actual wage expense from their income for tax purposes. (Or 125% or 200%… t.b.d.). This would result in increased employment. The reduction in corporate tax receipts would be (mostly?) offset by increased individual tax payments and increased consumption tax payments

theconversation.com/why-we-should-start-taxing-the-robots-that-are-taking-human-jobs-91295

Ontario government ponders ban on single-use plastics

No hard news or proposals here – just “pondering”.  But it’s the first pondering from the Ontario PCs that does not strike me as ridiculous.

This is the PC government’s discussion paper on Reducing Litter and Waste in Our Communities: Discussion Paper I couldn’t find any proposed bans on single-use plastics in it.  Regarding plastics in general the government is proposing more standardization for recycling, greater front-end involvement by manufacturers/packagers, and more Federal government leadership (which is unusual, coming from this particular bunch of PCs.)

Ontario government ponders ban on single-use plastics

Source: Ontario government ponders ban on single-use plastics | CBC News

Unbreaking America (Jennifer Lawrence)

I was pleasantly surprised by the analysis, conclusions and recommendations in this (not-so-short) video.  The premise is that the politicians in Washington aren’t responsive to the preferences of the voters – they’re responsive to the people that get them elected – big donors, big corporations and the two major political party machines.  It’s depressing.  And it takes a long time to make some of the points.  But I think it’s worth watching.