Rob Zaleski wonders why we cannot control property taxes:
Though they don’t get much media attention, there are, in fact, some ideas out there worth pursuing, Reschovsky says.
Among the most promising, he says, is a recent proposal by his colleague Don Nichols, director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs, that would freeze the rate of property taxes on all farms and homes to the rate of income growth of the average Wisconsin resident. The result, Reschovsky says, is that low-income people wouldn’t be driven from their homes. (For more details, see firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beyond that, some states have tried assessment caps, with mixed results, Reschovsky says. The best example, of course, is California’s controversial Proposition 13, which was passed in 1978 and limits increases in assessed value to 2 percent a year. A house gets reassessed at full value only when it’s sold.
Looking through my logs recently, I noticed this google search, which originated at a Phillip Morris (Kraft’s parent; Kraft currently owns Oscar Mayer) IP Address: 22.214.171.124 (UU-63-80-251).More discussion on a possible sale. Log screen shot.
Driving back to SFO recently, I noticed this GM (General Motors) billboard. In essence, the message to Northern California drivers bound either for SFO or their jobs on the Peninsula or in Silicon Valley was:
Advertising is often a useful way to peer into the soul of a company, or in other words, think about their dna and how the firm views its interaction with the outside world.
This campaign smells desperate to me. I’m reminded of Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy’s spot on statement regarding software: “The quality of a company’s software has an inverse relationship to the amount spent on marketing.”
I must admit that this ad campaign doesn’t click at all for me, from any angle. The whole pitch, including the website, seems like a lot of fluff. I visited the site and it promptly crashed my computer (PC, in this case). I tried again and it worked, although it later crashed just my browser.
Perhaps this all makes sense for some car buyers…..
I think GM would be much better off seeding cars to bloggers and schools for long term reviews (with the agreement that they write about their year or two with a sedan, minivan, SUV or sports car). This will take some doing, but I think it would be money well spent. Essentially, they need to route around the legacy media (see Bob Lutz’s notes on this).
It seems that horrible day has come when my computer will no longer truly be mine. Since about 2000 we’ve heard about Palladium and Trusted Computing waiting in the wings for the day that I can no longer trust my computer, and my computer demands that it can trust me.
Digital Rights (restrictions) Management means that you can no longer play media which is not yours. Or, in its current implementation, you cannot use something which you have bought, in a way which you are legally entitled to play it, because the content owners do not wish it. Once Dell and others start shipping these chips, and Windows provides for it, then everything must be DRM, and non-DRM applications and hardware are rendered useless.
What can you do? Support the EFF and perhaps, buy a mac while it’s still open.
CEO, Pinnacle Health & Fitness
On starting and growing a business
I visited with Mike recently and talked about:
- The experience necessary to successfully start a business, and avoid losing your relatives money.
- Hiring the right people
- Customer Service
- Career Advice
Check out this 7 minute mp3 audio file or a 7 minute Quicktime Video.
Glenn Fleishman on incumbent telco’s (SBC & Verizon) latest lobbying/pr efforts to thwart municipally owned broadband systems:
There’s a lot more readily available details about the New Millennium Research Council than I realized: The NMRC is the co-publisher of a report that says municipal broadband is anti-competitive and a waste of taxpayer dollars. eWeek broke the news yesterday that they’re a division of Issue Dynamics, Inc., a group that specializes in creating the appearance of grassroots and independent support for ideas on behalf of their clients. They don’t hide this speciality.
The NMRC lists this relationship on their About page; I’m embarrassed that I missed noting this: “The NMRC is an independent project of Issue Dynamics, Inc. (IDI), a consumer and public affairs consulting firm that specializes in developing win-win solutions to complex policy issues.” (IDI lists the US Internet Industry Association as a client; the head of the USIAA wrote part of the NMRC report.)
An email correspondent who prefers to remain anonymous but has had dealings with the NMRC and IDI wrote in to note, “If you need an ‘independent’ third party to provide support for your particular issue interest, IDI will find an independent expert who will write a supportive piece for you—the report will then be issued by the NMRC or another front org. There is no direct money passing from the corporation to the person writing the research, and as a technical matter, the funding for NMRC comes directly from IDI. However, people like Verizon pay IDI a pretty stiff retainer, and IDI essentially uses part of that to fund NMRC.”
Glenn also takes a look at fiber to the home projects in Palo Alto, Provo, UT and Lafayette, LA. Keep in mind that the US lags many other countries in true high speed (20mpbs+), economical two way broadband.