I saw the movie The Great Raid last night. In my opinion, it’s one of the most accurate movie depictions of the war in the Pacific. The movie was set in the Philippines in January 1945. It’s about a daring rescue of 500 American POWs in the Cabanatuan camp 30 miles deep in Japanese territory by the 6th Army Ranger Battalion. To this day, it’s still the most successful rescue in US military history.
An experimental hybrid car gets 250 miles per gallon. Compare it to a conventional car that gets 20-25mpg. I normally gas up every every two weeks. With this hybrid car, I can potentially fill up every 20 weeks or just three times a year. Why doesn’t Congress throw more money into making this technology viable?
The national average for gas prices in the United States right now is $2.37 per gallon. If you live in California, the average price is $2.60 per gallon. In San Francisco, the average price is $2.79 according to this website. The highest price in the Bay Area is $3.15. By the way, we are talking about regular gasoline only. Expect to pay more for premium gas.
Like the saying goes, there are two things in life that are certain, death and taxes. I wonder if people really know how much they’re taxed. It’s probably higher than most realize. Majority of Americans fall within the 25% to 28% tax bracket with their Federal Tax returns. That’s a range between $7,150 to $146,750. For state tax, California has a maximum of 9.3%. Then, there’s sales tax. It’s 8.75% in Alameda County where I live. Everytime you pump gas at the station, you pay 22% in taxes. When you fly domestically, you pay 10% in taxes.
Don’t forget, you also pay toll for highways and bridges. Tolls are essentially a form of tax. How about retirement? A percentage of your social security benefit is taxed. The earnings on your 401K plan is taxed. Thanks to Roth IRA, earnings are tax free. I’m hoping our government don’t change their mind on this one. Eventually when we die, there’s an estate tax. For wealthy Americans with estates over $1.5 million, the effective rate tax is 44% in 2005. Most of us don’t have to worry about that, but if you live in the Bay Area, that figure is much closer than we think because of real estate values. I shouldn’t complain, because it’s a lot worse in other countries.
I went to Linux World 2005 Exhibition today. The usual big companies were there like HP, Sun, IBM, AMD, Oracle and Sybase. Linux giants Redhat and Novell were also present along with a few companies with smaller Linux distributions.
I was a bit disappointed since I expected a bit more. Missing were the popular Slackware, Debian, Gentoo, FreeBSD, TurboLinux and Mandriva companies. Where are you guys? It was nice to see MySQL. I expected a bit more Linux gadgets, but there were few and far between. The big companies clearly dominated the Linux World Exhibition. They had the largest and best spots on the floor.