Fuel Taxes in the United States

I’ve previously mentioned Utah gas and fuel tax. Wikipedia has a page on fuel taxes in the United States.

The three states with the lowest rates:

  • Alaska: $0.1225
  • New Jersey: $0.1450
  • South Carolina: $0.1675

The three states with the highest rates:

  • Pennsylvania: $0.5040
  • Washington: $0.4450
  • New York $0.4264

Utah’s $0.2941 is 28th when ranked from lowest to highest.

Betting on Virtual Reality

Greg Linden is betting against mass adoption of VR:

So, Daniel and I have another bet: “Virtual reality hardware (not counting cardboard) will not sell more than 10M units/year worldwide before March 2019.” I’m saying it won’t. Daniel says it will. Loser donates $100 to the winner’s choice of charity.

I’m with Greg on this one. There are plenty of interesting individual applications for VR, but their numbers will be small and specialized. At least for the next few years.

Remembering Slashdot

I got an email about my data being part of the latest Slashdot purchase:

We are writing to let you know that with effect from 27 January 2016, the Slashdot Media business, which provides online services through various web sites including Slashdot.org and SourceForge.net (the “Slashdot Media Services”) has been purchased by SourceForge Media LLC

It has been a long time since I thought about my Slashdot account. After resetting my password, there was my account, still active and functional. I haven’t left a comment on the site in over a decade.

I wonder how many other accounts I have on old sites that have since been sold to someone else.

Recommended Reading: Julia Evans

For the software geeks in the house I recommend subscribing to Julia Evans. Many of her posts come up because of a question, then go on to detail what she found out while looking for the answer. I’ll give you two recent examples to demonstrate what I mean.

First up: What is “the stack”?:

The basic question I want to answer here is — why do people sometimes discuss “the stack” like it’s some kind of revered fundamental object? (the answer is going to turn out to be “because it is”, and I’m going to try to make that as concrete as I can.)

She then touches on C, assembly, Rust, and gdb to explain what she discovered. Good stuff.

My next example: How does perf work? (in which we read the Linux kernel source):

So it turns out I don’t really know how perf works. And I like knowing how stuff works. Last week I read some of the man page for perf_event_open, the system call that perf uses. It’s 10,000 words but pretty helpful! I’m still quite confused about perf, so I’m going to tell you, fair reader, what I know, and then maybe you can help me out with my questions.

The result? A little bit about CPUs and the Linux kernel. Classic “source code is the ultimate truth” approach, excellent.

If you write code or read code, I recommend reading Julia Evans.

jo, Create JSON On The Command Line

Do you remember jq, the tool that makes it easy it parse JSON on the command line? Have you ever wondered what the opposite of jq would be?

The answer is jo. It simplifies the process of creating JSON on the command line. Here is one of the simple examples the author listed:

> jo time=$(date +%s) dir=$HOME

Along with a more interesting one:

> jo -p name=JP object=$(jo fruit=Orange point=$(jo x=10 y=20) number=17) sunday=false
   "name": "JP",
   "object": {
      "fruit": "Orange",
      "point": {
         "x": 10,
         "y": 20
      "number": 17
   "sunday": false

This would be handy for writing to JSON Lines log files.

Fifty Years of Standardized Daylight Savings Time

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 standardized time zones and daylight savings in the United States:

It is the policy of the United States to promote the adoption and observance of uniform time within the standard time zones prescribed by the Act entitled “An Act to save daylight and to provide standard time for the United States”

Prior to that each state picked their own schedule for moving clocks forward and back. Now it is overseen by Department of Transportation.

This is not my favorite weekend. I’d be happy to not change my clock again.

Client Hint: Save-Data

From the world of client hints comes Save-Data:

The token is a signal indicating explicit user opt-in into a reduced data usage mode on the client, and when communicated to origins allows them to deliver alternate content honoring such preference – e.g. smaller image and video resources, alternate markup, and so on.

The Google Developer site has a write up on Delivering Fast and Light Applications with Save-Data. No surprise that their main target is a better experience for users on slow mobile connections.

If sites start respecting Save-Data = "on" requests, and they do it in a way that maintains basically functionality, then why not turn it on all the time? Even if I’m on an LTE connection, I’d rather have a faster loading site. The next step is to turn it on for desktop browsers. There is nothing that limits this to mobile clients.

Anything that targets faster page loads on mobile clients will eventually get used everywhere.