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Lech Deregowski
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Lech Deregowski

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Hoooooly hell...too funny!
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Lech Deregowski

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Alright, the notification bar in #kitkat on the Nexus 4 really sucks and diminishes usability greatly. While I am a bit disappointed with the fact that the "Google Experience Launcher" is an exclusive to some devices which is kind of lame, all the other improvements are  great. Unfortunately, since the notification bar is not translucent in 4.4 on the Nexus 4, it's difficult to tell what's going on in the notification bar when it's against a black background.

Previously in #Jellybean a blue icon would easily represent a connected or active state and a gray icon would indicate a problem or disconnect. Now you have only white icons on a black background and being able to tell whether or not your WiFi is acting up or if something else is wrong requires extra steps and that minute or two of going "WTF!?" while holding the screen to your nose to inspect the icon state.

White icons against a translucent background stand out against whatever wallpaper you're using far better and the case for them there is justified. But in this case it seems like #android UI/UX testing was skipped for devices not receiving a translucent notification bar. And it is really pointless to force these icons onto all the other devices that don't have a translucent notification bar.
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Lech Deregowski's profile photoGregor Smith's profile photo
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This I've known. The problem of icons being white in the actual status bar against a black background is what's completely fubar without hacks or a 3rd party launcher. If you have the translucent notification bar you probably aren't complaining because it's easy to tell. Against the black background notification bar it's damn near impossible.
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Lech Deregowski

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I'm both disturbed and amused. 
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Lech Deregowski

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Lech Deregowski's profile photoSteve D's profile photo
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Apparently this is an IMax film with a really great VFX team.
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Lech Deregowski

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The Pixel Painter 
Josh Bogdan & Ryan Lasko, 2012.
Played in the opening night program "The Art of Code".

"Hal Lasko, better known as Grandpa, worked as a graphic artist back when everything was done by hand. His family introduced him to the computer and Microsoft Paint long after he retired. Now, Grandpa spends ten hours a day moving pixels around his computer paintings. His work is a blend of pointillism and 8-Bit art. Meet 98-year-old Hal Lasko, The Pixel Painter."

HD: http://www.youtube.com/v/B0vnRZErxIU&hd=1&autoplay=1
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Lech Deregowski

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So Rahm Emanuel wants to raise cigarette taxes in Chicago. OK, Good job! big thumbs up to this stupid plan.

Yes, I am a smoker. No I'm not proud of it nor do I wish anyone else to pick up smoking. I agree it's a very terrible habit and if I could quit smoking tomorrow I would, but that's easier said than done. With that said seeing yet another prohibitive tax hike on cigarettes in Chicago makes me laugh as the intended logic behind the move will undoubtedly fall short of its lofty goal of bringing in more revenue. It will only shoulder the tax burden on those who are unable to get out of the city to purchase their cigarettes from a nearby county where they cost far less.

If you're not a smoker, good for you but this probably affects you as well. If you are a smoker, then you're probably looking for your brand at the lowest price possible and chances are you've already found that. Either way take a look at Google Maps and examine the size of Cook County, it's not very large but its shape is a bit odd. Even at its widest portions to the north and south, the distance needed to travel to get to the nearest neighboring county or state is not that far. You don't have to be a smoker or economist to realize that going outside of Cook County can save you money at the expense of the time it takes to make the round-trip.

One well-known fact among most smokers in Cook County is that Cigarettes anywhere outside of Cook County are much cheaper. In terms of economy, pushing up taxes on an items like cigarettes pushes more smokers out to find cheaper cigarettes elsewhere. Outside of Chicago, Cook County and for some even out of state all together. I don't happen to have actual figures to back any of my claims but if I had to take a wild guess, the amount of money moving just to purchase cigarettes is probably ridiculous.

Let's have some fun with a word problem. Let's say every week I travel out to neighboring DuPage County to pick up a couple of cartons of cigarettes, some gum and half the time I also refill on fuel if I find I need it. The cost for my brand here in Cook County is ridiculous at over $90 for a single carton, where a 30 minute trip will get me a carton of the same brand for around $60. Now it doesn't take an economist to tell me a relatively short 30 minute round trip is worth the combined $60 savings for that trip alone.

With 52 weeks in a given year and every week I'm not spending $60 for two cartons, I'm saving a little over $3000 on average for just cigarettes alone. Even when you factor in other costs like fuel, I'm still saving significantly more than if I were to purchase with the current local taxes. Now, if there are a million people in Cook County thinking exactly like me and making the exact same type of purchases (and I wager there are far more) that alone is over 3 billion dollars combined. However keep in mind that this figure is highly subjective and assumed because it would imply that the tax collected would be guaranteed. Obviously it's not and pure fiction.

Realistically, those numbers don't exist primarily because most are smart enough to purchase cigarettes by the carton elsewhere and avoid the ridiculous tax rates. If every Cook County smoker kept their cigarette purchases within the county, the revenues and budgets would be insane. However by pushing cigarette taxes up in Chicago, smokers will continue pushing out to neighboring counties and states. Taking with them a tax revenue stream which would have otherwise been spent in Chicago and Cook County. If cigarette taxes in Cook County and the City of Chicago were deflated to at least remain competitive with those of neighboring counties and states, even being only a few cents higher that might be enough to keep that revenue.

Unfortunately if you factor in cost of fuel and other purchases made by smokers when they go out of county to get their smokes, then you start to see another set of numbers. The reality here is that Cook County and Chicago as a whole are being hurt by this tax inflation. And I'm pretty sure you could explain this concept to a kid in grade school using candy to replace cigarettes and they too might tell you how stupid it is.
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Lech Deregowski's profile photoSteve D's profile photoBradley Kahler's profile photo
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Steve D
 
Ok, I will have to kick your behind. You told me you did quit.
And yes I can kick your behind !!!!
Oh yea,   I will....
You'll see...
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Have them in circles
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Muse + Machine.
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Jack of Many Trades, Master of Some.
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Whatever doesn't kill me doesn't try hard enough.
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