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(Daily Mail)   A 14-year-old student who is possibly smarter than 99% of us has figured out a way to save the U.S. government $400 million a year, just by switching the font they use to print out documents   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 191
    More: Interesting, U.S. government, GPO, alumni  
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18423 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Mar 2014 at 12:01 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



191 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-29 12:33:52 AM  
This government? Doing simple changes to save money?


AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


img.4plebs.org
 
2014-03-29 12:36:39 AM  
it's this kind of simplistic, yet obviously genius and argument-less thinking that will get this kid on a "no-fly" list
 
2014-03-29 12:37:40 AM  
this would be awesome if it weren't the 4,000,000th time someone had figured this out. Kudos to the kid anyhow.
 
2014-03-29 12:39:23 AM  
Pretty sure I've seen this before, let's see...
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125639616
Story is from 2010.  So the kid browses the internet, finds a story that his teachers haven't read, finds another font that does the same thing and now he's a genius wizkid!
 
2014-03-29 12:39:29 AM  

thurstonxhowell: Ambivalence: Abzzstain: Because the government only uses inkjet printers and buys single cartridges at retail prices. Surely no one in the government has ever heard of bulk purchasing. Or laser printers.

Laser printers use toner.  It's the "ink" equivalent and it aint cheap.

If by "ain't cheap" you mean "is practically free", then you're right. If you print a lot, buy a laser printer. TCO is much, much lower for anyone who prints often.


and if you don't print a lot you avoid inkjet nozzles drying out by having a laser printer
 
2014-03-29 12:39:41 AM  
Cool.

Now if the government doesn't do what this kid says, I have another reason to be angry!
 
2014-03-29 12:41:08 AM  
It's been proven, resistance is futile.
 
2014-03-29 12:44:31 AM  
Search "save money with smaller font" to see how many dozens of people and environmental organizations have been grabbing headlines with this suggestion since 2010.  And the amount of savings seems to get bigger every time.
 
2014-03-29 12:46:00 AM  

StrangeQ: Pretty sure I've seen this before, let's see...
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125639616
Story is from 2010.  So the kid browses the internet, finds a story that his teachers haven't read, finds another font that does the same thing and now he's a genius wizkid!


Even older: http://lifehacker.com/5108188/ecofont-saves-your-ink/all
 
2014-03-29 12:50:25 AM  
The printer ink cartel is far too evil, far too entrenched to let this happen. Be very afraid.

I have to run now..
 
2014-03-29 12:52:33 AM  

Ambivalence: Abzzstain: Because the government only uses inkjet printers and buys single cartridges at retail prices. Surely no one in the government has ever heard of bulk purchasing. Or laser printers.

Laser printers use toner.  It's the "ink" equivalent and it aint cheap.


It is in bulk. When you talk large scale units you can usually print pages are around $0.02/page or so. You just don't use that much toner per page. When you get the 'lil laserjet that sits on your desk, they overcharge you because they want to make up the cost on consumables. However the big units keep consumable prices down because they want you to buy their stuff.

So I just can't see how this kid's idea would work. Changing a font isn't going to save that much toner, it won't really reduce how much is fused to the paper, and that isn't the only way toner is used (just having the components moving uses a bit of toner). Any savings in changing a font would be totally outclassed by simply printing a bit less.

My bet is this kid looked at the fonts, checked the price of the ink for his Lexmark printer which costs too much, threw some math at it based on guesses, and came up with a completely BS number.

Here's a tip to news organizations: When you hear of some kid with an amazing solution to a problem that nobody has ever managed to think of before... it basically never is. Invariably the kid ignored something, forgot something, simplified something, or what have you and thus their results are wrong. Any one remember  Aidan Dwyer? No? But why not? He was a child genius who revolutionized solar panels by using the Fibonacci Sequence. I mean all solar panels must be designed that way now! Ummm, no. Turns out the kid didn't know basic electrical engineering, and measured voltage and thought that represented power (power is voltage*amperage). No surprise, having solar panels pointing at all angles is not as efficient as having them use motors to track the sun, which is precisely what the highest efficiency ones we have do.
 
2014-03-29 12:55:26 AM  

Abzzstain: Because the government only uses inkjet printers and buys single cartridges at retail prices. Surely no one in the government has ever heard of bulk purchasing. Or laser printers.


Inkjets and laserprinters will BOTH save on printing costs, regardless of media, by switching fonts.  Less ink, less toner.  Will save more on top of bulk purchasing.
 
2014-03-29 12:59:23 AM  
ecmoRandomNumbers: HAHA! I'M WASTING YOUR INK!

ME TOO.....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
 
2014-03-29 12:59:59 AM  

Rhaab: hchaos: Wow, that's, like, 0.01% of the federal budget! Good job! That will pay for 2 F-35s!
So because we can't cut as much as you want, we shouldn't attempt to save any money at all?


No. Because the amounts we're talking about are completely insignificant and cannot ever make a practical difference, it's completely silly to act like it would matter.
 
2014-03-29 01:01:10 AM  
What ?
 
2014-03-29 01:02:08 AM  
That was a good science project.
img.fark.net
 
2014-03-29 01:02:32 AM  

#13.  OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS

 
2014-03-29 01:03:23 AM  

Nutsac_Jim: When my company was bought out, one of those consultants came in and had everyone print up what we did.

I gave her mine  in 6 pt small fonts.   I told her sorry about that.. Its what I usually print out so I can see more code on each page, plus it saved the company toner cost.


I typed mine up in Webdings.
 
2014-03-29 01:03:32 AM  
Why not go ahead and switch to a font size that requires a magnifying glass.  Saves 10 kajillion dollars.  Or go paperless and save 20 squillion dollars.  Make everyone write by hand and save 100 sesquecentillion dollars.  Sure, some ink companies are going to see a big loss in their profits, but I am sure they would find the way to make certain my $1.25 in taxes per year got returned to me.  I could pump that right back into the economy in no time.
 
2014-03-29 01:03:36 AM  

Dadoody: This government? Doing simple changes to save money?


AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

[img.4plebs.org image 479x356]


Believe it or not, most government agencies are quite constrained in many ways as far as budgets go.  Its just done in a very useful way.  The saying "penny wise, pound foolish" comes to mind.
 
2014-03-29 01:05:06 AM  

hchaos: Wow, that's, like, 0.01% of the federal budget! Good job! That will pay for 2 F-35s!


He's 14 years old and looked into this.  I'll give him a ton of credit for that.

I have a friend from business school who worked the United-Continental merger for a big 3 consulting firm.  One of his teams' accomplishments on the project was weighing silverware and figuring out that using plastic silverware in first class would save the company $2mm in fuel.  That more than paid for the consulting fees for the entire team.  And this high school science project trumped their accomplishments by magnitudes.
 
2014-03-29 01:09:31 AM  
OH! YOU MEAN GARAMONDtm BY ADOBE! I WONDER IF HE DID THE COST OF LICENSING THE FONT FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES? Maybe somebody should tell that kid that when he gets out into the real world he is going to have to start paying for all that shiat he steals off the internet. His next project is BIG: If you just download music for free of the internet, you'd save millions!
 
2014-03-29 01:09:35 AM  
Then theres this shiat. 

i181.photobucket.com
 
2014-03-29 01:10:40 AM  
Wow, people are protective of their government font.  Fixing Global Warming - we can do that, but changing fonts is hard.
 
2014-03-29 01:11:30 AM  
or maybe just stop printing so many documents?
 
2014-03-29 01:16:06 AM  
PC load letter? What the fark does that mean?
 
2014-03-29 01:17:00 AM  

Intrepid00: Too bad most print jobs are done on printers that are charged per page instead of paying for the ink. I'm even doing this at home now with HP instant ink.


^^^^This^^^^

All you'd do is save the printer money. The government will still pay the same per-page cost.
 
2014-03-29 01:18:03 AM  

This About That: It's been proven that simple declarative sentences constructed of well chosen words and good grammar can use far fewer words. So put the $400M into decent language skills for kids.


Words have power and shiat yo. F**k that whitey bling speak and jam dem dollas up in kids brains!

Point taken
 
2014-03-29 01:20:28 AM  

Cyno01: Then theres this shiat. 

[i181.photobucket.com image 361x294]


Do you realize how many pixel trees had to be cut down for that ludicrous display?  Please try to not destroy the planet the rest of us live on.
 
2014-03-29 01:22:16 AM  

Robin Hoodie: this would be awesome if it weren't the 4,000,000th time someone had figured this out. Kudos to the kid anyhow.


this. Pretty sure newspapers and such have considered everything to save money. This isn't novel, its not news worthy.
 
2014-03-29 01:23:29 AM  

trappedspirit: Why not go ahead and switch to a font size that requires a magnifying glass.


While we're at it I have a way we can save $300 trillion a year on electricity.

www.cyberpunkreview.com
 
2014-03-29 01:26:33 AM  
You can save even more money by NOT PRINTING anything.

/If only we had some other medium other than hard copy...
 
2014-03-29 01:27:50 AM  
Well, why wouldn't someone just come along and recommend a smaller thinner font next, maybe six point?

img.fark.net
 
2014-03-29 01:29:37 AM  
i.imgur.com
I don't always have a lot to print out;
But when I do, I use large type.

/Sad but true.
 
2014-03-29 01:30:51 AM  

Abzzstain: Because the government only uses inkjet printers and buys single cartridges at retail prices. Surely no one in the government has ever heard of bulk purchasing. Or laser printers.


This. I have no idea why anyone would even bother with inkjet now given the much more economical cost of laser.
 
2014-03-29 01:30:54 AM  
make everything a QR Code
 
2014-03-29 01:33:10 AM  
Now we just need to find out how to get more ink on the ribbons.
 
2014-03-29 01:35:08 AM  
If "printing fewer documents" hasn't occurred to him, he's not that smart.
 
2014-03-29 01:35:24 AM  
This is all over Facebook. I don't farkin' buy it, sorry.

* The US government is a big-ass entity. I'd be surprised if they used one font for everything.
* How many documents does the government actually print vs. how many they read/transmit electronically?
* Simple answers (like switching fonts) to complex problems (like the US budget) are almost never right
* Assuming this change was made, how much time/money/effort would it require, and would we still save money once that was figured in?

Is there anything more irritating than (supposed) genius kids that know better than all their adults? Good news, kid: actual geniuses that transform the world are real. Bad news, kid: they're exceedingly rare. It was an interesting science project, but let's not get carried away.
 
2014-03-29 01:35:49 AM  
Though there are lots of factors, in general if you do frequent printing, laser printing costs about 1/8th the price of inkjet printing. Also many government documents are printed much more efficiently than either method by huge industrial printing presses. Then there are issues of licensing costs of fonts and since this is such a large scale project, the difference in reading time for equal comprehension (which might be better or worst for either font). Laser printers need much less frequent maintenance, so less employee time is wasted waiting for the IT guy to come around and change the cartridge. A true cost analysis can't be done on the back of a cocktailrootbeer napkin.
 
2014-03-29 01:37:29 AM  

itcamefromschenectady: t's bn prvn tht y dn't ctlly nd vwls t ndrstnd nglsh, s wh nt bn thm frm gvrnmnt pblctns? Tht wll sv  lt f nk.


t sre svs lts f tm rdng, wldn't t? Xcpt nw y spnd th tm y sv b plggng vwls nt wds t mk sns f thm.

 
2014-03-29 01:38:59 AM  
What the fark is McLovin doing trying to take my Comic Sans. Cold dead hands McLovin, cold dead hands.
 
2014-03-29 01:40:23 AM  

bigstoopidbruce: WHAT?  SAVING MONEY FROM GUBMINT SPENDING?  Do you hate the black and the poor?  A pox upon you!


This is what Republicans actually believe.
 
2014-03-29 01:40:45 AM  
Switch to clay tablets. No ink at all needed.
 
2014-03-29 01:45:43 AM  
Yea, they could also save a ton of money on paper by switching all the fonts to 8 point instead of the standard 12 point.

Maybe they could stop making cover pages too.

Seriously, there are expenses to everything, and changing a font is all well and good, but lets not pretend that this kid just found the lost city of Atlantis.
 
2014-03-29 01:47:07 AM  
This is basically a "one weird trick discovered by a mom that government printers hate!" story gussied up to be "legitimate" journalism. Everyone involved in hyping this nonsense should be ashamed of themselves.
 
2014-03-29 01:51:10 AM  
FTFA: A 14-year-old student from Pennsylvania could help the government save nearly $400 million a year thanks to his ingenious science fair project

Or, in other words, the Daily Fail blows out of proportion some barely-teenager's science project that shows what anyone with eyes and a brain, almost certainly including various governments, already knows:  thinner fonts use less ink.  It could save governments money, but won't ever happen because such decisions are undoubtedly made on a number of factors in addition to cost, such as how easy thinner/thicker letters are to read.
 
2014-03-29 02:10:46 AM  

emersonbiggins: Sometimes switching fonts costs more.  A LOT more.
 [churchrelevance.com image 468x228]


Every one knows hell when they see it ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
2014-03-29 02:15:22 AM  

pxlboy: Abzzstain: Because the government only uses inkjet printers and buys single cartridges at retail prices. Surely no one in the government has ever heard of bulk purchasing. Or laser printers.

This. I have no idea why anyone would even bother with inkjet now given the much more economical cost of laser.


Because the initial purchase of the printer itself is cheaper, and last-generation idiots don't realize how much they're going to have to spend on ink until they've run out.
 
2014-03-29 02:16:16 AM  
Of course, the government would have to hire outside contractors to run around and change the default fonts on every application on every computer at every government agency, rewrite a few thousand applications, and redo a couple hundred thousand websites.  It shouldn't cost more than 50 billion dollars to implement and only take 20 years.
 
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