Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(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  
•       •       •

18412 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Mar 2014 at 12:01 AM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



191 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-03-29 02:18:09 AM  
Eager young student: "Hey guys!  I found a great way to save the government money!"

Government: (stifles yawn)

Eager young student: "There's practically no down side!  All you have to do is..."

Government: (glances at smartphone)

Eager young student: "You're not even going to listen to me, are you?"

Government: (texts NSA to put Suvir on no-fly list)
 
2014-03-29 02:20:42 AM  
i.dailymail.co.uk

Yep.  This is exactly what I expect someone who proposes to save money by changing fonts looks like.

/also exactly what I expect a student from Dorseyville to look like
 
2014-03-29 02:30:55 AM  
Here's a novel idea that could save 2 billion dollars. Stop printing documents and use the goddamn internet.

You're welcome.
 
2014-03-29 02:33:16 AM  

aerojockey: [i.dailymail.co.uk image 306x423]

Yep.  This is exactly what I expect someone who proposes to save money by changing fonts looks like.

/also exactly what I expect a student from Dorseyville to look like


You'd better be nice. We're going to be working for him someday.
 
2014-03-29 02:34:10 AM  

Gunboat: Ambitwistor: I fully support this proposal, so long as all Congressional records are printed in Comic Sans.

http://bancomicsans.com/main/


ih3.redbubble.net
 
2014-03-29 02:36:22 AM  

Captain Dan: Eager young student: "Hey guys!  I found a great way to save the government money!"

Government: (stifles yawn)

Eager young student: "There's practically no down side!  All you have to do is..."

Government: (glances at smartphone)

Eager young student: "You're not even going to listen to me, are you?"

Government: (texts NSA to put Suvir on no-fly list)


Student:  Hey everyone, I spent 3 days proving what anyone can see in 10 seconds for my project!  The government could save money, though they'd have to make their text harder to see!

Daily Fail:  Genius student discovers foolproof way to save government money with no cost or downside that no one else has already noticed and decided isn't worth it!  Unprecedented discovery will change the world as we know it!

Student:  Um, that's not really what I said...

Daily Fail:  Do you mind if we lie and say in the headline that you're a gorgeous soon-to-be lingerie model?  Here, turn to the side, we're going to take some totally natural looking glamour photos.

Student:  You realize I'm a 14 year old boy?

Daily Fail:  Don't mind us, we're just shredding the remaining tatters of any journalistic integrity we might have once had.
 
2014-03-29 02:56:58 AM  
maybe letting it be outsourced to china isn't so great either.
 
2014-03-29 02:58:38 AM  
It's not a stupid idea, but perhaps there's a balance between readability and efficiency that's not obvious.

Although I'm more in favor of making the recipients pay more. IIRC, the FAR/AIM is printed privately for users who desire a hard copy. You can download a PDF of the official object, but the hard copy is another matter.

/Learned ATC from a PDF of the FARs.
//Not in a tower, but I have a card saying I'm a CTO laying around somewhere.
 
2014-03-29 03:04:10 AM  

Shostie: Yes. So simple. Also working under the presumption that the government is a single, hyper-efficient entity that can change things like that on a whim.


As a federal employee I can say you are wrong in spirit on this. A single order from the pres could easily get the executive branch in line.

Congress and the judicial could stick with times new roman, but would likely go with the flow just so they don't appear wasteful.

The question is whether the font would be harder to read or something. If so the recomendation is merely on par with suggesting a reduction in font size.

A better solution would be to continue going paperless as much as possible and stop requiring shiatloads of paper for the less important documents. For now though I would still like my paper criminal records and other things on file at the national records center.
 
2014-03-29 03:47:30 AM  

sycraft: 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.


He looked at total expenditure on printing costs. The question is whether and how he calculated how much of that printing costs is costs of ink/toner, but the article doesn't explain. But if he calculated that garamond uses, say 20% less ink than more common fonts, all he has to do is calculate/estimate what the total expenditure of the government is on ink/toner, both in office setting, government printing services and outsourced printing services. You come to x-amount and in theory you should then be able to cut 20% of x-amount by changing fonts. That's some pretty serious research and calculating work for ahigh school project if he did it correctly. Seeing what the government produces in paperwork, publications etc. $400 million doesn't sound strange.

There is nothing wrong with approach, the question is of course whether he calculated/estimated the x-amount in the right way.

And of course the way government works it will never be implemented in practice, and an important aspect of government publications is that it should be readable for everyone, so the fonts have to be clear and large enough.
 
2014-03-29 04:13:30 AM  
I think this sounds like a great idea.
 
2014-03-29 04:28:16 AM  

Avenger: Here's a novel idea that could save 2 billion dollars. Stop printing documents and use the goddamn internet.

You're welcome.


Until you pile on the cost of all the high paid nerds you'll need to manage the servers and provide tech support to the ladies who can't right-click.
 
2014-03-29 05:10:41 AM  

itcamefromschenectady: Also, the US Government Printing Office's budget is only about $130 million, so how are they going to save $400 million?


Now I know the government is terribly inefficient, by I believe that this figure was based on all the printers the government uses, not just the ones in the Printing Office.  I mean I assume that State, Defense, Interior, ext. all have their own ink jet printers on their computers, and don't have to go running to the Printing Office every time they want to print off an office report.

Of course, the study probably also assumes that the only thing being printed is text, which is probably also not true.  Even though, if it only saves a couple hundred million across the board, and keeps a few thousand fewer ink cartridges out of the landfills every year, maybe it is still worth doing.  Of course being the government, they will probably spend at least twice that much writing the new regulation.
 
2014-03-29 05:16:57 AM  
Bolder fonts increase legibility. Skinnier fonts decrease cost. If all you care about is cost, why not Print Clearly and Spirequal Light? Fantastic free fonts, great for design and headers, but you'd go cross-eyed trying to read a paragraph of them.

This article: TEEN DISCOVERS REVOLUTIONARY MONEY-SAVING FONT!! Daily Fail does not implement it. Reasons!

/Print less, farkers. Seriously. Printers are the absolute worst part of my job. Email that shiat.
//Printscreen and email it if you have to. Just don't print and scan and email it.
 
2014-03-29 05:19:25 AM  

Thanks, Obama.

 
2014-03-29 05:20:54 AM  
Big Ink will never let these suggestion through.
 
2014-03-29 05:52:38 AM  
This is a good science fair project-- kid had an idea, wondered if there was actually anything to it, came up with a way to quantify/falsify it, and performed the test.  That's exactly what the science fair is supposed to teach you, so... well done getting the lesson, have an A.

That said, the US government (and I assume others) have in fact looked into this and tend to use other fonts because of  readability, even in the scaled-up example in TFA Garamond was already having issues with the letters thinning out and becoming indistinct at the edges, something that can mess up words entirely at smaller font sizes.  I mean, legibility that low in one-inch letters is  not a good sign if you're going to print the manuals for how to handle the nuclear arsenal and so on in it.

Additionally, the government typically uses either full-scale or office-scale printing operations, so the price of Ink doesn't actually apply-- at the most expensive, they're using toner-based systems which are massively more efficient.  Ink jet printing isn't used by any group with more than 5 or 10 people, private or public.  This is a non-problem to begin with.

// Again, not being down on the kid here, this is a good science-fair project.  I'm just incredibly unamused that the news-media retards have managed to dramatically misinterpret the science of a goddamned  grade-school science project.
 
2014-03-29 05:56:13 AM  
Lose the serifs and think how much they could save?!
 
2014-03-29 06:02:28 AM  
That means more vacation time for the Oblunders.
 
2014-03-29 06:05:27 AM  

wildcardjack: /Learned ATC from a PDF of the FARs.
//Not in a tower, but I have a card saying I'm a CTO laying around somewhere.


Details/specifics, please..?  Out of honest interest..  EIP
 
2014-03-29 06:06:35 AM  
Kid finds way of saving printer manufacturers 400 million by convincing large entities to use less pigment when they're paying per page and not per cartridge.

/Wouldn't save our company a cent, Fuji Xerox would love it, though.
//FTA: "Gary Somerset, of the Government Printing Office, described the work as 'remarkable' but told CNN the office was focused more on switching to digital rather than changing the font." He should have studied the cost, savings and repercussions of a digital transition. Our company is currently working on this.
 
2014-03-29 06:12:57 AM  

bikkurikun: But if he calculated that garamond uses, say 20% less ink than more common fonts, all he has to do is calculate/estimate what the total expenditure of the government is on ink/toner, both in office setting, government printing services and outsourced printing services. You come to x-amount and in theory you should then be able to cut 20% of x-amount by changing fonts.


So what kind of magical super-printing do you use where it only uses ink/toner and not paper, electricity, maintenance, or employee time?
 
2014-03-29 06:13:32 AM  

Somaticasual: Of course, they'll spend 100 million licensing it from adobe..


And another $2 billion to implement the changeover, not to mention $500 million a year in monitoring and enforcement costs.
 
2014-03-29 06:31:02 AM  

Jim_Callahan: bikkurikun: But if he calculated that garamond uses, say 20% less ink than more common fonts, all he has to do is calculate/estimate what the total expenditure of the government is on ink/toner, both in office setting, government printing services and outsourced printing services. You come to x-amount and in theory you should then be able to cut 20% of x-amount by changing fonts.

So what kind of magical super-printing do you use where it only uses ink/toner and not paper, electricity, maintenance, or employee time?


I see reading comprehension is not your strongest point. As I said, you have to look at total expenditure on ink/toner. That is not that hard to figure out if you have access to financial reports, or to calculate if you have an idea of how much is produced. For outsourced printing services, you indeed have to look at how much of the price comes from ink/toner.  I have no doubt that for the government as a whole is a lot money.
 
2014-03-29 06:33:20 AM  

Riotboy: The opposite of progress.


Well, if the opposite of "pro" is "con", then the opposite of progress...........
 
2014-03-29 06:55:12 AM  
Didn't they run this story a year or two ago? Why is it suddenly news again?
 
2014-03-29 06:55:49 AM  
Anyone who thinks this is anything more than a 14year old's science project is a dumbass. There are so many flaws and holes in his logic that's it not really even worth going into it. Most of all, ink/toner is only a tiny fraction of the cost of printing for any non-inkjet printer and nobody uses an inkjet printer for bulk document printing (can you say slow?). Even if his savings percentage was 100% it seems extremely unlikely that the govt spends 400million a year on ink, much less on printing as a whole. If I had to take a stab at the actual savings of using a thinner font it might be >$1million. Implementation would cost many times that. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I will give the kid some props for using scientific methods. But he kind of half assed his research and made wild assumptions with no basis in reality. Boooo. And Boo to you if you were taken in by this. Try studying it out next time.
 
2014-03-29 07:01:29 AM  

Shostie: Yes. So simple. Also working under the presumption that the government is a single, hyper-efficient entity that can change things like that on a whim.


When the kid can make it happen, I'll believe he's smart. Any of us can make good observations.

It took my agency over five years to give in to its employees constantly suggesting we stop automatically printing cover sheets with every print job
 
2014-03-29 07:05:55 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.


Instant ink is a horrible deal.
 
2014-03-29 07:08:35 AM  
Oh look, a good idea. No way the republicans will oppose it, right?
 
2014-03-29 07:18:15 AM  
Comic Sans 12 please.
It's informative and fun - like a clown with a thesaurus.
 
2014-03-29 07:34:35 AM  
Print all documents on 3D printers.
 
2014-03-29 07:36:05 AM  
Wow, teenage kid does a Google search on old news, adds bad math, gets National Media attention!

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125639616
 
2014-03-29 07:44:24 AM  
i work for the city i live in.

MS Outlook uses Calibri as its font. Is Garamond better than Calibri?
 
2014-03-29 07:48:21 AM  

sethen320: 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.

Instant ink is a horrible deal.


No it isn't. You pay less per page AND you always max out quality. I did the math. I pay about per page what we do at the office.

I also currently do the cheapest which is one black or color cartridge. I don't print often and was losing ink to the maintenance inkjets do to keep unclogged.
 
2014-03-29 08:18:51 AM  
Go paperless and save TRILLIONS!

/Farker who is smarter than 99.97% of you
//I DNRTFA, did his parents help him come up with this brilliant idea?
///yaaaaawn
 
2014-03-29 08:43:13 AM  

WelldeadLink: Brilliant.
This kid has no future in government.


Sure he does!

It'll cost 400 million to change to Garamond.
 
2014-03-29 08:46:17 AM  
It's a clever hook, a simple solution and a neat project, but it's based on assumptions that aren't realistic.

For example, most modern offices use copier/laser printer combos, not inkjet printers.

Also, Times New Roman is commonly used because it's a default font designed for narrow columns, which suits many government applications. Nicer-looking fonts like Georgia or Garamond aren't used as commonly because they take up more space and don't work as well in newsletters, brochures or forms. (And as a result, saving money on ink might lead to spending more money on paper, printed materials storage, paper transportation costs and so forth).

So, the government official quoted in the article is right -- going digital really is the better solution. That doesn't mean the status quo couldn't be examined, but saving $400 million is likely unrealistic.
 
2014-03-29 08:49:09 AM  
"Tragically, the boy was found dead early this morning. Strangely, his mouth was completely stuffed with paper."

/from tomorrow's article
//don't piss off the gravy train
 
2014-03-29 08:53:19 AM  

itcamefromschenectady: It's been proven that you don't actually need vowels to understand English, so why not ban them from government publications? That will save a lot of ink.



upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-03-29 08:56:56 AM  
HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111
HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111

HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111

HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111

HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111

HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111

HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111

HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111

HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111

HA! HA! HA!

I'M WASTING YOUR PIXELS111
 
2014-03-29 08:58:35 AM  
How much money will be wasted each time someone says "I still can't read that fax you sent. Just overnight it to me"?
 
2014-03-29 08:59:38 AM  
The kid's arial genius.
 
2014-03-29 09:00:28 AM  

Barfmaker: Now there's a guy who is never going to get laid in his entire life.


Because women hate smart guys.
 
2014-03-29 09:05:22 AM  
The government would spend twice that much on a lame feasibility study, and then reject the idea because a senator owns a bunch of stock in a printer ink company.
 
2014-03-29 09:12:34 AM  
Well for gods sakes do not try to get a congressional Democrat to submit a bill to implement this because if it has a "D" after the bill the GOP will be automatically against it, even if it does save taxpayers money.
 
2014-03-29 09:15:04 AM  

itcamefromschenectady: It's been proven that you don't actually need vowels to understand English, so why not ban them from government publications? That will save a lot of ink.


trck vs trck, one is for moving materials down the road and the other is for runners, which is which?  Or am I trckng you.
 
2014-03-29 09:15:23 AM  

RogermcAllen: I wonder what the savings would be if we just switched to 11.5 font as the default.


THIS.

/it's pretty much what the "kid" suggested, and not tainted with the "frenchness" of Garamond...
 
2014-03-29 09:15:38 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.


Given that Obama's federal drug pruchasing program forbids bulk pricing, I wouldn't be surprised if Obama's printer ink acquisition laws forbids it too.
 
2014-03-29 09:21:56 AM  

lack of warmth: itcamefromschenectady: It's been proven that you don't actually need vowels to understand English, so why not ban them from government publications? That will save a lot of ink.

trck vs trck, one is for moving materials down the road and the other is for runners, which is which?  Or am I trckng you.


don't confuse the poor dear by demonstrating the flaw in their plan. Entertainment value, don't ya know?
 
Displayed 50 of 191 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report