Teen says U.S. government can save $400m with a typeface change

teen says u s can save 400m typeface change

Pittsburgh middle school student Suvir Mirchandani has come up with a novel idea to save the government millions of dollars: Mirchandani says a simple typeface change on the vast amounts of paperwork produced by the authorities each year could save as much as $400m every 12 months.

The 14 year-old attends Dorseyville Middle School and came up with the scheme as part of a study into how computer science could improve environmental stability. He analyzed teacher handouts to investigate the typefaces used and the ink required for the most common letters in each case. “Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” the teenager told CNN.

Mirchandani did some calculations, working out that by sticking with the thin and lightweight Garamond rather than thicker alternatives, his school district could reduce ink consumption by 24 percent and save as much as $21,000 every year. “We were so impressed,” said Sarah Fankhauser, one of the founders of the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), which eventually published the findings. “We really could see the real-world application in Suvir’s paper.”

JEI then challenged the middle school student to apply his findings to the government as a whole. With an annual printing budget of $1.8 billion to consider, the challenge was much harder, but the results were the same — around $400 million could be chopped off the annual budget. A spokesman for the Government Printing Office praised Mirchandani’s work but was non-committal on whether any typeface changes would be made, as the government looks to shift most of its paperwork onto the Web.

“I recognize it’s difficult to change someone’s behavior,” admitted Suvir Mirchandani. “That’s the most difficult part. I definitely would love to see some actual changes and I’d be happy to go as far as possible to make that change possible. Consumers are still printing at home, they can make this change too.”

You may not be able to chop $400 million off your own annual printer ink budget, but it’s something to consider the next time you click Print.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Computing

Your MacBook can live in the lap of luxury with this leather case

Though there are several cases which we think are best for covering up MacBooks, Twelve South's Journal case is one of the newest available, providing luxurious leather coverage for your Apple laptop.
Computing

Convert your PDFs into convenient Word documents

PDF files are great, but few document types are as malleable as those specific to Microsoft Word. Here's how to convert a PDF file into a Word document, whether you prefer to use Adobe's software suite or a freemium alternative.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Home Theater

Time for a TV upgrade? Here’s what you need to know about 4K Ultra HD TV

Ultra HD 4K has quickly taken over the world of TVs. But what is Ultra HD 4K, how does it work, and most importantly, should you upgrade, or keep your old TV? We explain it all right here.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Computing

15-inch MacBook Pro gets more powerful with new AMD Vega GPUs

Confirming Apple's quiet October announcement, new configurations for the top-range 15-inch Apple MacBook laptop are now available, coming complete with AMD Pro Vega 16 or Pro Vega 20 graphics cards on board.
Emerging Tech

Intel’s new ‘neural network on a stick’ aims to unchain A.I. from the internet

To kick off its first developer conference in Beijing, Intel unveiled the second generation of its Neural Compute Stick -- a device that promises to democratize the development of computer vision A.I. applications.
Computing

These laptop makers produce the most reliable, quality hardware today

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.
Deals

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Deals

Here are the best laptop deals for November 2018

Whether you've started a new school year, are shopping for a student, or you just need a new computer, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Computing

Recover your beloved data with these great software tools

The best data recovery software isn't always free, but whether you've lost files on a hard drive, SD card, or even physical media like CDs and DVDs, there's a chance they'll be able to get that data back.
Computing

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.