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Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 4, Interesting) 239

by FreeUser (#49192407) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Yes. They don't lose anything by becoming citizens (there are tax issues but they are pretty minor), and being a US citizen has a lot of advantages, like the support of US consulate services.

I'm a dual citizen (born American, obtained British citizenship while I lived there), and while my default position would be "you should grant them US citizenship as that opens up more options to them if they ever want to live in the US" (and despite the many issues, there are still good reasons to want to live here for many people), it should be said that the tax bullshit really is onerous, and renunciation would be expensive. It is like the US congress has built a financial Berlin wall around the country ... sure, you're free to leave, if you can pay up (and pay for expensive tax preparers who specialize in filing US taxes for expats, as the forms are by no means easy), but good luck ever getting out from under our thumb.

It's not an easy question to answer, and as someone else suggested, I would involve your 16 or 17-year old child in the decision beforehand, with good financial and legal advice on the implications pro and con. Weighing the option of living here vs. the never-ending IRS headaches of living abroad--that's a tough one.

Comment: Re:Ah, come one, don't we trust the Feds? (Score 1) 80

Now ... imagine that there were at least three stories a day about people being killed by malfunctioning Toyotas and then we found out that Toyota was using its onboard electronics to record everything everybody who rides in them is saying, to be used against them in the future, and remotely detonating a few of them every few days. Most people still get from point A to point B, but still a bunch of people are getting killed because they own a Toyota.

A car analogy, eh? Alright then, try this one on for size:

Let's pretend the company in your analogy were Mitsubishi instead of Toyota. Mitsubishi is a huge conglomerate that makes bunches of different things; automobile manufacturing is only about 10% (by revenue) of what it does.

We'll continue to imagine that Mitsubishi Automotive is still doing all the nefarious things listed above -- being really, really pissed off at Mitsubishi Automotive would still be perfectly valid.

There's also a division of Mitsubishi that makes pharmaceuticals (Kyowa Kirin). Let's imagine for a moment that Kyowa Kirin does something really great -- maybe it makes revolutionary vaccines that cure all the worst diseases, and then distributes them worldwide for free, for example.

Would you also be justified in being pissed off at Kyowa Kirin for Mitsubishi Automotive's actions, even though Kyowa Kirin had no control over them and the work it was doing itself was valuable, just because they had the same corporate ownership? Of course not!

And condemning the FCC just because the US Marshals fucked up makes just as little sense.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 344

by ultranova (#49190735) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

The engineers should have put the brakes to any construction efforts taking place in those locations, based on that fact alone.

They can't. The spirit of the organization employing them does not let them. Their role is to implement the decisions of the leadership and rationalize them. Conforming to their role earns them social capital, and going against costs it. And they can't possibly earn that capital fast enough to pay for keeping a plant blocked for long.

Comment: Re:Is it better than Tom Clancy's Net Force? (Score 1) 131

by mrchaotica (#49190423) Attached to: A Critical Look At CSI: Cyber

I liked netforce series a lot. It was a cool idea of what-might-be and I really hope it materializes. The way I understood VR simulaitons is they were just UI, the semi-inteligent software was doing work. But instead of staring at a console as we do, he got to play interactive 'game'. Which is kinda cool when you think about it.

Remember that scene from Jurassic Park where the little girl said "It's a UNIX system! I know this!" and proceeded to ssslloooowwwlllyyy fix the system using FSN instead of a reasonable interface? That's how that VR shit would turn out if you actually tried to do it.

Having a computer is all about being able to use the right tool for the job... and VR is very rarely the right tool.

Comment: Re:Lots of weird crap coming out of Congress latel (Score 1) 422

by mrchaotica (#49190059) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

That is only true if the EPA is relying on faulty science that cannot survive the scientific method.

Science is not "faulty" just because its hypotheses are difficult to test or take a long time to test... but opponents of regulation would argue it is (and courts, being made of lawyers instead of scientists, would treat such claims as plausible). That's the problem!

These bills are about subverting the scientific method into a political excuse to destroy all environmental regulations -- period.

Comment: Re:Alternate Bank of Canada Press Release (Score 1) 217

by mrchaotica (#49189787) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

You'll have a hard time proving in a court that you made a reasonable attempt to pay.

Theft is a criminal offense, so the burden is on the prosecution to prove that you failed to make a reasonable attempt to pay. And there's nothing stopping the defense from simply putting the waiter on the witness stand and asking "did the defendant attempt to give you cash in payment?" Unless said waiter perjures himself, I have a hard time seeing how the alleged-thief could possibly be found guilty.

Comment: Re:I have said it before (Score 1) 344

by ultranova (#49189779) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

Coal with CCS is about the same price.

CCS - Carbon Capture and Sequestration? I wonder if you could drive the price down by keeping the carbon dioxide gaseous and feeding it to nearby greenhouses - possibly through a simple pipe. Heck, if you used the greenhouse products as biofuel in the plant you could create a completely closed loop :).

Build a system that even a fool can use and only a fool will want to use it.

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