Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Non Tax Based?!? (Score 5, Interesting) 88

by Bob9113 (#47955625) Attached to: Is Google's Non-Tax Based Public School Funding Cause For Celebration?

So, is Google's non-tax based public school funding

They pay billions in profits to an empty office in the Carribbean so they don't have to pay taxes, and give a small portion of that money back through school funding, and take that as a tax deduction.

In the process, they get enormous influence over the educational agenda. It is largely in a direction Slashdotters can agree with, but imagine it was a church doing this.

Like Al Capone giving some of his money to the Chicago slums, it may be better than if they weren't doing it, but it hardly gets Google out of the crooked, lobbying megacorp set.

Comment: Re:Is there a single field that doesn't? (Score 1) 458

by Bob9113 (#47947563) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

That this is a widespread social problem and not something restricted to just the nerdy professions. Project much?

That's what I was trying to figure out how to say. Thanks for being more eloquent than I. Though, at the same time, there is the issue of the scare quotes around the word "problem" in the OP's post.

I think that while your statement about this problem not being isolated to nerd communities is dead-on and an important point, I also think it is reasonable to interpret OP's post in the way Jawnn did.

And, perhaps most importantly, it seems like the adversarial thing (yours and Jawnn's) isn't going to help any of this. It's not going to help Jawnn understand that nerds aren't the bad guys (though there are bad guys among nerds), and it won't help Rinikusu (OP) accept that there is a problem overall.

Feminists and nerds should be working together. Nerds have been subject to prejudicial sterotyping, too. That should (and I think does) make us more understanding of the problem, not less. Instead of sniping at each other, let's bury our hatchets and work the problem.

Comment: Study Questions (Score 5, Informative) 458

by Bob9113 (#47947279) Attached to: Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

Phrasing of the questions in a survey is important to fully understanding the problem that is being examined. Here are the study questions. Two of the most relevant questions are these:

32. Have you ever personally experienced inappropriate or sexual remarks, comments about physical beauty, cognitive sex differences, or other jokes, at an anthropological field site?

39. Have you ever experienced physical sexual harassment, unwanted sexual contact, or sexual contact in which you could not or did not give consent or felt it would be unsafe to fight back or not give your consent at an anthropological field site?

The PLOS ONE document itself is very thorough, and worth reading through to more fully understand the issue.

Comment: Re:Rather than address the underlying problem (Score 1) 324

by Bob9113 (#47922443) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

How do you know what the growth rate in the 50s and 60s would have been had the tax rates in the US been lower?

I only deal in empirical evidence. The warnings about higher taxes killing GDP growth are demonstrably false by comparing observed results over the past 70 years.

What's that about being ignorant?

Imagining things that might have been does not count as presenting evidence.

Comment: Re:Rather than address the underlying problem (Score 1) 324

by Bob9113 (#47922393) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

It is stupid if you are paying credit card rates. The US government pays insanely low interest rates and a few times, they've been negative! If someone pays you to borrow money, you'd be stupid not to take it.

The problem is that those interest rates change; our debt is revolving. When the interest rates go up, we're going to have to have to pay down the debt while our interest nut is climbing. So either we'll be showing a higher risk of default or we'll devalue the dollar; either way, the interest will climb even more. This has been repeated dozens of times in history. Every time a country has tried it, with the possible exception of Japan right now, it has ended badly. And most economists think that in Japan is about to hit the wall -- they're going to be our canary in the coalmine.

Comment: Re:Rather than address the underlying problem (Score 1) 324

by Bob9113 (#47922349) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

Really? Doesn't seem that that far out of line.

Really? You're not very good at math. Average from 1950 - 1969: 17%. Average over the past five years: 15.22%. (17 - 15.22) / 15.22 = 11.69%. Twelve percent higher seems like a lot to me.

Now taxation per capita, adjusted for inflation, is way up.

So is income, which is why I, and the chart you linked to, and anyone who understands economics, uses percentage of GDP.

And spending is even growing faster...

By all means, cut spending. I'm all for it. Until we get there, though, we can't just not pay our bills.

Comment: Re:Rather than address the underlying problem (Score 0) 324

by Bob9113 (#47920131) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

instead of trying to preserve the high tax state?

Historically low total tax as a percentage of GDP in a very long time. Lower than most of the first world. What high tax state are you talking about? 'Cuz it's clearly not the US.

And, we are running a gigantic deficit. We have to pay our bills, because paying the interest on credit cards is stupid, period. So, cut spending, then we can bring taxes back down to the current level.

And may I repeat: Historically low total tax as a percentage of GDP. Far lower than during the 50's and 60's, when we experienced the fastest sustained GDP growth rate of any first world country *ever*. So any Laffer Curve argument you want to make would just make you sound ignorant.

Comment: False Headline (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by Bob9113 (#47919563) Attached to: Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails,

No he didn't.

Apple previously said that even it can't access iMessage and FaceTime communications, stating that such messages and calls are not held in an "identifiable form." [Cook] claimed if the government "laid a subpoena," then Apple "can't provide it." He said, bluntly: "We don't have a key... the door is closed." He reiterated previous comments, whereby Apple has said it is not in the business of collecting people's data. He said: "When we design a new service, we try not to collect data. We're not reading your email."

He said they cannot read iMessage and FaceTime, and they are not reading your email. That is a very important distinction. It might be one he was hoping you would miss, and you did miss it, but he did not say they can't access your email.

And I'm not blowing sunshine up his skirt. I came here intending to kick him in the balls (metaphorically, of course) for lying, but he didn't.

Pro-tip: If any system includes a password recovery mechanism that allows you to get back messages, then the administrator of the password recovery system can read your back messages.

Comment: You Want to Help? Paid Development (Score 2) 54

by Bob9113 (#47917193) Attached to: Industry-Based ToDo Alliance Wants To Guide FOSS Development

"an open group of companies who run open source programs" who are seeking to "committed to working together in order to overcome" the challenges of using FOSS

If the megacorps want to get involved in the advancement of FOSS, they have an incredibly clear path to do so: Paid Development. They can fund it themselves, if they want to decide what gets built next. Or, to get a little creative, how about this: Put together some training materials for corporate legal departments explaining that companies can legally, safely, contribute code developed on company time back to FOSS projects. Put together a promotional campaign to convince corporate bean counters that contributing code back to FOSS is a worthwhile investement of company resources.

In short; help channel money into FOSS, either directly or by clearing the red tape that keeps us from creating and kicking back enhancements built for the benefit of our companies. Hey, maybe lobby congress for a tax write-off for code contributions to 501c3s.

Developers contribute to FOSS by giving of their greatest strength, development. If megacorps want to help, they should give of their greatest strengths; money and bureaucracy.

(and yes, I know, they think telling people what to do is their greatest strength, but they've got another think coming when it comes to telling FOSS developers what to do)

Comment: Because William Binney and Thomas Drake (Score 5, Informative) 200

by Bob9113 (#47907717) Attached to: New Details About NSA's Exhaustive Search of Edward Snowden's Emails

In 2001, William Binney, an NSA investigator, began blowing the whistle on NSA warrantless surveillance. He went through official channels to his superiors, then to Congress, then to the major media. He was harrassed and prosecuted by the government, and ignored and maginalized by the major media. He has kept at it for the past thirteen years.

In 2010, Thomas Drake started blowing the whistle. He was also prosecuted, harrassed, ignored, and marginalized.

In 2011, Ron Wyden began warning the public about the secret interpretation of the PATRIOT Act, as loudly as he could without violating his clearance to be on the Intelligence Committee. The major media ignored him.

In 2013, when Snowden released his docs, the major media finally started listening to Binney, Drake, and Wyden. The establishment's treatment of Binney, Drake, and Wyden is why Snowden had to follow the path he did.

The President of the United States has said that these programs should change. Programs that Binney, Drake, and Wyden tried to warn us about through official channels. Programs that we still would not know about if Snowden had gone through official channels.

Comment: Classrooms Are A Bug, Not a Feature (Score 1) 182

by Bob9113 (#47905817) Attached to: Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

Education? ... Yes! Why it's great for education! In fact, it's the future of the classroom! And don't forget, Oculus Rift is both a floor wax and a dessert topping!

But seriously:

And if we can make virtual reality every bit as good as real reality in terms of communications and the sense of shared presence with others, you can now educate people in virtual classrooms, you can now educate people with virtual objects, and we can all be in a classroom together [virtually], we can all be present, we can have relationships and communication that are just as good as the real classroom

Classroom teaching is a bug, not a feature. It is a side effect of the fact that our earholes and eyeballs are connected to our skulls, and until recently we had to put them in the same meatspace where the teacher was talking and showing pictures. Once you step into the no-physical-presence-required realm of using a VR headset, you can release the restrictions imposed by the simultaneous physical presence requirement.

One simple example: Lecture halls, with their tiered seating -- those are designed that way because we can't see through each other, not because it is better to be sixty feet away and at a thirty degree angle from the teacher.

And how about discussions? Hierarchical, collaboratively moderated, store-and-forward discussion threads are much better than "realtime whoever gets the teacher's attention before the bell rings." We've been using the latter because that's the best we had for thousands of years.

Comment: Re:Spurious Claim (Score 1) 230

by Bob9113 (#47903099) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

It certainly less risky than walking around the streets with huge money clip

Did you not even read the links about Home Depot, Supervalu, and Albertson's? It is not certainly less risky. For example, it is more risky if you live in an area that has very little threat of mugging, or if you are perceived as a bad target for muggers. I generally have a few hundred dollars in my pocket, and have never been mugged; but my card is for sale on the Russian markets right now because I used Home Depot.

You are as stubbornly ignorant as people who say self-driving cars will automatically be safer. Computers aren't magically endowed with perfection. Believe me; I'm a software engineer, and I've seen some really heinous bugs. I'm not saying electronic payments (or autonomous vehicles) are bad -- I'm saying software and networks have risks just like meatware and meatspace.

Comment: Re:just prepay for food (Score 0) 230

by Bob9113 (#47902809) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

in my kid's school in the USA the only way to pay for school lunch is to send a check once a month... no tracking

Interesting difference, there. There must be tracking in your kid's school's system, otherwise they wouldn't know who paid for lunch, but the tracking data probably doesn't get appropriated by an outside company. Presumably, this biometric company is not just making a buck on the scanners, software, and cloud-based management contract -- presumably they also have a plan for monetizing the data they are collecting about the kids.

Comment: Spurious Claim (Score 1) 230

by Bob9113 (#47902755) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

The benefits are that pupils are less likely to lose [money stored in the fingerprint system than money carried in their pockets]

That is a spurious claim. The security on money stored in pockets and exchanged by physical transfer of a monetary token is fallible, but so is the security on the cafeteria electronic wallet system. Home Depot, Supervalu, and Albertson's are very recent examples of major compromises, and the number of small scale compromises is enormous.

Fingerprints can be faked, networks can be cracked, databases can crash. Merely moving from physical currency to electronic currency does not make it more secure -- just ask Mt. Gox.

Comment: Re:define "customer" (Score 1) 290

by Bob9113 (#47888457) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

from what i understand of the definition of "customer", a "customer" means "someone who is paying for a service". here, there's no payment involved, therefore there is no contract of sale.

The correct legal term for payment is, "consideration." The user's relationship with Gmail does involve payment in the form of consideration, and they are customers.

As a counter-example; if you download Free Software, or Open Source Software, and use it without making any promises to the developer, you are not a customer. Possibly if Gmail had no ToS or AUP, they could argue that their users gave no consideration. I'd be interested to see that argued.

The Tao doesn't take sides; it gives birth to both wins and losses. The Guru doesn't take sides; she welcomes both hackers and lusers.

Working...