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Comment: Re:What a shame (Score 1) 147

by Qzukk (#46762081) Attached to: Snowden Used the Linux Distro Designed For Internet Anonymity

Just like a malicious client can suck data out of a vulnerable server, the same can work in reverse, though clients tend not to keep an SSL connection open any longer than they need to (unless, it's IMAPS or FTPS or chat or some other application with persistent connections).

If you suck the private key out of a bank webserver's RAM, then perform a MITM attack on the bank users using the bank's own certificate, not only can you get their bank credentials (by them filling in the form and sending it to you), depending on the browser you may or may not be able to suck up other accounts from them (eg user logs into a credit card company site to see their bill, then logs into your fake bank to see if they can pay it).

Comment: Re:Greedy bastards ... (Score 1) 364

by mrchaotica (#46761427) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

First: No, I don't think political parties should be protected by the First Amendment if they are organized as limited-liability corporations (C-corps, S-corps, LLCs, etc. -- unencorporated partnerships, on the other hand, are just fine).

Second: Political parties are, in general, a cancer and government recognition of them should be abolished. Closed primaries, faction-based voting and Gerrymandering are all violations of democratic principles caused by the existence of political parties, and the extremism & gridlock in Congress is an excellent example of the harm that results.

Third: Nothing I've said would in any way whatsoever harm like-minded people's ability to get together and advocate some political ideology. Said group neither needs nor deserves special recognition under the law that is not afforded to individuals, however!

Comment: Re:Subtle attack against C/C++ (Score 1) 161

by Qzukk (#46761237) Attached to: The Security of Popular Programming Languages

std::containers don't need to store their size as a separate variable

C strings don't either. It's the protocol that said "hey, rather than null terminating strings, let's put a length byte like Turbo Pascal never went out of style!"

The fun thing is that that design decision has lead to an entire CLASS of SSL bugs (in all stacks, not just openSSL) eg invalid certs validating because of a null byte in the Common Name. And heartbleed was just one more in that heap.

Comment: Re:base it around my OS (Score 2) 363

by mrchaotica (#46757789) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Now, missing a deduction or forgetting to include income is a completely different thing. However, you should print out your 1040 at the end anyway and check through it for just those kind of issues.

Exactly - and there's no real way to understand which deductions you might be eligible for without going through the instructions yourself. Otherwise you get to (for example) Line 50 and say "retirement savings credit? what's that?" and then have to go read the instructions anyway.

Not to mention H&R Block made me pick between married/joint or married/separate at the beginning of the process, whereas when I did the calculations with a spreadsheet I could just change that input and see my tax calculated both ways (because either could be better depending on circumstances). H&R Block was able to figure out whether I should take the standard deduction or not; it should have been able to do the same for filing status.

Comment: Re:Effective Tax Rate (Score 1) 363

by mrchaotica (#46757681) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

My effective tax rate was about 1%. It would have been more like 10%, but the Saver's Credit canceled out my entire liability except for the Self-Employment tax. But the best part is that means I got some Roth IRA contributions in that are completely tax-free instead of having only tax-free gains.

If I'm really lucky -- if all my (and my wife's) income is W-2 and and I'm able to keep the AGI low enough through retirement contributions -- then I might get to 0% in 2014!

Comment: Re:Paper and US Postal Service (Score 1) 363

by mrchaotica (#46757507) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I had a (full) 1040, Schedule C-EZ, Schedule SE, Form 8880, and a Schedule A (that I ended up not using because the standard deduction ended up higher) and it wasn't that big a deal to do the calculations by spreadsheet. Granted, I'm not running a business that has employees or inventory and I don't have rental property (yet), but as long as I have experience doing my simpler taxes in previous years I see no reason why I can't learn to do the more complicated ones as the issues arise.

Comment: Re:base it around my OS (Score 3, Insightful) 363

by mrchaotica (#46757381) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I don't trust tax software, so I did all my calculations using the 1040 instructions and a spreadsheet. Then I put the info back into H&R Block Online (so that I could e-file federal and state for free) and checked the PDF output against my calculations before submitting the return.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I think that's the only safe way to use tax software.

Comment: Re:base it around my OS (Score 1) 363

by mrchaotica (#46757315) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I actually prefer doing my taxes "by hand" (i.e., using Fillable Forms and e-filing) but it's unreasonable to do so because my state doesn't have a similar system and then I'd have to mail paper. Instead, I ended up using H&R block because it was free for both Federal and state (given my age and income).

Comment: Re:That micro-floppy (Score 2) 263

Nobody saw the USB flask coming until it was upon us - let alone it's more recent offspring like the MicroSD.

I seem to remember CompactFlash cards being reasonably common before USB flash drives showed up.

I think the progression was something like: PCMCIA->CF->MMC->SD, and USB Flash (and other stuff like Sony's MemoryStick) branched off around the same time as MMC.

"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football." -- Chuck Newcombe