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Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 698

by Ichijo (#49479605) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

At the local level [churches are] exempt from property taxes.

So they don't have to pay for street lights, sidewalk repair, police and fire protection, things like that. That's one good reason to replace property taxes with fees. (Another is to prevent property taxes from causing financial hardship for people on fixed incomes.)

Comment: Re:Gaming the system (Score 1) 75

by Ichijo (#49443417) Attached to: FTC Creates Office Dedicated To "Algorithmic Transparency"

Maybe a full analysis was done and a round number close to the optimal number was selected.

That also happens to be a power of 10? There's only a 1 in 10 chance of that happening in real life, so that's not likely.

On the other hand why mandate when a number has to be reexamined? If inflation is low it could be quite a while before needed.

Someday the number will need to be raised, so why not plan for the inevitable?

Comment: Re:Gaming the system (Score 1) 75

by Ichijo (#49442553) Attached to: FTC Creates Office Dedicated To "Algorithmic Transparency"

Round numbers are easy to remember and deal with.

That's true, but other than criminals, who needs to memorize how much a person can deposit before it gets reported?

[The number is too low] When too many transactions get reported and the investigation teams get swamped.

That's an objective metric, certainly better than picking a number out of thin air as the first one appears to have been. Maybe they should write that into the law and also that the number must be re-determined periodically so it's never too high nor too low.

Comment: Re:Gaming the system (Score 1) 75

by Ichijo (#49441883) Attached to: FTC Creates Office Dedicated To "Algorithmic Transparency"

What's so magical about the $10,000 number?

Laws have to be black and white.

That still doesn't explain why $10,000 is a better number than $9,999 or $10,001. The fact that it's a suspiciously round number suggests negligence on the part of whoever wrote the law.

If inflation causes the number to be too low they can change the law.

How would you know whether the number is too low? Why wasn't that same mechanism used to help write the law long ago when the cost of making changes to the law was much lower?

Lets not go too far into this specific case. It is just an example of how knowing an algorithm can facilitate gaming the system.

You're partially correct. It's an example of how knowing a poorly designed algorithm can facilitate gaming the system.

Comment: Re:Gaming the system (Score 1) 75

by Ichijo (#49441433) Attached to: FTC Creates Office Dedicated To "Algorithmic Transparency"

When you find people gaming the system and the results of that are undesirable, isn't that a good time to refine your algorithm?

What's so magical about the $10,000 number? Why not $9,999, or $10,001? Should it be indexed to inflation? Did someone pull that number out of thin air, and if so, is that a responsible way to write laws?

Comment: Is a non-neutral net the symptom or the disease? (Score 4, Insightful) 489

by Ichijo (#49440449) Attached to: Reason: How To Break the Internet (in a Bad Way)

If lack of competition is the disease and we use regulation to mask the symptoms, won't we end up with more regulation while the disease persists?

"Whenever faced with a problem, some people say `Lets use regulation.'
Now, they have two problems."
(With apologies to D. Tilbrook)

Comment: Re:Defense was never arguing innocence (Score 1) 250

by Ichijo (#49432339) Attached to: Verdict Reached In Boston Bombing Trial

And sentencing could be completed on day two if the purpose of justice were rehabilitation and not revenge (which legal types call "retribution"), because everyone who commits a violent crime would get the same sentence: banishment from society until the person is no longer a danger to others.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson

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