Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Pentagon Credit Union Database Compromised 108

Trailrunner7 writes "The credit union used by members of the US armed forces and their families has admitted that a laptop infected with malware.was used to access a database containing the personal and financial information of customers. The Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) issued a statement to the New Hampshire Attorney General that said data, including the names, addresses, Social Security Numbers and PenFed banking and credit card account information of its members were accessed by the infected PC."

YouTube Legally Considered a TV Station In Italy 254

orzetto writes "Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that YouTube and similar websites based on user-generated content will be considered TV stations (Google translation of Italian original) in Italian law, and will be subject to the same obligations. Among these, a small tax (500 €), the obligation to publish corrections within 48 hours upon request of people who consider themselves slandered by published content, and the obligation not to broadcast content inappropriate for children in certain time slots. The main change, though, is that YouTube and similar sites will be legally responsible for all published content as long as they have any form (even if automated) of editorial control. The main reason for this is probably that it will force YouTube to assume editorial responsibility for all published content, which facilitates the ongoing € 500M lawsuit of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi against YouTube because of content copyrighted by Berlusconi's TV networks that some users uploaded on YouTube. Berlusconi's Spanish TV station, TeleCinco, was previously defeated in court on the grounds that YouTube is not a content provider."

Comment Re:I have to deal with this all the time.... (Score 1) 945

As a liberal, I can play this argument too: It starts with short-term tax cuts to stimulate spending after a recession. Then later on the short-term has become a decade and then permanent.

And as a Liberal you ignore inconvenient facts. Facts such as the origin of the income tax and how it has not always been around. Or how it was originally passed by liberals as a "soak the rich" amendment (class warfare at its finest) that eventually was being payed by everyone and included a 25% starting bracket within 20 years of its passage. Or shall we look at Social Security, which has been expanded to included people over the years who were never supposed to have been covered under the original scheme. Or Medicaid, which last year cost over $700 billion more than the Medicaid tax brought in. So yes, you do work incrementally.

The Military

Sarah Palin 'Target WikiLeaks Like Taliban' 1425

DMandPenfold writes "Sarah Palin, who is widely tipped as a possible Republican candidate for president in 2012, has said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be hunted down in the way armed forces are targeting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda." So that means we should spend billions of dollars and not catch him? Good plan.

Comment Re:indirect taxes are important (Score 1) 377

That's so typically american - whenever I buy something, I'm expected to look and see if I paid tax. Then I'm supposed to put aside a percentage of that, then declare it and pay it in my tax return. Seems insane to me.

And typically European, both apathetic and completely misunderstanding. If you do not buy it from a physical store, the store charges the tax and you do not even need to look. It is only for online ordering and mail order that you need to even consider it.

In Europe, I can buy something in any country in the union, tax is paid there and then and I can take my item home with me with no further duties or taxes. The same goes if I buy online from any country in the union.

In the US, you can do the same with the exception of internet/mail ordering. Quit trying to make this seem harder than it really is.

It's one of the things I hate about visiting the US - what you see is NOT what you pay. I'm used to seeing a price on a shelf, taking the item to the till and giving them the amount of money that the price on the shelf said I would have to.

So you dislike the tax system that actually lets you see how much the government is charging you for the purchase. And apparently averse to any change in that.

It's one of the reasons European visitors don't tip too well over there - we just got surprised with the bill being more than we were expecting until we get used to it, now you want MORE ? :p

And here you're just being an ass, regardless of it being true or not.

Comment Re:Relevance (Score 1) 377

A Use Tax is basically a Sales Tax. A VAT is something slightly different, but with major effects. A Use/Sales tax is a tax levied on the final price of an item. A VAT is levied every time the item is transferred/incorporated all the way up the production chain. For example, the raw materials used in a capacitor placed on a mother board used in a computer. In a sales tax, the final cost of the computer is taxed. Under VAT, there is a tax applied on the price increase at each stage of sale. If you're talking something produced and sold entirely in country, there is no difference. However, anything that is produced outside of the country is not taxed under VAT but is effectively taxed user a sales tax. For items sold outside of the country, the reverse is true. This basically has the end effect of a sales tax treating imports and domestic production equally which a VAT gives a penalty to domestically produced goods for goods sold in country.

Comment Re:indirect taxes are important (Score 1) 377

You ever look at your annual state income tax form? Most, if not all, have a line item from goods ordered from outside the state such as through mail order catalogs or the internet. If you didn't pay state sales tax on it when you bought it, you are supposed to pay a Use Tax on it. So, Tax Holiday? Not so much. Just a matter of people not paying the taxes.
The Almighty Buck

Every Day's a Tax Holiday At Amazon 377

theodp writes "With Black Friday here, Slate's Farhad Manjoo reminds readers of how undersells Best Buy, the Apple store, and almost everybody else. Read his lips: no sales taxes. Unless you live in KS, KY, NY, ND, or WA, you'll pay no sales tax on many purchases from Amazon, giving Amazon a huge — and largely hidden — price advantage over most other national retailers. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is certainly no fan of taxes — he explored founding Amazon on an Indian reservation, and recently ponied up $100,000 to defeat a proposed WA state income tax, a good investment for someone who's cashed in close to $800,000,000 in Amazon stock this year alone. So, is Amazon's tax-free status unfair? Of course it is, says Manjoo. Amazon has physical operations in 17 states in which the company and its employees enjoy the fruits of local taxes — police and fire protection, roads, hospitals, and other infrastructure that make its operations possible. Yet Amazon skirts tax collection in most of these places through clever legal tricks."

Making Airport Scanners Less Objectionable 681

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that one of the researchers who helped develop the software for the scanners says there is a simple fix that would make scanning less objectionable. The fix would distort the images captured on full-body scanners so they look like reflections in a fun-house mirror, but any potentially dangerous objects would be clearly revealed, says Willard 'Bill' Wattenburg, a former nuclear weapons designer at the Livermore lab. 'Why not just distort the image into something grotesque so that there isn't anything titillating or exciting about it?' asks Wattenburg, adding that the modification is so simple that 'a 6-year-old could do the same thing with Photoshop... It's probably a few weeks' modification of the program.' Wattenburg said he was rebuffed when he offered the concept to Department of Homeland Security officials four years ago. A TSA official said the agency is working on development of scanner technology that would reduce the image to a 'generic icon, a generic stick figure' that would still reveal potentially dangerous items." Reader FleaPlus points out an unintended consequence: some transportation economists believe that the TSA's new invasive techniques may lead to more deaths as more people use road transportation to avoid flying — much more dangerous by the mile than air travel.

Windows Cluster Hits a Petaflop, But Linux Retains Top-5 Spot 229

Twice a year, publishes a list of supercomputing benchmarks from sites around the world; the new results are in. Reader jbrodkin writes "Microsoft says a Windows-based supercomputer has broken the petaflop speed barrier, but the achievement is not being recognized by the group that tracks the world's fastest supercomputers, because the same machine was able to achieve higher speeds using Linux. The Tokyo-based Tsubame 2.0 computer, which uses both Windows and Linux, was ranked fourth in the world in the latest Top 500 supercomputers list. While the computer broke a petaflop with both operating systems, it achieved a faster score with Linux, denying Microsoft its first official petaflop ranking." Also in Top-500 news, reader symbolset writes with word that "the Chinese Tianhe-1A system at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin takes the top spot with 2.57 petaflops. Although the US has long held a dominant position in the list things now seem to be shifting, with two of the top spots held by China, one by Japan, and one by the US. In the Operating System Family category Linux continues to consolidate its supercomputing near-monopoly with 91.8% of the systems — up from 91%. High Performance Computing has come a long way quickly. When the list started as a top-10 list in June of 1993 the least powerful system on the list was a Cray Y-MP C916/16526 with 16 cores driving 13.7 RMAX GFLOP/s. This is roughly the performance of a single midrange laptop today."

White House Edited Oil Drilling Safety Report 368

bonch writes "The Interior Department inspector general has released a report stating that the White House edited a drilling safety report by reordering paragraphs to make it appear as though a seven-member panel of independent experts supported the six-month ban on offshore drilling. The IG report states, 'The White House edit of the original DOI draft executive summary led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer-reviewed by the experts,' but the panel had only reviewed a draft of safety recommendations and not a drilling ban. The White House has issued a statement saying that there was 'no intentional misrepresentation of their views.' This follows complaints from scientists and environmentalists that the administration has not been holding to its promise of policy guided by science and not ideology."

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.