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Comment: Re:Sitting on the floor? (Score -1, Troll) 180

by rjstanford (#47697555) Attached to: Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

I have both MIUI and iOS devices and can confidently say they are very different to use. MIUI is incredibly clever and intuitive, truly thoughtful touches like a zoom bubble when you're editing text pervade the whole UI. iOS feels quite dated and primitive by comparison.

Only on /. does one of the few on-topic posts in a thread get modded -1, Offtopic.

Comment: IVR Features (Score 0) 180

by rjstanford (#47697543) Attached to: Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS

Maybe I've missed them domestically, but I think that the IVR synchronization may be as useful and as game-changing in some ways as Visual Voicemail was for the original iPhone. Its a great way to mirror digital presentment with traditional capabilities.

Having said that, yeah the overall theme is totally iOS derived.

Comment: Re:Automate it (Score 1) 228

by rjstanford (#47629205) Attached to: What Do You Do When Your Mind-Numbing IT Job Should Be Automated?

I don't need to maintain my scripts, they work the first time. No fires to put out. No one offs.
I am not lazy or incompetent. My stuff actually works too well.
I do fear automating myself out of work.

Wow, it must be interesting to work in an environment where your inputs, outputs, environment, and processing requirements never change.

Comment: Re:1080 is 1080 (Score 2) 286

That's arguable. Pretty much all AAA games render some stuff (shadows, particle effects, etc...) at half or quarter resolution. Where do you draw the line between what's native resolution or not?

Well, having 0% of the content as native resolution being "not" might be a good place to start that most people could agree on.

Comment: Re:FaceTime (Score 1) 194

by rjstanford (#47595293) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

Mainly because FaceTime "just works" whereas Google Hangouts still to this day has "issues" wherein there'll be audio without video, weird disconnects, etc. For non-technical users FaceTime is a simple one-click solution that's the closest thing we have to the "video phone" of the future as shown in the past.

Comment: Re:USB DACs (Score 2) 502

There's no need to spend that much. A lot of motherboards have S/PDIF outputs, and with a good coax/TOSLINK DAC (like the ~$40 FiiO D3), pristine noise-free stereo sound is both easier and cheaper than buying an expensive sound card.

Or even with a cheap shitty coax cable like the one that you got for free in your wheaties 20 years ago to connect your VCR to your TV. Its a digital signal after all - communication either works or it doesn't.

Comment: Re: Identity Theft (Score 1) 74

by rjstanford (#47409581) Attached to: Blue Shield Leaks 18,000 Doctors' Social Security Numbers

Well, yes and no. Its a good thing "in theory" but turns out to be dreadfully inconvenient in practice, just as having an official registered address is a bad thing "in theory" but turns out to be totally reasonable in practice. Its not as you haven't already provided an address to various government agencies for your drivers license, income tax, etc...

Comment: Re: Not such a big problem (Score 1) 74

by rjstanford (#47409555) Attached to: Blue Shield Leaks 18,000 Doctors' Social Security Numbers

I knew an ObGyn who retired shortly after being sued for $BIGNUM for delivering a baby with a clubfoot - a genetic defect. His insurance company refused to fight and wanted to settle for $MEDIUMNUM instead. Thing is, they would then raise his rates significantly. If he chose to fight the case in court and lost, they wouldn't cover any damages since they'd offered to settle it for him. Heads they win, tails you lose.

Comment: Auditable logs? (Score 1) 139

by rjstanford (#47402693) Attached to: Uber Is Now Cheaper Than a New York City Taxi

One thing that you get from taxis that you don't get from Uber (or clones) is an assurance that the rates will be metered fairly.

I use Uber Black whenever its available because I trust the company and I enjoy the product. That doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge the need for some regulation in the taxi market. We tried going all gypsy before and it didn't work very well - hell, DC was annoying until just a few years ago with random pricing.

Uber could choose to work with the cities and go in offering full (anonymous, 1 week delayed) logs of all trips with pricing information. Any city inspector could take a trip and then compare his calculations to his receipt and, when it appeared publicly, the log records. There are many things they could do in fact if they weren't intent on being assholes and pretending that all regulations were dumb.

Hell, pre-negotiated pricing through the app with an add-on congestion charge would also work around many of the complaints.

The worst part about this is that this weird obsession with the Lyft market may well bring down the wonderful, "traditional" Uber Black service. And that would be a shame.

Comment: Re:They are not a charity (Score 1) 228

by rjstanford (#47368041) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

Trivial. Open source serves all. So find some "certified disadvantaged group(s)" that happens to use the software. Then say you do this specifically for them. Some church uses the sw? Research group? Homeless shelter? . . .

You could start by showing evidence of significant donor activity from non-users of the software. One of the biggest requirements is that an organization wishing to give tax benefits to its donors should be shown to not be significantly serving the donor base. The fair market value of any benefits received by donors in exchange for their donations (even if not done as a 1:1 swap but more of a "nudge, nudge, y'all donate and we'll write software that you can have but we'll give some away too," basis must also be deducted from their donation for tax purposes.

Comment: Re:Yes, maybe... (Score 1) 228

by rjstanford (#47367979) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

Suppose that I give a group money to house homeless people so that they don't have to huddle around my air vents in the winter. Does that then make the homeless support group a commercial entity?

No, but if you read the IRS letter itself, in this case it would be more like you giving a group money and in return they gave you (and others) a place to sleep. If that's how they operate then they'd be declined 501(c)(3) status also - while they would be able to claim a deduction for the resources they spent giving strangers beds, you would not be able to deduct the amount that you "paid" for a place to sleep, even if they called it a donation and were known as The Hilton Foundation.

The whole thrust of the IRS's decision was that the Yorba was not sufficiently distinguishable from a for-profit software company.

Comment: Re:Yes, maybe... (Score 1) 228

by rjstanford (#47367959) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

That's really no different than a wealthy benefactor having some controlling interest in large a charitable endeavour like funding the building a hospital, which then will benefit the donor and the rest of the public. I think it's generally accepted that money can be given to charities "with strings attached", so long as the outcome is within the mission of that charitable organization.

And the Fair Market Value of those strings - often zero in the case of having a building named after you, non-zero in the case of getting a free operation - will be deducted from the amount of the donation that you're eligible to claim against your income when its time to file your taxes. Its almost as if they thought of that.

Comment: Re:ah (Score 1) 228

by rjstanford (#47367941) Attached to: The New 501(c)(3) and the Future of Open Source In the US

It is obvious he needs someone to wrangle the correct result out of them.

I still haven't actually seen any evidence from him that this isn't the correct result. In what way do you see him behaving as a charitable organization? Why does everyone assume that the IRS's decision is automatically incorrect because "open source"?

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder