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Comment: Re:$7142.85 (Score 2) 315

by SydShamino (#47559027) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

A few laptops gets there.

The scam works better with a large purchase. Banks routinely deny transaction over some amount, forcing the retailer to call for an override code. Apparently the denial for "bad account" look identical to the one for "valid account, but that amount is high so give us a call, okay?"

If his card was denied for a $500 purchase, he'd need to convince the retailer that it was a bug in the system, not just a routine check for a large purchase.

Comment: Re:Ban caffeine! (Score 1) 474

I agree with the definition of pot as a gateway drug only because it is mostly harmless but illegal. Anyone taking it is already breaking the law, so why not do so with something else?

Having the law aligned with risk breaks the "gateway" argument; I agree with you that caffeine and alcohol etc. called gateways is ridiculous.

Comment: Re:Completly Blindsided. (Score 1) 285

by SydShamino (#47503487) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

From the article, it sounds like CVUSD isn't an independent organization. The school districts where you live might be structured differently, so this might not be apparent to you.

In Texas, school districts are independent entities (ISDs) with their own taxing authority. The ISD owns the land and runs the schools. Board members are elected.

In Louisiana, where I lived for a while a long time ago, the parishes run the schools. There's a school board, whose members are IIRC appointed by the county commissioners, good ol' boy style. The schools have no tax authority and have to go to the parish for money or infrastructure requests.

It sounds like California organizes school districts more like the latter than the former, though a given county might have multiple districts instead of just one as in Louisiana parishes. The article describes the county limiting bandwidth use by CVUSD, something impossible to happen in Texas as the county has no authority over the ISD.

Likewise, and to your point, the article says that the county encouraged CVUSD to deploy the iPads, and from that CVUSD assumed the county had enough bandwidth to manage this. I guess that means the county is the district's ISP, and the district isn't allowed to change ISPs or contract with a private ISP. And the county IT maybe didn't know the district was going to do this, so they couldn't point it out and try to get a bigger pipe at that level. So they didn't see the problem because bureaucracy.

Comment: Re:Expensive? (Score 1) 285

by SydShamino (#47503391) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

>> Your proposal then requires the school boards to fund such productions for every topic of every grade - in some cases multiple levels of one subject for each grade.

No it doesn't. It requires them (the thousands of them) to fund one topic at one level in one grade, then see what happens after that. Maybe don't start with social studies which might be obsolete in five years, and instead start with fourth grade multiplication which won't change in the next 50. Then go from there at an affordable pace.

Comment: Re:Looks ok to me (Score 0) 229

by SydShamino (#47487471) Attached to: Chicago Red Light Cameras Issue Thousands of Bogus Tickets

In Texas a moving violation 24 miles over the speed limit is a traffic violation. It is neither a misdemeanor nor a felony and therefore not a crime. You cannot be arrested. Speeding 25 or more above the limit is a misdemeanor. Failure to pay a fine may be a crime, but the moving violation itself is not.

+ - Malaysian passenger plane reportedly shot down over Ukraine->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Russian newswire service Interfax is reporting that a Malaysian passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down with a Buk ground-to-air missile over Ukraine near the Russian border. The Associated Press cites an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister as the source.

First reports are that it was mistaken for a Ukrainian AN-26."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:November? (Score 1) 148

by SydShamino (#47469961) Attached to: US House Passes Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

It's also about internet-only services.

Texas has such a tax, for example. When my wife and I played World of Warcraft, we had to pay the monthly (or quarterly, whatever) subscription charge and a tax on the service. People in most other states don't have to, because Texas has had its take on internet-only services like that from before 1998.

Before WoW, my wife and I played EverQuest, except she started her account when we still lived in Tennessee. Even after we moved to Texas, her account was never subjected to the Texas tax, even though mine was and both accounts were (now) on the same address and credit card. Oops, I guess EA's system to collect taxes was flawed. It wasn't until about when we cancelled that I finally realized this was why we were being charged different amounts.

Comment: Re:I wanted to write about this place (Score 1) 424

by SydShamino (#47468297) Attached to: French Blogger Fined For Negative Restaurant Review

Tipping is circular logic. Because some jobs traditionally receive tips, the law is written to say that employers need only pay those employees like $3 an hour base line, with the rest of their income up to minimum wage being made up of tips.

Thus, because they pay their employees less, they can charge you less for the food (supposedly). Thus, the prices in the menu are based on the assumption that you and everyone else will tip.

If no one tips, the owner has to make up the difference to minimum wage, and to do that he'll have to raise prices. So you end up paying for the tip anyway.

This circular logic breaks down at places like Outback Steakhouse, where they famously pay their hostesses and (bus boys IIRC?) less than minimum wage, but don't allow them to accept tips, then argued in court that because the "jobs" traditionally allow tips overall, they qualify as tip jobs even if it's not allowed at their stores. (Then they do forced tip share with the servers, so that the servers are forced to share their income not just amongst themselves but with the hostesses and bus boys as well.) I don't eat there any more, but if you do, be sure to tip your server in cash so they can pocket it and avoid this crap.

Comment: Re:Comcast first (Score 4, Insightful) 70

by SydShamino (#47468169) Attached to: Time Warner Turns Down Takeover Bid From Rupert Murdoch

They will still have a monopoly in my area regardless of who owns what.

This is off topic, since TWC isn't the same company as TWI, but...

They keep talking about the "lack of overlap" in their markets, but that's bogus. Comcast and TWC overlap in the "negotiating with content providers" market. The larger the company, the harder they can negotiate against the cable channel providers not already owned by one of them. They might say this will yield lower prices for consumers, but you and I know that's total bullshit.

What it actually means is that they'll either drop channels that won't negotiate, and focus more on providing only channels they create, or the third-party channels they keep will need more ads - more in-show ads - and cheaper shows (reality TV) to make up the difference in revenue they lost.

I don't like the content providers either (give me a la carte or give me death!) but TWC and Comcast at two separate negotiating tables is much better for consumers than a merged monolith at one table.

Comment: Re:Value for money (Score 1) 214

by SydShamino (#47450933) Attached to: Economist: File Sharing's Impact On Movies Is Modest At Most

Alamo food isn't really that good any more. They seriously buggered up their menu a year+ back, and basically offer just burgers and (small) pizzas now. I think the owners are more focused on their Drafthouse Films brand and being a distributor now rather than stay focused on the perfect movie experience.

It's still a good place to see a film that you can't see anywhere else, but if you're seeing a major release, even Austin has theaters with a better experience - Flix Brewhouse for one.

Comment: Re:My daughter (Score 1) 205

Why assume 2200? In my experience, more things now rely on two digit years, not less. If a bad programmer today is coding something that never deals with historical records, only future dates, what is the incentive to be diligent about using four digit years? We've already established he's not very good, and if he even thought about, it, he probably assumes he won't be working 86 years from now when someone notices his bug.

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