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Comment: Re:and secure passwords are disallowed (Score 1, Offtopic) 322

by SydShamino (#49374527) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

Whenever I hear the Republicans whining about how incompetent government is, I think to myself that big private companies are just as bureaucratic and incompetent. But then things like this and the initial ACA website launch happen to prove that yes, government really is even more incompetent than big business.

While this does sound rather incompetent, A) it was probably written by a big private company, since our government uses contractors far more than it uses actual employees for most projects like this*, and B) there are insufficient data points to show that big private companies are any more or less secure, when dealing with similar data. Anecdotally, I'd guess private companies are just as bad or worse, or at least would be without regulations like HIPAA to force them to improve.

* I didn't RTFA and if it states this system was developed wholly by in-house staff I stand corrected. And also we should probably raise taxes so we can afford to hire competent in-house staff for our government.

Comment: Re:Sign up? (Score 1) 322

by SydShamino (#49374469) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

Exactly. I've posted this before, but it's worth hammering in until more people understand it.

What used to be called fraud, perpetuated against a business by tricking them into selling something on false pretenses, has instead become "identity theft", perpetuated against an innocent third-party who has nothing to do with the transaction. It's so so very clever how the business community managed to turn that around and put the fault (until proven otherwise) and responsibility to clean up the mess on a third party, instead of on themselves and/or the actual crooks.

Comment: Re:What a stupid piece. (Score 2) 317

I'm pretty certain that's redundant, as all "renewable" sources have "unpredictable" problems, except tidal.
  - Hydro - dry spell, loss of snow pack
  - Solar (PV & other) - oops clouds
  - Wind - still day

"unpredictable" is the nature of renewable sources, which is why other baseline or backup sources (such as safer nuclear) remain vital as we figure out how to move away from fossils

Comment: Re:If I can make it here I can make it anywhere... (Score 2) 734

by SydShamino (#49193627) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

>> even when they move here, they stay together and don't mix (its true even though you may not like this fact) and after 5 years here, they will still not really know what the US is truly about.

You know, that's always been true about immigrants? Hell, my great-great-great grandparents immigrated from Canton Glarus, Switzerland, to New Glarus, Wisconsin. Make sense why the town was named New Glarus? I doubt they even ever bothered to learn English. Their children born here knew English, though, and their kids - including my great-grandfather - only spoke English.

And such as it was, such as it will be.

The only reason people bitch about immigrants not assimilating is because they can only see the situation from the limited view of their own lifespan. Look at a bigger picture and immigrant families assimilate just fine.

Comment: Re:No-SSN is not "get out of taxes free" (Score 2) 734

by SydShamino (#49193601) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

It wasn't necessary for your kids to have SSNs for you to be able claim them as dependents until ca. 1986. Maybe the poster's boss was raised before then?

Even though I moved around a lot as a kid, and didn't live in Louisiana until 1985, I have a Louisiana SSN because that's when my parents had to get me one.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 1) 734

by SydShamino (#49193577) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Explain it all to them, and let each one decide when he or she turns 16. They aren't legal adults and might not understand all of the tax ramifications, but if the parent has done a good job raising his kids, they'll be able to make a reasonable decision. It's isn't irreversible either way other than cost and hassle and the inability to be president.

Some people might say it's a foolish decision to give a 16-year-old, but come on, the guy's already asking Slashdot.

Comment: Re:The idea was a good one, the execution poor (Score 1, Insightful) 201

by SydShamino (#49165915) Attached to: That U2 Apple Stunt Wasn't the Disaster You Might Think It Was

There is a setting to select whether songs bought in iTunes are automatically downloaded to your device. That setting existed prior to the U2 debacle. I had already disabled it, and thus my device never downloaded the song.

So really all they did was add the song to your online iTunes music collection. It was your device, under your control via a setting you had chosen (by not adjusting it from default, perhaps, but that's on you), that downloaded the song.

Did they use bandwidth you didn't intend to use? Maybe. If you were roaming and on an expensive limited data plan then I could see a valid complaint. But they never took over your device - it acted under your misconfigured control.

Comment: Re:Nice work if you can get it (Score 1) 305

by SydShamino (#49113553) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

TurboTax's use-per-download limit is just as bad as these artist models. Alternatives like H&R Block @ Home's downloadable software have unlimited paper filings, but provide reasonable limits on services like electronic filings (five per activation code). And of course one download is only good for one tax year; you have to buy again for the next year, but that's not just to rip you off but to account for the ever-changing tax code.

It's simple how such little changes like that convert the license from "total bullshit, I hate them!" to "well, that seems reasonable". Also, one of them requires overbearing copyright law to enforce, while the other doesn't.

Comment: Re:Great point, but I will say .... (Score 2) 305

by SydShamino (#49113527) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

Then artists should look to make money on the tour that follows their new album, and be done with it. Instead of paying a 100-man crew and bringing in 10 trucks of custom sound and lighting equipment, then splitting the take 6 ways with the other band members, how about writing music that can be played on a rested grass lawn with minimal overhead and a four-piece band? And if that still doesn't work, how about just doing this on the weekends while you have another job during the week?

Nobody has a right to earn a living doing something. A subset of craftsmen we call "artists" have forgotten this.

Comment: Re:Artists paid 16 times as much for Spotify than (Score 4, Insightful) 305

by SydShamino (#49113453) Attached to: Pandora Pays Artists $0.001 Per Stream, Thinks This Is "Very Fair"

How about a model where the artists only continue to get paid if they continue to work. You know, like the rest of us? Let's call that model the "Touring and Selling T-Shirts and Actually Writing New Material" model. Couple that with a crazy strategy called "Setting Up an IRA and Actually Saving for Retirement Like Everyone Else" and they might be viable.

Of course, that assumes enough people want to see them play and buy their T-shirts that they can afford to save for requirement. If they can't, I suggest that they instead try the "Get a Real Damn Job Because No One Owes You The Right To Chase Your Dream If You Aren't Good Enough to Make A Living At It" model.

Comment: Re:Sued if you do, sued if you don't? (Score 1) 196

by SydShamino (#49095713) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees

And, since the employees are not employed in Massachusetts, they are not violating the agreement in Massachusetts. I think A123 is going to need to sue them in California where the contracts are being violated (and are void due to superseding state law). The employees just need to be sure not to visit MA for business until the non-compete term wears out.

Comment: Re:Sued if you do, sued if you don't? (Score 1) 196

by SydShamino (#49095685) Attached to: A123 Sues Apple For Poaching Employees

Apple isn't even a party to these A123 agreements. Those are between A123 and the employees, so unless A123 is arguing some sort of wacky six-way conspiracy I think Apple will get this dismissed rather quickly.

Then A123 can decide if they want to sue the individuals, whereupon Apple will provide the five with complementary legal counsel to point out that non-compete agreements aren't valid in California.

Comment: Re:Likely not. (Score 1) 96

by SydShamino (#49081125) Attached to: Researchers Block HIV Infection In Monkeys With Artificial Protein

You're correct that this doesn't sound like a cure. On the other hand, it might be both a very effective vaccine for the uninfected, and a reliable treatment for those infected. (This depends mostly on HIV's ability to mutate these receptors into something that can reject the drug but still connect to the target cells.) Even if a vaccine isn't a cure, it can lead to eradication of the disease. The smallpox vaccine wasn't a cure either, for example, but with sufficient coverage it was quite effective.

Comment: Re:Cancer just doesn't have that "it" factor!! (Score 3, Interesting) 96

by SydShamino (#49081089) Attached to: Researchers Block HIV Infection In Monkeys With Artificial Protein

More recent HIV treatments target portions of the virus that mutate slowly, and are moreover unlikely to be able to mutate more quickly. These have significantly higher chances of being a "cure" compared to the older cocktails to which you refer. Unfortunately it did take 20 years of AIDs research to figure this out and have the knowledge and technology to develop these techniques, but I think a very reliable vaccine will be readily available by the end of the decade, and a cure 5-10 years after that.

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