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Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 232

by Copid (#49376011) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You
You're going to have to come with an explanation for why this historical percentage holds true in the US but not in any other country. My theory is that it's what we generally prefer and when we adjust our tax policies, we do so within that narrow range. There's no magic economic force that reduces the government's take below 20% no matter what we do. We just choose not to raise taxes that high (and when I say, "We choose not to," I really mean, "We elect officials with enough variety in their preferences that they don't all agree to raise taxes that high"). A couple of other points:

1) The difference between 16.9% and 19.2% of GDP is massive. At our current level of GDP, it's well over $300B. The idea that changing tax rates so that the receipts bounce around in that range has no real effect is just silly.
2) I'm happy to give the Republican congress the credit for the things they were involved in, but let's not rewrite history. The deficit trajectory reversed direction before 1995. The 1993 budget was passed with no Republican support and over screams that it would destroy the economy. To my knowledge, there was nothing particularly special about the 1995 budget in terms of deficit reduction.

Comment: Re:Ballsy, but stupid ... (Score 1) 269

by Copid (#49375759) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead
If you're guarding an NSA facility, your job is to risk your life for the people and secrets inside that facility, not people trying to force their way in. If you try to strong arm your way into an NSA facility, you're probably up to no good. At best you're an unstable person trying to make a political statement and you don't mind putting others in danger to do so. At worst, you're carrying an assault team or a car bomb and things will get infinitely worse if your vehicle is allowed to hit one of those buildings.

The "Let's just see how this plays out" response is the response you get before you try to breach the outer perimter. That's your not-getting-shot-at freebee. Once you've used up that freebee, you don't get the benefit of the doubt anymore. It's kind of like breaking into somebody's house at night while their family is sleeping. You get the benefit of the doubt if you stay outside the front door. Once you climb in the window, you've burned through all of your goodwill and nobody really owes you any deference.

+ - Cancer researcher vanishes with tens of millions of dollars->

Submitted by jd
jd (1658) writes "Steven Curley, MD, who ran the Akesogenx corporation (and may indeed have been the sole employee after the dismissal of Robert Zavala) had been working on a radio-frequency cure for cancer with an engineer by the name of John Kanzius.

Kanzius died, Steven Curley set up the aforementioned parallel company that bought all the rights and patents to the technology before shuttering the John Kanzius Foundation. So far, so very uncool.

Last year, just as the company started aproaching the FDA about clinical trials, Dr Curley got blasted with lawsuits accusing him of loading his shortly-to-be ex-wife's computer with spyware.

Two weeks ago, there was to be a major announcement "within two weeks". Shortly after, the company dropped off the Internet and Dr Curley dropped off the face of the planet.

Robert Zavala is the only name mentioned that could be a fit for the company's DNS record owner. The company does not appear to have any employees other than Dr Curley, making it very unlikely he could have ever run a complex engineering project well enough to get to trial stage. His wife doubtless has a few scores to settle. Donors, some providing several millions, were getting frustrated — and as we know from McAfee, not all in IT are terribly sane. There are many people who might want the money and have no confidence any results were forthcoming.

So, what precisely was the device? Simple enough. Every molecule has an absorption line. It can absorb energy on any other frequency. A technique widely exploited in physics, chemistry and astronomy. People have looked into various ways of using it in medicine for a long time.

The idea was to inject patients with nanoparticles on an absorption line well clear of anything the human body cares about. These particles would be preferentially picked up by cancer cells because they're greedy. Once that's done, you blast the body at the specified frequency. The cancer cells are charbroiled and healthy cells remain intact.

It's an idea that's so obvious I was posting about it here and elsewhere in 1998. The difference is, they had a prototype that seemed to work.

But now there is nothing but the sound of Silence, a suspect list of thousands and a list of things they could be suspected of stretching off to infinity. Most likely, there's a doctor sipping champaign on some island with no extradition treaty. Or a future next-door neighbour to Hans Reiser. Regardless, this will set back cancer research. Money is limited and so is trust. It was, in effect, crowdsource funded and that, too, will feel a blow if theft was involved.

Or it could just be the usual absent-minded scientist discovering he hasn't the skills or awesomeness needed, but has got too much pride to admit it, as has happened in so many science fraud cases."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:nice try but waste of legal fees (Score 1) 329

by Copid (#49366255) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

Overly broad non-competes are almost universally unenforceable. The lawyers writing this non-sense know this.

So why, in a world with a professional class of licensed legal experts who write contracts, are lawyers allowed to put obviously illegal and unenforceable stuff into contracts and pay no personal or professional penalty for it? A pilot who regularly disobeyed FAA regulations or a doctor who consistently gave bad medical advice would be penalized, but attornies can write contracts that don't mean anything and the only thing that happens is a judge draws a line through their nonsense and gives them credit for whatever they got right. WTF? With a system like that, *I* could write contracts and take fees from clients.

Comment: Re:Good Luck (Score 1) 329

by Copid (#49366201) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

You really think Amazon wants to take the PR hit by suing a contractor who worked in their warehouse for 10 dollars an hour?

Yeah, I've heard that stuff a lot from employers trying to get ridiculous bullshit into contracts with me. "It says we can burn your home to the ground and sow your fields with salt for no reason, but we'd never actually do it. What? Remove the clause? Well... no."

Comment: Parent Post Semantic Content: Null (Score 5, Insightful) 258

by FreeUser (#49354007) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

It's only those damn Russians are doing this, all other countries are saint.

Yeah, because that makes it all OK then.

Your comment is designed to distract from the issue at hand, shut down intelligent conversation on the topic, and imply the wrongdoer is just fine because, by implication, "everybody else does it, too" (no evidence to said implication provided, certainly not proven, and probably not true), all without contributing a single creative or new thought to the discussion at all.

Nice job, (Russian?) troll.

Comment: Re:Memorizing site-unique passwords isn't possible (Score 3, Interesting) 261

by arth1 (#49351329) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

Use a password manager and you:
- Cannot access your accounts without the password manager. Like when you've had everything stolen at an airport and need to transfer some money.
- Lose access to all your passwords in one fell swoop when you lose your password manager, or move to a system where that (by then) old piece of software won't run.
- Lose all your passwords in one fell swoop to any blackhat who manages to brute force or key log your password manager.

Password managers defeat much of the security of having passwords.

Comment: Re: Linux? OS X? Chrome OS? Nope. OpenBSD! (Score 1) 167

by FreeUser (#49349361) Attached to: NJ School District Hit With Ransomware-For-Bitcoins Scheme

Until systemd is removed from a major Linux distro, I would consider that distro to be less secure than even a Windows system.

Some Poettering apologist will probably mark you as a troll, but for completeness there are a number of distros that default to non-systemd init architectures, including but not limited to

Calculate, Gentoo, Funtoo, Source Mage, Dyson, indeed all kinds of distros either default or support running a systemd-free system.

An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a pessimist fears this is true.