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Comment: Re:Taxes are full of scams... (Score 1) 357

by arobatino (#46762421) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

The service you mention is only available to those with low incomes, and generally they don't support itemized deductions.

Wrong on both counts. If you go to the freefile link mentioned above, there are two options: "Income below $58,000: Free File Software" and "Income above $58,000: Free File Fillable Forms". The second does not require software, though if you're running Linux, the site might not work properly with Firefox (I use Konqueror as a workaround). Note that you don't have to have income above $58,000 to use the second option. And the list of Forms you can use includes Schedule A (Itemized Deductions).

Comment: Re:It's not a bug (Score 1) 149

by arobatino (#46730887) Attached to: NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed

The fact that they didn't tell anyone though shows that the S is NSA is bullshit. They cared more about being able to exploit the vulnerability themselves than making their country's computers more secure.

It's a basic conflict of interest with police/defense/intelligence agencies. They gain power from the existence of threats, so it's in their self interest to favor policies that perpetuate them while pretending to do the opposite. The War on Drugs, Cuban Embargo, etc.

Comment: Re:Don't bother. (Score 1) 509

by arobatino (#46662089) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

The problem is that these people aren't just ignorant. People who are ignorant can be educated and then they're fine. These people are willfully ignorant. They are purposefully ignorant. They take pride in their ignorance and will do everything in their power to stay ignorant. Trying to educate these people is a losing proposition because they won't listen no matter what you say or how much proof you show them.

Which is exactly what you would expect from someone who needs to have enough general intelligence to get elected, but at the same time cater to the ignorance of their constituents, for the same reason. Ultimately, it's the voter's fault.

Comment: Re:God (Score 1) 794

by arobatino (#46376287) Attached to: Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

I perceive them differently because Whole Foods isn't trying to shove their beliefs into the public schools. Everyone should have the right to believe silly nonsense, but no one has the right to impose their beliefs on others, and they especially don't have the right to use the instruments of government to do so.

I agree that creationism shouldn't be taught in public schools. The thing is, under the current system, the government effectively coerces people into sending their kids to public schools, through taxes. So if you want your kids taught differently, you have to double pay either by sending them to private school, or home schooling them.

Comment: Re: Well for once I agree with religious crazies (Score 1) 363

by arobatino (#46310585) Attached to: UAE Clerics' Fatwa Forbids Muslims From Traveling To Mars

Unlike the conditions the early settlers were subjected to, Mars has a much more predictable environment, so the risk of death should be much lower. Unfortunately, with vastly improved communication today, if people on Mars die, we'll all hear about it immediately, so it'll seem worse.

Comment: Re:It's the devil (Score 1) 108

by arobatino (#46227209) Attached to: Massive New Cambrian-Era Fossil Bed Found

I always though the Fundamentalist position was that fossils were put there by God, so as to test the faith of hapless followers.

If that's true, then creationists are being blasphemous when they suggest that their beliefs are supported by physical evidence, since an omniscient, omnipotent God wouldn't leave any. (Although they're obviously not above it if that's what it takes to get it taught in public schools.)

+ - Rosetta is Awake. Prepares to Chase Comet->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The European comet-chasing probe Rosetta is up and running again today after it successfully roused itself from a 2½-year sleep and signaled anxious controllers on the ground. The spacecraft had been put into hibernation during the most distant part of its 10-year journey in pursuit of comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko because sunlight was too dim to keep its solar-powered systems running. Dozing in a slow stabilizing spin, Rosetta could not receive signals from the ground, so there was a risk that some problem might prevent it from responding to its preset alarm call at 10:00 GMT this morning. Even then, there were many processes to go through before news reached Earth: The spacecraft’s heaters would need to warm up its systems, its startrackers get a fix, boosters halt the spin, solar arrays turn towards the sun, and, finally, its communications antenna would need to point at Earth. It was not till 18.18 GMT today that the signal was picked up by NASA’s ground stations at Goldstone, California, and Canberra in Australia, and transmitted to the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) control center at Darmstadt in Germany. “This was one alarm clock not to hit snooze on, and after a tense day we are absolutely delighted to have our spacecraft awake and back online,” Fred Jansen, ESA’s Rosetta mission manager, said in a statement."
Link to Original Source

+ - Legendary Demonoid BitTorrent Tracker Apparently Back Online-> 1

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "TorrentFreak has broken the news that after more than a year of downtime the Demonoid tracker came back online on January 9, 2014. The tracker is linked to nearly 400,000 torrent files and more than a million peers, which makes it one of the largest working BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. There is no word yet on when the site will make a full comeback, but the people behind it say they are working to revive one of the most famous file-sharing communities. As the single largest semi-private BitTorrent tracker that ever existed, Demonoid used to offer a home to millions of file-sharers. Note that this is apparently the original Demonoid and not the d2 site that claims to be using the Demonoid database."
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers propose alternative way to allocate science funding->

Submitted by arobatino
arobatino (46791) writes "From the article:

The new approach is possible due to recent advances in mathematics and computer technologies. The system involves giving all scientists an annual, unconditional fixed amount of funding to conduct their research. All funded scientists are, however, obliged to donate a fixed percentage of all of the funding that they previously received to other researchers. As a result, the funding circulates through the community, converging on researchers that are expected to make the best use of it. “Our alternative funding system is inspired by the mathematical models used to search the internet for relevant information,” said Bollen. “The decentralized funding model uses the wisdom of the entire scientific community to determine a fair distribution of funding.”

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Yahoo's Email Encryption Needs Work->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "On Tuesday, Yahoo delivered on a promise that it made in October to enable email encryption for everyone by default by January 8. While this is a great step, the company's HTTPS implementation appears to be inconsistent across servers and even technically insecure in some cases, according to Ivan Ristic, director of application security research at security firm Qualys. For example, some of Yahoo's HTTPS email servers use RC4 as the preferred cipher with most clients. 'RC4 is considered weak, which is why we advise that people either don't use it, or if they feel they must, use it as a last resort,' Ristic said."
Link to Original Source

+ - North Carolina destroys historical records ..->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "North Carolina destroys historical records ..

on Friday, December 6, 2013, at 6:00 in the evening (after all the county workers had left, and with no notice to the local historical group involved in the project), a team from the North Carolina Archives swept in and confiscated ALL the materials – with the cover of Law Enforcement! They took the documents to the County Incinerator, and methodically burned EVERYTHING. They did this while a few locals stood by, not understanding why or precisely what was happening."

Link to Original Source

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