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Comment: Re:One more issue (Score 1) 1065

by cicho (#38990527) Attached to: The Zuckerberg Tax

who are you to tell someone what they can and can't do with their money after they die?

There are plenty of limitations on what you can do with your property. You cannot use it to kill people, for one thing (unless you are a government or a corporation, but even than it's usually illegal, it just gets swept under the carpet). Try buying a nuclear bomb with your money. Heck, try buying drugs.

So there are legal restrictions. Then there are moral restrictions. Let's say you want to buy an island full of people and have it just for yourself, so you buy it and sweep all the inhabitants into the ocean. Or send them off on rafts. Would you argue this is a legitimate use of your property? In fact, this kind of thing happens all the time, except with houses rather than islands. But governments have done exactly that with islands, too - google Diego Garcia.

The issue is emphatically *not* about whether there can or should be limits on using your property - because there always have been such limits, and for a good reason. The issue is only whether a particular new restriction should or should not be introduced. That can be decided on a case-by-case basis, not through groveling against your little property god.

Comment: Re:Such systems have been proposed before (Score 1) 1065

by cicho (#38990375) Attached to: The Zuckerberg Tax

Your statement falls down, using your own example. The gambler makes MONEY that year. Cash, bucks, greenbacks, cabbage. Stock has zero value UNTIL you sell it.

Bull. You could just as well say that a loaf of bread has zero value until it is sold. If you can borrow against it, it has value - and a very precisely estimated value, at that.

The fact that it might become worthless overnight is an entirely different matter. You get taxed on what is, not on what might be at some later time. That loaf of bread *will* be worthless in two days or so, too.

Comment: Re:Such systems have been proposed before (Score 1) 1065

by cicho (#38990315) Attached to: The Zuckerberg Tax

You really can't tax people on the value of stock, because it's nothing if it's not being sold. It could just as easily become worthless before that happens.

First, if you can borrow against it, it's not worthless. Quite the contrary, your broker and your bank will know exactly how much it is worth.

Second, see what happens when you walk into a bank and when Mark Zuckerberg walks into a bank. See the difference? Still think stock is just a worthless piece of value until it is exercised?

Third, where does "it could just as easily" enter into a tax scheme? You pay taxes on what is, not on what might be. You own stock at your personal risk, why should anyone else care or be poorer for it? If you're on a salary, you might "just as easily" get mugged and have it stolen from you on the payday. That is no reason to not tax your earnings, is it?

I am greatly amused to see all the whining, above and below, about how it is impossible to determine the value of "idle" stock and how a paper fortune might become worthless overnight. At the same time we are constantly brainwashed about how investing in stock is a good policy to safeguard your future, because it will - it must! - appreciate in value, long term, and we'll all be vacationing on the Bahamas when we retire.

So which is it?

Comment: Re:U.S. law is the new international law (Score 1) 1005

by cicho (#38754474) Attached to: Megaupload.com Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy

What you say totally makes sense but it may just be a thing of the past:
http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16148629

(The article conveniently omits that one British court had already dismissed the guy's case, effectively saying he didn't commit a crime in the UK. Then another British court okayed his extradition to the US.)

Comment: Re:Ban the use of faucets! (Score 1) 1005

by cicho (#38754308) Attached to: Megaupload.com Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy

Dictionaries do not decide what a term means. They record usage. If enough industry lobbyists, misinformed pundits and bribed politicians have used the words "steal" and "theft" to describe common copyright infringement - and they certainly have - then newer editions of dictionaries will record that sense.

That however still doesn't make copyright infringement legally or morally equivalent to theft. It's just a piece of propaganda we've been living under for a generation and many people have internalized it. "God is great" is another, or "Dear Leader is great" if you live in North Korea. Same thing, though not quite the same scale yet.

Comment: Re:pdf (Score 5, Insightful) 453

by cicho (#35701632) Attached to: Firefox 5 Details: Sharing, Home Tab, PDF Viewer

I don't, because it will either be an Adobe plugin, hence slow and a memory hog, or it will be written from scratch, hence not fully compatible and probably slow as well. Add to the mix all the potential security issues with active content in PDF documents. I disable all of it in Adobe Reader, now I'll have to disable it in Firefox as well.

PDFs should be treated like executables or archive files - saved to disk.

Other than that, I really don't understand why Firefox has to be aping Chrome instead of going its own way. What's wrong with the top-level menu that it had to be replaced with a single, hierarchical menu that's always harder to navigate? What was wrong with the well-established, intuitive tabbed interface metaphor, which Chrome managed to break so badly by disconnecting the tabs from their content?

And really, websites will be putting items on the tab context menus? Advertisers are already salivating. Good luck finding the "Close tab" command among fifty links to commercials.

Security

Adobe Download Manager Installing Software Without Consent 98

Posted by timothy
from the plus-one-invitation dept.
"Not all is worth cheering about as Adobe turns 20," writes reader adeelarshad82, who excerpts from a story at PC Magazine's Security Watch: "Researcher Aviv Raff has found a problem in ADM (Adobe Download Manager) and the method through which it is delivered from adobe.com. The net effect of the problem is that a user can be tricked into downloading and installing software using ADM without actual consent. Tonight Adobe acknowledged the report and said they were working on the issue with Raff and NOS Microsystems, the company that wrote ADM."

Comment: Re:Dumb Idea, terrible Anti Virus software... (Score 1) 537

by cicho (#29781687) Attached to: Kaspersky CEO Wants End To Online Anonymity

I've already said what I think about Kaspersky's views here and I won't be renewing my license but... do you have anything other than anecdotal evidence (your own)? I switched from ESET Security Suite (essentially nod32 + firewall) to Kaspersky specifically because it uses significantly less memory, less CPU, and its on-access scan is much faster. Still a relative hog, like all av software today, but not nearly as bad as other things I've tried.

And anyway, it's really beside the point how good (or not) their products are. The man has just lost me as a customer even though I *like* what he makes.

Comment: Re:As you might expect (Score 1) 537

by cicho (#29781649) Attached to: Kaspersky CEO Wants End To Online Anonymity

> Security expert wants a more secure system. Freedom experts want a free system.
> Unsurprisingly these two views clash

And there are technical reasons why they do - that's fine, that's tough, we understand the constraints. This isn't the problem.

The problem seems to be that some (many?) "security experts" do not **value** freedom - at all.

When you hear a government or a corporate official say "security", think "control". It makes things much clearer.

Comment: Re:Look at his personal history (Score 1) 537

by cicho (#29781621) Attached to: Kaspersky CEO Wants End To Online Anonymity

I was born in communist Poland, early enough to remember it well but like you, too late to have endured any particular hardships or to have faced tough political choices. So without judging or justifying Kaspersky either way, let's note than in Russia in the 70s there would have been precious few career avenues for a kid gifted in maths and cryptanalysis.

The views he's expressing today are a completely different affair. Today he really talks as if the KGB thinking is catching up with him. (Not that you won't hear US or EU officials express like sentiments!) I've switched just recently from nod32 (s-l-o-w on-access scan!) to Kaspersky AVP, but I don't think I will be renewing the license when it expires in under a year. Wish there was more I could do.

Government

Secret ACTA Treaty May Sport "Internet Enforcement" Procedures After All 239

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the why-so-serious dept.
Andorin writes "Ars Technica writes about the recent work on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, and reveals that while the public does not have access to the text of the agreement, a handful of lawyers representing Big Content and numerous companies and organizations do. 'Turns out that... ACTA will include a section on Internet "enforcement procedures" after all. And how many people have had input on these procedures? Forty-two. ... Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) found out in September that the US Trade Representative's office had actually been secretly canvassing opinions on the Internet section of the agreement from 42 people, all of whom had signed a nondisclosure agreement before being shown the ACTA draft text.'"

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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