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Comment Re:I'm not renewing prime this year... (Score 1) 79

I had a similar thing where I sold an item and the buyer didn't like it. I said fine, send me the item and I will refund but they just complained to paypal and got their money refunded while they still had the item. I had no recompense. Pissed me off enough to make me avoid paypal as much as possible for the last 15 years though.

Comment Re:Single sign on is a pita (Score 1) 79

Can anyone please tell me how to break single sign on on android?

It isn't really hard. sign out and click the link below sign on that says 'sign on as a different user'.

Why do I know? I have two accounts w/ the same username and different passwords that amazon wouldn't combine for me. somehow when my first kindle was bought it didn't go in under the same account. Real pita but I had bought a bunch of kindle books before I realized the problem and have ended up keeping the two accounts since. Wasn't a problem they combined single sign on on android but they fixed the problem shortly there after.

What kind of WTF in the user management allows two accounts w/ the same username is a mystery to me.

Comment Re:Not embeddable devices, smartphones (or watches (Score 1) 124

Gah, i am so disappointed in slashdot. comments like the parent are why i come here. Somebody who spends their time thinking about an interesting problem and is willing to share some of that background. Instead of discussion we get people complaining about ... anything.

Anyway, thanks for the post. I like the way you are thinking and I love the idea of 'as secure as necessary'. I can see a future where my phone decides when it is still with me based on the myriad of data it collects (and helpfully shares) and unlocks my house as I get near (unless I mumble a 'kidnapped' signal in which case it should drop the machine guns and kill the bad guys trying to force their way in with me... B)

tbh, the steps to get there don't seem that far off either. I spent a bit of time trying to think of 'real' road blocks but i was able to dismiss most of them outside of time and money it would take to replace everything w/ an integrated version.

That of course assumes somebody wins a standard war and is able to push through a standard protocol for the authorization levels which the various apps and IoT vendors support. Which also needs someobdy to solve the patching problem on these IoT devices (which will hopefully allow us to move toward a solution to the security problem). gah, i was getting optimistic for a second there...

Kidding aside, I would like to explore this more. Any podcasts/blogs you recommend in this space?

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

^This. The first few years I lived abroad I had a company sponsored tax accountant file for me. I was being paid in dollars, living in another country, ok I figured it was complex because of that. Now i have a local job and tried to file my taxes myself. Nothing fancy, no day trading or self employment. Just a middling tech job. When I tried to fill teh forms based on the older returrns, while I could follow what numbers went into which forms, figuring out which forms I would need was non trivial. I could not find any level of assurance that I was complying w/ the relevant statutes. So, back to 500$+ for a tax attorney. Even my 'simplified' returns are 80 pages. I call bullshit or non compliance on anybody who says this is easy.

tl;dr, US citizenship = 500$/year tax.

I did get my children US citizenship. The world will be a very uncertain place in the coming years. The US may get its shit together or it may not but I certainly see a subset of outcomes for this planet where hiding in the country w/ big guns will be advantageous.

Comment Re:2015: Still using Facebook (Score 1) 80

That's an interesting take on it. I often thought it was somewhat the other way around. ie, it would be very comforting to think of a paternal god figure watching and guiding events. If I were less disciplined, it would be 'nice' to forget my doubts and the (seemingly logical) conclusions of the lack of existence or at least lake of interest of the divine. imho, it takes courage to accept that we are not special souls that will live through eternity.

that said, I wasn't being facetious above, i hadn't considered the weight of responsibility of actions that last for eternity... doesn't change my mind but I do like the orientation...B)

Comment Re:Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (Score 1) 156

They have less savings and lower incomes and fewer social services.

It isn't quite that simple. I would give you less savings but they consume much more. The size of cars/houses and consumption of resources is simply higher in America than most other places I have travelled (admittedly, mainly Europe.) It is an open argument which is better.

Comment Re:Great (Score 2) 602

You are having two different discussions. One is that you want to minimize what the gov't offers to curb that bill. THere is a vast area to explore there but it is not the point of this discussion.

The people, as a block, have determined that this is the set of services the gov't is going to offer. they need to pay for it through tax policy. Running a deficit, while sometimes necessary, makes as much economic sense as credit card spending.

Besides, over the last few years, there has been a significant amount of 'austerity' cuts to gov't spending in the UK. For the most part, the economic markers seem to show that it is working better for the UK than the rest of the EU. That said, there is still a shortfall. You need to adjust both dials, cutting spending and raising revenue.

All this is about is attempting to address the shady loopholes where corporate accountants have figured out how to avoid national taxes, by the letter but against the spirit of the law.

Comment Re:Great (Score 2) 602

Ok, fine, do it as efficiently as possible. But there was around 100MM GBP shortfall in the UK budget last year. This isn't about take as much as they can get, this is about we need to bring in X to provide all the things we have decided to spend on.

Note that arguing about the validity of the things we spend on is a separate (but related) discussion.

Comment Re:Cities: an obsolete solution (Score 1) 276

I would much rather more people live in cities, anything else just hastens the loss of all natural areas.

Population is only going to grow and we are left w/ two predominant modes of housing people. Build up or build out. Heavy urbanization offers all sorts of great benefits of economies of scale and hotbeds of activity. The suburban sprawl is soul killing, imho. actual rural living, where you can't see your neighbors, is beautifully serene. But everything has its trade offs.

If we were to try to house all americans in their own homes w/ enough land to not feel like cattle, we would a) destroy all national parks and completely rural areas replacing them w/ suburban sprawl or well, with phoenix and b) we would have to expend massive amounts for real infrastructure (those internet lines are not going to be commercially viable @ low population densities) and energy to physically move people through that much space.

the only way to preserve some semblance of nature is to pack people tightly. And, for the most part, energy costs are going to drive us down that path.

It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong. -- J.K. Galbraith