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Comment: Re:fix the tax code for the 99.9% (Score 1) 377

by cream wobbly (#46759733) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

When I'm Emperor, I'll implement a landlord's tax and duty on import/export. Three rates of tax for everyone, three thresholds below which no tax is paid. Very simple, gets the job done, and it would only require three people in government to handle the workload: a sysadmin, a junior sysadmin, and a manager to answer the phone and put paper in the printer.

Comment: Re:"Ancient." "Cruft." (Score 2) 279

by cream wobbly (#46759557) Attached to: OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

"ancient [...] build junk" is clear. Ancient junk.

"cruft" is open to interpretation. On its own, the meaning is clear, but when someone who dedicates his professional career to Unix mentions "windows-specific cruft" (small "w") after a mention of "lame platforms" then it is going to take a very convincing backpedal from the author to deny that currently supported versions of Windows are not tarred by that brush.

OpenBSD should continue to strive to be the paragon of security and stability it always has been. I just hope that this is not at the expense of feeding those virtues back upstream, because it should not also become an ultra-secure, ultra-stable dead-end.


Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings 400

Posted by timothy
from the rent-seeking-right-on-the-surface dept.
McGruber (1417641) writes "Return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. The concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe. Sounds great, except to Intuit, maker of Turbotax: last year, Intuit spent more than $2.6 million on lobbying, some of it to lobby on four bills related to the issue, federal lobbying records show."

Comment: Replacing bloatware with bloatware (Score 1) 450

by cream wobbly (#46717173) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

Instead of monkeying around with Libreoffice and Firefox, go with Chrome and Google apps. Disparate desktops become common thin clients, you get to manage them basically as "end user servers", the question of backups can be quietly forgotten about. Mobile users are no different. Get them Chromebooks. But before all that, make sure you buy a mask and cape. Because you will be a superhero.

Or you could take a more nuanced view, but this is /.


Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed? 720

Posted by timothy
from the 7.1m-impossible-things-before-breakfast dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When the Obama administration announced on April 1 that an estimated 7.1 million had signed up for ObamaCare by the end of March, it seemed a nearly impossible achievement. To reach 7.1 million, sign-ups had to rocket up by 67% in just one month. That's astounding enough, but an IBD review of existing ObamaCare enrollment data shows that the mathematical challenge of reaching 7.1 million sign-ups was even tougher."

Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV? 219

Posted by timothy
from the old-hobbies-are-best-hobbies dept.
Dishwasha (125561) writes "Just a few days ago I incidentally discovered a little known secret called free-to-air. Amazingly enough even in the depths of Slashdot, there appear to have been no postings or discussions about it. Just like over-the-air programming, there is free programming available via various satellite systems that only requires a one-time cost of getting a dish and receiver. Both Amazon and Ebay appear to have a plethora of hardware out there. I personally settled on the Geosatpro MicroHD system with a 90cm 26lbs light-weight dish (queue lots of comments about my describing 26 lbs as being light-weight) and I should be receiving that in just a few days. I'm curious, who else is using satellite FTA? What are your setups? Has anyone hacked on any of the DVR/PVR devices available? Besides greater access to international programming, what are your channel experiences?"

Comment: Re:VR again? (Score 1) 202

by cream wobbly (#46626467) Attached to: How interested are you in Virtual Reality tech?

Pff. No it's not. It's like someone saying they're not interested in television until it's colour. Or electric cars until they can go 600 miles between charges and 20 years between battery changes. Or buses until they start serving my neighbourhood.

You don't quite get this "patching" lark, do you? Throwing up your hands and saying "TOO HARD!" is evidence you've not even heard of the progress that's being made in this area -- currently restricted to medical sight recovery. The enormous (and rather obvious) difference between using the eyeball and signalling on the optic nerve is that image quality and FOV is dependent upon the reliability of the user's eye. Retinal, fluid, lens, and corneal abberations all contribute to degrade the incoming image. Imagine also being able to see colours outside the "visible" spectrum.

Sure, I'm piqued by VR. But I'm really, really interested in direct optic nerve signalling.

Comment: Re:VR again? (Score 1) 202

by cream wobbly (#46623539) Attached to: How interested are you in Virtual Reality tech?

Correct, a 100 degree field of view is "a fair bit less than what human's (sic) naturally perceive".

It's also not far outside the technical definition for tunnel vision:

"Tunnel Vision" is the term often used by or for people whose unaided visual field widths are less than 90 degrees.

Comment: Re:Obligatory Fight Club (Score 1) 357

by cream wobbly (#46623207) Attached to: An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

RTFA, please.

Mr. Hood came to realize that G.M., and the supplier that made the part, Delphi, had quietly changed the switch sometime in 2006 or early 2007, making it less likely that an unsuspecting driver could bump the ignition key and cause the car to cut off engine power and deactivate its air bags.

Of course, it may very well be that the key spontaneously rotates in the lock in normal use, but I think we can safely surmise that GM is in trouble because people hang stupid shit off their keychains.

And of course people hang stupid shit off their keychains. (I do.) And any engineer who designs a piece of equipment for the way it should be used rather than the way it will be used, then they should look for work elsewhere. And anyway, this should have come up in testing. Since it did not, GM needs to hand out more keychain knick-knacks to its testers.

What puzzles me, given that the technical details of the fault are not being made public, is that okay, I can see a bump turning the key from "on" to "accessory", where ignition is cut, hence power and brake servos become unavailable. This is safe! You can coast to a halt from 75 mph. You'd be in a fix if there was an accident happening up ahead. I cannot accept that the key turns all the way around from "on" to "lock", where the steering column locks. And further to that, you have to disconnect the battery terminals in order to "deactivate its air bags" (as any service manual will tell you).

It's hard losing someone you love, but blaming someone else will, to repeat TFA, not bring your daughter back. I will certainly not let my children drive alone until they're competent drivers.

Comment: Re:Ridiculous. (Score 1) 914

Switch it around. The punishers got out of serving punishment, which makes them better people.

The civilised response to crime is correction. Sure, you're not going to correct and reintegrate the parents of that 4 year old child by giving them a hug and a holiday. Correction should be humbling, by degrees, based on the crime committed. ...which naturally raises the question, please can we first stop making schools the way prisons should be? Can we make them places of education instead of depravation?

But anyway, parents who torture, starve, and murder their own child need a loooooooong time to have their behaviour corrected. So sure, go ahead. Just don't expect students taking the exams in the current "corrections" facilities not to take a drug that could allow them to spend a month on a four hour exam...

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne