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Comment: Re:Apple has been talking about this for a long ti (Score 1) 69

by cusco (#49194325) Attached to: Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House

Friends of ours have a business cleaning corporate offices. Twice they have been offered money to plug a netbook into a network port in an unoccupied cubicle, leave it for a few days, and then bring it back. They didn't of course, but it must have been tempting.

Comment: Re:Good. (Score 2) 69

by cusco (#49194149) Attached to: Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House

I can pretty much guarantee that the reason for this is the difficulty hiring competent guard staff in the SFO area. Silicon Valley salaries have have inflated the local pay scale enough that security companies are having trouble finding people willing to work for crap wages and still have an IQ above room temperature. The way contracts for the really large companies are generally done is the security vendor will offer to cover staffing for all their sites throughout the country for a certain price. Too many management types will automatically go for the lowest bidder, and competition for the major contracts is fierce. Of course the salescritters will always low-ball the price, so the local security managers are stuck trying to pinch pennies while providing the staffing levels contracted for. Apple and Google are going to skim off the cream of the available guard staff, leaving the dregs for the security contractors to dispatch to their other customers.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 3, Informative) 467

by cusco (#49192965) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

I'm a US citizen living abroad with a dual-citizen son. I can tell you that there are advantages and disadvantages. The benefits are that they can travel freely to the US and live and work in the US without having to obtain a green card. Also they can travel on either of their pasports largely depending on which country they travel to and they will qualify to receive assistance from any US consulate or embassy when overseas. They will be legally entitled to vote in any federal elections in the US when they turn 18, although if they have never actually lived in the US in practice they can't because no state will allow them to register to vote in that particular state.

The disadvantages are that when they start working they will always have to file a tax return in the US, regardless of where they actually live. For the most part they will receive an exemption for US taxes for any income they receive while working overseas with the exception of self-employment income, if they are legally self-employed then they will have to pay self-employment tax in the US in addition to any tax they pay overseas (some, but not all foreign countries have a self-employment double-tax agreement with the US, though which mitigates this). For me to avoid this tax I had to form a foreign corporation and work for that corporation so I'm not legally self-employed.

Another disadvantage is that they will be required to register for the US selective service when they turn 18 (the draft). There has not actually been a draft since the Vietnam war, though, so this is not likely to become an issue, but it is certainly something to consider.

As stated by the parent they can always renounce citizenship later and avoid the tax and selective service issues, but this is expensive (about $2500USD).

Also speaking of expense, having to file two tax returns means additional accountants fees and additional paperwork, especially if the country you live in has a different tax year than the US (which is very common). Having to maintain two passports is another extra cost as well, but not very expensive when you spread the fees out over the life of the passport.

All of the above said, I made an informed decision to register my own son as a US citizen and I do agree that the benefits outweigh the down sides, but it's certainly not a "nothing to loose" situation, there are downsides and it pays to make an informed decision with full knowledge of them.

My wife is dual Peruvian/US citizen, and has passports from each country. Because traveling as a Peruvian generally means getting a visa beforehand her Peruvian passport remains unused. When we went to the college one of the first things that she did after getting her legal residency was to establish her legal residency in the town where we lived so that she could pay local tuition rather than the much higher out-of-town tuition or the obscenely expensive foreign student tuition. Working here in the US is also a royal pain, should your kids ever wish/need to do so, for a non-citizen.

BTW, I lived in Peru for three years, never filed to pay taxes during that time, and when I moved back to the US just filed them as "late" and paid a very minor fine. This was two decades ago though, so that might have changed.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 172

by cusco (#49189187) Attached to: One Year Later, We're No Closer To Finding MtGox's Missing Millions

The US government, and all other governments hate money laundering.

That must be why Dick Cheney ($100 million in bribes laundered through NY banks to bribe Nigerian officials while he was CEO of Halliburton), Robert Rubin (folded BanaMex's drug lord clients into his CityCorp 'private banking' division), and Richard Grasso (NYSE CEO who did sales calls to the Colombian jungle offering their services to the FARC, retiring with the largest bonus of any NYSE executive in history) are serving long jail sentences. Oh, that's right, they're **NOT**.

Governments hate money laundering the way DEA agents hate drug lords; with their fingers crossed behind their backs.

Comment: Re: and you never will find the money (Score 0) 172

by cusco (#49182783) Attached to: One Year Later, We're No Closer To Finding MtGox's Missing Millions

Weak central government has been tried hundreds if not thousands of times over the course of civilization. It doesn't work. I'm old enough to have seen the Cuyahoga River burning, from back in the days of weak central government control of environmental issues. Unfortunately Libertarians tend to be the most historically illiterate people around (which is probably why they believe in their central doctrines). Even Adam Smith was in favor of a strong central government to control abuse of the markets.

Comment: Re:Yes, and? (Score 1) 172

by cusco (#49182499) Attached to: One Year Later, We're No Closer To Finding MtGox's Missing Millions

The person most frequently pointed at as the likely creator of bitcoin is a CIA contractor, it would not surprise me at all to eventually learn that this was a CIA/DARPA project in experimental economics. What would surprise me is if none of the missing bitcoins showed up in the wallets of the investigators that took down Mt. Gox.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 172

by cusco (#49182455) Attached to: One Year Later, We're No Closer To Finding MtGox's Missing Millions

That's called "money laundering" in the real world, and CityCorp, BoA, Credit Suisse/First Boston, etc. make $50-$100 billion dollars a year doing it. It's so profitable that US Treasury Secretaries retire from "public service" to head these companies' "private banking" operations. If you want a way to deal with stolen bitcoins you're going to need to get the big money laundries involved to get the process legalized.

Comment: Re:How did they do it (Score 1) 61

by cusco (#49182359) Attached to: Lost City Discovered In Honduran Rain Forest

the building up of human and livestock waste

The Maya and other peoples in this region did not have domesticated livestock, at least as we think of them. They raised domesticated ducks (and apparently chickens brought from China) but other than that their only animals were dogs and pets such as monkeys and parrots. This area is a thousand or more kilometers from the Amazon, which your link refers to.

Comment: Re:Krebs (Score 3, Interesting) 230

by cusco (#49165729) Attached to: How Do You Handle the Discovery of a Web Site Disclosing Private Data?

In the last '90s I worked as System Operator for a company which sent several thousand automated account renewals to credit card companies each month. We had been sending 9-track tapes via Fed Ex, and I was tasked with converting all these to digital transfers. We ended up with a mish-mash of different methods, dialup modem, encrypted email attachments, etc. but American Express had a rather unique approach.

They had us FTP an unencrypted, unzipped text file to a folder with our account number on their ftp site. Logged in as anonymous. With full access to all the other folders showing all their other customers' data transfers. They didn't clean up the folders either, so some of the other customers had a year's-worth of data transfers piled up. We couldn't believe it.

Comment: Re:Krebs (Score 1) 230

by cusco (#49165597) Attached to: How Do You Handle the Discovery of a Web Site Disclosing Private Data?

Wow, hard to believe that this still happens. First encountered this when I opened my first (and only) online banking account at SeaFirst bank in the late '90s. When I realized that in order to get into someone else's account all I had to do was change the account number in the URL I took some screen shots and sent it off to their webmaster. It was told that it was fixed within a couple of weeks, but I was so appalled that it was even possible that I had them delete my online profile and lock my account from changes made from an online account. Have never signed up for online banking since because every few years there's another of these stories appearing, I think the most recent was Chase just two years ago.

This is the inevitable result of outsourcing all your IT work to the lowest bidder.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun

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