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Comment Re:What if Steven King wrote sci fi? (Score 2) 10

What is this that you claim I own?

Emphasis mine, from the bottom of the web page:

That is a nice end-run around the question, there. You earlier claimed that I owned something. i asked you to clarify and you blew a bunch of smoke instead of approaching the question. For a moment here I thought we were about to get close to having actually discussions again, when you posted a link to a web site that actually had sourced numbers on it instead of hyperpartisan spin. Now you've gone back to the latter again.

Over here, you're trying to shame me

I was pointing out that you adopted a shameful discussion strategy. I raised questions, and even paid compliments. You responded in outrage and question avoidance. It was no different from the congressional response to the Benghazi reports that were more than 90% in support of the conservative message but they were up in arms over the small amount that questioned their rhetoric.

I would wager that you voted for at least one person who supported the PATRIOT act, do you own that?

In this thread, you're trying to shift the discussion to the PATRIOT Act.

Actually, no. I wasn't trying to discuss the PATRIOT act. Rather the best I could guess from your vaporous comment of my alleged ownership was that you were trying to pin some piece of legislation on me. So I figured I might as well mention a massively unpopular bit of legislation that was previously immensely popular with people from your party. We don't have to discuss the act itself, I was just trying to see if the same degree of political liability applies in both directions or if this is another case of where moral parity is unimportant in comparison to your need to make a point.

Comment Re:Free sppech? (Score 1) 1070

I don't know how many individuals pay and effective 71% tax rate on their person income.

People pay it on their gross. Exxon made $477 billion, and paid taxes at a lower rate than a person who made those numbers.

In 2008, ExxonMobil (one of the favorite targets of the Left) made $45 billion in net profit; they paid $34.5 billion in sales taxes, $41.7 billion in other taxes and duties, and $36.5 billion in income taxes

Sales taxes? When those are generally charged, the person buying pays them. Why do they get to claim them when no other business collecting and passing on the customer's payments counts them? I guess it doesn't matter fiscally if you take them in and pay them out equally, but put it on the report and nutjobs count sales taxes as something the corporation pays. And "other taxes" is in a financial statement. They call the fees for removing oil from the ground in Alaska "taxes." They run ads on TV stating they are "taxes." However, the reality is that the oil is owned by the State of Alaska, and they are paying below market value for the oil, and paying for what isn't theirs is "taxes" because it's owned by the government? Yeah, that really counts as taxes.

And this also means that basically 25% of the cost of the gas you pump into your car is used to pay the taxes that ExxonMobil pays to the Government. On top of the ~$0.60 per gallon in direct taxation you pay (at least here in Washington State). On that $3/gallon of gas, ExxonMobil is making about $0.28; the Government is $1.35.

$0.184 per gallon goes to the feds, and $0.36 to the state, in the state of WA. You are speaking like the "sales taxes" you counted don't include the excise taxes. It's a corporate cashflow, they have to account for the cash, even if it isn't theirs. You are counting the excise money twice. And counting it against their tax percentage. And "other taxes and duties" seems to me to be nothing more than fees for taking oil. It's part of the cost of the oil, as the resources are often owned by governments or shipped across borders. They paid 7.5% of their gross income (what people are taxed on) in income taxes. That's better than the average middle class family. So I don't see the problem, and it seems you have to use creative accounting to make it look like the poor oil companied are getting raped by the government by having to pay 7.5% of their income in income taxes.

Comment Re:Standalone GPS (Score 3, Interesting) 300

iPhones are not good at navigation yet, I own one, and have lots of problems. I've seen HTC tilt running TomTom software and is good, but hangs sometimes. My girlfriend bought an E75, and despite of some normal issues like thinking I'm on a parallel road, the effectiveness of their system has been, to me one the best among those I tried.

I differ about a previous comment of not buying another stand alone in my life, as I appreciate photography and cellphones cameras are far from a stand alone one. Nokia has been doing a good work also there (Pictures of my iPhone suck real bad compared to my girlfriend's E75).

Comment PS3 (Score 1) 170

You can do video chat on the PS3. And you can chat with multiple people at the same time. I've personally done it with three people. I don't know what the limit is. All you need is a PS3, a compatible webcam (could be a Playstation Eye, PS2 EyeToy, and there's various other webcams that supposedly work), and a network connection and you're done. Oh, sorry, replied too fast...missed the requirement about needing to be viewable on a PC. Well if that's not a strict requirement, then you can think about the PS3 option.

Comment Re:What can they actually do? (Score 2, Interesting) 140

No one likes subsidizing "Zombie Strippers". But people don't like using library computers either, it's unpleasant and a hassle; which is the opposite of letting people have easy access to information. Also, there are things you can't look up while other people are around, politics, sex-ed, Iranian marches, etc... You can't do your banking, and it's embarrasing to talk to family and close acquaintances while on a big screen that everyone can see. Also, you can't run your own software like Linux updates, Freenet or yes, Gaming. I don't mind subsidizing people's online gaming either, it's not that expensive and people enjoy it a lot.

Having to share an internet kiosk an hour from your house isn't the same thing as having internet access when you want it. It's a pale imitation.

Comment Re:And of course... (Score 2, Interesting) 125

If the cops have showed up at your doorstep and you didn't call them; they've already decided you're guilty and are there to try to pin something on you; even if it's not your hypothetical kidnapping. And the legal system is simply too complicated now for a layman to safely navigate. So yes... a lawyer is an imperative. (And yeah, as you say, in your scenario you're already and automatically a suspect.)

Even if you have information you do want the cops to have, it's safest and smartest to insist on being provided a lawyer and having him vet and sanitize it for you before releasing it. It doesn't make you any more or less guilty.. you're already guilty in the cops' eyes. It doesn't make them hate or like you any more... to them, you're either cop or you're not.

And once you go over their heads to the realm of lawyers and judges, it still doesn't make you look any more or less guilty. It's never a bad mark and always a good idea and in your best interest to seek legal council when dealing with the legal system.

Comment Re:Where would 3d gaming be without... (Score 2, Interesting) 430

#9 was great, I was sorry when they went bust like most of the others. I had a #9 in my old Dell, and was having some problem with either Windows or some game. #9 support told me it was a BIOS problem, and sent me a new BIOS for the video card. No, they didn't email me a flash update (I can't remember if I even had email yet at the time), they mailed me a big fat EPROM stuck in a piece of carbon anti-static foam inside a padded envelope at no charge. That's customer service.

Comment Re:Well just download the ISO. (Score 0, Troll) 324

It's been many years since I had to contend with a modem, but I sure remember the magical 5kB/sec that you can realistically expect to get from the so-called 56k modems (really 53000 bits per second, a byte is really 10 bits (8 data, one start, one stop) comes to pretty close to 5000 byte/sec) which comes to 18MB/hour. If a CD is 600MB (some are more, some are less) then that would be 33 hours of continuous download through a 56k modem.

Assume less than 100% duty cycle, occasional phone calls, somewhat less than optimal connections -- you fire up the torrent on Monday and by Friday you have the ISO on your harddisk (especially the ISO of a torrent as blazingly fast as Ubuntu, which tends to have a Godzillion seeds about three minutes after it's released).

What was your problem again?

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.