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Comment: Re:Half way there (Score 1) 119

by dirk (#49003841) Attached to: TurboTax Halts E-filing of State Tax Returns Because of Potential Fraud

While this is a great idea that works in the rest of the world, there is no way it can work here. Our tax system is too screwed up for it to work in the US. Most other countries don't have different taxes for different types of income, tax deferred income, tax deductions, tax rebates, and any number of other things to deal with. It would work for people with very simple tax returns but our system is too screwed up for it to work for most people.

This is the same reason a flat tax would never work in the US. No one wants to give up their loopholes and deductions and the only way a flat tax works is if all that goes away.

Comment: Re:Accounts (Score 1) 227

by dirk (#48951945) Attached to: The NFL Wants You To Think These Things Are Illegal

While it is true this is what they say, it doesn't make it illegal. Think about it for a second. They are basically saying that without their express permissions, Jimmy Kimmel can't say "Did you see the game yesterday? Can you believe the final touchdown play where Joe Blow ran past 6 defenders to score?" That would be a broadcast of a description of the game. Just because you are broadcasting your retelling of the game doesn't make it any different. The NFL can't stop you from describing what you watched.

Comment: Re:Airline anaolgy is incorrect (Score 3, Insightful) 448

by dirk (#48758121) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

The bigger problem is that a lot of these channels will probably go away if they get rid of bundling. A lot of the smaller niche channels survive until they can support themselves by being bundled with more popular channels (and many of them never make any money and totally live off of other channels). If bundling is gone, then every channel basically has to be making money in a short amount of time or they will be gone.

For example, I would bet dollars to donuts that the Sci-Fi channel didn't make any money for years. It survived because it was bundled with other channels so cable companies were forced to carry it. Basically, unbundling means the channels downgrade to the lowest common denominator because no one will be willing to spend the money on hoping a channel can find it's audience.

Comment: More than just technology (Score 1) 82

by dirk (#48705013) Attached to: Pew Survey: Tech Increases Productivity, But Also Time Spent Working

Technology is part of the reason we can't get away from work, the other is the change in overtime rules. It used to be that companies had to pay overtime for hours worked over 40. This meant that when people left their job, they also left their work at their job in general. Even if you could call someone at home and ask them a question, you didn't. Unfortunately, the overtime rules were eroded to the point that almost no one gets overtime. If you work in an office setting at all, you are expected to put in more than 40 hours a week every single week and not get paid for it. Since they don't have to pay overtime, there is no issue with calling and emailing people at all hours and expecting them to answer. Technology made it easier to get a hold of people outside of business hours, but the reduction of overtime meant that it was okay to do it, which is the bigger issue.

Comment: Re:Sounds more like technical short-sightedness (Score 1) 250

by dirk (#48525827) Attached to: Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

While this may be the way it worked, the issue is that they didn't tell users this. Instead of telling users "music you added manually will be overwritten" they threw up a generic error and then told the user they had to factory reset the phone. It's fine i your sync deletes the stuff on the phone and overwrites it with the stuff from the computer. It's not alright if you purposely hide this fact from the user so they don't know what is going on.

Comment: Re:I always insist on paper for vote (Score 4, Informative) 127

by dirk (#48472137) Attached to: Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

Except they still have to be on the voter rolls. It isn't like without voter ID laws anyone can just walk up and say "I want to vote here". There is still voter registration that happens. Unless you know a specific voter and their polling place for each of those people you just picked up, you aren't going to get anywhere at the polling station.

The fact is that most of the voter fraud happens not at the polls but with absentee ballots. Of course the republicans don't want to touch those because they are used by old people and soldiers, which are their bread and butter.

Comment: I just don't understand (Score 3, Insightful) 1128

by dirk (#48454673) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

I'm not going to rant about how guilty Darren Wilson was. To tell the truth, I don't know if he was guilty. But I just don't understand how there wasn't enough evidence to at least take this to trial. There were multiple witnesses saying that Mike Brown had his hands up and was not attacking Darren Wilson when he was shot. This alone to me is enough to at least take it to trial and see all the evidence to try and figure out exactly what happened.

Unfortunately, all of the emphasis has been on everything except what it should have been. It doesn't matter what Mike Brown was doing before the confrontation, or if he smoked pot. It doesn't even matter what happened with the struggle at the car (whether Mike Brown dove through the window trying for the gun or Darren Wilson grabbed him and pull him in the window). The only thing that matter is what was going on when Darren Wilson shot Mike Brown. If Mike Brown was standing (or kneeling as some reports say) with his hands up and not attacking anyone, then Darren Wilson murdered Mike Brown. If Mike Brown was charging to attack Darren Wilson when he was shot, then is was a good shooting. Unfortunately, with this grand jury decision, we will never get an answer to that. I just don't understand how with the witnesses that have come forward, they couldn't find enough evidence that maybe there was wrong doing to want all the evidence to come out so we can have answers.

Comment: Hydrogen will never work (Score 1) 293

Unfortunately, Hydrogen won't take off (at least in the US). The reason is fairly simple, gas stations don't want it to. The current gasoline infrastructure won't work as is for Hydrogen, and the gas companies and providers don;t want to retrofit to be able to handle it. Tesla has the advantage of being able to create it's own infrastructure outside of gas stations, since all they need is a power line. But with having to have holding tanks and dispensers, Hydrogen is going to be locked into using existing gas stations rather than being able to easily set up their own. Gas stations and providers aren't going to pay the money to retrofit for Hydrogen until there is a tipping point of people with Hydrogen cars, but that's won't come until there are stations selling Hydrogen to make their cars useful.

Comment: Apple is what MS always wanted to be (Score 1, Insightful) 327

by dirk (#48397203) Attached to: Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

It always amazes me that people still try to bash Microsoft over the (bad) things they did in the 90s. Apple has become everything we always feared Microsoft would be, but without all the backlash and bashing. This is truly a "We're not done until 3rd party stuff doesn't work" situation that everyone always suggested MS had (and MS probably did have to some extent). They are purposely disabling an industry standard for anything other than their drivers to force people to use their overpriced upgrade hardware. Yes, you can disable this "feature" but to do so you have to disable ALL driver signing on the system, thus removing a big security protection. Apple is by far one of the worst companies as far as policies and screwing people, and yet no one ever seems to say much about it even as people still write Micro$oft. Maybe it's because there isn't a cute little way to put a dollar sign in their name.

Comment: Re:Open records isn't the issue here (Score 1) 461

by dirk (#48346803) Attached to: Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

But what is the difference between this and hiring someone under age for any other job? You can't work at McDonalds until you are 16 (in most places), so should we require licenses for all fast food employees to ensure everyone is 16? Requiring a license is entirely different and separate from making sure employees are of legal age for their profession.

Comment: Open records isn't the issue here (Score 4, Insightful) 461

by dirk (#48346265) Attached to: Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

The open records request and fulfillment isn't the issue here. If the government licenses someone, you should be able to request the information of everyone with that license (although I'm not sure home information should be included since it is a professional license). This would be the easiest way to see who is and isn't a licensed professional.

The issue is why in the bloody hell is the government licensing dancers? There is no reason to do that other than they want to collect some extra fees from people. There is no professional service being offered that a license would effect. The purpose of licensing professionals is to ensure that the person meets some basic requirements. Unless they are going to try and require a minimum cup size or dancing ability, there isn't anything to license here.

Comment: Maybe we should actually penalize companies (Score 5, Insightful) 286

by dirk (#48216675) Attached to: Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour

The reason companies keep doing this stuff is that they have deemed it cost effective. Let's assume they get caught 90% of the time. That means that would have to pay $31500 in fines for the 9 times they were caught and would save $40000 for the time they didn't. They are coming out ahead so the fine are just a cost of doing business. These tiny little fines are not going to stop things like this from happening. At minimum, the fine should be the same amount they would have "saved"(preferably more). At best, we should start putting people in jail for breaking the law just like we do regular people who break the law.

Comment: Re:Legal to see and do but not film (Score 1) 274

by dirk (#48049891) Attached to: Could Maroney Be Prosecuted For Her Own Hacked Pictures?

They can not give consent, but most laws are written to where one person has to be either over a certain age or X years older. Check out the actual laws - http://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/olr....

I am not defending child porn at all. I am saying that prosecuting someone for taking pictures of themselves nude is not helpful to anyone. If it is legal to see, it should be legal to photograph. If I take a picture of my own penis, why would I be charged with creating pornography? It's mine, I can see it, why can't I take a picture of it? Yes, if I send it out to minors or something, that is different, but in a case like this, the only thing we know for sure is that she took a picture of herself naked. There is no reason that should be against the law.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

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