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Comment: Re:Who is doing this? (Score 1) 704

by stinerman (#46398797) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

You will still pay those taxes, even if they are in Bitcoin, because the US courts will force you to, or they will throw you in jail for tax evasion..

This is about the only false part of your post. Taxes must be paid in legal tender, which Bitcoins are not. One must first convert them to dollars and then onward to the tax man.

Comment: Re:Who is doing this? (Score 1) 704

by stinerman (#46396981) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

I would put it past them. This is incredibly small potatoes for them. I know a lot of the bitcoin apologists think they're doing something incredibly revolutionary. They aren't. Basic economics says this is bound to failure because there is a fixed amount of coins to be mined. That's a very bad feature of a currency (works great for an investment, though one will always need to find the next fool)

Maybe organized crime is involved or maybe a couple of 8th graders. I really don't know, nor do I care. I'm just basking in the shadenfreude at this point.

Comment: Re:Ok (Score 2) 187

by stinerman (#46271221) Attached to: Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner

Not everwhere is there a monopoly. For instance where I live in Columbus, I can choose from Time Warner or WOW. If you or I or anyone else wanted to, they could set up a company and run their own wires. Guess what? No one else wants to. Last mile connectivity is a natural monopoly and ought to be regulated as a utility.

As someone else in the comments said, let's require them to split the infrastructure from the services. Then we'll have real competition.

Comment: Re:police arive within 'minutes' (Score 1) 894

by stinerman (#45697215) Attached to: How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

Well the question is really why is it such a recent phenomena in the US? Its a very difficult question to answer. Bowling for Columbine tried to answer it (or at least pretended to try to answer it), and didn't really have a good answer.

I don't think anyone can make a case that school shootings are a direct consequence of a lack of firearms. That can't possibly be true as evidenced by the fact that Europe doesn't have these things happen daily. It has to be something cultural. We do have a weird fetishization with firearms in this country. I don't know where that came from. Perhaps it was a necessary consequence of decades of moving west across the plains and living off the land.

I don't claim to have all the answers, but it simply cannot be the case that school shootings are directly related to the number of privately-owned guns.

Comment: Re:A US perspective (Score 3, Informative) 617

In the United States getting stuff in the mail unsolicited is considered a gift and is not required to be returned...for the exact reason you specified; I can mail everyone on my block an Ubuntu cd and then claim they owe me $10 for accepting it.

I don't know if a shipping error counts as being unsolicited, but I don't think the company would have any recourse. IANAL.

Comment: Re:Australia (Score 3, Interesting) 237

by stinerman (#45469439) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Trust Online Tax Software?

Yeah, I mentioned that at work once. That in foreign countries your return is pretty much done for you, and you just sign off on it. If it isn't correct you provide proof and then send that amendment back in. I got an incredulous stare and an "Oh, that'd be great for the government. They could say whatever they wanted and people would just pay up."


A good many people have no idea that the IRS already has all your W-2s and could fill out a simple 1040-EZ on your behalf. Sure, when you're itemizing it would get a bit more complicated, but for the vast majority of folks who don't itemize, there is no reason that the IRS can't have everything filled out for you, and all you need to do is sign and return.

Comment: Re:lower insurance? (Score 4, Insightful) 449

We will not have a robot driving the car (or a computer) for a very long time.

People's cognitive biases are such that they overestimate the amount of risk involved in driving when they are in control (hence everyone saying they're above average in driving ability). Even then, there will be laws against such things. If, due to a software bug, 1 person died per day in a car accident, the cars would be classified as death traps in the media and in government. Of course, the fact that 32,367 people died in vehicle deaths in 2011 wouldn't matter. People will be able to handle 30,000 people per year dying due to driver error. They won't be able to handle 300 people dying per year due to software error.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 2) 767

by stinerman (#45158603) Attached to: Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion

Do you know it was because of the ACA or did UPS use the ACA as a scapegoat to do something they've wanted to do for awhile?

Competitive businesses can't just cut benefits like that without some backlash and losing some employees due to it. Now they've got a convenient excuse. "Yeah, your wife can't be on the plan anymore...I know, I know it's not our fault, it's that damn Obamacare."

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas