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Comment: Re:Also what kind of idiot buys at retail price? (Score 1) 321

by toadlife (#49494931) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

I don't think Apple plays that game. The discounts they give for volume purchases are close to zero.

The community college district I work for did a big ipad rollout with zero input from IT. The bulk discount we got on ipads was trivial; something like $10 per unit.

Our district is small compared to LAUSD and the kind of rollout was a little different, but the story sounds eerily similar.

Apple wines and dines administrators on their campus, promises them the world in order to get them to buy into the Apple ecosystem, which makes Microsoft's lock-in strategy from the late 1990s look tame by comparison.

Comment: Re:But not to Nestle. (Score 1) 332

by toadlife (#49459489) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

Thank you.

I live down in Kings County, which affectionately call "Mississippi, CA."

Recently, the state passed the first groundwater regulation in CA's history, only to fuck it up by placing the job of regulation in the hands of local municipalities.

The problem with that?

Farmers hold the vast majority of political offices here.

Comment: Re:But not to Nestle. (Score 5, Interesting) 332

by toadlife (#49459415) Attached to: California Looks To the Sea For a Drink of Water

You're not counting groundwater. Nut crops are so profitable that farmers can afford to drill million dollar wells to make up for their lack of surface water allocations and still make money.

California's groundwater is completely unregulated and at this moment, and our aquifers, which take thousands of years to build up, are being irreparably damaged.

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 1) 417

by toadlife (#49315025) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

1) Absolutely correct. There is nothing wrong with greywater. It's used where I live. But it's not nearly enough.

2) Too much. People here is the valley always bring up desalination as some magic bullet, not understanding how expensive desalinated water actually is.

Desalinated water costs about $1000 per acre foot (325,000 gallons) at the source. I don't know what the price would climb to given the energy required to move the volume of water farmers use, but I'm pretty sure it would be substantial.

Meanwhile, farmers are used to buying surface water sourced from the aqueducts and reservoirs at $150.00 per acre-foot.

There could be a hypothetical scenario where farmers would shell out the enormous price for desalinated water, but as soon as the rains returned and the inland surface water resources became available again, the desalination plants would have to be shuttered due to lack of demand.

Comment: Re:And the almond trees die. (Score 2) 417

by toadlife (#49314949) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

Not sure where you're from, but I grew up in and live in the Central valley, and I'm not exactly a big fan of the Ag industry.

The water problem is mostly a nut (Almost, Pistachios, Walnuts) problem, which are cash crops. If the price of nuts spike, nobody is going to go hungry and nobody's grocery bill is going to skyrocket. Farmers are already fallowing almost all row crops due to the higher price of pumping water over surface water and the lower profit margins. Row crops are what people actually eat, yet prices are not spiking out of control. This is because, contrary to what people here in the valley actually think, the world and nation does not depend on California to eat. Our food markets are world markets. For a few months out of the year here, things like lettuce and tomatoes are very cheap, because they are in season. For the rest of the year, the prices are higher, but not unaffordable. We're talking $0.99/lb vs $1.99/lb for tomatoes two months out of the year.

There already are many large portions congressional districts with 50% unemployment. Normal unemployment for these districts is 25%, so this is only a recession for these areas. Most of the unemployed are exploited undocumented immigrants who are intentionally hired by crooked labor contractors who know exactly who they are hiring but pretend not to.

Ag makes up, at best, 2% of California's GDP, yet this relatively small industry spends big time money of politicians. As a result, Ag is severely under regulated and in my opinion, their volume/profit driven business models are doing more harm than good to our state.

Comment: Re:Double Irish (Score 1) 825

by toadlife (#48962883) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

What do you think those companies will do if you increase their taxes? Roll over and just fork it over even if it puts them in the red?

I'll say this in the nicest way possible.

You're a fucking idiot.

Corporate taxes cannot, by definition, put a business "in the red" as they are levied only on net profits after expenses. Personal taxes on the other hand are on all revenue minus whatever small deductions (usual only the standard deduction) are available. Until we tax corporations on their gross revenue, or only tax individuals on money left over after expenses, comparing them directly is disingenuous.

+ - Book: Fox News PR Used Sockpuppet Accounts To Rebut Critical Blog Posts->

Submitted by toadlife
toadlife (301863) writes "NPR media reporter David Folkenflik writes in his forthcoming book Murdoch's World that Fox News' public relations staffers used an elaborate series of dummy accounts to fill the comments sections of critical blog posts with pro-Fox arguments. A former staffer told Folkenflik that they had personally used "one hundred" fake accounts to plant Fox-friendly commentary. Fox PR staffers were expected to counter not just negative and even neutral blog postings but the anti-Fox comments beneath them. One former staffer recalled using twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants. Another had one hundred. Several employees had to acquire a cell phone thumb drive to provide a wireless broadband connection that could not be traced back to a Fox News or News Corp account."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What a clusterf**k. (Score 1) 398

by toadlife (#44580815) Attached to: Obamacare Exchanges Months Behind In Testing IT Data Security

I didn't go on a rant. I explained where you are misinformed.

If I have no taxable income, or even better, no income at all, am I still liable for the penalty 'tax'?


From the ACA Wiki article:

Under the mandatory coverage provision, individuals who are not covered by an acceptable insurance policy will be charged an annual penalty of $95, or up to 1% of income over the filing minimum,[115] whichever is greater; this will rise to a minimum of $695 ($2,085 for families),[116] or 2.5% of income over the filing minimum,[115] by 2016.[18][117] The penalty is prorated, meaning that if a person or family have coverage for part of the year they won't be liable if they lack coverage for less than a three-month period during the year.[118] Exemptions are permitted for religious reasons, members of health care sharing ministries, or for those for whom the least expensive policy would exceed 8% of their income.

Comment: Re:Even supporters should want to kill this thing (Score 1) 398

by toadlife (#44500043) Attached to: Obamacare Exchanges Months Behind In Testing IT Data Security

"B" is an insurance company funded ploy to strip the states ability to regulate their own health insurance markets. What would happen is that health insurance companies would all operate from one or a handful of states with the least regulation.

Maybe in the long run it would force states to implement their own state based socialized medicine, but in the short run it would do nothing to help consumers.

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"