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Comment: Re:We need to make full time 32 hours a week or le (Score 1) 187

by j-beda (#49161615) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

We need to make full time 32 hours a week or less and make OT pay cost so much that very few people are pulling 60+ hour weeks.
Also make the min level to be on no OT salary pay to be something like 80K-100K+ COL.

Rather than an immedate large jump, perhaps better would be to gently increase the number of statutory holidays and/or decrease number of hours that qualify for "full time" at some predictable rate over the long term. Every few years add another holiday, or decrease the work week by twenty minutes. If we had done this type of thing a few decades ago, things might not be getting so bad right now.

The world's productivity per worker has increased many times since the 1920s when labor first got organized and things like standard work days got put into place. I wish there was some natural system that would divide gains from increased productivity equally between the employerer, the employee, and society at large (each of them contributes something to the success of any venture), but any system I can think up requires all sorts of taxing and accounting and enforecement and would in in practice probably be unworkable and open to huge amounts of abuse.

Universal health care and perhaps a guaranteed subsitance income would seem to be required if continue to advance our automation skills faster than new jobs are created. Or we can wait for the starving masses to rise up and tear down the existing system. That won't be pretty.

Comment: Re:What about the online use of these cards? (Score 1) 449

by j-beda (#49094455) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

The way it's done with my bank is that you set a phrase that only you know, which is displayed when the page is spawned.

Bruce Schneier (IIRC) described the obvious hack for that the day Visa came out with it...

The attacker (whether a fake merchant, or a MitM) waits for a request for you to verify your identity. It then presents your information to the real site (keep in mind the attacker builds this connection, so encryption doesn't mean a damned thing). The real site responds with your known prompt-phrase, so you "know it's legit". Attacker then prompts you with that phrase, and waits (and records) your response. Attacker passes your response on to the bank, and the transaction goes through successfully.

Except, that the attacker now has everything he needs to produce as many fraudulent charges as he wants.

You are correct that this is defeatable, but it requires more work by the attacker and I don't think anyone has bothered to do so yet because there are enough easier targets to work on. It is a little bit like house security - your locks and other things do not need to be perfect, they just need to be good enough to cause the "bad guy" to give up and try some other place - the vast majority of thefts from homes end up being from homes with unlocked doors.

Since it requires more work to defeat, the merchant can have higher confidence that transactions authorized by this mechanism are less likely to be fraudulent.

Comment: Re:Black Hat 2014: A New Smartcard Hack .. (Score 1) 449

by j-beda (#49094411) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

Because I have a wife whose card hits the same account and I don't go through my back statements each month. I put EVERY transaction on my credit card, from buying a coffee to parking to supermarket and everything else in between. That means my credit card statement is LONG. Yeah I know I should keep every receipt and check it against the statement at the end of the month but no.

We also put virtually everything onto the card, but fortunately my wife doesn't do that much purchasing so her items are not too difficult to figure out.

I use MoneyDance for our accounting, and it has a mobile app that syncs with the desktop software. I try to enter transactions on my phone as they occur (and often take a photo of the recipt at the same time) which makes reconciling against the data file downloaded from the card's website and the montly statement much easier.

Comment: Re:someone explain for the ignorant (Score 1) 449

by j-beda (#49094337) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

Yeah, I don't get this either. I choose debit just about everywhere because it's faster and more secure. It would be tempting for me to move my bank account specifically to get chip and pin if a bank were using that as a competitive advantage, but I don't know if that's even possible given the standard they've adopted.

Call your current provider and ask for them - it might be possible for them to flip a switch somewhere to move your chip and signature to chip and PIN. Certainly if you are planning on travelling in Europe you want C+P since that is what everyone outside of the tourist market will be expecting.

Comment: Re:someone explain for the ignorant (Score 1) 449

by j-beda (#49094315) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

I had a credit card scanned and then used when I was travelling. The crim did a small transaction first and then bought 25k worth of flights. My bank immediately locked the card and while it was a pain to have my card stop working I wasn't out of pocket and I had a new card in 3 days.

I got a call from the credit card people saying my card was compromized somehow and that they were sending me a new one, but that the old one would continue to work for chip+pin transactions, just the swipe and "tap" transactions would no longer work. I hadly noticed the inconvenience while the replacement was "in the mail".

That card has been compromized a few times over the last few years - it is the one used the most as it has the best rebate program. Finally last year I got tired of needing to contact the dozen places that automatically bill that card, so we moved them all over to my wife's card on the same which gets used much less often and has never been compromized. I guess she doesn't shop in all those shady places that I evidently frequent.

Comment: Re:Clarification from OP (Score 1) 327

by j-beda (#49038175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Panic Button a Very Young Child Can Use

Perhaps I am an asshole. Likely I am suffering from lack of sleep, a poor family life, and lack of fulfilment in my daily existance. Perhaps my raising potential difficulties in the manner I did makes them difficult to understand or even hear. That does not change the validity (or lack thereof) of those issues.

Raising kids is hard. Taking care of infants and toddlers can be extremely difficult. Dealing with a colicky baby at 3am with a toddler who cannot sleep due to a fever and whatever crap has happened in your life that day and the fact you haven't had a decent night's sleep in three weeks can be almost impossible. Having the additional stresses of your own illness or that of your spouse does not make it any easier.

Of course, we are all the products of unbroken lines of parents who "successfully" raised kids to breeding ages, so it clearly is not impossible, and there are uncountable number of people who have made it through much more difficult situations, but there are also huge numbers of people who have been in less difficult situations and have failed miserably. Giving some thought while not in the middle of a desperate situation on how to handle that situation can be very useful. Knowing the phone number of the local crisis hotline, the on-call "tele-nurse", or other available resources can be very useful. Taking seriously friends' offers to "call at any time" is also important. Realizing that the stresses we are talking about can and do have serious mental health effects, which can have very real long term effects even if everyone comes out completely physically fine. "Nobody died, but the divorce wasn't pretty" is not the optimal outcome.

You are right that the spectre of child services swooping in is probably not a useful addition to the discussion. If we assume that the original poster is focussing on family safety to the extent that they think they are mitigating the risk of outcomes that would we catastrophic, then involvement of child services is a non-issue. However the way things have been presented were not along the lines of "I think there is a million-to-one chance that we may have a problem, and I want to provide some extra protection to increase my peace of mind". This felt more like a "There is a 1% chance that we are going to have a problem", and in my opinion those sorts of dangers cannot be reliably addressed by the types of technical measures being considered.

Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 2) 277

by j-beda (#49036021) Attached to: Jon Stewart Leaving 'The Daily Show'

Why don't you come up with plenty of examples of this allegedly common fraud?

No, I think the shoe is on the other foot, here.

There are plenty of examples, year in and year out, of people being caught (and even arrested and convicted) of doing things like stuffing voter registration roles with fake names. In some jurisdictions, dead voters are surprisingly active. There's no trouble at all coming up with examples of fraud, but there's lots of trouble coming up with examples of "young people being disenfranchised," unless you mean things like "making it difficult for them to vote absentee from their home district and also from their college town."

Who is being disenfranchised when they're not allowed to do both? What's the objection? People bother trying to combat those tactics because there are examples of activist groups deliberately recruiting college students to participate in exactly such double-voting and vote-trading schemes.

I don't know, 31 incidents from 2000 through 2014 doesn't sound like "plenty of examples, year in and year out"

And, the voter ID laws being passed do not actually address the types of voter fraud that occasionally takes place.

The above article references 3000 voters being turned away in four states due to the tighter voter id laws enacted there. What fraction of those were fraudlent in the sense that they would not have been legal if proper ID was present?

Are the costs of disenfranchising voters a small price to pay in order to not actually stop any fraud?

So, taking the shoe off the other foot - do you now have some evidence to present of this allegedely common fraud?

Comment: Re:Clarification from OP (Score 1) 327

by j-beda (#49035801) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Panic Button a Very Young Child Can Use

Day care or private nursing is not an option unless someone else is footing the bill. Day care is not even a money problem, it's more a problem of "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't." A seizure is something you can plan for and come up with options. Day care has a hell of a lot more unsavory potential variables. Read the news sometime.

Maybe all those people with kids in daycare are delusional, compeltely out of touch with the dangers they are placing their children in. Or mabye you are. Which is more likely?

Yes there are problems and challenges with daycare, and infant daycare spaces may in fact be unobtainable in your area due to high demand, but to think that "a seizure is something you can plan for", there seems to be something wrong with your world view. If your wife's seizures are unpredictable enough that you need some sort of monitoring, and you are able to afford care for your children to take that burden away from her, then not doing so seems strange.

Epilepsy is generally not associated with any other mental issues is it? What is your wife's position on all of this? Does she want to remain primary care giver in this situation? Does she think that this planned monitoring system would be safe enough? How is she coping with this sudden change in her previously well controlled affliction? This type of relaps can lead to major phychological distress - how is she coping with that? Being the primary caregiver of little kids is tough enough for anyone - can she handle the extra burden now that she's no longer confident of having seizures under control? How about you? Is your stress level such that you are maybe in need of some additional support? Are both of you getting enough sleep?

Are there perhaps five friends or family members who could take one day each week to spend the day with your family? Members of the local mom's group? People in your birthing classes? Church members? If the expected frequency of seizures is so high that it feels wrong to burden friends or family with the issue (perhaps monthly, weekly or daily?) then it is clearly too high to rely on tech solutions and panic buttons - your wife needs more help than that. If the expected frequency os seizures is low enough (I don't know how low this would be - maybe once a year seizures?) then maybe it would not be so difficult to provide good social coverage durring work hours, and rely more on the kids when they got older, but unless you work within a hundred meters of your home, I cannot imagine how you can think that any sort of remote monitoring would provide the type of help that you are going to need.

If mom has a seizure and you get alerted to it, what are you going to do about it? How long is your response time to get home? Are you really comfortable that the toddler and the infant will be able to handle things until you arrive? And that you can get home in time to assist your wife with her seizure issues? Are you expecting to call the ambulance to get there before you? What do you expect them to do with the kids? I imagine that the systems in place to care for families in the community might view such a situation as an unfortunate rare accident, but if this type of seizure happens again, do you think social services will be happy with leaving the children under the care of you and your wife? While there are news stories of children being left in awful situations with terrible parents, there are also cases where children are separated from parents who maybe don't seem so bad - would this type of situation fit into that characterization?

Comment: Re:I'll take the wine instead (Score 3, Informative) 480

by j-beda (#49035539) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

I think the lottery is a win in general. Yes, you have people who become addicted or can't afford to spend the money, but that's life. On the plus side a lot of people sincerely enjoy playing and much of the cash goes to public works and schools and such. It's practically an optional tax, and the idea of taxes being optional I find fantastic.

Except for the fact that the lion's share of money raised by the lottery is from people purchasing multiple tickets. And for the fact that money raised by lotteries does not typically add to the tax base, it just allows governments to decrease the amount of money they send to the schools from out of general revenue.

"80% of Lottery Profits Come From 10% of the Players"

"...What we found, however, was that lotteries did not enhance the funding of public education. Lottery states actually used a smaller percentage of their wealth for education than did non-lottery states...."

Comment: Re:I'll take the wine instead (Score 1) 480

by j-beda (#49035493) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

This whole topic is really weirding me out. My dad has always said (well, for at least 20 years or so) that he plays the lottery just for the fantasy of winning. In reply, I often make the same lame joke about being almost as likely to find the winning ticket in the parking lot. We're not so clever, me and my dad.

Offer to purchase his tickets for him, and instead put the money into the bank. Every year take him out to dinner with the weekly "profits". OK, lying to your pop probably isn't the best idea.

Comment: Re:Except (Score 1) 480

by j-beda (#49035477) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

Is it not good that we live in a country where we can spend money on lottery tickets if we choose?

Is it good that people have the freedom to make bad decisions? Yes.

Is it good that people then go ahead and actually make bad decisions? No. (at least, it's not good for them)

Is it good that we have public bodies encouraging people to spend money on lottery tickets? I don't really think so.

Problem gamblers cost society significant amounts of money in the form of lost productivity, broken homes, theft, and all sorts of other ills. Like booze and tobacco, we might not prohibit it outright, but it seems insane to actively encourage it.

Prize-linked savings accounts (sometimes called "no-lose lotteries") are something I could get behind, but lotteries as we now run them do seem like taxes that tend to fall largely on those least able to pay them.

Comment: more child dependant than you think (Score 1) 700

by j-beda (#48976401) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?

Almost all of the solid research I have seen on what factors actually account for future earnings, success in school, etc. tend to support the idea that the details of what you do for the kids are not really that important, but the broad brushstrokes of how your family and you kids' peer's families view schooling, working to achieve goals, and the importance of critical thinking seem to be more important that what school or educational method is experienced.

The fact that you and your spouse are trying to find "the best" for the tyke probably means that you kid is likely to do well no matter what you choose. Try to find friends for your kids who's families place similar importance on the idea of education, and that will probably help too. Kids who apply to elite schools and do not get accepted seem to have as successful lives as those who attend.

You might also consider that rather than home schooling, you might make an even bigger difference in the wider community's development if you sent your kid to the local school, and then devoted some of the time and resources that you would have spent on home schooling to supporting that local school with volunteering and money. If all of the "keen" parents abandon the public schools for alternative educational programs, us slackers who don't care enough about our kids are going to do so little that generations of public school kids are just going to end up as bums and thugs, putting all the weight of responsibile citizenship on your kids as they grow up. Seriously though, the local school would love to have additional involved parents, and the other families there would also love to have additoinally involved parents.

Comment: Re:Cash grab of a bankrupt country (Score 1) 825

by j-beda (#48955141) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

The US has managed to get other places to "bend over" for things like reporting on US citizenship financial holdings by threatening to fine companies who do not report such info. Since almost every financial institution of any size has some US dealings, they are vunerable to this threat. Up until the Canadian government said "OK we will collect the data for you, big brother Sam, don't hurt us" the Canadian financial sector was all in a tizzy trying to figure out how it could prove to Uncle Sam it was not harbouring undeclared citizens, figuring out how to provide the info that Sam wanted on the declared citizens that would violate privacy laws, and figuring out how to divest themselves of clients who were US citizens to get rid of the complicated reporting requirements. I know of at least one international venture capitol fund that refuses investments from USA citizens for exactly this reason.

While the USA may be morrally bankrupt, the financial weight that they can bring to bear on any institution is pretty large.

Comment: Re:Double Irish (Score 1) 825

by j-beda (#48954947) Attached to: Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

This is only partly true. You only have to pay American taxes on anything you make OVER 90k US. If you are making less than 90k you dont have to pay US taxes on it.

Well, I think that is only true for countries that have a tax treaty with the USA. And it only covers wages and "earned income", and you are still required to file onerous records regardless of your income.

The USA is virtually the only country in the world that requires non-resident citizens to file tax returns and pay USA taxes on all of their world income regardless of where it is earned. Canadians living in the USA do not pay taxes to Canada, or even have to file Canadian tax returns. The reverse is not the case. Even giving up your US citizenship doesn't remove this burden entirely:

Comment: Re:Interesting Development (Score 1) 145

by j-beda (#48952087) Attached to: Police Stations Increasingly Offer Safe Haven For Craigslist Transactions

"Trust is a required ingredient for any business." No it isn't. I can and have made business dealings with no thought of trusting my opposite at all. That's what contracts are all about.

I would disagree, you would be a fool to enter into a business relationship with someone you do not have at least a bit of trust in. The contract gives you some potential way of recovering some of your costs if things go bad, and raising the cost to both parties in behaving badly, but the contract doesn't really protect you from someone really trying to rip you off. You need to trust: that they are who they say that they are; that you will be able to find them afterwards if things go badly; that they will eventually be able to pay if the court case goes against them; that the courts will read the contract the way you think they should; and a host of other items. The fact is that most people in most situations are quite trustworthy, and most of us trust the rest of us to behave reasonable in most situations.

Businesses that do not show enough trust in their suppliers and customers end up incurring extra expenses because of that lack of trust, perhaps making them less competitive. Of course businesses that show too much trust may end up with extra losses leading to their demise, so there is some sort of balance between the two extremes.

Put your best foot forward. Or just call in and say you're sick.