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Comment: Re:Decent (Score 1) 464

by j-beda (#49487727) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries

If he is married, $70,000 puts him in a federal tax bracket where his long-term capital gains rate becomes 0%. He is doing this to pay 0% taxes on his stock that he cashes out and any other investments he has.

Really? A quick look at Wikipedia seems to support your statement, but surely this type of obvious loophole is easily plugged by putting some minimums or maximums into the tax code.

Can I really gather in all of my cap gains tax free by just making sure that year I have a low enough salaried income? So every decade or so I get my employeer to give me a $1 salary and make sure that in that year I liquidate all of my holdings and then reinvest them, and have thus avoided any tax on my millions of Cap Gains?

Of course, I actually do not have millions in unrealized gains to take advantage of this type of thing...

Comment: Re:Fine theoretical work but.... (Score 1) 136

by j-beda (#49478799) Attached to: Cracking Passwords With Statistics many systems let you try new passwords ad-infinitum, rapidly? I know back when I was in college I could brute force Windows shared folders (script kiddie style), but nowadays I'd expect any semi-serious authentication system to limit the number and frequency of login attempts.

I am not an IT professional engaging in rhetoric; I'm actually curious.

No online system is fast enough to brute force an account even if they did allow you to try new passwords ad-infinitum - each attempt would take a second or two and that's just too slow for effective "cracking" I would think.

I believe that the concern is for when there has been a data breach of some sort, and the "bad guys" have gotten the username/password file. The data in this file has been run through some sort of a one way function and thus you cannot just read the usernames and passwords out of it, but since the attacker knows what the one-way function is, they can test to see if any username or password that they want to know about is in the file, and they can do this with all the computing power at their disposal. "Rainbow" tables are pre-calculated results of this one-way function for common usernames and passwords.

The data in the file can be "salted" adding an extra bit of information to the password before running it through the one-way function - even if the "salt" is known by the attacker, this prevents rainbow tables from being useful. There are probably also ways of combining unique salt values, usernames, and passwords so that even "insecure" passwords are difficult to recover from the file, but of course the longest passwords drawn from the largest possible set of characters will always be hardest to "crack".

Comment: Re:Game of Thrones (Score 1) 104

by CohibaVancouver (#49473349) Attached to: In New Zealand, a Legal Battle Looms Over Streaming TV

Why in the name of fuck would any fucking company want to fuck over its customers?

You misunderstand who the "customers" are.

I live in Canada. Up here in America's hat, GlobalTV Canada has given NBC $X million dollars for the rights to air Saturday Night Live. In exchange, NBC has agreed to not distribute SNL up here - So most of the videos I might want to watch online are regionally blocked.

NBC's 'customer' isn't me - It's GlobalTV Canada.

Ditto all the other regionally blocked content here in the Great White North.

Comment: Re:C64 had a cassette drive (Score 1) 74

The TRS-80 Level 1 only had 64k ram. I remember having to trim code to get it to fit and run.

Believe it or not, the Model I "Level 1" had 4K of RAM. The Level II brought it up to 16K. If you added an "Expansion Interface" (also knows as the "Expensive Interface") you could increase the RAM to it's maximum: 48K.

So the Model I never got up to a whopping 64K...

Comment: Re:And the less admirable aspects ... (Score 2) 74

A former coworker who worked in a Soviet client state during that period told me that the distribution of printers was controlled because it was a "printing press" and could be used to create anti-government propaganda for distribution.

This is what frustrates me so much when people refer to the USA as a 'police state.' They have no idea what a real police state is - In a true police state you can't even have a printer.

Comment: Re:I've seen the prior-art Swiss watch (Score 1) 111

by j-beda (#49419921) Attached to: Swiss Launch of Apple Watch Hit By Patent Issue

Although the Girard-Perregaux Complication Bombastique Impériale was a marvel of its time, the complex geartrains required to write and mail letters, answer telephone calls and listen to the wearer's heartbeat was impossible to keep repaired and lubricated in the field, besides resulting in a device too heavy for any real-world wrist to carry. Though the concept watch was a hit at the Basel trade fair that year, the very idea of having to use a tiny set of platinum screwdrivers to connect the device to a cash register to use the payment feature was a major impediment to sales.

Just another failure of the market.

Comment: Re:Clearly the ARTICLE's a scam (Score 1) 349

by j-beda (#49376353) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You

Actually, it's impossible to file without W2s.
So, yeah a crook might be able to glem stuff,
they can't file for you.

It looks like if you (the crook) sign up you can view your victim's old W2s, and from them you can fake it for the following (current) year, fill out a tax return based on those faked W2s and get the refund sent to a compromised bank account. Withdraw the refund money and run away.

Comment: Re: Be careful what you ask for (Score 2) 349

by j-beda (#49376239) Attached to: Sign Up At Before Crooks Do It For You

What, they don't use more gas / pay more gas tax than the rest of us?

Not in proportion to the wear on the roadway they produce. I think the roadway wear goes as either the square or the cube of the weight per axle, and the big trucks weigh a lot more per axle. Nope - looks like it is a fourth power relationship:

"Road damage rises steeply with axle weight, and is estimated "as a rule of thumb... for reasonably strong pavement surfaces" to be proportional to the fourth power of the axle weight."

It looks like the max axle weight is something like 20,000 lbs. while the average passanger vehicle weighs something like 3500lbs, which would be under 2000 lbs per axle. Thus each very heavy truck can be even more than ten times the axle weight of the average car - and 10^4 is 10,000, so that truck can cause as much wear as 10,000 cars. Or maybe that 10,000 factor is per axle (five axles in an "18 wheeler"), so maybe it is a factor of 25,000 when comparing an 18-wheeler to a car.

Wow - trucks really tear up the roads!

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 385

by CohibaVancouver (#49356627) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

door is locked, as per security requirement

There's two kinds of door-lock modes -

- Locked, but can be unlocked with code that crew knows. "Pilot going to bathroom mode."

- Locked, but cannot be unlocked with code. "Hijacking - No one's getting in mode."

In your example, co-pilot suffers seizure, pilot unlocks door with code and flies plane.

What wasn't anticipated was co-pilot putting door in hijack mode then hijacking plane himself.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 4, Insightful) 385

by CohibaVancouver (#49356535) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

The very lack of them finding the plane (MH370) at all means that it more than not it did not crash

No - They haven't found the plane because of the size of the search area.

I'm surprised how few people seem to get this.

The search area is choppy, stormy ocean and is the size of Australia. To put that in perspective, here's a map of Australia overlaid on the USA:

So imagine you're looking for a seat cushion in Nevada that's bobbing on the water in Illinois.

Comment: Re:Too much manual formatting compared to LilyPond (Score 1) 35

by j-beda (#49336219) Attached to: MuseScore 2.0 Released

The automatic formatting of LilyPond is much better. The workflow is similar to TeX: you write content in a text format and mark it up, and the software takes care of the rest. The quality LilyPond can achieve is very good. With MuseScore, though the visual interface is more comfortable for many and has a smaller learning curve, there's far too much manual adjustment necessary in scores of reasonable complexity, and usually has to be done again when a piece is modified. It's possible to get the best of both though, by importing a MuseScore into Denemo, which uses LilyPond for typesetting. Some examples here show the difference, compared to using MuseScore alone.

I'm glad that it sounds like there is a way using denemo to go from MuseScore to LilyPond. Is there a way to go the other direction? Having the scores in a format with easy portability and long term viability seems very important.

Comment: Re:How fucking tasteless (Score 1) 341

by j-beda (#49335953) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb

Except facts and history do not agree with you.

Fact is that Japan offered to surrender BEFORE the bombs were dropped. They had one condition, that their emperor would not be harmed. The US required unconditional surrender.

The US wanted to a) test the effects of radiation on humans (primarily civilian targets were chosen), and b) the US wanted to drop the bombs as a demonstration to (their allay), the Soviet Union.

Not a position piece, but plenty in there to support the above assertions:

I did not know about the offer to surrender with conditions. I do not see a lot of evidence for (a) being a significant factor, but can certainly believe that (b) was a consideration.

Comment: Re:How many minutes until this is mandatory? (Score 1) 287

by CohibaVancouver (#49332697) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

The companies that own the data still think they can gouge the automotive market, even though the mobile prices have been driven down to the floor by the likes of Waze and Google Maps.

Not really. We just licensed Google Maps for an application. Literally cost millions of dollars. Google doesn't give that stuff away for free.

"You stay here, Audrey -- this is between me and the vegetable!" -- Seymour, from _Little Shop Of Horrors_