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Comment: Re:Hooray for druggies! (Score 1) 401

The dogs are consistently abused

Please cite some actual examples of police dogs being constantly abused. You have no idea what you're talking about.

I think "The doges are used in away to abuse the 'suspects'." was closer to what was meant, rather than that the dogs were being mistreated. There are numerous studdies to suggest that the potential for abuse exists:

Comment: Re:Hooray for druggies! (Score 1) 401

Or they can be trained to alert on whatever signal their handler wants to give them. Hell, they are dogs, they want to please their handler.

That sentence was valid with "their": "Hell, the handlers dogs, they want to please their handler."

" handler's ", or perhaps " handlers' " but that is less likely as the final "handler" is not plural.

Comment: Re:Decent (Score 1) 482

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: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: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: make it light (Score 1) 385

by j-beda (#49290695) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

Probably nobody will read this since it is way down at the bottom, but in my opinion the best choice would be something very light and portable.

In her chosen field, all of the really heavy lifting will be done on external clusters or the like - so something that can open a secure shell on a remote system and transfer files easily is the only thing that is really neccessary. Larger and larger portions of the scientists I see and/or support are purchasing MacBook Airs because dragging a tiny 11" model around all the time is way easier than anything larger. Then plutting it into a monitor and keyboard when at the desk, and you're good to connect to the server doing the real work.

As much as I like the Macs, there are probably reasonable other ultra-portables that are worth considering if the Windows or Linux environment floats your boat, but the Mac does fit with lots of hardware and software.

Comment: Re:Reddit (Score 1) 114

by j-beda (#49257679) Attached to: Twitter Will Ban Revenge Porn and Non-consensual Nudes

1) The victim needs to complain, and most will never even notice, and
2) It takes 15 seconds to make a throwaway account, and hours or even days for someone to notice, complain, and get a response; then, 15 seconds later...

Not only that, if Twitter enforces its rules the way they are stated, i.e.:

may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject's consent [emphasis added]

That "or" is crucial. Amost always, commercial nude photography pays the model (and of course it's consensual), but in exchange for pay, the photographer or company paying for the pictures retains all copy and distribution rights.

What that means, is that the photographer or company -- i.e. the copyright holder -- can distribute those photos without consent of the model, yet perfectly legally. Not only is it legal, it's the way it's usually done.

I warned when Reddit tried to do this that they were going to get themselves in hot water if they tried to enforce their rules as written. I now have to say the same about Twitter.

Probably all of these sites retain the ability to limit what you may post, regardless of your ownership of the content. If Reddit wants to ban images of left handed Antarticans, they are prefectly able to do so, even if I own all rights to the images. They are not required to permit anything they do not want to.

Comment: Re:Ah, come one, don't we trust the Feds? (Score 1) 90

Some of us have worked on the ISP side of the house (disclosure: I worked for a small one that was crushed by Time Warner a long time ago) and view the Netflix debacle in a different light. Netflix has a history of trying to pass their costs onto third parties, by abusing settlement free peering, pushing their "Open Connect" devices on ISPs without offering to pay the usual co-location expenses, or trying to cheap out on envelopes that wound up jamming in sorting machines and causing USPS all manner of difficulties. That one turned into a major spat as I recall, with USPS having to threaten to revoke their bulk mailing/pre-sort price discounts before Netflix was willing to back down.

The long standing model for internet traffic has been sender pays. If you're dumping more traffic into my network than you take off my hands you pay me to get it closer to its destination. If you're taking more off my hands than I'm taking from you then I pay you. In the final example, we exchange roughly equal amounts of traffic and agree to do so without remuneration.

Is that model still valid today? It's hard to say. It did build the internet as we know it today, for better or worse. It would be easier for me to be sympathetic if this wasn't a pissing contest between Netflix and ISPs. The arrogance of Netflix is truly astounding, from my perspective as someone who worked in the ISP business, and I see it as billionaires arguing with other billionaires about who should foot the bill for their respective business models.

I'm confused. Netflix dumps their traffic onto the interwebs through some sort of ISP (paying them for the privledge), don't they? And when that ISP interconnects with my ISP they do the "sender pays" sfuff you talk about. Then my ISP gets it to me. How is Netflix doing something wrong here? Was their ISP not paying their internconnection bills?

I thought what happened was that Comcast acting as my ISP realized that they could throttle the Netflix traffic and extort money out of Netflix beyond what Netflix's ISP was already paying them to carry the traffic. That seems unjust. As a customer of this ISP, shouldn't I be able to decide what data I want to access, without the providers of that data needing to pay extra fees to reach me?

Comment: Re:beware of FATCA (Score 1) 734

by j-beda (#49193961) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Take a look at . My spouse is American, though we're lived in Canada for 16 years and are raising our kids here. The new tax implications are a serious issue. I know 1 person who has renounced their U.S. citizenship due to the new tax implications, and I'd love for my spouse to do the same to simplify our tax situation and prevent the U.S. from making a grab at our Canadian retirement savings.

Personally, I'm not hurrying to register our children with the U.S. to secure U.S. citizenship.

Keep in mind that the US law on the subject does not require registration to "secure" their US citizenship. As the children of a US citizen, they ARE US citizens (provided at least one of their US parents was born in the US or resided there for a certain amount of time - thus your grandchildren might not automatically be US citizens). Not registering your kids does not protect them from the US considering them to be citizens and thus subject to all this non-resident stuff that is so problematic.

Possibly, in your case, registering the kids while they are young and it is relatively easy to do might be better than trying to get all the documentation done when they are older. I do not doubt that it would be possible to get hit by a huge bill from the IRS while at the same time being denyed entry into the country due to lack of documentation of US citizenship. The multitude of different parts of a government don't always behave in a consistent manner. Presumably your wife is already familiar with the various tax reporting requirments, so as the kids get older they should be taught what she has already learned. Most of the biggest issues turn up due to being suprised by the requirements and not filing them properly.

Comment: Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 734

by j-beda (#49193905) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Keep in mind they are only responsible for filing for taxes if the income's in the United States and their residency is 50% or more in the United States. AND YES they DO keep tabs on that kinda stuff.

Yes they do keep tabs on this sort of thing, but unfortunately US citizens regardless of their residency, are required to file taxes each and every year as long as their income is above whatever the threshold is for residents of the US - virtually every adult citizen falls under this requirment.

In addition to filing taxes, just the requirement for reporting foreign financial accounts can also be pretty onerous, with pretty low thresholds. Once you have a few years of retirement savings, you've probably hit that requirment (the aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year). And if you were the treasurer of your local social club or somehow had signing authority of an account that wasn't your own? That counts too.

While this is listed in the "small business" section of the IRS website - it applies to everyone:

Then there is Form 8938 - slightly higher thresholds but still pretty low:

If you don't file? Penalties of "up to the greater of $100,000 or 50 percent of account balances; criminal penalties may also apply" if they decide it was willful.

The moving cursor writes, and having written, blinks on.