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Comment: Re:17 different contractor teams (Score 3, Informative) 69

by kcitren (#49055585) Attached to: 'Google Search On Steroids' Brings Dark Web To Light
It's 17 teams working on 17 different things. The way these projects work is they've got a bunch of contractors that have ideas they want to pursue that are relevant to DARPAs interests and requirements. DARPA funds them and they all work on their own things and try to create some synergy. Over the life of the contract they continue funding those projects that are most successful.

Comment: Re:Where's The Content? (Score 1) 207

by kcitren (#47129665) Attached to: 4K Displays Ready For Prime Time

medium-large on the other side of a good-sized living room, your eyes shouldn't be able to see the difference

That's simply not true. While you won't notice it in level of detail, you will notice it due to the increased dithering and smoothness of color gradients. Things will look better at all normal viewing distances. Although my real hope for the future is in ultra-ultra-ultra high definition displays (think something like the equivalent of a 32K 46" monitor). With that new possibilities actually open up, tie that to a Lenticular lens system an you'll have multiple angle high definition viewing. Imagine a tele-conferencing system where they place the monitor and multiple cameras at the edge of the conference table with a similar setup on the other end. The effect would be more like looking through a piece of glass dividing the table than looking at a flat monitor.

Comment: Re:Dish/Direct TV should offer free basic channels (Score 1) 219

by kcitren (#46631547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

there is some math involved.

Behind the scenes, yes, but in reality, no. To set up a dish, you get yourself a compass (most smartphones have this built in) and a protractor. Then go to a site like or your providers site, put in your zip code and point. Turn the TV where you can see or hear it, and start moving it around til the signal comes in clear.

Comment: Re:If you didn't built it it should be taxed (Score 1) 300

If I won the lottery today I would be taxed on the income. Getting an inheritance on an asset you didn't help create is functionally identical to winning a lottery and should be taxed the same way

But it's not. The estate tax is a tax on the estate, not on income. It's taxed at a higher rate than any income. Our tax schedule is bracketed, lower income pays a lower percentage. If the estate tax was considered an income tax (which it's not), then the rate would be dependent on how much the receiver received, not how much the estate was worth (which is what happens). The estate is taxed at 40% independent of how it's distributed (minus the exemption amount). Here's an example of why this is a problem. Let's imagine a single family owned small business worth about $10,000,000. That $10M includes the real estate, equipment, and potential earnings for the company. Here's a quick overview of small business valuations When the owner dies, that business is part of their estate. Ignoring other estate assets such as a house, money in the bank, investments, etc, and subtracting the $5M exemption, that leaves a $2M tax bill. So where does that money come from? If they had the 2M in hand, they could just pay it out, but remember that a valuation of the company is not simply the assets it has on hand, but also it's potential. They could try to sell the business, and use the proceeds to pay the taxes, they could sell some of the equipment, but that might leave the business without a capacity to keep running. A standard technique is for the owner to gift money to the children to purchase life insurance policies that would cover the taxes on the estate (if the policy is in the children's names, it's not taxable income). In many cases, the business can suffer. Keep in mind, this isn't always the case, but it does happen enough that it can be an issue. This problem was more severe when you have lots of family run farms, where a large portion of the estate was in the value of the land, but exists today with many small businesses.

Comment: Re:We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop hol (Score 2) 300

There is not a tax on anyone's death. There is a tax on receiving an inheritance.

No, it really is a tax on their death. The money is pulled out of the estate before being distributed.

Given X dollars, dividing them among Y heirs leads to no taxes, regardless of how large X is (although the higher X is, the higher Y needs to be).

This is just wrong. This is not how estate taxes work. It really is based on the initial amount and not how much it's divided up. From the IRS:

The Estate Tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. It consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death (Refer to Form 706 (PDF)). The fair market value of these items is used, not necessarily what you paid for them or what their values were when you acquired them. The total of all of these items is your "Gross Estate." The includible property may consist of cash and securities, real estate, insurance, trusts, annuities, business interests and other assets. Once you have accounted for the Gross Estate, certain deductions (and in special circumstances, reductions to value) are allowed in arriving at your "Taxable Estate." These deductions may include mortgages and other debts, estate administration expenses, property that passes to surviving spouses and qualified charities. The value of some operating business interests or farms may be reduced for estates that qualify. After the net amount is computed, the value of lifetime taxable gifts (beginning with gifts made in 1977) is added to this number and the tax is computed. The tax is then reduced by the available unified credit. Most relatively simple estates (cash, publicly traded securities, small amounts of other easily valued assets, and no special deductions or elections, or jointly held property) do not require the filing of an estate tax return. A filing is required for estates with combined gross assets and prior taxable gifts exceeding $1,500,000 in 2004 - 2005; $2,000,000 in 2006 - 2008; $3,500,000 for decedents dying in 2009; and $5,000,000 or more for decedent's dying in 2010 and 2011 (note: there are special rules for decedents dying in 2010); $5,120,000 in 2012, $5,250,000 in 2013 and $5,340,000 in 2014.

Comment: Re:Quality? (Score 1) 160

Not at all, in fact, you'd probably see them willing to take more risks on movies that might not be overly popular. You'd see more niche programs / movies getting created. No one sets out to make a bad movie. They make the best movie they can based on their skill and resources.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov