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Comment: Re:you are a Republican (Score 1) 575

by lgw (#46763813) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Huh, what? You're talking about the first bill Obama signed into law? The GOP is reliably management-vs-labor, to be sure (after all, organized labor is a key element of the Dem constituency, so at least the parties are representing their constituents by their sides there), but how did they kill it?

I did think you were trying to construe the "people can pay for their own birth control" as a women's rights issue, since that's recently in the news - OK, I guessed wrong. So what are you on about?

(BTW, I do wish there was a party I was aligned with, but I just want a small government party, and there's no such animal any more).

Comment: Re:The Real Breakthrough - non auto-maker Maps (Score 1) 114

by lgw (#46762457) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

Car makers have been constantly pushing very over-priced terrible in-car GPS systems for a while,

I'll have you know my car has a very over-priced mediocre in-car GPS system! Actually, its flaw is no good interface to set a destination address (voice recognition and arbitrary proper nouns is just a bad combination in general). I really want a way to attach a keyboard, or to pull an address from my phone contacts list in some sane and reliable way.

One thing I really wish would happen would be to have the car industry be also mandated to provide third-party access to all of the screens that will be mandated in cars soon because of the back-up cameras... that could lead to a real renaissance in what smart-phones can do for you in-car.

There's real potential there, but I want it to work both ways: the car should accept any screen though some standard interface (2-way HDMI maybe?). The built-in screens will have terrible resolution, no doubt, but it seems like a good part for an aftermarket upgrade.

Comment: Re:So it's the "tech industry", so what? (Score 1) 280

by nine-times (#46762339) Attached to: Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

I'm not sure that sysadmins, network engineers, and the other better IT jobs have to start out at the bottom rung.

I'm sure it's not always the case. There are various reasons why people get hired to jobs-- some better than others. However, I'll tell you that I wouldn't hire someone as a sysadmin who hasn't had experience as a sysadmin unless I knew that they had prior troubleshooting and support experience in a real-world setting. There are lots of reasons for that, some of them more obvious than others. I'll also comment that my position seems to fit along with other people that I've known who would hire a sysadmin or network engineer, though that's still all anecdotal.

It's ok. Like you said, to each his own.

Yup. Honestly, I've found I just don't like programming. I don't even like scripting and web development. I like logically solving problems, product design, and I'm even interested in some of the math involved, but I don't enjoy the process of actually coding or the project planning involved. I actually prefer the support side, though it's not tons of money, and it's been a long time since I was tier-1. Also, even when I was tier-1, I wasn't doing the sort of work where people read a script sitting in a huge support farm.

Yes. That is true. And if you DO have an education, you typically start at a higher point in said path, end at a higher point, and have vastly greater chances of reaching the upper echelons than if you do not have an education. Depends on the career.

Starting at a higher point... I think it probably depends on the industry. In my experience in IT support, it's definitely not the huge determining factor. We're always looking for young people who can be trained. I think you have a better point in saying, "have vastly greater chances of reaching the upper echelons", but I suspect it's for a weird mix of reasons. I do expect that there are bosses who won't promote you to a certain level without having the "college degree" box checked on your records. I also think that, to some degree, there are qualities that help you be successful in business and also make you more likely to go to college, e.g. a tendency toward conformity and willingness to jump through required hoops, or the idea that people with a certain kind of intelligence are more likely to be able to finish school and do well in business.

Actually though, it's true that there are businesses who will hire IT purely based on college education and certificates. Those people tend not to know what they're doing.

Comment: Re:huh? (Score 1) 305

by lgw (#46762033) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Well, they show suggestions for what you might watch next when you finish whatever you're streaming. But Netflix also has original content now, so it's hard to see suggesting those shows as anything but ads.

I'm sure their catalog continues to shrink (not that it's really Netflix's fault, they studios they license this stuff from seem to have an inflated idea of what 30 year old sitcoms are worth), but they're pretty good at new releases.

The worst part is, the DVD catalog is shrinking too. I loved Netflix for their deep back-catalog, but they're slowly becoming Redbox.

Comment: Re:name the issue and be shown otherwise (Score 1) 575

by lgw (#46761869) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Abortion is a difficult moral issue, and it's fine that we're divided as a nation on it. I don't have a problem with the parties on this one.

No one is against women's rights (though I could name a president that pays the women working for him 78% of what he pays the men).

Is anyone advocating creationism at the federal level? For sure both parties are to blame for the crazy common core math nonsense now spreading (it's the new new math, the same "whole word reading" mistake all over again).

Both parties advocate tax breaks for their supporters.

The Left seems to strongly oppose free speech these days. Justice Breyer was just joined by 3 more in a dissenting opinion that free speech was not an individual right. That right - a left-leaning bloc in the SCOTUS is anti-free-speech now.

No one on either side is serious about reducing spending, because soon all that will be left to cut are social programs, and no one has the courage to go there. This will end in tears.

Comment: Re:Think of all those poor accountants! (Score 1) 346

by lgw (#46761737) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Short term capital gains are taxed as income, and thus progressive.

Long term capital gains depend on total income in a complex way, but the gains have a 0% bracket for those with low income (and gains, combined), a 15% bracket for most, a 20% bracket, and a 3.8% (I think) surcharge at ~200k.

Remember, there are no deductions on the capital gains, but a $10k+ standard deduction on the income tax. Long term works out a bit cheaper tax-wise than income because that's the incentive to invest long term, but it's not a huge difference. You don't pay more than 15% total tax on income until you pass around $50k, if you're single and have no deductions.

If your income is sub-median, you're not paying more than 15% overall on your income taxes.

Comment: Re:Another thing (Score 1) 129

by swillden (#46761683) Attached to: U.S. Biomedical Research 'Unsustainable' Prominent Researchers Warn

I do think the west, especially the US, is likely headed for a period of slower growth than we're accustomed to, or perhaps worse, stagnation or decline. This is because globalization (which many think is a dirty word, but I think is fantastic) is spreading the wealth over more of the human race.

This may seem to contradict the other current trend of concentration of capital, but historically they've gone hand in hand.

Not just historically, but currently. Inequality within nations is increasing, but inequality between nations is shrinking:

Indeed. Sorry I was a little unclear; I mixed two things together there. One is the global equalization, which is going to cause some pain in the wealthy world. Another is the concentration of wealth within nations, particularly (but not only) the wealthy nations. The latter is something that has happened during each technological revolution and the resulting creation of new industries. The captains and leaders of those new industries get insanely wealthy, then over time competitive market forces push margins down and the benefit of the new productivity gets spread to the people.

Both of these things are going on at once, of course.

Comment: Re:What the tax form should look like (Score 1) 346

Are you honestly saying that using a step-function is what makes taxes so complicated?

There are two parts that make taxes complex. The first is deductions. That takes up a bit of the complexity. The second is defining income. That's hugely complex.

In one easy to identify problem, your system seems to imply that I have to pay taxes on the value of any asset I sell, not just the appreciation of that asset since purchase. Which makes investing... interesting.

Comment: Re:Why is this crap on the internet (Score 1) 65

by pixelpusher220 (#46761579) Attached to: Lack of US Cybersecurity Across the Electric Grid
To paraphrase a bit:

Those who give up some security for some efficiency deserve neither.

Seriously, you don't engineer CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE to be insecure simply because you don't want to run 2 sets of wires. It's simply a cost of doing the job correctly - which we haven't yet.

Comment: Re:Please automate accounting more! (Score 1) 346

I have a bit of free time.

I did some pretty basic accounting in the past, and wrote most of the internal report generating software my company (quite small) uses.

What scared me away from publishing any accounting software before was the lack of a CPA. Do companies not care if the software is verified as long as it is transparent?

But if you're serious, I'd love to know more.

Comment: Re:Becoming Canadian (Score 1) 346

by lgw (#46761149) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

All those stocks traded in the secondary market? They create the market for IPOs. They establish the playing field for new businesses. When one sort of business gets high P/Es relative to the others, that sort of business is more likely to get new competitors.

Here's a better question - why not just a flat tax?

Taxes exist to fund the government, not for some social agenda (that we'll never agree on anyway). Tax all income, dividends, and capital gains at X%, and be done with it. You might be surprised how low X% is, when there are no loopholes.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.