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Comment Re:Can a Hillary supporter step up and explain? (Score 3, Informative) 634

Your "They aren't principled. At least not in a moral sense." is an example of what is wrong with politics today, and you should be ashamed of posting it. Everyone, including Hillary Clinton, agrees that using a private email server was a bad idea. Obviously it makes complying with all of the document retention rules that were in force harder, but that is not the same thing as impossible. At the time she had it setup that was a fairly common practice, one done by other department heads and her predecessor.

On the classification side of things, there is not a lot of solid information about whether something bad was actually done or not. Yes there are seven email threads (twenty-some emails in all) that contain information that is now considered classified. So far no-one with any knowledge of those emails directly has commented on whether that information was classified when those emails were sent. We have heard that those emails did not have classified markers on them, but that again does not mean that the information was not classified at that time.

If the information in those emails was not classified at the time it was sent, then there has been no real wrongdoing here. If it was classified, and there was wrongdoing, then we finally have something to talk about. But up to now this is all unfounded allegations, conducted as part of a witch-hunt (that is an accurate description of the Congressional Bengazi hearings) that has already been called by it's leaders politically motivated. If people really think that this was an issue, and are not partisanly motivated, why is no-one looking into those other department heads or her predecessors?

So, saying people who support Hillery Clinton are not morally principled is an example of unprincipled partisanship. Please wait for facts before accusing anyone, let alone making accusations about their supporters. There is plenty to legitimately disagree about in the actual issues in the campaign, without resorting to unsubstantiated mud-slinging.

Comment Re:Indisious MegaBloks (Score 1) 165

As a side note: we just purchased a good sized collection of Duplo for our toddler son from a seller on craigslist. We put them in the bathtub for cleaning, and now have a much larger collection for not a lot of money. In looking for these I saw a number of similar notices for regular Lego, and will probably go that route when our children get a bit older.

Comment Re:"attempting to submit it while using Ubuntu fai (Score 2) 256

My guess is that this was one of Adobe's form systems. Those produce overly-complex PDF's that then submit the form content back to specially crafted servers in a non-documented way. Creating these "workflow systems" are how Adobe has been making money on the Acrobat "platform" for some time now. So none of this corresponds to any standards, so nothing works except Adobe Acrobat (usually only on Windows, even MacOS need not apply).

Five years ago I might have thought that using these systems was an ok idea, but web forms have long since surpassed what is possible on these systems, and since mostly they just produce XML it should be cheap and easy to replace them. My guess is that this is an old system, and it just works, so it is hard to justify the money of replacing it. If someone really wanted to do some good, they could organize a hackathon to replace this.

Comment Re:EdgeRouter is exactly this! (Score 1) 247

I recently bought their EdgeRouter X, which is a small 5-port router for about $50. I am very happy with it. There were a couple of bugs in the interface as I set it up, but they were easy to get around on the command line. Most important to me is that it is small enough that I could put it in my apartment's network box along with my cable modem. Two less pieces of hardware for my wife to have to see.

Comment Re:Tim Cook disagrees (Score 1) 148

To be more specific: Apple negotiated with Ireland to have effectively a lower rate, by agreeing to a specific amount ahead of time, which both knew was too low, and in return Apple moved much of their profits into Ireland (by using "transfer pricing" games). So Ireland got more tax revenue than they would have, while Apple got to pay lower taxes. Of course this denied the tax revenue that would have gone to other countries.

The problem for Apple here (beyond any morality involved), is that the European Union has ruled that this was illegal aid by a state for a company, and so Apple will wind up owing the back taxes anyways. I have not heard whether this will be a windfall to Ireland, or the EU will distribute this money around.

Comment Re:Few, OS X is safe! (Score 1) 122

Apple calls these sorts of things "firmware updates" (yes that is a generic name). Things like this are included, as are things like updates for ethernet chipsets, firewire routers (there are 3 on the MacPro), and even rarely firmware for the GPU. Additionally there are sometimes "SMC" updates for the part of the computer that manages power and sleep behavior.

Comment Re: They are not U.S. profits. (Score 1) 456

It is not "double dipping". A simplified view is that the U.S. requires that a company pay the higher of U.S. taxes or foreign taxes on foreign earnings, where the foreign country gets first crack. So only in cases where the company would pay less in foreign taxes than in U.S. taxes do the companies have to pay the U.S. the DIFFERENCE in what would have been owed. There are lots of details that wind up complicating this, but almost always in the direction of lowering what the U.S. gets. So a company is not double taxed, it is only taxed at a single rate, but that pool of money goes to two tax entities (countries). But U.S. law currently only makes those taxed due when the money is "repatriated", or brought to the U.S..

Second point: U.S. companies doing business abroad benefit hugely from being a U.S. company. In the case in point, Apple can only be profitable in China because of all the work the U.S. State department does to persuade China to respect the intellectual property that Apple has claimed in the U.S..

Third point: much of the overseas profit that we are talking about is in the form of licensing fees. In the case in point Apple has taken many of the patents that were invented and filed in the U.S. and moved their licensing functions to a holding company in the Netherlands. Apple then has its other arms pay this Dutch holding company for the rights to use those inventions in its products (so one hand of Apple is paying the other). It is hard to argue that this licensing money should ever go to the Netherlands... all of the work for it was done in the U.S., and it is only an accounting method that makes it otherwise.

Comment Re:Because Cronyism, and we are Fuc*&#! (Score 1) 456

Your comment has a basic factual problem: the tax code is about 2600 pages long. Lots of people have been getting this wrong, and reporting the length of the document that tax lawyers use to interpret the law ("CCH Standard Federal Tax Reporter"). That document includes lots of case law, history, and legal reasoning, but can not really be called the "tax code".

Comment Re:A good start (Score 1) 676

The wife pledged allegiance moments before entering the building to start shooting, and the "acceptance" of that was much after her death. Of couch ISIL accepted it: it fed their ego. Much more important and to the point: so far there is no evidence that ISIL had any awareness that this was going to happen, let alone did anything material to make ti happen.

So this pair were not members of any organized group in any way that mattered. They went off the rails themselves.

Comment Re:Must be nice to be at a wealthy company (Score 1) 164

While there are certainly some countries that have guaranteed maternity leave, and are struggling, there does not seem to be any correlation between the two:

- Germany has 14 weeks at 100%, and 156 weeks at 67% to be shared between the parents, a 4.5% unemployment rate, and is considered to be doing far better economically that the USA.

- Norway has more than 35 weeks at at least 80%, a 4.1% unemployment rate, and is doing ok.

- Even dipping into less-well-off countries it is hard to find what you are talking about: Brazil has an unemployment rate of 7.9% and 17 weeks at 100%.

Germany was a ringer, but I chose the other two at random, looking for countries that could be having problems here. But given that the U.S. is nearly alone in the developed world for countries that do not have guaranteed maternity benefits, it is hard to find meaningful evidence for your point.

I hate it when people try to use their ideology as a substitute for facts.

Comment Re:vs TIFF files? (Score 3, Interesting) 311

That question is nearly un-answerable. TIFF isn't a concrete format like PNG or JPEG, rather it is a more meta-format that can contain tiled chunks of other formats. Even that isn't quite a good description as is over-generalizes. But it does capture the basic essence. TIFF is frighteningly complex, with lots of corner cases, and in most cases is only appropriate for very large images (for the tiling), or special cases such as scientific/biological data where the raw data is embedded in the "image".

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1165

Since the majority (by a good lead) of homicides in the U.S. are by gun it is a good figure. Additionally it is a much fairer comparison because the argument immediately after that is that if a gun is not available then they will use something else.

So rather than leave us to "work out the flaws in that argument", I invite you to find any.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1165

The U.S. military tends to be very deliberate about their policies, and often data-driven. This is why there are strict rules about how many hours a pilot is allowed to fly before needing "bunk time", rules that are generally more strictly enforced in wartime. They found that having sleepy pilots meant they lost them, and it was a net negative, so they changed that. They also have similar rules for doctors: again it was found that having a sleepy doctor was a bigger net negative than having a doctor for more hours.

The rules about only MP's generally having a weapon on-base are probably because they found that fewer solders died that way. Given the drinking culture that I have occasionally seen in enlisted groups, that makes a lot of sense to me.

Comment Re:Uber is as safe as taxis (Score 1) 471

You are going to have to provide some evidence that "the left" has moved farther to the left. Most of the policies currently being advocated by the mainstream Democratic candidates are similar to ones advocated by President Regan:
- first act on being Governor of California was to raise taxes to cover a budget shortfall, mostly on businesses and the wealthiest
- raised the federal top-level taxes eleven times while in office... to about where current Democrats want them
- increased the absolute size of government (Clinton then shrank this to about what we have now), size relative to population has been falling for a long time.

So there is good evidence that "the right" has moved much further right, and some evidence that so has the left. There is little evidence that either has moved to the left. Even the Affordable Care Act was a much more right-leaning approach to healthcare reform than what the Clintons were trying to achieve current the Bill Clinton presidency.

Comment Re:What's the difference? (Score 2, Informative) 367

While you are correct that not all employees get healthcare benefits (what is usually referred to as "benefits"), all employees get some benefits, which contractors do not. For example: social security contributions (which raise your rate in retirement), workers-comp insurance, and unemployment insurance. All of these things cost employers money, but the law assumes contractors will pay for themselves.

This is what Uber has been fighting so hard to avoid paying.

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