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Comment: Re:And then what? (Score 1) 932

by medeii (#36043168) Attached to: Draft Proposal Would Create Agency To Tax Cars By the Mile

No, the "issue at hand" was a comment about raising tax rates and raising revenues. There was nothing about removing loopholes.

It doesn't matter whether you're talking about the company or about the rich people behind it: they're inextricably tied together, and moving portions of the company takes even more paperwork than moving the people. Either way, eliminating the loopholes in tax law is the topic at hand, because that method both "cut[s] costs and increase revenue" -- just as the poster you replied to was talking about. And of course the rich move from time to time; look up the study I mentioned before, and note that an increase in taxes had no appreciable effect on high-income relocation.

You have, of course, conveniently ignored the second option I mentioned -- reducing income by using the tax laws.

Did you somehow miss the entire discussion about loopholes? Oh, wait, you just said loopholes were irrelevant ... but now they are relevant, because you're talking about tactics like moving income offshore. Make up your mind.

Yep, that's a good summary of what I said.

You're really not good at this whole reading comprehension thing, seeing as you specifically argued against healthcare companies having any responsibility for the current prices, and then said this was solely because of malpractice lawsuits. I didn't summarize you, I ridiculed your gratuitous simplification of a complex subject.

The rest of your post is a lot of scare quotes and very little sense. I never talked about raising rates, you throw "socialism" into the discussion as if the word itself should be somehow denigrating, and completely fail to address the real question: why a system that currently works for dozens of countries would somehow not work here.

Comment: Re:And then what? (Score 0) 932

by medeii (#36039874) Attached to: Draft Proposal Would Create Agency To Tax Cars By the Mile

There's so much stupid in this post I can barely begin to address it.

Point one: the issue at hand is removing loopholes everywhere, not just in one jurisdiction. So unless the rich want to move between countriesâ"hardly a trivial task, even with money to grease the wheelsâ"they'll be stuck with the same increased tax rate wherever they go.

Point two: even if the loopholes weren't fixed consistently, the rich don't "just move" whenever tax rates rise. It's a non-trivial task to switch houses, schools for the kids, marinas for the yachts ... not to mention all the other incidentals. Rich or poor, people put down roots wherever they live. A study completed just a few weeks ago verified this by noting how moving rates among the wealthy remained constant (about 4%, if I remember correctly) despite the introduction of a tax on the wealthy in New Jersey.

Point three: Nothing is ever simple. You sound like an industry shill by denying that a for-profit middleman (as most HMOs and health insurance companies are) could possibly have anything to do with rising costs. Yes, malpractice lawsuits are almost certainly one of the contributors, but to state unequivocally that the middleman concerned only with fattening its shareholders has nothing to do with the absurd increases we've all witnessed is outright idiocy. Or is half of Europe not a sufficiently relevant example for you, that a government can improve the medical quality of life for its citizens more cheaply and efficiently than a private company?

Comment: Re:They don't NEED to conspire... (Score 1) 110

by medeii (#36027850) Attached to: Chrome, IE To Allow Users To Delete Flash Cookies

Repeat after me: an HTTP connection is not a contract.

Site owners are free to offer suggestions as to how to show the content they're freely offering who connects to their public server. I am similarly free to ignore those suggestions, and accept or render only the parts I want.

After all, if they don't want me seeing the content, all they have to do is stop giving it away.

Comment: Re:I Talked to a Couple of Beta Testers (Score 1) 401

by medeii (#33878124) Attached to: Final Fantasy XIV Launches To Scathing Reviews

It's certainly "fucked-up" -- but I'm not suggesting that the beta testers get ALL of the blame either. Blizzard isn't a perfect analogy here, because they're a developer that has an established history of listening to fans, and they're speaking the same language. Square seems to be dipping their toes into the shark-infested waters of usability testing, so I was trying to be constructive. It's worth analyzing what might've gone went wrong, no?

Comment: Re:I Talked to a Couple of Beta Testers (Score 1) 401

by medeii (#33876698) Attached to: Final Fantasy XIV Launches To Scathing Reviews

You can definitely blame this on the majority of the beta testers. I was one.

While there were plenty of other problems with the beta test itself -- abysmal build quality and unnecessarily limited playtimes were two big problems, the primary downfall was the total lack of direction from the developers and moderators. I brought up many of these same issues (particularly the UI mechanisms, as I'm a UI guy professionally) on the beta forums; a few posters agreed with me, but the majority of the replies came from slavering, rabid fanboys. These idiots took umbrage at mild suggestions or observations -- to say nothing of real, rigorous, and honest feedback -- and essentially drowned out anything useful. The most commonly repeated aphorisms were along the lines of "It'll be fixed by launch" and "How dare you suggest that anything Square produces is less than perfect."

Given that not a single one of the issues I brought up appears to have been fixed, it appears Square listened solely to the yes-men. It's also plausible that they really didn't learn anything from FFXI, as others are saying, but they did at least solicit user feedback this time.

Comment: Re:Why go to community college? (Score 1) 425

by medeii (#31190002) Attached to: New Plan Lets Top HS Students Graduate 2 Years Early

Community colleges offer virtually the same learning experience as a full university, especially for basic education credits -- and what do most students take in their first two years, anyway? So unless you live within walking distance of a top-ten university, chances are you'll be just as challenged by the content, and you get all the benefits of geographic accessibility at a fraction of the cost. Plus, most community colleges have a maximum class size of 30 rather than 300.

Comment: Been there, done that (Score 1) 425

by medeii (#31189878) Attached to: New Plan Lets Top HS Students Graduate 2 Years Early

Running Start

Similar program in Washington state, has been around for 20 years now. Students can enroll full-time in college and fully skip the last two years of high school if they meet the admissions criteria (though you don't get your diploma until the end of your 12th year.) This gets them an Associates in Arts and Sciences, which is immediately transferable to any Washington 4-year public university, and is guaranteed by law to fulfill their basic education (e.g. non-major) classes at that university. Alternatively, they can go part-time and simply transfer the credits, though not all are guaranteed to correspond to basic ed requirements.

Incidentally, I did the former, starting at 14. The administrator in TFA who thinks maturity is a problem for anyone who wants to do this program, though, needs to get a clue. While I'm well aware that the plural of anecdote is not data, it was an amazing program that beat the pants off the "high school experience." People at community colleges generally want to be there, and the elevated age levels mean that you're surrounded by people with experience that you can learn from.

Comment: Re:UI polish, documentations (Score 1) 891

by medeii (#29403529) Attached to: Why Users Drop Open Source Apps For Proprietary Alternatives

This is incorrect. You can quantitatively measure "quality", and all it takes is a little effort to define criteria. The easiest example I can think of is measuring the average amount of time required for users to complete a task. For things like web sites, this can be gathered trivially via Analytics or any other stat program. There is nothing subjective about it -- if you do it right. Most usability professionals know how.

As for programmers working alone, though, that's something no one else can solve.

Comment: Re:You're doing it wrong (Score 1) 390

by medeii (#27947805) Attached to: Craigslist Kills Erotic Services Ads, Will Launch Adult Section

In general, sans serif fonts are more immediately legible, but serifed fonts are easier to read in larger blocks of text.

[citation needed] ;)

There's been a few studies that claimed this, but they had flawed methodologies. Unfortunately, it's lead to widespread misconceptions. Here's a relevant literature review with more information.

The Internet

The Chinese (Web Servers) Are Coming 231

Posted by timothy
from the maoism-taoism-i-ching-and-chess dept.
Glyn Moody writes "The February 2009 Netcraft survey is not the usual 'Apache continues to trounce Microsoft IIS' story: there's a new entrant — from China. 'This majority of this month's growth is down to the appearance of 20 million Chinese sites served by QZHTTP. This web server is used by QQ to serve millions of Qzone sites beneath the qq.com domain.' What exactly is this QZHTTP, and what does it all mean for the world of Web servers?"
The Almighty Buck

Used Game Market Affecting Price, Quality of New Titles 384

Posted by Soulskill
from the either-that-or-it-doesn't dept.
Gamasutra is running a feature discussing the used game market with various developers and analysts. The point has been raised by many members of the industry that used game sales are hurting developers and publishers even more lately, when they're already beleaguered by rising piracy rates and a struggling economy. Atari executives recently commented that used game sales are "extremely painful," while GameStop's CEO unsurprisingly came out in support of resales. We've recently discussed a few of the ways game designers are considering to limit used game sales. David Braben, chairman of UK-based developer Frontier Development had this to say: "Five years ago, a great game would have sold for a longer period of time than for a bad game — which was essentially our incentive to make great games. But no longer. Now publishers and developers just see revenue the initial few weeks regardless of the game's quality and then gamers start buying used copies which generates money that goes into GameStop's pocket, nobody else's."
Businesses

Inside View of Epic, Preparing Gears of War 2 106

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the cool-kids-club dept.
Subm writes "Lamborghinis, motion-capture rooms, secret new weapons — these are a few things included in the profile of Epic Games and its Design Director, Cliff Bleszinski. 'A Microsoft employee who works closely with Epic described the company as having a "band dynamic." Staff turnover is low, and many of Epic's most senior employees have been friends for more than a decade. This does not seem a very long time until one sits in on an Epic meeting and realizes that anyone over the age of thirty-five achieves the temporal stature of Methuselah. Epic's recent growth is regarded with wary gratitude by many of its employees, though some miss the old days, when, as Sweeney put it, "we were just a bunch of kids who had some cool ideas and were doing neat things."'"

Comment: I'll upgrade when... (Score 4, Insightful) 565

by medeii (#24708317) Attached to: Firefox To Get a Nag Screen For Upgrades

... someone finally makes an addon that wholly, completely, disables the StupidBar. Yes, I know about the about:config hacks and the existing addons. This is an issue I keep up with, after all.

And please, don't bother to reply if you're just going to parrot how much you LOVE the "Awesome Bar" and think I should give it an umpteenth chance. Been there, done that, still think it sucks.

Education

+ - Genitalia Now Inappropirate in 7th Grade Health

Submitted by firemoose
firemoose (471723) writes "A 7th grade health class teacher has been transferred to administrative duties and may be fired for having his students draw male genitalia on a chalk board in class. The district superintendent took action after receiving complaints from parents. He has labeled the teacher's actions as "insensitive" and inappropriate for the mixed-sex students of the 7th grade class. The article quotes a parent and a teacher who believe that the school board may be overreacting, but is only able to cite a 4th grade student who found the idea of genitalia in class offensive."

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