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Comment: Re:So basically... (Score 1) 284

by n7ytd (#46762475) Attached to: Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

I would, simply because people learn at different rates and different ways. I dropped out of college after 3 semesters, best decision ive ever made. now it wasnt all flowers and roses but I learned more in the next 4 years actually working and researching things on my own then they were ever going to teach me in school.

You don't know that. If you're convinced your self-directed learning over those four years was more productive than a four-year degree could have been, there's two possible reasons for that: 1) Your school was not well-managed, or 2) you have an incredible drive and a knack for picking the right things to learn.

Of course, the boatload of money you would have spent on the degree is worth considering too. Glad it worked out for you.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile... (Score 1) 653

by n7ytd (#46537585) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

Actual intentional Fluke clones stream across the ocean in small lots from ebay every day. Some of these are presumably actual Fluke meters, just being sold by the factory directly, rather than through normal channels.

Plus the hilarious things like FUKE meters, which are very clearly inferior copies, but intentionally made to look similar.

And then the generic $3 meters in red, black, yellow, orange, green, whatever. Sometimes these come with a brand name you've never heard of, sometimes they are completely devoid of all identifying marks.

I'm guessing that way more than 2,000 of these have made it in the country so far this year, mostly with laughably and obviously bogus customs forms.

From reading the comments, it would appear that Fluke really did "invent" the yellow multimeter, and they have a legitimate concern about protecting their trade dress. But for most people (particularly those under 40 or 50), "cheap multimeter" (of any color) is a stronger brand than "yellow multimeter".

It's a lot easier to stop one container full of 2,000 meters as a symbolic gesture than to find and stop 2,000 shipments of one meter each.

Comment: Re:Should have been an out, return (Score 1) 653

by n7ytd (#46536597) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

The thing that I don't understand is why returning them would impose a large import tax, when it was simply going back to country of origin and manufacture. How does that make any sense? And would that import tax on a mere 2000 devices really have exceeded the cost of destroying them?

Returning them is also more sound because at least then you can re-skin them and sell them eventually.

To me if you are going to manufacture anything it only makes sense that you would ensure the ability to return the products in case of an issue. What if they had simply delivered devices that didn't work? It seems like the same import tax dilemma would have applied.

If they had defective units, those would probably have been trashed and replaced, too. The numbers just don't work for them to do anything besides trash them.

Playing fast and loose with the numbers we're given, here's what it seems like to me: There are 2000 meters in question, which they retail for $15 each, which is where the $30k comes from. Let's say they purchased them at $5 each from the manufacturer, which is probably on the high side given the margins that Sparkfun would need to make this a profitable venture. The manufacturer could not have spent more than $3 each for them to make a profit. We know from their post that Sparkfun has been given 30 days by customs to sort this out, and they are facing a $150/day warehousing fee.

This number of meters would probably fill most of a single shipping container, which costs around $3k to have delivered from China to Los Angeles, and takes 3-4 weeks. So from manufacture and shipping, Sparkfun would be into this lot for around $13k. If they incur no other cost and could sell them immediately, they would have a profit of $17k on this lot. We know that's not the case: they will need to be handled by their staff, sit in a warehouse somewhere, then eventually handled again and shipped to an end customer.

It would cost them another $3k to ship them back to China. Once in China, after paying import duty, their vendor could repackage and sell them somewhere else, or rework them to make them sellable in the US. Remember the vendor only sold them for $5 each the first time around and it costs them $3 to make a new one, so there's no margin after duties and repackaging for them to divert them to another customer.

If Sparkfun chose to pay for the rework, it would then be another $3k to bring them back to the US and handle them again, after a 2.5-3 month round trip, where they could attempt to sell them again at $30k, after spending another $6k+ against their potential max profit of $17k.

The money's just not there. It's unfortunate that usable product will be destroyed, but unless Sparkfun is already set up to resell in another country to which they could be diverted, I don't see a lot of options.

Comment: Re:Steve Jobs bought himself a liver.... (Score 1) 129

by n7ytd (#46524591) Attached to: St. Patrick's Day, March Madness, and Steve Jobs' Liver

Someone with less money died waiting for a liver.

I understand that. Someone else died to make that liver available, too. No matter who is at the top of the list, there is someone at the bottom of the list who isn't going to get a liver in time. Was he less entitled to a liver than an average person because he was Steve Jobs?

I'm not trying to paint him as Saint Jobs, everything I've read about the guy makes me think he was a grade-A asshole. But the reason I responded to the post as I did was because the poster seems to think that because he spent his money in an attempt to save his life, we should hate him for it. I disagree with that; if I had the means to shop around for the most favorable transplant recipient list to put my family member on, I would do it. Maybe that makes me selfish.

Comment: Re:Steve Jobs bought himself a liver.... (Score 1) 129

by n7ytd (#46517883) Attached to: St. Patrick's Day, March Madness, and Steve Jobs' Liver

Yes, his post was closed with "the fault here is America", but the post titled "Steve Jobs bought himself a liver" started with "One more reason to hate Jobs."

You raise a good point with the fact that Jobs squandered valuable treatment time with his homeopathic herbal horseshit.

As far as I've read, the shenanigans that he employed to be put on the transplant list in Tennessee consisted of qualifying himself as a Tennessee resident, certainly after unleashing an army of minions to figure out that the list was shortest in Tennessee.

But the fact remains that he got on the list, legally. To say that someone else deserved the liver he got more is up for argument, but by whose standard do we make that call? In an ideal world we give organ transplants to the most deserving first. One could argue that his providing jobs for thousands of people and using his pulpit as a public figure to evangelize the need for organ donors provided more good for society as a whole. If it were my son on the transplant list and some rich bugger bought his way in before us, sure I'd be pissed. But if I were the rich bugger, you bet I'd try to buy our way onto a shorter list.

I never met the guy and my impression of him is a greedy SOB, but I can't hate him because he threw money towards trying to save his life. He worked the system just like anyone else could have, if they had the resources.

Comment: Re:Steve Jobs bought himself a liver.... (Score 1) 129

by n7ytd (#46516823) Attached to: St. Patrick's Day, March Madness, and Steve Jobs' Liver

One more reason to hate Jobs. He was able to get on the transplant list in Tennessee only because he had the money to fly out there (to a house bought just for that purpose) whenever he needed to for the various pre-op and post op appointments necessary. There are a TON of these for any organ transplant. Most people don't have the resources to do this. California is the worst place in the nation to need an organ transplant. The region Tennessee is part of is the best. Without his money, Jobs would have died waiting for a transplant -- as would most people in that position. Jobs is scum, but the fault here is America.

And you wouldn't have done the same for yourself or a loved one, if you had the means? If you feel you need to hate a dead man you've never met, there are plenty of other reasons for Jobs to be hated. Spending his money in a successful attempt at buying himself another two years of life doesn't need to be one of them.

Comment: Re:We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop hol (Score 1) 300

I can't agree with you that that everyone with over $1million is super-rich.

Here's a very middle-class example: A 50 year old man with three kids under 18. He has $200k equity in his home, and has saved $800k towards retirement. He dies, suddenly. Is it the moral obligation of the government to force the sale of his home and liquidate his retirement account so that they can "wipe the slate clean" for his minor children?

I'll somewhat agree with you that everyone with $1M isn't necessarily super rich, although that puts someone well into the 1% category. Sure, if you live in Manhattan, or SF, or whatnot it's really not an excessive amount of money.

However, the way you wrote what you did suggests that you think that this person's estate will have to liquid on death to pay taxes or make sure his kids have to start from the same place as everyone else. The first $5M or so of an estate (I think, it changes frequently and I'm not in much of a position to worry about it) is free from estate taxes, at least at the federal level. So there's no problem with your subject leaving his entire estate to his 3 kids, largely tax free. That should cover their entire educations with quite a bit left over for a better than good start in real life.

Yes, I'm aware that the ceiling where estate taxes apply is well beyond my pay grade. My reply was mostly toward the poster who claimed that the fair thing to do is "wipe the slate clean" by taking everything away upon death, that somehow that is "true capitalism", and that $1M is a good threshold for separating the wealthy from the rest of us.

The poster I replied to thinks $1M in assets makes someone incredibly wealthy, which just isn't the case. That's not the Warren Buffets or Bill Gates of the world, that's someone at the cusp of retirement, who finally owns their home after paying off a 30-year mortgage with enough money stashed away to continue living their middle-class lifestyle as long as they stick to a budget.

Someone who saves their entire working life and invests their money in a couple of duplexes to have some retirement income now has $1M in assets. A small business owner who owns their building and an office full of equipment has $1M in assets. The idea that having the government step in and take it because it would be unfair for them to allow their children to inherit anything is asinine.

If we ever want to encourage the wealthy to get even more inventive about hiding their assets, I'm pretty sure this is a great way to do it.

I suppose it really boils down to how much is "too much". Everyone thinks they are middle class, and that anyone who has more is wealthy.

Comment: Re:Going bust not unique to drop-outs (Score 1) 281

by n7ytd (#46509405) Attached to: Eric Schmidt On Why College Is Still Worth It

You need to start looking at different states. $20k/year is what you would pay for out of state tuition where I graduated. After you've been a resident for 6 months and should show residency (in-state driver's license, utility bills, etc.) then you could get the cost break for in-state tuition.

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

Quite a few billionaires (Buffet, Trump) would disagree with you.

I'm not sure what you're saying these billionaires disagree with. If you're saying that Buffet and Trump think estates should be taxed, I would point out that there is nothing preventing them from donating their fortunes to whatever cause they wish. If their will states that their money should be given to the state or federal government, that's up to them.

If I am a brilliant man and create a company (and create value), I deserve to keep that. But why should my descendants, who are by virtue of their birth part of a "lucky sperm club," entitled to all that wealth?

That doesn't sound like capitalism to me. Are you saying that at your death the company that you've started and built should be liquidated so that no one can benefit from your work after you're gone? In your opinion true capitalism means that no matter the amount of effort, luck, or work one puts into their life, the outcome should be the same?

True capitalism should require a level playing field when you start, and to really do that, when the final score is tallied, the slate should be wiped clean.

That's why such super high estate taxes exist. And typically they're not for you and me, it's for people over a certain threshold (say $1 mio + in assets)

I can't agree with you that that everyone with over $1million is super-rich.

Here's a very middle-class example: A 50 year old man with three kids under 18. He has $200k equity in his home, and has saved $800k towards retirement. He dies, suddenly. Is it the moral obligation of the government to force the sale of his home and liquidate his retirement account so that they can "wipe the slate clean" for his minor children?

Comment: Re:$420,000 in movies? (Score 1) 983

by n7ytd (#46474573) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Or let's just say that the friend is a film maker, or a recording engineer, or an astronomer, or just about any other kind of person for whom storing multiple terabytes of irreplaceable data is just another day at the office.

I think this is the OP's problem: the question wasn't "how do I do this?", but "how do I do this and not spend more than $10?"

"Irreplaceable" data is worth spending money to keep.

Comment: Re:Good luck. (Score 1) 983

by n7ytd (#46474443) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

>A quick check at one service which lists such large amounts, you would be looking at almost $20k/year to keep a single offsite copy of tha

Amazon Glacier would be about $205/year to store 20 TB. A full restore would be like $2,000 though, unless you want to restore 1 GB/month. Still, that's a significant difference from $20k/year.

Storage on Amazon Glacier is $0.01/GB per month, not per year. That's $205/month.

The problem here sounds like the OP is trying to do this on the cheap. I'm surprised that this question even made it to the front page today. "How do I back up data?" is a solved problem. My local Sam's Club has 20TB worth of storage on the shelf that I could have running by lunchtime. Amazon could have twice that amount on my doorstep tomorrow.

Reliable backup of this amount of data will cost more than a $5/month "unlimited" Backblaze or Carbonite account.

Pushing it to a cloud provider is attractive since they would handle storage, disaster planning, electricity, and hardware failures. If they had a 100MB/s connection that they could keep saturated, it would take 3-4 days to push or retrieve the data. This level of service would cost money.

The OP should tell his friend to stop being a cheapskate. If this data is worth saving, it will cost time, money, and planning to protect. Other posters have pointed out the economics of tape vs. hard drives. If the friend thinks this is too expensive, then the data isn't worth saving.

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