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Comment: Re:How did they get caught? (Score 1) 95

by Trepidity (#49376557) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

According to the indictment, part of how they were caught is that as part of laundering their proceeds, they tried to strongarm the payment processor Venmo, who had closed their accounts as part of automated fraud detection. Venmo was unhappy with being strongarmed, and sent a complaint to someone higher up at the agency. The agents then tried to suppress the complaint, and simultaneously retaliate against Venmo by trying to start an investigation. That attempted investigation pulled in the IRS, whose investigators thought a bunch of things looked suspicious, and dug up enough dirt to blow the whistle on the agents in this case.

So I guess in short, they pissed off both a payment company and the IRS.

Comment: Re:I'm all for abolishing the IRS (Score 1) 252

by Zordak (#49375103) Attached to: Sign Up At irs.gov Before Crooks Do It For You

I dislike the IRS as much as anyone, but I think taxing income is a lot simpler to make progressive than trying to categorize all the different kinds of products available would be.

Have you seen our tax code? When I took Federal Income Taxation in law school, I had to get a copy of the tax code, and it was about six inches thick. (I don't remember, or care, if or how much it was annotated.) That's a mighty long list of exceptions to consumption tax.

But consumption taxes will never take on, because the tax code is really about control. If I grant tax favors for certain preferred behaviors, I can exercise a phenomenal amount of control over what you do. If I'm a power-grubbing statist anywhere on the purple spectrum, that's much better than merely influencing what you buy.

Comment: Re: Maybe it's time these companies learn... (Score 1) 120

by idontgno (#49370721) Attached to: SeaWorld and Others Discover That a Hashtag Can Become a Bashtag

I always thought the meal was happy because it was finally getting out of that God-forsaken place. Even being hauled away to be dismantled by a shrieking 4-year old and being consumed piece-by-piece is better than remaining within the confines of a McDonalds establishment.

I'm joking. I think.

Comment: Re:Just looked her up (Score 5, Informative) 391

by Trepidity (#49366473) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

The area of geography she studies is how communities/economies are impacted by and adapt to changes in prevailing climates, which seems pretty relevant, depending on what question you're asking. She would be a poor authority on questions like modeling the impact of CO2 on weather, but more within her area if asking questions like, "how easy/difficult would it be for Indonesians to adapt to a 2" ocean-level rise?".

In terms of the IPCC reports, the research/authorship is divided into three working groups: #1 studies the underlying science; #2 studies impacts & adaptation; #3 studies possible mitigation strategies. She's part of #2.

Comment: Re:I'd put a 'may' there (Score 1) 42

by Trepidity (#49362365) Attached to: Taxpayer Subsidies To ULA To End

Yeah I think that's likely: if they become a large company with multiple large contracts, they'll end up spread over the US.

Heck they're already doing a little bit of spreading out. They have a significant test facility in Texas along with some engineering offices, and are building a new facility in Seattle to build satellites. I don't know if this is strategic/political or just happenstance at this point though. For example I believe a big motivation for the Texas site was that they were able to buy facilities off the defunct Beal Aerospace cheaply.

Comment: I'd put a 'may' there (Score 4, Insightful) 42

by Trepidity (#49360371) Attached to: Taxpayer Subsidies To ULA To End

political pressure is now pushing them hard to open up bidding to multiple companies, which in turn will help lower cost and save the taxpayer money

That's certainly a possible outcome, and hopefully the one we will see, but I think it's a bit optimistic to say that it will do this. It may do that, but a new contract process may also be a total clusterfuck, depending on how it's structured and overseen. The Air Force might get twice as good things for half the price, or it might get something that doesn't work for half the price, or four things that sort of work for twice the price.

Comment: Re:what will be more interesting (Score 1) 640

by Space cowboy (#49346829) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Fortunately the comment history is preserved. Not 5 posts up you state, and I quote:

"Most Americans don't understand just how restricted speech is in the UK by comparison to the US"

Restriction of free speech pertains to government restriction. We don't care what companies / institutions do. The BBC isn't the government.

So, I guess the gp was correct.

Comment: Re:homeowner fail (Score 3, Informative) 536

My realtor didn't like it because it was an "unusual" offer, but I said it was a contract and I could put any conditions in it I wanted - the seller just had to agree (and did).

Fwiw with real estate this is tricky; not every contract rider is allowed in every jurisdiction, and some may be allowed but cause complexities. Not saying this particular one wasn't allowed in yours, but you can't generally assume that you can write anything you want into a real-estate transaction and not end up with problems.

The use of money is all the advantage there is to having money. -- B. Franklin