Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 1) 400

by sjames (#46765227) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

You are given the opportunity to choose. Would you like to be beaten within an inch of your life with a blue bat or a red bat? Not being beaten doesn't seem to be on the menu.

It's like complaining that the supermarket charges a million dollars an ounce for anything that won't slowly kill you and failing to take responsibility for eating the toxic food.

Comment: Re:Low hanging fruit (Score 1) 76

by sjames (#46765031) Attached to: Lack of US Cybersecurity Across the Electric Grid

Y2K wasn't entirely FUD. Yes, the world is ending crowd were spreading FUD, but the fact is, there was a big effort in the mobnths leading up to Y2K to fix the many very real problems. Most of the fixes were successful, but it required paying enough to get people who moved up from coding in COBOL to management years ago to go back to coding for a while.

Comment: Re:Depends on who uses them (Score 1) 169

by sjames (#46763891) Attached to: The Security of Popular Programming Languages

I thought about that a bit. It's easy to remove all but the functions intended to be used parameterized, but that doesn't prevent you from doing something stupid, it just doesn't invite you to be stupid. There is certainly something to be said for that.

The solution for the second part would be a bit heavy weight and never really satisfactory. For example:

"SELECT info from STUFF where id=$uid;"

Pretty much anyone would agree that uid should be parameterized. However, what about:

"SELECT $field from $table where $other_field = $value;"

Which of those do we want to force into parameters for all cases? Surely we don't want to force the first query to be re-written as:

"SELECT $1 from $2 where $3=$4;", array('info','STUFF','id',$uid)

But short of that, we can't stop someone from being stupid.

+ - IRS: give us machine-readable tax formulas

Submitted by johndoe42
johndoe42 (179131) writes "Now that tax day is almost over, it's time to ask the IRS to make it less painful. All of the commercial tax software is awful, overpriced, and incompatible with everything else. Some people have tried to do better: OpenTaxSolver and a rather large Excel spreadsheet are tedious manual translations of the IRS's forms. I'm sure that many programmers would try to make much friendlier tax software if they didn't have to deal with translating all of the IRS instructions. Let's petition the IRS to publish computerized formulas so that this can happen."

Comment: Re:What the tax form should look like (Score 1) 372

by sjames (#46761817) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Even better, roll it back to the original intent. Line 2, subtract $100,000. Line 3. If line 2 >0, divide by 10 and enter here. Else, don't bother filing.

By now, that number may be closer to $200,000 given inflation.

Originally, it was intended that the vast majority of people wouldn't even be required to file. Those who were were almost certain to already employ an accountant.

Comment: Re:Greedy bastards ... (Score 1) 372

by sjames (#46761705) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

The really sad part is that the court's logic was approaching non-sequitur. The law is full of requirements for adverse disclosures. If adverse disclosures are a violation of free speech, then I don't have to disclose if I sell a car that was totaled and 'restored' and I don't have to disclose undocumented income to the IRS. Also, no need to disclose any known issues if I sell my house. Next, I suppose they'll rule that a restaurant need not post an extremely adverse health inspection.

Comment: Re:I'm disapointed in people (Score 1) 665

by sjames (#46759693) Attached to: The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Sure, the added input options might be nice, but that still doesn't alter the desire for a more traditional desktop UI. Of course that doesn't apply on an iPhone since that is clearly a mobile device. Small screen, held in one hand, no desk.

But note that virtual keyboards are already supported at the input layer. If someone actually wanted to do speech to text (and speech to text worked well enough) there's no reason a daemon process couldn't listen to the mike and then generate synthetic keystrokes. As a side benefit, that would work on the text consoles as well.

Comment: Re:Using nuclear waste to protect wildlife (Score 1) 421

by sjames (#46759615) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

It is interesting to see how the wildlife has fared in the exclusion zone. Perhaps it is truly fair to say that general human activity is more harmful to nature than nuclear waste.

I also find it interestiung that there are a few people who never left the exclusion zone. They are still alive and living on food they grow in the zone.

I wouldn't call radiation healthy, but perhaps we need to review our understanding of the risks.

Comment: Re:Nuclear is obvious, an energy surplus is desire (Score 1) 421

by sjames (#46759543) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Oddly enough, because I have 'tree hugging' tendencies, I fully support nuclear power. It's the one tech we have for power that when done right releases no pollutants into the environment and otherwise minimises it's impact. No flooded land and disturbed fish and no chopped eagles.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.