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Comment: The Tax ID was still illegal (Score 1) 685

by sirwired (#49200239) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

It's quite true that you didn't need an SSN to be a claimed kid until the mid-80's. (I didn't have an SSN until I was eight.) But the GP said that his boss's parents DID get a "Tax ID" for the boss, which has never been available to citizens.

Interestingly, you don't have to have an SSN to get a Passport (the application form explicitly states this). I have no idea if the State Dept. relays lists of citizens that don't have an SSN to the IRS so they can be on the watch for foreign income.

Comment: You apparently have a short memory (Score 1) 275

by sirwired (#49198639) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Think waaaaayyyyy back...

IE6 was a badly-written, compatibility-breaking, resource-hogging, security-bug written pile of fetid garbage that MS had pretty much stopped developing entirely. Firefox became popular to fight against that scourge. While subsequent versions of IE (when they finally came out) were not entirely great, they represented a significant step forward that realized what made Firefox so popular.

If IE 7 had been out at the time Firefox was released, I doubt Firefox ever would have become particularly popular. And the version of IE in the works discards MS's sordid standards-breaking legacy entirely, and will be no more broken, standards-wise than the other major browsers.

All I have to say about the memory leaks is that Chrome has never "locked" my hard drive light on for several minutes upon closing it to clean up the multiple GB of memory it decided to consume. The one-process-per-tab architecture of Chrome has real advantages, the biggest being when a tab leaks like a sieve (and this doesn't happen very often), you don't have to close every browser instance to clean it up.

Comment: Is this such a bad thing? March of progress... (Score 2) 275

by sirwired (#49196065) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Firefox rose to prominence when the market desperately needed an alternative to the execrable Internet Explorer. Well, it worked. Firefox broke IE's stranglehold on the browser market, and now Chrome and Safari have kept it beat down. (And IE is now a pretty decent browser that is no longer a festering nest of standards-breaking crapola.)

Keeping a browser up to date and holding pace with the feature race is difficult and expensive. It's not surprising that Firefox has fallen behind while the commercial efforts keep steaming forward.

(Speaking for myself, I was a die-hard Firefox user for years, but switched to Chrome when Firefox's memory leaks kept getting worse and worse... with Chrome, I can "kill" a resource-hogging tab without killing my whole browser. I know what Google "charges" for Chrome (privacy) and it's a price I'm willing to pay.)

I'm grateful for what Firefox accomplished, but that doesn't mean we need it any more. (And there's no reason to think that should an open browser be needed again, one can't appear.)

Comment: No-SSN is not "get out of taxes free" (Score 1) 685

by sirwired (#49192569) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Not ever obtaining an SSN does not magically exempt you from taxation. The laws regarding citizens leaving abroad universally refer to citizens, not "citizens with an SSN".

The ITIN is only supposed to be obtained by resident or non-resident aliens who cannot obtain an SSN; citizens are never eligible for one, so his parents would have had to lie on that paperwork.

Comment: There are a bunch of consequences for not doing it (Score 4, Informative) 685

by sirwired (#49192493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

If you fail to register for the draft, you are ineligible for any sort of educational federal financial aid (should you choose to take advantage of it), and you will have great difficulty ever obtaining federal employment in many different agencies (if that's something you'd like to do.)

Comment: "Russia Today"? Seriously? (Score 1, Interesting) 60

by sirwired (#49187973) Attached to: Inside the Weird World of 3D Printed Body Parts

Russia Today is quite openly the a foreign propaganda arm of the Russian Govt. that doesn't even pretend to be independent. It's not a complete 100% laughingstock (or nobody would watch it), but I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in reports of astounding breakthroughs without a little more evidence (like a clinical trial, for instance).

Comment: Devil's in the details, and they suck. (Score 5, Insightful) 491

by sirwired (#49187605) Attached to: White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

The proverbial Devil is in the Details. While the main public "idea" behind the bills makes sense, the bills contain provisions that make them, in effect, EPA-killers.

The "Public Data" bill contains a provision only giving the EPA $1M per year to make the data public, which is not nearly enough money to do the job. It would essentially stop the EPA in it's tracks, unable to make policy. (Which is likely the true intent of the bill.)

The other bill bars academics from even discussing research they are performing if it hasn't yet been published. (But I'll bet that provision doesn't apply to industry members.) It also requires panels to respond to ALL public comments on their work. In practice, this means their work would never complete. No other regulatory agency has such a restriction.

Comment: As always, the settlement teaches the wrong lesson (Score 4, Insightful) 96

by sirwired (#49187389) Attached to: FTC Targets Group That Made Billions of Robocalls

As always, the FTC "settlement" consists of nothing more than the bad guys having to mail a check for the money they haven't yet shipped off-shore and promising to Go Forth and Sin No More. Why does the FTC even bother? How is that supposed to deter anybody?

Such a settlement might make sense if this was some minor paperwork violation of an obscure regulation, but these guys were simply pretending the law didn't exist, yet they still get off with a slap on the wrist.

Comment: Why do they even TRY with this B.S.? (Score 2) 266

by sirwired (#49096305) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

Obviously the "intent" with this tool was not some sort of alutruistic impulse to "improve our customers' shopping experiences"; the "intent" was to collect some tiny payment per PC in exchange for their users giving up some of their piracy.

I'm willing to believe they didn't realize the security implications of this junk, but they might as well admit they play the Crapware game all the consumer PC makers do because it makes them money.

Comment: Nope; no jitter in the cable. (Score 1) 418

No. No jitter can be introduced in the cable.

Serial L1 encoding protocols are specifically designed to keep the frequency of the signal constant, no matter the bit pattern being transmitted. This helps avoid DC offset screwing up the receiver, and maintains proper PLL timing. There will always be the same number of + to - transitions over all but the tiniest span of time.

As far as noise goes? That can certainly lead to data loss, but not jitter. The PLL-driven clock will always look for the signal at the appropriate times, unless, of course, the cable does not meet the relevant standard and stuff is getting lost.

Once a cable DOES meet the relevant standard, it doesn't matter if it's some 15-cent thing put together in a soot-filled Chinese sweatshop or some solid-gold, silver-plated, hand-assembled-by-Bob-Metcalfe-Himself bazillion dollar wonder. Cat 6 is Cat 6. End of story.

Comment: The "tech" that betrayed him was between his ears (Score 1) 129

by sirwired (#49024687) Attached to: The Technologies That Betrayed Silk Road's Anonymity

It wasn't "technology" that betrayed him, it was the sort if unthinking stupidity that leads to the downfall of all sorts of criminals. In another era, he would have been boasting about his exploits at a bar or to impress a date.

The primary bug was in the Wetware, tech just moved things along.

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