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Comment: Re:Not the case (Score 2, Interesting) 284

by slarrg (#32574994) Attached to: Uwe Boll, Other Filmmakers Sue Thousands of Movie Pirates

Then that means we could have a huge class-action lawsuit against any ISP for virus infections or any company that had their computers botneted.

I've never understood why companies who have a professional IT staff are held blameless when their systems are infiltrated but the average Joe with no real computer expertise is expected to be responsible for the exploits of his systems. Why do we expect a cable subscriber to be able to lock down their network when AT&T cannot?

Comment: Re:How do you think it works in the EU ? (Score 5, Informative) 507

by slarrg (#30570964) Attached to: NY Times, LA Times Want Amazon To Collect More State Taxes

It's not just a tax rate per address. It's per address per product. For example, in New York, clothing under $110 is exempt from state taxes but not necessarily exempt from county, city or other local taxes. Any clothing item over $110 is charged tax on the full price. In Massachusetts, clothing under $175 is exempt from state level sales tax but only the portion above $175 is taxed for higher ticket clothing items. In Connecticut only some clothing items under $50 are exempt from state sales tax. So, just in the category clothing, you can see that what is taxed, which portion is taxed and which items are included in the category definition is different. This is just on the state level and not including the myriad city, county, district and other taxes.

Taxes may be based on types of products: in Massachusetts, the American flag, among other items, is exempt from taxes; in Pennsylvania, textbooks and disposable diapers, among other items, are exempt; or as another poster mentioned, the Chicago Soft Drink Tax (where additional taxes are charged for "soft drinks".) Taxes may be based on areas: higher taxes for Bay Area Rapid Transit district and Louisiana tourism district or reduced taxes for New Jersey's Urban Enterprise Zones. Taxes can be charged based on intended use: in Indiana, a 15 ounce bag of potato chips is tax exempt (food items are exempt) whereas a personal sized bag is taxed because it is for immediate consumption and in California fertilizer is exempt if it's used to grow food.

Realistically, taxes can be based on any criteria that enters the twisted mind of a politician in the tiniest of jurisdictions, Currently, sales taxes can differ based upon temperature of food, whether the customer is a college student, distance from an airport, whether the product is in its original package, whether the product is intended to be used at home, etc. Most sales taxes are charged based upon the sales price while Hawaii also charges a portion of their excise tax (their sales tax equivalent) on the wholesale price and other states only charge on a portion of the sales price (such as the amount of clothing over $175 above.) Many states and municipalities also charge a restaurant and/or hotel tax and it's amazing what can get swept into that tax, such as candy, chips, soft drinks, juice boxes, bottled water, or other immediately consumable items, which an online retailer may sell.

In addition, many states have tax "holidays" when taxes are not charged: in Florida, a "back-to-school" tax holiday is often enacted on clothing, books and school supplies under a certain price; in Georgia, a tax Holiday, usually in October, is enacted on Energy Star rated appliances; Texas's tax holiday lasts for an entire weekend and applies to many items and exempts clothing and footwear under $100 but still taxes golf shoes, no matter the price.

Sales taxes are much more complicated than most people realize and they are completely at the whims of state, county, regional and municipal government officials. The category definitions are different from state to state and often different for local taxes within the state. This means the local taxes are often different from other locations within the state but also means that the local definition may differ from the state's own definitions. So for any given product, any of the taxes; state, county or municipal; may or may not apply. For a physical store, a local accountant can advise you how the taxes apply for that particular location but an online store would need to know what rate applies for every single product for every single address. Obviously, most of these combinations would never actually occur but the databases would need to contain a solution prior to the person placing the order.

Comment: Re:Oh. (Score 4, Interesting) 301

by slarrg (#30550044) Attached to: Texas County Will Use Twitter To Publish Drunk Drivers' Names

In a community of six million people, how many people do you think share the same name? I can just imagine someone in my community reading my name on this Twitter page and thinking it was me rather than one of the three other people I know about with the same name. What a mess.

Worse, imagine getting fired because your clueless boss decided to fire people because their name was on the list and they drive a delivery truck. Even if you later prove that the person was someone sharing your name but living at a different address you're not likely to get your job back in an "at will" employment jurisdiction.

Comment: Re:music as a distraction? depends (Score 2, Informative) 1019

by slarrg (#30413890) Attached to: Music While Programming?
I often find myself slapping on headphones even when I'm not listening to music to keep people from randomly popping into my cubicle to talk about meaningless drivel which is the most distracting thing. When I do listen to music, I prefer something that moves quickly without distracting vocals. Look, good programmers are exceedingly good at optimizing their own productivity and do not need bosses who've read the study du jour and decided that they know what's happening inside the heads of their programmers. The current study was conducted with pop music which any programmer would already have told you is too distracting for them. Of course there were the previous studies that showed classical music increased memory and cognition in students which the marketing wonks decide it made babies into Einstein even though the study did not apply to babies nor were the effects long-lasting. If you want the project done, you can at least allow me to manipulate the environment surrounding my own head since I have much more experience in achieving my own highest productivity than any manager ever will.

Comment: Re:iTunes + Airport Express (Score 1) 438

by slarrg (#30029042) Attached to: Simple, Cost-Effective, Multiroom Audio?

You can do that but it always seems to be behind the feature curve of the latest Apple interfaces which means the coolest feares will not be available. For example, the iPhone DJ services will not be available. Likewise, since its only a shared library and you cannot access the music library through a local copy of iTunes, it makes it's more cumbersome to do routine maintenance like rating songs, adding artwork, changing genres, etc. which can only be done in iTunes with a local library and not through a shared library.

Obviously, since iTunes is still a single user app that shares to other computers running iTunes, the application is designed to not allow the "clients" to change the information in the library which is assumed to be shared by a different user. For example, if each computer really represented a different person, it's very likely that the person sharing their library does not want those users to be able to reorganize his library.

Hold on to the root.

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