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Comment Re:I have no problem with systemd (Score 4, Informative) 751

Everyone* switched to systemd because everyone* was using something that was much, much worse. Traditional sysvinit is a joke for service startup, it can't even handle dependencies in a way that actually works reliably (sure, it works until a process fails to start or hangs, then all bets are off, and good luck keeping dependencies starting in the right order as the system changes). Upstart is a mess (with plenty of corner case bugs) and much harder to make sense of and use than systemd. I'm a much happier person writing systemd units than Upstart whatever-you-call-thems on the Ubuntu systems I have to maintain.

The problem with systemd is that although it does init systems *better* than everything else*, it's also trying to take over half a dozen more responsibilities that are none of its damn business. It's a monolithic repo, and it's trying as hard as it can to position itself as a hard dependency for every Linux system on the face of the planet. Distros needed* a new init system, and they got an attempt to take over the Linux ecosystem along with it.

* The exception is Gentoo, which for over 15 years has had an rc-script system (later rewritten as OpenRC) based on sysvinit as PID 1 but with real dependencies, easy to write initscripts, and all the features you might need in a server environment (works great for desktops too). It's the only distro that has had a truly server-worthy init system, with the right balance of features and understandability and ease of maintenance. Gentoo is the only major distro that hasn't switched to systemd, though it does offer systemd as an option for those who want it. OpenRC was proposed as a systemd alternative in the Debian talks, but Gentoo didn't advertise it, and nobody on the Debian side cared to give it a try. Interestingly Poettering seems to be *very* careful to *never, ever* mention OpenRC when he talks about how systemd is better than everything else. I wonder why. Gentoo developers have had to fork multiple things assimilated by systemd (like udev) in order to keep offering OpenRC as an option.

Comment Re:This actually makes sense (Score 1) 578

Well, let's quote the IRS on this:

Fringe benefits are generally included in an employeeâ(TM)s gross income (there are some exceptions). The benefits are subject to income tax withholding and employment taxes. Fringe benefits include cars and flights on aircraft that the employer provides, free or discounted commercial flights, vacations, discounts on property or services, memberships in country clubs or other social clubs, and tickets to entertainment or sporting events.

In general, the amount the employer must include is the amount by which the fair market value of the benefits is more than the sum of what the employee paid for it plus any amount that the law excludes. There are other special rules that employers and employees may use to value certain fringe benefits. See Publication 15-B, Employers' Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, for more information.

If you dig in further into Publication 15-B, an employee discount on the services provided by the employer to the general public is taxed at only 80% of the price charged the general public. But, it is taxed at 80% of the price.

So, if you work for anybody other than a college, and your employer gives you a coupon for the services it provides to the general public, you have to pay tax on 80% of the coupon.

Now, of course, there's also the category of "Educational Assistance" in Publication 15-B. For benefits in that category, the first $5,250 is tax-free, and everything after that is subject to income and employment taxes.

So, if you work for anybody other than a college, and they give you free college tuition, you have to pay tax on every cent of the tuition in excess of $5,250.

In short, treating tuition discounts from an employing college as taxable income would be, in fact, just treating colleges like everybody else.

Comment Sometimes the government does pick winners (Score 1) 156

Kind of a shot over the bow of the crowd suggesting the government shouldn't pick winners. Sometimes government is the only entity with a big enough footprint to get a new technology over the startup finish line. DARPA does it routinely for military tech and we have a universe of modern tech that started as a DARPA project. There's a long list of winners but what's the one 40% of America focuses on? The solar panel place. Not all of them pan out.

We shouldn't be limited to military tech for the government to pick winners.

Comment Re:Oblig. xkcd (Score 1) 58

"The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."

The rational person tries to adapt himself to the world. The irrational person tries to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the irrational person.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The old camera... 1

A while back I discovered that they’re selling photographic film again, so I bought a package of three rolls of 35mm Kodak color film. Not sure what I’ll photograph, but the Minolta 35 mm SLR takes a hell of a lot better pictures than my phone. Actually, than any phone—and any digital camera.
I got home, set the film aside (it’s a lot more expensive than the last time I used film) and looked for my camera, which hadn’t been use

Comment I don't even unwrap the newspaper (Score 1) 207

When my dad went into the hospital we ended up throwing his unopened newspapers away. A free local paper and we didn't even bother taking them out the plastic sleeve. It's littered with ads, the content isn't relevant, and it's not how people get news anymore.

Billionaire ownership of the media is a separate problem. The idea that money equals speech has unfortunately become deeply ingrained.

Comment Maintenance? We don't need no steeking maintenance (Score 4, Insightful) 304

Slashdot reader schwit1 writes, "This is akin to buying an exotic car you can barely afford, without also budgeting for insurance, repairs, and tuneups."

Actually it's like buying a new exotic car every three months so you don't have to do schedule maintenance on any of the others.

Comment Re:Teh Google! (Score 1) 6

Again, it's giving me wingnut sites from both wings. I'd far rather get it from mainstream sites that have proven their validity over time so I didn't have to check Snopes or Politifact.

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