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Comment Just give us one fucking sales tax rate already (Score 4, Informative) 293

Well, that is the current dream of many.. find ways to have all the benefits of operating in the US without paying for it. Taxes are something that it is in one's best interest to have other people paying.

I don't mind paying taxes, and wouldn't mind paying a standard VAT to sell anywhere in the US. But the local US sales tax laws are a complete clusterfuck. When I'm selling books in various locations, I have to dig up the tax rate for that location It's a hassle, but doable, but some states are really fucked up.

New York is one of them.

Sales tax varies depending on which county, in some cases which city or which part of the city you're in. Tax rates coded to zip codes don't work...some zipcodes span localities with wildly varying sales tax rates. I'lliinois is better, but still, rates vary depending on whether you're in Chicago proper, one of the suburbs, or one of the localities downstate.

Multiply this complexity by 50 states and you begin to realize what a complete clusterfuck it is for any small online buisiness to try and cope with. Shipping a package to Bumblefuck, Nebraska? What's the sales tax? How about Buttfuck, New York? Good luck.

Impose a national VAT of x percent, and kick back some or all of it to the states, and ban local sales taxes of any kind. This needs to be vastly simplified. Even if it were 50 states and 50 different sales tax rates that would be doable, but with many dozens of different sales tax venues with varying rates in New York alone, and plenty of states like Illiinois with a few cities that impose their own surtax to the state rate, figuring this crap out is a nightmare on the best of days. If every state is allowed to impose its taxes on all online folks, only the big players like Amazon will be able to cope. The rest of us, and most new startups, will crumble under the burden.

Comment Re:Need more mental health centers not prisons (Score 2, Insightful) 260

Then it was determined that the mentally ill had rights and they were promptly discharged with many finding the street life fit them better than anything else. It turned out the mentally ill had a right to be homeless.

The USA operates on a policy of Social Darwinism because anything else would be pinko-commie.

If you're ill and or poor in the USA, the sacred Market will remove you from the human race if you are not sufficiently fit.

Comment Re:Maybe, but... (Score 3, Interesting) 246

They really died after Justice for all.

Indeed. That album contained their highest-quality material. I got into Metallica when that was their current album. The subsequent Black Album was an Emperor's New Clothes moment for me. I bought the CD when it came out and sold it about 6 weeks later...

Jason's bass work on that album is magnificent. I was learning bass myself in those days and bought the Cherry Lane ...And Justice for All bass transcription book. I practiced really hard for months and could just about do Blackened, One, the Frayed ends of Sanity and ...And Justice for All. It's a crying shame that Jason's bass is so quiet in the mix.

I'd pay money for another ...And Justice for All CD if it were remixed properly so that Jason's bass could be heard in full.

Jason rules. Mrs Turgid and I and a couple of friends went to see him at the 100 Club in London this summer. I won't pay to see Metallica, even though they've got Rob Trujillo on bass.

When Metallica play live it's always a race between Lars and James to see who can get to the end of the song first and it sucks. Music sounds so much more powerful when it's played in time.

Comment Re:Overrated (Score 1) 218

We need somebody famous but with no pretensions (someone like
a Letterman or a Foxworthy) to speak out in a voice that will be
heard and tell everyone the obvious: the emperor is butt nekkid.

Updike did just that in A Month of Sundays. Hilariously written, exposes the hypocracy and doublethink that is so rampant in American society, and in particular the right-wing clergy of this country, and very well written. People either love it or hate it ... the latter generally fall into the religious category, as the story deals with a pastor who sleeps with just about everyone's wife, and justifies his actions through selective quotation of the bible ("amen!").

There are American works that deserve that level of praise (Updike's work being one of them imho), but good luck getting it past the numerous gatekeepers who decide what is 'great' and what itsn't (and I'm not just talking about the dinasaur publishers or withering literary agents, I'm also including the left and particularly right-wing pressure groups, and worst of all, the religious pressure groups).

Comment Re: Porn browsing? (Score 2) 415

"They have more than enough watching what real people, of all ages, do."

    So if they're watching you 14 year old daughter banging her boyfriend isn't that kiddy porn? Burn the NSA and other agencies.

THIS, by a wide margin.

Once we have evidence of the NSA in possession of underage porn it's the way to pull the plug... Because if we've learned anything in America, the best way to ram something through against the wishes of whomever opposes it is to say it is "for the children." In this case it would be a white-lie in so much as it isn't "for the children" in the "preventing kiddie porn" sense, but "for the children" in the "So those children can grow up in a world where they still get to have some freedom and privacy."

In fact, it might be the first time in all of recorded history where something that was done "for the children" actually turned out to benefit actual children.

Comment Re:Another cure that is worse than the disease (Score 1) 170

You enforce it after the breach. There was a DDOS attach, they investigate, find out you were running things years out of date or whatever, then the fines kick in. Much like how it's illegal to not use a seat-belt in the US. They can't really look in every car and be sure as it's driving down the road. But if you get pulled over for something else or you get into an accident that's when you usually get a ticket for it.

Then the fine makes for good evidence in a legal case against the company by whomever was attacked.

Think about that for a moment... It's totally unenforceable because nobody is legally obligated to keep a full version-control of every setting, piece of software, or chunk of code they're running, so unless the law requires them to continue running with "vulnerabilities" in place until an investigator can record them for fine-tallying purpose then it is extremely unlikely that any fine will ever actually be assessed because in the end the sorts of shops that run open-relays and rootable DNS servers aren't likely to have good documentation practices, either.

Comment Re:Another cure that is worse than the disease (Score 1) 170

Another cure that is worse than the disease

Ha! I've used that to describe spamhaus and their minions... Years ago I had a client who ended up getting blocked randomly because (drumroll please) spamhaus added an entire /22 to their IP blocklist! The client's /29 was inside that block, so naturally they got blocked by anybody honoring spamhaus' block list... (And to the legion of assholes that troll anybody criticizing spamhaus' slipshod work and labels them a "spammer," Fuck you! They didn't send any spam, EVER. And blocking an entire /22 (covering some of a datacenter's customers, but not others) is arbitrary to the point of negligence.

When it had all played out the /22 block was a result of (wait for it!) a disgruntled employee at the datacenter exploiting Spamhaus' notoriously weak quality-control to screw-over his former employer with an annoying, somewhat hard to identify problem... Annoying because spamhaus will keep blocking it in perpetuity until somebody figures out how to make them stop. Somewhat hard to identify because it wasn't every client having problems, and the ones having problems weren't having it with all recipients. Now, of course, we know that description of symptoms can easily be an RBL run amok... Of course then the question becomes "which one?"

I don't like spam any more than the next guy, but dealing with the shrill assholes who have made it their life's work to fight spam (hint: When somebody tells this to you, FFS, don't laugh!) is just one step less-unpleasant than repeated, unneeded root canal... The high and mighty, pompous, and arrogant attitudes (anybody who disagrees with us is stupid or a spammer!) make the low-quality of the work produced that much more glaring. Honestly, haven't you people ever heard of IronPort, Barracuda, or MXLogic? Seriously: Get a life. Reporting each spam individually is the least efficient way to fight the problem. What makes it worse is when you tell these Don Quixote types that they're wasting their lives they accuse YOU of being a spammer!

Comment Re:follow the money (Score 1) 334

There has got to be some reason that this DB that ive never even heard of (and i work with DBs, its not my main point of work but I know my way around DBs) got the gig over the more established players.

  or, perhaps they went with it because it is less known and therefore reduce the risk of known attacks in other DB systems?

Perhaps either is the case: Obscurity or donations... A third option is that it provides some feature that doesn't exist in Oracle/SQL Server/Cassandra. However in digging into their web-site it looks like it is some sort of wrapper/hybridized product that mates to Hadoop, which would make sense given the vast volume of data you're talking about managing for the Federal exchange, which I believe services 36 states.

But with that said, I've never heard of it either.

Comment Pink Uniforms, Moisturiser and Manbags (Score 1) 495

It'll be pink uniforms next, followed by moisturiser rations and manbags. I hope they employ manicurists too.

The tanks will be replaced by Smart Cars and Nissan Figaros.

Having said that, it might make them more fierce in combat, especially if the enemy has better rations e.g. Halal kebabs with chili sauce.

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