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Comment Re:Before everyone piles on (Score 3, Informative) 45

This isn't a tax cheat, at least not with respect to the U.S. The only reason the IRS tried to cash in on this is because the U.S. is almost unique in the world in taxing income that its citizens/corporations make abroad. If you're a U.S. citizen and you live full-time in (say) Canada and work and earn money there, and have nothing to do with the U.S. other than having a piece of paper saying you're a U.S. citizen, the IRS still expects you to pay U.S. taxes. The U.S. has negotiated tax treaties with some countries to offset the most egregious forms of double taxation - taxes on earned income (wages) in one country can be applied as a credit for taxes in the other. So I didn't have to pay U.S. taxes on my wages since I'd already paid Canadian taxes on it (the Canadian taxes were the higher of the two). But I had to pay both U.S. and Canadian taxes on interest on my Canadian bank account, even though I was living in Canada, the money in the account was only from my Canadian job, and the money never left Canada nor entered the U.S. If I'd bought a house in Canada and made money when I sold it because it appreciated in value, the IRS would expect a cut of that.

Nearly all other countries tax based on location. If you earn money in the country, they tax it. If you earn money outside the country, it's not their concern. Even if this is a tax cheat, it really has nothing to do with the IRS, other than being a money grab simply because nonsensical U.S. law allows them to do it. The profit in Luxembourg came from Amazon's European operations. If Luxembourg or the EU wants to sue Amazon over this, then that's their legitimate right. But it has nothing to do with the U.S. nor the IRS.

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 406

You did not read what I said, and are inverting the logic. Yes, the Universe manifestly DOES have a few "simple" rules a.k.a. the laws of physics, and HAS produced rocks. But that is literally irrelevant to the point that there is nothing about rocks -- or, if you prefer, the laws of physics and the medium in which they operate -- that appears "designed". The laws are regular mathematical laws and we have no evidence for some sort of highly imaginative "field" of possible mathematical law sets and possible Universal media obeying them that a designer can select from to create the design, let alone evidence for the insane recursion relation in complexity and design implicit on the existence of such a designer.

Any sentient "designer" of a Universe plus their Super-Universe within which it builds the Universe has more complexity (and greater information content) than the Universe that they designed and built. If complexity implies design, then every designer and their Universe must have a still more complex designer in a still more complex Universe. If you wish to assert that this recursion terminates anywhere, so that you can call the designer at that level "God" or "The Master Simulation Programmer", then you no longer assert that complexity necessarily implies a designer, in which case there is no good reason to apply the rule at all even in the first instance without evidence!

Quite aside from this, rocks specifically do not exhibit any of the characteristics we generally associate with designed things, and we have quite detailed mathematical models for the probable history of rocks that do not require or benefit from (in the specific sense of being improved by) any assumption of active design. Neither, frankly, do the laws of physics.

As I pointed out in another thread, the following is a classroom example of incorrect logic:

All men are mortal.
My dog is mortal.
Therefore, my dog is a man.

All computational simulations are discretized.
The Universe is discretized (or not, see other replies).
Therefore, the Universe is a simulation.

You argument is even worse:

Rocks, that do not appear to be designed, can be designed anyway.
Therefore, we can never say that rocks do not appear to be designed.

Say what?

My dog, that does not appear to be immortal, might be immortal anyway.
Therefore we can never say that dogs are mortal.

Sure we can. What you might get away with is the assertion that there is a very small chance that some living dog (including my currently living dog, that isn't dead yet!) might turn out to be immortal. However, every single dog since wolves came out of the cold that was born more than thirty years ago is to the very best of our observational knowledge and theoretical knowledge of dog biology dead as a doorknob and every living dog that any of us have ever seen appears to be aging and we all understand how aging and disease and accidents all limit life. To assert immortal dogs you have to just make stuff up -- invent things like "dog heaven" where all dead dogs run free and have an unlimited supply of bones, or imagine that somewhere there might be a very lucky ex-wolf that failed to inherit an aging gene and that has never had a fatal disease or a fatal accident and that somehow has eluded our observational detection -- so far -- and (ignoring the second law of thermodynamics and the probable future evolution of the Universe based on the laws of physics) assume that that dog will somehow survive longer than the Universe itself probably will. Both of which are pretty absurd.

So I repeat, there is absolutely nothing about rocks that makes us think that they are designed. That does not imply that they might not be designed after all, it is not a logical statement that rocks could not have been designed, it is an empirical statement that, just as dogs appear to be mortal (and not humans, however easy it is for dogs to make the mistake, especially around dinner time:-), rocks appear not to be designed. When I find a rock on the ground as I walk along, I do not quickly look around trying to figure out who designed the rock because it looks so very much like a made thing. Quite the opposite. And, I can almost guarantee, so do you!

Comment Re:huh? (Score 1) 213

That was my thought as well.

It would certainly never occur to me to associate an ad, or the company whose product is being advertised, with the content of a video in anything more than a marketing sense. I don't think other users make that connection either. Most people realize that Google is targeting ads toward the individual based on all the data they have accumulated about the person.

It was some social justice crusader working at a newspaper in the UK who started looking for videos containing "hate speech"(not sure exactly what it was) and then told the advertisers that their ads were appearing with these apparently "offensive" videos.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 5, Interesting) 174

I've maintained that fines, tickets, and penalties (for traffic citations, violations of regulations, punitive damages from court cases, etc) should go into an escrow fund. On April 15 when everyone files their income taxes, divide the amount in the escrow fund by the number of tax returns filed (doubled for married filing jointly). That amount becomes a credit on each tax return. So basically all the money the government has collected as fines and penalties is distributed evenly to all taxpayers. That money was collected as compensation for crimes against society, and this way it gets distributed back to society.

Comment Re:Here's the actual problem, (Score 3, Informative) 163

Hint: this is for Visa applications. That is, for foreigners who aren't allowed to visit America without one, and are supplying this information in their own country.

And it's for Visa applications from people who like to hang out with ISIS, which should be an automatic denial in any sane world.

Comment Re:Generation Z leans to the political right. (Score 1) 210

I just don't feel the need to own everything in the world to be happy.

How's your retirement savings going? How would if be if the government took it on a whim? That's the ehart of conservatism in America - a government without the power to fuck you.

the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

Conservatives give more to charity, and all of progressivism is the search for moral superiority. But I bet that quote was from the 80s (or before), the era of televangelists, before the parties swapped the role of moral scold.

Comment Re:Flaw of the Android Ecosystem (Score 1) 98

The problem is what you're asking for is mutually exclusive.
  • If it's open source, the carriers (the "users" of the open source code) can (and do) do whatever the hell they want - that is the whole point of open source. Extensions won't work because the carriers will simply modify the AOSP release to remove the extensions which allow Google to update Android without their consent.
  • If you want Google to be able to force carriers to update Android with the latest security patches, then it by definition is no longer "open" source.

What probably needs to happen is for the carriers to be sued for problems caused by them not passing on Google-released security updates in a timely manner.

Comment Totally abandoning their core userbase (Score 3, Insightful) 61

There are two primary reasons graphics professionals love Macs.
  • Support for color profiles. Profiles are important not just for accurate screen colors, but for previewing how something will look when printed. Like newspaper and magazine editors need to do. Like poster and billboard advertisers need to do. Like packaging artists need to do. Windows' support for color profiles is half-hearted. It still dumps your loaded color profile if the damn UAC elevation prompt pops up (their method of darkening the screen outside the dialog seems to do it). It's done this since Win 7 and Microsoft still hasn't bothered fixing it. The companies which make color profiling equipment have had to make software work-arounds for it. On the Macs it just works.
  • Resolution-agnostic fonts. This has been a part of Macs since their inception, and Apple developed Postscript based on the same concept. When you plug a monitor into a Mac, the Mac queries it for its model and dimensions. Then based on the screen size and resolution, it automatically scales fonts so that e.g. a 11 point font is the correct size. This is why layout artists love the Macs - what they see on the screen is exactly what it'll look like when printed, not just in terms of layout but also size. Postscript does the same thing except for fonts on printers. Windows doesn't even try to do this. You get that silly 100%-200% scaling option, where 100% is based entirely on resolution without any regard for screen size. This is why OS X had no problems switching to high-PPI "Retina" screens, while Windows still has problems with it. On the Macs it just works.

1) iOS doesn't support color profiles. While Apple does calibrate the screens, there's no way for users to add their own color profile. No way to add a printer profile. No way to switch to AdobeRGB if/when the iOS devices get OLED screens and you want to edit the full color information captured by your DSLR.

2) iOS relies on a fixed resolution. That's why when they increased resolution on the iPhone and iPad, they had to do it by doubling the resolution. It was the only way to insure that apps written with the old resolution would still display properly. Basically they have the same problem with old apps on high-PPI screens as Windows does. (Ironically, Android does support arbitrary scaling based on PPI. So Android is more more like MacOS and OS X in this respect than iOS is.)

An iOS-based laptop may suit the needs of the casual user (browser, facebook, office apps). But it's totally unsuitable for graphics/photo/video professionals.

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