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Comment Re:Perfectly sound legal arguments (Score 1) 949

Someone please tell me how a corporation based in Washington State and legally incorporated in Delaware suddenly becomes a tax collector for states in which it does not have a physical presence?

I think the problem Amazon is having is that they had associates that were based in California. These associates have a physical presence in California and forces Amazon to abide by state law. Amazon wants to continue to have an associate program, yet not have to keep track of sales tax for each state that an associate exists. This is why Amazon is lobbying for this referendum in California.

It's not just associates in California. A9 is in Palo Alto. The Kindle was designed in Cupertino. Hard to say they don't have a significant local presence, though I'm sure some legal loopholes make it so.

Comment Re:Uh... summary? (Score 1) 172

While on the topic of moderation, why do people always confuse "Insightful" and "Funny"?

People don't confuse the two moderations. Instead, "Insightful" grants karma while "Funny" does not. Thus, especially witty comments get modded "Insightful" so that the poster gains karma.

From the /. FAQ: "Note that being moderated Funny doesn't help your karma. You have to be smart, not just a smart-ass."

Comment Re:Bribery fines are funny (Score 2) 263

Does SEC, or anyone in the U.S. for that matter, have jurisdiction over supposedly illegal acts outside of the country? Is it even SEC's business that officials abroad were bribed? Shouldn't the Chinese slap them with, say, imprisonment of responsible persons?

Thanks to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, foreign bribery is the SEC's business.

Comment Re:Great plan there (Score 1) 515

In public schools, it's not even about training attendance, it's about the money. Simply put, students attending class get the school money. Students on suspension (in-school or otherwise) ALSO get the school money! The schools are incentivized to either get kids in class OR suspend them. Absences are expensive, as are expulsions! This is why kids get full-year suspensions (at home under their parent's care) rather than expulsion from the district.

This al

Comment Re:Cybercheat? (Score 1) 484

It appears that the slashdot crowd has no need for a liberal arts (in the classical sense) education. They only want job training instead. This is the problem with our current concept of college. Instead of going to get a well-rounded education that makes us better thinkers, more able to understand and inquire about the world around us, and generally improve our ability to be inquisitive successfully, college in America (and some other countries) is viewed as a way of gaining specialized job skills.

IMO, this is largely due to most technical companies' hiring practices, especially when seeking entry-level-professional employees - those who recently completed formal training. (I assume this covers most of the job opportunities recently-graduated /.ers consider.) What these companies truly seek is a person trained in a certain field to do certain tasks. As an indication of basic competence, companies use completion of a related academic degree, yet they don't truly value many of the academics that backstop that degree. Mostly, these companies value training and experience that are immediately and directly related to their current business needs. Secondarily, they may value the communication skills (especially writing skills) implied by completion of a bachelor's degree. Critical-thinking and ability-to-learn skills are often less valued, and certainly less easily assessed, during the hiring process.

Two considerations emerge. First, currently there is a glut of trained people in the entry-level category. As a hiring manager, even if the core technical qualifications are identical between two candidates, the one who completed a bachelor's will be chosen over the one who only completed an associate's degree. The higher academic degree implies more commitment to long-term goals, giving an edge to a four-year-degreed candidate over a vocationally-trained candidate. Second (and relatedly), entry-level compensation is largely based on job description (within a geographic area. Yes, school reputation, projects, experience, etc factor in. And at my company, a national top-tier-school, 4.0 GPA, undergraduate with 4 summer internships at our company, is offered about a 15% premium over someone who squirts past the HR filter with a relevant associates degree at a community college, having a 3.0 GPA and no related work experience. (Assuming the candidate with only an Associate's is even offered a job.) If the BA and the AA job candidates (BS/AS if you prefer) cost approximately the same, I may as well hire the one with a bachelor's. They've proven more commitment to long-term tasks, if nothing else

All that to say, while hiring companies mostly value the skills learned during an associate's degree, the nontechnical skills implicitly learned during a bachelor's degree are also valued as differentiators among candidates. Hiring companies use completion of the degree as an indication that the candidate learned those other skills. Thus, the student has an incentive to pass the general education classes. The incentive is mostly independent of what the student learns in those classes, but is instead dependent on the grade recorded in those classes. Thus students are incentivized to cheat. They are not incentivized to actually learn.


Comment Re:How about... (Score 1) 376

Hairyfeet, let me introduce you to Pigeonhole Principle. I'm sure you'll get along fabulously.

Unless I understand things wrong, the Pigeonhole Principle doesn't apply, as the number of IPV6 addresses are > IPV4 addresses. Every IPV4 address could have a fixed IPV6 address assigned - perhaps as leading zeros of the existing IPV4 address - and still leave an enormous number of IPV6 addresses assigned.

The pigeonhole principle is for fitting m objects into n spaces, where m > n. In this case, m is IPV6 addresses and n is IPV4 addresses, and m < n.

Comment Re:Where you go matters -- for grad school (Score 1) 256

What you say is true if you continue on to a master's degree. If, like many people, you plan to join the workforce after undergrad, the school you attended matters a lot. Undergrads joining the workforce generally haven't done independent research or published, so employers can look at GPA, school/degree reputation, extracurriculars, and maybe senior projects at best. The hiring managers I've talked to rate undergrad engineering school reputation equivalent to almost half a GPA point. That is, a 3.0 at *big name school* is equivalent to a 3.5 at *I think I heard of that school once*.

Comment Re:Will high school grades determine kids' destini (Score 1) 256

When they do the regressions, it turns out the schools you got turned down from were the biggest factor on career success, far more than where you actually attend.

All the studies I've seen have been that students accepted to "more prestigious" schools that matriculated elsewhere did as well in life as those who enrolled at the top-tier schools. I have a hard time believing that someone denied by Harvard among others and only accepted by no-name-state-college does as well in life as someone who was accepted at, say, an Ivy, much less as well as someone who attended such a school.

Comment Re:Port scanning posters; TOS server ban (Score 1) 583

As far as I know, Slashdot does a short port scan on your IPv4 address when you preview or post a comment in order to make sure that your machine isn't an open proxy that might be abused for vandalism. That's why your first preview of the day from a given machine is so slow: it has to wait for the connections to time out.

Slow previews explained. You, sir, are truly a king amongst men.

Comment Re:It's about blackmail (Score 1) 238

The "sexual history" questions will unfortunately remain relevant in background checks for highly important/secret positions so long as sexual history related topics remain highly taboo in society. The (intended) purpose of these questions is to determine if the applicant has anything in their past that would make particularly them subjective to blackmail.

Which is just fine for a *security clearance* background check. These researchers work on unclassified projects, which is why they're objecting to the background checks.

Comment Re:The expense of the interlock... (Score 1) 911

The fact that it triggers on as little as 1/3 of the legal limit is also troubling. Maybe they should trigger at slightly below the legal limit, but 1/3? They couldn't get convicted of a DWI at that number, and yet you're going to shut off their car?

Generally those convicted of / pled nolo contendre to DWI, especially misdemeanor first offense, are put on unsupervised court probation, of which one condition is that driving with any detectable blood alcohol is a violation of the probation. So, yes, it triggers significantly below the general legal limit, because that is one of the terms of their sentence. The breathalyzer is another.

Whether this is appropriate or just is another issue entirely.

Comment Re:Options (Score 1) 789

Ride on the sidewalk, motherfuckers. No cop will ticket you because they'll be thankful you're staying off the damn street.

Actually, cops LOVE ticketing bicyclists on sidewalks. Around my area, they add "reckless endangerment" to the charges if there are any pedestrians on the sidewalk. Legally, cyclists are vehicles and entitled to a full lane unless a separate bike path is provided.

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