Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Illegal (Score 2) 182

Uber and Lyft are both much cheaper than traditional "regulated" taxis, and this scheme only cost the other company and driver. So as a consumer, why do I care? For comparison, look at New York's taxi medallion system. All it has done is raise the entry price to astronomical levels, which leaves the consumer paying outrageous prices and the drivers making very little. You are being naive if you think laws that generate money for government and protect old guard businesses are not because politicians and companies "conspired".

No, I'll take the basic fraud laws on the book and if we need to enhance them as technology changes fine. What we don't need are the rules that protect the crony capitalist system that favors the big old guard businesses over start-ups. This is an extremely small problem compared to the side effects of most regulation, and one that is apparently already solving itself as new media is exposing bad behavior on Uber's part.

Comment Re:God (Score 1) 794

You have never heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls have you? So far, earliest discovered manuscripts from old testament and new testament nearly identically match what we have today and these trend has stood for all manuscripts they continue to find. Granted, some of the earliest parts of the old testament were not recorded immediately happened and passed down orally and written by Moses according to the text itself, but as far as our stories matching what was originally written, all evidence found so far points to this being the case.

Comment Re:theft-proof by design? (Score 3, Informative) 465

It is impossible for a Bitcoin to be copied or duplicated, but not stolen. Yes, the blockchain keeps track of ownership of each fraction of a coin as it travels from address to address. So the transactions are public but the addresses are fairly close to anonymous unless someone like the NSA or your ISP recorded internet traffic to attach it to an IP address. (You can see which addresses hacked or stolen funds went to but it is harder to figure out who is tied to those addresses.) If someone gains access to your private key, the blockchain has no way of knowing they are not the rightful owner. This is why most people with large amounts in their wallets keep it on an offline machine only or print it out on a paper wallet so there is absolutely no way of someone hacking in and stealing their private key.

Now in the case of Mt. Gox, it is not clear if they were actually hacked or if they lost so much because of this "transaction malleability issue", which is basically like receipt fraud in which people would make withdrawals and claim they were not paid, so Gox would pay them again. This is more like Gox getting "conned", not "stolen". Either way, it is looking like it was an inside job. There is just no way they could slowly lose this much money of this long of time period and not notice it.

Comment Bizarre Shadowy Paper-Based Payment System (Score 1) 240

How the media (and politicians) would perceive cash if it were invented today:

It is truly amazing how when new technology comes along that gives the government greater control in visibility into our private lives that so many people just go along with they idea that we couldn't function as a society if government didn't have these new-found powers. In this case it is it is the prevalence of electronic cash transfers and credit card payments that has made people forget the government still caught criminals before 1980 these existed, and even before the mid 20th century when checking accounts became prevalent. Now if you are using cash for more than than tiny purchases you must be a criminal, and the government must know ever detail of every financial transaction to fight terrorism for the children.

Comment Re:Faith (Score 2) 330

The market currently says 1 bitcoin is roughly worth 1000x 1 dollar with a ~$10 billion market cap. I would hardly call that a yawn. This is without any exposure on the traditional exchanges, which is the typical method for the average investor to buy.

Once ETFs come out we will see what the broader market does, but it can only increase the money flowing into bitcoins. I doubt is it a coincidence that they took out the guy associated with the first bitcoin ETF that is trying to come to market. (Winklevoss twins' BITCN fund)

Comment Re:Apple interview (Score 1) 122

Please give me a scenario where someone gets more back from their taxes than they pay in. I doubt if you can that does not involve someone who is paying very little and getting subsidized from fellow citizens. (A freeloader as you put it.) I could teach someone to read and write and in two years for about 5% of what we pay in government schools, and they would have a lot more respect and work ethic than some punk who has been in ghetto government babysitting for the last12 years.

While I do not doubt that many people get more from government and their tax dollars than they realize, I do not believe it is close to what they actually pay unless they truly are a freeloader.

Comment Re:Apple interview (Score 1) 122

If a property tax increase impacts you but you do not mind, you are probably more on the wealthy end than you realize. People with average incomes struggle to get by, and expect government (including schools) to make the same sacrifices they are making.

While there are cases where schools really do need money, from my experience most of the special bond elections or associated property tax increases are for fluff not related to improved education. You have to wonder why the tax rate that was working before is not working now, especially in cases where property valuation increases are more than making up for inflation. And throw in the fact that most increases in schools budgets nationally have gone to administration, and you can see the real effect of property tax increases in most cases. http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/03/chart-of-the-day-public-schools-bloated-with-bureaucracy/

Comment Re:Apple interview (Score 1) 122

While your proposal sounds nice, X could be never be close to the median income. Those who make below the median income (or at least claim that they do) would always vote more goodies for themselves from those who make over the median income because they have absolutely no skin in the game. Taxes would continue to go beyond the optimal rate with nothing to keep it in check. You would end up killing the economy and stagnating as they have in Venezuela. If you bring it down to something like bottom 20th percentile, you still have enough people getting taxed to keep the bottom from pushing tax rates up ad infinitum but the families who are trying to make ends meet who make between 20%-50% would struggle, and this would also hurt the economy.

The best scenario (that will never happen) is to have X at somewhere close to the median but remove power from congress to directly set tax rates. Instead, it could only be changed every ~10 years by an independent group (much like the federal reserve does with monetary policy), and a change would require substantial proof of the effects of the tax rate on the economy and on revenue generated as a percent of GDP.

Comment Re:Apple interview (Score 1) 122

Unless you live in a very small town with a small government, you will never get the benefit back that you pay into taxes, particularly property taxes. Or if you live in a city, you may be getting something close to the value to what you are paying if you live in a far below median value house (in which case someone else is subsidizing you). However, in that case most likely you are in a bad neighborhood and your kids would be better not going to school than being subjected to substandard government babysitting. And no amount of police (other big chunk of property taxes) will ever make up for risk you are taking on by living there. But move to a nice neighborhood, and you are essentially paying more to NOT ever see the police.

In the next 10 years I will probably pay over $100,000 in property taxes, and I will continue to pay this every 10 years adjusted for increased property values and other stupid pet projects voters in Austin choose to fund. If I have kids, I could send them to send them to a decent private K-12 for that and be done with it instead of pay this over and over the rest of my life. And for police, imagine if neighborhoods were able to hire armed private security with the same basic function as police. This could easily be done for less than $50/month per house, and they would always be a very short way away, instead of potentially an hour or more. Talk about enlightened self interested.

And by the way, gas tax should be used to (and predominately does) pay for all roads. In cases when it is not, local gas or mileage taxes should be adjusted accordingly. This is much more fair and self-sustaining than charging based on how much someone's house is worth.

Slashdot Top Deals

Real Programmers think better when playing Adventure or Rogue.