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Submission + - IRS doesn't tell 1 million taxpayers that illegal immigrants stole their SSNs (

schwit1 writes: The IRS has discovered more than 1 million Americans whose Social Security numbers were stolen by illegal immigrants, but officials never bothered to tell the taxpayers themselves, the agency’s inspector general said in a withering new report released Tuesday.

Investigators first alerted the IRS to the problem five years ago, but it’s still not fixed, the inspector general said, and a pilot program meant to test a solution was canceled, and fell woefully short anyway.

As a result most taxpayers don’t learn that their identities have been stolen and their Social Security files may be screwed up.

“Taxpayers identified as victims of employment-related identity theft are not notified,” the inspector general said.

And we should put the federal government in charge of healthcare?

Submission + - DHS eyes special declaration to take charge of elections (

schwit1 writes: Even before the FBI identified new cyber attacks on two separate state election boards, the Department of Homeland Security began considering declaring the election a "critical infrastructure," giving it the same control over security it has over Wall Street and and the electric power grid.

"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Stalin

Comment Re:Correct me if I'm wrong, but... (Score 1) 51

> Don't the mileage and emissions numbers come from tests performed by the vehicle manufacturer themselves,

Not sure about Japan, but US does have the manufactures report the tests and results to the EPA, and the EPA reviews, and will then test 15%-20% of the vehicles themselves.

Issue is that manufactures need to advertise cars in advance of when they go on sale, with Fuel economy posted. So they are not production models, but prototypes. So they will change things, remove add extra features, so different tires different weights... So even the EPA tested ones are easily fudged if they specially prepare the vehicle they send.

The EPA does say it has started testing used vehicles, not sure when they started doing that, and what they do with the results...

Comment Re:No news! (Score 3, Insightful) 75

It's not just Facebook, though. Honestly, part of the problem is that too many of my Facebook "friends" are under the impression that their social media presence is so influential that they have a moral obligation to post really important "news" to their feed on a regular basis. Aunt Alice wants me to read a story about how Trump is a secret genius while ex-classmate Jeremy wants us all to read a story about how women are mistreated in the workplace. Unfortunately for them, I'm just logging on so I can see pictures of my nieces and nephews. For everyone else, I'd be happy to read about what's going on with your lives, but I'm completely disinterested in your political views.

Maybe it's just me?

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 403

Except that Apple has a presence in multiple European countries, and there's no reason to believe that they saved much money by doing their accouning and money storage in one country instead of several, if you take the tax break out of the picture. It may be that Ireland got exactly as much as they otherwise would have, and that most of the taxes would have been paid in their Munich or Paris offices instead. If so, Ireland got those jobs in return for taking money out of the coffers of other countries—effectively free from their perspective.

Comment Re:America in one sentence (Score 1) 604

There are plenty of soul sucking jobs that slowly damage your mental and physical health. They may seem (barely) gainful until you have to pay the piper (doctor).

But about those boiler rooms, there are one or two that just don't get the message to quit calling. They seem pretty shady, so are likely frauds. Each time, the caller sounds like they couldn't have been at it for more than a week or two. That's because they burn 'em and churn 'em.

Comment Re:RAID is not backup (Score 1) 357

Nonsense. One order of magnitude more, at most. On-line storage costs are on the order of $100 per TB per year.

I was going based on my experience with AWS, which is about $30 per TB per month for spinning storage, or $360 per TB per year. An 8 TB hard drive should typically last you about five years, and costs about $250, or about $6.25 per terabyte per year. That isn't quite two orders of magnitude, but it is pretty close. Of course if you're willing to wait several hours to start getting your data back, you can use glacier storage, and that's cheaper, but there are tradeoffs. :-)

Upload time sucks, but only for the initial upload, which I did two years ago. After that, incremental additions are pretty negligible.

Must be nice. I backed up over 12 GB Sunday night, and that was only one week worth of incremental backups for my personal laptop. Over my DSL connection (soon to be retired), that would have taken two days. It would take several hours even over my new cable modem service. It took five minutes to back up locally. That time difference makes the difference between me being willing to back up regularly and never backing up.

Obviously, YMMV, but I would imagine that somebody with multiple terabytes of personal data is probably either a photographer or videographer, and therefore has the same sorts of nightmare backups that I do. But I'm just guessing here. For all I know, it could be a porn collection. :-)

Comment Re:RAID is not backup (Score 1) 357

Online backup is cheap. Most start at ~$60 a year for unlimited backup.

I'm having a hard time believing that $5 per month is even possible for anything approaching truly unlimited storage. Just storing 2 TB on Amazon glacier storage would cost three times that much. I assume they count on most of their users treating unlimited as tens of gigabytes. If everybody were storing 2 TB, I'd expect those numbers to go way, way up.

But even if you assume that $5 is your total cost from the cloud provider, that still isn't your total cost. After all, time has value, plus your internet connection costs money. Backing up 2 TB over a typical home Internet connection can take anywhere from many days up to years, which means if your storage needs are that large, you're going to want a faster Internet connection or you'll lose your mind. Tack on another $30 a month for that.

In addition, storing your backup in the same location as your main copy is not smart, even if it is in a bunker or fire proof safe.

Hence my suggestion of periodically cloning your RAID and keeping the clone at work.

Comment Re: see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 1) 293

> I doubt that any company's leadership at any point in history has ever said "hey, I'm thrilled that our workers just unionized because this is going to make everything so much better."

I agree, find me a manager that admits their sub par, and then I can show you a manager that would appreciate a unions help.

>Unions do not provide stability. When a union strikes, the company grinds to a halt.

That is anecdotal at best. If you purely take the one point in time when both management and the union broke down, and apply that one point in time and decide that happens at every shop constantly. I know I saw the other side, I worked as a union guy, and saw a company bought out by a company who had management that knew it all, so much they opened a new factory in a new state for tax breaks and were pulling machines from the one I was at and close it over time. They had no idea how to make tires and it immediately failed, never making a sale-able product with the same machines working perfectly before moved. The only reason they had a profit was because the union guys were running the factory, fixing machines, and making improvements together.

Comment Re:America in one sentence (Score 1) 604

Those jobs mostly exist for people bad at math. Kinda like sometimes a business will make a desperate play of selling below cost as a desperate ploy to make payroll one more month. It usually doesn't work out.

There are people that incredibly lazy, but there's less of them than you might think.

Comment Re:Come the fuck on (Score 1) 357

The more versatile part is you can add disks one at a time to btrfs when mirroring and have it make reasonable use of it. If a disk fails and there's enough room left over you can even rebalance on an odd number of drives and be fully redundant until you can get another disk in. All of that together means you can upgrade to new bigger disks without going offline (naturally, performance takes a hit during the upgrade).

At the same time, I also have ZFS in production and no intention to migrate.

Comment Re: see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 1) 293

I have heard the right wing crap before. Basically comes down to thinking workers are so stupid they don't realize they wont have a job if they bankrupt the company. In reality, since they workers have the bigger vested interest in than a company than is about stockholders, or millionaires not working at the factory every day. In those cases, the union typically hires, and knows more about the company, and what it takes to keep it running efficiently than the board.
Union contracts also usually give more stability, not less. You set a cost, and expectations. They have set times to negotiate changes, and know better the local pay scales. It is true, companies that think of employees as necessary evils to attempt to screw over, are generally the ones with unions you hear about. A well run and managed company will have no issues with a union. If the unions run the others out of business faster, it's all good, in my book.

> They served a purpose in the beginning
Since China is in the state where they do not have trustworthy government and regulations, it is exactly like those days now. The people need a voice that can voice the issues and suggest improvements, rather than just quitting or just ending up dead. As the workers are the ones who know best what is happening in the factory, if you can get them involved in a way they can have someone they can trust to talk to, and voice grievances through, it will make everyone's lives better.

A few bad Unions do happen, and I am not happy that most unions in the US are getting more focused on taking care of retirees than actual workers. But I have never seen them kill a company, other than one that was destined to fail anyway.

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