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Comment Re:They are concerned about lost tax revenue? (Score 1) 364

You in NSW? I'm pretty sure Qld doesn't have such a tax, but I've never owned two properties at once, so I wouldn't have encountered it, anyway.

I think historically Qld & W.A. have/had the lowest/least state taxes, mainly due high income from resource royalties - they could afford to abolish such taxes due to mining royalty income.

Comment Debian (Score 4, Interesting) 496

Just Debian, no derivatives.

I've had the least trouble with Debian. Mint just doesn't seem to like me, and I don't like Ubuntu.

Building Gentoo from source was fun, Fedora just didn't feel right, FreeBSD wouldn't even work in Virtualbox, and I've yet to experience the pleasure of Slackware.

If this is to control manufacturing/industrial equipment, you really should be employing someone with skills and experience. /advice

Comment Re:Raise your hand if... (Score 1) 364

Much of this debate is moot - it would take 1. broad community support, meaning bilateral support from both major parties, and they've got much more pressing things to worry about, and 2. a major shift in most monetary policy.

The thing is, cash is legal tender, good for settlement of debt. Refusing cash is legally suspect - if I offer you a card, and the card is declined, then I offer cash, you can refuse, but I've offered a legal means to pay the debt. What are you going to do when I walk out with my coffee? Call the police? I'll tell them I offered cash, and I might even be lucky enough to have surveillance camera footage showing me offering cash. What's a judge going to do? That's the best thing about cash - it works when all other methods fail. I don't have to accept cheques or credit cards, but if I refuse cash, I don't get paid.

Comment Re:Yeah, nah. (Score 1) 364

The transaction is fast, but I find paywave transactions take 2 -3 days to finally reconcile in my account. "Current balance" and "available funds" being two different amounts is a pain - a minor pain, but one I can avoid by not using paywave.

Some shopkeepers/assistants are skipping the question and just wave my card at the machine - then look puzzled and even horrified when I tell them I didn't want to use paywave. I don't make them reverse it out, but I make a note to in future, tell them before I hand them my card.

Comment Re:They are concerned about lost tax revenue? (Score 4, Informative) 364

Sales tax and a number of other taxes were phased out when the GST (goods and service tax) was introduced. It didn't simplify the system as much as it should have but it went partway there. Yes, we have income tax, but I don't find it burdensome - even the first AUD$18,200 is tax-free.There's no property tax, but someone is proposing to phase out contract stamp duty in favour of a property tax. Yes, there are "sin' taxes. Don't know what a homeowner tax is, but we do pay council rates for roads & parks, sewerage, rubbish collection, etc. No poll tax.

Wasteful spending aside, taxes are the way a government collects revenue to spend on public utilities and services - major infrastructure like interstate highways, health care (Australia has universal free health care), defense, and so on. All that is common knowledge.

The GST was proposed to even out the tax burden - have a broad-based goods and service tax (with some exemptions), instead of a narrow tax here, and another one there, and more over there. It spreads the tax burden more evenly over the population. The super-rich can avoid income tax with creative accounting, but they can't avoid 10% GST on their fine wines and home cinemas. That's the theory, anyway.

Comment Re:In Soviet Russia the Electromagnet pulses YOU! (Score 1) 364

I think the proponents of this system should take a close look at north Queensland over the next week. Tropical cyclone Debbie is about to hit the coast near Bowen in the next day or so.

Let's see how that EFTPOS infrastructure holds up when people need to buy essentials such as bottled water, canned food, generator fuel, etc (and beer, of course). It won't matter if the problem lies with the water-logged EFTPOS terminal, the local exchange, or the flood-damaged fibre cable down the street, "tap-and-go" just won't "go".

Comment Re:Wouldn't they have to show damages? (Score 1) 342

One of my customers had to fork out for installation media because the Win 10 upgrade hosed the recovery partition - well, not hosed, because I could see it with gparted on another machine, but the customer's machine failed to access it, and none of the available tools would convince the bios that there was indeed, a recovery partition.

I'd call that damage. Win 10 had no business doing anything beyond looking at other partitions on the drive.

Comment Re:Yeah, nah. (Score 2) 364

The breakdowns that I've encountered, while rare, are generally moderately severe, i.e. not just out for a few minutes, but hours, or overnight. Fortunately the local IGA supermarket will allow known customers to run a tab for as long as it takes to recover the EFTPOS systems.

I don't do EFTPOS or credit card, it's cash, cheque, or direct deposit. The banks charge too much on EFTPOS and credit card transactions. Some of the merchants around here are already adding 30 or 50 cents to EFTPOS/CC purchases.

If you try to take cash away, people will find something to replace it - there's already a LET system here, but most of it is for the hippies - trading a patchouli-scented massage for some free-range eggs, but I can see it picking up if cash is withdrawn. The government didn't invent cash, they just stepped in when they saw a need to regulate it.

Comment Hacked in 3, 2, 1 (Score 3, Interesting) 195

There's a good chance that this machine's software/interfaces will have....inadequate security. Someone, somewhere, will achieve control over it, and then when it turns on the thin blue line behind it, ostensibly waiting to "clean up" the now-subdued rioters, there will be some outrage from the police department/s who bought it, some swift spin from the manufacturer, and the units will either 1. be withdrawn, or 2. given a firmware upgrade, in which case, see above.

At the very least, someone will be able to jam its communication, rendering it unresponsive.

Comment Re: Maps technology is lost... (Score 3, Interesting) 158

Yeah, but - use it or lose it. I'm scared about *anything* that reduces our cognitive ability/ies.

And it's not so much that we don't have a clue where the hell we're going, it's more that we don't give a damn to find out, when the technology will take care of it.

Fair enough, I suppose, except when the technology proves unreliable cough*apple maps* cough.

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