Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment More about eliminating WrongThink (Score 5, Interesting) 356

The time is coming where any news expressing something the government doesn't want us to hear will
just have a FAKE label slapped on it, followed by a "Fake News Removal Order" (Evolution of the DMCA) sent to the hosting website.

If it were really about eliminating the fake news threat; a major goal would instead be to improve education of the people to more readily spot suspicious content, evaluate it logically and rationally, and not be fooled by snake oil.

Comment Re:Oracle benchmarks (Score 2) 89

It's not clear whether it applies retroactively to contracts already agreed to.

It is not possible for Congress to make a law affecting contracts already agreed to.
Many years ago congress tried to pass a law that would have the affect of voiding some existing contracts, and
the attempt was found to be unconstitutional.

That's because it would be considered an ex post facto law

And one of the lines in the US Constitution reads:

"No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed"

Bill of Attainder --- A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment
ex post facto law -- A law that makes illegal an act that was legal when committed

Comment Re:Oracle benchmarks (Score 4, Interesting) 89

The Oracle EULA (2012) includes the clause: "Publication Prohibition. You shall not publish any results of benchmark tests run on the SOFTWARE."

Under the act, Oracle might argue that results of standard benchmark tests against their product reveal trade secrets.

They might also argue the act does not apply, because the contract is negotiated between a Business and Oracle, not a form contract between an indivudal and Oracle. (This may mean that Oracle chooses to stop offering their products to individuals, and simply requires employees to sign NDAs instead of using form EULAs.)

A "form contract" is a contract with standardized terms: (1) used by a person in the course of selling or leasing the person's goods or services, and (2) imposed on an individual without a meaningful opportunity to negotiate the standardized terms. The definition excludes an employer-employee or independent contractor contract.

The standards under which provisions of a form contract are considered void under this bill shall not be construed to affect:

legal duties of confidentiality;
civil actions for defamation, libel, or slander; or
a party's right to establish terms and conditions for the creation of photographs or video of such party's property when those photographs or video are created by an employee or independent contractor of a commercial entity and are solely intended to be used for commercial purposes by that entity.
Such standards also shall not be construed to affect any party's right to remove or refuse to display publicly on an Internet website or webpage owned, operated, or controlled by such party content that: (1) contains the personal information or likeness of another person or is libelous, harassing, abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, inappropriate with respect to race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or other intrinsic characteristic; (2) is unrelated to the goods or services offered by or available at such party's website; or (3) is clearly false or misleading.

A provision shall not be considered void under this bill to the extent that it prohibits disclosure or submission of, or reserves the right of a person or business that hosts online consumer reviews or comments to remove, certain: (1) trade secrets or commercial or financial information; (2) personnel and medical files; (3) law enforcement records; (4) content that is unlawful or that a party has a right to remove or refuse to display; or (5) computer viruses or other potentially damaging computer code, processes, applications, or files.

A person is prohibited from offering form contracts containing a provision that is considered void under this bill.

Enforcement authority is provided to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and states.

The FTC must provide businesses with nonbinding best practices for compliance.

Nothing in this bill shall be construed to limit, impair, or supersede the Federal Trade Commission Act or any other federal law.

Comment Re:Non Issue (Score 1) 203

Except it's property, and there is no property laundering offense. Also, it's not illegal to conceal property

That's because the use of property to launder money is still called money laundering.

It becomes laundering, as soon as you engage in transactions with intermediary parties for the sole purpose of hiding the origin of the funds, which can be in any form (Property, cash, etc).

Comment Re:No worries (Score 2) 56

With the anti-net neutrality people the new administration is putting in place in the FCC advisory committee

Can't be too sure. The advisory committee is just that a council of advisors representing the Telecommunications and Media industries.

The advisors are not the commissioners, they don't diect the FCC.

There are two commissioners whose term expired and need new appointments, but Senate confirmation is required for those.

The FCC is not supposed to be a politicized entity, as such, congress structured the FCC regulator as an independent agency,
so the president is not able to simply dictate Fcc policies.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 1) 412

Orwell is explicit: not only is there no Law in 1984, there is nothing even resembling it, not even a simulacrum of Law

Maybe, just maybe..... the distinguishment between having thoughtcrime and other laws on the book supporting tyranny and kangaroo courts VS no actual law and no courts is not so important a distinction.

Perhaps the no law binding government thing is just a later evolution of where this path takes us.

Comment Re:Only a matter of time. (Score 1) 203

That's not the same as reporting purchases to the IRS.

Potentially I could go to my broker, tell him I want to withdraw 100 shares of T or X.

This gets me stock certificates issued, which does not generate any 1099 forms.
I could then take my stock certificates, Sign the back, endorse some of them over to you,
and donate some others to a charity, then you go and deposit the shares into your account.

The company then has no idea:
1. (For tax purposes) which of my shares have sold to you. Many of the shares I would own would
likely have a different tax basis. I might own shares of the same company 2 or 3 brokerage accounts, instead of just 1, and I may elect the FIFO or LIFO method of tax basis accounting, which means telling one of my brokers to sell shares in one account is actually selling shares with the cost basis that I purchased at a different broker (Since all your different accounts with the same company's stock are the Same Issue, for tax purposes).

2. None of the brokers, nor their issuer has idea about the consideration you paid me in exchange for these shares.
With this transaction, it would be up to you to report the sales proceeds you paid me. You would have no idea, the cost basis either.

3. The issuer of the stock won't know the actual date we agreed to the sale, again, it will be up to the buyer to report that on presentation of the stock certificates to the company's issuer to update the share ownership of the number of units transferred.

Comment Re:IRS can only pursue taxes on "income" (Score 1) 203

unlike a standard stock broker, a 1099-B would not be issued by coinbase automatically.

If you move more than 200 transactions or $20k in Cash or Bitcoin through your account in
a Calendar year, then Coinbase issues you a 1099-K. Even if you're just moving your funds
from one account to another.

So there definitely will be reports to the IRS if you move significant capital around.

Comment Re:So laundering your bitcoin wasn't paranoia (Score 1) 203

Since buying and selling Bitcoin can result in income, not declaring that income would probably violate the tax code.

The IRS is obviously interested in who is BUYING Bitcoin to investigate, because if you sell more than a few hundred $$$ in Bitcoin through
Coinbase, then Coinbase has to issue a 1099-K to you for the sales proceeds, so the IRS has information about sales anyways.

Apparently there must be some tax liability the IRS believes you incur simply by holding Bitcoin.
Perhaps they are expecting Bitcoin reserve holders to Mark their assets to market periodically and report any increase in market value as income when it occurs.

Comment Re:Only a matter of time. (Score 1) 203

My brokerage reports all sales to the IRS every year without even a polite request.

ONLY because there's a law saying what your brokerage has to report.
This is legislative action by congress that has decided that the sales proceeds have to be reported, which is done for income tax purposes.
I believe the same already likely applies to Coinbase, if you sell over some threshold and receive US dollars, then Coinbase likely has to 1099B you.

Note your broker doesn't share ALL your records with the IRS. For example, they don't share records of stock purchases with the IRS, only sales.

Comment Humanitarian? (Score 1) 184

They make it sound like it's solely out of charity or special respect/privilege for Aldrin that they wouldn't routinely do such an evacuation.
Wouldn't they do this for anyone who needed evacuation for medical treatment?

Aren't flights out of Antarctica relatively routine for the summer months, anyways?

Slashdot Top Deals

But it does move! -- Galileo Galilei