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Comment Fine, power your bitcoin asic ... (Score 3, Informative) 154

Carrying around a tiny radioactive battery in every phone, watch, pacemaker, and remote control seems like a great idea,

Fine, power your bitcoin asic in the closet.

Or move the remote control a few centimeters away from you when not actively clicking.

From the summary: "Carbon-14 is a low-yield beta particle emitter that can't penetrate even a few centimeters of air"

Comment Re:Karma (Score 1) 393

The invasive insect species have been devastating California forests since before the drought.

That, sir, is a lie told with weasel words. "Before the drought"? Only true if you take it to mean before this drought. But the pine borer really took off during the last drought. At best you are spectacularly ignorant of the fact that this problem was in fact brought about by drought.

No. The problem was not "brought about" by the drought. The drought increased the problem, it did not create the problem. The problem existed before the drought and there are other factors besides the drought that aggravate the problem, for example forest density. Any sort of competition aggravates the problem, not just competition for water.

Comment Re:Karma (Score 2) 393

Trees in the Southern California mountains have been dying for years due to smog. That's pretty much a home-grown problem. Ozone concentrations tend to be highest in the areas that have had good forests, and pines (especially) seem to be sensitive to it. Combine with drought and beetles...

Smog and ozone have both been declining since the 1970s. Things are far better on that criteria than in the past.

Comment Re:Karma (Score 1) 393

I know stuff-all about american species but any tree that is stressed from insufficient water will be more vulnerable to insect and disease attack.

The invasive insect species have been devastating California forests since before the drought.

Comment CA has naturally occurring forests (Score 2) 393

Well most populous areas of CA would be a desert wasteland if it were not for civil engineering. Maybe ought to let it revert it it's natural environment.

The dying trees are in areas with naturally occurring forests, in regions above 5,000ft elevation that have local water sources. In the North and the South.

Comment Re:Not taxing reserves, looking for gains or incom (Score 2) 124

But the specific excuse for doing this mentioned reserves. They might as well just admit that they are on a fishing expedition.

The slashdot summary phrases things as "reserves". The actually court document introduction focuses on tax avoidance.
"The IRS is responsible for monitoring ways in which United States taxpayers evade their United States tax obligations by concealing or otherwise failing to report their proper amount of taxable income and thus underpay their taxes ... In order to identify taxpayers who have may have underpaid taxes associated with transactions in virtual currency, the United States brings this ex parte proceeding under 7609(f) and (h) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.) for leave to serve a John Doe summons on Coinbase."

Comment Re:Wait, I thought they didn't think it was money? (Score 2) 124

So, I need to declare when I give property to another person on my W2.

Well, yes, but not on the W2.

Who pays the gift tax?
The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Under special arrangements the donee may agree to pay the tax instead. Please visit with your tax professional if you are considering this type of arrangement.

What is considered a gift?
Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money's worth) is not received in return.

What can be excluded from gifts?
The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. Generally, the following gifts are not taxable gifts.
Gifts that are not more than the annual exclusion for the calendar year.
Tuition or medical expenses you pay for someone (the educational and medical exclusions).
Gifts to your spouse.
Gifts to a political organization for its use.

Comment Problem is winner take all, not electoral college (Score 1) 445

Its not really the electoral college itself. Its the states adopting winner take all allocations of delegates. So the problem is really at the state level not the federal level. Unless of course you believe the small states should get a modest boost of influence to avoid being bullied by the large states. Yes, a modest boost. The electoral college delegates are based on how many House of Representative members a state gets, which is based on population, plus two electoral delegates for the two Senators the state gets. That's it. Each state gets two electors beyond what they normally get for population. Its only a big deal for the absolutely tiniest of states. Again, the real problem is not this electoral college scheme, its the winner take all schemes adopted at the state level.

Comment The popular vote is just trivia (Score 1) 445

The problem with the popular vote argument is that its just trivia. Neither candidate was going for the popular, both were going for the electoral. Both allocated time and money for the electoral. If the popular had been the goal then they would have allocated time and money very differently and we would have a very different popular vote as a result.

Its like the losing side in a football game saying we moved the ball more yards. Yes, but such yardage wasn't the goal. If such yardage had been how a game was to be decided then both teams would have played very differently and the resulting yardage would have been very different.

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