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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

Attila Dimedici Re:Oh fark off (554 comments)

Yes, $53 billion was SPENT by the Highway Trust Fund, but approximately 1/4 of that was spent on things OTHER than roads and bridges (or about $14 billion). Interestingly enough the amount of tax revenue which went INTO the Highway Trust Fund was about $14 billion LESS than what was spent.
In other words, the Highway Trust Fund collected about $39 billion in tax revenues AND spent about $39 billion on roads and bridges (the rest of it being spent on things not related to highways)...Or approximately what "Snotnose" was claiming.

about a week ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

Attila Dimedici Re:Oh fark off (554 comments)

... but spending from the Highway Trust Fund was about $53 billion last year. Approximately a quarter of that (or over $14 billion) was spent on non-highway purposes (mass transit, bicycle lanes, etc). Over the same period, the HTF received $39 billion in revenue, most of that from gas taxes.

$53 billion does not equal $39 billion.

about a week ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

Attila Dimedici Re:Oh fark off (554 comments)

NO, according to the figures I have, the difference between revenue (primarily from gas taxes) and spending is the money that is spent on things OTHER than highways. Which supports "Snotnose"'s claim.

about a week ago
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Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

Attila Dimedici Re:Window Dressing. (258 comments)

As someone else asked, what kind of input did Chuck Grassley have? Just because he was there during the discussion does not mean that any of his ideas were included.

about a week ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

Attila Dimedici Re:Oh fark off (554 comments)

I have no idea where you got your numbers from, but spending from the Highway Trust Fund was about $53 billion last year. Approximately a quarter of that (or over $14 billion) was spent on non-highway purposes (mass transit, bicycle lanes, etc). Over the same period, the HTF received $39 billion in revenue, most of that from gas taxes. which means that the person you responded to was basically correct.

about a week ago
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Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

Attila Dimedici Re:Window Dressing. (258 comments)

Wow, talk about revisionist history. The Republicans had NO input in drafting PPACA. As to the reason they opposed it, it was not because they thought it would be popular, but because it was, and is, unpopular. Furthermore, the insurance companies were not, and are not, against this law. They actually supported its passage and still support the law because it forces everyone to buy health insurance and guarantees that the Federal government will bail them out if they lose money.
And it is not healthcare that millions of Americans have, it is health insurance. As to actual health care, as a result of this law, it is harder to get than it was before because it has led to many health care professionals leaving the business. Oh yeah, most of those millions with health insurance have it because Obama is illegally giving subsidies in states that did not set up their own exchanges.

about a week ago
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FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

Attila Dimedici Re:Nov 25 or 26?, or Dec 19, 22, or 23? (60 comments)

I like the idea of Net Neutrality. However, I do not believe that the government regulation that will implement "Net Neutrality" will reflect that good idea. And of course that leaves out the question of which form of Net Neutrality? Is it:

  • A) All packets must be treated the same, no matter what protocol they are?
  • Or

  • B) All packets must be treated the same, no matter their source or destination (but different protocols can be treated differently)?
  • I am convinced that government regulators will find a third definition for Net Neutrality if they actually implement a regulation which will contain some provision which will encourage (and possibly require) ISPs to throttle data from those who represent those not politically favored.

about a week ago
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Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

Attila Dimedici Re:should be banned or regulated (237 comments)

Why? Perhaps some of the regulations were enacted exactly because there were problems? Perhaps some regulations have prevented problems?

Perhaps. However, would you care to list what those problems were and which regulations eliminated them. Your answer may be correct, but without knowing what the specific issues were we cannot determine if the regulations did what they were created to do, or if they are still necessary. In addition, some of the "problems" the regulations were created to fix, may no longer be things we would consider problems.

about two weeks ago
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Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

Attila Dimedici Re: $10M isn't even a good start anymore (224 comments)

You really should spend some time learning about that which you speak. Citizens United was a group formed to oppose Hillary Clinton's run for President. They made a documentary about her career that they intended to distribute leading up to the primaries (and then the general election) in 2008. When the FEC told them that they were not allowed to do so within a certain number of days of the election because it violated campaign finance laws, they sued.
I remember reading about them as they gathered support and money to make the movie. Several prominent members in Citizens United had been speaking out against a Hillary Clinton presidency for several years at that point. So, the idea that this group was formed solely to challenge election finance law is ludicrous.

about two weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Attila Dimedici Re:Proof that the earth is flat (429 comments)

Actually, there was no time in history that people who studied how the physical world worked believed that the earth is flat.

about two weeks ago
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British Spies Are Free To Target Lawyers and Journalists

Attila Dimedici Re:There can be no defense of this. (184 comments)

The problem with your qualifier is that if they do not discover something that can be made to qualify as a serious threat, most of the time no one will ever know they were monitoring the communication. The "serious threat" they find may have no connection to what they were looking for, but if they will face significant punishment for failing to find one, they will find one.

about two weeks ago
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Terrorists Used False DMCA Claims To Get Personal Data of Anti-Islamic Youtuber

Attila Dimedici Re:Trying to wrap my head around this (389 comments)

That is actually how the DMCA is written to work.

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Attila Dimedici Re:Lucky for Stripe (353 comments)

Ah yes, because only what our high priests have said is true is true. I love your faith in the infallibility of the Supreme Court.

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Attila Dimedici Re:Lucky for Stripe (353 comments)

What you fail to realize is that the Justices of the Supreme Court are no more infallible than the members of Congress or the men sitting in the office of President. That means that just because the Supreme Court says something is constitutional does not mean that it is any more than a President signing it into law guarantees that it is constitutional. Both are oath bound to reject unconstitutional laws, but that does not mean they always do so.
Furthermore, Marbury v Madison says that the Supreme Court can declare a law unconstitutional, NOT that it can declare a law constitutional. I know that many people have trouble understanding that this is an important distinction. The failure of the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional does NOT mean that the law is constitutional. It merely means that those arguing the case before the Court failed to convince those on the Court that it was unconstitutional. There is something very scary about those who accept every ruling by the Supreme Court as infallible.

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Attila Dimedici Re:Lucky for Stripe (353 comments)

Yet the Dredd Scott decision is generally considered to be an incorrect reading of the Constitution.

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Attila Dimedici Re:Lucky for Stripe (353 comments)

So, everybody's money is as good as everyone else's, unless that person is attempting to use that money to assist someone else to exercise their Second Amendment rights. In which case it is perfectly OK to discriminate against them?

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Attila Dimedici Re:Lucky for Stripe (353 comments)

I am sorry, but I do not see anything in Article III which says that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what the Constitution says. And for that matter, if you look at the Supreme Court decision that is the basis for considering the Supreme Court as arbiter of constitutionality what it says is that the Justices of the Supreme Court are obligated to overturn unconstitutional laws by their oaths of office. A direct corollary of that would be that would be that Presidents are obligated to not sign unconstitutional laws and members of Congress (either House) are obligated to vote against unconstitutional laws. Yet, we frequently have laws come before the Supreme Court which are ruled unconstitutional.

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Attila Dimedici Re:Lucky for Stripe (353 comments)

Ah, so because the Supreme Court said that African Americans could not be citizens of the U.S., that should have settled the issue of slavery? No one should have further considered whether slavery was indeed protected by the Constitution? The Supreme Court had ruled, so, for you, the issue was settled.

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Attila Dimedici Re:Lucky for Stripe (353 comments)

As I said, you cannot point to a place that the Constitution says that such is the way things should be, but because the Supreme Court says it does, you are willing to accept that it does.

about three weeks ago
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Online Payment Firm Stripe Boots 3D Gun Designer Cody Wilson's Companies

Attila Dimedici Re:Lucky for Stripe (353 comments)

So, the answer is that you cannot, but you are willing to take the Supreme Court's word for it that it is there?

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Poll shows that 75% prefer printer books to ebooks

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about a year ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "In a new Rasmussen poll, 75% of American adults would rather read a book in traditional print format than in an ebook format. Only 15% prefer the ebook format (the other 10% are undecided). The latter is a drop from the 23% that preferred the ebook format in Rasmussen's 2011 poll. In addition, more say they buy their books from a brick and mortar store that say they buy books online (35% from brick and mortar, 27% online). I suspect that the 27% who buy online buy more books, but these results are interesting and suggest that the brick and mortar bookstore is not necessarily doomed."
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Ask Slashdot: What is the Best Email Encryption Gateway for a Small Business?

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "I am in the process of implementing a Email Encryption Gateway for my company. I checked with my various contacts in the industry and came away with Voltage as the best solution. However, as I have been working with them to implement a solution, I have been sadly disappointed by their lack of professionalism. Every time I think I am one question away from being ready to pull the trigger, I discover something that my contact with them had not mentioned before that has to be ironed out by the various stakeholders on my end. So, my question for Slashdot Users is this, what is your experience with implementing an Email Encryption Gateway for your company and who what solution would you recommend?"
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Reports of Mis-registered Votes In Early Voting

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "There have been several reports of voting machines changing for Mitt Romney to votes for Obama in several states that have Early Voting, Ohio, North Carolina, Kansas. So far, I have not seen any reports of voting machines doing the opposite. Is this just user error? Or happenstance? Or is this the case of someone fiddling with the calibration of the voting machines to favor their preferred candidate? If it is just random error, why are all the reports just showing votes being changed in one direction?
I am not ready to declare that this is voter fraud, but these are the types of stories that people need to pay attention to if voter fraud is to be stopped."

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It's a Small Galaxy After All

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "Word has just come out that Disney is buying LucasFilm for just over $4 billion and that it intends to make new Star Wars movies, ultimately a new one every two to three years.

I will let that news sink in for those of you hearing this for the first time.

Okay, I’m just thinking out loud here.

My first reaction was horror. I joked on twitter about “Herbie the Love Bug as R2D2 and “Lord Vader, we have received reports that the Apple Dumpling Gang is on the ice planet Hoth.”

But then I thought, “Who cares?” it’s not like Disney could do more to sully the franchise than Lucas already has. I mean, so what if Justin Timberlake plays Luke Skywalker and Johnny Depp plays C3P0? And what’s the big deal if Jar-Jar Binks gets his own sitcom on ABC?"

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Your right to resell your own stuff is in peril

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "The U.S. Supreme Court is going to be hearing a case this fall that could overturn the "first-sale" doctrine for goods not manufactured in the U.S.. The back story (which I think has been discussed on slashdot before) is that a Thai student at Cornell discovered that textbooks were sold significantly cheaper in Thailand than in the U.S.. So, he set up a business where his family bought textbooks in Thailand, shipped them to him in the U.S., where he sold them on Ebay. John Wiley and Sons sued him for copyright infringement. A lower court ruled in favor of the publisher."
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Department of Justice Defends Warrantless GPS Tracking

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "The U.S. government told a federal appeals court Thursday that it still has the right to place Global Positioning System tracking devices on cars without obtaining a search warrant—despite a January Supreme Court ruling that the warrantless installation of such a device violated the Constitution. Another article on the subject points out that despite claiming that a warrant is not necessary the Justice Department has instructed agents and prosecutors to obtain one going forward. Is the Justice Department correct that since the Supreme Court did not explicitly say that this particular usage of GPS tracking without a warrant was unconstitutional they have leeway to do so? Or should the Justice Department be staying away from constitutional gray areas in order to be sure that they are not violating it?"
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House Appropriators want to limit public availability of pending bills

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "The House Appropriations Committee is considering a draft report that would forbid the Library of Congress to allow bulk downloads of bills pending before Congress. The Library of Congress currently has an online database called THOMAS (for Thomas Jefferson) that allows people to look up bills pending before Congress. The problem is that THOMAS is somewhat clunky and it is difficult to extract data from it. This draft report would forbid the Library of Congress from modernizing THOMAS until a task force reports back. I am sorry that I cannot write a better summary of these articles, but I think this is an important issue about improving the ability of people to understand what Congress is doing. I am pretty sure that the majority of people on slashdot agree that being able to better understand how the various bills being considered by Congress interact would be good for this country."
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Study Says That Beer Makes Men Smarter

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "Researchers at the University of Chicago say that men are better at solving brain teasers when they have had a couple of beers than when they are stone-cold sober. They discovered that at .07 blood alcohol level men were better problem solvers than when they were sober. Additionally, they found that men were better at solving problems in groups of three rather than in groups of two.
How many of you already knew this?"

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Court Ruling Opens Phones to Warrantless Searches

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "This article is rather alarmist about the way this ruling opens the door for warrantless searches of cellphones. However, the police in this case only went so far as to determine the phone numbers of the cellphones. They then used that information to obtain a warrant for the call histories of those phones. This does not seem overly intrusive to me and the judge in his ruling seems to me to say that deeper searches of the phone without a warrant would be inappropriate (although he does not draw a clear line as to what qualifies as a deeper search)."
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A Honda Civic Lesson

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici writes "Eric Peters makes the case that hybrids have been over-hyped. His argument is that in order to sell people on hybrid cars, automakers have emphasized the energy efficiency of hybrids in ideal conditions and failed to tell people that in most ordinary driving conditions they will not come close to meeting the numbers given. He refers to a recent case where an individual has chosen to forego membership in a class action law suit and has instead chosen to go to small claims court. He suggests that there is a significant chance that she will win there and that this will open up all of the manufacturers of hybrid vehicles to similar lawsuits.
The article was on a rather partisan website so I am curious as to what factors he has chosen to overemphasize to make his case? Or what factors he has chosen to ignore to the same end? I know that slashdot has a large contingent of hybrid and EV supporters who are well educated on the subject (as well as a large contingent of those who are not so well educated)."

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World-first hybrid shark found off Australia

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "This story talks about the discovery of the first known hybrid between two shark species. The article itself is an interesting hybrid of junk science views of both Global Warming and evolution. It implies that the sharks are planning ahead by "evolving" through interbreeding with another species of shark in order to deal with the changes brought on by global warming. More importantly, it completely ignores the question of whether they will be more capable of being equiped with lasers than either of the parent species"
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A World Without Schoolteachers

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "I came across a an article this morning that suggests that the Nook and the Kindle have changed things in such a way that schools are becoming obsolete. His premise is that the ideal way to teach children is by a tutor. Schools arose because those who were not well enough off to afford tutors pooled their resources to hire a tutor (teacher) for all of their children. Schools further developed because they offered the opportunity for society to indoctrinate children in the values society considered important. Until today, the indoctrination has become more important than the education.
The author's premise is that the Nook and the Kindle have allowed large amounts of written material on many different subjects to become accessible enough that parents can tutor their children at a price that just about everyone can afford."

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Google's Privacy Problem

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici writes "In this article, Daniel Gellenter talks about the various ways that Google uses to keep track of your location. He discusses an new Android app, Lattitude, that installs as part of a system update and how Google lets you know about it with an email that many people will overlook as spam. He then talks about how difficult it is to disable this app. He further talks about the other ways that Google tracks the location of Android users."
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Ask Slashdot: What do Slashdotters think of Herman

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici writes "What do slashdotters think of Herman Cain's candidacy for President since he is arguably one of us (he has a Masters Degree in Computer Science)? This would quite possibly make him the first Presidential candidate with an understanding of technical issues. I wonder, does anyone know what his position is on patent reforn?"
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Tilburg professor faked data in at least 30 academ

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  about 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici writes "A professor at Tilburg has been caught using fake data in over 30 scientific papers. His latest paper claimed that eating meat made people anto-social and selfish. Other academics were skeptical of his findings and raised doubts about his research. Upon investigation it was discovered that he had invented the data he used in many of his papers and there is question as to whether or not he used faked data in all of his papers. This is why so many people have trouble taking social and behavioral sciences seriously as science"
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Story claims that Slashdot is dying

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "This article says that slashdot is among once popular sites that are dead or dying. It lists 8 sites that it says are dead or dying. Certainly, Myspace is dead and some of the others are dying, but is slashdot? Is it just a matter of time until slashdot is no more? Is that why CmdTaco is leaving?"
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Massachusetts plans to keep track of where your c

Attila Dimedici Attila Dimedici writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Attila Dimedici (1036002) writes "Massachusetts wants to establish a database with the information gathered by license plate scanners installed in police cars. The scanners will scan license plates of every car the police car passes and transmit that information (along with the location) to a database that will be made available to various government agencies. The data wil be kept indefinitely."
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