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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Over 18 (631 comments)

Yes, you can overtly accept debt when accepting assets, but you cannot take on stealth debt by accepting assets that appear to be free and clear when the estate is closed. That is a blatant violation of due process. If the IRS failed to give reasonable notice to the estate of the intention to attach a lien on assets, the debts are gone. They are creditors. Creditors who do not act in a timely manner when an estate is closing or a corporation is being liquidated are simply SoL.

about a week ago
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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Mirror image (641 comments)

Umm, no. Read some actual historians who have done the research. The reason there is this popular myth of early marriage has to do with selection bias -- most marriages in medieval times that we have records for were aristocratic marriages, and their goal was less about love or even children than about cementing alliances, so they could happen at ridiculously young ages. Common people often didn't bother to get married at an actual ceremony (and certainly not recorded) until after the Reformation. Anyhow, a number of historians HAVE found records and accounts to look at marriage age in NON-aristocratic marriage (which was the majority of marriage), and they have found the GP's account to be roughly true -- median age for women marrying was early 20s... until just the past couple centuries. I believe the youngest median marriage age for women was somewhere in the late 19th or early 20th century. Look it up.

We should take your data here and apply it to the topic on hand, then. The cultural norms of the time required Muhammad to have many such aristocratic marriages, for the purpose of cementing alliances. In the context of the time, across nearly the entire globe, Muhammad's behavior was not unusual for a man in his position.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Not the first time this has happened (641 comments)

There are certain ambiguities, because the competence of the average officer does not seem to gel with the seeming extreme ultra-elite status of Starfleet Academy depicted in some episodes. And part of the problem is the graduating classes seem far too small. It is possible that there are many routes into Starfleet, and the Academy is the fast track towards command positions. The best way to rationalize this may be that Starfleet Academy is like West Point -- not every officer in the US Army went to West Point, but it helps a lot if you want to make the grade of Colonel or General.

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Comrade Ogilvy Freeze the genetic material (392 comments)

With technology, we can preserve a lot of genetic diversity in frozen embryos, eggs, sperm. So there are ways of mitigating the risk of genetic trait loss with a lower population.

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Solve the Mystery of Why Zebras Have Stripes

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Terrible summary (190 comments)

It is a little more complicated than that because perception within field of view changes with distance. But your idea does suggest some interesting experiments: how/whether variations in stripe width and distance to striped object can affect insect flight patterns.

about three weeks ago
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China Cracks Down On Bitcoin, Cuts Off Exchanges' Bank Access

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Meanwhile, BTC is down to around US$450, yet (100 comments)

There will be transaction fees. Because of what jeremyp said. Also, it is only a minscule slice of the people on this planet who can dare touch more than pocket change worth of bitcoin, without the benefits of some kind of insurance. Exchanges will step in and be part of that solution, eventually, once they are stable and respected enough to be backed by real money. So that "large amounts of money anywhere in the world for free" is never going to happen, in any important sense.

Bitcoin and similar have a shot at competing with credit cards. The real question is how much lower the fees be than 3%, once all kinds of overhead are factored in. Thinking in terms of zero costs is just a fantasy. Luckily for the bitcoin aficionados, the bar for success if not nearly so high. They do not have to achieve zero fees in order to be a big success.

about three weeks ago
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China Cracks Down On Bitcoin, Cuts Off Exchanges' Bank Access

Comrade Ogilvy Re:As they should... (100 comments)

At least the Chinese gov't does not have to worry about its people liking to gamble....

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Solve the Mystery of Why Zebras Have Stripes

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Terrible summary (190 comments)

There is a degree of guesswork I was making. It could be spiders, or it could be that these shifts look like movement, which might be a bird.

I was just watching a mockingbird in my yard the other day. They hunt for bugs by standing still on ground under bushes, then opening their wings. The underside of their wings has a strong white & dark pattern. Apparently that can trigger an insect flight instinct of some kind, causing the insects to move, revealing their location to the sharp eyes of a very still bird's head.

So this black & white trick is not unique to zebras. Even a hunter can use it against the insects. That suggests the instinct must be quite valuable to the insects themselves.

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Solve the Mystery of Why Zebras Have Stripes

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Important Quote from Article (190 comments)

Your is a reasonable hypothesis. I would offer another hypothesis: that stripes seen through multifaceted eyes resemble flashes of light -- which is you only tell tale sign you are about you get caught in a spider web; thus flying insects will turn away from the perceived flashing object.

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Solve the Mystery of Why Zebras Have Stripes

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Terrible summary (190 comments)

My guess: Flying towards a striped surface, when you are dependent on multi-faceted bug eyes, looks like flashes of light. Flying insects have evolved instincts to avoid flashes of light, because that is your only tell tale sign that you are about to get caught in a spider web.

So it is not that they have an "aversion" to striped surfaces exactly. But when approaching a striped surface they will tend to suddenly turn 90 degrees away, which comes out to the same effect.

about three weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Lies (544 comments)

This. If you are not in a studio, getting a good shot is hard. If you are not in a studio, getting a good sound clip is hard. Getting both right at the same time is 1000X as hard. So it is normal to not bother. In movies. In documentaries. In television shows. The editors are constantly "re-creating" the right sound based on the uneven quality sound clips they get handed, and pulling from sound clip libraries whatever else they need.

about three weeks ago
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Book Review: How I Discovered World War II's Greatest Spy

Comrade Ogilvy Re:germany ran out of people (102 comments)

Yes, it was in the interest of the German people to not play the war game, from a rational point of view. We understand that. However, in Hitler's estimate, his own personal interests and the interests of the German people were served best by other means.

Both Hitler and Stalin often acted as if they feared their generals more than their outside enemies. This underlying motivation precipitated decisions that were against the interests of the people of their respective nations, and creates thousands of "if I were in charge" scenarios. But the fear that Hitler (or Stalin) himself might be put out to pasture (or under perhaps under the pasture) unless he produced a string of military successes is not actually crazy at all. The assassinations attempts did almost get Hitler before the Red Army came near.

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

Comrade Ogilvy Re:The best the SCOTUS could do is wipe software p (192 comments)

I should add, the only people who think patents should be abolished are people who don't create anything.

Anyone who creates has a different opinion. I don't agree with current patent law and the situation, but ranting around about getting rid of them just makes you look ignorant.

I have personally known software developers with multiple patents to their name who thought patents only rarely made sense. Their employer foot the bill, obviously. In fact, they argued the patents were so worthless and confusing that they had trouble understanding half the patents that were based on their own work.

about three weeks ago
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MtGox Finds 200,000 Bitcoins In Old Wallet

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Smelling more fishy every day. (227 comments)

Thank you, for the confirmation. So, in principle, if one were running an exchange that might be having problems, a diligent and honest operator could shut down for a week or so, and validate all their currency using public keys by inspecting the blockchain. Since public keys are public, having an up to date inventory at your fingertipcs should be a basic accounting practice (otherwise how could I ever do any transaction at all). That MtGox could not accomplish this or chose not to accomplish this (or did so and kept the facts close to its chest) makes me now lean towards Inside Job as the likely story.

about a month ago
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MtGox Finds 200,000 Bitcoins In Old Wallet

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Smelling more fishy every day. (227 comments)

Also,if I understand it all correctly, in principle, it is possible to watch the block chain and observe your own coin has been "stolen", because the public keys used to validate are public. Whether that is practical I do not have any idea.

about a month ago
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MtGox Finds 200,000 Bitcoins In Old Wallet

Comrade Ogilvy Re:As Falkvinge says (227 comments)

Yours is a very plausible theory.

The slightly more innocent (but still probably criminal) interpretation is that MtGox employees were scrambling to make transfers that kept themselves financially whole, while the company burned down with everyone else's assets. That is usually fraud when viewed under the bright lights of a courtroom, because of the implied or explicit promises made to customers, even when the company somehow escapes the usual fiduciary duty to its account holders.

A week ago there was a rumor going around that 200,000 bitcoin seemed to have been transferred to a place the CEO had provably had involvement with in the past. It could be that the CEO finally recognized that his own efforts to cover his tracks were inadequate, and if he did not "discover" this "accounting error", he would be put in jail.

about a month ago
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MtGox Finds 200,000 Bitcoins In Old Wallet

Comrade Ogilvy Re:More likely duplicates (227 comments)

It is possible for things to get temporarily or permanently lost by transferring around your own wallets. But an actual thief would be 100% likely to do a real transfer of that money, making the old keys obsolete, for the very reason that it is not actually stolen until you make the transaction impossible or very hard to reverse.

about a month ago
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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

Comrade Ogilvy Re:How to share ideas? (276 comments)

The answer is probably "no". The problem is that unless you are a professional, you are an easy target for some other fan to claim you stole their idea, thus muddling up the rights. Someone in the business can be trusted to not cross the lines, because real professionals have more good ideas of their own than they could finish in ten lifetimes. Professionals actually read very little fanfic. Many (most?) fans who write fanfic read a lot of fanfic, or, at least, that is what a jury will be easily convinced of. So the possibility of honest errors skirting too close to the legal line is vastly greater with fanfic authors. Fanfic is a headache best avoided.

about a month ago
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Bitcoin's Software Gets Security Fixes, New Features

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Just in time for another price dive (173 comments)

I am a bit of a bitcoin skeptic, but I see a very plausible niche as a competitor to credit cards. There are hidden costs and risks to small vendors using bitcoins, but when competing with 3% off the top, there is room for insurance (or self-insurance) to cover the glitches.

about a month ago
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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

Comrade Ogilvy Re:Recording Bab5 Fandom (276 comments)

Mind you "drive" might be too strong a word. All G'Kwon has to accomplish is to make the Narn homeworld a not useful base of operations. Sneaking near a base and crashing a pair of Shadow vessels into each other would probably get the point across, without any real battles being necessary. The threat would be sufficient to get the Shadows to find another planet.

about a month ago

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