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Comments

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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

DarkOx Re:Lobbying aside (415 comments)

Right, what we should do is get rid of withholding and make EVERYONE pay quarterly estimated taxes. I suspect we would very suddenly have TEA party ( or similar ) membership right around 53% of the adult population.

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

DarkOx Re:Over 18 (629 comments)

I wonder if you can make an expost facto constitutional argument.

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

DarkOx Re:Over 18 (629 comments)

The entire reason for the IRS and the income tax was to restore slavery. Sure the slaves are different, but interestingly and unsurprisingly the slave holders are largely the same group.

3 days ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

DarkOx Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (325 comments)

Good point, 2500 USD is pretty cheap for bribe...

Some of the 'pricing' that goes into a bribe are

A) chances the person taking the bribe will be caught accepting the bribe.
B) chances the person taking the bribe will be caught doing whatever they were bribed to do
C) risk level after considering any negative consequences for the bribed associated with B
D) actual difficulty executing B
E) how likely the briber can expect his payoff to secure the desired outcome

Lets look at this situation:

A)
Group of officers starts a "Fraternal Order of Police" or something similar its ostensibly a charity for injured officers but also throws some fancy thank you and holiday parties for the force (the payoff). They pass out window stickers to contributors at certain levels. They know this helps because people like show off how generous they are (legit reason many charities do this (the cover)), they also know some people will cynically believe it will buy them special treatment and this badge is how they prove their entitlement. The officers with a nod and a wink agree to actually provide this special treatment because they think it will increase the donations leading the fancier and more frequent parties.

B)
Will they get caught? Not very likely unless someone does anything very stupid. They time when they collect the funds vs the time when they commit the act are widely separated. They act itself is in the negative. Not pulling someone over in the first place because you saw an FOB sticker in the window creates no audit-able event. Even fairly honest members of the public are unlikely to call the mayors office and complain that they just blew an officers doors off and he sat and did nothing. If there are lots of people around and the behavior is egregious they can pull someone over and warn them, none of the whiteness are likely to be able to tell if a warning or a ticket was issued.

C) The risk is low because the odds getting caught are low and even if someone suspects their shot at proving anything is almost nil. It will be very hard to make any conspiracy charges stick, the worst the will likely happen is officers might be dismissed for under performance. Proving negatives are not easy; especially when there is already a discretionary element to writing tickets or not in the first place.

D) Could not be any easier to execute, in fact its probably easier than doing their job correctly.

E) Not every officer, likely not even most, will be in on the conspiracy, the payer cannont know for sure he won't get pulled over by an honest cop.

So considering the situation the 'price' of this bribe should be low.

about a week ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

DarkOx Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (325 comments)

Anecdotal? Sure. Did the stickers still do what I was told they would do? Absolutely.

Um pretty much by your own admission "Absolutely" is really "Maybe." We cannot know what would have happened without the stickers and we don't have any solid statistics around similar incidents with and without stickers. Anecdotally I have never had and FOP or IAFF stickers on my cars and I have only been warned for speeding myself. Which says nothing about their effectiveness but is proof you can get let off without having them. So possession of such stickers is not a necessary condition for being let go; therefore form the available evidence we can draw no real conclusion about how effective they are.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

DarkOx Re:Creative Counting (721 comments)

No clearly you don't understand. Politics requires people voting for you, they do that based on what they think, which does not require it be true. Its often easier if it isnt.

Personally I still consider the ACA to be a completely immoral redistribution of wealth and so I don't care if it works really smoothly, I am still against. Clear cutting a forest is an efficient way to acquire lumber but that does not make it the right way.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

DarkOx Re:Fuck Obamacare (721 comments)

If Libertarians were willing to just die on the street properly when they ran out of money after a simple injury, then the system would be cheaper for everybody. But they never follow through on this.

Fuck you! plenty of them are willing to run that risk. I have at least two family members who were found dead in early middle age. Both died of causes that if they had been visiting a doctor probably would have been caught and treated. They made life style choices that left them without insurance, knowing full well that if they had a major problem it would bankrupt them they never got checked out. Lots and Lots of people choose that.

Yes if you show up at the ER "we" pay the cost of stabilizing you, but by no means treats something or puts the rest of us on the hook for years of chemo treatments for something like cancer.

The only selfish jerks are people like you who want to impose your life style choices on everyone else because you can't afford the real cost of the protection YOU insist on having.

My own health insurance costs are going to double this year! People who support the ACA are thieving assholes with entitlement problems.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

DarkOx Re:Why is this so difficult to believe? (721 comments)

They are obligated by law to have those documents either postmarked or otherwise furnished to you by Jan 31st. You might want to contact the IRS and report the worst offenders if it continues to be a problem next year.

about a week ago
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Theo De Raadt's Small Rant On OpenSSL

DarkOx Re:"It's Not a Tumor" - Oh Wait, It Is (301 comments)

Far more important is that if the intermediate certificate is compromised, you as the CA have ability to act. You know from your records who your customers are. What you need to do is:

1) Fix the glitch
2) Get the media that stores the trusted root certs private key out of the vault
3) Issue new intermediate certificates
4) return the root certs private key to vault
5) Start contacting your certificate customers and issuing them new certs, revoking the old ones along the way as customers reported they have switched, or if there *is* indication of a compromised cert, revoke immediately.
6). Revoke the old intermediate certificates as soon as 5 is complete.

If were signing client certificates directly with the trusted root like they once did you (as the CA) would be screwed royally. You would need to somehow get every client device to update their trusted roots. Or you'd have upset customers crying about how their reissued certs are untrusted by 3/4ths of the clients out there that nobody bothers to update and nobody who understands these things manages directly..

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

DarkOx Re:Do you need a database? (272 comments)

In that case i say all the more reason to stick with Ruby but use an abstract database API like DBI. You can keep throwing additional front end processors at the problem, good horizontal scaling on the front end, so Ruby's CPU heavy nature won't be an issue, raw compute is still getting cheaper faster than I/O. So I think it makes total sense to keep using tools like Ruby and Python that enable efficient development even at a hit to execution.

DBI will let you change database later with as little rework as possible, if you keep your database use to just storage, and keep you usage to basic table and constraint feature sets widely supported across all database engines. The RDBMS will take care of plumbing around locking and ACID considerations across multiple front ends for you. As well as allow you to run your reporting jobs or data warehouse ETLs without having to either take your main system offline or tightly integrate them with the front end.

Back on the scaling front using the more traditional database engines will give you the last 40 years of developed talent pool, and case studies on what works where scaling is concerned. The tools exist to build these things out for almost any use case. The tools exist on the NOSQL side to but they are more tools for building tools, its still immature and very much DIY.

Ultimately what you have to decide here is where are you going to get the most value for your time. NOSQL *might* offer you some better back end performance down the line, so if you think the data volume is going to get real big real fast give it look. It will certainly mean you will spend more energy working on the plumbing, and force you into dealing with many more unknowns. A RDBMS will provide almost all the plumbing to you; meaning you focus on the front end.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?

DarkOx Re:Do you need a database? (272 comments)

I disagree, he is concerned about scaling. The last thing in the world he should do is use a bunch of flat files, unless he really just needs to store the data, but he already said he needs to do reports and totals on it.

Also he is working in Ruby. The smart thing for him to do IMHO is write his program against ruby/DBI. It isn't the pretty database api, but it supports plenty of different backend options and it does not sound like his program needs especially complex database operations or queries. He can start working with something like SQLite as the database "server", and move up to something else, perhaps Postgress (which can be every bit as fast as the NOSQL solutions unless you are getting highly highly custom) without needing to alter his program.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

DarkOx Re:Viva La XP! (641 comments)

More than that though the range of applications people use their computers for is stabilizing. First it was the spreadsheet than the word processor, than the WYSIWYG word processor. Next came the graphic arts and page layout stuff like Publisher (talking consumers end here not industrial uses) and Power point and photo editing. The PIM tools, and small database applications, got friendly somewhere around here. Next it was internet communications E-Mail and the WWW. People got some basic amateur design tools Visio sketch up etc; and then finally the masses got video editing, followed shortly by streaming media. The games and what was possible in terms of gaming was always expanding across this period of time as well 1978-2003ish.

Honestly there hasn't been much in terms of new 'killer apps' for the mass market. Unless you count Facebook and second wave of social media, but that isn't pushing the technology envelop on the client end by any stretch. The games have gotten a little fancier, and there have been other trendy fads but really what can your typical home user do now they could not pretty comfortably and completely do with circa 2003 software and equipment? My guess is almost nothing. I have no doubt someone can name a bunch of specific hobbies and trades that have evolved in that's 10 or 12 years but I am talking about what the average person leaves the Best Buy with here, and imagines doing when they walk in. There just have not been many new Applications for the PC lately.

about two weeks ago
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Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

DarkOx Rreachtions (371 comments)

1) BAHAHAHA

2) Damn people are thoughtless jerks

3) Someones insurance rates are going up

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

DarkOx Re:End the Accounting tricks (342 comments)

This is a good point, but if they try to game the system stuffing a large batch of orders for very small numbers of shares to in order to as you describe stuff the box increasing their odds of acquiring or selling at least some shares over other peoples complete orders, any advantage they gain should be lost in increased commission fees; (hopefully)

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

DarkOx Re:How does this simply not move the goalposts? (342 comments)

Honestly I don't think it would do any harm to implement something like this. I don't think it will do much good personally, but I would not be opposed to it.

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

DarkOx Re:End the Accounting tricks (342 comments)

3 Days is a looong loooong time. I don't think minimum holding periods are fair to anyone, at least not above intervals of more than a few seconds. At three days imagine this situation.

On the 1st Joe buys 100 shares of $OIL_COMPANY at $10 a share. On the 3rd Jim buys 100 shares of $OIL_COMPANY for $11 a share. On the night of the third Joe and Jim are sitting at the bar watching the news, and discover $OIL_COMPANY just had a tanker run aground and its probably going to destroy a major fishery, the damages are almost certain to bankrupt $OIL_COMPANY.

Joe should be allowed sell his shares at the open on the fourth leaving Jim and everyone like him holding the bag? Joe has owned the company longer, possibly collected more dividends, paid less for the shares, he should be allowed to keep his profits at the expense of Jim and others like him? even though he and Jim both have the same quality information?

I don't see any justice or stabilizing effect to be gained with such long hold times, it will just discourage investing over all because anyone who makes a new purchase has to take the risk of sitting in a burning building while everyone else heads for the exists, until their hold period expires.

I can see doing trades in baskets of orders entered in say 60 second intervals and processed in random order inside the interval. That prevents a class system where guys with access to HFT have a shot at the getting in or out first all the time and moves it to where anyone with an Internet connection, a E-trade account, and a willingness to sit with three or four of the major news networks on a few tvs has a fair chance of transacting on whatever securities they are playing as quickly as anyone else. That seems okay.

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

DarkOx Re:How does this simply not move the goalposts? (342 comments)

This solution does more or less solve that problem as well. Nobody but the exchange will have a view of the orders for at least a 250ms but possibly as long as a half second under the parents scheme. That will anyone selling or buying in enough volume to be a market mover on anything but the smallest of micro caps likely has the technology to submit orders to each exchange they mean to trade on inside that window where the HFT guys will not have the opportunity to do any new price discovery.

That should effectively thwart the front running ( if its really happening on the scales many claim ). It will help the retail level investor who owns funds, that may have been themselves victims of front running. It will also minimally impact the operation of the market and price discovery behaviors for not HFT trading. This may help prevent a flash crash type situation as well because the HFT machines will have to wait to see if an exchange is really dropping before the open up their sales and short sales on other exchanges. I think its a good solution in those terms; but I remain unconvinced that HFT is really the problem many say it is; the evidence just isn't there.

about two weeks ago
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ZunZuneo: USAID Funded 'Cuban Twitter' To Undermine Communist Regime

DarkOx Re:USAID (173 comments)

As an American I am okay with that. I would not expect USAID to provide material support to groups the rest of the State Department wants to see go away.

Its one thing for USAID to give money in an overt and legal way to group some foreign regime might not like much, but tolerates within its boarders.

Its quite another for our aide organization to violating the laws for foreign countries, which at least in this case with Cuba they must have been because otherwise why the shell companies and secrecy.

about two weeks ago
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ZunZuneo: USAID Funded 'Cuban Twitter' To Undermine Communist Regime

DarkOx USAID (173 comments)

USAID is suppose to be an aide organization. The moment they have to start laundering money they have gone off the reservation and entered CIA territory.

There is a place for clandestine operation to work against regimes we don't like, that is why we have a foreign intelligence agency, CIA. Our government is completely out of control and way to large this is just more proof!

Not only that it completely undermines the mission of USAID to have it associated with these type of shenanigans; its supposed to be about soft power, its supposed to be about building trust. Here we have one more department with in the government demonstrating laws don't matter, not ours and certainly not any other sovereigns. Shameful...

about two weeks ago
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FWD.us Wants More H-1B Visas, But 50% Go To Offshore Firms

DarkOx Re:If you're going to screw... (325 comments)

How exactly are industries on life support. Under the current model certainly. Things like sugar get taxed specifically to create a market corn syrup.

On the other hand if you apply a single fixed rate to broad classes of things, like the four or five classes total than you are not favoring and specific product or industry. Yes you create some advantage for domestic producers against foreign produces selling to domestic consumers, but we want that. Sure abandoning the idea of free trade will cause other nations to do the same and they will tax imports reducing our exports; again not sure that is a problem if what you are seeking is to stop this race to the bottom.

Because that is what free trade among peers(nations) with different environmental laws, different social welfare requirements, different education levels, etc is. It becomes a quest to do it as cheaply as possible. Any society that elects to have higher standards in these areas usually does so at the cost of people having fewer material goods, that does not change but with free trade you also get this aggressive worker displacement; yes better education etc allows them to compete for a while be having greater productivity but that only goes so far.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Anonymous Vows to Destroy Facebook

DarkOx DarkOx writes  |  more than 2 years ago

DarkOx (621550) writes "Anonymous has vowed to destroy Facebook on November 5th (which should ring a bell).

Citing privacy concerns and the difficulty involved in deleting a Facebook account.

From: Anonymous posting:
Attention citizens of the world,
We wish to get your attention, hoping you heed the warnings as follows:
Your medium of communication you all so dearly adore will be destroyed. If you are a willing hacktivist or a guy who just wants to protect the freedom of information then join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy."

Link to Original Source
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Slackware.com is gone

DarkOx DarkOx writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DarkOx (621550) writes "It appears the domain registration of Slackware.com the oldest commerical GNU/Linux distributions has expired. Is this a simple oversite on the part of Slackware's maintainer Patrick Volkerdi or is this a diliberate retirement of many peoples favorite distribution?"
Link to Original Source
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Jessica Watson sets sail

DarkOx DarkOx writes  |  more than 4 years ago

DarkOx (621550) writes "Jessica Watson has begun her round the world voyage, if successful she will be the youngest person, age 16, to circumnavigate the globe by sail unassisted and non-stop.

She will 23,000 nautical miles (about 38,000 kilometres), departing and returning to Sydney as required to set the record. This will be a journey lasting around 240 days, during which she may not acquire any outside supplies or receive any assistance with repairs.

She will have internet access, e-mail, and her position will be continuously tracked and monitored. This is a pretty high tech undertaking both in the electronics sense and as in sailing kit. Her yacht is a S&S (Sparkman and Stephens) 34 a boat that has successfully been used in other solo circumnavigation bids.

Much more information can be found at her website: http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Hypocrisy and the Contraception debate

DarkOx DarkOx writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Since apparently we have to decide the future of American politics around this issue of whether insurers should be forced to offer contraceptives and pharmacies be forced to carry them the freedom or religion question again comes to the forefront.

The progressive propaganda machine is out in full force trying to accuse conservatives of forcing their religion on others and or trying to sell us all on the idea that these measures are in some way protecting them from the tyrannical religious views of the minority. The sad part is its working in that public is actually entertaining the idea this has anything to do with religion. It may be to an extent but if is than the conservatives as usual have the more supportable position even if most of those would be ïïSantorum votes and the candidate himself are blind to it.

All of these âoeprogressivesâ who see their boy Obama as a hero pushing common sense over the religious right, are as much the fools they like to make the Santorum supporters out to be or the worst kind of hypocrite. I personally suspect its pretty even mix of both; frequently found in the same individuals. Almost any of them would be willing to argue that âoefreedom of religionâ means freedom from religion and Iâ(TM)d agree. It follows though that âoefreedom of associationâ its in that same amendment, should also mean freedom from association. That means as an individual, or private business, I should have the right to disassociate myself form any person or group of people I chose for any reason, however stupid. This is the view I take as libertarian. Its incumbent upon me to not pick stupid reasons but if I do; well to damn bad right? So if an employer, insurance agency or pharmacy does not want the sort of customer or employee that interested in contraception coverage well that ought to be allowed. So toss out all your civil rights acts, quota laws, and similar non-egalitarian derk.

The Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with me; partially. The have held you can only exclude members from your group if their presence would make it difficult to express you view point. Clearly in the case of Catholic organizations who have the view point that contraception is wrong, would have a problem espousing that viewpoint while having a membership with the expectation they are going to pay for it. So their covered but the pharmacy that does not want to carry Plan B, they are not a religious organization, the are not pushing an agenda other than make buck; so they canâ(TM)t just dissociate themselves from a certain group of customers right? Well I guess you got me there, or do you? I say the the Supreme Court is wrong. I say this because if the the freedom of associate is in fact not freedom from association than its terribly inconsistent to take the view freedom of religion is.

If your not forcing people to violate the tenants of their own faith with say biblical-y inspired laws than those must be okay, as that would be consistent with the Courts rulings on association. Sorry Atheists if the Christians want to hang the Ten Commandments over the door and start the school day with a prayer I guess you must let them. You canâ(TM)t have it both ways, well not and be honest anyway. Lets face it honesty and integrity have never really been part of the progressive agenda though have they?

  hmm some other thoughts on the subject.

What about the basic freedom reserved for the states and the people, you know ALL the ones not enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution. Like say deciding what to stock in your store. If a pharmacy has to carry Plan B, does my auto mechanic have to stock parts for my thirty year old import? Does JC Penny have to have beige pants in a thirty-one inch waste in stock at all times? Where is line? Clearly its totally against the character of this nation for any central governing body to be dictating what a retail operation has on their shelves, at least I hope that is still true!

Finally can we just dispense with the totally ridiculous notion that contraceptive drugs are âoenecessary for womenâ(TM)s health.â Clearly when prescribed for âoecontraceptive useâ they are not. Effective inexpensive contraception for men and women is available at just about every gas station, drug store, and many a public rest room across this country. If you really canâ(TM)t of any of it for whatever reason you could just keep your pants on. Sure it might ruin a Saturday night but it wonâ(TM)t kill you. I would be willing to entertain an argument that these medications might be necessary when prescribed as they frequently are for other health reasons. Doing so than places it on the doctor writing the prescription and their professional integrity when they attest to why they are doing it. Seems like a reasonable compromise. This simply is not an equal protection issue. Its just not.

Lets face it contraception is NOT specifically a womenâ(TM)s issue unless fathers have no obligation or rights to the consequences of not using it. Oh wait nobody is happy with that idea? Thought not.

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