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Internet Sales Tax Vote This Week In US Senate

El Fantasmo What location gets to collect the tax? (434 comments)

Who gets the tax? The fed or state(s)?

Who collects the tax? The location of the buyer, the location of the seller, the shipping warehouse or the server making the transaction (actual point of sale)?

about a year and a half ago
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Senators Vow To Renew Bid For State Taxes On Remote Internet Sales

El Fantasmo Which State Collects??? (268 comments)

If live in Colorado and order an item from Illinois, where has the sale been made, Colorado or Illinois? I'm sure each state will argue their state is the location of the sale.

What about hosted sales sites? Let's say, I live in Idaho and order an item from a company registered in Maine, but all their internet presence is hosted in Texas. Now which state gets the taxes?

First I'm against an "internet sales tax." The only way I can see this working is for the federal government to create a single "internet sales tax" and divide it evenly among the states involved in the transaction.

about 2 years ago
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US Government: You Don't Own Your Cloud Data So We Can Access It At Any Time

El Fantasmo "Zero Knowledge" Services (531 comments)

I promise I'm not schilling. I use SpiderOak for my hosted files be it backups, shares or syncs. They don't store your password and can't reset it. If you forget your password you're S-O-L. All they can do is hand over an encrypted container that the government will have to crack.

"Zero knowledge" services like this are unlikely to become the norm in the US, because enough people won't understand just how the service works and will try to hold the service provider responsible when the user forgets their password (because they haven't had to type it in in 6 months and didn't have a way to store and access important passwords) and the company says, "Tough luck. We warned you."

about 2 years ago
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Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm, Star Wars Episode 7 Due In 2015

El Fantasmo Get off my lawn! (sort of) (816 comments)

I wish sci-fi was still nerdy and unpopular.

about 2 years ago
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Apple, Microsoft, Google, Others Join Hands To Form WebPlatform.org

El Fantasmo PR or Free Labor... maybe both (138 comments)

This is either:

1. A PR stunt to appeal to those who don't know much about open source things in general. Now the big tech companies look like they're doing something benevolent and giving to society.

or

2. A place for unsuspecting people to post code or ideas and have them freely adopted by the big tech companies, who will in turn charge you for THEIR enhancements and innovations.

more than 2 years ago
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Supreme Court To Decide If Monsanto GMO Patents Are Valid

El Fantasmo Re:True Viral Patent (308 comments)

I, too, can't believe this hasn't been presented in court in a similar manner.

more than 2 years ago
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Supreme Court To Decide If Monsanto GMO Patents Are Valid

El Fantasmo World Domination! (308 comments)

By Monsanto's logic, if some of my patented drink mix unintentionally found it's way into an aquifer, anyone who gets water from that aquifer owes me money if I demand it. Soon enough I'll own the water cycle!

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Steve Wozniak Anything

El Fantasmo ISP and Common Carrier Status (612 comments)

Should the FCC declare ISP services "common carrier?"

I ask this for 2 reasons:
1. Imposes some level of net neutrality
2. AT&T (as one example) is trying to shift as much of it's business as possible to IP based services (U-Verse) because they are unregulated (no minimum service mandates) and "premise techs" (u-verse techs) aren't union in many places and make MUCH less then their AT&T telephone service counterparts.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Steve Wozniak Anything

El Fantasmo Defacto Net Neutrality or Magnanimous ISPs? (612 comments)

Was success of the internet up until the early 2000s a kind of de facto net neutrality? e.g. Companies did not have sophisticated enough equipment to control or spy on traffic as they do today, or ISPs were not content providers or vice versa.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Steve Wozniak Anything

El Fantasmo Today's Patent Ecosystem v. Early Internet (612 comments)

Do you think the internet would be as ubiquitous and successful as it is today if the founding protocols and languages were patented or copyrighted and used in a manner we see technology patents being used today?

more than 2 years ago
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US Patent Office Seeks Aid To Spot Bogus Patent Claims

El Fantasmo Re:Too little, too late (167 comments)

The end product should no longer be patentable, just the specific design to get to the end. Patents improving/tweaking an existing "invention" in which the end product has not changed should only protect the new, technical design.

more than 2 years ago
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US Patent Office Seeks Aid To Spot Bogus Patent Claims

El Fantasmo Prior Art (167 comments)

They should make sure prior art can be applied as well and make sure "first to file" doesn't come to pass.

more than 2 years ago
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Sweet Times For Cows As Gummy Worms Replace Corn Feed

El Fantasmo Buffalo/Bison are the long term answer (432 comments)

Buffalo/bison are the long term answer. They are the natural grazers of the US and Canadian plains. They don't stay in one place to eat all the food and starve since they can't survive in the snow well and they're massive. It's estimated that the pre-columbian bison population was between 30 and 60 million head, while the current us cattle population is just under 100 million. Historic bison ranges don't mesh well with current agribusiness. But, corporate animal farms and McDonald's can't make DESIRED profits being environmentally responsibly. We shouldn't have Asian and European cow breeds/hybrids as significant meat sources in the US. If only we weren't interested in starving the remaining Native Americans and making buffalo rugs and coats in the 1800s, this may be less of a problem.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Announces iPhone 5

El Fantasmo Apple to Announce iphone X in Comming Months! (1052 comments)

Who gives a shit? Seriously, this isn't even tech worthy. This would be news if Apple switched to open/standard codecs/protocols to allow interoperability with non Apple devices or they switched to USB 3, or opened the walled garden.

more than 2 years ago
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School Regrets Swapping Laptops For iPads

El Fantasmo Interoperability is the REAL problem! (504 comments)

The real issue here is Apple. They don't really want you be be able to do anything easily that doesn't involve a revenue stream outside Apple Inc.; it's too proprietary to be cost effective and sustainable over the long term for schools where money is tight and stubborn administrators are trying hopelessly to compete with wealthier schools. Here's an example: to send video wirelessly you have to buy another Apple product, Apple TV. Technology should use quality, open standards for all interfaces on all hardware, in other words interoperability that can't be blocked by greedy companies, e.g, if you have a networked video projector, there should be nothing extra you need to buy to wirelessly send it video from your ipad. If you, the end user, CHOOSE to use a proprietary codec/protocol, fine, as long as it's a CHOICE. This will force companies to compete on interface, hardware, and pricing, NOT today's golden goose "lock in/walled garden." We need to enrich the lives of our students and the world not the pockets of proprietary technology companies.

more than 2 years ago
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Does Grammar Matter Anymore?

El Fantasmo No Legit Defense in Chat Speek? (878 comments)

Notice there's no creditable defense, that grammar isn't necessary, in privately comprehensible chat drivel.

more than 2 years ago
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Does Grammar Matter Anymore?

El Fantasmo Re:Yes (878 comments)

I think you meant, "For what does it matter?" You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

more than 2 years ago
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Does Grammar Matter Anymore?

El Fantasmo Grammar is Extremely Important! (878 comments)

Let's eat Grandma!

or

Let's eat, Grandma!

Yes, grammar is still very important.

more than 2 years ago
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Home Office To Ignore Wikipedia Founder's Petition Against O'Dwyer Extradition

El Fantasmo Pornographic Pictures of the "Prophet Muhammad" (276 comments)

By the logic of the UK courts, if someone in the UK posts a pornographic picture of the prophet Muhammad and it's seen on the internet by anyone in a country where that's illegal, that person SHOULD be extradited upon request.

tvshack didn't put his service in the United States, individuals in the US used his service illegally. Once again, watch out gun manufacturers; you'll be responsible for the crimes committed with your guns. What if someone shot up a DVD production facility with a Colt gun and caused loss of revenue for members of the MPAA? It's clearly not the shooter's fault, since Colt firearms made a gun available to them. Treat the gun store as an ISP and you now have to go after Colt.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button

El Fantasmo Here's what I see... (857 comments)

People avoid using the start menu for 2 maybe 3 reasons.

1. The start menu is full of company branding abuse not organization. e.g. start=>programs=>company name=>software division=>product series=>launch video editor
It's not perfect, but Gnome 3's menu is more or less organized by what the software does. e.g. "start"=>video applications=>launch video editor

2. Many programs automatically install icons on the desktop AND quick launch bar; no "need" to use the start menu (insert desktop housekeeping argument here)

3. In IT, many deployed programs are given direct launch access via icons on the desktop or quick launch bar, partly because of reason #1.

SINGLE splash screens could fix problem #1, then software could be grouped by default based on what it does, not who made it; but users could still organize it however they want later.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Good or effective tactics for Maintaining IT policy in K-12 public education?

El Fantasmo El Fantasmo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

El Fantasmo (1057616) writes "First, I work in public education, K-12, for a small, economically shaky, low performing school district.

What are some good or effective tactics for getting budget controllers to stop bypassing the IT boss/department? We sometimes we end up with LOW end MS Win 7 Home laptops, that basically can't get on our network (internet only) or be managed. The purchaser refuses to return them for proper setups. Unfortunately, IT is currently under the "asst. superintendent of curriculum and instruction," who has no useful understanding of maintaining and acquiring IT resources and lets others make poor IT purchasing decisions, by bypassing the IT department, and dips into IT funds when their pet project budgets run low. How can this be reversed when you get commands like "make it work" and the budget is effectively $0?

Thanks"
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Henry Kissinger says burn 'em if you got 'em.

El Fantasmo El Fantasmo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

El Fantasmo writes "My main point is, "Who decides who gets to have advanced technologies such as nuclear energy?" and "Why can't countries/governments just come out and say e.g., 'Hey, Iran, we just don't trust that you won't turn Israel into a sheet of green glass.' when they suspect the technology to be used to harm?"

An interview of Henry Kissinger by Greta van Susteren sparked this. Why is it OK for Henry Kissinger to tell Iran that they have no reason to pursue nuclear energy because they have plenty of natural gas and oil to burn? Who is the United States to forbid "environmentally friendly" energies? Yes, I understand that the precess for nuclear fuel enrichment and weapons grade are exactly the same and Iran isn't open about what's actually going on, but does that mean they can't have nuclear energy until they have nuclear weapons? Kissinger, apparently, doesn't even entertain the idea of an open and inspectable nuclear energy program. Are these the kinds of minds to which we should listen, respect and value? We don't let foreigners inspect our nuclear facilities because they think we're doing something fishy. Who/where are the companies providing all the specialized equipment, ore and/or yellow cake?

I don't think anyone has concrete answers, but I'm wondering how/if the /. community thinks "advanced technologies" should be leveraged or allocated from the "haves" to the "have nots." Please, don't focus too much on US, Iranian politics; it's just a current example."

Link to Original Source
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An alternative way to spend $50k at a high school

El Fantasmo El Fantasmo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

El Fantasmo writes "A school district I work for in Texas is considering spending $50k to put in a 14 station Pitsco Synergistic Algebra Lab (hands on math learning). It actually costs about $120k; a grant is going to pay the remanding $70k, and the reoccurring expendables for the lab are not budgeted in. It's a first time principal this academic year but she used to work at the district before; her previous district used this lab and she doesn't like what we are using which we just spent a bunch of money on. The tower server they are offering us is a $2500 Dell PowerEdge 840 (all but one of our servers are rack mount), with no tape backup (comes with external hard drive backup, not good if there is a power spike), the OS and database would be on the same drive, SATA 2 drive on board raid 0, slowest Xeon with 2Gb of RAM. The teacher "needs" a laptop so they can walk and monitor the students and use it at the same time; in addition it's "needed" so Pitsco can upload software/updates to it at training seminars; it costs almost as much as the server. There is no room wired to support 15 clustered systems (we're trying not to put in un-managed switches anymore, especially on student stations). Pitsco says it needs to be a dedicated server and it can be co-located with the lab and the lab instructor will take care of all the tech responsibilities (3 miles from all our other servers just so they don't have to run wires). The district has a bad habit of hiring under qualified people to save money to run $120k worth of equipment used by secondary school students. A similar lab sits in disrepair at the middle school. Remember, this Synergistic Algebra Lab will only accommodate 14 students at a time. By Pitsco's standalone lab design, if the program works well a second lab may not easily incorporate into and existing one. We are a small district with 800+ workstations, about 8 servers, and 5 IT staff to include the boss (only 3 of which are full time) to cover 9 separate locations. We have about 70+ 1.1 GHz Celerons with 128-256 MGb RAM and WinXP as teacher computers at the high school. VERY FEW teachers have anything newer, lots of complaints about this (it's the antivirus and antispyware that slows them down a bit but keeps more of them up). There are 4 new computer labs (approx. 24 stations each) put in in the last 1-3 years; an 2 others that are about 4 years old. We have a gigabit fiber backbone to all campuses and most of the switches are 10/100/1000. All the servers are centralized at our office. Servers are mostly Netware and some Windows. We are a low performing school district by TEA TASK standards, but getting better. We currently have 2 network/web based math applications available to students: Plato Learning Systems for credit and tutorial and RiverDeep for tutorial/enhancement. There are no dedicated student workstations in the classrooms, no wireless network anywhere, most rooms still use classic overhead projectors. We have 60 hodgepodge "mobile media carts" the former principal circumvented the IT department to "make a deal and get more for his money" (projector, Piece Of S... doc camera on a table w/wheels, which they didn't buy power strips or electrical cords for) and that's kind of it. Any suggestions or opinions on how to better spend $50k in technology to support students and teachers at a high school level is welcomed. Feel free to agree with the Pitsco Lab idea as well, just explain. We have a few ideas of our own, but I always welcome more. Hope I didn't forget any useful information. Thanks in advance!"

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