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

Electricity Likes Me Re:Good (617 comments)

Yeah. I mean people die so frequently, I guess it's not at all significant event in the course of many people's lives.

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

Electricity Likes Me Re:Good (617 comments)

No we don't, but the law regarding the use of stolen property is quite different which is what this is more akin too. If you buy a stolen boat, then it can be returned to the rightful owner less costs for improvements you may have made to it (this is something of a classic law school case study since it turns up a lot).

Same story if you inherited stolen money: you'd be able to have the principle plus nominal interest seized, though probably not returns on more complicated investments (I am not a business lawyer).

Where this rightly gets foggier is the use of money which was to support a person: parents collecting social security which was used to support children, who can't realistically be expected to necessarily hold assets equal to the principle. In that case I'd say the correct option is to collect the money out of the estate of the parents but not in excess of the estate's value at time of death.

Of course other posters have it right as well - this isn't anything to do with the IRS other then that they must follow the letter of the law. It's a congressional issue where they need to provide clarifying direction. But I'd wager that a lot of the issue for some people falls more nebulously into "but I inherited that money and it's mine now!"

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

Electricity Likes Me Re:Good (617 comments)

Don't claim inheritance you're not aware of the debts owing against.

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

Electricity Likes Me Re:Good (617 comments)

Well newsflash, just because you get some money doesn't mean you can claim ownership of it if it wasn't legally owed to you.

If the government gives you a $1 million USD tomorrow, you don't get to spend it and claim you thought there was nothing wrong with that. Same story however with private transactions: if you accidentally EFT the money for a house to the wrong account number, the owner of that account equally cannot spend it and claim it must be there's because they received it.

Fiscal law is pretty clear: you don't get to exploit the mistakes of others. That you can in practice is a function of when the amounts are small enough not to matter, but if we're very concerned about government efficiency then we should be very concerned about the correction of mistakes like this.

So long as you claim inheritance from your parents or grandparents, or other relatives, then you're also claiming any debts owed against that inheritance.

2 days ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Electricity Likes Me Re:Funny (677 comments)

Wow.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Electricity Likes Me Re:Medical doctor (723 comments)

This presumes you have access to magnets. That's...not a given, since you need iron working. Iron working is actually hard to bootstrap - it's why the bronze age preceded it.

Umm... why would we need to bootstrap "iron working" again? There are hundreds of billions of tons of high quality refined steel (compared to the iron of ages past) laying around to be remelted and reworked. Do you believe it will all evaporate?

It's a massive interruption of society with the deaths of millions to billions of people. Why do you presume there'll be useful scrap metal or functional parts to salvage? It's not a civilization on/off switch. After the dust settles, after people somehow survive, how much do you think will be left over from the fall, however it might happen? Stores would be looted, anyone who maintained order is going to vigorously defend it. It's very unlikely you're just going to scrounging up usable metals, fuels and tools to smelt them with, etc.

If something would make your life easier, then the first assumption is that almost everyone else already figured that out and was looting it during whatever calamity was in the midst of happening. Can you even go near the cities? Ground zero for people who will be resource deprived well beyond their local ability to support themselves?

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Electricity Likes Me Re:Medical doctor (723 comments)

This presumes you have access to magnets. That's...not a given, since you need iron working. Iron working is actually hard to bootstrap - it's why the bronze age preceded it.

4 days ago
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NYC Considers Google Glass For Restaurant Inspections

Electricity Likes Me Re:Added benefit (104 comments)

Dyssentry usually isn't fatal. Usually.

about a week ago
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NASA Setting Up $250,000 Mars Lander Competition

Electricity Likes Me Re:Seriously, $250,000? (44 comments)

I'd worry more about getting rid of those then the value of X-prize things.

about a week ago
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Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Electricity Likes Me Re:code review idea (444 comments)

Bingo. There's a lot of people who are willing to declare the unpaid volunteers don't know what they're doing...but have absolutely no patience to try and contribute or agitate for change from within. Which really makes me wonder whether they'd have the wherewithall to run a new project, or you know, do anything at all.

Code that gets written gets run.

about a week ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

Electricity Likes Me Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (230 comments)

In every single one of those cases, the people involved were notionally involved with groups which planned active hostilities against the US government. Notionally. I am not speaking to the specific validity of those claims.

They weren't accused of general espionage. And in one of them, they were collateral damage in an attack which was targeted at someone else. Which, in a program of systemic strikes, is likely to happen.

They weren't accused of espionage. And they weren't now free and clear of being plotting against the US government or its citizens. Snowden's position is rather different - no one's beating the drum for "he's planning to attack the US".

But, since you clearly want to wear your outrage on your sleeve since again, you omitted rather important aspects of your own links, I'm done here.

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

Electricity Likes Me Re:Hmmmm (639 comments)

Moreover, physics is built on this very principle - gauge symmetry requires that any system of units and measurement should experience a gauge forces which would smooth it out to be equivalent to any other system of units and measurement.

Seems plausible you could construct a very very obtuse system which would assume the Earth is a stationary point.

Of course it would also work for any other planet.

about a week ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

Electricity Likes Me Re:Outrage fatigue (230 comments)

It's comments like this that remind me that all the people who think they're so much smarter then everyone else, are exactly as pliable as the "masses" they think they're smarter than.

about a week ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

Electricity Likes Me Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (230 comments)

If you want to simply outrage theatre yourself, the internet has plenty of echo chambers to choose from. Otherwise you might want to engage with what's actually said, because in case you hadn't noticed, your "side" isn't really in charge of much of anything at the moment.

about a week ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

Electricity Likes Me Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (230 comments)

In every single case you just cited, the allegations are "bearing arms against the united states" and all the grey area that involves (except the last one, which was collateral damage and not targeted). I mean you don't mention that 9 other people were killed in the same strike.

Setting aside everything about those cases that is a grey area, the central issue was still "may be bearing arms, or conspiring to bear arms, against the United States".

Snowden hasn't done that. He's committed a bunch of espionage, but he's also well out of the way of areas which have active hostilities in them. People forget Yemen is hardly a particularly peaceful place at the best of times.

about a week ago
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A 2560x1440 VR Headset That's Mobile

Electricity Likes Me Re:Resolution is not the hard-to-solve problem.. (135 comments)

This is a lot of words without actually explaining why one problem (display latency) is not a suitable proxy for the thing you call the actual problem (perceptive latency).

They're obviously related, but one of these we can measure directly, the other we cannot. Ergo, we get our proxy suitably low until we find a point where the trade-offs are acceptable.

about a week ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

Electricity Likes Me Re:Malice (509 comments)

The malice quote though is essentially a re-statement of Occam's razor.

It's most pertinent when people are proposing a conspiracy theory involving dozens to hundreds of informed actors moving in unison, then just the happenstance alignment of failure at any given moment.

The thing is, in politics, you're not actually multiplying logical entities without necessity: often, malice and incompetence is simply determining whether a single actor knowingly acted, or accidentally acted. And worse, because it's frequently all opinion and rhetoric, malice oftentimes just involves the will to later take advantage of the results of incompetence - which again, might just be one person saying one thing, and not another.

about a week ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

Electricity Likes Me Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

It makes you an idiot because you think anyone who disagrees with you on contentious issues is.

You're not willing to think they might have a valid opinion if it even slightly differs from yours in tone or content. Which is why you're going to be constantly confused as to why all the "idiots" are always in charge. Which would be my other pro-tip: if everyone seems like an idiot, then actually just you are.

At the very least, presuming even that your opinions are correct - the fact you assume everyone who is against you is weak of mind will lead to you being constantly politically outmanoeuvred because you will consistently underestimate your opponents.

about a week ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

Electricity Likes Me Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (230 comments)

Why would they kill him?

Seriously. The number of "oh this person will be totally 'disappeared'" statements that never come to pass is ridiculous.

The reality here is no one cares what Edward Snowden does. He's a PR pain-in-the-ass and little else. He may have claimed to have "gotten everything" but the only things which would actually justify killing him would be if he had intel on ongoing operations and could actually put people's lives directly in danger - but every intelligence agency treats that type of information as a whole extra level of different to just "China is doing this". And even then - it's easier to cancel operations then it is to try and kill someone, since unless you get them right away, you still have to assume all your operations are compromised.

Governments just don't act like conspiracy theorists think they do, but Edward Snowden has the problematic future ahead of him of getting to live his days out not being trusted to work IT in Russia.

about a week ago

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