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Comments

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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Fjandr Re:Citizens United says... (316 comments)

That's why corporations have subsidiaries and sister corporations. MS Ireland is not the same company as MS USA.

about a week ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

Fjandr Re:Okay... and? (316 comments)

Most of it is not actually earned abroad, due to accounting practices. MS USA sold all of their IP to MS Ireland, and pays MS Ireland a fee for every copy of MS software sold in the USA. That fee is almost certainly for an amount nearly (or actually) equal to the sales price. As a result, they claim a write-off on every title sold that's just about equal to that title's sales price. As a result, MS USA says they earned nothing on those titles. It's all based on technicalities that are unavailable to real people. Only corporations are allowed to account for profits and losses in such a way as to reduce their tax bills to nothing.

about a week ago
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New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices

Fjandr Re:Why bother? (215 comments)

I can easily find laptops on eBay equipped with 4GB RAM for around $200.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

Fjandr Re:They used to call me paranoid... (427 comments)

Most wireless routers provide multiple SSID functionality now, so no need to buy extra devices for multiple wireless network segments.

about three weeks ago
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Russia Cracks Down On Public Wi-Fi; Oracle Blocks Java Downloads In Russia

Fjandr Re:what Snowden has done is like... (254 comments)

He would get a fair trial. The problem is he would not be able to present a credible defence [...]

You say he would get a fair trial, and then immediately follow that with the very reason his trial would not be fair...

about three weeks ago
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Russia Cracks Down On Public Wi-Fi; Oracle Blocks Java Downloads In Russia

Fjandr Re:what Snowden has done is like... (254 comments)

No, because likely the judge would disallow any defense he might present. It happens all the time in the US where defendants are not allowed to present a defense. Marijuana charges are one such. You are not allowed to present evidence that it provides an actual medical benefit, nor are you allowed to present evidence of a sickness which a rational person might connect with marijuana as a logical medical treatment.

That's just one example of a crime where a reasonable defense is routinely declared off-limits by judges. There are many more. Snowden's case is another one.

about three weeks ago
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Russia Cracks Down On Public Wi-Fi; Oracle Blocks Java Downloads In Russia

Fjandr Re:The problem with American Embargos (254 comments)

It's not absurd as long as the American in question is also opposed to their own country's actions. I'm one such. I think the US should be broken up into a dozen or more independent countries, because it's run by imperialist assholes.

about three weeks ago
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Russia Cracks Down On Public Wi-Fi; Oracle Blocks Java Downloads In Russia

Fjandr Re: The problem with American Embargos (254 comments)

If by absolute support you mean "controls the ballot counting," then yes, he does.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

Fjandr Re:Big problem: Linux won (430 comments)

It's a bad thing, but not because the users lack knowledge of Unix archaeology. Rather, certain devs expect users to have this archaic knowledge despite reason dictating otherwise.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

Fjandr Re:Nothing (430 comments)

What one posts on a site like Slashdot isn't necessarily an indication of how they interact professionally.

about three weeks ago
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The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users With Malware With Drive-By Downloads

Fjandr Re:Are any non Child Porn users using Tor? (182 comments)

Tor does not host content, it simply disguises the source request for otherwise normal Internet content accessible by a normal browser.

about three weeks ago
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SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

Fjandr Re:Why bother? (113 comments)

They're here in Washington for the US apple crop, among other harvests, so you must mean Canada. Canada isn't technically a US state, so I think your knowledge of places other than where you live is a bit off.

about three weeks ago
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SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

Fjandr Re:Why the "incentives"? (113 comments)

A spaceport isn't a factory, and there are huge hurdles to building one. The analogy to factories doesn't really apply.

about three weeks ago
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SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

Fjandr Re:Port facilities + cheap land (113 comments)

"most southernmost" was the redundancy being referenced. It shouldn't need an explanation as to why it's redundant.

No, they are not on the same continent, geologically speaking. Perhaps you should brush up on where the tectonic plate boundaries are. Big hint: there's one running down the West Coast, which is between Texas and Hawaii. It was already pointed out that "continental" was a key word, which you have now ignored twice in order to claim your statement wasn't completely incorrect.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Files Legal Action Against Samsung Over Android Patent Dispute

Fjandr Re:Laugh all the way to the bank (83 comments)

A long time. Most tablet and phone manufacturers pay Android royalties to MS for patents which have never been publicly disclosed. Nobody knows for sure (except certain corporate lawyers) what these patents entail. It may be that the royalty costs are just lower than the cost of the legal years required to invalidate the patents.

about a month ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

Fjandr Re:Thanks (398 comments)

It was just pointing out that your statement was the equivalent of "So tcp 80 won't be throttled but tcp 80 uses will be -"

about a month ago
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Fjandr Re:Weakest US President ever (582 comments)

If those in Gaza were actually targeting civilians, they death toll on Israel's side wouldn't be 32 soldiers dead out of 35 total dead.

If Israel was targeting rocket launchers, the death toll in Gaza wouldn't be 166 children out of 662 dead.

Being anti-Israel is not the same thing as being anti-Semitic.

about a month ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Fjandr Re:let me correct that for you. (619 comments)

You apparently don't actually know any libertarians then. They tend to do things based on deeply-held principles of not enacting aggression upon others, and as such I would trust all those I know far more than anyone else.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Cell phones turn teens into sex offenders

Fjandr Fjandr writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Fjandr (66656) writes "In yet another example of boneheaded administrative behavior, six students from Greensburg Salem High School, PA were arrested and charged with juvenile possession of child pornography. A student had a cellphone on in class, which was confiscated. The phone was searched by school staff, at which point pictures of nude or semi-nude female students were discovered. During the subsequent investigation, additional phones were seized and searched, leading police to arrest 3 female students who took pictures of themselves and 3 males students who received the pictures. Police in this case say that students receiving such pictures should turn their fellow classmates in to be arrested and charged.

Similar cases have occurred in Ohio and Indiana.

Some of these charges carry with them the label of "sex offender," and mandatory lifetime registration on the sex offender lists. Is this really the approach we want to take in disciplining our teenagers?"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Fjandr Fjandr writes  |  about a month ago

The Internet is full of assholes. Pretty much anyone who has used it for more than a day is aware of this.

Message boards, forums, and pretty much any method of interaction online brings out the inner asshole in so many people. I decided to post this so that such people on Slashdot can be aware of why I frequently do not respond to comments posted in response to my comments: life is too short to engage with arrogant assholes. Yes, sometimes I do engage, but frequently the tone of a reply to one of my comments instantly tells me that the poster is brimming to the top with confidence in their own superiority. Why should they stoop so low as to actually be polite? So much easier to just be an abrasive douchebag.

Often this sort of behavior is accompanied by a taunt that I won't reply because I'm wrong in, well, whatever it was I said in a given post. Standard Internet Tough Guy line, and one that is unfortunately just encouraged by a response (and is a means to stroke their ego even more if there is no reply). So, this is my general note to anyone who wanders through here. If I don't respond, it's either because I'm not paying attention to Slashdot, or your post clearly indicates you're a self-involved asshole and a reply is a waste of time. You can probably figure out which it is on your own.

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Sometimes you just have to laugh

Fjandr Fjandr writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Well hello there Slashdot Journal, long time no see!

Somewhat surprisingly, given the nature of Internet forums, I don't encounter too many people of this ... let's say ... caliber. At least not directly. I guess I caught Sexconker on what appears to be (at least from a perusal of their comments as they exist at this moment) a very rare non-dickish post. Well, there's still the ubiquitous swearing in it, but it was targeted at people who, to be fair, usually actually are assholes of some stripe or another.

The chain of posts starts here. It's actually fairly reasonable, allowing some license for what appears to be a decided lack of foresight. That is, until you get to the end. As a result of my disagreeing that a GPU can perform all operations available to the newer ARM processors (specifically access-controlled states and the use of specific cryptographic instructions), I "don't get it." As a result, I am worthy of nothing but the derision of a "lolbro you dumb."

The irony of that statement made me chuckle a bit. Sometimes, you just have to laugh...

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Hhrrrrmm?

Fjandr Fjandr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

So soon on the heels of my first freak comes my second!

Alas, I can point to no specific comment for what picked this one up, only that according to his journal I (or anyone else on his foe list) have engaged in "assholery."

The really interesting thing is that he claims this is because it helps him avoid people he'd rather not read, and yet also claims that he reads at -1. The only thing I can come up with is that he must see the little yellow dot and use Jedi mind tricks on himself to be oblivious to the content ... or scroll really fast.

Anyway, looking through his recent posts uncovered this gem of moderation. It is absolutely stupefying that this guy posts a completely relevant rebuttal to another post using an exact quotation of the Slashdot FAQ and gets modded to 0, Troll!

I still find things on this site to bring wonderment to my jaded mind. Heh...

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My first freak! And a comment on moderation...

Fjandr Fjandr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Both are related to this comment: #11630402

My first freak is Walles (99143) as a result of that comment! :)

Maybe it's because I made indirect fun of lythander (21981) and disagreed with b-baggins (610215), in the same story. Both are his friends.

*shrug*

As for someone moderating my comment troll, here's Wiki on trolls. Last I checked, disliking the opinion in a comment does not automatically make it a troll.

I relate all this not because I really care, but because it's all highly amusing. Karma-stalking or not? Make of it what you will... :)

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Discourse on voluntary servitude, excerpt

Fjandr Fjandr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of you revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, you family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, your very lives.

All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose 'greatness'you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death.

He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you.

Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves?

You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest 'privilege' that he knows - to be led into his battles, to be delivered to butchery, to be made the servants of his greed and the instruments of his vengeance; you yield your bodies unto hard labor in order that he may indulge in his delights and wallow in his filthy pleasures; you weaken yourselves in order to make him the stronger and the mightier to hold you in check.

From all these indignities, such as the very beasts of the field would not endure, you can deliver yourselves if you try, not by taking action, but merely by willing to be free. Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands on the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces. [emphasis mine]

Éttiene de La Boétie, Discours de la Servitude Voluntaire (1552), translated, formatted for readability

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Fjandr Fjandr writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, it appears that miracles can happen. I didn't get the whole story, but it seems my father blew a gasket the last time he went to the DMV. He finally got some higher-up schmuckety schmuck and ran them through the ringer. Said schmuckety schmuck apparently saw the logic in using his own discretion to accept a US passport as proof of legal residence.

I've completely given up on the intelligence of Americans, so instead of being consistently disappointed, I can instead find myself pleasantly surprised on the rare occasions when they act in a manner other than abject idiocy.

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Crack monkies hard at work

Fjandr Fjandr writes  |  more than 9 years ago A little history: I applied for an Idaho State driver's license on 12-06-2004. I don't have a Social Security number, and Idaho requires a letter from the Social Security Administration confirming this fact before issuing a license. After many hours of the comedy of errors that is the SSA, I left the building with said letter.

Upon actual application, I presented my valid out-of-state license and the SSA letter confirming my lack of a Social Security number to the nice lady staffing the office. The letter, being hand-written by a Social Security employee, was my only expected point of failure in the whole process. The examiner didn't even blink at it, but accepted it at face value.

This is where the story starts to get interesting, because only after the one non-certified document was accepted did things start to go horribly, horribly wrong. Slowly, at first, and then with stunning rapidity.

The license I was surrendering was a brand new 2004 model. The examiner's book of out-of-state licenses was last updated in 2002, and my previous home state changed their license format in 2004.

After much rummaging, the pady put a call in to the central office in Boise. After several minutes talking (quite clearly) in hushed tones, she described the license and they agreed that it seemed to be authentic.

Apparently accepted, I was handed the written examination (the easiest I've ever taken), and left shortly thereafter with my new soon-to-be-national-ID card.

Three days after getting my new license, I left Idaho to visit my fiancee through New Year. A couple days later I get a call saying that mail has arrived for me from my insurance company and from the DMV. Having titled my truck the same day I got my license, I figured they were sending me the title. Pretty snappy service, huh?

So I ask for the DMV envelope to be opened, and lo-and-behold it's a notice saying I have one month to appear with proof of legal presence or have my license cancelled. Apparently the visa (??) I used didn't give me the right to apply for a license. Visa? Where the hell did they get the idea I was an alien?

Oh, wait, I don't have a Social Security number, that means I must not be a US citizen. Makes perfect sense, I get that all the time.

So, I ask my father to take my certified US birth certificate and my US passport down to the licensing office to get the question of my citizenship straightened out. Should be pretty simple, as unless you're a spook it's fairly difficult to get a US passport. Should be good enough for a lowly DMV clerk in Idaho, right?

<ranting starts somewhere around this area>

Wrong!

My birth certificate is one of those old ones that's hand written. Actually, it's a photocopy of a handwritten birth certificate. However, it's also embossed (physically imprinted) with the State Seal of the state I was born in. Good enough for the State Department, should be good enough for Idaho State, right?

Wrong again!

While he's at the DMV, the clerk tells my father that, because of the 9/11 attacks, and the fact that my previous state DMV didn't absolutely require a birth certificate to obtain a license, they have to verify that I'm a US citizen.

That's all fine and well, but my valid US passport isn't good enough. It has to be a certified US birth certificate. That's there too! Apparently my birth certificate was no good either because, even though it was certified with the State Seal, it was hand-written. What else can you expect with someone who was born at home in the era before computerization?!

That's alright, you can get a new birth certificate from your state of birth! How long will it take? 4-14 weeks! How much will it cost? An arm and a leg! What proof is required? 2 utility bills (or US passport, or valid driver's license)!

What? 2 utility bills is all that stands in my way of absolute "proof" of my identity? Do you know how easy it is to get a utility in a false name? And they still won't accept a US passport, one of the most secure documents available to your average US citizen! Welcome to the USA, land of bureaucratic ignorance!

So let's break this down: I have a valid license from Idaho, because they haven't cancelled it yet (there's an extension till this is resolved). They want a birth certificate to prove I'm a US citizen. I can get a birth certificate with a copy of the Idaho license, the one that's not "really" valid until I show a copy of a birth certificate, which I can get with ... ad nauseam.

Do you see a problem with the logic here? This logic was even pointed out to the lady at the DMV. May I recommend NEVER attempting logic with a government official regarding regulations. There is no logic in regulations, and they tend to be very offended when you point things like this out.

Fortunately, my father can request a copy of my birth certificate, and so I don't have to leave the state I'm in to deal with this (yet). We'll see how they handle being told the absolute earliest (according to the state of my birth) I can get a "new" birth certificate to them is another month. Wouldn't surprise me if the cancel my license, sticking me in another state with my vehicle and without a valid license.

Crack monkies, I tell you!

<end rant>

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