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Internet Sales Tax Bill Dead In Congress

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Meh (257 comments)

Only if you live in one of the states in which they have a physical presence. This refers to someone like me, who pays no sales tax to Newegg because they don't have a presence in my state.

Or if you live in a state like I do that has no sales tax. I don't want a new federal tax imposed on my purchases, which is one of the ideas floating around. Having the feds collect a tax and redistribute it is a tempting angle to avoid certain sticky issues of state tax collection across state lines. People who already are used to paying sales taxes might be ok with this, but what about states like mine that are quite opposed to a sales tax? Would my state have an exemption along with due recourse to fight the collection on merchants who might falsely collect it?

about two weeks ago
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Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Get rid of the electronic voting machines. (388 comments)

Cost-Benefit.

Your stated advantage is loss of paper ballots.

Your stated negative is "to get electronic voting done securely and properly"

I think paper ballots win. More security staff is a much larger payout than developing a fully trusted and accountable complex computer system.

about three weeks ago
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Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Goetterdaemmerung Re: Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

So how does that let a blind person vote unaided (the original reason electronic voting machines were "invented")? And how does that fix the large number of people that don't fill in the bubble completely or otherwise spoil or partially spoil their ballot? And what happens when someone stuffs the ballot box with extra votes?

How does a blind person see the touchscreen? How is this an improvement over a paper ballot with fixed braille next to each option?

about three weeks ago
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Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

Great, so how does that stop someone stuffing ballot boxes? Anonymous paper ballots are vulnerable to stuffing and loss.

Ballots must be anonymous to guarantee an uncompromised election. Preventions against stuffing the ballot box is a local check and balance. It's hard to lose a paper ballot once they are in the lock box.

about three weeks ago
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American Express Seeks To Swap Card Numbers For Secure Tokens

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Finally.. (130 comments)

Verified by VISA and similar programs for online shit that did everything we needed but there was one critical flaw - no one used it because they didn't have to. The only site I've ever used that actually implemented it was Newegg. And when I accidentally closed the Verified by VISA popup (I assumed it was a shitty 3rd party offer popup and closed it before it loaded), I discovered that failing the Verified by VISA challenge still let my transaction go through because the merchant never wants to miss out on the sale.

Verified by VISA didn't succeed because:
1) It looked like a scam site complete with redirection to a 3rd party asking for personal details like portion of social security number. Nowhere does it display security credentials.
2) Real phishing scams exist using the name and similar form layouts.
3) Yet Another Password. Hopefully not the same one used to log into the shopping site.
4) If you forget your password, all you need is the card information to reset it, plus a birthday. Not exactly a big secret.
5) It never worked for me because I disable third party cookies, run ABP, disable javascript, etc. I had to use IE the one time I tried to use it.

Here is a paper that describes the flaws in Verified by Visa. Gross Domestic Product Implicit Price Deflator for State and Local Government Consumption Expenditures and Gross Investment

about three weeks ago
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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Not a good week... (445 comments)

I am glad not everyone shares your viewpoint. This is an entire industry still in its infancy. Using a strategy like selling rich people seats so they can be the first ones up there is perfectly satisfactory to get the technology developed and bring costs down an open it up to a wider audience. It's not a zero sum game.

about three weeks ago
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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Not a good week... (445 comments)

No offense, but "the goal" was achieved decades ago. These people died for the profit of shareholders, not some "goal" of space flight which has been going on for half a century.

The goal of commercial manned spaceflight was already achieved decades ago? Odd. I seem to have missed it.

about three weeks ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Goetterdaemmerung Re:This is a special kind of stupid. (558 comments)

CVS is giving up less than 2% of it's total sales by dropping tobacco while they are growing sales overall by 10+% a year.

It does not have a significant effect on their corporation.

Is that loss just the tobacco sales, or does it include the loss of all sales by smokers? There is a difference.

about a month ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Goetterdaemmerung Re:No thanks. (558 comments)

Part of the US credit card fee of ~3% or so is to cover fraud. When your banks switched to EMV, did they reduce the fees at all to compensate or are they taking the reduced risk of fraud as profit?

about a month ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Goetterdaemmerung Re: Good luck with that. (558 comments)

Yeah, that is so much easier.

There must be something wrong with me. Not once have I ever purchased something in a store and thought, "Gee, conducting that transaction was incredibly difficult. I wish someone would make an easier way to pay for this bag of groceries than this complex and difficult process of swiping a credit card."

In the name of progress:

In the beginning people counted out change in chickens and goats, or other favors.
Then came currency, where change was counted out in pennies and dollars.
Then came bank checks, which were convenient, but took time to write out.
Then came credit companies with a mechanical swipe tool in carbon copy. Too slow: add convenient swipe and sign. Gosh, who uses checks, they take forever!?
Finally comes touchless. Precious seconds are saved! No swipe, no sign, no finding a pen - just touch phone/device and authenticate with it.

This probably saves a few seconds, and potentially adds important network security. Hopefully your phone doesn't run out of power or criminals don't find a loophole through the extra third parties.

Personally, I still prefer cash wherever possible with credit card as secondary. Lots of small companies give a cash discount if you ask...

about a month ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Good luck with that. (558 comments)

7) In the US, at least, a credit card company provides certain financial protections that banks do not. Generally it is far easier to recover funds stolen by theft if a credit card was used than a bank account debit. A credit card expenditure is not your money and federal law prohibits companies from passing on unauthorized transactions to you (there is a minimum that may vary depending on credit company no more than $50, I believe). Fully-paid credit accounts generally have zero fee/interest, as well.

Credit theft has happened to me a few times (one stolen and used at a gas station, another series of foreign transactions, incorrect charge at a restaurant, etc) and I paid $0 of the contested amount, without any reduction of my existing/liquid funds. If I had used a debit card, I don't even know the recovery process but it certainly wouldn't be free in the short term. Liquid money at a bank is spent until refunded, unable to be spent on other things in the interim.

In several ways

1)Debit cards don't build credit history. This makes it hard to get a car or house loan at good rates.

2)Credit cards have 0% interest if you pay at the end of the month every month.

3)Debit cards do not earn you interest. If you have an interest checking account (rare, and usually such a low rate that its a joke, sub 1% in most cases), you earn that money regardless of if you have or use a debit card.

4)In the US, many purchases such as hotel, rental car, and gas put a hold on your account for more money than the actual charge. This hold goes away once the car is returned/hotel is checked out/a few days (for gas), but in the meantime that's additional money you can't access.

5)Emergencies/hard times. Sometimes shit happens. You may lose your job and run low on cash. You may have a series of car and house repairs. Its always a good idea to have an additional emergency fun you can call on for short term cash.

6)Your bank may put a hold on your debit card for suspicious activities. In that case, your card is useless. Having a backup is always a good idea. There's been several times this has saved my ass when traveling.

about a month ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Stick with Win7 (545 comments)

Why upgrade, Windows7 does everything I need.

Good for you. However, you won't be too happy when you get a new machine that doesn't come with anything other than 9. Or when your windows 7 drivers need an update to fix a bug or add a feature and the only available ones are for Windows 9. Or you want that snazzy new program and it's minimum requirements are Windows 9.

Like it or not, the world moves on. If standing still works for you then more power to you.

XP still works for me. There is no downside. Snazzy new features don't improve my efficiency at work.

I agree, when a computer breaks and we have to get Windows 7 because we are forced to, a painful upgrade period occurs because the software never seems to work on the new OS. There is no advantage except for the newer hardware computation power. Who cares about Windows 9?

about 2 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Goetterdaemmerung Already? (545 comments)

What about industrial businesses? My company is just finally minimizing XP to only a handful of lab computers and ones necessary for legacy support such as our single remaining Windows 2k system. We are struggling to get one more system moved to Windows 7 (under the guise of a faster computer and therefore less time waiting on the computations) and the application just doesn't work on that OS yet. The vendor is working with us to find a solution, but it may take several months (if ever) because they licensed the software from someone else.

The computer is a tool to do RF measurements and calculations and prepare presentations. I just got my first VNA with no floppy drive and more than one USB port! That is a big event.

about 2 months ago
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SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

Goetterdaemmerung Looks Slow (210 comments)

512GB with a max read/write speed of 90-95MB/s will take at least an hour and a half to transfer all of the data.

about 2 months ago
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NRC Analyst Calls To Close Diablo Canyon, CA's Last Remaining Nuclear Plant

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Not really new. (216 comments)

The basis for the inspectors complaint is, in large part, not that the plant is not capable of withstanding the quake, nor that the analsyis is faulty or incorrect, but rather that the licensing basis document has not been revised to require a higher peak acceleration design level. It is debateable whether such a would make any difference, since they are already required to analyze for the higher levels. Meanwhile, the concern is being handled through the appropriate processes.

I agree with your conclusion however I took away a different interpretation from TFA: the Hosgri fault was discovered during construction and not properly accounted for in the first place- making the comparison of the Shoreline fault to the Hosgri fault data questionable.

"Peck wrote that after officials learned of the Hosgri fault's potential shaking power, the NRC never changed the requirements for the structural strength of many systems and components in the plant."

about 3 months ago
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Two South African Cancer Patients Receive 3D Printed Titanium Jaw Implants

Goetterdaemmerung Re:I'm disappointed (71 comments)

They wasted a very valuable opportunity here. The jaws do not have razor sharp jagged teeth nor are either of the recipients over 7 feet tall.

Floating in space makes height somewhat irrelevant. Ability to chew through cables is obviously an advantage, though.

about 4 months ago
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Chicago Red Light Cameras Issue Thousands of Bogus Tickets

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Looks ok to me (229 comments)

Yes it does. Any toleration of law breaking undermines the order of society.

Order of society flows from legitimacy rather than enforcement of law. While related the capability to enforce law is directly dependent on ability to obtain legitimacy.

Loss of legitimacy undermines the order of society. Unenforceable law erodes legitimacy.

Tolerance of law breaking is an important safety valve.

See the feedback loop?

If you need convincing you need only look into history of prohibition and war on drugs to see what happens when legitimacy is eroded.

Realities of environment in which people live matters. In extreme circumstance if enough people are desperate enough even normally universally agreeable rules against stealing can temporarily fall into the realm of unenforceable where the peoples only perceived choice is steal or starve/die. This is why governance is difficult and why zero tolerance is reserved for North Koreans, decapitated dictators and hypothetical alien overlords.

THIS. I wish I had mod-points.

about 4 months ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Goetterdaemmerung Re:Cash Needs To Go Away (753 comments)

"Cashless" is also a giant vacuum sucking service fees back to the banks and so on. Retailers pay a certain amount per transaction to a payment processor, even if you the customer don't pay directly. Think that doesn't come out of your pocket in the end through higher prices?

THIS. I can't believe everyone is so supportive of a cashless society when cash is the only transaction-free method of payment (also anonymous). Paying 3-5 percent convenience charge simply to not use cash boggles my mind. I often ask for a cash discount on large purchases and usually the merchant is quite eager.

Cash is king.

about 4 months ago
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My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Goetterdaemmerung Re: 2 months, but they all quit! (278 comments)

Ever heard of "moving"?

Wow. Moving to get better power quality to make the efficient light bulbs last longer is a great solution.

Ballasts go because of poor quality power, nothing more and nothing less (or putting a non-dimmable one on a dimmer circuit - same thing, just self-inflicted poor power quality).

Some people just have bad power quality. A product *should* be of high enough quality to deal with it. All you are defending is an elitist attitude and poor product designs.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Employees Revolt out of Loyalty to Management

Goetterdaemmerung Goetterdaemmerung writes  |  about 4 months ago

Goetterdaemmerung (140496) writes "The employees and managers of a regional grocery have walked off their jobs in dedication to their former CEO. His cousin ousted him and instilled two outsider CEO's — one from Radio Shack fame. Several of his supporters have resigned or were fired. They believe the new management will take away their generous benefits, raise prices and otherwise "extract more cash" from the business."
Link to Original Source

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