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Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

Ly4 Re:Get ready to submit an itemized cell phone bill (161 comments)

I've worked at firms that just gave us a per-diem, so I doubt it's an IRS thing. Here, they indicate that receipts are *not* required (from http://www.irs.gov/publication... ):

Documentary evidence is not needed if ... you have meals or lodging expenses while traveling away from home for which you account to your employer under an accountable plan, and you use a per diem allowance method that includes meals and/or lodging.

about 3 months ago
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

Ly4 Re:Poor material choice (162 comments)

they really should have allocated sufficient weight budget for non-aluminum wheels.

In the FA, it notes that the weight of the wheels isn't a stand-alone issue. During the landing, any extra wheel weight would significantly stress the bogies and rockers that hold the wheels, so you'd need much more strength (and weight) there.

The article also notes that they made their decisions based on the surfaces they expected; they found many more 'strongly cemented vertical rocks' than they planned for.

about 3 months ago
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When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Ly4 Re:CAGW is a trojan horse (725 comments)

Thank you Jay Maynard!
We needed someone in this conversation to serve as an example of the kind of stupidity described in the summary. Thank you for taking the bullet!

why the warming has stopped for the last couple of decades
But you may have gone a bit too far here .... only an idiot would pretend to believe this easily-disproved point. It makes your post look a bit too much like satire.

about 5 months ago
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Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks

Ly4 Unfriend (131 comments)

If I 'unfriend' the guy in the next county, no big deal. If I unfriend the guy in the next cubicle, things get a bit more complicated.

about 5 months ago
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Are Habitable Exoplanets Bad News For Humanity?

Ly4 Re:Maybe not extinction... (608 comments)

Am I saying the Drake Equation is almost certainly full of shit? Why yes I am.

Oh, the Drake equation is just fine. It's anyone who thinks they know any of the values to plug into it that's probably full of it.

about 7 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Ly4 Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

Many folks have proposed the "government doesn't use the term marriage" thing. It has a few problems.

First of all, it's a bit like Lucy and the football that's she's holding for Charlie Brown to kick. You're effectively saying "sorry gay people - we really don't want you to have marriage, so we're going to take it away from everyone".

But the biggie: it's a tremendous amount of work to solve a non-problem. There are literally thousands thousands of laws, in literally thousands of jurisdictions, that reference marriage. We'd have to change all of these, and somehow convince people to start using a different terminology, to eliminate a confusion that doesn't exist. We already distinguish between the legal status filed at the county courthouse, and the ceremony that may or not be performed at a church.

I protested that this could create a conflict wherein a church could be sued for refusing to allow a gay couple to use the church for a wedding.
Not going to happen. In the US, the Westboro Baptist Church still has tax-exempt status. We still have freedom for religious groups as vile as that one, so churches that only refuse gay weddings won't be an issue.
   
I didn't rub it in the faces of my gay friends
Is that really the phrasing you wanted to use?

about 8 months ago
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The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary

Ly4 Re:I hate gmail. (142 comments)

and the "folder" work around is a kludge doesn't cut it for me.

Labels. It's not a work-around, it's a deliberate design decision, and a good one. You can emulate folders with labels - simply don't attach more than one label to a given email.

about 8 months ago
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Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier

Ly4 Re:Movie prop for Airbus Flight 655 (298 comments)

As others have noted: citation needed. I can only find other comments making the same claim, no articles.

Also, the ship that shot down 655 was a guided missile cruiser, not a carrier. While there's no requirement that a movie be historically accurate, a cruiser mock-up would be much, much cheaper.

about 8 months ago
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Lit Motors, Danny Kim, and Changing How Americans Drive

Ly4 Re:Why two wheels? (144 comments)

They shouldn't be in traffic in the first place, for starters.

True, but then again, automobiles shouldn't be driving into crosswalks when I've got the light, but that happened to me today - in fact, during the time since I wrote that last comment.

Today's incident wasn't a big deal, because I was watching the driver, and I could see she was looking only at oncoming traffic from her left, while I was on her right, trying to cross in front of her turn. So I waited, and resisted the temptation to slap the side of her car.

But that's also a scenario where the Elio would have been a bit more of a danger. If I'm watching the driver, that protruding wheel is only in my peripheral vision. That's different from a regular car, where the edge of the car is between us and easier to identify.

So it's a risk - the hard part is quantifying how big of a risk it presents.

about 8 months ago
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Lit Motors, Danny Kim, and Changing How Americans Drive

Ly4 Re:Why two wheels? (144 comments)

Well, it's narrower - that'll help in many urban areas, and will make finding parking a bit easier. A two-wheel car is also a little less likely to take out pedestrians with one of those protruding front wheels.
But those advantages might be outweighed by other disadvantages - as you've noted, cost and complexity are concerns, and the actual performance of the balancing algorithms and such is still an unknown.

about 8 months ago
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Aussie Attorney General's War On Encrypted Web Services

Ly4 Re:You do know.. (151 comments)

256-bit block ciphers are merely difficult to attack.

That is incorrect. It is impossible to brute-force a cipher like that, and it is extremely unlikely that someone has found a cryptanalytic break for modern ciphers like AES.

Unlike a block cipher, you can prove that a one-time pad is unbreakable, but that proof depends on the assumption that the random bits of the pad are completely unpredictable. Turns out that's a non-trivial problem to solve, and an especially difficult one to test.

about 8 months ago
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White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups

Ly4 Re:Who is ignoring history? (578 comments)

Automobile insurance issuers are chartered and regulated at the state level. There have been a number of discussions of a federal-level charter, but I'm not aware of any changes on that front in years.

about 8 months ago
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Verizon Discontinues Home Automation Service After 2 Years

Ly4 Re:DIY Security (85 comments)

... in the vast majority of cases ... the homeowner does not contact the authorities ...

Bullshit. State laws on the subject vary massively; there's no way to make a blanket statement like that unless you're in confirmation-bias mode.

about 10 months ago
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U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

Ly4 Re: Driving isn't fun anymore (635 comments)

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." - Yogi Berra.

OK, that doesn't quite fit this situation, but you are only putting one variable into your equation - more roads. There's also:

  • - More population. A lot more - the use population has grown something like 25% in the part 30-40 years.
  • - More population in suburbs, and other changes to density.
  • - And as a consequence of the previous item, more miles driven per capita, especially in some areas. Just because teens aren't driving doesn't mean nobody is.

about 10 months ago
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U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why

Ly4 Driving isn't fun anymore (635 comments)

Another factor - most driving is no longer 'fun' - It's fighting traffic. it's a job.

The only place you don't see traffic these days is car commercials.

about 10 months ago
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First US Public Library With No Paper Books Opens In Texas

Ly4 Re:huh? (212 comments)

I haven't seen anything that lists any Apple funding, although some articles mention Rackspace.

The primary political tension I was referring to was the continual battle between the county government and the city government here. The city has a very large (and pretty good) library system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio_Public_Library); they could have taken on this site as well. But it was probably easier to go bookless by not being part of the SAPL system (and Nelson Wolff, a county guy, couldn't get any credit if SA did it).

about a year ago

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