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

Malc Re:Refunds indicate bad tax planning (630 comments)

How much interest are the banks currently paying on $2K? If you got a lump sum locked away for a year: lucky you. How about the interest on $170 saved on a monthly basis?

Probably the interest is so small it's barely worth the effort spent planning and budgeting. Getting $2K back is a nice bonus if you've already been ok with your pay cheque.

Every person in the US owes a huge amount of money anyway. How significant is the interest on $2K compared with that? Think of the amount of taxes you pay each year just to pay for the interest payments on the national debt. You would do better to vote for politicians who will both cut spending and increase taxes and try to reduce the debt.

3 days ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

Malc Re:... really 13 years to update? (341 comments)

An organisation the size of the NHS can demand better prices, which we see in what it pays for drugs.

This is political... now the problem has been pushed until after the next general election, so this government has successfully delayed a big expense whilst trying to slash the funding to the NHS.

about two weeks ago
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An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)

Malc Re:Holy shit did they get cheap fast (353 comments)

I remember when a 10MB drive was too expensive, and had to make to with two 5.25" floppy disk drives. I'm sure there are some people around here who remember further back...

about two weeks ago
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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

Malc Re:Three words (323 comments)

You're too paranoid. This has nothing to do with the customer and everything to do with the content creators being petrified of a single distributing becoming so big that they can make whatever demands they like. Netflix's customers for instance won't be happy about paying the fees Netfilx would have to charge to cover licensing that would allow them to provide all new releases.

You're right though: they are greedy. We'd all be helped if Hollywood stopped paying stupid money for actors, and if large parts of society stopped being so celebrity obsessed. There's a lot of good acting talent out there, and most of it doesn't appear in poor quality Hollywood blockbusters.

about three weeks ago
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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

Malc Re:Um. WRONG. (323 comments)

This is where UltraViolet's CFF downloads are supposed to be useful. Finally they're reaching their sunrise date, but it remains to be seen how easy it will be to get the content etc.

about three weeks ago
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It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

Malc Odd survey (268 comments)

What is the difference between "agree" and "completely agree"? You agree or you don't.

All my scores were in the range 32-48, which seems oddly low considering I can't work without music and can get agitated or distracted without it. Yet some people's choices of music (e.g. crap like Celine Dion) also have the same effect as silence.

about a month and a half ago
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Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

Malc Re:Programming is not about rote memorization (627 comments)

I don't suppose these anti-IDE people have deleted all the man pages from their system or removed their web browser to discourage looking things up online. AFAIC autocomplete is just a more efficient way to look things up, or just an advanced form of tab-completion and saves a bunch of typing.

Pissing competitions are for people who are over-compensating for other issues. This whole discussion is ridiculous. Use the tools you like, but don't be an inconvenience to your colleagues because you run in to or cause problems through your own pig-headedness and decision to work in a different way to everybody else.

about 2 months ago
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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

Malc Re:Tickets (240 comments)

Cash won't be accepted on London's buses from this summer. OTOH contactless credit/debit cards can be used instead of Oyster. Myki, what a clusterfuck. Why did they decide to re-invent the wheel?

about 2 months ago
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How To Hack Subway Fares Using Fare Arbitrage

Malc Tickets (240 comments)

They still use physical tickets in San Francisco? I thought it was supposed to be a high tech centre. All over the world cities are using contactless cards to do this. The Oyster system in London for instance even discourages the use of tickets by making them much more expensive.

about 2 months ago
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Fire Destroys Iron Mountain Data Warehouse, Argentina's Bank Records Lost

Malc Re:Classic Slashdot (463 comments)

A lot of sites have shifted over to this kind of design, so Slashdot is far from alone. Advertisers like it for various reasons - mostly it comes down to ads being more eye-catching - and of course advertisers control the purse strings.

You'd think there'd be a higher proportion of people here using browser plugins like AdBlock Plus. For this of us who do, what's left of the new /. with the ads removed? Maybe comments and discussion don't bring enough value encourage enough repeat visitors of people who do get the ads?

about 2 months ago
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Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

Malc Re:He's winning b/c he gets the right answers (412 comments)

Considering how long the programme's been running for, that sounds terribly dull and formulaic. I guess it's good for advertising sales having a predictable audience size, but it does say a lot about the viewers of this particular show.

about 2 months ago
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UK Government May Switch from MS Office to Open Source

Malc Re:Not going go down well (273 comments)

Having switched to the Mac at work a few years ago, I suspect your boss will disappointment. I absolutely love the Mac hardware and OS X compared with Windows, but Office is buggy and crippled compared with the Windows version. It works better than OpenOffice did last I tried it though.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For a Simple Media Server?

Malc Re:ps3mediaserver (420 comments)

Maybe try the DLNA server in DivX 10, if you can run on OS X or WIndows.. DivX know a little bit about MKV.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

Malc Re:9.1 (1009 comments)

Compared to Windows 3.1, Win 95 was also great.

NT4 was awesome, so long as you didn't install poor quality device drivers that would cause a BSOD. It was way better than any of the consumer Win95,98,ME versions out at the same time. Win2K was also awesome.

about 3 months ago
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Many Mac OS Users Not Getting Security Updates

Malc Re:As much as I hate to defend Apple... (380 comments)

My MBP is just about to turn six (and it's had almost as many batteries, but that's a different story). Mavericks breathes new life in to it because of memory compression. The 6GB RAM I've got in it just ain't enough anymore, but it doesn't hit the swap file as much as it did before.

about 3 months ago
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CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

Malc Re:Euro-blindness incoming (295 comments)

Bullshit. I hate driving in N. America: the head-lights are dim, but what really annoys me is how many people have them poorly adjusted. The worst culprits seem to be pick-ups with their lights askew causing in particular a lot of dazzling from mirrors which I rarely get in Europe. Many European countries allow brighter lights, but they also require them to be be shielded in a specific way. For instance, the annual MOT test that all vehicles over three years old in the UK must pass explicitly checks light alignment to ensure that other drivers aren't dazzled.

about 3 months ago
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YouTube Goes 4K — and VP9 — At CES

Malc Re:Why VP9? (255 comments)

Wow, and it has a much worse encoding speed. x264 is a slow AVC encoder, and the reference HEVC HM10 encoder is horrendous and probably an order or two magnitude slower than third party implementations. Hard to justify VP9 for commercial content producers (it will cost more to deliver lower quality content).

about 3 months ago
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YouTube Goes 4K — and VP9 — At CES

Malc Re:60fps (255 comments)

4K only becomes interesting if you want to have a bigger screen. I think sitting close to an enormous screen is more immersive than other fads like 3D and more interesting from that perspective than higher frame rates. Then again, I don't want an enormous TV in my living room that ends up being the first thing people use.

about 3 months ago

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