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The Golden Gate Barrage: New Ideas To Counter Sea Level Rise

PatHMV Re:Or... (341 comments)

Louisiana is NOT "sinking." It is eroding, an entirely different phenomenon that has nothing to do with global warming or sea levels rising.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Get Open Source Projects To Take Our Money?

PatHMV Re:tax fraud (301 comments)

There is an amazing lack of understanding of what being a 501(c)(3) non-profit means. Non-profits most certainly can (and regularly do) invoice for services rendered. They are not "non-revenue" corporations, simply non-profit.

There is no fraud involved if a non-profit performs services in return for an agreed fee, or contracts to perform those services in the future in return for a fee either paid up front or after the services have been rendered.

The only thing the non-profit cannot do is take the surplus funds over and above their expenses at the end of the year and distribute those as dividends or ownership distributions to its "shareholders" or board members.

Now, if the non-profit has what's called "unrelated business income," that is income generated from activities it conducts that are not really connected, other than financially, with its mission, then it may have to pay taxes on those (for example, if a non-profit devoted to supporting a university buys commercial property as an investment, and leases that property out to businesses, that rental income may be "unrelated business income"). But that does not destroy their non-profit status for the rest of the funds they receive.

This is not, of course, definitive tax advice, but your post is about the 10th in this thread I've seen that has the very, very, very wrong idea that being a 501(c)(3) means you can't charge for services provided. They can, and they do all the time.

about a year ago
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The Savvy Tech Strategy Behind Obamacare

PatHMV Re:Too bad someone didn't figure this all out (146 comments)

Right on. Moreover, who benefits from all this, anyway? The idea is that the patient benefits, because an ER doc at one facility can see all of that patient's health records when treating him. But what if the patient doesn't want that? The reality is that all this centralized electronic data will benefit insurance companies, not patients. Once certain things (epilepsy, say) are flagged in your electronic, accessible to any person authorized by law to see them (and that will be insurance companies, governments, and probably your own employer at some point), then it's there, and you're tagged for life. Good luck getting a driver's license. Or overcoming the stigma of some unpopular disease.

I don't WANT all of my medical records out there. I don't think it will benefit me or my health. But these days I have little choice.

about a year and a half ago
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Netflix Loses 800,000 Subscribers After Qwikster Gaffe

PatHMV Re:Needs new leadership (325 comments)

Except that Warner Brothers DOES care, because if you have 300 different apps, you're very likely to decide that signing up for WB's service, going through all the hassle of giving your CC info to ONE MORE site, fixing compatibility issues with their ONE MORE player, etc., is just not worth it, when you just want to watch frickin' Batman tonight.

Remember, movies compete not just with other movies, but with other leisure activities, including TV. "Honey, which app do I go to to watch Batman?" "I don't know, what studio came out with that one, again?" "Heck if I can remember!" "Well, look it up on the IMDB." "I can't the tablets in the other room!" "Well screw it, let's just watch that episode of Criminal Minds that got recorded on the DVR last night."

more than 3 years ago
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How Face Recognition Can Uncover SSNs

PatHMV Re:want to see something really scary? (103 comments)

Mod parent up. TFA says: "the social security number system has a huge security flaw — social security numbers are predictable if you know a person’s hometown and date of birth."

We should read that as sounding as absurd as: "the phone numbering system has a huge security flaw -- phone numbers are discoverable if you know a person's name." This was NOT a design flaw. Nobody, as best I can tell, ever thought, when designing the system, that an SSN should be treated like a PIN, a number known only to the individual, where knowledge of the PIN is considered strong evidence of the identity of the person.

The single best thing which could be done for security at this point is to publish a nation-wide database of all SSNs matched with the names registered to those SSNs, to totally destroy the idea that SSNs should be "secret" identifiers.

The SSN exists to establish that we're identifying the John Doe who was born to Jim and Jane Doe on January 1, 1972 in Madison, Wisconsin, rather than the John Doe who was born on January 8, 1963 in New York City, or the John Doe who was born to Bill and Joan Doe on January 1, 1972 in Madison Wisconsin. It is an identifier, not a PIN.

I'd like a good class action lawyer to consider a nice lawsuit against any creditor who acts on the assumption that somebody who knows a person's SSN must be that person, or authorized by that person to take action on their behalf.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Data-Only Phone, Voice Over WiFi?

PatHMV Re:No. Don't do this. (208 comments)

Um, he said VoIP "over mobile networks" is unreliable. Does your corporate office set up and run its own mobile network?

more than 3 years ago
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IPad 2 33% Thinner, 2x Faster, iOS 4.3

PatHMV Re:Same here. No retina == no buy. (1118 comments)

In addition to the lack of retina display, there are some underlying technical issues which prevent professional photographers from using the iPad. Many photographers would like to use an app related to Adobe's Lightroom for immediate importing, tagging, and initial review and screening of photos from a photoshoot. But because of Apple's restrictions on direct writing of files and a few other technical issues, this is not apparently possible at this time, according to Adobe. If Apple and Adobe were to find a way to resolve these issues, the iPad would be a perfect device for a photographer to use in conjunction with his existing work-flow. As it stands now, though, the iPad is only really useful for displaying work that's been reviewed and edited on other machines, or for doing the very simple manipulations and organization allowed by Apple's own apps.

more than 3 years ago
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MacBook Pro Specs Leaked, iPad Event March 2

PatHMV Re:hmm (368 comments)

Fair enough. I do note that my coming out of sleep time is about 5 seconds, compared to your 30-40. And you said you're running Ubuntu. As I said, I can't run the software I need on Ubuntu. If all I did was web surfing and some office document work, fine. But for the photography work I do, the Adobe tools are the fastest, easiest tools to use available, and they're not on Linux.

But your main points are perfectly valid. I just get peeved when some /.ers wildly assert that Mac users are just distracted by pretty things, rather than recogniziting that at least a few of us are simply willing to pay more for a product which does in fact go that extra 10%.

more than 3 years ago
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Study Calls Craigslist 'a Cesspool of Crime'

PatHMV Re:Just follow the links. (316 comments)

Amen. First thing I thought of was, did anybody do a similar study of crime rates with anonymous classified ads posted in the newspapers and the PennySavers? People were inviting strangers into their homes to look at crappy old pieces of furniture to sell for $10 long before there was a Craigslist.

more than 3 years ago
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MacBook Pro Specs Leaked, iPad Event March 2

PatHMV Re:hmm (368 comments)

Well, I bought my MacBook Pro 17" last year because it was lighter and thinner than my previous comparably equipped Dell, had a longer battery life, and had a much more reliable and speedy OS than the Dell. Is a "good" OS worth several hundred extra dollars? To me, you bet. For me, the price premium is justified simply because I don't have to wait a minute for the machine to wake up from sleep every time I lug it from home to the office or vice versa, or when I come back from lunch. Not having to reboot at least once a week (usually much more often) is also worth some of that cost. And I didn't have to spend hours of my life digging into obscure settings and learning how to set everything just right to make that happen. Also, on my Dell laptop, I often found that I'd be in the middle of typing, in a browser or on the word processor, and some other high priority task would kick in for unknown reasons, and what I typed wouldn't be displayed for several seconds. That hasn't happened with the Mac. Also worth a good chunk of money to me.

As for your Linux PC, please. As another responder noted, Lightroom is THE easiest to use, most powerful photo-editing and photo-organizing software out there. Photography is my major hobby, and switching to Lightroom has drastically reduced the time it takes me to sort, select, and edit my photos. That caliber of software is not available on Linux at the current time.

So thank you, I think my choice of the MacBook Pro was quite rationale given my needs and what's currently available on the market. A pretty case had very, very little to do with it. If Dell or somebody else could make a Windows machine function this well, I can assure you I'd be happy to buy it... and then there would be real competition, and Apple would have to lower its prices some and no longer make more money per PC than anybody else. Apple decided to compete on performance... REAL performance, not tech spec porn performance... and it's winning, and thus making more money.

more than 3 years ago
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MacBook Pro Specs Leaked, iPad Event March 2

PatHMV Re:hmm (368 comments)

I can get a nominally better-equipped laptop for cheaper, but it doesn't actually perform better. I've never found a Windows-based laptop yet that doesn't take at LEAST 30 seconds to wake up from sleep or hibernation, and it's usually a minute or more (especially after a system gets gunked up with all the usual crappy drivers at auto start programs). My MacBook Pro wakes up in the time it takes me to type my password. As soon as the screen appears (which is immediately after typing my password), it's ready to use. This fact alone has saved me hours of annoyance in the past year I've had it.

Also on Windows machines, I've had plenty of problems with little glitches here and there, unexplained slowdowns, screen freezes, you name it. With the Mac, those problems have been drastically reduced. Yeah, the Windows machine specs out nicer, but that doesn't mean much outside of test-bed environments, looking at performance from a clean install on a pristine new computer.

more than 3 years ago
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WA Election To Try Online Voting

PatHMV Exactly... the vote WILL be corrupted... (304 comments)

Hacking is the least of the concerns. This DESTROYS the guaranteed secret ballot. What wife or husband will tell their spouse: "no, you can't watch me internet vote"? How many union members or church goers will refuse the offer of their union or church to "help" them vote? How many employees will risk their job when their supervisor quietly expresses a desire to look over his shoulder while casts his ballot from the work computer?

If this becomes the rule, we will no longer have secret ballots in this country.

more than 3 years ago
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Vatican Bans IOS Confession App

PatHMV Re:Even the Vatican doesn't RTFA (323 comments)

Except that the Vatican DIDN'T say that this app is bad or impermissible. That's TFA's conclusion from the Vatican's statement, not what the Vatican actually said. The Vatican did not, as best I can tell from TFA, condemn this app. It said only that it's not possible to confess by iPhone. Since this app does not allow for confession by iPhone, the Vatican has not condemned it. They didn't mention the app by name. They didn't say that [app name] can't be used.

more than 3 years ago
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Like Democracy, the Web Needs To Be Defended

PatHMV Re:Sorry, no. (108 comments)

Exactly! If I want to make my information available only to some people and not to others, that's MY right. And if a "large social-networking site" helps me do that, good for them, and I am more likely to use them than I would a system that says: "you MUST make ALL information public, or not share it with anybody at all."

I agree with Berners-Lee on his other points, but not that one. And I don't know why he would lead with that one.

more than 4 years ago
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The Beatles On iTunes

PatHMV Re:Big (551 comments)

I can't tell if you're being pedantic or stupid. I'm leaning toward pedantic asshole at the moment, as you are hyper-technically correct but not actually answering the question which anybody over the age of 5 understood was being asked.

Yes, CDs are "digital" and they are being sold "online." That's not what UnknowingFool was asking, of course. He is correct that this is the first time the Beatles' catalog will be offered online for downloading, legally.

more than 4 years ago
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Do Firefox Users Pay More For Car Loans?

PatHMV Re:STATISTICS! (371 comments)

Very easy. You sign up to buy their insurance on-line. They grab your useragent string when you make the purchase, and they stick that in their database of information about you, nice and associated with your customer number.

Then they run a query on claims made. They filter the result to show only claims made by people who bought insurance on-line. Then they average the claims amount by browser type.

Or, they do a random query to pick 10,000 people who bought their insurance on-line last year. Then they count number of claims by browser type.

more than 4 years ago
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Do Firefox Users Pay More For Car Loans?

PatHMV STATISTICS! (371 comments)

Insurance is a game of statistics. Yes, some browsers lie in their user agent string. Yes, sometimes people use other people's browsers. But MOST browsers are what they say they are, MOST people use their own machine pretty regularly, and if the insurance company is really doing this (which I take no position on), then you can bet they have statistics to back up their belief that there's a difference in insurance risk, ON AVERAGE, between users of different browsers.

The insurance company couldn't care less if the correlation holds true for every single instance. They know that it doesn't, in fact. But if it holds true often enough, then they can use that data to offer some people a better price on the insurance, because they're statistically less likely to file a claim.

more than 4 years ago
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Herding Firesheep In NYC — Do Users Care?

PatHMV Re:Some people don't care (200 comments)

Exactly. I rather tire of seeing the self-proclaimed geek elite decrying these users as "stupid" and "ignorant." No, they just have different value systems then the uber-security-conscious. Lots of people in rural areas regularly leave their doors unlocked. Just because a hacker COULD get access to their account at a Starbucks doesn't mean that the odds of it happening at any particular Starbucks at any given time is terribly high.

Was it idiocy for the folks at this Starbucks to stay online on Facebook even after being warned by this hacker? Clearly from the warning he provided, he wasn't intending to do harm to them. You're a nice rural family sitting around the coffee table, and a nice man sticks his head in your door and says "just wanted to let you know, your door is unlocked." Do you expect the folks to get up and run around and lock every door in the house?

more than 4 years ago
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Nintendo Entertainment System Turns 25

PatHMV Re:Crazy... (164 comments)

God, I'm old. This was 5 months after I graduated high school.

more than 4 years ago
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Lighthearted Facebook Friends Could Make You Join NAMBLA Group

PatHMV Re:Wait.. WHAT? (178 comments)

I know it's /., but please at least RTFS (read the f'ing SUMMARY), which explains that this is a NEW Facebook feature, which works DIFFERENTLY from the OLD Facebook feature. You've just described the OLD Facebook group feature. This one works differently.

more than 4 years ago

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