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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

RKThoadan Re:Close, but be careful (839 comments)

Why do you think consumption taxes are inherently progressive? It may be possible to make them that way, but I don't see how that is an inherent aspect.

The poor and middle classes generally have to spend the vast majority of their income and invest very little. All that is generally "consumption" the rich may seem to consume more, but as a percentage of their income it's far less than others. You can attempt to fix this by making food and other staples not subject to taxation and with luxury taxes, but that adds complications and you've pointed out the other dangers. I suspect any attempt to create progressive consumption taxes will be easily gamed. I'm open to the idea if it can be made to work, but taxing wealth has a big advantage of being relatively simple and much harder to game.

about a month ago
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Man Walks Past Security Screening Staring At iPad, Causing Airport Evacuation

RKThoadan Re:No he didn't (217 comments)

You can check regular size items at the gate. They are loaded into cargo last. The most common use for this is strollers, but other items are possible.

about 2 months ago
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Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

RKThoadan Re:Amiga (169 comments)

That's good if you want to really weird people out. I prefer the pure panic-inducing power of lp0 on Fire!

about 3 months ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

RKThoadan Re:At GenCon... (203 comments)

I totally agree with you here. It seems like they killed 3.x right when they finally got their balance issues mostly fixed with the Tome of Battle. I really don't understand the big deal with Pathfinder.

about 3 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

RKThoadan School construction season (421 comments)

While I generally support year-round schools it will make maintenance of the schools a bit trickier. Just about half the schools here get some sort of construction done on them every summer and it's almost always down to the wire getting it finished in time for classes to start.

about 3 months ago
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Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

RKThoadan Re:So what? (234 comments)

I'm guessing that it was already there and they aren't going to spend money to remove it, even though someone out there has probably already done it for them.

about 4 months ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

RKThoadan Re:Identical devices (194 comments)

It looks like the technical details would be found in this link: http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~hovav/...

In that first article the CEO of AddThis says that "Itâ(TM)s not uniquely identifying enough" and the guy who originally developed it says it's only 90% accurate.

about 4 months ago
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$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

RKThoadan Re:obamacare says "no way" (288 comments)

> regulate the medical industry like the criminals they are

I got a bit of a chuckle out of this. The Medical industry is rather intensively regulated, and durable medical equipment (the category this stuff falls into) has among the most stringent requirements and an awful lot of red-tape to cut through.It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does add a good chunk to the cost of these, and DME companies are generally doing very well.

Of course, all that regulation does is give you something your insurance might consider paying for, they probably can't legally pay for non-regulated equipment even if they want to. When you get things cheap enough that we can afford them without insurance, cool stuff can happen.

about 7 months ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

RKThoadan Re:Lobbying aside (423 comments)

Just a note: Depending on how well your employer games the system you may be loaning it to your employer more than you are to the government. Your employer "withholds" it when it pays you, but it's not cutting a check to the govt for that withheld portion immediately. Smaller employers may even get away with just paying the withholding taxes on their annual corporate taxes. I know my state govt is way more insistent about getting it's tax withholding promptly than the fed is.

about 7 months ago
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93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

RKThoadan Re:So how many of them are actually qualified (214 comments)

But it's truly hilarious when we find their not-entirely-terrible ideas (ACA/Obamacare) and try to implement them. Their insanity forces them to immediately become against it. I'm not sure how many good ideas they have, but as soon as a "liberal" tries to implement it they turn against it completely.

about 7 months ago
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NYU Group Says Its Scheme Makes Cracking Individual Passwords Impossible

RKThoadan Re:This idea is really BS (277 comments)

While I'm not necessarily all that impressed by this, your specific criticism doesn't seem to be valid. It appears that n accounts are pre-created with null information and assigned out as needed. When those are about to get used up another n are created. There would appear to be a possible attack on a new account by creating lots of dummy accounts to have a big chunk of the password space under your control, but that seems like a pretty uncommon circumstance.

What I like about it is that it seems to protect stupid users from themselves. All the salt in the world doesn't do much for people who just use "password" for their password. It will still fall in the blink of an eye. We often seem to have the opinion that they deserve it for choosing a poor password, but it's still a compromised account.

The threat model is very limited to "attacker got the password hashes", but that is a common threat currently. If you're going to pick one, that's not a bad choice. It's biggest issue may be if tomorrows threat model is significantly different.

about 8 months ago
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Ouya Dropping 'Free-to-Play' Requirement

RKThoadan Re:Ouya's killer app....where is it? (107 comments)

I'm only using it for DVD rips stored on my home NAS, so I've got no idea what it can do beyond that. I'm not much of an A/V guy and don't even know what x264 is. It's got USB ports, so if it's a keyboard with a USB receiver it will probably work.

For what it's worth I find the controller to be perfectly fine. Trying to use the touchscreen is a pain, but I haven't come across any times that was necessary since they got an official OUYA version of XBMC out there. It would have been nice if there was a quick guide to putting the batteries in. It took me a while to figure out the funky magnetic attached faceplates, but having a battery in each of the handgrips gives it a nice balance.

about 8 months ago
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Ouya Dropping 'Free-to-Play' Requirement

RKThoadan Re:Ouya's killer app....where is it? (107 comments)

Towerfall is probably it's best known game. It made Ars Technica's top 10 of 2013 and has a sequel in the works for OUYA, PS4 and PC. I haven't played it myself though. I use mine almost exclusively for XBMC (and am perfectly happy with it)

I definitely think this is a move in the right direction. I could see the retro-game market really explode on OUYA. I'd spend a few bucks each for some ports of SNES/Genesis era games easily.

about 8 months ago
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XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Has Already Become a Best-Seller

RKThoadan Re:Don't get it (129 comments)

I'm not a big fan of xkcd, but I love the what-if series immensely. It's pretty much the highlight of Tuesdays for me... when I'm not out invading and destroying villages anyway.

about 8 months ago
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One In Ten Americans Thinks HTML Is a Type of Sexually Transmitted Infection

RKThoadan Re:Slashdot Polls (255 comments)

14% of Slashdot users believe everything means CowboyNeal.

about 9 months ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

RKThoadan Re:Sinking ship (704 comments)

I don't think it's possible to make something "illegal tender", at least in the US. If I want to trade you one thing for another thing, it's hard to see the government saying we can't do that. "legal tender" is something that must be accepted for all debts, public and private. Trying to say that something cannot be used even in barter, is pretty tricky.

about 9 months ago
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Ouya CEO Talks Console's Tough First Year, and Ambitious "Ouya Everywhere" Plan

RKThoadan It's a good media player (134 comments)

I got mine mostly for a xbmc media player and occasional gaming. It took a little while for them to work the kinks out with the xbmc folks, but it's pretty stable now. We play games very rarely.

I think their policy that all games must have a free trial of some kind may be hurting them, and encouraging in-app purchase games, which I can't stand. I think it would be a great market for retro-classics, but I really don't want to think about someone making Pac-Man with a trial version.

about 9 months ago
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How An Astronaut Nearly Drowned During a Space Walk

RKThoadan Re:Stupid question (144 comments)

Click through some of the articles above and you'll discover that for the one emergency EVA they've done since this incident they installed snorkels, although they actually go down towards the midriff. They also installed an absorbent pad in the back of the helmet. Notably this was all MacGyvered up from equipment they had on-board.

Linky: http://www.space.com/24027-nas...

about 9 months ago
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Report: Space Elevators Are Feasible

RKThoadan Re:Before you lecture others (374 comments)

A minor correction to that. We don't have adequate materials for a space elevator from Earth. There are several existing materials which are strong enough for a Lunar Space Elevator (including kevlar). If we want to settle the moon and get experience building space elevators it's an excellent option. Here's wikipedia's page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

I'm not finding any calculations for what it would take on Mars, but since it's only about 1/3rd Earths gravity it should be more feasible there as well.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

RKThoadan Re:This is Elementary School. (231 comments)

Agreed. I'm reading through these and thinking that very little is applicable to my 2nd grader, who loves libraries (school and public) for the incredibly quaint reason of just checking out books. On the other hand, her school has a dedicated computer lab. She gets computer lab 1 day a week and library one day a week. She greatly prefers library day.

As far as I am concerned a library should foster a love of reading and imagination. "innovation and technology" are alright, but they aren't the most important things in the world.

Keep in mind that in general, half of elementary school is about learning to read. The transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn" is generally around 3rd grade. There is definitely a case to be made for a more technology centered area in middle & high school, but I don't really think that is the case for elementary.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Dwarf Fortress 0.31.01 Released

RKThoadan RKThoadan writes  |  more than 4 years ago

RKThoadan (89437) writes "It's been 1.5 years in the making, but the next version of Dwarf Fortress is finally out. The official server is pretty much dead at this point but this reddit thread has mirrors listed:

Now go forth, rip out your enemies lungs and cook them into a nice stew using just above ASCII level graphics. Remember to have Fun"

Link to Original Source

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