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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

TuballoyThunder Re:Open Source Tax Preparation Software (450 comments)

It really is sad that the complexity of the tax code has gotten to the point that a computer program is the only practical way to file an error-free return for many people. The expenditure in time required to learn the tax code is not an effective use of time.

The really unfortunate part is that I don't see the tax code getting simpler even if companies like Intuit stop lobbying against it. The tax code is used to redistribute wealth (e.g. the Earned Income Tax Credit costs ~$56B) and encourage certain types of behavior (homeownership, subsidies to energy companies). Congress likes to use the IRS as a de facto welfare agency.

about two weeks ago
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Asus Wireless Routers Can Be Exploited By Anyone Inside the Network

TuballoyThunder Re:And remember folks (68 comments)

And that is why you don't use their router on your network.

From what I understand (I'm not a Comcast customer), Comcast is opening up the router they provide to offer wifi access to other Comcast customers. If you have your own router, this does not happen.

I do not understand why anyone would pay to rent a cable modem/router from the cable company--it makes no financial sense (ok if you are only at that location for ~10 months or less the rental is cheaper). The only reason you have to have their cable modem/router is if you get phone service from them, though getting phone service from the cable company is just crazy (in my humble opinion).

If you have to use a cable company provided modem/router, buy your own router and put your network behind your router.

about two weeks ago
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The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

TuballoyThunder Re:Open work environment is not a cure-all (420 comments)

Not a panopticon. The workers have private offices (with actual doors) and the boss is in a open area. A panopticon is designed such that a central point can monitor without the individuals knowing if they are being monitored at any given moment.

I toured the Eastern State Penitentiary and found the panopticon concept interesting from an efficiency point of view but creepy and dehumanizing.

about three weeks ago
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The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

TuballoyThunder Open work environment is not a cure-all (420 comments)

Having worked in both an "open" environment and a "closed" work environment, I would have have to say that I prefer the closed environment. However, most of the work that I do involves focusing on a "task." In my case I define "task" as doing research, writing, analyzing, formulating options. When I need to interact, I go to the person I want to talk to our grab a group to discuss in an open area. I can see the value of an "open" environment in a watch center environment or where the quick dissemination of shared information is important. When I need to focus, the open environment was horrible because there was not barrier to interruption. I think most open environments are setup backwards: The boss has a private area and the workers have privacy. I think a better model has the boss in an open area with the workers in private areas. That allows for a smooth flow information to the boss and the workers can concentrate on the assigned task.

about three weeks ago
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Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

TuballoyThunder Re: ~Ok (156 comments)

You probably are thinking of their post ~2000 stuff. It definitely got more windows and web focused (and thinner). Around 2005, I found it to be pretty unreadable. The pre-2000 issues were much better.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?

TuballoyThunder Re:Marriage is 80%/80% (720 comments)

This is probably the best advice that I have ever seen on Slashdot. The last thing you want to do is keep a tally and try to keep a 50/50 balance. You should always want to do something helpful or caring for your parent. Mod parent up.

about 2 months ago
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Reason To Hope Carriers Won't Win the War On Netflix

TuballoyThunder Re:Not a large enough sample size (213 comments)

Same here. I'm on FIOS and I'm getting about 70 MBPS to AWS East.

about a year ago
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Designer Seeds Thought To Be Latest Target By Chinese

TuballoyThunder Re:Beta sucks! (164 comments)

Beta must die a horrible death. Delete it from the hard drives, degauss the drives, run the drives through a shredder, throw the scrap into a smelting furnace, cast into ingots, and then store the ingots with the waste from Fukushima.

about a year ago
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PC Plus Packs Windows and Android Into Same Machine

TuballoyThunder Re:Everything old is new again - Emplant (319 comments)

I remember the Zenith Z-100 had dual processors, but I don't recall if you could get them going simultaneously. There were ISA cards for PCs (one of them was the Baby Blue card) that allowed CP/M to run on a PC.

Of course, the IBM mainframes running VM ran multiple OSes. Definitely not a new idea.

1 year,26 days
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Amazon Selects Their Favorite Fake Customer Reviews

TuballoyThunder A Million Random Digits (98 comments)

My favorite: A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates

The book is a promising reference concept, but the execution is somewhat sloppy. Whatever generator they used was not fully tested. The bulk of each page seems random enough. However at the lower left and lower right of alternate pages, the number is found to increment directly.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: It's World Backup Day; How Do You Back Up?

TuballoyThunder Re:rsnapshot (304 comments)

What is your rebuild time like on the 10x2TB? I have a 4x1TB RAID5 array and the rebuild time is getting a bit long. With current drive capacities, my original motivation for going to RAID5 is no longer valid, so I'm thinking about splitting the data onto two 2x2TB RAID1 arrays instead.

more than 2 years ago
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EFF Asks Verizon Whether Etisalat Deserves CA Trust

TuballoyThunder The system is broken (135 comments)

There are so many trusted certificate signing authorities that I believe the trust system is untrustworthy. I counted over 40 certificate authorities in Mozilla and I did not make it past the letter "I' in the list of trusted CA's. Throw in the intermediate CA's and the problem gets worse. Lets assume that all CA's are trustworthy. Furthermore, assume that there is a 1 in a million chance for any individual CA in any given year to make a mistake. A system of 100 CA's would have a 1 in 10,000 chance of making a mistake. Many of the CA are regionally focused and it makes no sense why a user should trust all CA's equally.

The following changes could be useful:

  • selectively prune the trust hierarchy
  • flag certificates that change (there are addons)
  • specify the maximum path length you are willing to trust
  • Be able to assign a trust weight to a CA

more than 4 years ago
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US Ability To Identify Source of Nuclear Weapons Decays

TuballoyThunder Re:Huh? (139 comments)

However, if you are putting together a forensic program you need to be able to assess bombs made with Pu or U or both. Even if you could identify the reactor or mine that the fissile material came from, that does not tell you who built the weapon. There are many factors that a forensic capability has to account for.

Nuclear Weapons Incident Response

The Nuclear Weapons Incident Response (NWIR) Program serves as the United States’ primary capability for responding to and mitigating nuclear and radiological incidents worldwide. The FY 2009 Request for these activities is $221.9 million, of which $31.7 million is dedicated to the continued implementation of two national security initiatives that will strengthen the Nation’s emergency response capabilities—the National Technical Nuclear Forensics (NTNF) and the Stabilization Implementation programs.

In FY2009 alone there was a sizable chunk of money spent. You should implement you concept and sell it to the USG. Otherwise, please do not insult the people who are working on this program.

more than 4 years ago
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US Ability To Identify Source of Nuclear Weapons Decays

TuballoyThunder Re:Huh? (139 comments)

And please explain how alpha mass spec analysis of spent fuel from a reactor would help with a U235 based weapon. Also, please explain how you would back out the fractionation of the debris. For extra credit, you can explain how activation products can facilitate your analysis.

Also, Sandia is not the design lab you are looking for. You are confusing them with Los Alamos and Livermore.

I respect the fact that you have a four digit UID, but the problem is not as trivial as you make it out to be.

more than 4 years ago
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ICANN Approves .xxx Suffix For Porn Websites

TuballoyThunder Terrible idea (273 comments)

I think the concept behind the .xxx domain has the potential of leading the internet down a dangerous path. If the other TLD's are forced by their governing entity, e.g. the US government for the .com TLD, to prohibit pornographic content, the precedent will be set to segregate and regulate content.

more than 4 years ago
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India Attempts To Derail ACTA

TuballoyThunder Quixotic Attempt I'm Afraid (162 comments)

I'm glad India is taking a stand that supports its national interests and that position coincides with my belief that intellectual property rights have gone to far. The big "however" is that India does not have a great success rate of stopping a treaty. They did not sign the NPT nor the CTBT and the NPT is in force and the CTBT would be if it was not for the Annex II requirement.

The only thing that will kill the ACTA treaty is if a significant number of countries refuse to sign it or reject it during ratification. Unfortunately, I fear that any US administration would gladly sign the treaty and the US Senate would readily ratify it. If only the treaty would harm the gay unborn whales...

more than 4 years ago
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Simple, Cost-Effective, Multiroom Audio?

TuballoyThunder Logitech Squeezebox (438 comments)

I have the Boom and it works great. It also comes up with server software that runs on Linux or Windows so you can serve your music. You can read more details on the Logitech website.

more than 5 years ago
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Telco Sues City For Plan To Roll Out Own Broadband

TuballoyThunder Re:Not government's job (681 comments)

In your case driving works out better than mass transit. That does not mean mass transit is useless. If the state is able to avoid building new roads by utilizing trains, they are saving taxpayers money. Take 495 as an example. The only way the capacity of that road can be increased is to expand into private property or build an elevated road way.

For my commute in the DC area, the train is vastly superior to driving in terms of speed. In fact, almost everybody I work with uses public transportation and the usage is pretty independent of salary. The only way I can drive faster than the train is if I go into work before 5:45 AM or after 9:30. Even if driving was comparable or faster than the train, the cost of parking is not cheap.

In my previous job in the DC area, my 23 mile commute took about an hour (there was no practical public transportation). Fortunately, parking was free.

more than 5 years ago
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An Argument For Leaving DNS Control In US Hands

TuballoyThunder Re:what about .sex and .xxx??? (607 comments)

I would offer the following argument. I think the creation of a .sex or a .xxx namespace will promote censorship rather than free speech. Once you create such a namespace, there will be strong pressure to migrate such content from the .com, .net, etc namespaces to the new naughty namespaces. It is the internet equivalent of a "free speech area." Once you create a .xxx/.sex namespace, why not create a .political, .nepal or .wariniraq etc TLDs?

more than 5 years ago
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Battlestar Galactica Comes To an End

TuballoyThunder I would think that some would go back to Caprica (852 comments)

If all the bad Cylons got wiped out on the colony, I am surprised that some of the Colonials did not opt to go back to the Colonies. The indications that we have from the show is that the nuclear attack did not render the planet uninhabitable like the Cylon Earth.

There should be a good amount workable technology left and inhabitable structures. Supposedly you only need about 1000 to 5000 humans to repopulate.

The other thought I had was whether anybody went back to pick up the Number Three D'Anna Biers.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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TuballoyThunder TuballoyThunder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

TuballoyThunder (534063) writes "The Wall Street Journal recently reported on how hackers pulled off the largest known heist of credit card and personal data from The TJX Companies, which is the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, and A. J. Wright. The poor security practices of TJX ran the gamut from using WEP on their in-store wireless networks to not encrypting credit card transactions (which was in violation of credit card company guidelines). The pwnage started back in July 2005 and was not detected until mid January 2007, which was after they became aware of it on 18 December 2006. All told, the cost of the breach may cost a billion dollars.

TJX, in addition to "fixing" their security their security problems, offers the following, helpful information:
  • Your best defense is careful review of your own statements
  • Established a special helpline for customers who have questions
  • Obtain a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus


I have a useful tip for any company, large or small, and I'll provide it free of charge:

While security may not be a profit center for your business (assuming you are not in the security business), poor security can cause you to lose far more money than good security.
Any TJX employees care to post as AC's?"
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TuballoyThunder TuballoyThunder writes  |  more than 8 years ago

TuballoyThunder (534063) writes "Joseph Duncan, who pleaded guilty to murder, kept an encrypted journal that authorities are interested in reading. The only problem is that they have been unable to break the encryption. The first thought that came to mind was "keylogger."

According the article
[A] plea bargain Duncan's lawyers struck Monday with state prosecutors says the key must only be shared with his defense lawyer.
If law enforcement used a keylogger to obtain the key while the defense attorney accessed the journal, would they be permitted to use it? What methods should the government be permitted to use to obtain the key?"

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