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Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

khchung Re:It's about hotel taxes (149 comments)

well yes, it's about that.

which makes the debate more about if a room for rent -literally- is a hotel - and why it's not a hotel if the guest stays for a month..

How about the simple fact that most tourists staying in a place for just a few days usually won't bother to go to authorities if there is something wrong with their rooms? As such, to protect the reputation of a city, they have to regulate the hotels that primarily target tourists?

If you are going to stay in the same place for a month or more, it is likely you will find out anything wrong in the first week, and you would more likely report it to police as you still have to stay for weeks there. Plus, people usually do more research when spending more, such as where to spend the money to stay a whole month or more, including possibly a prior visit in person for longer stay.

Not so for a hotel you probably going to stay just one night. Any problem you found in the night, you are leaving the next day and not coming back to that city again anyway. That would allow bad hotels to stay in business for quite a while, damaging the reputation of the area and hurting tourism for everyone else.

America being as it is, doing more to drive away tourists than promoting it, it is not surprising that most Americans have no idea how important it is for tourism to maintain a certain minimum standards on the hotels in the area. Next time you go on a trip to another country, talk to the hotel manager how many regulations they have to comply, you would be surprised how regulated they are for your safety and enjoyment.

about a month ago
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Ross Ulbricht Faces New Drug Charges

khchung Re:Guilty (102 comments)

Of facilitating voluntary transactions between consenting adults.

So you also think we shouldn't have laws against buying/selling organs by adults, selling yourself into slavery, and prostitution? All of them are voluntary transactions between consenting adults.

about a month ago
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For Microsoft, $93B Abroad Means Avoiding $30B Tax Hit

khchung Re:Okay... and? (316 comments)

/Personal income is likely to get double taxed, but that's not what we're talking about.

You can deduct taxes paid to foreign governments, even as a private citizen.

Which is the entire point, which, it seems, everyone rebutting GP missed.

If you are an American, working in country X, and paying $Y tax in country X. If $Y is less than the tax $Z you would have paid in America, then you need to pay American Govt $Z-Y (i.e. Z was deduct, which is your point), even though your work, your job and your company have absolutely no relationship with America. You paid $Z-Y just for the privilege of being an American citizen.

If you were from most other country in the world, working abroad in country X, then you pay $Y tax in country X, and then END OF STORY.

Most of countries in the world don't tax their citizens working and living abroad at all, which was GP's point, there is nothing to deduct.

about a month ago
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How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil

khchung Compared to /.? (114 comments)

I find it quite hilarious to see so many posters complained about the ads in Facebook, in the /. forum that have ads a hundred times worse.

OK, maybe not 100x, be definitely worse. On my phone, I get pop-over ads to blocks 1/4 of the already small screen, with the (X) so small that the phone would register as a click on the ads instead (not the intended result, I am sure, LOL).

Then when clicking on articles, half the time the page opens at the bottom to immediately show the ad, so I have to manually go back to the top, the other half of the time I can read normally, but once I reach the end my music would stop because the ad at the bottom is a auto-starting video ad. So I have close the page to stop it from wasting MB in data plan.

(On my PC, I have plug-ins to block all the ads already)

With FB on the phone, at least I can turn off video auto-playing in the settings, and I then only occasionally see an ad when scrolling in the app. No pop-over ad, no auto-playing video ad, no jump to the ad when I open any page. Yes, 100x better then /.

about a month and a half ago
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Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

khchung Re:Change management fail (162 comments)

Sounds like your IT has been outsourced to India, who as a culture, literally does not know how to say "no".

On the other hand, I have encountered plenty of managers who literally do not know how to take "no" as an answer.

Takes two to make a pair.

about 1 month ago
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Samsung Delays Tizen Phone Launch

khchung Undo mod (112 comments)

posting to undo mistaken mod

about 2 months ago
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Russia Posts $110,000 Bounty For Cracking Tor's Privacy

khchung Re:TOR is a US-backed project (98 comments)

No, TOR was a project about creating the ability for people in repressive countries to be able to access the Internet in ways that their government was either blocking, or whose access could endanger the user since it was not in line with the government's decrees and/or filters.

No, you're wrong and OP is right:

http://cryptome.org/0003/tor-spy.htm

You DO noticed that the "rebuttal" is the typical deflection you see from politicians and large companies after getting caught doing something naughty, right? "Hey, you lied and cheated!" "No, what I did was about ...." (a long answer that never denied the lying and cheating part)

"No, TOR was a project about ..." noticed that the rebuttal did NOT mention who created TOR? The entire first sentence NEVER contradicted OP's point even though it started with a "No" -- "TOR was made by the US Navy specifically to anonymize the traffic of government spies. "

about 2 months ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

khchung Re:The real question (296 comments)

The real question is, what is the long term impact to productivity and work flow? Sure you can save money up front by switching to a different software suite but that doesn't matter if it disrupts your business in a significant way.

And what is the long term impact of MS Office changing their UI every couple versions?

Not to say open sourced software don't have this problem *cough* Firefox *cough*, but the point is these things happen all the time, and cannot be avoided just by sticking to MS Office. You just plan the migration at the right time in the cycle then it won't become an additional cost.

about 2 months ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

khchung Re:sure, works for France (296 comments)

In a theoretical world you would be correct, but in practice you're wrong. It's very hard to negotiate something out of the norm, which in the US, is vacation time.

Wrong. You have been fooled by HR drones if you think this way. Negotiating something out of the norm is done ALL THE TIME. That's why it is called "negotiating" your compensation (every part of it is open to negotiation), and not just "haggling" over the price (only).

For example, try negotiating a role as an associate in investment banking while saying "hey cut down 5 weeks of my salary I'll take extra time off." It can't work, because the culture doesn't allow it. You either accept the role with no vacation and high pay, or you don't get hired. I can easily negotiate a couple grands on a salary, but getting an extra week off? Rough.

That means you failed to sell yourself as a valuable money maker with a unique combination of skills and abilities during your interview. If the hiring manager thinks you are unique and you can help the company's bottom line that no other candidates can match, even if you got extra time off, then a competent hiring manager WILL twist HR's arm to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

If you sold yourself as just another replaceable cog in the wheel, then of course don't expect anything special.

about 2 months ago
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Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Release Vote Counting Source Code

khchung open to hacking or manipulation (112 comments)

releasing the code could "leave the voting system open to hacking or manipulation."

In other words, any current or previous programmer in the development team could manipulate the vote results if one wanted to.

Any reasonable man would conclude that should be enough reason to stop using it.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

khchung Re:Simple (509 comments)

This is terrible advice. Credit cards are the easiest way to build credit. The advice should actually be: Pay off your credit card in full every month.

You're a victim of marketing by the credit card companies. This is not true, there are plenty of ways to get far better loans at far cheaper rates that will increase your credit rating at a far faster rate.

Unless you found loans that have negative interest rates (i.e. pay you to borrow money from them), I don't see how you can beat 0% rates you can get from a credit card and pay off every month.

Maybe credit cards from your bank work differently, but for the cards from my bank, I get a statement every month for the purchases I made in the month, and then if I pay the full amount before the deadline (a few weeks after the statement), then I don't have to pay any interest. That's FREE loan from the moment I made the purchase to the time I pay.

about 2 months ago
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Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

khchung Re:Why not limit them to one per customer? (131 comments)

Wouldn't that make trying to scalp them prohibitively inconvenient?

You don't know how iPhones got into China before Apple started selling them there, do you?

The scalpers, or more appropriately, dealers just stand outside Apple Stores (wherever iPhones are available) and offer to buy from people who just bought the phone in the store, for a small profit. Soon enough, people aiming for that small profit started going to the store, buy an iPhone with credit card, then immediately sell it to the dealers for cash (and repeat for every credit they own, apply for more when all cards have been used). The dealers then hire other people to carry (i.e. smuggle) the phones, a few each, across the border into China and sell it for a larger profit.

How's that for crowdsourcing, heh?

That happened for every iPhone release until Apple officially started selling in China. No more profit == no more scalpers.

Simple economics, demand greater than supply, then the price increases. If the manufacturer won't increase the price or increase production to meet the demand, then some of the lucky few who got the goods will sell to someone else willing to pay more.

Hey, isn't that's what Free Market and First Sale Doctrine are about?

about 2 months ago
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Otherlab Working on a 'Fundamental Jump' in Technology for Exoskeletons (Video)

khchung Re:Sounds like PR Hype to me. (36 comments)

As such, all exoskeletons suits currently in development either are tethered to a wall plug or have a ridiculously low battery capacity.

You made the wrong assumption that an exoskeleton suit is only useful if it is fully mobile like a car, HOWEVER, there are already LOTS of practical application for a suit that only works well when plugged-in, or with very short battery duration (e.g. 15 mins)

E.g. Old people or disabled people, with a plugged-in suit, can live a mostly normal life within their homes, rather than needing a 24-hour nurse just to take them to the bathroom.

I would guess that people with paralysis or legs disabled would celebrate the day they can effectively walk around their own home with such a suit. Especially if the home is retrofitted with enough power sockets for plugging in the suit where ever they go around the house.

about 3 months ago
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Average HS Student Given Little Chance of AP CS Success

khchung Re:Really? (293 comments)

According to our presently available research and body of technique is there really anything on the table that 'results in outstanding academic ability'?'

Parental involvement.

about 3 months ago
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EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

khchung Re:The science behind GMOs show they are safe. (272 comments)

We know pollution from coal power is killing people, we know coal mines are killing people, yet those same anti-nuke guys rarely call for closing coal power plants when they call for closing nuclear power plants.

You're arguing against a straw man here.

The nuclear-power opponents in Europe are all but unanimous about a proper replacement of these power plants. Some call for 'alternative' energies, like wind, water, solar and organic, others call for gas or coal.

I wish coal power killing people was just a strawman, cuz then those people won't be dead. Unfortunately, your reply illustrated some of the problems I just mentioned.

"Call for" is the operative word here, because calling for a magic pony won't make it true, any more than "calling for" alternative energies like "wind, water, solar and organic" would make them suddenly economical *and* scalable to be a realistic alternative to coal.

Gas, while may be feasible in replacing coal, is unfortunately not economical. If it were, we wouldn't have so many power plants burning coal right now. Even many first world countries (i.e. the richest and thus most likely to be able to afford it) cannot afford to replace ALL coal power plants with gas plants, what hope is there for developing countries like China or India?

So when you "call for" using those other alternative power sources while clamoring to close a nuclear plant, you are, for all practical purposes, asking for using coal power to replace nuclear.

If the anti-nuke crowd is really serious about the alternatives to coal, they should be yelling for *building* the alternative power sources rather than *closing* down the nuke plants, cuz if the alternatives really work, flooding the power market with power from alternative sources would make nuke plants *and* coal plants no longer economical and people will shut it down without any demonstrations. But of course this is not happening.

about 3 months ago
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EU May Allow Members Home Rule On GMO Foods

khchung Re:The science behind GMOs show they are safe. (272 comments)

If you want to scrutinize GMO you should be for scrutinizing all food. I don't care if you use genetic engineering, traditional cross breading, organic radiation mutation or organic chemical mutation they should ALL be checked. However saying that only the genetic engineering approach should face higher scrutiny is idiotic.

I found this to be a very easy indicator to find out if I am talking to someone with real science knowledge, or someone who just sprout anti-whatever nonsense.

Those who are anti-GMO and anti-nuclear power share a common problem, they usually refuse to apply the same safety yardstick to the currently in-use alternatives. "Proven safe" is the term you often heard from these guys, yet is *anything* ever "proven safe"?

We know pollution from coal power is killing people, we know coal mines are killing people, yet those same anti-nuke guys rarely call for closing coal power plants when they call for closing nuclear power plants.

We know chemical pesticides are harmful, we know people have been using even less controllable approaches to alter the genes of plants (chemical or radiation), we know people are starving to death because they don't have crops that grow well in their region, and we know most staple food we eat every day come from plants that are already hugely modified from its natural ancestors. Yet anti-GMO crowd sweep all these under the rug when clamoring against GMO crops, calling for them to banned until "proven safe".

Claiming the splicing in genes is more dangerous than radiation is akin to saying modifying a program by replacing a subroutine with one from another program is more dangerous than randomly flipping bytes everywhere in the program binary. It can only sound plausible if you assumed the person doing to splicing is intending on doing harm.

about 3 months ago
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OpenXcom 1.0 Released

khchung Re:A totally different game (50 comments)

I tried Firaxis's XCOM as soon as I could, seeking the flexibility of the first two games; the devilish plays you could pull when in a tight spot (prime alien grenade - toss at buddy - buddy picks it up - buddy lobs at alien), shooting or running as your speed (TUs per turn) allowed, switching equipment on the field, breaching walls for your teammates... all were fond memories worthy of revisiting with a modern engine.

The first cinematic of the landing scene gave me a huge grin, and it was mostly disappointing from then on. Its walk-shoot-shoot; you die with the gear you brought; you can't shoot at walls because they've done nothing to you. I played four missions and didn't get to experiment with classes or see whether you could ever learn Mind Control.

My hopes are now on UFO: Alien Invasion. Bit rough around the edges but coming along nicely. If you share my feelings, give it a go.

Agree with you on all points, and I will add one game-breaker I gleaned after completing the game a few times, for all the great promise of the new XCom game, this is the killer that made me stop playing it -- the AI cheats.

That's right, it cheats. Not in the strategy game purest sense of cheating like it knows the position and gears of my team before they can see them (it does), but in the much more serious way as teleporting its units, literally, behind your back. So you can have your units partition the map into two, heard enemies on the left half in one turn, and sudden have then appear on the right the next turn!

Higher level snipers can get a motion sensor that reveals enemies, and the game is bugged in that it considered enemies revealed by motion sensor as still hidden. So you will get to see how the AI moves (i.e. teleports) those units to ALWAYS JUST out of sight of your units!

So instead of the strategic thinking the original XCom encourages, the new XCom just have one way to play without having your squad getting killed, which is to prepare and respond to having enemies popping up from any direction, even from parts of the map which you have cleared already!

P.S. Mind Control, don't even bother. You only get to control the alien for a few turns, not enough to make a real difference. The option of keeping one or two mind controllers in the team sitting at the starting location and just control aliens as they were spotted and use them is no longer viable. Since you cannot drop equipment now, mind controlling one to have it disarm itself is also not possible. Dropping a grenade on itself is the most useful thing you can do.

about 3 months ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

khchung Re:You make it... (519 comments)

The issue isn't that teachers don't want to be assessed (at least not for most of them). It is that they don't want to be assessed using shitty metrics.

Things are getting somewhat better because states are moving towards growth models that look at a student's net improvement rather than just measuring them to a flat standard. So you are expected to make student improve, but not expected to make them all model students regardless of their starting point.

So problem solved, right? Let's have the teacher's union promote the use of this metric!

The other issue is with standardized testing. The only thing it really measures is how good students are at taking standardized tests. This has perhaps some connection to "intelligence" or "knowledge" or whatever the hell it is we're trying to produce through the education system, but the thing is we don't really know what it is we're trying to produce, much less measure.

Everyone like to parrot this, but the fact is basically every university looks at SAT scores as a major factor (not only, but still major) in deciding which student to accept. Unless you are going to claim that all universities are crazy, it IS a strong indicator that YES, standardized tests IS A USEFUL MEASURE of a student's ability (not to claim it is the ONLY measure, but a USEFUL measure nonetheless).

Furthermore, even if you insist that whatever a standardize test measure is still useless, you cannot dispute the fact that a good score WILL help the student in getting into the university he/she wants to, which itself is of great use.

Seriously, intelligence, knowledge and education are not well defined concepts, and attempts to quantify them as a single number are misguided. There's been some effort in these areas recently, but it is rather backwards that we've started out by attaching nationwide policy and billions of dollars to these things before we even have any idea of what exactly they measure, how reliable they are, and what the issues are with them. Trying to base your entire assessment of performance on a concept that is not well defined, much less measured, is a good way to irritate your employees, and teachers are right to bitch about this being a stupid form of assessment.

So because we don't fully understand a thing, we should even TRY to measure it?

Well, politics is also a very ill defined concept, yet it doesn't stop people quantifying them as a single number (number of votes) and hold elections to decide who gets to be the POTUS. By your logic, we should just do away with election and have a tenure for POTUS.

 

You wouldn't blame an IT person who complains that their only metric is number of tickets closed, when that has no bearing on whether the problem was actually solved correctly, thoroughly, or at all.

That IT person can complain all he wants, and is free to leave for another job. Yet you wouldn't say that because a shitty metric
is used, that IT person should have a lifelong tenure at this job, would you?

This isn't a question of whether teachers should be assessed. It is a question of how they should be assessed, and measuring all students from all regions against an arbitrary, fixed standard is a piss-poor way to do it that has little bearing on whether a teacher is good or not.

Yet in the discussion here, you only see the argument for NOT doing assessment at all because the metric is shitty, but you rarely see any counter-proposal for a non-shitty metric. Just coincidence? I think not.

about 3 months ago
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Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

khchung Re:You make it... (519 comments)

"Almost EVERY SINGLE JOB IN THE WORLD IS LIKE THAT, it must be news to teachers who never worked other jobs.

Every salesperson in a store can only work with customers that come in the store. Every bank teller can only work with customers coming into the branch. Every programmer can only work on projects they were assigned to. etc, etc.

That doesn't stop all other professions' performance from being assessed."

The thing you fail to acknowledge is, the bank teller and salesperson and programmer all work for entities who are in business for one reason and one reason only: to make money. If they have no customers, they are not going to waste time assessing the clerks, they're either going to do something to get paying customers or they'll go out of business.

You tried to use "make money" as a bad thing to try to confuse the issue, but the core issue is that performance assessment CAN BE DONE in spite of all the excuses, and it can be made very clear if we just change a few words:

the bank teller and salesperson and programmer all work for entities who are in business for one reason and one reason only: to fulfill the objective of the organization. If the organization cannot achieve the objectives, they are not going to waste time assessing the clerks, they're either going to do something to achieve the objectives or they'll go out of business.

And surprise, surprise! A school has the objective of educating the students, and schools that cannot do that deserve to be closed down just the same. And teachers who failed at educating students deserved to be fired just like a salesperson who cannot make a sale.

about 3 months ago

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Port mapping in Planet VRT-311S router

khchung khchung writes  |  about 9 years ago

I bought a Planet VRT-311S router a while ago, and it took me some time to get the port mapping configured properly to make Azureus working properly.

The port mapping setting is not intuitive, there is no "port mapping" option in the admin manual. The "Virtual Server" option only has a few applications listed with no button to add new services.

I am writing this down in case I need to do this again. If anyone know an easier way, please let me know. This only works for fixed IP PCs on the lan.

The way to do it is through the "Firewall Rules" option. But first, you have to add the ports to the Security--Services option. Open the Security dropdown and select the Services option, enter the name such as "BT", select Type as "TCP/UDP", enter 6881 in both Start Port and Finish Port, click "Add".

Then go to the "Firewall Rules", select "WAN=>LAN", click "Add". Give a name like "BT", Source IP is "Any", Dest IP as "Single address", enter the client PC's internal IP (e.g. 192.168.0.10), Service is "BT (TCP/UDP:6881)", Action is "Forward" then click "Save".

Now, strangely, the "BT" service will appear in the "Virtual Servers" as "*BT", and correctly mapped to the designated PC.

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