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Comments

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Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'

mrchaotica Re:Shame this happened (130 comments)

What really should have happened is that all his Monsanto-using neighbors should have gotten in trouble for allowing their seeds to escape. Since they were the ones who were parties to the agreement with Monsanto, they were the ones who broke that agreement.

Of course, Monsanto suing its own customers would be bad for business, so it went after the innocent third-party instead...

yesterday
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I expect to retire ...

mrchaotica Re:how many of these people don't want to retire? (222 comments)

Wow, what's your occupation? Even being a software developer, my budget and retirement asset numbers are almost exactly an order of magnitude lower than yours...

yesterday
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I expect to retire ...

mrchaotica Re:It's about spending, not income (222 comments)

How long it takes you to retire is a function of only one variable under your control

You mean 2 variables: savings rate and asset allocation. If you want a 50% savings rate to get you retired in 7-8 years, [most of] that money needs to be in the stock market or a real estate portfolio, not under your mattress.

yesterday
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I expect to retire ...

mrchaotica Re:Planned on 65, but.... (222 comments)

Loss of a lot in the 401k in 2008

The only people who lost money in 2008 were the people who did something stupid with it (i.e. who pulled out of the market and locked in their losses). Everybody who stayed the course made all their money back a couple of years ago, and is now way ahead.

yesterday
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I expect to retire ...

mrchaotica Re:For all the 20-somethings... (222 comments)

What does "social security" have to do with anything? I'm a "20-something" and plan on retiring 10-15 years from now on just the assets I save myself. If I eventually get social security, well that's just a bonus.

(The hard part is not the lack of social security; the hard part is the shitty job market. Since my wife and I graduated college 5 years ago, at least one of us has been unemployed at almost any given time. We've learned to live on less than a third of our fully-employed income -- which is coincidentally why we'd be able to retire so quickly if we remain fully employed!)

yesterday
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I expect to retire ...

mrchaotica Re:Too poor (222 comments)

she gets $1600 before taxes.. After taxes, she is at $1100 a month

Bullshit. Even assuming the worst-case scenario (that all of her income is taxable, which if it's Social Security and a pension then it almost certainly isn't), an Adjusted Gross Income of $1600 * 12 = $19200 means her taxable income would be $19,200 - $6100 (standard deduction) - $3900 (one exemption) = $9200. The federal income tax on $9200 is $930, which means her real after-tax monthly income would be $1522. (And before you say "what about state income tax," remember the example is in Texas where there isn't any.)

As for the rest of it, $1522 - $600 - $400 = $522 for food, telephone and car which (given that she's not racking up a bunch of miles commuting) is plenty.

FYI, it's possible to live well surprisingly cheaply in the US. My average spending over the last year has been ~$1700/month, and that's for 2 people living in a 3-bedroom house in a nice, walkable neighborhood about 3 miles from the center of a major city.

yesterday
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Steam's Most Popular Games

mrchaotica Re:Some error on unplayed games (117 comments)

"Lost Coast" is a tech demo for HDR lighting, not an expansion. I'm pretty sure you don't have to own HL2 to play it.

2 days ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

mrchaotica Re:Simple problem, simple solution (356 comments)

Parking meters still impose a cost on the preexisting residents and are not a wholly entrepreneurial solution since they require cooperation from the city.

Parking permits could work if they are granted in perpetuity to whoever currently resides in the preexisting residences, but a) somebody still has to pay for enforcement, b) I've never heard of a parking permit system that actually worked that way, and c) it is also a government, rather than entrepreneurial, solution.

Besides, why solve the problem in a way that must be managed in perpetuity when you can solve it once and for all by just making the developer build enough parking in the first place?

(By the way, I'd like you to know that I'm not making these arguments because I'm a fan of automobile-centric development -- quite the contrary! Rather, I merely take issue with the idea of letting the developer do whatever is "fiscally optimal" for himself without considering the rest of the community that would be impacted by the result.)

2 days ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

mrchaotica Re:Simple problem, simple solution (356 comments)

they put all their offices in the middle of major urban areas

It's not even just that! I'd happily commute to Google's office in the middle of the major urban area I already live in, but (as far as I can tell) their office here does only operations, not development.

2 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

mrchaotica Re:Militia, then vs now (1569 comments)

What nonsense. The Constitution does not legitimize sedition.

Bullshit. Laws which prohibit sedition are unconstitutional. Wikipedia quotes several Supreme Court cases:

In the seminal free speech case of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the Court declared, "Although the Sedition Act was never tested in this Court, the attack upon its validity has carried the day in the court of history." 376 U.S. 254, 276 (1964). In a concurring opinion in Watts v. United States, which involved an alleged threat against President Lyndon Johnson, William O. Douglas noted, "The Alien and Sedition Laws constituted one of our sorriest chapters; and I had thought we had done with them forever ... Suppression of speech as an effective police measure is an old, old device, outlawed by our Constitution."

2 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

mrchaotica Re:Militia, then vs now (1569 comments)

When the constitution was ratified, the militia was the only defense that the United States had, and all able bodied men were expected to be ready to serve.

On April 16, 2014, the militia is still the last defense that the people of the United States have against tyranny perpetrated against them by their government.

2 days ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

mrchaotica Re:Simple problem, simple solution (356 comments)

Your example is irrelevant because:

  1. 1. We're talking about a chronic, ongoing issue, not a special-event-one-day-per-year one.
  2. 2. If homeowners let people park on their laws every day, it would kill their grass
  3. 3. Such a thing can't happen anyway, because dense parts of San Francisco like we're talking about here don't have lawns big enough to park on.
  4. 4. Even if such a solution were physically possible, it would certainly violate San Francisco ordinances (zoning code etc.).

More to the point, the fundamental problem here is that street parking (which is what you end up with without forcing the developer to build more via regulation) is a commons, and no private actor (entrepreneur or otherwise) is capable of "fixing the problem."

2 days ago
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

mrchaotica Re:Simple problem, simple solution (356 comments)

("Fiscally optimal" meaning the amount where the marginal cost of building another parking space (MC) equals the marginal revenue from building it (MR).)

Surely that calculation would include the externalized cost of more competition for on-street parking the developer would be imposing on the neighbors... right?

Yeah, I thought not.

2 days ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

mrchaotica Re:Greedy bastards ... (415 comments)

First: No, I don't think political parties should be protected by the First Amendment if they are organized as limited-liability corporations (C-corps, S-corps, LLCs, etc. -- unencorporated partnerships, on the other hand, are just fine).

Second: Political parties are, in general, a cancer and government recognition of them should be abolished. Closed primaries, faction-based voting and Gerrymandering are all violations of democratic principles caused by the existence of political parties, and the extremism & gridlock in Congress is an excellent example of the harm that results.

Third: Nothing I've said would in any way whatsoever harm like-minded people's ability to get together and advocate some political ideology. Said group neither needs nor deserves special recognition under the law that is not afforded to individuals, however!

3 days ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

mrchaotica Re:Greedy bastards ... (415 comments)

No, I'm big on that too. It's just that "peaceably assembl[ing]" and "combining assets while being shielded from public scrutiny and any liability" are not (or at least, should not be) the same thing.

3 days ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

mrchaotica Re:Greedy bastards ... (415 comments)

Should groups of humans be able to exercise free speech rights?

No. If several humans happen to want to say the same thing, they can each say it separately.

3 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

mrchaotica Re:base it around my OS (385 comments)

Now, missing a deduction or forgetting to include income is a completely different thing. However, you should print out your 1040 at the end anyway and check through it for just those kind of issues.

Exactly - and there's no real way to understand which deductions you might be eligible for without going through the instructions yourself. Otherwise you get to (for example) Line 50 and say "retirement savings credit? what's that?" and then have to go read the instructions anyway.

Not to mention H&R Block made me pick between married/joint or married/separate at the beginning of the process, whereas when I did the calculations with a spreadsheet I could just change that input and see my tax calculated both ways (because either could be better depending on circumstances). H&R Block was able to figure out whether I should take the standard deduction or not; it should have been able to do the same for filing status.

3 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

mrchaotica Re:Effective Tax Rate (385 comments)

My effective tax rate was about 1%. It would have been more like 10%, but the Saver's Credit canceled out my entire liability except for the Self-Employment tax. But the best part is that means I got some Roth IRA contributions in that are completely tax-free instead of having only tax-free gains.

If I'm really lucky -- if all my (and my wife's) income is W-2 and and I'm able to keep the AGI low enough through retirement contributions -- then I might get to 0% in 2014!

3 days ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

mrchaotica Re:Paper and US Postal Service (385 comments)

I had a (full) 1040, Schedule C-EZ, Schedule SE, Form 8880, and a Schedule A (that I ended up not using because the standard deduction ended up higher) and it wasn't that big a deal to do the calculations by spreadsheet. Granted, I'm not running a business that has employees or inventory and I don't have rental property (yet), but as long as I have experience doing my simpler taxes in previous years I see no reason why I can't learn to do the more complicated ones as the issues arise.

3 days ago

Submissions

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Linux-friendly and Internet-enabled HDTVs?

mrchaotica mrchaotica writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mrchaotica (681592) writes "I'm in the market for a new HDTV (in the $1200-or-slightly-more range, as I won the extended-service-plan lottery and have a Sears store credit). Several of the TVs I've looked at have various "Internet TV" features (here are Samsung's and Panasonic's). Some manufacturers appear to be rolling their own, while others are partnering with Yahoo (maybe in an attempt to create a "standard?"). Moreover, these TVs also tend to run Linux under the hood (although their GPL compliance, such as in Panasonic's case, may leave something to be desired). Finally, it's easy to imagine these TVs being able to support video streaming services (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) without a set-top box, but I don't know the extent to which that support actually exists.

Anyway, here are my questions:
  1. Is this "Internet TV" thing going to be a big deal going forward, or just a gimmick?
  2. Which manufacturers are most [open standard|Linux|hacker]-friendly?
  3. Which TV models have the best support (or best potential and community backing) for this sort of thing?

Thanks for your insight!"

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