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Comments

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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

quantaman Re:Why does business exist? (223 comments)

Fundamental question with what should be a simple answer. We pursue enterprise to benefit ourselves and profit. Not to serve as revenue generator to the state. The state is supposed to serve the people; not the other way around, but we keep coming around and forgetting the lessons of history and the basic nature of man.

If the state were not exceeding its mandate to serve the people, taxes would be acceptable and nobody would put that much effort into avoiding them because their result would continue to appeal to our interests. But there's never enough money for the state to be all the things it is promising to be, so the states are inventing structures for self-preservation of systems fundamentally doomed to fail.

Fine we implement your libertarian paradise and taxes drop drastically.

You've done nothing to fix this problem because you misunderstood it.

Corporations don't avoid taxes because they're too high, they do it because it's profitable. Corporations compete by competing at the margins, if a competitor in your libertarian paradise goes from a very low tax rate to a slightly lower tax rate then you'll have to follow otherwise you'll be at a competitive disadvantage. If you are a libertarian this shouldn't be a surprise but gospel. The essence of libertarianism is people acting as rational self-actors, so why would you expect corportations to leave free money on the table just because the pile is a bit smaller?

7 hours ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:Lets not forget (580 comments)

That is one of the most idiotic replies I have ever received. You sir are trolling, and inventing statements never made to troll with.

I'll admit I should have granted more leniency because the OP mentioned Gore, and as such was already political. But you still took the opportunity to take a shot at Obama and talk about Agenda 21 and I don't see why were either of those were relevant. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with talking about either in general, but when you take a comment with political content and respond by injecting additional political commentary it suggests you're more interested in the politics than the science.

yesterday
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:Lets not forget (580 comments)

Why do I get the feeling your opinions are driven by partisanship instead of science and economics?

Probably because instead of asking for my opinion you provide your own. You can read my post history, I'm anything but partisan on just about every subject. False dilemmas don't really address problems, they merely cover them up.

I wasn't projecting anything. You may not be partisan in the sense of Republican/Democrat but the fact your comment grinds unrelated policial axes suggests that ideology is very present, at least in the context of that comment.

yesterday
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:Some thoughts (580 comments)

The point is that less ice in Antarctica was bad because it would contribute to sea levels rising. If global warming is helping reduce sea levels, then this is a good thing, right? (Yes, I know thermal expansion probably is the main driver, so it's still probably going to be a net "bad.")

Sea ice is irrelevant to sea levels.

Land ice matters for sea levels, and the land ice is shrinking.

yesterday
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:Lets not forget (580 comments)

Only four sentences and you find time to take unrelated shots at Obama and the UN (Agenda 21).

Why do I get the feeling your opinions are driven by partisanship instead of science and economics?

yesterday
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

quantaman Re:It's getting hotter still! (580 comments)

Well given that 5 years ago Al Gore said in 5 years time the Arctic will be completely ice free and it's completely covered in ice still, I would say they have a point. Back to the drawing board with the models at least. If there is one. Which I doubt.

Why are you talking about the Arctic in an article about the Antarctic?

Furthermore why are you talking about Al Gore and models? Sure Gore is somewhat important in his role as an advocate, but Al Gore saying something wrong doesn't mean the models are wrong, it's means Al Gore is a politician who doesn't know the science. I'm not up to date on the models but I never got the impression that an ice free artic in this timeframe was the consensus of the scientists (sure, some thought it could happen, but that's not the same thing).

Btw, on that topic the Arctic ice is still shrinking.

yesterday
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Northwest Passage Exploration Ship Found

quantaman Re:Shipping Claims (80 comments)

The real thing to take out of this article is the political angle: Canada funded the expedition in the hopes it somehow gives more weight to their claims over the shipping lanes invariably opening up as the arctic ice cap disappears.

A process only aided by the Conservatives extreme reluctance to do anything about global warming. It's actually kinda brilliant.

Step 1) Deny climate change

Step 2) Northwest passage opens up

Step 3) Profit!!!

about a week ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman Re:An American's opinion (184 comments)

Nm, I did specify 'we' when referring to Canada so you're likely referring to the US. Which would be odd because unlike Lithuania or Kyrgyzstan the one thing you can be assured of is everyone does know a ton about your country.

about a week ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman Re:An American's opinion (184 comments)

Not to sound harsh, but you're a raving jackass who doesn't know anything about my country, and I'm quite happy you'd never live here.

Not to sound confused, but which country are you talking about?

about a week ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman Re:A tepid defence (184 comments)

True but that's the case for any kind of business with international customers.

That's actually got me wondering why politicians always talk about job creation when selling film and television subsidies since the underlying economics are so dodgy. It seems the true reason for subsidies is the cultural benefit from having a healthy film industry.

about a week ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman Re:An American's opinion (184 comments)

Not to sound harsh, but Canada is a shithole and I would move to North Korea before I'd consider going up north.

Some people think Canadians are extraordinarily nice for how we deal with people like this, the truth is we simply have different ways of dealing with problems.

Consider the topic of justice and how to deal with bad people. The US is big into angry retributions and capital punishment, making sure people are punished harshly and everybody knows it.

Canada on the other hand simply tries to put bad people in a place where they don't bother anyone, and when someone does have to be punished we don't talk about it as much. In fact we're big believers in rehabilitation. Quite often we'll give the guilty something they really really want, hoping that in time they'll realize how terrible it is and discover the error of their ways.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I understand your anger and I'm sorry, we both know the US has been responsible for some terrible things, global warming, the Iraq War, NSA spying, etc, the list goes on for a while.

But sending Justin Beiber was definitely overkill.

about a week ago
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Ontario Government Wants To Regulate the Internet

quantaman A tepid defence (184 comments)

I think regulating Google and Netflix is a really bad idea but I think there's a defensible motive in trying to promote Canadian content and defend Canadian content providers.

I'm not sure Americans really understand what it's like for smaller countries who lack the population or money to compete with American media productions. People get so much culture from television that it's hard to maintain a national identity when there's a US megaphone next door that dominates mass media. In some ways a well functioning film industry is as important as a military. Just look at what's happening in Ukraine, the rebellion is most certainly not fuelled by East Ukrainians, however it would be hard for Russia to do what it's doing without the support of an East Ukrainian minority who feels closer to Russia and is scared by Kiev. Almost certainly Russia's game would be much more difficult if Ukraine had a mass media strong enough to forge a strong national identity in East Ukraine.

That being said I'm not sure how this works on the Internet, but smaller countries do have a reason to worry about getting swamped by culture from American websites.

about a week ago
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Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

quantaman Re:Voliunteer workers for the IRS? (246 comments)

Any "for profit" business has the responsibility to maximize profits for the sake of its continued existence and growth, and as a duty to its stockholders if it was publicly held. Therefore, it would be irresponsible of it NOT to take advantage of legal tax loopholes or tactics to minimize costs.

There's lots of unethical practices that corporations avoid as a matter of good PR.

Imagine if exploiting tax loopholes was so socially unacceptable that corporations lost more money than they'd make through lost sales.

The crux of the problem here is the way the laws are written, so only your legislators can correct it.

Partly, but there's also a possibility that the legislation is fairly well written and closing these loopholes would cause even more serious problems.

There's also the possibility that the legislation is terribly written, and by choosing a well defined high profile target (Microsoft) they can create enough political will to fix the legislation.

about two weeks ago
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Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

quantaman Re:actually it is quite clear, but who RTFAs? (246 comments)

However the point is that Microsoft is a victim of unconstitutional, illegal government system that usurped power and is stealing people's money. Income taxes are illegal and are collected illegally for a wide range of reasons.

Yeah, I read some of the post you linked.

So you seem to think that the 16th amendment only defines income in an incredibly narrow manner, granting the government very limited power to tax the income of corporations and none to tax individuals. You base this on your... creative interpretation of a 1921 supreme court ruling.

You're not alone in this interpretation, amazingly tax protesters have gone to the courts to make this argument many times, not so amazingly they have lost every single time.

Which begs the question. Assuming you are right, and the 1921 ruling didn't allow income tax, then you're still wrong. In the time since the courts have repeatedly ruled that income taxes are legal. Either the court rulings are legitimate, and income tax is allowed, or they're illegitimate, in which case you have no reason to cite the 1921 ruling. Hell, if you disregard the authority of the constitutionally authorized supreme court, who has rejected your interpretation by never even bothered to hear one of those lower court decisions, then I don't see how you can then claim to be so concerned about the wording of the 16th amendment.

about two weeks ago
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Survivors' Blood Holds Promise, But Draws Critics, As Ebola Treatment

quantaman Why just Ebola? (55 comments)

Couldn't this approach be used for any infectious disease for which there's no effective cure but there are some survivors? Are there just no Western diseases that fit the profile? I suppose you need both a person sick with a deadly infection and a recent survivor of a same infection (with the same blood type). So it may just be the case that we simply don't experience that scenario enough to develop this solution. But I'm curious if this approach has been used outside of Ebola in Africa.

about two weeks ago
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Survivors' Blood Holds Promise, But Draws Critics, As Ebola Treatment

quantaman Re:Dr. William Shaffner? (55 comments)

Completely offtopic but I suddenly want someone to make a movie about the making of the original Star Trek series just so they can cast this guy as Shatner.

about two weeks ago
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California Blue Whales Rebound From Whaling

quantaman Re:Dreadnoughtus schrani now the largest known din (91 comments)

The author of the summary is not up to date on the recent release of info on Dreadnoughtus schrani, now believed to be the largest creature to ever have walked on land.

Not quite

Note from the Dreadnoughtus article (emphasis added):
It is one of the largest of all known terrestrial vertebrates, possessing the greatest mass of any land animal that can be calculated with reasonable certainty

From the Argentinosaurus article it sounds like the estimates range from 60-90 tonnes, most likely the Argentinosaurus is heavier but we're more confident about the weight of the Dreadnoughtus.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

quantaman Re:This is also how Sarah Palin's email got "hacke (311 comments)

First of all, it doesn't have to random every time. I simply would be using answer that no one would associate with me but that I can remember. I already do that for car, street I was born on, mom's maiden name. I also add a number and special character to the answer. Is it fool proof? No, but better than using easily discovered real information. It's not that difficult and the point is to make it hard to find the answers via web searches, for example. Sure, making up your own questions would work but many sites do not let you do that.

Adding a special character sounds like a good idea, a simple permutation or rule you can remember across all accounts.

But remember for it to work you can't rely on yourself remembering the answer, you need to know it without remembering it's creation.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak

quantaman Re:This is also how Sarah Palin's email got "hacke (311 comments)

Remember 2008? Some random douche on 4chan just looked up her dog's name?

Security questions do not work for public figures. Almost none of them will hold up to people whose whole lives are pointlessly documented.

More to the point why does anybody use real information for security questions? As long as I can remember the answer the accuracy is irrelevant. Same with birthdays. If I decide some random date is my birthday it makes it a lot harder to guess.

So your solution for forgetting your password is another password?

The solution isn't random info. It's questions you create with personal information that is memorable enough that you're remember in an instance, but only you, or a very small handful of intimate people, would know. Ie, 'Who was that girl you had a really secret crush on in grade 10?"

The current suite of questions, mother's maiden name, cars, etc, is all information that's potentially communicated to casual friends, as such it can easily slip out into public knowledge.

The problem is there's only so many questions that fit that description, so instead of sharing passwords you end up sharing answers.

about two weeks ago
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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

quantaman Re:Wow (789 comments)

I thought we were through with all this by the turn of the century. And I mean you can say that he's bluffing but really, Putin's a psychopath. If you corner a genuine bona fide psycho they'll take you down with them if they can, and they don't need any 72 virgins as an excuse either. Even if he's not, he'll have to act like one - to lose face in his position would represent a fundamental weakening of power, he'd lose support overnight, be deposed and likely disposed of.

It would seem to me that western leaders have been caught with their pants well and truly around their ankles in this situation, I doubt they were expecting this kind of heavy handedness, er, ever again. So my guess is they'll back out and leet him have his way.

Being a psychopath doesn't mean he's suicidal, it just means he has no empathy.

Putin's a dictator, he sees Russia's triumph as his triumph and his legacy is tied to how Russia's views him. He has no interest in a nuclear war, and even if he did he lacks the North Korean personality cult that would allow him to carry out an attack.

I think the solution is simple. The West quietly says if you invade Russia is locked out of the world economy until Ukraine is peaceful and Crimea is returned. Do that and Putin will find a way out. The only problem here is convincing the various EU members to endure the potential gas shortage.

Barring that I think NATO has to step in. After the NATO summit Poroshenko should go back to Ukraine with a NATO treaty in hand.

The important thing to remember is Putin hasn't officially invaded, in fact he's done everything he can to maintain the lie Russia is uninvolved and has consistently done the minimal amount necessary to keep the rebels alive. He knows he needs an escape route because he's unwilling to risk open war.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Ogg/Linux Friendly Portable Music Players

quantaman quantaman writes  |  more than 6 years ago

quantaman (517394) writes "I'm looking for a good portable music player to use for runs to/from work. There are two absolute requirements 1) it will work under Linux, and 2) it can play ogg, also since it's for running I suspect a flash based player is highly advisable. I was wondering what has worked for other people with similar requirements?

For Linux I've heard that specific support isn't really necessary beyond it showing up as a USB drive, however the Linux category on the wikipedia comparison page must be referring to something. I've also heard advice like getting an iPod + Rockbox, however there are possible downsides with putting on a 3rd party OS (ie warranty issues, a UI not quite made for the hardware), as well I'd much rather support a company who supports ogg and Linux out of the box. One popular choice for ogg/Linux seems to be iRiver, however I don't know if this is the only choice and this page seems to suggest it's Linux and ogg support isn't that great after all.

As well there's also the criteria of durability, sound quality (do the different players have differences that people besides audiophiles would care about?), size, and cost.

I know slashdot has covered this subject in the past but I'm sure things have changed since 2002."

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