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Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

sjames Re:Double Irish? TAX ALL FOREIGNERS!!! (495 comments)

Except that it is much easier for a corporation to make profits disappear overseas on paper than it is for an individual. I cannot open a "Me Inc." in Ireland and pay Me 90% of my income as a licensing fee on me, the trademark and then deduct it from my taxes here.

21 minutes ago
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Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas

sjames Re:Double Irish (495 comments)

They will do no such thing. The last thing they want is for the U.S. to reverse position on intellectual property and drive a worldwide shortening of copyright and broadening of fair use.

1 hour ago
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Comcast Employees Change Customer Names To 'Dummy' and Other Insults

sjames Re:As someone who used to do support for Comcast (241 comments)

At least one of the customers that got called asshole did nothing more than insist on cancelling a premium option on their cable service. Her 'offense' was actually wanting the option cancelled.

As for the rest, for better or worse, these people are the only people reachable and so their job is to listen to the complaints. I do try to avoid screaming, but when I tell you there is no signal on the line at all anywhere on my street, I do not want to hear "reboot your computer" or I can't ping your modem, please be home between Monday and Thursday of next week so I can send someone who doesn't have any equipment to fix the actual problem (yes, paraphrased). Of course you can't ping my modem, your network is down. Apparently they haven't been provided any training at all and can't even look up other customers in my neighborhood so they can try pinging their modems.

Yes, it's the management's fault that they don't even have that very basic knowledge and necessary tools, but since they can't or won't put a manager on the phone (probably a matter of policy), all I can do is ask them to take dictation into a note on the account.

"Human Shield" has never been a pleasant job title, but it's the one that fits their role in the company more often than not.

yesterday
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Comcast Employees Change Customer Names To 'Dummy' and Other Insults

sjames Re:w***e ? (241 comments)

Sure, some people who call for support are frustratingly inept or just act like assholes. I get that. Sure, a support person may feel a need to vent by the water cooler. Fine and dandy.

But, these support assholes are changing the customer name in the database such that the bills go out addressing customers as "asshole" or "whore". That is beyond unprofessional. Perhaps their paychecks should be made out to "dumbass", or "fuck head". Fair's fair.

yesterday
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Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

sjames Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (420 comments)

It is possible to do it proportionally. For example, just replace some of the income tax with the gas tax. The thresholds for income tax could even be adjusted so that the EIC pays for the gas tax for the poor. You could tax based on octane rating as well. Few poor people drive cars that need premium gas.

yesterday
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US Wireless Spectrum Auction Raises $44.9 Billion

sjames Re:It's a regressive tax. (90 comments)

Back then, potential employers understood that they would need to call early or late and probably leave a message. Or, they might, God forbid, decide to hire you on the spot. Now, you answer the phone when they call or they move on.

2 days ago
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Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

sjames Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (420 comments)

How about replace income tax with a gasoline tax that costs about as much on average?

2 days ago
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Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

sjames Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (420 comments)

If a vehicle is on the road in poor repair, there's a decent chance it's because the owner can't afford to fix it and needs to get to work.

2 days ago
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Reverse Engineering the Nike+ FuelBand's Communications Protocol

sjames Re:screw fitness bands. (78 comments)

Keep in mind that the better insurance gets at assessing risk, the less value it has.At some point they get the risk pinned down with sufficient accuracy that you come out better by putting the premiums into a savings account until needed.

Of course the root problem is mistaking insurance for a solution to outrageously overpriced healthcare.

2 days ago
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'Anonymized' Credit Card Data Not So Anonymous, MIT Study Shows

sjames Re:Regular users only (96 comments)

Actually, whenever they agree to not charge the customer, the bank charges it back. I know small merchants that have had it happen in spite of following all of the procedures as required.

2 days ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

sjames Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (820 comments)

Then, one day you get distracted and don't see or hear the car backing out and CRUNCH! You become the one with the handicap.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

sjames Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

The sabotage here was more intense and without consequence. Also, any ticket involving a competing DSL service went to the very bottom priority every time. It could literally take a month to get a plug inserted into an adjacent jack. It would, of course get 'accidentally' unplugged a week later and take another month to get plugged back in.

Then, as you said, they got rid of it.

2 days ago
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'Anonymized' Credit Card Data Not So Anonymous, MIT Study Shows

sjames Re:Regular users only (96 comments)

Actually, many businesses had a credit surcharge for a while. Then the credit cards added a no surcharge clause to the merchant contracts. So they hiked their prices and offered a cash discount. Then the credit cards added a no cash discount clause.

Yes, services cost money. That's no excuse for hiding how much it costs and forcing it to be paid for by people not using the service (for example, everyone that pays cash).

Many merchants prefer cash because cash can't be charged back after the fact. For example, if the card turns out to be stolen but not yet reported or the customer files a false claim.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

sjames Re:Government Intervention (475 comments)

Please don't trot that old nag out again. Major metro areas with much greater population density also have crappy service.

2 days ago
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Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

sjames Re:Jealous much? (423 comments)

WITH a warrant, a pentrace is still available. That is, who did this phone call and where was it at the time. But note they're not complaining about phones that encrypt voice communication. Neither Google nor Apple are proposing to do that. They're complaining that they can't read your address book or paw through your email and photos. They're complaining that your papers might be secured nearly as well as Capone's (but not quite as well unless you have a tommy gun).

The thing is, most crimes eventually come down to some sort of physical activity somewhere that can be observed or to money moving from one place to another which can be traced (yes, including bitcoin).

3 days ago
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Brain Implants Get Brainier

sjames Re:Entering? Cyborgs? (49 comments)

Modern pacemakers are exactly that. They can detect when they need to pace and how much and can also act as internal defibrillators.

3 days ago
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Scientists Discover How To Track Natural Errors In DNA Replication

sjames Re:Problem for Evolution (19 comments)

The part you're missing is selection. The harmful mutations either fail to reproduce altogether or they reproduce at a lower rate than the good ones. Actual experiments show that you can actually randomly mutate a program and if you have a good selection function, you can actually evolve new functionality.

The catch is that the evolution tends to 'find' really odd solutions.

3 days ago
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Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

sjames Re:Jealous much? (423 comments)

I argue that they don't need it. They need it the way a 5 year old will claim that chocolate deficiency is an actual medical problem.

I could use a Ferrari but the price is too high. They could use the ability to snoop into people's phones and PCs but the price is too high.

Like your DUI analogy, we tried the ignition interlock, but they hot wired it and got another DUI. Now they will have to walk (get it? LEGWORK!). Back in the before time, they brought down notorious mobsters and bank robbers by pounding the pavement. Ness didn't hack Capone's PC. Capone kept his books locked in a safe in his office The office was guarded by men with Tommy guns. Many crooks kept the real books in code.

4 days ago
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Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

sjames Re:Jealous much? (423 comments)

They were allowed to borrow the family car on weekends. Then one night Dad saw them drag racing and trenching yards in the family car. Now they are not allowed to borrow the family car.

This is just them whining that they can't go to work now (if they had a job, that is) or the library to study (The 4 Ds on the report card suggest that wasn't likely to happen anyway).

Perhaps one day, when they are behaving responsibly and have built up trust again, they might occasionally be allowed to borrow the car again, but they will be checked up on and it won't be this year.

4 days ago

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