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Comments

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New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

sociocapitalist Re:A law for everything... (475 comments)

Ah, so this explains why Silicon Valley is located in France.

Seriously, if someone wants to work crazy hours, why not let them?

I had that phase in my career, and it paid off. I'm in a different phase now. I just choose not to work after hours. If my employer didn't like that, I'd have found a better job by now. Same thing for travel - I used to travel a ton. Now I don't want to, and so I found a place to work with no travel. I'm a grownup, I can take care of myself, thank-you-very-much.

The reason that that you have that choice not to work more hours is because of regulation protecting you.

If you don't believe that then go somewhere in the world where no such regulation exists and see how many jobs there are that let you work 'normal' hours.

5 days ago
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NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

sociocapitalist Re:Politcs vs. Science (291 comments)

Read the message from Strange Quark Star. He sums it up pretty nice! If you knew people from Crimea you wouldn't argue the results. The people from Crimea have felt oppressed by the Ukrainian system for many years and no hope in sight.

As for the election, there are no impartial observers in this election. The EU, US doesn't want to see Russia expand their land and Russia wants nothing more than an extra port to do business and conduct war from.

I'm not saying the Crimeans don't want to be Russian. I'm saying that the vote cannot be claimed to have been valid.

If you can't find impartial observers, then you can have both sides' observers with plenty of cameras showing real-time video of the goings-on.

The reality, of course, is that the country with the biggest balls is going to come out of this ahead and given that Putin has balls and Obama doesn't...

Guess we'll see what happens if Putin goes after Ukraine itself.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

sociocapitalist Re:Politcs vs. Science (291 comments)

Is it really more objectionable?

Maybe the news I'm seeing isn't accurate but it appears the majority of people currently "invaded" wants to join Russia. Hope is all those people want and joining a large world force/economy is something that can provide people with a better life. Especially considering that a large percentage of this population is of Russian background.

And how do you prove this?

The voting was not observed by impartial international witnesses and as such, must be called invalid.

I'm all for a real vote - but with impartial observers, not Russia chosen America hating nazis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

about two weeks ago
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NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

sociocapitalist Re:Politcs vs. Science (291 comments)

USA invaded Iraq and scared and killed thousands of people. Then it controlled its territory while people of Iraq went to polls to vote. The vote was considered democratic and the results were recognized.

Russia invaded Crimea in a peaceful way and didn't kill anybody. Then it controlled its territory while people of Crimea went to polls to vote. Despite numerous international observers and absence of any concerns from them, US doesn't want to recognize this vote.

Looks like hypocrisy and double-standards.

Russia chose the international observers that were allowed to attend.

"International observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) were prevented last week from entering Crimea. Pro-Russian forces fired warning shots in the air as the OSCE convoy approached a checkpoint leading from mainland Ukraine into the peninsula."
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-...

Those allowed by Russia to 'observe' are Anti-American far right nazis:
"Concerns have been raised about the objectivity of the international observers and the fact that the Eurasian Observatory for Democracy & Elections (EODE), the election monitoring organization, is a partisan institution, with ties to far-right and neo-nazi groups.[133][134] The mission leader Mateusz Piskorski is a well-known antisemite and admirer of Adolf Hitler,[135] and the EODE leader Luc Michel is an antisemite and neo-Nazi as well."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

Russia's actions in Crimea are just as wrong as America's actions in Iraq.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

sociocapitalist Re:Politcs vs. Science (291 comments)

This. NASA is not a political body and should not act like one.

If an anti-science President gets elected in 2016, will the world refuse to stop working with the USA? If they did, wouldn't we be upset?

Russia didn't refuse to work with the USA when America invaded Iraq, did they?

So scientists who didn't agree with, for example, Hitler's Nazi Germany should have continued to collaborate with German scientists just for the sake of science?

Anyone who doesn't agree should speak up and act out in whatever way they judge best.

about two weeks ago
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Contact Lenses With Infrared Vision?

sociocapitalist Re:Not practical as contact lenses (99 comments)

For videogames, what you need is X-ray vision. The ability to see the electric signals in the LCD gril before they hit the actual pixels will give you an advantage of several milliseconds compared to your opponents. The same principle applies to Monster cables' gold-plated, titanium-coated, oxygen-free optical cables which give you pure digital audio, free of data which are not zeros or ones.

Awesome - can I get x-ray hearing too to get that pure sound before it's deformed by the speakers and all the crap in my room?

about two weeks ago
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If Ridesharing Is Banned, What About Ride-Trading?

sociocapitalist Re:Free market (353 comments)

So much for free market economics and competition. I hate it when government goes to lengths like these as competition is good all around.

As long as the new services operate under the same constraints as taxi companies, I see no reason why they should't be allowed to operate since, as you say, that's a free market at work. But they shouldn't get to skip over all of the costs of business that taxi companies absorb -- things like driver background checks, driver training (in some cities), insurance requirements, car maintenance requirements, etc.

Why not?

At the end it's for the customer to decide if they want to take a risk on a rideshare (based on previous feedback perhaps).

No doubt the people making the rules are getting a kickback in some form or another from the existing businesses. Fuck 'em. Vote 'em out.

about two weeks ago
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5.1 Earthquake Hits California

sociocapitalist bah (114 comments)

Is this non-news really worth posting on /. ?

about two weeks ago
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AT&T Exec Calls Netflix "Arrogant" For Expecting Net Neutrality

sociocapitalist Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (466 comments)

On U.S. mobiles phones, interestingly, both sides pay.

On European mobile phones, on the other hand, only the caller pays, but they pay a non-neutral rate, which varies depending on the type of device the recipient has: calling mobile phones is more expensive (in some countries, much more expensive) than calling landlines.

Here in France it's normal to not pay anything beyond a fixed monthly fee to call fixed or mobile lines.

There is a provider here called 'Free' (http://mobile.free.fr/) who sells mobile service (no subscription required) for 20 euros a month that includes unlimited mobile calls to France, the US, Canada, China and a few other countries - and in the same 20 euros unlimited fixed line calls to 100 countries (no doubt including those already listed). Ah, and 20 gigs of 4G data as well, still in the same 20 euros.

about three weeks ago
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Cisco Plans $1B Investment In Cloud

sociocapitalist nice (61 comments)

Cisco aggressively offering cloud services themselves aught to go over well with all the customers of Cisco who currently offer cloud services.

about three weeks ago
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Kaspersky: Mt. Gox Data Archive Contains Bitcoin-Stealing Malware

sociocapitalist Re:Really? (169 comments)

lol...have you ever heard of FDIC? Consumer protections? None of these things apply to bicoin and never will. My bank can be vaporized out of existence and it wouldn't do shit to me.

Your bank probably got bailed out already and you probably helped pay for it so yes, it does shit to you. Probably not as much as if it failed directly (depending on your bank account balance at the time) but you were not unaffected.

about a month ago
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Mt. Gox Knew It Was Selling Phantom Bitcoin 2 Weeks Before Collapse

sociocapitalist Re:Bitcoin (263 comments)

Yeah, those fools should have definitely given their money to the pros.
You know what, that's too much sarcasm for me to fart out at once. This sounds essentially like the subprime mortgage crisis. And a lot of other banking crises. It doesn't seem totally insane to me to trust your friend Joe in a trailer over the banking industry: when he runs off with my money, at least he might go to jail rather than getting millions in rewards.

As much as people (including me) like to hate on banks, when was the last time you actually lost money? When was the last time you put money in a bank and they "lost" all or part of it? When was the last time you put money in a bank and lost all or part of it because the bank was robbed?

Have you completely forgotten about the recent bank losses and subsequent massive taxpayer theft to bail them out?

about a month ago
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Meat Makes Our Planet Thirsty

sociocapitalist Re:End farming subsidies (545 comments)

artificial market controls keep the price of meat low, so we consume excess amounts.
as the price rises, consumption will go down and the problem solves itself. meat will turn from main course to side dish real fast.

i never understood the fixation with 100% meat. meatloaf > pure beef. people were hyperventilating online when taco bell announced their "meat" was 40% meat.

So long as there are others elsewhere (Asia in this case) who are willing to pay for the meat or alfalfa or whatever it is, it will continue to be produced even if the locals don't consume it.

Seen more in poor countries producing food that their own people can't eat, it's interesting to see something similar happening to the US - if not to the same degree.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

sociocapitalist Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

For every dollar (or whatever) of loss for one person there is a dollar (or whatever) of gain for someone else. The lottery everyone loses but the state. Not the same.

The State is also part of the zero-sum game. And you're assuming that Bitcoin is tax free. There's still some uncertainty about which taxes Bitcoin qualifies for. But if Bitcoin ever became a significant currency, you can be sure it would be taxed just as much as the native currency.

Tax evasion might be easer with Bitcoin, but then that's just saving money by being a criminal.

I trade about 10 bitcoins and I'm making good money by buying on bad news and selling on good. It doesn't take anything other than that.

Which is exactly the thing people were saying in every rising stock market. It takes experiencing a crash or two before they realise it's a mirage.

I am not assuming it's tax free. Nothing is tax free. Even if it's not a currency and is considered an asset there would be capital gains....or a capital loss - again you have to look at both sides of this.

Now, with regard to legality, criminality and tax avoidance I ask you to consider if the average taxpayer who fails to report the odd bit of income is more or less immoral than the corporations who shift billions in revenue to tax havens to avoid paying anything. Completely legal, but arguably just as wrong.

I've come through the bitcoin crashes to date and I'm still saying it. Everything since the gold standard went away is a mirage. That dollar (or whatever) in your pocket is a mirage. Value is relative based on perception and bitcoin is as valuable as people think it is, the same as with anything else.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

sociocapitalist Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

The other side of the coin is that the people (typically geek cyrptocurrency early adopters, NOT rich people) that sold those bitcoins that people bought between $1000 and $800 made a profit.

Unless the bitcoins they bought were among the 750,000 that were stolen from Mt Gox.

The big losers at this point are people who left their bitcoins in an exchange that then disappeared

Yes, that would be a problem. So basically, keep your bitcoins in your mattress? I thought... well, never mind.

Sure - it's part of the risk of playing with a currency that is completely unregulated. Possibilities of huge profits vs. the risk of losing everything (assuming one wasn't smart enough or was too lazy to distribute the risk between multiple wallets/accounts/exchanges.

I keep my bitcoins distributed between online and offline wallets, with a bit in the exchange I use. I transfer when I want to sell and then I transfer after I buy.

The beauty of bitcoin is that while you have to trust no one, you can trust no one, minimize your risk and still have complete flexibility.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

sociocapitalist Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

The other side of the coin is that the people (typically geek cyrptocurrency early adopters, NOT rich people) that sold those bitcoins that people bought between $1000 and $800 made a profit.

And some people that buy lottery tickets win.

There is risk around bitcoins yes, but if you buy smart and sell smart you can make a high rate of return that can justify the risk.

The same lie by which most individuals trading on the stock market in the last couple of decades have lost money. Certainly now, when the banks have machines that are making profitable trades so quick, the speed of fibre-optic network links are the limiting factor, and insider trading is so widespread,
the individual is so disadvantaged, they can't hope to win, except by holding on to stocks an being lucky with them.

Bitcoins, with their disappearing and hacked wallets and exchanges are an even worse idea. They are destined to be yet another way by which the gullible are fleeced. And that's started already.

Comparing the lottery and trading currency or stock is invalid. For every dollar (or whatever) of loss for one person there is a dollar (or whatever) of gain for someone else. The lottery everyone loses but the state. Not the same.

Your outlook is way too negative. I trade about 10 bitcoins and I'm making good money by buying on bad news and selling on good. It doesn't take anything other than that.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

sociocapitalist Re:As Frontalot says (631 comments)

But that's the problem - Bitcoin isn't "real" money. If it were, there would be a huge number of regulations to follow, sinking it as an anonymous currency. However, if it isn't "real" currency, thefts and/or fraud will not be investigated by law enforcement agencies. So, pick what you want: An anonymous currency with no support of law enforcement, or a "real" currency where regulations such as requiring a photo ID to open an account apply.

Fraud is not limited only to currencies. Currently regulatory agencies are complaining about having to deal with bitcoin but at the end of the day if someone broke the law (i.e. closing the exchange and taking all the bitcoins) it would still be treated as theft, if nothing else, and those responsible would still have to face criminal charges.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

sociocapitalist Re: As Frontalot says (631 comments)

It's always amazing how blind people are to the US being anything but perfect.

1) The US dollar is, by far, not the most secure currency in the world.
http://content.time.com/time/b... (a bit dated but the reasoning is sound and is backed up by the next two links)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

2) The US is bankrupt with debt as a ridiculous amount and the situation is only getting worse as our politicians continue to spend what we just plain don't have to spend. There has been discussion of a US dollar default which, were it to happen, would completely devastate the value of the US dollar. That discussion will restart today which will most likely result in bitcoin (and other currencies) going up in relative value against the US dollar which will also drive it up in value against other currencies.
http://www.usdebtclock.org/
http://www.reuters.com/article...

I'm not saying bitcoin is safe. It's not - it's very risk compared to government backed currencies. But don't make the mistake of thinking the US dollar is as safe as you seem to think it is either. Default seems inevitable at some point in time as the US just keeps spending and spending and spending with no end in sight.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Retroactive Tax Law Changes by UK Govt

sociocapitalist sociocapitalist writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sociocapitalist writes "The BBC reports that "Barclays Bank has been ordered by the Treasury to pay half-a-billion pounds in tax which it had tried to avoid." which in and of itself seems fine but a couple of factors around it bother me.

Evidently there is a law in the UK requiring "Anyone, such as a bank, accountant, lawyer or tax adviser, who devises a seemingly legal tax avoidance plan, is obliged to tell the tax authorities about it within a few days of using it or marketing it to clients." which Barclays did and then the UK government wrote new law and applied it retroactively to close the loopholes.

While the law requiring disclosure of what would be legal tax avoidance strategies is interesting, the real shocker for me is that laws can be retroactively applied making what was legal when done illegal after the fact."

Link to Original Source
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The scandal of the Alabama poor cut off from water

sociocapitalist sociocapitalist writes  |  more than 2 years ago

sociocapitalist (2471722) writes "The BBC reports the ongoing situation in Jefferson County, Alabama where finance companies bribed politicians and a $300 million project ended up costing $3.1 billion bankrupting the county and leaving the poorest unable to pay their skyrocketing water/sewage bills.

Why the financiers were only fined and didn't go to jail, and why they should be subsequently allowed to profit on the situation is just another example of the imbalance in the US (and elsewhere)."

Link to Original Source

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