×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

stinerman Re:Who is doing this? (704 comments)

You will still pay those taxes, even if they are in Bitcoin, because the US courts will force you to, or they will throw you in jail for tax evasion..

This is about the only false part of your post. Taxes must be paid in legal tender, which Bitcoins are not. One must first convert them to dollars and then onward to the tax man.

about a month and a half ago
top

Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

stinerman Re:Who is doing this? (704 comments)

I would put it past them. This is incredibly small potatoes for them. I know a lot of the bitcoin apologists think they're doing something incredibly revolutionary. They aren't. Basic economics says this is bound to failure because there is a fixed amount of coins to be mined. That's a very bad feature of a currency (works great for an investment, though one will always need to find the next fool)

Maybe organized crime is involved or maybe a couple of 8th graders. I really don't know, nor do I care. I'm just basking in the shadenfreude at this point.

about a month and a half ago
top

MtGox Files For Bankruptcy Protection

stinerman Re:Ha ha (465 comments)

My toaster isn't worth as much as it was when I bought it, either.

Money is supposed to be a medium of exchange, not an investment. If you believe that a zero inflation rate is a good thing, I suggest you take an introductory course in economics.

about a month and a half ago
top

Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner

stinerman Re:Paul Krugman, 1998 (187 comments)

Yes. That is the kind of logic you get when you've been reading the website he's linking to.

about 2 months ago
top

Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner

stinerman Re:Ok (187 comments)

Not everwhere is there a monopoly. For instance where I live in Columbus, I can choose from Time Warner or WOW. If you or I or anyone else wanted to, they could set up a company and run their own wires. Guess what? No one else wants to. Last mile connectivity is a natural monopoly and ought to be regulated as a utility.

As someone else in the comments said, let's require them to split the infrastructure from the services. Then we'll have real competition.

about 2 months ago
top

Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

stinerman Re:Dont do anyone any favors (644 comments)

Yeah, but that would mean that Kansas would have to admit that lesbians are people with equal rights and responsibilities. Not likely.

about 3 months ago
top

The Whole Story Behind Low AP CS Exam Stats

stinerman Re:So, whom to H8? (325 comments)

True. Not only AP but CS at all. When I was in high school (early aughts), no programming/CS classes were even offered. To the best of my knowledge they still aren't.

about 3 months ago
top

How the Lessons of Columbine Saved Lives At Arapahoe High School

stinerman Re:police arive within 'minutes' (894 comments)

Well the question is really why is it such a recent phenomena in the US? Its a very difficult question to answer. Bowling for Columbine tried to answer it (or at least pretended to try to answer it), and didn't really have a good answer.

I don't think anyone can make a case that school shootings are a direct consequence of a lack of firearms. That can't possibly be true as evidenced by the fact that Europe doesn't have these things happen daily. It has to be something cultural. We do have a weird fetishization with firearms in this country. I don't know where that came from. Perhaps it was a necessary consequence of decades of moving west across the plains and living off the land.

I don't claim to have all the answers, but it simply cannot be the case that school shootings are directly related to the number of privately-owned guns.

about 4 months ago
top

Surge In Litecoin Mining Leads To Graphics Card Shortage

stinerman Re:Lol@fads. (213 comments)

Now that's the right attitude to have. You know it's a bunch of people buying an investment (not a currency), hoping it will appreciate so that they can cash out once it hits a high enough price point.

Bitcoin/Litecoin is an (irrational) investment, not a currency.

about 4 months ago
top

UK Retailer Mistakenly Sends PS Vitas, Threatens Legal Action To Get Them Back

stinerman Re:A US perspective (617 comments)

In the United States getting stuff in the mail unsolicited is considered a gift and is not required to be returned...for the exact reason you specified; I can mail everyone on my block an Ubuntu cd and then claim they owe me $10 for accepting it.

I don't know if a shipping error counts as being unsolicited, but I don't think the company would have any recourse. IANAL.

about 4 months ago
top

Geeks For Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries

stinerman Re:Regressive (730 comments)

That doesn't require a monarch. Just divorce the duty of head of state from the President. We could have a "First Citizen" or something like that. They can do all the stupid diplomatic and cultural stuff that the President doesn't really have time to do.

about 5 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Can You Trust Online Tax Software?

stinerman Re:Australia (237 comments)

Yeah, I mentioned that at work once. That in foreign countries your return is pretty much done for you, and you just sign off on it. If it isn't correct you provide proof and then send that amendment back in. I got an incredulous stare and an "Oh, that'd be great for the government. They could say whatever they wanted and people would just pay up."

*sigh*

A good many people have no idea that the IRS already has all your W-2s and could fill out a simple 1040-EZ on your behalf. Sure, when you're itemizing it would get a bit more complicated, but for the vast majority of folks who don't itemize, there is no reason that the IRS can't have everything filled out for you, and all you need to do is sign and return.

about 5 months ago
top

Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates

stinerman Re:lower insurance? (449 comments)

Err... that's "underestimate the amount of risk".

about 5 months ago
top

Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates

stinerman Re:lower insurance? (449 comments)

We will not have a robot driving the car (or a computer) for a very long time.

People's cognitive biases are such that they overestimate the amount of risk involved in driving when they are in control (hence everyone saying they're above average in driving ability). Even then, there will be laws against such things. If, due to a software bug, 1 person died per day in a car accident, the cars would be classified as death traps in the media and in government. Of course, the fact that 32,367 people died in vehicle deaths in 2011 wouldn't matter. People will be able to handle 30,000 people per year dying due to driver error. They won't be able to handle 300 people dying per year due to software error.

about 5 months ago
top

Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion

stinerman Re:Really? (767 comments)

Do you know it was because of the ACA or did UPS use the ACA as a scapegoat to do something they've wanted to do for awhile?

Competitive businesses can't just cut benefits like that without some backlash and losing some employees due to it. Now they've got a convenient excuse. "Yeah, your wife can't be on the plan anymore...I know, I know it's not our fault, it's that damn Obamacare."

about 6 months ago
top

Shutdown Cost the US Economy $24 Billion

stinerman Re: Really? (767 comments)

No one is seriously talking about changing it because we're risk averse.

The whole health insurance debate isn't really all that complicated. Hell even the ACA isn't all that complicated. The idea is that there are lots of people who are priced out of the market so we can require insurers to give the same price to everyone (this is called Community Rating). Lots of people need coverage for existing conditions. We'll require insurers to cover those (this is called Guaranteed Issue). But...if everyone waits until they're very ill to buy insurance, premiums will skyrocket out of control. For that, we'll require everyone to purchase insurance (this is called the Individual Mandate) to increase the risk pool or pay an extra tax.

Now this is, IMHO, the wrong way to do it, but it's not that hard to explain. Sure there are some other things on the edges, but that's pretty much it.

I'd be happy to de-couple employment and insurance (and the ACA is a half-hearted attempt at doing it), but if you tell people that they can't keep their current employer-subsidized insurance, they'll freak out even more than they did when they heard about the individual mandate...even though it doesn't apply to the vast majority of Americans.

about 6 months ago
top

Lessons From the Healthcare.gov Fiasco

stinerman Re:Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (501 comments)

You're eligible for Medicaid and you're complaining? Medicaid is pretty damn cheap seeing as it's for poor people. The only problem is that you may have trouble finding doctors who will be willing to see you.

But yes, you're probably a reasonably healthy white male in his 20s or 30s. You're getting the shaft on this one so that sickly folks with tons of pre-existing conditions can pay $420-$700/mo instead of simply being denied coverage. Really, it sucks to be you, but that was the intent of the law. Do I think it's a good thing? On the balance, I'll give it a very tepid yes. So fuck me, I guess.

I'm lucky in that my wife works for the state and is in a union, so our coverage is really good and cheap. In fact it's probably too good compared to what most people get. If you were to take this idea to car insurance, I'd be in the same boat. I've never had so much as a speeding ticket. My premiums would skyrocket if car insurance was guaranteed issue and required community rating, and then all the other people who have a half dozen DUIs would have their premiums decrease by just as much.

In short, your plan is more expensive so other folks' plans are less expensive (or simply available). That's socialization of risk, and you're on the short end. Why do you have to buy maternity coverage? So women's plans are less expensive. The way I see it, I'd be happy to have my premiums tripled if it meant that someone with a blood factor disorder could get affordable insurance. If you don't see it that way, that's ok. Best of luck in your new business, BTW.

about 6 months ago
top

Lessons From the Healthcare.gov Fiasco

stinerman Re:"I knew Obamacare would be bad..." (501 comments)

That was the fallback position to a fallback position. If they'd have done it right like the left wanted it, we'd all be on Medicare right now.

But that's socialism, so we can't have that. We need another kludgy hack to our current healthcare system which itself is a hack in the tax code to make it such that employers would want to pay for their employees' health care.

about 6 months ago
top

Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

stinerman Re:Liberal strategy (1144 comments)

Yeah, it doesn't work that way here. There is no mechanism to force a non-scheduled election of Senators and Representatives. Right now there is no authority for certain departments that run off of a budget (we have plenty that don't -- Medicare and Social Security, for instance) to spend any money. This can theoretically continue indefinitely. Also in our system, the lower house must originate spending bills, but the upper house has equal rights to amend those bills.

The more interesting crisis is the debt ceiling vote coming up. It used to be that every time Congress would need to issue debt, they'd do it "manually" by voting to do so. When that became too cumbersome, they put in place a limit to how much debt the Treasury could issue. From time to time when tax revenue is less than spending, they have to vote to raise that limit or else we are in default.

It's an odd situation. Congress says $X must be spent on Y, but less than $X comes in via revenue, but they also say that no debt can be issued to make up the shortfall. It's contradictory instructions, and I believe we're alone in the civilized world in this regard.

about 6 months ago
top

Obama, Romney Data Scientists Strike Out On Their Own

stinerman Re:Changing for the worse (120 comments)

The horse's mouth says it has dropped since 2009:

2009: 4,430,000
2010: 4,443,000 (the site notes that this includes temporary workers hired for the census)
2011: 4,403,000

So we can conclude that there were less federal government employees in 2011 than there were in 2009 when President Obama took office. Not much less, mind you, but certainly less.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

stinerman hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

stinerman has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...