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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

weiserfireman Re:Solution (407 comments)

In a National Sales Tax plan

It doesn't matter how much Wealth someone has. Who cares how much wealth someone else has? We don't tax Wealth in the US. We tax Income

Wealth doesn't matter with Sales Tax, because we would be taxing spending. That inherited wealth that moves from generation to generation? Who cares how much money someone has in the bank doing nothing. When they spend it and try to improve their quality of life, it gets taxed.

It is a shallow and covetous person who cares about how big someone else's bank account is. What we really care about is how that person spends their money to give themselves a better standard of living than their neighbors.

about a week ago

To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

weiserfireman Re:Solution (407 comments)

I've always said the exceptions in a National Sales Tax would be

1. Food - All Food
2. Health Care/Medicine, including OTC
3. Clothing under $100
4. Primary Residence - have to apply for refund, demonstrating it is primary residence, this one will get complicated

Those things take care of the truly poor.

about a week ago

A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

weiserfireman Evergreen Supertanker 747 (112 comments)

This is an amazing water bomber. It drops from so high, the water just mists down like light rain.

Because it is a pressurized system, they can control how much they dump where.

For example, maybe they do 4 drops from 1 tank load, 25% on each drop in 4 different locations

Yes, I am a wildland firefighter, I have been on fires where these planes were working
(Engineboss, Strike Team Leader in Training)

about two weeks ago

Court: Car Dealers Can't Stop Tesla From Selling In Massachusetts

weiserfireman hahaha (155 comments)

I love the courts logic.

Dealer Franchise Laws were prevented to promote the Franchise model.

If a car company sells franchises in the State, it can't then open Company Stores and undercut their Franchises.

But if the Car Company has no franchises, there is no one being hurt.

Car Dealerships can't sue because they don't like a new Car Company's Sales Model.

Reality is the Franchise owners were licking their chops thinking of all the money they would make selling Teslas in their dealerships. They got butt hurt when they found out Tesla wasn't going to sell them Franchises.

about two weeks ago

Social Security Administration Joins Other Agencies With $300M "IT Boondoggle"

weiserfireman Re:Yeah right, "diability claims" (144 comments)

I was in a meeting with our Workman's Comp Carrier recently

A representative of the carrier said "If a person doesn't return to work in 6 months, the odds are they will never work again in their life".

Made sense, 6 months is the disability term required to get SSI

about 2 months ago

MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

weiserfireman Re:Here we go... (454 comments)

Israel's pre-1960 borders? The ones were the West Bank belonged to Jordan and Gaza belonged to Egypt?

If it brought a real chance at peace, I believe Israel would agree to that. But Jordan doesn't want the West Bank anymore. Egypt doesn't want Gaza. Israel's pre-1960 borders still would not create a country called Palestine.

Jordan and Egypt don't want to deal with the Palestinian problem anymore than Israel does.

about 2 months ago

The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

weiserfireman Re:Remote Kill Switch. (443 comments)

Since GM runs ads about how they can remotely kill OnStar equipped vehicles, I am sure that if the capability exists in Tesla Cars, they wouldn't need a warrant to do it. They would only need authorization from the owner. Only time Tesla would need a warrant from the police is if the police are chasing the Owner and the Owner won't grant authorization

about 3 months ago

The Government Can No Longer Track Your Cell Phone Without a Warrant

weiserfireman Re:Jurisdiction (173 comments)

I believe that this is a split from the 5th Circuit who ruled warrants are not required for this data because 3rd party doctrine. It can''t be a search of your private information because it isn't your information, it is Verizon's or AT&T or Sprint. It is about you, but it isn't yours.

Thereby increasing the likelihood that this will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court

It may be time for the Supreme Court to address this issue directly. But they ruled just a few years ago that pager records didn't require warrants.

about 4 months ago

Studies: Wildfires Worse Due To Global Warming

weiserfireman But this is a light fire year (379 comments)

Every year there are devastating fires somewhere. But we have to look at the acreage and number of fires.

Last year was a light fire year. About 20% lighter than the 10 year average.

So far this year, we are about 15% behind the 10 year average in the number of wildland fires. And we are about 50% behind in the number of acres burned.

Honestly, I still expect overall the world's climate will be getting wetter with global warming. There might be some regions that will get drier, but warmer oceans mean more evaporation. Warmer temperatures mean the air can hold more moisture resulting in higher humidity. Eventually that higher humidity has to result in more rainfall somewhere. But even if higher humidity doesn't result in rain, higher humidity does result in less aggressive fire behavior.
      I am not a climate scientist. I have a lot of people scoff at me when I say this, but they never explain how I am wrong. I can read the projections but the projections never seem to include the increased levels of ocean evaporation that I expect.

about 4 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

weiserfireman Re:now I never looked into it (420 comments)

yes, this is true. The Pacific ocean off the coast of California is cold. The water has to be preheated. Using your outgoing warm brine, and pure water, to preheat the incoming water is just good sense.

about 5 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

weiserfireman Re:Distillation versus Reverse Osmosis (420 comments)

Flash type vacuum distillation plants are very common and very well understood technology.

I can just about guarantee the desalination plant that Santa Barbara built 20 years ago was this type. Reverse Osmosis plants were brand new cutting edge technology back then.

about 5 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

weiserfireman Re:lol, wut ? (420 comments)

I was a nuclear technician in the Navy. We used Pressurized Water Reactors. My understanding is that most US commercial reactors are pressurized water reactors too.

Primary coolant loop is pressurized water. Primary Loop is pressurized and never boils, never produces steam. Pressurized so it can carry lots of heat without boiling. Water transports the heat to a Steam Generator in a secondary cooling loop. The water in the secondary loop boils and produces steam. The steam is used to spin steam turbines attached to generators and main engines.

Lots and lots of steam.

about 5 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

weiserfireman Re:And with that yoiu get POWER! (420 comments)

Their mothballed desalination plant won't be a reverse osmosis system. It will be an older flash distillation plant.

Probably steam powered. I ran and supervised the operation of 2 multi-stage 100,000 gallon per day flash distillation plants in the Navy. They have very few moving parts and were very reliable. They just took a ton of steam to operate. Steam for the ejectors that pulled the vacuum, and steam for the heating elements. Lots of electricity for the pumps.

But they are talking about a plant that can produce millions of gallons per day of fresh water. It will be very clean and soft too. Expect 0 hardness on the output. They probably will be adding minerals so the output has good flavor.

about 5 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

weiserfireman Re:A drop in the bucket. (420 comments)

So what you are objecting to the the Practice of Water Rights

Water Rights are a legal principle, not Federal Micromanagement. The water belongs to the person with the oldest rights to it first. Need isn't part of the equation.

The person who's water rights were established in 1849 have priority to the person who's water rights were established in 1999.

First come first served. Water Rights are inheritable and sellable. Those farmers have water rights that are older than the residents in the Cities. That is why they get first dibs. Not because they are propped up by the Federal Government. But because the process of water rights was established by Common Law, and supported by California and Federal Courts.

about 5 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

weiserfireman Re:A drop in the bucket. (420 comments)

Show me the pipeline/canal that can deliver water from northern California to southern.

Red Herring is Red

about 5 months ago

California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

weiserfireman Re:A drop in the bucket. (420 comments)

Unless you can demonstrate that the oil companies are hauling water from Santa Barbara to frack wells in other parts of the country, I don't see how this is relevant.

Besides, I think what you are describing is an oil recovery technique, not fracking. There is a process were water/steam is injected into old wells to try and recover more oil/gas, but it has little relationship to hydraulic fracturing

about 5 months ago

$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

weiserfireman Re:Obamacare exists because... (288 comments)

However -- because of the Supreme Court decision in the Obamacare case, the Medicaid expansion is voluntary for the states, and half the states (mostly Republican) refused to expand it. So in those states, poor people really are stuck. They do get kicked out of hospitals and get left to die of treatable conditions.

I live in one of those States that refused to expand Medicaid. I live in Idaho. I don't think we could have afforded to do it. Because of another Court case a few years ago, the State of Idaho now has to pay for education in Idaho out of the General Fund. It used to be mostly funded by property taxes at the local level, but now it is funded by Sales Tax at the State level. We also have a Constitutional requirement in Idaho to balance the budget every year. Approximately 60% of the State budget is now Education. Every other State Agency has seen their budget slashed by about 30% over the past 10 years.

And then the Federal Government orders the State to massively expand Medicaid. My State just doesn't have the resources to do it. It isn't because people don't care, we just don't have the income. 90% of the Students in my School District are on free or reduced lunch. Median Family income in my town is $31,000 per year. 20% of the people in my community live below the poverty line. There isn't a whole lot of room to add more taxes to expand another Government program.

If our State was doing better economically, there would be more support for expanding Medicaid. But we are all suffering. The idea of having to pay even more taxes is daunting.

The truly poor still have access to Medicaid in Idaho. The program didn't go away. It just didn't expand it to people above the poverty line.

about 5 months ago

Drone Pilot Wins Case Against FAA

weiserfireman Re:FAA & Public Safety (236 comments)

Requiring the operator of an RC Plane to be a "Licensed" Pilot if it is for commercial use, but any joe smuck if it is for hobby use seems to be a problem for me.

For one reason, Piloting an RC aircraft, from the ground, is a different skill set than Piloting a small plane from inside the aircraft itself.

about 7 months ago

Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

weiserfireman Re:lack of attractive upgrade prices (860 comments)

I do IT in a machine shop.

We have 3 machines that still have Windows 95 for their OS, 2 with Windows 2000, and 2 with Windows XP

These are not standard intel processor based PCs. They are RISC processors that run a real time OS that communicates with the machine PLCs, and Windows provides a nice interface for the operator to interface with.

Last time we got a quote, it was $14,000 to upgrade one of the machines to Windows XP. I am not sure they can even be upgraded to Windows 7. They still work, so why bother spending the money.

I have a Tool inventory kiosk that has Windows XP on it too. I could upgrade it to Windows 7 or 8, but I have no guarantee that the Kiosk will function normally if we do that. So we are not upgrading it. I have better things to do with my time.

None of the machines or kiosks have Internet access. I will take my chances that they are secure enough.

about 7 months ago

Skunk Works Reveals Proposed SR-71 Successor: the Hypersonic SR-72

weiserfireman Re:SR-71 needed replacing (216 comments)

Shooting down a Mach 6 aircraft is extremely difficult.

Lets say an SR-72 was going to go the full length of Iran, and Iran had recently deployed S-300 missiles from Russia. The S-300 is considered a world-class air defense weapon (despite having never been fired in combat). It has a 5 minute deployment time and a 24 mile range.

Mach 6 is roughly 4,567 Miles/hour or 1.26 miles every second.

It will cover the 48 mile engagement envelope of an S-300 (24 miles each way), in 38 seconds. What this means is a missile site can't detect and engage the target. Someone has to detect and transmit targeting information to air defense sights in the path of the plane, so they can be ready to lauch, when it gets within range.

Just some moderate maneuvering and route planning, keeps the SR-72 out of range most of the time.

There was rumor that the SR-71 was detectable with long range radars, but stealthy to weapons guidance radars. Add in stealth characteristics and the task becomes even more difficult.

From looking at a map, the absolute longest flight path over Iran appears to be about 2000 miles. Meaning the SR-72, worst case, would only be over Iranian airspace for less than 30 minutes. If a plane came in over the Caspian Sea, crossed over Tehran, then turned for the nearest border, they could be in and out of Iran in less than 5 minutes.

All in all, a very challenging exercise.

about a year ago



How do I handle a Patent Troll

weiserfireman weiserfireman writes  |  about 2 years ago

weiserfireman writes "We received a letter today from a company claiming they are the licensing agent for some US Patents, 7986426, 7477410, 6771381, 6185590.

They are claiming the integration of scanning and document management into our workflows violates their patents and we have to license their technology as an end user.

An example of an infringing technology is the use of an HP MFP scanner to send an email or scan a document to a network folder or Microsoft Sharepoint.

I am pretty sure that these patents could be invalidated by prior art. I've worked with document management systems since 1999. But my company is so small that a patent fight as an enduser of these technologies is not financially feasible.

I have started the process of trying to get HP's Legal Team involved, does Slashdot have any other suggestions?"

Link to Original Source

What would you include in a new building?

weiserfireman weiserfireman writes  |  about 2 years ago

weiserfireman (917228) writes "For the first time in our company's 60 year history, we are going to be building a new facility from scratch.

We are a CNC Machine shop with 40 employees and 20 CNC machines, crammed into a 12,000 sq foot building. We are going to build a new 30,000 sq foot building.

I am the only IT person. I support all the computer systems, as well as all the fire/security/phone systems. My Boss has asked for my input on what infrastructure to include in the new building to support current and future technology.

1st on my list is a telecommunications equipment room. Our current building doesn't have one.

I have been researching this topic on the Internet, and I have a list of a lot of different things, all of them are nice, but I know I am going to have a limited budget.

If you were in my shoes, what priorities what features would you design into the building?"

weiserfireman weiserfireman writes  |  more than 7 years ago

weiserfireman writes "The US Supreme Court heard arguements today in the case of Microsoft v AT&T. The transcript is available at ent_transcripts/05-1056.pdf.

The case revolves around an AT&T patent for voice recognition software. The code was included in Microst Windows. Microsoft already agreed to damages for infringement for copies of Windows distributed in the United States. AT&T argues that Microsoft also owes them for damages from copies of Windows distributed overseas. The key in this case is that there are no foreign patents involved, only a US one. The copies of the Windows were produced overseas from "Golden Disks" provided by Microsoft from the US.

AT&T claims that because the code and the Golden Disks originated in the US, all subsequent foreign copies infringe upon their US Patent. It is a novel case with potential liabilty for more companies than just Microsoft.

There is some interesting exchanges between the judges and the lawyers. It is clear that the judges haven't thought about software very much, but are adept and building anologies. The Lawyers didn't seem to really understand the technology and their anologies were very funny.

At one point one of the justices said "We've never ruled on software patents before, don't we have to rule that software is patentable to decide this case?" The lawyers desperately tried to steer him away from that question. Both sides have too much to lose to want an answer.

Based on the questioning and the laws presented, I don't think AT&T has a chance. At best Microsoft is liable for the master copies provide to overseas manufacturers, but not any subsequent copies that are produced overseas."


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