* Posts by veti

3118 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos

veti Silver badge

Re: Other peoples money...

You are aware that the "slippery slope" is a logical fallacy, not a well formed argument?

In this case, there is no empirical evidence (that anyone has pointed out, anyway) that tax thresholds tend to work downward in the way you describe. Granted, they will move downward by fiscal drag, but that's a much (much) slower process than you're talking about, reckoning at least half a century to get from $10 million to $1 million.

I'm also not aware of any evidence that higher marginal tax rates correlate with higher inflation. Perhaps you would like to link to some?

veti Silver badge

Re: Who gives a crap

If "common people" are so virtuous, then why do so many of us still buy products created by slave labour? Fruit picked or food gathered by people working in inhumane conditions? Meat from intensive farming? Why do they vote for candidates and policies that promise to "protect" their country against immigration from those looking for a better life?

Maybe you don't. Maybe you're one of the exceptions. But the sheer volume of all these products on sale proves that "common people", as a group, are not particularly given to enlightened reflection about "the people they exploit".

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Re: Who gives a crap

And that makes them different from you or me how, exactly?

The big difference between them and us is that if they think X should be done, they have ways to make it happen. Within limits, of course, but much less limited than us. And that, in a nutshell, is why we should care what they think.

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Re: State tax

Umm. How exactly does moving to a different state help to reduce your federal tax liability?

To the extent that the wealthy are deterred by CA's tax rates, that effect has already happened. Particularly after Trump cut the deduction for local and state taxes. (A move I don't disapprove of, by the way, even though I believe it was pure spite against blue states on his part.)

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

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What intrigues me

Note the phrasing "someone in a nun costume".

There's an obvious suggestion that the witness never for one moment imagined that it was an actual nun. Why not? What else did they observe, that scuppered that possibility?

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Re: Flag matters according to the bible

You make a good point, which is why even the Catholics stopped selling indulgences in 1567.

Stalk my pals on social media and you'll know that the next words out of my mouth will be banana hammock

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Re: Could this be...

We've long known that words are predictable. That's how predictive typing works, as featured on your phone. (The text I send most often is "Leaving work" - all I have to do is fire up my phone about 5 p.m., select "send text - to spouse", and I can enter those two words in a single tap.)

I would guess that the more time you spend on social media, the stronger the effect - because social media is very susceptible to "memes" and mobs and bandwagons. Hashtags, basically. If you post about subject X, and your friends have talked about subject X today, then it can't be that hard to predict what you're likely to say next.

Big Red's big pay gap: $13,000 gulf between male and female Oracle staffers – reports

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Re: All else being equal...

Moral: If you want people to defend Oracle, this is how.

It's Oracle. And even for them, all it takes is a particularly detailed, offensive and egregious pay gap story, and suddenly the Internet is full of (mostly male, I imagine) commentators rushing to defend them.

Capita, are you paying attention?

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

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I'm sure the FCC will get right on it

Just as soon as their funding is back on, and they've dealt with everything else in their in-tray.

So, maybe by mid-2021.

Bipartisan Kumbaya: President Trump turns Obama's open govt data policy into law

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The summary is here. Heck, you can read the full text if you like. I guess somebody should...

I read the summary, and I can see a number of quite glaring loopholes available to anyone who still doesn't want "evidence" to get in the way of their policymaking. For instance:

- Appoint a Chief Evaluation Officer who's sympathetic to your aims

- Stack the OMB's "advisory committee" with political allies

- Although you have to publish evidence in machine-readable format, there's nothing to say you can't change that format at will, thus making it basically impossible to compare figures from one year to the next. Or from one department to another, or one state or region to another...

Basically, it's like the constitution. Sounds fine in theory, but in practice it's only as good as the people who enforce it - and the executive basically gets to pick those.

US prosecutors: Hey, you know how we said 'net gambling was OK? LMAO, we were wrong

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Re: Wot it sez...

Good catch, although I bet it doesn't work.

But what is a "wire" anyway? Does that include fibre?

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Re: Doesnt this outlaw Wall Street ?

GP conflates two things. Shorting stock is not the same as high-frequency trading.

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Does this have anything to do with Antigua's long-standing complaint against the US blocking its online casinos?

As I recall it, Antigua's case to the WTO was that the US was being discriminatory because it allowed online betting with US casinos. The WTO sided with them and awarded damages, but the USA has still not paid out so much as a dime. Now they're changing the rules - retroactively, no less - they can ask the WTO to re-examine the case and find they're not discriminating after all.

What odds can I get on:

- American casino owners having to repay all the money they've earned online in the past

- Antigua getting any settlement money, ever

- Campaign contributions by gambling interests increasing sharply in the near future?

World's first robot hotel massacres half of its robot staff

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Re: The room doll was removed

Came looking for this thought. Somewhat surprised it took so long to appear. Have people taken a new year resolution to keep the comments clean, or something? Seems unlikely.

*taps on glass* Hellooo, IRS? Anyone in? Anyone guarding taxpayers' data from crooks? Hellooo?

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Re: Just a question

Well, no actual money is being saved because employees are still due to be paid. And even if that weren't true, there's still last year's unfunded tax cuts to pay for. And when you've worked that off, then you can get started on the deficit.

Welcome to Republicans' idea of fiscal responsibility.

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There's one piece of confidential information that I for one would like to see stolen. It may be the only way we'll get to see Trump's tax returns.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

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I loved Turnpike. Still beats all kinds of hell out of Outlook.

But that was before it went all gui.

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

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Have a heart. Anyone can produce a decent rant from time to time, but doing it every week to contract is genuinely hard.

It WASN'T the update, says Microsoft: Windows 7 suffers identity crisis as users hit by activation errors

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Re: Windows is Close to Unusable

Sounds like an under specced machine. I have one of those, it takes best part of half an hour to boot into what passes for a usable state on a good day. When there are updates, it gets way slower.

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim

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Sounds like a plan that would work better for Google than for Apple.

If I were Apple, I'd be trying to form a strategic alliance with another oddball consumer electronics company that insists on going its own way: Nintendo.

veti Silver badge

Re: RE: BigSLitleP

A pipe is subject to leakage, corrosion, unauthorised (unpaid) tapping, and needs ongoing maintenance even if none of these things happen.

A bottle is easy to secure, practically immune to all kinds of degradation except drinking, and requires no maintenance.

It's not (necessarily) a corruption problem. Bottles are just easier.

veti Silver badge

Re: Durability?

Not the point.

Assuming you want internet TV services: then no matter how the signal gets to the TV, there has to be some bit of electronics in your home that's receiving and processing the data. It may be (what we used to call) a set-top box, or a laptop, or some specialised bit of gear. Increasingly nowadays, it's most often built into the TV itself.

But wherever it sits, whatever it is, it needs to be connected to the 'net, and that means it needs protection.

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...

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Re: It's not just IBM

Yeah, there's the rub. When you're 22, "retiring at 35" sounds easy. Like winning the lottery, it's just a matter of ticking a few boxes, right? - how hard can it be?

Sadly, luck doesn't scale well.

veti Silver badge

Re: Just to play devil's advocate here

You're making an assumption about deviation from a baseline. We would need evidence to support that assumption.

(And then we should also consider valid business goals, such as cost saving, that would militate in the opposite direction. Given a choice between a 25 year old earning $50k and a 50 year old earning $100k with the same transferrable skills, what's wrong with firing the older person? Sure you can say (speculate) that s/he actually has a great many more skills that aren't being properly valued - but on the other hand, they may also have a lot of baggage/bad habits that are actively holding them back. We just don't know.)

veti Silver badge

Re: Just to play devil's advocate here

What about them? Last I heard, relocating your premises was a valid business decision that companies were allowed to make. There's no allegation that anyone is forced to quit on that basis, merely that a lot of senior people may choose to.

veti Silver badge

Re: Just to play devil's advocate here

Sure, if my initial assumptions are wrong. But I have no reason to believe they are. You've made an assumption, but haven't presented any supporting evidence for it.

I see nothing wrong with adopting "uniformity" as a baseline assumption. If you want to deviate from that, then make arguments and put together evidence to support them, and we can discuss them. But don't just go claiming that your particular non-uniform distribution assumption must be correct because it's just obvious. That's not how evidence works.

veti Silver badge

Just to play devil's advocate here

If we assume that the baseline workforce, if there is such a thing, is evenly distributed between the ages of 23 and 65, and layoffs are likewise evenly distributed, then you would expect 60% of layoffs to be of people over 40. Welcome to maths.

And the much-ballyhooed private documents refer explicitly to hiring decisions. Not firing decisions.

Much as I'd like to see a smoking gun here - hey, I'm no spring chicken myself - I don't.

Steamer closets, flying cars, robot boxers, smart-mock-cock ban hypocrisy – yes, it's the worst of CES this year

veti Silver badge

The problem with flying cars

... will be exactly the same as the problem with regular cars: it's really cool and exciting to imagine having one, until you realise that when that happens, there's no way to stop every other bugger from having them as well.

What we need is more inventions that don't suffer from this kind of reverse network effect. Where's my Orgasmatron?

Fake news? More like ache news. Grandma, grampa 'more likely' to share made-up articles during US election

veti Silver badge

I agree, that dig was gratuitous.

But since those sites were explicitly not included, your point isn't really relevant to the article.

Microsoft wins today's buzzword bingo with empowering set of updates to Teams

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Does anyone else find it disconcerting when simple English words like Teams and Badges and Praise, without noticeably changing their meaning, suddenly sprout Capital Letters?

It'll soon be even more illegal to fly drones near UK airports

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Re: Keystone Cops

You try filming "the sky" for "an hour or two". Then watch it to see if there's something that might possibly be a drone flickering somewhere in the distance.

Bear in mind "the sky" is more than just one direction, so it's going to take a lot of cameras to watch the whole thing.

Let's make up some numbers, just for fun. Let's assume (optimistically, but you gotta start somewhere) that the drone is going to be 30 cm across, in whatever dimension we happen to see it. And we want to be able to spot it at least 2 km away. At that range, it's going to cover an arc of about 0.008 degrees in the sky. If your camera records a picture width of (let's say) 4000 pixels, then a single camera can be trusted to watch about 30 degrees (horizontally, about half that vertically) of sky at high enough resolution to capture the drone as a single pixel. (That's assuming the camera doesn't use some kind of lossy compression, of course.)

So, set up 30 cameras to watch 180 degrees of sky to a height of 75 degrees. In the rain. When you've analysed the resulting 30 hours of video, let us know if there was a drone in it. I look forward to hearing back from you. (And note that the area this experiment monitors is only a small fraction of the exclusion zone described in these rules, so a negative result is still far from conclusive. To cover the whole area, you'd need to be watching - considerably more cameras at this resolution.)

Senator Wyden goes ballistic after US telcos caught selling people's location data yet again

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Re: Re-seller

You seem to think that paying a premium rate might make it less likely that your data would be sold. I don't see what you base that on, at all.

Aussie Emergency Warning Network hacked by rank amateurs

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In Australia, a phone number would be considered personal information if, and only if, it's associated with some other piece of data - such as a name, address, social security number or whatever - that could be used independently to identify the owner.

Without that, it's just a number.

veti Silver badge

Not if they don't store any. And I'm having a hard time imagining why they would.

Hands off that Facebook block button, public officials told by judges in First Amendment row

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Re: Unexpected consequences

The first amendment doesn't say anything about citizenship.

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Re: Presidential private thoughts

The Founding Fathers made that decision when they opted for a common law system. They then explicitly doubled down on it by making the judiciary a co-equal and independent branch of government.

Oregon can't stop people from calling themselves engineers, judge rules in Traffic-Light-Math-Gate

veti Silver badge

Re: What an engineer does in the UK

From - well, from before the day I began my engineering degree, back in the 1980s, I've heard this complaint about how the rabble misuse the term "engineer". Throughout the 90s, I must have read half a dozen missives a year from the Engineering Council and other bodies bemoaning the fact that they couldn't lock people up for calling themselves "engineers". (OK, I may exaggerate - but only slightly.)

Or to put it more accurately: about how the word "engineer", in the UK at least, doesn't mean what people with engineering degrees wish it meant.

I'm sorry, but that's just how the word is used. The onus is on people who want to redefine it to show how and why the rest of the world should stop using it in the way they're accustomed. What's in it for them, exactly?

Pewdiepie fanboi printer, Chromecast haxxx0r retreats, says they're 'afraid of being caught'

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Re: What TheHackerGiraffe has accomplished

If that's the "attack" you meant, I'm having a hard time seeing how it's "actively harmful".

Seems to me a couple of sheets of paper (and corresponding toner) is a small price to pay for the lesson in security practice. If he wanted to be "actively harmful", he could have done a lot worse.

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Re: What TheHackerGiraffe has accomplished

Attackers of what, exactly? The otherwise-peaceful and generally bonhomous atmosphere of YouTube? the hardened and professional security practices of people who previously had no idea what "UP&P" even was? the sheer pristine purity of goodwill on the internet?

Pewdiepie is an arsehole, and TheHackerGiraffe is just some kid. Now hopefully a little wiser.

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary

veti Silver badge

Re: Cancelling Flights

Since you're knowingly using someone else's credentials to make changes in a private system, it's at the very least "unauthorised access". Could even be described as identity theft.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

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Re: But in a lot

Bah, all that is completely real. I saw it on CSI, so it must be.

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider

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Re: May well you mock...

Something about over-developed muscles either attracts spider bites, or makes you more vulnerable to them.

I had a colleague whose hobby was cage-fighting, and who was ridiculously industrious about his physique. One bite from a humble white-tail, and he was off work for two weeks. A second bite, and such serious health problems set in that he never returned.

It's a lot of work, being popular: Apple, Tim Cook and the gilets jaunes

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Luxury goods

It's a valid market niche. By taking ever increasing slices from the filthy rich, Apple performs the valuable service of keeping the money in circulation. Somebody has to do it, else we'll all be screwed.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

veti Silver badge

A bigger problem with rifles is, it's bloody hard to hit a target of that size, moving at that speed, at a range of several hundred metres. It's hard enough even to see the damn' thing, let alone shoot it.

So you'd probably end up firing many rounds, probably hundreds of them, before scoring a hit. Or (more probably, and more embarrassingly), before giving up having not hit anything. And every round has a chance of hitting something/one on the ground.

Military systems for this kind of purpose use fully automatic weapons. I don't think anyone's going to sign off on firing one of those over Gatwick.

The answer has to be either something that's harmless when it falls (e.g. shotgun pellets), or doesn't fall at all (energy bursts, e.g. highly directed EMP, which as far as I know is still the stuff of science fiction but looks like it should be overdue for some serious R&D about now).

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

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Re: Something doesn't fly right with this story

They're different drones each time. First there was some idiot who just didn't look where they were going. Then that was reported, and various other idiots sent their drones out to look at the fun. The BBC sent one to take footage of the closed runway, and the police sent a couple to try to track all the others...

By now it's mostly desperate would-be travellers checking to see if anything's moving.

veti Silver badge

Better yet, get witches to attack the drones. Nobody likes a crowded sky, and the witches could use magic to ground them. Problem solved.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

veti Silver badge

A share price dip is nothing to sneeze at, when you're in Facebook's position. And their shares have "dipped" by almost 25% over the past year.

Silent night, social fight: Is Instagram the new Facebook for pro-Trump Russian propagandists?

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Re: The wrong culprit

I note that the only "world leaders" who seem actively enthusiastic about Brexit are - Trump and Putin. Putin because it weakens the EU and what we used to call the "Western alliance", and Trump (I presume) because it would allow him to dictate his own terms of trade to an isolated and desperate UK. (Oh, and to please his buddy Putin, of course.)

Everyone else is still hoping it can be stopped, with the ignoble exceptions of the dodgy nationalists on the continent, and that idiot Corbyn at home.

veti Silver badge

Re: freedom and choice

Exactly, like all those people who chose to contract asbestosis by living or working in a contaminated building, or who chose to be poor by being born in Africa. All those people deserve what they're getting. Where is the accountability?

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is

veti Silver badge

Re: Brittle software?

I would say the current Google hegemony is worse than the abusive Microsoft monopoly of the 90s.

Back then, browser makers innovated, and hundreds of thousands of webmasters (remember them?) strove to keep up, trying their best to please their myriad customers.

Now, those "hundreds of thousands" are whittled down to maybe a dozen hosts that actually matter - Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon etc. - and everyone else is either insignificant or (in most cases) piggybacking on one of the big players. Independent webmasters - the kind of people who actively maintained and tested their own CSS and JS - are, if not quite dead yet, then certainly a dying breed.

And when the dominant player in web hosting is also, simultaneously, the number one browser maker... that's a far bigger concentration of power than Microsoft ever had.

What gives me hope is that - I remember in the 1990s we thought Microsoft's hold was unbreakable, then Google came and ate their lunch. Someone, somewhere, will do the same to Google one day.


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