Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:October:10 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
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2005/10/10-11 [Finance/Banking, Reference/RealEstate] UID:40034 Activity:moderate
10/10   Has anyone bought or know someone who has bought a condo in a
        high-rise building in a super busy city for primary residence?
        I'm talking about any mega high-rise condo, like the ones in Houston,
        NYC, Vancouver, etc? Single family homes are either unaffordable,
        or are simply too far so I'm thinking about alternatives. I do
        have enough cash for 20-25% down and it's silly to keep
        in my savings account. What is the condo experience like and
        is it worth paying the exorbitant HOA fee which is usually 2-3X
        of single family homes for the same value?
        \_ houston?  aren't single family houses in houston like $150K?
2005/10/10 [Uncategorized] UID:40035 Activity:nil
10/9    What's the origin of the phrase: "When the shit hits the fan"
        \_ stfw. gawd.
           \_ Haven't you heard? "vi /etc/motd.public" is now a search
              engine.
2005/10/10-11 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:40036 Activity:high
10/10   Last week's Economist had an article on using man-made, controlled
        tornados for power.  I just thought it was interesting after our
        discussion on using hurricanes for power.  Unfortunatly, the
        economist link doesn't seem to work, but I got this on google:
        <DEAD>www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF1/105.html<DEAD>
        \_ http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=4455446
        \_ How long will it take Michael Crichton to write a book saying
           how this will destroy the world?
           \_ Probably right after the bird flu novel.  Has he written the
              global warming novel yet?
              \_ You mean you missed it?  He wrote a whole book about how
                 global warming was an environmentalist plot to take over
                 the world or something.  And I don't think he was kidding.
        \_ Crichton wrote a book on how global warming was overhyped,
           and that the real danger to the world was crazed
           environmentalists.  I think he was called to testify in front
           of a congressional committee about global warming recently?
           He's got a medical degree but I still think it was lame. - danh
                 \_ I've never read a Crichton book.  Sounds like I should
                    start though.
                    \_ The good and bad thing about Crichton books is that they
                       read *exactly* like movies.  I find that after I've read
                       a Chrichton book, I literally can't remember whether I
                       saw the movie or read the book.  Great for a plane, and
                       worthless for anything else.
                       \- [thread branch] In re: the motd thread about
                          the anthropic principle some time ago, there is
                          an article in the latest e'ist about a new proposal
                          in m-theory to explain the "3 dimension bias":
                            http://csua.org/u/don
                          it is co-authored by lisa randall who is fmr
                          lbl and whose sister some of you may know from
                          ucb cs.
2005/10/10-11 [Recreation/Media] UID:40037 Activity:high
10/10   Serenity: I didn't build a shrine but saw it last night and really
        enjoyed it.  I figured out the 'secret' about halfway through which
        I normally don't (I don't analyse movies while viewing) but that
        didn't detract from the film.  Good stuff.
        \_ This movie is misnamed, and there are a few plot-holes, but I
           liked it too.  It's a notch above the usual hollywood trash.  --PM
           \_ Is cowboy bebop misnamed?
           \_ What do you think it should be named?
        \_ I was afraid it was going to suck, but I really enjoyed it.

\_ why does someone keep typing about no newline?
   \_ why are some people on soda so clueless?
2005/10/10 [Reference/Tax] UID:40038 Activity:high
10/10   My parents are buying an apartment outside of the US for
        their retirement and I am going to help them to pay for part of
        the down payment (over $10,000).  What is the best way to gift
        the money to them?
        \_ You can buy an apartment with only $10K down? What planet,
           I mean, what country is it?
           \_ Latin America, Eastern Europe, etc. (I am talking about
              decent housing, not living in the slums). Besides, you can
              buy decent new homes in places like Texas or New Mexico
              for $100K or so (not in the prime spots, but still very
              acceptable for retirement).
              \_ My parents just built an 8 bedroom house in China for <$40k.
           \_ ".. part of.... (over ...).:
        \_ Just give them the money along with a letter describing what it is
           for.  There won't be tax consequences for either of you.
           \_ i hope it's as simple as that.
        \_ If the amount you are giving them is $11K or less, you can just
           send them a check.  If it's over $11K, they probably have to pay
           gift tax on it, unless you are going to end up with partial
           ownership of the property.  -tom
           \_ that the answer i get from various sources.
              \_ This might help.
                 http://www.turbotax.com/articles/TheGiftTax.html
        \_ I think you can give each parent $10K..
           \_ $11k now
              \_ oh yes, that's right, so you can do up to $22K. -tom
        \_ If my parents need $80k, I write $10k to eight different people
           and these eight people each write $10k to my parents.  Would
           that work?  Am I inviting tax auditing?
           \_ I don't know whether that would trigger an audit or not, but
              if you do get audited, the IRS is going to look for the
              eventual recipient of the money, and probably fine you
              heavily.  -tom
2005/10/10-11 [Consumer/Camera] UID:40039 Activity:high
10/10   Any horror stories/raves about the Olympus D-580? I'm looking for a
        regular everyday camera for work and play under $300. Consumer Reports
        gave it high marks. -- ulysses
        \- if i were you, i'd use the canon models in your price range
           as a reference and see what more/less you are getting in
           various other cameras within a price band [i assume your
           price range is really $250-$350 say]. also, you should specify
           a few more criteria than $price to narrow down to say ~5 models
           to pick from. for example do you want a pocket-sized camera or a
           camera pouch sized camera or a ~.75-1lb size camera. etc.
           once you have narrowed down to ~5 models, you really should
           try them out. interface makes a huge difference ... like if
           one camera has an oft-used feature buried in a menu 2 deep
           vs another has a button for it, that can make a much bigger
           difference than a 105mm vs 120 zoom or 10% or 20% pixel differnce
           on a modern sensor. canon is the standard.
        \_ http://www.dpreview.com -John
        \_ I know 3 people with this model, all love it.  I have the 550 (580
           didn't exist at the time) and I love mine (wish I had a 580).
           -emarkp
        \_ Oh, hey, I think that's the one I have.  It's a pretty nice
           camera.  Color, picture, and video are all fine.  I only have
           2 complaints, I think the UI is a little clunky, and I wish
           they used a different memory card.  (They use some Olympus
           propietary kind, rather than compact flash or some such.)
           -jrleek
           \_ Yes, you're one of the 3 people I referred to.  I believe it uses
              xD cards, doesn't it? -emarkp
              \_ Yes.  I don't have anything else that uses them. -jrleek
                 \_ Okay, but xD isn't proprietary AFAIK. -emarkp
2005/10/10-11 [Recreation/Dating, Academia/Berkeley/CSUA/Troll] UID:40040 Activity:moderate
10/10   Dear MOTD boob guy:  I'm sorry for pointing you at a for-pay site
        even though it was otherwise a great tip.  Let me make amends:
        http://images.fyr.com/kdub/1.img  -John
        \_ I don't see boobs. Instead it says "Boobs? Go to this web
           site." I tried going there but Firefox got stuck. FUCK YOU JOHN.
           \_ Dude, you're seriously lame.  I was able to view it just fine.
              Thanks john, she's not bad at all, nosireebob!
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:October:10 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>