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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Actually, I do RTFA Re:What the tax form should look like (415 comments)

Are you honestly saying that using a step-function is what makes taxes so complicated?

There are two parts that make taxes complex. The first is deductions. That takes up a bit of the complexity. The second is defining income. That's hugely complex.

In one easy to identify problem, your system seems to imply that I have to pay taxes on the value of any asset I sell, not just the appreciation of that asset since purchase. Which makes investing... interesting.

3 days ago

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Please automate accounting more! (415 comments)

I have a bit of free time.

I did some pretty basic accounting in the past, and wrote most of the internal report generating software my company (quite small) uses.

What scared me away from publishing any accounting software before was the lack of a CPA. Do companies not care if the software is verified as long as it is transparent?

But if you're serious, I'd love to know more.

3 days ago

IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Over 18 (630 comments)

I agree. But that makes this is an excellent example of how the world should work:

Shitty practice exists

News media locates and publicizes this shitty practice instead of focusing on celebrities/tragedies

People in charge fix the problem, either out of embarrassment or because someone who was ignorant of it but had the power to stop it finds out it's going on.


3 days ago

IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Talking of unpaid taxes ... (630 comments)

You can tell her Majesty that we will gladly pay our Tea Taxes once restitution has been made for the Revolutionary War, impressment of our sailors, War of 1812 (including burning D.C.), and the money we loaned during the world wars.

3 days ago

IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Over 18 (630 comments)

They recognized the inheritance of debt. The IRS ended this policy shortly before Slashdot reported on it.

I suppose Slashdot will post a countering news study a few days from now.

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Farming (731 comments)

Beyond that, most modern medicine requires pharmaceuticals and technology. Most doctors would be pretty bad off post-apocalypse.

Also, my career is irrelevant. I can build a house. But my career is in technology. So I would have to turn a hobby into a job.

about a week ago

How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

Actually, I do RTFA Re:WOWZA! (240 comments)

If the people on /. don't see the worth of buying decent mobile apps - what's the point of them other than to advertise and hijack the masses?

Well, that's how I feel about a smart phone in general.

I'd love to get the advantages of a smartphone, but see these as insurmountable obstacles.

The spying by Apple/Google/Microsoft (not sure about what Blackberry does).

Taking something quite secure and adding the worry about spyware/adware/viruses.

The walled garden that keep me from being able to just, I dunno, run linux software.

Being stuck in the high cost/low quality distribution, ala would be the case for Hulu plus.

about a week ago

NYC Considers Google Glass For Restaurant Inspections

Actually, I do RTFA Re:welding helmet in a bar? (104 comments)

"You're so hot, I have to wear ANSI Z87.1 compliant eye protection"

I would sleep with any girl who used that line on me.

about a week ago

Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

Actually, I do RTFA Also, all inventions are invented (292 comments)

The famous line from the head of the US patent office in 1902:

In my opinion, all previous advances in the various lines of invention will appear totally insignificant when compared with those which the present century will witness. I almost wish that I might live my life over again to see the wonders which are at the threshold

Or the slightly less famous line from the head of the US patent office in 1843:

The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.

about a week ago

Google Chrome Flaw Sets Your PC's Mic Live

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Google had to have put this in on purpose (152 comments)

Google Now (recently added to the Chrome browser)

That's why it's always more secure to run software 6 or more versions out of date. No zero-day bugs for me!

about a week ago

Stephen Colbert To Be Letterman's Successor

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Good (193 comments)

Probably a win for them, actually. I imagine CBS will put more limitations on what Colbert can say than Viacom did.

Note to those who think Viacom owns CBS - Viacom spun CBS off in 2006.

about a week ago

How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Let it die (509 comments)

I gather all deaf people do not think alike.

Granted - but immaterial in this instance.

This is a discussion about deaf culture. Pretty much by definition, it's a monolithic entity. You can, and should, when discussing a culture, talk about the incentives and attitudes it puts upon its members. Actually, going beyond that, you can and should critique those.

You're right that shouldn't go over into "deaf people all are evil/all think this". But the specific culture apparently does.

about a week ago

New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

Actually, I do RTFA Re:A law for everything... (477 comments)

You seem to be laboring over a lot of misconceptions.

The point of overtime is not for the employee's benefit. It is for the employer's. It's cheaper to pay the additional per-hour overtime premium, then the fixed costs of having an entire additional staffer.

A second job is completely different from working overtime. It doesn't raise expectations for your coworkers, means that certain overhead is paid twice, and the list keeps going.

about a week ago

Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

Actually, I do RTFA Re:there's obviously more too this (465 comments)

Eliminate the consultant and end the relationship with Pepsi then find a different sponsor. So clearly there's more to it collapsing than just the Pepsi guy.

They did get rid of him. The problem is a Game Jam is operating under a time constraint. And so much time and energy got sucked up by this dick that they didn't even see a point in trying to make the deadline. Which makes all the rented materials, salaries, etc. a lost cause, etc.

about two weeks ago

Indie Game Jam Show Collapses Due To Interference From "Pepsi Consultant"

Actually, I do RTFA Re:We are the geeks, we are not tools for non-geek (465 comments)

how dare you make a personal choice about something that does not align to the interests of the people who are paying you to do something totally unrelated to this personal choice.

Actually, yes.

I wouldn't expect a director making a horror movie to hire someone who disdained horror movies. Sure, maybe the camera work would be exactly the same, but you want people excited to be working on a project.

If you work at Pepsi, and you're really bought into the brand, then you care about it. And you think it's a core part of business. So someone drinking Coke would be a pariah.

about two weeks ago

Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Won't work (342 comments)

but object to a dragnet search.

Sorry, stupidly explained. Object to a GPS device being attached to everyone's car. Same end result for one person, but totally different in aggregate.

about two weeks ago

Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Won't work (342 comments)

So it's simply the efficiency of scale that you object to?

Well, it changes the entire situation. It's similar to how many people are okay with an officer tailing a suspect, but object to a dragnet search.

I do object to it on a small scale. But not enough to really care about.

Even knowing that before HFT, the market makers used to collude to keep the spreads at a quarter, and now (since HFTs compete) spreads are mostly a cent?

Mere correlation. HFT occurred at the same time (and as a result of) other efficiencies in the market. I have yet to find any evidence that HFT lowers costs to the retail investor.

Also, I find the spread to be a fairly meaningless comparison. HFT increases the number of trades. So, the spread isn't as unabigous a marker as it seems.

Although, I may be wrong. Please let me know if I seem off.

you still haven't mentioned any harm.

HFT's are making money, making billions. That money isn't from any value created. So it must be coming from somewhere else. That makes them a deadweight loss - siphoning cash from the market.

about two weeks ago

Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Won't work (342 comments)

The issue isn't a HFT company making a fraction of a cent on a trade. It's a HFT making a fraction of a cent on every trade.

In your example, a better infrastructure allowed companies to make a profit proportional to the number (and, to some degree, skill) of their employees. In the current state, it depends solely on the infrastructure present.

Or, to put it a different way, the combination of a winner-take-all system with a solved-problem combined with a hardware-race yields an undesirable result; at least to me.

about two weeks ago

Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Actually, I do RTFA Re:The world is changing. (224 comments)

400 wpm is not high. Last speedreading test I took I hit 6-something. And I'm not that fast a reader.

But yes, that's English text, conveying possibly new ideas and/or facts. When I read a math text I don't achieve that speed.

I do wonder whether it's new paradigms that build on one another or the equations that make a difference. I have a few old Calc books around, maybe I should try speedreading them.

But in general, you can retain what is written if it's the kind of writing in a newspaper.

I can rip through a John Grisham novel in no time, but I'm currently reading "The Count of Monte Cristo". That is taking some time.

about two weeks ago

Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

Actually, I do RTFA Re:Forget fast charging via USB (227 comments)

We just finally got pretty much everyone who matters to use a USB connector, now you want to go back to the Walled Garden of proprietary connectors, or even worse, try to get everyone to agree on a new standard?

Hell yes. I've wanted a standard for power for years. USB is pretty stupid way to standardize, because it's 5V @ 0.5A. But that's an issue because to charge you need 5V @ 1A (then 5V @2A) so instead of coming up with a new connector, now they negotiate rates, and suddenly you have to ask if it's a USB connection that supports 2A, etc, etc. etc. and you cannot tell by looking at it.

Also, USB has USB micro and USB mini and just regular USB A, so don't pretend it's totally unambigous. And only one of those is at all resilient to being flipped upside down when being inserted upside-down. Which is find if you need four pins, but we don't for power.

So, we should have a standard, which can propagate the same way USB did (the EU makes a law). Universal barrel plugs, if it fits, it works. (That is, each combination of inner/outer diameters is ties Also, step up the voltage/amperage into standard steps, so there's a finite number of possibilities. Maybe a couple of standard sizes for each combination.

But yes, I've often used proprietary power plugs as the example for where a stupid government regulation can make for great efficiencies.

about two weeks ago



Fluke Donates Real Multimeters to SparkFun as goodwill gesture

Actually, I do RTFA Actually, I do RTFA writes  |  about a month ago

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) writes "We recently heard about the confiscation of a delivery of multimeters to SparkFun for infringing on Fluke's trademark. One common thread in the discussions was the theme that Fluke should have let that shipment through ("lawyers" argued about the legal ramifications of it) as a goodwill gesture to SparkFun and the Maker community. Well, Fluke did one better. They announced they were sending more than $30k worth of official multimeters to SparkFun for them to do whatever they want with.

SparkFun is most likely going to give them away.

A great example of win-win-win?"

Link to Original Source

Microsoft loses final appeal in EU Antitrust case.

Actually, I do RTFA Actually, I do RTFA writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) writes "Being a convicted monopolist in Europe may be not as sweet a deal as in the United States. Microsoft has been forced to allow blanket licences to its server protocols[Free registration required]. Although they will still be raking in the money (at 10,000 euro upfront and 0.4% in royalties), it seems paltry compared to the almost 6% royalty rate they used to insist upon. And Microsoft has already paid 1 billion euros ( $1.43 billion US ) for the privledge of appealing to this stage, with a possibility that they will owe another 1.6 billion euros more.

Since they are having such a bad day, I thought I might as well advertise where you can purchase access to their proprietary code to make up for it. Curiously enough though, that site is down."

Our ATM is broken, so you go to jail?

Actually, I do RTFA Actually, I do RTFA writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) writes "A short while ago, slashdot featured an article about possible criminal prosecution for people who took advantage of faulty slot machine software. At the time, many people drew an analogy to an ATM that dispensed too much money. Well, apparently, that too may result in criminal charges. Interestingly, although they suspect that someone may have tampered with the ATM, they are considering charging anyone who withdrew money from the ATM.

This also provides an interesting rejoinder to 'if they can build a secure ATM, why cannot Diebold build a secure electronic voting machine.'"

Link to Original Source


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