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Comment: Yes: Free Money from the IRS! (Score 1) 734

by BBCWatcher (#49195037) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Let's suppose you have two children and your U.S. Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is about $75,000 or less. (If you earn more the math *might* change.) When you file your U.S. tax return (filing status Single, or Head of Household if you qualify), as a resident of Belgium (a comparatively high income tax jurisdiction) you should NOT take the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or Foreign Housing Exclusion (IRS Form 2555). Instead you should only take the Foreign Tax Credit (IRS Form 1116). You should also take the Additional Child Tax Credit (IRS Schedule 8812). Follow that particular path, preferably using your favorite tax preparation software (even the free ones like TaxAct or TaxSlayer), and you should see a REFUND at the bottom of your tax return. Yes, the IRS will send you $1000 per U.S. citizen child per year in free money. Really. (In tax years 2009 and 2010 there was another $400 in free money available as a special refundable tax credit, but maybe you missed that.)

Take the money and save it for your kids, or spend it on your kids, or some of both. That's about $17,000 per child in free money over their childhoods. When they turn 18, THEY can decide whether they wish to terminate their U.S. citizenships or not. I'd advise them not (under present conditions at least), but under current law it's free to do so before age 18 1/2. Even if it's not free, they've started with $17,000 in free money plus interest.

No brainer, here: get your kids' U.S. citizenships documented. U.S. citizenship literally pays.

Comment: YouTube Handily Beats CNN (Score 1) 105

by BBCWatcher (#48848429) Attached to: President Obama Will Kibbitz With YouTube Stars
YouTube has more viewers and gets basic facts wrong less often than CNN. Yet despite CNN's numerous ongoing deficiencies, the President has been quite generous and gracious to the network, appearing for interviews several times -- including a one-on-one interview with Candy Crowley late last month.

Comment: Re:Creating Precedence (Score 1) 325

by BBCWatcher (#48546917) Attached to: Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

Heathrow is restricted airspace. NOTHING should be in that area, it's the world's busiest airport.

Though I absolutely agree nothing else should be in the controlled airspace around Heathrow (or any other controlled airspace) without the full knowledge, permission, and constant monitoring of air traffic controllers, Heathrow is not the world's busiest. Heathrow serves the largest number of international airline passengers annually. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world's busiest both in terms of passengers served and aircraft movements.

Comment: Re:smaller screens (Score 1) 112

by BBCWatcher (#47554915) Attached to: Samsung Delays Tizen Phone Launch
I found your smartphone(s). Apple's iPhone 5s is more than decently spec'ed, and it has a 4.0 inch display. Apple's iPhone 5c is very decently spec'ed -- specifications are a bit better than the iPhone 5 -- and also has a 4.0 inch display. The Blackberry Q10 also meets or exceeds your criteria. If you insist on an Android-based device then it depends on what you mean by "decently spec'ed." Possible candidates include Asus's new Zenfone 4, Sony's Xperia M, Samsung's Galaxy Ace 3 (the Ace 4 may be a downgrade), and Huawei's Ascend Y300. I think I'd pick the Xperia M within that Android group, but your mileage may vary.

Comment: IE8 Last for Windows XP (Score 3, Interesting) 134

by BBCWatcher (#47062121) Attached to: New IE 8 Zero Day Discovered

Internet Explorer 8 was the last Internet Explorer available for Windows XP. Was Microsoft tempted to ignore the security exposure until XP fell out of support? Are there other security vulnerabilities in Windows XP reported before April, 2014, that Microsoft has ignored? Will Microsoft ignore (or at least slow walk) reported security vulnerabilities in their other products as they get nearer (but not actually reach) their end of support dates?

These continuing security defects are really beyond ridiculous. Maybe regulators -- the European Commission? -- ought to be mandating that vendors fix security vulnerabilities in their products within, say, 120 days. That would extend to all products sold (refurbished, new, whatever) within the past, say, 7 years. Otherwise, the vendor will be automatically barred from selling anything unless and until their security messes are cleaned up.

+ - Mainframes and Mullahs: Exploring Iran's IBM Mainframe Ecosystem ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Iran is subject to severe international sanctions, but Iranians freely admit that there are many IBM mainframes running in Iran. Presumably some of these current Iranian mainframe users began their mainframe journeys before Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, but other users may have joined the mainframe bandwagon later and recently. There seems to be a vibrant cottage industry of local mainframe sales, service, and support to keep these users (and potential new ones) running as smoothly as possible — illegally, of course, as with myriad other embargoed products. It may or may not be easy to get an IBM mainframe in Iran, and surely it’s impossible to get IBM’s support, but those obstacles clearly haven’t been always insurmountable."
Link to Original Source

Comment: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (Score 3, Insightful) 206

by BBCWatcher (#44772097) Attached to: Drone Hunters Lining Up and Paying Out In Colorado
I don't think anybody likes drones except perhaps the people who build them. However, I'm really upset with the idiots who even think about pointing a weapon up in the sky -- or aiming a laser, for that matter -- in a misguided attempt to fight the spread of drones. There are *people* flying overhead all the time in aircraft both small and large, and there's no way to tell which aircraft is manned and which isn't even if you want to do something stupid. There's a federal death penalty for anyone interfering with an aircraft (or "related facilities") that results in death, so this is serious stuff. I don't like it when people go duck hunting without being careful not to point their weapons anywhere near a family cruising along in their Cessna. If you want to fight the spread of drones then do it in ways that won't get people hurt or killed -- resulting in more drones, probably. Defund them, prevent them from being based in or launched from your community or state, boycott their manufacturers and affiliates, tax them heavily, make their owners/operators/manufacturers personally liable for the worst torts imaginable, and/or whatever. But for the sake of the people up in the skies, please, please don't even think about shooting at them.

The use of money is all the advantage there is to having money. -- B. Franklin