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Comment: Re:Lobbying aside (Score 1) 400

If this was in 2007 or something when you could get a 5% account, things would be different. (That'd be $387.)

I've done this intentionally a couple of times. Once the year my wife started working and once the year she went back to work after our son was born. I made something like $500 bucks back in '05, a lot less in '08 (fewer safe options). It sure felt good to write that four-figure check to Uncle Sam, though. The trick was withholding the same or slightly more than I did the previous year (with one income). Then penalties don't kick in.

Comment: Re:Paper and US Postal Service (Score 1) 377

by orgelspieler (#46758671) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I do everything by hand as well. I find it somewhat fulfilling, although it's always a bit crazy. I messed up one year and didn't take a credit I was entitled to. The IRS gave it to me anyway.

The math isn't the hard part. Knowing what goes in what box is a nightmare, though. My wife runs a small business that loses money each year, and she doesn't keep very good track of her P&Ls. To get that extra hundred bucks or so, there are instructions that refer to publications, which in turn refer to other instructions, which have worksheets that require you to input something from the original form that you haven't calculated yet. Whee!

Don't even get me started on the lines that say things like "other gains (losses)" or "other credits." Really?

Comment: Filed my first year in Linux (Score 1) 377

by scorp1us (#46757201) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Not having a "real" platform, I used the web version of TaxACT. It was half the price of TaxCut to TurboTax. Being a web app, it was alright but the interface was buggy, and the questions were awfully worded.

I've been running Mint 115/16 for about 6 months, and other than tax filing it has been fantastic.

Reminder: before switching someone to Linux ask about how they do their taxes first.

Comment: Re:Why so much resistance to climate science? (Score 1) 838

Well before you brand me "denier" let me say I am very much pro-environment. I think we should have negligible impact on the biosphere because who knows how long we will need this one.

Now, there is no such thing as "climate science", but there is "climate" and "science" and even "science applied to climate" however none of these are climate science. We know CO2 is a greenhouse gas and warms faster than our nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere. And adding CO2 to that atmosphere will make it hotter. We've predicted that, and we can show in a lab experiment that is true. However that's where the science really ends. We have other ways that science is applied to climate, as in the study of ice cores and weather. But add these all up and you still can't call it "climate science" because we cannot (yet) account for everything going on. We cannot make a prediction and test it. First be have a sample set of one. It won't necessarily generalize. Second, the one we have is ours, and far too important to try any large scale experiment on. Third, its too big to try any sufficiently large experiment on.

So all we have is the ability to do is predict, wait, and measure. When we do that, we get wrong answers. Despite this "99% confidence" every single global warming alarmist has been wrong for the past 18 years. The increase between actual and prediction continues to grow. To me this is the single most important deciding factor. And I don't think it is to much to ask - that theory (models) match the actual. Over the last 17 years 8 months, not even the sign is the same. Actual is down a trivial amount (hundredths of a degree), but the models are saying 0.3 degree increase, with increased divergence expected. The fact that we can't predict a 20 year pause (even drop) is a big fucking deal. The humans have declared "the science settled" but despite that nature continues to do what it wants. So if you have all these "experts" saying "the science is settled" and nature is going the other way, who do you believe? Especially when they have these "99%" confidence intervals.

The truth of the matter is, only the science in the laboratory is settled. The science of what actually in the atmosphere is far from complete. I wouldn't be so "anti climate science" if these guys had a bit more modestly and a lot less hubris. But here's what they are doing. Their model predictions get more invalidated by the day, and how do they respond? "We have a 99% condience"... they double down on science that isn't working. They are in effect, becoming oracles or prophets of doom. A proper scientific response would be to retreat, revise the models until they have something that works, then apologize and start using the improved model. But that's not what these guys do. They spend way too much time making dire predictions (which don't validate) in the media.

I love science through and through, but I would be ashamed to call myself a climate scientist.

Comment: Re:One word... (Score 3, Informative) 75

by Samantha Wright (#46735151) Attached to: Can Web-Based Protests Be a Force for Change?
Well, here's the tl;dr of TFA: Social media is the starting point. Hence the Arab Spring—you use Facebook or Twitter or whatever to spread your message and/or propaganda, and then accrue those with personal willingness to march and coordinate action through the net. Five dictators have been overthrown in the Middle East since December 2010 (as well as uprisings and protests in more than a dozen other countries) following social media germination, so clearly it's viable for that. Unfortunately this means it's also a single point of failure, as shown in Egypt when they depeered from the rest of the network in early 2011, easy to infiltrate and possible to manipulate.

Comment: Re:Recycling Personalities (Score 1) 445

by artor3 (#46734637) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

At the same time, you should understand that you can't "inherit" a deficit. The idea is poppycock. The budget for each year stands fresh on its own.

Absolute nonsense. How many wounded veterans are we paying for thanks to Bush? Shall Obama just throw them out on the streets? Even the healthy veterans will cost us a fortune for the next half-century or so. And how much money have we given away under Bush's tax cuts and Medicare Part D? Obama had to fight like hell for years to get rid of even a portion of the the tax cuts.

Obama's not a dictator. He can't just "change a massive deficit to a surplus in a single year just by adjusting the numbers in [the] budget." Blaming him for the Bush deficit is dishonest in the extreme.

Comment: Re:Apple Products never play nice with WIFI (Score 1) 80

by artor3 (#46732019) Attached to: Wi-Fi Problems Dog Apple-Samsung Trial

The patent is probably a tad more specific than "fingerprint scanner". It's easy to imagine all sorts of novel developments in fingerprint scanning technology that would absolutely deserve to be patentable. Not saying that's the case here. I'm not familiar with the case, and don't particularly care. But I see this on Slashdot all the time -- people simplifying a patent down to a single phrase, and then declaring it to be obvious.

Comment: Re:Luck resets every time you guess. (Score -1, Offtopic) 136

by artor3 (#46731249) Attached to: Crowd Wisdom Better At Predictions Than Top CIA Analysts

Fuck off. That font is hideous and unreadable, and I shouldn't need to go digging in any settings to fix the mess you created.

You don't even seem to understand why a fixed-width font would be useful. It "mucks with your text the least"? You realize that you're writing in paragraphs, right? And that not everyone in the world is going to have their browser window at the same width?

You're just trying to be a special snowflake and show everyone how smart and techy you are.

Comment: So thin clients are new again? (Score 2) 101

I was having this discussion about my boss's Chromebox. Which I was laughing at for being a thin client. "it'll revolutionize the world"" he said. "We've had citrix for years." I said. All this dies is give you a thin client where the server is any internet accessible site.

Comment: Re:Let it die (Score 1) 507

by orgelspieler (#46728773) Attached to: How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture
Hmmm... it depends on the bulb. Most glow purple more than in that photo, but I don't know about "bright." You may check with somebody you trust with the prism-sticky note test in the article. Just have them put a sticky note where they cease seeing color and compare it to your own vision. Not exactly scientific, but it could be interesting.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.