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Comment: Re:HRBlock (Score 2) 385

by GlobalEcho (#46758413) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

However some states were able to implement their own systems separately...which is why sites like HR block don't offer free filing in Illinois. Illinois hosts it's own solution, on it's own website, very easy and totally free and no upsell.

I have such complicated taxes that I need to buy a "Premier" edition of TurboTax. It comes with "free" state, but what they mean is that the computations are free but they demand serious money to e-File.

Illinois website is so awesome that I simply use it despite the free state addin. TurboTax does the computations with almost no extra effort, so I use it for a sanity check, but there's never been a difference.

Comment: Re:damn right, the system is crap! (Score 1) 529

by GlobalEcho (#46506533) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

I am not familiar with financial aid at 2-year programs, but find your account plausible. On the other hand, 4-year colleges tend to have considerable need-based aid available even for non-minorities; in many cases it's even grant rather than loan-based. I am curious -- why didn't you either choose one at the outset or transfer into one after your 2-year degree? I know of some superb success stories following the latter pattern.

Comment: Not quite the same (Score 2) 794

by GlobalEcho (#46371313) Attached to: Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

Dumb question: it's about the actions of the believers. That's why the anti-vax kooks (whotends to skew left) gets a similar reaction to the creationists and climate wackos.

Granted that homeopathy stuff is ridiculous pseudoscience, but the difference is that nobody is trying to push it as a driver of public policy. When I shop at Whole Foods, it's for the tasty, tasty bread and local salsa and nobody minds that I walk right past the snake oil. I don't have a problem with creationism, I have a problem with it being forced on others. That's why we perceive it differently.

Comment: No deal at all (Score 5, Funny) 822

by GlobalEcho (#46081707) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

This guy cost the government untold fortunes -- not only in dollars but in goodwill. He poisoned relationships with the international community, undermined the confidence of the citizenry in our institutions and ignored the democratic process. He should be in jail, no question.

Oh, whoops! I thought you were asking about Dick Cheney!

Comment: I like the open plan (Score 4, Interesting) 314

by GlobalEcho (#46046709) Attached to: Office Space: TV Documentary Looks At the Dreadful Open Office

> Is it just me or do the people who want you to work in open offices sound like the nobility in Downton Abbey?

It's just's my anecdote from which you can synthesize data.

I've had an office. It was lonely and I got sleepy. Give me an open plan any day, where I'm more productive and learn more about what's going on.

(And for what it's worth, in the last few places I've worked, the multimillionaire bosses have always sat right in the middle of the open plan with everybody else).

Comment: I just want pseudonymity (Score 5, Insightful) 384

by GlobalEcho (#45795881) Attached to: Internet Commenting Growing Away From Anonymity

I generally refuse to post anything but the most anodyne statements on public web forums under my own name. Who knows what political or cultural opinion some future interlocutor might find offensive?

However, give me a pseudonym and I'm happy to post. The risk of search engines making the association is small. I'm fine with being legally responsible (and culturally anonymous) for what I post, which is precisely what pseudonymity gives me.

As with moderation, this is something Slashdot gets more or less right.

Comment: Re:Taught by whom? (Score 3, Interesting) 236

by GlobalEcho (#45647329) Attached to: Chicago Public Schools Promoting Computer Science to Core Subject

CPS pays an average of just under $75K to teachers, which is more than most private schools do. Along with the extra job security and (promised if not delivered) pensions, that makes the teaching positions attractive to quite a few people. The teachers I know also feel good about dedicating their professional lives to students in CPS, who are generally in need of every bit of help they can get.

If I had made a bundle in the dot com bubble or something, I could see myself teaching CS in CPS. Or at least trying -- I teach grad school and don't know if I have the personality for younger students.

Comment: Where does the money go, then? (Score 3, Interesting) 1216

by GlobalEcho (#45501575) Attached to: Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

"Make your society egalitarian with this 1 weird trick!"

If we postulate that this measure will leave company profits unchanged, then the cap will send extra money somewhere else. Its backers seem to assume that it would go to the rank and file workers, but I think it likelier that the owners of the firm would begin experiencing a better return on their money. That cohort, too, is wealthier than average, though not by so much as CEOs since a lot of it is comprised of pension funds and mutual funds. In any case, the loopholes around this kind of measure are so numerous that it would be silly to pursue.

What we really need is to bring back serious inheritance taxes, even if some people want to call them "death taxes". In the long run, huge wealth is not a societal problem so long as it doesn't become dynastic. Rather than playing havoc with the incentives of the living via convoluted tax laws and weird rules, let's concentrate on fighting the growth of entrenched classes.

Comment: KeePass (Score 1) 230

by GlobalEcho (#45339503) Attached to: Stolen Adobe Passwords Were Encrypted, Not Hashed

I used to do it the same way you do, with different levels of passwords. I eventually lost track and just started using KeyPass and generate unique passwords.

I think you mean KeePass and I quite agree.

Every new MMORPG that comes out now has a huge wave of "hacked" account

It would be interesting to know which "level" people tend to choose for their MMORPGs (at least of those who have "levels"). On the one hand it's just a game, while on the other it involves a gargantuan investment of time and attention.

Contemptuous lights flashed flashed across the computer's console. -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy