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Comment: Re:How do you do your taxes? (Score 1) 358

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#46760757) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

As long as you aren't a victim of Tax Identity Fraud. My taxes are rather complex, my wife and I have used TurboTax for years to deal with them, until this year. When we went to file, we go the error "Spouse's Tax Identification Number has already been used". Yes, some idiot had used her SSN to already file before the first week of February.

So we had to file by paper, notify three other agencies, put a hold on her credit, and call the local cops to get a tax refund this year. NEVER tell me that identity theft is a victimless crime.

Comment: Re:We don''t do tax returns in the UK,you insensit (Score 1) 358

by Maxo-Texas (#46759561) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I don't buy lottery tickets* but I view them as an opportunity to dream of what it would like to be wealthy.

* I have three times in my life as party favors for others and about 20 times as part of an office lottery pool which was really about not being the odd duck refusing to be part of the group. The "winnings" from all of these amounted to under 10% of the cost of the tickets.

Comment: Re:Had to do paper for a few years (Score 1) 358

by Maxo-Texas (#46759499) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?


I would efile but they wanted 10 bucks. For sending a frickin email attachment???

So I spent 49 cents and mailed it.

I think I would have paid 5 bucks and definitely would have paid 3 bucks if they supported paypal.

I did my taxes manually until two years ago. Too many stock transactions now. Which is a bit of a problem because taxact won't import the txf format output by my broker so I have to run an awk script to reformat the txf file into taxact format.

Comment: Re:It was a "joke" back then (Score 1) 259

The best part of Star Trek for me was when Motorola came out with the StarTac, and I realized that in three generations, science fiction could become science fact.

BTW, since I need to give up my keyboard in the next generation anyway, can anybody recommend a hard plastic flip cover for a Samsung S5?

Comment: Re:It is a Hobby (Score 1) 213

by Maxo-Texas (#46752555) Attached to: FAA Shuts Down Search-and-Rescue Drones

True for individual churches and smaller independent churches.

Not so true for the larger denominations which can have budgets running in the hundreds of millions to billions.

For example, the mormon's recently purchased and will operate several tens of thousands of farmland as a tax advantaged church business. And they have a really plush HQ. It's similar for the catholics and other large orders.

Comment: Re:Fill your head with crap (Score 1) 162

by Maxo-Texas (#46751601) Attached to: The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

Seriously? I think a million is conservative. The number of people who will read the header article is more likely to be closer to 4 million.

From the wiki:

In 2012, Slashdot had around 3.7 million unique visitors per month and received over 5300 comments per day.[2] The site has won more than 20 awards, including People's Voice Awards in 2000 for Best Community Site and Best News Site. Occasionally, a story will link to a server causing a large surge of traffic, which can overwhelm some smaller or independent sites. This phenomenon is known as the "Slashdot effect".

(to the other commenter-- this didn't feel like an advertisement to me. But- you could be right. Even if you are wrong- as I said- doing this regularly would result in it being corrupted by business interests- so even if this ISN'T an advertisement- if we do this enough, they would start to be dominated by advertisements).

Comment: Re:Modded down? (Score 1) 280

by Maxo-Texas (#46751563) Attached to: Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

It's leveling out faster than that. India and China have been experiencing 20% inflation for high skill jobs and 100% inflation for low skill jobs (still making under $5000 a year but... at 100% a year...).

The quality of workers available thru offshoring has been dropping since 2005 BUT-- offshoring companies have a unique advantage in that they can turn on and off large numbers of workers at a given client rapidly. I.e. you have a project that needs 20 developers, 3 analysts, 1 architect-- and on two months notice- you've got it at an agreed upon rate. Turns out you only need 15 developers or you need 25 developers-- and you've got it.

Meanwhile- the private company has interviewed 17 candidates- offered to 5, and gotten 2 to accept. And 1 of those may not work out. And the private company has a shitty reputation for being a sweat shop PLUS no training PLUS layoffs while the offshoring company values programmer candidates (because they are revenue sources unlike at the private company where they were a cost).

But.. don't trust that the offshore people *really* have the skill sets-- probably 15 of the 20 they send you will have no skill set to a 2 month training course and they'll be training them on your dime. And the offshore people tend to say YES to everything-- which management loves-- but which results in expensive failures. I.e. Can you do the impossible and delivery it in 90 days, "YES! We'll do our best!"

Five million dollars later.. a piece of crap is delivered in 90 days. It finally works (maybe) well enough to use after 180 days and isn't really fully functional for a year... or more.

A fundamental problem is the technology in IT is still changing TOO DAMN FAST. When I started- you could learn a skillset (Cobol, JCL, RPG, Vax Assembly) and use it for 10 to 15 years. Now- outside of maybe SQL- there is a new technology every... single... year... If you miss the boat- you quickly become unhireable.

But you can't really master it and you are always working tons of hours on your own time mastering the new languages and tools compared to the management and sales team who is doing maybe 12 hours of fluffly training combined with drinks in vegas and who are making more money and who don't have to work nights, weekends, and holidays (especially holidays since the systems can be quiesced then).

And then- even if you manage to keep up- massive age discrimination at age 50 (some as early as 45. my god- i pity the poor kids) without legal recourse. Infosys for example requires your high school graduation date on the job application. Not that you graduated. I.E. The EXACT date when you were 18. It should be illegal.. but it's not.

I'm glad I was able to make it, retire, and now I only program for fun again like I did back when I was young. But I did that by living on half of what I made (which was a lot thankfully).

The last year has been one of the best of my life. I'm playing ultimate frisbee again, time to frolic with the girlfriend and time to spend with the grandkids. Life is Good.

Oh.. and way too much minecraft.

Comment: Re:Fill your head with crap (Score 1) 162

by Maxo-Texas (#46749105) Attached to: The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

He's actually providing an editorial service for millions of other people. Conservatively, he freed up a million people to spend 5 minutes thinking about important issues.

That's just under 10 years of total time they can think about important issues.

And that's ignoring the time/money savings resulting from those who select the app.

He's justified a significant portion of his existence with just the one post.

Comment: Re:What value does a government add to any marriag (Score 1) 25

by Marxist Hacker 42 (#46748587) Attached to: Why Libertarians should be against gay marriage

"No, the ideal is the abandonment of man's authority over man."

Which is still conformity to an ideal.

"Then let's make sure everybody is treated the same, under the same rules."

That's an ideal I can get behind, but you can't- because that would be CONFORMITY.

" I was simply being a bit more pragmatic in a world where people who see equality as a threat to their privileged status and lifestyle want to take us back to the dark ages."

The Dark ages weren't so bad, but then again, as a post modernist, you can't possibly defy the conformity of your own prejudices to admit that.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.