writes "Return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Or that, under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. Or that the concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe.
Sounds great, except to Intuit, maker of Turbotax: last year, Intuit spent more than $2.6 million on lobbying, some of it to lobby on four bills related to the issue, federal lobbying records show."Link to Original Source
writes "Irish police believe that a gangland bomber blew himself up after he forgot about the clocks changing for summer time while he was planting a bomb on Sunday."Link to Original Source
writes "Former United States President Jimmy Carter defended the disclosures by fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden on Monday, saying revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies were collecting meta-data of Americans' phone calls and e-mails have been "probably constructive in the long run."
"I think it's wrong," President Carter said of the NSA program. "I think it's an intrusion on one of the basic human rights of Americans, is to have some degree of privacy if we don't want other people to read what we communicate.""Link to Original Source
writes "Austin ranks Number 1 in the nation when it comes to offering the largest tech salaries that have been adjusted for cost of living expenses, such as housing, groceries, utilities and other necessities. This is according to a study by TriNet, a company I had never heard off, that provides
(buzzword alert!) cloud-based human resources services.
The seven major tech hubs, ranked by cost of living adjusted average salaries:
1. Austin: $105,000
2. Atlanta: $103,000
3. Denver-Boulder: $98,000
4. Boston: $79,000
5. Silicon Valley: $78,000
6. Los Angeles: $70,000
7. New York: $56,000"Link to Original Source
writes "An Air Malaysia 777 bound to Beijing has apparently crashed into the South China Sea:
That CNN article reports that there was one Italian passenger onboard... however the Italian who was supposedly onboard says his passport was stolen 6 months ago:
"Link to Original Source
Luigi Maraldi, 37, reportedly called his parents to say he was in Thailand and not on board the flight. Mr Maraldi told the /Corriere della Sera/ newspaper that his passport had been stolen last August. "One of the hypotheses about how he came to be on the passenger list is that someone boarded using his stolen passport," the newspaper reported. A spokesman for Malaysia Airlines said they had received any information on Mr Maraldi.
writes "Following up on the Bil Nye and Ken Ham debate on Creationism ((http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/02/04/1731233/watch-bill-nye-and-ken-ham-clash-over-creationism-live): Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced Thursday that a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.
Ham said a high-profile evolution debate he had with "Science Guy" Bill Nye on Feb. 4 helped boost support for the project.
Nye said he was "heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky" after learning that the project would move forward. He said the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham's ministry, which preaches that the Bible's creation story is a true account, and as a result, "voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest.""Link to Original Source
writes "The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/12k-cameras-to-give-atlanta-police-broader-window-/nd2Sh/) that Atlanta Police plan to have as many as 12,000 cameras installed in the city.
“Atlanta is really on the leading edge of work in this area,” said William Flynn, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deputy assistant secretary of infrastructure protection. “We spend a lot of our attention on preparedness, protection, prevention. This kind of technology is the best use of those efforts and the best use of our resources.
“We’ve even been able to capture a murder on film,” said Atlanta Police Lt. LeAnne Browning, a supervisor at the video integration center where footage from more than 2,700 cameras is monitored.
I'm sure that was of great comfort to the murder victim and his/her loved ones."Link to Original Source
writes "Many educators and commentators believe that standardized testing is a soul-sapping exercise in rote learning that devalues critical thinking and favors students of higher-income parents who can afford test-prep classes or private tutors.
Not so, according to James Samuelson. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Mr. Samuelson explains that testing is actually good for the intellectual health of students. (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304104504579374651890320212) Testing is also an excellent way for teachers to better understand the particular academic challenges their students face.
Students acquire test-taking skills through discipline, through routine. They also learn how to reason by following a progression of ideas in connected, logical order. But the need for discipline, for routine, would require teachers to cut down on the practice of flitting about from one unconnected topic to another.
Mr. Samuelson teaches at Queens Vocational & Technical High School in Sunnyside, Queens, N.Y."Link to Original Source
writes "In a post on the Flyertalk website (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/22387891-post72.html), WhatsApp Founder Jan Koum provides another interesting detail about how he steered Whatsapp into a $16 Billion Deal with Facebook (http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/14/02/20/1344218/how-jan-koum-steered-whatsapp-into-16b-facebook-deal):
"Link to Original Source
we announced the deal with Facebook on wednesday after the market closed. during the process, we realized there was a chance we might not be able to get the deal wrapped up and signed on wednesday and it could delay.
when the risk of the delay became real, i said: "if we don't get it done on wednesday, it probably wont get done. i have tickets on thursday to fly out to Barcelona which i bought with miles and they are not easily refundable or even possible to change. this has to be done by wednesday or else!!!" ...and so one of the biggest deals in tech history had to be scheduled around my M&M award ticket
writes "Nearly 15 months after HP booked a massive accounting charge related to its $11.5 billion purchase of Autonomy, a new audit finally provides significant evidence (http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20140203-706362.html) to backup CEO Meg Whitman's claim that Autonomy's executives engaged in a "willful effort" to mislead HP's shareholders and management (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/11/20/1651233/meg-whitman-says-hp-was-defrauded-by-autonomy-hp-stock-plunges).
The new audit by Ernst & Young LLP determined that Autonomy had significantly inflated revenue in 2010: Autonomy had booked deals that were unlikely to be paid for, booked deals prematurely before they were closed, and even claimed transactions where there were no end customers. HP also found errors in the accounting of certain expenses such as employee commissions and bonuses.
HP has refiled Autonomy's financial statements for 2010. HP's restatement lowers Autonomy's revenue for 2010 by 54% and also shows a decrease in operating profit by about 81%.
The Slashdot community has previously discussed the fallout from HP's October 2011 purchase of Automony in several stories, including:
HP Chairman Raymond Lane Steps Down
HP Not Giving Up On Autonomy
Why Bad Directors Aren't Thrown Out
UK Serious Fraud Office Probes Autonomy With ... Autonomy!
Is HP Right? Autonomy Salesperson Shares Internal Emails
Autonomy Chief Says Whitman Is Watering Down HP Fraud Claims
Meg Whitman Says HP Was Defrauded By Autonomy; HP Stock Plunges
It's too bad that CEO Whitman squandered $11.5 billion on Autonomy instead of following Edward F. Molten's September 23, 2011 advice that she make a
deep and long commitment to open-source technology: "Could Open Source Investment Save HP?" http://news.slashdot.org/story..."Link to Original Source
writes "Like the Mac (http://apple.slashdot.org/story/14/01/26/1851236/watch-steve-jobs-demo-the-mac-in-1984), the IBM PC Junior (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PCjr) first went on sale in late January 1984. That is where the similarities — the PC Junior became the biggest PC dud of all time (http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/286031/the-12-biggest-pc-duds-ever/12).
Back on May 17, 1984, the NY Times reported (http://www.nytimes.com/1984/05/17/business/ibm-s-problems-with-junior.html?pagewanted=all) that the PC Junior "is too expensive for casual home users, but, at the same time, is not nearly powerful enough for serious computer users who can afford a more capable machine." The article also quoted Peter Norton, then still a human programmer that had not yet morphed into a Brand, who said that the PC Junior "'may well be targeted at a gray area in the market that just does not exist.'' IBM cancelled the machine in March 1985, after only selling 270,000 of them.
While it was a commercial plop, the machine is still liked by some. Michael Brutman's PCJr page (http://www.brutman.com/PCjr/) attempts to preserve the history and technical information of the IBM PCjr and Youtube has a video of a PC Junior running a demo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jky2gZLuGxY)."Link to Original Source
writes ""The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity, a network not of wires but of people," said Catholic Pope Francis, adding: "The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.""Link to Original Source
writes "The Albany, NY Times Union newspaper reports (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Ready-aim-point-talk-5116592.php) that Jerome M. Hauer, the New York State Director of Homeland Security, took out his handgun and used its laser sighting device attached to the barrel as a pointer during a presentation given in the "highly secure" state emergency operations center below NY State Police headquarters.
Three Swedish emergency managers in the audience were rattled when the gun's laser tracked across one of their heads before Hauer found the map of New York at which he wanted to point. Hauer was disabled by a stroke a few years ago and can be unsteady.
Although Hauer is not a law enforcement official, he carries his loaded 9-millimeter Glock in a holster into state buildings, which is an apparent violation of NY State's Public Facilities Law prohibiting employees from entering state buildings with weapons."Link to Original Source
writes "T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter crashed AT&T's Developer Party, the cap off to AT&T's developer conference held in conjunction to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). They probably would have gotten away with it if it weren't for that meddling kid at CNET, Roger Cheng, who tweeted a snapshot of himself with Legere at the AT&T party.
So, what was the entertainment at your last Developer Party? Have you ever been invited to a Developer Party?"Link to Original Source