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Comment: My system... pile and then sort (Score 1) 371

by Sax Maniac (#36000020) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You File Paper Documents At Home?

I do a fairly low-tech approach:

- Shred all bills that are not accounts (gas, phone, etc.)
- Keep all records that are accounts or income (credit cards, savings, mutual funds, checking, pay stubs).
- I keep selected receipts for big purchases, and other tax-deductible things (mostly medical expenses)
- Put all paper in a big pile after the accounts are reconciled (I use quicken). Ignore pile as it grows.
- At the end of the year, put the big pile of paper on a table, and sort them in to little piles by account. Sort each stack by date, but this will happen most automatically since you are sticking the most recent stuff on top during the year, and you reverse it when exploding out the big pile. I wind up with 20 or so stacks of paper.
- Put all the stacks into ONE folder, marked with the year name.
- Next year, you stick your taxes in that folder.

Comment: Re:digital gram scale as an extra? (Score 4, Informative) 176

by Sax Maniac (#35431048) Attached to: Ex-Microsoft CTO Writes $625 Cookbook

Digital scales are quite handy for cooking. I use them more and more often, the more I cook. First, it's really great for things like flour or other loose/granular things where the volume varies wildly, and you want a consistent result. All you have to do is weigh out a few cups of flour, and compare it against the box weight, to see how inaccurate volume can be at times. Cakes and breads dramatically improve with a scale.

Once you figure out the weight of something, you can reuse it, since we tend to the same make recipes a lot. I annotate my most-used recipes with weight. Using a scale also saves dirty measuring cups and spoons, since you can tare the scale, add the new ingredient, and repeat indefinitely.

Comment: Re:Type 2? (Score 1) 148

by Sax Maniac (#34535354) Attached to: Diabetic Men May Be Able To Grow Their Own Insulin-Producing Cells

Lots of "somebodies" have thought of this, but we have thousands of years of inertia to overcome. Diabetes was realized and diagnosed in ancient times, long before we ever discovered the difference between type 1 and type 2. As a father of type 1 son, I would like nothing better for type 1 to be renamed something without the word "diabetes" in it, but I know it's hopeless. The term diabetes today means "type 2" to the vast majority of people.

As such, we have to deal with the myth that if my 4 year old son, who is skinny as a toothpick and barely has any body fat to put a syringe into, only dieted and exercised more, he wouldn't need insulin, where the reality is that he will die with out it, no matter what his weight it.

Even "type 1" and "type 2" are new terms, and the old ones have not disappeared. It used to be "juvenile" and "adult onset", which was even worse, because in reality adults can get type 1, and children can get type 2. Today, children are getting type 2 due to lifestyle factors, and there is a lot of awareness of this. Still, people are getting confused and think "juvenile diabetes" means "getting type 2 at a young age". I never say my child has "juvenile diabetes" because most people will think that I'm feeding him a steady diet of Hershey bars, instead of thinking that he was just unlucky like a kid with multiple sclerosis. Type 1's face relentless assumption from everyone that the disease is their fault, which is totally untrue.

Comment: Re:This explains the political process (Score 1) 824

by Sax Maniac (#34196650) Attached to: The Placebo Effect Not Just On Drugs
Actually, less than zero. He paid zero federal and state income taxes, and got something $20,000 back from state/federal due to carrying over paper losses via various paperwork tricks. Yes, he pays other forms of taxes like gasoline and property tax, but that the amount of cash he gets back outweighed all the tax he pays in since he lives in a cheap state with low expenses. Of course he could be lying to me, but I'm not sure why he'd want to. I think his words were "we don't have to pay tax, we get paid to run the business".

Comment: Re:This explains the political process (Score 1) 824

by Sax Maniac (#34164372) Attached to: The Placebo Effect Not Just On Drugs

Perhaps they are referring to people who get out more than they put in? I'm glad to get a little bit back, just like I'm glad to get my car fixed when I pay insurance. It's called risk management.

However, I know people who pay NO TAX at all, and get back many thousands of dollars in refundable credits.

Comment: Re:Why would you _not_ recycle as much as possible (Score 1) 622

by Sax Maniac (#33340006) Attached to: Smart Trash Carts Tell If You Haven't Been Recycling

We have the same set up in our town. Free recycling, $2 garbage stickers.

Last year the price went up to $2.50 a sticker. Why? They said that people recycled too much. The trash load went down significantly, and so they sold a lot less stickers. The tipping fees to the town were apparently a fixed price for some fixed limit, but the reduced trash load did not qualify for a cheaper contract or whatever. As the sticker count went down, the funding account didn't fill up as fast enough. So, the price had to go up!

Comment: Re:A whole new level of parallelism (Score 3, Insightful) 137

by Sax Maniac (#32918462) Attached to: Why 'Gaming' Chips Are Moving Into the Server Room

This isn't hundreds of threads that can run arbitrary code paths like a CPU, you have to totally redesign your code, or already have implemented parallel code so that you already run a number of threads that all do the same thing at the same time, just on different data.

The threads all run in lockstep, as in, all the threads better be at the same PC at the same time. If you run into a branch in the code, then you lose your parallelism, as the divergent threads are frozen until they come back together.

I'm not a big thread programmer, but I do work on threading tools. Most of the problems with threads seems to come with threads doing totally different code paths, and the unpredictable scheduling interactions that arise between them. GPU coding a lot more tightly controlled.

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.