Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re: Preloaded Crapware? (Score 1) 148

by bdenton42 (#49091467) Attached to: Report: Samsung Replacing Its Apps With Microsoft's For Galaxy S6

Really, I don't understand the hate Hangouts keeps receiving...

Hangouts is horrible at keeping chats synchronized. I will sometimes find messages sitting in the Chats folder in gmail that I never saw on my phone and as a result never responded to.

Having SMS in Hangouts is kind of nice, except that it is just window dressing since you can't see those messages on any other Hangout instance other than on that one device.

Also since Hangouts relies upon your network connection it is pretty unreliable as an "instant" messaging system. I find that I can get someone's attention much more quickly via SMS than a Hangout message, which in some cases have taken hours to deliver.

Comment: Re:That kinda sucks (Score 1) 172

by bdenton42 (#47656517) Attached to: Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

My Sony library still exists - inaccessible - on my hard-drive, thanks to their !@#$ DRM insanity.

You should have received an email from Sony earlier this year which included a link to transfer your library over to Kobo. About 95% of my library transferred and is now accessible from Kobo readers and apps.

Comment: Re:NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (Score 1) 427

by bdenton42 (#47651531) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?
The Nighthawk is about the fastest router you can get bar none... when it is working. Over the last six months I have had no end to troubles with unstable wireless connections, the wireless going away completely, LAN devices being unable to talk to wireless devices, and outright router reboots on the stock firmware. It has been getting better but still just not there. I tried DD-WRT for about a month and it is better, but the wireless connections are still unstable. Currently back on my old ASUS RT-N56U... not as fast but connections are rock solid.

Comment: Re: shoulda got it right the first time (Score 1) 189

by bdenton42 (#45109707) Attached to: Patriot Act Author Introduces Bill To Limit Use of Patriot Act

the whole Government Shutdown is *precisely* what the Republican mantra is--to cut off non-essential spending.

Which is why I don't understand why one of the first bills they passed (unanimously even) was to guarantee backpay for all of the Federal workers which negates any possible savings.

Comment: Re:good. (Score 1) 341

by bdenton42 (#43427607) Attached to: Sequester Grounds Blue Angels

Would you tax stock market value?


Okay so now you have to track market value for all of your assets. That's a bit more work than tracking basis, especially for non-liquid assets.

I don't care about some guy with $100k in gold coins the goal is to go after the guy with $100m in coins.

So this guy with $100m in coins... would he have to track bullion value, or collectible value? Whichever is higher? More paperwork. Also it sounds like you will have to determine if you meet some sort of threshold before being taxed. And of course you know that threshhold will be low enough that dual income couples would have to compute the tax every year anyway ala AMT to make sure they are not liable (this is Congress writing the law after all).

You forget the mortgage is a huge negative

Now it sounds like you are really looking to tax net worth, so now you have to deduct loans from your assets. Or do only mortgages count? How about margin accounts?

On the whole you are describing a paper nightmare. It is hard enough for me to just track capital gains on the couple stock sales I do in a year well enough to report them correctly. I can't imagine trying to get something like this right... I have enough fears about screwing up my relatively simple 1040 without making it even more complicated.

I think just raising the capital gains tax would serve nearly the same purpose and would have the added effect of stabilizing the market.

Comment: Re:good. (Score 1) 341

by bdenton42 (#43426653) Attached to: Sequester Grounds Blue Angels

Sorry, typo... t-bill -> t-bond.

Your points are interesting but I believe investors will change their asset mixes to try to make up the loss of return, e.g. would you also tax hard commodities? How? Would you tax stock market value? Poor people invested in Apple would get nailed at the peak and will be hurting now. The tax would effectively reduce asset value, which would then decrease capital gains taxes when sold as well. I still believe the net effect will be near neutral to the Federal government, and would create another round of burdensome paperwork for people trying to figure out their 1040, so I guess it would be good for tax accountants and IRS agents.

Also when long term rates increase, credit card rates also increase so those people are screwed. People with fixed mortgages would certainly be better off, but people looking for mortgages will have a hard time.

Comment: Re:good. (Score 1) 341

by bdenton42 (#43425533) Attached to: Sequester Grounds Blue Angels

Lets say you have a t-bill... $10,000 paying 3% interest. That means you net $300 per year income, and lose roughly a third of it to income taxes so you make $200

Now add your 2% asset tax. Now instead of netting $200... you get zip. So why would you invest in a t-bill?

So the Feds have to increase the interest paid on the t-bill in order to attract investors... in this case you would have to raise the interest rate to 6% in order for the investor to make his $200 net. So:

Old: Pay $300, get $100 back in income taxes, paid investor $200

New: Pay $600, get $200 back in income taxes, get $200 back in asset taxes, paid investor $200

Net effect to the Federal government is zero. No matter if the tax is 2% or 10% they are still paying the investor roughly $200.

Now if the Federal government had no debt this picture would be a bit different, but you would still be raising interest rates on everyone else, which is not good for the 99%.

Comment: Re:good. (Score 1) 341

by bdenton42 (#43425097) Attached to: Sequester Grounds Blue Angels

Okay, suppose you implement a 10% annual tax on financial assets. Now that 1% savings account would actually net -9% (roughly), so you have to jack up interest rates to 17% to still make that 1% (why so high? remember you're still paying income tax on that interest too).

Now ripple that through the rest of the economy... your 4% home mortgage now becomes 20% (remember the good ol' days back in the early 80's? This would be worse), and treasury bonds would then have to pay 18% instead of 3%... oops, that means you just had about zero net effect on the deficit, as the interest on the national debt explodes.

Sure it sounds like a great idea to hit the 1%'ers, but the downstream effect will hurt the 99%'ers much more.

"Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like and make up reasons for it afterwards." -- Soren F. Petersen