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Comment: There's still lots of improvement opportunity (Score 3, Interesting) 100

by dingleberrie (#49118491) Attached to: Police Use DNA To Generate a Suspect's Face

Because it searches for correlation between faces and DNA, and it's getting arguably discernible results already. I'm expecting it to improve as it gets more sample data, more processing power, and more researchers identifying distinguishing facial characteristics for it to attempt a DNA correlation to. Further, when they find out how to show examples at different milestone ages, then that would lead to even more interesting applications. Imagine knowing what your baby will look like before they are born... and the societal questions that that brings.

Comment: Taxact (Score 1) 119

I always felt frustrated paying over 50 bucks for tax software.
I went to Taxact 8 years ago because of price (22 bucks or so for deluxe state and federal and federal efile, $19 if you buy early). I had tried turbotax and H&R block. They are all roughly equivalent.
The only negative is that they don't seem to import my stocks directly from one of my brokerages.
But it's well worth the avoided hassle of the big names, though.

I'm not avid over tax software, but I like these guys because I think they charge a fair price and don't try to screw you.
(I have no affiliations)

Comment: Re:I wish they'd fix the missing functionality (Score 1) 148

by dingleberrie (#48939549) Attached to: LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

Things I use LibreOffice Calc for because Excel does them poorly or not at all.
1) An independent window per spreadsheet without having to start a new excel program and then load the file for each one.
2) Diff or compare documents. Libreoffice is awesome at this one, highlighting the cell and showing a list of all changes.
3) importing some CSVs with carriage returns. I can't remember the details, but Excell won't import cells with carriage returns and Calc will.

That said, Excel has its own advantages too.

Comment: feeling swindled (Score 4, Informative) 77

by dingleberrie (#48922889) Attached to: Comcast Pays Overdue Fees, Offers Freebies For TWC Merger Approval

I know, as a cartel-based geographically-monopolistic corporation it may look like I think I can do what I want and ignore these fees. But here I am trying to be a good upstanding corporation. I'll even give you a cut. Make me bigger and I'll promise... It'll all work out.

Comment: Re:Just hire a CPA (Score 1) 450

I hired a CPA for a couple of years. I did the taxes by hand and compared it to their results (for several reasons, including that I'm a geek).
Each year, he said that I would get back a much larger refund than I calculated. When I'd put the two results side-by-side, I'd find deductions from him that I'd ask him about and he'd acknowledge that those aren't right... it was a mistake or oversight. One year, he depreciated my rental house by 2% instead of 1%, but I only learned about that one the next year.

After 3 years, I had the same life-events year to year, so I stopped using him.

I have the impression that some CPAs make 'adjustments' based on how much the assumptions can bend. It's a gamble. You have to get caught and there are likely things that are able to be justified as likely mistakes or barely detectable in an audit. I have the impression that this is one way that some CPAs get much better results than tax programs. I don't know about the legality. It could be illegal in the same way that speeding is illegal but I still exceed that posted limit.

CPAs, feel free to chime in and tell me I'm wrong and that I misunderstood.

Comment: Re:And that's still too long (Score 1) 328

Obviously not someone who's ever worked at a startup.

That's what I was thinking. And can you imagine having this risk you took protected by patents for 75+ years?
Having over 50 patents myself, I'm pretty sure it costs more to get a patent than it does to copyright a work. Lawyers are involved.

I think the difference is that the movie or song is often not seen as holding back societal progress if it becomes unlicensed.
It would be nice for my children and grandchildren to be able to collect licence fees from my patents long after I'm dead, but I'd rather live in a society that doesn't do that and instead assigns a reasonable duration to patents.

Comment: Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (Score 3, Insightful) 681

by dingleberrie (#48690751) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet

It is, arguably, rather interesting that he provoked a minor firestorm just by talking about someone else. It's a commonplace that some anti-jesus flamebait spread in the right areas would have caused a moderate shitstorm, and so nothing would be proven except one's own somewhat juvenile sense of humor by doing so;

About 2000 years ago, there lived a man that may have agreed with you. I'm sure you have heard of him, you may even recognize him by his initials, JC, as everyone still talks about him today. We know that he was born unlike most men. And as he matured, he had many followers, but also had those who were afraid of the would-be-king, so they put him to death. Yes, Julius Caesar left a legacy that influenced generations. Anyway, what was your point?

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990