Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:You're probably not one of them - CA FTB. (Score 1) 173

by billstewart (#47562313) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Unless they identify themselves as the State of California Franchise Tax Board, they're not.

At least for Federal taxes, you and they can only go back 3 years, unless they're alleging significant underreporting of income (which $200 isn't), in which case they can go back 6 years, or fraud, in which case you're on the hook forever. I don't know the FTB's time limits, but I'd be surprised if they're more than that (or at most one year more.)

Also, their name is pronounced "fran-chi-zi", because they're a branch of La Cosa Nostra, and yo, they don't mess around. If they wanted to take $200 from you, they'd have taken it by now. But if this really is the Franchises, you do have a way to get help in working with them, which is to contact the office of your state assembly representative. And if it's really not them, they'll probably also appreciate having you reporting the fraud (though unfortunately, you doing them a favor doesn't mean they'll do you a favor later.)

Comment: Somewhat the opposite (Score 2) 173

by billstewart (#47562193) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Yes, it's going to cut down on the number of people who are in collection for medium-large debts because they got medical services they couldn't afford at the time and haven't been able to pay off (either yet, or ever.)

But it's going to significantly increase the number of people who are in collection for small debts because doctors or insurers paid the wrong amount. I've got one doctor's office that usually doesn't charge me a copay, but after the insurance gets around to paying them, there's an amount of money left over that's within a dollar or so of the amount the copay would have been, so their medical group gets around to sending me a bill, and it's extremely difficult to keep track of which of those bills are actually correct and final or which ones are rolling totals of insurance confusion in progress. Usually those get straightened out after a while, but sometimes they've called me and there's $20 that's going to go to collection if I don't pay right away. There's an X-ray lab that has a negotiated rate with my insurance company that's a lot lower than their rack rate; I went to them one January, and insurance didn't pay them anything because I hadn't reached my deductible for the year yet, and the lab billed me the rack rate, not the negotiated rate (I paid them the correct amount, and explained why, and the rest eventually ended up in collection because they couldn't figure out how to deal with it.)

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 2) 173

by Shakrai (#47562169) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Yes, since the bills would be covered by insurance.

After the deductibles and co-pays. I have a "platinum" plan through my employer; better insurance than anyone else I know and the co-pays still total up to a considerable amount. No deductibles for in-network on my plan, which makes me extremely fortunate. As a single guy I can afford the co-pays even with my modest salary but I can see how quickly they would bankrupt someone with a family, particularly if said family had one or more members with a chronic illness.

Incidentally, I was just exposed to rabies a few months ago:

Strike One: The only place to get the immunoglobulin is the ER, because it's very expensive (>$4,500) and has a short shelf-life. ER co-pay: $150
Strike Two: There's a set schedule for the vaccine, Days 0, 3, 7, and 14. You can get the vaccine from your primary, in theory, but of course my primary has a months long waiting list because we're driving PCPs out of business. Bottom line, I can't get appointments with them for Days 3 or 7, so that's two more trips to the ER. Additional co-pay total: $300
Strike Three: New York State ostensibly has a fund to pay for out of pocket expenses related to rabies exposures, but they only reimburse for the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin. Since the ER decided to give me a tetanus shot on Day 0 NYS won't reimburse me, even though my out of pocket would have been $150 with or without this extra shot. Hooray for bureaucracy!

Totaling all this up, that stupid bat that found its way into my apartment has personally cost me $465 ($450 of ER co-pays, $15 of PCP co-pay) while my insurance company is on the hook for close to $7,000. My annual premium is about $6,000. So this one incident wiped out every penny they made on me and then some. I'm an otherwise healthy 32 year old marathon runner that ought to be subsidizing those who are less fortunate. Now imagine a family of four that were all exposed to the same scenario I was.....

Comment: Erlang's used for Cloud Stuff, so Trendy (Score 1) 216

by billstewart (#47562013) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Erlang's becoming at least slightly trendy because it's used in several sets of Cloud Stuff, and Cloud Stuff is heavily enough management-buzzwordy that HR departments have figured out they need to hire some Erlang programmers.

It's especially useful for some of the orchestration tools out there, and it's useful if your management likes Cloud Stuff Buzzwords that don't start with "v" or "V".

Comment: Senate bill will get watered down like House bill (Score 1) 144

by billstewart (#47560267) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

The House bill started out as a strong pro-privacy bill that made a few concessions to NSA spying. By the time it was done with amendments, all that was left were the concessions to NSA spying and a bunch of nice but useless speechmaking. Obama may be talking positively now, but the pro-surveillance folks in the Senate will try to gut the bill, and anything that makes it past them will get trashed in the House-Senate joint resolution process.

Comment: Re:sigh. bailing wire? (Score 1) 665

by drinkypoo (#47557139) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

The funny thing from my view is we never called it "baling wire", or "baling (anything else)". When we opened a bale of hay, we cut the binders twine that held it together.

I buy spools of what we call tie wire from the hardware store, it appears to be steel wire P in O (pickled in oil) which is stored in oiled paper. A lot of people might call that baling wire, but I'm not baling anything.

Comment: Re:Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 1) 152

by drinkypoo (#47557007) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

Would you care to respond to that, or would you prefer to latch on to a typo somewhere in this post?

Well, you're right, I was in full dick mode. I'm even sorry about it, albeit admittedly only slightly. I apologize for how, but not what I said. Yeah well, that's the best you're getting out of me this morning.

Nobody expects the piracy sites to be legit. But a lot of people think that there are so many of them that their activity can go unnoticed. Those people are about to get an awakening, if they even take the banners seriously.

Comment: Re:Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 1, Insightful) 152

by drinkypoo (#47556511) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

No one confuses Rapidshare for BMG's official site. People go there specifically to download pirated content, full stop. Seeing police ads might scare a few people with the paranoia of thinking "the man" has caught them, but the other 99% of visitors will just thank the police for subsidizing their favorite warez sites.

I know that this is slashdot, and that you therefore feel justified in being an ignorant idiot and spouting off without RTFAing, and you're in quite a bit of company: lots of other idiots are saying the same stupid shit you're saying. But the article makes it clear that "Neither the police or Project Sunblock are paying the website in question to display the police message". They're just suppressing the banner display, and displaying a police message instead.

Truly pathetic, Boys in Blue (Hmm, do Bobbies wear blue?)

Pathetic is deciding you know how the system works without R'ing TFA, and as a result, being a F'n I.

BRILLIANT!

Said no one about you ever.

Comment: Re:Smokers (Score 1) 147

by drinkypoo (#47556485) Attached to: Smoking Mothers May Alter the DNA of Their Children

same as car and motorcycle drivers,

The argument is that it causes unforeseen health complications, not that it is dangerous. Since the great streetcar scandal, Americans have had literally two choices: own a car, or be left behind economically.

factory workers and owners,

Which provide substantial benefit to others.

smartphone and computer users,

What? You are no longer in left field. You have left the ballpark.

meat and processed food consumers, etc., right?

There is no evidence that eating meat is bad for you, and in fact eating only meat and vegetables has been shown to have immense benefits for some people. Now you've gone from standing outside the ballpark to just being a fucking idiot.

Not all processed foods are evil, although that's the way to bet. But our government has told us to eat them, essentially, so they (we) are on the hook for that one. When it's had anything to say about it at all, the government has told us not to smoke.

Comment: Re:my mother quit when she was pregnant (Score 1) 147

by drinkypoo (#47556461) Attached to: Smoking Mothers May Alter the DNA of Their Children

When "the rabbit died" she quit until after I stopped nursing.

Yeah, I got the same treatment. But all that means is that we "only" were at developmental risk due to smoking during the first, and most important phase of the pregnancy.

I see pregnant women today smoking and just shake my head. Oh well, it's a free country...even if you aren't quite so smart.

It is not and never has been a free country, the government was designed by a bunch of rich white men who wanted to retain control of it after all. That's why they left themselves various loopholes.

Comment: Re:ANY stress "alters the DNA" of a fetus. (Score 1) 147

by drinkypoo (#47556429) Attached to: Smoking Mothers May Alter the DNA of Their Children

On the other hand, even if we get the current obesity epidemic under control, or even reverse it, we're going to be feeling the effects for, literally, generations. Sins of the parents, indeed...

That is not the "on the other hand" takeaway for me. The takeaway is that smoking or sucking second-hand smoke during pregnancy is child abuse. I got both; my mom smoked until she found out she was pregnant, while she was trying to get pregnant, and my father never stopped up until his fairly recent death, and supposedly regularly smoked around my pregnant mother (I wasn't there, and she lies to herself regularly, so I can't really trust what she says either.) In spite of there being no family history of it, I have fairly serious activity-induced bronchial asthma.

Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz

Working...