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Comment Re:Wonderful... (Score 1) 64

From some reports, Apple has always had this capability and selectively used it. The Recovery Key was something you could do on your own, but you could potentially also convince an Apple tech to escalate it and go through an identity-proving process.

What's clear is that people routinely lost or didn't write down their Recovery Key, and one has to intuit it was an ongoing problem and stress for users who enabled "two-step." In this new version, Apple ostensibly could be social engineered, but note that Apple will only engage in account recovery *to a registered phone number*. So you can't call at random, get a random CS person, and do it. You have to apply, they call back (from a team dedicated to it) and only to a number that's registered to the Apple ID account in question.

Submission + - Apple drops Recovery Key from two-factor auth in new OS versions (

eggboard writes: If you've ever turned on what's now called "two-step verification" for an Apple ID, you had to create a Recovery Key. Lose this 14-digit code and have your password reset (because of hacking attempts against you), and you might lose access forever to purchases and data, as Owen Williams almost did. Apple confirmed today that starting with its public betas of OS X 10.11 and iOS 9, two-factor authentication won't have a Recovery Key. Instead, if you have to reset a password or lose access to devices, you'll have to go through an account verification process with human beings.

Submission + - Minecraft Play Videos Sweep in Cash (

eggboard writes: Minecraft YouTube videos are fantastically popular, and a core group of producers of these videos have enjoyed a wild ride up the virtual charts. Diamond Minecart, a YouTube channel by 22-year-old Daniel Middleton of Northamptonshire, England, has almost 1.9 million subscribers, and people have watched his videos over 400 million times.

Joseph Garrett of Portsmouth, England, records himself as "Stampy," and has passed 2 million subscribers and 708 million views. The Daily Mail estimates that his channel currently grosses anywhere from $88,000 to $880,000 a month. A less-watched channel with 140,000 subscribers brings in $5,000 to $10,000 a month.

What's the appeal in watching someone play Minecraft? They are a way for kids to learn not only how to play the game but also how to modify it in almost endless combinations. It also brings them into a community of Minecraft players and turns something that can be an individual activity into something social.

Submission + - The hacker-activist community leaves no safe place for women. Can it grow up? (

eggboard writes: Rosie J. Spinks writes about the experience of women in the hacking and hacking/activism communities, where harassment, intimidation, sexualization, and patronization try to relegate them to the sidelines. Some just up and leave.

She writes: "Nowhere is evidence of this anti-female ethos easier to find than in the Internet’s most high-profile and highly organized subverters: the hacktivist group Anonymous. Anonymous’s roots lie in the profane message board known as 4chan, where jokes about rape, porn, and homosexuality are for nothing other than the “Lulz,” or gratuitous laughs. When 4chan factions morphed into Anonymous, the entity gradually gained a political activist-minded consciousness.

"Anonymous has always been a shifting entity, defined by whoever decides to participate on any given day, making proper accountability nearly impossible. Using devious tactics and a middle-school sense of humor (such as sending hundreds of unpaid-for pizzas to a target’s address), the amorphous group carries out a diverse range of well-publicized actions (or “AnonOps”), such as targeting the Church of Scientology’s Dianetics hotline or impinging on the operations of PayPal after it suspended payments to Internet messiah Julian Assange’s Wikileaks."

Submission + - CoderDojo clubs help kids teach themselves to program (

eggboard writes: An Irish programmer started with a club in Cork to teach (at no cost) kids aged 5 to 17 how to program. It was such a hit that it's expanded to hundred of cities across 27 countries. CoderDojo has a template that includes self-directed learning with mentors on tap to help out. The notion is to provide kids a productive outlet. Among its successes is an average participation split about halfway between girls and boys in most chapters.

Submission + - The diaries of an early 20th-century "radium hound" reveal dangers that lurk (

eggboard writes: A responsible dealer of the radioactive element radium, a substance once pushed widely as a quack cure, tried to keep the genie in the bottle. Theresa Everline explains that in the first half of the 20th century, Frank Hartman, known as the Radium Hound, kept track of accidents and incompetence in handling radium. His diaries reveal that radium lingers in forgotten places.

Submission + - Eggs terminate! Egg-free flu vaccines provide faster pandemic response (

eggboard writes: Jen A. Miller has an egg allergy of a variety that her doctor has told her could produce a severe reaction if she were vaccinated for the flu, as flu vaccines are grown from viral strains incubated in chicken eggs. But, she explains, two new approaches have been approved by the FDA and are in production that don't use eggs at all; they're on the market in small amounts already, but will be available in much larger quantities soon. It's not just about egg allergies: the new vaccine types (one relying in insect proteins and the other on animal proteins) provide a much faster turnaround time in response to flu pandemics — as little as two to three months from isolation of a strain to mass production instead of at least six months with eggs.

Comment Re:tl;dr - it's just like a business (Score 3, Informative) 128

I spent many hours and many emails with a good accountant, and he advised me not to launch a Kickstarter late in the year! However, there was no better time, and I had to work around the cash-flow issue, as I describe.

The state taxation issue was my fault. I had, in fact, budgeted to spend *more* on tax than I actually owed. So I wouldn't have come up short. Based on my communication with the state, I expect that I would pay different rates on parts of the Kickstarter, and potentially pay up to about 5% to the state in tax. In the actual event, it was about 1.5%.

However, I should have better understand the issue of destination addresses so that I had properly collected that information from everyone. That's something that I've now heard from many other crowdfunding projects about, too.

Further, at least Washington State requires you pay in-state retail business and occupation tax plus sales tax on all sales for which you cannot account for the destination. That can be a huge tax bill.

Comment Re:tl;dr - it's just like a business (Score 3, Insightful) 128

Thanks, much! Really, I wrote the article in part as a public service, not to be full of myself, because so many people I know have these questions. I have some answers, lots of questions, and lots of places to point people for planning. The commenters here can be awful at times (some are great, thanks!), but they're dwarfed by the number of people who are reading the article.

Comment Re:Medium (Score 1) 128

"aaaaand I'm guessing your compensation is at least partially based on clicks.": Our compensation is based on producing new content that people want to read; clickbait doesn't get us anywhere, because it doesn't turn into people reading the articles, but clicking and leaving. It also earns us anger, which doesn't help foster regular readers. Also, a 4,000-word article about tax issues is usually *not* traditional clickbait under any reasonable definition...

"That's nice, but you're not a lawyer or a tax attorney so my advice is to stop pretending like you are one before someone in a position of authority takes notice."

I love how people who didn't read the article out themselves so clearly!

Comment Re:Cash vs accrual accounting (Score 3, Informative) 128

Absolutely correct in one regard, but some very large business also run on cash if don't make stuff that's inventoried.

I did research it (and mention it in the article) and discuss it with my accountant. Because the publication doesn't really qualify for accrual accounting, it would have invited scrutiny (or worse) had I switched to accrual to get advantageous accounting rules for a specific project.

Comment Re:Deferred Revenue? (Score 2) 128

I researched this and discussed it with my accountant. My accountant said that switching cash-basis business to accrual for the sole purpose of deferring taxes for something that isn't part of its routine business could be met with scrutiny and penalties —and be disallowed.

And the IRS rules make it clear that you can't simply align revenue and expenses. It has a number of examples in which it's clear that in a Kickstarter, the revenue couldn't all be deferred, although the expenses might be allowed to be taken in 2013 if contracts were signed and other tests made.

Comment Re:tl;dr - it's just like a business (Score 1) 128

Thanks, TheGavster! For me, I had sufficient cash flow and overall income from the main business relative to the size of the Kickstarter that we could have weathered it if we hadn't had a perfect alignment as we did.

I don't mean to sound totally hapless. I had put a reserve of cash away for taxes and estimated *too high* for the state taxes as it turned out. But I didn't plan as thoroughly as I should have, and I have seen this bite a lot of other people I know, too.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.