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Comment: Refunds indicate bad tax planning (Score 4, Insightful) 622

by eric31415927 (#46752923) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

A large refund is a sign of poor tax planning. You are getting your own money back without interest. In light of this story, you may not even get your own money back if the feds take it.

Arrange your source deductions and installment payments so that you don't get a refund.

It would be better to owe $2K each year than to expect refunds.

Comment: OMNI solution (Score 1) 983

by eric31415927 (#46465289) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

I remember a puzzle in OMNI some decades ago, where an alien had to transport the knowledge of the Encyclopedia Britannica in its space ship away from Earth without carrying any additional weight.

The solution was to transform all the data into a single rational number between 0 and 1 and to etch a scratch on the surface of the Alien's space ship, where the size of the scratch would correspond with the single rational number (say in inches or some comparable measuring units). It was apparently possible for aliens to etch and subsequently measure distances at the subatomic scale.

Comment: Research Topic: Why I don't have to dress for work (Score 1) 75

by eric31415927 (#45781791) Attached to: The Power of the Hoodie-Wearing C.E.O.

In a similar vein, I knew a prof who researched "Methods of getting out of having to do research" (I used quotes but this is really a paraphrase.)

I don't find anything wrong with such researchers. They are playing a game and earning a living.

My question is: How does such seemingly-ridiculous research get approved for funding? Can we not spend that money on greater good?

Comment: Lose-Lose for Human Society (Score 1) 370

by eric31415927 (#45672501) Attached to: Chimpanzee "Personhood" Lawsuits Fail In New York Courts

Stephen Wise was interviewed on a Canadian radio program this morning:
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2013/12/12/granting-rights-and-personhood-to-animals/

He wants this case to go up the legal court ladders. This would get him more press coverage and more profits from sales of his book. The cost to society of his failed attempt would be judges' wasted time. The cost to society of a ruling somehow favouring Wise would be less effective drug testing, for the chimps he is trying to "free" are used in medical research. Either way, it is lose-lose for human society.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

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