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Comment: Re:Dish/Direct TV should offer free basic channels (Score 1) 219

by kcitren (#46631547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

there is some math involved.

Behind the scenes, yes, but in reality, no. To set up a dish, you get yourself a compass (most smartphones have this built in) and a protractor. Then go to a site like http://www.satsig.net/maps/sat... or your providers site, put in your zip code and point. Turn the TV where you can see or hear it, and start moving it around til the signal comes in clear.

Comment: Re:If you didn't built it it should be taxed (Score 1) 300

If I won the lottery today I would be taxed on the income. Getting an inheritance on an asset you didn't help create is functionally identical to winning a lottery and should be taxed the same way

But it's not. The estate tax is a tax on the estate, not on income. It's taxed at a higher rate than any income. Our tax schedule is bracketed, lower income pays a lower percentage. If the estate tax was considered an income tax (which it's not), then the rate would be dependent on how much the receiver received, not how much the estate was worth (which is what happens). The estate is taxed at 40% independent of how it's distributed (minus the exemption amount). Here's an example of why this is a problem. Let's imagine a single family owned small business worth about $10,000,000. That $10M includes the real estate, equipment, and potential earnings for the company. Here's a quick overview of small business valuations http://www.bizbuysell.com/sell.... When the owner dies, that business is part of their estate. Ignoring other estate assets such as a house, money in the bank, investments, etc, and subtracting the $5M exemption, that leaves a $2M tax bill. So where does that money come from? If they had the 2M in hand, they could just pay it out, but remember that a valuation of the company is not simply the assets it has on hand, but also it's potential. They could try to sell the business, and use the proceeds to pay the taxes, they could sell some of the equipment, but that might leave the business without a capacity to keep running. A standard technique is for the owner to gift money to the children to purchase life insurance policies that would cover the taxes on the estate (if the policy is in the children's names, it's not taxable income). In many cases, the business can suffer. Keep in mind, this isn't always the case, but it does happen enough that it can be an issue. This problem was more severe when you have lots of family run farms, where a large portion of the estate was in the value of the land, but exists today with many small businesses.

Comment: Re:We need to stop big tax dodgers useing loop hol (Score 2) 300

There is not a tax on anyone's death. There is a tax on receiving an inheritance.

No, it really is a tax on their death. The money is pulled out of the estate before being distributed.

Given X dollars, dividing them among Y heirs leads to no taxes, regardless of how large X is (although the higher X is, the higher Y needs to be).

This is just wrong. This is not how estate taxes work. It really is based on the initial amount and not how much it's divided up. From the IRS:

The Estate Tax is a tax on your right to transfer property at your death. It consists of an accounting of everything you own or have certain interests in at the date of death (Refer to Form 706 (PDF)). The fair market value of these items is used, not necessarily what you paid for them or what their values were when you acquired them. The total of all of these items is your "Gross Estate." The includible property may consist of cash and securities, real estate, insurance, trusts, annuities, business interests and other assets. Once you have accounted for the Gross Estate, certain deductions (and in special circumstances, reductions to value) are allowed in arriving at your "Taxable Estate." These deductions may include mortgages and other debts, estate administration expenses, property that passes to surviving spouses and qualified charities. The value of some operating business interests or farms may be reduced for estates that qualify. After the net amount is computed, the value of lifetime taxable gifts (beginning with gifts made in 1977) is added to this number and the tax is computed. The tax is then reduced by the available unified credit. Most relatively simple estates (cash, publicly traded securities, small amounts of other easily valued assets, and no special deductions or elections, or jointly held property) do not require the filing of an estate tax return. A filing is required for estates with combined gross assets and prior taxable gifts exceeding $1,500,000 in 2004 - 2005; $2,000,000 in 2006 - 2008; $3,500,000 for decedents dying in 2009; and $5,000,000 or more for decedent's dying in 2010 and 2011 (note: there are special rules for decedents dying in 2010); $5,120,000 in 2012, $5,250,000 in 2013 and $5,340,000 in 2014.

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/...

Comment: Re:Quality? (Score 1) 160

Not at all, in fact, you'd probably see them willing to take more risks on movies that might not be overly popular. You'd see more niche programs / movies getting created. No one sets out to make a bad movie. They make the best movie they can based on their skill and resources.

Comment: Re:so I can do all this in my spare time (Score 1) 158

They will need things down the road. They're not paying anyone for it right now. Submitter wants to get his skills up to speed now so he can be the guy that gets paid for it when it's needed.

Nope, he says he needs these for his job as it stands:

I need to learn .NET and SQL for my new job (GIS tech using ESRI software)

He mentions wanting to learn other things for additional work down the line.

Down the road they need a PHP website, tons of automation tasks, some serious data consolidation, they want mobile apps in theory.

Comment: Re:Or alternatively (Score 2) 381

by kcitren (#44929481) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Another Stab At Tablets, Unveils Surface 2, Surface 2 Pro

I'm old school, I would never fork out money for a toy

Just because you're old doesn't mean you shouldn't still buy toys. Toys are fun.

And it gives ZERO shits about stuff the older generation cares about: battery life, FLOPS, upgrade-ability, compatibility. No, it's "brand name, shiny, glittery, light, small, does it make my buddies jealous"? That's it.

Bullshit. I'm not sure who you're referring to as the older generation, but here's my thoughts as a 35-45 year old male who interacts with these youngsters regularly. What they care about is "Does it do what I need it to do", same as you, you just need it to do different things. They care about battery life, that's why it's always mentioned. FLOPS? who cares unless the system can't perform the functions it needs to perform. Are you requirements higher than theirs? Possibly, so you get what meets your needs, they get what meets theirs. Upgradability isn't an issue for a device who's functionality is well defined and capabilities are met (this refers to ipods, not laptops), I don't feel the need to upgrade my hammer when a new model comes out. I replace my laptop about every 2-3 years, but I'm holding off replacing my current 2+ year old machine because they only thing that would improve moving to the latest model would be a 20% increase in speed, USB 3, an improved graphics card, and a slightly higher res screen. My current machine is fast enough, the graphics card is good enough for what I do, and the USB 3 isn't really an issue. The higher res screen would be kinda nice, but I'm often plugged into an external monitor, so it's not a huge deal. Since purchasing my laptop, I've upgraded the HD (three time, once to a 120SSD, then to a 240, plus added a 1TB platter) and RAM (twice, once to 8GB, then to 16). Compatibility is definitely an issue, but it's not what you think it is. The devices need to work with *their* other devices. Apple does this pretty well. What do I can about being compatible with a device I'm not going to ever need to interact with? Personally, I like open standards to ensure compatibility across *my* devices. Small and light are concerns for people who are highly mobile and carry things around a lot (i.e., students and generally young people, also frequent travelers). Shiny is nice for some, but some people want to avoid that. We were recently spec'ing out some machines for work but rejected a really good deal because we couldn't have the president of the company walking around with a shiny gold colored laptop.

Comment: Re:uh.. so what happens (Score 1) 274

by kcitren (#43484291) Attached to: Google Forbids Advertising On Glass

and surely they would be taking a cut of the app sales, so no hw only vector there. moreover.. they don't yet have a profit vector for it.

Huh? There are thousands of companies that make money manufacturing and selling things. Why do you assume that their only path to profit is via apps and advertising? Toyota, Vizio, Samsung, Ikea, Asus, etc. seem to be doing pretty well selling things.

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