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Comment: Disabled Reply (Score 1) 602

by muindaur (#40739439) Attached to: Google Wants You to Use Your Real Name on YouTube

I've noticed this myself after they made this change, and found others with the same problem. So it looks like they decided to punish you if you don't, unless you delete G+: making it even more senseless as people have deleted their G+ profiles to get around it. Good move on making a move that reduces users for a service you're trying to increase usage for.!topic/youtube/d7XKETauIH4

Comment: Many Seem To Have Expired (Score 1) 194

I double checked, but a number of those patents are no longer enforceable since prior to 1995 it was 17 years from the filing date. After that it was 20 years after the filing date. With the earliest date being 1977. My guess is they are throwing them all in, and hoping some stick. So everything filed in 1994 (2011 is 17 years later) or earlier has already expired. Lack of enforcement of the patents may work against them too.

Comment: Re:For this you want a professional product (Score 2) 387

by muindaur (#39634935) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Source Tax Software?

Oh yeah, just look at the Self Employed tax forms you need to file if you run a business: Sole Proprietor, LLC, or Partnership. Those are such a complicated mess that you could easily screw something up. It's the reason there is quick books software to do most of the tracking for you. Lets not forget the taxes you have to pay on employee wages.

How many people realize that the taxes taken out on the W2s aren't the only income taxes paid?

Yep, every business that pays wages has to pay taxes on the wages they pay, and it won't ever show up on a paycheck or W2 because they can't take them out of employee pay. Instead they reduce their employees. This is one of the reasons small business owners are pushing for lower taxes, and the reason that lowering taxes WILL improve the job market. It just has to be a reduction on the PAYROLL taxes companies pay. I think there are also penalties for layoffs with FUTA, so they won't risk hiring in an uncertain economy if it will cost them money to let workers go.

Small business also need to go through EVERY expense they make, and follow the federal depreciation table for assets (can't use your choice of GAAP methods on taxes.) If you use your personal vehicle for taxes, or part of your home (I'm an accounting student so this was even more important to learn since many rural accountants have an office built into their home.), you need to figure out how much of that use was related to business. So you need to calculate the square footage of the office space, then get the percentage that is for the entire house.

So I completely agree that taxes are not easy to follow.

Comment: Re:Not sued, but "contacted. (Score 4, Informative) 407

by muindaur (#39286367) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Has Been Sued By the RIAA?

At most they can file a motion for discovery, and then a motion to compel. The rules vary by state, but you could be held in contempt: worse yet have a default judgement against you.

Source to back it up:


I'm not a lawyer (accounting students must take business law), and this is not legal advice, nor should this be construed as such.

Comment: Re:Highway lights??? (Score 3, Insightful) 348

by muindaur (#39170931) Attached to: UK To Dim Highway Lights To Save Money

I only ever see the in city areas, and have driven during rush hour. That's the only time I would say they are a safety improvement. A number of idiots drive in the dusk without their headlights on out here in the country. Magnify that for city rush hour and it can get dangerous. The biggest issue is likely seeing the exit signs, so it's likely to reduce distraction of people trying to read them with the shorter range of head lights on low beams, or having people that are blinded by the high beams on behind them to get better range on the road sign reflectors.

Comment: Re:It's easy for men (Score 1) 502

by muindaur (#39170645) Attached to: The correct number of shoes to own:

I have running shoes too, and they have better grip and cushioning than walking shoes. The tread is also very different from basketball shoes because of the surface that it's more likely to be used on; My running shoes grip well on a wet road, and I doubt basketball shoes would do the same. Yes, they have some water run off, but it's very minor.

Otherwise I just have a pair of black shoes for my suit or just a dress shirt and tie, brown sandals with heel straps for everyday use in the summer (khaki shorts and a Hawaiian shirt or T-shirt), a pair of walking shoes for everyday use the rest of the year, and a good pair of winter boots. Some people wonder why their feet are always cold shoveling snow, and it's because they decide to do it in sneakers (that don't have water resistance or insulation.)

Comment: Re:ask a mechanic (Score 2) 672

by muindaur (#39127689) Attached to: Have Bad Cars Gone Extinct?

Toyota even gives you guides on their website for performing a few standard maintenance tasks: once others would just direct you to the dealer ship for. I know based on Haynes availability I'm more likely getting a Toyota car. Instead of buying another Jeep Patriot. There is no Haynes available for it at all, and doing anything means I need to hope someone posted a good guide on the Jeep forums (unofficial) that didn't disappear. It's a decent car (no problems mechanically), but has some interior issues: carpet easily gets torn by shoes, lid of the center armrest storage broke quickly because of a cheap plastic latch, spare needs more than a crossbar to get the bolt off (too deep down), lid covering spare is all plastic so it breaks easily, need to lean far forward to see the traffic light because of the windshield design, etc.

Comment: Re:Always a niche (Score 2) 317

by muindaur (#38934613) Attached to: How long until the (first-world) classroom education model is obsolete?

The instructor for my online class has an optional in class section for those that need it. Her class is the only offered at the school, so there is no choice other than online. She does this because online is for strong, independent learners. Others thrive better in a classroom setting. I'm one of those students that's either held back, or could be doing other things with my time so online is great. As for exams, I prefer the practical approach. In the business law course I took we only had a mid term and a final. Each had ten cases we were presented with, and had to argue based on the facts. There was no right or wrong position, so long as you stuck to one side, and was based on the facts and the law. A good management class I took used purely essay based questions for the tests. You had to write out short answers, and essays. The same for a history class I took. Other than those I felt multiple choice and true false were useless measurements. A student could just guess on some too easily.

Perhaps requiring a series of papers written at home on the subject would be better then?

It would be a way of examining a students knowledge and understanding. Otherwise you only test the ability to cram at the last minute.

*poll topic*

In general I think the text book model is inefficient in it's current form. Instead of one or two huge books, the system should go back to the six volume series type of books. Such as an academic history book you would find at Barnes and Noble in a format easy to hold in your hand. Textbooks always annoyed me because you just can't hold them comfortably or take them anywhere. My accounting text wasn't offered digitally, so I need to carry around a huge book that has 1,500 pages in it. Heck, it would save the textbook companies money. As I have seen the older accounting texts that were in a traditional format, and all in black and white. Most of the pages are way too busy, and there is no need for all of the color on them. With accounting all of the examples are simple tables. Journal entries and income statements don't need fancy colors.

Comment: Re:If Beethoven is alive today ... (Score 5, Interesting) 321

by muindaur (#38890765) Attached to: <em>Angry Birds</em> Boss Credits Piracy For Popularity Boost

Every time a movie is released on DVD or shown in the theaters it's copyright date is extended. This is part of the reason, other than making more money, DIsney does it's "Before it goes back in the vault" marketing: probably the second part of CD box sets too. Before copyright law was changed to allow home movie releases to extend copyright, they would release the film in theaters about every ten years. Like I said, it's the second part to the reason other than making more money. A convenience they lobbied congress for.

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney