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Comment: Don't forget self-employment tax! (Score 1) 128

For many, self-employment tax is another really good reason to try to steady things and avoid "bouncing revenue", if there's the chance that you could end up taking a loss the next year. Big profit one year? Pay big tax! Loss next year? Sorry, bud, no refund!

I confess to getting first-hand experience with this, as I'm accounting on an accrual basis, and just paid taxes for a rather large amount of work done that may eventually have to be written off as bad debt, or at the least is going to cost me to collect, since the guys behind the business have disappeared, and I'll likely go into the red next year. Paying >15% tax on money I haven't actually got...ouch!

Comment: dialup != high latency (Score 4, Informative) 558

by tmh - The Mad Hacker (#43532265) Attached to: Average latency to

      High latency = slow
      Dialup = slow
I wouldn't have thought of "dialup" to describe a high-latency connection. (Gee, by eliminating your local router, it drops a hop, and should be faster, right?)

Years ago, the latency from my DSL provider to some locations was so bad (>500ms ping times) that I actually dialed another ISP on when I was using an especially "chatty" protocol, and enjoyed better overall performance, even though the max theoretical throughput was only 1/20th what the DSL connection offered..

Comment: What trick-or-treaters? (Score 1) 437

by tmh - The Mad Hacker (#41622963) Attached to: Hallowe'en is coming. Trick-or-Treaters who visit ...

When I lived in an urban apt., I had fun making scary audio recordings, etc., but I live out so far now that in 13 years we've never had a single trick-or-treater visit us! So, if anyone visits us on Halloween, it'll probably be someone we know and, and they'll just be invited in for a visit, etc.

Comment: Re:Anyone who votes negative doesn't understand ta (Score 2) 394

by tmh - The Mad Hacker (#39668461) Attached to: My most recent tax bill was ...

> there is no such thing as a "negative" tax bill.

Wrong. in the U.S. *most* federal tax credits are non-refundable, but not all. If you don't make a lot of money, but qualify for refundable credits, it's quite possible to have a negative FIT bill.
I need nothing deducted from my paychecks, because my FIT bill is negative every year. Now if you add in all of the other federal, state, and local taxes I pay, I still pay more than I get, but those are separate "bills".

Comment: Re:I have no idea (Score 1) 498

by tmh - The Mad Hacker (#38819243) Attached to: Where does your electricity come from?

I have no idea, and anyone "on the grid" who claims to know is fooling themselves.

Perhaps. I'm a member of a smallish PUD, and though I'm not involved in the power purchase, we're regularly apprised of where our power is coming from and going to, and have statistics answering exactly that question. We don't have exact accuracy, but we can get a pretty good idea %-wise at any given time.

Comment: 90 (Score 1) 298

by tmh - The Mad Hacker (#38638294) Attached to: Books I bought to read, but haven't yet:

For "dead tree" books (I'm not counting [public domain] audio versions, which I always keep a few downloads ahead of my in-car reading), I'll break them into two classes:

1. Books purchased at retail outlets (always at a discount) because I specifically want to read that book: 90% not read
The vast majority of my library has been acquired opportunistically at 800-page book twice in one day, and yes I quizzed her after the 1st reading, and no I couldn't find any details that she'd missed) she'll clean me out pretty soon, though. At that point, I might have to start paying for a non-resident library membership to a big city....

Comment: Lots...but none (Score 1) 228

by tmh - The Mad Hacker (#38315274) Attached to: How many robocalls do you get each month?

When I receive a call from a toll-free number or unknown number, Asterisk plays the "disconnected" tone, which dumps most autodialers. If no phone#, then they have to enter a reasonable-looking one. THEN, anyone who calls has to press a number to reach an extension. Most *humans* don't even make it past that stage...

Heisenberg may have been here.