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Comment: Re:Yeah, it figures. (Score 1) 206

by viking099 (#43066949) Attached to: Florida Sinkhole Highlights State's Geologic Instability

I wish I had some mod points for this.

Citizens Insurance was paying out something like 6-7 times their premium income (like $180 million to $25 million) just on sinkhole claims.

If the reforms hadn't been implemented, the entire property insurance industry in Florida would have collapsed.

And all insurers in Florida are required to cover true sinkholes (now called "Catastrophic Ground Collapse"). It's just that there has to be more evidence than a few cracks in drywall/driveway to legitimize the claim.

Comment: Re:Can't America get its acts together ? (Score 1) 1059

by viking099 (#42517443) Attached to: Congressman Introduces Bill To Ban Minting of Trillion-Dollar Coin

This kind of thinking drives me nuts.

I've known some very intelligent people screw this up (even one in training to be an actuary!), so I'm going to make this post here so I can refer back to it in the future.

US income taxes are marginal, not flat.

I'm going to make it simple here.
Tax rates for this example are 25% for income up to $99,999 and 33% for income above $100,000.

So if Judy is making $99,999 annually, and then is offered a 1.5% one time raise for exceptional performance on a successful project. That's a pay increase of $1,499.99, taking her to a total income of $101,498.99. Before her raise, her tax burden is 25% of $99,999, or $24,999.75.
After her raise, her total tax burden is 25% of $99,999 (or $24,999.75) and 33% of $1,499.99, or $495.00, for a grand total of $25,494.75.

So a 1.5% raise does the following:
-Raises her top income tax bracket from the 25% bracket to the 33% bracket
-Raises her tax burden by around $500 on $1,500
-Nets her roughly $1,000 more in income.

Tell me a good reason why anyone would turn down a raise of that nature, even if it bumped them into the next bracket up.

You're only taxed on the amount of money that falls within the bracket for that tax.

Otherwise, a $0.01 raise could result in a net pay cut of thousands of dollars, and no one would accept that.

Comment: Re:Who's buying? (Score 1) 260

by viking099 (#41894069) Attached to: iPad Mini Costs $24 More To Make Than Kindle Fire HD

I happily pay to keep extra 3rd parts ads out of the applications I use regularly.

Also, if you're of the kind of user that has no qualms about copying a friend's movie/music/book library, then I wouldn't expect you to be terribly enthusiastic about paying for apps unless there was an extremely compelling reason.

For me, I prefer to pay for the things I use and enjoy. I committed to being above-board with my personal media choices back when the first lawsuits first started coming out way back when.

I'll still media shift and break DRM to consume my media as I want to, but I'll at least do what I feel is the right thing by starting out with a legitimate copy.

Comment: Re:This has gotten out of hand. (Score 4, Informative) 158

by viking099 (#40996821) Attached to: Inside a Ransomware Money Machine

Back when I was working the computer labs at my university, we used a product by Centurion to secure our workstations.

We would build an image, then lock down this little device installed in the case.

The computer user never even notices it, and they can write to temp folders and change settings, and everything.

When the computer is then rebooted, this device just reloads the OS from the "locked" partition, and it's just like it ever was.

Day to day it was great, but applying updates was a pain because you had to visit each system and unlock it manually. This was 15 years or so ago, so I'm sure they have a better system in place now, but it worked pretty well for our group and the hundreds of computers we maintained.

Comment: Re:An Ode to Zune (Score 1) 262

by viking099 (#39151709) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Zune, Windows Live Brands?

I have a regular Zune 30gb brick that suffered from a headphone problem. It's been sitting in a dock, playing music for around 3 years.

I've had a Zune HD for a couple of years, and for music I like it much more than the iPod. It's main problem is that it's just an excellent MP3 player, with some other stuff added on.
The iPod is a good MP3 player, but there's so much more to it, that the Zune really couldn't compete.

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

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