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Comment Re:Good ads aren't that bad (Score 1) 167

Good question.

No, it is not my preference that companies can do this. But at the same time I recognize that many of the web sites I visit on a regular basis need to make money somehow, even if they're only trying to cover the cost of their bandwidth.

Also, like I said, I'd rather see these kinds of ads than the horrible flashy blinky mortgage and weight loss scams and whatever else I seem to initially encounter on a "clean" machine.

Comment Good ads aren't that bad (Score 1) 167

Lately I've been pleased by the ads I get on most sites. After having recently shopped for a luxury car I got almost nothing but BMW, Infinti, Acura, etc. ads for months. None of which were intrusive. This Christmas I did some online shopping for some pajamas for the GF at Victoria's Secret and lo and behold now I'm greeted with Victoria's Secret models on a number of sites. Not only can I live with that, I can proclaim complete innocence when she's looking over my shoulder.

I even clicked through on a couple of the car ones while I was making up my mind, and afterwards as a bit of a reward for sites that host decent non-intrusive ads.

On the other hand, sites that have intersticials or Javascript pop-up/fly-overs that can't be blocked without disabling script, can DIAF. I have a bookmarklet that nukes most of them, otherwise I just immediately close the tab.

Comment Also, McDonalds is claims to own 'Mc' prefix (Score 1) 483

See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/25/mcdonalds-lawyers-italian-restaurant-name

Therefore, I'm planning on making an eBook reader just to name it a McBook*. If enough heavyweight lawyers at McDonalds, Facebook, and Apple descend on me they may collapse into a black hole.

* Pronounced "em cee book" of course.

Comment Re:Huh?! (Score 1) 374

At least for some of us, it's not just basic arithemetic but having to spend tons of hours tracking down information that *could* be readily provided but, for some bizzare reason isn't. For example, have you ever had to deal with a ESPP in a company? Here's an example:

Fidelity will try to keep track of your wash sales and adjust the basis of your future sales accordingly. Unfortunately, that makes the record-keeping almost impossible. Firstly, adjusting the BASIS doesn't just change the basis price, it also changes the "effective" DATE of the purchase. So when you go to sell that March 31st stock, may get statements from Fidelity showing that you sold stock bought on "12/31/2009w" -- it's really your 3/31 stock but the basis has been adjusted due to your wash sale on April 5th. This can get extraordinarily confusing, because it means that neither the BASIS price nor purchase DATE for this set of shares corresponds to what was actually sold.

And that's a freakin' disaster, because as mentioned 3 sections ago, Fidelity fails to properly adjust the BASIS price of shares ESPP sales, meaning that you have to do it yourself. But since Fidelity has already "helpfully" changed the BASIS price and DATE to account for the WASH SALE, it can be virtually impossible to figure out WHICH shares were actually sold, meaning it's virtually impossible for you to properly adjust the BASIS to take into account the ORDINARY INCOME you recognized.

Oh, and keep in mind that the change of the BASIS DATE means that your later sale may be changed from a SHORT-TERM transaction to a LONG-TERM transaction. Confusing.
Oh, and keep in mind that because you often will be buying and selling different-sized blocks of shares, a given sale will likely be split up into multiple transactions, each tracking a different wash sale.

From: http://www.ericlawrence.com/eric/show.asp?entry=4/2/2010%2012:20:00%20PM

I agree that a basic 1040 is easy, but there are tons of gotchas out there due to not only the legal complexity but also how your company and/or broker does their bookkeeping. Reverse solving to uncover lost data is a huge pain, especially if you're like some of us who opt-out of paper statements. Some of the critical information you need to know is just gone.

Of course, if you're one of those people who keeps a dozen filing cabinets and spends 30 minutes a day doing personal finance and bookkeeping, sure it's trivial. Most people aren't like that and shouldn't be required to be like that.

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