Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment My son found a dog (Score 1) 130

My son (mid 20's) was out around midnight the other night wandering around our development, playing Pokemon Go. He noticed a big dog wandering around near him, and then looked up to see a telephone pole with a "lost dog" poster that matched the dog he was looking at. He called the number on the sign, and the owners came to collect the dog.

Comment Various watches (Score 1) 359

No Apple watch, I could never justify the cost.

The best watch I ever had was a Casio Wave-ceptor. It cost about $100, was solar powered, and got its time from radio signals. It never needed a battery (till it finally died), never needed setting. Unfortunately, it had this really cheap metal band that actually wore through in spots, and because it was specific to the watch, couldn't be replaced. I've still got it, it works after a fashion, but the little capacitor/battery finally needed replacing and the little buttons are all gummed up, so it's basically useless.

For quite a few years I did without a watch, I used my PDA and later my smartphone. A little over a year ago, I got an LG Android watch as a gift. I wouldn't have bought one, but I do like it. I can see my alerts while I'm driving or sitting at a restaurant without having to risk pulling out my phone when it bings/buzzes. My two sons were impressed enough with it they bought the Motorola version of the Android watch, which I actually like a bit better.

I've also got a Fitbit Flex, and that's where the conflict comes in. I LIKE the Fitbit for the exercise and sleep functions much better than the app that comes with the Android watch (and the LG watch isn't good for sleep monitoring since it needs daily charging), so I'd really rather have something like a Surge HR, but two watches? I can't wear any more stupid gadgets on my wrists, I look ridiculous enough as it is. You should see me when I go to Disney and also have to wear that Magicband. When did my wrist become valuable property?

The thing that ticks me off most about the Apple watch - and Apple in general - is that they get "credit" for developing applications and devices that were on the market for years before theirs came out. Apple watch? LG had the Android one at least a year before Apple did, but when people see my LG watch they always ask "Oh, is that an Apple watch?" I've seen plenty of Android watches around, but only one or two Apple watches. No matter, that's what people know about. Apple Pay? Google Wallet, and "Isis" ("Softcard") were out long before Apple Pay, but who got the fanfare?

Comment They called ME (Score 1) 136

I had a call from them about three weeks ago, out of the blue. They offered to change my plan to add two more GB for $10 less/month. My big concern was that it would reset my contract date, and I'd be on the hook for another two years, but nope, nothing else changes. I'm not super-happy with their pricing, I'm paying through the nose for phones, tablets, and mobile hotspot, but at least it all works.

Comment Re:They don't work for me (Score 1) 464

I've got the same thing. My myopia is about 3.2, and I got progressives after I had to quit wearing contacts because my presbyopia got so bad. The first couple of pair were fine, but then I got a new pair and couldn't focus on the screen. My optician tried everything, including different lenses, but I just couldn't focus, it was seriously annoying. So I got the "computer" glasses, which are still progressive, but have a wider spot in the middle for the monitor. Oddly, since I've changed frames on my normal glasses again, they're much more tolerable, and I figured out that with progressives, a quarter of an inch or less in frame size can make a huge difference. No matter what the optometrist tells me though, I still read better by taking off the glasses entirely, and that's what I do for my phone and tablet as well.

Comment No (Score 1) 1633

I'm in favor of gun control, but I think most people will tell you this idea goes too far.

First of all, forget the idea that the constitution guarantees you the right to have as many weapons as you want of any kind. That's stupid. The first amendment guarantees the right of 'free speech', but you can't yell 'fire" in a crowded theater. You can't drive up and down the street with a sign on your car that says "my neighbor is a child molester', and you can't publish a newspaper that prints obviously libelous and untrue stores without repercussions (although some do come pretty close). Freedom of religion doesn't allow for human sacrifice, even when the victim is willing. So the idea of limitations on the Bill of Rights has a great deal of precedent.

Except when it comes to guns.

But you can't have an RPG, can you? You can't seed your lawn with land mines. By statistics, nuclear weapons are safer than hand guns. Nobody has been killed by one of those in over fifty years. But would you want everyone to have one? There are limits people are willing to accept, but nobody agrees on just where to draw the line.

People who live in rural places where there are dangerous animals or no local protection need to be armed to protect themselves. My mother-in-law lived on a farm with no neighbors for miles. She kept guns, and occasionally needed them. But the idea that someone living in a gated NJ suburb needs an AR15 is just dopey.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Unfortunately, they frequently do it with guns. Guns make it so much easier, no thought, just react. The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun? Show me the difference. A bad guy is often a good guy with a couple of extra beers in him, or who had a bad day. An unarmed drunk is a nuisance. An armed drunk is a danger to children.

So the idea, the one used by many countries, is to keep guns away from people who don't need them. Crazy people, people with a history of violence. People who are careless enough to let their guns fall into the hands of those people. Can you show me a way to make that happen? Till you can, I lean toward the policy they use in the UK. Basic guns, rifles, etc. are fine. If you need a hand gun, you have to show me why, and I'll have to be really sure you need it before I let you have it.

More guns isn't more safety, if that were the case the US and Iraq would be the safest countries on the planet, but they're not. People in the US live in a fantasy world created by cowboy movies. The real old-west was very different, and quite dangerous till even they started controlling weapons in towns.

Comment Re:Deep (Score 5, Interesting) 225

I work with mainframes for a living. Specifically, I work with Linux on IBM zSeries mainframe for a bank. The idea is the provide the software depth of Linux with the reliability of the zSeries hardware.

We get a fair amount of resistance from the Lintel bigots, mostly those who still think of the mainframe in 1980's terms. The current generation of mainframe packs a LOT of horsepower, particularly I/O capacity, in a relatively small box. It connects to the same storage and network as the Lintel servers do, but can one of those do 256 simultaneous DMA transfers? We don't sell the platform as a solution for everything, but we've done the TCO math and we're not that different from an Intel server farm once you factor in the external costs.

I periodically give a class to the Linux admins on the mainframe in general, Linux on z, and the differences between that and Linux on Intel. If you didn't know where to look, it would take you a while to figure out you're not on Intel anymore. Most of the attendees are surprised at what the current boxes are like.

This is not your fathers mainframe.

Comment Re:Subchapter S-Corp (Score 1) 293

There's a bit more to this state-corporation tax thing than meets the eye. I incorporated in NJ to simplify my bookeeping, but NJ has a law that taxes S-corps at the same rate as C-corps. That's a higher rate than personal income, even though all of the S-corp income goes to the shareholder (me).

The NJ state corporate tax return is a nightmare to do properly, and you always end up paying more than you think you should. NJ also has a minimum $500 corporate tax annually, so even if your corp made NOTHING, you're still on the hook for that. To CLOSE your corporation in NJ requires filing a special form and paying another $100 fee.

If you incorporate in Delaware, for example, there's no state return to file (far as I know), and you only have to pay personal income tax on your salary/1099 income (including self-employment tax on 1099 income), but if you take part of your income as "distribution", or dividend on your share, that part is not subject to SE tax (which is mainly FICA and Medicare). In any case, there's no extra tax on the income just because a corp is involved.

But to incorporate in a state requires you have a mailing address in that state, so you need to either have someone who lives there accept your mail, or you pay for a "registered agent" who collects it and forwards it to you.

I agree with others who recommend talking to a CPA, but be wary there too. Several I spoke to wanted to handle my entire business finances, and charge a substantial fee. The CPA I eventually did use was competant, but very distracted, so I ended up paying him to have me pay much more in taxes than I should have. Just because he has the letters after his name doesn't mean he's any good, and doesn't mean he has your best interests at heart.

Comment Re:If you plan to do it as your primary source of. (Score 1) 293

This is pretty much exactly what I did, once I figured out my accountant was making me pay two different (supposedly mutually-exclusive) taxes on the same income. You do need to keep an eye on them and make sure they know what you and they are doing.

He charged me something like $800 a year to prepare corp and personal taxes too.

Comment You basically either have two choices, or none (Score 1) 293

This assumes you're in the US, I don't know about elsewhere.

I was a consultant for 9 years. When I set up initially, I had two options: Let the company that contracted me pay me on a W2, handle the taxes, and take a cut for their trouble, or incorporate and let them pay me corp-to-corp.

Many companies will not pay a contractor on a 1099, which is how you pay someone for services if they're not an employee. There are too many potential IRS headaches if the contractor doesn't handle things properly on his end, especially when large sums are involved. It's okay for small amounts on one-time jobs, but there's a big risk that a 1099 contractor could be considered an employee under certain rules, and then all kinds of unexpected problems kick in. So many companies avoid the whole headache by only dealing with corporations. When one corporation pays another, the payer is basically off the hook for tax-reporting responsibility, it all falls on the payee.

I set up an S-corporation, which is a simpler option than many others, although my accountant (who came in late) said I might have been better off with an LLC. In any case, the biggest headache was that I set it up in NJ, which has screwy tax laws for S-corps. I'm still trying to extricate myself from that, and the corp closed over 5 years ago.

So suggestion: If you're going to (or required to) incorporate, do it through an accountant or a registration service, set it up in a corp-friendly state like Delaware and use a registered agent, and find a good CPA to help you through the tax pitfalls. Mine was decent, but endlessly distracted by more lucrative clients, so I ended up paying more in taxes than I needed to, and it took me 5 years to discover that.

A good friend of mine who was in business long before I was avoided incorporating till it was absolutely necessary. What finally convinced him he needed to was when NJ decided to consider his part-time babysitter an employee of his business, and require him to pay unemployment tax for her. At that point he decided splitting his business and personal affairs made sense. YMMV.

Comment Re:Comes as a BIG surprise. (Score 1) 109

NCSoft doesn't care, it's all numbers to them. I played Tabula Rasa right up till it shut down. It had a very loyal following, but not enough for NCSoft to keep the servers running. CoH tried hard, but I guess they couldn't come up with anything new, I quit that some time ago.

Unfortunately, all of their games use the same or similar "engine" on the back end, so if they give away one, they're basically giving away the keys to all of them.

Slashdot Top Deals

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe