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Submission + - Should the IRS Help Fill in the Blanks? 2

theodp writes: In the digital age, filing income tax returns should be a snap. Important data from employers and financial institutions has already been sent to government computers. Yet taxpayers are still required to perform the chore of preparing a return from scratch, in many cases paying a software company for the privilege. Why, if your needs are simple, can't you just download forms pre-filled with whatever data the IRS has received about you, make any necessary adjustments, and automatically get the IRS calculation of your taxes? Sounds reasonable, but the IRS rejected the President's proposal to give taxpayers the option to do so as 'not feasible at this time' due to delays in the receipt of W-2 and 1099 data. However, California managed to offer a pre-filled state tax return, which cost only 34 cents to process compared to $2.59 to process a traditional paper return. Despite the success of the pilot, meager funds have been allotted for the program due to the strength of its political opponents — 'principally, Intuit' — according to the state controller. Intuit argues it would be a 'conflict of interest for government to be both tax collector and tax preparer.'

Comment Re:Cue the apologists... (Score 1) 271

Because Spain has no choice!

As soon as an EU directive is passed, each member state of the EU has only a set time to implement that directive into local law. Otherwise the parties disadvantaged can sue the government that has not implemented the directive for damages.

EU is not a democracy, but a modern form of aristocratic absolutism!


Comment Re:If you veto all non-free apps, then what? (Score 1) 496

Why ask someone who isn't even a gamer where the gaming market is?

Because gamers don't reply to me, except to tell me to quit whining about console makers' entry barriers and just accept them.

You want to put a FPS in the Debian repositories? Write a FPS that is compatible with the DFSG and don't expect to get paid for it because that capability just isn't there.

How do I make money from free software if it's in a genre that historically doesn't need the sort of support on which companies like Red Hat build their business?

Comment Re:Neutral Party (Score 4, Insightful) 133

You make a couple of good points. I completely agree that the slippery slope that Google has to tread carefully on is not one of censorship, but one of liability. Many people seem to think that Google has a moral imperative to objectively reflect the "reality" of the web. They don't. Anyone who feels that Google does or should act in way that is not in their best interest is going to be disappointed.

Google does what they must in each country to remain the dominant search engine. That means abide by local censorship laws, bow to public opinion and avoid becoming liable for search results. Google will always do what will funnel the most money into their coffers but so far they have been very clever to recognize that neutrality and openness can accomplish that goal very well. The debate of "should Google censor results?" hinges on only one criterion: profitability. That goal, in turn, depends on what will preserve the largest possible ad revenue while mitigating liability.

Google is not a public service, it is a publicly traded corporation.

Comment Classic ASP (Score 2, Interesting) 558

If Microsoft really cared about devs, then the next version of IIS would allow Classic ASP and ASP.NET to share session state.
Nothing like releasing ASP.NET and obsoleting millions of lines of code.

Unlike VB6 to VB.NET there is no migration path from Classic ASP to ASP.NET other than a complete rewrite.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 214

I was in Japan in September as well this year. They did have the iPhone as you pointed out, but I think most importantly is that every place that was selling was giving it away for free (0 Yen). That price was there for the full time I was there. I don't know if the carriers were fully subsiding the phone or if Apple was cutting prices because they were having a difficult time selling it.

Comment Re:not surprising (Score 1) 386

Hey I am one of the people who has paid for all the media on my computers and devices. What bugs me is the restriction on the media I buy. I can load a DVD but I can't loan a digital copy. For that matter the digital copy that came with my batman DVD is absolutely useless because the developer didnt have the foresight to check for space before initiating a connection to mark up my tally so when I tried to use it on a dummy PC first I burned up all three licenses without even getting to use it. Forcing me to decrypt the volume. I am ok with people protecting their media, I am not OK with them rendering something I paid for useless and calling me a thief.

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