LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You know you're screwed when...
The CHP pulls you over and falls down laughing.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
Harold Peterson writes...
Springtime in Alabama!
Stay dry and wear your rubbers. (The Surgeon General said so!)
In case you've been sleeping, a whole bunch of people are running for President of the U.S. of A. The Republicans, as of this writing, have four candidates, and the Democrats have one. There's something the Republicans keep talking about that caught my attention.
One of the major campaign issues is taxes. The Republicans say that in these tough economic times, the best policy is to cut taxes, even though there is a large budget beficit. The logic is that if you send less money to Washington, people will spend money on goods, or, in the case of rich people who already have all the consumer goods they want, the money will be invested in companies which will create jobs.
Now, I'm a little confused by some of this argument about investing. First, I'd like to know how an investment in General Electric will create jobs. If I buy some shares, none of the money goes to the company. My investment will go to the person who previously owned the shares, minus some money for the brokerage fee. I don't see how taxing un-earned income at a lower rate than earned income will help because the only way an investment creates jobs is if you invest in a company that is doing a direct offering. In other words, only venture capital creates jobs, not normal stock trades of public companies.
The dividend argument also falls flat when you consider that start up companies do not, in general, pay dividends. Dividends are usually paid by well-established companies who show a profit, and whose boards of directors have decided that the best use of the money is to return it to the owners of the company.
Then I heard the story about Mitt Romney's tax rate, which is about 15%. This is because Mitt doesn't have a real job. He was a Wall Street Fat Cat, and he lives off of his investments. He doesn't have earned income. For some reason Romney and other Republicans think Mitt shouldn't be paying so much in taxes. But I haven't heard about Romney being an active venture capitalist. When he ran Bane, he was a take-over artist, buying dying companies, laying off people, putting on a fresh coat of paint, and selling them off. It was sort of like flipping a house. I'm not sure how lowering Romney's taxes is going to help the recovery.
Then I flipped the argument. If lowering taxes on dividends and other un-earned income is good for the economy, then making working people pay as high as 35% should discourage people from looking for a job. But... that hasn't happened. People do not think that taking a job is going to screw them at tax time, and therefore, they would be better off unemployed. No one turns down a raise because it will move them into a higher tax bracket.
The truth is, more money is always better. It doesn't matter from where the money comes from, or what tax rate is charged on the income. This is why you have never heard a rich person say they wanted to buy shares in a company, but they decided against it because they didn't want to pay the taxes on their dividends. Clearly, this part of the Republicans' argument falls flat.
Most of the world is unaware of the seizing, shutting down of service, and the arrests of MegaUpload's staff. The U.S. government decided the company wasn't acting as a common carrier and was openly soliciting the exchange of copyrighted works. I wasn't aware of this service provider until the story hit on the tech sites. I have no idea if the charges are true or not.
But, I'm pretty sure not everything MegaUpload's customers uploaded was in violation of copyright law. This means this take down took away the assets of a bunch of innocent people. This cyber-collateral damage gives one pause for thought regarding using the cloud as your hard drive.
Cloud storage is a great tool. Most of my work is now following me around the internet, available on any computer. But the cloud is not a panacea for your storage needs. You need to have multiple copies of anything you can't live without. If you don't have local copies and your cloud provider goes away, you're SOL.
We need to remember that cloud solutions are run and hosted by companies. Companies come and go. (Although most don't end by the cops kicking down the door.) We need to use strategies which assume some of our vendors will go out of business, or will change their product offerings. Otherwise, this is no different than only having one printed copy of our pictures just before a natural disaster strikes.
Oh, and if you're planning to pirate a bunch of copyrighted material, stay away from companies with names like, "MegaUpload", "Pirates R Us", and "Smash and Grab".
It happens every time I open an Apple product. I'm mesmerized by the box the doo-hickey comes in so much, I just marvel at the accuracy of the printing and folding of the card stock. I forget I got a fun doo-hickey to play with.
This started with my Time Capsule. The box reminded me of very carefully wrapped products I've seen in Tokyo department stores, Everything in the Land of the Rising Sun is so expensive that you'd better put the product in a box so elegant it suggests that if the box is this good, imagine how great whatever is inside the box must be.
Mrs. Fek'Lar recently found the plastic case my iPod came in. She wanted to know why I still had it. I admitted that I just couldn't bring myself to toss out a container that looked so good. (That and I'm always looking for a new use for plastic items since they last so long.)
I was hoodoo'ed when I unboxed my iPhone 4S. The specs are so tight, just a millimeter off, and the box wouldn't close, or it would look sloppy. Even the method of pulling out the tray the phone sits on to expose the accessories is origami genius.
"Gentlemen! We have to protect our phoney-baloney jobs!"
It's an Election Year!
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"I'm trying to be more passive-agressive about being passive-aggressive."
"Aren't nachos the fourth food group?"
"Someday, I'll have a brain."
"I'm going to live until I die."
"Dude, you're so deep!"
"How much is it if I want to get an import beer? Like a Sam Adams?"
Is that big juicy project for me?
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people from the Christian Right.
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