February 2003 Archives
February 20, 2003

Taxes nightmare

Random
Uncle Sam (no, not that Sam)

The tax season has started and I'm having a terrible time figuring out the right program to use. TurboTax on Windows is spyware, so is simply a no-no for me. I bought TurboTax Home&Business for Mac, but it screwed up by not providing all the forms I needed. I'll return the software for a refund; unfortunately I already spent few good nights entering data and figuring out various alternatives. Intuit clearly screwed up this year with their software, a lot of people are upset about their application. It does all sorts of ugly hacks to your computer to prevent you from installing it somewhere else.

Today I bought TaxCut Home&Business for Windows. It's definitely less user-friendly than TurboTax: you need to know and understand the tax rules to be able to use it. Their help system is almost useless, the questions you have are not answered anywhere. The language they use is even worse than in IRS' publications. TaxCut is also very buggy: going back and forth between fields leaves all sorts of marks in the online tax form. Hopefully they don't mess up the calculations.

I wonder why nobody does a good job of providing a decent program for taxes. I guess programmers, like most people, just hate doing their taxes. They either spend one or two weeks a year with taxes and then forget it, or they pay somebody to do it for them. Maybe because nobody figured out how to have a constant flow of money during the year writing such software? Or simply because taxes are way too boring to be bothered with?

I hate doing taxes...

Posted by ovidiu at 11:54 PM |
February 18, 2003

Google and Larry Page

Google

Check out Bradford DeLong's notes from a talk given by Larry Page.

Posted by ovidiu at 12:33 PM |
February 17, 2003

Bloogle

Google | Weblogs

Google buys Pyra, the company behind Blogger.

Dan Gillmor: Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time
Tony Pierce: Account of the public announcement at Blogosphere
Evan Williams: Holy crap. Bloogleplications
Jason Shellen: Well, looks like someone scooped us on our own story.

Reactions:

Kevin Burton: Where are the Google Bloggers
Matthew Langham: Google goes blogging
Anil Dash: Google's first mistake
Jeremy Zawodny: Oh, wait. Google is the enemy. I work for a company that hopes to kick Google's ass.
Phil Ringnalda: Guess I'll have to rethink that whole "Google may not set cookies on my computer" thing, eh?
Doc Searls: Pretty amazing: I was there and even now I still have less to say about the Bloogle Thing than anybody else.

Suggestions for Google:

Matthew Langham: GoogleBlogs switcher campaign, searches for more like this weblog both in the blogsphere and in GoogleGroups, weblog comments on news articles.
Mena Trott: expand weblogs content base

Congratulations to everyone involved in the deal!

Posted by ovidiu at 05:52 PM |
February 02, 2003

Cocoon control flow

Cocoon

It looks like Cocoon control flow based on continuations is gaining admirers and I'm about to be sanctified [1 2 3]!

However I'm not the one that came up with this idea. My good friend Florin Mihaila pointed it out in Christian Queinnec's paper. And Christoper Oliver did an amazing job implementing continuations in Rhino JavaScript. Many other people, including Sylvain Wallez, Michael Melhem, Marcus Crafter, Reinhard Pötz, Stefano Mazzocchi contributed with ideas and code to the current implementation. Thanks all!

The real saint is obviously St IGNUcius (picture). The Church of Emacs even has a hymn, listen to the live recording of it ;)

Posted by ovidiu at 10:40 AM |
 
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