Tomorrow Windows 10 Comes Out

As I’ve been waiting for Windows 10 to be posted on MSDN, I’m struck with the magnitude of this distribution. With over a billion devices running Windows 7 or 8, we are going to have one serious test of Internet capacity. How many servers are they using to do this distribution? Local ISP’s are going to get hammered. I can’t think of another dissemination of data over the Internet that would come close in size. It should be interesting.

Greeks are confused

Here you have people who put their faith in government. Government gave them a party. Now the bill has come due. The creditor has the power to thrash them and yet they are defiant.
Their leader doesn’t seem to grasp basic economics. He thinks he can stop paying the paper boy yet still demand a daily paper.
These people have faced hardships and they will get worse. Way worse. It is sad to see but I want the whole world to see what happens. I want the French, Spanish, Italians and FREAKING Americans to see how the real world works. Governments can print money which causes inflation or they can take on debt which puts you at the mercy of the contract.

Microsoft’s Autorotate Image Feature

I would love to know how to kill Microsoft’s auto image rotation. My expense report receipts are always getting rotated on me. I don’t realize they are wrong until I upload them to SAP. Onedrive also auto rotates images as well.

If you think this is a great idea for a feature that’s fine. But give me the option to turn it off.

Liberal Bias

Conservatives have long felt that the majority of media sources have a liberal bias. Over thirty years ago a study by Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman offered interesting data on the subject. I think it is unlikely that we will every see a study so revealing of political bias.

Media Elite (Source: The Media Elite by S. Robert Lichter, George Washington University, and Stanley Rothman of Smith College.)

Showing the imbalance between the media and the electorate: In 1972, when 62 percent of the electorate chose President Richard Nixon, 81 percent of the media elite voted for liberal Democratic Senator George McGovern.

Lichter and Rothman’s survey of journalists discovered that “Fifty-four percent placed themselves to the left of center, compared to only 19 percent who chose the right side of the spectrum.”

It is interesting that basically the same number that said they were right of center also said they voted Republican. Can we call those the honest reporters?

It is reasonable to expect that someone may vote opposite of their political leanings on occasion. Especially when a dynamic politician such as Ronald Reagan or Barack Obama are on the ticket. However none of the politicians in the presidential elections between 1964 and 1976 were that dynamic.

The fact that those surveyed consistently voted Democrat, indicates that the 27% who considered themselves centrists were really left of center. If you consistently vote Democrat for president you are likely a Democrat.

Fifty-six percent said the people they worked with were mostly on the left, and only 8 percent on the right — a margin of seven-to-one.

I doubt journalists would ever be so honest again, however, this trend certainly continued into the 21st century. Public records in 2008 showed that the Democratic Party received a total donation of $1,020,816, given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks (NBC, CBS, ABC), while the Republican Party received only $142,863 via 193 donations. That is an 83% lean towards Democrats.

Those in media would say they are impartial in their journalism. I believe that is delusional.

From Lover to Hater of Dropbox

Until 9 months ago I loved Dropbox. It is unbelievably convenient. My machines and phone are all synced. I am a power user of three laptops plus my phone. I have over 160GB of data stored and use the Packrat offering so nothing is deleted.

Let me change the first sentence. Until last week I loved Dropbox. About nine months ago I started having random restores of data that filled my account. Four times I had to clean up 30-50GB of data. Each time I thought it was a glitch and just dealt with it because I LOVED DROPBOX. However, last week it got worse. Everytime I would try to clean up it would restore more and more data. What do I mean by restore? Well let’s say I have a bunch of videos in a directory and move them to another directory. Let’s say I rename them as well. After several months Dropbox restores those files to the original directory. The one’s I moved and renamed are still in the new directory but now I have duplicates and both are taking up space. That’s what I mean by restores.

I opened an incident with support. It took two days for them to get back to me. When they did, it was just a canned response like this one: “We can say with confidence that this situation did not stem from any Dropbox issues. Dropbox users can choose to have files synced across their machines. In that case, all changes made on local machines, including deletions, are synced.” Read more: Well I can’t say that in Heidi Kevoe-Feldman’s case it was Dropbox’s fault but I can absolutely tell you that in my case Dropbox is to blame. How do I know?

  • My events on the website are showing corruption
  • I no longer had the data that was restored to my account. It wasn’t on my machine any longer.
  • My machine doesn’t have enough disk space to hold everything being restored.
  • I never upload files via the website “they said I did”
  • They are blaming machines for restoring data that no longer have Dropbox installed
  • Major events “You added 1938 files and directories”, are taking place in the middle of the night when my machines are off

There are many other reasons but those are absolute. I’ve always had issues similar to this in the past. You delete a file and five minutes later it is back. You delete it again and the same thing happens. After the third delete it is usually gone. It’s not that my data is missing. It’s that it’s a mess. I’ve got over 100,000 files. Pictures, videos, documents, etc. If you scramble it all together it’s almost as bad as losing it. The most infruiating aspect of this is their lack of interest. They don’t read my messages back to them. They just send me another recommendation and tell me it’s my fault. Of course, you only get to hear from them once a day. I dont’ know what to do. I’m trying out Google Drive but it’s giving sync errors and telling me I don’t have rights to my files. It also keeps logging out. One thing I do know….Dropbox couldn’t care less about me or my data.

High CEO salaries can be bad for business, U. study finds

“Employing complex statistical analysis, the study establishes a deeper understanding of the link between executive pay and financial performance and reveals that the more executives are paid, the more they exhibit overconfidence in their decision-making, Cooper explained.

This overconfidence leads to increased risk-taking behaviors, such as aggressive mergers and acquisitions, investments in questionable projects and wasteful spending, he said.”


Liberals like to ignore this

New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
Published: September 11, 2003

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.

“There is a general recognition that the supervisory system for housing-related government-sponsored enterprises neither has the tools, nor the stature, to deal effectively with the current size, complexity and importance of these enterprises,” Treasury Secretary John W. Snow told the House Financial Services Committee in an appearance with Housing Secretary Mel Martinez, who also backed the plan.

Mr. Snow said that Congress should eliminate the power of the president to appoint directors to the companies, a sign that the administration is less concerned about the perks of patronage than it is about the potential political problems associated with any new difficulties arising at the companies.

The administration’s proposal, which was endorsed in large part today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would not repeal the significant government subsidies granted to the two companies. And it does not alter the implicit guarantee that Washington will bail the companies out if they run into financial difficulty; that perception enables them to issue debt at significantly lower rates than their competitors. Nor would it remove the companies’ exemptions from taxes and antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.

The proposal is the opening act in one of the biggest and most significant lobbying battles of the Congressional session.

After the hearing, Representative Michael G. Oxley, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, and Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced their intention to draft legislation based on the administration’s proposal. Industry executives said Congress could complete action on legislation before leaving for recess in the fall.

“The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,” Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. “We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,” the independent agency that now regulates the companies.

“These irregularities, which have been going on for several years, should have been detected earlier by the regulator,” he added.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was created by Congress in 1992 after the bailout of the savings and loan industry and concerns about regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy mortgages from lenders and repackage them as securities or hold them in their own portfolios.

At the time, the companies and their allies beat back efforts for tougher oversight by the Treasury Department, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Reserve. Supporters of the companies said efforts to regulate the lenders tightly under those agencies might diminish their ability to finance loans for lower-income families. This year, however, the chances of passing legislation to tighten the oversight are better than in the past.

Reflecting the changing political climate, both Fannie Mae and its leading rivals applauded the administration’s package. The support from Fannie Mae came after a round of discussions between it and the administration and assurances from the Treasury that it would not seek to change the company’s mission.

After those assurances, Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chief executive, endorsed the shift of regulatory oversight to the Treasury Department, as well as other elements of the plan.

“We welcome the administration’s approach outlined today,” Mr. Raines said. The company opposes some smaller elements of the package, like one that eliminates the authority of the president to appoint 5 of the company’s 18 board members.

Company executives said that the company preferred having the president select some directors. The company is also likely to lobby against the efforts that give regulators too much authority to approve its products.

Freddie Mac, whose accounting is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a United States attorney in Virginia, issued a statement calling the administration plan a “responsible proposal.”

The stocks of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae fell while the prices of their bonds generally rose. Shares of Freddie Mac fell $2.04, or 3.7 percent, to $53.40, while Fannie Mae was down $1.62, or 2.4 percent, to $66.74. The price of a Fannie Mae bond due in March 2013 rose to 97.337 from 96.525.Its yield fell to 4.726 percent from 4.835 percent on Tuesday.

Fannie Mae, which was previously known as the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie Mac, which was the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, have been criticized by rivals for exerting too much influence over their regulators.

“The regulator has not only been outmanned, it has been outlobbied,” said Representative Richard H. Baker, the Louisiana Republican who has proposed legislation similar to the administration proposal and who leads a subcommittee that oversees the companies. “Being underfunded does not explain how a glowing report of Freddie’s operations was released only hours before the managerial upheaval that followed. This is not world-class regulatory work.”

Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

“These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

“I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.

Liberal Press Admits Bias

It’s nice to see that even the liberal media is admitting that they “swoon” over Obama.

Mr. Hastings says reporters, “lose their minds”, “They start behaving in ways, you know, that are juvenile and amateurish and they swoon.” Bashir wondered about Hastings’ own questions to Obama. Hastings admitted that he, too, had taken the soft route when questioning him. “Did I ask him the hard ball questions, did I ask about drones, did I ask about civil liberties? No, I did not.” as he laughs.

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” –Obama

I couldn’t disagree with him more. Just because I cross a bridge it doesn’t mean I owe anybody. I already pay gas taxes for that built and maintain that bridge. I would content that people who are not successful consume more government services and thus owe more to the system than the rich.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” he said. “The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”

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Five major ObamaCare taxes that will hit your wallet in 2013

Five major ObamaCare taxes that will hit your wallet in 2013

While the individual mandate tax gets most of the attention, the ObamaCare law actually contains 20 new or higher taxes on the American people. These taxes are gradually phased in over the years 2010 (with its 10 percent “tanning tax”) to 2018 (when the tax on comprehensive health insurance plans kicks in.)

Six months from now, in January 2013, five major ObamaCare taxes will come into force:

1. The ObamaCare Medical Device Manufacturing Tax
This 2.3 percent tax on medical device makers will raise the price of (for example) every pacemaker, prosthetic limb, stent, and operating table. Can you remind us, Mr. President, how taxing medical devices will reduce the cost of health care? The tax is particularly destructive because it is levied on gross sales and even targets companies who haven’t turned a profit yet.
These are often small, scrappy companies with less than 20 employees who pioneer the next generation of life-prolonging devices. In addition to raising the cost of health care, this $20 billion tax over the next ten years will not help the country’s jobs outlook, as the industry employs nearly 400,000 Americans. Several companies have already responded to the looming tax by cutting research and development budgets and laying off workers.

2. The ObamaCare High Medical Bills Tax
This onerous tax provision will hit Americans facing the highest out-of-pocket medical bills. Currently, Americans are allowed to deduct medical expenses on their 1040 form to the extent the costs exceed 7.5 percent of one’s adjusted gross income.
The new ObamaCare provision will raise that threshold to 10 percent, subjecting patients to a higher tax bill. This tax will hit pre-retirement seniors the hardest. Over the next ten years, affected Americans will pony up a minimum total of $15 billion in taxes thanks to this provision.

3. The ObamaCare Flexible Spending Account Cap
The 24 million Americans who have Flexible Spending Accounts will face a new federally imposed $2,500 annual cap. These pre-tax accounts, which currently have no federal limit, are used to purchase everything from contact lenses to children’s braces. With the cost of braces being as high as $7,200, this tax provision will play an unwelcome role in everyday kitchen-table health care decisions.
The cap will also affect families with special-needs children, whose tuition can be covered using FSA funds. Special-needs tuition can cost up to $14,000 per child per year. This cruel tax provision will limit the options available to such families, all so that the federal government can squeeze an additional $13 billion out of taxpayer pockets over the next ten years.
The targeting of FSAs by President Obama and congressional Democrats is no accident. The progressive left has never been fond of the consumer-driven accounts, which serve as a small roadblock in their long-term drive for a one-size-fits-all government health care bureaucracy.
For further proof, note the ObamaCare “medicine cabinet tax” which since 2011 has barred the 13.5 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts from purchasing over-the-counter medicines with pre-tax funds.

4. The ObamaCare Surtax on Investment Income
Under current law, the capital gains tax rate for all Americans rises from 15 to 20 percent in 2013, while the top dividend rate rises from 15 to 39.6 percent. The new ObamaCare surtax takes the top capital gains rate to 23.8 percent and top dividend rate to 43.4 percent. The tax will take a minimum of $123 billion out of taxpayer pockets over the next ten years.
And, last but not least…

5. The ObamaCare Medicare Payroll Tax increase
This tax soaks employers to the tune of $86 billion over the next ten years.
As you can understand, there is a reason why the authors of ObamaCare wrote the law in such a way that the most brutal tax increases take effect conveniently after the 2012 election. It’s the same reason President Obama, congressional Democrats, and the mainstream media conveniently neglect to mention these taxes and prefer that you simply “move on” after the Supreme Court ruling.

John Kartch is director of communications at Americans for Tax Reform. Follow him on Twitter @JohnKartch.

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