Monday, February 20, 2012

Taxes! Argh!

I just electronically submitted my federal and state taxes. Double Argh!
Now I do use tax software to help me through the arduous task of filing my taxes, but I still find it to be a major nightmare. Ok, I don't have issues with paying taxes. The amount, yes, but the fact I need to pay isn't the issue, it's the utter complexity of trying to pay one's just taxes.
Every year I wonder am I going to get it right, even with the tax software? Did I get all the forms back, did I get all my deductions correct, etc. etc.?!?!? I want to do the right thing by paying my just amount but the complexities are just so extreme!
Can't we do it simpler?
How about something very easy?
How about take your income, subtract $25,000 and then multiply by 20%?
No deductions, no wondering if missing anything!
I don't know if 20% would be a good figure, but it is something to start with.
So if you make $25,000 you would pay $0 taxes.
$50,000 would pay $5,000.
$200,000 would pay $35,000.

Do we really need to have such overwhelming complexity just to do the right thing by paying our justly due taxes?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Android Widget: Weather, Radar, Alerts, Quakes

I'm a weather geek, and like to know as much as I can about the weather, and the forecast for where I'm at. I've tried several weather/clock widgets and have found the I like Weather,Radar,Alerts,Quakes the best.
I especially like the long range forecast and being able to see how strong the wind is going to be on a given day.
Currently it's $2.99 so you might check it out and here's a short video on a few of the features.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Samsung SA350 23" LED LCD Monitor min-review

Normally I have two, older, 19" LCD screens attached to my computer which has been great the past 7 or 8 years. Well, one decided to give up the ghost and not work anymore. So with money tight I though I can just survive on the remaining 19" LCD. It was painful, but I was using it for a few days when it too decided to become a flake and not work for me on my computer.
So biting the financial bullet, I had to find a new monitor that I could use. Primary was finding a cheap monitor, fancy features weren't an option.
So, luckily, my local big box membership store had a Samsung 23" LCD LED monitor on sale for $150. It's a basic 1980x1020 LED LCD monitor. I had a DVI to HDMI cable already (it comes with a VGA cable) and plugged it in and away I went (the ports are HDMI and VGA). Works great. No flaws that I can see. There's additional software that I chose not to install.
There's plenty of options available through a menu that's built into the screen and available through buttons on the lower right of the monitor.
What doesn't it have? No VESA, no DVI, and no speakers. The stand isn't adjustable either. So if you need those or a DVI port, you won't find it here.
I do miss the extra desktop space and the separation that the old 19" monitors had, but I'll get used to this set up soon enough.
So for a no-frills basic monitor, this one is a good option.