Category Archives: Review

My Dire-y 05/09/2015, Update – TaxACT is TaxJAC’T

I am unhappily writing an update to my dire-y entry from 04/15/2015. I just received a letter from the Ohio Department of Taxation informing me of an error in my tax return. Evidently TaxACT reported $0 for line 9 – exemption credit, which should have been $20. So, the result is that I paid the State $15, when I really owed nothing in taxes. So much for their “lowest tax payment” and “correctness” guarantees.

Now, in Ohio, EVERYONE gets at least one exemption for themselves, and the Ohio tax instructions for line 9 – exemption credit state:

” If Ohio taxable income is less than $30,000, multiply your total number of personal and dependent exemptions by $20 and enter on line 9.”

OK, simple and straightforward enough.  Well, my Ohio taxable income was next to nothing since I am on Social Security disability, and my disability income is not taxable income for me, in Ohio. Therefore, my Ohio taxable income was most definitely less than $30,000!  Since EVERYONE gets at least ONE exemption, I therefore obviously qualify for the $20 exemption amount, TaxACT should have included $20 on line 9 of my return….but they didn’t.

Now, if they had made an error on a line in which there were a murky or debatable definition of the correct amount, it would be somewhat understandable. However, this was a cut-and-dry definition, not subject to interpretation, so the error made is such a blatant one. This is such a simple thing, which has been exactly the same for many years, so I am really dumbfounded.

Since I know my tax situation is rather simple (in fact, I usually enter the data manually myself on Ohio eFile), I trusted that a major tax preparation software company would most definitely do it right. I am frankly quite shocked to discover that they allowed such an obvious error slip past. Ya, ya, I know I am supposed to check their work, I don’t want to hear a lecture about it. But really, if I wanted to go to that effort, I would have done it myself. Since I did not care to put that much effort into it, because I don’t HAVE the energy to put into worrying about doing all those calculations manually, I decided to pay someone else to worry about it for me. I put in the correct numbers (which I did) – and it spits out the “guaranteed” lowest amount of taxes possible.  That’s the way it is supposed to work….Ya, right!

Obviously, I will not be using TaxACT any more to do my taxes, and unfortunately, I can no longer recommend TaxACT to anyone else either.

<dripping sarcasm alert>

I just felt such a tremendous burning desire and keen sense of duty and social responsibility to let everyone know exactly what happened.  So, I just HAD to produce this update!

(You know how much I just LOVE to b*tch….well at least you do now!).

Mark

Seagate STBP8000100 Business 4-Bay NAS Network Attached Storage Review

I have had nothing but problems with this NAS since I bought it about two years ago. I documented a whole page worth of bugs I found in the NAS Manager. Now, I can no longer access the NAS Manager to make any changes. I can no longer add any shares, or do any of the administration of the unit. I tried everything. I reset it, didn’t work. I wanted to do a factory reset, but you need access to the NAS Manager to do it! The files that are on it, I can still access; at least that is something. The unit performance is not great, but OK for home use. The manuals are not very informative, they could have been written much better. Their support is terrible. What else can I say, but don’t buy it. I will refuse to buy any Seagate products ever again in protest, even though their disk drives are just fine. They should have stuck to that, and stayed out of the complex Network Attached Storage market.

Review of the “Tinder” Android App

The only part of the Tinder dating app that I like, is that it pi**ed me off so bad I just HAD to write this review. I just LOVE to B*tch! A shortened “Short Version” was published in the Google Play Store for this app, but because of space limitations on reviews there, I post both short and complete versions of my review here, of this (mostly) useless app.

SHORT VERSION:

This app is not even worth downloading and trying. And, for your own sake, do not buy it! The other free dating sites/apps, “Plenty Of Fish”, (POF), and “OKCupid”, (OKC), are infinitely more useful, and you can get dates, completely for free.

First, many people include NO information, only pics. Not much to go on, leading to many frustrating failures to “launch”.

The policy of “once you throw a person away, they are gone forever”, is the stupidest policy ever. Do you make mistakes? (If you PAY, you can get back the last mistake only. How generous of them!)

You are forced to give tinder your phone number to use the app, and can only ever create ONE account with that number, No do-overs if you make a mistake.

The user interface is designed in such a way that you can easily, INADVERTENTLY, throw away multiple people/profiles, before stopping yourself. You never got a chance to explore them at all. See my Google+ login for the full review which I will post there because space limitations have “Scroogled” (most likely copyright Microsoft Corp.) me here in the Google Play Store.

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LONG VERSION WITH DETAILS:

This app is not even worth downloading and trying. And, for your own sake, do not buy it! The other free dating sites/apps, “Plenty Of Fish”, (POF), and “OKCupid”, (OKC), hereinafter known as “the others”, are infinitely more useful, and you can get dates, completely for free (they also have paid premium versions).

First, “the others” prompt you to enter the important stuff that people want to see, and search against, to find suitable matches, such as age, smoking status, height, pets, children… and so on. Tinder allows you to write a profile, but you are all on your own, you completely control how much information is presented, or non at all, and must remember to include the important stuff people want to see (or not at all). Now personally, I need to see/search on certain information in order to have a viable match at all – it isn’t there in most profiles. These are my own personal “Deal Breakers”. We all have them, and not all that info is based on looks, or can be seen in the pics. So, if some decide to leave it out, you either dump them in the “Bucket”, or go ahead with the match, and hope that later, at least ONE of them will meet your dating criteria. Also, there is no searching in tinder, you only get to choose a few little details, like how far from your location you want the search to cover, but for the most part, you only see what they want you to see, no user choice. The others DO.

The worst part, for me is their policy that once you throw a profile into the “bit bucket”(throw them away), except for only the very LAST one you threw away, and then only if you PAY, is the most idiotic, asinine, stupid, manipulative, limiting, policy, I have ever had the opportunity to encounter. What dater in their right mind wants to PERMANENTLY delete choices, which there is no way of ever getting back? Certainly not me. You may start out keeping only the “best” matches for you, only to regret that decision later, when none of THEM want to date YOU!

The app actually does what they say it does. BUT: one method of looking through a person’s multiple pics is by “left swiping” through them. Well, by design, the “left swipe” is also one method used to permanently throw people into the “trash”. If, while you are “left swiping” through a person’s pics, you inadvertently happen to tap on the screen just slightly a little too much, the display reverts to the selection screen, and the person you were looking at, swiping through their pics, is now, unintentionally deleted forever. Now, if you happen to be quickly “left swiping” through multiple pics of the same person (as I tried to do), and don’t catch yourself quickly enough, you end up discarding, forever, multiple choices you didn’t mean to throw away. This is the most idiotic user interface design I have ever, in my long programming career, seen. Stupid, stupid, stupid. If you want to be totally frustrated trying to find a date, then by all means, download away!

Oh, did I mention that I tried to create a second account, to start fresh? Well, I did TRY, and as long as you are on the same phone, it isn’t allowed, you simply can’t do it. You are REQUIRED to give your cell phone number to tinder in order to get an account (so they can set up an anonymous connection between users, using your phone’s text messaging), which I consider an invasion of my privacy. I have not given my number to any of “the others”. I have not tried creating a new account on a different phone, mainly because I have only ONE, and I am surely not going to buy a new one just to start over on tinder. All around, I give tinder only one star. I would have given less, but really, in good conscience, I can’t, because regardless of the difficulties and frustrations, the app does what they claim it does, and in the end, it IS possible to get a date for free with this app (at least I think it is).

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