Boo to the “Amazon Tax”

New York recently enacted a new tax law that requires Internet-based retailers to collect sales tax from customers based in New York. The tax has been informally dubbed the “Amazon Tax”. If you do any kind of online shopping you know that most of the time you don’t get charged sales tax on your purchases. The times that you do, it’s because the retailer has a physical location in New York. While the retailers don’t charge you sales tax, we’re actually supposed to report purchases made online on our state tax returns and pay sales tax. But no one ever does this and it’s hard to enforce.

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Digg Looking for Buyers

So TechCrunch recently reported that Digg is looking to be acquired. Note that this is not official and is an unconfirmed report. Among the parties bidding on Digg are Microsoft and Google. I think it’s about time and if Digg doesn’t sell soon, it’s going to have to lower its expectations more and more. Honestly, apart from their “algorithm” which can easily be reproduced or emulated, there’s nothing special about Digg other than its large user base. That in itself is not a unique advantage. Yahoo just released a similar site called Buzz and I think Yahoo can find ways to leverage its massive user base and channel traffic through Buzz.

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Those Annoying Speaking Ads

Recently I’ve encountered (quite often now) an extremely annoying form of online advertising. When you view a web page with the ad, a high-pitched, annoying, high school girl voice comes on suddenly and says, “Congratulations, you have just won a free iPod nano!” or something to that effect. I think it drones on with instructions but I’ve never made it that far. I always close the site. Damn, these things are so annoying!

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Safari on Windows

Apple released a new beta version of their Safari web browser yesterday. Normally this news wouldn’t be that important to me but this new version now works on Windows! As a web developer this is great news because now I don’t need to use/borrow/buy a Mac just to test my work in Safari. As I deal with larger projects it has increasingly become more important to test in Safari.

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