Cutting boards are an essential item in any kitchen. There is no denying any cook needs a good place to safely cut meats and vegetables. Anybody who is doing any amount of cooking will have to be doing some cutting too. Cooking and cutting simply go hand in hand. The problem is not only finding the perfect spot to set up your prep station, but finding the perfect cutting board too. I know when I prep foods, often more than what should ends up on the floor. When it comes time to carve things that are a bit trickier, say … Read more
Micron Technology is cutting as many as 2,000 more jobs because of slumping demand for its products, as the shakeout in the memory chip business continues.
The largest U.S. maker of memory chips said Monday afternoon that decreased demand for specialty DRAM products has "created additional challenges" for its Boise, Idaho, manufacturing operations. As a result, Micron said it will phase out 200 millimeter (mm) wafer manufacturing operations at the company's Boise facility.
"This action will reduce employment at Micron's Idaho sites by approximately 500 employees in the near term and as many … Read more
After a technology review site claimed Intel solid-state drives slow considerably after extended use, Intel said it has not been able to duplicate the results.
SSDs have been gaining in popularity because independent testing done to date has typically shown that SSDs--especially the newest generation of drives--outpeform hard disk drives.
A review, however, entitled "Long-term performance analysis of Intel Mainstream SSDs" on technology Web site PC Perspectives claimed, among other things, that the Intel X25-M solid-state drive may degrade in performance as a result of "internal fragmentation" and that "a 'used' X25-M will always perform … Read more
Preparing your taxes online offers some advantages over doing them on the desktop--you don't have to wait around for installations and updates, for one--but for taxpayers like me, there are certain rewards to desktop tax apps like TaxCut (review) and TurboTax (review). As part of CNET's tax coverage this year, we wanted to compare not just TaxCut and TurboTax, but also the benefits of filing taxes online versus filing with desktop software.
The benefit of desktop tax software boils down to two points: the number of e-files you get for your money and where the software stores your … Read more
I don't get it, the satellite company claims 19 million subscribers, and if they were paying the same rate as I do, $12.95 a month, that works out to close to $3 billion a year in income. They also have ads on all the nonmusic channels, which have to be generating income as well. Oh, wouldn't you think the ads on Howard Stern's show … Read more
Intel has slashed solid-state drive prices, but probably not enough to sway many consumers.
Intel's mainstream, and currently most widely available, 80GB X18-M was cut to $390 from $595--about a 34 percent drop in price. But paying almost $400 for an 80GB drive may still be too much to ask of consumers when, for example, a 160GB, 7,200-rpm laptop hard-disk drive from Toshiba can be had for less than $100 on Amazon.
Solid-state drives, particularly the newest generation of SSDs, typically offer much better performance than hard-disk drives.
Hewlett-Packard, one of the largest users of Intel solid-state drives … Read more
Finding your way to the right tax-prep program is almost as complicated as doing the taxes themselves.
In this First Look video, we'll walk you through the pros and cons of the superpopular tax-prep programs TaxCut (by H&R Block) and TurboTax (by Intuit.) The differences between them add up to more than just looks and cost.
April 15 is quickly approaching, which means we all need to buckle down and spend a Saturday preparing our taxes. I prepare my own taxes, and I know all too well how hard it can be to find the right program to help out. Let's look at four online tax preparation software packages that are good places to start.
H&R Block TaxCut Online: Powerful, but not ideal H&R Block may offer its tax services in franchised locations across the U.S., but it also provides its software online. And although those who are less knowledgeable about tax law shouldn't have too much trouble preparing their taxes with the company's TaxCut Online software, there aren't enough options to justify using it if you file a complex return.
TaxCut Online is free when you e-file your federal taxes, but just like every other service in this roundup, it charges you to e-file your state taxes. With TaxCut Online, that will run you $29.95. Aside from the free edition, TaxCut Online is also available in Basic for simple returns for $14.95 or Premium for those who have more complicated returns for $39.95. Neither of those fees include the state e-file charge.
I created a fake return (without filing) to evaluate each service and found that TaxCut Online works beautifully for those who have simple returns. In a matter of seconds, I was able to work my way through wage income, interest, and basic deductions to create a return. It was quick and easy.
But when I tried to create a complicated return that featured the sale of a home, self-employment income, and investment income, TaxCut Online proved to be a relatively useless tool, at least compared to TurboTax Online. It didn't maximize my tax credits, it failed to provide me with enough control to pinpoint specific deductions like self-employment insurance, and it delivered a tax liability that was almost $1,000 higher than the figure TurboTax Online calculated. That said, its "Worry-free Audit Support" tool came in handy and its error correction feature fixed mistakes it found along the way, which certainly helps put the mind at ease.
But I can't even recommend using TaxCut Online if you file a basic return. It's too expensive. Nor do I recommend using TaxCut Online if you file more complex returns. TurboTax Online is a much better alternative.
TaxAct Online: Simplicity is kingTaxAct Online isn't nearly as powerful as TaxCut from H&R Block or TurboTax Online, but it's not meant to be. Instead, TaxAct is aimed at the taxpayer who doesn't want to pay an accountant $250 to prepare a relatively basic return.
When I first started using TaxAct, I was impressed by its simplicity. It doesn't feature all the extras you'll find in more capable products and it's obviously designed for someone who wants to get their taxes filed as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you want to find obscure tax code topics, you won't find it in TaxAct. It's simply not that kind of preparation tool.
TaxAct comes in three versions: Free, Deluxe, and Ultimate. After you e-file your state taxes (for free), it will cost you $13.95 to file federal. The Deluxe and Ultimate versions will both run you $16.95. That's a fair price for what you're getting with the software.
When I prepared my basic return on TaxAct Free edition, it couldn't have been easier. I input the wages, interest, and other data and within 30 minutes, TaxAct had my return ready to be e-filed with the government. The refund it calculated was exactly the same as the refund the other tax preparation solutions determined.
But as good as TaxAct was on my basic return, it was equally poor on my complicated return. Inputting self-employment income and expenses was too difficult, and the software's import feature, which attempts to find tax data from your banks and employers, was useless; it found nothing. Once I finally completed the return, it calculated a tax liability that was more than $2,500 higher than what I calculated with TurboTax Online. Suffice it to say that TaxAct Ultimate is best-suited for someone who has wage income, owns a home, and hasn't sold any investments over the past year. Anything more than that and the software becomes difficult to use.
Is TaxAct worth the $13.95 it charges for the basic edition with state e-file? You bet. It's simple, it's quick, and most importantly, you can't screw anything up. But if you have a complicated return, don't waste your time trying to save a few bucks on TaxAct. You'll lose more when you file your taxes.… Read more
Taxes: we don't love 'em, but we do them anyway. To do them right, you need good tax-prep software that won't stub your brain on accounting jargon, but will still find all possible deductions. Since Intuit's TurboTax and H&R Block's TaxCut (Windows|Mac|Online) are the two brands eating the biggest market share, we've pulled together screenshots of the features that could help you lean toward TurboTax, or TaxCut.
We chop vegetables for soups, stir-fries, casseroles, and a long list of other meals. Getting those chopped ingredients from the cutting board to the pan just got a little bit easier. The Chop2Pot Folding Cutting Board lies flat when you're chopping up ingredients, protecting your counter like any other cutting board. Once you're done, however, you can simply squeeze the cutting board's handle. The two sides will fold up, providing an easy surface to transport your ingredients on--and a chute to pour them into a pan. It even offers some protection for those of us used to … Read more