Tag Archives: throughout

OCZ/PC Power & Cooling 80 Plus PLATINUM MK III Silencer PSU 1200W + Brand New SSD’s

My PSU is absolutely rock solid. It has supplied me with much needed power throughout many of my gaming builds. You wont be able to tell the difference between this or a brand new one like this, it has been kept in excellent condition. The PSU does not come with any warranty, I’ve had it for a very long time, well kept and maintained.

This is a Platinum Rated PSU and it is Semi-Modular.
Please see the pictures. Reason for Sale – I want to buy the £300 PSU from the other thread.
£150…

OCZ/PC Power & Cooling 80 Plus PLATINUM MK III Silencer PSU 1200W + Brand New SSD’s

OCZ/PC Power & Cooling 80 Plus PLATINUM MK III Silencer PSU 1200W + Brand New SSD’s

My PSU is absolutely rock solid. It has supplied me with much needed power throughout many of my gaming builds. You wont be able to tell the difference between this or a brand new one like this, it has been kept in excellent condition. The PSU does not come with any warranty, I’ve had it for a very long time, well kept and maintained.

This is a Platinum Rated PSU and it is Semi-Modular.
Please see the pictures. Reason for Sale – I want to buy the £300 PSU from the other thread.
£150…

OCZ/PC Power & Cooling 80 Plus PLATINUM MK III Silencer PSU 1200W + Brand New SSD’s

Liberty Tax Online Basic 2018 (Tax Year 2017)

Liberty Tax has been in business since 1997, and currently has 4,000+ locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, it offers DIY online tax preparation with the option to obtain additional support and guidance from its financial professionals. We reviewed Liberty Tax Online Basic, which is designed for individuals with W-2 and interest/ordinary income who want to itemize deductions. You can also enter your health savings account information on the site. Liberty’s midrange offering performed well for us, though its user experience and help tools could be improved. Consider using Editors’ Choice TurboTax Deluxe instead for all your tax filing needs.

Similar Products

Pricing and Versions

There are four versions of Liberty Tax Online. EZ ($14.95 federal, $29.99 state) supports the 1040EZ and the Schedule B (interest and ordinary income). Basic ($24.95 federal, $35.95 state), the version we reviewed, adds the Schedule A (itemized deductions) and Form 8853 (health savings accounts). Deluxe ($44.95 federal, $35.95 state) also supports the Schedule C (self-employment income) and depreciation. And Premium ($69.95 federal, $35.95 state) covers everything, including rental, real estate, and farm income, as well as capital gains/losses.

Similar Frameworks

Personal tax preparation websites work much like their desktop predecessors, in that they break down the complicated IRS forms and schedules into much smaller chunks. You don’t see those official documents until you finish and print them out, though some sites provide you with sneak previews. Rather, these sites take on the digital persona of an in-office tax preparer and ask you a lengthy series of questions about your tax-related situations.

They do this in one—or both—of two ways. They all display lists of the income, deduction, and credit items that the IRS wants to know about, like your W-2, mortgage interest deduction, and child care credit. You select the topics that apply to you one at a time and work your way through multi-step wizards.

Some sites offer you another option; they provide one giant wizard that visits every possible topic. You provide answers in a variety of ways, such as by entering data in fields, choosing options from drop-down lists, or clicking buttons. The sites do all the necessary calculations and deposit your answers on the correct lines on the correct, official forms. Relevant data is moved over to any state returns you must file.

Along the way, you can access a variety of help tools, including searchable article databases, context-sensitive Q&As, hyperlinked explanations, and chat, phone, and email support. Occasionally they direct you to IRS publications, but these sites’ tax experts have written and rewritten simplified versions of the agency’s complex language to help you make sense of everything. After you finish entering information, they run your answers through a review process, and alert you of any errors or omissions before you e-file and/or print your completed return.

There are tremendous differences among these sites in terms of the user experience they offer, the tax situations they support, and the quality, quantity, and accessibility of help they provide.

A Straightforward Approach

From start to finish, Liberty Tax Online Basic makes it clear what information it requires. It takes care of housekeeping tasks first, helping you create a username and password, setting up security questions, and importing your 2016 return from Liberty or a competitor.

Then, it’s on to personal contact details, standard pre-prep questions, and information about your 2017 income and residences. The final step is to provide your filing status and information about any dependents. In contrast to sites like TurboTax Deluxe that go out of their way to add a little friendliness, Liberty Tax takes a straightforward, facts-only approach.

Entering Data

Once you edit and/or approve your personal information summary, it’s on to the meat of the site: entering your tax-related information. Liberty Tax Online Basic does not offer a comprehensive, all-inclusive wizard like TurboTax Deluxe does; instead, you select the topics that apply to you from lists of options. It displays all possible tax topics no matter what version you use, but it does notify you if you stray into areas that require more premium versions.

In the Income section, for example, it presents you with a variety of income types, divided into categories: Employment, Investments, Retirement, Business and Rental, and Other Income. A column to the right displays the total of any data you entered for that item. To the right, you either see an Add or Edit button, depending on if you entered anything in the section. If you click the Add button next to Wages, salaries, and tips, for example, the next screen provides a list of options for your W-2. You can provide the data manually on a digital W-2, import it from ADP or Equifax, or indicate that you haven’t yet received the form.

When you finish the income section, you move on to deductions and credits, health insurance, and some miscellaneous (but important) tax-related topics. Liberty Tax Online Basic moves relevant information into any state return you must file and completes its review of your return before you pay your fees and get ready to file.

Liberty Tax offers an excellent review process that works better than most competitors. It found four errors on our return. When we clicked to see the first one, it took us directly to the offending page. After we fixed that first omission, we could either return to the full list of errors or proceed to the next one. We chose the latter and it neatly walked us through the rest. The site then displayed a pie chart illustrating our audit risk, with an explanation of the score. Bravo.

A Smart Feature

Liberty Tax Online Basic’s Credits section offers a unique feature that we’ve never seen on a personal tax preparation website. The home page for this section lists all IRS credits that are covered by the site and notably uses the data you already entered to tailor the experience. For example, the column to the right of Earned Income Credit on our return didn’t contain a dollar amount (or, $0), as usual. Instead, it said “Not Qualified,” with a hyperlinked “Why?”

When we clicked on the link, it explained that our investment income was too high to qualify for the EIC. And because we had indicated on an earlier screen that we had college-related expenses, the middle column read “Information Required” next to the Form 1098-T entry. Instead of saying “Add” or “Review,” the column to the right read, “Investigate,” with a big red hand pointing toward it.

Getting Around

There’s nothing difficult about following Liberty Tax Online Basic’s navigation structure. A tabbed toolbar at the top of the screen divides the site into four sections: Personal Information, Federal, State, and Finish. When you click on one, a menu opens below it with the relevant subsections. You can access these areas at will, but it’s safer to just follow the site’s sequential order. As you go through each section, you use the Back and Next buttons to advance or move to the previous screen. Unfortunately, there’s no comprehensive topic-and-form outline like TaxAct Online Plus offers, so you can’t see the site’s topics in their entirety.

TurboTax Deluxe sets the bar high for online tax preparation when it comes to the user experience. Liberty Tax Online Basic’s interface might have been leading edge several years ago, but now it looks a little dated. The site uses the entire screen and then some, yet there’s often a lot of white space, and the text and buttons on the screen are on the small side. There are very few graphics as well and the layout isn’t compelling.

A persistent pane on the right-hand side breaks up the monotony. It’s filled with colorful rectangular buttons that are used for both navigation and support resources. The top right has a Save & Quit button and one that alternates between Home and Uprade. Below that is a real-time total of your refund (or funds due). If you want to find a Liberty Tax Office, you click that button. Everything below that takes you to housekeeping screens or a help section. Links include Support (opens a screen containing options), Chat Live, My Account, Common Questions, My Documents (anything you uploaded), and My Forms (a list of all forms and schedules you visited). Click on any of the forms to see a copy of the official IRS document.

Basic Help Options

Liberty Tax could take a page from when it comes to the on-site help it offers. You can chat with or send email questions to support specialists. The Common Questions button on the right often displays context-sensitive questions and answers (especially on section home pages), but sometimes it’s blank. Click on it, though, and you can enter a search word or phrase to get clearly-written explanations. In fact, it displays a list of possible matches as soon as you start typing.

But the interview pages themselves don’t contain any hyperlinked terms that open guidance windows. There are no deeper explanations within them that might keep someone from needing to visit the help pane. This is an unfortunate shortcoming since Liberty Tax Online Basic certainly has that information available. Enhancing the help section would improve Liberty Tax’s usability and help speed up the process.

Middle of the Road

Liberty Tax Online Basic falls about in the middle of the sites we reviewed. It would rank higher with better-integrated help and a more aesthetically-pleasing user experience. If you’ve used it before and liked it, there’s no reason to change—unless your tax return is going to suddenly get more complex this year. Then, TurboTax Deluxe, with its more engaging user interface and skillfully-employed guidance system, is a better option. You pay more, but it can be risky to pinch pennies when dealing with forms that require the utmost accuracy.

Atomist extends CI/CD to automate the entire DevOps toolchain

Startup Atomist hopes to revolutionize development automation throughout the application lifecycle, before traditional application release automation vendors catch on.

Development automation has been the fleeting goal of a generation of tools, particularly DevOps tools, that promise continuous integration and continuous delivery. The latest is Atomist and its development automation platform, which aims to automate as many of the mundane tasks as possible in the DevOps toolchain.

Atomist ingests information about an organization’s software projects and processes to build a comprehensive understanding of those projects. Then it creates automations for the environment, which use programming tools such as parser generators and microgrammars to parse and contextualize code.

The system also correlates event streams pulled from various stages of development and represents them as code in a graph database known as the Cortex. Because Atomist’s founders said they believe the CI pipeline model falls short, Atomist takes an event-based approach to model everything in an organization’s software delivery process as a stream of events. The event-driven model also enables development teams to compose development flows based on events.

In addition, Atomist automatically creates Git repositories and configures systems for issue tracking and continuous integration, and creates chat channels to consolidate notifications on the project and delivered information to the right people.

“Atomist is an interesting and logical progression of DevOps toolchains, in that it can traverse events across a wide variety of platforms but present them in a fashion such that developers don’t need to context switch,” said Stephen O’Grady, principal analyst at RedMonk in Portland, Maine. “Given how many moving parts are involved in DevOps toolchains, the integrations are welcome.”

Mik Kersten, a leading DevOps guru and CEO at Tasktop Technologies, has tried Atomist firsthand and calls it a fundamentally new approach to manage delivery. As these become increasingly complex, the sources of waste move well beyond the code and into the tools spread across the delivery pipeline, Kersten noted.

The rise of microservices, and tens or hundreds of services in their environments, introduce trouble spots as developers collaborate, deploy and monitor the lifecycle of these hundreds of services, Johnson said.

This is particularly important for security, where keeping services consistent is paramount. In last year’s Equifax breach, hackers gained access through an unpatched version of Apache Struts — but with Atomist, an organization can identify and upgrade old software automatically across potentially hundreds of repositories, Johnson said.

Atomist represents a new class of DevOps product that goes beyond CI, which is “necessary, but not sufficient,” said Rod Johnson, Atomist CEO and creator of the Spring Framework.

Rod Johnson, CEO, AtomistRod Johnson

Tasktop’s Kersten agreed that approach to developer-centric automation “goes way beyond what we got with CI.” The company created a Slack bot that incorporates Atomist’s automation facilities, driven by a development automation engine that is reminiscent of model-driven development or aspect-oriented programming, but provides generative facilities not only of code but across projects resources and other tools, Kersten said. A notification system informs users what the automations are doing.

Most importantly, Atomist is fully extensible, and its entire internal data model can be exposed in GraphQL.

Tasktop has already explored ways to connect Atomist to Tasktop’s Integration Hub and the 58 Agile and DevOps tools it currently supports, Kersten said.

Automation built into development

As DevOps becomes more widely adopted, integrating automation into the entire DevOps toolchain is critical to help streamline the development process so programmers can develop faster, said Edwin Yuen, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass.

The market to integrate automation and development will grow, as both the companies that use DevOps and the number of applications they develop increase.
Edwin Yuenanalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

“The market to integrate automation and development will grow, as both the companies that use DevOps and the number of applications they develop increase,” he said. Atomist’s integration in the code creation and deployment process, through release and update management processes, “enables automation not just in the development process but also in day two and beyond application management,” he said.”

Atomist joins other approaches such as GitOps and Bitbucket Pipelines that target the developer who chooses the tools used across the complete lifecycle, said Robert Stroud, an analyst at Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass.

“Selection of tooling such as Atomist will drive developer productivity allowing them to focus on code, not pipeline development — this is good for DevOps adoption and acceleration,” he said. “The challenge for these tools is although new code fits well, deployment solutions are selected within enterprises by Ops teams, and also need to support on-premises deployment environments.”

For that reason, look for traditional application release automation vendors, such as IBM, XebiaLabs and CA Technologies, to deliver features similar to Atomist’s capabilities in 2018, Stroud said.

From bitcoin to deprecated Java, a look at 2017’s top opinions

It’s always interesting looking back on the various topics that arose throughout the previous year in the world of Java and technology. TheServerSide typically likes to stick with fairly neutral feature articles, news pieces, tips and tutorials, but every once in a while a subject or an issue arises that calls for a bit of an opinion to be offered. Here’s a look at ten of the most popular opinion pieces for 2017 — based on comments — ranging from cleaning up deprecated Java methods in the Java SE API to the problems with the bitcoin blockchain.

10. The ignominy of working at Uber

It seems that the various issues surrounding Uber and other ride-sharing programs never once abated throughout 2017. But specifically of interest to developers were the unethical practices of creating applications such as Greyball, which geofenced law enforcement agencies, not to mention the allegations by former employee Keala Lusk regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. It all begs the question, if you had been a developer at Uber, would you include that fact on your professional resume? I certainly wouldn’t.

9. Diversity versus parity

Former Google employee James Damore raised a number of eyebrows with his blog post “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” which criticized the search engine’s approach to diversity and inclusion. Of course, what exactly do people mean when they talk about diversity and inclusion? Is the goal really diversity or is the actual goal simply gender and ethnic parity? There’s a big difference between the two concepts.

8. Process and methods

It’s not wise to speak unkindly about Agile and DevOps, the two hottest methodologies and software development processes around today. But these tall poppies were growing a little high, and someone just needed to address the fact that, as effective as these two approaches are, they aren’t magical unicorns, and they won’t fix every problem a software development team will encounter.

7. Deprecated Java code

Sometimes a discussion on a boring topic such as deprecated Java methods sings to the hearts of the software developers. A snide little rant about using deprecated Java methods garnered far more social media shares than one would have expected.

6. Cloud-native Java

Perhaps the biggest trend in the world of Java development was the move to cloud-native Java architectures. But sometimes the push to re-architect the entire data center was a little over enthusiastic and organizations with more than sufficient infrastructures were made to feel there was a problem with systems that are working just fine. Far too often, fear mongering was driving the microservices and containers trends.

5. The 12-Factor app

How do you develop cloud-native Java applications? Some suggest the mantra of the 12-Factor app is the right place to start. I’d disagree, as I noted in this article.

4. Java EE APIs

I like JavaServer Faces and I like JSR-371, the new Model-View-Controller (MVC 1.0) framework for developing user interfaces. But I’ve never liked the fact that UI frameworks get included in the Java EE specification. They shouldn’t be. They should stand alone.

3. Cloud failures

The Amazon outage was big news in February. But the story was bigger than the simple fact that an AWS availability zone temporarily went down. It was about how that Amazon outage impacted the faith and trust clients have in their cloud computing vendors.

2. Explaining away the Amazon outage

Amazon explained away its zone outage as simple data input error. But when an entire availability zone goes down, there’s more going on than simply a user hitting the wrong key on the keyboard.

1. Bitcoin and blockchains

2017 will be remembered as they year bitcoin broke the $10,000 barrier. But just how fundamentally sound is the blockchain technology that underlies the cryptocurrency? This article on the issues surrounding bitcoin and blockchain technology not only attracted a large number of eyeballs, but it generated an equally large number of comments and shares on various social media sites.

2017 provided plenty of fodder for an opinionated take on both current and ongoing events that pervaded the software development industry. There is no doubt that 2018 will be equally as interesting, although it’ll be hard to top a year that included deprecated Java methods with DevOps unicorns prancing around.

For Sale – TP-LINK Archer T9E AC1900 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Card

Absolute cracking card with huge range throughout the home!

Card comes fully boxed with accessories.

TP-LINK Archer T9E AC1900 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter + Three Antennas

For further details: LINKY!

Open to genuine offers, please no time wasters… any questions regarding this card please don’t hesitate to ask!

tp1.jpg

tp2.jpg

Price and currency: £30
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: Newport
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – TP-LINK Archer T9E AC1900 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Card

Absolute cracking card with huge range throughout the home!

Card comes fully boxed with accessories.

TP-LINK Archer T9E AC1900 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter + Three Antennas

For further details: LINKY!

Open to genuine offers, please no time wasters… any questions regarding this card please don’t hesitate to ask!

tp1.jpg

tp2.jpg

Price and currency: £35
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT or PPG
Location: Newport
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Announcing… MINECON Earth

For the past few years we’ve hosted MINECONs throughout the world, and they’ve been great! We’re extremely proud of how our annual conference has evolved since the first one back in Las Vegas, and would like to thank every attendee for taking some time out to join us.

But this year we’re switching it up! The Minecraft community is still growing, and there’s only a certain number of players we can host while keeping the friendly, intimate community atmosphere that’s made previous MINECONs so special.

With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce MINECON Earth – an interactive show that will take the best bits of our previous events and incorporate them into a condensed show dedicated to all things Minecraft! It’ll be free to watch and showing on all kinds of popular streaming websites this November.

For more on MINECON Earth, pay a visit to our fancy new page and watch the announcement video above. We’ll be sharing more details soon, including some of the ways you can get involved to make MINECON Earth more special, so watch this space!