When Brett’s dad bought a new computer with a shinier operating system, he had to purchase a new version of the accounting software Quickbooks for use on more than one computer. No big deal: Quickbooks comes with multiple licenses so users can install it on more than one computer after buying only one copy. There was no mention of needing multiple licenses for multiple computers in the sales documentation. That’s when Brett learned that you can’t make purchases based on how a product’s specifications used to be. A second license actually costs more than a single copy of Quickbooks.
Banks are pushing for a change to banking rules that would allow them to ignore mark to market accounting for assets in markets that they deem “inactive.” In other words, if a bank is loaded with worthless assets but decides that the market for those assets is frozen, they can value those assets higher than the market would. Or to simplify it even more, they can create value out of toxic assets. And it looks like now the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which so far has been against this rule change, is caving in.
If you bought individual Enron stock, you might get a piece of a new settlement against all the companies who supported Enron along the way and knew, or should have known, what was up. [TopClassActions]
Seth was recently contacted by Buy.com and told that due to an error, an order he placed over a year ago had a balance due. They’ll be debiting his credit card “on or about 09/22/08.” Seth emailed them back to ask why they were just now settling the billing issue—surely it hadn’t taken them this long to notice it. Apparently, it had, and it’s not just Seth’s account that’s messed up.
Forbes has a list of the (supposedly) most recession-proof jobs, and oddly “funeral home director” isn’t among them. How strange… The list is very heavy with accounting work and jobs that require computer skills with a little nursing and sales thrown in for variety. Seemingly missing from the list is the guy who “deals with the goddamn customers so the engineers don’t have to.” Oh well.
In the last three years, New York has collected $19 million in unused gift card balances under the state’s unclaimed-property laws. Best Buy added $135 million in unspent gift cash to its total operating income over the past two years. “For individual retailers, unspent balances can range anywhere from 2% to more than 10% of all gift-card sales,” notes BusinessWeek.
Here’s one reason to use an online service to store financial data: no buggy updates to deal with.* Intuit’s December update for 2006 and 2007 versions of QuickBooks Pro on the Mac platform wiped the user’s Desktop folder and anything stored there. The company released a patch, but it didn’t work if you launched QuickBooks while connected to a wireless hotspot, oops. The latest patch, so far as we can tell, simply disables any further updates to the application—on January 3rd the company “began automatically feeding a patch to Mac QuickBooks users that permanently switches off the program’s upgrade mechanism to prevent a repetition of a data disaster.” In the meantime, since they can’t offer a way to fix the deleted Desktop folders, they’re offering rebates to users who buy a copy of the data recovery program Data Rescue II.
It shows some kind of American cabaret singer leading a group of E&Y employees in a ballrooms singalong.
• The news is not that a data breach at VISA had a data breach that caused consumer’s debit cards to get stolen, it’s that they’re actually finally formally announcing it. “Visa Says ATM Breach May Have Exposed Data” [CT]
There are lots of taxes one pays in online games. They can be taxing to the marriages, health and even the sanity of emaciated South Korean nerds slowly irradiated into a shade of phosphorescent blue, like a deep-sea inverterbrate, by their112-hour binges in front of a monitor flickering Lineage mobs upon their retinas. And any World of Warcraft player knows that it can be taxing upon your intellect as well: being forced to endure the general chat channel of the Barrens will slough IQ points off like reams of skin after a first-degree sunburn.