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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, November 21, 2000. Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Salon: "The seven members of Florida's highest legal body ruled unanimously Tuesday night, at 9:45 p.m. EST, that Secretary of State Katherine Harris must accept the hand count tallies underway in key Florida counties -- provided they meet a 5 p.m. EST, Nov. 26. deadline mandated by the court."

Wired: Emusic Tracks Napster Naughties. "Emusic engineers have developed a tracking system that can identify infringing materials on Napster - something the file-trading company said was impossible."

Hugh Pyle has a Groove "Mind Map" tool.

Lance Knobel: "I fear that the pro-patent people are lying low and staying greedy, happy to let the theorists spout until the cows come home."

Joel Spolsky: Netscape Goes Bonkers. "I laughed heartily as I got questions from one of my former employees about FTP code he was rewriting. It had taken 3 years of tuning to get code that could read the 60 different types of FTP servers, those 5000 lines of code may have looked ugly, but at least they worked."

Andrew Wooldridge of Netscape asks what most needs fixing in Netscape 6.

Hey Uncle Vava is back! I wonder if he knows that it was one year ago today that I introduced his site, one of the first Manila sites, to Scripting News readers? And please remind me to thank everyone who started a Manila site, on December 4.

A dot-com nightmare 

A longtime friend who will remain nameless ("Bob" is not his real name) did a two-month consulting job for a promising dot-com startup a few years ago. He was paid in stock options.

A couple of years later the company IPO'd, one of the most spectacular IPOs during the frenzy. His options ballooned in value, when they vested last year his stock was worth $10 million. All his friends, myself included, were impressed. "Bob is very rich now," we all said.

Of course he exercised the options. This is known at the IRS as a "taxable event." At that point you owe the government taxes on the value of the stock at the moment you exercised the options. Bob must have been confident in the value of the stock because he didn't sell any to pay the taxes.

Now as the end of Y2K approaches, his $10 million in stock is worth less than $1 million. Unfortunately (this is the nightmare part) he has to pay taxes on income of $10 million. Figure it out. My formerly middle-class friend has to come up with approx $4 million to pay Uncle Sam and Governor Davis. Like most ordinary people this is an impossibly large number. Bankruptcy looms.

I hear this is happening a lot in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In the next cycle, watch out for irrational exuberance. Sell the stock to pay the taxes.

PS: For most people, $6 million is transcendental.

Bill Seitz: Stock Options and the AMT.

Motley Fool: Meltdowns Always Happen.

Yes she is! 

Katherine Harris is on AmIHotOrNot. BTW, I think she's very hot, I think it's curious that others don't, and of course when I was younger I wouldn't have. It scared me that women mature. Now I love mature women. Seriously. No sarcasm. This might be an optimistic thing for younger heterosexual men. No need to be so scared. Why do you think she's getting all those flowers? (BTW, she's four years younger than me.)

     

Last update: Wednesday, November 22, 2000 at 4:45 AM Eastern.

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