• Categories

  • Wayback Machine

  • My Defunct Podcast

    The Bungee Line was an audio podcast for web developers, covering web API's, software development, and the creation of richly interactive web applications.

    podcast feed  Main Feed

Open Letter to eBay CEO John Donahoe


Does eBay Really Need a Special Exception to online tax collection? I received an email from eBay’s CEO, stating

…we believe small businesses with less than 50 employees or less than $10 million in annual out-of-state sales should be exempt from the burden of collecting sales taxes nationwide.

At first blush, the exception seems reasonable. But considering eBay’s business model, it’s completely self-serving. I replied to the address from which he sent the email. Since it might bounce, I share my response publicly.

Mr. Donahoe:

I agree that processing state & local taxes could be a burden on small businesses, especially the sort of special-focus, long tail small businesses that reach customers far and wide through eBay. eBay’s opportunity is to alleviate this burden. How? Provide new services & API’s in your platform to make tax collection a dead-simple process. Wouldn’t this render eBay an even more strategic platform for the small businesses that integrate with your platform? Coming from eBay–a company among the first to demonstrate how a web platform could simplify doing business online for micro-businesses–the “burden of collecting sales taxes nationwide” argument is rather specious. I notice that eBay does not advocate that all businesses of the scale you state–online or not–should get that exception.

Online businesses have had a remarkable opportunity to germinate and prosper for nearly two decades free of sales taxes. As online sales have grown, state and local governments’ revenues have declined. That affects our schools, highways, municipal services and other infrastructure. Furthermore, since the demographics show that online shoppers are generally wealthier than those who don’t shop online, isn’t your exception for online micro-businesses a special accommodation for higher-income households?

Perhaps eBay needs to re-think this issue in broader terms than asking for a special exception for eBay’s sweet spot in the market.

Thanks for your email and consideration of my response,

Ted Haeger

Donohoe’s complete letter follows. Continue reading

Working at Mozy


UtahBusiness.com logoAlthough I have been blogging all too seldom in the past couple years, I want to share one of my responses for the “Best Companies to Work For in Utah” survey conducted annually by UtahBusiness.com. Why? Because I want to share with tech professionals in Utah what its like working at Mozy right now. Continue reading

Wow, that was ugly.


Did these guys just totally take each other off the board? How will people react to their behavior tonight?

Photo from ABCNews article.

My Republican Debate Rundown


  • Romney – Oh, snore!
  • Bachman – Crazy.
  • Paul – What’s this “Constitution” thing he keeps harping on about, and why does he think it’s relevant?
  • Cain – If was running under “Herman”…
  • Gingrich – 1994…only now his head seems bigger.
  • Parry – See Bachman, subtract scientific literacy. (Yes, he’s in deficit…and I’d like to buy a vowel.)
  • Huntsman – Inviable. As he steadily earns my respect, his chances diminish.
  • Santorum – Ew! Why, Google? Why?!

 

Hey, Sealy: You Suck!


You know that old line of jokes about The Mattress Police, the people who check whether a mattress still has its law tags attached? If you live in the U.S., then you probably do. After all, it was a joke in the 1985 movie Fletch, an author uses it for his registered domain name, and there are t-shirts,  a punk band, and countless other links riffing on the concept. The whole joke is based on the absurd notion that someone checks such an obscure thing. Of course, the tags also state that the tags can be removed by the consumer, so it’s just a joke. Right?

Not according to Sealy. They use those tags as a way to weasel out of their warranty. Wow. Sealy just screwed me out of $1000+.

In Spring of 2007, I bought a California King Sealy mattress. The mattress has turned out to be an epic fail. Within 3 years it began to cave in, and now it has sunken in deep enough to cause me a lot of back pain. However, Sealy will not honor their 10 year warranty because I removed the “law tags.”

Although the warranty states that you must have these, the tags merely state that they may only be removed by the consumer. They don’t mention that removing the tags can void your warranty. Talk about your fine-print technicality.

Sealy uses cheap technicalities to get out of serving customers. That really sucks, Sealy. You suck, Sealy.

I post this rant because I hope that some small number of people will see this and avoid Sealy when purchasing a Sealy sleep set.

I’ll take it down should Sealy ever decide that their brand matters enough to honor the warranty that helped their authorized retailer sell me their shoddy Shy Blossom mattress.

Other Suckful Rants on Sealy

A Different View of Iran. Thanks, NPR


I have never considered blogging about something I heard on National Public Radio. However, it affected me today in a way that warrants comment.

Just before arriving to work, NPR aired a story about Iranian singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian. My respect to the journalists and editors who assembled the piece. In a very short piece, they shared not only Shajarian’s wonderful voice but insight into the heart of the Iranian people. It broadened my perspective.

Is this the liberal media that Fox News warns us as destroying our country?

Some Contact Juggling


It’s been a while since I did an update. I read Gordon Bell’s Total Recall last weekend. It motivated me to start organizing my media. That unearthed a video of me juggling at the Park Silly Sunday Market. Here it is.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.