Online banking deteriorating! Or, so I got the Citi’s Costco card.

I mentioned the new Chase online banking website and I wasn’t happy about it.

Little did I know… Just a few days later I had to sign up to the Citi online banking system, with my brand new Citi Costco Visa card. What can I say?.. Hey, Chase guys, your site is awesome!

So what made me so upset about Citi?

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It’s the Prime day at Amazon!

Today is the Amazon traditional “Prime day” sale. Tons of promotions are going on, and if you look carefully enough you may catch a glimpse of that rare beast called “a real deal!”.

If you don’t yet have a Prime account – you can try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. There are some nice discounts going on, but do your own due diligence and compare prices.

Worth noting, that competitors have sales of their own. Walmart, for example, provides free shipping on any order. Target has already started the end-of-summer/back-to-college sales. Google Express has a 3-months trial that you can try to have deliveries from the local brick-and-mortar stores, if you don’t like what Amazon is doing to the retail market.

While on the topic of Amazon and sales, pay attentionĀ  to this piece of news. Apparently, Amazon are silently experimenting with the “list price” notion. Or rather, lack of it. Many sellers use the “list price” (or the MSRP – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) to show how big their discount is, without revealing that the “list price” has never been the actual price for the item. In many cases, as noted in the article I linked to, the manufacturers themselves sell below their own MSRP prices.

What it means is that when you see “50% off”, it may not actually be half the “regular” price. It may be half the MSRP price, which no-one in fact sells at. So even when you see the “original” prices stricken out – do your own due diligence and compare prices on different sites. Including the manufacturer’s. Check the local retailers. You may be surprised by the results. In some cases, you may get the item cheaper in a brick-and-mortar shop next to you rather than online.

Enjoy your shopping!

Your Little Advisor.

 

PS: 712 (7/12) is not a prime number. However, 127 (12/7) is. 12/7 is July 12th as written in most of the European countries.

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So Chase updated their web site. To the AdBlock!

Chase Bank, of which I’m a happy customer, has recently updated their website for online banking.

There was nothing (much) wrong with the old one, IMHO, but it seems to be a trend for online service providers to move to a model of a site optimized for all devices. As part of that Chase decided to redesign their online banking site to be more suitable for tablet/phone users at the expense of the desktop users.

So far so good, from IT perspective it is definitely easier and cheaper to maintain one version that suits all than multiple versions for segmented markets. No complaints there.

But…

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The IRS On-line Transcripts Service is No Longer Available

I wrote a while ago about the new IRS service allowing to download your tax return transcripts online.

Unfortunately, this service is no longer available.

The IRS took the online service down due to the compromised security, after a large amount of taxpayers’ personal information has been accessed by unauthorized persons.

For those who still need to get the transcripts, you can do it by mail, using the form 4506. You can download the form here.

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Happy Holidays, and Remember to Donate!

It’s that time of the year again, and as always, I encourage you to donate to various charities. Qualified donations done before the end of the year may qualify for deduction on your 2015 tax return, so it is a good way to bring your total tax bill down.

Keep in mind that you’ll need a receipt for your donations that will state the date, what was donated, the organization receiving, and will explicitly state that no consideration was provided for donations. Keep in mind that such receipts should not be backdated, as that may invalidate the entire deduction.

This year, as always, I encourage you to donate to the Wikimedia Foundation, The Red Cross, the Human Rights Foundation, and also the Planned Parenthood and its affiliated organizations. The Planned Parenthood Action fund will even match your donation.

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A little bit on how easy it is to manipulate you…

I’ve been busy lately, and haven’t posted anything for a while, but there is something that keeps bugging me. So I decided to come back and write about it.

How easy it is to manipulate you. Yes you, the average consumer of the average news. So very easy. Public opinion can be swayed very easily by a strategically placed dead (or not very dead) child, or a touching story shown in prime time, or a not factually correct allegation that plays on your deepest fears… And then – torches, forks, witches burning – the usual stuff.

Let’s see what we had…

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God wants to love gays in Kentucky, but needs more help in doing so!

We’ve all heard about the Kentucky county clerk adopting the Sharia law instead of the United States Constitution and claiming that doing so is the governments’ god-sent right.

Well, God apparently disagrees. In his/her recent post, God said that he/she would like to post a billboard in Kentucky to spread his/her message of love, however was unable to find a billboard provider to allow him/her doing so. Because in Kentucky they don’t want to hear God’s message coming from God, only from a multiple-divorcee and adulteress.

So if you want to help God in spreading his/her message of Love, and help the people of Kentucky freeing themselves from the oppression of the religious fanatics, please donate here for a mobile billboard.

Your Little Agnostic Advisor

PS: I truly believe Kim Davis should be able to practice her religion as she wishes. Kentucky County Clerk, however, has no such privilege. Government is not allowed to prefer one religion over the other in the United States, and if Ms Davis cannot work as a government official without violating her beliefs – she should quit her job. Just as MLK would probably not hold a position as a janitor at the KKK offices, now would he?

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