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28 Jan 2010
Capital One sent me some "payment checks" which give a grace period just like a credit card charge, so I deposited a couple in my savings account to collect the interest.
Earlier this month I paid my bill electronically the day before the due date, and once I saw it had posted on their site, I wrote myself another check and deposited it in the bank. Payment and deposit posted at the bank on the same day, so I'm earning my 1.35% APY uninterrupted. When this month's bill arrived, there were three more payment checks in the envelope with it, and in the same day's mail was a little booklet with three more, just in case. I guess they really want to lend me money at 0% interest.
In the meantime, I've been pondering how to best pay my taxes. Since I'm self-employed my income varies a lot from year to year, and this year I'll have a large payment due in April. I could write them a check, but what fun would that be?
You can pay your taxes with plastic through three providers who have arrangements with the IRS. Since the IRS won't pay a merchant fee, they all charge extra. If you use a credit card, they charge 1.95% or 2.35%, much more than any plausible card rebate. But if you pay with a debit card, there's a flat fee of about $4. One bank I use now offers reward points on debit card payments. It's not a lot, one point per $2 with a point being worth about a penny, but a payment of $800 would earn more than $4 of points, and my tax bill will be considerably more than that. Hmmn.
01 Jan 2010
For the benefit of trademark owners, ICANN has something called the UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Process) that allows the owner to file a complaint against an allegedly infringing domain name, to be resolved by one of a small set of arbitrators. About 90% of UDRP cases that proceeed to a decision are decided in favor of the complainant; opnions differ as to whether that's because of the merit of the complaints or the institutional bias of the arbitrators.Google files lots of UDRP complaints. One arbitrator is the World International Property Organization in Geneva. In 2009 they decided all of their Google cases in Google's favor: googlemapsargentina.com, googleinstores.com, adsgoogle.net, google4people.net, googblog.com, mygooglemoney.com, and googlehrd.com.
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