Jake Berzon's blog

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Agile Change Management

Recently, I ran into a problem adding a biller to my business account’s Internet bill pay. I called the bank’s Internet banking support line for help and explained the problem in full detail right off the bat. Of course, this didn’t stop the help desk representative from taking me on the long and winding road of Q&A, before she could confirm that what I was experiencing was a “known problem.”

If you are running an older version of Drupal 6 with known security vulnerabilities, upgrading to the secure next minor version is usually much simpler than the upgrade instructions will lead you to believe.

If you are running a multisite install, in most cases all you have to do is the following (and it's even simpler for single site installs):

1. login as the 1st user and put the site into offline mode.
2. cd to your drupal installation home directory.
3. download the new version tarball.
4. backup the old web directory by renaming it.
5. untar the the tarball.

Drupal logo

If you are using Drupal 6 or an earlier version of this popular open source content management system, commonly installed on Linux servers running Apache and MySQL, to manage your content, you may have a problem. It is the same even if you managed to install Drupal in a much less common environment such as Windows, or are running it on a PostgreSQL database. The problem I am talking about lurks inside Drupal's core search module. Supposedly, it was fixed starting with Drupal 7, but I didn't check this personally.

MySQL logo

Turbo Tax has serious bugs lurking under the covers of this year’s tax software and these bugs are going to get you, unless you give yourself more time to do your taxes and are extra vigilant!

As far as US income tax preparation software is concerned, Turbo Tax is and has been for at least 20 years, since it was acquired by Intuit, the king. This year, tens of millions of people will use a product from the Turbo Tax line of products to prepare and file their personal income taxes without giving it a second thought.


If you have ever owned a bond, chances are you have at least heard about Original Issue Discount, or OID for short. Simply put, it is the difference between the amount you paid for the bond and it's redemption value.

IRS considers OID to be a form of interest that accrues as you hold the bond. And even if you are a cash based taxpayer, as most of us are, you must pay taxes on this accrued interest every year that you hold the bond. Of course, you don't see this money until the bond matures, or you sell it. Nevertheless, the Government gets its cut of it every year.

Fidelity Investments Logo

I recently received a letter from our rental application processor RentApp, a service of Appfolio, informing me that they are discontinuing their online application/screening platform at the end of March. RentApp was the only service I could ever find that provided the depth and breadth of information on rental applicants at a reasonable price point.

Appfolio RentApp logo

My long-time followers are well aware that I have neglected this StockValues.Org blog, which BTW runs on Drupal 6, for much of 2013, even reducing the site to maintenance mode, making it completely inaccessible to the mere mortals, for many months.

In the meantime, I continued to use Twitter for quick updates and to share my thoughts. If Twitter wouldn't have made changes to their API, upgrading it to API 1.1 during this time period, all my tweets would have been recorded to this blog's database automatically by a dutiful cron, which never missed a beat. Well, Twitter changes happened and so my updates didn't.


You may still be able to get out from under the yoke of Obamacare, at least temporarily.

If you are one of the unfortunate millions, who have received a cancellation notice from your health insurance company for your individual health plan, and your insurance company still refuses to implement the "fix" President Obama announced two weeks ago whereby, "insurers can extend current plans that otherwise would be canceled into 2014 and Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan," you may still be able to avoid the brunt of Obamacare and it's mandated penalties at least through the end of 2014.

Obamacare website new home page

If you are hoping to get health insurance through one of the newly minted marketplace health insurance exchanges, beware, some of the information posted on the government websites may mislead you. Worse yet, representatives answering your questions may give you incorrect information.

Obamacare website home

With world's attention turned to unrest in the Arab countries and now the earthquakes in Japan, it is easy to see why last Friday's murder in the Samaria region of Israel went mostly unreported by the mainstream media in the US. A Jewish couple and their three kids - the youngest was only three months old, were murdered by a terrorist. A group affiliated with Abbas’ Fatah faction claimed responsibility.

Palestinian terrorist butchers Jewish family in Samaria

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