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Word Nerds: Don’t Commit Word Crimes; Use Good Grammar like Weird Al (Video)

Grammar Gods and Goddesses Behold!

Weird Al Yankovic has created the song and video for you. On his newest album released this week, Mandatory Fun, Weird Al takes to dissing the Robin Thicke Blurred Lines hit to his own “Word Crimes”. Never has grammar been so incredibly delightful and melodious. The best thing since Schoolhouse Rocks’ “Conjunction Junction“, in my humble opinion. (And if you remember that oldie but goodie, then you are as old as dirt like me.)

So for all of you who are using R U in your tweets, dangling those participles, and trying to break the habit of Oxford commas, this is a great lesson from the guy who brought us “Eat It”, “White and Nerdy” and another recent one, “Tacky“, murdering Pharrell’s “Happy” hit. Yes, Weird Al has to remind the Internet how to use good grammar.

Some of our favorite lyrics:

Saw your blog post
It’s really fantastic
That was sarcastic (Oh, psych!)
Cause you write like a spastic

Enjoy, you Word Nerds…

(via Weird Al)

 

How to Become a Partner Sponsor for Geek Girl Tech Cons

PartnerSponsorCoMergeGeek Girl Tech Cons for 2014 have been announced and we are busy getting prepped to deliver the best in tech for 2014 for you!

One of our annual traditions is working with our valued Partner Sponsors to be able to collaborate with them, introduce us to their loyal audience and providing them discounts on Tech Cons and then we in turn promote the bejesus out of them online.

A question we always get: How can we become a Partner Sponsor for Geek Girl Tech Cons?

Good question. Here we go:

To be considered, we ask that you are one of the following:

  • Tech User Group: javascript, Ruby on Rails, WordPress, etc.
  • Startup and Entrepreneurial groups
  • Women’s Tech Group focused on empowering women and girls in tech
  • STEM Education Group
  • Professional Women’s Group with a membership/subscriber base (tech or non-tech)
  • Local Chamber of Commerce in the city we have a presence
  • Non-profits that promote: tech for everyone, empowering women, mentors for girls and boys, education, job training, advocates for the unemployed
  • Groups for the underserved and underrepresented youth

And we are open to any suggestions for other verticals…

National Partners and Sponsorships:

Are you a National organization or Resource that is throughout the US and committed to empowering women in tech or business on a national basis?

Some of our current National Partners include:
Chic CEO
NAWBO
WIE IEEE

PartnerSponsorJSSDSome of our local Partner Sponsors include:

Boston and Southeast Mass area:
Plymouth Chamber of Commerce
Metro South Chamber of Commerce
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce
Falmouth Chamber of Commerce
ABWA Cape Cod

San Diego:
Co-Merge Workplace
Femfessionals San Diego
Good Ol’ Gals
Business Women’s Mega Mixer
Javascript User Group of San Diego
WINK
Jenna Druck Center

Las Vegas:
TBD

PartnerSponsorPride

 

What do YOU get for being a Partner Sponsor? As a Partner Sponsor You Will Receive:

  • Vendor space for conducting business ONE FREE 6 foot tabletop exhibit to promote your organization
  • Two (2) free exhibitor passes to the event for organization representative (other attendees may purchase tickets online at a reduced rate)
  • 20% exclusive discount for your organization’s members off of the $169 price
  • Logo and link-back to organization on website: http://bostonsouth.geekgirltechcon.com or http://sandiego.geekgirltechcon.com or http://lasvegas.geekgirltechcon.com
  • 1/2 page full color ad in Resource Handbook handed out to over 500 attendees
  • Logo Tile and Link on weekly email newsletters
  • Signage at event with your organization’s logo
  • Introduction of your organization at the Opening Keynote
  • Introduction of your organization at the After Event Reception
  • Mention in Blog Post
  • Participation in event Scavenger Hunt to meet Attendees, collect business cards and emails
  • Opportunity to add items to swag bag (500 total)
  • Opportunity to provide a giveaway to attendees at post-event reception

A whopping Value of over $2,500+!

And what do we ask in return? Besides your first born child? THIS!

Choose any 5 or suggest your own ways on how you can help us get the word out:

  • Dedicated email to your database about your Partnership with Geek Girl and the Geek Girl Boston South Tech Con with a link to register for the event with personalized discount code for your membership.
  • Mention your participation with the Geek Girl and the Geek Girl Boston South Tech Con including a link to register in weekly email communications with your database. Minimum once a month: Dec, Jan, Feb, March
  • Membership for one year for Geek Girl in your organization
  • Post Geek Girl Tech Con logo and link to registration on your website
  • Like Geek Girl Camp and Geek Girl Tech Con on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and promote Geek Girl via your social media channels with a link to register. Using #GeekGirlTechCon (#BostonSouth #Vegas #SanDiego)
  • Provide complimentary opportunity for Geek Girl to attend one of your meetings or events at a pre-arranged time to make a brief announcement (2-3 mins) about the event and invite attendees to enter drawing with a passed box to giveaway one free admission to the event
  • Provide complimentary table top exhibit (and admission) at one of your meetings or events for one Geek Girl where attendees are permitted to enter a drawing (at their discretion) for a chance to win a complimentary event ticket
  • Barter/InKind Sponsorship for one of your Business expo events in 2014
  • Write a Blog Post about the event mentioning that you are a Partner Sponsor and why you are involved

OR give us some other awesome ideas on how you can help! We’re listening…

Let us know that you want to be involved by emailing us and telling us more about your organization. We’d love to work with you!

 

 

Live in Massachusetts? What You Need to Know About the “Computer Tax”

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 10.17.09 AMThere is a devastating law passed recently in Massachusetts that will not only affect the so-called fat cats of the lucrative IT industry that the legislators were aiming at, but what is very ambiguous and misleading is the very hush-hush trickle-down effect of who it is really going to impact; small businesses such as your local PC repair stores and your one-man web design business. It’s called TIR 13-10, otherwise known as the Computer Tax in Massachusetts and it just enacted on July 31st of this year, much to the amazement of both large companies and small IT companies alike, especially considering not one representative from the technology world was even involved in drafting this measure. The sad part about this is that it will have a very tragic effect on small businesses in the state. And the kicker? Even non-IT businesses such as an accountant may also be liable for this tax just for using software. Insane? We consulted Geek Girl’s own Massachusetts attorney (and huge Geek Girl supporter), Gene Curry, to help us wrap our heads around this one.

 

1.) What is TIR 13-10: the Sales and Use Tax on Computer and Software Services Law?

The tax is a 6.25%  sales and use tax on computer system design, modification, integration, installation and related services. The tax was included in the Massachusetts Transportation Finance Bill, which became law on July 24, 2013 and went into effect on July 31, 2013. The tax applies to software purchased for use in Massachusetts. TIR 13-10 is a technical information release issued by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue to provide guidance on the tax, available at: http://www.mass.gov/dor/businesses/help-and-resources/legal-library/tirs/tirs-by-years/2013-releases/tir-13-10.html. The Department also has a list of frequently asked questions, available at: http://www.mass.gov/dor/docs/dor/law-changes/faqss-computer-software-2013.pdf. The Department has been adding questions to the FAQs on a regular basis, so it is a good idea to keep checking the list for additional guidance.

2.) We hear that this was created as a backlash to all the “fat cats” in the IT industry not paying their share of sales and use tax on computer hardware, but doesn’t this also hurt small businesses and the ma and pa shops who are selling to communities?

You are correct. According to WBUR, Senator Stephen Brewer, who chairs the Senate Ways and Means Committee, has defended the tax saying it was appropriate to tax “a very, very lucrative industry in the Commonwealth”. I disagree. This is not a tax on the IT industry. It is a tax on everyone who purchases IT services, which is to say everyone. For example, a restaurant owner who purchased customized point of sale software will be taxed as will any small business owner who hires an IT business to install or configure software. I also suspect that many of my friends in the IT industry would not agree that it is “very, very lucrative”.

3) Ah, so, it is true that not only IT companies will be impacted, but also Any business or consumer who use any IT services will be forced to pay an additional 6.25% tax on top of their service charge, IT service providers, including software developers and Website designers, and Other service providers, (like accountants, or security camera vendors) who have nothing to do with IT?

As I said above, this is a tax on any one in Massachusetts that purchases or uses IT services. The tax does impose burdens on IT businesses that will be required to register with the Department, collect taxes, and determine which services are subject to the tax.

4.) Who came up with this legislation? And why do you think they targeted ALL IT companies, not just ones making over say a million dollars annually?

The source of the legislation is not clear. The IT community was not consulted in drafting the legislation, which is obvious to anyone who has read the legislation.

5.) What can Massachusetts businesses do to repeal this or make their voices heard?

The Cape Cod Technology Council opposed the tax and communicated its opposition to the tax to the Cape’s legislative delegation. There is a broad coalition forming against the tax including the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod Technology Council, the Massachusetts High Technology Council,  and other organizations. On August 7, 2013, a citizens petition was filed to place a referendum on the ballot in 2014 to repeal the tax. Businesses that oppose the tax can support the referendum effort. In the meantime, businesses can contact the state representatives and senators to express their experiences with the tax or their opposition to the tax. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is seeking comments on the legislation, which can be provided at: rulesandregs@dor.state.ma.us.

6.) Is this happening anywhere else in the country or is this just a Massachusetts phenomena for the moment?

According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, only four other states have comparable taxes and they have lower tax rates.

7.) Do you anticipate this spreading to other states?

Hard to say. On the one hand, every state is looking for additional revenue. On the other, there are states offering financial incentives to lure technology businesses.

8.) Government officials said it should yield $160 million annually in tax revenues but business leaders contend the tax is so broadly written it will cost them some $500 million a year. Both are such polarizing assertions. Which one is more likely? (Taken from Boston Globe article)

Because of the ambiguous way the legislation is drafted, I would expect the revenues to be closer to the higher projection.

9.) Do you think this will be repealed?

I would anticipate that, as the impact of the tax is felt, the momentum will grow for repeal. I am cautiously optimistic that it will be repealed.

10.) Anything else you would like to add?

FYI here is a useful site: http://repealtheitservicetax.com/

And thank you for the opportunity to comment.

 

No, thank YOU, Gene….

-1Eugene R. Curry is the principal of the Law Office of Eugene R. Curry, located in Barnstable, Massachusetts. The firm provides business and corporate solutions for profit and non-profit organizations, including intellectual property, antitrust and trade regulation, and estate planning and administration services, with particular emphasis on the needs of clients operating in the digital environment. In addition to representing technology clients, he represents traditional Cape Cod businesses including agriculture, fishing, and manufacturing businesses. His clients range from start-ups to multi-national corporations. He serves as General Counsel to the Cape Cod Technology Council and has served as a coach for Start-Up Weekend Cape Cod.