Small Business Reading Room

Friday, April 15, 2005

LexisNexis, ID theft and the US Government

Just a brief follow-up to my post earlier this week on LexisNexis and their security problems.

Well, what do you know. Looks like there may have been some more security breaches back in 2003 that were never reported- probably because there is no requirement to do so. Looks like our politicians are ready to come to the rescue. Congress and the Senate are considering new legislation to protect consumers.

Is it an election year?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Permanent End to the Estate Tax?

The Estate Tax has always been a hotly debated issue in the U.S.

Should there be an Estate Tax, or Death Tax, as it is sometimes called. If so, who should be taxed? These are questions that many generations have fought to answer.

The Estate Tax is currently scheduled to end in 2010. Unfortunately, it is also scheduled to begin again in the year 2011. Now, there is a bill before Congress to try to permanently repeal the Estate Tax.

Raymond J. Keating, the Chief Economist for the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, believes the tax should be repealed permanently. He has some valid points. The Estate Tax accounts for very little of overall federal revenues, so why put the extra burden on families at an already sad and stressful time.

What I find even more interesting is his correlation between the Estate Tax and the decrease in small businesses. According to Mr. Keating, many small business will end up closing or being sold, some just so the owners can afford to pay the tax.

For anyone interested, I would suggest reading his essay. He outlines a number of reasons why the Estate Tax should be repealed. And, if you think the tax should be repealed, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council has an online petition.

Thai New Year (Songkran Festival)

From April 13th through April 15th Thailand will celebrate their traditional New Year (Songkran Festival).

Songkran is both a cultural and religious tradition. Family members will gather to honor the elders through a bathing ceremony where scented water and gifts are given as a sign of respect. Monks are also honored with a bathing ceremony where afterwards the abbot will give a sermon and blessing for the New Year.

You can read the traditional fable of the origins of Songkran here.

This is a major holiday (similar to Easter or the Chinese Ching Ming Festival). You can expect the city of Bangkok to effectively "shut down" as residents return home to celebrate with their families.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

LexisNexis discloses more ID theft

The Associated Press reports that LexisNexis has acknowledged earlier today that personal information, such as addresses and Social Security Numbers, on 310,000 U.S. consumers has been stolen.

Last month, it was reported that about 32,000 people had been affected by security breach. In total, investigations have revealed that their databases have been breached about 59 times using stolen passwords.

The company plans to send letters to anyone who may have been affected by the the latest security failure.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Delaware's Tax Freedom Day

According to the Tax Foundation, today is Delaware's Tax Freedom Day!

New Domain Extensions Approved by ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers bestowed its final approval on Friday for the new internet suffixes:

".jobs" for the human resources industry
".travel" for the travel industry

According to an article that recently appeared on, it could
still take months for new domain names to start appearing on the internet.

In the future, look for news on two other extensions that have received preliminary approval; ".post" for postal services and ".mobi" for mobile services.

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Delaware Intercorp, Inc.
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