Posts by serafina

    Today the Avenida del shopping near here opened again. There were more people than usual and more shops open (although not all). Anyway, it was not exciting to see a line up of closed shops and empty store.


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    For what he said, or for driving while ranting?

    Both. some are telling him that if he were abroad he'd be fined for driving without a seatbelt. Others are insulting him because he doesn't want to pay his share of taxes (which is not what he said). Others tell him that he is ridiculous for being 'envious' of a poor single mother receiving subsidies from the government and selling hand sanitizer at her small kiosko while is 'getting rich' with his company.


    The more you work, the more you are 'punished' by taxation. I am not against taxes being proportional to one's income. However, when the tax thresholds are set too low, they don't incentive people to grow their business because it means a lot more work for a smaller reward.


    In fact, just like in the video Splinter posted, the girl working in black and getting subsidies is earning more money than him who is doing things legally and trying to grow a business.


    Unfortunately, Argentina reminds me a lot of Italy. When I was still living in my home country, I had a full-time job on a temp-contract - I had 6 contracts in 6 years, always at the same place - this was borderline illegal but my employer's lawyers had devised this very well to keep it on the legal side.


    Since I had no prospective to be hired permanently nor to progress in my career, I wanted to start a freelance job on the side. I was REALLY committed to work to it after my office job and until late night, every day and on weekends. But when I run the numbers with my father's accountant, he told me it was not worth it: having a freelance activity would simply put me in a higher tax bracket where I would be taxed even more than on my office job. And it would push away any chance of being hired with a long term contract, because my employer would simply see an even better opportunity for him: to hire me as a consultant, with less costs for him and more for me.


    Ultimately, when my office job fell, I tried to get a new one and when I couldn't, I left the country. Like me, in the last 13 years, 2 millions Italians have left Italy.


    Recently, Italy has started a sort of low-tax scheme to attract repatriation. So I dug a little and found out that the low-tax scheme is only for a couple of years, and then you are charged normally. They also introduced a simplified taxation regimen for small freelancers. Before that, freelancers needed to pay for an accountant all year long, since accounting is very complex. In a year, the accountant's fee is over USD 1000 - for a small freelancer this a lot of money! My US CPA charged less than $200 and I needed him once per year, and he was available to reply to my questions all year long.


    I heard praises of this simplified accounting regimen that has been introduced recently, so I found a page doing a simulation of taxation for a freelance graphic designer. Yes, the accounting is simplified but taxes are still more than 50% overall. From a gross earning of €45,000/year, our freelancer is left with a net of € 20.807,28 which means 46,24% of his gross earning. And there may be further money to pay for private retirement funds, the article specifies.







    It sounds very tricky to travel nowadays. The risk of getting out and not be able to reach the destination or to come back when planned is off putting.


    After junk tv, I am looking for distance learning master’s degree to keep me entertained for the next year. Some UK universities are offering the first semester online or blended, but plan on resuming campus classes as soon as it is safe to do so. However, I don’t want the commitment of having to travel if I am not sure when/if I’ll ever been able to go and come back. I don’t want to be separated from my husband for months nor to risk my life to take a plane during the next wave of the pandemics.



    Basically, I am trying to make my best of my ‘jail’ time. I think this will weaken during spring, and we are lucky that the warm weather last longer here.



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    Indeed....but hardly a surprise given what else goes on here.

    Well, I would imagine they'd be pretty hungry for clients after 4 month stop. Not to mention the staff they had to keep paying while earning no money during the quarantine.

    The 'wrong' hair salon 40 meters away had the owner outside smiling and waiting for some client to come in.

    Today... first day of hairdresser. I had booked my appointment online using the hair salon beauty system. I had religiously read their FB post on instructions (no bags/handbags, mask on at all time, sanitize hands and shoes upon entering the premises, no delay allowed). The booking system sent me a calendar file and I was able to add my appointment to my phone.


    However, this morning.... I go at the address stated and I can't see the place. I see another hair salon 40 meters away but the name is not the same. So I check the FB page and the FB address is on a different street. I go to the other street and there is the correct sign but also a big VENDE/ALQUILA sign. I then try to call the phone number listed on FB and nobody replies.

    I call the phone number listed on their website and nobody replies. I send a message on Facebook and nobody replies.

    I get back home, PRETTY pissed, and I write a public post in a comment on their page... and nobody had yet replied, 8 hours later. This place as 21k like and two locations. I had never been there before but it has been on my radar for a while. Rated $$$ on FB, I was expecting to get a better than average service.


    Instead, I didn't even get as far as to be their client. They haven't even realized the client wasn't there and was trying to communicate with them. I am the only one pissed because I got up earlier and I had prepped my hair for their treatment as instructed. What a waste of time.

    The New York Time is on offer for $0.25 a week for a year. Yes, that's $1 per month! You are charged monthly and can cancel at any time. The second year is $2 per week or $8 per month.

    Near where we live there have been attacks to cars and motorcycles parked on the street, which have been set to fire. As a result. the fire brigade had to intervene. This was in three different streets of Villa Crespo.

    The newspaper calls them 'quemacoches'. Just like when motochorros disappeared as a result of less people on the street to assault. however, I don't see the point in setting to fire private property randomly... Just like I don't see the point in cutting silobolsas...


    Explosión en Villa Crespo: se prendieron fuego siete autos y seis motos en las calles Vera, Darwin y Velazco y apuntan a "quemacoches"


    Esta mañana, poco antes de las 7, en el barrio porteño de Villa Crespo seis motos que estaban estacionadas y siete autos se prendieron fuego y generaron una serie de explosiones por causas que aún se investigan. Las primeras investigaciones apuntan a un "quemacoches", por lo que se desprende de los videos que circularon en las últimas horas.

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    Qué se esconde detrás de los ataques a silobolsas en todo el país


    El trasfondo de los ataques a silobolsas es un misterio. Aunque la hipótesis generalizada es que existen motivaciones ideológicas detrás de los actos de vandalismo, faltan pruebas y piezas para armar el rompecabezas. Y todo en medio de un clima enrarecido entre el Gobierno y el campo por el efecto Vicentin.

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    Bloody hell Serafina.

    Ever considered writing for a tech blog?

    I'll take it as a compliment. It took me a lot of time to write this, I am not a natural like you!


    Anyway, I wasn't expecting that whole Amazon account location thing and I am not super duper happy about it, because working around it involves getting up and going to the computer, disconnect and reconnect the account to the Fire Stick... all in all, it was simpler to keep a small notebook next to the TV like we did in the old time. But it means having a computer and cables around just for that, and getting up to stop the video instead of using a remote.


    However, it's true it was easy to configure and Express VPN chat support is prompt and helpful.

    It took me 6 hours to figure it out with their help, and I was exhausted afterwards. =O

    I have to say that the stream is fluid and bufferless - I am really impressed with Express VPN. It's well worth the price.

    We still have cable so we had flow to give us access to HBO and Fox Premium on demand. HBO is alright but it is not the full streaming service. Netflix remains our go to and for me on my own, 99% of anything I watch is on YouTube. The best thing about YouTube is it lets me niche down. I have 2 to 3 content creators I watch across each of my hobbies and interests. Netflix is mostly for documentaries and the occasional series or movie. Could never get into Amazon Prime but that’s because it is not on our TV or Chromecast and I don’t like watching through a PC.

    Can't you install the app on Chromecast?


    Our previous configuration was a 3rd gen Apple TV with Netflix and Amazon Prime. When we exhausted the local movie catalogues, I subscribed to a VPN service and I was able to mask my IP and access the US catalogue. With a US IP there are a lot more services available on the Apple TV, although most require an expensive subscription with very little free content - it is basically cable TV on the Internet, with US cable TV service prices which can be 40-50 USD per month.

    Other services are niche, such as Kids, History, Reality etc. and slightly less expensive. You can also subscribe to a specific TV network or Producer (HBO, A&E, abc, TLC, HGTV, the History Channel etc.). There is plenty of choice! Some content is shared over more than one service - for example on Hulu there is some seasons of certain HGTV shows, depending on the licensing (such as Season 5 to 7 of 'Flip or Flop', or episode 143 to 165 of International House).


    However, this configuration only allowed me to use a US IP with my Apple TV because it is not possible to install the VPN app on it and a workaround with static DNS is used, instead. My VPN provider offers this workaround only to get a US IP address, unfortunately. They call this service Mediastreamer.


    With the Amazon Fire Stick I was able to install the VPN app on the Fire Stick, so I can use whatever IP address I like (UK, US, IT, ES, BRA, CAN, JP and so on). However.... I found out that since the Amazon Fire Stick is linked to your Amazon account, and your Amazon account is set on a specific region/location, this impacts the choice of services you are shown, regardless of your IP address. You can easily change this setting in your Amazon account at no cost and without having to provide proof of foreign address, however this must be done from a computer, and you have to de-associate and associate the Fire Stick every time you switch country. It's a pain in the butt!


    So , now we have the Amazon Fire Stick associated to my Amazon account set to UK as a location, the VPN on the Fire Stick set to UK - London, and I was able to download the BBC iPlayer app and watch the BBC iPlayer content.

    Our 3rd Gen Apple TV is set to the US using the Mediastreamer, and I can access the US catalogue of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, plus the free content of other services.


    We could connect both devices to the same TV and switch between UK and US easily, in a far simpler fashion than the procedure described above to change your Amazon account location.

    In reality, we are keeping the TV downstairs connected to the UK and the one upstairs connected to the US, so that we can both watch whatever we like.


    Maybe a Roku or similar devices would have been a better choice because it is not linked to Amazon, and not limited as an Apple TV. But my VPN provider recommended the Fire Stick for the ease of installation and it was about the same price. I wasn't also sure of the quality of smart TV boxes sold here and I didn't want to spend too much on it.


    In the past, I spent just USD 14,99 a month on Netflix, and right now I am piling up subscriptions for the VPN and Hulu. I am considering this as an investment to keep me sane and entertained during this looooong quarantine. I wouldn't normally spend 40 USD a month in TV service.