In 2007, small businesses can deduct up to $112,000 in new equipment purchases, including information technology assets such as computer hardware, networking equipment and off-the-shelf software.
Section 179 of the tax code, which lets business owners deduct their purchases, was originally set at $25,000 a year. But in 2003, lawmakers quadrupled the deduction to $100,000 a year in a bid to boost the economy. The deduction increase was initially scheduled to expire after 2005, but Congress renewed the deduction twice and now has extended it through 2009.
But according to a recent BizTech poll, most IT staffers aren’t aware of how or if their businesses are utilizing the tax break. Only about one-third of readers say they either have taken advantage of the deductions in the past or will this year.
If you want to learn more about how to make the most of the deductions when making investments in your company’s IT infrastructure, check out a BizTech podcast at www.biztechmagazine.com/podcasts and also read a white paper at www.biztechmagazine.com/whitepapers. Small-business tax experts offer detailed help in deciphering the ins and outs of Section 179.
The Video Disc Arrives
In February 1977, Popular Science touted the upcoming release of the optical video disc by electronics giants RCA and Phillips. The companies planned to sell the players for about $500 each and discs for between $10 and $18. Unlike record players, the disc players would not operate unless the lid was closed.
Will your company take advantage of capital expense depreciations that apply to hardware and off-the-shelf software using the small-business tax deduction?
We will take advantage this year and have in the past.
We have not taken advantage in the past, and don’t currently plan to this year.
We have taken advantage in the past.
We plan to take advantage this year.
Source: CDW poll of 281 BizTech readers
The Intergalactic Network
Although Al Gore claimed the Internet as his invention, the real credit goes to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, created by the Defense Department after the Soviet Union’s successful launch of Sputnik in 1957. Numerous brilliant scientists and researchers participated in this think tank directly or as DOD contractors, but most attribute the naming of the Internet to Dr. J.C. Licklider. Licklider called the concept of computer-to-computer communication an Intergalactic Network. A team of computer scientists toiled for years, and eventually at 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 29, 1969, the first electronic data packets traveled over a 50-kilobit-per-second line from a computer at Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., to another computer at the University of California in Los Angeles.
What security certifications have you completed in the past year?
Source: CDW poll of 281 BizTech readers
“There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don’t.”
— Systems Engineer Tim Antonowicz
Be Smart When Prepping for Certification Tests
If you must cram, don’t stay up all night. According to research by board-certified neurologist Dr. R. L. Kaplan, brain function decreases after an all-nighter, particularly in the frontal lobe and memory systems. Instead, Kaplan suggests:
Review notes immediately after each class. Without review, 40 percent to 70 percent of what is learned in a class is forgotten by the next day, making it especially important to review newly learned materials in the first few hours after exposure.
Take vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Brain structure and function will improve by stimulating the brain with the right foods and vitamins.
Recharge your batteries. As the day wears on, mental fatigue sets in. A nap as short as 10 minutes can improve alertness and cognitive performance.
Exercise in short bursts. Increase the neurochemicals that help concentration by doing a quick set of aerobic exercises before studying. This will boost brain catecholamine levels and, in turn, the ability to concentrate and focus.
Never lose a loved one or delinquent employee again.
The U.K. company FollowUs (www.followus.co.uk) has more than 55,000 registered users of its tracking service, which monitors people’s locations using the subscriber-identity module cards in cellular phones and other portable devices.
Registered users receive a personal identification number to activate the tracking service. Once they receive a request on their device, they enter the PIN, and FollowUs relays location information back to the requester via an Internet connection.
The company claims it can pinpoint someone’s location to within 330 feet in urban areas. The tracking service is not yet available in the United States.
What’s Good for Your Battery Is Good for Your Notebook
Editor’s Pick:By Jim Silvestri
Keeping your battery and notebook computer cool is the best way to extend their life, prevent degradation of components and avoid thermal shutdowns.
Although notebook fans are compact, they aren’t particularly efficient. The $27 Targus Notebook Chill Mat, which plugs into a spare USB port, has two fans built into a small pad that you sit your notebook on to pull heat away. If you’re short on USB ports, Targus also makes the $54 Notebook ChillHub, a mat with four built-in USB ports.