Whither marriage, benefits

It’s open enrollment time and for the first time I’ve looked into getting Snuff onto my dental plan. I will say that I am very fortunate to be offered same-sex benefits but I have a few philosophical conflicts.

Prove you’re committed to each other
The obvious argument is that legally married couples have it easy but to take it further, look at points i to vii. My company is setting parameters for a proper same sex marriage. I am put under more scrutiny than those who; have married minors, are bigamists, are polygamists, are monogamous, are financial dependents, are in a marriage of convenience, are squatters. I have to produce 5 pieces of documentation about how I’m financially tied to my boyfriend… married people don’t even have to show a marriage license.

Inheritance requirements
Had I realized my homosexuality after siring children, I could not set them as primary beneficiaries. My company assumes that I’ll kick the bucket before my man does? Though I have no children to speak of, I like my parents and their siblings, prefer setting primary beneficiaries to the next generation – long story, see ultimogeniture.

I can only take solace in the fact that non-committed opposite-sex couple will have to jump through the same notary validated hoops I have to go through.

The definition of eligible family members is as follows:

  1. your legal spouse (of opposite sex) not legally separated from you, or
  2. your same-sex partner who meets the following criteria:
    1. You and your same-sex partner live in a state that has a process to recognize same-sex domestic partnerships, civil unions, etc., and you have formalized your same-sex relationship through that process.
    2. You and your same-sex partner live in a state that permits same-sex marriages and you and your same-sex partner are legally married.
    3. You live in a state that does not have a process to recognize same-sex partners and, therefore, have not formalized your same-sex partnership as indicated in A) and B) above. However, all of the criteria below are met:
      1. You and your partner are at least age 18.
      2. Neither you nor your partner are legally married to another person of the opposite sex or in a same-sex partnership with another person, and have not been for at least six months.
      3. You and your partner are not related to each other by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit marriage in your state of residence.
      4. You and your partner are in an exclusive, committed relationship that is intended to continue indefinitely.
      5. You and your partner share a mutual obligation of support and responsibility for each other’s welfare.
      6. You and your partner currently share a principal residence, have done so for at least six months, and intend to reside together indefinitely.
      7. You must be able to provide 5 of the 8 documentation categories as set forth below.

For 2C above, you must provide a notarized affidavit certifying to items 2(C)(i) through 2(C)(vi) and provide documentation demonstrating that you and your eligible same-sex or opposite-sex domestic partner meet at least 5 of the 8 categories below. Documentation must prove:

  1. Joint interest in real property, as evidenced by title or mortgage, lease, or rental agreement, by you and your partner
  2. Joint ownership or purchase of a motor vehicle by you and your partner
  3. Joint ownership of a checking, savings, or investment account or joint liability for a loan or credit accounts by you and your partner
  4. Your partner is named as primary beneficiary for your Company-sponsored life insurance policy
  5. Your partner is named as primary beneficiary for your Company-sponsored pension plan benefits, Company-sponsored deferred compensation plan, or Company-sponsored 401(k) plan
  6. Your partner is named as primary beneficiary in your will
  7. Your partner has authority to deal with property owned by you under a valid written power of attorney
    You have given your partner written authority to make decisions concerning your health and well-being if you are unable to do so

Apple Patent Application Shows Analysts’ Failure To ‘Think Different’

A continuation of an Apple patent filing from April 18th surfaced this week. The invention “Advertising in Operating System” brought up suspicions that Apple is  preparing a fremium model for the next release of Mac OS X. Fears that there will be pop-up ads just to do basic functions make pretty good link-bait for the tech blog echo chamber. [AppleInsider]

The scary advertising bogey man is holding your OS hostage, or so you've been led to believe.
The scary advertising bogey man is holding your OS hostage, or so you've been led to believe.

Optimists hope that this patent will be used just to prevent other software firms from creating their own ad-supported operating systems. If granted, any company out to make a ad-supported operating system could be stopped by Apple patent-licensing fees. Noble, but if we can’t be bothered with ad-supported television will the market support an ad-based computer. *cough* PeoplePC *cough*

Seeing past the idea of Apple leveraging their iAds platform into Mac O$ XashGrab, there are some real opportunities for Apple to encourage growth. Take a look at the one diagram that the tech blogs aren’t bothering to post:

Advertising Component
Advertising Component

The ‘Advertising Component’ sits alongside all of the other OS pieces. Notice, that it’s neither blocking any of the other modules nor are any modules dependent upon the ‘Advertising Component’.  So follow me on this one, ‘Advertising Component’ is a core technology.

Core Ads or Core iAds brought to Mac OS will entice developers to make apps for the desktop just as they did for the iPhone and iPod touch. Shareware won’t have to nag you to pay for the full version, it will just nag you with the well honed ads served up from Apple. The true beauty of this is Apple doesn’t have to put advertising on any of its applications to make money. Third-party application developers hungry for a slice of the ad dollars will use Core iAds and Apple makes money on the back end. You won’t be stopped by an ad going from AddressBook.app to Mail.app, but you may have to view a movie trailer in order to paste a form letter from your third-party clipboard app.

iAds just can’t sit on mobile devices alone. This patent is a peek into how Apple is going to make it part of our desktop computing.

A game of pre-paid cat and mouse

For a while now, T-Mobile’s offer for a USD $1 a day prepaid Sidekick plan. This meant that unlimited web browsing, sms, instant messaging, and email. The dirty secret is this worked for all handsets – including an unlocked iPhone… until this weekend (8AUG09). A small group of Howard Forums [link] users confirmed that T-Mobile has cut off application and browser HTTP access.

I’ve been a closeted HTC Magic (T-Mobile G1) user for a while and though I have an iPhone on AT&T, I wanted to have a backup network. Dependent on WiFi to be of any use, I had to unlock my G1 and put it on the AT&T network. Although costly, AT&T is currently the only US Carrier that would allow GPRS/EDGE on a prepaid account.

Unlocked G1

T-Mobile is now opening up a dialog on prepaid data plans in its forums [link]. Now, I would like to see a cheaper plan for data, but I don’t even know what would be equitable to me and T-Mobile. I’m willing to pay $1 a day, but for only the days that I use my phone. I’m not against paying for a block of data, i.e  (n GB for $x) but it doesn’t seem fair that people who have contracts enjoy far cheaper data rates.

I don’t see T-Mobile coming coming out with a plan any time soon, but at least I can get back and running at 25¢ a minute per call, and .02¢ a KB for data.

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