217 posts • joined Wednesday 19th May 2010 16:22 GMT
Re: Agree with most comments here...
Sorry, Amazon does not pay the UK Govt any VAT whatsoever, that money is paid by consumers as a tax on all goods that they choose to procure from Amazon. Amazon are actually the collector of VAT not the payer. In fact Amazon get to offset the VAT they pay for goods and services against the VAT the collect so they don't even handover all the VAT that consumers pay them for the goods.
I think that if you went through Amazon's books that you would also find that Amazon are in receipt of various waivers of business taxes and capital allowances in relation to their various depots. In fact the article point out the subsidy paid to them in respect of at least one of their warehouses in Scotland and they also received monies when they set up their site in Swansea so they are highly likely to be a net beneficiary of business taxes rather than a payer.
Finally the turnover is not the correct value to look at but the actual profit. However, due to the high interest rates that Amazon SARL charges Amazon EU et al the profits are skewed. That said if you assume a net margin of between 3% & 5% (not unreasonable in their business) then their profit should have been in the range £90m to £200m on their turnover which should have resulted in taxes somewhere between £25m - £60m against the 2£2.5m they paid.
Re: EULA's are not binding if
With respect to your point 2, whilst a contract must have consideration a license is not the same thing. You may well enter in to a separate contract for the procurement of the goods which are in turn subject to a separate license which dictates how those goods may be used. Therefore a license is still valid without consideration; else why do we have the wide variety of Open Source license agreements for products which are often provided free of any charge?
Secondly consideration is not always monetary in nature, consideration is simply the provision of something of value in return for something of allegedly similar value. Therefore it could be argued that the consideration in this instance would be that the permission to allow the software to mine Bitcoins is provided in return for the provision of the functionality in the toolbar.
However, there in England and Wales there may be a number of legal points on which the user could argue against having accepted the license terms such as the fact that the mining of Bitcoins is not linked to the purpose of the toolbar. Where there is a gap in the relationship between the purpose of the software and the license then a court may rule those elements of the EULA which are not relevant to the use of the toolbar are void. English law also takes a dim view of EULAs that seek to introduce terms which the user cannot challenge or negotiate out so again the court may rule in favour of the individual. Finally, if the user incurs charges that were not made clear at the point that the contract was struck (e.g. additional power charges, wear and tear on the computer, use of bandwidth, etc) then this would be a potential breach of the Sale of Goods and or Services legislation and therefore unenforceable in law.
Please note I am not a lawyer but have an understanding of elements of commercial and contract law.
I have a problem
And it really is a simple one. I have no desire to tell my ISP whether I want to access porn or not. I know they can tell by watching where I go on the net but that is allegedly illegal since it is a breach of my rights to privacy and if they say anything I intend to sue. However, if I refuse to say yes or no to the filters will I be able to access the internet. If not I wonder if that constitutes a breach of contract.
Now they are saying that the same filters that will block access to Porn will be used to block access to sites which are extremist but no one has defined what constitutes extremist of course most people in the UK will think that they are talking about Muslim jihadi sites but being of Irish descent I wonder if they will also block sites that call for British decolonisation of Norther Ireland or how about Argentinian sites that call for the Falklands/Malvinas to be handed back (as if they had them before) Argentina.
If these things come to pass, then I for one will sue my ISP for refusing me access to the service I am buying by implementing things that I do prevent me making use of that service.
National Security - oh in that case Data Protection can be ignored!
This call from Reding just proves how little people actually know about the law. If Reding actually discussed this idea with someone knowledgeable before going to the press then they would know the following:
There has to be damage before you can claim; just because someone collects your data does not actually cause you damage or loss therefore no claim.
EU data protection law has a National Security clause carveout; no claim as the US would no doubt seek to use that carve out as a defence.
As for the inability of European citizens being able to make a claim, like the American people can, well a quick check of the US constitution and the legal parameters around the NSA, CIA etc all show that they are not allowed to spy on American citizens, do we really think that they will agree a law that say they won't spy on European citizens?
Finally, the EU seems to be ignoring the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, no European country actually allows their citizens to sue them for doing exactly what the US is accused of. Perhaps putting the EU house in order might be a better approach than getting all het up over the American legal system.
Re: The US (and Israel for that matter) are viewed as offering *equatl* data protection as the EU
Actually the US is not seen as offering "equal" data protection. Only companies listed on the US Safe Harbour scheme as seen as having in place business polices and rules that provide an adequate level of data protection. If they are not list on the Safe Harbour scheme then they are not approved by the EU.
Surely a better solution
Is a number of large loudspeakers in place all over the country on public building to send out a warning might work better as they:
a)can't be turned off when in a meeting
b)you won't miss the vibration alert when on the train
c)won't require people to have to join Twitter and
d) worked pretty well during two world wars.
Plus of course the problem is Twitter is only useful until the next big thing comes around. Mushroom cloud pictures on Instagram anyone?
Based on all the leaks
Do we assume that Russia, China, France, Israel, etc don't do this or do we simply assume that they have a much better approach to the recruitment of staff and maintaining their loyalty to King/Queen/President and country?
I am just getting a little bored of this one sided process of releasing information about the antics of the English speaking western nations. Does no one have any good leaks about the other countries situated on this planet? I am pretty sure that every single thing that has been leaked by Snowden and others is also being done by every other country to the extent that their ability to buy the technology lets them.
Perhaps the UK and US should take a tip from one of their global competitors around staff management and job termination policies.
Re: Short term gain, long term pain
I am personally happy to pay more for more my internet if it means someone gives me a decent service. The "full economic" cost where I live is the price of BT moving my existing phone line from an exchange about 3 miles away down some small country lane where it is pretty much isolated, to an exchange about 2 miles away which is connected to a major town phone network. In fact if they provide the digger, plastic pipes and fibre cable I will personally dig the trench to put it all in.
Lesson in taxation part 1
Your assertion that Amazon should be treated differently to other companies is totally incorrect. Amazon like Apple, Microsoft, Captia, IBM, HP, etc is made up of a whole range of individual businesses for example AMAZON.CO.UK LTD is the UK business. In Luxembourg they have a number of businesses Amazon Services Europe SARL, Amazon Europe Holding Technologies and Amazon EU SARL. Each of the companies is taxable in its own right. To minimise taxes Amazon shifts money from company to company through the use of licensing fees and claiming that all contracts are signed with the company in Luxembourg even where the business is being undertaken in the UK.
This set up allows Amazon in the US to say it does not make any profits (which is not true). However the British tax authorities are not interested in whether Amazon makes money in America, it is interested in whether Amazon in the UK made a profit and if so whether it paid the relevant taxes on that profit. By use of its companies in low taxation states and the user of inter company licensing, loans and transfers Amazon minimizes the amount it has to pay the UK tax man instead paying lower taxes in Luxembourg.
American companies are taxed on their global (and not just their US earnings) which is why these companies will not repatriate earnings which have been taxed elsewhere to the US.
The techniques used by Amazon are no different to those used by all the other companies you mention.
For more on how Amazon structures its business to minimise its tax please see:
Re: Naturally *all* of those skills are delivered in house.
Having worked with numerous Govt contracts I have yet to see one that does not contain cancellation and penalty clauses. In fact the complaint from industry is that Govt contract can be overly punitive.
Biggest reason suppliers get away without having contracts cancelled is because often the cause of the problems is not solely the responsibility of the supplier.
With respect to penalties, English law precludes the inclusion of penalties in contracts. A failure under a contract can do no more than put the purchaser back in the position it would have been in if it had not entered into the contract, and see my previous point on that issue.
All Govt contracts like those in the private sector include SLAs and Service Credits these latter items represent the value that the missing of a specific SLA has on the business. In reality these cannot be set to high as doing so would preclude suppliers from wanting to do the business as the risks would be to great.
Be warned.... you might think you're going to get 4mbps and you might well get it at the start but given time you will see it go down and down until at last you get so fed up you decide to change providers. Now you might wonder why changing providers would be the answer to a deteriorating broadband speed well here is the answer.
When I moved from TalkTalk (1.5mbps) back to BT (3.9mbps) I thought I was in speed heaven. However the speed started falling and is now below 2.5mbps so I called BT. The answer was when I went back to them they did not have too many customers at the Exchange but they had started to win them back. The more people come back to BT the slower the speed will get.
So at some point I will need to change provider again to one who does not have as many customers as BT in order to bump my speed back up. And all the time the exchange 2 miles away has fibre to the cabinet whilst my exchange which is a little over 2 miles away continues to be shown as no plans to upgrade on SamKnows.
Re: Cheaper huh?
It is very difficult to patent software in the UK or most of the world for that matter which is why pretty much all software patent cases are in the US (District of East Texas in the main). More importantly such cases can only apply to breaches pertaining to use of the breaching software in the US not elsewhere in the world.
Best any troll can hope for in the UK is a copyright claim.
Why would using a product cause a bias?
Would people be asking this question if this was an investigation in to Bic pens or Shell Oil?
Just because people use a particular product does not mean that they are subject to any unfair influences. Do you think the SEC worries about its investingations in to Dell or IBM just because they use their computers?
“Although 709 patient episodes have had to be postponed,
But they will be broadcast on BBC Alba and STV at a future date (probably after Independence Vote)
But then again....
The IPCC report said that humans were predominantly responsible but not solely and in this report the scientist says
"At several places in the Mediterranean the winter and spring temperatures indicate long-term trends which are decreasing or at least not increasing,”
So ignoring the stupid simplification of climate change as only ever being responsible for warming, the evidence shows that the Eastern Mediterranean may also be suffering from some climate change but not the extent and in the same way as other parts of the planet.
At the end of the day, the climate is changing and those who deny it are like good King Canute who tried to deny the tide. Climates always change its the nature of the planet we live on.
The BBC also reported on this report and pointed out that the committee say that the pause is to short to actually make any comment on in terms of the period over which warming is actually happening. Moreover they also say that the committee believe that human activity is the dominant reason but not the only one. They even suggest that humans are responsible for more than half the temperature rise.
So in terms of this report versus the BBC I think we can safely say that climate change is occurring, that there have been increases in the temperature of various parts of the planet and whether it is through human actions or natural phenomena we are looking at a pretty challenging period in planet history and one which will require all our human ingenuity to resolve. Using less resources and producing less pollution would probably be a good way to start.
Not saying anything but...
Most big commercial companies I have worked with require you to change your password every 90 days.
So there we have it infrequent password changes explain all these government leaks and data losses.
So like Spanish....
The question mark appears at the start of the sentence and not the end? Or is that a Marco Poloism
Left + Right
So we have right wingers saying the Beeb is left wing and we have a left winger saying the Beeb is right wing. So the reality is that the BBC when compared to all the other media is pretty much neutral in the scheme of things.
In reality I think that most people would believe that the BBC is good at playing the devil's advocate when dealing with politicians and endeavours not to overtly upset the political party who control the licence fee.
Remind me again...
who provides all those network links to the call centres/data centres/service support centres of BT, TalkTalk, Lloyds and the hundred and one other British companies who have outsourced jobs to India? Is it these same ISPs?
So we are not only spied on by Western nations but also India and a host of other nations no doubt. At this rate I'll be worried about going on holiday overseas in case they're waiting to nick me for some minor infraction of their local laws. Then again, I wonder how all the outsourcers feel knowing that their customers data is being watched by the Indians or better still their customers.
Does anyone ever think about what they are writing.
Don't want to appear defensive in respect of the big IT firms but....
Do you really think that just because they get paid they are not concerned about these projects? The reality is that big IT firms like small ones are desperate for their projects to succeed. Without successful projects the cannot get reference sites/stories that they can use to win new business. A failure damages their reputation and credibility (ask Fujitsu and Capita) with new customers in both public and private sector.
If the project is going titsup then they will be called in by the relevant minister who will blame them and ask for money back, which is often granted for fear of impact on their ability to do business. The big suppliers are just as badly damaged by these projects as the Government and people without access to ALL the facts come on forums like this and accuse them of fraud and even theft at times or simply lining their pockets.
But here is why they are used; SMEs good though they are cannot accepted the limits of liability that govt puts in to their contracts. Nor can they take on the full project since they don't have the hundreds developers, engineers and other resources that are needed to develop a large project. If you use multiple SMEs on a project you need to be able to manage them and the management company you use will not have any contractual lever to make them do what they are supposed to. Worse still they compete against each other to try and win more business whilst blaming other SMEs for the problems. And ultimately lots of SMEs means lots of competing claims in respect of failures by the others which are impacting the ability to deliver.
Don't get me wrong the big IT players do get wrong and more frequently perhaps than they should but like SMEs they are dependent on their workers to do their jobs properly and on the customer to know what they are doing. Universal Credit like all such projects is probably having problems because of a mix of failings on the part of those involved from the smallest to the largest, from contractor to customer.
Re: Yes Me history of the Guardian
Leftist bias, as opposed to what? The right wing crap spouted by the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Times et al or how about the fairweather reporting of the Sun determined by which political party is currently inviting Murdoch to tea or offering him the opportunity to own more of the British Media.
The Guardian is often to be found providing political opinions with which I find myself in conflict however, I do give it credit for taking a stance that is far more focussed on the common man than the wealthy and political elites. In this instance the Guardian has done the UK people a fair amount of good by exposing the fact that its Government and those that influence power are using technology to spy on them, gather evidence that can be used against them should they pose a threat and find's them a most untrustworthy majority.
As my old dad used to say, the Establishment uses its power and wealth to attack the working class claiming them to be potential spies and terrorists when in fact the majority of those who betray the UK are rich or middle class. The Guardian has now provided evidence to support this.
Your correct in your interpretation.
In fact if you look at their example there are a number of factors that they are ignoring:
The assistant has been authorised by the addressee to open their mail; in Google's case can they show that the recipient of the e-mail has authorised Google to open their mail?
The assistant would process the mail in accordance with the addressee's instructions; do Google or is their processing outside of the recipient's requirements?
Any use of the information in the mail by the assistant for their personal benefit would be a breach of confidentiality and possibly contracf; the same could be said for Google's use of the e-mail content.
On that basis I don't think that Google could depend on the case mentioned. However, Google are in the clear as their T&Cs do state that they have this right and people have agreed to sign up to it. There are other products on the market that provide the same or similar functionality and therefore I don't believe the class action stands a chance.
Read behind the lines
"Programme will be disaggregated for commercial purposes" roughly translates to let's take that contract split it in to 15 different contracts and make sure we take on 10 SMEs to do the work, ignore that three of them have to have at least 1-2 subcontractors and then wonder why the service is not as good. Then go out and find a Service Management Integrator (i.e. a company that knows how to manage lots of SME suppliers) and hey presto we have a recipe for even more chaos and f**k ups than before.
Why can't you walk away@
If you are only connected to your friends and they are posting horrible things or bullying you then they are not friends and you need to walk away.
If they are strangers then a)more fool you for letting them have access to your account, posts or page. But you can shut down the account and create a new one (to which you don't give access) and then let your friends know about your new account.
Pretty straightforward if you ask me.
As for sites like Ask.FM as everyone seems to work on an anonymous basis only it seems to me that cancelling and setting up a new account would be even easier.
Re: If you want the benefits of city living...
OK, can you tell me where I can park my 100 dairy cows, 20 acres of crops as well as my pigs, chickens and lambs? You do want to be able to eat don't you?
Last time I looked the "city" is not a suitable place to undertake many of the activities that people in the countryside carry out or for people who provide services to people living in the country to live. On top of this if we all move back to the city, we'd have to knock down huge numbers of detached and semi-detached houses to build blocks of flats or move to multi-occupancy in existing properties in order to accommodate all those country bumpkins.
No wonder they want to get rid of the Human Rights Act
As far as I am concerned the proposed plans are likely to breach my human rights on the basis that the requirement to state whether or not my "shared" internet connection is able to access pornographic or other websites that the Government believes I should be able to choose between whilst allowing collection of my personal data. This is a pretty clear breach of the right to respect for private and family life, Freedom of expression (right to receive information whether sexual positions or otherwise e.g. suicide, etc) and Protection of property (it is my broadband connection use as I wish or wish to permit).
So role on the law case over these activities, I can see a few lawyers getting a lot richer.
Finally, how does the govt propose to deal with students sharing a property and broadband line, each pays a share of the cost and therefore if some want access and others don't who makes the decision? Or will they be required to each buy their own individual broadband link?
Get ready for the knock on the door
So the nice new screen pops up and as an ordinary single adult who occasionally likes to look at the odd bit of lesbian porn or maybe a few MILF videos you select let me see it. What is wrong with that all nice and easy and your access is allowed.
A couple of months later a child goes missing in your area. You get a knock on the door. Can you tell me where you were at whatever time o'clock sir/madam? Do you have an alibi, can we take a DNA sample, can we take your car down to forensics? And other such questions like that. The single adult is of course a bit bemused as to why this is happening and does not realise that by admitting that they like a bit of porn has put them on to the nice list that the police maintain about sex offenders in their area. When they find out the registered perverts who was arrested and presecuted for peering through a little hole in to the women's changing room could not be responsible, they have moved on to all the porn watchers.
Meanwhile the b*****d who has actually taken the child has committed their dastardly deed, filmed it and posted it to the nice file storage system hosted by a friend in Russia/Cambodia/any other country where this is minimal technical controls using an encrypted peer to peer network routed via one or more anonymous proxy sites and then let his other friends know where they can get it.
Of course this ignores the fact that most kids don't look at porn very often and that most abuse takes place by people close to the child.
PS based on the experience of someone I know, I now expect the Police to come and find me to charge me with telling pornographers and child abusers how to get around the law!
Re: Have and have nots
I live in a rural area by choice, funnily enough the nearest motorway is just over 2 miles away and I have two train stations just over 12 miles away in each direction (West and East). I can buy my milk, roast and other goods in the village shop. Most importantly of all I live 1.5 miles from an exchange that delivers speeds of up to 20MB+ via FTTC.
Me, I synch at 3.4MB and get an average speed of about 2.9MB because I am attached to an exchange some 2-2.5 miles away. To make matters worse there is a nice long string of fibre runs straight down the middle of our high street linking London with Birmingham funny though that the people who own it don't want to allow the people whose road they ruined to get any use from it.
As far as I can see most villages and rural town are not actually that far from fibre whether it be the cable that runs alongside the railway lines. motorways (because all those wonderful motorway signs are cabled with fibre) and under peoples roads to connect all you lovely city dwellers but the owners can't be bothered to let us share in the benefits because it would slow down the speeds for the likes of you.
And not a mention of Edward Snowden!
Just proves my point in a post the other day, every one with a few million to spare is trying to build a system that spies on everyone including their own citizens.
Robin Hood Airport anyone??
At least in the UK there is a chance he might get bail.
What is all this c**p about Cloud??
So let's see the US can walk in to a data centre and say open your draws to me baby anytime they want? Nope, big fail they need to have a warrant from a federal court issued by a judge who has heard the reason why they want the information. Now consider the UK.
Spy walks in to minister's office and says sign this bit of paper I need to go look at the files of some bloke or other who telephoned his granny a known member of Saga that terrorist organisation (always banging on about the rights of old people). Minister says oh alright then off you go sunny jim.
Now which of those two scenarios is scarier? When you talk about the PATRIOT Act you talk about something focussed on terrorism, when you talk about RIPA you talk about people lying about where they live in respect to a school!
All countries have cottoned on to the fact that they can capture the metadata related to telephone and internet traffic and pretty much every country with a few spare million is doing it to a greater or lesser extent, the big issue is what are the legal controls around this and believe it or not (and most won't) the US actually has slightly better legal controls over this than most of the European states where State Security falls in to a nice grey zone where the DPA or its equivalent in the rest of the EU States does not apply.
Stop moving the TV signal
Yippee for Govt more below the expected revenue from flogging the Freeview spectrum and making them move to a new one. Just what we need more money for govt less money for the mere mortals as salaries and benefits fail to maintain parity with inflation never mind not increasing. The costs to the consumer of this constant buggering about with the spectrum means new televisions, digital receivers etc. At the same time the quality of the reception starts to fail as bad weather (which Britain sees a lot of and will probably see a lot more of over the coming years) interferes as it does today for satellite and DVB-T.
Think of the people just this once.
Blase answer yet again
So we should be happy that HMRC is collecting £8 billion from companies on average for the last three years so says the MP appearing from the committee. However in response I would have expected to hear the following questions:
What proportion of the £8 billion came from companies with profits over say £200 million and in particular the group of companies that have been in the public eye?
What is HMRC's estimate of the tax loss caused by the manipulation of profits resulting in movement of profits internally within companies?
What is the £8 billion as a percentage of the total estimated loss?
Unless you know the size of the problem the value of the recovered monies is irrelevant.
I wonder how much the record companies are regretting their past attitude.
Sony, Warner and all the other big studios fought a foolish and eventually futile battle against technology and as can be seen today they have lost, Just think if they had been more progressive about the technology they could have been dictating the price to Apple today from a position of strength as they could have had a nice streaming player with adverts themselves and been receiving 100% of the advertising revenue and 99 cents per track.
Instead they need 100 plays of a specific track just to make 13 cents and they get under 20% of the advertising revenue, assuming of course that Apple radio does not offer a paid for advert free service as well as the advert controlled one. Even if one track was played 480 times in 24 hours (i.e. continuously for a day) they would still only get 62.4 cents for that track and as Apple is coming late to the market there are question marks over exactly how many plays they can commit to on their service versus, say Pandora.
He is not actually putting any money at risk. The money being put at risk is the additional sums over and above his salary that he would be paid if he hung around long enough.
The reality is that he gets a reward irrespective of his performance as head of the company (as will all the other directors if they go the same route) irrespective of how well the company does. The only thing that changes is the value of that reward, and as someone else points out the size of that reward is still hugely beneficial to the recipient.
I would have been more impressed if a)he had sacrificed annual salary excluding bonses dependent on the company's share price in 4 years time and b)sacrificed 100,000 based on a weighted average of the number of staff the company has to get rid of due to poor performance plus a for each say 1-2% reduction in profit plus failure to acheive 1-2% sales growth in each of the next 4 years.
Let's be realistic the CEO of any company has an obligation to all stakeholders in the company including the employees, shareholders and customers. His or her performance should be measured against their success in all those areas.
Why just the US?
"But a report commissioned by the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs stated the model contract clauses and binding corporate rules do not prevent US law enforcement agencies accessing that data."
One wonder's whether the Committee on Civil Liberties reads all the papers, the rights of access to data is one that most countries security organisations have (just look at GCHQ) and in many EU countries the controls on such access are often less than those that apply to the US (e.g. Ministerial Orders as opposed to cross party oversight committees).
The reality is that it does not matter where the information is held some govt. is always going to have access to it so we may as well learn to live with it (and make sure we use really strong encryption).
Re: Define "crash"
alternatively I will have jumped out the car to remonstrate with the moron who has just hit me or a la Fawlty Towers I will be to busy hitting the car with a tree branch to remember that there is something in my car doing an ET phone home impersonation.
I'm with the poster, how on earth will it know if the crash is serious enough? Unless of course it uses some form of by numbers algorithm at the emergency services centre where they calculate the number of calls from the same location but then that means anyone hitting a tree on a country road will still be lying there until someone else comes by.
One sided proposal - again
I find this article to be a little one sided in its approach.
Companies in the US only repatriate profits when they get a tax holiday so therefore they can hold money offshore (resulting to boosts in their share price) until the cows come home or more importantly the govt grants the tax holiday. Therefore there is no deferral of tax whatsoever.
Companies already get the best of both worlds. Reduced taxation because they are not living persons but able to buy political influence through giving money to political campaigns, parties and lobbyists. At the same time they receive tax relief to enable their survival for example for holding patents (UK); asset purchases; goods consumption and investment in woodlands to name but a few. These are all tax reliefs that ordinary (i.e. those without a fortune in cash behind them) people can take advantage of.
The alleged benefits of allowing the tax holiday for repatriation of profits is that it leads to increased consumption and investment. Again this is not true. Look at where the money ends up. The rich invest where they can get the best returns, currently China, India, Asia in general and now even Africa. Therefore investment in the UK, US or other stagnant western economy is likely to be fairly low by comparison.
The money goes to shareholders, the majority of whom are big banks and pension funds. Therefore there is unlikely to be a significant rise in consumption as banks will use the cash to invest in areas of bigger returns or increase their capital holding (currently the big banking issue). Pension funds need the cash to cover their existing liabilities and not to increase pension payments. And all of these need the money to pay big bonuses to the people who made the investment in the first place.
If we are to stop taxing companies then we should stop providing them with tax relief. Let the owners pay the full cost of buying new assets or reap their rewards from actually doing something with their patents. In a capitalist economy a company should not expect state support if they are not paying taxes.
As for the shareholders in companies, they of course will need to pay higher taxes for the additional services that their businesses require from the state; policing, education of their workforce, etc. Of course all of this can be simplified by taxing the company so that these costs are removed from the profit thus enabling keeping personal taxation simpler.
Many of the comments here reinforce stereotypes
And what makes it worse is that the stereotypes are being applied to both genders.
Our "brain wiring" is just as much a product of what we do regularly and as our nature. Those women who work in security develop the appropriate wiring in order to do their job. This is true of DIY or any other work, the reason practice makes perfect is because it naturally reinforces the brain's processing of specific tasks.
On the other side is the fact that many women see IT security (and probably IT in general) as the domain of spotty geeky glasses wearing male teenagers who rarely raise their heads above battlements of pizza boxes and fizzy drink tins. We who work in the industry know that such an image is unrealistic in the main and that most of us work in brightly illuminated rooms in buildings where it is as easy to get a nice salad as pizza.
The reason why women are not in IT is because we who are allow the media to continue to portray as the "Plague" of the "Girl Who.." books or the hacker in Die Hard 4.0. And to make it worse we accept such negative stereotyping. Perhaps if we pushed a modern and realistic image of our industry then we would get a better set of potential candidates from both genders.
You have made an invalid assumption. The law being proposed does not provide access to content (so no use in monitoring as they may simply saying "how are you and have you got a cold?" Secondly the primary purpose of the Act is to support investigation (after the event) by allowing the police and security service to see where they have been, where they went online and who they might have called.
At best this law would have provided the police and security services with the names of a few people these two lunatics have had contact with but no real evidence as to whether they were involved in the attack (planning or knowledge of it).
Events such of these are impossible in the main to prevent since the planning and execution (no pun intended) can be undertaken by one or two individuals meeting on a bench in the park on Saturday afternoon during a performance of the local brass band. These are the terrifying attacks that leave every policeman, security official and government minister in fear because they know that the only way they can be prevented is by pure luck. For example by stopping their car due to a problem with the insurance or because someone did not replace the duff headlight bulb.
Re: Probably because
I keep reading about this "legal" duty but I am hard pressed to find any legislation that embodies such an obligation and it certainly does not exist in tort.
Companies seek investment from investors (the shareholders) on the premise that if the business is successful it will pay a return to the investor. Any company that is set up without the expectation of making a return that can be passed on to the investors is probably a fraud and the law will deal with such companies.
Even in the US, shareholders cannot sue because the return is not as great as it should have been, they can sue where the information provided by the board of a company is alleged to be false or misleading or where there actions are deemed to be fraudulent or perverse. Again there is no way to sue the company for failing to "maximise" profits.
The determination to minimise tax is something that people will always seek to do simply because no one likes to pay tax. The directors of companies will always look to make the most money available to investors because a)they own lots of shares or will receive lots of shares where they can take steps to boost the share price and b)for most executives any failure to boost profits year after year is likely to reduce the share price thus causing them to lose their jobs (possibly). Therefore maximising the share price is the driving factor not dividends. This is evidenced by the long standing practice of Apple to not pay dividends a practice which failed to stop the rapid rise of the share price.
Of course Apple has seen a fall in the share price following the board's announcement to pay dividends. The approach they are now taking to do share buybacks is aimed to improve the share price by reducing the number of shares.
Hang on a minute
According to recent legal cases in the US, large and small corporations are natural persons which is why they can set up super PACs to fund politicians as well as receive tax breaks as persons contributing to political activity.
I think the professor needs to revamp his view. His argument is based on the premise that all taxes are ultimately paid by real (as in flesh and blood) people either as employees, shareholders, executives, etc of these companies. This is no longer true. The corporation is now viewed, at least under US law, as a natural person (flesh and blood) and therefore the reality is that the corporation should pay the taxes whereas those who benefit from the gifts of the corporation (dividends, wages,etc) should no longer be taxed on such gifts in the same way as I am not taxed when my granny gives me a gift.
Only three infrastructure providers in the UK
The single biggest issue which the EU competition bods and UK govt fail to realise is that the three primary infrastructure providers for public telecommunications are BT together with Virgin and KC. Of these three only BT actually has a network that is capable of being used by all the piggyback providers such as TalkTalk, O2 and Plusnet. Therefore the reality is that if you are going to use state funds to build,extend or upgrade a telecomms network then BT is the company you have to go to.
It is entirely feasible for others to have a go, for example Virgin could extend their networks into new areas or even in to areas where they have the main channel but have never connected the actual houses (and there are a few places like this). KC could look to push out from Kingston Upon Hull and in to the Eastern parts of the UK, but in both cases why bother? Having to open their network infrastructure up in the same way as BT is not in their competitive interest.
Unlike AC I don't believe that there are others out there who want to give it a go. Outsourcing the expensive part of a network (the wires and cabinets) to someone else at a state controlled price is much easier than actually going out and building a new network in a city never mind the whole country. It is therefore time for the EU to face reality, unless national governments can be persuaded to break up existing national telecom infrastructures in to multiple companies (unlikely due to the massive increase in costs that would result from more interconnection charges and traffic routing costs) then we all have to accept that when it comes to a national telecommunications infrastructure the best we can do is negotiate good terms for access with our monopoly providers.
The simple solution
Don't use Google! If you are concerned about their not paying tax then don't use their websites, encourage your family, friends and neighbours to do the same and get them to encourage others to take the same approach. By not using Google you impact on their business and thus their profits.
Of course no one will do the above as it actually means thinking about what your internet usage and maybe finding a UK search engine that can offer similar functions and services as Google but it is the only way to impact on them. It was the reason Starbucks decided to "donate" some tax, they saw a major loss of business on the horizon and acted to try and circumvent it.
Waste is an issue
If publishers want to be allowed to deteriorate a book to force a new purchase then I am fine with that subject to their picking up the following costs:
Disposal of the electronic and paper books that are no longer usable
Disposal of the memory that contains electronic books when the device no longer works or is ready to be thrown away (extend the WEEE regulations so they contribute part of the cost)
A contribution to the clearing up of the toxic processes that are involved in producing the means by which electronic books are made readable
Today publishers pay little if anything of the cost of clearing up the waste created by paper books so the merest hint that they could be hit with landfill charges on a number of books published basis may well encourage them to start thinking differently about the future instead of looking at ways to force readers, authors and libraries to remain stuck in the present.
Once again govt lying about the reality
I have experience of working with Govt depts and can state categorically that Govt depts chat to each other constantly about the service providers they are using, their capabilities and most importantly of all, the prices they are paying for the services including rates and margins. The idea that they cannot share bid information is a non-starter in my view.
As for the confidentiality provisions signed by Govt, if they are bad provisions then the Govt is to blame as they provide the terms and more often than not it is the suppliers who are shafted by the terms not the Govt. As an example of the situation all Govt contracts include open book accounting provisions so the customer can see clearly what the supplier's margins are and how they have been calculated.
I suppose the last thing that suppliers can accept the is honesty from the Govt, they are not honest with any one else.
Is the author a gas trader?
So we have three graphs to purport to show the UK running out of gas; unfortunately that is not what they show at all.
The gas network as operated by our own National Grid is designed to work with a specific volume of gas exerting a level of pressure to ensure that the gas flows around the network. If there is a problem with the pressure then then accidents can happen (like explosions) if to high or the gas will stop flowing if the pressure is to low. This creates a problem for National Grid in that large gas users in industry can be cut off from the gas supply network but people like me (ordinary consumers) can't be cut isolated from the grid and an unreliable supply is likely to cause me and my home problems. Therefore to manage the pressure a certain quantify of gas is required to be stored in order to maintain a safe pressure in the gas network. These charts deal with that problem and not the supply of gas for use.
The gas network receives supplies from a number of sources e.g. the pipeline from Norway (currently providing 113 mcm/day) as well as Belgium and the shipments in to the UK's LNG terminals. Therefore the imports are used to a)feed the gas network and b)the storage facilities used in the safety monitoring system. As the pipes from the continent can be directly connected to the UK gas network then the flow of gas is maintained.
The UK was never in danger of running out of gas. Three shipments are due before the 3rd April 2013 and as the charts show, the cycle of demand v deliverability works around a 1st of the month pattern of peak and run down as gas is used to maintain the pressure and then replenished. If these charts really showed the gas storage for the UK then according to that interpretation between Christmas and New Year the whole gas network would have shut down and there would have been no Christmas lunch (the chart shows no gas in that period).
Suggest people go on Yahoo which reports the deliveries and flow of gas from the continent has caused a 10-12% fall in trading prices of gas today as there is no lack of gas in the UK following the forecasted three deliveries, one or two of which are going to an underused facility called Dragon in Wales.
People need to read the detail plus backing information and not just the headlines.
Moved back to BT
After 2.5 years of crap service from TalkTalk with collapse in speed to less than a 1mb in the evening, problems downloading even Flash player updates and constant router resets, I finally bit the bullet and went back to BT.
Transfer back was smooth from a service perspective but there were problems with some of the administrative bits. Performance is constant over the day at around 3.7mbps - 3.8mbps even in the evening.
I live in a village near to a small town that has fibre to the cabinet but its not for me as their exchange does not include our village. Our exchange is about 1.5 - 2 miles away and we only get copper. But the fact that I can now steam video in the evening as well as download stuff at a reasonable speed and within reasonable time frames means that after many years of complaint, I actually have to say that I am happy with BT.
Ofcom on the other hand seem only interested in making cash for the government and trying to manipulate data to support the Fun House's claims that the UK will have fastest broadband in Europe. It would be better if they focussed on introducing incentives for BT to provide fibre across a wider range of locations which can then be used by all providers.
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