147 posts • joined Friday 10th August 2012 07:43 GMT
Re: The US are special that way
It is not "US citizens" but "US persons" that are required to pay income tax on foreign earned income even if they do not reside in the US. The definition of a US Person is rather vague and includes people who have ever been granted permanent residence status, those born in the US of non-citizen parents (the child is automatically a US citizen) and might even include "snowbirds" from Canada that spend a part of the year in Florida to avoid shoveling their driveways and paying heating bills during the winter.
The singer Tina Turner who has retired and until recently was living in Switzerland was required to file and pay US taxes each year. She has renounced her US citizenship, accepting a ban from travel to the US and paying an "Exit Tax" for giving the bird to the Internal Revenue Service. If you search for the story, there are some good links on FATCA. FATCA is the US government attempting to make banks worldwide act at US tax collectors.
Beer because I losing hope.
Re: card readers
I prefer getting a check vs. direct deposit at the moment. If all of your finances are electronic, The Man can intercept your money at any time. With a paper check, you have the opportunity to take it to the bank and receive cash. Another problem I have with purely electronic transactions are the banks hold on to the money for an extra day or three. I never noticed this with direct deposit of a pay check, but it happened all of the time with wire transfers and BillPay services.
Re: Radiation sources
I have been seeing road signs that read "Rough Road".
The signs must be far cheaper than repairs.
It's always hard to figure "profits" with companies such as Tesla. I'm sure they still have massive amounts of debt to cope with and a marketplace that is rather small. $90,000 is a very large sum of money to pay out for an automobile and at that price point financing is next to impossible unless you already have the cash on hand. Yeah, it's bank-think and doesn't make much sense, but for some financing you have to already have enough money on hand to get a loan. The Tesla sports car wasn't all that much more ($120,000ish?) Nobody cared about range on that one since it was obviously a toy for the weekend and not necessarily something for the workday commute.
I wouldn't put any money into Tesla stock until they have a proven track record (pun intended) of profit performance over at least a year. I would also like to see statements about work being accomplished on a design that would sell for 1/4 the price. Perhaps Elon might be in a position to get the US Gov to bust the NiMH battery patent that Chevron is sitting on. That would lower the price of batteries considerably. Li chemistry batteries have better power density, but the cost is too high at this point.
An electric car with a 200mi (320km) range is perfectly serviceable for many people as a daily driver. Even a 100mi (160km) range will work fine for most of those people. The cost of the car has to be comparable to a moderately priced petrol or diesel car for the fuel savings to have any effect. I haven't seen good data on the savings electric cars have over ICE vehicles when it comes to all other service, but it makes sense that they would add up even considering that at 100k-150k miles, the battery would need replacing. Need more range for trips on the weekend? Rent something nice or pick up Chevy Suburban on the cheap. The savings from using the electric should balance driving a tank for longer outings.
Re: IMO, BYOD == Break Your Own Defences ... However, that said ...
A 5x difference in pay is on the high side for a contractor working on a long term contract. 2.5x-3.5x is more typical even for shorter term contracts.
Employees may be required to bring their own tools to a job depending on the tradition of the industry, but independent contractors MUST bring the greater percentage of tools used on a job. There are a list of items that the US Internal Revenue Service uses to determine whether a person should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor. The real bitch is that there is no absolute score. The IRS can be completely random in their decisions. However, whom is providing tools is generally considered a major factor. Another large factor is which entity determines how the work is to be done. A contractor is usually just given a goal to achieve, but can't be told how to get there. Contractors also set their own work schedule.
Companies have to be exceptionally careful in classifying somebody as an independent contractor. If the IRS performs an audit and classifies a worker as an employee, the company will likely be fined and required to pay all employment taxes retroactive to the date the worker began regardless of any taxes the worker has paid. The worker not paying taxes as required may trigger such an audit.
As a former business owner, I would rather provide tools to employees so I can be sure that the proper tools are being used. I can also replace employees without having to find an applicant that has all of the tools required to do the job. Computers are not expensive and amortized over a couple of years life, they are a minimal expense. If I own the computers, I can make sure that they are used for company business, have properly licensed software on them and applications are of the same version. If somebody wanted to bring their own chair, I'd be happy to let them. If they wanted to bring their own computer, I would probably say no.
Re: Are they "Cooking the books"?
Not only are well paying manufacturing jobs being replaced by low paying "service" jobs, many workers are being paid less year-over-year. Several of my friends have told me that they haven't received a raise for a few years which is a cut in real income due to inflation. They are also having to pay a larger portion of their health benefits. These friends are working for school districts and civil service postings where pay and benefits for long time (greater than 5 years) employment are usually above that of the private sector.
The added insult to dismal earning prospects is that companies are still requiring numerous certifications and extensive continuing training to get the jobs. Throw in the BYOD craze and wardrobe expectations and it might be just as profitable to work at Wal-Mart.
Re: ah, schoolday 'pranks'
It IS legal to make your own solid rocket fuel, but it's not easy and most rocketeers buy their motors from established manufacturers. The smallest motors use black powder and larger ones are based on ammonium perchlorate. To purchase the larger motors, you have to show your registration card that you have passed tests on theory and practice.
It's sad that very few schools have rockery as part of a science program or as an after school club. It's safer than sports (actual statistics) when properly supervised and is a fun way of learning science and maths. I'm JUST a bit past school and still play with rockets. In fact, I've worked on real rockets partly due to the fun I had in the 6th grade in the rocketry club.
Re: @h3 ... OOPS!
Ian Michael Gumby (damnit),
She probably should get a stern talking to tempered with a lecture on discussing experiments with a science teacher before trying them out. Especially anything picked up from the internet. The harshest penalty should be a detention. Calling in the cops is way out of proportion.
The experiment she did was not an explosive. It was a reaction that produced gas that could cause the bottle to rupture. Most plastic pop bottles are designed to blow their cap off before the bottle ruptures, but it's usually a close thing and not a universal design goal. There is also no "smoke" as there is not combustion. It's vapor from the toilet bowl cleaner, the chlorine gas and water vapor from the rapid change in pressure.
Ammonium nitrate fertilizer is no problem to get and diesel fuel is sold on a plethora of street corners around the world. The feds will come knocking if you order the fertilizer online or by phone and ask to have it delivered to a city address. If you show up at the agriculture supply shop in your Ford F-350 pickup and pay cash, no problem or alarm bells. Just don't wear a suit or middle eastern fashion. A Caterpillar (or JCB) cap would not go amiss.
Kodak had a good long run, but maybe they got stuck as the last buggy whip maker in the new world of automobiles. A professional photographer friend of mine bought a Kodak DCS520 professional digital camera when they first came out. It was based on a Canon frame and took excellent pictures. If Kodak would have continued to extend and develop their lead in digital imaging technology, they would be a profitable company today (or maybe not, CEO's vary).
There can be so much inertia and fear of change in large corporations that it usually takes a massive government bailout to keep them going the last decade of their lives. Electric companies may start having the same problem as their business plan has been exactly the same for 100 years and with people putting solar panels on their roofs, that tiny bit of market shit may spell the end of "business-as-usual".
It's sad to see a former great wither and die, but sometimes that is the most humane thing that can happen. In their ashes, new companies will have a chance to grow.
Re: Nice start…
The iCat tracker would be dead useful for that cat that goes out thieving every night. Look for klepto cat on youtube. Bring clean undies, you're gonna sh!& yourself laughing.
If you forget where your car is in the T5 Biz lot, just ride the pods back and forth while looking out for your motor. Still might not find your car quicker then walking the aisles where you think it might be, but fun anyway.
Unless the car park is for lorries. Then, it's a lorry nest.
hommage to Terry Prachett.
Muggers usually just want your cash/wallet/purse, your Rolex/Diamond Ring and your iThingy before disappearing over the horizon. It's not very common that they would want you to take them to your car. It's much easier to just grab somebody just getting in or out of their car.
I found the car park renumbering story a good laugh. I wonder how many people wound up wandering around looking for their car. Evil bastards! They were probably all up in the security office with some beer and salty snacks laughing their as$es off.
I really don't want my car spewing forth any information. The OEM alarm/remote systems are already bad enough. Crooks are having a great time visiting large shopping center car parks and running a little app that can output an avalanche of codes in just seconds. Sure, it sets off a bunch of alarms, but it also unwinds the windows and starts the ignition. All of the alarms just make a nice distraction.
I bet the finance companies are salivating for cars that can be locked out when somebody is late on their payment. It would also be handy for repo companies to be able to go online and have a car located with within 3 meters and also be able to shoot it a code when they get there to take possession. There's also the coppers that would love to be able to kill your engine at-will any time, just in case you decide to take them on a high speed chase or not buckle up. How would people feel about their satnav uploading everywhere they've been to "The Man" (or the Mrs)? I think that older model cars will suddenly gain in value if any of the above nightmares come to pass.
Viewing angle = 0
It's used to be that if you didn't sit dead center in front of the TV, you got a horrible picture. Now if you don't get your TV mounting perfectly flat, everybody gets a lousy view.
I'm trying to figure out why somebody would want/need a bendy TV.
Re: bring back 'save as'
A computer just lets you make a mess of a virtual desktop much faster and much more completely than a real space desk. "Save As" isn't the problem, it's the meatware beating their head against the keyboard.
I use "Save As" when I don't want to touch my original file, such as when I am downsizing a picture to email. I also use it if I have set up a template in an application and want to populate the files with different data.
The function works consistently across applications, which is very nice. With my Windows apps, I'm never sure if I will be left working with the original, the copy or null space. Some Windows apps really screw the pooch by renaming the original data file and leave it as the active document if you don't tick the box that reads "save as a copy". That's a place where I would like to see the function labeled as "Rename" very cleary and "Save As".
The company in Massachusetts is currently required to collect Florida sales tax (amount dependent on the tax district) and remit it as specified by the Florida tax authority IF the company has a 'presence" in Florida. Having a "presence" varies from state to state but in general, if the company has an office, store or sales representative in the state, they have a "presence" there. The servers in California don't figure in the calculation. And, I would appreciate you not giving California any ideas. I have family there and the politicians love to propose stupid taxes.
As the law currently stands, the buyer in Florida is liable for reporting and remitting the sales tax if the company doesn't not collect it. Yeah, fat chance.
I am sure that the US is looking for a way to levy sales tax on overseas buyers of goods shipped from the US. I think that the US is concentrating on the FATCA stuff for present. Screwing the domestic populace is much more fun for the government.
If one buys something from an overseas seller on eBay, the buyer is supposed to calculate the sales tax for their district and remit it. This is on top of any customs fees. For low priced items, the armed services will usually not be sent out to recover the taxes.
The real hurdle for actually paying sales tax one may owe is that it is usually necessary to have a "seller's permit" or "resale license" obtained from the State. These generally require the filing and publication of business statements and are subject to approval from the tax board. It isn't something you just pay a fee for downtown and they hand you certificate you MUST hang on the wall (under penalty of the law). Like most government practices, it's too complicated for most people to comply with, so they don't. If everybody did, the State would have to raise taxes to hire enough people to shift all of the paper coming in.
Re: US Gov sucks
Whether a business doing $1m of online business can handle the demands of collecting sales tax for 9.600 jurisdictions is up for debate. It would depend much on what their profit margin is and the cost to calculate and remit the taxes due.
One doesn't just send in a note that states what the tax is along with a check. Nuuuuuu, the math has to be shown too. This means showing total gross income, $ amount of items shipped or delivered outside of the state one is calculating the tax for, deductions for sales to government entities, refunds for returned items and sales to other companies for purposes of resale (wholesale trade). All of this has to be done for the 40 something states with sales tax, broken down by tax district. Every filing is going to be on a different form and will have different payment requirements. Some entities will only accept bank transfers and not checks. Other places will have different requirements based on the amount of money to be remitted. Some tax boards will require monthly filings and others may be fine with quarterly. Also, it doesn't matter if one has no sales or tax due to the state during the reporting period, one still has to file the paperwork. Let's not forget that sellers would have to register for a seller's permit and receive a tax ID number in each tax collecting state.
The federales are not going to be able to just mandate an internet sales tax with a 90 day notice and have it work out. We'll wind up with a new criminal class of small business people without government paperwork skills. Do we incarcerate them with the drug dealers and muggers or do we build some new prisons just for them? Maybe we just keep the crimes in civil code and fine small businesses out of existence. Unless a system can be devised that standardizes forms and payment method and interest rates, the confusion and non-complicance will be out of control. An exemption for businesses with less than a certain amount of gross sales will just lead small businesses to form another small business to keep under the limit.
Re: There's sales tax for second hand goods?
All sales transactions are taxable in states that have a sales tax. In California, if not throughout the US, this includes barter transactions. Increasingly, a sales tax is being mandated for services that had previously free of sales tax. Food used to be free of sales tax but certain "snack food" items are now taxable in certain locales. The food sales tax is very complicated. Some tortilla chips are taxable and others are considered ethnocentric and not taxable. I don't remember how they figure which is which.
Even items you sell at a swapmeet (boot sale), on eBay or at an estate sale (garage sale) are taxable transactions and you are supposed to collect and remit the sales tax. In practice, non-commercial sellers aren't tracked down and tortured for uncollected sales tax as the cost to the state to do so would grossly exceed the money recovered.
Re: Yahoo! Groups!
I use Yahoo Groups. The interface sucks and sadly, nobody has worked on it in ages.
I can see deleting the "Kids" stuff. It's not really a demographic with much money to spend.
Rather than just taking a chain saw to everything in sight, Y! should try to come up with a package of apps that compliment each other and aren't just clones of everybody else's junk. How many IM services are needed?
When Google consolidated their privacy policies and really started selling user data in a much larger way, I signed off of everything but my mail account and I am slowing migrating everybody who contacts me via that channel to other addresses I use. Competition is essential and Yahoo is pretty much the only balance to Google. I don't count M$ as they don't seem to stay in market segments very long and that makes it hard to rely on them for online services.
I'm an old fashioned guy and I don't use my WEB browser for mail, word processing, PIM and calendar duties. I find online offerings bland and lacking in the features that are important to me. I have also had several occasions where I was able to pull information out of my email program (certainly not Outlook) while not online to get an important phone number. If I would have had to find a Hot Spot to logon for the information, I would have been late for an important meeting and another time I would have missed a flight. I do back things up online to my own servers just in case, but what does Amazon care if I am inconvenienced by a cloud service outage? The answer is a resounding "not at all" and there is no way I can throw money at the problem to get it resolved, which is my acid test for outside services.
Re: Betteridge's Law says 'No'
I am reminded of comedian Bill Engvall's running gag of "Here's your sign". If racist, antisemitic, cro-magnon morons where properly labeled, you would know to avoid them straight off.
Makita Laser tools
A line of high power tools like a laser drill and plasma cutter all with a spare battery and quick charger nicely contained in portable plastic box and available at your local DIY shop for £99.99.
The complimentary research that needs to be done along side making the battery is how to disassemble it efficiently. With all of the regulations being enacted today, making recycle-ability a priority is important. I imagine that there will be somebody ready to work on the problem with gold and lithium on board.
The technology sounds interesting and I hope that is turns out to be feasible as a commercial product. There are many pseudo inventions that might work if they had a good enough power supply (such as the aforementioned ray guns).
Also, I would be much happier if my cell phone had at least 2 days of battery life with reasonable usage. I usually plug in at night, but every once in a while I forget or can't. My only option (if it's a work day) is to plug it in with the car charger and not be able to use it until I've put some amps in the can. I work for myself and not having my phone handy is an issue. I have spare batteries now and a separate charger for them as a backup. I pity those with non-replaceable batteries. What do you do if your iPhone goes flat?
I got your porn right here.
I wouldn't mind it sending out what porn I was watching. Ask me and I'll key you into some excellent stuff (for me that's straight, no chains, no pain just old fashioned swingin' from the ceiling fan).
I don't want it sending out: " Mach is talking to the HR department of the competitor"
Or "Mach has set up a new search on Monster.com"
After the porn browsing, a boss might start trying to find a replacement for me if I was also looking at new job opportunities.
RIM has killed their chances of ever having me use one of their devices. If "sharing" is embedded in their OS, they can go and get stuffed.
Re: Pick & choose laws
hplasm, you are correct that there is only one type, but they graciously allow the voters to pick the red color or blue color of grape kool-aid.
Re: "it's judicial bullying and overreach"
I have noticed that the surveillance cameras are getting a lot of police off of the street. Why do we need any police patrolling if we gotz cameras?
Re: 1 to 1 with iPads
Text books are a racket. The same books that schools buy for that $50-$90 can be had on Amazon or home schooling websites for $20-$30. The publishers work very hard to get their books blessed as the only one certified for use in a particular state by the public school system. Once that's done, they can charge all the market will bear. The upside is that the books are usually well made and will survive at least 2 or 3 school years. Electronics, especially consumer electronics, are obsolete when they come out and antiquated a year later. Apple has been one of the worse manufacturers when it comes to serviceability. Their stuff, and I do use a Mac, is getting next to impossible to do simple things like replace batteries. I haven't seen any numbers on how well iPad batteries are holding up. I've noticed on most of my stuff that around a year is pretty much the viable limit on batteries in devices I used regularly.
While there may be some instances where an outstanding teacher has made good use from tablets or laptops in their classrooms, there also many where they are nothing but a distraction. At one point it was important that kids were introduced to computers so they could be more valuable to their masters (employers) when they left school, but these days are likely to be miles ahead of their teachers especially in the basic operation of a computer. Maybe 6 year old's will be slightly behind, but they'll have neural implants by the time they are 18 so learning on an iPad isn't going to help in the long run.
Note: Read "Oath of Fealty" by Larry Niven for a tale that includes human/computer links.
Old Fashioned Tablets
When I was in grammar school.. many moons ago... we had really fancy tablets. The chalkboards in the classrooms were being updated from the old black ones to the new and improved green ones. The old boards were cut up into squares and we used those in class. I thought it was "pretty neat". I was around 7 or 8 and so easily amused.
I don't get all of this bother about putting technology into the classroom. I received a good education and my generation wasn't provided with free laptops. The fact that the computers had to be plugged into some pretty serious mains and took a forklift to move about may have entered into it. Putting one in your lap would have been lethal. Treeware works much better and doesn't require a staff to keep running.
If the school boards would forget the high tech, take the money and pay teachers more, they could attract even better teachers. That would make a much bigger difference than some kit that going to be obsolete in 6 months. Disregard the 2 years. The batteries will stop holding a charge long before 2 years.
I had some incredibly good teachers and some very dismal ones. I can remember being much more motivated to work hard and received much better grades when I had good teachers. I really bombed with the bad ones although I did catch up on sleep during those classes. Classroom equipment had nothing to do with the quality of education I received (apart from chemistry, that would have been boring without gear).
Re: Ahem, numbers...
Steve, you wrote my post. My dad got me up to watch as well and I do have a memory of it.
Use it or lose it.
It's complete twaddle to say that the patent is only going to be used "defensively". In the US if you hold a patent and it can be shown that you know your patent was violated and you did nothing about it, you forfeit the patent. So Twitter MUST go after anybody violating any claim of the patent.
I had a manufacturing company and one aspect of a product I made violated the patent of a competitor. They did finally contact me, or rather, their lawyers contacted me and I faxed (it was a while ago) them "prior art" from a book published in the 1950's that had a nice drawing of what they patented. I received another letter from the lawyers that essentially said in 4 or 5 paragraphs, "Never Mind". The interesting bit was that the book I had was well known in the industry and in most libraries of engineers in that field. I hope they spent loads of money getting that patent. <eg>
Re: Its a fair sentence.
Actually, AT&T deprived those people of their privacy with poor security. How he handled disclosing the hole to AT&T, if he did, before submitting the information to Gawker is not reported in enough detail for me to make any judgement on how honorable he was in that regard. I have had the experience of reporting a security issue to a large company and getting a snotty letter in return telling me to leave that sort of thing to the "professionals". I didn't take it any further which may have saved me the grief this person has had to endure.
Members of government worldwide are not broadly educated people and many of them fear and are threatened by people with expertise outside of their knowledge. In my experience, I have found that attorneys, which most politicians are, tend to be of rather low intelligence. A glaring example is US president Obama. He was/is an expert on the US constitution but has been trying and succeeding in getting laws passed that violate provisions of the US's constitution.
Remember what happened to Kevin Mitnick. When Kevin was in court a prosecutor told the judge that Kevin could launch a nuclear missile from a touch tone phone. Kevin laughed since the idea was completely absurd and that prompted the judge to have him placed in solitary confinement where he was not allowed anywhere near a telephone. Kevin scared the c**p out of the government and police forces since he was able to hack their phones and stay a step ahead of them for a long period of time. This was against the police's belief that their cell phones were hack-proof as they had been told.
If you scare the police or a government or a large corporation that owns a piece of a government, they will come to get you and make you disappear.
~I'm glad it was Google and not my stinkin' cable company - they are quite skilled at bringing the entirety of the intertubes to a halt for days at a time.~
If you have your data on the cloud as a backup and are sync'd locally, you are in good shape. Unfortunately, cloud services are being sold to people as the only place you need to have your data, which is a big mistake.
Your cable company sounds much like mine. They slow down, they go down, never answer their phone after 9-5 and don't care much about service. I dropped my TV subscription partly because the quality was so bad for years and never addressed, but mostly because there isn't much on basic cable worth watching.
I liked the rather verbose comment earlier about MTBF numbers dropping like a rock as more infrastructure is placed between you and your files. Even if cloud service providers maintain their gear, the statistics will eat them for lunch.
Re: Thorium Cycle
I'm not sure about your "pebbles" comments, but using a LFTR reactor on (in) Luna is a perfect application. For baseline power, a LFTR reactor might be the perfect choice. RTG's could be used, but they large and massy for the power they put out.
Re: Such a shame...
NASA, or rather Boeing/Teledyne is going to a type of Stirling engine to replace conventional RadioIsotopic Thermal Generators (RTG's) on deep space vehicles. Maybe it will be possible to apply a similar technology to LFTR reactors, but turbine systems are the most efficient means of converting heat energy to mechanical energy. I believe that the designs I have seen thus far for the LFTR reactors use Helium or another gas as the primary working fluid rather than steam.
Re: Wheres the kickstarter project for this?
It might take something more than a Kickstarter level of funding to really get this going. Check out Flibe Energy's website. I would be more than happy to contribute some engineering to the project without cost. I could even be persuaded to work for equity rather than a paycheck as a part time job.
Search for Thorium Remix on YouTube and watch/listen to some of Kirk Sorenson's lectures on Thorium (LFTR) reactors for an excellent overview on the technology. This group from MIT seems to have seen these videos and are slanting the description of their process to feature the waste disposal aspects. This isn't brand new technology just coming out. The US government did a fair amount of research decades ago on this technology and even built some prototype reactors that rans for several years very reliably to verify some of the research. The Chinese learned of this design and the US happily handed them a copy of all the documentation. They will have a test reactor running by 2015 by some reports and perhaps as early as this year (2013) by others. If they file patents on the technology they develop along the way, other countries will have to pay homage (loads of cash) to build similar reactors or may have to purchase the hardware from Chinese manufacturers and then pay a royalty per megawatt.
Some assert that the US dropped the development of LFTR reactors as they do not produce nuclear material usable in weapons and instead put money into Fast Breeder reactors that did. There are now a couple of Fast Breeder reactors in the US that failed and are sealed off until the far future or until somebody can figure out a way to clean them up. This is news that doesn't get mentioned and one has to dig to find it.
The statement in the article that asserts that the manufacture of fuel for the current reactors is related to proliferation of weapons grade material is misleading. Reprocessing spent fuel can separate out materials that could be used in weapons with further processing, but the manufacture of fuel rods from new material does not.
I'd rather own it.
Ok, it is actually a perpetual license but I'll pretend that I own the software that I buy. My worry about the online "rent" arrangements is that I am relying on having access to the internet everywhere I go to use the software. As a photographer, I am in loads of places where I don't have access to the internet but I still need to get work done. What happens at home if my internet goes down or theirs? What do I do if they send me a notice accusing me of sharing my serial number and disable my account? I've had this happen before on some eBay seller software and never got it resolved with the vendor. I never received a refund either.
Having software that is always up to date with the latest upgrades sounds like a good thing, but how many times have OS upgrades been released only to find some massive bugs when it is used in the real world? I have a tendency to be conservative when it comes to my production computer. I like to wait a few days or a week after a new update has been released so I can check the blogs to find out if there are any bugs that will affect me before I take the plunge and install it myself. I used to play more with beta software and 0-day updates on a secondary computer, but I don't do much of that anymore so I can go outside and play more. With the online subscription models, you have no control on whether you upgrade your software or not. You also do not have the option of reinstalling the last stable version from original disks so you can get back to work and deliver to your customer. I used to freelance for a major news service and requirements for event photos was often times a maximum of 45 minutes after the end of the event to have pictures uploaded to the photo editor. It could be an expensive day to be locked out of Adobe Lightroom and miss the deadline (not getting paid and losing points with the editor). We should also consider that with the current crop of "3 strikes" or "6 strikes" or "no tolerance" copyright abuse enforcement (aka, customer loss programs) the wide availability of wi-fi hot spots and other internet availability options may start drying up. Hotels may also want to limit their liability by choking internet speeds to the point where checking email and perhaps getting directions from Google is all that can be accomplished in an hour online. Anything that would require high speed access will be near impossible except from a business, home or a cellular account with a data dongle.
Online subscriptions may be a good idea to allow people to rent software that would otherwise be too expensive to purchase for their application. In the business world and especially for people on the road, an online subscription model might be far too expensive.
China embraces Thorium
To keep up with their growth, China is looking to add LFTR technology to the energy mix. Just as Britain had a vibrant space program in the 1960's, the US did a great deal of research into Thorium reactors. All this work is now wasted by handing it over to the middle kingdom for free with a smile.
Re: Bad laws need changing
You have to realize that "shareholders" is another word for senior management. A large and sometimes obscenely large salary is only the icing on the cake for many senior executives in large corporations. Payments in stock or stock options can be a much larger piece of their compensation. How much down-side did you see for the senior staff of the large banking firms responsible for our current sluggish economy? Absolutely none. They have no problem acting immorally or illegally as the company will bear the brunt of any fines (usually light if at all) and they will likely get a nice fat bonus at the end of the next quarter whether the company makes a profit or not. It's in their best interest to get stock prices up as high as they will go by any means.
If Amazon wants to work with technology partners to provide high level tools to their basic infrastructure, that's one thing. If they are using their partners to skim ideas from while charging THEM to do the work, that's another. All of the companies involved with Amazon should evaluate the possibility of getting copied by J. Bezos' gang and formulate plans to move their product focus elsewhere.
Patents are not often the best idea. For small companies they are an expensive waste of time. If you receive a patent and find that another company has copied you, you MUST take them to court. If you do not, you will forfeit your patent. The minimum cost for patent litigation is around US$300,000 these days and could go much higher. The cost is mostly too much of a burden for small companies. Large company's attorneys can drag cases out and decimate smaller firms with ease. Even if you have the funds to fight you could still lose.
How many sharks eat a few remora now and again?
You now see what we are up against.
The comments from this "Oh-So-Enlightend" congress critter is middle of the bell curve. You have to realize that US government is made up of lawyers that failed in private practice yet still had good enough hair and really white teeth to look good in ads. Some of them even have a good speaking voice if you ignore what they are actually saying.
I'll keep up the mantra... "Be afraid, be very very afraid" ~Douglas Adams
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
One hack on your home aircon setting it to 0deg while your at work for the day could lead to a very large electric bill in the heat of summer. Honestly, a simple programmable thermostat works a treat and can be replaced when it flips over on its back and twitches its legs for just a few quid.
I keep seeing these types of articles and I'm disappointed at the lack of details. How did they manage to keep under the radar for so long? What actually tripped them up? What usually gets people snitched out? I want to learn from others mistakes!
Re: What am i missing here ?
Sounds a lot like they were running the show and not employees. The criminal record might not be a problem if they get out from a doubled sentence, move to another country with the funds they keep and start doing the robot thing again from a location not in the UK.
I'm over subsidized
If I went to the AT$T store and signed up for a 2-year contract, I could get a new phone for "free" or pay a bit for a premium unit. With the same plan as I have now the monthly charge would be about $45 in round numbers. With the phone I have now, all bought and paid for a couple of years ago off of eBay, my monthly bill is $45. WTF? With the exception of being legally obligated for 2 years, there is no difference in charges between having a subsidized phone and a purchased phone.
My problem is I have been too lazy to change over. I start a new job making more money in a couple of weeks and I think that one of my first purchases with my new and improved paycheck will be to finally update to a smart phone. I have shopped around a little and I can get a dual SIM phone with a nice set of features for around $175 out the door. With a competitive (ie: not At$t or Sprint) carrier, I can get unlimited everything for about ..... $45 per month. Fortunately, the congress critters made a mistake and did something right this decade by legislating that phone numbers shall be portable so I can keep the same phone number I have had for years and years. Maybe with the liberal application of pain killers and single malt scotch the government may get something else right. They might also get dead from the combination, but it's a win either way.
Re: Scenario in my head (For US)
Great story. It needs something about the accounting guy telling Balmer that he is giving notice and will be starting at Google in 2 weeks.
I had to go to a meeting today at a government office. I had my laptop with me and I had arrived early. I got some work done since the meeting started late in addition to me being early. The one thing I did not have and could not get is internet access. I don't work outside of my office often enough to get a cellular modem for the laptop. If I understand O365 correctly, I will need to be online for it to work or I will need to be online in case it wants to check in with the "collective". Let's add in the fact that I work on a Mac and pretty sure that O365 only works on Windows. I didn't read through the whole FAQ on the M$ site. IF I used M$ Office 365 I would have to run it under VMware which I do have although I do not let the Windows VM talk to the internet. Mac isn't completely hardened against attacks, but it's has to be admitted that there are orders of magnitudes less eBugs targeted at it. My point is that in the situation which obtained today I would have not been able to get any work done if the software had to be connected to the Borg.
I use my home office computer or my laptop at any given time and I want to be able to install any purchased software on both machines without having to buy two copies. It's just like the CD's I have ripped and transferred to my iPod. I'm either listening to the disc or the iPod at one time, no conflict. Why can't software companies get used to the idea?
Don't turn me in but I have pirate copies of software on my computer. I also have the purchased box set sitting on the shelf. The reason I do it that way sometimes is that the piracy protection code is a PIA and it's easier to have a copy where all of that has been stripped out. It also means that software that will tell you what the serial number is in the info box isn't giving out the number that is registered to me. It would really suck to have a serial number of mine for an expensive application get invalidated if somebody copied it down and sent it out online.
Re: Drones don't take pictures
I would NOT be happy with licensing for hobby camera drones. Even for commercial work. I will concede that there should be a mass (weight) limit or some other measure to make a distinction between a hobby level device and something of a professional model. Until there is a rampant problem, law makers should just leave people alone. There are already plenty of laws regarding peeping through windows. The certain to be exempted government spy drones are the ones to be worried about as they will definitely be used to peep through windows.
The ideas posted on legitimate uses are great! Here's mine: Camera drones can be used with school biology courses to photograph birds nests to count eggs and chicks. Having a fun bit of tech like that will get more kids interested.
Musings from a self-confessed wet liberal
Robert Llewellyn drives and electric car and loves it.
He also writes much better than I do.
Re: Roll on..
Hydrogen Cars? Where to you top up? How much inefficiency in the fuel chain to you think there is? Hydrogen is produced commercially by reforming natural gas. It's much more efficient to just use the natural gas. Honda has had a hydrogen fuel cell car for years, the Clarity. They cost about US$2.5million each to make. Sure, the price would come down in production, but it would still be several hundred thousand dollars at best. The fuel cell makes lithium-ion batteries look cheap. What happens if your fuel cell goes wrong out of warranty? How many miles can you go before you have to replace the fuel cell?
Hydrogen for transportation is a low probability concept. The technology is not even close. The reason you hear so much about it is because politicians think it sounds very futuristic and we all know how, ehem, smart, cough, politicians are. It also makes for good articles in Popular Science. It's just not ready for the masses and may never be.
Re: Writer was intent on high risk of failure
Fuzz, it sounds like you drive in a sedate and consistent way. I'm sure if you were on a trip that was uphill against a head wind, your miles-to-go readout would start changing rapidly.
I would love to see the readout on how the reporter was driving. Electric cars have massive acceleration from the microsecond you put your foot down. No waiting for that little hesitation you get from even the most radical super car. If you haven't driven one, go to any dealer selling an electric car and get a test drive. I don't doubt that the reporter couldn't keep his foot out of it and killing the charge remaining. That coupled with the cold weather limitations led to trouble. Tesla were total prats to lend out a car to the media knowing that the cold weather was going to be a problem. If Tesla didn't know about the cold weather problem, they deserve to find out in this way.
It looks as if Tesla needs to do some more engineering before they market cars in cold climates and would be better served by concentrating in areas that are much more temperate. NIMH batteries may have lower power density, but there have been some nice advances by university researchers to increase charging cycles and temperature tolerance. If the US Patent Office could spank Chevron for sitting on the patents to protect their petroleum business, we could overcome some of the biggest limitations for E-Cars (Price, temp, fire).
- IT bloke publishes comprehensive maps of CALL CENTRE menu HELL
- Nine-year-old Opportunity Mars rover sets NASA distance record
- Analysis Who is the mystery sixth member of LulzSec?
- Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS
- Comment Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE