16 posts • joined Monday 10th September 2012 16:32 GMT
Re: I'm no expert, but...
Actually I think AC might be right. Most Android phones at the same price point as an iPhone have considerably better specs. So this mythical Android phone with only the same spec as an iPhone but at the same price would probably not sell well, leaving the iPhone to outsell it (but with both being outsold by the better Android phones at that price point).
Re: ...spend “is not proportional to its effectiveness”
@jason 7: It appears to me that some folks seem to think you can successfully support essential systems by the will of the "Linux Goodwill Support Foundation" alone.
And there are those that make pretty daft comparisons. I mean, sure if you do genuinely get all of that support completely free for Windows then you might have a point, but do you?
For a school install, TCO *should* also include the cost of providing all students with a home installation of all software being used in the school. A colleague was recently shopping around for the cheapest way to buy MS Publisher because that was being used in school (because, like, if you want to get into publishing you're going to need MS Publisher on your CV, right?). The current "work out for yourself where PirateBay is" solution isn't helping anyone on the Anti Virus front.
When I was at school, I had access to a BBC B micro (and an RM 380Z). The only reason I'm in IT now is because those two pieces of hardware - and their respective operating systems - are obviously the most common ones found in today's workplace.... No, sorry, back in the real world we were taught to use tools not brands. Did it matter that my Casio calculator had buttons in different places from my schoolmate's Texas calculator? Yeah it made things slightly harder for the teacher, but it taught us how to use the damn things not just copy someone by rote. Because all those kids who learned on XP and Office 2003 (but only in school, because they couldn't afford a home licence) are really going to find Win8 and Office 2013 so much easier in the workplace than anyone who was taught general wordprocessing and spreadsheet skills on OpenOffice (and was able to work on them at home using the free install CD they were sent home from school with).
It had to be short
If the patent application had run onto a second page, even the USPTO would have spotted the prior art when they reached the bottom of page one and tried to figure out where the rest of the application had gone....
You have a few errors in your maths. Corporation tax is paid on profits, so in your first example the "profit" is only 50p therefore tax is 5p. But the rest is ok, leaving the company with 45p. However, the problem is that if you are Starbucks, the cost of delivering a £1 coffee is, allegedly, £1, so the corporation tax is zero. The question is how to force Starbucks to pay that 5p.
A sales tax of just 5% is enough to collect that 5p. As to where it comes from: Now that as part of the same tax changes corporation tax got reduced to zero, Starbucks magically discover that they can sell a £1 coffee for costs of 50p after all, so they have plenty of margin to pay the 5p. If they decide to increase prices instead they can, but they won't be competitive against Costa, who are also paying 5p sales tax but didn't increase their prices because they also saved the 5p corporation tax they were paying. Because let's face it, if Starbucks can put 5p on the price of a coffee and still sell them then they're going to do that, regardless of a change in tax.
The interesting thing is that now it makes sense to bring all EU sales though the UK because our sales tax only affects UK sales and our corporation tax is now zero. Whether that's a good or bad thing is another matter.
The problem with all of this is more subtle. A company that makes £1m on sales of £10m currently pays the same corporation tax as a company that makes £1m on £100m, but with a flat sales tax one will pay 10x what the other pays. The latter company is only making 1% so could not swallow a 5% sales tax without increasing prices. This would mean we'd need different rates of sales tax on different items to maintain the status-quo.
Re: race to the bottom
So the argument is that competition results in a race to the bottom, except that because of self interest it doesn't? Isn't that just a long way of saying that competition doesn't result in a race to the bottom after all?
Companies like Starbucks will move money around for cheaper tax rates, but realistically it isn't going to be worth it when you're trading in a country that has low tax rates, even if not the cheapest rates. On the other hand, it is worth avoiding the highest tax rates. There are plenty of things to compete on and price is only one of them. It's not clear cut but surely the idea that a cut in tax necessarily means less tax collected (or an increase in tax rates necessarily means an increase in tax collected) can be consigned to the dustbin now?
Re: So cancel corporation tax
Who do you think actually pays corporation tax? Here's a clue: what do you think would happen to retail prices if corporation tax went up?
At the moment, your cup of Starbucks includes corporation tax (but not UK corporation tax), and VAT. The argument goes that if you dropped corporation tax to zero and increased VAT to compensate, then the total tax take would be the same, the retail price would be the same, but now all the tax would be paid to the UK (i.e. the country the profit was generated in).
Personally I'm pretty confident the idea has as many flaws as the current system, although I'm too lazy to work out what they are. But it's a nice idea in principle.
race to the bottom
The race to the bottom argument is exactly why no item in Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys etc costs more than a penny. Oh, hang on...
Competition promotes efficiency. Remember that we are talking about companies who effectively pay zero UK corporation tax because they can shop around, exactly as you can do when you buy a tin of beans. The companies do generate UK tax in the form of employee income tax and VAT because they have no choice. If we're dead set against competing on corporation tax then finding ways to increase the revenue from less "optional" taxes would make sense. But if we're not careful consumers will lose out.
Re: So cancel corporation tax@hollymcr
@ledswinger Nothing in your proposal would target the tax "dodgers" specifically so it solves nothing. And I quoted "dodgers" not because I approve of what they do, but because they are doing nothing illegal.
The current system of competition between nation states means that countries like ours lose out through bring uncompetitive. That's an argument for better rules or for being more competitive. It's also an opportunity for companies to gain a competitive advantage by promoting themselves on how much tax they pay; a sign outside Costa "We pay 20% of UK profits in tax" or similar, although of course I have no evidence that Costa are actually any better than Starbucks. A "fair tax payer" charter that companies could sign up for would help.
Trying to make a law to specifically target Starbucks gets you nowhere.
Increasing VAT and reducing corporation tax is the only sensible suggestion I've heard so far but I'm sure there's reasons that won't work too. (How to tax the profits of UK companies that they make though non UK sales for example.)
Re: So cancel corporation tax
Allowing companies to claim back VAT is an important part of how VAT works, it's where "Value Added" comes from.
Imagine a company buys bits costing £120 (inc VAT), does some work to them and sells for £50 profit. Currently they claim back £20 VAT, making a sell price of £150+VAT = £180, of which the taxman gets £30.
Your proposal is that they shouldn't claim the £20 back (i.e. the taxman still gets it), so would sell for £170+VAT = £204. The taxman gets £34 on top of the £20 it already got, £54 total. And that's just from one step. If that company was selling to a shop, they'd add their margin plus tax; each step effectively taxing the tax that's already been paid. The companies are no better or worse off, it's only the end consumer who suffers. It means that just to buy something and sell it on at no profit you have to add another 20% tax to the price.
The whole point of claiming back the VAT then adding VAT to the new sell price is that the increase in the Total VAT is just the VAT on the Added Value, not the VAT on the VAT on the VAT on the.....
flies and floaters
"I suppose you could design a phone that makes calls and has maps," he said, "but I don't think it would do all of those things very well."
There, fixed that for you.
It's better because it costs more.
Obviously, if you can't afford a Windows tablet you can always go down market and just get an iPad instead.
Everyone knows you get what you pay for.
<-- I'm off to Poundland to buy an HDMI cable because I can't afford a £20 one from Curry's that would be so much better...
Re: Does nobody know how to administer a site anymore?
"Just to re-iterate, there's no technical difference between the header being sent from IE10 and from any other browser"
I don't see why you see this as an argument in your favour (also not trying to score points...). If MS choose to implement non-standard behaviour then they should use a non-standard header. Like others, my brief experience with installing W8/IE10 never lead me to a point where I was given a choice about this setting, so my view is coloured by this. We clearly disagree about whether IE10 uses DNT in the same way that other browsers do.
"I don't get your premise that it is used in a "different way to all other browsers". The only difference is that ..."
It's that "only difference" that I consider makes it "different".
Ultimately one of two things will happen as a result of this. The setting will be ignored by the majority of websites (whether just for IE10 users or in general), or sites will use the setting to direct people at a paywall or subscription service. The first seems more likely, at least in the short term, and means that anyone hoping to make use of DNT will be disappointed. The second is probably inevitable in the longer term, which will likely result in fewer independent websites and more large web brands, which is a shame.
I do get why people don't like being tracked but nobody seems to have come up with an alternative method of paying for content on the web. The sort of tracking we're talking about is little different from using a credit/debit/loyalty card in a supermarket and maybe as paywalls spring up for people with DNT enabled more people will turn the setting off.
In effect, IE10 pushes things too hard in a direction that's too fast for "the web" to cope, thus making DNT a lame duck. It's unlikely that this wasn't MS's intention (after all the next step after "embrace" is "extinguish", right?)
Re: Does nobody know how to administer a site anymore?
I'm not sure I follow your argument: they use the same header but in a different way from all the other browsers, therefore it's not misleading?
I'm not really wanting to defend Fielding so much as criticise Microsoft as that's where the problem lies. The Apache code is open so Fielding's change was open and transparent and easily reversed. What *should* happen is exactly the same as usually happens when MS "embrace"a standard: detect the browser in the application code and (once again) code around it.
Re: Does nobody know how to administer a site anymore?
You will be able to tell if the user selected that option, unless they use IE10, in which case regardless of Apache you can't tell if they choose to enable DNT.
IE10 presents a misleading header, the server ignores it.
The best fix is to IE10 but I'm guessing that Apache don't have access to that source code.
Re: I don't get why people find this confusing
Er, I think it's you who missed the point. You might have a point about targeted ads but that's not what this article was about. It was about DNT and Microsoft/IE10's attitude to it.
Observing DNT is optional, but if 5% of people use it you can make a business case for implementing it on a website. If 95% of people choose it then there's an even stronger case for implementing it, although the loss of income would have major effects way beyond DNT. But arguing that it's ok for 95% of visits from any one browser to have DNT set when only 5% would actively have chosen to use it just devalues DNT and destroys any business case for supporting it.
If you dislike DNT then fair enough, but if too wasn't DNT to work then that's at odds with supporting the way IE10 implements it.
I don't get why people find this confusing
Judging by people's reactions to this DNT stuff, I'd say there's maybe 1% of the population that would go with "please track me, I know what that means", maybe 5% that would be "don't track me" and the rest "huh? DNT what now?"
The value of a targetted ad is higher than a non-targetted one, for obvious reasons. So to achieve a given revenue you need to show (say) ten times as many non-targetted ones as you would targetted ones.
So, with DNT off by default but there to be enabled, advertisers can afford to lose that 5% who care without really affecting things, so that 5% get what they want (not to be tracked) and everything carries on otherwise as before.
With DNT on by default, advertisers lose that 5% but also the 94% "huh?" which means the only way to bridge the gap is to show one hell of a lot more adverts in the hope that one of them interests you without being targetted. Or stop providing the service, or charge for it a different way, or ignore the DNT setting. Of-course that's not an issue because DNT was designed to be off by default so the 5% who care get what they want, and since it's an optional feature for advertisers to pay attention to that's great because the 5% stand some chance of it actually being implemented.
By ignoring this and turning on DNT by default, MS have ruined this for anyone who wants to use it. In IE10, DNT=Off means "I'm in the 1% who want to be tracked", DNT=On means "I'm almost certainly in the "Huh?" bracket but there's a small chance I do care and don't want to be tracked", which can be summarised as "ignore DNT=On".
Of-course only IE10 does this, so websites could put exra effort in to implement DNT but ignore IE10, but they won't; they just won't implement it. At least if they use Apache they can just implement DNT and auto-ignore the ones that can't be trusted. Apache are, it would seem, the best hope of rescuing DNT. For anyone in that 5% this is *very good* news.