1267 posts • joined Thursday 12th July 2007 09:21 GMT
Re: No Good Can Come From This
@Don Jefe - re maintenance - most people already don't perform any maintenance whatsoever on their vehicles, they take them in for regular service. Don't see why it can't be the same with this, just maybe with closer servicing intervals for increased safety.
Re: I don't see the point
Sports license applies to the model currently in development, the new 20-year+ VTOL will likely need a different license. Maybe not anyone can land them on tehir lawn, but it would probably be licensed to land anywhere that a helicopter currently can. And I'm sure the rich folks who can affod it will probably be able to sneak in some space for a helipad on their ranch
Re: I say fraud
@Aldous re price. Good points, however keep in mind that they're stating that they're selling them at basically cost price, so that $325 is simply the bill of materials for the phone. Considering that breakdowns of, for example, iPhone costing $400-500 show that the BOM total out at a bit over $200, I think $325 cost price is not unrealistic.
Re: Shouldn't that be...
@Christian Berger - I'm pretty sure a watermark can be made invisible enough that the legitimate user won't even notice it's there while the pirate can be correctly identified, so hats off to these guys
Not a wink??
"snaps an image when the user opens and then closes one eye"
Is this a Web 2.0 wink? There was me thinking that winking is closing and then opening one eye
Re: What did you fry the eggs in?
My experience is that even expensive pans with hi-tech coatings don't last more than 2-3 years of regular use (or at least, the pan is still fine but the coating no longer non-stick). However by your calculations even with a 3-year lifespan instead of 15, it would be 5c a day, so still a bargain.
A UV-torch shone on some *ahem* "rustled" sheep might show you more glowing patches than you might be willing to see
However if you're mugged and the mugger takes your car keys, he won't know where your car is parked.
Re: What colour was tasty again?
Re: Makes no sense
I agree that your £ will get you more in impoverished countries, and there are other things to consider, such as, are you still using electricity / gas heating, are you still living in your nice big home etc etc....
BUT it is already a big first step in raising awareness, and really whether you are living for £5 a week or £10 or £15 a week it is still going to make a huge difference to what the normal western standard of living is.
Lester, good luck and good job!
Re: More iPads equals
Since iPads and Macs run on different OSes and do not directly share any Applications, I wonder why Cook thinks that iPad owners will be enticed to get Macs
Re: You don't
"Err...I'm in favour of a tax on the gross"
Apologies, I misread your previous comment
Re: You don't
I used "IP" because in the case for exampe of Starbucks they sell trademark rights to their franchisees, in the case of Google they sell rights to patent licenses AND trademarks. There wasn't any specific reference to the third bit of "IP", copyright, but I think it's also perfectly possible for a UK-based movie studio, band or publisher to transfer their copyrights to the Caribbean and thereby not pay tax in the UK, so I think the argument is valid over all 3 branches of IP.
Re: Who let the data out?
"A connected fridge, microwave or light bulb? Gimmicks that suck fools in"
Actually, light bulbs suck the dark in :)
"fleeing justice from the Swiss "
Switzerland != Sweden
I would have thought that criminal suspects might have been disbarred from running, but hey, this is convict-land, it's probably a bonus :)
"The market needs to see some evidence that the future looks bright because that candle is flickering"
$9.5bln profit on $42bln sales?? Close to 30% margin??
That's not a flickering candle, that's a towering inferno
Re: Company Obligations
@Number 6 - agree completely.
However with regard to this part: "may cause said multinationals to choose to do business elsewhere", I think this is fearmongering introduced by business and their shills.
If Starbucks were to stop operating in the UK, do you think it's more likely that every Starbucks customer will stop drinking coffee and the resulting billions would just disappear from the UK economy, or that other coffee shops will open to take over their custom?
If Google stopped selling their adverts in the UK, do you think it's more likely that companies would stop buying adverts online, or would they find another provider?
The UK economy depends on the people of the UK, not on whichever multinationals operate there.
Re: You don't
As Big Yin and JDX say, taxing revenue (rather than profit) will not work. What could do the trick is introduce some level of reasonableness to allowed costs that are used to send profit overseas.
For example, if the global price for coffee is approximately $ per tonne, Starbucks UK would not be allowed to buy it at 5X$ or 2X$ per tonne from their Swiss branch, as they currently do. A small markup is OK, a deliberate exporting of profits isn't allowed. Or in the case of IP and branding (both Google and Starbucks), you aren't allowed to buy/license your IP/branding from the Bahamas unless you can prove that either it was developed in the Bahamas, or that your Bahamas subsidiary paid a fair value for it to the location where it was developed.
In opposition to those who shout 'over-regulation' I can answer, well, the self-regulation isn't really working, so if you won't self-regulate properly you'll have to be regulated externally. (See banks and where their self-regulation led to).
At least, that's what makes sense / seems fair. The reality is that adding such a layer of complexity would be a bigger burden on smaller companies and big companies would find a way around it.
Re: You takes your chances..........
"the offer to settle out of court is on a "no admission of liability" basis. I find that immoral"
Agree with this, one of the great things of western court systems is that things are public. Gagging orders on settlements pervert this
@Jason Bloomberg - I get the analysis, and in this particular case this makes sense especially as compensation awarded was about 1/4 of the settlement.
But on a more general case, this leaves complainants too much at the mercy of a court's whim - say I declined 50k compensation, the court can rule in my favour and award me 51k (in which case I don't have to pay any fees), or else can award me 49k (in which case I need to pay all my legal fees plus some of the defendants', leaving me majorly out of pocket). The way the law is designed, it encourages complainants to accept any small settlement because going to court is too much of a gamble.
In this specific case, one has to wonder how come a quarter of a million dollars worth of legal counsel did not warn the woman of the likelihood of this happening. Or perhaps they warned her and she went ahead anyway against their advice?
Re: There's a bigger problem than Google
There's no problem with having EU profits and expenses consolidated. The problem is having all the expenses brought into the EU and all the profits going to the Caribbean
Re: The tax laws are open to all...
Schmidt is perfectly right about the part of capitalism where he's in it for the money, he's abiding by all existing laws, fair enough and kudos to him for being part of building a massively successful company.
BUT when you are spending many millions of dollars in lobbying and paying campaign contributions to politicians to make damn well sure that they will never change the tax code in a way that will cost you billions... well, that has nothing to do with capitalism, it's good old-fashioned bribery, albeit institutionalised and drseesd up in Armanis suits
"she will remain solely responsible for the payment of the bulk of her own legal costs and obliged to pay a high proportion of the legal costs of the respondents. "
So not only does she have to pay all her own legal bills, but she has to pay some of Oracle's costs as well? That is TOTALLY f***ed up, Australia!
@Nom - true, and we should not be complacent about the issue, rather, we should be able to take steps that are proportional to the problem. For example, reducing methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexaflouride are easier wins than cutting down CO2. Fracking is being championed as produsing gas that reduces dependency on coal and reduces CO2, but also releases a lot of methane, and depending on how well-sealed or not th eweel is, can produce a worse overall effect.
We need on work on reducing total greenhouse effect, instead of concentrating only on CO2
Re: Well done
Well done for a sensible article, especially this:
"Very few people disagree with the basic fact that the greenhouse gas CO2 warms the climate"
It's equally stupid to deny greenhouse effect, which is pretty basic physics, as it is to project remote worst-case scenarios as being likely / guaranteed, and then run around panicking like chicken little tinking the sky is falling on your head.
Re: @Rampant Spaniel
Hollande is an idiot!
In the case of Switzerland, a LOT less dependent on nuclear than France, most Swiss clean energy comes from hydro. Of course because of the Swiss geography that's a unique situation, so your point about Europe generally still holds.
Re: Renewable Energy
"What is the worry?"
The worry is that
1) "40 years of proven reserves" does not mean that we are sorted for the next 40 years. It means that if we burn it all at current and future expected rates, it would last 40 years BUT since it becomes more and more difficult to extract as it reaches the bottom, it's unlikely that we can extract it all within the next 40 years. It's not like it will be uiness as usual for 40 years and then suddenly we go from full production to zero *. More likly what will happen is that starting in the next 20 years we will need to get a larger and larger percentage of energy from non-oil sources
2) To have energy solutions that will start picking up the shortfall of oil in 20 (or 30, or 40) years' time, we need to start now. Wind and solar will never fill the gap, but even if we want to utilise them to the maximum potential we need a 50% increase every year f0r 20 years to make a real dent. And, more importantly, we need nuclear for baseload, and those plants take a LONG time to design, test, approve, build, regulate etc etc (not to mention that in 10-20 years time the current nuclear plants will start to be deactivated). So, again, we need to start planning and building these things now.
* this is actually a good thing
"Wouldn't it be more accurate to state that any reduction that renewables bring is negated by some countries building coal stations with no attempt to mitigate co2 emissions?
erm, that's what teh article DOES say:
"Acting against these mitigating factors has been the massive world upsurge in coal burning, particularly in China - though lately, Europe has also turned to coal in a bid to wean itself off insecure and pricey Russian gas. Coal is a very carbon-intensive way to generate energy, so all this has effectively wiped out the carbon reductions achieved by gas, hydro and nuclear (and the tiny additional ones from wind, solar etc)."
Re: Renewable Energy
"Energy prices are high purely because of taxes" - wrong, energy prices are high partly because it's becoming more expensive to extract and partly because there's more demand.
"The 'Peak Oil' assertion has now been shown to be a lie" - I have no idea what you're talking about. Cheap oil has certainly long peaked and is in decline. For other more expensive oil, there's still more in the ground to dig up, so the peak gets pushed back into the future as prices rise and it's more viable. But in general we are using more gas and coal because there is less oil available (at a competitive price).
And, irrespective of whether we already passed the peak, are passing it now, or if it is 20 or 50 years in the future, their clearly and obviously will be a peak, then a decline, then finally "That's All, folks", only without a goofy carrot-chewing rabbit.
"Green activists like to make energy prices high because they view minimal energy use as good in itself. But it is not. We already use far more energy per head than our parents, and our children will use even more - and that is not a bad thing."
I think what's important isn't the gross use but how much useful work we can get done from it, i.e. efficiency. The 50s and 60s generations vastly improved lifestyle by vastly improving consumption, and when oil was cheap, they could 'afford' to be wasteful. Our children will learn how to have a better lifestyle than ours while using less energy, becaus energy WILL be more expensive (due to natural less-supply-more-deman, nothng to do with green taxes).
Re: This type of legislation will eventually pass
@NomNomNom - good troll, you almost had me there for a moment!
" If I captured some interesting moment and shared it to the world, a simple credit would do"
Yes, but right now you wouldn't get that at all, because they not only strip out the metadata, but they also do not attribute sent-in photos
Re: Toys and Oil
How necessary is oil vs iPhone is not relevant to the company value. The days of cheap oil are long gone and oil companies are investing more and more for new finds and current production with ever-decreasing returns... I don't have the figures but I would guess that Exxon's turnover is probably more than Apple's BUT they have MUCH higher expenses so less profit and profitability
Re: Several points @John Smith
"I'm not sure if rats, like humans only have 1 liver & 2 kidneys."
As far as I know, the basic organ configuration is the same for all mammals.
Re: real savings?
@AC - certainly this will work for some appliances, BUT...
1) Many appliances do not take kindly to just having the mains power switched off
2) all smart switches will be basically identical which means that there needs to be some programming / setup on the smart meter to tell it what appliance is connected to what switch. This step HAS to be done locally. It will be OK for technically minded people such as this sites' commentards* , less so for the general population
*affectionately, of course, dear fellows
until wind guy gets really angry when his master is killed and inhales till he explodes
Re: real savings?
Never mind cost of meter, what about cost of changing every single household appliance in every single home in Britain? 'Smart' meters cannot just decide to power down a fridge for 10 minutes - Electric wiring in homes cannot be controlled at the socket level, homes simply aren't wired that way. For smart meters to work the way being described, there also needs to be smart appliances that they are communicating with.
So even if every single appliance sold in the UK starting 2014 is a smart appliance, it will be 20-30 years before all the appliances are smart and the full cost savings are achieved. In the meantime you have a massive cost of replacing old dumb kit with new smart kit, and even if you needed a new fridge anyway the new smart one will cost more than a new dumb one would have.
In reality that's probably closer to 40-50 years before the envisaged £5 per head cost savings can be achieved, during which 40-50 years the overall cost of appliances has dwarfed any future savings many times over.
"One thing you can rest assured of is these are being installed for the benefit of the supply utilities and NOT the consumer"
What he said
@uncle slacky - yes I agree, just because it's so now doesn't mean it has to stay that way.
Re how it will end, I suspect as energy gets more and more expensive and capital equipment starts to cost more and more to run and repair, the cost differential between hiring a human for a job vs building a robot will swing back in human's favour. Demand for labour will go back up, as will wages, jobs etc.
For a while at least, it's all cyclical anyway, none of the status quo is for ever
I guess the ideal solution is that robots take up the boring, repetitive, labour-intensive, shitty jobs that no-one wants to do.
I can see where R. Spaniel is coming from, definitely there needs to be less incentive for scamming unemployment benefits, and benefits need to go only to the needy. What RS seemingly has failed to notice is that there are more genuinely needy people, as AC pointed out.
This is a result of tax / business / education etc being set up in a way that people with capital are getting more and keeping more. Overall GDP in most countries isn't decreasing, it's stable. But more of it is going to teh top and less to the middle and bottom. You want to reform benefits so that they really only go to the genuinely needy? Fine, let's do that, but at the same time let's also reform the tax code so that an investor living off dividends, or a business making billions pays at least the same %age of tax as the guy making £20k
The problem with that is, once you have your days off, how do you pay for your food / accommodation etc etc?
Up till now, robots were tools, just like PCs or pulleys and ploughs - they allowed humans to do more with the same input. So they increased enourmously the economic 'pie' but still only made up a small slice of the overall pie. As they increase in complexity and autonomy though, they will start making up a larger and larger percentage of the pie as well. If the overall size of the pie increases indefinitely, the actual amount of humans in employment can stay stable, but this cannot go on indefinitely. At some point (and I think we are at or close to right now) more humans will lose their jobs to robots than there will be new jobs created because of robots.
Now, if that pie was owned fairly evenly by all humans, their income from their slice of the pie would comfortably allow them to own and operate their own robots for their leisurely benefit. But in reality, most of the pie is owned by very few people, so the benefits of automation accrue to the owners of capital (robots being capital equipment same as computers, buildings etc etc). The result is that the richest people will mostly get richer, the middle-class people will get poorer, and the poor will stay poor (but not really notice since there's no change). This is already happening - average earnings are creeping up, median earnings are going down.
Note that this isn't an anti-capitalist rant, it's how the world works. Those in the middle can either spend their surplus earnings (and possibly a good chunk of credit) on 'stuff' as they were doing pre-credit crunch and join the ranks of the poor, or they can spend their surplus earnings and credit on a slice of the pie (assets) and join the ranks of the rich.
Re: Keeping the techs on campus
In both the case of the F1 teams and the data centre, and also the case of restaurants mentioned in the article, the free meals are a convenience for the employer and therefore not taxed. In Google's case this doesn't apply
Re: Depends on the country
Makes sense really.
Look at it this way taken to the extreme - what if Google provides all it's employees with an on-campus apartment or in their own little Googleville, a Google car (possibly self-driven), plus free food / drink in any restaurant / bar etc in Googleville, free access to cinemas in Googleville, free or susidised stuff from Google stores etc etc.... basically cover what constitutes 60-70% of their employees' expenses and pay them in cash only a tiny amount.
Should Googlers only pay tax on the cash portion of what they get (at which point it's either completely exempt or else taxed at the lowest rate)? No, it makes sense to be taxing them on the sum total of everything that constitutes their pay packet i.e. anything that (a) has cash value and (b) is not used for work.
Re: Excuse me?
Laptop doesn't count because it's used for work. Food counts because you have to eat whether you work or not. Loo, yes, you have to go whether you work or not BUT it has no cash value because typically there is no cost to spending a penny (or a pound)
Re: Oh, working around that one is easy
And following step 4, your employees will be taxed on the cash bonus, instead of being taxed on the food benefit, as the IRS is proposing... and that the company has jumped through a whole lot of hoops (steps 1,2,3) to achieve exactly nothing
Re: Misleading Headline?
@dssf - benefits that have a significant cash value should be counted as income and taxed as such, simple.
Yes, the tax code should be simplified, and filing should be automated, but that's not what this article is about
If it's positive it plays Beethoven's Fifth.... the "knocking on the gates of hell" Ta-da-da-DUUUUUHH
@wowfood "they invaded Iraq over the fact they suspected they might have WMDs with no evidence. NK has WMDs, admits it"
That's exactly the point. US et al knew Iraq didn't seriously have any WMDs, so they wouldn't have any used against them. They won't invade NK exactly because NK has nukes. Which is pretty much why countries like Iran want to get nukes, it's pretty much a guarantee that the US won't try and regime-changing (again)
Really impressive bit of kit, and perfectly matched to the completely unsuspicious "I'll put some (sexy) music on while you pour the wine"
However, one major snag - How does one go about asking for a blood sample? Somehow I suspect that "excuse me, could I shove this needle into your finger, since I suspect you might have HIV" could be a bit of a mood-killer.
And obtaining it surreptitiously might get complicated, not to mention legal/privacy issues of "accidentally on purpose" stabbing someone.
Does Iran have a different date for April Fool's Day?
- Geek's Guide to Britain BT Tower is just a relic? Wrong: It relays 18,000hrs of telly daily
- Product Round-up Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces
- Review: Sony Xperia SP
- Geek's Guide to Britain The bunker at the end of the world - in Essex
- Dell's PC-on-a-stick landing in July: report