* Posts by DaveDaveDave

242 posts • joined 24 Sep 2010


Screw EU! Apple to fight back over €13bn tax bill


Re: Ireland has been operating as a tax haven

The funny part is that the EU's tax system was deliberately set up precisely so as to encourage tax competition as practised by Ireland in this case. Ireland could not have been more compliant with the spirit and letter of EU corporation-tax law.


Re: That should be the main headline

But Ireland's protesting because the CT isn't due there, collecting the CT would make Ireland poorer overall, and the entire thing is idiotic. The EU has just ignored express provisions of EU law in this case.


Sigh. Not this claptrap again. Apple can't repatriate profits to the US without paying US corporation tax on them. It's holding some proportion of them offshore, but that only delays paying the tax on them - they can't be returned to shareholders that way.


Re: Company's intellectual property held in Ireland

They pay tax in the US, because that's where the profits are made. The EU is trying to grab a share by insisting that the do-nothing vehicle in Ireland which allows Apple to sell to the EU single market is actually where the profits are made.


The tax system isn't broken, it's deliberately designed to work this way: corporation tax is a bad tax, and the EU tax laws were designed to encourage tax competition so as to drive it down to zero.

There's no such thing as a tax loophole, thanks to the general anti-avoidance principle. Anything that's just a sham has no weight.


Re: Apple

There wasn't any deal, though, that's the point. In which case the EU's case is ludicrous, and indeed it is, on any inspection, utterly laughable.


Re: Apple

This isn't an argument about whether Apple owes tax. It's an argument about whether they owe it to the EU or to the US. The EU has made an absurd claim in an attempt to gain at the expense of the US, that really is all there is to this.

Neo-Nazi man jailed for anti-Semitic Twitter campaign against MP


Re: Schadenfreude

That's quite nice, but doesn't do anything about the ones who aren't complete and utter morons. For every idiotic thug like this, there's a Griffin or Corbyn speaking very carefully.

Facebook chokes off car insurance slurp because – get this – it has privacy concerns


Re: I presume it has more to do

" My personal opinion is that everyone's premium is as high as possible dependant upon how likely you are to go elsewhere"

Insurance is an incredibly competitive market. If you don't bother to shop around, you're an idiot. If you do, you'll get the best possible price.

Today is the 211th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar


Re: 1805: British fleet manned by migrants!

It's also interesting to note that the UK had absolutely no controls on immigration up until just the point where the British Empire started to decline. Correlation isn't causation, of course.

Notable too that Germans were there on our side at Trafalgar, just as at every other major British battle in history other than the (admittedly rather large) anomaly of the two World Wars in the 20th century. The EU thing might have worked out better if we'd done the traditional thing and allied with the Germans against the French (politically speaking, natch*).

*Although come to think of it, even UKIPers would probably change their minds about the EU if we could use it to abolish France.


Re: Not quite...

There was also an element of protection in 'lose the battle, win the war' if it all went wrong: the British had much better access to suitable wood to build ships' hulls out of than the French, so even in the even that the French caused somewhat more damage, the long-term effects would still be in Britain's favour.

It's OK to fine someone for repeating a historical fact, says Russian Supreme Court


Re: This is bizarre

"From what I understand he was rather with Nazis following the principle that the enemies of my enemy are my friends, as did Mannerheim or Bose."

Not at all. He fell in love with Nazism and embraced it with all the fervour of a convert. A really vile character.


This is bizarre

What the f--- has the Reg got itself into here? Bandera was a Nazi. Bandera-philes are neo-Nazis. The USSR did not invade Poland when Germany did, they had to finish up another war and didn't get round to even declaring war on Poland until 16 days after Germany invaded, so the Court seems to be right on the history.

It is unquestionably true that the German attack would not have succeeded as swiftly as it did with Russian help, but that's not the point: an overtly Holocaust-denying blogger has been slapped-down for getting the basic facts wrong.

Google UK coughs up £130m back taxes. Is it enough?


Re: The Tumbler SJW jibe is silly

Do you have any point to make in response, or just some inane and insane ad hom?


Re: it is deficiencies in the tax laws

"So for example Starbucks claim that Starbucks UK makes no profit on any coffee sold in the UK because for every £1 worth of coffee they sell they have to pay £1.01 to Starbucks Logo Inc of some tax haven somewhere. This sort of thing is just pure bollocks"

Pure bollocks indeed, since that's just fiction. Starbucks didn't make a profit in the UK because they paid too much for their leases, end of story. They paid the market rate for their coffee (which we know because they also sold coffee to others, at the same price), as the law requires them to do - and if they hadn't, then they'd be moving profits _from_ Switzerland _to_ the UK, since their coffee purchasing and processing does actually happen in Switzerland (along with most of Europe's).

This really is all just some not very well-disguised antisemitic propaganda, and it's a crying shame that so many gullible dupes like you have fallen for it.

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Nothing to do with religion, unless you consider being a neo-Nazi some form of religion - or if you're the kind of antisemite who blames 'the Jews' for antisemitism. Everything to do with a new spin on old-fashioned antisemitic propaganda, though, as you can tell, in part, from the use of the same language with only one word missing.

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Re: The Tumbler SJW jibe is silly

No, there's no such thing as the magic money tree. It's just antisemitic propaganda.

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Re: If I didn't pay my taxes for 10 years ...

Google did pay its taxes, though. You've fallen for some antisemitic propaganda.

The Edward Snowden guide to practical privacy


Re: The word is out - TOR is compromised!

Tor has always been compromised. It was built as a honeytrap with US government funding. People who use it are kidding themselves if they think there is any security at all as a result of using it.

Tor's full name is 31-tor - which is ROT-13 backwards. .


Snowden's security tips?

What are they, 'leave the front door open, you'll make my life easier'? 'Don't leave saleable data where I can get it'?

Here's the little-known legal loophole that permitted mass surveillance in the UK


Re: Anarchy in the UK - its just a song

" Democracy could fix this (Corbyn?)"

I really don't think this country's leading crypto-Nazi is going to want to decrease surveillance of the public.


"a cooperative and competitive non-socialist anarchy"

Oxymoron. Those terms are mutually exclusive.


Re: Far too late to worry

You've correctly identified the difference between being able to monitor anything and being able to monitor everything. Which is why most of the uninformed shouting is so dumb.


Re: The rule of Unintended Consequences - yet again

Unintended consequences? Only if you believe the author's flat-out lies about the intent of the legislation. In fact it was intended to do precisely what it is used for, and is right there in the preamble to the Act.


Complete tripe

I see the Snowdonites get ever more desperate in their attempts to pretend he released any novel information. Of course, anyone with any interest in the subject knew all this already, so all the author has done is to demonstrate that he'd never given it a moment's thought until recently.

As must be completely obvious, the law was not made in secret. It's been publicly referred to over the years as the justification for various government actions.

Whatever happened to the Reg having journalistic integrity and cherishing old-fashioned ethics? This is undisclosed advertorial, and the Hawker is lying to drum up business.

Euro privacy warriors: You've got until January to fix safe harbor mess – or we unleash hell


Re: Simply move or consolidate the servers to Europe

"why not simply consolidate the servers onto European soil?"

No, that's the wrong way around. Just have everything outside the EU, and then when customers send you their data, they're the ones doing the exporting. It's not like anyone bar a few crypto-geeks and similar actually cares about this stuff.


Oh, very clever

Force everyone doing business in the EU to have their servers outside the EU, get the users to send their own data outside EU jurisdiction, end of problem, end of any EU control at all over data.

Minicab-hailing app Uber is lawful – UK High Court


"Under IR35 regulations, that looks like employment"

No, it's one of a number of factors. But in any case, not one applicable here, since cab drivers have many customers, not just one. Uber is no more the provider of employment than, say, Gumtree is a provider of painting jobs for Polish guys.


Re: Fair nuf

"Seems like this is an instance of a court being deliberately obtuse in order to get the 'right' result"

Not in the least. It's a case of the cabbies' lawyers twisting a point of law so far that even the judge called their behaviour ridiculous. The bit of legislation in question here is one that's designed to prevent cabbies fiddling the meter. It does not, and was never intended to, say who carries one.


Re: What am I missing

"get in the queue, then once in a black cab at Heathrow, ask for Stockley Park. [I've done that once and actually had the driver say "no" - only to be told by the airport guy he can't pick and choose fares. Nothing but abuse and foul language from the driver.]"

Oh, I've done that. Only time I've ever had an argument with a cabbie. He tried to charge us forty quid to go from Deathrow to Hounslow. I offered him the choice between a poke in the eye or a smack in the chops. Well, no, I didn't, I just said 'do I sound like a farking tourist, mate?' and he took what the meter was saying after a bit more to-and-fro.


Re: What am I missing

"I think the main difference is that a Black Cab measures the cost as you go, whereas the Uber/Lyft/whatever app measures the distance and works out a cost before the journey."

I don't think that's right. Uber monitors the route taken, and then calculates the price at the end. That's why you get a fare estimate, not a fare quote. The difference is that it doesn't measure distance/time in the same way, there isn't a readout ticking up as you drive along, it's not fitted to the car, and so-on - in other words, it just isn't a taximeter in any way that term is defined by the law.

As the judge pointed out, if a minicab driver uses the odometer to work out the distance he's taken a fare, and a pocket calculator - old skool - to calculate the price, that would also be unlawful under the terms the cabbies' tried to use to exclude Uber.

It's worth pointing out here that the law the cabbies tried to use is not intended to exclude anyone from driving a taxi. It's intended to make it illegal for cabbies to rig the meter. The judge was quite rightly absolutely scathing about the weakness of their case.


Re: Couple of things that bother me

1) Surge pricing's great in my book. It's pretty predictable normally, and if you're worried about it going to 1.2x or something, you can watch on the app, do fare estimates, and see when's cheap. Or if it's really expensive, you might decide to share an Uber. Which is kind of the point of surge pricing.

2) It's as much part of Uber as the regulations say it has to be in any given country. So in London, for example, Uber drivers have exactly the same licensing and insurance requirements as any other minicab driver.


"it seeks to substitute alleged self-employment for salaried staff in order to avoid minimum wage or other regulations."

In what way are Uber drivers not very obviously self-employed? They provide their own tools, equipment, and training. They set their own hours. They pick and choose which jobs they want, and can refuse the work if they feel it's not worth enough. All the risk is on the driver. It's insane to suggest owner-drivers aren't self-employed.


Re: What am I missing

"As always, Google is your friend (wanted or not): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_Uber%27s_service"

And which part of that constitutes 'playing fast and loose with the law'? The fact that Uber does things differently in different countries is evidence of the exact opposite.


Re: What am I missing

" I'm at best ambivalent towards Uber, because they play fast and loose with the law"

Do they? Can you name one way? One that's not just bullshit made up by the taxi gangsters, obviously.


Re: What am I missing

"Whether the method is GPS/Distance based or ground distance & stoppage based - does it matter? I will still have travelled distance "x" and it will still cost £y.."

How do minicabs do it? There's a difference between looking at how far you've been driven (or how long it's taken) and calculating a fare from it, and having the fare automatically calculated and displayed as you drive along, from a device built into the car and directly connected to the wheels. Uber does none of that.


"The taximeter is the device that measures the charge."

No, that's adefinition, not the definition. The legal definition is what matters, and it was:

"“a device that works together with the signal generator to make

a measuring instrument; with the device measuring duration,

calculating distance on the basis of a signal delivered by the

distance signal generators; and calculating and displaying the

fare to be paid for a trip on the basis of the calculated distance

or the measured duration of the trip, or of both.” "

You should read the full judgement, the judge clearly was not happy with the black cab mobsters:

"These submissions are no more than an attempt, without clarity of wording or

thinking, to devise something which will cause the Uber system to fall foul of s11, in

the name of a purposive interpretation. It would also not avoid the problems to which

I have already referred, problems of a very considerable scale, for any driver or

operator using devices with which almost all cars are equipped, and sending the basic

information to the operator which any PHV operator would need for calculating fares

accurately and quickly. Would the use of a calculator fall foul of his interpretation,

whereas mental arithmetic might not? Would any degree of automation in the process

fall foul of their approach? "


His logic is concisely and clearly explained.


Watch the taximob shills come crawling out of the woodwork

It never takes long for the black-cab gangsters to turn up and drop the same old lies whenever Uber is mentioned. Clearly, they're hurting: good.

So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?


Surely there's only one option here?

The Washington Consensus - the set of ideas that for the first time in history has lifted the majority of the human population of this planet out of desperate, starvation-level poverty.

Self-driving vehicles might be autonomous but insurance pay-outs probably won't be


"To date, all software products demand that you agree to T&Cs that absolve the developers of consequential damages."

They also generally say that they own your firstborn, or some such. Doesn't make it true. There is absolutely no possibility that the manufacturer would not be liable, whatever spurious verbiage they've put in their T&Cs.


Forget the techies, ask professional drivers

It's really very simple: it's possible to drive safely, without risking having a collision. It's rather terrifying to see how many people clearly don't realise that.

Autonomous cars just won't do the stupid things that human drivers do because they're distracted, or unskilled, or tired, or impatient, or whatever. They'll drive at appropriate speed for the conditions, not try and push ten or twenty mph beyond that to save twenty seconds. When something happens, therefore, they will be able to stop.

See, that wasn't so difficult, was it?


Re: Hmm, air travel or autonomous vehicles

" As soon as they figure out that they can box in and stop an ADV"

As soon as anyone tries, the vehicle will recognise what's being done and call the police, spray smartwater from multiple orifices, and so-on.

And I would also point out that scrotes could box-in any non-autonomous car, too. If they use fairly large vehicles, then even if you know what's going on you'd have no chance of getting out of that situation.

"So what will the insurance companies do about that?"

Since when has preventing and prosecuting violent crime been a matter for insurance companies rather than the police?


"We have to assume that some self driving cars will have accidents"

Why? There's a reason road safety experts insist on talking about collisions rather than accidents.

The only conditions under which an autonomous car will be in a collision are that it was unavoidably hit by someone else - not its fault, no liability - or due to a previously unknown bug in the programming, in which case the manufacturer will be liable.

Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars


Re: A cynic reports...

"I also cannot see how any serious degree of autonomy can be achieved without a great deal of data being passed to vehicles from roadside equipment; although my car and its SatNav are 5 years old and thus "old technology" as far as I can see the mapping data available to a driver is simply inadequate for autonomy to be possible."

As I understand it, having detailed-enough maps is currently the biggest hitch. We tend to think of pattern recognition as being harder because it's more technical, but in fact simply mapping all the roads well enough is a much bigger job because there are no shortcuts.

"How will a car know what speed is permissible on any particular section of road? How will a car know that a reduced limit has been implemented for some reason?"

The first one's basic mapping - current satnavs can do it. The latter, things like the Google car are quite capable of spotting and understanding signs like that. Even so, we might decide to modify signs by adding electronic beacons designed to be read by autonomous cars. At one time there were no paved roads, after all, and yet that didn't turn out to be a deal-killer for the (non-autonomous) car.

"what technology will be used by the vehicle to determine what is going on around it?"

Lidar. But let's run with the radio idea for a minute. Seems to me that you've specced requirements that are roughly the same as wifi. Hmm, the road network's going to become a network...


Re: Mobile surveillance

"Dystopian vision: Google (tm) will license their driverless car technology to manufacturers, on condition that they get data on car journeys "to improve my travelling experience"."

Utopian vision, Google is so large that it's worth it to give everyone free driverless cars because it'll significantly increase personal usage of google when people have an extra hour or two a day free.

Dry those eyes, ad blockers are unlikely to kill the internet


The problem with adblockers...

...isn't that users aren't paying for sites, but that they're not showing advertisers what decent ads look like. If we refuse to see ads because we weren't ever seeing any that are relevant to us, then all we've done is give the advertisers even more incentive to put that kind of ad up to target the remainder of the population.


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