* Posts by Bhairava

7 posts • joined 21 Mar 2012

BBC suspends CTO after £100m is wasted on doomed IT system

Bhairava
Pint

Re: Bad management

Ancient history alert: sounds almost identical to the broadband side of the Enron fiasco.

US Congress excoriates Apple's tax-avoidance shenanigans

Bhairava
Thumb Down

IRS Ironies

You have to love the sheer arrogance of US tax rules. The US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world and claims the right to tax any money a US company makes, anywhere in the world, even if all the production work is done somewhere in Italy and the product is sold by an Irish sales rep to an Egyptian customer. As a result, everyone sets up foreign subsidiaries. I can see the gripe if one of the subsidiaries is a paper company, but understand that the easiest way to fix that is to move actual operations and jobs to, for example, Ireland, the way other companies have. Also, understand that those foreign subs won't pay much corporate tax to anyone. They're set up to break even and pay their profits as dividends to the US parent company, at which point the tax will be paid by the US company to the IRS, then taxed again as income to shareholders. Isn't that what the IRS wants? Apparently it's not good enough.

But what about those fat cat shareholders? Actually, by far the largest class of shareholders in companies like Apple are pension funds. And if the retirees aren't getting a reasonable return on their 401(k)'s I guess they'll probably rely more on ... oops ... social security and government safety net programs. Plus the funds will have to get more aggressive with riskier investments. If they fail (as some did in the last two recessions), there is always some politician ready to raise taxes again to relieve the pensioners. The fun never ends.

Sure, I've oversimplified and ignored some semi-valid counter-arguments. But if El Reg wants to start opining on tax policy issues, I have to dumb it down a little. I don't spout off about servers, because it's specialized tech, and I don't know squat about them. International tax is at least as specialized and technical. Think first.

Degenerate dwarfs tear neighbors limb from limb

Bhairava
WTF?

White Dwarf

Massive degenerate white dwarf? Dense remnant of a middle-aged body that has collapsed in on itself? Jeez! I thought for a minute this article was about me!

Harassed Oracle employee wins case, cops huge legal bill

Bhairava
Big Brother

Rule 68

In the US, in order to get the same result, Oracle would have had to offer compensation *plus* all of her costs and attorneys fees as of the date the company made the offer. That's also not considered an out-of-court settlement. It's an offer of judgment; and (if accepted) a judgment is entered against the company. The Supreme Court mucked up the system a bit in a weird little decision just last week, but that's essentially still how it works.

Newborn planets spotted slurping up gas from young parent star

Bhairava
Pint

Mass

As you suggested yourself, there's not enough mass. Total system mass is estimated at about 2.5 stellar masses, but the total disk mass is only 0.15 solar masses. That's very big for a halo, but obviously not enough to form a conventional binary, even if it could all be accreted into one body.

Besides, the Zarg typically use a discontinuous antihelical tau neutrino gamma-class drive, which leaves an entirely different particle signature.

Posner to Apple, Motorola: 'And don’t come back'

Bhairava

Re: US Judges Getting Increasingly Smarter

The weird thing is that Posner was best known as a legal philosopher -- one of the leading lights of the Chicago School (economic analysis of the common law and related stuff). Lots of people, me included, were surprised that he made an even better judge. Sadly for him, if he'd been a bit less famous as a conservative philosopher, he'd be on the Supreme Court today.

'Now we understand what's required to explode a supernova' - NASA

Bhairava
Headmaster

Re: Consequences...

Good point. Still, given the low prob of a direct hit, most encounters will play out as a series of close passes involving orbiting bodies, even if it's a decaying orbit. In that case, the math should hold. It just won't be quite as accurate.

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