It's also end of a dream which saw operators as custodians of the electronic wallet.
3465 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007
It's a weird thing… Companies like Google generally only make money if somebody actually clicks on their ads. Just displaying an ad does not earn them a cent. Yet they make a shitload of money, which must mean that somehow, there are people who click on a whole bunch of ads.
We must assume these people don't mind ads. And no, I don't know who they are either.
And through justification of original purpose we can happily accept the removal of tax. Because it was designed as a way for the king to fund his lifestyle/wars by taking only from the rich
Taxes are now used to pay for necessities which make it possible to have a successful society: Roads, infrastructure, a functional justice system. The aim of the tax system is to fund all of these while hindering economic activity as least as possible. Declaring taxes in multiple countries is a bad idea for small businesses, because it would cost them a lot in accountants and return a pittance. Doing so for large companies would cost them a rounding error in accountants and have much higher returns.
Conflating the idea of stealing with nurture is both twisted but unfortunately popular (as it was with the various socialist paradises). To nurture success is to allow progress and not hinder (see above explanation). To generate wealth is to free the population (the people) to work, to earn, to spend freely (again the opposite to taking their money from them).
You need to invest to get returns. You need to pay salaries to have people work for you. You need to pay taxes to have a functioning country. You might claim that not investing, not paying salaries, and not paying taxes is the right thing to do in order to have more money, by simply spending less.
And that would be wrong.
As for a country that generates nothing it will struggle regardless of the tax level, although it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to get out of the situation with high tax levels.
What is exactly produced by Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, do you think? Do you believe these places to be struggling?
There is an idea to that. The rule that companies are only taxed in their resident countries were written to help small companies and save them the hassle from declaring taxes to half a dozen country.
In the case of large multinational corporations, which do control a company in UK anyway, you might argue that such a helping hand is not necessary: They are already declaring taxes, just for a different activity.
Changing the current laws to insist that companies should pay tax in the country where they earn the money as long as they control a company there does not seem complex (though it might be hard to actually get politicians to do it).
One must only beware of the law of unintended consequences. Microsoft might decide that closing their UK offices could be more beneficial if it allows them to save enough tax.
About the "robbing" comment: Between the country which nurtures success and generates wealth, and the country which generates nothing but sets its corporate tax lower, I find it hard to think that the latter merits more money than the former.
Funny how a feature which would be a very successful product for a start-up, worthy of being valued millions or billions, turns into an also-ran product faced to the global strategy of a big corporation.
Not that Microsoft is alone in doing these types of decision. Apple and Google have both been known to sacrifice products more successful than Rooms to make place for an upcoming great idea.
I recently threw away my university memories.
I bought a server with 1TB for the express purpose of safekeeping all the stuff I had when I left university eight years ago.
The server has sat unused in a corner of my flat for the last three years; I'm not even sure it could still boot. When I moved to a new place last month, I just brought it to the garbage dump because I couldn't bother.
I currently have a Synology for my backups. Hope it works better.
designing a product that only a geek would love and foisting it on the world had a fairly predictable reaction
Which is why they tried their hardest to make it a consumer product. If they had designed it for geeks, they'd have gone for an augmented reality thing covering half your face.
There are various reasons Glass was not successful, mostly that it does little that is really useful; but "being designed for geeks" was not one of them.
Currently, if Google decides to accept a request and hide the link to an article for some searches, there is no recourse for the owner of the web site. They might try to convince Google, but they cannot appeal to privacy regulators the way the original requestor could, had the request been rejected.
This is because though the ECJ has ruled people had a "right to be forgotten", they did not include a "right to be heard". There is basically no law that can force Google to display a link. In fact, they often demote sites while tweaking algorithms, or to punish SEO abusers, and nobody has a say in the matter.
I simply cannot understand how anyone would dare propose such a legislation. I can't remember of anything even remotely close to this. How is a government to ever curb the misdeeds of a profitable company with such a rule?
"Oh hey, you discovered we were insanely profitable because we were actually spreading a new type of pollutant. If you make it illegal to do it, you'll have to pay us for any profit loss incurred by the new rule."
"The important protections that President Obama and others have supported and that we have fought bitterly– no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization and transparency of business practices –can be enacted without the significant regulatory baggage that comes with public utility regulation; until we complain the FCC has no right to enact those rules because we are not a public utility."
FTFY, Michael Powell…
No account, no content ID. So you can't use our automatic anti-piracy tools. It would be such a shame if loads of our users were to put up your content for free, and we get all the advertising revenue anyway.
That's silly. Of course you can still use Content ID. In fact, it was always possible to use Content ID without an account.
The difference is that now, you cannot use Content ID to put ads against the pirated content, only block it.
game developers have catered for different shaped screens since games were invented.
I don't think the comparison is fair. There's like four aspect ratios PC games have to handle. 3:4 was the standard for many years, until we started having 12:10 and the like. Even now on cell phones, it's not all games that can handle both landscape and portrait.
What's the difference? When the US drops a bomb from a remote-controlled aircraft, people call it a drone strike. It's remote-controlled over thousands of kilometers, and it contains way more technology; but it's remote-controlled just like a quadcopter… What is a done, then? Does it need an AI?
Companies who are ordered to give up information about users are allowed to charge the government for the effort. Considering the number of requests involved, the total they charge is probably impressive; but the amount per request is quite low.
After all, if government is powerless to stop a determined existential threat, what's the bloody point of civilization in the first place?
You are falling into the trap. Terrorism is not an existential threat. There are orders of magnitude more people who die of car accidents, cancer, or killed by their partners than because of terrorism. Terrorism is flashy; but as a threat, it barely registers.
The Irish VAT is higher than the UK VAT (and most other countries), so Google should be happy about the change. The change should have no implication whatsoever on where the income is, though. It's not because the VAT is now charged in the country of the buyer that the seller is going to suddenly change countries…
There's no way this can be made a success. Making the phones modular means it is easier to swap a part, but the total price of parts can only be more expensive than a standard phone containing the same pieces. So people who want a cheap phone will not buy this.
On the other hand, people who want a luxury phone will never go for a mix and match which does not show how cool they are for owning the right brand.
It's fun to play Lego™, and the technical problems are certainly very interesting; but I simply don't see why anybody would buy this.
Recall the colonization of the United States.
At the time, to encourage settlers to go populate the big empty West, the government decided that any settler building a house somewhere in a big empty place would automatically own the land around. As a result many people went for the big adventure, and the West ended up colonized.
Now, imagine that the settlers had decided that the land they wanted was a millimeter thin and a thousand kilometer long, along the South-North axis. Imagine further that each settler had decided that, in order to explore further at leisure, search for gold and the like, they would forbid anybody from crossing their property. Or charge a million dollars for passage. How fast do you think the West would have been colonized then, with every few meters a new guy with a gun shouting "you shall not pass"?
Of course, had they tried that, they would have got their arse kicked out by the same government who had given them property of their land; because it was very clear that the colonization was the goal, and the granting of property was only the means.
FRAND patents are the equivalent of settlers grouping to build a road going through their lands, agreeing to let anybody travel that road and not to charge extortionate prices for the right of passage. They typically do that to ensure it is their road that is used by travelers, and not another one which wouldn't bring them a cent.
Right now, in the patent world, there are settlers who have barricaded themselves across valleys leading to vast lands, and are refusing to let anybody through. Because hey, it's their property, they get to decide, and they damn well don't want anybody else reaching those lands, even if colonization is held back centuries. Fuck colonization. Fuck progress.
The sensible thing is for the government to build a road through their lands, and tell them to go fuck themselves. This has happened before, though only in time of crises: See the Wright brothers patent war
And pass the popcorn!
Most of the population would have trouble even realizing that anything not ending in .com .net .org .gov or one of the country two-letter codes is a URL. In the first place, people are hardly ever typing a URL, preferring to ask Google to bring them to Facebook.
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