Re: Bureaucratic ultra-pork lovers in "can't perform" moment. Film at 11.
Don't forget that the Department of Homeland Security is also in charge of enforcing copyright law! And, somehow, fighting money counterfeiters.
3465 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007
The big failure is that the European laws allows any business to declare its income in a single country. The goal was to allow small businesses to sell in the whole of Europe without having to declare its income in every single country, which would have been inefficient and prohibitive for most companies.
What should have been done instead is that the income can be declared in a single country unless there is another company controlled by the same entity in the country where the income was realized.
For Little Business Ltd., a company of five people in Ireland, it makes sense to let them declare in Ireland the few thousands £ they earn in UK; they could not otherwise afford to do business in the UK.
For Google, Facebook et al., who own large sales teams based in the UK that are already declaring in the UK incomes of a few millions, there is little reason to let them declare in Ireland the income from what they sell in the UK.
Of course, there are probably people, even UK politicians, who think that the current situation is working as intended, and that the goal is to force governments to compete on lower income taxes, leading to more business opportunities…
why did A16Z-backed Cyanogen insist on territorial exclusivity for a platform, if it seriously wanted that platform to succeed?
If I had to guess, I'd say Cyanogen was offered a large sum of money by Micromax for exclusivity in India.
Or possibly, they absolutely wanted an Indian deal, and they proposed exclusivity to Micromax, who was afraid of getting its feet wet then finding a field crowded with competitors.
The more I think, the more I believe the second hypothesis. After all, even Apple offered exclusivity to AT&T in order to get the iPhone out the door.
This might show poor judgment from Cyanogen, but it's hard to believe in a nefarious plot from Google on this one.
I carry a watch because it allows me to know how fast I need to walk to catch the train. Every morning, I check it at least three times while walking to the station.
That's my usual excuse. It now occurs to me that I was skiing the whole day, and that while in ski gear, it takes me two seconds to check my watch, and two minutes to fish my cell phone from whichever pocket it is in. Assuming I even have it on me.
I'm not sure why YouTube is not responsible for this. They do check that adult content is not viewable unless you are signed in and have indicated an age above 18. They could do the same for 15-rated horror movies… I guess there's no legal obligation on their part, though. Did Universal mislabel the video? Or did Universal somehow choose the ads for the context?
You laugh, but revolution it was nevertheless. Did you own a smartphone before the iPhone came out? I did. It was a Palm Tréo. And let me tell you, the iPhone UI was heads and shoulders above everything that existed at the time, and it took four years for the competition to catch up after that headstart.
Since you talk of short memories, let me remind you that hardly anybody owned a phone that could surf the web at the time, business types aside. If you had told people that seven years from now, more than half of the surfing would be done by cell phones, they wouldn't have believed you.
And I've owned android phones for the part three years.
In order to safeguard that consent has been freely-given, consent should not provide a valid legal ground for the processing of personal data in a specific case where there is a clear imbalance between the data subject and the controller and this imbalance makes it unlikely that consent was given freely in all the circumstances of that specific situation,
Does this mean that it is impossible to ever freely give consent to Google, because of the imbalance of power between the user and the "gateway to the Internet"?
A taxi goes directly from point to point and tries to avoid running when empty, seeking out the likely places for fares. A bus has to run empty as part of providing the service.
I guess that taxis would magically avoid the problem that everybody wants to travel one way in the morning, and the other way in the evening…? This problem, which you used to demonstrate the inefficiency of buses, would of course not apply to taxis.
Google "aggregation" actually INCREASES the traffic on various European news websites. It's beneficial not adverserial.
As long as Google News exists, it is beneficial for news websites to appear on it; because many users go to Google News and are generally satisfied with what they find there. Not appearing on it means definitively losing traffic from these users.
If Google News disappears, however, these users will still look for news, in some other way. Some news sites will see less traffic (likely the small ones), and some will see more traffic (likely the big ones).
There are definitely websites that are getting more traffic now that Google News has closed.
In Spain, the more recent law has had an even more catastrophic effect
Why catastrophic? It means that instead of getting results from a wide array of sources, Spaniards have to go directly to the news sites they know to get their news. If you are a user, or a small, little-know website, this is bad. If you are one of the big news sites, this might be very very good.
The problem with Google News was that it forced the big news sites to compete with the rest of the planet. Now the problem has gone away. I'm guessing they have seen a bump in traffic and are celebrating. I doubt the law will change, and I doubt Google News will come back.
…from claiming that all their European profit is made in Luxembourg…
Nitpick: this change is not at all about profits, which are still going to happen in Luxembourg. It's just that now the country of the customer will get VAT.
That said, I suspect the new rules will simply not be enforced for small businesses for a while. It seems impossible they will be ready any time soon.
The law is kind of weird. How can different industries have different rules? If there is a good reason for this, how come the industries can be defined so loosely as to invite confusion? It feels to me like studying the reasons the rules were written differently at the time they were written would make it clear whether they should apply to Amazon employees…
Anyway, since this is a legal matter, why isn't it decided once and for all by a judge?
Well okay, but people would still be looking for news. (Even without Google showing them the way!)
I assume the users would just Google for the name of one of the big newspapers, find their website, and get their news from there. If you're a big newspaper, this is a good thing — possibly much better than whatever traffic they received from Google News or Google results.
I would have thought they would be happy. Large media companies probably win from Google News disappearing. As long as Google News is there, they are forced to compete on it with small websites, losing more and more control because there is a real risk that not letting Google act as it wants would lose them traffic.
But if Google News disappears, users are forced to rely on the names of big newspapers they can remember. The traffic from Google News they would lose might well be replaced by more traffic of people going straight to their websites. After all, I understand Google News only represents something like 10-20% of their traffic in the first place, unlike small websites for which it should be more like 75%.
I mean, it's not like users are going to stop surfing the web for news when Google News disappears. They are just going to surf in a different way, and some web sites are going to end up winning. It seems a fair assumption to me that those will be the bigger ones. If I was this AEDE thingy, I would wait and see for the results.
Google certainly wants to avoid at all costs making a precedent. If they caved in in Spain, other countries would immediately create the exact same law. And would they stop at news web sites, or would they just go all the way and force Google to pay for giving results to any random web sites? "Look, you are showing advertising next to the IP of other people. You have to pay them for it."
Now that's a thought that should chill Google's blood.
It sounds like this is not creating any new tax burden, is it? What is it exactly that would stop Google from just declaring all over the same thing: "We have an Irish company selling a lot of ads, and according to EU laws, you cannot tax that. We also have a UK company, which is just an intermediary and hardly making any money; go ahead and tax it."
Well, yeah, from what I can understand, that is precisely what Google would like to fix…
Once you control the video web site, the search engine, the browser, possibly the OS and the hardware itself, your position for creating a mostly-safe internet for kids is basically as good as it can get.
Now, the question is how much non-Google web sites will be included in this walled garden.
Quite apart from the fact this would bankrupt companies with thin margins (everybody but luxury brands), it would do nothing to solve the Google problem. Because Google has almost no income in the UK. All advertising contracts are signed with Google Ireland, who does not report its income or profit to the UK. In fact, just by the last point, I don't see too much how the UK could tax profits from a company who does not have an obligation to report said profits to the UK.
Of course it's a terrible tragedy that a Fusilier Lee Rigby got assassinated by terrorists. Really!
But maybe it's not worth letting go of our freedoms and privacy rights for the chance to maybe – maybe! – save a few lives. The Benjamin Franklin quote comes to mind.
The number of people who die of terrorism is similar or smaller to those who die from snake bites, or from lightning strikes. It is vastly inferior to the number of people who die of car accidents. It is dwarfed by those who die of cancer.
So my message to the authorities is: Stuff it. Look at the numbers. Look how much your war on terrorism costs. Look how much good it does. Look how many soldiers got killed in wars you started, compared to the number of people who got killed by terrorists attacks.
And stop asking for extraordinary powers to fight a shadow threat.
They have to write it themselves. The point of T&Cs is not to inform users; they are written for the express purpose of making sure that the company can never be sued for anything. The people writing them work very hard to not include anything that would explicitly limit the freedom of their employer.
The only way this can change is if governments write a privacy code making clear what is allowed and what is forbidden. Until then, it's purely and simply a matter of who you trust.
This is the company that got out a smartphone with a single button, and everybody called them crazy, and it was incredibly successful. What the heck are they doing adding a crown?? How about just using the touch screen?
Oh, and keeping the time within 50 milliseconds: I consider myself a freak because I want my wristwatch to be within 5 seconds of the exact time… But I don't really see why I would need a hundredfold increase in precision.
So far, it feels like the best use case is a remote control for the phone.
So, is Google allowed to do it? Or is it not allowed to do it?
And about the results on google.com, do they need to be scrubbed in all cases, or only when the search comes from a European IP? Because I suspect the US are going to be quite nervous about the idea that a European court can decide what they are allowed to find in their search results.
I think the regulators are walking on eggs, and deliberately left quite a lot of uncertainty in their announcement. This is far from over…
> Of the 1,400 applications for new internet extensions, exactly one third were the names of well-known existing companies
That is not possible, because 1,400 is not a multiple of three.
That said, I expect that the majority of these companies already own the related *.com domain. In theory, this could make it possible to save four characters when typing. Woo-hoo.
Unfortunately, I suspect that most people will get confused by an internet domain name that does NOT end with .com, .net, .org, .edu or a two-letters country code. As it is, I already do a double-take whenever I see an address ending with .info or .biz.
Go to iphone.apple.com <-- recognizable by 99% of people
Go to iphone.apple <-- Huh?
But why a levy, which is chump change for Google, and not a property-based market for digital news?
Because there is no value for such a market. There are too many websites who are willing to let Google scrape all of their data in exchange of some traffic. The German publishers have clearly demonstrated recently, when they asked Google to show their snippets, even for free. In fact (though it will probably not come to this), the German publishers would probably be willing, on the contrary, to pay Google for showing their snippets. Quite a few websites do this; it is called online advertising, and Google has some experience on the topic.
The problem the publishers have is not that Google scrapes their data; it is that the Internet exists, and contains a lot of cheap competitors who are willing to whore themselves for clicks, and that search engines in general and Google in particular forces them to compete with all this competition. Would Google not exist, the publishers would be in practically the same situation with any number of other search engines, and those might even charge them for the privilege of giving them traffic.
So the levy is the only possibility that remains. It more or less amounts to declare that quality news publishing is not profitable, yet positive for the common good, and so must be subsidized by some kind of tax on businesses that are profitable.
I have a memory that people used to talk how mobile phones were bad for your health due to the radio waves going through your brain… And the single study "supporting" this view that existed at a time was a study from the 1980s showing that people who owned a mobile phone were more stressed than others.
There might have been more studies since then, but I haven't heard of it. People still worry about having a cell phone tower near their house, though.
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