And a <i>special</i> mention to web sites…
That send you back the password by e-mail so that you don't forget it. After insisting you should choose your password carefully.
3439 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007
That under the current system, what these companies do is perfectly legal, and that they must change the law if they want things to change.
Of course, they would not go out and say it that way. They will claim that "companies do not report their tax practices transparently", when in fact those tax practices are completely transparent, it is just that they do not approve of these practices. They will even accuse the HMRC of not doing their job of "policing the tax system", when in fact the HMRC can only apply the laws that have been given to them.
However, I assume that the law was written the way it is for a reason, and that this reason will crop up when they attempt to rewrite the law to make it impossible to do what the companies are currently doing…
Technically, I understand their desire to make money, but I want to scream at the fact that, in this day and age, one would purposefully design a system to be incompatible. I may be wrong, but it seems that Apple is particularly prone to do this, like when they expressly stopped Palm devices to connect to iTunes.
It is not naive. This is exactly what Apple and Google are doing with their Bermuda/wherever offices. Most of the income they make in countries outside of the United States is declared in there, because royalties paid by their subsidiaries all over the world ultimately end up there. Most of that money never comes in the United States, and they don't pay tax on it in the United States. And the US government knows it, and does not say much about it, because it is in fact legal for a US company to do that (Finland might be different, though).
A slightly perverse effect of this is that companies now have an disincentive to invest that money inside of the United States, because if they did, they would first have to bring the money in the country and pay tax on it. And so, they lobby the US government for a tax holiday, which would allow them to bring the money with lower or no tax, arguing it is better for the United States if the money is invested there rather than just growing in an offshore account. This article gives some details.
There are very good reasons for a company making most of its money – possibly all of its money – overseas. Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, probably makes comparatively very little money in Finland. In fact, it is probable that if you did not count the income from outside of Finland, the company would be losing money. So which country gets to tax them? Finland, which probably paid for the education of the employees, and created the society where their talent for innovation was nurtured? United States, where are based most of the companies who actually charge the users (Apple, Google, Microsoft)? The countries of the users, who are managing economies that allow citizens to buy unessential products like games for smart phones? If Google bought Rovio, what would change, and why?
Heck, for all I know, Rovio has a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands which is "managing" Rovio's intellectual property for the whole world, and Rovio is not paying tax anywhere because that subsidiary is their only profitable company anywhere in the world.
If a foreign company sells stuff in a country, the country used not to care. This was such a small part of the economy that it mattered little. Now that large parts of an economy is transborder commerce, it becomes feasible for companies to shop around and earn money where income is taxed less.
Fixing is going to be "fun". I would just tax the transactions, but to take a variation of an old example, if an Australian resident on a British website clicks an ad for a German company brokered by an American company, where is the transaction happening?
I wonder in particular what this $AUD1bn means (note that this is of course revenue, not income). Is this money that were paid by Australian companies to Google because somebody clicked on their ads? Or is it money Google earned because Australians clicked on the ad? And how much of it goes in fact directly to the probably Australian website which was publishing the ad?
Don't need to care where the computer is, it could be on the other side of the country…
Don't need to worry about drivers…
Have other people taking care of maintenance…
Don't lose your data when your PC dies…
For the user, what's the difference between the cloud and a mainframe?
I do have a desktop running on Linux, running a version of Ubuntu 10. I regularly have problems with pop-up menus which refuse to disappear unless I quit the application, and people more knowledgeable than me say that this is a problem with nVidia drivers (I think Linus Torvalds had something to say about nVidia and their drivers).
Admittedly, my last laptop running on Linux was back in 2008.
Which is that its laptops do not come with a crap OS.
…To elaborate a bit: Mac OS X is a Unix-based OS which does not suffer from driver problems. The first point eliminates Windows, and the second eliminates Linux.
Of course, other people have different criteria.
"not manned or unmanned aircraft"… What does that mean? It flies but it is not an aircraft? An aircraft is then defined as being "something that can be picked up on a radar"? Which means a balloon is not an aircraft, then? What about stealth jets?
Also, they dispatched a scientific expedition which sighted the UFOs. What about pictures?
Not that I disagree with the basic conclusion, but you don't make science by saying "no other explanation". This is not a Sherlock Holmes novel, where you can eliminate all possibilities but one. Otherwise, you could take any unexplained phenomenon, and say there is for it "virtually no explanation other than it was aliens".
More to the point, this is a class-action lawsuit. Lawyers can make money out of this, but the people technically bringing the lawsuit can earn at most a dozen bucks out of it.
First, there were those lottery-type lawsuits where one guy could earn millions, not because that was the extent of his damages, but because that was how much the company had to be made to pay in order to stop screwing with consumers. E.g. Ford wouldn't even notice offering a new car to every guy who bothered to complain, they would only fix the problems with their cars under threat of multi-million lawsuits.
Then the class-action lawsuits were invented, so that individual consumers would hardly have an incentive of suing big corporations for a return of just $50 each. But the lawyers still had incentives, because they still earned millions out of such lawsuits.
So now, companies remove the right to class-action lawsuits from their customers in T&Cs. They can now act however they want, and it is not the worth the trouble for any single individual to sue them.
Microsoft 8 will be a failure.
Steve Ballmer will eventually get kicked out, but only after a long drop of market share.
Microsoft will never have so much influence as it did, though it will keep a niche business for corporate solutions.
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin'd.
You will also meet a dark stranger under the influence of Saturn.
I remember, after buying my first smartphone (a Palm Treo) being told by somebody that if you tried to have a single device do the job of both a PDA and a phone, you ended up with a bad PDA and a bad phone (the guy bought a Treo for himself later). I wonder what he would have said to a device doing the job of a phone, PDA, GPS, web browser and game console… he's an iPhone freak now, of course.
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