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New 'Google' For the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy 156

First time accepted submitter turkeydance (1266624) writes "The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online. Grams, which launched last week and is patterned after Google, is accessible only through the Tor anonymizing browser (the address for Grams is: grams7enufi7jmdl.onion) but fills a niche for anyone seeking quick access to sites selling drugs, guns, stolen credit card numbers, counterfeit cash and fake IDs — sites that previously only could be found by users who knew the exact URL for the site."

How Apple Sidesteps Billions In Global Taxes 599

An anonymous reader writes "An article at the NY Times explains the how the most profitable tech company in the world becomes even more profitable by finding ways to avoid or minimize taxes. Quoting: 'Apple's headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company's profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains. California's corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada's? Zero. ... As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world. ... Without such tactics, Apple's federal tax bill in the United States most likely would have been $2.4 billion higher last year, according to a recent study (PDF) by a former Treasury Department economist, Martin A. Sullivan. As it stands, the company paid cash taxes of $3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $34.2 billion last year, a tax rate of 9.8 percent."

Battle Over Minimum Pricing Heating Up 272

The Wall Street Journal is covering developments in the gathering battle between manufacturers and retailers / discounters, especially online ones, over minimum prices. Earlier this year the Supreme Court upheld the right of manufacturers to enforce price floors for their products. Since then, manufacturers have increasingly been employing service companies like NetEnforcers to snitch on discounters who offer goods below "minimum advertised prices" (or MAPs), and to send DMCA takedown notices to the likes of eBay and Craigslist for below-minimum offers. Separately, the Journal reports that a coalition of discounters and retailers is using eBay as a stalking-horse in a campaign to get consumers, and then politicians, fired up enough to pass legislation outlawing MAPs.

Paypal Founder Puts a Half Million Dollars Into Seasteading 275

eldavojohn writes "Wired is running an informative article on Paypal Founder Peter Thiel's investment in seasteading. There's a great graphic indicating how the spar design helps platforms weather rough seas with a ballast. There's a lot more than just Thiel throwing the half million towards this and they hope to pitch this to San Fransisco for a bay pilot. Ocean colonies can be both liberating and also downright human-rights-lacking scary."

Refund of Long-Distance Telephone Taxes 303

pertelote writes "Over 108 years after financing the Spanish American War, the tax on long-distance phone calls is finally being repealed. The IRS is supposed to refund our last three years worth of taxes for both landlines and cell phones on our returns next year. The phone companies sued because they did not want the hassle of collecting the tax. The tax is no longer in effect on 31 July, 2006." Don't get too excited about a big windfall. From the article: "Consumers, who pay about 40 percent of the taxes collected, typically pay about $18 a year in excise taxes if they have a long-distance service and a cellphone. They will be able to file for a refund on their 2006 federal income tax returns."

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval