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Microsoft

Ballmer Threatens To Pull Out of the US 1142

Posted by Soulskill
from the tax-schmax dept.
theodp writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is threatening to move Microsoft employees offshore if Congress enacts President Obama's plans to curb tax avoidance by US corporations. 'It makes US jobs more expensive,' complained billionaire Ballmer. 'We're better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the US as opposed to keeping them inside the US.' According to 2006 reports, Microsoft transferred $16 billion in assets to secretive Dublin subsidiaries to shave billions off its US tax bill. 'Corporate tax is part of the overall advantage of doing business in Ireland,' acknowledged Ballmer in 2005. 'It would be disingenuous to say otherwise.'"
United States

+ - Obama Plan to Curb Tax Avoidance Irks Tech World 1

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "Barack Obama has squared up for a major battle with big business, announcing a crackdown on offshore tax avoidance and evasion by US multinationals that's designed to raise $210B and make it easier for companies to create 'good jobs here at home'. Obama cited a building in the Cayman Islands where more than 18,000 US companies are housed: 'Either this is the biggest building in the world or it is the biggest tax scam in the world,' he said. 'I think the American people know which it is.' The administration says that more than a third of US foreign profits in 2003 came from Bermuda, the Netherlands and Ireland, and noted US companies paid an effective tax rate of just 2.3% on the $700bn they earned in foreign profits in 2004. Among tech companies affected by the crackdown, Microsoft joined 200 companies who signed a letter complaining that the proposed tax changes would put them at a disadvantage with their rivals, Cisco moaned that the measures 'would adversely impact our ability to invest and grow our business in the U.S.,' and Google declined to comment for the time being."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - A History of MIT Pranks-> 1

Submitted by EWAdams
EWAdams (953502) writes "The Boston Globe has published a visual history of MIT pranks, some going as far back as 1926. Many involve putting improbable objects in high places. Some required considerable skill and ingenuity to execute, such as putting a fire engine on top of a dome or putting a Halo helmet on a statue in such a way that it blends in perfectly."
Link to Original Source
Social Networks

+ - Researchers Analyze Terrorists' Social Networks

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Researchers have developed a new approach to analyzing social networks that could help homeland security find the covert connections between the people behind terrorist attacks by revealing the nodes that act as hubs in a terrorist network and tracing them back to individual planners and perpetrators. Fundamentally, the technique involves "node" discovery where the nodes of a network are the hubs at which different members of the network are connected. Usually, ordinary members have one or two connections, nodes can have several and the critical nodes, the hubs, have many more. Using graph theory and computational data processing the researchers analyzed the network responsible for the 9/11 attacks and found nodes that were not apparent to security experts in advance of the attacks (pdf). "If the investigators had had a warning information on the 19 hijack planners before 9/11, our analysis could have aided the investigators in quickly understanding the complete picture of the organized attack including the covert foundation," says Dr Yoshiharu Maeno. "The short-term target of the responses includes interpretation of the hidden intention of the ... terrorists responsible for the disaster. The long-term target is identification and weakening of the covert foundation.""
Security

+ - Leaked Copies Of Windows 7 RC Contain A Trojan->

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "Pirated copies of Windows 7 RC on file-sharing sites contain malware, according to users who have downloaded the upgrade. Windows 7 RC, which Microsoft will officially launch tomorrow, leaked two weeks ago. 'Just a warning for anyone downloading the new RC builds of windows 7. Quiet [sic] a lot of the downloads have a trojan inbedded [sic] in the setup EXE,' said someone identified as Frank Fontaine on a Neowin.net discussion thread. 'The Setup EXE is actually a container, it appears to be a self-extracting EXE. There are 2 files inside, Setup.exe and codec.exe.' Fontaine's antivirus software identified the codec.exe file as a generic Trojan. Another Mininova commenter, 'WuNgUn,' identified the malware as the 'Falder' Trojan, which downloads fake security software, dubbed 'scareware,' to PCs and installs a rootkit to hide from legitimate antivirus products. Hey, Microsoft warned you."
Link to Original Source
Government

EFF Sues To Overturn Telecom Immunity 369

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-that-it-will-do-much-good dept.
Mike writes "The title says it all — The EFF is suing to have the unconstitutional telecom immunity overturned. 'In a brief filed in the US District Court [PDF] in San Francisco, the EFF argues that the flawed FISA Amendments Act (FAA) violates the federal government's separation of powers as established in the Constitution and robs innocent telecom customers of their rights without due process of law. [...] "We have overwhelming record evidence that the domestic spying program is operating far outside the bounds of the law," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Intelligence agencies, telecoms, and the Administration want to sweep this case under the rug, but the Constitution won't permit it."'"
Image

Gamer Plays Over 30 Warcraft Characters 189

Posted by samzenpus
from the please-go-outside dept.
If your significant other complains that you play too much World of Warcraft, just show them this article about a user named "Prepared." He plays an amazing 36 World of Warcraft accounts on 11 different computers at the same time. He is his own raid group. "It costs me exactly $5711 in subscription costs per year with 36 accounts on the 6 month pay schedule," he writes. "Not bad considering I'm looking at it like it's a hobby and there are more expensive hobbies out there than World of Warcraft."
The Almighty Buck

Report Indicates Widespread H-1B Visa Fraud 397

Posted by kdawson
from the imagine-our-surprise dept.
Vrst1013 notes a Business Week account of a government report examining fraud in the H-1B program. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services just released a report to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee examining issues with fraud and technical violations within this program. Based on a sample size of 246 H-1B petitions, 13.4 percent showed fraud and 7.3 percent showed technical violations, for an overall violation rate of 20.7 percent. There was slso evidence of payment below the prevailing wage, offers of non-existent jobs, and fraudulent documentation. "'The report makes it clear that the H-1B program is rife with abuse and misuse,' says Ron Hira, [a professor] at the Rochester Institute of Technology ... However, both Presidential candidates, Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, have said they support expanding the program."

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments

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