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Comment: I would go a step further (Score 1) 602

by RelliK (#48515713) Attached to: UK Announces 'Google Tax'

Countries should make a treaty creating a global tax on corporations. X% would be withheld and then apportioned to each country according to the percentage of revenue. A corporation would have little incentive to play games with profit shifting because X% of global profits would be withheld no matter what. The tricky part would be to distribute the tax fairly among the different countries and to agree on this treaty in the first place. So I'm not holding my breath.

Comment: absolute nonsense (Score 2) 260

by RelliK (#48345535) Attached to: Computer Scientists Ask Supreme Court To Rule APIs Can't Be Copyrighted

Microsoft took Sun's JVM and extended it, without complying with Sun's license.

Google used *none* of Sun/Oracle code, but Oracle is still trying to claim some kind of copyright over the code that Google wrote. This contradicts statements that Sun itself made before it died and was sold to Oracle.

Comment: Re:complex application example (Score 1) 161

by RelliK (#47495829) Attached to: Linux Needs Resource Management For Complex Workloads

> the first ones used threads, semaphores through python's multiprocessing.Pipe implementation. the performance was beyond dreadful, it was deeply alarming. after a few seconds performance would drop to zero. strace investigations showed that at heavy load the OS call futex was maxed out near 100%.

uhhm... wait what?

You are aware that python has global interpreter lock, right? And because of that multi-threaded performance in python is actually *worse* than single-threaded? But this is an inherent flaw in python interpreter and has nothing to do with Linux. It also has nothing to do with the topic of this article.

Comment: bullshit (Score 3, Insightful) 385

by RelliK (#45862473) Attached to: Isaac Asimov's 50-Year-Old Prediction For 2014 Is Viral and Wrong

Just as with Nostradamus, bible, etc. "predictions" they kinda sorta came true if you squint at them the right way. And there are enough true believers to parrot praise in unison. However, a more objective look reveals that these "predictions" are way off.

A guaranteed income,

Welfare, housing assistance, charity. It's rough, but the basics are provided for if you go out and get them.

That is NOT guaranteed income. Welfare (in US at least) has existed since 1935, so that's hardly a prediction.

mass joblessness,

Underemployment. College grads are flipping burgers.

Not to the level that was predicted, and certainly not to the level afforded by guaranteed income.

and strict population controls

China did it. But yeah, it's really not a problem for first-worlders. Asimov didn't see that coming.

Precisely. *One* country has a problem with overpopulation. And their solution is NOT strict population controls, but economic disincentives for families that have more than one child (so it costs more, but rich families can afford it).

would all have much, much larger effects on the world we live in

You're using the term "would have" like these things didn't come to pass.

Because it fucking didn't. Quit trying to see things that are not there.

Comment: Re:This is horrible news (Score 5, Informative) 82

by RelliK (#45666813) Attached to: Decades-Old Rambus Litigation Against Micron For RDRAM Tech Reaches Settlement

Because US patent system effectively legalizes extortion. Some manufacturers rolled over and paid "licencing", but others, like Infineon decided to fight. The jury in Infineon v. Rambus ruled in favor of Infineon, but then Rambus appealed to the federal circuit and got that decision overturned. PJ, of groklaw fame, put it thusly: "federal circuit has never seen a patent it didn't like".

This is just a short summary, you can find more info if you like. Rambus extorted money from pretty much everyone who has so much as touched RAM.

Comment: This is horrible news (Score 5, Informative) 82

by RelliK (#45666583) Attached to: Decades-Old Rambus Litigation Against Micron For RDRAM Tech Reaches Settlement

This is absolutely disgusting. Rambus is the ultimate patent troll. For those not familiar, here is some history.

Back in the 90's, Rambus became a member of JEDEC, an industry consortium of RAM manufacturers. JEDEC rules require members to disclose any patents that are relevant to the technology being discussed. Rambus didn't. It sat in on the meetings, listened, and modified its pending patent applications to cover DDR RAM. After the new RAM standard was adopted, Rambus surfaced its submarine patents and started suing everyone left and right.

Add to that the fact is that Rambus itself does not manufacture anything -- it's a technology licencing house that has a few engineers and an army of lawyers -- and you get a perfect example of a patent troll.

Comment: Or how about this (Score 1) 442

by RelliK (#44009763) Attached to: Birthday Song's Copyright Leads To a Lawsuit For the Ages

Everyone gets initial copyright term of say 10 years. After that, it can be extended by 1 year if the copyright holder pays a fee of $100. To extend it for another year, the fee increases to $200, then $400, $800, etc.

The intent is to give everyone a limited copyright protection. Then, if the copyrighted work is truly valuable, the copyright holder can extend the term by paying a fee. But, the fee increases exponentially every year. The exponential increase in the copyright extension fees reflects the cost to society to extend this monopoly. At some point, extending it will no longer be profitable.

The net result is that all the "abandonware" enters public domain quickly, but authors can still milk truly valuable works -- for a while.

Comment: Re:will not stop the publishers from making DMCA r (Score 1) 648

by RelliK (#43218017) Attached to: Supreme Court Upholds First Sale Doctrine

> And it would be trivial to do so with a system WITH DRM restrictions.

false. The way DRM works is that the content is cryptographically encrypted. And only the vendor has the decryption key.

> Say, what percentage of MP3 players support Ogg and FLAC? Just curious.

pretty much all of them.

Comment: Re:Politicians don't want to address the real prob (Score 1) 768

> I have no presence in the US, not having lived or worked there for 20 years. However, because I haven't (yet) handed back my US passport, the US thinks I ought to be subject to income tax. No other developed country claims the right to tax people who neither live nor work in the country.

I already explained that this is completely backwards. This rule should apply to corporations, not individuals.

Comment: Re:Change the tax structure (Score 1) 768

> The US already does that for personal income tax, but surely you can see the issues:

Yes, it does and this is completely backwards. Individual US citizens (who have presence in only one country at a time) have to pay taxes on their entire income, even if it was made outside US. Corporations (who have presence in multiple countries at the same time) can segregate their income by country, which allows for these accounting tricks.

> And you will happily pay personal income tax to the USA and the UK and France and Germany and Japan, right? When they declare you owe them for whatever reason?

1. UK, France, Germany, etc. cannot declare that I owe them anything because I have no presence there.

2. All of the countries you listed have tax treaties, meaning that tax paid in one country is deductible from the tax due to another country. The result of that is that you do NOT pay US tax + UK tax + France tax + ..., but rather max(US tax, UK tax, France tax, ...). This does create a question of how to fairly allocate taxes among the different countries, but that can be worked out with international agreement.

Comment: Change the tax structure (Score 4, Insightful) 768

The reason these loopholes work is that multinational corporations can allocated their costs to high-tax countries and profits to low-tax countries. For example, a US operation "licenses" some software from a subsidiary in Cayman Islands or pays for "consulting services" that end up eating up all of the profits. Through these tricks a US corporation ends up with near-zero taxable income, while all the profits are transferred to tax havens.

The solution is to tax ALL profits, regardless of which country they were supposedly "earned" in. That way, transferring profits to Bermuda or Luxembourg will have no effect.

Comment: Re:AMD was better (Score 2) 226

by RelliK (#41975529) Attached to: AMD Hires Bank To Explore Sale Options

You are either stupid or you are being deliberately misleading. I can see 7 i3's launched all the way back in... Q3 2012. Nothing before that, and no mainstream i5/i7's. All the other Core CPUs in that list are for laptops (sockets BGA1288 and FCBGA1023).

In contrast, every single one of the AMD CPUs supports ECC and that has been the case since AMD64 launched.

Comment: I had the exact same realization (Score 1) 1142

by RelliK (#41699875) Attached to: Ask Richard Dawkins About Evolution, Religion, and Science Education

As Dawkins himself points out, evolution is quite good at optimizing away traits that are detrimental to survival. Therefore, there must be some advantage to religion.

Humans are no longer subject to traditional evolutionary pressures (starvation & predation). We are the apex predator. The only animals we have to compete against are other humans.

There are only two ways one group of humans can outcompete another group:
1. increase their birth rate
2. destroy the other group
All successful religions promote both of the above goals. (Or, conversely, a religion is successful to the extent it promotes them).

Here are some of the traits that successful religions encourage:

- improved internal cohesion & loyalty. Religions provide certain rules for dealing with other people. These rules must, at the very least, incorporate reciprocal altruism ("do unto as you would have them do unto you").

- enhanced xenophobia. The hatred of the outsiders (particularly those who believe a different set of fairy tales) is proportional to the internal loyalty. Realistically "love thy neighbor" applies only to the members of the in-group, while the outsiders can face anything from discrimination to turture & death. It's no coincidence that so many wars have a strong religious component.

- increased birth rate. There is a strong positive correlation between religious belief and fertility. This is partially a side-effect of the religious dogma (e.g. ban on contraception, sex education, and, in general, infantile attitude towards sex). It can also be part of deliberate strategy (e.g. Quiverfull movement today, mormons in 19th century, etc.)

- coping mechanism. Turns out religious people are, on average, happier than non-religious. Probably because when something good happens, it's evidence that god loves you, and when something bad happens, it's part of god's plan and he loves you.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I'm sure you can think of more. But the point is, successful religions encourage believers to have more babies and kill off the non-believers.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?