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

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

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

> 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

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

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

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

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

> 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.

"I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid" -- the artificial person, from _Aliens_