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Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 1) 243

by SkunkPussy (#49763439) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

The tax raise can be dealt with in several ways or a combination of all:
1) decrease outgoings (cost of raw materials, cost of staff)
2) decrease outgoings (dividends to shareholders)
3) increase incomings (raise prices).

Where there is a monopoly (or similar types of market failure such as oligopoly) most of the tax raise will be dealt with by 3).

If there is a competitive market then the tax raise will fall somewhat on 1) and 2) as well.

This is one reason that breaking up monopolies is so important.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Prison Messaging System JPay Withdraws Copyright Claims 141

Posted by timothy
from the got-you-coming-and-going dept.
Florida-based JPay has a specialized business model and an audience that is at least in part a (literally) captive one: the company specializes in logistics and communications services involving prisons and prisoners, ranging from payment services to logistics to electronic communications with prisoners. Now, via Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing comes a report from the EFF that the company has back-pedaled on a particularly strange aspect of the terms under which the company provided messaging services for prisoners: namely, JPay's terms of service made exhaustive copyright claims on messages sent by prisoners, claiming rights to "all content, whether it be text, images, or video" send via the service. That language has now been excised, but not in time to prevent at least one bad outcome; from the EFF's description: [Valerie] Buford has been running a social media campaign to overturn her [brother, Leon Benson's] murder conviction. However, after Buford published a videogram that her brother recorded via JPay to Facebook, prison administrators cut off her access to the JPay system, sent Benson to solitary confinement, and stripped away some of his earned "good time." To justify the discipline, prison officials said they were enforcing JPay's intellectual property rights and terms of service.
The Internet

Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality 441

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-neutrality dept.
New submitter grimmjeeper writes: IDG News reports, "A group of Republican lawmakers has introduced a bill that would invalidate the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's recently passed net neutrality rules. The legislation (PDF), introduced by Representative Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, is called a resolution of disapproval, a move that allows Congress to review new federal regulations from government agencies, using an expedited legislative process."

This move should come as little surprise to anyone. While the main battle in getting net neutrality has been won, the war is far from over.
The legislation was only proposed now because the FCC's net neutrality rules were just published in the Federal Register today. In addition to the legislation, a new lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by USTelecom, a trade group representing ISPs.
Businesses

Amazon Sues To Block Fake Reviews 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the 4-out-of-5-stars-would-review-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes Amazon has filed suit against operators of sites that offer Amazon sellers the ability to purchase fake 4 and 5 star customer reviews. The suit is the first of its kind and was filed in King County Superior Court against a California man, Jay Gentile, identified in Amazon's filings as the operator of buyazonreviews.com. The site also targets unidentified "John Does" who operate similar sites: buyreviewsnow.com, bayreviews.net, and buyamazonreviews.com. From the article: "The site buyazonreviews.com, which the suit claims is run by Gentile, didn't respond to a request for comment. But Mark Collins, the owner of buyamazonreviews.com, denied Amazon's claims. In an email interview, Collins said the site simply offers to help Amazon's third-party sellers get reviews. 'We are not selling fake reviews. however we do provide Unbiased and Honest reviews on all the products,' Collins wrote. 'And this is not illegal at all.'"
EU

European Commission Proposes "Digital Single Market" and End To Geoblocking 137

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-big-happy-family dept.
An anonymous reader writes A new initiative from the European Commission proposes a reformed "single digital market", addressing a number of issues that it sees as obstructions to EU growth, including geoblocking — where services such as BBC's iPlayer are only available to IP addresses within the host country — and the high cost of parcel delivery and administration of disparate VAT rates across the member states. The ramifications of many of the proposals within the Digital Single Market project extend to non-EU corporations which have built their business model on the current isolationism of member state markets.
Firefox

Analysis: People Who Use Firefox Or Chrome Make Better Employees 127

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-handsomer-and-better-at-darts dept.
HughPickens.com writes: In the world of Big Data, everything means something. Now Joe Pinsker reports that Cornerstone OnDemand, a company that sells software that helps employers recruit and retain workers, has found after analyzing data on about 50,000 people who took its 45-minute online job assessment, that people who took the test on a non-default browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, ended up staying at their jobs about 15 percent longer than those who stuck with Safari or Internet Explorer. They also tended to perform better on the job as well. Chief Analytics Officer Michael Housman offered an explanation for the results in an interview with Freakonomics Radio: "I think that the fact that you took the time to install Firefox on your computer shows us something about you. It shows that you're someone who is an informed consumer," says Housman. "You've made an active choice to do something that wasn't default." But why would a company care about something as seemingly trivial as the browser a candidate chooses to use? "Call centers are estimated to suffer from a turnover rate of about 45 percent annually (PDF), and it can cost thousands of dollars to hire new employees," says Pinsker. "Because of that, companies are eager to find any proxy for talent and dedication that they can."

Comment: What is the alternative? (Score 2) 309

by SkunkPussy (#49125829) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

Forward secrecy is desirable as we see the NSA hoover up messages then store them until they crack the keys.

Has anybody attempted to bolt forward secrecy on top of SMTP? I would assume that it would need some kind of session key exchange between sender and recipient which would preclude the use of SMTP.

Comment: Re:Pay us for other people's work (Score 1) 208

by SkunkPussy (#49033819) Attached to: Elementary OS: Why We Make You Type "$0"

Writing an OS kernel is very tough work

Writing a shell is very tough work

Writing a graphics driver is very tough work

Developing a package management infrastructure and packaging a large number of programmes is very tough work

Developing a compiler is very tough work.

I maintain that elementary OS have contributed no more than 1% of the effort of their distribution.

I am not saying that elementary don't deserve money, but that they should get to the back of the queue and they absolutely should not demand money for other people's work.

Comment: Pay us for other people's work (Score 5, Insightful) 208

by SkunkPussy (#49032587) Attached to: Elementary OS: Why We Make You Type "$0"

Elementary OS' contribution to their own distribution is probably less than 1%. Almost all the effort into writing and packaging the software has been carried out by others. They are standing on the shoulders of giants. Why the fuck should they demand money for other people's work? It is disrespectful to call people cheaters, when they are grabbing money in exchange for other people's work! If anything, that is cheating. Elementary OS are so entitled its untrue.

Medicine

Alcohol's Evaporating Health Benefits 305

Posted by Soulskill
from the so-much-for-that-justification dept.
New submitter Heart44 writes: A study in the British Medical Journal shows that consuming alcohol — any volume, any type — does not increase life expectancy. The full academic paper is not paywalled. From its conclusions: "Beneficial associations between low intensity alcohol consumption and all cause mortality may in part be attributable to inappropriate selection of a referent group and weak adjustment for confounders. Selection biases may also play a part." The associated editorial adds, "Firstly, in health as elsewhere, if something looks too good to be true, it should be treated with great caution. Secondly, health professionals should discourage suggestions that even low level alcohol use protects against cardiovascular disease and brings mortality benefits. Thirdly, health advice should come from health authorities, not from the alcohol industry, and, finally, the alcohol industry and its organizations should remove misleading references to health benefits from their information materials."

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