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Comment Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 4, Informative) 104

Not sure how the tourist tax works in Catalonia, but here is how it works in Switzerland.
A typical example is a ski resort, where in the non touristic seasons (winter, autumn) there are 500 permanent residents, while in the high seasons (winter, a bit less in summer), there are up to 5'000 residents. The 500 permanent residents have to provide, through their local taxes, the infrastructure (roads, energy, garbage collection, etc.) required for the 5'000 people in the high seasons, which is not fair. So the tourist tax is meant to correct this, a tax is due for each day a tourist spends at the resort, to finance the overall infrastructure. The hotels and rented flat owners have to collect this tax from their customers. Some include this tax in their overall prices, some others, to look cheaper, do not and charge the tax extra.

Submission + - Sports smart glasses start shipping

krouic writes: Earlier this week Recon Instruments started shipping their long-awaited Recon Jet heads up display for sports, to real-life actual consumers.
Jet's core features are designed for the cyclist and runner, and allow automatic upload of stats to activity tracking services.
They feature an on-board GPS generating real-time performance metrics, an on-board high definition camera for short videos and photos, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and ANT+ for connectivity to 3rd party sensors for heart rate, cadence and power data and smartphone connectivity for caller ID, text messages and music player access and control.

Initial review by DCRainmaker

Comment In Switzerland (Score 5, Interesting) 386

Here in Switzerland, canton Vaud, Tax Day was March 15. It is quite easy : you download a Java app from the government Web site. It works on Windows, Mac or Linux. You can open last year's return to prefill the relevant information, then you are guided through the application as to which fields you need to fill. When done, the electronic form is sent back, encrypted, to the government. In many cases, you do not need to join any other justification document, but they may ask you for them later. Usually, you do not need to send your salary statement either because your employer is required to send it directly to the government so they already have it.


EU To Allow 3G and 4G Connections On Planes 106

jfruh writes "In America we're celebrating the fact that we don't have to stow our Kindles during takeoff and landing anymore, but the EU is going a step further and not requiring passengers to switch their phones to "airplane" mode anymore. If you're on an airplane with a Network Control Unit that regulate cellular connections, you can text and make calls over standard 3G and 4G networks. You'll want to watch out for roaming charges, though, especially if you're on a flight crossing national borders."

Submission + - Pioneer in surround sound, noise reduction dies at 80

krouic writes: Ray Dolby, the American inventor who changed the way people listen to sound in their homes, on their phones and in cinemas, died Thursday in San Francisco. A pioneer in the field of sound, Dolby will be remembered as the man who took the hiss out of sound recordings. With a fortune of $2.4 billion at his death, Dolby truly did make silence golden.
"To be an inventor, you have to be willing to live with a sense of uncertainty, to work in the darkness and grope toward an answer, to put up with the anxiety about whether there is an answer," Mr Dolby once said.

Comment Re:Purposeful (Score 1) 519

Apple software on Windows has always been terrible, thinking it can take control of the whole PC.

A few years ago, most games I bought for my children would refuse to install if the QuickTime version bundled with the game was not also installed. Games refused to run if they detected that the installed version of QuickTime that was not exactly the one that came bundled with them, even if the installed version was more recent. Actually, QuickTime was just needed to play the game's opening sequence....

QuickTime also grabbed all media file associations for itself without asking the user. You had to painstakingly reassociate each media file type with you prefered player after each QuickTime install (including updates).

To me, this was a good summary of Apple's attitude : if you install our product, you would not want to use any other similar product. After this experience, I did not ever bother to install itunes.

God is real, unless declared integer.