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Comment: Re: not original (Score 1) 183

by skegg (#48658853) Attached to: Uber Pushing For Patent On Surge Pricing

I suspect the answer lies somewhere in between.

What about India -- under threat of allowing foreign drugs to be replicated without paying patents -- slashing the price they'll pay for said pharmaceuticals?
Surely this is an example of the market not working? (The final price is not the result of supply intersecting demand.)

Of course, it's very important that the pharmaceutical companies remain profitable so they can continue their R&D.
Though ... I don't think there's any imminent cause for concern

Comment: Re:Not seeing the issue here (Score 4, Interesting) 204

by skegg (#48648357) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Use that while you can.

In NSW, the right to silence was dealt a blow similar to laws they have in the UK.

In a nutshell, the new law "encourages" those arrested to open their hearts to the police, and yap away.
Because anything not offered to the police can potentially subsequently be deemed inadmissible in your trial.

This was opposed by civil rights groups and even the LEGAL PROFESSION ... but objections fell on deaf ears.

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 1) 340

No, you're wrong. *Accountants* consider security to be a cost centre.

If we extend your analogy, then entire companies are profit centres, including the cleaners. (Because if the place was a mess with rats everywhere, then business couldn't be conducted.)

The decision to classify something as a Cost Centre or Profit Centre is an accounting one.
I mean, sheesh

"A cost centre is part of an organization that does not produce direct profit"

(emphasis added)

Comment: Re:No bigger than ... (Score 1, Insightful) 325

by skegg (#48546159) Attached to: Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

So we need more regulation to protect the profit of giant corporation? When they fly their plane over my house my property lose value.

Lemme get this straight:
you're concerned about aircraft noise reducing the value of your property, but refuse to accept regulations that may (just may) prevent an aircraft from falling onto you while you're sleeping.

O ... kay ...

Comment: Re:Panic! (Score 5, Insightful) 325

by skegg (#48546127) Attached to: Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

10kg aircraft "threatens" airbus a320. Sure.

Yes, it IS a threat. And a responsible person wouldn't be flying these things where they can put other people's lives at risk.

Might've been a bird, and those don't come with radio control.

Yet airports DO take measures to discourage birds from being in their vicinity. Now, most birds generally don't fear fines and prison sentences, so the measures usually take the form of: (i) changing the environment, to make it less appealing -- removing surrounding trees, food sources, etc; (ii) trained birds of prey; (iii) sound-generating devices.

Why do we hear about incidents with drones but not about incidents with RC aircraft?

RC aircraft have historically been used by a small number of (responsible) hobbyists. Drones are becoming more widespread, and their owners are starting to include idiots.

It's a shame that some idiots are behaving this way. I say release the falcons on them!

Comment: Re:Good for them (Score 4, Interesting) 158

by skegg (#48363805) Attached to: Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals

Up until about a decade or so ago in Australia, some clever private individuals established companies and worked their 9 - 5 job through the company, enjoying much lower tax rates and other such benefits of corporate law (shifting losses to other years, etc).

The Australian Tax Office stepped-in and declared if you look like a private individual, walk like a private individual and quack like a private individual ... you're a private individual and will pay tax at the appropriate rate. You'll also receive a fine for trying to be clever.

So clearly, the government is able to crack down on those who try to be clever and follow the LETTER of the law but not the SPIRIT of the law. Unfortunately, the government is very SELECTIVE when deciding where to act.

Comment: Re:Simple fix (Score 1) 158

by skegg (#48363711) Attached to: Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals

Knowing that the tax laws allow large corporations to get a refund of prior year taxes when they have a loss I asked my accountant about it. His response was that it would cost far more to file the paperwork than what the refund would be.

This here is the real zinger.

Almost everything that these large corporations do which results in them realising such lower effective tax rates -- lower than small businesses, and lower than even lowly paid employees -- is LEGAL, however EXPENSIVE to achieve.

Let's say the professional advice, off-shore entities, and expenses for submitting paperwork to government departments costs a million dollars a year (I plucked that number out of the air): a company would need revenue many times that to make it worth all the effort. So existing laws -- which make such behaviour legal -- favour larger corporations.

It's the same with family trusts in Australia: they're legal financial instruments that "coincidentally" allow people to decimate their income tax obligations. Unfortunately, they're also a little costly to establish and maintain, so only wealthy people end-up using them.

NONE of these laws are by chance ... I believe they're DELIBERATELY DESIGNED to benefit the wealthy.

Comment: Re:Welcome to 1970, China! (Score 1) 109

by skegg (#48285995) Attached to: China Completes Its First Lunar Return Mission

Wrong: the specs are still present, and much of the institutional knowledge is still present.

What the US lacks is the financial will however, rest-assured that both the US and Russia could hop back into the space race whenever they chose. It would hurt financially, but they could do it.

These countries are choosing not to spend as much on space programmes as they once did. Back against the wall, they could switch priorities.

I wish people would stop playing-out their fantasy that former world leaders (US, UK, Russia, France) are wounded giants with buzzards surrounding them ... they pack a mean punch and will continue to for some time.

Comment: Re:It's sad (Score 1) 427

by skegg (#48023287) Attached to: Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

I agree: Google is outright "aggressive" when attempting to capture user data.

And they employ numerous techniques:
    - persistent nagging - incessantly asking for additional data/permissions despite consistently declined in the past
    - trying to capitalise on user error - making it easy to sign-up for services you don't actually want (convert to Google+)
    - and now, forcing manufacturers to add services many people don't actually want (why do we have app stores, anyway, if apps are pre-loaded?)
    - making permissions generic - allowing more aggressive apps to be waved through
    - not allowing granular permissions - anyone remember this?

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.