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Comment: Amazon has convinced many people they are cheap (Score 1) 121

by stefancaunter (#43482787) Attached to: Businesses Moving From Amazon's Cloud To Build Their Own
I'd love to see more people taking on scale themselves, but unless the perception that Amazon is a good deal changes, this won't change much in the way of their dominance. Unless you've actually been taken to the cleaners by them on a project, and can convince your boss that owning/renting gear is a better plan, they will still be a first choice vendor. Decision makers read magazine articles (when they aren't playing games on their phone) that tell them Amazon saves them money. Everyone sits around in a meeting and nods their head.

Comment: Re:USA != world (Score 3, Informative) 134

by stefancaunter (#41982631) Attached to: RIM Offering Free Voice Calling In Attempt to Remain Competitive
Canada is worse than that, the carriers are not forced to invest in decent infrastructure, so they can cherry pick markets and coverage, and invest their massive profits from price gouging into the sports teams they all own, bought so they can monopolize content on their TV plans.

Comment: Re:"On the rise" (Score 1) 999

by stefancaunter (#41065753) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate?
Finland, and Scandinavia, are quite expensive, but they do have things which Canada and the US would love. Pretty much everyone works. Everyone who works can afford a decent place. Also, everyone seems to take pride in what they do. You don't get "this isn't me" from people in the service industry, which is the norm in the US for example. Scandinavian education systems are excellent, and produce knowledgeable, skilled graduates who are curious and empathetic. The majority of the populations speak good English and transact business in English. Winter is beautiful and you have to dress for it, so "cold" becomes "I didn't dress properly", not "it's cold" (which it is, it was -30C there last January). Driving is atrociously expensive, but transport is good and is a priority. With the exception of the health care system, Canada is only saner than the US in the cities, but access to health care is only good in Canadian cities. The US is saner than the US in its cities too. Canadian public educational standards have become quite lax over the last 30 years to the detriment of the workforce, which is an opportunity for the rest of the world, although college technical training is excellent, and most of the universities are good.

Comment: Youtube does sound bad (Score 1) 468

The prevalence of mp3 proves endlessly that people want convenience for their favourite song. Youtube and mp3s hurt my ears, but I use them all the time. My records sound lovely, but they sit in a box. Honestly, I'm more interested in what someone like Craig Leon (Ramones, New Fads) or Rick Rubin (google it) think. As far as the ripping thing goes, I've said for 20 years that people don't copy and listen to stuff they don't like.

Comment: Nationalization is the answer (Score 1) 165

by stefancaunter (#38810501) Attached to: CRTC Says Rogers Violating Federal Net Neutrality Rules
Rogers, and Bell, should be nationalized. They simply exist to provide net to Canadians. They have one area of expertise - self-preservation. They spend the billions of dollars they get, on lawyers to lobby the government, and on advertising, so that none of the media companies will question their business practices. The actual service they provide should get taken over by the government and provided at cost to Canadians, since it is provided by government license anyway. Rogers has bought up every sports property in Toronto, and will be limiting viewership to pay subscribers to their expensive premium sports channels (sound familiar Yankee fans?); they are allowed to get away with it by transferring a percentage of their revenue to other media companies in the form of "advertising", which means no one will call them on their ways for fear of losing ad revenue. Discussing throttling is missing the point. If the government is supporting this, they should take it over for the benefit of the citizenry, not a bunch of bastards.

Comment: Re:Free sppech? (Score 1) 1070

by AK Marc (#30855890) Attached to: Supreme Court Rolls Back Corporate Campaign Spending Limits
I don't know how many individuals pay and effective 71% tax rate on their person income.

People pay it on their gross. Exxon made $477 billion, and paid taxes at a lower rate than a person who made those numbers.

In 2008, ExxonMobil (one of the favorite targets of the Left) made $45 billion in net profit; they paid $34.5 billion in sales taxes, $41.7 billion in other taxes and duties, and $36.5 billion in income taxes

Sales taxes? When those are generally charged, the person buying pays them. Why do they get to claim them when no other business collecting and passing on the customer's payments counts them? I guess it doesn't matter fiscally if you take them in and pay them out equally, but put it on the report and nutjobs count sales taxes as something the corporation pays. And "other taxes" is in a financial statement. They call the fees for removing oil from the ground in Alaska "taxes." They run ads on TV stating they are "taxes." However, the reality is that the oil is owned by the State of Alaska, and they are paying below market value for the oil, and paying for what isn't theirs is "taxes" because it's owned by the government? Yeah, that really counts as taxes.

And this also means that basically 25% of the cost of the gas you pump into your car is used to pay the taxes that ExxonMobil pays to the Government. On top of the ~$0.60 per gallon in direct taxation you pay (at least here in Washington State). On that $3/gallon of gas, ExxonMobil is making about $0.28; the Government is $1.35.

$0.184 per gallon goes to the feds, and $0.36 to the state, in the state of WA. You are speaking like the "sales taxes" you counted don't include the excise taxes. It's a corporate cashflow, they have to account for the cash, even if it isn't theirs. You are counting the excise money twice. And counting it against their tax percentage. And "other taxes and duties" seems to me to be nothing more than fees for taking oil. It's part of the cost of the oil, as the resources are often owned by governments or shipped across borders. They paid 7.5% of their gross income (what people are taxed on) in income taxes. That's better than the average middle class family. So I don't see the problem, and it seems you have to use creative accounting to make it look like the poor oil companied are getting raped by the government by having to pay 7.5% of their income in income taxes.

Comment: PS3 (Score 1) 170

by rikkitikki (#30854186) Attached to: Affordable and Usable Video Conferencing?

You can do video chat on the PS3. And you can chat with multiple people at the same time. I've personally done it with three people. I don't know what the limit is. All you need is a PS3, a compatible webcam (could be a Playstation Eye, PS2 EyeToy, and there's various other webcams that supposedly work), and a network connection and you're done. Oh, sorry, replied too fast...missed the requirement about needing to be viewable on a PC. Well if that's not a strict requirement, then you can think about the PS3 option.

Comment: Re:Day-to-day news irrelevant (Score 1) 219

by stefancaunter (#29623121) Attached to: Postmortem for a Dead Newspaper
Well, I work for a media co based on a dead-tree newspaper, and that's the important thing. Make other media - websites, whatever, make money. Use the dead tree thing to drive clicks to the websites, and run em like they're extensions of the old broadsheet. My news/website is fine, started years ago. See wapo, nyt, etc. It's how you use your distribution and penetration in the market. Being a dead-tree newspaper is a start, or an ending, depending on how you build out.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.