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Comment: To put the punishments in perspective... (Score 1) 266

by stepdown (#44259217) Attached to: The Pope Criminalizes Leaks

Anyone who reveals or receives confidential information or documentation risks six months to two years in prison and a €2,000 euro ($2,500) fine; the penalty goes up to eight years in prison if the material concerns the "fundamental interests" of the Holy See or its diplomatic relations with other countries.

Never mind the treatment of Bradley Manning, these punishments are tame even when you compare them to the 50 years faced by Aaron Swartz.

Comment: Here in the UK... (Score 1) 631

by stepdown (#43401159) Attached to: No Such Thing As a Tax-Free Lunch At Google?

In the UK food served in company cafeterias is generally tax exempt, as long as the cafeteria is open to all employees. It's usually where management get their own "premium" menu that their benefit would be considered taxable.

As far as food in general, anything considered non-essential is usually subject to VAT (Value Added Tax) which is our equivalent of US Sales Tax. This leads to arguments as to what is or isn't essential, with the recent Pasty tax being a good example.

Comment: Re:So Microsoft lies (Score 2) 353

by stepdown (#43077709) Attached to: UC Davis Study Concludes H-1B Workers Neither Best Nor Brightest
Might the costs of securing employees green cards etc. be treated as a benefit or part of the first year's salary?

The study also notes that 34% of financial analysts and 71% of lawyers hired from abroad earn over the $100,000 mark, when you consider all professions the figure is 21%.

Comment: Re:Was this ruling because the content was porn? (Score 1) 189

by stepdown (#42977951) Attached to: Troll Complaint Dismissed; Subscriber Not Necessarily Infringer
I imagine that where the material is deemed unsavoury a John Doe approach might have better success.

If being publicly accused of downloading pornography is enough to cause embarrassment people might be more likely to settle out of court, regardless of whether they think the case has merit.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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