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Comment Re:What would you use it for in the U.S.? (Score 1) 242

You might pay dividends to shareholders, you know like companies did in the good old days...or use it for employee compensation or lots of other things. You might not build factories, but on the other hand you might if there were some advantages to doing so (rapid prototyping, flexible manufacturing, JIT with tighter chain) a company could do the right thing every once in a while.

Sorry, no. Dividends are a way to get out from under taxes, just like the employee disbursements that this article is complaining about. I'l *maybe* do one in order to have a paper loss, and end up being able to repatriate funds without paying taxes on them. I may also do it if I'm too tasty a takeover target, and a substantial amount of stock is outstanding (in which cause, I'm more likely to have the Cayman company buy company stock, with the company's own money, instead).

If I want to build a rapid prototyping facility, I'll do it with money already in the U.S., in order to reduce my liability.

If I want to buy chips and make it look like I'm a good guy, then I'll contract with Samsung to build a chip fab in the U.S. from which I'll buy the chips (which is exactly what Apple did, in fact).

But that's beside the point, point is you're going to need to use the money somewhere (and probably not in the tax haven where you're storing it). When you eventually move the money into whatever country you are going to use it in you'll have to pay taxes on it.

No. Very few countries tax you on the differential between the tax rate where the money was earned and where the money is used. The U.S. is one of the exceptions, and with a (max) 35% corporate income tax, and a (max) 15% state income tax, if you used a double Irish on the money in the first place (20%), then you are talking paying another 30% to get to the 50% tax that they want to extract from you.

This is why repatriation is a big deal for U.S. companies -- and why they refuse to do it.

Comment The actual biggest problem: (Score 1) 242

The biggest problem is why Facebook UK made a loss (thus avoiding taxes) -- mostly it was because of the high prices of the letters a, b, c, e, f, k and o which it rents from Facebook US at extortionate rates.

The actual biggest problem: Someone fucked up, and they had to pay £4,327.

Comment Re:So the taxes were collected from salaries inste (Score 0) 242

The main complaint is that multinationals offshore their profits by e.g. licensing key bits of IP from a subsidiary in a tax haven. 'We would have made a profit, but we paid $100 million to use the Facebook logo to Facebook Holdings (Cayman Islands). ' (not an actual quote).

So the answer is, the US government may collect some of it down the line but not the British government.

Unless they decided spending the money in Britain was a better idea than spending the money in the U.S..

Then the British government may collect some of it down the line but not the U.S. government.

Moral to this story: Be a desirable place to invest funds, and people will invest funds there.

Comment Re:So the taxes were collected from salaries inste (Score 1) 242

If I could, I'd give the whole $20/hr to the employee,

Very altruistic, but illogical and unnecessary. If your employee is willing to work for you for $15/hr, why would you pay him $20/hr? Just because you have the money? You might.

I wouldn't.

If I had an extra $5/employee to throw around, and it cost me $15/employee, and I currently had 9 employees, rather than paying each of them the extra $5/hour -- I'd create 3 more jobs at $15/hour, and expand my business.

That's good business.

Comment Re:So the taxes were collected from salaries inste (Score 1) 242

They do report the UK revenue accurately: it's 105 million pounds.

Oh really?

It may be legal, it's not honourable.

Since when have businesses, such as the East India Tea Company, ever given a flying F*ck about honour? Banks don't care, why should anyone else? Because corporate entities have high E.Q.'s, and are capable of "feeling bad"?

Change your laws, and you won't have this problem. Force them to execute the contracts in your country, rather than in Ireland.

Oh wait; you have that pesky little problem of being an E.U. member state, don't you? Sucks to be you, or at least sucks to be you with a higher corporate tax rate than any other E.U. member state...

Comment What would you use it for in the U.S.? (Score 2) 242

I understand that part, what I don't get is what's the long game? They build a huge amount of capital in Ireland, Bermuda, the Caymans, etc. but then what? If they want to actually use that money for something in a country like the US they're going to have to pay taxes on it, no? Seems to me it's really a tax deferral strategy and not avoidance?

What would you use it for in the U.S.?

Build factories? What kind of idiot builds factories in the U.S.?

(1) Labor laws are more strict
(2) There are more unfunded mandates on U.S. labor, since there's no single payer medical, etc.
(3) Environmental laws are more strict
(4) Raw materials, such as Lithium for batteries, would have to be imported
(5) Component materials, such as chips, would have to be imported

It makes no sense; about the only thing of value to use that money for in the U.S. would probably be real estate in SF or NY, etc..

Comment Re:So the taxes were collected from salaries inste (Score 1) 242

Also, I still don't understand how having $100m in overseas reserves you can't really use adds much value for shareholders, sure it adds some but because of the cost of actually using the money it seems like the value it adds would be roughly the same as repatriating the money and paying the taxes on it in the first place.

That's easy: you can spend it overseas without an additional tax burden.

Just don't do anything stupid, like spending it in the U.S., and you're golden.

Comment Re:I don't use siri (Score 1) 112

Overdoing on magnesium can lead to low potassium levels. I assume you get checked, if you get liver panels.

If a stylus works for you ... the general principle of a stylus is that it act as a point source, but still uses the meat-person as the antenna, by having a conductive area attached (usually including a coil) to the tip of the stylus.

This is actually why the stylus was not an option for either the robot, or the person with the prosthetic lower arms and hands (the initial test subject had lost both hands at a point below the elbow, but above the wrist). Running a conductive cable from the conductive area of the stylus back to a copper grounding patch with conductive adhesive enabled the use of the stylus. This was obviously not a long term solution (copper tape, conductive adhesive), mostly due to it being unwieldy and causing irritation, for the same reason, a conductive patch within the sock part of the prosthesis for over the amputated limb, between the prosthesis and the limb was also not an option.

Anyway if the stylus works for you, you either have thick calluses or big fingers, or both, such that your finger doesn't look enough like the other half of the capacitor over the screen as an insulator between the finger and the underlying conductive layer, for coupling to occur. Note that this can also happen if you have one of those protective clear adhesive "screen protectors" on. For most people, though, it's down to their fitness as an antenna, and a stylus wouldn't help (guess that's a differential diagnostic?).

You could always try cutting your finger nails and using the point of your finger instead of the flat of the tip, if it's the "big finger" thing... LOL... or just keep using the stylus, if it works... I suggest velcro tape around a non-contact part of the stylus (or that'll break the circuit to the stylus!), and a velcro patch somewhere on the device itself to stick it to. And then maybe twine or dental floss between the velcro on one or the other... but if you are going to do the twine thing anyway, and don't care about it hanging there... duct tape also works. :)

Comment Re:I don't use siri (Score 1) 112

That's good, what was your fix?

The primary mechanism for capacitive coupling is a voltage differential from a charge on one side of the pad, and a sink on the other. The trick is that this is not a simple ground mechanism, it's a dispersion. In other words, the meat and ion containing water in the body act as an antennae.

The fix is to implement the same type of dispersion to couple the other pole of the capacitor. So what you do is embed a conductive mesh below the surface in the "skin" glove of the prosthetic, and attach it to an antenna at the resonant frequency of H-O bonds. Triggering resonance is the same way microwaves work to heat water (and why they are generally not dangerous ionizing radiation), only this time you want to sink the electron transport, rather than sourcing resonance.

The physical implementation was effectively attaching a 2.4 GHz WiFi antenaa extracted from a laptop to the conductive mesh, and placing it near the surface elsewhere within the prosthetic arm.

I developed the technique as part of building a robot (at Google) to test gesture recognition algorithms on touch screen devices; the device tracked an recorded human movements on the touch surface, and the robot reliably reproduced those movements on the surface to make the same "human" gestures, in a reproducible fashion. The robot had exactly the same capacitive coupling problems that are present in the prosthetics.

I imagine that your own touch problem could be alleviated via a conductive glove, of the type used to use touch screens while wearing gloves, with a similar surface mount 2.4 GHz antenna attached to the back of the glove and wired to the conductive layer.

However... I'd also suggest you check your electrolyte balance -- particularly, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus levels -- and have a test done for peripheral neuropathy, since an inability to use a touch device as you describe could be an indicator of a medical condition, such as anemia, diabetes, or hypokalaemia (typically a result of diuretics or other medication, but also reduced kidney function), hypomagnesia (stress, alcohol abuse, Bartter syndrome, Gitelman syndrome, dietary phytate or oxalate, etc. -- could be a cause of high blood pressure as well, if you have that), or hypocalcemia (pancreatitus, hypothyroidism -- including that caused by Hashimoto's), or something else entirely.

Yes, touch screens can in fact be a medical diagnostic tool pointing to other underlying causes for problems. :)

Comment Locality of self. (Score 5, Insightful) 262

Locality of self.

The problem with almost all "uploading" schemes is that it creates a copy of your brain structure, so it's a copy of you, rather than you. Externally, there might be no apparent difference to an outside observer, but internally, you're kind of dead, if that 1 cubic foot of meat space is no longer functional.

The only hope of an upload of the actual "you" would be an incremental replacement of brain structure, such that you lived in both meat-you and electronic-you at the same time, until the electronic-you completely replaced the meat-you, without a loss of continuity of consciousness.

Otherwise, you're just building pod people. Which could be useful, if you wanted to embed one of them in a starship (or more likely, a tank or other weapon of war), or if you wanted to make a lot of duplicate copies of a particular mind, and didn't care about their locality of self, either.

Comment Re:I don't use siri (Score 1) 112

No, not all advances will suit all people. Don't cripple the rest to make it accessible to those who can't. Let's not tear down the mountains because they can't be climbed by fat people.

Okay, so I'm only sort of guessing where you were going with that. However, no... No you shouldn't slow down progress because some can't keep up. For some reason my 'touch' doesn't seem to work well on most every touch screen. I accept that.

Bad guess, dude.

There's a difference between being *able to* engage certain sensory and motor systems in order to interact with our devices, and *requiring us to* engage certain sensory and motor systems in order to do so.

P.S.: I came up with a "fix" for the capacitive coupling problem and posted it to a prosthetics forum, rather than being an asshole and patenting it. Numerous people have thanked me for it being the first time they've ever been able to use a trackpad (and so on).

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.