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Comment: Re: Paid taxes (Score 1) 309

In that case, France would charge an import tax.

But what really happens is the book is printed in Germany, sold to Amazon in Luxembourg, sold to someone in France, and all the profit funneled through Netherlands and/or Ireland, where is somehow becomes no profit and hence no tax due.

Comment: Re:Summertime fireworks (Score 1) 340

by xaxa (#47385753) Attached to: On 4th of July:

I don't know if 10:00 is particularly late when sunset is around 9:00. I can't imagine that small children would want to go to bed when it's still light out.

In northern latitudes they pretty much have to. I do myself sometimes, in June and July, and wake up well past sunrise, which tomorrow is at 4:50. Nautical morning twilight (when the sky starts to visibly change colour) is at 2:53. (This is London, 55N. Most of Northern Europe is further north.)

(There's no "night" tonight, only astronomical twilight. But that's a technical definition -- it's dark outside.)

Comment: Re:Hello Americans (Score 1) 340

by xaxa (#47385705) Attached to: On 4th of July:

No, it just wasn't dark yet. Yeah, light pollution sucks, but you could tell it wasn't truly dark by the fact that it was noticeably darker after the fireworks were over than when they began. Just looked it up and "nautical twilight" began around 10:40, and "astronomical twilight" at 11:40 pm.

I'm surprised by that, as I live a good way north of most of the USA, in London.

I looked up Macinaw City (since I've been there): sunrise is 05:54, sunset 21:32, solar noon 13:43. Accounting for DST, that's 43 minutes "off".

In London, solar noon is at 13:05 (we are also on DST), sunrise 04:50, sunset 21:20. Almost an hour's extra daylight. (And no astronomical twilight at all until 22 July.)

The local Americans (quite a big group, there's an "international" school not far away) had their fireworks at 21:30, for some odd reason.

Comment: Re:Example (Score 2) 75

by xaxa (#47380089) Attached to: Duolingo is a Free, Crowdsourced Language Learning App (Video)

I learnt German and French at school, so I know how to learn a language, particularly European ones. I don't recall being frustrated with not knowing why I was wrong. Screenshot of the app showing the same mistake:

I found the mobile app really useful for learning some Spanish before going on holiday to South America earlier this year. One press turns off the microphone exercises, either permanently or for the next hour.

Comment: Re:waste of time (Score 1) 380

by xaxa (#47328593) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

Block a roundabout with traffic going one way, and all ways come to a dead stop, probably backing that street up to clog up another roundabout and you get a chain reaction from intersection to intersection.

That's not the case. If most cars are going from the north to the south, the entrance from east to west isn't blocked. If there are cars going both N-S and S-N then it is blocked, but only until one car from N or S goes E or W.

The alternative is a crossroads with traffic lights, which will show red to the E and W roads for most of the time, and have to stop all the cars for a whole light sequence when one arrives.

Comment: Re:Index it to inflation (Score 3, Interesting) 619

by xaxa (#47276165) Attached to: 2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

how about a bike and feet tax instead, they should pay their side of things...

Places for people to cycle and walk are so incredibly cheap compared to roads (and railways) that is really isn't worth bothering with a special tax to fund them.

I can't find the Dutch document I read recently, which said the highest quality cycle+pedestrian paths at the side of a new road added less than 10% to the cost.

Comment: Re:Reasons to use Snail Mail (Score 2) 113

by xaxa (#47275133) Attached to: US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'

When my father died, I reset the password on his email account (it was running on the family domain, which I administer) which made it easy to discover and close various online accounts, find contact details for people we thought should be invited to the funeral, and generally find out more about things we knew existed, but didn't know much about.

We didn't go through gigabytes of data, but searched (it's GMail).

I haven't thought to close the account, and I don't know if my mum still has reason to access it, but since it's costing me nothing and I never notice it it will probably be around for a while.

Comment: Re:The cloud (Score 1) 387

by xaxa (#47265543) Attached to: Code Spaces Hosting Shutting Down After Attacker Deletes All Data

Safest of all, a different geological area.

A different geological area? Does the type of rock under the building really impact backup safety? Safer still might be a different geographical area.

Maybe he's reminding us it would be unwise to put it elsewhere on the same floodplain, same faultline or under the same volcano?

Comment: Re:Customers in the east (Score 1) 141

by xaxa (#47260959) Attached to: I typically start my workday ...

I don't disagree with you. I'd rather go out of my way than inconvenience someone else. However, could it be that the bulk of the workforce was stationed around the pacific rim, thus it would be rude and arrogant to expect them all to change their habits for the handful of people off in the UK?

I understand that to a point, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to ask that the staff in California (no matter how many there are in each location) are present at work at the normal American time of 9am.

Comment: Re:Overreach as a bug, not a feature (Score 4, Informative) 248

by xaxa (#47253541) Attached to: Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index

She continues (I'll quote a lot, my emphasis at the end):

[141] Google gives as an example of such jurisdictional difficulties the case of Yahoo! Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le Racism et L’Antisemitisme [Yahoo]. In 2000 two French anti-racism groups filed a suit in France against Yahoo alleging that Yahoo violated a French law prohibiting the display of Nazi paraphernalia by permitting users of its internet auction services to display and sell such artifacts. The plaintiffs demanded that Yahoo’s French subsidiary,, remove all hyperlinks to the parent website ( containing the offending content. As in this case, Yahoo argued that the French Court lacked jurisdiction over the matter because its servers were located in the United States. The French Court held that it could properly assert jurisdiction because the damage was suffered in France and required Yahoo to “take all necessary measures” to “dissuade and render impossible” all access via by internet users in France to the Yahoo! internet auction service displaying Nazi artifacts, as well as to block internet users in France from accessing other online Nazi material: 145 F Supp 2d 1168 (ND Cal 2001) at 1172.

[142] Yahoo claimed that implementing the order would violate its First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and therefore could not be enforced in the United States. The French Court did not accept that submission. Yahoo initiated a suit in California against the French plaintiffs, and obtained a declaratory judgment that the French orders were constitutionally unenforceable in the United States, contrary to the first amendment. Addressing the issue of international comity, the Court reasoned that United States Courts will generally recognize and enforce foreign judgments but could not do so on the facts of that case because enforcement of the French orders would violate Yahoo’s constitutional rights to free speech: 169 F Supp 2d 1181 (ND Cal 2001) at 1192-1193. This decision was ultimately reversed on different grounds: 379 F 3d 1120 (9th Cir 2004), reheard in 433 F 3d 1199 (9th Cir 2006).

[143] Yahoo provides a cautionary note. As with Mareva injunctions, courts must be cognizant of potentially compelling a non-party to take action in a foreign jurisdiction that would breach the law in that jurisdiction. That concern can be addressed in appropriate cases, as it is for Mareva injunctions, by inserting a Baltic type proviso, which would excuse the non-party from compliance with the order if to do so would breach local laws.

[144] In the present case, Google is before this Court and does not suggest that an order requiring it to block the defendants’ websites would offend California law, or indeed the law of any state or country from which a search could be conducted. Google acknowledges that most countries will likely recognize intellectual property rights and view the selling of pirated products as a legal wrong.

Comment: Re:Doesn't this already happen? (Score 2) 248

by xaxa (#47253521) Attached to: Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index

That's the point the judge made.

He noted that an order from a French court to remove Nazi symbols from failed, as the California court overturned it. But, he granted this order because he considers removing links to these websites (infringing "intellectual property", it doesn't say what kind) would be valid in most countries.

...this is an awesome sight. The entire rebel resistance buried under six million hardbound copies of "The Naked Lunch." - The Firesign Theater