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Comment tax haven book explains impact on society (Score 2) 432

I beg to differ. It's not up to just beancounters and lawyers to find loopholes, they're on the inside of this. THAT's part the of problem because they make the tax laws.

It's up to everyone to be vigilant and recommend mechanisms to identify and discourage loopholes. These tax haven users should pay the same taxes. To make the tax system even more fair, for every transaction where revenue is made, that revenue should be taxed and paid to the government where the selling company resides right away. Usage-based taxing, just like they do for their clients using cash/interac/paypal/mastercard. There should be no exceptions/waivers/grandfather clauses for any individual or corporation or other kind of business entity. If the lawyers in the parliament/congress don't expedite quickly enough the public's request for tax fairness, then we should question whether these tax lawyers have the better good of the majority of the public at heart. We should then probably appoint other kinds of individuals to create/enforce laws for tax fairness in every country. WCIT could help with this considering all international communication is internet-based.

It's a coincidence that I just heard about a book called "Treasure Islands" by Nicholas Shaxson recently about tax havens. From what I understand, the book discusses tax havens impacting heavily on world politics and economies and have much to do with world's current economic problems. Here's a quote: "A fundamental building block of modern economic theory is transparency: Markets work best when two sides to a contract have access to equal information. Treasure Islands explores a system that works directly and aggressively against transparency. Offshore secrecy shifts control over information and the power that flows from it toward the insiders, helping them take the cream and use the system to shift the costs and risks onto the rest of society."

Comment SABERTOOTH990FX and HIS 7970 UBUNTU 12.04/12.10 (Score 1) 286

I have nothing but praise for AMD.
The SABERTOOTH990FX motherboard 8GB RAM with the AMD FX-8120 Eight-Core CPU and the HIS 7970 graphics card rocks with UBUNTU 12.04/12.10.
AMD also supports opencl very well with the AMDAPPSDK.

There are others here saying ARM is a competitor, but they are competing more in the GFLOPS/Watt market rather than pure GFLOPS. Nobody here mentioned the Loongson Godson 3A/3B cpu competing in the GFLOPS/Watt market, but they haven't arrived in North America yet mainly because of Intellectual Property reasons. Eventually they will arrive in North America.

From my standpoint, AMD does still have its loyal fanbase for desktops and servers which want respectable performance at a competitive price without caring about GFLOPS/watt. I got more bang for my buck when I bought the above configuration. I have confidence in AMD and will be buying other AMD-based motherboards/CPUS/Graphics in the future. I hope whatever AMD internal bickerings they have stay internal and that AMD keep on churning out great product as they have been. Keep in mind AMD, Intel and ARM all have their niche markets and that's why all of them will continue to thrive. AMD's R&D headaches are no surprise, all companies have headaches like these.

There are other reasons consumers/small business owners would also buy non-Intel architecture based systems. For example having different hardware helps to have a better security because if there is an Intel-based virus flying around and it hits a Loongson/MIPS/ARM cpu for example, it will have less probability to propagate. Keeping that perspective there is more of a COOPETITION going on because we need the varieties of CPUs in order to provide better security.
The complexity of hardware helps elevate the level of security. There is effort involved with learning all these different hardware chipsets and their intricacies.
Security is everyone's concern and every consumer should be aware of this and buy accordingly. I look forward to seeing Loongson in the North American market simply because it will make things very interesting for all consumers and small businesses across the planet, but I'm still a loyal AMD consumer because I have been satisfied with their product for over 12+ years and that's nothing to sneeze at. Hats off to AMD.

Comment Find local geeks to make the ISP hold up its end (Score 1) 345

My wife and I recently moved in with supportive older and less tech-knowledgeable couple helping us in our difficult unemployment situation. As part of the move we encountered the same problem of "the actual bandwidth profile wasn't close to the paid and expected Bandwidth profile" because the homeowners didn't know much about computers. The house has been for years actually performing at roughly 1.4Mbps download speed and .2~0.4Mbps upload speed when they paid for 2Mbps dl and .512Mbps upload.

Step 1)We checked with dslreports.com and speedtest.net, then called the ISP to rectify the problem. They reluctantly replied to the homeowners that they live in a legacy home area and that there was nothing they could do and then hung up. So the next time we called them with us present to discuss and further complain to improve the quality of service(QOS) considering all the years that they have been paying and not getting the expected QOS. They brought in a techie and discovered it was a squirrel that chewed through the lines and had the outside phone line replaced at no cost.

Also related
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Step 2)It was obvious they were living with 1997-style Internet profiles so we suggested them to upgrade considering the number of people in the home using the internet. We are testing a 25Mbps download and 7 Mbps upload now. It was installed and wired to a new VDSL modem. There is only one VDSL line in the entire house which meant only one computer was directly wired to the new VDSL modem and getting the full 25Mbps. The other 3 devices were using wifi, but the bandwidth was trickling to the other devices because the new encryption defaults from the new VDSL modem make it so. The 3 wifi devices were getting 2Mbps download ~ 5Mbps download which is definitely lower than the QOS 25Mbps download as advertised. We called the ISP to mention that and their answer was that's how it works.

Step 3)Lowering the encryption standard to up the wifi speed is an option but it makes the wifi more vulnerable to wardriving. Tried it but the QOS was still below the threshold. I decided to download new drivers for the the wifi dongles I had. It helped but it was still performing below the QOS.

Step 4)Considering buying a better quality router which does better-performing wifi encryption, but not at the expense of the expected QOS. We haven't done this yet because haven't read any comparison on VDSL routers discussing wifi encryption performance yet.

Step 5)Wired the devices physically where I could using "Fishing Line" to pass it through the hard to reach places. Masking tape and some 30feet thin rope was used to place the ethernet cable in the house. The "Fishing Line" cost 20$. NOW there are 2 devices in the house running at the full QOS 25Mbps dl / 7Mbps ul profile. The other devices have to make do until we find better wifi encryption hardware.

Comment traditional search Facebook Twitter, and Tumblr (Score 1) 184

No matter kind of comment this FORMER google exec says, google's search engine will always be my first place to search. These other sites have their complementary values when associated with search engines to get there in the first place, but these facebook, twitter, tumblr sites serve entirely different purposes. Google's search engine is broader in search than simply going to facebook for example. If you simply use facebook, you won't find anything outside of the facebook's walled-garden because that's the way they market it. When you're looking under every rock for something, you don't want to limit yourself to just facebook or just twitter or just tumblr. Facebook/twitter/tumblr impose people to login before viewing any of the public content which is inconvenient. These sites are selfish as they are walled-gardens forcing people to register accounts with them before content is released through the internet. Slashdot on the other hand has a different approach. Everyone may view slashdot content that they found from google's search engine without logging into slashdot. Which makes it available to all on the internet and not just slashdotters. Slashdot is a pseudo-walled garden because you need to register an account to post comments. Privacy and anonymity are account options. Paying money to slashdot as a premium subscriber does ensure access to the most recent update articles which don't go public for something like 24 hours. It's an edge if you're desperate to have that edge. That edge means google's search engine doesn't see premium stuff for last 24 hours if I understood correctly. Information found on facebook/twitter/tumblr cannot be worth more than information found on any other web sites to the extent that it's worth BILLIONS$$$. Google itself is priceless and almost universally accessible because it has links to every website bringing value to every website in a sense of coopetition.

In response to Mr. Masie: "Those things have a better result because the penetration, the personalization associated with it, and the constant freshness of the content. So I believe that Google's search volume – the business Google is in on the search side – that business is shrinking. "

IMHO I believe he is wrong. Google's business will not shrink. It will ever expand due to the nature of web search engines infinitely finding web pages wherever they may be, on public web sites, pseudo-walled-gardens and all-out walled-garden web sites. The bottom-line is walled-gardens(facebook, twitter, tumblr) will never replace traditional search engines, but the traditional search engines will get smarter in terms of how they pass-thru the walled-gardens in order to deliver on their promise: indexing the entire web and making it available on as many devices as possible.

Comment Try Advent Vega(AKA P10AN01) (Score 1) 356

It has the tegra 2 chipset with 3D capability. If a high-resolution webcam isn't your priority, then give the Advent Vega a try with the latest VEGACOMB ROM. Doing this certainly emphasizes the tegra's 3D capability. Here is a clear walkthru as to update the rom for it to Honeycomb 3.2 on the Advent Vega(AKA P10AN01) == VEGACOMB:
http://www.tabletroms.com/forums/vega-rom-development/3544-walkthru-latest-vegacomb.html
You need a USB Type A Male to Type A Male cable in order to install the ModdedStockRom V2. To save time, you need Windows XP with the Advent Vega usb drivers. Following this recipe if done correctly will bring you to VEGACOMB 3.2 update 3 in around 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

I also recommend you get the Advent Vega Docking station while you're at. I regret not getting it at first because it saves time connecting the tablet to the dock instead of to all sorts of cables for tv and usb.

Comment CarrierIQ intrusivity = 911 benefits for everyone? (Score 1) 322

We rely on the fact that CarrierIQ staff are reliable, trustworthy, vigilant and proactive. In that manner the CarrierIQ System will benefit everyone, not just the government.

Recently a man I knew passed away from a heart attack while attempting to make a 911 emergency call. He managed to dial "9" and "1", but not the final "1". The CarrierIQ system could have detected this and proactively alerted the relevant authorities. The CarrierIQ system is passively relaying data to the overseeing security/police authorities anyways so it is reasonable to request they modify the CarrierIQ system to proactively identify probable emergency scenarioes and help bring aid as soon as possible. Phones could have built-in sensors to activate and confirm the emergency scenario in order to prevent wasted resources from mobilizing.

Of course CarrierIQ has a lot of room for corruption and abuse. That's why these systems need transparency and accountability and other checks and balances. One thing is certain: the general public should pay more attention to CarrierIQ because it is so highly intrusive into our private lives.

Hats off to Trevor Eckhart for being so vigilant.

Comment Re:Repeat after me, Ubuntu is not Linux ok (Score 1) 225

Ubuntu is Linux just as much as any flavor. I've been installing and running with Ubuntu since roughly 2004.(dapper or breezy). Sure I've had issues at times with certain things, but there hasn't been an instance where I couldn't find something someone else actually resolved before I could get my hands dirty. The Launchpad and associated Ubuntu knowledge base have always come through for me. I love Debian too. But give credit where credit is due. Ubuntu has gotten snappier over time when using the same hardware. NOTICEABLY SNAPPIER. HATS OFF TO UBUNTU.

To those other guys trolling here and bad-talking ubuntu, you should be grateful the Ubuntu flavor exists as an OS alternative to try and run with. It certainly doesn't stop you from installing and running other Linux flavors.

When I purchase a new box, the first thing I'm going to do is to install the latest version of Ubuntu, and give unity a whirl. If I don't like it, I'll resort to the GNOME GUI. But if they removed my GNOME choice of gui, I'll have to resort to Debian which is fine too. I'm grateful for all these alternatives that are not MS-WINDOWS because the world needs them. All of you should be grateful for this Linux variety too.

Comment Android w/Scalable Window Managers to MID/Desk/Srv (Score 1) 152

Android has its place for Mobile Internet Device Tablets and that is Android's niche market. Full-capability Linux is the best place to be for everything at home and the office. Having Android x86 for x86-based MID's is ok, but GFLOPS/WATT rankings are yet to be seen on x86 and ARM MID's. If that happens, people will want full-capability Linux and not some restrained version of it such as Android. I find the full-screen touch menus on 5 inch display ok, but on 10 inch Android devices it seems cumbersome and immature because of the pure fact that they take up the entire touch screen real estate when they appear. That isn't necessary. People don't have 10 inch thumbs or at least not yet. The display screens are large enough, but the menus seem targeted for the smaller PIM devices. Work needs to be done to simply bring touch to full-capability Linux and make the menu/button sizes scale proportionally to bigger and smaller touch displays similar to the JAVA's GridBagLayout container and XWindow/X.org/GTK's container xoptions/yoptions to stretch different widgets proportionally to the size of the window. Window managers can work on bigger touch displays. It would be nice that Android could give the option to run the gnome/kde/unity window managers once the bigger displays are detected. If Android integrates gnome/kde/unity, odds are Android will also dominate the desktop for every supported architecture eventually. Android could simply be the consolidated (FEDORA/DEBIAN/UBUNTU) name-brand for the different Linux flavors. It would be easier to keep the Android Devices updated if they were using the repository update tools that already existed. Why it's not already in place is political I'm certain, but common-sense dictates this capability will happen whether the telecom companies like it or not. DIGITAL FREEDOM to the user. These devices currently have enough RAM and storage to be able to handle these capabilities.

Multi-core mobile tablets will continue grow with more cores. I don't believe it will simply replace the desktop though. Desktops with all their accessories and hardware upgradability are KING for the Do-it-yourself crowd.

Ditto for MEEGO...they should scale up and include window managers if they envision Meego/touch/scalable window managers on every device.

Cheers

Comment No integrated TV for this guy (Score 1) 207

One must always be vigilant when the media-tainment industry is concerned. I won't be buying any of these integrated tv's with set-top boxes and dvr's anytime soon. The media-tainment industry is doing there best to remove our digital freedoms to record stuff and to prevent consumers to transfer their media easily to other devices that they don't manufacture or have no control over.

I won't be purchasing any "integrated TV" and I wouldn't recommend anyone to purchase them either if the media consumer is concerned about their digital freedoms.

Canada

Submission + - do it yourself government assisted internet

keneng writes: Here is the idea. As Canada has been blocking new competitors for internet/wireless and wanting to let it worsen by accepting usage-based billing, something could be done to disrupt all this back to equilibrium.

I propose an association that is non-profit dedicated to cabling/connecting the entire country simply by offering free unlimited internet to those that carry the trunk lines on their property. If we do this from coast to coast, province-to-province, home-to-home, business-to-business, our internet would be free forever. All we would need to do is to upgrade the routing/hub equipment once in a while to upgrade. Where there is too much traffic, we could have the necessary hardware upgrades subsidized by the government considering it benefits all of the nation. The bottom line is everyone would have free access to the net once it's installed. I'm certain everyone would pitch in for the upgrades if asked which lightens the burden of the government to subsidize it entirely.

Comment GNU/Linux Ubuntu rocks! (Score 1) 778

And I'm certain Debian still rocks too!

Perhaps they make a few decisions some of us users may not like, but you have choices to make. You can change the source code yourself. You can report bugs to the development team telling them what you don't like. You can change distros. You can remain grateful for all that is in Ubuntu Linux and criticize constructively.

Apple product are slick, I admit, but at a price many of us can't afford and with digital restrictions included.
Windows products well....I constantly hear about people nagging about viruses on their Windows boxes and wasting all their time. One thing is certain. I don't waste my time fixing their computers because it's a lost cause. Their computers will successfully get infected again.

I prefer to simply say:
"I use Ubuntu Linux on my computer and it certainly helps me to prevent getting viruses on my computer. If you would ever want to try it or take a look at it, let me know."

Besides these days, I don't perceive myself as using Ubuntu, but living the way of Ubuntu. It's a choice of lifestyle, but it's not forced upon anybody else. When people are ready to listen, they'll ask for advice. I've learned to avoid giving advice unless it is asked for and especially when concerning lifestyle choices.
People will ask for advice when they are ready for it, but not sooner.

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