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Comment Free Trade and the reduction of Tarriffs (Score 1) 565

In Australia we have free trade agreements with China, Thailand etc etc. The net effect has been Chinese and Thai companies buying our companies up. Closing them down. Shipping the machinery across to their country and restarting the manufacturing there and then sending the finished products back to Australia. As a result we have stuff all low paid jobs left in the major cities where the youth have nowhere to get basic work skills except as waiters and waitresses at the restaurants the execs dine in. In the meantime to make our economy work we dig up iron ore and ship it overseas in it's raw state to be turned into steel. We also dig up the coal to ship overseas to turn that iron ore into steel. We convert gas into liquid to ship overseas to power the factories which send us the goods made with our old machinery. The ships that run overseas in some cases used to be Australian ships which we sold overseas to be reflagged in Panama etc to ship the same goods with foreign crews and less stringent safety.Because we have no pathways for the younger generations to learn trades we instead import people (many of them from those same foreign countries) to do the work on our mines in the semi-skilled and skilled areas. Occasionally we allow areas of our country (Gorgon gas fields) to be classed as 'offshore' so that the companies doing the work there don't have to employ Australian residents/visa holders or even pay Australian wages. You could probably point to many examples in England, Ireland, Europe etc etc. Any so called industrialised nation is in the process of busily de-industrialising at the behest of some sort of theoretical belief by bunches of economists who have never lived in the real world. Free Trade does not exists except in the deluded depths of economists minds and as such what countries should be looking at is how best to maximise trade while minimising the HARM it does to their own people.

1,400 Megapixel Pan-STARRS Telescope Comes Online 54

ElectricSteve writes "Astronomers in Hawaii have announced they've successfully managed to boot up the Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) telescope. Working from dusk to dawn every night, Pan-STARRS is able to map one-sixth of the sky each month, allowing astronomers to track all moving objects, calculate their orbits, and identify any potential threats to Earth. There are four Pan-STARRS cameras in total, each capable of capturing around 1.4 billion pixels over a sensor measuring 40 centimeters square. The focal plane of each camera contains an almost complete 64x64 array of CCD devices, each containing approximately 600x600 pixels, for a total resolution of 1.4 gigapixels."

Nokia Trades Symbian For MeeGo In N-Series Smartphones 184

An anonymous reader writes "Nokia announced that moving forward, MeeGo would be the default operating system in the N series of smartphones (original Reuters report). Symbian will still be used in low-end devices from Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. The move to MeeGo is a demonstration of support for the open source mobile OS, but considering the handset user experience hasn't been rolled out and likely won't be rolled out in time for its vague June deadline outlined at MeeGo.com, could the decision be premature?"

Comment Re:Beneficial to Be Difficult (Score 1) 613

The complexity got reintroduced due to more laws and special purpose deductions. They started appearing in the legislation in about 1996 and kept appearing more an more each election thereafter. Interesting enough as a result of the review into the Taxation system it is likely (unless Big Business lobbies it out of existence) to follow the Scandinavian route of pre-filled simple returns AND simplify the system somewhat by removing some deductions. How many deductions get removed will depend on the previously mentioned Big Business lobby groups. It is seriously not in their interest to advocate the lessening of deductions as thats how they avoid paying the tax they should in the first place. Personally I would not shed a tear to see negative gearing disappear as well as FBT exemptions for motor vehicles and the CGT discount among other bits of the tax system that distort the system.

Comment And you have to contrast this with (Score 1) 322

the number of articles being spewed out on how this same generation is ready and able to take over the running of the corporations and countries before they have even turned thirty. Since all the articles tend to be written by the baby boomer generation (who in their eyes are infallible) I await the results of all their predictions and their tendencies to mollycoddle their children and it's effects with interest.

EVE Online Battle Breaks Records (And Servers) 308

captainktainer writes "In one of the largest tests of EVE Online's new player sovereignty system in the Dominion expansion pack, a fleet of ships attempting to retake a lost star system was effectively annihilated amidst controversy. Defenders IT Alliance, a coalition succeeding the infamous Band of Brothers alliance (whose disbanding was covered in a previous story), effectively annihilated the enemy fleet, destroying thousands of dollars' worth of in-game assets. A representative of the alliance claimed to have destroyed a minimum of four, possibly five or more of the game's most expensive and powerful ship class, known as Titans. Both official and unofficial forums are filled with debate about whether the one-sided battle was due to difference in player skill or the well-known network failures after the release of the expansion. One of the attackers, a member of the GoonSwarm alliance, claims that because of bad coding, 'Only 5% of [the attackers] loaded,' meaning that lag prevented the attackers from using their ships, even as the defenders were able to destroy those ships unopposed. Even members of the victorious IT Alliance expressed disappointment at the outcome of the battle. CCP, EVE Online's publisher, has recently acknowledged poor network performance, especially in the advertised 'large fleet battles' that Dominion was supposed to encourage, and has asked players to help them stress test their code on Tuesday. Despite the admitted network failure, leaders of the attacking force do not expect CCP to replace lost ships, claiming that it was their own fault for not accounting for server failures. The incident raises questions about CCP's ability to cope with the increased network use associated with their rapid growth in subscriptions."

Microsoft Invents Price-Gouging the Least Influential 259

theodp writes "In the world envisioned by Microsoft's just-published patent application for Social Marketing, monopolists will maximize revenue by charging prices inversely related to the perceived influence an individual has on others. Microsoft gives an example of a pricing model that charges different people $0, $5, $10, $20, or $25 for the identical item based on the influence the purchaser wields. A presentation describing the revenue optimization scheme earned one of the three inventors applause (MS-Research video), and the so-called 'influence and exploit' strategies were also featured at WWW 2008 (PDF). The invention jibes nicely with Bill Gates's pending patents for identifying influencers. Welcome to the brave new world of analytics."

Copyright Industries Oppose Treaty For the Blind 135

langelgjm sends in a piece from Wired, which details the background of a proposed treaty to allow cross-border sharing of books for the blind — a treaty which is opposed by an almost unified front of business interests in the US, with the exception of Google. "A broad swath of American enterprise ranging from major software makers to motion picture and music companies are joining forces to oppose a new international treaty that would make books more accessible to the blind. With the exception of Google, almost every major industry player has expressed disapproval of the treaty, which would allow cross-border sharing of digitized books accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Google's chief copyright counsel believes the industry-wide opposition is mainly due to 'opposition to a larger agenda of limitations and exceptions... We believe this is an unproductive approach to solving what is a discrete, long-standing problem that affects a group that needs and deserves the protections of the international community.'"

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