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Comment There are two different issues (Score 1) 456

The core problem is taxing on the fiction that are profits. The unsavory bit is Apple maintaining at least one corporate entity that has no country of domicile, and passing cost allocations around between operating subsidiaries to take their effective tax rate to punitive rates in countries where their revenue comes from. There are similar fictional cost allocations in car manufacturing and in FMCG markets (eg: Nestle borrowing money from another subsidiary at well above banking industry interest rates, or coffee outlets paying external entities for brand licensing). There's also strange patterns on how some online vendors allocate R&D costs almost in sync with their gross profits. The overall effective tax income from multinational companies has trended down relentlessly for 40 years in the West. The first core issue is how aggressively companies use fictional instruments and stooge third-rate economies to distort the tax paid away from the economies that provide their revenue. The solution is to impose tax rates based on local revenue, not fictional profits. If they do pay tax equitably, then the second core issue is how they repatriate income to the parent company's home geography. That's something for the US Govt alone.

Comment MUMPS predates UNIX (Score 2) 166

When I joined DEC as a trainee programmer in 1976, MUMPS-11 was one of the OS choices on the PDP-11. One of the guys still Product Managing high end systems at HP UK was a MUMPs support guy in Software Services at the time. Last saw it in the flesh as VAX DSM (Digital Standard MUMPS) back in the late 1980's. A lot of the revolutionary stuff like NoSQL and JSON type databases are just reincarnated from DEC way back when.

Comment Open Rights Group working this (Score 1) 394

The ORG have suggested an amendment to the bills words to explicitly exclude any "small business" from this law, which was really intended to be targeted at mass market newspaper owners only - ie: those with the financial resources to behave above the law against victims who couldn't afford to bite back. Link is http://www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/leveson. If folks sign, it sends an email to three key MPs which gives a specific sentence to add as an amendment to the bill as it goes through Parliament. Very nicely done.

Comment There is a hardware issue (Score 1) 202

There is electrical interference between the board and the USB interface that results in the Ethernet connection dropping packets. The solution is to cut the +5V (red) wire or insulate the matching pin on a device connecting via USB to the board. In all other ways, things are fine if you're powering 5V at 850mA to 1A. So, just a small bug to fix on the next iteration of the board design.

Comment Going radical? (Score 0) 150

Patent systems were originally put in place to stop inventors hoarding ideas that would help society at large. Open source is the ultimate share - there is inherently no hoarding taking place. So, if you manage to release something under a recognised open source license, should the work be immune from patent claims anyway? Sometimes wonder what the world would be like if patent systems were all killed off completely anyway, but that's a longer story.

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