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Comment Re:94% submerged "continent"? (Score 1) 133

This isn't a simple case of whether or not water is on top of land. The Earth's crust is thinner under the oceans than under land masses.

Basically the crust is expanding at mid-oceanic ridges. The molten magma that surfaces in those regions solidifies into thin crustal plates. These plates are pushed apart until they meet resistance (other plates), and begin to bump up against each other. When they do that, the crust squashes and thickens - both above and below the water. The part that thickens above the water form continents and land masses.

The argument here is that the crust under New Zealand is one such thickened region, just that most of it is still underwater. However, every map of the plates I've seen places New Zealand at the edge of the Australian plate (i.e. there is no major tectonic activity between New Zealand and Australia). So it would seem to me to be more correct to say the Australian continent is actually larger than Australia and encompasses New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

If there's a revision to the continents that's needed, Europe and Asia need to be combined into a single Eurasian continent.

Comment Re:Sadly, It's Worse Than This... (Score 1) 161

However, for the "donor" country - i.e. the one that is not collecting any tax revenues from the sales achieved by that company, the problem gets much, much worse. The literally billions in taxes not being paid to these countries still has to be collected from somewhere. And that is exactly what happens - the individual, personal tax payers of those nations end up footing the bill.

If the company is not consuming any resources in the donor nation, it has minimal to no impact on the tax payers in the donor nation. If Apple only has a one-room office in the Cayman Islands with a single employee who sits there doing nothing but signing, scanning, and emailing back paperwork saying that subsidiary received $x licensing fees for y purpose, then it makes almost zero difference to the citizens of the Cayman Islands that he's paying zero taxes.

A population granted this extra income would:-

1. Spend more - thus helping to keep the economy moving
2. Save more - thus helping to reduce the burden on the state for things like pensions
3. Invest more - thus helping UK business to grow and prosper

Taxes per se cannot do any of those things. Taxes are merely shifting money from one purse to another. There is not productivity increase associated with collecting taxes, so it cannot increase the GDP, cannot increase standard of living, cannot keep the economy moving.

How those taxes are used is what determines whether productivity increases. And it can only do that if the way the government spends it increases productivity more than if the tax hadn't been collected and the person/company had been free to spend it as they wished.

Basically, you're arguing with the assumption that taxation is by its very nature always a benefit to the economy. It is not. Just like you have to make decisions regarding which purchases will benefit you more (e.g. food for the table vs. a big screen TV), or a company has to make decisions on what to purchase (new computers for staff, or an all-expenses paid retreat to Tahiti), how tax revenue is spent vs how it would've been spent if not taxed in the first place determines whether or not taxation is a net benefit to the economy. Whichever spending decision increases productivity more is the one which helps the economy more.

In most cases, you can make an argument that tax shelters results in disproportionately greater income (in the form of stock dividends) for extremely wealthy stockholders. And that their purchasing habits are distorted by their wealth towards economic inefficiency (e.g. gold toilet seats). So taxing that money would've been a net benefit to the economy.

However, that reveals the crucial flaw in the concept of taxing corporations: The corporation never pays the tax. It ends up being paid by for by its customers in the form of higher prices. Or by its employees in the form of lower wages. Or by its stockholders in the form of reduced dividends. The corporation is a pass-through paper entity. Basically the glue that allows a bunch of employees and stockholders to pool their labor and financial resources together so into a synchronized activity. The corporation itself doesn't contribute anything, so it generates no productivity, so cannot pay taxes. Any corporate taxes are paid for by people - customers, employees, stockholders.

So instead of playing this unproductive whack-a-mole game trying to stomp out corporate tax havens, just reduce the corporate tax rate to zero and tax those people directly. If you dislike wealthy stockholders making so much profit, increase their income tax. If you think employees at successful companies are not paying their fair share, you increase their income taxes. If you dislike that the money your citizens are paying for Apple products are being shifted out of the country, you increase the sales tax rate. etc.

Comment Re:whose fraud??? (Score 3) 186

That's not really true in this case. The music industry's U.S. revenue was $7 billion in 2015. The TV and movie industry's revenue was $131 billion in 2014 So about $140 billion total.

U.S. ISP revenue was $97 billion in 2016. The U.S. consumer electronics industry revenue is over $200 billion. The Internet publishing, broadcasting, and search industry's revenue was about $110 billion in 2014. Total is over $400 billion. Nearly 3x bigger than music, movies, and TV. Yet they're made to bend over and comply with the wishes of the studios. The tail is literally wagging the dog.

It already destroyed Sony's audio electronics division. Sony was the top name in audio equipment in the 1970s and 1980s. Then in 1987 they acquired CBS records and renamed it Sony Music Entertainment. SME coexisted with Sony Electronics until 1998, when the MP3 player came to market. Sony Electronics came up with an MP3 player, but SME forced them to add DRM to it. Customers avoided it because it was impossible to take their existing CDs and simply copy the music over to a Sony MP3 player.

Sony's 1998 revenue was 1,128 billion Yen for the audio division (page 14), 660 billion Yen for the music division (page 15).

Their 2000 revenue was 935 billion Yen for the audio division (page 47), 709 billion Yen for the music division (page 498).

By 2003 their audio sales had atrophied to 683 billion Yen (page 20), vs 636 billion Yen in music sales (page 18). Music sales were about the same as 1998, but their audio electronics sales had been cut nearly in half because of SME demanding their products comply with their copyright protection requirements. (In 2004 their music division began a joint venture with BMG, so financials are not comparable from then on.)

Comment Re:Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 2) 260

This is actually a fairly recent development. When I was putting together a file server in 2012, I really wanted to use ECC RAM. But 2x4GB ECC cost more than $250 vs $50 for regular 2x4GB RAM. Add in the extra cost of a server motherboard that supported ECC RAM and the processor restrictions, and I gave up and just built the file server using regular RAM.

A couple years later, the price of ECC RAM had dropped to only about 50% more than the cost of regular RAM.

. If Samsung started using ECC memory in all their phones, the cost would be nearly the same with the volume they would be ordering/making.

The cost would be 12.5% more. :)

Comment Re:The EU found a solution to this long time ago (Score 1) 274

The difference is that in the EU, regulations are made by stuffy bureaucrats disconnected from what they are regulating. While this has problems, it at least results in consistent laws.

In the U.S., laws are made with special interest input (lobbying). Manufacturers don't care about recycling, so recycling laws are almost entirely dictated by environmentalist lobbying. Consequently they tend to be excessively strict. Mining laws OTOH have a vested special interest (mining and refining companies) who will lobby against the environmentalist lobbyists. So those laws tend to be a better balance of environmental and industry interests.

The net result is that the regulations and red tape for recycling materials are more strict than for mining and refining the same materials. And it thus becomes cheaper to build things out of new materials than with recycled materials, killing the economic incentive to recycle.

While your EU solution would work, it would probably be opposed by environmentalists. By making manufacturers economically responsible for recycling, you create an incentive for them to get involved in lobbying during the creation of recycling laws. This will result in environmentalists losing sole control over the crafting of recycling laws.

Comment Re:Wrong Headline (Score 3, Interesting) 121

TFA (which summary quotes) implies the fix was in the February update which Microsoft delayed. So the courteous thing to do would've been to extend disclosure beyond 90 days until after the March update.

OTOH, the entire reason Microsoft had to delay the February update was because they insisted on lumping all the patches into one huge mega-update. If they'd stuck with individual updates as before, then the crucial security patches would've gone out on time, while only the problem patch would've been delayed. So it's still Microsoft's fault.

Comment chernobyl (Score 1) 274

The russians recently built a large concrete containment building and wheeled it into place over the ruins of Chernobyl's reactor, the Japanese must be thinking of doing something similar. I would have thought that crushed leaded glass would be a reasonable concrete ingredient, use it to build a containment shield around every reactor.

Comment Re:Why not blame the manufacturer? (Score 0) 260

You don't need to have everything in triplicate unless you're in a seriously noisy environment. Most error rates due to cosmic radiation are low enough that simply adding one parity bit per 8 data bits (increasing transistor count by 12.5%. not 200%) is enough to eliminate virtually all bit flip errors.

Comment Re:ECC (Score 1) 260

As the minimum detail slze of the IC process gets smaller, the potential for radiation to flip a bit gets higher.

I suspect the math works out the same as Shannon's noisy channel theorem. And that as the chance of bit flips (noise) increases due to die shrinking, you can increase the error correction coding to compensate for it up to some theoretical limit.

e.g.. instead of ECC memory having one parity bit for every 8 data bits, you increase it to two parity bits per 8 data bits, and it can withstand a higher error rate.

Comment Bigger problem on rental cars (Score 2) 101

The last three cars I've rented had bluetooth to let you make calls over the car's speakers. But the bluetooth functionality also does other stuff like sync contacts and call logs. I could view previous renters' call logs and sometimes the names associated with the calls. The latest car I rented was new so there was no previous renter. But it would also load your text messages over bluetooth and read them back to you over the speakers. I made sure to wipe those before I returned the car, but I'm pretty sure most renters won't know to do that.

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