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Comment Re:Value Added Tax (Score 4, Insightful) 658

Here's the problem- can you tell me, straight up, the value of the governmental services that you use? You've got your simple direct ones ones- roads/public transit, local schools and whatnot. Then you've got the slightly harder to count ones- fire and police, though we can count these as insurance-type costs. Now we get to the ones that are impossible to enumerate. What's the price of having the armed forces protect our country? What's the value of providing student loans to people, thus giving us an educated workforce? What's the cost of having someone tell us what the weather is going to be like, or predicting the next hurricane or earthquake?

You say that governments should follow the same basic economic rules businesses do, but would this really help or hinder private business? By this token Google, Cisco, and just about every major company should be paying the US government obscene royalties for using the internet. DARPA did, after all, invent it, so it's only fair to license it for what it's worth. How about medical research, or the stuff that's come out of NASA? The government has given so much away, whereas any private corporation would have patented and licensed the crap out of it. Let's be honest- how many private companies are financing risky research nowadays?

There are many reasons to be against the taxation proposed here. I think that any money made overseas shouldn't be taxable in the US because, quite honestly, the money wasn't made here. I'd be fine with companies bringing cash back to the US tax-free because that'd be more money that can be spent in our borders. Your argument, however, is silly. You can't tabulate how much government you use because it's everywhere. Hell, I think throwing 30+% of your profits to taxes is a pretty fair deal considering we live in a pretty stable society. There's also an issue of fairness- if you get rich because of a underpaid populous that's denied basic benefits (and the government steps in to provide them), it's only fair that you actually pay for the benefits needed for the workers that are used. As broken as the system is, the gov't does provide a basic safety net that corporations don't, and this is something we indeed need.

Comment Re:There are other things first. (Score 1) 368

This wouldn't help at all, and probably hurt in the long run. It may have worked 10 years ago when working in different theaters was difficult, but everything is so connected now that the company would probably just keep H1B guy in his home country in one of their satellite offices. I guarantee you that your Ciscos, IBMs, HPs and the like (you know, the major users of H1Bs) have offices in India, China, Japan, the EU and Australia. The company doesn't pay the ridiculous bribe, and the US don't get the associated state/income/sales tax this dude would have paid. Double loss.

Operating Systems

Submission + - Carmack Blasts Vista, Questions Direct X 10.

222 writes: "Apparently id's John Carmack is also having trouble finding a reason to upgrade to Vista. ""Nothing is going to help a new game by going to a new operating system. There were some clear wins going from Windows 95 to Windows XP for games, but there really aren't any for Vista," Carmack told Game Informer." He also seems to feel that Direct X 10 is more of a gimmick than anything. "They're artificially doing that by tying DX10 [DirectX 10] so close it, which is really nothing about the OS. It's a hardware-interface spec. It's an artificial thing that they're doing there." With this coming from an industry leader, will you be upgrading?"

Submission + - Undersea cable repair via 19th century technology

An anonymous reader writes: Workers are relying on 19th century technology to fix a very 21st century problem — disruption of the Internet traffic that tech-savvy Asia relies on. "No electronics involved," said John Walters, general manager of Global Marine, one of the firms engaged in the repairs. "It's an old and traditional technique. After arriving at the scene they survey the ocean bottom to assess whether the contour has changed, and the degree of sediment movement. Then the traditional tools are brought out. A rope with a grapnel on the end is played out, down into the depths, and towed over the sea floor until tension registers on a graph on the ship, indicating contact has been made with the cable. Today's fibre optic cables are just 21 millimetres in diameter. The grapnel is a metal tool about 18 by 24 inches (46 by 61 centimetres) which includes a cutter, like a fine razor blade, and a grabbing tool. As tension increases and the cable is slowly pulled up, it is cut, grabbed, and half of it is hoisted to the surface. Dropping the grapnel, dragging the sea bed and recovering the cable can take about 16 hours, Walters said. "It is a tried and tested method." Once the severed half of the cable is on board the boat, debris is cleared from the damaged end, it is tested, sealed and the end boiled off. Then it is attached to a buoy on the water surface while the process is repeated for the second half of the cable before both halves are spliced together and dropped back to the ocean floor. Even before the Boxing Day earthquake, Global Marine had faced a busy year, with about 20 repairs after damage from fishermen or anchors. All those ruptures were fixed using the old grapnel method, he said.

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