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Comment Re:What Authority ... (Score 2) 274

None, but that's the wrong end of the stick many seem to be grasping. The EU laws are pretty clear; a member state can set its own taxes (with some constraints on levels), but they have to set them equally with no specific tax breaks for specific companies - that would be considered State Aid. Dublin basically decided to give Apple (and probably all of the others under investigation) a tax break in return for them setting up shop in Ireland instead of elsewhere in the EU, but didn't extend the tax rate to every other corporation in Ireland. (They also turned a blind eye to the huge scam of what is essentially a shell company operating on that discount tax rate and avoiding higher rate taxes elsewhere, but that's a totally separate issue for another court.) Hence they contravened EU law and the reason they are running scared and siding with Apple as the chances are pretty good that "tax break" could well turn into "bribe" as far as the Irish tax office is concerned, which could in turn potentially mean criminal prosecutions.

And no, Apple et al don't get off the hook. That the default tax rate a lot more than what they were paying can't have failed to escape their notice (they were probably getting bonuses based on it after all), and ignorance of the law, in this case the "no company specific tax breaks" bit, is never an acceptable defence. Of course, with so much money at stake spending a few million more - chump change by comparison - on lawyers in the hope that you can get it negated, or at least reduced, on appeal is pretty much a no-brainer so Apple's position is hardly surprising.

Submission + - Intel Unveils Full Details Of Kaby Lake 7th Gen Core Series Processors (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Intel is readying a new family of processors, based on its next-gen Kaby Lake microarchitecture, that will be the foundation of the company's upcoming 7th Generation Core processors. Although Kaby Lake marks a departure from Intel's "tick-tock" release cadence, there have been some tweaks made to its 14nm manufacturing process (called 14nm+) that have resulted in significant gains in performance, based on clock speed boosts and other optimizations. In addition, Intel has incorporated a new multimedia engine into Kaby Lake that adds hardware acceleration for 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding and VP9 decoding. Skylake could handle 1080p HEVC transcoding, but it didn't accelerate 4K HEVC 10-bit transcoding or VP9 decode and had to assist with CPU resources. The new multimedia engine gives Kaby Lake the ability to handle up to eight 4Kp30 streams and it can decode HEVC 4Kp60 real-time content at up to 120Mbps. The engine can also now offload 4Kp30 real-time encoding in a dedicated fixed-function engine. Finally, Intel has made some improvements to their Speed Shift technology, which now takes the processor out of low power states to maximum frequency in 15 milliseconds. Clock speed boosts across Core i and Core m 7th gen series processors of 400 — 500 MHz, in combination with Speed Shift optimizations, result in what Intel claims are 12 — 19 percent performance gains in the same power envelope as its previous generation Skylake series, and even more power efficient video processing performance.

Submission + - EU orders Ireland to recoup up to €13bn in unpaid taxes from Apple

Bryan O'Donoghue writes: Ireland has been ordered to recoup up to €13 billion from US tech company Apple in unpaid taxes in a landmark ruling by the European Commission.
The EU’s powerful competition arm said on Tuesday that Apple had been given selective treatment by Ireland through two tax rulings granted to the company in 1991 and 2007.

http://www.irishtimes.com/busi...

Submission + - Early Human Ancestor Lucy 'Died Falling Out of a Tree' (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: New evidence suggests that the famous fossilized human ancestor dubbed "Lucy" by scientists died falling from a great height — probably out of a tree. CT scans have shown injuries to her bones similar to those suffered by modern humans in similar falls. The 3.2 million-year-old hominin was found on a treed flood plain, making a branch her most likely final perch. It bolsters the view that her species — Australopithecus afarensis — spent at least some of its life in the trees. Writing in the journal Nature, researchers from the US and Ethiopia describe a "vertical deceleration event" which they argue caused Lucy's death. In particular they point to a crushed shoulder joint, of the sort seen when we humans reach out our arms to break a fall, as well as fractures of the ankle, leg bones, pelvis, ribs, vertebrae, arm, jaw and skull. Discovered in Ethiopia's Afar region in 1974, Lucy's 40%-complete skeleton is one of the world's best known fossils. She was around 1.1m (3ft 7in) tall and is thought to have been a young adult when she died. Her species, Australopithecus afarensis, shows signs of having walked upright on the ground and had lost her ancestors' ape-like, grasping feet — but also had an upper body well-suited to climbing. The bones of this well-studied skeleton are in fact laced with fractures, like most fossils. By peering inside the bones in minute detail, the scanner showed that several of the fractures were "greenstick" breaks. The bone had bent and snapped like a twig: something that only happens to healthy, living bones.

Submission + - SETI has observed a "strong" signal that may originate from a Sun-like star (arstechnica.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia has detected a strong signal around 11 GHz (which is very unlikely to be naturally-caused) coming from HD164595, a star nearly identical in mass to the Sun and located about 95 light years from Earth. The system is known to have at least one planet.

If the signal were isotropic, it would seem to indicate a Kardashev Type II civilization.

While it is too early to draw any conclusions, the discovery will be discussed at an upcoming SETI committee meeting on September 27th.

Submission + - 65-Year-Old Woman Shoots Down Drone Over Her Virginia Property With One Shot (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Jennifer Youngman, a 65-year-old woman living in rural northern Virginia shot down a drone flying over her property with a single shotgun blast. Ars Technica reports: "Youngman told Ars that she had just returned from church one Sunday morning and was cleaning her two shotguns—a .410 and a .20 gauge—on her porch. She had a clear view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and neighbor Robert Duvall’s property (yes, the same Robert Duvall from The Godfather). Youngman had seen two men set up a card table on what she described as a 'turnaround place' on a country road adjacent to her house. 'I go on minding my business, working on my .410 shotgun and the next thing I know I hear bzzzzz,' she said. 'This thing is going down through the field, and they’re buzzing like you would scaring the cows.' Youngman explained that she grew up hunting and fishing in Virginia, and she was well-practiced at skeet and deer shooting. 'This drone disappeared over the trees and I was cleaning away, there must have been a five- or six-minute lapse, and I heard the bzzzzz,’ she said, noting that she specifically used 7.5 birdshot. 'I loaded my shotgun and took the safety off, and this thing came flying over my trees. I don’t know if they lost command or if they didn’t have good command, but the wind had picked up. It came over my airspace, 25 or 30 feet above my trees, and hovered for a second. I blasted it to smithereens.'"

Comment Re:Apple only? (Score 1) 285

They generally do support multiple lines for multiple customers, but that doesn't automatically let Apple of the hook. I'd imagine that each customer has a specific and confidential contract negotiated based on guaranteed volumes, excess volumes, complexity of assembly, and so on, which would make a direct comparison problematic even if the numbers were in the public domain, so it's going to be far from clear cut. However, if it can be shown that only Apple is insisting that Pegatron (and presumably other assemblers) push the costs below what they can sustain while remaining in compliance with China's laws (which are not that great to start with), or - perhaps more likely - is doing so to a greater degree than other companies, then it's absolutely an Apple story.

Of course, regardless of Apple's culpability (or not), it's mostly a "western consumers generally don't give a crap about conditions in third world sweat shops" story. Perhaps if someone like Fairtrade, or a similar organization, started establishing and enforcing some standards, putting the brand names on a guilt trip to take more responsibility, and gaving people a choice between paying a bit extra for the peace of mind an "approved supplier" logo brings or just saving a few bucks and conscience be damned, then we might see some traction on this. Until then, it's going to be minimised costs, maximised profits, and screw the cheap labour for every drop of blood and sweat you can get away with.

Submission + - FBI says foreign hackers penetrated state election systems (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials.

The FBI warning, contained in a “flash” alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.

Submission + - Mediterranean diet better for the heart than taking statins, major study suggest (telegraph.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A Mediterranean diet could be better than statins at reducing the risk of an early death for millions of Britons, research suggests.

Leading heart experts said patients should be prescribed the diet — rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and olive oil — before being put on drugs.

In the first major study to look at the impact of the Med diet on survival of heart patients, experts found it cut the chances of early death by 37 per cent.

Previous research has found just taking statins cuts mortality by 18 per cent. Experts said the figures were not directly comparable, and that many heart patients could get maximum benefit by doing both.

Comment Re:Many reform proposals (Score 1) 172

Perhaps, but again, it just demonstrates that the media companies simply don't get it and having cut of their own nose have now proceeded to remove other facial features. People don't use search engines to find out what's going on in the world (e.g. the snippets of news articles of TFS), they'll go directly to their MSM site(s) of choice for that with no linking or royalties required, or go through a new aggregator. People use a search engine for news stories because they either already know what they are looking for but don't know where to look for it or are looking for an alternative take on it, and in that case having some indication of how relevant the results are (in the case of the snippets) or any results (in the case of linking in the first place) are going to dictate where their clicks go.

What the MSM sites don't seem to grasp is that this is free traffic generation for them; when a user searches for some given event/gossip/whatever and ends up on some random news site purely because it happened to pop up in the search results with a relevant looking snippet of the article, they've got an opportunity to serve up some ads, sell other services they offer, and maybe even acquire a new regular reader. Remove the snippets, let alone the links, and all of that traffic is not just going to go away - it's going to go to one of your competitors that had more of a clue about how things work. Both the search engines and MSM companies need each other for this arrangement to work, but the relative numbers of major search engines to MSM sites puts the advantage firmly in the hands of the search engines; they need *some* MSM sites, but they don't need all of them, and they certainly don't need the ones the like to haul them into the courts at the drop of a hat.

Comment Re:Many reform proposals (Score 2) 172

Even if it does pass, I really don't see this one being a problem for the search engines - just the opposite, in fact given the way Google responded to a similar legislative attempt in Spain. It's a "request for payment", at least in this version, so I would imagine it'll go down like this: Some media outlets "request" payment. The search engines cough up some cash for past transgressions and strip the snippets from future search results for those companies. Search engine users click on alternative links that still provide snippets. Media outlets that made the requests for payments have to go back to the search engines and beg for a new deal, which will obviously be loaded in favour of the search engines.

As a bonus, as search engine users and media consumers, we'll also get to sort out the dinosaurs in the media business (Hi, Rupert!) from those that are actually willing to try and embrace the new Internet order and make it work for them; I know which group I'd rather support...

Submission + - NASA's Voyager 2 Flew By Saturn 35 Years Ago Today (space.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Thirty-five years ago today, a NASA spacecraft got an up-close look at beautiful, enigmatic Saturn. On Aug. 25, 1981, the Voyager 2 probe zoomed within 26,000 miles (41,000 kilometers) of the ringed planet's cloud tops. The discoveries made by Voyager 2 — and by its twin, Voyager 1, which had flown past Saturn nine months earlier — reshaped scientists' understanding of the Saturn system and planted the seed for NASA's Cassini mission, which began orbiting the ringed planet in 2004, NASA officials said. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 launched a few weeks apart in 1977, tasked with performing a "grand tour" of the solar system's big planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The two spacecraft accomplished that goal, eyeing all four gaseous worlds up close, and also studying 48 of their moons. (Voyager 1 flew past Jupiter and Saturn, while Voyager 2 had close encounters with all four planets.) The Voyagers weren't the first spacecraft to fly by Saturn; that distinction belongs to NASA's Pioneer 11 probe, which did so in 1979. But the Voyagers broke a lot of new ground; they discovered four new Saturn moons, for example, and revealed an incredible diversity of landscapes on satellites such as Dione, Tethys and Iapetus, NASA officials said.

Submission + - BIND9 Adopts the MPL 2.0 License with BIND 9.11.0 (isc.org)

An anonymous reader writes: ISC published BIND under a very permissive open source license nearly two decades ago, and we have been maintaining it ever since. In December we announced we were changing the license for our Kea DHCP server to the modern and widely-used Mozilla Public License (MPL 2.0). The MPL 2.0 license requires that if you make changes to licensed software (e.g. BIND) and distribute them outside your organization, that you publish those changes under that same license. It does not require that you publish or disclose anything other than the changes you made to our software. (read about it at tl;dr Legal https://tldrlegal.com/license/...)

Comment Re:Pixels density (Score 3, Informative) 159

I think the camera manufacturers all realise that, especially at the high-end. Sure, they'll play the MP numbers game at the low-end where people don't know better and it translates into sales but all the prosumer and pro models generally offer a trade-off of MP vs. ISO suitable for the model at high; e.g. high-MP/low-ISO for the Canon 5DS, mid-MP/mid-ISO for the the Canon 5D and low-MP/high-ISO for the Canon 1DX. Assuming you are competent and understand what you need the camera(s) for and how you plan on using it, you'll choose accordingly.

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