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Comment Re:free choice (Score 1) 271

Outraged or not, clearly this is a problem. While it might not be Apple alone, China's government should really look into beefing up labor protection enforcement. If no supplier can provide the low cost, they'll have to pay more. Or find alternate places to do their manufacturing.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 1) 152

The deductions I find avaialble for my personal income taxes were deliberatly written into law AS deduictions. I did not walk through an elabporate maze to build a house overseas, or hire a squad of lawers to create a way to expoit this "bug" in the tax code.

Where do you draw the line of what's acceptable tax-reduction methods and what isn't? If you have an investment property, sometimes it makes more sense to incorporate and put that investment property under that C-corp. You seem to be drawing a line between what's "acceptable" and what's "out of line". Not everyone agree with the line you've drawn.

If they took the time to figure out how to do what they have already done, it's not much of a stretch to imaginge that they are lobbying hard. They are, afterall, a money making machine.

Got it, guilty because...you can imagine it.

That's admitting it IS A PROBELM in Apple's own judgemnt and passing blame to Congress.

Congress *is* to blame. Taking advantage of a legal method of reducing your taxes instead of voluntarily paying more is *not* the problem. The problem is that those legal methods are there to begin with.

The collective total amount of money this 'loophole" has cost the governemnt is a lot.

Read what I said. If Apple alone were to voluntarily pay taxes on its overseas profits. That'd amount to about ~80B$. Or about how much money the DoD blows in 2 weeks. That doesn't solve anything.

The only way to actually make a dent is to make them, their competitors and all the other companies also pay more in taxes. That's kinda beyond Apple's abilities.

Ture. But they ARE a part of the problem... not the solution.

Have you written your congressman and senator about taxing royalties of foreign subsidiaries of US companies? No? Then you're part of the problem, not the solution.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 1) 152

There are plenty of places in the US with vibrant manufacturing. Hell, take a look at Indigogo or Kickstarter. Such a large number of their projects are mom-and-pop shops making a few thousand in cities like Portland, Seattle, Denver, etc. And a lot of those companies are perfectly profitable too.

The landscape has changed. It's no longer mega-company-X moving into a city and setting up a huge factory anymore. It's easier now than ever was to go mom-and-pop level and sell. And those guys go into work every day doing both grunt work as well as planning and designing their next revision.

It does employ fewer people than before for the same output because of automation. Way more than consumption has increased. So that alone, I realize, isn't the answer. But that doesn't mean manufacturing is dead in the US. It just means that the glory days where anyone willing to work got a job without needing skill or knowledge are over.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 1) 152

Of course there are people who want jobs and some wouldn't even mind boring jobs. The question is, what's better for everyone in the long run? Example after example shows protectionism (i.e. mandating by law job X be located in the US) doesn't help everyone. You help 5% of the population at the expense of the other 95% who don't work in that industry. And you reduce your economic efficiency as a whole by some percentage all the while fighting the inevitable. You're never ever going to fight the basic fact that other, poorer workers are willing to work for less under worse conditions if they can do the same job.

If a certain profession or industrial sector is so easily replaced by low-wage, low-skill workers, perhaps it's better not to rely on that for your economic backbone and to instead put your energy towards enhancing, training and making jobs for sectors that are growing and aren't easily replaced by the lowest-common-denominator types of labor in poorer countries.

There are plenty of examples of this. And we can put way more resources than we currently are into it. And government can play a lead role in that to boot.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 4, Insightful) 152

So, Apple is again leading the pack by showing the world how to screw the nation that allowed it to become so rich.

Sure, it's not illegal, but how does that demonstrate social responsibility?

IDK. If you discovered something in the tax code that let you pay way less of your taxes, would you consider it not "socially responsible" to do it and tell your friends to? Would you just forget about said discovery and keep paying what you originally paid in taxes? Do you take any deductions every year? Do you take tax credits that you don't need?

If Apple were lobbying (and they very well may be, but we can't just assume) for laws in every country to stay as they are, that'd be a different story. But we have Cook on record as saying "this is a Congress problem". And it is. Congress needs to change the tax laws.

Even if Apple were to choose to voluntarily pay more taxes, it'd be a drop in the bucket for the Federal budget. Same as if you voluntarily chose to pay more taxes. The only way to actually make a dent is to make them, their competitors and all the other companies also pay more in taxes. That's kinda beyond Apple's abilities.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 2) 152

If you study the history of it, it's actually way more benign (read: stupid) than that. The loopholes exist because of different laws in 3-4 different countries, some of which has existed for hundreds of years. They involve laws on how royalty money (paid for intellectual property) is taxed in both Ireland and the Netherlands as well as loose incorporation laws in places like the Cayman Islands.

These laws were all put in place for different reasons and for different industries to benefit. With regards to royalties, the US part was specifically there to help the movie industry.

Someone at Apple one day spent some time drawing lines between all of these laws and had an "ah ha!" moment. Incorporated a bunch of shell subsidiaries in each of these countries and had them pay "licensing royalties" to each other using profits from hardware sales (again, totally legal) and boom: no taxes paid on foreign profits.

Then everyone else saw this and did it too.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 5, Insightful) 152

IDK if any of those can be blamed on Apple. In the beginning, yes, sure. But nowadays, it is just not possible to manufacturer tens of millions of iPhones every quarter in the US. They tried to shift Mac production (much less demanding) to the US and found they couldn't even get the supply chain for *that* fully in the US. This isn't even a problem of cost anymore. The Chinese simply do it better and on a bigger scale even if you don't account for the difference in labor costs. After all, if cheap labor is all you need, iPhone production should've moved to Vietnam or Malaysia by now.

As to taxes, again, their fault for finding the loophole and exposing it to all companies to use. But taking advantage of a *legal* way to pay less taxes is in no way "douchebaggery". It's Congress that's at fault here, they made the laws the way they are. I doubt you or anyone voluntarily pays more taxes than you legally owe nor would such an act make much difference. It only makes a difference if *everyone* does it, not just one entity. And that requires a change in the laws.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 5, Interesting) 152

Apple is first and foremost a company that wants to sell stuff. That involves a lot of technology but it has never been the only thing they've focused on. Throughout its history, the company has banked (literally and figuratively) on selling stuff based on "the feelz" -- that warm glow of self-righteous euphoria their customers want to feel after purchasing their products.

What gives a demographic "the feelz" changes with society and culture and can very well be nudged by marketing. Today's society is much more concerned with social justice, diversity and charity than it was even 10 years ago. And so it can be argued Apple is doing the smart thing by changing their image to be one of social conscience.

Comment Re:Hybrids ARM successor (Score 1) 81

There's no need. ISA really doesn't matter that much except in very-small-scale processors (think microcontrollers). You can make a very tiny and very power-efficient CPU using almost any ISA you want provided you have:

1. Compilers that are well tuned to your ISA
2. Good microarchitecture to run the ISA on

And then you need software that's written for that ISA. ARM didn't win out mobile because of its ISA. ARM won out mobile because the IP was low-cost and ARM poured tons of resources into developing a good ecosystem with compilers and toolkits.

I see RISC-V as being somewhat competitive only because it is open-sourced and therefore doesn't cost anything to use. But it has a long long way to go before the ecosystem (including SoC bus-fabric IP) is anywhere close to ARM.

Comment Re:What a joke... (Score 4, Insightful) 113

"niche market" is kind of an overstatement. In fact, your usage scenario -- according to statistics -- is the "niche market". Very very few people actually need the ability to get into an 8000lb truck and drive 600+ miles before needing to refuel.

Most people need to drive 5-40 miles twice a day with a ~8 hour gap in between. Hardly a "niche market".

As for hauling and towing...it depends on your fleet size. Electric motors are actually far more ideal for the job of towing due to the flat torque curve. But if you're a one-truck-shop and can't swap trucks out to recharge (like larger businesses can) then ya, electric would be very impractical.

I could totally see shipping trucks being an ideal situation for electric. Regular schedules, a lot of dead-time and regular routes where chargers could be installed.

Realistically, gas cars *are* the niche market. The cost is what's keeping electric sales down. But battery cost/kWH is actually dropping quite a bit in recent years due to all the advances made for smartphones.

Comment Re:Not Really Required.... (Score 4, Informative) 113

For me, I don't have a charger at home (live in a condo with garage parking). I charge at work. So having the extra range means I don't need to fight for chargers as often. Right now, with a 85kWH battery, I find myself charging about twice a week (including the weekend trips) at work. If I can knock that down to once a week, it'd make a big difference to me.

In dense urban places, that kind of mentality is probably pretty common.

The other benefit of a bigger battery is that superchargers will give you more range before going into the trickle-charge range. That should make refueling on a road trip faster.

Comment Re:Mileage - pinch of salt (Score 3, Informative) 113

With about 10% of the battery reserved, you have roughly 90kWH to play with. To get 380 miles of range, you'd need to use ~237 WH/mile. I've done that, but it's a pain. Basically constant speed without slowing down or speeding up at ~40 mph on a flat road.

Still, lifetime averages seem to be around 315 WH/mile so 90kWH should result in about 285 miles before the car shuts down (without bricking).

Comment Re:Unfair? (Score 1) 112

I like how, in one paragraph, you try to paint an image of domineering and oppressive legal environments and then point out how such an environment *should* penalize a company like Uber. But in practice, Uber is flourishing.

Perhaps the US legal system isn't as draconian as you paint it out to be.

And again, I'll reiterate my point: whether you think the written rules are "fair" or not, there are at least written rules. Trying to somehow conflate it so that it's anywhere close to the mobster-rule clusterfuck that is the Chinese legal system is willful ignorance at best.

Comment Re:Unfair? (Score 1) 112

This isn't just a case of dictating terms. This is a case of *no* clear terms. Even if you believe the agreements the U.S. signs with other nations are unfair, there are at least agreed upon rules.

With China, it's really whether you get on the elite's good side or not. You can't point to a rulebook and go "look, I did everything by the book" and be immune to BS crackdowns and shady underhanded sabotage.

That's a whole new level of dirty play that -- whatever your issues are with the U.S. -- does not exist in the west.

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