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Amazon Wins $1.5 Billion Tax Dispute Over IRS (reuters.com) 77

Amazon.com on Thursday won a more than $1.5 billion tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over transactions involving a Luxembourg unit more than a decade ago. From a report: Judge Albert Lauber of the U.S. Tax Court rejected a variety of IRS arguments, and found that on several occasions the agency abused its discretion, or acted arbitrarily or capriciously. Amazon's ultimate tax liability from the decision was not immediately clear. The world's largest online retailer has said the case involved transactions in 2005 and 2006, and could boost its federal tax bill by $1.5 billion plus interest. It also said a loss could add "significant" tax liabilities in later years. Amazon made just $2.37 billion of profit in 2016, four times what it made in the four prior years combined, on revenue of $136 billion.

Frequent Flyer Points Put at Risk By Website Flaws (bbc.com) 19

Airline booking systems lack basic security checks that would stop attackers changing flight details or stealing rewards, warn experts. From a report on BBC: The problems emerge because the six-digit codes booking systems use to identify travellers are easy to guess. Two researchers demonstrated the weaknesses by changing a flight booking and seat assignment for a reporter. The security investigators presented their findings at the Chaos Communications Congress in Germany. In a blog detailing their work Karsten Nohl and Nemanja Nikodijevic of Security Research Labs (SRL) said the computer systems behind the airlines' travel bookings system dated from the 1970s and 1980s. Though these have been updated with web services they lack security systems that would prevent abuse, they said. In particular, they added, the systems have no way to check, or authenticate, who is querying the system for flight details.

Comment Enjoying my LG Urbane (Score 1) 330

I have had an LG Urbane since it first came out about 18 months ago. It is not as geeky looking as most smart watches. It passes for a regular round dial watch since I use a simple watch face that just shows calendar alerts. It was more expensive than the thin and light Seiko it replaced. It is also more useful. I have enjoyed the LG immensely and use it for calendar tracking, Google Fit, flight alerts, maps, etc. I am extremely pleased with it. But I can't see a smart being something I replace frequently enough to make any manufacturer happy.

The battery life tends to be about 30 hours unless I screw up and don't put it in airplane mode when I should. That drains the battery in a hurry. And yes.. it is weird to put a watch in airplane mode.

FWIW I am also happy with my two year old Nexus 6 and won't be buying a new phone for a while either. The new Pixel is just too expensive for the incremental CPU improvement and smaller screen I will be getting. I would rather pay for some home repairs than put nearly USD1000 into a new phone from this generation.

Comment IB Times Refuses Content When Ad Blocker Enabled (Score 4, Informative) 89

Guess who has two thumbs and refuses to read stories on sites that want me to disable an ad blocker or answer a poll question.

Here's another site hosting the same article which doesn't mind ad blockers.


Cue old man rant on ads being vectors.


Ask Slashdot: Share Your Experiences With Windows 10 376

Long-time Slashdot reader shanen writes: The Start button is broken on one of my Windows 10 machines. Left click is dead. Fairly well known problem, but none of the solutions from non-Microsoft web pages has fixed it... My little meta-problem of the day is being locked out of Microsoft's so-called support. The email part (on outlook.live.com) works as usual, but every attempt to access the support part returns "Something went wrong and we can't sign you in right now. Please try again later." It's a black hole page with no links or options or suggestions. Once you get there, you are dead to Microsoft. Whenever I try to go to Microsoft support, that's all I've seen for several weeks now. ..

In general, Windows 10 seems to be a good thing -- but I don't really know how much it is abusing my personal information and privacy. The abusive relationship with Microsoft support is clearly the same, bad as it ever was.

The original submission has more thoughts on the market for consumer operating systems, and asks for suggestions about these two previously-known issues -- a start button that ignores left clicks, and an ongoing lock-out from Microsoft support. But there's obviously much more to talk about -- so share your thoughts in the comments. Have you had any interesting recent experiences with Windows 10?

Comment Reactions to my LG Urbane (Score 2) 359

I have had an LG Urbane for almost a year. It was a gift from my wife and kids for my birthday. I don't think I ever would have purchased a smart watch on my own but I have really enjoyed it. I have a lot on my work schedule and the notifications are very handy. The directions on my wrist are appreciated especially when walking so I don't have to stare at my phone and look lost. I find it handy to leave my phone on my desk and not have to carry it to get notifications. In general, as someone else said, the extra source of notifications is very useful. There are other applications but personally I didn't invest much effort after I realized I couldn't reliably press the tiny buttons on the calculator applications.

When other people see it light up for a notification, I often get the "is it an iWatch" question. I politely explain that Apple isn't the only company that makes smart watches. The LG Urbane is a round faced watch which actually looks like a nice men's watch. It isn't gimmicky looking. It feels comparable in weight to the Seiko Titanium watch it replaced. It will last about 36 hours on a charge for me but I charge it every night. I show them the features and they usually come away impressed.

If you want a status symbol or expect a magical capability, then you will be disappointed. At Apple prices, a smart watch is a very questionable purchase. But the feature/price ratio is better on the Android side. Plus you have more choice on style.

Comment Re:Just a multi-threading library (Score 2) 130

RTEMS.org already exists as a single process, multi-threaded RTOS with robust POSIX API support. Includes SMP, networking, filesystems, USB, high test coverage, etc. No dual licensing for commercial use. Used heavil by NASA, ESA, high energy physics community, and many industrial users.

Comment Gamma Burst Monitor Runs RTEMS open source RTOS (Score 2) 133

I thought it would be of interest that at least the Gamma Burst Monitor on Fermi is running the open source RTEMS real-time operating system.
There are multiple references but this is an easy to find one: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0908.0450... This paper details the hardware and some of the timing characteristics of the system. And it has some nice pictures. :)

Comment Re:How long to a real revolution in engine tech ? (Score 1) 71

The study of nuclear rocket engines has a history dating back to the early 1950s. There was a Space Nuclear Propulsion Office until 1972. A NERVA is on exhibit at the US Space and Rocket Center. I also noticed that UAHuntsville and NASA Marshall appear to have been investigating this technology for at least the past few years based on news announcements and published papers. If you want to know what challenges are still ahead and how ready the technology is, checkout some of the recent published material.

Comment Re:Square Brackets (Score 1) 45

I wonder why all the names had square brackets around them: [Fermi], etc. I began to wonder if there was an alternate version of the article that had a different set of names. It was like I image it would be like to read a textbook in North Korea: "Then [Glorious Leader] invented the nuclear bomb." "Later [Glorious Leader] was the first person to walk on the moon".

Cut and pasted from a wiki?

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