Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Not a tax scam (Score 1) 1505

And actually, the evil businesses he is targeting are not cheats. They followed the law to the letter. Blame congress for leaving the loop holes.

It is more fundamental than that. A business must make a profit to survive. Think about plain and simple truth for a moment...

Now think about this:

A business never pays any taxes. It merely collects the taxes levied on it by government by increasing the price of the goods and services it provides or by lowering the wages of its employees.

Comment Re:Exactly -- is the software the means, or the en (Score 1) 370

A sucky one though. I doubt many programmers on this board want to be in a position that the work they produce for a company is essentially worthless and the way to move up is through the tech support department. I also doubt customers would benefit either since giving away the software and charging for support creates an incentive to make shoddy software that requires a lot of hand-holding.

That might hold true until your competitor realises what you are doing and makes a better offer to the customer.

As a business customer I want Free as in Freedom software (to avoid vendor lock-in) that is easy to use (to lower total-cost-of-ownership) and comes with "enterprise" level support (for the edge cases I create that eventually break things in some way).

As a vendor I want software that is cheap to build and maintain over the long run, and I want to build brand loyalty (even in a fiercely competitive market) by delivering a great product, and I don't want to have to maintain a huge support staff that eats into the profits I make by selling support contracts. Enterprise customers will pay for support simply because it eliminates some risk, even if they never actually have to pick up the phone and use it.

Red Hat Software

Submission + - Open Voting Consortium visits Red Hat Summit '07

nadamsieee writes: Julie Bryce of Red Hat Magazine got the chance to chat a bit with Alan Dechert during the 2007 Red Hat Summit. She asked him some questions; he gave her some answers. Alan stated that "[voting software] is an area ripe for open source software development." Also, when asked how corrupt the current system of voting is, Alan replied "The short answer is that I think the system is quite corrupt, and problems with the voting system are generally underreported in the media."

Submission + - Crisis Pending for Business Process Patents?

phoey writes: It appears that patents on business processes have finally struck a chord with lawyers, specifically tax lawyers. There is currently a court case (Wealth Transfer Group v. Rowe No. 3:2006cv00024) that will decide (if not settled) whether business processes apply to tax law strategies. It will be interesting to see if the ruling is in favor of carving out an exception for tax law strategies, overturning the ruling from State Street making business processes unpatentable, or neither. State Street Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Financial Group, 149 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. Jul. 23, 1998).

With little real world experience in law (currently in my second year of law school concentrating in Intellectual Property), I was surprised by the analogy drawn by the patent attorney in the article. He mentions that doctor's have learned to deal with patents on the medical devices they use, so lawyers will have to learn to deal with patents on business processes. The better analogy would be if Doctor's could not perform a particular surgery or surgical technique because it had a business patent. This would most certainly cause outrage in the medical community. As a software engineer, I have seen first hand how patents on business processes (especially obvious ones) can limit innovation in the software development field. It will be interesting to see how the "self-regulating" field of law will resolve this question of patentability of business processes.
The Courts

Submission + - OIN Stands Ready to Sue Microsoft over Patent FUD

Litigious Bastards Redux writes: "OIN, a patent trust created by IBM, Novell and others to protect Linux, has just issued a press release saying that they stand ready to sue Microsoft to protect Linux. Although Microsoft has stirred up a lot of controversy about how Linux infringes upon their patents, they still haven't listed the actual patents they believe Linux has infringed upon. So far, analysts think that Microsoft fears the legal trouble the GPLv3 could cause for them, are only making noise so that they can make private deals with companies to slow Linux adoption, or that they are being pushed to litigate instead of competing or innovating because migrating to Vista is a pain in the ass and Office's lock-in is being broken by ODF. Only one thing is clear so far: actually litigating these patents would turn Microsoft into another SCO."

Submission + - Our Solar System is Perpendicular to Milky Way

eldavojohn writes: "Recent data from the Voyager I & II space craft has revealed that our galaxy is passing through the Milky Way at an angle between 60 and 90 degrees to the disc shape our galaxy forms. From the article, "The findings, detailed in the May 11 issue of the journal Science, suggest the magnetic field in the galactic environment surrounding our solar system is pitched at a sharp angle and not oriented parallel to the plane of the Milky Way as previously thought." The paper in Science explains more about the observations of the magnetic field that exists just outside our solar system and the motivation for drawing this conclusion from it. Definitely revolutionizes the way we thought about our solar system in our galaxy."

Slashdot Top Deals

Riches cover a multitude of woes. -- Menander