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Comment Re:Thanks, Trump! (Score 2) 170

Lick my balls, bro.

Buying "carbon credits" and the like don't mean that you're actually using sustainable energy. What happens when the wind plants and solar plants aren't producing? Covering average demand is ONLY covering average demand. Idiots.

Its an accounting trick. They are actually using energy produced by non-renewable generators much of the time. They are simply signing contracts and paying a bit more to say it comes from renewables. Meanwhile, every neighbor is using the exact same mix of power from the exact same generators. The only difference is the piece of paper..

No, there's a little more to it than that. The fact that they're paying more for renewable means that utilities can afford to invest in more renewable production. Buying renewable energy, even if it does get all mixed together with non-renewable in the grid, actually causes renewable energy production to be built out -- and eventually to replace non-renewable production.

Comment Re:No investment opportunities big enough (Score 1) 131

They can't pay it out as dividends without repatriating it, nor can they invest it in anything in the US.

So they bring it back and pay taxes on it, and pay the remainder as a dividend. Then they tell the shareholders they would have got more if not for those taxes and deflect the blame, easy peasy.

And their stock price would take a big hit as they reduced the assets on their balance sheet by a huge amount, to no benefit. Shareholders would be pissed, and the blame deflection would not work. At all.

Bottom line: the reason they have big piles of cash is because the US has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.

No, it's because the US has a pathetic tax structure that makes it easy to dodge taxes.

You don't know what you're talking about. The taxes we're talking about here are taxes that companies in most countries wouldn't pay at all. The US is nearly unique in trying to tax overseas profits.

Comment Re:US tax policy is NOT the problem for Apple (Score 1) 131

They don't have to repatriate it to do useful things with it. Believe it or not you can actually do interesting things outside the USA. I know right? Who knew?

Lose the snark. They already do about as much as they can with their cash outside of the US. There are a lot of reasons they keep the bulk of their operations in the US, and in Silicon Valley.

Have you wondered why Apple has taken out loans in recent years despite having gobs of cash and no actual need for the money?

No, I haven't wondered because it's blindingly obvious, and it's not the reason you state. The reason they do it is because they can borrow against overseas capital and use it to obtain cash for operations and growth in the US. It's a way of partially working around exactly the problem I described.

Over 50% of Apple's business is outside the US.

Revenues, yes. Operations, no.

The effective tax rate in the US for corporations is actually below the world average.

Only because many corporations have big writeoffs available due to depreciation, losses, etc. Apple already uses all of those to reduce their tax liability for US revenues. They'd pay full rate on money they repatriated.

I won't bother rebutting the remainder point by point, because it's all predicated on your above errors.

Comment Glitchless streaming. (Score 4, Interesting) 157

Can you name one thing that your customers actually want that is actually being prevented by network neutrality regulations?

Glitchless streaming.

Streaming (things like audio, video, phone calls) requires relatively small and constant bandwidth (though compression adds variability) but isn't good at tolerating dropouts or variations in transit time. When it does get dropouts it's better to NOT send a retry correction (and have the retry packet risk delaying and/or forcing the drop of another packet).

TCP connections (things like big file transfers) error check and retry, fixing dropouts and errors so the data arrives intact, though with no guarantee exactly when. But they achieve high bandwidth and evenly divide the bandwidth at a bottleneck by deliberately speeding up until they super-saturate the bottleneck and force dropouts. The dropouts tell them they've hit the limit, so they slow down and track the bleeding edge.

Put them both on a link and treat the packets equally and TCP causes streaming to break up, stutter, etc. Overbuilding the net helps, but if the data to be tranferred is big enough TCP will ALWAYS saturate a link somewhere along the way.

Identify the traffic type and treat their packets differently - giving higher priority to stream packets (up to a limit, so applications can't gain by cheating, claiming to be a stream when they're not) - and then they play together just fine. Stream packets zip through, up to an allocation limit at some fraction of the available bandwidth, and TCP transfers evenly divide what's left - including the unused part of the streams' allocation.

But the tools for doing this also enable the ISPs to do other, not so good for customers, things. Provided they chose to do so, of course.

IMHO the bad behavior can be dealt with best, not by attempting to enforce "Network Neutrality" as a technical hack at an FCC regulation level, but as a consumer protection issue, by an agency like the FTC. Some high points:
  - Break up the vertical integration of ISPs into "content provider" conglomerates, so there's no incentive to penalize the packets of competitors to the mother-ship's services.
  - Treat things like throttling high-volume users and high-bandwidth services as consumer fraud: "You sold 'internet service'". Internet service doesn't work that way. Ditto "pay for better treatment of your packets" (but not "pay to sublet a fixed fraction of the pipe").
  - Extra scrutiny for possible monopolistic behavior anywhere there are less than four viable broadband competitors, making it impractical for customers to "vote with their feet".

Comment Re:Music industry != artists (Score 4, Interesting) 71

I think artists of the progressive rock genre are ones that suffer most from streaming

I think they are probably among those who suffer least.

Artists in most of the less mainstream forms of rock have basically never made any money from royalties. Their album sales have always served primarily to feed fan interest in their live shows, and they've made most of their their money from merchandising at the shows. I'd expect prog rock to be in this category. And for artists who make most of their money from touring, YouTube is a *good* thing because it does an even better job of feeding fan interest, enabling a lot more interaction with fans. YouTube does this so well it's enabled artists who would never have made it in the old world to make a decent living with their music. One of my favorite examples is Lindsay Stirling, the dancing pop violinist. She actually makes considerable money from YouTube streaming (because she doesn't go through a label), and sells out concerts in respectable venues worldwide.

The artists who in decades past made their money from royalties rather than touring are the ones who are most hurt by streaming, because their contracts generally pay them a pittance of streaming revenues. On the other hand, the artists in question, the ones to generate massive royalties on album sales, are the big pop acts who are rolling in cash in spite of being ripped off by their labels.

Please don't interpret this as a defense of the labels. I spent a while writing a royalty calculation system for a big label, and it's crazy how much crap they get away with and how badly they rip off the artists, with or without streaming. They suck, and I'm rooting for artists to exploit YouTube, iTMS, Google Play, etc., and social media to reach their fans directly and cut the bloodsucking leeches out completely.

Comment Re:Why air gaps? (Score 3, Insightful) 283

Double glazed windows have a vacuum (or sometimes a noble gas) between the panes.

Or dry air. There's no need to use anything other than air to avoid condensation. You just need to make sure the air is dry and the windows are sealed so humid air can't get in. I doubt many windows are vacuum-filled; that's just begging for trouble, and would also limit the size of panes. 15 pounds per square inch adds up to a lot of pressure very quickly.

Comment Re:No investment opportunities big enough (Score 1) 131

Apple : "We have so much money we literally don't know what to do with it anymore."

That's alright. Neither do Google or Microsoft and a few others. They simply can't find investment opportunities large enough and profitable enough to do anything with their piles of cash. So the pile keeps growing. Eventually I expect it to attract a dragon or something.

Really they should be paying it back as dividends if they can't figure out what to do with the money.

The reason they have large piles of cash isn't that they can't figure out what to do with it, it's that it's cash they generated overseas they can't move it to the US without giving 35% of it to the federal government. They can't pay it out as dividends without repatriating it, nor can they invest it in anything in the US. Since most of their operations are in the US, that means they spend a little on overseas operations and put the rest in high-liquidity overseas investments -- high-liquidity in case they get an opportunity to repatriate it cheaply, or have a sudden need that makes the big tax bite acceptable.

Bottom line: the reason they have big piles of cash is because the US has the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world.

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