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Google Warns Irish Government Against Tax Increase

FishandChips A Proxy War (542 comments)

Ireland is just being used as a proxy here, imho. This is really aimed at the EU which is generally a high tax area. Corporations probably wouldn't dare to insult the EU directly but it's OK, apparently, to diss Ireland now that it's been brought low by corruption and incompetence. Given its history, location out on the fringes of mainland Europe and the strength of lack of it of the Irish economy, attractive rates of corporation tax are probably one of the few USPs Ireland has to attract jobs and business. So it's probably a good idea to keep these tax rates low but that is, or should be, the sovereign decision of the Irish people and what they decide we should respect. It's worth pointing out that of the corporations doing the complaining, two are utterly discredited and owe their continued existence to public funding (the banks) and three are gross monopolies. Complaints from outfits like these that poor people should become poorer so that rich people elsewhere can become richer are pretty darn sickening. If the Irish people decided to send these fellows home in a rowing boat, one couldn't blame them.

However, the larger question here is whether the EU/IMF bailout of Ireland will be sensitive and sympathetic. If the rulers of the EU (i.e., France and Germany) use the exercise as an excuse to strip Ireland of the few advantages it has, such as the option of offering low rates of corporate taxes, claiming "harmonisation" but with the real aim of luring these companies elsewhere then the "rescue" will really amount to a rape. These days you don't need to strip factories and ship them home, you just need to shuffle the foreign bank accounts and trusts around. Given the arrogance and clumsiness of those who run the EU, it would be prudent not to be too confident.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft-Novell Relationship Hits the Skids

FishandChips Network traffic half full or half empty (194 comments)

It's worth bearing in mind that whether you like this deal or not, Novell has successfully lifted several hundred million bucks from the Beast of Redmond. That's a lot of money and a huge sum for a Linux company. It may - may - turn out that this money was what Novell needed to keep the show on the road. From the sound of it, this recent news suggests that the deal is now over. Fine, nothing lasts forever. Forward to the next deal. Besides, Novell's problem has always been the same since they acquired SuSE: how to handle the awkward fact that traditional netware come backlist revenues are declining much faster than the Linux come new business revenues are rising. Sooner or later Novell will surely have to bite this bullet and reinvent itself or, yes, it probably will go under. And it won't be anything to do with Microsoft.

more than 5 years ago
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Tech Companies That Won't Survive 2009

FishandChips Come back in 2010 (385 comments)

Several of the names on that list crop up every time the doomsters gather for another round. In any case, there's nothing wrong with being "sold off". Sometimes that's the making of a company which now has access to capital and markets it would never have had on its own. The only thing one can say for certain is that no one know what's going to happen, and one can say with some degree of likelihood that if some big names do falter in the next two or three years then among them will be some names that have never been on a a Doomsday list because everyone thought were fine. There'll be a lot of execs out there sitting on some awkward secrets (read: big holes appearing in the balance sheet and the banks unwilling to refinance) or some awkward legal claims (read: massive damages for corporate IT scams the victims have so far kept secret for fear of affecting their sales and stock price).

more than 5 years ago
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What RSS Feeds Do You Use?

FishandChips Thought Experiments (243 comments)

Thought Experiments at http://www.bryanappleyard.com/ - stuff that makes you think by the writer and journalist Bryan Appleyard. Feed = http://www.bryanappleyard.com/atom.xml
Nigeness - http://nigeness.blogspot.com/ - acute observation and a connoisseur of many forms of art, a welcome port in the verbiage-strewn seas of the net. Feed = http://nigeness.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
The Lumber Rood at http://elberry.wordpress.com/ - why moan about the end of the world and the collapse of civilization when you can enjoy them instead? This blog will show you how. Feed = http://elberry.wordpress.com/feed/
Oie de Chine at http://chine.blog.lemonde.fr/ - a photo-blog of daily life in China from a hugely talented French photographer. Feed = http://chine.blog.lemonde.fr/feed/

more than 5 years ago

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My Signature

FishandChips FishandChips writes  |  more than 8 years ago My sig:

"Las qué passoun
tournoun pas maï"

This is taken from the motto on the sundial of the church of Notre Dame de Marceille which sits just above the River Aude, by Limoux in south-western France. The site has been a place of Christian pilgrimage for at least a thousand years and a gathering place of some kind for perhaps ten thousand years. It is famous for its Black Madonna (I find Black Madonnas a little sinister) and medicinal springs which are said to heal eye complaints.

I'm guessing, but I presume the inscription is in Occitan, the language of the troubadors which still just about survives in parts of south-western France. I've always taken it to mean "These which pass will not return again" ("Celles qui passent ne reviendront plus", in French). Perhaps this is an elaboration of that now rather trite phrase "Tempus fugit" though I don't know enough Latin (and for sure no Occitan) to be certain. Anyway, I prefer it to that very common motto for sundials "I count only the hours that are serene" ("Horas non numero nisi serenas", in Latin) which sounds so pleasant but which is, alas, complete bullshit. Admittedly, it might sound better on a hot, mazy summer afternoon thick with scents and the drone of bees.

Why choose this as a sig? I've no idea. It seemed right at the time and still seems right now. At least it is far, far away from the world of IT. No one will ever know why this little knot of rock and its old, honey-coloured church have held some magic across all those centuries. And for most of that time the site was deep in a wilderness among the foothills of the Pyrenees, one of the remotest places in all of Europe. I like to be reminded of mysteries we can never solve, things that put us in our proper place. The world is full of them.

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