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Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals

skegg Re:Good for them (158 comments)

Up until about a decade or so ago in Australia, some clever private individuals established companies and worked their 9 - 5 job through the company, enjoying much lower tax rates and other such benefits of corporate law (shifting losses to other years, etc).

The Australian Tax Office stepped-in and declared if you look like a private individual, walk like a private individual and quack like a private individual ... you're a private individual and will pay tax at the appropriate rate. You'll also receive a fine for trying to be clever.

So clearly, the government is able to crack down on those who try to be clever and follow the LETTER of the law but not the SPIRIT of the law. Unfortunately, the government is very SELECTIVE when deciding where to act.

about two weeks ago
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Apple's Luxembourg Tax Deals

skegg Re:Simple fix (158 comments)

Knowing that the tax laws allow large corporations to get a refund of prior year taxes when they have a loss I asked my accountant about it. His response was that it would cost far more to file the paperwork than what the refund would be.

This here is the real zinger.

Almost everything that these large corporations do which results in them realising such lower effective tax rates -- lower than small businesses, and lower than even lowly paid employees -- is LEGAL, however EXPENSIVE to achieve.

Let's say the professional advice, off-shore entities, and expenses for submitting paperwork to government departments costs a million dollars a year (I plucked that number out of the air): a company would need revenue many times that to make it worth all the effort. So existing laws -- which make such behaviour legal -- favour larger corporations.

It's the same with family trusts in Australia: they're legal financial instruments that "coincidentally" allow people to decimate their income tax obligations. Unfortunately, they're also a little costly to establish and maintain, so only wealthy people end-up using them.

NONE of these laws are by chance ... I believe they're DELIBERATELY DESIGNED to benefit the wealthy.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA

skegg Re:Other prisons are the same (142 comments)

I can vouch for his comment that having ancestors who arrived as convicts DOES give one bragging rights in Australia.

about three weeks ago
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China Completes Its First Lunar Return Mission

skegg Re:Welcome to 1970, China! (109 comments)

Wrong: the specs are still present, and much of the institutional knowledge is still present.

What the US lacks is the financial will however, rest-assured that both the US and Russia could hop back into the space race whenever they chose. It would hurt financially, but they could do it.

These countries are choosing not to spend as much on space programmes as they once did. Back against the wall, they could switch priorities.

I wish people would stop playing-out their fantasy that former world leaders (US, UK, Russia, France) are wounded giants with buzzards surrounding them ... they pack a mean punch and will continue to for some time.

about a month ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

skegg Re:It's sad (427 comments)

I agree: Google is outright "aggressive" when attempting to capture user data.

And they employ numerous techniques:
    - persistent nagging - incessantly asking for additional data/permissions despite consistently declined in the past
    - trying to capitalise on user error - making it easy to sign-up for services you don't actually want (convert to Google+)
    - and now, forcing manufacturers to add services many people don't actually want (why do we have app stores, anyway, if apps are pre-loaded?)
    - making permissions generic - allowing more aggressive apps to be waved through
    - not allowing granular permissions - anyone remember this?

about 2 months ago
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Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches

skegg Re:Frog is boiling.... (500 comments)

Personally, I'm more concerned with how they define "occupant". Is it anybody that happens to be in the house at that time? Do children count?

I'm sure that thought already crossed the collective mind of the police department and judges ...

about 9 months ago
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Supreme Court Ruling Relaxes Warrant Requirements For Home Searches

skegg Re:Sure (500 comments)

Good point. And thankfully, litigation is completely free and fair.

You don't need to spend thousands on a lawyer. Nor do you have to take time off work to meet with said lawyer and go to court.
Plus, you're guaranteed to get an equitable judge; one who isn't on a first-name-basis with representatives of the police department.

I wish I lived in your world ...

about 9 months ago
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Anonymous Slovenia Claims To Have Hacked the FBI and Posted Emails To Pastebin

skegg Re:Sensitive information? (152 comments)

As for the other info, I fail to see how my wedding date, educational history, etc. would be particularly useful to a killer.

The day after your wedding anniversary, your assassin could ask your wife what type of flowers you bought her and where you took her for dinner.

She'd become so irate that you forgot the anniversary that she'd do the job for him.

about 10 months ago
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Yep, People Are Still Using '123456' and 'Password' As Passwords In 2014

skegg Re:rubber-necker woot-woot (276 comments)

And never get into a car with them.

about 10 months ago
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Pirate Bay Founder's Custody Extended to February 5th

skegg Re:Well yeah (127 comments)

no, they just locked him up alone

And you're being particularly obtuse. Solitary confinement has historically been used as a way of punishing prisoners, and only ever for short periods.
X0563511 is correct: the state should foot the bill of posting a guard at his door.

Further reading: Solitary Confinement
The opening paragraph says it all.

about a year ago
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Firewall Company Palo Alto Buys Stealthy Startup Formed By Ex-NSAers

skegg Re:I don't think so. (102 comments)

Wallah!

It's "voilà".

He could have been quoting Arabic ... in which case that word fits quite well.
(However I agree he probably meant "voila".)

about a year ago
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Italy Approves 'Google Tax' On Internet Companies

skegg Re:From Italy, yes, otherwise... (236 comments)

I don't think the distinction between avoidance & evasion is lost on most of us here on Slashdot.

However, what we ARE is pleased that Google "avoiding" paying tax on billions of Euro will now be considered Google "evading" paying tax on billions of Euro.

As was summed-up so nicely by First Post: loophole closed.
(After too many years !)

about a year ago
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Data Broker Medbase200 Sold Lists of Rape & Domestic Violence Victims

skegg Re:Time to sell List of CEOs home addresses (168 comments)

In the context of parent's comment, yes, that matters very much.

After all, what is the average cost of living in India or China?

about a year ago
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Australia's National Broadband Network Downgraded

skegg Re: Not sure which is news... (122 comments)

For the record, I am not loyal to any party. Each election I review each party's policies and go with my gut. I think those who blindly follow a party have helped ruin this once fine country.

We cannot muscle companies around just because we can.

100% agree with you. However I believe unions have a role to play in society. Historically they have been critical to balancing the power between powerful industrialists and the lowly worker. (BTW: why is it that those who most adore free markets object to workers freely uniting?)

Also, it's worth noting that the real world isn't digital, it's analogue. And this is where politics resides. Should workers have more rights? Or fewer? There's no universal answer, just opinion.

FYI: Wrong, I ain't no whipper-snapper.

about a year ago
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Australia's National Broadband Network Downgraded

skegg Re: Not sure which is news... (122 comments)

Bwahahahahahahaha yourself.

From this article:

Toyota is now in a fierce battle with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union over the attempt to reduce workers' conditions at the plant.

How DARE the union object to conditions being reduced! Perhaps you would also like to see the minimum wage scrapped?

Through creative accounting, large companies are very adept at crying poor to the government, while at the same time telling their shareholders that they're expecting bumper profits. You need to grow up, mate.

about a year ago
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U.S. Measles Cases Triple In 2013

skegg Re:Duh (462 comments)

Ahhh ... thank you !!!
You have finally clarified for me something no pro-vaccination person had managed to yet explain. (Not that I particularly pursued an answer, mind you.)

I had previously enquired as to why pro-vaccination parents got all worked-up about whether or not other parents vaccinated their kids: if one's kids were vaccinated, one had nothing to fear, right? But apparently that's not always true.

Cheers bud.

about a year ago
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Microsoft May Finally Put Windows RT Out To Pasture

skegg Re:900 bucks (293 comments)

Do Persians (Iranians?) even consider themselves to be Arabs?

Disclaimer: IANAP(I).

about a year ago
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Skydiving Accident Leaves Security Guru Cedric 'Sid' Blancher Dead At 37

skegg Re: Security 101 (332 comments)

Also: driving is usually necessary, skydiving rarely is.

1 year,9 days

Submissions

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Accessing One's Own Metadata

skegg skegg writes  |  about a month and a half ago

skegg (666571) writes "Frustrated journalist Ben Grubb has documented his attempts at gaining access to his own metadata from his carrier. "After more than a year of phone calls and emails and a private mediation session, it still hasn't released the information or answered my one key question satisfactorily: the government can access my Telstra metadata, so why can't I?"
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Contents of footballer's phone, iPad downloaded by customs

skegg skegg writes  |  about a year ago

skegg (666571) writes "Revelations of performance enhancing drug use amongst some Australian athletes has brought this subject to centre stage in recent years. Amendments to legislation now give the government anti-doping body broad powers to 'compel' suspected individuals to hand over, well, anything related to an investigation. And when a well known football player recently passed through customs it appears that just happened, with the sportsman allegedly having the contents of his phone and iPad downloaded."
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Major Australian Retailer Accused of Selling Infec

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "Dick Smith, a major Australian electronics retailer, is being accused of regularly selling used hard drives as new. Particularly disturbing is the claim that at least one drive contained malware-infested pirated movies, causing the unlucky buyer significant data loss. Apparently the Fair Trading Commissioner will be conducting an investigation."
Link to Original Source
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Husband ordered to pay wife for lack of sex

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "A court in France has ordered a man to pay 10,000 euro in damages to his long-frustrated ex-wife after he failed in his marriage "duties" by withholding sex from her for years. Is this every Slashdotter's dream — court-mandated sex — or a nightmare waiting to happen?"
Link to Original Source
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Global Mall Operator Starts Reading License Plates

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "Westfield Group, one of the largest shopping centre (mall) operators in the world, has launched a find-my-car iPhone app. The system uses a series of license plate reading cameras dotted throughout their multi-level car parks. Westfield said police could also use it to find stolen or unregistered vehicles. (Hello, slippery slope.) Initially launched in just one Sydney centre, it will be rolled-out to others if the trial is successful."
Link to Original Source
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Camera Fails to Record Killing at Sydney Airport

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "Despite the millions spent on security and the clamp down on our rights, a security camera at Sydney Airport failed to record a brawl in which a man was bashed to death with a bollard. In fact, the jury has heard evidence from an airport employee that the camera had been out of order for "at least two years". Security theatre at its finest?"
Link to Original Source
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Outgoing Government Shredding Secrets

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 3 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "With the incumbent party expected to suffer a landslide defeat in the upcoming elections, The Daily Telegraph reports: "Thousands of politically sensitive documents and computer files are being destroyed by NSW Labor Government staffers intent on leaving no damaging traces of its 16 years in power." The Telegraph also reveals insights from a NSW State Records report covering best practices for making records go away, including: shredding, crushing, incinerating, chemical recycling, and more. Who would have thought a government could be so efficient?"
Link to Original Source
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Public Fears Hinder Australian Photographers

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 4 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "A renowned Sydney photographer says spontaneous images in public spaces are becoming increasingly difficult to capture and that fears about paedophilia and terrorism are largely to blame."
Link to Original Source
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Oz Gov to Spend $AUD467m on E-Health Records

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 4 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "During tonight's budget reading, the Australian Treasurer announced plans to spend $AUD467 million (about $USD418 million) introducing electronic health records for all Australians. Participation will be optional, and individuals will control who can access and update their records. For now. So what's the latest scoop regarding e-health records in your country? Should Australians embrace this initiative or fight it? Are there any measures we should put in place sooner rather than later?"
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Australian Internet Filter Extended

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 5 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "Despite stories of its net filter backdown it seems the Australian Government's censorship plans are alive and well ... with a little something extra. The Government is now promising to use its internet censorship regime to block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for 15 year olds. From the article: "Colin Jacobs, spokesman for the online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said the Government clearly went far beyond any mandate it had from the public to help parents deal with cyber-safety ... 'This is confirmation that the scope of the mandatory censorship scheme will keep on creeping'"."
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Are we ready for a cashless society?

skegg skegg writes  |  more than 7 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "Following a security scare, a major Australian bank cancelled thousands of credit cards belonging to its customers. The article mentions one customer unable to leave a store as she spent 40 minutes on the phone trying to sort out the mess. Do incidents like this teach us anything about preparing for a cashless society? Is a purely cashless society even possible by today's technology standards?"
Link to Original Source
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skegg skegg writes  |  more than 7 years ago

skegg (666571) writes "In this AP article, a Singapore teenager has pleaded guilty to tapping into a neighbor's wireless Internet network. What makes this story interesting is that the judge asked if he would be willing to enlist early for the mandatory national service "as a way to stay out of mischief" ... the teenager agreed. Is this a fair use of national service?"

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