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Comment They did cheat on taxkes (Score 1) 410

They didn't cheat on taxes, you unbelievable nitwit. Ireland is a sovereign country and they decided what Apple paid. As Ireland itself has said, if Apple owes tax, it is not owed to Ireland.

A better analogy would be the US retroactively eliminating deductions (standard or itemized) retroactively and asking you for back taxes and interest. Even more accurately, it's like the US ruling your state's deduction was illegal and claiming you owed your state back taxes and interest, even though your state agrees with you. But I guess that seems totally fair and happens all the time, right?


They made this deal with Ireland to book the revenue there at a preferential rate. However, part of why the EU determined that they had to pay up is because they didn't really have the office they claimed to have in Ireland. It was a corporation-on-paper-that-didn't-really-exist. I don't really have much patience with that.

You shouldn't be able to have your cake and eat it, too. Some people seriously believe that there should be no corporate tax at all, but if you want corporations to have the rights of persons, then they must also have the responsibilities of persons (e.g. paying taxes).

Apple's CEO is stuck in a regrettable place, though. His responsibility is to lead the company to be as valuable to the shareholders as is legally possible, which in part means minimizing liabilities, including taxes. I have little doubt that they thought this structure was legal.

Comment Re:Security (Score 1) 239

I doubt that IT costs are a burdensome percentage of fares. I bet it's mostly fuel, equipment and labor. A 737 costs about $50 million, and I'm guessing another million a year to maintain over a 20-yearish lifespan. Assuming 1000-ish flights a year with 150 paying seats on the flight, you're talking about $25 per ticket to pay for the plane. Fuel is about $5/gal, with average per seat mpg of 80-ish. So we're talking $50 per seat for fuel... up to $75. Add in labor, airport costs, taxes, etc... I'm just willing to bet that IT costs are less than 2% of a plane ticket. I bet adding proper redundancy would just be a drop in the bucket.

Comment Security (Score 1) 239

Delta has demonstrated that it, one of the world's largest airlines, doesn't co-locate it's critical infrastructure in redundant data centers with fail-over mechanisms. Delta's inability to operate has ripple effects in the operations of other airlines as well. Now criminals know that Atlanta is an Achilles' heel, and to cripple the world's air transportation systems, they need only attack it's power grid. Obviously, market incentives are not sufficient to make them have a more robust infrastructure. I think the FAA needs to step in here and regulate a little sanity into the system.

Comment Re:Emergency phone (Score 1) 537

If the proprietor provides an emergency telephone and clearly posts for all to see where this telephone is, then nobody has had their ability to make an emergency call "interfered" with. What's next? Would you suggest that soundproofing a building to keep bar noise in or street noise out should be illegal, because someone inside might not hear someone outside calling for help?

Maybe curtains, blinds and window treatments should be illegal, too. The privacy they afford might stop a law enforcement officer from witnessing a crime, which probably outweighs the benefit of filtering out too much sunlight.

If the owner wants to shield his premises from some sort of radiation, so be it. As long as adequate provision for the safety of the customers (see my earlier post), then I'm satisfied. In my state, towns are allowed to make ordinances for the health and welfare of the public. Making laws to make SMS and data junkies happy doesn't meet the standard in my opinion.

Comment Emergency phone (Score 3, Insightful) 537

I direct a Boy Scouts of America-accredited Cub Scout Day Camp. We operate our camp in an area with no cellular phone coverage. There are POTS phones, however, and we post a list of emergency phone numbers and directions to the nearest emergency phone in each program area.

I suspect this guy has a POTS or VOIP telephone somewhere in the bar. The prudent thing to do in a place of public accommodation where cellular telephone service is not available is to post a notice that a telephone is available for emergencies and state where it is. It's that simple. He probably already has a posted map to the fire exits in the main dining room/bar already, if fire safety regulations there are anything like what they are here.

I think if the guy were to post "EMERGENCY TELEPHONE BEHIND BAR - DIAL 911" (substitute whatever the dispatcher number is in the UK is) on the door underneath his business hours, he'd be doing his due.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 0) 266

B does not solve the problem. Analyzing the video stream for the do-not-film IR signal is non-trivial; it will require CPU cycles (thus, energy) to do this, and that means that this "feature" will make your battery last not as long as it otherwise would when you are using your camera. This is a real shame, because the actual solution to the problem is people not taking their cameras into the movie theater, or those Yonder things... see https://www.washingtonpost.com... . Now, get off my lawn...

Comment Children (Score 1) 207

I firmly believe that any two adults should have the right to communicate privately as long as they are not convicted felons. I'm a mathematician. It blows my mind that anyone thinks it's reasonable to prohibit the use of math in speech. That said, I would love it if I could buy a phone which would allow me, a parent, to read the communications between my children and other people - not to keep them from becoming terrorists, but to protect them. Children don't have the same rights as adults for good reasons. Looking at domestic cases of terrorism (Dylan Roof, James Holmes, the Tsarnaevs, etc..), most of them either were too old to be parented per say, or they had parents who weren't really in control of them, or even parents who may have sympathized with them (e.g. the Tsarnaevs).

Comment Nice (Score 2, Interesting) 78

So they are essentially turning into a pseudo-coop. Companies whose customers are shareholders tend to have reduced conflicts of interest. This is good for all involved. The non-customer shareholders will also benefit from a more valuable company. As of right now, the stock is down 1.28% for the day. Normally, a share buy-back causes prices to inch up... I wonder why investors are behaving strangely.

Comment I don't think it was the POS manufacturer (Score 3, Informative) 34

I am a senior developer at a POS software company, but not the one related to this story. My take from TFA is that the criminals impersonated support folks from the POS vendor, but didn't actually compromise the vendor's network. The PCI DSS has all sorts of requirements for merchants to follow that would have prevented this. For example, the merchants should not let computers in their cardholder data environment have unfettered access to the Internet, all remote access to the CDE must be multi-factor authenticated, and vendor accounts have to be enabled on an as-needed-only basis.

This is probably a case of a criminal calling CiCi's store 2348, getting a franchisee-trained manager on the phone, and telling her "Hi, I'm from ACME POS, your POS vendor. We are calling to install updates to make the chip readers you aren't using yet work later on... and we need access to the workstation in the back of the store. Can you please open a browser and go to www.getmein.com?...". I doubt the defacing of the POS vendor's website has squat to do with it.

Of course, the franchisee is running a consumer-grade router with no outbound filtering on it whatsoever... because they are in a low-margin business and they needed something cheap. The computer died in the back about 6 months ago, so they dropped in a replacement PC from Wal-Mart and promptly disabled UAC, etc.

The manager isn't knowledgeable enough to notice that the domain he is being asked to go to is wrong, the caller ID is wrong, etc. He or she needs to worry about the 73 kids in the restaurant who are dropping pizza on the floor that the new guy isn't cleaning fast enough, the 8 pizzas on the stuck upper belt in the oven, and the bathroom with the overflowing commode. Not to mention the health inspector waiting up front. Trough-style kid's restaurants are a nightmare.

I wish POS software could be handled completely as a service and reside in a VPC managed by the POS vendor. In reality though, the Internet is just not reliable enough for that in many (most) most places, and controlling POS peripherals from a cloud app is not really feasible.

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