279 posts • joined 7 Jul 2009
Re: 47 different state sales taxes
Depending on which state you live in, it is the purchaser and not the vendor who is liable for payment of sales taxes. Thus Amazon can collect or not collect at their discretion and if sales taxes have not been levied then it is up to the purchaser to add up all of the taxes they have not paid (by, for example, buying something in one state, county or town) and actually using it somewhere else.
I know this directly as our accountant was slapped with a bill one time for "estimated unpaid state and local taxes", but - being an accountant - was able to document the actual amount owed and it was substantially less. She warned us and we then tracked all out of state purchases. My wife still does the books for her sister and reports "use tax" (basically the difference between what was paid on the item where it was bought and the applicable rate where the item was used) to the relevant tax authorities.
Bottom line, Amazon don't (always) handle US state sales taxes and they certainly don't levy Canadian HST on purchases delivered from the US - even though orders are placed through Amazon.ca. Amazon.com doesn't deliver to Canada (although Amazon.co.uk does). What they have done in Australia is not any different from their policies elsewhere.
Now that is what I call a poison pill defence!
And that is why the current all jump on Facebook campaign is so ridiculous. Google, Apple, Yahoo etc (I am sure there are more) all do this. It is the quid that they get for the quo of making life simple for users.
I personally find it amazing how little effort most people seem to want to make to get to read their email, log in to websites etc., but this is what has become the norm: A single log-in to access all of your on-line profiles and actions. Consequently, I find it hard to support the outrage when one company is found to have then used this feature for some other purpose. As far as I am concerned, this is how the company can provide you with these services for no fee (I won`t say free, because it clearly isn`t).
I also find it hard to get upset when a government agency also has access to data which people have willingly given to a private company, but that clearly marks me out as some-kind of apologist for something or other (apparently) so you should probably ignore everything I write.
Re: First Quantum Link... then Usenet... now...
Yep, still remember my CompuServe password too!
50 hours was a helluva lot when they only charged by the minute and the stuff they had there was properly indexed so you didn't need to spend a long time online getting what you needed. Even after the web took off, I was quicker using CServe to get hold of drivers for printers from the WordPerfect Forum than chasing around using Netscape. I don't remember ever having to pay more than the usual monthly amount.
I kept the service for local dial-in numbers all over the world well into the 2000's. In most hotels, local calls were free so I could check email from Abuja to York essentially for nothing. Not a bad feat before public WiFi.
Re: Real data?
After they have forked out a grand to buy it do you really think they will say it sucks?
Pink and grey galah
I've only seen sulphur-crested cockatoos as pets - and I steer a very wide berth. They are not only quite dangerous but bad tempered too and will pick on certain people while being quite docile with others. Put me right off keeping birds as pets.
I have seen a wheat field in WA destroyed by a flock of pink and greys though. These are lovely looking birds that flash pink underwings when they fly, but don't ever mention how nice they are to farmers! The paddock I was shown was completely destroyed - it looked like it had been harvested with every stem cut about 15-20 cm off the ground. The ridiculous things was that only about a quarter of the seed was eaten as the birds just cut down the plants and moved on. And these are a protected species....
You wrote that these are the facts:
"Barry Lynn wrote an article critical of Google. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt complained to Anne-Marie Slaughter - CEO of think-tank New America - about the Lynn article. After hearing Schmidt's complaint, Slaughter fired Lynn."
But these are not the ONLY facts. There is the "fact" that Barry Lynn published the article using his affiliation with the think-tank without his bosses review. There are almost certainly more which may or may not affect your chosen position.
You have listed three specific actions (not facts) and used them to create your narrative. This is a legal approach to making a case which - almost by definition - is trying to convince an audience of your OPINION. I appreciate that this is what the world now seems to be sued to, but claiming that you are only presenting "the facts" is disingenuous. You have a position (which I have a lot of sympathy with) and you have written your article reporting on the various statements with some balance, but then you have cherry-picked certain parts of this and presented them in such a way as to shut down the discussion (These are the facts!)
Such dogmatic statements take away from the value of the article.
Re: The inventor of Li-ion batteries already has the replacement ready
"It adds a bit of weight but this isn't a problem for car batteries."
Wrong. Adding weight is the kiss of death to batteries if they are going to be used for transport.
The dead weight of the battery (especially when it has no charge left and still weighs the same) is why battery powered vehicles still cannot compete on range and performance. Extra weight reduces range even further.
The energy density of a tank full of gasoline is an order of magnitude greater than any current battery technology. Batteries are getting better, but these are incremental improvements when what is needed is a game-changing breakthrough in battery chemistry. I had high hopes of fuel cells powered by methanol, but this doesn't seem to have got anywhere.
Re: 5% of 1000 000 is 50 000 desktops.
I don't work in health, but in research and I expect the issues are the same.
There are pieces of technical equipment which do a perfectly good job and do not need replacing, but which have legacy hardware systems and cannot be upgraded or run from a modern (Win7 plus, or MacOS10) PC. These are often very expensive pieces of equipment (my own personal favourite was a half-million dollar MALDI-TOF Mass Spec which was running on NT) that you just don't toss away when MS or Apple stop supporting the OS.
I am sure that in some cases there is lack of proper upgrading, but you don't replace equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (or pounds) on the same frequency that you replace PC or operating systems. Be as outraged as you like, but then calm down and look at the real situation - it is legacy hardware that is still running old versions of the OS and an upgrade is simply not available.
"Is there not local storage and caching for local patient data? Either it's not very resilient or this is a massive attack."
Ever since data breaches became a big ticket item, local data storage became a no-no. You can't secure all GP's office computers, so you make sure they don't hold any data - the classic security bind.
It's Russian hackers, FBI and Wikileaks wot won it – Hillary Clinton on her devastating election loss
Re: Not entirely correct.
The article states it absolutely correctly. Not enough means not enough - it doesn't mean more than anyone else or less than them - it was quite clearly not enough to win the states that she needed to to win the Electoral College vote. This isn't hard to understand - given that it is the way US elections have been run for, oh let's see, 200 years.
The fact that without California, the popular vote also fell for Trump (albeit very narrowly) goes to show why the Electoral College system was put in place - to prevent one (or two) large states having undue influence over the outcome of the election.
Re: Trump H-1b flip flop
And you use WaPo as a list of Trump election promises?
Re: Phones are now big enough
This is a good point. Our iPad2 used to be communications as well as entertainment (for when you don't want to fire up the PC to check email), but now the phone does that and even the quick browsing (IMDB to settle the arguments about who that actor is and what did he play in before....).
Still good to watch Netflix in bed though as the screen is good - even if the upgrades are getting a bit tedious and clogging up the storage. Seen no reason to upgrade so just hoping we don't drop it it (like we did to our original iPad) as that is the only reason to get a new one.
Re: I've said it before...
My laptop IS my workstation!
With a docking station, two big screens, external mouse and keyboard. And when I need to go on the road, I just pick it up. Saves all that cloud bullshit.
Why have a webcam?
I remove the "webcam" option when I buy new notebooks. Sometimes I even have to pay more(!), but I haven't missed it.
I web-conference a lot, but what people need to see are the documents we are working on or the slides we are talking about. My ugly mug is hardly critical to the conversation....
Cross-country skiers have similar issues
It is a well known issue with the longer cross country races (the men do up to 50km in just over 2 hours) when the temperatures are -20 or so. As racers, they don't wear bulky clothes and are very prone to frozen parts. Petter Northug (Norway's current star) revealed a couple of years that he had had some problems - particularly painful in the shower after the race, was how he delicately described it. He also revealed a posing pouch lined with an insulated material which he said he was going to use in the future. I can't find the pictures, but I remember it looked quite cosy.
The internet companies forgot this and jumped into bed big time with the Dems. Looks like Trump pay-back to me.
Why does anyone care?
About the only thing I ever heard David Cameron say that I could wholeheartedly agree with was:
"Britain is not Twitter"
How many people actually use it? As a % of the population? Then take out self-promoting reality "stars" and lesser-known celebrities and sports players and what are you left with? An entirely un-representative self-selected sample small enough easily manipulated by single-issue fanatics.
The worst aspect of Twitter is how lazy it has made journalists (or allowed lazy journalists to fill their word quota). Instead of actually doing some leg-work and maybe talking to people who might know something, a journalist can simply re-post a selection of tweets from random people supporting whatever point the journalist favours. Thus when a politician asks (perhaps unwisely) for comments, it doesn't matter whether they get anything useful as a few random insults will get all the coverage anyway.
Twitter isn't going to go away and there are some useful applications (mostly one-way information dissemination), but we need to stop caring about the rest of the crap.
In the US cars are already equipped with "lo-jacking" devices through services such as On-Star which can detect and - in certain cases - control engine functions.
And, quite honestly, I would be amazed if a Chief Constable didn't want to be able to stop a speeding getaway car safely. The danger to innocent bystanders from a high speed car chase is such that police regularly break off such chases, allowing criminals to escape - hoping that they can be picked up again by some sort of surveillance system.
A bit elitist aren't you El Reg?
Just because a group of tech-savvy hacks in a developed country haven't used their Yahoo accounts for over a year doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of people using this service regularly. I have many African contacts for whom a Yahoo account (often french) is the only way to reliably contact them. These are often senior academics and government workers whose "work" email very often doesn't (work, that is).
There is more than half a world outside the US and western Europe that relies on the kind of technology and services you make fun of (that's why there is still a market in PCs despite their demise being regularly forecast in these pages). Whether this information breach is going to affect people significantly is hard to say (it was two years ago, after all), but it will concern a lot of real people who use their Yahoo accounts every day.
Re: All i can say...
Stop blaming the Daily Fail for everything that is wrong in the media - some of the (supposed) quality papers are worse because they pretend that they are not publishing click-bait. The headlines went across the board (Guardian, Telegraph, Times) and all of them got the message wrong. Most went for the "19 NHS trusts investigated for higher rates" because it suits the prevailing meme about the failing NHS.
In general, health and science are atrociously served in the media - mainstream or otherwise - because journalists either don't have time or don't bother to read the underlying studies (the way that Richard has done here on El Reg). And with all best wishes to his wife, would he really have taken the time to do this if he didn't have some kind of personal interest?
It is partly because the scientific journals themselves advertise new papers with press releases - which are not written by the scientists involved and often pick out some lurid details just to get a headline. As a scientist myself, I would fight to get these press releases to accurately reflect the main findings, but when the pressure is on from your institution to get more funding, any publicity is good publicity and often you just don't have the final say.
Remember, the devil is always in the detail - and unless you make a real effort you won' ever see that detail. Bottom line: Don't make health (or lifestyle or nutrition) choices based on what you read in the media.
Re: There's more!
Seems like you could also usefully refer here:
Not to mention the suggestion that the recent bloodshed in South Sudan was inspired by a Facebook posting:
Re: Not good for Turkey nor the rest of the world
I have read credible suggestions that this "coup" was instigated by Erdogan himself as a way to get rid of certain elements. He came up with a list of almost 3,000 judges to suspend pretty quickly....
Might be a a bit on the tinfoil hat wearing side, but would you put it past him?
Re: Female Privilege
An Ambassador was sacked by the State Department for doing this exact thing (private email for work documents).
The issue is not whether you could be prosecuted for the server, but whether this amounted to negligent handling of government documents. The FBI has gone as close as they could to saying "negligence" without actually crossing that line as that would have required a prosecution. That is why this is a political decision: There are no rules on when to call behaviour careless or negligent - purely a matter of the opinion.
That is also why this decision will not stop any of the arguments - a different person could quite legitimately call this negligence (especially considering the number of documented occasions when it was brought to the notice of both Sec. Clinton herself and her staff).
Re: The third way...
"(Who is going to say "no" to that??)
Me, I say no to it all the time.
What is the point of "location services" to me as a user? I can still get a GPS fix for the times I need it (placing myself on a map, for example) and what else do I want? Does it take longer to get a GPS fix with these services turned off? Maybe, but a few seconds is hardly a big deal. I'm not a tinfoil hat wearer trying to minimize my data footprint, but why should I bother with services that are no use to me?
I am sure other people want these services and if that is what they want then giving Google their location details is the price they pay for the service. You could say that "uninformed consumers" are not being given a choice, but since it asks each time I think you have to be a bit more nuanced and say "uncaring consumers".
A single seat licence for @Risk would be about that (in AUD) terms annually and I've seen much bigger prices for scheduling software in mining and construction. Specialised software is not cheap as there aren't be any economies of scale (how many people are actually going to be buying this software?).
And really, $2,500 for a $500,000 donation? Not much of a kick-back. I am sure if you look at the constituency offices you will find a much bigger set of kick-backs from all parties - office rents will be much more than this per year and in the UK this has been a big deal for the Labour party "renting" office space from union donors. I am sure plenty of "donors" would rent a bit of office space out at inflated rents in return for a bit of a bung.
The real cost -
- is bringing them back.
The NASA $100B is based on sending lots and lots of fuel to get the peeps (in their ship) back up from Mars. Mars One makes the explicit point that they don't have a plan for this - which is why El Reg refers to them as 'corpses'. As gruesome as it sounds, it costs a lot less to keep re-supplying the colonists with stuff to stay alive than it does to bring them home. Still a lot more than $6B I suppose, but hey, these are TV numbers we are talking about here.
Re: Is it just me?
Neat - if you not a bird. The US Fish and Wildlife service investigated this plant and there were hundreds of bird carcasses collected from under the mirrors, including one Peregrine falcon. Most of them are not killed outright, but it doesn't take much scorching of flight feathers to bring down a bird, and then it is easy pickings for the ground-based predators.
Turns out all solar farms are a problem for birds; Water birds regularly mistake the 'normal' solar collection panels as ponds, crash on landing and can't take off again. Nice to know if you are a coyote or a fox....
Actually, the Ivanpah plant uses gas to warm the water in the boilers so that when the sun shines, it can get to boiling point quickly. I don't know how much this is accounted for in the 'solar output' calculation, but as a carbon footprint issue, this is not really what it claims to be.
Re: Predicting Problems
"And blasting a jet out of the sky would need the mirrors to track it for minutes. Pretty infeasible given the speed with which those mirrors move; not that that would bother a Hollywood script writer."
Have you watched any Hollywood movies lately? This is way more feasible than most plots.
Re: Snake Oil
Thanks for the sober reflection. I could envisage a door system to allow passenger entry without an airlock for the pod, but that doesn't really change the throughput issues significantly. I think that this is a freight only technology unless you are going to run very long distances. And is there that much money in freight?
I was also wondering about stopping - the PR test had a water brake which looks fun the open air......
Re: He didn't say that. Another made up story.
Yeah, but if what he said isn't interesting, then the journos just have to make something up don't they? I mean, its not like the journos actually have any moral requirement to tell the truth is it - their job is just to wind you up enough to make you click on the link or write a comment....... oops!
Re: Safari's busted?
Yes, Safari has got really slow (and crashes a lot now). I put it down to web pages being so full of crap these days, but maybe an iPad2 just can't run iOS9x.
I wish I had not upgraded (from 7!), but you can't stop the nagging and one day I hit "Install now" instead of "Install later"..... Have managed to avoid doing that for 9.3 so far (and I think it has stopped nagging now while they fix it).
Re: Middle aged?
"UK life expectancy should be dropping soon due to bad diets and decimation of national heath care."
People have been saying that for over 10 years now, but there is no evidence......
... has to be the best description of web services I have ever heard. They "work" until you look at them and then are absolute toast once you lift the lid. Quite brilliant.
Made in 2011 - and still going!
It sort of says a lot that it has taken until now to identify a potential problem and have to issue a recall for batteries made 4-5 years ago! Most notebooks (and their batteries) would have given up long before now. My sister-in-law is still using her CF9 (model before this, bought in Jan 2011). You can't deny that they are tough!
Yeah, yeah, FaceBook bad...
But that wasn't the point of the article. The article was about "net neutrality" campaigners who are actually nothing of the sort. It was the people who campaigned to get a law passed in India (which deprived very very poor people of access to something the rest of take for granted) who were the target - in this case competitors to FaceBook, but that was purely incidental to the point of the article.
As as long time Compuserve user (in the days before ISPs) I was very happy to have the few channels that they offered because is was better than nothing. That is what we are talking about here - better than nothing. As soon as they have better options, Indians will use those.
But hey, if you want to pile in on FaceBook, go ahead - Orlowski started that in his second sentence - hardly the language of a paid hack!
As someone who has sat on review panels for "industry-directed" research grants (in the the US), I can vouch for the almost completely academic make-up of these panels. There is rarely any consideration of what the route to market would be - and this was not (at the time) addressed as one of the selection criteria. I myself was an 'academic" at the time, although since I was working in IP I at least understood one aspect of getting to market.
I have since then worked far more on the delivery side of my field and have somewhat irregularly been involved in government efforts to promote innovation and I have to say that they are universally a waste of money. The one thing you can't do in this field is pick winners from a research perspective - funding solutions to going looking for problems is completely bass-akwards.
The most telling part of this article is where it notes that the food industry is now the most successful sector in the the UK - and has had no support from the industry promotion quango. Government support/subsidies do more to harm innovation than promote it because they gloss over the one critical aspect of innovation - if it doesn't result in something better and/or cheaper then it won't fly and if you need government support to make it, then it is almost by definition not cheaper and probably not better.
I appreciate that funds to build a prototype can often be hard to come by in the private sector, but funds from someone who is looking for a return are worth a lot more than funds from someone who just wants to tick all the boxes about how they have spent the money. As any recipient of government funds will confirm, the overriding concern of the funding body is that the funds are properly accounted for - not that they have been used to actually achieve a goal.
A US presidential election is fought almost entirely on the record and personal morals of the candidates. A former senior government appointee operating a non-governmental email account for government business, but also running this on a private server (however secure) is breaking a lot of rules. Yes, she is not the first (I understand Colin Powell did this - for a while and this was why the rules were re-iterated after he left), but this person is now running for president.
Furthermore, this person was not some government newbie, but someone who had been the First Lady for 8 years and so cannot reasonably claim not to have know the issues at hand or the consequences.
This is not a storm in a teacup, but goes straight to the issue of the fitness of this person to be president. This is why it is big news, and will continue to be big news while she is a candidate. Get used to it.
Re: Lipos for cheap.
I just had a delay on a new 'phone being shipped from China. Was told the package was not approved in airline cargo with Li battery, but the "alternative route" came via Dutch post and the speed it arrived (following the on-line tracking) suggests it must have been a flight. I am left with the feeling that some airlines are getting into a spin, while others are more relaxed.
Oh yes, the 'phone battery was included inside the phone, but with the plastic isolator film still attached - how does this qualify? Is it a spare or not?
"The last time my doctor had a good look at me (almost naked), she said I could do with having a bit more weight. I pointed out that my BMI was 23 and she went very quiet."
Exactly. BMI should be trashed as a measure of health and your doctor was embarrassed by having you point it out. It might have worked for 18-25 year old people 20 years ago, but it is completely inappropriate now. Even more so since the thresholds were dropped (yes, dropped not increased) in 2000. You would have been borderline underweight in 1999.
What's going to happen?
Nothing. He has already retired with his stock options intact based on the 3-5 years of growth the company experienced after his decision.
With all due respect to Gaelic speakers...
This kind of thing makes a mockery of your language.
When you change the meaning of a word so completely with an accent then you are setting yourself up for misunderstanding. The purpose of written language is to be understood by those who read it. In the majority of cases accents are used to guide pronunciation - not meaning - for the well displayed reasons in this paper. Half of the mistranslations in biblical scripts are because the ancient Hebrew used accents above or below the general text to denote vowels - with the predictable results as the texts became old and the accents were lost in transcription by non-speakers.
I am sure there is some College of Gaelic scholars somewhere who are desperately working to "keep the language pure", but they are doing no good to keeping the language alive if they don't allow it to modernize.
Re: Fuel tank rated to 10,000psi
Fuel cells are nice as very efficient and if H2 as an energy store is such a PITA, I always thought methanol was a suitable alternative source of the H. Yes, there will be some CO2 emission, but once we get over the demonization of plant food we can actually begin to think sensibly about alternative energy.
Powder as H source?
Anyone know what the technology is for the H-producing powder?
A few years ago Sony were touting a methanol-refuelled fuel cell notebook battery with a cigarette-lighter sized refill. Liquid fuels are so much easier to handle, but a powder cartridge would work - although probably more expensive. Not sure if iPhone is a good target for this technology as nothing Apple ever lets you open it to replace a cartridge so it has to be a refuelling-via-port option.
Re: Useful for travellers, both for business and pleasure
Spot on. Can't see myself ever going back to a single SIM 'phone for this very reason.
Re: Dual sim
I've been using dual sim phones for a few years (Chinese Frankenphones) and they work absolutely fine. Receiving stuff is seamless - you may or may not know which line it is coming in from depending on software, but you don't have to so anything to set that up. You decide which sim to use when you make a call. send a text, connect to data or whatever. I am sure that you can also do this automatically as well, but that might be dependant on software. Bottom line, I have never had any connection issues (in about 9 or 10 countries around the world) and have many options for cheaper connectivity while travelling.
I pick up local PAYG SIM cards wherever I happen to be (these are a great deal in developing countries, just buy them on the street rather than buying them in the airport) and I have had some cards active for years now. I do sometimes get funny looks when I sit on the 'plane and open up my travel walleet and choose through 6 or 7 SIM cards, but I think that is getting less noticeable now as well. My Tesco card I use about once a year when I am back in the UK, but I have had this for years now. Just spent three weeks in the US where my T-Mobile card was great for data ($10 per week for unlimited) although calls and texts were still a bit expensive on that plan.
My current 'phone has one standard and one micro-SIM slot. I had a bad experience with using an adapter so I went with this as the best option on my last purchase. All my current 'travelling' SIM cars are the full-size ones, but I am sure you can get smaller ones now so I will probably not bother with this on my next 'phone.
I have even seen three SIM phones advertised (on DX.com or AliExpress), but I think that may be going a bit too far. Sometimes even this seems like a gimmick, but on quite a few occasions in the 5 or 6 years, have a local and international number has been very useful to me persomally and i don't think I will go back.
Re: Actually sounds good.
I agree, but the important quote in the article said the rates had been pretty constant over the 10 year period studied - suggesting that the 'stupid' mistakes are not all that easy to correct. Needs a follow-up with yearly numbers to see what is (and is not) improving.
Yeah, even my home town had a bomb in a waste-bin on a shopping street during the IRA campaign, No warning, no conceivable rationale for why a small town in the north-west of England merited a bomb - one kiddie died and another badly injured.
I don`t try to separate terrorists by gradation of their atrocities. When you attack random public targets, I really don`t give a shit for your politics.
Re: Use batteries in their data centre?
Not significant enough - canned in April with only 70,000 sold in 5 years.
Should have been a good idea, but the price was ridiculous - even including the big govt. kickbak they were 40-50% more than comparable sized cars. Same with the prices quoted here $30k for a small sedan is not going to get many takers beyond those who want a status symbol and they can already buy a Tesla....