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  • US lawmakers urge Apple CEO Tim Cook to reinstate HKmap Live app

    sflocal said:
    These politicians are only making a ruckus to ensure their re-election.  Nothing more.
    I bet the protestors in HK would beg to differ.

    While politicians do like to grandstand regarding all sorts of trivial matters, this is one example where speaking out can make a difference. So if Apple decides to swallow its moral compass, there is no harm in others reminding them to do the right thing. And if you really would like to see China's govt topple, then remaining silent and preserving the status quo isn't going to get it done.
  • Hey email CEO says App Store policy dispute is not about the money

    You can't make this stuff up...  A company which charges an annual $99 subscription fee, for email, is turning around and bitching about fees.

    Of course they're trying to argue it's not really about the money, no, 'course not, it's just all about the customer service y'all.

    My favorite bit was when Fried mentions wanting the ability to make "hardship exceptions" for his overpriced service.

    Um, gmail is free...  That's your hardship exception right there.
    omar moralesRayz2016svanstromchiaqwerty52spock1234aderutterdavenjdb8167mike54
  • Intel's Xeon NUC 9 Pro kit is what we want to see in a 'Mac Pro mini'

    I'm a software dev and push my machines fairly hard and have to say the 2018 Mini is pretty much perfect in every way.  It's powerful, quiet, small, and cheap.  And I 100x prefer using macOS over Linux on the desktop.

    So for those thinking Apple is dead, supposedly in Silicon Valley even, I just have to roll my eyes.
  • U.S. to investigate planned French tax on Apple, other tech giants [u]

    genovelle said:
    cat52 said:
    entropys said:
    How dare France try to level the playing field.  

    Tax-dodging multinationals have an unfair advantage over small local companies who can’t base their operations in tax havens.
    If US and other foreign corporates were “dodging” tax the solution would be to close the loophole. That France isn’t doing so and instead proposing a new tax suggests there is no dodging and France is exercising its usual protectionist approach to justify its over regulated inefficiencies. Any French company caught up in this tax would be looked after in other ways. In other words, France in reality wants to tip the playing field to make better companies than their domestic mates run uphill.

    And the multinationals run a lot of their profits through Ireland, which isn't a tax haven, but merely has a lower corporate tax rate than countries such as Germany or France. And God forbid anyone should pay less tax than the French.
    Well to tax what is earned in France sounds reasonable to me. Foreign companies have to pay taxes on revenue earned here in the US. 
    I see your point but if a legal loophole exists whereby a company can pay a lower tax in another jurisdiction, should they not take advantage of it?

    So if the French don't like Apple paying taxes in Ireland, the proper solution would be to close that loophole as someone here has mentioned before.  Instead however the French are proposing a 3% tax on revenues, which doesn't take into account whether the company in question is even turning a profit there.  So the French solution is clumsy at best.

    Another solution open to the French is to lower their own tax rate so as to make it more competitive with Ireland's.

    Point being the French have several options at their disposal, and they are choosing arguably the worst one.  For instance what would prevent them from increasing this new tax on revenue from 3% to 5% in two years' time? For the history of tax rates (especially in Europe) is that once a tax is introduced, it only goes higher in subsequent years.

  • DuckDuckGo announces new Apple MapKit fueled search improvements

    I switched to DDG two years ago and have never looked back nor missed Google in the least.

    The only thing not to like about DDG, is the name...
  • How U.S. states are using digital contact tracing to stop COVID-19

    spheric said:

    Yeah, they actually did implement most of the common "lockdown" rules, except they relied upon the population to follow their recommendations, rather than making regulations. 

    That works in Sweden, but not much elsewhere. 

    Is that so?  Sweden really did implement most of the common lockdown rules?

    Funny, but that's not how the Swedes see it.

    "We see no point in wearing a face mask", Sweden’s top virus expert says as he touts the country’s improving COVID numbers

    So if the Swedes can't even be bothered to wear face masks, it's quite the stretch to say they still somehow were in quasi-lockdown.
  • How U.S. states are using digital contact tracing to stop COVID-19

    GeorgeBMac said:

    Ahh!  LOL.... the old "Give me freedom (to kill my fellow citizens) or give me death" routine.  
    China chose sanity.   So did South Korea and many others.
    Here, "we" (actually the government you hate and fear) chose to kill over 200,000 Americans -- and the death toll climbs by nearly 1,000 each day.

    You Libertarians are good at placing your ideology over reality.
    Do you drive the speed the limit?   Stop at stop signs?   Drive a tank or carry a bazooka?  Do you default on contracts?  
    No?  then you better rebel against that much feared government that is taking your "rights" away.
    ....  Actually, your rights stop when they infringe on the rights of others (particularly their right to life)

    This is simply not true.

    Sweden elected not to introduce lockdowns, masks are not mandatory there, and yet, the country is faring much better than others who did:

    "While many European countries are seeing new cases surge to levels not seen since the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sweden – whose light-touch approach has made it an international outlier – has one of the continent’s lowest infection rates."

    So there is no need for a country to give up their freedoms after all.

    Imagine that.
  • US House of Representatives to recommend break up of Big Tech firms

    An example of the problem with monopolies or near-monopolies is illustrated by several of Amazon's recent actions.  For the first 20 years of the public internet consumers did not have to pay sales taxes on online purchases.  However Amazon themselves lobbied for the taxing of online purchases because they knew it will hurt their smaller competitors who do not have the army of accountants at their disposal to keep track of all the local tax jurisdictions.

    Then too their sweetheart deal with the Post Office.

    Sure, you may enjoy cheap Prime Shipping, but not only does this put stress on the USPS, but it likewise hurts their smaller competitors who aren't able to negotiate such sweetheart deals.

    Then of course Bezos buys the Washington Post so he can shape public opinion in a way which benefits his business interests.

    Do any of his competitors enjoy such advantages?  No.

    Now I'm not sure how you would go about breaking up Amazon, true, but surely their power should be reined in in some manner.
  • US House of Representatives to recommend break up of Big Tech firms

    Can we break up the Federal Government into 50 smaller governments, and just let the Federal Government worry about borrowing money, regulating commerce with foreign nations and between the States (actual commerce between those states, not inferred commerce), Naturalizing, bankruptcy, coining money, fixing standard of weights and measures, punishing counterfeiters, establishing post offices, roads, patents/copyrights, punishing piracies on the high seas, declaring war and making rules concerning natures on land and water, making and regulating armies and a navy, making militias to execute the laws of the US and to suppress insurrections and invasions.

    And leave the rest to those smaller governments, as long as they don't violate any of the other rules from the document where I pulled that list from.
    Hilarious...  Now what document are you referring to?  Oh wait......   ;)
  • Evidence mounting that Apple is preparing alternative to Google search

    dbvapor said:
    This is a TERRIBLE IDEA.  I was against Apple TV+ because I don’t think Apple should be creating content.. this is much much scarier to me.  As much as I love Apple my politics don’t line up with them and Big Tech Censorship of Conservative Voices is a HUGE PROBLEM.  I don’t think Apple would play it any different from Jack Dorsey or Mark Zuckerberg.  We will see more one-sided censorship.  How ironic that 1984 was the inspiration for the Apple’s ad decades ago.. people are now getting de-platformed for “wrong think”.  Our own President is censored on Twitter!  Does Apple really wanna be doing this?  I do not like this. 
    History will show that what’s being censored is mistruths, misdirection and misinformation.  It just happens there’s one major source of that above all others these past few years.  

    What an amusing comment, especially in light of current events....

    The reason why the powers that be, whether over in China or right here in Silicon Valley, feel the need to censor information is because such information is generally true.  For if it were false, it would die off soon enough on its own accord.

    Take the recent censorship efforts over Hunter Biden's laptop for example.  If this laptop were indeed a hoax, some sort of "russian disinfo" what have you, then there would hardly be a reason to censor it.  For if fake, people would quickly punch holes in its contents, the NY Post who broke the story would be turned into laughingstocks, and that would be that.  But since the laptop appears genuine and is damaging to big tech's preferred candidate, well then, better hurry up and censor it before word gets out.

    In like manner any cursory glance through history will show that whatever the authorities have tried to ban in any given year, have inevitably been because such ideas were true, either in whole or in part.

    2020 then is no different from historical norms whether the censored ideas are political, or medical, such as what we've seen with covid....

    The good news though is information wants to be free, so ultimately the CCP & Silicon Valley will fail in their efforts.