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Showing posts from February, 2010

Why we don't do Apple

This is one reason why our small software company has not invested anything into producing software for the Apple platforms, nor do I plan us to:ChilliFresh is an Australian company that creates apps for the iPhone, including the recently banned Wobble, which provides pictures of women's breasts.

"I'm now worried the eco-system is run by puritans and is not fair to all players," developer Jon Atherton said on its website.

"And worst of all it is not a secure source of income. It can drop to close to zero if they decide to change the rules," he added.

The firm was making £320 a day out of its apps, a figure which has dropped to £5 since the ban, he said.

"On Friday evening we got an e-mail out of the blue which basically said, thanks very much but we don't want you any more. Apple said it was removing all overtly sexual apps," he told the BBC.It just doesn't seem to make sense to develop for a platform where you can't even count on being ab…

Man crashes plane into IRS offices

The US Internal Revenue Service is frequently described as the most aggressive, least forgiving, most bullying tax agency in the western world.

The IRS is charged with enforcing a tax code which is incredibly unwieldy and full of traps. The way IRS enforces this tax code is said to frequently result in honest individuals ending up bankrupt or in jail for "transgressions" that they did not even know about.

I do not know this man's background, but quite apparently, the IRS was ruining his life, and he saw no better recourse than to crash his plane into their office building.

Quite possibly, they did, in fact, leave him with no other recourse.

The US tax system must be reformed, and the IRS must get out of the business of destroying people and businesses.

Charity considered harmful

I was struck by this comment by Toby Ord under a LessWrong.com article:
It's not actually that hard to make a commitment to give away a large fraction of your income. I've done it, my wife has done it, several of my friends have done it etc. Even for yourself, the benefits of peace of mind and lack of cognitive dissonance will be worth the price, and by my calculations you can make the benefits for others at least 10,000 times as big as the costs for yourself. The trick is to do some big thinking and decision making about how to live very rarely (say once a year) then limit your salary through regular giving. That way you don't have to agonise at the hairdresser's etc, you just live within your reduced means. Check out my site on this, http://www.givingwhatwecan.org -- if you haven't already.Charity is the process of taking purchasing power away from functional, creative individuals and communities, and giving it to dysfunctional, destructive individuals and commun…

Happy times in North Korea

In The Economist:First, women under 40, the main cohort of traders, were banned from markets, which have since been closed. Travel restrictions, especially near the Chinese border, were reimposed. “Antisocialist Conscience Investigation” teams fanned out. With market activity criminalised, punishments got harsher. In low-level “labour training-centres”, where most economic “criminals” are housed, 60% of inmates have seen executions and 90% witnessed forced starvation, refugees tell surveys by Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland for the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Copyright troll hijacks hit song Down Under

Copyright troll Larrikin wins lawsuit against Men at Work for their inclusion of two bars of an old Australian popular melody in Men at Work's recording of Down Under. The copyright troll now wants 40-60% of the song's earnings.

Larrikin purchased the copyright to "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree" specifically to extort people who make any use, even tangential, of this old, well-known Australian melody:"It's earned a hell of a lot of money for us since we've bought it,'' Mr Lurie told The Age.Another case of people who would leave the world better off if they were run over by a bus.

Previously:Patent troll i4i extorts MicrosoftPatent troll extorts Research in Motion