tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
Apple CEO Tim Cook appears today before a U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that's charging Apple with using had a web of offshore entities to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes. Apple has $102 billion in offshore accounts and shifted billions of dollars in profits out of the U.S. into affiliates based in Ireland where it negotiated a tax rate of less than 2 percent, according to the panel’s report. But Cook won't apologize today. Quite the contrary. In prepared remarks already distributed to the media, he and Apple have the chutzpah to recommend lower corporate tax rates on foreign earnings, in order to encourage companies to bring cash back to the U.S. and not “undermine U.S. competitiveness.”

This is exactly the same argument being used by Google, Amazon, GE, and every other major corporation that's hiding its income abroad. It's the same argument they're using here in the UK. They couldn't care less about U.S. competitiveness, or British competitiveness, or the competitiveness of any other nation. Their only interest is shrinking their corporate taxes, reducing their costs, and making the most money they possibly can. I don't blame them: That's what corporations are supposed to do. But to dress this up as anything else is a sham.

Robert Reich - http://robertreich.org/
#capitalism #fascists #apple #google #amazon
tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
I can't believe I'm just now learning of this. I found out at Ed Yourdon's blog.

Back in 2007, Google released Knol, a user edited repository of knowledge that some have likened to Wikipedia.

According to Google's own Knol Help,

Knol has one goal: to help you share what you know.

The Knol project is a site that hosts many knols units of knowledge written about various subjects. The authors of the knols can take credit for their writing, provide credentials, and elicit reviews and comments. Users can provide feedback, comments, and related information. So the Knol project is a platform for sharing information, with multiple cues that help you evaluate the quality and veracity of information. 1


As I see it, Knol is pretty cool. It is like Wikipedia, in that users are invited to share their knowledge, submit and contribute to "knols" or articles thereon. There are distinct differences, however.

The tools provided for creating and editing pages on knol are a bit more "user-friendly" for your average net-citizen to use, including wysiwyg tools, rather than requiring knowledge of wiki markup of any particular variety (there are various out there now), and doesn't require knowledge of any html or any other coding skills.

On thing that could, in my opinion, stand improvement, is the manner in which knol URLs are formed. At Wikipedia, you can pretty well find an article by adding that for which you search to the end of the wikipedia domain, as in, say you are searching for "cows", you know you can find relevant information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cows . Pretty simple. Unfortunately, knol does not build article links in so simple a fashion. A search for "cows" on knol gives a long list of results, with URLs that look like this: http://knol.google.com/k/chris-kovacs/cow/2muevqpdz8cz/2# . You will notice that, after the knol.google.com domain, there is a name (in this case, Chris Kovacs), then the topic (cows), and then some garbledy-gook. All knols appear to be organized by author, first, which does have certain advantages, for the author, as the author IS important at knol, unlike wikipedia, in which authors are sometimes rather anonymous. Also, various authors may submit knols on the same topic, so there is no definitive knol on any particular topic. Also, once an author has created a knol, they have the right to manage that knol, meaning they can accept or reject contributions from other authors, as they see fit. As such, knol differs widely from Wikipedia, being more of a place for authors to showcase their knowledge, rather than a community maintained knowledge repository.

I surfed around knol a bit this morning while drinking my first few cups of Pilo (o Cafe Forte do Brasil), and particularly enjoyed this knol about chilenismos (Chilean slang), by Tomas Bradanovic.

I dug around a bit more, and was astounded to find that there was no knol about Free Software! I just couldn't believe it!
So, I rolled up my sleeves and waded into the fray, and have now become the proud author of this knol on Free Software.
It was easy!

So, dust of your knowledge and share it on Google's Knol.

Enjoy,
./tony




originally published on the baldwinsoftware.com | blog
tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
Yahoo! has been completely yanking my crank.
Their mail is buggy, the new version doesn't want to play with any browser other than internet exploder, and they've been forcing me to fill captcha forms for nearly every e-mail I send, and, despite successful compliance with that annoyance, actually suspended access to one of my two Yahoo! Mail accounts, for accusation of sending spam (never in my life have I sent spam).
And beside, from what I understand now, they're deep in the sack with the Evil Empire in Redmond.

So, I decided to completely discontinue use of any Yahoo! products. Period.
No more Yahoo! mail, no more my.yahoo.com home page, no more Yahoo! Messenger, even.
Forget about it, Yahoo! I don't love you any more.

And I'm completely googley-eye enamored over a myriad Google services these days.
I use gmail, google docs, google reader, googlevoice telephone, google's picasa, google calendar, google analytics and webmaster tools, google dry cleaning...if they have a service, I'm using it.
(What? No Google Personals, yet? No Google music store?)

So, I've had a Yahoo! group for my translation providers, as a listserv and filing sharing mechanism, for some time. Of course, I decided to move the group to Google Groups.
Well, Google wouldn't let me simply send an invite to the Yahoo! Group. Apparently that's verbotten, whether at the Y! end or the G! end, I don't know, but, it's a no go.
So, I copy pasted over the e-mail addy's of some 30 translators at a time into the invite form at the google group, explaining the move and informing them that in order to continue receiving job notifications, they'll have to make the switch with me. Now, Google, being the conscientious net citizen that they are, wanted to be certain I wasn't spamming people and trying to get them to join some spammy, spam-n-eggs kind of group, so when I pressed "send", they kindly asked me to explain who these 30 folks are, do they know me, and why I was inviting so many people at once.

My response to the question was:
The persons whom I am inviting are all professional translators who work for me on a freelance basis. I have maintained a Yahoo! group as a listserv and file sharing mechanism to communicate with them for some time.
However, since Yahoo! sucks donkey balls and Google now rules the online world, I have made the only logical choice and decided to move said listserv to a google group. I <3 google.
hugs and kisses
tony baldwin


Their later response was entertaining, to say the least, but I haven't permission to repost their message to me, of course. Wish I could.
Suffice it to say that they seemed quite happy to approve my request to invite my colleagues, and have wished me a long and fruitful enjoyment of google groups.
God bless Google...
I'm getting all teary eyed here...
Seriously, if Google would start a dating/personals site of their own, and their own music service, I think the work "internet" would even become obsolete. There would just be "the GoogleSphere".

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