* Posts by secret goldfish

21 posts • joined 16 May 2011

Apple to Europe: It's our job to design Ireland's tax system, not yours

secret goldfish


........Apple think that if anyone is owed money it is the US government.

Is this the new strategy now that Gump is president and talks of reducing corporate tax rates?

Are Apple just chasing the lowest and latest dodgy tax deal......again?

Ireland to fight against billing Apple for back-taxes

secret goldfish

What the foreign corporations that don't really pay tax, don't really have real offices and don't really employ the number of people that might justify a 13b tax cut.........yeah lets not go upsetting those wonderful corporations......where do I sign up or do I just bend over?

secret goldfish

I'm not sure what point you're making so please excuse me in advance if I've misunderstood you;

The relevant date is the date when the EU revised the laws in question, from that moment onwards Ireland was in violation of agreements (following EU member rules) it agreed to when joining the EU in 1973 regardless of what deals (and from what dates it had the deals) with Apple.

secret goldfish

Only those arguments are speculative in nature, making them more opinions than legality.

If those are the Irish legal arguments then all I can add is.......good luck to them in court.

I wouldn't want to be an Irish politician in court protesting 'backdoor attempts' by the EU when the same sort of 'backdoor' deals between Apple and the EU were what caused this whole mess in the first place.

secret goldfish

Yes they could have had a special relationship, one that was perfectly OK in/from 1973 and onwards.

The date that is relevant is the date that the EU changed rules relating to consistent tax rates and state aid, from that moment onwards Ireland were in violation of their EU obligations which they agreed to in 1973 and broke at the date the penalty has been backdated to.

secret goldfish

I'd love to see what the Irish government defence to the EU will be, as at it's core, the EU argument is pretty simple.....

The sweet Apple/tax deals you enjoyed while not a member of EU were no longer valid the moment you agreed to join the EU and agreed to the rules of the EU.

At the very least, the Irish government is guilty of attempting to have its cake and eat it too.

Adobe Australia drops SaaS tax dodge

secret goldfish


They should have ALWAYS been charging GST.

If you're an Adobe subscriber and you're pissed off, you should be far more pissed off by Adobe's actions than the government (for not closing this earlier).

FFS Adobe and their ilk spend considerable effort justifying high local costs due to localisation expenses (offices, staff, language(haha) tax etc) yet when it comes to paying those local costs, they're suddenly NOT located in Australia......which is it Adobe, non-australian when it costs you, Australian when it benefits you?

If you're selling a product to an Australian, in Australian dollars on a website with a .au suffix and with a local logistical office, then sorry but the transaction should incur GST.

If these companies don't want to charge/collect/pass on GST (as every company in Australia is expected to do) then the answer is simple........

........let us buy your products from your home country at much cheaper prices...globalisation (hooray!)

Nah that would lower Adobe profits, best to just do what we should have been doing in the first place and blame it on the nasty ol' government when people complain.

Schmidt 'very proud' of Google's tiny tax bill: 'It's called capitalism'

secret goldfish

It's all relative

You're not considering that for a Normal salaried employee their revenue IS essentially their profit!

Did they have to pay for their own office rent, their own equipment, were they 'out of pocket' while awaiting their clients/customers to actually pay them? If so, then they can claim these costs back in their tax return and receive a refund/deduction much like a sole trader.

Don't be so quick to assume that limited companies or sole traders have somehow got some amazingly better deal than salaried employees, I've been both a salaried employee and a sole trader (approx. 10 years each) and both have their pro's and con's, it is always easy to simply see the grass as being greener on the other side of the fence.

The length of time I've had to wait to be paid by clients or the dilemma of simply BEING paid by them, along with 100 other sketchy aspects I could bore you with regarding being self employed are enough to make me constantly question why I bother working for myself and don't simply go back to a guaranteed weekly wage. At the end of the day though, not being reliant on one potential asshole boss, being self sustaining and in more control of my own life/choices are the things that end up being far more important to me than a simple perceived "tax advantage" from someone who I consider 'lucky' to have a guaranteed salary.

If that still sounds like such an advantage to you then by all means feel free to become self employed yourself just get used to living with a lot less certainty and be ready to live frugally when some fucker decides they don't want to pay you 'on time' or 'at all' for work you've already done for them. If you want to take an even bigger risk then become a Limited company, risk employing some people, risk paying big money for a big office and you'll be rewarded by not being held personally financially liable when the whole thing goes 'tits up' and you walk away causing real personal financial damage to sole traders such as myself and your wage earning employees.

Like I said there are pro's and con's to all sides

First pic of Ashton Kutcher as the great Steve 'jOBS'

secret goldfish

Two Jobs films

I think the writer has either his/her Jobs films mixed up or simply didn't make the following more clear in the original article;

There are two different Steve Jobs Bio-films being made and released -

One is the lower budget independent film starring Kutcher (which is where this photo is obviously from) and another more high profile/bigger budget studio film being scripted by Sorkin.

Then there's also the existing, older, made for tv HBO one 'Pirates of Silicon Valley' which while pretty cheaply made and over acted is actually surprisingly watchable and good for a laugh.

In true Jobsian/Apple style, you will be able to see the Kutcher one first and then several months later be required to upgrade to the newer (and likely better) higher budgeted Sorkin scripted film.

Apple pounces on Samsung doc as proof of 'slavish copy' claims

secret goldfish

Re: Eh?

I understand what you are saying regarding how a witness should have an unbiased opinion in comparison to a lawyer with a "one sided" argument.

The problem isn't so simple though when you consider WHO actually selects these "expert witnesses".

As it turns out, they are in-fact selected, from the beginning, by the individual "one sided","biased" legal teams which (along with them being paid) already makes them suspect as far as being "non-biased".

If an opposition legal team was given the option of "non-approval" for a witness to take the stand then you might have better "un-biased" witnesses but you'd also likely have both sides "rejecting" every witness from the opposing side. The way things currently work at least allows witnesses to be heard, whether they are biased or not is up to the opposing legal teams to prove/discredit which the Samsung lawyer did in this case by asking about her "payment".

It isn't necessarily that smart or clever a legal move however if Samsung are also "paying" their witnesses (which they likely are) as they too will now have their credibility compromised when asked the similar "payment" question by the Apple legal team.

With that in mind, it is hardly likely that Apple OR Samsung for that matter would call forward and pay a witness that wasn't likely to speak in their own agenda/best interests. It is best for the jurors to consider this upfront or be outright openly told by the Judge (or a no-biased court representative) how the system of "expert witnesses" works so that they are at least better educated to then make their own mind up regarding the credibility of a witness and their statement.

Optus HFC network gobbled by NBN Co for AU$800m

secret goldfish

Re: "Effing winjas" spoken like a right winja yourself..

I don't see any 'winjas', just some mostly valid and mostly unanswered questions to ask regarding the NBN and the costs involved, which many people are either sceptical of / don't understand and would like some simple answers to.

I think you're confusing any query / questioning of the NBN as an assumption that anyone questioning it somehow doesn't want it or is a 'winja'. It doesn't have to be such a black and white "if you're not with us, you're against us' discussion though, we're not politicians.

I personally like the idea of us having the NBN, I'm just concerned by the massive costs involved and other factors such as the closure of old infrastructure and apparent buyouts of competitors, which just don't sit well with me and are hard queries to find proper answers to outside of politically motivated positive/negative PR spin.

Instead of winging yourself and suggesting anyone questioning the NBN move to the UK and just 'count themselves lucky', maybe you could actually discuss and provide some answers to the questions raised, maybe you could tell us all why we are 'so lucky' (please have a better answer than simply 'faster internet')

It's not hard, there's a poster below who has already attempted to explain things.

Vendors responsible for ‘Aussie Tax’: Choice

secret goldfish

Adobe products the same price or cheaper in Australia!!!

Man I'd love to know which ones, cause they're certainly not the ones I use and require on a daily basis. Those ones have a huge "Australia tax" on them locally.

The only Adobe products I can think of which cost the same here as in the US are PDF reader and Flash player...cause they're both given away FREE like a virus.

I'd guess the "cheaper here" Adobe products are probably something already cheap/simple like Lightroom, but for the most part, the actual products that Adobe make most of their "bread and Butter" on (CS packages) are vastly overpriced locally in comparison to the US no matter how Adobe PR or research firms like to spin it.

secret goldfish

Rental retail costs and their use for online pricing

"Choice tested the widespread argument that Australian retail rents account for the price difference by looking at the differentials for software products, and found that the price differentials for online stores with no shopfronts (48 percent) were nearly identical to the recommended retail price differences for the physical products (49 percent). ®"

That doesn't amount to rental cost NOT affecting the actual price though, all it amounts to is retailers thinking "we can get away with ripping off at the storefront based on rental costs so we may as well try it on with the online model as well" Doesn't actually matter if there is no rental cost when consumers have become so accustomed to paying for it as a part of overpriced purchases already.

R18+ games still not over the line in Oz

secret goldfish

Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

"we think kiddie porn is bad so you can't have it"; "we think beer is bad for you so minors can't buy it"; "we think smoking is unhealthy, so you can't advertise it"; "we think 100kmph is a sensible speed limit so you can't drive faster"; "we think you shouldn't have a collection of working artillery."

You're right, those are easy examples and while the overall end result of the topic is the banning of violent video games altogether, the real reason many of us are upset by the Christian Democratic Party isn't just because they are attempting to ban violent video games but that they are actively fighting against EVEN a simple classification of video games, a classification that will not only prevent minors getting hold of violent video games, but will help parents easily determine which video games are most likely inappropriate for their children.

The idea that The Christian Democratic Party are opposing classification simply to "protect the welfare of the kids" is not even close to a half truth.

If it was only about "protecting the kids" then why would they oppose a system that would ACTUALLY help parents make more informed decisions and prevent the sale of R rated games to kids.

The CDP are not acting in a democratic way where we all work together to find a common solution, they're sticking their head in the sand and are unwilling to find any sort of compromise, which is very .....um.... "christian" (as defined by someone else earlier) This was the whole point of the "ironic Democratic Christian oxymoron" statement in the first place, it was assumed that the reader might possess a knack for wit as opposed to taking things as literally as a page from the bible.

Mind you misunderstood replies such as "I don't know a single Christian who is opposed to democracy." do provide great laughs!

Whether The CDP is taking this position because of "self righteous christian pomposity" or simply just to exert political pressure (to further empower their party and its influence) is still up for debate but I'd guess it is a little bit of both, all being played out under the convenient guise of "protect the children"

secret goldfish

Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

"So christians should be excluded from democracy on account of their religion.

An interesting concept of democracy: if you don't think like me, you aren't allowed to vote."

No an interesting concept of democracy is "WE don't like this video game so YOU can't buy it"

Big difference though is I'm not the one calling myself a Democratic Party and I also never said that christians shouldn't be allowed to vote, what I said is that they shouldn't be allowed to use the law to impose their christian values on non-christians much like atheists shouldn't be allowed to use the law to impose their values on christians. Maybe go back and re-read my original post (perhaps multiple times and with an open mind) before jumping to your own conclusions. A little justified criticism of the Christian Democratic Party under the current circumstances is hardly a suggestion of "throw all the christians to the lions" or "cut their tongues out".

Dick estate gets stiffed

secret goldfish

Re: Re: Do writers dream of electric royalties?

When you say a lot of people want copyright time changed you should do a little research and find out exactly WHO lobbies the hardest for changes to these supposedly "unfair" laws, hint they're not folks like you and me looking forward to downloading the occasional free public domain ebook and they're not the original writers. Most of the time they're simply the organisations best positioned to both create and exploit the new law for their own gain under the guise of the new laws being 'for the benefit of the public'

Philip K Dick should have registered himself as his own publisher from the beginning, his family could then have re-published his work every 49 years in deluxe uber "extended" writer editions to maintain their rights perpetually like film studios and publishers do.

It sounds like the film producers originally agreed to pay for the property then later decided to reneg once they found a legal loophole to avoid any payment, hardly noble and righteous of them either.

Everyone involved is likely a greedy asshole. while the dead relatives of Dick may just be after money, the studio is hardly on some noble cause to free the world from copyright laws for us plebs.

The ironic thing is that the studios behind this are the last people on earth who want their own 50 year old films to move quietly into the 'free' public domain and will fight to the death and do everything possible to prevent their own loss from happening. In the meantime though though they're quite happy to continue circumventing agreements and twisting, the same laws they themselves rely on for protection to avoid paying creators for the rights to a story.

If they were that opposed to paying they could easily have chosen to write their own original film or re-name the film and not cash-in on the Philip K Dick brand.

The Dick family may be asses but they're not the only dicks or asseholes of this story.

Telstra gets mail with Microsoft

secret goldfish

Bigpond, more like the La Brea tar pits....full of dinosaurs and fossils

If I was a Bigpond customer, I'd have to wonder why I was paying Telstra money for a service that they have now just decided to outsource to someone else. It is a shame there is not a Microsoft ISP that Bigpond customers could just take their entire business to if Telstra cannot bother to support and invest in its own service.

Do all these microsoft services even work properly or at all if you are a Bigpond customer who happens to be on say a Mac or Apple hardware?

It is not like Bigpond is an 'el cheap o' service (price wise) which needs to cut corners like this to reduce overheads and in turn reduce prices for their customers. It is and probably always will be one of the more expensive telco solutions here in OZ (what a surprise that it is part government owned. So much for the idea of a government owned business providing the cheaper option to taxpayers, just wait till the NBN starts with them handed the reigns and allowed to try and ream customers like they did for so many years in the days before competition)

Anyone who bothered to compare ISP's/telco's and prices here in OZ would have moved from Telstra services a long time ago (around about the time the first competitor opened shop). It amazes me though how many people I still know that still use Telstra simply because it was a monopoly brand for so many years (Telecom) that it has been essentially ingrained in many peoples psyche as Telstra=telecommunications.

Thankfully Telstra doesn't mean much outside of 'expensive' and 'bloated' to anyone under 35, who don't remember the 'good ol days' of one telco player and who also are less likely to have bought shares and feel obliged to use the service.

secret goldfish


As you can probably tell, I'm no fan of Telstra.

Eight years ago, I cut off my last Telstra service (the landline). I had accidentally overpaid my last bill by $1.12. Eight years on they still send me bills every month or three telling me that I owe them -$1.12 (their nice, easy to understand way of telling me that actually THEY owe me $1.12)

I've called Telstra on at least 5 different occasions in an attempt to get back my $1.12 only to be told that they cannot transfer it to my bank account and that it can only be used as CREDIT for any new Telstra service I might like to sign up for. I've given up on getting it back but i get much more value than $1.12 every time i open the mail and see them waste 8 years of postage costs to tell me something I already know and something they have no intention of rectifying.

The sad thing is that if I was the one who owed Telstra $1.12 and refused to pay it back like they have, I would have long ago already had debt collectors at my door and been blacklisted on a credit list.

Mind you, it is very handy to have Telstra owing you money when one of their sales reps calls you trying to sell you services such as Bigpond or Foxtel. Telling them you are not willing to discuss signing up before they can correct 'the previous credit owed issue' usually results in a reply of "sorry sir that is not my department, you'll have to call the billing department" or "sorry sir for wasting your time"

secret goldfish

Paul Turner

'.com' or '.net' is certainly not something you should take offence to, on the other hand the word 'bigpond' is something you should maybe be a little embarrassed about, not the company per say but rather what you're likely paying for the service v's doing a little research on say 'whirlpool' first before signing on to such a service.

You mentioned that the quality of Bigpond was really good but that is exactly what Telstra wants people to believe, it is also how and why they sell themselves as a premium and expensive service.

Reality, however, tells a different story, there are actually MANY services out there just as GOOD/RELIABLE and actually far CHEAPER than Telstra. Bigpond/Telstra just hope their customers don't do the research and discover this for themselves.

Their customer service though I've found is the complete opposite of their network reliability, Telstra seem to almost have contempt for their customers.

Take for example the attitude Telstra have regarding new/revised/cheaper plans and services, they don't even think it is worthwhile to their existing customers to inform them of any new/cheaper prices, (or even better, automatically transferring them to the new/cheaper services) when they can continue to bill existing customers at the old more expensive prices/plans.

I've used at least three non-Telstra providers over the years who have ALL not only automatically switched me to cheaper options as they introduced them but have been far more COMMUNICATIVE, HELPFUL, HONEST, TRANSPARENT and COMPETITIVE than Telstra ever were when I used them. The speeds and reliability of the competitor networks have also been just as good and sometimes better than what Telstra have on offer.

Every Bigpond user is going to be doing themselves a huge favour by simply doing a little competitive research before re-signing on a contract that might be expiring soon or sometime in the near future.

secret goldfish

Hotmail and Bigpond

I too brace whenever a business contact gives me a hotmail address, on the other hand, whenever I come across a business contact with a bigpond address i know that I can either;

A) Charge them more because they're not too bright about shopping for the best price on things.

B) Probably have to charge them less because they've most likely already spent all their money in the wrong areas.

I dont have a whole lot of sympathy or preference for option B when Bigpond or Telstra are part of the equation.

Bin Laden's porn stash: Too good to be true?

secret goldfish

Porn? I'm surprised they haven't told us that he was into SODOMY

In the past It sure has proven to be a great way to discredit and smear someone not particularly liked by a regime/government. The oldest and easiest smear tactic there is and especially useful in conservative religious societies where homophobia is a favourite and approved past time.

It always gives me a belly laugh and eye roll when I read about it being used in such modern and progressive times as ours. Recent Malaysian and Indonesian examples spring to mind, but lets not kid ourselves US republicans and Fox news would spend a fortune on media if they possessed a photo of Obama bumming or being bummed by another bloke.

The sad thing is we didn't need porn charges to make Osama look like a dick, he did that all by himself, maybe it works to dissuade his followers but it backfired on me, kinda humanising the crazy stick insect man as I picture an absurd Doctor Strangelove moment where he's on the toilet whacking off with one hand while holding his copy of 'Matyr monthly - sixty hot headscarfed virgins for you' in the other hand, all while screaming orders to his followers at the other end of a handsfree bluetooth Iphone* to 'kill the degenerate americans'

*OK the iPhone is a little absurd, There is no way he could of been on the lamb and untraceable for so long.

When being evil alone doesn't quite cut it an added a charge of sodomy should help seal the deal..


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