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The Zuckerberg Tax
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's biggest-bill department:
Hugh Pickens writes "David S. Miller writes that when Facebook goes public later this year, Mark Zuckerberg plans to exercise stock options worth $5 billion of the $28 billion that his ownership stake will be worth and since the $5 billion he will receive will be treated as salary, Zuckerberg will have a tax bill of more than $2 billion making him, quite possibly, the largest taxpayer in history. But how much income tax will Zuckerberg pay on the rest of his stock that he won't immediately sell? Nothing, nada, zilch. He can simply use his stock as collateral to borrow against his tremendous wealth and avoid all tax. That's what Lawrence J. Ellison, the chief executive of Oracle, did, reportedly borrowing more than a billion dollars against his Oracle shares to buy one of the most expensive yachts in the world. Or consider the case of Steven P. Jobs who never sold a single share of Apple after he rejoined the company in 1997, and therefore never paying a penny of tax on the over $2 billion of Apple stock he held at his death. Now Jobs' widow can sell those shares without paying any income tax on the appreciation before his death — only on the increase in value from the time of his death to the time of the sale — because our tax system is based on the concept of "realization." Individuals are not taxed until they actually sell property and realize their gains and the solution to the problem is called mark-to-market taxation. According to Miller, mark-to-market would only affect individuals who were undeniably, extraordinarily rich, only publicly traded stock would be marked to market, and a mark-to-market system of taxation on the top one-tenth of 1 percent would raise hundreds of billions of dollars of new revenue over the next 10 years."

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Jedi Master's Hand-Made Lightsaber Stolen
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lost-your-weapon-you-have department:
First time accepted submitter psiogen writes "Flynn Michael, an instructor at New York Jedi, an organization that teaches 'practical knowledge of how to use a lightsaber, left his custom-crafted blade for only a few imperial minutes, but when he returned, it was gone. Fromthe article:'“Who steals somebody’s lightsaber? It’s like stealing someone’s toy out of the sandbox,” said Michael, the founder of New York Jedi, a stage combat performance group. “I finally got my uber custom saber, and then some jerk walks out with it."'"

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US Air Force Buys iPads To Replace Flight Bags
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's brand-new-bag department:
redletterdave writes "Following the precedent set by commercial airliners, the U.S. Air Force plans to buy up to 18,000 iPads for its Air Mobility Command (AMC), replacing heavy flight bags with light and efficient Apple iPad 2s for the crews that fly cargo aircraft. The devices will reportedly be used by the crews on the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster aircraft. There are several benefits to using electronic flight bags instead of physical versions. For one, the iPad can instantly update charts electronically, while the AMC would require flying charts get reprinted every 28 days to stay up-to-date. By cutting publication printing and distribution costs, and exchanging 70 pounds of paper for a 1.3-pound iPad, the Air Force can save some serious cash, including more than $1.2 million worth of fuel per year."

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Selling Used MP3s Found Legal In America
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's old-music department:
bs0d3 writes "After some litigation; ReDigi, a site where people can sell used MP3's has been found legal in America. One of the key decisions the judge had to make was whether MP3's were material objects or not. 'Material objects' are not subject to the distribution right stipulated in "17 USC 106(3)" which protects the sale of intellectual property copies. If MP3's are material objects than the resale of them is guaranteed legal under the first sale' exception in 17 USC 109. Capitol Records tried to argue that they were material objects under one law and not under the other. Today the judge has sided with the first-sale doctrine, which means he is seeing these as material objects."

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If You're Fat, Broke, and Smoking, Blame Language
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's he-cannot-speak-it-good-like-we-do department:
First time accepted submitter derekmead writes "A Yale researcher says that culture differences how much money we save, how well we take care of ourselves, and other behavior indicative of taking the long view, are all based on language. His study argues that the way a language's syntax refers to the future (PDF) affects how its speakers perceive the future. For example, English and Greek make strong distinctions between the present and the future, while German doesn't, while English and Greek speakers are statistically poorer and in worse health than Germans. (The study includes a broader swath of languages/nationalities, but that's a start.)"

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Labor Activist: Apple May Be Terrible, But All Others Are Worse
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's best-of-the-worst department:
CheerfulMacFanboy writes "Labor Activist Li Qiang wants you to know that the iPhone 4 in his pocket is not an endorsement of Apple's policies, just an acknowledgment that the company is doing a better job of monitoring factory conditions than its peers. The founder of leading advocacy group China Labor Watch (CLW) told us that, though the Cupertino company does more-thorough inspections than competitors, it is responsible for poor working conditions at its suppliers' factories and needs to invest some of its record-breaking profits in improving them. 'Although I know that the iPhone 4 is made at sweat shop factories in China, I still think that this is the only choice, because Apple is actually one of the best. Actually before I made a decision, I compared Apple with other cell phone companies, such as Nokia,' he said through a translator. 'And the conditions in those factories are worse than the ones of Apple.'"

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Man Claiming He Invented the Internet Sues
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-due-credit department:
wiedzmin writes "A low-profile Chicago biologist, Michael Doyle, and his company Eola Technologies, who has once won a $521m patent lawsuit against Microsoft, claim that it was actually he and two co-inventors who invented, and patented, the "interactive web" before anyone else, back in 1993. Doyle argues that a program he created to allow doctors to view embryos over the early Internet, was the first program that allowed users to interact with images inside of a web browser window. He is therefore seeking royalties for the use of just about every modern interactive Internet technology, like watching videos or suggesting instant search results. Dozens of lawyers, representing the world's biggest internet companies, including Yahoo, Amazon, Google and YouTube are acting as defendants in the case, which has even seen Tim Berners-Lee testify on Tuesday."

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File Sharing In the Post MegaUpload Era
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's whac-a-mole department:
An anonymous reader writes "This report looks at file sharing in the post MegaUpload era. The main finding — file sharing did not go away. It did not even decrease much in North America. Mainly, file sharing became staggeringly less efficient. Instead of terabytes of North America MegaUpload traffic going to US servers, most file sharing traffic now comes from Europe over far more expensive transatlantic links."

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BigDog Robot Gets Much Bigger
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's can-I-keep-him-seargent? department:
savuporo writes "Well known Boston Dynamics BigDog prototype now has a bigger brother named 'LS3' or Legged Squad Support System. It's intended to carry heavy loads for long treks and have enough autonomy to follow soldiers around, listen to voice commands and navigate autonomously."

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Virtual Reality Helmet Designed For Deep Space Surgery
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wearing-the-doctor-hat department:
pigrabbitbear writes in with a link about a virtual reality helmet designed to help people deal with medical emergencies in space. "Humans are pretty fragile. A bad break in your hip can mean surgery and months of rehab. That's pretty bad, but what if you fall and break your hip on the Moon, or even Mars? You'd be hundreds of thousands or millions of miles from a fully stocked hospital and a surgeon with steady hands. There's the option of doctor-assisted surgery from Earth — a fellow astronaut performing the surgery with remote assistance from a doctor via video link. But the lengthy communications delay make this a poor option anywhere further than the Moon. Luckily for our Mars-bound descendants, the European Space Agency has a solution: an information-loaded assisted reality helmet that will let anyone identify and perform minor surgery to repair injuries."

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Accidental Empires To See Reboot In Blog Format
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's book-republishing-2.0 department:
New submitter shuttah writes "Robert X. Cringely, author of the 1992 influential book Accidental Empires , will be republishing and updating (including pictures and new chapters) the now twenty year-old book via the launch of a new blog also by the author. Cingeley tells us — 'So next month I'll be starting a second blog with its own URL just for Accidental Empires. I, Cringely will continue right here as ever (no changes at all), but on the book blog I will over several months publish — a chapter or so at a time — the entire 100,000-word book for the world to read, free of charge.' The book was also the basis for Cringley's 1996 TV miniseries Triumph of the Nerds released by PBS."

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The iPhone Is a Nightmare For Carriers
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's greed-begets-greed department:
New submitter HungryMonkey writes "According to the latest EBITDA numbers from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, the subsidies they have to pay Apple in order to carry the iPhone are drastically reducing their profits. From the Article: '"A logical conclusion is that the iPhone is not good for wireless carriers," says Mike McCormack, an analyst at Nomura Securities. "When we look at the direct and indirect economics that Apple has managed to extract from the carriers, the carrier-level value destruction is quite evident."' So one money sucking leech has attached itself to another money sucking leech?"

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Yahoo Replaces Half Its Board of Directors
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's firing-everyone-fixes-everything department:
itwbennett writes "Yahoo's restructuring continued Tuesday with the ouster of 4 board members, including chairman Roy Bostock, according to an IDG News Service report. The move follows the resignation of Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang in January and gives investors something they'd been calling for, says analyst Greg Sterling: 'Investors have felt for a long time that the board was just rubber stamping what the leadership was doing. They want a reinvigorated board with some independence. People will wait to see what's different but I think this will be seen as a positive.'"

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RIAA Chief Whines That SOPA Opponents Were "Unfair"
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's unlike-the-misinformation-in-print-media department:
First time submitter shoutingloudly writes "In a NY Times op-ed today, RIAA chief Cary H. Sherman accuses the opponents of SOPA of having engaged in shady rhetorical tactics. He (wrongly) accuses opponents such as Wikipedia and Google of having disseminated misinformation about the bills. He lashes out at the use of the term 'censorship,' which he calls a 'loaded and inflammatory term.' Most /. readers will get the many unintentional jokes in this inaccurate, hypocritical screed by one of the leaders of the misinformation-and-inflammatory-rhetoric-wielding content industry lobby."

A gem: "As it happens, the television networks that actively supported SOPA and PIPA didn’t take advantage of their broadcast credibility to press their case. That’s partly because 'old media' draws a line between 'news' and 'editorial.' Apparently, Wikipedia and Google don’t recognize the ethical boundary between the neutral reporting of information and the presentation of editorial opinion as fact."

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Superpoke Players Sue Google
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's that's-my-virtual-purse department:
mikejuk writes "SuperPoke Pets is another casualty of Google's aggressive spring cleanup... But unlike other users of Google's trashed software, Superpoke users have decided to fight back with a class action. The aim is to recover the money they spend on virtual gold used as a currency to buy cloths for their virtual pets. The total 'amount in controversy' exceeds $5,000,000 — a sum that is credible given that there were at least 7,000,000 users. So if you are considering adding a virtual currency to your app you might want to think of the future."

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NRC Emails Reveal Confusion In Aftermath of Fukushima
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's doe-suggests-nuking-it-from-orbit department:
mdsolar writes "The Washington Post is reporting on the NRC response to the Fukushima disaster. Aspects include an abusive relationship with Steven Chu, a secret database on fuel pool fires that was not shared, and a Washington Two Step on Vermont Yankee. Pretty sordid."

The NRC website has a bunch of documents relating to their response and attempts to consult the Japanese government (it might take a few months to work through). On a related note, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists ran a retrospect on the nuclear situation in 2011.

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U.S. Navy Receives First Industry Built Railgun Prototype
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 08:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's killing-pirates-with-magnets department:
Zothecula writes "Two years after BAE Systems was awarded a US$21 million contract from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop an advanced Electromagnetic Railgun for the U.S. Navy, the company has delivered the first industry-built prototype demonstrator to the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren. The prototype launcher is now being prepared for testing which is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks."

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ReactOS 0.3.14 Released With Improved Networking Stack
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 07:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's alternative-os-for-the-alternative-hacker department:
An anonymous reader wrote in with news of the latest release of ReactOS, a project to create a complete reimplementation of Windows. The highlights of this release are the integration of a new network stack based upon lwIP, the ability to build using Microsoft's C compiler, and Wifi support. There are a few options for trying it out (emulator image and a livecd amongst others) and source code over at Sourceforge.

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Former Google Exec: Traditional Search Market Shrinking
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 07:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's queries-go-unanswered department:
An anonymous reader writes "Former Google executive Stafford Masie believes that traditional search is dying because users are choosing to query their friends and followers on services like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Here's the quote from the video: 'The pie of search query volumes in the world – that business is shrinking. Why? Because people are going and doing search queries – search query volumes are moving towards social containers. They're moving away from static pages being searched and they're moving more towards dynamic real-time stream content. Like Twitter. Like Tumblr. Like Facebook. Those things have a better result because the penetration, the personalization associated with it, and the constant freshness of the content. So I believe that Google's search volume – the business Google is in on the search side – that business is shrinking. And they've got to do something about it.'"

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New Technique Promises Much Faster Hard Drive Write Speeds
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '12 at 06:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's sharks-in-my-drives department:
MrSeb writes "Hold onto your hats: Scientists at the University of York, England have completely rewritten the rules of magnetic storage (abstract; full paper paywalled). Instead of switching a magnetic region using a magnetic field (like a hard drive head), the researchers have managed to switch a ferrimagnetic nanoisland using a 60-femtosecond laser. Storing magnetic data using lasers is up to 1,000 times faster than writing to a conventional hard drive (we're talking about gigabytes or terabytes per second) — and the ferrimagnetic nanoislands that store the data are capable of storage densities that are some 15 times greater than existing hard drive platters. Unfortunately the York scientists only detailed writing data with lasers; there's no word on how to read it."

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