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From: Bill Wolf4/28/2012 2:50:31 PM
4 Recommendations   of 145695
OT but.........

How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes

RENO, Nev. — Apple, the world’s most profitable technology company, doesn’t design iPhones here. It doesn’t run AppleCare customer service from this city. And it doesn’t manufacture MacBooks or iPads anywhere nearby.

Yet, with a handful of employees in a small office here in Reno, Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other states.

Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office to collect and invest the company’s profits out of Reno, just 200 miles away, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.

California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84 percent. Nevada’s? Zero.

and Apple's Response:

Apple’s Response on Its Tax Practices In response to requests for comment on the company’s tax practices, Apple provided this statement to The New York Times:

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To: zax who wrote (111544)4/28/2012 4:06:42 PM
From: BoonDoggler
7 Recommendations   of 145695
a nice Windows Phone review from Woz.

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To: BoonDoggler who wrote (111554)4/28/2012 7:20:58 PM
1 Recommendation   of 145695
From the comments below the story.
>>Steve Wozniak
April 27, 2012 at 12:00 am · Reply
Wrong. iPhone is my favorite phone. I did give my opinion that the Windows 7P phone had superior visual appearance and operation cues that were also more attractive. In my opinion, it sets the mark for user interface. I would recommend it over my Android phones given that it doesn’t yet have the breadth of apps. I surmise that Microsoft hired someone from Apple and put money into having a role in the UI and appearance of some key apps. I also surmised that Steve Jobs might have been reincarnated at MS due to a lot of what I see and feel with this phone making me think of a lot of great Apple things.<<

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From: mindy19684/28/2012 9:01:44 PM
   of 145695
A GPS Tracker for Your Pooch


(This is Qualcomm - I saw it at the ASM)

With the market for humans more than saturated, wireless operators and equipment makers are going to the dogs for growth.

Wireless penetration in the U.S. hit 104.6% last year, according to the trade group CTIA. So with the market for humans more than saturated, wireless operators and equipment makers are going to the dogs for growth.

Last August, Snaptracs introduced Tagg, a pet-tracking service that uses GPS and the Verizon Wireless network to locate Rover wherever he may be. Snaptracs

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From: zax4/29/2012 8:55:18 AM
   of 145695
This may be, besides free MS Office, another way MS will give a strong launch to Windows or Arm AKA Windows RT: 50,000 Apps out the gate (prolly 80K by release date).

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To: zax who wrote (111557)4/29/2012 12:09:50 PM
5 Recommendations   of 145695
I agree that MS will be fine with apps. I feel that too much is being made on the difference in the number of apps offered by the different systems. Its become the cocktail party stock pseudo intellectual response. First, how many of those apps suck? I can remember in PCs when the stock answer was, it doesnt have as much RAM, at a time when the software could not address half the RAM anyway. Any disparity in number of quality apps is only temporary for MS.

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From: Bill Wolf4/29/2012 3:27:04 PM
1 Recommendation   of 145695
Samsung Takes Cellphone Lead
April 29, 2012, 9:33 a.m. ET

By EVAN RAMSTAD SEOUL—Soaring sales of smartphones lifted Samsung Electronics Co.'s profit to a record in the first quarter and apparently pushed the South Korean company past Nokia Corp. as the world's biggest cellphone seller.

Samsung may also have passed Apple Inc. as the world's top seller of smartphones, though analysts disagreed on that, giving widely varying estimates of Samsung's output. Other cellphone manufacturers disclose unit shipments of their products, but Samsung stopped doing so a year ago.

Analysts estimate Samsung's telecom division reached two milestones during the January-to-March period, passing Nokia Corp. as the world's top seller of cellphones and moving ahead of Apple again as the top seller of smartphones. Dow Jones's Gren Manuel reports. Photo: Getty Images

Even so, its overall financial announcement underscored the importance of Samsung's transition to smartphones, which, after a slow start, is now moving faster than the industry average. Samsung on Friday reported first-quarter profit of 5.05 trillion won ($4.45 billion), up 82% jump the year-earlier 2.78 trillion won. Sales were up 22% to 45.27 trillion won.

In Samsung's previous record quarter—the third quarter of 2010—three-fourths of its 4.46 trillion won profit came from its chip business. In this latest period, three-fourths came from cellphones.

The smartphone success has provided cover for Samsung's other businesses—particularly its chip division, long its main source of profits. The chip unit reported an operating profit margin of 9.5%, the lowest since the second quarter of 2009, and a 13% drop in sales. Executives pointed to a sharp reduction in prices of memory chips, the company's highest-volume product, and lost output due to factory retrofitting.

With smartphones yielding more revenue and bigger profit margins than regular cellphones, Samsung's telecom unit nearly doubled its revenue and nearly tripled its operating profit compared to a year ago. The operating profit margin of Samsung's telecom unit reached 18.4%, the highest level since 2004, and the unit accounted for half of the broader company's sales.

On Thursday, Samsung will unveil a new version of its flagship Android-based phone, expected to be called Galaxy S III. "We expect it to be our most successful smartphone ever," Kim Hyun-joon, a vice president in the company's mobile-communications business, said Friday, forecasting it will "substantially contribute" to second-quarter results.

Samsung's refusal to provide data on cellphone sales, however, makes it unclear precisely how far it has advanced in its transition to smartphones. The issue is likely to concern large investors and financial analysts, whose forecasts for the company's stock performance in recent months have increasingly focused on smartphones.

With Samsung the last cellphone maker to report results, market-research firms on Friday hustled out preliminary scoring for the first quarter—and diverged widely.

All appeared to agree that Samsung eclipsed Nokia in cellphone sales to become No. 1 for the first time. Nokia, which has struggled with the smartphone transition, last week reported shipping 82.7 million phones in the quarter, 24% less than a year earlier. However, analysts' estimates of Samsung's winning margin ranged from just 700,000 phones (ABI Research) to about 10 million phones (Strategy Analytics).

And in smartphones, Strategy Analytics estimated Samsung beat Apple's reported sales of 35.1 million by about seven million. But others put Samsung still second to Apple, with IHS iSuppli estimating Samsung shipped only 32 million smartphones.

Samsung executives made no comments about the company's standing against its rivals. They said in a conference call with analysts that sales were down by a single-digit percentage from the fourth quarter of last year.

Adding to the confusion is that the last time Samsung disclosed sales figures, in the fourth quarter of 2010, it mixed tallies of smartphones and tablet PCs. The next quarter, with its tablet sales looking weak and litigation beginning with Apple over smartphone designs and patents, Samsung stopped providing the figures altogether.

Samsung, which has been a top-five maker of cellphones for more than a decade and No. 2 since 2006, entered the smartphone business just two years ago, long after Blackberry maker Research in Motion Inc. and three years after the rollout of Apple's iPhone. It has relied heavily on models built around Google Inc.'s Android software to gain ground.

Copyright 2012 Dow Jones & Company,

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To: ryhack who wrote (111538)4/29/2012 3:53:19 PM
From: waitwatchwander
   of 145695
---> Mirasol Phone

That's a good question and I had to think about it for a while. The Mirasol display is certainly good enough for a phone in both resolution, colour retention and durability. If it was priced right, I wouldn't mind having a Mirasol phone for everyday use. As I likely use my phone in shaded and indoor locations just as much as I do in bright sunshine, I also wouldn't mind a phone with an AMOLED screen.

As I use my phone mostly for texting, calling and email, stock, weather and brief news checking, my preference for a phone would be a smaller 4" screen (ie pocketable) . That isn't my preference for nomadic viewing of web or locally stored content. For that I find a handheld eReader format better due to it's larger screen format and Mirasol in that form factor (coupled with battery efficent processing and communications) is an excellent usable everywhere device.

Because phones are always purchased at an indoor point of sale location, selling any phone with a reflection based screen is likely going to be a tough sell. A front lite Mirasol screen next to a back lite AMOLED screen is never going to look as great indoors and few will readily translate that into superior outdoor viewability.

I too think DLNA content feeding is likely going to be a big hit. Unfortunately that functionality is still in it's infancy. Standardization across OS software and content delivery platforms, easy of incorporation into and use with application software and instant hardware recognition are critical to it's mass adoption. A Mirasol DLNA remote control device is likely in the cards for xmas 2013 or maybe 2014. Setting universal protocols for TV screen players and communications between platforms is still a bit fuzzy and battles on that front are likely to be the biggest that we have yet to see.

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To: BDAZZ who wrote (111558)4/29/2012 4:32:44 PM
From: slacker711
3 Recommendations   of 145695
I feel that too much is being made on the difference in the number of apps offered by the different systems. Its become the cocktail party stock pseudo intellectual response.

Microsoft wishes they just had a perception problem. They have a very real problem with their app store selection, quality and pricing. Here is just one person's look at app selection on Windows Phone.

One app jumps out to me in particular, Words with Friends. IMO, the rise of social apps makes the problem even worse for Windows Phone. People dont want to feel "left out" because they chose the wrong OS. This is the kind of app with millions of addicted players that absolutely has to be available on Windows Phone. A substitute doesnt work as the value of the app lies in the number of users.

I think Softe has a decent chance of eventually solving this problem, but that definitely hasnt happened yet.


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From: waitwatchwander4/29/2012 5:32:40 PM
1 Recommendation   of 145695
Did Qualcomm hang onto OmniTracs past it's period of innovation?

EOBR listening session: Fed panel gets an earful on harassment

By Sandi Soendker, Land Line editor-in-chief

A court action last year by OOIDA forced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to vacate its initial rulemaking on electronic onboard recorders because it failed to deal with the harassment issue. The agency, which is currently pressing forward with a full mandate, hosted an EOBR listening session Thursday, April 26, in Bellevue, WA. The harassment issue was front and center.

The fed panel included top brass from FMCSA, including the Jack Van Steenburg, assistant administrator and chief safety officer; Larry Minor, associate administrator for policy; William Varga, attorney-advisor with the Regulatory Affairs Division; Deborah Freund, transportation specialist with the Vehicle and Roadside Operations Division; and Stephen Parker, transportation specialist with Enforcement and Compliance.

At this session – the second one scheduled this spring specifically for EOBR input – FMCSA sought info from the industry on factors and data it should consider as the agency addresses the distinction between productivity and harassment. A number of speakers representing large motor carriers were present. And despite the lack of truck parking anywhere near the hotel, truck drivers were also well represented.

“You cannot enhance safety statistics until you address the root of the problem in this industry,” independent trucker Tilden Curl told regulators. Curl, an OOIDA member from Olympia and the 2010 Goodyear Highway Hero, told the panel that “we as an industry are suffering from regulatory fatigue. It’s penalty driven, rather than reward driven.”

Curl said drivers he has talked to, mostly using a Qualcomm system, have complained about not having enough hours to complete a task. “Then those hours magically appeared on their log,” he told the panel.

A representative from Schneider National said EOBRs would act as a “pressure release valve” for drivers, and that responsible carriers respect when a driver is out of hours.

Don Lacey, safety director for Prime Inc., said Prime had not got one complaint about EOBRs from their drivers. Jerry Johnson, a representative from PAM Transportation, said most of his drivers loved the EOBR. He said the EOBR was an outstanding management tool. Speaker Guy Welton of Werner Enterprises said, “Machines don’t cause harassment; people do.”

FMCSA’s Van Steenburg told attendees that the session was “really informative.”

“We are getting great, great comments,” he said at the halfway point. “I’m learning a lot.”

OOIDA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Joe Rajkovacz gave an example of harassment, reading straight from a Qualcomm dialog between a driver and motor carrier. After the driver was dispatched, there appeared to be constant calls, even when the driver was sleeping, checking on him and reminding him how important the load was and stressing it could “not be late.” When the driver didn’t respond to Qualcomm (he was in sleeper berth), the company went to phone calls.

OOIDA Senior Member George Cherveny is leased to Landstar. He and his wife, Mary Knotts – a former safety manager with FedEx National – made the trip to Bellevue Thursday to make comments in person and have his views entered into the official record. Cherveny, who now resides in Olympia, WA, covered a lot of ground with his well-prepared remarks on hours-of-service enforcement, especially detention on the docks.

After the session, Cherveny told Land Line that it was not his first trip to a listening session. He used to live in Kansas City, MO, and had joined OOIDA’s regulatory staff for a meeting there years ago.

“I was home in Olympia, just did a load from Texas to Washington, and I heard on ‘Land Line Now’ that it was happening, so I wanted to do it. It was an opportunity. And I wanted to say something to FMCSA about what is happening with the new rules in Australia and urge them to look at this.”

Under a new set of road safety rules in Australia, truck drivers will be paid reasonably for their work, including time spent at the loading docks. The goal of the new law is to reform the system that allows shippers and others in the supply chain to harass drivers into breaking speed and fatigue laws to meet deadlines.

FMCSA’s Van Steenberg said Administrator Ferro is committed to looking at driver detention time and compensation and “to see what effects that has on fatigue and driver safety.”

Van Steenberg commended the motor coach community for having representatives present in Bellevue on Thursday. In her comments to the panel, Gladys Gillis, Starline Luxury Coach, said it was hard to justify the cost of the technology and the connectivity of the EOBR system. Gillis is a member of the Motor Coach Council.

Another member of the council, Vern Britton, addressed the cost issue. Britton said he is a former trucker and now works in management for a small motor coach service. He has eight drivers, checks all the logs daily, and it’s time-consuming. He supports EOBRs, but his concern is cost. He said his company is looking at $12,000 to equip and $400 to maintain the system. As a profitability factor, it would take a couple of years to pay for itself. For that reason, he thinks EOBRs should be optional, but not mandatory.

Some of the speakers had unique situations that prompted a “how would I comply” type question. Julius De Buschewitz, manager of National Safety Code, Yukon, had questions on areas where there were no fax machines, no easy way of communicating. He wanted to know how law enforcement would get info in remote areas. Tim Shaw, Safety Admin for Timmerman Starlight Trucking, said a vast majority of his drivers drive intrastate and only two drive interstate. Shaw wanted to know if all drivers then had to have EOBRs. Fredrick Vincent, Redbone Express, emailed that two of his trucks are completely mechanical and cannot run on EOBRs.

FMCSA panelists intermittently read email the agency received from drivers who could not attend but wanted to comment on what types of harassment already exists, how frequently it happens, and how an EOBR will guard – or fail to guard – against harassment.

An anonymous email stated: “Truck drivers are not robots. Electronic logs remove a lot of trust between truckers and the DOT. We know how to fill out a log. Please leave the truck driving to the drivers. If the computer messes up, what backup do we have?”

John Bruc emailed that “sure, I can turn my phone off to keep from being harassed” but he did not want to do that in order to make himself available to his family.

An email from Shannon Moss was read. He reported that he was one driver who had experienced being harassed by an EOBR. Moss gave examples that he said were ongoing, sometimes several times daily. One example was having three hours left and being told by the carrier that because three hours were available, he was dispatched to make a pickup 150 miles away, not accounting for any delays at the dock, human needs, etc.

Truckers can also file written comments on the issue in various ways. Those include:
* By fax to 1-202-493-2251;
* By mail to

Docket Management Facility
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE
West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140,
Washington, DC 20590-0001;
* By hand delivery to the same address; and
* Online via

Don’t forget the docket number, which is FMCSA-2010-0167. Background documents can be found here.

The comments related to EOBRs and the listening session are being collected in a docket that originally received comments on the agency’s notice of proposed rulemaking on a full EOBR mandate. While that comment period is closed, the docket is active and accepting comments related to harassment as sought at the listening sessions.

Land Line Magazine Associate Editor David Tanner contributed to this report.

Copyright © OOIDA

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