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Elonka's Memestreams Page - Subcultures R Us


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Current Topic: Business

RE: McDonald's Plans to Put Nutrition Information on Packages
Topic: Business 9:02 pm EDT, Oct 26, 2005

McDonald's Corp. announced Tuesday that it will display nutrition information on the packaging for most of its menu items next year.

This is a good step, but I'd also like to see them do something like color-code items by sodium content, and percentage of calories from fat.

For me to believe that McDonald's was genuinely interested in promoting public health (as opposed to encouraging obesity as a way of increasing sales), I'd have to see them change the way they do promotions. For example, in the recent popular Monopoly "collect the stickers" promotion, it was a very limited subset of items that had the stickers - fried chicken strips, large french fries, hash browns, and drinks. They could have easily put the promotional stickers on small or medium-size food items, and on their salads, but they didn't. Instead, it appears that they are actively trying to encourage people to buy large portion high-fat foods. A large fries has about 500 calories in it. That's more calories than an entire bacon ranch salad with chicken!

RE: McDonald's Plans to Put Nutrition Information on Packages Korean Broadband Explosion
Topic: Business 4:14 pm EST, Feb  2, 2004

] While the U.S. has supplied a meager form of broadband to
] 20 million households (20% of the total), Korea has
] connected some 11 million households (73% of the Korean
] total) with real multimegabit pipes.

Wow. Korean Broadband Explosion

Infoshop News - Euros, Dollars & Iraq
Topic: Business 10:29 am EDT, Apr 23, 2003

] A Note on the "Euro" Explanation of the War by George Caffentzis
] The relationship between the euro, the dollar and in
] distant third, the yen) is an important issue for
] understanding the dynamics of world capitalism, but it
] clearly cannot be used in a one-step explanation of the
] US/Iraq war.

Interesting discussion of some of the economics-based conspiracy theories about the reasons behind the Iraq war.

Another related article on the subject is here:

Infoshop News - Euros, Dollars & Iraq

'Time-Traveler' Busted for Insider Trading
Topic: Business 5:49 pm EST, Mar 28, 2003

] Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall
] Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly,
] he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!

I don't think he's lying.

For the record, these are other recent headlines from "Weekly World News":

 3/24/2003: How You Can Own A Piece Of Iraq Land
 3/21/2003: Archaeologist Finds 12,000 Year Old Magazine From Atlantis!
 3/20/2003: Secret Videotape Shows Lions Eating Christians In Iraq
 3/18/2003: Schools Will Soon Force Your Kids To Take Drugs!
 3/17/2003: Fish Has Human Face!
 3/14/2003: Bigfoot Captures Sexy Camper For His Love Slave

And it's not even April 1st yet! :)

'Time-Traveler' Busted for Insider Trading

Al Gore joins Apple's board
Topic: Business 6:48 pm EST, Mar 19, 2003

] "Steve and his team have done an incredible job in making
] Apple once again the very best in the world," Gore said.
] "I have been particularly impressed with the new Mac OS X
] operating system and the company's commitment to the
] open-source movement. And I am especially looking forward
] to working with and learning from the great board members
] who have guided this legendary company's inspiring
] resurgence."

When I first saw this headline, I thought it was a joke. Then I was like, "Ohmigod, this is real??" The man who was once quoted as saying that he invented the internet (yeah, I know it gets quoted out of context), is working for Apple??

With core competencies like that, I sense the seeds of a *long* branching series of jokes...

Al Gore joins Apple's board

Internet Law - Taxation & 'Nexus'
Topic: Business 1:56 pm EST, Feb 20, 2003

This page contains a collection of recent judgments involving challenges to taxation law regarding internet services. For example, Tennessee sued America Online, claiming that Tennessee has a right to subject AOL to Tennessee state taxes because of such things as AOL maintaining dial-up lines in Tennessee, circulating AOL disks in Tennessee, and having volunteer staff who logged on from Tennessee.

The key word in all this seems to be "nexus", as in "Does a company have sufficient nexus within a state in order to be taxable in that state?"

I have to admit, that in regards my own online games, the idea that we'd have to figure out how to calculate and pay a bewildering array of different tax rates to every single state, country, and locality from which a user accesses us, is unsettling.

In Europe, legislation was evidently recently passed which covers digitally-downloaded software, and makes any such download taxable in the location that it's downloaded *to*, and subject to VAT (Value Added Tax), even if the software is being provided by a non-European company -- Non-EU companies will be required to register (with any European country of their choice), in order to figure out how to get the VAT collected.

Frankly, this sounds like such a bureaucratic nightmare, I can see some companies simply refusing to sell software in certain areas of the world, because of the complexity in working out tax issues.

A NY Times article also came out yesterday discussing the debate over online sales tax issues. NYT registration required, but here's the link:

Internet Law - Taxation & 'Nexus'

LawMeme: eBay's Policies on Cooperation with Law Enforcement
Topic: Business 10:36 am EST, Feb 18, 2003

] We [eBay] can (and you authorize us to) disclose any information
] about you to law enforcement or other government officials as we,
] in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate, in connection
] with an investigation of fraud, intellectual property infringements,
] or other activity that is illegal or may expose us or you to
] legal liability.

This is a question that I've been following closely, especially as regards the war on terrorism. If an ISP or other online service provider were to discover that one of the names on the "FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists" list showed up in their user list, what are they legally allowed to do? Is the ISP allowed to call up the FBI and say, "Hey, I may have one of the people that you're looking for?" Or do they have to request that the FBI generate a formal subpoena first? How much information can the ISP legally volunteer to law enforcement (name/address/credit card/surfing habits/etc), and at what point should the line be drawn about requiring oversight of which information is released?

Also, which law enforcement agencies should be entitled to which? If an ISP volunteers the full set of info to the FBI, can or should they also volunteer that information to their local police? Or what if a police department from another state contacts the ISP and asks for the info? Or a lawyer from another state? How much burden should the ISP assume in order to confirm that they're getting a bonafide request from a legitimate law enforcement agency? I hear that some ISPs require a subpoena for *any* info request. Another ISP that I've heard about won't release any info unless an agent *personally visits their offices*, which obviously places a huge, expensive (and in my opinion unreasonable) burden on agents attempting to investigate a cyberspace crime which may span across multiple states.

I'd like to see a consistent balance between allowing business to voluntarily help law enforcement with criminal investigations, while at the same time also protecting the privacy of individuals. And while I don't believe that law enforcement has the right to demand any information about anyone at any time, I also think that things can flop in the other direction too, where requiring a court order or personal "face to face" request for the release of certain types of non-sensitive information can be over-kill. I'm not certain myself what the ideal solution is, but I continue to follow the debates with interest.

LawMeme: eBay's Policies on Cooperation with Law Enforcement

Outsourcing rejection
Topic: Business 2:27 pm EST, Feb  5, 2003

"I screened job applicants over the phone for a company I didn't work for. My favorite part: Arrogant middle managers who suddenly began to grovel when they realized I wasn't the receptionist."

Fascinating and entertaining essay about the interviewing skills of job applicants, from blue collar work through middle management.

Outsourcing rejection

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