Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Small Sales Tax Makes Sense

It makes sense for the giant tech companies to pay something like a 3% tax to local jurisdictions globally, why only Europe? It goes beyond purchases. If data is the new oil, the people sitting on the oil wells, those billions of people, ought to have a say.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

European Angst On GAFA

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...
English: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
GAFA is apparently what Europe calls Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple.

My first reaction (years ago) was Europeans are sore losers. Instead of innovating they are hammering. They are just jealous of Google.

Now I think differently. Instead of Silicon Valley sucking money in from all over the world like the British Empire stole gold from India, these Internet behemoths should pay taxes in each jurisdiction they generate revenues in.

There should be a global regime. So there is an upper limit. Maybe you should not have to pay more than 10% in sales taxes in total at all levels of government put together.

Google is cashing on the infrastructure built by these countries. And I don't mean just broadband. Google thrives on educated populations. And Google should give back as a matter of business decision.

Such negotiations have to be global. That might also push us towards a world government (which both Bill Gates and I think would be a good thing).

The simple formula is, every Internet company should track as to where a sale got generated, and they should pay sales taxes in those jurisdictions, up to a maximum 10%.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Valley, Or Not, To Be

Silicon Valley is still the best place for your startup
Every city now seems to have a silicon something or other – whether it be London’s Silicon Roundabout, Berlin’s Silicon Allee or the Silicon Slopes of Salt Lake City....... My own experience with Zendesk, however, leaves me convinced that, at present at least, the original Silicon Valley remains the best place for budding tech startups looking to take their business to the next level. ..... there are deeply rooted cultural issues. Take Denmark’s famous law of Jante – an aversion to seeking or celebrating individual success ..... European startups raised more than $2.8bn in the last quarter of 2014 and are just as likely as their American counterparts to reach the hallowed ground of the Initial Public Offering (IPO). ..... Venture capital invested in US tech reached $8.67bn in 2013 compared with just $1.44bn in Europe. ..... There is still a perception of Europe as being overly bureaucratic, a perception that Europe sometimes reinforces. Take the EU’s tech-hub in San Francisco, catchily named the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Information and Communication Technology Labs (EIT ICT labs to friends). ..... Another thing holding Europe back is the persistent idea that failure is something to be ashamed of. This flies in the face of Silicon Valley’s fail fast, fail often mantra. Speaking from experience, failure has been a necessary and useful step on the road to success. For Americans, failure is a rite of passage. ...... Take SongKick – a great live music startup based in London. London is the world’s biggest live music hub, so why would they want to move?
Goodbye Silicon Valley: why tech startups are flocking to megacities
tech businesses now need the energy, talent and diversity of the world’s megacities to thrive ...... Not a week goes by in the world of tech without someone heralding the globe’s next Silicon Valley – from New York City to Norwich, London to Lagos, the list goes on....... But the real story here is not the next Valley, it’s the death of the tech cluster as we know it...... started with the founders; a concentration of white, middle-class, socially awkward geeks, inseparable from their Macbooks. ....... If you have ever tried to visit the likes of Apple or Google in the heart of Silicon Valley you will know it is not an easy place to get to.... Back in its heyday, the Valley’s isolation from the rest of the status-quo of banks, big business and city life allowed it to thrive, think bigger and build world-changing companies. ...... In the new wave of tech centres no other city has raced ahead of the pack with this trend like New York. ...... In the Far East many look to Hong Kong which draws upon decades of experience as a world financial capital. It also boasts unbeatable access to China, the world’s biggest market. ....... This new generation of tech companies outside the Valley are less fixated with first-world problems like taking a selfie that looks like it has been taken with a vintage camera. These companies are disrupting centuries-old systems put in place by the establishment........ The key here is existing industries. ...... 6.5% of the world’s billion-dollar exits between 2005–12 were companies from Sweden. Again the majority of these success stories draw upon the city’s existing strengths in music, the arts and gaming. ....... Despite being on the doorstep of the Valley, San Francisco has fast become a magnet for tech talent drawn to the big city. The shift away from the Valley has become so strong that the likes of Google and Yahoo based over 30 miles away operate shuttle buses to move employees back and forth to their campuses each day. ...... Isolated clusters cannot fight the tide of talent flocking towards the bright lights of cities. San Francisco’s expensive and unpopular commuter buses are perhaps the best sign of the times, while pundits obsess over the next Silicon Valley, the world’s megacities are marching ahead.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Air Quality In NYC: Thoroughly Bad

Not as bad as in Beijing, I will give you that, but it is pretty bad. And there is no escaping it. Where will you go? How far will you go?

I have been thinking about this a lot these past few days. I just found my first big gripe about NYC.  Well, not just. But I am choosing to get vocal about it. The only solution is 100% electric cars.

Look closer.

I was on Rockaway Beach earlier today. And I am thinking, am I breathing the cleanest air known to a New Yorker? It is a great place. You are so close to the JFK airport. Would be a great location to my world travel phase of life, to be launched in a few years.

Manhattan is the least attractive part of NYC when it comes to air quality. All those yellow cabs can be blamed.

Is New Jersey cleaner than most parts of NYC?

Rockaway Beach also would be a great place to go jogging. You would not hurt your knees. Hard surfaces are not great. The beach is better than any park. Awesome view, clean air, soft ground.

I took the Q53 bus.

10 Tips For Home Indoor Air Quality
Indoor Air Quality

Sunday, October 19, 2014

In Person

Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (album)
Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The age of loneliness is killing us
Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is twice as deadly as obesity.’ ...... Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness. ......... loneliness has become an epidemic among young adults. is just as great an affliction of older people. A study by Independent Age shows that severe loneliness in England blights the lives of 700,000 men and 1.1m women over 50, and is rising with astonishing speed. ....... Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day; loneliness, research suggests, is twice as deadly as obesity. Dementia, high blood pressure, alcoholism and accidents – all these, like depression, paranoia, anxiety and suicide, become more prevalent when connections are cut. We cannot cope alone. ...... Britain is the loneliness capital of Europe. We are less likely than other Europeans to have close friends or to know our neighbours. ........ One of the tragic outcomes of loneliness is that people turn to their televisions for consolation: two-fifths of older people report that the one-eyed god is their principal company. This self-medication aggravates the disease. ...... The top 1% own 48% of global wealth, but even they aren’t happy. A survey by Boston College of people with an average net worth of $78m found that they too were assailed by anxiety, dissatisfaction and loneliness. Many of them reported feeling financially insecure: to reach safe ground, they believed, they would need, on average, about 25% more money. (And if they got it? They’d doubtless need another 25%).
The Village Effect
Forget Facebook, Abandon Instagram, Move To A Village
One-hundred-fifty is the number that comes up time and again in the types of social interactions that work smoothly. .... 150 as the maximum number of meaningful relationships that the human brain can manage. ..... And if we know anything from all of the demographic studies in neurosciences, if you are lonely or isolated, it is almost a death sentence. ...... When you are getting together face to face, there are a lot of biological phenomena: Oxytocin and neurotransmitters get released, they reduce stress and allow us to trust others. Physical contact unleashes a whole chain of events that make us and make the other person feel good, and affects our health and well-being. ...... Get out of your car to talk to your neighbors. Talk in person to your colleagues instead of shooting them emails. Build in face-to-face contact with friends the way you would exercise. Look for schools where the emphasis is on teacher-student interaction, not on high-tech bells and whistles. ..... what is disappearing: deep social ties and the in-person contact we all need to survive.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cities That "Feel" European

Well, considering I have never been to Europe (where a lot of Bollywood movies are set).

Urban "Fingerprints" Finally Reveal the Similarities (and Differences) Between American and European Cities
Travel to any European city and the likelihood is that it will look and feel substantially different to modern American cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, or Miami. ..... New York and Tokyo share similar shape distributions but the visual similarity between these cities’ layouts is far from obvious. ..... cities fall into four main types ... The first category contains only one city, Buenos Aires in Argentina, which is entirely different from every other city in the database. Its blocks are all medium-size squares and regular rectangles. .... An example from the second group is Athens in Greece. These cities are composed mostly of small blocks with a broad distribution of shapes. ..... Most cities that Louf and Barthelemy studied fall into the third group. Like the second group, the blocks in the cities have a broad distribution of shapes. However, they tend to be larger than the blocks in Athens. ..... This third group contains several subgroups. One of these contains 68 percent of all the American cities that Louf and Barthelemy studied. By contrast, all of the European cities, except Athens, fall into another subgroup. This “European” subgroup also contains Boston, Washington, Portland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Baltimore, which have a European flavor. ..... There is one final group, represented by Mogadishu in Somalia, made up almost entirely of small square-shaped blocks with a sprinkling of small rectangles..... It may also allow other kinds of “city science.” An interesting approach might be to look for correlations between crime and certain types of neighborhood layout.