Beyonce, Jay, Solange, and what happened after

Beyonce and Solange, after the elevator ride with Jay:

“Look,” Beyoncé said, gently. “I love you and I appreciate you. I know what you were trying to do. I appreciate that you were trying to defend me. I’m not mad at you for tearing into him.”

“Oh you’re not mad?”

“—Let me finish, Solange. I’m not mad at you for tearing into him. I am mad at you for not sticking to the plan.”

Beautiful. Must-read.

Budget 2014

Budget 2014

Good write-up from Greg Jericho on the Guardian:

So all up in percentage of GDP terms, revenue will continue to rise over the next four years from 23.0% in 2013-14 to 24.9% of GDP by 2017-18. It’s worth noting that the ALP governments never had a revenue take of more than 23.2% of GDP…

Expenditure in 2014-15 is expected to decline in real terms by 1.7%, which is among the biggest cuts in the past 40 years. But it’s worth remembering that that cut is in comparison to spending in 2013-14 – which includes the extra $11.9bn Joe Hockey spent in the Myefo – including nearly $9bn on the RBA. So that alone made reducing expenditure in this year an easier job.

Overall, it’s actually not a bad budget, and while it makes some dumb cuts, opens the gate for high fee universities in an effort to “get Australian universities in to the top 20” (like money alone solves that!) and establishes a $20bn “Medical Research Future Fund” that no-one except the pharmaceutical companies would have asked for while charging for doctor visits and lifting the costs of medicines… it’s nothing you wouldn’t have expected from a Liberal government.

If they had retained the carbon pricing scheme, I would have even said it was a respectable budget. I actually do like the fact that increased fuel excise revenue is tied to infrastructure spending, even if the bias towards roads over rail is stupid and very backwards looking. I’d even have respected Hockey more if he’d gone on the media afterwards and owned up to the fact that these were new taxes introduced – breaking a promise and then trying to spin your way out of it always seems to get things into farcical situations, rather than actually having people buy the spin.

The Audacity of Samsung

This article on the Samsung-Apple patent battle shows some breathtaking audacity on Samsung’s part, and not just in the Apple case:

It was the same old pattern: when caught red-handed, countersue, claiming Samsung actually owned the patent or another one that the plaintiff company had used. Then, as the litigation dragged on, snap up a greater share of the market and settle when Samsung imports were about to be barred. Sharp had filed its lawsuit in 2007; as the lawsuit played out, Samsung built up its flat-screen business until, by the end of 2009, it held 23.6 percent of the global market in TV sets, while Sharp had only 5.4 percent. All in all, not a bad outcome for Samsung.

The same thing happened with Pioneer, a Japanese multi-national that specializes in digital entertainment products, which holds patents related to plasma televisions. Samsung once again decided to use the technology without bothering to pay for it. In 2006, Pioneer sued in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, so Samsung countersued. The Samsung claim was thrown out before trial, but one document revealed in the course of the litigation was particularly damaging—a memo from a Samsung engineer stating explicitly that the company was violating the Pioneer patent.

Just stunning the amount of dirty tactics by Samsung, and what’s worse, it works out for them. Don’t think I’d ever consider a Samsung product again.