'Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an always-on console'

Plus: 'I buy my lunch with after-tax dollars'

Microsoft Xbox 360 - Jubilee celebration edition

Quotw This was the week when former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher died, setting the Twitosphere alight with opposing deluges of vitriol and veneration. The passing of the woman the media insists on referring to as "divisive" inspired a whole slew of people to post "Ding dong the witch is dead" tweets, while others like Sir Alan Sugar praised the former PM:

Baroness Thatcher in the 80's kicked started the entrepreneurial revolution that allowed chirpy chappies to succeed and not just the elite.

And still others made the rather less inconsiderate point that, regardless of politics, a person did just die:

It's disgraceful that people are putting up celebratory tweets about Margaret Thatcher's death. Show some respect for her & her family.

More of the world of people who are bothered to actually post things on the net seemed to be anti than for, however (can't imagine why that would be), resulting in the British paper Daily Telegraph shutting down its comments online. Editor Tony Gallagher tweeted:

We have closed comments on every #Thatcher story today - even our address to email tributes is filled with abuse.

Over in the US, a Microsoftie was in hot water over his Twitter antics. Adam Orth, creative director at Microsoft Studios, was having a Twitter chat with a developer friend about server-connected gaming that got a bit more public than he intended when it was posted to Reddit. Unfortunately, he came off like kind of an a**hole.

Orth tweeted:

Sorry, I don't get the drama around having an always-on console. Every device is 'always on'. That's the world we live in. #dealwithit.

And when he was gently reminded that not every American has the good fortune to live in highly connected cities like San Francisco and LA, some actually live in places like Janesville, Wisconsin, he wasn't very sympathetic:

Why on earth would I live there?

Of course, Orth was quick to point out that he wasn't talking about Microsoft policy and it was just a laugh between buddies and all that, but the internet had already chewed him up and spat him out, leading to his resignation this week.

Also Stateside, the IRS is reportedly considering making the expression "There's no such thing as a free lunch" true. Experts have said that the free food given out in work canteens, popular in Silicon Valley, should be considered taxable income.

Martin McMahon, a tax-law professor at the University of Florida, said rather bitterly:

I buy my lunch with after-tax dollars. And I have to pay taxes to support free meals for those Google employees.

Meanwhile tax attorney Thomas Cryan said that companies are already being forced to hand over some dough (sorry) for fringe benefits like free food:

If they're in there auditing, and you're not taxing the meals, they're going to challenge you on it. I have worked on audits for large tech companies in Silicon Valley on this exact issue.

Back in Blighty, BT blasted competitor TalkTalk for complaining that the national telco was trying to create a monopoly with the amount it charges to install fibre cables for its rivals.

Late last year, TalkTalk boss Dido Harding told The Register:

I'm not in any way - to be clear - criticising the regime as of today, but I think looking forward - whether it's in three years', five years' or 10 years' time - a large proportion of the country will take their phone broadband as a superfast product, and I don't think that we should live in a world where that is an unregulated product provided by the admittedly very talented and lovely monopolist.

But BT's head honcho Ian Livingston hit back this week:

These criticisms are coming from people I can only describe as copper Luddites. They don't want to see the UK getting fibre.

BT fibre is open to any provider in the UK on the same terms as BT - there are 50 or 60 of them, that's not what I call a monopoly.


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