By Rick Hendershot
Linknet Internet News Digest - December 22, 2005 - According
a 1992, U.S. Supreme Court ruling, states can only require
sellers that have a physical presence or "nexus" in the same
state as the consumer to collect sales taxes. The Supreme
also ruled that while buyers essentially owe the tax on
purchases, the mishmash of taxing jurisdictions is too complex
and burdensome for online retailers to charge and try to
collect sales taxes.
Imposing a tax requirement would have a serious negative
on online retailers, so the court ruled that states would have
to create a much more streamlined system across jurisdictions.
But now Congress is taking another look at the situation. The
objective is to create a "level playing field" for all
retailers - to take the tax advantage away from online
Two bills are currently before Congress. One of them proposes
giving congressional approval to an agreement hammered out by
various state governments. That agreement attempts to simplify
more than 7,500 sales tax laws within the state and local
governments involved. The second bill is similar, but with the
addition of an exemption for smaller retailers based on total
Advocates claim the current regime is unfair, and will
inevitably lead to higher taxes in other areas because local
governments are not getting their share of tax revenue.
RIM weathers the patent battle, subscriptions continue growth
Confronted with the ongoing patent battle with NTP, RIM
(Research in Motion) continues to perform well, in spite of
recent reservations expressed by some investment experts.
RIM continues to perform strongly, reporting earnings of 71
cents a share on a 53% jump in sales. This exceeded previous
estimates. RIM's total subscribers now stand at 4.3 million,
after adding 645,000 in the past quarter.
RIM CEO Jim Balsillie recently announced that the company is
close to completing a "workaround" that would allow them to
carry on business even if a threatened injunction shuts their
core service down in the U.S. The "workaround" announcement
greeted with considerable scepticism and was seen by some as a
Google goes after the enterprise with Google Search Appliance
The last year has seen Google attempting to expand its search
expertise into the "enterprise" arena. The release of its
Google Search Appliance (GSA) in 2004 was meant to help
customers simplify search on their intranets and Web sites.
Google sees this as an opportunity to broaden its product
offerings. According to Google Enterprise general manager Dave
Girouard, "You can easily find all the information you want
about the migration habits of peacocks, but finding a document
or piece of information that resides within your own company
has become more difficult."
Google is targeting small and medium-sized businesses with the
release of its upgraded $5,000 appliance. More than 2,000
businesses worldwide use Google's integrated hardware and
software search solution.
Bloggers can make ad revenue with video ads
Vive Network puts rich-media advertising on blogs. Ted Land, a
Vive spokesperson said the company is primarily interested in
blogs targeting entertainment, TV, sports and automobiles.
In order to carry Vive's content, a blog must meet quality and
content standards and have sufficient traffic to make it
worthwhile. When approved, bloggers can add the rich-media
content by copying and pasting a few lines of code.
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