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“I heard Facebook is paying new computer science graduates over $200,000.”

I was shocked. Were new graduates really getting these offers? The person I was talking to told me a friend of a friend (first warning sign) said he was offered $220k at Facebook just out of Stanford’s comp sci program.

Even if true, this is an anecdotal reference. Perhaps the new grad was top of his class and had unique social networking development experience. Perhaps as an intern he or she created some awesome Facebook application.

Some quick Web research shows multiple survey sources with the average Facebook software engineer making around $120k. Still not too shabby!

Could this mean that there are older, more experienced engineers making less money than new college hires? If so, it wouldn’t be the first time.

This sort of salary game has been played for decades based on new technology cycles. As the next new thing puts pressure on CIOs and CTOs to identify and integrate new technologies into their applications and products, a battle begins for the fresh talent who actually are on the cutting edge.

Lost in all of this are the dedicated engineers who have put blood, sweat and tears into an organization, only to be left behind when technology changes. But is it their own fault? The company’s fault? Or just a natural cycle?

Not too long ago it was client server technology replacing mainframe applications. The cycle continued with web applications, mobile technologies, web 2.0 and social networking.

I was working on a project not too long ago when I found myself with a hiring decision being pushed by a new technology cycle.

My customer wanted to add new features that allowed inventory to be managed not only via the web, but also via their mobile phone. This was just as mobile computing was starting to catch on. All the developers on staff had deep experience with the client server platform. Many of them were even trained to “web enable” the applications.

The web development training was practically off the shelf, with a longer timeline for the “webification” project. But this mobile engineering project was needed ASAP and was bleeding edge stuff at the time. Training classes would not have been sufficient for the level of skill required in such a short period of time.

I worked with a recruiter to search for candidates with the required skills. It turned out there were a couple comp sci programs that were teaching the exact technology we were after. These engineers in their 20’s had software development skills specific to our needs.

The problem was that we were competing with other firms also targeting this new skill set. Our recruiter pushed us to increase our base salary in order to have a shot at this limited number of desirable graduates.

The VP responsible for the customer’s team felt it was justified to pay a premium for these college recruits and insisted we move forward, agreeing to support the budget required for these new mobile capabilities.

Personally, I argued against it because I didn’t see it as a mission critical application and it would throw our salary ranges out of whack. Was it really that important to manage inventory via mobile phones? Wasn’t web access enough?

The VP brushed off my concerns. “You worry too much. The other team members won’t ever find out how much these new recruits are making.”

Oh, sure.

I lost the battle and the hiring process moved forward.

The good news is we landed enough team members to get the ball rolling. I remember feeling pretty good about this. Then the bad news arrived in the form of a knock on my office door.

I cheerily greeted our lead developer. “Hey George, come on in.”

George wasn’t his usual smiling self. He sat across from me, feet crossed, arms crossed.

“I know you told the team we had to find our initial talent outside of the organization because there wasn’t time to train us and this was a more cost effective approach, correct?” he asked.

“That’s right George.” And I added, “Don’t forget I also promised training to qualified team members.”

“You certainly did. But the whole cost effective thing bothers me a bit because I found this.”

George handed me one sheet of paper. I quickly scanned it and saw it was a job posting from an online job web site.I knew immediately by the content that the job description was ours, even though the company name was withheld.

What really jumped off the page was the starting salary in bold black ink. I hadn’t told the recruiter not to include a salary range, so I shouldn’t have been too shocked.

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Obligations Or Duties To Be Paid By Manufacturers

Introduction to Excise Tax

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Excise taxes are levied on the manufacturer initially. Then the liability of the taxes shifts to the ultimate customers who consume the goods because the goods sold in the market include the excise tax in the Maximum Retail Price (MRP). It’s a fact that indirectly these taxes are borne by the government to the manufacturers, but the customers will have to pay them; that is why this tax is also known as Indirect Taxes. Certain conditions are prevailing in the market regarding excise taxes. For example, if a manufacturing concern is merely improving or improvising certain goods, it will not consider as manufacture. Therefore before posting any incidence of taxes, the definition and inclusion of the term manufacture should be clear. Hence, the excise tax liability will again query who will pay the excise tax to the government.

How Does it Work?

Excise Taxes are the indirect taxes included in the product prices. This tax is first levied on the customers, and then at a later stage, it is taken from the customers indirectly. This is a simple way of charging taxes on manufacturing. But sometimes conflicts arise because the term manufacture is unclear to most manufacturers. It has been seen that the incidence of taxes question in the Supreme Court regarding excise taxes. Like, repair and maintenance cannot consider as manufacture. Therefore now the conflict arises as to who will pay the excise duty or whether any excise duty is legible or not. So some famous verdicts upon excise taxes are to follow by both parties.

Example of Excise Tax

A manufacturing company is manufacturing some excisable goods. The direct material cost is INR 30,000, which includes a 12.36% excise duty. The salary to staff is INR 50,000, the cost of repair and maintenance comes to INR 6000, the R&D cost to the company comes to INR 2,700, Interest and other finance costs INR 3400, Cost of dismantling the machinery INR 1300, the selling and distribution cost INR 4500, Scrap value INR 1600. Please compute the cost of production o the customers considering the effect of excise duty.



Cost of direct material 30,000

Less: Excise duty 33

Material Consumed 29,967

Salary to staff 50,000

Cost of repair and maintenance 6,000

Research and development cost 2,700

Interest and other finance costs 3,400

Total cost 92,067

Less: Scrap Value 1,600

Cost of production 90,467

Note: The cost of dismantling the machinery and the selling and distribution cost does not include in the computation of cost of production since they don’t form part of the cost of production of the goods, and therefore, it is excluded.

Types of Excise Tax

Basic Excise Tax: Basic excise tax is 12.36% of the cost of materials consumed to prepare the goods. The government bears the tax to the manufacturers when manufacturing the goods. Special Excise Duty: This tax is also a kind of excise duty levied on some special items; these items also qualify the requirement of themanufactured excisable goodsd.

Education Cess on Excise Duty: In some cases, excise duty is levied on education cess. The final computation of manufacturing costs includes this tax also. Excise duty in Export Units: In some export units, the excise duty is levied and is termed as Excise duty on the export unit.

Who Pays Excise Tax?


Excise taxes are very convenient for the manufacturers to pay at the time of manufacture because this can be easily retained from the ultimate consumers later.

In excise taxes, there are also some credit facilities available. Therefore, the payer can get the tax credit in the future.

The collection process of excise taxes is very prompt. Shifting liability can make the tax incidence for the manufacturer a bit easier, encouraging them to make excisable goods.

Sometimes collection becomes difficult because there are some incidents where the true definition of manufacturing is unclear; therefore, it becomes a question mark of who and how this excise tax will be paid.

This tax regime can encourage the manufacturers to quote extraordinary prices for their goods, ultimately to be paid by the consumers.

Excise tax is also very costly; it is to be levied at the time of manufacturing, and therefore, lots of administration cost is involved in it.


Excise taxes are now replaced with the GST (Goods and Service Tax). In this new tax regime, indirect taxes are clubbed into one. This makes the tax pattern easy to understand and economical. Since there were certain taxes which are required to be collected in different stages, and this was a problem with the manufacturers, distributors, and also for the consumers as to which tax was to be paid at which location and therefore the government has come up with this scheme where it will be a single tax system with less confusion.

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Libra Will Be Interoperable. Facebook Should Be Too

Recently, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Officer published a joint statement which raises questions about Facebook Libra’s potential use and misuse of personal data and disregard for the privacy of Libra network users.

The letter says, “The involvement of Facebook Inc. as a founding member of the Libra Association has the potential to drive rapid uptake by consumers around the globe, including in countries which may not yet have data protection laws in place. Once the Libra Network goes live, it may instantly become the custodian of millions of people’s personal information. This combination of vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency amplifies our privacy concerns about the Libra Network’s design and data sharing arrangements.”

The letter is signed by data and privacy commissioners from the UK, USA, EU, Australia, Albania, Canada, and Burkina Faso. It ends with six questions for Libra to answer about how data and privacy will be ensured: easy to use privacy controls for users; security by design principles; lawful processing of data; consistency across infrastructure and jurisdictions, and so on.

These are sensible and measured questions. However, their fear is misplaced and only shows public authorities in general are still struggling to find the right angle of attack against the Libra project. Their questions ought to be directed towards Facebook, not Libra.

Indeed, it is not Libra itself which is so objectionable, but rather the monopolistic control of the main user network in which Libra would be deployed. In fact, simple solutions exist to rein in the network effects which make Libra so threatening.

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Libra-Facebook relationship

However, the characteristics of Libra took even the most knowledgeable observers by surprise and upped the ante. For in lieu of another invasion of our privacy, it is now no less that the global financial system stability which is threatened. In the wake of the announcement, G7 even felt obliged to appoint a special committee on the topic.

The surprise is that from a free-market and privacy standpoint, Libra’s intentions break away from Facebook usual hegemonic practices. Instead of going it alone, this time they plan to make an alliance with 99 other founding members: leviathans of technology and payment (eBay, Uber, Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal) as well as NGOs who will guarantee Libra’s stability. In fact, Facebook will hold only 1% of the voting rights in the organization which will control Libra’s reserves.

Global concerns

The white paper plans to transform Libra into a fully decentralized currency after 5 years – ie not controlled by the sole 100 funding members anymore – could actually be the biggest threat of all: who could the authorities subpoena then ? Just like Bitcoin, the Libra will have become faceless…

No wonder that public authorities in many countries see this as an outright attack on their national sovereignty, one essential attribute of which is issuing currency.

But, a month after the release of the Libra white paper, they are still looking for the right angle to stop the toothpaste from going out of the proverbial tube.

Libra wants regulatory body approval

As far as financial regulation is concerned, Mr Marcus pledged he would comply with all applicable laws such as anti-money laundering, and claimed that Libra would not launch until it had obtained all the necessary approvals from regulatory bodies. From the public authorities’ point of view, this is obviously a much better situation than with Bitcoin which remains nonetheless legal in most countries.

From the anti-trust angle, it is difficult to see how the diversity of origins of the founding members and the open-source philosophy behind Libra could make them vulnerable. On the contrary, they claim, not without reasons, that Libra is bringing long-awaited innovations to the payment and banking industry that will benefits consumers globally as well as bring financial inclusion to the underbanked people of the world.

So Libra is not in itself a credible target for governments and hides the real issue, the absolute need to regulate social networks.

For Libra would be just another interesting cryptocurrency with limited prospects if Facebook had not been able to onboard a third of all human beings on its closed network.

A data monopoly

In the real economy, whether we are considering physical transport, energy or telecom infrastructures, there is (in principle) a clear distinction between the network, and those authorized to use it. In no case may any one party gain sole control of the infrastructure for their own use.

Related: Facebook will not Launch Libra Cryptocurrency until the Official Permissions of the USA

Facebook, however, is both the exclusive operator of the social network and the operator of the services using the network, including the future Libra.

Given these issues, a classic antitrust approach cannot work. Breaking up Facebook, as the US once did with Standard Oil or the Bell System, amounts to treating the symptoms and not the causes. The same market conditions would simply produce a new monopoly.

The solution revealed: Inter-operability

In fact, ways of protecting fair competition in the world of data networks are not different from those in the real economy. Liberalization of the telecom industry in the early 90’s is a good example. A principle of inter-operability was established so that no dominant party could interfere with competition. For instance, today’s UK mobile phone market is split among different operators. Just as a subscriber to one network can call or be called by subscribers from one of the other networks, so I should be able to move freely from one social network to another. Quitting Facebook should not have to mean giving up communication with my Facebook contacts and their personal data (as long as they don’t “unfriend” me of course).

Another example: under the second European Directive on payment services, I can now access my bank accounts from other financial institutions. If we were to apply this principle to the online economy, I would be able to authorize the service providers of my choice to access my personal data, regardless of which organization initially collected this information.

Inter-operability would put an end to the unfettered domination of Facebook and similar companies. It would significantly reduce the number of their users, which would benefit new players on the market. There would be a more level playing field in terms of access to data and companies would compete on the quality of their services to users and AI algorithms instead.

Ironically enough, during his hearing, Mr. Marcus himself stressed as a benefit that the Calibra application will itself be fully interoperable, meaning users will make and receive payments in Libras to and from users of competing for wallet applications. But when asked by Senator Warner from Virginia if Facebook would be willing to apply this same principle to its traditional social network applications, Mr. Marcus smiled and replied: ‘I cannot commit for other parts of the company’.

Redirecting public scrutiny from the woes caused by Facebook centralized social network to the ones a decentralized managed currency could unleash might after all be a clever way for Mr. Zuckerberg to confuse the critics. But Libra is only as strong as the Facebook network is large. If the government want to control the former, they must first deal with the latter.

Jean-Cyril Schütterlé

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Should Police Scanners Be Public?

The past week has seen a torrent of information, the majority inaccurate, gushing from the faucets of Twitter and Facebook and Reddit and cable news and tabloids and blog posts. The story has become not so much what happened as what didn’t happen; as BuzzFeed notes, the most valuable service a respectable publication can perform right now is not to be the first but to act as Virgil, guiding the public through the morass of information they already have.

In the midst of all this, one of the most difficult sources of information to parse has been one of the oldest: the police scanner. Until this morning, feeds from the Boston Police Department, broadcast over the web and through apps, were publicly available to anyone. Broadcastify, which calls itself “the radio communications industry’s largest platform for streaming live audio for public safety, aircraft, rail, and marine related communications,” had tens of thousands of listeners. Many of those listeners relayed the chatter they heard to Twitter or Reddit, if members of the public, or through news outlets, if members of the media.

Police scanners seem like reliable sources of information, a direct line to those who know more than anyone else about what’s going on on the ground. News reporters and organizations are posting direct quotes from scanners without any equivocation. You could almost see them thinking, “this stuff originates from the police themselves! It must be real!” Some of these channels, which are essentially just like any AM/FM station, are available to the public, or at least any member of the public with a computer (or, in the past, a $100 scanner). Those are mostly calls from dispatch, according to a detective from the Radnor, Pennsylvania police department who chatted with me about how scanners work. “You can hear police calls, fire calls, EMS calls, public works calls,” he said. (Radnor is the hometown of Sunil Tripathi, a Brown student who became a prime suspect in the minds of the public for a few hours last night.) Lindsay Blanton, CEO of the company that owns Broadcastify, confirmed that, saying “Our feed provider terms of service restrict the broadcast of any law enforcement communications that are not routine dispatch frequencies and talkgroups.”

The police doesn’t much care that these are available to the public. They’re not provided as a service to the public or out of any kind of desire to transparency; many police forces just don’t bother encrypting these radio feeds because they’re not seen as sensitive. This isn’t the only way they communicate; on-duty officers have secure, encrypted lines as well, the detective from Radnor tells me. It’s important to note that there’s no law requiring police dispatch lines to be public; in fact, many departments, like the Pasadena Police Department, have decided to encrypt all of their frequencies. Pasadena cites concern for victims, whose names and locations are often broadcast over the channel, as the reason for the change.

What you hear on the scanner is what the dispatcher or communications center hears: a call that something is happening that requires investigation, and conversation that comes from addressing that call. That doesn’t make it true, of course, nor does the dispatcher or any police officer make any claim to that effect. When somebody calls the police station and says they see a suspicious person lurking in an alley, what the public hears through the scanner is “possible suspicious person lurking in an alley.” If it turns out to be a chair with a coat on it, that’s no big deal for the police; they investigated and resolved the call. But if a member of the media hears that, and the call happens to take place in a city in which a recent bombing has killed three and injured hundreds, that chair with a coat can turn into a terrorist with one tweet.

Early this morning, the Boston Police Department tweeted this:

In response, Broadcastify shut down its scanner feeds, saying “MA State PD and Boston Police have requested via social media to not post search locations for the Boston bombing suspects – the Boston PD feed is temporarily offline due to this request.” This is an indirect request, and a respectful response from Broadcastify; the scanner feed isn’t “offline,” it’s merely harder to find, to try to tamp down the flow of misinformation. Lindsay Blanton, from Broadcastify, told me via email that “we did not receive any formal request – we’re just making the temporary decision for now in light of the extraordinary events.”

An academic paper from a doctoral student at the Indiana University School of Journalism examines the legality and ethics of tweeting information from police scanners more closely. Here’s the conclusion, with the important part emphasized by me:

Tweeting public safety radio traffic – while probably legal and often beneficial – should be done sparingly and under pre-set guidelines designed to minimize the spread of flawed information and avoid compromising the safety of emergency personnel, the public, and media. If followed, such precautions should lessen the need – if not the likelihood – for an aggrieved party to seek legal recourse for alleged defamation.

Broadcastify is a perfect example of why the most important element of the debate is the need for specific rules. Though Broadcastify did eventually cut off the flow of scanner information to Twitterers, it was only done after several innocents had already suffered the consequences of false accusation.

* * *

It generally doesn’t hurt that scanners are public. The law states that any criminal in possession of a scanner during the commission of a crime has an increased punishment, to stop them from using dispatch information to make their illegal activities easier, and the most sensitive information isn’t exchanged via these channels. But scanners are assumed to be at best a vital part of law enforcement transparency, and at worst harmless, or even funny. They’re for people like these guys to get their “personal safety, neighborhood crime awareness, emergency preparedness, and excitement!” It’s only now, with the unholy combination of a massive crime story and a relentless need for new information, that police scan dispatches are elevated to the status of unimpeachable, insider fact.

So now we’re reduced to the Boston Police Department having to issue a tweet with the hashtag #MediaAlert to tell us what a police scanner is and when to shut up about it. There’s no law that says Broadcastify had to stop broadcasting the feed that led to an innocent kid from Pennsylvania, among many others, becoming national terrorist suspects. We need some sort of guidance to respond to the increased desire and outlets for information.

Python Full Stack Vs Java Full Stack Developers: Who Earns More?

Python and Java Full stack developers are in-demand for the Software IT Industry. Let’s explore more

Java is best suited for programs like desktop GUI apps, mobile apps, enterprise solutions, and embedded systems and middleware products. Whereas Python works best for prototyping, machine learning apps, OS, language development, games, and graphic designing/image processing. When it comes to the earning part, all full-stack developers earn a great sum. And to earn well one will require certain skills whether they want to become Java Full stack developer or a Python full stack developer. According to Payscale Data, the average salary of a Java Full stack developer is INR 6.50 lac whereas, Python full stack developer earns around 3.50 lac.

Java Full Stack Developer Skills

Java Full stack developer is the in-demand for the Software IT Industry. Today’s tech companies need developers who just do not code but are also good solution architects, developers, testers, and designers. Full Stack Java Developer position is one such end-to-end developer who takes care of end-to-end product development with expertise in Java and other related technologies. Here are certain skills you need to learn to become the best Java Full stack developer:

1. Object-Oriented Programming:

OOP concepts help developers identify and debug Java code with ease. It also allows developers to construct fully reusable apps with less code and in less time.

2. JVM Internals:

It is critical for Java developers to master JVM internals – what are the different JVM elements and how they function, JIT, JVM options, garbage collections, collectors, etc.

3. Databases & Web Storage:

A database is where all the project data is stored securely. It helps different teams work collaboratively on the same project and be well-aware of the progress.

Java full stack developers are expected to be familiar with common DevOps tools like Maven, Docker, Ansible, and Kubernetes. DevOps is a must-have skill for professional developers.

5. Web Architecture:

Developers should know the structural elements and user interface elements of the web application like – DNS or Domain Name System, Database Servers, and Cloud Storage.

Python Full Stack Developer Skills

Python is designed to promote code readability. It is simple, straightforward, and versatile; making it the ideal choice for a wide range of projects, from simple web applications to operating systems. A full-stack developer works on the frontend and backend. In simple words, a full-stack developer creates a website that has an effective look and efficient functionality.

1. Front-end Languages:

Expert Python developers should have in-depth knowledge of the front-end languages such as JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 and understand their potential.

2. Debugging Skills:

They should be familiar with different ways to debug, for example – printing out variable values, modifying the path of the program, and using a debugger.

3. Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence:

Having mastery over ML and AI algorithms can give developers a competitive edge in a world where data science is at the center of it all.

4. Python Shell:

Understanding how to leverage Python Shell is incredibly important because it can help developers save a lot of time when it comes to testing the newly written codes.

5. Object Relational Mapper:

ORMs (Object Relational Mappers) help with building virtual object databases. With ORMs, one can keep writing in Python code without using SQL to build and update data schemas.

Should I Be Ashamed Of Wearing Google Glass?

Should I be ashamed of wearing Google Glass?

I’m not proud of my paling geek credentials. I’ve had Glass for several months now, and it’s not to say its been infrequently used: as a hands-free camera it’s incredibly useful, whether you’re documenting smartphones and tablets and want both hands to demonstrate, or if you’re test-driving a car and want the POV from behind the wheel.

Most days, as I’m working at my desk, I’ll be wearing Glass, watching as notifications and alerts pop into my eye-line. The recent XE12 update with Hangouts chat support makes that all the more useful. Even just the hardware itself has a sci-fi appeal to it: just as the iPad mini is probably the closest embodiment to a slim Star Trek PADD we have today, Glass – despite containing similar hardware to a low-spec smartphone – is undeniably futuristic, unusual.

That doesn’t stop me feeling like a fraud

That doesn’t stop me feeling like a fraud. Since before I started writing publicly about wearable technology, I’ve been a loud convert to the concept. I used to look at the outlandish, gawky rigs that wearables pioneers like Professor Steve Mann would don, and say “sure, I’d wear that too, if I could afford it.”

When Glass was first announced, then, it was an immediate “must have” for me. True, Explorer Edition buyers were effectively paying Google – handsomely – for the privilege of being beta-testers, but the geek appeal was off the scale. This was the man-machine crossover we’d been promised, and the prospect of getting in on the ground floor was too much to miss out on.

It could be because I’m British. Now, that might sound flippant, but there’s certainly a difference in how us Brits perceive unusual things like Glass compared to our American cousins. While I love my sarcastic, cynical countryfolk, I can’t help but admire what’s a stereotypically more gung-ho, open-minded, far less jaded approach to things that those in the US often bring to the party.

In fact, whereas some are happy to hold loud – and personal – conversations on their cellphones on the bus, I’m loathe to even have the ringer turned on. Perhaps I’m an extreme example, but I’d wager there are just as many toward my reticent end of the spectrum as there are at the more vocal end.

Ironically, though, it’s in wearables that I hold out hope for a solution to that; it’s just not in gen-1 Glass. Technology that blends more seamlessly with our bodies will help minimize what distraction it presents; better meshing of the digital world with the real world will stop us from inserting phones and tablets between ourselves and instead allow for more natural, free-flowing engagement.

Glass is a precursor but it isn’t there yet

Glass is a precursor but it isn’t there yet. It doesn’t play well with my prescription glasses (and may not even when the official solution comes out), and the battery life is poor, while the functionality – though growing each month with every OS update Google releases – is still limited and, often at the times you’re trying to demonstrate it, can be patchy in its success rate. I’d argue my feedback is just as valuable as that of those who wear it every moment they can, however; Google needs input from the shy and self-conscious too, otherwise it could – mistakenly – assume Glass was ready for release as it is today.

I’m also of a mind that periodic wear, rather than continuous, is just as legitimate a use-case for Glass: the best tool at the correct time. Right now it’s a geek’s toy, and that’s proving insufficient to overcome what social anxiety I obviously feel about wearing it – and explaining it – out in public.

I’m going to be pushing myself to change that, though, not least because the increasing capabilities Glass is gaining are tipping things ever-further in its favor. Google’s challenge – and the challenge of companies pushing wearable tech in general – is that there are plenty of others out there much like me, who need sufficient justification to overcome not only skepticism but self-consciousness, and for whom there’s more than just price standing in the way of sporting a computer on their face.

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