Daily Archives: 12 August 2005

Bad to the YaST Drop?

This post
continues the story from yesterday
on my efforts to get a
Linux desktop that I can use in place of Windows. The deal
breaker has been and continues to be (read below) getting a
Netware client that works as well as the one for Windows.

Okay, after installing the required packages (gcc, make,
and the kernel source (all 180MB of it)), I ungzipped the
Novell Netware Client for Linux, pointed the SuSE package
installer – YaST at the
directory where the client extracted to, and Bob’s your
cousin, it installed.

Too bad I can’t get connected to my primary Netware
server. As I feared, the client seems to only works with
Netware versions 5.x and above. But most, if not all of our
Netware servers are stuck at version 4.x with no plans, that
I know of, to upgrade.

So, I guess, I really can’t get there from here (which is
not a reflection on the client except that it should be
backwards compatible with older Netware versions). Otherwise,
the client seems to work fine for betaware.

What’s really amusing is that even if I got connected, the
documentation says they haven’t yet gotten the password
changing part working. If you may remember, my problem with
the other so called Netware clients is that they don’t notify
you when the password is about/has expired. Hence, you end up
being locked out unless you mark on your calendar a date
prior to expiration and change it manually.

While I could probably live with that lower level of
functionality, I think I’ll wait awhile until Novell gets to
version 3.x of their client before switching full time to
Linux. By then, we will either have upgraded to Netware
version 5.x or will have converted all the servers to Windows
[gasp] or Linux.

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On the Move?

In
another earlier post
, I said native Hawaiians were in no
danger of going the way of the Dodo bird. But perhaps I spoke
too soon because no sooner did I say that, then the US Census
Bureau released the latest census numbers which indicate,
over the last four years, that the number of native Hawaiians
declined by 1.3 precent (279,651 down from 283,430).
Sigh.

Obviously, it is unclear, and probably too early to tell
whether this is a statistical anomaly, the start of a trend,
or a reflection of Hawaiians moving to other states [/irony].
But if this trend, for whatever reason, continues it may
portend even more bad things in store for us…See the story here.

Tax Incentives or Tax Scams?

The TV and movie industries have, for the most part, been
a good source of income here in Hawai’i. Not only are they
mostly environmentally friendly, but in addition to the well
paid union jobs they create, you get free advertising
probably worth millions.

From Hawaii Five-O, Magnum PI,
Lost, to various TV
shows
, movies
(e.g., Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost
Ark
) and commercials, Hollywood has been, on balance,
mostly good for Hawai’i.

But in some cases, and not necessarily the ones listed
above, there are behind the scenes efforts to get “special
consideration” or incentives from government and businesses.
By that I mean tax credits, free/reduced sound stage rents,
free/reduced housing, free/reduced air fare, etc. The
unstated threat is that if you don’t give the producers such
consideration, they will either leave and go somewhere else
where someone will accommodate their demands, or not
come in the first place.

Unfortunately, sometimes it works. Places like Canada and
Australia provide huge tax credits, worth millions of
dollars, to come and film in their locations. Hollywood has
responded by filming in these countries specifically because
of these inducements.

But the question is always, do you get more benefits from
these films than the cost of these considerations?
Oftentimes, this is a difficult question to answer because of
the problem of measuring the benefits. Figuring out how much
direct taxes are paid by the companies is usually doable. The
problem is in figuring out how much taxes are generated by
people viewing the movies/TV series and deciding, on
that alone
, to come to Hawaii and spend some
money.

That question aside, local and state governments, all over
the country, have joined the tax giveaway sweepstakes. This
is not only for movies. I’m talking about tax
adjustments/credits for just about every business there
is.

But
this article
says many, if not most of these efforts end
up being huge scams where taxpayers end up holding an empty
bag.

Although I’m not saying there shouldn’t be incentives for
business, I am saying you to have to carefully consider the
costs versus the benefits by following up and evaluating the
programs. Otherwise, all you are doing is stealing from the
poor and giving to the rich.

Have a Great Weekend, Everyone –
Aloha!