I know a lot of HNers are moving to develop on Android, but another of Fortune's stories today puts into perspective how significant the iPhone is likely to continue to be as a platform with a dominant consumer presence:
"At any given time, we're looking at new ideas, investigating, testing, incubating them. It's in our DNA to develop new form factors and natural user interfaces to foster productivity and creativity. The Courier project is an example of this type of effort. It will be evaluated for use in future offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time."
>> A bit more sleuthing reveals several "webkit" (the foundation of the iPad's and iPhone's mobile Safari browser) calls after peeling open the CSS
Now that I web-surf with Click-to-Flash installed, I am really struck by how many landing pages depend on Flash-based content all over them: from key corporate info to (of course) ads: a situation that I find most depressing.
Perhaps the iPad will provide the extra boost that HTML5 video has been needing?
You could say this is bad news for developers... or good news... if more jobs are created by news sources wanting to court the iPad crowd.
But in the larger scheme, if this trend continues, it could bring a tipping point where major sites start to look for non-proprietary development platforms other than Flash. None too soon for this consumer.
There's an amazing amount of heat, but little light on this, particularly regarding exactly what impact the legislation threatened to have on costs, labor, etc. for Amz, affiliates (exactly what is that? someone selling via Amz Marketplace?), and customers.
"The bill, which was part of a package of tax measures aimed at increasing revenue, originally sought to create a nexus between the state and on-line retailers based on their ties to local affiliate websites, which link to products. The bill was ultimately altered due largely to fears that retailers like Amazon would simply cut ties to Colorado companies that make money by referring buyers."
"The final bill, which was signed into law in February, instead required large online retailers to start collecting sales taxes or provide a summary of people's web purchases in the state, leaving affiliates out of the equation. This created an economic nexus without making local affiliates a scapegoat for paying local sales taxes." --http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/08/amazon-reacts-to-co...
...but Huff doesn't cite sources. Anyone find a better analysis by a dispassionate legal/financial source?
"Online retailer Amazon has ended all Colorado-based affiliate accounts after a new law passed by the state's legislature would have forced them to collect and pay state sales taxes. The law, HB 10-1193, states that any affiliate marketer making more than $10,000 for a retailer is declared a legal agent, and a state presence, of that company. Rather than be forced to pay the state taxes, Amazon has instead side-stepped the law by closing its doors to all affiliates based in Colorado."
...though I think they're sloppy, too, speaking of Amazon being "forced to pay the state taxes" - when they seemingly would have to begin to collect sales taxes from customers, which could mean:
• Figuring out the tax rate (which varies by city, county, etc) for each customer.
• Charge a differential price to customers depending on the state/co/city of residence.
• Either increase the charge to customer's CC or cut Amazon (or it's affiliate's) net on a sale.
• Send on the $ to state gov.
Sounds to me like they just don't want hassle and cost of programming, processing etc.
Note another effect: When I buy a $2500 laptop from Apple online, I have consider the cost of where I want it shipped. If it goes to my office in town, I pay ~3% more sales tax than if I they ship to my out-in-county home.
If Apple can handle all that, so can Amazon, but if this is what the CO law will impose on national online retailers it will mean lots more issues for both customer and seller to weigh and start handling immediately.
Maybe it's equitable, but I sure wouldn't like to have to have all my business's billing software rewritten overnight.
From what RWW says further down, Amazon must already have the software in place - and be collecting it in NY state:
"The Colorado legislature should have foreseen this outcome - it's not the first time Amazon has been forced to shut down affiliate programs. In July of 2009, Amazon closed off their programs in Rhode Island and North Carolina, and has previously sued over a law passed in New York in 2008. The suit, however, was eventually thrown out and Amazon has since been paying taxes for New York affiliates they feel are too valuable to give up."
So I still don't see why Amazon is choosing to fight this battle with Colorado :/