Whew, so it's not completely axed. If anything Canada needs significantly more investment and tax programs like this. Brain drain has always been a problem for Canada because of the lack of investment from the government and the lack of tech-oriented VC.
I was hoping for SR&ED to be completely axed. It's a huge monstrosity of paperwork, to the point that small businesses pay 30% of their tax credits to consultants who fill out the forms for them and large businesses hire teams of people for the sole purpose of tracking and classifying SR&ED expenses so that the tax credits can be claimed. I suspect that Tarsnap is eligible for some SR&ED credits, but it's simply not worth the time and headaches it would cost me to claim them.
If Canada wants to encourage innovation, they should set up a system which rewards people for doing new and innovative things, not a system which rewards people for being good at filling out forms.
I've filed SR&ED claims for multiple years for a successful startup. It was a) incredibly valuable and b) incredibly easy.
That said, I do know there are plenty of zombie companies that filed SR&ED claims with a bunch of handwaving and hogwash in it. In fact, it was recommended to me to not make any project sound like it's finished: that way, you can file again next year.
But if you waste 30% of your credit on consultants, you're the one being an idiot, not the government.
I've successfully written SR&ED applications myself for businesses certainly less deserving than Tarsnap. We decided the consultants were too expensive and gave it a shot ourselves. One solid week of work for one guy at a company of 10 people netted $30,000, definitely worth the time. All you need is a decent record of work done (I used both github commit log and a bug tracker.)
Unfortunately I expect you'll never get money from a bureaucrat without a little paperwork. Still, you're missing out if you don't even try.
While it is a big headache to trac, document work and formulate and application, it is most definitely worth it. I've been part of a team that has claimed small sr&ed pieces of work and managed to get back a substantial credit. I agree that there should be a more stringent vetting of applications as this is our tax payer money we're talking about.
From skimming the news it seems like it's cut significantly.
>The changes include a cut in 2014 to 15 per cent from 20 per in the tax credit rate and a restriction on which expenditures count toward the credit. For example, capital expenditures – buildings, equipment and product prototypes – will no longer be eligible. The amount of eligible overhead expenses and subcontracted R&D will also be reduced.
They have $4.2 billion in revenue per quarter, that's huge, and they still have a lot of users. They could easily scale back their ambitions and become very profitable, abandon the playbook, reduce their workforce, move focus to East Asia, and keep milking every cent out of the old-fashioned phones they kept pumping out long after Apple ate their lunch.
What really bothers me about Siri, is how Apple makes it tied to specific hardware. Technologically, there should be no reason why Siri-style actions are not available to every PC, and every smartphone.
Native platforms have been, and still are (thanks to Apple's success), the major roadblock to innovation.
Siri's servers were falling over just handling the people who had 4S devices in their hands, imagine unleashing all iPhone 4 and iPad 2 owners on their servers as well at the same time...
So far Apple has not come out and said that Siri will not be available on older devices (such as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2). I honestly believe that Siri is very much still considered a beta product by Apple and they are attempting to figure out how to make it scale on the backend.
I bought the iPhone 4S, upgraded from an iPhone 3G and I would be more than happy for more users to get Siri because it is absolutely fantastic. I would love to get it on my iPad 2 as well for example. If more people have Siri and use it, it will most likely improve faster, we will hopefully get API's to program against, and it will get better and better at understanding or processing commands.
I don't see how it would be a blow for iPhone 4S owners ... they got early access. The iPhone 4S pretty much stands on its own, the dual-core processor definitely helps, and the increased speed in graphics makes games and apps look absolutely fantastic.
No more than it's a blow to me when the movie I paid $10 in theaters for winds up in Redbox for $1. If your enjoyment of a device is predicated on its features not being available to others, you're in for a world of disappointment.
How did you read that on my words? That's not even a good comparison. A better comparison was when the original iPhone got its price reduced by $200. It was a blow and Apple acted accordingly. If Siri were to be available tomorrow for iOS 5 devices when most people didn't even get their iPhone 4S I would expect it to be a blow to a good part of the early buyers.
When Microsoft put speech recognition in XP, were you complaining? When Nuance made Dragon dictate? When Kurzweil made Voicepad Pro? When Google made the Android only Voice offering? Were you complaining they had hardware requirements or were platform or OS specific? But now Apple buy and release it in a way people like, easily a decade after this kind of technology was first commercially and suddenly that's why nobody else has innovated?
And your complaint isn't even accurate aside from that - DARPA funded SRI for military purposes, SRI finished their military contract and reformed to a commercial company and Apple bought them (I.e. innovation happenings) and in an interview with the company founder he said they had to struggle to get it to run on the 3GS and implied it would be much better on better hardware. Speculation is that it does voice recognition on the client (I.e. There are plausible technical reasons why not every smartphone could run the current implementation).
Having to differentiate their native platform drives innovation, its having to support the lowest common denominator and backwards compatibility which stifles it, and patents which roadblock it.