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Is Sarbanes-Oxley Forcing Apple To Charge You To Upgrade Your WiFi?

from the say-what-now? dept

Well, here's a weird one. It's no secret that Sarbanes-Oxley is a law with lots of problems. It's become a huge pain for businesses, forcing all sorts of useless, but expensive, procedures to be put in place that have little (if anything) to do with protecting investors from being taken in by unscrupulous companies. It's been a huge net loss to the economy, and has scared away plenty of companies from the public markets. While that may have held some "bubble euphoria" in check by keeping investment opportunities away from the public, the net result is bad for the overall economy. Last week, there was lots of talk about Jim Clark's decision to quit Shutterfly while blaming Sarbanes-Oxley for limiting what he could do at the company. Now comes the latest odd SOX complaint. Apparently Apple is forcing Mac owners to pay an extra $5 to unlock next generation features of WiFi that were bundled with recent machines. In order to unlock the pre-standard 802.11n features, you have to pay $5, with Apple saying that they cannot be seen as "giving away an unadvertised new feature of an already sold product without enduring some onerous accounting measures." The thinking, basically is that they would be unfairly recognizing the revenue early, since they hadn't completely delivered the product. The alternative would be to not recognize all the revenue ahead of time, but that presents other problems, and could even be more costly. Thus, consumers get the fun of having to pay extra to upgrade. Yet another fun unexpected consequence from excessive meddling from politicians.

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  1. identicon
    Dave, 16 Jan 2007 @ 2:44pm

    Re: Re: SOX: the bane of IT

    Oh, yes. Jobs were created, all right. I will take your point with the apparent irony it seems to imply. I agree with you in the sense that politicians could try to make s**ty legislation go down easier by implying that it will create jobs.

    Example: in the IT shop where I work with several hundred employees, guess how many jobs were created? A net gain of Zero. They took one person already working there, took her off the team she was on, and made her do SOX. One official SOX job, one job lost. Oh, and the unofficial SOX jobs: everyone in the shop has to waste their time filling in SOX forms every time they turn around.

    Gee, I guess in one sense, it does create jobs. Each person is already overworked, so let's say each person has between one and two workloads. Now with SOX "tasks", each person has even more work, so there are actually more jobs, and each person gets several of them, all with no extra pay! Jobs created! Unsightly pounds lost!

    I would bet that everybody who blithely says that SOX is just wonderful has never had to keep SOX records for every work product they create, and has never been through a SOX audit.

    Potential merits of SOX aside, the SOX lovers would also be dumbfounded at the sucky implementation - it's laughable the list of things you currently need to do for SOX paperwork. I guess the government is at least trying to fix that now, so maybe SOX will suck less in the future.

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