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* Posts by Jody

15 posts • joined 23 Oct 2007

Ed Miliband brands Google's UK tax avoidance 'WRONG'

Jody

0% corporation tax, but tax dividend income like salaries?

How about this: apply tax on corporate profits at zero, but levy tax on dividend income at the same rate as other income (so 40% for UK citizens earning over £40k or so; 50% for those in top band).

Pluses: 1) You no longer tax the same flow of money twice (when it is profit and when it is distributed to the company's owners). 2) You encourage lots of businesses to move to UK and employ Brits, who then pay income tax on their salary. 3) You probably raise more money because, I seem to recall, UK citizens earn more from owning oversees shares than is paid out to foreigners by British companies. 4) There is less scope for people setting themselves up as companies to pay less tax.

Minuses: there would be clever ways this was abused, as there is for any system of taxation. Also, corporation tax is a relatively cheap tax for HMRC.

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Help us out here: What's the POINT of Microsoft Office 2013?

Jody

New versions of Word have mainly just jumbled up the icons and menus so I can't find anything anymore. Worse than pointless.

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How to spot a terrible tech boss within SECONDS

Jody

Re: Lehman Bros?

A bank that is in administration will actually employ many people to work out who owes what to who and pay the creditors back from money that trickles in from its own debtors.

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Craig, Connery or ... Dalton? Vote now for the ultimate James Bond

Jody

Brosnan totally looked the part...

...but the films made no sense. Never Die Another Not Enough was the worst.

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Everything Everywhere's 4G: Why I'm sitting this one out

Jody

Re: It'd be nice if 2.5g and 3g worked reliably

Completely agree. My network (Three) also has lots of dead patches on the main rail line into Waterloo and not just in rural stretches - well into the metropolis too. Surely they should have nailed down coverage on those main trunk routes carrying hundreds of thousands of people every day?

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Europe's prang-phone-in-every-car to cost €5m per life saved

Jody

This sort of kit in cars opens the way for pay-per-mile road charging and variable insurance premiums charged according to when/where/how dangerously you drive .

I actually think these are both good things - I reckon road charging is the only way to really kill congestion, and rewarding safe drivers with lower insurance premiums might make some of the many nutters on Britain's highways change their ways.

But others might disagree.

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The cyber-weapons paradox: 'They're not that dangerous'

Jody

Re: Re: Re: Is SCADA particularly difficult?

I once worked (for a week!) at the Transport Research Labs in Crowthorne, where they programmed the code that ran, I was told, most of the traffic signals in the Western world. The reason their software became so ubiquitous in the 1960s was that it was given away free. From the 1980s, though, they began to charge to recover the costs. While local authorities in Europe paid for the upgrades, those in the US tended to stick with the gratis, but less-sophisticated code...That is what I was told anyway. Perhaps that sometimes leads to all-greens!

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Space shuttle Endeavour: 'An incredible ship'

Jody

Its heartwarming...

...the Americans should have named Endeavour after a Royal Navy ship that, after its famous exploratory voyage, would later ferry British troops across the Atlantic to suppress the American revolution.

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USA to bin colour-code terror warning system - report

Jody

Heightened

Signs in the foyers of many government buildings have been saying the security state is "Heightened" for years now. For something to be "heightened" on a permanent basis is clearly absurd, but difficult to back away from without appearing complacent. Makes it all seem a bit pointless.

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Those govt cuts - slasher horror or history-changing brilliance?

Jody

Tarmac the greenbelt

The greenbelt is a lovely *idea*, but the reality falls short, and, frankly, building on it would often be an improvement. Greenbelt land round London often offers little in the way of amenity benefits, unless you count the golf courses and equestrian centres - hardly mass pursuits for the urban poor. And I'd be surprised if the portions put to agricultural use contain as much biodiversity than the average back garden. Granted, some stretches are genuinely worth preserving (e.g. the North Downs, Surrey's heathland, etc) but preserving the rest appears an expensive luxury, particularly when inner city school playing fields are built on instead. Preserving this mythical arcadia has led to London's poorest paying through the nose for housing that could be so much cheaper if planning in South East was relaxed.

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Nuclear synthi-jetfuel plants wanted for US Afghan bases

Jody

Burn opium

It strikes me that the US could solve the narcotics problem AND the fuel problem in Afghanistan, as well as boosting the Afghan economy, by guaranteeing farmers an good price for poppies, and then converting it into biofuel. The farmers could bring it to collection points manned by the Americans (so no troops are at risk as it is transported over dangerous roads) where it is turned into biodiesel and biokerosene for use by US planes and vehicles.

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New boffinry: North Atlantic could be massive CO2 sink

Jody

Use second-hand oil rigs as fish food

So it turns out that dumping the Brent Spar in 1995 would have fed algae with thousands of tonnes of iron as the structured decayed and created enormous blooms of CO2-gobbling phytoplankton. Well done Greenpeace.

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MoD announces new defence tech wishlist

Jody

Sometimes low tech is fine

"There's a real risk we do another Eurofighter - tarting up an old design with new bells and whistles. "

If only the Eurofighter was just a tarted-up old design. The French Rafale was based on existing technology and hence was relatively cheap and put into production in a few years. In contrast, Eurofighter is technologically very ambitious, and as a result, twenty years have passed since its prototype first flew (the "EAP": I forget what that was an acronym for). During this time, the enemy has changed, and technology has moved on anyway, and this multi-billion pound project has drained resources from more sensible procurement programmes. Being a four-nation procurement programme didn't help. Meanwhile, the RAF has lacked a credible fighter since at least the 1970s.

Pushing barriers in defence technology is very expensive and can just trigger an arms race with your enemy. We should only do so where there is a credible threat and a shortcoming in our capability. In the Eurofighter case, a bread-and-butter fighter would have met our needs.

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Technology is root of all evil, says IMF

Jody
Go

Technology does lead to inequality.

In 1700, all the countries in the world were broadly equal in terms of wealth. In 2007, there were great disparities between countries. What happened between 1700 and 2007? The industrial revolution, which is to say, the application of technology. This enabled trade, globalisation, mass education, which in turn encouraged more technological progress.

Clearly there are other influences too: politics can stifle a country's potential (think of China before 1980). But technology is the main cause of the wealth gap. In a way this is positive though: technology has allowed humans to climb out of poverty. Europeans were just lucky enough to do so first. In a century or two, perhaps the all world will be equally rich, as the fruits of this progress spread across the globe.

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Jody
Go

Technology does lead to inequality.

In 1700, all the countries in the world were broadly equal in terms of wealth. In 2007, there were great disparities between countries. What happened between 1700 and 2007? The industrial revolution, which is to say, the application of technology. This enabled trade, globalisation, mass education, which in turn encouraged more technological progress.

Clearly there are other influences too: politics can stifle a country's potential (think of China before 1980). But technology is the main cause of the wealth gap. In a way this is positive though: technology has allowed humans to climb out of poverty. Europeans were just lucky enough to do so first. In a century or two, perhaps the all world will be equally rich, as the fruits of this progress spread across the globe.

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