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* Posts by John H Woods

1194 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox

John H Woods
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Re: This is assuming the products are the same

Tin is still quite expensive. That is why 'tin' foil and 'tin' cans are not made of tin.

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Dogs would say: SIZE is IMPORTANT, shape - not so much

John H Woods
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Explains why ...

... of about 100 words my dog understands, about 90 are foodstuffs. Although she's probably using scent as well as texture.

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South Korean convicted for tweeting Pyongyang propaganda

John H Woods
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+1 --- Re: Dictatorships

Psy reference

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Cyber blaggers autoplunder bulging accounts on Euro pay network

John H Woods
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Heuristics ...

... can be horrible. My wife had a stroke. I had to use a card that I hardly ever use while she was in the hospital and I was trying to get there in a hurry. Bought some stuff in the supermarket for the kids to eat - card ok. Hurriedly filled up nearly empty car before rushing off to hospital - card declined. Bank of course had my mobile, but they didn't ring it. And they weren't answering their phones either. Thankfully I found enough cash down the back seat to pay. In the supermarket you can blush, apologize and walk away, but at the petrol station you are out of options and immediately treated as a criminal.

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Google avoids tax with ‘Double Irish Dutch Sandwich’

John H Woods
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Re: I still can't understand ...

Ah, sorry I explained that poorly. What I meant was:

If I, in the UK, buy a camera from a company in Singapore, they make some profit and I make a saving. Their profit is taxed in Singapore as corporation tax. I have to pay VAT on the camera, and that goes to the UK. If I am a reseller, I charge VAT on the sale, and reclaim the VAT on the purchase. I therefore pay UK tax at the UK VAT rate ON MY PROFIT, regardless of my revenue.

If, for taxation purposes, a virtual product were still a product, as in your example, the UK company would pay corporation tax, at the same (UK) rate, on their profits, regardless of where their sales occurred. The Australian buyer pays sales tax at the same rate he would if he were buying in a store in AUS.

Now, if a UK subsidiary company choose to operate at a loss by paying a huge royalty fee to a parent in a nation with lower corporation tax, that would still be allowed. But they have to pay VAT on the 'virtual product' which is a 'licence to trade under that name for one year' and, because they obviously don't sell this licence onwards, they have effectively paid tax, at the VAT rate, on all their profit. If VAT and corporation tax were charged at the same rate, it wouldn't matter whether they declared the UK operating profits as having really occurred in the UK or not, they'd still being paying the same amount.

Again I suspect my simplistic approach is due to ignorance, but I'm interested to know what I am missing.

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John H Woods
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Re: two types of avoidance - or is it three

How about: Amount of tax Rovio owe to Finland = (Amount of business done in Finland / Amount of business done Globally) * Global Profits

They are already paying for the Finnish education system by employing Finns, who pay tax to Finland.

ratfox: "Heck, for all I know, Rovio has a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands which is "managing" Rovio's intellectual property for the whole world, and Rovio is not paying tax anywhere because that subsidiary is their only profitable company anywhere in the world." But the Cayman islands would clearly not be where they are making that money, and it should be clear that a loss-making Finnish company whose principle source of expense was a royalty payment to the Cayman islands, is not really making any real loss.

I realize this is naive, but am too naive to see why it is. Can you explain? Is it because there is no real way for the Finnish government to look at that loss-making company and say, "that's really part of the same company that's making a huge profit over there"

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John H Woods
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I still can't understand ...

firstly, I don't understand the politicians calling it morally questionable. Listed companies have a *duty* to maximize their profits.

secondly, politicians write the laws, and it this case, it appears they are even thinking of doing something

Given those two points, why is it acceptable for UK politicians to complain about this sort of practice whilst they do nothing about it, preferring to enact more pettifogging unnecessary legislation on other issues?

And why is it so complicated? Take the example given by ratfox: " if an Australian resident on a British website clicks an ad for a German company brokered by an American company, where is the transaction happening?" To me it is clear that the transaction is happening in Australia.

If I buy something on a website in Singapore, HMRC will be after me for the duty as soon as it comes into the country. Surely advertising is just a virtual product? I get that taxing purely on transactions will hit low margin business, but don't understand why the amount of tax payable by a multinational to a nation state isn't just their global profit multiplied by the relative size of their business (i.e. proportion of their revenue) turned over in that nation state.

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Plan your BLACK FRIDAY CHARGE: Google shop maps go desktop

John H Woods
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Hold on...

... you've just been giving thanks for everything you have, then the next day you try to kill each other over cut-price consumer goods?

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'Brit Bill Gates' Lynch: Only Mad Leo Apotheker understood Autonomy

John H Woods
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"flatly refute"

is a contradiction in terms. You can flatly deny, or perhaps flatly repudiate, but refutation implies proof whilst flatly suggests none has been, or will be offered.

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Legal wigs to sort out rules on internet defamation, contempt

John H Woods
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Re: Could be a result

Colin Millar: "Maybe the Guardian will wake up to how pisspoor some of its employees are..."

Doesn't matter: their online strategy (give away all content for free) is costing them so much that they can't afford to spend any more money on journalism - or even, I suspect, continue to spend what they are currently spending.

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Just what you needed: A cell phone with a remote control. No, really

John H Woods
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Yes ...

... and mine is still on the set of AAs that came with it, despite daily use.

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Wang's 'surging growth' to help tablets overcome notebooks in 2013

John H Woods
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me too...

... Wang, I mean. Paris is OK, but I wouldn't climb over swimbo to get to her ...

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Autonomy to HP: bollocks

John H Woods
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I remember ...

... the consensus here on the Reg was that the valuation was mad. Yet all the experts, KPMG and the usual suspects, and HPs own due diligence team, were sure that it was fine. More recently the commentard consensus seemed to be much more accurate than 'the professionals' re: facebook.

Amazing how the people who are paid to get it right can get it so wrong, often at so little cost to themselves personally, however much it costs their corporations.

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British Ruby conference cancelled after diversity row

John H Woods
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@John G Imrie

... pretty sure you mentioned it twice.

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John H Woods
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Tick African ...

... and write "aren't we all" on the dots for 'Other'

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Swedish woman cuffed for sex with skeleton SHOCKER

John H Woods
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Tony Chestnut

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How spreadsheets (nearly) conquered and killed the financial industry

John H Woods
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Excel is not even the best spreadsheet....

... fundamentally, the problem with spreadsheets is that you are trying to do matrix operations on a cell-by-cell basis. Lotus Improv had this sorted years ago. Instead of having, price in the A column, quantity in the B column and the 'C' column containing '=An*Bn', with a special case in row 1 which contains the title headings, you have columns called price, quantity and subtotal, with the single rule 'subtotal=price*quantity'.

If you want to see how a spreadsheet really should work, I exhort you to download a 30 month trial of Quantrix Modeller, the intellectual descendant of Improv, and blow your mind with it.

But it isn't just limited understanding of Excel that contributed to the financial crash. I have seen some amazingly stiff (in the technical sense) models using Monte Carlo integration (not in itself a bad thing) but which produced incredibly fragile results (where the outputs where extraordinarily, or even chaotically, sensitive to the inputs). And yes, they were used for trading decisions.

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The Sinofsky Letters: Defenestrated Windows overlord corresponds

John H Woods
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Qdir portable...

Not saying it in anyway means that the O/S provider shouldn't have had proper explorer functionality, but I get round it by keeping a copy of this handy. I think M/S and even some of the Linux Distros could learn a lot from how this great piece of Windows software works.

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eBay hit with antitrust suit over hiring practices

John H Woods
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Pseudofeudalism

What on earth do the people who draw up these agreements think they're doing? They think they are our lords and masters, that's what. Do you think for a moment that we could tie CEOs to particular organisations the same way without a shitstorm about how the economy needs them to be free to move from company to company?

The fact that they realise how bad that would be for them, and indeed the very principles of free-market capitalism, means that the only explanation for them trying to bind us to our corporate masters is that they actually think they are a different class of people to us. Well, maybe they are, but probably not in the way they think they are.

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Boss wrong to demote man over anti-gay-marriage Facebook post

John H Woods
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Re: I dont know what is more disgusting

Straight marriage isn't that disgusting: mixing of bodily fluids usually becomes vanishingly infrequent a few short years after the ceremony.

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'Spend police USB stick data loss mega-fine on IT lessons for cops'

John H Woods
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Re: Sounds like revenge...

@John Robson,

It's only a joke, and I actually think it's that courses, both ways round, are a good idea.

BTW I've never had to do a speed awareness course, as I prefer mpg to mph.

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John H Woods
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Sounds like revenge...

... for them making us do 'speed awareness' courses

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Fart-buster underpants selling well among Japanese salarymen

John H Woods
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That reminds me...

... I bought a stick-type deodorant and followed the instructions: "Twist off cap and push up bottom" Walking is uncomfortable but my farts smell amazing.

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Apple to settle with Samsung? Korean honcho: 'Fuggedaboutit'

John H Woods
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Re: Personally

Opp... Opp ... Opp

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Humans becoming steadily STUPIDER, says brainiac boffin

John H Woods
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Weren't the ancient Greeks ...

... mostly idiots?

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Omnishambles beats off mummy-porn, becomes English word of 2012

John H Woods
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Try Greek rather than Latin...

... how about panshambles? Although I think shambles is 15c English anyway.

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John H Woods
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Unecessary ...

... except as a bowdlerism of clusterfuck

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Apple-v-Samsung $1bn iPhone fine: 'Jury foreman was biased'

John H Woods
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Re: Well that and...

Oh no, there's gonna be a fusilli comments now.

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Hacker sentenced to six years – WITH NO INTERNET

John H Woods
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Errmm...

"Office work is just about impossible under those conditions, though - guess he'll be spending a few years after school in one of the no-internet, unskilled labor professions."

I love the idea that office work is 'skilled'. I've met six people with real skills this morning that could easily survive with no internet: builder, plumber, electrician, saddler, farrier, agricultural mechanic. On the other hand a zombie apocalypse would expose me and most of my colleagues as having very few real skills.

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Walmart workers filmed playing iPad frisbee

John H Woods
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Re: As they say...

"An idiot and his job are soon parted"

I think you'll find that only applies below 50k p.a.

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Microsoft and Skype to axe world's most popular IM client early 2013

John H Woods
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KIK...

... is what all the kids seem to be using. Everything else seems to have become a desert. I used to use Trillian on Android to be logged into the dozen or so IM accounts I have collected over the years, but for 2 years I only got messages via IBM Sametime (work) or Facebook. Everything else, including yahoo, google talk, and messenger, went quiet over that period.

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UK prosecutors, cops ponder new probe into NASA hacker McKinnon

John H Woods
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Criminal prosecution still required ...

... for the admins who plunked sensitive systems on the Internet with blank or trivial passwords.

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Microsoft's 32GB Surface RT has 16GB of free storage

John H Woods
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Re: I swear to god...

"Gibibytes are like Mitt Romney, Red Bull, and getting your penis caught in your pants zipper - you'll never get used to it." -- David W.

I got used to it. But the Bi units are only really ever appropriate for stuff, like parallel addressed memory, where decimal units are a poor fit with reality. For serially-accessed storage, bandwidth and anything else you wish to measure, you might as well stick with the decimal (SI) definitions.

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Slideshow: A History of First-person Shooters in 20 Games

John H Woods
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Re: And TimeSplitters too!

So glad someone mentioned TS2. Great music, brilliant sense of humour, huge replay value - especially with the mapmaker functionality. Every five years or so it comes out of the box for a quick run through from noob to 100%, just like every 5 years or so I have to read all of Jane Austen again --- because nothing else comes close.

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KDE 'annoys the hell of' Linus Torvalds

John H Woods
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Happy

Re: Opinions are like...

Some opinions are worth more than others ...

... but that's just my opinion.

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Sony KD-84X9005 84in ultra-HD TV review

John H Woods
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I regret the move to HD...

The girls on babestation used to look ok to me, especially if I'd taken my contacts out. I can't imagine too many actors are going to look great at this resolution without some serious airbrushing.

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Debenhams cafes ban outré terms like 'espresso' and 'cappuccino'

John H Woods
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Insult to her culture...

... and if you disobey you get what ... a horse's head in your bed?

BTW there is a difference between good salt and bad salt. Try a double blind test between standard table salt and something like Maldon flaked sea salt.

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Apple must apologise for its surly apology on its website on Saturday

John H Woods
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Re: now that i've quit smoking

"apple ought to fire their lawyers over this"

Well, yes, iff the lawyers advised them that this was a good course of action, I highly doubt that, and suspect that Apple execs at some level either ignored or did not seek legal advice. IANAL but I wouldn't be surprised if you could get struck off for advising a client to behave in a manner that could be considered contempt of court.

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Pints all round as Register Special Projects hacks hack off feet

John H Woods
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Unhappy

I miss the ounce...

Having grown up in Germany I'm metric through and through, but it's god-awful for cooking - grams is useless for anything but salt and spices, and kilos anything but potatoes.

I tried to lobby for a new ounce, being exactly 25g and having 20 to the new pound of exactly 0.5kg, but it never caught on :-(

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Google releases 'Disavow links' tool to fix SEO spam

John H Woods
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If these SEO outfits were any good ...

... they wouldn't need to spam me all the time telling me how good they are.

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It's official: Apple will reveal 'a little more' on October 23

John H Woods
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Re: Midnight

Actually it's not that clear. Midnight could be - and often is - considered the end of the day: i.e. 0:00 and midnight are the same time-of-day, but 24 hours apart.

When do you think midnight on New Year's Eve is?

Where it's important for legal reasons (insurance etc.) you will usually find times such as 11:59, 23:59, 12:01 and 0:01 are used to avoid any ambiguity. Although I would personally consider 00:00 or 24:00 to be unambiguous for any given date, I'm pretty sure it would be hard to make that argument for 'midnight'.

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'Hypersensitive' Wi-Fi hater loses case against fiendish DEVICES

John H Woods
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Re: me too

The girl next door to me reflects EM in about the 400-700nm range, and it certainly has physiological effects.

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McKinnon will not be extradited to the US, says Home Secretary

John H Woods
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Happy

Re: Hoorah!

"Personally, I think that parents describing their spoiled brats bullying, destrictive, selfish behaviour to other parents as, "Oh, he's on the spectrum," and not being a proper parent,"

heyrick: "Once upon a time, saying "Oh, he's on the spectrum" meant something completely different."

Not necessarily completely different :-)

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Apple pays up for stealing design from Swiss Railways

John H Woods
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@Erwin Hofmann

>> Quoting Steve Jobs (1994): "Good artists copy great artists steal" ...

Attributed to Stravinsky. Or Picasso. Or TS Eliot. Probably predates any of them.

However - certainly not original by Steve Jobs.

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'X Factor for tech is going to be OUTTA THIS WORLD'

John H Woods
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Apple maps and general vicinities ...

Apologies if you've heard it ...

an iPhone 5 user walks into a bar ... or a hotel, or maybe a church.

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Ubuntu 12.10: More to Um Bongo Linux than Amazon ads

John H Woods
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Re: The Logic Of Advertising

Can't believe how many comments I had to read before someone pointed that out. I was going to post the same if I got to the end of the comments without it being raised, and I'd almost given up hope.

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WTF is... VoLTE

John H Woods
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Re: Erm, like, who cares???

Poe's Law in action?

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