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* Posts by Matt 21

411 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

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BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

Matt 21
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Re: Budgetary crazyness

Sadly, it's quite common everywhere. There's also a lot of lack of vision beyond an immediate desire to save money and an obsession with small amounts the people at the coal face could really use and the massive amounts wasted in other areas.

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Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality

Matt 21
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Re: Smack on the wrist then!

Surly their reply to the question "How did the programming go wrong", will be "well, it's a kind of magic"..

Mind you they must be under pressure at the moment. Perhaps they'll look to fat bottomed girls, after all, if they can make the rocking world go round what can they do for a satellite?

So, there you go, proof positive that El Reg headline writers have more skill than me!

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Sony DENIES PlayStation Network WOBBLES despite gamer GRIPES

Matt 21
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Re: Yep, it's buggered

It didn't effect me but I've heard it hit Xbox too. Wasn't one of the Sony execs airplane diverted due to a fake bomb threat too?

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Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?

Matt 21
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Re: Data and its problems

Yes, and have an up vote.

I was a bit confused by the data for breast cancer. If operating on pre-menopausal women tends to lead to the cancer coming back is that not still better than not operating at all? Not screening because it only buys some women an extra few years is not an argument to stop screening. On the other hand if it only buys an extra few weeks, fair does.

I was also surprised about the ant-inflammatory. I thought it was well known that steroids reduced the effectiveness of the immune system. I've got a friend who's had more than 25 operations and they've never been treated with this kind of ant-inflammatory, is it specific to cancer operations? Or is it given before the patient comes back to the ward so they may not know they've had it?

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Carbon tetrachloride releases still too high, says NASA

Matt 21
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Re: hooray for carbon capture

Not sure about that.

What stands out to me is that at the time we were told these emissions had to stop or we would quickly be in a lot of trouble. Now it turns out that these emissions, while lower, are still fairly high and the predicted catastrophe hasn't happened.

Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't have worked to reduce CO4 but we were given false information about what would happen if we didn't. The case for stopping was exaggerated and the problem with that is that it makes people less likely to believe calls to stop other activity even if this time it's true.

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Boffins propose security shim for Android

Matt 21
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Re: It's the humans, stupid, and boy, are they stupid

Fair enough but it only works on some versions, mine's too old and the other phone I've got is too new.

It also breaks some programs. If you root the phone there's a program which will provide fake data so all programs keep working. However, this again needs you to root the phone.

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Matt 21
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Re: It's the humans, stupid, and boy, are they stupid

I think we're also coming back to the permission problem where apps ask for ridiculous amounts of access and Google seem to go along with this making it harder to see what's going on.

The only way to get this to work is to root the phone and remove these silly access privileges. Even then I'm not convinced of the security.

I have to say it made me laugh when I read yesterday that the police are sating criminals nick phones to get personal information. A lot of people give away that information on Facebook and even if they don't most apps have such sweeping access that they'll have got it anyway.

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The Register to boldly go where no Vulture has gone before: The WEEKEND

Matt 21
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Re: Thumbs up...

I, personalty, would like fewer articles on cars. There are loads of car reviewing web sites out there and most of them do the job better.

Articles about car hacking on the other hand......

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Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!

Matt 21
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Re: Disad-van-van-van-tage of shopping tanked

For you or the cat?

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Edward Snowden's not a one-off: US.gov hunts new secret doc leaker

Matt 21
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Re: Whoot!

Another way would be to keep to the law so there's nothing to expose.

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Evidence during FOI disputes can be provided in SECRET

Matt 21
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Re: If the public knew the truth about Company X...

They could either make their case anonymously or if that's too difficult the FOI requester could be given an edited version of Company X's testimony. This should be enough to give the requester the possibility of challenging the evidence.

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Ad biz now has one less excuse to sponsor freetards and filth

Matt 21
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Re: and returns 96 data points every time an ad is served,

My only hope is that this leads to a better understanding of advertising and thus businesses will realise that every €1000 they spend on advertising only gets them €10 in return.

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Brit balloon bod Bodnar circumnavigates planet

Matt 21
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Re: Stealth Baloon

Assuming that it is in fact invisible to radar, is there any chance of it causing problems for choppers or jet planes? I would have thought it would make a mess of a jet engine iof it got sucked in.

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The Register is HIRING technology hacks for the WORLD

Matt 21
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Re: ahhhh

I think you'll be all right. As as far as I've seen there's no evidence that either grammar or spelling are a prerequisite for writing for The Register.

A slightly odd sense of humour does help and I see you meet that requirement. Have you got any experience with Playmobile charters?

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Elite Systems promises to order ZX Spectrum revival in two weeks

Matt 21
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Re: Elite's Steve Wilcox later promised to set things right.

Bit strange to post AC and then sign off with your name :-)

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Matt 21
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Re: Can't beat the original

I'm curious. There's a Javascript emulator for the Beeb (thanks El Reg for the article about that). It even had a long list of games you could play.

Does such a thing exist for the Speccy?

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REGULAR FISTING is GOOD for your HEALTH, says respected surveyor

Matt 21
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Re: Hmmm...

I was somewhat mislead as well........

Coming back to the health aspect: I can't see that it can make that much difference. I'm currently working in a country where a kiss ion the cheek (or two or three) is a standard greeting and yet there's no evidence to show that there's a higher level of sickness here, in fact there's some evidence to the contrary.

It reminds me of the survey which said that people from Newcastle are less likely to wash their hands after they go to the loo. I haven't seen any evidence that they're sicker (well physically) than the rest of us.

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Sony tries to make PlayStation Network hack row go away with $15m in cash and games

Matt 21
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Re: On the other hand

Perhaps we're talking at crossed purposes or I haven't understood the article......

My understanding is that criminals broke into Sony's database and stole personal data on its users. I don't think it's the case that some employee left the disc on a train.

So, I'm not saying they should be let off because they're a corporation. I'm saying that unless they were grossly incompetent with their security they shouldn't be given a beating. Same rule for you and me.

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Matt 21
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On the other hand

If they'd kept the details on paper and someone had broken into their offices then the police would be looking for the culprit and nothing would have been said.

If they'd kept the details on a standalone computer in their office and it had been stolen it would probably amount to the same as above.

In my opinion the deal on offer is more than fair unless it can be proved that Sony were grossly incompetent. While they may have been in other areas it seems to me that in this are they were no worse than hundreds of others.

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Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage

Matt 21
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Makes sense

An up-vote from me. However, I'm surprised the load is that high that it can't be server by 10 DB servers. Even if each request required a write I'd expect 10 DB server to manage between 10000 and 30000 requests a second (the ones I'm working on here certainly can). and even more if it was only reading.

So, if we take the higher write count, assuming they transactions aren't that large we're looking at 1.8 million requests a minute. I find it hard to believe that the British public could put that kind of load on the system for hour after hour (Wiki says that around 70% of access is from the UK and very little at all if we only look at iPlayer)..

I believe the all time peak for hits on the BBC was 1 billion in one day after the 7th of July bombings. So at the rate of transactions/queries outlined above it should only take 9.3 hours of processing time even without caches.

I'm sure it's more complicated than that as some pages require more than one lookup but I'm still unsure why removal of the cache knocked the site out for so long.

PS. The numbers are just rough figures to play with.

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SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans

Matt 21
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@I ain't Spartacus

Good thinking, you've obviously thought this through better than me.

It did however, occur to me that cunning criminals may decide to deploy mice against the elephants. We all know from film that elephants are terrified by mice so that might be a problem.

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Matt 21
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Re: ... a mammoth 2,000 olfactory receptor genes, ..."

Good point.

It also seems strange that A Beagle can sniff a rat in a field and go straight to it. Yet the rat, with a supposedly superior sense of smell, doesn't seem to notice the Beagle coming.

Does having more olfactory receptor genes mean that you can locate the source of smells better? All the cats I've had can smell when there's fish but they don't really know where it is. Whereas my dos know where food on the table is even when they can't see it.

Either way I imagine blood hounds and their ilk are fairly safe as even if we can train elephants it seems likely that it's impractical to use them for tracking or in airports for drug searches.

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Watching smut at work is bad but emailing it is just fine, says Oz court

Matt 21
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Re: Not about Smut

Isn't the point that not only was the rule not being enforced there were only a couple of scapegoats fired.

So, to take the first example; Me and half the office have been working from home on a Friday despite company policy saying that it's not allowed. Then one day four of us are fired for it despite there being another dozen or so who've been doing the same thing, including a couple of the managers.

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Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Matt 21
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Re: Tax????

Can't say I agree. I've lived and worked in several other European countries and found the health care streets ahead of what we get in the UK.

I could give loads of examples but here's just one. My uncle was diagnosed with skin cancer in the UK, I was abroad at the time and had a cyst. I was operated on within a week as a non-urgent case. My uncle in the UK had to wait three months.

I could mention that in the UK I've had to wait a week or two to see my GP before now, whereas abroad I can always see my doctor the same day if I don't mind waiting.

I can't comment on commonwealth countries as I've never used health service there.

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Matt 21
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Re: Tax????

I take your point and fully agree but I'm not sure I'd want to call the NHS a proper health care system. I suppose it is compared to the US though.

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Fujitsu and Capgemini's giga-quid HMRC lashup given drubbing by govt auditors

Matt 21
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Re: let's remember some history

Also interesting to note:

In house government civil servant IT projects were often late or over budget or delivered the wrong thing.

Outsourced government IT projects are often late or over budget or delivered the wrong thing.

So it seems the fault isn't with the in house staff as using the private sector has produced the same, if not, worse results.

It's almost as if the problem is with the government...................

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Matt 21
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Re: Getting facts right puts things in proportion

While it may be true that 30% of households conatin children I don't think it's true that 70% of the remainder have got an internet connection, so the uptake rate is probably not representative. Another factor to take into account is that we don't know if TalkTalk's customers match the proportion of childless households. It could be that they attract more households with children.

Finally I don't think it's true that only households with children will take this up. Anecdotal evidence suggests Granny will probably do it either because she considers herself not a pervert or because she thinks it's "protecting" her in some unspecified way.

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

Matt 21
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Re: Lobbyists

Indeed. It should probably be "influencing or coercing the government through illegal means which cause widespread fear."

So, setting a bomb off is illegal and causes widespread fear, Fathers for Justice climbing Nelson's Column (don't know if they have), may be illegal but isn't causing widespread fear, hence they are not terrorists.

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SAP: It was our Big Data software wot won it for Germany

Matt 21
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Re: Software didn't change a thing

Apart from score seven goals against Brazil and win the competition..... useless idiots!

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Matt 21
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To be fair

I don't think all of them are that bad, just enough to make ti difficult for the others.

It probably doesn't help that players don't see playing for England something to aspire to. There also doesn't seem to be any coordinated plan to bring kids through to the top levels. Perhaps there is and I haven't noticed!

I wonder whether they'd have been better off just playing basic football with people in their usual positions and not worrying about what the opposition would do and not worrying about saving players for later.... especially as it turned out there was no later.

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US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe

Matt 21
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Belgium

I imagine they're starting in Belgium because in one sense it's an easy target. Mobile phone costs are high compared to neighbouring countries. People are also less tied to their provider because most people buy their own phones. The law doesn't permit telcos to give you a free or lower than cost price mobile when you sign up. Mind you that's always being pushed by the telcos.......

It'll be interesting to see what happens, I thought Orange would wipe the floor with Proximus when they launched (Orange became BASE) but they didn't. Initial coverage was bad but it seems OK now. I also wonder how they'll compete against mobile Viking, or whatever it's called.

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Freeze, Glasshole! Stop spying on me at the ATM

Matt 21
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Re: I prefer the infra-red camera trick

Or cool self to keypad temperature.

On reflection it may be better just to just lightly touch all the keys in the row while only properly pressing the right one.

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Google, Microsoft to add remote KILL switch to phones

Matt 21
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Re: And what's the real subtext here...?

No, instead let's change it and pat ourselves on the back telling ourselves that we've solved all our problems!

My main point wasn't that adding a "kill switch" is a complete waste of time, my main point is that it doesn't address the biggest problem.

My second point was to question the statistics being offered.

I'll add a new point while I'm here: I wonder how long it will be before miscreants work out how to kill other peoples phones.

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Matt 21
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Re: And what's the real subtext here...?

Isn't it likely that the "durggies" (if that's who's doing this) are just going to steal something else instead? In which case we've just moved the problem elsewhere.

I'm also a bit curious about these figures (for thefts by brand). Is it really the case that a mugger checks your make of phone first? Isn't a casual thief more likely to nick the phone and then chuck it away later if it gets blocked? Especially outside of the US where Androids are more popular, the thief is going to assume that most phones aren't Apples and not change their behaviour.

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Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

Matt 21
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Re: YO

Yo

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Mobe battery flat? These ELECTRIC PANTS will pump things up

Matt 21
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Re: kids sizes

Ahhhh, I see your point :-)

On the other hand, one of my kids put his (or hers, let's not publicly blame him) batteries in the fridge to see if they'd come back to life. Words were exchanged so a couple of weeks later I caught him (or her) trying to boil them in a saucepan.

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Matt 21
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Re: kids sizes

Well, I think parents have been saying things like that for a long time "if I could capture just half your energy".....

However, I see a couple of possible flaws in your idea, sorry.

Firstly, I'm in the house relaxing, the kids are in the garden running around and charging my phone. Sadly I can't actually use my phone because the kids have got it.

Secondly, the kids have got it... need I say more?

Thirdly, The phone would have to be fairly sturdy and waterproof, or is that just my kids?

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

Matt 21
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Re: Perfect Opportunity

So, there's a problem with the American patent system so we should bomb Luxembourg?

Are you, by chance, American yourself?

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Hate phone games that make you buy in-app gumble? Congrats, you're a niche player

Matt 21
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Re: Lack of options?

I can't say that the latest PS and Xbox offer fewer choices, unless you mean they're new and there aren't as many games for them yet.

A quick survey in the office indicates that kids still prefer to play on consoles and mobile gaming is only when they can't or aren't allowed on the console.

I buy the kids lots of cheap second hand console games and only occasionally the latest release. They seem to like the fact that there's a lot of choice. They know there's a limit on how much time they're allowed on electronic games and I never hear them asking to go on my phone instead of the console!

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'I'm for free speech!' brave Boris bellows, bewildered by 'right to be forgotten' bluster

Matt 21
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I don't think you're right

The Spanish chap got his data removed and I don't think Google do much taxable business there either. I think the point of the ruling is that Google are considered to be doing business in the EU and must therefore abide by its rules.

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Women are too expensive to draw and code – Ubisoft

Matt 21
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Re: So which is it?

What about the ability to have a wheelchair using avatar, or a blind avatar or one wearing women's clothes? What about one with one arm, or one leg or.........

Personally I can't see what the big deal is, I can't remember being able to play Tomb Raider as a man.

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Kids hack Canadian ATM during LUNCH HOUR

Matt 21
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Re: AC Jim 59 customer information was not compromised

I've got to say: Top marks to the bank for asking the kids how they did it and not setting the law on them.

As for 'haters got to hate', are you 12 years old? I disagree with a lot of things and find many things to be quite barmy but that doesn't mean I hate them. The American legal system is one of those barmy things, if you can't see that I suggest you get out in the world a bit more.

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Google: Why should we pay tax when we make 'intangibles'?

Matt 21
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Re: Evil?

Not really as I'm using all of those as they were intended by the government whereas Google et all are exploiting a loophole in a way which clearly wasn't intended.

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Apple's Irish tax lair to be probed by European Commission

Matt 21
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Re: i agree

My understanding is that the EC doesn't appoint itself so our government has a say (as witnessed by David Cameron saying he doesn't like the current nominee for head of the EC).

According to Wikipedia the EC can only propose legislation and legislation can also be requested by MEPs and the Council of Ministers (representatives of our current government).

MEPs can also dismiss the EC if they want to.

So, any law has to come via the EC (possibly the ECs idea or proposed by MEPs or the Council of Ministers) and then agreed by MEPs and the Council of Ministers.

Which means that any EU tax law has been agreed by MEPs we voted for and our government via the Council of Ministers.

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Matt 21
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I don't mind subsidising Ireland

but I do mind Google, Apple et al skimming 90% off to a tax "firendly" country (most of the money doesn't stay in Ireland) at the expense of jobs in my country.

Nobody wins a race to the bottom with taxation.

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Matt 21
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Re: Really simple way of dealing with this....

I would have thought that could be accounted for by limits on the ratio between the cost of the IP and the turnover.

However, I agree in general that a lot of loopholes were put there for legitimate reasons. I think it's actually quite hard to write watertight rules, or at least harder than you'd think.

Sometimes I think it would be better to let the judiciary look at the spirit of the law in these cases. Yes, there are dangers but it seems that there are more if we don't. I think judges can already consider what parliament intended but I don't know how that works with tax law and where the limits are.

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Surprise! Google chairman blasts EU's privacy ruling

Matt 21
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So the attack has started

The BBC are reporting that a paedophile and a dodgy politician are trying to get their details removed. I wonder where that information came from.

Of course Google are going to try and whip up opposition with false claims like this. However, I don't see anything in the judgement that means these two examples would have to be removed.

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Our Reg reader 'mutt's nuts' dictionary is le chien's biens

Matt 21
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Re: Dutch

..or as I mentioned last time, in Buxelloises/Brussels zwanze (a mix of a Flemish dialect and French if you like) it would be "tof in den hof" or perhaps just "tof".

By the way, anyone know how to say it Klingon? This looks like the sort of site with readers who'd know......

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Australia targets software maintenance costs with Drupal plan

Matt 21
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Re: Crap performance

Thanks for the reply. Nice to know, I will avoid Drupal for busy sites.

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Matt 21
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Re: Makes a lot of sense

I haven't got a lot of experience with Drupal but I know it's not hard to integrate Joomla with interactive services. Making templates is fairly easy and there are lots of free ones available (even the commercial ones don't cost much). I assume the same is true of Dupal.

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