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* Posts by jonathanb

1937 posts • joined 14 Aug 2009

Universal Credit: ONLY 6 job centres to get new dole system in October

jonathanb
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Re: Rolled out by 2017 you say. Correct me if I'm wrong but won't there be an election between?

The problem with the existing system is that it doesn't interface very well with HMRC, so when someone starts earning a bit more or less money from part time work, they can't adjust the benefits to suit. The claimant can and presumably will tell DWP about a change in circumstances, but the DWP system works on the assumption that the claimant gets regular weekly income that doesn't change very often, when in reality, they get a few days here and there whenever the recruitment agency phones to say they have work available.

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Ciseco Pi-Lite: Make a Raspberry Pi trip light fantastic with 126 LEDs

jonathanb
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Re: Pi

I've never used one, but does it not come up with a Bash prompt after you log in?

In any case, writing your programs in a text editor or IDE is much more user friendly than typing everything in at the command line like you did back in the BBC BASIC days.

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UK Post Office admits false accusations after computer system cockup

jonathanb
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Re: Keeping the beaurocracy alive... @AC 8:13

It is 50p for a second class stamp now.

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Upturned boat sails to Shed of the Year title

jonathanb
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Re: Please help a Canuck out here...

A shed describes the type of building rather than what it is used for. An independent building out in the back garden is either a greenhouse, if it is made mostly of glass, or a shed if it is mostly made of wood or possibly metal or plastic with maybe a few windows. It can be used for storage, a work space or a man's hideaway. It doesn't matter. It is still a shed.

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Nominet resurrects second-level namespace plan: 'Before you say no...'

jonathanb
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Re: .UK short shelf life?

Scottish devolution happened many years ago. If Scottish independence happens, then Scotland will get a two letter country code, which probably won't begin with an "s" because they are pretty much all taken. Only .sf, .sp, .sq and .sw are available. The Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland is Alba, so maybe it could be .ab or .aa. It won't be .al because that is the code for Albania.

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jonathanb
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Re: Why should I want a TLD to be "competitive"?

I own [myname].co.uk and [myname].org.uk. So I get first refusal on [myname].uk. Great. But why do I need it except to stop someone else getting it?

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Apple's new data center to be solar powered, 100% green

jonathanb
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Re: Neon power

There is a solar power station in Spain that works at night. It uses the sun's rays to heat molten salt, and the heat from that is used to power a traditional thermal generator. So if they use one of those, it can be genuinely 100% solar. However, I suspect the capacity of the solar installation is higher than what they need for the data centre, and the surplus is sold off to the grid during the day and bought back at night.

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'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

jonathanb
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Re: The Generation Game

At least with Dragon's Den, some of them have gone on to be sucessful. Levi Roots is by far the most successful, but others have benefited as well.

Has anyone on The Apprentice been successful as a result of appearing on the show? It doesn't have to be one of the winners, the most successful Britain's Got Talent contestant was Susan Boyle, who came second, and the most successful X-Factor contestants are JLS who finished second, One Direction who finished 3rd, and the comedy duo Jedward who were knocked out fairly early on in the series.

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Judge nixes Microsoft SkyDrive name in BSkyB court ruling

jonathanb
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Re: New name for SkyDrive

I'd go for Live Drive.

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jonathanb
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Re: Infringing how?

Sky are the third largest ISP in the UK. The largest, BT, offers a cloud storage service similar to Skydrive.

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Windows 8.1: So it's, er, half-speed ahead for Microsoft's Plan A

jonathanb
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Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

You can do that in Windows 7 as well. Press the Window key, type in the first few letters of the prog, use the arrow keys if quicker than typing a few more letters, then press enter.

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US cops make 'first ever' Bitcoin seizure following house raid

jonathanb
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Re: Legality and fractional amounts

They seize illegal drugs all the time without any problems, so why can't they seize bitcoins where it isn't so clear whether or not they are illegal. Obviously they are proceeds of crime, so illegal for that reason in the same way that dollar bills would be in the same context.

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jonathanb
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Re: This is "Amerika" not Amsterdam!

American doctors tend to prescribe Vicodin instead which is basically the same thing.

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Sony set to launch smartwatch in Shanghai next week

jonathanb
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Me too. My android powered pocket watch has a 5.5" screen, can automatically detect which time zone it is in, and also serves as an alarm clock, diary, address book, map, compass, newspaper, book, notebook, camera, train/bus timetable and text pager. You can even make telephone calls with it should you want to.

Trying to do all those things on a watch with a 1" screen isn't going to be so good.

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Google gets gentle Street View slurp slap from UK data cops

jonathanb
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Re: "The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn't use it or even look at it."

Because they were told not to destroy any evidence, including the data itself, until the investigation. was completed.

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Anons: We milked Norks dry of missile secrets, now we'll spaff it online

jonathanb
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Re: Incoming!

If it shows that he doesn't have missile capacity beyond the estimates of the US, it could start a war.

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Using encryption? That means the US spooks have you on file

jonathanb
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Re: So use TOR or VPN's _more_

Well given that they have been laundering trillions of dollars of money for Mexican drug cartels, that's maybe not such a daft idea.

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Apple's $17bn bond sale not such a good deal for investors

jonathanb
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There is something to report here, but it has got nothing to do with Apple. It is the fact that the bond bubble is bursting, and it belongs in the financial press, not here.

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New cheapo iPhone ain't gonna be that cheap, says non-Foxconn CEO

jonathanb
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Re: Build in China?

The iMac is made in USA, or at least some of them are. The new Mac Pro will also be made in USA. However laptops and iDevices are still made in China.

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Microsoft lures buy-curious vixens, corduroys with a cheap fondle

jonathanb
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Re: same old routine

A student will be doing lots of typing, and possibly drawing some diagrams / charts etc. They will need something with a decent keyboard, and a decent sized screen, and that isn't a tablet.

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Apple's screw-up leaves tethered iPhones easily crackable

jonathanb
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Re: You'd think after maybe the 10,000th incorrect password attempt...

I don't think it is trying the passwords out on the system. There is no way you could do that many log-on attempts in 24 seconds, and additional GPUs wouldn't help you.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Proof the pen is mightier?

jonathanb
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Re: Remember windows tabs?

I don't "need" a stylus on my Galaxy Note 2, but it can sometimes be useful. I only ever use it for writing and drawing pictures, not for poking at UI elements like on my old Windows Mobile 6 and earlier devices.

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SCO vs. IBM battle resumes over ownership of Unix

jonathanb
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Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

Well I moved one of my servers from OpenSuSE to FreeBSD. They have a lot more in common than the differences between them. ZFS is a difference, and the reason why I switched. There is ZFS for Linux, but it isn't mature enough for me at the moment. The kernels are obviously different, but most of the stuff running on top of the kernels seems to be the same on both.

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jonathanb
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Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

I can't really understand how anyone thinks this has a chance.

Hurdle No. 1: SCO does not own the copyright to Unix, Novell owns it.

Hurdle No. 2: Linux did not copy from Unix, both copied from BSD, and both are entitled to do that.

Hurdle No. 3: SCO published the code in question as part of Caldera Open Linux, and licenced it under the terms of the GPL, which gives people permission to copy it. Novell did the same as part of SuSE Linux.

If you fall at any one of those hurdles, the case fails. They fell at hurdle no. 1 last time round. Even if they get over that hurdle this time, they still have hurdles 2 and 3.

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Boffins find evidence Atlantic Ocean has started closing

jonathanb
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Re: One less worry

Or Berring Strait bridge. The most difficult bit would actually be the roads either side of it to link it to the civilised world.

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Don't wait to check your parachute until you're out of the plane

jonathanb
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Re: Almost all work is credit these days

We have similar laws about late payments. However there is no law that says that companies must continue to purchase things from companies that enforce those laws, so most people don't.

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jonathanb
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Re: Sounds like good advice.

Quite a few do in my experience, certainly the ones that have survived the recession.

In my experience, the insurance company will require pre-approval of all credit sales, and if you follow their procedures by doing all the required credit checks, using the recommended credit limits and freezing the account and reporting to them in the event of late payments, you won't actually need to make any claims.

When the credit insurers withdraw cover for a particular company, they immediately find themselves unable to purchase any supplies except on COD terms, so that would suggest pretty much everyone follows the advice in this article.

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It's official: 'tweet' an English word – not just in the avian sense

jonathanb
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Re: Thing is, OED ...

"Twit" is the adjective used to describe the sort of people who "tweet" using twitter.

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Apple at WWDC: Sleek new iOS, death of the big cats, pint-sized Mac Pro

jonathanb
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Well for example, if you are working on video, you probably need lots and lots of fast local storage. Solid state is obviously fast, but no where near big enough to store many hours of uncompressed video from which you will put together your movie. Would you rather get a load of external Thunderbolt drives and plug them into the back of your machine, or get a load of the fastest 3 or 4 TB internal drives you can find and put them inside?

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Who's the daddy of Virgin Media now? That would be Liberty Global

jonathanb
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Re: Ummm do try to keep up eh?

NTL Telewest merged with Virgin Mobile, which was owned by Beardie, so that's where they got the rights to use the name from, and Beardie does/(did) own some shares in the combined entity.

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Microsoft tops list of software piracy nailed in UK by FAST

jonathanb
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Re: Got your receipt?

Remember also that FAST have no more powers than any other type of door to door salesman. If it goes to court they have to prove that a.) they are the copyright holder of Office 95 or that they have exclusive distribution rights and b.) that you infringed the copyright

Saying that you haven't provided them with sufficient evidence that you didn't make an illegal copy isn't good enough. They have to prove it. Should you get a visit from FAST, the best approach is to give them the Arkell vs Pressdram response.

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Ecuador: Let's talk about not having Julian Assange on our sofa

jonathanb
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Re: A lotta donuts

170 policemen on site per day, but they don't work 24 hour shifts so maybe about a third of that number at any one time.

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Firefox OS: Go away fanbois, fandroids - you wouldn't understand

jonathanb
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Re: I do understand.

Is there any particular reason why a Firefox phone should be any cheaper than a budget Android?

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Hey, O2 punters: Kiss goodbye to 4 MEELLION* Openzone hotspots

jonathanb
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I found The Cloud to be pretty good, and was disappointed to lose it as an option. BT Openzone however never worked for me, so in practice it won't make any difference not having it. I do have an old contract with "unlimited" data, so I will probably stick with them.

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A Bluetooth door lock that puts the kettle on? NOW we're in the future

jonathanb
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Solution looking for a problem?

That sort of thing sounds like it might be useful for hotel bedrooms, except it already exists and is in widespread use, though usually in the form of magnetic swipe cards rather than anything more fancy.

Otherwise, what it is easier? Take a bit of metal out your pocket, stick it in a hole in the door, rotate 360°, remove and open door. Alternatively, take phone out of pocket, enter passcode or swipe gesture, fire up lock app, press appropriate button, open door.

I don't always want to switch on the kettle when I return home. If it is hot, I'd rather have a cold drink from the fridge, and sometimes I don't feel thirsty and don't want a drink at all. If I do, flipping the switch on the kettle itself isn't that difficult.

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Daft tweet by Speaker Bercow's loquacious wife DID libel lord

jonathanb
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Re: The Law is an Ass

It drew peoples' attention to the libelous tweets accusing him of being a paediatrician, and therefore it was effectively republishing them.

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Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

jonathanb
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Hours/minutes of iPlayer HD

I prefer to use iPlayer HD streaming as my measure of data usage. For example, "EE's cheapest tarriff offers 500MB of data per month, which would be used up in only 25 minutes of iPlayer HD streaming."

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Pakistan signs up for China's GPS rival

jonathanb
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Re: Combine them all?

GPS or GLONASS on its own gives you about 10 meters accuracy. Both of them together give you about 5 meters accuracy. All four, maybe 2 - 3 meters?

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jonathanb
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Re: Nothing wrong

The accuracy of GLONASS on its own is around the same as GPS, slightly better in polar regions, not quite so good near the equator. However if you use both together, it is about twice as accurate as using just one of them. Also, you have twice as many birds in the sky to look at, so you will get a fix more quickly.

Certainly, I notice a huge improvement in my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which uses both GPS and GLONASS vs my old first generation Galaxy S which uses only GPS.

Most smartphones now support both because if they do, they avoid a higher import duty when selling them to the Russian market.

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'Untidy' Shoreditch just CONFUSES American techies - Olympic hub team

jonathanb
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Re: "There is no reason why this area shouldn't be the home of a new boom..

I probably wouldn't set up a business requiring lots of highly skilled people in Middlesborough. Two reasons for that, firstly, anyone who leaves school there with any sort of qualifications will have found a job somewhere else in the country, and secondly, people who can afford to decide where they want to live don't want to live there.

However, Cambridge for example is much cheaper than London, and there are plenty of highly skilled people attending the local university there, the same can be said for places near Oxford.

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Half of youngsters would swap PRIVACY for... cheaper insurance

jonathanb
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Re: Understandable

I had a look, it is actually cheaper for a 17 year old to buy a brand new car and insure it than to buy a 15 year old banger and insure it; and that is before you consider the savings on maintenance, and the fact the car will still have a greater than nominal value in a few years time.

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Google 'DOES DO EVIL', thunders British politician

jonathanb
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Re: "You thought only Google dodges UK taxes? So do all the Brit firms"

If you look (I haven't), you may well find that Morrisons has a subsidiary in Gibraltar, a well known tax haven. The reason I think they might have a subsidiary there is because I know they have a store there.

There is nothing wrong with setting up shops in other countries, and if those countries don't want to collect tax on the profits made there, that is up to them.

As far as UK tax is concerned, a UK resident owner of an offshore company has to demonstrate that they have a legitimate business reason for setting up a company in that country, otherwise the profits of that company are taxable in the UK. In the Morrisons scenario, setting up a company in Gibraltar because you have a shop there is a legitimate business reason, so no UK tax would be payable on Gibraltarian profits.

Richard Branson has a hotel in the British Virgin Islands, the same rules apply there. He has a cable internet/TV company registered in New York, USA and an NHS Walk-in Centre business registered in Jersey. In both cases they were registered there because that's where the previous owners (NTL and Assura) set them up. There is no legitimate business reason for those companies to be registered there, so they do file UK tax returns.

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jonathanb
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Re: @jonathanb Is it so easy?

If the frogs phone up the UK sales office and ask them to send some widgets to France, then they are buying from the UK division, and only UK taxes are payable on the sale. The possible exception is that if the UK division sells more than €10,000 of widgets to non TVA(VAT) registered frogs per year, then they have to register for TVA in France . If they do that, then they won't have to charge UK VAT any more. Both countries charge 20% on their respective sales taxes so there is no difference in the amount payable.

If they contact the French sales office, then the trade takes place in France, and French taxes are payable.

A UK Ltd company can trade in France in exactly the same way as French SA. You don't need to set up a local company, but either way, the tax rules are the same.

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jonathanb
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Re: Is it so easy?

No, but if Super Widgets UK Ltd is trading in France, they have to pay French taxes on the profits they make there. The French division of the company would "buy" the widgets at factory gate prices, pay for shipping to France, pay for the French staff, get money from selling them, and pay tax on the profit. You would have to negotiate a factory gate price if you don't also sell the widgets in bulk to other distributors.

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jonathanb
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Re: An open letter

Or, thank you for purchasing our ad program, I will walk you through the process of logging onto google.ie to set up your google wallet and agree to the contract.

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Acorn founder: SIXTH WAVE of tech will wash away Apple, Intel

jonathanb
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Re: Whats all this crap about looms and music boxes being digital?

Cloth has a certain number of threads per inch depending on the thickness of the thread used, so the punched cards would need to reflect that. Essentially you have an uncompressed bitmap image stored on the card.

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jonathanb
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Re: Eadon's theory of Techie "Waves" - TWO types

Jaquard looms probably weren't computers, but it sounds to me like they were digital.

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BlackBerry Messenger unleashed: Look out Twitter and Facebook

jonathanb
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Not sure about this

Everyone I know who has a Blackberry has a Blackberry because they want Blackberry Messenger, so although I haven't tried it myself, presumably it must be good.

At the moment, people have to make a decision when buying a phone. Do they want Blackberry Messenger, or do they want a shiny new iPhone / Android that can do all sorts of other things. They won't have to make that decision any more, as they can have both.

That leaves the qwerty keyboard as the only reason to buy a Blackberry, and there are a few Androids out there that have keyboards with physical buttons.

Given that, I can't think why anyone would want to buy a Blackberry after BBM is released on Android.

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Senators: You - Cook. Apple guy. Get in here and bring your tax books

jonathanb
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Re: Good to see

It is worth mentioning that if they were a British company, they wouldn't have to worry about that because we don't charge corporation tax on dividend income.

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Mobile tech destroys the case for the HS2 £multi-beellion train set

jonathanb
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Not the full picture

If you work as a reporter for El-Reg, then you can do everything from wherever there is an internet connection. One of your colleagues does his work from a house in rural Spain. There are a few other jobs like that, working as a translator is one such job.

However, most people work in jobs where they have to physically do something or fix something, and that can't be done over the internet. They need to be on site. So they need transport facilities.

Secondly, HS2 isn't primarily about shaving a few minutes off the London to Birmingham journey. It is mostly about moving intercity trains off the West Coast Mainline so that there is more space for commuter services between Milton Keynes, North London and Euston. In this respect it is the same idea as building motorways to take long distance traffic off the A roads so that there is more room on them for local traffic. Adding a pair of extra tracks to the WCML would probably cost more than building a new line given all the stuff that is built alongside it, and if you are going to build a new line, you may as well make it a high speed line.

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