* Posts by jonathanb

2161 posts • joined 14 Aug 2009

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Thing is, OED ...

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

6
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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?

1
1

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0

Microsoft tops list of software piracy nailed in UK by FAST

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

1
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: I do understand.

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

3
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

1
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0

Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

jonathanb
Silver badge

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."

0
0

Pakistan signs up for China's GPS rival

jonathanb
Silver badge

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?

1
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

2
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

2
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0

Google 'DOES DO EVIL', thunders British politician

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

1
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

1
2
jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

1
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

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

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

1
0

BlackBerry Messenger unleashed: Look out Twitter and Facebook

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

1
3

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

0
0

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

jonathanb
Silver badge

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.

21
2

Feds stamp on cash pipeline to Mt Gox, Bitcoin's Wall Street

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: A non-merkin writes....

The second largest use of Bitcoins, after speculation, appears to be the sale of drugs on Silk Road. If you are buying Bitcoins, there is a good chance that you are buying them off drug dealers, as the speculators aren't selling, and thus indirectly and without realising it, helping them to cash out. That's why Homeland Security is involved. What I describe may not be true, but they think it is, which is what matters.

5
0

Apple seeks techies, designers to revive iWork office suite

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: they don't get it

You can't add attachments other than photos and videos from the mail app, but you from pages, numbers and presumably keynote, I don't have keynote, there is an option to send the file by email.

0
0

Murdoch hate sparks mass bitchin', rapid evacuation from O2, BE

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Look before you leap

There's Plusnet, it is owned by BT, but run by a completely different customer service team and is actually pretty good.

3
0

EU wants the Swiss and pals to cough up IT giants' hidden bank info

jonathanb
Silver badge

Google Ireland sells advertising to UK customers, therefore it comes under Irish sales tax rules. Google Ireland pays Google UK a small amount of money to identify and refer potential customers to them so they can close the sale.

1
0

Vodafone gets surprise £2.1bn dividend from Verizon Wireless

jonathanb
Silver badge

No. Companies don't pay tax on dividend income.

0
0

Who is Samsung trying to kid? There will NEVER be a 5G network

jonathanb
Silver badge

I'm going to stick my neck out here

There *will* be a 5G mobile technology at some point in the future.

It probably won't look much like what Samsung recently demonstrated, though maybe some of the ideas will be incorporated into the final standard. This is a very initial first attempt at it, and I'm sure there is still a lot of tweaking to be done. Probably it will use spectum vacated by older technologies, but Samsung can't demonstrate on that at the moment, because those slots are still in use.

1
0

You thought only Google dodges UK taxes? So do all the Brit firms

jonathanb
Silver badge

Not the full story

Vodafone operates a phone service in Ireland and Cable & Wireless operates phone services in many of the offshore Islands. That is a legitimate reason for having companies in theses countries. Of course they have a subsidiary in Switzerland where they don't operate a phone service so they are clearly involved in tax planning as well.

We need to look at why they have those companies, many of may have legitimate reasons for doing so, and if the local government chooses not to charge tax on their genuine activities there, that is their prerogative.

4
2

Brits' phone tracking, web history touted to cops: The TRUTH

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Simple solution

If that anonymous SIM stays overnight at a particular place, spends its working hours at another place, visits particular shops and so on, it can be correlated with other information to figure out who you are.

0
0

Apple asked me for my BANK statements, says outraged reader

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Not just Apple

Only if you buy €15,000 of stuff and pay cash for it. If you pay by card, cheque or bank transfer, it doesn't trigger the money laundering rules.

0
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

If you are buying direct from Apple, it isn't a subsidised phone. Subsidised phones come from the telephone companies like O2, Vodafone and so on.

0
0

China: Online predator or hapless host?

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Oh yes?

How many computers have pirated copies of Windows, with Windows Update disabled to stop Microsoft from deactivating them? That is where the inadequate law enforcement is.

6
0

UK MPs tell Google: Get back here and bring your auditors with you

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: the trouble with auditors

Auditor's answer, it depends. Seriously, 2 + 2 doesn't always = 4. Usually it is a number between 0 and 4. Sometimes it can be more than 4. It depends what you are counting. There are many good reason why it could come to something different, but more importantly you should be looking at whether or not it is appropriate to add those two numbers together.

0
1
jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Weird

If you buy in Regent Street, you pay 20% UK VAT, no way round that. If they import from another EU country, there is no VAT payable on the import, and nothing to claim back, so HMRC will get pretty much the whole of the 20% on the sale. Apple will claim back the VAT on their electricity bill, shop maintenance and stuff like that.

If they import from outside the EU, then they have to pay 20% of the wholesale price as VAT before HMRC will release it from the dock, but they can claim that against the VAT from selling it.

Rules for online sales are different. Luxembourg has the lowest VAT rate in the EU which I'm sure was not a factor at all in their decision to locate the iTunes Store there.

2
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Weird

If you buy an iDevice from an Apple shop in the UK, the sale takes place in the UK. Apple UK will buy their stock at wholesale prices from another Apple subsidiary somewhere else in the world. Possibly Apple Ireland might handle distribution for Europe and sell them to Apple UK for not much less than retail price.

If you buy it on the website, then the website may be located in another country, and that country's Apple division would pay Apple UK a shipping fee to fulfil the order. Certainly their downloadable material, Apps, Music etc is handled by iTunes Luxembourg.

0
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Here we go again...

They can't change the law because the place of supply rules are covered by EU law, and parliament has no more right challenge Google's decision to put their sales through Ireland than Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has to challenge their decision to have their sales support office in Westminster.

3
0

'Hotmail, since you changed to Outlook, you've been a massive pr**k'

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Hotmail veteran

Use the stock email client. Set it up as an exchange account with the server m.hotmail.com.

1
0

Setanta, ESPN couldn't make UK footie TV work. How will BT Sport?

jonathanb
Silver badge
FAIL

Rubbish business plan

BT's business plan is to spend more money than Sky to buy the product, and sell it for less than Sky sells it for.

In their 2012 accounts, Sky had sales of £6791m, and a profit before tax of £1189m, a net profit margin of 17.5%. That is a pretty decent wedge of money for Rupert Murdoch, but there is no way BT can offer the sorts of discounts vs Sky pricing that they are proposing. Out of their income, £440m comes from advertising, the rest comes from customer bill payments of one sort or another.

The maths is pretty simple. It costs BT over £19m just to be allowed into the stadium with their cameras. Then they have the costs of actually producing the show - the presenters, cameramen, all the people in the broadcast centre working on the images and sound.

You divide that by the number of people watching the show, and that is how much you need to be able to charge for it to be viable. Whether of course sufficient customers will pay the number you come up with is another matter.

0
0

Israeli activists tell Hawking to yank his Intel chips over Palestine

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Mr Hawking, you should listen to “Palestinian academics”

If you want to include Jews, then you have to also include Arabs and other Muslims.

They have invented quite a large number of things, like our number system, lots of developments in mathematics, the first university, lots of stuff related to astronomy, windmills, and I could go on.

14
6

Over ONE-THIRD of PCs will have SSDs in 2017 - analyst

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

A 750GB Seagate Momentus isn't that much more expensive, and it makes a huge difference to performance.

1
0

IT'S ALIVE: Groupon stock up, spreadsheets still soaked in red

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: How do they manage to make a loss?

The eyebrow pluckers need to be paid at least minimum wage, and the rent and council tax needs to be paid on their premises. That sets a minimum price at which eyebrow plucking becomes viable as a business proposition. If Groupon vouchers cost the same or only slightly less than it costs to walk into a rival eyebrow plucking establishment, then people will just walk in and pay cash rather than go through the hassle of buying Groupon vouchers.

0
0

Groupon's retail chief heads for the door... after just 1 year

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: Spam

But their products are all y2k compliant, which is good to know

http://www.groupon.com/pages/goods-faq

1
0

Queen's Speech: 'Problem of matching IP addresses' to be probed

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: The police are as bad

Would the ISP know the MAC addresses of devices connected to the LAN? You are not going to connect an xbox directly to the internet, you connect it via a router of some description. Phones might get connected directly to the internet, but they have an IMEI number that could be used to identify the owner.

0
0

Vodafone slurps MEELLLIONS for redirecting police hotline calls

jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: 0845

0845 used to be local call rate, about 30 years ago when it was first introduced (as 0345 in 1985). There is no such thing as local call rate now, you pay the same between any two parts of the UK. Call rates in general have gone down a lot over the last 30 years, 0845 rates have not and they are now a lowish cost premium rate number (officially "special services, basic rate"). When dial-up Internet first became popular in about 1998, the money ISPs got from modems calling their 0845 numbers was sufficient to fund the service.

0
0

Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

jonathanb
Silver badge

In Windows 7, you click the start menu, right click on Computer and click Show on Desktop. That won't work on Windows 8 because there isn't a start menu, and I don't think the start screen has a computer option on it.

2
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

Re: So... we will have Windows 8.1?

6.2.1 or possibly even still 6.2. Under the hood it is still going to be the same operating system, just with some UI tweaks.

0
0
jonathanb
Silver badge

Being able to type what you want makes it as user friendly as MS DOS, where you could type "lotus" or "wp" at the C:> prompt.

7
0

Forums