* Posts by jonathanb

2500 posts • joined 14 Aug 2009

Strict new EU data protection rules formally adopted by MEPs

jonathanb
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Re: Right to be forgotton

If they published a press release saying you had been prosecuted for tax evasion, then yes you could ask them to take it down after a suitable period of time had passed. If they leaked your tax return data, you could complain in the same way that you could complain about anyone else leaking your data.

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iOS banking apps security still not good enough, says researcher

jonathanb
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Re: Banking on a phone?

How does it compare in terms of security with banking on a website, with all the security problems web browsers and the operating system thy run on have?

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No root for you! Google slams door on Symantec certs

jonathanb
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You can tell Chrome to trust any certificate you want. Most people prefer to leave it to someone who knows what they are doing.

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Uber fined $150,000 and forced to embarrass itself by French court

jonathanb
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Re: RE: Honestly, I think Uber have kind of a point here...

A bit like Silk Road. Ross Ulbricht is in prison for that and will remain there for the foreseeable future.

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VTech's Android tablet for kids 'hopelessly insecure'

jonathanb
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Re: Why bother with security

Information of interest to people who like 7 year olds for the wrong reasons - contact details for their friends, birthdays, their photo and video collections, stuff like that.

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Competition watchdog dismisses plans by TfL to uber-regulate Uber

jonathanb
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Re: I believe Über claim that your contract is directly with the driver

Yes, "Invoice issued by Über BV". They have a problem. The journey starts in London, therefore it is subject to UK VAT regardless of who does it. If Über doesn't have a permanent establishment in the UK, then there is no registration threshold, so they have to start charging VAT from the first £1 of UK income. If they do have a permanent establishment, they get the £82k registration threshold, but they have to pay UK Corporation Tax on their profits.

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jonathanb
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Nothing to do with VAT. The place of supply for VAT purposes is the country where the journey starts. If you take a taxi from England to France, you pay VAT in the UK. On the return trip you pay VAT in France. The taxi operator must be registered for VAT in both England and France if it does that, regardless of where it is based for other purposes.

Having said that, I believe Über claim that your contract is directly with the driver, and as the driver almost certainly earns less than £82,000 per year, they don't have to register for VAT. Most minicab and taxi operators do this, it isn't unique to Über.

What happens is that the Dutch company pays a royalty to a company in Ireland. The Irish company pays a royalty to another Irish company that is tax-resident in an offshore tax haven such as Bermuda. That way you get the money into an offshore tax having while paying very little tax. If a UK company paid the royalty directly to a tax haven, they would have to deduct a withholding tax of 20% from the payment.

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jonathanb
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Re: Predatory pricing?

There are loads of private hire operators that specialise in Airport transfers. Typically they advertise a fixed charge from the Airport to a particular post-code area and you book them just after you book your flight ticket.

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Free HTTPS certs for all – Let's Encrypt opens doors to world+dog

jonathanb
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Re: "browser histories out of the hands of eavesdroppers"

The DNS lookup is a separate request, and they may or may not have access to that. If they are looking at the https request, they only know the IP address, not the individual website or page on that website, though knowing the IP address and the size of the file coming back may give them some clues as to what you are doing.

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jonathanb
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Re: wonder how good mobile support is

StartSSL is $59.90, and has no problems with iOS and Android.

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Sketch dev pulls out of Mac App Store, cites slow reviews, tech limitations

jonathanb
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Re: "App Review continues to take at least a week"

You usually want to sell to existing customers for less than for new installations, and the App Store doesn't allow for that.

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Australian test finds robot essay assessors on par with human teachers

jonathanb
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Re: In defence of teachers

Given that there is usually a single correct answer to a Maths question, that should be easier for a computer to mark than an essay.

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Why Microsoft yanked its latest Windows 10 update download: It hijacked privacy settings

jonathanb
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Re: people's unique advertising ID numbers

Where "relevant advertising" = "products I looked at recently", and either bought them or decided not to buy them; and either way, unlikely to buy in response to an advert.

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Kids charity hit by server theft

jonathanb
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Re: identity theft

Someone set up a Talk Talk direct debit on my account, no idea where they got the details from as its not an bank account I use very often.

I did have a lineone account many years ago, that's now part of Talk Talk, but that was back in the days when you paid 2p per minute on your phone bill for access and the telephone company passed on some of that to the ISP, so they never had my bank details.

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VW's Audi suspends two engineers in air pollution cheatware probe

jonathanb
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Re: Interesting justification.

The problem is that when it is cold, my breath steams up and freezes on the inside of the windscreen.

The remote keyfob for my car only unlocks it. It doesn't turn the engine on.

Don't particularly like waffles, but when I do have them, I eat them with fried egg, not maple syrup.

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jonathanb
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Re: Interesting justification.

That may be so, but I generally need to warm up the car in winter to have any chance of being able to see out the window.

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Outsourcer didn't press ON switch, so Reg reader flew 15 hours to do the job

jonathanb
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Re: Let me guess

Isn't "have you tried turning it off and on again" usually the first item on the level 1 tech support script?

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128GB DDR4 DIMMs have landed so double your RAM cram plan

jonathanb
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Re: Consumer version soon please

8 is definitely faster than 7. That is the only good thing it has going for it.

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So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?

jonathanb
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Hand washing guide

The NHS already has a website that gives you full details, including a demonstration video, on how to wash your hands - http://www.wash-hands.com/

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Uber wants UK gov intervention over TfL’s '5-minute wait' rule

jonathanb
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Private hire operators include things like stretch limos and wedding cars, and they will charge a lot more than a black cab for the same journey. They are also generally booked months in advance.

[edit] Stretch limos sometimes are classified as mini-bus hire if they have enough seats, but you get the idea.

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jonathanb
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Re: Wrong target

Apparently they don't check the insurance very carefully - http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/12/uber-whistleblower-exposes-breach-driver-approval-process

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jonathanb
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Re: Eh?

Try any of the other private hire apps, for example Addison Lee or Kabee. You will get a price before you confirm the booking, so you know where you stand.

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jonathanb
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There isn't any restriction on the number of taxi licences that can be issued. Anyone who passes the very difficult exam can get one, and you can't sell it or rent it out to anyone else. It takes longer to study for it and is more difficult to pass than a university degree, but the restriction is based on ability, not numbers.

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jonathanb
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There are loads of apps you can use to book private hire vehicles in London. Über is not unique, and it wasn't the first. With other apps, you get quoted a price for the journey, or in some cases, you get a selection of quotes from different hire companies that you can pick from. That's how private hire is supposed to be different to taxis. Über have this thing-that-is-not-a-meter to calculate the cost of the journey as it is in progress.

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North Korea is capable of pwning Sony. Whether it did is another matter

jonathanb
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Just one thing

Brilliance and technical sophistication are not qualities I usually associate with government IT projects. They are usually late, over-budget and don't work.

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Malvertising: How the ad model makes crime pay

jonathanb
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Re: They do what?

In theory so that you don't advertise Norton AV to someone who already has it

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

jonathanb
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Re: Optimal solution

I think if you sent for example some child porn for classification, they would report you to the police as well as ban it.

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jonathanb
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Re: Maybe the *cinemas* should pay

They pay for distribution rights for the film, which includes the cost of classification, so ultimately they are paying, and we pay them when we buy a ticket.

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Windows 10 pilot rollouts will surge in early 2016, says Gartner

jonathanb
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Re: When has Gartner ever been wrong

There is in relation to line-of-business applications used by some customer-facing staff who don't work at desks or could move away from a desk if they were able to carry their computer with them.

Things like field engineers who work at customer premises. Also sales staff who could work out on the shop floor rather than a sales desk if they could carry their till / booking system with them.

In many cases though, this could be done on an iPhone or iPhone+ sized device, or at most an iPad mini or equivalent rather than a surface pro, and it doesn't particularly need to run Windows if all you have is a data entry form, some sort of information retrieval and maybe the need to print some things.

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World needs 252,288,000 seconds to decide fate of leap seconds

jonathanb
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Re: @Kevin 6 (wasting time?)

Financial institutions generally take GPS time as their reference point and adjust that to local time or GMT.

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jonathanb
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Re: Why the high degree of granularity?

He wasn't born on Christmas day, he was born in the spring - lambing season in that part of the world. We appropriated the Pagan Winter Solstice Festival as a celebration of his birth because we reckoned that telling people to stop having celebrations on that day wouldn't be very popular.

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jonathanb
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Re: Why the high degree of granularity?

Our current calendar counts forward from when Jesus was born. We are about 6 years out with that[1], and nobody has bothered to change it, so what are the chances of anyone updating for more accurate information about the Big Bang?

[1] The Bible says he was born during the reign of King Herod, and King Herod died in 4BC.

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Malware caught checking out credit cards in 54 luxury hotels

jonathanb
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Re: Replacement card policy

Normally what happens is that the bank gets loads of complaints about fraudulent transactions. They notice that all the people complaining have used their card at one particular place - Heathrow Express was one example from a few years back. Once they figure that out, they will probably replace the cards of everyone who used that outlet within the suspected period of time regardless of whether there have been any suspicious transactions on that account.

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Uber Australia is broke: 'We don't pay tax because we don't generate revenue'

jonathanb
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Re: Hmmm

They are advertising companies, same as yellow pages, local newspapers, people who put leaflets through your door and so on.

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jonathanb
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Re: "Blaming companies for doing what the law allows is both futile and foolish."

Technically we choose to give money to the government because we vote for a government that wants to collect tax to spend money on things. A candidate that promised to completely shut down the government and stop collecting tax probably wouldn't get very many votes. People do want the government to spend money on some things, the argument is about how much, and on what.

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jonathanb
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Re: It beggars belief...

I'm guessing Australia hasn't introduced MOSS returns yet so the place of supply is Holland. The only country outside the EU I'm aware of that has introduced an equivalent to MOSS is Japan.

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jonathanb
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Re: It beggars belief...

So Über drivers don't pay GST on the money they receive from Über. I'm fine with that. [edit after reading comments below, I'm not fine with that because there is a $0 registration threshold on taxi drivers] However Über themselves should pay GST on the money they receive, you can argue whether that is the full amount of the fare or their 25% commission, but they should be paying something.

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FTC fells four tech-support operations in scammer crackdown

jonathanb
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By telling them not to do it again. Not much of a deterrent, they will set up another company and continue as before.

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Merseyside DDoS daddy given eight months behind bars

jonathanb
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"So who's been DDoSsing ProtonMail then?"

Possibly someone who has a couple of braincells between their ears. It is possible to cover your tracks, but you do need to think about what you are doing.

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BBC encourages rebellious Welsh town to move offshore

jonathanb
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Re: Will it work?

I guess sarcasm doesn't come across very well in text communication; but this is argument Starbucks would run with HMRC.

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jonathanb
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Re: Will it work?

There is 20% withholding tax on royalty payments to the Cayman Islands. 25% tax on the loan you receive back. This is going to cost you more in tax than doing nothing.

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jonathanb
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Re: Will it work?

You buy stuff from a local farm, and sell it in your shop. That is taxable in the UK, because the activity takes place there. What is your head office or HQ going to do for the UK established business that it can bill it for, and more importantly, make a profit on?

By the way, the Irish loophole has now been closed. Existing companies get to continue using it for another couple of years.

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jonathanb
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Re: Will it work?

I'm not. Avoiding UK corporation tax is not as simple as registering a company in another country.

If it is controlled by persons resident in the UK, you need to pass an economic justification test to avoid UK corporation tax. Richard Branson for example owns a hotel in the British Virgin Islands, so there is a good reason for having that in a BVI registered company. If the hotel was in another country, then it wouldn't pass the test.

The other problem is the place of establishment test. If you are selling stuff in a shop in the UK, that is always taxable in the UK. You can try and move bits of the business not related to the selling activity elsewhere, thus reducing the profit made in the UK. Starbucks for example has an office in Switzerland that deals with importing coffee beans. Their coffee buyers are highly skilled people, so they can command a very good profit margin on selling these beans onto the UK stores. The reliable, high quality of the beans these people secure is absolutely fundamental in getting people through the door to pay premium prices for their coffee. The important thing though is that you do need to have the people that do this in Switzerland, otherwise you don't pass the economic justification test, or the place of establishment test.

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jonathanb
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Will it work?

I would be interested to see what these tax arrangements are. Off-shore structures generally only work when the owner is non-resident, or non-domiciled and doesn't need to bring the money back into the UK for living expenses.

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Hypervisor headaches: Hosts hosed by x86 exception bugs

jonathanb
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Re: I'd expect more of The Register...

So if I run only x64 guests, do I need to worry about this?

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California cops pull over Google car for driving too SLOWLY

jonathanb
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In the UK, driving too slowly generally carries a higher penalty than driving too fast. There aren't many prosecutions for driving too slowly, but it does happen.

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Your taxes at work: Three hours driving to turn on politician's PC

jonathanb
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You can, but the parameters are different - https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/bb491003.aspx

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jonathanb
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Re: Why fucking green and fucking orange Arrrggghhh!!!!

A girl has to inherit colour blindness from both her parents, so it is much less likely to happen.

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Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

jonathanb
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Re: Wonderful :\

Mothers usually ask their kids for help with these things.

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Microsoft is about to launch a UK store within a store

jonathanb
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Re: Samsung stores are also

And the Google Shop is in PC World, which is also part of the Dixons Carphone Group.

However my guess would be the John Lewis store in Oxford St. John Lewis was the first to sell the Suface fondleslab.

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