* Posts by dogged

4501 posts • joined 16 Nov 2009

Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

dogged
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Re: Yeah, but...

Tim, you say the deadweight cost is lowest on sales taxes such as VAT but look at what happened with the pasty tax? Even Little Gideon was forced to back off, which indicates that the deadweight cost is actually very high. Logically, the only place a deadweight cost is low is where taxpayers have no choice but to choose to make themselves liable for the tax so that'd be things like VAT on essential items (like clothing), Road Tax (or SORN, the mere act of owning a car means you pay tax whether or not you drive it or even if it works) and taxes on heating, light, other utilities.

On those you can stick the rate up as far as you like and rake in the money, except that doing so will actually kill people long term because 20% is very high after all the other tax you pay and you have no choice. If, as the AC above says, it was 0.35% you'd probably have a lot more left than you currently do, not counting the fact of the Chancellor taking less of your actual pay.

It's a big change and I desperately want to find a reason for it to be impractical because if it IS practical then we're just self-harming as a nation by not doing it.

Some day, somebody will do a Party Political Broadcast where they do nothing except "A week in the life" highlighting how much of a normal person's wages are taken in tax. All taxes, not just Income Tax.

And if we don't do something soon, that day will be the first day of the revolution.

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dogged
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Re: @Tim Worstall

> At worst it would cripple the economy as the wealth generators and educated and mobile workers leave for somewhere less hostile.

"Wealth generators"?

Rich people very rarely generate wealth. Big business does not create jobs - on the contrary, it cuts jobs. Small businesses make jobs.

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dogged
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Yeah, but...

Okay so 1% would raise 1.5 trillion which is all of GDP so clearly 1% is too high.

But I find myself wondering - what happens to GDP when all those other taxes are gone? Do you spend more or less when you seem to have a minimum of 30% more money? When your petrol costs 50p/litre? What happens to to GDP in that situation? Does it fall? I suspect not.

If cash transactions are taxed at on withdrawal/deposit, doesn't that mean your incentive to dodge taxes is now bigger in paying normal tax than by arsing about with cash?

If we (the UK Government/people/etc) now own so much of at least two major banks, couldn't "we" - the same "we" - give everyone a bank account and say "Oh by the way, if your wages get paid into that then they will be taxed at %tiny_but_significant_reduction_on_normal_transaction_tax)" which not only reduces the cost of collection but actually makes UK Plc into a savings bank with astonishing security and only one borrower (HMG)?

I was really looking forward to this article because the idea seemed quite appealing and nobody really had any genuine objections on the record. I hoped Tim would go into detail, throw some facts and figures around and point out the blindingly obvious hole in the logic that I can't seem to find. Instead all we got was "1.5 trillion lol" and that was pretty much it.

A pity.

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Peers warn against rushing 'enhanced' DATA SLURP powers through Parliament

dogged
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Re: Not getting my vote...

Your MP is a joke. I say that with some certainty because mine is a joke and in fact an overwhelming majority of MPs are jokes. Bad jokes who exist to turn up sometimes and go into the lobby the whips direct them toward. Sometimes they read out questions or sycophantic congratulations or retarded policy ideas that SPADs have come up with. Mostly they do as they're fucking told or they lose the seat with the only legal smoking bar and the decent salary and the guaranteed fat pension and the endless exploitable expenses.

Your MP is a place-filler either in it for an easy life or an ambitious untrustworthy deceitful piece of venomous shit or a worn-out timeserver with nothing constructive to add. Unless your MP is an Independent and there are statistically so few of those that I can be fairly sure that your MP is not one.

There is no democracy. Our political parties are whores to the highest bidders and will do as their paymasters demand. Whichever you vote for, you will still get the same paymasters, the same actual government.

In this case at least, Russell Brand was right - what use is voting when heads you lose and tails I win?

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dogged
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there is literally nothing you can vote for that won't make it all worse.

yay democracy.

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Last year was utter rubbish. Thanks for being part of it!

dogged
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Re: Come on the great South, we're rooting for you

> KJ Un

Oh, now you did it. Now he is forever a Tomblyboo in my head.

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5 Times An 'Unhappy Person' Dared To Use The Word 'Boring' At CES 2015

dogged
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@ cambsukguy

"I've got nothin' against your right leg..."

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Stuck on a coding problem – should you Bing it?

dogged
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Re: Fits in well with Windows 8

And here we are on Friday afternoon and.... meh.

It's okay. Maybe you need to build up a habit of using it but I tend to research _before_ I code and generally only look up APIs via F1.

Haven't used the right-click compile error at all.

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dogged
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Re: ASP.NET Forums

Anyone who takes advice from the ASP.NET forums is asking for everything they get.

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dogged
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Re: VS Express no' worky.

Can't you yank the full "Community" version to work in?

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dogged
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Re: Fits in well with Windows 8

Amazingly, you can have visual studio and a browser on screen at the same time in Windows 8 too. I have right now on this work machine, for example.

On topic - most of this looks to merely a widget to save time typing search criteria but the "right-click a compile error" actually looks handy enough for me to install this and try it out.

If comments are still open at the end of the week when I've given it a bit of a live test, I'll reply here with an opinion on whether it's any use.

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Microsoft patch batch pre-alerts now for paying customers ONLY

dogged
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Alternative Statement

In a more honest universe, Chris Betz wrote -

"We're sick of red-top IT websites trotting out the same story every month and getting a whole bunch of internet fucktards complaining that we're fixing some bugs and claiming their OS's don't have any bugs which, incidentally, they bloody do.

It's just that some vendors don't bother fixing them or admitting to them. Meaning Apple. Now go hassle Adobe."

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Eight pocket-pleasing USB 3.0 hard drives

dogged
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Unless you can afford a one-off $2USD. Then you can support this effort -

http://miragesoftware.jimdo.com/krypta/

Remember to compare checksums...

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dogged
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Re: How to encrypt these?

BitLocker, FileVault, VeraCrypt depending on your OS.

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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

dogged
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Re: "Don't shoot" my arse.

I'd say you're a traditionalist. Nobody's used a WOMBAT since about 1979 although the phrase was still in use in the early 90's.

We chickos needed it explained to us. I had to ask my dad.

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dogged
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Re: Why not...

I hate you so much. BOWMAN was the reason we had to carry three radios. BOWMAN, actual working older kit, backup working older kit, toolkit, rest of standard packs...

People wonder why Signals tend to be big hefty blokes....

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

dogged
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Re: Horses for courses

> Agile methods work for some situations, particularly where the client / end users don't know or can't describe what it is they actually want up front

I happen to agree that Agile doesn't suit every requirement but you've literally just described every project ever.

Oddly, the single best methodology for an industry which insists on Waterfall - such as defence weapon systems - is TDD because you write tests for all the documented acceptable outcomes and error conditions and then make them pass.

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dogged
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Re: Agile as practised in certain large corporates:

I wish I could upvote that more than once. Brilliant.

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dogged
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Re: Smoke and Mirrors

I always hoped it would lead to an end to "project managers" at all but sadly, most employers still reflexively insist on a "project manager" for every project.

The reason for the quotes is that these arseholes never actually manage anything. They're supposed to get information from developers to give to management about timeframes but treat estimates as deadlines in every case. Most have no clue what the project they're managing actually does. One once continually asked me if the unit tests were passing for a project which some other arsehole had decided should be 90% dynamically generated JavaScript (good fucking luck testing that) and didn't shut up until I came up with a set of dummy tests that tested nothing of importance and were all coded specifically to pass.

One used to insist on selecting the technologies and tools we'd use despite the fact that she literally never written a line of code in her life.

And these are not edge cases. These are normal. "Project managers" are parasitic scum but whichever methodology you select, you can guarantee that some cretin further up the food chain will insist that there has to be one.

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dogged
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> Have you ever played rugby?

Every weekend for about half of every year since 1982, yes. A scrum does not run anywhere unless something's gone very badly wrong. A team does. A scrum does not. This basic lack of information is a fine example of the half-baked nature of everything about Scrum.

small note to mod - the ad hom was ad Erik Meijer.

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dogged
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Agile is just decent communication and getting dickwad project managers off your back so that you can actually take time to refactor code instead of just shoving hastily-written deadline-driven "just about good enough" code out into production.

Scrum is what happens when you let people are a) idiots b) Americans* AND c) in marketing get their hands on Agile and it should be burned with fire.

And Unit Tests are not about predicting failure conditions in live! They are about making each unit of code modular and robust

*seriously, nobody involved in the creation of Scrum had ever even seen a game of rugby. "Oh, it's named for the way a scrum runs up the field passing the ball to each other" - the fuck? Shut up and go away.

small mod tweak - fewer ad homs, please

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Peak Samsung: Bottom line walloped in Chinese mobe, slab war

dogged
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uh, logically speaking

> In the smartphone market, Chinese vendors now comprise three of the top five biggest sellers worldwide, as consumers opt for lower cost devices

Yeah but those are all FoxConn machines. As are most of Samsung's and all of Apple's.

FoxConn won the smartphone wars. Four years ago. All the rest is meaningless.

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Tesco preps for Big Data Engine dump: Laters, Clubcard dev

dogged
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Re: What's with the pictures...

I would have gone for this picture instead.

You can't copyright something you painted on somebody else's wall.

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Broadband isn't broadband unless it's 25Mbps, mulls FCC boss

dogged
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At our last house, BT supplied an astonishing 512Kb down/insulting trickle up.

At the one before, they simply refused to admit that ADSL broadband was a thing and tried to sell us an ISDN line.

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Windows XP beats 8.1 in December market share stats

dogged
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Re: Support is impossible

what, the Windows 3.1 Program Manager?

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dogged
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Re: Support is impossible

Don't make me upvote you, Bob. That's just unfair.

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dogged
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@Jim 59

> It is ironic that Apple, who actually invented the smartphone

either you forgot your troll icon or you're an idiot.

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Microsoft lets devs with form skip MCSD exam

dogged
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Explain how they've screwed up, AC.

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dogged
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Re: Desperate ?

Surely you weren't expecting Hans 1 of all people to actually read the article before criticizing Microsoft?

BTW mods, still looking for that /ignore function.

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dogged
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When The Reg covers certifications, comments nearly always argue that vendors' accreditations aren't very valuable because they don't reflect real world experience or proven capabilities. App to Cert goes some way towards addressing that criticism. Or does it?

The answer to your question is quite simple, assuming we're still talking in terms of commentard opinions. That answer is "this would be an amazing genius piece of absolute brilliance that solves everything if it were Google doing it but it's Microsoft so it sucks and is evil".

See above.

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Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' gamers are being 'antisocial', moan players

dogged
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Re: It really is a vocal minority

> If you want to see a group of short changed kickstarters just go look at that poor Star Citizen crowd. Where's their game?

It'll turn up when it's ready. Or it won't. If it doesn't then I'll be mildly irritated but not really surprised (eh, kickstarter...). If it does and it doesn't have stuff they contracted to do as stretch goals (that were met and surpassed) like an offline campaign, I may even go so far as to frown a bit.

We already have a playable dogfight game that I haven't bothered with and there's other stuff that I also don't really care about so it's not like it vanished without trace, which is hopeful.

SC will definitely disappoint some people because some people have insanely unrealistic expectations. It won't disappoint me because I have almost no expectations - I'm just interested to see what Chris Roberts will come up with. He's always done interesting work before.

The difference between this and the Elite:Dangerous experience is that my life is much more mellow and relaxed than an apparently arguable minority/majority (delete depending on your confirmation bias) because I knew in advance that Dave Braben was a massive arse of Piers Morgan proportions and refused to pay him any money.

So I feel a bit sorry for you Flyberius, but don't spare me any concern. I'm absolutely fine.

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dogged
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Would you prefer articles like this?

MOST ELITE:DANGEROUS PLAYERS OKAY WITH EVERYTHING

Nothing to see here, move along.

....

Seriously, go away. ®

Probably not much in the way of revenue on that one.

*EDIT - FFS guys, turn off the automated carriage return linefeed thingy. Formatting is all but impossible.

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Right, who feels like going to an Ofcom meeting? Anyone? Bueller?

dogged
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Re: I have a few simple suggestions

It would be better than now when BT customers get a line fixed in three days and Talk Talk customers might get a line fixed in three weeks if Talk Talk support bother to do anything about it.

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Snowden leaks lack context says security studies professor

dogged
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Re: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

> That almost made sense...

It's agonising, isn't it? With a normal amanfromMars1 post you pretty know what you're reading from the fifth word but that one started out as if it was going somewhere and then slowly fucked with your head.

I really should start reading the poster names before I read the text. Self-preservation demands it.

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UKIP website TAKES A KIP, but for why?

dogged
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Re: Major update cockup?

I agree with you!

However, a quick glance through the sadly now apparently no longer updated spEak You're bRanes clearly demonstrates that much of what you find on Have Your Say (and the Mail's comments, and many other places) is quite clearly racism, not to mention illiterate and retarded.

I think UKIP are a shame. I like the anti-EU thing because the EU is a wholly corrupt, undemocratic, porkbarrel-based money pit with very few redeeming features (note - the ECHR is entirely separate from the EU and almost entirely worthwhile so fuck you Farage) but they couldn't just stick to that.

Oh no, it had to be the eternal "immygrunts" ruining everything for hard-working whiterespectable British people. Because they are entirely to blame for austerity. Not the banks that shat the bed in 2007, not successive ludicrous amounts of unnecessary government borrowing, regulating and policing, not the tax system that seems to be entirely designed to fuck poor people in the ear while anyone who can afford to hire PwC (a deductible expense...) pays none at all, not the illegal, disastrous foreign wars, not restricting housing supply in order to create bubbles and give MPs a cheaper and more profitable ride on their Buy-To-Let schemes, not practically forcing kids to do expensive and mostly useless degrees in bullshit subjects from the University of Greater London (formerly Chelmsford B&Q)....

No, it wasn't any of the ruling classes with their protected and bailed out gravy trains. It was all "immygrunts". Let's pick on some brown people, that'lll make everything alright. And jobs for British people because after all, arbeit macht frei, nicht wahr?

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dogged
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Re: Major update cockup?

A tempting suggestion but I doubt very much that UKIP can afford to pay for astroturfing legions on the comment section of a local newspaper. There are so many local newspapers. And then there's the BBC's Have Your Say to shit mindless racism all over too.

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By the power of Xbox, WE HAVE THE POWER! - Leakers publish One's SDK

dogged
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Trollface

Re: Look we need the companies to compete, it drives the market forwards.

I thought Sony were in financial trouble, AC.

Nice to see they can still afford you.

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dogged
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Re: Homebrew with strings

> the media "marketed" the idea didn't help

the actual details didn't fit in a tweet (or red-top headline).

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dogged
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Re: Homebrew with strings

Basically this.

You own the console. Do what you like to it.

You do not own the servers you want to connect it to. To do so, you must comply with conditions that are set in order to

a) maintain "fair play"

b) prevent PS3-style cracking of that system, thus hurting other players and

c) ensure that you're not playing against somebody who paid full whack with your pirated game (this is really a subset of a) but I felt it needed emphasis).

So sure thing, hack away. But you can only hack what you paid for. And you did not pay for ongoing support patches - those are warrantee items and you invalidated your warrantee when you hacked the box.

Well put, @Lost all faith.

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dogged
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Re: Homebrew with strings

Then don't buy one.

You're happy and the lack of you complaining about a console you don't own will make everyone else happy too.

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No cellphones in cells, you slag! UK.gov moots prison mobe zap law

dogged
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Re: Er, prison...

No, they don't. Bars are a suicide risk.

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Double-digit tablet growth spurt is OVER, say pundits

dogged
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Re: Waiting for a new display technology

Whatever happened to Pixel QI?

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Hack flings bootkits from Macs' Thunderbolts

dogged
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Re: Well duh!

Not really. Your local Temple Of Apple Genius Bar Design Holiness is the obvious vector.

Put it on a Mac that you're having the non-replaceable SSD replaced on. Boom. Suddenly every "genius" is infected and every cultist pleasured by that "genius" is probably infected too.

Assuming the kit phones home (via at least seven proxies!) you just sit back and collect your nicked data, safe in the knowledge that all the machines you infected are owned by people who are not only wealthy but also too stupid to fix their own computers.

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Makers of Snowden movie Citizenfour sued by ex-oil exec

dogged
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Re: For profit?

I found that an interesting phrase.

One could charitably assume that they meant it to be parsed as follows -

"the film is an attempt to profit by glorifying international espionage" since Snowden himself has certainly not profited.

But if so, one wonders when dear Horace will sue Sony, current owners of the James Bond franchise.

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Windows Phone bumping along the bottom

dogged
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wat

The Lumia 520 is the single lowest spec WP8 phone and from GSMArena -

Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB

Internal 8 GB, 512 MB RAM

And from your article -

Windows Phone 8.1 is now accounting for 65 per cent of Windows Phone app downloads, with Windows Phone 7 at under five per cent.

The most popular Windows Phone device is the low-end Lumia 520, which accounts for more than a quarter of all app downloads. Devices with fewer than 256MB of RAM dominate downloads with 71 per cent of the total, suggesting Windows Phone's most active users are using cheaper handsets.

Now, I am merely a programmer so obviously the "industry analyst" who supplied your figures knows more than me (quiet at the back), but since the only Windows Phones with 256MB of RAM (and there are exactly zero Windows Phones with "fewer than 256MB" as you state) are WP7 phones*,the statements are wholly contradictory.

I find this remarkable, if true.

It's not true though, is it?

*the only one I can think of is the Dell Venue Pro with the slide-out keyboard. Good idea, canned early because Dell only sold about 25 of them.

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Frustration with Elite:Dangerous boils over into 'Refund Quest'

dogged
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Re: development practices

> But Braben going bankrupt from apparently negligently mishandling his business is a reasonable outcome, and part of the creative destruction that capitalism thrives on.

Can't tell if sarcasm, presuming not.

Well, quite. There's nothing to stop him going bankrupt due to this in the same way that backers (not "buyers", let's maintain the paradigm) have no guarantee that their investment will get them what they wanted.

> When companies screw things up royally with their only product they often go tits up. Or is Braben too big to fail?

Only his ego.

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dogged
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Re: And the moral here is

A little bored Googling indicates that kickstarter contributions are regarded as taxable in the US (the potato salad guy may have a problem in the region of $2,100 or so) and that VAT is levied at source in the UK.

Therefore, I am quite probably wrong although we'd have to await a test case to set a precedent.

And I agree, when - probably not "if" - it happens, it'll certainly be interesting.

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dogged
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Re: Arguing over nothing

> I don't know if you played at a friends

error - assumes friend(s).

That was self-mockery. I did have friends, I just didn't see them often because farm workers tend to live miles from anywhere and our nearest neighbour was nearly two miles away.

There was a school computer club but it met after school and those of us who bussed in couldn't go because, er, bus. Looking back, it seems like it must have been really hard being a country kid. I wonder if it still is? Perhaps this is something that the government's stupid "Year of Code" could address instead of teaching MPs how to write <blink>Hello world</blink>

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dogged
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Re: And the moral here is

@VinceH

> That's an interesting assertion. I'm not saying you're wrong - but I wouldn't like to bet either way. It would be interesting to see it tested.

I'm pretty certain Kickstarter donations are regarded as exactly that, donations. Offerings are "rewards" based on contribution, not a contract and not a sale. If it was done any other way, Kickstarter contributions would be taxable (and probably liable for VAT) which I don't think they are although you might want to check with HMRC.

So, yeah, I think Kickstarter is regarded as investing in a business and you can quite legally lose your shirt on any investment. Hard to see how the Sale of Goods Act would apply to it.

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Untangling .NET Core: Open source for Windows, Mac, Linux

dogged
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Re: One other

Good one.

XNA is canned, yes. I forgot XNA. You are absolutely correct. It was kind of fun, too.

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