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* Posts by Moultoneer

146 posts • joined 8 Dec 2009

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Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Moultoneer

Market forces

If you want cheap Apple products go to Hong Kong or Japan. You will save as much as one third of the price in the UK. If you're sceptical look up prices for the iPhone 5s on the Tokyo Apple store and divide by 170 for the rough £/¥ conversion.

Back in the UK; goods are worth whatever the market will bear. No one needs a Mac Book, or MS Office, they choose to purchase one for its advantages over a PC laptop or Open Office. If you want the shiny you'll have to shell out.

If you're more interested in what you can do with the tech' that you are buying than the label on the box, then this probably does not affect you.

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Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win

Moultoneer

Purpose of qualification

Certifications are a way round the problem of finding a job without experience. You leave the forces, the factory closes never to return, the industry is sinking etc so you have to re-skill. There is not an equivalent of the chartered accountancy or legal qualification route for IT so vendor certifications are pretty much all that's left.

I like to see evidence of interest on the part of interviewees, for example a blog about their training or a technology that interests them. But recruitment agencies cannot realistically sort candidates on that criteria so instead they use a glorified word sort before sending me CV's.

Once in the industry you can be snotty about cert's but for someone trying to find work they can be the best of a bad set of options.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Moultoneer

Re: Ban? What ban?

No, your footage on its own is not enough to convict anyone. You will also need to prove who the operator of the vehicle is, and if you cannot show that it is the registered owner the court will not be interested.

You are correct though in saying get a dash cam. Well worth it, if only to prove your stories of fresh idiocy from your fellow road users.

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Moultoneer

Obvious really

DON'T... LOOK... DOWN!

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Storm-battered Rockall adventurer recalls 'worst experience of my life'

Moultoneer
Stop

Re: So once again ...

Charity should be private, give money to your preferred cause and keep quiet about it. If you want to have an adventure go ahead and get on with it. You can host a few lectures / slide shows at the local Rotary Club when you get back if you want to raise awareness for a related charity.

In the 90's I cycled the South Downs Way for pleasure in a weekend. None of my work colleagues batted an eyelid. This year I mentioned vague plans to ride the Dunwich Dynamo and immediately I was being asked which charity I was riding for.

It's a corrosive attitude as it links charitable giving to stunts, rather than being a rational human impulse to help others.

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

Moultoneer
Joke

Usual suspect

Hands up... Who thinks that he's been getting his info from a certain Stephen Fry?

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Samsung peddles tyred Smart Bike concept

Moultoneer
Happy

Re: My eyes bleed

Rule number 5.

Velominati.org

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Boris: Look on 'London's digital tentacles', ye mighty, and despair!

Moultoneer

Re: 'Every corner of the capital and far beyond.'

I doubt he means as far as the M25, maybe the edge of the North Circular at a push.

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CIA rendition jet was waiting in Europe to SNATCH SNOWDEN

Moultoneer

Re: TheOtherHobbes

Got to pick you up on the common misconception concerning British interventions in Afghanistan.

The British invasions of Afghanistan in 1839/ 42 and 1878/80 were not the military disasters they are usually portrayed as. Concentrating on the betrayal of Elphinstone or the smashing of a brigade in Maiwand is like only studying WW2 as far as Dunkirk and then declaring the whole British involvement a disastrous defeat.

In 1842 the vengeful British marched back to Kabul, freed the hostages and burned down the Grand Bazaar (and every village that they passed on the way). In 1880 they left after enforcing the treaty of Gandamack which held until after the end of WW1 almost 40 years later.

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BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

Moultoneer

ITIL model

Thanks to ITIL we now have a Continual Service Improvement team who have a lovely CSI logo on their business cards.

The Yanks seem to be pretty indifferent to any TV reference but the Brit's cringe at any mention of it. So on my morning conf call I always make a special point of asking what CSI found out this week ;)

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Piketty thinks the 1% should cough up 80%. Discuss

Moultoneer

Re: Salary versus Equity

Your evidence is back to front. The Co-Op had a majority of non-Bankers on its board, including a chairman who didn't know his credit from your debits. However, unlike RBS, Lloyds et al which were run exclusively by professional bankers the Co-Op has not received a penny from the tax payer (though it has benefitted from quantitiative easing by the BoE).

The Co-Op bank bought Britannia without discovering their terrible commercial loans portfolio. That was a huge mistake that nearly cost the bank its existence. The bank then fell on its sword and has re-capitalised itself with money from the wider co-op and its bond holders.

In short the non-Pro's wrecked their business, patched it up with their own resources and are moving on under their own, imperfect efforts. RBS, Lloyds, etc wrecked their businesses and then threw the keys to the taxpayer.

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Moultoneer

It was possible

Buying a home in London was always difficult (unless you lucked out under Right To Buy) and required a few years of penny pinching, chasing the overtime and being polite to the bank manager. But it was possible for all of the post-war years up to the mid-80's and again from the early 90's to 2000.

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CONFIRMED: Sophos shifting threat response work to India

Moultoneer

There may not be any immediate job losses from this move but if the bulk of the everyday work is being off-shored where will future staff in the existing centres cut their teeth?

If the more interesting work, the most advanced virus issues, are dissected in the UK/ US how are the Indian staffers expected to progress?

Its a lose - lose situation. Better to keep both skillsets in all locations, including India and take advantage of the best talent wherever it is found.

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

Moultoneer
Stop

Friday afternoon clickbait. Read something else.

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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French Hacker Legion is West's foremost snoop squad says Robert Gates

Moultoneer
Meh

UK Eyes Alpha - or not

The British have long spied on commercial rivals, for example Operation Jet Stream was an MI6 op for spying on 'rival' European partners.

Can't really point fingers when you are doing it yourself.

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NOT APPY: Black cab drivers enraged by Hailo as taxi tech wars rage on

Moultoneer

Cabbies get enough perks that it really is not worth trying to duck recording their fares. For a start you can claim one hour of fuel for driving to and from work, effectively tax relief on your commute. Then there are no business rates, so despite earning your living off of London's road you make no specific payments to compensate the city for wear and tear on the roads, pollution etc.

Once upon a time you might agree a cash fare when heading home to the suburbs, or claim a runner or two (passenger legs it at their destination) and pocket the cash. But it's very small beer compared with tradesmen ducking VAT etc.

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

Moultoneer

Not quite so fast

You cannot put a landfill just anywhere. You currently need a deep clay layer which can be capped once the landfill is considered full. The clay layer is expected to prevent heavy metals etc leeching into the local water supply.

Landfill sites in Essex took most of London's waste for decades but are now running out of space and the price has gone up accordingly. Which is why loss making recycling can still be cheaper than burying it (I know that some recycling ends up being exported to China on otherwise empty cargo vessels, but I do not know how much).

You could lower standards to make more sites viable, reduce the thickness of the clay layer, allow cheaper, less flexible materials to used etc. But that doesn't seem to be considered an option yet.

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Moultoneer

Forecasting is so depressing

Any worthwhile economic forecast should include a reference to the previous one. So the next time you see a price prediction for oil, gas or similar in a years time it should include a comparison of today's price and the previous forecast.

Maybe you will be surprised by their accuracy, but I doubt it.

Is part of the problem that only hysterical forecasts and reports get any coverage?

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Be the next tech hotshot – by staying the hell away from regulators

Moultoneer

Re: OTOH, you could regulate to encourage new business

The UK has a rentier economy. Lenders prefer to invest in property, utilities etc where they have a physical asset that can be pulled back in the event of failure.

How you change that culture is the difficult question. The banks lending officers are comfortable in assessing property, not business plans which might boil down to nothing more than an optimistic mix of bright ideas and enthusiam.

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Birmingham's Computer Bookshops Ltd goes titsup

Moultoneer
Meh

Mixed memories

As one of life's prevaricators I had a bad habit of buying books as the first step to certification and changing career direction, but then never bothering to open the book, let alone to sit the exam.

As a result I had a couple of genuinely useful books that were continually referred to over the lifespan of a particular system and a larger pile of pristine text books for CCNA and the like that I never got round to using properly.

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China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

Moultoneer

Re: There's a sweet spot

That is a good link, they mention the passport issue in the sentence "Another issue, not mentioned by DB, was the fact that UK-bound passengers need UK Border Agency pre-clearance in mainland Europe." So if I get on at Aachen I would have to get off at Brussels to pass thru' passport control.

Changing trains at Brussels is frustrating but you can be quite aggressive with your timings. If you miss your EuroStar, ICE or Thales connection because of a delay on the connecting service the operators have an agreement to get you on to the next available train.

The Berlin trip does look tempting, I might have to train out/ fly back at Xmas.

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Moultoneer

Re: There's a sweet spot

A one train, no changes, journey from London to Berlin is now feasible but has fallen at the hurdle of British political interferance.

After several years of lobbying and re-jigging their train layouts Deutsche Bahn's high speed trains are now approved for use in the Channel Tunnel.

However, the UK gov't is insisting that on the London bound leg of the journey passport controls be applied at Brussels, with passengers disembarking, passing thru' migration checks and then re-boarding the train. Which will add an hour to any scheduled service. Deutsche Bahn ofered to complete passport checks on the train, as was common across Europe before the expanded EU, but this was rejected.

Why the British gov't is insisting on this is not clear. There is no shortage of available time slots in the tunnel itself and the benefits such as competition to EuroStar, improved travel times etc are self-evident.

Personally, 8 hours on a train to Berlin is too much, flying would be preferable. But London to Cologne in a shade less than 3 and half hours would be fantastic.

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London cabbies to offer EVEN WORSE service in protest against Uber

Moultoneer

Passing the Knowledge is a proven way of moving up and into the middle classes (or even staying in it when your well paid white collar job has been superceded). So reforming or tinkering with the profession will always be unpopular, but that doesn't mean that it should be left unreformed.

While London cabbies are popularly thought to be well to the right politically, they earn their living in a publicly run and administered system. Competition among Hackey cabs is artificially restricted by limiting the number of London wide licences to 28,000 or so. It takes 3 or more years for most people to pass their Appearances or give up because there are simply not the licences to hand out.

The quickest way to liberalise the system would be to increase the number of available licences. Applicants would still have to study the Knowledge and pass their appearances but there would not be the artifical log jam of the lack of licences.

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British Gas 'in talks' to outsource tech services desk, whispers insider

Moultoneer

Re: Outsourced?

It doesn't sound like a service desk to me "The services departments supports all production, pre-production and dev systems, which are predominantly Unix-based Oracle and SAP.".

I have contracted thru' HCL and they paid my invoices promptly. That might sound trite but anyone stung by the 2e2 collapse will appreciate the importance.

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Bankers don't just blow cash on bonuses, they also spaff ££££s on IT

Moultoneer

The price difference could also be explained by cross-charges. We pay more for kit but the cost of the purchasing team (salaries, office space, etc) comes out of that rather than being centrally allocated.

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Brain surgery? Would sir care for a CHOC-ICE with that?

Moultoneer

Re: Wot IT shortage?

My deeply biased interpretation of your scenario is that management want an expert to give them a solution for which they (your boss) can claim credit. What they don't want is someone supplanting them in the eyes of senior management.

That is a lot easier for them if you are in a different time zone.

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IBM was wrong to force UK workers off final salary pensions – judge

Moultoneer
Joke

Re: ha you think you'll get to retire

Don't be so negative.

In reality you will sell off whatever pitiful assets you have managed to aquire in 40 years of graft, move as far South (Spain, Portugal etc) as you can to avoid being a drain on the NHS and then drink yourself to death.

In the scripted words of Eddie Hitler "You're born, you keep your head down, and then you die.... if you're lucky!"

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Nothing's as SCARY as an overly aggressive SOFTWARE PIMP

Moultoneer

Who knew..

..that Dabbsy was an optimist?

Quarter finals, pah! The England team will be lucky not to finish bottom in their group!

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Dear Reg: What is a 'Lag' and a 'Jacksey'?

Moultoneer

Re: Reminds me...

Nowhere near the same level of stomach churning unpleasantness, but I remember one of our Summer interns who was given the task of checking faulty blackberries for water damage (invalidates the warranty).

He was having quite a successful day of it, popping off the backs, checking the indicator tabs and setting aside the red/pink ones. I noticed that he was picking away at his lunch while working his way thru' the pile and I asked him if this was wise.

Initially he didn't grasp what I meant, so I then suggested one of the likely places that the devices fell into water, which isn't a shower or a sink though it can often be found in the same room.

He lost his appetite.

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Improbable: YOU gave model Lily Cole £200k for her Impossible.com whimsy-site

Moultoneer

Re: :(

Thankfully the driver was arrested and the offence is being investigated. If guilty he will probably lose his job and quite right too.

Not sure how you link the story to the union safety concerns though, after all it was a colleague who reported him in the first place.

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

Moultoneer

Landed wealth

Only one aspect of the debate on hereditary wealth but you can see how much some families are getting from the EU farm subsidies here.

http://farmsubsidy.org

This data is at risk of being hidden in the future for privacy reasons.I fail to see how transparency in how billions of tax-payers is spent can be a bad thing.

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Moultoneer
Stop

Re: ... and a fitting tribute this is.

Do you have a reference for that? It sounds like a hell of a lot to me. The ONS suggests an average wage of £9.30 but neglects to mention if that is a mean or median average.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/business-transparency/freedom-of-information/what-can-i-request/previous-foi-requests/labour-market/average-gross-weekly-earnings-in-1953/index.html?format=print

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Think drone delivery is hot air? A BREWERY just proved you wrong

Moultoneer
Pint

Re: Nice advert. However, ...

There are now some very good American beers and their hoppy influence has crashed its way into the UK market.

However, there remains some truth in the old cliche that American beer is like sex in a canoe. F*cking close to water!

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Tony Benn, daddy of Brit IT biz ICL and pro-tech politician, dies at 88

Moultoneer

Re: Must be a techie...

He recorded everything so that he could not be mis-quoted, or least made it easier to re-but anything taken too far out of context.

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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

Moultoneer
Pint

Really encouraging

A pint for when he's older.

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Hey, IT department! Sick of vendor shaftings? Why not DO IT, yourself

Moultoneer

Smart kids in the UK are making better career decisions too

In the 90's kids in the UK who were good with computers were steered into IT jobs, today their equivalents view IT as just another skill set to help them in their chosen careers.

I don't think that it was so true in the USA, though my experience was limited to New York. There I met plenty of users with a very poor opinion of their IT dept's because they viewed them as second best.

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One year on: What exactly did the 2e2 collapse teach us?

Moultoneer

So who should take the blame? Terry Burt purchased companies that were operating at a profit, loaded them with debt and then ran them into the ground. He stands out to me, but you have a different opinion, which is that no one and everyone had a responsibility because they were aware of the faulty funding structure.

At the very least tell us who was the external UK exec that walked into the business and thought they knew best?

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2e2 debt recovery specialist finds... £2,000 in six months

Moultoneer

Too bitter?

FTI might be brutal but it was Terry Burt and co that ran the firm into the ground in the first place.

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CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

Moultoneer

Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

Thank you for agreeing with me, those fancy pedestrianised High Streets with farmers markets etc are doing better than the average. It works because it makes the High Street a desirable place to pass time and spend money

I don't think that the High Street can compete with large supermarkets for the weekly shop, so carrying a week's shopping home is a red herring. Instead the High Street scores on customers making small purchases several times a week.

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Moultoneer

Hyperbole

They tried removing all the traffic wardens from Aberystwyth, it did cause chaos and after a year they brought them back.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2152638/Aberystwyth-lifts-traffic-warden-ban-time-Jubilee-free-chaos.html

BTW - for any non-UK residents reading, that place name is Welsh, not made up!

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Moultoneer

Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

The decline of the High Street owes more to changing shopping habits, specifically late night shopping and Sunday opening, than the lack of somewhere to park.

The High Street is a local facility, one that most of its users walk to. If the locals cannot be bothered to walk the couple of hundered yards to the shops and back they are not going to jump into their cars and go there.

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London's King of Clamps shuts down numberplate camera site

Moultoneer

Maybe the site was cross referencing http://www.askmid.com/ and making the assumption that any uninsured vehicle was up to mischief?

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Volunteers slam plans to turn Bletchley Park into 'geeky Disneyland'

Moultoneer

Re: Surely it can be changed ?

He who pays the piper calls the tune.

The HLF will have had a say in this as the BP Trust would have had to agree to a selection of targets/ conditions to secure funding. Future funding would be dependent on meeting those conditions too.

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Moultoneer

Future of work

Mass tourism is now a source of employment in the UK, so has attracted management who have goals and responsilities beyond showing off the local sites of interest. What to a volunteer is an interesting building with historical associations has become a career for someone.

.

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El Reg preps relaunch of Cash’n’Carrion online merchandise emporium

Moultoneer
Childcatcher

Tee shirts

If you bring back the T-Shirts can you have at least some of them made from Bamboo?

Lovely and comfy material and very important for younger geeks, it doesn't harbour bacteria as much as cotton, so far less smelly.

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NSA: It's TRUE, we grab 200 MILLION of your text messages A DAY globally

Moultoneer

Re: Six Billion?

Not a mistake, but an awful lot of spam....

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How Britain could have invented the iPhone: And how the Quangocracy cocked it up

Moultoneer

I am not convinced that we are out of the recession yet. Technically the economy has not shrunk for two or three quarters in row but its not growing either.

As for panic spending, we have a range of neo-Keynesian spending going on, from help to buy which is keeping the housing bubble going and potentially billions to be spent on HS2.

There is also the small matter of the gov't keeping their friends and donors sweet. Royal Mail sans pensions liabilities sold at well below value, increase in PPI, etc, etc.

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Moultoneer

New Labour were very relaxed about individuals becoming extremely rich, but in return they created a whole range of non-jobs in the Public sector to assign to their supporters.

You can spot these types because their job titles include words such as Outreach, Coordinator, etc and are often combined with Youth and Elderly. A good example of their work is the creation of travel plans for schools. As if parents who drive their kids to school have not considered walking, cycling or taking the bus!

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When the lights went out: My 'leccy-induced, bog floor crawling HORROR

Moultoneer
WTF?

Re: more comfortable? comFORTABLE????!!!!

"Caved in"? Not in the UK, the Ted Heath gov't royally shafted the electricians by removing the legal difference between a qualified Electrician who had completed a five year apprenticeship and an Electricians Mate who had only three years of basic training.

The result was that the qualification was debased and the quality of sparkies dropped like a stone.

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