* Posts by Roland6

1465 posts • joined 23 Apr 2010

UK air traffic bods deny they 'skimped' on IT investment after server mega-fail

Roland6
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Re: S/390

I think NATS are between a rock and a hard place...

From what I can gather the system configuration is a little over 30 years old and was originally due for replacement in 2000, but has (in parts) been life extended, with current expectations on its replacement being fully operational in early 2016. Hence this may go some way to explaining why some of the platforms being used seem a little.

Hence NATS have a problem, they need to maintain the current as-is system for another few years, warts and all, because it is largely a waste of money in making any significant investment in the existing system (like migrating from S/390 to Zseries), because (hopefully) the plug will be pulled in 2016. Also given the complexity of the system and number of parties involved (the radar network upgrade took 10 years and was only completed in 2013), I doubt there is much room to bring the go-live date for the new system forward; also the recent events almost certainly will result in additional testing of the new system.

So NATS will patch the current system, touch wood and keep their fingers crossed. But then as others have noted there will be a period where the new system will be 'unreliable' as it gets bedded-in...

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Roland6
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Another way to look at Vince's comments is that he has effectively given NATS a green light to ask the government for money to enable them to make the necessary large-scale investment needed to remove their reliance on ancient systems...

Naturally being a politician Vince will be able to then come up with some excuse as to why the government is unable to provide funds and that NATS should continue to use it's existing systems...

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EU VAT law could kill THOUSANDS of online businesses

Roland6
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Re: A complete mess

This is NOT going to end well for UK small business.

Thinking this through, I'm not sure if this will end well for the various Tax Authorities...

Remember the big change is with digital sales to EU Consumers, all other sales (Non-EU and EU Business) are unchanged. For UK businesses selling to EU consumers, under the new scheme HMRC will no longer benefit from this VAT revenue, and will in fact have to go on the offensive (and incur additional costs) to locate, investigate and prosecute foreign businesses. I don't know if current cooperation arrangements between EU nations, permit HMRC say, to investigate the accounts of a German, French etc. business/individual to see if they have incorrectly declared sales subject to UK VAT.

As for HMRC inspecting UK businesses, we can expect them to only permit EU Consumer VAT to be levied if there is sufficient evidence for the transaction to have been to a Non-UK located EU Consumer, otherwise they will demand the business owes them UK VAT on the transaction. Hence why I'm not too bothered about EU Consumers, because if they can't be bothered to identify themselves as being any different to a UK Consumer, they will pay UK VAT and HMRC will be happy.

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Roland6
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Re: Know your customer

Identity card by the backdoor?

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Roland6
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@AC

Of course, since most of our trade is UK and non-EU we could just not sell to the non-UK EU...

Simple approach is to price in GBP and clearly state UK delivery assumed and charge UK VAT. Those wishing to get a lower price will self select and either provide a VAT number or other geo-information. Remember your first priority is to keep HMRC happy :)

The one other thing not stated, if you register for VAT and provide a return you are criminally liable for the correctness. Which is why accountants charge a fair whack a quarter to do them.

The VAT registered person is liable for the correctness of the submitted return, not the agent ie. accountant... The main reason for the higher charges is reconciliation, particularly when dealing with INTERSTAT.

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Roland6
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Re: ...VAT for 28 different states... @Tom 13

Well VAT was relatively simple until this change...

There is a good introductory article from a US perspective on the change here: http://www.happybootstrapper.com/2014/im-us-whatll-happen-just-ignore-eu-vat-changes/

But for the full mind numbing impact, do look at the "full listing of VAT rates in different EU countries"...

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Roland6
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Re: This is entirely UNreasonable @Andrew Richards

The Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) only applies to your UK business. EU business is effectively outside of the scheme and has to be fully accounted for. Additionally, once you join the FRS, you are required to charge VAT on ALL your sales. No HMRC have at least set up MOSS ( https://www.gov.uk/register-and-use-the-vat-mini-one-stop-shop ) so you only need to register for VAT for EU trading purposes.

I would also advise to approach the FRS with caution, as whilst it is simple, it does have some gotcha's which may be relevant to your business.

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Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Roland6
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Re: Waiting for Google to be forced to offer searches on competiting engines...

The question to a large extent isn't whether a company is or isn't a monopoly, but whether it uses it position in an anti-competitive manner. MS with respect to the browser (which was just the latest product bundled with Windows in a move to stifle competition - a practise dating back to at least DoubleSpace), their OEM product bundling deals, and non-disclosure of API's were found to be actively abusing their position, hence court action was possible.

Hence similar applies to Google: Has Google actually used it's dominant market position to actively stifle competitors? Take Google Plus for example, I suggest if it had caused a massive exodus of users from Facebook to Google Plus, Facebook may of had a case against Google, but because it didn't Facebook don't have an anti-competition case.

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Dr. Dobb's Journal sails into the sunset - yet again

Roland6
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Re: Ah the nostalgia!

>If I still have a floppy drive somewhere?

Not sure if Windows 8 (or even a current Linux distro) would recognise a 5.25-inch floppy drive...

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Ofcom mulls selling UK govt's IPv4 cache amid IPv6 rollout flak

Roland6
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Re: @Roland6

>What do you mean "nothing has been done"?

Well we've known about the substantive IPv4-to-IPv6 transition problems for nearly 20 years now and the size of the hurdle just gets larger as the years go by. It is a little surprising that the IETF hasn't done anything substantive about it or putting out a realistic roadmap for transitioning a public network with billions of users and nodes - remember in the late 80's early 90's moving from proprietary networking to TCP/IP the task was much simpler because the networks were in the main wholly within an organisation and could be easily segmented into domains such as Office, factory and datacenter for purposes of migration and transitioning of services.

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Roland6
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Re: @P. Lee

Yes, IPv6 has a lot of stupidity in its design

Additionally, given these failings have been known since the 1990's and nothing has been done to address them, it does raise questions over the IETF's position on IPv6.

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Roland6
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Re: Does anyone actually use IPv6

When there's a good base of people with more experience of IPv6 it can start going into enterprise. Enterprise is part of the tail.

No enterprise is where IPv6 has to go first, it is a much simpler environment and it is more controlled. Although in saying this, it is obvious that M2M and sensor networks are ideal candidates for IPv6, because these will be deployed by enterprises and hence many of the people working on them will be networking experts...

With residential, it has to work out-of-the-box and be set up by normal people via a simple point-and-click wizard interface - with no networking expert to hand.

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Roland6
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* hits self in head *

I see from several google search results it's to get around throttling.

IPv6 needs some incentives like this to encourage people to make the effort and invest. Currently IPv6 is seen by many as one great big headache waiting to happen, hence avoid and address today's connectivity needs.

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Microsoft, rivals together fight US govt's cloud data snatch

Roland6
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We Europeans should be looking at this as an opportunity. It is time to for there to be a credible non US based cloud provider.

Sounds nice and heart warming, until you realise that many EU politicians (including many within the Westminster bubble) think that TTIP will be a good thing for Europe...

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Are you a Geek Dad/Uncle/Mum/Aunt? Ten Techy Gifts for kids this Xmas

Roland6
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Re: Not helpful

I'd say wing it and just give him the wrapping paper.

Better wrap a couple of large cardboard boxes - only need small presents that rattle when box is shaken. Kept my children quiet most of the day, particularly as one box was black inside and had glow in the dark star and planet stickers inside. Unfortunately (in this respect) they do grow and so enjoy whilst you can...

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REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

Roland6
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Re: There's legacy, and there's legacy

A reminder that the "International Algorithmic Language" referred to is Algol

Algol-58 was effectively a rename of IAL. There is a good piece on the circumstances prevailing in the late 50's that lead Jules Schartz to define JOVIAL in the 1978 article: http://jovial.com/documents/p203-schwartz-jovial.pdf

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Roland6
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Re: There's legacy, and there's legacy

Prof Thomas said the NAS system was written using a now defunct computer language called Jovial,

According to wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JOVIAL ), to say JOVIAL is now defunct is overstating things. But I've not kept abreast of recent developments, so does any one know what is now being used instead of JOVIAL? (I'm a little surprised the wikipedia article doesn't mention this, so presume the obvious candidate - ADA, isn't quite so obvious or universally used).

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Roland6
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Re: Mirrored systems @Paul Crawford

Suspect these systems with have the added complication of "fall-safe"; but not necessarily the further complication of n-way voting.

But we are talking about designing software in a way that the typical application programmer has no concept of.

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Roland6
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Re: Is the Register sure this is an IBM S390

as most mainframe based systems it looks like it has an over-reliance on the mainframe never failing and no true primary-to-backup fallback.

My thoughts from the very little that has been published, is that the problem seems to have been not so much in the primary-to-backup fallback, but in that two things seemed to fail (system and network link) and as I've also come across with many business continuity solutions insufficient attention being paid to the restoration (fallback-to-primary) of normal operations.

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One-click, net-modelled UK copyright hub comes a step closer

Roland6
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Re: You misconstrue my meaning

by 'releasing into the wild' I meant to free that brilliant idea so that anybody who wanted to use it could do so freely and that no individual/corporate could claim it for their own exclusive use.

This website will allow you to do exactly that!

It will firstly enable you to assert your legal right to the brilliant idea, enabling you to do the second thing which is to set the rules of usage and the fee for such usage. Any one who challenges your right to set terms has to prove you stole the brilliant idea from them.

However, I seem to remember that under UK law a contract isn't made unless money changes hands, hence why you often hear about multi-million pound companies being brought for a pound.

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Government locked into £330m Oracle contract until 2016

Roland6
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Re: Not surprised. @pandafinity

Reading both this and your previous comment on this thread, I could be mistaken, but it does seem you are tentatively pitching a business idea.

I suggest, given your claimed experience and knowledge, you should go for it and head over to a crowd funding site of your choice and see if you can get some backing to help you off the ground...

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Roland6
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Oh look the El Reg tune has changed!

Isn't this contract one of the bundle of 'legacy' contracts with Oracle that were renegotiated back in 2012 with a view to consolidation of IT into shared service centres and was claimed would generate savings in excess of £75m by 2015? [ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/28/cabinet_office_oracle_deal/ ] and was regarded as being a good deal for UK government.

Kat Hall hasn't presented any evidence or made a case for why the government being locked into this specific 'legacy' contract is a bad thing.

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Juniper gives itself an uppercut, plans white box switch running Junos OS

Roland6
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Re: Well well Juniper can read...

Also it gives the OpenCompute Networking project a bit more credibility.

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Solar sandwich cooks at 40 per cent efficiency

Roland6
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Re: Photovoltaics is a one time, one way molecular erosion PARLOR TRICK !

>Don't renewables rely a lot more on harder-to-obtain materials like rare earths?

Suspect you may be confusing simple low tech renewables with the more sophisticated high tech methods being used and proposed to enhance output. So for example solar thermal is relatively low tech, whereas high efficiency photovoltaic is definitely high tech and requires rare earths. But you do make an important point in that it is easy to get carried away by the tech and miss the fundamental rationale behind what we're trying to do...

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Roland6
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Re: That's why I'm waiting;

>I fully expect to have some PV on my roof within 5-10years at a much higher efficiency than is available today, which is why I haven't spent 5-10k on current panel tech.

Personally, I would suggest that now is a good time to get in: with good PV panels giving around 20% efficiency and the government scheme giving a payback on installation costs/investment of around 10% per annum, on top of your savings from reduced electricity bills, plus there is only one way for energy bills to go, and that is up, you could well be in profit within 10 years and hence pay for the new panels out of your profits.

In 5~10 years the PV industry will have settled down, just like double glazing and other major home improvements and the government incentives will have either been withdrawn or vastly watered down as the number of PV installations become the norm.

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Roland6
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Re: Photovoltaics is a one time, one way molecular erosion PARLOR TRICK !

Correct. Nuclear power is the only zero carbon power source capable of supplying sufficient energy for the industrial economy.

But that does ignore the rather large amounts of carbon released in their construction...

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Linus Torvalds releases Linux 3.18 as 3.17 wobbles

Roland6
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Re: Unknown source of kernel lock-ups?

>It would depend on the severity of the bug really.

I think a bug that can cause lock-up when running Xen is pretty serious if you are planning to run Xen ie. host VMs.It wouldn't surprise me if RedHat or a similiar enterprise Linux vendor are the one's to actually get to the bottom of this; this sort of bug will bite them much more than the desktop Linux brigade.

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Crack open more champagne, Satya, XP's snowballing to HELL

Roland6
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Re: Stats misleading?

Agree there is something not right about the stat's. There is a significant increase in the number of Win8 systems, which given you can't buy Win8 and WUP will auto-update it to 8.1 is a little surprising.

Even so the big increase is with Win7 and not with either Win8 or 8.1, but even this seems to be insufficient to account for all of the fall in XP. Win8/8.1 will only begin to truely gain ground on Win7 once Win7 goes off sale, which currently is looking like sometime in 2016.

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One year on, Windows 8.1 hits milestone, nudges past XP

Roland6
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Re: Your lack of choice is not limited to Operating Systems.

>Built some Win 7 PCs this year no issue with drivers

Obviously didn't have any HP printers in there :)

HP seem to have drawn a line with their printers, so you need to download one set of drivers for all versions of Windows XP-to-7 32/64 then download a second set for 8 32/64. Once you have tripped over this once, you remember to double check next time - oh and don't forget to update the printer firmware (particularly if using Win8 and iOS systems)...

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Roland6
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Re: I need a compelling reason...

Re: Hyper-V

Well whilst Win7 doesn't provide full Hyper-V, it does have a reasonable level of support for VM's, either through the (now unsupported) XP mode, or through the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows 7. Which should satisfy many 'casual' VM needs. Also as others have pointed out you can install VMWare or if you are really adventurous Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2...

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Roland6
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Re: Why are consumers biting on Windows 8.1?

From the obvious omission in the article, I take it that Gavin Clarke doesn't actually use Windows 8. Otherwise he would of included that other contributory reason for both the dip in Win8 and the increase in Win8.1, namely the forced update of Win8 machines on auto-update via WUP.

Also what the Statcounter chart clearly reinforces is that Win7 is the dominant release of Windows (and due to its enterprise usage is likely to continue to be so until 2020). I suggest the trend lines indicates that with the announcement of Win10 next year, Win8.1 is highly unlikely to achieve a marketshare of 20% (XP's marketshare in Nov 2013). The enterprise usage of Win7 also sets a limit on the potential market for Win10, meaning it will be focused more on XP, Vista & Win8 upgrades.

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Rethinking desktop delivery

Roland6
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In practical terms, the key is to make desktops virtual

For many businesses, the bit that matters is the application. I suspect that many business would happily run Office 97 complete with it's original UI, if MS still sold it and supported it on Windows 8.

But here in lies the problem, lots of software applications have been designed to be used by a single user on a dedicated desktop. For virtual desktops to really take off we need software designed to be used by multiple users - just as it was in the days of mainframes and minicomputers. What companies such as MS are missing (and so are many Open Source projects), is the mainframe/minicomputer version of Office ie. single memory image used by many users - potential opportunity for Uniplex to reappear.

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Roland6
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>They can't rebuild the Bedford - Cambridge part on the same route now - some of it was built over

Buildings obstructing route isn't a problem, just look at HS2...

The real challenge is whether they get to reinstate the line before the Bedford rowing lake idea gets funding...

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Microsoft hikes support charges by NINETY TWO PER CENT

Roland6
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"Regular Payment" is the key!

Microsoft of course offers Premier support, often with regular payments. These price hikes seem a decent signal that Microsoft's rather keen on that kind of arrangement.

MS seem to be very keen to get it's customers away from one off payments and on to subscriptions. We're already seeing this with Office v Office 365 licencing.

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Wikipedia won't stop BEGGING for cash - despite sitting on $60m

Roland6
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Re: Ads worse than begging banner?

> the millions of broken links

This state of affairs is inevitable, given how long lived many articles are; I've often encountered this same problem when preparing technical documents over a period of a few months, discovering content that has changed, moved etc..

What is irritating are those references and sources where only a URL has been given. Once these are broken, locating the referenced source can be challenging. At least where a publication is named, you can (potentially) go to a decent library and look the article up. But as more and more is published on the Internet this will become more problemmatic, both to users and Wikipedia editors (how can you tell if a revision is correct or not, if you can't access the original sources to determine the correctness or otherwise of the original wiki article?).

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Trevor contemplates Consumer Netgear gear. BUT does it pass the cat hair test?

Roland6
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One nice thing is the compatibility of the config files between versions

Yes it is nice when you encounter vendors products that support this, but this really should be the norm and not the exception.

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Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Roland6
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Re: Please explain ...

I think you'll find that most software licenses DO prohibit the making of backup copies. It is in their EULA.

That depends upon the format of the distribution, with the limitation applying explicitly to the original media image(s) supplied, once the software has been installed different rules apply. I've yet to see a software company attempt to sue a company for breech of license because the company's backup and archive strategy meant they have multiple copies of the installed software kicking around.

Also in the enterprise space much is still done on trust with the licence effectively only limiting the number of production instances that can be run.

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Roland6
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Re: Please explain ... @strum

>Lost what case?

The written law may say one thing, but established and unchallenged practise (ie. something that has been openly done without legal challenge for at least ten years) can over ride...

Hence because the industry decided back in the 70's and 80's not to challenge things and effectively gave a nod to personal copying, they have largely lost the protection of the law. To stand a chance of being successful the music industry will have to explain why the action they are taking to day is somehow different to what has gone before and hence attempt to override a well established precedence.

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Roland6
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"If the IPO wants to change the rules regarding compensation for private-use copying then they need to do it at a European level."

There is no evidence of the IPO actually changing the rules. As has been exampled by others the "fair compensation" in the UK is zero. Do the musicians and their representatives need a cheque to be written out for that amount before they understand?

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Roland6
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Re: Please explain ...

I also politely disagree: UK case law predates the EU directive by several decades. As soon as compact tape and video tape arrived on the market along with consumer recording and playback equipment the industry was faced with the challenge of copying for personal use and basically lost the case.

Furthermore, they have to justify the position they have taken over several years now with respect to devices such as those openly sold by Brennan, a UK company who do not pay a levy to the music industry for their devices and so totally relevant to the UK legal situation.

So all the UK government are doing is bringing the law into line with normal consumer practice that has operated for over 30 years.

It would not surprise me if this high court action is actually the first step of trying to take a case to the EU court, where the music industry holds out hope that it will ultimately find favour and overturn both UK law and precedence.

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UK.gov biz dept: Yoof APPRENTICE? Get a degree while YOU'RE HIRED

Roland6
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Re: Freedom to move and grow?....

> if UK industry can't get its head around building and paying for practical skills, why not consider doing such a course in a European institute

I seem to remember reading that some EU universities don't charge tuition fee's!

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Roland6
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Re: this takes me back to the 70s

Yes this does seem like a re-invented and re-invigorated(?) HND.

Back in the 70's you basically had four degree choices:

Full-time degree - typically run a University (BSc).

Sandwich degree - typically run by Polytechnics (BSc/HND), but also offered by some Universities (BSc).

Day/block release - Available from polytechnics and FE colleges aimed at apprentices, resulting in an HND

Spare time - An OU degree (BSc)

But totally agree with you, investing in students and apprentices requires a level of confidence in their future from companies that seems to be in short supply these days.

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BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network

Roland6
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Re: The patent

On the basis of what Wragge & Co (the law firm representing ASSIA) say about the patent BT were found to infringe (EP (UK) 1,869,790 filed in 2006), namely: "That patent describes a method of using a state transition matrix to decide how to choose the most desirable line profile in which to operate a DSL connection," I'm a little surprised that the patent was deemed valid, as State transition matrix's are a common approach to solving problems - whether it be in a digital camera, an engine management system, OSI protocols, etc.

If it were a US patent then we could all just say the USPTO simply accepted the argument "state transition matrix in a DSL connection" just as they give patents to things because they contain the magic words "xyz in a handheld computer/mobile device", but as it is an EU(UK) patent we expect higher levels of qualification, so we can only conclude that there is in fact more in the patent than the law firm's statement implies.

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BT in talks to RE-SLURP O2 after spitting it out a decade ago

Roland6
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Re: It’s not so long ago that...

We shouldn't forget the environment that BT, as owner of mmO2 operated in. There was much talk about BT's monopoly position in the fixed and mobile telecoms market and hence extending the regulatory constraints at the time. So BT got out of mobile focused on fixed line and allowed the duopoly restrictions lapse. Now the market has changed, it makes sense for them to once again become a full service telecoms provider without overt government interference.

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Roland6
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Re: And who is the other MNO?

EE hasn't been officially confirmed, unless you know different - hence AC...

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/bt-early-deal-talks-ee-amid-confirming-telefonica-plans-sell-o2-1476282

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Roland6
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And who is the other MNO?

"We have received expressions of interest from shareholders in two UK mobile network operators, of which one is O2, about a possible transaction in which BT would acquire their UK mobile business,"

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US taxmen won't say WHY they're probing Microsoft. So Redmond is suing the IRS

Roland6
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Re: More hmm...

It's a crap analogy but to humour you, in the UK the police need reasonable cause to pull you over

However, HMRC don't need reasonable cause to investigate your tax affairs. They can and do simply select a 'random' sample of tax payers who they investigate each year.

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Roland6
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Re: I don't like Microsoft, BUT...

Reading the court submission, it is MS who are conducting this particular fishing expedition!

They are clearly worried about both the terms of reference of the IRS and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart &

Sullivan, LLP and what investigations it may have covered, which all seems to indicate there is something in the 2004~2009 tax returns that MS would rather not be discovered...

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Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts

Roland6
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Re: Duct infrastructure

>What's the point of having duplicate infrastructure?

What is interesting is that I've not seen any third-parties getting into the new build business. Currently only BT (along with the other utility companies) provide developers with incentive to lay ducting: okay the developer has to do the legwork, but they do get re-imbursed. Can't see that it would be particularly difficult for a third-party to specify the provision of a second set of 'open access' ducting - in fact thinking of it I wonder why BT haven't started doing this themselves...

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You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes

Roland6
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Re: "new memory related functions which are not fully compatible with Avast."

Without any insider info, I'd say it's an even split on whether Avast was using undocumented calls that the update changed, or if this was a genuine compatibility error between a low level program and the OS Software.

Definitely agree, given the statement "This Windows updates calls new memory related functions". There is a question as to when MS released information on these new memory functions to third-parties, as it could be argued that Avast was operating correctly and detected abnormal behaviour...

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