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* Posts by Bluenose

241 posts • joined 19 May 2010

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MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

Bluenose

BT must be loving this deal

I live in a small village of about 400 houses and businesses. Our local Duke has fibre to the premises which he paid for (lucky him, inherited wealth is so useful) while the rest of us are stuck with a maximum speed of 3mbps before the everyone finds out and piles on at which point it starts to fall (rapidly) to less than 2mbps. However because BT can provide upto 2mbps to the village we have been carved out of the local broadband plan.

Our local council sought out lots of ideas and feedback for their local superfast broadband plan a couple of years ago. I happily said I would pay up to £30 per month for fast (not even super) BB. Now they have published the plan and oh my all those small market towns of a couple of thousand properties and more being built every day are all due to get the upgrade. The fact that Virgin also has fibre in those towns can't have anything to do with it I suppose (ROFL).

Our village is further away from its exchange than it is from a small nearby town that has superfast broadband with FTTC. The cost of laying in some fibre from that exchange to the village and the green cabinets we have here should be fairly cheap but no, the local plan which is a partnership with two biggish towns means that we get bugger all. The two biggish towns are subsidising BT to install broadband in areas where there is already a reasonably strong economic argument to do the work anyway.

BT are telling the customer want they can have and ignoring what the customer wants/needs. Such an approach is OK where the customer budget is insufficient to provide what they want/need but in this instance it is wrong. Local councils should be prioritising those places they know BT cannot install to without a subsidy and BT should be paying in the more economic locations. But as usual councils are scared BT will walk away if they exercise their rights.

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Bluenose

Re: Could competition have worked?

And the problem with that solution is that you find yourself needing to swap providers every year as all your neighbours pile on to the provider with the best performance.

I watched my TalkTalk service go from good to OK to very poor indeed. Switched to BT which was very good, has no gone to OK and by next year will be pretty awful.

While changing suppliers is straightforward it is a right pain and I don't want to be switching suppliers every year, I want to make use of the broadband.

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Office of Fair Trading: UK.gov IT deals lack effective competition

Bluenose

No contract drafting required

On G-Cloud there is no need for the supplier to draft a contract that already exists in terms of the Call Off agreement. The suppliers only need to add specific terms and conditions for their offering as well as a service description and day rates (if required).

Most small suppliers are not in a position to negotiate changes to Govt contracts and to be honest most of the so called oligopoly are unable to get any material changes to the terms of such contracts. So everyone is shafted by the onerous terms and the need for everyone to be SC cleared even when cleaning windows from the outside.

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MPs blast HMRC for using anti-terrorism laws against whistleblower

Bluenose

Re: We want action @Mad Mike

What on earth makes you think he'll end up in Guantanamo? That's the last place they will put him. There are lots of other places that we don't know about within easy reach of a learjet that they can send him.

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

Bluenose

"negative wealth"

What the hell is negative wealth? Is it what people used to call debt? If you have £30K of student debt that is not wealth. You may regard it as an investment in an asset (a university degree) which may or may not result in an improvement in your overall wealth such that the debt is repaid but which ever way you look at it, debt is still debt.

With respect to the taxation of the rich, yes they are taxed in order to pay pensions, for the NHS, defence, policing, etc. But only partially for the benefit of the poorer people in society since believe it or not the availability of pensions, NHS, defence and policing et al is also provided to the rich and let's be clear the poor earning about a certain level also contribute to this at a level that is disproportionate to their income.

Oxfam are right to exclude the pensions and NHS plus all the other state provided elements of wealth from their calculation as these net out at zero in terms of value to all parties (rich and poor). The loss of paying for these items is however far greater for the poor whereas the value of state welfare is far more valuable the wealthy; think tax breaks for buying trees, not using farmland, investing in commercial property, etc. Also think about the tax breaks available for investing in other commercial ventures which mean you get the double whammy of reduced tax and potentially large investment returns.

As for the absurd statement that it is logical that 5 families own more of the UK's wealth than some 20% of the population, why is that logical? Why should it not be 5% of the UK has more wealth than the bottom 20%?

Redistribution of wealth is a bigger driver of progress than ownership by a few will ever be. Those at the bottom should and normally are always striving to improve their lot thus creating demand for goods and services primarily met by large scale industrialization and thus generation of employment and wealth. Those at the top always seem to be seeking greater returns thus generating more automation resulting in fewer jobs or paying of lower wages thus cutting consumption and reducing employment although not necessarily so in the country of low wages.

Wealth inequality will always exist it is something that cannot be changed but the question that Oxfam is really asking is to what should that level of inequality be; where those at the bottom have to rely on charity to feed themselves whilst the rich can pay over the odds for a tin of tuna? or should the inequality be reduced where all people are able to feed themselves to an acceptable level without having to go in to "negative wealth"?

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Bitcoin bust litigants fling sueballs at Japanese bank

Bluenose

Desperation creeping in!

Can't see any legs in this one. The Bank would have had to know the customers in order to segregate their cash. As thebank's customer was Mt Gox can't see how Mr Greene would have been known to them therefore to remote from the claim and thus no chance of winning.

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Reporters without Borders confirms, yes, lots of nations are spying on their citizens

Bluenose

Bit confused here....

Reporters without Borders says that:

The placement on the list puts the US and UK into a rather dubious group of nations that have been called out for censoring web access and cracking down on journalists.

So let's see the Guardian and other papers in the UK as well as various newspapers in the US have all been happily printing the press releases provided by Edward Snowden about how much spying is going on. Yet any other country on that so called list plus the majority of the others that are not on it would probably have shut down such newspapers, imprisoned the owners and probably shot the journalists. Please explain to me how spying on the citizens (and the extent to which the Govt actually looks at the citizens information is still unclear) equates to attacking and harming journalists.

I also note that like most trade unions or protective organisations there is no mention of those journalists who willingly print, present or communicate the lies and flummery of their own county's governments. For example are the journalists working for China State TV highlighted in their report as gang of toadies who will lie for money?

The whole issue of GCHQ and NSA is criminal in my view and without merit. As I have previously pointed out without actually having someone to watch looking for patterns in a massive load of data is probably worthless. But report such as this really piss me off as they are politically and emotionally biased in this instant in respect of two countries that actually do have, to the extent that it is reasonably possible in an imperfect world, a free press where journalists can go about their daily activities (phone tapping, processing stolen materials, snapping unsuspecting celebities in the street, etc) without fear of arrest or persecution (unless caught going about their daily activities).

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Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers

Bluenose

For me there is a basic question

Why are Plusnet users not using the Plusnet provided routers? Is it because they weren't provided with one, or perhaps the one they had is some what ancient and could really have done with a replacement when the owner extended their contract with Plusnet?

Trying to get users to do something more technical then plugging in the router in the first place is a waste of time and money. As the old adage goes "if you want something doing, do it yourself". Perhaps all ISPs should think about their strategy around routers and perhaps look at the cost benefit analysis of doing a users router replacement every other contract extension. Wouldn't stop the problem but might mitigate it.

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PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

Bluenose

Jobs, efficiency, better living: Bull.....

The real money in the IoT is the advertising. Smart Meter, lets you be flooded with lots of ads about better deals, milk run out; get ready for a slew of ads recommending healthier calcium delivery systems.

If the IoT becomes a reality my advice is buy Google and ad company shares because they, like mobile gaming, are likely to be the only people making any money out of this.

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British Pregnancy Advice Service fined £200k for Anon hack, data protection breaches

Bluenose

Why prosecute anyone?

I think people need to step back on this and think through why the BPAS was fined:

In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 the Data Controller (BPAS) as responsible for putting in place appropriate organisational and technical processes and protections to avoid the information that they have collected being obtained by third parties unlawfully or as a result of the Data Controllers negligence. BPAS failed to comply with any part of this legislation. The fine is therefore imposed for what could be considered criminal negligence if such a term existed in English law.

The purpose of punishment under law is to a)ensure some form of retribution against the breaching person/organisation; b)to warn others who may be considering or already committing the same offence; c)to support a public policy objective (in this case to encourage others to protect the data they collect); and d) to show the general public that they are enforcing the laws fairly and unequivocally against all breaching persons or parties.

On the basis of the arguments presented on here no-one should be prosecuted of fined if no one has been injured even if the law has been broken. Would certainly save on court and legal aid costs as we wouldn't bother prosecuting people who go out and try to murder people but fail (no harm done then).

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Hey, MoJ, we're not your Buddi: Brit firm abandons 'frustrating' crim-tagging contract

Bluenose

Re: Changing times

Based on past and extremely current experience I agree wholeheartedly with your view. You should also include customers who commit to dates before asking their suppliers if it is feasible to meet them.

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Bluenose

Actually putting something in to Escrow should concern any business

The idea that Escrow is a safety net is rubbish. If my firm goes bust the administrator has to be able to sell the assets to meet the company's debts. If the source code is in escrow and the customer or customers gain access to it and can get a third party to use and maintain it then my biggest asset (as a software company) is totally lost and the one thing that the administrator could have sold becomes worthless since any buyer of the company will not be in a position to seek software licences or support and maintenance fees from my customers.

Escrow may help the customer but it certainly shafts the developers and their debtors.

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Bluenose

Why generally?

If you get a photographer to take a family photo do you own the IP? If you get an architect to draft a design for an extension do you own the IP? The answer is no they retain the copyright in their original works which they have spent time and money in developing skills to develop so that they can create them.

Any company that creates unique ideas or products has invested in training, education, obtaining experience and a lot of other activities so as to give themselves a competitive edge in a competitive marketplace. Companies and particularly government departments do not pay enough for the services that they they receive to take ownership of the IP by default. There are however times when a company may agree to transfer IP to customer but that is in specific instances where there good and justifiable reasons to do so e.g. unique to a specific customer or in the interests of national security.

However, even in those restricted circumstances a company is still entitled to ensure that the customer only allows future suppliers to use the IP solely for the provision of services to that one customer and not to take it, commercialise it and flog it to other customers without ever actually having paid for or otherwise done anything material to contribute to its development.

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Chicago man lobs class-action sueball at MtGox

Bluenose

Re: Eh?

The proper question is what law was to apply to the contract that the parties entered in to and what jurisdiction was any legal action subject to? Many companies overseas will often enter into contracts under the law of a third party nation and seek to take legal action there. For example shipping companies and their clients will often sign up to contracts under English law and subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in London. Once the case is decided the winning party has a lever under which it can enforce the outcome in a local court since justice systems are often reluctant to ignore such decisions.

In this instant Mr Green needs to tell the his local court what his contract states. If there is no contract then the court will determine whether on the basis of the facts of the transaction it has jurisdiction to hear a claim. If there is a contract then Mr Green will be advised to follow the terms of the contract he signed.

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No, pesky lawyers, particle colliders WON'T destroy the Earth

Bluenose

Re: Aren't these couple of loons...

No the author pointed out that climate change is an innate part of the nature of this world upon which we live (otherwise the last ice age would still be with us). The extent to which anthropogenic climate change is a factor in the current rate of climate change is something that still needs to be determined. However there is overwhelming evidence to show that human activity does have some impact on climate (otherwise acid rain would be an imaginary weather condition).

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Facebook adds 50+ gender options: Stalking your 'Friends' just got more LGBT-friendly

Bluenose
Trollface

bigender

I would have thought this was a question of size or boasting to be honest rather than one of gender.

(Bad joke alert)

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Getting documents all too easy for Snowden

Bluenose

I think the idea

was to share with other govt agencies not to let some bloke pick and choose the most embarrassing intel to share with the media.

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Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

Bluenose

Bit confused here

My simple understanding of economics says that a country's currency is backed by a)its economy, b)the stability imbued by people's confidence in the currency and c) it can be impacted by creating too much money.

Bitcoin is constrained by the amount of coins that can be generated in any given period (23 per 10 minutes) and the number generated is halved every so often and finally (according to Wikipedia) the total number of coins cannot exceed 21 million. So where is the value being driven from? All I can see is that the low number of coins is driving the value. This suggests to me that the whole thing is a bit of bubble since the nice thing about electronic money making schemes is that people get bored (who remembers the land millionaires in Second Life?).

The other problem is that whilst the exchange rate is $900/coin the actual holders of the currency do not actually have access to 12 million time $900 in ready cash (since not all coins are sold at the value) nor assets to support that kind of cash demand.. This means that the currency has no support from an asset base which traditional currencies do, cause for concern?

Finally, apart from those who own coins or are trying to make money by trading the coins, there appears to be no overall confidence in the currency which would also appear to make it weak in strength since it only takes one major rumour to cause on run on those who exchange the coins for dollars.

I have fashion statements and Bitcoin certainly seems to be one.

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Save Ofcom! Telcos and consumer groups call for end to legal disputes

Bluenose

Re: A stitch in time

Sorry but that is unjustified criticism of the situation.

What is happening is that the large telcos are reviewing the regulations that are being presented and challengine minor technical points of law. Like everything in this world that has to do with judgements there will always be differences of opinion between parties as to the meaning of certain terms, phrases or sentences and in terms of regulations, those disputes must be resolved in a legal environment (i.e. tribunals in this instant).

I work with legal contracts everyday and spend a lot of my time agreeing with customers the meaning of specific clauses in order to ensure that both parties have a common understanding of the "intent" of the clause in order to avoid disputes later down the line. When those contracts deal with complex issues there will often be much discussion about the intent of both parties in the wording that is being proposed.

With respect to OFCOM I suggest that they add the traditional statement, that the regulations apply until or unless found to be illegal or void by a competent court or tribunal. That would put the rules in place first and any challenge would only be effective if it was found to be valid by the courts. Many of the current challenges are often lost by the telcos but the delays the claim introduces is of benefit to them. Remove the benefit and it may well prove it also gets rid of many of the claims.

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Cameron: UK public is fine with domestic spying

Bluenose

Re: Look you have all taken this the wrong way.

Sorry, have to reject your comment on the pork swording. As with everything in the spying world the issue will always be who is doing the pork swording and who is their neighbour. Diana shagging James Hewitt likely to be a big thing for the security services. You shagging Mrs Cameron next door would probably be of interest if you both live in Oxfordshire or Downing Street.

Knowledge of pork swording is I am afraid to say a nice bit of leverage for the spies of any country especially if one of the parties later moves in to a role that would be of interest.

That said unless your posting pictures or videos it is unlikely that the spies will ever find out since pattern matching algorithms and intelligence analysis of phone calls and internet mails are meaningless without context. You need to know who at least one of the individuals involved is otherwise how the hell can you tell that the 72 calls last week to that number in Birmingham are possibly terror related and not some daughter phoning up her mum to complain about hubby's latest transgression (which may or may not have involved pork swording the neighbour)..

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Yet another pricey Olympics' exec drafted in by UK.gov - this time for broadband spending

Bluenose

It might be me but

Here we have a major technology problem with various options around different types of technologies and in order to make sure that the public know how we will deploy the chosen solution the Govt appoints a man whose careers are made up of:

marketing directorships at Transport for London, and, perhaps more significantly, BSkyB. Plus his commercial role as a director for Locog.

Well I am sure that all of those people out there who are looking for a solid solution that delivers the goods will feel happy knowing that the web site will go down when they first order it, will have up to three opportunities to order it and if they are lucky might be able to place an order for something that no one else really wanted. But with the upside that the marketing of the delivery of the solution will be top notch.

Or am I being too cynical?? Personally I would have liked them to appoint someone with success in delivering a large scale complex and potentially bleeding edge IT project but then I was always fussy.

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How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

Bluenose

Not really racist

Considering the problems that America has had with ethnically Chinese people ripping off its secrets (state and industrial) on behalf of the Chinese state and industrial groups I think it is reasonable to assume that there is an opportunity for there to be an increase in Chinese spying via technological measures.

However, I don't believe that this should be an allegation limited to just China. Israel, Iran, India, France and many other countries have both the technological capabilities to undertake the same types of espionage as those which are being highlighted as performed by the Five Eyes consortium. Even just reading El Reg will enable people to know this since it reported on both the French version of PRISM and the implementation of the Indian vesion of a similar system.

China is however at the forefront of technological espionage since a)it produces the majority of the world's technology, the state has a vast fund of money available to pay potential spies and it has the biggest diaspora of its people to enable it to gain spies in pretty much any country in the world.

Racist, nah simply commonsense

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

Bluenose

Off to read my BT contract

I am pretty certain when I signed my contract with BT it did not include a clause that said "and you must tell us whether you watch porn". I am interested how a) BT will react if I refuse to press the buttoms the govt tells them I must press and b) how OFCOM will respond when I complain about the lack of competition in the UK broadband market because I cannot find an ISP who isn't asking me about my viewing habits and c) just for a laugh, how will V Reding respond when I point out that collecting information about the viewing habits of ISPs is in my personal view an invasion of my privacy. Oh and finally, what is that things in the Human Rights Act about my right to privacy!!

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Enraged by lengthy Sky broadband outage? Blame BT Openreach cable thieves

Bluenose

A simple suggestion

Why not rip out all that expensive and valuable copper cable and replace it all with fibre. That will stop the thieves, well except for the stupid ones who go a nick the metal in the cables alongside railway lines, but then we can always hope that in their greed they touch the one carrying a few thousand volts.

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MPs back call to boycott low-taxed tat from Amazon over Xmas

Bluenose

Re: Agree with most comments here...

Sorry, Amazon does not pay the UK Govt any VAT whatsoever, that money is paid by consumers as a tax on all goods that they choose to procure from Amazon. Amazon are actually the collector of VAT not the payer. In fact Amazon get to offset the VAT they pay for goods and services against the VAT the collect so they don't even handover all the VAT that consumers pay them for the goods.

I think that if you went through Amazon's books that you would also find that Amazon are in receipt of various waivers of business taxes and capital allowances in relation to their various depots. In fact the article point out the subsidy paid to them in respect of at least one of their warehouses in Scotland and they also received monies when they set up their site in Swansea so they are highly likely to be a net beneficiary of business taxes rather than a payer.

Finally the turnover is not the correct value to look at but the actual profit. However, due to the high interest rates that Amazon SARL charges Amazon EU et al the profits are skewed. That said if you assume a net margin of between 3% & 5% (not unreasonable in their business) then their profit should have been in the range £90m to £200m on their turnover which should have resulted in taxes somewhere between £25m - £60m against the 2£2.5m they paid.

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That toolbar you downloaded is malware? Tough, read the EULA

Bluenose

Re: EULA's are not binding if

With respect to your point 2, whilst a contract must have consideration a license is not the same thing. You may well enter in to a separate contract for the procurement of the goods which are in turn subject to a separate license which dictates how those goods may be used. Therefore a license is still valid without consideration; else why do we have the wide variety of Open Source license agreements for products which are often provided free of any charge?

Secondly consideration is not always monetary in nature, consideration is simply the provision of something of value in return for something of allegedly similar value. Therefore it could be argued that the consideration in this instance would be that the permission to allow the software to mine Bitcoins is provided in return for the provision of the functionality in the toolbar.

However, there in England and Wales there may be a number of legal points on which the user could argue against having accepted the license terms such as the fact that the mining of Bitcoins is not linked to the purpose of the toolbar. Where there is a gap in the relationship between the purpose of the software and the license then a court may rule those elements of the EULA which are not relevant to the use of the toolbar are void. English law also takes a dim view of EULAs that seek to introduce terms which the user cannot challenge or negotiate out so again the court may rule in favour of the individual. Finally, if the user incurs charges that were not made clear at the point that the contract was struck (e.g. additional power charges, wear and tear on the computer, use of bandwidth, etc) then this would be a potential breach of the Sale of Goods and or Services legislation and therefore unenforceable in law.

Please note I am not a lawyer but have an understanding of elements of commercial and contract law.

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UK.gov's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websites

Bluenose

I have a problem

And it really is a simple one. I have no desire to tell my ISP whether I want to access porn or not. I know they can tell by watching where I go on the net but that is allegedly illegal since it is a breach of my rights to privacy and if they say anything I intend to sue. However, if I refuse to say yes or no to the filters will I be able to access the internet. If not I wonder if that constitutes a breach of contract.

Now they are saying that the same filters that will block access to Porn will be used to block access to sites which are extremist but no one has defined what constitutes extremist of course most people in the UK will think that they are talking about Muslim jihadi sites but being of Irish descent I wonder if they will also block sites that call for British decolonisation of Norther Ireland or how about Argentinian sites that call for the Falklands/Malvinas to be handed back (as if they had them before) Argentina.

If these things come to pass, then I for one will sue my ISP for refusing me access to the service I am buying by implementing things that I do prevent me making use of that service.

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Eurocrats recommend right to sue American companies over snooping

Bluenose

National Security - oh in that case Data Protection can be ignored!

This call from Reding just proves how little people actually know about the law. If Reding actually discussed this idea with someone knowledgeable before going to the press then they would know the following:

There has to be damage before you can claim; just because someone collects your data does not actually cause you damage or loss therefore no claim.

EU data protection law has a National Security clause carveout; no claim as the US would no doubt seek to use that carve out as a defence.

As for the inability of European citizens being able to make a claim, like the American people can, well a quick check of the US constitution and the legal parameters around the NSA, CIA etc all show that they are not allowed to spy on American citizens, do we really think that they will agree a law that say they won't spy on European citizens?

Finally, the EU seems to be ignoring the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, no European country actually allows their citizens to sue them for doing exactly what the US is accused of. Perhaps putting the EU house in order might be a better approach than getting all het up over the American legal system.

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Bluenose

Re: The US (and Israel for that matter) are viewed as offering *equatl* data protection as the EU

Actually the US is not seen as offering "equal" data protection. Only companies listed on the US Safe Harbour scheme as seen as having in place business polices and rules that provide an adequate level of data protection. If they are not list on the Safe Harbour scheme then they are not approved by the EU.

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#ALERT! There'll be EMERGENCIES on TWITTER for UK, Ireland

Bluenose

Surely a better solution

Is a number of large loudspeakers in place all over the country on public building to send out a warning might work better as they:

a)can't be turned off when in a meeting

b)you won't miss the vibration alert when on the train

c)won't require people to have to join Twitter and

d) worked pretty well during two world wars.

Plus of course the problem is Twitter is only useful until the next big thing comes around. Mushroom cloud pictures on Instagram anyone?

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GCHQ tracks diplomats' hotel bookings to plant bugs, say leaked docs

Bluenose

Based on all the leaks

Do we assume that Russia, China, France, Israel, etc don't do this or do we simply assume that they have a much better approach to the recruitment of staff and maintaining their loyalty to King/Queen/President and country?

I am just getting a little bored of this one sided process of releasing information about the antics of the English speaking western nations. Does no one have any good leaks about the other countries situated on this planet? I am pretty sure that every single thing that has been leaked by Snowden and others is also being done by every other country to the extent that their ability to buy the technology lets them.

Perhaps the UK and US should take a tip from one of their global competitors around staff management and job termination policies.

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BROADBAND will SAVE THE ECONOMY, shriek UK.gov bods

Bluenose

Re: Short term gain, long term pain

I am personally happy to pay more for more my internet if it means someone gives me a decent service. The "full economic" cost where I live is the price of BT moving my existing phone line from an exchange about 3 miles away down some small country lane where it is pretty much isolated, to an exchange about 2 miles away which is connected to a major town phone network. In fact if they provide the digger, plastic pipes and fibre cable I will personally dig the trench to put it all in.

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UK public auditor, scourge of tax-dodging big biz, hosts its site on ... Amazon

Bluenose

Lesson in taxation part 1

Your assertion that Amazon should be treated differently to other companies is totally incorrect. Amazon like Apple, Microsoft, Captia, IBM, HP, etc is made up of a whole range of individual businesses for example AMAZON.CO.UK LTD is the UK business. In Luxembourg they have a number of businesses Amazon Services Europe SARL, Amazon Europe Holding Technologies and Amazon EU SARL. Each of the companies is taxable in its own right. To minimise taxes Amazon shifts money from company to company through the use of licensing fees and claiming that all contracts are signed with the company in Luxembourg even where the business is being undertaken in the UK.

This set up allows Amazon in the US to say it does not make any profits (which is not true). However the British tax authorities are not interested in whether Amazon makes money in America, it is interested in whether Amazon in the UK made a profit and if so whether it paid the relevant taxes on that profit. By use of its companies in low taxation states and the user of inter company licensing, loans and transfers Amazon minimizes the amount it has to pay the UK tax man instead paying lower taxes in Luxembourg.

American companies are taxed on their global (and not just their US earnings) which is why these companies will not repatriate earnings which have been taxed elsewhere to the US.

The techniques used by Amazon are no different to those used by all the other companies you mention.

For more on how Amazon structures its business to minimise its tax please see:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/06/us-tax-amazon-idUSBRE8B50AR20121206

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Every man, woman and child in the UK paid HP £21 last year

Bluenose

Re: Naturally *all* of those skills are delivered in house.

Having worked with numerous Govt contracts I have yet to see one that does not contain cancellation and penalty clauses. In fact the complaint from industry is that Govt contract can be overly punitive.

Biggest reason suppliers get away without having contracts cancelled is because often the cause of the problems is not solely the responsibility of the supplier.

With respect to penalties, English law precludes the inclusion of penalties in contracts. A failure under a contract can do no more than put the purchaser back in the position it would have been in if it had not entered into the contract, and see my previous point on that issue.

All Govt contracts like those in the private sector include SLAs and Service Credits these latter items represent the value that the missing of a specific SLA has on the business. In reality these cannot be set to high as doing so would preclude suppliers from wanting to do the business as the risks would be to great.

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Ofcom: By 2017, even BUMPKINS will have superfast broadband

Bluenose

Re: Bumpkin

Be warned.... you might think you're going to get 4mbps and you might well get it at the start but given time you will see it go down and down until at last you get so fed up you decide to change providers. Now you might wonder why changing providers would be the answer to a deteriorating broadband speed well here is the answer.

When I moved from TalkTalk (1.5mbps) back to BT (3.9mbps) I thought I was in speed heaven. However the speed started falling and is now below 2.5mbps so I called BT. The answer was when I went back to them they did not have too many customers at the Exchange but they had started to win them back. The more people come back to BT the slower the speed will get.

So at some point I will need to change provider again to one who does not have as many customers as BT in order to bump my speed back up. And all the time the exchange 2 miles away has fibre to the cabinet whilst my exchange which is a little over 2 miles away continues to be shown as no plans to upgrade on SamKnows.

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NHS tears out its Oracle Spine in favour of open source

Bluenose

Re: Cheaper huh?

It is very difficult to patent software in the UK or most of the world for that matter which is why pretty much all software patent cases are in the US (District of East Texas in the main). More importantly such cases can only apply to breaches pertaining to use of the breaching software in the US not elsewhere in the world.

Best any troll can hope for in the UK is a copyright claim.

(IANAL)

4
1

Blighty's SFO 'not conflicted' on Autonomy numbers probe

Bluenose

Why would using a product cause a bias?

Would people be asking this question if this was an investigation in to Bic pens or Shell Oil?

Just because people use a particular product does not mean that they are subject to any unfair influences. Do you think the SEC worries about its investingations in to Dell or IBM just because they use their computers?

1
0

Scottish NHS bosses say soz after 2-day IT ballsup scrubs 700 appointments

Bluenose

“Although 709 patient episodes have had to be postponed,

But they will be broadcast on BBC Alba and STV at a future date (probably after Independence Vote)

3
0

'Modern warming trend can't be found' in new climate study

Bluenose

But then again....

The IPCC report said that humans were predominantly responsible but not solely and in this report the scientist says

"At several places in the Mediterranean the winter and spring temperatures indicate long-term trends which are decreasing or at least not increasing,”

So ignoring the stupid simplification of climate change as only ever being responsible for warming, the evidence shows that the Eastern Mediterranean may also be suffering from some climate change but not the extent and in the same way as other parts of the planet.

At the end of the day, the climate is changing and those who deny it are like good King Canute who tried to deny the tide. Climates always change its the nature of the planet we live on.

3
0

IPCC: Yes, humans are definitely behind all this global warming we aren't having

Bluenose

Funnily enough

The BBC also reported on this report and pointed out that the committee say that the pause is to short to actually make any comment on in terms of the period over which warming is actually happening. Moreover they also say that the committee believe that human activity is the dominant reason but not the only one. They even suggest that humans are responsible for more than half the temperature rise.

So in terms of this report versus the BBC I think we can safely say that climate change is occurring, that there have been increases in the temperature of various parts of the planet and whether it is through human actions or natural phenomena we are looking at a pretty challenging period in planet history and one which will require all our human ingenuity to resolve. Using less resources and producing less pollution would probably be a good way to start.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24292615

6
6

French ministers told to use only secure comms post-PRISM

Bluenose

Not saying anything but...

Most big commercial companies I have worked with require you to change your password every 90 days.

So there we have it infrequent password changes explain all these government leaks and data losses.

0
0

400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

Bluenose

So like Spanish....

The question mark appears at the start of the sentence and not the end? Or is that a Marco Poloism

0
1

Don't tell the D-G! BBC-funded study says Beeb is 'too right wing'

Bluenose

Left + Right

So we have right wingers saying the Beeb is left wing and we have a left winger saying the Beeb is right wing. So the reality is that the BBC when compared to all the other media is pretty much neutral in the scheme of things.

In reality I think that most people would believe that the BBC is good at playing the devil's advocate when dealing with politicians and endeavours not to overtly upset the political party who control the licence fee.

3
8

Indian spooks snooping without ISP knowledge

Bluenose

Remind me again...

who provides all those network links to the call centres/data centres/service support centres of BT, TalkTalk, Lloyds and the hundred and one other British companies who have outsourced jobs to India? Is it these same ISPs?

So we are not only spied on by Western nations but also India and a host of other nations no doubt. At this rate I'll be worried about going on holiday overseas in case they're waiting to nick me for some minor infraction of their local laws. Then again, I wonder how all the outsourcers feel knowing that their customers data is being watched by the Indians or better still their customers.

3
0

Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet

Bluenose

Does anyone ever think about what they are writing.

Don't want to appear defensive in respect of the big IT firms but....

Do you really think that just because they get paid they are not concerned about these projects? The reality is that big IT firms like small ones are desperate for their projects to succeed. Without successful projects the cannot get reference sites/stories that they can use to win new business. A failure damages their reputation and credibility (ask Fujitsu and Capita) with new customers in both public and private sector.

If the project is going titsup then they will be called in by the relevant minister who will blame them and ask for money back, which is often granted for fear of impact on their ability to do business. The big suppliers are just as badly damaged by these projects as the Government and people without access to ALL the facts come on forums like this and accuse them of fraud and even theft at times or simply lining their pockets.

But here is why they are used; SMEs good though they are cannot accepted the limits of liability that govt puts in to their contracts. Nor can they take on the full project since they don't have the hundreds developers, engineers and other resources that are needed to develop a large project. If you use multiple SMEs on a project you need to be able to manage them and the management company you use will not have any contractual lever to make them do what they are supposed to. Worse still they compete against each other to try and win more business whilst blaming other SMEs for the problems. And ultimately lots of SMEs means lots of competing claims in respect of failures by the others which are impacting the ability to deliver.

Don't get me wrong the big IT players do get wrong and more frequently perhaps than they should but like SMEs they are dependent on their workers to do their jobs properly and on the customer to know what they are doing. Universal Credit like all such projects is probably having problems because of a mix of failings on the part of those involved from the smallest to the largest, from contractor to customer.

4
0

Guardian teams up with New York Times for future Snowden GCHQ coverage

Bluenose

Re: Yes Me history of the Guardian

Leftist bias, as opposed to what? The right wing crap spouted by the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Times et al or how about the fairweather reporting of the Sun determined by which political party is currently inviting Murdoch to tea or offering him the opportunity to own more of the British Media.

The Guardian is often to be found providing political opinions with which I find myself in conflict however, I do give it credit for taking a stance that is far more focussed on the common man than the wealthy and political elites. In this instance the Guardian has done the UK people a fair amount of good by exposing the fact that its Government and those that influence power are using technology to spy on them, gather evidence that can be used against them should they pose a threat and find's them a most untrustworthy majority.

As my old dad used to say, the Establishment uses its power and wealth to attack the working class claiming them to be potential spies and terrorists when in fact the majority of those who betray the UK are rich or middle class. The Guardian has now provided evidence to support this.

8
1

Google: Cloud users have 'no legitimate expectation of privacy'

Bluenose

Your correct in your interpretation.

In fact if you look at their example there are a number of factors that they are ignoring:

The assistant has been authorised by the addressee to open their mail; in Google's case can they show that the recipient of the e-mail has authorised Google to open their mail?

The assistant would process the mail in accordance with the addressee's instructions; do Google or is their processing outside of the recipient's requirements?

Any use of the information in the mail by the assistant for their personal benefit would be a breach of confidentiality and possibly contracf; the same could be said for Google's use of the e-mail content.

On that basis I don't think that Google could depend on the case mentioned. However, Google are in the clear as their T&Cs do state that they have this right and people have agreed to sign up to it. There are other products on the market that provide the same or similar functionality and therefore I don't believe the class action stands a chance.

2
0

Gov: Half of new tech spending must be made with SME suppliers

Bluenose

Read behind the lines

"Programme will be disaggregated for commercial purposes" roughly translates to let's take that contract split it in to 15 different contracts and make sure we take on 10 SMEs to do the work, ignore that three of them have to have at least 1-2 subcontractors and then wonder why the service is not as good. Then go out and find a Service Management Integrator (i.e. a company that knows how to manage lots of SME suppliers) and hey presto we have a recipe for even more chaos and f**k ups than before.

2
1

Cameron demands Brits BOYCOTT angry-troll-infested websites

Bluenose

Why can't you walk away@

If you are only connected to your friends and they are posting horrible things or bullying you then they are not friends and you need to walk away.

If they are strangers then a)more fool you for letting them have access to your account, posts or page. But you can shut down the account and create a new one (to which you don't give access) and then let your friends know about your new account.

Pretty straightforward if you ask me.

As for sites like Ask.FM as everyone seems to work on an anonymous basis only it seems to me that cancelling and setting up a new account would be even easier.

8
0

US federal judge: Yes, Bitcoin IS MONEY

Bluenose

Re: not quite

' unelected officials'

I though the US voted in its judges if the following is correct they certainly appear to in Texas

http://judgepedia.org/index.php/Texas_judicial_elections,_2012

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