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* Posts by Ian Yates

858 posts • joined 12 Jun 2007

Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

Ian Yates
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WTF?

Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

Quite right. Blind people don't deserve to use the web! We should allow everyone to discriminate however they want - freedom of speech!

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Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft

Ian Yates
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Re: The truth is iPad showed us

Did you miss Office 2007's ribbon interface, Win3.1, Win95, Vista, or Win7? They were all "a new, unfamiliar GUI" in their time.

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Intel joins The Document Foundation, pushes LibreOffice

Ian Yates
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Joke

Re: "a new OS will prompt people to get their wallets out "

Yes, you do exaggerate. It's Office 2003/XP not 98.

Actually, that's not even a joke...

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Hey Commentard! - or is that Commenter?

Ian Yates
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Coat

Re: Other considerations aside

"I guess we all know someone who repeats Python sketches verbatim?"

I don't.... oh, wait, it's me, isn't it?

(Ah, thanks. Yes, the one with the ex-parrot in the pocket, ta.)

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Ubuntu for Android: Penguins peck at Nokia's core problem

Ian Yates
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Pint

Re: Re: N9/Lumia

"Android that NEEDS such high performance hardware to achieve acceptable user experience"

Is this from your experience or just repeating what others have said?

I ask, because my HTC Desire (running 2.3.3) is single-core and I have it under-clocked to 800MHz so that the battery will last ~2 days. I chose 800MHz because I couldn't notice any difference to the default 1GHz (apart from some games that I don't play).

I could post a screenshot from CPU Master, but that wouldn't prove that user experience, so unfortunately you're going to have to take my word at face value.

I can't comment on WP7, having never used it, but the drive for more powerful, higher-core chips in Android phones seems to me to be around mobile gaming, since this is a big-money area versus iOS.

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Megaupload honcho sprung from slammer (for now)

Ian Yates
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WTF?

Re: Let me add some food for thought here...

While interesting, it's not exactly a new idea. 7digital did it with indiestore, but it wasn't profitable enough (I don't know what % they took) and there are/were others (MusicGiants did this, but I can't seem to find them anymore).

If it happens, good luck to them, but I can't imagine the big labels being too scared of it.

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Climate scientist admits lying to obtain 'Denialgate' docs

Ian Yates
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Mushroom

Pah!

I don't like that they've conflated the views on teaching evolution in science and not creationism with the "fact" of anthropogenic climate change.

One is a scientific theory versus a religious viewpoint, the other is an ongoing debate with much data still to be collected and analysed. Stifling the other side of the climate change discussion is not scientific and doing it in this way only helps rationalise certain people's view that the teaching evolution debate is somehow equally spun for an agenda.

(I'm not stating my stance on ACC/AGW, I'm just discussing National Center for Science Education)

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Proview wins new Chinese IPAD ruling as Apple threatens to sue

Ian Yates
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Stop

Re: Apple fanbois worried clearly.

Speaking as a fandroid, I think it's perfectly reasonable to disclose the state of the company.

You don't think the timing is a little odd? Why not speak up during the iPad 1?

A patent/trademark/copyright troll is a patent/trademark/copyright, be it Apple, MS, Amazon, Proview, blah, blah, blah. They are all behaving like little brats with little to no appreciation of what patents (et al) were designed for.

In this case, if Proview isn't just doing it to buoy-up their failing bottom-line, I'll be very shocked.

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Valve responds to Half-Life 3 grumbles

Ian Yates
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Joke

Re: I was let doiwn a lil with HL2

Why do I feel we've stumbled in to a private conversation?...

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LOHAN flashes fantastical flying truss

Ian Yates
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Looks awesome!

Out of interest: What happens if the parachutes fail to deploy?

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Texan TSA crew accused of nude scanner ogling scheme

Ian Yates
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Black Helicopters

Re: All pointless

I hope that's not your real name ;)

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Ian Yates
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Flame

Re: Re: On the upside

Not just what's in the bag, they stole our padlocks! We even had the ones with the special (highly secure, obv) bypass key for the TSA to use.

When I completed I was basically told that I must have put the wrong locks on. Since they took the locks, what proof would I have?

I avoid travelling through the USA now, preferring to do UK to Aus/NZ through Asia. Nicer people, nicer food, and they don't force my luggage open.

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HP's Whitman suggests Googorola may close Android

Ian Yates
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Re: Re: Re: Not hard to beat Apotheker...

So they're the Galactus of computer companies? I can see that

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Cupertino to ban permissionless address book copying

Ian Yates
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Re: Now do something for Android

Hmm... but what about GoSMS that has to read the phone number and name of every contact in order to show those details against the SMSs and allow you to pick recipients? Or K9Mail that needs the email and name of every contact so that it can autocomplete email addresses as you type?

A better idea is for LBE to be baked in to Android and drop the "all-or-nothing" approach when installing from the market, and permission escalation requests should have a short description on what they're doing with the data.

Every app will need to be designed so that if they want something denied to them, they gracefully fail.

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Google tightens its Wallet after PIN reset goof

Ian Yates
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Re: More secure?

I think he was referring to a physical wallet.

IIRC, the Google Wallet still has the maximum transaction and maximum wallet load limits, so it's the same as carrying (say) £200 around.

Presumably, being an electronic (and trackable) process supported by various banks, you're also covered in the case of it being stolen and used.

Also, why would they need to brute-force your credit card? Plenty of places still take signature (and don't check) or support "card-holder not present" transactions where the CCV and address (which is probably also in your wallet) is considered a security check.

I doubt I'll use Google Wallet myself, but it doesn't strike me as being any less secure than the alternatives.

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Sony 'fesses to Whitney Houston price hike 'error'

Ian Yates
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My only guess

If they weren't profiteering, is that they have some kind of news-monitoring tool that ups the wholesale price if an artist is mentioned in the news X times a day.

If true, they are probably likely to reconsider it after this ;)

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Hey Commentards! This pre-populated 'reply to' is for you

Ian Yates
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Mushroom

Next niggle:

How long until we can have some kind "replies" counter, so that from "My Posts" we can see if someone has replied to a comment?

I'd prefer that to getting an email about it, and the whole "you have unread replies" concept is probably too much for El Reg-style discussions.

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LibreOffice debugs and buffs up to v.3.5

Ian Yates
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I'm not a 2010 user, but isn't that just the old Text-to-Columns feature, but on the paste? I'm not saying that it's useless, but it really can only be saving 1 second of your time (Alt+A+E). Probably not even that, if you have to move the mouse to click on the icon to achieve it.

I disagree that MS really add that much at each release. The core functionality that people need 90% of the time hasn't changed since Office 97. If you're using over 65k rows, a spreadsheet is the wrong tool for you.

The UI improvements (especially around Paste Special feature being more prominent) are normally welcome, but I'd never spend the $500 per person that they're asking for in license to upgrade.

If it wasn't for the fact that we use a lot of VBA automated sheets, I'd push us to LO, but I can't bring myself to test and convert them all. (Yes, definitely the wrong tool for the job)

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Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards

Ian Yates
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Adult-only

As an early-teen, I remember finding my dad's LSL floppy-disk and had great fun learning the answers to the age protection questions, mostly around 1970s American politics, I seem to recall.

Don't think I got too far in the game, though.

Surprised you didn't mention Police/King's/Space Quest, which were essentially the non-adult version of LSL. All fantastic puzzle games.

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Lego builds Lord of the Rings collection

Ian Yates
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Joke

I'm concerned that one of your children is aging very fast, or fascinated by the fact that one isn't aging at all!

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Google drive cloud to rain on Apple, Dropbox parade

Ian Yates
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And it's optional

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Sinofsky shows off Windows 8 on ARM and Office15

Ian Yates
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Holmes

(b) isn't much of a prediction, since MS have said it from the start and this article stated it in no uncertain terms ;)

For (c) & (d), my understanding is the the native "Metro" apps will work on both platforms or have some kind of one-touch compile in order to support both (very conceivable, since these are almost certainly .NET-based, so technically architecture-agnostic).

(a) and (e) sound spot-on to me. I think MS will go much more for the Apple walled-garden approach, with a little of Google's "run unsigned apps" option - mostly for developers. This would fit in with an evolution of WinMo and WinPho.

Definitely interested, though. I think a light, low-powered, "true" Office tool has a market waiting for it.

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HTC Ice Cream Sandwich updates slip to late March

Ian Yates
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They've got the wrong people working on it

True, they probably have an updated version of Sense to implement and integrate, but the CM and xda-dev lot have even got ICS running satisfactorily on the original Desire.

Fine, it's not entirely in HTC's interest to update all of their models to ICS, but they're clearly making slower progress that the opensource community.

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New sat data shows Himalayan glaciers hardly melting at all

Ian Yates
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Biases aside, this is the perfect example of why everyone should get the information from multiple news sources.

That and taking any journalistic-rehash of a scientific paper with copious volumes of sodium chloride.

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Lenovo slates Ice Cream Sandwich for ThinkPad tablet

Ian Yates
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@Jim

Market leaders? I'll give you Skype (which they bought) and Office, but I'd be shocked if Hotmail and Messenger are still receiving anywhere near the traffic from the 90s/00s (it's all WhatsApp, BBM, Twitter, G+, Facebook by now) and every individual and company I know (yes, yes, anecdote != data), is using Dropbox, Livedrive, or Spideroak, based on their needs.

I tried Skydrive a couple of years ago and found it to be really poor at getting data on and off it, compared to Spideroak and Livedrive, that is.

I'm not disagreeing with you entirely, but apart from XBox and Winpho (separately), I don't really believe MS have a homogeneous ecosystem. Win8 might address that, but their previous attempts to tie in the desktop with Games for Windows and Windows Market are absolutely abysmal, to the point where I now refuse to buy games with WfG because of how seriously it ruins the whole experience. (Have I gone off-topic?)

Look at what Google did with Android and then Apple with iCloud. If I'm at my Transformer, I automatically have every photo, contact, calendar entry, paid app, etc., waiting for me from my phone. I don't see that with MS.

Sony seem to have done well with the PSP/PS3 relationship, but the PSP is a pretty niche solution compared to laptops/tablets.

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Ian Yates
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@Jim

Not sure what the hate is against you. I understand your point about having a common interface, but for me a common eco-system is more important.

I couldn't really care if the way I interact with my touch-screen phone and keyboard/mouse desktop was different, as long as getting data between them is easy and it can be opened on both. Things like Opera Link and Evernote, for instance.

When someone with an iPhone asks me what tablet is best, I point out that I'm a fandroid and say a Transformer but that the iPad would fit better with their phone.

I don't even run most of the same apps on my Desire to my Transformer - they're different solutions to different needs.

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Mozilla explains user-tracking proposal for Firefox

Ian Yates
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Black Helicopters

Longitudinal analysis

It's just the old "vertical"/"horizontal" knowledge term.

You've got lots of stacks of data (vertical), which if fully anonymised don't allow you to cross-reference people's (for instance) average tab count to their daily crash total. Adding a UUID (but not necessarily being less anonymous) allows them to add that horizontal connection.

True, it's nasty marketing talk, but I can see why they'd be interested in considering it.

As long as Fx users are able to see what is potentially sent about them, it seems harmless. Although, I personally always opt out of "anonymised usage collection" schemes.

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Avast! Mobile Security

Ian Yates
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Interesting...

I'm a long-time WaveSecure user and use DroidWall, but maybe Avast! is a good way of getting all this in one...

One question: free with no ads - what's their longterm business model for this? I don't want to switch to an app that's going to disappear without notice.

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Hackers may be able to 'outwit' online banking security devices

Ian Yates
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Alert

MitB

Actually, this is where the Barclay's system works and the HSBC system doesn't

With the HSBC system, the device gives you a completely random number that you type in to yet another box during login - at EVERY login.

But the Barclay's system means that the device generates a number based on a sequence you also repeat on the website (account number, etc.). So, unlike the HSBC method, the MitB attack would need to somehow trick you in to entering an account number and amount that you otherwise wouldn't. Plus, this is only for new recipients, so users should notice if this happens at an unusual moment.

The weakest link in this approach is obviously still the user understanding what the device they have is for, but the HSBC system is definitely far from secure (and bloody annoying).

Lloyds/HBOS provide a unique code (again, only on new recipients or large transfer amounts) on screen that you must then enter in to your phone when the automated system calls you. I can see how a MitB attack could trick someone to do that, but the user would have to ignore the voice reading out the account number and transfer amount.

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Troubled Game wins reprieve on debt, mulls axing more stores

Ian Yates
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In other news...

Seller in outdated consumer market is failing.

I doubt anyone's that shocked. Even with their sales, it's cheaper to shop online. Only truly impatient people and those that will be sad to see such shops disappear still visit Game.

I pop in to them whenever the other half has convinced me to visit a centre of shops, but I haven't bought anything from them in years.

Farewell Game, we knew thee.

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Android users more likely to put out

Ian Yates
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Joke

You must be holding it wrong

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Airbrushed Rachel Weisz gets watchdog hot under the collar

Ian Yates
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I agree

What about banning sales of the product advertised during the offense? Any false publicity they've gained is then moot.

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Ian Yates
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Unhappy

Stuff the pictures

when will they be held to account for the fake "science" and "vitamins" they spout?

And their vague concepts of "clinical trials" needs to be regulated, too.

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Sick of Ubuntu's bad breath? Suck on a Linux Mint instead

Ian Yates
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Minty fresh

Mint is definitely the no-hassle desktop I'm touting more than Ubuntu recently.

I love what Ubuntu has done to the "consumer" side of GNU/Linux, but the way they're going with UI is best described as "experimental" and is definitely causing some confusion with their original target market.

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Microsoft builds Kinect into Asus laptops

Ian Yates
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Thumb Down

Black Mirror

Just makes me think of that Black Mirror episode where everything was gesture controlled.

The same as desktop touch-screens: until they can come up with a HID that requires less input for more productivity than a keyboard/mouse combo, it'll never work.

Waving at my screen to go to the desktop is not quicker than Win+D, especially when my left hand is normally within a few centimetres of that part of the keyboard anyway.

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O2 leaks 3G users' mobile numbers to every website visited

Ian Yates
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GiffGaff

I'm on GiffGaff and it doesn't include the header for me...

Not aware I've used any unusual settings, so unless O2 have fixed it since the article was published, it doesn't affect everyone.

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Scalextric restarts space race with Star Wars craft

Ian Yates
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Ahhh! So when Lucas said he was done performing unsanitary acts on the films, he didn't mean merchandise tie-ins ;)

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Nokia exec praises Brazilian...

Ian Yates
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Headmaster

When does the axe become a different axe?

Not to belittle Nokia's achievement (their early phones are certainly worth high praise), but apart from the "S40" name, how similar can they really say the original 7110 OS is to the current handsets?

Obviously, the interface (now in colour) is not the deciding factor; but I'd be a little surprised if they still used the same memory control and general libraries after 13 years... If they are, they hats off to them.

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Ten... IPTV set-top boxes

Ian Yates
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If I ever meet you, I owe you a beer.

It might be £120, but that's a darned sight cheaper than my other options of replacing the whole kit.

I've tried so many things to fix it at the Windows-level, didn't even consider a PHY solution.

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Ian Yates
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Unhappy

Humm...

I'm looking to replace my custom HTPC due to Windows not handling HDMI handshake on resume properly (forgets to reconnect sound or screws up the resolution A LOT), but my needs are apparently unique in that I have yet to see a pre-rolled box that fits my needs.

The PS3 comes absolutely closest to what I want, but the 4od and ITVPlayer "apps" are just links to the website and shocking to use, and it looks pretty certain that Sony won't release a DVB-T2 tuner (of which I want a dual anyway)...

I know, pointless mostly off-topic moaning, but I've been trying to find a replacement for months and all of these IPTV boxes are tantalisingly close - the WD TV Live looks great (assuming WD start supporting more UK services), but I'd still need to buy some kind of Blu-ray and FreeviewHD PVR on the side, which puts me back in the switching inputs situation. (My better half wants the most hassle-free solution)

Suggestions strongly welcomed.

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FilmOn

Ian Yates
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Useful

This was great when I was in Paris on business, as it doesn't check your location so I could watch UK telly in the hotel (Transformer with HDMI to hotel TV).

I've used it on and off for ages; it's always had that dirty "is this legal?" feel, but it's always worked. Can't see why the commercial channels would complain since you still see the ads.

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Juror jailed for looking up rape defendant on Google

Ian Yates
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I came on to say the same: they made it very clear that looking up the case details online was a big no-no.

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Russia and NASA plan to COLONISE the Moon

Ian Yates
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I'm pretty sure it'll be a Domino's: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/02/pizza_chain_plans_restaurant_on_the_moon/

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Vodafone manages to fight off £3bn tax bill, claws back cash paid

Ian Yates
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"Do you really think that Vodafone plc completely avoids paying all tax in the UK?"

Yes, because they happily admitted to doing it for years - putting aside the tax they legally owed in this country in offshore accounts so that they could "work" it until it was asked for. Off the top of my head, they did this for something like six years before HMRC got up the courage to approach them about it.

Where the tax was "earned" is irrelevant (most of it was on-shore anyway); the laws on this country required them to pay that tax.

"Do you believe that one man's decision to "let them off" would be vindicated by the Chancellor, the Treasury, and the Supreme Court, if they actually legally owed £4/5 billion?"

Again, yes, because no one looked in to the deal at the time. Dave Hartnett was forced to declare how cosy the deal had got /after it had all been signed off/ (it was a little more than a few lunches).

His job was to chase and close large tax avoidance schemes (to rhyme with scams) such as what Voda were doing. True, there's the possibility that the contract will be retrospectively annulled, but I won't hold my breath.

Voda ended up agreeing to pay less than a quarter of what they legally owed (and knew they did), but DH let them off the rest and considered it a "good deal" (his words).

They haven't covered it in a while, but the Private Eye did some very in-depth coverage in to what Vodafone owed, why, and how they got away with it.

Not that they are the exception, by any margin.

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Thousand-gamer FPS fragfest shoots for world record

Ian Yates
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MMOFPS

This is where I want to see games like TF2 heading (obviously, with different maps).

The 16/32-player limits were fine in the '90s, but devs need to be supporting more massive games now.

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GiffGaff mobile network goes titsup for 3 weeks

Ian Yates
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Secret limit

I can tell you that it's over 5GB, since that's what I've hit on a couple of months.

I regularly do 2GB+ a month, and they've never said anything about it.

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android Tablet

Ian Yates
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Tempted

But I can't justify the price with the original Transformer at home (though, it does see a lot of usage).

Shame they couldn't make the Prime fit the original dock...

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Profs call for harsh taxes on sweet carbonated beverages

Ian Yates
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Government Maths

Looks like both your example and the one in the article suffer from the usual "have your cake and eat it" style of government maths.

On the one hand, they're touting the tax as a way to reduce people's consumption of bad_product_A; but on the other they're extolling the financial gains of such a tax based on the initial figures... go figure

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Bit-part actress slings sueball at IMDb over age gripe

Ian Yates
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Agreed

But hopefully she has some evidence that this is what has happened and isn't spuriously throwing claims around.

Seeing as she is a registered actress, is it not also possible IMDb got the information from more public records? (I don't know)

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SEVENTY-FIVE wirelessly charged devices will demo at CES

Ian Yates
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FAIL

"plugging in a microUSB charger in the dark"

Why, oh why, couldn't they have made the plug reversible?!

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