* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

2012 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Service? Industry?

couldn't be arsed to pay the kitchen staff some overtime

Doesn't that depend on whether the TG prima donna had a previous requirement for steak to be waiting when he staggered back from the pub, along with flowers and beer in his dressing room, warm hooker in his bed, or whatever? From the way the incident was reported he just rolled back the worse for wear and started the "I want a steak and I want it now, don't you know who the fuck I am?" rant, long after the kitchen was closed. Why should any hotel staff have to take that?

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BOFH: Never mind that old brick, look at this ink-stained BEAUTY

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: LP05

hack the VMS print symbiont

Ah, happy memories. Getting it to handle all the wheels on a Qume daisywheel...

Sadly, I too would have got excited about finding an LP05.

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Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

Phil O'Sophical
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Californian attire

"appropriate in a professional environment" - this is a show in California, so presumably torn shorts, tie-dye shirt and sandals are OK then?

Reminds me of Scott McNealy's reply when asked if Sun had a dress code. He said "Yes. You must."

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: My wife's car has automatic headlights.

I've found that my automatic lights will often turn off when the day gets sufficiently bright, even if it happens to be foggy at the time. On several occasions I've left home on a dark foggy morning, and noticed the lights switch themselves off as it brightens, so I had to manually switch them on again. A handy gadget at times, but no replacement for actually paying attention and driving the car yourself.

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Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Dot Matrix?

In theory it will print a compolete line in one revolution of the drum.

And makes a hell of a noise doing it, while throwing paper feet into the air if it wasn't in the guides properly. The band printers were slightly better, just a permanent ripping-calico noise, still way louder than dot-matrix, even they could get through a 2000-page box of fanfold in no time flat.

When I first saw a high-speed laser printer in action (looked more like an old-style newspaper press) it was truly eerie to hear how quiet it was, despite the paper spewing from the back.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Sheriff?

Ken Shirriff, surely? Also known for his reverse-engineered Sinclair Scientific, see his blog at http://www.righto.com/

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Sit back and let someone else manage your telephony

Phil O'Sophical
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There's no end to the flexibility required and therefore the system needs to be complex.

There speaks the engineer who designs the systems: "I can put a million knobs on it, so I will, then the customers will love me for making it so flexible."

Over 25 years our office (full of software design nerds) has gone from a small PABX that the sysadmins knew the password to, and which offered digital and analogue lines, voicemail, transfers, groups, etc. to a VoIP system with all sorts of bells and whistles, but with crappy call quality and where any change requires a service ticket with a 3-day turnaround.

You know what? Most people stil just use it to make phone calls.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Said like someone that doesn't work in telecoms

So no hunt groups, pick up groups, voicemail, synchronizing with exchange, presence, follow-me, least cost routing, permissions, time based routing, IVR,redundancy, multi-tenancy, call recording, auditing, multi-lines appreance, barge-in, PA routing, faxing, emergency routing, vpn's...

All of which, and more, were being done by the main exchanges long before they became economical enough to be added to PABXs.

Sure, if you have a private planet-wide phone network you may want that stuff in-house, although since the article suggests outsourcing them to "the cloud" you might as well call the BT network the "phone cloud" and outsource it back to them.

(oh, and I've worked in telecomms 30+ years, on both customer and supplier sides)

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Phil O'Sophical
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In the case of Mitel we are talking two five-day courses – far from a walk in the park.

Which surely suggets that the phone system is overcomplicated? At the end of the day it has a simple job to fill, establish a voice circuit between two or more endpoints, with some frills like voicemail tacked on. If it takes 2 weeks training to configure that I'd say it was time to get a simpler system. Sounds like modern smartphones that do everything but make the tea, have no battery life to speak of, and yet most people don't use 90% of the "features" that their designers stuffed in. It's the downside of VoIP, glueing voice comms onto a protocol that was nevere designed for it, instead of using dedicated equipment that "just works".

The logical next step is to ask yourself whether you want to own the phone system at all. If the service provider is looking after it, why not think about renting it as an ongoing managed service instead of spending upfront on the hardware, software and licences?

You mean like we did 30 years ago when we just had the local Telco install phones in each office, each with a line back to the exchange where all the fancy stuff was done by experts who knew the kit? Sounds reasonable.

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Google Glass DIED from TOO MUCH ATTENTION, Captain Moonshot admits

Phil O'Sophical
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Captain of Moonshots?

I guess he doesn't have a Facebook account then:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/16/facebook_community_standards_acceptable_content_update/

Is Google+ less picky?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Second, optional, XKCD reference

http://xkcd.com/1251/

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Galileo! Galileo! Galileo good to go after six-week recovery effort

Phil O'Sophical
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Black Helicopters

Re: "reached its desired orbit."

So the world and Europe in particular should be relying on the whim of Putin, Obama and successors for GPS and timing

You're assuming that the NSA or KGB doesn't already have a backdoor in all the Galileo satellites allowing it to turn them off, or transmit false data, when required?

We need a tinfoil hat icon...

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Cisco posts kit to empty houses to dodge NSA chop shops

Phil O'Sophical
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The addresses exist, they simply aren't necessarily associated with the end-user. Like me getting a surprise gift for my wife delivered to a workmate, so that the arrival of a mysterious parcel doesn't spoil the surprise.

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OpenSSL preps fix for mystery high severity hole

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "has to be written in C"

The point is, though, that it was written [in Pascal] by Dave Cutler (of VMS and NT fame) and it was done specifically because they had tight deadlines and didn't want to waste their time on avoidable bugs caused by buffer overflows and careless dereferencing.

Still a horrible language, though. Designed as a teaching tool that encouraged people to write 'good' code (according to Wirth) by making it impossible to write 'bad' code. Fine if your IO was limited to

writeln("Hello World");

but for any systems-level programming it was a nightmare. Each implementation had it's own, different, set of extensions for hacking the system which made it just as easy to screw up as with C pointers, but forced you to jump through unnecessary hoops to get there. Modula 2 was better.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "has to be written in C"

UCSD P-System was also mainly written in Pascal. It saw commercial use in the 1980s and into the 1990s. I worked with a system which used it running on a 68000.

I suffered with it on an Apple II, although IIRC it ran on the Z80 coprocessor card, not the native 6502. It had an implementation of Fortran as well, which violated the data type rules in the standard and so made anything with COMMON blocks tricky to port. Ah, the yoof of today doesn't know how good they have it :)

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "has to be written in C"

"complex operating systems written in Pascal"

<shudder>

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Musk: 'Tesla's electric Model S cars will be less crap soon. I PROMISE'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Perpetual motion

built-in emergency sail

Tacking down the M1? I've seen those drivers...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Those are what are known as "rental cars".

That model only works while most people don't have electric cars. If the majority of cars were plug-in electric the demand for IC rental cars would be unmanageable. There would be massive over-demand for rentals every holiday weekend, for example, but there would be limited supply, since hardly anyone would want to buy them. Maintaining a rental parc would no longer be cost effective.

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Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: energy for cloud-cuckoo land

Normal photovoltaic cells are heading for 20% efficiency. Even if they only get full sunlight for, say, 25% of the day, this would mean that 20m² of earthbound solar panels could produce the same net energy as a 1m² microwave satellite reception antenna, and the satellite would have to have 10m² of solar panels to collect that energy (allowing for the stated 50% conversion to microwave efficiency).

I still don't see how this could be viable, when you consider the relative cost of 20m² of earthbound solar panels, versus that of lofting a satellite with 10m² of solar panels + the ground station.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: energy for cloud-cuckoo land

the problem is the Sahara is a long way from major population & industrial centres

So is geosynchronous orbit.

Running a transmission line from the Sahara would seem to be a more manageable problem, achievable with today's technology.

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Pi(e) Day of the Century is upon us! Time to celebrate 3/14/15 in style, surely?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 9:26?

And who puts the time after the date?

You mean that we should really be waiting until the early hours of September 15th, 2026?

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LOHAN unleashes 'waiting for the FAA' collector mug

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Bigger Mugs

larger mugs

They're all fully occupied preparing the launch.

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Hurry shipmates - the black hats have hacked our fire control system

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Her two forward 6" turrets are trained on the M1's Scratchwood services"

I think Slough's expecting friendly bombs, not friendly shells.

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Life, the interview and everything: A chat with Douglas Adams

Phil O'Sophical
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Following the link from the article to http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/05/14/rip_douglas_adams/ it's interesting to see that he foresaw the Twitter app, 5 years before it appeared. Sadly he seemed to think it would be a good idea...

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LOHAN leaps aloft & ports into virtual flight logger

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Any closer

What about the Kickstarter tankards, any word on when the "arrives in kit form" issues will be resolved and the beerholders will ship? I have a pint here, waiting...

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Ouch! Google crocks capacitors and deviates DRAM to root Linux

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @Phil-O-Sophical

Well, mine had 1GB RAM and a 2.13GHz Core2Duo, but it's got more RAM now, and extra disks. Still runs fine with Windows (XP, it was that or Vista) but more often Solaris or Debian. It was bought as a combined home + work-from-home system, so I did go for a decent one. I suppose more workstation than home desktop.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @thames

I have yet to see ECC RAM fitted to any desktop from the humble Dell Minis

My old Dell Precision 390, bought 8 years ago, has ECC RAM. As far as I remember it made no significant difference to the price.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Phil O'Sophical
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For any situation where sockets are required there is one golden design rule. Work out how many you could possibly need, double it, and then plan for future expansion anway. And you still won't have enough.

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Gov and Capita again

known tax avoider?

Every company in the UK is a tax avoider.

Tax evaders are the ones to avoid. If you see what I mean.

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Tired of IoT hype? Internet of SLUGS and SPIDERS is the reality

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Former?

"Please use both exits."

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Top Euro court ends mega ebook VAT slash in France, Luxembourg

Phil O'Sophical
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So the VAT changes that were supposed to hurt companies like Amazon,

It's impossible for a tax like VAT to hurt a company, since it is always passed on to the end consumer. When it comes to VAT, Amazon and companies like it are simply the tax collectors for governments.

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Phil O'Sophical
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How do they determine the "downloading country" for this? My Kindle is registered with Amazon in the UK. If I'm lying on a mediterranean beach when I decide to download a book how do they work out whose jurisdiction applies? What if I'm on a French beach near the border and happen to have an Italian 3G connection at that moment?

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VMware sued, accused of ripping off Linux kernel source code

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Case..

GPL is a source code license, VMWare (by the entire case's main objective) isn't redistributing source, they're distributing binaries - things like copyright come into play in those cases - not source code licenses.

The issue isn't the distribution of the source, it is whether the binaries that VMware are distributing were created, at least in part, from source code which they acquired from somewhere else.

If they wrote the code themselves, they're in the clear. If they took source code from elsewhere and modified it then they are constrained by the terms of the license under which they obtained that source code.

Whether that code was open or closed source, and whether the license was BSD, GPLvx, CDDL or pretty much anything else apart from WTFPL, is irrelevant. If the code was supplied subject to a license, they must respect the terms of the license when they use it.

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GoPro cameras' WiFi security is GoAmateur

Phil O'Sophical
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It takes time driving around snowboarders and divers,

Takes a damn clever waterproof skicar as well, I'd have thought.

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How many Androids does it take to change a light bulb?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: IoT? WoT?

talking about our latest penis extensions / mid-life crisises, whilst standing in the utility room (because that’s where the kegs of beer are). Our wives, meanwhile, are in the kitchen, getting pissed on wine, and talking about schools*.

* guessing. I have no idea what they’re talking about really.

Comparing your penis extensions would be my guess...

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Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I dont know what to do

something of a security star rating

http://xkcd.com/937/

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I honestly don't know what to do about this?

This is the problem - ISPs don't "support" anything other than their own router.

It's not just a question of "support'. If you take the French market most of the ISPs supply a standard "box" that also has an RG11 on the side for a telephone, through which they provide free calls, and a connection to a TV decoder for streamed TV. It may also have a USB port for a NAS and/or webcam. Replace it with a standard or home-built router and you lose access to all the 'free' extras. It's a model that seems to be spreading.

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Euro ministers ditch plan to ban roaming charges

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I smell lobbyists

Hmm you say that it is not possible without raising charges but you acknowledge that Three do exactly that

No, I said that the phone companies won't want to lose the money, not that it wasn't possible. Clearly 3 see a business advantage in doing so at the moment. If it's enforced by legislation so that everyone has to make the prices the same there may be less interest for one company to stand out. It's the general danger with trying to legislate things like this, you don't always get the results you want. Bureaucrats unsurprisingly see more legislation as the solution to every problem. It usually isn't.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I smell lobbyists

There is a problem, though. The phone companies undoubtedly make lots of money from roaming charges, since the actual costs of providing roaming services are small, but if they're prevented from doing so they'll want to make up the costs elsewhere. Domestic calls at 10p/min, roaming at 50p/min? Require them all to be the same and you can be sure that the result will not be 10p/min for all calls.

Banning all roaming charges may help the folks who roam a lot, but not the (probably majority) of people who rarely leave their home country. If there's a real market demand for this, the market will provide, as 3 seems to be doing.

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EasyGroup continues bizarre, time-travelling domain crusade

Phil O'Sophical
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"The Panel Majority therefore finds this to be a case of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking"

And what effect does this decision have? Easygroup to pay all court costs on both sides? Easygroup to be fined for lying? Easygroup to laugh all the way to the next trial?

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: When I was a kid

Can anyone say whether it was effective?

The built-in degauss was really only intended to remove the minor magnetization of the shadowmask caused by moving the TV around in the earth's magnetic field, it wasn't man enough to deal with a small boy + magnet (I also discovered that effect :) ). Service technicians had big beefy degaussing coils that could be used for such cases.

CRTs are very senstive to such things, so much so that Sony (maybe others too) used to produce different models of hi-res CRT monitors for N. and S. hemispheres.

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Bad movie: Hackers can raid networks with burnt Blu-Rays

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "... avoid playing Blu-Ray discs from untrusted origins ..."

Any suggestions for an untrusted origin?

Torrented ISO images?

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Lenovo: We SWEAR we're done with bloatware, adware and scumware

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Ingredients

There ought to be laws, similar to what you see on food packaging, that list the ingredients of your laptop / device.

This laptop contains 56% zeros, 44% ones. This is 110% of the recommended windows allowance. Ones and zeros are known to cause cancer in the state of California. Please use in moderation.

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Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy: Hands-on gizmo-packed motoring

Phil O'Sophical
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carbon fibre-tipped Akrapovič titanium exhaust

Does it have oxygen-free spark plug leads, and a gold-plated fuel filter as well?

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The finest weird people in the world live here, and we're proud of it

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Homeless

What is very common in the US is to buy a coffee or fast food meal for people obviously sleeping rough rather than handing out cash.

Or to get the remains of a restaurant meal "to go", and hand it to the first person sleeping rough you see.

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

Phil O'Sophical
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FAIL

Re: However

Not as bonkers as the amount the taxpayer forks out to keep Betty and her inbred parasitic, racist, xenophobic, paedophilic, fascist (and that's just Phil and Chaz!) family. Betty gets more than £1m A WEEK, fuck knows about the rest of the cunts.

Bollocks.

The Sovereign Grant (which replaced the old Civil List), paid by the taxpayer to cover the Queen's official duties was £33m for 2012-13, likely to be £40m next year. It;'s handed over in return for the income from the Crown Estate, at an agreed 15%. i.e. the Queen gets 15% of the profits from the Crown Estate to pay for her duties, the taxpayer gets the other 85%. That's a tidy profit for the treasury, even without considering all the intangible benefits that come in from tourism, etc.

On top of that we get a constitutional arrangement that guarantees far more stability than having just another career politician in charge, as an elected President. Can you really imagine the catastrophic consequences of a President Bliar?

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Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there's no 'serious plan'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Too late!

The problem isn't that bad things will happen in 2038, it's problems with 2038 and later. Take out a mortgage today, and it will have an end-date in 2040, so your bank better be able to cope with such dates today.

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

Phil O'Sophical
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Would joe public actually vote for a candidate who truly represents them

Don't be daft. People don't vote for candidates they want, they vote against the ones they don't want.

Anyway, spend 10 minutes in any crowded place and you'll realize that Joe Public doesn't give a damn about who listens to their phone conversations.

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Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

Phil O'Sophical
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Perhaps TV is now as good as it needs to get.

I don't watch TV for the resolution, I watch it for the content. The content is 99% crap, so what's the point in showing it in UHD? It's just turd polishing.

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: TAX shouldn't be taxing

So living in the UK, sending your kids to UK schools, using the NHS and roads, while having your "salary" paid into a swiss bank, and doing all your spending on a swiss credit card with a fake swiss address while paying no tax

Might be nice if you could do it, but you can't. If you're "living in the UK" for more than a certain number of days per year then HMRC will consider you as being fiscally resident, and they'll want to see a tax return. They may make allowances for tax you've paid elsewhere in accordance with tax treaties, for example if your Swiss investments have been taxed at source you'll not be taxed again in the UK, but you will pay tax somewhere.

One way to limit that is to reside in a low-tax country, but even then you may need to convince HMRC that you have truly made a long-term move. Sending your kids to UK schools, using the NHS, etc. could well show that you still have an attachment to the UK and are therefore still domiciled there, even if you pretend your main home is in some Caribbean tax haven. There are a number of pop stars and sportsmen who've learned that the hard way.

Of course, you could really just go and live on a Caribbean island...

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