* Posts by Franco

318 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

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You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's MY fault?

Franco
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Re: Had this from the IT tech side before

It's fine on the Hyper-V hosts, but this guy was using the same license on VMs and standalone servers when enough licenses had only been bought for the hosts.

It's 2012 R2 licenses so still 1 license per 2 CPUS in this case, 2016 has changed to per core licensing I belive.

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Franco
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Re: Had this from the IT tech side before

IME IT staff are pretty lax at it as well, I'm currently spending my days rebuilding servers as a previous member of staff used Datacenter Edition on everything no matter what. There was an unholy glint in the eye of the Microsoft Partner who carried out the audit when he found that....

I do get the similar half accusing, half polite "Who the fuck are you?" attitude when I go to sites. Last time though, it was for an interview, where of course the Recruitment Consultant had doctored the job description so I had no clue exactly what the job was and the guy interviewing me had forgotten to tell reception I was coming. Both things my fault of course.

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The award for worst ISP goes to... it starts with Talk and ends with Talk

Franco
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I left BT for Origin some time ago and am very happy with them.

The only thing worse than BT's customer service is their hardware, the routers I had were utterly unfit for purpose

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Compsci degrees aren't returning on investment for coders – research

Franco
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Can't speak specifically about devs, cos I'm not one, but I do have a degree in CompSci and work in infrastructure. The costs are likely to be even higher than just the degree, as most places (IME/YMMV) will also require professional certifications such as an MCSA/E, CCNA or VCP, none of which are particularly cheap to a student or recent graduate.

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'All-screen display'? But surely every display is all-screen... or is a screen not a display?

Franco
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Re: Playing with fire, Dabbsy?

I've heard quite a few bleating on this week about how great wireless charging is. Fairly took the wind out of their sales when I pointed out I have a Lumia 925 from 2013 which supports this, although to be fair I think most of the shock was that there are phone manufacturers other than Apple.

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Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Franco
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Re: Groups and Rooms

Clearly they don't. I have a Lumia 950 (won it, didn't buy it) which I am going to sell, so have switched back to my old Lumia 925. Lo and behold, I now have again:-

Flip to Silence

Proper Agenda View in Calendar (as opposed to every day saying "No Events")

Runtastic works as the GPS bug isn't present in this version of the OS

Cortana works in my car again so I have SMS reader and turn-by-turn navigation

and the only thing I have lost is Continuum, which I hardly use anyway.

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Franco
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Because God used DOS 6.3?

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The new, new Psion is getting near production. Here's what it looks like

Franco
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I can definitely see the market for this, I spend much more time emailing from my smartphone than I ever do on the phone and loved the convenience of HTC devices like the S730 or Touch Pro.

Plus geeks love a gadget. ;-)

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TalkTalk plans to bail on mobile in major shake-up for beleaguered biz

Franco
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Re: Worst Coverage?

Very similar for me too, I live near Glasgow and work on the other side of Glasgow at the moment but also with a fair bit of travelling. I get pretty good coverage almost everywhere with 3. Previously I had a business phone from O2 and the coverage was not as good, nor was the customer service. As much as comparing customer service from mobile providers is like comparing having rabies to botulism, 3 are about the best IME (Been with Vodafone and Orange around the time it became EE before moving to 3).

Never dealt with TalkTalk for anything other than business broadband and their service is, in a word, shite. Everytime I called them it was either my fault for not using their router, or Openreach's fault.

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Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

Franco
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Re: Smart meters and electricity storage

"Some people haven't thought this 'smart' malarky though very well."

That's pretty much the definition of smart to me. Smart is the generic buzzword applied to things to make them sound more interesting than they are, such as referring to corporate networks as "server estates" or "private clouds"

There's a sign on the office noticeboard here that says "Just because you can do something with technology doesn't mean you should". There are millions of old utility meters across the country getting replaced for no reason other than someone thought it might be a good idea.

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Franco
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I saw an advert on the TV for the smart doorbell the other day and though what kind of idiot thinks that's a good idea? It's not like the woman walking down the street wasn't surrounded by noise that would make it obvious she wasn't at home.

My utilities provider is also utterly determined that I must have a smart meter, and think it's very odd that I have concerns about devices being externally accessible from my house. They keep sending me emails with pictures of 80s telephones telling me that I don't use one of them anymore so why would I use anything else from then.

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Tech soap-opera latest: Alexa marries Cortana, will share custody of customers

Franco
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Fine until Alexa asks Cortana to ID the theme music from Terminator 2 and accidentally creates Skynet, only human extinction will come from us all jumping off cliffs or in front of cars because every electronic device on the planet says "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that" over and over again.

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Voyager antenna operator: 'I was the first human to see images from Neptune'

Franco
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Re: Wow - that's fast!

Nothing wrong with the units, although there technically should be a suffix to tell you what is being measured as the decibel scale can be applied to many things.

Essentially what it is saying is we need a big-ass antenna to detect this very weak signal though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel

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Drive-thru drive-by at McDs after ice cream no-show, say cops

Franco
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They have watched the news, the trouble is they then denounce it as "fake"

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 2017, unhinged: Luxury fondleslab that's good...

Franco
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Re: Surface Dial...

According to MS the Dial works with the Surface Book and Pro 4 as well as the Studio, so should work with this.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/surface/accessories/surface-dial

Not defending the prices, but I had a Pro V1, now have a Book and use a Pro V3 at work.They are very nice devices to use IME.

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Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives

Franco
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Never been much a of a fan of the bridie, always preferred a good Scotch Pie myself. Youngs the baker in Hamilton sell the best I know of, they don't have to be held upside down for a minute before eating to let the grease drip out and the meat is well spiced unlike the bland dross sold by Bell's in the supermarkets.

I don't know if this is purely a Scottish thing but if we are honouring the traditions of the football season then it should be washed down with Bovril. McDiarmid Park in Perth (home of St Johnstone) was the first ground in Scotland I ever saw selling tea or coffee, prior to that and pre-Taylor Report you could get four things. Pies, bovril, kwenchy kups and mars bars.

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Pre-order your early-bird pre-sale product today! (Oh did we mention the shipping date has slipped AGAIN?)

Franco
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"Yes, I still write in that direction. I am hoped to it finding fascinate."

I misread that as feeling fascination, and now have an annoyingly catch song by The Human League stuck in my head.

Any reference to the genius of Douglas Adams is always welcome as well. I have rarely in my life laughed as hard as I did the first time I read the argument about man disproving God because of the babelfish, and shortly afterwards proving that black is white before being killed on the next zebra crossing.

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Franco
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Re: Breakfasts around the nation

There is also a Full Irish and the Ulster Fry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_breakfast#England

I don't think it's something you can definiteively categorise though, we've already seen from the other comments that there are huge local variations across England. Given that it's often post-alcohol breakfast for so many people, what goes in will be determined by what's in the house.

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Franco
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Man v Food has a lot to answer for!

mate of mine lives in Bristol though, so I'm sure he'll have sample that one in Portishead.

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Franco
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Tattie Scone is another essential ingredient north of the border, and most of us up here will also prefer square sausage. It's pronounced "squerr", it's never called Lorne and it almost certainly isn't actually square, but such are the ways of things.

As an aside, seeing as hipsters are the cause of this article, a story from the 80s.

The Glasgow Herald (as was, now just The Herald) used to run a column called Tom Shield's Diaries for it's more irreverant stories. Concerned about the gentrification of Glasgow in the yuppie era, they ran a comparison of the working man's breakfast in the 70s vs the 80s.

Then:-

Bacon, sausage, black pudding, fried egg, tattie scone, all wrapped in a city bakeries roll

Now:-

Bacon, sausage, black pudding, fried egg, tattie scone, all wrapped in a city bakeries croissant.

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Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Franco
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I was given an Echo for Christmas. It's in the kitchen and only really used as a timer, cos it's fuck all use for anything else.

Audio quality is rotten unless you have external speakers, and it has trouble realising that you own the song that you ask it to play. Oh, and despite what it says you can't connect bluetooth devices without the app.

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May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

Franco
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Re: No contest

Go to purple alert!

Are you sure Sir? It does mean changing the lightbulb.

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Boffins start work on data centre to analyse UK infrastructure

Franco
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Not at all alone, my immediate thought was the chief consultant should be Guy Fawkes's ghost as he identified the problem in 1605.

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BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

Franco
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This sounds like a job for the BOFH, after all it's been a while since he's had a run-in with the coloured pencil department.

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Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

Franco
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Can I add to the list any company whose website pops up a customer satisfaction survey as soon as you arrive and before you have done what you went to the website for in the first place? This is (IME) a sure fire guarantee that their website is so shite that they know it and so will not ask for feedback after you have visited any page whatsoever.

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UK PM Theresa May's response to terror attacks 'shortsighted'

Franco
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This story is the example I have been using to try and explain this to non-technical people, the analogy seems to help them

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39744644/epidemic-of-van-tool-thefts-blamed-on-skeleton-key

A skeleton key meant for use only by locksmiths and law enforcement is available for a small fee online, and is the cause of a spate of thefts of expensive tools from vans. Now assume that the key opens secure communication channels rather than vans and what is being stolen is whatever data is in those channels. Yes, it COULD be terrorists talking to each other. Could also be medical information, bank details, communications between Governments, Nuclear Launch Codes or any of thousands of other legitimate uses of encryption.

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The nuclear launch button won't be pressed by a finger but by a bot

Franco
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In another adaptation that is nothing like the book, the portrayal of media sensationalism in Starship Troopers is also not that far from the truth. The aforementioned Chris Morris did something similar in Brass Eye as well.

Robert A. Heinlein's book inspired little but the title in the film, and the book is still considered overtly militaristic to the point of fascism by many, although remains on the recommended reading lists of many militaries.

On a final note, the same director (Paul Verhoeven) also did a fine job skewering consumer culture in Robocop, the omission of which is just one of the many reasons the recent reboot was crap.

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Franco
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"The trouble is IT security expects have the reputation of fast cars, wild parties and fast, wild women."

I must be going to the wrong parties, as the nearest any IT Security bod I know gets to this is playing Grand Theft Auto.

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Franco
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It's funny how the perception of art changes over the years as life starts to imitate it.

When The Running Man came out it was seen as a fairly standard Sci-Fi action flick, by the mid 2000s it was starting to look like a prescient satire on the future of reality TV.

Incidentally, although they didn't explicitly name Trump, Big Country predicted the future in 1991. The song was called Republican Party Reptile. Sample lyrics "he knows the surgeon's gonna keep his wife young", "he likes to play with the NRA and their toys". Well worth a listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im4EFEDSUVI

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DXC Technology looks to lighten the payroll six weeks after launch

Franco
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Re: The good news however...............

Likewise, my time at HP was one of the worst experiences of my working life. And yet if you look at the IT recruitment websites at the moment there are about a dozen contract roles at any given time.

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Majority of contractors distrust HMRC's IR35 calculator, survey finds

Franco
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Re: Yes, blame the tool

All the weighting certainly WAS on the Substitution clause, but all of the articles I have read (E.g. Qdos, ContractorUK etc) have said this goes against all the examples they are aware of with case law precedent, as there is also a heavy weighting on SDC (Supervision, Direction and Control).

HMRC also seem to place a lot of weight on using your own equipment, which I have long maintained should be explicitly stated as an exception for IT Professionals. It's fine for plumbers and electricians, but there are few situations IT Professionals would be allowed to use their own laptops, at least for those working on site.

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Don't stop me! Why Microsoft's inevitable browser irrelevance isn't

Franco
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Personally I use Firefox. It's not as good as it once was, the occasional random UI changes being particularly annoying, but I couldn't use Edge for the most part as it doesn't yet have a good adblocker. Opera on mobile for preference.

I WILL NOT use Chrome on general principle. I don't see how an article that takes a backhanded swipe at Microsoft for their own (indefensible) attempts at a one browser state cannot even mention Google's drive-by download tactics which are (IMO) a large part of why they have such a large market share.

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Franco
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Personal favourite in Windows comes from RRAS (Routing and Remote Access Service).

If you setup a site-to-site VPN and it can't connect it will offer you the option to check the unreachability reason (spectacular language I know). The most common unreachability reason is that the destination is not reachable.

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Franco
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Re: Public wifi?

""arse handed to you on a plate."

Don't say things like that. It'll be on the menu in no time at all."

It won't be on a plate, anywhere hipster enough to try such a thing would serve it on a breadboard or in a frying pan or something equally ridiculous.

Kudos also for the Denis Leary reference. That was from 1997 and is well worth a watch although entirely NSFW

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f_dxLiuXuw

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It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality

Franco
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They never really learnt the lesson of backing the wrong standards, or at least kept trying to promote their own.

I remember trying to get a game working on my cousin's PC, which was an IBM Aptiva and it must have been in the mid 90s or so as it ran Win95 and had a Pentium chip in it. Certainly it was long after sound cards had settled on either Sound Blaster or AdLib compatibility, but IBM were persisting with MWave, their combined modem/sound cards that were compatible with feck all.

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Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

Franco
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Another interesting article.

If you are in the UK, it's well worth checking out Channel 4's series "Great Canal Journeys" presented by Timothy West and Prunella Scales and available on demand on All4. They cruise the Caledonian in one episode, and the Crinan in the next.

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IT contractors behind IR35 calculator to leave HMRC... because of IR35

Franco
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Re: changing opinion

I am reminded of the old PC Game Megarace, which was well renowned for the fake prizes contestants could win after races.

One of them was "Light the Bonfire", the sure-fire witch test. It's tagline was "If they don't die, those babes are guilty as hell."

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Home Office accused of blocking UK public's scrutiny of Snoopers' Charter

Franco
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Re: doubling the response time

Don't need Github for that.

V1.0. All your data are belong to us

V1.1. Unless you are an MP, you're exempt cos we're sure you are reliable and trust worthy.

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I need an ISP that offers IPv6. Virgin Media: Whatevs, nerd

Franco
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Virgin have always been behind the curve. About 10 years ago they were still dishing out dynamic IPs to business customers and wouldn't issue statics under any circumstances. Apparently they had never heard of mail servers being blacklisted for such things. And then a few years ago when they started issuing the "Superhub" routers they shipped them with VPN passthrough disabled and couldn't understand why business customers wanted the setting changed.

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UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

Franco
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Re: Off at a tangent - providing cover for absences

Depends on the situation and the client, I've never had to do it myself but the idea is that you would subcontract another PSC to do the work in your place, and the client maintains a right of veto over the substitute but only on "reasonable" grounds. I.e they can't say we want Clifton Shallot becuase we always get him, but if the substitute is not as qualified, or lacks appropriate clearance (E.g. SC Clearance, Disclosure checks, FCA Background Checks) then the client can veto them.

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MPs slam 'dismal' cost savings of government procurement body

Franco
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Re: Or could it be...

Likewise msage. I tried to order some 10GB SFP+ Cards for a project from the preferred supplier and the price had more than doubled from previous purchase. Not only that, despite the fact it's end of FY and everyone is desperate to get their orders up to date they couldn't fulfill the order until 30th March and didn't bother to tell anyone this until quizzed about why they haven't arrived yet.

Went to another supplier last Wednesday, had them by Friday lunchtime for less than the price of the preferred supplier BEFORE the hike.

Centralising the purchasing is a good idea in theory, but the suppliers are guilty of some ridiculous price gouging IME.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Franco
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Not just you Dabbsy, I was once looking at the network card properties of an ISA Server in Aberdeen and got the similar jump. And of course the disable button is next to the properties button, it's after lunch on a Friday afternoon, I'm in Stirling which is at best a 2 hour drive and the client whose server it is wouldn't splash the extra cash for iDRAC in his servers.

Much sweet talking of the office manager got it sorted without a trek north thankfully.

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UK.gov gears up for IR35 private sector crackdown – say industry folk

Franco
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"I reckon 90% of private sector contractors would be 'caught' by IR35 if the revenue had the resources to pursue investigations."

You may well be right under HMRC's interpretation of IR35, however most of the time when it is tested in the courts HMRC are often found to be in the wrong. One thing is for sure, IR35 insurance and review providers are rubbing their hands with glee.

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Franco
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Re: Govt just trying to get cash back for shite work done by contractors.

You are confusing contractors (individual people) with outsourcing companies (E.g. Capita, Accenture) and are forgetting that those same large outsourcing companies are the only ones benefitting from this.

The mass exodus of contractors from public sector projects will be picked up by these same companies as they will be the only people willing to do it, and they will provide less qualified people being paid less than the original contractors but will charge more.

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UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off

Franco
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Re: Why the obsession with Kodi?

I don't disagree with you, but I think it's to essentially anthropomorphise the issue by giving the "villain" a name.

Napster was pretty much the same with music sharing (although they got shut down by virtue of hosting the files rather than being peer-to-peer) and The Pirate Bay for torrenting

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Palmtop nostalgia is tinny music to my elephantine ears

Franco
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Re: A man after my own heart

I make my own guitar cables and will only use Neutrik jack plugs along with Klotz cable. Cheaper and more reliable than any brand of pre-made cable I have tried.

My preference is always to try and fix things, however my niece broke a pair of Skull Candy headphones a while back and their cable is so thin and flimsy that it just melts when you try to resolder it into a new jack, at least with my soldering iron.

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Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

Franco
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Do the fucktards who come up with this nonsense honestly think that people believe it is purely for anti-terror purposes?

Lets go back 80 years or so. Encryption wasn't an option for data transmission then, so instead the data itself was encrypted. Terrorist sends message encrypted via one time pad over an unencrypted channel and there is precisely heehaw that a backdoor can do about it.

Of course, if we have nothing to hide we have nothing to fear though.....

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Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

Franco
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What's changing is double taxation. If you fall within IR35 post April 6th you get taxed at source (Income Tax and NI) before it goes into your Limited Company, but still have to pay 20% Corporation Tax on retained profit. Further more, there used to be a 5% tax free allowance to cover the costs of running a company (E.g. Indemnity Insurance) which has been removed, and dividend tax increased this year as well and so has the rate for those on the flat rate VAT scheme.

The major shift this year is that if I am investigated now and ruled to be inside IR35, then I am liable for the shortfall in tax that I have not paid. Under the new rules the engager is liable, and many will either rule all contractors inside IR35 to be on the safe side or will use HMRC's new digital tool, which is also likely to rule inside IR35

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Franco
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Re: Whilst I don't disagree...

I didn't expect any outcome other than what we got, as every bit of feedback that HMRC has asked for but hasn't given the answer they want has been met with "la la, not listening" which included a petition that reached enough signatures for a Parliamentary Debate that they also chose to ignore.

My choices are to take the tax hit, or move to the private sector

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Franco
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Like others here, I am off on 31st march. Seeing as every petition, sitdown with Professional bodies and recruiters and engagers or survey that HMRC have had says this is a terrible and unworkable solution, we are now effectively at the point where exiting the public sector until such time as rates increase or this ridiculous law is repealed is the only power we have.

This benefits no one but large outsourcing companies like Crapita, who will take double or more the rate a contractor would take and pay the person doing the work very little

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