* Posts by Kevin Johnston

957 posts • joined 6 May 2007

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Game authors demand missing ZX Spectrum reboot royalties

Kevin Johnston

So...

They say they never refuse a request for a refund but that is not the same as saying they actually process them.

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Irish! data! police! are! preparing! to! whack! Yahoo! over! that! hack!

Kevin Johnston

Yep, data protection breaches are a monthly or even weekly event, if you went the tax route you only get that once a year.

Oh I see, you meant...my bad

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Official science we knew all along: Facebook makes you sad :-(

Kevin Johnston

Re: Interesting research

It was such a struggle choosing whether to upvote or downvote this? I agree with you but feel that the moment of joy when you spot another misguided fool may be worth more to you than seeing another simpering Yes-man

Oooh decisions, decisions

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Gartner halves tech splash forecasts, blames the US dollar

Kevin Johnston

Ahh Gartner

The financial world's equivalent of the Guardian's ability to use a spellchecker

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BOFH: Defenestration, a solution to Solutions To Problems We Don't Have

Kevin Johnston

Re: Having a computer log of who is in the building

Kind of reminds me of an airline who shall not be named

One of their aircraft over-ran the runway and after it stopped the crew stood up, opened the doors and said...

Follow me

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Adblock Plus owners commandeer Pirate Bay man's tip jar Flattr

Kevin Johnston

Hey, don't knock AOL

It was thanks to them and their 'please join us' campaigns that I had matching drinks coasters. Every 6 months or so I could upgrade them to the new version too.

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OK... Red wire or black... *Clickety* You've emailed the schematic? Yes, got it! It's opening. And... WHAT? NO!

Kevin Johnston

Wi-Fi

How many of the Buffering and similar problems are down to this belief that everyone should have Wifi switched on at home to connect their tablets/phones/kettle? When I recently setup the router for our new provider my chosen SSID was swamped by 18 other SSIDs all with 3-4 bars of signal. Since that is more than the number of available channels then I just knew I was going to get continual grief from the wife/kids that 'the internet has broken'

BT are now upping the challenge with higher powered routers giving 200 metres of range meaning I get interference from 6 streets away and not just 2. How about enforcing minimal power so the router has a range of 20 metres, just how big is your house anyway?

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Confidence in £70m customs system has 'collapsed', warns Treasury Committee

Kevin Johnston

Re: You'll be needing us old ones then.

I think I may have some BAOR forms laying around, any good to you?

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More fun in the sandbox: Experts praise security improvements to Edge

Kevin Johnston

I wonder

How much of the 'leaps and bounds' of security improvements are simply down to the very low (sub-terranean?) start point?

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Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules

Kevin Johnston

Whatever happened

to that plug-in/whatever which sent random search requests while you were browsing (or 24x7 if you were feeling nasty) to mess with any tracking?

Even if there was half a dozen people on the same router, the real data would be swamped with garbage running something like that and the ISPs would soon give up.

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UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

Kevin Johnston

Re: Stop taking the p***

Were you to check I suspect you would find all the 'contractors' you are referring to actually are Limited Companies due to previous 'Make it up as you go along' decisions from HMRC which caused companies to stop accepting 'Sole Trader' self-employed contractors. The only way forward was for everyone to form a limited company.

This means the invoice has to cover employee costs AND employer costs already.

Oddly enough, being hit with IR35 doesn't remove your requirement to pay for an accountant to produce your audited accounts each year, not to pay for 101 other 'Ltd Company' things which don't just go away because the tax man has decided to ignore actual legal contracts in the hope of raking in a few extra shekels.

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Gov may need to splash £245m per year on IT contractors – NAO

Kevin Johnston

I ran a Limited Company before I gave up and reverted to permie roles but that was not through choice, it was because of tax rules put out by HMRC around liabilities which meant companies would only deal with other companies and not sole-trader style self employed people. This meant that I had to pay the employee NICs AND the Employer NICs also PAYE and Corporate tax etc etc etc. This meant that my revenue was taking a big hit even before things like accountancy fees and my role in the company meant I had strange exclusions on expenses I could claim such as accommodation whilst on training courses and these exclusions changed year on year.

I did not play the minimum salary and lots of dividends game as that way lay a deep internal from HMRC but instead paid myself in line with my previous permie rate and when I was sick or on holiday I paid myself enough to cover the critical bills.

I finally gave up when the HRMC started playing games with 'deemed contract' where they ignored any actual contracts which were in place and made wild assumptions about relationships to give them cause to investigate. All while selling their buildings to a Bermuda based company and leasing them back and other dubious practices.

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BOFH: Don't back up in anger

Kevin Johnston

Re: New technical terms.

Recent advances in confocal microscopy actually allow 3D modelling in real-time of nano-level anomolous profiles.

Although the last time I tried it looked like a dog had eaten my homework

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

Kevin Johnston

Re: The UK Tax system is no longer fit for purpose.

Why do you say it is regressive unless of course you are confusing flat rate (% of income) with flat sum (specific value regardless of income)?

The studies indicated that the rate would be lower than at present but the removal of loopholes means that the higher earners actually pay more than at present. Since they would be paying the same percentage as the lower earners that makes it fair on everyone.

Our current system is actually regressive as the people at the top pay less as a percentage than those at the bottom through helpful tax lawyers working the system. I don't care that Lord Soap pays a million in tax as it is almost certainly less than 20% of his income. The numbers they pay sound big but it is a lower actual rate than Joe Soap the road sweeper.

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Kevin Johnston

Re: The UK Tax system is no longer fit for purpose.

This has been mooted a few times now and the tax systems of various other countries have been held up as examples. In essence, the consensus was that a simple tax allowance and a flat rate of tax benefited the lower paid 90% and actually brought in enough from the top 10% who currently pay lawyers to avoid tax (remember children avoid is legal, evade is not) that the Revenue would get the same into their coffers and a tax return would be 2 minutes work.

The main casualties in that would be tax lawyers who would have to get a real job and amazingly this seems to be a major stumbling block, how odd.

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Dungeons & Dragons finally going digital

Kevin Johnston

Re: Please sir..

Red, Basic....in my box of special 'stuff'

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Kevin Johnston

Please sir..

They are not Rules, just guidelines....says so in my very very very old D&D (pre-AD&D) book

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

Kevin Johnston

Curious argument

They claim that the money received by FAPL goes to clubs, facilities and the wider community. Would love to have seen them nailed down to show what percentage actually reaches that 'wider community' rather than being funneled into pay packets at the club.

I should say though that I have a vested interest here....the more that football is bought up by Sky/BT et al, the less likely I will accidentally have it appear on my TV.

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Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

Kevin Johnston

Personal naming?

I gave up clever naming a while ago and for my home setup I just use obvious data. My mail server is called Mail, my printer is called HPColorLaserjet2600n, my son's PC is called The Fridge (the case has LOTS of fans) etc etc. As mentioned above, if I really really had something people wanted then they have the skill levels that they probably already have it.

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Tech titan pals back up Google after 'foreign server data' FBI warrant ruling

Kevin Johnston

Turnabout

While there are few countries in middle-Europe who would try this I could see Russia or China quite happy to use this to demand data from a US based server under reciprocity (if I have the spelling correct).

If that ever happens then the US are stuffed as they will not be able to block such a request without removing this legal fiction which allows them to try it on.

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Google briefly broke 'Droid Pay with last week's Android update

Kevin Johnston

I wonder..

Will the fact there were two updates in such a short timeframe count against users as they have now used up an extra update credit?

I will say though it is amazing how quickly these companies can react when it hits their bottom line

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BOAR-ZILLA stalks Fukushima's dead zone

Kevin Johnston

But...

do Fukushima Boar cutlets come ready cooked like Chicken Kiev did

Yeah, OK...that really was stretching too far but both the good jokes had been used.

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Kevin Johnston

Re: Testing

Sadly it is the usual situation where the test are designed around proving something works and not 'What happens if it is used like this?'

In one the device gets signed off in no time flat, in the other it takes months if not years of modifications to get a reliable piece of kit. Bet you can't guess which one is which :)

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US military drone goes AWOL, ends up crashing into tree 623 miles away

Kevin Johnston

Re: Stryker?

and there was me thinking the unit takes their name from the vehicles they use. You know, the ones named after two Medal of Honor winners named Stryker, one from WW2 and one from Vietnam

To be fair I thought it was a person and not two but I did at least know that much and I am a UK citizen with no military experience. Probably down to the books I read that I know this stuff

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HMRC emits IR35 tax calculator onto the web for UK contractors

Kevin Johnston

Tax calculations

The Two Ronnies had this covered many years ago with an HMRC planned 2 point form..

1. How much did you make last year

2. Send it to us

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Passport and binary tree code, please: CompSci quizzes at US border just business as usual

Kevin Johnston

Do they get a second identity like happens on TV in the Witness Protection stuff so no-one knows their dark secret?

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This ferry is said to weigh 250 cows. We say that is actually 20,600 Lindisfarne Gospels

Kevin Johnston

groats per linguine travelled

This has been touted as the most expensive transport for distance travelled. At extremes of low tide the river is only a matter of a few dozen feet wider that the floating bridge is long.

As yes, to all you pedants it is technically a chain ferry but try saying that and you will be marked as a dutton (or in more recent parlance a pile, come in bunches - go red overnight and are a pain in the arse), everyone knows it as the floating bridge.

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Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

Kevin Johnston

Re: Two Rules Apply

Oh dear....you have not learned 'The Response'

Is there something I may or may not have said or done which, if it has more than one meaning, I meant a different one?

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US visitors must hand over Twitter, Facebook handles by law – newbie Rep starts ball rolling

Kevin Johnston

Re: What is social media?

No, El Reg is too big as it is the little things that count

Yeah, I'm gone now

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Kevin Johnston

Re: But

So, was he one of those storemen that would not give you the last of an item as then he would have nothing for the next person that needed one? Or was he the type that wouldn't hand it over as then he would have no stock to count?

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Haven't deleted your Yahoo account yet? Reminder: Hackers forged login cookies

Kevin Johnston

Oh dear

What scares me is that we have stopped being surprised when this happens. These are technology companies who cannot manage simple security activities and treat their customers' data with contempt.

Comments above suggest various measures to try to stop this but there is so much aggressive apathy (Yes I know that is an oxymoron) from the companies involved that even if some Government Monitor tried to fine them it is hard to see them having the bottle to make it a big enough number to change things.

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Roses are red, violets are blue, HMRC confirms Verify can STFU

Kevin Johnston

Ah, but with the normal cost multipliers depending on phases of the moon etc, that changes to spending £2billion a year for 5 years to save £1billion

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Google to cough up $20m after Chrome rips off anti-malware patents

Kevin Johnston

Shocked I tell you...

Of course Google say the patents are invalid, I can think of 60 million reasons why they would.

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UK prof claims to have first practical blueprint of a quantum computer

Kevin Johnston

Re: Nominative Determinism?

It is, and then again, it isn't

Ah the predictable humour when the cat drags in some more dead/alive quantums

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Scottish court issues damages to couple over distress caused by neighbour's use of CCTV

Kevin Johnston

Re: CCTV is fine

Couldn't agree more. Needed to install CCTV at a previous address due to some unwanted attention from a group of young gentlemen who delighted in destructive behaviour and I took great care that the view covered my property and into the public road but not any surrounding properties.

Was a great success as not only did the young gentlemen get their day in court but subsequently I was able to offer the police video coverage of several car crashes (we lived on a junction with almost no visibility) where drivers were making very vigorous claims until they watched the re-runs.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth is delayed, Ministry of Defence confesses

Kevin Johnston

Yeah, best of luck with that door. This happens in all areas where there is a contract between a private company and a public body be it someone managing catering or pool cars right through to big ticket items like aircraft, ships and buildings.

This is a part of what everyone talks about as 'networking' and you would need certified Saint status to have been working for any length of time and never had this impact your career, either positively or negatively.

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How Lexmark's patent fight to crush an ink reseller will affect us all

Kevin Johnston

Re: major cause of landfill

I bought an HP Colour laserjet many many moons ago and it has survived three kids going through High School/College with various homework and projects along with my wife going through various College/Uni courses. I did run refilled cartridges once but it was not a success and I dumped them to return to HP stock. Cost per page is minimal and as you say, the small number of photos needing printing are best done on a commercial grade system.

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Internet of Sh*t has an early 2017 winner – a 'smart' Wi-Fi hairbrush

Kevin Johnston

You forgot the USB popcorn machine, now that WAS worth having

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Don't pay up to decrypt – cure found for CryptXXX ransomware, again

Kevin Johnston

Re: Why doesn't

@Hans1 - Good examples but rather than rebut the original comment they prove it. Many (most?) El Reg readers could handle this but the comment was about how practical it is for Windows users. Most of them are the very people causing the problem by clicking anything that stands still long enough and then clicking it again and again as it didn't do what it said it would. And then clicking it again just in case it worked this time.

This is like the old Windows security that allowed or even encouraged all accounts to be Admin level which then became a requirement to enable Games to be installed/run so that anyone with half a clue couldn't run their PC in a secure manner AND play games on it. The ransomware is taking advantage of sloppy default security but fixing that while leaving the PC usable is not a simple task

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Microsoft quietly emits patch to undo its earlier patch that broke Windows 10 networking

Kevin Johnston

Re: Dear volunteer testers...

<pedant alert>

Cock up is even older than that...it came from archery where the cock feather is at right angles to the bowstring when the arrow is correctly nocked and the arrow can fly true when loosed. If fitted the other way round the arrow flies off at a very strange angle as you have made a 'cock-up'

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OpenStreetView? You are no longer hostage to Google's car-driven vision

Kevin Johnston

Re: Portable atlas?

If you want offline then try OsmAnd. Currently available for most platforms and will even do route calculation offline

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Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

Kevin Johnston

Gosh, but it is sooooo useful

We have just moved and the new house has a smart meter and a wonderful monitor showing how excessive we are being with our energy usage..

Wow, so helpful...

Who would have thought that turning on a kettle to make a cup of tea was so damaging to the world? It took less than a week before we unplugged the stupid thing and stuck it in a drawer. How dumb does someone have to be to think this is meaningful information?

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Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

Kevin Johnston

Sorry, what?

Reading through this story I get a warm and cosy feeling as like many (the majority?) LinkedIn users I was winding down my use long before MS popped up. Once that happened it was the inspiration to make merry with my profile which saw any number of unusual jobs/companies suddenly appearing in my past to go with the continually changing date of birth colour of eyes etc etc etc.

Kept me amused for several weeks before I finally killed my account and I hope MS appreciate the effort I put make my profile appealing to data mining for ambidextrous polylingual bagpipe playing software imagineers looking for a new role in marketing Xmas pension funds

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US Supreme Court slashes Samsung's patent payout to Apple

Kevin Johnston

Re: Here is some rounded corner prior art

Try looking at the farm which Prince Albert (he of the Queen Vic fame) had built near to Osborne House. Bricks were used which had rounded corners on door/window openings and at the building corners to make them safer when farmhands were bumbling about. I have a feeling that may pre-date and mobile phone, not just the iPhone.

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Eugene Kaspersky is now personally defending your feet

Kevin Johnston

Round and round we go

Further to the Sophos comment above, many moons ago I had a pair from Dr Solomon

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Happy days for second-hand smartphone sales

Kevin Johnston

new opportunities to grow revenue and increase market share

Perhaps I am reading this wrong but should that not say something along the lines of...

Your new phones are so bad/expensive/meaningless that people are preferring over-worked second hand cheapness in ever increasing numbers? Can't be arsed to check the figures but this looks like second hand is growing faster than new.

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Forget 'shadow IT' – it's 'self-starting IT' now

Kevin Johnston

How about...

Unknown Provenence IT

I too have been one of those poor saps working to discover why the (your expletive goes here) Director cannot get mail on his phone any more only to discover he is now trying to use the Yamhanuchoki27000+ he found when he last when to the Far East. This being the same Director that wrote the Corporate Standards defining the IT procurement process.

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McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

Kevin Johnston

Re: The real reason

Those with long memories will remember images of 'British Pubs' in Spain with signs advertising Watneys Red Barrel for those tourists that only wanted to go abroad for some sunshine. The ones that didn't want to have to suffer that foreign food and drink and why does no-one offer a nice fish and chips like they get at home with a lovely cup of tea etc etc

Here's a clue people...celebrate cultural differences, it is part of what make foreign places ,well, foreign.

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Canada confiscates snoops' data nets after illegal trawling dragged up too much metadata

Kevin Johnston

Mostly legal?

Wow that is a wonderful phrase, so useful for so many situations.

"Well your honour, what I did was mostly legal as I can talk to people who are allowed to give me all the money they want to. The only bit that wasn't legal was where I said I would give them cement boots if they didn't rather than saying it was to make me President/Premier/Prime Minister (Delete as appropriate)"

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Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

Kevin Johnston

Stats

Actually I see it more that not even all of the most rabid fans of Smart meters would recommend them...

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