* Posts by unscarred

9 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...


Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

Would it make you feel better to know that despite working in Finance rather than IT I've also come to dread the word "JUST" when uttered by a PHB (yes, we have those too).

Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos


Re: Rich Tax Paradox

I know where you're coming from with this, but we kinda have that already.

Corporation taxes are paid on *profits*, which already includes employee salaries. Any company can reduce their tax bill by increasing their employees' salaries.

In fact, paying based on median (or any average) salary would be an incentive to pay the fat cats at the top even more, because that would shift the median upwards, thereby reducing the tax bill. Raises for the people at the bottom would have the same effect, but guess which one is more likely?

So why do companies pay based on profit? Simple, profit after tax is where money paid to shareholders comes from.

The problem comes where multinational companies use complicated structures, including intercompany loans, to optimise profit so it looks like it's being made in the lowest tax jurisdictions - for Europ that's frequently Ireland, Luxembourg, or the UK.

Forgotten that Chinese spy chip story? We haven't – it's still wrong, Super Micro tells SEC


Re: The simplest answer is usually the right answer...

More likely a misinformation campaign started by the Chinese secret services.

It creates FUD in the West, and supports the panopticon effect that China likes to use to repress activism at home.

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors


Am I missing something?

OK, here's my simplistic view of a solution, I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to tell me why I'm wrong.

Let's say you run a secure end-to-end encrypted messaging service like WhatsApp.

The 'good guys' come to you with a proper court order or warrant saying you have to let them listen in on messages sent to or received by user1234.

You send a software update to that user's phone that silently adds a backdoor to their encryption, and from then on send the decrypted messages to the 'good guys'.

Obviously, it doesn't work for messages prior to the court order being served, but that shouldn't be a problem.

What else am I missing?

Piketty thinks the 1% should cough up 80%. Discuss


data source

Tim, can you point me towards your preferred data sources? I've been using the OECD's Gini (at disposable income, post taxes and transfers) in combination with their data on relative poverty and median incomes from here: http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=46189#

About to make a big bet? Don't crash out, cash in with the power of maths


Re: Ahhh Monte Carlo - Cost Modelling

I've messed around with something like this in the past, now tempted to try and put it to more practical use. Do you just use a spreadsheet to do the modelling and presentation of results?

Should you lose your religion on your CV?


Sometimes easy to guess

I don't have my religion stated explicitly on my CV, but I do have my involvement with a charity described from which it's pretty easy to guess. I did think long and hard about that, and sometimes get a few surprised noises when they ask me to elaborate in interviews, but I don't think it's ever negatively affected my ability to get a job.

My opinion: don't flag it up, as it's not strictly related to your ability to do the job, but don't try and hide it either as it is part of who you are.

You should have the pride and personal integrity to stand by your beliefs and anyone prejudiced enough to discriminate on that basis is not someone I would want to work for.

IT contractors aghast as FSA evicts self-cert mortgages


honesty punished

Obviously it's a problem for those honest self-employed people, but the fact is it was abused by unscrupulous borrowers and advisors on a massive scale, making the credit bubble bigger which is why we're suffering so much now.

Something needs to be done, any suggestions of an alternative solution?

Imagine! Government to legislate against badness


Poison Pill

This law means that after the Conservatives win the next election they'll be tested annually against moving goalposts - the better they do the higher that 60% of the average gets in real terms, so sooner or later they'll fail.

Given the state of the country's finances, it'll be sooner.

When they fail they will be subject to a judicial review, which will make them look bad. Their only alternative is to try and repeal the law through parliament - which will make them look really bad.

In other words, it's just a trap to generate good headlines when Labout are in opposition.

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