* Posts by Arthur the cat

660 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009

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Iran the numbers – and Persian internet is the cheapest in the world

Arthur the cat
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Re: Cost of Living

Or in the case of Burkina Faso, a years.

A quick look finds that Burkina Faso has a per capita GDP of ~$650 so $954.54/month for broadband is just a tad pricey.

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Back to the Fuchsia: The next 10 years of Android

Arthur the cat
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Re: Android One

and a base Android experience with guaranteed updates

I'll believe that when I see it two or three years down the line.

From this link from mi.com

"Mi A1 ships with Android Nougat, and will receive 2 years minimum of OS upgrades"

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World Vasectomy Day: 15k men line up for live vent-blocking

Arthur the cat
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Dear Register

Please sack whoever chose the image in the RSS feed.

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Google aims disrupto-tronic ray at intercoms. Yes, intercoms

Arthur the cat
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It's easier not having kids

although that's not really an option for those who already have them.

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Crap London broadband gets the sewer treatment

Arthur the cat
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There are two problems with using sewers for networking

Firstly, old Victorian sewers are often badly maintained, leading to unexpected collapses that are liable to sever the fibre. (In one case I know of, an entire double decker bus vanished below road level.)

Secondly, rats. They just love chewing on anything and everything. When Cambridge University installed their private fibre+copper network some years ago one of the key dimensions in the design was the widest a large rat could open its jaws. All fibre & cables were put into pipes larger than that.

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Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, look out for must-have toys that are 'easily hacked' ♪

Arthur the cat
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People who bang on about Lego and feet have obviously never stood on a UK plug.

A quote I found on hackaday.com a while back:

The UK has a fabulously rich history of ancient melee weapons, ranging from the flail to the mace and a bunch of odd bladed weapons used by the Scots. This tradition was passed down to the UK mains plug, the single most painful plug to step on.

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UK Home Sec thinks a Minority Report-style AI will prevent people posting bad things

Arthur the cat
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Re: Shocking

Calling Tom Cruise 'The Short Story' is a bit harsh

Remember the old Hollywood joke: fan is short for fanatic, hype is short for hyperbole and Tom Cruise(*) is short for a leading man.

(*) Substitute Mel Gibson if you like.

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Oh dear, DXC: Outsourcer loses two UK.gov contracts

Arthur the cat
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The DWP decided to in-source

At least they didn't give it to Crapita.

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Google, Volkswagen spin up quantum computing partnership

Arthur the cat
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For VW … quantum computers aren't yet ready for real-world use

Oh, I don't know.

Q: Are your vehicles legitimate, or are you fiddling the emissions test?

A: Yes and no.

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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

Arthur the cat
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It appears to be a rarity in the supermarkets for them to be given the exact money - which I calculate while waiting in the queue. Often they express surprise that someone can do mental arithmetic.

Having seen a shop assistant require a calculator to work out what 10 items at 25p cost, I think mental arithmetic has gone the way of top hats and flint knapping.

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Those IT gadget freebies you picked up this year? They make AWFUL Christmas presents

Arthur the cat
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Re: Horrible green stuff

When I saw the first mention of this green liquid I immediately thought "Green Chartreuse", which I have to admit is something of an acquired taste.

My first thought was creme de menthe. A drink so sweet you should not only avoid it if there's diabetes in your family, you should avoid it if there's diabetes in your country.

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Health quango: Booze 'evidence' not Puritan enough, do us another

Arthur the cat
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Happy

Re: Hardly a surprise...

Cannabis kills, that is a fact

The relevant paper:

Stoner, A; Toker, D et al. J. Drug Phys, Vol 420, pp42-45.

Abstract: In controlled trials involving dropping calibrated weights of cannabis a distance of 2 metres onto laboratory rats, the LD50 value was estimated at 376.2 kg +/- 17.8 kg.

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A future of AI-generated fake news photos, hands off machine-learning boffins – and more

Arthur the cat
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Explanation?

For those of us who aren't fully paid up members of the Church of The Blessed Steve, what does searching for "brassiere" on an iOS 11 device do?

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Can you get from 'dog' to 'car' with one pixel? Japanese AI boffins can

Arthur the cat
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ANPR

I wonder if this sort of attack would work against ANPR? Probably not, given the relevant (sub)image set is small and legally required to be a certain shape and size, but if it were the possibilities for mischief would be huge.

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Hewlett-Packard history lost to Santa Rosa fires

Arthur the cat
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Re: Minor nit, and a shameless plug (was: The unthinking ::snip::)

Everybody knows that anyone setting foot in the USA is bound to be returned home in a bodybag, or worse!

Yes, I went to the US to see the recent eclipse and they turned me into a newt!

Er, I got better.

Where's the Monty Python big foot icon?

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IETF mulls adding geoblock info to 'Bradbury's code'

Arthur the cat
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Well, at least it’s not useless garbage like the “I’m a teapot” HTTP status code 418.

I have an actual use for 418. Looking at my web server logs I used to see a lot of dodgy crawlers accessing the site by address with no SNI or the dotted quad as SNI. Rather than reply with a default site, I used to specifically 404 such requests, but the crawlers kept coming back. For a laugh I tried returning 418 instead (complete with error page with image of a teapot) and found that stopped most of them coming back. It may not be strictly correct, as there's no teapot present, but it works.

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Curiosity rover gives Mars the middle finger, prepares to get drilling

Arthur the cat
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The rover has drilled 15 holes in Mars over the past three years

I've known builders who couldn't match that productivity. Unfortunately.

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Google: We don't have a quantum computer yet, but we have a compiler

Arthur the cat
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Re: Is this sarcasm or a troll?

It would be great if El Reg added a "block user" feature, a personalized black-list.

Sadly I have but one up vote to give you.

How about it El Reg? There are several window lickers(*) round here I'd love to block.

(*) Note that this is not a remark about any Microsoft product, current or no longer supported.

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'Screaming' man fined $149 for singing 'Everybody Dance Now'

Arthur the cat
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If I ever get a ticket, I want it to be for this.

A friend of mine got a moving traffic offence ticket, at zero mph with the engine switched off and the handbrake on.

He was waiting for a temporary traffic signal on a very long cycle, so switched the engine off and put the brake on. Unfortunately, he'd just flown back into the country, was jet lagged to hell and had a massive sleep deficit, so nodded off while waiting and stayed asleep through several cycles, oblivious to people sounding their horns at him. In the end the police turned up, breathalysed him, found he was stone cold sober but very tired, and rather apologetically gave him a ticket. He went to the magistrates court trying to argue that as he wasn't moving it couldn't be a moving traffic offence, but didn't get off.

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Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack

Arthur the cat
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If I were you, I wouldn't start from here

IMAP is a bloody awful place to start from, it's been accreting kluges for years and this sounds like another one. JMAP is an attempt to produce a sane version of IMAP that works well on mobile and as others have remarked, WTF not use XMPP which is an open messaging standard.

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Give us cash and think about the kids, UK tells Facebook and Twitter

Arthur the cat
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DDCMS survey on this area

The Department of Fun (Digital, Kultcha, Meeja and Spurt) have an online survey connected to this green paper. The questions rather suppose a social media levy will exist.

Have your say here.

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Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

Arthur the cat
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Re: Mathematically impossible...

Actually the sign is correct.

Amber Rudd is talking to football manufacturers right now. She's quoted as saying "I don't see why they can't make footballs out of nothing but hexagons, it seems perfectly simple to me. If they don't comply, the government will consider legislation to make them comply."

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Moon trumps Mars in new US space policy

Arthur the cat
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Re: Law of averages...

Trump can finally honestly say that he has accomplished something !

Reinstating the committee means nothing unless there's money to fund the projects they come up with.

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Amazon told to repay €250m in 'unfair state aid' from Luxembourg

Arthur the cat
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Possibilities for embarassment here

Given that one Jean Claude Juncker was Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg for most of that period.

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What is the probability of being drunk at work and also being tested? Let's find out! Correctly

Arthur the cat
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Re: A certain bias, there

A lot of beers are significantly more than 2 units/pint.

2 units/pint = 3.52% alcohol. Sessions beers were traditionally ~3%, most beers in my local are above 3.5, some considerably above.

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Russian telco backs up North Korea's sole Internet link

Arthur the cat
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Re: Comments?

and no mention of that other 'Dear Leader' who tweets to the world his contradictory thoughts...

A thought occurs to me - has anyone tried feeding Trump's tweets to something like Eliza (or Parry)?

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FreeBSD gains eMMC support so … errr … watch out, Android

Arthur the cat
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Re: it's well-engineered an unencumbered.

An unencumbered what?

Batch, as in Benedict.

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Computers4Christians miraculously appears on Ubuntu wiki

Arthur the cat
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penguin carrying a crucifix

As Steve Bell fans know, this is why they carry crucifixes.

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Nobel Prize for boffins who figured out why you feel like crap after long-haul flights

Arthur the cat
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It's the same for fruit flies

What counts as a long haul flight for fruit flies? Across the kitchen? From one fruit tree to the next?

Enquiring minds etc ...

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BYOD might be a hipster honeypot but it's rarely worth the extra hassle

Arthur the cat
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Re: Just four years ago, Gartner reckoned by 2017....

If you search hard enough, there's probably a report suggesting that you write a CRM platform in COBOL.

Back in the 80s I met a guy who implemented a recursive descent compiler in COBOL-74, which didn't have recursion. He managed the stack as an array of records.

As for why he did it, his management wanted a DSL for some task, so he knocked up a prototype in lex and yacc. His management then deemed that as they were a COBOL shop and nobody else understood anything Unixy, all code should be in COBOL.

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Dildon'ts of Bluetooth: Pen test boffins sniff out Berlin's smart butt plugs

Arthur the cat
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Just what the world needs

More arseholes on the net.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: ...a number of...

How many of these things are.. erm... installed?

Normally one per. YMMV.

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Nadella says senior management pay now linked to improving gender diversity

Arthur the cat
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Trollface

So they've given up on improving their software?

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Playboy founder and dressing-gown wearer Hugh Hefner dead at 91

Arthur the cat
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Re: Limited access

When beaver shots became the trend

That was when I started referring to top shelf magazines as "Journals of Comparative Gynaecology".

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Arthur the cat
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// ...I read it for the articles...

I remember back in the mid 90s someone posted an article on alt.sysadmin.recovery with output from ps that included "lynx www.playboy.com", along with the comment "I guess some people *do* read it for the articles".

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You better explain yourself, mister: DARPA's mission to make an accountable AI

Arthur the cat
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Re: Being logical and reasonable is no guarantee of being right

The problem with explaining anything is that being being perfectly logical and reasonable is no guarantee that you are right.

Considering the US military accepted "It became necessary to destroy the town to save it" as a valid excuse, I don't think this project needs too much logic or reason.

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Dome, sweet dome: UAE mulls Martian city here on Earth ahead of Red Planet colonization

Arthur the cat
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In the entire history of space flight, some 56 years, ~550 humans have gone into space

And only 24 of them have gone further than ~200 miles away from Earth's surface, and at their furthest point were less than 1% of the distance to Mars.

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Microsoft gives all staff a marked-up 'Employee Edition' of Satya Nadella's new book

Arthur the cat
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Re: Beardy did it first

One page gleefully declared we should hug the colleague next to us.

That would count as inciting sexual harassment these days.

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Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

Arthur the cat
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Headmaster

Re: The whole thing's stupid

Amazon the rain forest and river, pre-dates Amazon the company by several million years, so they should take precedent.

In full on pedant mode, it's only been called the Amazon since the 1540s. Therefore it pre-dates the company by about 450 years.

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Boffins take biometric logins to heart, literally: Cardiac radar IDs users to unlock their PCs

Arthur the cat
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Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

people's hearts do not change shape, unless they suffer from serious heart disease.

Or severe grief, or surgery, or even extreme happiness.

Atrial fibrillation occurs in 7% of the over 65s, which affects the heart beat.

I'm also not so keen on being unable to unlock my phone to call an ambulance if I've had a heart attack.

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Brit broke anti-terror law by refusing to cough up passwords to cops

Arthur the cat
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Re: Damn it, 1984 was not a How To Guide!

Even the most authoritarian of regimes will not endure.

To quote CS Lewis:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Few, if any, in Westminster are there because they wish to be despots. The great majority are there because they wish to serve, but once inside the Westminster bubble they lose track of mundane reality(*) and their idea of serving becomes protecting an abstract "the people" from an abstract "the enemy", which regrettably must be done by temporarily restricting a few freedoms for the greater good. Those freedoms will, of course, be restored as soon as possible after the problem is solved.

(*) I've seen this happen to someone I used to be close to. It's not pretty but every step on the way they were convinced they were doing the right thing.

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AI in Medicine? It's back to the future, Dr Watson

Arthur the cat
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Japan's fifth generation project

As an SRA working in a university CS department I got to go to the UK conference on VLSI and 5th generation technologies during the early 80s. (The dodgy memory doesn't recall exactly which year or what the true conference title was.) The stars of that conference were the lead researchers from the Japanese 5th Gen project which was heavily hyped at the time. I was far too lowly to be introduced to them, but got to eat and drink with some of the minions they'd brought along as an entourage. I asked them if they thought they'd actually succeed. The answer boiled down to "probably not, but we've got 5 years guaranteed funding and we only need to meet a few goals to get another 5 years". When it's fashionable, AI is great for funding.

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Microsoft reveals details of flagship London store within spitting distance from Apple's

Arthur the cat
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Well at least I'm safe in the FreeBSD flagship store, it's a garden shed in Skegness.

Yes, but what colour is the shed?

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AI slurps, learns millions of passwords to work out which ones you may use next

Arthur the cat
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Password1!

Password2"

Password3£

A friend worked at a company that required password changes on the first of every month and refused to let you reuse a password. You could get into about half the accounts by using passwords of the form Sep2017 or 2017Sep.

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Programming in the Middle Ages: Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

Arthur the cat
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Beloved Community Licence

A perfect example of Poe's Law.

Strangely it doesn't mention tree/bunny hugging, so I think we need a fork.

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Mad scientist zaps himself to determine the power of electric eel shocks

Arthur the cat
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Boffin

One bit of history I've remembered

is that the ancient Greeks applied an electric eel as the treatment for a prolapsed rectum.

Icon because there isn't a lightning strike option.

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EU's tech giant tax plan moves forward

Arthur the cat
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Re: EU - making it up as they go along

One might very cogently argue that paying more tax now to avoid being slaughtered with a turnover tax later is definitely in the long-term interests of their shareholders.

Except that's liable to happen some time after Hell hosts the Winter Olympics. Such a change needs unanimous support from all EU members. All Amazon, Google, et al have to do is go to the Irish and Luxembourg governments and say "Nice revenue stream you've got here squire, be a shame if it got broken" and there's two votes against the reform.

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Just how are HMRC’s IT systems going to cope with Brexit?

Arthur the cat
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plans to digitise the tax system, while simultaneously untying itself from the £800m per-year mega IT contract. And that’s before Brexit.

Oh look, a Big Bang change. Undoubtedly it will produce a whole new universe - of pain. Probably for us tax payers as well.

Government IT, just say "run away".

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MPs accuse Amazon and eBay of profiteering from VAT fraudsters

Arthur the cat
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VAT lost to HMRC and lost to the UK

The VAT may be lost to HMRC but the money isn't lost to the UK, it's still in the pockets of the UK buyers who didn't have to pay it in the first place.

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Ex-EDS bod at DXC Technologies? Sign up to new pension scheme - or else...

Arthur the cat
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“The company would intend that until you do sign the document, you would not receive any future increases in your basic or gross pay (including bonus, commission and overtime),” Wilson added in his email

I'm not a lawyer but that looks like a bunch of constructive dismissal cases in the making.

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