* Posts by Tony Bryer

14 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Century-old hydropower plant to run on fudge

Tony Bryer

How much electricity?

"An average UK home actually uses 22,795 kilowatt-hours of energy annually as of 2001"

I find this very hard to believe - at 10p per unit that would mean that the average quarterly bill was £552. My annual electricity consumption - a single person household, admittedly - has averaged around 2,000kWh.

The Google-isation of all the net's access points

Tony Bryer

The program formerly known as Chrome

"Called it Chrome? Didn't someone (hello Bill) use that name already?"

Yes it was RemObjects .Net Object Pascal, but on looking at their website, remobjects.com, its name has changed to Oxygene - if the name change ever made the news, I missed it.

HMRC disc losers still getting paid

Tony Bryer

Not as good as the private sector though

Given that the late Financial Director of M&S got a £550K signing bonus, worked for a year, and then - having seen the share price collapse - got a £500K payoff, this guy must feel short-changed!

MS takes Windows 3.11 out of embed to put to bed

Tony Bryer

More than a graphics shell surely?

"Windows 3.11 wasn't an OS. It was some flakey collection of graphics libraries and utilities. DOS was the operating system."

Surely that was 3.0/3,1, My memory is hazy, but wasn't it the case that 3.11 looked like 3.1 but bypassed big chunks of DOS for things like disk access: if not an OS half-way to being one.

UK abandons train and tube scanners

Tony Bryer

We are to blame

But we (I use the word loosely) deserve this because of our insistence that 'something must be done': any government which turns round and says 'stuff will happen' will be pilloried for doing so. If the idea hadn't been tried and dismissed, then at some future date when something happens (as sadly it no doubt will) the tabloids would have fallen over themselves to cast the blame on those who were offered the chance to improve security and dismissed it out hand without trying it.

Another example of the pressure to achieve security at any cost is CRB checking, 3.6m checks this year. Today's Telegraph: "Beverly was all set to volunteer for her five-year-old daughter Mary's school party last March. She was shocked when she learnt from a teacher that she was not welcome as she hadn't been vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/main.jhtml?xml=/education/2008/06/26/ftchild126.xml . As the article says, this desire for total safety probably works against those it is meant to benefit.

So, what can you photograph?

Tony Bryer

Title

A bus spotter has decided to give up his lifelong hobby of photographing buses because people fear he is a terrorist and even a paedophile. ... In the last year he has been questioned twice by the police and had to give all his personal details after people who saw him innocently snapping buses on public roads reported him.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23498006-details/Bus+spotter+forced+to+give+up+40-year+hobby+after+being+labelled+terrorist+and+paedophile/article.do

Sun may shut off high-end MySQL features

Tony Bryer

A *real* loss?

"it represents a real loss of $60bn in annual revenues to software companies."

Um, no. It represents a notional loss, which would only translate into a real loss if it were the case that every free open source user bought the paid-for commercial offering instead. Which, patently, would never happen.

DVLA's 5m driver details giveaway

Tony Bryer

Make 'em regret asking

There are valid reasons why DVLA should be able to do this, but IMO every such disclosure should be copied back to the person whose data it is. And perhaps this could invite them to tell HMRC how much in used notes they actually paid the firm which asked for the data. Al Capone got put away for tax evasion; I'm sure that more than a few parking enforcement firm bosses are just as deserving.

IT contractors cry foul over HMRC income splitting law

Tony Bryer

Title

"Take this scenario for example, you have a married couple working alone as joint directors of the company. Both genuinely put 40hrs a week work in with one being the main fee-earner and the other being the behind-the-scenes person doing everything from accounts to phone answering and everything else that keeps a small company running"

There are lots of businesses like this - plumbers, vets etc - where there is a signficant input from both parties, and it would be hard on them if their respective contributions were not recognised. And if there was no partner the person concerned would have to employ someone as a receptionist/admin/bookkeeper for a significant number of hours for the business to operate.

But there are plenty more where one (usually he) is working on a contract basis for weeks or months at a time and the input from the other party is minimal. Their income splitting may be legal, but it puts two fingers up to the revenue, people like the ones you cited and those on PAYE who (school headteachers for example) probably get just the same input from their spouses, but unpaid.I suspect that on this subject those who make the most noise will be those least deserving of sympathy.

Microsoft stuffs Sage with free accounts software

Tony Bryer

And only £1000 (+cassette recorder)

Intuit must feel a bit threatened by this too. I've used QuickBooks for ten years and think it a really nice piece of work, but MS have already sunk Quicken and no doubt plan to do the same to QB.

Remembering the Commodore PET 2001

Tony Bryer

And only £1000 (+cassette recorder)

My software business's roots are with a PET: I took out a bank loan to buy one of the first 32K large keyboard models, and the program which has earned me good money since 1989 was first written on my PET (then moved to BBC then PC). Back c.1980 the UK Commodore Users Group used to send out magazines with code listings printed (IIRC) black on green - perhaps the world's first copy protected software!

UK Gambling Act is now in force

Tony Bryer

I'd sooner listen to those who get their hands dirty

Given that the Salvation Army run 50 hostels for the homeless, many of whom will have found themselves in that position through losing their money, homes and perhaps families in pursuit of one addiction or another, I'd suggest that they know far more about it that the vast majority of Reg readers ... or politicians for that matter.

Tony Bryer

Title

"TV advertisements will be allowed for the first time". ... You have to be a pedantic theologian or Daily Mail journalist not to see that the weekly National Lottery draw on TV is really just a TV advert for gambling.

Say goodbye to Office 2003, Microsoft tells PC builders

Tony Bryer

Small business rip-off

Unlike anon I much prefer Lotus WordPro, old as it is, to Word 2003 with its endless modal dialogs to change anything.

I would be more tempted to look at Office 2007 were it not for the pricing: as we develop and sell software I do believe that we should abide by other vendor's licences, just as we expect our customers to respects ours. As a home user I can buy Word/Excel/Powerpoint for £78+VAT. As a small business wanting these I have to pay £285+VAT if not upgrading. Rip-off seems an understatement.

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