* Posts by Ledswinger

5412 posts • joined 1 Jun 2012

Revamped Cortana finally lands on UK mobe mass market

Ledswinger
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Re: Ha bloody ha

Are they for real?

Most certainly are. In Redmond nobody can hear the customers' screams.

However, it should be amusing to see how few voluntary installs they get.

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

Ledswinger
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Re: 21st Century Economy7

cheaper off-peak energy could encourage running washing machines and dish washers through the night.

OK. Get yourself an E7 meter, fit your house with timers, run all your appliances at 02:00. Fine by me. But why should the rest of us have to fund a £19bn plus programme for that?

Also, very important to note that your fixed rate tarriff is an average against your expected demand profile. Translating that through mathematics and into English, if you have off peak electricity cheaper than your flat rate tariff, you have to pay more than the flat rate for the standard or peak rate periods. As of today you need 40% of your 'leccy in the off peak period for it to be worthwhile, but as a result of distribution code change DCP228, chances are that will be 50% or greater as from April 2018. Can you really use half your power between 02:00 and 07:00?

The other thing is that smart meters aren't about E7: in government's fanatical carbon-obsession, they expect the system to move away from predictable winter peak demand, to crunches between renewable generation and varying demand, so that the pricing jumps around unpredictably. So their ideal world is where we have a "dynamic smart tariff", and that means you and I pay the going rate on an ex-post basis. Not tariff table, little or no notice, just whatever the market decides is the going rate.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Energy supplier resonse

as it was a legal requirement to have a smart meter fitted by 2020

Well, it is for them. Only this very day British Gas Business got fined £4.5m for failure to complete the installation of AMR meters (a sort of smartish meter) for business customers, E.ON got fined IIRC £7m for the same crime months ago, and Npower are shortly to find out their fate on the same charge.

British Gas installed 42,000 meters against a target of 43,000. So the penalty is £4.5k per meter fitted late. From the suppliers point of view, they don't want to have the blasted things, but faced with being fined millions, how would you respond in their shoes?

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HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

Ledswinger
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Re: I am enough of a naval history buff...

And thanks to Brexit, our supply lines are likely to grow longer and more vulnerable.

Why? Are China and Saudi being towed even further away?

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New British flying robot killer death machines renamed 'Protector'

Ledswinger
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Re: ha! - Brimstone is a bit dark as well - renamed Jellystone

<i<The RN used to give its smaller ships friendly names like....Gannet.</i>

Friendly only to people who don't know what a gannet is.

If the twats who give names to military products had thought for about 20 nanoseconds, they'd have realised that instead of "Brimstone", "Hellfire", Statanic Death" or the other usual missile names, they would have had far less of a PR problem choosing names like "Gannet", "Kingfisher", and "Kinell".

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What's in Hammond's box? Autumn fallout for Britain's tech SMBs

Ledswinger
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Maybe investing in fibre rather than rail is a way of boosting the economy?

Certainly almost any use is better than spending half of the next decade's total government transport investment on a form of transport that provides c5% of UK passenger miles; And then geographically focusing that vast malinvestment on a link between two of the closest and best served cities we have; And that already have one of the fastest and most frequent high speed train services on the network; And where the "solution" still results in shittily located terminal stations unsuitable for onward travel or even for the existing network.

Fifty-five billion pounds buys a lot of things

Not when government are buying.

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Local TV presenter shouted 'f*cking hell' to open news bulletin

Ledswinger
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Re: Erm

Ofcom's rules say it must be a gradual transition to adult-friendly telly

Lucky Ofcom don't have any more pressing challenges, eh?

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HPE UK preps the redundancy ride as Chrimbo looms

Ledswinger
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Re: CSC as well !

At least VR was made available to those that wanted to try for it.

What? You put on some goggles, and were transported to a virtual 3D world of happy, productive employees, doing fulfilling, achievable roles, recognised and rewarded for achievement, offered development and progression? A world of shiney, comfortable offices, IT kit and networks that just worked, bosses who weren't arselicking idiots.

And then you take the goggles off to give another colleague a go, right?

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Ledswinger
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Re: As a recent HPe (US) castoff...

"Harambe could have done a better job than any of the lot, and cheaper."

Mugabe could have done a better job. And if paid in Zimbabwean dollars it would have been cheaper.

Out of interest why do US shareholders put up with such shallow, inept snout-in-the-trough executives? Here in the UK we've got some stellar under-performers at board level, but none that can hold a candle to the worst that the US has to offer.

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Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset

Ledswinger
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This implies that Intel did no testing,

I bet they did. But they just didn't care about jitter. It worked for most uses, the people who might be affected probably wouldn't have the knowledge, equipment and an alternative modem to to comparative testing, lets release to manufacturing!

Incidentally, for those who don't have an Intel modem, this problem of jitter is why playing real time gaming over wifi is patchy and unpredictable, albeit the causes are slightly different, and probably can't be fixed by a simple driver fix. If you've tried gaming over wifi, discovered it works most of the time and then goes pants, and retreated to a wired connection, then that's what Puma 6 users are enjoying over their wired connection.

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King's College London staggers from outage, replaces infrastructure services head

Ledswinger
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Re: One down...

Now the question is when do they get their P45s?

They're working on the basis that the human sacrifice of Frostick (by the sound of it only a contractor anyway) will placate the gods, and let them off the hook. He gets paid to the end of his fixed term contract, and thus nobody is really punished for a crime that is utterly unforgiveable.

I'm with you. The buck moves up the line, besmirching all along that line, and both Wright and Leake should be forced to walk the plank. But that requires some governance of KCL, and I'm not sure that institutions like academia or NHS Trusts have any proper governance or transparency.

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HMS Queen Lizzie to carry American jets and sail in support of US foreign policy

Ledswinger
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Re: U.S. has used Harriers...

an F-16 or similar will use more as they tend to engage the afterburner which gets through go juice like you wouldn't believe

Oh, I would, having worked on front line RAF stations.

You're technically correct in what you say, but you ignore the point that when using S/VTOL it does sacrifice payload and range, and that (even without afterburn) the fast jets on proper carriers have better performance. And if you;re using the Harrier in a non S/VTOL manner, why put up with the other compromises like the brick-like aerodynamics, the heavy airframe, and the severely anhedral plan that contributes to hugely unstable handing?

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Ledswinger
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Re: Classic...

The original timelines for both projects would have had the F-35s flying from the Invincible class carriers

That may be true, but by the time the QE carriers were ordered, it was well understood that the F35B was a crock of shit that would take another decade to get working and into squadron service. The reason the carriers were ordered by Gordon Brown was simply to try and buy Labour party votes in the West end of Glasgow, when the Labour party were threatened with annihilation by the Scottish Nationalists.

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Ledswinger
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and we get to fly the flag in a part of the world where we have a stake but have taken no responsibility for decades.

You don't think we gave up our stake when we surrendered HK?

Why should the UK "take responsibility" for the posturing between China and other relatively wealthy south east Asian nations, any more than those countries should intervene to ease the fractious standoff between NATO and Russia in the Baltic and elsewhere. For the UK to get militarily embroiled in (for example) the South China Sea territorial disputes will be a bizarre piece of international vigilantism.

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Ledswinger
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Re: U.S. has used Harriers...

the US Marines couldn't believe their luck and purchased all the British Harriers

Your translation is correct, but we should recall that the Harrier was (whilst clever and impressive) always a solution searching for a problem. Physics dictates that S/VTOL types are unstable and need huge amounts of thrust (=fuel) if doing short or vertical manouevres, and the unfortunate result is that they can't fly very far or carry heavy weapons loads.

When the Harrier was conceived missiles were big, slowish, expensive and of dubious accuracy. Nowadays they're small, cheap, portable and accurate, so you need to have your aircraft taking off and landing a very long way from the action. The reason the USMC want Harriers is because they're desperate to avoid the long term inevitability of being folded fully back into the USN. In the hope of avoiding that fate they need to maintain the concept of being a fully capable operation that is different to USAF, the US Army, and only links to the USN because they can't justify their own ships. That isn't knocking USMC, merely observing that the organisational structures are nonsense.

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Ledswinger
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Re: So, umm

but Americans still won't know where Wales is.

The Welsh might not want to go, but we could push them anyway. If Trump can build a wall, we could reinstate Offa's Dyke.

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Ledswinger
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Re: We'll let you give us your ship...

Most of your commerce with Taiwan/Japan/Korea travels through those waters.

I think you'll find that most of our Asian commerce is with China, by a very long chalk. And the idea of fighting China to continue that minority trade with countries themselves utterly dependent upon Chinese supply chains is laughable. What do they teach you Americans at school?

Also, this woulnt be happening if Britain built enough ships to protect its carriers, and kept planes to equip them.

Tosh, my dear fellow, tosh. Even if our sadly depleted Navy could field two battlegroups, one would be deployed in plastering the "enemy of the day", who seem to be Afghans, Iraqis, or Syrians, and the other would be sailing up and down the Persian Gulf in a pretence of frightening the Iranians. And if the RN had ships to spare, they'd be needed defending our territorial waters where currently Russian submarines can patrol with impunity.

Other than as a tool of US gunboat diplomacy in SE Asia, there's no circumstances where Britain would be squaring up for a fight with China.

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Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Ledswinger
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Re: Silly people

Veganism is about all animals, not just the cute ones.

Maybe you don't have animal blood on your hands, but life itself is a competition for resources and the chance to breed.

My burger means a cow got to breed, have offspring, and live in relative comfort and safety, if for a short time. Your veggie burger denied any cows life, and by you eating the veggie burger, you denied that food to either cows or other organisms. As for "not just the cute ones", I doubt that vegans can avoid treading on ants, nor are they happy to cohabit with rats.

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UK.gov was warned of smart meter debacle by Cabinet Office in 2012

Ledswinger
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Re: Consumer benefits?

So who benefits ? I can think of at least the following ...Electricity companies can lay off meter readers.

Smart meters have much shorter asset lives than the traditional induction meters, for the most part energy suppliers don't have the capital to play with so we have to lease the blasted things from rapacious investment banks, and we have had to make loads of system changes to get them to work (and that's before the joys of half hourly settlement and time of use tariffs).

By all means, choose to hate energy suppliers, but don't blame us for smart meters, and don't conclude that we're making money on the deal. Smartmeters are all part of the climate change agenda, brought to you by successive governments and the climate change "research" industry (which incidentally isn't powerpoint wielding consultants, but selectively funded scientists).

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Ledswinger
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Re: Principle vs Practice

We've had a lower-tech version called Economy 7 for decades, and even though I'm not on it, I find it convenient to run the dishwasher overnight when energy is (or would be) cheapest.

Unless you have more than 40% of your 'leccy use in the off peak period then you are worse off on E7. About a third of E7 customers can't do that, and you see tightwad pensioners like my dad spending a fortune on timers, but as he hasn't got storage heaters he's actually worse off. And when you stay the night the whole bloody house erupts at 02:00 as every appliance thunders into life.

Curiously, E7 looks to me as though it is only economic if you have both storage heaters and bugger all insulation, which was certainly true for most 1970s towerblocks. If the property has decent insulation chances are most people would be better off using them in on-demand mode.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Points from a briefing

Batteries are commercially viable - not for everyone, but definitely for some.

This is true, but the real change comes with electric vehicles. In very broad brush terms the following are true:

Buying an electric vehicle doubles the average house's electricity demand

If more than about 30% of people have EVs the distribution network can't cope

If more than about 5% of people have EVs the generation system can't support concurrent charging anywhere near peak demand

With an EV you're going to have a 40-80 kWh battery on the drive

....so household batteries in the 1-10kWh range are a bit pointless

And what this means is that the EV charging needs to be centrally and cleverly managed. The crappy auxiliary load switch on a SMETS2 smart meter won't cope. And if EV demand is managed automatically, then with more than about 2.5% of the car fleet as EVs, the price of "flexibility" falls dramatically, and the whole point of smart meters, smart appliances, and time of use tariffs disappear. BEIS are going to add vast cost and complexity to the energy system for the simple reason that they aren't clever enough to see the big picture (which is also why they threw vast subsidies at rubbish technologies for the UK like biomass and PV).

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Ledswinger
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Re: Consumer benefits?

I still haven't seen the compelling argument for how smart meters will benefit the consumer.

The "benefit" is that you can have "time of use tariffs" that vary according to when you use electricity, and that you can have "smart" appliances that turn off and on at the whim of system operators or in response to varying prices. As far as government are concerned this is "enabling consumers to participate in flexibility markets". BEIS (formerly DECC) have paid people to carry out unbelievably cretinous "research" that purports to show that three quarters of people would be willing to have time of use tariffs (if paid unrealistic discounts that then put up everybody else's bill). Isn't it funny that couple of year's back the energy regulator told energy companies that the tariffs were too confusing, and restricted them to no more than four, each of only a standing charge and a fixed rate - but now they can't wait to foist tariffs that vary according to time of use AND LOCATION on us? And that's no the high level DNO charging, but charging more at times and places of network congestion, so potentially those in urban locations will have to pay more simply because the regulator and the DNO haven't put in sufficient capacity whilst they've happily allowed new connections to be made.

Smart meters are about moving from a world where the energy system was built to meet consumer needs, to one where consumers meet the energy system's convenience. As usual, all the prices rises, complexity and dissatisfaction will be blamed on energy suppliers.

Anybody who wants to see how grim the future is should search "BEIS flexibility call for evidence"

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Heard of Brexit? The UK vows to join Europe’s Patent Titanic

Ledswinger
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Re: Awww, British lawyers are so cute...

It will be entertaining to observe when the EU tells them to go back to their table and order from a set menu with 2-3 options. Tops.

As a Brexiteer, I do want out, meaning out. If that's goodbye to the single market, I don't mind. If there's a financial impact, I can take that. If the City gets shrunk, good. The EU isn't some go ahead, fast growth club - it is a group of mostly ageing, sclerotic, protectionist economies riding on Germany's coat tails. And even the Germany economic miracle is in large part an artifact of the misbegotten € project.

But regardless, the various leaked draft of EU documents show that they're now writing documents that allow for the participation of third party nations (in for example the energy sector "Third Package). There's precious little for the UK in remaining in the EU "internal energy market", so that suggests the Eurocrats are leaning towards compromise. Same with EU nations - if Germany wants to lose a (net) billion quid a year of exports, that'll hurt them more than us.

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How-to terror manuals still being sold by Apple, Amazon, Waterstones

Ledswinger
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Re: FTFY...

I'm pretty sure I was taught at school (UK) that the full stop belongs inside the quotes.

Same here. But the best way to resolve the matter is to hold another civil war. Left versus right, Brexit versus Remainderers, Prov versus Anti migration, etc. The Syrians have of course demonstrated that holding a civil war with thousands of different sides isn't very effective, so we'd need to align the various causes.

Obviously Left wing/Remain/pro-migration etc. But I'm struggling to see how to assign the punctuation. Any thoughts?

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Give BAE a kicking and flog off new UK warships, says review

Ledswinger
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Re: Navy Gravy

I bet the yanks could come up with something useful if we were to show interest in them leasing or lending us some ships. We could pay them off over a 50 or 60 year period!

Last time we did this we got some raddled old hulks from the first world war. In the circumstances a deal worth doing, but hardly a model for the present day?

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Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

Ledswinger
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At bloody last.

Well, on the one hand be grateful that they've finally decided, but then be fearful that it is Ofcom, so the chances of this being botched or not even happening must be quite high.

BT will go all the way to the Supreme Court to try and block this, so it isn't a done deal by any stretch of the imagination. And if new primary legislation is needed, that'll take years, given the other priority projects that the government have (Snooper's Charter, internet filtering, and all the rest of their genius ideas).

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Microsoft's Neon project to redesign Windows for nerd goggles – reports

Ledswinger
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Re: The problem will be avoiding it

*eventually, once 7 is no longer supported, 10 will have to be considered "good enough"

As a reluctant 10 user, I have to say that's rubbish. 10 isn't good enough in either absolute or relative terms. Sadly there's some really good technical bits to it, some people should be proud of their work. But the W10 UI and indeed UX remain the work of multiple lunatics, and that will never be good enough, whether alternatives exist or not.

Only a UX fundamentalist can sort this out, and the last one I can thing of is sadly deceased.

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Ledswinger
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They don't learn, do they?

Microsoft: As hip, as happening, as current as any dancing dad. And like a dancing dad with a few drinks inside him, they just can't see it.

Maybe they should hire Honey G as their brand ambassador?

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Blu Vivo 6: Top value trendsetter marred by Chino-English mangle

Ledswinger
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strange way to tackle the world’s fifth biggest economy

Aren't we now sixth, following the fall in sterling?

Then again, with Italy's banking sector about to drop down the crapper taking the entire economy with it, maybe we can still stick with fifth.

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Creaking Royal Navy is 'first-rate' thunders irate admiral

Ledswinger
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Headmaster

Rolls Royces do not breakdown, they fail to proceed.

The plural of Royce is (in this context) Rices.

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Ledswinger
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Re: The Navy on both sides of the pond suck

That's $4.4B being poured into the water as opposed to your piddly $1B :-)

Ha! I'll raise you our latest maritime patrol aircraft, Nimrod MRA4, completely cancelled and sold for scrap after some £4bn had been splashed on it. At least you've still got a shiney new broken-down ship. All we've got is some photographs, and a friendly wave from Russian submarine captains in our waters.

And there's the slight matter that unlike the RN, you've still got a whole host of frigates, destroyers, cruisers, aircraft carriers. Arguably all those weapons haven't been used for global good, but that's just as true of our two ship navy.

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Ledswinger
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but basically the operational status of the Navy is really an official secret and he has no business going public with it.

The authors of that advice clearly never conceived the idea that the RN might ever be so pitifully small that anybody who can count to double digits can see that said navy couldn't even defend the Isle of Wight.

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Geo-boffins say 'quake lifted bits of New Zealand by 8 metres, moved at 3km/second

Ledswinger
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Re: Sandwich filler?

a quake happening at point A and broadcasting a warning a few seconds before it arrives (presumably 100 km or so away) at point B.

A few seconds warning. So what's the actionable message?

"Prepare to scream theatrically if you are being filmed"

"If your are religious, pray quickly"

"If you are not religious, now might be the time to reconsider"

"Gaia is angry"

"Stitch this!

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Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

Ledswinger
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Re: Creates more problems than it solves?

I thought the speed of light was a constant by definition.

Only as part of a hypothesis.

Newton did impressively well, Einstein took it further...but the probability that Einstein had it all figured it is....well...vanishingly small. We're just waiting for the next step.

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Grand App Auto: Tesla smartphone hack can track, locate, unlock, and start cars

Ledswinger
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Re: You don't mention...

the attack relies on features of Android. The iPhone app....

Regardless......what FUCKWIT thought that giving any phone full control of a near $100,000 vehicle was a good idea?

That Elon Musk should invest some of his billions in pharmaceutical research, to find a drug that exterminates fuckwits but is harmless to those with common sense; And then he should make sure it gets put it in the public water supply. He could start with the waterworks near Tesla HQ, but after that the rest of the world might appreciate a dose.

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Airbus flies new plane for the first time

Ledswinger
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Unfortunately for the climate, none of this will stop subsonic flight.

Better go and start digging a warren of tunnels around Colnbrook then. The name "smartypants" doesn't quite have the same ring as "Swampy" or "Mudpig", so you might want to have a personal re-brand.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Bye bye Arctic

over 190 A350-1000s were ordered before it rolled off the factory floor

Don't count your chickens: Over 100 Concordes were ordered before it rolled off the factory floor. Every single commercial carrier order was cancelled, and if Air France and BA hadn't been state owned, they would have cancelled too.

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Ledswinger
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Re: Cost increases?

Will Airbus have to pay tarriffs when importing the wings in future?

Only if they reinstate the suspended EU import duties on aircraft components. Can't see that myself, since Airbus are heavily dependent upon US semiconductor technology and engines (directly or via consortia).

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Ledswinger
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Re: First Flight Challenges

real planes are made from plywood!

Indeed. But (Mr Clark) if you're still out in Germany, some of them may not be as favourably remembered as they are on this side of the channel.

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Big Music goes mad for chat bots and AI

Ledswinger
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Re: "The report does caution that the bots may not be very intelligent."

It does not take a lot to teach a bot to gyrate (or thrust) its navel to comply with the entry requirements for a music video channel. +/- some leather pants.

Well, we had a Reg article t'other day on AI music composition. So, combine the limited real intelligence for music, taste, singing, the fact that most "fans" only ever encounter the "artist" via a screen, throw in some CGI and the fairly luscious graphics capabilities at our disposal, and Voila! The fully synthetic pop star - music by AI, movement by AI, appearance AI, and of course, every fan could have interactive on-line chat (or worse) with the "artist" AI. Have the same AI maximise revenues by customising the artist appearance for different markets, or even individually (Helen Mirren for me, please!). No need for producers, scouts, A&R, producers, men with cigars - the only need for a meat sack is to pay.

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Space crap: Flap, zap or strap? $30k from NASA for your pooper scooper

Ledswinger
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Pint

Re: Traditional Glastonbury solution

Traditional Glastonbury solution

Please accept my rarely awarded "Laugh out loud of the week" award. I'm just glad I didn't read this at work, in my very staid and dull workplace.

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Microsoft’s ‘Home Hub’ probably isn’t even hardware at all

Ledswinger
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Re: Given the success of Amazon’s Echo speaker?

In the absence of any other "smart" devices in the house, the Echo is is just a voice-controlled jukebox

The success depends on what Amazon want to achieve. As you use it, it probably encourages media consumption, and you've paid money for it, That would seem to be successful for Amazon?

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USS Zumwalt gets Panama tug job after yet another breakdown

Ledswinger
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Boffin

Advanced != reliable, clearly.

And that is a surprise, to anybody? UK electric drive warships have had their share of problems, and the same is true of just about anything cutting edge and clever, civil or military.

My guess is that Zumwalt may have overdosed on new tech, but since this is a tech website, I moot that we should be APPLAUDING experimentation, breakdowns, accidents and failures.

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Visa cries foul over Euro regulator's stronger authentication demands

Ledswinger
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Re: Wonderful

Excellent, where can I donate a beer to whoever came up with this idea. For once the regulator doing their job.

I would politely suggest that you, Sir, are the sort of person who came up with the Locomotive Act of 1865. Of course, that was a time when British regulators were busy holding back the foul tide of progress, whereas the Europeans were busy wondering how to make money from innovation.

Funny how times change, eh?

Personally, I accept the cost of fraud in return for the convenience, particularly when this latest idiocy is the sort of thing that "Verified by Visa" would tick all the boxes for.

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Allow us to sum this up: UK ISP Plusnet minus net for nine-plus hours

Ledswinger
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Re: A little slow in Berkshire

It appears to be hosted on EE who I am already with. I wonder if I dare risk it?

Don't be daft. Any deal offered to existing customers is always rubbish (in your case that's any offer from EE, BT or Plusnet).

Good deals (in commodity service contracts like telecoms, insurance, energy etc) are only ever offered as "acquisition only", because if they're a good deal chances are the provider is losing money at bottom line level. At the end of the fixed period/renewal point they try and punt you on to much more expensive deal hoping you won't notice, and if a small number of sticky customers stay on the poor renewal deal for a couple of years the maths works out commercially.

Never forget rule one of commercial services: Customer loyalty is there to be abused.

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Hospital info thief malware puts itself into a coma to avoid IT bods

Ledswinger
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Eeugh! Where did you get that USB plug if you are in your underwear?

Hospitals had better start using packet sniffing to uncover this sort of thing.

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More than half of punters reckon they can't get superfast broadband

Ledswinger
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No, YOU stop moaning. At least you don't have to put up with Virginmedia's endless price rises and lack of customer service.

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Facebook to hire 500 more in Blighty

Ledswinger
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Re: Where are they employed?

Cynical? Moi?

Cynical, yes. Right, maybe not.

Local employment taxes and rules are very difficult to dodge, as Uber have recently found. Thinking about other tax avoiders like Starbucks and Amazon, it is only the property and employment taxes that they DO pay.

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Ledswinger
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Re: 1000 real people

it is not easy to imagine what these people will actually be employed to do.

I would guess they'll be a sales force to try and drum advertising revenues. So although glossed up as "tech company hires happenin' peeps 4 da noo London 'quarters" (Note 1), it probably just means "tax dodger seeks sales droids to bolster their top line".

1) As you can tell, I'm rocking it down wiv the yoof (complete with my zimmer frame). Chillax, bros! Lets tope some peng! Whatevs, latez! Yo! (Note 2)

2) Think of me as the Honey G of tech. Bwahahahahahahaaa!

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UK PM Theresa May's £2bn in R&D still a drop in the ocean

Ledswinger
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Re: Confederation of British Hypocrites

where R&D spend gets a 150% tax credit

That's a subsidy you have to make up elsewhere or forgo tax take. The good thing about an offsettable levy is that those who do the levied activity get the benefit - anybody who chooses not to pays the tax.

I suspect that either way there's immediate attempts to game the system - banks claiming that a new bonus structure represents "research". Talking of the apprenticeship levy, I went to the "Skills Show" at the Birmingham NEC this weekend, taking the Padawan Ledswinger to scope out what was on offer. That was an exhibition focused on youngsters looking for post-school training+work opportunities, up to and including degree apprenticeships and it was excellent, showed off people like AIrbus, JLR, BAES, Qinetiq, Dyson et al in an excellent light, and was damned good for people seeking more vocational types of training in say construction or other trades related activity.

Funny thing was that the whole IT sector was conspicuous by their absence (within the IT sector Birmingham City Council and O2 were key exhibitors, so kudos to them, a pox on all the other "IT" companies who couldn't be arsed). Whether UK or foreign owned, the poor showing for IT was f***ing disgrace that every large UK IT employer ought to be ashamed of, useless bastards (GCHQ, this includes you).

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