* Posts by zebm

53 posts • joined 28 Aug 2012

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Royal Bank of Scotland IT contractor ban sparks murmurs of legal action

zebm

Done both contract and perm over the last 12 years

I went contracting at the start of 2008 as I had moved several hundred miles cross country with work only to be told my job was at risk and then the housing market crashed. The main reason for doing so is that I could take rent out of pre-tax income which then meant to say I could afford my mortgage as well.

In 2010 I tried to contract in Brussels, the agent effectively said "trust me I'm an international tax lawyer" when I was querying about limited company contracting. It turns out that the fine I was up for would be more than 100% of income. Apparently all his colleagues used umbrella companies based out there. Also, as a British national, I had to fill out a Limosa a.k.a. a work permit application.

This year I found out that France also does work permits - there is a minimum income which varies with number and age of dependants - as some remoaning sponger wrote to the newspaper saying that they were being kicked out "because of Brexit" as they had applied to be naturalised and the French replied that they shouldn't be in the country in the first place.

One thing to note is that with a level playing field between public and private sector contracting the exodus that happened in the former will be addressed so you can see why they are doing it.

I'd be happier paying tax if the sponging royal family didn't have all those tax breaks.

zebm

Re: Just the start

I went permanent so that I could work in Australia for a few months last year, back to contracting now

Too hot to handle? Raspberry Pi 4 fans left wondering if kit should come with a heatsink

zebm

Fake news

I went to the shop in Cambridge on Saturday and walked out with the 4GB model, an official case and a Pimoroni fan. All fits together fine as demonstrated to me in the shop when I queried whether the fan would fit in the case.

Two out of five Silicon Valley techies complain Trump's H-1B crackdown has hit 'em hard

zebm

Turned down the opportunity

Took redundancy for Christmas 2000 rather than move to Detroit for what looked like 2/3 of the rate that an American would get.

'BMW, Airbus and Siemens' get the Brexit spending shakes

zebm

Siemens are cutting back?

They've just bought LightWork Design in Sheffield to add to their software components business most, if not all, of which is UK based

The Reg visits London Met Police's digital and electronics forensics labs

zebm

Are these the stitch up people?

Are they the same part of the Met as stitched up Damian Green by taking 'backups' home?

Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

zebm

Base 60 making a comeback?

At least that's what seems to be suggested. Better to think that base 10 rational numbers become more popular.

WANdisco scores $1m self-driving car deal under back-from-the-dead CEO

zebm

A win for Sheffield

Next month's Firefox 48 is looking Rusty – and that's a very good thing

zebm

Source to source translators any good?

In the past I've done semi-automated translation from Fortran 77 to C++. Surely C to Rust conversion should be a bit easier to do some translation.

HPE dumps software biz into the bargain bin

zebm

Autonomy saga

Will Mike Lynch be buying Autonomy back? Or will he say that HP has destroyed all the value?

Euro researchers more loyal and cheaper than Silicon Valley folk

zebm

German hairdressers

I remember reading years ago about German hairdressers starting up British limited companies to pursue their trade in Germany because they wanted limited liability and getting Gmbh designation cost a fortune.

Android tablets too bitter a pill for Dell

zebm

I quit tablets years ago

Am writing this on a Acer C720 ChromeBook, considering getting a new Android aware ChromeBook later in the year

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

zebm

Do we really want more computer scientists?

When the grads turn up in the workplace they typically can't code, better to get someone with a Maths degree who can

US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

zebm

Surely an auction is better?

Getting a H1B could be dependent on the amount of tax that you pay which would make the cheap foreign labour calculation more complicated.

Disclaimer: I turned down the offer of relocating to Detroit for piss-poor pay when my UK R&D site was closed.

At the BBC, Agile means 'making it up as we go along'

zebm

"Project managers report faster and more often."

Well if that's the case they still aren't doing agile. If I want project status I just want to point a web browser at a server that tells me the status and lets me know the last time there was a change that caused a status update.

F-35s failed 'scramble test' because of buggy software

zebm

Send in the drones

Is the plane purposely useless to persuade re-equipment with drones?

Job ad promises 'Meaningless Repetitive Work on the .NET Stack'

zebm

Re: "You'll need 'numbness to the absence of excellence'"

I always blame Fortran for depressed earnings early on in my career. Recently I gave advice to some ex-colleagues and pointed out that hardly any Fortran jobs were being advertised in the UK.

We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips

zebm

What about side loading?

I worked for a blue chip where they had an extreme side loading policy - my view was that if I compiled the open source code myself then I wasn't breaching policy but knew better than to ask for confirmation. Others would use standalone laptops with unencrypted hard drives and admin passwords taped to them...

French mobe repair shop chaps trash customer's phone

zebm

Wrong headline

Surely people get sacked in France should be the headline. I thought it was technically impossible to get rid of employees in France

US software biz fined $28 million for bribing Chinese buyers with free vacations, gifts

zebm

Had the largesse

In 2001 I went to the PTC European Users Conference in Berlin, it was very enjoyable due to the largesse of our hosts. Admittedly there was no point in bribing me as I was a lowly Pro/TOOLKIT user.

NICE catch, Amazon: Bezos buys HPC toolkit from Italy

zebm

Wonder what'll happen to the existing companies?

e.g. http://www.rescale.com/, https://www.cpu-24-7.com/

How to build a plane that never needs to land

zebm

What about the boys in blue?

What are the economics of replacing the local police helicopter? The Met supposedly costs £850ph - http://www.met.police.uk/foi/pdfs/disclosure_2014/july_2014/2014070000470.pdf - which a crude calculation gives £7.5 million a year. So it's looking like the same order of magnitude for payback over a few years.

Obviously this would be a quieter solution - I fondly remember the Strangeways riots stopping the local flyboys buzzing the house at 3am.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise axing services techies again

zebm

The HP merry go round

I worked with ex-HP staff who had subsequently joined the client. No one technical left at HP so when they got a work order from us they would contact their ex-staff at the clients to do the work then charge the client for having done the work. Nice work if you can get it...

Let's get GDS to build a public blockchain, UK.gov's top boffin says

zebm

Will discuss on Thursday

Got a job interview on Thursday with Home Office Digital. Was going to propose blockchain for any activity logs as it was. Nice to see great minds think alike.

Not good enough, VW: California nixes toxic mix fix in strict interdict

zebm

Did VW actually break the law?

Teachers teaching to the test is apparently encouraged these days. This is what VW did and hence they passed the test. Surely it is the fault of the EPA and CARB that they don't have real world tests.

zebm

Re: CARB

BP is the merger of British Petroleum and AMOCO (AMerican Oil COmpany), at the time AMOCO had bad press hence the BP name. Obama was always referring to it, incorrectly, as British Petroleum during the DWH spill.

UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim

zebm

Surely will increase GDP?

The cost of installation will affect GDP. Then when the burglars see that you are on holiday GDP will again be boosted when you have to buy replacements for what they nicked.

Brit 'naut Tim Peake tucks into space bacon sarnie

zebm

Surely ketchup

Brown sauce for a sausage buttie, ketchup for a bacon. These are intergalactic rules, surely?

USA doubles visa fees for migrant IT workers

zebm

Definitely wage slaves

I got the offer of relocate to Detroit or redundancy 15 years ago. The deal to go was equivalent to an American with 4 years less experience. If it had been somewhere civilised I might have gone but the home of Robocop just wasn't attractive.

Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him

zebm

This was leaked in 1995

Wallace and Gromit A Close Shave (1995) featured the evil robo-dog Preston. An obviously leak by a time traveller...

Now you can tailor Swift – Apple open-sources the whole shebang

zebm

C++ 14 anyone?

From the CppCon presentations, if I remember correctly, Apple is supporting new C++. So who needs Swift?

Uber wants UK gov intervention over TfL’s '5-minute wait' rule

zebm

Short termism, surely?

In a few years time we'll be taking self driving cabs so what's a little trouble at the moment?

Trident test-shot startles West Coast Americans

zebm

If only they could have launched on Thursday for the benefit of all the ex-pats

A bubble? No way, we're in a bust, says rich VC living in alternate reality

zebm

I must be a lot older than the journo

I remember how Andreessen made his money so describing him as a VC is rather amusing.

Biggest problem with virtual reality: It can be a little too real for people

zebm

Ever tried a rollercoaster?

I went to http://www.newlondonarchitecture.org/ a few months ago and they had a VR headset with a rollercoaster ride that the kiddies were trying. Eventually I got a go for a about a minute, made me want to throw up. So I suppose that is a feature otherwise I would never have got to play...

HMRC 'reluctant' to crack down on VAT fraudsters – tax ace

zebm

Re: (amazon) we don't have the authority to review their tax affairs.

£82,000 is the VAT registration threshold. Obviously a lot of these small foreign traders won't cross that line - perhaps they should decrease the threshold or put in place a proxy system.

Chrome OS is not dead, insists Google veep in charge of Chrome OS

zebm

Reading this on my Acer C720

Great for browsing the web (though I constantly have the plugins tab opened so I can re-enable Flash when on BBC IPlayer) except when you open up a few heavyweight tabs and the machine grinds to a halt. I do trivial content creation and occasionally re-enable developer mode to play with a Linux distribution - not too keen on remote desktopping to the cloud.

Not too sure about wanting to run Android apps as I imagine permission management is going to be a problem - it currently is on my phone.

Dad who shot 'snooping vid drone' out of the sky is cleared of charges

zebm

An easier alternative to clay pigeon shooting

And free targets...

Playmobil cops broadside for 'racist' pirate slave

zebm

Re: Common Lego !!

Wrong sort of sailing ship but you could have Barbary pirates, who were Moors and used to go slaving by raiding the West country of England.

Join Uber in a tale of rent seeking and employment law

zebm

What about Amazon drivers?

Being an Amazon Prime customer it seems that deliveries are made by lots of independent couriers who probably have Amazon as their sole customer. This would seem to be pretty much the same situation as Uber drivers when it comes to employment legislation.

Would anyone knowing more care to comment?

Worker drones don't need PCs says Microsoft, give 'em phones instead

zebm

Far too big

Last time I upgraded I got a Moto G 4G on the basis that at 4.5" it would fit in my pocket. Given that you can plug these into monitors why not go for a small screen?

NOxious VW emissions scandal: Car maker warned of cheatware YEARS AGO – reports

zebm

Will new technology solve the problem?

Valeo are supplying their electric supercharging tech (N.B. numpties refer to this as electric turbos) to VAG - http://europe.autonews.com/article/20150413/ANE/150419988/valeo-says-audi-will-use-its-supercharger-to-reduce-lag-and-save-fuel

Not certain that this will address NOx as I've been out of automotive for about 15 years now (so don't really do physics any more) but it will give greater control over combustion so one could but hope. Note this is actually British tech owned by a French company.

Michigan sues HP after 'botched' $49m upgrade leaves US state in 1960s mainframe hell

zebm

Re: Same old, same old

Rolls-Royce has recently rehired several people who were out-sourced to EDS a long time ago after the HP redundancies. This has led to a merry-go-round on mainframe migration in that an order is placed with HP then HP ask their ex-staff for the solution...

Uber is killing off iconic black cabs, warns Zac Goldsmith

zebm

Won't matter soon

Google cabs will be here before they can change the legislation

CODING PEEP SHOW offers chance to hire devs as they program

zebm

Script kiddie

Can script kiddies script some really good coding to fool the hirer?

Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

zebm

Look who's back

I recently read a German fairytale about a politician rising from the dead to great acclaim from the rabble for the discredited policies of the past. Such a tale could never be set in Britain. Oh, and he was a vegetarian.

Google makes it official: Chrome will freeze Flash ads on sight from Sept 1

zebm

Hopefully the BBC cotton on

I have to re-enable flash each time I want to use iPlayer on my ChromeBook, then I switch it back off afterwards. Still less irritating than have to put up with all the flash has crashed bits,.

D-Wave: 'Whether or not it's quantum, it's faster'

zebm

For what class of problems

I was in a meeting with D-Wave last year and they showed various diagrams which led me to propose a point which they conceded. Effectively the architecture gives scaling problems for one of their headline test cases. Presumably there are a class of problems which will scale but the ones I was interested in wouldn't.

Be interested to see which problems are economically solvable.

Quantum of Suspicion: Despite another $29m, D-Wave doubts remain

zebm

I've been in one of the D-Wave presentations however all my problems involve floating point maths so wasn't really for me

Lenov-OUCH! 500,000 laptop cables recalled in burning mains cock-up

zebm

I got an e-mail from Lenovo a few days ago trying to sell me a Yoga 3. Not a peep about the cable for the laptop that is the reason they have my e-mail address. Just mailed John Lewis see what happens now.

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