* Posts by Jess

1203 posts • joined 17 Jul 2007

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Dawn of The Planet of the Phablets in 2019 will see off smartphones

Jess

I've been using a 10" Phablet for 18 months

I have no desire to use a smaller touchscreen.

It is actually quite nice to be offline when I don't want to carry it.

(I have a Q10 that I use when I need to carry a phone at work)

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Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Jess

Many of the petition signatories will be paying £60+ for Sky.

And if they don't watch BBC why should they pay for it?

Before the merger with BSB, Sky didn't need a licence. (Wasn't classified as a broadcaster due to the band used, that was fixed that when the merger happened.) I knew several people who subscribed and didn't have a licence (or a problem with the authorities).

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Jess

Re: the terrible excrement that Netflix really do make

Iron Fist was good, (it just could have been a couple of episodes shorter.)

But the argument is not about whether the BBC is good or crap or whether the alternatives are, it is whether you should have to pay a tax on streaming live TV to fund it.

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Jess

Re:Give me Netflix, HBO and Starz over the BBC any day.

I disagree with your opinion that the BBC makes nothing good.

However what I object to is being forced to 'subscribe' to it, if I wish to watch other services.

The amount of good stuff that I personally would want to watch does not justify the fee (for me personally).

What rankles is that I am, as a consequence, also denied streaming non funded channels.

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Jess

Re: Same as I'd pay the £14 licence fee just for Dr who!

I used to just buy the DVDs, it was cheaper.

However, I have far too many disks and am only buying content on Ultraviolet now.

In the absence of the current Dr Who series being available on it, I will just have to wait until I'm somewhere I can watch it, legally.

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Jess

Re: You pay for Netflix! So it's essentially a tax on Netflix watchers, right?

No.

The TV licence is a tax on watching live TV.

I am totally OK with the idea of needing a TV licence to watch iPlayer and live BBC, and it was very nice of them to allow me to watch iPlayer for all those years for free. (I have never owned a colour TV licence, I had a black and white licence and TV, for the occasional live TV, until the licences were no longer provided by the post office, and the corner shops I tried were unable to provide one, and I got a threatening letter, when I was away from home for a while, so i ditched the TV)

The thing I object to is not being allowed to watch live non licence funded channels.

(Given the technical situation, the most sensible solution would be to allow streaming online of non funded channels, and worry about the over the air broadcast situation next time standards are due to change.)

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Jess

Re: Funny, I didn't know Netflix makes shows.

Technically I suspect they are commissioned. But they wouldn't happen if Netflix didn't pay for them.

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Jess

Re: The crap that's on channel 5...

Peaky Blinders is excellent. (But also available on Netflix, if you don't mind waiting.) But whenever I'm in the Premier Inn (Abysmal wifi, that only seems to stay connected for more than a couple of minutes on Linux or BB10, limiting your options for streaming) I do confirm I'm not missing much by not having a TV licence at home.

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Give us a bloody PIN: MPs grill BBC bosses over subscriber access

Jess

Re: the BBC pay a large proportion of the transmitter infrastructure costs.

Fair enough for over the air broadcast, but why is a TV licence still required for live online streaming?

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UK.gov: Snoop laws not 'significant' obstacle to EU data protection talks

Jess

Because it really is in the interests of the EU to let us have our cake and eat it.

Any data business would be insane to risk their business model by staying put and hoping that will be the case.

I suspect if it gets down to no legally binding agreement 12 months away, they will relocate to stay within the EEA.

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UK.gov wants quick Brexit deal with EU over private data protections

Jess

The EU position is quite simple

The only trade deals they are likely to offer us are continuing EEA membership and customs union membership, under similar terms to now.

If we asked for those, they would bend over backwards to make them happen. (But they wouldn't drop freedom of movement for the EEA).

Since we are not asking for that, they are simply enabling us to procrastinate until we are so close to the April 2019 cut off point with no idea of the end result, that the businesses that rely of single market membership will have no choice but to commit to move to remain in the EEA. This could take 10% - 20% of our industry overseas (one estimate was 30%).

Once they have started to move, we are stuffed. Even if we get an extension, or a soft brexit.

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Jess

Re: the government made it absolutely clear this referendum was not advisory

In the same section of the manifesto that made it clear the result would be honoured, there was a big commitment to the single market.

So it is fine to drop one part but not the other is it?

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Look who's joined the anti-encryption posse: Germany, come on down

Jess

The cure is worse than the disease.

We have just had a demonstration of what a back door can do when made public.

In this case it was an accidental back door, kept secret by the NSA, easily patched by Microsoft, but it still caused havoc.

Now imagine a back door that can't be patched in every device. (Obviously this would have to be country specific, I can't imagine the US and Russia sharing the same system, for example).

When the key escapes (and it would be a far bigger target than patchable short life back doors), imagine a rogue nation or terrorist group bricking every device in a country, or corrupting data or sharing private information or a single country.

Haven't the idiots who propose this ever seen Blake's 7? (Or many similar programs).

They are basically proposing making Orac (i.e able to control any computer) technically possible.

(Even Independence Day should show the folly of a global back door.)

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Ransomware scum have already unleashed kill-switch-free WannaCry‬pt‪ variant

Jess

Re: So you're blaming a commercial company for not patching a 13 year old OS?

When said OS is used with systems that cannot be upgraded, yes.

(because it would make expensive hardware unusable.)

But also the people who made and OKed the decision to purchase such unsuitable systems should be held to account.

Why would anyone buy a jack of all trades system, with a life of a decade or so to run expensive equipment meant to last thirty years with a specific requirement?

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Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Jess

Re: just how easy it remains to get in.

I think it will get far easier.

The EU will have no incentive to prevent people leaving its borders.

We will be financially pressed, and unlikely to spend enough to do the job properly. We already don't and then put the blame on the EU rules.

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Jess

Re: Bigger problem for EU than UK.

I sort of agree. The EU will be concerned about goods traveling across the border, while Britain will be worried about people crossing. (It's the whole point of brexit, apparently).

Britain provides mainly services, for which physical borders are not really relevant. (But being outside the legal framework that allows us to provide then, will be).

Our currency is reduced in value, meaning those exports are cheaper, meaning the EU will be even keener to insist on decent border control to ensure tariffs are paid.

All this fuss, just to save child benefit going abroad to a few polish kids, (and surely it would have been easier just to require the kids benefiting to be within the UK?)

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Jess

Re: "the Brits, Scots and Irish"

I'm not sure I agree with that being a valid example of the mindless ignorance you refer to.

Britain (when not used as an abbreviation for Great Britain) means England and Wales.

British (when used as a nationality) refers to UK nationals.

British is likely to refer to those ruled over by Westminster, until such time as England stands alone.

Until such time as the Scots leave, they are British.

Scotland is part of Great Britain. (You'll be pleased that it is the difference between Britain and Great Britain)

However the poster used an abbreviation, Brits, not British. The context makes it clear he was not referring to the British nationality, but the people of England and Wales.

If we do go ahead with a hard brexit I really hope you get the chance not to go down with us, and I think Mrs May is being totally unfair expecting you to suffer the consequences of our decision, BEFORE you get a chance to leave.

Though had indyref gone the other way, I think we would have gotten the wake-up call we needed, and would not now be facing a decades long lesson in humility.

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Jess

Re: I don't think this will work here...

There is also the fact that Norway is part of the single market, this means that the only goods they are interested in would be those originating from outside the EEA, that are allowed into Norway by its own customs arrangements, and anything not covered by the single market (e.g agricultural products).

Outside the EEA and customs union then everything would need to be controlled, including people who are not citizens of the British Isles.

What is the point of (at the very least) decimating our economy and world influence, to 'control our borders' if the only people we currently don't 'control' can simply walk across the border?

NI could remain within the customs union, and not block entry of EU citizens, and move the issue to the borders of Great Britain, but of course, that would be a special arrangement, and Scotland would be totally justified in demanding its own arrangement too.

And of course what happens when Eire decides to join Schengen? The reason they didn't already was because it would mess up the border.

Simply leaving the EU would reduce the the EU influence on us (and ours on it) to that which is needed by EEA membership. (It would probably reduce the international importance of the English language too.) It would not cause massive social or economic issues. This is what people were actually asked to vote on.

However also leaving the EEA and the customs union, will be a disaster, economically and socially. With a margin of 2% it is not safe to infer that hard brexit is the 'will of the people' (i.e less that 1 in 26 leave voters wanted the wide pushed Norway model).

At least after the election, the Tories will have a valid mandate for a hard brexit. (Assuming Labour keeps to its have your cake and eat it Brexit model, and also continues to fight the other opposition parties as well as the Tories.)

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Forgetful ZX Spectrum reboot firm loses control of its web domains

Jess

Re: Sinclair Microvision

I saw someone sitting in a car at a campsite watching one when I was a kid.

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Well, hot-diggity-damn, BlackBerry's KEYone is one hell of a comeback

Jess

Looks nice but..

£500 for an Android phone? (Presumably with a single sim slot)

I would have bought a passport, had it been dual sim, (possibly even a single sim one had the OS not been dropped).

And given how many features never made it over to BB 10 from BB 6 (etc), (each update got better though, until they pulled the plug), the playbook being dropped before it got BB10, and then the plugs being pulled on BB10 I would be very dubious about another BB, unless the price was rock bottom.

If I am forced to choose between iOS and Android, then I will stick to cheap dual sim phones, because then when something annoys me it is only tens of pounds, not hundreds.

(I'd quite happily get an old qwerty symbian phone if telegram supported it.)

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Deeming Facebook a 'publisher' of users' posts won't tackle paedo or terrorist content

Jess

Given that facebook operate their own editorial control..

(For example removing pictures of breast feeding mothers)

... how can they not be regarded as publishers?

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Mac Pro update: Apple promises another pricey thing it will no doubt abandon after a year

Jess

Re: Why would they go down that same road again?

They could release only OS X server for 3rd party hardware.

They could give it a big price tag, and a caveat that it was used either in supported VMs or certified hardware, if you want support.

That wouldn't hit their main market, and price would not be a problem for the target market.

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Europe to push new laws to access encrypted apps data

Jess

I hope the app providers don't provide back doors.

The only concession they should give is to provide a separate unencrypted channel, to send messages if the main secure channel is blocked, but making it completely clear that the channel in use is insecure.

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ZX Spectrum Vega Plus backers complain of months-long refund delays

Jess

Re: a total simulation of "Uncle" Clive's business model.

Damn, beat me to it.

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Manufacturers reject ‘no deal’ Brexit approach

Jess

Re: Putin is .. against the EU

I don't see that.

Once the British influence is gone (basically America by proxy, w.r.t Russia) it is advantageous to have a reasonably powerful EU as an ally.

He would be more worried about a broken EU and an Islamic State resurgence.

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Jess

Re: four freedoms separately

I believe that is a negotiating ploy, however I do believe that the provision of services will not be separated from freedom of movement.

Goods can be dealt with by the customs union, that would suit the EU, we are a service economy. It would also make the Irish Border our problem only. (Control of EEA citizens crossing).

Bank Passporting, I'm sure they would sell us that because it would avoid a huge budget hole. Though I guess the politically acceptable figures will not match for both sides, so will probably be a non-starter.

If they give us services without freedom of movement and a Norway style contribution, it would undermine the whole EU.

The loss of the ability to sell services (or more likely the loss of the actual companies) will be what cripples us.

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Jess

Re: The CTA has to end

I disagree. It pre-dates the EU. It is only for people, not goods and services. EU countries are responsible for their own immigration policies for non EEA citizens.

What has to end in the event of a hard brexit is the open border. It will have to be similar to travelling to and from the Schengen Zone is at present.

This would seem to be much the same as the control system at the height of the troubles.

Not a good situation.

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Jess

Re: They wanted to throw us out without any half measures,

What planet are you on?

They don't want to throw us out.

We are going to leave.

They don't want us to go.

They will offer half measures, but only ones that are consistent with what other EFTA and Customs Union members have.

They will offer us continuing membership of the customs union, (Turkey style)

They will offer us continuing EEA membership (or something equivalent) based on Norway's arrangement.

The may even offer us bank passporting for a figure based on the difference between Norway and Switzerland's contributions.

But unless our government actively seeks these out at the outset, then businesses will assume a hard brexit and start relocating all the non-UK EEA work to an area that will remain in it. (In fact some already have.)

Given our economy has spent the last 30 - 40 years becoming a service industry for the single market, this will hurt. Badly. (In effect we are self inflicting a trade embargo, because outside the single market, many services are impossible. The trade embargo with Russia hit it far harder than they are prepared to admit. Russia is far bigger than us. And they would not have businesses leaving to keep their customers, so they still retained the resources).

All the EU has to do is make reasonable offers and keep rejecting our unreasonable demands, and we are stuffed good and proper.

The only hope is that all this hard brexit nonsense is just a ploy to appease the UKIP voters and will be dropped once A50 is started.

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Jess

Re:Common Travel Area

Why do you think the Common Travel Area that includes Ireland and the UK will have to end? It already includes territories that are not in the EU.

Who was talking about it ending? And the problem is about the borders no who is allowed to cross them.

Currently the CTA is effectively like the Schengen zone. Because all the area within in it are members of the customs union and they share area entry policies.

If the UK leaves the Customs union and the single market, then the border will have to become a customs border. Otherwise it is a back door in and out of the single market. (No control of people, but control of what they bring with them, back to how it was in the time of the troubles, basically)

If the UK ends freedom of movement. It will have to become a border controlling people. Because EU nationals will require a visa to enter the UK, (or at the very least to be recorded).

If it isn't then the whole concept of 'controlling our borders' becomes complete nonsense, because that is the only border we don't control.

In which case why are we decimating our economy by leaving the single market?

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Jess

Re: ill-considered.

Being concerned doesn't stop it being ill-considered. (e.g. People who don't vaccinate their children don't actually want them to come to harm, it is just ill-considered.)

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Jess

Re: It was about creeping federalism.

I don't have a problem with that viewpoint. Basically a soft brexit. No disasters, socially or economically.

However the issue I do have is the gullibility believing what we would get is anything like that.

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Jess

Re: EEA requires an EFTA membership

Currently to join you have to be a member of the EU or EFTA.

However, we are already a member of it, and we are bigger than the EFTA. Therefore there is no reason if the EU wanted to, we couldn't be a member, even if EFTA didn't want us dominating it.

The EU would bend over backwards to keep us in the EEA, providing we don't insist on a deal that makes the other deals look bad. (However we will, and we'll end up in the WTO, with half our industry moved out of the country and the other half owned by other countries.)

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Jess

Re: EEA agrees to ECJ mandate.

Er no. Was it written on a big red bus?

How dumb would that be?

There is an EFTA court to deal with the non EU countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EFTA_Court

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Jess

Re: punish the UK

They really don't have to do that.

They can simply offer similar existing arrangements with other non EU countries (EEA, customs union) and let us reject them, knowing that pretty much anything else will be impossible to negotiate in the time frame. (Look at the Swiss bespoke deal, for time scale).

We will punish ourselves.

I believe we will be offered the option of remaining in the customs union. (Like Turkey).

I also believe we will be offered the option of EEA membership (maybe even standalone).

When we reject EEA membership, I suspect they might look at the arrangements Norway (EEA) and Switzerland (effectively EEA without banking and will a lower cost) have.

By looking at the difference, (Both have freedom of movement, and Norway pays twice as much per head) it could be possible to come up with a value for the banking.

That would give a fee for the banking of somewhere in the region of half net our per head contribution, and no freedom of movement. Of course this would have to become a possibility pretty early on, or the banks would a;ready have left.

But, I reckon we will be leaving with no deal, because of our intransigence, rather than the EU's.

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Jess

Re: not stop them having to leave the EU I'm afraid

No.

If they achieve independence before and the UK breaks up, while still in the EU, they can't be chucked out of it, unless the whole UK were. And if that were the case why is anyone bothering with article 50?

Politically, even if it were the case that if part of a country becomes independent to remain a member and gets chucked out while the part that wants to leave remains a member, that would be so ridiculous that if the EU didn't work around it so that Scotland in effect never stopped being a member, it would lose its credibility.

Also you would have the interesting possibility that if NI and Scotland both voted for independence, England and Wales could quit the UK, leaving it still a member of the EU and get out without Article 50.

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Jess

Re: Welcome to Trump.UK

Almost right.

The vote actually asked about the EU, but the single market is larger than that, The EU plus the EFTA (whose members except Switzerland, that has its own weird arrangement are all members of the EEA).

The Conservative manifesto has a big commitment to the single market, which seems to have been forgotten, and also promised to honour the ADVISORY referendum (which they have remembered).

We could leave the EU and remain in the EEA (and customs union) with none of the problems anyone is worried about. If we seek to do that the EU will bend over backwards to make it happen within the 2 years.

However that would not please any of the hard right and Mrs May wants their votes back, so we are going to have a hard Brexit which will cause all the issues you highlight and more.

If the UK does break up, which a hard Brexit would seem to ensure, then there will be no UK (unless Scotland NI and Gibraltar stay together and keep the title) and England and Wales will simply become Britain (Great Britain means the whole island, Britain when not used as an abbreviation for GB means England and Wales.)

Sliver lining - finding the right name in drop down boxes will be so much easier.

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Jess

Re: The EU cannot extend negotiations without breaking their own rules.

Effectively you are correct.

However technically, all the nations could unanimously vote to extend the deadline.

(Obviously it would be about the same odds as a wheelbarrow full of frogs staying put on a hot day.)

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Gov may need to splash £245m per year on IT contractors – NAO

Jess

The elephant in the room - Brexit

If they are hellbent on doing a hard brexit, as the rhetoric would imply, this makes things even more interesting.

The Techxodus will keep a lot of contractors busy, but during the same two years, new government systems will be essential for the new situation.

The low pound and the short term nature of their right to stay will put off EU contractors. And after the actual exit, if the EU makes it easy for UK techies to work in the EU, or the destination of the Techxodus is Eire, then it is possible that the reduced need for tech will be offset by a loss of bodies abroad.

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Post-Brexit five-year UK work visas planned – report

Jess

There are three ways I can see Brexit being a success for Britain.

1. The decimation plus of our economy, ignites the British spirit and we get ourselves to new levels that we would not have otherwise achieved. Like the numerous motivation stories you see of someone who faces adversity through a loss of a limb, and fights back against it and becomes a bigger success than before. (Though I don't recall any of these stories featuring someone who deliberately cut of a limb.)

2. Enough of the World believes Mrs May's Wizard of Oz style bluster, and invests that it eventually becomes true.

3. Brexit triggers a chain reaction resulting in the end of the EU, resulting in a weak Europe (politically and economically) dominated by the superpowers. We would only be a success relative to Europe in this scenario. (Not compared to our pre referendum situation).

But what I expect to happen is a Techxit. Apparently something like 40% of the largest multinationals EEA HQs are here. they will have to relocate leaving something about 15% of the size to manage the UK. (Though of course the other 60% will need to create UK HQs, it is still a big net loss.)

It wouldn't surprise me if Ireland did well out of this.(They already have some friendly tax laws) Companies moving to the replublic would be able to retain their UK staff and their EU staff. It might even make sense to have the UK office in Northern Ireland for ease. And if somehow the Irish border remains open (as Mrs May seems to want*) then it would be even easier.

*I'm not sure how this would be possible.

If we leave the customs union. The EU could not allow it, because it would be a backdoor into the free market (smugglers paradise) If we have left the EEA because of control-our-borders how can you not have a hard border between where EEA citizens can legally be and the UK? Unless you put the hard border round Great Britain, and give NI some sort of special half in half out status. (Which of course the Scots would also want, which would then mean there would be the same problem on the England Scotland border.

Interesting time. But loads of work for IT contractors and removals companies. then I guess contract work in Dublin after it has happened. (Unless the EU does offer this associate citizenship deal.)

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Jess

Re:won't move from areas with high unemployment ...but they will from Lithuania...

To be fair these people are migrants, come over live on the cheap and work hard for a few months and go home with what after exchange rates is a decent wad. Cutting them out will mean the slack is taken up by immigrants from outside the EU. Immigrants stay put.

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Jess

Re: But hey, people voted for that

To be fair they didn't.

That is simply the motivation of those who hold the key to the marginals at the next election, hence May's hard brexit and Corbyn enabling it.

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Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

Jess

Re: civil collection agency

Wrong sort of civil

It was uncivil letters that that made me decide not to every get a TV licence again. (Though I suspect I would have dropped it eventually anyway).

When the post office stopped selling licences, it became tricky to buy a monochrome licence. I tried several Paypoints (or whatever they are) and none could sell me a replacement. I was working away from home at the time and realised I didn't actually need one legally, the TV (b & w portable) was laying on its side unplugged and had been for months. (I was happy enough to pay because I used iPlayer a little, but certainly not enough to justify a colour licence).

I didn't bother renewing, and got a load of letters basically accusing me of being a criminal, they went in the bin, and I gave the TV to my parents for their caravan.

Had they sent a polite letter, I would have replied explaining the situation and asking where to buy a mono TV licence.

If anyone ever comes round (that was quite a few years ago, and I have heard nothing, the letters dried up after a couple of years). Then if they are civil, then I will explain the situation, but probably not let them in (unless the house actually happened to be tidy), if not they will get told to leave with no information.

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Jess

Re: Subscription

The licence used to be a tax on reception of broadcasts. (Streaming live counting as the same.)

Now it also is required for catch up iPlayer, that has broken that logical model.

Ideally we would have a Sky style subscription for the BBC.

However, since this would require a huge re-investment in equipment, this is not feasible just like that.

In the interim (which would realistically have to be at least a decade).

Streaming of non-BBC live TV should not require a licence - (simple to implement)

Any new broadcast tech, (e.g 4K) from the BBC would be encrypted and require activation with a TV licence.

(Any equipment that was only capable of the new system would not need a TV licence to use, except for BBC. Obviously, most kit would still be capable of the current system, so this would be a niche.)

The unencrypted BBC service would be switched off after 20 years maximum and the TV licence would be replaced by subscription. With reviews for 10 years and 15 years,

However whatever happens, streaming non BBC TV live should not require a licence.

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UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Jess

Re: they've got plenty of development work to do.

And if the dev work is contract work and the contracts are for 2 years, then Brexit won't have happened until they are over.

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Well-rested women in danger of bouncing their men into early grave

Jess

Needs more detail.

When they say "sex once a week" are they counting climaxes or sessions?

Because someone could easily be well safe or well at risk depending on which they mean.

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Trump's cartoon comedy approach to running a country: 'One in, two out' rule for regulations

Jess

Re: Now do you understand why this is a silly idea?

Does it prevent you updating old lines of code rather than adding new ones?

Certainly a better idea than his wall and muslim ban.

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MEEELLIONs of Brits stick with current broadband provider rather than risk no Netflix

Jess

Re: Its also the loss of a phone number that you have had since the 60's

Sky held onto a number that had been family's since the late 80's. And I had paid to move in the the late 90's. Fortunately, it was not important enough to make a fuss about. (Other than any time someone asks for a recommendation for Sky or not).

Talktalk lost a business number that had a pedigree back to at least the 60s. (I can remember it being a 4 digit number, and I have seen adverts with a previous number with the same last 3 digits.)

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God save the Queen... from Donald Trump. So say 1 million Britons

Jess

Re: we don't have too many other options

I'm not sure how the USA as a mainly service economy like our own could actually help.

It seems likely that all the businesses that rely on being inside the EEA will relocate so they remain within the EEA. We will be left with empty buildings and unemployed people.

The best we can hope for is for our current arrangements with America not to be victims of the America First policy.

I suspect Trump will simply come here for an ego trip, and we'll have to suck up to him to avoid losing our American trade. He knows this, and if May wants to walk away from our trade with Europe, she'll have to do it.

Personally I hope the petition gets big enough to make him have a hissy fit and cancel himself. Perhaps may will them rethink this insane hard brexit.

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We're not quitting the UK: Microsoft quashes Brexit fake news

Jess

Multinationals won't be quitting the UK

They will need to separate their UK and EU businesses.

You can't have your EU HQ and data centres outside the EU/EEA.

Those with EU HQs outside the UK are likely to set up UK offices, which will offset the downsizing of those with HQs currently here. Though I suspect we are going to lose far more than we gain.

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