* Posts by katrinab

512 posts • joined 6 Aug 2016

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Voda customers given green light by Ofcom to ditch contracts

katrinab
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Re: Penalty?

I don't know about Vodafone, but some providers have separate contracts for the phone and for the service. You could cancel the service contract, keep the phone contract and get a sim-only contract elsewhere.

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Former ZX Spectrum reboot project man departs

katrinab
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Three months from the date you submit the form, so if they do decide to change the accounting date again, they will likely do it at the last possible minute, ie 29th December.

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US authorities issue strongly worded warnings about crypto-investments

katrinab
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Re: Bitcoin fees

If my kilo of coke costs 1 bitcoin today and 0.7 bitcoin tomorrow, then that is deflation, regardless of how many decimal places I could quote the price to in the future, and it is a disincentive to spend money today.

I've no idea how much cocaine costs, these figures are for illustrative purposes only.

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UK.gov law resources now untrustworthy, according to browsers

katrinab
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I see they now have a link to their pki validation key from the front page

https://www.justice.gov.uk/.well-known/pki-validation

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Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'

katrinab
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Re: let me guess

Well in the UK, a washing machine engineer is someone who has completed a three hour induction course. Chartered Engineer is a bit different, in you example you would get that with membership of the British Computer Society.

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European Commission intervenes in Microsoft Irish data centre spat

katrinab
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Re: Search warrants and behavior orders

Microsoft Operations Ireland Ltd is the name of the company.

It will likely pay licencing fees to another company that is registered in Ireland but has its actual operations in the US, so that it doesn’t pay tax in either jurisdiction.

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katrinab
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"Maybe Europe should simply forbid private data to be stored outside of the EU?"

It basically does, with some exceptions, and the outcome of this case could mean that those exceptions don't apply to the USA.

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Bitcoin price soars amid technical troubles for exchanges

katrinab
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Re: A fool and his money are soon parted...

Will anyone sell me a put option for Bitcoin, strike price $225,000 dated 31st December 2018?

Probably not, which tells you all you need to know.

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katrinab
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There are a couple of places looking at that, the problem is that because of the time it takes to transact in bitcoin, extreme counterparty risk, and the risk of theft, there is no way to effectively lay off the trade.

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Games-mart Steam halts Bitcoin payments

katrinab
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Re: $20 per transaction fee

Well the electricity costs alone for the bitcoin network are an order of magnitude larger than Visa's entire sales revenue, and Visa process about 500 times more transactions per day, so having bitcoin miners as your intermediary rather than a bank doesn't make things any cheaper.

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katrinab
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Re: $20 per transaction fee

OK, so if the contactless split is 99% Oyster / 1% EMV, nobody ever pays for Oyster Credit, the passengers are spread evenly throughout the day and night, and nobody other than TfL customers uses the bitcoin network, then TfL would be able to switch to bitcoin without overwhelming the network.

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katrinab
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Re: $20 per transaction fee

TfL can process the payment of my £1.50 bus fare in 0.5 seconds using contactless, and Visa will charge them a transaction fee of 0.3p for doing it.

Obviously their own bank will charge more on top of that, and they have to pay for all the card readers on the buses and station ticket barriers, but those costs would apply for any payment method.

Imagine trying to implement that on bitcoin. TfL has 31 million journeys per day, 90% of them paid using contactless cards, which works out at 323 transactions per second, on average, a lot more at busy times.

That is 100 times the capacity of the bitcoin network, just for one city, and just for expenditure on transport, and even then, it doesn't include expenditure on taxis and non-TfL buses such as National Express, Greenline, Oxford Tube and so on. And then, you would have to wait a couple of hours at the ticket gate for the payment to go through.

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Denied: Uber's request to skip to UK Supreme Court to appeal workers' rights

katrinab
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Re: 3 years until they have their driverless cars in place.

First, the appropriate licencing authority, currently the EU, needs to give a driverless car type approval to run on the roads; then the Dept of Transport needs to licence them to run on the roads without a driver, and that would require parliament to change the law; then Transport for London give them type approval to be used as taxis; and needs to approve Über to operate them.

We might get a car submitted for type approval in 2-3 years time, but I don't think we will get any further than that. Parliament is looking at changing the law, but I think in 2-3 years time, it will just be limited approval for testing purposes, and they will still need a driver on-board.

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katrinab
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We are not going to have driverless cars in 2-3 years time. The car industry just doesn't move that fast.

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Escrow you, Apple! Ireland expects Cupertino to cough up to €13bn

katrinab
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Re: Tax refund

It's not as simple as that.

It needs to be somewhere that they can pay money to without deducting witholding tax. Any country in the EU meets that requirement, for other countries, it tends to only be the case if they charge proper tax rates on the money when it arrives.

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Is Oomi the all-in-one smart home system we've been waiting for?

katrinab
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Coat

I bet Oomi doesn’t expect you to deliver a beer can to it though.

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Report: Women make up just 17% of IT workforce, paid 15% less than men

katrinab
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Re: Men who are nurses

“Page 12 of the report shows that only 12% of nurses are men. Should we not be agitating to increase the number of men who choose that as a career?”

Yes, we should.

Men are about 9 times more likely to be unemployed and homeless than women. If the supposedly “female” jobs were open to them, perhaps that wouldn’t be such a problem.

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Loose-change payment network Microraiden launches on Ethereum

katrinab
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Re: Why not Visa or Mastercard?

Or how about M-Pesa, which is very popular in Kenya?

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Crypto-cash souk Coinbase forced to rat out its high rollers to probing US taxmen

katrinab
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True, the only benefit of Delaware is that there is no state income tax. You still have to pay federal income tax.

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katrinab
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Re: They are not "located"...

If your Chase account transactions are held at their data centre in Basingstoke, that doesn't mean the money is located in England for tax purposes. Same with Bitcoin.

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katrinab
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They are not, unless you are, they are located wherever your wallet software is running.

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katrinab
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Re: Bitquestions

The position in the UK is:

If the bitcoins are held for business purposes, eg like a business bank account, it goes to “exchange gains / losses” in the accounts, and “loan relationship income” in the tax return, and it is taxed as income.

If a customer pays you in bitcoin, you convert it to pounds at the rate applicable on the date of transaction, record that amount as sales, and pay tax on it as if you received pounds. Same if you pay a supplier in bitcoin, convert to pounds and claim that as your business expense in the usual manner. Any change in value between sale / purchase / conversion, see above.

Basically the rules are the same as if you were trading in Euros / USD etc.

If it is held for personal purposes - to fund personal expenditure or as an investment, then it is taxed as a capital gain. The first £11,300 per year is covered by your annual CGT allowance.

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Ofcom proposes ways to stop BT undercutting broadband rivals

katrinab
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Re: If BT can lower their prices........

I remember it taking 5 months to get a phone installed in my new house, that was 3 years ago, and all they needed to do was reconnect the wire at the exchange.

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

katrinab
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I think part of the reason is that it isn’t so easy to compose messages in Chinese on a small screen. They generally draw the characters on screen using the handwriting recognition thing, and more screen space makes that easier.

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What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?

katrinab
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Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted. @katrinab

The claim was that there exists a battery with a 500 mile range that can be charged in one minute. I was exploring how practical it would be to implement this in real life, not whether or not we need the technology.

An average petrol pump can dispense 50 litres of petrol per minute, and depending on the car, that would probably give you around 500 miles of range, so such a battery, if it is possible, would make electric competitive with petrol in that respect.

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katrinab
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Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted. @katrinab

"500 miles should need between 150 and 180 kWh"

OK, so a 9 - 10.8MW supply then. Still a lot more than the 3kW you get through a domestic plug.

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katrinab
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Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted.

"Fisker says it has a solid state battery that has a range of 500 miles and recharges in a minute."

That means a capacity of somewhere in the order of 300kWh, which is equivalent to 30 litres of petrol. To recharge that in one minute, you would need an 18MW power supply. At 230V, that would mean 78kA of current.

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katrinab
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Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted.

Not to mention the 30%-40% loss at the power station between the fuel in and electricity out, and the fact that getting the fuel to the power station requires similar amounts of energy to getting petrol to a petrol station.

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katrinab
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"Volvo will only make electric and hybrid vehicles after 2019"

The and hybrid bit is important here. It will still run on petrol. It just has a bigger battery and a bigger electric motor, and maybe there is a more convenient way to attach a charger to the battery than using crocodile clips.

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Want a new HDMI cable? No? Bad luck. You'll need one for HDMI 2.1

katrinab
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So why do they try to tell you that the £100 Monster Black Platinum Ultimate HDMI Cable is better than the £3.49 Currys Essentials cable?

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Wondering why your internal .dev web app has stopped working?

katrinab
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Re: True

The only time I pay attention to them is when maintaining my spam filters, as spammers seem to like them.

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Uber says 2.7 MEEELLION(ish) UK users affected by hack

katrinab
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Re: Is it too late to buy shares in Lyft?

You can't buy shares in it directly as it is owned privately, however you can buy shares in some of their shareholders:

Alibaba (New York)

Tencent (Hong Kong)

Rakuten (Tokyo)

Softbank (Tokyo, they also have a holding in Über)

General Motors (New York)

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katrinab
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Re: 2.7 million

They have 3.5 million UK accounts as of when TfL banned them. 2.7 million was probably all of the accounts open at the time of the breach.

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Judge stalls Uber trade-secret theft trial after learning upstart 'ran a trade-secret stealing op'

katrinab
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Re: When do the magic words...

Well Über London has been found guilty in the Employment Tribunal of not filing proper lists of its employees.

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katrinab
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Re: When do the magic words...

"Your saying a Company isn't an Enterprise?"

It appears the answer to that is, yes. A company is not an enterprise.

An enterprise, for the purposes of RICO is something like the Mafia, or ISIS; not a legally constituted company like Über.

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katrinab
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Re: When do the magic words...

We have (1) conduct, (3) through a pattern

We probably have (4). It is restricted to some federal offences, but Über likely manage it

and we have (5) damage

Where it appears to fall down is in the definition of (2) enterprise

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Pro tip: You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with no password

katrinab
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Re: This is a deliberate feature and it's because Apple cares.

sudo su

[my user password]

is how I get a root terminal in OSX.

The root user is still disabled by default in the terminal, so I set my root password by doing "sudo passwd root".

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katrinab
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The root account is supposed to be disabled in OSX, and you are supposed to use sudo for admin tasks. However, it is set up with no password by default, and there is a way round it being disabled.

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katrinab
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Re: This is a deliberate feature and it's because Apple cares.

If your own account is set up with sudo privileges, you can use your own login details to change stuff, so you don't ever need to use the root account. I never log on as root on either my Mac or FreeBSD machines.

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Another way to avoid eye contact: 4G on the Tube expected 'in 2019'

katrinab
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Any plans to provide coverage on the Overground? Coverage there is not that good at the moment.

The phone companies are required to provide coverage to 9x% of the population under the terms of their licence, but nobody lives on the Overground, so they don't need to provide coverage there.

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Vanity, thy name is: M1SCO company car reg plates for sale

katrinab
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Do they still have their Data General Mini Computer?

It was completely useless as a server when I was there about 20 years ago, but it might actually be worth something now as a museum artefact.

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Dark fibre arts: Ofcom is determined to open up BT's network

katrinab
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Re: Does any one actually know where all this dark fibre is?

“It is really true that BT in rolling out FTTC, didn't put one fibre and a spare between the exchange and street cabinet, but put in a few dozen fibres, but only lit one.”

Very likely yes. The cost of the actual cable isn’t that much. Paying people to dig up the roads to lay it is most of the cost, and it doesn’t cost any more to ask them to lay a load of them rather than just one strand.

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A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

katrinab
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Re: 30 or 32?

It is 32 years old, but the Windows port is 30 years old.

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katrinab
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WTF?

"Accountancy firms don't use Excel."

They use Excel for everything, regardless of whether it is the most suitable tool for the job.

Writing letters, doing presentations, databases, calendars, maybe adding up a row of numbers on occasion. I've not seen anyone send emails or watch cat videos using it, but I'm sure it happens somewhere.

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Someone told Google to nuke links to mean reviews of disgraced telco True Telecom

katrinab
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Re: Googled it

Same here, using Sky, and 9.9.9.9 for DNS.

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Samba needs two patches, unless you're happy for SMB servers to dance for evildoers

katrinab
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Devil

"FreeBSD + Samba is much quicker for me, EVEN on slower hardware.

is that what you meant? Because, that's what _I_ have obseved!"

Yes

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katrinab
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"Windows Server is significantly faster on the same hardware."

Really? FreeBSD + Samba is much quicker for me on slower hardware.

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London mayor: Self-driving cars? Not without jacked-up taxes, you don't!

katrinab
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Re: I've never understood...

Same logic as taxing red diesel and white diesel differently.

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katrinab
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Re: I've never understood...

Most likely a tax on electricity supplied via an electric car charging point.

You could avoid that by charging from a 13A domestic plug, but it would take so long to charge a car with a reasonable range, that it probably wouldn't be worth the effort.

1 litre of petrol is about 10kWh, so it would take about 3h 10m to get the equivalent of 1 litre of petrol through a 13A plug. A typical petrol pump pushes through 50 litres per minute.

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katrinab
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Re: I've never understood...

The amount of fuel you use is proportionate to the amount of use you make of the roads / the amount of pollution you cause, and it is pretty difficult to avoid paying it.

So, given that if you didn't pay it at the petrol pump, you would have to pay it by some other means, I think fuel tax is a pretty fair tax.

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