* Posts by GruntyMcPugh

924 posts • joined 29 Sep 2016


Brekkie TV host Lorraine Kelly wins IR35 ruling against HMRC, adds fuel to freelance techies' ire over tax reforms

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

@AC IR35 was implemented in part, to stop companies employing individuals as contractors, but on a permanent basis. That was a fiddle, it saved companies from paying their contribution to National Insurance etc, so paid contractors some of those savings. The company benefitted,. the 'contractor' benefitted, HMRC and the UK lost out on tax revenue.

But if people registered as private companies, and provide services to more than one company, all is good, they are genuine contractors. Kelly appears to be doing exactly that

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: If so...


You beat me to it. I work in local Govt, we get revenue from local Council Tax, Central Govt, and previously have generated income from housing (Council Houses long since paid for themselves and latterly provided profit). Central Govt funding is still crucial.

McAfee – the completely sane guy, not the biz – told to fork out $25m over 'torture, murder' of his Belize neighbor

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Both in the wrong tbh

@Dabooka "restrain (when needed)"

I feel kids singing need to be restrained, but you know, am, not enough of a curmudgeon to tell them to shut their yap. Kids sing, dogs bark, we bite our tongue.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Both in the wrong tbh


Dogs bark. One of mine barks because he gets excited. It's not aggression. He wags his tail and barks.

Vengeful sacked IT bod destroyed ex-employer's AWS cloud accounts. Now he'll spent rest of 2019 in the clink

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: That's what you get when

I checked out a few old colleagues on Linkedin a while back, one, a former manager, has quite different recollections of our time together, he remembers it as him instigating a training and mentoring regime, nurturing and developing talent in his team,... whereas I recall him spending money like water and crashing three company cars because he drove like a twat.

Another had every role he'd ever had, straight out of Uni, described as 'Senior', yeah, because firms hire recent graduates and give them 'senior' roles,......

It's good a laugh though.

Science says death metal fans delightful and intelligent people, great at dinner parties

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Not surprising


I'm a metal fan, and I've been to the opera more times that I've been to football matches. IE, I've been to the opera several times, and football,.... never.

Back in the day, I used to know some of the guys from the band 'Sabbat', the lead singer, Martin Walkyier had opera singing lessons to improve and extend his range.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Musically...

Venom and Slayer aren't really Death Metal,... Venom would be Black Metal, and Slayer Thrash Metal. Now, yes there are cross overs and it's all differents shades of Black. But 'Ride the Lightning' by Metallica could be considered an early 'Death Metal' album.

That Pharell song is drek, either way.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge


Spot on, I'm a metal fan, and a mate of mine, also a metal fan, is an accountant for entertainment and media types (some names, but I won't drop them). In the 90s, he managed a few bands, and promoted events, and I crewed quite a few dance events, mostly tribal techno, and I bloody loved it.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: On the one hand

@Chris G. 'Sunshine Pop',....

Few things will make me reach for the off button on the radio, faster than 'Walking on Sunshine' or 'Perfect'. Amazing how fast I can move while retching.

Uber driver drove sleeping woman miles away from home to 'up the fare'. Now he's facing years in the clink for kidnapping, fraud

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Send him down

My car is affectionately called 'Bubba'. The reg number ends in 'BZB' so originally it was Beelzebub, but that was a bit of a mouthful. So it's now 'Bubba'. It is a 4x4,.... but not a pick up.

UK peers suggest one big 'Digital Authority' to watch the tech watchers, tighten up regulation

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

@Doctor Syntax

The Chart also makes a reference to Microsoft SkyDrive,.... which was renamed to OneDrive in 2014, so I'd guess this doc dates back to sometime around that period.

Snapchat is missing, seems no excuse for that, it was available back in 2011.

No mention of IBM in the cloud section, nor Rackspace, Dropbox or Evernote.

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

@Charlie Clark "A wind farm is hardly likely to have a lot of people in it."

I can't quite see our local one from the office window, but it's not far away, and is a bit of a local landmark. They're not all in completely rural regions.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

@Pen-y-gors "walk up Helvelyn in trainers/high heels/flip-flops"

Indeed, some years ago, me and a couple of mates had just done Ben Nevis, and were about 2/3rds the way back down, when we came across a family walking up. My mate, out of concern, stopped to talk to them, and asked if they planned to summit 'yes, we're going all the way to the top' said dad,.... "Ok, it's just that it took us just over a couple of hours, to summit and we started at 10:00hrs, ...it's now 14:00hrs, so the earliest you'll be done is 18:00hrs if you can match our pace. Oh, btw, it's raining up there, and there's still snow in places (this was the first week of July). it was raining lightly at that low altitude, so the youngest child was wearing his 'rainwear' one of those plastic ponchos you get on a log flume ride.

FBI warns of SIM-swap scams, IBM finds holes in visitor software, 13-year-old girl charged over JavaScript prank...

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge


When I was a kid, I'd go into WH Smith, and write a little basic prog on their Oric~1, a loop just long enough so I could get out of the door, then a loop around 'PING ZAP SHOOT EXPLODE' pre-defined sounds. It was the computer equivalent of setting all the egg timers in 'Spoils'. probably get arrested for that these days.

That's a nice ski speaker you've got there. Shame if it got pwned

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Because skiing or snowboarding aren't dangerous enough already?

I don't listen to music on the slopes either, in the vain hope it'll prevent collisions, but when you have some a-hole skier who thinks they are Franz Klammer bearing down on you, there usually isn't time to take evasive action. Too many times I've seen fellow boarders look round, just in time to look their assailant in the face, then boom.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Because skiing or snowboarding aren't dangerous enough already?

@Steve Button

From my experience, by the time you hear someone, it's probably too late (on the piste, that is) totally agree for riding a bike etc.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

I'll stick with my Binatone PMR446,....

... the only recent technological concession they have digital squelch. We use call signs, so our chatter doesn't reveal our real names. On the slopes, I'm 'Snake' btw,......

It's not your imagination: Ticket scalper bots are flooding the internet according this 'ere study

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge


Hardly insurmountable problems,... I mean a button that says 'I'm buying this as a gift', and a little form to put the name of the recipient in, so their ID can be checked.

The group thing,.... most people books seats together, so I'd presume you'd meet up and go in together, or you know, yet another button, and little forms to enter the ID of the recipients.

BT 'UK's most powerful Wi-Fi'? Why, fie, for shame! – ads watchdog

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge


.. it makes me feel greater,.... :-)

From the album 'Masters of the Universe' iirc,. the only Hawkwind album I own,.... which I got from a bargain bin when I was but a nipper.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Most powerful wifi?


Pretty much what I shouted at the telly when I first saw the advert,... but with a few more Effs 'n Jeffs.

But yeah, it's bollocks, no point in the router having a 'powerful' signal if the devices in the house can't reach it.

Lenovo kicks down door of MWC, dumps a stack of sexy new ThinkPads

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Has trump banned them yet?

Trump's Signature Shirts are made in China. I hear the buttons are tiny little bugs,..... : -)

Decoding the President, because someone has to: Did Trump just blow up concerted US effort to ban Chinese 5G kit?

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: 6G?


I popped home at lunch, and had a quick play with the volume, ... and yeah, 62 then Max,.... odd.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: 6G?


I too drive a Rav4,... I've never had the stereo up that loud to find out what value it tops out at,..... I think I'm going to have to try that now.

The Air con values are a bit odd,.... lowest temperature is 16degrees (C) which is warm, then below that, it's 'Lo' which is chilly,... could do with a couple of settings between the two.

Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

They haven't called in a while,....

... but last time, the young lady was keen to point out the Smart Meter came at no cost,.... 'Apart from me having to use a day's leave, you mean?' She ummed and ahhed a bit, tried to tell me it will save me money, and I just stressed the point I'd be using up a precious day off, to get something installed I have no interest in having.

Secret mic in Nest gear wasn't supposed to be a secret, says Google, we just forgot to tell anyone

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: i believe it was a mistake..


So is it usually perfectly silent in your house?

Mine isn't, the dogs will bark when the post arrives, the cat will vomit on the rug (not on the tiles, or floorboards, but the rug), there will be a taxi honking to alert someone it's there to pick them up, the odd siren of an emergency vehicle.

So a home snoop would be nagging me about this stuff, when I really don't care.

What did turbonerds do before the internet? 41 years ago, a load of BBS

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: I missed the beginning and almost the end


I was a HENSA user back in the day,.... but I was working at a Polytechnic, so we were part of the JANET network, so had a direct (ish) connection to HENSA. No idea if it was possible to dial in. We could log in and browse the titles interactively, then once you found something you wanted (I recall getting various Fractal Explorers, and 'Graphics Workshop' from there) , I had to request it with a UUCP file transfer. Once the file arrived, I could then ftp it down to a PC from our VAX.

Return of the audio format wars and other money-making scams

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Hmmm...

@Alien8n: "MP3 killed the value of music"

I don't agree. .mp3 means you should really only be paying for the music, not the packaging, the distribution, the ground rent, or the distracted youth that staffs the record counter at the weekends.

CDs are cheaper because the distribution is cheaper. I still buy CDs, but I buy them online, I mean, why the heck would I wait until the weekend, drive into town. pay to park, only to discover that the local HMV don't have the album I want? Especially likely now, given half the floor devoted to music is now vinyl and t-shirts, and the CD section got squeezed.

I still have a record player hooked up in my home office, and occasionally spin up some old records, but there's no way in hell I'd ever spend money on new records. I used to love the Odyssey, searching for vinyl in many and various record shops, I always checked out the record shops in new cities I'd visit, but now, aged fifty, I just can't be *rsed with that any more. Some of the stuff I want is hard to find with Google, I'd really exhaust the shoe leather if actually went looking for it, for real.

From Red Planet to deep into the red: Suicidal extrovert magnet Mars One finally implodes

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: "reality TV "stars" dying from crash landing, habitat failure, or slow suffocation. "


Indeed. I spent some time in Academia, and shared houses with PhD / Post docs while I was in my first few jobs. So, one bunch, Degree in Pharmacy, PhD in Maths/Post doc research, and a PhD chemist,... would wait for me to come back from work and fix the central heating when it went on the blink,... you know, 'cos I was the 'tecchie' (Physics/Computing BSc).

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: An update from an Actual Mars One candidate...

@JDX: "it seems. The plan has always been to hire people who do know how to build and deliver safely, not have some guy in a shed do it."

Riiiight,.... but not use qualified astronauts?

So mars One spend billions on the Infrastructure, made by qualified engineers, then put people inside the spacecraft that have no idea how to repair them?

I'm sorry your friend was scammed.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Just a flesh wound!

Yeah, looks like they are trying to get some 'investor' (The Mars One Foundation' perhaps, which is separate, apparently) to buy up 'Mars One Ventures AG' , placate the people who are owed money (some million € ) I presume by giving them some small fraction of what they are owed, and then they plan to spin up the hoopla machine again.

I really hope this fails utterly, they've had a good run spending other peoples' money. Time for them to get jobs.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Mar One

I hadn't realised they'd floated,.... and wow, what the data over at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange tells us,....


Hit the '10 years' tab, and see for a brief period, some twenty days, the stock soared majestically off the launch pad,.... then had a heart attack and died, recently trading at €0.05 a share, from their apogee of €9.6.

I guess at day 19 into the mission, the bold investors jettisoned their investment, leaving those holding the shares to crash into the ocean.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

According to Wikipedia,....

... Mars One netted some $928,888 in donations since it's announcement in 2012, leaving Bas Lansdorp a measly $130k a year to live on.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Wish I'd Thought Of That

Have an upvote for remembering 'Space Cadets',...

I think I used that show as a reference when I debunked Mars one on some forum many years ago.

I studied hard, I trained for years. Yay, now I'm an astronaut in space. Argggh, leukemia!

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Virus vs Bacteria

@Mage: "You'd die living only on rabbit."

I'm having a QI flashback : -)

Remember Woolworths? Well there's a different* one that still exists in Oz. Telstra wants NBN Co to help shove fibre in it

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

"revival of the name"

Aha, that makes sense, although I was going up North on the A1 end of last year, and at one point overtook a lorry which had had 'Hofmeister' written down the side (in shabby faded text, admittedly).

So I had to go Google, and apparently, it's a thing again (although not in that lorry, which was an 80's original, by the looks, and also looked like it had perhaps been buried, and dug up).

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Reckon you can follow all this? Then I'll begin...

@ AC: "and they didn't go under until 2008"

This is true, but one thing that helped kill Woolies (or whatever collection of parent companies) was that they became a major distributor of music media and when 'Zavvi' (Formerly 'Virgin Megastores') had financial troubles and the wheels came off, that left Woolies in trouble as a source of revenue was gone. Although it wasn't a good time, financially, for anyone iirc.

Not that they'd have survived if they'd retained their business model, HMV eventually ran out of rope. I do however wonder how Woollies would have fared if they'd remained more diverse.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Reckon you can follow all this? Then I'll begin...

@AC: "The UK Woolies was spun off as an entirely separate business from its US parent during the 1980s"

IIRC (I was a Saturday lad working for them around this time) Uk Woolies was bought by 'The Kingfisher Group' which owned a few other highstreet (well, out of town megashop) brands, like Comet, and B&Q etc. This spelled disaster for the classic Woolies stores. When I started, Woolies sold everything, from Pick 'n Mix and cigarettes at the front of the store, kids clothes, records, computers, TV, 'HiFi', (in quotes 'cos we sold Amstrad), Watches and Jewellery, cameras and photo processing, bicycles, lighting and electricals, furniture, there was a cafe, soft furnishings and curtains, toys, hardware and tools, a butchery dept, and groceries. But as some of these items were sold by other outlets the same group had, they were removed from sale at Woolies (someone didn't understand the soap powder paradox*) and we had far fewer lines in store. Then they ended up with sweets, toys and records, and of course, eventually went bust.

(* There are many and various 'brands' of detergent, but only a few manufacturers, so when a customer changes 'brand' the more brands you have in the marketplace, the more likely you are to retain a customer. So a 'lost' sale isn't really a loss, if they back on another of your brands. Woolies didn't understand this, that a highstreet outlet, and an industrial estate outlet covered two markets, and therefore doubled their chance of a sale.)

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

I ain't afraid,...

... of no goats.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

"Just as likely a passer-by could have put it in the bin."

Depends if it had horns or not, if it had horns, I'd have taken it home and added it to my collection. ...of skulls,.... a collection of _heads_ would be creepy.

Stalk my pals on social media and you'll know that the next words out of my mouth will be banana hammock

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Could this be...

Cromarty, Dogger, Fisher Bank, Sou Westerly.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Cream

I treid to wirte a wtity repsonse but I cnat 'cos I hvae sponge fingers.

Starship bloopers: In touching tribute to Tesla shares, Musk proto-craft tumbles – as Bezos' Blue Origin rocket lifts off

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Flesh Gordon

...ah I knew I'd seen that rocket before! It wasn't until it was nearly at apogee and the footage was as grainy as a overplayed VHS that I really saw the similarity though ; -)

On that, props for the camera work and commentary on this one, the tracking was superb, I'm totally impressed the quality is so good we can clearly see capsule separation from 66 miles, and the commentary made the ten mins fly by (crap pun intended).

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: amazon delivery drones

@druck "Outlawed as it damn well should be."

I'm now imagining Amazon delivery drones in Lincoln Green, robbing from the rich (Amazon) and delivering to the poor,.....

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: 2.9 miles


Aw, bugger, 2.5 miles from the local nick. So, even though I'm on the other side of town, and the FPV toy drone is WiFi only, and couldn't possibly get anywhere near the place, I'll need to file a flight plan, to the shed and back?

The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: "Massey died in a fusillade of bullets"


So many fallacies in your post, it's almost like you've never discussed this before and had them debunked. Here we go again.

Go look at the Kleck stats. Then look at FBI crime rates, See if the numbers add up. If Kleck's stats are anywhere near accurate, the modern USA is a crime pit. Oddly, if you take the Kleck stats as being real, gun owners are crime magnets, reporting attempted muggings etc many more times than unarmed citizens. Or they are paranoid, and draw if someone looks at them funny.

Murder rates by country and gun laws,.. here you are wrong. The UK has strict gun laws and very low murder rates by firearm. Since firearms were restricted post Dunblane we've had zero, that's zero, mass shootings. Our laws were in response to firearms crime, with trophy weapons being brought to the UK after the World Wars, Australia has restricted firearms similarly, guess what? Same result.

The Swiss fallacy! Alive and well on the Internet! The Swiss have National Service, so a vastly larger proportion of the populace have basic training, and are actually taught how to use, and respect a firearm. While it's true reservists keep a rifle at home (skewing the figures) they didn't really have access to ammunition, it was kept sealed, and was inspected, with stringent penalties. Now this is not the case, ammunition is not stored at home and will be issued in case of National emergency.

Mexico has high rate of gun crime, and restrictive gun laws, well, can you work out why? Why do you assume that laws are the cause, and not the reaction? If there is a strict law, it's a reaction to crime, if there are relaxed laws, it's a reaction to low crime, you have to take your blinkers off here.

No, British criminals not using firearms is not 'cultural', culturally, Highwaymen would stick a pistol in your face and take your goods. We have low gun crime because guns are hard to obtain, it really is that simple.

Blah blah New Hampshire,... low crime makes them feel safe to be able to legislate that way. If the crime rate changes significantly, expect the law to follow.

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: "Massey died in a fusillade of bullets"

@AC : "Whilst the UK has stabbings virtually every (other) day and acid attacks."

Country Region Subregion Rate Count Year listed Source

United Kingdom Europe Northern Europe 1.20 791 2016 CTS

United States Americas Northern America 5.35 17,250 2016 NP/UNSDC/CTS


Giving the USA over four times the overall homicide rate, compared to the UK. That's _rate_ before anyone says anything about the larger population. So, Kleck et al came up with some BS 'gun defense' stats, so why aren't your guns preventing these homicides via 'defensive gun use' hmmm?

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: A high viz vest?

@TrumpSlurp the Troll "safety" gear doesn't make you safer. It just makes you feel invulnerable"

I don't like wearing a snowboard helmet, and last time I went snowboarding, my lack of helmet was remarked upon by my fellow board chums,.... they were rather surprised to hear that despite the prevalence of helmet wearing on the slopes these days, the incidence of serious head injury hasn't really changed. Research backs up your claim, with too many noobs hitting the board park and trying jumps when they haven't got the skill.

Now, I do have a helmet, and I will wear it when I deem it necessary, but for the most part, I value peripheral vision and unencumbered head movement more.

Dear humans, We thought it was time we looked through YOUR source code. We found a mystery ancestor. Signed, the computers

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

I'm not saying it Hobbits,...

... but it's Hobbits.

Mine's the one with the ring in the pocket.

Vodafone signs $550m deal with IBM to offload cloud biz

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: "Watson conditioned pin-headed weasel-bots"

@Rosie ... I literally did LOL.

IBM HR made me lie to US govt, says axed VP in age-discrim legal row: I was ordered to cover up layoffs of older workers

GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

Re: Age...

@AC "Well educated graduates can bring in skills, enthusiasm, an energy"

IBM will soon beat that out of them. If there's one thing I learned during my time, was that changing things was painful. I'd find that some process was flawed, and people had been doing it wrong for years,... trying to get it corrected was swimming against the tide. I'll wager many of things I corrected in my area are now being done incorrectly again, and if anyone from PWC wants some pointers for their next audit, ping me.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019