I think most El Reg readers wouldn't be able to do the job...without going on a serious set of (expensive) courses, learning how to shrug and say "oh well, never mind, it will just cost another £22b and take another 20 years".
53 posts • joined 30 Jun 2011
Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR
Re: Conspiracy time?
Not only that but they (Cummings really) are apparently selling our NHS and NHSX data to Palantir.
Secret deals done by our government and Cummings with Palantir and NHS data, including that NHSX app: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/we-must-be-told-what-cummings-and-palantir-are-doing-nhs-data/
Carole Cadwalladr (who exposed Cambridge Analytica) and (I'm really surprised) The Daily Telegraph are also over this. I'm a bit behind the times as this was reported 2 weeks ago: https://twitter.com/carolecadwalla/status/1261961893461229569?s=20
Re: Scary and Scarier
Yes, but similar to Micky Flanagan's "out out", there is "off off". From what I understand from various articles, even when you have your mobe turned off, it is still partially on and reporting stuff back to mothership.
The only way to have it "off off" is to remove the battery...and give it an hour or two for every capacitor etc. to discharge...or drop it in a bucket of acid (as many phones are now waterproof).
So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?
Re: Bluetooth (alone) won't work.
"...Even with bad reception you're talking 5 meter radius, running up to 10 meters..."
Although like every study at the moment, this one will probably be contested too but the 10m radius is probably about right...unless you have a cyclist whizzing around you somewhere:
"Blocken suggests staying at least four to five metres behind others when walking in single file, 10 metres when running or cycling slowly, and 20 metres when cycling quickly"
Re: Maybe I have missed the point
"We are also seeing a high percentage of people who are self isolating because they think that the have symptoms, but who are unable to be tested."
Yup, I am one of those. I am pretty sure I had it for 9 days as had many of the symptoms, compared them with the JoinZoe app and my medic friends...but I know I won't be able to get tested for months, possibly over a year, possibly never.
FYI I have the constitution of an ox and have not had any illness for even more than 24 hours for about 40 years...and this one just kept returning (3 times in total).
Re: Maybe I have missed the point
I think you are both right, Russell and Martin. Proactive and retrospective notifications.
Yes, due to insufficient testing, any app like this in the UK would be largely after-the-fact notification (aka Martin's post) to notify you to get your arse indoors and isolated. However, that is likely to have been way too late (days, weeks or even months at current testing rates) and you would already have probably infected others (and hence there would be a geometric cascade to others who had been in proximity). See a previous response I made on this topic about viral shedding being between 8 and 37 days (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30566-3/fulltext).
It would be better to provide proactive notifications (aka Russell's post) so you (singular and plural) can avoid coming into contact with someone either already or likely to have been infected. Risk avoidance is always much better than mitigation. E.g. if someone has been in proximity of 20,000 people over the last few days, I would want to know and avoid them at all costs whether they have the virus or someone they were close to did actually/may have the virus. If everyone in proximity of such a person was notified they were about to be in the presence of someone like this then people can take a wider berth and/or shame that person into being more cautious. Of course, that can also backfire if such people then get assaulted.
Re: First, understand the problem you're trying to solve...
"...and that many people will be symptomless or symptom-light carriers for up to 14 days..."
Hate to say it but even 14 days is too short and is part of the still-present-herd-immunity strategic approach:
"The shortest observed duration of viral shedding among survivors was 8 days, whereas the longest was 37 days. The median duration of viral shedding was 20·0 days (IQR 17·0–24·0) in survivors, but continued until death in fatal cases"
Re: Bluetooth vulnerabilities
Yes, I was thinking along similar lines that many don't have Bluetooth turned on for many reasons.
I keep my Bluetooth turned off because it is still very battery-draining...and that's with an iPhone 11 Pro. Yeah, I am too lazy to check whether having this turned off now means that it is still not broadcasting anything bluetooth-y. I bloody well hope not.
"What evidence do you have the Bojo wants to reduce our employment rights?"
Have a gander at https://norightsemployee.uk, especially the Heroes page which, surprise-surprise, lists just about the whole on the PCP (Parliamentary Conservative Party, not the drugs I think they have been snorting)...together with a light dusting of others.
Also look at IR35 legislation
What do we want? A proper review of IR35! When do we want it? Last year! Bunch of IT contractors protest outside UK Parliament
Re: IT contractors protest outside Parliament
We protested outside and also inside, both last July and yesterday. Many more MPS listened and attended yesterday than last July...but that’s because people like us carried on lobbying and not rolling over and accepting large devices shoved up our orifices.
Others have ordered extra heavy-duty batteries for their devices.
Re: Anonymous Contractor
"... erm most people in reality expect **YOU TO*. Esp. from the much larger wad you get as renumeration for your services compared to a permie."
I don't think you quite understand my post, NeilPost. I am not saying that contractors, IT or otherwise, aren't expecting to pay for those. That's all part of our life choice of contracting. But, if they are going to be taxed and treated like perm employees who *do* get all of that, then they should also get all of that. Yes, Gig economy/zero-hours contractors also don't get these but that is a slightly different story (though arguable that it shouldn't be).
What my post was saying is that permies will soon be going the same way, i.e. through umbrellas...and then they won't get any of those either.
Also, your salary as a permie is not the same as the cost of employing a permie to an organisation (and I am not talking recruitment but ongoing salary after year 1). A permie's salary is Net *after* getting all those perks/rights; a contractor's rate is Gross *before* they have to pay for all of that and more.
“ If you go through an umbrella company company you will have to pay employees and employer national insurance, aprentice levey”
Not quite true: it is against the law for an employer to take Employer’s NI and Apprenticeship Levy out of a worker’s pay.
However, as many umbrellas do, they have a sneaky clause in their contract with the worker that this is what they are doing i.e. the worker is unbeknowningly taking a 14.3% pay cut...before tax. If the worker signs that contract, they have agreed to it and can no longer complain. So all should watch out for it.
Re: Seasonal Work
“I have been a contractor, been a permanent employee and run a company with staff providing consulting services to a variety of clients simultaneously. The first two were very similar ...
I don't think contractors are the special case they have convinced themselves ”
Although I agree to a degree, as someone who does Target Operating Models and frameworks for orgs and hence outside IR35, this fustercluck has got the sphincters of 60,000 orgs and 20,000 agencies involved (P3 of https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020) in a right dither, all to just try and snare 3.4% (170,000 or 230,000) of PSCs while impacting 100% of PSCs (5 million).
Their business case and rationale is just not common sense...unless they have something to gain personally longer term.
Re: It's not just IR35 though
“Out of that list VAT isn't really a cost for the freelancer. It might be for some classes of client.“
VAT is passed along and paid by the org/consumer last in line. For most freelancers, that is the case, so technically or otherwise, the freelancer DOES pay the VAT.
Without those freelancers, the client won’t be paying VAT for those services they don’t get, so won’t be able to reclaim VAT against their profits.
It is a small increase. Look at the stats for which mainly are sourced from figures from the govt:
The Government is risking 14.5% (£305bn) of GDP to collect 0.17% (£1.3bn) of tax revenue but lose at least 3.3% of tax revenue in the process (+ another 20% if including lost VAT), just to catch 3.4% (170,000 or 230,000) of PSCs while impacting 100% of PSCs (5 million), 60,000 engager organisations and 20,000 agencies.
“ It really doesn't make sense to treat someone as an employee without giving them the benefits that the law obliges them to do.”
I totally agree but, unfortunately as I only found out myself last week, Employment Status is different between Employment Law and Tax Law (https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/employment-status) which is where, I think, much of the problem lies. (also outlined in the Taylor Review of Modern Work Practices (11/07/2017) on page 33 - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices).
Re: re: contractors are not prepared to be unfairly treated
“ HMRC doesn't care either way, they wan their pound of flesh”
No, they’re not shaking the tree, they are shaking the whole orchard and countryside.
The Government is risking 14.5% (£305bn) of GDP to collect 0.17% (£1.3bn) of tax revenue but lose at least 3.3% of tax revenue in the process (+ another 20% if including lost VAT), just to catch 3.4% (170,000 or 230,000) of PSCs while impacting 100% of PSCs (5 million), 60,000 engager organisations and 20,000 agencies, introducing extra significant admin, confusion and risk to all, many PSCs of which will be incorrectly classed as inside-IR35
“ Now those companies have been caught at it, and told that if they are treating people as full-time permanent staff they need to do so in accordance with the law.”
And you don’t just think that BigCorp won’t just then push all new “perms” through the umbrella, inside-IR35 channel?! Think a bit longer term: they’re f**king us all, slice by slice.
Re: Anonymous Contractor
“ Well put. I wonder if all the contractors in this thread can see the irony of telling a permie to stop moaning and get a job while they're all simultaneously crying about about having to pay tax like the rest of us.”
We, contractors, pay more than 3.3% in effective tax” than permies (https://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/comparing_taxes_contractors_versus_employees.aspx) More when you also include VAT.
There is one benefit that comes out of this: orgs (before they force all new permies to go through umbrella companies in the gig economy) will realise how much dead weight that they have in their permies that were compensated for by contractors.
Re: Anonymous Contractor
I also used to be a “Big 4” consultancy perm hired out to clients at £3.5k per day. How much did I get for that? Less than £200 per day. That’s why I went independent even if I only got 25% of that.
I am, however, glad that those big consultancies have been told they can’t take on the likes of me as Associates and apply their 50% markup without doing anything. They had probably been rubbing their hands together (see page 16 of https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/806331/28_05_2019_Full_Review_SOL_Final_Report_1159.pdf...though not so much now).
Re: if the current situation was so awful ... switching to permanent roles would be more popular
You’re actually probably getting about £400 per day for holiday/sickness etc. and another 5-10% as pension contribution...and it is much harder for them to get rid of you, even if you happen to be a useless muppet. You also don’t have to pay for indemnity insurance and all that.
Perms gripe a lot that contractors get more. Yes, we get more (not much) but I e have expenses that a perm wouldn’t think about and have to ride the famine-feast cycle. Which is why we are happy to pay the 3.3% more (+ another 20% of VAT on sales) for they flexibility and risk (https://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/comparing_taxes_contractors_versus_employees.aspx). If you were that jealous, go and join.
Without contractors (genuine outside-IR35 ones, that is...or even those inside), this country will fri d to a halt.
Hope you’re confident that you won’t get a P45 for resting on your laurels as a perm.
Re: Anonymous Contractor
Apologies in advance as I don’t like to be personally critical but don’t be naive that you think that this won’t affect permies in years to come. When orgs can push all “perms” was through umbrella companies, which they will do, who’s gonna pay for your holiday, sickness etc. cover and your pension contributions. When orgs understand they can get the same workforce (if we do give in) and save themselves about 40-50% “taxes” (Employers NI of 13.8%, Apprenticship Levy 0.5%, holiday pay ~5-10%, pension contributions ~5-10%, training ~3%...+ expenses and perks like company car, health insurance), which way do you think they’re gonna go? I hope you are very comfortable and confident in your specialties in your role...because, quite frankly, there are probably 10x the amount of contractors that have more experience cross-industry in that specialism than you (yes, I admit I haven’t read your profile).
Also bear in mind that contractors in the £50k-£150k bracket, i.e. most contractors I know and have known, actually pay 3.3% more in effective tax than permies already (https://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/comparing_taxes_contractors_versus_employees.aspx)...and that’s excluding the 20% VAT that contractors pay as they are often end of the line.
This is also a system for GPs, right? UK doctors seek clarity over Health dept's £40m single sign-on funding
Huawei, Huawei. Huawei, Huawei. Feeling hot, hot, hot: US threatens to cut UK from intel sharing over Chinese tech giant
Re: @AC ... The real reasons
"Don't trust the Chinese, don't trust the Americans. Trust facts."
Exactly. I was waiting for someone to say this. I would go further though and say "Don't trust anyone". Sometimes, I don't even trust yourself and will 'devil's advocate' my own judgements and rationale.
If you were that clever, your company wouldn't need any contractors.
If you were that clever, you would be a team leader, manager, director or above and know where, when and how contractors add value.
Your comment though shows that you are likely not just not-clever but ostensibly pretty dumb and/or lazy.
Your only way-out is if your company has no contractors, in which it is highly likely it is a dead-end company on its way down (with dead-end, bottom-of-barrel employees)...or could be a start-up that is going to be one of the many statistics where they fail.
Contractors do pay their taxes.
Re: If it wasn't so stupidly expensive to dispose of stuff...
If you’ve got the money to buy a boat, you’ve got the money to dispose of it...responsibly. TCO.
If you’ve fallen on hard times, tough titties. You should have thought of that...and, at worst, give it away for free.
I think tip rates and conditions are perfectly fine and reasonable.
All I can say is that this is obvious that it is still their responsibility (and accountability).
Just because something is outsourced/off-shored/clouded doesn't mean that responsibility is similarly outsourced/off-shored/clouded. Quite the opposite: it means that you now have more responsibility as you now need to ensure that it is all being managed correctly.
Otherwise you end up with the equivalent of CDS/exotics packages that started the Credit Crunch: toxic SLAs, managed by incompetents, wrapped up in good SLAs etc etc.
For example, what if your cloud provider decided to outsource their administration to G4S?
Graphene will be key to take Moore's Law strain
As Gronkle says, Graphene is already spinning up & ready to take over from where Silicon's physical limits are reached. With the atoms being so much smaller than Si and some, I believe, wondrous other characteristics at such a small scale, I think we have a way to go yet, maybe even until quantum chips do come online in quantity.
Re: I can't hold back
Philistine. Starship Troopers I is a classic. I knew it was gonna be cheesey (I think it's supposed to be) but I was actually very surprised at how well it was done.
As to 2 and 3 though, oh, yes, I totally concur. They were oh so bad that it would have been better to watch an Am-Dram Senior Citizen version of it in a theatre.
Re: I must like shit movies then
I also like most of those...maybe not for its direction etc and sometimes the direction is so bad that it is a cult classic. I have Battlefield Earth on DVD and watch it every now and again.
Believe me, there are quite a few DVDs I do have that are "high brow" that will never ever see the insides of my DVD player ever again.
Which reminds me, I'm overdue watching "Where Eagles Dare" again: a film choc full of clichés, it's absolutely a masterpiece.
And I also concur, I watched Battleship last weekend and, compared to many in that list, it was complete and utter drivel. Even the storyline barely hangs together. The effects were OK but why the hell would a civilisation that could travel between stars in days/months only have the capability of half-hearted swimming and ballistic weapons? Practically everyone on that movie needs to be shot, from scriptwriter onwards.
What about your phone number?
"An IP address is no more personal to me than the number of a hotel room"
That could be the case if IP addresses are assigned dynamically rather than static. But, even if dynamic (and mine is), quite often they are static (mine has been the same since I started with my ISP.
So an IP address is probably more equivalent to your mobile number rather than a hotel room number...and I'm sure you wouldn't want your mobile number bandied around to all the marketers etc.
"Stroking a finger across a tablet surface is subject to a patent."
I totally agree. I remember at the time when I read about this case that, if you could patent such crazy things, I was going to take out a patent about how to have a crap...or, you might say, "Big Jobs"...but he would probably sue me for that.
Sounds like the NHS...and better vending machine, anyone?
In some ways, I agree, Shannon, but it does sound like the new NHS model which, although noble, would only really serve an As-Is operational world rather than a To-Be world. I.e. they may "vote" for the projects that will improve existing, promising or broken projects, but would they improve the strategic direction for a bigger, braver new world?
On a flippant side to exaggerate my point, those departmental users are more likely to vote for a bigger, better vending machine than anything else.
An alternative? Well, a spin on your proposition by giving those users' departments zero budget and make them vote for no more than 80% of their existing systems to keep alive and then get the department heads create the business benefits arguments to actually get the budget. It would also shake them up to be mindful of why they are there i.e. not just to feather their own nests. Then they will have had practice to weight and score new strategic projects.
Governance is getting top-down and bottom-up to meet & agree
Fristly, Charybdis, I quite agree, it is a <blech> team effort. In this ever-faster world, it is more and more critical now for senior responsible officers/stakeholders know as quickly as possible the state of programmes & projects under their area (& costing them money).
How many projects have people worked on when what's delivered does not meet the requirements of stakeholders, users or don't meet the benefits? I would say "most". Although users are often the day-to-day customers of a new system/produt/whatever, they are unfortunately often left in the dark about strategic direction changes, so users often come up with requirements to "fix" existing practices rather than be included as stakeholders of new practices.
Governance is required to cross-brace across this change hierarchy to ensure that projects remain on track (to meet expected business benefits), status & change is communicated as fast as possible up/cascaded down so those responsible (not just stakeholders but programme & project managers too) can take the necessary decisions and actions, and to do all this in as efficient, pragmatic, repeatable and as least onerous as possible a way. Without this, programmes suffer from Grapevine or Telephone (more PC than ******* Whispers) whereby the message drifts or is watered down each level of the hierarchy it traverses.
Just think of the levels in your organisation and think how quickly such information does and should go from top to bottom and bottom to top. You will find they are typically very different answers. Top-to-bottom is typically very quick (a mandate from on-high but often without any real direction or how-to, just make it so [or JFDI]). For bottom-to-top, well, I have known a week or a fortnight and maybe even a month to just go up 1 level. For both, it should be instantaneous: anyone should be able to get a snapshot at any point in time based on real information used by and in use by real people on the project (e.g. requirements, risks, issues, build, testing). All these need to be weighted & categorised (quickly done) after which it is a relatively simple job to summarise at any level of the hierarchy.
It is a team effort, it's just that the team needs to be so much bigger (vertically) nowadays.
The other benefit is making those responsible responsible. Think of the banks or, even more recently, the NotW/News International.
...and will NotW openly report its own internal findings?
Will they ride roughshod over the personal lives of all those that are or might be involved? Will they publish all and be damned? Will they bribe other reporters for insider leaked memos and tap their own voicemails?
Is this whole, public story in the public interest and worthy of reporting?
I pray that this happens and starts the infinite feedback look (reporting on the report of the report) and they all end up devouring themselves out of existence.
Isolated incidents seek company
When has anything isolated ever really remained isolated? To me, the police should have acted on this incident forthwith. They were dealing with a missing girl here!
Yes, NotW probably got let off because the Police didn't want to spanner NotW plastering their paper with the story and providing awareness. But NotW only care about circulation. If they have/had done something wrong and broken the law, they ABOVE ALL should have been prosecuted to stop this from becoming the standard practice that it appears to have become.
I don't know what the statute of limitations is on this but NotW should be investigated heavily...as well as the Police over this incident (as to who signed off on it and, most importantly, why).