* Posts by Simon Watson

44 posts • joined 29 Mar 2012

Boffins with frickin' laser beams chase universe's mysterious trihydrogen

Simon Watson

Even the charges don't balance. It's positive on the left (1 plus) and neutral on the right (1 plus and 1 minus).

'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Simon Watson

"unfortunately there are some within the EU who will push their political agenda over what's best for the economy of the EU."

Pot. Kettle. Black.

UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

Simon Watson

Re: Stop taking the p***

"I'm sure the original poster would be more than happy as long as people pay the same amount of tax in the end."

Very true, and that was my point. I've got no issue with people earning more, if you can get it, good for you. What I take issue with is it being possible to structure your income, after expenses and provisions, in such as way as to pay a lower rate of marginal tax.

Simon Watson

Re: Stop taking the p***

You headline with corporation tax, which means you're incorporated I guess.

Which in turn means all the other items you list (with the exception of personal taxation) will be expenses before tax, yes, therefore paid by money earned gross and untaxed.

So when you look at your bottom line, what you can actually take home, pound for pound, you'll pay less tax on it than would someone being paid that same amount and having those benefits provided.

Oh, and paying two lots of tax isn't paying tax twice.

Simon Watson

Re: Stop taking the p***

Not really. I did open with the fact that I expect a contractor to be paid more for the same role.

My point was that two people being paid the same should be paying the same tax.

Simon Watson

Stop taking the p***

Contractors get paid more, they need to, to cover the fact that they face risk, regular gaps in employment and need to cover their own holiday pay and pension provision. Fair enough, I get that.

It isn't however, an excuse to pay less tax. If a permi and a contractor are getting paid the same, they should be paying the same tax.

As for off-books permis, you deserved everything you get.

Large Hadron Collider turns up five new particles

Simon Watson

The same class, in that they are Baryons, made up of three quarks bound together.

Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Simon Watson

Re: So where is the post to balance this out?

Visa free is not the same as free movement of labour. We can go visa free to many countries, but those visas rarely allow work.

Simon Watson

Re: Fixed

Say what you like about the honesty and integrity of the campaigns, I will not believe our democracy is so broken that the result will be rigged. Given that the government in place don't want to leave, they could have just not held the referendum at all. To rig a vote is a whole different ball game.

The fact that you don't know anyone who voted in doesn't mean those people don't exist, it just means you don't know them. I've been annoying the hell out of my Facebook friends over the last few weeks, even though I don't actually seem to know anyone who's voting the other way. I know those people exist, I just don't know them.

Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

Simon Watson

Re: Pay your tax like everyone else

@The Axe

I can only assuming you're trolling, nobody's that obtuse.

Simon Watson

Pay your tax like everyone else

Whilst HMRC's approach is particularly brutal, it's hard to have sympathy with people exploiting loopholes to avoid paying tax any direct employee would reasonably have to pay.

Secret Service on alert after drone CRASHES into White House

Simon Watson

Re: How much C4

Not enough. Ask instead how much Sarin it can carry.

Oi, idiot fanbois. DON'T buy this gun-shaped iPhone case, mmkay?

Simon Watson

Re: Not good

There seem to be a few papers with differing opinion as to whether or not the Australian legislation had an effect on gun crime, gun accidents and gun suicides. All use sensible approaches to the analysis which obtain different results. The range is from there is an effect to no significant effect.

I suggest that when presented with a range of equally hard worked, sensible yet unprovable conclusions it seems likely that they represent a distribution over the true result. I think that's the general basis of medical meta-analysis. In this case it suggests that no effect is likely to be an outlier as it represents the most extreme result in the range from no effect to some effect.

Simon Watson

Re: Not good

"Then you are wrong, but a lot of people get it wrong. Terrorists throughout ages have found things that go boom work better. If you want to kill a group of people a bomb works better. The gun is a tool, the problem is who is using it"

Not sure how we got onto terrorism, but hey. You are indeed correct, the problem is who's using it. That's what gun control is for.

Once you have effective gun control, the job of law enforcement becomes so much easier. I see a gun, it's unlikely to be lawful. I see a child with something that looks like a gun, it's unlikely to be real. Plus you don't create a huge pool of weapons that can easily be used for crime. The argument for everyone having guns is like the argument for everyone having nuclear weapons. I'm only safe if I can blow up the other guy. No, you'd be safer is nobody could.

I sleep far better at night knowing I'll probably never see a firearm except at an airport or on a farm than I would having a gun in my bedside table and knowing any idiot on the street might have one too.

Simon Watson

Re: Not good

"You would think so. Until you learn a little about the issue and realize that controlling guns doesn't have much of a statistical impact on violent crimes."

Really. Got a good source for that?

Simon Watson

That really depends where you live, doesn't it? In the UK if you're in public with a firearm it's most likely you are (I'd appreciate it if all the farmers and farm hands out there didn't flame me down about shotguns, thanks!).

Simon Watson

Re: Not good

"Its not the gun, its the person holding the gun, use your noggins people"

Pretty sure it's the combination of the two. You can attempt to control one, the other or both. Guns are easier to control than people.

Airplane HACK PANIC! Hold on, it's surely a STORM in a TEACUP

Simon Watson


I read the whole comments section looking for a good Airplane gag. Shame on you all.

UK safety app keeping lorries on the right side of cyclists

Simon Watson

Re: Well meaning...

In case you hasn't noticed, the access lane to the Advance Cycle Box is always on the left. For those that aren't familiar with the concept. the Advance Cycle Box is usually painted green and will have a taxi, bus or lorry parked in it.

This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz

Simon Watson

The wrong approach

People buy kitchen knives and then a small proportion of those are used in crimes. Should we:

1. Seek ever more ingenious ways to ensure that knives are only used for their intended purpose. For example we could require that a knife fitter deliver them to your home and chain them with a near unbreakable titanium chain to an immovable post driven into your kitchen floor. Make stab vests compulsory clothing. Put metal detectors every 100 yards in the street.

2. Address the root causes of knife crime and punish those that commit it.

Simon Watson

I hadn't heard of this software until now. Another awesome piece of advertising!!

HUGE Aussie asteroid impact sent TREMORS towards the EARTH'S CORE

Simon Watson

I heard how it moves is more important than the size. Or was that something else.

Fraudsters make bank as exec wires $17 MEELLION to China

Simon Watson

Insufficient Internal Controls

Title says it all.

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Simon Watson

The Net

I can't believe The Net has only been flamed once, and that in passing. I'll watch pretty much anything on the box but I draw the line at this piece of unadulterated b*****ks.

US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

Simon Watson

Re: RN "shitting themselves"

Nope. We sold them all to the US Marines who still recognise that harriers are an awesome asset.

What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Simon Watson

Re: This must be....

Only slightly less insane than expecting ISPs to log all internet activity and keep the logs for at least a year. What idiot would suggest that. Theresa May wasn't it?

ALIEN fossils ON MARS: Curiosity snaps evidence of life

Simon Watson

Re: Complex carbohydrates are known to exist in Deep Space, where life is known to be impossible

I don't think you can classify Formaldehyde as a complex carbohydrate. But the point is you asserted that life is known to be impossible in space. The aforementioned paper doesn't cover that.

TALE OF FAIL: Microsoft offers blow-by-blow Azure outage account

Simon Watson

Single Point of Failure

I think when the outage occurred a lot of people were asking themselves how MS had managed to set up cloud infrastructure that obviously had a single point of failure.

I think by publishing this in such detail they have shown that they don't, but managed to simulate one very well by doing an entire platform upgrade at once instead of following their flighting policy and running the two configurations in parallel for a while.

What happened to MS could probably happen to any cloud provider if they made a similar mistake during an upgrade.

Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

Simon Watson

Unfair Contract Terms

This falls squarely under the unfair contract terms act, as it clearly skews the relationship between supplier and consumer of the service in an unfair and unexpected manner.

Million Mask March: Anonymous' London Guy Fawkes protest a damp squib

Simon Watson

Re: Does this journalist write for The Sun?

It's a lot more interesting than your comment, which is purely an opinion piece.

Tech talk bloke compares girlfriend to irritating Java tool – did he deserve flames?

Simon Watson

Re: Before the knee-jerk "PC gone mad" comments start in earnest...

You're deliberately missing the point. He didn't compare Maven to a woman, he compared it to a girlfriend. His comparisons were to the relationship.

Today's bugs have BRANDS? Be still my bleeding heart [logo]

Simon Watson

Re: You All Use GoTo

I was being somewhat facetious, maybe I need to use the Joke Alert. Nevertheless when you look at unoptimised assembly output (and often with more simple code even optimised output) they are often indistinguishable.

Simon Watson

You All Use GoTo

Whenever you use break or continue you're really saying goto. Ever used a switch block? That's just compiler candy for a bunch of if blocks separated by goto. if {foo()} else {bar()} is just if {foo() goto;} {bar()}. You all use it, you just don't like to talk about it!

Dropbox erects sueball shield with new T&C and privacy legalese

Simon Watson

Unfair Contract Terms

That's why in the UK we have the Unfair Contract Terms Act. One of the protections it offers is to automatically negate any term in a set of standard terms and conditions which erodes your statutory rights.

Limbaugh: If you hate Apple then you're a lefty blog-o-twat hipster

Simon Watson

Re: Funny idea of freedom that Americans have.

With his second amendment assault riffle and armour piercing ammo.

'World's BIGGEST online fraud': Suspect's phone had 'location' switched on

Simon Watson

Re: SQL injection

Very little is the answer. A few developer days at most. Ever for the most exorbitant charging of contractors your talking a few thousand dollars.

Planet-busting British space bullet ready to bomb ice moon Europa

Simon Watson

Re: bad attitude

A simple drogue parachute should suffice for that I would think. Suspect they didn't have one attached as it was fired from a gun.

Global warming still stalled since 1998, WMO Doha figures show

Simon Watson

School Experiments

That graph reminds me of the experiments I did in school melting and solidifying wax. At certain points in the cycle there would be no temperature change despite heat either being added or removed. This was due to the latent heat of melting.

Event Horizon Telescope spots source of black hole jets

Simon Watson

Re: blah

The jets escape because they never cross the event horizon. It's possible for anything outside the event horizon to get free if accelerated hard enough. Everything inside is screwed. The extreme heating of the disc powers the jets.

How politicians could end droughts forever But they don't want to

Simon Watson

Re: Why not use solar-powered evaporation?

Because reverse osmosis is far more efficient a way to purify water than evaporation and condensation. The energy required to fully evaporate 1000L of water is on the order of 732 kWh (assuming the water starts at 10C). Yes you can get all that energy back when the water condense but you'd need 99.86% recovery efficiency to achieve the same energy usage as reverse osmosis.

Gov IT contractors hire staff in India to work on benefits system

Simon Watson

Re: Offshoring and Govt IT

I know that and understand why they do it, but it still creates expertise and experience problems which is frustrating.

Simon Watson

Offshoring and Govt IT

My experience of working with off shoring software development is that unless the specification is done in excruciating detail is just doesn't work. Indian software development outfits also suffer from massive employee turnover and it's unusual for them to be able to develop significant project experience and expertise.

Govt projects are notorious for changing the spec again and again and again, which is why they often fail or only deliver with massively over budget.

24hour development is a myth in general as it's very hard to get different people/groups to work on the same functionality in an efficient manner. You might deliver quicker overall, put productivity is lower and costs are higher than developing at a single site.


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