* Posts by MonkeyCee

1251 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus


Re: Policing by consent

@Hague - The point is that you're supposed to stay at home.

The provision to "do exercise" means you can leave your home for a walk/run/bike, for health and all that. It doesn't mean "go for a walk" a la the middle classes, where you drive to the Walking Place and go for a stroll.

Either you're getting essentials or going to work. Other than that, stay home, go outside in a private area if you have one, so the poor buggers who don't can use the nearby public areas.

I'm a climber. It's perfect climbing weather. I could get into my local gym for a sneaky climb. But I don't go and do it, because STAY THE FUCK AT HOME.


Re: Ventilators...

@Benson - Saunter Vaguely Downwards.

That's the real shortage of TP in my life :(


Re: Ventilators...

@AC - Bollocks, Corbyn's skill lies in his ability to hold his seat and the leadership of the labour party whilst being unelectable due to a combination of how he is portrayed, how he reacts to that, and who he actually is.

He would rather be in charge of labour and them never be in government than step back and let someone more palatable run.

I mean, I agree with him on many areas politically, but even I have so many doubts. Same deal with Hillary Clinton. The debate has been poisoned before it began, it sucks, but a decade of slowly dripping poison will kill a politician's mass appeal.

That Cummings exit is magnificent. Totally made my day. Had the Benny Hill music playing over it in my head.

UK government puts IR35 tax reforms on hold for a year in wake of coronavirus crisis


Re: Horse Bolted

"A client couldn't find one who could do the work in a reasonable timeframe"

Or wasn't prepared to cough up.

I currently work as a housekeeper for a big (20k staff) cleaning company . Hotels are all closing, so our usual 18 FTE team is currently 2. Which tomorrow includes me.

There are about thirty five people on the teams, and everyone has as much work as they can handle if they are prepared to clean hospitals, police stations and various other public areas. A number of these contracts have been classified as required for the emergency. So if the cleaning company has to fill these roles first.

So much like the bog rolls and rice, almost all the normal cleaners are already booked and paid for. Plus if you're doing it yourself, you can use products that are not safe for us to use daily.

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem


Re: Had a mischeif disk...

"I regularly have to correct the grammar in both English and German for native speakers. "

General observation, speaking a language like a native, rather than fluently, means you speak it "wrong" in the right way. Hence why written language is trickier (and requires more formal grammar) than spoken, since you can't just miss out certain words and get the point across.

Same way there are several different versions of English (British, American, Indian) that are mutually intelligible, conversationally similar, but when written start to differ more, due to the "higher" level grammar rules, such as structuring arguments, different levels of formality etc.

So exactly what is and isn't correct grammar differs by context and culture.

Since I'm usually the native speaker on a projects, I tend to view it as clarification rather than correction. Especially when it's getting the tone of a piece right.

Worried about future planet-cleansing superbugs? But distrust AI? Guess you're not interested in these antibiotics


Re: Sorry Dave,

" this is what happened with the Coronavirus."

Apart from the having the cure part.

It's a virus. Antibiotics don't work on virii. Yes, I do have to explain this to otherwise intelligent people who find back alley ways to get antibiotics when the doctor says no.

Smartwatch owners love their calorie-counting gadgets, but they are verrry expensive


"Smartwatch owners love their calorie-counting gadgets, but they are verrry expensive"

I did sort of miss any mention of that in the actual article. Not sure why you'd use a watch, since taking a photo of everything you eat works quite well.

It's the same way a food diary helps by the fact you actually pay attention to what you shove down your gob :D

These days I'm moving enough that I can use the traditional one of how hungry I am. Plus all climbers eat like hobbits :D

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons


Re: ACL Guarantee

@GregC - The real question is it 1960, 1860 or 1760 that they are planning to wind it back to :D

Love T-shirts, but can't be bothered to wash them? We've seen just the thing!


Existing products

"If this shirt delivers on its promise without any showstopper-sized downside, I'll be in the market."

They already exist, give a wee google. 30-45 euro a pop, labfresh and underarmour are pretty good.

Personally I go for thick cotton ones, wear them for half a day, hang dry and biff them in the freezer. If I'm outside and sweaty then merino, but they are not a cheap option. Plus if keeping warm is an issue, then smelling of sweat isn't.

Then again, these days I do housekeeping, where everyone is sweating by 1300, and bouldering, where everyone is sweaty.

Buzz kill: Crook, 73, conned investors into shoveling millions into geek-friendly caffeine-loaded chocs that didn't exist. Now he's in jail


Re: WTF...

For me the obvious red flag is "why are they selling me anything?"

If you have something that another person (Monster or Coke in this instance) will pay $23 for, why would you sell it for less? If you need funding to actually create the product, great. But then any buyout offer is bollocks.

As for money refunding, I've given that promise to people giving me seed/angel capital. But as a personal guarantee to make them right, rather than part of the investment. I've certainly sold shares at $10 each that were later bought out for $100+, along with ones that ended up being worth $0.0001. I couldn't promise either result at the time. Certainly never sold shares for $3 that I was expecting to get $23 for....

Plenty of investment schemes are just there to fleece people who are bad at math.

Xbox Series X: Gee thanks, Microsoft! Just what we wanted for Xmas 2020 – a Gateway tower PC


Re: The ps2 was the first

"I still think its the last of the true consoles (no Internet required just stick a game on and go)"

Nintendo Switch? I've got all my games on carts, no net connection needed.

These are the droids you're looking for: Softbank launches Japan cafe staffed by bots


Re: Works for me

I'll go to the counter or the screen depending which queue is shorter. Main advantage of the screen is tha if you know what you want, you can get it through nice and quick.

Biggest issue for me is that people are SLOW on the screens. Like look through the menu twice kind of thing.

Admittedly BK can usually just ask "how many cheeseburgers today?" for 99% of my orders :)

Tesla has a smashing weekend: Model 3 on Autopilot whacks cop cars, Elon's Cybertruck demolishes part of LA


It's a fucking truck

"I wouldn't fancy being hit by that as a fleshy pedestrian."

It's a truck. Even getting tapped by a tractor that's not hauling anything isn't going to be good for a meatbag. If it's hauling something then it's going to be worse. The cab is designed to allow to driver to survive when if it hits something at 60mph with 100+tons. Do not step in front of it. Don't pull in front of it and brake.

Fortunately they are in the main driven by professional drivers, who take proper care and attention, who will lose their livelihood if they have a stupid accident. Thus they are, in general, less danger to pedestrians than your average car or van. Pedo guy obviously isn't a professional driver, so is probably more dangerous. Especially as using the tractor to go out to eat is.... weird.

BOFH: I'd like introduce you to a groovy little web log I call 'That's Boss'


Re: Gotta say

"mental health isn't a subject for ridicule"

I actually read it as gallows humour. It's about the only way you can talk about it sometimes. Even just acknowledging that other people also genuinely think "Fuck it, I'm done" and then get on with it can help.

Stoicism is the exception, not the rule. Life sucks, and sometimes there doesn't seem like a way out. In the same way a drowning person just needs to breath but can't by themselves, a person in a depression needs to reach out for emotional support, but can't by themselves.

I've missed the signs, and I've had to bury too many friends who took their own lives.

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Section 230 supporters turn on it, its critics rely on it. Up is down, black is white in the crazy world of US law


Re: It's all about the money

"Advertisements are a halfway house."

In most jurisdictions, advertising has rules. Yes, they can be misleading, but they can't be outright false.

As an example, Red Bull settled a false advertising claim as the product didn't give anyone wings, and the claims of improvements in concentration are not backed up by evidence.

Since Facebook/Google et al are the ones selling the ad space, then they are liable for not making outright false claims.

When the IT department speaks, users listen. Or face the consequences


Re: Not an IT problem

@Ian agreed.

While the issue is technically an IT failure, it's really a management failure. Probably starting with doing it on the cheap. Having done a spot of IT admin in K-13, you can solve it by either getting better servers, networking or technical staff.

Often the tech lead is a teacher that kind of took over stuff, with very mixed results. Stupid long log on times (~3 minutes assuming your teaching staff and students are all logging off and on in the same 10 minute window) is clearly an issue with profiles. Mapped drives should be very quick on dedicated hardware.

The staff logging issue is also solved by giving everyone their own device. Or the departments. Or both. Or having a local log in for the smartboard/projector desktop.

There are so many ways of solving it, that the lack of accountability is the issue.

Oh, and if it's a school in NZ, then your BOFH might even be one of the clowns who's IT estate I've had to dissect and rebuild.


Re: Not an IT problem

"At which point they bring out an organisational chart and say "Precisely where on here does it say you have authority to give me instructions?" "

Typically the answer is "I have no authority to give you instructions. however, these are not my instructions, but the CEO/Board/Army/you boss's instructions, please take it up with them." if they start trying to boss me around, I point out that unless my box in the OC connects directly with theirs, they don't get to boss me around either.

I've said it to a judge, who pretty much doesn't have a boss. Not so much "you will obey" more "if you don't follow these steps, we can't assist you when your email fucks up". Also pointed out he was violating the letter of the law, but that he was the expert on these things.

Also said it a CEO, when he tried to skip the usual channels. Even got an apology for that one, written by his EA who was on leave that week, so he'd been allowed to handle his own correspondence :)

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers


Re: Surely

@diodesign <pedant> The logs show the driving software thought she was either a unknown, pedestrian or bike. When it thought it was a bike, it thought it was moving, in the left hand lane </pedant>

Perhaps the changing characteristic is what made it unpredictable, since it seemed to lose the history each time it changed the classification.

Jaywalking is an American thing anyway. Hopefully they'll have a "don't run down pedestrians" mode ofr the rest of the world :)

IT contractor has £240k bill torn up after IR35 win against UK taxman


Re: I cannot understand why HMRC pursues contractors so much.

"However the shares can be used as collateral for loans, which provides a lot of scope to invest elsewhere."

As I understand it, that's pretty much how shares (and investments) generally work.

You buy it as cheap as possible. You never sell it. Ever. You rent it out, you borrow money against it, but never sell.

It's dangerous to go alone! Take Uncle Sam and the Netherlands: Duo join naval task force into China's backyard


Re: Bears

As any fule noes, for the NZ it's a kiwi. With laser eyes.

Remember the 1980s? Oversized shoulder pads, Metal Mickey and... sticky keyboards?


Re: Been there...

"At some point I may go back to the venerable Model M I have."

Like all tools, quality really lasts.

There are plenty of modern versions of the model M, pretty much anything built with Cherry keys is good. The knock offs aren't bad either, and you can usually replace WASD and any other high use keys with the genuine article.

Plus having a mechanical is the best way to get yourself a private space in the office,. since no-one wants to listen to you hammer away all day :D

I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship


Re: Recycling

"why do we need so many fking houses??"

Residential land is worth massively more than any other. A lot of what was a walking distance industrial site on the outskirts of town a century or two ago is now part of the town itself.

New industrial sites are built on farmland (lowest value land), and the workers commute there.

Even running an office, it's probably not going to be allowed in certain residential areas.

The cost of rent or mortgage drives the demand for housing.

Not a death spiral, I'm trapped in a closed loop of customer experience


Re: This requirement for paper bills/statements...

@ JetSetJim - in the UK, if you are in a vehicle then the cops can require you to prove identity. Not just the driver.

The UK civil service wanted an ID card. It's a very unpopular concept. So in true Sir Humphrey manner, ID is not required, except for purchasing booze, cigarettes, driving, using public transport, opening a bank account, renting property, get a job etc etc.

So in practice the UK has ID cards, but not explicitly. In the same way the UK police are armed, but only voluntarily.

In Belgium you need an ID card to buy booze and fags from vending machines. Which is surprisingly convenient at times :D

Online deepfakes double in just nine months, scaring politicians – and fooling the rest of us


Re: Deepfakes are not a problem now

@Sir Spoon - I think the point is missed. Once the story is out, that it's not true, but people want it to be, means it will be "true".

So a certain gammy ex British PM, red snappers and rock bands, hamsters and rock stars back passages and so forth are clearly unproven, but pass for accepted truths.

It's more about confirming a persons world view than convincing a skeptic.

US games company Blizzard kowtows to Beijing by banning gamer who dared to bring up Hong Kong


Re: couls gamers care less, really?

40, amicably divorced, own my house outright, one kid.

I learnt how to configure, repair and support PCs because I played games on them. I got my network chops setting up LAN parties. I've gotten countless jobs and customers from gaming connections. I would not have an IT career without gaming connections.

My PFY cut her teeth making minecraft servers on a paper round budget. She put it on her CV. Builds the most reliable boxes. Better than me, but don't tell her I said that.

IT often feels like my hobby turned career. If Elite 2 hadn't required me editing autoexec.bat and config.sys then I'd have never been put in charge of the blinken lights.


Side note

The white Aussie chap on the podium was also supporting them by wearing an OPHR badge.

At his funeral, the two black chaps were his pallbearers.

If Syria pioneered grain processing by watermill in 350BC, the UK in 2019 can do better... right?


Re: Open University

"Works in places like Finland"

Or Germany. Or Scotland, for your first degree anyway.

It's almost like education (and property) in the UK is deliberately used to stratify and impoverish society, and that wasn't working well enough, so they kept upping tuition.

Personally I went for the Netherlands. 2k per year tuition, courses taught in English.

Apple will wring out $18bn by upselling NAND to fanbois – analyst


Re: Analyst attracts attention by mentioning Apple

@ Det. Evil - Thanks, couldn't be bothered looking up the numbers, but suspected something like this.

Source claims it costs companies $0.10 per Gb.

Based on numbers above:

HP charge $250 for +128Gb = $1.95 per Gb

MS charge $400 for +256Gb and +8Gb RAM. Say $50 for the RAM* so $350 for +256Gb = $1.37 per Gb

Dell (on sale) charge $50 for +256Gb = $0.20 per Gb

Apple charge $200 for +128Gb or +256Gb on 13" and iPads and $400 for +256 on 15", giving $1.56 or $0.78 per Gb

So while only Dell is going competitive on it (given it's a sale price too) Apple Mac Pro and iPad Pro are the next cheapest per Gb upgrades.

* why they don't just chuck it in the base unit too and bump the price by $20-30 I don't know...

Four-year probe finds Foxconn's Apple 11 factory 'routinely' flouts Chinese labour laws


Re: What an delightful equilibrium - As long as you are hip

"Trendy shiny shiny hipster smartphone on one side

Slave Labour Pain Machine on the other..."

Unfortunately pretty much all technology, clothing and food (and their disposal) in the Western world has it's costs kept down by said SLPM.

There are more slaves now than at any time in history. Convicts are paid a few quid a day for real work.

Can you download it to me – in an envelope with a stamp?


Re: Moved to France

"Makes you think that some of the EU countries haven't quite grasped what "EU freedom of movement" means."

Makes me think you don't understand freedom of movement, or how immigration is in fact still in control of the UK.

Freedom of movement means the same rules apply to locals as to other EU citizens. In many EU countries (France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium) you have to register with your local municipality. So you can get the exact same catch-22 for a local as well as an immigrant. The UK doesn't do this for the locals, so can't do it to the EU immigrants.

For the Netherlands it goes like this:

In order to have health insurance, you have register at an address

In order to get a job, you need health insurance

In order to rent a place, you need a job

So unless you can plonk down 7 months rent (and fuck yourself out of any rent review) plus deposit, buy a house, or have a place to permanently live (ie you have to be evicted if you don't choose to leave) you're kinda fucked. If you can get a job, the company will usually sort everything for you.

Outlook turned eBay into DD-Bay: Topless busty babe mysteriously fronts souk's emails


Re: It's friday, so ...

Hey jake, you forgot your coat....

The top three attributes for getting injured on e-scooters? Having no helmet, being drunk or drugged, oddly enough


Walking in London

@Tom7 - I found that in London walking from A to B was often the quickest way.

You should be able to walk 3 miles an hour with a full pack over rough terrain for 8-10 hours. 5 miles an hour with a day pack on pavement for 2-4 hours is about right.

So @low res, try walking. It'll probably take about twice as long as your scooter ride (~30 minutes) but you're already walking 25 for your tube commute anyway.


Re: Obvious solution to reduce 200 San Diego road deaths.

Quite frankly the bloke deserved to get prosecuted.

You've got to ride to the conditions. That means dealing with pedestrians. Yes, they will do dumb things, and you've got to be able to stop in time.

I ride through a tourist trap a lot, and since there aren't a lot of cars people wander in the street. So I don't get to ride much above 15 kmph, so I can slam on both the brakes when they walk backwards to get a better shot.

The chap was riding at 20kmph, with only one brake and no bell. IIRC it wasn't the first person he hit either.


Re: That's all very well....

" Also possible that helmets don't help as much as you'd think, although I wear one to cycle."

According to the Dutch, helmets on bikes don't help much, hence why they aren't required. Lights do make a difference, and are required. And will get you stopped and fined.

Often see the mountain bikers riding home with their helmet on the handlebars.

"One theory is that they make your head a bigger target "

Yes, and that for low speed impacts or falling off smacking the helmet into something applies a shearing force to the neck. High speed accidents or high momentum (clipped by a truck etc) aren't helped by a helmet.

"An anecdotal favourable estimate of a helmet's utility is that it prevents half of possible fatal head injuries,... so cuts death risk by 25%. "

The Dutch disagree on that. Of the ~200 cyclists killed each year on the roads here, if they had all been wearing helmets, the toll would be adjusted by 0-5. So cuts death risk by 2.5%.

The majority of those fatalities (~65%) are people over 65. So avoid being old if you're going to come off your bike.

Apple blinks on iPhone repairs, touts parts program for independent tech mechanics... sort of


Not my thing

I got the impression that the iPhone 5 is the Lenova X230 or Laserjet 4 of the iPhones, in that it's better than all the earlier versions, and all the later versions have things that make them worse.

I just love your accent – please, have a new password


Scottish accent

"Our science teacher had a lovely lilting Scottish accent, just the type you would expect from a very kind grandma"

I had a lovely Scottish grandmother who was my statistics teacher in high school. This is in New Zealand, in a school with a lot of pacific island students (Samoan, Tongan etc). It was my second day there, so I didn't know everyone's name.

Halfway through the stats class, one of the island boys was clowning around, and the teacher sighed, and said "Please sit down, fucker".

Took me until the end of the week to find out the chaps name was Phuka.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament


Re: So, to sum up. . .

"The Single Market and the CU are not the same, although plenty of people think they are"

You are completely correct. Specifically members of the EFTA are in the SM not the CU.

They are all in Schengen*, had to draw that Venn diagram in an exam once. EFTA and EUCU are exclusive sets, Schengen and CTA (UK and Eire) are exclusive sets, Eurozone is a subset of the EU which is a subset of the EUCU.

However, I do feel that many Leave voters would feel the same about EU membership as EFTA membership. Notably following EU laws in many areas, EU courts ruling on laws, free movement of people, paying into the common fund, all while not having any MEPs or a seat on the Council of Ministers.

* I say that there are fiddly bits that aren't, but the bloke marking my exam was looking for a less pedantic view, and told me as much in class


Re: So, to sum up. . .

" Where votes only count if they produce the results the Establishment wants"

That's cute. The notion that if the establishment wants something you get any sort of vote in it. You get coke or pepsi. Douche or turd sandwich.

Did the establishment want a change to first past the post voting? Fuck no, primaries and local party committees are far easier to control. So you got to choose between the 4th best and 6th best proportional representative systems, or keep the current unfair but understood system.

Did they want Brexit? Hell yeah. Otherwise it would have mentioned customs unions. Given that there was a lot of talk about free trade, and that is inherently the point of such a union, it would imply that both sides are in favour of one. Not so, apparently.


Re: So, to sum up. . .

"To state that "Parliament does not negotiate with foreign governments" is wilfully misrepresenting normal relations with other countries as adversarial."

I'm sorry, but you've missed the point entirely.

Parliament literally does not negotiate with foreign governments. Foreign parliaments do not negotiate with foreign governments. Parliament is the legislative branch of the UK government (like congress in the USA). Congress does not directly negotiate with other countries, that's an executive function under POTUS, State or Defence depending on how kinetic the negotiation is.

In the UK the government is formed by the party with the support of the majority of Parliament. The government is the executive branch, and does things like negotiate with other governments, make treaties, fight wars. Usually declaring wars is part of the legislative branch, along with writing laws and raising taxes. Which are pretty much the definition of sovereign.

Much of the insanity of Brexit has been the lengths that the government has gone to keep Parliament away from the business end of things, and how willing certain MPs have been to let them have the rope in the hope that the mass hangings will lead to a socialist paradise in Islington.

TL&DR: Parliament doesn't negotiate with foreign governments in the same way you don't bury the survivors of a plane crash.

Gov flings £10m to help businesses get Brexit-ready with, um... information packs


Maybe it's another Boris bluff....

Given how technocratic Cummings et al have been about it all, they could just take back A50 on October 30th, then send it in again on the 31st.

Then they claim they're starting the "real" negotiations, starting the clock anew, without any annoying "pre existing deal" to work from.

If they keep brinking it, the market correction won't be as sudden. So 5-8% devaluation every six months rather than 35% at once.

They caused this crisis, they used it to get power, and they can make go away with a stroke of a pen. So I'm hoping they are "just" using this as a parliamentary coup rather than actually trying to leave the EU in the manner designed to fuck the UK the most.

I'm a remainer, I live in mainland Europe. Can totally understand why the UK could leave. It just seems that no deal is worse for the UK than any deal.

I would also quite like to hear what the UK parliament has to say about the Irish border. I've heard what Eire has to say, what the EU has to say and what the US Congress has to say (please respect the Good Friday Agreement) but exactly what is the sovereign power in the UK going to decide to do? Border in NI, border in Irish sea, agreement to open borders (and thus regulatory alignment).

In fact, rather than the government negotiating with the EU and then failing to pass Parliament, perhaps Parliament should first agree on a deal. seems to have worked for the EU. I mean, they somehow manged to get 27 sovereign countries to agree on May's agreement (not saying much, largely it's agreeing to existing treaties and current laws and promising to play nice in the future) but the UK can't agree on the Irish border, let alone the rights of it's residents. How hard is it to say "Yes, we'll keep the Irish border open. Because there are about three acts of Parliament specifically about that, nothing to do with you".

Trump attacks and appeals 'fundamentally misconceived' Twitter block decision



"1. Unlike all previous holders of the office, he appears to be using it to enrich himself"

I think the issue is that he's doing to enrich himself while in office.

Pretty sure most of the Presidents were subsequently enriched by their service to their country.

CIA intelligence briefings for life is worth quite a lot by itself.

The Tell-Tale Heart! Boffins build an AI that can tell your sex using just your heartbeat


Re: This sounds like...

"Chicken sexers can do it by eye. They are trained by another chicken sexer who simply tells them whether they are correct or not and, after a while, they "get" the pattern."

I do it by picking them up, and tossing them in the right bin. You can also do two at a time, one in each hand. To me the feathers feel different, and the chick "sits" in your hand differently. So I can tell, but no way to teach it to someone. I'm pretty accurate by eye, but not 100%. So I don't get to teach someone by poking them with a stick :D

The interesting thing with it is you can try and train a robot to do it, and you can get it very good at it, but for whatever reason getting it to 100% hasn't been achieved. IMHO it's a case of "moar sensors" but considering you can get pretty much any human up to 100%, using a meatbag convoluted neural network is still superior.

Icon for the processor coolant.

Cybercrook hands cops £923k in Bitcoin made from selling phished deets on the dark web


charges versus convictions

"Can you just throw drugs in somebody's shed and get them put away forever on ten different charges? "

<pedant> No, because you don't get put away for a long time on charges, only on convictions </pedant>

Yes, in the sense that possession of certain substances over a certain weight can get you arrested and charged.

Yes, it can be used to fuck up someones life. Why beat a dude up, when you can plant an ounce and get the cops and the system to do it for you? Why kill someone, when 200g of coke/smack hidden in someones house and a tip off or favour from the cops doesn't get your hands even a little bloody.


Re: Planning for success

"Because bookies hedge their bets"

<pedant> What they are doing is balancing their book, ensuring they make bank either way by taking bets. </pedant>

If a bookie was to actively place a bet to balance their book, it would certainly be them hedging. In practice if they are over exposed they tend to trade part of their book rather than place a bet. While in many ways the same thing, it's the difference between betting yourself, and betting on behalf of a friend.

"Funnily enough, I once knew a rather successful solicitor who, wishing to pay minimum tax, did something very similar"

IANAL, certainly not a tax one, but in most places this is tax evasion and illegal and probably not worth it. The reason money launders will use it is because they are already guilty of a typically more serious crime. Known criminals will use it in their tax returns because it provides a legal veneer, but it doesn't fool anyone.

Owning a cash heavy business and layering in the dodgy cash with the real stuff is safer. Anything selling fast food, coffee, booze or services. The other local legend was the "world's worst brothel", NZ having legal prostitution, where the extended family of the local boss were reporting their income as sex work, 8 hours a day, 6 days a week @$300 ph. All in cash. Adverts, listings etc, but if you tried to book, nothing doing.

Vague IT angle, I had one of my old IT service companies used for something similar, after it had gone through about three owners after me.


Planning for success

The problem with crime is that not only do you need to make it work and have plan(s) for when things inevitably go tits up, you also need a plan for laundering the proceeds.

Used to be a nice chap at the bookies who would pay you 110% of a winning bet, no questions asked. The local dealers we're all, on paper, extremely successful gamblers.

Wait a minute, we're supposed to haggle! ISPs want folk to bargain over broadband



"I was inderectly refering to the Quaker invention of honest pricing. If the price on the tag is £1, then it's £1, if you don't want to pay £1, go somewhere else. If the price on the tag is £1 but I'm willing to accept 50p, then that means I've been lying to you."

Because price is not an absolute. Perhaps a minimum, certainly for goods, but this is a discussion of services.

It's like my labour cost. If I'm asked to quote for some work, I'll give an honest rate. So normal rate if I don't have anything on, and a cancellation rate if I'm bumping something else. It's considered unprofessional, even discriminatory, to not quote someone. So I won't say "no, I'm busy" rather "give me two thousand on top of my usual fee and I'll do it".

I consider it fair that I only ask for parts cost from my friends, family, neighbours, mechanic, plumber et al, but that I'll charge Jo Public for the same pleasure. Hell, not even parts for a plumber* who will actually show up on a Sunday.

Even with basic mercantilism (buy for a buck, sell for two) there may be times when you need the cashflow more than profits, so selling twenty items for $30 is more useful to the seller than the "honest" price of $40.

As for lying, does that apply in the other direction? I often buy things to resell, people want quick cash rather than maximum value, so take less money than the items are worth.

I guess I'm slightly dishonest when going someplace that I'll be haggling. No suit, paintballing hoody, beat to shit backpack etc.

Oh, and bear in mind that for many places you're haggling, the thing you're buying is not actually the product the salesman is flinging. For cars and some degree property, the loan is where everyone makes money, not the goods.

How to determine the correct price of something is a fascinating study in microeconomics. The best answer still is "what ever the parties decide"

Don't trust Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency, boffins warn: Zuck & Co know that hash is king


Banking licence

"Handing this right over to a handful of selected private partners with a revenue-driven target could lead to biased decision-making and illegitimate gatekeepers for the sharing of information, a mechanism for using incentives, punishments, temptation, and fear to control the behaviours of populations, cheaply and at scale: a mix of Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984,"

Yeah, if you want to do that you either need a banking licence or be a political party.

The regulators don't care about monopolistic behavior or an organisation having this sort of power. They only care when they can't direct it.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)


Re: That's horrible.

C'mon, Burn Notice has seriously the funniest product placement. Spies eat yogurt :D

And drug dealers drink full fat Cokes, while DAs sip Light Cokes :)

An Army Watchkeeper drone tried to land. Then meatbags took over from the computers


Re: A Pox On Gareth Corfield's House.

"The derogatory term 'meatbags' is not a term I expect to see a professional soldier addressed as, especially in The Reg."

Take it you've not hung out with any grunts recently then :D

Meatbag is not really any sort of insult, in my experience. Ignoring the obvious KOTOR/Futurama references, I've come across as the affectionate term for the larger squaddies* who usually got to hump the extra kit. Even meathead isn't too bad, sort of implies a preference for concrete rather than abstract reasoning or general bullish approach to solving things.

Bags of other things certainly imply an insult. Wind, shit, dirt, scum, rat, dicks etc. eg: The scumbags at Crapita conspired with some dirtbags at MoD to outsource recruiting, they all should eat a big bag of dicks because of those shitbags we're short of meatbags to defend our country and it's allies.

Never served myself. Friends and family have. Trying to insult a soldier is a bit like trying to shock a nurse. Can be entertaining, but if your day job is actual life and death, and your mistake is probably going to get someone you know killed, you get a different sense of humour :)

If you're on the back end, at least you get to wear cammies in the office without looking like a Walter Mitty.

*in the same vein as calling a big bloke Little John or Tiny, or the guy who lost a leg Long John Silver etc



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