* Posts by d3vy

1583 posts • joined 28 Mar 2014

Cloudflare stops offering to block LGBTQ webpages

d3vy

"I think you'll find the porn category deals with your concern?"

Nope, doesn't have any impact on Google/bing/ddg image search

d3vy

Well we best block *words* in general because I did a search for "otter vs bear" (I wondered who would win in a fight) and saw some particularly NSFW content.

Having just recovered from that shock, I decided to see what my favourite dam building mammals were up to.. I can assure you those beavers were not building any dams....

I had to go out for lunch because trying to find a baker that sold "Large Buttered Baps" didn't yield anything useful.

LibreOffice 7.1 beta boasts impressive range of features let down by a lack of polish and poor mobile efforts

d3vy

Another thing, when the fuck did we implement the "if you're not directly involved in something you can't have an opinion on it" rule?

d3vy

"I take notice the use of the passive voice. What have you done, specifically?"

Well I'm a software DEVELOPER so probably part of the problem in as much as I can make something functional but making it look nice and usable are not really my main skills (or concerns).

"Are you paying? Are you contributing?"

Not massively no, because the majority of open source software I use is maintained by large companies who put meaningful amounts of money in and contribute significant Development/design resource.

If you mean do I pay for open source software, yes I'll contribute to small projects to keep them going.

d3vy

To be honest that heading "*** Let down by lack of polish" could apply to any number of open source efforts which is a massive shame because there are loads of really good open source alternatives out there that people will dismiss outright based on how it looks rather than how it functions (Or in some cases because it has a stupid name - I know people that outright refused to even try Gimp because of its name and a few that managed to look past the name, saw the UI and went right back to photoshop).

There needs to be some change in these OS projects to try to get more UX designers involved and engage with more than just the hardcore user base for feedback.

Its stupid, but a lot of the time even rational people will go for shiny and nice looking over functionality.

Traffic lights, who needs 'em? Lucky Kentucky residents up in arms over first roundabout

d3vy

Re: Er ...

"easy to pronounce"

Just don't start it with an "I" or they'll still manage to screw it up.

We have never given census data to anyone – not even the spy agencies, says the UK's Office for National Statistics

d3vy

Re: if you have something to hide, you have nothing to fear

"After an initial headline, in the Daily Mail"

I think the last part of that sentence might explain why its not happened.. The DM is hardly the best source for truthful information and "Illegal immigrants are stealing vaccines from OUR pensioners" is exactly the kind of clickbait shite they publish to get their readership numbers up.

That said, it sounds like quite a sensible idea to me, so I'm kind of torn, I cant imagine that the DM came up with an actual good idea on its own :)

Let's check in now with the new California monolith... And it's gone, torn down by a bunch of MAGA muppets

d3vy

Does holding different views from someone entitle you to go and tear down and remove something that they have spent time, effort and money on?

If you believe that it does please post your address.

The exodus continues: Less than half of contractors expect to stick with their employment set-up after IR35

d3vy

Re: Brexit +covid +IR35 time to near shore oneself?

Yep, Ive just commented above on the large number of contracts on offer at the moment in Europe.

Belgium and the Netherlands seem to have a lot going at the moment, fully remote.

d3vy

Re: I'm not sure they're making more money off us either...

The thing to remember for everyone, is that it is VERY unlikley that a contractor will go into a perm role with a gross Salary anywhere near their gross contract rate.

As an example, where I live dev roles are around £45k-55k on average but contract roles at the same level gross £77k (Assuming £350p/d and 4 weeks holiday) so when most contractors go permie the % tax they pay goes up but the ££ goes down.

The only way for HMRC to win on this is for contractors to remain contracting but go inside IR35 and as the article shows this isn't happening on the scale that HMRC expected and once the dust settles the private sector will get its act together and do what the public sector did and start issuing more watertight outside IR35 contracts - You only have to go on the GOV gateway to see how many outside IR35 roles are being advertised now (Even working for HMRC themselves).

d3vy

Re: I'm not sure they're making more money off us either...

Exactly, though the numbers are different (<joke>you either earn more than me or I have a better accountant.</joke> ) but it works out similar for me.

Should I go back into a perm role HMRC will make less in tax than I pay in CT on average (That's without factoring in Personal Tax and VAT).

d3vy

Re: We are leaving

Yes, also there are a good number of remote roles coming up offshore.

There are loads on the IoM (Not sure how that works for IR35) but there are also quite a few in Europe willing to allow you to work remotely from wherever you fancy.

I know a few contractors working for clients on mainland Europe outside IR35 who have not left their houses for the duration of their contracts, its the clients decision as to whether they are inside or outside IR35 and when asked the client said "Que?".

d3vy

Re: Given up and surrendered

@Anon

Thats the problem, there is no requirement for them to do this, some clients will put you inside IR35 and treat you as an employee with the associated benefits some will put you inside and treat you like a contractor.

If you get the former you are either lucky to have found a good client, or they not realised that they are not obligated to give contractors inside IR35 these benefits.

d3vy

"I believe It is an option to keep your limited company open"

Technically feasible, but I enquired about this while looking for a new role back in January and not one Recruiter or client was willing to take the risk preferring to use a "trusted" umbrella company instead, so technically possible but in practice its not likely to happen.

This is another issue for me, I do sporadic work for the NHS and a few local charities, its outside IR35 and totals a few k a year at most, its only profitable for me because my overheads are covered by my main contracting activities, if my main contracts go inside IR35 I'd either have to put the rates to the NHS up or stop doing the work for them because what they pay me currently would barely cover my insurance and accountancy fees.

d3vy

@Neil

It not really that simple though, because the way that we are being forced to work is to go through an umbrella - we wont be able to keep our limited companies open so that avenue isnt open to us.

You say "Put some money aside for hols etc" but thats what we do, My holiday and sick pay buffer sits in the company account until its needed.

Let me illustrate with a quick (very simplified breakdown)

Assume that someone is on £350 a day outside IR35, for simplicity I'm leaving off VAT and Expenses

Outside IR35

Billed amount (Gross) : £7000

Corporation Tax : £1400

Wage (PAYE) : £1000 [1]

Dividend : £2000

Gross Take Home : £3000

Net Take Home[2] : £2800

Leaving £2600 in the company to cover pension payments, sick pay, holiday pay, Accountancy fees, insurance, and putting some aside for the potential (inevitable) downtime looking for new contracts which can be several months at a time especially at the moment.

Inside IR35

Company doesn't exist so no billed amount and CT

Net Take Home [3] : £3740

So by your logic a contractor should take the £940 a month difference and use this to cover their pension payments AND put some aside for time off for being sick/holidays and for periods of being out of contract?

Its just not going to stretch that far, once you've taken a pension payment out it its pretty much gone, so where does the holiday/sick pay come from? Where's the contingency for the end of the contract where we might not work for 4-6 (or more) weeks?

I get that from a permanent employees point of view the headline £350 a day, £7k a month seems excessive and the personal tax % may seem low, but lets remember that rate to your employer doesn't change under IR35 - they will be paying the same amount for the contract resource (Maybe more because there will be an umbrella company in there taking their cut), all that's really happening is that contractors will be treated like employees for Tax but not for Benefits and based on the numbers in this article, the tax take to the treasury goes down because more contractors move into permeant positions and don't pay as much ££ tax [4].

The proposed IR35 changes only make the government more money if most contractors suck it up and remain contracting inside IR35, but we know this isn't going to happen, a significant amount will go perm or retire, a good number will find roles still outside IR35 (As has happened in the public sector where event HMRC are advertising for outside IR35 roles). So where is the benefit?

[1] In real life it would be a little less than this, but the annual personal allowance / 12 is easier to work with.

[2] This is a rough estimate based on the current dividend tax rate, not 100% accurate but not a million miles off.

[3] Pulled out of an online contractor calculator that didn't give a tax breakdown.

[4] Based on a role paying £45k which is about average for a permanent developer where I live (based on limited data gleaned from recruiters emails and LinkedIn jobs) my Annual PAYE would be around £6500 a year with NI of around £4000 (Total £10,500). But as a contractor my CT this year was £12k and paid around £2500 in personal tax too, at the same time I supported a local accountancy business and an insurance firm.

d3vy

If these numbers are even close to accurate it pisses all over the governments projections of a 6bn increase in tax because (and I know this is controversial) but contractors pay more ££ (but lower %) than they would do in permanent employment.

My CT alone this year is almost double my PAYE for my last year in perm employment.

Microsoft sides with Epic over Apple developer ban, supports motion for temporary restraining order

d3vy

Ive replied to them - its a valid point, I dont think is saying apple shouldnt make money off it.

BUT can you honestly say that apple taking 30% of a monthly subscription to say netflix or spotify just because the user signed up on an ios device is justified?

Fair enough, I believe they drop it to 15% after 12 months but that means that in the first 12 months apple make around £36 per spotify user on iOS - the only involvement apple have had is to host the app and allow the user to install it - they dont host the content, they dont have an ongoing cost to me using the service, but every month they get 30% of my subscription.

I think apple are absolutely in the wrong here, not just apple anyone that is taking that much of a cut without providing any value is taking the piss - at the very least it needs to be capped so for example once they have recouped their costs x 3 they stop charging.

d3vy

Re: Cynical

"If Apple can't make a margin from in-app purchases then its platform would not be viable."

I see what you're saying, but there has to be a limit - How much have apple made of Epic? Im sure they have covered the cost of hosting and distributing the game many times over.

Bear in mind, they charge developers to get games into the store, they get money even for the "free" apps before anyone has a chance to download them.

Also, because its the only way to get an app on an iphone, they effectively have a monopoly and some of the restrictions are pretty shitty.

d3vy

Re: Cynical

"If ongoing transactions are not charged, the any app developer would set the app price as close to zero as possible, and have an ongoing transaction fee for a feature without which the app was was mostly useless."

The 40+ years of paid subscription free software before the app store seems to refute your claim.

d3vy

Re: Cynical

" All Apple are doing is providing credit a card processing service, and other suppliers do that for about 3%, maybe a bit more for small transactions, but not 30%."

YES, but its worse, because they prohibit you from using any other mechanism for getting the funds, not happy using apple to process your transaction so you offer paypal within your app... they still want their 30% even though they dont touch the transaction at any point.

I believe that its also a stipulation that if you take payments you have to offer apple pay as one of the payment processors which comes with its own high transaction fees (but your prohibited from passing this extra cost onto the consumer).

d3vy

"unavoidable new feature"

Im sure someone is cooking up a "new feature" that changes just the right bits of the OS right now.

"15% seems more than fair"

Does it balls.

Im yet to find out what apple are doing to justify taking ANY money from the proceeds of in game spending or ongoing subscriptions.

d3vy

Re: Meanwhile, in other news

Interesting, does that include in app purchases too, or just the initial purchase of the game?

d3vy

Re: Cynical

"Just for completeness - For subscriptions bought through apps, Apple take 30% for the 12months, dropping to 15% thereafter. Which is still far to high for various low-margin sectors. But worth noting it's not 30% forever. </pedant>"

Thanks - I was not aware of that.

Still, 30% for 12 months is ridiculous even dropping it to 15% is too much - Apple are adding no value to the service after the initial purchase of the app why should they get that much of a cut?

d3vy

"there's a fair chance of everyone's Unreal-based games breaking on the next major OS releases"

I'd put money on it. Proper 90s Microsoft Behaviour, restrict your ability to update your app and then change the underlying APIs just enough to stop it working altogether.

d3vy

That makes sense, It also gives context to the statement that they made (copied above).

So existing developments will be fine, but realistically no one is going to use unreal to develop a game being deployed to iOS again until this is resolved.

So apple are not saying "We will stop people using the unreal engine on iOS" but they are saying "We will restrict your ability to update the engine so no one will want to use it going forward".

That's only slightly less shitty than I previously thought.

d3vy

I was basing this assumption on the court filing that Epic made :

"If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives. The damage to Epic’s ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable. Preliminary injunctive relief is necessary to prevent Apple from crushing Epic before this case could ever get to judgment."

This [PAYWALL - BUT FREE VERSION AVAILABLE] https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/2020/08/17/apple-cuts-off-epic-its-tools-endangering-future-unreal-engine-projects-ios-mac/ seems to back up by understanding that if you're using the unreal engine you're SOL on iOS.

d3vy

Have I understood what apple have done correctly?

If I've understood correctly apple have a dispute with Epic so they have said anything written by anyone which uses the unreal engine is banned from the app store?

So if I go and knock up a shitty FPS using the community version of the unreal engine and try to release it on iOS it will be rejected? Even though I have no affiliation with Epic and have not even paid them to licence the Engine?

If thats right then I cant see how apple have a leg to stand on, they are clearly abusing their position to hurt epic and their ongoing business by trying to force game devs off of the unreal engine.

d3vy

Re: Cynical

My understanding is that Epic did indeed do this on purpose to force apples hand.

Apple basically have a monopoly on apps deployed to ios devices.

They have to be deployed via the app store - and apple gets 30% of the price of the app - which is fair(ish).

BUT the issue is that they also take 30% of any transactions that take place in the app whilst mandating that developers cannot redirect users outside of the app to make purchases (or even reference that this is possible).

--

A good example of where this is causing issues is the FloatPlane video streaming service run by Linus Media Group, If they allowed you to register for the service through the app apple would take 30% of your ongoing monthly subscriptions, because LMG cannot afford this on the tight margins that they run FP on the iOS app does not have a registration mechanism and is not allowed to contain any information telling users how to register for the service.

So a user downloading the FloatPlane app has to know in advance how to register for the service.

Basically apple are making the options for the developer :

1. Do registration in app and give us an ongoing 30% cut of your subscriptions.

2. Have a terrible user experience which will reduce the number of registrations that you will get.

To me that seems like an abuse of apples position.

---

A transaction fee is reasonable if the payment goes through apple, but to charge an ongoing fee (of 30%) for transactions that do not touch any of their services?

Someone's getting a free trip to the US – well, not quite free. Brit bloke extradited to face $2m+ cyber-scam charges

d3vy

Re: It's only money...

"They did indeed look at the immunity policy and amended it to remove immunity from family members.

Not retrospective though."

Ahh, there we go then, a positive outcome, this is the best we could have got from the situation. Even if we could retrospectively apply a law (Which is a terrible idea) in this situation we wouldn't be able to.

d3vy

Re: It's only money...

"I’m sure causing death by dangerous driving is *more* than just a driving ban these days, especially if she was found to be additionally negligent (driving in wrong side of road while using a mobile phone?)"

You'd have to prove that it was dangerous driving first, you'd then have to prove she was on the phone.

That said - it could probably be done. The issue is she does have diplomatic immunity. Like I said, we probably need to look into who we grant this to and for what reasons going forward but the issue remains that when the accident happened she had diplomatic immunity and couldnt have been prosecuted without causing some ripples which ultimately would affect our diplomats in other countries.

d3vy

Re: It's only money...

"Personally if we were serious about getting that woman over back over here and not allowing her to hide behind diplomatic immunity, bojo and cronies (actually they lack the balls sturgeon should do this) should threaten trump with compulsary purchase of his golf courses for £1 and announce plans to turn them into the "Barrack Obama Multicultural and Asylum Centre", would give it 10 mins before shes flying eastward over the atlantic...."

Of course this would screw up diplomatic relations and the diplomatic immunity that we enjoy with the US. If we're seen to be going back on our obligations with the US I cant imagine that it would be looked on favourably by other nations either.

For what? It was a road accident, there's no question that she intended to cause harm - Even is she is shown to be negligent, speeding and on the wrong side of the road - the most she would get would be a driving ban and maybe a few months custodial. Justice would be done but the cost doesn't seem worth it.

Realistically if this had been a hit and run and we didn't know who the driver had been would we still be arguing about it? I'd put money on it being forgotten in less than a month if the media hadn't used the "US diplomat fleeing the country" headline as click bait.

There's a valid argument that we need to be looking at who we give immunity to, and maybe even the rules about what events immunity applies to. That's a discussion that needs to be had - but even if we change the rules now we couldn't retrospectively apply those new rules to this case.

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay

d3vy

Re: IANAL...

I agree, its shit and I don't see how its legal but I can believe that its how they operate because its also how PayPal do their dispute resolution.

I keep zero money in my PayPal account.

If I sell something on eBay get the money and ship the item and withdraw the funds from PayPal THEN the buyer disputes the transaction, PayPal will debit my balance making it a negative value, give the money back to the buyer and emails to me threatening me with debt collection if I don't pay them the money back.

I know this because it happened a few months ago when I sold one of the kids old phones and it "went missing" in the post.

d3vy

Re: IANAL...

I read it as PayPal have paid the seller making the buyer in debt to paypal.

So the seller is quids in they have their money and truck, the buyer is facing bankruptcy and PayPal are unlikely to ever recover that money.

d3vy
Joke

The simple solution should be when the debt collectors arrive tell them where to find the monster truck.

Problem.solved?

d3vy

Re: Unlikely story

Barclaycard will quite happily keep bumping your limit up as long as you're using it and paying on time, mines got 15k available at the moment so I can imagine that 19k would be quite achievable on a card if you had a decent credit score.

Of course, you'd be mental to spend this much on a credit card... But stranger things have happened.

d3vy

Re: Doesn't sound too bright

Exactly, I've tried to buy little things, selected the wrong debit card (one with no money in it) and had them rejected when spending £5... So why did they let a 19k transaction go through?

Bletchley Park Trust can’t crack COVID-caused revenue slump without losing staff

d3vy

Re: I'm sure they are trying

"The report for 2018 also records a healthy surplus against budget of more than a million. I wonder where that went since then"

Well, the same report that you linked to shows that their staffing costs are 2.2m a year... so that million will be close to being depleted by now if they kept the 91 staff (again from your link) on furlough for the entire lock down period.

Personally I don't think 3 people in a company of 91 being paid in excess of 60k is excessive - looking at their turnover I'd have expected at least a few people to be on quite a high income, they're responsible for quite a large charity.

It’s happened again: AT&T sued for allegedly transferring victim's number to thieves in $1.9m cryptocoin heist

d3vy

Re: 24E6 eggs in a flimsy basket

@zarno

Thanks!

d3vy

Re: 24E6 eggs in a flimsy basket

"Or, you got into the whole mining shebang early and it's "new" pre-tax income/currency from nothing, so if you pull it all out at once, you get hit at the entire income tax liability all at once."

At what point do you become liable for the tax on this? When you mine the crypto currency you have "earned" it so I'd assume tax would be due there and then.

Are you saying that you dont have to declare it for tax until its taken from your Crypto wallet and paid into your personal wallet?

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

d3vy

Re: Hackintosh?

"I may have missed it, but there are a lot of people who depend on hackintosh or virtualization out there"

Apple don't care if you depend on hackintosh - running osx on non apple hardware is against the TOS, they don't make money from it so if apple really don't care if hackintoshes stop working.

As for virtualisation, that's more of a grey area BUT I doubt that apple are going to be too worried about it given that it seems like most of the cases you give there would be a violation of the TOS for OSX.

The agreement basically says that you can only virtualise OSX on *apple hardware* already running OSX.

You cannot use the virtual machines for commercial purposes other than as part of the software development process (You might be able to argue the compiler farm case on this one, but I think even that might be shaky).

"What happens to all the developers at Microsoft carrying around Macs?"

They will probably carry on as normal, I expect there will be a Apple Silicon build target added to the .net core compiler in due course and I'm sure the dev tools will also be updated before apple release the hardware (Probably not visual studio, but I've already seen VS code on arm so that should be fairly straight forward).

d3vy

"But why not just virtualise, if you need to run Windows on a Mac? Yes, you need the memory, but modern Macs have enough of that to host a Win10 session if required."

Direct access to the hardware might be an issue there (Though I cant see it being a massive issue for most). But for example some plug in hardware doesn't have mac support, works in bootcamp but not parallels.

The only example that springs to mind is a fairly high end PCIe Sound card* (I forget the make), which works find in windows via bootcamp but isn't passed through to parallels because the mac hasn't a clue what it is.

I expect the number of people worldwide that will be affected by this and similar issues will be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

*So more applicable to desktop offerings than laptop.

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

d3vy

Re: Crazy

Not sure what side of the debate you're on here?

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous

d3vy

Re: To be fair

Yes, but if windows is managing it you don't need to go in there and set a default at all.

You just select the printer you ant to print from when you're printing and windows remembers that choice for future.

So really, 4 clicks has become 1 additional one within the print dialog.

Unless you want to manually change the default and not have windows manage it which you absolutely can do, but it's probably not the case for most users.

They've only gone and bloody done it! NASA, SpaceX send two fellas off to the International Space Station

d3vy

Re: Awesome...

I was happy when my teenage son wanted to watch.... 6 hours watching on Saturday and then we were up at 7.15 to catch them waking up (we misheard what time it would be at so ended up two hours early) watched all day Sunday just to see them float through that hatch.

Only turned off when Ted Cruz popped up to give his speech.

US small biz loan system bans software robots. The lesson? Make sure IT knows about any automation projects

d3vy

@DVON

Yeah, I've worked with quite a few "green screen" systems, slap a web front end on it to let the users carry out the most common functions and you save a fortune in training then how to use a terminal.

d3vy

"Out of curiosity, did the target organisation not provide an API? Seems odd (to me) that if they were expecting this level of user input, that they'd provide an API instead."

That's the beauty of the sector my client works in.. the systems they needed to interface with are basically monopolies (Regional utility companies).

They created the software years ago (In one case I was using RPA to work with a site that claimed to require IE5.5).

These companies don't make profit from this software, they have to provide it for regulatory reasons but that doesn't mean they need to provide an API and that would cost them money, so the majority just don't provide anything other than a half arsed web page.

"Or if they did provide an API, why ever use RPA in the first place?"

Quite, The system that we created was capable or interacting with APIs where available, but out of the 20+ utility companies that we were interacting with, only one had an API and even then it was in beta and not suitable for actual usage.

So, yeah if there was a competitor available with an API that would be great, the reality is there are no competitors that we could have used, still cant complain, Its quite a niche area and it pays quite well when the work comes around :)

d3vy

I was working on an RPA project a few years ago where the target of the automation got wind of what we were doing and said that it was against their TOS.

We pointed out to them that our options were RPA with about 25 concurrent sessions hitting their service 24 hours a day or we were going to have to supplement the team we manually had doing the task manually (85 people at the time) with a few hundred off shore workers which would mean 300+ concurrent sessions.

A balance was met where we implemented RPA but with some small delays build into the process to make it more manageable from their side, but still faster and cheaper for my client than hiring a bunch of humans to do the job.

The headline holds true - speak to IT before implementing anything!

'Azure appears to be full': UK punters complain of capacity issues on Microsoft's cloud

d3vy

Re: Cloud.

"I told you that I would have nothing whatsoever to do with your ill-conceived plan"

And yet here you are sticking your oar in when no one asked your opinion.

Netflix starts 30-day video data diet at EU's request to ensure network availability during coronavirus crisis

d3vy

Yes netflix already does this.

But if the maximum bit rate is capped at 75% of its normal then its still going to save some bandwidth isn't it.

d3vy

Re: What about the CDN?

"I'm not sure if the 25 to 1 ratio is correct but it feels like it and it seems to me that other European countries use a much lower ratio."

I was looking at business broadband around 10 years ago and BT told me that the main thing I would be paying for would be to be on a contention ratio of 20:1 on business as opposed to 50:1 on the domestic product.

That may have changed over the years.

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