* Posts by Gulfie

749 posts • joined 1 Aug 2007


Lapdancing 'not sexually stimulating', MPs hear

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@Daffy the Duck

And... "Papal press release states Pope is NOT catholic

China's richest man disappears

Paris Hilton

If he is with the Chinese police...

... then I bet he's living in interesting times (and regretting it).

Why would somebody worth that much money want/need to fiddle the system?

Paris, 'cos she can fiddle my expenses any time...

US prosthetic todger pair plead guilty to conspiracy


Taking the piss or what?

... sorry ... couldn't resist ... must ... lie ... down.

HP rides EDS buy through Meltdown


Re: growth in profits from EDS

Hehe, I'd like to see them try. When I was there EDS used to re-organise on a regular basis - at least yearly - and a lot of the projects I worked on had wafer-thin profit margins either due to management incompetence or under-estimation of the work, deliberate or not.

I took my jacket and left a good year ago now.

Parallels 4 users want their money back


VMWare Fusion is the way to go...

... slick, free updates, excellent performance... what more can I say. Very happy user. Looked at Parallels and bought Fusion 1.x at Easter, now running V2 and even happier!

Vote now for your top net neologism

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Nothing in your list really rings my bell... and some definitely are NOT Netisms.

How about adding 'Wiitard' to your list? I'm surrounded by them at the moment and they won't shut up about Wii this, Wii that, and surfing to see where they can get their Wii Fit or virtual snowboard...

MacBook buyers bite Apple over copy protection cock-up

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Dear oh Dear...

Glad I bought my MacBook Pro at Easter. This would turn a dead cert 'yes' purchase into a dead cert 'no' and should have rung alarm bells in Apple. Bad, bad mistake.

Hang your heads in shame, Apple.

Scientists ponder mysterious source of cosmic rays



I read "the possibility of a very interesting object near our solar system waiting to be studied by other instruments" and immediately thought of an alternative: "the possibility of a very dangerous object near our solar system waiting to wreak havoc on Planet Earth and the solar system in general"

Mine's the silvered one with matching tinfoil hat, "Deep Impact" DVD in the left pocket, and the "Space Shuttle Missions For Dummies" book in the right.

Employees sue for unpaid Windows Vista overtime

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Can I Sue?

For all the time I've spent supporting friends, neighbours and family who are running Vista despite my advice?

T-Mobile kicked for 'more minutes' ad


@AC OK For Some

The ASA investigate COMPLAINTS about adverts. If nobody complains, they do not investigate. There's nothing partisan about what adverts get investigated, it takes a complaint from a rival or the public to get them going. See http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/about/short_guide/ which explains this very clearly.

The Long Fail: Web 2.0's faith meets the facts


Maybe I'm missing something but...

... it is relatively self-evident that the long tail will always be barren AND worthless. That's why it's the long tail! If something in the long tail proves to be even slightly popular then it would move outside of the definition of the long tail. Ergo, the long tail remains worthless.

His hypothesis seems to rely on the fact that 'everything has value'. You only have to look at a small percentage of the full content of the web to know that an awfully large percentage of the web has no value - possibly even negative value!

Is this guy trying to spin a business by convincing people that the valueless is in fact valuable? Talk about the Emperor's New Clothes! He needs a lesson in basic economics.

I run a couple of web sites. One is definitely in the long tail but, since there are no hosting costs, I only incur costs when I make a sale, and the site takes little time to maintain, it is a worthwhile pursuit. The other is one of the 'top' sites in its niche and although it might classify as long tail overall, it definitely isn't long tail for the niche. You need to understand the difference, look at the costs of maintaining that long tail (money and time) and decide if your efforts are better spent elsewhere... it isn't rocket science! (it's economics, dummy - the long tail is doomed when viewed from an economic standpoint)

Jerry! Yang! to! quit! as! Yahoo! CEO!


@AC - BSD Desktop

You've not been keeping up, have you. There are several excellent Linux distributions (Ubuntu best IMHO) but they will never become mainstream because, as we've seen with the Netbook debacle, if you give people a computer they can install software on, they will try, by and large, to install Windows software. When they can't, they get all confused and take back their 'faulty' computer.

Linux and Unix will by and large be restricted to (a) Apple, (b) geeks and (c) handhelds of all flavours. I can't see a situation where Unix/Linux desktops, excluding Apple, have more than 5% of the home market. And if Windows 7 is not another Vista, I would also expect the migration away from Windows to slow.

Anybody - even almighty Google - releasing a Unix desktop will not get significant market share.

French record labels sue, um, SourceForge


Quick, ban network connections and serial ports...

...as they can be used to share anything if your computer happens to be running, well, any version of Unix from the late 1960's onwards. Hang on, I could create a low quality MP3 on a BBC Micro and share it as a data tape to other BBC Micro owners. Or a stack of punched cards. Or a reel of punched paper tape.

Or why not just burn a CD copy? Time to ban CDs then. Take away people's cars as they can drive to a friend's house with a copy, and while you are at it chop their legs off for good measure because they could walk round instead.

Gov to Manchester: No new trams without road pricing


Whatever happened to...

... that great integrated transport policy we were promised in the run-up to, and aftermath of, the '97 election?

Nice to see that Labour are still cultivating a line of back-door taxes though.

In the last ten years we have had...

- Unregulated busses ignore unprofitable routes

- Trains that are getting smaller, less frequent and more expensive to travel on

- Runways! Runways! Runways! and air fares cheaper than train fares for the same journey!

- Resumption of road building and introduction of road pricing

- Increases in fuel duty and road tax

- Little or no requirement for co-ordination between service providers using the same hubs (bus-bus, bus-train, train-train)

- Reduced subsidies for public transport

- Above inflation ticket price rises

What we need is properly co-ordinated and subsidised local and national transport networks that encourage people to get out of their cars and onto the trains and busses. If the private companies can't be made to work for the interest of the country and the paying public then re-nationalise the buggers so that 'profit' becomes 'investment' or better yet 'price cuts'. Oh, I vote conservative BTW but I don't expect for one moment that things will get better because there are far too many snouts in troughs.

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

Dell Studio Hybrid mini desktop PC


Mac Mini!

Apple have been there for yeare, take a look at the Mac Mini - only 120w max power consumption but includes DVDF writer, bluetooth, wifi, network, firewire, usb....

Watchdogs decry Kentucky's 141-site net casino land grab


@James O

Nice one ;-) I think you've said all that needs to be said.

'UK workers bear brunt of global HP job losses': Unite


@AC's in general, in particular, Smut

Get a life, please.

The majority of EDS staff were, are, hard working and conscientious and let down by poor management and under-priced contracts. I spent several years working on Government contracts as an EDS employee and frequently there just was not the money available to do the job properly. Very frustrating.

Read any comments on the register relating to government contracts - not just those held by EDS - and you'll find a common thread...

BTW I'm still working on Government contracts, but not as an EDS employee, and things are no better here...

Tragic Twitterers tweet goodbye to family life

Paris Hilton

Twitter ye not indeed...

With the BBC, trivia is made into news (the amount of coverage they gave to the QE2 briefly running aground was ridiculous) while news has become trivia. Twitter is for self-important morons who think that other people actually care about when they wash the dog or go for a dump. Sounds like I agree with Fi Glover on this one. Get a life, pulease...

Ignore it and it'll go away. No relevance to modern society at large. At all. Ever.

Paris, 'cos she don't need to Twitter about her hour-to-hour life...

ARM to fuel netbook, internet gadget drive with Ubuntu


@Bit Fiddler

I'm not sure what you're suggesting about CW. I suspect the main problem is that if you give a 'small laptop' to joe public they immediately try to install Windows software and then go back and swap their 'faulty' machine for a Windows version.

That's not an issue with MID devices because of the mix of incompatible processors that are currently around; the arrival of atom won't change that. 'Desktop' Windows (XP or whatever) is never likely to run on these devices because of lack of resources.

I do think there is a strong likelihood of the MID market gravitating to a two-horse race though; Windows Mobile, probably running on Atom only V Linux running on Arm and others. All we need then is Java SE for both and who cares what the OS or processor is?

Apple bans iPhone app for changing version number

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No defence here...

I love my iPhone but hate Apple's Jobsian logic they use to decide what to approve and what to refuse.

Allow everything, competition is good!

Broadband speed testers fail the test


Throttled by 75%??!

And the rest. When I used to go over the '1Gb during peak hours' (4-11pm) limit on my PlusNet 15Gb a month account they would throttle me back from a line speed of 3.4Mbps reported by the router to 128Kbps - until the end of the billing month. Not that I ever got 3.4Mbps downstream (I can't remember what the broadband speed test on ThinkBroadband reported).

No way was that a useable service. What percentage of broadband use is outside of peak? Watch five hours of iPlayer during peak time and that is your 1Gb more or less gone.

Terms of service need to be much, much clearer. At least with Zen I know exactly what I get for my money. No throttling, 25Gb a month, and very clear FAQ on what happens when 25Gb is exceeded.

BTW the ThinkBroadband bandwidth test is a standard HTTP file download/upload test. If the ISPs want to cheat the test what they have to do is throttle based on the ip address you are accessing in the cloud, and use a whitelist system to avoid throttling the broadband test sites.

Carphone Warehouse denies mass Linux Webbook recall


@James S


"This laptop hasn't crashed once on me. It must be broken!"

Sounds equally plausible.

Co-op IT workers vote to strike



"if Steria need to do this to be competitive (e.g. against Tata, Infosys) then so be it"

Don't agree. There is nothing to stop any tendering company declaring the jobs to be safe from offshoring to fall into line with the customer's supposed position. Steria have chosen not to. That doesn't mean that another supplier more in tune with current affairs will not.

Amazon UK pulls Scientology exposé for 'legal reasons'

Black Helicopters


Just ordered my copy, should be a good read, and then I'll stick it on ebay - or maybe Amazon ;-)

And then go underground.

Used to pass a Scientology tent in central Birmingham every day a couple of years ago when they were on a recruitment drive, and they never gave up trying to get me in 'for a chat'.

No chance, I'm an atheist through and through, and deeply mistrust religion - or, more specifically, anybody actively pushing religion.

iPhone beats RIM for reliability, sales, consumer favour



The statistics do not lie... have you handled as many iPhones as the company quoted? Evidence please... otherwise your sweeping generalisation is worthless.

PlusNet customer invited to opt-in to BT's Phorm trial

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Exactly why I left in the summer...

I was seeing the same network behaviour on PlusNet as a colleague who was on BT, I left for Zen and don't regret the extra £10 a month to actually get an unthrottled connection and reasonable, known upper limit for traffic.

Passport and ID card price hike laundered via private sector

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Open and Competitive

So a bit like the Nationwide spoof advert then? Lots of glitz, glitter, plush carpets and brand-new-id-customer-only service, and behind the facade, pisspoor security, under-investment in infrastructure, training and sod-all staff retention.

From a security perspective alone the collection of this kind of highly personal data, for use by the government alone, should not be placed in the hands of the private sector. Hell, if banks can't stop hackers getting in and grabbing hundreds of thousands of credit card details, what hope is there for a commercial network collection ID card information?

How about giving people a choice between a visit to a local government agency (e.g. tax office) and a visit to a local branch of a 'trusted partner'. Frankly neither appeal but I give the civil servants a fighting chance of doing a better job than the privateers. No, hang on, they are under-staffed as well.


When will people realise that if you want a given level of service and security, you have to pay for it??? Why do the government constantly focus on signing the cheapest deals they can?


Sigh... even Mystic Meg can predict what is going to happen here.

Ofcom urges government restraint on new broadband


Bigger pipe = bigger throttle pedal?

And the point of installing fibre based broadband is what, exactly, if you take into account ISPs reluctance (a) to stay content neutral and (b) to actually allow people to use the full capacity of their existing lines?

I'd love to get a 20Mbps line so that I can watch iPlayer et al without big pauses during playback, but I am skeptical that being given a 20Mbps line will actually provide me with 20Mbps speeds on my ISP's network (possible choke points beyond their control acknowledged).

I also believe that ISPs should (and will be forced to) be content agnostic. I use bittorrent to download Ubuntu releases at 700Mb a time and with my old ISP, Plus (OK, BT), that was very difficult. Bittorrent is starting to be used in arenas other than copyright infringement but if all bittorrent traffic is throttled, none of these other uses will be viable.

Before pushing out faster lines in the local loop we need to see the ISPs making the bandwidth available and stopping 'traffic management' - after all, you only need to manage traffic when you've over-sold your capacity...

Apple opens Macbook front in iPhone jailbreak war


Just leave it unlocked and use the fact for marketing

Apple should be flattered that so many people are taking an interest in their hardware!

The reason Apple are fighting this is that, in unlocking the phone or iPod Touch, Apple perceive that they are losing revenue. Remember, all these excellent devices are being viewed as downstream revenue generators by Apple management, and each device that is unlocked is one less that can contribute to Apple profits downstream. Absolute B*llocks in my view, I've only ever purchased a couple of dozen iTunes in three years, and I've paid for a couple of apps for my phone and all the other downloads are freebies.

Apple need to realise two things. One, they can't win. Two, they would sell more if, as somebody else has already said, they just unlocked the thing already!

The majority of users don't care if the phone or ipod touch is locked or unlocked, it will not significantly affect their usage profile anyway. All Apple is doing is perpetuating a stream of complaints and bad publicity.

And that from a Fanboi. Take note, Apple.

Elon Musk's SpaceX offers non-ISS spaceship

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Nothing new to see here... move along please...

We're still playing with non-reusable chemical rockets FFS... space will never be affordable while we insist on building large throw-away lumps of metal.

Hackers jailbreak T-Mobile's Googlephone


One down...

So Google patch this first crack, which will I imagine require people to actively update their phone - somehow. Still, having both the source code and easy shell access to 'first cut' phones should allow plenty more back doors to be discovered. When will companies learn that locking such advanced hardware, that has so many other potential uses, is like a dark grey rag to a bull?

Liked the comment about the OS being 'slightly ajar' ;-), and with open source I guess that's a slightly ajar door into a greenhouse? Mine's the one with the doorstop in the pocket.

Lords demand DNA database deletions

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Irony? Double irony, surely

A lot of the comments here infer that people have forgotten the NuLabour overhaul that the Lords has been given since '97. Initially there were about 800 unelected peers, NuLabout changed this, getting rid of most of them and instead undertook a 'ballot stuffing' style exercise, putting in a lot of people of their own choosing.

The fact that they are willing to stand up for common sense and to fight the Orewllian future we appear to be almost in is most refreshing. Well done M'Lords and Ladies, keep up the good work.

Its a very American book but I thoroughly recommend 'Little Brother' by Cory Doctorow (and the audio book is pretty good), you could almost call it a 'modern 1984'.

Smith's airport ID card plans cut back to small pilot scheme

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Money for nothing...

So lets get this straight. The government are engaging expensive consultants to work on prototype ID card systems which won't be committed to any kind of significant operations until after the 2010 election.

If the conservatives win (and I'm not sure they are capable of losing at the moment) they have already stated their intent to scrap the whole thing.

So in all likelihood, all the money spent (or at least a large slice of it) will go down the toilet. Fantastic. I don't know whether to laugh - and try and get a slice of the work - or cry.

Man cops to $1m phony bar code shoplifting scheme


But really,

You need to figure in the intelligence level of the average checkout person. I've gone through my local Tesco with a box of six bottles of wine, the scanner registers the barcode on the outside of the box and charges one bottle at £5.99 and that is all I am charged for six bottles. Or the time I took a shrink-wrapped pack of four cartons of orange juice and was only charged for one. These people either don't have a brain, or have become zombies due to the low level of mental activity required to do the job.

Free WinMo 7 phones to lure punters to desktop Windows 7

Gates Horns

The phone may be free but what about the small print?

I'd put money on the purchaser having to take out a contract. But if that is the case, how can it be called 'free'?

Given that I'm almost definitely going to buy Windows 7 I'd be inclined to try for this offer if I can and the phone is really free - anything to offset the cost of the OS for my three Windows PCs.

Sarah Palin gets righteously punk'd

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Palin a MILF?

I'm assuming that by MILF you mean Mom I'd Like to Forget - lets face it, after tomorrow, assuming polls go the way of the predictions, she'll hopefully go back to being a relative nobody. Hell, I can't even remember the name of Bush Jr's number two (but then I couldn't tell you who Gordon Brown's number two is either).

I imagine only Alaskans could think of this woman using the traditional meaning, and even then only after they've been out in the wilderness for six months with no huskies to keep them company...

Co-op IT workers vote on strike action

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Wrong, wrong wrong

If there is one organisation that should be keeping 100% of its workforce UK based then it is the co-op. So much for ethics and the principles of a co-operative'society' which is for the benefit of its customers and workforce.

Outsourcing to another country does more harm than good in as much that whilst everybody _may_ see a small saving at the till, significant revenue is going offshore, denying UK people jobs and the UK economy the money those people would spend. Now add in the cost of unemployment benefit and related 'perks' of not working and the costs to the nation become even bigger.

Co-operative? Not any more, it seems...

Windows 7 borrows from OS X, avoids Vista


Windows 7 - runs on OS X Inside ;-)

SO the provenance for Windows 7 is Vista and OS X? How will the anti-fanbois cope with this? More to the point should Microsoft be worrying about the OSX Dock patents?

I was also intrigued to hear that with a touch screen you can use iPhone style gestures - again, is there a risk that Microsoft are trampling on Apple patents?

As a user of both Windows XP and OS X I'm looking forward to the opportunity to try (and hopefully upgrade to) Windows 7. Looks like Microsoft have got their act together at last. Just hope the revised Vista codebase is up to the challenge. I can't see Microsoft abandoning that line of attack, after all everybody in Windows world, not just MS, has been writing code and drivers for it for a good two years now...

NHS IT project pulled up by hiatus hernia

Black Helicopters

Don't trust the NAO...

...after a recent Private Eye exposed them as basically writing what the government wanted them to. Not very independent and very, very weak at actually challenging projects, IT or otherwise, that were going down the pan.

NHS IT may not be dead, yet, but if even BT are starting to take stock it must be time to measure up for a box.

Microsoft's Azure means dark days for storage vendors

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Sick it in the cloud? Not on my watch...

Sorry, I don't agree that cloud computing is the Next Big Thing (tm) or even the Current Big Thing.

The main problem is one of reliability of systems not under your direct control and the associated risks to the business. A company running its own servers and infrastructure is in control when and if an outage occurs. As such it can employ whatever work-arounds and solutions it wants when something goes down.

If a company moves its servers into the cloud there are now three separate infrastructures - the remote data centre, the local company infrastructure and the network linking the two. The company has ceded control of two parts of its overall infrastructure and has no direct control over it. If something goes wrong all the IT support guys can do is... call another IT support team and wait.

I'm simply not convinced by either Amazon or Google that they can achieve the uptime I'd get by keeping everything local, with the same degree of control over the whole infrastructure, particularly in the event of a failure of some sort. And I certainly don't anticipate Microsoft performing as well, if only because their cloud is based on Windows technology.

It will only take one significant outage for companies that have not undertaken a risk assessment to realise that they have no control over a business critical IT system and for them to change their minds.

Will people use cloud computing? Yes, if the system is not business critical. Yes, if the system is business critical but the company is establishing itself and can't afford to purchase run its own hardware. No, not if the absence of a system for anything more than a few minutes stops the business functioning. The risk is to great.

And I've not even thought about data protection, security, etc, etc...

The iPhone App Store - a classic protection racket


Nice metaphor...

...but I got the point after reading less than half of the article. I'd have liked to see this develop into a discussion of if, how and when this ridiculous monopoly might be broken.

As a potential fanboi (three macs, an iPod, iPhone and an Apple TV), I put up with the restrictions on my phone because it does everything I need it to. My Apple TV has already been hacked (bigger hard drive, more codecs) because of the underlying problem with Apple as a company: protectionism.

The Mac is fairly open because in this day and age, if it were closed, nobody would buy it. iPods play MPEG3 tunes because if they didn't, they wouldn't sell. the iPhone and Apple TV are classic Apple in that the company has built in a revenue stream that continues giving (should that be taking?) long after the credit card bill for the original purchase has been paid.

Apple TV is a good piece of kit that has been crippled, it will only play Apple-sourced video, or videos re-encoded into Apple's format. Knowing that Joe Public won't know how to do the latter they rest easy knowing that every Apple TV sold is another addition to the revenue stream. My answer is to crack the box and install additional CODECs, thereby turning it into a proper media player. In the absence of competition, Apple is likely to get away with its stance on Apple TV, it sells to fanbois, people who don't know better and to people like me who are happy to crack it.

The iPhone has been set up in a similar vein, with Apple establishing a revenue stream for which it has to do very little now the phone is out there in the wild. Apple exercises a fairly inconsistent set of criteria in deciding whether somebody's hard graft should be allowed to be sold through the store, and provides no other avenues to distribute to the majority of iPhone users who won't be unlocking their phone - ever.

I'm not a lawyer but I can't help wonder exactly how long they can go on doing this before enough 'little guys' get together to challenge either or both of these restrictions?

UK Govt to spend £100m on three-city electric car trial


Nice pin principal...

...but I agree with the reporter here, there are better ways to do this.

But then in my experience what might have been a good idea at ministerial level is turned into hubris by the civil service. Make it too simple, plain and direct and you don't need many people to actually run the damn scheme.

Or to be blunt, the civil service keep more than half an eye on job protection/expansion.

Plus ca change.

Intel apologises for 'inappropriate' iPhone critique


But wait...

... Adobe have already finished porting Flash to the iPhone. They just need to get Apple's agreement to integrate it. I'd love to see flash on my iPhone when firmware 2.2 ships.

Funnily enough a version of Java has been available for months and is running on cracked iPhones.

So, exactly how does the lack of an x86 processor prevent you from running two platform-independent products? Simple, it doesn't.

Pure bad blood from Intel that they don't have a processor in the iPhone, and with Apple puchasing their own chip company, thats not about to change either.

Intel badmouths Jesus Phone


Flash... done. Java... done.

Just waiting for Adobe and Sun to reach agreement with Apple...


Why Intel should worry

Start with a small footprint, low power processor for PDA phones. Expand it a little, make it go a bit faster and then put it into netbooks running Linux. [Repeat ]

Power consumption is key to anything smaller than a 13" laptop, and if Windows is not the dominant OS on these platforms then the ARM could, with careful positioning, clean up. And that is a reason for Intel to be worried.

Right now, anything bigger than a PDA has, by definition, an Intel or AMD processor in the middle and both companies have been pursuing performance over energy consumption for some time. A cunning development strategy could see ARM-powered netbooks appearing with a vastly superior battery life to those currently in the market.

All Android apps are not made equal


Bring on the Anti-Fanboi rants

Come on, I know you're out there. All those people who flamed us iPhone owners and Apple for the restrictions Apple has (sometimes wrongly, occasionally rightly) imposed. I'm waiting to see all those spleens venting in the light of this news that Google is just like any other company that thinks it has a winner...

Nobody should be surprised at these restrictions, they were predictable (and indeed predicted). No company investing a large amount of money in something like this isn't going to turn over their potential cash cow entirely to all comers. They at least need to get their investment back and make their own large pile of cash first...

Europe gives temps same rights as permanent staff

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Sorry, don't agree

As a freelance consultant I disagree with this proposal.

My first stint freelance was in the late 1990s with the objective of founding a small IT consultancy. Then along came IR35. The government insisted on treating all of my company turnover as personal income even though I wasn't abusing tax and NI rules. Scrap one business plan.

After a few years in permanent employment I'm back in the freelance arena with the same objectives. This kind of proposal reduces workforce flexibility. What we need instead is legislation that counters the trend of using lower paid contract staff as de facto permanent employees.

At the root of this is the point that temporary workers should be just that. If a company has an open position and fills it with one or more temps over a period of time without offering any of them permanent employment, or advertising the role as permanent, it is morally suspect and the employer should be 'encouraged' to make the role permanent.

Of course any such legislation would have to be carefully thought through to avoid circumvention.

Hand in hand with this there needs to be absolute clarity over what is viewed as disguised employment and what is viewed as being in business on your own account. I don't want the revenue to turn around and retrospectively claim tax that I would otherwise use to grow a genuine business, neither should they be able to force employers to give permanent employee perks to people who are genuinely being employed temporarily. The real problem here is that many companies use temps as a cheap long term work force.

Sun claims super-skinny JavaFX milestone



Give me one good reason why Sun are not able, should they wish, to write plugins for Eclipse to develop JavaFX? There are no legal obstructions and Eclipse is open source...

Intel shows off 'giant iPod Touch'


Seems a bit large...

...but at least it is big enough to hit a mugger over the head with.

Taliban extends mobile shutdown order

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Nice to hear...

... that the Afgan government and its supporting allies have full control of the country's infrastructure then.


If there was ever a sign that a different approach is needed after all this time, then this surely is it.



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