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Comment Re:IANAL: explicit consent not part of EU directiv (Score 1) 130

IANAL from Austria.

Afaik explicit consent is not explicitly demanded by the EU. UK opted in to require this in their law.

I'm not sure about the wording of the law itself, but the guidelines from the Information Commisioners Office (who are responsible for enforcing the law) implied consent is allowable; that's also how a number of organisations such as the BBC have implemented it, with a once-only banner informing the user and giving them the ability to alter the behaviour if needed.

IANAL, currently in Austria it says that the user decision already happens through the browser settings. If the browser accepts cookies, so does the user and the government sees the problem solved.

That would be much more acceptable; this has been argued for in the UK as well but the ICO have stated that this alone is not an acceptable solution. That said, a lot of sites are now linking to which provides this information.

Comment Re:Why would it need studies? (Score 2) 345

UK postcodes are just a grid 1km I think, I am on the wrong computer to check. You can always import that leaked Postcode db into a mapping software to see what I mean. This normally translates in to a part of a street.

Not a grid, and their size does vary, but they are generally only a few hundred yards across; Google Maps will do an outline of the approximate area that a postcode covers, but as a rule of thumb a postcode covers an average of 15 properties.

Oh, and forget using any 'leaked postcode db'. The Ordnance Survey made available a CSV file that maps postcodes to coordinates as part of their OpenData project a few years ago; usage only requires attribution, not payment.

Comment Extend your notice period? (Score 1) 735

It's still possible to be loyal and yet move on. It may be that the new company would accept you working a longer notice period at your current employer (for example, if you're on 4 weeks ask if they'd wait 6 or even 8 for you)? That should be sufficient to ensure that the company can bring someone else in of a similar skill level to yourself, that the product can be handed over with minimal disruption, and you leave things in a stable situation.

It's your career, after all. Sometimes you do have to be selfish, otherwise you will never leave.

Comment Re:What's been missed is ... (Score 2) 174

The sad truth is the support that comes with most PCs and software is usually under-utilized and seldom needed.

In this case, "support" is likely to be the infrastructure team within the organisation itself who handle the repairs, upgrades, security updates, server maintenance, etc. It's not going to be the telephone helpline that tells you where to plug your mouse into or what your ISPs telephone number is.

The main problem is that, like all the other numbers, the £3,500 figure is unexplained. For all we know, it's "total amount that the IT department spend" divided by "number of users". That would mean it also includes a proportion of the costs of the servers, switches, cabling, telecommunications, etc.

Comment What's been missed is ... (Score 5, Insightful) 174

... that this £3,500 doesn't just cover "hardware sitting on a person's desk"; it also includes the software, support, long-term upgrade contracts, etc. This "journalism" sells newspapers (unsurprisingly, the Daily Mail featured it quite prominently) but ignores most of the facts.

I'm not denying that some money is being wasted, but nowhere near as much as this report implies. See this article for more detail.

Comment Re:If you're paying for your masters... (Score 1) 330

Honestly if you're going to spend another $80k for two more years of post-college education, it's not worth it for most fields. When it's free, that's a different matter all together.

This was my approach, completely. I graduated with a Bachelors back in '97 with a 3rd (due mainly to a lack of motivation in the later years), and never considered returning. Then, about 5 years ago, I discovered that there was funding on offer that could be used towards a Masters.

So ... I enrolled as a part-time student on a modular degree (each module being a week of teaching and then several months of working every evening), with the teaching time given as paid (i.e. not from my holiday allowance) in lieu of any other training by my employer. The end result is that I now have an MSc with Distinction, having learnt the value of hard work. It hasn't changed much about my current job, but at least my CV will be read sooner when the time comes to hunt for a new job. And, unlike many professional qualifications, it's also mine for life with no need to retake any exams or pay additional fees.

Comment Not the first, won't be the last (Score 4, Interesting) 240

Although people seem amazed about this, it's not the first time that this has happened.

Back in '98, I worked on a network where it was against Government regulations to connect it in any way to the Internet, and an 'air gap' was required between the two. I was one of a very small team that wrote a system (using Zip disks for storage) that pulled data from a mail server on our secure network and pushed it to a mail server on the Internet, and vice versa. It had very high latency - people were assigned to do the mail drop only twice a day - but it worked well.

Comment Re:He understood? (Score 1) 249

I wonder why he would need to sell a book. I mean.. he's got 13 billion dollars or something.

By your own logic, that means that money isn't the reason (something which most other authors will also claim, although probably slightly less honestly). The only other one that comes to mind is to allow him to put the record straight about the relationships between himself, Gates and, to a certain extent, Ballmer. To some people, making sure the truth is known is important.

Of course, the book isn't about Allen and Gates, and I doubt it's even 'about' Microsoft any more than iWoz was 'about' Apple. They're just the elements that will generate the most interest and get people wanting to read more.

Comment Re:Debunked (Score 1) 306

people need to stop thinking of web apps in terms of "Internet explorer users".

Oddly, I happened to RTFM before it even reached Slashdot; the plugin they've developed is Firefox-only. This doesn't mean it's not headed for the bad-ideas graveyard, though.

Comment Re:Doesn't name nay names (Score 1) 123

How could an external company actually persuade UK politicians that it would be an unfair advantage to UK citizens that it would be unfair for a non-UK gaming company to have tax breaks?

(Did you mean 'for a UK gaming company? I got confused with all the negatives.)

I think this is an important question, whichever way it was meant. Nothing in TFA itself convinces me that this is anything more than an attempt to stir up some publicity for the individual who wrote it.

A question that Develop should answer: why are you not naming the company in question? Possiblity of legal action (as you have no evidence), or because they don't actually exist?

Comment Re:Doesn't say who the game company is (Score 1) 123

Just for the record, businesses can reclaim VAT - it's a consumer level tax, and one that's only applied to non-essential items.

Yes - although I didn't explicitly state it, that was my reasoning behind it hitting B2C (specifically, because it lowers the spending power of the consumer) not B2B. That said, when Labour reduced VAT temporarily from 17.5% to 15%, I don't recall the (admittedly potentially biased) media reporting a massive upswing in spending, so I can't see that this increase will cause a massive downswing.

Food (unless consumed in a restaurant), Water, and Utilities are all VAT free.

Unfortunately, you appear to have been misinformed. VAT on electricity and gas is charged at 5%. Depending upon the type of food, it may either be zero-rated or full rate. Mains water may be zero-rated, but mineral water has VAT applied at the full rate. It's a bit of a minefield, but HMRC does explain it comprehensively.

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