304 posts • joined 17 Jan 2013
Re: let's not worry
"... has done absolutely nothing to actually prepare for hard brexit. ... no new customs staff hired"
Actually they're busy hiring 800 folk for Customs and 143 agricultural/phytosanitary inspectors.
Oh, hang on, that's the NL government's preparation for Brexit.
Re: "Jagex did not say exactly how Brexit will up its costs"
"The word 'advisory' doesn't appear anywhere in the act:"
As Parliament is sovereign any referendum will always be advisory, there is no need to state that in the relevant act. (The PM at the time stated that this the government would abide by the result - but government <> Parliament.)
"You'd be surprised about how many people don't even know what a floodplain IS"
In the UK:
"... some companies and homeowners have had to learn this lesson the hard way."
The very hard way as I think Dutch insurance doesn't cover flood risks. All the reason to pay the Waterschapsbelasting (dyke maintenance levy) diligently :)
Re: @Blank Reg
"... it's illegal to own any kind of weapon. In the surrounding countries (Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg) weapons are also illegal, all under a European law."
I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure gun legislation is covered by national, not EU, law. And I think the restrictions in NL are stricter than in the surrounding countries you mention.
"How do you have a Dutch passport I thought you can't be a dutch citizen with more than one nationality?"
I'm not a lawyer so can't guarantee this is correct. At present they're not keen on dual nationality but at other times it was not an issue. Even now, you can get dual nationality by birth. And if you grew up here as a child and teenager, or you've been living here a long time and reach 65 you can opt to get Dutch nationality without giving up your other nationality. (In other cases, if you get naturalised you have to try and give up the other nationality.) And one of the coalition partners in the current government has proposed changing the rules, primarily to make life easier for Brits here who also want to take Dutch nationality.
"The EU's neo-Facists at it again,"
First of all, this sounds like something that could be negotiated about. And secondly, that's just the rules of the game - I'm based in NL so when I first registered a domain I had to go for .NL as I couldn't get .UK one (not without lying). And now I also have a .EU.
"if you bought an .eu domain you're a moron."
Ermm, no, you're probably somebody doing business internationally, within the largest market without borders. And probably a higher-rate taxpayer :). I'm not sure you are enhancing the reputation of Brexiters by suggesting that everyone who does business internationally and contributes to the economy is a moron.
Re: Oh dear
"If its so valuable to your company, then move to the EU and brexit yourself."
Actually mate, my company (with a .EU domain) is currently based in NL but I was thinking of moving to Sussex when I semi-retire. But perhaps I should just stay here and contribute to the Dutch economy instead.
Re: We put a man into space/landed on the moon? between 1961 and 1969.
"The specific service is called "Naked Broadband" "
That's pretty well what's on offer here in NL. Packages start with an Internet connection and then you can add voice (around EUR 2.50 per line per month) or TV (say EUR 15).
https://thuis.t-mobile.nl/pakketsamenstellen (higher speeds than the 100 Mbps shown there are available, normally without a data cap)
"It's nothing to do with the intelligence of those voting, but that the sheer volume of information you need to read and make sense of to understand the issues involved makes it near impossible for the average person to make an informed decision."
Fully agree with that. It's because many issues are complex and time-consuming to study that we, as voters, have decided to contract the detailed decision-making out to our MPs (parliamentary democracy). If we do want to use a referendum (direct democracy) than we should also make the effort to inform ourselves in some detail. That's feasible for relatively straightforward issues but not for something as complex as this with manifold, often unexpected, aspects. In short, the right to vote comes with the obligation to inform yourself and consider all aspects of the issue at hand.
Re: "...building homes with Cat5 cable run to every..."
"... area has three empty conduits installed"
I second that. When refurbishing H Mansion I had empty conduit put in from every room to the basement - has made life much easier. And a tip from my surveyor: if you don't know where your'e going to put the HiFi, etc. just run a plastic ventilation duct or something under the floor along the relevant walls, so you can just drill a hole through the floor, into the duct. Then pulling cables between the HiFi and loudspeakers, central connections in the basement, etc. is really easy.
"Also, 2400 is perfectly valid and often used in place of 0000."
Hmm, not too keen on that. According to the gospel (well, Ellis' British Railway Engineering Encyclopaedia):
Midnight: since 00:00 is ambiguous (is it later today, early tomorrow, or was it first thing?) railway practice avoids it and uses 23:59 or 00:001 instead, as required. For all practical puposes the intervening two minutes do not exist.
Re: Total Waste Of Money
"... but guess where a large proportion of the stuff we catch goes?"
Tried to discuss this with a Leave voting friend who said she'd voted that way because farmers and fishermen in Cornwall had told her the EU stopped them doing unspecified things. Politely pointed out to her that Westminster might also stop them doing things, and possibly for good reasons.
Asked her what would happen to the exports of sheep and lamb to the EU if they had to compete with New Zealand - no answer. Asked her what would happen to the 80% of fish landed in Cornwall which is exported to the EU (https://cornwallreports.co.uk/benns-brexit-committee-prepares-to-visit-cornwall/ https://cornwallreports.co.uk/lords-warn-of-brexits-threats-and-opportunities-for-cornwalls-fishing-fleet/) - no answer. Eventually she complained that it was so difficult to get information - although she's living in the UK and retired and therefore presumably has more time and opportunity to get information than me (currently living in NL and working). Apparently she forgot that the right to vote is inextricably linked to the obligation to gather and analyse information before you cast your vote!
Have a good weekend (national volunteering weekend here so going to help plant a few hundred trees - should take my mind off this stuff).
Re: This isn't about Brexit
"... but the parliament can only approve or reject legislation that the EC drafts. Elected representatives (MEPs) have no say in what legislation will be drafted."
At the risk of repeating myself, in practice it's little different in the Westminster parliament. On the whole, legislation proposed by MPs (private members' bills) doesn't stand a chance of becoming law, unless it is supported by the government. You literally have to win a lottery (the ballot, hence ballot bill) to get a chance to present one, or use the ten-minute rule. And such bills regularly get talked out or otherwise obstructed. Basically, not a chance. http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/bills/private-members/
However, members of the Scottish Parliament have more opportunities to table private bills if they are supported by other MSPs: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/30584.aspx
The Welsh Assembly's ballot system is similar to that in Westminster, I think.
Re: Very true...
"... this crusty nasty chuck of technology in every large corporation that every one knows does something very very important"
A few years ago I visited a steelworks where they were overhauling a blast furnace and replacing its control system. The control system was so archaic that some elderly, supposedly retired, American specialist had to come over and tinker with it. And they ran the old control system and its replacement in parallel for a few months to be sure. They also documented all their work v carefully as at the time of the next overhaul, hopefully over a decade later, most of the local team would have retired too.
"Until someone loses the sugarcube sized multi Exabyte diamond storage"
Ah, that'll be holographic storage, been around the corner for as long as I can remember, bit like a practical fusion reactor. Though I think microfluidics are making a comeback after four decades. Speaking of fluids, here's one for the weekend.
Re: The real story
Now, I'm not familiar with France, apart from the Dunkerque ferry terminal. But I do think that your observations are incorrect.
"It's interesting that the French are known for strike action and generally being lazy. "
France consistently has a slightly higher productivity of labour than the UK.
Ermm, not sure what your experience in this area is, but I've had my Renault Clio Estate for a decade or so and it's been extremely reliable and fuel efficient. Best compactish car for carrying loads of stuff I've had since my Austin Maxi (now, that dates me :).
"1. Infrastructural projects can be won by foreign companies so you actually subsidize Spanish Economy instead of UK."
Not sure, but I think that normally when a foreign-based company wins a tender for an infrastructure project they subcontract most of the work locally. Though they might bring in some managers, engineers and specialist plant. Similarly, concrete, tarmac, etc. will be sourced locally, only specialist items will come from overseas (and might still have if a local contractor won the job). Yes, they will be repatriating some profit, but in construction and civil engineering margins are exceedingly low, so that's not v relevant. (I'm not a tender or construction expert, but occasionally work with folk who are.)
Re: @ Charlie Clark
"So your argument against Brexit is that it will deprive British businesses of cheap foreign labour to exploit?"
Errm, on the whole they'll be paid the minimum wage or living wage - not sure that counts as exploitation.
Re: I wonder how many times that "money saved from EU contributions" will be re-used.
Thanks for pointing me towards https://ahdb.org.uk/brexit/default.aspx . Over a dozen reports, interesting though on the whole rather depressing reading.
"Approximately 11% of current UK beef exports are sent to non-EU markets" i.e. 89% goes to the EU
"The UK has access to very few of the largest beef-importing countries, such as Japan and the USA" Not sure Trump will give the UK better access in future.
"Non-EU sheep meat exports were only 4% of total sheep meat exports. [...] the UK struggles to
compete against cheaper low-cost producers from the Southern Hemisphere and South America"
So 96% goes to the EU (mostly France, I think) but, if WTO tariffs apply to UK exports, is likely to be replaced by cheaper lamb from New Zealand, etc.
Please point out any mistakes in my observations - this is rather beyond my ken.
"There is no 'will of the people' for Brexit"
In my view there is certainly no "one will" of the people - the ideas within this camp range from the free market utopia dreamt of by Farage, Rees Mogg, etc. to the socialist utopia dreamt of by Dennis Skinner, etc. So given that range there simply cannot be a Brexit to satisfy all Brexiteers. Whatever the end result is, many of them are going to get the opposite of what they wanted. What the .... did they think they voted for?
Re: @ Halcin
Thanks, I'll mention that to a friend who has just invested twenty grand in a coffee roaster for her coffee supply business, to provide her customers with the freshest possible product. Obviously, had she had your expert knowledge she could have avoided that investment.
Re: @ Halcin
Not an expert, but gather that you wouldn't want to ship roasted coffee across longer distances as its shelf life is much shorter than that of the unroasted beans. I.e. it makes sense to roast the beans closer to the consumers.
Re: @ Halcin
"Fuck it. I'll close the business down, retire early."
Sorry to hear that - hope it won't come to it. But also something facing a friend - with a business he built up from absolutely nothing. And just heard from my best friend in London that her daughter's job's is now looking shaky as the company's considering simply leaving the UK market. Really pissed off about all that.
Re: Open the window?
Years ago a mate went to Rome on his hols. After rather a lot of the local wine he went onto the balcony of his hotel room and started declaiming stuff from his Italian phrase book, such as "My father was a submarine commander in the war". Gather the phrase book was a hand-me-down from an aged relative. Probably from the same publisher as yours.
Re: Used to work there!
"... the savings from not having the expensive boffins miss half an hour a day in favour of a much cheaper tea lady(/man) could be considerable."
From a beancounter's point of view that's probably correct. However, from a general management point of view, your boffins might be more productive if they regularly get away from their desks, and perhaps have a chat with someone by the tea urn/fancy coffee production station.
Re: Solution to what?
"Long term content censoring of things the gov't deem "Un-British."
Errm, I thought censoring was considered unBritish - or did I (or Amber Rudd) get things in a muddle?
Re: Program for a Puppet
"reading 'Alice and Wonderland' to your computer (IBM Voice assist (I think))."
Dragon Dictate, I think. That and a similar Philips product saved my business when I had serious RSI.
What to do with an Echo?
This seems as good a place to post this question as any.
From other topics I gather than I’m not the only Commentard to have received an Amazon Echo Dot or similar device for Christmas which we don’t want to connect to the Internet for security reasons (or just not being interested in its functionality).
Does anyone have helpful suggestions for what to do with it? Alternative uses?
Re: Yes... but...
"I've always had a Smoothwall behind such a router "
Is that a product from smoothwall.com, or the open source firewall from smoothwall.org?
If the first, what sort of cost are we talking about?
Here's one for the weekend,
Re: Mousy Foot Pedal
"I knew a woman who swapped out her mouse for a trackball, and then put it on the floor. She had fairly severe carpal tunnel syndrome"
When I had something like that I figured it was the clicking rather than the pointing which was causing the pain. For years I used the normal mouse on my desk for pointing and two foot pedals for clicking. (Got two foot switches from the music shop and soldered them to the innards of a mouse.) Now using a RollerMouse and that's great.
Re: Hey Gran!
"Gas lighting still having been a thing, however, is quite realistic."
There are still areas in London with gas street lights (with gas mantles), spotted them earlier this week. And the Theatre Royal Bristol still had gas emergency lighting (fishtail burners) into the 1990s I think.
Potentially, so then have to take a peek at the FT and Guardian as an antidote. Not enjoyable, but useful to help me understand other folk. And I get a break from it at the weekend :)
"I don't read tabloids (needless to say, doubt anyone here does)."
I do, now. Mon - Fri I start the day with a quick peek at the Daily Mail. I don't enjoy that but figure I need to do that to try and understand a large proportion of the population. Seems the editors need to take a quick course in British constitutional law, otherwise they wouldn't refer to judges and MPs fulfilling their constitutional duties and oaths of office as 'enemies of the people' and 'traitors'. And if the articles on scantily-clad Z-list 'celebrities' are supposed to reflect "proud British values" then you can count me out. Note: other newspapers are available.
"... with 350 trucks of components coming in from the EU each day."
Yup, and the automotive industry as a whole 1,100 lorries _per day_ - staggering. Source:
https://www.smmt.co.uk/2017/11/smmt-president-calls-faster-concrete-progress-agreeing-transition-period-brexit/ (obviously the SMMT are not to be trusted, being horrible experts and actually manufacturing things)
And presumably there's also quite a lot of traffic in the other direction exporting vehicles to the rest of the EU.
Re: Tiny problem,.., stuff the UK can export, can't easily switch supplier for key components.
"When you're in it you hardly notice it's there. But when it's gone......"
I think that's the crux of the problem: most politicos and many younger businesspeople never experienced how much hassle it was to get small shipments across borders. Or the nightmare of temporary exports (having to pay VAT and then get it back, or an expensive and bureaucratic carnet).
I tried to explain this to a Leaver friend: "Just imagine, you're a self-employed surveyor or photographer and you want to take your kit from London to Amsterdam for an assignment. Currently, you put your 20 grand of kit in the boot of your car and drive to Amsterdam, no hassle. In future you'll either have to pay VAT + any import duty (say 4 grand) after you cross the North Sea, and later reclaim it. Or get an ATA carnet (minimum of GBP 200 + security https://www.londonchamber.co.uk/export-documents/ata-carnet/). Same if you take stuff to a trade show." My friend: "Oh, no, it won't be like that." Me: "Yes, it will be. Thanks for making life difficult for my colleagues."
"So given this, what happens to UK imports? Well, anything we can source more cheaply elsewhere, ..."
Tiny problem, most of the industries which make anything worthwhile, stuff the UK can export, can't easily switch supplier for key components.
Example 1: my ex-brother-in-law depends on three suppliers in the EU for his clever microelectronics stuff which then adds further value to in the UK and exports to the EU and beyond. He can't easily source that stuff from elsewhere (so I've offered to help him move part of his operations to NL).
Example 2: Dennis Eagle build Refuse Collecting Vehicles in Warwick, using (I think) engines from Sweden, axles and brakes from Germany and bin lifts from the Netherlands. They can't really change over to other suppliers, not without extensive re-engineering and re-qualification.
Another issue is that doing the import or export paperwork for one large expensive unit is not too bad and doesn't add too much cost - but doing the import paperwork for the hundreds of components incorporated into that unit, from a number of suppliers, is going to be very time-consuming, costly, and likely to upset just-in-time supply chains. A great way of ***ing British industry - thanks.
Re: Bad Behaviour has Always Been There
"Debate may be "coarsening" due to their own behaviour and examples."
Wish I could upvote you more than once!
4G built-in would be easier & safer
"... so they could work from free Wi-Fi at trendy cafes."
I just don't get that: insecure and inconvenient. Easier for the user & safer for the business to provide staff with laptops or other devices with 4G connectivity built in. Have been using that for the best part of a decade now in my microbusiness. Easier than using a 4G dongle or MiFi (can get mislaid or run out of charge), better than tethering to your phone (drains the phone battery). Or have I missed something?
Problem is, laptops with 4G built in seem to be scarce these days: all I can find is HP or Dell models which are barely more powerful than my 4-year old Tosh, but double the price :(
(First used something like that close to 20 years ago, Nokia mobile phone connected to my laptop by cable, running at 9600 baud, on a hill above Rosedale Abbey.)
Re: Speed limits have never saved a single life
"The Autobahn has no speed limits"
No longer true. Speed limits along many stretches, sometimes fairly low too. At least in the parts of Germany I've driven in (west and south). Which parts of that country are you familiar with?
"... 2/ Inertial Navigation System (INS)"
True INS tends to be pricey. But in many applications your navigation system will know where it is before jamming starts and has a map and compass so it can keep track of turns in the roads to update its approximate position. That (and impulses from wheel sensors, for distance travelled, and from steering wheel sensors, for heading) was what was used in the original, pre-GPS, car navigation systems. Might not be too difficult to bolt on to GPS-based navigation systems. Depends what accuracy you're looking for.
Incidentally there are compact INS modules for navigating in mines, etc.
"... using natural signs and clues too - that would take a bit longer to teach."
There's a book for that:
EMA - puzzling
I found this rather puzzling "... the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) starts calling TV and radio stations to get the message out but its phone lines become clogged as the public try to find out what is going on."
So that means EMA depends on the public networks for emergency communications with the media?!? That seems to be asking for trouble. I appreciate it might not be as easy to set up fixed circuits to a few key media as it would have been in the days of analogue telephony. But surely they could provide some alternative channel - carrier pigeon, if need be (https://www.gchq.gov.uk/features/pigeon-takes-secret-message-grave).
Just let me pay!
Firefox, Google, et al: you provide me with useful tools which make me more productive at work. I would be happy to pay for those tools (after all, I also pay for my Internet connection and the leccy that runs my PC). Just don't annoy me by serving ads that don't interest me and which I'll never click. I, and other commentards who have made similar comments, might be in the minority but could provide a fairly steady revenue stream (at the moment you don't get any money from you as we don't click ads).
And did I mention I'll happily pay for some good e-mail software? How difficult would it be to bring Eudora into the current century (but without any unnecessary whiz-bang stuff)?
Nurse, where are my pills?!?
Not being into sci-fi (other than THGTTG, obviously) I wasn't aware of Le Guin - looks like an interesting author, thanks for introducing me to her work.
Re: Ask Liam Fox
What always puzzled me about the right-wing Brexiteers is that they complain about lack of transparency and democratic accountability in the EU, and giving up sovereignty to the European Court of Justice, but that in they context of their much-vaunted trade deals they enthusiastically support opaque dealmaking without Parliamentary oversight, and a dispute resolution system which is even more opaque and can infringe sovereignty even more than anything related to the EU.
And why left-wing Brexiteers put the country in a position where workers' and consumers' rights are liable to be overruled by business interests with limited democratic oversight is something I entirely fail to comprehend.
"... and I've just spent the last week migrating away from it. "\
What are you using now?
Re: To be honest
"... also developed Fossamail .."
That project seems to have been discontinued: https://www.fossamail.org/
Shame, as I'm still looking for an alternative to Eudora. Using Thunderbird but not overly fond of it. Incidentally, I would be happy to pay for a good e-mail client. Any suggestions?
Re: GSM Gateway Usage
"My family's mobiles (3 of them) cost me $229/mo. For unlimited calling, but there's still the whole data charges"
So that's USD 76 for one phone. For EUR 60 = USD 74 you can get this:
Unlimited data and calls in the EU and the US, from a mainstream Dutch telecoms provider. So cheaper to get a contract for US calls & data in the EU than the US?!? Somehow I find it v difficult to understand the North American telecoms market.
Re: Leaving EU != leaving Customs Union (or Single Market, for that matter)
"... multiple Leavers were at pains to suggest this wouldn't happen?"
I always found that surprising, as being in the CU/SM without being an EU member would mean paying to the EU but not having a say in its affairs - so mostly the same costs & benefits but no control (a la Norway). That seemed at odds with the "take back control" and "stop sending money to Brussels" claims. Thus underlining my perception that Leave may have thought (but not too clearly) about what they didn't want, but they most certainly hadn't thought much about what they did want instead.
"Why the fuck are the tories (amongst others) saying that leaving the EU must also mean leaving the Customs Union and Single Market?"
Because May decided that being in the CU/SM without being in EU would bring about the problems mentioned above. Not an unreasonable conclusion, but perhaps not what folk voted for.
Feeling smug now
A few months ago:
Supplier: Are you sure you don't want the Cloud version of this lovely WD external drive?
Me: That's right - don't want anything with remote access. I'll have the plain vanilla drive please (well, the RAID model).
Sometimes it pays to be a Luddite :)