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* Posts by H in The Hague

346 posts • joined 17 Jan 2013

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Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

H in The Hague
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Re: Additional cooling

"My suggestion to dump a few buckets of white paint on the roof, or tack a couple of rolls of alu-coated foil ..."

The top floor of H Mansion has a flat roof with black bitumen roofing felt. That floor used to get uncomfortably hot but I assumed that most of the heat came in through the windows and not through the roof as that's insulated. But applied special aluminium bitumen paint to it last week and it's made a real difference. Unfortunately I didn't measure the before and after temperatures.

Tip: paint the roof before the weather gets too hot. In hot weather the primer, even when dry, is very sticky and that makes work difficult.

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What can $10 stretch to these days? Lunch... or access to international airport security systems

H in The Hague
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Re: Agreed

You could try hunting urban foxes instead. From their front door a friend in Twickenham once managed to spot six of them at once.

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UK taxman outlines its CHIEF concerns for customs IT systems

H in The Hague
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Re: A new golden era of prosperity

"... a golden age of marmite-smuggling off the coast of Norfolk."

I for one salute our Marmite-smuggling overlords!

Is it still smuggling if you carry the stuff from Holland-on-Sea or Great Holland (Essex), or the Parts of Holland (Lincolnshire) to plain old Holland (admittedly on the other side of the North Sea)?

https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/inspire/dutch-links-with-norfolk_norwich.aspx

Bloody immigrants, coming here to do our drainage works and introducing their Friesian cattle.

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Vodafone emits new wearable ... kid-trackers

H in The Hague
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Re: Lone worker tracker

Thanks - that's a beautifully simple solution. Have 'Find my device' turned off on my main phone, but happy to turn it on on a back-up phone. Now Mrs H will know where to look for me in the woods when I don't return home in time :)

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H in The Hague
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Lone worker tracker

As it happens I've been looking for an Android lone worker/person down app. I do some conservation volunteering, sometimes in remote areas, and it would be handy if the team leader or Mrs H could check my location if I go AWOL. Unfortunately the affordable apps I've found look rather dodgy or ineffective, and the ones that might work only come as part of an expensive corporate package. So a dedicated pet or kid tracker might be a better option (albeit without the person down function). And more convenient in terms of privacy as I'll only switch it on and carry it with me when needed.

Does anyone know of a good Android lone worker/person down app? Or general tracking app? Happy to pay for it but don't want ads.

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Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

H in The Hague
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Re: HS2 and the Galileo replacement

"How many jobs have already gone to Europe or other - because the UK company was bought out by another company ?"

I rather get the impression that when a UK company gets bought by an overseas investor that generally saves and creates jobs in the UK. Look at the car industry: Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Mini and Dennis Eagle have all benefitted from significant investments by their overseas owners, without which they might have gone under with massive job losses. Unfortunately these companies have very complex supply chains across the Channel, and also exort a large part of their production so the UK leaving the single market is likely to hit them (and their UK suppliers and contractors) very hard.

"What may happen is that new opportunities will arise due to the restrictions of the EU being lifted from the UK."

Could you mention some of those restrictions? Something specific? Which markets/opportunities will they provide access to?

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H in The Hague
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"I propose that we brick it by scrambling the encryption software that we wrote."

Not software you wrote. Software successful private companies wrote under contract. Or are you an extreme left-winger who wants to nationalise industry? Incidentally if your proposal was put into practice, no UK software company would ever get an overseas contract again - another great way to f*** British businesses. You are Boris Johnson and I claim my five pounds.

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H in The Hague
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Re: HS2 and the Galileo replacement

"The EU cooked the books to get Greece into the Euro."

Errmm, thought it was the Greeks who allegedly committed the creative accountancy.

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H in The Hague
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Re: HS2 and the Galileo replacement

"Look at Greece - the people have suffered severely under the EU - the Government may have been bailed out, but the people were treated disgustingly."

It strikes me that has to do more with the general weakness of the Greek economy than with the EU. As far as I'm aware the country has few natural resources and successive governments don't seem to have been that effective (get the impression there's a lot of tax avoidance). Without seamless access to EU markets and EU support for poorer areas their economy would probably be in an even worse state. And without a bail out the country would have gone bust - that doesn't help "the people" either. Please explain how they would be more prosperous outside the EU and without its support.

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H in The Hague
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Re: Lets just get on with it . . . .

"Don't forget Lawson (Nigel) getting French citizenship"

He's hardly my friend (pro-Brexit climate change denier) but I think your claim is incorrect. As far as I'm aware he's applied for a "carte de sejours" (spelling?) which I gather is something like the UK Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Something which only becomes relevant now that freedom of movement for UK nationals is about to end. :(( Which I find v upsetting as many of my friends and colleagues and their children and myself have benefitted from that freedom. Particularly upsetting for the young Brits I know who grew up in NL and could have gotten an NL passport (while retaining their UK nationality) but didn't bother with that as they already had an EU passport - now they're truly stuffed. I am v p**** off with wealthy older folk like Lawson who have benefitted from freedom of movement, etc. and are now denying that to others.

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Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

H in The Hague
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Re: What pumps need is an

"Would you like me to help put the wrong fuel in your tank, "

Thank you for reminding me to ask Shell why they have hinged flaps marked "Diesel" over the diesel nozzles at service stations in NL but not in the UK. Seems an effective, low-tech solution to make sure folk don't fill up with the wrong type of juice.

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Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space

H in The Hague
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Re: Bravo madam!

"A government which does not believe in the invisible hand of the free market is left wing."

Having been in business for over three decades I respectfully suggest that the effectiveness of the invisible hand of the free market is somewhat overestimated. Yes, I believe in mostly free markets, but sometimes we need a bit of regulation to lubricate them, and to protect the vulnerable in society, and the environment.

Incidentally, although the term was coined by Adam Smith (who used it only once in The Wealth of Nations), he also advocated a range of state interventions in markets. See the leader article in one of the sections of this weekend's edition of the Financial Times, that famously left wing newspaper.

So, by your definition Adam Smith is left wing!?!

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Tesla fingers former Gigafactory hand as alleged blueprint-leaking sabotage mastermind

H in The Hague
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"Compared with what "renewables" producers are being paid, those nuke plants are going to be selling bargain basement priced electrickery."

Don't think that is correct. Here in NL the government used to subsidise offshore wind energy. But the new wind farms no longer need that subsidy for generation (think there is still some support for the link to shore). And in my view one of the key problems with nuclear is that eventually there will be very high decomissioning costs, which might well fall on the taxpayer :(

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

H in The Hague
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Re: Residency registration and national identity cards

"When done without the sort of draconian nonsense attempted by UK government, ID cards can be quite useful."

That's crossed my mind too. Esp. as at present to prove your identify for, say, a bank account, you're dependent on the credit reference agencies. Which are private sector businesses (unelected, unaccountable, etc.) I would rather have a basic identity system operated by an accountable government. During our lives most of us have to deal with the state in one way or another (tax payer, benefits claimant, holder of a passport of a driving licence) so extending that to a basic ID system would not be unreasonable.

(That would also prevent problems such as those described by a Commentard a while ago who upon returning to the UK after a long period abroad couldn't open a UK bank account as he wasn't listed with any of the credit reference agencies. By contrast, after Mrs H registered here with the council, she was immediately able to open a Dutch bank account - no questions asked other than "Could I see your passport please?")

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Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

H in The Hague
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"Does running something again when you get something unexpected seem like a bad idea?"

Probably.

Is it something many of us do regularly?

Definitely.

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H in The Hague
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"... ISO standards might seem boring in the extreme."

I've now reached the age where I consider that far preferable to the wrong kind of excitement.

(Anyway, those standards mostly say: think about what you're doing, do it consistently, and make sure you can prove it - common sense really.)

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

H in The Hague
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Prevention at the pharmacy

Accompanied our elderly Dutch friend to the pharmacy. Pharmacist apologised for the slow service due to a new computer system being set up. Wandered over to have a look and noticed that the label printer's network cable was bent double right by the connector. Figured that might eventually damage the cable. Mentioned it to the pharmacist who immediately understood the issue, rerouted the cable and secured it with a sticky bandage (effective strain relief, but not a pretty sight).

Here's one for the weekend.

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No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

H in The Hague
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Re: Well

"Whatever we export must meet the importers regs. We do not have to apply those rules here."

Brilliant - now manufacturers potentially need even more, different standards to adhere to. That's going to make manufacturing so much more efficient.

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H in The Hague
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Re: Well

"The only pity is the spineless and incompetent tossers we have "negotiating" on our side. "

As you voted leave, you're responsible for these folk negotiating for the UK. Who did you expect to handle the negotiations on behalf of Parliament and the government?

It also strikes me that any difficulties negotiating with "Brexit means Brexit" EU folk are going to be overshadowed completely by negotiating with the "America First" US president. Or "India First" Indian prime minister. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

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Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

H in The Hague
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Re: The Enigma to Embrace, Expand Upon and Enjoy .....

Adjusted medication?

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H in The Hague
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Re: Our future is India!

"Sunny uplands await, the UK could become the India of Europe!"

Now that's actually one of the better ideas! After all, chicken tikka massala was invented in the UK (or not https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tikka_masala )

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H in The Hague
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Re: Our future is India!

"Sadly, my employer has just spent the last year moving many the service desk jobs to Poland ..."

Not the only ones. Started doing a bit of work last year for a US company selling kit into Europe. Their European headquarters used to be in the UK. Received a memo on Tuesday that they're about to open their European head office ... in NL. (Think the UK office is just going to deal with UK sales.) Yes, Brexit is creating jobs, just not in the UK :(

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Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions

H in The Hague
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Sometimes rookies save the day

It also happens the other way round. A friend told me how decades ago, when the UK oil industry was going metric, they had a young chap (work experience or new graduate) in their design office. This young chap hesitantly approached his boss and explained he got the impression that the engineering department had designed a 100 km subsea pipeline, but that the procurement department was about to invite bids for 100 miles of the stuff. The next day the young chap was treated to a very good lunch at a posh restaurant by one of the senior bosses as he had prevented a mistake of many millions of pounds.

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I see a satellite of a man ... Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, that's now 4 sats fit to go

H in The Hague
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"Population size, the EU is a much bigger market meaning it is easier to align standards etc. "

Exactly. Just happened to come across this in relation to a project I'm working on:

https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/design/

The Australian Design Rules (ADRs) are national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions. [...] The Australian Government's policy is to harmonise the national vehicle safety standards with international regulations where possible and consideration is given to the adoption of the international regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

I'll grant that EU >< UNECE but it is a good example of standards harmonisation.

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H in The Hague
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Re: Oh, The Magic of Clockwork Theory Strikes Again

"... how much of this collective transaction can EU bureaucracy interfere with?"

Ermm, you are aware that India is hugely bureaucratic, are you not? Bureaucracy which the UK has no say in, unlike the EU bureaucracy? And has barriers to trade which are not going to disappear just like that (esp. under the current Indian government)?

What products/services is the UK more likely to be able to sell to Indian customers than EU customers?

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Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

H in The Hague
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Re: Soldering irons

"I discovered the hard way that if you drop a soldering iron, you should NOT try to catch it."

Just under half a century ago a gentleman of the very old school showed me how to assemble a radio - a valve radio, outdated even then. The first two things he taught me were: Yes, a 60 W soldering iron is perfect for electronics assembly (and if you do have to solder those newfangled transistors just do it quickly), and: If you drop the soldering iron _don't_ try to catch it. (I later graduated to rather smaller soldering irons.)

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Chief EU negotiator tells UK to let souped-up data adequacy dream die

H in The Hague
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Re: Barnier's speech indicates that the group is not about to offer the UK an easy ride.

"Regulatory bureaucracies exist mainly to punish those found outside of the political orthodoxy."

Methinks they exist mainly to protect consumers against dodgy businesses. And to protect honest businesses against dodgy competitors.

"Regulators are unelected and unaccountable."

- Most regulators are civil servants, therefore always appointed, never elected.

- Regulators are accountable to the governments which appointed them, and implement the regulations proposed by those governments and approved by the parliaments.

Which country are you living in? Which regulators are you unhappy about?

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H in The Hague
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Re: Well, duh

"I wonder what the May and crew have lined up to replace that source of income?"

Innovative jams, delivered by unicorn to countries offering golden opportunities.

Unfortunately, for the providers of my professional indemnity insurance (in the UK), they're likely to lose me (in NL) as a customer. Just one tiny example of UK businesses being cut off from a very large market at their doorstep, against their will.

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The future of radio may well be digital, but it won't survive on DAB

H in The Hague
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Re: Radio as a gateway drug

"I think there's a huge difference between making something out of a tiny number of active components (in the limit, one diode)"

I seem to remember that if you had a crystal earphone that would serve as the diode. But memory hazy. I once had a 1920s or so book where the instructions for making a crystal set started "Go to the chemist's to buy .... bishmuth ..., melt together, break up, select a likely looking fragment for use as the detector crystal." (Stupidly threw that book out a decade or two ago when moving house :( ).

Agree that a crystal radio set was a perfect introduction to electronics. And a PDP8 with punch tape was the perfect introducion to IT (had to manually load (using 12 front panel switches) a short piece of software first so that it could recognise the tape reader). Guess that makes me an official old f.....rt!

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UK's Rural Payments Agency is 'failing on multiple levels' – report

H in The Hague
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Re: RPA is not a UK wide agency

"Scotland manages to have it's own team of clowns"

So has Wales, I think. I gather life is particularly uncomfortable for farmers whose farms include fields across the English/Welsh border :( (source: a farming magazine I read a few months ago, can't remember which one). More details on https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/418703/Land_in_more_than_one_part_of_the_UK.pdf

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H in The Hague
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Re: EU causes RPA's problems

"I own a farm"

What kind of farm?

If you're a sheep farmer, you can now export lamb to France frictionlessly (they take a large proportion of UK-produced lamb), and if you're in NI you can easily send those lamb to slaughter in IE (NI has insuffient abbattoir capacity). If the UK drops out of the single market then French customers might as well source their lamb from NZ/AUS and you will find it difficult to compete with their lower prices. Trade deals between the UK and NZ/AUS might also lead to increasing imports from those countries.

Similar story for grain. And other products. See the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board web site https://ahdb.org.uk/brexit/default.aspx

Even if you personally don't export, the impact on the UK farm products market is going to affect you.

"I'd welcome removing all govt money from the system."

So would I, IF that leaves enough farmers in business to give the UK (and NL, ...) some degree of self-sufficiency in terms of food. Much as I'm in favour of international trade, I don't want to take the risk of the country I'm living in being excessively dependent on food imports - and I'm prepared to pay the insurance premium for that in terms of higher food prices. Similarly, wherever I live I want the environment to be protected against excessive impact from farming (just as it is protected against the chemical process industries).

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IT systems still in limbo as UK.gov departments await Brexit policy – MPs

H in The Hague
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Re: Who smashed up the house?

"Theresa May wants to brand herself as Mrs T. reincarnated"

Which ain't going to work too well as she has neither Mrs T's clear vision, nor her leadership ability (not that I'm a massive Thatcher fan).

Incidentally, being slightly to the right of the political centre, my favourite Mrs T quote is "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money to spend." Strikes me that you could replace 'socialism' by 'Brexit'.

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‘I broke The Pentagon’s secure messaging system – and won an award for it!’

H in The Hague
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Re: Work ethic

"But efficiency is penalised. .. Get the thing done well and quickly and home in time for Pointless and you're a slacker."

I think that's also a UK/US cultural issue. Certainly something Mrs H experienced in 30 years of banking IT in the UK (she's now moved in with me in NL). In NL I've only ever been self-employed, but I do get the impression that here' they're more concerned with how effectively you do your work, and working silly hours is not considered a good thing. But as I say, that's just an impression.

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H in The Hague
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"I got my supplies together, diagnostic pack, oscilloscope, cleaning fluid, cleaning pads, new filters, etc."

Wow, that's a lovely piece of history - thanks for that trip down memory lane.

Time to dust off my oscillosope (an heirloom) and see if I can connect it to my PC. Guess only the audio output is going to fit in its bandwidth.

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Blighty stuffs itself in Galileo airlock and dares Europe to pull the lever

H in The Hague
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Re: EU friends apparantly

"The EU is ever increasing its standards/regulations above places outside the EU ..."

Please note that EU standards have gone through the elected EU Parliament. So democratically approved by the electorate.

However, many products supplied in the UK are subject to standards which are stricter than the EU's: those of the British Retail Consortium - https://www.brcglobalstandards.com/brc-global-standards/food-safety/ So probably quite sensible, but not democratically approved by the electorate.

This is yet another example where British industry piles requirements on top of UK and EU law. Other examples include the construction site safety passports. So I'm surprised you're complaining about EU standards being demanding - apparently the UK supply chain think they're not demanding enough. Anway, I would much prefer strict food safety standards than loose ones. Incidentally, contacts in the industry tell me that non-EU countries also accept EU standards for, say, lifting gear, simply because they're good standards (and it saves them developing their own).

Here's one for the weekend, brewed to the German Reinheitsgebot (also stricter than EU standards, as it happens :)

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H in The Hague
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Re: How?

"How are they going to switch off access to god knows how many millions of sat navs and mobile devices in the British Isles?"

It's not about general access to Galileo. It's about access to sensitive information. And being outside the EU will make life more difficult to British businesses who want to supply kit to the project. This is explained in more detail in https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/26/uk_struck_off_galileo_project/

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H in The Hague
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Re: £14 billion

"It is currently impossible to boot out MPs because EU."

I'm not an expert on electoral law, so I would appreciate it if you could explain how the EU makes it impossible for constituents to recall a Westminster MP. As far as I'm aware this is solely governed by UK law (e.g. the Recall of MPs Act 2015 which makes this possible in certain cases and which does not mention the EU).

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H in The Hague
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Re: EU friends apparantly

"The resulting posturing towards the UK will just push us towards closer union with the USA"

Ermm, do you consider that a good thing? How amenable to the UK's wishes do you expect the current occupant of the White House to be? (Remember trade barriers targeting aeroplane wings from Northern Ireland and steel from UK mills.)

Are you one of those folk who think we should replace EU food and safety standards (generally developed with a lot of UK input) by American ones (which the UK will not have influence over and which generally appear to be lower than EU ones)? Just asking.

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Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

H in The Hague
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"But even better with rum!"

A most excellent idea! Sadly not an option right now as I'm working on some tender docs for a UK company bidding on a fairly large public sector project in NL - while they can. Perhaps later.

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H in The Hague
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Re: Obviously an election is approaching

"Lots of anti Tory sentiment above, obviously due to the upcoming election and Labour supporters trying to influence votes."

Not necessarily. Given my bank balance, postcode and own business I should be an obvious Tory voter but that doesn't stop me criticising them, which most certainly doesn't make me a Labour supporter (esp. not with Corbyn in charge). The current torrent of criticism of May and Rudd is entirely self-infliced and due to a combination of incompetence and malice - not much to do with politics.

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H in The Hague
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Pint

"... as they haven't the faintest clue about data protection and are just using it as an excuse to hide their laziness or incompetence."

Hear, hear - deserves a beer. Ditto when they claim "Can't do that because of Health and Safety." or "Can't do that because of the EU." Always does bad things to my blood pressure, though I do sort of enjoy challenging folk who come up with excuses like that.

Informative article, thanks.

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The true victims of Brexit are poor RuneScape players

H in The Hague
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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.

https://fd.nl/economie-politiek/1247554/in-het-slechtste-scenario-krijg..

Oh, hang on, that's the NL government's preparation for Brexit.

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H in The Hague
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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.)

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*Thunk* No worries, the UPS should spin up. Oh cool, it's in bypass mode

H in The Hague
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"You'd be surprised about how many people don't even know what a floodplain IS"

In the UK:

https://flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk/

https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk

In NL:

http://www.overstromingsrisicoatlas.nl/

https://www.risicokaart.nl/

www.overstroomik.nl/

"... 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 :)

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Furious gunwoman opens fire at YouTube HQ, three people shot

H in The Hague
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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.

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Details of 600,000 foreign visitors to UK go up in smoke thanks to shonky border database

H in The Hague
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Re: Problems

"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.

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

H in The Hague
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"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.

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H in The Hague
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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.

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10Mbps for world+dog, hoots UK.gov, and here is how we're doing it

H in The Hague
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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).

Example:

https://thuis.t-mobile.nl/pakketsamenstellen (higher speeds than the 100 Mbps shown there are available, normally without a data cap)

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