This is something I’ve been pondering for a while. What if we threw out of all of the existing [personal] taxes, allowances, credits, and bands, and replaced them with a aflat 35% income tax? Administration costs would be lower, evasion would be much harder, and everyone would be taxed to the same level (with the actual amount based solely upon what they earn). Some adjustment to the minimum...
A PHP application framework for people who could do it all themselves, but have better things to be doing with their time.
Malcom Tucker and the Chilcot Inquiry (Part 1)
Sir John Chilcot Thanks for taking the time to join us, Mr Tucker. I realise you’re a busy man, and so we won’t keep you here any longer than is necessary. Malcom Aye, nae bother. It’s not like I’ve got anything better to do than sit here on my arse answering your pointless questions. Sir Lawrence Freedman As Sir John has said, Mr Tucker, we won’t keep you here any longer than is necessary. How...
Malcom Tucker and Net Neutrality
Malcom Right. [breathes] Which one of you dozy fucking caricatures of yourselves leaked it? Olly Leaked what? Malcom That fucking diagram. The one we drew up with the Internet people, showing how you can get different add-ons for different types of website. The one we even went to the fucking trouble of making look like it was a parody of an American company just in case some know-it-all bastard...
rentzsch: Cappuccino has a long way to go to completely catch up with Cocoa. But it will, and it a few ways it’s already better. It will keep pulling ahead across many different fronts in many different ways. It will easily absorb the dribbles of innovation Apple offers each WWDC. And Cocoa will go from being the best application framework in the world to...
Here’s an idea. You may not like it. Get some experts in. People who know how the Internet works. I’ll happily volunteer. There is a snag: We’ll tell you when what you’re proposing isn’t possible. We can write up, if you want, in detail, precisely why something isn’t possible, or why it may have ramifications far beyond your expectations. This is something the public expect those drafting...
Problems with the Digital Economy Bill - Part 2...
For those not entirely au fait with what the previous post meant, I’ve rewritten it, below, with in-line annotations. (5) In this section and sections 124O to 124Q— (This part deals with the regulation of domain registries, including—but not limited to—Nominet. Quite a few ccTLD’s registries are based in the UK). “end-user”, in relation to an internet domain registry, means a person who...
Problems with the Digital Economy Bill, Part 2
I’m not sure I need do anything except quote this: (5) In this section and sections 124O to 124Q— “end-user”, in relation to an internet domain registry, means a person who has been or wants to be allocated an internet domain name that is or would be included in the register 30 maintained by the registry; “internet domain” means an internet domain indicated by the last element of...
Problems with the Digital Economy Bill, Part 1
(This is part 1. Depending upon how much effort I can be bothered to expend on this, there may be many). The Digital Economy Bill implements a “three strikes” policy as a set of amendments to the Communications Act 2003. It does this by: requiring ISPs to pass on notifications it receives from rightsholders to its customers — 124A Obligation to notify subscribers of copyright infringement...
Victor Keegan writing in The Guardian: Stand by for the death of illegal music downloads. It is already gathering pace, being one of the fastest growing – or contracting – activities on the web. It is not happening because of the music industry’s rough justice (such as suing customers); nor because of Lord Mandelson’s variant of “three strikes and you’re out” for...
In 1992, when the Conservative Government introduced the first PFI scheme in the UK, Alistair Darling (then a shadow spokesman on Treasury affairs) said: apparent savings now could be countered by the formidable commitment on revenue expenditure in years to come Obviously his predecessor in the Treasury wasn’t paying attention that day.
The Project Canvas Fallacy
The sales pitch for Project Canvas runs along these lines: In order to do certain kinds of cool stuff, you need a platform which both the broadcasters and the consumer electronics manufacturers can get behind, and is technically capable of it. Project Canvas provides seeks to be this platform Therefore, in order to do these kinds of cool things, we need Project Canvas. This is, quite...
One of the things I like about Twitter is the diversity of conversations which you end up being witness to—conversations you wouldn’t ordinarily see in most other settings. Tonight, there was a conversation between Duncan Jones, Graham Linehan and Edgar Wright about the leaking of scripts. This is an odd one: I think there’s an almost complete disconnect between the public and the writers in...
Project Canvas (continuum)
paidContent:UK: BSkyB and Virgin Media have had their differences in recent years, but they are agreed on one thing: that the Project Canvas open IPTV platform should not be cleared by the BBC Trust because it won’t provide anything the commercial market can’t. Keen to keep growing their marketing share in the ruthless pay TV market against an open source IPTV standard, both companies could do...
I’m not at FutureMedia, but I’ve been watching the tweetstream fly past. Some interesting statements which have gone by: Erik Huggers: “If Canvas doesn’t happen there’ll be all the extra costs of reformatting content for each different platform.” — @C21Media BBC’s Erik Huggers: “PS3 community almost as big as Mac.” — @C21Media Valuable insight on why...
Do music artists fare better in a world with...
From The Times Labs Blog: This is the graph the record industry doesn’t want you to see. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes. (The labels, on the other hand, are doing worse, but not enough for the whole industry to suffer—quite the opposite: the industry is seeing higher and higher revenues year-on-year).
Arguably, the technical aspects of broadcasting are gradually getting better understood by a wide range of people. With the advent of digital television (and the slow march of services delivered over IP), more and more of it is built upon standards and specifications which have been well-known for quite some time (and in many cases, used directly by a great many people). In theory, there’s a...
The thinking is this: “If you don’t cede to our demands, and play the way we want—which mostly involves preserving the status quo in the face of the slow and steady march of new technologies which empower consumers like never before—then all of this output, the shows you love, this output will wither. And die.” Fortunately for the likes of you and I, this is utter, unmitigated tosh. ...
That Malcom Tucker conversation in full
Malcom Fucksake. Did not one of you fucking… aoemebas… check what he’d fucking written before it went out? So he’s not just failing at the fucking economy, but he can’t fucking write either? You know what? Just fucking save it. I’ve had it up to [motions above head] here with your utter cuntfuck… [Malcom’s phone rings] [Answering] Fucking… what? [To assembled minons] Excuse me a moment [Malcom...
Freeview HD scrambling: Ofcom says no—so far
Ofcom has published (PDF) its response to the BBC’s proposal to “scramble” (i.e., compress, but with a licensing regime controlling legal access to the necessary decoding tables) part of the Service Information tables broadcast along with BBC HD on Freeview HD. While a final decision has yet to be made, Ofcom is keen to provide “early clarity”, by saying: Until we reach a final decision on...
Describe Twitter in 140 characters
It seems fitting that the (to some, enigmatic) communications medium du jour should be described within the constraints it places upon our (t)witterings. Tell me how you’d describe or explain Twitter in 140 characters, and I’ll post it here. Answers so far: @fraserspeirs: For me: water cooler for the self-employed and solo worker. @tarasis: open, freeform, social networking with any &...
Apple TV 3.0.1
Apple have released an update to the Apple TV 3.0 software. …On a Saturday evening. …And sent everybody who’s registered their Apple TV an e-mail telling them that they should update immediately. The wording of the related technical support article has bizarre wording: Symptoms • You are using Apple TV software version 3.0 and all of your movies, TV shows, and songs appear to be...
Project Canvas costs
Honestly, I think they’re on a different planet. PDF The table also includes a modest cost recovery line which comprises anticipated income from listings and or the integration of services (following the model for linear channels for Freesat) and licensing of the Canvas brand, for example to ISPs that wish to publicise the tariffs that meet the Canvas minimum quality standard. Wait, ISPs...
It’s tempting to think that the ACMD is just a scientific body which weighs up just the health-related issues of drug abuse. Except it isn’t. While politicians may talk about the “wider issues”, those issues are an integral part of the ACMD’s remit and are taken into account when it produces its recommendations. The members of the Council, up until a few days ago, were: Professor David Nutt...