slef is currently certified at Master level.

Name: MJ Ray
Member since: 2001-02-11 21:55:32
Last Login: 2009-01-18 23:36:02

FOAF RDF Share This

Homepage: http://mjr.towers.org.uk/

Notes:

See my website for the full current details and my email address.

Current Projects: Partner in a Free Software programming, training, web development and publishing workers' co-op, helping with LUG communications, teaching a bit, revising my book for publication and trying to make helpful and encouraging suggestions about various projects. That and 1001 other things.

Past Projects: Sapphire WM, themes.org, writing good lecture courses, IceWM-related websites, FMPorts, some DOS programs.

Projects

Articles Posted by slef

Recent blog entries by slef

Syndication: RSS 2.0

Autumn Statement #AS2014, the Google tax and how it relates to Free Software

One of the attention-grabbing measures in the Autumn Statement by Chancellor George Osborne was the google tax on profits going offshore, which may prove unworkable (The Independent). This is interesting because a common mechanism for moving the profits around is so-called transfer pricing, where the business in one country pays an inflated price to its sibling in another country for some supplies. It sounds like the intended way to deal with that is by inspecting company accounts and assessing the underlying profits.

So what’s this got to do with Free Software? Well, one thing the company might buy from itself is a licence to use some branding, paying a fee for reachuse. The main reason this is possible is because copyright is usually a monopoly, so there is no supplier of a replacement product, which makes it hard to assess how much the price has been inflated.

One possible method of assessing the overpayment would be to compare with how much other businesses pay for their branding licences. It would be interesting if Revenue and Customs decide that there’s lots of Royalty Free licensing out there – including Free Software – and so all licence fees paid to related companies are a tax avoidance ruse. Similarly, any premium for a particular self-branded product over a generic equivalent could be classed as profit transfer.

This could have amusing implications for proprietary software producers who sell to sister companies but I doubt that the government will be that radical, so we’ll continue to see absurdities like Starbucks buying all their coffee from famous coffee producing countries Switzerland and the Netherlands. Shouldn’t this be stopped, really?

Syndicated 2014-12-04 04:34:00 from Software Cooperative News » mjr

Three systems

There are three basic systems:

The first is slick and easy to use, but fiddly to set up correctly and if you want to do something that its makers don’t want you to, it’s rather difficult. If it breaks, then fixing it is also fiddly, if not impossible and requiring complete reinitialisation.

The second system is an older approach, tried and tested, but fell out of fashion with the rise of the first and very rarely comes preinstalled on new machines. Many recent installations can be switched to and from the first system at the flick of a switch if wanted. It needs a bit more thought to operate but not much and it’s still pretty obvious and intuitive. You can do all sorts of customisations and it’s usually safe to mix and match parts. It’s debatable whether it is more efficient than the first or not.

The third system is a similar approach to the other two, but simplified in some ways and all the ugly parts are hidden away inside neat packaging. These days you can maintain and customise it yourself without much more difficulty than the other systems, but the basic hardware still attracts a price premium. In theory, it’s less efficient than the other types, but in practice it’s easier to maintain so doesn’t lose much efficiency. Some support companies for the other types won’t touch it while others will only work with it.

So that’s the three types of bicycle gears: indexed, friction and hub. What did you think it was?

Syndicated 2014-07-22 03:59:00 from Software Cooperative News » mjr

#coops14 sees last days of Downham Food Co-op

image

While  cooperatives fortnight is mostly a celebration of how well cooperatives are doing in the UK, this year is tinged with sadness for me because it sees Downham Food Coop stop trading.

This Friday and Saturday will be their last market stall, 9til 1 on the Town Square, aka Clock or Pump square.

As you can see, the downturn has hit the market hard and I guess being the last stall left outside the market square (see picture: it used to have neighbouring stalls!) was just too much. The coop cites shortage of volunteers and trading downturn as reasons for closure.

But if you’re near Downham today or tomorrow morning, please take advantage of this last chance to buy some great products in West Norfolk!

Syndicated 2014-06-27 10:14:04 from Software Cooperative News » mjr

New comments methods

After years of resisting it, I’ve added the least evil Twitter/Facebook comments plugin I could find to this blog as a test and updated the comments policy a little.

Please kick the tyres and try commenting to see if it works, phase.

Syndicated 2014-06-25 20:04:50 from Software Cooperative News » mjr

The Kelly Lessons in About 1555 Characters

So the Kelly report “of the independent review into the events leading to the Co-operative Bank’s capital shortfall” was published yesterday. During the day, I was putting odd bits from it out in 140 characters with the hashtags #coops #kellylessons. Here they are in one more permanent place. How many of these lessons has your organisation – whether a co-op or not – learned?

  1. “Running a full-service bank… is a complex business… Bank failed to understand the limits of its own capability”
  2. “The most important task for any board is to put in place the right Executive leadership for the business”
  3. “Ownership of a regulated bank…requires a clearly articulated statement addressing…mgmt & gov’nance relationship”
  4. “Failures in board oversight are inevitable if the criteria used to elect… do not require… the necessary skills”
  5. “A bank board must include sufficient numbers of technically competent directors”
  6. “Boards need…good m’gmt info’ and to demand it if it is not forthcoming. Failure to obtain…explains…failings”
  7. “A bank should develop&implement robust risk gov’nce&oversight and an appropriate control framework”
  8. “IT transformation…keep…as simple as poss’, phase delivery.., deploy the right resources, plan for contingencies”
  9. “Bank should have paid closer attention and responded with greater urgency to what the Regulator told it”
  10. “Pay careful attention to the advice of…external advisors. The Group…ignored well-founded…inconvenient advice”
  11. “Postponing dealing with problems is almost never a sustainable solution.”
  12. “Values…need to be translated into meaningful guidance…The Bank’s ethical positioning should be…more apparent”
  13. “Mantras about scale and ethics are no substitute for strategies grounded in a real understanding”
  14. “Talent management is critical… Lack of capability…driven…by weaknesses in its recruitment&subsequent m’gmt”
  15. “Tolerating…culture of underperformance, weak transparency and a lack of accountability, constrains an organisation”

Are there other lessons that you would add?

Syndicated 2014-05-01 04:46:00 from Software Cooperative News » mjr

897 older entries...

 

slef certified others as follows:

  • slef certified paulr as Apprentice
  • slef certified thom as Journeyer
  • slef certified mobius as Journeyer
  • slef certified slef as Journeyer
  • slef certified ishamael as Apprentice
  • slef certified ElCoronel as Journeyer
  • slef certified RyanMuldoon as Journeyer
  • slef certified bernhard as Journeyer
  • slef certified Denny as Journeyer
  • slef certified robster as Journeyer
  • slef certified khazad as Apprentice
  • slef certified suso as Apprentice
  • slef certified ebizo as Apprentice
  • slef certified gary as Apprentice
  • slef certified dan as Master
  • slef certified jono as Apprentice
  • slef certified Talin as Apprentice
  • slef certified fxn as Journeyer
  • slef certified dalinian as Apprentice
  • slef certified fufie as Journeyer
  • slef certified Cantanker as Apprentice
  • slef certified zeevon as Apprentice
  • slef certified whaletales as Apprentice
  • slef certified greve as Master
  • slef certified shlomif as Journeyer
  • slef certified daniels as Journeyer
  • slef certified Waldo as Apprentice
  • slef certified chalst as Journeyer
  • slef certified alfons as Journeyer
  • slef certified johnb as Apprentice
  • slef certified iDunno as Apprentice
  • slef certified Chicago as Apprentice
  • slef certified werner as Master
  • slef certified mattr as Apprentice
  • slef certified whytheluckystiff as Apprentice
  • slef certified salmoni as Apprentice
  • slef certified mdupont as Journeyer
  • slef certified rek2 as Apprentice
  • slef certified mattl as Journeyer
  • slef certified etbe as Master

Others have certified slef as follows:

  • thom certified slef as Apprentice
  • mobius certified slef as Journeyer
  • slef certified slef as Journeyer
  • angelsun certified slef as Journeyer
  • ishamael certified slef as Apprentice
  • RyanMuldoon certified slef as Apprentice
  • suso certified slef as Apprentice
  • khazad certified slef as Apprentice
  • jao certified slef as Apprentice
  • Denny certified slef as Journeyer
  • ebizo certified slef as Journeyer
  • ElCoronel certified slef as Journeyer
  • ks certified slef as Apprentice
  • dan certified slef as Apprentice
  • fxn certified slef as Apprentice
  • jono certified slef as Apprentice
  • dalinian certified slef as Journeyer
  • greve certified slef as Journeyer
  • Waldo certified slef as Journeyer
  • chalst certified slef as Master
  • alfons certified slef as Journeyer
  • whytheluckystiff certified slef as Journeyer
  • mattr certified slef as Journeyer
  • iDunno certified slef as Journeyer
  • johnb certified slef as Journeyer
  • Chicago certified slef as Journeyer
  • savs certified slef as Journeyer
  • MeMyself certified slef as Journeyer
  • mdupont certified slef as Journeyer
  • richdawe certified slef as Journeyer
  • dlc certified slef as Journeyer
  • ataridatacenter certified slef as Journeyer
  • etbe certified slef as Master
  • mattl certified slef as Journeyer
  • nuncanada certified slef as Journeyer

[ Certification disabled because you're not logged in. ]

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!

X
Share this page