Headline grabbers

Record EU fine for Intel

Wednesday, 13 May 2009 20:10

EU fines Intel €1.06

This follows on from the massive fines imposed on Microsoft.

What does this tell us about anti-competitive behaviour and the country where both of these companies are based?

Some may suggest that the US follows some dubious business practices in making money and squeezing out the competition. Microsoft has done some questionable things in the past, starting with the error message that appeared when you tried to load the Windows operating system but were not using Microsoft's DOS operating system on your computer. Read more about this. (new window)

It looks like Intel have been squeezing the competition too.

It comes as a big surprise to me that companies are willing to commit the future of their business to Microsoft's software when it is so prone to viruses and other malware. Similarly we now need to question the decision by Apple to move over to the Intel range of processors.

Companies should look to their own future and enure that they have more than one source of supply for essential components. It is in everyone's interest that there is more than one supplier.

If you want a prime example of this look at the sale of internet domain names, when these started out the cost was US $80 per year, and there was just one place you could buy them. That was more than 10 years ago and it was a vast sum of money.

Now there are many people selling and acting as name registrars you can buy names for around US $10.50 a year.

Competition works and we need more of it, not just in the commercial field but also in areas that are traditionally seen as the province of government.

 

Crisis budget is about saving Brown not the economy

Monday, 24 November 2008 08:01

Make no mistake, this crisis budget is about Gordon Brown's re-election and nothing to do with the economy. This is nothing more than a blatant attempt to bribe the electors. But at the back of it is the promise that taxes will rise. Those with any nouse don't need to be told that.

With government borrowing at around 100 billion pounds taxes have got to rise. The government does not have any money, all it has is the ability to tax us. That ability will be used brutally and relentlessly. Those who are old enough to remember previous Labour governments know it, and are shouting it from the rooftops, but a younger generation of politicians on the Conservative side does not seem to be shouting.

Those with the memories recall Dennis Healey and his oft quoted phrase about taxing "until the pips squeak" and those pips really did squeak. The income tax rate was 35%, that's not a misprint, it was 35%. It took a long time for later Conservative governments to reduce it and get the country back on track. While this was happening most of the current generation of politicians were in short trousers and shielded from it all. They need to read some recent history.

A VAT cut would be nice, but are we really going to pour into the shops and burden ourselves with debt or spend what we have to save a small amount when we can already get deals like Tesco's half price wine PLUS 25% off the discounted price in Tesco points? or M & S's 20% off everything?

Reductions like these are huge, and they are not causing queues at the doors before opening, so Brown's vote buying is hardly likely to succeed.

 

Data losses worse than previously admitted

Friday, 22 August 2008 05:10

Previously we have reported on government data losses, highlighting the fact that your personal and private information is not safe with the government no matter what they say.

Now, the government has been forced to admit that even their own figures were wildy inaccurate and the extent of their failure to handle data is even worse. About twice as bad in fact.

How can we have any faith in their ability to run and identity card scheme or prevent misuse of information within government. After all, what we are seeing here is only the tip of the iceberg. We are not being told about all the occasions when information collected for one purpose is accessed by other people for different purposes. The only solution is to scrap the id card scheme immediately and also things like biometric passports that were only introduced to keep the US happy.

Read more about the huge scale of government loss.

   

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