Archive for category Business

Mobile phone companies charging new VAT for December

Take a look at:

It seems like several cellphone companies are charging the new rate of 20% VAT a month earlier.

I am not accusing the companies of dishonest practice but of pure laziness of not wanting to work out which parts of the bill attracts which rate. But it should be noticed that they are erring in their favour not ours.


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I could separate the Banks investment arms from their high street banking in five minutes flat!

I have been following Cameron’s attempts to persuade them to split up over the months and wonder at the ineptitude of it.

If I were Prime Minister, I would make a phone call to the newspapers saying that the Government will be withdrawing the £50,000 savings guarantees for peoples savings as from 31st December 2011, and after that will only guarantee the savings of savers who save with banks who do not have an investment arm.

There, it will be done.

You can bet your bottom dollar than by the end of this year, most of the banks will have separated the two business otherwise they would have dead high street branches.


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What is Ubuntu

Ubuntu, in Xhosa or Zulu means a shared progress0 for the help of all. The Linux program Ubuntu was based by a fellow South African, Mark Shuttleworth, on that premis and it has expanded rapidly in the five or so years it has been in existence.

I have been dabling with Linux on and off for ten years now, First with SuSE and then with Ubuntu, and for the last two years have used Ubuntu solely on my desktop and for one year on my Notebook and on my Netbook.

And have never looked back, or spent a penny on software.

Take a look at their latest software. It is quite impressive.

If you only use a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, browser and email program, then it is foolish not to use this. If you also like software to edit and watch videos and photographs, then it is foolish to use anything other than this. If you like to play music and edito mp3 files for your cellphone, then this is the operating system to use.

There is only one “lie” in the entire video. It states there are thousands of free programs available. This is wrong but I understand why they have said this. There are, in fact, tens of thousands of free programs and I have said this here as I am sure my readers will be able to get their heads around this fact.



Tell them why you’re leaving

The English don’t complain verbally, they just complain with their feet.

This may be a way of punishing the shop or supplier, but is it fair to your fellow Englishmen?

For example, if you don’t like a shop because the staff are rude to you, complain to the owner and tell him you don’t need “rudeness” and won’t be shopping there again. For example, I use Virgin and will leave for Three when my contract expires. I will tell them it is because Virgin charge me 10p to call them, and Three don’t charge anything.

OK it may be too late for me, but if enough of us complain about the same thing, the supplier may change his ways.

British management is renowned all over the world for being at the bottom of the list of countries with regard to employer employee relations. This can be partly because we don’t complain. If you hate your boss and you want to leave, state the reasons in full; send a copy of your resignation letter to the managing director (but be fair, add “copy to managing director” on your letter. The MD will do nothing at the time, but if the next person who leaves gives the same reason, he’ll start asking questions and if three do the same…

If you are stuck with a supplier because you are under contractual obligations, start a notebook with all the things which occur that has upset you, date each item. Write a report on all these just before your contract expires and tell the CEO why you are not renewing.

If you are not happy with the Government, write to your MP and tell him why. But to be effective, this has to be for genuine reasons. Of course, this is more potent if your local MP is of the same party as the one in power at the time. The same applies to complaining about local issues to your councillors.

There are advantages of us turning into a race which complains about everything that is not right. Eventually, it could strengthen the country as a whole and your local community in particular.

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Is it Capitalism which is evil?

There are three listed types of business, I am going by figures a decade ago, although now different EU states have added a category and changed the figures. For this exercise we will use the simpler terms as used a decade or so ago.

Companies with up to twenty employees were known as SoHo, companies between 21 and 500 were known as SMEs and Corporates had over 500 employees. This is really only a rough guide but is useful. The figures are a little hazy but SoHo was around 97.5%, SMEs around 1.5% and corporates around 1%. These refer to numbers of companies in the UK.

International conglomerates are a different kettle of fish and are a law to themselves and are no longer capitalist businesses. They really come under the title of Dictatorships and give good honest Capitalism a bad name.

I show a video here about the drug companies in the USA and this adequately describes what I am getting at. It is a shame that this has been presented by Al Jazeera as it meant I had to check all the figures and companies to make sure they were being truthful. They were.

As I mentioned earlier, these huge international businesses are a law of their own and do not respect the laws, either moral or legal, in any country they operate. Recall in the earlier part of the video how they weighed up being dishonest against the fine, and indicated that they thought it was worth disobeying the legal laws of the country as a good business decision if the profits far outweighed any fines or penalties involved.

I call on the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, and David Cameron personally, to re-examine the reductions in taxes he is offering business in the UK.

If the real reason is to create jobs, then the 97.5% of companies which are in the SoHo sector are the ones more likely to employ people. Do away with all Capital taxes including Capital Gains Taxes, and NHS Employee contributions for the SoHo sector. Add a rider on the NHS contributions, so that these will only be on a net increase of staff; this will prevent them firing a few so as to take on another few and avoid the tax (entrepreneurs are wily creatures).

My plan above will probably be lower in cost to the governments plan, but it will be more directly aimed at the entrepreneurial SoHo sector which are then more likely to grow into SMEs.

People have to differentiate between our capitalist system which provides productive jobs (not with the socialist vision of a huge civil service which do not bring in finance) but with the huge dishonest and criminal section of the International Conglomerate sector.

I hasten to add, not all of this massive corporations are disreputable – I am sure one or two aren’t.


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What is Dropbox?

I have found an interesting website called DropBox in the USA. This is a special service which offers cloud computing. All cloud computing means is your data is on another computer.

The program adds a folder in your Windows Explorer or Linux Nautilus file display folder, and whatever you add into that folder is added to your DropBox cloud account and is immediately visible and shared on each of your computers and/or your smart-phone. However, you have to register (free) each computer/phone on their website but from each computer/phone. Mine, for example, is visible on my Linux machine, my Netbook and my HTC Desire smart-phone.

You can grab a link for any individual file and send it to someone who can view it without a DropBox account.

There is also provision to share folders but this is done a different way. Each person you share it with must have a DropBox account. And once they have clicked on the link to share, that folder is also visible in their DropBox folder. This is very handy for sharing files that need constant updating with your family, friends or office workers. My wife and I share a folder and, as she uses Windows, it is very useful for sharing files.

When you join DropBox you have the opportunity to select 2GB of storage space which is free or, if you want to store all your files on DropBox (they will do your back-ups) it is $9.95 (£6.42) a month for 25GB or double that for 50GB.

The nice point about the free 2GB choice is, you get a bonus of 256MB when you perform five of the six examples of learning how it works. This is a good deal as you get to know how it works by performing these requests.

You also get a bonus when you introduce anyone. 256MB for both you and the new person so everyone gains. I use DropBox so if anyone contacts ampers on gmail before signing on, I will send you a link to use so we both gain a 256MB bonus.

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Transport and Telecommuting

Our problem here, in England with our transport is that we were the first to establish the railway, we were the first to establish the underground system and, as these occasions took part well over 100 years ago, they are more than ready for renewal.

The real problem is, we have let too many people into this country, too quickly, and all our public services, such as schools and hospitals are over-stretched. The police are over-stretched because of the rise in crime and apart from dilapidations, our railways are increasing due to the increase in customers needing to get from A to B, mainly for work. In addition, our roads are over-crowded for the same reasons.

We need to do something, and the following plan might help.

Telecommuting has never really caught on because our bosses cannot trust their employees. Although, in so many cases, companies who have embraced telecommuting and hot-desking have more than benefitted by greater productivity of their staff.

Take a company with a thousand employees, a hundred of them being office staff. If seventy-five of them worked from home for four days a week, a company can benefit with the space of fifty desks, calling in 20 staff each day to use one of twenty desks put aside for hot-desking. This could mean letting of part of their building, thus saving on expenses.

The trains would benefit by having fifty more spaces for commuters each day. The roads, locally, by having fifty people less driving to the station each day.

Multiply this my 10,000 businesses throughout the company and we begin to see a seat for every commuter, less cards locally on the roads, and less urban space taken up with offices so therefore, more space for housing.

So we have to nudge companies, and the railways, to embrace telecommuting.

The government could introduce a 100% increase in business tax for all companies with more than 100 office staff in one or more offices within a 50 mile radius who do not introduce telecommuting for at least 75% of their office staff. The money to be loaned to the local transport company to increase their throughput. So the reason for the extra tax is to help the local transport system which will benefit the companies concerned. Naturally if they introduce telecommuting, it wouldn’t be fair to tax them extra as the company concerned is doing enough to ease local transport.

The railways could also have a similar rise if they don’t introduce season tickets on a per day per week basis. So a telecommuter can go into work, one day or two days a week and pay prorate a fifth of a season ticket for each day requested.

This could be done on a two year trial basis, starting from six months in the future, to give business and railways the six months to investigate how they attempt the exercise.

If a company or railway does not do anything, hoping to ride the two years out, then they should be told that those who don’t enter into the spirit of things will pay double taxes for the next twenty years.

I know this seems awfully complex but we need to shock companies into trusting their employees. British employers are considered some of the worse in the world and this has been my experience in my working life. I have always performed better, been paid more and have been happier when working for foreign bosses.


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