Photo album printers in Austria, Germany and the UK have long benefited from lower VAT rates

FachwerkThe UK has one of the most complex Value Added Tax rating systems in Europe, compared to which the VAT-rules in member states like France’s TVA or Spain’s Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido appear straightforward. According to information issued by HM Revenue and Customs, HMRC accept that a “photo book which possesses, as a minimum, several pages, a cover stiffer than its pages and is bound, will qualify for zero-rating as a book“. Furthermore, her Majesty’s tax collectors accept that a book is not necessarily there to be read, but can also be designed to be looked at. The tax authorities are thereby overturning the previous rule of a minimum text content of 20% (whatever that means) for a printed photo album to enjoy the same preferential VAT treatment as a novel on paper. At least the rule was not quite as restrictive as in Danmark, where the text has to be in Danish for the book to qualify for the lower rate.

 

However, the Queen’s bureaucrats would not see a photo book as falling within the zero rate if the pages have the quality of individual photographic prints or if it is a photo book with spiral binding.

 

EU VAT harmonization

In a Combined Nomenclature (used to catalogue products for customs, duties and VAT) harmonization ruling issued in December 2015, Brussels has decided that photobook print (in A4 size) is to be classified like photo albums [EUR-Lex – 32015R2254], thereby making it a full rate VAT item or service in all of the European Union, including in those member states currently classifying printed photo albums as books. The photo album ruling brings Austria, Germany and the UK in line with Ireland and the rest of the EU, ending the practise of some British and German photo labs selling printed photo books at zero or lower-rate VAT to consumers in EU-countries where local businesses have to compete at the full rate.

How to save the Internet’s info: print it out

How to save the Internet’s info: print it out

If you really want to make sure important information stored on the Internet survives for posterity, put it on paper reports CNN Money  from the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California.

 

Time Magazine: Why the ‘Father of the Internet’ Thinks You Should Print Out Your Photos.

‘Vint Cerf, a “father of the internet”, said at the annual meeting of the American Association for ave been saving on computers will eventually be lost’, reported the BBC. and continued: ‘Our life, our memories, our most cherished family photographs increasingly exist as bits of information – on our hard drives or in “the cloud”. But as technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution.’

 

If you really want to make sure important information stored on the Internet survives for posterity, put it on paper reports CNN Money and quotes Google VP Vint Cerf saying:  “In our zeal to get excited about digitising, we digitise photographs thinking it’s going to make them last longer, and we might turn out to be wrong.”

 

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“I would say if there are photos you are really concerned about create a physical instance of them. Print them out,” Google VP Vint Cerf

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Google VP Cautions Us to Print Our Photos

Popular Photography Magazine reports that “Cerf cautions us to print more of our beloved images, ensuring that precious memories will actually last a lifetime…and more.”

 

What is ‘bit rot’ and is Vint Cerf right to be worried?

What Cerf coined as “bit rot” is a process by which the mechanisms for accessing a digital file are lost, rending that file useless junk. A big part of the problem is the use of closed file formats that require specific software to read those files.

 

If, for instance, you have memoirs written over the last decade stored in a Microsoft Office .doc file from Word or a similar program, that file is easily readable today with a multitude of programs – not all of them made by Microsoft. But the .doc file is a proprietary file format made and licensed by Microsoft.

 

Should Microsoft choose to stop supporting it and prevented other software from using the format, all those documents would be unreadable once the last version of the old software that could read them no longer runs on newer computers.

 

That is the danger of closed, proprietary formats and something consumers should be aware of.

 

In 1985, not even Bill Gates knew that computers would not feature 5.25 inch floppy disk drives forever.
Source: The Guardian

 

Going, going, gone: Google’s vice-president Vint Cerf has warned that all digitally stored information could be wiped out by tech upgrades, reported G2, on 13 February.

 

The trade publication “it world” reports: Print your photos before the digital dark age is here, warns internet pioneer Vint Cerf worries about a ‘digital dark age,’ and your data could be at risk.

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A “father of the internet” cautions us to preserve our memories not in digital form.

Source: itworld.com

 

A digital dark age may be coming, Google VP warns

Father of the Internet and Google Vice President Vint Cerf has issued a warning to photographers and data storage lovers at large: Physically print your data or risk losing it to a digital dark age.

Source: digitaltrends.com

 

Even if Google and Apple don’t exist in the year 3015, how can we ensure our files, photos, movies, and more, can be preserved for ages to come? How can we future-proof our content for generations way down the line? asks uk.businessinsider.com

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Digital Alzheimer awaits us

 

Hard copies are the best way to save memories in the digital world

According to the industry publication geeksnack Cerf actually thinks that future generations will not be able to access records from the age of technology, aka the 21st century due to incompatibility issues, which means that essentially, all that data will be lost. He blames the digital dark age on technological revolution itself, which turns older software and hardware into obsolete concepts long forgotten. Think of the floppy disk! That’s probably the best example that illustrates what Google VP is trying to say. You can no longer access the data stored on your dad’s floppy disk, and my floppy disks which have file backups on them are just wall decorations in a wannabe-retro dining room.

Source: geeksnack.com

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Glenda Cooper writes in her Daily Telegraph column: When my husband was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, it occurred to me that if future generations were to go through my personal effects, they’d find plenty of love letters from long-ago boyfriends, but only a handful of Valentines and anniversary cards from the man I met and married in a digital age. Who knows what very wrong idea they could get from that?

Cooper continues: ‘While Cerf may be right in saying that what we need is the equivalent of “digital vellum” to preserve what we care about, I can’t help thinking that, in the meantime, it’s best to take his other advice: “If there are photos you really care about, print them out.” ‘