Category Archives: &c.

SAUKS, cont.

I’m informed that the MacBook Air’s solid-state drive option fits the SAUK model precisely, with no rounding: 110% of (117.5% of (US$3098 in UKP ~= £1569)) = £2028. And Apple doesn’t always round upwards, it seems: the US$99 external SuperDrive comes out at £65.33 before adjustment, and is apparently being sold at £65 rather than £69. What charity.

Reaching back to my mostly forgotten maths classes, you can simplify the calculation to a standard Apple British Coefficient of 1.2925, for those who don’t get to buy ex-VAT (or, more likely these days, on a weekend in NYC).

The Standard Apple UK Surcharge

The Apple Store numbers are somewhat deceiving, because US prices exclude state sales tax, which is paid by most buyers, while UK prices include VAT. But the standard rule of thumb for working out how much extra Apple screws out of British customers is as follows:

Convert the US price, add VAT, stick 10% on top for shits and giggles, then round up to the nearest £49 or £99.*

The MacBook Air fits this, as did the iPhone (figures rounded to nearest UKP):

Convert: $1799 = £919
Add VAT: @ 17.5% = £161
Subtotal before SAUKS: £1080
Add SAUKS @ 10% = £108
Subtotal after SAUKS: £1188

Rounded up to nearest £99, you get £1199. Voilà.

* Unless it’s under £100, where you round to the nearest £5 or £9. Leopard’s $129 became (£65 + VAT) + 10% = £84, rounded up to £85.

history’s losers: an infrequent series

(By which I mean those figures who inevitably get passed over in the sweep of history classes because they punctuate two much more interesting periods. AKA the John Major Cup.)

My long-time favourites: the Directors of France. No, not Godard, Truffaut et al. Think guillotine. Think Terror. Think Robespierre dragged off to be the climactic blood sacrifice to the cause. What comes next? ‘Um’, then ‘er’, then ‘uh’, then ‘oh, Napoleon?’ That was them in charge. So, let’s hear it for the people who ruled France for the four years that everyone skips between the blood & barricades and the short bloke.

Sometimes I think of these one-graf periods as pockets of the landscape kept deliberately uncultivated to encourage natural habitats, the fauna in this case being graduate students, who are naturally drawn to such obscure fields because the richest ones are long taken.