Alan Johnston

Just release him.

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I'm so relieved. I've just completed the tax forms for this year. Now I just need to wait for eight months for the verdict :-)


Oslo in the Spring

Spring time.

Yesterday I visited Helder Correia (of SpeedCrunch and the Portuguese translation of Qt) in Oslo. It was the first time I visited the city as a tourist, so he guided my wife and me. We saw some nature, the city, some art (Vigelandsparken) and Holmenkollen. All in all, a great day.

A gate at Vigelandsparken.

The landing zone at Holmenkollen.


GMail problems

I've used GMail for quite a while now, but this weekend they've really pissed me off. Apparently I've been hit by some spam-fighting action and cannot view image attachments, nor send attachments. Really annoying - I'm happy that I have a fall-back mail address and that I still can access my GMail address book.



Yesterday the Swedish government announced that the real estate tax (fastighetsskatt) is removed and replaced by a flat rate service fee. Hooray!

The reason for my happiness is the unfairness of the way that the old taxation was calculated. You actually had to pay a percentage of the estimated value of your real estate. That means that if your neighbours sell their houses at a high price, you'll end up with a higher estimated value and thus have to pay more tax. If this was not absurd enough, we add double taxation to that. If you make profit from your real estate you have to pay taxes on the profits as well. This second tax is fair, in my opinion, as it is a percentage of an actual profit. The problem was the double effect of the taxes combines, and the fact that the old real estate tax had to be paid for any real estate, not only the one that you are making profits from.

Anyhow, that is soon history. Hooray again!