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Subject: RE: [tax] London F2F meeting update - Susan Smoter Change of Plans


Title: RE: [tax] London F2F meeting update - Susan Smoter Change of Plans

Greetings, All.

Unfortunately, events here at the IRS are forcing me to cancel my plans to join you all in London next week.  We will still be represented by Peter DeCastro and Sol Safran.  I regret this decision as I was looking forward to what promised to be a highly productive meeting.  I am available to provide you with anything you may need on the projects for which I have signed up.  You need only call or email and I'll do my best to be responsive and timely.

All the best to you as you conduct this important business.  I will see you in May and speak with you before then.  (Andy, sorry to mess up your head count.)

_______________________

Susan L. Smoter
Director, Internet Development Services
Electronic Tax Administration
(202) 283-4881
http://www.irs.gov


-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Greener [mailto:andy@gid.co.uk]
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2006 1:52 PM
To: tax@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [tax] London F2F meeting update - important

For those coming to the London meeting next week, some upates:

1. Please be aware that at present there is the prospect of a Tube drivers strike on the 21st (the day most people are arriving :-( ).

Like others planned for last December, this may be averted by negotiation (you know the score!) - I will keep you updated.

2. I should be able to make a limited wireless network available in the meeting room via my laptop and GPRS connection (or dial-up).

This will be ok for receiving and sending emails, but won't be up to supporting browsing or downloading for a number of people.

There are a number of hotspots in coffee shops and the like nearby (though connecting to them from the meeting room itself is unlikely) and your hotel may well have internet connectivity. Please note however that, unlike North America, it is not common practice to provide internet connectivity for "free" in hotel rooms.

3. The UK has been switching to "chip & pin" credit/debit cards over the last year or so, and the deadline for retailers to support chip & pin was last night. There is a common myth that non-chipped cards won't be accepted anymore, but that is not true for overseas visitors and some disabled groups. However, you may come up against a reluctance to accept a signature, because in these cases the card issuers now hold retailers responsible for fraud, rather than covering it themselves. Stand your ground if refused - retailers must cater for you if you legitimately don't have a chip & pin card.

See <http://www.businesseye.org.uk/511064.html> for additional info.

4. Wednesday night will be "do your own thing" night - only a handful of people wanted an organised outing, and for those people there are plenty of restaurants, theatres and other attractions to choose from. Please talk to the natives for recommendations :-)

5. There was insufficient interest in the London Eye outing to enable a reduced rate group ticket, but if you are sticking around for Friday afternoon and the weekend (or if you want a night-time ride on Wednesday evening) do consider it. The view is quite spectacular.

6. The meal on the 21st will be on Lightship X in St Katherine's Dock (right by Tower Bridge) <http://www.lightshipten.com> at 8pm. A short-ish ride by tube or taxi from the Strand Palace hotel.

7. The team dinner on the 23rd will be at Sarastro in Covent Garden (easy walk from Somerset House, the Strand Palace, etc) <http://www.sarastro-restaurant.com> at 7.30pm. The set menu (see the web site under Menus) is 23.50 per person. Sarastro is probably the most unusual restaurant interior you'll ever find, and I recommend a visit to the "rest rooms" at some point during the evening ;-)


That's all for now. Update on the tube strike situation when I have it.

        Andy


--
Andy Greener                                      Mob: +44 7836 331933
GID Ltd, Reading, UK                              Tel: +44 118 956 1248
andy@gid.co.uk                                    Fax: +44 118 958 9005


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