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* Posts by Red Bren

1163 posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

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Smart meters in UK homes will only save folks a lousy £26 a year

Red Bren
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Mushroom

Re: Sometimes I'm convinced

"do you want to be billed every second? if not, every minute? every hour? lets settle on a reasonable time frame...every month. which they already do. so what difference does it make?"

How about half-hourly billing. The technology exists because big energy users have it. When you're using MW/year, timing your heaviest usage to coincide with the cheapest energy prices is worth serious money. So roll out a similar system for domestic customers and that way, they have an incentive to schedule the dishwasher or washing machine for when demand and price is lower and the energy suppliers smooth out the peaks in demand. Even a simple peak/off-peak unit price split would help. You could call it "Economical Eight" or something…

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Red Bren
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3 Questions

When British Gas tried to persuade me to get one of these things with the argument it would save me money, I asked three questions:

Q1. Will I be put on a cheaper tariff to reflect the cost saving of sacking their meter readers?

Q2. Will the meter tell me what the unit prices are throughout the day so I can time my energy use to avoid peaks?

Q3. Will the meter monitor unit prices from all suppliers and automatically switch me to the cheapest?

Obviously the answers were:

A1. No, you will still be on the same tariff (Thanks OFGEM for "simplifying" things!)

A2. No, the unit price is the same all day (After I explained the concept of Half-Hourly)

A3. No. (with laughter!)

So when I asked her to clarify exactly how a smart meter would save me money, she said it would show me how much energy I was using so I could switch off the biggest consumers.

"Like the oven or washing machine?" I suggested.

"Yes!" she enthused, delighted I had finally seen the light.

"So I can eat raw food and wear smelly clothes?" I enquired.

"No!!!" she laughed, realising the futility of her task.

"Then I think I'll wait until the meters get a little smarter."

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

Red Bren
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Re: Disappointment.

The problem with the unaided eye is its inability to see through the thick cloud that always accompanies these events.

If this object is difficult to see, the skies will be clear!

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Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

Red Bren
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Spot the difference

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia_Airlines_fleet#/image/File:Malaysia.airlines.b747-400.9m-mph.arp.jpg

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_presidential_aircraft#/image/File:Il96-300pu-96016.jpg

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Red Bren
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Re: Does it really matter who shot it down?

"Putin was on a plane through this airspace 200 miles (ie 24 minutes) behind MH17"

Would anyone care to remind the class the colours of the Russian flag and the colour scheme of a Malaysian Airlines aircraft?

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Red Bren
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Re: the “adult weight” of 87kg

You read El Reg, you're definitely not normal!

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Video: Dyson unveils ROBOTIC TANK that hoovers while you're out

Red Bren
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Paris Hilton

Re: Still missing critical feature

"A software fix should enable it to identify the cat flap, reverse up to the flap and engage reverse thrust? Admittedly it'll make a mess outside until the wind blows, but I can tolerate that."

I bet your cat won't!

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

Red Bren
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Re: The Missing Piece

"we had Gordon Brown charging the BoE to regulate interest rates based on a measure of inflation which excluded the cost of housing"

Excluding the cost of housing from inflation calculations has been a con trick played by governments of all hues for as long as I can remember, to keep wages in check. Now there will be those that argue that wage restraint would keep the property market from overheating. In reality, it becomes a bidding war between those with assets to borrow against vs those trying to borrow against future earnings, so those trying to get on to the property ladder get priced out. But these people still need somewhere to live so they end up renting from the very people who priced them out the market. Demand in the unfettered rental market causes rents to rise so people have less to save towards a deposit of their own, or they have to claim benefits to meet the shortfall from their stagnant pay packets. This (taxpayer subsidised) rental income is then used by the landlord class to buy up even more property, the cycle repeats and the chance of owning your own home fades as house price rises outstrip pay increases by an order of magnitude.

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Red Bren
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Re: negative equity

"When housing markets collapse people who made unwise investments MUST be burned."

As I recall, the people who made the unwise investments, i.e. the lenders, got bailed out by the taxpayer. The people who got burned were the borrowers just trying to get on the property ladder before house price inflation outstripped their salaries.

Don't confuse property speculation with the need to put a roof over your head during a housing bubble.

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Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Red Bren
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A loving moment between a married couple causes 6 people to complain? What the feck will they think if they watch an episode of Eastenders?

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Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case

Red Bren
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Holmes

Absence of evidence = evidence of deletion?

"His lawyer claimed investigators didn't find any of the vile images on computers at his home, but the prosecution said that he had used specialized software to erase them from his systems."

How are you supposed to defend yourself from the accusation "We couldn't find any images, which PROVES you had them and deleted them as thoroughly as if they had never existed!"?

What next? "The watertight alibi, the lack of bodies or missing person reports PROVES you're a serial killer who is very good at covering your tracks!"

In this case, there was plenty of other evidence to secure a conviction, but I still find it worrying that the prosecution can make unsubstantiated claims.

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Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media

Red Bren
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Pirate

Re: "ultimately it is against the law"

"These copyright terrorists need to be taken outside and shot."

And the footage uploaded to vine?

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Red Bren
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Joke

Re: Premier League Football?

"5 minutes of terrible tasting American beer commercials."

You can taste beer commercials? I want a telly like yours...

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YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator

Red Bren
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Thumb Down

Stupid buttons on the side of the mouse

@ psychonaut

My mouse has stupid buttons on the left side, but because I drive my computer left handed (not because I'm sinister) they are out of the way of my thumb and forgotten about. But your post has prompted me to discover their purpose and they are indeed just for going forwards/backwards through browsing history. I guess that's why the southpaws aren't up in arms [sorry] at this dexterous favouritism

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Hollywood star Robin Williams dies of 'suspected suicide' at 63

Red Bren
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Demons, Drugs and Genius

@Bullseyed

Are you assuming that mental illness is a result of drug use? How much drug use is an attempt to self-medicate? How much artistic genius is driven by mental illness or drugs and what would be lost without those drivers?

I'm going to make an assumption you don't take drugs, or suffer mental illness. I'm also assuming you're not a world renowned comedian, musician, author or artist. That's not to denigrate whatever it is you do, or suggest you're not good at it. Like me, I suspect you do a job that's necessary, but probably won't cause the world to mourn our eventual passing. But I celebrate the fact there have been geniuses like Williams or Cobain because they add colour and meaning to the human condition, regardless of what gave them their inspiration.

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Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM

Red Bren
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Trollface

Re: Can you turn it off?

>> Grown-ups use email

>Grown-ups use TELEX.

Grown-ups can write!

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Edward Snowden's not a one-off: US.gov hunts new secret doc leaker

Red Bren
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Insider threats can cause the most damage to any organisation?

Surely it's the idiots in charge that do the most damage, through incompetence, greed and illegal or immoral actions.

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Evidence during FOI disputes can be provided in SECRET

Red Bren
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Re: Sir

I thought it was more along the lines of receiving a brown envelope stuffed with thousands of small denomination, non-sequential used reasons...

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Remember Palm's WebOS? LG does – check out its smart TVs

Red Bren
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Pirate

Re: privacy agreement

It's not the first time an entertainment system manufacturer has given its customers a Hobson's choice of "Install the new firmware or we'll turn (y)our product into a brick!"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/29/sony_ps3_to_nix_linux_support/

Sadly, because this post-purchase bait-and-switch wasn't killed at the earliest opportunity, we've all lost effective ownership of our electronic goods.

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Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

Red Bren
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In, Out, Shake it all about...

If Scotland votes for independence, it won't happen overnight, so how long will the transition take? If the 2015 general election results in a Conservative led coalition or minority government that relies on UKIP support, an EU referendum could take place before Scottish independence is completed. If the Scots vote to remain in the EU while the rUK votes to leave, then the Scots could inherit the UK's membership. But if Wales and Northern Ireland also vote to remain within the EU and effectively join with the Scots in a new federal UK, the end result could be England no longer being in the UK or the EU.

As an aside, I'd like to know how many "better together" supporters of maintaining the United Kingdom are also "better off on our own" supporters of withdrawing from the EU...

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Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

Red Bren
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@James Hughes 1: Engine Rebuilder

"I can also strip an engine and reassemble it WITHOUT ANY BITS LEFT OVER."

I'd be more impressed if you could rebuild the engine WITH bits left over, and it still worked!

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WTF is ... Virtual Customer Premises Equipment?

Red Bren
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Flashing my firmware

In my experience, it isn't normally possible to do anything other than tweak minor settings from the customer end of ISP supplied kit. Even changing DNS settings is prevented on some kit so I doubt that carriers give a damn about firmware upgrades by customers.

Rather than switching my VM Superhub into modem mode, I'd rather they gave me the option of a basic cable modem and let me sort the rest.

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May: UK data slurp law is fine, but I still need EMERGENCY powers

Red Bren
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They're all going on a summer holiday

If this legislation is so important, perhaps MPs could take time out from their long summer recess to scrutinise it properly?

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UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention

Red Bren
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Re: What's the emergency?

I'd rather we just got attacked.

Giving succour to the enemy, eh? That's treason! Time for a visit this the reeducation gulag for you...

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New NSA boss plays down impact of Snowden leaks

Red Bren
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Black Helicopters

If Snowden were to set foot on his native soil

How quickly would the tune change back to "OMG HE HELPS ISLAMOCOMMIES INVADE THE WHITE HOUSE!!!"

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Coulson GUILTY of conspiring to hack phones between 2000 and 2006

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Re: Brooks is FOUND innocent

Brooks has not been found innocent. She IS innocent. It sticks in my craw to say it, especially after the witch hunts against innocent people that occured under her watch. But the principle must stand that it is the job of the prosecution to prove guilt, rather than the defence to prove innocence. Hence innocent unless proven guilty.

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MIGHTY SOLAR FLARES fail to DESTROY CIVILISATION. Yes!

Red Bren
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Re: Stone Age?

I watched a documentary (sorry no sources) that claimed that the UK power grid was actually pretty resilient to CMEs because at any given time, a significant proportion of the network is not in use. In the event of a CME, the procedure is to connect all the dormant bits of the network rather than taking things offline, as it spreads the impact of the induced currents.

This article also suggests the UK Grid would not be badly affected.

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Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods

Red Bren
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@big_D

My old Escort didn't have airbags, when the newer version was introduced with airbags, Ford didn't retrofit them in my Escort either.

Your car analogy is flawed. Ford do carry out recalls to fix issues, rather than telling their customers to just buy the latest model.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/safety/ford-recalls-695-000-vehicles-for-airbag-transmission-software-updates

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Red Bren
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Re: Can I just check

I think I answered my own question. Or I've forgotten that I presciently asked this question last time...

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Red Bren
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Can I just check

Is El Reg rerunning the same comments from the original article?

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Ballmer SLAM-DUNKS $2 BEEELLLION bid for LA Clippers

Red Bren
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Facepalm

There's going to be some changes

Each basket will take up 50% of the screen court and the familiar "ball" interface will be replaced by the players touching each other. No one understands how that will work in a non-contact sport.

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Robins' inbuilt navigators pecked to bits by AM radio

Red Bren
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Joke

Damn that pesky Mr Marconi and his modern wireless telegraphy device. Has anyone warned UKIP about this Irish-Italian plot to destroy that symbol of Britishness, the migratory European robin?

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Virgin Media sales are a bit flat under the Cable Cowboy's reign

Red Bren
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Re: @ James 51

Surely OFCOM should mandate that every newbuild housing estate should have a minimum of two comms suppliers? If VM won't take the opportunity to expand their network, then other suppliers should be allowed into their franchise areas.

As a satisfied VM customer of many years, continued access to their service is a major factor when moving house.

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New Reg mobile site - feedback here!

Red Bren
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Where is the content?

I navigated to the mobile site on my SGS3 stock browser. Top half the screen taken up with an advert for Microsoft Cloud, bottom half filled with a picture attached to the main story.

Now I don't object to adverts on El Reg, its a fair price for the service, but its not much of a service when you have to scroll a whole screen before you can see the headlines.

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R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph

Red Bren
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Headmaster

WTF is PDT?

This is a technology and science focused news website, based in the UK, reporting on an event that occurred on the moon, which is not part of the USA. So why is the author of the article quoting times in some provincial, season dependant time zone? We're geeks and we expect values to be quoted in the appropriate format or El Reg equivalent. UTC or it didn't happen!

</rant>

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Never mind the HORSE MEAT, trading standards cuts'll hurt IT crowd, too

Red Bren
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Pirate

Self-serving organisation serves self.

If FAST is so concerned about cuts to this vital public service, perhaps it could ask its members to review their aggressive tax avoidance policies?

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Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Red Bren
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Holmes

@billse10

"It is a ruthless inquisition, how can you question that?"

When it comes to keeping politicians accountable, I'll take ruthless inquisition over sweeping it under the carpet every time. She's not the first politician the press have gone for and she's done herself no favours by:

Obstructing the enquiry into her expenses

Threatening the press with regulations if they investigate her expenses

Showing absolutely no remorse for her actions

And most importantly, fiddling the tax payer in the first place!

Had she cooperated with the enquiry, paid all the money back and said sorry, it would have all blown over. But she tried to brazen it out, even after her fellow MPs gave her an easy way out, paying back just a fraction of what she claimed (because they're all in it together)

if this was a housing benefit claim, you can bet that she and her colleagues would be baying for an inquisition. She's lucky not to be facing prosecution for fraud!

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The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure

Red Bren
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Pirate

Re: Rename Windows

I assume Azure refers to the (colour of the) sky or sea;

It's the colour of the screen (of death)

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ICO decides against probe of Santander email spam scammers

Red Bren
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"We have received some complaints relating to this matter"

"But they can afford better lawyers than us so we're hoping it will go away if we ignore it!"

FTFY

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

Red Bren
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WTF?

Leave economics to sensible bods

Who are these "Sensible Bods" we should leave in charge of the economy? Are they by any chance related to the bods who's mantra of "Deregulate! Deregulate! The market knows best!" led us into the current economic collapse? Where were they when banks were lending money they didn't have, to people who couldn't afford to repay, to buy property that was overpriced?

As for the idea that Oxfam should stick to their core mission of feeding the hungry; Starvation and poverty go hand in hand with conflict, economic and environmental change. It is well within Oxfam's remit to address the cause of the problem, rather than just focusing on the symptoms.

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Police pen shortage threatens Irish public order

Red Bren
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Coat

Re: What they need is...

There was a mean copper in Limerick

Who's treatment of crims was sadistic

The suspects on bail

would land back in gaol

When he wouldn't let them use his bic

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Got a Netgear router from Virgin Media? Change your admin password NOW

Red Bren
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Stop

what kind of moron leaves the wifi enabled on a superhub anyway?

Not every one is as tech-savvy as the average El Reg commentard. When a well known company offers a product or service with useful features, you can hardly blame people for expecting it not to be riddled with vulnerabilities and needing all the useful features to be disabled.

VM and Netgear are the ones who should be castigated for this. Not their customers.

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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

Red Bren
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Pint

Re: Alternate History

You're wasted on here...

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Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

Red Bren
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Pirate

Ask not how much Dell charge to install Firefox

Ask how much Microsoft penalises Dell for installing a competitor to IE

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Jobless mum claims Spanish councillor told her to 'go on the game'

Red Bren
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Coat

She should change her name...

to Bob.

Mine's the one with the cunning plan in the pocket.

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Mens sana in fibro sano: Virgin Media network-level smut filters are ON

Red Bren
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Paris Hilton

No more traffic management?

when quizzed by El Reg, confirmed that it was ditching its downstream traffic management policy

Without the pr0n, there will be hardly any traffic to manage! No wonder they're offering a speed boost.

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Booze and bacon sarnies: A recipe for immortality?

Red Bren
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Pint

Unproductive January

I think you've uncovered the causal link between a reduction in productivity and an increase in dieting and detoxing that occurs after the new year!

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Apple's Windows XP moment: OS X Snow Leopard left to DIE

Red Bren
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Linux

Re: OSX Mavericks

Hardware from 2007 is supported

My 1st Gen MacBook Air (core 2 duo, 2GB ram) is not supported by Mavericks, or Mountain Lion for that matter. The limitation is hard-coded in the OS, it's not that my hardware can't run it. Tim is so concerned I might have a poor user experience, he wont let me have any user experience at all!

There are tools available to get ML to install on unsupported hardware but I'll probably just migrate to linux instead.

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MtGox accepted new customers JUST DAYS before collapse

Red Bren
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Standard Business Practice

Keep up the appearance of normal trading, right up to the moment the administrators come hammering on the door. For example

Travel Click

Comet

Farepak

To be fair, to do anything else would probably precipitate the kind of collapse a genuine business would be trying to avoid. But how is the punter supposed to tell the difference between a company trying to stay in business or a scam trying to fleece all it can?

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No, pesky lawyers, particle colliders WON'T destroy the Earth

Red Bren
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Stop eating pasta!!!

Based on the assumptions that:

1. The Flying Spaghetti Monster exists

2. S/He has the power to destroy us all

3. S/He doesn't want us eating his brethren

we must immediately stop eating pasta or face the consequences! Unless (3) is incorrect in which case we must eat nothing but pasta!

Someone call a lawyer...

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