* Posts by Red Bren

1254 posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

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Surveillance, broadband, zero hours: Tech policy in a UK hung Parliament

Red Bren
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Re: Zero-hour is an arbitrary limit

There's no need to ban zero-hours contracts, just enact a law that all overtime (the hours worked over your contracted hours) must be paid at double the hourly rate. If you're on a zero hours contract, you're going to be earning at least double the minimum wage rate.

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Yay, we're all European (Irish) now on Twitter (except Americans)

Red Bren
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Mushroom

Dr No!

"Yay, we're all European (Irish) now"

Rev Ian Paisley must be spinning in his grave!

Unless he was cremated.

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Red Bren
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Big Brother

Re: I feel safer now

And GCHQ have absolutely no experience of tapping communications to the Irish Republic...

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Struggling through the Crystal Maze in our hunt for a spare CAT5

Red Bren
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FAIL

Why is it

In every office I've worked, each desk has 3 or 4 network ports, but on average only 1 in 5 actually works?

To get a network port enabled, first the (outsourced) local support engineer has to trace the cable back to the cabinet to ensure it's plugged in. Then the (outsourced to a different provider) network engineer has to enable the connection. Each step has its own 7 working day SLA and costs £££ so people just bring in their own hubs.

When the company decided to install IP telephones, they got a nasty shock when they discovered how many desks didn't have a network connection and hadn't budgeted for the extra work. You could tell the project manager didn't believe us when we told him we all used wifi.

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Red Bren
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Mushroom

AI law enforcement

"Once AI starts enforcing everything, we will be doomed."

Try getting an AI to fathom the contradictions of the legal system and you're going to be facing a HAL style nervous breakdown, followed by a Skynet judgement day.

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To defend offshore finance bods looting developing countries of their tax cash

Red Bren
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Re: To put it simply....

@Ossi

"Only if you assume that output is fixed and, well, it isn't."

But Ossi, you're assuming that demand is not fixed, when for a given price point, it likely is. If you start producing too many widgets, you're going to saturate your market and drive your price down, so you produce the same number of widgets, using less staff. More people chasing fewer jobs drives wages down, but less money in the workers pockets means less customers with the money to buy your widgets.

So there's no point investing money in anything, ever!

Hmm, I assure you, this holiday drinking hasn't intaired my impellect *hic*

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WIN a RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

Red Bren
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PHALLUS

Penultimate

High

Altitude

Long range

Link

Usage

Simulation

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PlayStation Vita owners – Sony owes you $25 cash or $50 credit

Red Bren
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Windows

Still waiting

I'm still waiting for my refund from when they disabled the Other OS option on the original PS3...

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BT thinks EE customers will FLEE from enlarged four-play mobe biz

Red Bren
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MVNO to NO

Virgin Mobile currently piggybacks on EE's network. Are Virgin going to continue to pay BT, while it tries to steal its quad-play lunch?

Could Virgin persuade OFCOM and the CMA to force BT to divest one of their spectrum licences to ensure competition?

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It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

Red Bren
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Mushroom

Re: Our new masters

Why would I want to worship pathetic humans, when there are mutant intelligent cockroaches to worship?

It never hurts to suck up to the boss...

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Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Re: Hmmm..

The government is funded by the public but is answerable to its political donors.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Red Bren
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Business Opportunity

Sales of these will go through the roof. Just stick one in front of the sensor...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B002QVOHSM/ref=mp_s_a_1_21?qid=1427287954&sr=1-21&pi=AC_SX110_SY165&keywords=road+signs+toys&dpPl=1&dpID=51Jw0sRobnL&ref=plSrch

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Treat us like the utilities we believe ourselves to be, say UK operators

Red Bren
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The big IF

"Moreover, if this reduction in rental payments was invested in network roll-out, network coverage could exceed actually 90 per cent.

Alternatively, it could be used to invest in deeper coverage and faster mobile broadband."

In reality it will be used to line the pockets of shareholders and executives.

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Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

Red Bren
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North Korean Election imminent

Kim Jong Un is so impressed, he's asked GDS to draw up the electoral roll for North Korea. "If I'd known it was this easy to rig an election, I would have done it years ago!" said wannabe dictator David Cameron.

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More than 260 suspects charged in UK child abuse crackdown

Red Bren
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Re: What's the alternative?

"So do you let some of the low-level guys go even if you've got sufficient evidence to charge them?"

In the case of Cyril Smith, and other high-ranking paedophiles, it was a case of letting them go despite sufficient evidence to arrest and charge. Resources were very much taken away from investigating those in ivory towers.

The problem with being an "ordinary" person is you can't evade justice when you do something wrong. But if you're rich and/or powerful, you get a knighthood. Justice is something that happens to the little people.

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Boffins build Cyborg beetles, fly them by remote control

Red Bren
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Coat

According to The Last Leg...

They're called "cystisis" because they're irritating twats!

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Bride legs it from wedding after groom proves unable to add up

Red Bren
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Joke

Re: I'm suer I have spoken to this guy at least once

Lucky you didn't try writing to him, with spelling like that...

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Pi(e) Day of the Century is upon us! Time to celebrate 3/14/15 in style, surely?

Red Bren
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Unhappy

I must be using biblical linux

bc gave

22/7 = 3

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Universal Credit could take 10 YEARS to finish, says Labour MP

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Re: Ah

The big advantage of Universal Credit, is that it removes all distinctions. You're either on benefits or your not. No grey areas, no deserving or undeserving claimants, just scroungers. And as no one likes scroungers, there will be no complaints when a Daily Mail serving politician proclaims some dog-whistle policy to cut benefits.

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RIP Sir Terry Pratchett: Discworld author finally gets to meet DEATH

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Just spoken to Mrs Cake

Terry says "I'm very happy here, and waiting for you to join me."

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Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

Red Bren
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FAIL

Re: Dim Paul Moving back to the US is impossible, Edward..

It makes you wonder if someone read any background info before posting?

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Badges for Commentards

Red Bren
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Windows

Licence Revoked

Can anyone confirm or deny if the 100 posts/year threshold still applies for keeping a badge? I'm just not as active as I used to be, especially as my employer seems to think that El Reg comments should be blacklisted as some kind of web forum* but I don't want to lose the kudos of the badge.

Rather than having to go through my own posting history and counting how many posts I've made in the past 12 months, could El Reg provide some kind of early warning indication that such apathy was about to be punished?

* Of course if El Reg didn't put the comments under a different URL containing the rather obvious "forums", I might get around to a bit more cyberloafing...

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The Revenue achieved RECORD numbers of e-tax returns ... by NOT shifting to GOV.UK

Red Bren
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Re: It is a Plan

That way more income from premium rate phone numbers goes up and top rate of income tax goes down, master stroke!

FTFY

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Red Bren
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Pint

Isn't this just a symptom of change culture?

You have a system that provides a service; it's a bit slow and dated but generally works. A consultancy is brought in to give it a revamp. What happens next? Do they advise getting a bit of new kit and refresh of the front end for a few hundred £K and minimal commission? Of course not, they're looking after number one! They're going to insist you need to rip it all up and start again, with no attempt to keep the best parts of the legacy system. Indeed, backwards compatibility with the legacy system will be deliberately obstructed so you can't run the new system in parallel and compare the two. The new system will be hailed as a great success, with no objective evidence. The consultants will walk away with their fat commission, the senior management will walk away (to work for the consultants) with their fat bonuses. When the whole house of cards comes crashing down, the new senior management (who used to work for the consultants) can claim it was all the fault of the previous management, then a consultancy is brought in to advise on how to sort out the mess. The whole cycle starts again and no one is ever held accountable.

It's enough to drive you to drink!

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BOFH: The Great HellDesk geek leave seek

Red Bren
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Re: I had a company credit card too

> The process must have made sense to someone.

It made sense to the beancounters who earned their annual bonus for demonstrating how much interest the company could earn by holding on to the money they owed for as long as legally possible.

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Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Red Bren
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Re: DWP

> If I cant work it out how then the average pensioner has a whelks chance in a supernova

Isn't that the point of these redesigns? Make it as difficult as possible for people to claim what they're entitled to, so they die off and stop being a burden on the state?

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Ex-NASA boffin dreams of PREDATOR-ish tech in humble microwaves

Red Bren
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Flame

@Kunari 60% Power

What has annoyed me about every microwave oven I've ever owned* is that setting the power to 60% doesn't mean the oven generates lower power microwaves, it just generates full power for 60% of the time. I want a microwave that allows me to vary the power output of the magnetron. Does such a thing exist?

* Sometimes it's easier to replace a microwave to clean it...

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Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda? Boffins claim it safely sucks CO2 out of the air

Red Bren
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Joke

Re: Carbonates are how the Earth deals with excess CO2

>Where do you plan to put it all?

Bury it in a tectonic subduction zone and let it sink to the centre of the earth, You'll never see it again...

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Breaking news: BBC FINALLY spots millions of mugshots on cop database

Red Bren
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Big Brother

Re: Screamed in Despair when this bit was broadcast

> Essentially that amounted to a Chief Constable saying "Judges? Pah! I don't care what they order!"

That's probably due to the way that politicians have taken to passing knee-jerk anti terror/paedo/whatever legislation that permits gross infringement of civil liberties on the say-so of a senior police officer, rather than requiring judicial oversight. Chief Constable Barton has obviously got used to this lack of accountability and doesn't expect to face it any time soon.

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Listen up, AT&T, this could be YOU NEXT: $40m sting for throttling 'unlimited' mobile data

Red Bren
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Thumb Up

Truth in advertising?

What a novel concept!

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Telefónica to offload O2 to Three daddy Hutchison for £10.25bn

Red Bren
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Pint

Re: Possible problems

"I work for a company in the middle of a CMA market investigation"

I feel your pain! I'm numbing it with beer and El Reg!

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Red Bren
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Don't forget the other MVNOs

Virgin mobile originally sat on top of T-Mobile's network and expanded onto Orange's infrastructure when the two merged. Are they not going to have something to say about their bitterest rival buying the EE network from under them?

"the CMA might propose "remedies" that really crap on the network operators"

Could the CMA demand that as a condition of allowing these mergers, the network operators have to return their spare spectrum licences and sell off some network infrastructure to a new entrant, e.g. making Virgin Mobile actual rather than virtual?

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Beam me up, Scotty, And VAPORIZE me in the process

Red Bren
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FAIL

Has Terry 6 Missed something?

The second line of the article, perhaps - "The developers of "Scotty" believe that their development can allow 3D printing on a one-time use basis by destroying the object as it is scanned."

> It assumes the object existed in solid, 3D form, not just data. And was scanned to make a one-off transmission copy of something that has been made.

It's extravagantly complicated, but that's what they've done. No assuming needed.

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Apple's Beats, Google, and Sony hammered with unpaid royalty claim

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Re: Copyright law only

"I fail utterly to see why anybody or company should continue to benefit from somebody else's work after that."

What is particularly galling is that some of these big media companies who push for ever extending copyright, made a lot of cash by plundering the public domain for its stories without having to pay a penny. Songs and stories become part of our cultural heritage. Excessive copyright periods deprive us all.

If it crawls like a mouse, and squeaks like a mouse...

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Then there were 3: Another UK mobile network borged ...

Red Bren
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Re: cool phone number

While living in Leeds, a friend asked me for a taxi number so I told him "Two many fours!" For some reason, this didn't seem to satisfy him and he asked me again. So I told him, "dial two, then keep pressing four until it rings."

Now infuriated, he demanded I tell him the numbers one by one, so I did:

"Two."

"Yes."

"Four"

"Yes."

"Four"

"Yes."

"Four"

"Are you taking the piss?"

"No, it's four."

"F*ck you!, I'm calling 192."

They told him the number he required was 2444444.

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Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

Red Bren
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Re: Has the author not heard of TFLs Live Bus Arrivals?

You can get "live" departure information for bus stops in West Yorkshire, but where the system falls down is it's inability to tell you that there's a problem, at which point, it defaults to telling you the scheduled departure time for the service. It does this if your bus has broke down, or been cancelled, but it also does this if your bus is delayed by more than about 15 minutes. So you have no way of knowing if you should make other arrangements.

I've tried on numerous occasions to persuade the local transport authority to include a cancelled flag but been told it can't be done as the existing system is designed to support SMS and there are no spare characters. Oddly enough, the system will append the characters "LF" to the time to tell you if the bus has a low floor for wheelchair users. So there's no way of knowing if your bus won't to turn up, but at least if you're disabled, you can feel satisfied knowing whether the bus that's left you stranded could you carry you or not.

There's also no protection against bus drivers gaming the system. I've been left stranded on more than one occasion where the bus is alleged 5, 4, 3, 2 minutes away, then suddenly disappears off the face of the earth, usually when it's the last service of the day, running a bit late and the driver obviously wants to clock off early. I've been assured this can't happen, that drivers can't interfere with the system, but unless the transponders have an independent power source, the drivers can disable it because THEY HAVE THE FECKIN KEYS!!!

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HORRIFIED Amazon retailers fear GOING BUST after 1p pricing cockup

Red Bren
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Mushroom

Re: Shurely

I'm sure my IT contractor friends have professional indemnity insurance in case things go...

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Car-crash IT: HUGE write-off for Universal Credit - PAC

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Re: Hold on a second

I thought the problem with public sector management was quite the opposite. All the experienced staff get made redundant and are promptly hired by the private sector consultants, who then run rings around their former employer when bidding for the outsourced work.

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Red Bren
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Re: Pretty good for public sector IT

Thanks for the link

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Red Bren
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Windows

Re: Pretty good for public sector IT

"a simple website that allows anyone to tap in their numbers and see what, if anything, they are entitled to."

And send the welfare bill through the roof? The system is designed to make it as difficult as possible to claim what you're entitled to. The last thing the government wants is to give more money to poor people who were previously denied benefits because of some minor error they made on a 156 page application form supplying information the state already has.

If you really want to simplify the benefits system, just give everyone a minimum income of £100 a week. No application form, no means testing, just register on the electoral roll and with HMRC as a UK tax payer. The savings on beauracracy, premises,fraud investigations, appeals, etc would probably cover it. And if you want more, get a job.

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GCHQ, police to team up to hunt down child abuse on the darknet

Red Bren
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Black Helicopters

Re: RE. Hah!

>> I'd'love to shoot them all, and the people that put/keep them in office

You've just admitted you want to destroy America. Step this way, your flight to rendition leaves imminently...

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Red Bren
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Joke

@Seanmon

And now you're a girl? You must have been gripping too hard...

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Red Bren
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Big Brother

Retrospective legalisation

"developing technology capable of scouring the underbelly of the internet"

Does anyone doubt that they already have this technology, they're just creating a legal fig leaf to justify its existence? As ever, there doesn't appear to be any mention of judicial oversight or any other checks and balances to prevent scope creep or misuse.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Red Bren
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Happy

Re: My tuppence worth

It looks nice on my mobile though...

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Red Bren
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Facepalm

My tuppence worth

I read El Reg for entertainment and enlightenment, so I'm prepared to put up with advertising so that the staff can eat. Sometimes the ads have even worked! However, top banner and sidebar advertising selling the same thing? I don't need to see it twice, I'm not going to think "I wasn't sure about that product when I saw the banner ad, but now I've seen the portrait ad, I'll buy five!". Can you drop the Top banner ad, so we can see some more headlines? You can show me more ads once you've drawn me in!

The Top Stories are in the wrong place and take up far too much room with the large picture - you could fit a thousand words in that space! What I want to see when I open El Reg are the Latest Stories at the top of the page, without having to scroll down for them.

There's too much repetition on the page. Is there that much difference between Top Stories, Most Read and Spotlight? Just keep Most Read but with the format of Spotlight

Finally. For the love of all that is holy, can you switch off the Expanding Nav Bar? Or at least put a delay on it so the menu only pops up if I hover over it? I don't want it jumping up at me every time my mouse goes near it, especially if it covers over the very thing I want to click on, so I have to move the pointer down past the unwanted pop-up, then back up again once it disappears.

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US Congress in cash freeze bid to DERAIL global DNS handover

Red Bren
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"There's not a lot of democracy in most UN countries"

Isn't that due to the number of CIA backed coups overthrowing democratic governments that put their own countries' interests ahead the USA's?

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The Great Unwatched: BBC hails glorious digital future for Three

Red Bren
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Joke

Re: TV used to be good

Nonsense! The rot set in when they added moving pictures!

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Red Bren
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Save BBC3

About the only things I watch on BBC3 are Russell Howard's Good News and music festival coverage.

The rest of it is of no interest to me, but that's fine because it means its leaving room for the stuff I do want to watch.

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DNA egghead James Watson sells Nobel prize for $4.8m, gets it back

Red Bren
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Re: in my opinion

You're getting confused with his brother John.

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How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Red Bren
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Thumb Up

Re: A word of warning

I'm not a frequent flyer so if I'm struggling to jump through all the latest bizarre security hoops and you start getting arsey, I'll quietly inform "the goons" that I was threatened by the agitated man behind me when I refused to carry a package through security for him...

Thumb up because that's where it will be going!

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