* Posts by Red Bren

1276 posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

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Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

Red Bren
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Re: PULL THE LEVEL IGOR! WUH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!!

Upvote for the Igor icon!

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Sky bangs on Ofcom's door – demands BT competition probe

Red Bren
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Re: Pension costs

BT has a pension deficit of £7Bn, but made a profit last year of £3.17Bn. Perhaps it should live within its means and pay off some debts?

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Red Bren
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Pirate

Breaking up is never easy

When the wholesale arm of a company sells a service that is consumed by the retail arm and its competitors, there's a disincentive to price the service competitively, because the losses of the retail arm are recouped by the wholesale arm, while the competition (and new entrants in particular) are priced out.

So BT should be broken up. Without the disincentive, Openreach will push its service to as many takers as it can, to maximise its ROI, while BT Retail will have to compete on price and customer service, instead of having relying on holding a virtual monopoly.

And Sky should be broken up for the same reason. It has a long track record of using exclusive content to attract punters to its platform, or overcharging other platform operators to show its channels. Split Sky into a content arm and a platform arm, and the content will be pushed to the widest possible audience, while the platform arm will have to innovate to differentiate itself from BT and VM.

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

Red Bren
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Re: The benefit is to the electricity company

"There will be some 'green' types who will assiduously study their smart meter and end up doing the laundry at 3am"

They will be wasting their time if they do. When my supplier tried to push a smart meter on me, I asked if there would be a price difference between peak and non-peak periods (like a more fine-grained Economy 7) but was told no, the unit price was the same no matter what time of day you were using it.

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Red Bren
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Pirate

Re: Correction

Or to look at it another way, "As we know from bitter experience, big businesses are not good at big projects, but CEOs know how to hide bad news just long enough for their share options and huge pension entitlements to mature. Then they disappear into the (tax haven) sunset before the truth is uncovered and the company collapses, or gets a state bailout.

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MILLIONS of broadband punters aren't getting it fast enough – Which?

Red Bren
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Holmes

> And herein lies the problem. The speed you see on the headline is UP TO - that's UP TO, not "You'll get this speed". When people begin to understand what "up to" means, then people will quit moaning.

No herein lies the problem. The amount you see on the bill is the headline price - not UP TO this price. When BT et al start billing customers for the service actually delivered, rather than headline price for a fraction of the headline speed, then people will quit moaning.

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Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

Red Bren
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Re: Read the whole thing

> Having made the whole planet reformatting a bit of it isn't much of an ask is it.

Didn't he do some kind of wipe and refresh using 40 days and nights of rain, with a couple of backup copies of his favourite things in a waterproof container?

I'm going to start quoting Eddie Izzard again...

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Config file wipe blunder caused deadly Airbus A400M crash – claim

Red Bren
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> magnitude 7 or larger earthquakes tend to occur the same week as a large aircraft crash

It's God punishing us for our lack of air worthiness

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Swordfish fatally stabs man after man stabs, fatally, swordfish

Red Bren
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Holmes

Re: GOOD

"Llanes ran the charter boat to feed his family."

How much difference in profit is there between

"Take a trip on my boat to see the exotic fish."

and

"Take a trip on my boat to kill the exotic fish!!!"

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The 'echo chamber' effect misleading people on climate change

Red Bren
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All lies and jest

Paul Simon summed it up perfectly - "Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

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Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

Red Bren
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Re: Hmm...

"There’s a huge hole in the whole Flood drama, because anything that could float or swim got away scot-free, and it was the idea to wipe out everything, He didn’t say, “I will kill everything, except the floating ones and the swimming ones, who will get out due to a loophole." - Eddie Izzard, Glorious.

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Heroic German rozzers rescue innocent lamb from sordid brothel

Red Bren
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Re: ...started drinking from a bottle.

Reminds me of Mitchell & Webb's Vet sketch

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Massive police 'heavy equipment' robot drags out suspect who hid inside television

Red Bren
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Re: I am now authorised to use lethal force @Jimmy2Cows

"Can you say "over-reaction"

And if they hadn't, the robot would have got taken out, just 2 days before its retirement.

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Scot Nationalists' march on Westminster may be GOOD for UK IT

Red Bren
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Re: Leaving the EU

"all those in a position to influence the decision, from the EU President downwards, agree that a newly independent Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU"

But that was on the basis of Scotland seceding from the UK and its treaty obligations. In the event of the English voting "out" in an EU referendum and the Scots, Welsh and Irish voting "in", England could effectively have to secede from the UK while Scotland, Wales and NI would inherit the EU membership?

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Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

Red Bren
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Re: a 48 year-old writes

"the UK has a tendency towards Conservative government"

Is this just a reflection of human selfishness, or getting more right wing as you get older? You start off young and poor so you vote Labour, but once you start climbing the economic ladder, you don't want to pay to support the less fortunate below you so you vote Tory?

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Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight

Red Bren
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Mushroom

@Shaun 2

"Combined with some explosive blots to rid the weight of the wings/engine/luggage, then maybe?"

Who would be in charge of jettisoning the wings/engines/luggage? The pilot and copilot may agree that the aircraft is doomed and press the emergency button, but what about the orphanage/kitten sanctuary/financial services hub* in the path of the flaming debris? Will the button refuse to operate over populated areas? A doomed pilot may still have enough control to heroically ditch the aircraft where it will minimize ground casualties, but given an escape route, may decide to save themselves! (Apologies, I'm doing pilots an incredible dis-service to make my point)

* People have different priorities for completing "Won't someone think of the...?"

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Round Two in Sky vs Skype trademark scrap goes to Murdoch's men

Red Bren
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Trollface

Hoist by their own petard?

I'm sure I remember reading a similar article back in 2004.

Wouldn't it be ironic if that case was quoted as precedent.

Isn't it about time we stopped companies from trademarking common nouns?

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Good luck displacing Windows 7, Microsoft, it's still growing

Red Bren
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Gimp

Re: You listening Microsoft?

New PCs will come with some hardware that old versions of Windows won't support. Or the latest version of your business critical app will only work with the latest version of Windows. Or the fix for some newly discovered exploit that's been a ticking timebomb in the code base since 3.11 is not going to get back-ported to XP.

You're on the upgrade treadmill and you're going to get milked.

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

Red Bren
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Re: Much needed publicity for energy storage at last!

"we can all put the kettle on and have a cup of tea when Eastenders finishes"

Then the solution is to ban Eastenders.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

Red Bren
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Gimp

I'm going to get a tattoo of an Apple Watch on my wrist.

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MAYHEM in ORBIT: Russian cargo pod spins OUT OF CONTROL

Red Bren
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Headmaster

Re: Proof reading?

"Mercian?"

Do the people of Tamworth spell things differently?

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Red Bren
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Alien

In space, no one can hear you scream

Due to the deafening sound of rumbling tummies!

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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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Pint

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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Unhappy

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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