* Posts by Red Bren

1233 posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

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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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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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Red Bren
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Coat

Reflexology with a happy ending?

I'll accept that feet can be an erogenous zone for some, Mr Dabbs, but to that extent? What happens to you when you stub your toe?

P.S. Why was El Reg pushing a pop-up survey in my face when reading this article?

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Cops accessing journo sources with RIPA? Use your powers properly, moan MPs

Red Bren
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Pint

Define "Measures"

"There are measures in place to ensure that police powers to access this data are not abused." said security minister James Brokenshire. His words would be a little more reassuring if he explained what these measures are, along with examples of when they have been used. Otherwise, based on previous failures of the establishment to regulate itself, it's reasonable to assume the penalty for being caught abusing these powers is to buy the first round of drinks at the secret policemen's ball. And the measures are trebles all round.

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Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Red Bren
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Childcatcher

Instead of criminalising the acts of consenting adults, perhaps the UK parliament should concern itself more with the criminal acts against non-consenting children committed by those within their own ranks?

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Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Red Bren
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Pirate

Re: Makes sense

"Because there is only one person listening to the music, I should only have to pay once."

I played a CD in the car while my family were travelling with me. Where do I send the money I owe?

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Yes, UK. REST OF EUROPE has better mobe services than you

Red Bren
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Coat

Re: Can't trust the survey

Greater Manchester is a metropolitan and ceremonial county that encompasses more than one city, so you can't call it "the second largest city after London". With a population of 2.685 million, it's less populous than the West Midlands (Greater Birmingham) at 2.738 million. With an area of 1,276km^3 it's smaller than West Yorkshire (Greater Leeds) at 2,029km^3 or South Yorkshire (Greater Sheffield) at 1,552km^3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ceremonial_counties_of_England

The only measure where Manchester comes second to London is for it's own self-importance... (ducks for cover!)

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Red Bren
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FAIL

Can't trust the survey

How can you trust a survey that defines Manchester (pop 420k) as a "big" city and Leeds (pop 720k) as a small city. What about Sheffield, Bradford and Liverpool?

http://www.ukcities.co.uk/populations/

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Red Bren
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We want a common industry approach so we can game it.

FTFY

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MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

Red Bren
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Big Brother

Re: Jump on the privacy bandwagon

Isn't the answer to get MI6 to apply for a search warrant from the relevant US court? Of course that would involve due process, probable cause and an undeniable audit trail, and if there's one group keener than terrorists to hide their tracks, it's spooks.

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'Snoopers' Charter IS DEAD', Lib Dems claim as party waves through IP address-matching

Red Bren
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Re: Blind leading the blind

I find it distasteful that you're condemning Ms May on the basis of her appearance, when you could be condemning her for her words and deeds!

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

Red Bren
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Re: Barbie films are just as bad

It's a typo. I meant "lead" role, but my phone had other ideas and I didn't spot it.

Don't give up the dream. I still want to be an astronaut when I grow up!

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Red Bren
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Barbie films are just as bad

Innacurate retellings of classic fairy tales with Barbie playing the kead role. The moral of the story always seems to be with hard work and quick thinking you can overcome adversity to become a princess, because anything else is a failure.

My 4 year old daughter is obsessed with these films but thankfully wants to be an astronaut.

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Red Bren
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Joke

Re: They may be rocket scientists...

Are you familiar with the Birmingham Screwdriver?

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

Red Bren
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Re: Bah!

Objection Mr Chairman

A constellation can refer to a collection of related objects.

As to the reference to geological time, the constellations in the night sky are slowly but constantly changing due to the proper motions of their constituent stars. In a timescale as short as 50000 years, many of today's constellations will be unrecognisable.

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Red Bren
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Mushroom

It's fluoridating the atmosphere

They're polluting our precious bodily fluids!

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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Red Bren
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Pirate

Re: Why can't we have this in real life?

Because some script kiddie will hack it so it moves away from your hand or to swap the buttons' functions. And they would upload the video that they recorded with your hacked webcam, so the whole internet can laugh at your frustration and humiliation.

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It's space WAR: Comet launches fireballs at space-invading EARTH

Red Bren
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Re: The Leonid shower in full swing here

So you're proposing a twist on the hypothesis that the oceans were seeded by comets?

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Red Bren
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Coat

The Leonid shower in full swing here

What do you mean, I'm supposed to see meteors? Through these rainclouds?

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Sky: We're no longer calling ourselves British. Yep. And Broadcasting can do one, too

Red Bren
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Pirate

Pirate TV

Until the merger with BSB, Sky were broadcasting to the UK without a licence, effectively making them a pirate TV operation. But Uncle Rupert was such a generous supporter of the government, so it was ok for him to unfairly compete with the legitimate operator.

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BOFH: SOOO... You want to sell us some antivirus software?

Red Bren
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"have them keep all their work on a file server."

That's been the policy at almost every company I've worked for. Along with the policy of giving staff terabytes of unusable storage on their local machines, while refusing to invest in disk space on the file servers. And the network hasn't got the capacity to cope with more than one person at a time moving data about.

Has anyone invented network RAID yet? If every desktop in my office could contribute 1TB to a massively mirrored and striped array, I'd be delighted, even if the resulting shared drive was only 1TB. Although the network would still be a bottleneck.

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Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

Red Bren
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FAIL

I'm with Brid-Aine on this

Her review sums up almost all my frustrations with this anti-climatic end to the series. But I'd like to add another.

Unless the whole of humanity have been burying their dead in metal coffins, how did the corpses all reanimate with full cyberman armour? I'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt over the whole cyber-pollen thing, even though it's a blatant rip off of borg nanites, but I'm not having this conjuring up armour from thin air.

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BBC clamps down on ILLICIT iPlayer watchers

Red Bren
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Re: Where's my TV license rebate

You've already had it. Without the revenue from content sales and international syndication, the licence fee would be higher.

Personally, I like the idea of overseas viewers subsidising BBC content.

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