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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1525 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime moniker

Graham Dawson
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There's a project to get Ubuntu (and presumably any other debian distro) on the TF101 that's been very successful. I think there might be some driver issues. Go look on the XDA forum for more info.

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Graham Dawson
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Trollface

It wouldn't surprise me if they argue that the popularity of Transformers-themed mods for the TF101 is proof that Asus are passing off. There have been crazier arguments.

On the face of it, there's no case to answer. Transformer and Prime are both generic terms that have a multitude of uses similar to but distinct from Optimus Prime the Transformer. Manufacturers of electrical transformers aren't being sued by Hasbro (not even when those transformers are manufactured by Prime Electric Ltd), and nobody raises an eyebrow when someone uses a Mellin transform to prove a Prime.

Now for the mandatory Apple conspiracy: Obviously Ha$bro are deep in the pocket of Apple and Steve Jobs is personally directing their actions from beyond the grave. It's likely their entire management team now has brand new iPads and iPods whilst the legal team are being paid secret billions by Apple's marketing department. BILLIONS I TELL YOU!

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Ofcom maps out what 'psychics' are allowed to do on TV

Graham Dawson
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@Robert Carnegie, really you're demonstrating my point (and I know MS tried it, that's why I mentioned them in the first place). There are some differences of course: a phone with data capabilities is an essential piece of equipment, even when you're a sparky, whilst watching TV is a luxury and largely pointless but, in both cases, the injustice of one party using the power of the state to extort money from others to pay for a service those others don't desire is the same. In that sense the BBC is marginally better inasmuch as they do at least provide a service of some sort, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay so someone else can watch television.

My phone, however, is a Sony Ericsson. Unless I'm mistaken, Sony-Ericsson has no licensing deal with MS so for now I'm in the clear.

Except for the whole "it's made by Sony" thing, which is another issue...

And, for the record, there are far better things to do in a pub that watch TV. They only show football anyway.

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Graham Dawson
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The thing about the BBC is, if you refuse to pay the license fee, you get fined and potentially sent to prison. If you refuse to pay the SKY fee they... cancel your service. That's it. You have a choice with SKY and other subscriber-based services but you have no choice at all with the BBC. If you watch TV, you pay for their output whether you like it or not, whether you watch it or not. I don't watch it, but if I were to choose to watch just the toss on ITV (which apparently not many people do these days given their collapsing viewing figures) I'd still have to pay for the BBC. I object to the BBC on that principle alone: they provide output I don't want or need and use threat of force to extract the funds to pay for it. I don't care how "efficient" they are, how much "value for money" they provide, they have no right to that money because I don't *want* to watch the BBC and I don't want to pay what is actually a significant amount of money when you're on a low income for a service I don't use, just so some middle class twat can feel smug about the "quality" of the BBC's output.

As a consequence I don't pay a license fee on principle. It means I can't watch television but, to be honest, it's not much of a loss.

But think about that... if I don't want to pay for the BBC, I can't watch live television without breaking the law. How is that in any way moral, ethical or fair? If it were Microsoft in the same position with computers you'd all be screaming moral outrage but, because it's Auntie and the goggle-box, suddenly it's perfectly okay to extort money from single mothers and the working poor to pay for a bunch of never-had-a-real-job trust-fund babies to prance around on TV and pretend they're worth listening to.

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Graham Dawson
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No, that's what the BBC is for. Sky has to actually work and sell itself for the money, whilst Auntie just has to sit on her bloated arse and have it handed over for nothing.

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Graham Dawson
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Blair never said he got an answer. I doubt he would have heard one over the sound of his own ego anyway.

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Asus Zenbook UX31E

Graham Dawson
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As many as it takes.

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Feds propose 50-state ban on mobile use while driving

Graham Dawson
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Yes, I think I'd rather pull the gun. It creates enough time to mediate a more peaceful solution.

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Graham Dawson
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"That slower lap time translates directly to lack of concentration on actually driving."

That' there is where you make an unwarranted leap of logic. Running is not the same as driving, slowing down is not the same as "distraction". If you were talking to someone running with you, you'd slow down as well - should we then ban people from having conversations in a car or listening to the radio?

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The cure for US job woes: More immigrants

Graham Dawson
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WTF?

So let me get this straight... they have record unemployment, thousands of people literally hanging around in parks crying for jobs* that apparently just aren't there, and their solution is to... bring in EVEN MORE people? Am I the only one that sees the fundamental problem with this plan?

Reality time: a bunch of corporations and politicians see advantage in importing cheap labour: the former because they can pay them a pittance, the latter because they can turn them into a fairly reliable voting block to stay in power.

Yes I am a cynic, why do you ask?

(*Of course some of them quit jobs to go hang around in the park, which is a stupid idea if you ask me, and some of the refuse any jobs they're offered because... well, they're dumb enough to think you can get a job just hanging around in a park. But the majority I'm sure would take any job they could get.)

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CERN: 'New physics starts now'

Graham Dawson
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Windows

Drank it all on november. Cheers!

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REVEALED: People write things on Twitter, Media

Graham Dawson
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And now you're writing about them, and I'm writing about you writing about them.

I'd better go tweet this...

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Steve Jobs' last design: New Apple HQ pics

Graham Dawson
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Look at it this way: If the wondows keep breaking, there'll be lots of jobs.

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Graham Dawson
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Believe it or not, complex-curved toughened glass has a rather impressive spontaneous failure rate. It's all to do with pressure points and shear angles.

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Mythbusters cannonball ‘myth-fires’

Graham Dawson
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Jay, the strongest tornado recorded in the UK was no more than an F0. That's the smallest they bother to record. Typically we'll get one or two a year at most.

A minor F0 will do a little bit of damage. Suck off a few tiles, blow over a wall maybe.not much more.

Now, think about how many tornadoes the US gets in a year. Most of those will be greater than F1, and a good (and dangerous) number will be F5, the quarter-mile wide monsters that destroy everything in their path. An F5 would turn a brick terrace into a neat pile of rubble on the other side of the street, turn every tree on the road upside down and pile all the cars on top of each other just for fun.

Compare like with like.

Now, as for why we use brick, I'll tell you: weather and resources. We're a wet country and we have lots and lots of clay, whereas the south-western united states is a dry country that has lots of timber. In cool, wet environment the most appropriate materials are those that keep out moisture, require little maintenance to avoid rain damage, and which still provide decent insulation. Brick fulfils all three requirements very well.

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Why are Android anti-virus firms so slow to react on Carrier IQ?

Graham Dawson
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Thumb Up

I've said the same elsewhere. Apparently some people don't like the idea of freedom if it requires them to consider the consequences of their actions.

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‘Blogger not a journalist’ says Oregon court

Graham Dawson
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75% eh? I'd say that compares well to the Daily Mail (80%), Independent (82%), Mirror (90%) and Sun (102%)*

Twitter is mostly full of noise, it's true.But, so is the rest of the mainstream media, which these days seems to largely rely on what's trending on twitter when it isn't copy-pasting Reuters and AP straight from the wire. Given that they're acting largely as a relay of what the public are nattering about, why do we need them any more?

And given that newspaper circulation figures are nosediving, and television news figures are in similar decline, it seems evident to me that a great many people agree with my stance.

*Like you I am, of course, making all of that up...

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Graham Dawson
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tim, this is different from the self-proclaimed "media" how?

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China gets 64 quid Android 4.0 tablet

Graham Dawson
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As the Chinese have long proven, one man's rubbish is another man's highly desirable commodity. Those sub-£100 tablets are perfect for cheap and cheerful uses. Nout wrong with a resistive screen either. A tablet like this makes a very good, inexpensive browser, ebook reader and media player, and you can use it with your gloves on in cold weather too.

That said, I'm writing this on a tf101, so...

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Lord British: Games consoles 'fundamentally doomed'

Graham Dawson
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They've been predicting the games console would kill off PC gaming for about 20 years but it hasn't happened. Now handhelds are supposed to kill off consoles? And presumably PC gaming as well, for that matter...

They will coexist, filling their own niche. Only idiots and Lord British assume that One Big Thing will kill off everything else to which it is slightly similar.

To be honest, I think he's still bitter about Ultima Online being superseded...

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IDC: Google needs DEEP tablet price slash to crack Apple

Graham Dawson
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I know one aspect of my life that's improved immensely!

In fact, if you count "easily reading The Register whilst on the toilet", I know two aspects.

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Graham Dawson
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Trollface

House style.

Problem?

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Ranting Iranian TV fined £100k for shoddy interview

Graham Dawson
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Oh thanks, I was wondering how I'd make a cappuccino on here.

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YouTube morphs into TV-wannabe with a splat of social goo

Graham Dawson
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Coat

They're forcing me to do what? Well the joke's on them! I linked my youtube and google accounts years ago! HAHAHAHAHAHA...ha...wait...

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Android glitch allows hackers to bug phone calls

Graham Dawson
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I said "But google is not perfect". Did you miss that? The inability to appreciate understatement is a woeful lack. I choose android nt because it *is* the idea, but because it's a step closer. For me it's actually a leap backwards compared to my previous phone (n900, which still works but was starting to fall apart) and I would have got the N9 if I could have afforded it, but I can't. I make do.

At least there's the option to replace th stock firmware with something more free. That's another step in the right direction.

By and large I have the abiity to do what I want with my phone with relatively little fuss. Without even having to go through the palaver of rooting I have an sshd, web server and numerous other applications that you can't get on the iphone without jailbreaking. I can take the risk of instaling apps from elsewhere. I can do a great deal of tinkering.

Google is not perfect. Android is closer to the ideal.

Given the choice between no freedom and allegedly illusory freedom that is, nevertheless, closer to the ideal, I still choose the latter.

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Graham Dawson
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It's not the content, it's the presumption. They have no right to assume they can record my blathering innanities to my wife. The "it's in public" defence doesn't work - there is no logic in assuming that all phone calls take place in a public space.

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Graham Dawson
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Big Brother

Given the choice between freedom with risks and apparent safety with such restrictions as imposed by, for instance, apple, I think I prefer the freedom.

But google is not perfect...

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PROVEN: Violent video games mess with your head

Graham Dawson
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Study's useless unless they compare with a second group playing non-violent games.

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BUSTED! Secret app on millions of phones logs key taps

Graham Dawson
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The illustrious lineage of the Cowards deserves recognition, if only because of Nöel.

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Graham Dawson
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A quick google leads me to believe it's only installed on handsets (not just android handsets either) sold in the US. Lucky them...

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Toyota unveils 'smartphone on four wheels'

Graham Dawson
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Three seats?

Ah well, it's a concept car. Interesting to look back in 15 years and see what features from it have actually ended up in production models. I sometimes compare cars now to the concepts that were bandied around in the early 90s and find, strangely, that the only feature they managed to actually predict was the weird bumpy shape a lot of headlights have now.

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Keep the utopians out of my fridge

Graham Dawson
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Capitalism presents you with the option to use a "more efficient" method, assuming you can afford it. Stalinism presents you with a similar choice, for free, but with the alternative being "or death".

And they're all out of cake at the moment...

So this twine thing is capitalist. It would become Stalinist if the company somehow engineered a way to prevent you from living without their service.

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Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

which was the new word? Twine is attested from the 13th century so it can't be that...

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Demon Currys iPad showered kids with HARD-CORE smut

Graham Dawson
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These days? Facebook.

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NASA's nuclear laser tank will hunt down any life on Mars

Graham Dawson
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Have no fear, the landing will be perfectly executed. The subsequent dismantling by a Sorn and use of the bits as spears by the Hrossa may be a little embarrassing though...

What's that? Weston, you animal, bring back my trousers!

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Man sues boss for 'condemning him to eternal damnation'

Graham Dawson
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Aye, so much of the bible makes a lot more sense with even a little understanding of the cultural milieu it was written in.

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Graham Dawson
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The scripture in question prohibited mixing wool and linen, not any arbitrary fabrics, but *only* wool and linen. It's likely this is due to a ritual requirement that the priests of the day shouldn't wear clothes that make them sweat when they're doing their priestly things which, in a warm environment, would rule out wool in any form for ritual clothing.

It's also possibly because wool tends to shrink in hot, humid environments, whilst linen doesn't, which would result in clothing that goes all squiffy.

Modern translations aside, again, the scripture only refers to wool and linen. And at one point it refers to garments rather than threads.

Cultural context is always necessary when studying these things.

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Graham Dawson
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In the original text it's not actually written as "666" but as something like νρων κσρ in greek or, in modern hebrew letters, נרון קשר.

This is because, in those days, there was no separate numerical system and both cultures used letters of the alphabet as numbers, adding up various letters until the required total is reached (which is part of the logic behind numerology-based mystery cults like Kabbalah and so forth). A modern equivalent might use A as 1, B as 2 all the way up to J as 9, then K as 10, L as 100, M as 1000 and so forth.

The smart amongst you may have already noticed that the letters above spell "nron ksr" and "nrwn qsr" respectively. When the book of Revelation was written, it was done so in greek, as any literate writer in Israel of the day would have known Greek as well as Aramaic and old Hebrew. The writer may have written in Greek, however he was still thinking in Aramaic and wrote the name "nero ceasar" (or neron kaiser as it would have been in literate circles there, as they all spoke Greek rather than Latin), transliterated from aramaic to greek, as the "number of the beast". Aramaic, like Hebrew and most other semitic languages has no vowels, so the result would be the equivalent of NRWN QSR. With the transition to hindu-arabic numerals the transliteration lost its meaning and the total number was rendered simply as "666".

In some translations from greek to latin a mistake was made by the translator, who assumed that the text should say NRW QSR, resulting in some later texts having the number add up to 616.

So, to end it all, the whole "number of the beast" thing is actually a bit of historical curiosity now rather than a fundamental element of identification of some future "antichrist" figure. It's worth remembering that there is no mention of a single man named "antichrist" in the entire book of revelation. The entire book refers to events that took place around 69 AD, when the romans laid seige to Jerusalem. The beast of the sea was Nero, the beast of the land was the Jewish religious hierarchy, the "harlot" was that same hierarchy, the weeping merchants were the Jewish people and foreigners who traded in Jerusalem as it stood on the crossroads between east and west and so on and so forth. Those "end times" referred to throughout the new testament were a reference to the eventual sack of Jerusalem and the annexation of Israel as part of the Roman Empire, something anyone with a bit of foresight and brain could have predicted if they paid attention to the political motions of the day.

Basically the entire book refers to events in the past. It's over. Finito. Finished. We're living after the end of the book.

Marvellous. :)

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Apple iPhone owners are the most loyal smartphone buyers

Graham Dawson
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Sony ericsson xperia mini pro. Just works. :)

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Richard Branson plans submarine tours of dead whale corpse

Graham Dawson
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Struck *with* a ship?

Forget the whale, I'm more worried about the creature lurking in the ocean that uses a ship as a club.

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iPhone 4S is for failures who work in coffee shops - Samsung

Graham Dawson
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Come out? You're anonymous! How is that coming out about anything?

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Superhero oil-burping algae will save the world

Graham Dawson
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Scientific consensus once had it that the moon couldn't affect the tides because there was no visible mechanism.

Galileo came up with that one...

Two things to learn from this: Consensus is meaningless in science, and even the greatest of great men can completely fuck up when they invoke it.

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Coders are creatives too: Where's our love?...

Graham Dawson
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"given the fundamentally autistic nature of the majority in this field."

You lost me there mate, which is a shame, as you were making some sense.

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Graham Dawson
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And?

What did they decide in the end?

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Graham Dawson
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It doesn't help that many software devs have spent the last 30 years insisting that they're actually "software engineers", against all evidence to the contrary.

the thing is, it's really not an either/or outcome. Software devs have to have many of the more obsessive characteristics of the engineer and the flighty genious of the art diva combined. The urge to classify people as one or other is the real problem.

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Rumoured iPhone 5 'will have 4in screen' against Jobs' wish

Graham Dawson
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Apple does listen! It even nods from time to time and takes notes, before presenting you with a Professional Listening invoice, plus 30% tip.

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Hypersonic missile successfully hits Ronald Reagan

Graham Dawson
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Actually there goes GPS, hubble, most of our low-level communications arrays, weather and environmental satellites, the freaking ISS even.

Great plan!

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Clegg orders fresh review of UK extradition treaty

Graham Dawson
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There are very good reasons for the reluctance to send McKinnon to the US for trail, not least the extremely prejudicial nature of this particular aspect of US justice and the likelihood of an over-long and unjust sentence for what was a fairly low-level offence.

I'm saying this as someone who generally thinks the United States are a good place: McKinnon would not be treated justly there. He'd face a political show-trial, and his aspergers would probably be used against him in the process.

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BOFH: The day the office budget bombed – literally

Graham Dawson
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Pint

The operative phrase was "doesn't burn well", which is true. Diesel is almost inert unless it's either atomised, or heated until it starts to evaporate, or heated and put under pressure.

Notice that diesel engines don't have sparkplugs? They don't work. You can get a petrol engine running with diesel by priming it with regular petrol and then relying on the pressure of the cylinders to ignite the diesel once it's running, but it'll get pretty annoyed at you in short order and probably won't work after you've stopped it, mostly because it's not mixing enough air and not operating at a high enough pressure to fully ignite the diesel fuel - which is also, incidentally, why putting diesel in a petrol engine produces lots and lots and lots of lovely smoke so everyone can see what a numpty you've been.

The reason is, the fractions we generally call Diesel aren't particularly volatile. You can toss a match in the stuff and it'll go out. You can do the same with a puddle of regular unleaded tool but it's a lot more risky because of all the vapours hovering above it. To get it to become volatile enough to burn you have to warm it up until it starts to evaporate. A diesel engine relies on compression effect to heat the diesel until it vapourises and explodes. That's were the bang comes from.

Which isn't surprising when you remember that the diesel engine was originally invented to burn brewery waste...

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Think your CV is crap? Your interview skills are worse

Graham Dawson
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Works for me.

And the answer is "Flashman on the March". Unrepentent lech rogering his way up and down Abyssinia in the name of the Queen's peace.

Oh dear, did I not get the job?

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