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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1511 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Auntie touts e-babysitting ... and no £15,000 in-app purchase shocks

Graham Dawson
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Re: Shurely shome mishtake?

Nice little jape there old chap. Did it take you all year to come up with that one or was it a spur-of-the-month thing?

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Nude swimmers warned of GONAD-GOBBLING FISH ON THE LOOSE

Graham Dawson
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Re: Fishy

The Finns are merely compensating for the lack of vowels in Welsh.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: A few details:

You mean the dongle, surely?

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Norway BANS Apple from Oslo's skies: No aerial Maps app snaps allowed

Graham Dawson
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Re: But...

Wiki lists two incidents. Breivik in 2011 and four "men" attacking an Oslo synagogue in 2006.

So there you go.

There were more but Breivik's ubiquity on the interwebs makes them difficult to dig up.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Wow

Actually Norway isn't on a 1 Euro, which makes sense when you think about it. It's not an EU member state, so why would it appear on the currency?

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Graham Dawson
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Jag fjelløver och nix gytuppen?

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Facebook's request to the flash industry: 'Make the worst flash possible'

Graham Dawson
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So he wants write-only memory?

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No distro diva drama here: Penguinista favourite Debian turns 20

Graham Dawson
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Re: Advanced

I remember my Gentoo days with fondness, but you can only be a ricer for so long before it starts to get boring. Still, compiling an entire system from scratch (even in the guided way portage handles it) was rather fun for a while.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Different linuxes for dirrerent purposes

Debian is fine for desktops too, you know. I use it.

Ah but then I do almost everything in the browser anyway, so...

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Graham Dawson
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Pint

Re: I picked this as my first distro.

I often wonder why some people have a problem with others being genuinely satisfied with the decisions they've made. It's almost as if the idea that a person can be happy is somehow evil.

I just moved into a new flat. It is exactly what I want. I have never been happier.

Is there a difference between that and a user getting the distro they want?

No.

Let the man be happy.

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Netflix dares UK freetards: Watch new Breaking Bad NOW or torrent it?

Graham Dawson
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"and if you're really that bothered let the nice man in next time he calls round to check."

No. Never. NEVER let the man in. All they have to do is prove there's a signal on the TV and they have you, no matter how tenuous it may be. They have been observed sticking a finger in the aerial socket and using their own body as an aerial.

Besides, if they see a TV they just assume you're unplugged it while they're around and send court summons. Given it's impossible to prove a negative, once that happens you're screwed. Don't let them in. They have no right of entry unless you invite them.

Like vampires.

Funny that.

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US federal judge: Yes, Bitcoin IS MONEY

Graham Dawson
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@silent_count Re: Just curious

You're discussing fiat currency. Money used to have a physical value based on a commodity, either because it was made from that commodity or because it was guaranteed by that commodity. Traditionally the commodity was gold

Unfortunately any commodity-backed currency has two features that make it undesirable to the modern debt-bound state: You can't simply print off more money to pay off your debt and it doesn't inflate very fast (a gold-backed currency inflates as more gold is extracted from the ground, but this is a very slow process), which means you can't inflate your debts out of existence either. You can re-denominate your currency (for example, you can take $1 of gold and declare it's now worth $10), but that devalues your currency: incomes, prices and debts get an extra 0 on the end, but otherwise nothing changes. The debt remains and earning power is unchanged.

There are advantages to a fiat currency. The biggest for the capitalists amongst us is that economic growth isn't restricted by a lack of available money in the system. The biggest for the state is that it can, as explained, print money and inflate debt out of existence (in a commodity-backed currency this would be the equivalent of finding a few-billion dollars worth of gold somewhere). Unfortunately the downsides are quite obvious: printing money will devalue it. Though it exists as a legislative construct, nevertheless a fiat currency still follows the basic rules of economics and is still in effect a commodity. The first rule of commodities is that the value is dictated by the available supply: if supply of a commodity increases, its value generally decreases. If supply is restricted, its value generally increases. In the case of a commodity like copper this would mean that the price chasnges variant with the available supply and the relative demand. In the case of money, an increase of supply means the monetary "value" - the amount that a dollar can purchase of anything - is reduced.

If your economy inflates at about the same rate as your currency inflates, the currency will tend to retain its value. If your currency inflates faster than your economy grows (either by increasing the supply through printing, or by reducing the demand through a stagnant or shrinking economy) then the value of your currency decreases. In extreme cases you get a zimbabwe, where the supply of currency increased at the same time as the economy was destroyed by poor government behaviour. In less extreme cases you get a situation where a barista or waitress in the US earns what used to be a living wage but now has to be supplemented with tips in order to earn enough just to survive - because the wage stayed nearly static while the currency was inflated by increased supply.

And then this ties into arguments over all sorts of economic topics, such as minimum wage, taxation, cost of staple necessities, "cheap imported labour" and so on and so forth. All this because successive governments decided to enact polices that inflated the money supply for various reasons of their own (corporate profiteering, "creation" of "wealth", or funding the latest social engineering project by "borrowing" from the first union bank of unicorn farts and rainbow fantasy). The economy appears to grow because profits and wages appear to increase in numerical terms, but the reality is that it may be stagnant or even shrinking.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: In this case the distinction would not have mattered

The taxation of barter rests on the rather dubious assumption that any cost you save in barter is the functionally same as earning that money, leading to the IRS treating it as taxable income. It further rests on the assumption that the state has the right to take your property. It seems like a rather silly assumption to me.

Not that it matters. They can't tax what they don't know about, and unless they've found a way to assign a monetary value to every barter _and_ a way to monitor every barter that takes place they aren't going to be taxing much of it unless that information is volunteered.

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Sergey Brin's 'test-tube burger' cooked, eaten, declared meat-like

Graham Dawson
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Re: In an psychopathic ideal world your best meal is one of your own species.

BSE resulted from eating brain matter, which is a bad idea in general anyway and a terrible idea for a ruminant like a cow. Stick to the steak and you're fine.

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Graham Dawson
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Angel

Wasn't he talking about a steak?

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Graham Dawson
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Megaphone

Who's the shill from the national quorn marketing board?

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Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing

Graham Dawson
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Re: Why bother

Even at a high sample rate, lossy digital compression is effectively audio compression. It normalises everything; you lose the clarity and peaks and deep bass just plain disappear. On any remotely decent hifi system you can hear the difference and you don't have to be some audiophile or freakish mutant or the idiot who spends a squillion quid on a gold-plated, jewel encrusted cable to do so. I noticed it one day playing the Master and Commander soundtrack. The CD version had this incredible deep thump in the bass that was missing from the ogg and mp3 versions I played over the same speakers. Even a q10 vbr ogg was missing it.

Of course if all your CDs are the hopelessly compressed, pumped up noise they sell so often these days then of course you're not going to hear a difference - a bit more lossy compression really won't make any significant change to that - but if they've been put together by a competent sound engineer then the difference is as between night and day.

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Village-swallowing MUDCANO was no accident, say boffins

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

How old is fracking? And how many mud volcanoes had it caused in that time?

To save you the effort: more than 50 years, and one. Maybe.

Time and time again you people claim x y or z means fracking is the devil, but it always turns out to be so much over emotional hyperbole with no basis in fact.

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Lasers to carry 622 Mbps Earth-Moon link

Graham Dawson
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Re: when's BT going to fix my phone then?

It would probably get more results than ringing BT...

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Unreal: Epic’s would-be Doom... er... Quake killer

Graham Dawson
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Re: One thing I do remember from Unreal..

The bit I remember is right at the start, when your'e crawling through the ship and get into an air vent. You spot a figure up ahead but it scarpers just as you see it. Then later you get to a door and hear people on the other side trying to open it.

Then they die horribly.

I think it gave me a few uncomfortable nights that one...

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Dear Linus, STOP SHOUTING and play nice - says Linux kernel dev

Graham Dawson
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@AC Re: Different people respond to different things

"when was the last time you had an examiner call you a fucking idiot?"

Personally I've never had it happen, but I saw it happen to other people when I was at university. And I will be frank, they deserved it.

(not the AC for the record, just a guy who was smart enough to not be called a fucking idiot)

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Pirate Bay bod and pals bag $100k to craft NSA-proof mobe yammer app

Graham Dawson
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Big Brother

Hey anon, question for you: do you have curtains? Or blinds, or whatever?

Why? What are you trying to hide with them? You must surely be trying to hide _something_, otherwise you wouldn't have them, right? I mean only people with something to hide will actually close their curtains...

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Elon Musk's Grasshopper tops 300m, lands safely

Graham Dawson
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Not so crazy. You'd need as much if not more fuel to carry the extra weight of the lifting and control surfaces, it would dramatically increase the cost of each launch and it would introduce a lot more potential failure points. This way is cheaper, simpler and I'd wager a lot more reliable.

It's not "just" a soft landing either. Bringing back the early rocket stages for refurbishing and reuse will slash the cost of launches.

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Samsung isn't alone: HTC profits take a huge dive

Graham Dawson
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Re: Remember when?

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

I know XKCD is an instant "avoid" for some but I think this one might be relevant.

http://xkcd.com/1227/

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Upturned boat sails to Shed of the Year title

Graham Dawson
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Re: Nothing to contribute

The competition was rigged.

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Google says it paid TOO MUCH tax, wants $83.5m refund

Graham Dawson
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@AC Re: Governments moral right to the money?

He wouldn't be "forced" to do anything.THere are two ways this can play out.

1) the libertarian utopia where everything is paid for via subscription to private entities. No taxes, but you want to travel long-distance (basically anything involving a car) you'd have to pay a toll. And so on and so forth.

2 Shift everything back to sales tax, like it USED to be before they implemented the ridiculous and intrusive income taxes. Sales taxes are a tax on consumption and inherently fair as everyone pays proportionate to their spending power. You can even band it if you like, set tax rates to vary depending on the retail cost of the items in question and set a zero rate on food, which would probably please quite a lot of people.

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Korean doctors: Smartphones really ARE doing your head in

Graham Dawson
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Re: Cobblers

I think the bigger issue is that the left-brain logic/right-brain creativity paradigm has been demonstrated to be complete and utter donkey droppings.

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Pink Floyd blasts Pandora for 'tricking' artists with petition

Graham Dawson
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"You don't hear grocery stores complain they have to pay for the food they sell. "

Of course not. They just force the price down on the quiet.

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Ferocious fungus imperils future of British gin and tonic

Graham Dawson
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Re: Botanist

That's on average though. A lot of people wouldn't have even drunk the stuff, which means that you'd have a relatively small number of people drinking a very large amount of gin.

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Top Norks bone up on Hitler

Graham Dawson
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Re: Let's overlook our natural prejudices

Yes, actually. If I was the role-model for these loonies they'd do a lot less dictating and a lot more lounging around in front of a computer. The world, I feel, would be a much better place.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Mein Kampf is many things...

I tried a Hershey bar in the states. It was gritty, tasteless plastic rubbish.

Tried one again recently because there's an American import thing down the road from me (that apparently Tesco feels the need to compete with). It wasn't half bad. Still felt a bit like plastic, but they'd done something to change the recipe so it doesn't taste like arse.

I also had a twinkie a while back. I really don't understand why they were so popular.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Proof the pen is mightier?

Graham Dawson
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Ah now you're moving the goalposts aren't you? You said there's no support for wacom on tablet PCs when there is (and that support is via the wacom driver, which only the most esoteric and ancient of distros won't have), so now it's not support for wacom per se but for a subset of input methods that make use of pen technologies in general.

So rather than saying "no support for wacom on a tablet PC" what you should really say is "no unified handwriting recognition input method" which is a rather different kettle of fish. In addition, rather than being unusable as you initially claimed, a tablet PC with any major distro installed is likely to be very useful. It just doesn't quite do what you want out of the box.

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Graham Dawson
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Erm... yes, there is. Ubuntu on the Surface Pro only has a problem recognising the right-click button on the pen, and I'd be inclined to believe that the same could be said of any other slate or windows 8 tablet.

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Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Re: PPI flawed as ever but hey it was all Appley

Could you repeat that in English please?

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Graham Dawson
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Coat

Considering how popular the third-party stylus market is with the iPad I really wonder why there's all this angry hate about it. Perhaps it's because they're stuck with silly capacitive things whereas anyone with a proper digitiser-enabled tablet gets something far superior?

Ooh, stylus envy...

@AC: "Someone like me" is a significant enough proportion of the population for Samsung to not only consider this a good idea, but for them to make a fair bit of cash implementing it. Guess I'm not that far from the middle of the bell curve after all eh?

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Graham Dawson
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If it was *just* a stylus I'd agree, but it's a wacom digitiser as well. Very, VERY handy for someone like me who likes to sit about and doodle in the off-times. You can also use most older wacom pens with it (the one for my old cintiq works perfectly).

Incidentally, recommended app for anyone with a Note: Layer Paint. It's a relatively simple but practical art program, very cheap and better than any of the alternatives I've tried up to now. Far better brush engine than Sketchbook Pro, you aren't limited in your canvas size and naturally it works with the pressure-sensitivity of the digitiser as well.

Samsung (and another tablet that has a digitiser) are so far ahead of Apple on this that it's almost laughable when the fanbois try to belittle a feature like this. Of course it's a "step backwards" to have a superior additional interface!

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Offensive, iconoclastic internet trolls will NOT be prosecuted, says DPP

Graham Dawson
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Re: where's the line?

About 30kg higher.

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Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

Graham Dawson
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Re: Agree on pre-degree IT exams @Graham Dawson

O levels were phased out in the early 80s - before I was even in senior school - and brick laying is a highly skilled profession that I doubt one in 20 of the people who post here could do to any degree of competence.

If you're going to mock, be smart about it.

What are they teaching kids in schools these days eh?

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Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Re: Agree on pre-degree IT exams

I don't know what college you went to but I did Design Tech and Software Development (writing Pascal oddly enough) at Hyde Clarendon and that put me in pretty good stead for a great many future endeavours. Of course that was in the 90s, when A Levels still meant something and were actually hard. So hard that I got an E in both subjects.

The work I turned in for them would get me an A* today. It was good work, but the expectations were that much higher back then.

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Boffins find evidence Atlantic Ocean has started closing

Graham Dawson
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Re: I Blame the EU

Nah. Global warming.

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Scientists investigate 'dark lightning' threat to aircraft passengers

Graham Dawson
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Re: Enter Otto von Chriek:

Quiet! You'll scare the Land Eels!

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You've seen the Large Hadron Collider. Now comes the HUGE Hadron Collider

Graham Dawson
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@frank ly

So, on top of Godzilla, the poor Japanese will now have to contend with the legendary Soup Dragon.

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Asus FonePad: You may feel a bit of a spanner

Graham Dawson
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Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

I was wondering the same thing. According to google there are some possibilities out there, though they don't seem to have any dialling options.

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Graham Dawson
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Angel

Re: Sounds promising

Why yes, it almost guarantees it will be so.

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Chinese 'nauts prep for next coupling in Heaven, clear way for new station

Graham Dawson
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Re: Look at da pwetty lights

"anyone have actual knowledge?"

Most of us don't, but that's never stopped anyone here before.

<- The one with the blue streak on the sleeves thanks

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NSA Prism: Why I'm boycotting US cloud tech - and you should too

Graham Dawson
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Re: Canadians

And real bacon.

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Boffins build gesture recognition using WiFi

Graham Dawson
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Re: Two weak spots

Um... yes there is. It's called Radar and it's over 100 years old. Use of radio waves to track objects? What does a router emit? Oh look there's your answer!

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Steelie Neelie: Crack down on wicked ISPs so we can Skype

Graham Dawson
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The commission is the executive and primary legislative branch of the EU's government, it seems fair to mention that they're appointed given how much power they wield and how little control and oversight we, the peoples of Europe, have over their activities. It's hardly frothing.

Comparing that to a journalist's "unelected" position isn't even apples and walnuts, never mind oranges.

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Snappers binned, mobe-armed hacks drafted at Chicago paper

Graham Dawson
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Re: Real photos in line with the text...

Almost all the content of the newspapers is cribbed from AP and Reuters these days. Often they don't even bother changing the text, they just stick a byline on it and pretend.

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Asus boasts of Haswell fondleslab threesome to get Acer hot under collar

Graham Dawson
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One thing I'd like...

The ability to pop the tablet off that keyboard dock and still use the keyboard with the android environment, either with a cable or by turning the keyboard into a dumb bluetooth thing. Sometimes it's nice to be able to spread things out, you know?

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