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* Posts by Spleen

734 posts • joined 5 Nov 2007

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British Lords: Euro 'right to be forgotten' ruling 'unreasonable and unworkable'

Spleen

Re: have I got this right?

@Alpha Tony: I am open to correction, but I believe that if you went around constantly saying "That big_D guy was arrested for murder", big_D would have a pretty good claim for defamation, as he could argue - and the courts would probably agree - that by repeating and emphasising that fact you were making a clear insinuation that he was guilty.

Claiming that you were "just reporting the truth" would be sophistry, it's like going around telling everyone that "So-and-so has never denied beating his wife" when So-and-so has never been asked. If you are clearly trying to damage someone's reputation than the courts are going to see through it.

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Climate: 'An excuse for tax hikes', scientists 'don't know what they're talking about'

Spleen

Re: Maybe we could get a consensus

We may not be able to prove there's more extreme weather, but you can't deny that there's more *news stories* about extreme weather. That's basically the same thing. If you have a degree in climate science from the University of Wisbech.

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Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

Spleen

Whenever I have to make one of these calls and the salesman attempts the retentions patter, I simply say "Thank you, my decision is final and I will not discuss it, please just cancel the account". Then if they still persist I say exactly the same thing, word for word, but in a sterner tone of voice. (You must repeat yourself word-for-word. If you try to argue with them you are entering a dialogue and if you are in a dialogue they will think they can win you over.) So far I've never had to repeat myself more than once.

As soon as the drone realises that there is no chance of retaining you, you can be assured that they will get your account cancelled with maximum speed and efficiency. They need to get you off the phone as quickly as possible so they can get on to someone more pliable.

I admit that this approach will never get me on YouTube though.

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Spleen

Re: This is NOT an aberration...it is how these people do business

If you walk into a health food shop you have already made a conscious decision to get fleeced, and deserve what you get.

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Euro banks warned off Bitcoin as Canada regulates it

Spleen

Re: Er, isn't this like...

Except that:

- shares are more tangible than Bitcoin - if you own a share in Glaxosmithkline, you own a very small percentage of a load of offices, laboratories, drug stockpiles, patents... all things that exist and are of genuine value.

- shares pay dividends.

Shares may not work as a currency because they are too volatile, but they do work as an investment. Bitcoin doesn't work as either.

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UK Xmas 2014: Go to shops a normal human, walk out a glasshole

Spleen

Re: What to get?

- Buy the Blue Expensive Doorwedge

- Find someone wearing Kick Me Glasses and hit them over the head with the Doorwedge. Take their Glasses

- Problem solved

(they won't mind, they'll get in the Grauniad and afterwards they can buy a new pair)

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Journal that published Facebook emoto-furtle study: Proper boffins get CONSENT

Spleen

Re: Informed consent?

I'm not defending Facebook, but that definitely wouldn't work, because if you told them you were doing an experiment with their News Feed, they would start paying close attention to their News Feed and try to work out what their experiment was. And they might deliberately try to act in the way they think the researchers are looking for - or if they're the contrary type, do exactly the opposite to pollute the data.

I'm not saying that Facebook went about it the right way, but the way you suggest would be totally worthless as research.

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Lords try shoehorning law against REVENGE SMUT into justice bill

Spleen

Re: what if they're fake?

On the Internet you can guarantee that someone will consider it porn.

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Hey, Marissa Mayer: Flexi working time is now LAW in UK. Yahoo!

Spleen

Re: So you can now legally ask for flexitime?

Union Rep: STRIKE

Boss: We're outsourcing this department to a country where people actually want to work in exchange for money. You're all redundant.

You now have reallyreallyflexitime.

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Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Spleen

"Google Glass has a light to indicate that it is recording"

Which can be easily turned off, or if you can't be bothered to hack it, a small piece of masking tape will do the job.

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Labour vows: We'll pause one-dole-to-rule-them-all for drastic fix-up if elected in 2015

Spleen

The way welfare works is that you promise to raise £1bn in extra taxes in order to redistribute to the needy. The needy (and those who are afraid of being thought uncaring) elect you into power. You then raise £1bn in taxes, and devise an immensely complicated benefits system which the poor serfs can't possibly understand, which means that they only claim about £300m of the £1bn you've promised them. You then pocket the difference.

UC, like flat taxation and a flat rate state pension, won't happen under any system run by London. Even if it did it would be reversed by the next incoming government, who will start tacking on new entitlements (if Labour) or means-testing existing ones (if Conservative).

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Google starts selling Glass to Brits – for £1,000 a pop

Spleen

I've just had a great business idea. Did you spend £1,000 on a pair of Google Glasses, and have been walking around London for hours waiting for someone to ask you to take it off, but no-one actually cares? Did you spend ages planning how you were going to educate the ignorant masses on public recording rights, only to find that none of them actually give a shit? Have you spent hours sitting in Shoreditch bars waiting for someone to drunkenly assault you, but have got nothing more than a pitying glance?

Then simply pay me £1,000 and I will walk up to you in a location of your choosing and publicly ask you to take your GGlasses off. I can do aggressive, passive-aggressive or Victorian politeness. ("Sir, I must remind you that a gentleman does not wear his hat or his Google Glasses indoors.") For another £1,000 I will actively engage with you in a long and ill-informed argument about whether or not you're allowed to wear them. For £5,000 I will pretend to knock you senseless, and you can use the YouTube footage to get yourself in The Independent.

Act now before I'm fully booked. Contact me on Twitter at @LookAtMyGoogleGlassesPleaseImLonely.

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Spleen

Re: I like gadgets

Hopefully not. You know what else serves as a great sat nav? A sat nav. And it occupies a fixed point in your vision so it won't obstruct your view of, say, children dashing out from between parked cars.

Obviously sat navs are a distraction, but they're only distracting you when you choose to stare at them, rather than constantly floating in front of the real world.

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VIDEO SELFIE DRONE: 'AirDog' UAV follows you everywhere you go

Spleen

Re: "cannot see or avoid any obstacles in its flight path".

I run through a lot of forests. If you wanted to use it to film yourself running (which sounds like the sort of thing it's meant for) then whether it's city running or cross country you would certainly need it to dodge trees. I assume the OP is a skier and the same thing applies.

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Today's get-rich-quick scheme: Build your own bank

Spleen

Re: @Chris Miller

"It could lend other money, such as, for instance, any profit it makes."

I think we've established pretty conclusively that it would be extremely hard to make a profit out of this enterprise, though. After you've paid dividends to the people that have risked their shirt to build this giant mattress, I doubt there'd be enough left to make it worthwhile loaning out the profits. Especially given that setting up a loan arm requires extra accounting, risk assessment, regulation, etc.

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Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

Spleen

I remember playing a great freeware variant called Wormtris on the Amiga, which used various bits of art from the original Worms game. Occasionally you would get worms dropping down (which were 1x1 in size), and you would have to avoid squishing worms with the blocks, as after you'd killed a certain number... er, something would happen. I can't remember exactly what happened but it would play the "Revenge!" sample and screw up the playing field somehow. It was an interesting addition as very often you had a dilemma between placing a block somewhere annoying, or squishing a worm and storing up trouble later.

There were also sheep which you could use to blow blocks up. I'm sure there was other weird power-up stuff but it's all escaped me. Anyone else play it?

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Spanish village of 'Kill the Jews' votes for rebrand

Spleen

36% against the change is rather a lot. Though I don't for a moment believe that those who voted against are all Nazis. It's a tricky dilemma: on the one hand, it's embarrassing sounding like Dr Strangelove every time you have to tell someone your address. "Kill the Jews!" "Beg pardon?" "Sorry, that is actually the name of my village. Heil Hitler!" "Heil Hitler is the name of your house?" "No, I am actually a Nazi, I was saying goodbye."

On the other hand, you know that your post is going to be totally f---ed for the next few years once they've changed the name.

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'I found the whole idea of an alien very exciting until it demanded all of my weed'

Spleen

"The lap dance is a great idea but actually it's really boring. ®"

Can't fault the game for realism...

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Why two-player games > online gaming: See your pal's shock as you bag a last-second victory

Spleen

Re: Sliding tackle on a stationary keeper

We always played with fatigue turned off and the aforementioned blind referee which basically turned the game into a Maradona-off. From the centre-circle, you run straight at the opposition while manically jabbing the sprint button and trying to dodge the gauntlet of leg-breaking tackles. If you lost the ball then the other player ran straight at you in turn. Passing is for sissies and continentals.

One of the best things about multiplayer-in-the-same-room is coming up with playground variations like that.

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Japanese schoolkids arrested in £2.4 MEEELLION phone fraud bust

Spleen

It's not remotely true anyway. Some Japanese people look like Keanu Reeves, the rest look like Tom Cruise.

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Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Spleen

Re: How about trial by combat?

@Crisp

You're right, trial by combat isn't a good idea. 50% failure rate.

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Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

Spleen

To be complete, the study surely has to take into account the euphoric effect that comes from plugging away at a really hard and frustrating game for hours, but then beating it.

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Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest

Spleen

Re: Pole polisher?

"My youngest (butter wouldn't melt etc.) used to build rooms in Sims, have a wall full of fireplaces, fill the rest of the room with sofas then put a few Sims in and remove the door"

The second most fun you can have in a simulation game, next to building a "powered-launch" coaster in RollerCoaster Tycoon that flung everyone off a hill to an explosive death. I seem to remember that if you made your deathtrap too obvious (e.g. just a launch and a short ramp) the guests would refuse to go on it. But if you made it look like a proper coaster and that final hill was just a bit too short... then you are become Death.

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WTF: Twitter bug temporarily kills THAT Oscar selfie

Spleen

Re: Oscar Selfie

I'm ashamed that I know this, but it was. It's being taken by the guy kneeling at the front with the silly beard.

*edit*

You could however argue that it isn't a selfie on the grounds that a selfie is taken spontaneously, for reasons of vanity or to show something off (e.g. new clothes or meeting a celebrity). The Oscar shot wouldn't count as a selfie because it was staged for advertising purposes.

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Hey, Glasshole: That cool app? It has turned you into a SPY DRONE

Spleen

The lesson here is that it doesn't matter whether the "recording" light is on or not. Everyone knows that you always treat any tape recorder, microphone or camera as if it is recording, even if you've been told it's off; same goes for Google Glasses. See the final episode of Yes, Prime Minister "The Tangled Web" inter alia.

If someone is wearing Google Glasses, assume they are recording. If you're not comfortable with that, either ask them to take them off or move elsewhere.

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QUIDOCALYPSE: Blighty braces for £100 MILLION cost of new £1 coin

Spleen

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

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French novel falls foul of Apple's breast inspectors

Spleen

Re: What about Apple's rights?

If Apple was owned by a family of fundamentalist Christians and had on their website a mission statement saying something like "We are faithful to our Christian beliefs and do not sell material that violates the word of the Lord", I don't think anyone would complain. You could disagree with the company's beliefs but their decision re this book would make sense within that context.

But Apple is owned by millions of shareholders and, theoretically, should be run on totally non-religious, rational and profit-seeking lines. And on those grounds the refusal to stock a book because it has a pair of mammaries on the cover is ridiculous. It shows a confused and irrational decision-making process where morality is concerned. It's both bad business and bad ethics. So it's fair game to question it.

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They ACCUSED him of inventing Bitcoin. Now, Nakamoto hires lawyer to CLEAR his name

Spleen

Re: Moderation

"My personal benchmark is if I wouldn't say something to the face to a fit young lad that can beat me to a pulp, I will not say it at all to anyone else--and I'm a boxer."

Logically, this means that as the vast majority of fit young lads would not be able to beat you to a pulp, what with you being a trained martial artist, you can be as rude as you like to absolutely anyone. Unless you're a crap boxer.

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Wackadoo DIYers scissor-kick beatboxer

Spleen

In terms of old words, "scissor-kick" surely trumps them all. A quick Google Books search shows it as in common usage from the 1910s onwards, in relation to swimming techniques.

The football technique (either to volley the ball while falling sideways, or as a synonym for bicycle kick) first appears in a glossary from 1967.

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Spleen

Re: Won't someone think of the children!

They strap you to a chair and then make you watch competitive ice dancing for hours on end.

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'Hacked docs' prove MtGox has 1 MILLION Bitcoins, claim blog-snatchers

Spleen

From the opening of the Newsweek article:

"I would like to ask him about Bitcoin. This man is Satoshi Nakamoto."

"What?" The police officer balks. "This is the guy who created Bitcoin?"

This is the biggest load of obvious bollocks I've seen since The Times' "Qatar Dream League". How many low-ranking American police officers would know who Satoshi Nakamoto is? A few might have heard of Bitcoin, but hardly any will be interested enough in the subject to have read up on its history, and instantly recall that Satoshi Nakamoto is its creator. The whole story is written like an airport thriller and is just as made-up.

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Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

Spleen

Re: Worse to come...

Not as far as the local charity shops are concerned.

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Spleen

Re: No it still isn't enough

"Getting a court to declare that the sons are the executors is perfectly normal. It's called 'getting probate', and it's what happens with EVERY estate."

I could be wrong, but I assumed - having read about this story in various other newspapers - that they already had probate. I assume they must have done by this point or they would have encountered this problem with their mum's bank, any insurers or pension companies, every other organisation their mum dealt with, not just Apple. Apple are apparently demanding a *separate* court order, specially for them.

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PayPal mudslingfest TELEVISED: Icahn and Donahoe go on telly

Spleen

Re: Observation

Donahoe've a cow, man.

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Brit Bitcoin dev: I lost 'over £200k' when MtGox popped its socks

Spleen

Re: Suck It Berkshire Hathaway

Sounds completely uninsurable to me. Or at least unpricable.

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Hundreds of folks ready to sue Bitcoin exchange MtGox

Spleen

Re: Lawsuit settled

Beat me to it.

"Hello, you lost our strings of random numbers. We'd like to sue."

"Alright, you can have your strings of random numbers. Here's some we just got some interns to type out."

"Those aren't PROPER random numbers. We want Bitcoin random numbers that we can use as currency."

"But you keep telling us that if two people are willing to treat strings of random numbers as currency, it's a currency. Even though the currency is not backed by a central bank and not accepted by any government for payment of taxes. So: To us these strings of random numbers are acceptable as currency, and if they aren't to you, well that's basically your problem."

"Er..."

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Spleen

Total nonsense. If you nick £100,000 worth of precious family heirlooms from me, have I not actually lost anything just because I inherited them for free?

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Google warns Glass wearers: Quit being 'CREEPY GLASSHOLES'

Spleen

Re: Here in Japan, shutter sounds are mandatory

'Worryingly' my arse. I have my shutter sound switched off as well, and if it was legally mandated I would also get an app that disabled it. Not because I take upskirt pics, but because it sounds stupid. It doesn't have a shutter. It's like playing the sound of a rotary dial being turned every time you press a number key.

And as I take a lot of photos for my running club in 'burst' mode it would be downright annoying to everyone around me if every shot was accompanied by fifteen tinny "khhh-cheek" sounds.

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fWHoaR! Trick-cyclists crack eternal mystery of WHAT WOMEN WANT in a man

Spleen

Re: Obligatory XKCD

There are XKCD comics other than that "Correct horse battery staple" one?

Well I never.

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Treat yourself to some FA, NFL or 1D action at Wembley Stadium

Spleen

So El Reg is partly responsible for the national disgrace that is the rows and rows of empty seats that the world's TV cameras see whenever a football match kicks off at Wembley? Even at a packed FA Cup final or England game it looks as if no-one's turned up, because the prawn sandwich brigade haven't emerged from the VIP lounge. (A problem that could easily have been solved by putting them underneath the cameras instead of opposite them.) Well done, El Reg.

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Good news: 'password' is no longer the #1 sesame opener, now it's '123456'

Spleen

!"£$%^&*() would apparently take 9,000 years to crack. Not as secure as (control c, control v) aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, but much easier to remember - how do you remember how many As there are? Whereas all you have to do with this little beauty is hold down shift and run your finger down the numbers.

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Oooh! My NAUGHTY SKIRT keeps riding up! Hello, INTERNET EXPLORER

Spleen

Re: what's the fuss?

The culture that gave the world the Catholic Church has no business lecturing anyone on a "bizarre blind spot for paedophilia".

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Spleen

I've heard of not knowing your arse from your elbow, but not being able to distinguish a girl's arse from her legs is a whole new level of weirdness.

Ok, I suppose the bend of her legs makes them look a bit like a pair of buttocks if you squint - but come on, really.

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The CURSE of WHO: WHY has there never been a decent videogame with the Doctor?

Spleen

As others have pointed out, the problem is that Doctor Who is fundamentally non-violent, and unimaginative designers think that computer games have to include laser guns.

They should make a Doctor Who game along the lines of the Amnesia games. They showed that you can have a good game where the protagonist is unarmed. A Machine For Pigs in particular is very like a Doctor Who episode - you run round an oppressive futuristic building, fleeing hideous monsters, gradually discover the monstrous purpose of the whole thing, and progress by fiddling with / breaking machinery.

Replace Amnesia's monsters with Daleks, Cybermen or, god forbid, Weeping Angels and I think there's a pretty good game in there. And of course you'd have that 'hide-behind-the-sofa' terror that everyone associates with Doctor Who.

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Cameron pledges public access to list of who REALLY owns firms

Spleen

Re: I've got a little list.

Assuming you're referring to the Big Four accountancy firms, it's PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young. Goldman Sachs is an investment bank.

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You're more likely to get a job if you study 'social' sciences, say fuzzy-studies profs

Spleen

"University (or a big chunk of it) is nothing more than an industry predicated on the dodgy suggestion that if you borrow obscene amounts of money to attend the University of Spleen for 3 years to study universitology or whatever, that you will reap untold riches, which will make the obscene cost, the delay in actually working, and the extra damage to your liver all worth it."

Would you like to join our PR department?

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Japanese pussies slurp 'meow meow' sex wine

Spleen

Re: so what is the correct pronunciation?

The correct pronunciation is Ñian-Ñian. The 'n' sounds a bit like the first 'n' in the Spanish 'mañana'. And as said above, each 'nyan' is one syllable, not two. And it should rhyme with 'yarn-yarn' (appropriately enough), not 'can-can'.

Obviously, neither 'nyan' nor 'meow' sounds anything like a cat noise, anymore than a cat talking to you sounds like English. James Joyce's "Mrkgnao" is as good an onomatopoeia as any.

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US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

Spleen

I don't see anything wrong with Messiah, it sounds like a perfectly normal African name. Though it's not as good a name as Goodluck Jonathan (president of Nigeria) or Two-Boys Gumede (South African footballer, so named because he was a second son).

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Spleen

Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

Nominative antideterminism happens in cats too.

Many years ago we named our new kittens 'Bubble' and 'Squeak'. After about a week it became apparent that we'd named the fat one Squeak and the noisy one Bubble, so we swapped them over.

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Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed

Spleen

Re: Unwarranted conclusion

"If you want your opinion to be taken as fact, attribute it to a great figure from history."

-Winston Churchill

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