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* Posts by John H Woods

1403 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

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Chromecast video on UK, Euro TVs hertz so badly it makes us judder – but Google 'won't fix'

John H Woods
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Re: "Never noticed the problem"

Some people don't. I was in a TV shop years ago when 100Hz was new and a couple came in asking which where the 100Hz TVs. The salesman went to find out, and I just pointed out the ones I could see. "You know a lot about TVs?" they asked? "No - I can just see which ones aren't flickering" I did wonder why, if they couldn't, they wanted a 100Hz TV.

Judder, audio and video artefacts are similar. They drive some people wild, and others barely notice. But -- it's still completely unacceptable for Google to manufacture an international product that only works properly in the USA. It doesn't cost less in the UK because it is less suitable - you'd have a good argument for taking it back as unfit for purpose (IANALBIPOOTI).

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

John H Woods
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Re: It's not nesessary the evil

"But imagine that somebody killed your relative ..."

Stupid argument, I'm suprised you're not ashamed to make it. I was going to explain why it's stupid, but I'm sure you're too stupid to understand, so I won't bother. Perhaps I'll just ask whether you would like government/police operated TV throughout your house? No? But what if somebody killed your relative?

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I need a password to BRAKE? What? No! STOP! Aaaargh!

John H Woods
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Re: I've only come to comment...

I, too, really laughed out loud. So much so, that I drove my Audi into a marked police car.

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UK's non-emergency police and NHS Vodafone systems go titsup NATIONWIDE

John H Woods
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Re: RAC too.

"Anyone else would have fitted the spare and carried on..."

Since you appear so interested: I attached the tube of Tipp-Ex thoughtfully provided by Audi; attached the 12V inflator as instructed; and it all blew out of the tire all over the road. Obviously there are other circumstances that could have been impossible for a driver to even attempt a repair.

If you are *really* interested, the situation was complicated by the fact that it is a company car, operated by Lex, whose 24 hour line goes straight through to the defunct RAC number. So I can't just call the AA, tell them the RAC are tossers and that I want to change membership. I can't have the car towed by A N Other contractor as I have no authority to do so, and no-one to contact to get that authority. It is a cabriolet, in the middle of nowhere, at 02:00 on a freezing cold winter night. I have two phones on two different networks, a blanket, water, chocolate. I think the idea that I was unprepared is ludicrous - my only mistake was giving the RAC so long to answer the phone before calling a cab, but I knew it was going tobe more than £100, and hard to reclaim (it was -- actually, I still haven't got it back).

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John H Woods
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RAC too.

I had the misfortune to have a blowout 5 minutes into a 4 hour RAC outage earlier this year. They blamed 'Vodafone'. I told them I thought it was pretty unsatisfactory, given that their entire business model is answering the phone and dispatching patrols that they didn't have a backup.

For instance, I could have tweeted them my location. At least they could have announced their outage on their website and I wouldn't have waited several hours before giving up and calling a taxi. I was also amused that they told me 'coordinates don't work' when I told them my location.

Still, before I ramble off about that, my point is this: what is all this single-point-of-failure nonsense and could it possibly have anything to do with 'corporate cost control' being all the rage rather than an emphasis on achieving the business' publicly stated goals?

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Leaked screenshots show next Windows kernel to be a perfect 10

John H Woods
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Re: Windows 7 is too blame

"Actually we do need a new filesystem"

Perhaps we just need to use, or allow the use of, the well-established modern ones - like ZFS.

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Now Uber can take EVERYONE for a ride

John H Woods
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Playlist

How about Meat Loaf: "Life is a Lemon (and I want my money back)"

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DAY ZERO, and COUNTING: EVIL 'UNICORN' all-Windows vuln - are YOU patched?

John H Woods
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Re: Hopeless...

"I'm afraid the engineering-a-bridge equivalence argument that people like to cite doesn't apply because the software logic in a large system can be exponentially more complex than the maths involved in making a bridge stay up" -- boltar

Exactly - if bridges could fail because of a submillimetre-sized misalignment, there wouldn't be any still standing. There are essentially no engineering problems in any other discipline that approach the complexity of software engineering problems.

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Net neutrality, Verizon, open internet ... How can we solve this mess?

John H Woods
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In case you guys haven't seen it ...

The Oatmeal to Senator Ted Cruz

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New GCHQ spymaster: US tech giants are 'command and control networks for TERROR'

John H Woods
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Re: Facebook and Tor

"I'd love to know what they'd gain by imprisoning me"

I still don't get your mindset; you cannot imagine being framed, Colin Stagg style, but you can imagine the very unlikely situation that you are involved in a terrorist incident.

The simple stats are that the police or security services are more likely to kill you than the terrorists are. Now, say they do, would you rather your family eventually get justice and compensation or would you like to live in a world where whatever the police or security services do is right by definition?

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John H Woods
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Re: @Joe 48 - Facebook and Tor

"I still can't see it ever happening to me ... either way I'll take my chances." - jon48

So, you're prepared to take the risk of your rights being eroded, but you aren't prepared to take the much smaller risk of being a victim of a terrorist attack?

Here's my get-rich-quick tip for you: instead of paying your household insurance, spend the money on lotto tickets.

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Verizon set to pay $64 MEEELLION for overbilling customers

John H Woods
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Meeellions

"It's now a very threadbare, cringworthy running in-joke. Like:

1) Hefty Boffinry Mag

2) Yahoo! Headlines! Like! This!

3) Err .... that's it

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So long, thanks for all the ...er, FISH BRIGHTER than boffins thought

John H Woods
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I had zebra fish ...

... in a tank opposite the telly --- they would get fed when the evening's telly was over. When the telly went off, up they all came to the surface; I swear some of them even learned to recognize the tell tale signs of the cast-list going up before I even hit the off button.

Even C. a. auratus are certainly a long way from the "Holy Carp! When did I get a castle?" stereotype.

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Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

John H Woods
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I'll insure him for that

n/t

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Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US

John H Woods
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Re: @ dogged (was: Why, exactly ...)

"Humans have lived for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years without this kind of tat" -- jake

For most of those millenia, 35 was old. Whilst I agree with your sentiment in a lot of cases, hard data can be useful. My old GP used to reckon that if every bathroom scale was swapped by the NHS for a blood pressure monitor, several lives would be saved: you know if you're fat when you put on your trousers; you pretty much have no idea what your BP is without measurement.

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Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness

John H Woods
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Re: I hate to say it but....

"There is absolutely nothing in luxury products that guarantees better quality or durability"

[IANALBIPOOTI ...]

Price is one part of the context surrounding the "implied terms" of quality in the UK's Sale of Goods Act (SOGA). A £600 washing machine would usually be expected to last longer than a £150 one, unless the more expensive one was for a specific low volume use (e.g. in a caravan) and the buyer had used it as if it was for normal volumes. But a premium product like a Louis Vuitton bag is not always more expensive because a "reasonable person" has a higher expectation of durability. One might possibly have a case with such an item if it were badly made, however (as 'freedom from minor defects' and 'appearance and finish' are also possible implied terms).

The whole SOGA is based, very reasonably, on what a reasonable person would expect. It is quite possible a judgment would take into account that a reasonable person knows that a Mac will be more expensive than a similar specification PC and that the premium implies qualities other than increased durability (compared to the PC) --- but it is also quite possible that a judgment would say that an expensive computer should last longer in normal use. If it turns out you've been maxing it out 24/7 the judgment may be different again.

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MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

John H Woods
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Re: a study from Canadian health researchers

"Until every single person on the planet has everything they do recorded and every health issue recorded this kind of statistical "study" is just a waste of money" --- Lusty

If that were true, and every datum needed to be collected, opinion polling, a significant amount of quality control and a huge amount of science would be invalid --- we'd still be unsure as to whether or not cigarettes were harmful.

IS2R that a randomly chosen sample of 1000 from a population of millions would give you a worst case 95% confidence interval of about 3 percentage points on an either/or survey question. This is obviously a more complex case, but if sampling is good enough, it is certainly possible to draw conclusions about the population with a high degree of confidence.

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

John H Woods
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Re: 16TFlops for £97m???

"No, they mean TFLOPS. 16PFLOPS is world top 4 territory and not something the Met Office are buying."

I'm pretty sure they aren't getting ripped off that much. The Cray Titan at Oak Ridge is ~20PF and that was $100m in 2012. It's got to be Peta rather than Tera in this case.

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Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home

John H Woods
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Re: Time dilation

"There's something wrong with your maths."

Ah yes, *wipes egg from face*, looks like I should debug the old mental arithmetic unit again.

But I was interested in the idea that it gets harder and harder to accelerate because the mass of the craft increases - doesn't that just mean the mass of the propellant increases as well, so that the thrust stays constant?

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John H Woods
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Time dilation

"It doesn't change the fact however, that space is really, really big, and it would certainly take decades - if not centuries - to do 8 light years to our next nearest star"

It doesn't necessarily take that long for the crew. A constant 1g acceleration would get you to near c in 30 years; cruise for a bit with the engine off; then decelerate at 1g for 30 years. As time is hardly passing on board at all during the weightless period it is (a) not that uncomfortable and (b) you can travel almost as far as you want in a few hours.

So if we can crack the propulsion system, and the living and breeding in space problem, pretty much everywhere in the universe is only about 3 human generations away. Of course, the civilisation they've left behind might be long gone ...

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Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

John H Woods
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I'm thinking of one of these as a company car ...

... but quite like the look of that Blue Diesel (88mpg) engine. I don't tend to fiddle with the controls very much when I'm driving, so the touch panel is less of an issue for me but it's still a disappointing direction for car interfaces. Can't they at least put ridges on the touch screens?

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Let's make an app that POSTS your POO to APPLE HQ

John H Woods
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Re: My first Wooden Twig of Fail

"thank you fanbois nation for this amazing shiny trophy"

Is it shiny? I always envisaged a rather ordinary stick that should be handled only by one end.

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Breaking records: Google exec in terrifying SKY PLUNGE DRAMA

John H Woods
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CIF comment

(spotted on CiF, - Comment is Free, on the Guardian site)

"I hear that the CEO of Tesco has fallen further and faster"

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COMET 67P is basically TRAILING a HORRIFIC STENCH through space

John H Woods
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Re: Hydrogen Sulphide doesn't stink

Off the top of my head I suspect you may be be slightly mis-remembering ... pure *methane* doesn't smell, but tends to contain contaminants that make it very smelly. (In the case of domestic gas, they actually add ethanethiol (ethyl mercaptan) or other sulfur compounds because non-smelly gas leaks are dangerous!) I think H2S does smell (but, when pure, not nearly as badly as people think - those are (similar) contaminants).

You are absolutely right about it being extremely toxic though.

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

John H Woods
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Charm menu ... grrr ...

Now *THAT* is poor interface design: the charm menu slides out of the MIDDLE of the right hand side of the screen, but only when you put the mouse in the TOP or BOTTOM right hand corner?

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Computer misuse: Brits could face LIFE IN PRISON for serious hacking offences

John H Woods
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Re: "Serious Crime Bill"?

^^ COTW

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Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers

John H Woods
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Re: Totally inadequate

Hadvar: "Chris Huhne ... actually did time for what was basically a speeding offence"

No, he was found guilty of perverting the course of justice; I would contend that is a good deal more serious than speeding (except where the speeding is serious enough to be another offence), although it remains, as you say, a non violent first offence.

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John H Woods
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Re: All very well...

"The problem is there is nothing they can do"

Not whack-a-mole against the sites, true. But presumably at least some of the ladies (for it is usually they) remember which partner took / possessed the pictures that have been published? If the police followed up a number of these cases they'd find at least one they could prosecute ... and a well publicised successful conviction may be a more effective deterrent than another new unenforced law.

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Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST

John H Woods
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Re: Plug ugly?

Gomez Adams: "Compared to all the currently available smart watches it is a Venus de Milo"

You mean it's ancient and doesn't have hands?

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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

John H Woods
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But maths IS fun!

The reason maths is incorrectly believed to be not equal to fun is crap teaching and contagion from adults who believe it is not fun.

I was absolutely furious to hear that my niece's grandparents, worried she wasn't up to snuff for her new school, had given her reams of sums to do (some of them they marked incorrectly, ironically).

This is turgid; no wonder she texted me that she hated maths. So I texted back to her to find me a pinecone, see that it was made of two spirals of 'squares' and tell me the number of the squares in one of the spirals. She texted me the bigger one was 13; I texted back the smaller one was 8.

Guess who's interested in maths again?

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Bono apologises for iTunes album dump

John H Woods
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Re: Just a thought....

"... no real interest in trawling through all of the comments so far, but:"

Isn't that a bit rude? If you can't be bothered to read what other people think, why do you think they'll care what you have to say?

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

John H Woods
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Not even slightly true ...

swallowing hard and putting her comments in the most sensible light possible it would appear she is using "the Internet" as shorthand for "The Contents of the WWW". Huge amounts of this content and design is created by women, and quiet possibly they are responsible for a slight majority of the content on the social media sites.

What a totally crazy thing to say ... she's a parody of herself.

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Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug

John H Woods
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Joke

Re: In Honour...

Is "chub[b] change" the amount one has in one's safe?

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

John H Woods
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Re: FM Reception Crap, Ditto DAB

"It seems incredible that Freeview TV works but basic radio services don't."

Actually, how about building Freeview receivers into mobiles? Aren't there radio stations already on Freeview?

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John H Woods
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Re: DAB is on my wish list for mobles

"how do people listen to 4extra or TMS in a car without DAB?"

I listen online using an old Samsung Galaxy S2, Bluetoothed to a receiver plugged into my audio system. I use Three's £15/month pay as you go bundle for unlimited data, and routinely burst 30GB/month without any complaint from them. And, with an app that does reasonable buffering, there's very few places round here (rural Warwickshire) where it goes quiet. (And when it does, it pauses quietly, no bubbling mud).

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10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

John H Woods
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Re: Your mother—and mine

If I were to accidentally say "can I speak to [x] please" rather than "could I... " and someone were to reply "yes you can, but you may not" I would be tempted to ask them, if I hadn't hung up, to clarify whether they were using the term "may" to refer to permission or probability; as it is commonly used in either sense (in a similar manner to "can" being used to refer variously to permission or ability).

The real faux pas, in my book, is asking whether you could speak to someone before you say who you are. Excuse me, but you called me - don't ask me for my name, or ask to speak to someone by name, before you identify yourself. It's so common these days, however, that my first sentence on the phone is nearly always "may I ask who's calling please?" --- although I'm always tempted to say "For security, I first need to take you through some questions. (1) who are you? (2) for whom do you work? (3) is this a business call? (4) could you please estimate the likely duration of the call for me? (5) I need to make you aware that I record all calls for quality assurance purposes ... etc"

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Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties

John H Woods
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Re: OK I admit it

This is very interesting, Chemist, thought about publishing the data somewhere? However, I'm not sure it applies to everybody. I have to say, I eat far more than is justified by my exercise levels; I'm a bit of a porker, but I don't seem to be getting any fatter as 50 approaches.

In fact, I'm doing a little bit more exercise now, and it's making me lose weight, despite the fact it makes me hungry and I eat more. And by more, I don't mean slightly larger portions, I mean coming in from a 2.5km run and eating 3 slices of toast and honey - vastly more calories than I have theoretically burned. If my metabolism worked like yours apparently does, I'd be gaining several kg per month.

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Bird of HEY.... that's MY DRONE! Hawk attacks geek's quadcopter in nature v machine clash

John H Woods
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"... we need laser hawks...."

Ted Hughes was way in front of you there (with A Sparrow Hawk) ...

"Slips from your eye-corner [...] \ Those eyes in their helmet \ Still wired direct \ To the nuclear core – they’re alone \ Laser the lark-shaped hole \ In the lark’s song."

Although we possibly have a drone-shaped hole in this case...

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Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped

John H Woods
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Stupidity.

If you can see it you can record it - even by pointing another flaming camera at the screen. Beyond that there's ... I dunno, VMs, Bluestack, Screenshots ... the list is endless.

The idea that pictures can ever 'cease to exist' is surely a massive misrepresentation of the truth.

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Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

John H Woods
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Cabriolet?

Hurry and and make one! --- But probably a version of the S rather than the D :-)

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Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

John H Woods
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Re: Fat luck on the recording

A friend who ran a small shop told me she had been conned into a very expensive utility switch. A famous energy company insisted she had agreed to a deal that she would (being canny almost to the point of being a Yorkshire lass) never have agreed, but were absolutely insistent she had assented on the phone.

We asked for a recording and actually got one. Listening to it I had the almost incredulous realisation that it was fake. I was able to analyse it with Audacity and prove beyond any reasonable doubt (in no small part due to a very fortunately timed quiet but distinctive background noise - the shop door bell) that the 'yes, that's right' which was supposed to imply consent to the deal was in fact a copy/paste of the response she had given when asked to confirm her address. The forgery was, despite a few blunders apparent only under a reasonably technical analysis, pretty good. When the police listened to the call, they assured me they didn't think it sounded fake - until I showed them the waveforms; then they were stunned.

Famous energy company, of course, blamed a rogue agent, and settled out of court, so unfortunately I was not a party to, as I had hoped, an actual fraud trial against them. Still my fee & reward bought me a new bathroom, so it wasn't too disappointing. But the moral is that call recordings, even when they are produced, may not be all they appear: record your own side (preferably on old fashioned cassettes with a nice bit of mains hum, and the radio on in the background) if you want to be sure.

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

John H Woods
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"I had yellow LEDs as well"

I always thought yellow ones were just green and red superimposed. IS2R a very exciting LED in Tandy when I were a lad ... it was green if you powered it one way, red the other and yellow when connected to AC - I had always assumed it was a red and green lumped together the opposite way round to each other.

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EE TV: Network snubs 'Auntie's antique' for mobe-happy set-top box

John H Woods
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"data boost on your mobile data bucket from 4GB to 10GB"

I've used 30-50GB per month on my Three mobile for years (at £15/pcm PAYG) without even doing much video, can't see 10GB lasting long. It's only about 5-10 hours of video, surely? I cannot see how the box spec, and the supplied service, are worth anything like the amounts suggested.

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£150m, three years... TWO base stations. Gov.uk? You guessed it

John H Woods
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Quite surprised ...

... that Google didn't collect 2G/3G dB ratings for networks when they were doing their big w̶i̶f̶i̶ ̶s̶l̶u̶r̶p̶ mapping exercise.

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