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* Posts by John H Woods

1372 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

That square QR barcode on the poster? Check it's not a sticker

John H Woods
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Re: Do you follow every random URL you encounter?

But I agree with Lee Dowling - you SHOULD be able to follow any URL without compromising your device. The fact that you can't is simply due to the fact that a lot of browser security sucks.

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Parliament to unleash barrage of criticism on Snoopers' Charter

John H Woods
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Mushroom

It's about trawling, not about process.

Your are not telling me that any remotely compent national security agency does not have a good few moles embedded in telcos, Google, Facebook etc. If they want data on any single person, I bet they can get it in minutes without going through any formal processes whatsover.

The only purpose for a dragnet this big (and this leaky) is to hoover through vast quantities of data to see if anyone is doing anything wrong - or, even better, to ensure that when the government do want to go after someone, there's a previous record of them having done something "wrong" like watching internet porn or visiting suspect sites.

I'm sorry to keep saying it, but we used to be prepared to risk nuclear war to avoid ending up in such a sick, surveillance society.

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Sir Patrick Moore

John H Woods
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Will never forget ...

... on being asked why he had never married (Desert Island Discs, I think) he mentioned his fiancee, Lorna, who drove ambulances in WWII. Unfortunately she was killed by a bomb and no-one else was ever good enough. Such a profound expression of loss in such a blunt statement.

I think he was a truly remarkable man, made more so by his blissful ignorance of his own greatness.

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'Facebook is completely undreamt of even by the worst spying nation'

John H Woods
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Re: Hypocracy

I agree. I'm not sure I would be very pleased if I were a shareholder in a company that decided to make millions of pounds less profit that it could. Whilst I think Starbucks should be paying more UK tax, the fact that they aren't is a failure of UK law, politicians and tax collectors.

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Stallman: Ubuntu spyware makes it JUST AS BAD as Windows

John H Woods
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Re: As an impartial observer

"It has been interesting to see the amount of bickering and disunity exhibited here."

I think that might be your confirmation bias. I certainly never trust anyone who declares themselves impartial. My impression, reading this forum, that there is broad consensus that RMS is a bit nutty, but often says true stuff, and that Canonical did a bad thing with their Amazon integration. That may of course be my confirmation bias.

If only there were some way of telling which of us were nearer the truth ...

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Major £30m cyberheist pulled off using MOBILE malware

John H Woods
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Funny how almost every malware issue ...

... designed to make money for criminals is targetted at the most popular, and therefore most profitable platforms.

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2020AD: Space tourists will be FOUND ON MOON

John H Woods
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Space tourism ...

... the ultimate tax on the super rich?

They want to enjoy amazing experiences, so they're happy to pay. We want better space infrastructure, so we're happy to oblige. If there's any better form of individual taxation, I'd like to hear it.

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Apple, Samsung patent judge: 'I feel like I'm in Groundhog Day here'

John H Woods
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A jury of their peers...

... wouldn't that be composed of representatives of other tech / phone companies rather than individuals? I really cannot see why a jury of laypeople is necessary, or even desirable in cases like this.

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The best tablets for Christmas

John H Woods
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Re: There is no 'Best' device any longer

You can replace your Maglite bulb with LEDs. You can't generally run over the knockoffs in an artic and still expect them to work.

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John H Woods
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Re: What about the no-names?

I agree and disagree. Yes it would be nice to know about no-name brands, but no, I wouldn't necessarily trust the Supermarkets. Although many will accept returns on things that are not what you wanted, they are not under anything like as much legal obligation as mail order companies, who must take something back, opened or not, faulty or not, if you just say you don't want it.

In fact I have often seen things in shops, whipped out my phone and ordered it from their own online store. Most recently some Beats from HMV (and they were cheaper). Oh I should just say they are for my fashion conscious daughter, before anybody says anything...

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Explosion of DANGEROUS IT GEAR injures and CRIPPLES MEDICS

John H Woods
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Re: I'll get downvoted, but...

Thanks for your replies, guys.

I would agree that Dvorak doesn't necessarily make you any faster, but it does make typing a lot easier for many of us. Because of my job I tend to have enough access to most of the machines on which I am required to work to remap the keyboard. I don't need to move the keys because I touch type (it's a great way to stop casual farting around at your terminal, because colleagues cannot commandeer your keyboard). Also nearly all HR will support your right to take your own keyboard in for health reasons (with the added bonus of better hygiene!) and you can quickly plug it in.

But whatever happened to chording? A long time ago I had a colleague who could take dictation at conversational speed on a Microwriter with his hand in his pocket. There's got to be a better way of entering text, especially for mobile devices.

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John H Woods
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I'll get downvoted, but...

... ban Qwerty already!

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Microsoft's anti-Android Twitter campaign draws ire, irony

John H Woods
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A lot of Malware is a billing problem

I don't worry about premium SMS or calling because I run my phone as PAYG. Every month I spend 15 on a 300min, 3000sms, ayce data. Any attempt to dial a premium number or send a premium message then fails because they are not covered in that bundle. Surely it's not beyond the bounds of possibility to have contracts that have similar properties?

How about a core-level setting for android that meant that premium numbers require user confirmation, regardless of whether they are initiated by a user or by an app?

I realise there are other ways to compromise a phone, but I'm pretty sure we aren't yet even doing the easy things that would make life harder for the malware creators.

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Start the clock! Public sector web MUST be disabled-friendly by 2015

John H Woods
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Re: 100 meeeeellion?

(ducks to avoid arrows)

Probably better off jumping?

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Fred Flintstone may not have been real but his pet Dino WAS - boffins

John H Woods
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Re: Bad dinoboffins!

@code monkey - who's to say it wasn't purple?

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The Times offers subsidised Nexus 7s to get subscribers

John H Woods
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Only one news paper worth subscribing to ...

... Private Eye.

Especially because you then have an excuse to write to them to say you are disgusted about something and you are cancelling your subscription.

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John McAfee 'captured'

John H Woods
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Re: I bet he used ReiserFS

Apparently he killed her because she got FAT. (Too soon?)

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Who's using 'password' as a password? TOO MANY OF YOU

John H Woods
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Re: ¡Hola!

Random hex is fine, as long as you remember it effectively shortens your password by at least 2 bits per char.

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Home Sec: Let us have Snoop Charter or PEOPLE WILL DIE

John H Woods
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FTFY

"The people who say they’re for this bill need to look refugees, veterans, survivors of the holocaust; descendants and relatives of those who fought in WWII etc. in the eye and tell them why they’re prepared to give the police the powers they need to turn the UK into a police state"

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Children increasingly named after Apple products

John H Woods
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In the UK ...

... you don't need a deed poll to change even your surname. You just tell everybody what your new name is, and that's that. There are circumstances where you might need evidence of a change-of-name, and then a deed poll might be useful.

"You know who gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks" --- Stewart Francis

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Ready for ANOTHER patent war? Apple 'invents' wireless charging

John H Woods
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@ForthIsNotDead

"Just try putting an egg on your mobile, and then call TalkTalk customer support (or anyone else that will keep you on hold for 30 minutes). Enjoy your egg."

I like my eggs cooked, thanks. But do feel free to try it yourself.

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LG claims UK Ultra HD TV first

John H Woods
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Porn ...

... will look terrible on this. It's bad enough going from SD to HD.

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Register readers mostly too ashamed to cop to hideous hoard horrors

John H Woods
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Update of old joke...

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess and a handsome prince. The prince asked the princess for her hand in marriage, and she said no. So instead of wasting his time on a quest to change her mind, he spent the rest of his life riding motorcycles; dating girls half his age; drinking as much whisky as he liked; [accumulating all the technological junk that he liked]; and generally having a great time --- and he lived happily ever after.

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Japan Airlines to serve KFC on Christmas flights

John H Woods
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Was it ISIHAC ...

... where I heard, in a round called something like "Questions, that if they had been asked, would have changed the course of history", someone said:

Colonel Sanders: "Now, be honest, you guys will tell me if this tastes like shit, won't you?"

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Staples to offer in-store full color 3D printing service

John H Woods
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Re: This is a handy service for all sections of the community to use!

@graham

kudos for not putting in your URL :-)

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Ten badass brainy computers from science fiction

John H Woods
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Karen

Come on you guys, what about Bikini Bottom? Plankton, the microscopic nemesis of Spongebob Squarepants, has a Mk II UNIVAC which is his W.I.F.E. (Wired Integrated Female Electroencephalograph). She is bossy, sarcastic and belittling. True wifely badassery, and definitely deserving a HAL rating.

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One in 10 Brit smartphone owners 'can't afford' to pay for apps

John H Woods
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Almost beer-ware

A lot of the apps I have 'purchased' (like the excellent offroad/walking mapper Maverick) have no significantly increased functionality when paid for. But some of them are so good that you can't help but feel guilty using the free version when you can buy the author half a pint of beer for their efforts.

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John H Woods
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Re: Apple vs Android

markyj "As an Android user, I rarely pay for apps because there's no guarantee that the thing will actually work"

I think you're wrong. I have downloaded apps that don't work a few times and have had no problems getting refunds from the market.

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Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox

John H Woods
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Re: This is assuming the products are the same

Tin is still quite expensive. That is why 'tin' foil and 'tin' cans are not made of tin.

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Dogs would say: SIZE is IMPORTANT, shape - not so much

John H Woods
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Explains why ...

... of about 100 words my dog understands, about 90 are foodstuffs. Although she's probably using scent as well as texture.

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South Korean convicted for tweeting Pyongyang propaganda

John H Woods
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+1 --- Re: Dictatorships

Psy reference

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Cyber blaggers autoplunder bulging accounts on Euro pay network

John H Woods
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Heuristics ...

... can be horrible. My wife had a stroke. I had to use a card that I hardly ever use while she was in the hospital and I was trying to get there in a hurry. Bought some stuff in the supermarket for the kids to eat - card ok. Hurriedly filled up nearly empty car before rushing off to hospital - card declined. Bank of course had my mobile, but they didn't ring it. And they weren't answering their phones either. Thankfully I found enough cash down the back seat to pay. In the supermarket you can blush, apologize and walk away, but at the petrol station you are out of options and immediately treated as a criminal.

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Google avoids tax with ‘Double Irish Dutch Sandwich’

John H Woods
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Re: I still can't understand ...

Ah, sorry I explained that poorly. What I meant was:

If I, in the UK, buy a camera from a company in Singapore, they make some profit and I make a saving. Their profit is taxed in Singapore as corporation tax. I have to pay VAT on the camera, and that goes to the UK. If I am a reseller, I charge VAT on the sale, and reclaim the VAT on the purchase. I therefore pay UK tax at the UK VAT rate ON MY PROFIT, regardless of my revenue.

If, for taxation purposes, a virtual product were still a product, as in your example, the UK company would pay corporation tax, at the same (UK) rate, on their profits, regardless of where their sales occurred. The Australian buyer pays sales tax at the same rate he would if he were buying in a store in AUS.

Now, if a UK subsidiary company choose to operate at a loss by paying a huge royalty fee to a parent in a nation with lower corporation tax, that would still be allowed. But they have to pay VAT on the 'virtual product' which is a 'licence to trade under that name for one year' and, because they obviously don't sell this licence onwards, they have effectively paid tax, at the VAT rate, on all their profit. If VAT and corporation tax were charged at the same rate, it wouldn't matter whether they declared the UK operating profits as having really occurred in the UK or not, they'd still being paying the same amount.

Again I suspect my simplistic approach is due to ignorance, but I'm interested to know what I am missing.

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John H Woods
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Re: two types of avoidance - or is it three

How about: Amount of tax Rovio owe to Finland = (Amount of business done in Finland / Amount of business done Globally) * Global Profits

They are already paying for the Finnish education system by employing Finns, who pay tax to Finland.

ratfox: "Heck, for all I know, Rovio has a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands which is "managing" Rovio's intellectual property for the whole world, and Rovio is not paying tax anywhere because that subsidiary is their only profitable company anywhere in the world." But the Cayman islands would clearly not be where they are making that money, and it should be clear that a loss-making Finnish company whose principle source of expense was a royalty payment to the Cayman islands, is not really making any real loss.

I realize this is naive, but am too naive to see why it is. Can you explain? Is it because there is no real way for the Finnish government to look at that loss-making company and say, "that's really part of the same company that's making a huge profit over there"

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John H Woods
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I still can't understand ...

firstly, I don't understand the politicians calling it morally questionable. Listed companies have a *duty* to maximize their profits.

secondly, politicians write the laws, and it this case, it appears they are even thinking of doing something

Given those two points, why is it acceptable for UK politicians to complain about this sort of practice whilst they do nothing about it, preferring to enact more pettifogging unnecessary legislation on other issues?

And why is it so complicated? Take the example given by ratfox: " if an Australian resident on a British website clicks an ad for a German company brokered by an American company, where is the transaction happening?" To me it is clear that the transaction is happening in Australia.

If I buy something on a website in Singapore, HMRC will be after me for the duty as soon as it comes into the country. Surely advertising is just a virtual product? I get that taxing purely on transactions will hit low margin business, but don't understand why the amount of tax payable by a multinational to a nation state isn't just their global profit multiplied by the relative size of their business (i.e. proportion of their revenue) turned over in that nation state.

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Plan your BLACK FRIDAY CHARGE: Google shop maps go desktop

John H Woods
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Hold on...

... you've just been giving thanks for everything you have, then the next day you try to kill each other over cut-price consumer goods?

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'Brit Bill Gates' Lynch: Only Mad Leo Apotheker understood Autonomy

John H Woods
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"flatly refute"

is a contradiction in terms. You can flatly deny, or perhaps flatly repudiate, but refutation implies proof whilst flatly suggests none has been, or will be offered.

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Legal wigs to sort out rules on internet defamation, contempt

John H Woods
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Re: Could be a result

Colin Millar: "Maybe the Guardian will wake up to how pisspoor some of its employees are..."

Doesn't matter: their online strategy (give away all content for free) is costing them so much that they can't afford to spend any more money on journalism - or even, I suspect, continue to spend what they are currently spending.

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Just what you needed: A cell phone with a remote control. No, really

John H Woods
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Yes ...

... and mine is still on the set of AAs that came with it, despite daily use.

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Wang's 'surging growth' to help tablets overcome notebooks in 2013

John H Woods
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me too...

... Wang, I mean. Paris is OK, but I wouldn't climb over swimbo to get to her ...

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Autonomy to HP: bollocks

John H Woods
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I remember ...

... the consensus here on the Reg was that the valuation was mad. Yet all the experts, KPMG and the usual suspects, and HPs own due diligence team, were sure that it was fine. More recently the commentard consensus seemed to be much more accurate than 'the professionals' re: facebook.

Amazing how the people who are paid to get it right can get it so wrong, often at so little cost to themselves personally, however much it costs their corporations.

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British Ruby conference cancelled after diversity row

John H Woods
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@John G Imrie

... pretty sure you mentioned it twice.

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John H Woods
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Tick African ...

... and write "aren't we all" on the dots for 'Other'

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Swedish woman cuffed for sex with skeleton SHOCKER

John H Woods
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Tony Chestnut

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How spreadsheets (nearly) conquered and killed the financial industry

John H Woods
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Excel is not even the best spreadsheet....

... fundamentally, the problem with spreadsheets is that you are trying to do matrix operations on a cell-by-cell basis. Lotus Improv had this sorted years ago. Instead of having, price in the A column, quantity in the B column and the 'C' column containing '=An*Bn', with a special case in row 1 which contains the title headings, you have columns called price, quantity and subtotal, with the single rule 'subtotal=price*quantity'.

If you want to see how a spreadsheet really should work, I exhort you to download a 30 month trial of Quantrix Modeller, the intellectual descendant of Improv, and blow your mind with it.

But it isn't just limited understanding of Excel that contributed to the financial crash. I have seen some amazingly stiff (in the technical sense) models using Monte Carlo integration (not in itself a bad thing) but which produced incredibly fragile results (where the outputs where extraordinarily, or even chaotically, sensitive to the inputs). And yes, they were used for trading decisions.

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The Sinofsky Letters: Defenestrated Windows overlord corresponds

John H Woods
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Qdir portable...

Not saying it in anyway means that the O/S provider shouldn't have had proper explorer functionality, but I get round it by keeping a copy of this handy. I think M/S and even some of the Linux Distros could learn a lot from how this great piece of Windows software works.

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eBay hit with antitrust suit over hiring practices

John H Woods
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Pseudofeudalism

What on earth do the people who draw up these agreements think they're doing? They think they are our lords and masters, that's what. Do you think for a moment that we could tie CEOs to particular organisations the same way without a shitstorm about how the economy needs them to be free to move from company to company?

The fact that they realise how bad that would be for them, and indeed the very principles of free-market capitalism, means that the only explanation for them trying to bind us to our corporate masters is that they actually think they are a different class of people to us. Well, maybe they are, but probably not in the way they think they are.

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Boss wrong to demote man over anti-gay-marriage Facebook post

John H Woods
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Re: I dont know what is more disgusting

Straight marriage isn't that disgusting: mixing of bodily fluids usually becomes vanishingly infrequent a few short years after the ceremony.

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'Spend police USB stick data loss mega-fine on IT lessons for cops'

John H Woods
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Re: Sounds like revenge...

@John Robson,

It's only a joke, and I actually think it's that courses, both ways round, are a good idea.

BTW I've never had to do a speed awareness course, as I prefer mpg to mph.

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