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* Posts by John H Woods

1302 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Michael Dell: PC profits plunge not down to tablets

John H Woods
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I thought this was interesting ...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/11/18/clayton-christensen-how-pursuit-of-profits-kills-innovation-and-the-us-economy/

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Xbox 720 to double-up as a DVR

John H Woods
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Err...

... 720 degrees would be spinning round twice then continuing to walk TOWARDS it

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Cops get 3D laser scanners for motorway crash sites

John H Woods
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Unhappy

Err...

... because it's potentially a crime scene? You can't just bin evidence because some people might be delayed by a few hours, especially when there are fatalities.

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Jonathan Ive is knighted in New Year Honours list

John H Woods
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Recognition

So the Queen has publicly acknowledged Ive's abilities more than the late King ever did.

I've no objection about Ive getting a Knighthood. But I'm pretty sure Ronnie Corbett should have got one. Was it just because he played a crack-addled version of himself alongside Ricky Gervais that time?

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Boffins drill into human language by terrifying chimps with vipers

John H Woods
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To boff ...

... doesn't this mean 'to hump' ?

Seriously though, a lot of these 'pejoratives' are nothing of the sort.

Many scientists are happy to call themselves boffins, many technical people are happy to be called 'geeks'. And quite a few black rappers refer to themselves as ... well you know.

Consider 'techie'. There's a huge difference between my boss saying 'hmm, we are going to need a techie for this' and the sort of people higher up who say 'well, let's not worry about the techies' concerns - we need to get the contractuals sorted'.

Sensitivity to context - the most underrated foundation component of critical thinking.

.

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Dixons Logik LE423ED11 42in passive 3D TV

John H Woods
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Amazon 1 star syndrome

Guys, when something is this bad, you owe it to us to check it isn't a faulty model. Otherwise you are no better than the green-ink brigade raving on Amazon: "The HDD arrived in a badly damaged box but I opened it anyway. It only worked for a bit and then it stopped. One star."

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Shoppers love fondling iPads to fill out sex health survey

John H Woods
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ewww

I don't want to touch a screen that's been touched by hundreds of ill people - especially dermatology patients!

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Toshiba Regza 32UL863 32in LED TV

John H Woods
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Game Lag

I'm always worried when I see that the best picture on a TV is achieved by having various picture processing machinery in play. In my experience that causes two problems for gamers: 1) you can get artificial sharpness (banding in sunsets or other diffuse light) and (2) LAG LAG LAG.

The amount of lag on the last LG plasma I used was so extreme (>0.2 seconds or so) that I was totally slaughtered online by people I can normally dispatch with ease. This amount of lag is totally irrelevant for non-interactive TV, but we really do need stats on this in reviews especially as no manufacturer is forthcoming about this on on their published specs.

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CERN boffins re-running neutrino speed test

John H Woods
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Happy

Yes...

... neutrinos won't go round a fibre optic loop. In fact they pass through pretty much everything, which is why creating a neutrino detector is such hard work.

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Boss leaves robot in charge of office

John H Woods
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Presumably ...

if working from home is fine if you send a robot to the office, the staff could also send their own robots to work?

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Feds nab granny in moon rock sting

John H Woods
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Happy

Free gifts to employees

Reminds me of when I were a lad ... I was told (but I haven't checked snopes) ...

A worker at a chemical plant in Middlesbrough was allowed by the foreman to take home a piece of perforated shiny scrap metal with that looked just right for sieving his garden. Sure enough, when ICI bods turned up to reclaim it, he was actually sieving his garden soil with it ... a piece of platinum catalyst worth considerably more than his house.

The story goes that he returned it, the foreman got a mild ticking off, the employee was given a large high quality steel sieve for giving it back, and the process for tracking the catalysts was substantially improved.

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Corning launches can-stand-the-heat Lotus glass for phones

John H Woods
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FAIL

Sorry, it's you that's wrong this time ...

The units of the coefficient of thermal expansion are length per length per Kelvin - therefore just per Kelvin (or per degree C, if you prefer). This one means that per degree C it expands by 3.4 millionths (of its original size). Not quite sure why this was expressed with the exponent -7 though.

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Binned PCs were stuffed with MoD and Sun staffers' privates

John H Woods
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Outsourcing fail

If you don't have an employee that can do this, you also don't have any employees who are qualified to keep an eye on those to whom you have outsourced it. Unless you outsource that too, and that's probably going to be more expensive than doing it yourself.

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US decommissions massive Cold War nuke

John H Woods
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time to call ...

... iSuppli!

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TomTom Go Live TopGear Edition

John H Woods
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s/d/c/

FTFY

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Rockstar officially announces Grand Theft Auto V

John H Woods
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yeah...

... sure it was. Everybody but the tiny minority of which you are part must just be an idiot then?

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UK shamed in high-speed broadband study

John H Woods
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Not typical ...

Exactly. I have a house which often (if you include nieces, friends etc) has the same population as your IT Company. We could easily have the girls on Youtube, the boys on the PS3s, wife doing IPTV and me doing RDP. whilst listen to IP radio. That's even before updates (to 6 or so devices), offline iPlayer recording, and the occasional bit of Skyping, sometimes with video.

I'm sure this wouldn't be acceptable in an 8-person company, but it's not that abnormal for a household. A *steady* 2Mb/s each (enough for std def video) would be good, and that puts us at a requirement for 10Mb/s minimum whilst everything is fully legal.

What actually happens is that the nominal 7Mb/s is progressively traffic managed so that if do a quick speedtest and then think you can start watching something on iPlayer it becomes unwatchable after the first 45 mins.

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How Jobs bent reality with LSD, Apple hype

John H Woods
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<pedantmode>

"Lesser artists borrow - great artists steal" Igor Stravinsky. But I don't think he ever attributed the quote, so that must make him a great artist.

</pedantmode>

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John H Woods
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<pedantmode>

40 fewer?

</pedantmode>

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Man 'drinks 2 pizzas' before skidding off road

John H Woods
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In case you are wondering...

... why you've been downvoted ...

boot FUCKING notes

HTH

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Pampernaut love-rat space shuttle pilot prangs plane

John H Woods
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Happy

err?

Too tabloid for the Reg? There *is* a reason for the Red Top styling.

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Air traffic control data found on eBayed network gear

John H Woods
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Flame

Outsourcing fail

If it's important enough ... DO IT YOURSELF. Not just data destruction, but software development, equipment maintenance (Railtrack?) and every other safety or privacy critical component of your business.

All of these major failures are, in the end, due to a manager who streamlined something, making the business slightly more efficient, getting a fat bonus, and going on to do the same at other businesses with an ever expanding CV of 'successes', with none of the consequent failures ever catching up with them.

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Boffins prove Queen ballad 'world's most catchy song'

John H Woods
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Happy

Nice one ...

... I laughed in agreement. But actually I disagree. Expanding all human knowledge is an important cultural objective, by my reckoning the overarching one. Science and engineering have often done themselves a disservice by suggesting their PhDs are *useful*, and that Arts degrees aren't. Sooner or later, the result of such thinking is bad for blue-sky research or other interesting stuff which may only become technology in the far distant future. With the consequence that such technology retreats further from 'far distant future' to 'never'.

If you stick to what is 'useful to the community now', on paper that has to be management degrees. Can you see where I'm going with this?

If you think about it, 'singability' is an interesting hybrid of musicology, neurology, psychology and anthropology. Doesn't quite sound so airy fairy when you put it that way.

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ISPs get flimsy self-help leaflet on net speed ads

John H Woods
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Unhappy

How about these rules?

If you advertise up to x Mb/s, then 20% of your customers should get better than 80% of this speed, and 80% should get better than 20% of it.

If you advertise a service as unlimited, the correlation coefficient between usage and speed should not be significantly different from zero.

If you claim 24 hour service, 80% of the time you should provide 20% of that users maximum service.

never gonna happen, I guess ...

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Internet fails to dethrone TV news (so far)

John H Woods
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I agree about R4 news programming, but...

... Humphrey Littleton's characterisation of the Today Programme as '20 minutes of news and comment packed into an exciting two hour package' has never been truer. Even in the 30 minute six o'clock news they stop about 17 minutes in to give 'the headlines again'. For goodness sake, if my attention span was that poor, I'd be listening to Radio 1.

Rolling news is just the same half dozen stories over and over again for hours. *THAT* is why the Internet is so much better for news, and why the serious news programmes are starting to bore people senseless. Just as someone pointed out above, you get actually get a greater breadth of news from satire: waiting a week then watching Mock the Week / HIGNFY or listening to the Now Show or the News Quiz. Or waiting a fortnight, then reading Private Eye.

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Attention metal thieves: Buy BT, get 75 MILLION miles of copper

John H Woods
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another correction :-)

Didn't you mean he'd over-estimated by about 2000% rather than 95%

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Brits registering .uk domains mostly get first choice

John H Woods
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You step back ...

Most people think that it's completely wrong for companies to buy huge numbers of tickets of highly anticipated events such as pop concerts, for the sole purpose of selling them at inflated prices later. I'm struggling to see how your justification of squatters doesn't apply to ticket touts. Or do you think that ticket-touting is legitimate business?

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Faster-than-light back with surprising CERN discovery

John H Woods
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You've got it backwards

If you are travelling at half the speed of a bullet and you measure a bullet going past you it looks like it is going half the speed of the bullet.

If you are travelling at half the speed of light and you measure a beam of light going past you it looks like it is STILL going at the speed of light, not half the speed.

It is this behaviour of light - that it does not behave like bullets - that gives rise to relativity - something has to give and that something is TIME (simplifying a bit here).

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Diary of a cameraman at the last shuttle launch

John H Woods
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Happy

Saw one...

... Feb 2010. Had to argue with the school that it really was worth taking my kids out during term time for what was going to be the last ever night time launch, followed by the (daytime) launch of the SDO a few days later. This article brought it all back for the second time (the first was seeing the Aurora Borealis over the West Midlands as predicted by the SDO). Thank you so much for reminding me - especially of the sound which was simply unbelievable.

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Bloke drives with knees while manipulating two mobes

John H Woods
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Happy

Can you please tell us ...

... which roads you drive on, and what sort of times we should avoid them?

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Gadgets give granny disease to kids

John H Woods
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Unhappy

Have you tried a different keyboard...

... and a mouse replacement? I developed RSI 20 years ago and although it is still occasionally a problem I have found that avoiding mice (e.g. by using a nipple, a tablet, a touchpad or a head pointer) and using a Dvorak keyboard I have managed to get it under control. Anecdotal, sure, but you could give it a go and see if it helps. Very best wishes for your recovery.

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NHS IT dino-project NPfIT should be killed off - NAO

John H Woods
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1.60 euros per person?

yeah ... right.

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Planet with British weather found 20 light years away

John H Woods
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+1

for parmos

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My Tracks travel tracker

John H Woods
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Thumb Up

While you're on GPS...

... check out Maverick. I bought the 'pro' version simply because the free version was so good I felt guilty using it.

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Lenovo shows ThinkPad X1 ahead of time

John H Woods
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@ vs "

is actually the US/UK keyboard setting.

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Ten... fantasy gadgets you wish you owned

John H Woods
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and ...

"I suppose if it was really accurate you could keep dinging the same piece of body armour until it finally gives way."

AND ... you can fire all but the initial shot from behind full cover - you only need to pop out to hit the target with the 'tag' (like the Bullseye rifle in Resistance).

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DIY kit computer goes Forth against Braben's RaspberryPi

John H Woods
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Squeak...

... or Scratch? Please STAY AWAY FROM THE BASIC!

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Is iPhone data collection legal?

John H Woods
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Yes you did...

... you just didn't pay attention - at least if you're in the UK. UK Phone books are slim these days because many of those who actually listen to the question 'do you want to be listed' say no. And you do NOT have to pay extra not to be listed, nor to have a withheld number, nor to withhold your number on a one-off basis (by dialling the prefix).

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Fairlight: The Rolls Royce of synthesizers

John H Woods
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Erm is it this Michael Moran?

http://www.rcm.ac.uk/Studying/Professors+and+Faculties/ProfessorDetails?staff_code=5213

"All the gear no idea" my arse. But the modesty is charming. And the article was fantastic.

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Natty Narwahl: Ubuntu marine mammal not fully evolved

John H Woods
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Unhappy

Absolutely agree ...

... not sure why you got downvoted, it seems a very sensible approach. Not saying that it is the upgraders' fault that the non-LTS releases are so flakey - that's Canonical's fault. If I want fancy UI elements on my LTS installs I add them under my own control - like the Cairo Dock.

Furthermore I almost never upgrade OS. I take a fresh machine (often a fresh virtual machine for a newish release) and try it out there. I would also never run the risk of breaking a working machine by repartitioning and converting to dual boot: you can always just pick up a small idle hard disk salvaged from an old machine, swap it in and try your hardware with the new OS.

Canonical have not just released a not-quite-ready OS, they are guilty of making it look like the upgrade is straightforward. (Note, whenever installing Ubuntu for friends and family I always switch off distribution upgrade notifications - at least nonLTS distro upgrades).

I prefer to be pessimistic and then pleasantly surprised, rather than optimistic and horribly disappointed. But, although years of experience has given me this attitude I do not for one minute blame those who have tried the optimistic approach and lost out - I know that horrible sinking feeling too well to be able to gloat, even if I wanted to.

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Three adds iPhone 4 to unlimited data package

John H Woods
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Flame

Pay as you go!

The best they can do then is terminate your unlimited data before the 30 days you paid for. They don't even know my name and address (cell triangulation excluded), so they'll have a hard time hitting me with a bill I don't expect.

Having said that I've had 5GB off them in 2 weeks, never less than 2Mb/s on speed test. I've been using my phone as a portable internet radio streaming device all round here (Stratford-upon-Avon area) with no problems. Best 2 things I've done recently (1) superCID my (Orange) Desire HD and (2) got a 3 payg sim.

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TalkTalk claims wooden spoon for highest level of broadband gripes

John H Woods
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Not only that ...

... but all you can eat data for 15/mo? I have 4GB over the last two weeks at a connection speed of never less than 2Mb/s. I could almost ditch my landline ISP!

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No stranger to the moleskin trouser

John H Woods
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Thank you so much

EOM

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A fifth of Europeans can't work out how much a TV costs

John H Woods
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Tesco classic...

Discounting the smaller boxes - e.g. the discount only applies to the 2nd biggest Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, so the big packet, with it's claim of 'best value pack' is actually wrong.

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Australians can’t read or count

John H Woods
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Happy

Panini ...

... is already plural. I love asking for 'a panino' in coffee shops.

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BT wholesale kit crash silences thousands of customers

John H Woods
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If we're being really pedantic...

surely it should be 24x7 and not 24/7?

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Microsoft's Google complaint not an April Fool

John H Woods
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Brilliant...

... we lost case X and we abide by that decision. We also want other companies to abide by that legal precedent. Even a non-legal type can see that's pretty smart.

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Mobiles really do fry your brains: JAMA

John H Woods
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I thought we already knew ...

... that mobiles cause a very slight increase in heating? Maybe just the warmth of the phone rather than the microwaves, but yes - a very slight increase in heating. Pretty much all metabolism goes faster (up to a point) with a small increase in temperature, it is just chemical reactions, after all. Glucose metabolism is probably simply the easiest one to see because it is such a major pathway for the vast majority of cells, certainly for neurons.

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Men at Work lose Down Under plagiarism appeal

John H Woods
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Next up:

Dvorak vs. Jaws

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Middle England chokes on Nice Baps

John H Woods
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Local to me:

Doggy Style - canine grooming

SKY Scaffolding - tag line: 'For a better erection'

and - best of all -

Bourton Drains - tag line: 'The Number 1 Name in the Number 2 Business'

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