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* Posts by John H Woods

1372 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

BBC's Clangers returns in £5m 'New Age' remake

John H Woods
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Expensive...

wolfetone "I'd have preferred a £10/£20 reduction in the license fee to be quite honest."

Where did it say that this was going to cost £250-£500 million pounds a year? That's the discount you're asking for.

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WhatsApp crypto snafu drops trou on users' privates

John H Woods
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Cool ...

"Dutch mathematics and computer science student Thijs Alkemade" ... has an encrypted name

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McDonalds tells fatties to SUPERSIZE THEIR BRAINS

John H Woods
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Re: supersize me....

"You know you are eating toxic muck when even the *microbes* won't have at it!!"

I'm afraid this is bogus. How long can you leave a bag of flour in your cupboard? A pot of sugar? A sack of rice? If the fries aren't moist, and they go into a clean dry environment, they will probably dry before they rot. See also drying flowers, naturally mummification, etc.

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John H Woods
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Re: Everything in moderation

"Everything in moderation - including moderation" - Oscar Wilde (although I can always hear Billy Connolly saying it).

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Control panel backdoor found in D-Link home routers

John H Woods
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Sale of Goods Act ...

... although these things are normally litigated in the US, does anyone have any insight into whether the existence of a deliberately introduced massive security flaw (into a device whose function is partly to implement security between the WAN and the LAN) could count as the goods being unfit for purpose in the UK? Any law students fancy a go at a UK test case?

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Streaming TV Aereo's enemies lob sueball into Supreme Court

John H Woods
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Re: The other El Reg article...

unitron "So how did my comment (on the subject of competition) in reply to that article wind up attached to this one?"

perhaps it was too good to miss - I didn't read the first article so i'm glad it was moved/copied.

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GTA players get ersatz $0.5m each to make up for delayed hooker-beating fulfilment

John H Woods
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I offended an acquaintance ...

... who told me that Rockstar's morals were awful: he found out his 12 year old nephew was bragging about murdering prostitutes for money in GTA IV. I told him that as it was an 18-cert open world game where you were able to do a vast number of non-mission activities, and - to a large extent - make your own choices about how you play the game, the only morals that appeared to be at fault were the parents' and the child's.

He never spoke to me again.

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Double-click? Oh how conventional of you, darling!

John H Woods
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Double clicking ...

... is obvious shorthand for the thing you are most likely to do with two clicks - select icon, then launch, for instance. Yes it gets overused (Bethesda, I'm looking at you with your ridiculous check boxes on the GECK which have to be double-clicked to toggle the tick) but I think it makes perfect sense in many scenarios.

As do the two single clicks to rename a file. First click to select. Second click on a selected item, start editing. As with all of these things, if you explain to people why they happen, they can learn them. Same with kids and maths: you can just teach them formulae and hope they remember them as if they were mystical incantations - or you can show them why they really work. The latter is teaching maths, the former merely teaching them to pass maths tests.

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Who here needs to explain things to ELEPHANTS?

John H Woods
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Re: I don't need no stinkin' title!

Interesting point about moving gaze. Horses are particularly prone to looking at things that their riders or handlers look at. I've also once seen it the other way round: we had a pony that never spooked at anything - unless you were carrying a sandwich or sausage roll. She'd stand or walk quietly for an unpredictable period, and then suddenly snap her head to one side - if you followed her gaze she'd use that split second to grab your lunch.

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John H Woods
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@JeevesMkII

"dogs look at your finger" --- this is only true of dogs that are thick or untrained. Ever met an assistance dog, a police dog or a military dog?

Even our dog understands pointing, "get that over there". etc. She understands that "hide" means go out of the room till I say "seek" and she understands "warmer" and "colder" when she's searching. Her expertise is food words -- she knows about 20 including "kitchen" and she knows that the tune "tasty, tasty, very very tasty" [Cockney Waiters] means that she's going to get some bran flakes.

My parents dog understood "seek [noun]" for about 30 items, including 5 people. he understood how to play cricket (sit at leg off, ignore ball when thrown by bowler, fetch - or try to catch -- ball if hit by batsman and return it to bowler). He understood "not that one, get the other one" whether it was remote controls or shoes. He understood that if you pointed at him and said "bang" he should roll over, groan and lie still.

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

John H Woods
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Re: Where do you shop?

I had to Google Andreas Cross. I found a picture with an interesting dressed lady, and recognised the wooden structure behind her. Interestingly there is also a person actually called Andreas Cross on FB.

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Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

John H Woods
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Joke

Re: The historical accident of little-endian

"In all the (human, natural) languages that I know of, we start with the biggest quantity and work down" said Frumious Bandersnatch on the 4th of October, 2013.

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Rare gold iPhone 5s goes up against 50 caliber high precision rifle

John H Woods
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Re: No mention of the Ebay auction?

This is a bit weird - most news sites are now saying that the bid was in error and the seller has allowed it to be withdrawn. But it seems to me, given the way eBay works, that *two* people must have made such an error.

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Valve aiming to take the joy(sticks) out of gaming with Steam Controller

John H Woods
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Headmaster

Re: The chicken and the egg

I think that might be one fell swoop

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London schoolboy cuffed for BIGGEST DDOS ATTACK IN HISTORY

John H Woods
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Re: 24hrs later

I'm sure if we were to all chip in £145.50/year, the Reg could be a little bit faster with the stories. You don't come here for the breaking news, you come for the analysis ... and the commentary!

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Travel much? DON'T buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 3

John H Woods
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Re: lost sale

I agree. I was torn between the Sony Xperia Z1 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. No longer, as one of them is region locked - and it isn''t the one I would have expected!

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John H Woods
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Hey Samsung ...

If it can only be used in Europe, how about you only manufacture it in Europe? Businesses love the benefits of globabization but they seem to think it is ok to prevent us enjoying the same. S4 Active order cancelled.

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Google's latest PRIVACY MELTDOWN: Web chats sent to WRONG people

John H Woods
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Obvious but ...

"Complaints about GChat, meanwhile, are continuing to pile up"

... in someone else's inbox?

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Glowing Nook knocked to under 50 quid for Xmas

John H Woods
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I agree...

I think with current tech the only way to get a standard tablet to be truly suitable for extended reading is to put an e-ink screen on the back :-) I'd love a laptop with a fold out e-ink screen.

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Oracle sued over $33,000 bill for SaaS: STRIPPERS as a SERVICE

John H Woods
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Natalie Gritpants: "American Express isn't a credit card, it's a charge card and that's (one of the reasons) why lots of businesses don't accept it."

But, like Grogan, I still don't understand. If a business *does* accept it, and they charge it, surely they have *already* been paid, rather than issued some kind of IOU? Whether the card holder then repays the financial institution responsible is between them and it, rather than the original merchant?

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Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

John H Woods
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How about using your nose?

You probably don't leave a print of that everywhere you go ... except possibly on the window glass at the Apple store ...

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Boffins debate killing leap seconds to help sysadmins

John H Woods
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INSERT

“If PEOPLE WHO CAN'T UNDERSTAND leap seconds are eliminated from U̶T̶C̶ MAKING ANY DECISIONS OR POLICY WHATSOVER, there will be no perceptible impact on social activities and conventions ... but there will be significant reduction in the risk to national and international infrastructure and significant cost reduction in their implementation.”

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John H Woods
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Re: surely?

justincormack: "My computer does not need to measure the rotation of the earth. It does however need to agree what the time is with other computers for security reasons. It might also have to tell humans to do stuff at particular times, but that need not be that precise."

I'm not sure whether you are agreeing with the previous poster or not. But the key point is "agreeing with other computers". This implies a shared authoritative source of time: if not from the internet, then from GPS, and if not from GPS then one of the computers' relatively inaccurate on-board clocks will have to be considered the authorative time on that isolated network.

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One of last few iPhone 5Ss STOLEN from within MASSIVE POLICE CORDON at Apple Store

John H Woods
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"Most people here dissing iPhones seem to have never done a use case of the AVERAGE block/ette in the street (or even on the Clapham Omnibus)"

My wife uses an iPhone, and is a total fangirl. Here's a couple of recent use cases for you

(1) How do I ring this number of someone who has messaged me?

Press and hold the message. No? Oh.

(2) *looking at missed call* How come I have managed to block some caller?

Ah, let me see. *fiddles for several minute looking for list of Blocked Callers, then Googles*. Ah, you can't actually block callers on iOS6 (without an app), it's Apple-ese for Withheld Number.

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John H Woods
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FAIL

Re: You know whats funny...

"You do realize you come over as sad gits gutted that the pretty girl won't go out with you yet again , don't you ??"

I suppose you think Jeremy Clarkson disses the Vauxhall Vectra because he can't afford one, rather than because he is relatively knowledgable about cars, passionately interested in them, and is opinionated enough to express a view that he has developed as a result?

Most of the people here dissing the iPhone could have bought one for cash on launch day, for goodness sake. who do you think the commentarderate are if not mostly relatively well-paid IT professionals? It is perfectly valid for you to believe the anti-Apple and anti-iPhone sentiments you see are wrong, just as people may feel about JC's opinion about the VV; but to suggest they can only originate from envy arising from inability to afford one (or the lack of foresight that they might sell out) appears to indicate a very severe lack of understanding on your part.

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BlackBerry BLOODBATH! Company warns of nearly $1bn quarterly loss

John H Woods
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Re: No. Just no.

RonWheeler: "No ficus equalled failure"

Yep, they didn't give a fig.

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MPs: This paperless health service plan isn't worth the paper it isn't written on

John H Woods
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A lot of paper ...

... for context, there is probably upwards of fifty thousand tonnes of medical records in the UK. We are talking about a project that dwarfs Google books or any of the worlds major scanning projects. It's not impossible, but the logistics are harder than the technology.

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Angry Brazilian whacks NASA to put a stop to ... er, the NSA

John H Woods
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Stop the spying ...

... boycott GQ Magazine.

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Nokia's 41Mp Lumia 1020 'launches' in UK - but hoi polloi must wait

John H Woods
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Re: Megapixels are not everything

Nokia know this -- they are using the additional pixels to improve image quality, not to acquire 120MB RAW pictures. Their lens and assembly is of high quality, too, they are not just trying to bamboozle people with more megapixels = better.

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'NSA PRISM spies' shake down victims with bogus child-abuse vids claims

John H Woods
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Re: "Ceratin"

Quite possibly done on purpose. Scammers do not want to waste time with people who are sufficiently clued-up to catch on before they have fallen victim, and it has been suggested that poor grammar and spelling are de rigeur in order to ensure people who will be more difficult to con do not engage.

"In choosing a wording to dissuade all but the likeliest prospects the scammer reveals a great sensitivity to false positives."

http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/167719/WhyFromNigeria.pdf

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NIST denies it weakened its encryption standard to please the NSA

John H Woods
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Re: Infidelity

Indeed - the only practical solution is to find a new partner. When you discover your partner has been unfaithful, the only thing you know for sure is that you can't tell when they're lying.

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Parallels pledges roll-back fix after silent 'trojan' freebie install triggers punter outrage

John H Woods
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I'm not entirely sure...

... that this wouldn't count as an offense under the UK Computer Misuse Act. I seem to recall that it is also an offense to perform an act on a computer that would impair its safety even if it is not deliberate, but merely reckless as to whether such an impairment is caused.

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Cavemen innocent in MAMMOTH MURDER case: DNA evidence

John H Woods
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fandom: "Isn't it kind of counter intuitive? They thrived when there was little food and died off when it was abundant."

If a species that is adapted to survival when food is scarce, some evolutionary compromises (for instance, slower metablolism) could easily make it less competitive when food is more abundant.

"Anyway, didn't elephants evolve from mammoths or are they only distant cousins?"

I would say close cousins might be a better analogy, but wikipedia has what seems to be a reasonable family tree here.

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Torvalds shoots down call to yank 'backdoored' Intel RdRand in Linux crypto

John H Woods
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Simple h/w device?

Can't we get USB devices to produce random numbers from some kind of quantum noise - shot noise or something? Is it possible to devise a circuit that is both too simple to contain a backdoor but fast enough and random enough to act as a cryptographic RNG?

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Sexism in IT: starting at school

John H Woods
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Sexism in IT: starting at school

Anyone else spot this? https://www.usenix.org/blog/my-daughters-high-school-programming-teacher

I was pretty horrified.

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'Beat the lie detectors' trainer sentenced to 8 months in jail

John H Woods
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Sceptical

In the UK polygraphs appear to be the reserve of reality TV shows. I was particulary amused by Jeremy Kyle using polygraphy to determine which of 7 people had stolen some money, assuring us that the "Lie Detector" was "90 to 95% accurate". I don't believe that for a moment, but even if it were, the chances of any 7 tests being accurate is less than 70% at best and could be worse than evens.

I can understand how they can be used as interogation tools, but the idea that they can be used in evidence simply smacks my gob.

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Don't tell the D-G! BBC-funded study says Beeb is 'too right wing'

John H Woods
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They would say that, wouldn't they?

I know many people who consider the BBC to be biased against their own political leanings - the leftwingers think it is right wing, and vice versa. It also seems likely to me that a person with strong political opinions is more likely to view an approximately neutral stance as further down the spectrum of bias against their own views. And for this reason, I understand that many might be suspicious about someone with an acknowledged political axe to grind creating a report, certainly I'm tempted to agree with the first poster about commissioning the Pope to write a report on atheists.

Nevertheless, evidence is evidence, and I think we need to surpress our instinctive reactions somewhat and challenge the report with further evidence rather than simply dismissing it with a 'they would say that wouldn't they" argument. In particular, the statement quoted does seem to have some basis in truth:

"On the issues of immigration and the EU in 2012, out of 806 source appearances, not one was allocated to a representative of organised labour," the study concludes. In coverage of the banking crisis "opinion was almost completely dominated by stockbrokers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers and other City voices".

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: The mobe for CHUCK NORRIS TYPES

John H Woods
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399 ...

at Carphone Warehouse .... tempted

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Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

John H Woods
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Re: The Nestle Kit-Kat Chocolate is far too sweet

Have you ever tasted Hershey's though? The first time a US friend gave me some, presumably expecting me to have a "wow" moment, I thought I had been given joke chocolate. Nestle is hardly the height of chocolate but in my opinion it beats the waxy texture and soapy taste of Hershey pretty much hands down.

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Fukushima sends Japanese IT to the cloud

John H Woods
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Re: Meltdown

Hear bloody hear!

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Boffins confirm quantum crypto can keep a secret

John H Woods
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Dave ...

... for endless repeating signals from the past.

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Indian government to bar politicians from using Gmail for official business

John H Woods
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Re: Strange goings on

Never has a problem with me mailing truecrypt containers to people, using the subject "call me for decryption instructions" - so maybe some mailserver just objected to the .zip extension?

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Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

John H Woods
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Re: Power Cuts

For a brief moment, I felt like I held the world's most powerful remote control in my hand.

I had almost exactly the same experience. Had not read in the local rag that the council were going to switch off the streetlights. Went out to walk the dog at 10 seconds to midnight and tripped on my extension lead on the path - and all the lights in the town went out!

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Siri: 'STOP trying to strap me to your forehead. It won't work'

John H Woods
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Lots of people in IT ...

... knew that it was failing from the grapevine - for goodness' sake, it was even in Private Eye - how can they claim to not have known?

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Women in IT: ‘If you want to be taken seriously, dress like a man’

John H Woods
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I always try to make sure ...

... that my clients know that I can "do stuff" before I risk turning up to the office on rollerblades. I still wear a suit - haven't had too many tumbles with sartorial consequences - but I'm not a hugely ambitious skater.

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Selfie twerks its way into the dictionary

John H Woods
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Trollface

Miley (n.)

A young woman who is sexier before she's supposed to be than she is when she is.

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Three axes data-roaming fees in SEVEN countries

John H Woods
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axis/axes

No; I was expecting a nice infographic.

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Thought the PC market couldn't get any worse? HAH! Think again

John H Woods
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Fracking resolution.

If you want to sell laptops, stop pissing about with ultra low res "HD" screens and give us something worth upgrading to. It's not the only reason the tablets are kicking the arse of laptops, but I'm sick of seeing all new laptops being announced with last decade's screens.

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Boffins' keyboard ELECTROCUTES Facebook addicts

John H Woods
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Re: Ignores behaviourist research

peredur: "... or perhaps redirect to a really boring site"

More boring than FB? Last I looked, PylonOfTheMonth was no longer being maintained.

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