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* Posts by John H Woods

1403 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

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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Nokia's India threat letter: 'It's cheaper to make phones in China'

John H Woods
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But...

James51: "The whole 'they have poor people but have a space programme too, bad kitty' arguement always annoys me."

It will hold less sway when we stop giving them aid, in about 2015.

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Botched court doc outs Google as respondent in national security flap

John H Woods
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writing this ...

... whilst still laughing my ████ off.

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Gambling addict IT boss gets 7 years' porridge for £19m swindle

John H Woods
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I agree...

... this is weird: we are talking of a minimum of 35+ transactions a week and it took 3 years for them to cotton on? I also really cannot understand how the approvals system could be set up so that the only limit applied was a ceiling on individual transactions. If I were a shareholder I would also be wanting to hold some of the senior management accountable for this - are we sure it didn't require someone higher up to look the other way?

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UK mulls ban on tiny mobiles to block prison smugglers

John H Woods
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Simple solution ...

... just ban crime, then nobody will have to go to prison in the first place.

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BOFH: Backup server's failed? We have a backup backup server

John H Woods
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Boss Types

"And so it goes. I'm generally happy with a Boss who either wants to know nothing about the hardware and is happily ignorant OR with a Boss who wants to know every little technical detail and is able to provide intelligent insight into our activities, but a Boss who wants to know everything and yet still be ignorant is pushing the envelope as far as my patience concerned."

To enable one to select appropriate employment, all organizations should have X:Y:Z ratings (like NPK values for fertilizer) to measure these three categories.

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Did a bunch of bankers fax a stranger's sensitive privates to YOU?

John H Woods
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Facepalm

I got a good fax...

... from Orange. It was the proceedings of a disciplinary sacking of a member of staff for breaching a customer's privacy. It contained full details of the customer who complained, the staff member concerned and transcripts of several very sensitive meetings. Unbelievable.

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Step into the BREACH: HTTPS encrypted web cracked in 30 seconds

John H Woods
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Re: what is he saying?

"It isn't definitely going to happen, but there is a definite chance that it will". Sounds a bit light on information to me, because I don't think anyone would claim there is a zero chance of it happening. If he'd quantified it, even very approximately, it would have been more useful.

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SAP boss cops jail time plea after Lego barcode bust

John H Woods
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Re: "dish liquid"?.....

It's for cleaning parabolic antennas

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Roses are #f00, violets are #00f. This witty code is a boffinry breakthrough

John H Woods
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What's yellow and equivalent to the axiom of choice?

Zorn's Lemon

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Plods probe death threat tweets to MP - but WHO will rid us of terrible trolls?

John H Woods
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There goes another word...

We all used to know what 'trolling' meant and it did not mean making threats of aggression, sexual or otherwise.

Conflating the two is a serious mistake, not entirely dissimilar to the current conflation of the issues surrounding "sexual material that children might see" with "sexual material in which children are seen": the former arises from the law of unintended consequences (of having a free and open Internet); the latter is a hideous crime already covered by existing legislation. Nevertheless, in both cases, some people attempt to use the existence of the absolutely indefensible latter as a reason to take draconian against Internet freedom, by banging on about the former as if it is somehow related.

One of the lessons in Orwell's 1984 is that by altering language it is possible to create tramlines of thought which are very difficult to leave, and therefore those who control the language control - to a large extent - the minds: threatening someone with rape is trolling; threatening someone with rape is a terrible thing; trolling is a terrible thing; trolling should be banned. Of course no-one should be convinced by such invalid enthymematic logic, but the sad fact is that many voters cannot even dissect such arguments - and if the popular media continue to refuse to help them in this regard or, as in this case, actively assist the political class in maintaining the confusion, we are all going to suffer.

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Bugs in beta weather model used to trash climate science

John H Woods
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Headmaster

Re: If it's "not ready for prime time" ...

El Reg has an agendum? But surely if agenda can be usefully translated as 'to-do list' then it can also be singular - I have a to-do list. I'm pretty sure established English usage means 'an agenda' is acceptable now, even if it wouldn't have been for the Romans.

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Siemens to throw CEO overboard after profits slashed a FIFTH time

John H Woods
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A bit of a ...

... job blow?

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Hey, Silicon Valley milky drink fans: Starbucks intros wireless charging

John H Woods
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Almost there ...

If Starbucks could just look after my internet and power requirements, I'd be happy to make my own coffee --- as long as I was allowed to turn the roaster off when I wanted, rather than burning the beans for hours, as per policy.

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Kiwis rally against 'snoops' charter' law

John H Woods
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I came here to say the same thing. It's significant when politicians say stuff like that because it either shows that they are tragically stupid, or that they think we all are - either of which being sad state of affairs for an elected representative.

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Apple drops hints about future low-cost iPhones

John H Woods
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Hypothesis

"If there are lots of other tablets selling, I don't know what they're being used for."

If I want the mobile version of a website I'll ask for it in the URL and don't want it assumed on the basis of my user agent string, which is consequently set to masquerade as a desktop. Maybe I'm not the only one?

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Leap Motion Controller: Hands up for PC air gestures. That's the spirit

John H Woods
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If i'd invented this ...

... I'd be focussing on all those areas where being restricted to 2D can be problematic - modelling tools such as Blender and some of the game level creation kits (like Bethesda's GECK).

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Burger-rage horse dumps on McDonald's: Rider saddled with fat fine

John H Woods
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Re: Damn horses

I completely agree that pedestrian walkways and cycle paths should not have so much horseshit on them that you cannot easily walk or cycle on them - which is what you appear to be suggesting. But it's difficult to take that seriously if you think horse shit is more offensive than dog shit - surely you can't be serious?

A person riding a horse, although they should avoid areas where droppings will cause a problem, can absolutely not be expected to clean up! What do you suggest ... get off, scoop it into a giant rucksack and get back on? A reasonable size horse drops several kg per hour, cannot safely be expected to stand quietly unless tied - and also may not be that easy to get back on if you aren't near a mounting block.

If you have a problem with the horses producing the "obstacles", have a word with the riders about taking a different route. Suggesting they poop-scoop (except within about 50m of the yard gates) is likely to fall on deaf ears, for a very good reason.

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French boffins: Regard, our record-breaking long, fat, wet pipe

John H Woods
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Can I really be the first to say ...

Ceci n'est pas une pipe?

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