* Posts by James Anderson

538 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007

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Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

James Anderson

Why on earth would the EU renegotiate?

Britain subsidises the EU for little or nothing in return -- why would they give that up?

If the UK leaves we hold all the cards on trade negotiations. 130 billion imports from the EU vs 78 billion exports to the EU. So in any tariff war the EU would be the loser.

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James Anderson

Re: @Custard Fridge: Cracking article

So how exactly will this reform take place?

The European parliament is powerless and capable of little more than claiming expenses.

The council of ministers is dominated by Germany who operate using 19th economic theory driven by thier race memories of hyper inflation. The second most dominant member is France where Napoleon and Louis 14th are still regarded as role models.

Add to this the fact that in the next five years a majority of EU counties will have nasty right wing leaders, Poland and Hungary are there already, Austria is getting there, France is likely to elect Madame Le Pen (one of the few French politicians with a detectable pulse).

So thie choice is for an "Ever Closer Union" of people who hate each other, or, keeping a reasonable distance from the forthcoming mess.

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Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

James Anderson

Re: So why is Brexit the answer?

Its just one of many many areas where the EU acts against the UKs interest.

The main thrust of the article is that the FT article said that this lax and expensive patent regime was beneficial to the UK quoting only IP lawyers -- all of whom stand to gain from a flawed and dysfunctional patent system.

If you really want to look at how the EU "benefits" the UK -- take a look at the fishing industry. British waters are over fished while British fishing ports are in economic ruin.

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Workers rejoice! Marx’s vision will become reality, argues SAP veep

James Anderson

I think the 18th century Enclosure Acts or 19th century Highland Clearances provide a better historical model for what will happen in the next decade.

The rich will own the technology, the government and the "means of automation" the rest of you can starve or work for peanuts.

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Will you get reimbursed if you're a bank fraud victim? Brits think not

James Anderson

Whats the point of wading through all the legal gobbledygook when

a). Somewhere buried in there is the "we reserve the right to change these conditions with a moments notice".

b). Consumer and Credit law trumps most of the conditions so its mostly bluff.

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Monster Cloud and an angry customer wanting a refund: A Love Story

James Anderson

Re: "We are the engineers"

I doubt if anyone with a real engineering degree would be working in customer support for a reseller of another firms storage.

In Canada its illegal to call yourself an engineer unless you have a degree or similar from an accredited institution. Giving a minimum wage zombie the title "Support Engineer" is an insult to all those who slogged though some of the most difficult and challenging courses available and go on to design build and maintain the fabric of the modern world.

(For the record I am not an engineer although HR once stuck me with the job title "Software Engineer" ).

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IBM's quantum 'puter news proves Big Blue still doesn't get 'cloud'

James Anderson

But the concept is so this<H<H<H<Hlast centuary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tymnet#Beginnings:_Tymshare

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Ted Cruz slams DNS overseer ICANN a second time

James Anderson

Rather scary

that I find myself in agreement with with a rabid Texan pit bull.

However it has been clear for a number of years that ICANN is not fit for purpose. (Always assuming that the purpose is not to provide sinecures and ego boosts for a bunch of self serving members).

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Bloaty banking app? There's a good chance it was written in Britain

James Anderson

Re: re:The average lines of code (LOC) 4 Chris Miller

Don't require the environment division on most compilers.

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James Anderson

Re: re:The average lines of code (LOC)

You can do a cobol hello world in about six lines.

About the Sam as c and less than Java.

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Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit

James Anderson

Competition for the most illogical reason to stay or leave.

The proponents on both sides are coming up with some bizarre and spurious arguments for staying in or leaving.

There are numerous examples such as how leaving a organization with no military or law enforcement arm would "harm our security".

Or how leaving a club of counties with the highest youth unemployment in the developed world would "be harmful the future of British youth".

It would be nice if El Reg would award one of its Vulture droppings to the silliest "reason" of the week.

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Ello ello ello: Bungling Met cops blew £100m on failing tech wheezes

James Anderson

Change of perception needed

So (made up numbers real stats probably a lot worse) 50% of IT projects fail in some way, 20% fail completely.

It has been so since Admiral Grace stuck a cockroach in her diary.

Why is everybody pretending that every project will come to fruition and achieve all its goals perfectly within budget if only we fill in enough Prince 2 forms.

Instead we should accept reality, stop criticising any public body that cancels a project and instead praise them for having a go. After all you are not going to get any successful projects if they are not started for fear of failure, and, they will probably cost less if you drop the "best practice" management methodologies.

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

James Anderson

Just got my lovely lenova yogi back.

Three days ago a Windows 10 update trashed my machine.

Update hung overnight and I had to spend an hour persuading it to restart.

After update was completed the machine was stuck in "Tablet Landscape" mode which is absolutely useless for a laptop.

Another two hours persuading it to undo all the updates and back to previous verison.

Video stopped working, and the menus needed to get to the recommended workarounds went haywire.

Another day of fiddling and rebooting got the whole shebang back to where I was last week.

It seems that MS only supports their own "surface" hardware and these days those with other machines are on their own.

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Swiss try to wind up Apple with $25k dumb-watch

James Anderson

Re: Presumably the price reflects how good it is at telling the time

The price reflects it bling for oligarchs status value.

If you want a watch to tell the time accurately then Citizen wins every time whether it's pure mechanical, pure electronic or a hybrid.

I will get one of their solar powered GPS regulated watches when they make them a little smaller.

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Kids' TV show Rainbow in homosexual agenda shocker

James Anderson

If he was upset by Rainbow....

He obviously has never watched Captain Pugwash!

Not a single female character and as for Seaman Staines!

Historical note: the original script was full of Gay references which the script writers thought would be picked up and censored -- but the innocents at the BBC were ready to broadcast it "as was" until the shame faced writers fessed up at the last moment and hurriedly cleaned up the scipt.

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Infosec bods rate app languages; find Java 'king', put PHP in bin

James Anderson

Well looking at your graph Java and PHP are actually pretty close 23 vs 19 per cent of "safe"code.

Its also pretty obvious that C# does much better than Java, could a prejudice against everthing MS be at work here?

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Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'

James Anderson

Re: My 2¢

Simply not true -- people want to listen to the best music.

Now "best" is highly subjective yours might be Justin Bieber or One Direction mine tend twords hoary oldies like Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. In my highly objective opinion no one has captured the feel of small town life better than Tom Waits "Heart of Saturday Night" only the Tom Petty come even close.

The point is for any given individual the difference between the best and the rest is huge. So listeners, popularity and money will automatically flow to the "best" artists and the also-rans will be left with SFA unless they manage to tie up with a really clever producer who is good at hype and marketing although normally its the producer who pockets the cash.

Adding to this problem is that you are not just competing against your contemporaries you are competing with 60 years of back catalog -- Elvis Presley and Micheal Jackson still outsell most artists with a pulse.

So its pretty much inevitable that you will have a few thousand rich rock stars and several million hopefuls with day jobs.

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Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs

James Anderson

Re: Oh yeah...

With all due respect to Boeing and their excellent engineering, I doubt they have any systems that handle 400 transactions per second of real people's money. Or calculate the compound interest on 2000000 accounts in under an hour at the beginning of every month.

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So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?

James Anderson

Definately not limited liability companies

In the UK at least limited liability was introduced after some 1000 or so "innocent" shareholders were ruined by the Bank Of Glasgow's collapse in 1877.

Capitalism was in full swing well before this. Interestingly one of the victims was John Buchans (39 Steps and other antisemitic potboilers!) grandad. As a lawyer he was executing the will of a large shareholder and was deemed liable for the companies debt as the shares were in his possession at the moment of collapse.

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Boeing builds British Airways 787 Dreamliner in 4 minutes

James Anderson

Air line pricing.

The machines have taken over and the pricing booking systems are incredibly complex.

But the basics are quite simple. Imaging a linear equation where one line plots how many many people are desperate enough to get somewhere they will pay a given fair, and another line plotting how little the airline is prepared to charge in a desperate attempt to fill the plane.

In spite of all the technology and maths involved these systems give all the appearance of a random number generator.

e.g. My recent return ticket Miami to Alicante and back on a "proper" airline cost less than an Alicante to Glasgow return on a cheapo airline (the politer one).

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Larry Ellison's yacht isn't threatened by NoSQL – yet

James Anderson

Relational databases were born it of a brilliant insight by a brilliant mathematician that hierachical data strutures were only useful for a limited single purpose and that real world problems required a more subtle and flexible approach.

While it may seem obvious to store an order a customer -> product -> qty + price. This only works for some parts of an organisation. The brand manager who wants to know how well his product is doing must perform a complex apps can on every hierarchy, the same for the warehouse manager who needs to no what to reorder.

In spite of the fact that SQL is an appallingly bad implementation of relational algebra relational databases have done an excellent job for the last 30 years and will continue to do so.

On the other hand no SQL databases were developed by people who just wanted fast acces to a lot if cute puppy pictures and were too lazy to lookup BLOB. ( not true -- but it's the impression a lot of there cheerleaders give :-). ).

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So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

James Anderson

Even simpler

Bankers and other financial types invested money they would not otherwise have invested in a dodgy creditor (Greece) in the mistaken belief that the EU/ECB was obliged to bail them out.

When Greece had trouble re-paying the debt the creditors should have taken a haircut (re-negotiate the loan so that most but not all the debt could be repaid).

But wait a minute most of the financial institutions that made the wrong call were based in France and Germany -- so suddenly the EU/ECB was obliged to mount a rescue; Not of Greece, but the idiots who had lent the money to a country that was clearly incapable of paying it back.

Having successfully saved it biggest banks and pension funds the German government balked at actually saving Greece (or even funding the EU bailout which saved their precarious banking system).

So the richest country in the EU, got bailed out at the expense of the poorest country. Then complained about it.

If we are all going to get to the end of the 21st century as anything but subsistence farmers then we really need to find an alternative this antiquated Victorian financial system which has reliably collapsed every 10 or 20 years for the past two centuries.

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UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

James Anderson

whatever happened to

The sovereignty of parliament? UKIP may be a party onanists but they do have a point when it comes to who gets to rule the country. Do our elected representatives really need the approval of a bewigged septagenarian's interpretation of a document produced by a foreign bureaucrat before they can pass a law?

Come back Oliver Cromwell, all is forgiven (free wart removal on the NHS if you wait long enough ).

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Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

James Anderson

Admittedly IR35 is a pain in the proverbial for contractors. But it does fulfill its main purpose of stopping big companies renaming there employees contractors and thus oiling their way out of any responsibilities to their workforce.

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Feel like you're being herded onto Windows 10? Well, you should

James Anderson

Windows 8 is actually OK once you re-instate the start button!

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Attention dunderheads: Taxpayers are NOT giving businesses £93bn

James Anderson

Re: Facilitating Evasion

Corporation tax is a tax on profits.

Profits = the money you made selling something - the cost of making and selling it.

"tax deductible" just means you are allowed to claim it as part of the expense of making or selling your goods or services. So for a bakery the flour, sugar, water, electricity, rent, advertising, running the delivery van, wages are all "tax deductible".

If nothing were deductible then corporation tax would be a tax on sales and not a tax on profits. At which point most small businesses would think sod this and shut up shop. Large businesses would move to somewhere with a saner tax system, and you would be paying twice as much for psudo bread at the big supermarket.

There is a massive amount of case law about what is tax deductible and what is not and it is constantly changing at the margin. If you drive your bread van home in the evening is this a legitimate expense of baking bread or are you getting a free ride home?

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James Anderson

The point where I concluded this guys an idiot.

Was the 15 billion or so attributed "to airlines and other industries not paying fuel tax"

Well its actually "road fuel tax" and its a tax targeted at people driving on roads. Its partly a simple tax to fund the enormous expense of building maintaining and policing our busy roads, and, partly social engineering to try to encourage people to cycle, take the train, walk anything but drive a car (a goal most Garniad readers would approve of).

If they did tax aircraft fuel the same a filling station fuel. Then you would probably end up driving to Paris or Amsterdam to catch a flight to New York. It would simply be uneconomic to operate an aircraft from the UK because no other country in the world taxes aviation fuel.

Incidentally if you are plowghing a field, pottering about on a canal, digging a hole, fishing for herring, consuming gin on your floating palace then you will also be receiving this "gift" from the taxman.

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James Anderson

When I read the article

My immediate though was Tim will have a field day with this.

While they may have had a point about not collecting enough tax from business they totally blew it by their ridiculous assertions.

They actually totally missed the real point. Its not not governments are generous with tax breaks to multinationals. Its more a case of however hard they try whatever cash box they try to raid always turns out to be empty.

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I cannae dae it, cap'n! Why I had to quit the madness of frontline IT

James Anderson

Send this e-mail and keep a copy.

Dear PHB,

While I appreciate the need for the company to return a profit to shareholders in the coming year I think your plan to cut the XXXX budget is counter productive.

The cuts impact the reliability and security of the system and place the companies profits at risk.

A days outage of the sales application will cost an estimated n zillion dollars. A serious security breach

could irreparably damage the reputation of the company and lose long term customers forever.

In order to comply with past budget cuts we have cut costs and improved our operations. However any further budget cuts will seriously effect our ability to provide a reliable and secure service.

The decision is your to make.

Regards

S Neaky

Ops Manager

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Which side of the road to drive?

James Anderson

Re: Which side of the road to drive?

There are exceptions for instance Switzerland is a left side of the road country but Post Buses in mountain areas have Left Hand drive. The reasoning being that its more important for the driver to see the edge of the road (which is probably a precipitous drop) than the middle of the road.

I think Right hand drive correlates with cultural superiority. Thailand, Japan, Malaysia (Austrailai being the exception that proves the rule.). Sweden used to but they got fed up bashing into oncoming Norwegians who forgot which country they were in.

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Linux on the desktop is so hot there's now a fight over it

James Anderson

Sp they have invented the X-Windows server then?

Which was all you ever need to run a Linux desktop remotely.

This was always the case before Gnome 3 etc came along, and as there seems to be considerable user resistance to the OS-Xalike desktops, 90 percent of the current installed base could be used as a remote desktop by enabling the X client.

But the problem with all these remote desktops is you need a real desktop to access them so why bother?

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James Anderson

Re: +1

The PC industry tied its fate to Microsoft.

The PC industry is dying (except for the inscrutable Lenovo) maybe its time for them to try something differnet.

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Microsoft picks up shotgun, walks 'Modern apps' behind the shed

James Anderson

Re: Still don't understand how this happened

They could have written a decent tablet OS/UI and left the windows desktop alone!

Tablets are used for play -- Facebook and Angry birds.

PCs are used for work -- Word, Excel, databases, custom applications etc.

There main cash cow is called "Office" after all

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James Anderson

What support load. The reason the web is littered with posts about "modern" apps freezing, not loading, disappearing etc. is that there is no effective support from MS. After the first couple of attempts you ignore the "MS"posts on google and look for "joe_the_geeks" blog as they have some real answers usually involving hacking registry entries and running powershell commands.

Currently along with a few thousand other users I cannot access the "Store" application. MS don't seem to care (I never buy anything) and neither do I really ( the machine is set up in "Windows 7, but without the 10 minute boot up time" mode).

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Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end?

James Anderson

Only slightly better

than Sinofsky's hand picked focus groups that though windows 8 was such a great idea.

Any commercial survey group works very much like business consultancies. First they determine the answer the customer want to hear, then they go about gathering evidence for that specific answer.

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Poseidon's Wake, Naked at the Albert Hall and Farewell Kabul

James Anderson

Re: Space elephants

Why go so far. The ones here in Asia are pretty sentient. They understand about 50 words of Thai ( sadly about same as my Thai vocabulary), have a very considered approach to everyday problems, organize themselves into highly functional (mostly) non hierarchical groups. Are good at painting and crap at football ( like most beings outside Europe and South America they struggle with the offside rule).

You should try and meet one they are pretty good company.

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Watch out for the products that have snuck in behind your back

James Anderson

Even as someone who works in an IT department I find most IT departments to be too slow and too obstructive to be considered the first port of call for new software and systems.

Its just so much easier to bypass the IT procedures -- which generally involve a mess of form filling and half a dozen approvals ( some from people who have left the company) -- download the software and install it. I have my whole development environment off the Web rather than use the clunky out of date proprietary tools that are the "official" development environment.

Having bypassed my own IT department I can now surprise my business users by delivering software next month rather than the next year or never delivery date they have come to expect.

Most business users would rather go to a cheap dentist than have any interaction with IT. If IT had a culture of serving their business users than their convoluted internal politics then the Shadow Systems problem just would not arise.

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Thinking of following Facebook and going DIY? Think again

James Anderson

Got to rewrite all your existing applications.

The economics of AWS etc really only works if you are completely Open Source with either the classic LAMP stack or Java plus PostgreSQL or similar. You can just about get away with Windows .net and SQLserver as there are standard images for this which don't cost too much.

However if your existing application uses anything licensed you could end up paying more, and, anything that requires license key based on hardware just plain won't work. (You fire up the AWS image get the pretend MAC address email it to your software supplier, get the purchase cost approved and a week later your instant image is up and running)

Most existing legacy systems will have some annoying technical glitch that prevent easy deployment they may require an outdated version of a particular library, the LDAP address may be hard coded in a program -- all sorts of things that are wrongish but don't really cause that many problems in your own data centre become show stoppers in the cloud.

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What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?

James Anderson

How long till....

HP inc is rebranded to COMPAQ perhaps with a grey box to signify that they are makers of PCs in grey boxes and for the first time ever the letter O will be a circle.

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Embarcadero’s cross-platform XE8 RAD Studio targets iOS 8, IoT

James Anderson

Searching for the dead C scrolls again

Verity Stobb must have here team of crack archaeologists searching for a lost scroll of "The Sons Of Khan" after the follwing fragment was found :

" .... and so he did lead the Sons Of Khan from the desolation of Metro to the Land Of Fruit .. "

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

James Anderson

Re: Poor Oisin

Considering it was Jeeza who dubbed himself in, and, Oisin had no intention of taking the matter further -- in fact he thought he was going to be sacked for letting the worlds most unlikely media star run amok on his watch.

The most probable explanation is that after a hard days larking around JC decided enough was enought and delivered a spectacular resignation letter.

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This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz

James Anderson

Re: Messed UP!

"Copyright expires" -- never happen if Disney gets its way.

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Windows 10 apps to rule them all – phones, slabs and PCs: Microsoft pulls out 'universal' tool

James Anderson

The folly of a single user interface

Image if Honda decided to make there customers like easier by have a single user interface for all thier products.

Maybe they would put a steering wheel and gear lever on the motor cycles.

Or perhaps a handbrake on the jetskis.

Or maybe do the microsoft thing and have a completely new interface for everything. Something intuitive like a tiller to steer with and an anchor to throw overboard when you want to stop.

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Web geeks grant immortality to Sir Terry Pratchett – using smuggled web code

James Anderson

The Hedgehog Song would be more appropriate

Probably the one and only time this statement could possibly be true :-)

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We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

James Anderson

While agree with the thrust of the article -- Current copyright laws are bollocks. Just one small not to pick -- All the BBC channels are freely and legally available on Belgian cable TV though not Channel 4 which in keeping with its long tradition of broadcasting programs nobody watches televises cricket matches.

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Health & Safety is the responsibility of Connor's long-suffering girlfriend

James Anderson

Re: H&S.

Be a more useful statistic if they adjusted for the fact that the construction workforce is a fraction of what is was 40 years ago.

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

James Anderson

Re: I can hear it now

YOU CAN STOP WRITING I DON'T WANT TO APPEAR IN ANY MORE BOOKS

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Clinton defence of personal email server fails to placate critics

James Anderson

Absolutely pathetic.

President Johnson OKed the bombing of neutral Cambodia and Laos an act which eventually caused the death of over a million people.

JFK had sex in the Whitehouse with various starlets (including Marylin Monroe -- the guy had taste)

GW Bush embroiled the west in a useless war in Iraq -- meltdown still in progress and body count still rising.

Hilary Clinton used a personal e-mail account -- shock horror has the girl got no morals! Is she fit to be president, how many innocents will die. Just what you'ed expect from a non Texan.,

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Storm in a K-Cup: My SHAME over the eco-monster I created, says coffee pod inventor

James Anderson

Re: Never made it to civilisation.

"Nestle" -- the Swiss food mega corp created/owns Nespresso. Nothing to do with the brown muck company "Nescafe" other than a common corporate parent.

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James Anderson

Re: Never made it to civilisation.

In the some parts UK metal containers must be "clean and empty" which is just too fiddly for the coffe pods.

Where I currently live in South East Asia things are not so much re-cycled as re-used so far nobody has found a use for used coffee pods. The K thingies look like they would be excellent for propagating seeds.

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