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* Posts by The BigYin

3050 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

Sympathetic Scots scoff-house offers hard-up Apple fanbois a discount

The BigYin
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Apple tax?

There is no such thing. You are free to not but Apple.

There is, however, a MS tax which applies to pretty much all-non Apple devices (even Android).

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No UK date, no biz disties: Will Microsoft cock-up the Surface Pro too?

The BigYin
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Re: @The BigYin

I know - I'm not sure what is up with lappy screens these days. I don't really care about "retina display". Just not-shit would be nice.

Other options are available.

I didn't clock the Surface's resolution. Thanks for pointing it out.

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The BigYin
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"With 1920 x 1080 resolution? Where where where?!"

Nowhere. And even 1920x1080 sucks donkey scrotum. 1920x1200 is what we want. At least, it's what I want.

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The BigYin
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Re: @The BigYin

From http://pcspecialist.co.uk

I swear blind that one of the Ultranote's was coming in at £680 when I looked earlier on.

Maybe I took the pre-vat price or something by mistake. Can get them configured for about £720.

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The BigYin
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I can get a Core i7, 16GB, 128GB SSD ultrabook with Win8 for less that £700. Why do I want his Surface Pro bollocks?

That's MS's problem right there.

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EU-wide mega-Leveson 'needed' to silence Press, bloggers

The BigYin
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Re: I'm not one to post general abuse...

Well what I meant (as per my example) was a simple opinion. I thought Les Mes was poor. I don't really have to justify it beyond "I didn't like it". It's not defamatory at all, nor should I be prevented from stating it.

And yes, I am aware that the criteria for "hate speech" could be stretched to cover just about anything. But it's not like we are going to have to back-up every single little thing we say with verifiable facts; is it? And even facts can be open to interpretation.

For the avoidance of doubt: I don't like the proposal and I think the UK already has more than enough laws to cover defamation, libel etc. And the international tourism we are seeing in our courts is testament to that.

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The BigYin
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Re: I'm not one to post general abuse...

You don't need to prove anything if stating an opinion. So long as you don't stray into hate-speech or incitement of some.

"Les Miserables was a bad movie"

HALT CITIZEN! TO HOW MANY DECIMAL PLACES WAS LES MISERABLES A BAD MOVIE?

"Err...what?"

Not going to happen.

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The BigYin
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A united Europe is a good idea

The EU, however, is a cesspit of corruption and dubious accounting which lacks transparency, due process or any kind of public oversight at all.

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Microsoft's Intel-powered Surface Pro to launch in February

The BigYin
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Re: Surface heavily panned for dumbness

Commercially sponsored astroturfer is my guess.

AKA a shill.

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The BigYin
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$999 is £770-ish (including taxes; no keyboard) add the keyboard and the device weighs in at a smidge under £900 (again with taxes included).

The ASUS Transformer Infinity (with keyboard) is around £715, but the Surface Pro has more juice.

A similarly spec'd Clevo would come it at £750-ish; but it's hard to get a like-for-like match.

For comparison, a Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is £940 with 128GB SSD, but a lower res screen.

So all in all, whilst it might be towards the high-side, the price isn't too bad for a mid range, enterprise ultrabook (which is what this is).

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The BigYin
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The Surface Pro is coming!

And the entire planet struggles to give a fuck.

Although...it might be nice to install GNU/Linux on to it (assuming drivers can be found) as the design of the hardware (if not the specs) is pretty nice. Being x86 based, it must be possible by MS's diktat to disable SecureBoot/add keys.

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Another new asteroid-mining firm: 'First commercial space fleet'

The BigYin
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Terminator

In space, there is no tax

Company launches robot mining droids into space.

Mines an nice bit of iron.

Government demands tax on profit from selling iron.

Company points out that they can, at will, drop that iron from orbit on top of the capital city ("Project Thor" style).

Government whimpers and offers them knighthoods instead.

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Longest-standing bug?

The BigYin
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Re: Year 1900 Compliance

C'mon, Excel still can't be made to read certain date formats out of a CSV.

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Oz library finds Lance Armstrong books a new home: The fiction section

The BigYin
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Can someone please enlighten me

Lance Armstrong was a drugs cheat. We know this now.

But wasn't almost every other top-flight racer in his time also a drugs cheat? Wasn't the problem actually systemic rather than just a few rouges?

Are drugs still rife in cycling? I assume they are, but I genuinely don't know.

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Cryptome escapes Thales' attack dogs in bank security row

The BigYin
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Re: I remember my Java and Linux friends spouting that junk too.

No system can be 100% secure indefinitely as over time a "secure" system will become insecure due technology progressing. So let's take "secure" to mean "invulnerable to the best-effort attempt available at the moment".

Ben Tasker gets closer to what I meant. I wasn't talking about F/OSS as such, just that security by obscurity is useless. It's useless because the user (i.e. the customer) is unaware what vulnerabilities exist and is thus unable to mitigate them.

Let's take a more mundane example. Your front door probably has a Yale-style lock. It is "secure"? As in, is it anti-bump, anti-snap, anti-pick and anti-drill? How do you actually know? From the packaging? Or from details on how the lock works and its design?

The former is security by obscurity, the latter is full disclosure. For example, anti-snap can have the weakening cur from the top to the bottom, or the bottom to the top. One of these designs is almost certainly worthless, the other is better; which is which? How can you know unless the details of how ant-snap locks work is in the public domain?

Now let's come back to Thales. If we know all the details on how the Thales system works, based on our knowledge of good security design and procedures which should all be in the public domain we can maybe say "I know how this lock/system works, and I am satisfied that when it engages it will remain secure". It also allows us to take mitigating actions should a vulnerability exist. Or you just believe the hype (*cough*Medeco*cough*). Luckily you can find out all about this (at the moment). Imagine how things would be if only the bad guys knew? And only the bad guys would know because the good guys would be too scared to discuss it in case they ended up in jail.

Oh and something else to consider, if you are relying on the packaging of your locks, your insurance might be invalid (even if it claims to meet the correct standards); so that £15 lock you just got from the DIY store might end up costing you an awful lot more.

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The BigYin
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If the system is secure...

...then even after all the details have been explained, once the locks engage it will remain secure.

If your system is relying on security by obscurity, then your system is insecure.

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McDonalds burger app gives it to you straight from the horse's mouth

The BigYin
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Yay!

Now the UK can eat its way, horse free, to obesity, diabetes and an early grave.

I feel so safe!

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Dotcom's Mega to launch with mini call centre

The BigYin
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Re: I'm not to sure...

If you trust any free public cloud service, you are an idiot.

Encrypt first, encrypt last, encrypt always.

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Swartz prosecutor: We only pushed for 'six months' in the cooler

The BigYin
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Appropriate?

Even though JSTOR had no interest in pursuing the matter?

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US taxman joins UK politicoes on hunt for Amazon cash

The BigYin
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Re: Buy local

"oh come on...*nobody* is proud to pay tax. Everyone resents it."

Newsflash - some people don't mind paying. I enjoy having roads, the NHS etc. Makes life that much easier. I am quite happy to pay my fair share (we can argue about "fair" if you like).

The thing I resent is our MPs spunking my cash into their pals' wallets through tax-avoiding PFI deals. All PFI deals need to stop. Now.

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The BigYin
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Re: Buy local

Protectionism? Who ever mentioned that?

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The BigYin
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Buy local

Maybe we need a campaign like "Patriots pay taxes", "Proud to pay my tax" or something.

Local traders could display it in their windows (or their websites) and the likes of Amazon, Google, Starbuck, Vodafone, Tesco etc wouldn't.

Of course, it would be better if MPs tightened up the tax laws to negate such chicanery in the first place.

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Capgemini staffers evacuated by cops after London helicopter crash

The BigYin
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Re: Oh nos!

There was a curious BBC news item about how helicopters didn't have radar and the pilot had to rely n what they could see (hence why the fog was such a problem). Thing is, I didn't think any commercial aircraft had active radar these days - am I wrong in thinking that?

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The Spherical Cow lands, spits out Anaconda

The BigYin
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Re: Spherical cow? really?

Calm down dear, it's only a codename.

Most codenames are for the amusement of the developers and hard-core users. When did you ever install Longhorn?

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Latest Java patch is not enough, warns US gov: Axe plugins NOW

The BigYin
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Re: I could get rid of Java ...

Thanks! Dunno how I missed that. My excuse is that I'm laid up with the lurgy.

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The BigYin
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Re: I could get rid of Java ...

Can you cite a source for that, please? I'm genuinely interested to know if OpenJDK/IcedTea is affected or not.

A bit of quick searching only yields me forums postings - nothing authoritative.

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Facebook shoves biz pal Microsoft aside, unzips new Graph Search

The BigYin
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Re: Only on this site...

Anti-MS? El Reg is as pro-MS as they come.

Apart from the bits that aren't.

Summary: They get the balance about right.

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The BigYin
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Do I understand things correctly?

Now I can ask my friends without needing to ask my friends?

Is it just me, or is Facebook trying to drive a wedge into norma human interactions. A wedge it can then copyright, patent and monetise.

I knew there was a reason I didn't have a Facebook account. I have this quaint habit of talking to people.

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NRA: Video games kill people, not guns. And here's our video game

The BigYin
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Wassa matter JDX, get out of the wrong side of bed this morning?

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Patent trolling surges, but righteous cavalry on the way

The BigYin
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Re: Wrong legislation wording

The patent should go to the Open Innovation Network, thus protecting other organisations from future threats (e.g. from the successful defendant). Basically...you troll, you will be open sourced.

If the court finds a patent to be invalid (e.g. poorly written or whatever) then the patent office should face censure, up to and including the people responsible losing their jobs. And if they can't be identified, you go to the management level (gross incompetence). And if you can't identify the managers, go to the executive layer.

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The BigYin
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Duty, shcmuty.

The rep's job is to place a nice veneer over everything whilst making as much money as possible for themselves and their cronies. To think anything else is naivety in the extreme.

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Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

The BigYin
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Re: It was only a matter of time

"Retro Gamer magazine. "

Tesco. I see it in there all the time.

Ideally you should ask you local newsie to order it for you and buy it there. Support you local traders, they pay taxes (unlike the big boys).

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The BigYin
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Re: Wonder how much tax HMV paid

>Oh my god!! We live in a nation of 40 million tax minimizers."

Of course we do, which is why we should lobby our MPs to change the tax laws.

Never happen though.

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WTF is... WebRTC?

The BigYin
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Just wait

MS will implement "improvements" to this so it will only work on IE and only if you have required Skype libraries installed.

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The BigYin
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Re: And what will it be used for?

So what? You think Hollywood blazed the trail for the VCR?

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Hooking offshore wind farms into UK grid will HIKE bills, MPs warn

The BigYin
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Re: PFI - Epic fail

"You cant ask the bats They are dead."

That was my point...

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The BigYin
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PFI - Epic fail

All PFI is, is a way to take money from the poor (via taxation) and hand it to the rich. It should no longer form any part of any state enterprise. And all these "private partners being paid by results" need to go to; it's the same kind of scam.

As for wind power...utterly useless (expect in a very few cases) and it will remain so until we have a way of storing the power for when the wind does not blow. Liquefying air, making fuel from H20 and CO2, pumping water uphill or whatever; unless we can store it, there's no point in having it.

Unless we want to be like Germany and have to import dirty coal power.

And, of course, wind power isn't very green; just ask the bats.

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Review: Google Nexus 4

The BigYin
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FAIL

I was thinking of one of these...

...now I'm not. A battery life of 10 hours is utterly ludicrous. What is it with this obsession in making phones the size of monoliths? Have our hands and pockets trebled in size or something? The battery for these things has got to be measured in days, and weeks for standby. If it's not, then it's not fit for purpose.

I'm still looking for a new phone, but there is nothing on the market. It's like laptops - all 16:9 1366x786 glossy screens and thus utter shit. Wrong aspect ratio, dreadful DPI., wrong finish. 16:10 matte screens are the only sensible choice.

Why is technology racing forward on the one hand,but engaged full reverse in the other?

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Blighty's schools shake on new 3-year deal with Microsoft

The BigYin
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Re: Evil fuckwits

"to allow them to use FOSS software"

The article says "freeware". That may or may not be F/OSS.

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HMRC hops back into bed with Microsoft, finds purse £10m lighter

The BigYin
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Re: (km123) This is about Government POLICY overriding a PREFERENCE for Windows

That German FO switch was more about politics (as there was a power shift in Germany) than practicalities from what I understand, especially given this from the story you link:

"All that despite McKinsey confirming in 2009 that the German Foreign Office had splurged less cash on its individual IT workspaces then any other federal authority in the country while running a Linux desktop shop."

Although understanding anything a government does is difficult at the best of times.

We can cite stories back and forth, but that doesn't change anything. Whilst people use MS only formats (e.g. Office Open XML*) and MS only code (i.e. anything that only runs on Windows); then MS have you by the balls. If organisations spec open standards and portability, they have a much better bargaining position and can keep their costs down (even if they ultimately remain on Windows).

*Before some Windtard chimes in, yes; I do know that in theory Office Open XML is an ISO standard and in theory an open standard. The actuality of that is, however, rather different (e.g. the "openness" only applies to a specific version of ooxml). The only true open standards IMO are those spec'd by OASIS (e.g. odf).

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The BigYin
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Re: Incoming!

By "portable" I mean you can take yer J2EE mega app running under JBoss on Windows and drop it on to JBoss on GNU/Linux and it will just work. Unless some ass-hat coder has made explicit assumptions about file-paths and other resources.

If have been that ass-hat coder.

(Sorry about that)

If you are a customer and you do not spec portability...then you are spec'ing "Please lock me into one specific vendor who can gouge me forever more."

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The BigYin
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Re: Incoming!

J2EE is (well...should be...) portable, ASP.NET isn't.

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The BigYin
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Re: Incoming!

@Chris Miller - Yeah, one could save on licensing but I am going to bet that HMRC doesn't really use vanilla Office (if they use that at all for doing your taxes; the UK taxes managed in Excel? *shudder*); it will have custom apps (probably Windows only) and add-ons for Office (Windows only).

Whilst it would be nice for HMRC to be out from under the yoke of MS, the savings from licensing etc. probably don't give a quick enough return over the re-implementation costs. I don't know, I don't have the figures. Picking any solution purely on dogma rather than prudent considerations is almost certainly going to cause one problems.

What, maybe, HMRC could threaten MS with is moving their back-end away from Windows. e.g. Samba 4 instead of Active Directory. Or CentOS rather than Windows Server (assuming they aren't using SQL Server, of course). HMRC could push this even further by still running Windows etc, but commissioning new applications/services that can be migrated from platform-to-platform (e.g. JBoss, Apache or whatever instead of IIS, Java, Mono, Python etc instead of .Net). In fact, I would strongly suggest that engaging new projects in such a manner is the correct decision, as it make future negotiations that much easier.

And thus, F/LOSS does its job. Maybe not directly, but it makes it harder for the monopoly incumbent to gouge the customer (and thus us, in this case).

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Mozilla claims 25 per cent JavaScript speed boost with Firefox 18

The BigYin
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Did a run in a Windows VM on a different PC (I had upgraded the host from FF 17 to FF 18 already). Host is almost the same as above, save it runs Windows 7 and has a 3.1GHz Core 2 Duo

FF 17 - 263ms

FF 18 - 312ms (18% slower)

So I don't know where Mozilla is getting their "25% JavaScript speed boost" from, guess I should have held-off on the upgrades and checked out the V8 benchmark. Can someone else run these before an after upgrade?

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The BigYin
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I concur after trying Sunspider

Ubuntu 12.10 64bit, KDE 4.9, 4GB ram, Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz

FF 17 - 293ms

FF 18 - 323ms

So based on the mighty evidence of one sample, I say that FF 18 is 10% slower and a regression.

I believe this comparison to be fair as the same add-ons were enabled in both runs.

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Nuisance calls DOUBLE, Ofcom vows to hunt down offenders

The BigYin
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If I get a computer...

...I hang up. If I get a human, I waste their time for as long as I can. Strangely enough, I don't really get any nuisance calls. Maybe I am on a "Don't call this number, the guy is on to us" list?

(WARNING: Incoming F-bombs)

What I want stopped, ***NOW*** are these fuckers texting me about PPI. Seriously, fuck off.

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The BigYin
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I hope someone does. I'd love to know how to set such a thing up, chuck the landline and have cheapy-cheap VOIP calls.

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'Not even Santa could save Microsoft's Windows 8'

The BigYin
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Re: Again and again: BALLMER AND HIS ENTOURAGE MUST GO first....

MS can't lose what they never had.

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The BigYin
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Give it time

Windows 8 will be in almost every home and office. Not out of choice, but due to the fact it's pre-installed and you have no choice. You will have Windows, and you will like it. Unless of course you are rich, in which case buy an Apple and enjoy a different walled garden.

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Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

The BigYin
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Re: Hypocrite

Thank you, I didn't know he was paying a "moral" tax level. I assumed, like all other large companies notionally based in the UK, he was engaging in tax efficiency.

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