* Posts by Ben

67 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

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The V-Max dust is settling

Ben
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I just thought of motorbikes.

Classic.

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Debbie Gibson battles Mega Shark and Giant Octopus

Ben
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Is it wrong of me..

..to really want to watch this?

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BBC botnet investigation turns hacks into hackers

Ben
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Gates Horns

Shoddy jounalism

Now forgive me if im wrong and feel free to persecute me if im being bloody stupid, but the headline :

"BBC team exposes cyber crime risk "

does lend itself to intimating that this is something the beeb has uncovered. Now I can accept the argument that the BBC news website is read by a large audience which is not particularly knowledgeable about botnets and so an article is newsworthy on the website, however, compounding a lack of research into cybercrime law with sending oneself up for 'exposing' something that has been well known to be in existence is very shoddy journalism.

Even the simplest of investigations would show how well known this is and also would show how easy it is to gain access to a 'botherd' without having to then very probably break the law in doing so. The arguement that it was in the public interest is particularly weak here as I cannot see how they can demonstrate that they needed to perform a mass email send.

My own opinions of BBC technology reporting aside, I think that If Daniel Cuthbert can be prosecuted for his "offence" then the Click team should be worried. At least he wasn't trying to grandstand! It would be nice if the BBC could articulate just how they decided this was a wise thing to do even if it was a good thing to make the masses more aware.

Bill - because most of this is his fault.

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Sumerians cracked world's oldest joke

Ben
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A Fish swims into a concrete wall and says...

"Dam!"

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Researchers show up deniable file system crypto leaks

Ben
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Dead Vulture

@ Allan Hack-Barr = Sicko

I really feel that comments like that are really out of place on a website like this.

PS - Maybe running a destab utility may help recover said data?

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Ben
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Stop

@ Lee Dowling

Don't diss the Schneier. Even Chuck blinks when his name is mentioned.....

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Gates threatens to buy millions and millions of servers for Microsoft

Ben
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Can we have a Ballmer icon

if only to represent incoherent, chair throwing rage?

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Deadly Oz snake bites tourist's todger

Ben
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So it shot a blank then?

Nuff said.

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Life a mess? The Moderatrix can help

Ben
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Unhappy

Bit of a poseur...

Chuck Norris is my dad. He doesn't know this yet, but im if I tell him, will I get a back-log of years of Roundhouse Kicking discipline?

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Fixing the UK's DAB disaster

Ben
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We missing the point?

I think that the point is being missed. It is not Digital Radio as a whole that is being slated.

My comment on audio quality was to make the point that off the cuff remarks stating that DAB just sounds better is not based in fact, and to try and take that non-issue out of the debate. This isnt an FM vs DAB debate, more the point that the DAB implementation in this country was severely flawed.

Im all for Digital Radio, both on DAB+ and DRM (Digital Radio Mondial - the ability to receive stations at greater distances with better quality than traditional AM has amazing possibilities). But what some of you are not realising is that they are pushing something that has been obsolete from very early on. Obsolete in the way that disc cameras were. They were easy to use and load but in the end there were other offerings which better quality that were more widely taken up.

I understand that you can say that any technology is outdated but the fact is how old is the MP3 codec? Yet still, at a decent enough bitrate, is perfectly listenable to. Just because it suits you doesn't mean it still has a future. As was mentioned, the infrastructure has the ability to trasmit on differing codecs and bitrates, so to stifle the introduction of DAB+ is crazy and self defeating.

The one and only thing I will miss, and wouldnt want to lose FM for, is the fact it is a resillient and reliable way of mass communication. AM more so, yes it sounds crap for music and in our densely populated country is not really needed but in vast, relatively unpopulated areas it is vital for news, weather, etc. Look at the States in this regard.

Digital Radio has a future, DAB does not as far as I can see...

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Ben
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Im rather sad.

After reading all these comments i despair a little.

First off lets get a few facts straight. Next time you are listening to DAB, go to Radio 3 (one of, if not the, highest quality sound stations on both FM and DAB). Press the info button and make a note of the bitrate.

Usually about 192kbps.

If you told anyone who enjoys listening to music and has a pretty nice hifi that this codec and bitrate was nearly as good as CD - they would laugh hysterically. I don't know what kind of radio some of you used on FM but I reckon you generally bought the cheapest set available before going on to DAB. Radio 3 on an average priced radio sounds superior than on DAB. I can tell the diference on my blix when i swtich between DAB and FM on radio 3 (If you have one - hook it up to you HiFi and try the same experiment - Oh and i have full signal strength on DAB). FM, by simple dint of the law of physics, for good to excellent signal strength, will produce better sound quality than DAB because at the current bitrates and codec used it cannot do it by it's own nature. Ask ANY sound engineer. Lower signal strengths, well then that depends on local interference and how much brake up you get on DAB compared to signal hiss on FM. DAB cannot compete with FM in terms of sound quality in a like for like - get over it.(Dont get me started on the tag lines CD QUALITY on Philips Radio boxes)

So the sound quality is mute. Some of you get poor FM yet DAB is fine? THat is not any proof in the FM vs DAB debate. More in your location, the equipment you are using. Again BBC HYS mentality creeping in here.

Some of you stated that you only here DAB bashing on the Reg, well I hear DAB bashing from lots of sources and aquaintences.

Now, just before the flames come flooding in, im not a luddite. I like radio, I have DAB and analogue sets, most of my music is based on computer. WHen i first heard of DAB I was interested and looking forward to it. Then I got one, but couldnt receive the signal where I lived at the time but ok. Then I moved and could receive it and was quite dissapointed. But that's me. Personal thing. Sound quality EVEN IN MONO matters to me. Stereo has nothing to do with the quality of sound, just the perception. Most small stereo radios, the speakers are that close together any stereo seperation is lost anyway. (Listen to a Tivoli Model one - Mono can also be good).

DAB+ would have been a better bet - plus more sets since a lot of Europe adopted it also meaning better choice and cheaper radios for all. By the way, GET OVER THE LOOK OF THE THING. the look of some radios (looking like 50's sets for example) has nothing to do with this debate. That is purely aesthetics.

The only real show that i use DAB for is now BBC7. Again personal choice since all the other channels I want i can get on FM, the sound is better. If I could get that on FM then I would have no need at all for a DAB set. And that saddens me, because there is, properly implement, a real place for it. The comment on satellite radio i think is an apt one. Sooner or later, DAB will fail because it is doomed from the start, the technology is not up to the demands that will come about. I mean come on - streamed radio on the net being better than digital radio?? That should not be the case at all. There is no future for it as it stands. OFCOM are reprehensible for their part in this, that i am sure of, and nothing they have reported on or stated or done has really given me any confidence in their position of 'for the Public'.

There is a place for analogue radio. There should always be too. Any comments on an FM switch off are not really thought out. From an emergency point of view - any national disaster, DAB infrastructure will be harder to keep going, yet alone the radios, whereas analogue is pretty resillient.

This was a good article, and a lot of it is has been said by others not related to the reg. I have to say that a lot of you commenting haven't taken too much of an interest in this debate in the past and haven't tried to do even a little research. I ask that you do some now, on other sites, find out what others are saying too and consider the point that just because it provides what YOU need, doesn't make the points in the article any less valid. The rate of take up graph is interesting when you consider the penetration of sets per household compared with number of households. This is before we even get started on car radios.

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Dell gets in a state over SSD claims

Ben
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Alert

Failure rate

on average across the whole board is about 20% in the first 3 years on laptops. So im inclined to disbelieve the 1-2% remark.

Plus Flash drives are relatively new on the market which begs the question about Dells comment regarding reliability on SSD drives.

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Terry Pratchett donates £500k to Alzheimer's charity

Ben
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Alien

There are so many charities out there.

You don't know how much the guy gave to other charities befefore, and even if he didn't that is his choice.

Plus he knows that any money he gives most likely won't bring about a result in his lifetime. The personal experience of something makes you realise just how horrific something can be and not just for the sufferer but family and friends also.

Please stop turning this comment into the drivel that is more suited to the BBC HYS.

Bloody miserable lot you are.

Amanfrommars because we need his wisdom in these troublesome times.

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Why you should care that Jimmy Wales ignores reality

Ben
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to all the anon posters descrying Wiki coverage

ID cards is an ongoing thing in the UK - plenty of coverage there. Is that an editorial agenda? Too right it is. It is something that affects us, mainly over here, so newsworthy.

Same for wikipedia. It affects perception of the web, and when it claims to be a font of human knowledge yet is known to use a little creative license then that is also an issue and newsworthy. If that is what you are referring to as an 'agenda' then the Reg have one.

I can't help but note that your comments are strangely reminiscent of the comment:

"They deny the facts. They attack the attacker."

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CERN completes 'world’s largest jigsaw puzzle'

Ben
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WORLDS LARGEST JGSAW WHAT?

Do we never learn? Did they not play Fade to Black?

NOOOOOOO CHARLES, NOOOOOOOooooooooooo

Mine is the one that haz Cheeezeburger in pokets..

(Phew - meme'd out)

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Champion of competitive CAT-5 untangling is crowned

Ben
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Happy

Interesting variant.:

Naked Cable untangling. Surely would help getting the sport more known....and safer* than naked darts.

It should be noted in the interests of good taste** this be only open to female competitors.

* not for males.....

** for given value of good taste.

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Automated crack for Windows Live captcha goes wild

Ben
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Gibson was right in a way

Except instead of the Russian Military creating fancy code it is the spammers! :)

Mine is the one with the Ono Sendai in the pouch built into the back.

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Dell makes exploited hamster cry

Ben
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That squirrel looks like it is in for a right shafting.....

Nuff said.

Mines the fur coat with the free Tee hanging out the pocket....ta.

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MS 'disappointed' with Xbox Live connectivity woes

Ben
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Gates Horns

OH RLY?

Well bearing in mind the hassle spent trying to play COD4 over, and get this Microsoft, not just the xmas period. Fantastic game virtually ruined by the experience online.

And then they try the 'the only reason there are problems is the sheer number of users, thats how greate we are!' tactic. Well im sorry, Xbox live may have been up but COD4 was unplayable online for virtually everyone who managed to get into a lobby. Funny, isn't it, that I haven't heard ONE WORD of praise for Xbox live from any users, but plenty of criticism.

Maybe the uptake is because if you want to play an Xbox online you havent much choice have you?

(Yes I know about the alternatives but its a wee bit of hassle)

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Terry Pratchett has Alzheimer's

Ben
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Stop

WHOA......

...remember guys, he isn't dead or dieing (well technically we all are but that is a post 3am drunken musing) and i'm sure, however well meant, that some of these comments are a little too bleak. He has been diagnosed and probably early, not committed. Encouragement, not consignment is needed here! mmm That sounded catchy, wonder if Reg will write that on a sign and parade around? Mind you he would just wonder what the fuss was about....

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Campaign to name US street after Douglas Adams

Ben
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I think he would prefer..

...to have ZZ 9 Plural Z Alpha named after him instead. Milky Way is rather a crappy name.

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Ben
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Can we have a Dont Panic Icon in his honour?

Please?

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HMRC coughs to more data losses

Ben
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Who cares....

...there is a new ELER comic strip out.

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BBC HD channel gets green light

Ben
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Happy

@Paul.

Of course there is a difference between me and whatever religion I choose and what OS I choose...

But I obviously never made my point clearly and I can only apologise. I meant that the BBC has no problem catering for or groups, whether defined by location or beliefs to one degree or another. Same can be said for lifestyles too so why not an OS? My point still has some worth...

So when they originally came up with/ripped the idea of online content they could quite easily have made the system OS independent from that stage on. They spent (i believe) enough on it. SO when people attacked a guy for slating the beeb for not having the iPlayer ready I was merely pointing out that he has good reason. And equating linux and osx to someone running OS2 was worthy of HYS comment.

BUt you are right. Utter rubbish of course. Thank you for showing me the error in my argument. :o)

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Ben
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@anons + vulpes

Interestingly you summed it up:

"which is precisely why they are not going to pi$$ away millions on the Linux minority."

This is one of the points. It should not have cost Millions. One of the issues was the money the beeb ploughed into a closed system, when it could quite of easily encompassed everyone, yes linux and OS X. I mean You tube works on them does it not? How much did that take to get started???

. I daresay you might as well also say the beeb should not cater to any minority groups, whether it be religion, ethnicity or Wales. Why is that different from anyone who chooses a different OS?

I think you should back to commenting on the BBC 'Have Your Say'.

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Remembering the Commodore PET 2001

Ben
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MSX anyone?

Still a great machine, even though it failed to take off anywhere other than japan. Mind you not a bad thing considering it was MS-Basic based....

Spectrum, Spectrum plus, C64, electron, bbc, RM 380Z (yes - the school where chucking it out in 88/89 and said i could have it and it even had the graphics adapter. B+W graphics rule). I even had a Superbrain with a 5MB (I think) winchester. Nemesis on the MSX though, what a game. Used to know Mark Butler too from Imagine. He lived up the road from me.

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16,000 namesakes cry foul over US terror watch list

Ben
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Actually my...

..nephew is a right little terror. Glad there is some defence against his Dennis the Menance type antics.

For too long have we lived in the shadow of fear generated by Toddler Terror (tm)

Good on you US of A.

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'I'll be back' is most-quoted movie line

Ben
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NOOOOO CHARLES! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

And

"That's no moon, it's a space station!"

Jeez guys...

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Flying cow destroys minivan

Ben
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Hang on!

Euthanised? It survived?????

I can see the joke brigade milking this story for all its worth already.

- The scuffed leather jacket and hard hat please,,,,

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Florida cops issue shock 'Butthash' warning

Ben
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Wonder if....

..that old beeb story will make most popular by the end of the day???

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Security site knocks spots off Mac OS X Leopard firewall

Ben
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@Antoinette

mmmm

I have yet to find an XP, yet alone vista, install that works well striaght from the vendor, especially with all the 'Valueware' they also seem to install.

I can agree with you about the linux users though.

You can nmap me anytime!

*goes for a lie down*

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Ben
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@I hate mac users who

I appreciate your sentiment, and agree. There seems to be great sport in each baiting the other. But, fun aside, i do take issue with your last statement.

I have to state that the main reason that someone needs a Windows box is that every else has one and they have one in work, their son/daughter general use it and kknow how to help them with it etc.....

In most cases of personal use THAT is the reason they need a Windows box. I use XP, Vista and a Mac. it's a seven year old cube running Tiger. It's my personal machine because when I get home, I don't want to faff around with a computers, I do that all day and get paid for it and quite frankly a Windows box requires more fiddling around and looking after than a Mac. Im not a fanboy. I dont like Apple as a company and I certainly don't like their attitude to customers who feel they get short shrift when faults happen. I hate the silence, forum postings deletions etc and personally think Steve Jobs has several physcological issues.

Now - (BTW - is it just me or isn't it about time we asked Antoinette if she also has the red outfit that surely made its way geek wallpaper success?) - I also like *nix. I set it up and it sits there and works. May not be as easy to install certain items as a windows box but i don't have to worry about it.

And why do I have a Windows machine? Well my work one has Vista 64 (mistake) running on a dual Turion 64 laptop. It annoys the hell out of me. It's slower than XP. In fact, Vista made me realise just how far XP has come and I even missed it! So my home laptop is a Windows XP box. And you know what? I use it for games. That's right. And it's pretty good. Even if my gaming skills are not. But in everyday use? I can't do it. When you use XP you can feel the OS was amended to help combat the ignorance of the majority of users who don't know when to/not to install a program, click on a link in an email, update vital updates etc. I don't use ignorance as a slur here - the use of computer should not be the domain of those 'in the know' so fine. But, and the stats here I feel would suuport this, those who are 'in the know' for the most part will use a *nix (macs included, why do you think the majority of El Reg staff use Macs? They sure as hell do not get a discount...) based machine. Why? Not just because they dissecting packets for the hell of it, but because they have been burned by Windows in the past. They have seen the results of an insecure (even supposedly secure) Windows machine. They have relatives who phone them up regularly with yet another issue.

I convinced my parents to get a Mac, not because im all for the Jobs cause and hate Gates, but because I was forever acting as tech support over the phone, and as much as I love my dad, that will try anyones patience. Since he has the Mac the volume of calls has reduced to maybe one every 6 months. His Windows laptop goes mainly unused. Though to be fair it is a Sony......

So, finally, my point is this....what most people want from a machine is a stable, secure and fast machine. They want it to work. They dont want it to break down, be infected with trojans, have to worry about Virii, have to have a MSCE, or a RHCE to install items and do routine maintenance.

And like it or not, the Mac fits that profile better than any other commercial and free offering. I don't like it. I hate monopolies. When my cube finally dies i'll get another second hand older mac to run my day to day stuff. My laptop, when I have exhausted BF1942/been banned from every server, will have either gentoo, ot fedora or Ubuntu. Hell maybe even BSD...be a great* way to start chatting up Antoinette! "Wanna see my Kernel?"

Disagree with me? Look out for Benny the destroyer and just shoot me. Why not, everyone else does..

*for a given value of great.

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Jordan mulls mamtastic epitaph

Ben
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in Mammory of Jordon

And the Cloakroom is where sorry?

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Sick Brit yobs graffiti dog

Ben
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@The Other Steve

Maybe not a 'Hanging's to(sic) good icon!' but a 'Grammarnazi' one?

*Enters shelter to wait out expected fallout*

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Ben
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IT Angle

Ok - im not normally one to use icons...

....anyhow

:)

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Record industry pushes ISPs to cut off file sharers

Ben
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Request to El Reg Staffers....

I have enjoyed the downloadable interviews/general meanderings of Ashlee Vance and friends. Most enjoyable.

However, would it be possible for you to actually arrange and record interviews with with politicos and industry leaders regarding issues such as this one? It would be interesting to hear such a debate with 'informed' people asking the relevant questions?

Surely John Humphries cannot match the interviewing skills of John Lettice now?

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Boeing trumpets 'relevant battlefield laser' raygun

Ben
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Ive engaged plenty of inanimate objects....

..and they are called toilet cubicles.

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WTC collapse voted 'most memorable TV moment'

Ben
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Bob Geldof...

...never actually said that.

Funny how people think he did. And it gets voted as a memorable moment.

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LAPD patrol cars to get sticky-GPS-tracker cannon?

Ben
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Lightning cannot kill RIchard Hammond because....

..he is a disciple of Chuck Norris. How else did he survive that rocket car crash. The way of the Hamster is indeed strong. Just not as strong as Chuck.

(Hamster, Woodchuck - does anyone else see the pattern emerging here?)

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US Army dalek assassins to pack mini-missiles?

Ben
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Total Perspective Vortex...

...has never been the same since the cake was eaten.

Anyway - Colin gets my vote. What a happy chappy he was.

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Apple coughs up G4 refunds to dissatisfied Danes

Ben
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The average failure rate...

..over the whole laptop industry is 20% in the first 3 years*.

Go check the figures independantly and you will see that Apple are not the worst out there, whilst Lenovo seem to be one of the best, but they are all within points of one another. This includes the period when the G4 was sold.

Still crap mind - i have one sitting within half a burning sheep's length of me.

To all those with faulty g4 iBooks - get the hot air guns out.

*Some figure I checked once based on a supplier survey thing on the net. Best citation you are gonna get at this time in the morning from me.

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Google gloats over ISO's OOXML rejection

Ben
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@anon

He had a good stab at the apostrophe though....shame it was wrong also.

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Boffins develop quantum-computer building block

Ben
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IIRC

these where referred to as kingons and queons, and instant communication would take place unless interrupted by a republicon*. I firmly believe that Pratchett is a good bet for being remembered in the same league as Einstein. Sooner or later someone will discover something that was first postulated by the great man.

*This is really true.

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Cassini closes in on Iapetus

Ben
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is it just me...

..or does that pass a remarkable resemblence to a half constructed Death Star?

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Top judge: put everyone in UK on the DNA database

Ben
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Actually, I don't know why I am worried....

..i will probably be dead by the the time they implement an IT system to deal with it, prob due to an error in the NHS IT system.

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Ben
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@finnbar

Flame on.

Paranoid?

I guess the few dissenters in Hitlers Germany were told the same thing just before the night of the long knives.

Extreme example yes, but can you give one real life example in which we were right to trust the government and police in the last 20 years?

I would really welcome an answer to that.

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Ben
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I love the "I have nothing to hide" argument

It is the view that we will never have a government that would use it for clandestine purposes, or to prosecute people for something that they will end up defining as illegal in the future. What faith they have in human kind. I admire that in a way because my bitter and cynical view is that future governments aside -

(oh and the democratic argument? You really think that the people are listened to? Really? You think the government asked permission before it started meddling in schools and NHS to the degree they do? They listen to the media reports of what the media report people say, not what is actually said by constituents)

- they couldn't even keep the THIRD PARTY organisations that ran the national criminal database thingy from being abused by staff.

Joy.

How many people reading this article actually trust the Government to be able to deliver what is promised?

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Boffins unveil sharpest ever stellar snaps

Ben
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i always wondered

Why we have that word. I mean saying "Oh Who's Boffed?" means who has farted.

The brighter you are the windier you become or what? Is your IQ also related to PPH?

And if that is the case are smellier animals/pets brighter amongst their peers?

We need a boffin to answer this.

(Dons protective eyewear)

*Parp*

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Creative pitches Zen against third-gen iPod Nano

Ben
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I see the recent market upheavel

seems to have helped the pound do extremely well against the pound.

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Shattered teens subsisting on 'junk sleep'

Ben
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Right on...

I was always late because of reading till 1, 2 in the morning.

But need I say - Elite? That, on my acorn electron, probably was responsible for my less than stellar performance in my second year.

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