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* Posts by David Hicks

1243 posts • joined 22 Apr 2008

US Navy buys Linux to guide drone fleet

David Hicks
Linux

@AC 13:48

"If your software uses OSS libraries you need to make their source available, but not the source for the bit you wrote, unless it's modified OSS."

This is false, depending on license. In fact your whole post is false, depending on the license.

The GPL does not allow you to link to libraries without your code also being under GPL.

The LGPL does specifically allow this.

BSD/MIT license lets you do whatever the hell you want.

AGPL requires you to distribute the source even if the program is a hosted service (like a website).

They are all different and all have different rules, and all OSS inclusions and links need to be considered carefully if you wish to use them from closed source code.

I'd also like to say here that the DOD should be *extremely* careful about the circumstances in which they give source or binaries to contractors to work on. They could find that they've given redistribution rights to their entire codebase to the contractor or (if they make them sign away those rights) that they've violated the GPL by imposing a closed/stricter license on top.

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David Hicks
Linux

Contractor's rights?

Surely if they give the source of this mixed license application to a contractor, the contractor (as a wholly separate entity) is entitled to modify and redistribute?

And if they make the contractor sign away those rights it's a GPL violation?

I'd be interested to know a real legal opinion here, but it sounds to me like it's not a proper licensed use of GPL code, and that any copyright holder that had a problem with it might have a pretty good chance of a successful lawsuit here.

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Microsoft 'mulled Nokia buyout, ran away screaming'

David Hicks
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Fail...

The lumia phones are overpriced and underpowered. The N9 was last-year's tech when it came out, and is now thoroughly outclassed.

The ball was dropped well before Elop came along, but he's done nothing except make it all worse. Ditch all our leading products! Embrace Redmond's latest failure! It's sure to make us all rich!

Poor nokia, they were the phone company everyone else wanted to be 10 years ago. Now they're just a sad example about what goes wrong when you sit on your laurels.

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Firm applies for .sucks domain

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Entertaining idea

A shame that bottom-feeding scum (domain squatters) are the ones doing it.

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HTC slips One X, Evo 4G past Apple US patent ban

David Hicks
Stop

Re: Very, very confused

Pretty sure my Sony CMD-Z7 had that feature back in 2002, on SMS's, well before the iPhone was even thought of!

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Samsung Galaxy S III

David Hicks

Sigh.

This is an ARM device, there are many variants made by many manufacturers, they don't all work the same, which is why benchmarks are *more*& useful than GHz in this arena.

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Olympic Wenlock plod cops condemnation from Amazon wags

David Hicks
FAIL

Grand

People already call the UK a nascent police state. Having one of the mascots as basically a big eye in a police uniform... yeah, that's not going to help.

I shall be staying firmly out of the country until this olympic nonsense is over and done with.

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Publishing barons: Free speech a 'cloak for tawdry theft'

David Hicks
Thumb Down

They don't have fundamental rights

They have a right that we as a society have deemed useful and beneficial to all - a limited term monopoly with various restrictions and inclusions. With the understanding that they enter the public domain after a certain time. This is to encourage the creation of works, giving society access to more intellectual or creative material.

None of this is any sort of 'natural right'. And for good reason - works are not created in a vacuum, and works become part of culture and (IMHO) common property over time.

i would argue the exact opposite to him - that for the good of all society we must banish this ridiculous idea of 'ownership' rights over intangibles, where in reality we have a cooperative arrangement that is put in place to benefit all parties.

He's probably just angry because (with the internet and next-to-free distribution of anything) his business model is becoming irrelevant.

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Google Apps win ISO 27001 certification

David Hicks

Re: ISO is a scam

Heh, I've not had any faith in anything ISO since MS were able to push their poorly defined and proprietary OOXML format through the system in an attempt to derail ODF. Reading about that whole process was an eye-opener.

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UK cookie law compliance takes effect today

David Hicks
Stop

Re: @David

Right, so now we get to the bottom of it, you don't need those cookies. It's not going to break the internet to ditch 99% of them, and you consider yourself entitled to track users activities.

Those are (at best) 'nice-to-have' features that allow you to track what goes on with your site, and at worst are precisely the sorts of behvaiours this legislation seeks to make more difficult.

I'm glad we've got to the bottom of this - there is no technical reason that most cookies can't be ditched.

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David Hicks

Re: @David

Further to that - one hopes this becomes just another weapon in the arsenal to take down scammers, at least if based in europe.

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David Hicks
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Re: @Dan

WHY DO YOU NEED STATE?

Why is nobody going to answer this question - why in hell's name does a site like the regneed to bother with state for anyone other than logged in users? Why do 90% of the sites out there set multiple cookies when I'm just passing through to read something?

Sure, session ID's could be a security risk if used for sensitive things, nobody's suggesting you can't use cookies where you actually need to, for user accounts and purchasing operations. How many of the sites that set cookies do you think actually use them for this?

If I leave my browser unprotected it quickly accumulates hundreds to thousands of cookies of cookies. I but from maybe three sites, and have user accounts at another ten at most. The rest of the cookies are for tracking of various forms and these are what the legislation aims to reduce, an operation which I'm 100% behind.

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David Hicks
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Re: Bloody annoying

@Liam - Why bother with session parameters at all most of the time? Just why are sessions even tracked on most sites? Seriously, unless you are an online shop or an account based service, there's no need, and the negatives of cookies outweigh the positives.

I'll say it again - why the hell does a site like el reg need to use cookies unless people want to log in and comment? For the other (larger) part of the user base, there's just no need.

@Dan - When 'Do Not Track' is actually respected by the shadier side of the advertising business (i.e. Never) then that's a fine solution. Until then, yes a lot can be done with session ids in URL parameters (which I don't believe went out in the 90s), and in a hell of a lot of cases there's just no need for a cookie in the first place.

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David Hicks
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Re: Bloody annoying

You, someone that understands technology, may well feel that way. The vast majority of people do not, yet many of them would be upset to find out just how much they are tracked and monitored across the internet.

There is no need for 90+ % of the cookies that collect in the browser, just take a look at the list that accumulates sometime. Cookies should be reserved for logins, basically. You can do most of the rest with session ids as parameters in a URL. These irritating popups (I have yet to see one) shouldn't be there either, until someone tries to use a function for which cookies are essential.

I mean, taking el reg as an example, why should anyone need a cookie to read the site? Other than those few of us that log in to make a comment, it seems completely unnecessary and serves to do nothing more than track people, which is unacceptable.

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Review: Raspberry Pi

David Hicks
FAIL

Re: RE:Memory (and firefox)

It's not just firefox that has the large footprint but.... yeah, it's pretty poor. I'm not sure whether you ought to blame firefox or the legions of web developers who no longer consider footprint or performance to be their problem, but either way it's ridiculous that I can have three tabs open and be using half a GB of RAM for the browser alone.

Who's with me for the native/local code revolution?

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David Hicks

RE:Memory

"I know that software bloat is the in thing these days, but how can 256MB of memory constrain *any* decent programmer?"

This isn't about any decent programmer being constrained, this is about the platform being limited. Big difference. Your implied sniping at the post you reply to is out of place.

If you're trying to run a modern desktop OS, that doesn't really leave you very much at all. Running firefox and multiple tabs on top, and trying to view webpages full of images and scripts, you're going to start swapping like crazy, which isn't going to be fun with an SD card.

I agree that if you set out specifically to tune an OS to the device (and stay away from script-heavy websites) then you could acheive much more, but this is not what is happening, people are running a full desktop stack.

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David Hicks

Re: Waiting to pre-order...

As the other poster said - you have a pc you're posting this from? Then you have a platform you can program already. Install python, or a C compiler, Java SDK, or whatever runtime you want (these are all available free for Linux, Mac and Windows) , find an IDE you like or even just a text editor, then just go for it.

Pi is an interesting device for it's size and cost, but you don't *need* a new machine to code with.

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Alain de Botton wants better online smut

David Hicks
WTF?

WTF?

"“pornography, like alcohol and drugs, weakens our ability to endure the kinds of suffering that are necessary for us to direct our lives properly."

I think he must be doing it wrong. All of it.

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Will UK.gov crack down on itself for missing Cookie Law deadline?

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Essential for modern websites?

Strange how, when someone like me puts a cookie blocker on their browsers, most things continue to work just fine without them.

Sorry if it spoils your revenue model, but I'm not keeping cookies around just because you think your site needs them. It most likely doesn't.

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75,000 Raspberry Pi baked before August

David Hicks

Re: not really the same thing

I guess it saves on silicon, and therefore on price. People who want the more advanced stuff like network boot will just have to put a u-boot image on the sd card instead of a kernel I guess.

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David Hicks
Linux

Re: not really the same thing

If you wanted multiple ethernet cards wouldn't you just add them on USB?

Of course you'd need a hub. You'd be able to add more using the GPIO pins too, as they are often used for connecting sata or ethernet controllers on other boards.

I am slightly disappointed at the weird bootloader stuff they do, when the nice, open, u-boot is out there, but I suppose you can't have everything.

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Sony stock slides to 30-year low after record loss

David Hicks
Flame

Re: Ilgaz - Nobody blames thieves

Nobody blames the theives because they removed linux *before* piracy was even possible.

George Hotz demo'd a proof of concept hack that required interfering with the hardware to make it 'glitch', under PS3 Linux. There was no piracy at that point. Sony removed linux, then the firmware *without* linux was cracked and piracy enabled.

People like you get flamed because you have your facts and your timeline wrong.

'Hacking' was an extremely flimsy excuse for removing the capability, not a good reason at all.

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Best and the Rest: ARM Mini PCs

David Hicks

Re: Overlooking a lot of devices

Re sheevaplug - I'm assuming they leave it out because it has no display capability, unless you add-on a USB graphics adaptor, which people have varying amounts of luck with. The sheevaplug is a great little machine, but it's made for headless operation really.

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David Hicks

Been eyeing up the slice for a while

But there were various graphics or video decoding related issues, IIRC. Despite the power, it can't yet do 1080p video due to the driver for the hardware decoder not being functional at present. Maybe this has been addressed recently.

Also yes, not cheap.

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Scandal ad slingers cough up $100k in 'Facebook clickjack' case

David Hicks
Thumb Down

I wonder if it was them?

A couple of years ago I remember a few friends had 'like'd something, some sort of a laptop that was claimed to be a design masterpiece or next gen or something. So I clicked it, and tried to click some or other facebook button to take me away again, but they'd managed to force an overlay onto the page somehow, and next thing I knew I had spammed all my friends with the useless link too.

Quite underhand, and I guess a good way to harvest people's info, as the thing spread like a virus.

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Ten... alternatives to Samsung's Galaxy S III

David Hicks
Paris Hilton

So what do I get if I want something smaller?

As a fan of slipping my phone into the front pocket of my jeans, which is the best smartphone for me?

The big screens are all very pretty, but it's almost a different class of device to the trouser-able phones I'm used to.

Difficulty - no SOny, MS or Apple.

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Nokia: 'hybrid' mobiles will save us

David Hicks

Re: Who's in charge?

Regents Street in London had a Nokia store last time I was there, but a quick Google tells me that was du to close down in early 2010.

I must have gone in about that time. It was a mess of hundreds of similar models, none of which had all the features you wanted. Other than the N900, which I still have (didn't buy from them though! ebay... )

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'Oppressive' UK copyright law: More cobblers from IP quangos

David Hicks
Stop

Re: @David Hicks

@AC

"The lawyer for their side tried to claim that the film was a documentary, and as such the makers were allowed to use 'small segments for the purposes of criticism / review'"

And if that was genuinely found to be the case, that they had used small excerpts for the purposes of criticism, then I would support them over you. Some uses should be protected, commercial or otherwise, regardless of your objections.

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David Hicks
WTF?

Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

"If the fair use convention applied in the UK, then said company would have been able to shrug their shoulders at me and go 'that's too bad'."

How?

Fair use laws in the US are broadly there so that consumers can make backups of works they have bought, and format shift them, and so that small snippets and segments can be used for purposes of criticism/review. Oh, and so libraries can exist, and the occasional educational exemption on photocopying the odd page.

Please explain how fair-use laws would allow use of your music in a movie without payment. I genuinely don't see it and suspect you misunderstood your own standing. As far as I can tell you're spouting nonsense. Lawsuits go on in the US for this sort of thing ALL the time.

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David Hicks

Re: Britain's IP laws...... We are all Criminals

Of course it makes a difference, if it lasts a million years then people who copy after a reasonable amount of time are open to both private and public legal repercussions. Even if it only ever happens to a minority of people, the possibility is still there.

Laws that can't be enforced are passed all the time. They're used to screw people that come to the authorities' attention for other reasons.

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LG: We're not walking away from Windows Phone

David Hicks
FAIL

Re: Windows just isn't cool or desirable

Oh dear! Someone doesn't understand the smartphone market at all.

To you and me features and function may be king, but to everyone else?

Of *course* it's a fashion accessory! Mobiles (well, the ones that want to sell in huge quantities) have been primarily a fashion accessory since the late 90s. You need the right one, and the right one is an iPhone if you're an independent thinker with good taste, or Android if you're a free-thinking non-conformist! If you don't get either of these then clearly your independent or free-thinking nature hasn't led you in the right direction, that being the one everyone else has moved in.

That said, MS and Winphone can suck my appendages, I'll not be buying one.

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GCSE, A-level science exams ARE dumbed down - watchdog

David Hicks
Flame

Re: About bliddy time

Agreed here too. Took A-levels in 95 and 96, practicing on past papers got harder the further back you went. Same with GCSE's two years prior.

Given that everyone I know that's involved in education laments falling standards, that the universities often go on records saying that standards are falling, yet somehow (!?) average grades just keep getting better and better... yeah, we have a problem.

It's an irritation to me that every time people try to discuss this when the results come out, they get shouted down as just wanting to belittle the hard work that's gone in to it all and puff themselves up with declarations about how hard their personal challenge was. It's really not the case at all. My personal challenge wasn't all that hard back then and it sounds like it would be even easier now.

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UK biz needs fattening up on gov IT contracts, says No10 bod

David Hicks

Re: Protectionism fail

"Does the government foresee procurement panels being forced to choose a crappier or more expensive service because it comes from a UK supplier?"

Perhaps they forsee doing things sensibly - forcing procurement panels to let smaller businesses in the door to pitch/demo to them, instead of just handing it straight over to the usual suspects, which is the problem it's trying to address.

I'm sorry if this would disadvantage you, but strictly speaking - you're part of the problem.

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David Hicks
Thumb Up

It's always seemed a shame

That British taxpayers money is spent on contracts awarded to giant multinationals, who take the lions share as profit and outsource the work to India. The money mostly goes to the US, the employment opportunities mostly to India.

It seems first-order common sense to try and keep government spending within the country wherever possible.

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Punters want BBC iPlayer in TVs, not 3D

David Hicks
Meh

So... PVR functions, like a lot of TVs already have?

Mine (Samsung Plasma) offers to format any hard drive you plug in to use for PVR purposes. It wasn't a pushed or advertised feature, just something I found out later it could do, like playing mkv's over the network.

Of course real iPlayer and 4oD integration would be better. Be surprised if there's not an app of some sort for that for newer ones.

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Global chocolate crisis looms

David Hicks
Meh

Hmm, advertising?

Is it a coincidence that this year marks the first release of australian grown and processed chocolate? Stir up a bit of trouble and doubt about your less well developed rivals, hoping to trigger massive investment in the Australian chocolate industry?

Me, cynical?

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SATELLITE SMACKDOWN: Turnbull vs. Quigley

David Hicks
Pint

Turnbull may be the better politican (compared to Abbott)

But I do wonder why the liberals have to pursue this contrarian agenda to keep Australia in the dark ages. Even if NBN capacity isn't needed right this second, it seems incredibly short sighted to try to kill a project that prepares the country for the future.

Obviously you want to keep expenses under control, but there are much worse things tht governments spend far more money on, than the NBN.

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The tech jobs headhunters just can't fill

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Silly rabbits...

You want my skills, you pay my price. My price will go down if nobody is willing to pay me. If they are, chances are you're trying to get scarce, valuable skills at a low-ball figure.

Your alternative, and I know this is unheard of in business these days, is to take a current employee with a related skill set and offer them training. Then everyone wins. Of course the problem here is that if you're not paying them market rate then they'll leave afterwards too.

So basically, stop being a cheapskate, or if the money really isn't there to pay for these skills then you're going to have to live without them.

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Nature ISN'T fragile nor a bossy mother-in-law - top eco boffin

David Hicks
Devil

Re: Oh right DDT resistance

The point is that there are better ways to deal with the problem now, and that DDT is actually still in use where it is the best solution and doesn't pose an environmental hazard.

That's why I called 'troll', and I was right.

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David Hicks

Re: Oh right

WOW! A DDT Troll on the register! I thought you guys were extinct!

You know mosquitos developed resistance to that, right?

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Game of Thrones Blu-ray disc set

David Hicks
Pint

Oh, also -

Anyone else reckon that five books of 'Winter is coming!' followed by apparently a single one that deals with it, after build-up from word one, is a bit unlikely?

I forsee more than the proposed two more books in this series, and a very, very long wait for completion.

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David Hicks
Thumb Up

Definitely brilliant so far

But I must admit I wonder how the series is going to follow the books - the later ones spread the story so wide, following so many different characters, that progress is only made in the tiniest of steps.

I love the books but I find that one of the two flaws, that they don't progress apace. The other is that the story is unfinished and the bugger only releases one every five years... Still, that leaves him another four or so before the telly catches up with the novels.

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Coders' 'lives sucked out' by black-and-white Visual Studio 11

David Hicks

Re: Colour and contrast are not just for "ooh, look at the shiny thing"

I'm pretty sure there was some sort of fuss about websites a few years back, someone in the UK government was pretty sure that accessibility laws applied to them somehow.

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Quitting your job? Here's how not to do it

David Hicks
FAIL

Re: You can take it with you...

No, you can't.

Some (not many) software guys seem to have this misguided opinion that they hold the rights to stuff they produce under contract. This is incorrect unless you have some incredibly permissive contract.. Stuff produced on company time, with company equipment, is theirs once produced, not yours.

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Gov IT contractors hire staff in India to work on benefits system

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Anyone that's worked with them

Not that the individuals are necessarily stupid, or terrible at what they do, but there are systemic problems. I worked with Indian folk in the UK. One of them told me that - "The top flight people, they all go to the US for the money. The rest of the good people come to Europe for a little less money. What's left is, well, what's left."

So they don't have a good starting point there, they do have a cultural bias to agree with anything you say (do you have the skills for that? do you understand what I'm asking?) even if it's not true, there is a language barrier, there is a massive churn of staff and frankly, when looking at the results, you tend to get either nothing at all or just plain crap.

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David Hicks
Stop

Re: austerity

No, it's not the same logic at all.

The public sector is huge and expensive and needs trimming. There is the same problem, you need to do it without depressing the economy further. However 'sending all the money abroad' and 'not spending as much on the public sector' are different phenomena. The hope with the latter is that the tax burden eventually falls (or doesn't have to rise), which stimulates the economy by not taking the money out of the public's pockets in the first place.

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David Hicks
Thumb Down

Re: False economy

Oh I see, you disagree with the concept of free markets. That's not what I was talking about.

I do think it's wrong to restict access to consumers and workforces, I don't think it's wrong to have a preference to spend taxpayer money locally. These are different things.

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David Hicks
Facepalm

False Economy

The problem is the way this is done to budget.

You get the cheapest price from an outsourcing agreement, but that totally neglects the wider effects that the price -

Goes out of the UK econonomy

Doesn't take into account anything that would come back in taxes if kept in the UK

Could be, but now isn't, stimulating economic growth.

Now I know that if the government said "UK Only" then they'd get in trouble with various UN trade agencies and the EU, but IMHO these agreements need to be revised. I agree with free trade as a principle, particularly as it applies to the private sector, I just can't agree with sending masses of tax money out of the country when there's so much unemployment at home.

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Baffling barcode-on-steroids stickers plaster the EARTH

David Hicks
FAIL

Re: So do people actually scan these things?

A phone number is usually quite large, and not in a consistent format or size. A QR code is a funny looking square of black on white. Much easier to over-stick than unknown shape, unknown colour, unknown background phone numbers.

It probably won't ever be a big thing (it takes effort) but it could be done pretty easily.

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David Hicks

Re: So do people actually scan these things?

Heh, haven't been to b3ta for a while, pretty sure I will have stolen the idea from somewhere though, it's just the way of the world these days!

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