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* Posts by Cliff

1254 posts • joined 14 Apr 2007

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Beef up your Office 365, SQL, Azure skills with Microsoft and The Reg

Cliff
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Maybe 20-25% advert

The balance is often really useful/interesting if you're working with the tools.

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Electronic kit low on juice? SPIT ON IT

Cliff
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Re: How much power?

Pedant! Who cares? It's not like 3 orders of magnitude is like a big deal or anything ;-)

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The Punch and Judy show is LIVE NOW cancelled

Cliff
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I'm out in Arabia, somewhat tipsy, coming home soon, thanks for waiting for me so I can follow along.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Cliff
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Re: Luxury item

Health claims have always been spurious, but I can see other valid reasons to choose organic food over agri-chemical food.

Principally - avoiding 'innocent bystander' insects from being killed with pesticides (the value of biodiversity is hard to argue against), avoiding sudden/high volume leeching of nitrates and ilk into the water supply, reliance on agri-chemical companies.

Some people try to push the boundaries of 'organic' by creating naturally-derived analogues of synthetic treatments - but they're more about the cash-in than the ethos behind organic farming.

Ultimately it comes down either feeding the plants, or feeding the soil which in turn feeds the plants (and other wildlife). I'm for feeding the soil.

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Assange not running in new Australian election

Cliff
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Because he cares about the best interests of the Australians he'd represent

Oh wait, that must be someone else I'm thinking of...

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This record-smashing robot solves a Rubik's Cube in 3.253 seconds

Cliff
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Re: Unbelievably wonderfull

3.2 seconds to peel off all the labels and stick them back on is certainly impressive (that's how much patience I had with the cube...)

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Bill Gates-backed SOLAR POO RAYGUN COMMODE unveiled

Cliff
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Credit to The Gates'

This kind of research isn't fashionable, but can make a huge difference. I like that they go for the unfashionable problems because they're 1) more likely to have more unexplored possibilities and 2) not going to get much private investment and 3) as an engineer I see that's better bang for buck and 4) as an engineer I scoff in the face of fashion...

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Top UK e-commerce sites fail to protect 'password' password-havers from selves

Cliff
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Re: But...

Simple, cheap partial solution

Instead of using the moniker 'password' we start using 'pass phrase'. In this modern day there is no reason to not accept mixed case, punctuation and spaces, but the concept of 'passWORD' excludes these in favour of something...well...word length and weak.

Also, the three tries at entering the passphrase then steadily extending the retry time will soon thwart bots.

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20 Freescale staff on vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Cliff
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How awful for their families

They must be feeling dreadful, condolences to all.

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LOHAN chap hooks up with busty stratominx in cosmic pleasure cruise

Cliff
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On a more important note

Will our playmonoaut do some space demos for us like Chris Hadfield did - and maybe record his own version of 'Star Trekking' for us back on earth?

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Bitcoin bank Flexcoin pulls plug after cyber-robbers nick $610,000

Cliff
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Re: Your numbers are gone

Currency 'value' is based in confidence. Most fiat currencies are backed by nations, backed by armies, backed by guns and fighter jets. It helps people feel confident in them.

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New 4G router pitched at biz bods sick to death of titsup networks

Cliff
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Isn't this what TP-Link have been doing for a few years?

Out on an island building site in the Middle East just now, can't get a fibre or copper to the cabins so we use a load of 4G-Wifi wireless routers with ethernet connections, 802.11n, etc. Cost a fraction, so if anyone's looking for a home version, try TP-Link?

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Ever get the impression a telesales op was being held prisoner?

Cliff
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Re: Really bad idea actually...

Clearly some people suit different types of work better than others. No matter how much training you give me as a bricklayer you'll get a wonky wall. Train me as a chef and you'll get burnt water. Stick me in front of a big pile of data and I'll slap it into shape. Some people may be great on the phone and just not know it, so not even realise they have options in the legit world. Make them lay blocks and they'll go back to do something else - maybe back to crime. Offer them a route out, and some may take it.

Prisoners are not all murderers and con men. Even if they were, they're clearly not going to give people guilty of credit card fraud jobs handling credit cards. They may provide Tier 1 support from scripts and logging bugs/issues, they may generate sales leads for other centres, they may be getting feedback on marketing campaigns. I'm sure the jobs will be sensibly chosen and trainees the more suited to it.

Not all prisoners want to be lifetime criminals, not all will be suited to trench digging, why not play to their natural abilities?

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Cliff
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Not a bad idea actually

You are sent to prison AS punishment, not FOR punishment. Prisons should attempt to rehabilitate and give people who went off the rails better options for when they're released. Will it work for all cons? Of course not. Will it work for some cons? Absolutely.

And call centre work is a realistic reflection of the kinds of jobs we have in Britain now. Give people the skills and opportunities and for some it will make the difference between going back to crime and getting back into society which is wins all round.

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Miscreant menaces Meetup, minuscule money mania mashed

Cliff
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'Give me your wallet'

It's just coward-grade mugging. There's not even the skill, art or finesse of a good security breach, it's just thuggery.

To think, the internet used to be such a nice place before the public and ad men were allowed in.

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Fanbois sent into FITS of RAGE by fake Steve Jobs statue competition

Cliff
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Re: Were Apple available for comment?

As I recall Apple and The Reg had a bit of a falling out over something quite silly and a long time ago.

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Hey, IT department! Sick of vendor shaftings? Why not DO IT, yourself

Cliff
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Re: So I'm not the only experiencing this?

Just don't forget this...

"...what they didn’t do was give the finance department a thing to play with whilst they got the project off the ground."

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Insecure hipsters with BEARD ENVY spur facial hair transplant craze

Cliff
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Re: shaving

I'm not a beard fan. Neither were the ancient Romans. Fashions and preferences change over time.

To me, beards frequently look untidy and unclean.

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Bitcoin or bust: MtGox files for bankruptcy protection

Cliff
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Other sites race to be first with dry headlines

The Register is more analysis than dry headlines. Their value add is often filtering wheat from chaff and not just reprinting press releases and AP leaders.

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MtGox MELTDOWN: Quits Bitcoin Foundation board, deletes Twitter

Cliff
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Shocked?

3 months ago on another form they had a really busy get-rich-quick bitcoin forum. Seeing how very few people are capable of understanding the intricacies of the protocol, there were a lot of very noisy people pumping BTC with exactly the kind of 'reasons' they did for gold 2 years ago. They have all fine somewhat quieter recently.

Funnily enough I see BTC fills a certain space in the market, and follow its progress, but the ffact is that you cannot any longer mine them without dedicated and expensive hardware meaning any rate changes are down to speculators, resulting in hype and instability. That isn't good for a currency. Maybe after the frenzied hype settles there will be something worthwhile left over, but right now there's too much noise to signal.

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Apple Safari, Mail and more hit by SSL spying bug on OS X, fix 'soon'

Cliff
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Re: This doesn't make sense

Presumably the cat had already escaped the bag, so there was nothing to be gained by keeping a secret from those at risk that those attacking already knew?

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Big Beardie's watching: Gaze into the screen... it shall gaze also into you

Cliff
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Amstrad's approach to products

As I recall they've generally been pretty shit (tatty stereos, killed off Sinclair, 3" drives when the world used 3.5" on their word processor, email phones, etc), so it would not surprise me if this was a crock of crap under the covers.

I wonder what the SMS message format is, be a chuckle if they just contain a URL and the SIM number is visible.

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Facebook gobbles WhatsApp for SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS

Cliff
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Re: Oh great

Another app I'll just have to live without. Like Instagram and (nearly) SnapChat.

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London calling: Date set for launch of capital's very own domain name

Cliff
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Sadly I fear this will be the core business model of some Hoxton startup already.

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Cliff
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Re: Rise of the idiots

Sounds like a Sugar Ape leader.

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Oh, so you've founded a disruptive storage upstart? Do tell me more

Cliff
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Someone got out of bed the wrong side today...

I take it another waste of time press release email landed in your inbox before the third coffee?? ;-)

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Without a smartphone your reptile brain gets a workout

Cliff
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In my job...

I often work in foreign countries with a large transient team who need to communicate cheaply. We have a stack of 60 Nokia 100's and 101's we use. When we land in a country we buy (assuming local laws and companies allow - irritating how often they don't) a stack of PAYG SIM cards, and program each one up with the numbers of all the other SIM cards and names for who we give that phone to.

It's an elegant solution because...

1) The phones are small, the battery lasts forever (unlike those who try to use the SIM in a smartphone and find come 8pm showtime that they're out of battery - just when they need to be on the phone!)

2) They are rugged enough for carpenters, roadies, site etc

3) They are fugly, don't tempt thieves

4) No internet, so no stupid data charges when some drum tech installs some 1.5GB phone game (EA, I'm looking at you!)

5) Truly irritating to text on, so fewer SMS to worry about

6) Retro Gaming!!

They are ideal phones for this kind of thing. But it does mean everyone travels with 2 phones, one we pay for and one that's entirely their own unsupported problem.

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New password system lets planet Earth do the hard work

Cliff
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Variant of features on a photo

A couple of years back The Reg had an article about passwords where the user would draw over some notable features in a photo, sounds like the same thing.

Problem is for my password for say the Royal Albert Hall Ticket Office, aren't I going to trace the RAH? Along with everyone else...

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2e2 debt recovery specialist finds... £2,000 in six months

Cliff
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Administrators fees?

Is this what's left after the administrators got paid, or do their fees come out of that £2k??

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Minecraft developer kills Kickstarted Minecraft movie

Cliff
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Re: Rule zero of movies - Get the rights *first*

>>>It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Doesn't make it right.<<<

Not in the movie world. You can sink as much money as you like, but if the IP holder says 'no', it's dead money. More likely the IP holder takes the opportunity to scalp you at the same time. Nobody will touch it without full chain of title (and that's a helluvalotta paperwork right there)

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BOFH: Attractive person is attractive. Um, why are your eyes bulging?

Cliff
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Re: PFY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastard_Operator_From_Hell

GTFY

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Cliff
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Re: Bad answers.

Clothes shopping. My wife is pragmatic now and we don't go together. Asking me about which of the x items is best is similar to me asking her which network topology we should use for the car. No idea, not in the least interested, and my opinion is of no constructive/considered value anyway. I once got busted for giving rote answers without even looking. There was pain, it was worth it, no longer get caught up in shopping for clothes together 'because it's what couples do'.

Clothes are foremost about utility of course, but then I like some flourishes (although not the same ones she does). Her selection of cardigans involves ones without sleeves, buttons and I kid you not there's one without a back FFS. We live in different worlds.

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LOHAN's handsome young autopilot springs into life

Cliff
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You need a playmobil dog too.

Autopilots etc - old aviation gag...

Can be flown by a pilot and a dog. The dog's job is to stop anyone touching the controls, the pilot's job is to feed the dog.

You need a playmobil dog.

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Devs: We'll bury Candy Crush King under HEAPS of candy apps

Cliff
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Can Dylan Crush Apples Again?

CanDy

Crush

Apple

sAga

You can have that one for free. Make that game!

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Davos Diary: POVERTY disruption in ACTION. Cash-poor? Just mine a #BongCoin!

Cliff
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Exactly right

I read these without really being sure if it's complete bollocks or absolutely true. And which bits are which. And I have no idea. And that scares me.

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El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

Cliff
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Do you see much of the internet? This is a spoof of those linkbait sites that aggregate or simply screen scrape a bunch of images, surrounds them with adverts, forces you to click through one at a time, with titles that consistently involved hyperbole and a number '5 incredible photos of blah', 'your eyes won't believe x can be so exciting', '12 wired cancer treatments that really work!!'.

It's a pastiche of buzzfeed and ilk if it needs spelling out.

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Cliff
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Re: Yeah, cool...

This belongs in the 'You won't believe the Top 10 Linkbait pseudo articles you'll see this year' pseudo article I'll get some bot and intern to knock up for ad-rev clickbait.

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UNBREAKABLE bendy phone screens built, thanks to SHELLFISH

Cliff
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Re: Bullet-proof

Basically what Cray says. Our panels would stop a 9mm rifle bullet at 1m, the first save was guaranteed, tested, all ISO9000-ed etc. Second round stood a chance at getting through, but by that point you've had the warning and taken some action.

At our factory we also used to do Concorde and jumbo jet windscreens, popemobile, specialist helicopter shaped panels etc. Lots of very skilled hand-work, some panels were worth tens of thousands of pounds with vapour deposited gold UV protection and embedded heating elements etc. We also did the windows for the intercity HST sets, all tested and demonstrably significantly more resistant to high-speed projectiles than the train body surrounding it.

Bird tests for jet canopies were real, the frozen chicken myth was just that, it was alive until about 5 minutes before it was atomised all over the high intensity lamps for the high speed filming.

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Cliff
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Bullet-proof

I used to work in a bullet-proof glass factory. The secret (apart from being quite thick) was that we laminated in lots of thin soft vinyl layers under vacuum, they would stop the crack propagation whilst the glass itself provided the resistance to projectiles. Doing this across the whole structure in 3D, not just 2D lamination sounds like genius. I'd buy one.

(Sent from my £600 phone with a starfish crack in the bottom right hand corner which I've had to protect with clear epoxy resin)

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Ditch IE7 and we'll give you a FREE COMPUTER, says incautious US firm

Cliff
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Re: Just a thought

Mosaic? You graphical Johnny-come-lately!

Lynx gets you a whole village!

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Cliff
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Rare pragmatic response

How refreshing that someone costed both sides of the equation, worked out what was cheaper, worked out it came with free PR, and took it. I've been caught up in idiotic infrastructure systems with massive security black holes and staggering running costs just so we could deliver payslips electronically instead of on paper. I costed it, it was a saving of nearly 70% to revert to the paper system (more when you consider that people would then print their own payslips on company printers anyway), but it wasn't considered a viable option.

People are funny, if you employ an engineer to optimise a problem why not listen?

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Hello Moto: Lenovo grabs Motorola biz for $3bn. But Google's KEEPING the patents

Cliff
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Re: for those who said buying Motorola was all about the patents...

Indeed. All the 'Made in America' bollocks was always bollocks anyway.

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Google helps out utterly underexposed Lego brand with Chrome toy

Cliff
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Re: Obscure and underexposed....

Oh bless! You must find The Register so hard to read and so confusing as it is always chock-full of micro-jibes and understatements like this.

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Developer's rare $50,000 Twitter account @N stolen in web shakedown

Cliff
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@N has an efficiency to it

If you only have 140 characters.

Sorry to hear the poor chap's plight at the hands of extortion though, and even sorrier that someone wanted a (clearly not anonymous) twitter username enough to resort to it.

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Boffins demo re-usable paper and waterjet printers

Cliff
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What's wrong with slate?

Used to do exactly this job in the early 20th.

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Here they come: Dot-word warehouse Donuts to launch new top-level domains this week

Cliff
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Re: .wankers

Quite. Have a +1.

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Cliff
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Fucking racket, end-to-end

This is what happens when marketeers get their fingers into what was previously a workable decent system. Viz patents.

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Sinclair's ZX Spectrum to LIVE AGAIN!

Cliff
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Re: Awful to type on

Using cursor keys 5-8, IIRC

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New Doctor Who's new costume newly REVEALED by Beeb

Cliff
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Re: DMs...Hmmmm

>>... almost all are now made in China or Thailand. Apparently some are still made int he UK but are difficult to find.<<

Economics - people buying cheaper from the Far East, you either join in or die.

That said, if you go to the DM website you can get the British made lines from them direct, there are several, and they are every bit as good as they used to be. I still wear them for daily comfort boots, but for fancywear have migrated to Ducker & Sons (still UK made)

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Trojan-laden FileZilla clone slurps data, sends it to the UNKNOWN

Cliff
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Re: So why is it smaller?

Different compiler/optimiser?

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