* Posts by IHateWearingATie

423 posts • joined 2 Jun 2008

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Speaking in Tech: Some douchebag put a bike rack on Tesla's new motor

IHateWearingATie

Fred Nix?

Clearly I'm not party to the Fred Nix inside joke. Googling has failed me - anyone any idea what the Fred Nix jokes are all about?

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BREAKING NEWS: Apple makes money

IHateWearingATie

Re: Record profits yet Wall St says No

Deary deary me

The stock market is basically driven by fear and greed, but to suggest that Apple goes private is just stupid. For a start, who has the funds to buy the shares of the world's most valuable company (by market cap)? And who would take it private, and why, to what end?

Apple is not a person that can be offended by the change in shareprice. How do you think shareprices are set - by analysts grouping together in some darkened room and cackling over a (computer generated) cauldron? Or by pension funds, insurance companies, hedge funds etc buying and selling based on whether they think they can turn a good enough profit in the future for their investment.

I'm not saying that the capital markets are not without huge issues and have stepped far far beyond sense in a lot of cases, but this is one of the few areas that actually follows what probably should happen. Apple gives guidance on future results, analysts and others say what they think as well, the actual results are published and they are lower, the price moves lower to reflect the lower expectations. I struggle to see what the issue is. If you want to rant and rave at the stupidity of the stock market, go take a look at naked short selling, or the floatation of Box.

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Here's why Whittingdale kicked a subscription BBC into the future

IHateWearingATie

Do not mess with Radio 4 Mr Whittingdale...

... if you value your Tory seats in the home counties.

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Fancy signing into Windows 10 with Office 365? WHOA there, my friend

IHateWearingATie

This is really not good enough...

.... MS need to sort this out PDQ. The sign in process in Win 8 already is a bit weird with ODFB and Office, and the confusing prompts for a Microsoft Account (aka my hotmail log in which is what it will be for a large number of people I suspect).

It doesn't seem that hard to design a sensible single sign on for Win 10, but that woudl require their product team, heaven forbid, from working together for once

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Your security is just dandy, Apple Pay, but here comes Android

IHateWearingATie

Meh

I don't just have payment cards in my wallet - I have cash (as not everyone takes cards - the coffee van that comes round to my client site for example), my card for the AA, my Tesco clubcard. I like the technology and where it is going, but I'll still need my wallet for now and so I don't see a great benefit (certainly not enough to make me replace my Android phone for an Apple one next upgrade cycle)

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Nokia will indeed be back 'making' phones – and it's far from a foolish move

IHateWearingATie

Given where they had got themselves to...

.... getting Microsoft to pay as much as they did for the handset division was pretty impressive.

Now, if only they had applied that business sense earlier to not fall down the rabbit hole that they did...

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Blighty's BONKERS BANKING BONKING BONANZA: Apple Pay arrives

IHateWearingATie
Headmaster

I've said it before and I'll say it again

Bring back Mondex! Used it at university in the late 90s and I need a nostalgia hit

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On yer bike: Hammerhead satnav for cyclists – just don't look down

IHateWearingATie

Can it take routes from strava and other cycle planning software?

Lots of people use strava or other apps to plan their rides - a killer feature would it being able to accept tcx or gcx files for routes. Will have to investigate

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EU net neutrality deal miraculously keeps everyone happy

IHateWearingATie

Bring on the downvotes

Seems like a sensible set of proposals to me. I'm not that bothered about Net Neutrality for the UK as most (to be fair, not all) people have a wide choice of ISPs and if one starts playing silly buggers others will soon start differentiating to attract customer.

Take a look at the 'unlimited' debacle - it may have taken a bit of time, but there are mainstream ISPs offering properly unlimited access (for a price) if that's what you after. If you're not that bothered as you don't download a lot of data, there are others that will offer a cheaper deal. Virgin have gone a different way, with dynamic throttling rather than monthly download limits (I'm with Virgin - the dynamic throttling works very well for what I use it for). It wasn't fast, but it worked - I can see no reason why the same wouldn't happen without net neutrality laws if some ISPs started killing iPlayer bandwidth unless you / BBC paid them more money.

I can see in countries where certain suppliers have a virtual monopoly in an area this would matter much more - I understand this is a particular issue in the USA. But I don't live there, so they can do whatever they think is best.

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7/7 memories: I was on a helpdesk that day and one of my users died

IHateWearingATie

Very eerie in London

At the time my route to work was walking through Tavistock squre, but that morning I and my wife had decided to go in early as we were both busy - quite a good idea in hindsight. The bus that blew up was on the route that she used (No30 I seem to recall) which went down the Euston road to Kings Cross but because of the tube bombs had diverted down to Tavistock Square that morning

Walking back to Euston later that afternoon was really very strange as all the tubes and buses had been cancelled, so everyone was walking. The streets were filled with people but it was very quiet with the mobile networks all still switched off. Walked up the other side of Tavistock Square on my way and saw what was left of the bus, before they screened it off.

Got one of the first trains out of Euston after they opened the station late afternoon - first and only time that strangers talked to strangers on London transport.

RIP

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

IHateWearingATie

Rule 1 for Quangos

You must be outside the glasshouse before throwing stones.

I suspect the Baronness was reminded of the rule on her way out the door

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Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises

IHateWearingATie

Lead ears...

I think I;ve read before about people who say they have 'golden ears' and can tell the difference between very subtle increases in dynamic range and sampling rate.

I however have 'lead' ears, which means I've never really been able to tell the difference between rubbish and amazing, or any grades in between. Which saves me money, as I can happily continue on my merry way with my £10 bluetooth earphones and MP3 files and get exactly the same experience as if I had spent £10k on some crazy super kit.

Ignorance may not be bliss, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

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Downing Street secretly deletes emails to avoid exposure to FOIeurs

IHateWearingATie

Er, old news?

This kind of thing has been standard across central government since FoI became law 10 years ago. You have to choose to save off the important stuff (and there are archive systems to do this) and then everything else is cleared after a specified period of time - No10 have 3 months but I think the rest of Gov have between 6 and 12 months as the limit. Remember,this stuff has been in place since 2005 - storage was really very expensive back then and Gov IT budgets are limited (remember they are funded by taking money away from you as taxes).

The FoI Act specifcially did not include a clause to stop people deleting stuff before a request has been received to allow removing anything unimportant / incriminating (delete as appropriate :) )

Of course, deleting stuff after receiving a request will get you in a load of trouble.

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SME IT contracts? That's the last thing Whitehall wants – report

IHateWearingATie

Nirvana.... or not

Currently working on a project with a private sector business where they have SMEs rather than a single big integrator. It's a disaster (which is why I'm here to try and help fix it).

Just goes to show that if you don't have the fundamentals of IT delivery right, things will screw up just as easily with an SME as with one of the big boys.

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GDS to handle Govt payments? What could possibly go wrong?

IHateWearingATie

Being a former civil servant, I'm usually annoyed when people mention Yes Minister as real life in Government tends to be stupidly complex and has lots of very good people doing as good a job as can be done in difficult circumstances (certainly just as good or bad as in the private sector in my experience - you just don't see them being eviserated in the press very often).

However, this has all the hallmarks of the minister in question being throughly Sir Humpreyed.

"Welcome to your new office Minister. Just read this brief on how wonderful we are. Oh by the way, you have a select committee meeting in 3 days where you'll have no choice but to regurgiate our briefing as you don't know any better yet, and then you'll be stuck defending us forever more lest you be accused of a U-Turn".

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Backwaters in rural England getting non-BT gigabit broadband

IHateWearingATie

Re: Isn't this in David Cameron's neck of the woods?

No. His constiuency is Witney, and I don't think the list of villages are covered by his constituency. I know some of the villages and they are very small and very wealthy. Seems perfect for FTTP.

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BOFH: Explain? All we need is this kay-sh with DDR3 Cortexiphan ...

IHateWearingATie

I read that as 'i seem to remember Dunham was hot', as in the character Olivia from the aforementioned TV series...

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Daddy Dyson keeps it in the family and hoovers up son’s energy biz

IHateWearingATie

YMMV

My Dyson hasn't broken which is a surprise given the amount of plaster dust, rubble and other unsuitable crap I've thrown at it over the years. always impressed with the industrial design making it easy to take apart and find the random kids coloring pencil that it has sucked up

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Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

IHateWearingATie

Re: Quite sad..

Didn't know that the G3 has a removable battery - will check it out

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IHateWearingATie

Re: Quite sad..

Good point. note 4 is a bit big for me but i may have to suck it up if i want a removable battery

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IHateWearingATie

Quite sad..

... as I'm due an upgrade of my work mobile later in the year, buck sucky reception, no SD card slot and lack of a removeable battery come together to make a dealbreaker.

Shame really as I think my S4 is really very good (have had iPhones and Blackberries in the past) and I may be the only person in the entire world who quite likes Touchwiz and didn't find the S4 plasticky.

What annoys me more is that there is no longer a flagship android with a removable battery - using this as a work phone (with some games & podcasts added for my commute) I swap batteries more often than you would imagine and having to wander round the office talking on the phone while an external power pack is dangling away off the phone will annoy me.

Yes, yes, I should remember to charge it while I'm at my desk or bring my charger to meeting rooms etc, but I'm sometimes too busy and forget. A quick battery swap is easily the most convienient option, now sadly not available if/when i upgrade and choose a flagship android phone.

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Bonking with Apple is no fun 'cos it's too hard to pay, say punters

IHateWearingATie

Bring Back MONDEX

Felt very futuristic when we were using it at University in 1999.

A pox on these flashy modern gizmos.

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BBC waves £230m of feepayers' dosh at tech backbone deal

IHateWearingATie

I thought the cabinet office had moved away from the 'tower' model?

Wasn't the Tower model all the rage in the late 2000s and Cabinet Office had now recommended public sector bodies to move away from it?

Unless the Beeb are way ahead of time and anticipating the inevitable pendulum swing back to it in 10 years time?

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To defend offshore finance bods looting developing countries of their tax cash

IHateWearingATie

different topic

I think you're mixing up free trade and taxation of investments. The article is about taxation once a company has invested, though i think what's in your mind is protectionism in order to build up local industries in the way that South Korea and India did ( and the UK and US did much earlier). If youare interested in that aspect I'd recommend Ha Joon Chang's book 'Bad Samaritans' - he's a developmental economist at Cambridge.

Thinking about it, I'd be interested in Tim's take on that in a future article

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V&A Museum shows Guardian's destroyed MacBook as ART

IHateWearingATie

Re: me

It's not hardware that annoys me, its software. Now we get everything digitally, there are no more CDs to frisbee across the room in frustration.

Its a good thing iTunes never had a physical manifestation when I was using it in the past - an angle grinder would have been the least of its worries.

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Home Office awards Raytheon £150m over e-borders cancellation

IHateWearingATie

Re: Seriously

The first rule of the blacklist for crap suppliers...

... is that you don't talk about the blacklist for crap suppliers, lest their lawyers get wind of it.

"Of course you're a valued supplier, its just that someone else provided a better bid on this contract... and this one.... and this one.... and every contract we get a whiff you're involved in for the next 10 years...

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

IHateWearingATie

Ah, I remember this one

... my usual option was:

j) Try and fix it and put in a worse hack than the original problem. After forgetting to check the code out and back in properly so some poor sap has to merge the code later.

Maybe that's why I'm not allowed near anything more complex than powerpoint these days.

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Attack of the Digital People: The BBC goes fully Bong

IHateWearingATie

Hmmmm

Is this kind of malarky well paid? If so it sounds like the kind of indoors, easy to do, hard to measure work that I like to be involved in. Time ot polish the CV

I find myself thinking that Wally from Dilbert really has the right approach more and more each day.

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Universal Credit could take 10 YEARS to finish, says Labour MP

IHateWearingATie

Stephen Timms

In the words of a former colleague who worked for him:

"One of the few genuinely decent human beings in parliament".

I'd like to believe that he's raising this due to be being a shambles, rather than as a party hack scoring points.

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Tastier Lollipops for chosen few as Google releases Android 5.1

IHateWearingATie

Much as I like android..

... this really is the worst aspect of it, waiting not just for the handset maker but also the network (depending on your device) to bother to update it.

And my 2012 Nexus 7 has slowed to a crawl as I stupidly assumed that Google had tested its impact on on the Nexus devices before pushing it out. The upside is I did manage to use it as an excuse with The Boss to let me buy a Z3 Compact tablet which is great and give the Nexus to my son as a dedicated Minecraft tablet :)

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Phabba-dabba-do: Samsung hypes up Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

IHateWearingATie

no s6 for me

While i appreciate I'm in a minority, the reason i bought a s4 was the sd card slot and removable battery. As a work phone, it's so much easier to swap the battery when it is running low than plug in and carry around one of those external packs while I'm trying to speak on the phone and there isn't a handy socket nearby. Similarly, work will only buy me the base storage version as any additional storage costs more and isn't really for work purposes (i have a 64 gb card with music, podcasts, games etc on it).

Quite sad as i don't think there is a flagship Android with a removable battery now.

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UK.gov shuns IT support tower model. Now what the hell do we do?

IHateWearingATie

Reason it will never work? Salaries outside paygrades.

It's time to give up on the idea of ever having central government IT functions unless the grade structure is changed. You just cannot recruit perm staff with the necessary skills if you are trying to fit into the civil service pay grades.

For example - bottom of the deputy director pay grade is somewhere around £50-60k (I seem to remember). A dep director is not a doer, he/she would be someone managing an entire IT project - the pyramid then flows down to the point where to fit in with the grades and salaries, anyone who actually does any work like cutting code or configuring development environments could be on a maxium of £30k ish (my guess is the old HEO grade in DWP, or Grade D in HM Treasury). In Central London.

Now, I'm not saying that you can't live on £30k in London, but anyone half decent could make more elsewhere.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

IHateWearingATie

Don't mind the change tracking in Word

Maybe if you're an author it sucks, but for general office related tasks it seems to work well enough for me. I couldn't get on with LibreOffice, but then I think that's only because I'm so used to Word everything just felt in the wrong place.

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Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy: Hands-on gizmo-packed motoring

IHateWearingATie

275 hp 4 pot engine? Easy...

.... as Scoobys and EVOs have been doing it for years and years. My track car was a 2003 Impreza that I fettled to 320hp. There are plenty being ragged around by boy racers (and slightly older racers like me) that are even older.

Wouldn't want to put that kind of power through just the front wheels of a car of that vintage though...

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IHateWearingATie

No passengers?

I've done track days with all of the major UK operators and visited all of the major UK tracks and never encountered an operator or a circuit that bans front seat passengers.

Timing, handheld cameras, back seat passengers, all regularly banned. But never front seat passengers. Sadly I had to sell my track car last year and haven't been on a track day for about 14 months, but I can't imagine things have changed so radically in the last year.

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£100 MILLION poured down drain on failed UK.gov IT projects - in just ONE YEAR

IHateWearingATie

Re: Basically...

Agree - a sure fire way to screw up a central gov IT project is to let Cabinet Office get wind of it and send people to 'help'. My advice is to brief security and not let them in the building.

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Hey Apple - what's the $178bn for? Are you down with OTT?

IHateWearingATie

Re: BBC Death

Just because the next generation are not using it now, does not mean that their tastes, preferences and watching / listening habits will stay the same as they get older.

An example - if you looked int he 1960s at the number of spotty youth listening to classical music, you may have concluded that it'll be almost dead in a generation. Instead, its still going strong with mass audiences for Classic FM, Sky Arts, Andre Reui etc. My Dad followed this trend, where as part of the boomer generation spent his youth listening to the Beatles and Rolling Stones. As he has got older he's added Bach and Brahms to his listening - something he would have never dreamed of in the swinging 60s.

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UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

IHateWearingATie

Hmmmm

1. Central gov employs hundreds of thousands of people, and deals with sensitive information all day every day. The likelyhood of a complete muppet doing this is pretty high. That does not mean that everyone in Gov is an idiot.

2. From my experience, private sector organisations are just as bad. Came across an example recently that made my mind boggle, but you'll never read about it in the paper as the company will never tell anyone and it wasn't personal data or anything covered by the data protection act so it is not obligated to tell. Stupid things government does ALWAYS ends up in the paper

3. Don't have enough information from the story, but posting a disk encrypted with very strong encryption may be appropriate given the outcome of the risk assessment. The headline might be fun, but actually it could be a non-story (but that doesn't sell papers or get unique vistors). Use the right encryption software and the disks will be nothing but coasters to anyone who doesn't have the NSA's encryption munching capabilities (maybe not even them depending on what they used to encrypt it).

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Wheeee! BT preps for FIVE HUNDRED MEGABIT broadband trial

IHateWearingATie

Re: Can't believe it took 5 posts...

If you're in an area with crap broadband, 9 times out of 10 it's because there are not enough of you willing to cough up the cash to make it worth anyone's while to install the right solution.

Exchange only line? Either FTTP or re-run cables so there is a cabinet you can get FTTC through. Bloody expensive per property in both cases and unlikely to be worth it for a few people paying £20 a month.

Too far from the exchange? Probably not enough of you to make it pay to install FTTC or run FTTP. Unless you each want to pay £100 a month for your broadband so the installer can get their money back.

Bloody miles from anywhere? You're on your own pal. Only option is to put the hard work in yourself and get together as a village to sort it out with one of the small suppliers. BT or others are not going to do it for you as it will be too expensive.

Government has thrown a bunch of cash to help sort it, but while you can give BDUK a kicking for the way that it has spent the money, its always going to be spent to get the best bang for the buck and it was NEVER going to be enough to get everyone more than a basic connection no matter how it was distributed and whichever companies were involved. You can think that the Government should spend more, but then you have to take the cash from elsewhere (nurses, doctors, police, teachers, roads etc etc).

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IHateWearingATie

Can't believe it took 5 posts...

... before the obligatory "500Mbps, I can't even get 2Mbps, rant rant, rave rave, evil BT etc etc" post. I would have bet on that being 2nd post at least.

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One Sync to rule them all: How Microsoft plans to fix OneDrive

IHateWearingATie

A special place in hell...

... is already reserved for the OneDrive sync designers.

This improvement will mearly make their eternal punishment slightly less agonising.

(It has got better, but still catches me out sometimes)

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QWERTY-tastic BlackBerry Classic actually a classic

IHateWearingATie

The only camera test that matters for this phone...

... will be can it take a decent detailed snap of a fair sized whiteboard with much squiqqling on it in a single picture.

Important for the vast majority of users of this I suspect. My old Blackberry Bold sucked at taking pictures of my squiggles on whiteboards.

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Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

IHateWearingATie

I'll be happy...

If it makes using Outlook Web access and share point less painful in IE then I'll be happy. I use chrome or Firefox to access OWA and the company's share point as IE 11 is so flaky with it.

I can only assume the engineers who developed OWA and share point were as fed up with IE being crap as the rest of us and coded it for decent browsers.

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Grab a SLIM MODEL for Xmas cheer: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

IHateWearingATie

Re: Is the screen..

Not that I have found so far but I'm not a stickler for these things

Actually typing this reply on my z3 compact tablet - very pleased with it so far. I chose it over the ipad and Samsung offering due to the water proofness as it is small and light enough for the wife to use it as an e-reader in the bath

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Working over Christmas? Government tech suppliers will be

IHateWearingATie

The good old days

This used to be the usual practice for government procurement. Tender released on 19th Dec (as the procurement team goes on Christmas break), with the response due back on 5th Jan so they can get stuck in when they're back. One member of the team then occasionally checks emails (i.e once a week) in case anyone has asked any questions.

Good to see CCS is keeping it old skool

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Penguin porn? NO! Linux folk in #LCA2015 standoff

IHateWearingATie

Worst excuse for reading porn at work.

Ever.

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Car-crash IT: HUGE write-off for Universal Credit - PAC

IHateWearingATie

Re: Pretty good for public sector IT

Actually, UC as a concept had been hanging around DWP like a bad smell for years. IDS is the one who said "Yes" when every other minister before him had said "No".

As I understand consultants only got involved once the decision had been made and they were asked to make it happen.

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Apple lawyers fight to silence dead Steve Jobs: 'No right' to hear him from beyond the grave

IHateWearingATie

Re: Not strange to me...

The truthers have invaded El Reg

We're all doomed !

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CERN IT boss: What we do is not really that special

IHateWearingATie

It should ALWAYS be called the God Particle...

... as it really annoys particle physicists :)

Just as you should always tell chemists they are glorified cooks, biologists that its all just plumbing in the end, and management consultants like me that we are all overpaid, know-it-all, useless bastards :)

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SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google

IHateWearingATie

So the part of my comment "can't find much either way on Google?" passed you by?

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