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* Posts by IHateWearingATie

375 posts • joined 2 Jun 2008

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Overclocking to 5GHz? We put Intel Devil’s Canyon CPU to the test

IHateWearingATie

Agree - it seems like the new TIM hasn't made that much of a difference in the early examples.

My Sandybridge CPU does a very stable 4.5Ghz using a relativel cheap air cooler and I was hoping this would be a significant improvement. Of course there are some other architectural improvements from Sandybridge so I'm sure this would bench quicker then if I ran mine at 4.7Ghz, but I was hoping for something more.

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Aereo presses pause on 'tiny antenna' TV-streaming service

IHateWearingATie

Always thought that their 'dime sized antennae' based excuse sounded a little hollow. I'm all for disruptive technologies, but this always sounded to me like they had stepped over the line

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We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

IHateWearingATie

Great stuff

Good to see 'leccy cars improving. Cost is still too high for me (if I had £50k I'd be buying a second hand 911 and saying sod the environment), and my ideal would be to have a small on-board engine to get me home if I'm too far away from a fast charger.

Still, another 10 years and I may have an electric car sitting on my driveway

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Labour vows: We'll pause one-dole-to-rule-them-all for drastic fix-up if elected in 2015

IHateWearingATie

Re: Nice idea..

See my comment above - you clearly haven't worked on social security or tax systems.

I've seen more complex and seemingly outlandish examples included because of the sheer number that crop up, meaning meatbag processing would be quickly overwhelmed .

We were not stupid - only complexity that needed to be in the system was there. There are plenty of manual workarounds on the system for complex situations where the numbers are small. However, you also need to consider the number of workarounds - they soon mount up, and before you know it there are as many cases being processed off system as on system.

I seem to remember the particular example above was included as it tipped over the de minimus for stupidly complex cases - can't remember exactly what it was but it was in the low thousands. Sounds unbelievable, but to be honest once you've worked on social security systems your threshold to be surprised by the situations people can get themselves into is pretty high.

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IHateWearingATie

Re: Nice idea..

How easy to type, how hard to implement in practice.

The idea behind UC was kicking around for YEARS in DWP before IDS came in. A smaller attempt was made to bring benefit systems together in the mid 2000s which was scrapped as it quickly ran into the sand.

There are two reasons the benefits system is complex - one is the incremental nature of it, with things being layered on top of each other for years and years until we end up where we are now.

The other is that life is stupidly, incredibly, ridiculously, unbelievably complex, and the benefits system has to take account of that as the impact of ignoring it can have profound consequences for people.

Lets take an example - I'm a bank and a customer wants to open an account and give his 3 wives (he has a polygamous marriage from his time living in Qatar) access. A bank may look at that use case and say "screw it, too costly to implement the functionality, hardly anyone needs that so I won't build the functionality in to the system and if he doesn't like it I don't care, he can naff off to another bank"

The DWP can't say that, as if he can't claim benefits he and his wives and his kids will starve (lets ignore the arguments over whether or not he should get benefits). In the UK polygamous marriage is not legal, so which marriage do we recognise (the first one, as the rules currently go - yes this is a real example I've worked on in the past) ? What do the other two women with kids do about their benefit claims? They all live in the same house, so how can we work the rules to ensure they have enough to live on, but don't get more than their fair share and take the piss.

If you think that is a ridiculous use case, then you clearly have never worked on social security or tax systems. There are many many many examples like this - my favourite is the guy who changed his name to his national insurance number which caused a re-write in a bunch of modules as it broke some validation rules designed to weed out mistypes.

As my boss used to say, when your IT system has to deal with the entire working population every month (for example with national insurance), then one in a million situations happen at least once a day.

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Home automation while it's hot: Winter warmth for lazy technophiles

IHateWearingATie

I agree as well - I replaced the heating system in my house last year (we had not long moved in and it was ancient and partly broken) and I couldn't see much benefit from the clever gizmos on top of a cheap programmable thermostat and thermostatic valves on the radiators.

We have a combi boiler, so hot water timing isn't needed, and things just don't change that much in the house that often. The timer can be set to different times and temps on different days, and the thermostatic valves are set to a lower temperature in the 2 rooms we don't use much (junk room, spare bedroom). It also has a holiday feature to override the normal settings between specified dates

I guess if the time you leave and come back to the house varies a lot then then being able to switch the heating on before you get back might be nice. And if you have air con (my mate is an air con engineer and has fitted some end of line units in his house - very jealous in the summer) and / or underfloor heating then I can see the benefit in linking things together. But for most of us whose times in and out of the house are controlled by work and school, I can't see much benefit for now.

Which is a shame, as I love gadgets :)

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London commuter hell will soon include 'one card to rule them all'

IHateWearingATie

Is this a joke?

I already use my Oyster to travel pretty much anywhere inside the M25 north of the river, and a fair chunk south of the river (there be dragons etc etc) on overground, underground and buses.

So this is adding Oyster to some more Southern trains stations (extending out past Leatherhead for example), a few extra buses (the one that goes past my house to Watford Junction would be nice, and not that difficult as other Oyster enabled buses go to Watford Junction) and Taxis?

How can they talk about this with a straight face?

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Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up

IHateWearingATie

Re: Lenovo Yoga 2 > Surface, at least for business

My Yoga 2 is 1920 x 1080 - not sure I'd get any benefit at a greater resolution for the vast majority of the work I do.

We try and keep the number of words on a slide down to a minimum for senior management. Don't want to confuse them, the poor dears :)

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IHateWearingATie

Lenovo Yoga 2 > Surface, at least for business

I've been using a Lenovo Yoga 2 as my main work machine for a bit now, and it seems to provide a good enough tablet experience without compromising its main duty of letting me do a day's work in MS Office (yes, I gave up being a 'proper' techie a while ago - editing slides in powerpoint pays so much better )

Remember this is a business machine. Tablet duties at work are limited (taking notes in meetings, showing things to people at their desks etc), and limited at home as well as I already have a Nexus tablet to play games / surf / try and wrestle out of the grip of my kids.

I can't really see any benefit that the Surface gives me over the Yoga. If I was going to use it primarily as a tablet with a bit of laptop work, it may be different.

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Multiplayer Elite to debut on May 30th

IHateWearingATie

Fingers crossed...

.... that it's even half as good as the stupendous original.

Anyone remember the novella that came with the boxed BBC version of Elite? I've lost it now, but seem to remember that it was a very passable bit of si-fi fiction.

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Gigabyte Brix Pro: You don't need no steenkin' Xbox... when you have 4K-ing amazing graphics

IHateWearingATie

Re: £900 ???

I don't think I have more than 30 or so PC games that work on my current PC either. I certainly don't get time to play more than a couple (bloody kids).

To my great annoyance I had to buy the command and conquer full set (only £10 admittedly) to get Tiberian Sun working, as my old copy simply refused to work with my modern graphics card. And I don't like to think of the hours I've spent trying to get the original Carmageddon working....

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IHateWearingATie

Re: £900 ???

You'd have to buy an awful lot of games to make up for the £500 price difference between a PS4 and this (PS4 is approx £400 which for me was £350 + a year on PS Plus). From what I've seen of the games I buy for my PS4 (typically blockbusters like Call fo Duty) the price difference is rarely more than £10-15 on launch day (much less after a couple of months). I'd need to buy around 40 games just to break even (assuming I buy into PS Plus every year). That's as many as I have in total for my PS2, PS3 and PS4!

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IHateWearingATie

£900 ???

Am I unreasonable in my expectations, but £900 seems really expensive to have a moderately powerful PC that is quite small.

That's more than my desktop cost - granted its an ATX case, but I could have easily plumped for the same components in a mATX case so it could be hidden behind the TV cabinet rather than under my desk in the study, and it is much more powerful for running games.

Can't see this displacing consoles any time soon.

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GM reveals how much you'll pay to turn your car into a rolling 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot

IHateWearingATie

A better business model...

... would be to bundle a 1 year sub into the price of the car, and be prompted to renew at the annual service. Another hook to keep people coming to the dealer and you start to just see it as a cost of maintenance of the car

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Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

IHateWearingATie

Dear god noooo

What the hell are they doing? This may be good for google, but it's likely to be rubbish for consumers as it drives away other manufacturers from the premium segment. One of the reasons I switched to Android from iOS was the much wider range of phones on offer - want a big screen? There's a phone for that. Want an SD card slot and removable battery? Yup, there's a phone for that. Want a cheaper phone that does the job almost as well? Yup, there's a bunch of them.

In the long term this can only reduce the number of manufacturers and variety of handsets. If I only wanted a small number of handset choices, I'd have stayed with iOS!!

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A premium smartie lump: Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

IHateWearingATie

Nearly there

Love the idea of the swivel camera, and the software sounds great. I'd prefer a smaller form factor, a removable battery (you'd be amazed how much I make use of battery swapping on my S4) and an SD card slot. And the price, given the internals, sucks.

Still, as a first effort this looks great as they will only get better. Their next gen may be a good replacement for my S4 when the time comes

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Whaddaya mean, NO REFUND? But I paid in Bitcoins! Oh I see...

IHateWearingATie

still no reason for 99% of people in the UK to bother with bitcoin

Why the chuff would I pay for anything except, ahem, questionable items with bitcoin. My credit cards and debit cards work perfectly well, with the benefit if someone tries to swindle me I can avail myself of the current legislation and get my bank or credit card company to pay me back. Like the vast majority of the population of the UK I hardly ever make international transactions, and the convienence of doing so using my existing cards far outweighs the transaction fee.

The only current benefit of bitcoin I can see is not having my bank or credit card company having a record of my transactions - which I don't care about. At all. And if the public reaction to the Snowden revelations is anything to go by, nor does hardly anyone else.

The currency fluctuation is HUGE, the hassle of setting up a wallet and exchanging some cash is not small and I can only see a benefit for a vanishingly small number of people. Tell me again why any retailer would pay for a machine to take bitcoins except for publicity purposes?

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Gov cheerleader Sajid Javid gets nod from PM to park in Miller's spot

IHateWearingATie

Up the road, not next door

The Ministry of Fun is at the top end of Whitehall, so he will have wandered up the road from the Treasury (he won't have been based in No11, too junior for that)

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David Cameron defends BT's taxpayer-funded broadband 'monopoly': It's a 'success story'

IHateWearingATie

Re: I don't think that Prime Minister David Cameron knows what he's defending.

He's reading a brief prepared for him on the basis of guesses of what questions will be coming up.

IIRC the call goes out across Whitehall from No10 on a Monday lunchtime for briefs by the end of the day, giving the squirrels in No10 time to package it all up for Wednesday morning when the PM starts his prep. It's a well oiled machine, only punctured by your cynicism :)

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MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

IHateWearingATie

Re: Could competition have worked?

Virgin because of suburban in-fill (there are quite a few places that get crap broadband over BT wires and the Virgin cable is at the end of a road close but doesn't extend down it) and new estates and edges of towns they are in already.

Agree their network model would mean they are unlikely to be laying cable down country lanes.

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IHateWearingATie

Could competition have worked?

I do wonder whether we were barking up the wrong tree trying the competition angle at all, and whether it would have been better to do a top level deal with BT and Virgin from the outset, with some cash set aside for communities to go it alone where it isn't commercially viable.

With hindsight, I do wonder whether no matter what we had done, under the existing regulatory and EU competition laws there would have been the same result anyway.

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Spend zero notes to take all notes with OneNote: Microsoft makes app free, builds it for OS X

IHateWearingATie

YMMV

Use it for work. Love it.

People are different - who could have guessed?

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Roll up, roll up for the Commentards' Ball

IHateWearingATie

Don't do it...

It's a cunning plan to get the worst commentard critics in one place and 're educate' them, BOFH style.

Cattle prods at the ready...

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MtGox boss vows to keep going despite $429 MILLION Bitcoin 'theft'

IHateWearingATie

Reinforces my view...

... that there is likely to be no point in the average person ever bothering with BitCoin or any of the other crypto-currencies

No advantages for most of us, lots of disadvantages.

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Apple cash stash dash results in Icahn v CalPERS bitchfight

IHateWearingATie

The annoying thing is...

... that he did have a point before the $100bn return was announced, as Apple was hoarding shareholder's cash and there was no good reason not to return it. The cash is not Apple's, or Snr Jobs' or Tim Cook's - it's owned by the shareholders and if the management can't demonstrate how they are going to make shareholders a return on the cash they should give it back.

Yes the man is a tool, and a corporate raider, but corporate governance at the moment sucks monkey balls - far too many CEOs and boards treat companies as their property and put their needs above those of the owners.

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Is modern life possible without a smartphone?

IHateWearingATie

Re: Moral superiority of having less tech

I'm being sarky not because of the old phone, but because some people think that using an old phone conveys some kind of moral tech superiority - 'look at me, I use an old Nokia, bow before my greatness'.

I didn't say that because I have a smartphone I think myself to be superior.

Non smartphone ownership doesn't have any bearing on whether or not I think myself to be above you - I am superior to all you peasants for other, non-phone related reasons. Mainly my enormous intelligence and humble nature.

PS - Some of us manage to use this thing called 'willpower' to receive work emails on smart phones and not look at them if we don't want to - strange huh?

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IHateWearingATie

Moral superiority of having less tech

I've never understood the vocal minority of commentards on El Reg who think that not having a smartphone provides some kind of tech moral superiority, and the ability to look down on other people.

Still use a 14 year old Nokia? Good, I'm sooo glad for you. What a titan of IT you are; your tech virility on display for all mere iPhone users to behold and wonder. We tremble before your green and black screen greatness, and marvel at your 4 day battery life. Women want to be with you, and men want to be you (or at least have the honour of charging your spare battery).

Could I junk my smart phone for my old feature phone? Of course, but I don't see why I should, and I don't see why my life would be better / easier because of that.

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UK.gov: NO MORE tech deals bigger than £100m. Unless we feel like it

IHateWearingATie

Re: Is this the first time that ...

Excellent rant and seconded.

Universal Credit had been floating around as an idea for years before this government gave it a shot - the policy wonks in DWP loved it but no one who knew the legacy IT systems was stupid enough to actually try and do it (massive IT failure in 2005/6 excepted, and that was with just two IT systems being shoved together) until IDS started it.

On the war widower pensions, I'd heard tell that some of the records from the wars being used for pensions were written in ledgers created near the front line, with covers made from oil drums. Try digitizing that as part of a standard contract!

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Hey, G20. Please knock it off with the whole tax loophole thing - we're good guys, really

IHateWearingATie

You missed one of the best quotes from the document, which said that the tax avoidance was an incidental aspect of how they had organised themselves, implying that tax is not the reason that all their European operations are based in Ireland.

I bet it's because of the great broadband so their employees can work from home.

Now I'm no fan of corporation tax as a principle (tax people and behaviours, not organisations if possible - see Tim Worstall column a while back for an explanation why) but while we are stuck with it then something needs to change.

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Twitter: It's JUST LIKE Elder Scrolls (no it's not)

IHateWearingATie

Did you see his interview in the Guardian about the programme?

Interesting insight in the line he tried to tread between knowledgeable viewers and people who think Atari is a brand of perfume:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/29/charlie-brooker-video-game-television

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'Leaked' iPhone 6 pics will make cool fanbois WEEP - it's a PHABLET

IHateWearingATie

Samsung, not Apple

Looks like the bones of a Galaxy Note, not the next iPhone to me

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Rogue Android: We show you how BlackBerry's pain can be your gain

IHateWearingATie

Sign...

.... another reason to be hugely disappointed by BB10's early failures. If they had had this working well at the time of launch it may have all be so different for BlackBerry :(

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Why UK.gov's £1.2bn fibre broadband rollout is a bumbling FLOP

IHateWearingATie

@AndrueC

Cornwall was different as the county is designated under EU rules as somewhere that needs economic development (forget the technical term, but think designations on poor areas in eastern Europe) which means EU funding and development rules apply differently than to the rest of the UK. That allowed them to do a deal with BT that wasn't available to everywhere else.

As for just bunging the money at BT from the beginning - with the benefit of hindsight you may have a point, given they have snaffled all the cash anyway.

All very depressing, given I was one of the team that set up BDUK in the first place (I left them some time ago so blame everyone that was there after me...).

Interestingly, El Reg were invited to our first industry meeting and we gave them tea, coffee and biscuits - this article is how they repay us? Ungrateful B@stards - no biscuits for you lot next time.

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

IHateWearingATie

am I the only one...

... to welcome this? My kids are both young (under 6) and I like the idea of locking everything down till about 7.30 when they are in bed. Its of course possible to do this witbout a network level block, but there are several devices in the house they use and Im very lazy so this seems like a good option - or would be if I didnt use Virgin.

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Los Angeles' weather is just like MORDOR, says Brit climate prof

IHateWearingATie
Pint

wonder what his model...

... would make of the climate of the Discworld? Plenty of maps available for that.

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Apple prepping 4K resolution 12.9-inch MaxiPad – report

IHateWearingATie

Re: Seems a bit pointless

Because people enjoy trolling each other on Apple related threads?

Have a down vote on the post asking about down votes..... just because I can!

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ULTIMATE ELECTRIC driving machine? Yes, it’s the BMW i3 e-car

IHateWearingATie

Finally an electric car I may want...

.... but won't buy, as if I had £29k I'd spend £25k on a caterham, and £4k on a cheap runabout .

Seriously though, this is starting to tick the boxes properly - range extending motor I can use if I want to do the occasional longer trip; doesn't handle like it has jelly for suspension; decent performance; phone app to manage charging etc.

Still not going to spend £29k on one though.

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MPs blast 'alarmingly weak' management of one-dole-to-rule-them-all

IHateWearingATie

Very depressing...

.... having worked on a successful (i.e. on time, on budget, not hit the headlines) very large DWP IT system I know it is mindbendingly complex to implement social security IT systems. It's a shame that the guys doing this one clearly underestimated the task and screwed up so royally.

However, given the complexities, I wonder how may commentards would have done any better?

UC as an idea was around long before IDS moved in to Caxton House - from what I understand everyone had been too scared to take it on previously. Looks like they were right!

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Facebook fans fuel FAGGOT FURY firestorm

IHateWearingATie

Talking about Rugby can cause embarrassment as well...

... when you start talking about being a hooker (as I found when I was young on a trip to Disney).

*Note to our colonial friends - the 'hooker' is the middle position in the front row of a scrum. The ball is put in, and the hooker uses his leg to hook the ball back to his own side.

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Here's what YOU WON'T be able to do with your PlayStation 4

IHateWearingATie
Mushroom

Grrrr

I'll still probably get a PS4 as that is the one that my mates have pre-ordered (and sunday nights would be pretty bare without getting thrashed by them playng online Grid 2). However:

PS3 games - very annoying, but at least that is something I can understand. New architecture, very difficult to make backwards compatible. They managed it for the PS3 ->PS2 games, but I guess things have got more complicated.

Bluetooth - WTF??? Why won't my bluetooth headset work? Have they gone out of the way to cripple it???

DLNA - I DONT WANT YOUR CRAPPY ONLINE SERVICE SONY! With your encoruagement (remember, Sony made a big play on the PS3 being a media hub) I made the PS3 the centre of my under-telly hub. I have music and films ripped to a server that my PS3 serves very nicely over my network to my sound system and TV. I could understand it if it was a feature that you were planning to put in later (like the PS3) as you con't quite get it done for launch day (like blu-ray films), but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Music - Really?? I have 2 boxes in my unit under the telly - Sky and PS3. I don't want to add one or two more (play CDs, stream DLNA). Why they hell have you removed this? Again if it was coming later as patch, fine. But to cripple it to force me to use your crappy online service is terrible.

I have a rasberry pi, and I've used it very successfully as a DLNA server but it makes hooking things up complicated (do I have enough HDMI ports, how do I rig the sound to make it easy to switch etc). I know there are solutions, but this is a real retrograde step. If my mates weren't getting a PS4, I think I'd go Xbox.

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Dark matter: Good news, everyone! We've found ... NOTHING AT ALL

IHateWearingATie

Much like the Higgs Boson...

... I really hope they don't find any potential dark matter. Much more fun to be had watching them make fundamental revisions to theories than proving they are right!

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You like iPads, you like things called 'Air'. You will LOVE this puppy

IHateWearingATie

iPad looks good to me.

Although I've now moved into the Android ecosystem entirely with Android tablet and phones, I can still appreciate the great engineering that goes into the iPad. The 4 was lovely, and it looks like the air will be even better.

However, there's no chance I'll be buying one- a nexus 7 and cheap windows laptop cost about the same (£500 or so) and are more flexible for my needs

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UK's tech capital named: Read it and weep, Tech City startup hipsters

IHateWearingATie

Re: When I lived in Bracknell...

What do you mean, there were some great pubs. Like my local, the William Twigg where one of the locals once put his head through the fruit machine and everyone barely batted an eyelid.

Come to think of it, Mos Eisley had nothing on some of those dives....

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IHateWearingATie

When I lived in Bracknell...

... Wokingham was the promised land. The badly paid IT bods (such as myself) lived in Bracknell, the better paid in Binfield and the pointy haired boss class lived in Wokingham.

Even the PHBs were jealous of the people who lived in Ascot though...

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Torrent site isoHunt to close

IHateWearingATie

Re: isohunt

A combined total of 25 thumbs down for my 2 comments - the freetards have been running riot in this thread!

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IHateWearingATie

Re: isohunt

I know what an iso is.

While my imagination is large enough to think of non-infringing iso images that can be distributed over the internet, lets not pretend the VAST majority of iso images that people were using the site to search for did not contain copyright material.

You may not like the law at the moment and want to change it, but you can't willfully break it, try to pretend you didn't and then attempt to claim some technicality to avoid the consequences.

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IHateWearingATie

While I'm no fan of the way content creators have stuck their heads in the sand...

... this guys' arguments seem pretty disingenuous to me. The damn site is called isohunt - its not like Google where they may index infringing material as a small part of what they do, most of what the website is about is searching for stuff that breaks copyright. He knows that. We know that. The rest is just attempting to swing a technicality.

Stop whining and take the punishment like a man.

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Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

IHateWearingATie

Last line of the review doesn't seem to have any evidence to prove it...

"Nevertheless, Windows 8.1 is a step forward and a worthwhile upgrade over Windows 7 even for those sticking with desktop, keyboard and mouse."

Really? From all I've read about Win 8 and 8.1 I just can't see any advantages for me with my desktop, keyboard and mouse - used for games, normal home stuff (editing photos, home movies, managing music collections etc) and a bit of working from home.

Given I moved to Win 7 from XP for this desktop, I think I'll skip a generation again.

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OFT probe: Do small UK firms get fair shake in public sector tenders?

IHateWearingATie

if you want small players...

You need to think very differently about the contracts and the way systems are specced.

Certainly in some of the ones I was involved with, there was no way little guys could bid (except as a subbie). Building a new benefits system is going to be a larger chunk of revenue than you'd be comfortable with for a small supplier. Unless you radically changed how you build big mission critical systems.

For those with lots of bad things to say about the big boys working on big systems - you have a point as lots of those went wrong (not all though - ESA worked very well for example) but let's not forget smaller firms screw up as well (iSoft for the NHS, COINS, etc) with the same bad results.

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So you want to be a solar racer? You'll need a laptop and some string

IHateWearingATie

*start meerkat impression voice*

Simples!

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