* Posts by Neil Barnes

1987 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

TRAGEDY STRIKES Vulture News Central but details remain scrambled

Neil Barnes
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One eggy newsreader may be un oeuf

but surely we deux oeufs two?

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Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Neil Barnes
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Re: Most people never had a choice . . .

Thank you Flocke; that saved me making the same post.

I think the argument against IE is relevant only in that it controls the complete stack and allows (allowed) MS to pretend (or insist) that IE is essential to the proper operation of the OS.

The lack of desktop linux as a general purchase option tells us all we need to know: if people don't know about the option, they'll treat a computer purchase as a magic box and think no further.

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Don't panic, US Navy has only deployed a ROBOT SHARK (but where are the lasers?)

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Re: LASERS DONT WORK UNDER WATER

They work perfectly well - in every respect apart from delivering significant energy to a distant target.

Blue light goes furthest, as I recall, so that must couple least energy to seawater.

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V. R. R. Stob's magnificent saga A Game Of Dog-and-Bones

Neil Barnes
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Happy

Malus aforethought

Yea verily, Verity!

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ESA: Venus probe doomed to fiery death on weird planet's surface

Neil Barnes
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Re: Crazy ideas...

I think you'd have to assume that it's tidal locking that's happening; that's a bloody great sun not all that far away and there's nothing else around that could put the braking energy into the system.

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TalkTalk customers demand opt-out fix for telco's DNS ad-jacking tactics

Neil Barnes
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Re: Meh

This was rather my point. If a failed DNS request does not respond according to the appropriate RFC, it's broken.

Having learned in this thread that the service is switchable, I shall be investigating how to kill it.

Aha: http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Up-to-120Mb-Setup-Equipment/Can-t-turn-off-Advanced-Network-Error-Search/td-p/1884740 indicates a method, but also suggests that the method may not work without Virgin tech also getting involved.

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Neil Barnes
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Virgin does the same

Mistype a URL and you get to a Virgin search engine. Don't know if they also serve adverts - I block them - but it annoys me every time.

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European Commish asks for rivals' moans about Booking.com

Neil Barnes
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Am I alone

In generally preferring to deal directly with the hotel, or at least the chain?

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

Neil Barnes
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I) prepare meals from the raw ingredients up

Got it in one.

What you buy from a supermarket is not food; it's convenience. And it's astonishing how much you pay for that convenience.

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Immersive fairytale theatrics: Grimm Tales for Young and Old

Neil Barnes
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Brothers Grimm

Cannibalism, murder, execution, burnings... you can tell it's for children.

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Chum's house burnt down? Facebook mulls 'DISLIKE' button for that

Neil Barnes
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Friends don't let friends...

If you know someone well enough that they will appreciate your sympathy, and they're in need, give them a call, or at least a personalised message.

A 'dislike' button is just narcism (oh, look, aren't I brave?') as well as being unclear: do you dislike the message, the content, the user...

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UK.gov STILL won't pop a cap on stolen mobile bills

Neil Barnes
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Re: Think of the old folk!

@xpz393 - thanks for the hint. I've only recently changed from a PAYG dumb phone to a contract smart phone, most of the features of which I have no interest in.

I had set the phone lock but not the sim lock; that's now done.

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Neil Barnes
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Paris Hilton

Does one assume

That the perpetrators are setting up, or associated with, groups operating premium rate numbers? So the stolen phone is monetized by calling a premium rate they control?

I mean, I can't see huge numbers of people absolutely desparate to spend huge amounts of time on long-distance calls, though I could be wrong...

/me wanders off to the Virgin Mobile site to see what his phone allows and how to stop it...

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Neil Barnes
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Flame

Has anyone mentioned the exploding menu bar?

Nah, I didn't think so; after all, it's such a subtle, gentle effect, hardly in your face at all.

So probably no-one would complain if you JUST LOST THE BLOODY THING.

NOW.

Thank you.

edit: p.s. what did you do to the link to the homepage at the *bottom* of every page? Bring it back, if you would be so kind.

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Cool technology: Submerged blade servers escape the heat

Neil Barnes
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Thumb Up

You have my limited sympathy, Trevor...

The computer stuff I design has to work from -40C to 150C... which is a bit of a bugger as most components are only rated to 85C.

Fortunately I don't have to do gigahertz processing; the chips I use are thick as a brick and about as much fun to program. I spend a lot of time keeping total power usage down so that the majority of the heat is coming from the environment rather than the circuitry; I'm using milliwatts rather than watts.

Still, it pays the mortgage and the challenge is interesting!

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Cloud Printing from a Chromebook: We try it out on 8 inkjet all-in-ones

Neil Barnes
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Re: A couple of things missing here, though...

I failed to make myself clear, for which I apologise.

1) I don't know how the data is sent, but I would be surprised if it were 'just a jpeg'. Even for text, I can't see someone sending the text itself and expecting the printer to format it on their behalf. But I don't know, which is why I asked.

2) As for the network speed - again, I don't know: are they connected wirelessly, through a phone-type system, through a local router, or what?

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Neil Barnes
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A couple of things missing here, though...

What about the network speed - and how much data has to come down the line for a colour picture? How long before a home ISP provider decides you've downloaded enough for the day, thank you very much?

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Neil Barnes
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Re: "basic details such as..."

This was from a case some years ago and may of course have been misrepresented, but from memory, a lorry driver was charged with dangerous driving and tried to enter his tacho record as proof that his speed was not excessive; he was not allowed to.

I don't recall the grounds, but I do recall it was in the days of the paper tachos.

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Neil Barnes
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"basic details such as..."

Speed, temperature, steering angle, brake line pressure, recent history...

This will turn out to be evidence *for* a prosecution after the event, but won't be available for a defence against a prosecution - as happened with the tachograph traces for HGVs.

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Virgin Media's ad fibs EXPOSED by bitter rival BT

Neil Barnes
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Re: My latest missive from VM

Well, yes, they did double my download speed... after keeping me on the initial speed but advertising more for less. They wanted me to stay on the same payment at about three times the rate.

So I ended up paying less, for more. Having paid too much, for less.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: re Who actually funds the ASA?

"beware of the leopard"?

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Neil Barnes
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Mushroom

My latest missive from VM

"We're putting the price up! (so we can make it better)."

Thanks guys. It's better enough for what I want/need already. What I don't want is a fifteen percent increase in price. It's not the cost, which is only a few quid a month, it's the bloody principle.

Mind you, I don't think they liked me since I called them last time to downgrade my service and reduce the cost...

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How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Neil Barnes
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Re: Although a fairly accurate and amusing portrayal of LHR security...

@ Androgynous Cupboard

The last time I flew in Tajikistan, the chap next to me had a chicken on his lap, and there was a goat rampaging up and down the aisle... about ten or twelve years ago, mind; they may have improved since.

Having said that - I also had my cabin baggage on my lap since the overhead lockers would comfortably have held a medium-sized paperback, though not, I think, an inch-thick airport blockbusters.

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Neil Barnes
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Mushroom

Spot on, Mr Dabbs.

Do I want faster data? Yes.

Do I want to pay for it? No.

And the same with the airport. The only thing worse than the default wander-around-half-undressed is the occasional 'could you come with us please' requests which involve a small room, unsmiling people, and pointed questions about the amount of technology I happen to be carrying and why I have two passports... Once upon a time, flying used to be a pleasant, enjoyable activity. Now it's a torture worse than the London Underground. How can one fail to have anything other than a dreadful time there?

It's the wrong question, Grommet!

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Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

Neil Barnes
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Re: Licence required?

Depends where they were; if they were flying in an ATZ without radio comms with and permission from the controller, they were in breach of the ANO. There's also the responsibility of any pilot to avoid a collision; the fact that a landing aircraft has right of way over everything except an emergency (does the drone pilot know which way he has to turn to avoid a collision?).

I must admit I'm curious about the effect of a drone strike with a speed differential of over a couple of hundred miles an hour... even without hitting an engine, that's probably going to leave a hell of a dent.

As mentioned earlier; it's not the licenced pilot that worries me; he knows the rules. It's everyone else.

(And I expect to be flamed as usual for any negative view of these things.)

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The fantastical Francesinha

Neil Barnes
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Alert

Good $DEITY Almighty!

A heart attack on every plate!

(which is not to say that I wouldn't give it a go...)

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BLAST-OFF! BOAT FREE launch at last. Orion heads for SPAAAAACE

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Shortly after takeoff

the cabin crew will pass amongst you with snacks and drinks.

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Feast your eyes: 10 'fortysomething' smart TVs

Neil Barnes
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Re: Dumb TV please

Yep, time for a new dumb TV for me too; the old 32" is about to be replaced with a new 32".

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SCIENCE LAB TERROR: MYSTERY of the MISSING BRAINS

Neil Barnes
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Kudos

for the Young Frankenstein sub-head.

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Neil Barnes
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Re: Hmm. Geany could be worth a look...

And the challenge is - can it cope with my indentation preferences?

Braces on a new line at the same indentation as the control, but variables *always* start on the left margin - this seems to confuse everything else.

Anyway, it's installed now, so time to play!

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Neil Barnes
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Hmm. Geany could be worth a look...

At the moment I have to import half of KDE into Mint to get Kate up and running... looks like Geany has the same general philosophy.

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Facebook cosies up to ESET for malware detection

Neil Barnes
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Paris Hilton

The user would then get pointed at the vendors' online scan and cleanup services.

Isn't this exactly the behaviour of each and every one of the fake scan and crap-on-the-carpet 'anti virus' scams out there?

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Hawking: RISE of the MACHINES could DESTROY HUMANITY

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Two words

Mains plug.

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Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Neil Barnes
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Childcatcher

Re: What's with the Victorian moralities?

The moral Victorians? Weren't they the ones who *raised* the age of consent to thirteen? Who felt fine with the idea that the man of the house should have sexual access to all the female staff?

Just askin'...

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Neil Barnes
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Happy

Paging Lester; Lester to the white courtesy phone please!

Time for another post-pub match challenge!

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LA schools math quiz: $500 Chromebooks or $700 iPads for students?

Neil Barnes
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Re: Raspberry Pi

Start by banging the rocks together, guys...

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Under the Iron Sea: YES, tech and science could SAVE the planet

Neil Barnes
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I sometimes get the feeling

that the various environmentalist groups behave just like any bureaucracy: while there are one or two in the organisation who have the cause in mind, the majority just want the organisation to continue.

Finding even a partial cure for an enviromental problem removes the need for their existince, so they're against it... that it involves (shock!) dumping waste is a bonus for them.

Most engineers would agree that as a rule efficiency is good; doing more with less is usually an elegant solution and we like elegant solutions, but the environmentalists would have us living in caves and sound oh-so-plausible while they propose it.

<Radical thought - if an environmentalist is so concerned about the effect of humans on the planet, shouldn't they immediately remove themselves from the equation? At the very least, sterilise themselves and prevent even more overpopulation? Should they not abjure the use of nasty energy-intensive technology, and give up the use of transport infrastructure, concrete structures, woven fabrics, electronics... ? And yet, and yet...>

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Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Whatever else you do...

Please don't distract him.

It's bad enough already when Wednesday comes around and he's been too busy to post on time.

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Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register

Neil Barnes
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Re: Excellent article

@Dave Bell - have an uptick for knowing of both NaNoWriMo *and* the Saint's bolide of choice.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Ye gods and little fishies; I'm impressed

Got it in one. Had it from new; as far as I know the oldest single-owner in the UK. I think the Coupe was the last use of the Lampredi, sadly.

This one's mostly standard, so only about 160 bhp (no turbo).

Turns out it will still pull 7200 rpm on the start/finish straight at Spa...

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Neil Barnes
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Pint

Ye gods and little fishies; I'm impressed

I thought I was doing well last weekend to strip a twenty year old two litre Lampredi sixteen valve twin-cam...

Have a pint, gentlemen.

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Oh BOY! The MICKEY MOUSE Apple Watch is no heart-throb

Neil Barnes
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In ten of fifteen years' time,

We're going to look back and say "We shared *what*? Heartbeats? Medical data? What were we thinking?"

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Chromecast video on UK, Euro TVs hertz so badly it makes us judder – but Google 'won't fix'

Neil Barnes
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Re: "it is very hard to accurately identify the incoming frame rate"

Perhaps they meant 'it's hard to know the frame rates the TV will accept'?

I'm not hugely familiar with HDMI but isn't there some data coming back from the display listing resolutions and frame rates available?

(And 24 fps films are traditionally shown at 25 fps on PAL (and other 25 frames per second) systems - on 30 fps systems they do a dot and carry one method that repeats one frame in five. From memory, traditional telecine machines - and please remember it's at least thirty years since I last worked on one - could interpolate optically.)

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Twitter App Graph exposes smartphone spyware feature

Neil Barnes
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ps ax

As Kanhef points out, an application may need to know what's running (it may be fighting for resources, or need a specific application to provide input or output capabilities) but there is absolutely no need for anything to phone home with that data - spyware indeed.

But it's a function of the application that makes it spyware, not the capability of the OS.

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Universal Credit CRISIS: Up to £200m in IT spend WASTED – NAO

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

Project management, government style

1) Start programme with enthusiastic announcement, unrealistic budget, and no specifications.

2) Run around like headless chickens spending money and wondering why nothing concrete is being delivered.

3) After some time, sack the project lead and repeat step 2 for a while.

4) Optional - repeat 2 *and* 3 over a number of iterations.

5) Announce success, give remaining project lead an OBE or knighthood, ignore how the delivered and the deliverables match almost as well as the specifications didn't specify.

6) Call in NAO to say how wonderful it is.

7) Place remaining hardware on eBay.

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ESA's spaceplane cleared for lift-off in February 2015

Neil Barnes
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Coat

"land on conventional runways"

Presumably it can already do that.

The question is whether it can be used again afterwards. And also, indeed, the runway...

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Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

Neil Barnes
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Re: I voted for Gort

If one reads the book, that was explicitly the case - though not revealed until the last page.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Marvin - Remember it's film version, not the book, radio or TV version

16mm, Keef - 8mm was looked upon with horror as a pale domestic thing unable to meet broadcast quality requirements (yes, we had them, a long time ago.)

HHGTTG had the titles and effects filmed, in particular the book animations. I don't recall whether the shot scenes were studio (and therefore electronic) but the exterior stuff was almost certainly 16mm.

I'd ask around, but I've lost the contacts these days...

(Since the only possible icon would be a painful diode, and there isn't one, I shan't attach one.)

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'Snoopers' Charter IS DEAD', Lib Dems claim as party waves through IP address-matching

Neil Barnes
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There have been a number of terrorist actions *claimed* to have been stopped. Oddly enough we never find out what they were.

I can't recall a single instance where someone has made use of an IP address to prove a case.

I'm not sure which would be most damaging to May's case: either 'we haven't actually had any cases like this' or 'yes, we've had seven hundred and forty in the last week, and this is the list...'

Once again: there is exactly *no* need for terrorist-specific laws. Everything a terrorist does is covered by existing law, and the terrorist-specific laws are designed to avoid little inconveniences like evidence, oversight, and a jury of one's peers. We have this odd convention in this country: you're not guilty until *after* the trial at which you are found guilty.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Bryndzové halušky

Neil Barnes
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WTF?

Re: gnocchi??

My local 'vaguely eastern European' supermarket offers various things vacuum packed things - though not, as far as I have been able to ascertain - this, charmingly described as 'semi-prepared food product edible after heat treatment'.

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