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* Posts by Neil Barnes

1685 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs

Neil Barnes
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Re: Warranty

It would be an interesting question as to whether a fault caused by an update was present at point of sale...

I realise Lord Lien's case was different, but...

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Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov

Neil Barnes
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They really don't get it, do they?

Whether I take the image for personal use or for sale; whether I put it on the interwebs or not; it's *mine* and you use it without permission at your peril. Note: payment does *not* imply permission.

Anyone want to quote a photo of my cameras for sale?

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Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

Neil Barnes
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Caliganote

Oh, bravo, Lester.

Or possibly even Ave!

So ave one on me.

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Neil Barnes
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WTF?

Virgin...

kindly emailed to suggest that if I implemented their ISP censorship, it would improve the safety of browsing for my children.

Since one is in Berlin, and the other in Rio (which made for an entertaining world cup!) I am at a loss as to how this will help.

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

Neil Barnes
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Re: I have argued for many years

@The Right Hand of Volund

Most electronic hobbyists and pretty much anyone with an electronics engineering degree

Indeed.

I make robots that work at the bottom end of an oil drill, three miles underground. Want to bet I can't build a timer/igniter that would work up to a couple of years in advance, with a precision of a couple of minutes?

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Neil Barnes
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I have argued for many years

That there should be *no* laws which specifically target terrorism.

A number of reasons:

- it's too broad: for example 'possession of material likely to help a terrorist'... a map of the London Underground? A recipe for gunpowder? Lunch?

- it does away with the need for evidence: suspicion is apparently sufficient.

- it does away with the normal checks and balances of a justice system: house arrests? Inability to see a lawyer? Lawyers (and you) unable to see the evidence against you? Extended periods of incarceration without trial? And more...

- it gives a false legitimacy to the terrorist: he is treated as if he is a legitimate member of a political party, and not (in the case, say, of a bomber) as a psychopath intent only on maiming and death.

- all the terrorist crimes are already illegal under existing law: murder, assault, conspiracy to cause an explosion, possession of arms and explosives...

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Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

Neil Barnes
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Pint

The exact location of Rockall

You mean it's been behind my screen all this time? Amazing!

Pints all round for Mr Hancock, who has had somewhat more than his eponymous half hour.

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BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled

Neil Barnes
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We warned 'em before we were sold, like barrels of herring on the quayside.

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Financial wizardess joins Apple board, air of coolness noticeably diminishes

Neil Barnes
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Re: I'm guessing she's there because of the fiasco that is...

Easy. Give all shareholders a day-ticket to the tax-haven of your choice, and give them all a suitcase of dallars to take home.

Oh? That doesn't work? Oh well, back to the drawing board... how about *paying something into your country*, you freeloaders?

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That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

Neil Barnes
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Re: Ab hoc possum videre domum tuum

and incidentally my paragliding motto!

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Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Veni vidi volarit

I came, I saw, I flew.

(I was kicked out of Latin after two weeks in 1972)

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

Neil Barnes
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Re: Sorry about this..

as long as the subject agrees == provided the subject agrees?

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Ex-despot Noriega sues: How dare Call of Duty make me look like, like...

Neil Barnes
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"a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state"

What's Noriega's complaint? Did they forget something?

Anyway, it's been scientifically proven that there's probably more than one of him:

Church, K. W. (2000). Empirical estimates of adaptation: the chance of two Noriegas is closer to p/2 than p^2. Proceedings of the 18th conference on Computational Linguistics, pages 180 - 186.

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Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Well done Nick!

Any word on whether he's worked out how to get his podule home? It'd be a shame to be done for littering!

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Gust catches Amazon's skirt, reveals glimpse of 'Netflix for books'

Neil Barnes
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"will automatically bill your credit card"

Checks Kobo[1]: 1 purchased book, 800 scanned epubs.

I guess I'm not their target market...

Kindle, Kobo and the others are, I suspect, not really in the business of selling books at all. They're in the business of locating permanent income streams and locking people in (or hoping they forget to cancel). Far better an income stream than an occasional splurge.

[1] Yes, I know. But I have a Kobo, and I don't have a Kindle, *because* the Kobo is open format. And really rather nice.

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

Neil Barnes
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Re: Unique Passwords

Six or more characters and numbers?

"Henry the fifth part 1" ?

"Three Charlies in search of an author" lacks the requisite number of characters, of course.

The one with 'Time Out' in the pocket, thanks.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Unique Passwords

Vince, from memory, I don't *think* it told me beforehand, though when it rejected the password there was an explanation at the top of the screen (miles from the password entry field) which *may* have been there and simply not noticed the first time.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Unique Passwords

I just had to change my eBay password.

Which required me to get a token from my disposable email.

Which required me to change that email password.

Which sent the 'click here' to a different email.

And having got back through the tracks to eBay, it refused to allow my new password on the grounds that certain non-alpha characters, with which it had been perfectly happy before, were no longer allowed...

I don't understand why password systems *insist* on capitals, numbers, non-alphas, etc instead of just *allowing* them - it reduces the possibilities, I think (ok, has to be eight characters, has to have a number, haven't had a number yet...) though perhaps not as severely as not allowing particular characters in the password. One credential checker refused to accept my place of birth - required - because two of the characters in it are adjacent on the keyboard. Ridiculous.

Or is there something subtle with input sanitisation that I don't understand, and it's the little Bobby Tables problem all over again?

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WiGag war: Tiny low-power chip promises mobes 4.6Gbps Wi-Fi

Neil Barnes
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60mm sqa?

That's a bloody big chip, for a phone only 70mm wide... did you mean 60sq mm?

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UK data watchdog broke data law, says UK data watchdog

Neil Barnes
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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Oh wait, that would be them.

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Neil Barnes
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Re: Old News

And correctly identified that you could be observed by occulting stars.

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Neil Barnes
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Isn't that photograph

Underexposed?

The one with Hasluck's 'The Book of Photography' in the pocket, thanks.

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Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!

Neil Barnes
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Excellent Work, NASA

See title.

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Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330

Neil Barnes
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Re: It's all very wonderful

@Simon,

Can't argue about the wonder of the ability to travel... but as another poster has said, any flight longer than a few hours and if at all possible I'm sitting at the front. There are damn good reasons even to pick the seat you want - and pay extra - on the discount, and even the mainstream planes.

Got family in Rio - that flight is so much more sensible with BA's flat business class (and occasionally cheaper than peasant plus, oddly enough). Though even the flat beds aren't long enough for me; I stick out the end... even in business class there's a knack to picking the best seats and they're not always the obvious.

But then, transport is always designed to stuff people in like cattle; doesn't matter whether it's planes, buses, trains... the people that design them don't ride in them. Or they wouldn't design them like that.

Don't want toys. Want space.

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Neil Barnes
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Mushroom

It's all very wonderful

But did a flying customer *ever* get the chance to select an aircraft to fly in based on anything other than 'that's the one that's flying today'?

This sells it to the airlines, who use it in their publicity about how wonderful their aircraft are, and then squeeze in the seats on a 29" pitch fit for neither man nor beast.

Time was, air travel was a luxury. These days, if you're not sat at the front, it's a pain.

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Read the proposed US ASTEROIDS Act to green-light mining IN SPAAAACE

Neil Barnes
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Re: As pointed out above

We may have to agree to differ here. A dinosaur killer won't leave the sea bottoms alone.

But I don't understand your 'living in boats' argument: I'm not suggesting that we should. We should be using the boats to get to other islands - things of which the asteroid belt appears to be plentifully supplied. There are other islands: Jupiter's leading and trailing Trojans, or some of the moons around Jupiter and Titan. Consider giving icebergs in the rings of Saturn a nudge so that they land on Mars - a few hundred thousand might give an atmosphere that's of some use, in time.

I'm not thinking next thursday - I'm thinking decades and centuries. But we should have started thirty years ago.

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Neil Barnes
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As pointed out above

There is no great reason - or indeed need - to search for any other than extremely rare and extremely important minerals in the asteroids and ship them home; it's economically unviable.

There *may* be reasons why it's worthwhile doing refining[1] of more common metals in earth orbit rather than on the surface and shipping the results to ground, but there are still a lot of reasons why not.

There are eight billion reasons, on the other hand, why we should be out there mining, refining, and building ships and places to live - we have all those eight billion eggs in one basket at present. A dinosaur killer only has to be lucky once.

However... like it or not, the writ of the US does not and cannot extend beyond this planet. There is no sense, no point, in writing laws which cannot be enforced; any exploitation of the asteroids is going to be a free-for-all which will make the California gold rush look like an afternoon stroll in the park - simply because there are too many people for whom the attitude is 'see it, grab it' irrespective of prior claims or rights.

Nonetheless, I do believe that the sheer size of the asteroid resource is beneficial; things are a long way apart and even a thorough freeloading pirate has to do an estimate of whether the dv to get somewhere outweighs the benefit he can expect upon arrival. I think also, as happened in California and other gold-rush locations, that the citizenry will act together against bandits and organise rules and regulations which work for them - but they won't be controlled by anyone on earth. (Alternatively, the bandits control everything and then discover that if they want to benefit from this control they have to become governments in an of themselves - look at the drug lords in South/Central America for examples.)

It annoys the hell out of me that forty-five years (almost to the week) since Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, we're not already all over the asteroid belt, the rings of Saturn (all those lovely volatiles!), the surface of Mars and the Jovian moons. Make no mistake - the USA has no right to be ruling on what is possible out there (nor the UK - the only country ever to have abandoned a working space technology - how embarrassing is that?).

[1] a post earlier suggested there was no known way refining metals using just energy. There are no deep-space *tested* methods... but here's one thought: find a small metal target, spin it gently, if it's not doing it already, build a large mylar or similar reflector, leave the target at the focus of the reflector and wait until it melts. The heavy stuff ends up in the middle.

A favourite way of getting refined metal to the ground from orbit involves a similar process: make a hole in the middle of the refined metal, fill it with ice, and heat again until the metal softens and the ice melts and flashes to steam. This leaves you with a nice big bubble of metal. Now let the water out and seal some vacuum in (you don't want to waste the water) and if you got your sums right, you have a lighter-than-air (at some height to be determined) vessel that's strong enough to survive the trip to earth. A nice gentle float as you let air back in... sounds like a job for the SPB!

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Beer in SPAAAACE! London Pride soars to 28,000m

Neil Barnes
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Re: YOLO

Oh yes!

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Neil Barnes
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Pint

YOLO

You Obviously Love Owls?

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LG unfurls flexible SEE-THROUGH 18-inch display

Neil Barnes
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Transparent screen? Silly idea...

you have to dust behind it.

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US authorities round up ILLEGAL DINOSAURS for repatriation

Neil Barnes
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Coat

Erik Prokopi

Now there's a man with skeletons in his cupboard.

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Cosmic dust riddle BREAKTHROUGH: Study tackles stuff of the universe

Neil Barnes
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Re: @Neil Barnes

Ah, so it's the pulse causing a compression and rarefaction that allows the radiation, then.

Thanks.

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Neil Barnes
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Gas gets compressed and cools down?

Is there something going on there to lose the heat - conduction to the shell, perhaps? It ought to get hotter when you squash it...

(Yes, I know temperature does not equal thermal energy - I'm trying to work out what's going on.)

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Google went behind our backs and really HURT US, squeal upset porn kingpins

Neil Barnes
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Re: anti-sex morality groups

>> By dividing down the middle?

Ah. Like other bacteria.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: While they are at it...

Can we please block ads.

<sorted that for you>

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Neil Barnes
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Boffin

anti-sex morality groups

How do they breed?

Enquiring minds want to know.

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Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

Neil Barnes
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Stop

Sigh,,,

CD player, DTT receiver, amplifier, two speakers.

Sorted.

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New Bluetooth tech lets you control 4 BILLION lightbulbs at once

Neil Barnes
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Re: Stuff this..

Thanks, John, but not what I'm after - the existing holders have a linear halogen R7s bulb which illuminates a shaped translucent glass (downwards) and the ceiling and wall (upwards). I'd like to keep the holders and drop something in, but I haven't been able to find anything. I'll even settle for rebuilding the back of the damn things...

Most 'lights' these days seem to be decorative features, not something to have if you want to do something like, say, reading. I want a room full of light, not tiddly spots, but I don't want to pay a couple of hundred quid a unit to do it.

<edit> Just tried a search by r7s and turned up this: http://www.simplelighting.co.uk/product_images/i/536/142754.99956c2735774f65c9bc31e62547dd7c390__79137_std.jpg which may not fit the slot but is worth investigating...

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Neil Barnes
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Stuff this..

I have a switch on the wall. All I want at present is a way to replace existing 78mm 80/100W halogen bulbs with an equivalent LED...

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Snowden leaks latest: NSA, FBI g-men spied on Muslim-American chiefs

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Muslim-Americans?

To match the general hyphenated-American usage, wouldn't that imply that the ancestors of these people came from, um, Muslia?

What's wrong with 'American Muslims', which both does away with the clumsy phraseology and removes the implicit suggestion that they have a long foreign ancestry?

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That 'wiped' Android phone you bought is stuffed with NAKED SELFIES – possibly

Neil Barnes
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Serendipitous photos

Isn't that the *reason* for buying a second hand data storage system?

Just askin...

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Alabama quadchopper hits THREE THOUSAND FEET next to AIRPORT

Neil Barnes
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Flame

The thing is...

all the air usage laws, UK or US and elsewhere, are nominally for the safety of people flying. It's why you *don't* fly into an ATZ without permission from ATC; why you don't fly on instruments unqualified; why certain airspace is zoned to exclude e.g. my paraglider.

Pilots can on the whole be expected to be doing certain things in certain circumstances, to respect the rights of way of other aircraft, to maintain clearances and suchlike. A major reason that they do that is that if they don't, there's a good chance of it being fatal.

That simply does not apply in the case a remote piloted vehicle; the pilot's biggest risk is loss of his machine. These things terrify me; bad enough flying into a bird (I've done it; it's painful) but meeting one of these at three thousand feet? No thanks...

They're no doubt huge fun but they're potentially lethal.

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Neil Barnes
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But Lohan does it with the knowledge and approval of the relevant authorities.

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Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

Neil Barnes
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Mushroom

Orion spacecraft

That's the one that Freeman Dyson proposed, right? Powered by nukes? I thought they'd cancelled it - nice to see a peaceful use for the things!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_%28nuclear_propulsion%29

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

Oh, wait...

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Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

Neil Barnes
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Happy

Re: Summer Holiday

Bus, Cliff Richard, ski ramp, steam catapult... what's not to like?

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Vulture 2 fills beak with Pi in the Sky

Neil Barnes
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Just a thought...

All that computery right on top of a couple of high-power motors on the servo. Might be an idea to test on the ground that interference is not a problem.

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

Neil Barnes
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My 85-year old father suffers from this.

Although he can cheerfully dual boot into either Windows or Linux, he still has problems differentiating between programs and the data they create. After a fruitless afternoon in which I discovered he was - amazingly - unable to read epubs with a music player, I discovered TeamViewer and got the link on his bookmarks.

My life is much quieter now.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Neil Barnes
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Re: Er...what?

It did when I left in 2010. And LS5/8 too.

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ANGRY ALIENS hit by BEBO SPAMGASM probably don't exist

Neil Barnes
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Alien

I felt a great disturbance in the Force,

...as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

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Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

Neil Barnes
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How much is down to people finally learning

that 'I didn't enjoy that' doesn't mean 'I should be offended by that'.

Thankfully the days of Mary Whitehouse and her ilk seem to have passed by.

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