* Posts by Neil Barnes

2193 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

In some ways, dating apps are the anti-internet

Neil Barnes
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Re: Computers aren't human, people.

Don't look to me for inspiration - met my other half on a plane, flying from a country of which neither was a native and without an application in sight.

Sometimes, all you have to do is talk.

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ICANN urges US, Canada: Help us stop the 'predatory' monster we created ... dot-sucks!

Neil Barnes
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Paris Hilton

Still trying to work out

what was wrong with .com and .co.<country code>...

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Eyes on the prize: Ten 23-24-inch monitors for under £150

Neil Barnes
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Only if you use it for live broadcast viewing (and you're in the UK).

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Instead of public sector non-jobbery, Martha, how about creating REAL entrepreneurs?

Neil Barnes
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Re: Martha Lane-Fox

[eternal puzzle of how/why Martha Lane-Fox has credibility]

Like so many others, she's very good at saying how good she is, and what should be done, but less good at saying 'why' or actually doing it.

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Bored with Blighty? Relocation lessons for the data centre jetset

Neil Barnes
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Alien

One thing that came up

when I was a project manager with a lot of overseas work is that it's not just the language that can be an issue, but the way in which the communication is handled. Many cultures don't like to say no, but somehow things just don't happen... in others, personal status is important: has this person the social right to ask me to do this?

In Brasil, for example, I found myself dealing with local contractors who would never say no, who were extremely agreeable to every suggestion, request, or hint... but my word were they slow. So one day I took a translator along with me to a meeting (my now wife, as it happens) and I suddenly became 'the man important enough to have a translator' and suddenly things started happening.

Very strange. But it happens (differently, naturally) the world over. Some places you have to ask, some you have to tell, some you have to bargain. I found books by Geert Hofstede helpful.

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Bone-tastic boffins' breakthrough BRINGS BACK BRONTOSAURUS

Neil Barnes
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Happy

Apatosaurus my elbow

It's *always* been Brontosaurus to me.

Thin at one end, fat in the middle, and thin at the other end. But not to be confused with an Elk, which is different.

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Streaming tears of laughter as Jay-Z (Tidal) waves goodbye to $56m

Neil Barnes
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Re: Streaming? more like Steaming

Yeah, My car ignores my playlist order, it plays everything in alphabetical order by song title.

My Fiat has a USB music system powered by Microsoft. I can access an album by name or artist (because I file a separate directory/subdirectory for each album) and it will play the album in the correct order.

Hooray.

At the end of the album, does it stop? No. Does it find the next album by the same artist, or the next artist alphabetically? No. It plays the bloody thing again... which tall-brained idiot that that one up?

(Also, I occasionally have to switch things off and on again to make it talk to me, but I kind of expect that. At least I can leave the windows open.)

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Streaming? more like Steaming

Playlists? I must be from the stone age.

I reckon that on the whole, the people who made an album knew what they were doing, and the only playlist I need is one that plays all the tracks on a CD, in order.

Surprisingly hard to find, though.

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Boffins: Large Hadron Collider NOW movin', we're getting down and crush groovin'

Neil Barnes
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Coat

My theory

is that in honour of the date, they're really trying to smash Cadbury's Creme Eggs together at 95% of the speed of light, to see how far the splatter goes.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Deep-fried cheesy Hungarian

Neil Barnes
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Love your new nail polish, Lester!

Katerina doing the, er, donkey work again?

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

Neil Barnes
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Mushroom

15:3:2 Saltpetre, charcoal, sulphur.

Oh noes, I have information useful to a terrorist.

Wait... so does the terrorist. And anyone else who can read. Perhaps the good Senator should just outlaw reading? It'd be easier than trying to remove data from the interwebs.

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UCLA trumpets supercapacitor for wearables or implants

Neil Barnes
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Flame

Capacitors do have an internal resistance - look for 'ESR' in the specification. And inductance, too, the amount varying depending on the construction.

But if these don't have a halt and catch fire mode, they're never going to cut it in the world of *real* batteries.

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VMware seeks patent for VD-eye-tracking tech

Neil Barnes
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Meh

I don't know why it's any different from tracking your finger

but it sounds creepy.

The cynic in me is wondering when someone will get down to monetising 'scroll, zoom, up, aha, he looked at the advert, click...'

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Google cracks down on browser ad injectors after shocking study

Neil Barnes
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Unwanted ad injectors aren't part of a healthy ads ecosystem

But then again, neither are adverts in general.

A plague upon all their houses.

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Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure

Neil Barnes
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Tell me again

How *my* beliefs/sexual preferences/weight/lifestyle affects *your* beliefs?

The argument about someone offering a service is straight-forward to anyone who is not a lawyer: by offering the service, you implicitly offer it to everyone. No ifs, no buts (with the obvious exceptions prescribed by law such as selling alcohol to minors).

If you don't want two blokes in the same room in your guest house, don't open a guest house.

If you don't want to sell a wedding cake to two women, don't sell wedding cakes.

If you don't want to sell a frock to a bloke, don't sell frocks.

Realise that you are in business; look to the bottom line, and keep your religious bigotry at home.

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Opportunity suffers another flash-memory 'amnesia' moment

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Anyone know which flash technology is in use?

I'm currently testing NOR flash at ridiculously high temperature and finding it a lot better than the makers claim.

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A Quid A Day for NOSH? Luxury!

Neil Barnes
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Re: If you know how to cook ...

Thanks, Jake.

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Neil Barnes
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Holmes

Re: If you know how to cook ...

If only there were, say, a cook book entitled something along the lines of 'Food for a Tenner a Week'...

Last year, Jake, you challenged me on this. Consider it answered.

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

Neil Barnes
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Re: Visit websites and it becomes all too obvious

Correct. It costs too much and takes too long to receive the goodies.

I have bought from the continent when I have had no other option, or when I have access to a delivery address in the same country, but on the whole it is simply uneconomic to do so, particularly for toys.

Also, I want instant gratification and I want it *now*.

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El Reg reforms the Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Re: Easy

Only problem is... all the fruit has been on the ground since November... you had to start your cunning plan six months ago.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Fair warning...

Hmm. If I sell you a jar, can I add any profit to my fiver?

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Nutrition?

But unnecessary.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Moral dilemma

Pro-rata is the only way to do it that makes sense, if you want any sort of variety. It's how I priced things in the book, too: if you've only got a tenner or so for a week, you don't blow it all at PapaJohn's (best delivery pizzas round here) - you think about what you're going to eat, and if necessary, you try and save something so you can afford herbs and spices because that's what you use to make things different.

My minimum spice list: salt, pepper, dried basil, tandoori masala, worcestershire sauce - but even that will eat up most of your tenner if you buy it in one go. Nonetheless if you get them one at a time every week or two, it's doable... and they all last a lot longer than a couple of months.

The actual cost is pennies or less; some the quantities are just too small to measure.

I'm planning on eating mostly from the book, having done all the research, though I'll perhaps scale things a little. Home-made muesli and sourdough bread (not at the same time) and jam for breakfast and lunch, lapsang souchang tea!

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Fair warning...

Yes, of course. 340g jars are about 140g sugar, so 9 pence.

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Neil Barnes
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Fair warning...

I've got jam from fruit gathered last year, and just planted some saved basil seed for fresh herbs next month. Beansprouts will be started the week before.

Anita will be helping again this year, so a tenner for the pair of us.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Neil Barnes
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Re: Bad training

Ten thousand hours, though - that's potentially half a million miles. That's fifteen years even at the stupid miles I drive...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Another nail in the coffin...

Indeed - I'm currently trying to fend off an attempt to change the limit in my road from 30-with-humps-and-traffic-calming to 20-but-we'll-take-the-humps-away.

I have still not yet had a response to my request for the evidence for the *need* for this (there have been no incidents in fifteen years I've lived there) and plenty of anecdotal observation that what is required is actually no more than a couple of zebra crossings...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: If you need to be seen, sidelights.

Correct. If you need lights, you need headlights - dipped or main as appropriate. There shouldn't even be a switch position for sidelights when the engine is running; they're parking markers and nothing more.

I won't mention driving with fog lights when it's not foggy...

One thing, though - the need lights situation is not helped by full-time illuminated dash panels (e.g. the wife's Seat) but I don't know how to avoid this (my Fiat Bravo's instruments are unreadable in some lighting conditions due to the depth of the dial in its binnacle, when external lights are not generally applicable). Perhaps we should just take the approach of leaving the headlights on all the time when the engine is on, as some of our continental cousins do.

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Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

'the first time mammoth genes have been alive'

Were they ever alive? After all, genes are just a collection of base pairs on an exon...

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Mono Magic: Photography, Breaking Bad style

Neil Barnes
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Re: Such a complex subject

I've used the same OM-1 for nearly forty years... it is indeed a lovely thing in the hand.

Colour photography happened very shortly after black and white; ignoring hand tinted daguerrotypes, the early developers were using colour through a number of impressively complex procedures: triple exposures through three filters; triple simultaneous exposures; random-scattered filters on the image (Autochrome using coloured starch grains as a filter screen was available from around 1907).

But until Kodak and Agfa started producing subtractive colour films, years later, any colour method was either prohibitively expensive, prohibitively complicated, or both, for the run of the mill user. It was also often much slower - in exposure terms - and that tended to be an issue too.

I suspect that given the chance, many photographers both professional and amateur would have leapt at colour - but they didn't really have the chance until the 1940s and so what we remember from the first century of the art is largely black and white.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: It is techno-Luddism

I have to agree with Nigel here: the challenge is not to make a picture, it's to understand how you have made the picture within the constraints of the medium.

I can solve a crossword by looking at the answers, or I can solve it by looking at the clues...

It's interesting that so many images are actually spoiled by the lack of control by the photographer. I recall a not-too-long-ago exhibition of images which were all stunning, but all subtly *wrong* - over-chromed, over sharpened, over-contrasty, and in a couple of cases it was immediately obvious that an autofocus had selected the wrong part of the image on which to focus...

But what do I know? I use a fairly basic digital camera for run of the mill record shots, and most of the time it does a pretty decent job. But when I want to play at the art of photography, I prefer to use a 4*5 camera (sometimes a home-made one) with emulsions developed seventy years ago and developers from two centuries ago.

p.s. Novatone has come up with wonderful neologism: nottalgia.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Cibachrome

Yeah, but anyone who had worked through the colour negative colour corrections invariably got their head confused when trying to work out which way to adjust the filters... and if they worked RGB in television at the same time...

Lovely results, though, and pretty much fade-proof.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: "Knowing you only have 36 exposures at a time can impose discipline."

Roll of 36 * 35mm? Two good shots.

Roll of 12 60*45mm? Two good shots.

Two sheets of 5x4"? Two good shots...

Funny, it's always been that way for me.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chana masala

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

So...

You're going to be eating a bit better next month, then, Lester?

Archetypal boffin with pipe -->

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LOHAN chap serves up 'tenner a week' e-cookbook

Neil Barnes
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You should be able to get them from Lulu in the States - it's a US company and I'm sure they print over there.

The way the finances work is that if I allow Amazon and the other bookstores to sell it, they will take half the cover price, then Lulu will get their bit, and then Malaria No More will get what's left - which will be negative, at this price.

There are no photos largely because they'd double the size, and therefore the cost, of the book.

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Neil Barnes
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Bugger...

Sorry about that, folks. I forgot about it. Bloody VAT law that thinks it's the medium that matters and not the content, and then manages to charge for a medium that barely exists.

Unfortunately it's out of my control, but thanks for flagging it up.

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Amazon issued with licence for delivery drone madness

Neil Barnes
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Re: So why is Amazon pursuing the idea?

Which, as a paraglider pilot, will probably rather upset me.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: So why is Amazon pursuing the idea?

Still can't see it; you need to be awful sure of your safeties.

Extreme example: Amazon, please deliver to my work address - Control Tower, 1 Airport Way, Heathrow...

For the back of beyond delivery it might make sense, but they're going to have to solve the range problem and if it's not autonomous it defeats the object.

(Oh, and an AI so it can wait until you're out and *then* attempt the delivery...)

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Rosetta SNIFFS molecular nitrogen on Comet 67P

Neil Barnes
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Coat

I suppose

It's better to nitrogenate than never...

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LOHAN chap compiles 'tenner a week' cookbook

Neil Barnes
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Re: Micro Review

Thanks KP.

Might I ask which side of the pond you live? Oatmeal seems uncommon in the UK - though there is the recipe for oats in Muesli (and indeed, I eat them regularly largely for their low GI).

I did have a recipe for oatcakes but testers didn't like the result, so out it went.

If I do it again next year it might be a selection of other people's ideas...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: @Neil - epub

Imagine if I'd remembered to post the link...

http://www.lulu.com/shop/neil-barnes/food-for-a-tenner-a-week/ebook/product-22087085.html

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Neil Barnes
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Re: @Neil - epub

Right, finally persuaded Lulu to accept/make an ebook.

It is not formatted as nicely as I would have wished, and there are extraneous entries in the TOC, but the TOC does at least work on my Kobo.

It's an epub.

£2.99 to make the same dosh for the charity.

Thanks,

Neil

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Neil Barnes
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Re: @Neil - epub

It's already a valid ebook, checks out with all the verifiers, and works fine on my kobo, but Lulu's verifier won't pass it, and the error messages are no bloody use at all.

Still trying alternate options.

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Neil Barnes
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Flame

I'm having serious difficulties persuading Lulu to accept a perfectly valid and verified epub file.

Not a happy bunny.

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Noobs can pwn world's most popular BIOSes in two minutes

Neil Barnes
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Re: This wouldn't be (much of) a problem...

As you say, UEFI in particular is *way* too complex for what it needs to do - basically, provide a way of loading and running the first sector of the disc (ooh, look, two options to lie to the user already!) and a list of peripherals and their states. Making the bios also responsible for approving the operating system image is not really helpful (and of course, a pain if you want to run something other than what came in the box).

There's an awful lot to be said for a little switch on the motherboard to make the bios chip writeable. It shouldn't be possible to rewrite the bios from userland at all.

(Apropos of which - what's the situation if you've turned the UEFI off for a standard bios boot? Is it a standard bios, or is it UEFI pretending?)

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Shock development: Darkweb drug n' gun dealers are untrustworthy

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

So evolution *is* real, then?

Now we've evolved a more efficient predator, it won't be long before the criminals evolve a better defense (or disguise) against it.

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Delving into Office 2016: Microsoft goes public with new preview

Neil Barnes
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Facepalm

Indeed - and as they still insist on wasting space with the ridiculous 'menu disguised as a big fat toolbar) aka the ribbon... they can still wait for me to install it.

All the disadvantages of both menus *and* toolbars and the advantages of neither.

(And yes, I know about ctrl-f1)

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Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Re: energy for cloud-cuckoo land

Presumably, the trick is to select a microwave frequency to which the atmosphere and its soggy bits are transparent.

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Well.That.Sucks: New rude dot-word sparks outrage

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

I'm sorry?

"is no longer purely a pejorative term"?

When was it ever? Is this some leftpondian aberration of the lanquage?

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Neil Barnes
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Re: Reading order

All the above are excellent suggestions - my taste would be for Guards! Guards! and the other Sam Vimes books - but no-one has mentioned Soul Music... which is worth it for a two-hundred page lead-up to an absolutely appalling pun on the last page (and incidentally gives an interesting cross section of Pterry's taste in music).

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