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* Posts by Neil Barnes

1537 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?

Neil Barnes
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Bacon is a vitamin

Lester, me and the missus are in. With added diabetes... you have mail.

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Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco

Neil Barnes
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<cough cough>

The original SPEARS board had lots of pretty lights to tell you if the fuse (and everything else) was ok!

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Samsung files patent for ear-mounted Google Glass competitor

Neil Barnes
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There's no doubt

The user will still look like a Borg wannabe (or just an idiot).

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A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally

Neil Barnes
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Alert

Kiev airport, ten years ago...

Nice lady in big green hat approaches, with clipboard.

"Mr Barnes? I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you don't need to wait here for your luggage any longer... the bad news is it will be here tomorrow."

Oddly enough, that's the only time my luggage hasn't arrived at the same time as me in thirty years of wombling all around the world, including a lot of the less salubrious places at times of crisis with chaps throwing bullets around.

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Ancient Earth asteroid strike that dwarfed dinosaur killer still felt today

Neil Barnes
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Re: Fascinating

Probably time to get a new hat, then.

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Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight

Neil Barnes
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Re: Bah!

Seated in this hi-tech chair

This bog that cost a million bucks

Gravity is a myth my friends

The earth sucks!

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Electronic kit low on juice? SPIT ON IT

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

How much power?

1mW = 1 milliwatt

1uW = 1 microwatt, if your keyboard lacks mu (μ)

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

Neil Barnes
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Re: Small meteorite strike

And they can triangulate using the other camera's image... oh, wait...

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European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive

Neil Barnes
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And further

!= "now remove all previously garnered details".

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Drone 'hacked' to take out triathlete

Neil Barnes
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Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again

You are correct - talking is always the first approach. There have been cases where talking has resulted in abuse.

The rules are there to maintain air safety and I (as a paraglider pilot) have to follow them just as much as a 787 pilot or a model aircraft pilot.

There seems to be an assumption that quads are not aircraft and not subject to the rules - this is not the case.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Occam's Razor

A citation, Mr AC, please?

*Everything* in the air - powered planes, commercial, gliders, paragliders, kites, balloons, model aircraft - in UK airspace is covered by the ANO. There are specific exemptions, but whether the pilot is on the ground or on the plane is immaterial.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Occam's Razor

I don't see why anything to which 167 applies is not also affected by 166, in particular:

166(2) - must be reasonably satisfied the flight can be safely made

166(3) - visual contact with the aircraft at all times

166(5) - not use for aerial work with CAA permit

As you say, most small quads aren't going to be 7kg but I can see that some might get that big. If they are shooting images in the expectation of sale or in the course of the controller's business then they're being used for 'aerial work' and the permit is required, plus the distance from people regulations apply.

There are also other rules that apply to minimum height and clearance.

These are the UK rules; they won't apply outside the UK except on UK registered planes, which these aren't, but most countries have very similar harmonised regulations.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again

See my quote of the ANO above to see how many rules the operators are in general breaking. We need to point out to the authorities when such rules are broken.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Occam's Razor

Checking on, your small radio controlled helicopter *is*...

From part 22, ANO, CAP393, sections 166 and 167

Small unmanned aircraft

166 (1) A person must not cause or permit any article or animal (whether or not attached to a parachute) to be dropped from a small unmanned aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.

(2) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.

(3) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.

(4) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly the aircraft:

(a) in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained;

(b) within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or

(c) at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.

(5) The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly the aircraft for the purposes of aerial work except in accordance with a permission granted by the CAA.

Small unmanned surveillance aircraft

167 (1) The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft in any of the circumstances described in paragraph (2) except in accordance with a permission issued by the CAA.

(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are:

(a) over or within 150 metres of any congested area;

(b) over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons;

(c) within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft; or

(d) subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), within 50 metres of any person.

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), during take-off or landing, a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person.

(4) Paragraphs (2)(d) and (3) do not apply to the person in charge of the small unmanned surveillance aircraft or a person under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.

(5) In this article ‘a small unmanned surveillance aircraft’ means a small unmanned aircraft which is equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition.

The use of quadcopters and other drones is clearly covered by the ANO and in many cases the flights made are in contravention of these rules - presenting a clear danger both to people on the ground and other pilots.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Occam's Razor

If such a thing were to happen here, presumably the drone would count as and be constrained by the same rules as any other aircraft (i.e. the Air Navigation Order) - particularly with regard to height-above-ground and proximity to people, as well as maintaining the security of control - and the operator subject to the same fines, confiscations, and other punishments.

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VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

Neil Barnes
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Re: What has the EU been smoking?

Indeed it is, but the poor have to spend *everything*. The rich have a lot of discretionary spending.

Nonetheless, and much as I hate sales taxes, there's a lot to be said for the proposal (made here, I believe) of doing away with company tax completely and putting it all on VAT paid in the country of purchase. The purchaser pays either way, and it does away with opportunistic tax avoidance by moving artificial IP around to a cheap company tax locale.

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Why ever leave home? Amazon wants to turn your kitchen into a shop

Neil Barnes
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Re: Competition is healthy

Dear Amazon AI - stop delivering food. Start delivering toilet paper.

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Neil Barnes
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Pint

Re: Computer says no

Thank you Steven R, saved me the bother of looking it up. Have an 'up'.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Neil Barnes
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Presumably...

The *increase* in certain cancer risks - I haven't read the paper, just the Reg's summary - implies that those increased rates are actually the baseline figures[1], and that something in the agri-chemical cocktail applied to normal food is reducing the cancer risk. That would suggest that research into which is doing what; there seems to a benefit which should be explored.

[1] Unless of course, the chemicals/drugs the Food Association *do* allow are in some way unbeneficial? A few minutes' searching failed to provide a list.

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Win XP usage down but not out as support cutoff deadline looms

Neil Barnes
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Win 2000

Do you think it's time I upgraded that laptop yet?

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Microsoft in 1-year Windows XP survival deal with UK govt

Neil Barnes
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Microsoft told The Register:

“Agreements such as these do not remove the need to move off Windows XP as soon as possible.”

Though they don't say where they should move to... Linux perhaps? (Other OSs are available).

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Middle England trembles before roaring LOHAN

Neil Barnes
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And in other news...

An earthquake off the coast of Chile.

Is there a connection? Enquiring minds want to know!

Best of luck at the weekend, lads.

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El Reg's Deep Outback XP upgrade almost foiled by KILLER ARACHNIDS

Neil Barnes
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Re: Don't use fly spray

Well lighting it works, if you don't need the chair afterwards.

But wouldn't you be better with *spider* spray?

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Want to see at night? Here comes the infrared CONTACT LENS

Neil Barnes
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Infrared

pictures or it didn't happen.

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Soccer's dull? A MIND-CONTROLLED robo-suit will be used to take first World Cup 2014 kick

Neil Barnes
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Fascinating technology, and to be applauded

But there is one thing a wheelchair does that this doesn't: it works without power. All it needs is someone to push (and that someone is often the person riding).

What this does when the battery runs out is stop.

Which is not to say it should not be developed further - but I'd love to know what the low/zero power strategy is.

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That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

Neil Barnes
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All that technology

And all it's used for is messages from Papajohn's saying my pizza will be ready in half an hour.

I have a Hotmail address for legacy reasons: I predate the MS takeover/demolition of it.

For mail that matters, I have a paid-for service, which *I* control.

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Facebook, you fools! Forget Oculus, you could have bought TRON-type headsets

Neil Barnes
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Prior art

Presumably I can just drop a smartphone into my American Pattern (AKA Holmes) stereoscopic viewer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereoscope).

If only I used smartphones, I might even have thought of that!

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Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever

Neil Barnes
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Re: Ubuntu Metro

Quite. I had wondered how long it would be before someone noticed.

Though even the otherwise excellent Cinnamon still has the ridiculous 1-pixel wide landing areas for size grabs - it does display the contents of the window while resizing, but only if you can actually grab the corner to resize it!

(Pointed out by someone else upthread, I think.)

And I *like* CInnamon. I'm not sure that Unity offers me anything that matches *my* workflow that's better than Cinnamon, but YMMV.

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

Neil Barnes
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Re: Government by Homeopaths.

There's no problem *believing* in homeopathy.

The problem occurs when you start to believe it works.

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Say WHAT? ATVOD claims 44k Brit primary school kids look at smut online each month

Neil Barnes
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Re: Does not add up! @Neil Barnes

@Peter Gathercole: Agreed, there are exceptions. But they're rare.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Does not add up!

The argument presented on R4 this morning was the same one; there should be legislation requiring out-of-country websites to require age verification and that the lack thereof should somehow cause the income to these free sites to disappear.

Quite how this would occur was not revealed despite the presenter's repeated questioning on this point.

There is a point though: perhaps there is a need for a government database whose sole purpose is to say 'this person is over the age of 18'. I say government because I don't trust any of the big providers, but to be honest I don't trust the government that much either, but it could be done.

For sure it should not be done by e.g. requiring a credit card or similar, and there's no need for it even to identify the person; the person involved supplies some token and the database says yea or nay.

However, that's really just a thought as to how it might be done. To be honest I think there are two people responsible for what a child does online or anywhere else: the parents.

Apropos of nothing, each and every person on the planet is the last in a line of ancestors each and every one of whom decided they were interested in sex... trying to ban it is like trying to ban the tide.

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Judge rules Baidu political censorship was an editorial right

Neil Barnes
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No matter who is censoring whom

How on earth is it worth $16m in damages? Where's the costed damage?

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First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

Neil Barnes
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Moving at 800 m/s

Relative to what?

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GNOME 3.12: Pixel perfect ... but homeless

Neil Barnes
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I see no mention

Of multiple desktops... probably the thing I make most use of in Cinnamon (and in previous Gnome versions). Have they dropped this support, or do I need to download/run it to find out?

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Boffins power wearable tech with body static

Neil Barnes
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Re: 200V @ 4.7uA ~= 1mW

Dynamic ram requires a fair amount of power due to the need to refresh. Static ram is a lot better, but doesn't tend to come in such usefully large chunks. The various ferro-ram variants are low power in use and zero power non-volatile, but again are restricted in size.

Not having a phone that requires stroking, I can't comment as to how much slab-fondling actually occurs in use, but I can't help feeling this is a dead-end technology.

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Neil Barnes
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200V @ 4.7uA ~= 1mW

That one square centimetre is about the size of the finger; the contact is for perhaps a second or two... it's not going to do a lot of charging, I feel.

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

Neil Barnes
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I used that in its Zortech phase

It was not until I looked it up that I discovered they began life as Zorland. I thought you might have conflated it with Borland, but Wiki tells me they did it on purpose.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Ah the 7400 series ICs...

Some of us are still designing with 74 series ICs - and bemoaning the fact that all the really useful special function ones have gone the way of all flesh. For example, you just can't get an ALU in HC...

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Ancient telly, check. Sonos sound system, check. OMG WOAH

Neil Barnes
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Seems an expensive option

to replace, say, a pair of speakers with decent sized drivers and a cheap and cheerful amplifier. I hate it when I have to use the TV speakers - uniformly crap, I feel, if only from the limitations of the packaging - to watch something that isn't going through the DTT/PVR box.

Why this urge for tiny speakers and wireless connectivity?

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MtGox finds 200,000 Bitcoin in old wallets

Neil Barnes
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I blame the notched quanta...

Ms Fnd in a Lbry - Hal Draper

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QUIDOCALYPSE: Blighty braces for £100 MILLION cost of new £1 coin

Neil Barnes
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Re: Coin recognition

Cost of a label saying 'this machine does not yet accept the new £1 coin'? Pennies.

The old coins will be around for years - in most cases, the lifetime of the machine. At that time, they can be replaced with updated machines which will accept the new but not the old coin.

Hundred million my arse.

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Google wearables: A solution looking for a rich nerd

Neil Barnes
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Re: What's the big deal with charging every day?

It is if you ever want to be more than a day from a charging point...

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Keep your quinoa, hipsters: Boffins back healthy slabs of choc

Neil Barnes
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Acai

Might not be any use for losing weight, but it's certainly very tasty as a frozen mush with strawberries and chocolate icecream. Ideally on the beach in Rio...

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What kid uses wires? FCC supremo angry that US classrooms are filled with unused RJ45 ports

Neil Barnes
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Re: If only these portable devices had RJ45 jacks fitted...

Indeed. It's the lack of wires on the device that's the issue, not the lack of places to plug them in - though it would be nice to have the option. But people don't know any better and have ended up with devices which are both fighting for congested spectrum/bandwidth and have no way of improving the issue. Though I suppose we're stuck with it now...

As it's forty years since I sat in a classroom, in nice neat rows, no talking or else, you'll have to excuse my lack of knowledge of current arrangements.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: If only these portable devices had RJ45 jacks fitted...

@keithpeter

Well, yes, but yet in thousands of offices throughout the land, the amazingly difficult trick of getting the cable to the desk has been achieved...

Agreed, they could be moving around. As others have said (or at least implied), 5GHz wireless tends to stay in the same room as the access point, which at least simplifies channel allocation. But nonetheless, there is a serious point here: wireless is not the solution for high data rates with many mobile devices. Using a wired access point does at least reduce the RF clutter and provide a high-speed interface which the presence of everybody else's device causes - I would have expected some bright spark to have discovered this.

Though of course, since they tend not to believe in wired ethernet on even semiportable devices these days...

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Neil Barnes
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If only these portable devices had RJ45 jacks fitted...

At the very least, one might have expected that those who *could* plug in, *would* plug in. But perhaps it's far more important to be cool and wireless, or something?

A walk down any high street will show you how cluttered and busy - and therefore slow - unmanaged wireless networks are. Why doesn't the school's IT teaching include something about the technology of how it works, and why, in this classroom, it doesn't?

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Neil Barnes
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Re: No need for a pound coin...

Polo mints may already have previous art on the bit that goes in the hole...

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Don't stare: SHRUNKEN Mercury lost 7km, but only 'cos it's COOLING

Neil Barnes
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Cooling?

Are they sure it's just not slowly evaporating?

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Watch the MIT MER-BOT – half droid, half soft 'fish' – swim by itself

Neil Barnes
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100ms escape maneouvre

What is it escaping from? A soft predator?

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UK's CASH POINTS to MISS Windows XP withdrawal date

Neil Barnes
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... must be protected ... using vendors’ latest security patches.

Well that's easily solved, then: come next month, you've *had* the latest security patches and you can stop worrying about it.

Sorted.

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