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* Posts by Neil Barnes

1739 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Well done Lester

Is there any possibility of fastening the said bureaucrat to the launcher? I'd pay to see that...

p.s. what happened to mugs with the paintjob design?

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Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please

Neil Barnes
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Agreeing with everyone else

I'm the odd one out, though: I've bought only one book for the Kobo just to see how it worked. The rest of my stuff is scans (or online trawls) of paper books I already own - and ePub was a critical reason for selecting the Kobo.

If I had a tablet already, why would I - assuming I wanted to read books on it - simply not load a Kobo or Aldiko reader application? Why on earth would I go out and buy a device allegedly sold as a reader with all the disadvantages of a tablet and none of the advantages of e-ink?

(apropos of which - the kobo is now being modified as a GPS navigational device for paragliders and hang gliders... - for exactly the same reason it works as a reader: long battery life and highly visible in daylight.)

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Creaky PC? SanDisk gives users a NAND with speedy '3-bitter' SSD

Neil Barnes
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Re: Differences?

ach, too early in the morning. I did. :)

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Differences?

My need is for an SSD that costs the same as a similar sized spinning rust device... I considered one last month when I replaced a disk in my laptop but fifty quid for a gig of hard drive made it a no-brainer.

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Brother, can you spare a DIME for holy grail of secure webmail?

Neil Barnes
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The biggest problem with encrypted email

is that it seems to define you automatically as an enemy of the state.

Until we manage to persuade the state - whom we allegedly allow to represent *our* interests - that 'mind your own business' is a valid response to any and all questions, there seems no way to avoid this.

Nothing to hide == nothing to fear, my arse. It's none of your business. Period.

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Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies

Neil Barnes
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Re: To fly, to serve?

Berets, I thought.

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Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run

Neil Barnes
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Pint

For giving a fellow paraglider a lift back to the top

Have another beer, Lester.

Also, nice work on the simulation/testing.

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Neil Barnes
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Why did Hemmingway's chicken cross the road?

To die...

Alone...

In the rain...

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

Neil Barnes
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But not Dacorum, just down the road

'You do not need to take further action' in bold on the front of the letter, but two paragraphs later 'Please note your details are on the open register' - in spite of the fact of my ticking the appropriate box in previous years.

Thanks, Dacorum.

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NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS

Neil Barnes
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If that 'boulder' is a pyramid

then there's probably a single arm building it from inside, and moving every now and again when the animal inside gets too big.

And watch out for Trweel flying past and landing on his beak.

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Totes AMAZEBALLS! Side boob, binge-watch and clickbait added to Oxford Dictionary

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

Re: Each year we get the 'new words' announcement...

Re Aerodrome: bit of a faux-pas there, I feel, as it's part of the legal definition regarding where aircraft take off and land, and what one can do in the area thereabout.

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£100m DMI omnifail: BBC managers' emails trawled by employment tribunal

Neil Barnes
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Re: I worked in BBC in 1970s

The joke is - you can lay all the blame on an engineer: John Birt.

The man who introduced 'Producer Choice' and all the idiocy that it brought with it, like external companies making programs using BBC staff, premises, and equipment for less than the BBC could do it, or people having meetings in the hotel across the road because the room hourly rate was cheaper.

Idiot.

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DIME for your TOP SECRET thoughts? Son of Snowden's crypto-chatter client here soon

Neil Barnes
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Re: 4 point type

What was the problem? ctrl+scroll works fine!

Oh, wait...

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World's only flyable WWII Lancaster bombers meet in Lincs

Neil Barnes
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For what it's worth

The gent who twenty years later became my godfather was an aircraft mechanic working on Lancasters first in Canada and latterly at Scampton.

As a child, my train set speed controller was the cabin lighting dimmer from a Lancaster. (When he died, I donated the part and a number of other souvenirs back to one of the reconstruction groups.)

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Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

Neil Barnes
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Paris Hilton

You want...

Dried ground beans in hot water? With the juice squirted out of another bean?

Computing...

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Amazon 'adware' laden Ubuntu passes ICO's data smell test

Neil Barnes
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Facepalm

Re: I'm happy it's happy...

Yes. Reading that back this morning...

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Neil Barnes
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Stop

Re: I'm happy it's happy...

And that's the fundamental issue. MS appears to have bought the 'people want advertising' line... while I have met many who don't bother to kill adverts, and some who don't really care, I have never met anyone who claimed that the *wanted* advertising.

And after all, if you want to search the web, use a browser, where you know the interface and can control what you see; where the search engine will return many vendors for a particular (or similar) product or searching of an individual site.

Away with it. As above; it's not a feature, it's a bug. And I try not to install buggy software.

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Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

Neil Barnes
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Re: Who takes the picture?

And in this case he didn't lose the camera; he set everything up to enable the macaque to take the shot.

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Neil Barnes
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Stop

We hit our peak confidence and understanding <...> in our mid-teens

I think I can safely say that I understand damn sight more about digital communications and technology now, in my mid fifties, than I did in my teens...

Though that may be because when I was at school, the only 'computing' class was actually 'data entry'.

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SCORE: Rosetta probe hits orbit of duck-shaped comet

Neil Barnes
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Coat

This article lacks a critical word:

Boffin.

Not one mention, for shame.

So, congratulations to all the boffins involved with this little jaunt.

The white lab coat, obviously. -->

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Thin naked model slips out of Apple's secretive lab ... it's an 'iPad Air 2'

Neil Barnes
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Coat

That looks more like an apple

than a 'clam'...

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Ad biz now has one less excuse to sponsor freetards and filth

Neil Barnes
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Re: Reducing the cesspit and filth?

And those bloody datasheet sites...

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Neil Barnes
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Reducing the cesspit and filth?

Get rid of the whole advert-funded mess; that'll get rid of all the pointless clickbait and aggregator sites with zero information. Might even take down some of the sex sites too, but somehow I doubt it.

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Crumbs! Holiday phish based on genuine hotel booking surfaces

Neil Barnes
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WTF?

From the other side...

I was convinced I was being spammed when I attempted to make a web-booking of a Best Western chain hotel in Italy recently...

Having passed through the web payment scheme (using a credit card) and believing the booking to be complete, I then received an email from the hotel asking for faxed scans of my passport and credit card.

Alarm bells rang.

I was not a happy bunny, given the obvious risks involved, and eventually involved BW corporate - whose conclusion was (a) it was genuine and (b) they didn't have control over local operations - and the CC company, who were less than amused but didn't flag it as fraudulent. The hotel claimed that this was an Italian money-laundering regulation...

We eventually compromised on a scan of my driver's licence, and enjoyed our stay.

Nonetheless, the whole *point* of a web-based credit card payment is that it is complete unto and of itself; the risk is with the CC company if the card is reported stolen. Behaviour like the hotel's, whether government mandated or not, simplifies matters no end for scammers.

(I never liked handing my passport over, either.)

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Google's mysterious floating techno barge SOLD FOR SCRAP

Neil Barnes
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Re: Meanwhile, halfway around the world

Come sir; Bond villains do not cascade style; they exude it.

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Neil Barnes
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Black Helicopters

Meanwhile, halfway around the world

The *real* Google World Domination Nuclear Powered Floating Headquarters[tm][c] have been quietly built, completed, stocked for a looooong cruise, and launched on its way to who knows where... their job of distraction complete, the Google Barges can now be scrapped; a cunning move which not only releases a little equity but still keeps people guessing.

I understand they would have been scrapped earlier, but the GWDNPFH launch was delayed as they were unable to locate a suitable white cat.

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Brit balloon bod Bodnar circumnavigates planet

Neil Barnes
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Re: Tradition.

@MyffyW - I think they must be. My watch runs fine for weeks and then has a phase of losing five minutes an hour for a couple of days. They're obviously messing around with *something*.

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Neil Barnes
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Tradition.

It's the two metre band. Frequency is irrelevant, and subject to change if they change the speed of light.

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The Therapod diet: From HUMUNGO DINO to TINY BIRD in 50m years

Neil Barnes
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Bleedin' obvious, innit?

No *way* something the size of T. Rex could fly just by waving those silly little arms around, no matter how many feathers he had.

Miniaturisation was the only logical course.

And the reason they became extinct? When an egg-laying dinosaur weighing ten tons climbs into her nest to lay her eggs, if she doesn't pick a strong enough tree, the eggs are going to break. They got the chicken and egg problem the wrong way around, poor dears.

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Fiat Panda Cross: 'Interesting-looking' Multipla spawn hits UK

Neil Barnes
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Interesting...

Reminds me of the Brazil soft-road Uno they launched a few years ago.

Idiosyncratic looks, but I'd give it a go (hey, I've had a Coupe Fiat for twenty years - I like non-boring cars!)

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Mars rover 2020: Oxygen generation and 6 more amazing experiments

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Releasing oxygen

Isn't what you've released the oxygen *from* going to want it back? The chemistry could be interesting...

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Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

Neil Barnes
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Flame

automated checkout machines

Pah. An abomination unto Nuggan; the designers should have been strangled at birth.

"Wouldn't you like to use the automated system, sir?"

"No thank you, I'd rather talk to a human, and incidentally, provide some suggestion that he/she ought to be kept in a job."

On the other hand, it's kinda fun when you're forced onto one to see how far you can deviate from its programming and still get out of the shop without the security bod chasing you. Got the Tesco one down to exactly zero button presses, if I have sufficient coins.

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Recording lawsuit targets Ford, GM in-car CD recorders

Neil Barnes
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Re: "Obviously they are designed to copy CDs already owned by the driver."

Yes, but that's because no-one who ever gave me a lift had any musical taste.

http://store.dieselsweeties.com/products/elitism

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Hmmmm

Depends where your garage is...

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Sneaker-maker Reebok cooks up performance-enhancing BACON

Neil Barnes
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Bacon is a vitamin [tm]

But if it doesn't have nitrates or nitrites (or both) introduced at some stage in its creation, it's not bacon - it's just dried pig.

And what's the point of that?

Fake bacon is probably the sort of thing that hides my screwdrivers.

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Re: Don'cha love...

PO#1 and PO#2 - the world's best screwdrivers, in spite (because?) of their cylindricity.

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Neil Barnes
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WTF?

Re: What I would like to know is....

The circuit board from which I am regularly - every few minutes - prying an IC using a small screwdriver is on my left. That's where the wires go; it has no choice.

When I remove the IC, I place the screwdriver next to the circuit board, on my left.

And yet here it is, snuggling up to the soldering iron on my right.

How does it do that?

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SOULLESS machine-intelligence ROBOT cars to hit Blighty in 2015

Neil Barnes
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Will these night time trucking lorries

have special software in them to accommodate the need to pass other lorries in an overtaking manoeuvre that lasts at least ten minutes?

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British Lords: Euro 'right to be forgotten' ruling 'unreasonable and unworkable'

Neil Barnes
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This was always kind of obvious, no?

Dear Google, that embarrassing post I made in 1995, I'd like to recall it please. Riiiight... tell me again why we should do that? Got a court order?

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Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

Neil Barnes
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Re: Here's an idea.@Neil Barnes

Read my second paragraph, Ledswinger. I believe the site lacks a sarcasm icon...

No problem at all with a meter which can be read remotely by the supplier - provided it can be read by no-one else, and all the obvious fraud channels are closed. That's a sensible use of the technology. This is stuff that could and should have happened years ago. There is in truth no need for a man in a hat hammering on the door - save that it will always be necessary to inspect from time to time to see who's bypassed the unit or stuck a nail through it, as you point out happens currently.

An all-singing all-dancing happy smiley touchy feelie application that is there primarily so that politicians can pretend that people are 'in control' and 'have choice' and that this will significantly change their behaviour? That's pointless gimcrackery.

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Neil Barnes
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I wonder how many meter readers for how long you get for your eleven billion?

Don't forget to factor in the redundancy payments...

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Neil Barnes
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Flame

Here's an idea.

We have some sort of meter on the wall that tots up the kWhrs we use. Once every three months, say, a chap comes round and looks at the number, and calculates a bill based on that amount. This bill is written on a piece of paper which drops on the doormat a few days later; the householder instructs his bank to make a payment.

The onus should be on the supplier to measure the usage. Not estimate it; measure it. Requiring the householder to measure it, whether it's by looking at the meter or by using a smartphone application (hmm, wonder how many security holes will be baked in?) is the wrong approach entirely.

Do away with smart meters. They're a waste of space, time, and money.

If people can't work out that leaving the oven or the heating or twenty-seven halogen lights on is costing them a fortune, they're not going to make any changes just because a little light tells them to.

This is an overcomplicated solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

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Swell. Apple buys 'Pandora-for-talk-radio' app... for $30 meeellion

Neil Barnes
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Re: we're pretty sure the Beeb won't ever sell itself to Apple

Indeed. I worked there a long long time and I have an extremely high regard for what it used to be; less so now.

Tens of billions? Probably - though I doubt hundreds - and as we are told Apple is sitting on a hundred and fifty billion or so...

Fortunately, it's not likely to happen. Unless the Chancellor gets hungry.

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Neil Barnes
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Holmes

we're pretty sure the Beeb won't ever sell itself to Apple

How sure? Given the most recent illogical pronouncement from Lord Tony - that the BBC should be allowed to buy in 100% of its material, while making quality programmes for other people - I wouldn't be at all surprised at the suggestion.

After all, the Beeb's not worth anything like all those spare dollars in Apple's coffers.

(Although Apple might still be a bit sore about iPlayer...)

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Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!

Neil Barnes
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Stop

I blame David Icke.

That's all.

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Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle

Neil Barnes
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I have a dream

That one day I will hear something pleasant - nay, tolerable - on a Bose system.

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NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'

Neil Barnes
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Re: Yeah? Just try to leave Israel!

Heh. One of my colleagues failed to mention ten grand's worth of spares he was carrying into Delhi. Got to enjoy a cell overnight and an invitation never to return...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: US Immigration

The other question that used to confuse us on the old visa waiver form was the one that said "are you a Nazi or have you or your family ever been involved with them' (or something to that effect).

Since my partner is descended from the five percent of her family that got out of Germany in the thirties - the rest remain in Dachau and Auschwitz - the answer was obviously 'yes'.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: We know, you know.

@ Bob Wheeler

At the other end of the world, I entered Russia for the first time a few years ago. Got to immigration, and a nice lady in a big green hat peered down at me from a lectern-type thingy.

"Passport."

I hand it over. Nice lady riffles through it, looks at me, riffles through again.

"Do you spik Russian?"

"No."

"Excellent. Welcome to Moscow."

And that was it. The passport was full of visas and worrying entry stamps - north and south America, most of the -istans, India, Middle East, Far East... I got around a bit for the Beeb in those days.

On another occasion, at the Tajikistan/Uzbekistan border at three in the morning, I recall the taxi driver arguing with the border guard about whether the bribe for entry should be one or two dollars. I was carrying fifty thousand dollars in cash... actually, that was quite fun since I had declared it all properly on arriving at Tashkent, and the customs guy had asked to touch it. He said he'd never seen so much money in one place.

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Neil Barnes
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Do you suppose it's suspicious...

That for years I was in and out of the States every other week or so, up to and around 9/11, but haven't been back since 2001... and I have a native Navajo uncle?

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