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* Posts by Anonymous Custard

948 posts • joined 25 Jul 2008

Windows XP market share decline stalls, Mac OS X surges

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Are old XP machines being upgraded/replaced, or simply retired?

I'm in the same boat - have an old frankenstein desktop machine at home which is basically built out of the remains of a few others (the case says "Tiny PCs" on it, in case you want a heritage yardstick) and it chugs along nicely under XP. It does what I need it to do, getting booted up roughly once a week for a few odd jobs.

For the day to day stuff there are a couple of laptops around the house (running Win7) plus a few tablets (Android) which more than suffice. So the old desktop machine just provides a bit of a back-up in case of need, but I can neither really justify updating it (I doubt the hardware would support Win8.1) nor justify chucking it (as it still works fine, if a bit slow compared to its newer siblings).

Hence it'll probably continue to rumble on in the background until it does have a catastrophic failure somewhere, but until then why not? It is fully patched up to the cut-off, and has AV/firewall from another vendor who are supporting it still (and it's also behind a router firewall anyway, and it doesn't venture off the beaten track to more dodgy areas of the web).

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Quick Q: How many FLOPPIES do I need for 16 MILLION image files?

Anonymous Custard
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Headmaster

16-page document I was working on last night won’t fit onto a floppy

16-page document I was working on last night won’t fit onto a floppy...

People still don't believe me when I tell them that my 200ish page PhD thesis (from just under 20 years ago) fitted on two floppy discs (one for the doc and the other for graphics files). Written in LaTeX, with PS graphics from Coreldraw, so the main body of the file was basically a glorified text file which zip'd down nicely.

It was always amusing when people who were using WordPerfect and the early MS efforts (the ones that would evolve into Word) used to praise them initially, before wondering both why they were running out of server/hard disc space (remembering that HD's back then were struggling to get above the single-digit Gigabyte level, at least at Uni) and how they could recover their work when the file got corrupted, of course just after they'd done a lot of work but just before they'd backed it up (some things never change).

Bah, I'm showing my age now I guess (having more storage space on my keyring today than the entire department would have had back then), but then I've also got the obligatory zip disc drive beside my desktop machine at home (not that it's been used in many a year and is quite a good dust magnet).

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse back on the bacon

Anonymous Custard
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Re: "Neil Barnes and missus Anita"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It's_a_Good_Life_(The_Twilight_Zone)

The "It's a Good Life" episode, where he played the little kid with the mental powers to do almost anything. I think the Simpsons also parodied it in one of the early Treehouse of Horror episodes.

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Anonymous Custard
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Re: Rice

A little more time and effort to make, and in my experience a lot more effort not to just eat the whole lot in one go as it's so tasty (at least home-made bread around our house has that longevity issue...) .

One thing I was surprised didn't feature more was soups. It's something that herself at home makes routinely (we have one of those soup makers that's the offspring of a blender and a kettle), and for not much you get 3-4 portions of delicious and healthy soup. Quite commonly we pick up the dodgy looking or close-to-date bags of veg from Tesco and bung them through it to make "fridge bottom" soup (carrot, parsnip, a potato or two plus whatever else might be around the shelf like peppers, tomatoes, cauli's or brocolli).

Tastes lovely, and would go a treat with a slice or two of your sourdough I bet. And now I'm off to munch on some of today's batch, sadly sans bread.

@Neil - why hasn't Lester got you a Gold badge yet? For all your stirling LOHAN work plus this, I'd have thought it'd be mandatory by now?

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Traffic light vulns leave doors wide open to Italian Job-style hacks

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Hack away you can't do worse than Bristol City Council

Sounds horribly familiar. We've got a few gyratory roundabouts around here (Crawley) which have numerous sets of lights on them. You can always tell when they conk out (roughly once or twice a year on average), as the traffic flow improves markedly and journey times decrease by about 10 minutes going across town.

But do they learn? No, they fix them and normal delayed service is resumed...

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Anonymous Custard
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Joke

Hmm, I now have the mental image of cars chasing about and utter traffic chaos, all overlaid with the soundtrack of Yakkety Sax.

So much for getting any work done today...

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Norwegians trial Oculus Rift in tanks: The ultimate battlefield simulator

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Internet of tanks?

Or combine the two, and just overlay the ads on the enemy as a greater incentive to shoot them?

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Brain surgery? Would sir care for a CHOC-ICE with that?

Anonymous Custard
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From my experience it's more IT a few years back got redefined from "can program, write code, debug things and produce something useful" to "can work a computer and knows how to make something bold in Word and make a Powerpoint presentation look all whizzy and animated". Hence the IT degrees either slid down to be social science/media ones (at worst) or the uni's had to spend at least the first year actually teaching people what they should already know (at best).

I can see it with the education my kids are currently getting. They have all sorts of PCs, tablets and other media stuff in the school, and the closest they get to IT is Powerpoint. I do my best to remedy this at home rather than my taxes doing it, but it does sometimes seem like buying a dog and barking myself.

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Anonymous Custard
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Big Brother

Why aren't we being offered telephoen number salaries and huge bonuses like bankers?

Unfortunately we're just the ones who have to keep things running, and keep managers promises. We only become visible when the brown stuff impacts the whirly thing, at which point talking about a pay rise isn't really opportune.

Normally the only way to be appreciated is posthumously (job-wise) when you either quit in disgust or get punted, which again isn't really the best time for a salary review...

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Anonymous Custard
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Pirate

Re: Erm

It's even more fun swapping it back a couple of weeks afterwards, once everyone has lost their tolerance to caffeine...

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Bankrupt Bitcoin bunker blender begins: MtGox admin starts liquefaction

Anonymous Custard
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Joke

Re: Missing bitdosh

I'm tempted to put a bid in for their sofa, just so I can look down the back of it and see what might turn up there...

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Teen girl arrested with 70-year-old man's four inch weapon inside her

Anonymous Custard
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Joke

Smuggled Inn?

However, one disgusted local chap declared: "Mi nuh wan' dat deh phone fi use again, mi would dash it weh."

Hang on - they had mobile phones in Jamaica Inn? Or did I mishear you?

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Shut up, Siri, I'm watching telly! iOS 7.1 code reveals new role for Apple's PA

Anonymous Custard
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Big Brother

Re: "Gary Busey!"

It's when they start talking back that you need to worry...

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AOL Mail locks down email servers to deal with spam tsunami

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Lock down?

Talktalk's email system sits atop AOL's (you can log into it via their own website or AOLs). Any email that gets delivered to talktalk also sits in an AOL mirror, and can be read/deleted etc separately.

Whether that makes the situation better or worse I'll leave as an exercise to the reader (speaking as a Talktalk customer who uses the AOL version sometimes as a failsafe backup if I've deleted an email that I then need again).

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WTF happened to Pac-Man?

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Robotron!!!! Most insane game

All of Minter's Llamasoft games were insane. Fond memories (too many years ago!) of playing them on my old Vic-20, C64 and Speccie. Stuff flying everywhere at manic speed, dying quite quickly but always wanting to go just that little bit further. Some good tunes on the C64 one too if I remember well.

Definitely Robotron inspired, and absolute classic. I feel an emulator evening coming on...

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Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!

Anonymous Custard
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Happy

Hand-held control

And of course, even today at work (semiconductor manufacturing equipment, appropriately enough) all of the hand-held teaching and control units for the tools are always referred to as gameboys...

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Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning

Anonymous Custard
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Pint

I wish...

I wish my car was that plucky and reliable, rather than just being similarly dirty...

An Easter pint to the true survivor though.

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MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

Anonymous Custard
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Joke

Re: Isn't the sea ...

Yup. "Up from the depths, 30 stories high..." (at least that was the kids cartoon one from when I was a nipper, which is now going to be today's ear-worm).

And we can forget sharks with frikkin laser beams on their heads. We'll now have Pacific sharks with laser beam eyes...

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Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast

Anonymous Custard
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Re: MicroSD

On my 4.4.2 Kitkat N7 (2012) the media importer app is still required for USB OTG.

Somehow I don't see that changing whilst Google are trying to flog paid subscription to their cloud drive...

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Anonymous Custard
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Re: I wonder...

Which Ravpower device?

My RP Filehub will happily power a WD MyPassport hard drive through its USB port as well as hosting an SD card, acting as a portable WiFi NAS for my HTC 8X and Nexus7...

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Anonymous Custard
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Re: worried about damaging the USB port

there's no reason why idiot phone makers couldn't do that instead of sticking in 8 or 16 Gb

Unfortunately in reality there is reason, namely if punters who know no better are willing to pony-up 3x the price for it to be built-in. Or that they can then sell their own cloud storage solution as an alternative, thus generating their own captive market (looking at you Google and Amazon).

There shouldn't be a reason, but greed and profit will trump any kind of logic like that.

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Anonymous Custard
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Even cheaper?

Or alternatively go on Amazon or wherever for an OTG cable for a couple of quid, then just use one of the many full-sized USB thumb drives that most people already own?

This thing makes sense if it's going to be (semi-)permanently stuck in the phone or if you are in the market for a new thumb drive for whatever reason, but from experience for most uses just hooking up to a cable works well too and saves buying yet another drive.

That said for general travelling I use a Ravpower filehub and a WD hard drive, which turns both my Windows Phone and my Nexus7 (and my work laptop) into shared 2TB wifi beasties instead.

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Reg gets sneak peek of Getac's chunky TOUGH AS NAILS 8.1-incher

Anonymous Custard
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Holiday reading

but with that dust and splash protection, it’ll certainly prove its worth on the beach.

So it'll have a ready-market for those management types who can't take more than 10 minutes off from their emails for fear that either the company will grind to a halt, or more likely that it won't and quite how little contribution they actually make might be noticed.

Proof against sun, sea and sand and chunky enough to be used as a blunt instrument by their exasperated spouses fed up with being ignored for the sake of that last email no doubt.

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Borked Bitcoin bunker MtGox in administration: Lawyer seizes control

Anonymous Custard
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At least this time it won't be the normal stooge of J Random Taxpayer, aka you and me...

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KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline

Anonymous Custard
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Joke

Re: @Big John Obligatory...

where are the meatballs?

Maybe this prophet and messiah is female?

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LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

Anonymous Custard
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Boffin

...with the balloon up a tree...

...with the balloon up a tree...

So at least something went as you would expect it to have done... :)

Anyway nice one lads, beers and bacon butties all round (and one of the latter for me, great name for the launch site too btw).

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Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS

Anonymous Custard
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Re: That's better than I expected then

Not everyone has something interesting to say,

...but sadly in some higher profile cases, that doesn't stop them doing so anyway.

The missus is one of the silent majority, but only because the kids school decided it would be the best way to send out updates etc when they are off on school trips etc. Makes sense as a notification board type use, but of course is rather sporadic and occasional.

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Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys

Anonymous Custard
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Village knight?

included knights, native Americans and builders - a combination not seen again until the rise of the Village People a few years afterwards.

Umm ok for the builder and the Native American, but there was never an armoured village person was there? Cop or a GI/solider yes, but never a knight that I can recall?

And on this subject, SPB aside, where have all the Playmobil reconstructions gone from el-Reg lately anyway??? But the Jetbag Speed racer figurine (it's what it says on his chest, honest guv) which is currently sat on my monitor stand here gladly accepted the birthday wishes :)

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Innovation creates instability, you say? BLASPHEMY, you SCUM

Anonymous Custard
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Re: rm is temporary...

Either that or it's a very succinct criticism of the future of the Royal Mail after the recent sell-off.

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Anonymous Custard
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Re: Beware hokey religions and ancient mantras

Isn't the normal definition of an "innovation" usually a solution in desperate search of a problem?

As opposed to "invention", where it is the proper way around.

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Anonymous Custard
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Re: Long live the BS meter

Plus you probably risk incurring the wrath of John Lloyd, Stephen Fry and Alan Davis for aping QI.

Whether this is a good or bad thing I will leave as an exercise to the student...

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Anonymous Custard
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Paris Hilton

Armrests?

a fantasy near-future in which high-speed-train passengers will be able to pull e-reader devices out from their armrests and download a book to read for the journey

I'd rather see the fantasy near-future where everyone on the train has armrests, as provided by everyone actually having seats rather than being packed in like stand-up sardines...

As for the rest of it, a nice article but it seems you don't have or deal with teenagers much either? It's good practice for decoding similar verbal obscurity.

(Paris, as we're talking about fantasy and teenagers here)

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Google woos enterprise developers with 'Glass at Work' program

Anonymous Custard
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Boffin

Fab-ulous dahling

I was just pondering the subtle irony that would apply for this in my own industry (semiconductor manufacturing).

I could be damn sure that trying to walk into one of the fabs (or even sites) where the silicon bits of the Glass are made would just result in both me and the tech ending up off-site so fast feet wouldn't touch floor. They don't allow "proper" digital cameras on most sites, and indeed get very nervous even around smart (and dumb) phones with them built in.

An enjoyable little irony for a Friday afternoon as we head towards beer o'clock.

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Excellent idea

As the saying goes, no good deed ever goes unpunished...

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USB reversible cables could become standard sooner than you think

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Doh..

It would be fine if you could guarantee me which way up the damn socket was actually installed too, given "up" could physically be pointing up, down, left or right.

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Anonymous Custard
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Part of the problem with current (micro at least) USB seems to be there's no standard way for the socket itself to be oriented. I've got a selection of tablets, different e-readers and phones, and with the screen facing you some need the micro-USB inserted with the wider side of the USB upwards (top of socket is towards the screen side), and some with it downwards (top of the socket is towards the back side of the device).

It would certainly help if there could be an over-riding "normal" as to which way up the damn socket should be, so all we need to concern with is which way up the plug-end actually is...

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Anonymous Custard
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and a lot faster than the introduction of USB 2.0 back at the turn of the century

and a lot faster than the introduction of USB 2.0 back at the turn of the century

You really know how to make a man feel old, you know that...? ;)

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Windows Phone 8.1: Like WinPho 8, but BETTER

Anonymous Custard
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...as Tiles could show live information

Well, at least live to within the last half-hour or so, except for selected ones like the HTC clock tile.

Now if they could work out how to make live tiles truly live without murdering the battery in the process, that would be really welcome.

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BEHOLD the HOLY GRAIL of TECH: The REVERSIBLE USB plug

Anonymous Custard
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Or even into the ethernet socket just on the other side, whose width is just about the same?

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Anonymous Custard
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Re: @ frank ly - Am I the only one ....

At least on the expensive proprietary chargers from the manufacturers anyway.

Buying cheap stuff from Chinese sweatshops could be about to become even more of an incendiary gamble than it currently is...

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Anonymous Custard
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Facepalm

Re: all thumbs

Personally I'd more predict confusion when it won't fit, followed by a realisation that I'm trying to put it into an "old style" micro-USB port which will no-doubt still be included for legacy compatibility with the multitude of kit out there still.

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LaCie adds fire to Fuel: Revs Wi-Fi external storage gadget to 2TB

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Brave or Foolish?

Or alternatively just pair a Ravpower Filehub with a suitable portable drive (personally I use a WD My Passport 2TB), get all this devices features (except drop-box) plus an SD card slot and a built-in battery that can be used also to charge things in an emergency (plus power the drive otherwise), and save yourself about £50 on the overall deal. And DLNA-supporting firmware is apparently coming sometime this month (as is a new version of the Filehub with it onboard), to give alternative to the current Samba.

OK it's two items rather than one, but both fit nicely into an Amazon Basics My Passport case. Makes a nice little travelling entertainment solution.

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LOHAN team gears up for Punch and Judy show

Anonymous Custard
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Boffin

And if Frogmanaut is flying Judy (ooer missus, to continue the Carry On theme), then it does beg the scientific question of who is flying Punch? These important scientific tests need witnesses as well as cameras.

Enquiring minds need to know!

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Cops bang up squiffy, nude Virginian minx

Anonymous Custard
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Re: IT angle?

Come on, Lester must be having an off-day. Got through a whole article about a naked woman getting cuffed and having her collar felt without asking if they matched...

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Anonymous Custard
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Joke

Re: actually...

But at least they'd know if it matched her cuffs...

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BOFH: On the PFY's Scottish estate, no one can hear you scream...

Anonymous Custard
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Re: This would be funny except ...

Reminds me of this London Underground poster, with apologies to the blogger for any excess traffic (as I can't find the image online anywhere else).

Henry with Anne Boleyn and court, with tagline "A return trip to the Tower, and a single for my wife".

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Anonymous Custard
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Boffin

Re: Ahh BOFH..

Indeed, although in the gaps in between our dear Mr Dabbs does seem to be slowly metamorphosising into a PFY, to quite entertaining effect for a Friday afternoon read instead.

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MtGox finds 200,000 Bitcoin in old wallets

Anonymous Custard
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Pirate

Re: Yes

And if I'd managed to lose the equivalent of $120million down the back of the sofa, I think I'd be asked even more questions than they already have been. Plus wouldn't these have been the property of someone before, who seems to have conveniently forgotten they exist?

I'd more wonder if they mysteriously appeared as a result of waking up next to a horses head...

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Anonymous Custard
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Re: I'm not happy unless I'm complaining.

Isn't there a going to be a competition? If so I'll submit a picture of the Queen, a sure winner :D

But just to mess with people's heads, have her looking left rather than right...

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Beastie Boys settle with toy maker over Girls copyright dispute

Anonymous Custard
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Re: Who sued who?

And both get a nice bit of free advertising (for a given value of free, depending on quite what the undisclosed figures were and who paid what to whom), and the lawyers get their usual percentage...

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