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* Posts by Bassey

993 posts • joined 23 Sep 2008

Vodafone touts low-tech phone for app-phobes

Bassey

How much?

I picked up a Samsung e1170 for 1p incl delivery from Phones4U for just this purpose. The Samsung is 2G only, offers calls, texts and a stop-watch and has a battery life measured in weeks. It is also rubberised so easy to pick up and takes a few knocks and splashes. It even came unlokced so I could put my own SIM in it. I really can't believe this phone is 7999 times better than the Samsung.

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Digital Stream DPS-1000 BBC iPlayer set-top box

Bassey

Where's the TV bit

It's a shame none of these boxes seem to offer telly. We have TVs in rooms without sockets that are just used for DVDs. The house is old and it would be impractical to run cables around. Given that these boxes have everything they need to do so it is a shame they don't actually allow you to watch telly. A simple TVCatchup feed would be fine. IPTV even better.

Then again, last time a checked there was bugger all on the 80-odd channels anyway.

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Remastered 4K, 3D Titanic steams towards cinemas

Bassey

Re: i've said it before and i'll say it again

"3D is shit."

Just because people have made shit films in 3D doesn't make 3D shit. "Closer to the Edge" was fantastic in 3D. It can be done. It just takes the right subject and a decent director/cinematographer.

Of course, I'd rather drift across the North Atlantic clinging to piece of wreckage than sit through Titanic again.

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Powerline network radio interference debated in Commons

Bassey

Needs of the many etc.

I've been following this argument with (vague) interest for a few years. It's certainly a tricky one. On the one hand the law is most certainly on the side of the Hams. On the other side, Home networking kit is vastly more useful and will continue to be sold regardless. I was trying to think of a parallel and the only one I could come up with was cars.

When cars first appeared all road-laws were (obviously) in favour of pedestrians, horses, carriages and (to a lesser extent) bicycles. However, it quickly became obvious that cars were vastly more useful and were going to take over road use no matter what our law makers did. Therefore they did the sensible thing and changed the law in favour of car drivers. Now, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders are 2nd-class citizens (at best) on our roads. There is no moral justification for this. They were there first and are more vulnerable. Theoretically they should be protected from the car. But it made economic sense and, in any case, the law was changed to reflect the emerging reality.

Of course, I am not suggesting PLT is as important as the car but it is quite clearly vastly more useful in terms of both public uptake and economic driver than using the spectrum for amateur radio hams. It is not morally right and hams can rightly feel aggrieved but we are (moving toward) a post-Christian society where economic reality sometimes comes ahead of moral "correctness".

(and please don't start with the "what about the military?" argument. If it was truly interfering with military use it would have been stopped in it's tracks)

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PARIS team to tackle the ultimate post-pint snack

Bassey

Looks revolting

For a proper Northern Delicacy, try Chips, Cheese and Gravy (and it must be crappy chip-shop gravy. None of that proper rubbish).

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My Tracks travel tracker

Bassey

Re: Great App

Here here. Endomondo is the business for competitive types. I can see how my friends are getting on, see what routes they have trained over and follow those routes and, best of all, when I'm out fell running on my own, my wife can track my progress in near real-time in case I get into difficulties.

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Motorola Xoom

Bassey

Re: Ian Ferguson; SD Card question

Not the ideal solution but I've taken to putting a MicroSD card into an SD-Card adaptor for use in my digital camera and digital video camera. I can then remove the MicroSD-Card from the adaptor for use in Phones/Tablets OR use the full-sized adaptor in Laptops, card readers etc. It's a little bit of messing around and extra expense (Micro-SD cards are a bit more expensive than their full-sized equivalents) but I gain massive flexibility.

I've yet to come across any compatability problems and I have used Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Android and Windows Mobile devices.

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Ubisoft to turn games into movies, TV shows

Bassey

Simple Answer

No.

Tomb Raider was also rubbish. It just seems less awful when compared to others.

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Insurance firm pushes out iPhone app that rates driving ability

Bassey

What?

"Cornering at speed in a good car is demonstrably safer than trying to do the same thing in some old banger with barely road legal tyres."

What? Demonstrably safer in a physics way maybe. Or when racing on a safe track. On public roads cornering at speed is never safe as there could be something just around the corner.

It always amazes me - whenever articles like this crop up - how many people find 1 million different ways to say "yeah, but I'm better than all you lot so I should be allowed to drive as fast as I think is safe"; and thereby demonstrating you're a dangerous, self-deluding knob who has got away with it up-to now.

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Go SMS Pro

Bassey

messaging limit

Can you set an inbox limit for your contacts with this app? This is the most useful feature of the in-built app (I have it set to 20) as it saves me having to laboriosly clear them out every once in a while.

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Natty Narwahl: Ubuntu marine mammal not fully evolved

Bassey

Music Problems

I've actually got quite used to it and I'm liking large bits of it. The workspaces work quite well. It does actually make me think a widescreen monitor might be nice - something I've never considered with Windows where vertical resolution is more important and makes widescreen monitors look daft. Two problems though; everyone goes on about how Unity is optimised for keyboard shortcuts - but the interface makes no attempt to guide you towards them. If you hadn't read the reviews telling you they were there how would you ever know to go and hunt them down?

The second is Banshee. What a dreadful music player. I have a relatively small music collection (few thousand tracks, just over 20GB) but it just hangs constantly. If I remove the music folders and just play tracks it is fine so it's clearly a problem with how Banshee handles the collection. So I've switched back to Amarok for now.

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Multimillionaire's private space ship 'can land on Mars'

Bassey

Re: Tom13

"relatively minor problems compared to the big one: radiation protection. Mars lacks the atmosphere and magnetic protections of Earth, so you need shielding."

Not necessarily. All the photos we have so far suggest there are plenty of caves on Mars. They surficed for a good while on earth. No reason the Mars Pioneers shouldn't take advantage of all the natural resources they can rather than trying to use expensive (and bulky) technology to sort all their problems.

Persuading the tabloid-reading masses it is fine to send up Nuclear-reactors necessary for power and oxygen generation is probably the biggest challenge. Everything else required for a one-way trip to Mars is actually straight-forward (by space standards).

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Watchdog sniffs Rihanna's 'gently thrusting buttocks'

Bassey

Bizarre

Never seen it but, taking Ofcom at its word that the performances WERE sexual and at the limits of acceptability, what was the "editorial justification for the type of costumes that the dancers were wearing, and the style of the dance routine overall".

I believe I'm correct in saying that the X-Factor is presented as a singing talent show and that these were simply guest performances filling-in between rounds of the contest. I'd really LOVE to know how the produces managed to explain why sexually explicity performances at the limits of acceptability by fill-in performers were editorially justified.

Whether people were personally offended or not (and ignoring the pointless "don't they know where the remote is" retards. You're watching prime-time Saturday night family entertainment with the kids. What the fuck is the point of turning it off AFTER they've seen it you freaks?) there are rules in place and OFCOM is there to enforce them.

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A fifth of Europeans can't work out how much a TV costs

Bassey

Re: Steve Davies 3

"I blame the schools...we used to do mental arithmetic every day."

As they do now Steve. And I know plenty of people educated in the 60s who wouldn't be able to answer that question. Many people from that era can't read or write either - my wife volunteers at the local school in the evenings teaching adults basic reading, writing and arithmetic and they are NEVER short of students in their 50s and 60s. The "Education Today" thing is just a myth put about by a lazy media.

A decent proportion of today's GCSE maths is done as a series of mental arithmetic questions. The students have a pen and an answer sheet. Nothing else. The teacher stands at the front and reads out a series of questions. You have X seconds to write down the answer (and only the answer - if you scribble notes or workings out you lose marks) before the teacher reads the next question.

But it is far easier for the media to make out that kids aren't taught certain skills or are lazy than to find out the truth.

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Microsoft wraps Windows 8 in Ribbon UI?

Bassey

Re; No

"For those of us who use computers professionally, the ribbon is a disaster."

Nice of you to speak on my behalf - except that it isn't true. Surely those of us who use computers "professionally" use keyboard shortcuts for most stuff so don't give a crap if something is in menus or not. If there is something I'm not familiar enough with to know its keyboard shortcut, the ribbon makes it easier to hunt for than several layers of nested menus.

Anyway, Windows 7 has gone most of the way towards Ribbons. All the apps use it (photo gallery, the video editor, DVD authoring, write pad etc). It makes sense for the rest of the OS to go the same way.

Honestly, there is no group in the world worse than IT for "We don't like change".

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Blighty's official Space Agency starts up on 1 April

Bassey

The beginning of the end

Could it not be that the "surprising sucess" of the UK space agency has been precisely BECAUSE the government has shown little to no interest in it? Now that it is of a sufficient size for them to get involved there is a risk they may end up regulating the crap out of it.

I don't think anyone would regard the funding of NASA as a model of effectiveness and efficiency!

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Oxfordshire cops switch speed cameras back on

Bassey

Cash Cow

Can the dozen or so posters suggesting the turning on of speed cameras is because it's a "nice little earner" for the police please explain why the cameras were turned off when budgets were cut? Wouldn't the police want to INCREASE the number of "nice little earners" during budget cuts?

Or would thinking about that too hard shatter your self-delusion that your speeding is fully justified and you are really just sticking it "to the man"?

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Antarctic ice breakup makes ocean absorb more CO2

Bassey

One question

If, as has been alledged here and elsewhere, the Antartic ice-sheet is expanding quite rapidly, could this not be a contributor to global warming? The expanding ice-sheet would surely provide less sea for the prytoplankton, reducing their CO2 take-up?

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Nokia deal to 'rocket Windows Phone 7 past iPhone'

Bassey

Re: Historical Precedent

"At what time in the past has Windows Mobile ever had more than 20% of the market"

Erm, as this is about smartphones and, for most of the last 10+ years, MS was about the only company making smartphones that would be up until about 2007. And no, I didn't conisder UIQ or the early S60 devices to be true smartphones (and I owned lots of them).

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Acer locates 'missing' tablet strategy

Bassey
Boffin

Re: Hayden Clark

"You're with your cool friends - would you dare to get this contraption out of its bag, while their poking and sweeping on their iPads?"

Sounds like your nights out with friends are an absolute riot!

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Extended Lord of the Rings Blu-rays to hit Blighty

Bassey

I love it

Pay more to see the scenes that weren't good enough to make the orignal release.

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The 64-bit question

Bassey

Software

The hardware drivers might be sorting themselves out but the software drivers are often still only 32-bit. We have an in-house written app that we send out to clients. It uses a very simple 1MB Access DB in the background and connects using JET database drivers. Lots of our clients are upgrading to 64-bit Win7 and complaining the software no longer works - MS has not released 64-bit JET drivers. Instead, they have switched over to ACE drivers which are not compatible. So we have to re-write the application.

MS themselves recommend installing the 32-bit version of Office 2010 as the 64-bit version has performance issues. The last time I checked there was no 64-bit flash.

I really wouldn't recommend going 64-bit for business just yet.

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Catch Notes

Bassey

Springpad

Sounds very much like springpad bar two important differences. Springpad doesn't support voice notes and doesn't charge at all. The wife and I find it dead handy to share notes - from her PC at home she can trigger a reminder on my phone to collect the kids or we can add things to a shared shopping list etc.

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Chicken Little report: Sat-nav dependency spells DISASTER!

Bassey

Funny

It's funny how many people extol the virtues of map and compass whilst criticising "folk today" for walking into stuff whilst following their GPS.

As a mountain Rescue navigator, I've walked into far more things (rocks, bogs, sheep shit etc) following a map and compass that I ever have with a GPS unit. A map and compass (along with counting your paces) requires far MORE concentration than a sat nav.

And just telling people they "should learn" is rediculous. Sat Nav is wonderful. It's cheap, easy and accurate and requires little training. You can pick one up, having not used it for months, and you are right back where you left off.

Learning to use a map and compass to a good level of accuracy (<10m in thick fog) can take a couple of years and requires you to practice monthly or so to maintain that level of skill.

I suspect most of the "it's about time people learnt" brigade probably last used a map and compass back in the boy scouts and assume it is a skill they still have. As someone who pulls people like you (usually dead) from the bottom of cliffs and mountains on a regular basis, I can assure you that you forgot those skills many years ago.

Even people who are good with a map and compass and use them regularly still make mistakes and it is just bloody hard work. SatNav really is the dogs bollox.

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HP to put a WebOS in every PC

Bassey

Re: sounds interesting

> does this mean a HP lappy could dual boot between Windows and WebOS?

No, that was my first impression too but it sounds a lot more mundane. As part of the crapware HP installs on all the Windows PCs it ships you will basically get an app that is a webos virtual machine. This will allow you to install and run webos apps from within windows.

I can't imagine many businesses being too happy that their work pcs are turning up with a VM installed that connects to an online marketplace. Although, of course, most businesses wipe their PCs the second they arrive on the bench though that would limit the effectives of HPs attempt to put webos on every pc it sells.

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Samsung teases with trim tablet snap

Bassey

Father Ted

This tablet is slim. Those tablets are faaar away.....

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Samsung admits iPad 2 will be tough to beat

Bassey

Re: Simples

"If you don't know why someone spends more than you probably don't know much about what people look for in one. I'll give you a clue, less hassle making it work!"

Absolute rollocks. There are, of course, always a few people that actually need and/or appreciate the more expensive product. However, the vast majority of people are buying the expensive one for a myriad of reasons that all come down to marketing.

They are buying it because their friends have one, their boss has one, an advert told them it had a "retina display" so it MUST be good, they saw one in a film being used by their favourite celeb etc etc etc.

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Hungry boffins turn 3D printer into snack maker

Bassey

Re: Quorn is quite nice tasting

I'm sorry but that is just untrue. Quorn has no taste. It tastes of whatever you add to it. I think David Baddiel described it best through the words of a character in one of his novels ("The Secret Purposes" I think).

"I've been a meat eater all my life but never, never have I had anything in my mouth that tasted quite so dead as quorn"

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IT job seekers can't smell spell

Bassey

Unreasonable Job Specs

Just a quick heads up on unreasonable jobs specs - where the job spec appears to be the definition of an individual rather than a broad set of skills.

It looks like that because that is what it is. The company already has an individual to fill the job. However, whether it be because of work permit issues or because policy states they have to advertise all positions (common for government or Council jobs), they are still advertising the role but in such a manner as to ensure their "guy" is the only suitable candidate. Work permit giveaways are often "must be fluent in English and <INSERTSOMELANGUAGE>".

If you see something like that it is almost certainly not worth your effort applying.

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Health experts flip over McD's burger-flip toy

Bassey

Not all bad

I should also point out that not all McDonalds Kids meals are bad. I took my kids there two weeks ago for the first time. They both had a happy meal consisting of Three Fish Fingers, a bag of carrot sticks and a Fruit Shoot (with some dreadful Scooby Doo themed toy which is now in the bin). Now, Fruit Shoots have too much sugar in but the Fish Fingers were actually rather good (the two year-old couldn't finish his so Daddy "helped"). The carrot sticks, on the other hand, were still partially frozen and utterly without taste. The boys spat them out. I got the impression they just keep a pack or two a the back of the freezer and never anticipated that someone might actually ask for them. It certainly confused the poor sheep serving us who seemed utterly unaware that you could choose carrot sticks as an alternative to chips. The fact that someone might not want chips with their meal just seemed too much for him to cope with.

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Dell Inspiron Zino HD 410

Bassey

Power?

Any ideas on the power draw? As a media centre PC I would have thought that was pretty important.

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Australians safe from Mortal Kombat

Bassey

Weird

"very detailed” realistic rendering - what of decapitations and dismemberments?

How do they know it is realistic?

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MS fesses on silent security fixes

Bassey

Crazy

I love a conspiracy theory as much as the next man (though, obviously, not as much as many around here) but come on people. If MS were to publicise bugs as and when they published the patches they could be advertising attack surfaces before anyone has had a chance to patch them.

How stupid would that be?

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Mozilla: 'Internet Explorer 9 is not a modern browser'

Bassey

All the same

Last night I was watching a certain football match via streaming websites on the web - to keep up with things I had Chrome 9, IE9 RC and the latest FF4 beta all open at the same time in different corners of the screen - and it was nigh-on impossible to tell the difference between them. Appart from the fact that some sites told me they didn't support Chrome and that I should switch to FF or IE (down to Video Codec support) there was really no practical and almost no visual difference between them. FF still takes an age to start but is nippy enough once it gets going. Chrome and IE9 both start instantly and fly along. And, despite driving them all VERY hard last night, I didn't have a single crash.

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Acer shows laptop lid look tablet

Bassey

Re: Camera

I suspect that, at least in part, it is just "Feature tick box". In Dixons and the like, these things are displayed with a list of features with ticks next to them if they have it. If this device doesn't have a tick next to "5MP camera" and a rival next to it, at a similar price, does - joe public will buy the one that seems to offer most bang-for-the-buck.

Also, there are apps on the Android Marketplace which require a camera. I can imagine it being useful for something like Google SkyMap.

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O2 to raise broadband prices by up to 27%

Bassey

Re: Don't be afraid to pay more for quality

That's fine for those that can afford to pay more. Plenty of people are already cutting back on a lot of stuff just to make ends meet. The pretentious gits around here who keep telling me "you get what you pay for" and "quality counts" are really starting to get on my tits. Presumably there has been no recession in your little worlds?

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Roberts Stream 63i

Bassey

Re: DLNA?

It's uPnP which (basically) means the same thing (queue 1000 posts explaining the meaningless differences).

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Norway to probe Sony's PS3 Linux 'downgrade'

Bassey

Problem with their defence

I see a problem with Sony's presumed defence. If, as anticipated, they argue they removed the feature because it was being used to compromise security, then they are arguing that the console was not fit for purpose as sold. Seems a strange defence, saying "We had to remove an advertised feature because it didn't work properly and we couldn't fix it".

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Fifa to give goal-line tech a shot

Bassey

Long, complicated answer required...

but I'm going home soon so...

It's hard because;

The shape of the ball changes shape when it is kicked so deciding when the ball has crossed the line can be tricky; You can't use cameras because people are often stood in the way. You can't use generic sensors across the goal because people will break those sensors. So, you either have to track the ball, real-time, in 3D space and calculate when it has crossed the line (keeping in mind many cameras at once may loose track of the ball as people, posts, officials get in the way so you need a LOT of very high cameras) OR put a sensor in the ball which, as someone pointed out above, is going to be hammered about the pitch reaching speeds of well over 100mph and experiencing forces of many tens of Gs.

Why are people against it? Football is a sport, not a business. Sports are about people. Many people want to retain the human element. Footballers make mistakes. So do officials. It is part of the sport and helps to create the drama. In any case, technology cannot eliminate all the controversies. Take the Ashes series. Whilst the review system has been brilliant Bell was given not out by the review system because there was no "hot spot" on his bat even though he had CLEARLY edged it.

Right. Pub O'clock.

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Punters 'pooh-pooh video on demand'

Bassey

Re: InITForTheMoney

I think InITForTheMoney has hit it on the head. If VOD becomes ubiquitous and people stop seeing trailers for new programs then there will be an (even greater) incentive to just churn out the same old "brands" because that is what people will know. Broadcast TV is how people find new programs.

We had kids a few years ago and just didn't get time to watch telly for maybe three years. We now have a bit more time but never watch it. The TV has genuinely not been switched on this week. The last thing I saw was Top Gear on Sunday (crap). But that is partially because we just don't know what is on any more. Add to that the fact that our free time is precious and we really don't want to waste half an hour watching something that turns out to be complete crap. So, far more often than not I'll pick up a book or go for a walk. On Friday night we watch a film from Blockbuster rental by Post.

If they insist on forcing VOD on us they may actually end up weaning the public off TV all together.

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Amazon fiddling with film streaming service, says report

Bassey

Re: Amazon VOD

Both NetFlix and the Amazon VOD are US only.

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Speedlink goes gold for Competition Pro silver jubilee

Bassey

If it's their Silver Anniversary....

...why is the joystick gold?

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Ten... wireless keyboards

Bassey

Why Wireless?

Unless you need to use a PC from some distance away I really don't see why you would want a wireless keyboard. Most spend their entire lives sat on a desk where the wireless feature is utterly redundant. However, more importantly, why are Wireless keyboards SO expensive? A cheapy media keyboard with a wire is £10. A cheapy wireless one is £25. A fairly decent media keyboard is £20. For the wireless equivalent you are getting on for £50 - maybe more. Bluetooth adaptors retail for about £5 so why the enormous hike? In terms of materials I can't imagine there is more than £2-3 between them.

Is this just a case of the sort of people who feel the need to have a wireless keyboard sat permanently on their desk also being the sort of people perfectly willing to shell out £50 for the privilege of said fixed-wireless device so the manufacturers are simply making hay whilst the sun shines?

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Malawi poised to outlaw farting

Bassey
Happy

Fortune Teller

"those who pass the time by pretending to be a fortune teller"

Presumably then, real fortune tellers will still be allowed.

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Hubble squints at most distant galaxy

Bassey

Re: Mathematics

Actually, it isn't that interesting. The Universe is three dimensional. You are using 1 dimensional mathematics.

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Pothole-spotter app aims to stop arse ache

Bassey

Yorkshiremen Sketch

"By the word "fix" you mean a council van rolls up, three blokes get out, two light-up the other makes tea. Then after 45 mins they mix up a batch of what looks like Marmite"

Marmite? You get Marmite? Around here they have taken to filling the pot-holes with gravel. Then the gravel gets displaced from the whole resulting in a four-inch-high wall of gravel building up around the four-inch-deep pot-hole and thus making the thing twice as dangerous as it was. We have one on the appex of a very tight, blind, left corner on a very narrow road forcing you onto the wrong side of the road.

I could have sworn I saw a pack of cyclists at the bottom of one the other day. Made me smile.

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Middlesbrough cabbie relieves lad of iPhone

Bassey

Can't blame Him

Given that the kid couldn't even remember leaving the iPhone as a deposit and had already come out with the wrong amount once I'm not sure I believe his story 100%. Sounds more like he went back in, fell asleep drunk and the taxi driver (quite rightly) got fed up of waiting on the meter and drove off with the agreed deposit.

A fool and his iPhone etc.

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Shaun the Sheep shorts to lure kids to Nintendo 3DS

Bassey

Re: Age Bracket

I don't claim to be a walking encyclopaedia on the subject but I've never seen Shaun the Sheep on CBeebies. Shaun the Sheep is on CBBC, aimed at older kids, whilst Timmy (also from Aardman and about a small sheep but, in this case, attending Nursery School) is on CBeebies and aimed at very young children.

Though, having said that, my 2 and 4 years olds love both of them.

1
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Sky to rejig EPG to push HD

Bassey

Re: Nice

Just set up your favourites. That way you will never see S4C again. In the same way, I won't be annoyed by all the HD stuff, no matter how much they mess around with the EPG because I always use the Blue button to switch to my favourites view.

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Online sync'n'store services

Bassey

Re: SugarSync

I'll second the SugarSync recommendation. Used it for many years. Every once in a while I look around to see if there is a better/cheaper alternative but not found one yet. I keep my wife's and my PC's backed up and have a series of folders synched across the two and it just works beautifully. There is also an Android client but I've yet to come up with a reason to use it.

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