* Posts by Alan Edwards

406 posts • joined 25 Apr 2007

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Adblock Plus blocked from attending ad industry talkfest

Alan Edwards

Re: It's far inferior in that capacity (& others) vs. hosts files

Yeah, good luck temporarily turning off the hosts file so one part of a web site can be made to work (looking at you, store locator on Tesco.com :) ).

There's no granularity to a hosts file, it nukes an entire host.

It gives you no feedback on what has or hasn't been blocked, and you can't use an element picker to block other non-ad annoyances like 'Pretty please sign up to get emails' boxes that slide in and jiggle about.

I'll stick with uBlock Origin thanks.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Adblock's next step?

Prepare a web site with links to ad-blocking browsers and software for all platforms.

Park a van outside the entrance their venue with a wifi AP and a banner on the side with the SSID. Connecting to it auto-redirects to the above web site, and links to the most ad-infested sites run by IAB members

Buy the biggest billboard nearest to their venue with a before-and-after screen-shot of an IAB-run ad-infested site, and the URL of the link page mentioned above.

Fork a version of AdBlock Plus that aggressively blocks adverts from IAB members, aggressively circumvents anti-AdBlock measures, and doesn't have the white list. Effectively it's uBlock Origin, but it gets their brand on it and they can explain explain why they created it.

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Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb

Alan Edwards

Re: TCO?

A 6w LED may not match a 60w incandescent (a bit less than 40w IME) but a 15w LED does. If the fancy new incandescent matches a 15w LED at 20w, it's still got a way to go to match LED in terms of light output efficiency.

What does the coating do to the colour temperature of the light? I'm not too bothered, but some people are sensitive to that.

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The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died

Alan Edwards

Re: Lenovo's latest ThinkPad design did him in. :-)

> I think I'm one of a dying breed that likes the boring, functional ThinkPad design

You're not the only one left, my T410 is brilliant. I don't like the track nipple though, first thing I did with mine was remove the red rubber bit. It weighs a ton with the big 9-cell battery, but it's built like a tank.

I still remember many years ago using one as a tea tray, the rubber coating stopped the plastic vending machine cups sliding around.

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FAA introduces unworkable drone registration rules in time for Christmas

Alan Edwards

Re: Wait a second...

The Syma X5 is about 100g, including the battery. I would think all of the kind of quadcopters given as presents to kids will be less than 250g.

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US Navy's newest ship sets sail with Captain James Kirk at the bridge

Alan Edwards

Re: Stabilty

I was reading about this new ship earlier, and they were comparing it to the Arleigh Burke class. Apparently the Arleigh Burke can roll over to 110 degrees and still naturally right itself, the Zumwalt is deliberately unstable and needs computer help in rough water.

The Arleigh Burke is nicer looking too, IMO. The Zumwalt is not exactly pretty, is it?

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JD Wetherspoon: A 'hacker' nicks 650,000 pub-goers' data

Alan Edwards

Re: The Cloud

> "The cloud is Sky, nothing to do with JDW"

>

> Then why have JDW got the email addresses for The Cloud then?

You have to have signed in to The Cloud *and* signed up to get marketing emails from Wetherspoons when you registered,

This might explain why I'm suddenly getting spam from Joseph Holt pubs...

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Now VW air-pollution cheatware 'found in Audis and Porsches'

Alan Edwards

Re: @Steve K: Parvenu.

If it's worth less than the agreed value at the end of a PCP contract, just hand it back.

Isn't there something in the contract about an agreed 'trade in' value if you get another car from the same place though? If you can combine that with a good discount on one of the unwanted models caught up in this you may end up quids-in.

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Want to slash your phone bill? Go to jail. Go directly to jail

Alan Edwards

It's all reverse-charges in the US isn't it? The charges are paid by the people the prisoners are calling?

I remember from a US program I was watching (possibly Orange Is The New Black) - there is an automated call to the person the prisoner is calling telling them it's from a prison and asking if they accept the charges.

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Bosch, you suck! Dyson says VW pal cheated in vacuum cleaner tests

Alan Edwards

Re: I bought a Sebo

> Now I've wised up and I go to my local electrical retailer and buy the cheapest looking piece

> of crap available.

I fell into that trap. My Vax died (spectacularly, sparks out of the back and everything) so I bought a cheap thing from Argos - lasted about 3 months, and didn't suck much up when it did work.

I got another Vax, still going strong about 3 years later.

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Elderly? Disabled? You clearly need a .38" Palm Pistol

Alan Edwards

Re: Nothing new

> Wasn't it named after the guitarist Rick Derringer

Nope, pre-dates him by about a hundred years.

It was actually a mis-spelling of 'deringer', as in Henry Deringer. According to the Wiki page, John Wilkes Booth used a Philadelphia Deringer to assassinate Lincoln - never knew that.

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Worker drones don't need PCs says Microsoft, give 'em phones instead

Alan Edwards

Re: Hmmm...

> do I want to use my 64-bit, 8-core i7, with a 17 inch screen (internal), 32GB RAM and 2TB storage

The other way to look at it is "Do I want to fire up my 95w i7 (in my case, it's an i7-860) to do email and web browsing that a Snapdragon 810 is more than capable of?" I'm not sure what the power consumption of a SD 810 is, but it can't be more than a watt or so.

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Alan Edwards

Re: @jzl

The other thing it enables is the Asus ZenPhone or Motorola Atrix done right.

Plug the phone into a dock on the back of a 10-12 inch tablet, which in turn connects to a keyboard that also has a big battery to charge the tablet and phone. A full (-ish) desktop OS that turns into a phone OS when you remove it.

You can work on documents/whatever with the keyboard and mouse, remove the phone and all the documents go with you. You've got LTE on the phone, so no worries about connecting your laptop to the wifi at a client's office. Take the dock (or even just a USB-C to DisplayPort cable) to hook your phone to a projector for a PowerPoint presentation using a Bluetooth clicker.

How does it do phone calls when connected to the dock though? Integration into desktop Skype would be neat.

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Apple's iPad Pro: We're making a Surface Pro WITH A STYLUS over Steve Jobs' DEAD BODY

Alan Edwards

Re: I did like the medical software, but that was about it.

> You can't get 10 hours of run time in a sleek format running OSX.

You could if you put a BFO battery in the keyboard. Put a Lightning connector on the keyboard to charge it's battery and charge the iPad Pro through the three-rings interface. Also, make the keyboard Bluetooth so you can mount the iPad Pro higher (more ergonomic). You'd only need to connect the two when the internal battery needs a boost from the keyboard.

Swap the A9X for a Core-M (or Atom X7) and you've got a MacBook with detachable screen.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Stylus is a bit understated

If the other comments here are right, the iPad Pro doesn't have a digitiser layer, so you can't touch the screen at the same time as using the Pencil.

Making it totally useless (IMO) for all the things they were showing off yesterday. You can't brace your hand whilst drawing, and you can't rest your hand on the screen when writing. I tried using a stylus to write on an iPad, and the notes were unreadable.

I can't believe they launched an $800 tablet that was designed to be used with a stylus and doesn't have a digitiser.

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Samsung’s consumer IoT vision – stupid, desperate, creepy

Alan Edwards

Re: Why....just why?

> Now if you connect it up to anything is another totally different story indeed.

It'll get to the point where it will refuse to turn on if it hasn't got an internet connection.

It's for your own good. It has to check it's got the latest version of the gazillion built in recipes for stuff you'll never make, otherwise you could leave the scones in for 20 seconds too long.

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PINs easily pinched with iPhone-attached thermal imaging kit

Alan Edwards

Thermal sensor resolution

Anyone know which thermal imaging camera they used to do this?

Probably not one of the $200 FLIR iPhone dongles, as the thernal sensor in that has a 64x64 resolution. You'd have to be practically touching the keypad to get an image showing which keys were warm, and I doubt it has the thermal resolution to show such subtle temperature differences.

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Conference Wi-Fi biz fined $750k for jamming personal hotspots

Alan Edwards

Just ignore them?

Is there a valid reason why a wifi network would be sending out deauth frames? Why does an access point accept deauth frames from some random device anyway?

I was just thinking whether it would be possible to build a wifi-to-cellular router with firmware that has a 'conference mode' that ignores all deauth frames.

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Dell, Google dangle Chromebooks over IT bosses sick of Windows

Alan Edwards

$900 ??

Who in their right mind would pay $900 for a Chromebook? There's (pretty much) no local storage and you can't do real work on it because it doesn't run the software people use to do work.

You can get an i5 XPS 13 for $900, which runs Office, PhotoShop, Premiere, Visual Studio etc. Even AutoCAD should be usable.

Chromebooks are OK as very cheap machines that you're not too upset when you drop it off a cliff. They don't make any sense (to me) at real laptop money.

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TXT message leaves Corvette wrecked

Alan Edwards

The other way around?

I wonder if you can hack the telematics unit from something else on the CAN bus, say a phone connected over Bluetooth.

Something gets disabled when the car is moving? Tell the telematics unit the speed is zero, regardless of the actual speed.

Get fined/insurance goes up when certain limits are exceeded? Set max/min values on data sent to the telematics unit so the limits are never exceeded.

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Hack a garage and the car inside with a child's toy and a few chips

Alan Edwards

Wouldn't work in the real world

... unless there's no replay attack protection. Or the jammer whatsit is in the car somewhere, but if you've already got physical access why do you need it.

1) Car owner presses button, nothing happens, but code 1 has been recorded

2) Car owner presses button again, code 2 is recorded, code 1 is replayed, car unlocks

3) Car owner gets in, drives to shops, locks car with code 3

4) Car owner gets home, locks car with code 4

5) Thief attempts to unlock car with pre-recorded code 2, which is now invalid because code 3 and 4 have been used, nothing happens.

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Former GDS chief Mike Bracken joins Crystal Methodist's old firm

Alan Edwards

Had me going there, I thought you were going to say the Co-Op is being run by a former member of The Crystal Method. Oh well...

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Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

Alan Edwards

Re: Networked stereo - Hmm interesting

Maplin have the Alto Stealth Wireless system that could do this. It has a single transmitter and two receivers.

It's not cheap (£200), intended for PA use so the connectors are all XLR, and you'd need an amplifier downstream of the receiver on each speaker, but it would work.

You could also frig it with a stereo-to-2-mono splitter and two Bluetooth audio transmitters and receivers. Again you need an amp for each speaker, but the Bluetooth boxes are cheap and most have batteries. You could build a box to use as a speaker stand that contains one of those cheap tiny stereo amps, the Bluetooth box and a USB mains charger to power it with, or even hide it all in the enclosure of a floorstander.

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UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

Alan Edwards

Re: 5 minutes

Agreed, having to give a credit card for access to free stuff is not going to happen with me.

Maybe the credit card companies can give you a zero-value credit card, as an adjunct to a real card? It's a valid card with a validation code and everything, but any attempted transaction will be declined.

The one-time-use card numbers (that totally failed to take off here for some reason) would be ideal for this.

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More Apple Car mutterings: Cupertino slurps more autobiz brains

Alan Edwards

Re: Apple car?

"Has to be taken to see a genius to get the light bulbs changed"

That's not much different from the current stuff. I couldn't get the clip off that holds the headlight bulb in on my 307, annoying as that car ate through bulbs, and you have to get at the bulb on a Megane through the front wheel arch.

The Fiesta I have now makes you take the entire light assembly out to change a bulb.

I still don't get why Apple would make a car, it gets them into a whole new regulatory field they know nothing about. The regulations are all different around the world too, Apple can't even be bothered to fit a UK layout keyboard.

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An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one MEEELLION miles out

Alan Edwards

Re: British Summer Time

"spot the UFO bottom left "

It's way too far out to be the ISS, that orbits at 250 miles. Looks more like a dodgy pixel on the camera's CCD.

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BT's Openreach plots G.fast end-user trials

Alan Edwards

Re: fibre

"so their latest & greatest FTTP is 300Mbps DL + 30Mbps UL (less contention). Not sure what "long twisted-pair runs" have to do with measured speed across a fibre link"

The article has combined two different products.

g.fast, the 330/30 Mb/s one, is a souped-up VDSL FTTC service, hence the bit about long cable runs. It's fibre to the local cabinet, then copper wire to you.

It then starts talking about fibre-on-demand, which is FTTP with the high install costs because you have to run a fibre cable to your house. If I've read Google right, fibre-on-demand extends the fibre cable from the nearest FTTC cabinet to your house.

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You Musk be joking: Tesla's zero to 60MPH in 2.8 SECONDS is literally 'ludicrous'

Alan Edwards

Re: 90kWh

"Double the size of the battery and you double the power of the car"

Double the power *capacity*. There's a limit to how much current the motor and cabling can pull before the magic smoke escapes.

"So the quickest 0-60 time will always be the from the car with the biggest battery"

Not necessarily. That's true if the power delivery capacity of the battery is the limiting factor. The lower capacity but lighter car may accelerate faster if the motor or tyre traction is the limit.

"Same is true for charging - the bigger the battery, the higher the power you can pump into it to charge"

Probably not. You can't push current into a battery faster than the charger or cabling can cope with, so the bigger battery at the max current of the charger will take longer to charge from empty than a smaller one.

"electric car once you're up to 60mph you can use regenerative braking to recover about 50% of the energy back into the battery"

Only if you're slowing down, regen braking uses the car's momentum to use the motor as a generator. A petrol engine's management system will turn the fuel off when coasting, effectively the same thing. Once stopped (unless you have auto-start-stop on the engine) it will use some fuel idling the engine where the electric uses none.

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iPod dead? Nope, says Apple: New Touch has iPhone 6 brains

Alan Edwards

No Touch ID and no NFC, so no Apple Pay.

It's got the A8, which it doesn't need, and no more storage than the current one. Why did they bother?

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Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

Alan Edwards

Re: Specs, schmecs....

Currently working in a Windows 8.1 VM, running 2Gb RAM on one core of a Pentium G2120, no problems at all. Firefox and Thunderbird are running, 57% memory used, CPU not being touched.

My sister has one of those Linx Windows 8.1 tablets with only 1Gb RAM. I set it up for her, that gets down to half a gig of RAM in use on boot.

My 1Gb RAM Dell Android tablet - about 150Mb free on boot, constantly freezing as it runs out of RAM. A known problem with the Android port to the Atom CPU apparently, I wish I'd researched it better before I bought it.

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Alan Edwards

Not bad on crap hardware

My main machine is a Dell XPS-8100, must be about 6 years old now. Still plenty fast enough for Windows 10, only things I'm missing are USB-3 and SATA-3. A clean install of Windows 8 killed the Bluetooth module, I'm hoping in-place upgrading from 7 to 10 will keep it going.

I've put the Windows 10 tech preview on a Lenovo Q180 - Atom D2700, 2Gb RAM, 160Gb hard drive. Everything works, and it's quick enough. 4Gb RAM and an SSD would make it very usable I reckon.

I'm going to dig the Samsung NC-20 (1.2Ghz VIA Nano) out of storage, stick one of the spare SSDs in it and give it a go, because why not? It might make a nice light laptop for when I don't need the i5 in the T410.

The 1.6Ghz Pentium-M Compaq might be pushing it though :-). That one's about ready for the dump I think.

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LOGITECH - TECH = 'LOGI' ... that's non-Logitech tech, is it?

Alan Edwards

Re: Now more people will get to feel the pain

I'd have a Logitech mouse over anyone else's. The MX Revolution is the best I've used, I have a VX470, M705 and MX Anywhere I use regularly too.

The software is the best part. SetPoint knows about all the mice, so one install lets you set up whichever device you happen to be using.

I will admit I've never had to contact them for support, all the kit I've had "just works", to borrow from Apple.

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Samsung to launch a Snapdragon 808-based clamshell smartphone

Alan Edwards

It's a 4.6" screen, so the top half is roughly the size of my Z1 Compact, then you have the keyboard half too. And people say the iPhone 6 Plus is too big...

OK it folds up, but each half must be about as thick as the Z1.

I'd still buy one though, if it came here. I must dig my V3x out of the storage box, I miss having a keypad that doesn't take 3 stabs to hit the button you want.

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Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

Alan Edwards

Re: Auckland to Heathrow

"Pretty well any US airport for incoming International travellers is shit"

Las Vegas isn't bad, IMO, just don't try it at the weekend. A Saturday flight I was on was held on the aircraft for about 45 mins as they were queueing out of the doors of the arrival hall. The next time was a Thursday, I think I was on the way to the hire car in about an hour.

The only other one I've been to in the US is Boston, that was a bit dingy to be fair.

Dublin does immigration for the New York flights in the transfer lounge, so you skip the immigration queues at the far end. Unfortunately, I was going to Boston...

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Wanna go all Gandalf – YOU SHALL NOT PASS – on Windows 10?

Alan Edwards

What would be good...

What would be good is the icon disappearing once you've reserved the upgrade. It's not like you can use it to change your mind afterwards.

Also, stop overriding the setting to hide the thing. It gets reset to 'Show icon and notification' every time the machine starts.

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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

Alan Edwards

Re: Depends...

"So you say "Did you call Fred? That absolute (&(£*"&$ of a man, what a moron, why doesn't he grow a pair?" etc. with your iPhone in your pocket and Fred gets to hear it all."

No he wouldn't. You would need to preface that with 'Hey Siri' before she would do anything. If you did you would hear the double-bong as Siri activates, and she would say something like 'OK, calling Fred' before connecting.

I've had zero success with Siri on my iPad. I tried to use it to find out about a foreign city I had no clue how to spell - nothing. It kept mis-interpreting 'Paul' as 'Call' and got huffy about not being able to do voice calls on an iPad. Useless.

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Pint-sized PCIe powerhouse: Intel NUC5i5RYK

Alan Edwards

"The only reason I'd want that is to hook it to my big screen and do some gaming"

You can if you have a gaming PC as well. Put that in another room and use NVidia GameStream (AMD probably has an equivalent) to stream the game to the NUC hooked up to the TV.

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FBI says in secret that secret spy Cessnas aren't secret

Alan Edwards

Re: Works 4 me

" I've got nothing to hide, how about you?"

You almost certainly do. You may not know it, but you do. An innocuous example - I just bought a bunch of those foam things that go on doors to stop rugrats trapping their fingers when the door shuts. I don't have kids, they are to stop the doors slamming when the windows are open, but Amazon now think I do.

At the moment it means I get adverts for baby car seats and stuff. It could in the future be connected to other non-rugrat-appropriate things and attract unwanted attention.

It's not now you need to worry about, it's the future.

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Config file wipe blunder caused deadly Airbus A400M crash – claim

Alan Edwards

Re: The investigation should center on...

" I'm don't recall a single simple hardware failure leading to a crash of an Airbus plane"

Kind of a combination of both, but a frozen up attitude vane (measures the angle of the plane relative to the airflow) led to the anti-stall system not noticing the plane had stalled and doing nothing about it.

Daft thing is they were testing the anti-stall and had deliberately stalled it. I can't remember why they couldn't recover it - possibly just ran out of altitude trying to make the anti-stall do it's thing.

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What an eyeful: Apple's cut price 27in iMac with Retina Display

Alan Edwards

Re: Good idea

"Can't you even swap out the spinning disks for an SSD?"

Yes, but you have to take the glass front cover and LCD out to do it. All the gubbins is behind the LCD, the only thing you can get at from the back is the RAM - https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+Retina+5K+Display+SSD+Replacement/30537.

It takes a special tool and a fair bit of force to unglue the glass, so it's probably best to get a specialist to do it for you. It may be cheaper to pay for Apple's SSD upgrade when you buy the machine.

There was a problem with TRIM being disabled by OSX on non-Apple SSDs. I think that's been sorted now.

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Stranded Brussels airport passengers told to check Facebook

Alan Edwards

Re: Arrrrrgh! Zuck has bought the rights to Belgium?

> Not having a facebook (or twitter) account makes me unable to find out about flights now?

No, it's just that the Belgian air traffic control system's communications division is now down to an intern's iPhone after the power was killed to the rest of it.

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Carry On Computing: Ten stylish laptop bags for him

Alan Edwards

Some of those cost nearly as much as my laptop, a 2nd hand Lenovo T410.

The first one is *really* similar to the case I got from Aldi for £15, except mine is fake leather and has more zips and compartments. It may not last as long, but I can trash 5 of them and still come out ahead.

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Chill, luvvies. The ‘unsustainable’ BBC Telly Tax stays – for now

Alan Edwards

Re: Am I the only person...

"Personally I would like to option to take my £150 and spend it elsewhere."

You can, you just can't watch broadcast TV if you do.

Can the TV licence, use iPlayer/4OD etc, and sign up for Netflix (Amazon, whatever) if you need to. Job done.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Am I the only person...

"Do Tesco charge more for coffee and bread if you earn over £40k?"

Yes, in a way, but it's optional.

You can buy the Value stuff if that all you can afford, or you can get the expensive branded stuff if you have the money.

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Alan Edwards

Re: Am I the only person...

Did you fill the form in on the TVL web site saying you don't need a licence, or just stop paying it?

I filled the form in when I moved in a year ago and I've heard nothing from them since.

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Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight

Alan Edwards

"Would it be possible to fit this one or more of this ballistic parachute system into say a 747?"

One of the engines on a 747 weighs more than that entire car/plane thingy. You could probably do it, but there wouldn't be much room for passengers afterwards.

I wonder if you could use these as escape pods for a 747? Strap a load of them under the fuselage, ram the people in and drop 'em, and hope the smoking remains of your airliner doesn't land on you afterwards.

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Keurig to drop coffee DRM after boss admits 'we were wrong'

Alan Edwards

Re: Honestly, what is wrong with an ordinary coffee pot?

"Just make a whole pot of coffee for cripes sake"

Fine if you drink gallons of the stuff, or have an office full of people. I'd end up with stale overheated sludge before I finished the pot.

I'd rather use the Senseo machine to make myself one at a time. No DRM on that either, works out at about 10p a shot when you bulk-buy the pods off Amazon.

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Google wants Marvin the Paranoid Android's personality in the cloud

Alan Edwards

"And, just as Zaphod Beeblebrox did with the annoying spaceship personality in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

You mean go to it's main memory bank with a fire axe and give it a re-programming it will never forget? Sounds like a plan...

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