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* Posts by Mayhem

251 posts • joined 3 Feb 2009

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Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray

Mayhem

It's pretty obvious they've had to do this because more and more developed countries are cracking down on the sale of Class II and above lasers, so they simply can't sell them any more.

This way they can attempt to remove the automatic sales stigma of Wicked Lasers = Dangerous, which might have been useful in building the brand, but is now a hindrance internationally.

After all, few enough customers have the spare cash to splash on a fancy light with not many real practical uses.

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GCHQ and Cable and Wireless teamed as Masters of the Internet™

Mayhem

Re: Ahhh

Exactly what I thought.

£5 says that a close inspection of the tax records revealed an unusually large entry from government accounts, which was buried asap.

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up

Mayhem

Google DNS in London

We had a weird issue last night - we completely lost access to anything Google related - bing worked fine, yahoo worked fine, but google.co.uk and google dns dropped off the net and we lost all packets routed via their networks.

Redirecting our router DNS to the automatic Virgin provided ones brought everything back up.

I plan to revert the change when I get in tonight, but it was probably related to this.

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DAY ZERO, and COUNTING: EVIL 'UNICORN' all-Windows vuln - are YOU patched?

Mayhem

Re: Doesn't Affect Me

Ahh, you see, half the delight of the box was being able to source genuine parts, so an original 486, SB16, intel nic etc, which meant that almost every app has the correct drivers.

I did a dualboot with 3.11 to simplify copying files onto the drive, and then dos for the games.

The biggest headache, as anyone could have predicted, was memory management.

God it has been a LONG time since I had to remember half of that, and playing with EMM386 and QEMM reminded me why we were so glad to get rid of it.

Still, worth hanging onto for nostalgias sake.

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Mayhem

Re: Doesn't Affect Me

I just recently reinstalled 3.11 to simplify getting networking up and running on an old dos box to fire up a few old games again.

Jeez, that was substantially harder than I expected - it is surprisingly difficult to create a DOS boot disk that is an older version than the one present on your system.

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Virgin Media CUTS OFF weekend 'net surfers after embarrassing smut-filtering snafu

Mayhem

unfiltered web feeds

Well I have a range of 100mb circuits from Colt, Level3, TDK and Orange scattered around Europe, and all of them at some stage have passed on polite little notes from the relevant local RIAA affiliate to complain about guests downloading movies*. So it really doesn't matter what tier your ISP is, the Powers That Be will get to them in time.

*To be fair, they don't do anything else, just pass them on. We have a quiet chuckle, and pass them on in turn to the short term storage device aka Recycle Bin.

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UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw

Mayhem
Joke

Re: The questions of communications

Don't be silly - they'll use power line networking. After all, noone complains about that sort of transmission.

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Hey, YouTube lovers! How about you pay us, we start paying for STUFF? - Google

Mayhem

Re: Sharing the winnings?

Now, consider Psy. A classic one hit wonder. A bit like Chesney Hawkes. They delivered the goods briefly, without really having showing any previous form.

To be fair, Gangnam Style came off his sixth album, and he was regularly topping the charts domestically in South Korea. So while he is a one hit wonder internationally, I think the no previous form is a little harsh.

Kind of like a solid domestic league footballer having a stunner of a game in the champions league before breaking himself and being relegated.

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IT JOB OUTSOURCING: Will it ever END?

Mayhem

Re: Relative

Turns a very pretty shade of pink in fact

Typical english - gets sunburn the moment you put it outside!

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Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING

Mayhem

Re: survive harsh winters & global warming?

Of course they get smaller when it is warm - they dry out and shrink!

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Sophos to offshore American support operations

Mayhem

As Despair puts it so well

A company that will go to the ends of the Earth for its people will find it can hire them for about 10% of the cost of Americans.

http://www.despair.com/discovery.html

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

Mayhem

Re: "32-bit Windows-powered ATM"

@AC

You must have been looking at a different brand of ATM to mine.

Mine definitely had no A/V - they basically booted a very stripped down Windows then went straight to the app. From memory it was all about the old tech - they didn't even support usb mice & keyboards, only PS2.

IIRC they only had 512Mb -1GB of ram - there wouldn't have been enough memory to run much else - every so often they'd lock up with a memory leak and the bank would need to flip the power switch for the whole unit. Thinking back, half of them were still Windows 95 too.

We would run occasionally run A/V on the unit, but only back at home base where we would be running diagnostics for the controller PC or replacing faulty components. Usually we would just yank and reimage the drive from master, guaranteed it would be clean.

I only dealt with the larger hole in the wall style or the big 1m2 4bin free standing ones though, not the little 2bin pocket atms you see today wedged in everywhere in the UK.

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Mayhem

Re: "32-bit Windows-powered ATM"

Bod is right - AV software is not installed as the machines aren't internet accessible, it is a private network between bank and terminals, and half the time it is via a dial up modem. Like any bank would trust a third party product *monitoring their system* without signoffs up the wazoo.

A standard ATM controlling PC is literally a swap out and replace component, any repair tech will have 2-3 in the boot of the car. The security guard standing next to you while you do it is expensive, so the faster you do the job the happier the bank is. You spend around 5 min running through the basic config and you're out of there. Often the cash bins are refilled at the same time since it saves paying for the security guy to come out twice, plus you probably spent 10min cleaning torn fragments of notes out of the distribution mechanisms as part of the spot check.

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Mayhem

So I don't know about NCR machines like in the screenshot, but I do know that last time I was in one, the Wincor Nixdorf ran a version of XP embedded on their beetles - the ATMs used extremely primitive interfaces, so you needed ISA slots.

That being said - the upper part of the machine has a separate key to the lower cash bins, and access to it in the countries I was in required the tech to be met by a security guard from the cash company, who had access to the bins. Generally local bank staff didn't have access to either section, unless they were a particularly large branch who refilled their own bins.

The physical access is the key point - the malware users are most likely to have to have compromised a staff member somewhere along the line - we had a large keyring as the ATMs didn't have that many common keys. I don't remember if it was different per branch or machine, only that it was bloody heavy!

But once you have physical access to the inside, you don't even need malware to dispense from the bins. The internal software will let you do it. What they've done is managed to avoid the logging aspect of the system so that they can hit the same machines over again, and more importantly using a cheap mule from the front panel, which is usually locked down to a very small subset of functionality.

I'm pretty sure it will turn out to be a class of machines affected, and all they needed to do was suitable bribe or extort one of the support techs to install the malware as part of a regular checkup. It is almost always the human element that is the weak link, especially in countries like Mexico.

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Behind the Facebook DRAG QUEEN CRACKDOWN: 'Anonymity soon!'

Mayhem

Oh I see you wish to be anonymous

Please choose from the following list of reasons why you wish to be anonymous?

* abusive spouse

* illegal activity

* don't trust the man

* actually care about privacy

* other

You have chosen Illegal Activity.

Please specify the type of illegal activity you are involved with

* drugs

* sex

* financial

* immoral behaviour

Thank you.

You are now Anonymous. We will not provide any information to third parties about your activity.*

*except for governments and registered multinationals who might wish to do business with you.

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Titan falls! Blizzard cancels World of Warcraft successor

Mayhem

Its all Destiny's fault

The quiet insider word is that it all comes down to Titan ending up looking and playing too much like Bungie's new MMO Destiny, which they learned the details of when Activision set up the publishing deal with Bungie. So back in 2010 they started trying to redesign to differentiate themselves in the market, but now have apparently given that up as a dead loss.

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Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM

Mayhem

Re: Android ZX Spectrum emulator

No crashes, but it does have a tendency to get on your nerves by complaining all the time.

Seems a bit on the paranoid side too by all the permissions it asks for ;)

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Oracle's Larry Ellison quits as CEO – new bosses are Hurd'n'Catz

Mayhem

Re: Love article title, Herding Cats

While I worked for EDS I loved those ads, especially the airplanes in the sky one - taking off with no idea of a destination, frantically putting things together at the last minute, and expecting the tech staff to wing it to a plan ... yep, that was EDS.

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Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign

Mayhem

Re: Of course they haven't conducted mass surveillance of their people...

Yes, I noticed Key being extremely specific about the GCSB never conducting any surveillance, same script as for Cameron and Obama when they were asked about the reciprocal nature of US-UK data capture.

I expect NZ is spied upon by the ASD, and we return the favour. Makes for perfect deniability.

As for the Southern Cross bugging - given the nature of what we've seen of atlantic cable taps, I wouldn't put it past the NSA to have already tapped the Hawaii end. I expect they want the NZ end for error correction on the bugging mechanisms.

Heck, I still remember being in a call centre the day that some muppet unplugged half the fibres in Takapuna by mistake on a Saturday afternoon in 2005 and broke most internet connectivity for NZ for 8-9 hours while they respliced them all. There are a lot of substantial service degradations that don't make it into the headlines that would have been perfect opportunities to install "upgrades"

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Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC

Mayhem

Re: what's the difference?

What's the difference between being 'labeled a pirate' and being 'considered suspicious'?

Oh there are a whole bunch of use cases for the idea of Suspicious for a overarching monitoring service which wants to quietly expand its remit to grow the business.

For example, if you don't fall under the simple idea of Pirate then they can bump you up to the wonderfully evocative potential child porn trader or all the way to resembles known host of criminal sites.

That's what all the comment about burden of proof are about, and why under rule of law it should be the accuser's job. It is much harder to prove a negative, so making you prove that you aren't using the VPN for piracy merely removes you from the list of potential pirates. It says nothing about the other lists of potential criminals ... unless of course, you have nothing to hide ... at which point they get to ask "Why do you need a VPN" ... both exposing their lack of understanding of basic security protocols, and inviting you to bend over to all and sundry ...

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Mayhem

Or you use a UK located server to restream to yourself

I have a Plex server in London.

That has a iplayer channel that I can access from any of my registered devices wherever I am while travelling in Europe, and since iplayer is streaming to London and the Plex server is streaming to me, I can happily watch anything. Should work equally well in Australia, although I haven't tested that yet to determine performance.

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Cryptolocker flogged on YouTube

Mayhem

Re: Malware served through ads? Oh dear...

@ammabamma

So a related question - assuming the virus writers are operating under an expectation of many of the above being present ... could this become a silent infection mechanism of a more savvy user?

After all, being used to not seeing ads means the user becomes complacent in terms of what is rendering on the page. The primary defences on a windows platform are 1/2/4 above.

Yet Adblock relies on a (relatively) trusted third party list which means what is blocked is known, and could in theory be worked around. To be fair, the vector above relies on a trusted ad delivery mechanism, so should be blocked at the source as I understand it. But if they are tailoring their exploits to language/platform/browser, then they are already being selective in terms of target, so it isn't a huge stretch to extrapolate further.

Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Mayhem
Thumb Up

Re: possums

Yep, but the key to possums is to hit em with the back wheel so the mess sprays out behind you, rather than under the vehicle. Even more fun on the gravel back roads.

Cue the mandatory rally ad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaoAkoLT274

On the other hand, Aussies learn early to swerve round wombats, which are pretty much indestructible mobile traffic islands...

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BOFH: The Great Backup BACKDOWN

Mayhem

Re: Flaming external usb drives

Ahh, the classic I have a mirror therefore I have a backup idea.

Until it is pointed out firmly that all a mirror means is you will happily duplicate the missing file.

Or worse as I found many years ago, you duplicate the corrupted Master File Table, and lose everything on both disks.

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Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers

Mayhem

Mirage

Given Israel's history of industrial espionage, especially Mossad stealing all 200,000 original blueprints of the Mirage V from the French (including the engine plans) back in 1971, which they then used to construct the Kfir - I really have little sympathy for them getting spied on in return.

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Mayhem

Re: aware of the benefits of 4K

Speaking as someone who actually has an 80" TV (non-4k) in the lounge, anyone sitting closer than about 5ft from the screen will have much more serious problems than differentiating pixels. Preferred viewing distance is 10-14 ft. You can however comfortably separate pixels @1920/1080 from about 2-3ft away with good eyesight.

First things first, you *need* HD or blu-ray content to make the most of it - low res imagery looks horrible as the pixels are blown up to massive proportions. Particularly noticeable when streaming poor youtube content. The difference between SD and HD content from Sky is orders of magnitude, but there just aren't that many good HD channels.

Secondly, gaming when closer than about 6-8ft away (which fills your vision) is pretty much a recipe for motion sickness. The brain has issues coping with that much stuff changing that quickly in your peripheral vision. Just moving a mouse around up close is a headache. I end up doing something else while the controller batteries recharge.

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Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

Mayhem
Pint

Re: Caliganote

Just wanted to say that dodgy puns like this (and the attention to detail in the delightful article that spawned it) is one of the main reasons I love el Reg so much.

Two. Two main reasons. And whoever writes the subheads on the front page has those occasional flashes of brilliance that makes whatever rubbish is in the story well worth reading.

So the three main reasons I love the Reg...

Barkeep! A round to the Reg team on my way out!

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Who has your credit card data? 1 million HOLIDAY-MAKERS' RECORDS exposed

Mayhem

Interesting

Ahh, so that's what happened.

I actually used Essential Travel for the past five years, found them a good and reliable inexpensive travel insurance provider for a worldwide multitrip policy.

And they no longer exist, as of some time in the past year - I was unable to renew my policy in January as the new company simply didn't support anything other than package holiday cover.

I wonder if the previous lot got flattened in an acquisition, and the underlying setup was so bad it was safer to start afresh. Certainly the old website was terrible, both to use, and from a coding viewpoint. And as demonstrated here.

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Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 world conquest plan: folders!

Mayhem

Re: @Robert Grant

It means he's heard of Jokes, and knows that good Jokes bring the mythical Upvote, but hasn't really understood how they work, so is building his own imitation Joke based on what he's seen used before in the hope of getting some sympathetic Upvotes.

aka ... the Cargo Cult, where primitive tribes built fake wooden airstrips after WWII to try and attract back the military aircraft bearing Cargo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

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The cute things they say

Mayhem

Re: Barf

Easiest way to clean a keyboard is to put it in a mesh bag and put it in the dishwasher (ideally without all the dirty plates)

The mesh bag is just to collect any keys that fall off in the process, to save hunting around to see where they went.

Put it in a hot water cupboard for a day or three to dry properly, good as new.

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AV for Mac

Mayhem

Re: ESET

I was going to ask if anyone used Eset for macs - I really like the plain nod32 AV on Windows, and knew there was a linux variant as well.

Reliable, low resource use, and basically invisible to the end user. All you ever want.

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Coca Cola slurps millions of MAC addresses

Mayhem

Re: Thirsty!

@Gordon 10

I suspect you missed a unit there - a standard 500ml bottle of coke contains 900kJ or 210kcal.

Somewhat more worrying is the 53g of sugar, which is around 40% of the RDA for men.

Which is roughly equivalent to one standard dairy milk bar (ignoring the fat content, which is substantial).

Not that that is likely to stop me drinking a shedload of it, but it does explain why I don't drink as much any more unless I'm working hard.

@AC

The key to the obesity epidemic isn't the sugar in soft drinks and chocolate though. Those are obvious targets, and few people consume huge volumes of them without awareness of the consequences.

The key is in the steadily rising sugar and fat contents in just about everything else you eat. Since salt, sugar and fat trigger favourable taste responses, manufacturers of processed foods add more and more to "enhance flavour", especially for low budget foods that don't taste particularly good without the additives.

Which means you end up blowing out your RDA by noon without even realising it, and a low income family has very little choice in the matter.

The solution isn't as simple as cooking your own food, although that helps, but in paying attention to what you eat and how much of it, and a lot of people simply don't know or don't care to do that. And cooking your own food is expensive - in time, in energy, and in raw ingredients, not to mention transportation and storage of bulk ingredients. Which puts it out of the reach of many of the worst affected, especially pacific islanders.

(This of course doesn't cover genetic and racial predisposition towards metabolising particular foods due to differing biological reactions and intestinal flora - eg. asians and alcohols)

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

Mayhem

Re: It Will Not Die

I swear accountants tend to be cold blooded ... their fingers are cold and clammy whether alive or dead.

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Quadrillion-dollar finance house spams Reg reader with bankers' private data

Mayhem

Re: RE: made up email address

I quite like a@b.com which is about the shortest address I know that passes basic validation

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NSA spied on 'radicalisers' porn surfing so as to discredit them, reveals Snowden

Mayhem

Re: dumbass k chickens coming home to roost

@Matt

I think you mistyped some words, so I fixed up your post for you ...

"....Good work, Ed....." Oh, so you want hypocrite jihadis western media outlets to carry on brainwashing the gullible into good little Muslim suicide-bombers minimum wage workers, or maybe you'd prefer that the influencers and their brainwashed followers were stopped by a drone strike? Would you prefer the jihadi western followers to give up their jihadi capitalistic ways when their leaders are exposed as hypocrites or when the followers get arrested and thrown in Gitmo for the rest of their lives? Maybe you'd prefer it if the NSA, CIA, GCHQ, MI6 et al all downed tools? Complete fail.

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PC market: ABANDON HOPE all ye who enter here

Mayhem

Re: Really ?

@sam bo

You can talk about translation all you like, but the original Italian phrase is Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate, and being latin derived, Italian is quite precise in meaning, which makes translation straightforward. The modifier "All" clearly applies to the word "Hope". English word choice is down to the translator, hence "Abandon all hope" instead of say "Leave behind every hope", but the context and grammar is clear.

Lasciate - second person plural of the verb to leave or deposit. "(You) Abandon"

Ogni - masculine plural adjective each or every. "All"

Speranza - noun. "Hope".

Voi - pronoun. "You"

Ch' - Che - pronoun - who or that. "that"

entrate - present impersonal. "is entering (this)"

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GTA San Andreas: Now smack that disobedient hooker on your PHONE

Mayhem

Re: ...and I'm sure it will only need all of my available storage

Well, on IOS - both phone and tablet, GTA III is 688MB, Vice City 1.1GB, so I'd expect SA to weigh in at somewhere around 2-3GB - a standard pc deployment was around 4.5GB and they can probably do some funky optimisation to reduce that.

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We flew our man Jack Clark into Facebook's desert DATA TOMB. This is what he saw

Mayhem

Re: Good God, that's depressing

Thats true - our old DR site had the best hot chocolate machine I've ever encountered - left our local cafes for dead, let alone the chains.

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Antidote for poisonous Aussie Red-Back Spider venom DOESN'T WORK

Mayhem

Re: Heroine's are bad?

I know if I woke up and the doctor said I'd become a heroine I'd be pretty distraught!

(After the mandatory chest examination, of course)

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Brit spymasters: Cheers, Snowden. Terrorists are overhauling their comms

Mayhem

Re: blah blah blah Snowden blah blah blah.

Of course their finances use electronic bank transfers.

The difference is that the money tends to route via Governments which breaks the trail nicely.

Saudi Arabia for example, or in the case of the IRA towards the end of the war ... the UK government.

How else do you think they manage to pay for the arms they need? Suitcases full of cash are heavy and too easy to trace.

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Alleged Peeping Tom claims First Amendment right to upskirt

Mayhem

Re: Consent on both sides?

@Ian

I sadly have to agree with you here - they need to clarify the laws related to "reasonable expectation of privacy"

After all, the red tops seldom get successfully sued for the pictures taken by paps, and most of those constitute fairly direct invasions of privacy as far as the individuals are concerned.

Today I get the feeling "in public" means "viewable from the neighboring hilltop with a small telescope for a lens and clearly reflected in a shiny metal object outside".

Upskirt photography is fairly offensive, but in many countries it isn't technically illegal.

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Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

Mayhem

Re: Hotels

Within the Schengen area, you won't need to show a passport at the border if travelling by land.

Switzerland you may do, depending on where and how you enter the country. Once you leave the Schengen area, you always hit a border post where they should check documents - that's part of the agreement for the free travel area.

Taking the eurotunnel, its a 50/50 on if you get checked at the border - we had a minivan full of people waved through on the way out as "too hard" but all were individually checked on the way back into the UK for example.

Flying you always do, as they don't have separate entry points for Schengen flights and other EU flights.

In terms of accommodation - every hotel,hostel, backpackers and even campsite I have stayed at in Europe has taken a record of my passport, whether in a heavy tourist area or rural. The only ones that didn't were when we rented accommodation, at which point only the lead name needed to provide ID.

You may find that when you made the booking for the hotel in advance, you provided ID. I know my details are saved with a range of websites so they automatically get sent through and I don't have to fill them out each time.

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

Mayhem

printui /s /t2 from an elevated command prompt is your friend on Windows 7 - lets you actually delete corrupted print drivers before reinstalling.

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You're more likely to get a job if you study 'social' sciences, say fuzzy-studies profs

Mayhem
Joke

Re: What social sciences actually do

Oh, they'd flip your burger fine.

The only problem is it would end up really well cooked on one side, but only lightly heated on the other.

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Insight warns of $20 MILLION kick in the teeth from Microsoft

Mayhem

Re: Tragic News

What, you mean the first three things I uninstall on every new box from Insight - Evernote, Symantec trial and Verisign?

Sure. That's a definite improvement in their service.

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Microsoft investors advised: Sack the guy searching for Ballmer replacement

Mayhem

Re: But...

The directors of the firm hired to continue the search after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked.

Mr Ballmer's iReplacement Has iBeen iFound In An iEntirely iDifferent iCompany At Great iExpense And At The iLast iMinute.

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Virgin Media only puts limited limits on its Unlimited service

Mayhem

Re: What a bunch...

@Joe Montana

Zone 1 is a ghetto for commercial fibre as well, and even having money to spend doesn't help - we've been waiting almost 14 months for a symmetric 100Mb fibre line to be run into Piccadilly thanks to an overstuffed pipe.

So far there is a 20m gap between our building and the street box that has taken 8 months to attempt to get a new pipe run through. A more useless pack of wallies I haven't met.

It also doesn't help that there are only two groups licenced to pull fibre in central London - Virgin and BT. Ours is a Colt circuit, but we still need Virgin to do the last mile, or 20m in this case.

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SEX CRAZED FISH keeping hapless Southamptonites awake

Mayhem

Re: Sir

Well, it could always be a normal microphone with a rubber-over and an elastic band, especially if tracking Yangtze river dolphins

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Oz Army red-faced after ready ... aim ... FIRE burns suburbs

Mayhem

Re: “talking through her hat”

@AC

To be fair to the environmentalists ... most of the wilderness areas in that part of NSW are now National Parks as they were the main forested areas left. Which means of course the red tape has expanded - unauthorised fires and habitat destruction are kind of frowned upon in National Parks.

The other main reason is that eucalypts tend to grow over winter, when water is plentiful, and dry out as summer comes on. In summer the fires race through the canopy and char out the understory, but the dry trees are generally unaffected because the fire doesn't stick around long enough to hurt the growing parts. End result, a short term clearance followed by an explosion of growth.

In winter, with damp trees, the fires tend to burn slower and stick around longer which damages the growth buds and boils the water in the trunks, which splits the trees open and makes them vulnerable to pests. End result, a lot more dead trees and poor regrowth.

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Mayhem

Re: “talking through her hat”

Or more likely ... how about the locals try NOT building houses on ridges in heavily forested areas.

The Blue Mountains get bushfires. Every year. Everyone knows this. Most of the mountains between Cessnock & Sydney were left as wilderness because of the fire risk, not because the NSW government at the time had a particular mania for preservation.

This is nothing to do with environmentalism, or global warming, and all to do with urban sprawl and the encroachment of housing into many areas previously deemed too high risk to build houses in.

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