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* Posts by Chris King

119 posts • joined 13 Feb 2009

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Reg hacks see the woods or the trees In the Forest of the Night

Chris King

Is The Moff going all religious on us ?

A thought just occurred to me - not that this happens very often, so bear with me...

Clara's wildly changing behaviour - have we got some sort of "Seven Deadly Sins" thing going on here, to go with the "Promised Land" story arc ?

Lust - "PE". 'nuff said (that, and Strax seeing "lots of young men doing sport" during the brain scan in "Deep Breath". At least he thought it was sport...)

;

Gluttony - eating a Chinese meal on the TARDIS then realising she's about to go out for another one ("Time Heist")

Greed - wanting her cake and eating it. Running off with the Doctor, but stringing Danny along

Sloth - leaving the kids exercise books in the TARDIS, probably in the hope the Doctor would file them away and lose them forever

Wrath - "I'll slap you so hard, you'll regenerate !"

Pride - well, she's been smug for most of her existence on the show !

I haven't worked out anything for Envy yet, but there's probably a reference in there somewhere...

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Chris King

Just to add to the confusion, the interior museum scenes were actually shot in Cardiff, at the National Museum of Wales. It's quite a regular filming location for them, along with nearby Cathays Park and the Temple of Peace & Health.

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Chris King

Re: Some vapid netheads ...

Ah yes, the Clangers. Xenophobes who developed space rocket technology to blast alien invaders out of the sky, and the Soup Dragon wasn't much better, assaulting the Iron Chicken for non-use of utensils...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfsMZKwqw3w

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Chris King

Gallifrey 90210

Like most folks, I feel that Capaldi was a good choice to replace Matt Smith, but they've lumbered him with some seriously bad scripts. Jenna Coleman has gone from "Little Miss Smug Deus Ex Machina" (how many times did she have to save Smith ?) to "Little Miss What The HELL Am I This Week ?" - and in the middle of this we've got Mr Pink as the lamest "Tin Dog" yet.

The whole thing seems to revolve round a compulsive liar, a 2,000-year-old cradle-snatcher and a passive-aggressive whiner. Sounds like a great mix for a US-style sitcom. Maybe that's the market Moffat's aiming for now, I don't know.

The bit at the end annoyed me too. I think they *might* have got away with bringing Maebh's big sister home as a thank-you for helping the trees do their job - because lets face it, the Pudding Brains In Charge would have killed everybody by breaking out the Agent Orange.

Maybe they need someone to come up with better scripts, someone like (say) Dan Freeman. Check out "The Minister of Chance" - imagine a Time Lord with no TARDIS, no sonic screwdriver and a bad-tempered companion who frequently refers to him as "Tosser!" and you get the idea. The title character doesn't have any convenient plot holes to get him out of trouble, he has to THINK his way out of peril - more like the Classic Doctors.

They're trying to raise money for a movie version, but it looks like their KickStarter is going to fall badly short of its target. Shame really, because the "podcast" version was rather good.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/934034666/the-minister-of-chance-movie-episode-1

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Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins

Chris King

Re: Birthday present sorted :-)

Cases for the B+ are a bit limited at the moment anyway - ModMyPi and Cyntech have got a new one coming along in a couple of weeks that looks fairly neat, and it can be fitted with shims to make the case taller:

https://www.modmypi.com/shop/modmypi-model-b-plus-raspberry-pi-case-black

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Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS

Chris King

Re: Metaphor

"That would be NT only, and while it was ported from x86 to PPC and Alpha, those were parallel ports, not serial, like VMS (VAX->Alpha->IA64)."

VMS wasn't ported serially. VAX and Alpha overlapped (with "functional equivalence") from 6.1 to 7.3, Alpha and Itanium were built from a common code base starting from 8.0, with 8.2 being the first stable Itanium release.

I'm guessing that 8.4 will be the final Alpha release, unless HP have something waiting in the wings.

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AVG stung as search revenue from freebie scanners dries up

Chris King

Re: I feel a vote coming on...

It's more serious for a starship - you get pop-ups on your screens, they get exploding consoles.

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Bitcoin on ATM? Pfft! We play DOOM on ours

Chris King

Or make a deposit

That would give "pay-to-win" a whole new meaning !

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Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!

Chris King

Maybe they just want a little privacy...

Hey, it's bad enough they've been strapped onto a giant bomb and flung into space, now they've got to put up with being watched while they do what comes naturally ?

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE DNS outage

Chris King

Re: Other ISPs

AAISP's issues were self-inflicted, but as is usual for them, they provided a no-bullshit explanation, and apologised. Their MD even publicly apologised to his own staff for messing them about out-of-hours.

The only other ISP that ever came close to that standard of openness and transparency was Nildram, before Pipex absorbed them. BT Wholesale bollixed up my line on a Saturday evening, and I was expecting nothing to happen until Monday morning. On the Sunday afternoon, BT Wholesale rang me directly (and remember, they don't normally acknowledge the existence of end-users) with a grovelling apology and a promise to fix the line ASAP.

(Ironically, the first thing that clued me into Nildram imploding was broken DNS...!)

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Chris King

Better get me a new hamster...

...this one's broken !

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Chris King

VM DNS has been rubbish for as long as I can remember

Walking in to work a few years back, I overheard a couple of students bemoaning the fact that their NTL connections were screwed.

"Nah, you're probably fine, but their DNS is fucked. Just use the Uni's, they're brilliant !"

That's the kind of "appreciation" I (and the DNS servers I run) could do without. When I checked the query logs, I found several thousand NTL IP addresses - not to mention some Uni in the Far East that was using us as a forwarder for all of their queries.

I decided enough was enough, and locked the DNS servers down nice and tight. It was as if a million voices screamed out and were suddenly silenced...

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YouView loses YourView trademark fight, may have to pick new name

Chris King

Re: Huh?

Of course, that didn't stop the MIPS fanbois chanting "Nothing sucks like a VAX".

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TrueCrypt turmoil latest: Bruce Schneier reveals what he'll use instead

Chris King

Password Reset Theory

The timing seems to tie in with the Sourceforge password reset thing last week - and I don't buy that horse-crap about them doing that to "improve security", NOBODY forces a mass password reset on their users unless something is very badly broken or they're truly incompetent.

Sourceforge was the main distribution point for Truecrypt - I wonder if the Truecrypt Foundation lost control of their assets at Sourceforge during the password reset ? If they can't prove their identities due to their anonymous nature, it's possible that they can't persuade Sourceforge that they're the real deal, and someone else has taken advantage.

Oh, and with everybody running around playing the "NSA Bogeyman Card", let's not forget there are plenty of other "players" who would benefit from mass decryption of data in a blind panic. The other TLA spying agencies in other countries haven't gone away, and don't forget that criminals love sensitive data too.

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Back off, Siri! Microsoft debuts Halo beauty Cortana

Chris King

Cortana... "Powered" by Bing ?

"Cortana, what's the weather forecast for today ?"

"When the game is over, the king and the pawn go into the same box"

(Yes, I've had some strange results back from Bing, why do you ask ?)

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Microsoft in 1-year Windows XP survival deal with UK govt

Chris King

One-year deal...

We're also forgetting something rather fundamental that's happening in just over a year's time... A little something called a "General Election". By next April, the current mob of idiots in charge will be demob happy, and if they don't get back in, it's a problem for another mob of idiots anyway.

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RISE of the LIVING CHAIR: Boffins recruit E coli to build futuristic materials

Chris King

Re: Rise of the Furniture

That assumes that the chair hasn't already injected you with some sort of poison that paralyses you and slowly dissolves your innards.

Something to think about when you go to bed tonight - sleep tight...!

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Chris King

Re: Did no-one else think of...

"The Master's furniture line in Terror of the Autons"

You beat me to it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXrAK6sUZ_0

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UK's CASH POINTS to MISS Windows XP withdrawal date

Chris King

Are they running on XP Embedded ?

According to Microsoft's own Product Support Lifecycle pages, XP Embedded continues on Extended Support until the first Patch Tuesday in 2016:

http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?sort=PN&alpha=windows+xp&Filter=FilterNO

Everything else (Home, Media Centre, Tablet, Pro, x64 etc) goes EOL next month.

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Three-yaarrgh! Major UK mobile network's data goes down

Chris King

Re: It was DNS wot dunnit for me

I lost all connectivity while this happened, not just DNS - couldn't connect to anything by IP address, ping didn't work etc, but things were back to normal before lunchtime.

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Lloyds Group probes server crash behind ATM, cash card outage

Chris King

Re: PDP?

They're his initials (middle name David) and he signs off all his tweets that way.

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Open source project gives cars the Ikea treatment

Chris King

Re: Flat pack...?

Not to mention three separate sets of instructions, none of which actually match the parts list or the item you're trying to build.

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Rap for KitKat in crap app wrap trap flap: Android 4.4 is 'meant to work like that'

Chris King
Coat

Have A Break...

...just not a line break.

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Even 'Your computer has a virus' cold-call gits are migrating off XP

Chris King

Re: They seem to have stopped calling me

I had my very first one last week - I decided to try a different tactic. No whistles, no swearing, no delaying tactics, just make them feel very, VERY uncomfortable.

After arguing with the fellow ("I know you're not from Microsoft, and I have that on good authority from someone quite senior in the company") and trashing his "bona fides" ("So, you've got a bunch of low-end brain dump qualifications and your MCSE isn't even up to date"), I went for the jugular and questioned his integrity...

"You know, your mother must be so disappointed in you, putting your knowledge and expertise to criminal use. Why don't you just put the phone down, walk out of that call centre and find yourself an HONEST job ?"

That sent him right over the top, and resulted in a Davros-like tirade. Imagine Spike Milligan or Peter Sellers screaming "Do not anger me, Doctor ! I can destroy you - and this MISERABLE, INSIGNIFICANT PLANET !!!" in a fake Punjabi accent and you get the general idea.

"Oh, by the way - free clue for you, Skippy !"

I stuck the phone next to my Mac Mini, and turned it on.

*BONG*

*click*

I was half expecting him to call back, claiming to be from Apple, but I suspected it would take him a while to calm down. The OpenBSD VM running XFCE would be ideal for that call... "No, I've got a little black mouse in the top left-hand corner of my screen, is that wrong ?"

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False widow spiders in guinea pig slaughter horror

Chris King

Re: its all over facebook as well

No doubt some idiot will go wandering around their house with a lighter in one hand and a can of something flammable in the other, looking for spiders... and the headline in the next morning's Daily Fail will be "EVIL FALSE WIDOW SPIDERS BURN DOWN FAMILY HOME"

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Virgin Media to hike broadband prices by nearly 7 per cent

Chris King

Re: Too Lazy

Even where they have got infrastructure in place, they still don't get it right.

Their local cab is right outside my flat, less than 20 feet away, but apparently I'm outside of their cable service area.

Every address on my postcode is inside the cable service area, except for two. My flat, and the flat below it. The flat above mine, the three flats on the other side of the block and the houses to either side ARE in the cable service area, despite being even further away from the cab.

It's not a wayleave issue, or anything like that. They're just convinced that my address isn't near enough to a cabinet to provide service.

Not even sending them a photo of the cab in question, along with a note saying "this was taken from my front window and I know for a fact it's serving other flats in the building", was enough to convince them. Computer says no, and that's the end of it.

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Want to keep the users happy? Don't call them users for a start

Chris King

Re: @t.est You can't win

Windows 7 has PSR (Problem Steps Recorder) built in (psr.exe) or you could try ScreenRecorder for XP/Vista - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2009.03.utilityspotlight2.aspx?pr=blog

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How I BLEW my co-workers' HEADS OFF ... without going to jail

Chris King

Re: Favorite office pranks

Back in the days of Windows 3.1, one smart-ass user decided to play tricks with a colleague, and changed her screen saver. During the middle of a phone call, Marquee kicked in with a message nobody ever wants to see... "HARD DRIVE FAILURE PLEASE CONTACT CHRIS FOR ASSISTANCE".

I heard the scream from the other end of the corridor, and the boss-man sent me to investigate. After getting the lady to calm down, I worked who the perp was - okay pal, two can play at that game, and I'm MUCH better at it than you...

The offender switched on his PC after lunch, and discovered that his desktop theme was Barbie Pink. We're talking glow-in-the-dark, nuclear pink, no pastel shades or anything that subtle. And I'd done the whole [don't load] thing in CONTROL.INI so he couldn't change it back.

Imagine the scene: Someone has VIOLATED your desktop in the worst way imaginable, and the Control Panel is completely devoid of icons so you can't fix it...

I heard THAT scream from the other side of the building, but I made him wait until the end of the day before normality was restored.

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Mac fans: You don't need Windows to get ripped off in tech support scams

Chris King

Messing with their tiny minds

I had a spate of calls from one bunch of clowns, and decided to have a little fun with them the next time they caled...

*ring*ring*ring*

Me: Name, Rank, Serial Number.

Them: What?

Me: Name, Rank, Serial Number.

Them: Excuse me?

Me: You heard. Name, Rank, Serial Number. NOW!

Them: I don't understand.

Me: Call is now being traced... Please stand by... <Holds down star key on phone>

Them: <click>

I haven't heard from them since. Maybe they've put me on their "NUTTERS - DO NOT CALL" list ?

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Give us a break: Next Android version to be called 'KitKat'

Chris King

Re: I would have been very surprised if either company had objected.

Hershey's: We've heard about that "cocoa powder" stuff.

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UK gov call-centre serfs told: Fondle your button for HAPPINESS

Chris King

Re: Muahahaha

Given the shower that we currently have in power, the shower that were in power previously, and the shower that want power but should under no circumstances be allowed to have it because they'll only cock things up, the best net score is likely to be a negative one.

In previous General Elections, people voted for the party that they felt best represented their interests. In 2015, I fear that people will vote for the party that will cause them the least harm.

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Getting worried, Assange? WikiLeaks spaffs out 'insurance' info

Chris King

Re: Instead of an elected Government ...

One day, you're BFF's with the vigilantes, next day they're riding you out of town on a rail...

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Chris King

Re: You know what the data is don't you

Or an enormous scan of his to-do list ?

Cancel papers

Hire better defence lawyer

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Kids LIE about age on Facebook, gasps Brit ad watchdog

Chris King

Re: I wouldn't trust *any* ISP

"and (b) how much more of a tit will Cameron look then"

Hey, if he looks more like a tit, maybe he'll get filtered out then ?

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Microsoft introduces warning on child abuse image searches

Chris King
Facepalm

Laws of unintended consequences...

How long before the malware authors start copying these and creating ransomware pop-ups ? Not long, I reckon.

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Sky falling: 119,000 Brits flee O2, Be after Murdoch broadband gobble

Chris King
Gimp

I wonder what the churn was on wholesale connections...

I had a Be Wholesale line with Andrews & Arnold - at the time, Be was the only way to get ADSL2+ on my exchange, and there was no sign of Infinity. As soon as I heard that Be was heading to Sky, three words went through my mind...

Eject ! Eject ! EJECT !!!

I immediately placed a regrade order in with AAISP and switched back to a BT connection. Sure, I could have waited, but I've seen what happens when small ISP's get taken over by crappy corporates, and it isn't pretty.

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WAR ON PORN: UK flicks switch on 'I am a pervert' web filters

Chris King

Re: I have found my next ISP

Come on in... the water's lovely, if a bit pricey :-)

The BBC have linked to that page in their filtering Q and A at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23403068, stating "Some smaller ISPs have said they will not impose filters".

No doubt some nitwit will translate that to "AAISP is a haven for evil doers". The reality is that they expect you to take responsibility for your own safety online, and take whatever precautions you consider necessary to achieve it.

Case in point: My home network is protected by a commercial-grade firewall, I use encryption at rest and in transit, and I have access to VPN's, proxies and remote servers around the planet for situations when I need a non-UK IP address (think "checking if my employer's network is reachable from certain network locations" rather than "I can't stream TV show X from the UK"). Should I get myself a dormant volcano hideout, a monocle, a white suit and a cat to go with that lot, because I must have something to hide ?

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Chris King
Holmes

Re: The cynical amongst us

"Follow the money, I bet it leads back to Tory HQ."

Or someone with LOTS of shares in companies that sell web filtering products.

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ULTRASONIC BOLLOCK BLASTERS help Hawkmoth battle The Bat

Chris King
Coat

Natural ECM ?

Not so much "Wild Weasel", more "Wild Weevil" ?

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IT bloke inadvertently broadcasts smut on vast public screen

Chris King
Big Brother

Re: Is worse than...

In my last job, it was considered that all of the student labs had a "Perv's Corner", where such users would congregate. The labs were later equipped with cameras, and I made sure that each of these little corners had good camera coverage to discourage such activity.

It was quite funny, watching students wander in wearing baseball caps - and in one case a crash helmet - to avoid being identified. I'd just check the logs, wander over to the lab and poke my head round the door... "$USERNAME, stop that - you'll go blind !"

Peer group pressure is a wonderful thing in these situations - every pair of eyes in the room would gravitate to Perv's Corner. FAR more fun than a firewall, but no doubt that kind of behaviour would get me in hot water nowadays for harassment.

Another one made the mistake of printing out lots of dirty pics to a lab printer, which happened to be out of paper. Unfortunately for him, my boss spotted that the print queue was building up, and he popped a ream of paper in the tray... Ooops. "Next time, go and buy yourself a magazine. I hear they're in colour these days".

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What's the most secure desktop operating system?

Chris King
Holmes

Re: VMS?

If you have physical access to the system console, all bets are off. Same goes for any system, really.

And you can still turn VMS into a security Swiss cheese if the system manager is incompetent or malicious. My last employer hired in security consultants from DEC to audit a VMS machine, after the previous system manager had let his mates play "Admin Wars" in SYSTEM. That box was such a mess, they ended up retiring it a year early and they transferred all the users to a new Alpha, auditing every utility and command procedure before installing it on the new system.

If that wasn't enough to contend with, some bright spark had the idea of letting IT students have root access to a Red Hat machine with internet access. You can probably guess how badly THAT went.

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Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

Chris King
Flame

Re: Milton Jones

Well, anything has to be an improvement over the scripts for this season, that's for sure. About the only episode I enjoyed was "The Crimson Horror", and that's only because they played it for laughs.

Did anyone else think that "Nightmare in Silver" felt like a recycled Star Trek episode ? Change "Doctor" to "Picard", "TARDIS" to "Enterprise", "Cybermen" to "Borg", "Cyber Planner" to "Locutus" and "Chess Game" to "Geometric Puzzle" - et voila, you've got "The Best of Both Worlds", only with fewer photon torpedoes and tractor beams - did anyone notice that the Cyber Gun even sounded like a phaser when Clara pulled the trigger ?

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Chris King

Re: New Dr - "might as well have cast a sperm in the role"

If they pick another young actor, how long before he/she starts asking the Cybermen for a Farley's Rusk ?

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Windows NT grandaddy OpenVMS taken out back, single gunshot heard

Chris King

Re: It Used to be the Unix/VMS Divide

I went to a former Poly that had several VAXen, both VMS and Ultrix, and later on some DECstations.

One of the Unix crowd once told me "MIPS will kill VAX, and Ultrix will piss on the grave of VMS".

Way to go, Skippy - batting average of 0.0 !

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Chris King

Cancel the flowers, it isn't quite dead yet !

VAX support has already ended, Alpha will be supported for "at least" another 2 or 3 years, and current Integrity systems will be supported until "at least" 2020. All that letter confirms is that they won't be supporting OpenVMS on Poulson-based Integrity servers.

The hourglass may be running down, but there's still a little bit of sand in the top half.

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Leaks point to new mystery Macs 'with Jony Ive's fingerprints on'

Chris King

Re: Park?

NT wasn't so much the bastard brother of VMS, more the weird nephew you only see at Christmas and even that's too often.

Cutler designed the OS, then the marketing people got involved and the project was thus doomed.

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Chris King
FAIL

Re: Park?

And what the hell did VMS have to do with that ?

COMPUTING HISTORY FAIL

(Maybe El Reg needs a green-screen terminal icon for these "get off my lawn, junior" moments ?)

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Facebook's Sean Parker fined $2.5m for tasteless eco-trashing wedding

Chris King

$9m for a wedding and a $2.5m clean-up bill ?

That's almost "throw another endangered animal on the barbie" territory !

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Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

Chris King
Holmes

Seems they haven't improved since I left...

They messed up a tariff change, and charged me for data at the wrong rate. A bill that should have been about £45 for the month came in at £220, and they seriously messed me about - claiming that the bill had been sent to be calculated when it hadn't, promising me calls from supervisors that never occurred, and repeatedly failing to record notes on my account when I called to complain. Eventually I managed to get the Executive Office to look into my complaint, and they refunded me to the tune of £200.

As soon as the money was back in my bank account, I cancelled my accounts with them, and didn't even bother to ask for PAC codes - I was so disgusted by the way I had been treated, I didn't even bother to port my numbers. I don't trust the other networks with a direct debit either, so I've been PAYG ever since.

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Facebook teens' kimonos - basically never closed

Chris King

Didn't our parents say the same about us ?

I'm reminded of Terry Pratchett's "Reaper Man", and the song "We Shall Overcome*".

* A song which, in various languages, is common on every known world in the multiverse. It is always sung by the same people, viz, the people who, when they grow up, will be the people who the next generation sing "We Shall Overcome" at.

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