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* Posts by Kevin Johnston

710 posts • joined 6 May 2007

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You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

Kevin Johnston
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But they cannot set a harsh penalty

Otherwise some smartarse will use that against media companies (such as BBC and chums) who quite happily steal content from the web to plump up their sites scraping off any inconvenient marks of ownership along the way. They could hit the four strikes in seconds...daily.

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BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled

Kevin Johnston
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Confused

So is that a simplified version of the website or a website for simplified people

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There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES

Kevin Johnston
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My 2p

I have to wonder if the people who 'could' be good TV drama/comedy writers are being blocked by comparison with the programs on endless loop from the 70's and such. There have been some good series more recently but in some cases there is a clear understanding that these series have a natural lifespan before they drag down the good start point while in others they are a little 'edgy' which makes suits uncomfortable especially if something happens in real life which could be taken as a parallel. Examples of 'live' stuff I am watching which stand up well are Bluestone 42 (totally not PC so may struggle to keep going) and Death in Paradise (already on a new lead actor in series 3).

There are good nuggets out there but the sheer volume of competition keeps them niche.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Kevin Johnston
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Only Lab-based tests?

Not when Mythbusters went about it. They have compared Drunk driving, Mobile use (with and without hands-free) and tired driving. None of them compared well with the 'normal' state of the drivers.

You may not feel that they used a sufficiently large sample size but the differences they recorded were big enough for each driver to be relevant and possibly a lot more relevant than stats which start by removing lots data to eliminate 'other' factors. You say that even if most ignore a ban at least some will observe it but could those be the same people that were careful before the ban and did not have accidents whilst on the phone?

Gets us into the territory where they list the cause of an accident as 'Speed'...this is simplification of cause for ease of collation. Speed is the cause of every automotive accident as without it no two object can come into contact with each other (although technically 0 is also a speed). The critical word missing is 'inappropriate'. Go at 60 round a bend marked at 30 and the likelihood is you will have an unintended occurence, travel at 90 on an empty dry well-lit motorway way and your are much less likely. Use your mobile phone in the midst of rush-hour traffic to get directions when you are lost and it is when, not if, you will hit something. Do the same on that aforementioned motorway and the reduction of attention on your actual driving is not so relevant.

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That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

Kevin Johnston
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and this is why...

I always regretted not learning Latin. Bad enough that I couldn't understand some of the jokes in the Astrix books but now I can't understand my favourite Tech-site.....

I would add though that the clip from Life of Brian in the Sub-head was a real obstacle on my German A1 classes when trying to decline verbs

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Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?

Kevin Johnston
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Re: iOS is worse!

I would be careful with your degree of smugness.....I too like BB10 but when I wanted a spirit level and thought 'there must be an app for that' I found the first three all wanted access to my contacts and the Internet???????

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Microsoft: OK, Office 365 sellers – you can be customers' 'first contact'

Kevin Johnston
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So, handing over some control...

Must be about to announce the replacement products then leaving the channel partners to handle encouraging 'their' customers to migrate.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?

There was a reviewer many years ago (Dragon type era?) who defined the problem with voice input perfectly.

At some point there will be an amusing misinterpretation of what you have been saying and your voice will change slightly because of the incipient smile which means there are more misinterpretations until it reaches the point where it is laughter in and garbage out.

A secondary problem is that in order for the computer to have a chance at working out what you are really asking (in type you can see the difference between two, to and too but they have the same sound) you require the person speaking to roboticize themselves.

This is a project much easier to describe in words than to implement.

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BlackBerry claims ugly duckling Passport mobe is a swan in the offing

Kevin Johnston
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Re: It could be their best chance for a solid return...

- Does it support "normal" ActiveSync instead of the BES stuff?

Yes. I had a BES5 server but got myself a Q10 which would have required upgrading the server. This was too much hassle just for the one device so I used the ActiveSync connection instead and send/receive all my mail fine

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Girl gamers sexism row: Top e-sports federation finds reverse gear

Kevin Johnston
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Yet curiously

this is one area where the French got it right, and to paraphrase....

'there is almost no difference between men and women, vive la difference'

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OMG, sorry about 'poor comms' on Facebook secret emoto-meddle tests. Laters!

Kevin Johnston
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Re: I lie to them

I tried that when I was required to have an account to help various family members out with those wonderful games they have. Unfortunately I can no longer remember the ficticious DoB I used so I can't pass their security check as I have since replaced my laptop.

At least that's what I tell the kids when they pester me about logging in

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Twitter takes on GOOGLE, swallows wannabe YouTube firm

Kevin Johnston
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Links to BBC?

So Twitter shows snippets of news articles on the BBC which are derived from trending twitter feeds...so who earns the most from looping twits?

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Catch cack-handed baggage handlers in the act with Ericsson's SPY SUITCASE

Kevin Johnston
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Same here...

We had a courier tried to deliver something but no-one was in so he threw it over the back fence and left a card to say it was safe in our back garden.

Just a shame the contents were now in tiny pieces

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Home automation while it's hot: Winter warmth for lazy technophiles

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Can't see it catching on widely enough

'but I reckon most ordinary folks will stick with a thermostat and a timer.'

Well, that and thermostatic valves on the radiators to give a bit of room-by-room control.

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YouTube in shock indie music nuke: We all feel a little less worthy today

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Im shocked I tells ya - shocked!

Downvotes or not, this is a valid comment.

YouTube works because stuff gets uploaded and viewed globally before anyone has a chance to object. This can mean that by the time a producer finds all the uploads and gets them blocked, any impact from the launch of a new track has been lost.

To say that Google get no benefit from this delay is disengenous to say the least. YouTube gets known as the place to see/hear stuff before it is released and a nod/wink to advertisers about how popular it is 'wiv da yoof' or whatever today's magic phrase is results in a few more pennies heading Google's direction.

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Canada to Google: You can't have your borderless cake and eat it too

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Spanish selection

To be strictly accurate, it is possible to show that England lasted longer in this World Cup than Spain regardless of the results of the match tonight etc...

Of course you would have to be the sort of pedant that uses number of minutes since the opening ceremony as your timeframe rather than minutes played on the pitch but whatever....any method that works, well, works

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BlackBerry inks deal with Amazon to get Android apps on its mobes

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Dilemma

I have a personal Q10 and a work iPhone and any form of typing is so much simpler on the Q10 because of that very 'fat finger' issue. I know that eventually the iPhone will (mostly) work out what I am trying to type since I always hit P when I meant O or whatever but it just annoys me each time I try to use it.

I am probably not a 'target audience' smartphone user as 90%+ of what I do is phone/text/email and having just checked there are 9 downloaded apps on the Q10 of which I really only use 4 since the latest OS update activated the in-built radio capability. What I can say though is that it may not have mass-appeal but it does the core things very well indeed.

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Apple settles ebook price-fixing damages lawsuit with US states

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Errr

Oh no, we are there with the 'traffic school' concept and when it was originally launched it was too popular as it was the same cost as the previous fine/points option but this time with no points on the license. It was in fact so popular it only got offered to people who were only just over the speed limit.

Now it is apparently MUCH more expensive than the fine and it is getting close to the bit where it is cheaper to accept the points and the hit on insurance premium rather than to go to 'traffic school'

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Amazon Prime Music opens – but where's the streaming music?

Kevin Johnston
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Re: "doesn’t include any tracks newer than six months old"

Saw an excellent T-Shirt....I may be old but I got to see all the cool bands

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Facebook's new self-destructing pic app SELF-DESTRUCTS

Kevin Johnston
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Really?

You have to send a picture back before you can look at the pointless kitten photo someone sent you?

So double up the dross to try to kill the backhaul

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The British are coming! The British are coming! And they're buying Surface fondleslabs

Kevin Johnston
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Re: The figures look really bad

It's probably a comment on the wonderful use of statistics. The RT and Pro are very different pieces of kit with an over-arching label of Surface and as such there is less justification to roll them in together than models differentiated predominantly by size. Of course...down at the basement level of market share you will use anything you can to make yourself look more significant.

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iDevice gizmo-snatcher Oleg... you must be taking the Pliss

Kevin Johnston
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That would certainly fit with not being set-up to collect the ransom. Hard to berate him if the fix is as simple as the original break.

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Former Azzurri project manager who stole £1.3m ordered to pay back £146k

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Seems reasonable

Yep it's the old adage....if you owe the bank a thousand you have a problem but if you owe them a million, THEY have a problem

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Open wide, 'Friends': Facebook wants to give you a 'Privacy checkup'

Kevin Johnston
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Old sayings

Anyone else heard the phrase

"A stranger is just a Friend you haven't met yet"

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NASA preps flying saucer ballocket flight

Kevin Johnston
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Hmmm

Watch out El Reg...the headhunters could soon be circling the SPB

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Microsoft throws Kinect under a bus, slashes Xbox One to $399

Kevin Johnston
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Not smart at all

Oh dear time to try to get over a fairly basic lesson.

Apparently you do not know but the way a DVD player reads a disc is not the same as the way a computer reads the disc. When you load it into a computer it checks specific tracks/sectors to look for various information which it needs to know where everything is and what type of data the disc holds. When you try to play a DVD with a movie it can instead launch a run-time version which is intended to stop you ripping the DVD and bypassing all the unskippable anti-piracy sections. Various music CDs have a similar setup.

The problem is that this runtime system is a Windows only process (actually there may be an Apple version on there but I don't have the kit to check) so if you insert the DVD into a linux PC it will not work.

Hopefully I did not use too many complicated phrases in there.

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Kevin Johnston
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I have to agree with you about the OS and business software side. There are a number of products I use for work which simply do not have a Linux flavour available and while you can use 'equivalents' in a small environment this is not always an option when you have to work in an Enterprise scale environment. There is also, on the domestic side, the issue with things like DVDs which detect they has been inserted into a computer and then try to launch the Windows run-time app. Yes, you could try ripping to a usable format etc etc but it is at minimum an extra level of complexity which discourages moving away from MS products.

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Behold! World's smallest 3D-printer pen Lix artists into shape – literally

Kevin Johnston
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OMG

Now I really wish I wasn't so useless at drawing

This is the sort of product which could become a 'game-changer' simply becuase it is only limited by skill and imagination.

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Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES

Kevin Johnston
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Location, location, location

So if I mount it in a cradle which is fitted to the centre console will it work for everyone or no-one?

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Back off, Siri! Microsoft debuts Halo beauty Cortana

Kevin Johnston
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But surely Cortana is limited?

Maybe I remember it wrong but doesn't Cortana come to a sticky end by thinking herself to death? Is that really a good business plan Microsoft?

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No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

Kevin Johnston
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Copyright

You keep using that word....I don't think it means what you think it means

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LOHAN preps Vulture 2 for hot vinyl wrap

Kevin Johnston
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So, are the SPB including a 24hr guard to stop any sneaky smartphone snaps of the finished product appearing on the intwerwebs?

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BT finally admits its Home Hub router scuppers some VPN connections

Kevin Johnston
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Re: old news kind of ...

I was thinking that myself.....worked for a couple of companies that had to supply a fix for accessing their VPN using a BT 'box' and that goes back 3-4 years

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Kevin Johnston
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Meh...too simple

At least we have stopped using a ten hundred of herring which was 1,200 fish

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WHOA: Get a load of Asteroid DX110 JUST MISSING planet EARTH

Kevin Johnston
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Re: 2014 DX110

Lots of people knew about it but they were not famous Astronomers so didn't count

(Thank you for every quote Sir Terry Pratchett)

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Belgian judge mulled BANNING APPLE (actually, its website) in Euro warranty row

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Simple

Oooh no.....got a better idea, $1 per hit until it complies. This gives a direct link between their guilt and the fine.

Just hope that nobody would consider click-storming the site if that was the penalty though

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Chicago cabs embroiled in debit-card breach claim mystery as bank tells folks: Pay by cash

Kevin Johnston
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Joke

Under investigation?

So will that continue until they find a way of saying it is not their fault?

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UK.gov back-office battle may see British Justice offshored

Kevin Johnston
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Hmmm....outsource the back-office?

That does at least go along with the logic where HMRC went to Lease-back for their buildings to save costs only for the ownership of those very buildings to end up with a nice Bahamian off-shore tax-avoiding company...

No irony there then

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Yes: You CAN use your phone as a satnav while driving – appeals court

Kevin Johnston
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Lawmakers huh?

A group of people who would never allow common sense, logic, practicality or even need to get in the way of a verbose knee-jerk piece of legislation.

and no....they are not limited to one country, more's the pity.

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Cable thieves hang up on BT, cause MAJOR outage

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Damn thieves

Hence the old ditty....

Volts jolts but mills kills

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Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

Kevin Johnston
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Re: @Nya

If you think that PDFs are bad then you should see how HMRC are making use of them.....There are now a number of forms which 'must be completed electronically using the supplied PDF'. Just a shame that the PDF is stuffed to the gunwhals with executable code which give non-windows machines a migraine. Thos who have a Windows PC are not much better off as if you try to restrict what executables your staff can download then the filtering kicks the form out before it even gets started.

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Sony's PlayStation 4 pwns Xbox in the United States

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Pfft .....

Perversely, I play the XBox360 games using a mouse and keyboard....just can't get comfortable with the console controller.

Of course this does rather shine a light on the whole argument....what works for one may not be the preferred oiption for someone else. Just a good thing there is some choice around

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Virgin Media's flaky broadband network turns Bolton off

Kevin Johnston
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Find the fault or restore the service

a perennial problem with support...you know that switching off/back on again makes a problem go away but doesn't really fix it but the guy who knows how it really works is on extended leave because he wasn't allowed to take time off. Come year-end he had to use up his leave so he was out for a few weeks but now he is back he can look to see what the fault really was and everything will be unicorns and rainbows.

Or something like that

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Second-hand software broker: OK Microsoft – we made a mistake

Kevin Johnston
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Much clearer now

Very much supports the view from the comments on the earlier story that this case was as much about Microsoft getting a precedent set for future cases. The not quoted but clearly relatively small compensation also leans the story that way.

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Microsoft claims victory over second-hand software broker

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Another "grey imports" fiasco

I would go further and say that as they are not 'New' licences and there is no attempt to market them as such then the trademark aspect should not be relevant here.

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Google Glassholes, GET OFF our ROADS, thunder lawmakers in seven US states

Kevin Johnston
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Re: HUD? - modern satnavs

There is at least one BMW motorcycle which comes with a SatNav which is integrated with the rest of the electronics and if you get a low fuel alert it pop-up the route to a petrol station......but does that count as a safety feature, a distraction or just useful info?

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Man sues NASA: Mystery Mars rock is a UFO – an unidentified 'FUNGUS' object

Kevin Johnston
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Re: isn't there a name for this type of legal claim?

I thought Barratry was when those in command of a ship/aircraft/other military unit rebelled against authority.....

To be fair though I read it in a book and not on the Internet so it may not be true.

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Prince sues 22 music file-sharers for ONE MEEELLION dollars each

Kevin Johnston
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Prince/Squiggle?

I seem to recall that when he stopped being Prince he made all sorts of pretentious statements about being a different person from Prince.....I assume that didn't extend to not taking the royalties then

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Virgin Media's 'little(ish)' book of deals contained BIG FIBS, rules ad watchdog

Kevin Johnston
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Said it before...

....and I'll say it again. Fines are pointless and saying 'stop using the advert' is always too late in the day.

The only way for the ASA to be anything but nominal is that when an advert breaches the code, the company is banned from advertising for the period the offending advert was in use.

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Time travellers outsmart the NSA

Kevin Johnston
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Re: No psychics either

Many years ago before even the days of Wildcat BBS, a local paper had picked up where a Psychic group in the South of England had cancelled a two/three months hence meeting because the weather would be too bad to travel. Would love to know if they had been right but never got off my backside to check at the time.

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