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* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2329 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

UK.gov rushes out broken 'Orphan Works' system as EU Directive comes in

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: However existing image copyright is broken

"If the term of copyright was more reasonable (a maximum of 20 years) then there would be less of a need for this act." Well said, Duncan. It is the utterly ridiculous term of protection that is the root of the problem in copyright. 20-25 years is enough, not up to six or seven times that period.

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Find My Phone does just one thing but Samsung's messed it up

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What? Sloppy code from Samsung??

More accurately: "What? Sloppy code from <insert any manufacturer of anything that uses software>? Say it isn't so?"

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Banksy denies Banksy impostor's claim to Banksy.com – which isn't owned by Banksy

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: FUCKIN VANDAL

Good street art makes an area look better. At least some of Banksy's stuff falls into that category, so I have very little problem. Inane "tagging" - the human equivalent of dogs pissing up a tree-trunk - and really poor pictures make an area look worse - much worse. Kids drawing on the pavement is so far beneath anyone's notice that I would suspect the shouty person is not entirely well.

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Australian E-Health records breached twice in the last year

Intractable Potsherd
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At the risk ...

... of getting lots of downvotes, I take a positive message away from this - Australia has medical records that the true owner of the information (the patient) has access to, and some control over. That is a mere pipe-dream here in the UK.

Stupid, and probably avoidable mistakes have been made (perhaps by the owners who wanted to link their health data with their government data!), but the fact that there is a system, and it works (for certain values of working) is impressive. Would anyone care to guess a) how late, and b) how over budget such a scheme would go in the UK before it was scrapped?

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'GCHQ's surveillance data gulp is BULKY and WARRANTLESS', human rights groups moan

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Multiplicative capabilities

No, but you might have your friends and family investigated, job prospects ruined, financial history scarred, have a baby with an undercover copper etc. Have a look at what people who wanted the police to actually do their jobs have undergone, e.g. Stephen Lawrence's family, and tell me that the information isn't misused - and they are only the cases we know about.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Point 1b is the problem (I think) @ DocJames

"Does anyone know what the principle of Padfield v MAFF is?"

The case is an important one in public law - full citation, if you want to look it up, is Padfield v. MAFF [1968] A.C. 997. The House of Lords stated that a decision-making power must be exercised so as to promote, and not run counter to, the legislation conferring that power. The case also answered the question "who decides, and who oversees: "necessary and proportionate"?" - the courts, who must look at the entire statute and interpret the intent before they can decide whether the power was exercised in a way that runs counter to the legislation.

The court ignored the fact that it is incredibly difficult to get them to allow an application for judicial review to proceed ...

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Why weasel words might not work for Whisper

Intractable Potsherd
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Well done!

Great investigative journalism. Thank you.

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Watersports-friendly e-reader: Kobo's Aura H2O is literary when wet

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: kindle hack?

Not sure if this will get molded out, but once you have Calibre, look for some software by a chap called Alf - he's an Apprentice.

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Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What...the...fuck....

I'm not sure what the big fuss is about. It is not uncommon for women in several professions to freeze eggs in their early- to mid-20s so they can be implanted later. Women going into the law and medicine are particularly well-represented in this activity, at least in the UK. The biggest problem is that eggs, being very large cells, have quite a large failure rate when it comes to being viable on thawing - embryos are much easier, but have additional legal problems unless anonymous donor sperm are used (which carries its own set of emotional risks later in life).

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Vanmoof Electrified Bike: Crouching cyclist, hidden power

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: heart rate?

Requirements such as helmets for motorcyclists and seat-belts for drivers are genuinely nanny state measures, since they decrease the risk of injury to only the individual. There is no change in the risk to a third party at all (though some say there my be an increased risk from the individual in control feeling safer). This, to my mind, is illegitimate use of power by the state - by all means ensure that risks to a third party are minimised, but don't interfere in the choice of individuals to put themselves at risk if they choose.

N.B. Since starting driving many years ago, I have never driven without a seatbelt. I have even added seatbelts to cars that didn't actually have them when I bought them. My point is entirely about the wrongness of personal protection legislation.

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Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Removable battery = extend your phone's usable life by years

You shouldn't need tools or someone with additional knowledge to change a battery! Let me put it this way - would you buy a TV with a remote that needs tools or a skilled person to change the battery? What about a torch (flashlight for the Leftpondians)? Probably not, so why let mobile phome manufacturers off the hook for really crappy design?

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Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: UNreliability of turbocharged engines.

I'm keeping my naturally aspirated Subaru Legacy as long as I can. The flat torque-curve and ability to pull away in anything up to high ratio 3rd gear has got me out of a lot of situations that could have become anxiety-provoking over the last eight or nine years ...

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Jonny Ive: Flattered by rivals' designs? Nah, its 'theft'

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Copying or improving?

"If anyone in device design can be described as a thief, its the person who takes obvious applications of a technology and uses a broken patent system to steal from us the human right to invent."

^^ This! Have a million upvotes, AC!

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Judge nukes Ulbricht's complaint about WARRANTLESS FBI Silk Road server raid

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: sisk

Innocent unless proven guilty, Matt. I know you and the law enforcement agencies want to see that basic maxim of the Rule of Law become a thing of the past (and seem to be succeeding), but it still stands in principle, at least.

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NASA: Mars satellites menaced by speeding SPACE ALIEN

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: funny

I had a lucky tea-ejection event avoidance* when I read the caption about how the comment could look if an artist was in orbit!

* I had tried to take a mouthful of infusion of dried leaves, but found I had drained the cup with the previous swig.

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Adobe spies on readers: 'EVERY page you turn, EVERY book you own' leaked back to base

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: okular...ghostview...

Do either of those avoid the requirement to initially open an Adobe DRMed ebook bought from Kobo in the Adobe reader on first reading? It is a constant irritation that I have to do that prior to stripping the DRM via the Apprentice Alf plugin for Calibre and turning the file into an epub. I'd much rather have nothing to do with Adobe at all.

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Aussie builds contactless card cloner app, shops at Woolies with fake card

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: YAWN!!!!

Anecdote isn't evidence. If these Ruxcon l33t haxors had actually done it, how come Fillmore is the first one to publish? Either there is some untruth, or the people you refer to are dishonest in a more criminal way.

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Siri ... why is this semi headed RIGHT AT ME? Phone apps distracting as ever – new study

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Something smells

The American Athletics Association - they want us all to be out of cars and running from place to place.

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Microsoft's nightmare DEEPENS: Windows 8 market share falling fast

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Do they really care?

My parents actually used to buy Izal for use in our home! I used to think it was normal, and that the tissue stuff that wadded up your bum crack or split so that you wiped your arse on your middle finger was the cheap stuff! I also liked the disinfectant smell of Izal...

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Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water

Intractable Potsherd
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As I wrote above - not my experience with P4U. Carphone Whorehouse take that award based on my interactions with them. Leaving without buying something requires shaking the staff off your legs!

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Intractable Potsherd
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I got my last phone from Phones4U, after vowing never again to go into a Carphone Whorehouse. I was very pleased with the knowledge of the staff in that branch (Coventry), and the way they assessed my knowledge and treated me appropriately. I was looking forward to dealing with P4U, though a different branch, again in a month or so when my current contract runs out, but it looks as if it is not to be.

The problem with EE/Voda/O2/etc shops is it makes it more difficult to compare deals. P4U made it easy to try phone/contract combos at the same time. It looks like the next phone will be from Tesco ...

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I'm in

But will they be proper shed-sized pint mugs, or measly, pointless little things?

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Need a green traffic light all the way home? Easy with insecure street signals, say researchers

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Uhh flashing red would not be safe

Have you been on any roads in Britain recently? Orange flashing lights might just as well be in the far infrared for all the notice most people take of them.

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Intractable Potsherd
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Yep - noticed the same at various places Czech Republic and Alps over the last couple of weeks. The funniest was the person who almost lost their iPad when the chair-lift tey were on at Val d'Isere stopped unexpectedly :-)

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Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Agreeing with everyone else @ Neil Barnes

My reasoning was the same when I finally went for an e-book reader. I wanted something that would use the maximum number of formats, especially epub from sources other than the book-sellers, so anything by B&N, Amazon etc was out. I went for a JetBook - great until it broke my fall down a flight of stairs two years ago. A replacement JetBook was a bit expensive, so a Kobo Touch was acquired from eBay. Apart from the regular "guess what functionality the latest update is going to inexplicably alter" amusement, it is a brilliant piece of kit that just keeps going, and battery life is excellent - at least a week at a time. Every now and again I think that a Kobo Glo might be worth acquiring for the odd occasion a backlight would be useful (wanting to read in bed after Mrs IP has gone to sleep, mainly), but I doubt it will happen this side of the Touch failing somehow. Whatever, it will be e-ink that replaces it - I cannot understand why someone would use a LED screen regularly to read.

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Wall Street woes: Oh noes, tech titans aren't using bankers

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: "without that adult supervision?"

Given that Wall Street* investment banks come across as terminally conservative, risk-averse, and ready to panic at the drop of a share-price, I don't regard then as "adult" in any sense. Chicken-Little would have made an excellent investment banker (or stockbroker) ...

* and all the others

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Philosophical question

Anti-social Bird Order?

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African samba queen: Don't cut off pirates' net connections – cut off their FINGERS

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Pirates?

Not "stealing", Dave ... be careful not to feed the Orlowskis.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: So-called "piracy" high on the priority list in Nigeria? @ Steven Raith

Sorry, Steven - I like the basic tone of your comment, but IP infringement isn't theft ...

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DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: " You build underground. "

Spot on, Trevor. There is no serious problem to which the answer is not "We need to get out into space as fast as we can".

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Devil's advocate....

You have rental cars with a manual? I've rented over a dozen cars in the last few years, and not one has had the manual in it - something that pisses me off no end. Also, sit in the car and spend time ensuring that you know how the basics work, and you'll get a knock on the window from the one of the staff asking if you know what you are doing.

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Students hack Tesla Model S, make all its doors pop open IN MOTION

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Poorly Written Article @ Lost all faith

" ... many people from the 80's may recall that wierd feeing when you realise you have sat in the wrong car (Vauxhall Cavalier was mine)"

Yep - Vauxhall Chevette and Ford Fiesta here! There is no elegant way of extracting yourself from that:

"Why won't the ignition switch work?" [usually less worn than door-lock] (Rock steering wheel back and forth a few times. Peer under column.)

"Shit! Lock must be broken!" (Reach for door handle to get out.)

"Hold on. Where have those furry dice/womens' shoes/deodorant trees come from?" (Odd sense of reality fading. Vague suspicions of alternative universes become more concrete.)

"Eerrrmm - I don't remember parking this close to that wall/lamp-post/identical model of car with familiar number plate ..." (Sudden bowel-loosening realisation that you are, in actual fact, in *someone else's car*. Intimate appreciation of the meaning of the phrase "Feeling the colour draining out your face").

"Right. Don't panic. No-one knows what you've done. Pretend you have found *the thing* you were looking for. *Calmly* get out of the car." (Heart pounding loud enough to set the suspension resonating. Cold sweat forming all over.)

"Now, relock the door." (Shit! It isn't as easy.)

"No - on the button!" (Reopen door in as unsuspicious way as possible, do the combination of handle and button.)

"Now, walk back the way you came so that it is obvious you 'just wanted to get something from the car'." (Resist temptation to whistle whilst walking round corner. Wait what seems like five minutes, not looking suspicious at all.)

"Take off your jacket/jumper so no-one will recognise you as you walk back to your own car and drive off ... very ... carefully." (Try to forget the utter hideousness of it all until some bastard on El Reg reminds you of it ...)

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

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Typing texts at the wheel is incredibly dangerous @ Tom 38

"Cigarettes are fine, its rollies that are tricky, especially if you use filter tips."

I don't know if that was meant as a joke, but I used to go out on events with a friend who did that very thing whilst driving! There isn't much that makes me nervous as a passenger (hell, I navigate on rallies!), but that always made me feel uncomfortable!

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BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled

Intractable Potsherd
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Don't know if it has any relevance (probably not), but I watched the highlights of the German GP on the web version of iPlayer at about 11pm on Sunday night* here in Dundee. The only thing of note was that there were fewer buffering interruptions than usual.

*After I'd been to see Monty Python (almost) Live at the local cinema.

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Amazon's Spotify-for-books: THE TRUTH

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Support your local library by using it @Sean

"Anyone who's ever fought their way through Kobo's system will welcome Amazon's far easier system with open arms. Kobo's site is truly, truly awful."

I'm not sure whether you mean consumer or author side there, but, as a happy owner of a Kobo Touch for a couple of years who has recently started buying from Kobo's site (I had a lot of books on my computer to catch up with), I don't find it particularly awful. It might not be quite as slick as Amazon - which is, to me, the pinnacle of ease - but it is far from the car-crash you make it out to be.

Kobo does have problems, such as the risk of them completely changing the functionality of the reader with each f/w update, but the website isn't that bad.

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Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I read today the UK is planning a spaceport in Scotland

I'm just buying a house within 10 minutes drive from Leuchars. Can't decide whether the geeky "Whoa, I could be living near a spaceport!" or the timid "Whoa, I could be living near a spaceport!" should win out. It doesn't matter though - Mrs IP will make us move (again) if they do choose the site on the basis of noise - though I doubt there will be many places within a reasonable distance from her work that would be immune from the crackly roar of rocket engines ...

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Huge FOUR-winged dino SPREAD LEGS to KILL – scientists

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Seen a wedgetail eagle lately ? @ xperroni

"I bet the eagle's day wouldn't fare any better." Looking at that thing, I suspect it would just unwrap itself from your bleeding remains, take a quick bite, push the rest of the screen out, crap on you, then fly off to its nest!

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British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Police declined to explain how they "snared" the suspects

@ h4rm0ny - when I saw this on the news last night, I said to Mrs IP that, if we follow the cases, there will be a conviction rate of 10% or less. My opinion hasn't changed.

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BitTorrent not to blame for movie revenues, says economist

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Hypothesis

Answering my own post - there is a tool for comparing critics' opinions with your own at http://www.wisegeek.com/which-movie-reviews-should-i-believe.htm. It is limited to well-known critics, but it is interesting - I would never have thought that Rotten Tomatoes agreed with me 70% of the time (on the films used for the assessment).

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Hypothesis

Since I haven't found a professional reviewer that reliably mirrors my idea of what a good movie is*, it makes no difference to me what they say. If I like the look of a film's trailer, I'll go and see it close to its release date regardless of what reviewers say. If I'm not so sure, I'll wait until IMDB has got several reviews and then look at a selection of the best and worst comments. Over a year, I probably see about one film a month at the local cinema thanks to Orange Wednesdays (which doesn't resemble the chamber of horrors described by some here - never had a mobile go off, no laser pointers, no babies, no sticky carpets). I also like the adverts and trailers, much to Mrs IP's disgust - they provide a nice lead in to the film, and it feels like the supporting feature that used to be on before films when ah were a lad.

* There used to be a website that compared the ratings of professional reviewers with your own, but I don't know if it still exists. I'd be interested to see if there is a pro out there who thinks that "Wreck-It Ralph" is significantly better than "Citizen Kane", and "The Addams Family" beats "Psycho" into a cocked hat ...

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NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: here's to hoping

Beer should NOT be served cold!!!! (Well, real ale shouldn't be, anyway)

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: GIGO

And what difference would it make to the topic we are discussing here? (Not that I'm taking the theory seriously anyway).

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Promises, promises @ Pedigree-Pete

"Anyone else remember the "paperless office"." Well, in some cases it is getting further away: http://gizmodo.com/german-government-is-using-typewriters-to-avoid-the-nsa-1605185821

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Not... @Captain DaFt

Well, according to Douglas Adams, yes, we are the descendants of the B-Ark. Our ancestors were all management consultants and telephone sanitisers running from an enormous mutant space goat ... or twelve foot piranha bees ... or something.

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Get an EYEFUL OF CURRY for the sake of your brain

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: @moiety & @TRT Here's my fiver...

And me.

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British data cops: We need greater powers and more money

Intractable Potsherd
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Enforced Subject Access

Never heard of this before. What sort of employer would ask for this, and what jobs do they offer that make it worthwhile to a potential employee?

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Microsoft's Lumia 930... a real HANDFUL

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Can we get rid of the AC function?

Because even a pseudonym gives people the chance to look back at previous posts, and build up an idea of the persona behind it. I've had the same nom-de-plume on here for many years now, and that carries some meaning to those who visit regularly. It wouldn't make any difference if I gave my real name, except it would make me a bit nervous about making some comments - the world we live in makes certain opinions dangerous in the eyes of employers etc.

It really isn't so much different from going down to the pub, or being a member of a club (ate least for me) - I know people who only exist in that environment, as far as I'm concerned. I don't know their full names, what they do for a living, marital status etc. It makes no difference. I'd be extremely wary of anyone that came in and said "I'm not giving you any name at all", though.

Some people have reasons for being AC, which they will often justify. Others hide behind it to try to cause trouble with no reason. Based on your published comments and those in your linked page, you seem to fall into the latter group, though your anti-Windows stance does sound like a previously banned ex-commenter - long term readers will know who I mean.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What, no whiny "Pity it runs Windows" comments?

So, why do you care, AC?

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Will GCHQ furtle this El Reg readers' poll? Team Snowden suggests: Yes

Intractable Potsherd
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Actually, I haven't been comfortable with the plotlines where Bond breaks the law for several years now. I am always annoyed that there isn't a scene at the end of those stories where he is disciplined and/or handed over to the police, with a lecture that being right doesn't justify illegality for an officer of the Crown.

[I know this sounds a sarcastic, but it isn't - I mean what I say.]

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El Reg nips down IKEA's 'I've Got A Screw Loose Street'

Intractable Potsherd
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Seagate's HQ @markw:

Bastard!!!! --------->

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