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* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2322 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Dubya: I introduced PRISM and I think it's pretty swell

Intractable Potsherd
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"Why didn't Obama just cancel the program like he said he would in 2008?"

Because the President doesn't have the power people think he does. The power lies three steps back and two across, almost invisible. These people don't want real democracy, they are (perhaps understandably) afraid of what will be done with it (let's face it, democracy in the Middle East hasn't made things much better for many people). The whole ruling class are afraid for their lives and livelihoods, and cannot see that relaxing the amount of oppression now will settle things down. Unfortunately, countries like the UK and USA are on the brink of serious, sustained civil disobedience, and no-one is sufficiently versed in the art of giving something to avoid the worst, which is how the UK* has managed to avoid real revolution** since the time of the Roundheads.

* OK, the UK wasn't created yet, but you get my point.

** I'm not counting the "Glorious Revolution" because it was effectively twelve men and a dog.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Bush said

"When your children are being murdered in the street ..." And so we see that the terrorists have won. Fear of the incredibly unlikely guides your thinking. Do you also live underground in case you are hit by a meteor?

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UK.gov to be fully BIM-enabled 'by 2016'

Intractable Potsherd
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That was an article almost entirely lacking in information. I now know what "BIM" stands for, and someone in the government likes the idea. However, what it does, and how - not a clue.

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Jiggy Pennsylvania couple busted by 25 bike cops

Intractable Potsherd
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Happy

Re: Good Lord, oh the manatee!

Oh, the huge-manatee ...!

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PRISM leaks: WTF, you don't spy on your friends, splutters EU

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Naive, or what

Do *you* spy on your friends? I doubt it, so why let countries off the hook?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Euro countries "should look first"

They are, and I'm waiting for the brave Eurospook to stand up and be counted. I'm not holding my breath, though ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Facepalm

Re: Show them you mean it

@AC - I think you mean *both* of them (i.e. Snowden, the man with his head on the block, and your putative "Deep Throat" operative). Snowden did the hard work here - why do you want to throw him to the lions? Equally, even if "Deep Throat" does exist (something I'm not willing to stipulate at this point, because it sounds a bit fantastic), he doesn't need asylum because he hasn't been caught.

You need a bit of practice at logical thinking.

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The perfect gift for the pistol-packing 'Merkin: a handgun iPhone case

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: This is going to confuse some Brits

"Even though almost all of us have guns, we usually don't shoot each other with them. When we do our aim is usually poor and the target usually survives."

So why have them?

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Intractable Potsherd
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@AC

"While liberals hate guns, the liberals they elect hire armed security for protection. So the liberal leaders feel the right to protect themselves ..."

I'm trying to work out what your point is here. There is a small, but not to be ignored, number of people who think that "liberal"* stance on things means that they need to be shot. Pro-choice, anti-give-anyone-a-gun campaigners have been shot, along with anyone who was stood near them (see Gabrielle Giffords, and look up the less well-reported (at least internationally) shootings and bombings of abortion clinics and supporters). There are some people that *need* to have protection.** Hell, even in the UK, politicians tend to have security, especially at cabinet level, and there aren't that many guns, and most of them are out of the hands of crazies.

* "Liberal" in the American sense, which has a somewhat different meaning than in countries a bit less right-leaning.

** I'm still grappling with the concept that there is no way that the USA will ever be able to get rid of all those guns in private hands, and so there may be some truth that there are a lot more people that might need to protect themselves. Thus, a a vicious (literally and figuratively) circle is created.

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Osbo jacks up spending on spooks to keep us safe from TERROR

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Of course....

What do you mean by "all this"?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Priorities

Don't forget power supplies. No money to increase spare capacity which is going to be down to 2% in the next two years (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23081695), but they need to protect us form getting uppity when the power cuts start ...

George Osborne JATT*

*Just Another Tory Tosser

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Korean doctors: Smartphones really ARE doing your head in

Intractable Potsherd
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And your point is ...? Prior to that, I'd use a dictionary or encyclopaedia (if one was handy), or maybe ask someone, or just not bother with it. Now I'm more likely to get the information by typing it into the appropriate search box, becoming more educated in the process.

Advanced learning has nothing to do with remembering lots of things: it has everything to do with knowing where to find what you want to know, how to verify it, and how to use it.

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British lord sets new world electric vehicle speed record

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: NIMBY's

The Elvington NIMBYs are typical "I moved to the area knowing about the airfield, and now I want it closed! wankers. The (common) law needs changing so that a person moving to a known source of potential nuisance (and due diligence would be expected) cannot successfully bring an action to get that source closed down, or otherwise interfere with its operation. Any action could only be successfully brought if there were plans to change the operation such that the nuisance might get significantly worse, or crate a new risk, in which case only the proposed operations would be under scrutiny, not the old ones.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: To put Drayson's achievement in some perspective...

Upvote for saying what I was going to say. This is designed for proper motorsport use, not namby-pamby super-drag racing.*

*Drag racing is only any good for the sound of top-fuellers making my organs resonate. Electric drag racing will have all the excitement of watching paint dry.

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Boffins create tabletop ANTIMATTER GUN

Intractable Potsherd
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Pint

Re: Mmm..Anti Gravity, Higgs and Magnets @ Bluewhelk

Thank you for that example of how a good teacher can make complex ideas understandable.

<--- Have a drink - you deserve it!

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Report: Android malware up 614% as smartphone scams go industrial

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: If your phone is open anyone can get in re: Apple

My mum's iPad was doing some very strange things (redirecting away from certain websites, refusing to update various things, chewing bandwidth etc). Eventually, I took her to the local Apple store where the assistant had a play with it for a while, and said "Well, I don't know what's wrong with it. Some programs seem to be corrupted, and others have had settings changed. I don't know what to do other than a factory reset." I pointed out that, if we were talking about Android or Windows, he'd be describing the likely results of a malware infection of some type, and (tongue strictly in cheek), wasn't there something like an antivirus or AdAware for Apple. I was rewarded with a look similar to what I would have received if I'd suggested that his father has carnal relations with camels whilst wearing unstylish clothes bearing the logo "I love Ballmer". "iOS does not have malware of any type!", he snapped, then proceeded to do a factory reset without asking whether there was anything that mum wanted to backup, losing quite a lot of photos she had saved, the spiteful twat.

TL:DR: I'm far from convinced by this notion that there isn't something that infects at least some of Apple's machinery, but no-one wants to admit it.

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Ex-inmate at Chinese prison: We made airline headsets

Intractable Potsherd
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You mean Ian Brady, the man who has shown just how petty and spiteful the English justice system can be? If he asks to die, he is forced to live: he he wanted to live, people would want the death sentence like they did for Myra Hindley.

I actually feel sorry for Ian Brady - always have done.

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Intractable Potsherd
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@ Simon B

You really are a shining example of humanity, aren't you? Your clear and insightful comment has made me realise that the battle to have a global minimum level of human rights is mistaken, and that there are classes of things that look like human beings, but aren't, and so can be treated inhumanly. Thank you for wiping the scales from my eyes!

<end of sarcasm>

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Hey Britain, want to link your mobile to your BANK ACCOUNT?

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Let me fix that

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. At the moment, my financial transactions require numbers that I don't give out to many people (card numbers, bank account details). How is turning my mobile phone number, which many, many people have, in any way more secure (or secure at all). This seems to remove significant amounts of depth from the security in favour of traders making more money from my transactions. The number of tight businesses that charge more for card transactions is annoying already (and they only get my business a maximum of once, depending on what is being sold), and more will start to do it if this becomes available. However, the difference is I'll probably pay for the extra security offered by the card payments.

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ASA bans Samsung's 'misleading' free Galaxy Tab 2 ad

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: A Better Sentence ...

Your point may be true, but your childish tone and use of "Scam$ung" completely undermine it. The effectiveness of a message is *what* and *how* the thing is said (and sometimes who said it).

Have a downvote for frothing unnecessarily.

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PRISM leaker strands hacks on booze-free flight

Intractable Potsherd
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Complicity

With a complicit government, willing to turn a blind eye to certain "irregularities" in documentation, Mr Snowden, ex-employee of Booz Allen, could now be Mr Bond of Universal Exports (or any other name you care to apply). He may not even be travelling by air - an unwarranted assumption if ever there was one.

The US administration is rapidly finding out how little pull it has with the other big players at the moment - Russia don't care, and China has the whip-hand in terms of damage that can be done to the US economy. There will be a lot of people with dangerously high blood-pressure as a result of realising how impotent they are - and I am enjoying the schadenfreude! The US* is realising that it has no moral high-ground from which to preach any more (everything has been done that it criticised Russia and China for doing), and now it has no bargaining chips. It is just another bully in the playground.

*and other countries, but this is about the USA

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Steelie Neelie eyeballs ENCRYPTION PLAN for telco data breaches

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: "The providers should be obliged to report the breach regardless."

I think the proposal as it stands is a way to encourage data-storers to embrace encryption, but it is insufficient, and conflates (at least) two very different problems: loss of data and ability to read it. Both need reporting, as they refer to two aspects of a company's security that customers need to be aware of - I'm unlikely to go with a company that is losing data (even if encrypted) on a regular basis.

In addition, as others have said, there needs to be a minimum level of encryption specified, and yet we know that the minimum will become the standard. This means the black-hats will have incentive to break it within a very short time - and I'm not sanguine that they won't. Combined with unreported data-breaches (so I don't know to change passwords (or data-storer), this is not good for me as the consumer.

The idea is well-meant, I think, but it fails to address the issues properly.

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Snowden: 'Hey, Assange, any more room on Ecuador's sofa?'

Intractable Potsherd
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@Mad Mike

Look up "actus reus" and "mens rea" - you might be surprised about what you think you know.* I believe the concepts apply in Sweden as well.

*The latest Sexual Offences Act in the UK is a pile of aggressive feminist-driven shit that overturns years of sensible deliberation in order to put men in the wrong. It is totally unbalanced and fails to recognise the practicalities of life in favour of "sex as a contractual relationship".

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Growing up... @ Scorchio!

" Fortunately they are unlikely to be anything more than statistical outliers in the Gaussian distributions of political thought, paradoxically afforded the comfort of a stable society in which terrorism is largely speaking handled with care and adroitness, punctuated by mistakes following which bits of human flesh are left hanging from lamp posts, other street fixtures, from passing vehicles and splattered onto innocent passers by, to say nothing of the innocent victims themselves."

Terrorism is so rare that it doesn't figure in my consideration, to be honest. The deaths of a handful of people only trouble me these days because I know that some name-making twat is going to use it as the justification for impeding my liberties even more. Law-making for tiny, tiny minorities (people killed/injured by terrorists, children abused or killed) is the bane of modern life. By all means put in measures, but don't start treating everyone as a potential risk. The world doesn't work like that. I personally do not give a toss about dead or injured people who I do not know, and I will never wail "Why wasn't there a law to stop X?" if someone I know dies or is seriously injured as a result of a minor variation of blind chance (or if I am seriously injured in the same way). A missing child in Devon is not national news - a missing child in the next town isn't even headline news. Bombs on the underground/outside a Mosque are news only for the fact that people need to change their travel plans. Bombs in US cities are barely news at all, and yet we were all treated to fear-inducing coverage of highly dangerous pressure-cooker bombs that hardly did any damage at all. It is time to move away from the politics of fear.

There are limits on what a reasonable society should accept, and what a reasonable government should try to get away with. The line has been crossed, and it is time that the reasonable ones amongst us stand up and tell the "pragmatists" like you that enough is enough, and we want change. That means having a real national *defence* strategy that doesn't include marching into other people's countries. It means not spying randomly on everyone in a given population. It means being generally honest about the larger part of governmental activity. It means government not treating the people as a threat to its existence, and knowing when to change to avoid a threat to its existence, or reap the rewards of failing to listen.

Wow - that didn't start out as a manifesto, honestly!

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Apple's Tim Cook: I'm risking my own MEELLLIONS if we sink

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Wow

Unless his losses would put him in the position that reduces his annual income to the same as being unemployed in the USA, he isn't gambling anything. Hell, if he said that he'd only take the amount of the average earner in the USA I'd be impressed (and even then, with savings etc. he still wouldn't hurt).

Until these fucknozzles are likely to have the same downside to their actions that a worker that stands to be made redundant as a result of those actions, then this is just posturing.

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Pink Floyd blasts Pandora for 'tricking' artists with petition

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Aw, they want more money

Yep - insanely rich people claim that they aren't getting richer at the same rate. Do they not realise they undermine their own argument every time they bleat?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Music was the Greatest Bubble ever...

True about Mozart - he died wealthy. But he died wealthy without multi-decade copyright ...

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Media phone-hacking? Tip of the iceberg, says leaked police report

Intractable Potsherd
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"I wonder what they ... would have had to have done to actually be investigated."

Stop paying.

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Snowden dodges US agents in Moscow, skips out on flight

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Its "deeply troubling" @ Voland's Right Hand

Yes - the response of the EU and our (NATO and other) "allies" is going to be a treat to watch. I'm expecting any country with a west coast on the Atlantic to be getting a lot of new business building and operating trans-Atlantic comms cables (I have always thought it odd that the UK was allowed to have the lion's share of that business in light of the well-documented WW1 interception of German traffic).

This is likely to be good, long, popcorn-eating session.

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Leaked docs: GCHQ spooks secretly haul in more data than NSA

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: " I don't think that's anti-freedom. I am happy with this being illegal."

Then you REALLY don't grasp the realities of the situation. If no harm is done (and a drawing causes no harm), then there is no need to prevent it. If we could get the lawmakers to realise this, then we'd be a lot better off.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Very good!

I'm confused - the "no crime" AC seems to want a job as Home Secretary, but can't really want that, because he hasn't put his name to it , so can't want to be a Home Secretary ...

Ohhhhh, got it - he wants to be a civil servant in the department of minding everybody else's business. Still a tosser, though.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Watch out, there's a D Notice about

The BBC are considered to be untrustworthy by all sides, so they either a) try to be meek and mild (but still get criticised for not reporting the "right things", or b) make sure that they are still around in 20/30/40 years' time (the events regarding Greece's national broadcaster will not have gone unnoticed). I don't care - at least it isn't owned by Murdoch.

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US DoJ: Happy b-day, Ed Snowden! You're (not?) charged with capital crimes

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Not exactly... @ BornToWin

OK - I'll bite. If you are not a troll, explain how you see the situation such that the government is right, and Edward Snowden is wrong. I'm always willing to be educated, and I'll keep checking back for 24 hours to see if you have replied.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: As ye sow... @ BornToWin

I suppose you think that all the people that fought for the downfall of the Iron Curtain were also wrong, and that the Soviet governments had the right to existence. Nothing should change - the government is always right.

I just cannot put myself in the place you are coming from - if there is any logic, it defeats me, since "my country right or wrong" isn't logical.

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Cuba bound? Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: SETEC ASTRONOMY (See 'Sneekers')

Lech Walesa's actions were illegal in Poland at the time - what's your point?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: It's all good

You forgot to use the word "perp". Now go away and try again ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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@ Pet Peeve

Let me guess - you think that a person is either for you or against you.

You are wrong.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Oh dear.

Now, I dislike the current US regime as much as anyone, and I think that they would stoop fairly low to protect whatever it is they think they are protecting, but killing a plane-full of passengers to get at one person - that requires too many layers of tin-foil to the hat even for me ...

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Tesla unveils battery-swapping tech for fast car charging

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: When they @LarsG @ James Hughes 1

Only the bit about the two very small batteries. The rest is quite sensible. I expect to get at least 300 miles out of a charge without degrading the battery significantly - the same as I get out of a tank of petrol in my Subaru.

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Nissan to enter 300 kmh electric car in Le Mans endurance race

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: It's a Garage 56 Car

Errrrrrrmmmmm - "to garage" *is* a verb. (http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/garage_2)

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Amusingly, the hardware reliability is where the EV wins

I agree with Richard - I'm in a position where an electric car could be useful for my wife's current transportation (fairly frequent short journeys against the clock). Leaving aside the cost issue (basically, we can't afford any electric vehicle at the moment - waaaaayyyy too expensive), they are all converted IC cars. I want independent motors per driven wheel at least - no heavy driveshafts with complex joints.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: It's motor racing

"[motor racing] achieves nothing except bring a bunch of drivers back where they started,"

I think you'll find that describes most travel - even the daily commute brings drivers (or, indeed, users of whatever form of transport) back where they started. There are approximately no people that keep travelling from place to place with no base to return to.

Given the Luddite attitude of the Swiss to cars in general, and motor-racing in particular, your name doesn't exactly make you worth listening to on this topic.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Yeah, sure, good luck with that battery thing.....@Mr Xavia

You get ~55mpg in a Jag? Which one, and how??

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Brits' HSBC bank cards, net access goes TITSUP

Intractable Potsherd
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@ Destroy All Monsters

Yes, because the USA does so well on national health indicators vs GDP, doesn't it? There is a graph on the web somewhere that shows the USA as a dramatic outlier to the right of the graph showing that it has terrible outcome:expenditure ...

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Cultivated dope-smoking Welshman barred from own shed

Intractable Potsherd
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Happy

Re: Somebody told me

Thanks, Trevor. As always, most informative. Whilst I can't think that I'll start on cannabis this late in life (hell, I don't even like being slightly drunk), at least I am more educated on a matter I've always been too paranoid to look up (you never know when an innocent search will come and bite you).

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Good story @ Chris G

You may be confusing cause with effect there - they may use cannabis *because of* ADD. There is some evidence that it helps to slow down their thought processes so they don't become overwhelmed by stimuli.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Somebody told me

I also thought it was the leaves. What is the "smokable stuff" then? (Genuine question - I honestly don't know.)

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Can Jonny Ive's new 'iOS Vista' SAVE the BBC's £100m BRAIN? Yes!

Intractable Potsherd
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@AC

You don't get it, do you? This is satire.

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RBS Mainframe Meltdown: A year on, the fallout is still coming

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: GreyWolf AC: This wasn't a hardware flaw. This wasn't a mainframe flaw.

For the record, I'm the one agreeing with Matt. I therefore want to insert that disclaimer that I don't work for RBS, I am merely a customer that can't see that any of the banks are any different, and so stay where I am and take the free insurances offered through my account.

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