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* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2299 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Free speechers want into Apple and Samsung sealed court filings

Intractable Potsherd
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@ Typical AC troll

Since they are not involved in any market-bending lawsuits of their own, then I would say that the answer is "No, why should we be?" Quite simply, the Apple/Samsung case is hugely important with all sorts of implications for the future. The courts should be very slow to allow corporate entities to put any evidence under seal - they are not real people, and should have limited rights to protect information.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: @ Pen-y-gors @ Ted Treen

If you can't see that there is a world of difference between truly private information pertaining to individual "natural persons" (to use the legal term) and quasi-private information pertaining to "corporate entities" then the capitalists have successfully worked their magic on you ... and that isn't a good thing.

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'End the commercial-in-confidence CROOKS' CHARTER', gov told

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Milton Friedman said it...

And Friedman was a seriously sad man. Many of us are far more careful with others' money than with our own. If I'm on expenses, I do not stay anywhere that I wouldn't if buying it myself, and when it comes to subsistence, I never reach the limit set. Indeed, I sometimes decide that it isn't fair to charge someone for expenses if, for instance, I enjoyed it. I also ensure that I book flights and accommodation myself, rather than through the fleecing "travel agent" the organisation insists on using, because I can usually save the organisation a fair percentage. On occasion, I have been on the end of "Spend lots - we need to get rid of this money before it is taken off us." I don't understand that mentality.

So, back to Friedman - he, like so many right-wing economists, are essentially fraudulent bastards who think everyone is out to get what they can. They demean the honest majority, and so do you by believing it,

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Oz shop slaps browsers with $5 just looking fee

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Touch Call

I'm sorry? You actually support a shoe-shop that charges you a fee to try shoes on????

My frst response is bit ad hominem, so let me simply rephrase it to recognise that it takes all sorts to make a world ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Easily Understandable But Possibly (And Probably) Hopeless.

If she actually had any expertise in areas that matter, such as people skills and marketing, she wouldn't need to be charging an entry fee to the shop (incidentally, how is she going to enforce that if people walk in and go out without paying their "rent"?)

This is another example of the sense of entitlement some merchants (movie and record industry, I'm looking at you too) have to earn a living without changing a damn thing. This daft woman deserves to go out of business - perhaps the clue-stick will bless her with a pummelling then. After all, Rampant Spaniel has come up with several good ways to increase footfall, sales, and - most importantly - loyalty in just a few minutes. It isn't hard, ffs.

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Dongle smut Twitstorm claims second scalp

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I hate sexual discrimiation with a passion...

Telling smutty jokes to others who you know won't take offence isn't "discrimination". Hell, telling smutty jokes isn't "discriminatory" at all. "Discrimination" is something everybody does every day of their lives, and that there it is a value-neutral term. Only where the discrimination can be perceived as unfair, i.e. to the detriment of the person being discriminated on grounds that are not legally acceptable, is there an issue. To put it another way, the fact that you have your current job means that someone else discriminated between you and the other applicants.

This woman is part of a very unhealthy attitude towards humour, and an increasingly unhealthy attitude against men, much worse than that the feminists rail against, because it is deliberate, and calculated to demean men. The only downside is that this daft woman will probably take her case to court and get damages for being sacked (though that is quite correct - what she did was not a sacking offence).

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MasterCard stings PayPal with payment fee hike

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Unsecured loans

Whereas, given the choice between two equally good [whatever-it-is-I-want-to buy], I'll always take the PayPal route because it is easier, I'm not giving my payment details to the seller, and my credit-card company doen't know what I'm buying whilst giving me payment protection. Win all round, I'd say.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Pint

@RoI

Well done!! Have one on me - you deserve it!

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Space probe spies MYSTERY 'Cold Spot' in very fabric of cosmos itself

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: The cold spots...

But what about Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings ... ?

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Stop excluding vulnerable Brits from digital agenda - MPs

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Errrrrrrrrrrr

No wonder you posted anonymously, AC 09:50. You are an objectionable, spying little shit who isn't worthy of consideration.

Fuck off back under your stone and don't come back.

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Caught on camera: Fujitsu touts anti-terrorist pulse-taking tech

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: So, you can defeat this by being late?

"Alternatively, lets make it so that there are a 100 different things the terrorist has to get right every time in order to not be caught."

Or - and I know this is from completely outside the envelope - we could stop being so f***ing paranoid and allow going to airports to be a pleasure again. I know it isn't going to happen anytime soon, but it is a pleasant dream of mine.

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CCTV hack takes casino for $33 MILLION in poker losses

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Never mind the scam on the game .....

I obviously have imagination failure - what can you possibly get for $30k a night that you can't get for £500 somewhere else? All you need is a bed, an internet connection, possibly cable TV, a bath/shower, and someone to bring food and drink when you want it, but it will be added to the bill. Oh, and some reasonable security and privacy - make the top figure £1500 a night.

I genuinely am baffled ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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"... hence they are at fault for handing the info over?"

Not necessarily. A suitably placed employee could have been paid in some way, or threatened, in order to get the required access. There is mention in the article of a VIP handler (or similar term) being sacked - this may or may not be related to the access to the cameras etc.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Faraday cage

"The first fail was thinking that spying on your customers was a good idea." Ironically, this is done in all "respectable" gambling establishments in order to identify cheating. There are levels of security in casinos that would make a government weep. Everything from straight observation to pattern recognition, both by humans and machines. Security in depth at its best.

"The second fail was consolidating the information from the spying." Well, maybe yes, maybe no - part of the security comes from consolidating and integrating the data. Whether the benefits outweigh the risks is a different question.

"The third was the security/social engineering breach." Which are almost impossible to eliminate. If the person you want can't be bought, s/he can be threatened either directly or by threats to significant others. Not so much a "Fail" on the part of the casino, because no-one is immune from social-engineering one way or another.

I was hoping Bruce Schneier's blog would have something on this, but I don't see it.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Brings a new consideration to the phrase

"A reasonable country wouldn't allow gambling full stop."

"Yes, because banning gambling, like banning drugs, will immediately result in the complete cessation of all such activity and no-one would ever gamble illegaly."

I upvoted both these, even though they are contradictory, because they represent how I feel myself.

Whilst I don't use drugs and I don't gamble, I can see the utility of one (drugs), but not the other (gambling). In an ideal world, gambling would not be state sanctioned, and certainly advertising wouldn't be allowed (I am actually repelled by the averts for the various gambling establishments that have recently been allowed on British TV). However, in order to be consistent, since I think that drug-use should be legalised and brought within the remit of the State because it is an aspect of freedom,* and because it reduces harm to those indulge, then I logically have to accept the legalisation of gambling.

*Unlike libertarians, I don't think that freedom resides in being free to die at the hands of someone less scrupulous than you.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Cojones but

"Did he have a hidden earpiece, going to he loo a lot or was he taking calls on his mobile?" I was wondering that, too. Getting the information was relatively straightforward, if complex in practice. Relaying that information is the real trick. I doubt the old "hearing aid" trick wouldn't work, not when money was being lost hand over fist, and surely the casino has those private suites screened from radio anyway (if they don't, then they may well have to show it isn't negligent failure). I am intrigued ...

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National Security Letters ruled unconstitutional

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Damn constituion @YAAc

"- it's a pity we don't have any judges that are independant." I can't decide if you are trying to be ironic with that comment, but I downvoted you just in case you aren't. There is absolutely *NO* (did I emphasise that sufficiently?) that the UK judiciary as a whole are anything other than independent of government and Parliament in terms of their judgments. There have been some questions as to their politics, being white male barristers for so long, but, if you had any clue about English Legal History, certainly over the last 50 years, you will find that ministers have regularly criticised the judiciary because decisions went against what the government of the day wanted.

Note that I do not speak of the future - the new Court structures, and the potential for "affirmative action" to hurry people who are not white males into judicial positions raises the spectre of political interference and a more tractable judiciary - and I do have serious worries about where we are going.

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Googlification of Britain: Forget 'IT worker', we're all just 'digital' now

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: From CIO to CPO and Emporer's clothes @taxman

"BUT AT WHAT COST AND WILL THE PUBLIC AND BUSINESS FIND IT OF USE???"

This is one of the things I find head-bangingly irritating about the current crop of civil-servants: they don't ever try to dress it up as "This is how it is going to help you/make your life better/[whatever]", where "you" is the person on the Clapham omnibus. People are willing to overlook a lot if they perceive they are getting some benefit from it - that is why Google etc are so successful. There would almost certainly be ID cards already had they focussed on "This is how it makes [insert market research determined point] easier/better for you". The same with this. I'll leave it for fellow commentators to decide whether the overriding reason is: a) arrogance; b) cluelessness; c) something else; d) all of the previous.

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New nuke could POWER WORLD UNTIL 2083

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What about the oil barons??

As I read somewhere else this week, there are no "oil companies" any longer - they are "energy companies". It will ultimately make no difference to them - they will still make money providing the thing that civilisation runs on - electricity.

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HEAVILY ARMED SEX CRAZED DOLPHINS on RAMPAGE in Black Sea

Intractable Potsherd
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Happy

Re: Soon to be seen at a nearby fishing trawler ...

Shurely, "Your haddock or your life?", or, if that's a bit too land-based, "Arrrr, mateys, your fish are mine!" (Though the latter probably needs a parrot and and an eye-patch, which would just be silly ...)

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IT chiefs choose Choose-YOD over full fat BYOD for now

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: BYOD? No Thanks

Work computer for work things, my computer for my things. Never the twain shall meet ...

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Czechs check cheques, reject £680m 4G auction

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Prague rocks

It's true - I keep trying to get my wife to agree to us moving there,but she is glad to see the back of the corruption and Soviet-era inefficiency in all areas, not just bureaucracy, and concept of "service" is unknown (she nearly had a fit when we went to a place popular with Czech walkers and canoeists, and found that the cafe was shut despite there being many willing customers, and the owner clearly in the house at the back. Apparently, he has never opened on Sundays in September ...)

However, back on topic - I haven't had time to put my dodgy translation skills to the test on the Czech newspapers yet, but it is entirely possible that "being sensible" is only a side-effect of bribery by someone. It would not be unlikely that the prices were getting too high for [favoured company], and so the bidding process is going to be withdrawn and rejigged to benefit [favoured company]. This happens a lot, but Czech journos usually get to the bottom of it -true freedom of the press does still exist there, and they take full advantage of it.

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How UK gov's 'growth' measures are ALREADY killing the web

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Conspiracy to steal?

" ... should [this] be construed as conspiracy to steal{?]" No, we are taking about breach of copyright, not an offence under the Theft Acts. How long will it take to get that message through???/

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Intractable Potsherd
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Some win, some lose - that's the way of the world.

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EU mulls almost-anonymisation of folks' data to cut biz some slack

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: carp

Proper pseudonymisation would involve giving new identifier for each session. Very few organisations need to know who is visiting their site every time. Of course, true pseudonymisation is the same as anonymisation, because there is no way to aggregate data. That is what the EU should be aiming for - there should be a set of requirements that must be met before anonymisation can be routinely breached, and "because our business depends on it" would not be sufficient.

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En Garde! Villagers FIGHT OFF FRENCH INVASION MENACE

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: 35 Kms

Actually, whilst I agree entirely with what you say, "Are you serious" AC, I do still convert to miles per gallon for my car's fuel consumption. It just means more to me than litres per 100km, plus it's easier to do the conversion in my head from litres > gallons than miles > km.

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There's cling-ons on the starboard bow! Trekkies' wallets under attack

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Still surprised...

"... specially if it had the authentic sounds when someone rang you and you answered!" Perhaps I will regret posting this, but my phone (and the one I had before) does - I used the sound files from the Star Trek Sound Effects album.

Yes - I'm very sad. I'll be going now ...

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New Apple TV may hint at Apple-Samsung divorce

Intractable Potsherd
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Unhappy

Re: I had to check if the sky was falling

Yep - that stood out so much that I thought I had been transported to a different, saner reality, and was about to check how the world had progressed without Thatcher and Reagan, and how many colonies we had on other planets ... then I read on, and found that it was all a lie, and that I am still stuck in this variation of reality.

Bastards ...

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Self-healing chips survive repeated LASER BLASTS

Intractable Potsherd
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True, AC, but for the sort of space exploration we are doing at the moment, time is not of the essence. Since anything that breaks on the various rovers and surveyors is going to stay broken with current tech, this means that a mission can be resumed after the self-healing has taken place.

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1 in 7 WinXP-using biz bods DON'T KNOW Microsoft is pulling the plug

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Who needs Microsoft Support for XP anyway?

The problem from Microsoft's side is that XP is just about very good. That is the advantage of having something that has developed and responded to changes over time. People have had the chance to get to know it, discover the problems, and take them out. XP is probably one of the best OSes out there because of this (leaving aside the argument about whether it is inherently flawed because of admin/root access - that's a different thing for another day).

Look, I don't go for the new shiny-shiny ever. I changed to XP from WIn98 only after it had been out for several years (sometime after SP2, but before SP3), and I think that's because I bought a computer with it on. I have only just moved from XP on one of my machines because it came with Vista (and what a heap of shit that is!) I may try finding an evaluation copy of Win7 to see if that is better, but I may well go back to XP, if the drivers are available (ThinkPad X61). What I won't do is run Linux - MS Word is the de facto standard for my bit of work, and I cannot have formatting and word-counts fucked up by the FOSS offerings (OK, I know - technically, it is Word that does the fucking up, but whatever).

Oh, and cars - I've never bought one new even when I could have afforded it. The newest I've ever bought was six years old, because I want to know what the problems are and how to fix them. I'm currently running a car that is closer to twenty years old than ten, and which I've had for 7 years old. Reliability counts to some people, and that is why XP will be around for a long time.

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BAN SMUT, rage MEPs: Purpose of internet must be EXTERMINATED

Intractable Potsherd
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Facepalm

Re: So, uhm...

Well, yes, of course, because by degrading her/himself, s/he is degrading EVERYONE ELSE!!! In fact, s/he is worse than the watchers, a traitor to wo/men!!! S/he must be punished to set an example to others who have wrong views.

(We still need a sarcasm icon.)

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Congratulations, freetards: You are THE FIVE PER CENT

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: One reason why...

From your spelling ("favor"), I suspect you mean "... their releations [sic] with the USA will continue to deteriorate." To which I reply, "Who should really care?"

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Microsoft backs law banning Google Apps from schools

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

As Steve Knox says, all Google will do is make a version of their apps that comply with the law, and then give them away anyway. Merely using the apps will be enough to keep children wanting to use them because that is what they are used to - and it is exactly what Microsoft have been doing for years. That is why Microsoft are upset - there really is competition to their de facto monopoly of educational software at last.

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Bacon sarnies can kill: Official

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Re:cavemen? @ Matin Budden

I have tried vegetarian diet twice in my life, for about two years each time. Despite following all the guidelines to ensure no lack of key nutrients, both times I was lethargic, bad-tempered, unable to think properly, and constantly hungry despite cramming loads of food in (far more than I would on a meat diet). There was a noticeable improvement on the days I had e.g. a bacon buttie when going on a rally.

I know a datum of one isn't anything, but it does tend to suggest that your "all vegetarians are super-healthy and it is the only way forward for everyone" is - shall we say "hyperbolic"?

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BRITAIN MUST DECLARE WAR on Cervinaean menace

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I notice,

Yes, but ... the whole point about the horse-in-other-meat problem is that their clearly wasn't an effective system monitoring where meat came from. The only thing you can say is that some of the farmed meat you ate had a valid certificate.

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Oz Senator says Google Glass could 'end privacy as we know it'

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Witchburner

And your point is ...?

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Viv Reding attacks 'scaremongers' opposing her draft Data Protection bill

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: And in the red corner

I understand what you are saying, but I really don't want Data Protection decided by the numpties who would tell everything for the chance to get entered into prize draw for the chance to win a £10 voucher for iTunes. I value my personal information highly, and I want my opinion to be valued higher than a teenager brought up on Facebook, thank you very much.

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Safety authorities to hold hearings into Boeing 787's battery woes

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: A couple of problems

I noticed the difficulty the firefighters had removing the battery - "Firefighters reported that removing the battery was difficult because a metal kick shield installed in front of the battery prevented them from accessing the

battery’s quarter-turn quick disconnect knob. Also, the quick disconnect knob could not be turned because it was charred and melted."

Even if the knob hadn't melted, it was not "quick release" because some numpty had put put a sheet of metal in front of it! So, poor battery, and poor design of safety - what else is there waiting to be discovered?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Sacrifice some weight

The more this goes on, the more likely the Dreamliner is going to end up with the same fate as the DeHavilland Comet. Once trust is gone, it will not come back. Airbus 800 will become the airliner of choice, and Boeing will reprise DeHavilland's role as loser. Karma's a bitch ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Technically, you are correct; it was the "APU battery", fitted quite a long way from the APU itself. However, this seems a bit tautologous, because any power unit without a source of power is just "a unit". For the purposes of most people, a "power unit" is the battery or brick with a cord.

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No M&S vouchers for CSC staff as awards scrapped to save costs

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: So How Many...

If the company is in such dire straits that they need to cut out good-will gestures with trivial financial value, then there is far more to worry about than the actual cutting. As someone else mentioned above, morale will take a nose-dive, which will reduce the overall effectiveness of the workers, and thus the company. One would hope that a company that does this really does see this as a very serious step, and takes a great deal of effort to keep the staff on-side. That doesn't seem to have happened here, so I'd say that management are running the company into the ground for some stupid reason (hopes of more government money on the basis of the NHS contract?), which won't work because the damage will already be done.

Quite simply, if you are company that has made an issue out of recognising and rewarding excellence, you cannot lightly go back on it.

Oh, and HR was mentioned - they would have done better getting rid of anyone claiming to "work" in HR and related "activities". Morale would go up, and they'd save a fortune in wages, efficiency, and worn-out chairs.

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PC World ordered to rip up promo for next-day repair promise

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: How is PC world still in business? @ Rob Moir

I don't understand the reference - I have never had any trouble with Maplin (not "Maplins" - that's a holiday camp in an old, crap TV comedy), and I've used them all over the country. The staff are always friendly, knowledgeable and low-pressure. Stuff is rarely out of stock, and their prices are no more than I would expect for the "bricks-and-mortar" surcharge.

Disclaimer: I have no connection to Maplin other than being a satisfied customer.

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Dotcom plans Mega IPO as case grinds on

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: WTF?

This is definitely a misuse of the closed-hearing. It is not something that should be done in a country claiming to value the rule of law. This is a case of alleged copyright infringement, not one involving the risk of people's lives, the outing of intelligence agents, or military secrets. I really cannot work out WTF the NZ court is playing at ... is someone worried Hollywood won't film any more Tolkein adaptations there if they don't toe the US line?

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Megaupload extradition bid - Feds WON'T have to hand in their evidence

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: It's not about justice, OK?

Extradition absolutely should require all the evidence available. To remove someone from one country to another for trial is far from trivial. Whilst KD is familiar with the US system of law (note: I didn't say "justice"), many extraditions, or for people who have never even been to the US.

All extradition hearing should follow these basic rules:

a) evidence must be shown that satisfies the courts in the accused's country of domicile that a crime has been committed that would carry a sentence of imprisonment of more than 5 years according to that country's sentencing guidelines

and

b) that there are exceptional reasons why the case can not be tried in the accused's country of domicile.

c) if the alleged crime isn't on the books of the county of domicile, then there is no case to answer anyway.

Even if the treaty doesn't specify this, judges should work to these rules in order to protect individuals. OK, it might give some people "stay out of jail" card fro the small(!) price of moving to a different country, and it probably favours the rich, but that's the way the law works.

I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide what to do with charges brought by the International Criminal Court.

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Judge slashes Apple's pile o' cash Samsung judgment

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Obligatory

Nope - at least in British English the correct spelling is "judgment" in this context - i.e. a decision handed own by a judge. El Reg is a British site, so the spelling is absolutely correct.

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HGST: Nano-tech will double hard disk capacity in 10 years

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Downvoted for stating the bleeding obvious?

Yes - I worry that manufacturers might see Flash drives as a way of putting effectively time-limited storage into devices, and this making them consumables that need to be replaced, and therefore generate revenue. In my many years of computing, I have never had a hard-drive fail on me, and one that is at least 15 years old still resides in my desktop, functioning happily.

(Of course, now I've gone and put the jinx on things, and every HD I own will pack up in 5 ... 4 ... 3...

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Sergey Brin emasculated after HORROR smartphone disaster

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: New Balls Please @ Ted Treen

"... she might have had a lucky escape if he finds a gizmo more interesting than a human being." I understand the sentiment, but I know some people who aren't as interesting as blank sheet of A4, let alone a new gadget.

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Squillionaire space tourist offers oldsters a holiday to Mars

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Radiation roulette with the goolies?

Which bit of "elderly couple ... beyond child-bearing age" didn't you understand? That makes the lucky pair clearly not Darwin Award candidates.

Down vote for lack of comprehension.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Not for me..

Does anyone else thank that any man whose wife says "Yes" to this is lucky beyond all telling?

I don't often resent my wife, but just at the moment I really do.

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