* Posts by Number6

1448 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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ICANN CEO criticizes domain 'hoggers'

Number6
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Not for Profit

Well, if ICANN is not for profit then clearly they have to spend all the money that comes in, hence the execs getting paid lots and having big travel budgets.

Mine's the one with the fee-reduction plan in the pocket.

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Number6
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I have an Asterisk PBX controlling my landline (and a bit of VoIP too). The general principle is that it looks up incoming CLI in a database and anything marked as a scammer gets answered with a recorded message (the 'weasels' one, for those who know Asterisk) and it hangs up, all without ringing the house phone. Very efficient. I also wrote a little app for the PC that logs all calls and pops up a little message from the system tray with the number and the results of the database lookup, so if it's a known wanted number, it'll be clear that I probably ought to answer the phone, otherwise I plug the number into Google to see who it is while the answerphone deals with the call itself.

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Then there were 3: Another UK mobile network borged ...

Number6
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Range v Capacity

Lower frequencies may well help reduce the number of cells required by having longer range, but the other issue is capacity. For that, you need lots of small cells so the number of users per cell remains low. At this point it's easier to use the higher frequencies because they don't propagate as far and the antenna arrays are smaller and more manageable.

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OTHER EARTHS may be orbiting our Sun beyond Neptune

Number6
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Re: Can't comment on trans-Pluto objects

Sorry, no naked eyes (or any other body part) are allowed around the Sun any more. They stopped all that.

One has to be careful where one puts heavenly bodies now.

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Want an Internet of Stuff? Not so 4K-ing fast ... yet – Akamai

Number6
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Re: Caching stats

If it's just store stuff then it might be genuine, I don't see the need to fill my Android phone with loads of apps, just the few I actually use. Perhaps those who use iPhones are more likely to download loads of apps. It may also be that the Apple ecosystem is perceived as safer, or that the users are less concerned about apps that want all sorts of privacy-invading permissions (or are not told about them in the same way as for Android). I have on a few occasions gone to install an app, seen what access it demands and then not installed it because I don't see why it needs those privileges.

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‘Whatever happened to Vladimir Putin?’ and other crap New Year prophesies

Number6
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Re: re. "... the Moon entering Uranus ..."

Wheezing is the wrong response, a good, forceful fart will prevent blockage.

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Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

Number6
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At least you were testing it.

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Demon Internet goes TITSUP: Outage borks ancient ISP

Number6
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Re: Have they sorted out their billing yet?

Having been told by its four predecessors about the network, it probably wanted to retrieve the Cat-5 cable.

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UNDER A VEST: Man cuffed for smuggling 94 iPhones strapped to his body

Number6
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Underwear

I always thought the iPhone was pants.

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This $10 phone charger will wirelessly keylog your boss

Number6
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Wires FTW

I knew there was a good reason why I much prefer wired keyboards and mice. And wired rather than wifi network links. I have to admit I haven't checked for a wired keylogger this week yet though.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Number6
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Already Broken?

So if TLS is allowed, presumably they can already read it so we'll be allowed to continue.

All it needs is for all mail servers outside the UK to be reconfigured to insist on secure comms or fail and suddenly a lot of the UK's important business will dry up or revert back to fax machines.

And what about my Android phone, on which I've enabled encryption so even if PC Plod confiscates it, he still won't be able to read it without my knowledge?

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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

Number6
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Re: Push-to-talk latency

What's wrong with putting an audible tone in the software when the thing is ready to transmit on the network?

You've got it backwards according to how most people would react - the tone should be there until communication is established so that when it goes quiet, they're free to speak, just as happens in normal conversation.

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Tesco preps for Big Data Engine dump: Laters, Clubcard dev

Number6
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Re: Customer Service

I still don't get why we don't have the system that every continental place I have been has which is to have a splitter at the checkout and the checkout operator is happily shifting the next person's items through while you are packing yours.

Not common, but I have seen such checkouts in the UK in the past.

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Number6
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Re: Customer Service

Yep, its almost like a challenge for their staff to throw your shopping down the checkout as fast as possible so it all piles up and then sit there tutting at you, while you try to find the room to pack it.

I always thought that was part of the fun, proving you were good enough to pack faster than they could scan. This includes having several bags and doing some basic sorting so you know where all the frozen stuff is for ease of handling when you get the shopping home. Confuses hell out of the checkout staff in the US when I automatically start packing my own bag now. It is a lot faster than having it all checked through and then packed (usually pretty carefully) by the same person while the queue builds up.

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4K off, Google Fiber: Comcast, Broadcom tout 2Gbps cable

Number6
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Using "Comcast" and "High Speed" in the same sentence is a bit of an oxymoron. They don't have a very good reputation around here for bandwidth. You may have a 50Mbit/s link from your cable modem into their system, but then you're contending for the same bit of wet string as everyone else to actually connect to anything else, even a YouTube video is unwatchable at peak times so 4K is a pipe dream.

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It's 2015 and ATMs don't know when a daughterboard is breaking them

Number6
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Re: First rule

The same "Braclay's" that in 2015 still insist you fill in a paying in slip for any amount or type of deposit!

That must be branch-related. Last time I deposited a cheque (might even have been late 2013), I just handed over the cheque and they got the account details from my ATM card.

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Number6
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Re: First rule

Most of what I need from a bank I can do on-line, the only times I've been in a UK bank branch over the past five years were to pay in a cheque (which I could probably have put in the post) and to close an account ("Leaving the country" is a real good reason to give and stops most customer-retention pitches in their tracks).

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Brit iPad sellers feel the pain of VAT-free imports

Number6
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That is as it should be, given the economies of scale associated with bringing in a large number of item. Of course, had you not been unlucky and your particular shipment had gotten through without being spotted by HMRC, you'd have been up on the deal. No doubt some other buyers did slip through the net.

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Doctor Who's tangerine dream and Clara's death wish in Last Christmas

Number6
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Danny Pink

So is he really dead? I would quote Rory as a precedent here, he did die on several occasions but kept bouncing back. Pink ended up in a place where he was able to make a choice to send back the boy instead of him, which implies that wherever it is may well appear in a later episode for him to be rescued. The clue is in the meeting with his offspring. Chances are he'll reappear in Clara's last appearance with the Doctor, so she can settle down with him.

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HP breaks for Xmas week - aka 'staff hols' - source

Number6
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Extra Vacation

I remember in the good old days(tm) when my company introduced a mandatory Christmas shutdown, they also gave us an extra five days paid time off with the proviso that the company reserved the right to dictate when we could take them. The festive period normally used up three of those, occasionally four, and as most people took the time off anyway, it was a net gain.

Of course, back then, employee welfare and benefits were taken into account. Perhaps if HP and others were to do that again, they'd get more motivated employees and they'd do a bit better.

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El Reg's festive dating app guide, Pt. 2: The FEMALE perspective

Number6
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Re: Online works

I met mine on-line when I wasn't searching, we just happened to have a mutual friend. She was on another continent, so clearly nothing was ever going to happen so we were both just ourselves rather than trying to be the person we though the other one wanted. That was over sixteen years ago, we've been married for fifteen, and a lot of paperwork submitted to the immigration people (it was much easier back then).

Those were the days of dial-up internet too, before it went unmetered, so my phone bill was horrendous with all the time chatting and the international phone calls (no Skype either).

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Freedom of Info at 10: Tony Blair's WORST NIGHTMARE

Number6
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Public by Default

It should be written into all contracts for supplying services to public bodies that the full terms and conditions of the contract shall be made public, normally within a month of the start of the contract. If a supplier prefers not to have contract terms made public then they can just choose not to bid.

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Solar-powered bra maker suffers 20,000 TITSUPs all at once

Number6
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Re: Hunh?

I was thinking it was more TITSDOWN than TITSUP, too.

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Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

Number6
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Re: Good article

Personally I think Google are doing law enforcement a favour. If it's illegal to buy prescription drugs over the internet in the US then it should be trivial for law enforcement to use Google to search for such sites. If the sites are overseas then they can go to the courts in the countries concerned and request a court order to be able to go through the books of said companies and extract the details of all the US residents who have done business with them. Of course, this means doing it through proper legal channels, which I understand is not always popular.

One could also ask why prescription drugs cost so much in the US that it is cheaper to get them from elsewhere. Who's being ripped off here?

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Beware of merging, telcos. CHEAPER SPECTRUM follows

Number6
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Re: We all paid for Brown's auction

We all ended up paying for Brown's auction.

We all ended up paying for pretty much anything he did. All those complicated little taxes to generate red tape. I didn't see any improvement in anything provided by the state to account for the hike in taxes, so where did it all go?

About the only thing he was worse at than being Chancellor was being Prime Minister.

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Misfortune Cookie crumbles router security: '12 MILLION+' in hijack risk

Number6
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Re: ZoneAlarm advert?

To be fair, I don't know how many embedded devices have the hardware to do deep packet inspection. My Drobo doesn't. And it would probably murder battery life on a mobile. CheckPoint can't fix that.

An embedded device doesn't need to do deep packet inspection, it just needs to only respond to what it's supposed to handle and to safely reject everything else. If you send it a packet that is too long then the network stack should discard it without overrunning a buffer, if you send a malformed packet of suitable length then the application should correctly parse it and throw out anything that doesn't make sense. Many flaws are there because the software writer was lazy, or didn't think of all the corner cases and handle them. It was many years before people even really thought about deliberate malicious attacks on software, much error-handling was intended to deal with benign mistakes.

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Number6
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Re: ZoneAlarm advert?

So how do I install ZoneAlarm PRO on all the non-PC devices on my LAN? And will it conflict with iptables where I've got that installed? Perhaps they need to produce ZoneAlarm Fridge or similar...

As far as I know the latest OpenWRT isn't going to be vulnerable and that's what I have protecting my system, having switched the cable modem to bridge mode with my own router behind it.

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Yes, Obama has got some things wrong on the internet. But so has the GOP

Number6
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VATMOSS

The US only needs to watch what happens with the EU's foray into imposing VAT on all cross-border on-line transactions.

Then drop the idea like a hot coal.

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Number6
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Re: Common sense

If they really must have taxes on on-line sales, do it at a federal level at a nominal fixed rate and then split up the proceeds between the states. They can spend the next decade or so arguing whether it ought to be done on the basis of relative population, equally between states or try to determine which states spend the most. If they ever get agreement they can implement it. Then each state can decide whether to keep hold of the money or repeat the process and distribute it down the tax tree. All of that should keep it safely in the long grass for many years.

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Number6
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Re: Taxes; it's not that simple.

Any time one of my US friends mentions 1776 and Independence, I point out that after successfully objecting to British taxes, they then came up with the IRS, so I reckon that Britain got the last laugh.

Then there's this lark of taxing their citizens anywhere in the world, a practice followed by very few other tinpot regimes.

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Number6
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Re: Oh, the republicans think, AC ...

But corporations are people too...

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

Number6
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Re: Two words...

That's the one I was thinking of, too.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Number6
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Icons?

You put all that work into a new look for the site and didn't add more icons for us commentards to use? Shame!

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This week it rained in San Francisco and the power immediately blew out. Your tech utopia

Number6
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Re: Still Going

Understandable, because the people there now will probably not like whatever displaces them over the next twenty years. My original comments were based on conversations with people who lived there twenty years ago, some of whom still live there, others moved away and are now back in the area.

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Number6
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Still Going

It started raining about twelve hours ago and it's still falling. Makes me feel like I'm back in England :-)

SF is a pale shadow of what it was twenty years ago, caused in part by the way the locals were pushed out by the influx of well-paid tech people overpaying for houses, either buying or renting. There are articles on the web that explain how the short-sighted policies of San Francisco and other cities in the Bay Area are making it worse.

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Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

Number6
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Re: What if someone uses it to download copyrighted movies or child porn?

I have my modem in bridge mode talking to my own router/access point. The modem still appears to have its own IP address 67.something, whereas the IP address of my router is 50.something. I am guessing that if the public wifi is still functional with the modem in bridge mode, it's going to be using the 67.something IP.

If all else fails I can put the modem in a biscuit tin with a couple of mesh-covered holes for ventilation.

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Must diarise: UK.gov Verify ID system will 'definitely' work by 2016

Number6
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Re: there is no delay to its 2016 target

In other news, 2016 has been postponed for two years. After 2015 we will have 2015A and 2015B.

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How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Number6
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Re: Reminds me of a post-"training" form we were asked to fill in...

I got sent on a training course once, for budget reasons - the project was running out of money but there was some in the training budget. I complained about it being a total waste of time but they still sent me anyway.

I remember filling in the post-course form:

1. What did you expect to learn from this course? Nothing.

2. What did you learn from this course? Nothing.

Another time, as part of a drive to remove dodgy software from the company we were going to be given proper Word Perfect licenced copies, except we were told that company rules stated we had to attend a training course first. Note that at this point the team had been using WP for several months, writing various proposals and requirements specifications and were pretty competent at it. We looked at what the course was supposed to teach us and pointed out to the engineering manager that we all knew all of that. However, rules are rules, and he insisted we had to go do the course. Then he found out that it was going to be charged to his overhead budget and suddenly we didn't.

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Number6
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Happy with Airport Security

Be very careful about pressing the Pissed Off button at airport security. If too many people start expressing unhappiness with the process we'll have another ratchet up on the War On Terror so they can point to all the precautions they are taking and how they are all justified because of this.

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BOFH: Santa, bloody Santa

Number6
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Re: Wonderful, just great

There was the kid who asked his mother how Santa Claus managed to be in every shop, so his mother had to explain about subordinate Clauses.

Mine's the one with the grammar guide in the pocket.

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FCC puts AT&T and Comcast gobbles back on the table

Number6
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Resale

While not saying it should go ahead or not, if the FCC do approve the Comcast/TWC merger, they ought to require a separation of retail and wholesale, along the lines of what happened to BT in the UK. Added to this, the wholesale side should be required to sell broadband access to independent ISPs, again in the manner of BT. They should be required to provide what they sell, so a 50Mbit pipe should be capable of delivering 50Mbit from the ISP's end point to the subscriber and not slow down at peak times due to congestion on the Comcast network. Obviously if the ISP has crap throughput then that's between the ISP and its customers. A regulator with a big stick should oversee all of this to make sure that faults don't mysteriously affect only non-Comcast customers.

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Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming

Number6
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Re: Bluetooth and planes...

You're probably supposed to. You can't switch the watch off, but you can turn off Bluetooth.

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Number6
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Re: EU Price difference

That can be made up from differential transport costs to Europe compared to the US, different import duty and the fact that if you compare the pre-VAT price with the US price it's a lot closer. In a lot of places the US price gets bumped up by sales tax - over here the price on the tag doesn't include tax so you always have to remember to add that when working out what it will really cost you. So you're not being ripped off by quite as much as you might think at first sight.

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Number6
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Re: +1 for a Pebble here!

Quality Control is a little hit & miss. My first Pebble lasted 3 months, before failing to charge properly.

Mine does that occasionally, it turned out in my case to be that the charger connector wasn't making a good connection with the phone, possibly due to grease on the contacts. Provided I make sure it really is charging then it's OK.

I've had mine almost a year now, it was a gift last December. Once I finally got around to upgrading my phone from an old HTC Wildfire S, the watch got to be far more useful.

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systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Number6
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What is systemd

I've seen plenty of arguments about whether it's a bad thing or not. Is there a good article on the web that details what it is and how it's supposed to work? (And how I'm supposed to hack it if I want to?)

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UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD

Number6
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Doesn't have to be three...

Technically it isn't a three-point turn. When I took the test it was "turn the car around, using the forward and reverse gears". There was nothing in the rules to say it had to only be three points, you could take more provided you did it in a safe manner. I always wondered what would happen if someone started by reversing, in theory you could do it in two.

The road on which I did mine was almost wide enough for a U-turn, but that might have been a way of apologising for the reverse-around a corner bit which was up a steep hill backwards to the turn, then down a steep hill having made the turn. This was followed by another couple of steep hill starts to get back on to the main road.

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Number6
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Re: Old Style?

I learned to distrust computer navigation a long time ago. I was playing with a copy of Autoroute, asking it for routes to places I'd been, so I could see how it compared with my choices. One of those was Southend, which apparently is in Scotland. Southend-on-Sea is the one in Essex. Ever since then, whenever I've needed to follow directions from Satnav, I've always checked them in advance on a map to make sure I agree with them. Mostly I print out an overview map and a local street map courtesy of Google and do the rest from memory. That works unless there's an unexpected event such as a traffic accident that forces me to divert from my memorised route.

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Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU

Number6
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Re: First Amendment ?

I assume this is one reason why Google tell people when they've had a link blocked, so that it is not done quietly and behind closed doors. The other would be that by drawing attention to it, the Streisand Effect may well discourage people from requesting blocks.

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BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?

Number6
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Re: Dopp

You have to put a couple of characters on each page, otherwise someone can just collect the paper from the output bin and re-use it. Although a mostly blank stack with an occasional rude word or image does appeal.

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

Number6
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Re: Other issues

You can do anything you want in the Land of the Free, provided you've got the appropriate permit.

I can understand some of the restrictions, it is an earthquake zone after all, but there are a lot of petty little things thrown in as well.

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