* Posts by Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

398 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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France says NON! to UberPop: New law to kill off amateur cabs

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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The French have no word for entrepreneur...

The French have an odd situation whereby many trades, from plumbers to chemists to lawyers, have their own State protected trade bodies, keeping wages artificially high for their members. I can't see them liking this too much.

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TalkTalk customers demand opt-out fix for telco's DNS ad-jacking tactics

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Don't mess with DNS

Intercepting ones browsing session in order to insert adverts is the height of bad manners. Especially when you're paying for the experience.

OpenDNS do the same thing, but to be fair to them, it's in lieu of providing a free DNS/content filtering service (if you're that way inclined you can block their ad page at the router, giving you the original "failed" ad-free experience).

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Sony Pictures hit by 'fightback on filesharers' DDoS claims – report

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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They've got form, remember the "rootkit on the CD" debacle.

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: The Danish legal system must be retarded to have 75 year copyright

I think that's basically to protect Paul McCartney.

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Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Juristiction?

Does a Danish court have any authority over a British website?

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Assange's WikiLeaks: Give generously this Xmas – for STATUE of our DEAR LEADER

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: My Lord, I have a cunning plan

Apparently Baldrick was right - Bronzy is quite similar to Irony.

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Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Well, to give them credit, they've managed to make donating to the Donkey Sanctuary look like a pretty reasonable thing to do.

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Blu-ray region locks popped by hardware hacker

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: And they wonder why we pirate?

Fascinating insight into the mind of a serial copyright abuser, thanks.

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

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Hope they win.

The lawyers will win.

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Huawei: 'Nobody made any money in Windows Phone'

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Android for business?

"I, for one, cannot understand why any business would invest in an Android phone."

mm. Dunno. What's the support like for sending mail attachments in WP8.1?

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Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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"Uncomfortably Invasive"

I tried to prevent my Lumia 1020 from synching to their cloud. Changed all the settings to "do not sync". Set the server location to 127.0.0.1. Then one day was poking around on MS Live on my PC after posting a question about the fact that the speech to text facility appears to have selective deafness.

"My Contacts - None". Check.

"My Calendar Items - None". Check.

But there in the OneNote section - smugly staring back at me was a note I had entered into my phone, as if to say, "So who's the smartass now?"

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Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Password Safe for me.

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Amazon’s CHRISTMAS QUEUEING bonanza!

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Pint

great...

The Post Office? Not known primarily for its late night opening hours. I think I'll pass.

I'm not saying where they should be looking to deliver parcels, but there's a hint in the icon.

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Let's vote on breaking up Google, say MEPs with NO power to do any such thing

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Biting the hand that feeds you...

I think if I were Google I'd be tempted to put a few strategically placed "deny from" statements in my Apache config files. The corresponding 403 error page would say something suitably acerbic, maybe:

"Here at Google we have started employing the same fine discernment in choosing our users as in selecting our results. Sadly you did not make the cut. Please download a copy of webferret circa 1998 which we're sure will suit your requirements just fine."

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Amazon warming up 'cheapo web video' cannon to SINK Netflix

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Two questions..

Will it run on Linux?

Will it be as good as GeekTV?

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Speaking as a former forklift driver who worked both daytimes and evenings in the snow and rain, to be frequently told at the end of my shift to jump in a 7.5 tonne lorry and do a York to Tamworth run, I have a lot of sympathy with these guys. I'm reading a lot of comments on here such as "so educate yourself", "move house", or "get a better job". Having done all of the above, I'm probably more qualified than many to make such comments. But out of respect for former colleagues and because I try not to be an arrogant smug git I think I'll refrain.

Sure, you might get the odd driver who, in true Will Smith "Persuit of Happyness" style, lands a job with Facebook. But this only fixes the issue for him. There's a lot of very cash poor and time poor workers in the US (UK too), and a few very rich executives who have no idea how the other half live.

To my mind, that's not a happy situation, but not one that is going to be rectified by Unionisation or Socialism (I don't want an all-powerful State enforcing "equality of poverty").

Maybe the answer is just to treat people better. Take a small hit on the bottom line and also treat your staff with dignity and respect.

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You know where Apple Pay is getting used a LOT? Yes - McDonalds

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Figures

I waited at the door for a few minutes and left when nobody came to show me to a table.

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DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Yep, that happened to my mum with BT. We asked them to take my dad's name off the joint bill and they cut her off just as she was trying to arrange the funeral. Took them best part of 10 days to get it fixed, with nothing but arrogant staff on the other end of the line. When the line came back she locked into a new 12 month contract. Long since dropped them.

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Million Mask March: Anonymous' London Guy Fawkes protest a damp squib

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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We came, we saw, we wandered around for a bit in the cold...

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BBC clamps down on ILLICIT iPlayer watchers

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Sad...

I understand the Beeb's reluctance to sanction tools like get_iplayer, but I think it's misplaced. It's really not hurting anyone. I've found it very handy in the past, not as a pirate or filesharer, but just as someone who forgot to record something, and would like to simply watch and delete it on my own time.

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UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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@Ledswinger

That whole episode was one dodgy day for democracy, wasn't it?

Not saying the noble Lord took a bung or anything, but...

A few years from now, when the energy shortages are really kicking in, these little things are going to be the ideal way of meeting some artificial carbon emissions target. Some rich politician in a mansion house full of old fashioned lightbulbs and servants is going to instruct his minions to switch off Halifax for an hour tonight in order to deal with a drop in wind power.

You'll probably be forced to pay for your shiny new smart meter too.

Brave new world, huh?

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Lumia 830: Microsoft hopes to seduce with slim 'affordable' model

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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@ac - political system

In this analogy is Windows Phone the Liberal Democrats?

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Euro Commission drags Belgium to court over telco regulator's independence

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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I can't wait for the movie to come out.

Every now and again seemingly ordinary events conspire to create the "perfect storm" of a true to life movie script. You've got Belgium. The European Commission. Telecommunications Regulation. Postal Services.

This is going to make one kick-ass political thriller.

I really hope they cast Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in the starring roles.

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Stop ROBOT exploitation, cry striking Foxconn workers

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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I think it was Sir John Harvey Jones who said that if a job can be done cheaper and better by a robot than a person it's probably not going to be a very fulfilling job.

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Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20

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Only 20 years ago. Feels like yesterday.

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I've got a new Linux box, how does it work... WOAH, only asking :-/

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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I've used Linux as home / remote servers for years. Recently built a new home server in a nice DVD player style case as a media PC attached to the living room TV. Works well now, but problems with drivers for third party hardware and hassles with screen tearing and audio dogged the box for a while. Fortunately the webcam I attached has a decent inbuilt microphone, because I could route sound via HDMI, or onboard sound card, but not both - which kinda scuppered using it as a standalone CD player.

Setting up the remote control and wireless air keyboard thingy also required a lot of patience. Ditched CUPS as a print server when I got a new colour laser printer with built in network and tbh was glad to see the back of it. Still a little dissapointed about the lack of official support by movie streaming sites for Linux, but YouTube and most of the iPlayer type services are OK.

All in all, it enables me to do most things I want (including running the security cameras and acting as a web dev and music server). Frustrating at times, but configurable, free, and fun to learn. I've always found the forums to be helpful places, but a lot of that is down to not weighing in with your own frustrations, arrogance and sense of entitlement.

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EU competition chief goes after Amazon’s delux Lux tax deal

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: 11 years to investigate...

... that would assume that the object of the exercise is something other than keeping the Bureaucratic Classes in useless but lucrative employment at our expense for years to come. Actually getting the work done - not a priority.

My suggestion would be that Amazon set up a counter investigation into why the EU can never get its own accounts signed off by auditors. Having worked briefly in a technical role on a completely pointless and entirely wasteful EU project in the past I'd be happy to testify.

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EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report

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"In the current context of tight public budgets..."

These people need a reality check. Despite all the austerity measures, public spending in Ireland is three times what it was in 1997.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Missing the obvious test

We did a test with some fairly basic kit: A Squeezebox and a Sony amp and TDL floor standing speakers (and good quality speaker cables). 320kbps mp3 and the same track encoded to FLAC. The difference was perceptible, but not huge.

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Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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If I'm going to synchronise all four Squeezeboxes and get the house shaking to Slash's new album at high volume I might as well do it properly. I get the argument for MP3s, but it's only really relevant on the move, where storage is an issue. Hence the a nightly script to keep an MP3 mirror of the FLAC files. Best of both worlds.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone movie: report

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One to miss...

I took a girl on a date to see JFK in 1991 and things never worked out. I blame Oliver Stone. Awful movie.

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Reg bloke zips through an iPHONE 6 queue from ZERO to 60 SECONDS

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Doncaster / Scottish?

Lucky escape there - I was born in Doncaster. It was often said that they would vote for a monkey if it wore a red rosette. Little did they realise that the theory would be proved years later when Miliband junior took the seat.

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Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us

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Holmes

Re: Statement of the obvious

... Ursine defecation - woods.

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Forget bonking, have ONE OFF THE WRIST with Barclaycard's bPay

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: The BIGGEST reason for the resistance to this technology

I do the same with the HSBC account I got when I took out a mortgage with them.

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Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Which wrist do you put it on?

Number of the Beast. Right hand, or forehead.

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

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Maybe that's why they were told not to come into work...

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Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Just as my phone got 8.1

I regularly have to reboot my Lumia 1020 to get the bluetooth to work with my Ford Audio. The text message reading works OK once it's connected, but for some reason it can't hear my replies. Phone works well. Music works OK, but since the 8.1 update I have to kick it off from the actual phone - which kinda defeats the point. Also after about an hour it turns down the volume to a stupidly low level on the basis that my non-existent bluetooth headphones might be damaging my hearing. Never mind that farting around with your phone's unlock screen and volume control at motorway speeds can be pretty terminal in itself.

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Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Fair play to them - they gave it a go - it didn't work out. Sounds to me like they found the whole experience frustrating as hell. As a user, I can sympathise.

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Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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I've plumbed for a mixture of streaming and static (offsite) images. I spent £90 on three cheap IP outdoor wifi cameras, positioning them over the exterior doors and front garden. Once configured, I didn't use the built in web server at all, instead using a program called Motion on my media PC/home server to plug into the feed generated by the cameras and detect any changes in the image.

Each of these snapshots are then saved to an images directory and uploaded via SSH to a remote web server where a simple web page with a minishowcase JavaScript gallery picks up everything automatically and displays the historic stills in order. A cron job deletes everything older than 5 days old to preserve disk space.

There's also a live feed that runs from Apache on the home server, which picks up the snapshot.cgi of each camera and refreshes the images using JavaScript within the page. That way the actual web server of the camera is not exposed to the outside world.

Took a bit of fiddling about configuring the internal network, subdomains and url forwarding in Apache but it works pretty well. The idea is that you can see on the live feed if there is a problem, then trawl through the stills for the evidence. Unfortunately, the cheap cameras let the whole thing down a bit, my grass looks more purple than usual and I'm sure my bald spot looks bigger...

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Leak of '5 MEELLLION Gmail passwords' creates security flap

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Ah, that will explain the gmail I got from my mate who was stuck in Cyprus with no money, bank cards or passport...

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Govt waves stick at pirate-friendly Google search

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Meh.

Ye I remember early versions of WebFerret.

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Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Not a downloader, but my sympathies are with Google. They invent a simple product that pretty much revolutionises how we use the web and can be run with a handful of people and a shed full of servers. Suddenly, every Tom, Dick and Lapdog Politician starts feeling all entitled and Google end up spending more on lawyers and administrators than they do on tech, research and development.

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Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Was everyone born yesterday?

I doubt it. This is a narcotics case, probably domestic, probably FBI. So 1) The NSA would not deign to get involved in such pedestrian affairs and 2) The FBI would need their evidence to be obtained through the proper legal channels in order to present before a court. Probably more cock up than conspiracy, this one.

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Europe's Google wrangle: PLEASE, DOMINANT Mr Schmidt? More?

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"They also occasionally annoy people with trying to uphold EU law"

EU law - now there's a contradiction in terms.

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Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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"...A new commissioner would therefore have to get up to speed on the case, which probably wouldn't help matters."

It's true that it wouldn't help Google - they have better things to be getting on with. But the primary objective of the Commission is to perpetuate and expand their own bureaucracy. They live for this kind of stuff.

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Re: Please

Any thoughts on his behaviour re: shafting friends who loaned him £200,000 of bail money? Or maybe in his handling of the Manning defense fund?

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Russian PM's Twitter hacked to slap down Putin, post fake resignation

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I was going to make a snarky comment, but don't want to end up on the pointy end of an umbrella full of polonium-210.

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face
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Yeah but they make enough money by fining motorists who missed the 50p night parking charge.*

* Hint - it's written in gold on a black background, buried about two thirds of the way down the right hand column, somewhere between charge for boats and camels.

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Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'

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Re: I'm more impressed

Personally, I always use a good old fashioned torch when burying a body.

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Totes AMAZEBALLS! Side boob, binge-watch and clickbait added to Oxford Dictionary

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Re: Each year we get the 'new words' announcement...

There are. "Cyclogiro", "charabanc", "drysalter", "wittol", and (strangely) "aerodrome" have been removed from some dictionaries.

link

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