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* Posts by mccp

225 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight

mccp
Headmaster

Re: three times as light as

Of course - if 'as light as' is the linguistic equivalent of 'to the power of -1'. In this context, the 'three times' becomes 'three times to the power -1' or 'one third' in English. The correct inverse of 'light' is 'heavy' therefore:

'Three times as light as' == 'One third as heavy as'. QED.

This is the same lack of understanding about fractions as using multiples of 100%. I.e. 300% to mean 3x, probably because 300 is so much more impressive than 3. I believe this happens because English graduates don't understand that '300%' literally means '300 hundredths'.

I blame the government.

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Yes, Google can afford to lose $9bn in Motorola sale. But did it really?

mccp

Re: You lost me there

I'm also lost here:

"$700m a year in tax deductions from future profits"

I thought that a tax deduction was the amount that your were able to deduct from your taxable profits. In that case, you only save the tax that you would have paid on the $700M. I guess that makes the savings about 30% of what was stated.

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Virgin Galactic's supersonic space ship in 71,000-ft record smash

mccp
Boffin

The heat is not from friction

AFAIK and I'm not a rocket scientist or a physicist, I think you'll find that the heat on re-entry is generated by compression of the air in front of the aircraft, and not from anything to do with friction.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

mccp

Re: FX570 was a superb calculator

All those Casio calculators are superb - I still use my fx-39 almost daily. It was bought new for my O level maths around 1979 and it is by far the longest surviving piece of electronics that I've ever owned. In fact, I can't think of any other possession from my teenage years that I still use. I have a couple of colleagues who also have Casio calculators of a similar vintage on their desks.

Plus, it only seems to need new batteries every three or four years.

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Intel pulls up SoCs, reveals 'integrated' memory on CPUs

mccp

Re: Why ?

"Why on earth make a difference between internal and external memory ?"

So that you can make your memory-bound workloads run faster by telling your application to use the internal rather than the external memory. It's quite likely that the memory mapping will be taken care of by the compiler so that it will all work like magic for programmers who don't like complexity.

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Banknote campaigner's Twitter rape threats ordeal: Bloke, 21, cuffed

mccp
FAIL

Re: All my banknotes...

The Queen does not count as a "woman of note" as there is a difference between attainment and an accident of birth.

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Mass Sony DVR seppuku riddle: Freeview EPG update fingered

mccp

Re: Broadcast EPGs

"the broadcasters need to work on the robustness of the broadcast EPG - not everyone can achieve a perfect signal and tuners that are perfectly acceptable for viewing shouldn't need to be replaced because the EPG update requires perfection."

This is simply wrong.

The EPG is broadcast in system information tables specified by the DVB standards. It is easy enough to download copies of these either from ETSI or dvb.org.

The tables that are used for the EPG are broadcast repetitively at intervals that vary between 10 and 120 seconds. It doesn't matter one bit if your signal is dodgy, or that your installation is rubbish. In fact, there is so much redundancy and error detection in DVB signals that if you can see video you can guarantee that you will be receiving good system tables.

As is mentioned elsewhere, it is far more likely that a receiver's firmware doesn't implement the standards completely or correctly. Freeview are often at the bleeding edge of adopting the more difficult techniques that are described in the standards but are generally not used by other (less experimental) broadcasters. I suppose that may mean that STBs show up their shortcomings with Freeview more often than elsewhere.

I have written and maintain a commercial DVB stack so that's how I know this.

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Apple Time Capsule 2013: Next-gen wireless networking, anyone?

mccp

Re: Disk or disks

Discs - the Time Capsule has one, the device you're backing up has another.

Although the prices are a bit eye-watering, the Time Capsule that I have has been one of the easiest networked backup systems I've ever set up. The WiFi has also trivial (with a Virgin cable modem). I will qualify this by saying that all three clients are running OSX. So far I've used the backup to restore an iMac after a disc upgrade and a MacBook Pro after a disc failure. Both restores were trivial to run and reasonable fast over GigE.

For anyone with an OSX device who wants fit and forget networked backup the Time Capsule is a no-brainer.

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EU sets ball rolling on ominous telly spectrum review

mccp

@ Bill Ray

"It's strange to think that broadcast TV, probably the most significant technical development of a generation, will likely have an operational span of less than a human lifetime."

Even if _terrestrial_ broadcast TV is gone, it seems unlikely that satellite and cable broadcast TV won't be around for some time to come.

UHF band TV broadcasts made sense for a while in the analogue era, but arguably digital satellite broadcasts make more sense for TV (better use of available bandwidth, better coverage, more available bandwidth).

Digital terrestrial is a blip and the analogue switchover probably should have been to DVB-S and not to DVB-T. In fact, I'm struggling to think of any advantage that terrestrial TV broadcasts have over satellite.

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STEVE JOBS hits back at ebook ruckus FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

mccp

@sabroni Re: Puzzled

I've settled out of court before in a case where (a) I knew I was right and (b) I was pretty sure the court would agree with me. I settled out of court because the settlement cost me £1250 and the cost of the solicitor, barrister and lost billable time for a two day court hearing was going to be £8000+. I would not have been able to recover my costs from the other party.

In the end you realise that paying an extra £7K just so that you have a piece of paper from the court agreeing with you is not really worth it. If you're a corporation I guess that the decision is even easier.

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Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

mccp
FAIL

Re: Completely Wrong (fastmail).

I just googled Fastmail and hit the first result to go to their website (www.fastmail.co.uk).

That gave me a certificate error as their web server's certificate is for www.fastmail.fs.

This kind of puts me off using them as a mail provider.

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Life on Mars means subsisting on grim diet of turd-garden spinach

mccp
Thumb Up

@ 0laf

Just read that - so far the best cheap Kindle book I've found. It's probably worth a fiver when it's republished later this year.

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Google adds Atari Easter Egg for Breakout's birthday

mccp
FAIL

Re: Re: AH HA!

bank check != blank cheque

Doh.

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WTF is... H.265 aka HEVC?

mccp

Re: Freeview

As the article points out, you're more likely to see H.265 used to broadcast Freeview HD than Freeview 4K as you would be able to fit twice as many channels into a Freeview multiplex. In fact, the terrestrial TV broadcast frequencies are so valuable for mobile applications, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the 2019 row in your table was:

2019: Freeview switch off, viewers migrate to FreeSat.

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The Lynx effect: The story of Camputers' mighty micro

mccp

Re: Geography is a bit screwed

I think the author is being confused by a Google maps cock up.

I'm pretty sure that Camputers were in the top floor of 32 Bridge Street (Cambridge wine merchants occupy teh ground floor nowadays) which is just next to Magdalene bridge. Google seems to think that this is in fact Magdalene street (wrong side of the river) and it places 32 Bridge Street on the wrong side of the road in St Johns College. Use Street View to look at the bridge and turn to face the wine shop. I'd insert a google link if I knew how.

I used to work for an educational software publisher that moved into the offices that Camputers vacated - there was a fair amount of Lynx detritus left behind. We spent quite a few years there developing software for the BBC Micro. I seem to remember that SOS Children's Villages were on the floor below and I don't remember who occupied the retail premises on the ground floor.

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4K video may wow vidiots, but content creators see pitfalls

mccp

Vidiots is a perfectly good portmanteau word that I have been using since at least 2004 to describe those people who believe that because they watch kitten videos on YouTube, they know everything there is to know about digital video.

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Don't like your cell network? Legal unlocking ends TONIGHT in US

mccp

Re: £4 per month discount (After the contract has expired)

@ AC 10:18

T-Mob will effectively give you £20/month discount if you switch to their full monty SIM only contract, currently £16/mo unlimited calls/texts/data. When I recently looked at contract phones vs SIM only + unlocked phone it was hard to find any great difference between any of them. With a contract phone you may have the convenience of an automatic upgrade, but SIM only gets you an unlocked phone from the start.

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'Op! Op! Op!' Gangnam Style earns Google $8m

mccp

@ Jan Hargreaves

I imagine that once your songs' pages get to the hundreds of millions of views, you may be able to negotiate a higher fee per view from Google. You can bet that Google will charge more for adverts on the popular pages.

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Apple 'slashes iPhone 5 screen orders', tight-fisted fanbois blamed

mccp

@baffled

The reason for not showing lower-case key caps is probably because of Scott Forstall's adherence to skeuomorphism - the virtual iOS keyboard is made to be as alike to a real-life keyboard as possible. In the real world key caps don't change when you hit shift-lock so the iOS virtual keyboard doesn't change key caps either.

Just saying - not trying to defend it or anything.

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Kickstarted mobe charger 'kicked to death by Apple'

mccp

Re: Hmmm

Isn't the point of this standardisation to make sure that you can use a single charger with any data enabled phone and not to ensure that every phone has a uUSB connector? God forbid that uUSB is the connector technology that any standards compliant manufacturer must now use forever.

Every iPhone I've had comes with a charger with a USB type A socket on it - I can use that charger with any phone designed to use the EU common external power supply by using the relevant cable. This seems more sensible than having a charger with a fixed uUSB terminated cable.

In any case, as far as I can tell, Apple comply with the EU common external power supply standard as long as they provide a cable that will connect the iPhone to an EU EPS, which they do.

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What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

mccp

@ AndrueC

You obviously never write code that implements standards or interacts with the outside world.

Of course it shouldn't be necessary to write a comment to explain what a line of code is going to do, but I often find it necessary to write comments explaining why it is doing it. I may need to refer to a standards document or another source that I used when writing the code. Sometimes it's one sentence in an entire standard or reference manual that's important - what should I do, hope the future me remembers or that someone else is psychic enough to find that reference?

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Apple loses iPhone patent lawsuit

mccp

Re: Can I just say

Because the fat cat lawyers get fatter?

How do any of these software patent cases benefit the end user of any device?

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Stroustrup on next-gen C++: I didn't want to let go of my baby

mccp

Sounds good

I may even move away from C now that you can move a 10K x 10K array with two pointer assignments.

Oh wait, I can already do that in C.

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Review: Apple iMac 21.5in late 2012

mccp

Re: Not impressed with your review. @ Captain Underpants

That's the second comment where you have mentioned soldered on DIMMs.

To avoid any possibility of FUD there is no iMac with soldered on DIMMs. Look at the iFixit teardown (http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2544+Teardown/11936/3).

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Mother of All Whistlers: Virgin Media superhub. Listen to recordings

mccp

I can barely hear the recorded whistling from the article with the volume set to 11.

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mccp

Re: Not just the power supply

+1 for modem mode. Works well for me, I've often see >100Mbps download speeds.

I use mine with an Apple Time Capsule (802.11n WiFi router and NAS backup). Whatever you think about Apple, this has been the best router I have used and I have used many Netgear (incl. blue boxes) and LinkSys routers over the years (with Apple/PC/iPhone/Kindle & Android WiFi clients).

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Apple updates maps to remove Australia’s ghost-city in the desert

mccp

Re: It's weird how Apple get all this flak... @ Sean Timarco Baggaley

You know you can submit changes to Google Maps?

http://www.google.co.uk/mapmaker

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Review: Apple Mac Mini 2012

mccp

Apples & pears

UK price is £499 including VAT. US prices excludes all sales taxes.

$599 + 20% VAT = $719, or £449 at $1.6=£1

So there's a 10% difference. Not great, but also not the $200 you quoted.

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Tim Cook’s 'One more thing': Apple TV rumor-stoker

mccp

Re: What would I do if I was running Apple's TV project @ bigiain

It's telling that the comparison that you make shows Sky as having a better UI that your telly. Sky (UK) is a closed system where not only do they mandate the UI for a Sky (UK) STB, but they also control the broadcast and are able to include private data in the DVB SI stream.

When you compare a Sky box with a generic DVB-S/S2 receiver, there is a world of difference in usability. I have both a Sky+ box and a Humax FreeSat box. The Humax box is interesting, but it's slow and complex. It also has basic problems like I have to read small text on the remote control to be able to operate the UI - that means I need my reading glasses to see the remote, but I don't need them to see the screen.

Apple's philosophy of removing flexibility from their devices in favour of usability follows exactly the same model as the Sky box so I'll be very interested to see how well they do. Especially as in my day job I have to try and create user interfaces for network based DVB receivers.

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Apple share dive scuppers trader's alleged get-rich-quick fraud scam

mccp
FAIL

He was obviously selling them wrong.

</duck>

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Unlocked iPhone 5 on sale in US, cheaper than UK - but not cheap

mccp
FAIL

Re: Is the only difference between the models the storage amount?

There is no arguing with the fact that iPhones (all iDevices, MBPs, etc) are expensive or with the fact that Apple's price differentials between products that only differ by having larger discs, more flash, and so on is eye watering.

That's completely different to illustrating a price difference between US and UK prices by comparing a UK price including VAT with a US price that does not include sales tax. This article is simply pathetic click-bait.

To try a different comparison I just looked at Dell's US and UK site for this laptop (I haven't bothered to check the spec line by line):

Dell Latitude E6430s Premier Laptop. Dell US: $899; Dell UK: £649 + VAT = £779 = $1246

Why don't we see articles about Dell UK's gouging? Especially as their price _excluding_ VAT is 15% higher than their US price.

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Apple manufacturers: ARRGH, pesky iThings are impossible to make

mccp

@ Neil

Upvote for actually reading the article. It seems reasonable to be in profit by your second quarter to me and presumably, if they don't like losing money they will just stop making the parts.

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MIDI: 30 years old... almost

mccp

Re: "unfriendly" European hi-fi gear?

The DIN connector is the poor man's crappy chinese counterfeit Neutrik XLR.

Fixed it for you.

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Raspberry Pi daddy: Stroke your hardware at night, land a job easy

mccp

Eben Upton is offering sound advice. Hopefully the Raspberry Pi and the many imitators and accessories it inspires will bring a new wave of computing enthusiasts into the job market.

Next problem - how to solve the difficult issue of communication between employers with jobs and job hunters? It seems to me that we have to rely on recruitment agencies who offer a very variable level of expertise. I'd love to see many more direct applicants for the jobs we currently have available and I'd say to any newbie trying to get a foothold - do _not_ rely on agencies but pull your finger out and do some research yourself. I make a point of always reading a direct applicant's CV, but unsolicited 'CVs' from agencies tend to hit the junk mail filter.

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Hexing MAC address reveals Wifi passwords

mccp
Holmes

Eh?

The _default_ password on a domestic router is easy to guess.

Please could somebody let me know why this is news?

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Total APPLE DESKTOP ABSENCE set to last past XMAS - sources

mccp

Re: £120 to replace a 1Tb hard drive

And they charged me £99 to replace my ATI Radeon HD4670 256MB graphics card. Including labour and VAT. At the same time they replaced my (working) Seagate 1 TB drive because they had issued a recall for them. This was my three year old iMac - not under any warranty of any kind.

I was amazed, I expected to come out of the Apple store minus an arm and a leg.

0
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Nokia HERE iOS maps app review

mccp

Re: Wrong Luton

Mine went to Luton with the airport, but I'm near Cambridge.

HERE's satellite imagery of my current location is completely pants so I don't think I'll even try it on the phone.

1
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Apple, Spotify, Amazon: All your Cloud are belong to us, says firm

mccp

Re: errrrr there's more to a patent than its title.

I've just looked at the patent claims linked in the article.

They relate to a system where an order is remotely sent to a processing system that then records data to a CD-R and prints an address label.

1. I wrote the software for just such a system back in about 2001, the patent claims could be taken from the proposal we wrote for the customer.

2. At the time this 'method' would have been obvious to anyone with the barest glimmer of wit. It would never have occurred to me that I had invented something worthy of a patent.

3. This system (recording to CD-Rs) is now obsolete.

Ergo, these patents are ridiculous.

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Brit retailers tell Amazon and Google to pay their taxes

mccp

Re: its really easy

It is only easy if the law is changed so that the multinationals can't claim that, for example, royalties for the use of intellectual property (a brand - Starbucks) are a legitimate cost of sale.

That will not be an easy thing to change. My company licenses copyright software to a Canadian company and clearly they need to be able to offset the licensing costs against the tax to their government. If the tables were turned and my company licensed software from Canada, how easy is it going to be for HMRC to distinguish that legitimate cost of sale from the 'immoral' Starbuck's cost of sale?

Just saying that it ain't easy - I for one don't agree that Amazon should be able to operate within a different tax world to John Lewis.

9
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New flexible lens works like the one in your eye - and could replace it

mccp
Coat

Re: Squinting

I think that the more likely reason for improved vision when you squint is that you effectively reduce the aperture through which you are seeing. When you squint your eyelashes create multiple small apertures that reduce that amount of light reaching your eye, but also increase the depth of focus of your retina thereby bringing close up objects into better focus.

Mine's the one with the titanium frame hipster specs in the pocket.

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Automatic Facebook couple pages: Nauseating sign of desperation

mccp

Re: angry much?

There is some weird shit on this website.

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Google, Amazon, Starbucks are 'immoral' and 'ridiculous' over UK tax

mccp

Re: Bleurgh

I think that you have missed the point.

These companies claim that their profit on billions of pounds of sales turnover is non-existent. If that were true there would be no problem. However, it appears that they use slippery accounting procedures to export the profits that they do make to tax havens. Because they hide their real profit margin, the only way to comment on this or for El Reg to report on it, is to look at the tax paid as a proportion gross revenue.

If you generously assumed that Starbuck's EBIT was 15% of gross revenue, then they would need to be paying more like £90M in tax on revenues of £3.1B.

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Sinclair BASIC comes to Raspberry Pi

mccp

Eh?

It seems obvious to me that the point is to spend hobby time writing a BASIC interpreter that will no doubt be used by some for fun.

In fact, that's exactly the kind of thing that would stand out on a CV from an application for the developer positions I am try to fill.

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My name is Trevor, and I'm ... an IT consultant

mccp

other countries' treaties

I have no idea what the US rules for Canadian residents are, but for the UK they are different to your description.

From the London US embassy website (http://london.usembassy.gov/vwp3.html) about the visa waiver program:

You will qualify for travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom,

...( clipped for brevity)...

[travelling] for business, pleasure or transit for less than 90 days. Visa-free travel does not include those who plan to study, work or remain in the United States for more than 90 days;

I think that there is a distinction between business and 'work' - I can sell a service to my US clients and visit them legally. These visits include meetings, training, setting up equipment, debugging software I have sold, etc.

I don't think I could go to the US and take wages from a US employer visa free (e.g. go and work as a stage performer for a theatre). That would be 'work' and that seems not to be allowed.

0
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Mmm, what's that smell: Coffee or sweat? How to avoid a crap IT job

mccp

I am in two minds about your post, I hope you never apply to work for me on the one hand, but on the other, I think that you may be confusing waste of space recruitment companies with the actual employers.

The last person I employed was told by his friendly recruitment agent not to discuss the salary that he wanted with us in the interview. When _we_ pay the agent a fee based on the salary of the new recruit, you can be pretty sure that we expect the recruiter to work on our behalf. Unfortunately a lot of recruiters seem to be young people struggling to get their next bit of commission who are ignorant and sometimes dishonest.

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America mounts attempt to top the Register's world record spaceflight

mccp

Does Paris actually classify as an aircraft?

Undoubtedly!

I was also wondering why the altitude was also provided in metres - over-zealous sub-editing?

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The hoarder's dilemma, or 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

mccp
Thumb Up

Magnets

Don't forget to keep the magnets from a hard disk drive that you've dismantled - they're awesome.

2
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IBM prepares to demo 125TB MONSTER tape

mccp

Apples and oranges

" We have 4TB disks today and LTO-6 tapes with 6.25TB compressed capacity."

Or, we have 4 TB disks today and LTO-6 tapes with 2.5 TB native capacity. Presumably, were you to apply the same compression scheme to disks that is applied to LTO tapes it would be reasonable for the disk manufacturers to claim 10 TB capacity? This drives me nuts as I inhabit a world where we are storing MPEG-2 and H.264 video which is pretty much incompressible.

2
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Pints all round as Register Special Projects hacks hack off feet

mccp
Thumb Up

Re: I miss the ounce...

Great idea.

Add 25mm to the new inch, 10 new inches to the new foot and 4 new feet to the new yard of exactly 1 metre.

1
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mccp

Re: missed the poll

"how many people actually know or state their clothes sizes (waist/chest/inside leg, etc) in cm?"

My wife and daughter for two - they can convert from any sizing system to their own dimensions in a couple microseconds.

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