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* Posts by Robert Long 1

1199 posts • joined 15 Jun 2009

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Toyota to launch hydrogen (ie, NATURAL GAS) powered fuel cell hybrid

Robert Long 1
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Climate Change

What happens to the Hydrogen? It combines with Oxygen to produce water in the air in other words: rain! We'll all drown!!!

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That dreaded syncing feeling: Will Microsoft EVER fix OneDrive?

Robert Long 1
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Sshfs

with a touch of rsync covers it for me. Works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Nearly works on Android...

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Microsoft exams? Tough, you say? Pffft. 5-YEAR-OLD KID passes MCP test

Robert Long 1
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Re: Biased?

"Would you have mocked all GCSE qualifications?"

Well, yes. GCSEs have been mocked since they came out as the "O'Levels - now with added pass rates" exam they were designed to be. They're worthless.

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Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title

Robert Long 1
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Re: Robert Long

"I rather doubt you bothered to read the thing or read books around the subject because it's so obvious that would be a waste of time, right?"

I have both read it and read around it. It's just typical folkelore and it has roots back to previous "drafts" of those stories. There's nothing in it that is not obviously the same old mythological viewpoint except for the bits that are ripped-off from Greek philosophers. What makes it obvious is putting it into its context as just another collection of Just-So stories; a context that people could not put it into in, say, 11th century Poland. But 1000 years later that's easy to do; the world has changed and moved on thanks to exactly the sort of person Darwin was.

Indeed, it's easy to compare it to straight-up fiction like LotR and see that there's nothing in the Bible that is inherently and objectively not something someone made up, unless you count some very biased versions of history in the OT. There's two possible explanations for that, and one of them is a lot simpler than the other.

But, going beyond even these things, dissecting the internal structure and history of the book just knocks the absolute stuffing out of it. Especially the new testament, which has so little connection with any real Jesus that it's hard not to see the entire thing as a fabrication decades after all the primary witnesses are conveniently dead. It certainly has no substantive or reliable input from the man himself.

And you're right about the centuries of debate - in the end, your side lost. Grow up and deal with it instead of pretending that your imaginary father-surrogate is going to sweep in and fix everything and then tuck you up in bed afterwards.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Darwin? A joke surely?

Origin of Species isn't a gripping read overall, but it's influence is indirect and huge. By freeing intellectual thought from the limits of "God did it and then ran away" it made a lot of other things possible. Not least of which was ignoring religious leaders who wanted to wage war. It's not a coincidence that the most bloodthirsty people are religious, or that we're never worried about extreme Darwinest attacks on the Tube or against army barracks.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Most people who 'like' the Bible

"For instance I approached it as an atheist determined to analyse what it actually taught, and went the opposite direction to you... but I don't claim that would happen to everyone."

I have to wonder if this is true. The book is so obviously just bad folklore and contradictory nonsense mixed with flat out lies that it's very hard for me to see where anyone could be inspired to take it as any sort of guide to existence. At the least, there's nothing that distinguishes it from other folklore from around the world, except for some 300-year old Greek philosophy that got mixed into the "jesus" (not his real name, even) bit.

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Robert Long 1
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influential, but garbage

The Bible really is an awful book of nonsense and gibberish. Half of it is Egyptian/Babylonian folk lore and half of it an Egyption/Greek attempt at making a synthetic god from left over bits of old ones. It's moral compass is highly dubious too - at BEST it manages to preach just being a normal person and not a psychopath. Killing is bad, mmkay? Except, you know, when it isn't.

1/10. Must try harder.

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VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that

Robert Long 1
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What next?

VHS comeback?

Seriously, vinyl is crap and always was; I hated it when it was the only option and I despise it now that there are decent alternatives (analogue tape was not a decent alternative).

CD could be improved a bit, but actually most of the damage is done in the mixing desk these days, resulting in output that could probably be stored in 8bits without any loss of range.

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RBS's Ulster Bank whacked with enormous IT cock-up fine

Robert Long 1
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Re: So...

"around 100k a day"

Plus various consultants they pulled in to try and fix it, who were each charging up to 10K per day.

Luckily, they were too big to fail so their customers will end up paying it all off for them.

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Kryder's law craps out: Race to UBER-CHEAP STORAGE is OVER

Robert Long 1
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Bad news for Estate Agents

"[i]n the real world, exponential growth can't go on forever"

Might have to do with just one new BMW per year for sitting in an office doing nothing all day.

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Apple on the art of the deal: 'Put on your big boy pants and accept the agreement'

Robert Long 1
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Re: GTAT may have been idiots

"But if half true, then Apple are evil corporate bullies and their gadgets may be built on blood, sweat and tears paid for below market rate."

In which case, what is this story doing on a news site?

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Eye laser surgery campaigner burned by Facebook takedown

Robert Long 1
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Re: I will fight Facebook

"I'm not big on politics (ask me about eyes and that's a different matter) but I understand democracy, and the fundamental human right to a fair trial."

You've come to the wrong place. When xkcd posted:

http://xkcd.com/1357/

most of the crowd here thought it HIlarious and insightful. Basically, FB and Twitter are saying you're an asshole they don't want around and no one can do anything about it because, like, the Internet or something.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Eye laser surgery is not for everyone.

"Where there is money involved, and it's elective, where is the incentive for the doctor to have your interests at heart above his/her own interests, namely bank balance?"

Exactly why private medicine should be illegal in any civilized country. Medial staff should be paid a salary with absolutely no options for bonuses. It should be a good salary, mind you.

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Snapper's decisions: Whatever happened to REAL photography?

Robert Long 1
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The best camera is the one you know

When you take a photo, it's generally with the camera you own so it's best to pay attention to what works and try to understand when it doesn't work, with a view to working around it in future. I had a Fuji S20 "Pro" and got fantastic shots out of it - after a year of gradually reducing frustration as I learnt how it really worked enough to write my own Perl scripts to "develop" the RAW output. Never did manage to get a good seascape out of it before the sensor packed in. The output of the shitty camera/lens in my SIII Mini has improved markedly since I stopped using the in-phone zoom.

Whatever your budget, you have to learn to use what you have and not worry about what the next camera up could do if you had it. Some of the world's greatest photos have been taken on pretty basic equipment, by people who knew what they were doing.

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Pixel mania: Apple 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display

Robert Long 1
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Re: Value for money?

"The 5K display in the iMac has nearly twice as many pixels as the 4K Dell monitor you've just purchased, it's not a small step up in resolution."

Well, that's less than 40% higher resolution; is the cost less than 40% more?

The idea that anyone is editing 4K images at 1:1 and needs the extra space for toolbars etc. is classic Apple iWank. If you're editing those images, you're zoomed in; if you're watching them then you're in fullscreen mode.

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Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box

Robert Long 1
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Re: Is there any point? @Robert Long 1

"Do you know how many weather stations the Met Office use? I'm certain that it's more than you think."

I don't think so, but my point was that surely more of those - or better ones - would give us better results than a machine that crunches the same data a bit faster. All right, a lot faster, but the old machine wasn't running at full capacity so is there any point in that?

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Robert Long 1
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Is there any point?

This money isn't going to improve the data collection for inputting into the model; that's the weak link IMO.

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Meet Mr Gamification: He's got a NUDGE or two for you

Robert Long 1
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Re: The event sounds awful...

Gamification is just stimulus-response-reward dressed up in new clothes. As such, pretty well any teaching/learning experience can be classified as gamification; the term is so all-encompassing as to be meaningless.

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In dot we trust: If you keep to this 124-page security rulebook, you can own yourname.trust

Robert Long 1
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Yeah, right

Until they decide they can get bigger bucks by just selling them to anyone with $1000 or $100...

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Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

Robert Long 1
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Re: Bad Wolf

"Bad Wolf was introduced in a very subtle way."

Yes, but it didn't make any sense whatsoever once it was revealed. Subtlety ain't the issue.

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Robert Long 1
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"Having said all that the monsters were developed way too fast."

That's a format issue - 1hr is too short while 2x1hrs is too slow-paced for the export market.

I don't agree that the story-arcs have worked at all well from the return onwards. The method of having stand-alone scripts which the script editor then patches just doesn't work for me, quite apart from the fact that none of the story-arcs have been interesting or even made much sense, starting with the gibberish that was "Bad Wolf".

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Robert Long 1
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Finally, a Good Episode

Fun idea, nasty monsters, interesting character development for Clara (as opposed to random mood swings), some amusing visuals, and almost no bloody I-went-to-drama-school-and-all-I-got-was-this-one-Droopy-reject-face soldier boy. What's not to like?

The complaint about the monsters simply doesn't stand; these are classic "from another universe" Dr Who monsters and that's just fine with me. We've all seen the Moon Egg episode, and we all wish we hadn't, so perhaps the first reviewer could try to move on before anyone mentions the Zarbi.

If the series never gets any worse than this from here on in to the inevitable "Tell me, Clara, would you say that the Doctor was a Good Man?" line in whatever trial Missy is planning to call her as a witness for the prosecution in, we'll be doing okay.

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WAITER! There's a Flappy Bird in my Lollipop!

Robert Long 1
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Derivative? Derivative!?

Is the author seriously suggesting that Angry Birds had a single original idea in it?

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Take CTRL! Shallow minds ponder the DEEP spectre of DARK CACHE

Robert Long 1
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Re: [ed: shurely shome mishtake, Dabbs?]

"The fracture of Great Britain requires Westminster to solve the West Lothian question"

The West Lothian Question is trivial: do away with Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and have a single united country where there is no possibility of anyone voting on things that only effect one part of it. It would make it impossible to ever again introduce a poll tax just in the areas where you don't have votes, just as a random example.

And while we're at it, move the capital to Carlisle, York, or Newcastle on Tyne instead of being stuck in the bottom-right corner bloody miles from anywhere.

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Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

Robert Long 1
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Re: ...

"As for Clara. Oh my God. She was so great as The Impossible Girl. But now, she's just so....<searches for adjective; can't find one: Abort, Retry, Ignore?>"

How about "incoherent"? Her character simply doesn't make any sense any more. The series needs a script editor who has a grasp of characterisation and can ensure that it's reasonably consistent from writer to writer. Moffet clearly isn't it.

In fact, I suspect that he is actually the problem here, bending Clara's character in preparation for a final "Trial of the Doctor" episode/special where, OMG! Clara has to testify whether he is a "good man" or not. Damn whether it makes sense or not in the context of the character's history.

The new series has suffered repeatedly under "story arcs" that no nothing but interfere with the smooth development of the characters, but this is probably the worst case of it (although I might argue that the execrable "Angels Take Manhattan" and the nonsensical end of Rory and Amy's parts was actually worse, but at least it was over in one truly terrible episode).

I liked this episode but perhaps that's just in comparison with last week's terrible space egg crap.

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Right, suits off: Windows 10 preview Internet Explorer is here

Robert Long 1
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Don't care, won't care

Code to the standards, if IE show it wrong then direct customers to MS Support.

Just kidding - MS never do product support, because they know all the spineless coders and designers out there will do it for them for free. "Oh, no, we better put in an IE work around because our clients are too dumb to use a decent browser". Bah.

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How much is Microsoft earning from its Android taxes again?

Robert Long 1
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Re: According to the patent lobby...

"Why do we have a patent system at all?"

To protect big companies from competition and to keep patent lawyers in new BMWs.

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Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

Robert Long 1
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"Well they could provide you with a numbered listing, but how useful would that be? Any index needs to refer to the content it's talking about. The index in the back of a book has topic names with the page numbers, not just a listing of page numbers."

I was suggesting the possibility of presenting just the URL/link. So you type "Flyfishing", say, and Google presents a list of URLS with some text along the lines of "here's a list of pages where people are discussing this topic. At the moment it actually prints excerpts from the pages, which is one part of the problem. Of course, even the URL idea is a bit legally dodgy as you're still helping to spread the libel, so there's an abetting angle.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Whither "les immortels"

@AC "Not so easy with an interweb."

Actually, it's easier with the Internet. Just block Google's IPs. You'd cut down their readership by a much larger percentage than you could ever hope to prevent reading an already published newspaper.

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Robert Long 1
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"Google is not the importer. It is an index. Once you click to the link, the content is delivered from the source website. So the source website is the importer."

That would be more true if Google only presented a link, which is not the case.

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Robert Long 1
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"There is going to come a point, sooner or later, where judges in different jurisdictions make conflicting demands about Google's global search results."

So what?

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Robert Long 1
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Re: @DaLo

@Oninoshiko

"Google isn't repeating the slander, they are just saying "that guy over there it talking about it.""

If I say to you "Who's that guy that raped the hotel maid in New York and got away with it?" and you supply an answer as well as a link to a story, then you're repeating the accusation. Google doesn't just provide links, it answers questions with a little snippet and the link. In other words, it's a publisher. And in the example I've just given Google's very first result has the name in the heading of the first two results, and the body text of several other results on the first page, all readable without going to the sites Google are quoting. That, legally, is obviously republishing a slander (well, a libel, to be technical).

"Furthermore, Google is following french law on their french site. That court is over-extending it's purview, unless you think all regional laws should be applied globally."

It's not asking for the law to be applied globally, just in France. The Google website is showing information to people in France; the court is not asking nor caring what it does for people not in France. If you publish a magazine and distribute it worldwide you have to worry about this. Google and others want to live in a magic world where they are above the laws that govern everyone else.

For decades big multinational Internet companies have cruised along on the myth that the Internet is somehow not a publishing vehicle. But not only is it such a thing, that's ALL it is. The Internet is a device for taking information from somewhere and providing it elsewhere. There's no need for special Internet laws, really, as we've had laws about publishing for centuries. The fact that they vary in different countries is just something companies have to cope with. Google can cry me a river if that means they make 1% less profit next year.

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Robert Long 1
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@DaLo

"Surely they should just demand the removal of the defamatory information. "

I'm sure they would if they could. But repeating a slander is still slander so Google is culpable under that law and the court is well within its rights to tell Google not to repeat the slander in its jurisdiction. The URL or indeed the origin of the page and the data is not relevant, only the destination and place of publication - i.e., France.

This is a classic case of "But...but... our business model is to ignore the law" which is behind so many Internet fortunes. Wouldn't work for you or me, so why should it work for Google?

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Doctor Who becomes an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera in Kill The Moon

Robert Long 1
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Awful Science, Good Characterisation, Bad Taste

I really liked the Doctor's stance on making the decision - he's not a god and he doesn't want to be. That's good and the dialogue between the women was well done and well acted. Clara's reaction didn't seem to work particularly well, though.

But who cares when the over-arching McGuffin was so bloody awful? The magic creation of not only the new mass for the space-baby, but then the magic creation of the mass for the new moon. To say nothing of what REALLY would happen to the "egg shell" or how we could have missed all this before now. Utter tripe. Garbage. If you didn't feel your intelligence was being insulted by this, you may have to ask yourself why.

And for no reason. The exact same moral dilemma could have been set up without using the Moon at all. Something new could have entered the Solar System on a collision course or whatever. There was no need to make this farcical mess that will forever overshadow the meat of the character development. No one will ever refer to this as "the training wheels episode" or the "Clara gets a taste of the Time Lords' perspective episode". It will always be "The stupid moon story" or "the one with the magic egg", or maybe "the one that jumped the space-shark".

Pathetic.

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Weekend reads: Consumed, The Graphic Art of the Underground and The Skeleton Road

Robert Long 1
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Same price for the eBook?

I don't bloody think so.

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Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

Robert Long 1
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"The Caretaker was so Whedonesque it could have been an episode of Buffy."

You seem to be saying that as if it were a good thing.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Jenna-Louise

"It is foolish to imagine that beauty is a universal absolute."

Not in this case.

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It's official: EU chiefs WILL probe Apple's Irish tax deal

Robert Long 1
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Not so fast

"like most multinationals, it moves its profits about so as to pay as little tax as possible. This is not illegal in itself"

Actually, moving profits about for no reason other than to pay less tax is illegal. That's why they always pretend that there was a charge from one subsidiary to another and have to maintain an office in Luxembourg or wherever that is supposedly the European headquarters but employs one person part time to check the answerphone and forward the mail to the real headquarters.

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Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods

Robert Long 1
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Re: Attacks don't matter much

"At the current time its *only* about 70,000 machines...yeah, you're right, who cares!"

Correct. I don't give a toss. Probably 100 times that number of apache sites have been attacked in the same period. Do you care? It's meaningless.

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Robert Long 1
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Attacks don't matter much

How many live servers have actually been captured? That's the important number.

My home SMTP server was attacked over a million times in one year in the 00's, but none of them got through.

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WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?

Robert Long 1
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Re: Sorry I'm late...

That's a bit limp.

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Robert Long 1
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Just doing his job

He was just trying to be civil and sociable.

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CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

Robert Long 1
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Strange

I think it's odd how, as time goes by, the options for listening to music are gradually deteriorating. There's really nothing in the streaming/downloading arena that is as good value as simply buying a CD and ripping it to a portable device, and it seems to be getting worse. It's all a bit weird but as a result I find myself listening to less and less music every year; certainly almost nothing new goes on the player anymore, even when I like it as it's getting hard to find CDs and even then some are copy protected (without saying so) so it's a gamble. It's like the record companies don't actually want to sell music any more. Maybe it's a huge drive to make people buy concert tickets or something.

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Robert Long 1
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Apple Provides a Cheap Solution

I don't need to stream or download anything, thanks to Apple's policy of only providing the shittiest, cheapest earphones the world has ever seen, I can clearly hear the music iPhone users are listening to from 6 seats away on the tube, even while the train is moving.

Sorted.

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

Robert Long 1
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CGI Only?

So is this a problem just for CGI? I'm struggling to see why anyone outside my system would be able to call a shell command unless I've specifically allowed it. Which I wouldn't.

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Le whoops! Microsoft France boss blows lid off 'Windows 9' event

Robert Long 1
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Time flies

I've not actually seen a copy of Windows 8 yet.

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Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

Robert Long 1
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Re: @ Robert Long 1

"Nope. Company law.... A company is a *distinct* natural entity, just like a real person, that happens to be able to be "owned" by other natural persons or entities."

A company is not a natural entity, it's just a bunch of people trying to avoid things - risk, responsibility, and so on. Microsoft Ireland is part of Microsoft created only and solely for the avoidance of tax. What the law says about it is of no bearing on reality and those that swallow the line that law makes truth deserve the shafting they get every day from the corporations that pay big bucks to have that law written for them (very specifically, in this case, since it was US rail-baron money that got us the original "corporations are entities" crap).

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Robert Long 1
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"Data is held by Microsoft Ireland. It's a separate company "

Yeah, right. I take it you're a tax lawyer?

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Robert Long 1
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Re: But with 8k on the way...

@Rampant Spaniel: "That's probably closer to a decade away"

That's fine; if my current TV doesn't last a decade and more I would be fairly pissed off. It's not that long.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Robert Long 1
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@JDK

"It's not really that useful a feature for most people."

Until they use it. Going back to not having it is like going back to black and white TV but, yes, many people watched B&W for years happily.

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