* Posts by Richard 12

1694 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

Richard 12
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Re: A simple solution?

If I, as a Brit, want to buy German bread then I can send a German bakery money and they send me the bread.

Shipping might be expensive and a bit stale once it arrives, but I can do it and the law does not affect my ability to do so.

However, if I want to buy German television, I cannot. It is simply impossible to do without breaching copyright.

If I want to watch it, I must breach the copyright.

This is the *only* type of goods or services where this is the case within the EU, and it's obviously stupid.

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Atomic keyrings: Just how bright are they?

Richard 12
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What odd units

Under 4 microlumens per square inch.

Or 1.3 candela / sq metre in SI units.

So, roughly the brightness of a single candle diffused across a square metre.

Wolfram Alpha says it's less than half the apparent luminance of the twilight sky.

Which is very dim, as the human eye is logarithmic.

But certainly visible.

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Google adds evil-code scanning to Play Store

Richard 12
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Re: Google Apps

Yes indeedy.

Why should I need to root my device in order to selectively allow/deny applications unnecessary privileges?

That is one thing Apple do a little better.

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Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

Richard 12
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Odd that he lists the mostly solved problems as the "huge challenges", but ignores the "make one of these things actually work" and "make it not be a bloody superweapon of hideous death"

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X+Y shows teens are teens, regardless of where they are 'on the spectrum'

Richard 12
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It's about Power

A simple and quick way to gain and retain Power is to define an "Other", upon which blame can be placed.

The powerful can either 'pity' "them", try to change "them" to be more like "us", or remove "them".

When a problem arises, it's tempting and really easy to say "The problem came from them", not "us.

Thus diverting attention from the real cause.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Richard 12
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All the Mac users I know use USB sticks daily.

Most of them use a second USB device at the same time - what it is varies, but nearly all of them do.

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Richard 12
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Re: @Dave 126 Not a universal view

So this one isn't even enough for you.

The nearest comparison is the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which has a grand total of one USB 3.0 port and one power port - and everyone I know ends up carrying a USB hub because it's not enough.

Most people use USB sticks to transfer files between computers. It's simple and intuitive.

At the office, everyone connects via the wired ethernet because it's faster - most via a desktop dock.

Surface Pro has a dock, does this?

This new Macbook is clearly intended as an alternate iPad with the same pattern of consumption-only use.

So, it's alienating all the professionals who use Mac for creative purposes - continuing a worrying trend from Apple.

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Richard 12
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Boffin

Re: In the news over the weekend...

Most modern PSUs (chargers etc) are quite capacitive and so have a low power factor in the other direction.

It's all pretty silly anyway, as after I got rid of my electric shower I've not used more than 400kWh in any given month, it's usually closer to 300kWh.

So even in a bad month, my mean (24hour) consumption is under 560W - or 1700W for 8-hour days - which means the error bars are rather significant.

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Apple Watch: HOT WRIST ACTION plus slim $1299 MacBooks - and HBO TV

Richard 12
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Mushroom

Re: Why?

18 months? Useless.

Mine ran for 5 years.

The replacement battery only managed 3, and I was so annoyed that I stopped wearing a watch altogether.

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Give biometrics the FINGER: Horror tales from the ENCRYPT

Richard 12
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Re: Vertical Thinking

You also need two versions to cover about 99% of the population.

No idea what you do for the last 1% or so.

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Top Euro court ends mega ebook VAT slash in France, Luxembourg

Richard 12
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I luff my 3G Kindle.

Even works in deepest darkest Peru :)

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Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Richard 12
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Re: it's a shame...

I'm certain that it would be technically possible for Google to do, and pretty sure that they employ people who are good at it.

However, I'm also pretty sure that doing so would have simply got them sued, gaining them nothing.

This type of limitation is usually legal, not technical.

(There are several features we've been forced to remove from our products due to stupid patents that should never have been granted. Unfortunately, the court would have been in Texas, so...)

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El Reg regains atomic keyring capability

Richard 12
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Unhappy

You bastards, the purple ones are gone!

Any idea when they might be back in stock?

I have some money here that I want to dispose of in return for a nuclear furnace.

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Firefox 36 swats bugs, adds HTTP2 and gets certifiably serious

Richard 12
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Re: @paulf - Have they stopped

That's because the guy in charge of the UI is an insane control freak who has no understanding of his users at all.

He needs to be fired, he's a bloody idiot.

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Samsung in second SSD slowdown SNAFU

Richard 12
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Re: Can we just lose FLASH already?

Ferro-electric NVRAM is on the shelves already, but the density is still very low and the price high.

I've not seen any FeNVRAM bigger than 256kbit yet. It compares very well with SRAM and battery/supercap backup, but not Flash.

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

Richard 12
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Correction

Superfish were the party in question.

Unless they outsourced their entire product, in which case, they are not only evil, but stupid as well.

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HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

Richard 12
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Re: No point moving out

Except that heaven is described as being "brighter than the Sun", so somebody would have taken that to mean "nuke everyone"

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The millionaire former playboy, Hugh Hefner, and a crucial fight over playboy.london

Richard 12
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Re: This is why extra TLDs were stupid

As absolutely everybody predicted, and ICANN chose to ignore because money.

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Apple design don Jony Ive: Build-your-own phone is BOLLOCKS

Richard 12
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Actually, he didn't.

The Model T was originally available in a variety of different colours - none of which were black.

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It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

Richard 12
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Re: Let me get this right:

The point is that you are richer because you can afford the free time it takes to bake that delicious loaf.

You do it because it's fun, not because you have to.

Your free time is part of the bounty of being a specialist.

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Samsung: Our TVs? SPYING on you? HA HA! Whee! Just a JOKE of course

Richard 12
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Re: My main TV

You could just deny it any access to your Internet connection.

That's easier and just as effective.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The Red Dwarf chilli chutney egg sarnie

Richard 12
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Re: Oversold it, major fail!

This married fan would disagree.

My other half isn't a fan but she's foreign so couldn't be expected to understand.

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Richard 12
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Re: nom nom nomenclature problem

The line is "Triple fried-egg butty with chilli sauce and chutney".

The "chilli sauce and chutney" is repeated, they're definitely two separate ingredients.

Can't find the script online unfortunately.

I do wonder what was in the actual prop.

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NASA: Check out this TWIRLY SPACE DWARF – and NEVER moan about our budget

Richard 12
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Re: A bit interesting

Don't tell the Elf.

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Assange's cop chaperones have cost £10 MEEELLION to date

Richard 12
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Re: Has it cost anything at all?

The reason for quoting this cost is that the officers can't do anything else while waiting for Assange to come out.

The coppers and equipment would have been employed and the money spent either way, but it could have been used in other, more useful ways.

- walking the beat, responding to calls etc.

Instead the officers are standing around watching a door, hoping he'll come out and they can arrest him, pass him on to the Swedes or the courts and get back to doing something else.

There's no choice though. As a country we simply cannot allow anyone to abscond bail.

The difference here is that he convinced another sovereign state to let him sleep on their couch.

They probably wouldn't do that for me, but apparently he's quite persuasive.

Eventually they'll decide he can't stay anymore and that will be that. He'll be taken to Sweden, face the police there, perhaps be tried, be convicted or cleared and when that's over, he'll be deported back to the UK to serve his sentence for absconding.

At that point it would be trivial for another interested country to request the dubious pleasure of his company.

If his claims of US involvement are true, then absconding was the stupidest thing he could have done, other than flying to the USA and knocking on the door of the Pentagon.

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Why Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2? Upton: 'I drank the Kool-Aid'

Richard 12
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Re: "There is nothing to touch Visual Studio"

Qt Creator is also considerably better than Visual Studio.

Infinitely better if you want to go cross-platform, whether Qt or pure C++. (Kits are awesome)

The MS C++ compiler is great for Windows, but only Windows.

Pretty much every developer knows that Windows is the wrong OS for IoT - too expensive in terms of hardware, development tools and per-unit licence costs.

Presumably this is MS' attempt to change that, but unless they become free they will fail.

IoT is low margin, high volume. That's the point!

I can do embedded Linux and RTX development for the cost of the hardware alone, and while I'm happy to pay extra for developer support, the key feature is that the resulting product has a zero cost licence.

For a device that has a total hardware cost of under $30, a $50 licence is laughable, and even $5 is unrealistic.

Enclosure or Windows? I pick enclosure.

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Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish

Richard 12
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Re: looking for apps

Textual searching is fundamentally broken because it requires the user to know the name and spelling of the application.

Both of which may be unexpected and may change between versions.

Furthermore, if you have two items with similar names you cannot tell the difference in a flat list of search results.

This is why the Win7 Start Menu had that highlight of newly-installed programs, and why a hierarchical menu is necessary.

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YOU. Your women are mine. Give them to me. I want to sell them

Richard 12
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Re: "In no way am I suggesting that INgrooves is an evil bunch of bastards"

Or what they have done is of questionable legality, as asserting a copyright claim when it is obviously false may be a breach of the DMCA.

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Which of UK's major ISPs will let you have exotic p0rn? NONE OF THEM

Richard 12
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Re: Sweet... (YouTube Buffering).

Perhaps, but when it's perfect via a proxy from the same browser, there are clearly shenanigans.

Perhaps peering, but the tracert implies otherwise.

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DAMN YOU! Microsoft blasts Google over zero-day blabgasm

Richard 12
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Google got you the patch a month early

MS wanted to delay to mid-February.

Google pushed them to fix it now.

In fact, Google pushed them into fixing it at all.

Now, perhaps MS will put more effort into detecting and fixing these earlier.

Perhaps MS will also put more effort into finding and disclosing security problems in Google's products - and giving Google a fixed 90 days to fix them.

In both these scenarios the customer wins.

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Tesla S P85+: Smiling all the way to the next charging point

Richard 12
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Re: If only..

Except that it does not exist, and certainly will not exist in the next decade.

The massive improvements in computation and radio (cellphone, TV etc) have come from efficacy improvements - doing more useful work with the same amount of energy.

In a vehicle the useful work is purely energy conversion - absolute maximum of 100% efficiency.

Electric motors and motor controllers already exceed 90% efficiency, and thus cannot ever get more than 10% better.

Even assuming we can somehow get that back into the battery, it is still not enough by the fundamental laws of motion - air resistance, rolling, simple increase in vertical height!

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Our EXCLUSIVE VID of MIRACLE TECH: Charge your phone in 16 SECONDS – WIRELESSLY

Richard 12
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Re: Maybe not a battery

You can discharge a NiCad in mere seconds.

You don't get to use it again, but by Jove it's exciting!

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Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

Richard 12
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Re: rising productivity raises wages

Of course it does.

Is your employer more likely to pay you more if they make a higher profit or a lower profit?

Your bargaining position is much better if you know they can afford to pay you more, and even better if they need you.

Actually, corporation tax is one way of pushing up wages - higher wages means lower profits thus lower tax, as well as (theoretically) better staff.

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Richard 12
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Re: I wonder

So I arrange my affairs so I buy everything through my employer.

At the end of each charging period, they calculate my total expenditure, subtract it from my salary and pay me the difference minus the transaction tax.

Their suppliers do the same.

To minimise tax liability all you have to do is bring income and outgoings as close as possible.

The logical result is a massive monopoly - not just for one product, but for all products, and to charge your employees so much that their take-home pay is zero.

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Last year was utter rubbish. Thanks for being part of it!

Richard 12
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Re: Come on the great South, we're rooting for you

The Norks have actual nuclear weapons, and a history of doing the batshit insane.

Remember that much of South Korea is within artillery range, so they don't need a high tech delivery system.

'ing terrifying really.

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If BT gets EE, it will trigger EU treasure hunt for fixed lines

Richard 12
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Holmes

Re: In theory....

All of which are examples of things which BT are not permitted to do.

They are also examples of why OFCOM are impotent and/or incompetent, as BT might or might not be doing some or all of these but OFCOM appear incapable or unwilling to examine whether or not they are, or of imposing meaningful sanctions should BT be doing so.

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European data law: UK.gov TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans

Richard 12
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Re: It doesn't really matter.

You cannot "opt out" of the working time directive.

The only thing you can do is to accept slightly longer weekly hours than the strictest set, but no more.

You still have a minimum hours off between shifts, a maximum hours in one shift, and a set of rules about breaks.

Unless you're self-employed though. Then it doesn't apply.

(Though a lot of people who claim to be self-employed actually are not.)

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Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

Richard 12
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Boffin

Re: Has the author not heard of TFLs Live Bus Arrivals?

Most buses don't have keys, just an "OFF/ON/START" switch.

And a clearly-marked battery isolator.

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Richard 12
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Re: Buses are like HS2

You've clearly never actually tried to use the WiFi or mobile signal on a UK train - put simply, they don't work.

Aside from that, most of the time it wouldn't matter if they did because you can't get a seat with enough space to open your laptop.

I regularly try to work on the train while travelling to or from a customer's site, and about half the time I don't get anything done and have to catch up the work late in my hotel room, instead of supping at the bar as nature intended.

If the train was half an hour quicker then that would be either half an hour longer in the office/in bed before setting off, or half an hour longer in the hotel bar.

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Richard 12
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Check your facts.

All "local" bus companies receive large subsidies, it's the only way they can exist.

For example, Sheffield's buses receive a subsidy of over £1.6 million a year from central government alone.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/better-buses-for-sheffield

In 2013 the council then spent £4.5 million on bus stops etc - another subsidy.

I couldn't find figures for the fare take, but based on passenger numbers I'd guess the subsidy is probably 10% of total revenue.

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Richard 12
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Re: the above problems point to one root cause

Because the entire point of an office block is to be near other office blocks.

This allows the high-ups to think that they are important because they have an office near the offices of %BIG_FIRM%, despite said firm not being a customer or supplier.

This isn't true. It's actually because most companies can only afford one location and don't like the idea of working from home.

Couple that with the fact that people generally don't like to move home, and you end up with large central blocks of "workplaces" where hundreds of employers exist, surrounded at a distance by homes.

Or a "city".

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When algorithms ATTACK: Facebook sez soz for tacky 'Year in Review' FAIL

Richard 12
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Re: Blame the messenger.

Given that Facebook want people to post these types of events, they need to take them into account when programming.

However, we already knew that Zuckerberg is chaotic-evil aligned, so it's not that surprising when they don't.

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Mobe not-spots 'landmark deal'? We ain't thick, Javid

Richard 12
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Re: Network testing

I don't think any of the handsets expose the necessary detail.

I believe they only test signal strength though, which isn't a great indicator of whether or not a given cell can actually sustain a call.

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Dotcom 'saved' Xmas for Xbox – but no one can save Sony's titsup PlayStation Network

Richard 12
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Re: Incorrect

Or it didn't break everywhere at the same time?

Or it only affected sign-on (as per the article) so anybody already signed in would be unaffected?

A DDoS attack often doesn't totally take down a service, it just makes it very slow for normal users in some regions.

Your "Works for me" just means it worked for you, not for anybody else.

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We can change a bit from 0 to 1 WITHOUT CURRENT, say boffins

Richard 12
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It'll be about 20 years.

It's a lab experiment at the moment!

More seriously, this kind of thing tends to take 5-10 years to either reach the market or discover that it can't be made reliable enough/cheap enough to be marketable.

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HOLD IT! Last minute gifts for one's nerd minions

Richard 12
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Happy

Re: coffee in the UK

I import mine direct from Peru.

May have to try some of those London-based places once I run out of this batch.

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Why the chemistry between Hollywood, physics and maths is so hot right now

Richard 12
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Happy

Loved Interstellar too.

It was the first science fiction film I've ever seen that didn't have me screaming "You idiots!" at the screen at one point or another, either due to characters hugging the idiot ball or completely ignoring an obvious solution.

None of the characters in Interstellar did anything that should have been obviously stupid to them at the time. They made serious mistakes, they had drama and argued, but they stayed true to character and called each other out on their mistakes - and even seemed to learn from them.

It's so rare to have a science fiction film where the mistakes the characters made were actually believable!

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ASA slaps Ebuyer AGAIN - this time for ignoring regulator

Richard 12
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Re: So who to use now?

One should judge customer service by what happens when something has gone wrong.

I have had great service from Dabs, CCL and Amazon when things have gone wrong.

Scan seem fine, though I've not had anything go wrong with orders from them so take that with a pinch of salt!

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Did rock-hard aliens turn young Earth MOIST? New probe data emerges

Richard 12
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Coat

Re: Some may be further away

The chances of there being any are millions to one?

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Microsoft tries to defend Irish servers from US g-men invasion, again

Richard 12
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Re: @Gordon10

No, said prior ruling is what is being challenged.

The US may be breaking international law if the challenge fails.

At that point the EU could (and should) take the US to court over such possible breaches.

It would also sound the death knell of Amazon AWS, MS Azure and all other providers as they currently stand, forcing both companies spin off non-US-owned, totally separate companies to own and run all the servers and hardware outside of the US, simply to meet their legal obligations.

- If you break the law in Country B in order to follow the law in Country A then you're utterly screwed as a company and absolutely have to split.

It'd definitely make cloud hosting within the US a hell of a lot more expensive.

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