* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

4702 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

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Devil

Ah, but what about those of us who are addicted to being sanctimonious busybodies? What abour our rights?

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Colander-wearing Irishman denied driver's licence in Pastafarian slapdown

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Re: Clothing optional

I thought it was the Mormons who had the magic underwear?

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Coat

It's all a fusilli about nothing...

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse spared chickpea ordeal

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Happy

Re: Roadkill

NB it takes about 20,000 pellets to kill a cow!!!

Is that how they get the holes in swiss cheese?

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Happy

Surely better if he owns a brewery?

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Re: quid a day

Remember though that it's £1 a day, not a meal. So you've got to get brekkie, lunch and soemthing to drink out of it. Obviously I just chose to have water that week, but I couldn't go without a few cups of tea a day. The office coffee machine comes out at 50p a cup, so that was right out. A teabag is about 1.5p.

Also the global poverty line measure is actually a measure of consumption. So it's an economic value put on everything that the poorest people get to consume, not how much stuff they're able to buy. Given that most of the world's poorest barely interact with the cash economy. So lots of them are subsistence farmers, and the $1.60 a day includes the value of the crops they grow.

I therefore decided that it was cheating to use anything I could grow, or get free. Though others took a different view. And in the end, there's no point going over the top.

Veg was what I struggled with though. I'm perfectly happy to go without meat for a week. As I in fact did. But finding nice veg that I could afford was much harder. Peppers were out of the question. I could have afforded a few apples. But basically had to settle for carrots, potatoes, onions, chickpeas and the like. Salad stuff was too expensive. And even things like cauliflower, leeks and broccoli were too much of a stretch. A decent portion of cauliflower cheese would have been at least 70p, which doesn't leave anything for some other veg, let alone other meals and a handful of teabags for the rest of the day.

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Happy

When the electrician has finished the job - connect him to the mains. This solves your money problems in two ways. One, you won't have to pay him, and two, you've now got a ready barbecued meal. Admittedly it might be a stretch to get him to cover himself in marinade beforehand...

The wedding is more problematic. There is no known solution to this problem, short of selling the rights to Hello Magazine.

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Re: @ Sorry to hear the project is on hold...

I'm determined not to touch the chickpeas next year. Even though I've still got half a packet left from last year - still not feeling a strong desire to use them up... My Aunt tells me that the trick with the dried ones is to use a pressure cooker, but I don't have one. The tinned ones are nicer, but twice as expensive, and I already went 9p over budget last year (when I'd finally done the calcs). Shame!

I think perhaps lentils. Though tofu is £1.40 for 350g on Sainsbury's site. So a bit of shopping around might get it cheaper. And I can curry it or something. And eggs. Made a big omelette last time, with much veg and tatties, which did a dinner and two lunches. Yum. Frozen mixed veg is decently nutritious, but doesn't taste very nice, sadly. I'd only used the chickpeas to bulk out, and add a bit of protein to, my delicious Italian tomato and herb sauce. The plan was to convert this into curry, once I got bored. It also had a backup role as a tomato sauce for pizza, using Lidl (£1.49 for 300g) plastic cheddar and left over bread with a bit of veg. But the day I was going to do that, I couldn't be arsed, and just made eggy-bread (french toast) for dinner instead.

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Dutch students serve up world's first 'drone café'

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Happy

Re: Blue fluid?

Nah. It probably serves a brown liquid, that is not quite, entirely unlike tea...

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moiety,

Ah. What a wonderful piece of writing. Very nicely done sir. Very well played indeed.

I'm glad you mentioned the Freudianism at the end. I don't own a portrait of my Mother, and if I did, it wouldn't be hung in the bedroom. But I was more thinking the Bates Motel, rather than Freud.

As well as biscuit-shame (an excellent choice of phrase by the way) there is, as you say, the problem of crumbage. Of course you can avoid crumbs, by going the Jaffa Cake route. But who wants melted chocolate stains on their duvet? Perhaps the solution is a pair of pyjamas with built in bib - or a duvet-napkin? I quite like the idea of a giant napkin, to be tucked into the duvet - this also has the advantage of dealing with any spilled tea. The teasmade is a wonderful invention, but nobody's at their most accurate first thing in the morning.

I do remember reading about George IV, who used to eat kedgeree for breakfast in bed. I do like it, but I draw the line at a breakfast of smoked fish. He also one-upped my teasmade, by having a decanter of port on his bedside table. This was for if he was struggling to sleep, due to gout. Sadly the port would make things worse, but he aslo took the precaution of having a bottle of laudnum on hand. A boon that modern drugs policy sadly denies us - though a friend who reported severe toothache to a Kenyan pharmacist once got a bottle of the stuff, and said it was very moreish indeed. He didn't write any poetry thankfully...

I believe the favoured tactic of the honey badger, when locked in combat with larger animals is to go for the plums. Hence the saying, "attracted like honey badgers to nadgers"... So I'd suggest your movivational poster would be of a honey badger, eating a biscuit in bed, while simultaneously emasculating someone and pointing to the slogan, "Grab Life by the Balls!"

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Happy

I'd be interested in a drone that I could dispatch from bed for a pint; a pizza; and the 5 metres of catheter tube at the front door that has just arrived from eBay; but not really interested until that point.

This is what sold me on Mr Tickle at the age of 4. The first couple of pages of the book, where he yawns, and stretches, and stretches, and stretches... And then reaches down the stairs to the kitchen with his amazingly long arms, to get a biscuit from the tin. He was my favourite Mr Man from then on. The less said about the pervy touching people through windows, the better.

Of course, as an adult, I realise that despite the crippling handicap of not having twenty foot long arms I can simply have a biscuit tin on the bedsite table. I already own a teasmade (hooray! for being woken up with fresh tea) - so why I don't add biscuits to the ensemble is a continual mystery to me. I can only conclude that it's guilt, trained into me by my parents mother. Perhaps I should seek psychiatric help, to get me over these appalling feelings of guilt, and allow myself the bedside biscuit-y pleasure I so richly deserve?

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Happy

I seem to remember that it took about 8 helium balloons to send one (full) glass of wine across the room at my Aunt's wedding anniversary. But I guess a mini-airship is no solution, since it'll gain too much lift as soon as it delivers its pint.

Altough, on the other hand, as long as there is a ceiling, and it's not too obstructed by whirling fans and light fittings, it could zoom up there and drag itself back home across it - so long as it's bouncy enough. The airship, not the ceiling obviously...

But a wheeled drone seems more appropriate for drinks delivery. Even if it requires a cattle prod to make it's way through the crowded bar to the tables. But that's also useful for dealing with fights and drunks. Or people who put rubbish music on the jukebox. Or suggest karaoke. Or drink WKD...

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Megaphone

Please pay for your drinks

You have 20 seconds to comply!

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Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil

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Re: Employment: well, yes and no.

True. But they're mostly skilled jobs or professional ones, and automated factories employ orders of magnitude fewer people. Especially in unskilled and semi-skilled jobs.

The suggestion is that computers are coming for the semi-skilled jobs in offices next. I'm not sure how much I believe that though, but I guess automation making things easier/quicker should mean fewer people needed to do the same amount of work.

Obviously we need to improve education. Then we'll have more skilled people, with better options. But also to change attitudes over the prioritisation of academic learning over practical. Otherwise we risk leaving a bunch of people out of what should be a richer future.

Until we've got the robotic capacity to make everything for virtually free, and can become The Culture or Star Trek, we're going to need jobs.

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Romania suffers Eurovision premature ejection

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Devil

The sad thing is, I think the Germans and the BBC put up a huge chunk of the money, with other broadcasters paying much less, and the hosts footing the rest of the bill. I guess it guarantees that we don't have to go through qualifiying, but just think how much of a service to music it would be if the BBC were to spend that money on something (anything!) else. Although taking out a hit on Justin Bieber would surely be the best use of license fee payers' cash.

I'm guessing that the, more effective, option of assassinating Simon Cowell would be frowned upon by Ofcom, due to the damage it would do to ITV's Saturday evening ratings.

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How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

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Re: 'Ow Yorkshire?

Luxury! We used to dream of having a Brian Cox (with his ooh so lovely hair). We had to make do with a Brian Blessed.

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Happy

Re: How IT are you?

Strange. I drink my gin with breakfast...

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Airport drone 'plastic bag'

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Happy

Did the airline pay their 5p?

If I'm now forced to buy bin liners, I don't see why they should get free ones falling out of the sky...

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Blighty ranks 38th in World Press Freedom Index

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You cannot hope to bribe or twist

(thank God!) the British journalist.

But, seeing what the man will do

unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

Seems appropriate somehow.

It's a hard survey to quantify. In some ways the UK has some of the most free press in the world. They're much less restrained by taste or social pressure than in many other countries. Our politicians get a lot shorter shrift from our press in general than do American ones, or most of the rest of Europe. So it's a bit more anarchic, and elements more likely to kick the establishment. We've also got a comparitively wide variety of viewpoints - even though there are two really big players in the Murdoch press/Sky and the BBC. On the other hand we've got tough libel laws, a new system of press regulation that's still only half completed, and some dodgy legislation like RIPA - which the police and government too often abuse. So it's a bit of a mixed bag.

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Re: *China* is ahead

I'm surprised to see North Korea comes out ahead of Eritrea though. I'd have thought they'd be bottom of the pile - given there's not even the opportunity for journalists to print disobliging things about the government. And they'd much more likely be shot, than imprisoned too. If not them and their whole families being sent to the gulags.

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Larry Ellison's Brit consortium in 'advanced talks' to buy Aston Villa

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Devil

Re: Pity the Villa fans

I'm looking forward to all the comparison adverts on the back of The Economist, that show a graph with Aston Villa in a huge claret and blue bar which is double the size of the red bar labelled Manchester United - and says when benchmarked on the same grassware Aston Villa performed twice as the competion.

Presumably if they win an silverware, there'll be an open-top yacht parade round the canals of Brum.

I look forward to Larry holding aloft the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in two years time...

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Snafu! BT funnels all customers' sent email into one poor sod's inbox

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Re: Once they've got this sorted out...

The bit in my post that mattered, got deleted. If I thought they were competent, I'd blame a BT conspiracy.

The domain that btinternet emails were dropping with, and vice-versa was btconnect. Their own small business service, that one of our clients was with.

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Re: Once they've got this sorted out...

I had a 2 month gremlin back in about 2003 with BT. Btinternet email was not working properly (either sending or receiving) with... It mostly arrived, but delays could be as long as a month. I actually got as far as BT third line support, some outside consultant rather than an internal bod who was already aware of the issue, and they resolved it.

But I'd already resolved the problem myself, by suggesting that it was about time the company stopped using a micky-mouse ISP address, and got us a domain. Although I just got an email through on that old address last week - from a customer we've had for years, I'm amazed it's survived in his Outlook autocomplete for so long.

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Censorship FTW! China bans Paris Hilton, minor Kardashians et al

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Happy

Re: Censorship bad, m'kay?

Does anyone know what a Kanye West is?

It's the only one we've got left, after that house fell on Kanye East...

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Boaty McBoatface 'wins'

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Re: An easy cop out...

A lifeboat volunteer was in B&Q with his Mum, when he got a mobile call from a friend. This guy was on a crewing job in the Caribbean, on someone's yacht, they were in hurricane force winds and had lost power and pumps, and were taking on water. So he grabbed his receipt and a pen to take down the details, position etc.

"What's the boat called?"

"MY Titanic"

"Ha ha. Very funny! Now stop taking the piss!"

Except the panic sounded genuine, and his mate wasn't taking the piss. He described his next actions as, deciding not to phone this one in, but to go to the lifeboat station and call it in from there. As he was much more likely to be believed coming from an official line.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Got what they wanted

Mark Rogers,

That's certainly true. It was a one-off joke / social media thingy, that will pass and nobody will remember. But of course, there is ongoing free publicity. They'll be able to get at least their first 2 or 3 press releases decent publicity on the back of the name alone, so if they ration them carefully they could get something useful from it.

Of course, there's also the downside of, "it is with regret that we have to announce the sinking of the RRS Boaty McBoatface - all her crew are feared lost."

I guess as a compromise they could give it a "proper" name, then paint a big face on the front, so everyone knows what it's really called. And I'd be surprised if the crew don't end up calling it Boaty McBoatface anyway.

Or perhaps a compromise. Go for an Iain Banks theme, and call it Grey Area. That gives the crew an even better nickname.

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Furious customers tear into 123-reg after firm's mass deletion woes

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Devil

Re: Too little, too late.

There's nothing wrong with closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. So long as there are going to be more horses along in future. At least you'd hope people might now have learned something...

So the correct quote should be: "Management, meet stable door. Bang! Ouch! Stable door, meet management. Bang! Ouch! Now, have we learned our lessons? No? OK. And again, management, meet stable door. Bang! Ouch! And for some variety, management, meet anvil! Clang! Next, pair of bricks...?

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What's wrong with the Daily Mail buying Yahoo?

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Re: The Daily Mail & Yahoo!

Is this the problem? Perhaps The Mail have been burning with jealousy for ages, because News International made such a success of Myspace. And they're desperate to get in on the action...

Come to think of it, didn't ITV do so well with Friends Reunited too - and the less said about AOL Time Warner, the better.

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Devil

Re: I am a bit worried

I'm sure the Daily Mail would love to run email. If they could only get enough people to use the service, say by ceasing to screw it up horrible drastically improving it, they could sack all their journalists and just rely on all the lovely info passing across their servers.

Oh Ethics? Yeah, that'th the plathe just to the East of London isn't it...

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I am sending pouting selfies to a robot. Its AI is well buff

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Happy

It's called Saddr.

Does a comparison with the nearest other person who has the app, then detonates the batteries killing the loser. The idea is to gradually increase human happiness - or at least train people to be able to pretend.

It's billed as a "synergistic human lifestyle improvement paragidm"

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Trollface

Re: Another quality piece

but it'll need something like AWS in computing power to handle my face.

Is that why Google's cloud crashed this week?

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: You clean up nice!!

Alistair,

No problem. So long as you're still getting rogered more, and you can go like a rabbit...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: How dare they?

I've got white hair. Whilst growing a beard now is OK, the confusion come Christmastime is too much of a problem. Hence I am destined to remain soup-catcher free. Unless I ever find myself in dire need of employment come December...

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URL shorteners reveal your trip to strip club, dash to disease clinic – research

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Re: Beware Pron ahead

Both the QR code reader apps I've used showed you the link first. Or I'd have deleted them instantly. So sane ones do exist.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Beware Pron ahead

Exactly. I think URL shorteners are fundamentally insecure for exactly the opposite reason. You don't know where they go to, and you can't go to say bit.ly's website put one in, and find out. And it ain't safe out here on the internet, I like to have my eyes open when I go somewhere.

I've seen too much - having been a forum Mod a few years ago, for my sins. Mostly it was just 2 Girls 1 Cup and Rick-rolling. But you never know...

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Czech Republic to rebrand

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Happy

Re: kidding aside

You soon learn. After you've skied into your third kangaroo...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: How about

And Czechzuki...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Devil

Re: Will the Czechs change their name to Czechians?

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - erm... Englishman?

Other than British person, the only mention of British in naming I can think of is "Britischer schwein! Achtung! Spitfire!" And I don't think that's ever appeared outside a speech bubble...

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BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

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Happy

Stapler tracking is a great idea, as mine is always getting nicked. Along with the hole-punch.

But the projector kill switch is in dire need of a new feature. It needs to automatically operate on any Powerpoint that's gone on for more than about 90 minutes, be able to shut down on detection of Comic Sans (I don't actually mind this font - it's just usually a fearful sign of doom whenever it turns up in a business context). And possibly have an optional feature to introduce porn slides to any presentation that I don't want to sit through any more of, say when the pub's open.

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This headline will, in part, cost pepper-spraying University of California, Davis $175k

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Happy

Re: While you are spewing cash...

Your SEO service is rubbish. Only $5k? Pah! Amateur.

Now if you pay me $500k, I'll do it properly.

Why is the fee so high you ask? Well vintage champagne doesn't buy itself it's complicated. The multi-million pound option is simply to bribe Google. You could also try blackmailing Google, but given all the data they've been hoovering up for the last decade, that's probably a very bad idea.

So what you need to do is own those search terms. Not a problem. Your money will buy you access cookery show on national television. Pick whichever chef our marketing shows resonates with young people.

Next he'll be cooking in a show at UC Davis. The recipe? Pike, pepper with a spray of green herbs.

Job done. Search laundered. Now hand over the cash.

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South Korea to upgrade national stereo defence system for US$16m

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Mushroom

AHA!

The reason for this is obvious. The DPRK is just a cover.

The real reason is that South Korea are going to stage a Disaster Area concert.

They just don't want to pre-announce it, in case the environmentalists find out.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: £16m

No that's just the bill for the speakers. The oxygen free quantum stablised EMP shielded platinum cabling is an extra $15 billion...

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Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

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Devil

I'm rather disappointed at the lack of BOFH potential in this threat. And the lack of people who voted for "blackmail both parties". Personally I would have voted for having the email projected onto the front of the building in foot high letters, but that option was mysteriously missing...

Then again, the BOFH would never have foolishly created extra work for himself. And simply set up an search of the email database to bring any interesting or useful items to his attention automatically.

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Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google

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Pirate

Surely piracy be about the dubloons!

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I ain't Spartacus
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The record companies paid their artists, and would organise their marketing and studio time for them, if they wanted. As well as hunting down new talent and offering these services to them. Including taking a punt on new acts, and giving them free access to studio time for a first album. OK, not free, they'd pay out of the sales, but not a loan either, as the record company would eat the losses if the album stiffed.

Sure the record companies sliced off profits, some of which got spent on cocaine and hookers. But they actually put real money into developing new bands, and provided some services. And they weren't the only game in town, you could go off with the independents, or self-publish.

They can't have done too awful a job either, because top bands stayed with them, who had the ability and finance in place to go completely independent if they so chose. But obviously decided it was less hassle to let someone else do this stuff, but get less cash.

So they were at worst symbiots, rather than parasites.

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TalkTalk broadband customers continue to flee

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Re: Not great

Ah well, many is the complaint that I've fielded from my Mum about how shit their service is. And how their call centre is awful, and how she keeps having to reboot the telly-box, because it forgets to talk to the router-box.

Oh, and she's had a call from someone with her details claiming to be from them - and only got suspicious when they tried to get her credit card number, rather than sticking it on the exisiting direct debit).

But despite all that, she's just signed a new quadruple play deal with them, to take their (admittedly insanely cheap) mobile tariff, and re-signed for another year of brroadband, phone and TV.

The phone is about £7 a month for 200MB data, infinite texts and 600 minutes.

But Oh Good God what processor have they shoved in that YouView box? Is it a 286? You press the EPG button, and it takes twenty seconds. Changing channel takes over a minute, and the bugger takes about 5 minutes to boot. Modern Sky+ boxes boot in 5 seconds, and channel changing is almost instant - although I admit the last time I used a Virgin box (3-4 years ago) it was pretty shit.

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Happy

Re: Dido Harding

She's doing a great job! In the 4 years before she took over, they were the worst rated for customer service in every quarter. Now they're...

...

...

...

Second worst.

That's improvement that is!

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Badges for Commentards

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Re: Upvotes only?

A badge was suggested for "achieving" 2,000 downvotes. I think it was going to be brown...

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US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

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Surely we (ahem) come to El Reg for things like the excellently chosen article picture. And of course, the sense to inform us that the arrest took place in the perfectly named Johnson County. Unless the Americans have a town called Todger Springs...

Does Lester ever write sensible articles?

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HTC 10: Flagship goes full Google – but the hardware's top notch

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Re: The price is out - it's £570

This is weird. Flagship phones haven't got any cheaper. Yet I can have a brand new iPad for that, and still have change for Motorola G, or Lumia 735. Or 2 7" iPads.

Or I can have 2 of the rather nice Lenovo Android 10" tabs - and enough change for a really cheap phone.

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