* Posts by Paul Shirley

1893 posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

Paul Shirley
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Re: Spite

Really? Did the start of a long recession just before the smoking ban started have nothing to do with falling pub attendance, except for discount outlets like Wetherspoons. You also have to pretend JDW didn't start making *more* money months before the official ban when they banned smoking early, my favourite sight of the time was a builder being physically thrown out of a pub by his workmates as he tried lighting up at the bar.

We'll never be able to pin down what, if any, damage the smoking ban did. It did break the decades long fight by pubs&bars to do avoid doing anything meaningful about the problem. Offered a deal - provide a moderate number of smoke free rooms spread across geographical areas - and there would be no need for a ban. They got nowhere near and it became very clear from trade publications the belief was the gov would back down. That's how we got today's ban.

Apart from losing pub gardens to smokers it's been good. Just wish I had less other ways to spend my disposable income, the real reason pubs struggle to get us into them.

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Apple: Samsung ripped off our phone patent! USPTO: What patent?

Paul Shirley
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Re: A blogger did this ?

The overall design is a brazen Samsung knockoff, hard to conclude otherwise. The question is if it's so brazen it's infringing. There are no separate features so distinctive they deserve protection on an iPhone, only the combination. Yet the case Apple brought focussed overly on detail, instead of how the list of details adds up to 'passing off'. And they convinced a judge&jury to go along with them.

You can protect a collection of unprotectable parts if as a collection it's distinctive. Apple tried to scare off all competition by focussing almost exclusively on detail, both in court and LOUDLY in PR. They can't complain if the case then falls apart as the individual claims fall.

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Botched Google Stagefright fix won't be resolved until September

Paul Shirley
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standard Google behaviour, only hearing the echoes

Google has a long and disgraceful history of simply ignoring contact from outsiders, it really shouldn't surprise anyone that even critical bug reports get little or no response. They seem to have passed Microsoft now in doing whatever they want without caring how or who it affects.

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So unfair! Teachers know what’s happening on students' fondleslabs

Paul Shirley
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Re: What's' this pointy stick for?

Spell correction and predictive text are responsible for most of the gibberish posts I make here, they're not always a good thing. I can't spell or get grammar right without help most of the time yet it frequently does more damage than good!

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Rupert Murdoch rips up his own fondleslab foundry

Paul Shirley
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Re: Trying hard, could do better

At least Ballmer&co are incompetent with just a small dose of evil. It's not a small dose with Murdoch.

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Apple and Google are KILLING KIDS with encryption, whine lawyers

Paul Shirley
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The US police have repeatedly demonstrated they have no problem with killing suspects with little or no reason... don't tempt them.

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Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

Paul Shirley
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Re: data treated as code

It's called the Harvard Architecture and it was designed to increase throughput to/from memory but does separate data from code. However we quite like to load programs into memory so they can be run, we like to JIT compile scripts and so on - so it could never offer any more security than write protecting pages in our Von Neumann machines.

The reason they died out is probably the slight problem of where you put the extra pins on a microprocessor to access 2 separate memory systems. Nowadays we could just multiplex them but it makes more sense to treat it just gobble the extra bandwidth directly.

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Windows 10 is FORCING ITSELF onto domain happy Windows 7 PCs

Paul Shirley
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Re: broken drivers

I'm looking forward to discovering if my hidden bad driver updates remain hidden after I finally allow Win10 to install (which sadly will be required for work sooner than I'm happy with). Let's just say I'm not optimistic.

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Paul Shirley
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also autoticking the upgrade button in Win Update

Caught the sneak bastards autoselecting 'upgrade to Win10' in the optional updates section of Win Update on both my PCs. Only takes one accident and your PC is infested prematurely. Hiding that update seems to have fixed the problem for now.

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Testing Motorola's Moto G third-gen mobe: Is it still king of the hill?

Paul Shirley
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Re: why not save the £60 by going sim free?

...because for most people it will cost much more than £60 to actually use it for the contract duration.

Also why it's such a PIA working out whether a bargain really is a bargain for you. As a £5/year man I'll stick with last years remaindered flagships for the foreseeable future.

BTW O2's cunning stunt of splitting the bill into device+airtime payments so they could carry on hiking prices mid-contract has backfired, so many people worked out they can buy on contract then immediately pay off the device part and cancel the contract, their operators sometimes just ask up front if that's what you plan to do!

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Remember Impero, the school software biz that went ape over a vuln? Someone's got revenge

Paul Shirley
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Hacking is what you do with tools, not knowing how to use tools and most definitely not knowing how to use some obsolete tool someone else decides defines hacking.

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Epson: Cheap printers, expensive ink? Let's turn that upside down

Paul Shirley
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Re: Hm..

One huge change possible with very cheap ink is using enough of it to keep the heads very regularly flushed even if the printer is not being used, without annoying the users over cost. I print rarely and both my inkjets died prematurely with unrepairably blocked jets and replacements that cost more than a new printer. I switched to a colour laser printer when the last one died.

If they get the lifetime right or at least make replacement heads cheap this could kill laser printers for many workloads.

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Windows 10 Start menu replacements shifting like hot cakes

Paul Shirley
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Re: has to be said

People continue to forget that the *HIERARCHICAL* start menu is there for the times pinning to the taskbar, desktop or using search doesn't do the job, not the primary way to launch things. And because it's hierarchical and easy to organise by drag'n'drop it's a hell of a lot better at those edge cases than the Start Screen or it's dumbed down menu replacement.

The new version makes those edge cases harder and more tedious without making anything any easier. Design driven by Microsofts desperate need to go mobile and touch over what works.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Windows 8 isn't a good comparison

Win8 was damn close to free at launch - $39.99/£24.99 - for the Pro version. Still didn't sell, hence actually free this time.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Hardly surprising

Using "OK Google" on my phone and tablet is surprisingly useful (and faster) compared to the chore of using the onscreen keyboard. It works remarkably well in noisy environments though I tend not to do it often in the pub.

I agree though, on a device with a good physical keyboard I can't see any point to it.

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OFFICIAL SCIENCE: Men are freezing women out of the workplace

Paul Shirley
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Re: Most AC can't hack it anyway

In one of my brief stints working on-site one of the senior devs knocked a hole in the outside wall of his private office to vent a portable evaporative cooler. Then ran it 24hrs/day but couldn't work out why his room was the hottest place in the building.

I can't remember how many days we waited before asking him if he'd ever filled the water tank ;)

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Paul Shirley
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varies by nation

We could always tell when the CEO made a visit to the UK office from his base in America when the thermostat went up to 25C+ and productivity dropped through the floor in the heat. Since he was usually there to meet visitors we were expected to smarten up to wearing shirts, why people sweating visibly was better than exposing arm flesh remains a mystery.

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HP insists 'we don't have a global dress code' – while deleting one from its website

Paul Shirley
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Re: wouldn't turn up to your sister's funeral in cowboy boots

If people turn up at my funeral in suit's they'll get turned away at the wake while I turn in my urn. Why make a bad day worse.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Really?

We recently heard from a reliable source (well, as reliable as anyone in banking can be) about a tech startup that reminds it's employees when potential investors are visiting. That gives them time to clutter the office with bikes, skateboards etc. and dress down with baseball hats/shorts/t-shirts. It's what the investors expect!

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Am I the only one thinking that HP *should* have a dress code?

When I was young&slim enough to fit in it, putting on my suit was the context switch to 'we're going out for the night, yippee!'. Gorgeous black velvet, far too good to waste on work.

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OnePlus phone fanbois flock for a shiny phondle

Paul Shirley
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An important part of the scarcity and invitation system is the way it creates artificial loyalty. Imagine the storm of complaint over the problems the 1 had if people could make casual purchases. Instead we have muted, almost apologistic, posts mostly out of sight on their forums.

Just like the 1p1 by the time anyone can just buy one the hardware and price will struggle to compete with year old flagships at year old flagship prices. The service will still be bad.

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Edge out rivals? No! Firefox boss BLASTS Microsoft's Windows 10 browser brouhaha

Paul Shirley
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Re: You know what

The reg and orlowski in particular are disappointed that 2+ years solid cheerleading for WinPhone and some other ms stuff harmed their reputation when ms started listening to the market (a very tiny amount) and backtracked on some of the mistakes.

Jilted lover syndrome ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Re: I bet this is unpopular...

The copy running on my PC is MY software and needs to respect MY existing choices. Not Microsoft's.

On a virgin install they get some slack, user tracking isn't quite good enough to give them my preferences before I give some clues and it seems they might be respecting my preferences on upgrades anyway. Sure there are less visible things they are hijacking though!

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Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

Paul Shirley
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Last time they did it to me it reached the point of 'you're going to prison' before I handed them money I didn't owe. A year later they finally realised they'd cocked up mightily, handed the money back with interest, the fines back with interest but not the slightest sign they cared.

At least it was several % more interest than I could get anywhere else.

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Paul Shirley
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Avoidance usually involves interpreting the law in ways favourable to yourself (and HMRC does the same). Interpretations open to challenge and revision until a court picks one. This is retrospectively determining that law at the time was being broken, not retroactively changing law.

What's unfair here is the heavy hand of HMRC applying it's revised interpretation quick&hard to grab the money before a court can disagree.

That said this case looks like evasion rather than avoidance.

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W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

Paul Shirley
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Re: the ads served are invariably total bollocks.

Invariably they're for something I've just bought and no longer need to buy.

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Paul Shirley
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Already happening http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/may/27/german-broadcasters-adblock-rtl-prosiebensat1-eyeo

So far the adslingers are losing. Unfortunately a US court will inevitably favour business over voters when the scum try it there :(

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

Paul Shirley
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FAIL

bug or exploit in waiting?

The big question: did they allocate a array[512] with checked bounds or is it a buffer overrun waiting for an exploit?

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Paul Shirley
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Facepalm

Re: wtf do you do with all the icons!

... Put them in some sort of hierarchical menu structure?

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Paul Shirley
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Re: I have 600

As the fanbois keep telling us, no one has more than a dozen apps they use regularly. 512 is infinity in the Win10 world.

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Microsoft's Arrow brings pane to Androids

Paul Shirley
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Marmite experience

Way back at the dawn of WinPhone a small rash of clone home screen replacements appeared on Android. Tried a couple as well as some less directly inspired 'vertical launchers', didn't like any of them.

You either love it or loath it. And fanbois, it doesn't get better if you stick with it and we don't all dismiss these things without trying them. Even when the shortcomings seem unmistakable at first glance!

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Windows 10 in head-on crash with Nvidia drivers as world watches launch

Paul Shirley
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Last time I looked Win10 was still offering me the 64bit Pinnacle 7010ix driver that won't work on 4Gb+ machines and the WiFi stick driver that causes instant kernel panics. Windows should NEVER automatically update drivers, the quality control on Windows Update is pathetic and drivers can render machines unusable.

Nvidia are even more of a fustercluck. I abandoned their products long ago due to the regular removal of features or hardware acceleration in new driver updates. Last Nvidia GPU had 2+ year old drivers before I binned it, they were the most recent that worked properly with my hardware. But at least I could control which version was installed, which bugs I'd be living with.

Giving back control needs to be built in to Win10, not a badly publicised patch many/most users will never hear about.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Paul Shirley
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Re: Who intentionally sends MMS messages these days?

On some networks you can't received MMS without first sending one, a large number of users might quite accidentally be protected because only hackers are likely to voluntarily use MMS today. That's aiming their SMS use didn't trigger conversion of long texts to MMS though.

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Paul Shirley
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Re: Workarounds

Wiping the MMSC,MMS proxy & MMS port APN fields *might* help, should stop it fetching any MMS body. No guarantees though and I'd bet on there being plenty of other ways to trigger stagefright badness.

There's simply no excuse for carriers and device manufactures not being able to quickly push a dll update and nailing this. Wont happen without heavy handed regulation - or at least the threat of huge fines.

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We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

Paul Shirley
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what hierarchical menu?

A hierarchical menu has multi dimensional navigation as an aid to organisation and consequently navigation, that's it's whole point. How a linear list with dividers counts as more than tokenism is a mystery, I'm scrolling the whole damn list to find the grouping my app might be in, about as half assed an effort at organisation as you can imagine.

What I want to see in every Win10 review is whether the various 3rd party fixes for crap like that work.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

Paul Shirley
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Re: your forgot a bit

EDF claim lifetime (construction,operation,fuel & decomission) CO2 emissions of 11gCO2e/kWh for wind power, 16gCO2e/kWh for nuclear, against a whopping 870 for coal. PV doesn't do so well at 72 but there's a lot more available roofs near the grid ;)

Focussing exclusively on construction cost is misguided if not actively mischievous.

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Paul Shirley
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Well, that's one of the things that R&D (we didn't bother spending money on for the whole denialist era) was meant to address. This is the problem with fundamentalists, since they already know the answer they see no point in having alternatives.

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If Microsoft made laptops, it'd make this: HP Spectre x360

Paul Shirley
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Re: Screens

I spend much of my day with side by side documents, wide is good. 3 monitors wide is better...

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Gamers Steaming over dumb Valve password vuln

Paul Shirley
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Steam Guard is a PIA

Ummmm, almost justifies the pain of Steam Guard and it's complete inability to remember I've logged in from the same machine+browser as little as a few hours earlier.

Almost. I seriously doubt it would even slow down an attacker.

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Paul Shirley
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Re: lets start a new craze

I went through my entire secondary education wearing the school uniform tie as a belt. They never did get round to specifying how the uniform was meant to be used ;)

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Paul Shirley
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@dotdavid maybe I should have mentioned being in the game industry, If you're interviewing for a game industry tech job there's roughly zero chance you'll ever need a suit at work, or anything close to one. It's not exactly a secret.

Luckily the few that did appear overdressed had been sent by agents that lied to them, lied to us, lied to frontline HR to get even considered. It's not an industry you want anyone walking into blind, it eats people.

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Paul Shirley
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At this time of year my colleagues are lucky we have a voice only daily Skype call... Too hot for shorts.

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Paul Shirley
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The only problem is if it encourages someone with smelly feet to join you. Rather than take that risk I kept a pair of slippers in the office ;)

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Paul Shirley
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The few times I took part in hiring interviews we tried very hard not to penalise the candidates that turned up in suits or wearing ties. But it was a clear sign they'd done no research at all about the job they were trying for.

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Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad

Paul Shirley
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predictable but still surprisingly high

The recent report of 3x average loading speedups by blocking all this sideloaded shit should have prepared me for this story but the amount of power being wasted is still shocking.

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Windows 10 on Mobile under the scope: Flaws, confusion, and going nowhere fast

Paul Shirley
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Re: SatNad?

If Microsoft stopped preferring to hear only what the fanbois say and perhaps asked (or bothered listening to) the non-users, they'd have a product with less astonishing design mistakes and more willing users.

At least the phonification of desktop Windows has been slowed, but not reversed, by this market failure.

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UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

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Here's why Whittingdale kicked a subscription BBC into the future

Paul Shirley
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BT Sport in on a commercial mux (COM6 ATM), as are the subscription streaming channels in the mid 200's. The old terrestrial channels fill PS1,PS2&PS3.

The BBC did encrypt the HD programme guide to force manufacturers to agree licences and DRM restrictions. It was broken before they even turned on my channels ;)

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Paul Shirley
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Being on every possible delivery platform - Sky, Freesat, cable & internet has a distinct stink of ensuring everyone requires a licence. A notional tax based on a service you could not receive wouldn't survive the first trip to court, whatever the law says. That means withdrawing that 'free' availability simply isn't an option for the BCC, unless they simultaneously switch to conditional access.

I think they have a damn good idea how few Sky customers would volunteer to pay for the BBC channels.

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Windows 10 Edge: Standards kinda suck yet better than Chrome?

Paul Shirley
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still riddled with Flash badness though

Another chance to tell Adobe which orifice to shove Flash back up missed :(

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