* Posts by AndyS

648 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Pokemon NO! Hospital demands ban on virtual creatures after addicts invade private wards

AndyS
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Re: Kids wandering into unsuitable places, particularly roads. Without looking

Weren't the people running the museum in Auschwitz also in the news recently, complaining that pretend digital monsters appearing in nazi gas chambers was a bit... insensitive?

I think the onus should equally be on players to know better than to be using their phones in places like that, but that doesn't excuse the game's manufacturer.

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Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES

AndyS
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Re: "Exploding"?

RUD (Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly) is the correct acronym here. Take note Reg. Vague enough to be entirely correct, but most often associated with massive (and very real, supersonic-combustion-of-explosive-material type) explosions.

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Alleged German YouTube-to-MP3 ripper sued by labels

AndyS
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Re: How is that supposed to work ?

That Flickr case is totally different. Germany ruled that they should do XYZ in Germany, so they did. They may be a US company, but they were operating in Germany, and complied with German law in their German operations.

I suppose the equivalent would be a US court ruling that this ripping site should be blocked in the US, which would be perfectly reasonable. But attempting to actually alter the behaviour of the site, the company or their operations outside the US, through the use of the domestic US court system, is meaningless.

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HP Inc: No DRM in our 3D printers, we swear (unlike our 2D ones)

AndyS
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Re: Certified

>I don't have a problem with certified products having chips, it's locking out third party products that do not have the chip that I would find troubling.

Oh, but they won't do that. Not initially, anyway - that would lead to too many returns. They'll just display a message, which you need to dismiss before using the machine (every single time) that there are non-genuinecertified materials being used. Of course, this will also invalidate the warranty, and the fact it's happened will be stored on non-volatile memory.

A few years down the line, of course, there is a chance a firmware update might change that behaviour, but only after the items are out of warranty anyway. So, on 28 September 2019, you might suddenly find the printer stops working for all consumables without that chip. HP will of course look into this, while locking down any threads requesting answers and failing to respond to any enquiries.

But that's not DRM, of course. That's to enhance the user experience, ensure the product's optimal functioning, and the safety of the equipment. Nothing to do with the current 2D printer situation.

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AndyS
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Re: Certified for sale

Agreed.

"I'm sorry, the cartridge you have inserted is not certified by HP for use in your machine."

In what practical way is this different from the current situation?

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That's cold: This is how our boss told us our jobs are at risk, staffers claim

AndyS
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Re: When it comes to cold goodbyes...

>...doing the deed quickly...

The same goes for leaving a company voluntarily. My last place held me to a 12 week notice period. Not wanting to burn bridges, I instead picked up 3 months more pay for, basically, wasting their time and my own. Very frustrating, and not a good way to encourage people leaving to be up-beat about the company.

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It's Pablo Pic-arsehole: Turner Prize wannabe hits rock bottom

AndyS
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Re: Pheeep

Dog whistle is meant to be more subtle. Like, for example, a US idiot Republican stating "Barak Obama isn't like us," when he means "He's black."

This is just straight out mockery. Much simpler stuff.

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Narcissist Heidi Powell wants her dot-com and she wants it now, now, NOW!

AndyS
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Re: I'm sorry?

thatsthewholepointofthearticle.com

(it's ok, it's free, I checked).

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AndyS
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Re: Ad hominem

I wonder about people like that, whether they are chancing their arm or are actually deluded.

Scamming is sort of understandable... If detestable.

I fear she's serious, and that's sad. I wonder, therefore, about her mental ability and health.

She? Her? Oh, sorry, I thought you were talking about a certain presidential candidate with a floppy wig.

That's the odd thing about Americans, isn't it? Not only do they have a large number of deluded idiots, but an even larger number of presumably sane people who look up to them.

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Indefatigable WikiBots keep Wikipedia battles going long after humans give up and go home

AndyS
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Re: Example?

OK, that's interesting, but again are there any examples of two bots battling it out? I'd be interested to know why two bots would both be approved, when the output of one counts as a valid correction for the other to make, and especially so when this forms a circle.

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AndyS
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Example?

I've scanned through the paper, and can't find one. Are these simple grammar type edits, for example UseTheOxfordCommaBot versus LastListItemHasNoCommaBot? Or is there something more complex? I'd love to see some examples of what's being talked about.

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United States Air Force grounds F-35As after cooling kit cracks up

AndyS
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Re: Testing

> Surely this would have been apparent as a result of testing. Would it not be normal to perform extensive tests on items coming from the sub-contractor to make sure they performed to specification?

Yes, that's what a Conformity issue means. The design is good, the product did not conform to the engineering. Most Aerospace parts are delivered with a Certificate of Conformity, in which the supplier states that the part has been manufactured and tested according to specification. Something in that process has gone wrong here, and you can be sure the supplier will receive a very good kicking because of it.

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FBI overpaid $999,900 to crack San Bernardino iPhone 5c password

AndyS
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Re: This is - at best - a temporary solution.

That last one would have the added benefit of also preventing those pesky users from trying to replace the single heaven-provided battery.

Now for the real question. How much acid can it hold?

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The Internet of Things isn't just for Bluetooth toothbrushes, y'know

AndyS
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I was out fishing the other day and dropped my After Eights. Now I have a Minty Net of Thins.

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French hackers selling hidden .22 calibre pen guns on secret forums

AndyS
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Re: Not an Internet story

> there is a Linux connection. Nearly.

Pengun? I missed it.

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VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

AndyS
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Re: Hypocrites in DoJ

Forget the technical part of the test. Hand in hand with it is a certification, from the OEM, that the car does not run a different engine emissions programme when on test from what it uses on the road.

All cars need to know if they're being tested, as the bonnet is normally open, the rear wheels are stationary, the air pressures are all wrong (the car's not moving), etc. These would normally cause the car to throw all sorts of errors, and de-rate the engine to limp-home mode. So, you have a test mode, where it allows the engine to run "normally."

Certifying that the engine is behaving normally during the test is an integral part of the test - if you have to lie about that, you're not passing the test. You're failing the test. It just takes longer to find out.

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Plusnet broadband outage: Customers fume as TITSUP* continues

AndyS
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Re: No problems here...

Same here in Northern Ireland, or at least it was at about 7:30 before I left this morning.

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World eats its 10 millionth Raspberry Pi

AndyS
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Re: Auntie sulking a bit?

> "[The Raspberry Pis are] incredibly powerful but they're hard to use," she told the BBC.

Hard to argue with that, since it comes without any peripherals, connectors or operating system.

However, it's clearly part of the point. An iPhone is easy to use, and can be made to do many of the same things a pi does, but getting a pi up and running, to fulfill a function, will necessarily teach you about many of the fundamentals of computing.

Which is exactly what it is designed for.

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Tesla driver dies after Model S hits tree

AndyS
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Re: standard operating procedures

> how would they tackle an electrical fire in any other situation? Why didn't they just use the already-existing steps to tackle electrical fires? It's not as if a Tesla car is anything special in that regard.

It's a fairly non-standard electrical fire. First, it's high voltage DC, not AC, which makes it more dangerous. Secondly, there is no way to isolate it (as they would at sub-station fires etc). Third, it's on fire (the electrical source itself, not just stuff around it), and it's got lithium in it. Fourth, there was no danger to anybody by letting it burn (bearing in mind the driver had already died in the crash), so that appears to have been the safest way forward.

Not sure what else they should have done, really. Seems like they acted very sensibly.

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AndyS
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Re: standard operating procedures

I assume milk floats etc run on much lower voltage, and probably just lead-acid batteries, which have been around a lot longer (and are much less dangerous) that lithium batteries.

I also know that the London Fire Brigade have had extensive special training for the 650V hybrid li-ion powered buses churning around their streets, with packs that make Teslas look like matchbox toys. I wouldn't like to be in or near one of them if something hit it hard.

Since it's been stated that the driver had already died before they were on scene, I think they probably did exactly the right thing, tragic and awful though it is.

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AndyS
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Re: But...

Cars crash. People die in car crashes.

In this case, a man has, tragically, died in a car crash. That is all we know.

Actually that's not all we know, we also know that Tesla is working their damn hardest to reduce the number of people that die in crashes, and it's only because of that, that every crash in one of their cars gets reported round the world. If they were just another OEM pumping out dino-powered boxes, you'd hear, and think, nothing. How many people do you think have been killed worldwide in accidents by hitting stationary objects in their perfectly normal cars today?

And yet you want to have a go at bashing them. Well, good for you.

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Qualcomm, AT&T get together to test mobe networks for delivery drone control

AndyS
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> You can't pack enough brains into a small drone for it to operate autonomously.

Why not? My £40 Pixhawk flight controller can fly a drone autonomously using locations and altitudes from Google Maps. The newer Phantoms have obstacle avoidance built in. Both, and many cheaper options too, can operate a safe "return to base" mode if they detect anything wrong.

It's not like any advance AI is needed. Simply "If something odd happens (eg unexpected obstacle, bad weather, unexpected command...), come home. If something very odd happens (loss of location data, loss of full control), land on a clear space identified by on-board cameras. If something very very odd happens (eg multiple motor failure, or power source failure), turn off motors and, if we're going to be really clever, open a parachute.

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Fleeing Snowden hid among Hong Kong's refugees

AndyS
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> Barrister Robert Tibbo, with minutes to spare before the US Government and media arrived, contacted some of his 70 Hong Kong refugee clients to have Snowden hidden.

What, you mean the US hadn't already tapped his phone? Poor show. So much for a world-wide spying network...!

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QANTAS' air safety spiel warns not to try finding lost phones

AndyS
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Oh look, downvotes for correct, if surprising, fact, because someone said something fancy with big words.

There is not much lithium in a li-ion battery, and the small amount there is already on fire anyway. Water won't make it worse.

Here is the official advice from the FAA. The logic, and it is sound, is that you can do nothing about the burning cell(s), but you can cool the surrounding ones, prevent the fire spreading, and extinguish any surrounding material which has caught fire.

(1) Utilize a Halon, Halon replacement or water extinguisher to extinguish the fire and prevent its spread to additional flammable materials.

(2) After extinguishing the fire, douse the device with water or other non-alcoholic liquids to cool the device and prevent additional battery cells from reaching thermal runaway.

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AndyS
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The recommended action is to pour water (or other water-based liquid - fizzy or not) over it to cool it down and stop the fire spreading. Or better, to drop it in a bucket of water. If that is done, or a water-based extinguisher used, it would be fairly easy to contain the relatively small fire from a phone battery.

I suspect it's not really possible to properly put out the fire before the energy is all released from the battery, which happens in a matter of seconds once it properly takes hold, so containing it is almost definitely the best course of action.

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

AndyS
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Re: Or someone closer to home?

I heard he already acted Bond once, but the post-production studio wasn't up to the standard he demanded, so he wouldn't allow it to be released.

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Google plots cop detection for auto autos

AndyS
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Oh good grief

Aren't self-driving cars meant to replicate the behaviour of humans, most of whom will readily move out of the way of emergency vehicles? So, in what way is this novel enough to warrant a patent?

Or are we going to see patents for every single aspect of the behaviour of a driver, driving a car, when the driver is replaced by a computer?

For example, if the car is going to turn left, it should be able to let people around it know, for example by using flashing lights at the left side of the front and rear of the car. There's a patent, right there. And there's probably one for not driving over children, even if they shouldn't be there, too.

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Lose a satellite? Us? China silent on fate of Gaofen civilian/spy sat

AndyS
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Cities

Is it normal for first stages and fairings to fall on cities? Or is this a usage of the word "city" that I'm not familiar with? I'd have thought dropping rockets into densely packed civilian areas would be frowned upon, even in China.

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Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablets recalled immediately

AndyS
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Re: Maybe this torched...

Yeah, this new Apple Samsung is a rubbish phone, isn't it!

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Now the Olympics is over, Theranos is withdrawing its Zika test application

AndyS
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Thanks Dan, & AC, that makes sense. I wasn't looking at the bigger picture of the company's history, so was wondering about just this one test. It's possible to do this (test a new finger-prick product) ethically even if it gives dubious results, but that involves duplicate testing with the current best practice, and no reliance on the new equipment for diagnosis. So the harm isn't the finger-price machine, but the lack of any ethics surrounding its use.

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AndyS
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While I agree with what you've written, can you explain how a finger-prick test could endanger the recipient? I'm struggling to see why the FDA have a problem here, or what the ethical dilemma is.

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Will the real builders of IoT please stand up?

AndyS
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Why? Professional conferences do tend to be rather expensive. They all are. It's an expensive thing to organise.

Even if you are skeptical of the subject matter (as I am - see my comment above), that price, for a 3 day conference, is not particularly over the top.

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AndyS
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Odd definitions

It's a strange thing. I genuinely don't like the concept of IoT - most of what it seems to represent ("smart" light bulbs, self aware kettles etc) seem to represent solutions where there is no problem, at great expense and sacrifice of data/security/privacy.

However... I like my Chromecasts. I like the fact my car can get live traffic updates through my phone. I like being able to check the webcam in the baby's room from the garage, so that I don't have to stay in the house all evening. I like having several TB of storage on our network, which I can access from anywhere. I also like how my phone has become a massively connected communication thingimy.

So I guess the issue, to me, is that IoT has become such a toxic "brand", associated with such nonsense, that I no longer apply it, in my head, to the things I actually find useful. I simply refer to those by name, or maybe something like "internet connected gadgets."

It's surely time serious developers stopped banging on about colour-changing lightbulbs (which cost £100 each, and stop working when the parent company stops making enough profit from the exact model you have) and start actually talking about specific, useful applications to our every day lives. Google seem to be very good at this - when did they last refer to any of their products as IoT devices?

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TalkTalk's appeal against paltry ICO data breach fine thrown out

AndyS
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Re: Not fit for purpose

The point is to make a point, that they were in breach.

The point of appealing was to try and reverse that point.

The fact that the actual amount of money is basically meaningless proves that this is about making quite important points, not about the money.

Talk talk may be pretty awful, but their behaviour in appealing this is perfectly logical.

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Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

AndyS
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Re: Dear TC

Daily Mail? Really?

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Ireland taxman: Apple got NO favours from us, at all, at all

AndyS
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Re: W00T!

Yeah, damn commies, demanding that big companies should pay tax at the same rate as everyone else.

Has it occurred to you that your comment is a bit like a fart-can on the back of a Citroen Saxo? It serves no useful purpose except to point out how stupid your opinions (and by your own extension, all Brexiters) are.

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AndyS
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Re: Irish politicians will need to fight this ruling...

> Would that have been necessary if the big multinationals like Apple were paying tax at the published rate everyone else had to pay?

Those multinationals wouldn't be in Ireland if they were paying tax at the published rate. That's why they're there.

Ireland still benefits from having them - corporation tax isn't the only way a company benefits its host country (employment, income tax, etc). If they didn't cut these illegal deals, those companies would go somewhere else (as they likely might now anyway), and Ireland will be poorer for it.

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AndyS
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Re: Correction ..

> Apple has so far resisted the temptation to send The Reg a comment on the whole sorry saga for the last two decades.

Actually, it appears there is the occasional chink in Apple's Reg-proof armour. See this article for example (although the Reg failed to comment on Apple commenting to the Reg).

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AndyS
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So they paid €50 on every €1M profit. At 12.5% corp tax, that's €400 of profit declared as Irish.

So the question is simple. In what country was tax on the remaining €999,600 paid, and at what rate?

Was it paid in the country in which the sales were made? Presumably not, or there would be no point routing it through a fictional head office in Ireland. Was it paid in the US, where they are actually headquartered? Well, no. Was it paid in China, where the devices are manufactured? That would seem extremely unlikely.

So, in the assumption that they are paying tax on only 0.004% of their non-US profits, this seems like such a cut-and-dry case of mega-corp tax avoidance/evasion that everybody with an ounce of integrity, Irish, American, Chinese, whatever, should be cheering on the EU.

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Reports: Autopilot will go on strike if you're not paying attention

AndyS
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Re: just turn it off already.

You don't need to stop the car and put it in park if you're in the middle of a motorway. Only if you want to re-engage autopilot. You're free to continue driving it like a normal car.

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AndyS
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Re: Its all in the name

Two car family here, one of which is only used occasionally (say 2 days a week). If I could send my car home again after I get to work, the first thing we would do is sell the other one.

We're rural, but if we were more urban, we'd probably be fine without owning a car, provided the cost of a shared system was significantly lower than the current cost of using taxis.

There are many, many people like us, who see a car as a useful but expensive tool, not a prized possession to be coveted, polished and drooled over. It gets me from A to B nicely, but costs a lot of money. If I can still get from A to B as conveniently, but for less money, I'll drop it in a heartbeat.

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India tests Mach 6 scramjet

AndyS
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Re: Scramjet uses

>Guiding it would be as well.

I guess it could always slow down as it approached its target? Or it could simply be a carrier, which would then release more conventional weapons once within range?

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EU verdict: Apple received €13bn in illegal tax benefits from Ireland

AndyS
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Re: Particularly interesting...

>Once Ireland decide to leave the EU...

As someone living here (well, the Northern enclave, anyway), once they do that, they'll quickly revert to being a third world economy, praying the potatoes don't fail again...

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AndyS
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Particularly interesting...

...as it substantially reduces the benefits of headquartering in Ireland, after the event.

I wonder if they will now leave Ireland, since the benefit maybe isn't there, and if other high tech firms will follow?

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Brexit Britain: HP Sauce vs BBC.co.uk – choices that defined voters

AndyS
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So, let's see if I've got this right.

People interested in the world around them - news, travel, information, technology - voted stay.

People interested in their lives, right here, right now - fast food, basically - voted leave.

It seems Michael Gove was right. People really are fed up listening to experts.

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Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

AndyS
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Re: Just one

> This

"Gee, if only there was some sort of button I could press that indicated my agreement with a comment which I felt added to the conversation. It would be so much more convenient than having to type "this" so many times every day."

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Brit network O2 hands out free Windows virus with USB pens

AndyS
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Re: I wonder

> if people will be remembering this in a decade, like they obsess over the Sony "Rootkit" (that wasn't a rootkit at all). [citation needed] This actually is far more severe, [citation needed] and affecting more people. [citation needed]

Here's some citations.

1. Root kit (yes, an actual root kit)

2. The Sony rootkit was on product which had been paid for, it installed itself deceptively (after a yes/no dialogue which it ignored), on a massive number of computers. Sony then repeatedly denied its existence then, once they were cornered, offered deceptive, broken "removal" tools. This O2 debacle is the accidental inclusion of an outdated virus in a small run of advertising media, followed by immediate notification of at-risk people and clear instructions on what to do next.

3. Sony distributed 22 million infected CDs.

Now, go and find a nurse, and tell them you've forgotten to take your medication again.

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Mobile banking for the poor has flopped in India

AndyS
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Re: The poor in India is missing something significant for mobile banking

Hahahaha!!! You should tell Donald Trump that one, he's got the best racist jokes. He should know.

Except the article notes the average monthly income, and it's based on a model successfully developed in East Africa (where the average income is similar to, although a bit lower than, India).

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Hello, Barclays? Why hello, John Smith. We meet again

AndyS
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Re: Dangerous gimmick

Ah yes, the Ford voice "recognition". Assuming it's the same style of system as in my 2014 Focus, it would make a decent random number generator for some highly sensitive encryption.

Did you know the software is produced by Microsoft, incidentally?

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

AndyS
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Does the anonymous staff member also add ketchup (or, shudder, mayonnaise) to chips before serving them? What about cream - (s)he doesn't add it to the crumble before it gets to the table, I presume? Jam on scones likewise - what sort of cafe would sell scones with the condiments pre spread?

No, all these things are up to the diner to decide.

I presume the member of staff's plan was never to be allowed to make tea again, and in that respect, presumably, they were successful.

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