* Posts by AndyS

594 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Maxthon web browser blabs about your PC all the way back to Beijing

AndyS
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Is this worse

than virtually every other browser on the market, which leaks information back to the USA?

Why are we automatically meant to be more suspicious of China than America? Neither have exactly proved themselves the guardians of decency and consumer protection.

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AT&T: We wanna be a drone company, not just a phone company

AndyS
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> Any commercial flights with drones should be done with licenced pilots only! IMO.

Why? Should anyone operating a remote controlled ground based vehicle need a driving licence? What level - would an automatic transmission licence be enough, or should it be full manual? You do know there are multiple levels of pilots' licences, right? Which are you thinking is appropriate? Or are you suggesting a new class of licence just for drones? What has changed, and why do you think this hasn't been required for r/c aircraft up until now (since these have been around in fairly large numbers for 30-40 years plus)?

I've flown fixed wing aircraft (gliders, piston and turbo-prop), helicopters, and many types of RC aircraft including all the above and also quadcopters (drones). Proving you can fly a Cessna safely would be no use at all for flying a drone, and vice versa, and I don't see any need to licence a new class of r/c aircraft just because it has suddenly got more accessible and useful. There are already laws against doing stupid things that could, or do, cause injury or damage - these laws still apply, and are sufficient.

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Remember those stupid hoverboards? 500,000+ recalled in the US after they started exploding

AndyS
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Re: Sent mine back.

Ah yes. I suppose that Whoosh noise was the sort of sound a burning electric skateboard thing would make as it trundles gently over my head.

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AndyS
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Re: Sent mine back.

Ah yes, the other Chav marker. Should have got a Staffy though, aren't they the popular way to look hard (and accidentally kill the occasional toddler) these days?

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AndyS
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Re: Huh?

What?

42 cases of burns etc.

16 cases of severe property damage.

Somewhere between 42 and 58 total incidents.

That wasn't too hard to work out, was it?

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AndyS
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Re: "Sideways-Motorised-Rollerskate!"

Surely you mean "sideways-motorised-skateboard"? I'm with you though - not really sure what niche they fill, and without a catchy (and blatantly lying) name, I'm not sure they would have caught on to the extent they have. Which fortunately isn't very much.

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AndyS
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Re: Burns to arms and neck?

A temperature cut-out, even if it is fitted, won't do much for an internal failure, damage caused from outside, or a short circuit. It would be like fitting a fire detector inside a bonfire. "Yup, it's on fire."

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AndyS
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Water is absolutely the correct thing to use to fight a li-ion battery fire.

The cells currently burning cannot feasibly be stopped. However cells are usually in blocks of many cells. Cooling them down will prevent fire/failure from spreading to the neighbouring cells.

A li-ion battery fire is not an electrical fire, for which water will do nothing, or an oil fire, which water will spread. Cooling it down with water is 100% the correct course of action.

I put an axe through a fairly large li-ion pack at the weekend. One cell immediately went up. Within 3 minutes or so, every cell in the pack had gone. Nothing can stop that initial cell, but water would have prevented the (much larger, and much longer) fire from occurring.

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Debian founder Ian Murdock killed himself – SF medical examiner

AndyS
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Not very sensitive.

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Outed China ad firm infects 10m Androids, makes $300k a month

AndyS
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Re: Android versions?

My wife still has a "backup" phone that runs Honeycomb, which still works as far as I know. Although it's not been turned on for a while now.

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AndyS
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Android versions?

"...the horribly outdated KitKat version 4.4 operating system... the significantly more-secure JellyBean version 5.x operating system"

Some mistake? JellyBean is pretty old these days, older than KitKat - isn't 5.x Lollipop?

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Celebrated eye hospital Moorfields lets Google eyeball 1 million scans

AndyS
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Re: Retinal identification as a consequence?

Here's the thing about Revelation. It's so fantastically specific on details which are relevant across all of history (eg the importance of the ability to buy and sell), while being completely vague on the details which could narrow down the time period which it's talking about, that it has been interpreted as applying to everything from Nero, through Napoleon, to Hitler, and now to all sorts of body implant type things.

It was written to offer encouragement under persecution, no matter when in history that persecution happens, and it's been astonishingly well written for that. Google isn't, really, persecuting. So I'd go out on a limb, and say that, perhaps, it's not really relevant here.

I know it won't make me popular to say this here, but in pure Biblical terms, Google probably aren't the Antichrist.

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Martha Lane Fox: Brexit is all about MEEEEeeee!

AndyS
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I don't get it.

I've heard her on the radio numerous times. I've read some of her stuff. I sort of agree with her on some topics.

And yet, I've never heard her say or do anything interesting. Every time I've heard her, it's just more Motherhood and Apple Pie (digital edition).

If she had something interesting to say, or could coherently discuss a problem and proposed solution (and how that solution would work), or if she was even vaguely entertaining to listen to, I could understand why she would keep being invited back. I guess she's a bit of a wiki-interviewee - she can be molded and encouraged to say whatever suits the agenda of the interviewer. It's all very... boring.

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John Lewis CIO commands brand-new super-group role

AndyS
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I worked in John Lewis once...

...from summer to Christmas 1999. At that point, telephone sales were fulfilled by phoning the store, being put through to the department, talking to a member of staff who would go and pick up the things you wanted from the shop floor. They would then run it through the till, take a card payment over the phone (no credit cards accepted, debit only), and carry it down to the loading bay in the basement where they would personally wrap it, hand write the address on the outside and leave it in a cage, which usually already had one or two other orders in it, to be taken to the warehouse and posted from there. Postage was free within the UK (including overseas military post codes), but international shipping got a bit more complicated.

Times have changed a lot, in what is really a very short period of time. It's astonishing, really.

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Last panel in place, China ready to boot up giant telescope

AndyS
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Re: Creeping Americanisation

PS - shouldn't this telescope really be measured in football pitches? Wales seems inconveniently large - a bit like a Farad.

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AndyS
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Creeping Americanisation

I'm worried. El Reg, you get a point for measuring in Waleses (rather than our cousin's favoured Texases, which I still struggle to convert quickly in my head to either Wales or football pitches - I mean it's very easy to remember that there are approx 2.825 x 10^6 football pitches per Wales, but I can't ever remember how many rounders baseball fields there are to a Texas, never mind how big a rounders baseball field actually is).

However, you promptly lost it again for talking of "hex" keys. What's wrong with Allan keys? What about spanners - aren't they hexagons too? Or should we start calling them "wrenches"?

5/10, needs improvement. See me after class.

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Man sues YET AGAIN for chance to marry his computer

AndyS
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Re: ReL Windows computers aren't marriage material because

Windows PCs seem to be a lot more fickle than the old Nintendos. All they needed was a quick blow.

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Fear and Brexit in Tech City: Digital 'elite' are having a nervous breakdown

AndyS
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Re: Legal Headaches

In other news, the vast majority of arrests come after interaction with police. Therefore if we abolish the police, crime will disappear!

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Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

AndyS
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Re: I wouldn't take one

Moto G is very simple to root. Don't know about the other handsets being offered.

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AndyS
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Absolutely. Moto G, certainly, is extremely easy to root. So this just looks like a £50 discount for people who want a rooted phone. Nice!

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Plymouth 'animal rights' teen admits Florida SeaWorld cyber attack

AndyS
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>And I, for one, have never got hyperlinks to work properly on El Reg, despite playing around with HTML a little. How do you get them to work?

Seems a little esoteric. I had to edit my comment a couple of times to make it work (which was a bit ironic...)

I eventually dropped the inverted commas around the href argument of the html tag, although playing about now, it seems to work with or without inverted commas, and either single or double work.

It also seems that any abortive attempt to put html in a comment prevents the rest of the html in the comment from being parsed, and also prevents you from being able to post the comment. When you hit post, it tells you "There are some problems with your post. The post contains some invalid HTML".

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AndyS
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Wow. That's a lot of links. I think. Although it's hard to tell to be honest, they're all kind of jumbled up in there. Still, it's a lot of text, so I'm sure you know what you're talking about.

You know nobody is going to go to the bother of copying and pasting any one of them, right? Also, did you know El Reg supports hyperlinks?

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AndyS
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Seaworld is a despicable slave centre

...and looks like a party of saints compared to his other (admitted) target, the Japanese dolphin hunt.

Next we'll find out he's been targeting UKIP too. Then he really will be a national hero.

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You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

AndyS
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Re: old school attitudes to data erasure

> Is manually drilling or hammering thousands of drives really a cost effective method for destruction?

No, but then driving millions of miles a year isn't really cost effective either. However if you need to travel about 20 miles a day, it makes perfect sense.

For most normal people, handling a few hard-drives now and again, a hammer, drill or other mechanical solution is probably perfectly fine - 5 minutes, job done. Obviously if you run a business destroying drives, you need something more... efficient.

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Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

AndyS
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Re: Love's father

I heard his father too, seemed like a very reasonable man.

My issue with "time, crime" etc is that there needs to be continual debate about what "time" is appropriate for what "crime," and that debate is necessarily always started after someone _has_ done the crime. Our and the US's understanding of what time is reasonable for what crime is often very, very far out of kilter, as is our and their sense of a "fair trial."

So sending someone there for what is not much more than a minor misdemeanor worthy of a slap on the wrist, in the full knowledge of lack of real trial (via their "plea bargin" system) and the consequent hell that awaits them, is considered by most right-thinking people as unjust.

Thus while it's possible to have very little sympathy with the individual at the centre of the discussion, it's still a valid and worthwhile discussion.

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Florida man sues Apple for $10bn, claims iPod, iPhone was his idea

AndyS
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"...adopt a culture of dumpster diving..."

Oh shut up.

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VW finds US$15 BEEELION under the couch to pay off US regulators

AndyS
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I suspect the other reason it didn't come to light for so long is that nobody's plate is completely clean (although VW's seems to have been particularly dirty). Having worked in the auto industry, it is openly acknowledged by the OEMs, the test houses and the government that a new, clean, more rigorous approach to testing is required. However until that is implemented, it will do nobody any favours to investigate the current methods of "passing" in too much detail.

So, sweep out the entire house and start again. But until then, don't ask too many questions.

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Europe's UK-backed Unified Patent Court 'could be derailed'

AndyS
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Re: The UK is a full member of the EU

That's all great. So in lay-man's terms, nothing is likely to happen for 2-4 years.

So, that completely of pulls the rug out from under a 2017 opening date. And since 1/3 of the funding is likely to be lost (not guaranteed of course, but likely), no sane person would bank on this project continuing.

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AndyS
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Great idea! Let's add this to the list of things that £350M per week can fund!

No doubt with that much money we'll not only be able to fund a new hospital every Tuesday, all the world's science, farms for everyone, 3 schools for every child and this new patent court, but also get rid of tax! And immigrants!

Retake control! We're going to be so rich.

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Gun-jumping French pols demand rapid end to English in EU

AndyS
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Re: Lingua Franca

In large parts of Africa, the Lingua Franca is the tongue of whichever country colonised them - so English in East and Southern Africa, French in Central and West, Arabic in the North, Portugese in Mozambique, and Afrikaans (basically Toddler Dutch) in large parts of SA. English won't get you far in any of these, unless you get lucky.

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Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

AndyS
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Re: A close call?

Martin, I should have given the link, yes - the most interesting aspect is the decision not to change to emergency radio frequency to reduce the pilots' workload, which led to an inability to communicate directly with the fire crew, which led to Chinese whispers leading the fire crew to believe there was a fire inside the cabin. So, they turned up in full haz-mat gear with axes at the ready, prepared for ingress into a burning aircraft.

Unsurprisingly, from the news reports at the time, this spooked the passengers, making them think the situation was way more serious than it really was. Luckily it had no real adverse effect on the response, but it highlights very clearly how seemingly benign departures from pre-agreed procedures, even if done for the best of reasons, can have serious unintended consequences.

Full disclosure: I did a work placement at the AAIB many moons ago, so read their reports like a true geek. I can highly recommend it - many of them are fascinating.

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AndyS
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Re: Penny

There was a Nimrod crash where the cockpit crew were trouble-shooting a warning lamp. The manuals stated that the warning lamp, which showed the engine starter turbine running, was malfunctioning since the starter turbine could not run while the engine was already at speed. The correct procedure was to remove the indicator bulb. The crew were apparently doing that, as the wing was gently burning away...

More here: http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19950516-0

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AndyS
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Re: like that's a good thing?

Yes, that's a good thing. How many Ford Mondeos do you think have been lost in the last decade? Would that make you scared getting into one?

If you actually look at why they were lost, one disappeared (cause unknown), one was shot down, one was landed like a dead duck. So that leaves 2 which actually had a failure leading to a loss, and neither of them had a single injury (one landed short at Heathrow, the other had a fire while on the ground).

This, and the other engine failure/fire one in May this year, will probably be added to that total, but again, both were evacuated with no injuries.

Considering there are nearly 1,500 in service, and they've been flying for well over 20 years, that's a remarkable safety record.

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AndyS
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Re: A close call?

Presumably there was no indication of a fire to the cockpit, and the standard procedure for the errors they had was to return to the home airport. The failure then "evolved", but planes routinely do return to their home airport for failures which fall between "carry on" and "crap, get me down" in severity.

Obviously if the situation had worsened while it was still in the air, it would have diverted to somewhere closer.

Also the closest airport isn't always the one you want to be at - there was an engine fire on a FlyBE plane on long finals to Belfast City airport in late 2014 and, after extinguishing the fire, it diverted to the (further away) Belfast International, as the fire and evacuation facilities there are much better, and it's not in the middle of a city. I imagine overflying a city centre with a plane which has just been, and in fact still was, on fire, might not be good for the nerves of the pilots!

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AndyS
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Re: They did well to keep everyone calm and not deploy the slides!

I hadn't heard about the AA one, but just read a few reports - why do you have the impression the evacuation was mishandled? If there is smoke in the cabin, and an evacuation is ordered, why would you not want the slides to be used? Even if it later turns out that there was not a serious issue, that probably isn't obvious to the crew and passengers, whose priority is to get everyone off and away from the plane as quickly as possible.

I'm actually quite surprised the slides weren't used in this 777 evacuation - I wonder why not? Maybe the fire didn't start (or wasn't visible) until after the steps were already in place?

When things go seriously wrong, every second lost in the early part of an evacuation can cost lives in the later parts of it, and slides have the ability to get a lot of people out of a plane very quickly, much more quickly than steps.

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AndyS
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Wow.

Glad everyone's OK. Alarming to see what looks like a fuel fire almost engulfing the wing - guess we'll have to wait a while to see what caused it.

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IT consultant gets 4 years' porridge for tax fraud

AndyS
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Re: FTFY...

Wait, does killing unnamed and unarmed brown people somewhere in the middle east not count as a "vital public service"? I always assumed it was essential to our democracy, since we seem to spend so much of our money doing it.

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

AndyS
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Presumably by the "elected and removable" option you mean the EU, with it's members all directly elected or appointed by directly elected members?

And by the non-democratic, non removable option you're talking about the UK, with non proportional representation for the only pseudo-democratic house, a second house made up of various life-long peers (many hereditary), and Monarch topping the whole thing off?

The EU as a whole is actually vastly more directly democratic than the UK.

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AndyS
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Re: EU migration policies are far more racist than anything the UK ever had

@WatAWorld

Wow. A whole new level of made-up bollocks. If your world view is really so devoid of any factual reasoning that you have to resort to inventing new levels of bull to back up what you want to believe, would it not eventually be easier to realise your world view might be at fault?

Most US passport holders are white. Does that mean the US is systematically racist when it allows special privileges to their own passport holders?

Zimbabwe is a majority black country, so most Zimbabwean passport holders, who get special treatment by Zimbabwe, are black. That is not racist. Robert Mugabe systematically applied policies to strip white Zimbabweans of their citizenship. That is racist.

Guess what? A union of countries, for the benefit of those countries, benefits the citizens of those countries. Since Europe is mostly white (after all, it's the continent that white people came from), of course most people in that union are white.

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AndyS
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Re: Please - read the history

So, because you haven't "seen" economic prosperity (you've obviously not looked at any statistics or facts - our country is recovering extremely well from a global economic recesion), you are going to vote the way which everyone, including Farage and BJ, have stated will cause actual worsening economic conditions?

"My foot hurts. The doctor said putting it in the meat grinder would make it worse. But it hurts, so I'm going to put it in the meat grinder. It's bound to make it better."

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AndyS
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"Inside the EU, the laws being passed are proposed by un-elected commissioners , voted on by MEPs from 27 other countries of which the UK has around 7% of the vote, and once the law is passed it can never be revoked or modified."

Ignoring the bullshit about unelected blah de blah (the only truely unelected people with a say over our laws are the Monarchy and the House of Lords - both British through and through), I've never understood this "only X%" argument, which was used in the Scottish campaign too.

Why should the fact that you are a small part of something bigger automatically be seen as a bad thing? It is the fundamental definition of democracy and shared decision making.

Should Cornwall leave the UK? After all, they've got less than 1% of the MPs in parliament. They're hardly represented at all! How can that be fair? The UK is so undemocratic!!

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AndyS
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@Bombastic Bob

This comment, right here, sums up the full problem with this referendum - uninformed speculators repeating lies and exaggerations to back up views which have no bearing on reality, to make a decision which most certainly will.

"hmmm, with all of the downvotes on any post so far that favors "independent Britain" I have to wonder if the 'howlers' are actually the ones downvoting, in an 'astroturf' attempt to undermine the 'independence' campaign... ?"

Conspiracy theory. Good start.

"My ten cents' worth from across the pond is that independence is probably BETTER than being told how to run your country and enforce your laws from Brussels. "

We aren't. We are a powerful member of a union with other nations, with an equal voice and ability to elect representatives according to democratic rules which we negotiated and signed up for. Would you make the same argument for any of the states in the USA? Because it is much, much more centralised than the EU.

"...And propping up the 'bailouts'."

False. We aren't in the Euro, we have nothing to do with the euro bailouts. Even if it was true (which it isn't), should Texas secede because the US Federal government bailed out the Michigan based auto industry?

"I heard a nice quote from Thatcher (from 1992) this morning on the radio, regarding the EU membership. It sounded to me like she was 100% right."

Great. You're obviously well informed then.

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Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one

AndyS
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This article is the eternal dichotomy. Every time a news article talks about the growth of some sector or another (eg the music industry), it is at the expense of the consumer spending more money. And yet every time the person writing the article wants to gain the sympathy of the public (eg energy companies), it's presented as "costing the average person £x additional per year".

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Apple quietly launches next-gen encrypted file system

AndyS
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Re: Case..

"Case sensitivity is a user-hostile feature"

Not sure I follow, care to expand? Since I'm more used to Linux than other OSs, I find case-insensitivity to be unintuitive and confusing.

Isn't it just a case of what you're used to? For example, driving on the wrong side of the road, as most foreigners seem to, is clearly user-hostile, since everyone in their right mind knows you have to drive on the left. Right?

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Don’t let the Barmy Brexiteers wreck #digital #europe

AndyS
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Uh... Did all that dripping sarcasm manage to miss you on the way down?

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US Supremes won't halt class-action legal battle against Google Adwords

AndyS
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Aren't adverts normally tracked (and charged?) by number of impressions and/or click-throughs?

If it was shown on a 404 or parked domain which nobody ever saw, would that not lead to a very low impression or click-through rate?

Assuming the impression/click-through rate was OK, does that not imply that it doesn't really matter what page the ad was shown on?

I suspect I'm missing the point, as the courts have clearly decided there is merit in the case.

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Belgian brewery lays 3.2km beer pipeline

AndyS
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Normally, beer is brewed flat (it's not brewed under pressure - all beer is reasonably flat as it is brewed). Commercial beer is then sterilised, then put into kegs or bottles and artificially pressurised with CO2.

Home-brew, and some smaller (especially micro) breweries add a small amount of sugar at the bottling or kegging stage, without sterilising, to kick the yeast back into action, and produce enough CO2 to pressurise it and get it to the right fizzyness.

I would dread to think what the pipeline would look like after a few days if there was live yeast still in the beer, so I assume it is filtered and sterilised first. Residual small amounts of CO2 could easily be kept in solution by a small amount of pressure in the line.

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Even in remotest Africa, Windows 10 nagware ruins your day: Update burns satellite link cash

AndyS
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Re: Disclaimer

"... then go to the small claims court..."

You maybe missed the bit about this charity working in CAR? Although I guess the tactics you describe would probably work elsewhere pretty well. Certainly the one time I've every seriously fallen out with a company who owed me money, the mere fact that I sent an "advanced" copy of the filled in Small Claims Court paperwork to them (letting them know I would be filing it in 24 hours), the money turned up in my account by the end of the day.

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Redmond adds malware, phish warnings to Bing

AndyS
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Re: I cant have had a "linked-in" (WTFIT?) message as i dont have a "linked-in" account.

Assuming they work the same way as all other networks, they get hold of your other addresses when other people join, and give them permission to trawl their address books (either on mobile, or by giving them the password to their webmail).

I gave up trying to get them to stop emailing me, and simply block anything arriving from them (marked it as spam for a while in gmail, and eventually it offers to stop you seeing any more of it). I have no objection to social media, but a commercial company emailing me before I join is spam.

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Boring SpaceX lobs another sat into orbit without anything blowing up ... zzzzz

AndyS
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Re: "...angular velocity..."

Dwarf, orbital speed is entirely defined by altitude, therefore "geostationary" is as much a term of height as it is a term of speed. All geostationary sats are at the same height.

Go higher, you orbit less often. Stay lower, you orbit more often.

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