* Posts by Jason Hindle

427 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

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Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

Jason Hindle

Re: NZ1 and NZ2 are fine

The economy seats, and overall service, are far nicer than BA or AA. After Air New Zealand kindly dropped its direct flights from LAX to the Pacific Islands, this was the only way I could carry on earning miles in my preferred programme (BMI - remember them?) and avoid Fiji's Air Pacific. On those occasions where I could afford the time, I had a recovery night in LA, on the way out, and a holiday in Santa Monica, on my way home.

Now, on the legacy carriers the A380 has been a huge disappointment to me. It's just an exercise in cynicism; they gave nothing back to the paying customer in terms of comfort. Fly economy on the Emirates A389, OTOH, and you get a larger, wider, more comfortable seat, with plenty of good entertainment options, reasonably priced WiFi, and not so reasonably priced mobile roaming.

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Looking forward to getting Windows 10 the day it ships? Yeah, about that...

Jason Hindle

Still haven't received the popup on my Surface 3

Not that I'm in any desperate rush, but I'm feeling ever so left out.

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Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

Jason Hindle

Why colour?

Certainly if all you're doing is reading a bit of Stephen King, it hardly matters. Surely colour only matters to text books, where colour can help clarify illustrations and diagrams; for that application the technology used will have to be very good.

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Why OH WHY did Blighty privatise EVERYTHING?

Jason Hindle

Rail is the one area where privatisation seems to have fallen on its bottom. The government pays more for rail than ever before, and the quality of service is at best patchy. I think this is partly due to the relative absence of competition on any given route. For example, to get from Manchester to London, only a Virgin* option comes up, regardless of which app or website I use**. The trains seem to be more crowded than ever***. I wouldn't even consider economy class, when I visit London.

* Though to be fair to Beardy's company, they're not that bad.

** We did have a longer, cheaper route, from Manchester Victoria; I don't know what happened to that (maybe competition, maybe regulation).

*** Notingham to Manchester, standing room only, is no laughing matter.

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UN corruption cops commence probe into domain-name and patent body WIPO

Jason Hindle

So...

- Headquartered in Switzerland

- Thinks it's above the law

- Does what the hell it wants.

Nope, I'm not finding anything to draw parallels with.

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Hey, Sand Hill Exchange. Shouting 'blockchain!' won't stop the Feds

Jason Hindle

Re: Yes, but...

I don't think cat pictures fit within any of the various theories and laws of economics. Except perhaps Grumpy Cat.

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Jason Hindle

Who stands to gain from such an Exchange being created?

Who stands to lose? Of the two, who is in the stronger position? If you follow the money, where does it lead?

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Testing Windows 10 on Surface 3: Perfect combo or buggy embuggerance?

Jason Hindle

This is getting silly

Do Microsoft really not get that the Start Screen (tablet) and the Start Menu (desktop) do not have to be mutually exclusive? It might work well enough, at least on my Surface 3, but I'm guessing those who've bought 8" tablets will find Windows 10 a pain in the arse.

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Entertaining prospect: Amazon Fire TV Stick

Jason Hindle

Not for me, but anything that makes a dumb old telly smarter.....

The Smart TV, and Playstation 4, already have the Amazon Prime Streaming app. If you're getting enough free deliveries to justify Prime, then the streaming service is a nice bonus*. I do have Chromecast, but that's because I have quite a bit of purchased content from Goolge Play (that I paid very little for). Both the Chromecast and Firestick are a more convenient way to access Netflix and iPlayer (just control through the corresponding phone or tablet app), so no complaints there.

* Hey, I though Extant was alright!

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Microsoft picks up shotgun, walks 'Modern apps' behind the shed

Jason Hindle

Modern Skype is good, in terms of efficiency

Especially on the very low end devices. Unfortunately, the positives stop there.

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Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht to spend LIFE in PRISON without parole

Jason Hindle

Re: Paul 87

"Even neo-cons in the US want to reduce the criminal population, although often for financial reasons or religious ones even."

American conservatism is a bit more complicated than that. For every hard assed, bible thumping, hand em high judge or prosecutor, you'll find another who is more reform minded. They might even go to the same church, and use the same chapter and verse to justify their opposing positions. The awful truth though, if you're one of the former, is that it's the more reform minded states that are bringing crime levels down.

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Mobiles at school could be MAKING YOUR KID MORE DUMBER

Jason Hindle

They actually allow phones to be switched on during class?

Paint me surprised.

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Microsoft's Surface 3 is sweet – but I wouldn't tickle my nads with it

Jason Hindle

I got one. Thoughts

It's well built, starts quickly and is very responsive. However, compared to the iPad, it really is a bit too big and heavy, IMHO, for armchair browsing. The screen is very nice; the device seems to run Photoshop and Lightroom ok. It just about squeeses into the tablet compartment of my camera bag.

The keyboard feels pretty cheap and nasty, but I don't care as I only paid twenty quid for it (thank you PC World). That said, I'm finding it superb for touch typing, and the backlighting is useful.

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It’s Adobe’s Creative Cloud TITSUP birthday. Ease the pain with its RGB-wrangling rivals

Jason Hindle

I don't mind the Adobe subscription model

The startup cost is reasonable enough, so I'm giving it a try. Don't they also offer a plan where you can, for example, rent it for thirty days when needed? I'm still gutted that Apple have murdered Aperture, but with the Adobe tools I'm finding:

- Often, 99% of the work can be done in Camera Raw (which even has brushes, which seem a bit more useful - need to paint the sky 0.3 of a stop darker, recovering detail?)

- Not to mention straightening, before I even hit Photoshop

- Support for new raw files is not dependent on an OS update

- Oh, and once in Photoshop, I found content aware fill worked a treat, once I'd worked out how to mask out adjacent bits of the image I didn't want affecting).

My setup and approach is by no means perfect (haven't even got around to trying Lightroom, and I'm dreading importing my Aperture libraries), but I've enjoyed learning new stuff.

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Amstrad founder Lord Sugar quits 'anti-enterprise' Labour party

Jason Hindle

Re: Given they're between leaders and policies

"Erm, they're the Labour party? They're meant to have a tendency towards unions and socialism. If I want Tory policies I'll vote for the Tories."

The parties effectively straddle the centre, at the moment, so the best you can hope for is differences in nuance, with the odd big policy (Europe, for example). Of course, it would be a mistake to assume that nuance can't equate to a great deal of difference.

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Jason Hindle

Re: Given they're between leaders and policies

It appears elements of New Labour will be making a comeback, but we'll have to wait and see what emerges from this mess. I have a hard time believing Labour are any more or less business friendly than any other party. Most of it boils down to rhetoric since, as far as I can tell, unless you're one of a certain elite group of companies*, who are subject to Westminster's patronage, I doubt you've ever really felt the love.

As to everything else you wrote, I agree. Being gerrymandered to death is going to make the next election an uphill struggle for the opposition parties.

* Thinking Capita, Balfour Beaty, ATOS, G4S, BAe and so on.

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Jason Hindle

Given they're between leaders and policies

You might think he'd give them a chance....

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Pakistan URINE STORM: Google Maps chokes off user editing

Jason Hindle

Potential use for criminals? My little experience...

While trying to find myself back to the hotel, in Namibia a couple of years back, Google Maps tried to send me to a fairly risky township. Fortunately, though I was a a bit lost (that's a talent of mine), a lot didn't add up (for one thing, I was walking, and the directions weren't at all walking distance). Don't get me wrong; the township of Katatura is safe enough for a wander, during the day, but the thought of people being directed there, turn by turn, in the evening, certainly got me thinking*.

* Armed carjacking is a one of the national sports.

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SOD TABLETS, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a LAPTOP

Jason Hindle

Well, I could recommend a compact photo kit

That goes from pretty wide, out to telephoto, but that's going to be considerably more expensive than the Surface. Starting from scratch, on the photo side of things, is anything but trivial.

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Jason Hindle

The art of travel....

1. Make sure you're on an airline that allows an additional, smaller piece of hand luggage.

2. DSLR? One camera/one lens, unless it's a proper photo trip! Take a look at something like the Panasonic LX100, one of the smaller compact system cameras, or even a Sony RX100. They're all good enough for product shots and do 1080p (or even 4k). Even a mobile phone might do, if you're pushed (look at the Sony and Nokia phones that have the 1" sensor, though you lose zoom).

3. Microsoft Surface might just be your friend.

4. Longer trip, but you still don't want to check a bag? Google the clown car packing method.

5. Don't forget your mobile boarding pass (or even print it at home, if you're old fashioned) and avoid getting your bags weighed (though the low cost carriers tend to have quite a generous limit anyway).

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Apple taxpayers swarm to stone-age iPhone 6+ purely for the bigness

Jason Hindle

Well my Phone's a Nexus 5 and my Tablet's an iPad Air 2

Apple's clean/dated interface isn't stopping me from doing anything. Nor does it make me any less productive. Overall, Google's more open ecosystem edges it for me, but there's little in it. The tablet decision, late last year, boiled down to hardware (iPad vs Nexus 9) and the iPad won. My next phone will probably be a Nexus 6 (or what comes after).

The widgets, that Andriod supports, were very nice at first, but I hardly use them these days.

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Samsung S6: You might get a Sony camera in it - or you might not

Jason Hindle

Does it matter?

I think it does. The small differences in output make a difference, to me, and I'd prefer to have a Sony sensor.

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Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

Jason Hindle

Plenty of outsiders predicted the crash

I used to read a newsletter from some contrarian cranks. I say cranks since they also have dangerous (to my mind) libertarian tendencies. They actually made the upcoming crash, and the reasoning for it, pretty intuitive. I made a tidy profit from buying into gold and resources (thanks Dad*), then selling **. The fact we had a credit bubble was simple enough to see***. Bubbles either burst or deflate. Both Brown and Osborne are examples of bubble inflators, IMHO (or at least they bury their heads in the sand, when bubbles happen).

* Dad the copper smith, who knew a thing or two about i) the ups and downs of a bag of scrap copper, and ii) the fact that China was happening, a good few years before China happened to me.

** I wish I'd held longer, but that's life.

*** To this day, the very idea of sub-prime lending baffles me. That no one took a bullet for it baffles me more.

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Burger me! Microsoft's chainsaw rampage through sacred cow herd

Jason Hindle

The phone? As one computing device to rule them all?

I like it. I've been wanting Microsoft to take this step for some time. They've already blurred the distinction between computing device and pointing device, so allowing users to plug their phone into a dock, and use it as a desktop PC, is the next logical step (IMHO).

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

Jason Hindle

Re: An old Saying

It's the Illinois way.

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FBI alert: Get these motherf'king hackers off this motherf'king plane

Jason Hindle

Would aircraft system designers really do this?

Have an IFE or public WiFi system actually connected to navigational systems? That would be the earthly equivalent of designing a gigantic space battle station, the size of a small moon, with an unprotected exhaust vent in a straight line to the core....

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Life after Nokia: Microsoft Lumia 640 budget WinPho blower

Jason Hindle

So, is this vastly superior

To the Nokia 720 I've shoved my corporate SIM into? Does it correct the glaring problems (e.g. I'm on Skype, go to the mail app, then back to Skype and get "Resuming" for a few seconds)?

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Nokia may tell struggling HERE Maps division to get lost – report

Jason Hindle

Samsung, perhaps?

For Samsung's non-Android phone efforts (Tizen? Anyone?), the Here tools are pretty complete. Just look at the monumental effort it was for Apple to launch its own mapping.

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Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

Jason Hindle

Nice phone, but....

The 4G reception is pretty unforgivable.

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Prez Obama cares about STEM so much he just threw $240m of other people's money at it

Jason Hindle

Re: Stupid title "Government money"

""Government's money"? Wow! That is why the US is going the route of Greece and Venezuela. Even the sheep think that once they give the money to the government they should have no further say in how it is spent. "

You do get a say in how it is spent. It's called an election. We elect them, and have some reasonable expectation they'll do a good enough job.

"Look in history to see what blind faith in your god the government gets you."

I merely describe the world as it is. You appear to be confusing fact with opinion.

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Jason Hindle

Re: Stupid title

Indeed. It isn't even other people's money. It's the government's money. Once the tax has been deducted from my wage, the money is no longer mine. Same happens when I buy nice things (though obviously, buying nice things feels nicer than paying tax :-D).

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RIP Sir Terry Pratchett: Discworld author finally gets to meet DEATH

Jason Hindle

Re: DEATH DOES NOT TWEET

HE CHANGES REALITY SO THE TWEET HAPPENED.

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$17,000 Apple Watch: Pointless bling, right? HA! You're WRONG

Jason Hindle

But what happens a few years down the line

When the innards of this expensive mating call fail? At least you can still get Granddad's retirement Rolex repaired. This, on the other hand, is going to be about as repairable as a Sistim 51 (and worth about the same, plus the cost of the gold, once it develops mortal coil impairment)?

Disclaimer: No, I don't understand the luxury business.

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What’s new in Office 2016 for Mac (and why it doesn't totally suck)

Jason Hindle

I'm super happy with Office 2011

I hear of compatibility issues, which Micrsoft should address, but they haven't really effectrd me so far*. I have no issues with the interface (quite like the combination of ribbon and menu).

Edit: I should add that I don't use Outlook for Mac. Corporate webmail has been (just about) enough for my needs.

* Well there is one annoyance. One of our corporate template spreadsheets links some buttons, on the spreadsheet, with VB macros. The button loses its link to the macro, when I load the spreadsheet into Excel 2011. It's easy enough to reassign.

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UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

Jason Hindle

Skylon?

"There are good reasons to doubt that the real operational spaceports of the future will involve runways or spaceplanes. No orbit-capable, commercially significant runway spacecraft seem likely to appear on anything like the government's timeline. El Reg explores the subject in more depth here."

I must admit, I'd assumed any space-port would be predicated on Skylon or similar.

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Google Chrome suffers brain freeze on Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Jason Hindle

Re: Not just the manufacturers

I waited a long time for an OS upgrade to my Samsung S3, because Orange/EE wanted their say in when it rolled out!

Fast forward to now, and my Nexus 5 is good for at least one more major upgrade (which will come soon after the next major release). Google (and Apple too) support their products reasonably well (and without the consent of the networks).

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

Jason Hindle

I mostly agree, but, but BUT.....

The food industry is in point of fact trying to murder us for profit. If I make my own soup, chances are it will not have enough salt in it to give me a stroke. And my soup will be in a 'serving' suitable for me, not a Heinz serving*, determined by a nutritionist**. If more people made their own soup, due to health concerns, the food industry might do something about it, because that's how markets work. The market might work around any laws the government might enact, but people not buying stuff gives the market a problem.

* A serving is normally half a can. If I relied on Heinz servings, I'd currently be wasting away.

** Nutritionist: someone who might have some skills in cooking and recipe design, who also has an MBA.

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RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

Jason Hindle

Re: hmm - not sure that's a good analysis....

I think it's more about Intel repeatedly raising its game, rather than Microsoft failing with non Intel processors. It is easy for those of us, who've been here too long, to think in terms of Wintel while forgetting about Intel.

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Chipotle insider trading: Disproving the efficient markets hypothesis

Jason Hindle

Welfare was used by New Labour

Specifically in-work credits for an economy addicted to low pay. I believe it did work, but since it's subject to political interference, it's not sustainable (and was an early victim of the ConDemolition). I'm fine with that kind of Welfare, but I'd prefer to see it go hand in hand with our politicians creating conditions for an economy where less Welfare is needed.

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You must have at least 8 inches for Windows 10 to go all the way

Jason Hindle

What if you plug a smaller tablet into a monitor, keyboard and mouse?

Do you then get the desktop?

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Jason Hindle

Re: Not had any fake insurance claim calls for a while.

At home, I string them along with the story about me being left a paraplegic, having been run off the road by a police car. After I get to the punchline*, they usually hang up and don't call back.

* And then the corrupt bastards arrested me; two counts of driving s stolen vehicle and driving without a licence.

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Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

Jason Hindle

Uber's success in its own market is understandable

Its success elsewhere is not guaranteed. In the UK, Uber is pretty well regulated. In other markets (India? Australia?), I'm not so sure. We've already had an article, on El Reg, about Uber trying to avoid Australian regulators. Many UK cities now have their own electronic thumb, with apps like

Kabx*.

* Not as slick as Uber, but does the same thing. My experience has of Kabx has been positive.

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Polish chap builds computer into a mouse

Jason Hindle

Well, you could argue...

We're already building computers into graphic tablet. Microsoft in particular has (badly, so far) managed to blur the lines between input device and full blown computer.

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Ski MOUNT DOOM or take top coffee to the beach? Your choice

Jason Hindle

Best place I've visited

And they're looking people to emigrate*. The only thing that put me off? I don't drive. NZ is going to end up being about a much fun as Texas, if you don't have a set of wheels (preferably a 4x4). Auckland is photogenic and usable, but a European city slicker is quickly going to run out of things to do (you have to like the outdoors). My favourite is Christchurch, on the South Island (good grief, I wept for that place - my visit was not long before the first major quake). Oh, and it's true; you can't beat a local flat white.

* First immigration officer I met seemed a pit peeved I didn't want to move there.

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Healthcare: Look anywhere you like for answers, just not the US

Jason Hindle

Re: The US system - my experience

While on business in Texas, I had the worst flu I've ever had, and needed to get hold of a blue inhaler. Since our travel medical insurance is for nasty stuff, I was told to pay for it and expense it. I visited a place called an Emergency Room. As far as I can tell, by the way, Emergency Room is a brand name for what is the rough equivalent of a GP Practice/Polyclinic. Emergency Room has a Hummer converted to ambulance (coolest looking ambulance I've seen). Financially, it broke down as:

- $200, just to see a Doctor

- But this includes mandatory blood pressure and diabetes tests

- For paying cash (well, Amex), he wrote the prescription for free

- I then went to the pharmacy counter, at the local supermarket, handed over the prescription and paid the full cost of the drugs.

Back at the office, an American colleague told me about her experience of giving birth in Australia. They'd just paid for all the medical services associated with having a baby, and couldn't believe how cheap it was compared to back home.

In the US, I think the Medical Industrial Complex takes everyone for a ride.

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Jason Hindle

I've been saying this for years

And I'm now saying it as a fully de-anonymised card carrying member of the Labour Party (not sure why - I can't stand a single one of the parties, at the moment). We need NHS 2.0. We need to be looking at France, Germany and Singapore, and seeing what works for them, and determining what will work for Blighty. The problem? I reckon plenty of the politicians have been thinking what I've been thinking. And I'll bet the same for a good few clinicians. The problem is going to be the cost of burning NHS 1.0 (or migrating from NHS 1.0 to NHS 2.0). In IT terms alone, it will be the cluster ---- from hell, with all the usual snouts in the trough. In other words we have structural issues, within the fabric of government, that must be solved first.

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Beware of merging, telcos. CHEAPER SPECTRUM follows

Jason Hindle

We all paid for Brown's auction

"The truth being that we want, as a matter of public policy, to shake every last penny out of those companies we can in those auctions, and there being fewer bidders would of course frustrate that aim."

We all ended up paying for Brown's auction. We paid when minimum monthly fees rose sharply (oh, look at all the extra minutes text, you don't need, that we're giving you anyway) and then in eighteen month contracts, followed by twenty-four month contracts. 3G (and now 4G) mobile data still costs a fortune compared to fixed line.

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97% of UK gets 'basic' 2Mbps broadband. 'Typical households' need 10Mbps – Ofcom

Jason Hindle

2mbps was too low in 2009

And now we're entering an era of 4k streaming, 10mbps may be too low here and now (or at least in the near future). Also, what does OFCOM mean, by 10mbps? Actual 10mbps is good enough for 1080p streaming, from services like Netflix, Youtube and iPlayer. That 10mbps sold to you by your ISP, with caveats (e.g. realistically you'll get 6-8mbps, based on your distance from the cabinet) might struggle.

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Which country has 2nd largest social welfare system in the world?

Jason Hindle

Re: Shirly the value for money, per cent spent, matters?

The foot paths (side-walks!): depends on the local regulations in a given place. Some towns/cities dictate a footpath must be included in any application for planning permission. I've been stuck in a hotel (Independence, Ohio - grimmest place on Earth, IMHO) you literally couldn't walk out of!

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Jason Hindle

Shirly the value for money, per cent spent, matters?

I don't think the statistics tell us a great deal. In many parts of the U.S. for example, mass transportation is almost none existent. In these places it must suck to be poor. There are healthcare systems that are more effective, while providing better value for money, than the NHS. Meanwhile, in the U.S. the privatised healthcare system takes everyone for a ride.

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