* Posts by david willis

47 posts • joined 29 Jun 2009

BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army

david willis

Rail Guns..

I remember playing with smaller versions of this thing at high school in the early 80's (It was an all boys school. With that much testosterone rail guns and the local all girls high school were appropriate distractions) - Ours would put a 3inch nail through a couple of telephone directories (it was a wooden plank with a load of solenoids on it). We had the same projectile stability issues (cept with us the nail would get stuck in the solenoids). Advantages - potentially rate of fire, but most important (in the case of ours) - no wear on the barrel mechanism - most gun barrels in releasing all that powder and spinning the projectile get really hot and distort, or just simply wear out. Our railgun got warm (when it didn't jam) but suffered no other wear. And yes you could fire anything metal that would fit in the solenoid. Watching the video it would appear that the hypersonic railgun projuces a massive amount of heat to move a large (and unstable) mass - although I wouldnt want to be on the receiving end of the mass I would be interested in see what kind of wear occurs in the barrel. TBF the idea of a much smaller mass ( a needle gun) is a much more sensible idea - however such a weapon (with say fracturing flechettes) would no doubt get banned as an inhumane weapon.

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It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE

david willis

Re: Obvious Joke??

I live in Grimsargh..

Its a small village between Longridge and Preston..

Now say it like a pirate would, then tell me us Northerners don't have a sense of humour..

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Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

david willis

The market changes - but what happens to the service

Ok, BT & AT&T didn't create the phone networks for the betterment of society. They did it to make money.

The internet doesn't magically occur. In most cases the internet is BT or AT&T renting some of the space on their comms network.

This network is the meat and veg of any meal

When BT or AT&T were forcing you to buy their overpriced access equipment it was to them just gravy.

Now the Gravy is a the main part of the meal, how will we fund the meat and veg?

As far as the networks go nearly everyone will go to the cheapest provider (daft not to - but never underestimate people), unless they are in an area of dodgy comms where they will go for the only provider (daft not to).

So everyone will want cheap meat n veg. Now cost of supply means cheap eventually becomes none as it is too expensive to provide service

Then what becomes of the gravy, what point is there in an information consumption and presentation device made by any manufacture when there is no information to consume or present?

Maybe its just a move by the dessert (Apple) to monopolise the entire meal?

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

david willis

The Police and the Law.

Taking Photographs in a public space - until recently people were getting accosted and arrested for this.

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. ... The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home..If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." President James Madison

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Apple hires medical techies, raises spectre of iStuff slurping data direct from your bloodstream

david willis

Obvious

Theoretically its not a bad idea.

Wristwatches maintain skin contact (depending on how tight the stap is and avoiding people like Derren Brown) they are next to a good pulse point, and good bloodflow (as long as your arm is attatched).

Having heart rate, Blood Pressure, blood sugar levels etc available on your watch (along with the time), certainly beats trying to stream a move to a 1" screen, trying to look cool and hip ( a la Dick Tracy) whist shouting at your hand, or trying to use that bloody calculator function that needs a "your fingers are too fat" stylus, but even then you won't be able to read the result. (yes I had one of the latter... a LONG time ago)

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Here's what YOU WON'T be able to do with your PlayStation 4

david willis

Mindsets

i wonder how many people from Sony's music and movies division were involved in the development of this thing.

Years ago developement would have involved asking the customer what they wanted - yes I would like to play games, but yes I would like to stream stuff from my DNLA server (cos I have a crappy 2Mb internet link and live in the sticks).

Obviously people want to play games and everything else can be controlled by Sony through its stores, services and servers. Although Apple do try and get you to download music from their store, at least you can (at the moment) drag and drop your existing MP3s into iTunes to play on your i device.

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Steve Jobs AIRBRUSHED from history by APPLE months before his death

david willis

Mac Pro

Anyone notice how it resembles the new mac pro..

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OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

david willis

Bad payers

Many years ago I was visited by an agent offering the servioes of factoring. This is where a company collects all your invoices for you, but you only receive a percentage of the invoice (a high percentage). As part of her sales speil she gave us an idea of teh worst payers in britain. From her list (going by turnover) - BT with a multi billion pound turnover had literally thousands of outstanding CCJs, through non payment of bills.

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Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

david willis

What goes around..

1. Serves your right for buying a cheap weather station

2. Thank you for declairing me "middle aged" for owning a weather station (tho one immune to power cuts :-P )

3. So YOU have noticed the sky+ box 5 minutes pretending not to do anything too... It worries me.. The warrenty ran out a number of years ago (terminated by me pulling out and replacing the HDD) - but that LOOOOONG pause before power up.. very disconcerting.

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First burger made of TEST-TUBE MEAT to be eaten on August 5

david willis

The space merchants

Artificial meat... Not a bad idea, now for the traditionalist sci fi fans - Frederick Phol, the space merchants, vat grown chicken little, fed to thousands of people every day.. And the catch? ... Read the book:-D

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Leap Motion Controller: Hands up for PC air gestures. That's the spirit

david willis

Re: Final Update

Ok fusion doesn kill leap, it just steals it on start.

Actually device will work under fusion, but requires re-installation of all drivers/software on the cliant VM.

The windows drivers seem a little better than the mac ones..

Touchless screen - mac - needs development - as said by all the reviewers. with a mouse you don't think where it is when controlling the screen, what you are looking for is the cursor on the screen. With leap you are trying to do touch, but you essentially need to think "I'm not touching, its like a mouse" forget where my hands are, just watch the cursor (interesting arm motions, possible quite good from an excersise point of view) - this is kind of counter intuitive.

Touchless Screen - Win 7 - needs even more development.

Final thoughts - quite a way to go. fully understand why they delayed release. need to re-work the touchless screen software.

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david willis

Re: Delivered

Ok its landed, installed and working.

Opinions - unfortunately completely agree with the reviewer - its a gimmick.

Issues -

1. it don't like daylight - so curtains closed to use it.

2. you want it to work like a mouse / touch less screen? - ahh theres an app for that - and yup it doesn't come with that function out of the box - I'll tell you later about the app, but the reviews are not good!

3. 241Mb software install on a mac - and all you get is some snoop ware and a calibration/test software. WTF! (at least you can switch off the snoop ware ?)

4. Every help screen is a video - which it downloaded - very pretty I'm sure - not helpful if your internet connection isn't great

5. It does not like usb hubs

6. VMware fusion kills it stone dead.

So very shiny.. form over function.. not impressed.

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david willis

On the Truck

Much like everybody else, mine is on the truck waiting for delivery today.

I think most of the review comments will turn out to be fair, and to be fair if I passed you a copy of RDP for ipad and asked you to use it to access your computer desktop and work soley from the ipad you would soon get board.

Simple fact the UI of both OS-X & Win 7 is designed for keyboard and mouse. Use them with a touch/proximity and they just show how limited your basic UI is.

Question - whats it like with WIN8 ? - does it even work?

Comments about touch surfaces are useful to most. I already have the apple magic mouse and use the surface regularly for multi gesture control. Fact the surface isn't big enough. Next fact, I'm thinking from a surgeons perspective, when with gloves on and blood on hands he/she wants to see a bit more detail on the theatre computer screen with regards a referance x-ray/CT/ultrasound will leap help? At the moment he/she does it using a touch screen, it works!, the screen is also getting progressivly destroyed by the cleaning chemicals used. Would leap resolve the latter problem without compromising the level of control?

I'm not 100% sure leap is the answer, but its certainly a relatively cheap starting point.

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How Alan Turing wanted to base EDSAC's memory on BOOZE

david willis
Pint

A vulture challange????

Come on guys, you've been trying to get paris into space, how about prooving that Gin is good for memory..

You could even try differant brands of gin!,

For the love of God your jornalists and you haven't realies the potential for the tax deductable after experiment party!!

- PS if you do try and compare with mercury delay pipes, make sure those pipes are clearly marked, locked down, shackled, painted a distatesful colour. Just to prevent over enthusiasic consumption at the after experiment party. Note mercury is not a good drink, even with tonic..

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Quantum boffins send data ACROSS TIME AND SPACE

david willis
Thumb Up

Beep

Quantum stuff seems to get cooler every time you rea something. The concept that two quantum particals can exist at the same induced excited state seperately and over distance is the basis of many sci-fi communications systems. Now they can do this over time too. James Blish did a short story called beep, where all intersteller quantum communication ended in an annoying beep. Then somebody discovered the beep was the concatination of EVERY communication ever made using the system over ALL the time the system has, is and will be used...

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The software industry: So efficient, we invented shelfware

david willis
Thumb Up

Nicely Said.. and from an NHS perspective

IG puts people to sleep (no disprespect to hard working IG teams everywhere)

Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability - thats IT's problem.

And "nurses are getting drowned in paperwork"..

Maybe we can make it work, but EVERYBODY would have to want it to work!

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Oi, Apple, stick to phones, forget about TV - Time Warner CEO

david willis
Devil

Resistance is futile..

Ok with how many billion in the bank? - maybe apple should just go out and become a content producer, much like that other famed device manufacturer... erm.. erm... SONY..

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Amazon lends e-books free to Prime subscribers

david willis

Only on a hardware reader

This only works if you have a hardware reader, not the kindle app on a computer or iPad.

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Ford touts tech to bottle up traffic jams

david willis
Devil

Reverse Parking - A French version

Will Ford be providing a revision for the French market place that takes into account the gap between the three vehicles in front & behind your inteded parking space, provides a statistical probability as to if the handbreak of said vehicles is engaged and calculates potential damage to bumpers before attempting parrallel parking?

Surely the French will both love and ignore any such system, since it isn't installed on a citreon/renault/peugot

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Home Sec: Web snoop law will snare PAEDOS, TERRORISTS

david willis
Stop

If its in the news for a week.

There's a saying that if a politician drops the ball, and that story rolls on in the media for a week, then a politicians head will roll.

The current fuss about monitoring the internet, panic buying petrol etc seems to have completely ovewhelmed the story of the week. The conservative party, for an amount of £ would let you talk to the PM and maybe get your agenda implimented as government policy. This is corruption. At the Highest levels. We seem to have forgotten this in all the hogwash that has happened in the last 7 days.

PS we already do monitor comms, however the agency / groups doing the monitoring need a court order to do it. Whats the problem with this? too much paperwork to get 60 million court orders?, apple probably have an app for that..

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UK government says no to turbo e-bike

david willis
WTF?

15mph

Won't we all suffocate if we travelled at over 15mph, and lord think of the children, we'd need somebody with a red flag to walk in front of such a vehicle. Surely its much safer to ban such a satanic device and ensure all decent motorists sit safely in queues at petrol stations where as long as tempers don't get frayed nobody will get hurt. Plus the excheqer can make money out of the motorists!

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Concerns over plan to boost pharma by releasing NHS data

david willis
Go

Who owns your clinical information?

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/24962

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US stealth bombers finally get nuke-nobbling super bomb

david willis
Mushroom

90 meters of stone - a bomb too far ?

617 sq dropped Tallboys & Grandslam bombs during WWII (after the famous dam raids),

tallboy = 12,030lb,

grandslam = 22,000lb (10 tons)

These were dropped from Lancaster Bombers (empty weight 36,828 lb) from a height of 15-20,000 feet (service ceiling of a Lancaster is 23,500 ft)

On the 7th June 1944 several Tallboy bombs were dropped from 10,000 ft onto the Saumur Railway tunnel in France - most landed round the tunnel mouth creating craters 100ft across, one missed the tunnel mouth by 60 yards, and after penetrating 21 meters of rock and clay exploded in the middle of the tunnel. The resulting "earthquake" shifted an estimated 10,000 tons of rock and clay, completely blocking the tunnel.

On the 14th March 1945 a Grandslam bomb was dropped on the Bielefeld viaduct , it missed by 30yards. It is estimated that it penetrated mud and clay to the depth of 30m, blasted a massive subterranian cavity and 100 yards of the viaduct simply vanished into the hole.

On 27th March 1945 grandslams were dropped on the U-boat Pens at Farge near Bremen, they went through 4.5 meters of solid reinforced concreate, before exploding.

I'm always surprised that a "dambusters" follow up film was never done, 617s sqds exploits with impossibly large ordinance and their almost pinpoint accouracy (considering propeller driven planes and fairly rudimentary bomb sights) certainly deserve mention.

So could a 15 ton bomb penetrate 90m of rock if dropped from 40,000 feet, more importantly, would it need to?

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Onkyo TX-NR609 AV network receiver

david willis
Coat

Hmm

Have one, great device, well impressed, will even access your ipod through USB and play all your mp3s.

I then read the review and tried the remote control ipod app. Ok everything works. Its pretty funky, network comms with your device, full control of all aspects of the device, and no requirement for authentication! So ANYBODY can control ANYBODYs onkyo network attatched amp, what a fab idea at a party. Ok the device would have to BE network attatched and user would have to get some network access, but not being network attatched defeats the object of a network attatched device?, and people who want access to your network will generally get it.. Anyone want to be woken up at 1am by their amp at full volume?, repeatedly?.

Ok so fair do's, sometimes people forget security, onward to onkyos website to drop them an e-mail. If you are UK based you have to contact onkyo GMBH, no e-mail addresses listed, interational telephone call, snail mail, facebook or web form.

Their facebook app wants FULL access to your ENTIRE profile.

If you wish to use the e-mail forms to contact them feel free, They want your name, address, phone etc. All passed across a HTTP connection (no S for these guys).

So all in all great sound/video kit, lousy security. Lets see if their customer support can send me an e-mail address for their security officer after I supplied minimal information.

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RUPERT MURDOCH HIT BY PIE

david willis
Facepalm

Infamy, Infamy, They've all got it In for me.

Well it looks like somebody will get a criminal record, and possibly a fine for their actions during the phone hacking case.

Excuse the pun but I'm sure that the met will throw the book at the pie thrower, even if it is only to distract attention from their own failings.

I don't think the bard himself could have written such a story of such devious, seft centred, nepotistic hedonism, that combines tradgedy and farce in equal measure leaving the audience feeling both sick and bemused.

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CIA's DARPA working on human-brain-mimicking tech

david willis
Pint

Decision Making System

Damn, its obvious what will happen. Device takes lots of info feeds and detemines best course of action. Results;

1. Beer is bad for you.

2. Go with wind power

3. Lower your salt intake

4. Take more excercise

5. Get your 3 year old to take more excercise.

We know the above is boll@x, we just haven't had a machine tell us to do it.. yet...

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iOS 5 said to sport over-the-air update facility

david willis
Black Helicopters

Black Helicopters

So when will OTA stop being the "recommended" update method and start being the "required" update method. Will be a kick in the gonads to the jailbreakers.

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US Marines splurge on Brit troops' armoured pants

david willis
Thumb Up

Napolionic wars.. pah!

Genghis Khans troops routinely wore silk shirts, not just to please the ladies, but because they made getting the arrowheads out of shot troopers that much easier;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_armour

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Cobalt-barrel machine guns could fire full auto Hollywood style

david willis
Thumb Up

1100 Degrees

Next step, improve the oven glove they used to issue to grunts to change the barrel on the M60.

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Six... budget Blu-ray Disc players

david willis
Stop

HD upscaling

Do any of them upscale DVD to HD ? - if so whats the quality like ?

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Brits say 'no, no, no' to 3D TV

david willis
Thumb Down

Content.

Major downer is lack of content. With the manufacturers all bidding for exclusivity on 3D movies, and the studio's lapping up the cash it means that although those with a nice brand new panasonic TV will get avatar 3D, those with any other manufacturers TV will have to wait.

With only 5 or 6 real 3D movies out there the only other content is spots. Sky do broadcast one 3D channel for 12-18 hrs a day (lotta repeats) unfortunatly you have to pay for every channel they boardcast if you wish to get the 3D chennel, the for good measure they then charge pay per view on top of the monthly cost for certain 3D broadcasts (complete rip off).

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Ballmer's 'lost generation' note finds resonance

david willis

MS or Apple ?

Ms has lost a generation of users ?

Well to be fair their current windows licencing agreement is a joke (you can only run windows on 2 processors, how's that work with a core 4 ?), they consistantly over price their product, completely missed potential new markets (mobile phones), and have the usual idoit suits trying to front the company.

Apple, are run by a meglomaniac with his head so far up his ass he can see daylight through his own ears!. They rebrand linux and try to sell it as their own product and until recently thought that nobody needed to multitask their mobilephone/gps/media player.

The one win that Apple has is they know how to design functional, beautiful and reliable hardware. Im a pc person with a 17' macbook pro on its way in the post.

I plan to install windows 7 on it.

Why,

Cos its a bloody good if expensive and stupidly licensed operating system that runs rock solid on a mac, and offers the best of both worlds.

Microsoft need to find people that can design decent hardware, not cheap dell crap, not well made if bulky toughbooks.

These days everybody would like to drive a ferrari, a porche or a lambo. They don't care what fuel is in the tank, as long as it runs well and looks bloody good the punter will be happy.

Apple does do "look good" REALLY well..

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UK's Watchkeeper drone 'can see footprints through cloud'

david willis
Grenade

Sensitive Radar

Is it as sensitive as the Nimrod Radar, which could pick up every car moving on every road for 200 miles, thus swamping all the on board processors and making the system completely ineffective?

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ICO repeats jail call as complaints soar

david willis
Coat

Jail

Having witnessed senior managment contempt for information security, the basic lack of staff understanding about confidentiality and security and in some cases sheer incompetance in handling both highly sensitive and highly confidential information I would recommend the ONLY way forward would be the threat of incarceration.

But I'm sure that even if jail were threatened it would never actually be imposed.

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UK.gov slams Facebook over Moat fan clubs

david willis
Coat

Freedom of speech

Two issues;

1. Freedom of speech!!! (in spite of the fact that the facebook site is mostly vitrol and foul language from idiots)

2. Methinks the Prime Minister needs to think before he comments;

a) There is currently an outstanding coroners inquest - this could turn into a manslaughter case against officers of West Yorkshire Police (come on guys, shotgunned taser rounds against a guy holding a shotgun to his own head!)

b) Mr Moat, following further investigation, appears to be a man with fairly serious mental health issues. Issues that were not addressed by the local NHS and may not have been advised to local police.

This should not detract from the fact that he murdered one person and seriously injured two others, but time will tell as to who is remembered as the murderer(s).

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Survey scammers offer fake Doctor Who clips

david willis
Thumb Up

Make it a story line

Just get the BBC to create a Dr Who episode, threat based round evil aliens and a popular TV program, evil people getting you to download stuff etc etc.. Soon get the sci fi fans alert..

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Global warming may be normal at this point in glacial cycle

david willis
WTF?

Eco-Friendly

So does this mean that all the eco firendly stuff we are doing to reduce CO2, and cut the greehouse effect, will simply bring on the glaciers faster ?

PS note to self, time to find ski's n ski boots in loft.

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Steve Jobs uncloaks the 'iPad'

david willis
FAIL

10inch i-phone

Hmm, a 10 inch iphone... doesn't fit in your pocket. Isn't a proper computer. Hmm, lemon maybe?

That should start a fight with the fan boys.

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Government outlines five year IT strategy

david willis
Pint

Clarification of terms?

Web 2.0 - Snake oil

Cloud Computing - Horse Sh@t

At least the latter may help your roses.

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Bloggers howl after conference snoops on 'secure' network

david willis
Coat

@all

Watch the insecure wifi connection and shame people using it - great idea, security pros should get serious ass kicking's if they use such a link.

Unfortunately the security message is somewhat diluted when some idiot goes a little over the top and shames people using an "alleged" secure network.

Personally I would be double checking the signed agreement with the secure network people then probably suing their assess off.

Note - double check - always read the bloody contract before connecting.

Free wifi is not a right, even at conferences. If somebody offers you something for free always ask what the catch is.

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Sony HDR-TG7VE

david willis
Coat

TG3 owner

Great camera, crap media.

MS Duo are still relatively expensive compared to other removable memory and because of this are extensively pirated.

The TG3 (and maybe the new TG7) can detect non genuine cards. It is useful when you are presented with a real rip off, but when presented with say a memory card adaptor and a genuine SanDisk mini card it still issues irritating error messages that a user cannot disable.

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Men far worse than women on password security

david willis
Pint

>> Moderatrix

Good rant..

Quiet afternoon then?

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NAO tells MoD to keep tabs on its kit

david willis
Coat

Pats pockets..

so where did we put that aircraft carrier ?...

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Pressure group aghast at Hillingdon ID card scheme

david willis
Pirate

Opting out

So if I were to opt out I would not be entitled to benefits.

If I were a resident who decided to opt out of the card could I also opt out of having to pay for those services that I did not wish to pay for..

Any chance of reducing my council tax..

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HSBC online banking hits another wall

david willis
Grenade

HSBC

Looks like I'll have to go into the local branch and deal the APPALING customer service that has become indicative of the worlds most incompetent bank.

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