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* Posts by Puck

134 posts • joined 11 Jul 2009

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The moment a computer crash nearly caused my car crash

Puck
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Unhappy

@ Lee Dowling

"For a start, you should NOT be gliding into the vans in front of you (insufficient braking distance, ice or not, ask your insurers)."

Lee, these are UK drivers we're talking about. La Royaume de Jeremy Clarkson. Appeals to reason, safety, legality, morality, insurance liability, sense of shame, responsibility, caring for others' or one's own wellbeing, or any other sense of the boundaries of sanity and proper behaviour - are all useless.

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Dixons rolls out cut-price 3D, smart TVs

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However much it costs,

if it's bought from Dixons, it costs too much.

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Sixth of Britain's cellphones have traces of poo on them

Puck
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Windows

A good case for getting a Motorola Defy

Waterproof up to 1m - can therefore be bathed in disinfectant solution, or?

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Nigerians panic over killer calls

Puck
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Pint

Oh! Oh! Oh!

Schtop!

You must listen to tonight's "a point of view" on BBCR4, "believing in belief" "John Gray argues that the scientific and rationalist attack on religion is misguided. "

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b014gk72

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Samsung plops out waterproof smartphone

Puck
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re: Was it really necessary

Ah, but this wee phone is the limited Gillian McKeith edition!

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George Lucas defeated by Stormtrooper helmet man

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Aha!

Facial hair! The missing angle!

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Apple unveils 'World's First Thunderbolt Display'

Puck
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re Dell U2711

Thanks for the heads-up about the identical display panel.

Does anyone know what would be a good quality 24 or 26 incher? I gather the price jump up to 27 is something like double!

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Pissed-off elves bombard Icelandic town with rocks

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Coat

@ breakfast

Moreover, the wrong type of elves

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Moderatrix kisses the Reg goodbye

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Genuinely sorry you're going

Good luck Sarah

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Nokia's Windows phone outed on video

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re Malware

My mum too had a Nokia 3210 until a year ago! It got handed around the family for about 10 years - fantastic phone! It still works but Nokia won't make any more batteries! They *know* they make these things like 1950s washing machines - rock hard.

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Nokia unveils Contractual Obligation Meego Phone

Puck
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looks beautiful

why didn't its designers go to work on the preceding generations of nokia phones?

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Facebook fuels Israeli cottage cheese insurgency

Puck
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Does anyone remember the Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer cottage cheese song?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMaEUv5n9wU

"There’s a type of cheese you don’t need a grater,

you keep it in your refridgerator,

it’s not really a cheese, it’s a residue,

ah, but a residue that’s good for you."

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Motorola Atrix dual-core Android smartphone

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@tamar1n47

I think you got the last laugh really - the Defy is the only smartphone worth buying because it's actually built to last a lifetime (OK eventual obsolescence aside), with the 1-metre-in-water-submergability and the gorilla glass, shock absorbing edges etc.

As far as I'm concerned the Atrix, along with any other smartphone, is unpurchasable on account of its/their lacking the Defy's qualities in that regard.

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So, how does your economy grow?

Puck
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I'd go with this but

think capitalism requires a lot of protecting, often from itself, often from out-of-control markets (e.g. housing, other assets), in order that it function.

For example, the distortions which the housing markets (and lack of freedom to build a house - the reversal of which would require serious capital controls to stop a re-inflation of said markets), then observe tax credits: they subsidise employers paying low wages, in order to offset the mispricing of housing affecting low-paid employees' ability to retain enough of their earnings to eat.

We do require low-paid workers to work for low pay, but we subsidise the housing market with tax credits rather than reform it in a manner which might give said workers a materially better life.

ok this is me theorising, i might be wrong. and please don't give me the 'oh that'll cause a deflatinoary spiral' thing - one can attempt to peg nominal house prices over a 25-year period via a macro target at BOE (well that was the good iea of an ft columnist a few months ago.)

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Boris-Bike firm penalised by £5m over system hiccups

Puck
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Happy

thank god they withheld the money from serco

i've been so unhappy about the many times i've not been able to rent a bike (my walking ability not good, cycling better) due to system glitches, which occur more often than not, that i wrote to the auditor for london local government begging him to take action on the crap value they get from the scheme. can you believe it, serco process all the complaints for the scheme! and you have to send them via snail mail (i bet that's popular).

there's something uniquely frustrating about needing a bike and not being able to get one because the system's frozen (so often), so i'm really glad serco have got an almighty slap.

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Ten... DAB kitchen radios

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@ JB

That's a really good point actually - about the cheapo DAB radios which have yet to materialise. Where are they? I mean, I've been looking for several years, and never see one priced under £20-£30 or so. There seems to be a price floor beneath which nobody chooses to sell anything. Why is that? Is there some major royalty payment for the tech, or is it just oligopolistic capitalism choosing to collude/price-set rather than price-compete?

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Gadgets give granny disease to kids

Puck
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Terminator

I have RSI too

i was doing financial admin (computers) during day, web browsing during eve, haven't worked a day in two years. my rheumatologist thinks it's more likely fibromyalgia (which they say is basically a chemical reaction to excessive 'socioeconomic anxiety', tipping the body into overamplifying pain signals badly), but when i was doing the repetitive work, that was a bit of a problem itself, i'm sure.

The charity RSI Action have observed there is NO research being done into RSI whatsoever, and they are campaigning for this to happen - they need all the support they can get. So do lend your voice if this is an issue which you are concerned about.

The T800 for obvious reasons.

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Apple admits scareware problem, at last

Puck
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so THAT'S what Apple will do with their $50bn cash pile:

buy an antivirus company!

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ACS:Law fined for data breach

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re: Didn't he say something like.....

"Demanding money with menace is a criminal offence".

Well actually that's a very interesting point. Whilst I don't personally think this comes under that particular criminal provision, some of ACS:Law's tactics *would* seem to come under the recent Protection from Harassment Act, which makes criminal a course of action intended to create fear or distress. British Gas were found guilty of this during a wonderful ruling not long ago. It's a developing area of law for sure.

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Nokia gets touchy-feely with two new Symbians

Puck
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re dead OS walking

The reason why you and the other few posters saying the same thing, are likely wrong, is you're sophisticates. The average punter is not, and they'll only notice the severe app-dearth some way into ownership (which is only supposed to be an 18-24 month experience - yet Nokias can outlive this by years, to their credit). Yet Nokia can even offset the app-dearth problem - by reducing the price of those apps to zero, as with Nokia Maps satnav (which is pretty good).

The problem only arises, where one compares the OS and app environment, with an iPhone. A large proportion of those problems can be ameliorated by careful targeting of core apps.

And the unanswerable problem is simply that which arises from the question "where is my singing-dancing-hip app store that I can spend lots of time on?" Which is a bit sick in a way.

Incidentally I still use an E61 as my main phone, 5 years old.

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Fans face freezing Apple MacBook Pros

Puck
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Groundhog day...

...My 2001 Titanium Powerbook (RRP £2,099) was perpetually hot, you couldn't hear a DVD due to the sound of the puny fan kicking off whenever you'd try to browse the web. It was a beautiful-looking laptop, very thin, but beauty in form belied the lack of beauty in function.

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UK cyclists hit by fraud after online purchase at website

Puck
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Stop

Erm, buying durable goods via Paypal? Oh dear.

Unless I'm mistaken, if you buy something via Paypal, you've waived Sale Of Goods Act protections - your purchase is of Paypal "currency", not of the final item per se. You've also waived potential powerful protections from the Consumer Credit Act 1975, which state that the credit card provider is liable if the retailer for any reason doesn't honour its agreements (including those vv useful and powerful implicit agreements under SOGA which the layman may not be aware of).

In English, then: buy, say, a washing machine for £400 on paypal, it breaks after the one year warranty, oh dear. Buy it on a debit card, it breaks after a year, you've got a SOGA claim against the retailer on grounds of insufficient durability given the price. Buy it on a credit card, breaks after a year, you've got the SOGA claim, but if the retailer is bust or won't play ball, your credit card provider is liable to you - and will tend to cough up quick.

Credit card also an excellent protection against fraud, provided consumer acted with reasonable levels of care - I would doubt vv much that Paypal would ever come even vaguely close to the fraud protections provided by the UK's Consumer Credit Act.

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Sexy eco-bulb wins Design of the Year

Puck
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Kenneth Bikes

... you're right, I learnt something new today. Cheeky old Boris!

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Nokia C1-01 budget voicephone

Puck
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I'm still waiting...

... for the twin sim version of this product family, already available in developing world. The entry model apparently has 47 days standby...

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Nokia C5-03 budget touchscreen smartphone

Puck
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capacitative screen with gloves

they can be used - there are special gloves with metallic thread sewn into the fingertips!

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Osborne bids nation fill his Budget portal

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FAIL

FAIL FAIL FAIL

This is in response to criticism from outgoing CBI head amongst many others, that the Tories had insufficient ideas for growth to fill a white paper earlier in the year.

If they had no ideas for growth, why did they go into government? What does Slasher Osborne think he is doing in the role exactly? What was in his mind when he mulled over what chancellorship meant? We need an economist in no 11 - NO NOT YOU JOHN REDWOOD.

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Nokia C7 smartphone

Puck
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Glad a reviewer is

acknowledging the really good higher-end Nokia call (and phone functions) quality. Ever since my brother bought an iPhone, I can't hear what he's telling me on the phone!

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Who are the biggest electric car liars - the BBC, or Tesla Motors?

Puck
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@ Bob, Hitchen

agreed - impractical. This IS a real-world test.

I first thought "OK who would do a long journey, the beeb is being naughty".

The truth is if you own an electric car that's your budget shot for a normal car - unless you're rich.

@ the person who wrote "[for long journeys]...you'd take the train/coach", I must challenge: if you have to travel 500 miles, in midwinter, what are the odds of your destination being reasonably and affordably reachable by public transport - and with luggage/tools/gifts? What if it's not in a major city centre? I laugh at the thought of public transport to visit family wintertime in suburban Merseyside, from where I am in Hertfordshire.

Fact is, I'll go broke, freeze my t*ts off, get flu from my fellow passengers, get robbed, and/or dvt and nerve irritation from staying sitting down, a bad back from lugging my kit and my several meals, it's just not on.

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LG dual-core smartphone to hit UK in March

Puck
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digressing i know, but..

... whenever I see the name 'LG', I think of their name change from 'Lucky Goldstar', to 'Life's Good'. 'Lucky Goldstar' sounds brilliant to me - although I realise tainted by association with budget Goldstar goods. But also, life is not always good. 'Life's variable' fits better.

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T-Mobile imposes swingeing cuts on fair use data limits

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re: unfair contract term

ah, the beauty of the UTCCR!

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Swedish Pirate Party leader quits due to boredom

Puck
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25 years?

Anyone lucky enough to produce art which makes money, should enjoy royalties up to death at the minimum, to offset the crapness of growing old. After that I'm not so sure. But there are no losers per se in this kind of arrangement - providing people pay for the art, of course, and don't steal it. Being required to pay for something one wants - WANTS, that is, not needs, isn't oppressive.

This insisting others not be paid for their creations is absurd. We're not exactly talking about medicine patents here!

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Brave new Boris-bikers banjaxed by broken boxes

Puck
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Flame

quite so

Not being able to walk long distances, I rely on the bikes when I'm in London. I havespent many hours on the phone with Serco in tears because they just cannot make the bikes work reliably for me, at any point. Out of the 20 or 30 staff with whom I have spoken,only one ever had the curiosity or mindset of responsibility, to think of escalating/forwarding to tech support, the bizarre and inexplicable problems I was encountering.

I hope Peter Hendy, commissioner for TFL, realises,his contract is likely in the wrong hands.

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US rejected Brown's McKinnon case plea

Puck
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I suspect Gary McKinnon must be really stressed about this whole business, but,

He really needs to try his best to not think about it and get a job because long-term unemployment will de-skill him and make him feel worse. Good luck Gary, all power to your elbow.

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'Smear agricultural land with human poo'

Puck
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Alert

cut out the middleman, baby!

the human fertiliser story had me very much in mind of a certain John Waters film:-)

http://dai.ly/dd9bGg

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Brits blow millions on over-priced ink

Puck
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Stop

Warranties

I'm sorry, but your conception of consumer law is about 200 years out of date.

In a nutshell:

1) Certainly if you are a home user,forget about your warranty. Your printer must last as long as a "reasonable person" would reasonably think it should, considering all factors including the price. This is the main, the most important part of your contract, and overrides the warranty and any unfair exclusion clauses it contains.

2) therefore, nobody can tell you not to use third-party ink. That counts as an unfair exclusion clause because it excludes those reasonable obligations to you implied by the sale of goods act and protected by the unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations.

3) I HAVE HEARDa business can be a consumer, and enjoy similar protections, both under the aboveconsumer law and the unfair contract terms act, which I gather basically says the same thing as the former.

I'm pretty sure this exact case relating to the ink has been written up in case law! Please a lawyer confirm this for me.

The warranty, such as is offered, is a "gratuitous promise" on the part of the retailer (because it's them with whom you have a contract, not the manufacturer) over and above their frankly quite enormous obligations to you under the sale of goods act. The sale of goods act 1893. Yes, that's when it was first written.

The unfair terms in consumer contracts regulations (1985?) essentially states that clauses in form contracts which unfairly deprive the purchaser of utility paid for, can be struck out.

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Disability rights activist chains self to tax office desk

Puck
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some good government workers

when I had to claim housing benefit recently, I went to the one-stop shop, and they literally processed the application on the spot, with payment within 48 hours.

In my previous job, before I lost the ability to type without voice-activated software,I was a payments administrator, making payments on the half of social services, at my local council. although some co-workers did turn a blind eye to problems actual and potential, I made both friends and enemies by never allowing a potential or actual problem to leave my notice without my ensuring it was to be dealt with.

using my judgement to prioritise payments to clients and charities in the most need,was deeply, deeply satisfying, and although it was repetitive stupid work, and although I got it in the neck in the end for sticking my neck out where I saw serious problems with our systems, I will always love having been able to take responsibility for ensuring things went right.

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Phone hacking probe cops 'got law wrong' - were too lenient

Puck
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Grenade

I'm sorry, Yates

This impression of a 90 IQ traffic officer won't work. You're aware of the ECHR and HRA and their provisions. You're also responsible for their enforcement. I don't accept that you as a top ranking police officer, can make a dodgy barrister responsible.

Of course, because this is a Conservative government, run by fucking perverts (I grew up in the 90s, I know what I'm talking about...) you will keep your job.

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UK.gov to scrap new staff training rights

Puck
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re: Cynicism is the new realism..

I was in this situation, and it didn't work-Inland Revenue turned me down for tax relief for my course expenses. However, I was doing a more glamorous course than my job needed (CIMA-chartered management accountancy, far more interesting and inspiring than the accounting technician qualification which my bosses had actually offered me expenses paid for by a conditional loan).

It's a tricky one, this-in order to claim from the Inland Revenue (and you should check this before starting the course), the training is supposed to be necessary for you to actually undertake your present job. Which is weird, because it seems to imply being in a traineeship, rather than being somebody who is simply trying to improve their present lot. And traineeships are as rare as hen's teeth.

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Gulf spill to annihilate all earthlings, says seer

Puck
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FAIL

"spill to annihilate all earthlings..."

Damn, I suppose that excludes John Redwood.

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Middle-aged sex is crap: Official

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What happened...

...to the innumerable surveys proclaiming sex got better with age?! I think I feel a bit heartbroken at reading this story. No more confirming difficulty of old age please. Jon

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World Cup streaming to choke corporate networks, doomsayers predict

Puck
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Alert

Please please please...

...if you know of the source of this alleged free video streaming of the live world cup performances, other than over iPhone, please could you post the link, as all I can find is dodgy paysites offering same.

Oh, and I don't believe this free live TV streaming will clog up any intranets because I don't believe it exists. Please prove me wrong!!

Many thanks

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Woman sues Google after highway knockdown

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Forget this woman's stupidity...

... I'm aghast at the thought of somebody having agreed to insure/be liable for the other side's costs...

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Terence Conran slams 'appalling' Olympic mascots

Puck
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mediocrity?

*opens mouth, points at Sir Terence, and emits bloodcurdling screech a la bodysnatchers*

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LimeWire induces infringement, Judge rules

Puck
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@ Sarah

Did you mean at B&S's music being any good, or my spiel being (what I realise is) a bit arrogant and wrong, or both?

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Puck
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WTF?

"big labels cd price fixing fiasco of the 90s"?!

Hello, so, you're saying that competition can be induced between labels who have exclusive artist signings? Doesn't your theory rather erroneously presuppose that one artist is an adequate substitute for another, that, say, people might buy Menswear because their album is cheap, rather than Belle and Sebastian because it's good?

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Orange offers 'pay per meg' iPad 3G data plan

Puck
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WTF?

@ lewispb

Agreed! 'Unlimited' my eye! I've rarely heard such perverse cobblers emanate from a marketing dept. A fixed monthly package of woe on their limited liability houses!

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DVLA off-road system seriously off-message

Puck
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Stop

@ A J Stiles

No it doesn't run counter to the ECHR, if you read the ECHR it specifically states that nothing in it should undermine civil penalty regimes in member states.

As for your point about presumptions of innocence being undermined by SORN, the legislation containing the SORN regime I assume was part of an act of parliament, and is therefore in essence the supreme form of law - it is sadly deemed to be the sacred democratic will of the people, or so.

But yes on an emotional level and on the level of fairness I agree with everything you're saying. PCN regimes are bad law and enforced badly. This one particularly - a 'bad because forbidden' offence, for those who declare a bit late, amongst others.

What I find interesting is that the law usually specifies that the authority concerned 'may' levy the fine concerned. Which in my book is the key word. The fact that it has discretion on whether to compassionately quash PCNs is used as an excuse to withhold that discretion and rake in megabucks - rather than conferring a responsibility to decide in a just manner.

And no way to pay in instalments! How fucked up is that? Even fines for criminal offences permit instalments.

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Puck
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Stop

@ A J Stiles

No it doesn't run counter to the ECHR, if you read the ECHR it specifically states that nothing in it should undermine civil penalty regimes in member states.

As for your point about presumptions of innocence being undermined by SORN, the legislation containing the SORN regime I assume was part of an act of parliament, and is therefore in essence the supreme form of law - it is sadly deemed to be the sacred democratic will of the people, or so.

I think you're also RIGHT in a way about what you say with regard to the presumption of innocence in the administration of this law and that's part of what makes this an interesting article.

But, on an emotional level and on the level of fairness I agree with everything you're saying. PCN regimes are bad law and enforced badly. This one particularly - a 'bad because forbidden' offence, for those who declare a bit late, amongst others.

What I find interesting is that the law usually specifies that the authority concerned 'may' levy the fine concerned. Which in my book is the key word. The fact that it has discretion on whether to compassionately quash PCNs is used as an excuse to withhold that discretion and rake in megabucks - rather than conferring a responsibility to decide in a just manner.

And no way to pay in instalments! How fucked up is that? Even fines for criminal offences permit instalments.

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Tories to cut IT to keep National Insurance down

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Troll

@ Tony S

“Who is talking about throwing 250,000 people out of work? I made no such comment. If you believe that to be the case, where do you get your numbers from?”

In this article George Osborne talks of £6bn cuts. The Engineering Employers' Federation estimate £27k as being ‘a job’. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ni-increase-to-hit-employment-in-half-of-firms-643812.html , although obviously consultants are paid a lot more.

"What is the difference between a dole benefit and a government paid job?"

(Sighs).

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