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* Posts by Tom 38

2091 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

MPs back call to boycott low-taxed tat from Amazon over Xmas

Tom 38
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Re: "some 2 person Luxembourgian office"

To be honest, I've no problem being in a Maastricht treaty style agreement with countries with similar taxation policies. Being in one with countries whose economic existence is based upon them being tax havens is batshit insane though. These principalities need to exit the EU, and countries like Ireland need to stop offering stupid tax incentives to multi-nationals.

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Tom 38
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Re: Agree with most comments here...

I do realise that Corporation Tax is levied on profit, not turnover, but Amazon would have us believe that all their economic activity in the UK actually happens in some 2 person Luxembourgian office.

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UK.gov's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websites

Tom 38
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Re: Even the dumbest porn-addicted teen...

A particular IP address flags a request to be checked against the blacklist, but the blacklist can then block individual pages etc at an IP address, so it's not nearly as crude as simple DNS manipulation. However proxy servers etc can obviously still be used.

Are you implying it does DPI to inspect my HTTP request, determine whether the URI specified is on a black list or not before deciding whether to forward the packet on or reset the connection?

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Krakoom! OCZ flies into the ground. Time to salvage the engines and look around

Tom 38
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It will be a bad thing if your 480gb revodrive goes titsup the day after they go titsup (or the month before tbh).

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Tom 38
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I bought a couple of refurb OCZ SSDs to use as cache devices - no-one else will touch them, so they are dead cheap, and it doesn't affect my server if they do crash.

Both are currently working OK, but I don't trust them at all!

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False widow spiders in guinea pig slaughter horror

Tom 38
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Re: Webs? 5 of them?

I'll bet you dollars to donuts that these guinea pigs died of hunger, thirst or cold. Better not to blame poor Jordan though…

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Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Steatoda bipunctata

Clarify for me, if you will, the difference between Steatoda bipunctata* and the false widow spider.

Bonus points for attempted pedantry and use of latin.

* AKA "Rabbit Hutch Spider" or "False Widow Spider"

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WTF is the Internet of Things and how insurers will use it against you

Tom 38
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Re: Tech-fetishism meets control freakery meets Big Brother

Everything is "a geek thing" until it is so useful that it is an "everyone thing".

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Tom 38
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** fishtank-app01.local PROBLEM alert - Food_Dispenser is CRITICAL **

***** Nagios *****

Notification Type: PROBLEM

Service: Food_Dispenser

Host: fishtank-app01.local

Address: 172.31.1.1

State: CRITICAL

Date/Time: Wed Nov 27 08:17:50 UTC 2013

User:

Comment:

Additional Info:

FOOD_DISPENSER CRITICAL - has it all gunked up again?

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How STEVE JOBS saved Apple's bacon with an outstretched ARM

Tom 38
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Re: Beep!

It's a personal computer that sits on top of your desk - how can that not be a "desktop PC"?

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Tom 38
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Re: The Archimedes was popular in schools?

I really liked Archimedes, we had a mixed suite of them and BBC-Bs at school for 5-6 years before we even had a single PC. Much better documented than a PC, you could easily sit down and write applications. I'd written programs for the BBC before, but the first WIMP application I wrote was on a A3000.

I even went on a day trip to Earls Court to some Acorn/Archimedes tech show where I saw the Newton for the first time, at that time, for a kid from the country, it was almost unbelievable.

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Schmidt: Social networks will FREE THE PEOPLE of China

Tom 38
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Schmidt should talk to Patten

In order to save himself some trouble, Patten can fill him in quite succinctly on how the leaders of the Middle Kingdom like gwai lo barbarians telling them how to run their country.

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John McAfee punted from Portland party pad

Tom 38
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his rented party pad … shelling out at least $US1200 a month for his digs

So, less than I pay for my 50 m² box in London then?

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Dude, relax – it's Just a Bunch Of Disks: Our man walks you through how JBODs work

Tom 38
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Re: Nice one Trevor!

It doesn't have to be that pricey, I picked up two Rackable enclosures for $100 each from ebay, each is 3U and has 16 hotswap bays. They are hooked up over mini SAS to a (Dell) LSI HBA, £70 on ebay. They sit in an Ikea LACK side table (£25), which is a very cheap 6U rack on castors. I also had to replace the PSUs and exhaust fans for silence.

Downsides are SATA-2, so I can "only" pull 1.2 GB/s out of each enclosure - does me fine, the disks I buy can't push that anyway and, as Trevor said, since this is for MAID, who gives a fuck - 300MB/s would be fine.

The other cheap option is a DIY with a Norco chassis, which isn't actually that cheap once you've bought chassis, backplane, psu and expander card.

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Undercover BBC man exposes Amazon worker drone's daily 11-mile trek

Tom 38
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Re: Is this a story?

The purpose of shit jobs is to motivate us to get better jobs. I've done a mind numbing number of mind numbing jobs, some are shitter than others. I would put this amazon picker role as "meh" on my own personal "would you do this for cash?" scale, alongside other similarly light physical labour jobs that I've done - bar work, boxing dog food, bulk mail sorting, postie, gas meter man and so on.

Compared to some of the more hellish jobs I've had though, and it seems like this guy is just winging. Try cutting turf for 12 hours a day, or working in the (very) unclean side of a hospital laundry.

However, it is much much harder than some of the more cushty roles I've had - receptionist, delivery driver, data entry clerk, software engineer - the last one is a doddle btw, no way I'm going back to cutting turf.

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Google coughs up $17m to end Safari STALKER COOKIE brouhaha

Tom 38
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Re: Why only the US

Who said the consumer benefits from this? All the money will go to lawyers, any remnant will go to a consumer NGO, conveniently run by lawyer's OHs.

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US senator asks: Will Bitcoin replace Swiss bank accounts?

Tom 38
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“Are Bitcoin wallets going to replace the my Swiss bank account?” asked Jeff Merkley, a Democrat Senator for Oregon, who was worried about his money laundering.

FTFY

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Apple BIGGEST LOSER in Blighty's Battle of Fondlers

Tom 38
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Disaster!

Apple only grew sales by 8% during a recession, they are clearly done for.

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Sonos and I: How home media playback just gets SO FRUSTRATING

Tom 38
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Re: Does your TV not have audio out connectors?

Of course his TV has audio out, his issue is that his "amp" has no audio in. He likes that his speakers "look cool", are wireless, can be moved around the house and be arranged in to zones, but dislikes that he can only use them to stream content from the internet.

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Tom 38
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Problems with your speaker system?

Have you tried throwing money at over priced tat and then having a rant at the intertubes because it doesn't work as you want?

You want a receiver and speakers. You bought an amp. It's a damn fancy amp, granted, but it is not a receiver. Your main complaint here is that TV speakers are rubbish, your Sonos speakers are awesome, but there is no way to connect the two. As far as I can work out, the Sonos system can't take any audio input at all - it's an amp that you can only use for streaming stuff from your phone, using their app.

If you had a receiver, you would plug your video and audio sources in to the receiver. You plug your TV into the receiver. You plug the speakers in to the receiver with wire. You hide the wire under skirting boards, carpets or floorboards, or pin to the walls and paint. Sound goes to speakers, video goes to TV.

A bargain receiver costs about £100, bargain speaker set around the same, add in any streaming device you like - well, any that provide an audio out option...

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London businesses to signal UNSWERVING LOYALTY to capital with .london domain

Tom 38
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Re: Not Good

I think you'll find they twig pretty damn smartish and have toll gates up ready for the summer season.

I think you'll find they are much smarter than that already - you can get in to Cornwall for free, but to leave you must pay to get back across the Tamar

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Tom 38
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Re: For me, a good sign

There's a Sutton in Surrey and one in the West Midlands.

and Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire and Suffolk and Devon and Kent and Leicestershire and Hampshire and Lincolnshire and Norfolk and Nottinghamshire and Somerset and Oxfordshire and West Sussex and Wiltshire and Yorkshire and Dorset and Essex and Derbyshire and Cheshire and Lancashire ...

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Tom 38
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Re: Not Good

If Scotland votes Yes, there is no reason to put up with the pretence of Britain anymore, we should devolve to the ancient kingdoms of Anglia, Mercia, Northumbria, Wessex, Kent, Essex and Sussex. The Welsh can rule themselves, no-one tell the Cornish and we'll see how long it takes for them to twig.

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Eat our dust, spinning rust: In 5 years, it'll be all flash all the time

Tom 38
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Re: Doubt it

This is just incorrect. Tapes, HDDs and SSDs all can seek to specific positions. In tapes, the seek is excruciating, in HDDs the seek is painful and in SSDs the seek is almost non-existent. Of the three, only SSDs could be described as random access.

This goes back to my original point, they are the same, the differences are just technical - transfer rate, seek time and so on. You might think that tape is dead, but for storing mass data that you read back sequentially, its the fucking dogs.

Even today, there are applications where tape is supremely better than HDD, and it is the height of foolishness to think that because SSDs are superior to HDD in terms of seek speed and transfer rate that there will be no application where HDDs are the superior solution (and therefore that HDDs are doooomed).

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Tom 38
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Re: Doubt it

SSDs are the same as HDDs in the same way that HDDs are the same as tape. They all store blocks of data. You can write data to all of them. You can read back the data from all of them.

The only differences between any of them are the underlying technology and performance characteristics of each technology.

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Tom 38
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Doubt it

SSDs won't mean the death of HDDs any more than HDDs signalled the death of tape.

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Linux backdoor squirts code into SSH to keep its badness buried

Tom 38
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Re: @AC re slipstream SSH datastream

So there is a vector (possibly OS specific) that was used to break into SSH, and SSH itself is a vector to compromise whatever OS is being used. Which may be Linux.

No-one has suggested that sshd was broken in to, only that once the server was broken in to with enhanced credentials, that allowed them to install a backdoor that hooked itself in to sshd.

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Tom 38
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Re: Infection Vector?

Place your bets:

Unpatched Apache flaw or zero day Apache flaw ?

Do you even know how little of httpd executes with enhanced credentials? I would very much doubt that that is the vector.

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Another day, another Bitcoin burglary as Bitcash.cz goes titsup

Tom 38
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OH noes, the hackers again

The cynic in me is insisting this is just a bunch of shady exchange operators seeing a chance to walk off with a bunch of bitcoins.

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HUMANITY STUNNED - Apple Retina iPad Mini arrives. A solemn moment

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: Apple does it again ...

"Someone with common sense" complains that ipad is a waste because the apps won't use that power, and then asks for a 5" tablet with an i7 inside it.

"Someone who hasn't taken their meds" sounds more probable.

PS: Did you know that all Apple phones and tablets with Lightning ports come with a free USB to Lightning adapter so you can charge from USB ports? It's just like the cable you use to charge your iphone 3G, but one end is tiny instead of fat. I can see how this might upset you.

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Tom 38
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Re: Why mock?

You've got it wrong, this is just the appropriate point in the story cycle. Wait a few months after launch for the stories "Why Apple is failing to launch new things" and "Apple insider rumours insist new iphone fellates you".

It's all click bait to get the people who either hate or like apple to post, but you need to use a different lure depending upon the season.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

I want to defecate on Steve Jobs grave every time I hear the word Retina…

Nice to see you are taking this news in a calm manner.

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Server, server in the rack, when's my disk drive going to crack?

Tom 38
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… disk-makers' claims for longevity

I'll bite; which disk makers are these? I bought an OCZ SSD the other day, 6 month warranty. Seagate Barracuda drives - 1 year warranty. It's laughable - it used to be 5 yr warranties by standard.

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Internet Explorer 11 for Win7 bods: Soz, no HTML5 fun for you

Tom 38
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WTF?

Is that really the ONLY reason you can think of JDX?

Is the idea that MS might force obsolescence on an otherwise functional browser-OS combo in order to drive upgrade sales completely unthinkable for you?

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REJOICE! Windows 7 users can get IE11 ... soon they'll have NO choice

Tom 38
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I wish MS would abandon IE versions and disassociate it with Windows

Purely from a technical viewpoint, what they do means there is always a significant proportion of users with different versions of the browser. This doesn't happen with Chrome or Firefox, users of these browsers are continually updated to the latest stable version, but with IE, particularly globally, you will always have some clients on really old browsers.

For instance, our website has Chinese users. This means everything has to work correctly in IE 6. A minority of our XP users still use IE 7 and 8, we have lots of IE 9 and iE 10 users, and more IE 11 users.

What this means for us developers is a non-ending game of whack-a-mole as we fix an IE bug in IE 6, only to see an unintended side effect in IE 9 - it drives you bonkers.

Do they really think people upgrade windows to get a newer version of IE?

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Ging gang cloudy? IBM programmer packs it in for life as an online Scouts badge-tracker

Tom 38
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Apache is phenomenally configurable in its mode of operation. If you choose the default chosen by most distributors, you get a mode of operation - prefork - where performance does blow. They choose this mode by default for two reasons, PHP and ease of use for their users.

PHP can run in two modes, an interpreter embedded in to the web server, or as a standalone process with worker children/threads that communicates with the webserver via FCGI. In the first mode, it is easier to setup a PHP app, simply put PHP files in a directory served by the webserver, in the second you need to configure FCGI - its not hard configuration, but it is extra work. Distros prefer not to do that, so prefer the first mode, however the first mode can only run in apache in prefork mode, therefore they choose prefork.

Each worker in prefork has a PHP interpreter active in it, whether it is serving static files or running PHP apps. This means you have more interpreters 'active' than are necessary - wasting resources. Plus, you can only handle as many simultaneous connections as you can handle simultaneous workers - regardless of what those connections are doing. So prefork is a dog, and to be avoided.

Apache has other modes. We use "event", which is a hybrid thread/process model, basically the same model as nginx, and guess what, it performs just as well as nginx. Plus, we can still use the billion or so apache modules out there. We have to use a fcgi-wrapper for our web apps, but this is good anyway as it allows us to control how many PHP processes are active at any one time, which prevents you having too many DB connections, which, if you've ever run a dynamic website will know, is usually the limiting factor of any hosted site.

nginx, as a bare bones web server, doesn't have the option of the prefork model, nor of embedding PHP directly in to the webserver, so you need to configure a php-fcgi wrapper for each app, just like we do for apache-event.

tl;dr - apache not dead, read the manual and learn how to configure it for performance.

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The 10 most INHUMAN bosses you'll encounter: A Reg reader's guide

Tom 38
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Re: 10 Types of bosses

@ hammarbtyp that "small company" must have been quite big. Small companies don't have share options and are not publicly traded.

What drivel, who said anything about "publicly traded" shares? Share options can be had in any company where the ownership of the company is vested in shares, typically they are used to allow new equity investment or to provide an equity share.

For instance, Jim and Bob own a catering company, Jim has 50 shares, Bob has 50 shares. They have an employee, Phil, who is so essential to the business that Jim and Bob create an extra 20 shares, and grant an option to Phil that he can buy the shares for £20,000. This is a share option - if Phil executes the option, he will own 1/6th of the company, and Jim and Bob will own 5/12ths each.

hammarbtyp is describing a situation where Jim and Bob keep telling Phil that "you are so essential, we're going to have to see about getting you some equity", without actually doing shit. It happens all the time.

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Google Helpout live vids: Helping you help us help ourselves, says web giant

Tom 38
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Operation Evil Empire

1) Build worlds best search engine

2) Show ads next to search results

3) Show ads next to other people's content, share revenue

4) Make fortune

5) Profile users actions so that you can extract more revenue from them

6) Make a list of the sectors of other people's content that we share revenue with

7) Expand in to the highest ranking sectors with well polished products, developed and funded by revenue from 2) and 3)

8) Goto 6

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OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

Tom 38
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Boom boom?

More pew-pew

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Watch out, MARTIANS: 1.3 tonne INDIAN ROBOT is on its way

Tom 38
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Re: Spending

Agree we should stop aid to India tho' - or be honest and admit it's a bribe for trade and good relations.

I thought it was reparations for pillaging the Raj?

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Insight warns of $20 MILLION kick in the teeth from Microsoft

Tom 38
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Re: Tragic News

"as Windows fades in to irrelevance"

I guess you missed Microsoft's record results last week?

Guess you missed the difference between Windows and Microsoft?

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Tom 38
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Re: Tragic News

Actually it's pretty cheap for what you get. Loads of functionality is now rolled into the OS that you used to have to pay extra for.

You might have had to pay extra - these are features that MS decided to use as price differentiators - as Windows fades in to irrelevance, differentiators are not required.

You could always use Linux and pay in time and inconvenience instead

lol

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Facebook tests sinister CURSOR-TRACKING in hunt for more ad bucks

Tom 38
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Re: Clearly I am out of touch ..

Clearly too young to remember web pages with JS mouse trails .

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Cameron pledges public access to list of who REALLY owns firms

Tom 38
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Re: How is this going to help...

Crikey, since when did register forums merge with the daily mail?

Branson pays no tax because he gives all his income to charity - whether he lives on his island paradise is up to him. Whether you use your SHOUTY RIGHT WING BOLLOCKS typing or otherwise.

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Google in PRODUCT RECALL for its Glass spy-goggles

Tom 38
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Sometimes when you are skiing, it can also be snowing. When it is snowing, the sky is white, the ground is white, the clouds (which you are in) are white. A big glowing red line in the HUD would delineate the piste from the off piste, and perhaps stop you accidentally skiing off a cliff in bad vis. Things that stop me killing myself I generally consider "useful" and not "part of the video game".

Similarly, if you're on a long piste, is that bloke in the black 1km downhill your mate, or just another person wearing black. Did they go left or right at the junction? Which restaurant were we skiing to again*?

Plus, skiing isn't necessarily sport, it's just spending some nice time in the mountains moving from place to place on skis. It's not all Ski Sunday grand slalom races y'know.

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Tom 38
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Re: Who will protect us?

Try wearing a pair of old tights over your head. You'll find this works well to protect your privacy.

Just don't go in to the bank and say "I'd like to withdraw some money please".

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Tom 38
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Go

Re: @AC

Why would I answer the phone when I'm skiing?

You don't *have* to answer the phone, you know.

Er, I think some people have read this as "Take work call whilst skiing". I'm much more in the "Knowing what restaurant to ski to for lunch" sphere of phone calls whilst skiing. In fact, if it was work, I'd probably ignore it.

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Tom 38
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If you think Oakleys are stylish sunglasses, you are the one doing away with the style component. Oakleys are tough, the frames are titanium, the lenses are strengthened polycarbonate and are interchangeable for when even tough is not tough enough.

You buy Oakleys because you are fed up of snow blindness from the ineffective anti glare coating on the gas station glasses, and/or have sun burn from the gas station glasses filtering UV-A and not UV-B, and/or are fed up of having to replace them for the 5th time this trip because you took a minor spill.

Besides which, you would hope most of it can be put behind the mirror blue lenses.

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Tom 38
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Re: Who will protect us?

Who is protecting you from being filmed on a smartphone while out and about?

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NYSE preps for MILLIONS of trades in Twitter IPO stress-tests

Tom 38
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Re: Twitter ticker = TWIT?

You ascribe a value per user and multiply by the number of users.

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