* Posts by Terry 6

1396 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

Terry 6
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Truthiness

God ( irony intended) help us! But we seem to have entered a period when "truth" is a matter of personal preference. Why that might be we can only speculate. Poor understanding of evidence and scientific thinking in an age when education has returned to mechanical teach-and-test rather developing thinking from first principles is one of my best guesses. Another is that our populations have become so used to being lied to that we just choose the versions we prefer from a menu. Or maybe it's that the truth is just too awful to cope with.

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Sysadmin figures out dating agency worker lied in his profile

Terry 6
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Re: The real problem...

HP software Ach.

The last time I had an HP printer updated drivers could not install.

The reason, there was one DLL that would not overwrite the previous copy, but that version also prevented itself from being undeleted, even by the several HP levels of undelete software. (Ironically, it was not even a different version of that DLL going on). But the install aborted when it tried and failed to overwrite that DLL. Having run the required HP sequence of undelete routines nothing else was left of the original install, but there was no way to get the rest of the stuff put back on. Printer reduced to a large door stop. It was a good few years ago, but I remember the various help forums had long lists of people all asking for a solution - but no answers.

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Terry 6
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Touch typing

I used to be able to touch type. I still mostly do, if I'm busy typing and focussed on the text. But if using the keyboard is only a small part of what I'm doing, or if I'm not using one of my own keyboards - as was the case when I was still supporting colleagues - then I find I have to look at the keyboard. Also, as soon as I become aware that I'm not looking at the keyboard it all falls apart (Not the keyboard, just the typing) and I have to look..

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Terry 6
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Gmail?

I thought this sounded familiar. So I logged into Gmail . Type in Username ( Choose "next" or press Enter) Then Password ( Choose next or press Enter).

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Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Terry 6
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Re: Silly people

charles 9

Absolutely, just because you can't hear a carrot scream......

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Renewed calls for Tesla to scrap Autopilot after number of crashes

Terry 6
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Using statistics

These figures actually make no real sense, to be blunt ( except the 2% who just don't know what they are driving bit).

To make any sensible comparison you'd need to break the figures down ( or at least identify) driving location and conditions, Then compare the rate of accidents per Km and/or per journey with the expected rate for cars of a similar performance and purpose. Currently we are just jumping up and down at every accident report. It probably owes more to confirmation bias than real information - with a gentle touch of building Moral Panic to keep it rolling on in the news.

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Terry 6
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Victims

Some of the commentards above seem to have forgotten that when a Tesla hits another vehicle it might equally be the other car's unfortunate occupants who get killed. So that 2% who do think that they can abandon responsibility for driving their cars are genuinely scary if let loose.

.

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Virgin Media is so rustic and artisan you get to hand-sort your own spam

Terry 6
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Sole proprietors

Small businesses that know just their own skills, or private users that have no real reason to need a special address are likely to just use an ISP one. Bigger customers who rely on ISP FreeMail are at the very least naive.

That being said, at home we use various addys. And VM is just one of those. To date their spam management has been appalling. I have no reason to think that legit email isn't getting to us. But I know that some very obvious spam/scam stuff gets through really easily - (No I don't want a "free" gift card that doesn't really come from a well-known brand even though it carries their logo).

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BOFH: The Hypochondriac Boss and the non-random sample

Terry 6
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Re: True Stories From Corporate America - Part Duh!

Marketeers (aka Spawn of Satan) did and do tend to send "eye-catching" emails with stupid subject lines and even attachment names. We currently have one in our spam folder with a subject "oops...something went wrong", from a genuine clothes retailer, as it happens. You would have no idea what to expect from it, maybe a price change, or a billing error...... Perfect for a payload email to piggy back on to. Just click on this link........etc.

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Terry 6
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Re: Experience...

Thinking about this further, I've also met a number of highly skilled, even quite techy, people who don't seem to realise that the same, pretty standard, problem solving techniques they use to sort out issues in their specialised jobs will actually still work when applied to such things as their computer problems, getting the VCR ( old skool), dishwasher or microwave oven etc. to work.

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Terry 6
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Re: Experience...

I suspect that researchers are a special case anyway. Often (not always) people who have a very narrow focus. They studied their subject or its underlying knowledge through A levels, degree, MA and beyond with massive commitment and an unswerving trajectory. There are, of course, plenty of researchers with normal skill sets, social lives and outside interests. But those who don't will be represented in a high proportion, because they are the ones who have scaled those heights.

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Terry 6
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Re: Culling the herd...

Oh God yes.

A few years back I sent out an edited version of an email like this, ( I think it was of the "your computer has a problem, click here to resolve it" variety - something like that) that a staff member had received and sensibly shown to me. I sent it with roughly that message, and with with the link(s) deleted.

It is a small organisation, - a couple of dozen staff- and I spent much of the remainder of the day being interrupted by people coming up to me and saying "I got your message, but I couldn't get the button to click".

Something about computers scares normally intelligent people to being unthinking, unobservant, uncritical sheep.

Icon used in lieu of a proper despair icon

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Outlook outage outrage

Terry 6
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Re: Pigeons

although they do small quite bad and shit all over the place

Which one?

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Barnet Council: Outsourcing deal with Capita has 'performance issues'

Terry 6
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Re: It's Barnet council that has "performnace issues"

When it comes to outsourcing those councils have a bunch of elected councillors who believe that this is the way to go, but without necessarily any evidence behind the ideology. (Barnet in particular). And officers who know the job that needs to be done, but no understanding of outsourcing -( or sometimes the other way round).

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Terry 6
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Re: "Savings"

Did they factor in the cost of clearing up ( ideally preventing) fly tipping?

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Terry 6
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Re: It's Barnet council that has "performnace issues"

..and maybe for the more senior staff that revolving door. The front line buggers just get shafted.

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AI can now tell if you're a criminal or not

Terry 6
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Just curious

What exactly is the definition of "criminality"?

Does it exclude, say, rich individuals who manage to find ways round tax laws, but include drunks who damage a bit of property? Does it exclude wealthy politicians who paint slogans on the side of a bus about giving millions to the NHS, but include people who claim that they are going to share millions of GBP that are in a Nigerian bank account? Does it exclude Bingo hall and betting shop owners/managers who install machines that swallow addicted punters' money but include sellers of soft drugs and practitioners of the three card trick? And considering the provenance of this, does it include people who criticise the Chinese Govt?

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Terry 6
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Stats 101

Compare two relatively small sample groups on a chosen criterion and you'll find statistical differences anyway, even without the more sophisticated criticisms above. You might find, say, that known criminals are more likely to prefer noodles to rice - so noodle eaters are potential crooks? Or that one group have 19% more chance of liking Man United than Man City or whatever.

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Terry 6
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Re: Can you hold down the power button

Yup, and already did a mia culpa, complete with explanation and defence.

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Terry 6
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Pint

Re: Can you hold down the power button

Fair comment.

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Terry 6
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Re: big key with 'Enter' printed on it

My God! It just goes to show, I never really look at my keyboard. There really is another Enter button on the right of the numeric pad. I've only been using this lappy every day for four years.

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Terry 6
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Re: Can you hold down the power button

False analogy. Unlike with a car, computer users don't always (if ever) get lessons in how to drive the things.

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Terry 6
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Re: Can you hold down the power button

Sorry, I couldn't think of a concise phrase for the water that gets sprayed over the windscreen to clean it. But that just exemplifies what I maintain; that with an unknown user you have to make sure that you only use terms that are defined within every day language. It may be that "power button" is something that a non-technical user ought to be able to figure out for themselves means the on/off button. But not when they are stressed because they can't get their job done, are talking to a stranger on a phone about a machine that they use every day in very narrowly defined and controlled ways, but is now not doing what it has always done for no apparent reason.

PS found this in google in around 3 seconds, though I did cheat and add the word "water"

https://www.howacarworks.com/bodywork/checking-windscreen-wipers-and-washers

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Terry 6
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Can you hold down the power button

"power button"

As in Power Rangers, Power supply, etc.

Rule number one ( and not just in IT) Sorry for shouting this, but, YOU DO NOT USE JARGON TERMS UNLESS YOU KNOW THE USER.

In this case, starting at base level you should be saying, "There's an on and off button on the box....etc." And yes, there are still plenty of people who think turning off the screen is like turning off the telly. Even though they sit in an office all day using the damn things. But then, how many drivers have no idea how to top-up the jets, check they tyres etc.

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Helping autonomous vehicles and humans share the road

Terry 6
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Re: Cocks

When, a few years back, the big thing in the press was "road rage" incidents and lots of psychologists were being hauled up in front of TV cameras to discuss what caused this behaviour it occurred to me that what most of them were describing wasn't really any such thing. It was just ordinary, everyday bullying behaviour. But that the bullies had been allowed out into the street, almost totally anonymous and with a steel box round them. My guess was that in their offices and homes they would be no different if allowed to get away with it.

I often drive round in a little Ford Ka that we got for our teenagers to use. It is quite astonishing how differently some people drive when they see a little car near them. They drive in ways that I almost never see in our usual, just average sized, vehicle. I get tailgated, carved up, overtaken on a bend, all sorts of stupid stuff.

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'Post-truth' beats 'chatbot' to Word of the Year Crown

Terry 6
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Post-truth has been working in the way politicians manage education for a number of years now. It started in the 90s. A lobby group would start up because they wanted a subject ( mainly, but not only, literacy) taught in a certain way that they believed in - essentially behaviourist, narrow with lots of measurable targets. They'd argue for their method with passion, conviction, appeals to emotion and lots of "It stands to reason" type statements, but no evidence to substantiate it. Then another group would start up ( often containing many of the same people) and argue for the same things, but would quote the first group as an authority, omitting to mention that none of it was actually proven. This would spawn a few times and gain enough traction to get support of some politicians and bring a few like-minded researchers (often not regular academics) on board, who'd conduct a small "study". The study would be narrow and wouldn't actually test the main hypothesis, just some small corner of it - in the sense of, " If you teach X the kids will get better at doing X" rather than "Learning X makes the kids learn better.".But that would be enough for the lobby group to quote it endlessly and accuse any opposition of "ignoring the science" and "damaging children". They'd simply shout down and ignore any evidence that contradicts this, for example, how memory actually works, and before you know it there's a new curriculum. In literacy it's Phonics.

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Terry 6
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I think the point about "post-truth" is that it exists in a particular place where people seem to be saying that something might actually not be the truth but they choose to act on it anyway. By implication, saying that truth doesn't matter or can be a matter of preference.

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Terry 6
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Re: Huh?

That actually sounds like a better definition of what "post-truth" might mean. The so called definition quoted in the article barely qualifies as one, it's so vague.

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British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

Terry 6
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Fair enough

As much as I like my Windows Phone, I long since accepted that Microsoft blew it. My next one can't be Windows. They needed some way to overcome the cheap universal appeal of the Google advertising OS Android or the costly Apple iBling OS. And they needed something that ordinary Windows users would feel comfortable with. So they seem to have opted for the worst of all worlds, in what seems to be a regular bit of MS behaviour. Ending up with something that Windows users hated (Win 8.x), that slurped data and served ads like Android, but didn't have the style of Apple.

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Nokia's great lost smartwatch? #SavedYouALandfill

Terry 6
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Selling points?

I'm always on the look-out for an excuse to get a gadget. When it came to a smartwatch I couldn't find one.

Step counter? - I actually know if I've done a lot of walking, or not. Knowing how many steps is faddish at best. And if I did want to do that, do I really need a whole Smart?watch for such a trivial purpose? Reading e-mails off my wrist?- Sorry, if an email (or text) is important enough to be read there and then it needs to be read properly, and responded to, not by glancing at it on my wrist and then, what? Shrug/leave the room to respond properly/panic? Checking my diary?- Sorry, I haven't yet reached the stage when I can't remember my schedule for a couple of hours if I check it on my phone before I start a meeting or something.

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NHS IT bod sends test email to 850k users – and then responses are sent 'reply all'

Terry 6
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Re: Not a bad test

A good point. Especially for the NHS and like organisations. Any risk of sending messages to every one, without really serious reasons, is an an unimaginable waste of time, and a serious risk that confidential information will get sent out to everyone accidentally.

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Terry 6
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A special place in Hell...

For the idiots who always use "reply all". There are plenty of these, they don't seem to get the idea that you can just use "reply". And they can be joined by the ones who seem to assume that if an email is 1-to-many their reply also needs to be 1-to-many. The common example of this is the email that asks all an "if " question, as in "If any of you can help with x please email me.." and there well be then a flood of "reply all" emails from people who don't need to answer at all, because they can't help, saying that they can't help; which can be annoying enough even if there are only a dozen or so on the original list.

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Virgin Media users report ongoing problems delivering legit emails. Again

Terry 6
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What b***locks

The big problem with VM is that their filters can't even catch Spam that a three year old child could recognise. Endless e-mails with copied company logos offering gift tokens, endless emails that all appear to come from "cammonline" and other similar sources, endless emails from Nigerian (and other) bankers offering to share millions of GBP. endless emails telling people their paypal/iTunes account is being frozen unless they click on a link. All the usual crap gets through unhindered.

Ironically though, try to forward a phishing or a Spoof email to the authorities or to the genuine purported company's spoof@ address and it does get blocked. Apparently they let Spam in, but not out again. Sheer madness.

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Zuckerberg says just one per cent of news on Facebook is fake

Terry 6
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Re: What?

Winkypop

People take seriously the things that are "shared" by friends - especially in the absence of any kind of external "reality check". Further, people do not search for external verification of either; things they've been told by those friends, things that agree with their existing beliefs, or things that exacerbate their pre-existing fears and insecurities ( by and large these categories tend to overlap).

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BOFH: The Idiot-ware Project and the Meaningless Acronym

Terry 6
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Re: @theModge : hole heartily

I only caught up with this a month on. But for the record's sake - there is nothing more toe curlingly awful than being caught up in a meeting of a committee on a Friday afternoon -when one or two of the members don't seem to want to shut up so we can all go home.

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US citizens crash Canadian immigration site after Trump victory

Terry 6
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Re: How can any decent voter

FWIW check Mussolini's son-in-law

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Terry 6
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What they voted for

Whether Brexit or Trump it does seem as if much of the result came from a deep mistrust of the same-old-same-old. Possibly, had Bernie got the Democratic vote he'd have achieved the same as Trump. Clinton was tainted by her behaviour and her associates while in office. Mark 100 ( above) just about sums up what our respective democracies have come to. My family in the USA, mostly left of centre Californians and the like, were disillusioned with Clinton before the campaigning even started.

Yes, there are the racists crawling out of the woodwork. And the political extremes, right and possible also the left in the case of Brexit, saw these choices as aligning with their views, But a lot of the comment out there seems to be from people who just didn't see the usual choices as being in their favour. Free trade, mutli-national outsourcing, corporate lobbies ( and yes the perception of immigration by people taking jobs for lower pay) all seem to leave ordinary "blue collar" workers as victims of the storm. For middle class, and left-of-centre Americans Clinton was at best the lesser of two evils - but for many ordinary voters she wasn't.

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We're going to have to start making changes or the adults will do it for us

Terry 6
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Re: Spaces, Spaces, Spaces...

One technical IT manager in the late1980s used to ignore his own desk's office functions terminal. He would get his secretary to print out his incoming emails. He would then annotate them with handwritten replies for her to type up and send as emails.

Another Oh God! moment. Even into the 2000s I came across various senior staff not in IT who still did that.

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Terry 6
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Re: The problem in IT is the anarchic attitude...

When they say or imply "That's how we've always done it." That's not just an IT thing. It's definitely common in offices and I'm guessing lots of other workplaces.

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Terry 6
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Re: Spaces, Spaces, Spaces...

Oh GOD!!

I remember. It was in the early days of school computers. They tried to make us use that programme to type reports etc. Every f***ing bit of formatting needed a funny code before and after. We were experts at our substantive jobs - we had no time to become expert at this crap. Fair enough, we had typewriters that worked just fine, and some just had beautiful handwriting.

Except that the Powers That Be who were trying to insist on this stuff swore blind that it was really easy, anyone could use it and so on. But they all had secretaries to do it for them. Liars!

BTW we went to WORD in MSDOS, before we had Windows, I'm sure.

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Terry 6
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Re: Well, to a point...

Managers should have good people skills. Beancounters and technocrats get promoted to management jobs sometimes because they're good at their technical jobs, often because they are mildly better at people skills than the competition (and the suspicion at least is they're less good at the technical stuff - pointy haired boss).

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Terry 6
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" can forgive IT systems giving me aggravation - I expect better of people."

Nooo. IT systems should have been set up to avoid causing aggravation. People are all unique individuals.

The biggest IT aggravations come from systems designed to make people conform to how the IT works, rather than the other way round.

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World-leading heart hospital 'very, very lucky' to dodge ransomware hit

Terry 6
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Re: Stop treating people as a variable

Politicians less political?

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Terry 6
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'Nuff said..

" finance people only like to plan for what's actually going to happen,"

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Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Terry 6
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Re: Treason of UK governments and the UK judiciary.

What seems fascinating about all this is the desperate self-righteousness of the Brexit campaigners. It almost seems as if they know they won by the skin of their teeth, due to a sequence of undeliverable promises and logical fallacies and slurs. (Equating having education to being "elite" - whatever that means, then making out it's a bad thing or saying that if you are an expert you must be wrong etc). And they are terrified that if they don't keep hammering slogans "The people" will realise they've been mugged.

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Terry 6
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" closed, protectionist federation to make that work".

Do you mean by that the United Kingdom, outside the EU, with border controls and tariffs?

And even the "undemocratic" bit probably applies, according to some arguments about first-past-the-post elections. Especially when one party can be taken over by a bunch who only registered/joined to import their own party politics into it.

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Terry 6
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Remain voters voted because they specifically want to remain within the EU - and have no reason to change that view.

Leave voters voted to leave for all sorts of reasons; Liking Boris, giving all that imaginary money to the NHS, kicking Dave, kicking the "establishment", the thrill of change, the feeling of empowerment for people who've felt disenfranchised by first-past-the-post or being in a safe seat (either party), suspicion or fear of foreigners (but without relating this to that nice Mr. Such-and-Such next door until they realise he has been hurt), a genuine belief that wages would go up when there are no foreign workers to do the low-pay jobs etc etc etc. And maybe the cold light of the Brexit dawn has cooled some of that enthusiasm.

And then there are the non-voters, some who didn't understand what it all meant and might have sincerely believed it wouldn't matter if they voted or not, the young adults who've never really experienced the effects of cumulative democracy and didn't realise their votes made a difference, the youngsters who didn't have the chance then but are over 18 now.

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Terry 6
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Re: Handy....

"Repeal of the European Communities Act, 1972, which gave precedence to EU law over UK law, "

Which is of course meaningless unless you can actually point to resultant EU laws that you want to remove.

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Terry 6
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This "elite" thing is a stupid nonsense.

In effect it means that anyone we vote in to parliament is automatically discounted. So democracy is impossible. Or that we can only elect the uneducated and uncaring? I would have thought that the "elite" were the people we do want to run the country, the best educated. Whether that's what they actually are is a different matter.

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Terry 6
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Re: And the youngsters

No, we should have either; extended the referendum age ( it's asking opinions, not electing parliament) to youngsters, maybe 16+, or else leave it to MPs to factor that in when they make up their minds on the vote.

I think I recall that the Scottish independence vote was 16+

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