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* Posts by gerryg

414 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009

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Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

gerryg
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what is it that people are watching, that needs this level of tech?

I recently watched Waterloo Bridge using my DVD player; the one Vivian Leigh thought was her best film. B&W, monaural sound, probably fairly rubbish picture definition. A truly gripping film. I think it had something to do with the screenplay and the quality of the acting, but I might be wrong.

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Judge strikes down Apple attempt to bar Samsung's 'untrue' patent comments

gerryg
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Re: I read this as...

I was reminded of a comment by the late John Mortimer QC to the effect that he preferred having to defend murderers rather than act in divorce. With the former, once the deed had been done there was a sense of finality. With the latter he'd get a ranty phone call at any hour of the night along the lines of "do something, he's only gone and taken the toaster"

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No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

gerryg
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Re: Unconstitutional

@Anonymous Coward - While I'm not sure which point of mine you are riposting, if you dig even deeper still you'll find that all draft legislation is scrutinised for constitutional implications. So yes you're right, all statute law forms part of the constitution, but only in the sense that they're not making it up as they go along.

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gerryg
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Re: Unconstitutional

"Is there really legislation that says anything written down in a contract overrides all other laws?"

It's actually the complete opposite: contract law is essentially common law, non-statute. Its structure has been sorted out through legal dispute over time.

Legislation is used to trim the enforceability of a contract

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gerryg
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Re: Unconstitutional

I think you'll find you are making it up as you go along - so here's A Very Short Introduction to the British Constitution.

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iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

gerryg
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I've used iFixit - they're amazing

Friend's son's Apple laptop - dead, obviously a power supply problem, couldn't swap battery as short term measure with his sister's Apple laptop as they were not interchangeable (natch).

Apple "genius" - "it needs a new logic board £600" (about 10p less than a new laptop) - iFixit second user dc conditioning thingy - about $29 IIRC and $10 IIRC air freight - arrived three days later. With aid of iFixit guide - about 90 minutes work

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

gerryg
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I see your "four yorkshiremen"...

...and raise you a Daily Mash

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Scottish gov may miss IT budget cut target

gerryg
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Re: Ray Winstone

er, rub-a-dub...

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Samsung wins right to delay UK appeal in Apple dispute

gerryg
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Where are the Time Lords when you need them?

I'm fairly sure patent dispute shenanigans contravene the First Law of Time creating a distortion of history

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British Pregnancy Advice Service fined £200k for Anon hack, data protection breaches

gerryg
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Re: Of course the ICO...

"Yes, they should. And, giving a huge wodge of donated cash to a Quango does this... how exactly?"

The ICO a quasi-judicial body and it issues fines for infractions.

BPAS charges for its services and advises on how to get the NHS to fund it.

Donations in 2012 were £9000 and fees for services were £26,380,000 see page 12

Its objective is to get more NHS funding see page 7

Three people were paid between £100,000 and £130,000 see page 20. I'm sure everyone else is on minimum wage and no-one, not even the consultant surgeons, does it for the money.

Perhaps all fines should be abolished as once someone has "been told" they won't do it again?

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gerryg
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Re: Of course the ICO...

If we're discussing money, the charity gets tax breaks in order to meet its charitable objectives.

I should imagine given BPS claim Confidentiality means that what a woman says to bpas staff stays private" they have failed to meet their charitable objectives.

So, do nothing? because it's charadee?

The trustees are personally liable for the charity. No-one forced them to become trustees. Let them find out they should have taken the role seriously.

Most tin shakers are out of work actors on a day rate. A government study showed that it takes eighteen months of the average direct debits to recover the cost of recruiting a new donor.

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gerryg
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BPAS are "horrified"...

...according to the 1 o'clock news.

Not because they couldn't find their arse with both hands, nor that they didn't have a clue how much information they were actually storing insecurely.

but at the size if the fine.

Let's ask one of the women who had an abortion in circumstances where confidentiality were paramount.

It will be quite easy to find one, apparently.

Let's hope the trustees work out they're personally liable and are supposed to take this stuff seriously

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Linux-friendly Munich: Ja, we'll take open source collab cloud

gerryg
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Kolab originated as a security measure by the German security services

10 years ago, precisely to deal with the concerns we are seeing with the NSA, GCHQ and back doors.

It's all part of the KDE ecosystem - though it's available for other desktops (for some reason KDE never seems to get the coverage c.f Sanity now: Gnome 3.12 looking sensible)

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Jolla announces Sailfish OS 1.0, says Android love-fest soon to come

gerryg
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so, if I understand your arguement correctly

TOH gives you options that are not available with other devices but because you have to pick the one or two TOHs you need for your day's activities you'd rather not have the options at all?

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Sanity now: Gnome 3.12 looking sensible - at least in beta

gerryg
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Trollface

May I just mention KDE...

...Qt5, Frameworks 5 etc...

thought not

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Robots demanding equal API rights? It's just a matter of time

gerryg
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The upside...

...eventually your fridge channels Scarlet Johansson

Interesting film, BTW.

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SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

gerryg
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BBC should adopt an airlines business model

What does an airline actually own? The aircraft are leased, the logistics, aircrew and catering are contracted in, etc. An airline seems to own only the brand and the business model.

The BBC seems to have the old Ford's of Dagenham raw materials in at one end, cars out at the other, vertical and horizontal sprawl

Which is fine until flexibility and agility are required. Channel 4 and Netflix signpost a future in which a broadcaster can adopt the airlines business model and it seems that the BBC is behind the curve.

This would strip out swathes of overpaid middle management and strategic co-ordination roles. Or paying the "right price" for talent,

And that's before one considers whether the BBC is trying to do too much, the wrong things or how it should be funded.

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Broker accuses FAST of scaring users off secondhand software

gerryg
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you pays yer money you gets yer lack of choice

It's not as if no-one knows the vendor preferring business model deployed by Microsoft, Oracle, etc.

Open source software remains the ultimate client-side business model. Yeah, yeah so "AutoCAD" doesn't work on it but as Steam are demonstrating with games, it would be possible.

And yes, as Munich demonstrated it's not necessarily easy to go cold turkey - but it's possible

So either take the pain or migration or suck it up

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Whitehall and Microsoft negotiate NHS Windows XP hacker survival plan

gerryg
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public sector and software decisions

Since whenever we've been told by various government officials and politicians that FOSS isn't necessarily(1) cheaper. For some excellent waffle recall this Parliamentary select committee hearing or this "guidance" but I suspect part of the negotiation here was the threat to dump Microsoft Office there

End result? More Microsoft in the public sector - immediate symptoms cured, long chronic problem remains.

(1) arse covering qualification, fingers crossed behind back

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15,000 London coppers to receive new crime-fighting tool: an iPad

gerryg
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look what happened when they got smartphones

Downing Street police porn arrests still they've got previous on

exploiting IT for sexual purposes or more generally

An ipad should given them greater scope for innovation.

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Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

gerryg
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android upgrade debate

"Whether those customers received "upgrades" without buying new phones, however, is debatable."

You pays yer money you takes yer choice - Some phone manufacturers will offer OTA updates but some consumers enjoy getting new handsets via a mobile contract and despite everything the upgrade interval is only slowly getting longer.

Others will be working out how to sideload cynogenmod which just gets easier and others still will just buy a new cheap but good handset which is not necessarily an option with the alternatives.

It might not be green but it's what consumers do (with encouragement) despite exhortations not to.

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Microsoft claims victory over second-hand software broker

gerryg
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There must be more to this than we're being told

I thought the EU had decided that you can resell software even if the software company says you can't when Oracle tried to dob-in UsedSoft.

The absence of hard numbers gives this settlement (why not get a verdict... oh, wait, see above) a fishy odour.

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UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

gerryg
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It's a "recommendation", don't hold your breath

Moreover, the writ of the Cabinet Office does not run wide especially not as far as local authorities or non-departmental public bodies:

"According to information provided by Cabinet Office representative Linda Humphries in a meeting on Open Standards and Levelling the Playing Field on May 29, 2012, the policy would only apply to central government bodies, not local governments or other government bodies."

Which is inconvenient because the majority of IT spend takes place outside Whitehall as does the interaction with the public,

The problem is not only document format but also embedded code and over use of document formatting

It wouldn't be difficult to ensure public sector wide adoption, simply by re-using a model developed for other purposes (pdf) except, of course, we've been circling this buoy since at least 2002.

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BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

gerryg
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some DMI history

Remember Ashley Highfield speaking in 2007?

The Digital Media Initiative is a behind-the-scenes project that Mr Highfield described as "the most important over the next year to get right", because it underpins the success of the likes of the iPlayer and other digital services.

And that he left BBC to join Microsoft he left BBC for, but not before this agreement was brokered while doing his bit to rubbish the competition.

"In an interview with web design mag .net, Highfield hit back against claims the BBC is too cosy with Microsoft. He said: "We have 17.1 million users of bbc.co.uk in the UK and, as far as our server logs can make out, 5 per cent of those [use Macs] and around 400 to 600 are Linux users."

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Survey: Yoof too COOL for Ferraris, want state-sponsored hybrids

gerryg
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Re: Gadgets are king - explanation

Even the Guardian thought that Thatcher quote was apocryphal.

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Microsoft buries Sinofsky Era... then jumps on the coffin lid

gerryg
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Re: OEMs lack of innovation

OK, fair enough but while you're going large on Apple perhaps you might want to mention proprietary connectors, arbitrary changes in interconnect, hardware designed to lock out cheaper third party alternatives, lack of interoperability, blah blah

If that's innovation I'll leave the fruits of it to others

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Ian Williamson: The engineer who gave Sinclair his first micro

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Android will ship more than ONE BILLION mobes+slabs in 2014

gerryg
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Re: Billion?

If it were not, then there would be approximately 130 tablets/mobs sold for each person on the planet rather than the still faintly astonishing 1 for every 7

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NHS carelessly slings out care.data plans to 26.5 million Brits

gerryg
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better information - better treatment, yeah right

GPs supposed to be professional not merely well qualified (professionalism rant, passim) so if they were to actually use the information to come up with a patient-centric diagnosis there would at least be a benefit to weigh up.

My experience on the rare occasions I visit my GP is that it's up to the patient to present properly in order to get a half-decent diagnosis or risk being fobbed off with a diagnosis based on the obvious symptoms.

I'll spare you the details but on that occasion the real problem turned out to be my new bicycle saddle (there's a reason padded is bad - my subsequent diagnosis) rather than my GP's "it's your time of life, so here's a prescription and a print out"

The point being, that Hayek's aphorism that there are three kinds of money, my money our money and your money, which one do I look after most carefully? probably applies to health too,

Give me my records to look after, I'm the only one that cares about me.

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Curiosity rover: While you humans were busy being hungover, this bot hit its 500th Martian day

gerryg
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auld lang syne

lest auld acquaintance be forgot

with thanks to xkcd

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Microsoft rallies channel troops: Sell, sell, sell our spanking new 'Cloud OS'

gerryg
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Re: history repeating itself, why?

Ah, good to see the old explanations about TCO rearing up. That will be the non-complex problem-free Azure, then?

From the article:

"Last time Microsoft's Azure cloud went down, it was a sub-component that flaked out globally, and the time before that it was a certificate problem – now the service is inaccessible again, along with its status page."

And it's never too much trouble to link to the London School of Economics TCO comparison

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gerryg
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history repeating itself, why?

If cloud is the the question it's difficult to understand why Openstack isn't the answer. As the article implies choice of lock-in isn't "not locked-in" and it certainly isn't a contribution to interoperability.

If Openstack isn't yet ready for prime time (isn't it?) helping it get there seems to be a better option than getting sucked into yet another proprietary nightmare.

Unless of course, someone on the client side is suitably incentivised from someone on the supply side?

Any other reasons?

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Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16

gerryg
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The power of open source

Personally you'd have to drag KDE on openSUSE from my cold dead hands, but this shows how ultimately, if an open source project strays too far from the collective objective "stuff happens" With KDE it was Trinity but that turned out to be a minority sport despite all the noise about "4.0"

Try rolling back or re-factoring your favourite proprietary operating system to something you prefer.

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Got a one-of-a-kind N9? Get ready to adopt Meego's baby Sailfish

gerryg
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Unhappy

Not been there (yet) but (at least) I got the T-Shirt

I've been waiting since 25th Nov, when I got the you can pay the balance mail, on top of €100 lobbed over in May

The blog has lots of interesting information but I haven't got my phone yet.

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Microsoft researchers build 'smart bra' to stop women's stress eating

gerryg
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Trollface

time to reframe Woody Allen...

...in What's new Pussy Cat?

Michael James:Did you find a job?

Victor Skakapopulis: Yeah, I got something at the striptease. I help the girls dress and undress.

MJ: Nice job.

VS: Twenty francs a week.

MJ: Not very much.

VS: It's all I can afford.

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The only way is Office: UK Parliament to migrate to Microsoft cloud

gerryg
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Boffin

longevity of Parliamentary records protects us all

Our rights and freedoms derive from Statute law and case law. Statute law is ultimately based on Magna Carta first written in 1215, (the original is still readable and three clauses remain unrepealed). Case law stretches back even earlier than Magna Carta. Statutes used to be written on goatskin parchment using a special ink in acknowledgement of the need for longevity of the record.

It is unlikely we are going to be so lucky with digital recordings of democracy in action (cf the BBC's Domesday project and the subsequent efforts required to preserve it) unless they focus on interoperability, which at a minimum requires unencumbered open standards, probably requires open source software and most certainly is threatened by remote hosting.

BTW: Government <> Parliament so G-Cloud brings its own problems about separation of powers.

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EC trade secrets plans: Infringing kit may be DESTROYED by order

gerryg
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How? Why?

"The objective of the proposal is to establish a sufficient and comparable level of redress across the Internal Market in case of trade secret misappropriation (while providing sufficient safeguards to prevent abusive behaviour),"

The is bureaucratic gobbledegook . A good test of whether a statement is meaningless is to invert it and if the result is rubbish the original is rubbish.

Clearly someone, somewhere has decided that Something Must Be Done so they developed a scheme.

People, particularly SMEs use trade secrets as a way of sidestepping the bureaucratic and expensive clusterfuck associated with IP law but unluckily for them it's going to become easier for trolls and the vexatious to give them grief (you're using my trade secret, bitch)

The formula for Coca Cola is a trade secret, they haven't patented it because patenting requires publication. Over the years various attempts to copy don't appear to have troubled them.

However, without evidence of other already criminal activity, such as burglary, I'm really curious to understand how this is going to be "light-touch and effective" (don't forget to invert that one)

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COMPLETE, FIFTY-FOOT DINOSAUR sold to MYSTERIOUS, reclusive bidder for £480k

gerryg
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Trollface

it's not a fossil

it's resting,

(dinosaurs and loads of money seems to be topical)

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Cabinet Office: Hey, forget those multi-BILLION pound deals...

gerryg
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What's Liam Maxwell saying thes days?

As El Reg reported this what he said in July:

Liam Maxwell, the government's chief technology officer, said at an Economist CIO Forum last week that “the majority” of large outsourcing contracts expire in 2014 and 2015.

“We are not going to replace them – we are going to replace around user need, and that means not doing the same thing again,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell told the event: “It’s time to stop procuring and to start designing. You need to be in control of your systems and what you are putting together before you go to somebody and say: ‘Please take everything from me’.”

According to Maxwell, the ownership of the government’s technology and the information in its systems currently rests with "outsiders". Reforms such as Digital by Default and G-Cloud are bringing this back in house.

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Dropbox joins Linux patent protection hit squad

gerryg
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The least worst solution

Given the state of patents and patent litigation, anything that helps restore sanity is welcome, but it is extra-judicial and extra-democratic. In effect there's a good natured tough guy in the neighbourhood threatening bullies if they threaten others.

But it's not the same as a sensible legal system with proper oversight and actually adds dead-weight cost because it's working on the symptoms not the cause.

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London: Hey Amazon, wanna slip your speedy packages down our tubes?

gerryg
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tube drivers

The Daily Mash says all that needs to be said but here's the BBC proving truth can be stranger than parody.

Further explanations by:Evening Standard, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph if you were wondering why tube trains could go driverless

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gerryg
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Amex?

what was wrong with an Oyster card again?

You were one of the three people in a hurry, in a queue at a ticket office with a credit card without contactless payment with an inability to use Oyster at one of the 3,800 other outlets?

Let's design the system around your former use case and wonder why fares continue to rise so quickly

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gerryg
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Re: Except...

"Locked out of the system?" Hyperbole much?

Children go free, older people go free, disabled people go free, veterans go free, jobseekers get a discount on Oyster, apprentices get a discount on Oyster, students get a discount on Oyster.

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gerryg
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Re: Except...

Except we were discussing TfL - from the link:

"This year cash fares will make up less than one per cent of bus journeys - down from 25 per cent in 2000"

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gerryg
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Re: Except...

TfL is trying to go cashless then there's all the other ways to top up Oyster and use credit/debit cards (see above)

Children go free

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gerryg
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If time is that tight...

.There are around 400 ticket offices but over 3,800 alternatives to top up your Oyster card (which is always cheapest, except for the hard of thinking). On the buses you can use credit/debit card contactless payment for the cashless fare. It's coming everywhere else in 2014.

What's the problem exactly?

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

gerryg
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Is this a story?

11 miles in a shift? 8 hours? 1.375 miles an hour ~ 40 yards/minute? Is that excessive for stock picking? It's not fun but it's not sprinting

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Jolla's Android-aping Sailfish OS smartphones to land in November

gerryg
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Happy

Re: Somebody doesn't get the concept of preorders

I've just received my pre-order email. (I'm in the UK, btw)

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Wintel must welcome Androitel and Chromtel into cosy menage – Intel

gerryg
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El Reg proposed this strategy in the mists of time

I'm failing to find the article in your archive but several (many?) years ago El Reg mooted that Intel unleash its massive software expertise and deliver itself from the Wintel partnership. Certainly earlier than this 2009 article on Intel and Chrome

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Patent law? It's all about Apples, Newton and iPads

gerryg
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Re: economics in two pages never really works

I apologise if I came across as supporting Wakefield. My intention was to illustrate the difficulties of trusting public policy and all the adverse consequences. If public policy were demonstrably universally benign and public servants always held in esteem Wakefield would not have got the floor space. Let's not forget the role of e.g., Private Eye, giving weight and making the decision all the more difficult.

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