* Posts by jonathanb

1993 posts • joined 14 Aug 2009

Google 'DOES DO EVIL', thunders British politician

jonathanb
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Re: An open letter

Or, thank you for purchasing our ad program, I will walk you through the process of logging onto google.ie to set up your google wallet and agree to the contract.

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Acorn founder: SIXTH WAVE of tech will wash away Apple, Intel

jonathanb
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Re: Whats all this crap about looms and music boxes being digital?

Cloth has a certain number of threads per inch depending on the thickness of the thread used, so the punched cards would need to reflect that. Essentially you have an uncompressed bitmap image stored on the card.

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jonathanb
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Re: Eadon's theory of Techie "Waves" - TWO types

Jaquard looms probably weren't computers, but it sounds to me like they were digital.

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BlackBerry Messenger unleashed: Look out Twitter and Facebook

jonathanb
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Not sure about this

Everyone I know who has a Blackberry has a Blackberry because they want Blackberry Messenger, so although I haven't tried it myself, presumably it must be good.

At the moment, people have to make a decision when buying a phone. Do they want Blackberry Messenger, or do they want a shiny new iPhone / Android that can do all sorts of other things. They won't have to make that decision any more, as they can have both.

That leaves the qwerty keyboard as the only reason to buy a Blackberry, and there are a few Androids out there that have keyboards with physical buttons.

Given that, I can't think why anyone would want to buy a Blackberry after BBM is released on Android.

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Senators: You - Cook. Apple guy. Get in here and bring your tax books

jonathanb
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Re: Good to see

It is worth mentioning that if they were a British company, they wouldn't have to worry about that because we don't charge corporation tax on dividend income.

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Mobile tech destroys the case for the HS2 £multi-beellion train set

jonathanb
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Not the full picture

If you work as a reporter for El-Reg, then you can do everything from wherever there is an internet connection. One of your colleagues does his work from a house in rural Spain. There are a few other jobs like that, working as a translator is one such job.

However, most people work in jobs where they have to physically do something or fix something, and that can't be done over the internet. They need to be on site. So they need transport facilities.

Secondly, HS2 isn't primarily about shaving a few minutes off the London to Birmingham journey. It is mostly about moving intercity trains off the West Coast Mainline so that there is more space for commuter services between Milton Keynes, North London and Euston. In this respect it is the same idea as building motorways to take long distance traffic off the A roads so that there is more room on them for local traffic. Adding a pair of extra tracks to the WCML would probably cost more than building a new line given all the stuff that is built alongside it, and if you are going to build a new line, you may as well make it a high speed line.

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Feds stamp on cash pipeline to Mt Gox, Bitcoin's Wall Street

jonathanb
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Re: A non-merkin writes....

The second largest use of Bitcoins, after speculation, appears to be the sale of drugs on Silk Road. If you are buying Bitcoins, there is a good chance that you are buying them off drug dealers, as the speculators aren't selling, and thus indirectly and without realising it, helping them to cash out. That's why Homeland Security is involved. What I describe may not be true, but they think it is, which is what matters.

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Apple seeks techies, designers to revive iWork office suite

jonathanb
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Re: they don't get it

You can't add attachments other than photos and videos from the mail app, but you from pages, numbers and presumably keynote, I don't have keynote, there is an option to send the file by email.

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Murdoch hate sparks mass bitchin', rapid evacuation from O2, BE

jonathanb
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Re: Look before you leap

There's Plusnet, it is owned by BT, but run by a completely different customer service team and is actually pretty good.

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EU wants the Swiss and pals to cough up IT giants' hidden bank info

jonathanb
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Google Ireland sells advertising to UK customers, therefore it comes under Irish sales tax rules. Google Ireland pays Google UK a small amount of money to identify and refer potential customers to them so they can close the sale.

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Vodafone gets surprise £2.1bn dividend from Verizon Wireless

jonathanb
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No. Companies don't pay tax on dividend income.

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Who is Samsung trying to kid? There will NEVER be a 5G network

jonathanb
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I'm going to stick my neck out here

There *will* be a 5G mobile technology at some point in the future.

It probably won't look much like what Samsung recently demonstrated, though maybe some of the ideas will be incorporated into the final standard. This is a very initial first attempt at it, and I'm sure there is still a lot of tweaking to be done. Probably it will use spectum vacated by older technologies, but Samsung can't demonstrate on that at the moment, because those slots are still in use.

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You thought only Google dodges UK taxes? So do all the Brit firms

jonathanb
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Not the full story

Vodafone operates a phone service in Ireland and Cable & Wireless operates phone services in many of the offshore Islands. That is a legitimate reason for having companies in theses countries. Of course they have a subsidiary in Switzerland where they don't operate a phone service so they are clearly involved in tax planning as well.

We need to look at why they have those companies, many of may have legitimate reasons for doing so, and if the local government chooses not to charge tax on their genuine activities there, that is their prerogative.

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Brits' phone tracking, web history touted to cops: The TRUTH

jonathanb
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Re: Simple solution

If that anonymous SIM stays overnight at a particular place, spends its working hours at another place, visits particular shops and so on, it can be correlated with other information to figure out who you are.

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Apple asked me for my BANK statements, says outraged reader

jonathanb
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Re: Not just Apple

Only if you buy €15,000 of stuff and pay cash for it. If you pay by card, cheque or bank transfer, it doesn't trigger the money laundering rules.

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jonathanb
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If you are buying direct from Apple, it isn't a subsidised phone. Subsidised phones come from the telephone companies like O2, Vodafone and so on.

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China: Online predator or hapless host?

jonathanb
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Re: Oh yes?

How many computers have pirated copies of Windows, with Windows Update disabled to stop Microsoft from deactivating them? That is where the inadequate law enforcement is.

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UK MPs tell Google: Get back here and bring your auditors with you

jonathanb
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Re: the trouble with auditors

Auditor's answer, it depends. Seriously, 2 + 2 doesn't always = 4. Usually it is a number between 0 and 4. Sometimes it can be more than 4. It depends what you are counting. There are many good reason why it could come to something different, but more importantly you should be looking at whether or not it is appropriate to add those two numbers together.

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jonathanb
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Re: Weird

If you buy in Regent Street, you pay 20% UK VAT, no way round that. If they import from another EU country, there is no VAT payable on the import, and nothing to claim back, so HMRC will get pretty much the whole of the 20% on the sale. Apple will claim back the VAT on their electricity bill, shop maintenance and stuff like that.

If they import from outside the EU, then they have to pay 20% of the wholesale price as VAT before HMRC will release it from the dock, but they can claim that against the VAT from selling it.

Rules for online sales are different. Luxembourg has the lowest VAT rate in the EU which I'm sure was not a factor at all in their decision to locate the iTunes Store there.

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jonathanb
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Re: Weird

If you buy an iDevice from an Apple shop in the UK, the sale takes place in the UK. Apple UK will buy their stock at wholesale prices from another Apple subsidiary somewhere else in the world. Possibly Apple Ireland might handle distribution for Europe and sell them to Apple UK for not much less than retail price.

If you buy it on the website, then the website may be located in another country, and that country's Apple division would pay Apple UK a shipping fee to fulfil the order. Certainly their downloadable material, Apps, Music etc is handled by iTunes Luxembourg.

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jonathanb
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Re: Here we go again...

They can't change the law because the place of supply rules are covered by EU law, and parliament has no more right challenge Google's decision to put their sales through Ireland than Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has to challenge their decision to have their sales support office in Westminster.

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'Hotmail, since you changed to Outlook, you've been a massive pr**k'

jonathanb
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Re: Hotmail veteran

Use the stock email client. Set it up as an exchange account with the server m.hotmail.com.

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Setanta, ESPN couldn't make UK footie TV work. How will BT Sport?

jonathanb
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FAIL

Rubbish business plan

BT's business plan is to spend more money than Sky to buy the product, and sell it for less than Sky sells it for.

In their 2012 accounts, Sky had sales of £6791m, and a profit before tax of £1189m, a net profit margin of 17.5%. That is a pretty decent wedge of money for Rupert Murdoch, but there is no way BT can offer the sorts of discounts vs Sky pricing that they are proposing. Out of their income, £440m comes from advertising, the rest comes from customer bill payments of one sort or another.

The maths is pretty simple. It costs BT over £19m just to be allowed into the stadium with their cameras. Then they have the costs of actually producing the show - the presenters, cameramen, all the people in the broadcast centre working on the images and sound.

You divide that by the number of people watching the show, and that is how much you need to be able to charge for it to be viable. Whether of course sufficient customers will pay the number you come up with is another matter.

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Israeli activists tell Hawking to yank his Intel chips over Palestine

jonathanb
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Re: Mr Hawking, you should listen to “Palestinian academics”

If you want to include Jews, then you have to also include Arabs and other Muslims.

They have invented quite a large number of things, like our number system, lots of developments in mathematics, the first university, lots of stuff related to astronomy, windmills, and I could go on.

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Over ONE-THIRD of PCs will have SSDs in 2017 - analyst

jonathanb
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Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

A 750GB Seagate Momentus isn't that much more expensive, and it makes a huge difference to performance.

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IT'S ALIVE: Groupon stock up, spreadsheets still soaked in red

jonathanb
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Re: How do they manage to make a loss?

The eyebrow pluckers need to be paid at least minimum wage, and the rent and council tax needs to be paid on their premises. That sets a minimum price at which eyebrow plucking becomes viable as a business proposition. If Groupon vouchers cost the same or only slightly less than it costs to walk into a rival eyebrow plucking establishment, then people will just walk in and pay cash rather than go through the hassle of buying Groupon vouchers.

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Groupon's retail chief heads for the door... after just 1 year

jonathanb
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Re: Spam

But their products are all y2k compliant, which is good to know

http://www.groupon.com/pages/goods-faq

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Queen's Speech: 'Problem of matching IP addresses' to be probed

jonathanb
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Re: The police are as bad

Would the ISP know the MAC addresses of devices connected to the LAN? You are not going to connect an xbox directly to the internet, you connect it via a router of some description. Phones might get connected directly to the internet, but they have an IMEI number that could be used to identify the owner.

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Vodafone slurps MEELLLIONS for redirecting police hotline calls

jonathanb
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Re: 0845

0845 used to be local call rate, about 30 years ago when it was first introduced (as 0345 in 1985). There is no such thing as local call rate now, you pay the same between any two parts of the UK. Call rates in general have gone down a lot over the last 30 years, 0845 rates have not and they are now a lowish cost premium rate number (officially "special services, basic rate"). When dial-up Internet first became popular in about 1998, the money ISPs got from modems calling their 0845 numbers was sufficient to fund the service.

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Microsoft: All RIGHT, you can have your Start button back

jonathanb
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In Windows 7, you click the start menu, right click on Computer and click Show on Desktop. That won't work on Windows 8 because there isn't a start menu, and I don't think the start screen has a computer option on it.

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jonathanb
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Re: So... we will have Windows 8.1?

6.2.1 or possibly even still 6.2. Under the hood it is still going to be the same operating system, just with some UI tweaks.

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jonathanb
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Being able to type what you want makes it as user friendly as MS DOS, where you could type "lotus" or "wp" at the C:> prompt.

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jonathanb
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Re: Sigh

The point is that people are using something else - Windows 7, which doesn't cost them anything because they already have it. That means that Microsoft aren't making much money from selling Windows 8.

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jonathanb
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And Apple weren't the first. Michael Robertson's Linspire was the first to have an app store in the form we are used to seeing today. That was an evolution from apt-get and other similar package management systems on linux and bsd family operating systems. It wasn't even the first app store for OSX, as App Bodega was available before the Apple App Store, also there are a few bsd ports based package management systems available.

I think the main key difference between Apple's app store for OSX and the Windows Marketplace is that you can get actual proper desktop applications in the Apple, whereas on the Windows Marketplace, you can only get full screen apps that seem to be mostly website bookmarks.

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Watchdog: Y'know what Bitcoin really needs? A REGULATOR!

jonathanb
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Re: Virtual vs fiat

You can pay tax in fiat currency, and fiat currency is legal tender meaning that you must accept it in settlement of a debt.

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jonathanb
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It does to the extent that Americans trade using it, just like they would cover Americans trading in Euros or Zimbabwe Dollars.

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How did something so small and pink cause so much trouble?

jonathanb
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Re: Decisive action and commitment

ID cards would only ever be good for travelling around the EU. If you want to go further afield, you are always going to need a passport.

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Monitor-makers ponder Android-powered touch screens

jonathanb
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Re: Linux EveryWear?

Linux on TVs is the present, not the future, but they generally run Busybox rather than Android. Maybe Android has some advantages, I don't know, but I prefer to have a screen with lots of HDMI ports and possibly with built in speakers, and plug things into it.

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Suspected Chinese NASA spy smuggled smut not state secrets

jonathanb
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Re: Steganography

You could compare it to thepiratebay copy of the film in question. If he was using thepiratebay to distribute the secret, then he wouldn't need to physically carry it home, but I guess he is physically carrying pirate bay material because the Chinese government are better at blocking it than the American government.

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FONDLESLAB market DEATH STRUGGLE: Latest rankings in

jonathanb
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Re: Diversity

I believe my Galaxy Note II is booked as a tablet sale rather than a phone sale even though I use it as a giant phone rather than a tiny tablet. That may explain it.

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Apple designer Sir Jony Ive holding up iOS 7 development: Report

jonathanb
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Re: It's really not that urgent (I don't think)

I agree. If you compare the Mail apps for iOS and Android, I'd say they are about the same; and both do their job just fine. I've never had a problem with the Calendar App on iOS, I'd say it is slightly better than the Samsung one on my Android but it is a close call. I don't have the stock Android Calendar App so can't comment on that.

But the book case, actually there's three of them, for iBooks, iTunesU and Newspapers; they need to go. The Podcasts app needs to go. The Maps app is probably OK from a UI perspective, it is the underlying data that is the problem there, and that isn't Ive's department.

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Apple: You thought Google dodged taxes? Get a load of THIS

jonathanb
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Re: Worldwide taxes anyone

Apple China makes stuff and sells it in China and to other Apple Group companies around the world. It isn't a US citizen as it is based in China. The American Apple might be.

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Fried-egg sarnies kick off Reg man's quid-a-day nosh challenge

jonathanb
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If you turned up in Monaco to do your shopping, €1 will get you a bus ticket to Nice where everything is much cheaper.

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Can't find your motor? Apple patents solve car park conundrums

jonathanb
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Re: A pen anyone

Then you can record it on the Notes App on your iDevice. I usually do that as I don't have a pen with me.

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New Google Play terms ban non-store app updates

jonathanb
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Re: Simpsons Tapped Out comes to mind....

Satnav apps generally download maps separately from the app. I guess it is OK if it is data it is downloading rather than executable code.

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Master Beats: Why doesn't audio quality matter these days?

jonathanb
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Re: Beats are trash ....

I always test out the bass of any speaker or headphones with this track - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUsrMm7BaU4

If you listen to it on Beats headphones, as I have done in PC World, the bass is just completely missing. I guess the main difference between my test track and a lot of tracks is that the bass is a 32ft bombarde playing a tune rather than a percussion instrument.

The Beats headphones weren't the worst, but they weren't particuarlly brilliant. I found no correlation whatsoever between price and sound quality in their headphone range.

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Verizon sniffing around Vodafone's US stake again

jonathanb
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Re: The way to avoid the tax is to spend the money in the US

The way to avoid tax is probably to *buy* a large chunk of the remaining 55% stake that Verizon owns, then sell it; so they can claim substantial shareholding relief.

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Ofcom to UK: Really - you're using the same password for everything?

jonathanb
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Re: Email account password probably "very important"

... it means that like everyone else, her entire online life is secured by a 4 digit PIN.

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Game designer spills beans on chubby-fancying chap with his stolen Mac

jonathanb
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Paris Hilton

Re: Oh give it rest!

I prefer curvy ladies to stick insects, but not the ones in those photos. They are morbidly obese, not chubby.

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How to save UK's open data: Meet the 'Fair Value Licence'

jonathanb
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Re: Stop using postcodes

Co-ordinates would be fine for navigation, but post codes are for Royal Mail's benefit.

For example, if you wanted to send and old fashioned letter to Vulture Central, the first letters of the post code WC would tell them which distribution centre to deliver it to, the next bit 2H would tell them the local delivery office, and the final bit 7LT would tell them which postie's bag to put it in.

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