* Posts by RachelG

49 posts • joined 2 Sep 2009

Google+ architect: What was so great about Reader anyway?

RachelG
Thumb Down

The fact that it was *just* an rss reader, without all sorts of irrelvant social media crap, and can be used seamlessly across many devices.

Trying to get used to Feedly for the last 24 hours. It's so... bloody... annoying...

But I think we're reminded of the saying: If something's free, you're not the customer. You're the product.

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Review: The ultimate Chromebook challenge

RachelG

Re: Multiple accounts?

Haven't used this latest version of chromeos, though i doubt it's worse. In the original, when you turn on, or log out, you find yourself at a login screen where you use your google login. So switching is a matter of logging out, then logging into the other. I expect current chromeos would be the same, but don't actually know that.

Which means having both active on the screen at the same time probably isn't going to work.

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Latest exoplanet discovery is a virtual CLONE of Earth

RachelG

well the first thing is to point a radio telescope at it, surely?

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Review: Apple Mac Mini 2012

RachelG

agree, as a multiple-mac user myself; the mac mini under my tv is running linux, but only because it's spare and capable. i wouldn't be buying a new one just to be a media player.

Although I did once, running Plex; but I was feeling richer than I was in reality, and it didn't work out (aforementioned HD3000 bug wrt 23.976Hz) so that machine ended up on different work anyway, and I a little wiser. :-}

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RachelG

Re: If you want cheap

any old thing these days can do 1080p, including raspberry pi; the difficulties is in dealing well with interlaced material. Ideally you want temporal/spatial deinterlacing, for which the gt520 is needed. The 320m in my mac mini can't do it, only getting as far as vdpau-bob (although to my eyes there's not enough difference to be worth the extra outlay).

Needed if you watch a lot of BBC HD output through it. :-)

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RachelG
Facepalm

Re: Urrr, no

you're right; i'm off-by-one on the year. This one I have is a 2010 mac mini *server* originally, so didn't have the optical drive slot and is, thus, identical in appearance to the current models. :-)

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RachelG

the 2009 mac mini (which looks identical) has an nvidia GT320M on it and as such runs XBMC on Linux through HDMI just perfectly; although thanks to their odd EFI implementation it's a bit of a fight getting the initial linux installer to boot.

Buying a media player outright now, I'd rather get a Zotac ID80, with an onboard GT520 - rubbish for gaming apparently, but therefore cheap and perfect for media-playing. Even if cost isn't an issue, these Intel HDx000 integrated GPUs seem to have been a bit of a disaster for media-player-type use. The HD3000 models couldn't even lock to 23.976Hz for movies; I don't know if they finally fixed that for HD4000, but shipping with this HDMI bug doesn't give confidence that they're paying attention to that use-case.

I think the current crop of mac minis are great, but not as media players. They're fine desktop machines if you want to choose your own monitor, and great little servers.

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Half of us have old phones STUFFED in our drawers

RachelG
FAIL

the two old iphones i have in a drawer are dead, nonfunctional, in different ways that have resisted repair. (one was dropped on a slate floor; computer still works but screen is dead. the other had a dead mute switch which i tried to treat by jailbreaking (to replace it with a software switch) but ended up bricking it.

would they be interested in those?

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Nvidia heralds Steam for Linux debut with 'double-speed' drivers

RachelG

not a gamer - but i always presumed the game-players fps figures were with respect to a benchmark example gameplay of some sort; and thus that if it could play *that* at X hundreds of fps, it could play newer stuff with far more detail at the monitor's actual refresh rate with ease.

Is that actually so, or am I making the fallacy of assuming a logical explanation when it's probably as arbitrary and variable a unit as women's dress sizes?

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Seagate: Our tech will be BETTER than WD's helium-filled hardness

RachelG
FAIL

helium?

uh, helium is already a pretty scarce resource (although it amazes me people are still allowed to put it in party balloons) which is going to cause problems later this century... are they *trying* to make storage more expensive again?

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Western Digital cuts revenue forecast, cites 'muted demand'

RachelG
Thumb Up

+4

again. i'm running out of drive space, i could use more, and i've usually bought from WD... but waiting for prices to fall. actually can't *afford* the prices for the amount of storage i need right now...

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Curiosity success 'paves way for Man on Mars by 2030s'

RachelG

Re: Nice one...

humans have knees, and padding, and can auto-right themselves, and can probably just drop safely from skycrane height in mars gravity.

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Yet another OSX/Java Trojan spotted in the wild

RachelG

Re: So, basically...

that, the fuck, is old. Might as well bring up Gates saying no-one will ever need more than 640K...

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Game of Thrones Blu-ray disc set

RachelG

iTunes not an option

and no, not an apple-hater. iTunes not an option because it hasn't been released on iTunes UK. A problem I'm already heartily familiar with as a brony without piratical instincts... :-) But in this case I'm actually a bit surprised given it is being shown in the UK and - as this article notes - the bluray is out.

(I'm renting them from lovefilm; seeing it for the first time.)

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Use the holy word of God to stay secure online, says bishop

RachelG

It's actually not a bad idea. In a similar but more secular vein I got my mum to start using decent passwords by suggesting the same thing with lines from Shakespeare. Take a line you'll remember, use the first letters from it; change one or two into 'matching' numbers and one or two into caps if digits or mixed case required by whatever you're setting the password on...

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Dr Who scores new companion from Emmerdale

RachelG
Joke

Oh come on...

She's young, I think we can forgive her a little display of excitement about being offered the Companion role on one of our most iconic TV shows. Us old farts and fartessas who've been offered that role *hundreds* of times are bound to get a bit blasé about it, and forget how exciting it all was the first time.

:-P

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Proview offers Apple peace talks amid Shanghai iPad ban bid

RachelG

Brazil

How quickly can they get the Brazil plant up and running?

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Heartland Institute documents leaked

RachelG
Trollface

"Say, where's Lewis Page when you need him?"

In one of the leaked documents?

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Europeans turn backs on Ultrabooks

RachelG

overpriced

People always say Apple kit is overpriced. But hey, see what happens when someone else - companies known for producing cheap kit - try to match them. They can't get them significantly enough cheaper than the Apple to make it worthwhile for non-Apple-haters to not choose the apple.

So is Apple's stuff really overpriced?

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Asus UX21E Zenbook 11.6in Ultrabook

RachelG
Thumb Up

Very like an 11" Air

Like the one I have; almost the same hardware spec, slightly cheaper than mine was. USB3... OTOH with the thunderbolt on mine you actually can plug it into that 27" monitor and use it fully (if it has DisplayPort); with the mini-hdmi on this one you can't.

But... it still looks like a very nice Ubuntu laptop in the making and the closest yet to being competitive with the MBA.

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Apple Thunderbolt Display 27in monitor

RachelG
WTF?

Guys, could you say if comments are closed on a topic; saves us writing long hopefully-non-offensive replies that just disappear into the ether...

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RachelG

I'll second that, having got a Dell U2711 on my new 2011 mac mini server.

In comparison to the Apple TBolt display (which in fairness I haven't used, but have lusted after before getting this)...

cons:

Need separate displayport (or one of the other video interfaces, but i'm using displayport) and USB leads. Messy.

Doesn't have speakers. Dell speaker bar is good though, but it's extra. It clips onto the bottom of the screen, power plugs into the monitor, and audio plugs into the monitor's own line-out socket given audio goes into the monitor via displayport or hdmi. But the long speaker lead on the speakers still has to loop around somewhere back there. Messy.

Doesn't have a webcam/isight. I didn't want one so no loss to me (if I did, it might have tilted me to the apple). If you want one, you gotta clip it on somewhere. Messy.

No ethernet or firewire interfaces that the tbolt monitor has. Nor of course the ability to daisy-chain that tbolt itself offers. So you'd still need separate interfaces/hubs etc. scattered around your desk to give you that. Messy.

No power-out for a laptop. Doesn't bother me as mine's a mac mini and you can't plug those into a magsafe (another thing that might have swayed me to the apple monitor if you could). So if you *are* using it with a recent apple laptop, there'll be an extra lead trailing around. Messy

I think there's a theme there.

pros:

Cheaper. I paid £589.00 from aria.co.uk, which was persuasive.

Stand is more flexible. Apple stands can only tilt (no swivel contra the review, although that may have changed in a way the picture doesn't reveal). Dell stand tilts *and* swivels and has height adjustment too, and is in fact basically a vesa stand, and monitor easily vesa-mountable. (Apple's is with an extra kit.)

More inputs. You can only plug the Apple into a machine with a displayport or a thunderbolt port. At the moment that's only recent macs. This has a plethora of inputs as recited above, although you'll need displayport or Dual-Link DVI to take full advantage of the resolution. HDMI doesn't go that far. VGA would be such a waste of a monitor, though useful to have for emergencies I guess.

And finally, The display is to DIE for. Oh, and non-glossy, for those that are bothered by such things. (Wasn't a deal-breaker for me as I arrange my workspace accordingly anyway.) Some people have moaned about antiglare coating, but it all seems shiny to me, despite being non-glossy. ;-)

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RachelG

After a bit of googling, I think it's true that you can plug a tbolt display into a mini-dp mac. Do your own googling though; i'm mostly going off anecdata.

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Engineer sues Huawei for axing him 'because he's a Brit'

RachelG
Holmes

Yeah Daily Mail stories are assumed to be lies...

... until corroborated by a newspaper.

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'Lion' Apple Mac OS X 10.7: Sneak Preview

RachelG

Actually I use LibreOffice on my mac...

but as I'm a Java developer I'm likely to have Java well and truly installed long before I first need to even view something someone sends me in LibreOffice, let alone want to save something. :-)

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Apple iMac 27in

RachelG

that screen

btw, as i understand it, is the same panel as used in the Dell U2711. So make sure it's *that* price you're adding, not some nasty TN-based piece of ... ;-)

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RAF Eurofighter Typhoons 'beaten by Pakistani F-16s'

RachelG
FAIL

Did you pay attention to what the PAF pilot actually said?

He seemed to put it very squarely on the pilot training; that RAF pilots aren't adequately trained in close air combat and dogfighting, favouring BVR engagements.

He doesn't say *anything* about the capabilities of the planes.

Your anti-eurofighter crusade is just a bit too transparent I'm afraid.

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BBC Freesat tech switch zaps HD channels from 'old' boxes

RachelG

firmware!

Just reading the comments on that bbc blog post. Lots of people having trouble finding the new channels on their early freesat panasonics. I just wondered if it worked for me because, being a computery sort of person, I routinely apply firmware updates...

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RachelG

minor annoyances

1: proofread your articles! :-P "Their set-tops don't support DVB-S." and "Some Sky HD users have been affected to," not what we expect of this august publication. ;-)

2: My 2008-vintage Panasonic Viera freesat tv - one of the first freesat-enabled tvs available I think - just needed a retune and was fine.

3: However, I had more problems with Elgato's EyeTV Sat and EyeTV Sat Netstream; both of which, on the retune, failed to pick up the new channels at all, despite certainly being able to work with DVB-S2 (eg: no problem with Channel 4 HD or ITV1 HD which both use that). However, entering the manual tuning information in the BBC HD post into the "Manually add channel" dialog worked just fine. So only a momentary hiccup there, but I'd guess there may be some other devices out there - probably sharing a chipset with Elgato's kit - that may have the same problem during autotune.

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Think PCs will drop in price? Think again, warns Intel

RachelG
FAIL

ah this explains...

I was thinking of getting a new netbook: a little more than a year since I gave my previous one to my mum after getting an iPad, I sorta want one again. Less sexy but still a proper computer and can do certain computery stuff where the iPad lets me down...

But, looking around more than a year later - probably closer to two years since I *bought* my previous one - and the same model is still available. Same speed, same memory, same storage space, Win7Starter now instead of XP, like I care (it would get nuked with ubuntu on day 1) - and the same price.

This is not the computer industry I grew up with. And a strong whiff of ripoff, and that's coming from an inveterate Apple user (at least you still get more machine per £ over time there).

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How I learned to stop worrying and love SSDs

RachelG
Linux

I'm doing that too, with a 256MB CF

Running Ubuntu Maverick on a PC where all its mechanical drives form a software RAID5 array. The OS is installed there, but /boot is on the CF. Works perfectly. :-)

But my newer machine doesn't have an IDE socket...

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RachelG
Linux

@ici.chacal...

said: "2) We know that Windows 7 supports TRIM, but does Linux..? (or will the likes of Ubuntu and RedHat eventually grind to a halt..?)"

Professors Google and Wikipedia tell me the Linux kernel has supported TRIM since version 2.6.33 - in terms of Ubuntu releases, that's since Maverick (though the Maverick kernel is also easily installable as a backport on Lucid).

Apparently you need to specifically enable support in the filesystems you have on the SSD. There's a little howto on doing this for ext4 (the default fs in Ubuntu) here: https://sites.google.com/site/lightrush/random-1/howtoconfigureext4toenabletrimforssdsonubuntu which should also be applicable to other distros.

It doesn't indicate a way of enabling it on, say, the swap partition, but a: putting swap on ssd? are you mad? and b: if you really wanted to, with TRIM, use a swap *file* in the root filesystem instead (which is, after all, how I think most other main OSes do it these days). I suspect, given the nature of swap (fixed size file/partition randomly written into), at least on Linux, that TRIM would be of no help anyway.

I can't vouch for any of it though: I don't yet have such a SSD, though I'm thinking of getting one... and another for my macbook pro, so doing the googling here wasn't just for your benefit. :)

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Memo to iPad mimics: No one wants a $799 knockoff

RachelG
Jobs Halo

Could it be...

So they can't undercut. Could it be the iPad is an Apple device that isn't <shock/> overpriced? :-P

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Where to now for the data robot?

RachelG

er, yes you can...

yes you can grow raid arrays in a PC. In Linux you can anyway, using mdadm. I've done so, so I know it works. :-) My old 500GB/disk raid5 array was grown from 4 to 7 drives one at a time until i decided to replace it with larger drives (hence ending up with more 500GB drives than I have bays to put them in). Now, when I upgraded to larger drives I could have swapped them in the larger drives one at a time and re-shaped accordingly on the fly. (I didn't as I had enough external drive space to back up the array's contents and restore it to the new array, which was quicker and simpler.)

It is a very manual, hands-on (and thus failure-prone) process, especially if the drive bays aren't hot-swappable, but it *is* possible.

I wanted the drobo or something like it (there seems to be little like it) because i was *bored* of doing it the manual way, frankly. But I'm not so bored of it as to spend that much.

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RachelG

I'm tempted but...

the price! and i'm an inveterate apple user saying that... (In fact it's the inability to put lots of hard drives inside a mac that's one of the reasons for wanting it, as opposed to more standalone external drives each with their own leads and power bricks...)

And that price doesn't even include the hard drives. I *like* that it doesn't include the hard drives, I *have* internal hard drives in a storage drawer that were rotated out of my linux server when I upgraded the ones in there, but they're still good, and 500GB each... I've been *looking* for an efficient and sensible way to put them back into use. The Drobo S (for instance) would be perfect, but at that price I might as well either just buy the same capacity in more new external hard drives, or make a build-your-own NAS out of cheap PC parts and an Ubuntu disc.

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Radiohead goes out on a limb with 'newspaper album'

RachelG
Boffin

No need to pay twice...

If you *read* the page you link to, you'll see that if you pre-buy the 'newspaper' format, you also get access to the downloads on release day.

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'Mark-of-the-Beast' bug topples Java apps

RachelG

or parse input via BigDecimal...

BeanShell 2.0b4 - by Pat Niemeyer (pat@pat.net)

bsh % import java.math.*;

bsh % bd = new BigDecimal("2.225073858507201E-208");

bsh % print (bd);

2.225073858507201E-208

bsh % print (bd.doubleValue());

2.225073858507201E-208

bsh % double d = bd.doubleValue();

bsh % print (d);

2.225073858507201E-208

bsh %

:-)

Ironically a few days before this broke, I was asked if we could optimise out the use of BigDecimals to hold and move typical price values in a legacy product we needed to make faster. Luckily it wasn't going to be easy enough to do immediately...

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Ten... wireless keyboards

RachelG

@Cameron Colley - what works with Ubuntu

All USB-dongle keyboards should work fine with Ubuntu, and anything really, and those I've tried bear that out, working with no issues whatsoever. You'd expect that, they just appear as normal USB HID devices.

Of course, as someone has already pointed out, the reviews unhelpfully don't clearly state whether the keyboard is USB-RF or Bluetooth; though often it's gleanable from the text or pictures (ie: presence of a dongle).

Assuming the computer has bluetooth, bluetooth keyboards should work too, but here I'm less confident. The only bluetooth keyboard I have is a revision 1 (3 batteries, not 2) apple wireless keyboard, and I had trouble pairing that with Ubuntu Maverick running on a Macbook Pro; specifically, the keyboard's LED just double-blinked at me and I couldn't find what that was about or any workaround that worked. Works fine with the same machine in OSX so it's unlikely a hardware fault. At the same time the Apple Magic Trackpad paired and worked instantly, so this might be an issue with the revision-1-ness of the keyboard I have, and the later, current, model may be fine.

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RachelG

Missed another one: novatech wireless media touch keyboard

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/prods/peripherals/keyboards/novatech/nov-mediat.html

For typing on it is *horrible*. Keys are too light, though even then probably not spongy enough for you ;-) feet are so small and the additional rake they provide so slight they're not worth having, especially as they tend to spontaneously fold up again, and the spacebar is so short I always miss it with my right thumb (which is what i usually use when hitting space) which completely destroys my touch-typing.

And yet I'm completely happy with it. After struggling with various remote apps I settled on that as a living-room controller for my XBMC box, where most of the time i'm just using the arrow keys, return and backspace, but occasionally need to type something in or mouse around the desktop (it has a built-in trackpad) usually when an enthusiastically-applied update goes wrong. It's very thin, very light, and comes with a handy recharging dock. Don't expect to get any significant typing work done with it, in its context it's just right.

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RachelG

you *like* spongy keys? eww! (bet you had a spectrum when you were a kid)

At that point I realised how useful the rest of the reviews were going to be to me, given i'm also happily clattering away right now on a unicomp keyboard. Yea verily the spring doth buckle!

(Having said which, I also like and frequently use the current apple chicklet keyboards; somehow they make it work even for a buckling-spring enthusiast, when most others of that ilk are godawful. Must be that positive non-spongy feel they have.)

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Samsung loads Lovefilm onto BD boxes

RachelG

samsung apps?

talking of which my samsung bd player has never shown any additional apps available to download beyond the few that were there from the start when i bought it around the middle of last year, yet i keep reading stuff about the samsung app store and all the apps in it. is it me or is this a general thing and the samsung app store is only getting apps for things like tablets and phones?

Haven't really missed it; didn't buy it for that, but it's bugged me that it might just be set up wrong :-) (yes it is connected to the internet, has received a few software updates since).

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PlayStation 3 code signing cracked

RachelG
Linux

Damn, and I just gave away my PS3 to my nephews...

... as I never played games on it, got a new bluray player with a new sound system, but thought the path of retiring it to linuxhood was closed to me...

But it strikes me, it's taken this long since the PS3's introduction for this hack to come about, despite the presumed lure of being able to run counterfeit games from the start - could it be that no-one with sufficient ability was sufficiently motivated to try *until* Sony closed off the ability to put Linux on it?

Any chance Sony might learn the right lesson from this?

(falls over laughing)

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Drug-addled scooter twock teen hit with bizarre crypto ban

RachelG

hang on...

it's even contradictory in its own terms: afaik you can't log into facebook without at least once submitting a login using HTTPS, which is encryption, so they're forbidding him from doing something they're explicitly allowing him to do...

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America's top model fights off 'pervert' at Star Wars convention

RachelG
Coat

"agreeable":

Perhaps he was just in character as Jabba the Hut but forgot his costume...

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Apple ad-addled OS scheme resurfaces

RachelG
Thumb Down

very bad

yeah, i've bought a lot of Apple kit over the last few years, but if this turned up in OSX... I couldn't think of anything more effective to send me scurrying back to Linux. Which, btw, runs very nicely on the Apple hardware I've got lying around the place...

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Apple revamps Mac Mini as skinny HDMI box

RachelG
Unhappy

Painful choice

It's *exactly* the machine I always wanted it to be -especially the server version. It's lovely, gorgeous, it'll replace three boxes under my tv and free up a hdmi port; xbmc, iTunes/front row, eyetv all in one, brilliant form-factor, even the external power brick is gone. It would be a no-brainer, instant purchase...

... But the price, my god. I mean, I have a lot of apple stuff, I'm a fan, I'm typing *this* on my shiny new iPad... But I'm not totally blind to price gouging. It's made an easy choice into a very difficult one, and I'm very likely to end up holding off. It's just too much. It's taking the piss. Really annoying, I really wanted this. :-(

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Webmasters fume as Google profiles signed-out searchers

RachelG

Slashdot has a Borg icon...

... So for El Reg to get one would just seem like copycat.

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Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx sprays sweet perfume at freeloaders

RachelG

Sweetest-smelling ever?

Has he *smelled* Lynx?

(Can't speak for the cat; I mean the spray-on repellant.)

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Illinois bright spark sparks car inferno

RachelG
FAIL

OK we need a "most stupid thing you've ever done" thread...

I'll kick off: In my very first job (in an office) a plug fuse needed changing; so not knowing there were building services people for that sort of thing I set about it myself. But I had trouble pushing the new fuse into the clips in the bottom half of the plug... So I plugged that bottom half into the socket so it would stay firmly in place when I pushed down on both ends of the fuse with my thumbs...

(NB: to international readers; this is in the UK; 240v mains supply)

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