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* Posts by tfewster

158 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

tfewster

Re: Bing Orgasm

Bing Engine ?

(BingE)

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Totes AMAZEBALLS! Side boob, binge-watch and clickbait added to Oxford Dictionary

tfewster

New?

"side boob" is at least 35 years old, as I remember it from school.

I've also seen YOLO in the context "be careful, YOLO (No reload if you die etc.). "Live fast, die young, stay beautiful" is a little more compelling than merely being reckless "I just ordered £40 worth of Chinese food. But YOLO, right?"

I'm pleased to say I've never heard "adorbs". Long may I manage to avoid the yoof types who use such mutant monstrosities.

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Brits STUNG for up to £625 when they try to cancel broadband

tfewster

Re: Married or Sharing? Just tell them you are moving overseas.

I guess you only use gas for heating, but the pipes still need to be maintained and staff kept on in Summer, so a standing charge is a reasonable principle - As long as they're not taking the piss. When UK suppliers listed the standing charge as a separate item it was easier to understand than "First X units charged at £££, then after that units are charged at ££" [Where (£££-££) *X = the hidden standing charge]

You're lucky you don't get hit with a "connection charge" and have to pay a deposit as a "new" customer!

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tfewster
Happy

Re: BT

Agreed, when I transferred away from TalkTalk (be nice - I signed up with Pipex Business!), I cancelled my DD the moment they sent me an incorrect invoice for the last few days - so they added on a "failed Direct Debit" charge.

After a few months of threats, I sent them an invoice for my time. They closed the case shortly after that.

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Thwarted dev sets Instasheep to graze on Facebook accounts

tfewster
Joke

"...reap thousands of accounts in one day, and then use them to post spam."

Would anyone notice?

Seriously though, Stevie Graham had better have built some legitimate "network security analysis" functionality into his code. If it's just a hacking tool, I suspect The Law will be wanting a word.

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Blighty will be BIGGER and BETTER than Germany, confirm beancounters

tfewster

A little late

...the financial services sector is upping its spend on risk and compliance...

Shouldn't they have been doing this for the past 6 years, ever since the sub-prime crash and more recent events have shown they were rubbish at it?

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ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION

tfewster

Re: Ball Ox

Whatever you think of his actions, he didn't get off lightly. He was convicted of the charge they found to throw at him and was sentenced to prison (suspended) and fined. The judges comments were on the sentence, not the conviction.

P.S. I didn't downvote you, so here's an upvote to balance it

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BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu

tfewster
Devil

..sound the horn...

Isn't that illegal? It's certainly against the Highway Code and bloody annoying if you're next to a driver who hits his horn to attract the attention of a mate half a mile away and behind a windshield.

I try to dissuade people from doing that again. I know you drive a BMW, but whereabouts do you live again?

<car icon, of course--->

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ICO: It's up to Google the 'POLLUTER' to tidy up 'right to be forgotten' search links

tfewster
FAIL

So you'd be OK with ihatevelv.com posting "velv smells" in some jurisdiction with bullet-proof hosting?

And Google making it the top link for searches on "velv" because the host pays for advertising?

And the papers printing "Official: velv smells", <very small print>according to ihatevelv.com</very small print> ?

because, hey, it's not their fault. And even if it's not true now, any prospective partner should know that velv is really a stinky person underneath who just cleans up a bit better now, right?

Google should grow a pair. They got away with not being classed as publishers so they couldn't be sued for republishing libel, but if they're digging in bins and displaying their findings in front of the town hall, eventually enough people will get pissed off to take them down.

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Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

tfewster

No, no, no - the EU didn't "force" MS to provide browser choice, They gave them options - do it, or be hit with fines for abuse of a monopoly position under the existing laws.

On the other hand, tax reform to make companies pay local taxes on local profits* - Ain't gonna happen under this new trade pact

*Yes, the real profit, not the one they report after "transfer pricing"

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VMware wants IM clients to hookup with calendars and databases

tfewster
Facepalm

I almost switched off at "monitored content", but...

server: Disk error!

server: Disk error!

server: Disk error!

admin: It's a mirrored disk and I'm working on it

server: retrieving info on: Mirrors

server: Home furnishings, furniture sales.....................................

server: Disk error!

admin: stop spamming me with error messages and irrelevant content

server: retrieving info on: Spam

server: Spam recipes, spam catchers........................................

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I've got 99 problems, but a Facebook boycott ain't one

tfewster

Re: Emails and Announcements

..content free ad network...

FTFY

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

tfewster
Facepalm

Re: Regarding the terminology problems...

You may be too young to remember 5.25" and 8" removable discs, which were flexible if not truly "floppy". We tried calling the 3.5" ones "stiffies", but it didn't go down too well and the users themselves called all removable disks "floppies".

The ones who thought you had to take the stiff cover off before using it knew why they were called "discs" :-D

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tfewster
Facepalm

Re: a lesson learned some time ago

You may need to be more precise :-)

Me: "What exactly can you see on the screen?"

Them "Nothing"

<together> Check monitor power, brightness, connections, reboot. No change.

I go on site take a look at the screen, which _isn't_ blank. It has an error message, that diagnoses the problem and tells you exactly what to do, i.e. plug the keyboard in.

Me: "I thought you said there was nothing on the screen?"

Them: "There isn't. There should be a login box"

Fair enough, I can understand how "Nothing useful to me" == "Nothing"

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Indie labels: 5 reasons why we're hauling YouTube before Euro antitrust watchdog

tfewster
Joke

Re: Message for the labels

If only there was a ready-made alternative to YouTube, somewhere where an indie could take advantage of an established infrastructure but have their own space - they could call it "My Space" or something like that...

(Disclaimer: I have no idea if myspace is a reasonable alternative economically, though I bet the owners would be delighted if myspace became cool again...)

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Microsoft compliance police to NHS: We want your money

tfewster
Linux

..service disruption..staff being unable or unwilling to adapt..

With the greatest possible respect to the Sir Humphreys making those arguments, service disruption in non-clinical areas isn't the same as disruption in medical service delivery.

I worked for an NHS trust in the early 90s, migrating medical secretaries and other non-clinical staff from typewriters to computers. Many of the secretaries were in their 50s, but they all adapted well (if not all willingly, though they all realised the benefits in the end).

And retraining from XP/Office 2003 to Linux/OpenOffice would be about as disruptive as changing to Win 7/Office 2010

I suspect your biggest challenge is getting browser-based access to work on something later than IE6 - That's going to have to happen anyway, so moving to another browser is a relatively small additional change.

If only the money saved on licensing could be redirected to training (or better office chairs - THAT would be a good motivator!)

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Average chump in 'bank' phone scam is STUNG for £10,000 - study

tfewster
Happy

Re: It would help an awful ****ing lot

Last time HSBC bank called me, they authenticated themselves by giving part of the information and asking me to confirm the rest.

e.g "Our records state you were born on the Nth day of the month; Please confirm which month it was"

and "How much was your last payment to XXX Building Society"?

Maybe they have a flag on my record that says "paranoid" :-)

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Give us a slice or we BLURT all your users' topping preferences to the WORLD

tfewster
Coat

Re: Pizzas

Or a pizza the action?

(Sorry Dom, I know it's cheesy)

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Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN

tfewster
Thumb Up

Dominic Connor = Steve Bong? I claim my £5

What a Bong-tastic sub-head: "Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN " !

Has anyone ever seen Dominic and Steve in the same room together? If they aren't alter-egos, I suspect a meeting might create a critical satirical feedback loop.

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tfewster
Boffin

Re: Sorry to rain on your parade...

I guess you've had a bad day, but the tone of this article is "humer[o?]us"

Actually, the RI/Christmas Lectures are usually very non-Dr Brian "gravity is like cheese" Cox, in that they:

- Talk about something important in an interesting way [OK, BC +1; But "enthused" is not the same as "making $TOPIC interesting". That just makes you a geek]

- Use metaphors that:

- Give you an intuitive feel for $TOPIC [BC-1]

- Are actually easier to understand than $TOPIC [BC-1]

- Are reasonably consistent [BC-1]

- Motivate viewers to explore $TOPIC further rather then wait for the next Coxbite treatment [BC-1]

(Bitter, moi? OK, I might have had a bad day too...)

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Fat-fingered admin downs entire Joyent data center

tfewster

Re: Its all about blame

I'd go further than that - recognise that Corporate IT is a core function that creates competitive advantage, not a commodity service that can be blindly outsourced.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order ... BLAM-BLAM! That guard did Nazi that coming

tfewster
Mushroom

Re: Great, I can't wait

Or - if it has "only" dropped to half price after 6 months and it's still being talked about - then it might be worth a look!

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How to catch a fraudster – using 'top cop' Benford and the power of maths

tfewster
Go

Interesting responses, thank you, and they demonstrate even further how my intuition about approximate answers can be badly flawed...

@ Patrick R "Those retailers prices are not natural"

- Very good, on both levels :-) Yes, a bias has been introduced so they are "chosen numbers" rather than "random numbers" or "numbers that occur in nature"

@ Terry Barnes "It doesn't actually work that way..."

- Possibly, but I suspect retailers will also overprice a cheaper item up to the £10 "mental barrier" to compensate for those they have to underprice. (Ignoring competition etc.)

@ YAAC "It only apples to the incidence of the first digit."

- Yes, I wasn't counting the "insignificant" digits, just using them to demonstrate my theory about retailer pricing

@ Loyal Commenter "If you buy two items priced..."

- I notice you chose your set of numbers carefully, but yep, a "transform" breaks an even distribution. Transforms are back into the realm of pure maths, so we can get away from these damn statistics....

@ Cynic_999 "I suspect 9.99 is not more common than 1.99..."

http://www.googlefight.com/index.php?lang=en_GB&word1=9.99&word2=1.99

OK, that's hardly rigorous and the results were closer than I expected! Interestingly, a googlefight between 9 and 8 (or any other 2 digits) seem to to follow Benford's Law.

As above, I appreciate that transforms break even distributions, but a couple of counter-points: In the UK, retail prices almost always include VAT (to avoid arguments at the till, if it isn't by law). And how about big-ticket items? If you're buying a budget car, you expect that £9,999 price tag to include everything. If you want a "nice" car, £19.999 is just the base model and you are prepared to pay for extras.

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tfewster

Fascinating, but I would still have expected 9 to have a higher incidence than 8 if the numbers are about money as ,e.g., retailers price products at 9.99 rather than 10.00

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LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

tfewster

> ..what if they did actually test a similar scenario..

True, you can load test and test all the edge cases you can think of - but did you test the combination of a U2 plus 3 other aircraft emergencies plus a hot air balloon convention while the system was under load? Probably not, you have to set a limit on the actual tests, but knowing how the system performs when it hits a difficult task can help gauge its limits. Even the old fashioned meatware controllers knew their limits and, ISTR, could refuse to allow any more aircraft into their space.

Oh, and I estimate million-to-one occurrences would probably happen about once a month at any given airport.

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tfewster
Facepalm

Re: hmm

Maybe for software developed in-house. But when an external supplier hands something mission critical over, you test it before paying up. Plus ATC and Lockheed Martin aren't exactly "smaller places". So nothing could possibly go wrong....

Oh, wait...

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Comcast dragged into muck in Oracle's Solaris fix-it lawsuit

tfewster
Pint

Consider yourself both upvoted and downvoted ;-)

Yes, Oracle should fix bugs in faulty programming until the final EOS date. But not give away new hardware drivers or feature improvements. Or phone support - but feel free to engage a 3rd party provider to work out what caused your system crash and what Sun/Oracle patches (that you are entitled to) to apply.

As to Microsoft & XP - If MS are fixing bugs for selected customers, I think there's a case to say those fixes should be available to anyone affected by an XP bug

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Cold War spy aircraft CRASHED Los Angeles' air traffic control

tfewster
Terminator

Emergencies? @ mr.K

Easy to imagine an emergency situation in a normal airliner where a rapid descent is needed from 35,000 feet through multiple layers - Decompression, fire, multiple engine failures etc. Is ERAM going to go on strike EVERY time it's really needed?

ROTM icon - because it might be more sinister than just bad programming ;-)

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Titsup UK Border IT causes CHAOS at air and seaports in Blighty

tfewster
Thumb Up

Re: What would have happened if

Your UK passport says: "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance". If any UKBA employee objects to you walking past, just point this out to them ;-)

Of course, the typical 1 hour delay at border control might just be to give the baggage handlers time to unload the aircraft...

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Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever

tfewster

re: command line (@ A J Stiles)

What, use the command line, like in Windows? Where most support conversations go "Click Start, type <command> and press enter?" e.g. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/i-cant-start-the-microsoft-security-essentials-service

Shame Windows doesn't have command-line editing to allow you to fix typos. Or leave a window open to check what you might have done wrong, let alone show you the error message. Simply repeat the entire process, correctly this time.

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Google kills copycat TfL congestion charge payment ads

tfewster

I appreciate Google can't police the web and struggle to avoid automated suggested phrase completions without upsetting, e.g. Max Mosley.

But ads are their core business, and they must be aware of the scam sites without needing to be told. A conspiracy to defraud charge and seizing their assets as proceeds of crime should help them focus on their responsibilities.

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Whitehall and Microsoft negotiate NHS Windows XP hacker survival plan

tfewster
FAIL

You're looking at it wrong...

If the XP machines don't have internet access, that reduces the risk. They may be sitting ducks, but ducks behind a (fire)wall are hard to hit. I would have thought the Cabinet Office could have issued a policy enforcement order backed by the ICO - Any XP machines not covered by some risk mitigation strategy will be regarded as a violation of the DPA and evidence of gross mismanagement.

The last section of the articles raises other questions:

What's the "Windows XP browser"? IE6? How about paying Microsoft a million bucks to release a standalone version of IE6, with all its own libraries so it can coexist with later versions of IE on later versions of Windows? (Yeah, I know it won't work, but the question should have been asked).

Does "Choose & Book" still only support Internet Explorer? What versions? Does it work in Compatibility Mode? Does it support mobiles? All key features for a patient accessible system.

I understand that upgrading hundreds of apps takes time, but any organisation only just now starting to think about it deserves a severe kicking.

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Fujitsu launches lappie for oldies

tfewster

Agreed, CPU doesn't make much difference to usability on most of the laptops I've used for "normal" work; Lots of memory and an SSD option would make these laptops safer from an impatient senior poking them with a walking stick to prod them into a response ;-)

My latest Lenovo has taken a backward step, with just one LED, indicating power - No mains or battery indicators, no HDD light to show you it's busy, no WIFI/Bluetooth indicators - I nearly whacked it myself while it was going through its incredibly slow setup process (with no opportunity to start Task Manager to see what it was actually doing). I'd hate to have to do remote support on that one.

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THUNDERING GAS destroys disks during data centre incident

tfewster

Re: Nice demonstration

Which begs the question - does the noise from the A/C and servers cause a problem too?

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Davos Diary: POVERTY disruption in ACTION. Cash-poor? Just mine a #BongCoin!

tfewster

The trouble with ¡Bong!..

..is I'm not sure how much is parody. I suspect it's closer to the truth than I really want to know.

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Blighty's tech sector hasn't had it so good for TEN YEARS - report

tfewster
WTF?

Re: Meh....

Or, to look at it another way...The UK is recovering from a FIVE YEAR recession and companies are starting to buy tech again. i.e. the economy allows tech companies to prosper, rather than tech companies driving growth.

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Oracle spoils your day with NEARLY 150 patches

tfewster

Oracle spoils your day with a GROSS of patches

FTFY. 144 = 1 gross, or "over 140". Not "nearly 150". Plus "gross" as in "yuck" or "gross negligence" seem quite appropriate as well.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/gross

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ATM hacker Barnaby Jack's death blamed on accidental drug overdose

tfewster
FAIL

A bit slow, El Reg

As reported by the BBC on 3rd Jan: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25598791

Oh, and you might be interested in another BBC story about a company that lost a bunch of credit card CVV numbers (that they shouldn't have been storing anyway) - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25591548

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Scientists discover supervolcano trigger that could herald humanity's doom

tfewster
Mushroom

So perhaps if we can fracture (frack) enough of a layer of the Earth's crust, we could enable the Yellowstone super volcano to let go its pressure before it blows. Fracking could go down in geological history as the best thing humans ever did.

FTFY. By judicious drilling, you might be able to create a volcano 10km from a city, rather than risk it blowing at a random outlet in the area. I don't know if the technology exists (yet) to create a vent-hole to that depth, but you might be able to get some payback from geothermal energy. Gotta be better than waiting & hoping...

Ground zero at the fracture site ------>

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The Bong's NEXT-mas Message for 2012

tfewster

Re: Same us from this please!

Um - you _do_ realise the Bong articles are satire, right? Though they're not far from the BS that actually gets spouted by "thought leaders".

+1 for the fire axe/body bag/woodchipper strategy tho'

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We're making TOO MUCH CASH, say CryptoLocker scum in ransom price cut

tfewster

Re: The thing that gets me...

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2013/09/23/data_backup_column/

Gene Cash

Re: Speaking as a humble home user

"There are two types of people:

Those that make backups.

And those that have yet to lose irreplaceable data."

"You don't convince family members to take periodic backups. Repeated, tragic data loss convinces family members to take periodic backups. Same as everyone else."

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Microsoft touts SCROOGLE merch: Hopes YOU'LL PAY to dump on rival

tfewster
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Negative marketing is really attractive to Apple fanbois

IBM marketing "restrained"?! The same IBM who practically _invented_ FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) as a tactic for attacking their competitors and frightening customers into buying IBM?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

Oh yeah, and remember Microsofts stance on the "communist" Open Source movement? Classic FUD

You, sir, owe me a new keyboard.

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Cryptolocker infects cop PC: Massachusetts plod fork out Bitcoin ransom

tfewster
FAIL

Re: A novel approach to crimefighting...

Equally embarrassing for the police to admit they had no other way of recovering the data. Hopefully the "investigation" will cover backups and user training/discipline.

And the best possible publicity for the CryptoLocker villains - being able to cite the police as a reference site. "See, you can trust us to restore your data - as soon as you pay the Idiot Tax"

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Fiendish CryptoLocker ransomware: Whatever you do, don't PAY

tfewster
Thumb Up

Re: NSA PR Opportunity

Obligatory

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2013-09-06/

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Apple iOS 7 makes some users literally SICK. As in puking, not upset

tfewster
Thumb Up

Re: oooh, how did I do that?

Yep, I never upgraded from IOS5 because I wanted to stick with "native" Google Maps rather than have to download the standalone Google maps app.

My concern is that IOS doesn't have patches, just upgrades, so if you need a security fix you get a bunch of features updates too.

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Study finds open-source home 3D printer could save $2,000 a year

tfewster

+ 100 rightful cynicism for Iain Thomson

(how come we can't rate articles any more?)

Even better, it seems that I can manufacture $2000 worth of saleable goods for just $18 from my home printer! And undercut all those inefficient big manufacturers who waste their money on R&D!

Where's the Scrooge McDuck $$$ icon?

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HALF of air passengers leave phones on ... yet STILL no DEATH PLUNGE

tfewster
Flame

Thanks matt747 - good feedback

My gripe was that, just 2 years ago, I was told my phone had to stay off for the duration of the flight - Flight mode wasn't good enough, no phone games, no music player etc. Which stuffed my plans for enduring four hours in cattle-class and, as I was already stressed & stroppy*, I considered getting off the 767 on the basis it must be unsafe if it couldn't cope with ANY electronic devices in the vicinity.

* Yeah, I'm a bad flyer. I have no problem with heavier-than-air flight, it's airport and airline staff that wind me up. And I'm not a people-person. And I expect lots of downvotes for this rant.

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tfewster

Re: Not just radio signal safety

Not a problem mate - Years ago, I had my camera bag (with my ticket & passport in it) nicked shortly before boarding a ferry from Spain to the UK. I explained the situation to the ferry company and Spanish authorities, and they let me on. UK passport control was similarly understanding, with some basic verification). With modern passenger lists, I'd be confident of stepping up and saying - "I'm <tfewster>, and you know I boarded the plane that just crash-landed - so there's no problem, is there?"

But yeah, phone & wallet (in that order these days) are an inseparable part of me

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You MERCILESS FIEND... you put that audio file on AUTOPLAY

tfewster
Facepalm

Re: Err...

Not weird, but unusually thoughtful!

The first thing I do at any new workstation is to disable Windows sounds; Unfortunately some people seem to like audio confirmation that they've just clicked something , sent an IM etc., so everyone else in the office is made aware of it too...

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DARPA uncloaks unTerminator for $2 million robotics challenge

tfewster

Tethering has its own limitations

Drag on an (armoured) cable round a few corners & doorways will stop it. How about the option to plug into a power socket when it reaches its destination?

Though wireless comms would be a problem in a shielded/metallic/thick walled environment, unless it can drop repeaters as it goes along

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