* Posts by VinceH

1564 posts • joined 26 Nov 2009

ZX Spectrum 'Hobbit' revival sparks developer dispute

VinceH
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Re: > WALK INTO MORDOR

Surely the response should be: "One simply does not do that."

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City of birth? Why password questions are a terrible idea

VinceH
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Re: Choose a question (and answer) on car numbers

(Leaving aside that car registration numbers can be a bit short)

"What was the registration of your first car?"

Okay, fair enough.

"What was the registration of your previous car?"

What happens if you change cars one or more times after choosing that question and setting the answer?

You set it up and enter AB12 CDE as your answer - then n years down the line, you have to resort to answering that question. You think back, and remember that the registration of your previous car (to the one you now have) is VW12XYZ.

"What was the registration of your red car?"

Even if you select a colour for which you have only had one car, the n years later problem still applies - between setting that question and answer and the arbitrary point in the future when you need to answer that question, you may have had more.

"What was the registration of your father's car?"

Which one? (Car, not father!) My step dad has had quite a few in the 40+ years I've known him!

"Would work for quite a few people."

I see flaws. :)

The advice I generally give to people is to treat "secret questions" as password prompts, and enter a sensible password instead - especially on sites that have replaced passwords with secret questions (HSBC, I'm looking at you - the use of 2FA does not make this acceptable). However, since it's likely that (because they aren't passwords) many sites won't salt/hash the answers, this makes it even more important to ensure that password is unique. (So use a password manager such as KeePass)

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VinceH
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Joke

Re: Damned lies

"And (in my defense) no amount of dumpster diving or Facebook scraping would have revealed my family's secret shame that grandpa used to roam the American woods in a monkey suit."

Yet you happily revealed that shameful secret in a comment on El Reg!

I think as a punishment, you should don a dinosaur suit and start swimming in Loch Ness.

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Google DOG WHISTLING fails to send URLs across the room

VinceH
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Re: Full circle?

"or a ZX Spectrum loading a game from tape"

Or any other home computer from way back when. I'm glad I'm not the only one who made that connection as we see, yet again, something old becoming something new.

Why not avoid the noise, by using a simple male/male 3.5mm jack lead - plug in one end to the sending computer's speaker socket, the other to the receiving computer's microphone.

The next logical step after that? Plug the other end into the microphone socket of a cassette deck and record the tones. That way the URLs can be stored for later use, and even carried around if the intended destination computer is too far away to use the lead.

Got that sorted? Great, now we can add other useful information to the tones. Use it to save whole swathes of data.

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Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

VinceH
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Re: What a shame

[Concorde]

When I was very young, my mother and I lived with my grandparents in Brentry - close enough to Filton to get a good view of it on test flights.

I wish I'd taken a trip on it before it was grounded.

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Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

VinceH
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"Why does the boot not lock? Are you telling me someone designed a car where the only way to lock it is via radio? Stop buying these cars."

Quite so. As I said only a couple of weeks ago:

"I have a remote lock on my car (unsurprisingly) - but the key also works.

The remote lock doesn't because the battery has run out of juice. I've not bothered to put a new one in because the key also works.

And here's the thing: It's not a major inconvenience to have to put the key in the lock to unlock it - because if I need to unlock it, I'm going to the car anyway. It's not as though I ever walk past my car and think "it'll be handy if I can unlock the car now, without going over to it."

Simple, mechanical central locking. First turn of the key unlocks the drivers door. Second turn opens the boot. One turn locks all - and there is also a lock/unlock button on the central console.

Had I been at that car park and saw what was happening, I'd have chuckled, then carried on with my day - happy in the knowledge that my 'dinosaur attitudes' (as they have been described a few times lately) have been validated.

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Amazon cloud to BEND TIME, exist in own time zone for 24 hours

VinceH
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Re: Sounds complicated

That explains things. We don't need explanations - we need a solution!

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Doom is BOOM! BOOM! BACK!

VinceH
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Re: This sums up the problem:

"I really, really hate that most FPS games have dumbed down to the 2 weapon limit, linear levels, regen health and checkpoint autosave systems"

The artificially forced, linear levels mentioned further upthread bug me a bit, but generally if the game is good enough (all the key elements, good story, suitably difficult, etc) it doesn't bother me that much.

The dumbing down, though, that does - a particularly annoying example is where defeating an end of level (or even final) boss isn't a matter of using things you've learnt and skills you've acquired playing the game... instead it's a matter of watching the screen and pressing square or circle (PS3) as soon as the message pops up telling you to do so (MW, I'm looking at you). All of a sudden, the story you've been so deeply immersed in is thrown out the window and it's a game of reaction: Press the right button fast enough when prompted.

Another thing that annoys me is in the Tomb Raider games. You solve these puzzles that lead you to some remote place and seemingly provide you with the only means to get in to the secret door into the underground temple (or whatever) - and in collecting the pieces to solve that puzzle, your enemy is unable to do the same. Yet when you get there, the enemy is already there, firmly entrenched deep in the system. Grrr! Okay, we need the bad guys to be there to make that part of the game more difficult, but it screws up the story!

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Use your Apple gizmos only for good, says Tim Cook

VinceH
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"Our products do [these] amazing things, and just as Steve envisioned, they empower people all over the world," said the CEO. "People who witness injustice and want to expose it [...] can, because they have a camera in their pocket all the time."

He didn't actually say it, and definitely isn't trying to imply it, oh no, but that quote reads to me as though he's trying to lead people to infer that before the iPhone, mobile phones lacked cameras.

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AllJoyn your whitegoods, says Qualcomm

VinceH
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"The aim, the company says, is to get around the incompatibilities emerging in the Internet of Everything space."

Given that, IMO, most Internet of Unwanted Things devices are solutions in search of problems, then this sounds like a solution to a problem with solutions in search of problems.

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Mad Max: Fury Road – two hours of nonstop, utterly insane fantasy action

VinceH
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Yup - saw it Friday, and also spend most of the movie with a grin on my face. I hope Miller's plans to make more pan out.

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Lightbulbs of the future will come with wireless extenders and speakers

VinceH
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"The big problems for IoT products are three-fold:

  • They have to be easy to use and easy to install
  • They have to constantly communicate without using much power
  • You have to be able to control them simply and easily
"

Firstly, the third item on that list is duplicated in the first as "easy to use".

Secondly, the list somehow misses some points that I would consider more important when it comes to iOUT* products:

  • Security must be paramount.
  • Customers privacy must be absolutely assured.
  • Continuation of support and service provision must be guaranteed.

* Internet of Unwanted / Unnecessary / Untrusted / Unsupported [delete as appropriate] Things.

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Californians get first chance to be RUN OVER by a GOOGLE ROBOT

VinceH
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"My granddad thinks that is just fine for the fast lane of the M1."

His first mistake would be in thinking that one of the lanes on the M1 (or any other motorway) is a "fast lane" - for there to be such a thing, there would need to be different speed limits for different lanes.

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USA Freedom Act moves forward as House prepares for vote

VinceH
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Re: A 1984-ism?

"Not much better in the UK in terms of enacting scenario's from "1984":

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/new-counterextremism-plans-to-allow-police-to-ask-to-vet-anyones-internet-communications-10246381.html"

There was a tweet about that from the Number10gov Twitter account about that yesterday, saying:

"PM chaired the new National Security Council (NSC) today where he discussed plans for a new Counter-Extremism Bill: http://ow.ly/MUlom"

My reply said:

"@Number10gov Yes, we must put a stop to discriminating against extremes. It's no better than sexism, racism, aneurism, prism or indeed jism"

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Rare monkeys stolen from French zoo – now even rarer

VinceH
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Re: Isn't this

28 Days Later, Shirley?

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BONKERS apocalyptic WAR WAGONS circle Vulture South

VinceH
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Facepalm

I understand that when water is drained away through a plughole, the 'whirpool' goes in the opposite directions in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, due to the coriolis effect.

Does that also affect how people perceive left and right? Because to my Northern hemisphere eyes, in the first picture the ringed office is in the top left, not the top right as the caption currently says!

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NASA plans electrolysis-powered ROBOT EEL for Europa's oceans

VinceH
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Re: Ice

I've had to struggle very hard not to downvote you.

The very suggestion that frickin' lasers could be used with anything other than sharks is just so very, very wrong.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

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Smart grid security WORSE than we thought

VinceH
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Re: So they're shit and they know they are?

Read the linked announcement. They don't admit it - this update isn't because of the reported flaws, per se, but because "the overall security ... is dynamic" etc. This is a planned update - and it's "motivated by the latest recommended international cybersecurity standards" rather than because "the existing security has been shown to crap."

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Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

VinceH
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Re: How about a Nicolas Cage marathon shitfest?

"Whoever out of the SPB who makes it out alive after watching his filmography back-to-back wins a Transformers four-film box set."

On the one hand, I'd say that's a cruel and unusual punishment - and for doing nothing wrong.

On the other hand, I recently watched Pacific Rim. All of a sudden, the Transformers films didn't seem so bad.

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Ex-NSA security bod fanboi: Apple Macs are wide open to malware

VinceH
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I'm tempted to bookmark this article, so next time at a particular office, talking to a particular fanboi, I can present it to him when he next boasts about how secure his Apple computers are.

The problem is, if I did he wouldn't read it because "words" - and having not read it, he'll continue to boast about how secure his Apple computers are, having not seen anything to suggest otherwise.

I know other fanbois who could also do with some cluebat education, but this one in particular just annoys me.

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Apple taxpayers swarm to stone-age iPhone 6+ purely for the bigness

VinceH
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Trollface

"Years later Samsung get it right, then everyone else copies Dell thinks Apple were first with the 6+."

FTFY! (Probably, at some point in the future, anyway.)

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Volkswagen Passat GT 2.0-litre TDI SCR 190 PS 6spd DSG

VinceH
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"Why do people pay £500-£1000 for such an poor option when a £80 TomTom or the free Nokia Here app will do a far better job?"

Because it's 'integrated' and therefore cool makes their dick longer?

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Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

VinceH
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Re: Rent a door lock?

I have a remote lock on my car (unsurprisingly) - but the key also works.

The remote lock doesn't because the battery has run out of juice. I've not bothered to put a new one in because the key also works.

And here's the thing: It's not a major inconvenience to have to put the key in the lock to unlock it - because if I need to unlock it, I'm going to the car anyway. It's not as though I ever walk past my car and think "it'll be handy if I can unlock the car now, without going over to it."

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EC probe into murky cross border e-commerce kicks off

VinceH
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Re: Why don't I buy cross border?

"I want instant interwebs gratification, and I want it *now*."

That'll attract a £2.99 delivery charge, and from your bank a "non-sterling transaction fee".

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Sage boosts profit but that means NOTHING without the CLOUD

VinceH
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Re: No clouds for customers

"and why Sage would prefer to push hosted solutions with an ongoing charge as well..."

When the article refers to subscriptions and a subscription model here:

"Software subscription rose 29 per cent for the first six months. However, this reflects a move to a subscription model across its portfolio rather than just cloud products, said Roe."

It doesn't just mean hosted solutions: They're moving to a subscription model for traditional desktop software - with the incredible flustercuck potential that has. I asked their Twitter-bod to clarify some points a while back: Specifically, what happens to your data stored in your desktop copy of Sage if you decide to stop using Sage (i.e. paying them for the use of the software) and move to something else.

The answer was basically that you are no longer able to access it. Legally, you need to keep your business records for six years - which kind of necessitates those records being accessible. So before your sub ends, you need to extract all that data, something that most people wouldn't think of doing.

And how do you extract it? Different accounts packages store different information in different ways - so simply exporting the data ready for importing into something else isn't really practical; you'd end up pretty much doing a second time a lot of the accounting work you've already done, in order to recreate the figures as they should be. The only other option is to export every report as a PDF file, covering every key point and period, which would be tedious at best.

A better, and fairer solution would be for the software to become read only, so you can still access that data but can't put anything else in - which Sage could easily do; the mechanism already exists in their software for "archived" data.

IMO Sage's subscription offerings aren't so much "software as a service" but "data as a protection racket".

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Apple in rinky-dink ink stink wristjob admission: Watch IS affected by TATTOOS

VinceH
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From a post on the first page of the linked 'sticky nob' discussion:

"But I decided to send back now. Will be interesting test to see how much I miss it."

How can someone 'miss' something he has only had for ridiculously short amount of time?

Makes me wonder if the sticky nob problem is referring to the nob attached to the watch, or the nob attached to the watch.

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Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse chap in 'desperate' cash shortage

VinceH
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Thumb Up

Re: @VinceH

Yummy!

Also: I didn't notice the bacon mentioned in the original recipe. I replaced that with tartar sauce.

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VinceH
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"I can recommend Neil's bacon & lentil recipe - although as we had them in the cupboard I replaced the red lentils with green and the tinned toms with cheap passata."

I may very well take up that recommendation later, though I will probably replace the red lentils with fish, and the tinned tomatoes with chips. ;)

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You can now play thousands of classic DOS games on Twitter. Goodbye, productivity

VinceH
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Re: VinceH

I wondered if it might be a regional roll out as well - since Chris (Diodesign) lives in Overpuddle now. I don't know where Alexander is based, but I've a feeling here in the UK. That (if my guess is right) would rule out it being a regional thing. And if you're over there, that probably rules it out as well.

It could still be a gradual roll out, I suppose, with who it does and doesn't work for being determined by some other factor that we can't directly see.

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VinceH
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Re: VinceH

Firefox - and yes, I have Javascript disabled. (I have it allowed by default on some sites, and on others I temporarily allow it as seems necessary/if I feel trusting enough.)

archive.org's scripts were allowed - that was enough to allow them to play on archive.org.

theregister.co.uk is allowed by default.

twitter.com and twimg.com are allowed by default.

No embedded games appeared either here or on Twitter - as I said, just links to the game's page on archive.org

However, in the interests of science, I have now allowed all scripts to run (and I've paused Ghostery's blocking, in case that was a factor)

The page took a lot longer to load than before, and no longer scrolls smoothly - and there are still no embedded games, only links to the page on archive.org

And again, looking at the tweets on Twitter itself (logged in or not) and they still only contain the link, with no embedded game.

Running through the config, I can't see anything obvious that I've set that would be blocking the games when embedded (or from being embedded).

I've now also loaded the page into Internet Explorer and Chrome - still no embedded games, only links (and nothing's disabled or blocked on those because I don't normally use them in anger, only for testing my own pages), and the same in both browsers when looking at the tweets on Twitter.

I won't bother trying NetSurf! ;)

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VinceH
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Facepalm

Twitter?

Huh?

Do you actually "play them within Twitter" ? Whether I log in to Twitter or not, and view the tweets that way - or not - I just see the links. Clicking on them takes me to the archive.org page for the game.

Therefore, to play any of the games, you go to the archive.org page for the game, and play it there.

It's really, really nothing to do with Twitter - and it certainly isn't "since you can embed tweets in web pages" that enables you to include a couple in the article, it's because you can include links in articles, which the embedded tweet just happens to contain.

All you're doing by putting the link in a tweet, is putting a link in a tweet.

Unless I'm missing something, or something isn't working here, that's not embedding.

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What is Apple's idiot tax on Watch these days? 'About $265 or 80%'

VinceH
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Re: Software costs nothing to develop!

"Of course, Apple's only cost is the hardware. No software to develop, marketing, distribution etc etc."

Do you know, I can't help but wonder if the writer of the article may have been referring to that sort of thing when he said "and, crucially, development costs have to be recouped" - the headline was probably penned by someone else.

The bottom line (see what I did there) is that the people who do these tear down reports have no way of knowing those costs, so they can only report on the costs they can reasonably determine: the bill of materials. Always read them bearing that in mind.

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Samsung Electronics' sales go OVER A CLIFF

VinceH
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Facepalm

WTF did my post above get a downvote? It accurately states what each of the five columns of figures are.

In some cases, downvotes are perfectly valid and I welcome them (when I'm trolling users of a certain type of tech, for example), but this just baffles the hell out of me.

Addendum: Just to clarify when I referred to the top half/bottom half, I wasn't referring to the two images and calling one the top half, and the other the bottom half - which I've just realised is what Jamie 5 appears to be "correcting" me on in his first sentence.

Look at the words I used, and the second image. Top half: Sales, broken down by division (clue: word at top "Sales", followed by rows for the divisions it is broken down by). Bottom half, operating profit broken down by division (clue: words at top of that half "Operating Profit", followed by a row for the divisions it is broken down by).

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VinceH
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It would be nice, but they aren't difficult to work out.

The table is obviously divided up in two halfs; the top half breaks down sales by division, and the bottom half breaks down operating profit by division.

The Column 1 contains the figures for the first quarter of 2015, andColumn 2 the figures for the first quarter of 2014. Column 3 represents the percentage increase or decrease between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015. Column 3 contains the Q4 2014 figures, and column 5 the percentage increase or decrease between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

VinceH
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Distance: 0 Ft.

I couldn't help but notice that after 30 seconds of walking, the distance remained at 0 feet. Is the distance supposed to increase as the amount of distance covered increases?

I'm not trolling - although I'm very much anti-Apple, I'm genuinely curious about that.

(Afterthought: Perhaps it relies on GPS in the paired phone, and he wasn't carrying it for the purposes of the demonstration?)

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VinceH
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Facepalm

Re: That's why you need a laser..

A laser? Be serious! Would you want to wear a frikkin' shark on your wrist?

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Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse taunted with sausage sarnie snap

VinceH
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Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

= two egg sarnies.

Not in my book!

For me, a single sarnie is what can be made with one slice of bread, folded in half with appropriate filling. As soon as two slices are involved (since I usually cut the result in half) it becomes two sarnies.

Unfortunately, I've just had my toast... all this talk of egg sarnies has now given me a hankering for just that! Grrr!

Oh well, best go and prepare my roast pork sarnies for lunch at the office... ;)

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VinceH
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Re: Good deal on the mackerel

" but I do like my egg sarnies in the morning."

Interesting that you appear to have two eggs/four slices of bread.

These days my breakfast behaviour has improved, having gone from a steak slice or cornish pastie (purchased on the way to wherever I'm working) to a couple of slices of toast. If I opt for egg on toast, it becomes just one slice of toast.

If I went for an egg sandwich (which I'm unlikely to do for breakfast) I'd probably go with two slices of bread/one egg.

Therefore - although I have absolutely no plans to participate in such a thing - if I was ever to join this low cost nosh posse, I'd have a bit of a head start on you at breakfast.

OTOH, I can be a greedy fat bastard later in the day, so that's where I'd be at a disadvantage.

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The Apple Watch: THROBBING STRAP-ON with a knurled knob

VinceH
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Re: Geek toy

"This makes it different from every other wearable so far how, exactly?"

Mage said it was different from every other wearable so far where, exactly?

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VinceH
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Re: No Silicon Heaven?

They never truly leave us, they just hide away in a quiet spot to die - on top of cupboards, underneath sofas and beds, buried under old, long forgotten video recorder instruction books at the back of TV unit drawers, behind sideboards, places like that.

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When THINGS attack! Defending data centres from IoT device-krieg

VinceH
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Re: Bah!

It doesn't matter if it's open or closed if it now owns the light bulbs.

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Love-rat fanboi left bobbing for Apples in tiny Japanese bath

VinceH
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Boffin

Re: Let us know what you can identify

I can't remember if they covered Apples in the "Which Fruit Floats" section on Brainiac, featuring Professor Myang Li. They probably did.

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What's broken in this week's Windows 10 build? Try the Start Menu, for one

VinceH
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Re: That Start menu...

"...has been variously broken (depending on what sort of account you use to log on with) in every build so far."

Well to be fair, they actually broke it for Windows 8, and they're trying to fix it in Windows 10 - what you're seeing isn't various levels of broken, but various levels of fixed that aren't quite there yet.

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FBI alert: Get these motherf'king hackers off this motherf'king plane

VinceH
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WTF?

I'm confuzzled

If his gear was all seized, how did he tweet a photograph of it to say so? Wouldn't they have taken his phone as well?

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Don't worry, Apple hypegasms haven't gone in the WRISTJOB ERA

VinceH
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Holmes

Slight volte-face

Here we have Angela Ahrendts apparently describing the approach being adopted for buying the jizz-bangle (thanks x 7 - that's an excellent name for it) as a temporary one - and is specifically quoted as saying "We love our iconic blockbuster launches that we do in stores”

And a few weeks ago, Angela Ahrendts was quoted as saying "The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers"

All I can say, then, is "called it!"

Sherlock icon because, well, "no shit..."

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Something's missing in our universe: Boffins look into the SUPERVOID

VinceH
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So there's fewer galaxies (and therefore stars) in this supervoid?

Two possible explanations spring to mind. Either some Tibetan monks have finally identified all nine billion names of God, or Mantrid is turning all matter into drones, and that's where he's started.

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Spotty dwarf Ceres BARES ALL in NASA's SHINY CLOSEUPS

VinceH
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Re: Clearly, no mirrors. True.

Edward Nigma is also known as The Riddler in Batman if that helps - but it doesn't matter, because I had a strange brain fart moment when I wrote that: the symbol most associated with The Riddler is (duh) the question mark, not the exclamation mark.

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VinceH
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Re: Clearly, no mirrors. True.

Edward Nigma's top secret off-world base, obviously.

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Your city's not smart if it's vulnerable, says hacker

VinceH
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Re: Italian Job

"Charlie's team showed how lax security was on the "smart" traffic system in Turin in 1969. It looks like nothing has improved since then..."

A more up to date documentary on the subject suggests it's even worse since then.

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DWARF PLANET Ceres beams back SUNNY north pole FROWN

VinceH
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What they're not telling you is that Dawn is actually a group of three craft, all equipped with lasers and there's another craft called Dusk that's following at some distance and recording video. It recorded this footage of Dawn#1 as it went into the Asteroid belt.

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