* Posts by alannorthhants

314 posts • joined 23 Dec 2009

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Alleged German YouTube-to-MP3 ripper sued by labels

alannorthhants
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Re: How is that supposed to work ?

US judges tend to think that US law applies to everyone, everywhere in the world. They slso get really upset when they make a ruling that is subsequently ignored by a non-US organisation that has no US presence. The *huge* fine applied to Spamhaus (a UK-based organisation) when a US spammer complained about them to a US judge is a case to point (even if the fine was subsequently reduced and then dropped when someone in the US took on the case on a pro bono basis).

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BBC to demand logins for iPlayer in early 2017

alannorthhants
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Trollface

Re: Blue Peter

Try FIQQ 1ZZ - postcode for the Falkland Islands.

That will blow their brains!

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Will US border officials demand social network handles from visitors?

alannorthhants
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Re: Bound to get deported?

No, they'll threaten to not torture you

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alannorthhants
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Mushroom

Re: Stupid questions...

Nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure.

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alannorthhants
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Re: Stupid questions...

Small point, but important. E-mails are not social media.

However if I was going to the states I would probably buy a simple (i.e. non-smart) phone for the duration and put a disposable pay-as-you-go SIM into it. That way they could search it all they like; there would be nothing on it. If they want to nick it for "investigation" then go ahead - they won;t find anything on it.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise bigwig chuckles at talk of buyout talks

alannorthhants
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Joke

Give them a year or two

HPE’s market cap is currently hovering around the $39bn mark

Give HPE's management a year or so, they'll be able to get it down to below $1bn.

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Are you sure you want to outsource IT? Yes/No. Check this box to accept Ts&Cs

alannorthhants
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Cyber Essentials Plus

The UK gov is pushing the Cyber Essentials Plus standard on all companies that provide gods or services to UK gov (inclding MoD, etc). One of the interesting things about this standard is that you have to certify all networks that you use, and ensure that any cloud providers that you use are also certified (or have a equivalent overseas standard). This could be a maor problem since most cloud providers do not seem to be certified to anything; means that any company wishing to business with the UK gov had better avoid cloudy solutions and keep the IT in-house.

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Spoiler alert: What Oracle is going to announce today

alannorthhants
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Re: Cloud this, cloud that

Its the latest buzz-word that gets PHBs excited. Give a few years and something else will come along and Oracle et al will be jumping on a whole new bandwagon.

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BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

alannorthhants
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Re: 1bs

... due to negative IQ

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Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

alannorthhants
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Re: Powering up in the right order

In theory yes. You can have a management server that is responsible for powering on everything else in the correct order, performing internal checks that verifies that there are no problems, and generating appropriate e-mails if it encounters any issues. The problem with this is that it is an incredibly complex problem to solve (you have to define all of the hardware and software dependencies in order to allow the systems to restart in the correct order) and requires some specialised equipment to automate the equipment power-on. This in turn makes it very expensive to implement; given the number of times it would actually be required it is generally more cost effective to haul in a system admin to do the job. Besides, a person on site can also resolve any hardware problems as they occur.

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Alleged buggy software wrongly flunks wannabe lawyers from bar exam. What happened next won't shock you

alannorthhants
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Re: The Bar Association and a contractor..... and things went pear-shaped.

That's actually a good point. If the company can prove that the software conforms to the requirements specified by the customer, and that the customer signed off to say that it was OK, then they should be in the clear.

However this requires a clear documentation trail being kept by the company. In my experience, not many software houses are that careful.

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alannorthhants
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Re: Lawer prevention

It's a bonus!

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Hacker and chums jailed over gold bullion hack, track 'n' grab scam

alannorthhants
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Joke

Re: The toilet cistern?

That was a crap joke.

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Oracle happy to let Apache Foundation adopt NetBeans

alannorthhants
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Re: Punting to Apache

... in the sense that Open Office is becoming a Norwegian Blue of Apache projects, while Libre Office (which forked some while ago) is striding ahead.

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JDK 9 release delayed another four months

alannorthhants
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Is Oracle really serious about Java?

I've been wondering for some while whether Oracle's senior management are really serious about Java any more. It is clear that it brought Sun Microsystems in the belief that it could try to convert some of Sun's technology (principally Java) it hard cash; this however pretty much shot down when the courts ruled against them in Oracle vs Google. Of course this is not the final curtain call on that saga - expect it to be dragged out in ever-higher courts for the next few years, but IMO the auguries do not look good for Oracle.

I have also seen a lot of comments that Oracle has been starving the Java development team of resources (e.g. staff, project funding, coffee, ...), which would be consistent with them loosing interest (as a consequence of not being able to use it to boost the bottom line).

It wouldn't really surprise me if the development of Java stalls once Java 9 is released (assuming that that event ever happens - seems we are seeing Xeno's paradox applied to project management here). The question will be - will Oracle allow Java to be taken over as an open source project, or will they strangle it in a fit of pique?

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BT boils over, blows off Steam, accuses Valve of patent infringement

alannorthhants
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Trollface

Re: Strange...

SCO actually owe that one. Look what good it did them!

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Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

alannorthhants
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Facepalm

Old story

I do remember a story that did the rounds many moons ago. Apparently a computer facility somewhere in the US decided to test their backup power systems by physically shutting down the mains power. Everything started OK; power went off, UPS takes up the load, then the diesal generators kick in and take over from the UPS.

Everything works absolutely swimmingly. For about 30 sceonds, after which point the generators stutter and die, followed shortly afterwards by the UPS which did not have the capacity to keep the facility going for long (they wrere only sized to handle the load until the generators spin up to full capacity). Queue "oh sh*t" moment.

After a long-ish investigation the source of the problem was identified. Apparently the fuel tanks for the diesal generators had to be located some distance away for fire safety reasons. Because of the distance a gravity feed to the generators was out of the question, so they used fuel pumps instead. Which (you may have guessed it) where powered directly from the mains with no feed-in from the backup power systems. Hence the generators worked for until they have sucked the fuel lines dry, then shut down.

Queue secid "oh sh*t" moment plus much forhead slapping.

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Facebook, Twitter and Google are to blame for terrorism, say MPs

alannorthhants
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Re: re: and there was me thinking it was mainly down to religion.

How would you feel if another country's military arrived and destroyed our government?

Seems a pretty good idea to me? Would they like me to hold thier coats while they get on with the job?

What steps would seem reasonable in retaliation?

Once they have finished the job, make them the next goverment. After a year or two of that sort of c**p I am sure they will leg it with their collective tail between their legs.

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US Treasury to launch pre-emptive strike on EU's Ireland tax probe

alannorthhants
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Re: U.S. gummint has its priorities wrong

Has someone got a stutter, or are tryin to make a point by repetition?

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alannorthhants
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Go

I suspect that there are two problems here. Firstly the EU Commission is allowed to investigate illegal state aid and (if found) punish the offenders and those who have benefited from it. The second problem is the EUC acts as judge, jury and executioner; this will annoy the US gov who claim a monopoly on acting like that.

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Microsoft's maps lost Melbourne because it used bad Wikipedia data

alannorthhants
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Re: Swindon

If you are in Swindon, then no.

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

alannorthhants
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As I understand, all we need to do to leave the EHCR is revoke the appropriate treaty. Parliment can do that in a few hours if it wants (even with the load of incompetents that currently fill it on both sides of the house).

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alannorthhants
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ECHR is independent of the EU - in fact the UK was a member decades before we joined the EU.

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Windows Phone dives into irrelevant-like-BlackBerry territory

alannorthhants
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Mushroom

Re: The quietOne

No idea what BB need to do!

Declare bankruptcy?

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New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

alannorthhants
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Trade deficits also need to be taken into account

Remember the we are currently running a pretty significant trade deficit with the EU. This means that they have a lot more to losse if they decide to play hard ball. Not only that but some of the member countries (e.g. Germany) have obviously thought the numbers through and appear to be becoming aware that playing silly-buggers is definitely a losse-loose scenario for all parties.

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Bees bring down US stealth fighter

alannorthhants
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Coat

Re: Brings a new meaning to

This is a story with a real sting in it's tail.

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Internet of Car...rikey what the hell just happened to my car?

alannorthhants
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Re: Standard

How about "MS Windows for Cars 10". WSUS forces a reboot qhen you are doing 70 on the motorway.

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

alannorthhants
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What is important is what was not said ...

I think it is important to note the phrase that "no known effect" could explain the observations. The obvious conclussion is that it might be something unknown and new to science. This is excatly the sort of thing that science is built on - find something that cannot be explained by "known science", then come up with a coherent way of explaining it.

On another note I cannot buy the idea of a Dyson Sphere; they (along with ring worlds) are intrinsically unstable (Larry Niven gave a good explanation in "Ringworld Engineers"). A Dyson Swarm is much more likely; in fact a partially completed swarm that occupies only a fraction of the available orbital slots could explain the observations.

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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

alannorthhants
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Mushroom

Re: Given that they haven't found it...

Just out of curiosity, can you point where the UK or the US are mentioned in the article you have cited? As far as I can see it is the Netherlands and Russia are mentioned, no-one else. Also UK/US do not have any primary radar assets in the region, so I don't know why your rant is being directed at them unless it is just trying to get up-votes from those who believe that the US/UK axis is behind every bad event in the world.

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Web meltdown: BT feels heat from angry punters

alannorthhants
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Re: Same today?

Ditto here; trying to connect a VPN to my company's network and am seeing ping times of 70-80ms (normally about 10ms) and packet loss of between 40-50%. Have run traceroute several times and found that the transmission times jump in BT's core network; not only that but there is obviously huge routing instabilities since the traceroute paths are changing on an almost second-by-second basis.

This is not good!

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alannorthhants
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Yes, that was the original idea. The problem we have now is that the global internet is now many, many orders of magnitude larger than was originally foreseen (don't forget - the original "internet" only had 20 or so nodes on it) which makes operating it a whole lot harder. For example the original routing protocols have long been pretty much abandoned (except in small networks where they work just fine) and more complex protocols have been developed and deployed. However these protocols can take longer to converge to an answer if there is a massive reconfiguration of the internet (such as a major node failure). Added to this is that no protocol can compensate for stupid network design (e.g. running primary & backup cables through the same duct, having both primary and backup systems on the same power supply, etc).

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Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

alannorthhants
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Facepalm

Clearly an idiot

Brian Forde is clearly an idiot who has no idea on how network technology and the internet work. Unfortunately there are plenty of politicians who will jump on his bandwagon solely in order to get a few sound bites and some air time.

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By Jove! NASA's Juno prepares to slip into orbit around Jupiter

alannorthhants
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Re: What D.A.M wrote...

Otherwise it would?

No chance; keep in mind that the Hyugens (sp?) probe was crushed after only travelling a couple of hundred kilometers into the atmosphere; it still had maybe a thousand kilometers to go plus a sea of liquid hydrogen plus another sea of metallic hydrogen.

In fact there are some doubts whether Jupiter still has a solid core left. Some of the theories suggest that the solid rocky core may be soluble in metallic hydrogen, which means it would have dissolved long ago.

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alannorthhants
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Re: Delimitation

The main factors that decide the shape & size of the solar panels are (a) the maximum power consumption of the spacecraft during its nominal mission, (b) the incident solar flux (i.e. how much sunlight is actually hitting the spacecraft), and (c) the efficiency of the solar cells at the end of the nominal mission (radiation will degrade them). Normally NASA would not use solar arrays that far out, however they have a shortage of Plutonium for RTGs so that had to be ruled out early in the mission design. The spacecraft needs about 350W of power (give or take, I don't have the figures to hand right now), so they sized the overall area of the solar array so that it would give about 410W at the end of the nominal mission (490W at the start) when in orbit around Jupiter

Once you have the required solar array area it is just a case of how you split it up - you could have had two panels but they would have had to have been *huge* at at risk of being damaged during Jupiter insertion. You could have had four panels, but that would make instrument positioning very complicated. Three is a compromise that happens to work in this instance.

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Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

alannorthhants
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Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

The World now consists of Blighty, and some empty spaces on the map filled with mythical creatures

Such as honest politicians?

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Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

alannorthhants
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Unhappy

Re: Logical impossibilities

You can't prove it, therefore you must be lying and hence a terrorist.

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Fly to Africa. Survive helicopter death flight to oil rig. Do no work for three weeks. Repeat

alannorthhants
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A long time ago ...

Many, many years ago I worked for a year for a company that makes flight simulators. They had a contract to build a new simulator for the Indian army - I think it was for helicopters, but don't quote me on that. While the simulator was being built the Indian army constructed a nice new building to house the simulator.

This is where it got interesting.

The Indian army got the Indian air force to ship the simulator out in a Hercules, flying it into the army base (which had a runway) that would be the future home of the simulator. This the air force did very happily. When they arrived at the base, they taxied to the end of the runway, opened the boot and shoved the simulator (in its transport cases) out the back, then left PDQ before the screams of outrage started (note: this was in the monsoon season, so it was just a touch damp out there).

Once sanity had been restored and the simulator moved under cover, the company I worked for had to assemble the thing in its nice new building. Everything went well until the time came to mount the cab on the simulator frame, at which point they discovered that the steel covers on the cable ducts sunk into the floor where not strong enough to take the weight of the cab + huge fork-lift that was carrying it.

Queue even more bad language!

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Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

alannorthhants
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Trollface

The first thing that will happen ...

... you cannot access your LinkedIn profile unless you are running Windows 10 with telemetry back to MS enabled.

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Java API judge tells Oracle to suck it up, quit whining about the jury

alannorthhants
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The java APIs are a ratified standard

Sorry, but you are sadly mistaken here. Sun Microsystems (in the days before Oracle) did submit the APIs for standardisation, but subsequently withdraw them. The only de facto "standard" is the API specification by Sun (and now by Oracle of course).

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Will you get reimbursed if you're a bank fraud victim? Brits think not

alannorthhants
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Re: I just say no

It depends on what sort of authentication model the bank is using to protect the online access systems. Ones that use a simple account number (or user name) plus password are pretty prone to attack, however adding the entry of 2 or 3 letters from an addition security word does make them better. Of course if the authentication information is written down (which I suspect a lot of people do) then all bets are off.

The best I've come across is an on-line account number coupled by an access code that is generated by a small device from my bank card; you have to enter the PIN in order to generate the code, and the device is recorded and associated with my account. Therefore someone would have to get my on-line account number (which is different from my main bank account number), my bank card, my device and my PIN (which is never, ever written down - not even my wife knows it).

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Get outta here, officer, you don't need a warrant to track people by their phones – appeals court

alannorthhants
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Re: Can you keep a secret??

A far better approach is to leave your phone (switched on) at home. At least any attempt to use the phone location information would give you some plausible deniability.

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$10bn Oracle v Google copyright jury verdict: Google wins, Java APIs in Android are Fair Use

alannorthhants
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Re: Phew...

Not Samba. MS tried that with the EC and was handed its backside on a plate. They were forced to write documentation defining the protocols they use for SMB and AD, and to hand said documentation to the Samba developers (their first attempt, throwing the source code over the fence and saying "work it out for yourself, morons" did not go down well).

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alannorthhants
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Re: Phew...

... again

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alannorthhants
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Re: Google must have paid big bucks...

I disagree, Oracle is more like Typhoid Mary

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alannorthhants
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Re: @tekHedd - I haven't downvoted a post in a long time...

Instead of blaming the tool (Java) I think you should try directing your rage at the developer - Cisco. They may be fine at producing routers, switches and the like, but the (non-embedded) software they write is almost universally crap!

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

alannorthhants
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Re: January 1st?

That's because the Scots REALLY know who to celebrate News Years Day. One day to recover is not enough (and sometimes neither is two).

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Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th

alannorthhants
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Re: The Last of Us

Tried it on a new machine I had just built. Spent a few days on the disk, then was purged with extreme prejudice and replaced with OpenSUSE Linux. I could not believe how clunky the user interface was!

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Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition

alannorthhants
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Re: The marathon-couch-surfing champion in the Ecuadorian embassy

Bail breaches lasting many years with the breachee publicly taunting the UK courts is something that I suspect will result in a pretty bad loss of the judge's sense of humour.

Ecuador's unwelcome guest is likely to spend several months in the slammer followed by a pretty rapid deportation plus bonus cancelling of all UK visas.

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ExoMars works! 2 Mbit/s link established and camera snapping

alannorthhants
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Re: Those bits that are following it

But the craft has to slow down before reaching Mars, at which point those bits may become very important!

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Angry Vodafone customers spark Ofcom probe after phone bill overcharge snafu

alannorthhants
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Facepalm

Some times it seems that technology hates you

Wrong. Technology hates you all of the time. It just likes to wait until you are feel complacent before smacking you one.

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