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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1133 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Too rude for the road: DVLA hot list of banned numberplates

Dr. Mouse
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We're not stoning anyone...

... Even if they do say "Jehovah"!

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Pogoplug launches cloud sync'n'store service

Dr. Mouse
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Doesn't add up...

"Pogoplug Cloud is a Dropbox-style service: you get 5GB of online storage space for free, but you can expand that to 50GB or 100GB for $10 (£6) and $20 (£13) a month, respectively. That's what Dropbox charges, and is rather better value than Apple is offering with iCloud: £70 a year for 55GB."

50GB for £6 per mo = £1.44 per GB per year

55GB for £70 per yr = £1.27 per GB per year

So Apple's offering is actually better value (who'da thunk it?) if your figures are correct.

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Oracle gives Solaris 11 final spit and polish

Dr. Mouse
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"It will be interesting to see if Oracle can get Solaris 11 on a wide selection of x86-based servers, too."

Well, I know they need to validate it etc, but I have been running Solaris 11 Express on a converted desktop for a while now as a test bed, with no issues. I have to say I love it.

"If they open up a new opensolaris"

I have heard they will be releasing source after they release 11 in full, so it should give a boost to the Solaris-based systems (Nexenta etc.) and other ZFS implementations.

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Seagate flings twirling terabyte platters at world

Dr. Mouse
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I was about to reply telling you that you are wrong, but I just checked...

Blimey! 1TB HDDs could be had for sub-£50 not long ago, 2TB for £70ish, what the hell's going on?!?!

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Too many states are crushing net rights, says Foreign Sec

Dr. Mouse
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Censorship is Doubleplusungood.

Let us censor.

(doublethink at it's best, here)

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Earth escapes obliteration by comet

Dr. Mouse
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Depends which average... I suspect more than half are more stupid than the mean stupidity level.

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Samsung gets fast-track appeal on Tab injunction

Dr. Mouse
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Part of the problem, here...

is how long it takes to get to court.

Let us imagine a scenario where this case gets to court in mid-2012, and Samsung win. So what now? The products are worthless, having been superceeded by the next generation.

If they are going to have these patent battles for high tech devices which will be outdated in 6 months (max), get 'em into a court room pronto and decide, or don't allow an injunction till the case is done.

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Jobs: 'I'll spend my dying breath destroying Android'

Dr. Mouse
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Yes, it changed drastically from prototype stage to the final product... I've never seen that happen before!

You could argue that Apple "stole" their design from the WinMo phones HTC has been producing for years. In the end, IMHO, they are very different.

And I second the comment above about Apple copying Android's notification bar in iOS 5. But, in the end, such features do get passed around technology as it evolves. This doesn't mean they are copying, exactly.

And I would point out, too, the blatant copying Apple pulled in it's early days. Pot, meet Kettle.

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New RAM shunts data into flash in power cuts

Dr. Mouse
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@Robert E A Harvey

"boot-up time on the CAM system"

Everyone in the office now knows I am reading El'Reg instead of working, coz That made me burst out laughing! Love it!

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Dr. Mouse
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"Seems this would go a long way toward making instant-on-hardly-ever-need-to-reboot computers and devices a reality."

Only if either

a) Microsoft bucks it's ideas up, or

b) People switch to an OS which hardly ever needs a reboot

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Dr. Mouse
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The biggest advantage to Capacitors over Batteries is how quickly and efficiently they can charge and discharge. With a battery, if you discharge faster you don't get as much energy out, where as this isnt the case with a supercap*. They can also be charge very quickly.

Add the advantages above, and for short term power supply they are a very good option.

* I know this isn't technically the case, due to power losses from the higher current, but it is such a small effect compared to batteries as to make it negligible.

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HTC's iPhone, iPad ban bid derailed by US judge

Dr. Mouse
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I couldn't agree more.

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Apple's US bid to ban Samsung tabs hinges on design

Dr. Mouse
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@cloudgazer

Why not link a picture? Because I don't have one.

But you are right. The screen wasn't flush. It had a button or 2. It was grey, not black.

I am not saying you could not distinguish between them, just that they were of the same concept. All that's moved on is technology: It would have been much more difficult/expensive at that time to do a flush screen and thinner bezel, if it was even possible. If you looked at the PDAs & Smartphones of the time, they also had thick bezels. This does not stop them being pretty much the same, barring improvements which have come mostly from new technology.

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Dr. Mouse
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I beg to differ

This is only my oppinion, but...

I used a Tablet a fair while before the iPad came out. It was a Windows-based tablet. It had a screen in the middle, a border round the edge, and that's pretty much it.

OK, it was bigger, thicker, and not as "slick". But, hey, that's mainly technology improving.

Similarly, I used touch-screen smart phones and PDAs before the iPhone. These were, by and large, the same as the iPhone, but a bit more bulky (mainly, again, down to the technology)

IMHO, as with most Apple products, the iPhone and iPad (which is just a scaled up iPhone anyway) are derrivative in design from what came before.

Now I will admit that Samsung are treading close to the line which divides derrivative from blatant copying (and may have crossed it, I haven't actually seen the products in question), but I do think that those who say "Wow, Apple are SO innovative!" (as was said many times after Jobs' death) have selective memory. What Apple are good at is taking an existing concept and refining it, making it more usable for that average man on the street. I take nothing away from them for that, they do it very well, but that is it.

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Hadoop: A Linux even Microsoft likes

Dr. Mouse
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RE: What are the alternatives to AD?

Actually, there are several, but none are as easy for a mainly-Windows userbase.

In an environment which was not prodominantly Linux, I would not consider using an alternative. The alternatives are just not as good, in terms of ease of use and functionality, when used in a Windows environment.

I am, however, about to start evaluating Samba 4. I know it's only Alpha at the moment, but it should be a viable alternative once it is finished. However, this is only AD on Linux. The problem is, if you don't use MS's proprietary systems on Windows, you run into the sort of configuration Hell you used to get on Linux back-in-the-day, which just isn't worth the man-hours.

Run a pure Linux/Unix environment (or only a small number of Windows machines), and there are much better alternatives.

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Dr. Mouse
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RE: Real FOSS is licensed under GPL

Actually, I don't quite agree.

Real FOSS is Public Domain, where there are absolutely no restrictions on the use of the code, in part or in full. All rights are given up by the author.

The probelm is that this gets exploited, which is why FOSS licenses sprang up. These are less Free and Open than public domain, but protect the wishes of the author to keep the software as Free and Open as possible. Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of the GPL and use it myself, but to be truely Free and Open, there must be no restrictions on use or distibution of the code. GPL is a good approximation of Free and Open.

Only my 2p worth...

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BOFH: Where's my free fondleslab?

Dr. Mouse
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Coffee/keyboard

"As a punishment, we have kept all the free iPads and Alienwares for ourselves and given him none."

You owe me a new keyboard for that!

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Stallman: Android evil, Apple and Microsoft worse

Dr. Mouse
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No, you can't mix & match the licenses for the same piece of code. The code which is under the GPL must be kept under the GPL (unless the copyright holder agrees to relicense). This code must then be distributed once the binaries are distibuted to comply with the license. Strictly speaking, this includes the point when Google send it to their partners.

But the parts licensed under ASF do not have this requirement. So as long as they are distributing the code to the GPL-licensed components on distribution, there is no breach of the license.

I am not defending Google's (and the handset developers') actions, but this is how the licensing works.

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PayPal's 'delightful' intrusion into meatspace: You wish

Dr. Mouse
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"OMFG - don't let any of the big retailers even think about that! Hotel California Tesco style, you can pay (and pay, and pay...) but you can never leave"

I had an incident recently where that nearly happened. Went to the local supermarket just before closing. When I was leaving, they had locked the doors and had a guy standing there to open it for people to leave. Unfortunately, the key didn't work, and it took him 5 mins of jiggling to let me out!

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PayPal to move into the shop - without cards or NFC

Dr. Mouse
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About time!

Although I am naturally wary (Paypal seeming to be one of the most hackable transaction systems out there) it's about time they did this. If it's done right, and there's enough takeup (especially the scan&pay bit) this could seriously improve (i.e. speed up, the worst part of any shopping is the time it takes!) shopping.

I'll reserve judgement until I see it in action, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

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Hunt: We'll slightly inconvenience pirate sites

Dr. Mouse
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"Piracy can never be stopped, there will always be new innovations and ways to illegally distribute content. Why? Because there will always be demand for something for nothing... Politicians know better than to take piracy prevention seriously; they know there is no way to ever stop piracy."

Hasn't stopped them trying in other circumstances. For example, "drugs".

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Does Cameron dare ditch poor-bashing green energy?

Dr. Mouse
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Ideal vs. Real World

The problem is that, in an ideal world, we should be moving towards renewable sources of energy. They are the future, and will (when technology advances far enough) be cheaper than the alternatives. I think even the greens accept there will need to be something to augment them due to the variability of the most readily available renewable sources in this country, whether something to generate a base power requirement of an effective energy storage scheme, but I think most people accept they will be a big part of future energy production (hate that phrase, "energy conversion" is better but everyone seems to think we "make" energy...)

In the real world, however, I think most people realise that technology still isn't there. I have had conversations with those on low incomes. Fuel bills are crippling them, and have meant they can't afford to have the heating on. Instead the entire family huddles under a blanket on the couch of an evening. Surely this is unacceptable in this day and age!

Yes, I believe we should be partly subsidising the "renewable" industry at the moment, as we need it to advance to a commercially viable state. I do not, however, believe we should be deploying half as much as we are, nor should we be subsidising by increasing fuel costs. If the govt wants them subsidised, let them do so, from government coffers. They can increase income tax to cover it, if they must. At least then it is those who can afford to pay who caver the cost. As things stand, the poor are sufferring more than those who are better off.

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Apple ejects FT app from iTunes

Dr. Mouse
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"as HTML5 becomes the new, FREE app store"

And don't forget cross-platform. Suddenly, all these "Apps" become web pages, accessible from practically any device, rather than iPhone-exclusive and locked-in.

Seems like this will simplify things for developers...

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French letter shock: Tax us more, demand rich people

Dr. Mouse
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Flame

Or even...

you still feel the need to read it.

If you don't like what's written on the site, there are other publications you can read.

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CERN: 'Climate models will need to be substantially revised'

Dr. Mouse
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Just one point.

"are we supposed to believe that a rise in volcanism AND cloud-inducing cosmic rays has somehow caused global climate change at the same time as a massive rise in the human output of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, along with a sharp reduction in global forest cover?"

Correllation does not prove Causation.

I am still on the fence WRT CC, but saying things like this does not aid a logical argument.

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Google SHOCK! Snaps up Motorola phone biz for $12.5bn

Dr. Mouse
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Agree

I have only one problem with the Defy, that's the locked bootloader. However this gripe is from my geek side, for a consumer this would not matter.

Aside from that the Defy is well built and a solid all-round performer, with a great screen and enough oompf for most tasks. Add in the waterproof* element, and it's a fantastic phone.

* I have not tested the waterproofness of my phone, as I bought it "refurbished". It may not be after that, so I won't be dropping it in the bath on purpose, but I have handled it with wet hands and it has had a pint spilled over it with no consequences (for the phone... I had to buy another pint).

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Grow up, Google: You're threatening IT growth

Dr. Mouse
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Not so

"Patents are the death of growth. Not Google."

Nope.

Patents, when the system works as it was originally designed, promote growth and innovation.

The current patent system is the death of innovation. As pointed out in the article, it is failing. Patents are being actively used by large corporations to stifle innovation. This is the system's fault, and is not in keeping with the original purpose of patents. This was to get those who innovate and invent to publish what they have done while providing them protection from those who would copy their ideas.

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RFID drives the self-service pub

Dr. Mouse
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When is a title not a title?

"Pulling a pint of proper beer is, of course, more complicated. British beer doesn't lend itself to electronic measuring or pumping"

Actually, I could see an electronically measured hand-pump system being more simple to implement.

AFAIK most hand pumps draw 1/3 or 1/2 a pint per "pull". My own at home does half a pint, perfect for me considering it's just a short walk to the kitchen for a top up and I end up with less chance of wasting my delicious homebrew.

Therefore to measure the quantity, you just count the number of pulls. For a more accurate system, you could count the displacement, which should be proportional to the quantity dispensed. Much more simple than measuring lager flowing through a pipe (and more tasty).

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Vote now for the juiciest LOHAN backronym

Dr. Mouse
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WTF?

Why?!

Why are the most popular so far the 3 starting with "Low Orbit"? I doubt it will be entering orbit. If it's anything like PARIS it'll get very high, but not into orbit!

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PayPal teaches Androids to swap cash

Dr. Mouse
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Hmm

I've never had any problems giving my bank details (SC & Account#) to a friend for them to send me money. They are friends for a reason, plus you need a lot more than that to withdraw moneys...

And it's 419ers, not 409!

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Heat sink breakthrough threatens ventblockers

Dr. Mouse
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Very clever

I was sceptical at first, but reading comments above this looks to be an ingenius idea.

WRT "Several thousand RPM is going to sound like a jet engine"... Most PC fans I have come accross, at full speed, run at over a thousand RPM. Many of those on budget coolers or those which bundled come with CPUs run at 2-3k (I may be a little behind the times, but they did with the last one which came with a CPU I bought). I suspect that it will be able to be slowed, just like a standard fan, although probably not to the same extent (to maintain the air cushion). I guess it's something which would need investigating.

I can't beleive, though, the number of people who just seem to automatically poo-poo ideas like this. Whether they will work well in real life, or suit your specific needs, or will be economical to produce, they are interesting to read about.

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Dr. Mouse
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See the posts above...

about the thermal conductivity of the air gap.

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'Indestructible' rootkit enslaves 4.5m PCs in 3 months

Dr. Mouse
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More importantly...

...how does one go about DETECTING such an infection?

I you know it's there, you can always do something about it (even if it means reinstalling every single machine from scratch in a controlled manner). If you don't know there's a problem, you won't fix it.

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Galileo 'can deploy 24 satellites with existing funding'

Dr. Mouse
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Profits?

"Now build a spaceplane, lads, on the profits. (You are going to charge a licence fee, right?)"

I think with the amount of money spent on it so far, it will take many years before it returns a profit

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BOFH: CSI Haxploitation Cube Farm Apocalypse

Dr. Mouse
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Yes, suspend disbelief

But appart from that an accurate post.

I have to say, in spite of the obvious inaccuracies, I love CSI (Vegas, not the spin offs). Grissom is a great character, his integrity and dedication to scientific process is an example to all of us. I know they "spice it up" but it's a great programme.

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Dr. Mouse
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That's not as bad as...

when they print on an inkjet and it just spits the page straight out. Highly irritating!

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X-51A hydrocarb scramjet flames out in second test

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

Weapons are like socks.

You can NEVER have too many.

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Brit censor stamps on The Human Centipede

Dr. Mouse
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Yes

So THAT's where they got the idea for that.

Gotta love Cartman's line in it:

"It's a phone, it's and iPad, AND it craps in Kyle's mouth?!"

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Smart Fortwo Electric Drive e-car

Dr. Mouse
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QOTD

"That near silence can be a bit of an issue in car parks and built-up areas - the number of idiot pedestrians who stepped out in front of me over the course of a week beggared belief. Forget fitting electric cars with an audible means of approach, we need to start running these buffoons over in the interests of Darwinian selection."

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Antimatter hangs around at CERN

Dr. Mouse
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IIRC

One theory is that an anti-proton is actually a proton travelling backwards through time. When the two collide, it is actually the proton being "reflected" in the time dimension by collision with a photon, so it looks like the 2 are converted to photons.

I didn't read too much about it, so the details are fuzzy... and this was only one theory about them.

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Tesco pricing cock-up provokes beer stampede

Dr. Mouse
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Pun intended?

See title

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Oracle drops OpenOffice on Apache, shuns forkers

Dr. Mouse
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Up to a point

I agree that the majority of human kind is selfish, and will ultimately do things in their own interests. This is why capitalism "works", at least better than the implementations of the alternatives we have had so far.

However, the point of FOSS is not always altruism. In many case it is because it works, at least for the developers involved.

Let us say you need/want a specific feature in your office suite. Using a proprietry suite, you would have to request that feature from the supplier and hope they see enough commercial interest in developing it. Go to FOSS, and you can add it yourself, then make that feature available to the community. It is, in this case, a selfish motivation: you want it, so you make it. You get the benefit, but you also get the benefit of everyone elses contributions, and probably help from the community to ensure your contribution is up to the job (stable and works as expected). They will help improve it: not for altruistic reasons, but for their own benefit (even if it is just for their own ego).

And WRT votes: I'm not going to down vote you on the grounds that you WANT to be downvoted. See above resonse about sadist and masochist.

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Linguists use sounds to bypass Skype crypto

Dr. Mouse
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But with the constraint...

that it must be done and transmitted/received in near real time, which affects the possibilities quite drastically.

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Dr. Mouse
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"The human ear is good at separating that sort of thing out"

Maybe YOUR human ear... put background music in and I find hearing VERY difficult. (I am still unsure if this is to do with my hearing or my attention span...)

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Zuckerberg: Give me your children

Dr. Mouse
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True...

My cousin has just turned 13, and she's been on FB for at least a couple of years

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BOFH: Attack of the Global Corporate Overlords

Dr. Mouse
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Yes, people use it.

We were recently take over by a large, US-based multinational. They use Notes, we use Exhange. We have been fighting since the takeover NOT to use the damn thing, and even harder since our Exchange licenses came up for renewal. Much as I hate MS, anything is better than Notes!

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Reg ed rattles the Red-Headed League

Dr. Mouse
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Know your audience

"How 'bout not being nasty to anyone for anything unless they really deserve it?"

What about "know your audience" combined with "don't be so easily offended"?

I am a polite person, and I rarely upset anyone. I do, however, take the piss out of friends and aquaintances when I think they can take it.

I have, on occasion, got it wrong and offended someone. Often this is because I didn't realise something was a touchy subject for the person involved. Mostly, they laugh it off, realising there was no malice in what I said, and then let me know later (at which point I feel very guilty and appologise profusely). I have also been on the other end, and try to do the same.

When someone is doing it out of malice, it is a completely different story. Fortunately I have found that this rarely happens (except at school, of course). My response is still the same however: treat it as a joke if you can, no matter how hurtful, or ignore it if you can't laugh it off.

I am not a strong person, and know how hurtfull things can be. But friends will avoid touchy subjects when taking the piss, and why do you care about the others?

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Dr. Mouse
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Ginger's

"Ginger kids are born with a disease which causes very light skin, red hair, and freckles... This disease is called Gingervitus, and it occurs because ginger kids have no souls."

(South Park, great episode :D )

I also remember when one of my girlfriends mates dyed her hair ginger... my girlfriends response: "Why would you dye your hair ginger? It's like purposely making yourself ugly!"

Seriously, though, everyone takes the mick out of everyone else (at least here in the UK). It is banter. If you are offended, it shows more about your own insecurities than the oppinions of others.

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Welshman attempts to board train with pony

Dr. Mouse
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Captured on CCTV...

... which is probably computerised.

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Google won't open source fondleslab Android before 'year end'

Dr. Mouse
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"how does Mac use OSX which is based on Linux without opening the code?"

AFAIK OSX is loosely based on FreeBSD (correct me if I am wrong). The FreeBSD license is open to the point where you can just wholescale copy it into a comercial system and sell it, without telling anyone or openning the code.

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