* Posts by breakfast

872 posts • joined 24 May 2007

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EU VAT law could kill THOUSANDS of online businesses

breakfast
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Re: Sounds like time to shut down my online business

And if you have it sent by an automated email you are subject to the ruling, but if you email them manually you aren't. It's basically a maze of idiotically designed passages, all alike.

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breakfast
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Holmes

Re: Amazon is a seller of physical goods...

You are of course correct, but if Amazon were ever to start selling anything electronic, such as ebooks or music downloads, this law would probably catch them out.

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It's whiff, Jim, but not as we know it: Curiosity sniffs ORGANICS on Mars

breakfast
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Asking the wrong question

If only Bowie had thought to ask "are there guffs on Mars?" he would now have a clear answer.

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

breakfast
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WTF?

Re: "Sellafield is going to cost way more than the current £70 Billion alloted "

I scrolled past that several times and did a double-take each time because my brain was determined to read "Sellafield" as "Seinfeld".

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BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home

breakfast
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Everything Everywhere except signal in my phone

Thanks, but after hearing about this I won't be staying an EE customer for long. I would hope that this will be enough to push everyone else on the network out of their phone inertia too- the only reason I can imagine that anybody stays. I have been a BT customer and I will not be one again.

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

breakfast
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Coat

Re: So now the Hobbit is finished

Latin dog naming Rex things for everyone.

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breakfast
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I know that you mostly came here for MY opinion

I watched it on Friday and, as a somewhat uncritical fan of both Tolkien and Jackson's version of Middle Earth, I really enjoyed it.

Certainly more taut than it's two predecessors, with more storyline and less pointless running about, it pulled things together nicely and - in my view - retained a lot of the book while doing so.

A lot of people seem angry with these films for not being something that they could never possibly have been - the Hobbit is not the Lord Of The Rings and so the films are not going to be similar. They've done a fair job of taking that story into the more fully realised world of LOTR and made two enjoyable films - that probably shouldn't have been three - in the process.

The actors did a great job, the story was well told, the CGI battle scenes mostly made way for relevant character storytelling, from where the previous film started, this was pretty much an ideal ending.

Basically, if you found the previous films passable to enjoyable, you will probably like this one a little better. If you found them intolerable, then this really isn't for you.

So now that we have Tolkien out the way - and I really hope that we have - what are the odds of seeing some more recent fantasy get a cinematic treatment? Surely these films - and the GRR televisations - have shown that there is a market?

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breakfast
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Watching the behind-the-scenes documentaries for this, they actually went into the same kind of level of detail. They also did a lot of character background and some pretty cool live action stunt sequences, then inexplicably made it all look like CGI in post production. I have no idea why.

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breakfast
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Re: Coming Fall 2016

Michael Bay's The Silmarillion: Dawn of the First Age

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US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

breakfast
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If you've been looking into optical weapons for that long, either they're very ineffective or you're lucky to have kept your eyesight...

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

breakfast
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Boffin

Re: Hard on the eyes

I concur, not keen on the whole "not clear where the column of actual content begins and ends" thing- not only is there too much whitespace by a ridiculous amount, but it makes the content look ragged and untidy. The biggest thing I miss about the previous design is the colour outside of the content space. The old grey background worked well for me.

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Concerning Microsoft Azure Active Directory

breakfast
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Re: point out any big negatives

That is less than nine hours per year of downtime - come to think of it I think the big outage last month broke that - but the neat thing is that the agreements are set up so if they fail to meet that target you're going to be lucky to claw back fifty pence and a red button.

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Google kills CAPTCHAs: Are we human or are we spammer?

breakfast
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Re: Hmmmm...

...or do we?

http://parkorbird.flickr.com/

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breakfast
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Re: "Maybe what is needed is a combination of natural language processing and ethics"

You're right- this would kill PHBbb altogether...

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EE's not-spot-busting small cell trial delights Cumbrian villagers

breakfast
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Paris Hilton

Re: PIMBY

If ever a comment required a Paris icon...

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breakfast
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EE have heard of 4G?

When I ventured from not-very-yokel Surrey up to slightly-less-yokel London a few weeks ago I was amazed to see a symbol on my phone that looked like the number three followed by the letter 'G'. Although this mysterious sigil was something I had heard of, as an EE customer outside of the M25 I had never seen any evidence of its existence.

As the saying goes: "Everything Everywhere except for phone signal in your phone."

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One year on, Windows 8.1 hits milestone, nudges past XP

breakfast
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Holmes

Since you asked for a tale of how Windows 8 is terrible

The jarring mode-shifts and complete uselessness of the interface as sold ( as a mouse and keyboard user ) is a good starting point- if I have to install extra software to make a consumer operating system usable at all, that is not my problem, that is the OS Designers'. But that isn't all.

Originally with 8 it was very hard to shut down your computer- a three step process where it used to be one-step. All of these places where they make it more difficult to do things that every user needs to do on a routine basis, they are failing.

When I want to browse through images in a folder, Windows 8 jumps me to a full-screen ( or tile or whatever it is ) gallery application and after the initial image I have opened it just seems to pick at random from the pictures stored on my machine. It is massively unintuitive and means that this is another function for which I simply don't use Windows any more.

A few months after I set up the machine, I edited a couple of photographs and deleted the originals. For some reason Windows 8 interpreted "delete" to mean "Smear file contents across everything on the hard drive" and proceeded to wipe out half of my music library and cost me weeks of work. Call me old-fashioned but I consider manipulating files to be the primary purpose of an operating system. If it can't do that, then no amount of annoying interface tics is going to win me over.

The desktop search in Windows is very good, enough so that I use it a lot of the time. But in 8 it can be hard to know whether when you're looking for a way to change system configuration you are going to get bounced into a Tile Interface view or something useful.

The Windows Store- they obviously want to drive people there, but they have done a terrible job of making it useful and it is largely full of junk. I wouldn't buy from it, in fact I would go out of my way to avoid buying through it.

Compatibility is surprisingly poor - the other day I used a USB display adapter that caused the system to bluescreen at boot. Not Microsoft's fault, of course, but it all makes the operating system seem bad. If I have a new piece of hardware that doesn't appear to work in Windows, I can boot into Linux on the same machine and test it there. With Mint I find the hardware I add works first time every time, which used to be the case in Windows during previous versions. When the 8.1 update came in my wireless card started randomly dropping connectivity. It's an Intel card on a Windows system, which is about as mainstream as you can get, and they have hundreds of reports of the same problem for the same card. It's still marked on Microsoft and Intel's sites as "Compatible With Windows 8" even though this is self-evidently a lie.

All these things create cognitive friction. In almost all cases, when a user notices your operating system that is a bad thing, and I am constantly being reminded that I am using Windows 8 in a way that hasn't happened with any of the previous versions of Windows I have used.

Also, by way of comparison, I have found Mint to be smooth, easy to use and very reliable. If I had to choose between that and Windows 8.1 when setting up a computer for my mum, I would choose Mint.

I don't have a passionate dislike of Microsoft ( my day job involves using their development tools so I benefit from their work and understand their systems reasonably well ) but I have developed a passionate dislike of W8, even once I got a start-menu replacement installed and curbed it's most irritating excesses. Hopefully 10 will be a little less tiresome.

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Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber

breakfast
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Re: I'm pretty sure it won't cut your hand off

People joke, but look at the number of surviving Jedi in the original trilogy with prosthetic hands. The risks are clearly very high!

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Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring

breakfast
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A big surprise

"Surprised by hardness" is quite possibly a Spinal Tap album title contender.

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We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

breakfast
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Re: Mint 17 here

I have been surprised to find that on my dual-boot laptop, I use Mint to troubleshoot the hardware when Windows 8.1 won't play nicely with it. As yet the only thing that worked better under Windows is the SD card reader- everything else that has been problematic under Windows ( including external microphones and the wireless card ) work perfectly on Mint. Consequently it sees the vast majority of my usage on a daily basis, although when the alternative is Windows 8 being dragged face down through mud behind a donkey is a preferable option.

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MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

breakfast
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Paris Hilton

Was it terrorism?

If people go out of their way to identify and target members of the armed forces in an attack, is that not an act of war rather than terrorism?

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Two driverless cars stuffed with passengers are ABOUT TO CRASH - who should take the hit?

breakfast
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Re: re: en route for an “inevitable” head-on collision on a mountain road

I am now imagining two driverless cars doing a high-speed version of that thing where you try to get out of someone's way in a corridor and they do the same to you and before you know it you're just stuck, doing some kind of weird corridor dance, desperate to get to your destinations.

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breakfast
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Re: Dr GUI

He's probably a WIMP.

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Microsoft's Azure goes TITSUP PLANET-WIDE AGAIN in cloud FAIL

breakfast
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Re: Cloud down

Just remembered the perfect phrase for an Azure Outage that I saw from El Reg last time this happened:

Blue Sky Of Death.

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breakfast
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Re: Cloud down

A truly azure sky shows no trace of any cloud.

Apparently the same is true of a truly Azure datacentre.

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breakfast
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Mushroom

Status: Working perfectly

The important thing is that the Azure status page informs us that "Everything is running great" and as far as I can say that message hasn't changed at any point.

It comes across as a touch insincere, even just a tiny bit like they are taking the piss, when that is followed by a long list of problems, failures and outages.

Also I don't know how everyone else is getting on, but there still seem to be a lot of problems with it here.

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Microsoft .NET released from its Windows chains... but what ABOUT MONO?

breakfast
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Picking between devils

I have been doing a little dabbling in Java lately, for the first time in about ten years, and having worked with a bunch of different languages - including C# - since it just felt really old and clunky. Everything about it was like a clunky and awful version of something I have seen well implemented elsewhere.

I was interested to realise reading this that I trust Microsoft to manage .Net more than I trust Oracle to run Java. At least they pretend to care about developers.

If this new .Net allows decent cross-platform UI development that doesn't look horrible on any platform then it might be quite convenient, though I suspect the days of the native UI are coming to a close.

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GIANT sunspot returns, bigger and belchier than ever before

breakfast
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Luckily we now know that an enormous number of trees will appear overnight to protect us should any solar storm strike the earth, in a discovery that has been widely hailed as "ridiculous" and "totally implausible" by the scientific community and fans of Doctor Who.

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'Scope boffins get INSIDE URANUS after snapping mystery spots

breakfast
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Re: Ye gods...

It really should have got tired, but inexplicably it got funnier instead, in vintage repeated-innuendo style.

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breakfast
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Re: Old News...

So a couple of pros with an enormous mirror can see Uranus through Keck's?

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Philae healthier... beams CHEESE: Proud ESA shows off FIRST COMET SURFACE PIC

breakfast
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This comet is billions of years old and colour wasn't really invented until the middle of the twentieth century.

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Microsoft to bring back beloved 1990s super-hit BATTLETOADS!?*

breakfast
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Re: Back in the mists of time

Minecraft is doomed because of a future Battletoads or Minecraft is doomed because Microsoft are going to do the same thing to Mojang that they did to Rare?

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breakfast
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Talk of spawning sequels has rarely been more apt.

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WHITE HOUSE network DOWN: Nation-sponsored attack likely

breakfast
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Good job, that Ally

So just to be absolutely clear, the US Government is perpetrating constant surveillance against everyone inside and outside the USA at all times, and yet they had to be notified by an Ally of attacks against the Whitehouse???

Has anyone got some palms large enough for the huge faces on Mount Rushmore?

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Caption this: CERN needs pic tags. Serious answers only, kids

breakfast
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Happy

Pictorial physics conjecture

I don't know what the object in the last picture is, but I do know how big it is. Surely that should be enough for the quantum physicists at least.

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HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist

breakfast
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Re: New meaning for the phrase "pinpointing the date"

Megalodon never could get the hang of Tuesdays.

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UNCHAINING DEMONS which might DESTROY HUMANITY: Musk on AI

breakfast
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Re: I'm not worried

I suspect there are some quite fancy quantum computation effects going on in the brain as well, I wouldn't be surprised if those took a while to suss out too.

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breakfast
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Re: I'm not worried

The problem that researchers are facing now is certainly philosophical more than technical. People always underestimate philosophy until they start running into it's harder problems.

In the long run I think Strong AI probably both can and will be developed, although it will take a long time and the nature of that intelligence will probably be incomprehensible to us. There is a good chance that the consequence will be some kind of mayhem.

If we want it to be anything like us, AI researchers need to be placing their work in the physical world and giving it access to the sense data that we build our understanding from. Then at least we will have some common experience to build communication up from.

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Weekend reads: Russell Brand's Revolution and Joy Division's Ian Curtis gets lyrical

breakfast
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Joke

Re: Published words/censored standards?

Had you not noticed that the Reg always censors c**t? I mean, I get that they prefer motorised transport, but actively censoring "c**t" really is putting the c**t before the horse.

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Boffins want to put Quanta in containers, after docking

breakfast
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Holmes

Re: Making a qbit at home

Of course the important thing about making quantum computer components is that you must not observe them in any way either during or after the process.

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LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved

breakfast
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Easily explained

It seems likely these evolved as part of an evolutionary arms race.

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Computer misuse: Brits could face LIFE IN PRISON for serious hacking offences

breakfast
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Re: Am I a criminal?

"And this year's Nobel prize for hairdressing goes to..."

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Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...

breakfast
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Why is everyone so down on Google Plus these days?

It's great to log in to G+ when you want some peace and quiet. Just you and the tumbleweed rolling past in the howling wind, that bell tolling in the distance...

Actually the more I see of the kind of bullshit that goes down on Twitter with all the hate groups and whathaveyou, the more I start to think that Google may just have to wait until other social networks shoot themselves in the foot once too often and it's community-of-communities approach may just win out.

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Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST

breakfast
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Coat

Re: Pebble still seems the best

Unusual to see a comment on the Reg advocating windows.

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Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody

breakfast
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Meh

Re: Overrated

I haven't read outside the Malazan series, but I don't think his intention with those was to create a cohesive narrative- it was a tapestry of stories that pretty much managed to keep me interested throughout. Very much ideas-fiction, rather than story oriented, though. Perhaps like some sci-fi in that respect.

Although I enjoyed them, I haven't been driven to pick up any of his other work. Given that this one seems to be a distillation of his most irritating qualities, I guess I won't be getting this either.

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Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy

breakfast
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I think I remember the film

Now every day they can enjoy breakfast at Tiffany's.

A little like me walking past the busker with the severely limited repertoire on my way into the office.

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Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function

breakfast
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Unswayed

It may be a new office tool, but it's not exactly a Wave is it?

Hopefully it will prove to have a shorter shelf life.

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

breakfast
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The thing about everything over IP is that it anticipates that you have strong IP connectivity at all times, which cannot be assumed among us yokels. Everything Everywhere does not include phone signal in my phone. They should probably rebrand to "some things in some places" if they care about accuracy for anybody more than six miles outside London.

Of course, DAB isn't great for anybody on the move but I had a phone with an FM receiver which I used a lot, I will certainly keep an eye out for that as a feature next time I'm shopping for one.

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White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

breakfast
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Worstall Bingo

The important thing with a Tim Worstall article is to see how long it takes for any given topic to find its way to metals from the more obscure corners of the periodic table. Extra points if they are Rare Earth elements.

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'Bill Gates swallowing bike on a beach' is ideal password say boffins

breakfast
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"Old Woman killed by little glass planet."

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