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* Posts by JimmyPage

1461 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010

Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

JimmyPage
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False positive

As Jean Charles de Menezes [unwittingly] demonstrated, a false positive can be a lot worse than a little inconvenience.

And since nothing has changed, and no one held to account over that state execution, it *will* happen again. Maybe tomorrow, maybe in 20 years time.

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JimmyPage
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My first thought was ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertillonage#Forensics_and_criminology

which leads on to the salutatory story of Alfred Beck.

And todays conspiracy theory is that I seem unable to find a web resource which details his story. Basically he did five years in chokey, because he looked like a known fraudster. This was just before fingerprints, and did for Bertillonage in the UK.

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That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

Word order ?

From my recollection, Latin has no word order - you know what each word is doing by it's declension.

One of the first computer programs I wrote was in 1981, and it decline Latin verbs. (Apple BASIC string handling was cool).

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UK.gov's data grab and stab law IMMINENT as Drip drips through House of Lords

JimmyPage
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It's worth repeating ...

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.

Alexander Fraser Tytler (although disputed)

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JimmyPage
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In other news ...

The tories want to redefine human rights ...

Coincidence ?

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EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers

JimmyPage
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Long shot, I guess, but any chance

of getting a bare android phone, with no ****ing Facebook. Or Twitter. Or G+. Or any of the other battery/data draining apps that I don't need or want, and didn't ask for ?

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Ex-despot Noriega sues: How dare Call of Duty make me look like, like...

JimmyPage
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Now ?

hasn't it always been thus ?

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Don't put that duffel bag full of cash in the hotel room safe

JimmyPage
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Doesn't need to be Russia

last year there was a story that a bunch of thieves stole an entire Liverpool pavement.

linky

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German NSA probe chief mulls spy-busting typewriters

JimmyPage
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Going retro ... another idea

I wonder if going back to *really* old versions of software would have a similar effect. You know, *before* they were compromised.

Is it possible in the future I put Wordstar under CP/M back on my cv ?

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Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

JimmyPage
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Why should the Swedes come here ?

Their legal system doesn't allow for interviews to be held outside Sweden, which is fair enough. I would wager the UK system is the same.

Why should *Assange* get to make the rules ?

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British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles

JimmyPage
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Childcatcher

See ...

We *needed* those emergency powers ....

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

JimmyPage
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Re: I have a really excellent method for dreaming up passwords.

but the margins here will not permit you to write it down ?

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JimmyPage
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"Could agree what makes a good password"

How come, in this age of ISO, BSI, CE etc etc, no one seems to have devised an internet standard for the creation and handling of user authentication credentials in an organised, systematic way .

Because it seems every man+dog site has their own ideas, and implement accordingly.

Here's some starters for 10:

1) define a minimum password length

2) mandate the form (one letter, one number, one non-alpha)

3) mandate that passwords must be stored as hashes (because I *know* there are sites with a backend of passwords stored in plaintext)

4) mandate a password recovery mechanism with one alternate *not* involving email.

5) mandate a password refresh period and password retention policy (can't reuse the last <x> passwords).

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MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws

JimmyPage
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Re: Priceless

Actually, that's not a bad idea.

If enough people just added home.secretary@gov.uk to their emails, and (say) once a week dumped a log of their browsing history to a file and emailed that, plus a log of their phone calls (most mobile companies let you access it online) it wouldn't take long for something to break.

Obviously they'd try and prosecute under under some sort of harassment law, but they'd have to argue that they didn't need the data (as they had it already). There would also be the terrible niggle that somewhere in that mound of data there really was something of value.

It's such a good idea, I might contact my MP and ask if they can supply the correct email address.

After all, in these times of austerity, it's only right we should help save them some money.

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Phone charging log helps to convict murderer

JimmyPage
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@Russell Hancock

Also, just a thought that popped into my head - could it not have been a power cut that reset the charging flag? does it also record the fact that a physical "unplug" happened?

If the Oz legal system is anything like the UK one, the defence will have been given advance sight of the prosecutions case, plus any details of crucial evidence like this. It would then be up to the defence to accept, or dispute the evidence. Whilst they might be able to suggest alternative explanations for the evidence (in this case the fact the phone reported being "charged" at a certain time) they would also have to back it up with some proof - maybe a report from the power company ?

There are several alternative explanations beyond that. Faulty charger ? Faulty mechanical connection ? Faulty phone ?

The thing is these alternatives should also have occurred to the prosecution, and been eliminated *before* deciding to introduce it into evidence.

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Smashing, groovy, baby – yay, capitalism! Digital Ocean flogs Brit VMs

JimmyPage
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but still subject to US data laws

so what's the point ?

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UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill

JimmyPage
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Re: ""We cannot reject this legislation; it would be wrong to do so.""

with the Tories complaining about civil liberties .....

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Google's Pankhurst doodle doo-doo shows the perils of using Google to find stuff out

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

Wiki "inaccuracies"

Watching the excellent Richard Herring Leicester Square Theatre Podcast (or, as all the cool kids are calling it: "rhlstp") he was chatting with Dara O'Briain about Wiki inaccuracies, and it was suggested that *some* celebrities deliberately leave inaccuracies in Wikipedia, as it gives them a quick handle on the calibre of journalist they are dealing with.

On a similar theme, there used to be an story about Van Halen insisting on a bowl of M&Ms in their dressing room with the brown ones taken out. How we laughed at precious stars and their whims. Then one of the band confirmed it, but crucially explained it. Apparently the same rider gives instructions on setting up bits of kit and stage layout. After an near-fatal incident where some equipment wasn't properly secured, they inserted the "no brown M&Ms" clause at the end of the rider as a quick check that the rider had actually been read.

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Barclays Bank counter staff to become iPad-toting 'community bankers'

JimmyPage
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If it wasn't for ****ing cheques

I'd never need to go near a branch.

Last offender ? HMR ***inng C, who decided that my tax refund had to be a cheque. No asking how I'd like it. No choice of supplying a bank account and sort code.

Since MrsPage and I rarely if ever visit high streets (last time was 4 months ago), it's a matter of supreme inconvenience to have to deal with paying cheques in.

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Plus ca change ...

Back in the 90sm Barclays went all USian, with open plan banks, with one lone cashier behind a counter, and everyone else seated at desks. Looked very like US banks you see (or used to see) on TV. Of course they couldn't take money at the desk, nor dispense it. But as long as you wanted a new chequebook, or a chat about a loan, brilliant.

Little tip from the real world, by the way. If you need people to show you how to use the machines, then it's pretty much a conclusion that you've failed in making anything easier or better. Certainly as a customer.

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Amazon France routes around free shipping ban with €0.01 charge

JimmyPage
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+1 for Amazon CS here, too

In the 15 years since I started using Amazon, I can count on the fingers of one hand the problems I've had. And each one was dealt with promptly, courteously, and [IMHO] correctly.

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Beer in SPAAAACE! London Pride soars to 28,000m

JimmyPage
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Just love it ...

especially since it kinda suggests we need some sort of in depth analysis of beers at altitude ...

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UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention

JimmyPage
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upvoted for H.L. Mencken quote ..

"Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong."

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JimmyPage
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And once again ... signal to noise

none of our MPs have the faintest idea of the concept of signal to noise. What people should really be concerned about is by building up these <however many> petabytes a DAY, our security services are simply never going to find the real smoking gun. They may find loads of things which look like a smoking gun. But by the time they've realised it isn't (with a very negative outcome for the innocent who has been detained without trial for 28 days, lost their job, home, reputation, and has no redress from a state which will charge him for his rent and board whilst incarcerated) the real terrorists. The ones we *should* be scared of, will be skipping into the sunset, having bypassed all these measures by (a) faxing each other in Arabic, or (b) used VPNs and TOR where sensible.

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JimmyPage
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@Rich 11

I have already decided Green for me - despite the fact I disagree with almost all of their energy policy (something the big 3 have managed to fail at too ... looks like no party is going to build nuclear anyway, so I may as well vote Green).

None of the big 3 are getting my vote ... and since it's taken 30 years for me to feel this way, it's unlikely they ever will again.

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JimmyPage
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Re: Sunset clause

Depends what parliament looks like after 2015. I have a hunch that despite valiant efforts from Cameron, Clegg, and Miliband to pretend nothing has changed, they are commanding the tide to turn back.

The entire demographic of politics has shifted in ways unthinkable 30 years ago. The UK is no longer the easily partitioned LibLabCon landscape of days of yore.

I forsee coalitions as being a way of life. Remind me, who do I vote for if I don't want this shit ?

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JimmyPage
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Sunset clause

At least it has a sunset clause (as indeed ALL "emergency" legislation should).

Cameron won't be here in 2016 ....

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JimmyPage
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Headmaster

And todays word from history ...

Abwehr ...

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'Apple is TERRIFIED of women’s bodies and women’s pleasure' – fresh tech sex storm

JimmyPage
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Out of curiosity ...

How many synonyms does Rogers Profanisaurous give ...

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Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

JimmyPage
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@Return to Sender

They may have changed it now. But I can assure you, when I first got it (Jan 2013), you could not set the internal IP address to be anything other than 192.168.1.1 It let you put it in the fields. But when you tried to save it, it reverted to 192.168.1.1. Hence I returned it as unfit for purpose. This was before the fix which allowed you to put it into modem mode.

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JimmyPage
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Funny these outages happening

as some very serious allegations are flying around the net ....

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JimmyPage
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"Super" hub ?

When I first got one, I immediately went into the settings, to setup DHCP the way it needed to be.

Couldn't do it. It forces the IP address of the internal network - you can't change it[1].

Sent the POS back as not fit for purpose, and got a discount for the next year. Then they introduce modem mode, and I was able to use a grown-up router (D-LINK). My router dishes out DNS settings, and they ain't VM, which is probably why I had to read this article to realise there was an issue.

[1]Only in the *VM* version of the superhub. Like their TiVo service, you get a nobbled box.

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That 'wiped' Android phone you bought is stuffed with NAKED SELFIES – possibly

JimmyPage
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Re: Factory Reset

Will this really *wipe* the memory ? Or just like the old "quick format" trash the file allocation table ?

There were scare stories in the 80s of people who had recovered sensitive data from formatted HDDs - and floppies.

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Printed diode can slurp power from phone signals

JimmyPage
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Re: Clothing labels

If manufacture is as cheap as to be effectively "free", then durability is less of an issue.

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Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

JimmyPage
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Hang on a minute ...

from my memory of the law, for the offence to be complete, it has to be shown the defendant was *able* to break the crypto, and that a forgotten password would not lead to jail.

What made the cops so sure - after being provided with 50 possibilities - that the guy hadn't forgotten his password ?

Otherwise we're back to the situation posited when the law was first proposed. Just send someone an encrypted (or sufficiently non-random) email, then call the cops, say "child porn" and sit back.

What's David Camerons email address ?

e2a: Just read that he refused to hand over the keys. One wonders how bright his legal team were ?

My son (who left home a few months ago) called me up a few days ago, asking for the passcode I had set on his TV, when he was younger. No way could I remember, despite going through all the obvious ones I use. And this is just a 4 digit number. Imagine a randomly generated password ...

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It's finally happened: Bloke builds BOFH-style goofing-off cattle prod

JimmyPage
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"The Craigslist slapper experiment"

hard to think of a more concrete examples of two nations separated by the same language ....

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Samsung in Brazilian strip: Robbers snatch $6.3m in gear from plant

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Point ?

"smartphones, tablets, and computers"

All of which are useless without an internet connection. Presumably Samsung have the serial nos etc. I wonder if they can detect the devices going online.

Same with my TV, whose serial number is registered with LG. Anyone nicks my TV, they'll have to use it in dumb mode.

Yes, there's always going to be workarounds for the odd case. But a truckload ?

One thing the IoT is going to bring, is a lot harder to shift consumer electronics.

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Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally

JimmyPage
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Use your imagination ...

They can firewall out sites which don't comply. Or more likely, they can pass a law saying it's illegal to use a proscribed site - i.e. one which isn't hosted in Russia..

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JimmyPage
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Data ? Copy ?

How would you define either, in a modern distributed system ?

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NSA dragnet mostly slurped innocents' traffic

JimmyPage
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And for every false positive ...

the chances of a false negative *increase*. Not only are these asshats breaking the law, and pissing all over our privacy. They're also making themselves *less* likely to be able to protect us.

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Journal that published Facebook emoto-furtle study: Proper boffins get CONSENT

JimmyPage
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Childcatcher

A point raised yesterday ...

everyone is 100% certain that only *adults* were involved ? Because UK law (and the majority of US states law) tends to be very harsh on assuming consent in minors.

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UK Xmas 2014: Go to shops a normal human, walk out a glasshole

JimmyPage
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Is "needs internet connection"

the new "batteries not included"[1]

[1]Kids - ask your 'rents ...

(for using "'rents" ---->)

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UK mobile sales in the toilet: Down by FIVE MILLION this year

JimmyPage
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Holmes

From the Page household ..

My phone is a company supplied Lumia 620. Since it does all I want (and more, actually, the satnav/GPS is a bonus) I don't need a personal phone.

MrsPage has a 2 year old WildfireS. It does all she wants, expect the battery is starting to die a bit, and she'd prefer a bigger screen (as she has vision issues). So we'll be in the market, but not for anything fancy ... the MotoG is looking like the handset of choice.

What's more, I can't see myself *needing* a new phone anytime soon.

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AVG: We need laws to stop biz from tracking our kids

JimmyPage
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Two juggernauts colliding ...

It's a little like Alien vs. Predator ....

"The war on terror" hits "Think of the children"

Popcorn ...

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE DNS outage

JimmyPage
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HMG ????

Of course, nobbling DNS is the cheapest way to mask certain areas of the internet from the masses. So any issues with major ISPs DNS provision is suspicious.

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Remember the turbo button on PCs? New AWS instance has one for CPU burst

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Back in the 1980s ...

at out Polytechnic computer centre, we were "charged" to use the computer. Two key measures were "connect time" (how long you could be logged in) and "CPU time" (how much CPU you were allowed). These were weekly measures, so got reset every Monday. The idea was to ration a precious resource. As an incentive, if you put your job (in my case network simulations, and matrix-busting maths libraries) into a batch process, and ran it overnight, you weren't charged for CPU usage. (They tried to claim this was to encourage off-peak usage. The real reason was the batch process ran as a special user, and couldn't tell whose jobs it was running).

Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.

(A rider to this memory is as an old-school hacker, I discovered the process which managed the charging, and was able to write some code (in FORTRAN !) which sent it the appropriate message token to "reset" my - or anyone elses - usage figures. Happy days ....

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And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage

JimmyPage
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Cinematic telecast ....

Out of curiosity, I discovered the 20th July (Finale) cinecast was playing at my local cinema[1], so bagged a couple of (numbered) seats. 'Er indoors has never really been a big Python fan, but she appreciates how much money we've saved by not going to the O2 ;)

[1]I guess we can call them movie theatres now ?

Icon ? My hovercraft is full of eels -->

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BBC: Bumpkins, hobbits need fairer coverage

JimmyPage
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Re: Stewart Lee did some excellent stuff about the countryside on BBC2.

*I* upvoted you, leastways, although you may have gotten more downvotes if you started on visible otters.

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You need a list of specific unknowns we may encounter? Huh?

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

Anyone familiar with the Peter Principle

(the excellent book, not the dull sit-com) ?

In any organisation, people rise until they become incompetent, at which point they stop. Therefore in any organisation, the real work is being done by people who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.

I really cannot recommend this book enough. Despite being over 35 years old, it reads as if it were written today.

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JimmyPage
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Coffee/keyboard

@timo

thank you for that site, I have only just got enough breath back to type ...

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