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* Posts by irrelevant

84 posts • joined 30 Mar 2010

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Is this possibly the worst broadband in the world?

irrelevant

Re: But...

The other issue is that 56K modems only ever managed to reach speed that if you were within spitting distance of the exchange. Line lengths and db losses made just as much difference to them, too. I was our resident modem guy, so got to meet lots at various clients, and never saw one hit over 48K - most of the time they would train at 33.6, or less, and that was in an urban environment. I would imagine the OP would get a lot less.

(Here in inner-city Salford, ADSL wise, I got 5-6 Mbps a mile or so from the exchange. FTTC now gives me a slightly rocky 30Mbps... 100 yards or so from the cabinet as the crow flies, but apparently the 100 pair cable takes a meandering route around the estate before it gets as far as us.. )

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The hoarder's dilemma, or 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

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Happy

Boxes...

Oh I'm definitely a hoarder...

I had to empty the attic a while back, so that the joists can be checked. The spare room now has ~40 cardboard boxes, ~20 plastic crates, and god knows how much loose stuff piled up in it. And that's just the stuff that had made it to the attic. Lots of viewdata kit, BBC Micros, and other Acorn related stuff, but plenty of DIY bits too - everything from light switches to an electric shower...

But it works, too... It seems that I'm now the leading expert on Prestel, (www.viewdata.org.uk) with a more comprehensive collection of documentation and items than anybody else, mostly stuff I've just not thrown away over the last 30 years! All I need to find now is the server-side stuff and I'll be happy.

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Mega spam-spewing Grum botnet finally KO'd

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Volume...

I hope it's this lot that's been sending spam with a /from/ address of one of my emails for the last year or so... Month-to-date alone I've had around 1,300 "Undeliverable" messages land in my mailbox... god knows how many more got through, but it's enough to actually cost /me/ money, due to the sheer volume of DNS lookups it creates bumping me off the free DNS tariff I was using. I am well p***ed off with it.

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Small banking Trojan poses major risk

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redacted

Well one of the hosts is visible in the image on the linked writeup - in the hex-dump, they masked out the ASCII, but left the hex version visible - so that's one down...

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RIP Ceefax: Digital switchover kills off last teletext service

irrelevant

Re: BBC Micro program

Pretty sure I've got copies of SEAFAX kicking about. I'll post a copy somewhere and put a note on the BBC Micro mailing list.

Harking back to Oracle, has everybody seen

http://www.teletext.org.uk/index.php?cat=30_Archived-nbsp~Pages&page=20_Oracle-nbsp~1992

But of course, my fondest memories are of Prestel - same display format, but delivered via the telephone, and thus able to be totally interactive!

http://www.viewdata.org.uk/index.php?cat=15_Prestel

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The BBC Micro turns 30

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Prestel

I remember Prestel - in fact, I've got a whole website devoted to it and it's ilk. Come reminisce over at www.viewdata.org.uk :-)

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Diebold demos cloud-based ATM

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Reliability

Yep, been a while since I saw a blue-screen on an ATM (and I really did..) but hardware failures seem common.

What seem particularly unreliable at the moment are self-service tills in supermarkets - the one next to me yesterday had a window desktop, a DOS-type window saying "this launches something-or-other", a "terminal" window with "Welcome to ASDA" in it, and a pop-up error message box advising it couldn't communicate with the scanner. Looked terribly bodged-together to me!

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Sky makes iPad trolley for square-eyed shoppers

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byebye

Local Sainsburys offered mini trollies for the kiddies to push themselves, about 15 years ago. Even with stupid big poles on the top to make getting them outside tricky, they lost the lot within a couple of weeks. I can see these lasting considerably less time..

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Ultra-cheap HP TouchPads to hit UK at 6pm

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gone

Saw this last night, and DSG webstores were all showing out of stock. Phoned round all the local stores this morning, and nothing available. Nobody had to go away and check... "They're Rocking horse shit" said one store.. Shame; the Mrs was interested in one to play with..

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Videotree VideoSpa bathroom TV

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Wall 'em in

I've seen bog standard TVs being used before now behind sheets of glass in, erm, the gents in various places before now. I'm sure that must be much easier, and cheaper.

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News Corp kills BSkyB bid amid 'difficult climate'

irrelevant

Been there, done that.

We did... but they all gobbled each other up until there was no competition left.

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Moderatrix kisses the Reg goodbye

irrelevant

best wishes

I never had the (mis)fortune to exchange banter with you, but always enjoyed your comments. You brought a very human touch to the place. I'll miss you.

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Groupon India publishes 300,000 user passwords

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FAIL

md5?

google filetype:sql e10adc3949ba59abbe56e057f20f883e

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Google confirms US antitrust probe

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Asda price

I've had plenty of vouchers off the asda price guarantee site. I'm happy that they honour their promise. However, it only applies to the total of the (comparable) shop, not each item, which means some items in your basket can be more expensive and they can still stand by it being 10% cheaper if the cheaper items are cheap enough..

What I also like is the £2 vouchers they give you if they make a mistake on your bill, even if you usually have to ask for them...

Now Sainsburys' "we check our prices against Tesco" labels that they put on the shelf edge to make out they are the same price (do they think we think Tesco is cheap?) ... they seem to get annoyed when I correct them with the actual Tesco prices...

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Number-crunching in the Cloud

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Spreadsheets

Ah yes ... some 15 years ago I was involved in putting in a EPOS system for a batch of local authority leisure centres. One of the key things it had to produce at each centre was a finance statement to be sent up to the head office. We had the specification, and past examples that the centres had produced using spreadsheets, but couldn't tie the two together. And when we populated our system with duplicate data, our report just didn't match their manual one.

In the end we asked the staff outright how they produced theirs. "Oh we just fiddle with the figures until it looks right."

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Kindle Store awash with auto-generated crap 'books'

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Seen that.

I came across a fairly expensive book on Amazon when looking for old viewdata/Prestel publications. The list of chapters was diverse and unconnected, but the couple of paragraphs of sample content matched exactly the wikipedia articles, and the pertinent chapter was the very article I'd contributed much to myself!!

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A sysadmin's top ten tales of woe

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AirCon

Ah yes ... aircon drip trays sited directly above the brand new IT room, raining down into the cupboard with the power distribution racks in it. Major player in the mobile phone retail sector, mid 90s. I was on-site at the time, too..

Same place, year or two earlier, I was dragged out of bed because their tech had done an rm -r in exactly the wrong folder ... at least he'd phoned his boss before bolting. We arrived to find the place empty and barely even locked up.

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Reg hack cast adrift as Illuminati Online goes off-line

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Apps

My first email address came with my first internet access account almost 20 years ago! £10/month for dial-up to a local POP, that had a mere 16 lines available. The line of takeovers is long - goto www.nwnet.co.uk these days and see how many company names you can find before you end up at TalkTalk ! I stopped paying long ago, but that email address still works, and I collect mail from it to this day.

by 1995, I was using a .ml.org subdomain (anybody remember them?) for self-hosted services due to a very early cable-modem trial service giving me unfettered internet access. When they went bump, I bought my own domain in 1996, which became my primary email and web address, and despite being passed about between several registrars, DNS hosts, countless webhosts, and revisiting self-hosting, I'm currently using Google Apps for email (but not web);

Email is about the only contact method that has remained unchanged for me for 20 years!

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Dynamic ninjas kill off free DNS service

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Unhappy

Free for life?

from Dyn Inc. sendlabs@dyn.com

date 3 February 2010 20:52

subject What's Next for EveryDNS Users

"First off, anyone who has donated to David and EveryDNS since 2001 will be grandfathered into free Custom DNS hosting with DynDNS.com. Back in 2001 we made an announcement to our 19,000 free Custom DNS users that they would have service for life because of their early adopter loyalty. We promise to honor that same commitment to you. Have no fear."

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Rackspace backtracks over toff-proof sign-up process

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punctuation

I've got an apostrophe in my surname too. It causes no end of problems, but does sometimes throw up interesting SQL errors.. What irritates me, though, is the sites that automatically de-capitalise the letter after the apostrophe. If I take the trouble to type in mixed case, please keep it like that!

Worst incident was when O2 upgraded their website - old version was quite happy with me. New version crashed with lots of errors as soon as I logged in.. it took months before they fixed it - by creating me a new login and misspelling my name - and I could get into my bills again.

My young daughter has a first name with a hyphen in it, as well as the apostrophe in the surname. I can foresee many interesting times ahead with websites...

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Launcher Pro

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Yups

Have to say, I'm not a big bells-and-whistles fan, but I put this on my X10MiniPro a while back following a recommendation somewhere (probably another Reg article, or it's comments) and have been blown away. Much better than the stock launcher, which was limited to 4 icons & 1 widget on the home screen. I've still not explored all it's features, but its made the phone a much more pleasant device.

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Sony wins subpoenas revealing visitors to PS3 jailbreaker site

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Hmm

I think I might have visited his site; I know I looked at the fail0verflow one when the news broke. And there IS a PS3 in the house that shares the same internet connections. It's my lad's, and is completely untouched. Heck, he even buys things off PSN. If Sony try and allege anything against us, I'll fight it tooth and nail!

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Humanity's stored data measured in CDs to the Moon

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I had one 30 years ago

Interesting ... Not got figures for 1986, but a year later the entire content from the principle UK national on-line information service, would have taken up 330Mb, or about half one one CD-ROM...

http://www.viewdata.org.uk/index.php?cat=15_Prestel&page=51_General-nbsp~Images&zoom=13#zoom

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Vodafone squeezes internet into TV

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FAIL

STBs

It's been tried for longer than that...

http://www.viewdata.org.uk/index.php?cat=15_Prestel&page=91_1982

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Starbucks' iPhone barcode app easily scammed by screengrab

irrelevant

static code?

Surely, if all the bar code is is the customer account number, you don't even need to faff about with a screen grab from the victim's phone - you just need the number that the barcode translates to. If you can find that number, you can generate your own barcode, paste it into an image of the app, and present that. You wouldn't need the source phone..

To grab somebody else's number you would only need to be able to see the victim's barcode for long enough to, say, take a photograph - if you are ready with a camera (or another phone!!) you may only need a second or two while stood behind them in the queue... pay for your coffee that time, go home, extract the barcode from the photo, read it yourself to get the account number, etc., etc..

Now if only I dared be seen visiting a Starbucks..

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Bold as brass metal thieves disrupt rail, comms, electric

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dealers?

There really needs to be tighter penalties for the dealers that accept this stuff. The only case I have heard of one actually being prosecuted is this one:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-11487666

(paid £61 for £15,000 of stolen brass band instruments!)

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WTF is... wireless HDMI?

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Indeed

Our big telly sports three HDMI inputs, but the AV Amp only switches component video. However the TV has a optical audio output that I've fed back to the amp, and that actually works quite nicely. I have far less issues with audio sync than when I used to have the amp connected direct to the Sky HD box.

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Utilitybidder gets disconnected by developer

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legals

On the other hand, it IS possible to win cases by yourselves... As LIPs we recently won our case against a builder that did shoddy work for us, and were granted all our money back (substantially more than £5K) despite it being bounced up to the Technology and Construction Court.

Of course, actually getting the money out of an individual is proving to be somewhat more trying ....

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Open sourcerers port media centre to iOS

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1080p

I love XBMC, at least in it's XBOX version - I've got it installed on four of them around the house, indeed, that's all they were bought to run! Would love to have some cheap, quiet, hardware that would allow me to pay 1080p vids, though. (The original Xbox just isn't up to that!) I've a suspicion that anything apple would not fall into the "cheap" category though..

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COBOL drinks from cloudy fountain of youth

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Fujitsu

Ah yes - I've still got some pre-release demo discs for the Fujitsu version somewhere, from maybe 1999. Most of my employed-programming has been in COBOL, albeit a different version again (BOS). I've been out of that game for a few years now, but for business applications, you really do need code that adds in decimal, not binary. (Remind me again what 1*(.5-.4-.1) equates to....)

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ASA goes online to swing stick at new media advertisers

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toothless and useless

And even the CAP is useless - the ASA have definitely been known to disagree with their interpretation and find against an advertiser after the CAP approved the ad!

"The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form." ...

Anyway, the ASA already police ads on websites and suchlike.. What's new here?

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BBC kills off WML site

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Memories

Ah ... Remember Oracle? Some memories over at www.teletext.org.uk , and if you really want to go back in time to see what preceded the Internet and could have been huge, had BT not bottled it. - www.viewdata.org.uk :-)

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Google battles Derby cops over access to Street View data

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held on?

It's also possible that Google were alerted to the possibility of this picture being needed before it was routinely deleted, so they retained a copy in the expectation of an official request (i.e. a court order) being received in due course. Pretty standard procedure in other industries.. one does not want to be accused of destroying evidence, after all..

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Groupon cops triple slam from ads authority, blames newbies

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read 'em

I read pretty much all the ASA adjudications - got them on RSS. They make for entertaining reading at times. Unfortunately, all it proves is that the ASA is really quite toothless - the most they seem to be able to do is to tell the offending organisation not to do it again. Compare, say, to Phonepayplus whom regularly fine companies many thousands of pounds.

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BT fibre-up-your-exchange poll in 6-way Mugabe style pileup

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Stuffing?

I voted for my exchange right at the start, as my "up to 20Mbps" connection runs at a sluggish 5mpbs and we don't have cable here, all despite being in an inner-city area. So far, it's languishing at barely over 1% support...

I guess all I need is a phone book and a lot of time and I could enter a few more votes...

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Standard smartphone charger to dominate in two years

irrelevant

+1

I plug my micro-USB phone into charge every night in the dark without issue - I even get it the right way around the majority of the time. Much easier than plugging in the N95 I used to have where it was a hunt for the teensy little hole every time, and which used to fall out again if you so much as looked at it ...

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Default judgement FAIL: ACS:Law muffs up in court

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Happy

Sheesh

I especially liked this bit: "It will be apparent that the claim has a number of unusual features, leaving aside the nature of the films themselves:" - a judge with a sense of humour! :-)

But seriously, as a lay person whom has actually taken someone to court myself, and won, the procedures aren't THAT difficult, and HMCS provide plenty of helpful and clearly written guides to assist. I'd have thought even the most junior solicitor would have been able to cope.

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Google Voice brings expectation management to Santa 2.0

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Eeks

Well, to me it sounds exactly like the sort of overly friendly weirdo that you really really want to keep your kids as far away as possible from... Maybe it's just the American accent, I dunno..

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Supermarket techie in mega loyalty-point blag

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pennies

Nectar points are worth about 0.5p. So your 70,000 points are worth about £350 - hardly enough to risk losing a job over, especially as every receipt it's done on will get a nice running-total printed on the end of it to alert the customers.

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The Mac that saved Apple (and Steve Jobs)

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PC

Ah, I remember when they were new walking around Makro (a wholesaler for traders) and seeing a display of these new "Apple PCs" ..!

Co-incidentally, as of a few days ago, there was one of these in the window of the local cash converters, up for peanuts! I'm tempted to get it, just to play and see what the fuss was about..

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Virgin skins up Tivo box

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Pretty

Makes my ailing TiVos' UI look positively antique, yet is strangely familiar too. If we were in a cabled area, I'd definitely go for this. Nothing has yet matched the functionality of TiVo's interface.

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Ofcom mulls popular number charge

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changes

<pedant> 01 -> 071 & 081 -> 0171 & 0181 -> 020 </pedant>

London's 01 was "lost" because of long term plans to add the "1" digit to the front of *every* landline , and other digits for other types of number, so London had to change in the meantime. It was given two codes because numbers were already running out. Now they are back to one code, 020. It couldn't happen all at once otherwise we'd have been getting a LOT or wrong numbers being dialled!

Now we have different prefixes for different uses it's possible to tell, at a glance, what a given number is, and (to a certain extent) how much it costs. Previously, would you have been able to tell which of 0500 0625 and 0468 were the cheapest and most expensive?

With the exception of the areas that moved to 02x numbers, none of that actually increased the quantity of numbers available within an area code, it just made it easier to add more services and more area codes (particularly for 07 mobile numbers)

Originally 03 was to be used for more area codes, but it ended up being used for UK-Wide numbers. Maybe it should have been.

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irrelevant

Corporate numbers

already exist, in the 05 number range. Look up phone numbers for Abbey branches sometime. Unfortunately, Ofcom made it so hard for companies to get them, hardly any bothered.

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My lost Cobol years: Integrating legacy management

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In demand

I had a call just the other day from an agency I'd lodged a CV with almost ten years ago, asking if I'd be interested in a SpeedBase (an obscure COBOL derivative) position. Given I'd not coded full-time in it since about 1996, or in it at all in the last six years, they must have been scraping the barrel a bit to have called me. Pity it wasn't nearer, or on a basis I could have considered it.

(Maybe I should dig up a dev system and polish my skills again..)

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Google sued for scanning emails of non-Gmail users

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FAIL

pop

If you use gmail but fetch your email from them via POP3 or IMAP to a local mail programme, you don't see the adverts. They are not, therefore, added *to* the message itself.

It is only at the point of reading an email via the webmail interface that adverts are displayed alongside the email.

It is therefore, in my opinion, the recipient's direct action, both by choosing to use the webmail in the first place, and by picking that email to view, that they are giving google implicit permission to analyse the message chosen and display targeted ads alongside it. Up until that point, google never looked at the message.

The guy is a troll.

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Windows hits 25

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Me

Ah, Windows Me. The Vista of the 1990s ... Hated by everybody... No wonder XP had such a take-up. Mind you, Windows 2000 was pretty decent.

As for Windows 7 ... What the hell have they done with Explorer? If you are used to running detailed view and navigating with keypresses, it's a nightmare. Many of the shortcuts have gone, information has been removed from the status bar, and changing folders doesn't refresh the contents pane. I've been running Win7 for six months now, and I still hate it...

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US may disable all in-car mobile phones

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average

Conversely, I just love the fact that most of the world's population possess *more* than the average(mean) number of limbs, thanks to there being people with missing limbs driving the figure down..

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics "...

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Panasonic pitches monster 3D plasma TV at monster price

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parcelfarce

Oh they'll just fold it in half.

(Mind you, even the specialist companies have issues - I received a 50" plasma back from repair a while back .. completely smashed..)

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ASA rules 'Bare T*Ts Project' ad offensive

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Paris Hilton

Tease Me

Rather than ASA adjuduications, you want to be reading the Ofcom Broadcast Bulletins.. The various Tease Me channels have featured in almost every one recently due to excessive rudeness in the programmes - I'm hardly surprised that the ads are getting in trouble too. (And if anybody wants some almost-SFW free titillation, the bulletins go into graphic detail about what was being said and done one-screen - if you boss complains, you can say "hey look, it's an official Ofcom document!"...)

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E Ink unwraps colour e-paper reader

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How big can it go??

Forget photo frames, I'd like some digital wallpaper - change the design whenever I feel like it ...

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