* Posts by alain williams

888 posts • joined 29 May 2007

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Sage advice: Avoid the Windows 10 Anniversary Update – it knackers our accounting app

alain williams
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Re: "operating system updates end up disabling the framework"

Its upto each developer to test compatibility with the hosting platform/underlying OS, hence this is Sage's responsibility.

But there is also a responsibility of the OS developer to not break backwards compatibility. With MS this is doubly important since users cannot stop updates from being installed.

MS do not provide ISV early bird reviews of their updates which might allow them to test and identify problems; the best that ISVs can do is, like everyone else, scrabble around to find a fix after an MS update unexpectedly breaks working software.

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Cosmology is safe and the Universe is one giant version of the Barbican

alain williams
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1 in 121,000

Hmmmm, not quite the 1 in 3.5 million (5 sigma) that is used by the boys at CERN.

Still: much better evidence than the myths about the universe that some people try to get me to accept.

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Naked, drunken Swede assaults chicken shed after 60th birthday

alain williams
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When in court ...

how did he explain what he did to the chickens to the beak ...

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Online scammers speed up: Hit gold every 15 seconds

alain williams
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£3 out of £10 not noticed by banks

Katy Worobec said: “Last year, banks stopped £7 in £10 of attempted fraud from happening." That makes it sound reasonably effective, if she had said “Last year, banks failed to stop £3 in £10 of attempted fraud from happening." then people would rightly be much more worried.

Why is the director of the organisation that is supposed to fight financial fraud trying to make it sound as if the problem is being addressed -- when it is not ? Does she really care or is she taking pressure from the banks to make things sound good ?

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Emacs and Vim both release first new updates in years

alain williams
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Trouble with sublime is that is a GUI application. When I am programming I don't want to worry about finding where the mouse is; I can touch type but cannot touch mouse.

The editors that I use are CHUI (CHaracter UI or curses) based. This means that they also work nicely over a slow ssh connection.

Which editor: microemacs.

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Great British Block-Off: GCHQ floats plan to share its DNS filters

alain williams
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Re: Toxic reputation

I thought that, but it would be a shame to not take advantage of the huge amounts of tax-payer money that they soak up; also we do have to recognise that they do have expertise. However: there is that smell about them, how far to trust them?

The best way of dispelling a smell is lots of fresh air. So if what they released was Open Source and could be readily checked - then we have a chance of keeping them honest.

I would be cautious, but I would like to talk to them further.

I would also like to see them putting effort into dealing with some of the problems that many of us have, eg cold calling scams. Lots of small sums add up to a lot - in total more than the bigger issues that GCHQ is tasked to deal with.

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

alain williams
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Google is copying Microsoft

Baking spyware into its products and making it impossible to switch off.

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Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software

alain williams
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However most people doing that would more likely have just built the PC themselves anyway.

Not if you wanted a laptop. A desktop PC I can build myself, but not a laptop.

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UK will be 'cut off' from 'full intelligence picture' after Brexit – Europol strategy man

alain williams
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Yet more Brexit nonsense

If it is seen as important by the politicians then it will be possible; there would need to be agreements about things like data protection and funding of services. Until negotiations have happened we just don't know if UK politicians still want to be part of it and their EU counterparts want us to work with them.

I suspect hidden agendas in pronouncements such as this that we have seen from many organisations.

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Publishing military officers' names 'creates Islamic State hitlist'

alain williams
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Let's add to the hit list ...

We all know that ISIS staff don't know how to use google. So I had better help them:

List of MPs

List of judges

List of UK Royal Family

List of Mayors

I must stop - the noise from the descending black helicopter is making it hard to think.

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EU will force telcos to offer 90 days of 'roam like home' contracts

alain williams
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Brexit means Brexit ...

Leaving does not mean that we then ditch all EU regulations. Some we will (re)adopt as part of UK law. So, it is quite possible that this roaming regulation will be adopted by the UK government.

However: with an eye on post Parliament directorships and consultancies I expect that MPs will not be keen on those that hit profits of big business, so they might be dropped.

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UK Parliament's back for Snoopers' Charter. Former head of GCHQ talks to El Reg

alain williams
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Re: lying cop

even going so far as to fine one of them for lying in his statements

If that cop lied he should have been sacked and lost his pension. The police are given certain privileges and powers so that they can do their job. If they abuse them then they show themselves not trustable to use them and so should no longer be allowed to use them ... which means that they cannot do their job ... which means that they get sacked.

Lose his pension: reduce the temptation to finger some innocent sod as a way of getting an easy conviction to meet their targets.

The same penalties should apply to those at GCHQ/... and their bosses: home secretaries and prime ministers.

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Sophos Windows users face black screens after false positive snafu

alain williams
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''All vendors suffer them from time to time''

Really ? I have not noticed it with RedHat, Mint and other versions of Linux. Am I just lucky ?

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It's OK to fine someone for repeating a historical fact, says Russian Supreme Court

alain williams
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Re: But not as bizarre as ...

I don't know about that; but if you are unfortunate enough to fall into the clutches of the UK Family Courts you will then see all sorts of nonsense used to justify capricious orders.

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L0phtCrack's back! Crack hack app whacks Windows 10 trash hashes

alain williams
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Re: Pronounceable Passwords

These might generate good passwords, but should you use them: No.

A password is something that should only be known to you; someone telling you a password means that that someone knows your password. If I were NSA/GCHQ/BlackHatCracker I would create a web site like this and wait until someone who I wanted to infiltrate used it ...

If the source were available and I could download and run it (privately) on my own machine, I might use it.

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Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

alain williams
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This is an EU matter

A large part of EU trade rules is to create a level playing field. Sweetheart deals as Eire has done, also with others - not just Apple, benefit Eire at the expense of other countries.

Individual governments are losing the ability to control the large corporates; it needs something the size of the EU to do it - the USA will not since ''they have the best politicians that money can buy''. The EU also needs to address the imbalance between large and small that allows the large to take the mickey, eg supermarkets paying bills late.

Unless these behemoths are brought under control we will end up with the large eating the small - the resulting lack of competition will be bad for everyone (except for a few at the top).

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Phoney bling ring pinged by Tolkien's kin

alain williams
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Re: That depends where and what part

A search shows where you can get The Last Ringbearer, also some notes on Wikipedia

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Notting Hill Carnival spycams: Met Police rolls out real-time live face-spotting tech

alain williams
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How long will they keep the collected mug shots ?

You might think that they are useless, but then the police correlate pictures with phone IMEI, do that the several times that these are collected and you will be able to isolate/de-group individuals and so get a mug shot of everyone who had a 'phone that day.

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

alain williams
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Change in contract terms ?

Surely this is a change in contract terms; so those with long contracts should be able to hand their 'phone back and walk. Price increases clauses in contracts should be for RPI increases not huge things like this.

Having said that: they have more expensive lawyers than you do.

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Huawei's pricey new Honor goes upmarket. Bold move when prices are sliding

alain williams
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Looks like a market there ...

Buying second hand 'phones in India for $90, import them back to the UK and sell for £100. I might buy one of those.

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NASA tried turning lost spacecraft STEREO-B off and on again... but it didn't work. True story

alain williams
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MS win 10 on it ...

Yes, they'd make great Windows 10 tech support. But that was evidently NOT designed by rocket scientists.

If the craft was running MS Win 10 then down-link would be maxed out by the telemetry channel that goes straight to the NSA - no bandwidth left for scientific data.

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

alain williams
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The world is a different place

from what it was when we voted to enter the Common Market some 40 years ago. In that time there has been a huge increase in globalisation; inter-country trade with all parts of the world has gone through the roof.

So: do we need to be part of a low/zero tariff trading block as much as we did then ? The whole world is moving to low tariffs.

Take 4 minutes to learn a bit about Trade and Tariff History, see how international trade has gone through the roof in recent years, not all of those countries are members of the EU.

So: why should we suddenly do worse than other non EU countries ?

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alain williams
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Re: Er...

People do know that we're only WTO members by virtue of our EU membership, right? Once we leave, we're no longer members.

That is completely disingenuous. Look at this map of WTO members, basically everyone is a member except for bits of the middle East and North East Africa. So how long do you think it will be before the UK joins in its own name ?

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Shark bosses sink teeth into booming ransomware market

alain williams
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Which way round was that ?

“Our research shows that advanced cybercrime groups now mirror legitimate organisations in the way they operate,

and, increasingly, 'legitimate' organisations seem to be copying the cybercrime groups by employing tactics that are designed to confuse marks, sorry: customers, and scam them out of more money while denying any liability.

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Physicists believe they may have found fifth force of nature

alain williams
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Re: Matter/antimatter vs "regular"/"dark" matter

Normal matter isn't just held together by gravity but also by electromagnetism.

But when a star forms it is gravity that pulls it all together and the other forces that, via solar ignition/fusion, keep it from collapsing completely - so what keeps dark matter diffuse ?

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League of lawsuits: Game developer sues cheat-toting website

alain williams
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This cheating is morally, not legally wrong ...

I do have some sympathy with Riot Games in that they want their players to have a level playing field. Unfortunately: being a cheat is rarely illegal.

It is interesting to think what the consequences of Riot winning, would that imply that cheaters in other fields should also be had up ? ''Cheating'' in this context being acting to covertly tilt the odds in your favour. Some it would be nice to see, we could start with politicians...

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere

alain williams
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Re: My only Win 10 laptop is now borked too

The computer is now effectively dead. Thanks Microsoft.

How new is it ? Under EU law anything electrical has to work for 2 years:

* first 6 months: the supplier has to prove that you broke it

* next 18 months: you need to show that you did not break it ... however all that you did was to leave it on & it updated itself, how much did you have to do with that ? Indeed you can do nothing about i!?

We need to see some law suits - MS (or the manufacturer [HP/Dell/...]) sued ...

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alain williams
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Re: You Windows fans

Who's a fan?

Those are the ones fanning themselves as hard as possible so that they keep their cool and don't have steam coming out of their ears because of the latest MS f**k up.

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Power cut crashes Delta's worldwide flight update systems

alain williams
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Re: Single point of failure

Some twat manager was probably given a bonus for ''introducing efficiencies'' which he did by removing some ''underused'' systems and ''consolidating'' several sites to one place....

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Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

alain williams
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Re: What's next for Windows 10?

So basically being more like Google?

No. Google pushes ads at you when you ask it a question, it by and large leaves you alone the rest of the time. MS controls your desktop and so can interrupt you whenever it feels that it won't cause you to hit the screen. You can't get away from it.

OK: watch something long (& popular) on youtube and you will be occasionally interrupted with an ad for something.

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Microsoft: You liked Windows 10 so much, you'll get 2 more in 2017

alain williams
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Re: Only if it works.....

I have just come back from visiting my sister: her W10 box suddenly started doing an upgrade this morning "it did not even ask me if it was convenient", she can't do anything, the screen had been telling her that the upgrade was 91% complete for many hours.

"Will Microsoft tell me what to do, how do I ask them ?" I doubt that she will even get the time of day from them. The best that I could suggest was to leave it overnight and force a power cycle if it still at it tomorrow.

I told her that I had run an update on my laptop earlier, it runs Linux Mint, I continued working while the upgrade took a few minutes to happen in another workspace. She has now agreed that I can install Mint on her old MS-XP laptop - to make it run fast again.

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Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

alain williams
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Re: Dune

A novel by Frank Herbert. If you have not read it, do so: Dune

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Perlan 2: The glider that will slip the surly bonds of Earth – and touch the edge of space

alain williams
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90,000 feet

Yes: I know that aviators traditionally measure altitude in feet, but that means nothing to me, especially when we are always told that the edge of space starts at 100 km (the Kármán line). The other thing that is of interest is how much air pressure is left at that height.

So:

90,000 feet is 27.4 km or 17 miles, where the air pressure is 2 kPa which is 2% of what it is at sea level.

By way of comparison: in 2012 Felix Baumgartner jumped from his balloon at 39 km (24 miles, 128,000 ft).

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Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right

alain williams
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I might buy one ...

when the Note 8 comes out and these are then available at 1/3 of today's price (whatever that is) -- that is if my current 2-3 y/old 'phone needs replacing by then.

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Nigerian cops cuff cybercrime suspect, reveal you don't need 419 to make $60m

alain williams
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Re: Dear Mr Policeman

That letter is obviously fake - it is not written in capital letters and is correctly spelled.

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Windows 10 still free, even the Anniversary Update, if you're crass

alain williams
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Missing option in survey

* No, I am using a superior, non MS, operating system

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

alain williams
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Abomination

Some, like me, don't pollute good tea with milk!

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Google tells Android's Linux kernel to toughen up and fight off those horrible hacker bullies

alain williams
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Re: Patching speed is probably the issue

Your old phone will get security patches for its existing version of Android.

Oh really ? Try telling that to Samsung - I got one update for my phone. They lose interest as soon as they have something new that they want to sell you. Long term support - ha! a customer pipe dream :-(

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O2 sales dip 9% as tight-fisted Brits cling to their old handsets

alain williams
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What is wrong with an old handset ?

If it does the job, why replace it ? I'll spend my cash somewhere else and send less to landfill. This strikes me as a win all round - except to those touting things not really needed.

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Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

alain williams
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Was I the only one ...

to read the headline, pick out 'Piccard' and 'warp drive' and assume that it was a story about Star Trek' ?

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

alain williams
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Wrong question ...

the article started by asking who would bear the brunt of this. It should have started by looking at who benefits: the large consultancies. If they can remove many contractors there will be a bigger market for their overpriced people ... and, oh, it is not their workers who get most of the loot but the upper management.

I seem to remember that these same consultancies where behind IR35 in the first place.

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

alain williams
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Can you see what MS sends to itself ?

I have seen articles describe in vague terms what this telemetry data is supposed to be, but I have not seen anyone actually reading and inspecting the data - which is encrypted when it is collected and stored on the PC prior to transmission.

Has anyone decoded what is sent by their PC ?

Until you can see it I don't think that you can really believe what you are told.

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UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

alain williams
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Boon for burgulars

and overseas call centre staff seeing that your power use suddenly dropped on Saturday when you went away on holiday ...

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We ain't in 1996 anymore, Dorothy: SQL Server 2016 proves it

alain williams
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Well, just download

a rock solid database: PostgreSQL that will work on rock solid operating systems as well as MS Windows.

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Shelfware wars should be conceded, admits Microsoft compliance boss

alain williams
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Paid licensing is a thing of the past

for the infrastructure and main software items. Just use Open Source. There might need to be some solutions that are only available as proprietary systems, but most of what you need get for free and sleep well, don't worry about a license audit.

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FTC lets Nest off the hook over Revolv IoT hub bricking shame

alain williams
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Cost is more than just purchase price

People will also have spent a lot of time installing them and setting them up, maybe getting some paid help. This should also be compensated - there seems to be the idea that customer time has zero value.

Other costs: getting to/from the store where they bought it, also had to return to get a refund (presumably).

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You really do want to use biometrics for payments, beam banks

alain williams
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Re: I didn't even want contactless

I took a chisel to my card and cut the antenna - result: no contactless.

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Facebook deleted my post and made me confirm pics of my kids weren't sexually explicit

alain williams
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Re: Enough

That "shooting victim" was a well-known black thug with a long rap sheet ...

Evidence please.

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

alain williams
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Re: What a choice

UK adult population ~61 million. Number of people who voted out ~17 million, number of people who didn't vote out ~44 million. Which number is the minority?

Using that logic, we count that ~16 million (35%) voted to remain. Or number who did not vote to remain: ~45 million.

So stop pissing about and abusing the numbers.

(Me writing as someone who voted remain)

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alain williams
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Re: Regression to the really mean

Suddenly the Labour party is starting to seem electable.

Her and May - not much to choose from is there ?

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