* Posts by John Brown (no body)

2683 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Mozilla to whack HTTP sites with feature-ban stick

John Brown (no body)
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Re: why, why, why... what is the point?

"Before the days when you were legally required to keep a record of who has driven your motor vehicle in the last 14 days, I take it?"

Eh? What? Since when?

Are we talking UK here? Is this one of the 10's of 1000's of new laws and statutory instruments enacted over the last 18 or so years? (I suspect that alone might be an argument in court to defeat the "ignorance of the law is no excuse" thing.)

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OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

John Brown (no body)
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Re: I would write a flippant response using Emoji

"bu we grew out of that too"

Unless you are an over-excited US TV presenter and everyone is "bro" or "dude" and everything is "ossum" :-)

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Australia cracks tech giants' tax dodge code

John Brown (no body)
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Logic fail

"Apple Australia, for what it is worth, has argued that it pays overs because doing so means it is contributing to R&D costs, among other expenses borne by Apple headquarters."

Surely by that logic, Apple Singapore should also be paying those same "overs" to Apple US since that's where the R&D costs and other HQ expenses are borne? Australia might not get the tax on the profits but that logic dictates that the US ought to. Except the "overs" seem to be swallowed up by the hugely expensive office space, the desk, chair and phone and the guy who gets paid to sit there in Singapore.

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NSA-restraining US law edges closer to reality, leaves just 6.81 billion under mass surveillance

John Brown (no body)
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Childcatcher

Re: Legitimate basis

So you have no problems with all your parcels and letters being opened, checked,logged and copied for the archive as well? Probably by minimum wages types who might show an interest in "valuables"?

PS you forgot to mention paedos!!!!

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John Brown (no body)
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Big Brother

Another nail in the coffin of Safe Harbour

...and some people still think non-US data is "safe" on US based servers?

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Dropbox sets up PO box in Ireland to handle non-US services

John Brown (no body)
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Re: It's all about the tax is it?

"they may be locating in Ireland, ie. Highly educated work force, eurozone, friendly data rules, no GCHQ and NSA."

...except, of course, most if not all of Irelands connectivity goes via the UK or USA.

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'Not paying for any of that music was probably a mistake. Buh bye!'

John Brown (no body)
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Apple iWatch

I saw a CNet video review-like thing for the Apple iWatch. The guy was on about how the battery could last all day, but then went on to point out that actually using the iWatch would significantly reduce the battery life and to suggest that the user sticks with a near-black, plain, non animated watch face, turns off the pulse and exercise monitors, switches the main display transparency etc down to minimum and even switch the main display to grey-scale, all so that you might be able to use your iWatch for a whole day on a single charge.

It struck me as rather ironic that someone so obviously enamored with his new shiny was desperately trying to tell us all how great it is while pretty much saying don't use it or the battery will die and at the very least, turning off all of the "shiny" is pretty much essential.

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Bonny Scottish post-pub nosh neckfiller: Rumbledethumps

John Brown (no body)
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Last night...

...we knocked up an "instant" neckfiller, invented on the spot as we went along. Half a pan of already boiled potatoes, 3/4 tin of corned beef, 1 large chopped onion and a tin of ready made chickpea dahl.

A little oil, fry the onions till just turning golden, add potatoes and chickpea dahl, stir carefully so as not to turn the tatties into mash, turn gas ring low, add corned beef from fridge chopped into ~1" cubes for the last couple of minutes.

You could prepare in advance, leaving out the corned beef 'cos you don't want those chunks to "dissolve" into the mess, and have it ready in under 5 mins from staggering through the front door.

Purists could, of course, make the Dahl from scratch.

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From Manchester to Microsoft – missing mum :-(

John Brown (no body)
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Yes, that was my thought on reading the comment too...

"Case in point: according to Google Maps, Birmingham has three comic book stores, Seattle has 12"

Maybe the people of Birmingham read books without pictures rather than comics?

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How ICANN pressures 'net engineers to give it behind-the-scenes control of the web

John Brown (no body)
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It seems to me...

...that ICANN have forgotten their roots and are now simply in it for the money and power.

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Oi, Twitter! Sign this or we won't talk to you, growls EU

John Brown (no body)
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Maybe...

...they don't dirty their hands with direct lobbying but prefer to do so via 3rd parties. I'm sure all the relevant PR and lobbying agencies have all signed up.

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El Reg merch tentacle mulls retro LOHAN T-shirt

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Not a fan of the LOHAN graphic at all

How about a Vulture glued to the ground with the tag line "Grounded by Spanish and US bureaucracy"

Nails. Big ones. 6". At least. (15cm for the Spanish version, in case you were inquiring)

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EU Commish is rather pleased German BND and NSA thought it worth spying on

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "it’s good that people are interested in us"

Marty or Kim?

Downtown the young ones are going

Downtown the young ones are growing

We're the kids in America (Whoa)

We're the kids in America (Whoa)

Everybody live for the music-go-round

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

John Brown (no body)
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Re: The 7 years number is a magic number

"you suddenly realize that your old conventional gas boiler is not that inefficient."

Especially when you realise your old boiler ran for nearly 20 years with barely a service and your new combi boiler seems to break down at least every other year and a service is absolutely required every year or it will break down more often.

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Amazon boss Bezos' Blue Origins declares test flight 'flawless' ... if you overlook one snafu

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Twig minus berries

Yup, I was thinking the same thing. Then my wife voiced what I only dared think and said, that doesn't look like a proper rocket, it looks like a huge dilldo!

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UK exam board wants kids to be able to Google answers

John Brown (no body)
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Headmaster

Re: the toxic sludge pool

@Stevie

Ummm.....

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Oxford chaps solve problem in 1982 Sinclair Spectrum manual

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Awesome

"(unless you include the cassette output interface)"

That's how the sound worked on a earlier TRS-80/Video Genie. Some games even had speech. "Game Over Player One" etc. IIRC the cassette o/p actually had two voltage levels, which probably helped a bit although that may have only been on the later model III and IV versions.

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Please, no e-voting!

"if someone can't be bothered"

Choosing not to vote is something one is allowed to do in a free country. It may be that they just can't be bothered or it may be that they don't see a viable selection of candidates.

Probably the most exasperating exhortations I hear with regard to voting is women shrilling about suffragettes and how it's every womens duty to vote. Not, it isn't. They fought for the right to vote, not make it compulsory. Choice is choice and everyone now has a right to choose. If it's "none of the above" then that's fine by me, whatever the individuals method of demonstrating that choice is.

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Free markets aren't rubbish – in fact, they solve our rubbish woes

John Brown (no body)
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Re: When I was a kid

"Glass should go into construction products if it isn't economic to recycle as containers"

Ideally, glass is separated by colour so it can be melted and mixed with "new" glass for re-use. In practice, most recycled consumer glass goes in one bin collected by the council and gets ground down into cullet and is mixed with the road marking paint. That's what makes the paint "shine" in your headlights at night.

The additional problem with melting down glass for re-use is that all glass is not the same. You need to know the constituents of the glass before you know what its physical properties are going to be.

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Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Anyone else wonder...

"Pray tell, are there any actual downsides to permanent driving lights?"

It depends on how they are implemented. Some can be distractingly bright in a rear-view mirror at dusk or even just on a dull day. Especially the LED ones. There doesn't appear to be any proper legislation on the brightness of car lights other than filament bulb wattage and a woolly description of your lights not dazzling/affecting other drivers. Try telling that to someone driving towards you with tight focus halogens on a slightly bumpy road when it's not even dark enough to need headlights but the dumb driver has them set to auto switch and the manufacture set the trigger point on the premise of "better safe the sorry".

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John Brown (no body)
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Childcatcher

Re: Sound bites bite back

"I certainly think that the last 20 seconds of speed data should be transmitted along with the other information, and also the record of the "bums on seats" sensors and/or safety belts-buckled sensors."

This is why it's taken so long to get to this point and why the "bare minimum" of data has been agreed should be sent. It's to minimise any future feature creep. If, as you suggest, the data you list is sent because it might be useful, then even more data would be even more useful. Maybe it should have a built in GPS tracker and it could send the last 2 minutes of location data too? Or maybe the last hour, just in case you might have visited a pub. See where it leads when you want more?

As some ancient Chinese gentleman once said, "Be careful what you wish for. You might get it"

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DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

John Brown (no body)
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EXACTO?

isn't ExactoTM already taken in the US for craft knives? Or is it now defunct as a TM and has become a generic term?

PS Can I nominate this for the El Reg "Most Contrived Acronym, 2015" competition?

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NASA 'UFO' pops a leak, lands in outback Australia

John Brown (no body)
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WTF?

Circumnavigation?

Judging by the track, not really anything close to an unqualified circumnavigation. A near circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent is more accurate with the qualifier. If someone at the South Pole dances around the actual Pole, would that also be a circumnavigation? Qualifiers help to disambiguate.

Still, it's all good science and engineering, especially getting the balloon to maintain shape and altitude despite changes in temperature, even if the reporting is ambiguous.

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Sweden releases human genome under Creative Commons licence

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Genomes and Forking

Only if you are still using the old-Github repository method.

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ESPN sues Verizon: People picking their own TV channels? NOOoo!

John Brown (no body)
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Megaphone

Ah, this reminds me...

..of those halcyon days in the dim and dark past when the cable TV franchises were being awarded across the UK. It was touted as they new way to watch TV, "YOU pick the channels YOU want to watch". No we fucking don't. We get various packages and the channels most people want to watch are scattered across the packages so it's almost impossible to pick anything other than the all-you-eat package without missing a "must have" channel. It has NEVER been as the advertisers would have had us believe at the time.

They did it again when digital came along and promised us crystal clear picture and crystal clear sound. No. They compress it to fuck and back again on most channels.

Yes, yes, I know. The viewer is only the product being sold to the real customers, the advertisers.

On the other hand, back in the day, Nickelodean tried to screw over the cableco with significantly higher prices and the cableco told them to piss off. The Nick channels went dark for about a month before they kissed and made up. Sadly, this is probably less likely to happen these days with the channels all being part of much larger merged operations now.

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REVEALED: The 19 firms whose complaints form EU's antitrust case against Google

John Brown (no body)
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Yes, they could certainly do with updating their interface, like making the map full screen. On the other hand, they use "proper" colours for the maps, unlike google maps who use orange for trunk roads and a slightly darker orange for motorways. Is this their own choice or are they foisting US mapping colours on the rest of the world? Why can't they localise the mapping colours to the local "traditional" colours? My SatNav can, so why can't google?

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Siri, is it true that you're totally in love with Apache Mesos?

John Brown (no body)
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Thanks

Ta for that. It's always nice to see what the big boys play with when it's outside of their own product range and don't have to eat their own dog food.

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Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

John Brown (no body)
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command-line programs, such as diskpart,

Was there a DOS diskpart back then? Surely the default MS-DOS tool was fdisk.

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Top Spanish minister shows citizens are thick as tortillas de ballenas

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Pedanting...

"Methinks science and pollsters think too much of themselves."

Yes, upvoted particularly for that paragraph. It's nigh on impossible to create a "poll" without biasing it towards the required answers. Pollsters will claim they put in opposing questions to "balance" the results, but the wording and order of questions will always bias a poll even if they are trying to be honest. But since most polls are commissioned by interested parties, it's in the interest of the pollster to do "a good job" to encourage repeat business.

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Debian ships new 'Jessie' release with systemd AND sysvinit

John Brown (no body)
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"The Debian decision was basically "we don't have the resources to rip out all the dependencies in these other packages, so we just have to go with systemd".

On the other hand, considering the reach Debian and its derivatives has into the overall Linux user-base, they could have simply informed the relevant developers that systemd would not be supported so either the apps work without a systemd dependency or they don't work.

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Grooveshark faces $750 MEELLION piracy payout

John Brown (no body)
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"it emerged that executives had boosted its catalogue as a start-up, by uploading content themselves and encouraging staff to do so."

In that case, I hope the evidence is strong enough that the individuals will also be fined individually on a per song basis too. If not, then maybe that evidence isn't so strong after all.

I'd also be interested to see if the $150,000 per song fine lists the specific songs included in the fine and confirmation that the correct amount of royalties will then be passed on to the writers and performers.

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Google exec and avid climber dies on Mount Everest

John Brown (no body)
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we are working to get them home quickly

It would be nice if Google loaded up one of their private jets with as much useful stuff as ir can carry and sent it off to Nepal.

It's a shitty thing to happen to Nepal but if Google want their people back as quickly as possible it would be nice if they did something useful at the same time. No doubt there are "issues" with getting flight plans and clearance set up, including re-fueling stops en route, but I suspect it's not beyond the power and money of Google to organise something more quickly than others might manage.

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So how should we tax these BASTARD COMPANIES, then?

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Fair Tax?

That's the point Tim is making about the difference between Sales Tax and VAT. With VAT, the seller has paid the VAT on the goods so s/he has an incentive to collect the VAT from the customer and so on back up and down the supply chain. With a Sales tax, the retailer has not paid tax on the goods and so has an incentive to increase profits, cut prices and hence make more sales by avoiding the Sales Tax and only the tax man is able to identify and enforce the Sales Tax.

When everyone is honest, Sales Tax is probably the better option since the only unpaid tax collector is the final retailer thus reducing the admin burden the rest of the way up the supply chain. But enough people are dishonest, or think they might get away with it "just this one time, the gas bill is due" that it eventually results in widespread tax avoidance as those "one timer" avoiders realise they can get away with it.

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Hubble hits 25th anniversary IN SPAAACE – time for telescope to come home

John Brown (no body)
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A lot can happen...

...in 25-30 years before Hubble falls/is de-orbited. With the various private companies like SpaceX now in the LEO business after what is really quite a short time, even though building on the shoulders of giants, I can hardly wait to see what will be happening in the launch business in 25 years time. Maybe it will be re-purposed or upgraded or brought back for a museum.

(on the other hand, I'll be about 80 by then so will probably be pissing my self while complaining that everything tastes like chicken.)

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Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Surprising the guard was doing its job..

"the security people who decided to take Official Notice of his trespassing in a controlled area. The FAA were notified and being as how it was 8 months past 9/11, things spiraled very badly downhill."

It's not clear from from your post just exactly who it "spiraled very badly downhill" for, but I hope you meant that it was "security" who were in the shit for allowing an unauthorised person to get so far into the building without a proper pass. I suspect you mean that "security" made life hell for the pilot though.

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Comcast flees $45bn monster-merger with Time Warner Cable

John Brown (no body)
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Re: I'm just about ready for somebody to sue the right way and end all this.

"That hinges on the court finding in favor of the plaintiff."

Agreed. If there was a chance of the plaintiff winning it would never get to court. There'd be an out of court "settlement" to make it go away. That's standard big business practice. They will keep paying out "small" amounts to anyone prepared to take them on rather than risk an adverse precedent. On the other hand, if they were sure of a win, they'd be in faster than shit off a shovel to establish their allegedly shonky practices as a legal precedent.

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Looking for laxatives, miss? Shoppers stalked via smartphone Wi-Fi

John Brown (no body)
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"We are pleased to reach this agreement. "

Really? It seems the public statements made by companies who get caught are always "pleased" at the outcome.

Although in this case the only thing they got told off for was claiming there was an opt-out without telling people how to find it. As others have mentioned, not having an opt-out at all seems to be all fine and dandy.

I take it the USA has no "personal data privacy" laws or doesn't recognise a MAC address as personally identifiable data, even when married to all the date/time/location data being collected at the same time. I wonder if they track your location to the tills and match your MAC to your credit card transaction? That would be creepy.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Um, 'Nomi' tracking or WAP ?

"c) How can you be sure all the access points are from Asda?"

That's easy. They are enormous warehouses surrounded by car parks and WiFi doesn't reach all that far.

You do raise a good point in that it's quite likely that there are WiFi points for the hand held readers/pricing printers.

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SUPERVOLCANIC MAGMA reservoir BUBBLING under Yellowstone Park

John Brown (no body)
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Re: wait --- did he say C02 release?

"Quick! We need to find something to blame!!!!"

And something must be done! Need money. MORE TAXES!!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: But how many Titanics would it fill?

"It is called an Acre-Foot"

That sounds almost as quaint as Foot-Pound ;-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: How many Olympic Swimming Pools?

"A Shitload."

Metric or imperial?

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UK rail signals could be hacked to cause crashes, claims prof

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Ageing? Electromechanical Controls

"the benefit of being less susceptible to EMP than electronics."

Well, to be fair, the only current way of generating a feasibly disruptive EMP is to set off a nuclear bomb so I suspect "OMG! the train signals don't work!" would not be very high on the list of "Things To Worry About In The Event Of Nuclear Attack" checklist.

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Apple Watch: Exactly how many vids does it take to teach a fanboi to tell the time?

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Bah!

Thank you! I've been googling for weeks to find that information. Bloody Casio never did create a video explaining how to use their watch. Cheap bastards!

I was just getting ready to send it back!

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John Brown (no body)
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Gimp

Just trying to imagine the sort of split personality/psychotic that would be a glasshole/iWatch wearer. <shudders>

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John Brown (no body)
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Happy

Re: Informative indeed.....

"It's similar to being told to take your trousers down before taking a shit."

Rather like the pictorial instructions on the inside of the strap showing the fanbois how to fasten the strap, just your example is a bit more...err...colourful.

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Google: We're not mad, our mobes-in-sky Project Loon is FINE

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Stupid

"This project is currently abusing the wrong bands."

I suppose they might make for an interesting target practice/diversion for any local air force whose air space they end up in if they are on the "wrong" band.

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America's cyber-security proto-laws branded 'surveillance in disguise'

John Brown (no body)
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Big Brother

Sounds like...

...even more reason for no one to ever let a US company get their hands on your data.

Safe Harbour? Yeah, we've heard of that.

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China tackles vital strippers-at-funeral problem

John Brown (no body)
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Coat

Funeral Strippers'R'Us

Complete no tassle service for your piece of mind.

Coat. It's a bit chilly.

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Costa Coffee Club members wake up and smell the data breach

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Do they really need a DoB?

"In that case what the hell is a fucking coffee house asking people for their Date of Birth for??"

Probably it's "required" so that you can claim a free coffee on your birthday. Meanwhile they collect "valuable" demographic information.

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