* Posts by John Brown (no body)

3187 posts • joined 21 May 2010

BOFH: My diary is MINE and mine alone, you petty HR gimps

John Brown (no body)
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Re: The description of the monitors reminds me of a bloke I used to work for

"As for a higher output resolution..."

Ah, them were the days when not all CRTs were equal even if they claimed the same size and resolution capabilities. Some had an abysmal dot pitch well hidden in the specs so if you cranked up the resolution to the rated max it was all blurry. Most obvious on the cheaper end of the spectrum.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: glow in the dark

"Those nice graphics glowing from your Hercules card ..."

I remember thinking that brand spanking new 286 based beast would be fun to try playing Elite on, except it only had a Hercules card in it. A quick trip around some BBSs turned up herc2cga which emulated CGA gfx at a low enough level that Elite would play. It looked like it was working very well except for the waaaay too long persistence of the green phosphor :-(

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ATTACK of the ZOMBIE SATELLITE: Run radio hams, run!

John Brown (no body)
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Re: can we use it for target practice?

"Maybe NASA should offer a $10 million prize to anyone who can send up a rocket to snag it and drag it into the atmosphere to burn up and/or into the ocean? Get Branson, Musk and Carmack thinking about how to do it.

I don't know about a prize, but plenty of people are thinking about it and trials of at least one system are due in the next few years.

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Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly

John Brown (no body)
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FAIL

What I'd most like the BBC to do...

...is to stop farting about with the "prime" BBC 1 schedules whenever they get a "big" sporting event. It was entirely understandable in the analogue only days, even understandable before the digital switch over when a lot of people still could only get BBC1 & 2. But now that anyone who watches TV can get the whole gamut of BBC channels, why the hell do they have to screw around with their "prime" channel just because England are about to lose the Ashes again?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Cost of collection

"That means we get David Attenborough in Aus and send you Neighbours in return."

I quite enjoyed The Dr Blake Mysteries :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Cost of collection

"As far as I can see the BBC must be biased against all parties based on the rhetoric which patently cannot be true..."

Considering that Govt. of any/all colours are always whinging about political coverage, I think the BBC are probably doing a reasonable job of not being a Govt. mouthpiece. Having said that, there are certain powerful people or groups within the BBC who seem to have their own biased agendas such as, as already mentioned by others, AGW, CO2 etc.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: The simplest solution would be abolish license fee monopoly

"I presume you know that C4 is also are free public broadcasters as well?"

Yes, well spotted, that is worth reiterating. Ch4 is a publicly owned company which has a government mandated remit which entitles it to free carriage over the terrestrial airwaves in exchange for production constraints such as UK produced programmes especially from outside London, schools TV and news, so is effectively subsidised. Not sure if that's from the treasury or the licence fee though.

Also @Cody, to answer your first point, it's worth noting that TV Licence money helped fund the start up of the new local TV channels and a lesser amount used to subsidise them annually.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Yikes is the final photo on page 3 really a from auntie?

"I did actually dig out all the images for this one myself"

I thing the OP was referring to the words "FOR PORN spelled out in the stadium seating and the image on the TV monitor looks like a bloke in bed with a bear.

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Edge out rivals? No! Firefox boss BLASTS Microsoft's Windows 10 browser brouhaha

John Brown (no body)
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Re: I bet this is unpopular...

"Yes, the decree requiring Microsoft to provide "Browser Choice" was over in 2014.

They are legally free and clear if they want to block alternate browsers.

The mandated browser choice period may be over but the ruling in law that they did the wrong thing by forcing a browser on users is not.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: MY software

"a licence to use their software."

That's true. But any data stored on the PC, such as a setting dictating MY choices is MY data that I created.

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El Reg touches down at the ESA's Spanish outpost, sniffs around

John Brown (no body)
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Hnag on!

Where did the .int TLD come from? I can't say I've ever noticed that before.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Ta

How come we only ever see photos of Haines The Younger? Is Haines The Elder worried his soul will be stolen by the magic lantern?

PS, Great article. Must be nice to go on paid jollies every now and then :-)

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German spooks want to charge journalists with TREASON for publishing spy plans

John Brown (no body)
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WTF?

received a letter...informing them...under investigation for treason

Does this strike anyone else as scare tactics because they don't actually think a charge of treason will stick? Next thing you know the miscreants will be invited to make an appointment at a convenient police station where they can be arrested in a nice civilized way.

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And on that bombshell: Top Gear's Clarkson to reappear on Amazon

John Brown (no body)
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"everyone on the bbc and radio hates modified cars"

Yeah, that's something that's not interested me for years but I saw a poster advertising a "Modified Car Show", so I'm wondering when "custom cars" became "modified" cars and why? After all, custom car runs off the tongue much easier than modified cars.

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

"I'd hazard a guess that when comparing "flying" hours per death, biplanes are a lot safer..."

Considering the time bi-planes were in production compared to monoplanes, and the number of crash'n'burns in WWI, that might be an interesting comparison to prove/dis-prove.

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John Brown (no body)
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Bah!

"but if I could wander round my workplace battering people with impunity for 300 quid a time, I'd have to set up a direct debit."

Keyboard and screen please! You can afford it :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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How much likeTop Gear will it be...

...before the BBC (or whoever owns the format) sues?

Or are Amazon going to licence it from the BBC?

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Close but no cigar

"THIS is a Cortina Search..."

Odd that you should mention that. I've actually heard a few users refer to it as "Cortina" with overtones of derision. I'm not sure if they are deliberately calling it Cortina to imply the derision or if they are simply mis-pronouncing it and that leads to the derision because of the connotations with the car.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: No Control of Updating

"You can disabled driver updates."

Can I disable Sliverlight? .Net?, 5893 various language updates for languages I don't speak or read? Or are these all mandatory installs/updates now?

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Download Fest goers were human guinea pigs in spy tech experiment, admit police

John Brown (no body)
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Re: I'm surprised nobody else's commented on breadth of the T's&C's.

"Anybody else a little bit worried by this? I would hope that it is so broad that it could be challenged, but unless it is deemed unfair by a court, it could have long-reaching effects on the attendees future rights."

I think it would require someone with money to bring a case of unfair contract to a court and, like most T&Cs, have it shown for what it is, an illegal data grab putting all the rights on one side of the contract to the detriment of the consumer.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: so the police view seems to be

"If it's not made illegal for us to do it. We''ll do it."

That is how UK law is supposed to work. Everything is allowed unless there a rules disallowing it.

Other legal frameworks do the opposite. Everything is illegal unless there is a law allowing it.

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John Brown (no body)
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"We can crack 256-bit keys for a pittance, but we still can't get the address right from a handwritten postcode more than 8 times out of 10."

I do sometimes wonder if we are too enamored with "digital is good" and have forgotten everything we ever learned about analogue data processing and whether anyone is even looking at analogue computing these days. Facial recognition and handwritting/OCR seem ideal candidates for at least front end analogue pre-processing.

Too many people look for shortcuts to make life easier, or only use the tools they know. How many devices do we have with "digital" volume controls which don't have fine enough discrete steps, especially down at the low end?

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John Brown (no body)
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"Facial recognition for access to smartphones for instance can work very well "

Well, for some low value of "very well". They use very few data points and are mainly designed to "see" the same face, not pick you out from many faces. Try saying " eh oh oo eh" to an Android phone and there's a good chance the voice recognition will pick that up as Hello Google" Same principle, but as you did say, it's not meant for security.

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UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

John Brown (no body)
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Facepalm

stop 17-year-olds running a web search for the phrase "tits".

I thought Cameron wanted younger people to enage more with politics? Banning them from searching for their MPs might hinder that aim.

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This is TRUE science: Harvard boffins fire up sizzling BACON LASER

John Brown (no body)
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"I couldn't help wondering if this technique could be contrived so as to convince the bacon to cook itself. Fantasy, I know, but a man can dream."

That's called "a wife". Google it sometime :-)

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Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

John Brown (no body)
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Re: What about 8.1?

It's interesting how almost every post with a hint of criticism toward MS in general or Window 10 in particular has at least one down vote.

I'm guessing there are a number of paid MS astroturfers out there with the specific mission of countering all criticism of MS. I suppose El Reg ought to feel flattered that MS see the site as some sort of threat that must be countered.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: What about 8.1?

"Perhaps the speed is less important if you don't have to fight that awful Tiled Interface?"

Yes. When Windows 95 came out I don't recall anyone complaining about the start menu. For most users used to Win3.1 or even DOS, it was a revelation that made using the computer better and easier for average users and probably reduced training/re-training time and costs. The concept if the not the aesthetics barely changed right through 98/98se/Me/Vista/XP/7 and everyone was at least relatively happy.

I've only seen one site running Windows 8 with the default TIFKAM "menu" abomination. It was a school and when I asked why they'd not installed a 3rd party menu to get "start" back, she told me all about how wonderful TIFKAM was and how "easy" it was to scroll through 5 screens of tiles to get to all the programs. Poor kids!! TIFKAM is for tablets and phones. Desktops tend not to have touch screens. Even Apple for all their control freakery and standardisation realised that mobile and desktop are different markets.

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John Brown (no body)
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"Anyone running an enterprise with a lot of Win7 boxes should be looking *very* seriously now about how, not when, they are going to migrate them."

Most of my customers are Local Authorities, Universities, NHS and the like. Most of them, Local Authorities and NHS in particular, have only just finished (or are STILL) migrating to Win7 from XP. No way in hell are they going to even consider migrating for some years to come. Especially if MS is slurping more user data than ever and pushing "local" data towards the "cloud" since that will require very, very careful consideration in relation to the DPA implications.

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Tim Jenkins I sort of agree

"How about a drone with a spraycan of paint, fly it up to intercept the pervcopter and spray out its camera."

I like the cut of your jib sir, but I have to take issue with the spray paint solution as that would require in inordinate amount of skill to achieve.

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John Brown (no body)
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Black Helicopters

Re: He should go free...

"If he loses, then I guess we can expect these intrusions at the will of the owner without regard for our safety or privacy."

Are there no FAA regulations on flying model aircraft over populated areas, especially out of line-of-site?

The El Reg SPB are still in limbo waiting for the FAA to give clearance to launch a model aircraft from a launch pad at ~30,000' in the middle of nowhere, well away from people.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: I sort of agree

"I have no issue shooting clays that are much smaller than a drone and much faster moving with a shotgun."

The main difference is that a clay is quite unlikely to suddenly change speed, direction or altitude so it's a bit easier to "lead" and predict where it will be so your shot can arrive in the right place at the right time. Don't get me wring, I'm not impugning your marksmanship in any way, I'm just pointing out that there's not really a comparison between a fixed trajectory object and a "piloted" one.

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Google turns cookie monster on AdSense, DoubleClick clients

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Cookies now non negotiable...

"Turn off AdBlock or GTFO."

There are already sites which do that. I can't remember where I last saw since I never went back.

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Tired tablets don't tickle the imagination, so sales fall again

John Brown (no body)
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lack of innovation and product refresh

I'm not sure what that means in terms of tablets. It's a rectangle and it does "stuff". Most even have a camera, often two, one for taking photos/video and one for video chat. I'm not sure what's left to "innovate" or "refresh"

I've got an oldish CM-rooted Nook HD+ and I can't think of anything I'd like it to be able to do that it can't already do. Nook HD has no cameras, but if I had a need then I'd buy an existing knock down price tablet. Others might have a need for more grunt for gaming, but I'm struggling to think of anywhere for innovation or refresh.

I've watched kids typing out their homework assignments on school supplied tablets, usually iPads and I can write faster than they can type with on-screen keyboards. Maybe there's room there for improvement?

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Start learning parallel programming and make these supercomputers sing, Prez Obama orders

John Brown (no body)
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Summit, Sierra,Titan and Sequoia

Not exactly innovative naming. Must be engineers rather than marketeers.

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Hurrah! Uber does work (in the broadest sense of the word) after all

John Brown (no body)
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"They are first and foremost a means to induce artificial scarcity "

That may be the long term result but the intention was to not flood a city with so many taxis that no one could get enough fares to make a living.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: @Captain Underpants

"There is not enough difference between personally asking for passengers and having UBER get them for you."

Yes, there is a significant difference. Two or more friends/colleague/acquaintances sharing a lift because they need to start and end their journeys at more or less the same start and end points is VERY different from someone going out of their way to a pick up and then dropping off, again off their "normal" route, to give a stranger a "lift" while charging them only a little less than taxi market rates for said "lift".

The "sharing" economy is about people doing "favours" on an individual basis. Once it becomes organised with middle-men needing to earn a living, then it's a business with employees or contractors and that mean laws and regulations must apply. AirBnB has been mentioned. It's one thing to have a friend or acquaintance stay over at your house, it's quite something else to rent out rooms to complete strangers who need to be covered by fire regulations and hygiene regulations, let alone the potential insurance risks. Who pays out if a paying guest causes a fire,slips in the bath or falls down the stairs? Most home insurance companies won't cover you for paying guests. London has relaxed their by-laws to allow home owners to "rent" for up to 90 days per year. Not sure how they'll regulate or tax that.

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Let's all binge on Blake’s 7 and help save the BBC ... from itself

John Brown (no body)
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"While they are at it, do the same with live broadcasts and bingo - everyone pays something when they watch the BBC and we can all forget about the licence fee..."

The BBC and others have already looked at and dropped that idea. Freeview might have a spec to include a CAM but not all Freeview receivers have one (or it's not user accessible) so you'd be asking a fairly large chunk of the population to replace their TVs/Freeview boxes yet again.

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A third of workers admit they'd leak sensitive biz data for peanuts

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Some people really are idiots

"Something like €20 million. That should be enough to see you through the lengthy legal process and have something to retire with afterwords."

If you are going through "a lengthy legal process", then either you won't be able to keep the "proceeds of crime" for when you get out or you will be spending most of it on very high priced lawyers to "get you off"

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Voyager's Golden Record now free to download

John Brown (no body)
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Re: @JeffyPoooh

"a fair fee for radio broadcasts"

It's American and American law applies everywhere and they don't pay royalties on tunes broadcast on the radio.

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21st century malware found in Jane Austen's 19th century prose

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Hygiene?

I'm still trying to figure out what he meant by "If you clock back..." Best I can come up with is "look/look at" for clock as in "Hey, clock this!" but that doesn't seem to quite fit the rest of his statement.

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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crackup verdict: PILOT ERROR

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Motive ?

"I've seen loads of comments blaming the pilot for unlocking the lever, but very few have picked up on the fact that this was done eleven seconds too early."

Yes. He unlocked just after reaching mach 1.0 but was supposed to unlock it before reaching mach 1.8 which implies that it should be unlocked while under thrust anyway. It does seem odd that unlocking it at mach 1.0 but without activating the feathering should have triggered the feathering to occur. It's almost as if the designers were relying on atmospheric drag at high speed to hold the booms in place.

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Blighty tablet sales plunge 31 per cent in saturated market

John Brown (no body)
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Re: When you've got one, you've got one.

Eggs-actly! Ours gets used almost exclusively as a remote for Kodi/XBMC and for my wife to play a few games on. There are all sorts of apps installed which seemed like a good idea at the time, but most rarely get used.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

John Brown (no body)
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"Five years is excessive."

Really? I don't think it's excessive. All items bought in the EU are covered by a default two year warranty buut consumer law includes free parts and labour repairs (or is it just free parts?) for, in some cases, many years after that warranty expires. I think the term they use is "reasonable life" or something similar. The Uk Govt. has a website somewhere with a non-exhaustive list of examples, eg a TV or a fridge should offer at least five years of life, the manufacturer being responsible for repairs or a pro-rata refund if it's not repairable.

I'd certainly expect a phone to still be usable after five years without it being "unsafe" to use and for for fixes to the OS to be available.

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Chat about Safe Harbour all you like, the NSA's still the stumbling block

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "a legally enforceable but voluntary code of conduct"

They can choose not to follow the code of conduct and can handle US (and other) personal data to their own standards, but if they want to handle EIU data then they voluntarily sign up to the code of conduct after which they are legally obliged to uphold it or get out of the EU data business. IMHO, IANAL and YMMV

Stopping at a red light is also optional but legally enforceable. You can choose not to drive :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Why do we have standards?

Considering the noises made my US Govt. and companies, it does make me wonder why they don't want to meet the higher EU standards on data protection.

They claim that personal data is important and "won't be mis-used" blah, blah, blah but the reality is that the US Govt. is frightened of their own industry lobbyists, ie they've been "bought" by promises of "campaign contributions" and a cushy job next time the lose an election.

Anyway, they are easily frightened into doing as their told. Just mention "liberal" or "socialist" and they start to quiver.

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Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again

John Brown (no body)
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Coat

" it's got it all."

I was thinking of moving there...to be a lumberjack, swinging from tree to tree, where the blue parrots sing...

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

Re: Battery cars are impractical

"The average LEAF does 40% more miles per year than the average petrol or diesel."

Yeah, looking for the free charging points instead of charging at home on their own leccy meter.

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John Brown (no body)
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Coat

Re: Spanish flies.

"I'm impressed that Spain had learned how to build a set of windmills and use half of them in a storm."

Imagine the failure rate if Don Quixote was still around!

Coat. It's a bit drafty today.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: "...hit 100 percent..."

"Meanwhile Germany, that everyone assumes is 'greener', is only about 30% renewables, "

...and not forgetting of course that they are shutting their nuclear fleet down early "because Fukishima", not replacing it, and will buy their extra electricity from Poland, where they use a lot of the more polluting "brown" coal. Germany keeps it's (not really all that good) green credentials, panders to the anti-nuclear lobby and meanwhile Poland burns even more brown coal to salve the German conscience.

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New study into lack of women in Tech: It's NOT the men's fault

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Wifey's viewpoint...

"I have never seen so much mental diarrhoea in my feggin' life, the blokes are stereotypical nerds, and the 'eye candy' must be thick."

I used to think that, then my wife started watching it and "made" me watch it with her from the beginning (she caught the "bug" from her 80yo mother who loved it). Penny, the "thick eye candy" is a deeper character than she first appears, eventually ending up as a high powered pharmaceuticals sales rep earning significantly more than her experimental physicist fiancée.

The character evolution/development is very slow, spanning multiple series, which is actually a refreshing change from so many TV series where they are so unsure of getting renewed for a new series that they rush everything into the first series then scramble for new material when they do get the next series commissioned.

Still, all that considered, if you don't like the show then you don't like the show and I'm fine with that.

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