* Posts by John Brown (no body)

2099 posts • joined 21 May 2010

'Google catches us in an invisible web of our personal data without telling us'

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Big data is as good as you let it be.

"And since when has Google access to ISP logs?"

Who said anything about ISP logs? You think website owners don't try to monitise valuable data? Although I'd not put it past ISPs to share data with "valued partners". Every little helps.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Big data is as good as you let it be.

If you have a fixed or near-fixed IP address, most users will be tracked even without ever knowingly using a Google service, which is the point of the original article, unless they install ad-blockers, cookie blockers and other tracking inhibiters. And even then, there are server logs.

So, while you relax in your ivory tower, spare a thought the rest of the worlds internet population who may not be quite up to your genius level.

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IsoHunt releases roll-your-own Pirate Bay

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

Re: Wack a Mole.

"the size of the Milky Way........."

Like Wagon Wheels, they are smaller now than when I was a kid.

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Pick a superior Christmas No. 1 from El Reg's computer crooning compilation

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Spotify web player is flakey

Has anyone reported this to the Police yet?

Considering the evidence is on the interwebs I'm surprised GCHQ haven't already turned up on the door step.

Also, by definition, Regina was a minor. Won't someone think of the children?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Spotify web player is flakey

...and the "None of the above, it's all shite" button is missing.

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Now Obama seeks China's help to halt alleged Nork HACK ATTACKS

John Brown (no body)
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Mushroom

"We will respond proportionately."

So, in terms of profits and GDP does this mean a proportionate response is to wipe out NK?

Or is Obama just suggesting wiping out NKs biggest film producer in a tit for tat resonse?

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Purple glistening plasma, you say? Orion plummets back to Earth

John Brown (no body)
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Re: I'm curious

"presumaby it will be attached to a larger craft for them to live in during the voyage?"

Try to imagine what a trip to moon in the 60's and 70's might have been like. Think command module, lander, return capsule but bigger.

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Bring back big gov, right? If only the economics, STUPID, could tell us more

John Brown (no body)
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Alien

Any fule knows

...that all the easy reverse engineering from the 1947 Roswell crash has been done and the slow down in "innovation" is because the remaining stuff is really hard to reverse engineer.

See? Almost anything can "fit the facts" :-)

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Europe: Hold my wine glass, I've got an internet govt to build

John Brown (no body)
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GIPO running the interwebs?

Non PC title.

I've got me coat....

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Heads up! If Tor VANISHES over the weekend, this is why

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Hypothesis: butchering POTUS's name = complete lack of valid points

Almost as mature as Micro$oft and Crapple :-)

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The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

John Brown (no body)
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Front page font sizes

Any chance of knocking all the fonts on the front page down by 2 or 4 points each? I rarely, if ever feel the need to scale a page manually at my end, but I find the front page of El Reg works better with two clicks of Ctrl-Scroll Down. In the case of articles, one Ctrl-ScrlDn is about right.

For reference, 15" laptop, 1024x768

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Why doesn't the header row font change size?

"When reducing the page zoom (using control mouse wheel), the page text gets smaller but the header (DATA CENTRE SOFTWARE etc) doesn't.

Please fix."

Either it's been fixed or it's a browser/OS specific problem. Firefox 34 on XUbunto 12.04 here and the menu bar scales on ctrl-scroll for me.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Improvement - thanks! -

"every vertical pixel's precious to me."

And to me, upvoted for that specific comment. With the almost ubiquitous use of widescreen monitors, whether that be desktop, laptop or tablets/phones in landscape mode, building a site that "steals" vertical resolution while enforcing a reletively narrow horizontal width is just so old fashioned and 20th century. Especially since 720, 768 and 1080 seems to be the "standard" for most screens.

On the other hand, massively wide pages aimed at swipey touch screens where everything is a side-swipe away is equally as bad!

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Vulture 2 design hero describes epic 'hobby' project

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Did I miss the flight testing?

"a glide test"

IIRC, the only actual aerodynamic testing has been simulated or when driving aound Spain with the aircraft strapped to the roof of a van.

I don't recall seeing any reports of even just standing in a field and chucking it to see if it glides.

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Apple v BBC: Fruity firm hits back over Panorama drama

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Just Apple?

"they never promised to do was deliver a letter"

...and in the real world, british train operators, probably in line with all transport operators, pretty much only ever guarentee to sell you a ticket. Whether you ever get to your destination is another matter entirely.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

John Brown (no body)
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Red vlinks

Thanks for that reversion. It really,really helps.

Lack of images in stories where perviously was found some oddly irrelevant stock image is greatly appreciated. But the headline image at the start of the stories where it does exist is still way too big.

I do most of my Register reading on a 4:3 laptop, On rare occasions I read from my Galaxy SII or Nook HD+. In both cases, it sort of works ok in portrait mode, but to save having to keep zooming in for every page change I read inlandscape mode. So back to the same as the laptop. Story image too big so I always have to scroll just so I can get to reason for opening the page in the first place.

Just checked on my 16:9 netbook. Same problem.

Do you site stats collect any data on the screen size or browser size of your readers? Has there been a change since the make over?

On the whole, the changes made today pretty much make the overall look and feel of the site more like the old site but with changes, ie acceptable. Not perfect yet, but an improvement on the steaming pile of dingos kidneys you dropped on us last week. :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Oh for goodness sake

"Get over it and grow up, like you had to with Ribbon."

Being forced to use Office + ribbon by policy is one thing. Liking it is another. Personally, I simply switched to LibreOffice since I was able to and it does everything I need. MS lost all future Office sales from me. And I am quite grown up thanks.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Bland Bland Bland

"8. Wet T-shirt contest!"

Oh $deity, someone pass the midbleach. I just pictured Haines, Orlowsky and Page in my head!!!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

"No, the images are uploaded and selected by busy humans."

Thanks.

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John Brown (no body)
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Is the story photo selection automated?

Is there an automated keywords based system being used in some case to select stock photos for some stories?

See the "More from the Register" section in this story...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/17/legality_of_coppers_facial_recognition_database_called_into_question/

Three related stories with "Police" in the title and all with the same stock image.

If this is the case, that would explain the almost total irrelevance of many of the story title images and whoever sold you that sofware made out like a bandit.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Jamie Jones

I'll admit I was among those who suggested we make a better play of pictures. Perhaps they shouldn't appear on every article until we've either got a dedicated picture desk or they should be made smaller, or both. I don't make these decisions.

Thanks for the frankness. Hopefully those who do make those decisions are seeing the almost overwhelming dislike for the overly large and often irrelevant images. (although I note that has improved somewhat interms of relevance. I'm still seeing the odd story with the image repeated again a few line into the story but alt tags are being filled in more often now)

"Time-format..... Is this being done to make it easier for people in different time-zones?"

I guess so. More than half our readers are in the US, and we have a healthy number in APAC.

Can the time stamp not be calculated based on the users local time? An absolute time/date would work for everyone in that case.

There were worries that the previous design was looking like Ceefax.

That doesn't necessarily implay "bad". Just changing the typeface and colours could have produced a sharper, cleaner and more modern design. The big problem for me is the larger fonts so I see less information on the home page. As a technically oriented site with technically oriented readers, higher information density is expected and welcomed by most. Also, while discussing the front page, can we change the mouse hover colour on the story links? For years, red has been for visited links and I've missed a few stories when scolling down because it turns red as it passes under the mouse pointer and my brain ignores it.

Sometimes a big story or a really decent analysis can get lost in all the other coverage. Social stuff needed to be more accessible rather than tucked to the side.

I don't have a problem with either of those, but the way to emphasise a big story needs to be looked at again. The main headline and image is just too big on a laptopor desktop screen.

What I'm trying to say is that there is method in the madness. It's the UK office's Xmas party tomorrow (Wednesday) and people are off and about for Christmas, so please don't get too frustrated if changes aren't made immediately.

Have fun :-)

(But next time you want to have a major site make-over, don't do it just before the weekend and/or just before a long drunken holiday. I suspect that "someone", who may not have voiced it out loud, planned it this way so as to have an excuse to retain their vision of the future as long as possible, with plausible excuses, in the hope that people will eventually accempt it (Cynical? Moi? :-))

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Don't panic, US Navy has only deployed a ROBOT SHARK (but where are the lasers?)

John Brown (no body)
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Terminator

...also because it's the military. No way are they going to model the look on a harmless fish when they can make it look like a lean mean killing machine. And despite any public comments about how it will be used and current plans, there WILL be people in the navy considing how to weaponise it.

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Last chance for Xmas Cash'n'Carrion goodies

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Classic

But at least we got to see her twice. Shame it was just the same photo though.

I'm sure the people responsible are busy and possibly still hung over from the Christmas party, but would it have been so hard to use the close-up of the device in the story body instead of the same promo pic? Or no body pic it all for a 15 line story that already has a headline image?

It's not like I don't know how to scroll but really!

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American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Tripe!

"I tend to be pretty freeform when I cook. Sort of depends on what I see laying around and what I want it to taste like, and yes it's almost always pretty good. Drove my wife crazy, she was a recipe person and would ask me what I put into something. Who knew."

You are me and are married to my wife! ICM£5.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: See? THIS is why there can never be...

"Without whining about it."

The article (and Lester) is not whining. It's a version of humour rarely understood outside of the this sceptred isle.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: It's all relative

"The less said about American Tea, though, the better."

If Big Bang Theory is anything to go by, they use teabag on strings and leave it in the cup/mug while drinking it. Heathens!

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EU VAT law could kill THOUSANDS of online businesses

John Brown (no body)
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Re: SIx years, and they foud it is an issue only now?

"And if you've had a few beers you can be done for drunk driving under those conditions as well. Even if the ignition is off."

IIRC that's "drunk in charge..." rather than drink driving but IANAL

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John Brown (no body)
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"we could just not sell to the non-UK EU..."

Might that not make you liable under the EU free trade/market regulations?

(I'd hope not, but EU rules are a tangled web)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: I didn't think this would worry Starbucks...

"Starbucks don't sell anything purely digital AFAIK, so this change isn't going to affect either their business or tax avoidance model."

Potentially, it might affect their handling of the trademark licensing fees but I'm sure they can get around that by making sure it's done manually or paperwork is physically couriered around.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: SIx years, and they foud it is an issue only now?

"Do you read every word of UK legislation?"

Based on the numbers of new laws and statutory instuments passed by Govt, especially the legal splurge-fest of the last Labour Govt. it's more than a full time job for an individual to keep up with it all. In legal terms, "ignornance is no excuse", but that legal premise is an impossabilty with the enourmous amount of legislation in play.

It was recently brought to my attention by a local news story that using a handheld mobile phone while sat in the drivers seat of a car with the key in the ignition and the ignition on but the engine stopped, is still legally classified as "driving". Who knew? Some did, I'm sure, but I bet most didn't. So, the Police advice to pullover and stop to use a hand held phone is incomplete, mis-leading and possibley illegal since they don't specify that you must legally "park" and remove the keys from the ignition. Conveniently, this may mean that so long as the driver stays in the car with the ignition on, you may be able to wait in no parking areas now since legally you are "driving" and not "parked".

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: This is entirely UNreasonable

"Isn't there some kind of minimum total turnover for this law? If not, it should be introduced."

There is, that's the point. It's higher in the UK than it is in much of the EU (or, as in some cases, no threshold at all)

In the interest of EU harmonisation, the VAT registration threshold should be equalised. Based on past examples, that would mean all of the EU members raising their threshold to the that of the member with the highest threshold but since this affects individual countrys tax income, we know that won't happen.

As an example, when copyright terms were harmonised, items out of copyright before the change were suddenly back in copyright because we all had to increase our copyright period to 60 years to match Germany rather than Germany dropping to 50 years like the UK (or lower as it was in some other EU countries). EU "harmonisation" almost always means whatever is best for tax and/or business and worst for the consumer.

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ASA slaps Ebuyer AGAIN - this time for ignoring regulator

John Brown (no body)
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"staff wearing Xmas jumpers... stood in front of a board rating those that had managed to prevent the most customer returns."

I was pleased to see that photo as evidence that I'd done my end of the customer experience inititive well. They sent my parcel out, it arrived on time and had in it an extra item. A nice little 8 port powered USB hub. I tried to email them to arrange a return but they didn't want to know. So I kept it.

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London teen pleads guilty to Spamhaus DDoS

John Brown (no body)
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Re: going down

"No one will remember your name."

And in this case, being under 18, no one other than his friends even know his name, so even that "fame" is denied him. He's been DoSed.

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HUMAN HAIR will soon be FOUND on MOON: Brit 'nauts aim for SPAAAACE

John Brown (no body)
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Re: celebrity rockstar physicist Brian Cox

"Lets be clear here - D Ream is not a rock band."

That's true too, but on the gripping hand, the phrase "a rockstar $scientist" is commonly used to describe popular and/or "cool" scientists who are often in the public limelight and usually highly regarded by much of the public. A bit like describing Worstall as a rockstar economist :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: celebrity rockstar physicist Brian Cox

To be fair, whatever you think of D Ream, according to Wikipedia "They had a UK Number One hit with "Things Can Only Get Better" in 1994 as well as eight more top 40 hits. They released two albums, both of which reached the top five." which is a much more successful career than many of todays manufactureed plastic artists

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John Brown (no body)
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Alien

Re: Yay

"I support any project which aims at getting us back to the moon, especially if there's British involvement."

Yes, especially with this year being the 115th anniversary of the first British moon landing.

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Where's the Reg Precious Elements Desk when we need it?

"if there's a demand the price will go up, causing more mines to come on stream, so the supply goes up and the price comes down a bit."

Yes, this seems to confirm that statement.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Centralisation?

"'Act locally' is a very good green principle."

On the other hand, economies of scale and reduction in duplication of effort and resources is also a good thing. And there's already a national gas and electric distibution system in place. Thanks to cross border interconnects, there pretty much a european (and further afield) electric grid

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Exaggerating much?

"25,000 km² of lake area"

And, of course, not forgetting the local weather pattern changes this brings.

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John Brown (no body)
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Coat

"Winter blackouts anyone?"

If there's an "emergency" requirement for power they'll just fire up some old oil fired plant and throw some deisal gennys into the mix. Energency, innit. And it simply must be cleaner to run oil and diesal for a few hours rather than all that dirty coal and dangerous nooklear.on all day long.

Coat. The fur lined one. With coal in the pockets.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Could it be

Isn't there only the one current source in South America producing Lithium though? I wonder what the worlds supply is like? Is it economical in the long run or are we still looking at a limited resource?

Where's the Reg Precious Elements Desk when we need it?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Dunno about warming

"deserts of North Africa and parts of the Middle East."

Although I've often thought of areas like that too as being suitable for generating solar electrickery, the downside is that there is little demand in those areas so we need mahoosively long and expensive power lines to get the power to where it is needed. And in the current political climate, some way to protect those cables from being switched off by local governments (See Russian/Ukraine gas pipelines) and/or protect from terrorist attack.

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Ofcom's new broom Sharon White sweeps into office

John Brown (no body)
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But...

...does she know what IPv6 is?

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Four tuner frenzy: The all-you-can-EEat TV Freeview PVR

John Brown (no body)
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"it would very likely exercise the minds of a company's legal department, if they wanted to create a system based on something like this."

Oh yes, I'm sure you are right. They could start by using the distributed storage to duplicate the contents of the current catchup services such as iPlayer and since in many cases, such as Sky and VM, the supplier controls the box and so can restrict the access to the programs in line with the current T&Cs/licensing already in place. After all not only do iPlayer and their ilk already use distributed caching systems such Akamai, but according to a recent arcticle on VMs system, VM use some distributed caching at the headends. This, in an initial phase at least, would simply be moving the cache onto the customers STBs. Virgin in particular are probably in the best postion to make something like this work since they can push updates out to the entire userbase meaning the number of peers will be very large right from the start. That alone ought to minimise the upload bandwidth usage.

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BT to gobble EE for £12.5bn – BTEE phone home

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Of course!

GPO, A New Hope

The GPO Strikes Back

The GPO Menace

Attack of the GPO

Revenge of the GPO

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TalkTalk customers demand opt-out fix for telco's DNS ad-jacking tactics

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Virgin does the same

"Virgin has an opt-out."

They do, and it's a proper server-side opt-out, not a "cookie" based one so you opt out your whole home LAN. I opted out as soon as the "service" was announced and it's never "accidently" been reset.

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Independent inquiry into British air-traffic-control IT nightmare

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Control freaks

"Air Traffic Control"

I used play that on my Atari 800XL. It even let the pilots talk to me. I might still have it up in the loft somewhere. I wonder what it's worth to NATS? More if I dust it off first?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Vince Cable

"No doubt the usual "government IT" "

Is this the same Vince Cable who is a minister in the government which owns 49% of NATS and so is at least 49% responsible for skimping and running ancient hardware/software?

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LOHAN's Plucky Playmonaut touches down at Spaceport America

John Brown (no body)
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"If all of this looks like a frivolous jaunt"

It does, it does. Proven by the wearing of an obviously recently laudered and pressed lab coat which no self respecting garden shed boffin would be seen dead in. Where are the rumples? The bacon fat and tomato sauce stains? The torn pocket? (and my hewn from the living glass engraved alcohol imbibing device?)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Engraved alcoholic beverage container at the ready

Ditti ditto. Getting antsy for it now I know some have been delivered :-)

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