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* Posts by Kubla Cant

1164 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Urinating teen polluted 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools - cops

Kubla Cant
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Re: Some one else needs to be charged ...

Last time I was in America I ordered a glass of Bourbon in a bar in St Louis and actually left it undrunk because of the foul smell of chlorine from the ice in it.

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Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

Kubla Cant
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A thousand engineers toiled to eventually produce one million lines of code.

1,000 lines of code per engineer, then. It doesn't seem much.

I honestly don't know anything about this kind of programming, but I assume whatever code they were using would generated an op-code per line, like assembler. I'd guess that you'd be lucky to send a line to a printer with 1,000 op-codes.

Can anyone explain?

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Nothing's as SCARY as an overly aggressive SOFTWARE PIMP

Kubla Cant
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Why Adaptec bothered with the 16bit and 32bit cards

Remember the archetypal story of the slugged mainframes?

IBM used to sell a big, powerful mainframe and a less powerful (but still very, very big) mainframe*. It emerged that the two machines were in fact the same, but the less powerful one was slugged** to make it slower.

When challenged about this, IBM pointed out that the total number of computers they could sell by using this strategy was greater than the number they would sell if everyone got the powerful computer for slightly less money, so the huge development costs could be distributed over more units. Everyone wins***.

* IBM veterans will no doubt be able to fill in the model numbers for me.

** I'm sure that's the expression that was used. Did they hit the computer with a sockful of sand?

*** But IBM wins most, naturally.

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Where the HELL is my ROBOT BUTLER?

Kubla Cant
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Boffin

Re: Where the hell is my ROBOT butler?

Oi el reg?

I can reply to my own post?

The technical term is self-abuse.

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Deep desert XP-ocalypse averted as Reg man returns

Kubla Cant
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Re: Out of curiosity

There are a large number of outback aboriginal communities where non-indigenous are prohibited from entering.

I don't want to upset anyone, but this sounds rather like apartheid. In the opposite direction, I suppose.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Kubla Cant
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Re: so NOT putting lots of chemicals in your body is NOT ok then?

@Steve Davies 3 My homegrown organic veggies and fruit taste a lot better than what you can buy in the supermarkets.

I'm sure that's true, but it's probably not because they're organic.

Gardeners tend to select varieties for flavour, while farmers go for high yield. Also home grown produce is liable to suffer occasional stress from lack of water, which apparently enhances flavour. Farmers make sure their produce is pumped full of as much water as possible.

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Kubla Cant
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Lord Melchett or the 4th Baron Melchett

I liked him in Blackadder, but he seems to have got less amusing lately.

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How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Kubla Cant
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Re: XP Needs to Die

useful tweeks such as when you press F2 to change a file name the extension isn't selected

I actually find that feature mildly annoying.

It's an extension of the "hide extensions for known file types" philosophy, and the infuriating way everything's now a "Library" instead of an actual disk directory. Acceptable on a consumer PC, perhaps, but why propagate this nannying to servers? Why, when I'm logged in as a server admin and I start Explorer, do I see a load of crap about Games and Music Libraries?

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El Reg's Deep Outback XP upgrade almost foiled by KILLER ARACHNIDS

Kubla Cant
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Re: Just to be pedantic

"Poisonous means it's bad for your health if ingested, venomous means its bad for you if introduced to the bloodstream."

Since we're in hair-splitting mode, allow me to disagree.

"Poisonous" is what a substance is. The stuff on the tip of a blowpipe dart is poisonous, but possibly harmless if ingested.

"Venomous" is the characteristic of a creature that can deliver a poisonous substance by stinging, biting or other active means.

Plants, for example, may be poisonous but not venomous. There are, I believe, frogs that have a poisonous coating all over their skin. Whether these count as venomous, I'm not sure.

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Dutch doctors replace woman's skull with 3D-printed plastic copy

Kubla Cant
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Re: "by carrying out the first skull transplant using plastic parts built in a 3D printer."

the British Pedantic Society ... soon to be renamed British Society of Pedants

Expect fierce opposition from the Society of British Pedants.

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Kubla Cant
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Transparent

I just finished reading another Reg article about a "glass brain" application.

Now I read of a woman with an acrylic skull. Presumably if they left a window in her scalp she could do the glass brain thing without recourse to MRI.

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Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

Kubla Cant
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Cow?

What's the significance of the bizarre exchange of cow-related messages? Is this an Internet meme I've missed out on?

Do txters have an unusual dread of cows?

And why does the message "But why should I hide?" apparently precede the warning about the cow? Is it because of predictive text?

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Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever

Kubla Cant
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Stop fiddling with my interface!

Is there some replicable research to show that window buttons are easier to use at the top-left than at the top-right? That users rarely click the minimize button?

Is there anything more than developer whim or the craving to be different to back up the disruptive changes to the UI that every new release of every OS introduces?

I've had to install about five different distros* in the past few weeks. I'm not exactly new to computer use, but in some cases (Unity, for example), I've been utterly paralysed. Even KDE comes up with some kind of container on the desktop containing a legend along the lines of "This frame is empty". Yes, I can see that, but what's if for, and how am I supposed to rectify its emptiness?

Imagine if the UI for machines was subject to such arbitrary changes. Some cars with steering than goes left when you turn right, some with tillers, some without a brake pedal?

*This isn't an anti-Linux diatribe. Mint, for example, seems perfectly usable. No wonder it's so popular.

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Kubla Cant
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WTF?

Re: re: command line (@ A J Stiles)

Shame Windows doesn't have command-line editing to allow you to fix typos.

What version of Windows are you using? Even DOS had command-line editing.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Head to head

I used to love VS. VS2012 encouraged me to look elsewhere.

I'm mostly a Java developer, but I've been using VS 2010 for the past six months. I can't believe it. It has fewer features than Eclipse and IntelliJ had 10 years ago. It seems you have to buy some kind of add-on to do anything but the most rudimentary refactoring.

What do all these year suffixes signify? The only IDE I can imagine that's more primitive than VS 2010 is the Visual Studio 6 I used in the last century.

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Raised £350bn in crowdsourced funding? Tell me about it (not)

Kubla Cant
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Re: I'm sure you were railing against something

Only tangentially relevant, but it's Friday:

One of the most annoying things in the world is the pictures used to illustrate the personal finance pages in newspapers. The things they're writing about have no visual attributes (what does a photograph of an ISA look like?), but they have a quota of pictures to fill, so they fill the spaces with irrelevant pictures connected to the text by tendentious captions.

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Live in the middle of nowhere? CONGRATS. Some of you can pay EE for 4G

Kubla Cant
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Flame

I can't get an EE signal inside my house*. I'd change network, but all the networks' maps suggest that I'd need to go outside, or even go to the next village**, to get a signal. This is all very well if I'm making calls - I can just use the land line - but one of the reasons I have a mobile phone is so that I can receive calls from people who might offer me work.

*Middle of nowhere? No. 8 miles from the Cambridge Science Park.

**I suppose that's what they mean by a mobile phone. You have to go somewhere else to use it.

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Amazon Workspaces: A dish best served later

Kubla Cant
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WTF?

How much???

The base offering costs $35.00 per month

Even if it worked properly, and it sounds like it doesn't, I can't count the number of ways in which I could achieve similar results for less money.

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TV sales PLUMMET. But no one's prepared to say what we all know

Kubla Cant
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@rhydian

I've not actually had to change a CCFL or LED due to failure as yet

While I agree in general with the points you make, I have to say you've been extremely lucky with your CCFLs. I've had them fail in a matter of months. I've even contemplated contacting the manufacturers about the optimistic guarantees printed on their packaging, but I'm too lazy.

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How to Poo on a Date wins odd book title of the year

Kubla Cant
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WTF?

Prion Press?

Is it run by mad cows?

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Kubla Cant
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Re: Get a life...

Feet and fathoms are much better than metres for nautical (and aviation) purposes.

I think if you're aviating in fathoms you have a problem.

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Barclays' DOUBLE DIGIT contractor rate cut? Not for us, say PPI bods

Kubla Cant
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From what I hear the contract market is pretty buoyant at the moment. I suppose Barclays see this as a good time to slim down their contract staff by cutting the rate. A proportion of contractors leave. Trouble is, those are the ones you need to stay. OK, sack the remainder and hire the good ones back again. What could possibly go wrong?

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Reality check: Java 8 finally catches a multi-core break

Kubla Cant
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Thumb Up

As for multicore, there is always Go.

Upvoted for the terrific Scala/Go site you linked to.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Good performance? Scalable?

The experts here who know how slow Java is are missing a huge opportunity. I bet all the financial institutions that run high-frequency trading applications written in Java would love to hear how they can boost performance by rewriting in a faster language.

And for those arguing about the syntactical merits of this language or another - that's not really the issue. An intelligent developer can get up to speed with any modern language. The great advantage Java has is its massive body of open-source libraries, and the vast ecosystem of Java programming knowledge that is available.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Java on the desktop is dead

@Conrad Longmore: citation required.

I'm not aware of much use of Java for locally-hosted desktop applications, but I don't have the advantage of your omniscience.

I can assure you, however, that it's extensively used via applets and Web Start applications. I used to think that applets were just a way of embedding gadgets in web pages, and that they were obsolete when better HTML and client script came along. Since then I've worked on several market-leading trading platforms that are written in Java and delivered over the Web.

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Kubla Cant
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@Destroy All Monsters: In the real world, Mr Monsters, adoption of a new version of a development platform is constrained by the necessity to regression-test what is often a large body of code, and to maintain compatibility with existing libraries and infrastructure. Developer ignorance is rarely a factor. If it was left to developers, most coding would be done on the bleeding edge.

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Bing accused of out-censoring the Great Firewall

Kubla Cant
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Re: Never confuse malice-

What is it with Microsoft and search? They have a long history of failure to make it work as expected.

They always seem to have imagined that the primary role of a search engine is to find reasons for not showing things. Early versions of Windows file search were limited to "known file types" by default. Even today, I can enter "foo.bar" in the Windows 7 Explorer search box and get no results, when "dir /s foo.bar" returns a result.

All Microsoft search facilities should have a checkbox labelled "Don't try to be clever, just show me the effing files".

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Microsoft frisked blogger's Hotmail inbox, IM chat to hunt Windows 8 leaker, court told

Kubla Cant
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Win 8 trade secrets

Secrets such as "How to spend millions of dollars developing an operating system nobody wants or likes"?

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Keep your quinoa, hipsters: Boffins back healthy slabs of choc

Kubla Cant
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WTF?

Re: So is it ok to chew coca leaves now?

Not only "coca" and "cocoa", but also "cacao". The vowels seem to drift around at random.

"Cacao" is the stuff sold by the rather annoying toff from the TV series Willy's Wonky Chocolate Factory, better known as "How I struggled desperately to build my small business despite several million pounds-worth of free TV publicity". The chocolate's not bad, actually.

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Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

Kubla Cant
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Re: That's my code knackered then.....

Up in Yorkshire we burn our faggots.

And in Eastern England they use faggots to build roads and banks. With any luck there are quite a lot of faggots in the vicinity of Scunthorpe.

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Kubla Cant
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@Destroy All Monsters: actually, the conventional spelling is "Genghis Khan".

It's presumably a transcription to the Latin alphabet of a Chinese transcription of a pair of Mongol words, so you could probably spell it any way you like. The "gh" construct suggests that the transcription was done in a language like Italian, where "gh" and "ch" are required for a hard consonant before "e" or "i".

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Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

Kubla Cant
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Re: I find that nappies

@gloucester Are you using the Humpty-Dumpty Words Means Whatever I Want Dictionary? This is what I find in reputable sources. And, no, I haven't omitted a second definition from further down the page.

OED 1. Very loyal and committed in attitude and 2. (Of a wall) of strong or firm construction.

Cambridge always loyal in supporting a person, organization, or set of beliefs or opinions.

Collins 1. loyal, firm, and dependable, 2. solid or substantial in construction, 3. (rare) (of a ship, etc) watertight; seaworthy

Merriam-Webster 1a : watertight, sound, 1b strongly built: substantial, 2 steadfast in loyalty or principle.

I'm afraid my knowledge of Old French isn't as good as yours, but some dictionaries appear to concur in your view that "staunch" derives from a 13C verb meaning "to stanch". If people are going to post to El Reg in archaic foreign languages, it would help to add some indication of which language they are using.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: I find that nappies

staunch a deep puncture wound

staunch /stɔːn(t)ʃ/ adjective Very loyal and committed in attitude.

The word you are thinking of is "stanch".

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NZ bloke's drunken poker bet ends in 99-letter name

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: $127 fee

whats to say he wouldn't loose it on a hand of poker

I doubt that it's possible, but he might lose it.

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Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

Kubla Cant
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Re: and for the yoof

I don't think the yoof will be able to understand anything that contains an apostrophe.

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Barclays warns freelance techies of DOUBLE DIGIT rate cut

Kubla Cant
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Re: Perspective

@horsham_sparky - You are mistaken. £500 per day is mid-to-low for IT contractors in London banks.

I've never been on the wrong end of one of these rate cuts, but it's been in the air, and I've naturally considered my response. Even with a 10% reduction in effort I'll still be more productive than the permies, and I can spend the 10% of time I've freed up to look for another contract at leisure.

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

Kubla Cant
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Re: "In conjunction with Electronics Today International. "

And Watford Electronics. And Henry's.

Henry's had an actual shop in Edgware Road. In the late 1970s I worked in Westbourne Grove, near the shop of Zaerex Valves, another regular advertiser in Practical Wireless. One night the shop burned down - probably the sensible course for a valve supplier in the solid-state age.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Great headline! re: prices

It scares me how much their prices seem to have hiked in recent years.

It's surprising how many retailers have responded to the threat posed by cheap online prices by increasing prices in-store.

You can never find an economist when you need one.

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Roll up, roll up for the Commentards' Ball

Kubla Cant
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Will attendees be identified..

by their forum names?

by what they claimed were their real names when they signed up?

by their email addresses?

not at all?

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Aargh! My EYEBALLS are MELLLTING! Curse this DEVIL LAPTOP

Kubla Cant
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Re: Not just an expert,

I object

Overruled

sudo I object

oh, well, ...

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Bill Gates is BACK... as CHIEF RICH human of PLANET EARTH

Kubla Cant
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As of Jan 2013 (1 year ago) Gates had given $28B to charity.

It would be interesting to see Forbes Rich List enhanced with the level of charitable donation for each billionaire. Has Lounge Lizard Larry spent money on anything more praiseworthy than a boat, for example?

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

When somebody replies to your post with [Citation needed], repeating the post with an added title doesn't count as a citation.

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How a Facebook post by blabbermouth daughter cost her parents $80,000

Kubla Cant
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Re: Story

I wouldn't have thought it would require a mastery of subterfuge for him to keep the settlement secret from his daughter. $80k is unlikely to change the family lifestyle. In view of the apparent insecurity of his occupation, the expensive trip to Europe doesn't seem like the best course of action.

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RSA booked TV's Stephen Colbert to give the final speech. This is what happened next

Kubla Cant
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Re: Growing like Topsy

completely pwned by a 29-year old with a thumb drive

I liked that bit, too. But it made me wonder how to use "pwned" in speech, rather than writing.

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Github brews text editor for developers

Kubla Cant
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Over the years I've used a wide variety of editors, from edlin to <insert name of favourite powerful editor here>, to write code and munge data.

I've found much to criticise and wish for in most of them. Oddly enough, the one thing I've never thought is "I wish this editor was part of, or an offshoot from, a web browser". It's impressive that they can do it, but I find it hard to imagine why they want to.

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HP: We're so down wid da kidz! Look at... er, Smithers, what DO yoof look at these days?

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Sad state of affairs

Unfortunately proof reading is a skill that seems largely lost nowadays, scarily I've seen PR people drafting press releases without any proofing what so ever.

A proof-reader might tell you that "whatsoever" is usually written without spaces, and that you shouldn't join two sentences with a comma. A semicolon or colon would be appropriate here.

Sorry.

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Microsoft's JavaScript challenger nears 1.0, wins Visual Studio love

Kubla Cant
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Re: Developer expectations...

VS is so far behind IntelliJ IDEA

I'm glad I'm not the only one to think this.

VS (very expensive) compares unfavourably with the features that IntelliJ (reasonably priced) and Eclipse (free) had 10 years ago.

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LG offers BRAIN-SAVING CANCER-BL... er 'good luck charms'

Kubla Cant
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Re: Finally save

nobody really believes they do anything

The claims on the packet seem to say they do. The Carbolic Smoke Ball Company tried to claim that nobody takes such claims seriously, and it didn't work for them.

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Saving private spying: IETF Draft reveals crypto-busting proxy proposal

Kubla Cant
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Re: Pointless?

Why would "broadcast and on-demand entertainment media streaming" be encrypted in the first place?

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Climate change will 'CAUSE huge increase in MURDER, ROBBERY and RAPE'

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Time to get the calculator out

@dogged

I used to think "burgled" was correct, too. On investigation it turned out that it's a back-formation based on the incorrect assumption that "burglar" is just a funny way of spelling "burgler".

See http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2011/01/17/entanet_stepney/#c_959179.

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