* Posts by Kubla Cant

1298 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: 1.5 MILLION SCOVILLE masala omelette

Kubla Cant
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Re: Lhassi/Lassi

Unfortunately most yoghurts are low-fat. Even if your lassi is made with full-fat yoghurt, it probably won't have much more fat than the equivalent quantity of milk.

Interesting to read about the noxious vapours released when this omelette was cooking. Although I only use fairly mild chillies I've found that even gentle frying causes them to release a vapour that causes discomfort, so I've taken to adding them at the end.

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Users shun UK.gov flagship digital service

Kubla Cant
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Re: Please write out 100 times.

Yes but it was the first image they could find on Google.

Not least among the horrors of the Reg redesign is the replacement of a small collection of, admittedly rather boring, images with a larger range of bigger, more intrusive, and largely irrelevant ones.

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Stuck on a coding problem – should you Bing it?

Kubla Cant
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Unkind thought

To adapt the famous words of Jamie Zawinski:

You have a coding problem.

You decide to Bing it.

Now you have two problems.

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YES, we need TWO MEELLION ORACLE licences - DEFRA

Kubla Cant
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@AC

"You know MySQL is free right?"

If your time has no value.

This is an idiotic statement. I've worked fairly extensively with Oracle and MySQL*. Oracle is certainly the more feature-rich, but for many applications there is little or no time penalty for using MySQL. The advantage may even be the other way, as you don't need the army of DBAs that seem to be part of every Oracle installation.

It appears, however, that this row isn't about Oracle database, but Oracle applications, so MySQL isn't an alternative.

* and Sybase and SQL Server and PostgreSQL (and Rdb, for those who remember it)

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Kubla Cant
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Mushroom

Jetex

I had a Jetex model plane, but I don't recall many successful flights.

A few years later, as evil teenagers, we discovered that Jetex fuse was very useful for delayed ignition of the weedkiller and sugar in home-made bombs.

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Kubla Cant
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Building set

One Christmas I was given a Brickplayer set.

As the Wikipedia article says: "The sets comprised baseboards, terracotta bricks and lintels, plastic door and window frames, card doors and roofing. The bricks were about 1 inch long in scale proportion to regular house bricks. Building plans were accurate architect's blue prints."

Using it was just as much fun as being a real bricklayer. I think I only built a bus shelter before becoming bored.

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Marriott: The TRUTH about personal Wi-Fi hotel jam bid

Kubla Cant
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Marriott Gaylord Opryland

the agency fined the Marriott Gaylord Opryland

The name alone deserves a massive fine.

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HOLD IT! Last minute gifts for one's nerd minions

Kubla Cant
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Unhappy

They pay you for that 10% though, right? Happy days!

It sounds like a good deal, I agree. But the 10% consists entirely of frustration time, so it's not such a good deal. Also, it means that everything I do takes longer, but complaining about the equipment is such a feeble tactic.

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Kubla Cant
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an SSD can help your nerds work faster

SSD? Only in my dreams. I'm currently sitting in front of a machine that's expected to run Win7, Outlook, SQL Server, Weblogic and 2+ copies of Eclipse with 4GB of memory. I'd love to work faster, but I spend about 10% of my (quite expensive) time watching windows painfully redraw, or staring at the hourglass while a storm of page faults thrashes the disk.

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde: Fun, but not for all

Kubla Cant
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Re: odd choices

Without the proper gearbox it's more of a imposter than a sport car.

I drove manual sports cars for years (and one of the best was my Alfa Bertone GTV). But I'm not sure that automatic transmission disqualifies this one.

Once upon a time cars were equipped with a manual advance-retard control. When it became clear that a machine could manage the ignition timing more reliably and safely I don't suppose anybody regretted the change. A modern automatic gearbox can change gear faster than the driver can, and it can manage more gears - does anybody really want to stick-shift through 8 or more ratios?

I don't think it will be long before manual gearshifts are as indicative of performance as fake air vents and external exhaust pipes.

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FURY erupts on streets of Brussels over greedy USA's data-slurping appetite

Kubla Cant
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Megaphone

Switched-on Belgians

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Brussels on Friday to express anger about secret trade talks

Not to say that this isn't an important issue, but I don't think you'd get much of a turn-out for a demo about trade talks in Britain. What's more, it seems to have been quite a demo: the picture at the head of the article appears to show riot police and tear gas. Those Belgians must be politically switched-on to an impressive degree.

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Careful - your helmet might get squashed by a VOLVO

Kubla Cant
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Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

@Phil O'Sophical

It would also help if cars would stay out of ASLs,

and if cyclists would stay IN them. One rule for them, one rule for everyone else, as always.

ASLs and cycle lanes are intended to protect a vulnerable class of road user from motor vehicles. They aren't a corral for cyclists.

a two-wheeled dickhead cycling along in the car lane at 10MPH

What excatly is "the car lane"? I don't recall having seen a part of the carriageway that's reserved for cars. Is it just reserved for your car, Phil O'Sophical? I think it's pretty clear which vehicle is being driven by the dickhead.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: What a stupid fucking idea....

Here's a better idea. GET SOME FUCKING LIGHTS and stop jumping red lights and weaving in and out of traffic.

The odd thing is that many motorists seem to have difficulty seeing cyclists who do have lights, even though they can spot hundreds without lights.

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BONK for CASH in Brixton and help us EAT the RICH

Kubla Cant
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Have no truck with this

There's a set of laws called the Truck Acts, introduced between 1725 and 1940, that outlawed the practice where employers would pay wages in tokens that could only be spent in their own (overpriced) shops. It's not directly comparable, but if I lived in Brixton and somebody tried to pass some B£ on me, I'd feel like I was being enrolled on some kind of truck system.

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Microsoft kills its Euro pane in the a**: The 'would you prefer Chrome?' window

Kubla Cant
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The headline for this item is missing an asterisk in 'a**' of course.

I thought it was about donkeys.

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Boggling bum babe Kim fails to 'break the internet' – Robin Williams instead tops Google charts

Kubla Cant
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Windows

Conchita Wurst

I've eaten bratwurst, weisswurst, leberwurst, and even, in an unwise lapse, currywurst. But I've never seen Conchitawurst. It sounds like a sort of German chorizo.

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Kubla Cant
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You were lucky. I thought they were talking about Kim Jong Il.

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

Kubla Cant
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Re: "Sellafield is going to cost way more than the current £70 Billion alloted "

I should think Sellafield is a poor example for the decommissioning cost of generating plants, anyway. It's significantly older than most nuclear power stations, and in its early days it was called Windscale Plutonium Factory (!) before they decided to sanitise the name.

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European Commish asks for rivals' moans about Booking.com

Kubla Cant
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WTF?

Re: Am I alone

Am I alone in that I make a practice of checking several booking sites when I'm looking for a hotel? I'm slightly surprised to learn that booking.com is dominant, because I've rarely found their offer the most attractive.

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Independent inquiry into British air-traffic-control IT nightmare

Kubla Cant
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Vince Cable

Vince Cable yesterday accused NATS of "skimping on large scale investment" and running "ancient computer systems, which then crash."

Does Vince Cable ever do anything except whinge? His public persona seems to have been modeled on the Old Gits.

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FATTIES: Boffins say their miracle sunshine skin cream 'prevents obesity'

Kubla Cant
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Joke

Re: Miracle!

a bodybuilding article I once read

Bodybuilders can read?

(please check the icon before coming round to beat me up)

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Did rock-hard aliens turn young Earth MOIST? New probe data emerges

Kubla Cant
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Re: Water on Earth is ELEMENTAL, my dear Watson !

I only looked at the landing page of your site, but it was enough to suggest that you've discovered the HTML equivalent of green ink.

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Boffins: We have found a way to unlock the MYSTERIES OF SHEEP from old parchments

Kubla Cant
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Re: And for an encore

+1 for the joke, but I think historic ink was more likely made from iron and oak galls than squid.

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Kubla Cant
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Zzzz...

A great idea.

But am I the only one to feel that reading the family histories of sheep would have a similar effect to counting the sheep? Even the short paragraph about Swaledales and Scottish Blackface is venturing into the "more than you ever wanted to know about sheep" zone.

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The Great Unwatched: BBC hails glorious digital future for Three

Kubla Cant
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Presumably a +1 channel is cheap, as there's no additional editorial cost. The programs on BBC3 may look like they cost nothing, but it's still the more expensive option.

I don't watch commercial channels much because I find it annoying when programmes are interrupted for ads. I was horrified to discover that BBC3 interrupts films with non-ad breaks in which some witless totty recites "news" about "celebrities". The sooner they close it the better.

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Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

Kubla Cant
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One interesting side-effect of the ETA shown on the satnav is that you can see exactly what difference your speed makes. On long motorway journeys the time taken is a fairly direct function of speed, but elsewhere it seems that driving as fast as I dare makes so little difference that it's not worthwhile.

There seem to be more and more average-speed cameras, and these seem ro be much more effective than the old fixed cameras. Sometimes I wonder, when I'm sitting in a tailback on the A14, whether I'd be entitled, or even obligated, to complete my journey at 150 mph in order to achieve the required average.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Hazard

in the UK, disguising the things was made illegal over a decade ago

It didn't really work. I think the law says they have to be yellow, but fails to specify what kind of yellow. The small, presumably digital, cameras that are replacing the big square boxes all seem to be painted a dull buff colour.

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Sacre block! French publishers to sue Adblock maker – report

Kubla Cant
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Viewing ads is the price you pay

So here are a few techniques to pay your way:

1. Install an ad-blocker that saves all the ads, instead of displaying them, so you can view them later when you have lots of free time. The trouble with this is that it may fill your disk before you get round to viewing.

2. Set up a service where people with lots of free time and not much money get paid for looking at other people's ads. The ad-blocker can re-route all your ads to this service. Not very PC, and it costs.

3. Adopt the same solution as for other mindless repetitive tasks: get a computer to do it for you. This is my favourite. If the advertisers complain that I'm not viewing their ads, I can honestly assure them that my computer has examined every byte in far more detail than I would be able to manage.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Money speaks, as usual

Anyone know of a competing Ad Blocker?

Try Privoxy. An ad-blocking proxy server is a bit more fiddly to install than ABP, but it blocks ads everywhere, including Chrome, IE, email etc. You can also set up a single proxy server for your entire network, so ads don't even get across the threshold.

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NASA prods sleeping New Horizons spacecraft: Wakey, wakey, Pluto's calling

Kubla Cant
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A stunningly impressive mission.

But am I alone in finding the name "New Horizon" slightly naff? Also inappropriate, as the one thing you don't see much of in deep space is the horizon.

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SCIENCE LAB TERROR: MYSTERY of the MISSING BRAINS

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Don't loose your head

Bentham may have lost his head, but even without it I expect he knew the difference between "lose" and "loose".

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Kubla Cant
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Dumb meter

Not long ago I had to have a new electricity supply and meter installed*, and I feared that they might install a smart meter. They didn't, but they did position the tiny new meter up by the ceiling because that's where the big old electromechanical one was. When the meter reader next called I had to fetch him a ladder so he could read it.

* The old supply consisted of a cable that branched off my neighbour's supply, went over the roof of his house, then connected to a pair of lethal bare copper cables on brackets along my side wall (evidently too hard to remove when they originally decommissioned the overhead supply in the village).

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Kubla Cant
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Re: One way?

@Gazareth

I have to rise to this because I "studied" at Oxford and live near Cambridge. Both score equal points for their historic centres. Oxford has nice Victorian suburbs that are mostly lacking in Cambridge, but it also has Cowley, Blackbird Leys, etc. The countryside around Cambridge is something of an acquired taste; the Oxfordshire environment is mostly picturesque, but it's a bit Chipping Norton.

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Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Kubla Cant
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Welcome back, King Canute*

So, the UK government is banning hard porn on the Internet, the EU is going to dismember Google and Amazon. And I hear that my local Council has plans to reduce gravity.

* Apparently the tide stunt was actually staged by Canute to show that he wasn't omnipotent. It's a pity today's rulers are less wise.

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Kubla Cant
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Re: LibreOffice

I use LibreOffice a lot and it hasn't messed up any docx files

I recently used LibreOffice to edit a .docx created in Word, and sent the result back to the originator, who couldn't open the file in Word because of malformed XML. Fortunately, saving it from LibreOffice as .rtf and .doc produced readable files.

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Kubla Cant
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Re: Ah, New Zealand...

You normally find Paydaynpawn Place at the end of Bettingshop Boulevard.

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By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

Kubla Cant
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Re: Been in the museum where they have this object

to quote Sir Isaac Newton "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants"

It's thought that by "giants" he may have meant "people taller than Hooke", who quarrelled with Newton and seems to have been short. It's a gratuitous personal slur rather than a lofty philosopical reflection.

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Pay with your credit card at station kiosk? 'Dare Devil' is targeting YOU

Kubla Cant
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"As this POS malware market is evolving, new security measures are needed to combat the seemingly continuous strains being developed by the underground," the researchers said.

I suppose the underground is trying to win business from the overground.

The self-service tills in B&Q (the ones voiced by Annoying Naggy Woman) appear to run a Linux distro, to judge from the lengthy scrolling log that appears when they're rebooted.

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Festive streamers caught in Vulture's claws: Gadget-ogle for audiophiles, video geeks

Kubla Cant
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Re: I'd quite like the Dual autochanger

I notice that it offers speeds of 78, 45 and 33⅓, but not 16⅔. I wonder if 16⅔ records ever existed - I've certainly never seen any.

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Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

Kubla Cant
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Terminator

the name R.U.R. has an excellent pedigree

R.U.R. is the pedigree!

It's the play by Karel Čapek where the word "robot" first appeared (in 1920). The name stands for "Rossum's Universal Robots". Čapek seems to have imagined organic androids, rather than mechanical robots, though that may have been mainly to simplify stage presentation.

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

Kubla Cant
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Skipper

Why is Barbie's sister called Skipper? Does she wear a beard and a greasy sou'wester? Does she look like a tinned pilchard? A penguin?

With all the names in the world to choose from, it seems an odd selection.

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FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study

Kubla Cant
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Re: Skinny vs Fat

have you ever seen a fat terrorist, or a drunken one?

It's going back a bit, but Brendan Behan* was an IRA volunteer and pictorial evidence suggests he sank a good few Guinesses with consequent effect on his girth. He may not actually have been a fat, drunken terrorist, but I bet a few of his co-volunteers were.

* Lest I unleash a storm of Hibernian protest, let me say that I intend no sleight on the man's literary output.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Web site request

@Simon Bacon

A simple solution might be to check the byline before you read the article. But you sound like somebody who never misses an opportunity to be outraged, so I suppose that would spoil your enjoyment.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Time to start taxing these lard buckets

I'm for the "Logans Run" option

Don't you mean "Logan's Waddle"?

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U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND

Kubla Cant
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Re: @Lostintranslation

And I live on the left hand side of the country and concur. Improve the M5 and the M6.

What about the right hand side? Have you ever used the travesty that's the A1? Before you even reach Peterborough you'll drive on normal motorway, a joke motorway where the inside lane disappears at every junction, a dual carriageway that runs past people's front doors, and a massive eight-lane superhighway that connects the villages of Alconbury and Stilton. The only "improvements" it ever sees are more speed limits.

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VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that

Kubla Cant
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Re: There's something to vinyl... Don't know what though

I think Vinyl makes you lisiten more, with digital, you can flick 'next' way to easily at the slightest glint of risng boredom

I think you've made an important point, Teiwaz.

I've noticed something similar when watching films. In the cinema, I watch through to the end unless the film is unspeakably bad (and not just because I've paid). At home, I'll often stick with a broadcast film once I've started to watch. But films streamed from Netflix etc have about five minutes to capture my interest before they're off.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: how to give your Vinyl a "deep clean" using wood glue

I tried this and I now have one very thick LP.

Evo-Stik is a wood glue, isn't it?

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OpenSUSE 13.2: Have your gecko and eat your rolling distro too

Kubla Cant
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Re: Gecko? Really?

Chameleon, yes.

I wondered if it might be a chameleon standing in front of a gecko, but that's the wrong way round, and geckos don't change to look like their background.

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Watchdog bites hotel booking site: Over 3k card details slurped

Kubla Cant
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Re: SQL Injection!!!

"validate input" - certainly worth doing, but not a protection against SQL injection.

"quote all strings" - emphatically not. This implies that user-entered values are still being used to cobble together a SQL statement by string concatenation.

The safe way to protect against SQL injection is to use prepared statements and parameters. There is no way that parameter values can be converted into SQL commands, regardless of quotation marks*.

* Unless your database is a Walt Disney production, or you're using some kind of "execute immediate" feature, in which case you deserve whatever you get.

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Million Mask March: Anonymous' London Guy Fawkes protest a damp squib

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: You tell me it was a damp squid

"damp squid" is such a famous snowclone that it's been used as a book title.

Read the title of the article.

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