* Posts by Kubla Cant

1821 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Joining the illuminati? Just how bright can a smart bulb really be?

Kubla Cant
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Re: cart before horse

Rather than put the 'cleverness' into the bulb, why not put it into the wall switch?

Exactly. I can't be the only person who thinks a room looks better if it's only lit by table lamps. But it's a pain to walk round the room turning them on individually.

I have two rooms where the wall switch is wired to 5 amp wall sockets. It should be simple to create similar functionality with a wall switch that communicates via wireless or powerline with smart plugs in standard 13 amp outlets, so anything can be activated from the wall switch by the door.

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Ex-Microsoft craft ale buffs rattle tankard for desktop brewery

Kubla Cant
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The fond childhood memories of sneaking into the garage and nicking a swig... then instantly spitting it back into the jug.

I can't be the only one who has student memories* along the lines of "if we keep fermenting this as long as possible, we get free alcohol". The result was a sinister, almost still beverage with a strong taste and good deal of sediment. The effects were generally everything we expected.

* I can remember brewing the stuff, but as with concussion, there's a blank patch after we started drinking it.

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Another go at remote objects: Google gRPC hits beta

Kubla Cant
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REST has delivered a lot, but there's always a lurking sense that you're using a screwdriver as a chisel (or maybe vice versa). It's also plagued with religious disputes and doubts. Should this be POST or PUT? Am I allowed to invoke a procedure with GET? Does this value belong in the request body, the header or the URL and if so where?

I think REST triumphed over SOAP by cutting down on the WSDL bureaucracy, and SOAP displaced its predecessors by using a go-anywhere network protocol. gRPC is going to have to deliver a major benefit to be the Next Big Thing.

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TalkTalk attack: Lad, 15, cuffed by UK cyber-cops

Kubla Cant
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Re: Bobby Tables, 15, cuffed by TalkTalk hacking probe cops

If you qualified with a degree in politics & economics, well, go do that. You didn't qualify with a degree in software engineering. If you qualified with a degree in accountancy, well, guess what? You are not a coder.

@LucreLout: You appear to believe that acquiring a degree in something is the way to learn how to do it professionally. I'm afraid I have unwelcome news for you.

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TalkTalk incident management: A timeline

Kubla Cant
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Re: They have left an open door for the competition

I know plusnet store passwords either as plain text or using easily reversible encryption, their support people can tell you what your password is.

BT too.

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El Reg revisits Battle of Agincourt on 600th anniversary

Kubla Cant
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We won the battle, but who won the war (not us).

The problem seems to have been that the mediæval military machines and the economies behind them simply lacked the resources for complete conquest. A king might be fabulously rich by comparison with most of his subjects, but he wasn't rich enough to pay for a standing army. The taxation system of the time was primitive and inefficient and the economies being taxed weren't very large.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Slight historical inaccuracy

It was actually the French-speaking Anglo-French fighting the French-speaking French French.

Not so.

English replaced Norman-French as the court language in the reign of Edward III, at the start of the Hundred Years War, long before Agincourt (link). Ceremonial court language would have been decades behind the language people actually spoke, even at court.

Since the time of Edward I, popular myth suggested that the French planned to extinguish the English language, and as his grandfather had done, Edward III made the most of this scare (link). This suggests that English was fully accepted as the national language by Edward I (reigned 1272 to 1307), who is believed to have been taught it as a child.

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Kubla Cant
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Plus the English practice of men-at-arms fighting on foot, and the devastation wrought by the longbow in the hands of "hommes de nul valeur". You can't help thinking that it was snobbery that lost it for the French.

It also seems to have been their inability to learn from experience. The French problems at Agincourt were very similar to those they encountered at Crécy, 79 years earlier.

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Bacon can kill: Official

Kubla Cant
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Which process?

What do they mean by "processed" meat?

Bacon is cured with nitrate and possibly smoked - two processes. Sausages like salami are made with quite a lot of nitrate, but I'm pretty sure the much-reviled British sausage is made with raw pork. Bresaola and biltong are processed by air drying - does that turn them carcinogenic? Come to that, cooking is a form of processing.

Does this apply to anything "processed"? I'd be overjoyed if I never have to eat processed peas again - what is the mysterious pea process?

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If MR ROBOT was realistic, he’d be in an Iron Maiden t-shirt and SMELL of WEE

Kubla Cant
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Re: urine-filled bottles

Cola bottles are for wimps - real men use open buckets

The reason for using bottles rather than buckets is that the input liquid arrives in bottles, so bottles are available. In order to use a bucket you'd have to plan ahead.

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TalkTalk attack: 'No legal obligation to encrypt customer bank details', says chief

Kubla Cant
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Re: encryption doesn't help?

The point is really whether the database itself is compromised, or the code that accesses it.

I was staggered to hear that this is apparently a SQL injection attack. FFS, it's 2015, and a major web site that handles personal financial details is vulnerable to an attack vector that was old news in 2005.

I can sort-of see the point about no legal obligation to encrypt. Most of the information they hold is strictly speaking public. Your name and address are on every letter you receive, your card numbers are available to anyone you pay using a cut-out coupon or old-fashioned card machine, your bank details are on every cheque you write.

In the days of paper transactions, none of this really mattered. Nowadays this public information is supposed to be kept secret. It's security by obscurity on a global scale.

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Experts ponder improbable size of Cleopatra's asp

Kubla Cant
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Re: "So it would be impossible to use a snake to kill two or three people one after the other."

the really poisonous Geography Cone Snail

It doesn't need to be poisonous venomous. It can bore people to death by telling them the principle exports of... zzz zzz.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Slapper?

But old Alex was Macedonian. Not the same as Greek.

Curiously, the Greek government objects strenuously to the modern state of Macedonia on the grounds that ancient Macedonia was Greek.

Magna Græcia included Asia Minor, Sicily, Naples, Marseilles and a few places on the East coast of Spain, so it's probably not stretching things too far to describe Alexander as Greek.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Slapper?

The picture at the top of the article looks more like Little Egypt than Cleopatra.

"She walks, she talks, she craaawls on her belly like a reptile!"

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TalkTalk CEO admits security fail, says hacker emailed ransom demand

Kubla Cant
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Re: Radio 4

The interview on Radio 4 this morning the person claimed it was too early to say if important customer data was encrypted ( and there was millions of records, as if that was a reason).

Record 1: not encrypted, record 2: not encrypted either, record 3: still not encrypted, record 4...

You can see how this may take some time.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Dido Harding...

Remember me, forget my fate!

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Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated

Kubla Cant
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Re: I Don't Care

Will I buy another VW when this one eventually dies? Damned right I will.

You're probably correct in your belief that the emissions cheating business won't of itself deter buyers. But there are other considerations.

VW seems to have done this to save on the cost of the AdBlue system they would otherwise have needed to get rid of NOx in the exhaust. So expect future VWs to be more expensive.

VW will likely spend the next decade paying massive fines and fighting court cases. The money this costs them will be money that competitors can spend on development. So your 2025 VW won't just be expensive, it will be old-fashioned.

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Our intuitive AI outperforms (most) puny humans, claims MIT

Kubla Cant
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When you start thinking about machine solutions for real-world problems, it becomes clear that much of the cleverness lies in defining the problem domain.

Take something slightly simpler than the conflicts in the Middle East: the Great Heathrow Runway Debate. If you're going to ask a machine to resolve that question, then you have to assign values to all the conflicting interests. Having done that, you've probably come to your own decision without the machine.

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NASA deep space scope serves up EPIC Earth snapshots

Kubla Cant
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Mushroom

Re: Dull moon

If you compare the lunar surface with e.g. Australia they are not wildly different in brightness.

So you're implying that Australia is as dull as the moon? Some people may take exception to that.

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CIA boss uses AOL email – and I hacked it, claims stoner teen

Kubla Cant
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Re: Honeypot

I wouldn't be surprised to find that either the account is a honeypot that's really been hacked, or the hack reports are fake. It's all a bit to good (or do I mean bad) to be true.

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Pimp your TV: Goggle box gadgets and gizmos

Kubla Cant
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Trollface

Post-it note

post-it notes for guests explaining how they can watch Corrie

Dear Guest,

If you want to watch "Corrie", I suggest you get in your car and drive home. I was under the misapprehension I was accommodating somebody with taste. The same applies to any other television programme with a nickname (I'm thinking of "Strictly", but I dare say there are others).

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Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Seriously Misjudged the Mood

boy what a hiccough (stupid English spelling...)

You mean erroneous spelling. It's never been spelled any way other than "hiccup", except by victims of do-it-yourself etymology who think it's a kind of cough.

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Ad networks promise to do something about the awful adverts you're all blocking, like, real soon

Kubla Cant
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Ads HAVE TO track you in order for the operator of the Ad network to get credit for generating sales.

No they don't. The only thing they NEED to track is which advertising campaign led to which sales.

At the risk of sounding like a justly-reviled marketing wanker, I suspect it's a bit more complicated. Originally print advertising was sold on the basis of circulation - the more copies sold, the higher the rate. Then someone invented readership surveys, and it turned out that some publications had many more readers per copy than others, so rates started to be based on cost per thousand readers. Next thing was demographic profiling, so companies selling golf clubs could see the cost per thousand AB males. Then more detailed surveys like TGI allowed advertisers to home in on, say, C1C2 married women who like trying new things (fnaar fnaar).

The shortcoming of all this was that it depended on surveys, so the information was unreliable and the confidence interval for exotic cross-analyses tended to be unacceptably large. Online advertisers aspire to build a corpus of real information (sites visited, things purchased etc) about identifiable users, or at least their computers, so they can target their ads.

There's a sense in which this could be a slightly good thing. I hate the ads on TV, but what I particularly hate is the fact that 75% of them seem to be for women's hair and skin products. If somebody found a way to show me only ads for things I'm interested in buying I might be more tolerant.

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Wheels come off parents' plan to dub sprog 'Mini Cooper'

Kubla Cant
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Paris Hilton

Re: What about...

I'm amazed nobody's yet mentioned Paris Hilton.

Do the Hiltons have a child called Shepherds Bush, who likes to be known as Kensington?

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You can hack a PC just by looking at it, say 3M and HP

Kubla Cant
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Would be useful if they integrated this into screens, allowed sections of it to be turned on and off by software and then turned it on over password fields only.

Useful, but only when you're logging in to a system that displays the password characters. If you're still using something like that then people spying on your screen is probably the least of your problems. I'd guess that the last such system became obsolete in 1980.

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Internet daddy Vint Cerf blasts FCC's plan to ban Wi-Fi router code mods

Kubla Cant
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Re: How do you police this?

And does the FCC plan to procure a ban on soldering irons, because you can use them to build a device that broadcasts on illegal frequencies?

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WIPO punts Cambridge University over attempt to grab Cambridge.com

Kubla Cant
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it's not like the city is named after the Uni

True. But the university is what the city's famous for. Without it, Cambridge might be just as famous as, say, St Neots.

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PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe

Kubla Cant
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Re: Vive La Difference

What kind of moronic toll road system allows motorists to stop and pay at toll points?

The sort of moronic toll road system that is used by people who don't have a tag, because they only travel on the road infrequently? I drive on French autoroutes about once every two years, so I'm not going to acquire a tag.

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How much do UK cops pay for Microsoft licences? £30 a head or £137? Both

Kubla Cant
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Re: Why pay fees at all?

a government standardised version of Linux

Much though I love Linux, the idea of a distro originated by the government sounds like sheer hell.

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Windows 10 mobile upgrade coming in December

Kubla Cant
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Re: Great picture.

Windows 3.1 came on 7 floppies

Funny, it seems like more in my recollection. Maybe I used to install NT from floppies?

I loved the picture, though.

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Online VAT fraud: Calls for government crackdown grow louder

Kubla Cant
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Re: Ugh

Why not just ditch VAT?

Because it's a very cheap tax to collect. This is obviously attractive from the government's point of view, but it's also a benefit to us as tax-payers. If the government needs £20k of my income to spend every year, I'd far rather pay an extra £100 for collection costs than an extra £1000.

This factor is generally overlooked by people devising complicated "fair" taxation schemes. They may be more equitable, but we're all worse off because of the money wasted on collection.

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To save mobile web, we must destroy JavaScript, HTML and CSS

Kubla Cant
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Re: Dumb, dumb, DUMB.

1999 called - they want their web pages back.

A major use of JavaScript these days is to build single-page applications (SPAs), where the markup remains substantially unchanged while data is sent back and forth using AJAX. Removing JavaScript will presumably mean reverting to the slow round-trips and page refreshes of yesteryear.

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Sanbolic smoke ball was no mere puff: Citrix preps new Melio release

Kubla Cant
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Re: Did Citrix insult your mother?

The reference to the Carbolic Smoke Ball also seems to be some kind of dig, since the case involved a company that refused to deliver on its promises. Though I have to say that Sanbolic is a name that sounds more like bog cleaner than storage virtualisation.

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White House 'deeply disappointed' by Europe outlawing Silicon Valley

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Democratize with a zed

I think you're mistaken in thinking that the z-spelling is distinctively American, although it may be more popular there. It used to be the norm (and maybe still is at OUP) that "-ise" is used for Latin roots and "-ize" for Greek roots, of which "democracy" is unquestionably one.

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Testing CarPlay with Apple’s most expensive ever accessory

Kubla Cant
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Re: Walled garden strikes again

Voland's right hand wrote "One I know of is 7 layers", but I mis-read it as "One I know of is 7 lawyers". Appropriate, maybe.

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Is the world ready for a Raspberry Pi-powered Lego Babbage Engine?

Kubla Cant
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Re: Working model ?

The Raspberry Pi angle and the references to Victorian appearance and steampunk strongly suggest that it won't be a working model. Also, look how much time and trouble the Science Museum expended on the construction of the Difference Engine No 2.

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Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her

Kubla Cant
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Joke

Re: The Indictment

A lot of nasty, back stabbing ignorant keyboard warriors hell bent on spewing shite and yet contributing nothing to the world as a whole.

That's no way to talk about El Reg commentards!

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Weird garbled Windows 7 update baffles world – now Microsoft reveals the truth

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

The OP wrote "already effected public systems". If he's using effect as a transitive verb then that would mean that Microsoft, or their patch, had created or brought about public systems. Notwithstanding its etymology, effect is rarely used with a concrete object; in fact its use as a verb seems to be confined to objects that have a sense of "change" or "result". This suggests to me that the word intended was affect.

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It's the white heat of the tech revolution, again!

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Paraphrase

"The white heat of the technological revolution" is actually a slight paraphrasing of the contents of Howard Wilson's 1 October, 1963 speech

And "Howard Wilson" is actually a slight paraphrasing of Harold Wilson's name.

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Tesla X unfolds its Falcon wings, stumbles belatedly into the light

Kubla Cant
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because they're very cheap to run.

Until they become reasonably numerous, at which time governments will start to notice the amount of fuel duty they're losing. Thereafter electric power will be subject to a two-tier taxation regime similar to the one currently applied to diesel.

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Is Windows 10 slurping too much data? No, says Microsoft. Nuh-uh. Nope

Kubla Cant
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Where does this lead?

At present, as I understand it, there are really only two kinds of Windows 10 installation: corporate, for which you need to pay for some kind of multiple license, and personal, which you pay for by letting Microsoft spy on you in all the horrible ways described here.

It's fairly obvious that the large corporates are never going to allow any of the spying and unconditional updating that personal users are subject to. Most of them have spent the past 20 years discovering the support nightmare that comes with free-form Windows desktops and working hard to get a lid on it.

But what about the numerous SMEs? Most of them aren't large enough for site licenses and corporate desktop builds, but that doesn't mean they'll roll over and accept unscheduled updates and phone-home spying. Unless MS is prepared to write off this community of users, there has to be a paid, non-volume, version of W10 with no spying and no forced updating.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Bypassing host file

http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/ At the bottom is #Windows 10... have fun as it's a long list.

The author of this hosts file evidently thinks you can use it to confound the Windows 10 reporting. The post that started this thread believes Windows is bypassing the hosts file. Does anyone know which it is?

Either way, I suppose a proxy server would be another way to prevent Windows phoning home.

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Sky 'fesses up to broken fibre cables as cause of outage woes

Kubla Cant
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One of the main features of the original Arpanet project was to create a network that would be resilient to damage. At the time they were thinking in terms of nuclear war. Now it seems that Arpanet's successor gets stuffed by a bit of broken fibre. Good to see evidence of progress.

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The pachyderm punch: El Reg takes just-over-a-ton Elephone P8000 to tusk

Kubla Cant
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Re: Pocket Computers

You might solve that with a PAYG SIM that never gets topped-up.

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Spirit of the Ghost: Taking a Rolls-Royce Wraith around France

Kubla Cant
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Re: A small detail.

buttons to electrically slide the front seats

When the chauffeur is driving, you're allowed to slide him back and forward.

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Gold bugs, concrete bog roll holders and frolic-friendly furniture: What IS it with designers?

Kubla Cant
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Steam flames

these babies can be plumbed into your regular water supply to save having to top them up

Unfortunately I'm so far behind the curve that none of my fireplaces has a water supply. I suppose I could have a fake wood fire in the bath, but that would mean taking the coal out.

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We saw the future: Apart from the bath apps it looks like the past

Kubla Cant
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Re: LED filament bulbs

But being filament bulbs, they don't last long.

The longest-lasting light bulb in the world* is a filament bulb. This one's in California, but I'm sure I've read of another ancient bulb in Scotland.

* apologies for the Daily Fail link - it was just what came up on Google.

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PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row

Kubla Cant
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Re: re: animals are animals, not people

You are aware that people are animals, yeah?

If you think that means animals are people, you need to spend some time studying predicate logic.

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POLAR DINOSAURS prowled ARCTIC NIGHT, cast doubt on COLD BLOOD theory

Kubla Cant
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Re: Vegetarian?

Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice/ethical position. Herbivorous is the word you're looking for.

"herbivorous" is only the word you're looking for if they ate leaves or grasses. If they ate fruit, it's "fructivorous". It's odd that there doesn't seem to be a word for anything-except-meat-eaters.

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Robber loses heist case after 'evil twin' defence, gets 60 years

Kubla Cant
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Get over yourselves, rape isn't funny, racism isn't funny, knocking minorities isn't funny.

True. None of the above is intrinsically funny, but they may all be the subject of funny jokes (see clown shoes, above).

If the El Reg forums are going to become infested by lip-pursing, "we are not amused", PC bores, then I'll be looking elsewhere for entertainment.

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