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* Posts by Kubla Cant

1140 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Google menaces Apple's 3-year-old toddler with its cheap stream tech

Kubla Cant
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Meh

Re: Meh

Double meh. I've read the article and about a hundred posts, and I still can't see what this gadget is for, nor why I should want one.

Why would I want to see stuff from my phone on the TV screen? If I want to use NetFlix I'll get it over my broadband connection. How many films does it take to burn through a typical mobile data allowance?

Is there some kind of content that's only available on phones? Anything else, I'll view on one of the computers in the house. If it absolutely has to be seen on a TV-size screen, and it's not available through the TV's internet connection, I can connect a computer to the TV.

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'World's BIGGEST online fraud': Suspect's phone had 'location' switched on

Kubla Cant
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Re: SQL injection - a big-mouthed web developer speaks

@AC 12:59: Any big-mouthed hacker brave enough to explain how he SQL injects prepared statements?

The kind of data access code that falls for SQL injection is usually a horrible mess of concatenated strings and escaped quotation marks. Trying to decipher it hurts your eyes and your brain. But converting it to something much more secure* isn't a particularly challenging task.

*I accept that nothing is 100% secure, but I've created plenty of sites that pass professional penetration testing. I don't suppose the sites that these hackers broke could claim that.

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Kubla Cant
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Facepalm

SQL injection

Learning that it is still possible to get hold of the details of 160 million cards using SQL injection is like being told that Fort Knox keeps a key under the doormat.

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Galaxy S4 FIREBALL ATE MY HOUSE, claims Hong Kong man

Kubla Cant
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Trollface

the blaze spread to his Merc too

And the blazing Merc also caused severe damage to his LearJet and his yacht, which were both in the driveway.

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Banknote campaigner's Twitter rape threats ordeal: Bloke, 21, cuffed

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: No problem with a woman being on a note

Most people's experience of 19th century novels is through the medium of TV and film adaptation.

There have been far more adaptations of Jane Austen than Mary Shelley, even allowing for the long tradition of Frankenstein films. Partly this is because Austen wrote more books, and partly because, in all honesty, she wrote better books.

Also, despite the adaptation entitled Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the story is better-known in the Boris Karloff and Hammer interpretations, which have a tenuous connection to the original author (or, indeed, the original story).

So I rather doubt that either sex knows more novels by Mrs Shelley. WRT Mr Shelley, a lot of people probably have some knowledge of Ozymandias, even if they don't know who wrote it.

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Mozilla ponders blinkers for your browser

Kubla Cant
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Big Brother

Re: Browsing history

We see that you're interested in doggy videos. We think you'll also like the following:

- cat videos

- more cat videos

- dogging videos

...

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Senator: Surveillance state based on secret law 'has no place in America'

Kubla Cant
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Re: seriously?

I wondered about that, too. I assume that anything said in Congress would be protected by some kind of absolute privilege*. So he could expose any secret goings-on that he could find out about.

*To be honest, I don't know the US constitution, and I'm extrapolating from the British model. Statements made on the floor of either house of Parliament are privileged. Presumably the Official Secrets Act doesn't trump this privilege - how could it, when the Act is Parliament's creation.

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Congrats architects, PR bods, toolmakers - you're the new digital tycoons!

Kubla Cant
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Facepalm

Define your terms

At the end of this article, I still don't know what makes a company "digital". Is it:

They manufacture digital hardware?

They develop software?

They sell hardware or software?

They use the internet for e-commerce?

They have a web site?

They use email?

They use a PC?

They use another digital device such as a till or cordless phone?

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For pity's sake: DON'T MOVE to the COUNTRY if you want to live

Kubla Cant
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If you live in the country, you drive more, especially in the US country, where small towns don't even provide sidewalks.

How many Americans still drive American cars? The bankruptcy of Detroit suggests not many do, but if they're widely used in the boondocks these trashy machines would account for a pretty high mortality rate.

Also, I think the legal age for driving is lower in the USA, and the driving test seems to be something of a formality (it would infringe your civil liberties not to be allowed to drive). Young drivers account for a high proportion of fatalities everywhere in the world.

In the part of rural USA that I've visited most, there seemed to be pretty regular fatalities on the gateless level crossings, despite the fact that the trains travel at about 15 mph and you can see them coming miles away.

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Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing

Kubla Cant
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more people lived since the origin of homo sapiens until the advent of "modern" medicine (and so only had access to the loony kinds of medicine, at best) than during the period of existence of "modern" medicine

I don't know the numbers either, but I'm fairly sure that there are more people alive to day than ever lived up to, say, 50 years ago. What proportion of the people alive have access to modern medicine in any useful way is a different question.

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Kubla Cant
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WTF?

Re: equitation

"He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man." (Psalm 147)

The first part seems to mean that he owns a horse, but doesn't like it. It's hard to know what to make of the second part.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: There is an answer.

The correct answer is "Turtles all the way down".

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SkyDrive on par with C: Drive in Windows 8.1

Kubla Cant
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Re: "The newly-revealed features will be welcomed by Windows users"

An accidental cut-n-paste direct from the press release, I assume.

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Boffins, Tunnel Tigers and Scotland's world-first power mountain

Kubla Cant
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Big Brother

Re: Terrorists?

For some reason photographs strike terror into the hearts of jobsworths everywhere. Remember the rash of totally illegal police confiscations and prohibitions directed against photographers?

A couple of years ago I was in the fancy shopping centre in Cambridge with the son of a friend. He was taking photography A Level and thought he might find some interesting shots there. Sure enough, after five minutes a uniformed jobsworth told him it was forbidden for "security reasons".

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Kubla Cant
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Alien

Re: Splendid!

"Geek's Guide to Europa"

I think we should include Ganymede and Io too. It's a long way to go for just one moon.

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Burger-rage horse dumps on McDonald's: Rider saddled with fat fine

Kubla Cant
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Unhappy

Re: Damn horses

I too find it annoying to have to dodge horse shit when I'm on a cycle track. I find myself wondering whether this is a result of the disdain that the equestrian classes have always felt for everybody else (but that's just the sort of mad idea that results from cycling too fast).

In the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt there are lots of horses that pull sleighs and carriages around the village. These are all fitted with a large bag to catch the droppings. It looks pretty stupid, and there's something depressingly Swiss about it, but it keeps the streets cleaner. If the equestrians don't care for this solution, then they should be obliged to find an alternative solution. It wouldn't kill them to get off their high horses and shovel it up. It might be a suitable repayment for the elaborate consideration that equestrians expect from other road users.

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US town mulls bounty on spy drones, English-speaking gunman only

Kubla Cant
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Re: English speaking? @ribosome

Thomas Pink is a shirtmaker in London. I didn't know they sold Barbours, but it wouldn't be surprising. You can buy Pink shirts, ties, socks, underwear etc, with no requirement that any of it is pink.

Maybe this is what he's on about. If so, it's well on the unsplit side of side-splitting.

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Middle America pulls up sagging pants menace, belts repeat offenders

Kubla Cant
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Remember when

Cast your mind back to your own salad days, o commentards. Can you honestly say that you never wore anything absurd, offensive or impractical?

I know that if I review my wardrobe between the ages of 15 and, er, 35, I suffer from extreme internal cringing.

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Curiosity team: Massive collision may have killed Red Planet

Kubla Cant
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The high oxygen content was apparently because of the amount of carbon sequestered in vegetable matter that subsequently turned into coal. The fungi that break down vegetable matter hadn't evolved, so the dead trees and leaves just piled up.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: made it to 10 figures-worth of birthdays

It's friday, *don't* make me do thinking

Some of the preceding posts have clearly come from people who abjure thinking every day, not just Friday.

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Kubla Cant
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@Faux Science Slayer

My knowledge of aeronatics is intuitive at best, but I should have thought that a thicker atmosphere would require smaller, not bigger wings.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: so that's what it was......who knows? Ah, nobody!

Didn't someone once speculate that the Moon was ejected from the hole in the Pacific?

If there's a hole in the Pacific, why doesn't all the water run out?

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Maybe it was just one impact

Why is Mars tiled at a similar angle to the Earth?

Same tiler?

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UK gov's smart meter dream unplugged: A 'colossal waste of cash'

Kubla Cant
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Re: @Ragarath

@IHateWearingATie the smart meter and can ... wait until the spot price is low

The hell with spot. I want a smart meter that can do futures and swaps!

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Hold on a mo: Brits blow £56m a year on the blower to gov minions

Kubla Cant
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Why aren't they all free?

Look at the advantages for DWP.

By conducting their business over the phone, they save money. They throttle their workload because people can't be bothered to hang on. They avoid an embarrassing backlog of unanswered letters and emails, because phone calls leave no trace. They avoid personal accountability, because you never speak to the same person twice. They avoid having to solve problems and correct cock-ups - replying to a letter or email would require some effort at resolution.

And, in return, they expect callers to pay premium rates. Do they really imagine people call DWP for pleasure?

I suggest we all start to send them long, hand-written letters, with a follow-up every 14 days "I draw your attention to my letter of the 17th ult., to which I am surprised to have received no acknowledgement...". When the last DWP citadel disappears beneath a heap of Basildon Bond, we'll know we've won.

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1953: How Quatermass switched Britons from TV royalty to TV sci-fi

Kubla Cant
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Alien

I never saw Quatermass on TV because we had no set. (My parents had one on trial in the early fifties, but evidently felt it was a lot of money to pay to watch The Potter's Hands inside a goldfish bowl.) In my teens I bought the script for Quatermass and the Pit as a book. It was brilliant. Proof, perhaps, that the pictures are better in your head.

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CONFIRMED: Driverless cars to hit actual British roads by end of year

Kubla Cant
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Random points

If the aim is to replicate the intelligence of an average driver using AI, then they'd better hunt down some MS-DOS 8086 kit.

Interesting that the boffins in question are at Oxford University. The traffic restrictions in central Oxford are such that they've probably never seen a car, although they may have read about them.

Anyone who has a car with parking sensors will know that they're hopelessly pessimistic. Even if you don't practice nudge-parking, you know that you still have a few inches when the sensor is in a screaming panic. If the automatic cars are similar, there will be a lot more opportunities to shout "Get on with it! You could drive a bloody bus through that gap!"

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Kubla Cant
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Re: They've been on the road for years

That's nothing, young man. Before the Austin 1100 there was the Austin A35, the Morris Minor and (massive feat of memory, here) the Austin Ruby.

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Boffins want toilets to become POWER PLANTS

Kubla Cant
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Re: Back of a loo-roll calculation:

I suspect that you have over-estimated the calorific content of a day's urine. The presence of nutrients such as sugars and proteins in the urine is normally a symptom of illness, so presumably the 5% should be mostly urea.

It's also not clear whether you're talking calories (i.e. energy to boil a cc of water), or Calories (used in dietary calculations, but strictly kilocalories).

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Articles with no comments

Kubla Cant
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WTF?

Articles with no comments

Over the past week or so there seems to have been a marked increase in the number of articles that have no attached comments. Instead, they conclude with a wheedling plea to comment in the forums section.

I enjoy reading and contributing to Reg comments sections, but frankly not enough to follow a link to the forum home page, then search for comments on an article I've just read. To judge from the dearth of article-specific matter in the forums, this is true of most Reg readers.

Why is this happening? Do you have an agreement with your more lily-livered authors that ensures they won't be exposed to the mordant postings of commentards?

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Unreal: Epic’s would-be Doom... er... Quake killer

Kubla Cant
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Re: Memories

Same here, though sadly no joints in our office. Even so, I can recall flinching when the lift doors opened - in Doom, something nasty was sure to emerge.

I'd like to add my voice to the comments that deplore plotting in FPS games. I enjoyed Doom I and II and Quake, so when Doom III* came out I expected more of the same, only better. What I got was a load of training routines, and boring plot-filler talks from NCOs. If I wanted that sort of thing I'd join the Army**.

* Pretty sure it was III - it might have been another number.

** Not to be taken literally.

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Man sues Apple for allowing him to become addicted to PORN

Kubla Cant
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Thumb Up

He cannot currently practise law due to disability

RSI.

There's an icon for that.

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Kubla Cant
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And...

DARPA for inventing the internet

Sir Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the web

Alan Turing for inventing the Turing machine (and David Hilbert for encouraging him)

Eadward Muybridge for inventing the zoopraxiscope (and for making up a stupid name for himself)

Charles Babbage for inventing the computer

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Boeing batteries back under spotlight as 787 burns at Heathrow

Kubla Cant
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@AyrtonSenna

probably by a coffee machine that was left on to boil dry and catch fire

I would have hoped that the cooking equipment on an airliner has overheat cut-out switches. My kettle at home has, and it's not even a Dreamkettle.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Duracell

Not likely! The cabin will be full of stupid pink rabbits banging cymbals.

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Kubla Cant
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Weight on Wheels

I'm intrigued by this. From the sound of it the ground/flight switch that preceded WoW switched between the aircraft's internal generators and a ground-based power supply. If the WoW switch does the same, does this mean that the power all goes off as soon as the wheels touch the runway? And does it mean that they need either a very long extension cable or a very fast generator truck to provide power until the weight is off the wheels?

Flippancy, obviously. But it does suggest that WoW is something more complicated than a simple substitute.

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Dev bakes actual, edible raspberry pie with Raspberry Pi

Kubla Cant
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Re: You can't bake a proper pie in a microwave.

Once again, James, you show your inability to recognise a joke.

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Hubble spots ALIEN NAVY world – and it's pelted with GLASS RAIN

Kubla Cant
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Alien

Re: Hellish is a point of view

Speaking as an alien, the temperature is quite comfortable, but the sideways glass rain is a bit of a bummer.

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Forget Snowden: What have we learned about the NSA?

Kubla Cant
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Thumb Down

Re: Petition calling for a public inquiry on GCHQ's Tempora

By submitting information you are agreeing to 38 Degrees keeping you informed about campaigns

You'd get a lot more signatures without this. I was about to sign until I read it.

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Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Secret laws

it worked well for Venice. its Star Chamber was so effective. Not.

Maybe Venice's Star Chamber would have been more effective if it was in Venice, rather than Westminster.

The court was so called because it met in a room in the old royal Palace of Westminster that had stars painted on the ceiling*. Far from being ineffective, the objection to the Court of Star Chamber was that it was arbitrary, secret and ruthlessly effective. It was abolished in 1640, after a run of about 200 years.

*The palace is long gone, but the ceiling, oddly, survives in a house in Cheshire.

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Apple builds flagship store on top of PLAGUE HOSPITAL

Kubla Cant
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Pirate

Re: Well yes

A nightmare for builders too, I suspect. When I was about 10 years old, it became known that bones were turning up on a local building site. A group of us went down there and picked a few choice items out of a trench, including a human vertebra that I subsequently took to school to show to the history teacher. The street sign said something like "Orchard Close (formerly Pesthouse Lane)", so this too was probably the remains of a plague hospital. You can see why they changed the street name.

This was back in the fifties when:

- a trench containing human remains was not cordoned off by the Police

- no archeologists were involved

- it didn't seem risky for kids to poke around in a plague burial

- a primary school teacher wasn't much fazed when a kid turned up with human remains

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Gadgets are NOT the perfect gift for REAL men

Kubla Cant
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The problem with a gadget as a gift for a techie is that it's likely to be inferior to, and possibly more expensive than, the model that you'd have bought yourself after exhaustive research.

So-called "kitchenalia" seems to be acceptable to both sexes (except unredeemed men who can't cook and old-school feminists who won't). My ex-wife recently gave me a food mixer and a pasta maker, both very welcome. I'm thinking of buying her some decent kitchen knives, as the ones in her kitchen are blunt rubbish, but for some reason I'm queasy about the idea of a knife as a gift.

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France's 'three strikes' anti-piracy law shot down

Kubla Cant
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Losses

@Anarko_bizounours we did not lost so many conflit, only most of those after Napoleon 1er

The ones that always seem to matter to (us) English are Crecy, Agincourt, Blenheim - all well before Napoleon 1er.

I have to agree that it applies equally to the English, Germans and Spanish. But the Italians?

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Universal Credit? Universal DISCREDIT, more like, say insiders

Kubla Cant
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Trollface

Re: Pardon?

some sort of review of IP addresses

Because everybody knows that evil fraudsters always use the same IP addresses.

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US gov SMASHES UP TVs and MICE to nuke tiny malware outbreak

Kubla Cant
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Unhappy

Contract

The agency hired an outside security contractor, at an eventual cost of $823,000

Why don't I get contracts like this?

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Texas teen jailed for four months over sarcastic Facebook comment

Kubla Cant
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Re: Texas ADULT

Anyone age 17 or older is dealt with as an adult by Texas criminal courts.

Unless, of course, they're buying alcohol, in which case they're minors until the age of 21.

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UK Post Office admits false accusations after computer system cockup

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Keeping the beaurocracy alive...

I assume "beaurocracy" is the rule of swankily-dressed men from the Regency era.

Or could it possibly have something to do with bureaucrats?

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Kubla Cant
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Re: This is just getting ....

Rule 1 of big IT should be never assume the system is correct over a human

The problem is that if you're a very stupid person, then even the most unreliable computer system seems infallible to you.

Also, fobbing people off is the way of life in the public sector. My wife has been trying to sort out a NI problem for the past two years. She never gets to speak to the same person twice, and every person she speaks to comes up with a different excuse - all of them invalid. Bureaucrats know they can keep this up until you die.

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BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

Kubla Cant
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Re: Special glasses

They tried "3D" in the same old way, and it failed in the same old way.

Exactly. Whenever the entertainment industry is feeling a draught, they try to fix their problems with a technical solution. "3D" films were introduced in the mid 20th century to try to reclaim audiences that had defected to TV. It failed. The succeeding decades saw numerous technical gimmicks: Cinemascope, 70-mm, Todd-AO, Cinerama, and finally "3D" again. Nobody really cared much about any of them.

It's notable that many of the films that usually top polls are black-and-white and Academy aspect ratio. That's not to say that this combination would pull in audiences for new films, but it does demonstrate that content is what matters.

(+1 for quoting the Duke of Wellington.)

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ULTRASONIC BOLLOCK BLASTERS help Hawkmoth battle The Bat

Kubla Cant
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Disappointing

I expected "ultrasonic bollock blasters" to be something the moths used to zap the bats bollocks. I pictured the bats flying away with their legs (if any) crossed.

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