* Posts by Kubla Cant

1928 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Brassiere belays boob-bound bullet, begetting bruised breastbone

Kubla Cant
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Teutonic tits

I can't rid my mind of the image of some hefty Brunhilde riding her bike in horned helmet and armoured bra.

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Jail incompetent council folk who leak our data, thunders furious BBW

Kubla Cant
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Re: Its surely cheaper to hang'em?

There's no political motive - Shirley?

I agree. There is a strong whiff of silly-season grandstanding about this report.

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GDS denim brigade flees GOV.UK after Web2.0rhea MESSIAH Bracken departs

Kubla Cant
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Gigital digital digital digital

Government Digital Service Digital Group

For the government, nothing can be too digital. I keep seeing ads for "Digital Developers"*. If I could get a job like that in the Government Digital Service Digital Group, I could be a Government Digital Service Digital Group Digital Developer.

* As opposed, presumably, to those who code with their toes, or other appendages.

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Introducing the Asus VivoMini UN42 – a pint-sized PC, literally

Kubla Cant
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Re: Footprint

What is?! I'm on a 256 GB SSD and after 2 years only 50GB is actually being used up by data... and yet I'm down to 10GB of free space!

The enduring mystery of disappearing Windows resources! When your workstation's grinding to a halt and you eventually manage to fire up Task Manager to investigate, it tells you that CPU, I/O and memory are all hunky-dory - you're just imagining it.

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Stop forcing benefits down my throat and give me hard cash, dammit

Kubla Cant
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Re: While this looks fine at first sight

what seems to be happening in the contract market is that companies are increasingly employing contractors at rates not significantly different from employee rates

I have seen no evidence of this. Contract rates are, of course, more volatile than permanent salaries, and there are always a few comedians hoping to hire a senior contractor with a comprehensive portfolio of skills for school-leaver rates. But in 30 years of contracting I've hardly ever seen a permanent job that pays what a comparable contract job does.

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Germans in ‘brains off, just follow orders' hospital data centre gaff

Kubla Cant
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Re: Brain required

I used to commute between King's Cross and Huntingdon. The route is served by clapped-out trains that must be at least 30 years old. Air is delivered through eyeball vents above the seats, but there are notices telling you to open the windows for more ventilation.

One sweltering evening I had to share a compartment with a moron who insisted that all the windows remain closed "so the air conditioning will work". The air blasting through the vents was obviously about the same temperature as that outside, but he knew better. By the time he alighted the temperature in the compartment must have been well above the 30C.

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All hail Ikabai-Sital! Destroyer of worlds and mender of toilets

Kubla Cant
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Re: something to stop it crumbling

Moisture resistant chipboard has a green tinge

... and is thus easy to confuse with mouldy non-moisture-resistant chipboard.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: To return to IT.

The purpose of a "warranty" is usually to attempt to limit the rights of the consumer. The implied warranty when you buy something is at least 12 months*, but I understand there is case law that says it should be three years for things like electronic goods.

For a supplier to refuse to repair something under the terms of the implied warranty, they would have to prove that the purchaser had caused the fault, not just that he'd removed a sticker.

Since the IBM PC architecture is designed to be extensible, anything that limits your ability to extend it, such as a sticker, effectively renders it unfit for purpose.

* In the UK. May be different in less civilised jurisdictions.

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Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

Kubla Cant
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Re: inside out

Everywhere has a light socket, the light socket supplies power. So building devices into lightbulbs is a good idea.

I don't know about your house, but in mine nearly all the rooms that have light sockets also have power points.

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Hasta la Victoria Siempre, GDS! This is not the end, no way

Kubla Cant
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Stick it

The icon of a triangle surmounted by two circlets is a brilliantly economical representation of pushing something upwards into an orifice. On what kind of page did they see it being used?

As Mage says, the reality is beyond satire.

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Copyright troll wants to ban 'copyright troll' from its copyright troll lawsuit

Kubla Cant
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Re: If it quacks like a duck

There are plenty of ducks out there, but only a mallard quacks.

Are you sure? The author of this apparently well-informed article about Aylesbury ducks evidently thinks they quack.

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Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

Kubla Cant
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I don't understand why Time decided to show everyone what the Oculus looks like when you're observing someone using it, instead of an illustration of what the experience of using the Oculus is like.

I guess if you could convey what the experience of using the Oculus is like on a magazine cover it wouldn't be very good VR. And everyone would just buy a copy of Time instead of a headset.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

Here in Norway the Army is testing it for use by tank drivers.

So instead of real tanks you have blokes in VR headsets going "Brrrr-mm, brrr-mmm. Pocketa-pocketa-pocketa. Bang!!! You're dead."

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Please no more stories like this...

If I really didn't want to read stories based on a series of semi-moronic unfunny tweets linked together with the merest hint of snarky journalism I'd know better than to read El Reg.

FTFY

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UK.gov issues internal 'ditch Oracle NOW' edict to end pricey addiction

Kubla Cant
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@Hans 1

It's likely that a large part of the licensing and support costs relate to Oracle applications, rather than simply to the database. Databases are pretty much a commodity item these days, corporate systems, less so.

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The Q7: Audi’s big SUV goes from tosspot to tip-top

Kubla Cant
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There is no vehicle more practical than a SUV if you need to take along a lot of kit at the same time as being able to transport people out where required.

Except, possibly, an estate car. This Audi looks like it has a lot of load space, but many SUVs have a disappointingly titchy load floor when the seats are up.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Boring

this is definitely a more soccer-mom looking affair

I should have thought that the population of mothers who play football would be too small to constitute a worthwhile market.

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Kubla Cant
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'Parent and Baby' spaces

These spaces ought to be time-limited. After bed-time they should be available for grown-ups to use.

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What balls! India blocks 0.00008 per cent of web in anti-pr0n move

Kubla Cant
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The Net Porn interprets censorship as damage and routes squirms around it.

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Hacktivists congratulate Daily Show's Jon Stewart via Donald Trump's website

Kubla Cant
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As time goes by it becomes more and more evident that the people who crave power are the least suited to be granted it. Why would anybody wholly sane want a job that consists mostly of sitting in meetings with fellow blowhards?

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Assessing the power of Intel’s SSD 750 … but check your motherboard before buying

Kubla Cant
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Re: A Hard Disk - on a card?

2.8" DSDD? 1Mb?

You wur lucky! We 'ad 36" single sided 'alf density disks that wur so 'eavy it took a team of three operators to mount one. T'storage capacity wer nobbut 360kb, and if you forgot to press Ctrl-C you 'ad a BDOS ERR and everybody 'ad to go 'ome for t'rest o' t'day while you rebooted t'system.

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So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

Kubla Cant
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Re: HOW IT WORKS *

@Arnaut: Language barriers are more of a perceived issue for monoglottal Brits.

More of an issue for Brits, maybe, but still an issue. In the USA, an anglophone can consider work in any state without serious linguistic barriers. For a Greek to be similarly mobile in the EZ he'd need a working knowledge of over twenty languages, from at least four different language families. Some businesses may use English as a lingua franca (ha ha), but the vast number of jobs where this isn't possible means that there's a significant language barrier. Why do so many economic migrants end up in camps at Calais? It's more likely because they have enough English to hope to work here than because we have generous welfare provisions (despite what the Daily Mail says - you wouldn't cross a continent just to get slightly higher benefits).

Yes, there are cultural and educational barriers to job mobility in the USA, but these can be discounted because they're constant for all currency unions.

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Buffoon in 999 call: 'Cat ate my bacon and I want to press charges'

Kubla Cant
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Re: Unfortunate timing

This is an entirely different police force in an entirely different country - or are you going to accuse the English of shooting unarmed black Americans on a weekly basis too?

Calm down. Now re-read my post and you'll see that the only thing I accused anyone of was a certain lack of tact.

The actions of US police forces have no bearing at all on what people living in the UK might expect from a British police force. The actions of a force in Yorkshire, Scotland, or any other part of the UK manifestly do. And despite the efforts of the SNP, Scotland is still part of the UK, not "an entirely different country".

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Kubla Cant
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Alert

Unfortunate timing

I can't help thinking that it's unfortunate timing for the plod to push a hilarious 999 timewasters story just a week or two after the distinctly less hilarious incident of the Scottish car crash that they couldn't be bothered to attend.

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Giant Facebook SOLAR LASER DRONE to FEED interwebs into YOUR FACE

Kubla Cant
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it can stay focused on a dime from a distance of ten or more miles away, we're told. This will enable the drones to pass information ... to ground stations.

So the drone spots coins on the ground, then sends messages back to the ground station telling somebody to go and pick them up. Impressive, but it doesn't sound like much of a revenue stream.

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UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

Kubla Cant
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Re: 5 minutes

Q: Are you over 18?

A: Yes

There's a hilarious variant on this on BBC iPlayer. If a show contains "strong language" it displays a popup asking if you're old enough to stand it. If you answer "Yes", it displays another popup asking if you want to set up parental controls.

In households with no children this is very annoying. In all other households I can't see it having any effect whatever.

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Kubla Cant
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FAIL

I want to see age restrictions put into place or these websites will face being shut down.

That's going to work well, because of course all porn sites are based in Britain.

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And on that bombshell: Top Gear's Clarkson to reappear on Amazon

Kubla Cant
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Small potatoes?

The BBC sells Top Gear all over the world, so I imagine the production budget is pretty large (even if it doesn't stretch to hot food). For the same reason, car manufacturers are probably very keen to lend them cars, even for stunts like football that result in several being wrecked, or for driving a Bentley at full speed over a rally course.

Amazon Prime may be the shape of the future, but I should think the audience it delivers is nothing like as large. The resulting show may be rather small potatoes.

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

Kubla Cant
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Black Helicopters

So what's the best way to down a drone?

Here in the UK, the firearm option is unavailable*, so what are the alternatives, and how legal are they?

An earlier commentard suggested a pressure hose, which sounds like fun, though I expect the range is a bit limited, and you would probably get complaints from anybody who was underneath.

Someone else suggested a defence drone that could drop stuff into the intruder's rotors.

What about electronic counter-measures? I assume traffic to and from the drone is encrypted to prevent hijacking, but would it be possible to disrupt it in some way? The attraction of this is that it would be much harder to trace the drone's "accident" back to you.

* Given the amount of willy-waving associated with firearms, I'm not sorry, though I anticipate a shoal of downvotes for saying so.

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Moto fires BROADSIDE into the flagship phone's waterline with X Play and Style

Kubla Cant
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Re: "Not enough posts to put in a hyperlink."

No need for copy&paste, at least in Firefox. Highlight any text that's a de facto hyperlink, right click and you can open it in a new tab or window.

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Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

Kubla Cant
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I prefer to not have to fight Microsoft to keep my computer from rebooting and annihilating all my open applications

Why does Windows do this? My Linux systems seem to install about two updates per week, and rarely have to reboot. When they do, you have the option to defer the restart. And what's the deal with Windows applications that require you to shut down other running programs before installation, and then demand a reboot afterwards?

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Hurrah! Uber does work (in the broadest sense of the word) after all

Kubla Cant
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Re: The purpose of licensing...

It's interesting that this discussion homes in on New York cabs. My impression is that the regime under which London's black cabs are regulated, though imperfect, pretty much achieves what these medallions are supposed to be doing.

Such scarcity as exists is caused by the application of stringent conditions, rather than artificial limitation. The result is a fleet of clean, well-maintained cabs driven by people who know what they're doing (and where they're going).

Regimes under which the price of cab licenses is high, but standards are not, are simply using the law as a source of income. It's similar to the way councils raise money from traffic cameras and parking meters.

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W3C's failed Do Not Track crusade tumbles to ad-blockers' Vietnam

Kubla Cant
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Re: Mobile may yet save advertising. Briefly.

Adblock is also available on Firefox for Android.

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Kubla Cant
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I can't help thinking that the admen's attempts to outlaw ad-blocking will be every bit as effective as the record industry's attempts to outlaw home copying, and for much the same reasons.

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Ofcom wants to ease the pain of switching mobile networks. Good luck

Kubla Cant
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"consumers are more concerning about Facebook and WhatsApp than receiving regular voice calls or SMS messages" [Conradi] said

Sigh. I'm desperately trying to think of a comment that expresses the utter depression induced by this quote, but I can't.

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

Kubla Cant
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that '640K' quote that's been attributed to Bill has never ever been verified

Whether he said it or not, he evidently believed it, as Microsoft built an operating system that embodied the 640k limit.

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Email apparently from Home Office warns of emails apparently from Home Office

Kubla Cant
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Refunds

There's a similar irony in the new car tax (VED) system. You pay for your car tax online, and you no longer have to display a tax disc. +10 for belated arrival in the 21st century. But if you sell your car you have to apply for a refund of the remaining tax, which is sent as a cheque in the post. -10 for lack of follow-through.

I suspect that the offices of HMRC and DVLA are still like offices used to be half a century ago. For anything to do with paying out money you have to go to a cashier's office where a grumpy old geezer behind a barred window grudgingly writes out cheques using a dip pen.

("CHEQUE PAID IN A BOOTLE PAYMENT OPS" - I bet the cheque would clear quicker if it wasn't in a bottle.)

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BONK! BONK! Windows 10 whack-a-mole – Microsoft still fixing bugs

Kubla Cant
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Re: ?

The first para says Microsoft are "beavering away", but it's not a beaver, either. According to the image filename, it's a gopher (which I think is the same as a prairie dog).

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Why does it take 8 hours for my posts to be approved?

Kubla Cant
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Comparison

I think it's worth ponting out that the forums of El Reg are much more civilised, intelligent and readable than most other forums I've seen. I don't know whether it's the vigilance of the moderators or the moderation of the commentards, but the result is good.

It's a shame that the comments sections of even quality newspapers seem to be populated by mouth-foaming carpet-biters. I was looking at some book reviews in The Spectator the other day, and it was depressing to see all the personal vituperation in the comments - on book reviews! The trouble is that once a few loonies get established in a forum they attract more loonies and scare off people who have reasonable opinions they'd like to share.

It may be that the upvote/downvote button helps. When I see an opinion I disagree with, I can just click to downvote; so much easier than typing "@X: You are a malignant imbecile and anyone who agrees with you is a drivelling moron."

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Invisible app ads slug smartmobes with 2GB of daily downloads

Kubla Cant
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Re: @bazza The poor advertisers...

Isn't a lot of advertising deductible? So the money is going into advertising instead of taxes.

No. Advertising is tax-deductable in exactly the same way as any other cost of sale - materials, manufacturing costs, distribution costs, staff wages and so on. Advertising is a more visible irritant than any of these, but that doesn't alter the fact that it's an essential element.

Like most people, I find it annoying that the roads are full of heavy articulated trucks. But it would be idiotic for me to suggest that companies should distribute everything by canal, or to complain that the money spent on trucking is money diverted from taxes. To suggest that the abolition of advertising would increase tax revenues is equally incorrect.

Read Tim Worstall's recent article debunking the Grauniad's claim that capital allowances are a subsidy for companies for a similar case.

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New study into lack of women in Tech: It's not the men's fault

Kubla Cant
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warning - anecdotal evidence and small sample

In my dealings with Far Eastern IT workers I've formed the impression that the proportion of young people who choose IT because it's a good job is higher than it is in the West. Neither group is struggling to put food on the table*, but I suspect that Western schoolchildren get much more "just do whatever makes you happy" career advice. It's not a cultural difference in the kind of work you do, but in the constraints on your original choice. This may also explain differences between European countries.

* I can't help finding this amusing. "I really wanted to be a seamstress, but my family was so poor that I had to stay on at school studying study maths to A level, take a 3-year CS degree, then slave away writing computer programs all day."

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Today's smart home devices are too dumb to succeed

Kubla Cant
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Re: LAMP NOT BULB!

Bulbs grow, lamps glow.

So what do lightbulbs do?

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It’s DEJA VU: Customer forgets to tell us about essential feature AGAIN

Kubla Cant
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Office toilets

Architects who design office buildings invariably seem to delegate design of the toilets to a work-experience intern.

Just about every one I've ever used has four cubicles, four urinals, four handbasins and one or two hand driers. Under light usage this isn't a problem, but you don't have to run a Monte Carlo simulation to see that heavy usage is going to cause the room to fill up with people shaking drips off their fingers and drying their hands on their trousers.

It's even worse when the builders have decided to save money by installing Acme Economy brand hand driers, the sort that burn your hands with a feeble stream of hot air, yet never actually dry them.

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Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad

Kubla Cant
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Re: JavaScript?

The JavaScript framework du jour seems to be AngularJS. Unlike JQuery, where the script is essentially driving the application in response to browser events, AngularJS seems to use some kind of continuous polling. It's a pleasure to work with: you can bind HTML tags to script variables declaratively, and see them all updated when the value changes, but I can't help wondering what kind of overhead this incurs. What's more, the preferred AngularJS architecture involves loading everything into one single-page application, so you'll have a substantial memory footprint as well as a busy processor.

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Acer Revo One RL85: A pint-sized PC for the snug

Kubla Cant
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WTF?

Re: Moving "users" folder

I too skimmed through the MS KB article and thought "WTF?". Keeping the O/S, installed programs, and user data separate was a well-established practice back when MS-DOS was launched, but even now it still seems to be tricky and exotic for Microsoft.

On a related topic, can anybody imagine why, when MS eventually decided to implement symlinks, they made it so you need Admin privilege to create them?

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HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Kubla Cant
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Re: Suit'n'Tie Guy

When I see a coder wearing shirt and tie, all I think is that he's another modestly skilled type who couldn't cut it in the arena with the talented coders.

When I have to deal with someone in a suit and tie, I find myself instinctively distrusting them on sight.

I see a tie, I assume 'sales rep'.

And you're all wrong. There must be two dozen posts here that claim only casually-dressed techs are any good, you can't trust people in suits, pin-stripes are evil, and so on.

Can't you see that this is exactly the same as the mindset displayed by the HP management, the mindset that is being ridiculed here?

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Kubla Cant
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Smart casual

Are there any two more depressing words in the language? Back in the time when everybody had to wear a suit to work, life was simple. You got up in the morning and put on a clean shirt and the suit you didn't wear yesterday. No thought or planning required. Evenings and weekends, you could wear what you damn well wanted.

It's a fallacy to assume that the workplace was smarter as a result. When work clothing is something you only wear for work, and that under duress, you aren't going to take much care over it.

Then some management halfwit decided to "relax the dress code", but lacked the nerve to abolish it. Your evening/weekend gear doesn't fit this description, so you have to acquire an additional wardrobe of the kind of awful clothes that golfers wear. Every morning you have to assess whether your outfit is both casual enough and smart enough.

A company where I recently worked did dress-down Fridays - another stupid idea. But one week in three there would be an email cancelling the dress-down because "we have customers visiting".

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Stand out from the crowd

Or why not as The Great Engineer himself, Isambard Brunel?

You definitely wouldn't be allowed the cigar.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Tidy Desk

I believe in Contextual Indexing. I know where something is because I can remember what I last used it for.

Maybe that should be "I would know where something is if I could remember what I last used it for".

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NASA: 'Closest thing yet to ANOTHER EARTH' - FOUND

Kubla Cant
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Re: [...] science being right and religion being bunkus

Religion is not "bunkus", it is a necessary tool in the construction of a society that is not based on you-got-what-I-want-give-it-or-I-kill-you.

You're reversing cause and effect. Religion, being a human construct, is an expression of innate, or at least culturally ingrained, human motivations.

Furthermore, if religion abolishes you-got-what-I-want-give-it-or-I-kill-you (which is unproven), it does so in order to substitute you-believe-something-different-convert-or-I-kill-you.

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