* Posts by A K Stiles

273 posts • joined 16 Jul 2010

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We live in a world where a 'Hamdog' burger hybrid is patented

A K Stiles
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Re: Quick...

I didn't - all the ones I got in change during my trip last month were ratty bits of barely-legible paper that appeared to have been in regular use as a makeshift beer-mat for a leaky pint of Tennants!

<edit> quick check of t'webs suggests it was a pilot run last year by Clydesdale ahead of full release now, with RBS and BOS in November 2016 and 2015 respectively, which explains why they weren't more prevalant </edit>

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A K Stiles
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Re: Quick...

**GAAAHHH!!!** I'll hand in my grammar-police badge on my way out!

"...plastic stuff they're rolling out..."

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A K Stiles
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Re: Quick...

I dub thee Robert MacHelpMaBob and claim my Scottish Five pound note! (made of grease-absorbing paper, not this weird plastic stuff their rolling out in the south.)

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Rosetta probe's final death dive planned for just after last call next Friday night

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: Exciting times

Good stuff - have you informed him of any dress code?

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Google buys startup biz, slurps up its NLP brains

A K Stiles
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Can it handle slang?

I'll be impressed when it can contextualise the sentence and understand whether or not I'm desperate to hear something by 60's soul legend Eartha Kitt or desperately requiring the nearest facilities!

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

A K Stiles
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Re: Light bulb moment?

I think Laura MacCleery is the VP of blah blah for Consumer Reports, not for Tesla? Though the phrasing is fairly confusing!

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Apple gets judge to hit ctrl-alt-delete on $625m FaceTime patent troll

A K Stiles
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Re: dont know or care...

It would be good if there was some sort of 'implementation' requirement where the current owners of a patent have to demonstrate the mechanism of the patent working (and not just identical to, or even just, a thing they bought from the previous patent owner(s) ) before they are allowed to sue for the infringement.

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Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right

A K Stiles
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Got a Note 3 at launch...

and it's still my main phone now. Works well and does everything I need (not actually saying 'why did they bring out another phone when I don't need it' - just don't see the need to upgrade personally whilst this one still works).

Intrigued by the battery on the new one though - mine is 3200mAh (12.16 Wh @ 3.8V) and that was 3-4 years ago so either their battery tech isn't advancing as quickly as might be hoped or they've opted for a smaller battery to cram more (stuff?) into pretty much the same form factor.

Also, is that silvery back case actually metal, or just chromed plastic? That's the one thing that started to mark quite quickly on my Note 3, and the thinner parts around the edge buttons are starting to split.

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

A K Stiles
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Boffin

Re: M.I.F

Um, no, it isn't. Half litre of tea at 95°C, add small dash of milk at 4°C temperature of the mixture is now 94.5°C. Repeat until all the milk is added and the mixture is now at about 75°C. (all depending on initial starting temps and relative volumes)

Or quantity of milk at 4°C, add a splash of tea at 95°C, temperature of mixture is now 5°C. repeat until all tea added, mixture is now at 80°C. In the second instance the hottest the milk ever gets is the 75°C. In the first instance some of it gets up to 95°C and denatures more and tastes 'funny' - like using UHT milk in your tea tastes 'funny' vs. the pasteurised stuff.

(Icon with a dash of irony, added at any stage of the reading you like!)

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A K Stiles
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Re: Unhappy memories

"Hmmm... they must have been Thai, because Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean, and Korean all drink their tea "black." "

Or, as I suspect the OP was talking about Birmingham, United Kingdom, it was probably 'Asian' meaning of Indian / Pakistani / Bangladeshi origins, or thereabouts.

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A K Stiles
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Re: No no no no no no no no no no no no no!!!

Right alongside the foul beings that stir sugar into their tea and then straight in to my cup with the spoon... about the only evidence for homeopathic efficacy I've ever witnessed - yes I can taste the sweetness!

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A K Stiles
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Mushroom

No no no no no no no no no no no no no!!!

You never allow milk and tea (bag) to contact and you certainly never use something that has held coffee to make tea!

I sincerely hope the individual concerned has been roundly chastised, trained in the correct procedure, taken outside, flogged and returned to the kitchen until such time as they can present you with a proper cuppa.

I'd say nuke them from orbit, but they'll never learn if you do that for a first offence - even one as severe as this!

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Beer merger dwarfs EMC/Dell

A K Stiles
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Pint

Awww...

Peroni was about the only 'mainstream' lager I'd tolerate (icy cold on a hot day).

What else is there that I should be able to get delivered with my supermarket shopping for the icy beer needs? It seems like sacrilege to chill any of the real ales that far.

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Flight sim records show MH370 captain practiced 'flight' near search area

A K Stiles
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Re: I'm fairly sure that

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/practiced - either works depending on which part of the world you learned...

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Juno's 1,300-pic Jupiter vid

A K Stiles
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Megaphone

Re: That video would be so boring without the music

Just about my first thought when it started was "Oh <deity>! Not another video with excessively stirring orchestral overload!". Don't get me wrong - I think the actual science and engineering bit is incredible and a time-lapse video of Jupiter and moons in orbit is amazing, but just maybe tone down the "heavenly hosts" anthems?

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SpaceX landings

A K Stiles
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Pint

SpaceX landings

Either I've just missed the article, or El Reg is suffering from the loss of Lester's keen eye and wit, but I'd like to raise a glass on his behalf to SpaceX's continued attempts to make reusable rocket stage landings a boring event with the successful launch (and 1st stage return) of the latest Falcon 9 / Dragon combination to the ISS.

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IBM scraps loyal staffer gifts in favour of... a congratulatory social page

A K Stiles
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Unhappy

Fiscal rewards

I've seen a number of reports (articles?) suggesting that studies say money isn't a good motivator and paying people more doesn't make them happy and more productive... Strange how that doesn't seem to apply to those with chairs around the executive boardroom table though!

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A K Stiles
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Re: A culture of feedback to cognitive learning that’s more mobile

How about percussive education? (Or 'beating some sense into you / me / them' ?)

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Bloke 'lobbed molotov cocktails' at Street View car because Google was 'watching him'

A K Stiles
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Re: Just out of curiosity

and presumably the streetview cameras captured the 'Private Road' signs too?

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Fear and Brexit in Tech City: Digital 'elite' are having a nervous breakdown

A K Stiles
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Facepalm

unfortunately, you appear to not be aware of the most recent news...

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Bacon is not my vodka friend

A K Stiles
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Joke

what if you're a Bison?

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A K Stiles
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Pint

I have to agree - nobody want's their chilli-spirits to taste of sambuca!

(icon, 'cos chilli beer is often quite nice)

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DARPA's 'flying wing' drone inches closer to lift-off

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: Ryan Vertijet

Is that another of Michael O'Leary's crazy ideas to cram more people on his 'planes?

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Patriotic Brits rush into streets to celebrate… National Cream Tea Day

A K Stiles
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Re: Tea first? Heathens!

and for me - Pot, pre-warmed and left to brew for 3+ minutes, preferably loose leaf by the teaspoon per person. Milk first so it doesn't denature with heat - you know roughly how much you put in normally! Scone, rhymes with 'gone', then jam then clotted cream.

In fact, due to my heritage tendancies, a slice of butter between jam and cream for extra tasty goodness - and be glad I didn't try to batter and deep-fry that bad boy too!

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A K Stiles
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Coffee/keyboard

Tea first? Heathens!

http://www.academiaobscura.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/RSC-tea-guidelines.pdf

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Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

A K Stiles
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Re: State of disappointment?

Sheesh! - I double-checked, and I did put the joke icon on it.

Being serious for a moment though, I've looked at as much analysis as I could find and at who is actually pushing which side of the campaign and what their personal motives might be, and once you cut through as much of the crap from both sides as you can identify it seems pretty clear to me where the right answer lies.

All I ask of anyone voting on Thursday is that you try to get to the truth amongst the hyperbole and make an informed decision, don't just vote with the grumbling sensation in your skull and belly from too much beer with last night's dinner.

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A K Stiles
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Joke

State of disappointment?

Is that what we're calling the nation next Friday while Boris, Nige and Rupert are quaffing their celebratory Bolly?

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Lester Haines: RIP

A K Stiles
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Bugger.

Thoughts and sympathies to his family.

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Boffins shake up smartphone with motion-sensor as microphone

A K Stiles
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Resonant

Interesting idea, however useful it ultimately ends up being. The main part of their research actually seems to be about regenerating the 'missing' frequencies from the vibration-motor-as-microphone signal rather than the hardware hacking to enable it's use. I notice that their sample voice is quite deep so probably plays to the strengths of the experiment. I wonder how effective it is for a less resonant, higher pitched voice?

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NASA 'naut to boldly enter pump-up space podule

A K Stiles
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Re: slow puncture

okay, so assuming it was just BEAM rather than the whole station, 16m3 is about 20Kg of air at 1 bar. Annoying and disappointing but not critical. Thanks for doing the harder thinking!

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A K Stiles
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slow puncture

I haven't seen (too lazy for in-depth research) what the risk or mitigation is to the whole ISS if the module suffers a puncture which vents all its internal air - how drastically could it alter the station's orbit / attitude / damage structure by pushing or twisting in an unexpected direction?

Mostly idle curiosity rather than doom-mongering and I'm sure they bright boys and girls at the various agencies involved have assessed the possibilities, just haven't seen any info about it.

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BOFH: What's your point, caller?

A K Stiles
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Joke

Gaffa tape

They should make sure to order some more Gaffa ( Duct / Duck / pick your own flavo(u)r ) tape. That would solve the problem really quickly, or they could use it to hold the broken battery cover in place...

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Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'

A K Stiles
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3rd Party Connections

I realise that they build these things with Apps and 3rd party servers for ease of installation and configuration (and not at all because they want to be able to analyse all the metrics they collect...) but unless I can configure the thing so it never talks outside my router unless it is only talking directly with an authorised (by me) device, AND I can actually see a benefit to having the thing, it isn't getting into my home, no how, no way.

I realise the android phone is already telling google way more about me than I am happy with, but that doesn't mean I need to expand that to every 2-bit IoT peddler that comes along.

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ISS pump-up space podule fully engorged

A K Stiles
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Excellent work

Congratulations to everyone involved in this, and the SpaceX launch & land at the weekend!

Hope the experiment goes well enough to prove the technology is dependable and could be used to increase our space-in-space more economically than launching giant tin-cans.

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EU wants open science publication by 2020

A K Stiles
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Institutional and subject repositories

Many (most?) UK / EU universities also have some form of institutional repository in which the researchers should (for a varying level of mandate) put copies of their work for it to then be freely available to all - generally the version deposited is requested to be the last one the author tweaked - i.e. Author writes paper, submits paper to journal. Journal farms out peer-review to other academics in the discipline, author takes feedback from peer-review and tweaks paper so that journal will accept it - THIS VERSION should go in repository - journal fiddles with the font / layout / adds headers, page numbers etc...

The journals charge mightily for the finished version, or charge the author (or their institution / research funder) mightily to be open access in the finished version. They also tend to implement various embargoes for the author's last version as part of the agreement to publish the shiny version in the journal, and the institutions can't afford to be sued for copyright breach by the publishers, unlike e.g. sci-hub, who essentially have no money anyway... There's a debate as to the value of the publisher step, but whilst academic career progression is contingent upon being published in 'excellent' journals, most academics won't stop trying to publish in those (blooming expensive) journals. Without the excellent research to publish, the journals won't stay 'excellent' for very long, but who wants to risk their career in the meantime? They call it academic freedom to publish in the journal of choice, but it seems more like publisher freedom to charge what they want.

If research funders insisted that outputs of their funded research had to be publicly available from peer-review day zero, no embargoes, no gross author fees to be paid, the quality of the expensive, locked-down journals would vanish quite rapidly. Researchers bringing in the research funding will be in demand from the institutions, so career progression would be based on your ability to do good research, rather than just about getting your research published in Nature.

It just needs somebody to make the first brave move to break the current stalemate...

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Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380

A K Stiles
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380 v 777

I had the fortune to spend some time last year travelling between the UK and AUS via Dubai with Emirates.

Some of the legs were on A380s and some were on 777s - far and away happier with the Airbus than the Boeing - Even the cabin crew seemed happier on the airbus, although that's only from my observation, not a first hand account.

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What's holding up Canada's internet?

A K Stiles
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Joke

Perhaps both conductors on one cable are earthed whilst the other cable has both connected to many volts - the shortest path for each to earth is the opposite wire?

As for blue / purple - maybe your monitor calibration is out or it just seems a purple colour in contrast to the blue background?

Why someone would wire both conductors in a cable to earth or high voltage is another question entirely!

<bloody pedants!>

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UK.gov pays four fellows £35k to do nothing for three months

A K Stiles
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Big Brother

So much this

One of my (many) biggest bug-bears. Spend your budget before year end or don't get the budget next year...

At Uni, I was involved with a sports club in charge of looking after the equipment. The annual budget wasn't massive and all expenditure had to go through 3 subsequent layers of administrative approval to get signed off.

towards the end of the year we needed a new piece of reasonably expensive kit - more than we had remaining budget for and such that it would wipe our next year's budget flat. I asked the admin to whom I usually had to pass the invoices for payment if we could carry our remaining budget through or get an advance out of next year's budget so we could buy this item, but neither option was permitted and if we didn't use our remaining budget, next year's would be reduced accordingly...

It ended up with the supplier invoicing me for '0.5 x big item' plus other bits of consumable in the last month of the budget period, and '0.5 x big item' in the first month of the next period, when it was actually delivered. Needless to say 'big item' was not a divisable thing, but at least someone was willing and able to manipulate the system as necessary to get things done. Plus, their financial year ran across a different period to ours so they didn't have to explain how or why they sold 50% of it!

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Ireland's international tech sector bumps up against language barrier

A K Stiles
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re: it strikes me...

erm... you appear to have forgotten the coat or joke icons?

I totally agree that it would greatly help if we could standardise on a common language but nobody is going to agree to only teach and use English as a functional language across Europe. Attitudes are too entrenched to ever accept that.

Perhaps however, we should agree across Europe on a specific, formal European language that everyone is taught at school as a second language, perhaps something with less grammatical peculiarities than any of the existing langauges, (and no diacritics / fine pronunciation issues etc.)

How about High Valerian?

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Switch survives three hours of beer spray, fails after twelve

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: So when he says “football” he means soccer

Just what I came to say. "Football", or even "Association Football", rather than "American Football" or "Aussie Rules All-In Brawling".

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Stross' new Laundry list

A K Stiles
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Re: This should be fun

How about London? Not all of it, just a small bit of Westminster, near the river...

Notice - yes, distress...

<So how many watch lists are we all on now? Despite the fact that it is clearly a joke!>

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NASA spools up ultra-high def aurora movie

A K Stiles
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Pretty, but...

I gave up after about 2 minutes, without the musak. I thought some of the shots were fabulous but the 10 second scenes with jump cuts were doing my head in.

It just about gave you time to find an interesting feature you wanted to watch and then jumped to another view altogether.

So frustrating! Or is it just me?

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Logging on to United's frequent flyer site might take longer than a flight

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: it's worse than I thought

HA ha! So my account is secure as I've always loved sprouts!

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ISS to host space truck rally

A K Stiles
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Pint

fingers crossed

Hopefully this time they've 'read the instructions' for the landing.

Anticipatory beer for this evening (GMT)!

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PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: Is Transgendered the new [Ms.] Black?

But then we'd all end up sounding like Gollum from the Lord of The Rings! (What does it think of its postses?)

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A K Stiles
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Re: Is Transgendered the new [Ms.] Black?

Thanks - couldn't remember the specifics (countries or words) off the top of my head at the time.

So, this being English, we'll drop the umlaut, (who needs a clue as to how something is pronounced?) and use han, rhymes with can, van, ban, tan, ran and LAN.

For his/hers we'll just use 'hans' rather than the original 'en' ending. Just pondering the him/her option and debating between 'hanet' or keeping it simpler and reusing 'han'...

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A K Stiles
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Re: Genuine question

In the spirit of non-reactionary discussion...

I think the same safeguard that existed a forthnight ago - societal mores and trained staff who are well aware of whether any of those 'jocks' had displayed any sense of gender discrepancy up to that point in time (preference for female clothing, etc.) and, if it's truely a newly emerging factor for one or more of them, the option to utilise a separate facility away from either birth-gender group, who are more likely to make the trans-individual uncomfortable than the other way round.

What are you aiming to safeguard against? Is it sexualisation of some attendant individuals by one or more others present?

Would it be more of an issue for you to have a trans-gender individual share facilities with their identified gender or for a homosexual person to share the facilities with others of the same birth-gender?

How about the post-surgery trans-female who, according to this law now has to share the showers with all the hairy-arsed jocks, despite the fact that they now have defined breasts and lack a scrotum and penis?

Perhaps the end-solution is unisex facilities with individual, lockable toilet stalls and shower cubicles rather than the mass open-plan options we've all faced at school and elsewhere. It might help prevent some of the endless bullying that seems to have gone on in schools for time immemorial.

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A K Stiles
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Re: Is Transgendered the new [Ms.] Black?

The Izzard article just sounds like a bit of lazy or stupid journalism where they couldn't be bothered to find the word 'transvestite'.

As I go through life, I can't help but think more and more that the correct term for someone who wears outfits not traditionally aimed at their (birth/genetic/identified) gender is 'person', and what they choose to wear are 'clothes'.

Thanks be to all for covering up the somewhat distracting bits in the day to day public context - male or female, attractive or otherwise, general office nudity would break my concentration every time a co-worker wobbled past my desk, at least for the first couple of weeks, though I expect it wouldn't take too long to become an accepted 'norm'. <Deity> knows what temperature we'd need the office heating set to if that were the case, but at least people wouldn't borrow each other's chairs!

It would also be great if we could introduce a non-gendered nominative term for the English language to replace him/her/his/hers, similar apparently to (some of?) the Scandinavians - heck this is the English language, we should go with history and just steal one of theirs!

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BOFH: Sure, I could make your cheapo printer perform miracles

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: 30 printers

Have you tried changing the colour settings on your monitor(s) until they match the test sheet you printed?

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Inflatable space podule set for orbital trial

A K Stiles
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Joke

LOHAN

Have a quick word Lester, maybe they'll let you staple LOHAN to the outside of the thing?

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