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* Posts by A K Stiles

90 posts • joined 16 Jul 2010

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

A K Stiles
Paris Hilton

Re: Already Given Up

It is standardisation, but like the thread sizes, they're specifying the standard for the end product (the screws, nuts and bolts) rather than the tools used to produce the products (the taps and dies). Yes, everyone would be fine if they just use Mr Whitworth's tools, but then you'll pay Mr. Whitworth whatever he's asking for those tools. Alternatively, I can buy tools at half the cost from Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones, which have been made such that they still produce something that will interface perfectly with an item produced by one of Mr. Whitworth's more expensive offerings.

(obligatory Paris for a comment about nuts and screws)

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NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'

A K Stiles
Terminator

US Immigration

Are there several training courses that the workers in the Department of homeland immigration and border controls (or whatever that particular law enforcement agency is currently called) have to go through to ensure they have not one scrap of a sense of humo(u)r or empathy left before they are let loose on the poor 'foreign' idiots that have chosen to spend some time and money in the states?

On my first and only trip so far, the first 3 words mumbled by the [clerk|guard|officer] were 'business or vacation'? which left me staring blankly at him for a few seconds whilst my sleep deprived and dehydrated brain attempted to determine the source language and translate it into my native English.

Eventually my response was 'Oh, um, holiday' ... blank stare returned for 2 seconds ... 'um, vacation, yes'. followed by the where will you be staying ('travelling all over' is a bad answer), how long, etc.

Even just a 'good morning' / 'good afternoon' to allow my brain to get into first gear would have been nice - I realise it's probably quite a mind-numbing job, but some hint of civility and human recognition might make the day a little less tedious, and make me feel less disinclined to ever visit again.

Of course, at the end of the questions, being British, I took my passport back, thanked him and then joined the next queue...

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

A K Stiles
Devil

Re: "generally inappropriate use of matrix signs"

Had to deal with the M42 variable speed limit signs for quite a few years, but at least they mostly seemed to help. I think the problem they sometimes have is that, by controlling the traffic flow successfully, they actually stop the concertina effect from propagating so far and so you end up driving at 40 for a mile rather than stopping, accelerating to 50 then having to stop again, but from your seat, you just had to slow down for no reason. Other times they're clearly on the wonk - I've seen 50 limits at 22:30 when I was the only vehicle for a mile forwards or backwards...

The problem with the long lane queuing is there'll always be some sod (in an Audi or BMW) who carries on down the second lane until the hatch marks then abuses their way over. Everyone should drive like me - then the world would be a better place! (I only mean when I'm driving well and paying full attention to the world around me, not those times I creep too close to the car in front or slew across to the inside lane with 100 yards to go to the exit I suddenly realise I need).

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A K Stiles
Unhappy

"X minutes to <significant junction>"

I do admit to having to consciously avoid treating these as a target to be beaten, rather than a general hint. One I'd quite like to see more of though is the "Keep Left Unless Overtaking" matrix signs which I've only seen a couple of times - not that anyone seemed to be taking any notice!

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A K Stiles
Facepalm

and congratulations to the 3 idiots on Sunday..

..who decided that the hard shoulder was an appropriate way for them to reach the exit half a mile ahead at 50 mph because the main carriageways were only travelling in queues at 20 mph due to everyone having to have a slow down and rubberneck at the emergency vehicles parked around the pile-up wreckage just beyond the junction. Which came very close to causing another accident as they attempted to rejoin the slip-road whilst others were using it correctly to exit the motorway...

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Boffins fill a dome with 480 cameras for 3D motion capture

A K Stiles

Hawkeye?

So effectively kind of an extension of the Hawkeye technology they've used at Wimbledon, etc. to replay disputed line calls for the last 10 years or so, but tracking something other than white lines and a fuzzy yellow ball?

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Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

A K Stiles
Pint

Madasafish similarities

Had that a few years ago when I wanted to get a MAC (I think) code to shift from Mad As A Fish (not the original name of the company I was with, merged or rebranded a sub-company) to O2 broadband (who I am also no longer with). Spend 10 minutes with the woman in the retentions department

Q: "why do you want to leave"

A: "You're too expensive and I can get a cheaper and faster connection elsewhere"

Q: "If you stay we can reduce your bill by £5 a month?"

A: "Which is still more expensive and slower than I can get with O2, so No."

and repeat ad nauseam.

At least the last time I cancelled a BT phone contract was straightforward:

Q:"Why don't you want the service any more?"

A:"I'm moving house"

Q:"Ah but you'll need a line at your new address?"

A:"Nope - that's my other half's remit in the new place"

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

A K Stiles

Courtesy of Google translate...

CDIV Distributorii erratum

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Beer in SPAAAACE! London Pride soars to 28,000m

A K Stiles
Coat

Re: YOLO

but what would we call it? The "QC Register" ?

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A K Stiles

Re: YOLO

is that another QC reader I spy?

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Elon Musk to fund Tesla museum with 'ONE MEEELLION DOLLARS'

A K Stiles
Paris Hilton

1 down, 7 to go...

Now, how to raise the other 7 million... anybody know of any other uber-rich tech titans to tap up?

(icon: possibly not exactly a tech titan)

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El Reg nips down IKEA's 'I've Got A Screw Loose Street'

A K Stiles
Devil

Store designs from hell

I think the Ikea store designers had a former life designing Las Vegas casinos, carefully constructing the places so you never know which way to go next - I'm not even sure that left hand wall tracking works to get you out of those places, or the casinos!

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Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

A K Stiles
Pint

Re: @ A K Stiles

Sláinte!

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A K Stiles
Angel

Re: @ A K Stiles

I am quite sure that 'Mr. Plod' isn't stupid. It is one of the reasons I don't try and live a life of crime - that and actually just a general sense of being a decent human being, of course! You'll have to take my word for that though, but then as, I assume, you're also a decent person, the world can stay a happy place... right?

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A K Stiles

Re: @ A K Stiles

"erm... the disk contents changed when it wrote the unencrypted stuff back to the disk, yer 'onour"?

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A K Stiles

Re: @ A K Stiles

right, thanks for that clarification. So at that point you're essentially down to doing the quick sums about whether the punishment for refusing to comply or for the 'evidence' they might find on your machine is the lesser.

Vague thoughts about if I had anything worth hiding, I'd like a system with 2 passwords where the alpha password lets you in normally, but the beta password 'obliterates' the incriminating stuff whilst allowing access to the innocent but private stuff...

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A K Stiles

Re: @ A K Stiles

well I was essentially wondering about the “You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

So when they ask you for the password "You do not have to say anything."

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A K Stiles
Big Brother

Self-Incrimination?

IANAL, clearly, but how does the RIPA law play in terms of your right to not incriminate yourself?

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

A K Stiles
Coat

re: Why would you ever need to turn a computer off???

...because it's windows, and therefore requires its semi-regular hard reboot ?

(yes, yes, I'm already leaving...)

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Brit SPACE HEDGEHOG team flies student Mars payload

A K Stiles
Coat

Re: Is one of the experiments...

I suppose that could be the surprise - "this really does have nutritional value".

Mind you, they taste so awful that actually they'll probably find that there is some medicinal quality to them!

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Google spaffs $50 MILLION on 'get girls coding' campaign

A K Stiles
Terminator

Encouragement?

Rather than just trying to encourage women to become coders (or at least learn to code), have they considered the reasons why they don't already?

Is it because it is seen as a very male-dominated industry, or is it because they ( a large proportion of females, oh and in fact a large proportion of the male population too) don't find it interesting, or just not suited to the way they think?

I really enjoy problem solving, no really, and thinking very logically through a solution. It doesn't seem to be a mainstream trait, whatever your gender..

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Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

A K Stiles

Re: Off topic

Upvote for that sweet, sweet (9.7K) rev limit. It freaks your passengers out when you do 65 mph in second!

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DANGER MOUSE is back ... and he isn't half a GLASSHOLE

A K Stiles

Re: Eyebrows that float

Now if they got Guy Martin to voice that line, it would probably sound about right!

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Facebook didn't infringe Dutch inventor's patents: Jury

A K Stiles
Joke

Re: US patent court? Shabby??

What's Trevor got to do with this?

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The cute things they say

A K Stiles
Facepalm

Printers again...

User comes and complains (for the umpteenth time) that the printer is printing letters on plain paper instead of headed paper. I go, pull open the print drawer labelled 'HEADED PAPER' and find it's full of plain paper...

or that the printer complained it was out of headed paper so someone pressed buttons until it started printing again, from a different tray...

- -

User: "My computer's just stopped working"

Me: check base unit lights (on), then cables (all seated), work up to the monitor, then roll eyes and pull the desk phone away from under the edge of the monitor and reach under that spot and turn the monitor back on again...

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Han Solo headed for lengthy stay in bacta tank after Bay Door Control cockup

A K Stiles

Production Schedule

Guessing there may be some subtle rewrites happening to ensure Han mostly appears in seated or reclined positions for the next few months of filming, if they can't just push his scenes back or CGI out the zimmer!

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A K Stiles

Re: NHS or Private?

Seriously not trolling - AFAIK the NHS will treat you, whoever you are and wherever you come from, with the theory that they then try and reclaim the costs from you (well, your insurance anyway) if you aren't an entitled citizen.

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A K Stiles
Black Helicopters

NHS or Private?

So is the hospital in Oxford to which he has been airlifted a private or NHS one and who is paying for it?

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SPIDER-TROOP, Spider-troop, does whatever a spider troop can

A K Stiles
Go

Pandemic

Up-vote for the Pandemic recommendation. It's a great co-operative game for small groups and, just occasionally, it lets you win!

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DAMN you El Reg, CALL ME A BOFFIN, demands enraged boffin

A K Stiles
Coat

Re: Down With Skool

Hmm, sounds like a school from around Bur-ming-gam way, Bab.

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A K Stiles

Re: Acquired a negative connotation?

usually then followed by

Idiot: "Smart-ass" *punch*

Boffin: "Oww!"

(at least at my 'Comprehensive' anyway)

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Apple's Irish tax lair to be probed by European Commission

A K Stiles
Paris Hilton

If you don't like how they run their business...

...don't give them your money, then they can't off-shore any of it. Though it makes life more complicated when nearly everyone you want to buy something from sells it online through one of those big multi-national companies who take their cut off the top (and usually the bottom as well). It means you need to go to the small, local, bricks and mortar store and give them (more) of your limited wealth.

Not sure how this works for companies like Google though, where the only thing you can try and do is not pay them for online advertising of your business, but then you end up with nobody knowing about your business...

(Paris, 'cos the rich get richer)

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Facebook wants MORE EXPLICIT SHARING

A K Stiles
WTF?

Re: Sharing Absurdities

How about any time you buy something on Amazon - "Share this and tell your friends you've just bought 'Betty's Bumper Busty Babes XXVII", "Share this and tell your friends you've just bought a tub of handcream"...

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BRITS: Wanna know how late your train is? Now you can slurp straight from the source for free

A K Stiles

£12bn on trains that are too fat

... yet

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Fuel for jets DOES grow on trees

A K Stiles

Re: This will only end badly

I'll give you an upvote to cancel out that downvote, but you also get a simultaneous groan, for forgetting the joke icon. (please say you forgot the joke icon?)

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Our Reg reader 'mutt's nuts' dictionary is le chien's biens

A K Stiles
WTF?

Esperanto

La hundo testikoj

allegedly. Though it doesn't seem to have the alliterative or rhyming quality, or frankly anyone to understand what you were trying to say...

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El Reg posse prepares for quid-a-day nosh challenge

A K Stiles
Pint

Would have joined in but...

...blah, blah, excuses nobody cares about.

Instead have some cash to the worthy cause and maybe next time I won't be in the fortunate position of having a conflicting event get in the way.

(beer, waiting for each of the team at the end of next week!)

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Tooled-up Ryobi girl takes nine-inch grinder to Asus beach babe

A K Stiles
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Ms-matched

Bravo Lester - tell me you're claiming that one for yourself and haven't just 'taken inspiration' from another's cunning, linguistic innovation.

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So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?

A K Stiles
Pint

Re: Re: Re: Spanish

So that translates to the fairly similar "All mouth, and no trousers" ? I think that's a well known phrase in most of this green and pleasant land, but I still occasionally discover that something I think is in common usage ends up being a Scottish-ism - like when I stuck my head into a bar at Uni to see how busy it was and reported back to the group that we should go elsewhere, 'cos it was "hoaching in there!"

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Och aye! It's the Loch Ness Monster – but only Apple fanbois can see it

A K Stiles

Re: Haggis legs

How's that go again? Is that the sort of whooshing noise or the one that's more of a susurrus?

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A K Stiles

Haggis legs

They dinnae - they've got two legs shorter than the other two, otherwise they'd fall doon the hill!

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LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

A K Stiles
Pint

But the most important question...

What was the beer like at The Star?

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Italy has a clumsy new pirate-choker law. But can anyone do better?

A K Stiles
Facepalm

I'll just leave this here...

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

(it's the Oatmeal - it might be considered NSFW?)

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Innovation creates instability, you say? BLASPHEMY, you SCUM

A K Stiles
IT Angle

Re: rm is temporary...

I'd assumed it was something to do with Research Machines...

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Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys

A K Stiles
Mushroom

population growth

Never mind that they are making more Playmobil 'folk' every second than the human race does, they probably also don't reduce their population at anything like the rate we do either.

Frankly you're going to have to do much better (worse?) on the LOHAN test missions to try and bring the expiry figures into some sense of parity!

(icon for how the recent SPEARS mission didn't go...)

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LOHAN spaceplane 'Punch and Judy' test flights live online

A K Stiles
Pint

Looks like a successful launch and recovery

From the earlier streaming coverage and tracker maps, both balloons launched successfully and reached altitudes around 90,000ft. Punch, Richard and Judy then descended gracefully back to earth between Evesham and Tewkesbury, where they were retrieved before the 2 tracking vehicles retreated for a post mission debrief.

They were last seen in the vicinity of The Star in Ashton Under Hill, so we're expecting the follow up report to also include a review of the available refreshments!

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'iPhone 6' with '4.7-inch' display 'coming soon', but '5.5-incher' 'delayed'

A K Stiles
Headmaster

Re: "Apple has been roundly spanked for sticking to smaller displays in its iPhones"

Please - irrespective or regardless. (the 'ir' is effectively a negating prefix, so if it existed, 'irregardless' would be a double negative and therefore mean 'with regards to')

Yes, I know it's pedantic and petty, but pretty please?

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Police pen shortage threatens Irish public order

A K Stiles
Joke

Re: What they need is...

Hmm - n sure whether that requires up or down voting...

If you'd gone with 'gimmericks' and possibly 'pyrrerhic', it would definitely have been up, just for the joy of inventing words to rhyme more closely.

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A K Stiles
Coat

Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

Is a custody suit one where the jacket fastens up the back, and the sleeves are a bit too long?

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Want to remotely control a car? $20 in parts, some oily fingers, and you're in command

A K Stiles
WTF?

Seeking enlightenment?

Hey 404 - 'Curbstomp' - not one I'd come across before but, nasty. Any chance you could expand on 'TH' for the hard of thinking? Options I found so far were 'Table Header' (non xHTML compliant), Thorium, the Thai language, but none of them seemed to fit the context...

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