* Posts by Loyal Commenter

1877 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

El Reg's plucky Playmonaut eyes suborbital rocket shot

Loyal Commenter
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As anyone who has worked with liquid nitrogen cooled apparatus in a university physics or chemistry lab should be able to attest, distilling liquid oxygen from air is trivially easy if you have a ready supply of liquid nitrogen, a length of tubing, and a vacuum pump.

Vacuum distillation lines routinely use a nitrogen cooled trap to catch any volatiles before they end up in the vacuum pump's oil sump. One has to be careful not to open the other end of the line to the air, or you can end up with LOX in the trap, which is hazardous in its own right, but downright dangerous if mixed with any trace organics there might be already in the trap. A case of, "what's this pretty blue liquid?" followed by BOOM!

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

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Re: Casting the first stone n'all

I don't know about you, but if I'm maintaining code that falls foul of 'cargo cult' programming, I tend to remove the offending code, refactor it so it is properly documented, and then ensure it is properly tested to prove it still does what it is supposed to without the voodoo.

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Silicene takes on graphene as next transistor wonder-stuff

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Re: Valence

Since silicon atoms generally form four bonds, they are tetrahedral (as is carbon when forming single bonds). The typical shape of a six-membered ring is therefore either 'chair' or 'boat' shaped as in cyclohexane. To form a regular lattice, the configuration that tesselates is the 'chair' shaped one.

Graphene on the other hand, is composed of carbon atoms which are not forming 'single' bonds. Thyey are usually drawn as alternating single and double bonds, although the truth is that they are a hybrid of the two, as this configuration has a lower energy. The bonds in question are in a planar configuration, so graphene itself is truly flat. it is the special properties of the hybridisation of these bonds which leads to the delocalisation of the electrons, and the conductive properties of graphene.

I haven't seriously studied any chemistry for over a decade, but IIRC, the energy level of the bonds in silicon are close enough that they make it a semiconductor, unlike tetrahedral carbon (as in diamond, or in alkanes), which is an insulator.

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'Revenge p0rn' kingpin Kevin Bollaert faces 20 years in jail

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@Richard Altmann

You're trying to justify this sort of behaviour by blaming the victim.

I've said this before, and I'll state it again, so it might get through your thick skull:

This is akin to blaming rape victims for being 'dressed provocatively', or for being drunk at the time. This sort of defence does not go down well in court, and for good reason.

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@Freemon Sandlewould

Looking at your other posts, I'm trying hard to determine whether you are a rather inexpert troll, or just a terrible excuse for a human being. Neither reflects well.

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The problem is here is your emotions are not what is important. Freedom of speech on the internet IS IMPORTANT.

Yes, freedom of speech is important. You are free to say whatever you like, but if you commit a crime in doing so, expect to be prosecuted for it.

If you can't see why what this complete arsebucket did was both illegal and, perhaps more importantly, utterly immoral, perhaps you should be on some sort of medication.

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

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Re: Leverage, Leveraged, Leveraging

Nah, that's when we mean 'sequencer'.

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Re: This type of mentality is irrational, bordering stupidity.

Mozilla and Google run automatic checks against their code to pick up bugs which could be used for exploits in the future and correct them before they are.

Mention the terms, 'coding to an interface', 'unit testing', or even 'bounds checking' to an Adobe programmer and I expect you will get nothing more than blank looks. Sadly, best practice is something often ignored by a lot of companies.

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Crackdown on eBay sellers 'failing to display' VAT numbers

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Re: Small Business Boo Hoo

This would have exactly zero impact on those eBay sellers who are listed as 'UK Seller' but then mysteriously ship you your purchase by slow boat from China anyway.

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'Revenge porn' bully told not to post people's nude pics online. That's it. That's his punishment

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@Dan1980

Whilst I agree that this sort of behaviour is probably covered by existing laws, and that passing new legislation requires careful thought, and even more careful wording, I think in this sort of case, the perp deserves to be prosecuted for something a little more that distributing copyrighted images (which isn't even a criminal offence, it's a civil matter, at least until industry interests raise the cash to pay for copyright infringement to become a criminal matter).

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Re: I'm not sure I feel that sorry for the "victims" here

That sort of attitude is the same as saying, "She was dressed provocatively m'lud, so it's her fault I raped her". That won't get you very far in court.

Blaming the victim displays a lack of compassion and empathy that should raise a red flag to everyone around you.

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Horrifying iPhone sales bring Apple $18bn profit A QUARTER

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Re: So what happen to Peak Apple?

Oops, Freudian slip - I said Apple Employees, when of course I meant customers...

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Re: So what happen to Peak Apple?

When you are calling nigh on a billion of the world's wealthier consumers - including a majority of CEO's and business leaders - gullible fools, it's time to look in the mirror.

Just because 'nigh on a billion' people do something, that doesn't make it clever. A case in point - pick any two of the world's major religions. They can't both be right, therefore all the adherents of at least one of those religions are, by definition, such gullible fools.

Just because something is absurd, doesn't stop people following it. In this case, it is absurd to pay over the odds for something that has designed-in obsolescence that is quite blatantly done in order to extract more money from you.

The sad fact is that the world is full of idiots, and everyone has the capability to act like one at times. The level of fanaticism seen in Apple Employees is both comical, and saddening to those of us who can sit outside of the phenomenon and observe it. To Apple, and their shareholders, it is a positive boon.

Very few of the 'business leaders' I come across use Apple products in their day-to-day work. Being high earners makes them more likely to purchase high-cost items. The same people seem to enjoy buying personalised registration plates, that do nothing other to act as a money sink and to make other road users think, "what a twat". There seems to be little correlation between level of earnings and idiocy in such cases, and certainly not an inverse one. You'd probably find a more solid correlation between earnings, who your parents happen to be, which school you went to (although not academic results), and who you happen to know.

Extolling me to 'look in the mirror' does nothing to help your argument, other than turning it into a rather pathetic ad hominem attack.

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Re: So what happen to Peak Apple?

You'd be making massive profits too, if you'd managed to hit on the magic formula of overpriced goods, with a short upgrade cycle, and a seemingly unlimited supply of gullible fools.

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Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into 'faggot', 'poof', 'queen'

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Re: Google can't win

Of course, you cannot translate the geometry of the Ancients. If you try to make sense of the angles of R'Lyeh, it will send you insane.

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Re: Fact Hunt!

@big_D

I absolutely agree; if you trust the translation from Google, you are asking for what you get. As I said, caveat emptor

Fun examples can be had by taking a sentence of your choice, using Google Translate to translate this to a second language, then taking this translation, translating it to a third language, and finally back to the original language.

The above sentence translated to Greek, then Japanese, then back to English, reads:

"Fun example, Google is, to translate it in a second language, taking this translation, translated into third language, using eventually return to the original language, by taking the penalty of your choice you can be had."

You can be had indeed...

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I've not seen the film in question myself, but on the website from which I cribbed this information:

Bringing Up Baby in 1938 was the first film to use the word gay to mean homosexual. Cary Grant, in one scene, ended up having to wear a lady’s feathery robe. When another character asks about why he is wearing that, he responds an ad-libbed line “Because I just went gay”. At the time, mainstream audiences didn’t get the reference so the line was thought popularly to have meant something to the effect of “I just decided to be carefree.”

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/02/how-gay-came-to-mean-homosexual/

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Re: Fact Hunt!

You are requesting a fairly major increase in functionality. Certainly what you are suggesting would be useful, but it's beyond the scope of what Google currently does.

Given that organisationally, Google are perfectly set up for exactly this sort of data analytics, you'd probably be surprised at how little work this would be. I reckon it would probably turn out to be a couple of weeks work for one programmer, to define the rules and techniques for extracting such information, and then a learning period for the software as it goes to work categorising the data. Given that Google's Oompah-Loompahs are purportedly given a day a week to work on their own projects, it wouldn't surprise me if someone was already working on it.

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I believe the use of the word to insinuate homosexuality (amongst other meanings, which have now fallen out of use) pre-dates that by a fair while. However, the use of the word to mean homosexual, as its primary meaning, and as a noun, rather than an adjective dates from the mid 20th century. It's first use in that sense on screen, for instance, was by Cary Grant in the film, "Bringing Up Baby" in 1938.

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Re: Fact Hunt!

I for one don't think we should censor a dictionary type resource just because of sensibilities.

Whilst I'm inclined to agree, in part, I don't see why translations to certain words cannot be tagged, as offensive, vulgar, slang, etc. (as they are in dictionaries) and why Google cannot apply the equivalent of 'safe search' to them.

If I were to use it to translate a document into another language (caveat emptor, I know), it would be a reasonable expectation that it wouldn't use offensive terms, unless I specifically allowed it to. In the more likely situation where I am translating a document from another language into English in order to understand it, I typically wouldn't want the resulting text to be peppered with bigotry.

Conversely, if the source document contains text which is racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise distasteful, and I wished to know what nasty things the author had been saying, but translated into my own language, it would seem reasonable to have an option to preserve such language in the translation. However distasteful such terms are, they still convey meaning.

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Top smut site Flashes visitors, leaves behind nasty virus

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Re: We at least the UK laws are thinking of the Children...

virulent plage

Is that a French beach, near to a sewerage outfall?

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Re: "campaign leveraging the recent Adobe Flash zero day vulnerability "

I think 'leveraging' is something the BOFH does on the roof, with an old tape safe, and a length of broom handle, and involves waiting for people who use the word in every-day conversation to walk past at street level.

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

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I'd pay to see the Spice Girls eaten by sand worms.

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Re: From the depths of filmdom I give you

You should watch the cut with the original Arnie Dialogue. The fact that he couldn't really speak English at that point* makes it more fun.

*I know, he's not much better now

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Re: I nominate

Oh yes, and how could I forget the Nick 'one facial expression' Cage classic, "National Treasure". The whole plot seemingly revolves around how he is somehow descended from some great American hero, and there's a massive conspiracy by the British to undo him, with associated cheesy effects and wooden acting.

Then they made a sequel.

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Re: Frikkin' shark movies on SyFy

Didn't that have Robert Picardo in? His roles have gone progressively downhill, since he played 'johnnycab' in Total Recall...

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Re: Coping Mechanism

Also, there was never a remake of:

Total Recall

Conan the Barbarian

The Karate Kid

Arthur

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

...and there was never a totally pointless scene-by-scene remake of Hitchcock's 'Psycho'

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I nominate

'Cocktail' with the revolting little Tom Cruise.

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Re: I reckon that I have something...

Hercules in New York is a very watchable film. It's laughable, yes, the acting is terrible, and the background traffic noise on Mount Olympus destroys any sense of realism. However, it does have a plot, and is actually enjoyable despite being a terrible film.

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Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

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He was a clueless idiot when he was head of the Met, and he's still one now.

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Dark Fibre: Reg man plunges into London's sewers to see how pipe is laid

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Re: More MSFT marketing?

Did you actually read the article then?

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SPACE the FINAL FRONTIER: These are the images of COMET PROBE ROSETTA

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Re: It's with my other camera

Yeah, one of those camera flashes that will illuminate a scene from several hundred metres away. One of those ones that takes 400,000 AA sized-batteries.

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Imhotep!

Imhotep!

Imhotep!

etc. ad inifnitum

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Bloke in Belgium tries to trademark Je Suis Charlie slogan

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Re: I'm 50/50 here

Ok, I'll rise to the bait.

First of all, when using 'vulgar' language in someone's presence, whether or not that person is a nun falls pretty far down the list of considerations, if on it at all. Whether language is offensive lies entirely with context. For example some people are offended by certain words, whether or not they are used in an offensive context (i.e. as an insult). Being offended by the word itself is nonsense, and it matters not one jot whether the person being offended is a nun, the Dalai Lama, the Queen, or anybody else. A person's religious sensibilities are their own and they should not be imposing them on me, or anyone else.

Secondly, I wouldn't normally gratuitously go out of my way to offend other, because I have some modicum of self restraint. I also don't think it is right to impose that restraint on others. Like everyone else, I don't have the right to not be offended either.

Of your list f things that you think are fine, I wouldn't say I am offended by them, but I do think some of these are just plain wrong:

I wouldn't recommend incest, on the grounds that it is fairly shaky ground on both a legal, and biological basis.

Tax evasion is also not legal, and avoidance, some would argue, is immoral.

Violent protests depend on context, but in general are not a good thing on the grounds that causing harm to others, or their property is generally frowned upon in both a legal and ethical sense.

Riding a bicycle on full speed on the pavement is illegal, dangerous, and idiotic. According to the ONS, in 2013, three pedestrians were killed in the UK as a result of collisions with cyclists. I wouldn't advocate it, and neither should you. If you do genuinely think this is a good idea, then you are a moron.

Finally, theft, on the whole is not something I approve of. There may be some very specific cases where it could be justified, for example where it could be deemed necessary to save a life, but I think most people would agree that such cases are pretty contrived.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: People are entitled to their own beliefs

Facts not opinions

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Re: I'm 50/50 here

Do you or do you not agree with this:

> The world would be a much happier place if we could all stop doing things we know will upset somebody unless there's a good reason to do it.

Quite simply put, I do not agree with this. There are plenty of things which I am fine with, but which others find offensive. The offense lies solely with the person being offended.

Here are a few examples of things which are fine*, but which, by your argument, you would rather not happen, because they offend some groups of people, and this is common knowledge:

- Two gay men kissing.

- A woman breastfeeding in public.

- Bacon sandwiches.

- Sex outside marriage.

- Singing.

- Dancing.

These are just a very few of the virtually inexhaustible list of things that can provide adequate counterexamples to your argument.

*Okay, technically, these are things that I think are fine. I also think you're a bigot if you don't agree. I hope this offends you.

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Re: Unclear motives

...and Royal Mail have a trademark on the colour red.

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It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

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Re: 4 screens vs 1

Given the choice between 4 x 24inch 1080p monitors in a 2x2 layout and a 4k 55" screen that has none of those annoying lines between the screens, I know which I will be going for my desktop and gaming :)

Good luck affording a graphics card that can put out an image at that resolution, with decent detail level, antialiasing and a frame rate suitable for gaming (~60fps). The card will set you back more than £300, and you'll probably need two of them linked with SLI to get the frame rate.

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Got a 4King big TV? Ready to stream lots of awesome video? Yeah, about that…

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Re: @Loyal Commenter

You WHAAAAT? That screen must be either massive or your nose must be touching it, either way you must have really poor vision to only be able to make out a pixel if you squint. I think a trip to the opticians is in order for you (and get them to check you for tunnel vision first).

OK, let me clarify for those who don't know how human eyes work.

The full field of vision subtends about 130 degrees horizontally. However, the only part where you can see anything in any amount of detail is the central 10 - 15 degrees, and you can only see detail in the central 2 degrees, which is where the image falls on the fovea. Everything else is essentially peripheral vision, where you only see basic shapes, colours and movement. This is why your eyeballs can move around to point at things, in order to see them.

FYI, I work with a 20" monitor, located around 18 inches in front of me. This fills my functional field of vision. Obviously, I can still see things in my peripheral vision, but if these were on a screen, I wouldn't be able to tell whether they were in high definition, or a single coloured pixel. This is quite normal.

At this distance, I can just make out if a dark spot on a white background is one pixel, or two; note that I am talking about visual acuity here, not whether I can see the pixel or not. I am one of the lucky 5% or so of people who don't need glasses, and can quite happily read notices on the wall at the other end of the room that others who wear glasses cannot. I think I'll put off that trip to the opticians for a little while yet thank you.

Anyway, my point stands that there is little point in an ultra-HD television. At a distance where the whole image comfortably falls into your field of vision (several metres, depending on the size of your set), you won't be able to make out the pixel-level of detail, particularly since the image will be constantly moving and changing. IMHO, they are nothing more than status symbols, like personalised registration plates, or monogrammed golf clubs. If you have the cash spare to buy one, consider doing something philanthropic with it instead.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: So broadcast is the way to go for 4k media?

For comparison, for the downvoter(s);

I am one of the lucky few who has near-perfect vision. I work with a monitor that has 1080p resolution and fills most of my field of vision when looking at it. I can just about make out an individual pixel if I squint. In what way is a higher resolution really necessary, other than being a status symbol?

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Re: So broadcast is the way to go for 4k media?

I reckon 'not bothering' is more the way to go. I fail to see in what way 1080p is not sufficient, given that the vast majority of humans have imperfect eyesight anyway, and given that most of the stuff broadcast is utter tripe and would be better off in lower resolution, and on mute.

This is just another case of 'status symbol' chasing. Given that the only 'real' use for this that I can think of is watching a film on a big screen in higher resolution, why not just go and watch it at the cinema instead, and save yourself the hundreds of pounds? It's not like that will cost significantly more than streaming the thing, and you don't have to turn your wall into a 1984-style viewscreen.

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Frontier wipes credit of Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' badboys

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I recall an exploit on the Amstrad version of the original Elite, where if you were killed, you could go straight to the 'New Commander' option (IIRC) and find yourself docked in the station in the system you were killed in, with all your credits and cargo intact. If nothing else, it removed the need to buy a docking computer.

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Re: A correct decision at the end

CCP's mods might not be the best choice. Their process for deciding to ban players is both opaque, and inconsistent, with no appeals process or ability to get a clarification on decisions. Some things that they have deemed exploits have landed long bans for some players, whilst being completely ignored for others. You need only to use google to find some examples of this.

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Elite: Dangerous 'billionaire' gamers are being 'antisocial', moan players

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Re: It's for kids!

It's probably more accurate to say it's targeted at those who were kids 30 years ago when the original Elite came out.

I remember getting a copy for Xmas when I was 11 or so, and it had a very steep learning curve, that almost made it too hard to get a start in at the time. E:D has a steeper curve.

Besides which, most games are played by adults, and the gaming industry is one of the largest industries on the planet (larger than the film industry, for instance).

So in response;

1) No it isn't (for several reasons).

2) I did.

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UKIP website TAKES A KIP, but for why?

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Re: They arent a serious party..

they are a major player because they're the only party interested in talking about probably the one thing that bothers people most of all - the UK's membership of the EU.

I don't know about you, but I hear very few people talking about this.

What people do seem to be bothered about are things like the rising cost of living, the poor being squeezed by having their benefits cut, people being forced into 'employment' in zero-hours contracts, whilst politicians feast from the pork barrel, people with long-term and serious illnesses being assessed as 'fit for work' (including those with Alzheimer's syndrome, and people in comas). The cost of fuel. The cost of housing. Working long and unsociable hours in order to survive, etc. etc.

Only a very few people honestly believe that the root of these problems lies with anything to do with the EU, rather than the corruption and venality of our home-grown politicians.

Case-in-point; Iain Duncan-Smith: He berates 'scoungers' whilst never having done what many people consider a real days work. Okay, he was in the army and in Northern Ireland, which at first glance sounds impressive, until you find out that his role there was as a glorified secretary, in a largely honorary position. He lives off the fortunes of his wife's family, and draws down a nice sum from the tax-payer, while vilifying the poor. Sounds like a scrounger to me...

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Re: They arent a serious party..

To be fair, it sounds like the word he was probably going for.

I'm not sure if it qualifies as irony, or just a rather poetic malapropism.

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Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker

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I have had less than four weeks off sick in total over my entire career, spanning more than fifteen years. I have also never heard of any colleague of mine taking excessive amounts of time off for anything other than the C word. Certainly not for "Stress".

Then you are lucky enough to not have been bullied by your manager/employer.

I've been in my current job for over 8 years and not had a day off sick. In my previous job, I was signed off sick with stress and anxiety and put on antidepressants. This was not due to me being a workshy layabout, but due to a systematic bullying and victimisation by my line manager.

I managed to leave, and find a better job, where I am treated as a human (to some extent).

Employers have a duty to their Employees beyond simply paying them a wage. They should not give them an excessive workload, or make them work in unreasonable conditions, and they should not bully or belittle them. I suspect this is what has caused the stress-related illness of this particular council employee.

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Re: Have to agree with you

Civil Service

6 months sick leave, return for 6 weeks resets the clock, another 6 months

Also they get paid full overtime, on the basis that, even though there was no overtime, if there had been they would have done the work anyway

My partner works for the local Constabulary, as support staff. Her sickness policy states that three instances of sickness in a 12 month period starts a stage 1 disciplinary procedure. This includes single days. She is prone to serious sinus infections, so this presents a problem, and causes a lot of stress for her.

She previously worked for the courts (i.e. Civil Service), where the policy was similar, and for a charity that supports victims of crime. Their policy was even more draconian.

I call bullshit.

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A friend of mine works in HR for the NHS. Extremely long periods of paid leave for flakey reasons are commonplace amongst our 'angels'.

Other things that are commonplace in the NHS:

- High stress environment

- Long working hours

- Unsociable shift patterns

- Exposure to people with infectious diseases

Although most of those probably don't apply to the HR bods...

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