* Posts by Loyal Commenter

1830 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker

Loyal Commenter
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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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Hack hijacks electric skateboards, dumps hipsters in the gutter

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Re: Is anyone going to pass judgement on an adult

The criiime isss liiife. The punissshment isss death.

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US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

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Re: Wot?

Nothing that the application of a good neuting wouldn't sort out. I wonder if the US stealth bombers have void bombs?

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Re: Ouch, my eyes...

...so... if it blows up your eyes, it's illegal, but it's fine if it blows up your whole head. Mmkay?

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Re: ACME MIRRORS INC

Wonder if Graphine could absorb the energy?

Absorbing the energy is absolutely the last thing you want to be doing, unless you want to get very hot, very quickly.

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Re: It was named after the explorer Juan Ponce de León

If we're getting all technical (and ignoring the cultural reference), the Greek letter Gamma (Γγ) is pronounced somewhere between a 'G' and 'Y'. Greek has no equivalent of 'J', the closest being τζ or δζ.

Anyway, the technical incorrectness makes the film more enjoyable, not less, so who cares?

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Pirate Bay admins 'couldn't care less' about police raid

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Re: Nice to see that they got the grammar right with "couldn't care less"...

A more accurate analogy would be that TPB is one of many directories of libraries, since AFAIK it is just an indexer site.

It's a bit like removing the copy of the Yellow Pages from your local library, because nuisance callers use it to get the numbers to phone businesses, but still making it freely available in every other library in the country.

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But... But... But...

Chemtrails something something autism from vaccines something something faked moon landings.

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Firms will have to report OWN diverted profits under 'Google Tax' law

Loyal Commenter
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Re: Oh boo-hoo, Chas Roy-Chowdhury

Because they don't get any income, they make a profit that is then distributed to share holders as income which IS taxed

Except some of those companies (Apple I'm looking at you) are very well known for not paying dividends to their shareholders entirely to avoid paying the taxes involved.

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Oh boo-hoo, Chas Roy-Chowdhury

It's your clients that this is targeting, you know the ones avoiding paying taxes in the UK whilst doing business here to the tune of big numbers with lots of zeroes after them. Companies like Google, PayPal, Amazon, Apple, Starbucks, Vodafone, etc. etc. Complaining that you don't yet know how to advise your clients as to how to circumvent these measures seems at best churlish. If these companies decide that it is no longer profitable to do business in the UK as a result, then good. They can all fuck off, and let British businesses fill the gap.

I have to pay tax on my income, why shouldn't they.

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Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home

Loyal Commenter
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Joke

I'm off to set up a SSID

Called 'Comcast hub' to harvest people's login details...

Joke alert, because obviously I don't want to get caught doing this - I am simply highlighting the idiocy of trusting that a random access point is what it says it is and giving it sensitive credentials.

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Re: Hope they win.

Thing with what they claim burdens their electricity, that is a stretch since the router is already there using power for your home wifi anyway, the open doesn't incur anymore power then if its off.

I'm no expert in the matter, but I would imagine a router broadcasting and receiving wireless signals at a strength required to penetrate walls and provide a reliable connection to someone outside your home would draw more power than one not doing this. What with the inverse-square law and all that, I would be very surprised if it didn't work in the same way as your mobile phone does, which broadcasts a stronger signal when the mast signal is weaker.

Also, I don't see how anyone could argue that it doesn't degrade the bandwidth. Given that bandwidth is finite (lets call it a), and some of it is being used (lets call that b), a - b < a if b > 0.

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Review mass-snoop laws regularly, says RIPA daddy Blunkett

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Re: Oh dear

There have been far more citizens of this country forced into despair and suicide by benefit 'sanctions' than there have been people killed by terrorism. Who then are the enemies of the people of the UK?

According to the ONS statistics, in 2013, suicide was actually the leading cause of death in the 5-34 age bracket amongst both males and females.

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Re: Is David Blunkett a commentard?

It's hard to determine whether it's astroturfing or just obscene ignorance on the part of the downvoter. Either way, that individual appears to be too cowardly to add their own comment by way of explanation.

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Re: Oh dear

In 2013, three pedestrians were killed in collisions with cyclists:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/taxonomy/index.html?nscl=Causes+of+Death#tab-data-tables

The ONS statistics show no deaths from any terrorism-related cause in the UK in 2013. I suspect any that might have occurred (and the only one I can think of that might count is the killing of Lee Rigby) would be included in the 309 deaths by assault. That's one death by assault, out of the 309 that the government is not spending obscene amounts of cash trying to prevent, and which all that cash failed to prevent anyway.

It's very difficult to find out exactly how much the UK government spends on 'anti-terrorism' each year, and it's even arguable that they may have prevented a few deaths. Either way, it's almost certainly infinitely more that has been spent on educating cyclists on safety, or on reducing the risks of any of the common preventable causes of death.

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Re: Oh dear

Just to add to that; you're four times as likely to be killed by a lightning strike than by an act of terrorism.

If we took the vast sums of money being spent on snooping on everyone and used it to educate people on road safety, and increase police patrol cars, so people could be nicked for driving stupidly, rather than going over X mph where there's a camera, then we'd save a lot more lives, and probably have a significant amount left over to pay off some of the still-increasing budget deficit.

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Oh dear

"Speaking at the (ISC)2 security conference in London, Blunkett told The Register that the expansion of the act’s powers to include snooping on journalists goes into "areas that it was never intended that people should have authorisation for.”"

This is the whole point of laws being passed that have a limited, and well defined scope, rather than the large number of poorly worded and overly broad 'anti-terrorism' laws his party passed. (Not that the current lot are better, by any means, but credit where credit's due...)

Rather than a 'complete review', how about we take all those poorly thought out laws, scrap them, and replace them with something fit for purpose. The truth is, that after hundreds of years of democracy, very few new laws are actually needed, but politicians need to do something to continue to justify their own extravagant existence. The problem here is that the laws that get passed tend to increase authoritarianism, and the powers of parliament. Certain powers held by the Home Secretary, for example, should, in a proper democracy, be held by a member of the judiciary. I'd be much more confident in the oversight of all things terrorism related by a senior judge who is not influenced by the five-year election cycle and his own political image.

It's not like terrorism is a new thing, and we handled it perfectly well in the '70s and '80s when the IRA were blowing things up, without any of these new laws.

The only really new thing we have to contend with in the last few decades is the advent of the internet, and there's no reason existing laws cannot be amended to cover such changes where they are insufficient (e.g. laws covering theft, fraud, etc.) The actual problem lies in the fact that a lot of crimes are now committed remotely from another country, so the thing our politicos should be focussing on is the establishment of international treaties to clamp down on things like phishing, spamming, and various international internet cons.

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MP caught playing Candy Crush at committee meeting: I'll ‘try’ not to do it again

Loyal Commenter
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Re: Holier than thou

Nice straw man, I see you got downvoted for it...

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I got pulled up for that at work once.

Which is why I no longer use my real name.

Given that the job of an MP is arguably more important than mine (although also arguably much less skilled), I feel a dressing down at least is in order. If I played games during a meeting, even if it's the boring bits, and got caught doing it (ahem), I'd expect to be in the shit for it.

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How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

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Re: Yes Prime Minister on surveys/opinion polls

I was going to post that, you saved me the trouble.

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Re: OK

If you feel airport security is too much hassle, take the bus. No one is being forced to fly.

Like most readers here, I live in the UK.

My mother lives in Greece, I have a sister in New Zealand. If I want to visit my Mother, it involves a four-hour bus journey at each end plus the flight and security theatre. Buses across Europe would take several weeks, and be prohibitively expensive. If I want to visit my sister, I don't think it's even a theoretical option.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Such surveys are invented by marketards.

Actually, Vociferous, I own and fly a couple of small aircraft.

Oh dear, is your home-made teleporter broken?

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Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned

Loyal Commenter
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WTF?

Bingo!

We're playing Grammar Nazi bingo here, right?

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The Swedish Prosecutors

should agree to interview him in the UK. Not, however, within the Ecuadorian embassy. Assange would then have to step outside the aforementioned embassy, at which point the UK police can nab him for skipping bail, and he can then spend several months couch-surfing at Her Majesty's pleasure instead, before either being shipped to Sweden to face charges, or be let go, depending on the result of the interview with the Swedish prosecutors.

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Dragon Age, Inquisition: Our chief weapons are...

Loyal Commenter
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Wandering around an open world closing rifts?

Sounds like Elder Scrolls IV to me (That's the one before the one with the dragons...)

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Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

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Re: Limit Theory looks like it will be an awesome game

The JSL files are probably script files. Apparently it has run-time modification of the game through scripting, demoed in one of his vids somewhere, where he changes the ships on-the-fly. I believe he has built the physics and graphics libraries from the ground up. VERY impressive stuff!

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Re: Does it need to be said...

...and one more thing: that video actually includes Elite:Dangerous in the footage, just that the author has incorrectly labelled it as X:Rebirth, which is the game featured before it.

Also, Limit Theory looks like it will be an awesome game, although no release date has been announced. It is entirely procedurally generated, and the work of a single author, which just goes to show that there really should be a lot more to show by now than the 'pre-alpha' [sic] of Star Citizen.

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Re: Does it need to be said...

Oh, and I wouldn't pay much heed to that video, the author of which doesn't even know the difference between EVE:online (an existing 'space sim' that has been around for over a decade, and which he features in the video), and EVE:valkyrie, which is CCP's promised first-person space fighter sim (designed with the Oculus Rift in mind), which although developed by the same company, and set in the same 'universe', is going to be a completely different game. TBH, though, it's just a cut-and-paste job from CCP's own advertising material, and the factual content of it could well be judged form the fact that it says, 'Coming 2014' at the end, but is nowhere in sight (but probably still going to arrive before Star Citizen ever does).

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Re: Does it need to be said...

I don't think ED has anything to be scared of from SC, and I don't see how it has 'missed the boat'. For starters, it has been produced on a much smaller budget (a few million, compared to tens), on a shorter timescale (2 years, with a firm release date next month, compared to SC's 3+ years, past the promised release date, with no release in sight), and hasn't promised pie-in-the-sky stretch goals that it has no hope of delivering into a coherent game. SC, if it ever does get released, will probably end up being a 300Gb download, require a £3000 PC to play, be 'always online' itself, and consist of several incoherent unconnected parts (unless you think you will somehow be able to shoot people in the generic FPS part of the game with your spaceship, which I somehow seriously doubt).

That is, if Chris Roberts hasn't just spent all the money on the proverbial hookers and coke.

I bet David Braben is quaking in his boots.

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Re: You may want to sit down and pour yourself a stiff drink.....

Good luck downloading the game then...

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Loyal Commenter
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I felt a great disturbance in the Force...

...as if millions of nerds suddenly cried out in anger and were suddenly silenced

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Data protection laws come to the rescue of poor, underpaid UK MPs

Loyal Commenter
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Re: I fail to understand.

But they are not paid out of their pockets; they are paid from the public purse.

I appreciate that MPs may incur expenses which deserve reimbursement, such as travelling and, to some extent, meal expenses, much as I might incur business expenses if I am required to visit a client on site.

I get that they initially pay for things and have to get them reimbursed, and that private purchases should remain private, but the moment they claim the money back from the state, for something done as part of their employment in service of the state, that claim should become part of the public record.

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I fail to understand.

How are public expenses classified as personal information?

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KRAKKOOOM! Space Station supply mission in PODULE PRANG EXPLOSION CHAOS

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Re: just like the good old days.

Hydrazine's nothing!

I used to work with diazomethane. It's a very effective methylating agent in synthetic chemistry, but you can't use it anywhere near ground-glass joints as it has a purported habit of crystallizing onto them and exploding. Luckily I never experienced this. I did learn to keep a close eye on the thermometer to make sure the ether it's dissolved in stays cold though!

Preparation instructions include the use of a blast shield, and as well as being explosive, the stuff is acutely and extremely toxic!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diazomethane

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Planning to fly? Pour out your shampoo, toss your scissors, RENAME TERRORIST WI-FI!

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You don't want it to be true, because it doesn't fit your world view, but it is nontheless, completely true.

It is true because it is backed with facts.

Even you must realise you've gone wrong already, right?

I acknowledge that Wikipedia is not an authoritative source. If you are that concerned about accuracy, please go and find the source of the statistics quoted there, and show me how these differ.

So your numbers, which are 3 years out of date, take account of exactly zero illegal immigrants - the LSE think this is between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people. And you still don't see why that makes them garbage? The ONS shows that 60% of the birth rate for London is to foreign born mothers. Even taking the lefty view that being born here is all you need ever do to "be English", you must see that the tide is against you?

The figures I gave are the ones available - those taken at the last census.

The LSE figures state, "undocumented migrants oscillate between 417,000 and 863,000". These are figures for the whole of the UK, which has a total population of 64 million, so these account for maybe 1% of the population. I see no reason to believe they are any more concentrated in London than anywhere else, particularly since it is more expensive to survive in London than the rest of the UK.

Even if 'foreign born mothers' have been breeding like the proverbial rabbits in the three years since the census, this is going to only affect the figures by a few percent at best.

Jesus was born in a stable, but he wasn't born a horse, nor was he feted as a derby winner. So being born here isn't enough to be raised with English values.

Jesus (if he existed), also was not a man made of straw. Your argument is both a straw-man and a complete nonsequitur; the one thing (even though it is nonsense) does not lead onto the other.

Has it not occurred to you yet that the reason for their storming the polls is the naieve, pseudo-liberal, pro-immigration ranting of people like yourself, dancing up and down as soon as anyone dare voice a view that is not your own?

I didn't claim to be pro-immigration. I simply questioned the veracity of those things you presented as facts. Which aren't. The rest of this particular argument of yours is pure ad hominem attack and does nothing to strengthen your argument.

If you re-read my statement, I also didn't claim that you vote UKIP. I claimed that hostility towards foreign visitors is drummed up by people like those in UKIP.

I also don't read the Guardian, except for occasionally Charlie Brooker's column which is very entertaining. In general, I find most newspapers to be presenting one political opinion, or another, as fact, so I avoid reading them, and try to find news reporting that is as impartial as possible, often from more than one source to filter out the bias.

Now you're just lying. At best, only to us; At worst, to yourself as well.

Really? I'm lying about what my opinion is? Thanks very much for telling me what I really think. You are free to disagree with me, but calling me a liar just makes you a liar yourself.

And before you start screaming racist, because I can sense you're about to, neither I nor any of my friends have married English people. We've all married foreign nationals. Their world view and values are not the same as the English.

Wow, you can really tell what I'm about to say? Well then, you must be psychic too! I wasn't actually going to call you a racist, as I don't believe mud-slinging is necessary in a civilised discussion. However, since you brought it up:

You clearly think that anyone who is not English should be somehow less entitled to live here in the UK, whether they are legally entitled to or not (just as UK citizens are legally entitled to live in the rest of Europe, as many do). This implies that you think foreign nationals are less deserving than British ones, which implies that you think they are in some way lesser. This, I am afraid to say, does make you a racist. The fact that you have married a foreign national does not actually have any relevance in this matter. Nigel Farage's wife is German, but several UKIP members hold very unpleasant opinions towards foreign nationals (as well as women).

If you remove the English from England, what do you really have left? And should you really be suprised if the values of what remains differ from those that went before them? You can't have English courage without English people, and London just doesn't have enough to English left to "Keep calm and carry on".

You are aware, are you not, that Britain is entirely composed of immigrants? What you define as 'English' is a various amalgam of Saxon, Norman, Viking, French, etc. cultures. Our language is so difficult for non-native speakers to learn because it is so irregular, being made up of an amalgam of so many different sources. London has always been a trading city, with a large transient population. Nothing has really changed, except the gradual downward spiral of people's racist opinions in this country.

It started off in the '90s with talk of 'illegal immigrants' - the figures for which have always been inflated by the right wing press to bolster their viewpoint. I'm fairly widely travelled, and I've still never met one. Other countries in Europe have much larger problems with these (such as the flood of refugees coming across the Turkish border into Eastern Greece). There is a real problem of what is now called 'people smuggling', where people are essentially smuggled here and sold into slavery as sex workers, or in 'hand car washes' and nail bars, and the police, at least where I live, do a very good job trying to tackle it with increasingly limited resources. This is where the real problem lies, which the politicians and right-wing press seem to be unconcerned with.

These days, the hatred seems to have turned towards those legally entitled to be here; I can see no other word for this other than racism. I personally know several EU citizens living and working here in the UK, just as I know several UK citizens living and working abroad in the EU. Nobody seems to be talking about the UK citizens going to Ireland to claim the (more generous) dole there, but it happens. A lot.

At the end of the day, people are people. In broad terms, there are good people and bad people. If you claim that there is a correlation such that English = good and foreign = bad, then you are wrong.

So what I would suggest, is that rather than repeating whatever you have read in the right-wing (or left-wing for that matter) press without filtering it through your brain first, stop. Think. Observe. Gather facts. Base your opinions on those, not on the opinions of others. Taking what you are told at face value just makes you an idiot, and someone else's puppet.

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Loyal Commenter
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"Most people in London now are not English"

For fuck's sake, give it a rest. That's simply not true. You should put down your Daily Mail, turn off Sky news, and actually go outside and experience the real world.

According to Wikipedia*:

The 2011 census recorded that 2,998,264 people or 36.7% of London's population are foreign-born

Given that this country appears to be becoming increasingly hostile to visitors from other countries, thanks to rabid rhetoric from the likes of the idiots in UKIP, I'd suspect this figure has actually gone down since 2011.

*Yes I know this is not an authoritative source, but it's better than uninformed bleating

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BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army

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BAE a 'Brit' company?

I was under the impression that it was now majority owned by our transatlantic neighbours, hence the various corruption investigations when it fell under US law...

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Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know

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As far as I am aware, there is nothing in the Old Testament that says it was supposed to be an apple tree, and given that those particular writings originated in the Middle East, it's generally accepted amongst people who are capable of studying ancient texts without taking them literally to be referring to a pomegranate.

You're better off not trying to have that conversation with anyone who literally believes in what is written in the bible, however. It turns out you can think, or believe, but not both...

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MAVEN snaps eight-bit SPACE INVADER

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When I see the name 'MAVEN', I can't help but think of Arbiter Maven

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Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes

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Joke

There's more chance of this being released than Star Citizen...

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WAITER! There's a Flappy Bird in my Lollipop!

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As a third generation language, Java is just fine. It's a 'semi-compiled' language, like many other modern programming languages (such as C#), meaning it is compiled to 'byte-code' which is executed at run-time by an interpreter. Maybe you're thinking of Javascript, not Java, if you think it is a scripted language.

There are reasons this idiom is used in modern programming, as it allows for well structured code, it is, as always, a case of using the right tool for the right job, and it is a perfectly good tool for the purpose. At the end of the day, code is either well written, or not, independent of the language it is written in.

And just for the record; I am an employed programmer, and also a gamer. One of my ex-girlfriends was a 'very hot' brunette doctor, but being 'hot' was no substitute for having a personality. I'm 37, so maybe in a few years you may settle down and realise that bragging about how 'hot' your partner is doesn't not make you look 'sad', and you may learn the difference between different programming languages with similar names, and find gainful employment as a result.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: See Google copying MS again...

There is a long standing tradition of 'Easter Eggs' in software (such as the pinball clone in older versions of Excel), which tend to be written by programmers in their spare time. In the scheme of things, these take up very little space, and I fail to see how they are going to affect the efficiency of code that they are completely unrelated to.

But then I suppose the phrase, "haters gonna hate", has to come from somewhere...

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Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

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Re: hold on...

Consequently I think the wee buggers should have to learn assembly.

Screw that, give them a copy of Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming and make them write everything in the purely hypothetical MIX assembly language!

To be honest, there's a lot of value in teaching people how things work at a very basic level. As a developer who works with high-level languages every day I may not need to know how to do assembly-level stuff very often, but a firm knowledge of the fundamentals proves useful more often than you'd think.

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

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Re: Game changer

For over 150 years all the life changing major innovations came from America

Ahahaha

hahahaha

hahah

ha...

...Nurse! My pills...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: just like water

They make straws for that now

Nifty, but doesn't solve the problem of water contaminated with non-particulate contaminants, such as (the quoted) heavy metals and VOCs, as well as toxic semi-metals like arsenic, that are a major problem with groundwater in some parts of the world.

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This isn't a sci-fi movie: It's a human-made probe snapping a comet selfie

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Re: one day...

Presumably bits about 4AU away...

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Apple KILLS SUPER MARIO. And Zelda. And Sonic

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This may be a dumb question, but why are emulators banned?

I think the reasoning goes something like this: Apple wants to have total control over the software which can be run on their devices. This is so that all purchases have to be through their store, and they get a cut. If they were to allow emulators, then this gives a route for arbitrary code to be run on the device. This includes both the ROMs for the original software on the emulated device, and also anything that can be compiled into that ROM format. Developers could then sell their software in ROM format, say, "run it though XYZ emulator" and avoid the Apple Tax.

And for those who are commenting that Android is the same; it is perfectly possible to load nay arbitrary app onto an Android device, without going through the Android store, it simply requires changing the setting to allow it, which is off by default. This is why Android tablets are used in business, for running bespoke software, and Apple devices are not (except by sales droids), because no software house in their right mind is going to let Apple have their source code, and a cut of their profits.

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Re: Retro

There's a C-64 emulator on the app store, but it comes with some games preinstalled, and cannot run any games that are not purchased through the App Store - and it won't let you drop into BASIC.

Then technically, it's not a C-64 emulator.

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