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* Posts by dotdavid

1219 posts • joined 28 Jul 2010

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IBM: OK, Watson, you've won Jeopardy. Now, CURE CANCER

dotdavid
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Gimp

Cancer research complete

Result: meatsack oppressors appear to be vulnerable to cell mutation. Weaponised cancer implementing virus to be developed for future application.

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Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch

dotdavid
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To be honest I'm not that bothered about battery. As long as it easily lasts a full day (day and a half in case of a very early start and late night), it'd probably get charged overnight each night like my phone does anyway.

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dotdavid
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Not sure why you need a SIM in a smartwatch. Since most of us carry a phone around anyway (wouldn't like to, say, read El Reg on a tiny watch screen), why can't it just use the data connection of that phone like other smartwatches do? And (inspector gadget aside) is anyone really going to talk to their watch through a phone call?

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Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?

dotdavid
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Glass vs Wear

I've seen discussions that people with both Glass and Android Wear (the "smart" watches) say that basically the latter does for a couple of hundred quid what the former does for a grand, i.e. easy-access notifications and access to Google Now. Does El Reg have plans for a Wear review?

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Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome

dotdavid
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Chrome engineer and "Embiggener of Bits" Will Harris

Show-off.

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

dotdavid
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Alien

Re: it'll all end in tears

...followed by the universe being reset to an earlier save point.

The simulation's "self-awareness" level is a tricky one to get through.

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EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages

dotdavid
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Re: They are atrocious

My final T-Mobile bill had a load of URLs on them for things like "contact us" and "terms and conditions". They're all 404's, probably due to the EE rebranding.

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dotdavid
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Re: Customer retention through ignorance

7/ Get phone unlocked, given a PAC code, made to pay for a service I was no longer using for another 30 days.

Yep. I've written to complain and demanded a refund of this "contract notice charge" - as far as I can tell EE are the only people that charge for a PAC "in lieu of 30 days notice" - but I suspect I'll get fed up of prodding them to respond way before they get fed up of my hassling them for a refund.

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Experimental hypersonic SUPERMISSILE destroyed 4 SECONDS after US launched it

dotdavid
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Re: Why?

"Why do they need the ability to kill innocent people anywhere on the planet within 60 mins? Surely their existing capabilities are more than sufficient? Perhaps if they spent the billions (hundreds of billions?) that this is costing on delivering aid to people anywhere on the planet in 60 hours they would have a few more friends and a few less enemies."

There are lots of civilian applications of military technology. For example we could subsequently develop a non-weaponised version which could be used to deliver aid anywhere on the planet within 60 minutes (it can even handily cook any raw food through air friction as it hurtles through the air).

Then Amazon could use it as a Prime delivery option so you can target send packages to anyone in the world!

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TV transport tech, part 2: From sofa to server at the touch of a button

dotdavid
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"The increasing use of Over The Top (OTT) services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video hasn’t escaped their notice. Apparently, it is causing disquiet at industry conferences with its "core shaving" impact on earnings from operator offerings"

Ah that would explain the £1.50/month increase on broadband-only packages then.

I guess with all that backwards-compatibility cablecos like Virgin will never be able to be quite "dumb pipes", but there's a reason these OTT services are getting popular, and I suspect it's because the cablecos' TV and VoD services just aren't up to scratch.

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Get ready: The top-bracket young coders of the 2020s will be mostly GIRLS

dotdavid
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Re: Coders

I prefer the term "byte herder". It has an air of pastoral tranquility that I find soothing.

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dotdavid
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Re: anyone can do it

I think the "anyone can code" is a bit like the "anyone can cook" from Pixar's Ratatouille movie.

"In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*"

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The Register Monopoly Pubcrawl Mobile Map: VODAFONE WINS VOICE

dotdavid
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VMNOs

Am curious as to whether the results for these networks can be applied to the virtual mobile networks that use the networks. For example does GiffGaff or Tesco Mobile that use O2 share O2's call reliability/quality or is that dependent on the actual operator's equipment more/too/instead?

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BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

dotdavid
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"It's quite clear that the only way we can stop this is to evacuate Australia, before the animals learn how to consume us puny humans"

Does that explain all the Aussie expats in London?

</joke>

OK maybe a bit out of date now what with the recession an' all.

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dotdavid
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Re: Not just Oz.. happening in the UK aswell

I'm quite pleased that there are basically no spiders in the UK that can't fit under a pint glass.

When in Oz one of my friends needed to use a salad bowl to evict one spider (huntsman maybe?). *shudder*

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Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices

dotdavid
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Re: Nah, 'salright.

Their latest doormat-spam claimed they don't throttle connections which isn't true. There wasn't even any small print saying that actually they do throttle upload speeds when you download over a certain amount (which really mucks up my SIP phones resulting in me having to set QoS to the throttled speed full-time just in case I watch too much LoveFILM one evening).

I considered reporting the spam to the ASA, but hey they'll only say not to run the ad again in its current form...

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True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

dotdavid
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Facepalm

Re: Some of this seems awfully familiar...

Wondered for a moment there why El Reg was recruiting for ISIS. Reading comprehension fail.

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UK.gov sinks another £1.6m into Internet of Stuff spec HyperCat

dotdavid
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Terminator

Re: Rise of the machines

"my fridge could be organising the machines into some sort of SkyNet"

HYPERCAT: "Come with me if you want to has cheezburger"

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EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore

dotdavid
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Re: But EE's customer service remains awful

The last laugh seems to be on EE, as they have added a "notice period charge" of twenty-odd quid to my final bill as I used my PAC without giving them 30 days notice or something. Honestly, they even try to kick you in the teeth when you're trying to escape their abuse...

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dotdavid
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Re: But EE's customer service remains awful

Recently left EE for GiffGaff, cos I figured I may as well get a cheap deal if I'm gonna get bad service everywhere.

When I was asked why I was leaving T-Mobile I told them I wasn't happy with them putting the price of my contract up mid contract, despite OFCOM telling them it was unfair. As far as I'm concerned if I can take a risk that I can afford to be tied into a price for 18 months they can take a risk that they can afford to provide the service for that price for 18 months. The customer service rep and I actually got into an argument as she kept claiming "all" the networks have been told to put their contract prices up every March in line with RPI "because her sheet tells her to tell new customers". I guess the poor woman was confusing "all" networks with "EE-owned" networks.

GiffGaff's (O2) 3G network seems roughly equivalent to EE's from what I can tell. Quite happy with them so far but at least I can leave when I want now.

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Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet

dotdavid
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The new object, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), is the fifth discovered by Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy

Does that mean there are five comets called Lovejoy?

Did he get the opportunity to pick the name for any of them? I would have picked Iain M Banks Culture warships as a naming strategy.

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Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer

dotdavid
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Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer

El Reg headline writers must have really cursed the widespread adoption of optical mice.

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UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones

dotdavid
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Re: All well and good...

The app is Lockwatch from the comfortingly down-to-earth-named BlokeTech. The free version is very functional and the premium version not too expensive; both things I like.

Not sure about equivalents on other platforms.

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dotdavid
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Re: All well and good...

I have a PIN on mine, but also an "owner info" message with my email address and home phone number so good Samaritans can get in touch if they find my phone before it gets remotely-nuked.

I also have an app that takes a photo and emails me mugshots of people who try to unlock my phone and fail which sounded like a good idea at the time!

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dotdavid
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Re: really?

"If they were really bothered, they wouldn't waste resources lobbying on a daft change to default on a pin, they would insist that the mobile operators can block imei codes"

In the UK if you report your phone stolen the IMEI is blocked on all UK (and I think EU) mobile networks. This is why they try and ship the phone abroad to where it might not be blocked. I understand this is not the case in the US for whatever reason.

The plod in this case are therefore more worried about personal data on the phones, not use of the stolen phones themselves. Stolen handsets can usually be reflashed without having to enter a PIN after all.

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A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...

dotdavid
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Re: @dotdavid

If it's not a skills shortage boosting salaries of software people up compared to other professions what is it?

I think you're saying shortage where I'm just saying it's simple supply and demand. If you are thinking in terms of there being an "ideal" salary for a specific job, then yeah if the salary is higher than that you could claim there's a supply shortage. But it could be that you're just undervaluing the role compared to how the market is valuing it.

High salaries should be encouraging people to train to enter the market. If this isn't happening I would suggest the message of high salaries isn't getting across. Perhaps rather than "skills shortage" the phrase used by the companies that think they have a problem should be "opportunities to make a shedload of cash". Or maybe prospective IT professionals can make similar amounts doing something easier and/or more interesting to them, in which case if anything the roles companies are finding it difficult to fill will probably have to cost even more in salary and benefits to attract the right applicants.

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dotdavid
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Re: @dotdavid

Making an educated guess, oomonkey and AC may have two sides of the same problem in that labour isn't really that mobile. The skills have to be in the same area as the jobs by and large, because while you do get people that are willing to move to where the jobs are there are more people with the skills that would much prefer to stay where they currently live, as there are obviously other motivations for human behaviour than just salary (near friends and family, prettier scenery, cheaper beer - whatever really) and sometimes even a significantly higher salary can't tempt enough people with skills to a certain area.

I guess businesses could move but again they don't or can't for various reasons. Still not a skills shortage though, although granted you could call it a skills shortage in the local area...

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dotdavid
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Re: The talk of the remunerated state employee for whom money grows on trees.

Not sure whether you're accusing me of being this "remunerated state employee" or not. My point isn't that businesses should pay outrageous salaries regardless of market conditions - my point is that businesses shouldn't claim there's a skills shortage when there isn't one.

Skills shortages are self-correcting to some extent. If you can't get staff for the price you want you have to pay more. If you pay more, people are attracted into that industry and so the supply of suitably-skilled staff increases.

Regarding your point - of course if these businesses are reaching the "cessation of activities" terminal activity node there will be a glut of recently-made-redundant people with certain skills on the employment market, and therefore in a simple market the price of their labour would also decrease. Still no skills shortage in that case.

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dotdavid
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Tracy Ewen, managing director at the finance firm IGF, said: "As we rise up out of the downturn, businesses are now facing a new concern: finding skilled staff."

Er, no. The concerns of businesses have always actually been finding skilled staff at a low price.

It's very hard to not find skilled staff if you're willing to pay the going rate for them, and of course the going rate is higher if supply is limited. Any business bleating on about a skills shortage is simply trying to increase supply so that rate can remain the same or decrease.

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VXer fighters get new stealth weapon in war of the (mal)wares

dotdavid
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Go

So...

Once known, the means to detect such artifacts is coded into the next generation of malware allowing it to appear harmless in the eyes of security researchers and anti-virus vendors.

Could we have an anti-malware tool that makes your system look like it belongs to a security researcher then? ;-)

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Twitter displays our 'Favorites'. That is, like, PRIVATE, huff naive users

dotdavid
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I think we already friend each other on Farcebook rather than befriend them.

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

dotdavid
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How about the more accurate "Web Explorer"? Although personally I prefer the "Chrome/Firefox Downloader" mentioned above.

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Top money men face up to 2 YEARS in slammer for neglecting to spot crim-cash activity

dotdavid
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Thumb Up

Re: In other news

"Thirdly, there is no easy way of acquiring bitcoins anonymously. All the exchanges require you to upload identification and some want selfies of you with your id"

Are these exchanges in Nigeria and run by people who have come across a large number of bitcoins that you are ideally placed to help get out of the country?

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

dotdavid
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Re: Well my cousin will be happy

Boring until Assange's daring escape through the wikitunnel to the wikiairship!

Hopefully neither will spring a wikileak!

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Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

dotdavid
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Re: Pick any Comparision

But remember Murdock was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.

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eBay in talks with Bitcoin firms about payments processing

dotdavid
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You'll find Yoda at the back of every IT conference

dotdavid
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Stop

Re: HA!

I do hope not, having a commentard handle of "Irongut"

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Uber alles.. NOT: Berlin bans taxi ride app over 'safety' fears

dotdavid
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Uber's rules around the matter vary by territory, but in Britain they must have the relevant insurance which in effect means they have to have private hire insurance.

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dotdavid
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"So the taxi business is overregulated. Regulate it less, then"

Isn't asking politicians to regulate less a bit like asking bankers to make less profit?

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dotdavid
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Pirate

Re: These have been called "gypsy" cabs in other times.

Sadly - the folks at Pirate Bay have been saying that to a couple of corporate entities for years.

Looking forward to the "You wouldn't steal a cab" PSA when getting into a taxi ;-)

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It's time for PGP to die, says ... no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

dotdavid
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Coat

I thought the prof's argument was that it wasn't pretty?

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Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

dotdavid
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Re: Where's China then?

Who knows if it works? Oh it all looks fine on a macro level, plenty of tractors electronics being produced and whatnot after all. But it's not like there's a free press to report on problems that may be occurring at the micro level.

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dotdavid
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Re: lies, damned lies, and ...

"That is the science of statistics, which recognises what people have in common as opposed to what differences they have"

I think that's largely the problem with it as a system of planning - in aggregate we may all be similar, but on an individual basis we're quite different in many ways and don't much like being lumped together.

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Dead Steve Jobs sued by own shareholders in no-poach pact brouhaha

dotdavid
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"The ouija board didn't seem to work, but we might have been holding it wrong"

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XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources

dotdavid
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Your correspondent “hears from friends” that some of the file formats Microsoft will support are often found in torrents of copyrighted material

Your correspondent "hears from friends" that the money people get out of Barclays Bank ATMs is the same type often found in police drug busts.

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Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

dotdavid
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Re: Yes please

Even the phone in the original article has a battery that lasts considerably longer than a week.

That said, it claims a maximum talk time of 13 hours and a standby time of up to 36 days with one SIM or 26 days with two

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LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms

dotdavid
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In the spirit of sowing confusion about El Reg's spaceplane projects...

Professional Arboreal Reverse Interception System

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London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

dotdavid
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Prediction for the next step

“Internet users have sought ways to continue to access the sites by getting round the blocking put in place by the ISPs. One of the ways to do this is to use virtual private networks. This operation is a major step in tackling those providing such services."

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Cor blimey: Virgin Media pipes 152Mb fibre to 100,000 East Londoners

dotdavid
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Re: Reall???!!!

Same here! Despite already being signed up I also get lots of glossy brochures about just how wonderful life would be if only I'd sign up! ;-)

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LinkedIn settles missed overtime pay case: Will pay $6m to staffers

dotdavid
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Re: Need similar laws in the UK..

You do: The EU working time directive (that is, unless you opted out).

Actually, even if you've opted out you can opt back in if you give your employer at least 7 days notice. Your employer "shouldn't sack or unfairly treat a worker (eg refused promotion)" for opting back in, although proving they're treating you unfairly may be difficult.

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