* Posts by BenR

237 posts • joined 4 Aug 2010

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Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

BenR

Re: News angle?@AC "Lets see..just a representative sample of the last week's worth@work.."

None of which sounds like a Windows issue to my (admittedly unenlightened) eyes.

Every single issue listed sounds like shitty vendor software or drivers.

Perhaps the reason Apple stuff "just works" is because only proper software gets developed for it - you know, stuff like Photoshop and the like. All the stuff that is used by hundreds upon hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

Some CNC software / bespoke plotter drivers / whatever - that is possibly only used by a number in the low thousands of people - not a lot of call or scope to maintain / update / patch / whatever the application code.

Just sayin'.

And no - I'm not an Apple product owner. Never bought anything from them, and probably never will.

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German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

BenR

Re: magnetic coils

Upvoted just for "And all this for the price of a couple of community catalyst catapults for a Shoreditch web design imagineering exercise."

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When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

BenR

Re: Three glasses of whisky

"Many times in my career I have given up on a problem and left the office. Then 100 metres down the road had to turn back as the answer had just occurred to me."

This happens to me ALL THE TIME - although normally when I'm about 200 metres from home rather than 100 metres from the office.

It is intensely annoying, as I then have to try to *remember* the solution for the next day!

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UK taxpayers should foot £2bn or more to adopt Snoopers' Charter, says Inquiry

BenR

Re: Boris and Julz

All fair points. And I think me missing the <sarcasm> tags might not have helped...

But the fact is that most of the concerns people have (or so it seems to me, and other than the obvious technical problems ofc) aren't about security services / police having access to this kind of data - it's about security services / police having *UNFETTERED* access to the data.

Whack some accountability by the judicial system in there and job's a good 'un!

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BenR

I still don't understand...

... exactly why it is it's so difficult to simply go to a judge an ask for a warrant to snoop on someone's phonecalls, text messages and internet access. get said warrant, go to various companies, and those companies can - by way of a "software update" - push appropriate snooping software onto a specific device, rather than the deep-sea trawl approach they seem to be going for.

As an added bonus, accountability and the ability to use whatever data they snoop in a court!

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Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

BenR

Re: Really?

Also, in that second picture, the 'cabin' appears to have parachuted to a rest in the Windows XP default backdrop...

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Kent Council cheerily flings about £100m at managed services bods

BenR

Re: Figures

I think the theory - much like the large Highways Maintenance PFI deals which I have direct working knowledge of - is that while the services cost the same amount of money to provide, there is a saving to be made by outsourcing to the likes of Capita et al because some of the overhead costs, such as HR, (internal) IT support, pensions etc. etc. are shared across all the Capita outsourced jobs, rather than being duplicated by each Council (or whatever.)

There is also the fact that - from the POV of the Council - it's a fixed annual fee. They know exactly how much they're paying out year-on-year as it's in the contract, and if the contract has been written and vetted correctly, it should never cost any more or any less than that, no matter what changes to the services Capita (or whoever) are asked to undertake. That then makes it easier to see how much money the Council has left for other things, rather than the cost of service provision being a moving feast.

At least that's the theory as I understand it.

In practice, of course, it hardly ever works.

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

BenR

Yes, there are.

To be fair, I think Samsung is one of the worst of the bunch. It seems to all be tied in to the amount of deep code-level twatting about the manufacturer does with the build.

Samsungs have always been poor, because of all the additional Samsung bloatware clones and replicas of functionality they whack on (read SMail, SCalendar etc.).

HTC suffered from the same issue, primarily because of SenseUI.

The manufacturers that don't mess with Android too much do a much better job of getting updates out. Sony were pretty decent with my previous Z1. My Lenovo Yoga 2 updates fairly frequently, and this is after they've had to transcode the updates from ARM to x86. My Moto X updates regularly too.

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

BenR

the nacelles are surprisingly large! The engines when viewed as part of the larger plane look a bit weedy, but that's just the size of the airframe tricking the eye.

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BenR

Re: It may have life in it yet

Oil would have to stay very low for a very long time in order for the economics to be viable of the life of the airframe if fuel is - in fact - the reason orders have dried up.

No point ordering a load of 747s now because the oil is cheap, only for the oil price to bounce before the first one is delivered and then o be stuck with them for 25+ years.

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Not good enough, VW: California nixes toxic mix fix in strict interdict

BenR

Re: CARB

Never said they were innocent or not partially culpable. Plenty of blame to go around.

But I notice both Halliburton and the valve manufacturer (whose name i have since forgotten) didn't end up paying any fines. Fact is, a large chunk of the damage was caused by failure of the well-head concrete, meaning that a top-kill wasn't a feasible solution. It was subsequently discovered that the concrete had been out of spec in both material and placement, and entirely the responsibility of the sub-contractor.

All three firms should have been punished. But BP took the reaming - because even though they're mostly owned by Americans, the name suggests they aren't an American firm, and our multi-national conglomerates have *NEVER* been involved in anything suspect with the government in order to dodge regulations or win a fat juicy contract (ref. Halliburton and Irag War 2: The Enbombening)...

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BenR

Re: CARB

What? You mean like the Deepwater Horizon FUBAR where BP got absolutely nailed to the wall, despite the fact that the cut-off valve that failed was manfactured by an American company, and the concrete surround well-cap was specified, placed and monitored by an American company?

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Stephen Hawking reckons he's cracked the black hole paradox

BenR

Re: So what is it?

Are we sure it's not just some bits of grit on the scanner?

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

BenR

For the kind of messing about I do on my desktop and laptop at home, I really don't think Windows 10 is bad as an OS. The "spying" concerns me a little, but considering my usage consists of time on eBay, time browsing the net generally, the occasional YouTube trip, and occasional gaming, I don't think I'm going to worry myself unduly about the entire affair.

What worries me a little more is time spent on an unsupported OS. My Win 7 machines might have to be imaged, then upgraded, so that I qualify for the "free" upgrade and can immediately revert back. Saying that, I've had Win10 on my desktop for a while now and I've had no problems with it.

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UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim

BenR

I'm really not sure how these devices will "enable consumers to reduce their energy consumption and save money"?

Presumably all that will actually happen is the smart meter will flag up that your fridge, or your oven or whatever is using a lot of electricity / gas and that to save money you should consider turning the heating down or switching it off or replacing it with a more efficient device. To which the majority of people will go "Yeah, and I'm paying for that with...?" and carry on with the older inefficient fridge because they like to have food without mould on it, or carry on with the heating because it's cold outside and they don't want to freeze.

I just don't see how they're advantageous for anything except more accurate billing than the comedic "estimates" energy companies usually make. And even then I'd expect some creative accounting to make sure you're paying over the odds.

Think I'll just be constantly "not in" for the installation.

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Americans massively back call for more police body camera tech

BenR

Re: USA is a "War" nation

No wonder the USA police refer to the general public as "civilians", especially now that police is the USA are basically a series of paramilitary forces.

Exactly!

I've said the same myself. When you have a police force referring to the general public as 'civilians', it just emphasizes that they have totally forgotten that they are, themselves, also citizens, and have no special rights under the law.

In America - as in the UK and other major democracies - policing is by consent of the populous. It seems the American Rozzers just forget this a bit more frequently than they do elsewhere.

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If you want a USB thumb drive wiped, try asking an arts student for help

BenR

Re: Burn them

Ah.

Plan 1-A.

How I miss thee.

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The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

BenR

Re: @Ledswinger we plan to be a big part of the prosperity

Apparently, getting rid of Worstall and Page are part of the "improvements" - which doesn't promise anything good for anything else that the Reg is also going to label an "improvement".

Is that like when you see 'new and improved recipe' on a sticker on your favourite thing from the supermarket, which guarantees that 'new' = 'cheaper' and 'improved' = 'worse than before'?

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Happy new year, VW: Uncle Sam sues over engine cheatware

BenR

While true, not the case.

The headline says "sue", but this will actually be a criminal suit for violating of a federal statute.

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BenR

Re: It all depends on the outcome

If I was VAG, this is exactly what i'd be doing myself.

All proper like - no fiddling of any results, but I'd be buying some EU and US models of popular cars, and running the appropriate EU and US emissions tests on them both to compare results.

And if - *IF* - i found anything fishy, there'd be a few "anonymous" emails to the various environmental protection bodies and political persons in the respective governments...

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Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

BenR

Re: Security Updates

Sony's problem is that they aren't giving me a convincing reason to replace with a newer model.

Bang on.

I had a Z1. Loved it. Couldn't upgrade to the Z2 or the Z3 due to contract lock, but didn't feel the need as beyond minor battery life improvements and a slightly bigger screen, there was nothing worth upgrading for. Waited and waited and waited and waited for the Z5 hoping for a 5.4" screen, 2k, 3Gb of RAM and a 15-20MP OIS camera. Figured that wasn't far off the specs of every other flagship going so there was a decent chance.

What did i get? Three models that are *IDENTICAL* except for screen size and, in the case of the hellishly expensive Z5 Premium, a 4k screen that slurps so much power it isn't even used all the time. No OIS on any of the camera modules - instead a lot of noise about the speed of focus which doesn't really matter most of the time. If you're trying to take pictures of something that is moving so quick and happening so fast that you need focus times in the microseconds, then you shouldn't really be using a cameraphone to do it.

I'm all for incremental improvements - Apple have been doing it for years with the iPhone - but you have to at least make the increments big enough so that 2 generations down the line there is a noticeable difference!

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Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

BenR

"The more destruction the better. It's about a vulgar display of power"

Agreed.

I refer you to the Sputnik program, Tsar Bomba, and other Earth-bound vulgar displays of power.

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BenR

Re: Art Imitating Parody

Ah right. I kinda get it. I suspect not intentional at all, given how tenuous it is tbh.

I love SpaceBalls (the film, the colouring book, the lunchbox, the flamethower and - my personal favourite - the doll. Isn't he adorable?) but I hadn't thought of that possible back-link in any way.

--++ SPOILERS ++--

Personally, I think that JJ was trying to avoid as much nerd-rage as possible by showing a potential power source of being able to generate the energy required to overcome the binding energy of not just 1 but 5No. Earth-a-like planets in one go. I was sat with the kind of squirming in my seat usually reserved for when i see IP addresses with values in the 7 and 8 hundred ranges when the first shots were fired, thinking "How on earth is that laser beam travelling interstellar distances to destroy planets in remote star systems? Surely the people looking at the sky would just see practically static beams?" when the explanation tipped up that The First Order had managed to construct a hyper-lightspeed weapon system. At that point, the nerd rage subsided. They haven't explained how it worked, but they'd clearly given it sufficient thought to realise the problems and handwaviumed it away.

Good enough for me, given we're talking about a universe with hyperspeed, all-powerful space wizards, laser-plasma swords, moon-sized artificial space stations and technological ability to hollow out a planet at turn it into a star-slurping supergun.

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BenR

Re: Art Imitating Parody

Missed that reference entirely. In what way do you mean exactly, and how more so than the original Death Star = MegaMaid reference?

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Free Wi-Fi for the NHS, promises health secretary Jeremy Hunt

BenR

Hospital Pay TV services

I have been reliably informed that, in order for hospitals to put in the exorbitantly expensive Pay TV services where you get a shitty lo-res TN TFT panel in a crappy shiny white plastic case on a broken arm dangling over your bed for only £35 quid for 5 days of non-premium free-to-air channels, they have to sign a contract stating they won't implement free patient wifi or other services. That's one of the reasons why the ward TV rooms have gone (also so the hospital isn't responsible for upkeep, servicing, etc. and to free up the space admittedly.)

The deal being that the hospital gets all the kit installed for free for a lengthy period at no cost to the NHS, so the company involved can gouge patients silly should they want to watch a BBC show they've already paid for while they're unfortunate enough to be stuck in hospital. In return, the company ask the hospital doesn't provide any amenities or luxuries that a patient might want, such as TV or internet. This worked brilliantly when world+dog didn't have a smartphone and a 4G connection... and even better when mobile phones were still uncommon so you could charge though the nose for phonecalls too.

Hospital Pay TV companies are the worst kind of scummy filth.

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Microsoft extends Internet Explorer 8 desktop lifeline to upgrade laggards

BenR

The irony of this deadline is that many who moved from Windows XP and running IE6 moved their browser at least to IE8, because it offered the path of least resistance in terms of re-writing applications and software portability.

Now, those who upgraded to IE8 must be shot of the browser no more than two years later.

This isn't irony. It's a punishment for those who are so short-sighted that they haven't correctly fixed their problems.

Not content with running a 13 year old OS, they were given plenty of notice that it was going EOL and did nothing. They then got a reprieve and an EOL extension, and so sat back on their hands and forgot about it until the next deadline 'whooshed' past them. And on. And on. And then MS offered them a lifeline with CSAs at (deliberately) exorbitant pricing, to try to train them re: the costs of this kind of short-sightedness.

And now they're having to do it all over again less than 2 years later. It isn't irony (unless you mean in an Alanis Morrisette kind of way) - it's karma.

Personally, i think it'd serve them all right if one time MS stuck to their guns instead of offering get-out after get-out through extensions and CSAs. To give a few years notice of EOL, and then stick to it. Rigidly. Make 'em squirm in the wind.

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Motorola’s X Force awakens a seemingly ‘shatterproof’ future

BenR

Re: Best so far

BUT as mentioned in the review, I need decent, front-facing, stereo speakers.

I didn't use to. I never thought about speakers. Then I got an HTC.

Want.

You *WANT* decent, front-facing, stereo speakers.

You don't *need* them. You won't die, or get fired, or lose your wife/GF/husband/BF/children/dog/whatever if you don't have them. They aren't central to your continuing existence. You won't vanish in a puff of logic like God when confronted with the idea that proof begets faith.

While I don't deny the benefits of such speakers - my Moto X Style has them and it makes the device far more media-consumption friendly than the bottom / side mounted single speaker on my previous Z1 - the whole "want / need" conflation is starting to get right on my bloody nerves.

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BenR

Screw you Motorola.

This phone pissed me off beyond belief.

Primarily because I'd upgraded just before this came out - with absolutely no publicity or fanfare might I add! - and this device was EXACTLY what I was looking for.

Instead, I ended up with the Moto X Style, which I decided to go for instead of the Xperia Z5 and the Nexus 6P. Now I don't regret my choice because it's a great bit of kit. But, it is just a smidge on the big side. The lack of an AMOLED screen is vexing, because it makes Moto ActiveDisplay pointless. A smaller battery in the bigger and more power hungry phone seems bizarre. And I was somewhat hoping for wireless charging too. On the plus side, the X Style is very sexy looking, and doesn't look quite as bloated as this one does.

The Force still ticks every box for me however, and I'm just gutted it a) wasn't out, and; b) there was no indication that Motorola were releasing *anything* else.

And, of course typically, it was announced mere days after my return period on the X Style (Pure) ran out. Had I known, I'd've stuck with my still perfectly working and functional Z1 for a few weeks longer.

About the only downside to the Force is that you don't get the options for the wooden backs, which do add a touch of class in my humble opinion.

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Tablet computer zoom error saw plane fly 13 hours with 46cm hole

BenR

Re: Errr..clarification

I get your point. But it also mentions the tear as being adjacent to one of the cargo doors, hence the breach would have been into the baggage hold. At ground level there would be no air loss as the pressures would be equalised, and at altitude the baggage holds aren't (to my understanding at least) pressurised anyway.

So it may well have breached the pressure vessel, but in a location where it "Didn't Actually Matter" (TM)

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Enraged Brits demand Donald Trump UK ban

BenR

Re: All you treehuggers need to look at the numbers.

You mean differences in actual behaviour between Christians and Muslims like this:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/03/planned-parenthood-shooting-doj-domestic-terrorism-abortion

Or these:

http://www.occupydemocrats.com/the-top-five-attacks-on-america-committed-by-christian-terrorists-not-muslims/

Or perhaps these groups of people:

http://aattp.org/here-are-8-christian-terrorist-organizations-that-equal-isis/

Just for a few examples. Your comparison is absolutely inane. Tarring an entire group - be it racial, theological, by country of origin, hair colour, whatever - because of the actions of a few is one of the highest forms of idiocy, beaten only by attempts to justify whatever bigoted nonsense has just spewed forth from your face-hole.

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National Crime Agency: Your kid could be a nasty interwebs hacker

BenR

Re: "aimed at educating the parents of 12-15 year old boys"

Quite.

I notice noone brings out the "ingrained sexism" card when it's aimed at men.

Although in this case i think both sides of the sexual divide would be well within their rights to be equally offended.

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US Navy's newest ship sets sail with Captain James Kirk at the bridge

BenR

Re: What do it do?

"As for its stealth technology, it's big enough that it's visible from space."

Fairly stupid statement to make, considering that MilSpec satellite cameras have been good enough for nearly 40 years to pick up a packet of cigarettes on the ground from orbit. Even the Google-purchased recon imagery used in Maps is good enough that you can pick up individual cars without any real difficulty.

"Stealth" doesn't mean invisible. It's not a cloaking device. It means it's more difficult to pick up on targetting radars because it has a small RCS for the size of it. Like the F117A and the B2.

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Donald Trump wants Bill Gates to 'close the Internet', Jeff Bezos to pay tax

BenR

"If it's GOP ... who screws pigs"

What? David Cameron?

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Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent

BenR

Re: How did I miss it ?

My understanding - but this is Moffat Who we're talking about, so could very easily be confused as it has't been explained - is that originally Gallifrey was Time-Locked as part of the Time-War. Then in 'Day of the Doctor' they did the whole 14 TARDIS's "we've been calculating this for hundreds of years, just like when we tried to get the sonic screwdriver to work on wood" thing which moved Gallifrey into a pocket universe, but the War Doctor allowed himself to forget what they'd done so he assumed the Time-Lock was still the case all the way through the 9th, 10th and most of the 11th Doctors.

The Doctors tried to break through the Time-Lock / Pocket Universe at the end of the 10th Doctor's reign in 'The End of Time', but that was obviously foiled by The Doctor and The Master.

Then there were the Events at Trenzalore when the 11th Doctor grew old and "died" in 'Time of The Doctor', when some kind of rift opened and the Time Lords were able to grant The Doctor a new regeneration cycle through it. That was never really explained very well at all, just that they were asking "The Question", knowing that if it was answered they'd found the right universe.

As for the whole "We found Gallifey at the End of the Universe thing" - well, we've been here before when The Master was reintroduced after using the Chameleon Arch, before he turned the TARDIS into a Paradox Machine and brought the Troclafane back to enslave earth, and The Doctor saved everyone with the power of prayer and love or some such nonsense.

As someone else said - Moffat tends to write individual scenes of high quality, but then forgets to link them together with a story.

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Manchester 'wins' £10m to test talking bus stops

BenR

Re: An uncomfortable noise...

Talking bus stops, talking roads and parks to tell you to get running fatty.

It's Clippy bouncing round asking you if you need help writing a letter all over again. This won't make anyone a world leader in anything.

Exactly. And in this case, you won't be able to turn it off by furtling in the settings. Percussive off switch is likely to be necessary! Absolute waste of money.

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'Dear Daddy...' Max Zuckerberg’s Letter back to her Father

BenR

Perhaps, just perhaps...

... if he was *REALLY* being altruistic and helping people, he'd've considered doing this *before* his own offspring was born? Rather than now, when it just looks like a shameful attention grab and him only "making a difference" because it might conceivably make some difference to his own daughter (which it won't of course as she's already set up for life) instead of when it could make a difference to the millions upon millions of children born into poverty, with no heat, light, food, education and, yes, no Facebook.

</cynicism>

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GCHQ v Privacy International: Computer hacking tribunal showdown begins

BenR

Well, they've already been told that the bulk surviellence of the population that they were doing previously has been retrospectively made legal as the article alludes to - the only country where that has happened oddly enough.

Even the Yanks made at least a 'show' of saying "No, it's illegal and the NSA will stop doing it, won't you, you naughty boys? Hmm. Yes. No more spying for them. Nosiree."

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Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

BenR

Re: It wasn't bad.

I see your point, but i still think they've underplayed it to a large degree.

The only real reference in DiH was when Missy said she knew where Gallifrey was. One can only assume that The Doctor went there off-camera to have a squint and found nothing. From Wiki:

"In the interim, the Doctor travels to the spacial coordinates given by Missy, only to find nothing there; Gallifrey remains lost. Some time later, Clara meets with the Doctor to tell him about Danny's fate. Assuming Danny is alive again, the Doctor interrupts her with the news that he found Gallifrey and plans to return home, wanting to spare Clara's feelings. Clara, in turn, says that she and Danny are going to settle down and resume their relationship. They bid each other goodbye."

Nothing in this series about Clara asking to see Gallifrey, given that she is still under the illusion The Doctor found it. And if I was him, I'd still be looking round for it, given that I knew it wasn't destroyed or time-locked any more. But we get none of that, presumably because The Doctor was off down The Sunglasses Hut.

Similarly, the Gallifreyan device he's carrying round is meant to be his final confession and his last will and testament. One presumes that he was carrying it round with him following Trenzalore, given he's on a new regeneration cycle and doesn't know when/if he might next die for the final time. Also, if he knew what the device did - and he seemed hazy on the point - then why wouldn't he have spent the entire season trying to get into it or open it.

Alternately, as it was Missy that gave Clara the device in the first place, he may have been confused about what it was - but then why carry it round? And again, if he thought it was a clue as to the location of Gallifrey, why not spend the time trying to work it out? It was obvious it was always going to be some kind of TARDIS-like Timelord tech.

Unless this all gets wrapped in in some neat little bow - that will likely involve a lot of handwavium and require significantly greater amounts of disbelief suspension - in the final episode, then i can't see how they haven't just wasted an opportunity to develop Capaldi's Doctor by showing him as a real man-on-a-mission for a season, rather than the typical bumbling-dandy that The Doctor is generally portrayed as. Like The War Doctor (as excellently played by John Hurt), but on a mission of peace.

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BenR

It wasn't bad.

They're finally letting Capaldi stretch his acting chops, rather than it being YET ANOTHER episode more about the Companion rather than The Doctor. Personally, that's the reason Little Miss Tight Jumper began to grate so much - the show is called 'Doctor Who', not 'Clara Oswald Saves The World'. That and the continuation of the lovey-dovey nonsense from the end of the Matt Smith era, but they had to continue that or it'd've just jarred to continuity far too much.

The end of the previous episode (I watched them back-to-back, which I think improved both) where Ashildr/Me looks absolutely horrified at realising *just* how out of her depth she is tied nicely into this, with The Doctor almost but not quite following Tight Jumper's last instructions (again - some random human giving The Doctor orders? Hmm...)

That said, it's seemingly yet another deus ex machina where he miraculously ends up on Gallifrey, the place he's apparently been looking for the entire time, which you could be forgiven for forgetting about given the season has shown you *NOTHING* of his search. I'll be interested to see what kind of pseudo-intellectual, writers-who-think-they're-cleverer-than-they-actually-are, unobtanium bollocks they come up with to shoehorn the entire thing into some grand plan The Doctor has had all along since the events of 'Day of The Doctor'.

I still think the season would have been far better if it had involved more The Doctor searching the extents of Time and Space for any hint of Gallifrey now he knows it isn't gone forever. He's the first of the 'new' Doctors to have this piece of knowledge and be able to do something about it, especially after the entire Trenzalore incident at the end of the Matt Smith era. Where was the season of him doing anything and everything for even a snippet of a hint of a clue for him to be able to break his home planet out of the folded dimension he put it into?

I agree this was Moffatt at his best, but since taking over the show, we've had to endure a lot more of him at his worst. As someone else pointed out, when RTD was in chrage, we only got the good bits of Moffatt - presumably because RTD filtered a lot of the shite for us. Maybe he'd be better off going back to being 'just' a writer on Doctor Who, rather than being a show-runner on two completely different shows.

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Final countdown – NSA says it really will end blanket phone spying on US citizens this Sunday

BenR

Re: Why is it....

This is basically what I was about to say.

I don't believe a single word about the whole "We'll stop spying on you! Promise! Kisses, The NSA" thing. Not a word. But y'know what? As much as I might occasionally mock the Americans as Gun-nutter Religious-bigot Tea-Wasters, at least *THEIR* legal system decided that mass surveillance of their own citizenry by an arm of the security and intelligence apparatus was illegal!

Which is far far far better than the Law Lords and High Court and whatever else managed in the UK. And even their 'new' program for spying on their own citizens at least has the illusion of going in front of a 'judge' for something like a 'warrant' before they get to read all the lovely metadata. Over here, it just goes before the Home Secretary. In secret. Who will somehow manage to be totally unaccountable when it's discovered she's got it wrong.

0
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BOFH: How long does it take to complete Friday's lager-related tasks?

BenR

Re: admin obverhead

Ours is still in place too, except we've just changed from one system to another, which *IN THEORY* is a bit simpler.

Except it isn't, so we now have up to four individual project, job, sub-job and task numbers for a single piece of work.

On top of that, our weekly retrospective timesheet system, designed for granularity so we can ethically charge, requires us to fill in the weekly sheet by COP Thursday. Requiring absolute guesswork as to what we're doing on the Friday.

Ludicrous.

2
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Outsourcer didn't press ON switch, so Reg reader flew 15 hours to do the job

BenR

Sadly, this barely surprises me.

1
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Who owns space? Looking at the US asteroid-mining act

BenR

Really? Harmful contamination? Really?

The treaty also states that outer space shall be the “province of all mankind … and that states shall avoid harmful contamination of space".

You mean with the amount of satellite housings, dead comms birds, spent stages, spent geosynchronous orbit boosters and floating radioactive material that is ALREADY up there in sufficient quantities to present a not-insignificant hazard to further spaceflight that we *HAVEN'T* contaminated space? Or at least near-Earth space?

http://ota.fas.org/reports/9033.pdf

Also - if i'm totally honest, I don't have a problem with the story at all. If some company wants to spend a fortune to massively push forwards human spaceflight capabilities to the extent we can not only REACH other (sub-)planetoids, but be able to mine them (either by advanced robotics, or by sending humans there a la 'Armageddon'), potentially sustaining life in space for an indefinite period, developing the technology that can be used to send humans to other 'proper' planets (think Mars) and all the rest of the stuff they'd need to develop to be able to exploit the practically infinite resources in the asteroid belt alone, meaning we don't need to carry on doing it on this planet - then you know what?

I'm perfectly happy for a company to be able to "lay claim" to a particular asteroid they've reached, and to then be able to exploit that asteroid for profit. It's when the USA starts planting flags on Mars and pretending it belongs to them and them alone; or claiming the entire asteroid belt just because they've landed on a single rock; or anything like that I'd have a problem with.

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Tor Project: Anonymity ain't free, folks. Pony up

BenR

... or that roads are illegal because they're used in the commission of a crime? (Such as speeding at one extreme, to getaway driving at the other?)

... or that pharmaceuticals are illegal because of heroin and cocaine?

... or (especially for the Americans) saying that guns are illegal because they are used in hundreds of thousands of violent crimes every year?

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BenR

"Though the Tor Project has found itself at odds with the US government for criminal activity taking place on the network"

Isn't this almost exactly the same as saying the (open) internet itself should be in trouble because of illegal activity on it?

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BenR

Re: old fashioned check

I really really REALLY hope "Muphry's Law" was a deliberate mistake...

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Uber wants UK gov intervention over TfL’s '5-minute wait' rule

BenR

Cabs everywhere are just as bad. Uber is so much better it's untrue. I haven't used a black cab or a minicab since Uber became available where I live.

Price estimate up front - check.

Knowing who is turning up for you - check.

Knowing what car to look for - check.

Notifications when they arrive - check.

Tracking so you know when they're likely to arrive - check.

Cheaper than a normal cab, even during surge pricing - check.

And, having spoken to a number of Uber drivers, Uber seem to pay (round here at least) a much better rate to the drivers than the usual minicab suspects. Maybe the other taxi firms should invest in some updated technology rather than assuming the gravy train will continue for ever.

5
2

Doctor Who: Even the TARDIS key can't unpick the chronolock in Face the Raven

BenR

Re: It's an occupational hazard...

"A fate *worse* than a fate worse then death? That's pretty bad..."

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BenR

Re: It's an occupational hazard...

Both Rose and Donna are still alive and functioning though.

Admittedly, one in a parallel universe, and the other with no memory of when she stopped being a classless ginger gobshite, but still - very much still consuming oxygen.

And didn't Sexy Pond and Annoying Big Nose Pond simply get sent back in time together where they lived until 80+ each before dying of old age? Admittedly again perhaps not 100% exactly how they'd've chosen to go out, but still better than what could have happened!

Still better than Adric, who got to unwittingly fly a space-freighter into the Earth at very high speed. At least it'd've been quick.

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Looking for a council house in Sheffield City? Meet your fellow tenants

BenR

Re: Vindication

Never underestimate idiots. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

I've found doing things like that is just the modern, tech version of the battle between armour and warhead... warhead *ALWAYS* wins eventually.

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