* Posts by Pen-y-gors

1373 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

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Microsoft: We're hugging trees to save the 'world'

Pen-y-gors
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Re: slow off the mark

Glad to hear it's solar, hydro and wind. Fascinating article in New Scientist today showing how burning bio-mass (traditionally seen as very green) is actually, on the whole, not very green at all.

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Report: NSA hushed up zero-day spyware tool losses for three years

Pen-y-gors
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Interesting lessons for lots of people...

Obviously we can slag off the NSA for lots of things about this (ain't it fun!) but there is one very important lesson here. Even though this was the NSA, who are actually pretty good at security (they spend enough money on it) - despite them being good, they STILL managed to lost some very, very important info.

What is the lesson? If there is a way for something to go wrong, it will. If there is information about a backdoor to some software, it WILL get out, somehow, someday. And then the Moscow Mafia or ISIL or whoever can start having fun. Hundreds of lorries simultaneously accelerating into crowds? (Thank you P.C. Hogan-Howe for the suggestion)

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Game over: IANA power-grab block pulled from Congress funding bill

Pen-y-gors
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I heard...

that the reason Ted Cruz can't differentiate between truth and lies is that he was actually born on the fourth planet around proxima centauri, where the concepts are different.

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Half! a! billion! Yahoo! email! accounts! raided! by! 'state! hackers!'

Pen-y-gors
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I always thought...

...that yahoo details had been so widely stolen that you could buy a book of them in the Moscow branch of Waterstones.

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What says Internet of Things better than a Bluetooth-controlled smart candle?

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Not there yet...

I want one with a fax machine

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Pen-y-gors
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Plus ca change...

Some years back it was almost impossible to buy anything which didn't have a solar-powered calculator built in. IoT remote control is just the latest variation of pointless things.

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She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Nominative determinism

At St Andrews Uni in the late 70s there was an actual James T Kirk (probably not Tiberius) He was a theology student, and I have no idea if he chose a career as a military Chaplain in which case he may have made it to Captain.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: El Reg unit

Wow, someone with an even more specialised interest than sharp-edged sex toys.

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Will US border officials demand social network handles from visitors?

Pen-y-gors
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El Reg?

Does this count as a social medium? (Or even, given the grumpy old fart nature of many of us commentards, an anti-social medium)

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Re: @Voland's right hand - So what if I do not have one?

As you said "I'm...a terrorist"...

Clearly you shouldn't be on the streets, but our prison are already full, so I suggest you lock yourself in the cupboard under the stairs and push the key under the door.

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WTF is OpenResty? The world's fifth-most-used Web server, that's what!

Pen-y-gors
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Name?

Shouldn't that be OpenResty McOpenRestyFace?

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Opera debuts free VPN built into desktop browser

Pen-y-gors
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An interesting move

It may make people a bit more aware of VPNs. Performance may be an issue - can they build a sufficiently robust network to handle the traffic volume, if no-one gives them any money? Paid-for services aren't that expensive (or don't need to be) - I think I paid about £30 for a 'lifetime' subscription to PureVPN, which seems to be pretty nippy. And some people have specialist needs with a VPN, which will cost money. I need to be able to test sites and google results as they appear from a variety of countries so I need a VPN with good global coverage, which again costs money. I'm also not keen on GCHQ finding out about my interest in wallabies and custard. People wanting to avoid geo-blocking should also be willing to pay (although why the BBC don't just offer licences around the world I really don't know). And presumably terrrrists and kiddy-fiddlers have different specialist requirements, which they will also be happy to pay for.

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HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

Pen-y-gors
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Lucky me

Thankfully the only HP pinter I still have in use is an old Dekjet 950c, running 'fake' cartridges. It's fifteen years old, and is slow, but is handy to have in a remote office for the occasional quick page or two.

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Pen-y-gors
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Sometimes you get what you pay for

There are times when the expensive original is actually worth buying, taht sounds like one of them. And Fairy liquid really does last longer, ditto duracell batteries.

And never forget the Vimes 'Boots' theory of economics.

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Pen-y-gors
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Obligatory EU thread

If HP are refusing to allow 3rd-party cartridges (as opposed to warning about them like Epson) they may find they are on very thin ice in the EU, who tend to see that sort of thing as anti-competetive. I remember when they stepped in over car warranties and service - a lot of makers said that servicing had to be done by an 'authorised dealer' to maintain the warranty. That got stopped, and now any competent mechanic can do it. I have a vague memory of something similar over Apple accessories, but I may be wrong.

<troll mode on>Of course once we go back to having dark blue passport covers we in the UK will be protected fromm that sort of silly intererference in the rights of a major multi-national, and will be free to buy as many branded HP cartridges as we can eat</troll mode>

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Conviction by computer: Ministry of Justice wants defendants to plead guilty online

Pen-y-gors
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No victim?

"summary non-imprisonable offences where there is no clear identifiable victim"

So does that mean they'll be dropping the 'victim surcharge' (aka contributions to the Police Piss-up fund) for offernces with no victims?

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Italian scientists use fluorescent box to arouse sexually indifferent men

Pen-y-gors
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New career for the older man

6400K CFl bulb on ebay, 300W = 18900 lumen for £35 (I just happened to stumble on the listing)

18900 lumen? Move over Ron Jeremy!

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'Inherent risk' to untried and untested 4G emergency services network – NAO

Pen-y-gors
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Bean counters again

Shakespeare was wrong, it should have been "The first thing we do, let's kill all the bean counters". They're even more dangerous than the lawyers.

The point about communications for the emergency services is that they work during emergencies. Trying to save a few quid by developing a system that is virtually guaranteed to fail seems a mite silly. Bit like saving on the costs of new police cars by leaving off the wheels.

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Microsoft Desktop Bridge opens, Win32 apps can now cross into Windows Store

Pen-y-gors
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An old fart writes...

I must admit I still don't really understand what the difference is between an 'app' anda 'program'.

Howver, be that as it may, I suspect there are many people (like me) who aren't really worried by this brave new vision. The different sorts of hardware are aimed at different use cases, even if they run the same OS. A program running on a phone needs to have a very different UI to one on a desktop. frinstance, I'm running a 15 year old copy of Paintshop Pro on my Win 10 laptop. Works just fine. Even if I could bundle that to run on a phone I really, really can't see me wanting to do complex graphic editing with my fat little finger on a 5 inch screen!

By and large the things I do on my phone or tablet are not the same as the things I do on my desktop. Yes, there is some overlap, but this isn't going to change the world (or save microsoft!)

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French hackers selling hidden .22 calibre pen guns on secret forums

Pen-y-gors
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Re: "bagging between €5 million to €10 million a month"

Errrm....the article says there are 40K users so that works out at around €200 each, so unlikely to trigger alarm bells. Heck, I spend that most months on amazon (yes, I know, I'm ashamed, but I do live a long way from the shops)

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Post-Brexit UK.gov must keep EU scientists coming, say boffins

Pen-y-gors
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Vox populi, vox dei

The people have spoken, they must be obeyed.

The ballot paper clearly said "Do you want to leave the EU and get rid of ALL those nasty smelly garlic-eating foreigners who clog up the HMRC paying their damn taxes" and 52% said they wanted to, so the government must get rid of all the nasty, smelly etc - regardless of how much use they are to the country. Deport all the scientists, doctors, nurses, dentists and Polish plumbers now - it's what the people want.

</rant>

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: "attracting European students and staff members to the UK was necessary"

"You'll presumably agree that we really shouldn't have given the hoi polloi the vote, when the urban liberals know what's best."

Given the result of the referendum, there is a lot to be said for that approach. After all, the only reason for the referendum was the arrogance of Call-me-Dave who put his doomed attempts to hold his party together ahead of the interests of the country.

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The next Bond – Basildon or Bass-Ass? YOU decide

Pen-y-gors
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Cleese?

It can't be Cleese, he's already working for MI5 as Q - can't send him back out into the field at his age.

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Buh?

I think you speak for almost all of us there! ('almost all' because there's bound to be a couple of Mekon-brainiacs reading this who actually understand it and can probably refute the mathematics)

+1 for admitting ignorance. You are disqualified from standing for Parliament.

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NHS health apps project plan: Powered by your medical records

Pen-y-gors
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Sigh...

Dear Mr Ffrynt-Botham,

Will you never learn? Try fixing the arguements with the doctors before you pick another unwinnable fight.

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Is there paper in the printer? Yes and it's so neatly wrapped!

Pen-y-gors
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"previous tenant had taken the wiring with them"

That's impressive! I've often moved into a new place and found the previous tenants had taken the light bulbs (and one or twice even the light fittings) but never the cabling as well. Kudos to them for style!

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Brexit? We have heard of this, says Dixons Carphone CEO

Pen-y-gors
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Eat, drink and be merry

...for tomorrow we (may or may not) die.

Buy the pretty bling now while you have money, 'cos you'll be broke when your employer moves to Dusseldorf and forgets to tell you.

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Publishing military officers' names 'creates Islamic State hitlist'

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Islamic State Hitlist

And what's more they can buy maps showing those places, without having to show any form of ID.

Hang on...isn't there an offence something like "possession of material likely to be of use to a terrorist"?

ARREST W H SMITH NOW!!!!

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Hacker takes down CEO wire transfer scammers, sends their Win 10 creds to the cops

Pen-y-gors
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And the next e-mail is...

Dear Friend in Christ,

I am Inspector Daniel Matombe of the Nigerian State Police. I have recently locked a number of bank accounts containing a total of $47,000,000 (FORTY SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS) that has been stolen from major companies including your own.Please send me details of your losses, including your bank account details, together with a Western Union transfer for $10,000 to cover administration fees, and we will refund your stolen money at once.

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Brexit must not break the cloud, Japan tells UK and EU

Pen-y-gors
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Transparent negotiations?

I don't think transparent negotiations will help anyone do any planning.

UK: "We want our three-tier wedding cake and we want to eat it"

EU: "We may be able to spare half a stale jaffa cake that's a bit nibbled at the edges"

Final agreement: 1.5 stale jaffa cakes that are a bit nibbled at the edges, and some mouldy marzipan.

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What the hex is up with Jupiter's North Pole?

Pen-y-gors
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Slow downloads?

Presumably we're still waiting for Openreach to lay fibre to Jupiter.

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Labour's Jeremy Corbyn wants high speed broadband for all. Wow, original idea there

Pen-y-gors
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One slight problem - in the Royal Opera House they sing OPERA! And have you seen their ticket prices?

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Baa? Bah!

"The people of London struggle to get a single Baa"

Should encourage their Freeman to exercise their ancient rights to herd sheep across London Bridge then.

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Re: What is this rubbish about Wales?

Ouch!

+1 anyway.

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Re: You have a choice where you live

There's lots of things I'm not interested in paying taxes for - WMDs, HS2s, schools for children that aren't mine, CAP payments to farmers growing celery, the list is a long one...but the theory behind taxes is that they provide a level playing field in a society and spread the cost of essential services equally amongst everyone. A very socialist ideal in fact.

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Re: You have a choice where you live

"bring the mountains into the cities to improve the view."

Excellent idea. Let's drop the Cairngorms on London and the Alps on Birmingham. Would improve things immeasurably.

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Re: A money-saving expert writes...

Presumably the price tanked because a) no-one wants to buy the stuff for telecomms cables now and b) the more advanced countries have already flooded the scrap copper market with their old telecomms cables.

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Roll-out weasels

Fibre is being slowly rolled out. But there are a lot of ifs and buts.

Our exchange (in leafy, rural mid-Wales) was originally due to go to fibre in Oct 2013.

The exchange was finally enabled in Oct 2015. Yay, result! Whoops, no not quite. The EXCHANGE was enabled and the cabinet outside it that served that village, but not the other cabinets on the exchange. A mile down the road and we're still waiting 10 months on. There's been a lot of activity by Openreach vans but no actual connection. Their boss now says live mid-Nov (admittedly with FTTP, which will be nice).

One unexpected bonus though was that my bog-standard broadband connection suddenly went from 7.5Mb/440kb to 17.5Mb/1.2Mb overnight. That helps.

So 'exchange goes live on xxx' isn't always something to cheer about if you don't live next door to it.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: 25 billion fits easily into 500 billion

Didn't I see something on the side of a bus recently?

"We send £500 billion to the EU every half hour"

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Pen-y-gors
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2008?

"£13bn would provide 80 per cent coverage (Analysis Mason, “The costs of deploying next-generation fibre-optic infrastructure”, 2008)"

He's basing the costs of laying fibre on an eight-year-old report? And no-doubt the costings for running HS2 based on the likely cost of coal for the locomotives.

And the 80% coverage figure? In what way is that a good thing? Would we be happy if someone proposed providing mains water and electricity to 80% of properties, or health to 80% of people (all in the cities). Actually forget that last bit - the way health services are being centralised and rural GPs and dentists shut down, that's exactly what the governments are trying to do.

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Facebook, Twitter and Google are to blame for terrorism, say MPs

Pen-y-gors
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Weasels

It's not difficult to understand. Terrorist attacks are the responsibility of the terrorists. Radicalisation is the responsibility of those dripping the honeyed lies into the ears of the gullible listeners.

That's all. There's no way to wriggle off the hook and say "I blew up a bus-full of children because my mother didn't love me" or "because a policeman didn't shoot me in time" or "because someone invented encryp;tion" or "because MI5 didn't see the message in the Times personal column"

Causation is not the same as responsibility. Responsibility requires conscious volition.

Yes, there may be a thousand factors, big and small, contributing to cause an event, but that doesn't make Twitter responsible for Bataclan.

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Mozilla's trying on seven hot new spring/summer logo looks

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Change them regularly

It's important to change your logo regularly, so that people get confused.

Many years ago I worked for a large insurance company who succumbed to the dreaded marketing agency hype and decided to have a new logo. Much money was spent and the entire staff (several thousand) was bussed down to London from all around the country, in the middle of winter snowstorms, so that they could attend the official launch, complete with TV personality.

Three months later they scrapped it and tried a different logo!

Three months after that they scrapped THAT and tried yet another.

Guess what? A few months later they had another change of mind and went to yet another one - strangely similar to the original one. The 'Year of the Four Logos' lived on in company memory.

Champers all round for all the major London marketing drones!

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Pen-y-gors
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Logos? Pah!

I wouldn't buy a self-assembly wardrobe from any of them.

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Honor 8: Huawei targets millennials with high-spec cheapie. 3 words – Food pic mode

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Cheapie?

Not too sure I'd call $400 a cheapie, for a base model. I supposed compared to an iThingie it's small change, but my OnePlus One a couple of years ago was a bit over £200 for a pretty darn impressive spec.

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Re: already 2 checks ahead of the competition ...

<an old fart writes>

What's network locking?

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Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

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Brexit date?

In the year 2525, if man is still alive...

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Sex ban IT man loses appeal – but judge labels order 'unpoliceable'

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24 hours notice?

What is the purpose of the 24hrs notice to the plods of sexual activity? Is it so they can getting the streaming webcam set up? Or sort out the shifts to decide who goes along to watch? What exactly will the police DO in that 24 hrs? Arrest him? Contact his alleged sexual partner? Seems bloody daft to me.

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Russia investigates downsizing space station crew from three to two

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Worrying

I think I recall a story of a lighthouse keeper murdering the other keeper during their tour of duty as a result of personality conflicts, but anyway he was barking mad when the relief finally came. That's why after that Trinity House always had a crew of three keepers.

Makes you think...

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HMRC: We've got £1.3bn for digital tax schemes. Tell us how to spend it

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App? Tax?

I don't like to see the two words in the same sentence. Something to do with security risk?

Anyway, it's not needed. HMRC are already digitally aware - I regularly get e-mails from them telling me that I'm due a tax refund and click on the link below to claim. Of course, they could spend a few quid tidying up their spelling - sometimes they're HM-RC@internalrevenue.gov.uk, sometimes they're H-M-R-C@hmrc.g0v.uk

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Apple allowed to put up bit barn in the Fields of Athenry

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Ah, dreams...

if only we could see the whole of Apple sailing off to Botany Bay

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