* Posts by Pen-y-gors

871 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

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UK air traffic bods deny they 'skimped' on IT investment after server mega-fail

Pen-y-gors
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Overloaded airspace?

Part of the problem seems to have been the knock-on effects. One aircraft is delayed and so that delays the next and that delays the next and so on. The system is run so close to capacity that there's no breathing space for recovery for when the inevitable problems do occur. Same problems when motorways are busy and one person brakes suddenly - 2 miles back down the road the traffic grinds to a halt.

Not sure what the answer is - leave more time between landings and departures so that there is some slack to allow for recovery? But of course that would cost money!

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LEGS IN 2015: SpaceX Falcon's landing PUT ON HOLD

Pen-y-gors
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I hope the cargo...

doesn't contain the supplies of turkey, xmas pud etc for the crew, otherwise their Christmas celebrations will be a bit delayed.

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Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

Pen-y-gors
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animation?

"there will be an animated transition when the much-anticipated new Start Menu opens."

FFS why?

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American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

Pen-y-gors
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Careful of gun photos

Be very careful about publishing photos of you handling legal firearms in foreign countries. You could end up in trouble, like this councillor in Derby recently.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-30449286

Admitedly he does look suspiciously 'foreign' and it was an AK47, but still...

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Little big phone: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a toothsome hand-fulla Android

Pen-y-gors
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Questions...

1) Does it come with any bloatware apps? e.g. Facebook

2) If so, can they be removed without rooting?

(based on experience with previous Xperia which is running out of memory due to unremovable crapware)

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

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Centralisation?

I'm willing to accept that current and future nuclear may possibly be made safe, and not produce waste that's dangerous for 10000 years, and come in at a less than insane multi-billion pound cost per reactor, and in that case nuclear may appear to help reduce CC effects.

BUT there are other problems with nuclear - centralisation. Many renewable technologies, particularly PV, can generate power locally at the point of use, or have hundreds of individual generators (windfarms). One bit of kit breaks down, and there is a 1% reduction in output or one house loses power. One nuclear power station breaks down and the grid loses 5% of capacity, possibly for a long time. Not good during winter. Centralisation is really not a good idea - one computer throws a wobbly for half an hour and tens of thousands of people have their travel plans thrown into chaos.

'Act locally' is a very good green principle.

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Amazon workers in Germany stage CHRISTMAS STRIKE

Pen-y-gors
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logistics?

I order one of something from Amazon, it's delivered by mail, I'd humbly suggest that the people taking it off the warehouse shelf and putting it in the post are probably working in mail-order and retail. If they were sorting out the loading and routing of a container-full then it's logistics.

Another fail for amazon. Perhaps they should see if they could buy a dictionary by mail order?

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El Reg's mighty rocket spaceplane Vulture 2 arrives in US of A

Pen-y-gors
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Pint

Amazing box!

Love the piccie - and judging by all the dents and scuff marks round the edges it wasn't a jot over-engineered. Alcohol for the designer.

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US Congress in cash freeze bid to DERAIL global DNS handover

Pen-y-gors
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Isn't it about time...

that one of these pork-barrel bills had something tacked on which bans members of Congress and the Senate from making use of atmospheric oxygen? The world would be a better place...

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Parliament face-sit-in to spark mass debate on UK's stiff smut stance

Pen-y-gors
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Evidence-based legislation?

The Tories have heard of it, but really don't think it's a good idea.

What really, really pisses me off is the inconsistency and illogicality of most (all?) of the legislation we get, not just this particularly crass bit.

Films of two (or more) consenting adults indulging in some light bondage and spanking? Dangerous, ban it at once, think of the children!

Films of people (actors) shooting, beating and stabbing people for criminal purposes? No problem.

Films of a mouse chopping bits off a poor cat. Fine, children's hour stuff.

Totally, totally inconsistent and illogical. Why is killing people okay to film, but not people having a wee? We all do it you know...(or maybe Tories don't - do the undead have normal bodily functions?)

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EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Pen-y-gors
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To be fair

if they require that the hardware only gathers location data once it is triggered, then it can't be used for tracking/recording. Will this be the case?

Doesn't stop the whole system being totally pointless overkill though, which will be wrong as often as it is right. How does the system know that an ambulance is required? Will it have a delay built in and an option for driver override "Calling ambulance in 30 secs press this button to cancel"? How will it phone home when out of mobile range?

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Met ready to cough £150m to IT bods who'll help coppers go digital

Pen-y-gors
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It'll lose money...

5 year contract costing £200million, and saving £60million a year = £100 million saving over 5 years.

BUT add in standard 50% public sector cost overruns, and subtract 50% from wishful thinking savings estimate, costs = £300 million, savings = £150 million. Net loss £150million. Plus ca change...

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Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

Pen-y-gors
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Illogical

What is the purpose of speed cameras? is it a) to encourage people to stick to the speed limit or b) to prosecute as many people as possible for speeding and make lots of money?

If it's a) then warning people of the presence of a camera and thus to slow down is surely helping enforce the law. If it's b) then they're a bunch of slimy scumbags

It's noticeable that even in this evil country we call home they now make speed cameras very visible and yellow, having decided that a) is the reason for having them. Round here they publish the list of next week's locations for the mobils traps in the paper!

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Plusnet customers SWAMPED by spam but BT-owned ISP dismisses data breach claims

Pen-y-gors
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Multiple addresses are a doddle

Just buy a domain and set *@aardvark-fun.co.uk to forward to your 'real' account and then you can have tesco@aardvark-fun.co.uk or plusnet@aardvark-fun.co.uk or whatever-you-like@aardvark-fun.co.uk. If you're feeling complicated, after you've used one for a one-off/temporary registration you can always filter specific ones to spam.

I've been doing it for years and it's highlighted several interesting data leaks!

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BLAST-OFF! BOAT FREE launch at last. Orion heads for SPAAAAACE

Pen-y-gors
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Great news

Fingers crossed that the next few hours go as well. BUT...surely there must be a better way to get a load into orbit and beyond than shoving it on top of a giant V2 stuffed with liquid oxygen and hydrogen?

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Oi, UK.gov. WHERE'S THE DETAIL on your Google Tax?

Pen-y-gors
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Yippee!

Well, yippee if you're a lawyer, accountant or tax consultant.

This won't raise a penny extra in tax - what it will do is transfer another few hundred million a year to the dodgy accountants and tax consultants who advise Google et al. while they argue over exactly how much profit they 'would' have made.

Recipe for several hundred more pages of incomprehensible tax legislation, guidelines and footnotes. When will they ever learn? Clear, simple and precise laws are not necessarily good laws, but vague, fuzzy and complicated laws are always bad laws.

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'Identity skills shortage' will be problematic for Verify ID. (So not the TECH FAILS, then?)

Pen-y-gors
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Centralisation?

Why this overwhelming urge to centralise things? I do my tax and PAYE online, ditto companies house filing. I contacted them, they sent me my user id etc. to my address. Remarkably simple system, and seems to work quite well. Why can't other departments do the same? They really don't need to link it all together.

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EE's not-spot-busting small cell trial delights Cumbrian villagers

Pen-y-gors
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Signal strength?

Sounds like a good idea, but...

one of the problems in many rural areas isn't so much the lack of coverage, but the lack of strong signals. Many people in rural areas live in lovely old houses, with thick stone walls (mine are 18 ins thick!), and small windows. There may well be mobile coverage on the map, but not once you go indoors, so landlines rule. I also need two wifi repeaters to enable coverage throughout the house. Will someone please come up with a useable solution to this? I suspect even a femtocell may not work!

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Man asks internet for $1k for pebbles. INTERNET SAYS YES

Pen-y-gors
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missing the point

whisky (and whiskey) usually benefits from a small amount of water - it helps the mouth appreciate the taste and smell (at room temperature), without blasting the tastebuds with 35% alcohol. And ice cubes? Never.

These people should stick to alcopops!

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Microsoft hikes support charges by NINETY TWO PER CENT

Pen-y-gors
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geo-targetting?

"The Reg's exploration of Microsoft's site in other nations and languages – a tricky thing to do given Redmond geo-targets content"

Surely ElReg can afford a VPN subscription to someone like HMA? - servers/IP addresses in 128 countries. Very handy for trying to appear to be a Johnny Foreigner.

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Brits to teach Norks hacks about 'multimedia websites'. 5% of DPRK is in for a TREAT

Pen-y-gors
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errrm....

Why is our government spending money on helping the norks improve their offensive capability (by improving their networks) and helping them stomp on their own people? Do they really think that after showing nork journalists about how to use the twatbook that they will suddenly rise up and overthrow the chubby-one-with-the-bad-haircut?

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Masala omelette

Pen-y-gors
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Re: You'll have had your Scots Dal

That is sick!!! You need professional help.

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UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD

Pen-y-gors
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Satnav?

Presumably it will be perfectly acceptable to totally ignore the satnav, so long as you reach the destination? Satnavs are there to provide guidance, not orders.

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Japan pauses asteroid BOMBING raid – still no word from Bruce Willis?

Pen-y-gors
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Gravity?

I'm sure they've thought of this, but...

I can see that dropping a bomb will blast a hole. But given that asteroid gravity tends to be somewhat gentle (how far did Philae bounce?) how likely is it that any rubble will end up in the hole, rather than flying off into oblivion, possibly bashing the intrepid space-bomber on the way?

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Go festive this year with Christmas carols, baby Jesus and CLITORAL STIMULATORS

Pen-y-gors
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Love the video!

That's how to properly 'celebrate' thanksgiving

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Festive streamers caught in Vulture's claws: Gadget-ogle for audiophiles, video geeks

Pen-y-gors
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Unplanned obsolescence

Streaming to a device is great until the source of the stream suddenly decides to change their system.

A few years ago I got a Roberts Streamtime radio, and one of the main uses was listening to BBC radio on demand, particularly Radio 4 Extra.

The BBC have now decided they can't be arsed to provide a basic on-demand feed in Windows Media format - if you want to listen again, then use the iPlayer. Hardware doesn't support iPlayer? Tough shit, buy something that does. But beware that they may change formats again in a couple of years.

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Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then

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Which services are they actually talking about?

It's a long time sincle I searched for 'free webmail' on Google, or any other search engine.

And if by 'commercial services' they mean 'adverts' then how else do you pay for the search?

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South Londoner wins Reddit MILLIONAIRE not-a-lottery lottery

Pen-y-gors
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errrm....

Why?

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Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts

Pen-y-gors
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Fair point

as far as it goes.

But it shouldn't be that they are ALLOWED to access the openreach ducting - they should be REQUIRED to access the BT ducting on demand. i.e. they MUST provide 100% UK-wide coverage. If anyone asks for an e.g. Virgin provided cable in Auchtermuchty (though $deity knows why anyone would) then they MUST provide it at no more than the price charged by BT.

Fair's fair, we don't want them cherry-picking the cheap and easy places like the postal companies. If they want to break up a monopoly they must provide at least the same service at the same price.

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Too 4K-ing expensive? Five full HD laptops for work and play

Pen-y-gors
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Interesting, but...

I don't think I'll be getting a new box just yet. When I do it'll need to run Win 10.1 and support some decent spec dual monitors. probably 512GB SSD as well. Screen for watching HD telly? Meh...

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NASA revisits Europa with modern image-processing software

Pen-y-gors
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Motorways?

I assume those big brown lines are MASSIVE motorways - or canals? If so, I welcome our very large new European overlords.

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Coming clean: Ten cordless vacuum cleaners

Pen-y-gors
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Viva cordless!

Got a Dyson stick job a couple of years ago - house is much cleaner now! The difference is that a cordless is so quick and easy to use - much, much less faff than plugging big Dyson in and lugging it around, then unplug and lug upstairs and plug in, before unplugging again and lugging back downstairs. Basically it didn't happen! Now it's just remove stick from wall and give the whole house a quick wizz. Happens frequently.

To be honest though, even in turbo mode the little one isn't as effective as the big one. Still benefits from a good run round with the biggie every month or two.

And don't talk to me about the fun of unclogging the hair/fur/threads/leaves etc from the turbo head! I find an old steak knife is an essential accesory.

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UK's non-emergency police and NHS Vodafone systems go titsup NATIONWIDE

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Well known services...

Of course it doesn't apply in Wales. The devolution referendum was years ago, and Health is a devolved matter. That's why we get free prescriptions here and the English NHS patients don't. I assume you don't visit the doctor very often.

The NHS is a National service, i.e. the Wels nation has a national health service, ditto, the English nation and the scottish nation, and I assume the people of the north of Ireland.

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Quebec's latest bid to break away from Canada HALTED by a single dot

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Stop signs at junctions.

but don't forget:

USA:- YIELD

must be something in the North American air that makes them want to be different.

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PHONDLESLAB-ULOUS: Motorola Moto X Android phablet

Pen-y-gors
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Mmmmm, shiny, want one!

I may well succumb.

Can't see the problem with lack of stereo speakers. The point of stereo is to feed a separate sound stream to each ear, e.g. from two loudspeakers on opposite sides of the room. To get a stereo speaker effect from two speakers a few inches apart requires a very, very small and oddly-shaped head. Or a set of headphones perhaps?

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UK urged to stop bigging up startups, feed 'growing' firms

Pen-y-gors
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Google and Facebook?

Yes, it would be nice to develop some UK businesses of the scale of Google and Facebook, but preferably not with their attitude to paying taxes!

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Lights OUT for Philae BUT slumbering probot could phone home again as comet nears Sun

Pen-y-gors
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It could get lucky.

From the reports, a big problem is that it bounced into a shaded area so limited luck with solar panels.

But...presumably as it gets closer to the sun, there will be more and more outgassing as things heat up, which may well cause the comet to change orientation in random ways, and may cause the shade to go away.

Fingers crossed.

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Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

Pen-y-gors
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Cars

"Ideally, I would have taken the small charging plate in the car but the system needs 1700mAh and the USB I was testing is designed for connecting memory sticks to play and didn’t have the necessary oomph."

I've got a rather neat little adapter with two USB sockets on that plugs into the 'cigarette lighter' - damn handy for charging things on the go.

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Mozilla makeover to boost Tor torque, capacity

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Hmmm, Tor.....

Isn't that the NSA Messenger app? [Judging my some recent revelations, if you want to send a message to the NSA, just use Tor!]

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Italian appeal court clears seismologists of manslaughter

Pen-y-gors
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And if I understand it correctly

Italian courts will be allowed to issue European Arrest Warrants.

and people wonder why the nutters in UKIP are becoming so popular.

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Feeling safe in your executive hotel suite, Mr CEO? Well, DON'T

Pen-y-gors
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Given the geographical area affected,

and the level of expertise, could we perhaps be looking at our old friends the Chinese Government indulging in a spot of quiet industrial espionage?

It's just a hi-tech version of the old KGB-microphones-in-Moscow-Hotels ply.

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Kryder's law craps out: Race to UBER-CHEAP STORAGE is OVER

Pen-y-gors
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What's the difference?

...between a cost of zero and a cost of bugger-all? I'm using Amazon S3 and Glacier to store several months worth of daily backups of about 100 live customer sites - about 300GB at any one time. Monthly cost? about $4. That's a cost I can live with for ever. The VAT on the micro server instance that actually does the backups is more than that!

Yes, local storage would be a bit cheaper, but the nightly bandwidth costs would bankrupt me.

Obviously the price won't get to zero for infinite storage, but some of the cloud providers are getting as near as makes no difference.

Of course, you wouldn't trust them with anything important!

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Reg mobile man: National roaming plan? Oh UK.gov, you've GOT to be joking

Pen-y-gors
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"No one looked at 4G before there were enough places where there was a signal."

Our rural Wales/Scotland/England correspondant writes: what's 4G?

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Brit cops nab six in Silk Road 2.0 drugs sting

Pen-y-gors
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I'm impressed

That they managed to run a web-intensive business from the depths of mid-Wales (Aberdyfi). Broadband round here is generally not brilliant, although we're due to get FTTC in a couple of months. Maybe I need to rethink my career options.

Of course mid-Wales has a long (and honourable?) history of being a production centre for mind-altering substances (Operation Julie in the 1970s), and I'm told there are a number of people up in the hills who are allegedly growing more than tomatoes in their greenhouses, allegedly. The local village show even has a category for 'the best grass' (no, not that sort)

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Ex-NSA lawyer warns Google, Apple: IMPENETRABLE RIM ruined BlackBerry

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Explains a lot

If this is the sort of headcase nutter that the NSA are happy to employ as a lawyer, then you do have to wonder about the mental capacity of their other staff as well.

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Murder suspect charged after pics of strangle victim posted on 4chan

Pen-y-gors
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Too much effort needed to dig a pit

Why not just use Aussie 1.0? Worked well for many years.

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Cheap blow-up baby incubator bags James Dyson award

Pen-y-gors
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Pint

Good and bad

A big round of applause (and a pint or two) for James - just shows there are clever young people doing practical things to save lives around the world, with damn all public funding.

Interesting to compare James' work, with the potential to save tens of thousands of lives a year, with the annual $2.8 BEEEELION that DARPA get to spend on research in the USA, most of it focussed on projects which ultimately try to come up with 'improved' ways of killing people. It's a crazy world.

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BYOD: don't let the dream turn into a nightmare

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Simple solution

Of course you let people BYOD - but under no circumstances should they ever be allowed to connect to a company network with it or store company data on it. If they want to browse the company website, no problem.

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Can you really run your business on a smartphone?

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Can you really run your business on a smartphone?

No.

Odd little bits maybe, but completely? No.

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Fujitsu waves 50PB+ MONSTER at hyperscale storage freaks

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Time to increase the budget

for NSA, GCHQ etc.

Who else needs that sort of storage?

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