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* Posts by lglethal

1178 posts • joined 11 Jun 2007

Boffins: Arctic cooled to pre-industrial levels from 1950-1990

lglethal
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Am i the only one...

... who considers chopping down trees to get data on climate change to be just a little bit stupid?

Considering that in one tree you have potentially up to 500 years of continuous data. You then go and cut it down to find out that data, but in doing so your cutting off any chance to increase the record! Surely there must be some way to do this research without needing to chop down the tree...

Wont someone think of the environment.... Oh, right...

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Apple as a religion: How the iPhone became divine

lglethal
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I think this sort of research...

... identifies those sort of people who are the hardcore evangelists of all things Apple. Just as there are the hardcore evangelists of all things Linux, Open Source, Climate Change, etc.

For those people (and im sure we've all come across them) this is actually a pretty good understanding and covers things pretty well. However, the majority of people in the world do not end up in one of these categories, at least not for various electronics. We just buy the products that we a) think will do the best job, and b) that we can afford.

I would categorise most people on a site like El Reg to be primarily in this second category, although check any thread on the site that is about Israel, Google, MS, Apple, climate change, etc and at least one or two rabid fanatics will appear. Its those people's responses which respond to the type identified by this research...

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Council's school-snoop-op ruled illegal

lglethal
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Wrong...

The full statement was "We're sorry... we we're caught. We will take more care next time... not to be caught".

Whoever authorised this should be placed in stocks in the town square for everyone to throw rotten vegetables at. Bring back the good ol' punishments i say!

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Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G 18.4in laptop

lglethal
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Heres a reason...

I work in an industry where i move location every 6-12 months - usually to another country (im up to 8 countries in 5 years so far). A desktop is just not an option. And whilst lugging a large desktop replacement to another country is something of a pain for the short time your on the way/at the airport, it is actually achievable and having the power and speed make it worthwhile when you get to your destination.

Additionally, buying a top of the line desktop replacement means you can usually last a good 3-5 years before needing to replace the laptop. If i bought a regular laptop id be replacing it every 2 years or so...

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NatWest calls off legal attack dogs

lglethal
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After NatWest's behaviour...

I doubt I'd be updating NatWest's review with any of their "additional benfits" any time soon, what about you?

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UK.gov drops £6m on Google

lglethal
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Those numbers do seem ridiculously high...

Is there anyone out there with experience of google ads for a major company and the amount they spend on advertisements in this medium?

It would be nice to have a relative figure to compare with rather then just following the Daily Fail route of "Oh no! Look how much money those Labour bastards gave to evil Google!"

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Data.gov.uk chief admits transparency concerns

lglethal
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I cant believe it...

That actually sounded like a reasonable and well thought out response from a senior civil servant!

How could this be allowed to happen? I mean if this sort of thing keeps up we might actually have some civil servants that we can trust! I demand this man be sacked for bringing the service into disrepute by actually knowing what he's talking about...

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Data for 100m Facebook accounts published to BitTorrent

lglethal
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Actually im quite interested in this....

Whilst i have all of my security settings set to private and dont allow anyone but friends to view my stuff and dont post moronic messages etc, im still interested to see just how much stuff this trawl picked up. I'll probably download this tonight and do a search for my name to make sure that the level of privacy i THINK i have is the same as the level of privacy i ACTUALLY have.

I will probably also search for members of my family (who arent the most tech saavy of individuals) so i can show them exactly how much theyre making available online and get them to improve their security and start taking this seriously.

Yes its a non-story for anyone who is the remotest bit tech-saavy, if this story makes those for whom a breadboard is the thing in the kitchen you slice your loaf on, a tiny bit more aware of their privacy (or lack thereof) on thie internet this can only be a good thing...

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Uncle Sam sues Oracle (again) for alleged fraud

lglethal
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Wait a sec...

Did i misunderstand something here - Paul Frascella started the lawsuit in 2007 when he was still working with Oracle? And only jumped ship (or i guess more likely was pushed) in 2008?

Wow that takes balls! Suing your company whilst your still working for them - Just Wow!

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DfT 'unwittingly' bigged-up speed camera benefits

lglethal
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Dont agree...

I dont really understand how you can say this shames the pro-camera lot. It shames the DfT for absolute certain, but where else would the pro camera lot go to get there facts?

If i want facts about people dying in hospitals i would go to the NHS. And if the figures they tell me and release to the public state something that backs my argument of course im going to use them. If it turns out the NHS has been lying in its figures, well thats hardly my fault, is it?

Speed cameras can be very beneficial when used correctly but i think we all realise that the vast majority of speed cameras in the UK are not used properly and are only used as cash cows. So, its time to say "So long and Good riddance to dodgy speed camera usage"...

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Google sets Android on pirates

lglethal
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Until google decide to monetise this too...

... by sending back everything you do...

"Dont be evil - unless there's money to be made from it" (the true google slogan)

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Opposition to can Aus $1.3bn school laptops program

lglethal
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When will they learn?

When will the bloody politicians learn that a laptop is not an educational tool?

A good teacher, a blackboard, chalk, pens, paper, maybe a projector are educational tools.

Computers are only educational tools when doing computing related subjects. So why would you buy laptops instead of desktops which are half the price (or less)? And why would you need one for every second child?

I cant believe i voted this pile of shite government in. The problem with Australian politics now is that the alternative in the forthcoming election is an even worse pile of shite... Its very much a Damned if you do, Damned if you dont situation...

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Reboot key Brit 'ready to save internet'

lglethal
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Maybe not Mordor but close...

Considering the hassle of getting into the US at the moment, I'm sure its not that much more difficult then getting into Mordor...

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Google patents search that tracks your mouse moves

lglethal
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successfully monetised?

Ahh you mean Soylent Green, yes?

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lglethal
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Maybe...

Maybe they're trying to make sure you're not doing any evil...

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Google Apps for Gov battles fear of floating data

lglethal
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What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong in handing over huge amounts of government data to a company that has been shown to have a contemptible attitude to privacy and security concerns and will host all this data on internet accessible servers???

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3D films fall flat

lglethal
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Tron 2.0

Tron 2.0 is 3D and 3D Imax.

The latest trailer should be up on youtube by now, go have a look it says it at the end.

Personally, cant wait - it looks like its being done properly, so this has the potential to be one of the best 3D films ever... but then again, ive heard that said before too many times...

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lglethal
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The problem is...

... that use of 3D is too hit and miss.

Done well 3D can be superb, but to accomplish this, the 3D has to be taken into account from the start and must be well thought out. Done badly and its just plain atrocious.

For me, Alice in Wonderland was particularly bad in 3D, and i would suggest that the reason it was so popular had nothing to do with the fact it was in 3D. I put its popularity down to the fact it was the latest Tim Burton film and it starred Johnny Depp. I believe i would have enjoyed that film considerably more if id only seen the 2D version!

I personally quite liked the 3D in Clash of the Titans, being for the most part very understated and not jumping out at you all the time. There were some parts where it didnt work but overall i quite liked it.

So far of the 3D films ive seen, in my opinion only about half of them have effectively used 3D. And this is the problem...

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Firefox 4 second beta hits minor delay

lglethal
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Maybe im the only one...

... but all i want from a browser is for it to be secure, to be able to run the sites i want to visit smoothly, for it not to be a resource hog and for it not to be a bloated pile of crap! Is that too much to ask?

I dont need to be able to integrate a million piles of web2.0rhia per page, or have a thousand tabs open, or any of the other bloat inducing excesses that keep being introduced in Firefox recently.

Here's an idea, add those things as add ons which a person can download to customise their firefox experience, and leave the basic functionality (and size and memory usage) as low as possible so that those of us who dont give a flying f*&k about Stephen Fry's latest Twittergasm can just use Firefox as a browser and not have to sacrifice half our system performance to view a single bloody page!!!

[/End Rant]

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Australian Senate censors print link to cartoon

lglethal
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I hope

I hope the person/organisation behind the FOI request that was so disgracefully redacted take the issue to the courts. If a government agency can legally be allowed to do this then the last tenets of a democracy have been removed. I personally will stay in Germany until my country somehow manages to sort itself out...

Im not holding my breath....

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Voting reform finally on the agenda

lglethal
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Sorry dont understand you Cameron...

Im not sure i understand you. You do have a one man (or woman, lets not be sexist here! :P), one vote system.

If you mean why do you almost always have to vote for someone from one of the major party's, well a lot of it comes down to the fact that they're known brands so to speak. So someone not highly interested in politics will know the major parties, know roughly what they stand for, and so will tend to vote for one of them.

A lot of this does come from the fact that the major parties have the biggest advertising budgets and so the small independent cant compete on getting their message out. Also, the major parties really dont go out of there way to make their candidates well known in their own electorate as they would prefer people to be voting based on the party rather then on the person because a) politicians are not people (=P) and b) if an electorate were to vote based on the person who will best represent THEM in parliament, then the party will be unable to make major deals to the detriment to a region without making significant allowances to the elected representative. You see this all the time in the US where deals are made to make sure that a particular state or region gets certain bonuses in order to obtain votes. Basically any electorate where the elected official is independent (or just not guaranteed to vote the party line) and where parliament is relatively tight will see a huge set of benefits as the independents vote is bought with various gifts for his electorate. Thats why the big parties dont like independents and why you always see the big parties so prominently in the elections...

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lglethal
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Easy way (see Australia)

In Aus, (assuming you dont go the easy option of selecting one party and letting there preferences decide yours), You have to number your entire voting card. For the House of Representatives (equal to House of Commons) this means you number from 1 to ~10. For the Senate (roughly equal to House of Lords) this can mean numbering 1 to ~100.

Now as the counting goes, everyones first choice is placed in a pile. When this is done, the votes are counted. If no candidate has an absolute majority then the candidate with the least votes has their votes redistributed to the candidate that the voter put a number 2 too. The votes are then counted again. If no candidate has an absolute majority then the candidate with the lowest number now is then redistributed and so on, until only 2 candidates are left.

I dont know how much more fair you can get. True your vote might not go to your first, second, third or even fourth or worst choice. But it will never go to your last choice and its unlikely to go to your second last choice (unless you've managed to choose the last 2 candidates as your lowest 2 choices!).

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lglethal
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AV works well down under...

I'd just like to say that the AV system we have in Australia works pretty well. Usually very few complaints, maybe the odd recount when the voting comes down to a few hundred votes, but otherwise ive never heard to many complaints.

One thing i would certainly suggest be added to the law though (from experience with Australian AV) is the preference deals that the parties make be published ahead of the election, so people know that if they are voting for party A and party A doesnt look like getting into the top two, then you know that your vote will be going to party B and not party C.

(i.e. your in an electorate which is always out of Labour and the Tories. But you want to vote Lib Dem, just in case. But if you know in advance that your Lib Dem vote (if Lib Dems dont get enough) will go to the Tories and your massively anti-Tory, you may choose to vote directly for Labour, so that your vote doesnt end up going to your most despised party. (Yes i know this example makes no sense on current political bias but its an explanation!).

Either that or make people choose there order for all candidates (in Aus, you have the choice of numbering all of the candidates for your electorate in your own preferences or choosing the party of your choice and relying on there predetermined preferences to make your vote count).

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UK.gov sacks lead e-Borders contractor

lglethal
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Thanks for the clear and concise information!

Thanks AC, that was actually the clearest and most concise description of the system that ive heard so far, and i have to say it points out to me the biggest problem with the idea of the system - that of the advanced decision making.

By needing to make the decision about whether someone flies or not, prior to their even getting on board a plane (potentially) halfway around the world away, you add significant trouble to the system.

The system has been sold to the public as a way of counting all the people arriving into and leaving the country, therefore i ask the question - why do you need to count them before they even leave their departure point? Whats wrong with counting them as they arrive? You already spend time passing though customs when arriving by plane or Eurostar (ive never travelled to the UK by ferry but i assume theres a similar procedure), so how hard is it to take a persons details then (passport number, etc) as already happens with non-EU nationals.

The only two benefit for the current system that i can see are a) it reduces the number of people turned away upon arriving to the UK (which is already a miniscule number im sure!) and b) potentially stopping a terrorist getting onboard an aircraft at the other end. This second option seems to imply that the UK government does not trust the security at airports or ferry terminals ANYWHERE else in the world and so needs to make the decisions for the security guards in other countries. This stinks of overkill and will no doubt lead to any number of mistaken refusals to fly.

Scale back the system to a "count on arrival" system like the public think it is and you reduce the complexity and will actually get a usable system...

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lglethal
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Umm what?

"The border will always be porous, so long as we have a coastline."

You've got to be kidding? The UK has a MASSIVE advantage having a coastline. A person cant tunnel under the border, a person cant climb a fence, run across an open desert or do any of the dozens of other things that a sea border precludes. Why do you think policing the border of the US and Mexico, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey (or Iraq and any of its neighbours for that matter) are so hard? Why do you think Australia has such a low rate of illegal immigration despite having massive borders?

Having a sea border gives you the best oppurtunity to track everyone coming in and out of the country. To think otherwise is utter bollocks...

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lglethal
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The worrying thing for me

The worrying thing for me in this article is the statement from the Home Office drone:

"A today Home Office spokesman said Woolas' claims were a matter for the previous government."

The Home Office is a public office, staffed with public servants who should not (at least while working) take a political stance. That means, the facts should have been provided to the old minster and if he lied to parliament, then the department should have corrected him, publically or at least in parliament. The Home Office should never be a body supporting flase assumptions in order to achieve a party's political aims or to make a minister look good.

However, it appears in this case they did exactly that by letting him lie and mislead parliament. And they seem to be setting themselves up to do the same thing with the ConDems by not seeming to care what the previous government did or said at all. Theyre should at the least be an investigation to see what information was given to the minister, whether he delibrately mislead parliament or whether he was given the information that he spouted and whether that information was provided a) delibrately to curry favour or b) because of incompetence in not checking the facts and auditing Raytheon more closely.

I find that highly worrying!

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Tablet buffs sift HP site for traces of lost Slate

lglethal
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What do you expect from the HP website?

Ive been trying to keep track of the HP Envy 17 for the last 2 weeks - it appeared 2 weeks ago, was gone a week later and has now reappeared today, but without specs...

The HP website seems to enjoy doing this sort of thing, so its no surprise that the Slate 500 has had an on-again off-again relationship with the website...

PS Any chance of getting a review of the Envy 17 when it finally arrives for real?

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Cops taser Somerset chap's nether regions

lglethal
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As a rule ive never seen a cop pull a taser as routine...

Lets try and look at this objectively.

The guy was driving and saw a cop car behind him. (It doesnt mention whether the lights were flashing or not - but lets assume they were - i mean, why else would you pull over?).

The guy pulls his car over and then jumps out.

Now for a police officer, when you pull someone over they stay in their car, you walk up, you have your chat and everyone walks away happy (or as happy as the driver can be if he/she's just got a speeding ticket!)

But in this case, the guy jumps out of the car straight away.

For the police officer that means one of two things a) he's making a run for it (in which case your out of the cop car with weapon drawn as fast as possible to start chasing them) or b) the person is being aggressive or has something in their car they dont want you to see. Either way i would probably be pulling my taser here as well.

It appears in this case that the guy got out to go to a friends house and after this became clear, the cop lowered the gun and was putting it away when it discharged. For me, i see no issues here.

What i do have an issue with is the automatic police reply that the guy was acting "aggressively". Is it too difficult for the police to stand up and say "Look, the officer drew his Taser because by jumping out of the car as soon as he was pulled over, the officer thought the victim might be aggressive. As soon as this was identified as not being the case, the officer lowered his weapon which accidently discharged striking the gentleman. We're sorry it happened, but thats life."

A bit of honesty like that might bring a bit of trust back to the cops, dont you think?

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Government WEEE's advisory board on quango bonfire

lglethal
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Hollerith1 is right...

It does give Quango a bad name - its not using any government funds!

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Bubble-baron Bigelow bags Boeing boosters

lglethal
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Those damn lizard people...

"Space commerce will be real ... Bob [Bigelow], bless him, is the nearest thing to space commerce there is at the moment - for humans that is."

Those damn lizard people and there commercial space business undercutting our attempts to get into the market...

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Xmas kicks off on 2 August

lglethal
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Someone should appeal to the European Court of Human Rights

Having worked in a retail store in my younger years AND with the misfortune of being in the christmas department, i can tell you its a torturous time. Not because of the customers (although they're bloody annoying as well), but because of the god awful xmas carols that are played non-stop on repeat for the entire period of the christmas sales.

Its easily akin to "cruel and unusual punishment" and no doubt exists in the CIA's "Experimental Interrogation techniques" right next to waterboarding (although im willing to bet that many staff in christmas retail departments would much prefer an extended session of waterboarding to hearing "Come all ye faithful" sung one more bloody time!)

I can remember one year where Mariah Carey's Christmas Carols were played on repeat for 6 whole weeks, by the end of which, if id had access to automatic weaponry then you would have read about it in the evening news...

I hope for the staffs sake that the christmas carols dont start on August 2... if they do, id avoid Selfridges from about September 13... Trust me you'll hear why on the news...

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Steve Jobs death-grips iPhone 4 reality

lglethal
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Just interested...

Can the other companies RIM, Nokia, etc sue Apple for libel for his saying that there phones do the same thing?

If they take the independent tests that Consumer Report states that they dont suffer to the same degree, id say it seems pretty open and shut that Steve Jobs lied about the quality of another manufacturers product to sell more of his own. And if im not mistaken, that's an illegal act...

Antennagate - the soap opera that just keeps giving us more reason to hate his Jobsiness...

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'Eternal' sun-plane still aloft after 7 days, aiming for 14

lglethal
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Sounds like a good jolly for the FIA man...

Sounds like a good jolly for the FIA man, he just has to sit around for two weeks and wait for the thing to come down! Is there good sightseeing in Yuma?

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Job sites slam domain name land grab

lglethal
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Hadnt heard of it, dont care...

Sorry but when im looking for a job, i'll go directly to the company im interested or to a reputable job board. Im not interested in this sort of bollocks...

Fail icon because thats what ICANN, Employ Media and .jobs deserve...

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French website surrenders on Bastille Day

lglethal
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Not sure if its still the case...

Im not sure if its still the case (cant check due to company firewall) but it used to be that if you typed "French Military Victories" into google and clicked the "Try your luck" button, you got taken to a fake google page that said "No sites found. Did you mean French Military Defeats?"

Sorry but that anecdote just seemed appropriate for some reason!

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Miracle-tech that could fix almost everything: Major advance

lglethal
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Phew...

Phew thats a relief... Never can be too careful with those magnetic naval mines...

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NHS loses massive Microsoft licensing rebate

lglethal
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Who pulled the plug?

Its not quite clear in the article who actually pulled the plug on the deal? Did Microsoft pull out of the deal or was this an action on the part of the NHS?

The comment from the Microsoft spokesman seems to hint that Microsoft pulled the plug due to the money they were losing, but the NHS spokesman seems to be implying that the decision was there's in order to pass the decision back to the local Trusts.

Can you clarify this for us John? Or are both sides keeping quiet on the specifics?

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Sepp Blatter dubbed 'Bellend' by SA gov website

lglethal
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FIFA holds the balance

On this topic, the English (and unless the report i read was wrong the Scottish as well) have been pushing for the goal line tech. Wales and Ireland have been saying no (i imagine because of the cost involved and the fact there leagues dont earn huge amounts of cash). Therefore its 2-2 and that leaves FIFA to decide.

So far FIFA have buried there head up there *ss... Will that change now? I dont know, but no doubt its bound to leave a bad smell in the air for all of us...

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eBay whacked with giant patent suit

lglethal
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A quick test to identify a troll...

Question a) When did sued company apparently begin using the already patented technology?

Question b) What was the revenue of sued company at that time?

Question c) What is the revenue of sued company now?

If the answer to a) Is a long time ago; the answer to b) not so much; and the answer to c) a sh*tload; You have a troll...

Any questions at the back?

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Blighty's stealth robojet rolls out a year late

lglethal
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AC Did you even read the article?

This is a robotic bomber aircraft. Not an air superiority fighter. So obviously you didnt even read the article. Well done for entering auto-rant mode based on a picture and the words BAe...

Additionally, this is a technology demonstrator. It is not going into production, it is not planning to be sold. It is being used to develop new technologies for UAV's. And as with most new technologies they will eventually find there way down to other products that we do use every day (you know what Teflon is, yeah? Well that started off in the Space program on a technology demonstartor)...

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lglethal
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I know, i know...

I know its useless, serves no purposes and accomplishes nothing for the UK military but i gotta say the Taranis looks awesome!!!

That is how a fighter jet SHOULD look...

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Boeing's 'Phantom Eye' Ford Fusion powered stratocraft

lglethal
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Yes, but...

"... all you're doing is shifting pollution from the car's exhaust to the power plant's stacks."

Yes thats true, but the power plants stacks are a hell of a lot more efficient. At least a degree of magnitude more efficient usually. So whilst electric cars are not the green wonder that the environmentalists would like you to believe, they do still reduce pollution.

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I own Facebook, claims New York fuel salesman

lglethal
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Wow i want that contract

You get 50% PLUS 1% for every day YOUR late.

I would have held out for at least 2 months! You could walk away with the whole company!

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Gulf spill to annihilate all earthlings, says seer

lglethal
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Nahhh!

He'll just claim that is actions involving a litre of holy water, a length of rubber hose, a tutu and a koala named Trixy have postponed the inevitable firey, methaney apocalypse until a later date...

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Mother faked ID to 'disappear' child from school waiting list

lglethal
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Yes

But probably back at the end of the queue!

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Treasury turns to Facebook for cut plans

lglethal
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To quote a great Britain...

"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

-- Winston Churchill

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Australia unbans the internet

lglethal
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Lets think about this...

The list is kept secret, the reason being (so they tell us) is that if the sites were made public would be kiddie fiddlers would know where to go (once theyve bypassed the firewall).

Yet there will be a route to appeal to your site being on the list.

Am i the only one seeing a disconnect here?

Conroy is an utter disgrace, and so is Gillard for backing him. But whats perhaps even more disgraceful is that our main opposition party is refusing to say whether they will keep the firewall idea or not after the forthcoming election (naturally they will, being right wing god-botherers). As it stands i think i will be donkey voting because none of the parties represent me anymore...

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NSA: Secret 'Perfect Citizen' project does not spy on US

lglethal
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With the codename PERFECT CITIZEN...

... who can blame us all for thinking this will be a surveillance and monitoring system.

We will see whats said after the mission creep occurs in 5 years time...

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Carousel fraudsters must pay back £92m

lglethal
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WTF?

Sorry i missed something here...

You say the fraud netted them £37.5 million, HMRC have already reclaimed ~£87 million and there now demanding another £92.3 million?

Are you sure have the numbers right?

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iPhone 4G blingmobe: Yours for £13k

lglethal
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one point...

"There is no finer, purer, or rarer gem than the diamond"...

Umm actually there are many gems rarer then diamonds. When discussing gem rarity, diamonds are about as abundant as fat people at an all you can eat buffet, in comparison to most gems that is...

If it was so rare, you wouldnt see every chav wearing it, would you? I mean you dont see Sapphire bling everyday do you?

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