* Posts by Brewster's Angle Grinder

899 posts • joined 23 May 2011

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And the buggiest OS provider award goes to ... APPLE?

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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So I can correct you?

"It's not like a word such as "whale" where it has a definition independent of common meaning and if someone calls a shark a whale you can correct them"

*cough* whale shark *cough*

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Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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You need a picture at the top.

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Paris Hilton

Re: Tax is due somewhere, surely?

And if someone lays on their couch because earning a living is "hard work" is that tax avoidance? Or what about anyone who opts for an income less than they could earn in another position?

I'm sure there are some higher rate payers who can't be arsed to squeeze the maximum out of their assets. I wouldn't be bothered, if I was that rich. But people with vaults worth of money seem to always want more - most of them already have more money than they can sensibly use anyway. And they'll do the the "hard work" because 60% of £2E6 is still another £1.2E6 and that's all they care about. And we don't know how hard we can push these people because the tax system leaks badly at the top and because we haven't fully costed the negative externalities they cause (e.g. London house prices or configuring our economy to service them rather than manufacture goods).

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ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Death by Alien Cockup ...

"...native pathogens..."

Most pathogens are species specific. Even flu, can struggle to jump the species barrier. More likely it would be a commensal or symbiont that turns out to adore squishy apes. "Yes, our thought processes are implemented via battling prions. Is that a problem?"

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We'll ask GCHQ to DELETE records of 'MILLIONS' of people – Privacy International

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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The more time they spend dealing with paperwork, the less time they have to spend spying on us.

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Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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It's worse than that. Busy people can't abide a "layabout" (thinker, dreamer, poet...) It seems unfair to them that somebody should get something for doing nothing (or for raising sprogs). IIRC Aristotle criticised Plato's Republic along the same lines so this debate has got form.

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Snowden leaks LEGALISED GCHQ's 'illegal' dragnet spying, rules British tribunal

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Can none of you appreciate the irony? In the absence of a terrorist, GCHQ would have been classified as terrorists - provided we could've shown they were terrorists. Which we couldn't. But because of a terrorist, we can now show they are terrorists so they're not in fact terrorists. Or something like that.

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Breaking news: BBC FINALLY spots millions of mugshots on cop database

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@BobWheeler I thought facial recognition worked by looking at the separation of eyes and other features that shouldn't be affected by the age of the photo. But according to Wikipedia, some systems do perform a crude statistical comparison with a reference image, and that would be affected by aging. So I guess it depends what system the police are using.

But either way, Facebook is a handy public database of names and recent photos. They might even arrest a few genuine cat buglers. (Yeah, mine's the one with the moggy in the pocket: his canine accomplice is holding my canary hostage at an undisclosed kennel.)

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Tearful boffins confirm grav wave tsunami NOT caused by Big Bang

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Boffin

@Brandom 2

Your answer.

Celestial distances don't depend on Alpha Orionis so it's not an issue. However Delta Cephei, which is important for the distance scale, is known to be 887±26 lightyears (272±8 in sensible units (Pc)). About 3%.

I'm sure, if Betelgeuse was important, we'd've turned space telescope on it and got a decent measurement. Finite resources.

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Teen whiz exposes WhatsApp profile pic privacy blunder bug

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Holmes

Re: All I can say is ....

That's a very generous assessment of the developers' mental age. :/

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UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: They CANNOT be the only copies

"and they were encrypted to GCHQ approved standards"

Yeah, "plaintext". (Or rot13, if you have a warrant from a judge.)

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Windows 10 heralds the MINECRAFT-isation of Microsoft

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: We have a winner

"..[The PC] remains the best tool for an awful lot of jobs."

I suspect you mean, "monitor, keyboard and mouse remain the best tool for an awful lot of jobs."

It's becoming irrelevant where the CPUs are: it could be they're in your mobile phone wirelessly connected to a dock, it could be they're on the other end of a network connection or it could be they're in a box on, or under, your desk. If you want to convince me there's a future for the PC you need to convince me the box on the desk is better placed that the box in your pocket or the box in the datacentre. (And remember, cheapest normally wins out over best engineered or most usable.)

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How's this for customer service: Comcast calls bloke an A**HOLE – and even puts it in print

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Where's a libertarian when you want one?

Yeah, the marketing worshipping Land of the Free™ could do with some competition in its broadband market.

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Humanity can defeat SkyNet with BOOKS, says IT think tank

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: more titles

I find it difficult to understand why, Asimov who wrote so much about robots, has not been mentioned yet.

Well most of his stories demonstrate how the rules fail.

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Jellybean upgrade too hard for Choc Factory, but not for YOU

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: So let me get this right...

"Here Google should be forced to issue security fixes for a reasonable amount of time"

Well Microsoft support two previous versions. So for Android that would be 5.0 and 4.4.

Android 4.3---the last incarnation of Jellybean---was released on 24 July 2013, although the first incarnation---4.1---was first released 10 July 2012. So it depends how you measure it. I have to say, three years would be the minimum...

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Opera Jon weaves a brand new browser

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Let us know when it moves out of technical preview, although I might be prepared to give it a go once the mail client is working. (Are the planning to allow us to import a mail "database" from an existing Opera installation? And will it run on a USB stick?)

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NSA gunning for Google, wants cop-spotting dropped from Waze app

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Facepalm

Re: Just radar, not police.

@Charles

If the criminally minded are smart enough to do "operational planning" they can send out spotters to "case" the location. Or they could get together and run an equivalent service on the blacknet, offering a discount on drugs purchases for every cop reported.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Trollface

Enters stealth mode:

You know,, cops wouldn't be in as much danger if you banned the natives from carrying penis extensions firearms.

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MYSTERY RADIO SIGNAL picked up from BEYOND our GALAXY

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Boffin

Dispersion. (The difference in arrival time of different frequencies indicates the distance travelled.)

I'm not a radio astronomer, but an AMS faq suggests meteor pulses are much longer (milliseconds to seconds) and easy to recognise.

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Insert 'Skeleton Key', unlock Microsoft Active Directory. Simples – hackers

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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I don't object to El Reg including a headline picture with its articles. But some of them really do make the site look tacky. The door and lock on this article are a case in point.

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The Invisible Library – a playful, timey wimey, spook adventure tale

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: I was thinking more of

Corwin?

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Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Surely you mean "Thus, the landlord refuses to renew the lease because there is always someone else with more money willing to pay the higher amount"

Ignoring housing benefit, you can't hand over more money to a landlord than you earn.

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Pastebin: The remote backdoor server for the cheap and lazy

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Uhm.

According to the article, the problem isn't Wordpress, it's the "popular RevSlider plugin". Blaming Wordpress for its plugins would be like blaming Microsoft for all the crappy software that runs...on...Windows—

Oh.

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Hey look! Microsoft's workforce isn't all white men

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@h4rm0ny

"As for gender disparity, it starts in the schools. Young girls are culturally encouraged from a very early age to go toward non-scientific and non-engineering roles. It is not much fun to be the only girl in your Physics class (well, one of three iirc)"

Suggestions?

I explain programming's about empathising - you have to imagine yourself as the computer and think what you would do. Although maybe imagining yourself as a computer is not such a big turn on.

We might get more female programmers dragged in from the design side. IIRC my A-level art class had two boys (one of whom was never there and the other of whom probably went on to become a girl...) But you do need some maths for graphics.

And I love physics with passion, but it was also the most boring science at school. I only stayed on to A-level because of pop sci books about Quantum Mechanics. But I can't see a way around the fact it's about ramps and ballistics and inverse square laws.

(Oh and my art teachers were all men and my maths and physics teachers were all women. This didn't stop the gratuitous gender imbalance in either.)

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Internet Explorer 12 to shed legacy cruft in bid to BEAT Chrome

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: About bloody time

Actually, maintaining a separate, standards-compliant browser would be good - particularly since Opera threw in the towel and agreed to use Google's fork of webkit.

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Bring back big gov, right? If only the economics, STUPID, could tell us more

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Government

I'd like my plane not to crash (so current regulation a success), my medicine not to kill me (more regulation needed unless big pharma starts releasing all the data they collect on drug trials) and my power plants not to blow up or pollute my air (regulation, again, probably okay). And, although you don't mention them, I'd also like the banks not to destroy the economy (more regulation needed)

And the tax, well... Oh, I'm wasting my time, aren't I?

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Investment, investment, investment

State control of R&D used to be, "What a spiffing club this is. I say, you look like an upstanding chap. You're not gay? Good. Here, have some dosh and go produce us some Science."

Modern notions of accountability are rather more like rats fighting in a sack.

Now, Jeeves, my coat, if you'd please.

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Apple v BBC: Fruity firm hits back over Panorama drama

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Apple gets the pip

Not an Apple fan. But presumably one of the reasons to buy pricey Cupertino merchandise is to be certain the employees are working in good conditions. And there's no one else who offers these guarantees.

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Chrome devs hatch plan to mark all HTTP traffic insecure

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Time to buy stock in VeriSign/Symantec

"Considering the EFF is launching an entirely free, automated CA in 2015"

I think that has to be up and running before the Chrome devs turn this on.

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Ofcom mulls selling UK govt's IPv4 cache amid IPv6 rollout flak

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Does anyone trust Ofcom to handling any IP addressing?

"There's nothing to gain by delaying."

Well, we could wait for the other countries to do the "years of developing" and then install a more polished solution at a cheaper price...

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Hinge: An app that scours Facebook friends for dates banks $12m

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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What's the divorce rate?

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Car-crash IT: HUGE write-off for Universal Credit - PAC

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Pretty good for public sector IT

"If you really want to simplify the benefits system, just give everyone a minimum income of £100 a week."

The basic state pension is currently £113.10/week. So pensioners are straight away losing £681.2 per year.

Personal Independence payments can go up to £138.05 a week.

The only people who are better off are those on JSA or Tax Credits. But even they may get Housing Benefit of up to £250/week, council tax benefit and no doubt other top ups.

I'm in favour of a minimum income/basic income/civil income. But if it's set at a single flat rate it would disadvantage a lot of people or cost a helluva lot more than we're paying now.

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Yes, Obama has got some things wrong on the internet. But so has the GOP

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Facepalm

"There are more than 9,600 state and local sales tax jurisdictions across the nation."

America is fucked.

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

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Degrees

"Celsius is just as unscientific really. Do you cook your dinner at 463K?"

When you can add a constant offset to a temperature in Celsius to get one in Kelvin, I'll agree.

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Device fingerprinting tech: It's not a cookie, but 'cookie' rules apply

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: @Ole

"Also check out the CanvasFingerprintBlock plugin for Chrome."

And for $other_browser?

Ole's point was "in the end it's going to come down to users protecting themselves." So I provided an example of something I believed a user couldn't protect themselves against, even if they knew about it. (Which most wouldn''t.) That there's a fix for that one problem on one browser doesn't undermine my point. What about the font list or any of the other problems that will arise? As Ole concludes, it's down to browser authors and regulators and us pressuring them to fix it. But don't blame the users.

And FWIW I don't want every browser to look identical, I just want new values for each metric when I restart my browser, launch a private window, or press a button that says "reset now".

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@Ole

How can the user protect themselves against HTML canvas fingerprinting?

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Internet gossip has NOWT to do with data protection, EU Commish

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Did I miss something?

AIUI, the article correctly describes the right you've got that is being labelled the "right to be forgotten". Read the ruling for yourself. The problem was Google was giving disproportionate prominence to old information.

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

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Centralisation?

"Why this overwhelming urge to centralise things?"

Deduplication. Or, in government speak, "efficiency savings".

But what you describe isn't actaully decentralised, it's just lots of centres. And do you really want IDs and password for every government department? Contrast it with something like OpenID where a single ID is decentralised (lots of ID providers) and doesn't necessitate multiple signs on. Although, if the system was well designed and genuinely "user-focused", then it would allow us paranoid citizen-users to have a different ID for every department, if we wanted.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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It's not hard:

function identity(x){ return x }

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Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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For everyone advancing proxies, VPNs etc...

The court will take as view as to what is proportionate and what the man on the Clapham Omnibus can do, not what a geek can do. The solution doesn't need to be perfectly watertight; the court will be satisfied if the circumvention is technically complicated or costly. Because we're not really arguing about a right to privacy, we're arguing about a right to obscurity. Mr Costeja González wasn't sufficiently obscure; Google delisting the results would have made him a bit more obscure.

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As-a-service upstarts will KILL OFF THE CORPORATES?

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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There might also be a problem with packet loss - icebergs straying into the shipping lay. :P

But forget "...a slower more pleasant pace of life": in Victorian London there could be up to twelve postal deliveries a day.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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What's new are geographically dispersed companies. I was found by my current employer in one of those markets and he's not asked me to move across the pond and work with him in a noisy, air-conditioned office. We recruit from anywhere in the world and don't have to worry about immigration papers, paying cleaners or business rates. There are handicaps to this approach, but it's the kind of firm that couldn't have existed in the 1930s.

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Snowden doc leak lists submarine'd cables tapped by spooks

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Facepalm

All this surveillance, and they still want Facebook to notify them when they shut an account for terrorism.

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Sacre vache! Netflix ne parle pas le Frenchy ... zat is against ze LAW

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: For once, I'm with the French...

I've not read Netflix's, but I have read others. And if there's a dispute, and they're in "English", then I have a chance of arguing with them. I have zero chance in Navajo.

Somehow, I'm reminded of the Vogons. "Whaddayamean you don't speak Navajo? Hundreds of thousands of you peanut-brained apes manage it, I'm sure you could have learnt to." And you know at the point you've learnt Navajo they'll switch to Sami.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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For once, I'm with the French...

T&C are bad enough, but they absolutely should be in the languages of the country a corporation is operating in. Imagine if we were directed to T&C in Navajo.

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Crypto protocols held back by legacy, says ENISA

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Oh my ...

You've just demonstrated why regular devs should stay away from crypto.

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Giant bank IT cockup of 2012 'could have brought down ENTIRE financial system'

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Time to put up...

It's not possible: all the potential scape goats reside in India.

Not the coat, the parachute. Yeah, the golden one. Thanks!

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Tiny compared to the savings

Is it better or worse than the other banks?

From the outside, Nationwide seems like the place to have your money. But I want a backup account somewhere else.

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USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Mushroom

Re: DVD reborn

"Oh wait, there aren't enough islands to go round."

We have nukes. And hazmat suits. What's the problem?

(Bonus: the EMP should delete all the malware.)

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