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* Posts by Yet Another Commentard

451 posts • joined 27 May 2011

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British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: See ...

Indeed it "proves" to a politico, or a tame journalist that the increased snoopage on the populous is required.

To me it proves the police can handle this sort of thing very well without those extra powers. They just made 660 arrests without it, right?

Maybe all MP's web-use and e-mail should be checked by the rest of us first as a 'test' of the new powers. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear after all.

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: I wonder how they got this information?

It's called "security theatre" for a reason.

The TSA and others have to be seen to be doing something. All this is achieving is the removal of those who "may" have travelled to the US for tourism/work/whatever and adding to the pain of flying.

The TSA is always trying to stop the last terrorist attack, it can only guess at the next.

If the flight is suddenly terrorism proof, then the next best thing to do would be to simply destroy the airport. Not in an inept way like Glasgow. Airports are insecure land-side with thousands of people, all with a legitimate reason to carry massive suitcases.

It serves no purpose. It's the same as me saying that the Tiger repellent I have on my desk here in the West Midlands is awesome, I've had it on for three years and there has not been one tiger related incident near my desk.

Agreed, there must be some security, but there needs to be a balance. At the moment the terrorists have, essentially, won due to the way we spend so much money and time chasing shadows. Moreover some of this nonsense INCREASES the risk. I have to leave my bag unlocked if I travel to the US. How hard would it be for a nefarious baggage handler to pop a device, bag of cocaine etc into every bag passing through? When stopped by customs in the US and asked if anyone had interfered with my luggage my honest answer was "I have no idea, I have to leave it unlocked and out of my sight for hours. Anyone at start or destination could have put anything in there." Luckily nothing had been added, but the comment earned me a world of pain and a coincidental "SSSS" added to all my boarding cards after that.

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Look out, sysadmins - HOT FOREIGN SPIES are targeting you

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@NoneSuch

Captain Darling: So you see, Blackadder, Field Marshall Haig is most anxious to eliminate all these German spies.

General Melchett: Filthy hun weasels, fighting their dirty underhand war!

Captain Darling: And fortunately, one of our spies...

General Melchett: Splendid fellows, brave heroes risking life and limb for Blighty!

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Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

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Re: Well done

@Adrian 4

Well if you don't want stuff passed to your heirs, you say in your will "don't pass XYZ to my heirs". Otherwise what's in the will is your, er, will. If you die intestate, then there are rules about it, essentially it goes to your relatives in sequence of closeness. Not happy with that game, write a will so you are happy. Easy.

Small pedantic point, but under most circumstances you'd need a grant of probate to deal with the estate, not just a death certificate. The solicitors in this case would know the rules and have one if necessary. The Court gives probate once it's happy the deceased is dead and that his or her estate has cleared its debts with HMRC (Inheritance Tax), and the person claiming to be the executor is the right person. After that the very purpose of the Grant is to say to all and sundry "John Doe is dead, this proves I can act on his behalf" to save going through this court order nonsense Apple has decided it requires.

I think Apple's stance is that "We don't know it's her iPad, and under data protection we can't tell you that." which is an obtuse reading of the legislation at best.

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

Yet Another Commentard
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Not sure I understand this...

Volunteer gets fired for showing important museum exhibit to interested museum visitors?

What next, Natural History Museum curator fired for showing dinosaur bone fossil to interested schoolchildren?

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Italian woman stunned by exploding artichoke

Yet Another Commentard
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Headline

Missed opportunity - Arty Chokes Woman

Or something (it's early, first day back at work and all that)

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Justice Ministry to spaff £70k finding out how prisoners like to use ILLEGAL mobes

Yet Another Commentard
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One of life's little ironies

That as a law abiding citizen I can't get a mobile signal in my own home, but they seem to be able to get one in Dartmoor prison.

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Lyrics upstart Rap Genius blacklisted by Google for Justin Bieber SEO scam

Yet Another Commentard
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Are we thinking about this the wrong way around?

Why not just remove Justin Bieber from the internet?

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Oi, bank manager. Only you've got my email address - where're these TROJANS coming from?

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Re: Wasn't it NatWest

@AC

I am sure they have sorted it. Or at least that impeccable holding company of theirs, the one with the perfect IT record, RBS, has sorted it for them.

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Yet Another Commentard
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Any word on UK pricing?

I am assuming £2,999 or thereabouts.

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We MUST be told: How many Bitcoins do I need to kill a melon-head?

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Futures

Maybe there's a solution that if you dabble in commodities you actually have to take custody of the underlying asset for a while. No worries for a farmer, (s)he has the grain/milk/whatever there anyway.

No worries for the supermarket, they get the milk (or whatever) at a fixed price.

Big problem for bankers, suddenly having 127 million gallons of semi-skimmed dropped off in central London, Skinny latte anyone?

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Apple iWatch due in October 2014, to wirelessly charge from one metre away – report

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Google Glasses

Under most social circumstances my wriat is well and truly hidden and I never look at it for fear of being arrested.

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Yet Another Commentard
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Re: When I were a lad ...

@Nick

My Omega does that too, my general movement during the day easily keeps it going, and it lasts for about three days if I forget to wear it.

A quick word if you still have yours, and I have no idea how true this, is but when I last had it serviced the chap told me that should it "go flat" start it by winding rather than rotating. Apparently the mechanism will take less damage that way.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: Ten tech treats from yesteryear

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Re: FX570 was a superb calculator

My fx-100 I had for my O Levels still works, and is sitting on the desk by me.

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

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Re: OK

Oh, yes, and can we nominate others for blocking too, let's see mumsnet and the daily mail spring to mind...

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Microsoft: Don't listen to 4chan ... especially the bit about bricking Xbox Ones

Yet Another Commentard
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and this children...

Is why taking advice from somewhere random on the internet is seldom a Good Idea™.

(and yes, I am aware of the irony of giving advice randomly on the internet to decry the use of random advice from the internet).

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OMG, Andrex KILLED the PUPPY! Not quilty, exclaim bog roll boys

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Re: That reminds me...

For me it made me wonder if it was Andrex - Last Tango in Paris edition or something.

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Mexican Cobalt-60 robbers are DEAD MEN, say authorities

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Moral of this story: Don't handle pellets which give off a pretty blue light.

Yep.

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Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Doubt it will KILL them...

Or children.

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Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Moral of this story: Don't handle pellets which give off a pretty blue light.

My alma mater had a small reactor which I visited once, and you could stand above it and look down through the water at the business end. Cherenkov radiation is really very, very beautiful. It's an odd diffuse light that seems to have no source, which is hard to describe. It's not like a torch in mist, there is no "beam" just a glow.

In any event "don't eat the glowing pellets" is good advice for life, more so even than "don't eat the yellow snow".

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Apple's legal bill for Samsung patent fight tops $60m

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How can an exceptional case

Have similar cases upon which fees can be compared? Surely it's exceptional, or it's not.

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SHOCK! US House swats trolls, passes patent 'extortion' bill

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Re: It was promising...

The way I read it the corporate veil would be lifted in these cases, so the owners of the company (shareholders either corporate or human) would become liable for the costs should the patent holder corporate be unable to meet them. That would be aimed to stop the exploitation of the veil in these circumstances. But IANAL and I have not read the draft bill.

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Oh no, RBS has gone titsup again... but is it JUST BAD LUCK?

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Re: not just faults

"Too many outfits I've worked at regard "testing" as merely checking the known input produces the expected output. They don't bother checking boundaries, error handling, scalability or resource-hogging."

Indeed. During a SAP test at my old employer I was told off for going off the script and trying to break it by putting in stupid data (letters in value fields etc), or forcing it to do something it shouldn't. "We don't have time to test that" being the answer. Oddly enough, launch was an unmitigated disaster as the users all tried to circumvent the controls (successfully) or put in data in the wrong fields breaking reports and searches. Ho-hum.

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Google in Dutch: Privacy changes BREAK data law, says Netherlands

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Re: Very interesting!

It is difficult to agree to Google's T&Cs when you are blissfully unaware that its advertising cookies are busy pimping your data. Even the tech-savvy Reg-heads above seem to forget that even avoiding obvious Google sites Jonny Internet User still gets tracked and monetised by Google.

The Dutch have a lever here - Google's tax schemes rely upon the use of a brass-plate company based in the Netherlands, a company that can't easily be switched to keep those lovely tax schemes in place. Register in the NL, you play by the NL rules no matter what you claim about the internet not being bound by such trifles.

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Microsoft wields turkey knife, slices Surface to $199 for Black Friday

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Apple store

Is back up, same as described in the article, buy something get a voucher towards something else.

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City of London cops ARREST 6 suspected to be MICROSOFT COUNTERFEIT RING

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Why City of London Police?

Fraud Squad based there, Wood Lane I think.

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Yet Another Commentard
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Re: 100k

I agree, up to a point. Now consider how much does it cost to track down a murderer for such a small return; it's not as if the deceased will come back to life, or the perp will pay some form of life debt to the deceased's family. Despite that it is VERY worthwhile for the police to pursue the crime.

In this case it is most likely (having done this sort of thing with financial fraud) that MS did all the work, put it in a nice box, handed it to the City boys and said "book him Danno". Hence, a relatively small cost to you, the taxpayer.

Is it really £100k? no. Is it worse than murder? no. Is it a crime? yes. Are we now saying that certain crimes should be ignored? How about shoplifting? A banana stolen from Sainsbury's won't hurt the big "S", so one would assume that because Sainsbury's makes money out of you it would be fine to steal from them. Only it's not.

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PC market: ABANDON HOPE all ye who enter here

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I remember the misquote was in (I think) the Level 9 text adventure "Snowball" and was a subtle cue to the player to hand over a particular item at the gate.

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File-NUKING Cryptolocker PC malware MENACES 'TENS of MILLIONS' in UK

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Does anyone know...

If the perps actually do bother to decrypt, or just take the bitcoins and run? I mean, why would they need to bother once they have the cash? Perhaps they are rather odd semi-honest criminals.

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Yet Another Commentard
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Re: And why aren't they going after this group??

@MrMur

I remain bitterly disappointed that the much overused and lazy -gate suffix wasn't used in the form gategate as it did, in fact, concern a gate. I guess as we now have a scandal about the scandal we are now at gategategate.

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Coroner suggests cars should block mobile phones

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Yes well...

On fixing the roads I seem to find that every patch or manhole (can we say that?) cover is in a position such that it's exactly where my tyres on the passenger side are if I am driving in a correct position on the road. Can we fix that too, as so many of them are ill fitting (I assume because world+dog drives over them) or raised it's dangerous in its own right. So to avoid them you have to pull out into oncoming traffic, or clip the pavement, which is even more dangerous and stupid.

Grrr.

The country roads bit is interesting, but I have no idea on bend related statistics. By us an alarming number of fatal incidents occur on a straight section of road where people seem to love driving into a "Bikers Beware" sign at high speed.

Utterly agree on roadsigns. Far too many, and there is no need for most of the brown ones which seem to proliferate alarmingly.

Speed is difficult, the issue is around "appropriate" speed, which varies by road, weather, other users, time of day etc etc. I mean on the same stretch of road you could do 60mph one day, but realise the next that even exceeding 20mph could be a bit dumb. Instead we use a blunt instrument because it's too difficult to deal with otherwise.

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POWER SOURCE that might END humanity's PROBLEMS: A step forward

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"If I discovered a cheap and abundant energy source today and published it to the world, the entire global economy would collapse tomorrow."

Not too sure I follow the reasoning here - what's the chain of causation you have in mind? Not saying you are wrong I just lack the insight to tie together the idea that relatively cheap (at least it would be cheap at the margin, as in the next MWh costs next to nothing, but the first one is really quite expensive) relatively clean and almost unlimited power would destroy the world's economy within 24 hours of it being turned on.

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Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Fusion & Free Clean Energy For All?

Indeed, especially as you can get there 20 minutes earlier by catching the previous train.

We had JET don't forget, and there is that massive thing in France that many countries have given cash to. Sadly it's just not as "politically useful" as many things, because the commissioning politician won't be in office or possibly even alive when it's realised.

I do wonder if calling it the "[Insert Politico of your choice] Power of the Future Research Establishment" would encourage funding purely as a massive ego stroke.

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Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Science

@Capt DaFt

I thought "the future will be better tomorrow" (c) J Danforth Quayle

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Eric Schmidt joins board of weighty biz journal The Economist

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Can we have .....

I think it went on to mention "synergies" and "paradigm shifts" before having some blue sky thinking out of the box giving a helicopter view of the hot buttons. Or something.

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Microsoft's EAT-your-OWN-YOUNG management system AXED

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My old employer did this too. Instead of the appraisal (which everybody hates anyway) being over fairly quickly we had people gaming the system, and actively trying to sabotage rivals. Not exactly goal congruent. Then after we’d had our appraisals there was a moderation process to see if we’d been judged fairly. This was rubbish and simply down office politics, so if you were “in” with the manager who shouted and bullied you’d get a good rating because he said you were a “good chap” (or woman) and he would protect his cronies. Others doing a better job but with more moderate managers would suffer. This process took weeks, and removed senior management from the business for much of that time. All that to fit a distribution curve that some HR wonk said was how it should be.

No wonder people left.

I did see a fraud at a company that did “rank and yank” whereby the bottom 5% of rated employees would be removed each year. As it was so bloody stupid and morale damaging several enterprising managers put ghost employees into their team, paid them a salary and then sacked them at the end of the year. The salaries were collected by real employees and divided up amongst the team at year-end. The team was happy with this game, senior management not so much.

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The CURSE of WHO: WHY has there never been a decent videogame with the Doctor?

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Dr. Who + B7 video game...

Didn't the Liberator feature in the BBC/Electron game "Starship Commander"?

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While the BBC drools over Twitter, look what UK's up to: Hospital superbug breakthrough

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^^This

I could never see that either. I mean giving a reaction from Twitter is about as journalistically sound as hailing a cab and getting a quote from the driver. Or passenger. Or both.

Todays gushfest practically credits Twitter with the invention of the hashtag. I remember it in use on IRC before Twitter's founders were born (possibly) and it may well predate that too.

What amazes me most is that the BBC tech people can use Twitter - finding # on a Mac keyboard isn't all that obvious...

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Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

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Interesting, BMI from the Isle of Man to and from the UK insist upon photo ID. I have no idea why there would be a difference.

Consistency - we've heard of it.

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Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Yawn.

My guess would be the requirements would be similar to the KYC financial regulations. As long as a landlord has a copy of [insert document] on file (s)he has done her/his best to verify the status of the applicant. If it looks okay (as in not a letter from the tenant's mum for example) then you'd be in the clear.

As the article says the number of landlords (or indeed anyone) able to spot a fake ID from the myriad on offer will be insanely low.

Don't forget how many MPs are also landlords - them getting it wrong would be newsworthy (witness illegal immigrant cleaners in the past for example) so you can't make the barrier too high for their sake.

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That time when an NSA bloke's son borked the ENTIRE INTERNET...

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Probation

Surely double secret probation would be more appropriate?

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Twitter jacks up IPO price range as the blabbergasm begins

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Anechdotes and evidence...

I've run a few classes over the last few weeks and out of interest asked if any of the students would invest in Twitter. I've put up the basis of the deal from the actual offer documents, and just done a straw poll. To make it a little more scientific I did ask all of them to close their eyes before holding their hands up (there is comfort in numbers in these things, so I wanted to stop that). So far out of around 150 students only three, yes, three would invest. It's not a good representation, but it's all I have.

My point - I feel a bit better. As if some of the future has some common sense.

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FREEZE, GLASSHOLE! California cops bust Google Glass driver

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Two things...

She was, apparently speeding. If correct then that's illegal irrespective of what she had on her face.

Secondly - what's a google+ page?

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Ohh! The PRECIOUS! Give it to uss. We WANTS it: Shiny iThings coming in 2014

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Headmaster

very, very unique...?

How, exactly?

Unique is "existing as the only one". You can't be "very" unique any more that one could be "slightly" pregnant or very dead.

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HTC phone STOPS BULLET, saves Florida gas station clerk's life

Yet Another Commentard
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Re: Knowing the way beancounters work...

Nokia 3310s, surely?

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Yet Another Commentard
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hang on

He was at work, was threatened, got shot at, was hit by a bullet (well, his phone was) and you call all that LUCKY?

That's a bad luck day at the office by anyone's standards.

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US aviation watchdog approves $75K balloon ride into SPAAAACE!

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It's a TIE fighter!

But without the wing-things. I hope it makes the noise.

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Play Elite, Pitfall right now: Web TIME PORTAL opens to vintage games, apps

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Re: David Braben's supposed to be quite litigious, isn't he?

Well, Frontier is available as shareware - http://www.sharoma.com/frontierverse/game.htm and Ian Bell has just about every version of Elite on his website.

Emulators required, natch.

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Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS

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@James

"Maybe there should be a standard placebo 'antibiotic' for these cases"

It's an interesting idea, but ethically dubious. Your doctor would have to lie to you when prescribing the placebo because (s)he would obviously know it's a sugar pill. This applies to all prescriptions of placebos, not just here. Having your doctor lie to you, even if it's in your own and society's interests erodes the trust that should exist between the two parties.

Once this "got out" that "apoxylalacillin" is a placebo there would be a backlash against the medical profession, claims of "big pharma" conspiracies, and possibly the movement of people away from medicine and towards alternative therapies because "doctors lie about medicines". Now the latter is fine if it's a self-correcting problem like a cold, but could be fatal if the patient had a serious condition that really wasn't going to be helped by a nice cup of herb tea and a dangling crystal.

Education has to be part of the solution. The general lack of knowledge of basic medical matters is appalling. I'm not advocating that everyone should be a doctor, just that there must be room on the curriculum somewhere to teach about antibiotics, anti-virals, why most drugs will not resolve the problem instantly, why to always finish the dose of any drug course, how to deal with simple injuries, why going to casualty with athlete's foot is a dumb idea etc. etc.

there also needs to be support for doctors refusing to prescribe where it is not necessary. Maybe upon refusal to prescribe the patient is given a form where the doctor writes on it "viral infection, no suitable medication" and the patient can send it off as a complaint. The patient then gets back from NHS Complaints Central a letter saying that no prescription would help, and have they noticed how they now feel better as their very own immune system has sorted it out.

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Yet Another Commentard
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@Steve

Yes, to confirm the answer given by others. Bacteriophages are viruses that exploit bacteria. They are quite specific, usually binding to specific proteins stuck in the cell walls of the host bacteria. So the example I gave above, phage lambda, only binds and infects Escerichia coli.

That in and of itself is a mixed blessing, as there are a lot of E coli in you right now doing you lots of good. There are some "rogue strains" of it that will cause problems, such as you hear about on the news from time to time.

It's been a long time since I studied them, but I am unaware of any Clostridium species being good news. These bad boys include C tetani - gives you tetanus, C botulinum - gives you botulism via botulinium toxin (which I think is the single most toxic thing known) and usually death. This is the stuff celebs have diluted preparations of injected into their faces. Then there is C difficle, which is a tough little fella that kills people via any one of a number of horrid gastric manners. It forms spores which are resistant to heat, antibiotics, cold and ethanol. Which is a shame, as that's how we try and sterilise most things. To add to the problem they live in many people quite harmlessly, and flare up when the other gut bacteria are killed off (say by antibiotic or chemotherapy). Then they are a problem, so if the phages could be delivered to the gut to attack them it would give the good guys a chance to come back before the host is dead.

Should the phages "escape" they won't do much harm, they should only bind to C difficile. The two of them will have been in an evolutionary arms race for time out of mind, so nothing much will happen to upset the balance of the general eco-system.

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