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* Posts by Esskay

565 posts • joined 9 Aug 2011

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Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

Esskay
Thumb Up

New features

I think most importantly for the S 4 is that it no longer feels like they're playing catch-up to Apple - the features they've crammed in are impressive, and even if somewhat gimmicky it's the type of stuff that Apple would have come up with first (or claimed to) just a few years back. The difference between then and now is that a few years ago no-one would care that samsung had put face tracking on a phone - because it was just a Samsung. I've no doubt that had Apple done it, it would be a bullet point on the box, and the first round loaded into the chamber of the Fanboi FUDgun. But after god knows how many lawsuits, patent disputes and copyright claims, Samsung have been flung repeatedly into the limelight by Apple, to the point where the Galaxy S series of phones are, ironically, now one of the most watched series of phones being made.

I've no interest in getting an S 4 (just got a Nexus 4 a few months ago) but It's great to see that technology isn't stopping - we've gone beyond "colour screens! look at pictures! take photos! play movies!" into the realm of doing all of that stuff as effortlessly as possible, in the most convenient way imaginable, in high definition, streamed from the net.

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Foxtel cries wolf at the threat of fast broadband

Esskay
Unhappy

Ironic

That the same pay-TV service that has been slowly stealing content away from Free-to-Air channels for years, is now crying foul when someone does it to them. The difference, of course, is that when the content is stolen *by* Foxtel, it then costs $50 a month to see it. When it gets stolen *from* Foxtel, it's made avaliable for free.

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New nuke could POWER WORLD UNTIL 2083

Esskay
Thumb Up

Re: What about the oil barons??

I can see Texans sweating over this long term... But short term, the U.S seems to be more focused on reducing reliance on foreign oil - something I'm sure the US oil Co's would see as being good for business. In any case, I'm sure there will be coal/oil/gas plants for many years to come, and cars won't be running on nuclear reactors any time soon anyway.

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Oops, they did it again? Britney Spears, Paris Hilton 'LAID BARE ALL OVER THE WEB'

Esskay
Boffin

Assuming it's through Toyota's credit/finance arm, a subsidiary of Toyota, it could easily be a Lexus. Makes a bit more sense.

The bigger question is why a Hilton heiress needs to take out a loan at all? Tax purposes?

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Study: Megaupload closure boosted Hollywood sales 10%

Esskay
Meh

Ultraviolet?

Was this not around the time ultraviolet started to ramp up?

I've got a few Blu-Rays at home with "ultraviolet" digital versions of the movie (which I've never bothered with, as my PC doesn't have a Blu-Ray drive and it's easier/preferable to visit pirate bay for a digital copy of my legally acquired movie than give all my private info to a movie studio) and these seem to have become prevalent around the same time as mega went down - do these "physical - digital" copies count in the study? simply bundling a digital copy with the physical copy could easily account for a bump in "digital sales".

With all this MPAA FUD floating around, I think it's time El Reg implemented a "sceptic" icon...

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Bacon sarnies can kill: Official

Esskay
Joke

Did Findus fund this report?

Just waiting for the new line of "Horcon" meat products.

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Farewell, Reg: This hack is hanging up her Apple jacket

Esskay
Pint

But -

Who will the fanbois blame for a negative Apple story now?

In any case, good luck with the future, may the spirit (parasite?) of El Reg live on inside you.

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Opposition leader raises ‘your Internet will cost you more’ spook

Esskay

Re: Long term implications

The main cost of FTTH as opposed to FTTN is not in the fibre, but in the labour of putting it in the ground - unless that labour cost is eliminated, a FTTH upgrade will not cost considerably less in the future than it does now - and if nodes need to be upgraded to deal with fibre from the node to the home, the cost will possibly be even greater.

The cost to the consumer is dependent on uptake. Right now, the number of people opting for high speed NBN plans (100Mbps) is much greater than anticipated. The higher the uptake, the quicker the return, and the better the investment. Based on current trends (and admittedly it's still early days) the uptake is better than even the government predicted.

Whilst technology will undoubtedly improve, I doubt wireless will be a viable alternative to fibre on a cost/performance basis in any reasonable timeframe. That leaves fibre as the best option (and easily capable of upgrading to Gbps speeds without any extra cable needing to be laid).

Regarding no competition in the wholesale market - we already have a dearth of competition in the wholesale market. The difference is that under the current NBN, the wholesale market will be effectively government controlled, with prices for all ISP's guaranteed. Without the NBN, Telstra were effectively the biggest wholesaler by a massive margin, with shareholders to satisfy and profits to increase, the only thing restraining Telstra from having massive advantage in the industry was massive regulation. A government owned company isn't subject to the same shareholder pressure to return quick profits at the expense of subscribers.

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Esskay
Meh

My understanding of "White Elephant"

is something that is gifted to another, with the ongoing costs effectively ruining them.

Fibre can hardly be more different, with up-front costs for infrastructure being high (but covered through subscriptions, not to mention any benefits to GDP that the network may bring as an added bonus) with ongoing maintenance being quite low.

Copper, on the other hand, may be cheaper in the short term, but needs ongoing replacement, maintenance, not to mention, in a FTTN setup, the need to negotiate with Telstra, who know full well that they've got the coalition by the balls. An upgrade from FTTN => FTTH (which will be crucial within the next decade, IMO) will then be more expensive than going straight to FTTH in the first place.

If the government's plan is a white elephant, the coalition's must be a Moby Dick...

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Flexy 'iWatch' glass said to be three years away

Esskay
Joke

Re: One thing for certain...

I think you'll find that the first one will be absolutely magical, as people will be able to tell the time *using a device attached to their wrist* no less, for the first time ever.

No doubt those pesky rip off merchants at Casio will then try and claim that they had a digital watch some decades ago, but I'm sure the heroic Apple Patent Enforcement Legion will rewri- I mean, "clarify" the history books to show the true restrospective scope of the late Steve Jobs' genius.

I also can't wait for the inevitable "on a wrist-bound device" amendments to patents for every single idea everyone has ever had.

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HGST: Nano-tech will double hard disk capacity in 10 years

Esskay
Mushroom

Re: When?!

I also have a 1TB drive - and I've spent the last couple of years constantly deleting anything I possibly don't need in an attempt to make enough room for the next piece of data to go on (I'm a cheap-arse, waiting for prices to drop a bit more before a big upgrade... been telling myself that for a couple of years now). Whilst I'll admit a lot of that is my personal DVD movie & music collection ripped onto the drive, a lot of it is also videos I've taken myself - GoPro footage, DSLR photos, compact camera video and photos from holidays, family, friends, etc - everything from the last 10 years. If I was a professional photographer I could see 1TB being a fraction of what I needed to survive.

A large hard drive is a bit like a big garage - you could survive with less space, by carefully arranging everything to fit, but it's a lot more convenient to have a bigger space than you need so you can just bung everything in there and sort it out at a later date.

<= Nuke, because it looks like one's gone off in my garage...

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Tito's Mars mission to use HUMAN WASTE as radiation shield

Esskay
Joke

Re: Nooooooooooooo way

At least putting the toilet seat down becomes less of an issue when you're surrounded by your own shit.

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SimCity 2000

Esskay
Happy

Re: @sisk

My understanding is that the new SimCity is a "bottom-up" rather than "top-down" simulation - rather than, for example, traffic being a function of road usage based on location of residential areas & how many people a road can support (once traffic exceeds 100% you get "heavy traffic", and lots of cars suddenly appear on the road), the new SimCity instead simulates *each individual car* - they're all there because they belong to a house, and are going to a job. Traffic is therefore completely dynamic - there's no preset "low", "medium" and "heavy" traffic, it is what it is. And it affects everything - heavy traffic stops fire trucks dead, cops cant move through the cities, etc. Power is simulated in a similar way (but I believe they've gotten rid of water pipes, and they're now incorporated into the road).

The new cities are apparently all roughly the same size as the "medium" blocks in SimCity 4 - so you won't be able to build a massive, thriving metropolis in a single map, but it puts more focus on getting a smaller city running well - the limitation forces the player to plan, and possibly rebuild, multiple times to get the perfect city. The limitation is due to the "bottom-up" design requiring a lot of power to run, since everything is being simulated, and trying to make the game accessible to everyone who may not be running high end rigs. I don't think they've ruled out bigger maps in the future once hardware catches up though.

Ultimately I'm looking forward to it, it seems EA has realised Societies was a piece of shit and they're giving Will Wright a bit more freedom to make a more faithful reboot of the franchise - the only thing I despise is the "online required" aspect of the game - it means playing with other players on a single region is a seamless experience, but really, EA, why almost cripple one of the few truly great games you've made in recent years by making it "completely" online?! (you can play a "private" region by yourself, but *still* require an internet connection since so much of the game is server side).

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Judge slashes Apple's pile o' cash Samsung judgment

Esskay
Meh

even ~600m is ridiculous

for what can only be described as a completely different phone/tablet/everything else. Surely design is only one arrow in Apple's quiver? don't they have other great as pects of their phone tha make them so desir-

no? alright then.

I wonder what Samsung will choose to do with the extra 400m? Perhaps draw up plans for a massive new headquarters in the shape on an oblate spheroid, just to grease the bearings on which Jobs' corpse spins...

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RIAA: Google failing on anti-piracy push

Esskay

I was going to suggest something along these lines - any artist under the RIAA umbrella has all search results stricken from Google's results, autocomplete, everything. Make it impossible to find those artists and see how long it takes for RIAA to back off. After all, only pirates use the internet, right?

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Google reveals Glass details in patent application

Esskay
Joke

Hope burn-in isn't an issue

Although having the Google logo permanently seared into people's field of vision sounds like a Marketeer's wet dream.

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Drone quadracopters throw and catch inverted pendulum

Esskay
Terminator

Slippery slope

Great. It's only a matter of time now before someone teaches a killbot to catch and throw back an EMP grenade.

I, for one, welcome... etc.

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Microsoft legal beagle calls for patent reform cooperation

Esskay
Thumb Up

Re: Quite Sensible: Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater

I'm not so sure about no patents on genes - in order to maintain investment into gene science and research there needs to be some reward for the companies taking the risks, but I believe patents should be limited in a similar way to pharmaceuticals - you get ~5 years to use your patents, then it gets opened up.

I wouldn't mind a similar thing being done in software, where tech moves so fast that certain aspects (particularly in UI design) become ubiquitous within a couple of years - it also prevents a patent troll sitting on a patent quietly whilst the rest of the industry starts unintentionally violating it, before moving in 10 years later to reap the rewards. Also tacking "on a mobile device" onto the end of an obvious concept should result in the people responsible being beaten with a stick. (Yes, "slide to unlock - on a mobile device" I'm looking at you).

Really though, any move to at least take a closer look at the patent system can only be a good thing IMO.

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Turnbull says NBN Co could offer FTTN with optional fibre-for-cash

Esskay

The 38bn is being subsidised by subscription fees - once you sign up for it, you're not just getting high speed internet for a competitive price, you're also covering the cost of the NBN - the idea that it's costing us with no benefit is a load of bull. Not to mention I'm yet to see the coalition's claims regarding their plan's ROI.

FTTN Won't be "up an running" quick - it may be quicker to build (obviously, since you're not laying fibre to the home) but the contract negotiations with all contractors, plus the negotiations to use Telstra's copper will be anything but quick.

How is using Telstra's copper better for competition when a private ISP will own all the copper needed to provide services? Under the current FTTH NBN, a government owned wholesaler will provide the services to all ISP's, at equal pricing. In terms of competition, the current FTTH NBN provides a better competitive scenario.

The current NBN 100Mb/s plan is 114.95AUD per month with iiNet with a 250GB/month usage limit - that works out to about 76 quid per month. If you're not a big user, then you can drop down to 50GB/month for the equivalent of 64 quid - you'd actually be better off than you are with Telstra at the moment on your 30Mbps plan. If, as you state, you don't need 100Mbps, then you can get their 25Mbps plan @ 50GB/month for the equivalent of 53 quid per month. But, as the statistics show, uptake of 100Mbps plans are at 40%, so people are obviously crying out for more speed. (and that's not "up to" 100Mbps - it's guaranteed).

The "up to" speeds quoted for the coalition's FTTN vary massively - the coalition has said they'd provide speeds "up to 80Mbps" - but if you live a km away from the Node, or your copper is not new (entirely likely) then you won't be seeing even half that. So you'll have forked out for a cheap and nasty NBN, and gotten no improvement on service. Not only that - but you're stuck with it, since you're unlikely to see any investment in the infrastructure for a long time afterwards (that is, after all, what the coalition is promising). And at the end of all that, they then want people to fork out even more to get the same service that is currently being built!

You don't have to be "1 of 15 people in Australia who need a 1GBps connection", you just have to be someone who doesn't want to be stuck on current speeds for the next 20 years to see the sense in investing in a full fibre network.

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Esskay
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Coalition NBN + Telstra negotiations =/= quicker.

My understanding was that the nodes would have to be upgraded to move from a FTTN to a FTTH setup? Is Turnbull saying that isn't the case anymore?

And the other issue is cost - what are they expecting the consumer to have to pay in order to have their home "upgraded" to be equal with what the NBN is now?

Either -

a) people will have to cop the full cost of the node to home fibre, which will be prohibitively expensive for the majority of australians, and thus they'll feel better off under the current NBN

b) The cost will be subsidised, presumably through taxpayer dollars, and *all* Australians will be paying for a fibre-to-the-home connection that many might not even have.

I don't see how anyone is better off under this plan; the only advantage it has is that it's going to be "quicker" - but if they have to negotiate with Telsra for the use of their copper (which they will) and they'll have to keep replacing copper as it degrades (which they will) then I hardly see how it's going to be that much quicker - particularly when Telstra knows the coalition needs to use it's copper in order to keep their election promise.

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Still-living, unincarcerated Ted Nugent invited to Barack Obama gig

Esskay

Re: Ted Nugent.

"Some context for Ted's more impassioned ravings: "Give me liberty, or give me death" is an old sentiment in the US, attributed to Patrick Henry in 1775. Henry was also known as an impassioned orator with fiery speech."

If I recite Martin Luther King's "I Had A Dream" speech, that doesn't make me an "impassioned orator". If Ted was so great he'd come up with his own incredible speeches, instead of dribbling someone else's into a microphone.

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Esskay

Re: Hmm...

I love that gun nuts recite the "right to bear arms" section of the second amendment as gospel, but cheerfully forget the "well regulated" aspect.

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Study: Packing heat increases odds of being shot in assault

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Earth escapes asteroid flyby, boffins want lasers aimed at next one

Esskay
Joke

I'm guessing

That picture is not to scale...

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Illicit phone rings in Sri Lankan inmate's back crack

Esskay
Boffin

Re: Thought exercise for the day

Wasn't there a Nokia "lipstick phone" from about 10 years ago? smallest one I can think of...

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Esskay
Joke

"I can't believe anyone could be so stupid to leave a phone on when you put it up your bum."

Whereas turning a phone *off* before sticking it up your bum would be an eminently intelligent thing to do?!

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Kiwi Coroner says Coca-Cola helped kill woman

Esskay

Re: A little more background...

I fail to see why Coke should give compensation here. When your dentist says "Gee, maybe you should let up of the coke, hun?" As he's pulling rotting teeth out of your face, you should probably take that as a hint to cut down a bit.

If I ate 5 jars of peanut butter a day, and nothing else, I'd be a fucking moron to try and blame Kraft for making me a fat turd.

People need to take responsibility for their own stupidity.

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Esskay
Thumb Up

"a byte of brats"

I've often wondered what the collective noun for a large quantitiy of cracker spawn is.

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'Bah, this Apple Shop is full of APPLES'

Esskay
Joke

Re: He's missing a track here!

Or make a new brew with half the alcohol, in an aluminium bottle that is impossible to open without breaking it.

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NBN Co coffee budget brews caffeinated controversy

Esskay

A new low

Apparently in Turnbull's magical visions, employees will just have to drink whatever water they find in the exchange pits - there, saved $100,000. This will prove that they're the better financial planners.

Also, when this dies down - boat people! Yes, they're the NBN's fault too...

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Vertu-alised Android revealed at an all-too-real €7,900

Esskay

Re: NFC??

I think in this instance NFC = No Fucking Clue

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Esskay
Facepalm

$200 last-gen phone, covered with expensive crap

Yup, sounds like Vertu to me.

The sort of people who pay stupid amounts of money to make their average phone look pretty sound like the type of people who pay stupid amounts of money to make their average girlfriend look pretty. As such, a casino sounds like the perfect place to sell them.

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$195 BEEELLION asteroid approaching Earth

Esskay

Re: Call me cynical

From the article:

"Its mass could be as little as 16,000 tons or as, uh, massive as one million tons, the company said in an email."

Most companies would wait until there's at least a *little* bit more certainty than that - the asteroid is getting closer, not further away, and it's not going to suddenly change it's mind about coming towards earth, so at this point in time the company could easily have waited, and estimates would have inevitably gotten better. Of course, it's entirely likely that this would result in the asteroid being a fraction of what they're claiming it *could* be. Unless they're being irresponsible, in which case see previous post.

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Esskay
Thumb Down

Call me cynical

But what are the odds that all the eleventy billion dollar asteroids somehow manage to fly past Earth in the next seven years, whilst DSI are still waxing rhetorical to their investors about how gold will fall from the sky, and then in 2020 we'll suddenly find out that the only asteroids left are "smaller than expected/not as rich as expected/not in ideal orbits/too expensive to access/etc etc".

Issuing statements about how ridiculously massive their profits *could*, potentially, maybe, possibly, theoretically be seems irresponsible at best.

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Montana TV warns of ZOMBIE ATTACK in epic prank hack

Esskay
Coat

Re: The government are VERY worried about zombies...

The zombie plague is obviously just an Obama conspiracy - the "damaged women zombie" vote pushed him over the line. The best way to get revenge against the living dead is by living.

[/fox news]

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Esskay
WTF?

Re: This is the stuff

Probably NRA members foaming at the mouth at the prospect of being able to say to the pinko left wing commies "SEE! SEE! WE TOLD YOU WE NEED GUNS!"

It could also have been a bunch of ignorant, inbred hicks, but they're made up predominantly of the aforementioned NRA cardholders anyway.

I'm adding Montana to the list of places where breeding should be strictly controlled.

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US company aims patent-gun at Australia’s e-health system

Esskay
WTF?

What. the. fuck.

“the ability to access and collect personal health records associated with the consumer in a secure and private manner”

Like every developed country has already been doing for decades?! Why does the US's broken patent system persistently try and fuck up the rest of the world?

I think I might try and patent "the ability to access and collect personal banking records associated with the consumer in a secure and private manner", but i fear someone else may have already patented "the ability to create ridiculous, broad and fucking obvious patents, before using them in an idiotic manner".

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Dead Steve Jobs 'made Tim Cook sue Samsung' from beyond the grave

Esskay
Coat

Re: Is there anybody there?

Maybe they were holding it wrong?

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Pope resigns months after launching social networking effort

Esskay
Thumb Up

Re: Maybe he read Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion"

I've read many (most?) of his books, and whilst it was a breath of fresh air after (catholic) high school, the more preachy books are becoming a bit cringe-worthy - I agree with many of his views, but not with the way he presents them - in many cases deliberately antagonistic, and seems to be happy to abandon the moral high ground and stoop to the level of the right wing hardliner religious set. I believe the moral high ground is worth a lot more than that.

The books on evolution are a different story - he waffles on a bit, but The Selfish Gene among others is what sparked an interest in evolution, and an appreciation of the natural world for me. I'm sure there are some who disagree with his scientific views as well, but that's what science is all about.

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AT LEAST two-thirds mobile traffic will be video by 2017 - Cisco report

Esskay
Coat

I thought we'd be past 2/3rds by now

I mean, who downloads porn pictures these days?

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El Reg contemplates the ultimate cuppa

Esskay

Re: Coffee for staying awake at work, tea for relaxing at home

Almost forgot to mention - If the temperature drops below "too hot to drink more than one mouthful at a time" at any point, it's finished. Cold/warm tea is a form of torture.

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Esskay
Go

Coffee for staying awake at work, tea for relaxing at home

Coffee is always a "work" beverage for me - one in the morning to wake up (or, if I've slept in, one at lunch instead) and when I get home I'll relax with a cuppa. Usually teabags (english breakfast, steeped for a while to get a decent bit of flavour) and a dash of milk (enough make it opaque, whilst keeping the temperature at scalding). Sugar depends on how buggered I am, usually half a teaspoon, or none. Almost always needs a biscuit though, scotch finger or milk coffee (milk coffee has to be eaten quick though, they fall apart easily - and fishing them out with a teaspoon is impossible - once it's in there, its gone) or a cream bikkie if there's one in the jar. Teabags are simply out of laziness rather than a preference - If I've got time I'd rather tea leaves, but it's usually a "with friends" type thing. Can't be fucked if I'm the only one drinking.

I'll probably get destroyed for this, but as a kid I loved early grey with milk and 1 sugar - a taste I've grown used to (and I've been assured, it does take getting used to) It's a perversion I've tried to get over but still have one every now and then if I know no-one will be around in the house to see it.

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Australian Parliament issues summons to Apple, Microsoft, Adobe

Esskay
Thumb Down

Presumably

their "R&D centres" are "located" in high tax nations, whilst their "sales" departments are "located" in low tax nations.

One can only hope that their expenses are given a thorough going over, at least the groundwork has been done in forcing them to appear and publicly disclose information. In lieu of this development, perhaps they'll even give El Reg a response to any questions they have? Perhaps that's asking a bit much...

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Revealing new pics of galactic princess Andromeda

Esskay
Joke

False colour, blurry...

all they need is a couple of hashtags and it's ready for instagram.

A fantastic photo, really puts a lot of things in persective... Mainly how unimportant we are.

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Bioshock Infinite, Devil May Cry, SimCity

Esskay
Joke

Re: The first Sim City was the best

"Kept failing and did not know why"

Surprised you didn't try and blame Windows 8 for that as well

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Tennessee bloke quits job over satanic wage slip

Esskay
Joke

I believe some compensation is in order

$666 ought to cover it.

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Huge rock-hard marble erection shocks Japanese kiddies

Esskay
Joke

Presumably

If David was donning a massive pink tentacle it'd all be perfectly fine

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Good news! UK IT jobs up. Bad news? They're with a bunch of bankers

Esskay
Headmaster

Error in title

You spelt "wankers" wrong.

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Court says startup swiped IP for high-frequency trading tech

Esskay
Facepalm

Are Zeptonics a publicly listed company?

I hope so, if only for the irony that their own (or, more appropriately given the court decision, Zomojo's) HFT technology and algorithms would be crucifying them on the stock exchange right now.

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Earth-like planets abound in red dwarf systems

Esskay
Coat

They didn't find it hiding in a dust cloud, per chance?

All we need is hyper-assisted travel and we'll be there in no time - I just hope it's not moving towards us...

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