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* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

1669 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The measure of Poverty

They are neither pre- not post- tax, nor are they gross or net.

For the US I think the more important thing is that the measures are before any welfare aid intended to alleviate the problem, but in Europe that is taken into account first. The US 25% of median could therefore be closer to the European 60% than it may seem.

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'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: is it just me....

Considering recent experiments, reptilian sex in space can even be fatal.

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India vs America: Earthling invaders in race to MARS

Phil O'Sophical
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India is searching for life by looking for methane.

Would this be indications of an ancient Martian curry shop?

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Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Malware proteced payment device....

For the avoidance of doubt, the falsie I found was permanently taken out of circulation!

Yes, after I posted I realised it could have been seen as a slur on your morals. Not my intention, sorry!

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Malware proteced payment device....

Counterfeits aren't quite the same, since it's often possible to pass them on to a person or machine that isn't so picky. Of course that raises an interesting moral question, since people who wouldn't dream of knowingly passing on malware often show no reluctance to circulate a dodgy coin. Plausible deniability, maybe? There's probably a psychology PhD thesis in there somewhere...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Why VSAT? These sort of systems used to work just fine on X.25, many still do (look at how many till and ATM reciepts have unmistakable X.121 addresses printed somewhere). Not an internet connection in sight.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: XP based self checkouts

And probably hadn't had an update or security fix applied since they day they were installed. Which is much more likely to be a problem than the simple fact that they're running XP, which was still a supported OS at the time the malware was alleged to be introduced.

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Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate

Phil O'Sophical
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Amazing

So many companies working so hard to encourage you to work from home...

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Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Not surprising

Last year one of the big gadget shops around here had a touch-screen monitor on display, it was somewhere around 24" - 28" size. The only people who seemed entertained by it were my teenage nephews, when they discovered that the system it was attached to had Angry Birds installed. In the last store refresh it vanished again.

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JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: If i had a vote

I don't see what flemish independence would add to that...

That's because you're not a politician with aspirations to sainthood.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I hope they vote yes

Otherwise we will have to go though all this crap again in a decade or so.

Also the look on Salmond's face as all his pigeons come home to roost (currency, EU, NATO, share of national debt etc) will be priceless.

Don't forget that a Yes vote just starts the process which is planned to result in separation in March 2016 IIRC. As that process gets under way the pigeons will come well and truly home, and "It'll all work out in the end" Salmond will find himself explaining why Scotland can't stay in the EU, and can't use the pound, and why so many business have upped and left, and why house prices have collapsed because so many people are trying to sell up.

There's a UK-wide general election before then, May 7th 2015. Imagine what happens if Labour trounces the SNP before the Scottish Socialist Republic is created. There would be huge pressure to bring forward the next Scottish parliament elections to before "independence day". Anyone care to bet that there'd be another referendum?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: If i had a vote

Meaning the HQ of the EU is in a country not in the EU.

One of the HQs :)

If it put an end to the Strasbourg-Brussels weekly shuttle we'd save a fortune in wasted taxes.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: If i had a vote

The world is too small for Nationalism and small countries to stand apart.

Maybe so, but it's human nature to want to belong to "something", and to feel that your "something" is better than their "something".

Glueing all the countries together into a unified something won't make people magically content to be a member of that something, they'll just look for other groups to join. If it isn't countries it will be regions, or languages, or dialects, or football clubs, or gangs, etc.

The downside of that is that instead of a big punchup, military or economic, every 50-70 years followed by a period of relieved stability you get a constant background level of minor trouble, which flares up every so often. This year it's Ukraine and Scotland, next year the Basques, then Catalonia, then Flanders/Walloons, etc. The EU isn't a solution, any more than the USSR was.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: If i had a vote

Algerian independence: 1962.

EU created: 1993.

Creation of the EEC: 1957.

That's what Algeria left.

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Microsoft staff brace for next round of layoffs – expected Thursday

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @Phil O'Sophical

What you can often do is convert your running XP box in to a VM, and then run that fairly painlessly under another more modern OS.

I could, that's what I do in work, running XP and Linux VM guests under Solaris (and Linux and Solaris VMs under W7 on a laptop) but a home system needs to be painless for general work. My wife is comfortable with Linux and Solaris, but she still doesn't want to mess about with booting VMs and coping with their quirks if she doesn't have to. Neither do I, to be honest.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @billat29

the problem is Windows upgrades.

Or more precisely the fact that you can't simply upgrade Windows as upgrades are understood in the rest of the professional computer world. A new version of Windows is always a reformat-and-start-again forklift upgrade.

If I could buy W7 at a reasonable price, say $100-$150, and install it on my XP system without losing anything, and without having to find and re-install all those convenient programs that I've accumulated over the past 6 years, I would seriously consider it.

As it is, my XP system works just fine, and when it finally dies or I find something that it just can't do I'll buy a whole new box. But not until then.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Silly thought experiment

The difficulty with that sort of artificially-created competition is that there are always unexpected consequences. In this case the big problem I forsee is that most copies of Windows are sold pre-installed on OEM systems. It would be nice to think that people would make an informed choice about which one they want, but we know that the majority of PC buyers haven't a clue what an OS is, let alone which version they're running. They can just about tell the difference between "Windows" and "Apple".

Build-to-order OEMs like Dell might offer a choice, but most would simply go for whichever charged them the lowest licence fee, and so made the end product cheapest. The resulting race to the bottom wouldn't make shareholders very happy, nor provide income for R&D. Eventually all but 1 or 2 of the Babysofts would go bust, and we'd be back where we started with one company, but a smaller and more financially strapped one.

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Phil O'Sophical
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Consumers who care about quality?

When I watch TV I watch the programme, not the display, and it's programme quality that matters.

We may well get to a point where large panels are only sold in 4K, just as today almost every TV can claim "3D", but whether that will to matter most viewers is questionable. Let's face it, most people are content to watch 4:3 format video stretched to fil a 16:9 screen and don't see anything wrong with it, and a lot of people with standard Freeview TVs that only contain SD tuners will insist that they're watching HD because the TV says "HD Ready" and the local transmitter now has HD broadcasts.

It will appeal to the pub boasters, and the "iPhone fanboi" types who'll spend a fortune just to show that they have the latest gadget, but the average viewer who's just bought a new HD TV isn't going to fork out (4k out?) another few grand just so they can see all the detail on the spotty faces of the latest X-factor muppets.

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WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups

Phil O'Sophical
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who will either recoil with horror at your inglorious visage or fall into bed with you.

So if I've got this right, the difference between this app and six double martinis is the sequence of the above events?

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Got your NUDE SELFIES in the cloud? Two-factor auth's your best bet for securing them

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 2FA, passwords, fingerprints

Sending a text message containing a second password to the phone is a good idea, though.

It has additional advantages. My bank uses it to verify online purchases, checking that my credit card is being used by me. Some months ago I got 3 or 4 such passwords within 5 minutes, for purchase attempts I hadn't made. A check online showed that other purchases were being made on my clearly skimmed Visa card. A quick call to the card hotline to cancel the card saved me a lot of grief.

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Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: RAYNET still exists? Who knew?

I would have thought that the advent of alternative means of communication rendered the whole concept as inefficient and outdated.

There are few long- or medium-distance alternatives which can survive a real disaster, especially once mains power goes out. Think earthquakes, floods, etc. RAYNET types may well have got snippy over the CB types who thought that any problem could be solved with a bigger linear, but by and large they were well-trained and much more aware of the technical problems presented by any given site.

It's true that they offer few advantages over modern PMR equipment or mobile phones when the basic infrastructure is working well, during sporting events for example, but in most cases RAYNET helps out at such events mainly to train its own members. Remember that the foundations of RAYNET date from the 1953 storms where the official infrastructure collapsed, and amateurs (in violation of their licence conditions) were the only point of contact between shipping in distress and the rescue services. That's what it's meant for, and is why it can officially only be called out by the "blue light" services, and a few others.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Currently, encryption is forbidden"

Yet another G3 (I assume)

Nope, a G8 as-was. F1 these days, so a bit out of touch with the details. I had the BR68 to hand.

I do see that the new description has been changed to say encrypt instead of encipher, an interesting if subtle change:

11(2) The Licensee ... shall not encrypt these Messages for the purpose of rendering the Message unintelligible to other radio spectrum users.

...

11(3) The Licensee may use codes and abbreviations for communications as long as they do not obscure or confuse the meaning of the Message.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: They arn't getting anything extra

What is morse if it is not enciphered?

It's a public clear-language coding mechanism. Certainly not a cipher.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Anything goes?

That's not how RAYNET works. There's a ham at each end, liaising with the emergency services and passing non-amateur messages over standard amateur frequencies (which would normally be outside the licence terms). The change proposed is that if the emergency services in question ask for the comms to be encrypted, they can be. RAYNET operation is only permitted on the express demand of a selective list of emergency services, plus a few training exercises each year, not at the whim of individual amateurs.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Currently, encryption is forbidden"

how would they know there is encryption?

Technically the licence rule isn't "no encryption", it's "not enciphered", see BR68:

http://www.psc.gov.uk/static/archive/ra/publication/ra_info/br68r11/br68.htm

particularly the bits about:

(b) Signals (not enciphered)...

and

1(6) The Licensee may use codes and abbreviations for communications as long as they do not obscure the meaning of, but only facilitate, the communications.

Essentially the messages have to be in clearly understandable form. There are probably exceptions for Geordies...

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One sixth of the ENTIRE PLANET will buy a new smartphone this year

Phil O'Sophical
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One sixth of the ENTIRE PLANET will buy a new smartphone this year

Just one? Is the iPhone 6 really that expensive now?

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Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Why do we keep trying to add another middleman?

Why can't Visa/MasterCard/AMEX just make their own individual apps to do this?

Because they haven't figured out how to avoid the responsibility when it goes wrong?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Apple NFC

including a Bluetooth stack and limiting it to hands free kits only.

A bit like Sony do with the Bravia TVs. You can pair any Bluetooth device you like, as long as it's a mouse. Keyboard? Forget it.

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "What does Scottish independence and the break-up of the United Kingdom mean to businesses"

Where did you hear about this "broken window fallacy" thing, btw? You are the second poster to mention it.

It's a reference to an 1850 essay from a French economist. If a child breaks a window, which takes very little effort, it creates work and money for a glazier, so destroying things might seem to be a way to stimulate an economy. In practice it's a fallacy since it just takes money that would probably be spent elsewhere, there's no net gain. Google it, there are bound to be thousands of references.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Geneva Convention

What official documentation is "RoI" used on? I've never had a letter from the government of the Republic of Ireland, or seen a Republic of Ireland passport...

You're entirely correct that the state is called Ireland, however the term "Ireland" can refer to the Irish state, the 26 counties that make up the political entity, or to the entire island, the geographical entity. Since this discussion is about the political circumstances surrounding Scottish independence it seems quite reasonable to clarify that the term "Ireland" is being used to describe the political entity, which I presume you agree is indeed a Republic. "RoI" is a widely accepted way to make that distinction, and is neither incorrect not (usually) offensive.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: As an American

neo-Christian caliphate

That would be quite a mind-boggling version of "neo-"

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: What’s in a name?

please point me to the part of that act which extinguished the Kingdom of Ireland. (Note also that that act was repealed by the Northern Ireland Act 1998.)

Even that Kingdom wasn't exactly independent, since it was only created in 1542 to promote the King of England from a simple Lord of Ireland to King of Ireland, English Kings had already been sovereign over Ireland for 350+ years, since Henry required the Irish nobles to swear allegiance in the 1170's. That's without getting into Laudabiliter...

Before that there were High Kings, but they weren't heriditary monarchs over a united kingdom as we'd think of a King today, a High King was more like a federal president over a bunch of squabbling Länder.

I don't think any of that can be used as precedent for a Scottish separation, especially since Salmond says he expects the Queen to remain as Queen of Scotland.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Funny how many are voting yes

Well, they're saying they'll vote yes. After the panic reaction by Westminster, offering more devolution concessions to buy them off, it would be foolish for any Scot to tell a pollster they'll vote No, no matter how they actually plan to vote. The bigger the Yes in the polls, the more concessions, then vote No on the day to lock them in. It's a no brainer now, thanks to the Cameron/Clegg/Milliband circus. Most children learn that sort of blackmail by the time they're 6.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Such businesses usually hedge their bets by making sure that if they have a debt in one currency, they find a way to leverage a debt in the other. Even when this balances out properly there's usually an additional cost to manage this, and inevitably some risk since the bets never balance 100%. I think that's what was meant, having to cater to two currencies is quite possible, but puts up prices.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Geneva Convention

British passports held by Scottish citizens could arguably be deemed invalid,

I don't think that can happen. British citizenship that is acquired by birth cannot be removed or renounced, no matter where the citizen is currently living. Even if such a person were to acquire Scottish citizenship through new Scottish rules, they would still be a UK citizen as far as the UK government is concerned.

The closest comparison is probably when the RoI left the UK. Ireland created its own citizenship and passport, separate from that of the UK, but existing passport holders were unaffected. I don't know if people born today in the RoI have any choice other than Irish citizenship, if they are born to Irish parents. Anyone born in N. Ireland has the choice of British or Irish citizenship, that was the case when both nations claimed the terroritory and it's been enshrined in law after the recent agreements.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: It will be business as usual.

To my mind all the "issues" like the currency, oil, defence* and all the rest are current unknown in the UK let alone in an independent Scotland.

Which is surely the biggest reason not to rush into it. Alex Salmond is so determined to go down in history as Scotland's first President that he has his head firmly in the sand when it comes to all the difficult problems. "I'm not worried, it'll all work out OK in the end" is a downright stupid attitude for any politician who is seriously campaigning for such a major change as independent statehood. Salmond could well go down in history as the first Scottish president to be impeached for financial malpractice!

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: What's in a name?

clearly not united.

Let's keep it simple, we could just become the Untied Kingdom.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: It will be business as usual.

Scotland will continue to use the pound.

It can use it, but will have absolutely no control over it, which is a recipe for financial disaster. No country can survive using a currency whose interest and exchange rates can be unilaterally changed without any consultation. That's a large part of the problem in the Euro zone, where the euro largely tracks the German economy and places like Greece and Italy just have to put up with it. At least they nominally have some measure of input, and there's some measure of obligation on the part of the ECB to support those countries when their economy has problems. None of that would apply to an independent Scotland that simply chose to use the pound outside of an agreed currency union, and London has ruled out such a union, despite Salmond refusing to believe it.

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Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: They are making profits of over £100m...

It doesn't matter that it bears no relation to real-life usage. What it does do is provide a comparison between two different makes/models, using one standardised baseline, so comparisons can be made.

But the comparisons are meaningless, because the baseline is unrealistic, and the manufacturers distort the ECU map so much to score highly that it damages the car's performance in real conditions.

What you get are "official" figures that show that Car A does 50 mpg on the test, Car B does 45mpg. In real life Car A does 37mpg, and car B does 39 mpg in average conditions, and when you get them remapped by a professional tuner they both go up to 45mpg (but would then fare worse on the EU tests).

How has the standard comparison been of any use whatsoever? All it shows is that manufacturer of Car A is better at fine-tuning the ECU map to optimise the engine for an imaginary journey, but at the expense of poorer figures in other circumstances. The ony place to get meaningful comparisons is from the car magazines and web sites who use the car in real conditions for several weeks or months.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: ? @squilookie

Android phones don't have that sort of second hand value

That's because people buy them to use, not as fashion accessories, and don't feel the need to have a new one every year simply because it's new.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: They are making profits of over £100m...

If the EU wanted to make a difference on the telco front, all it needs to do is somehow force honest comparison, because only then you'd get honest competition that benefits the user.

Arrgghhh no!

It would be like that totally pointless "MPG on the EU cycle" figure that car manufacturers have to publish, even though it bears no relation to real-life usage.

We do not need more political interference in helping us choose things. If there is a need, the market will fill it. When Phones4U started the high street was the place to find such info, taking commission from the suppliers, now the web provides it, funded by advertising from the suppliers.

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The week in tech news with cracking coverage from Regina Eggbert

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: It's Rumoured ...

Regina does three or four soldiers at a time.

That's just a bad yolk.

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Read The Gods of War for every tired cliche you never wanted to see in a sci fi book

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Ian M

None of this comes close to Ian M Bank's scope for wars in Spaaaace.

Oh, I'm not so sure. I'm half-way through re-reading EE Smith's Lensman books, which are available as free ebooks. Dated, especially the romance, but the space wars are still well-written.

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Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Bom bom bomb!

Why, Phil? Do you have one with his name on it too?

You're not a Blackadder IV fan then, I take it?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Bom bom bomb!

it makes complete sense for the security forces to take bombs to airports

Do you perchance have a bullet with your name written on it in your pocket?

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It's official: LOHAN's arboreal avoidance algorithm is PANTS

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I'm glad that LOHAN has PANTS

Now we just need to make sure they stay up for the whole flight

You mean it needs Ballocket Rubber Arse-Covering Extendible Straps ?

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Airbus developing inkjet printer for planes

Phil O'Sophical
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the Windows driver will be 745MB for some reason.

That'll be the Google toolbar.

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HP gulps cloud upstart Eucalyptus, says Helion is all-in for ... OpenStack

Phil O'Sophical
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Anyone taking bets on how long it will be before Mickos starts crying in his beer about how HP has ruined Eucalyptus? While sunbathing on his yacht in the Caribbean...

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Sun's MASSIVE solar storm belch to light up Earth's skies

Phil O'Sophical
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A small clarification, please

Is it aimed at Earth now, or aimed at where Earth will be when it intercepts our orbit?

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Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Off with his head!

Absolutely. Now they can do him for serious crimes like copyright infringement, not just murder and rape. He'll get major jail time now.

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