* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

2139 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Biologists gasp at lemur's improbably colossal bollocks

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: AKA the Madagascarin space-hopper

If I were holding something with eyes that were bugged out like that I'd be shit scared to let go unless I was in Kevlar...

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Ford recalls 433,000 cars: Software bug breaks engine off-switch

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: And again ..

Man its fun watching that happen, although i'd imagine shit scary if it happened to you.

It's scary enough watching from nearby, I don't think I'd like to open the bonnet and look for the air intake while the engine was attempting to self-destruct. CO₂ fire extinguisher emptied through the grille, perhaps?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: And again ..

get back in the car and stall it.

You're assuming a clutch, I think. Most US cars are automatics, much harder to stall.

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Mastercard facial recog-ware will unlock your money using SELFIES

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Heartbeat recognition??

Very exciting!

Do they have special processing algorithms for purchases made at Alton Towers, or in "massage" parlours?

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "I thank Baroness McDonagh for"

someone dumb enough to stand on the footplate....

What's Martha Lane-Fox doing these days?

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‘Clandestines' prompt British border blockade in France

Phil O'Sophical
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Joke

Just goes to show, we should never have given Calais back to the French.

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Uber execs charged, will stand trial in France

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: refreshing

to see some execs who broke the law actually get arrested for once.

allegedly broke the law. The trial hasn't been held yet, it's a bit soon to pass sentence.

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VPNs are so insecure you might as well wear a KICK ME sign

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Hide My Ass

If you did have an internet-connected donkey you'd probably want to have it hidden, to keep the RSPCA off your back.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Do the users of these services care?

I get the impression that for many of the services listed the big draw is that they can be used, cheaply, to bypass geolocation, so folks in the UK can watch US Netflix, or those in the US can get to BBC iPlayer. The "Virtual Network" bit is the important one, not the "Private". Surely most people who need really solid privacy from a VPN tunnel, for work, etc., will be using a commercial product supplied by their company, such as Cisco AnyConnect, and connecting back to secured company servers?

Do people really trust companies with names like "Hide My Ass" to, well, securely hide their ass?

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Hide the HUD, say boffins, they're bad for driver safety

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "a pilot is also taught when it's safe to ignore the view outside"

And I have to wonder, why do you "dearly like the idea of night driving with IR-enhanced HUD display showing me the road as if it were broad daylight" ?

Presumably so that one can see obstacles like drunks and unlit cyclists as easily as one can in daylight?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Wrong question

Road safety went IMHO off a cliff after speeding fines were automated via cameras instead of putting people on the road.

It's no coincidence that road casualty numbers have recently been increasing in the UK, and are now trending the same way in France just after the French government started installing revenue cameras everywhere.

Maybe some of these university boffins could run a study into that correlation? Methinks the grant money might be hard to find, though.

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GM's cheaper-than-Tesla 'leccy car tested at batt-powered data centre

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Don't believe it

One charger in the dead center of every 50x50 square would be a charger within 50 mile of you everywhere.

It's technically true, but meaningless. 50 miles as the crow flies doesn't help if it's 100 miles by road to get there, nor does it help if there are 500 vehicles all wanting a charge within that 50-mile-a-side square.

It's like the mobile phone networks that cover "98% of the population". Great if you're in the home counties, useless if you're in deepest Scotland.

It's just a propaganda figure.

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Phil O'Sophical
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FAIL

Re: Don't believe it

5) You would only need about 1,500 fast chargers to cover the entire US or EU every 50 miles.

That's a spurious figure. The USA has just under 4m square miles of area, so that's 1 fast charger per 2500 sq miles. That equates to one charger per 50x50 mile square, which is not at all the same as one charger every 50 miles. Lies, damned lies, and statistics...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Joke

Re: What a horrible paint job

shout loudly "I'm coming! I'm coming"

Immediately followed by "You bastard, you were supposed to pull out" ?

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That man told me to stuff a ROLE up my USER ENTRY!

Phil O'Sophical
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Happy

My name is not Pat.

There is the old story about the actress Diana Dors, whose real name, the one her home village knew her by, was Diana Fluck. She was due back in the village to open the village fete, and the local dignitary charged with introducing her was terrified about getting it wrong and embarassing himself. He concentrated really hard on getting that 'l' right...so much so that he introduced her as Diana Clunt.

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Humongous headsets and virtual insanity

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Proprioception

you have no idea if someone else is standing there in the room watching you.

Or if they, via the hacked cameras in your smartphone, are enjoying their own remote VR experience of you enjoying your VR experience of......

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Shadow of the Beast: Amiga classic returns from the darkness

Phil O'Sophical
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Thumb Up

Re: the demise of Guru Meditations

Guru Meditations are also still to be found in Virtualbox, I saw one only last week.

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Samsung caught disabling Windows Update to run its own bloatware

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: There is a problem though!

On Linux, I do "ldd /path/to/some.so", see what is missing and can easily install required libs with apt,

Really? I think you forgot the bit where you have to download a new Perl module from CPAN, which takes most of the evening finding and installing the 27 other modules that are interdependent, plus the new (or maybe old) version of GCC you have to install so that you can recompile something you don't need but is part of the library dependencies, and the trendy new scripting interpreter that you've never heard of before and which the developer has used for the startup, instead of using bash like everyone else.

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10 things you need to avoid SNAFUs in your data centre

Phil O'Sophical
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Ah, the days when disk drives needed 3-phase motors :) Probably held all of 100MB?

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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

Phil O'Sophical
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Actually, the leading 9 was chosen so that payphones could easily be modified to connect the calls free of charge.

Not in the UK, it would have been as easy to use 111, since other level 1 calls (operator, directory enquiries, etc.) were already free (DQ isn't free now, of course).

The problem was that in the early days many phone cables were bare overhead wires, and just blowing around in the wind could cause them to dial a series of 1s. They still wanted a number that would be easy to dial on a rotary dial phone in the dark, so picked a number at the other end of the dial where it could easily be found by touch. Then by keeping a finger in the hole, you just rotated the dial 3 times, for 999.

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WikiLeaks spaffs files showing NSA spied on French presidents

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I'd be more suprised if they DIDN'T spy on us

I'd be more suprised if they DIDN'T spy on us

Me too. The Americans spy on the French, and the Germans, Britons, etc. They all spy on the Americans, and each other, it's how the game is played.

No doubt there will be some face-saving diplomatic communiqués issued, but I'd imagine that the real reason for the crisis meeting at the Élysée is not because the Americans spied on French presidents, but that they successfully spied on French presidents. Someone in the French counter-intelligence services is in for a bollocking, and a head or two may roll behind closed doors.

Then again, we are talking about a president who popped out of the palace on his scooter for visits to his mistress, and didn't expect anyone to notice...

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Triple glitch grounds ALL aircraft in New Zealand

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: yeah real funny with those sheep

yeah real funny with those sheep

It's the double-ewe, double-ewe, double-ewe problem.

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Beat the clock

I wonder what's keeping him from increasing the clock speed.

Propagation delays across those square metres of panels, I'd guess.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Completely and utterly bonkers

The RAM's turning out to be quite sizable. A square inch per bit !

Sounds like he's using static RAM, maybe he should have tried a dynamic RAM design? With decent capacitor sizes he wouldn't have too fast a refresh cycle...

I suppose core memory would be better still, if he's into knitting!

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Kamikaze Rosetta probe to ram comet it's chased for billions of miles

Phil O'Sophical
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Happy

Re: "and later we will have to try and determine where on the surface we can have a touchdown"

And then in the distant future, in a solar system far, far way, maybe another NASA will send another probe to a passing comet, and find Philae and what's left of Rosetta. I'd love to see the reaction to those pictures.

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Microsoft sez soz over Windows 10 'freebie' balls-up

Phil O'Sophical
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And if I do upgrade my W7 system, but later decide that W10 is crap, can I go back to a W7 image, or will it then have been deactivated?

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FLICK my FLINT and SNIFF my TREE on the streets of Naples

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Welcome Back

Well that would be the logical answer except that I'm single and without a girlfriend.

Identity theft? Wait until the child support payment demands start arriving...

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John Fowler survives latest chapter of Oracle's Game of Thrones

Phil O'Sophical
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Trollface

Re: So who's Daenerys Targaryen at Oracle then?

A sexy blonde outsider who's biding her time before making a takeover bid while running a rather thankless outdated empire elsewhere?

Sounds like Marissa Meyer to me.

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Google-owned smart-gumble-maker Nest snubs Google's smart-gumble OS Brillo

Phil O'Sophical
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What kind of home has a furnace

An American one, it's US-speak for a central heating boiler (because US CH often circulates hot air and not hot water)

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Phil O'Sophical
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There's an inherent contradiction in all this

To make these systems accessible to the average user who just wants plug'n'play they need to work without requiring inbound connections to your home network from the internet, with all the security and dynamic-IP hassles that brings.

The solution they all adopt is to have the devices call back to a server for instructions, and the user then logs into that server, via browser or an app, to do the config.

All OK today, but:

Taken altogether, these latest revamps and iterations continue to keep Nest ahead of its growing competition in the smart-tech market.

so in 10 years time the new Nest devices will look nothing like the current ones, and any software to control the current ones will be obsolete. Does this mean that I will have to constantly upgrade my thermostat to the latest model ust to make sure it can still talk to the controlling server? I have an MP3 and streaming audio player that I bought maybe 10 years ago. It still works, but the server that supplied the radio stream info closed years ago. To get it to work I have to host a fake server on my home system.

Replacing bits of a HiFi every 5-10 years is something a non-technical user may be prepared to do, but I'm sure as hell not going to replace my home heating system that often. Maybe every 20-30 years when I have to replace the boiler, but no sooner.

All this stuff is just unnecessarily complex for the simple job of household automation. It may have a place in a business environment where refurbishment of offices every 10 years is normal. I can't help but think there'll be a flurry of early adopters of this, followed by disillusionment and decline into obscurity.

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JavaScript creator Eich's latest project: KILL JAVASCRIPT

Phil O'Sophical
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And so the wheel turns

Any day now they'll reinvent UCSD P-Code...

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Sharing Economy latest: Women's BREAST MILK is the new 'liquid GOLD' of the internet

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Apparantly ...

Caveat emptor, as always, especially online.

Yep, where there's brass, there's muck.

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Noshing moth menaces misled into male-on-male mating

Phil O'Sophical
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orgies of male-on-male sex

But, but,...Won't anyone think of the caterpillars?

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Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Bounce

the one thing you don't want is something that can bounce

We need comet velcro...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Over engineered?

See also "For want of a nail"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Want_of_a_Nail

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Would EU exit 'stuff' the UK? Tech policy boss gets diplomatic

Phil O'Sophical
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Hmm. Logically speaking, if you don't have rules in the first place you can't cheat...

If we did turn up we screamed and shouted as we learned to do at Eton and Oxford ("debating") and left in a huff when we found out that everyone else had been negotiating sensibly.

Exaggerations apart, this is one of the problems that countries like the UK face. When a stupid idea is proposed, it's the countries like the UK who reply "I say, old boy, that's a damned stupid idea" and so get into trouble.

The French play the game much better. They reply "Sacré Blue, quel spiffing idea, vieux garçon", then they return home laughing at the stupid idea and implement something ambiguously similar which works much better for them. Everybody says 'difficult bloody Brits, why can't they be like the French?"

Statistically the eurosceptic countries like the UK and Denmark have a much better track record of implementing EU regulations exactly as they were designed, but because they argued and negotiated first they get the bad press.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: “national measures” continue to entangle the single market

You don't have to join the Eurozone to join EU. Neither Czech Republic, Poland or Croata use Euro!

One of the conditions for joining the EU now is a commitment to join the Euro within a set time. Some countries, like the UK, negotiated opt-outs when they joined, but the EU has made it clear that no-one else will be allowed to do that. Czech Republic and Croatia do not, AFAIK, have an opt-out, and so they must join the Euro at some defined point in the future. Poland I'm not sure about.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A question of English?

Doesn't need them to be petty - they have a direct self-interest in ensuring that if they can.

And isn't that the root of the whole problem.

Prior to the EU, the common market, despite its failings, did a decent job. It provided a solid trading basis for large, sovereign nations and ensured free movement of people and goods. Left like that Europe could have gone on to decades of success and prosperity. It worked for most people, and most businesses.

Unfortunately that didn't work for the politicians, since "trade" was beneath them. They had no way to make their mark nor justify their existence with mere commercial work so they created the EU, a political masterpiece supposedly run by politicians, most of whom seem to get paid for doing nothing. They added their favorite vanity project, the single currency, fudging the convergence criteria to force it into existence. They're happy, they have their pointless elections with the laughable turnount and their 'legacy'. "Grexit" isn't going to do more than give them mild indigestion after the 2nd bottle of Chateau Lafitte, but it's been a downhill slide into mediocrity since then. Far from 50 years of prosperity, I think people looking back 50 years from now will see the EU much as we see the USSR; as a failed political experiment that ruined most of its members.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: “national measures” continue to entangle the single market

Ironically leaving the European Union and joining the European Economic Area

The UK is already a member of both the EU and the EEA, it signed the EEA agreement in 1992 and ratified it in 1993. There's no theoretical bar to it leaving the EU's political institutions while remaining in the EEA.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Straight banana

very sensible and forward thinking.

Well, if thinking forward to getting relected without having to give up the expense-account travel and lunches counts as sensible...

Frankly you could nuke the entire EU parliament tomorrow, and if it didn't make the news I doubt if anyone would notice this side of Christmas.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Well, we're screwed then

The people voted against Scottish independence, yet voted in overwhelmingly the party who has that as it's goal.

Those are answers to two different questions. I would interpret those results as a clear message that they want to remain in the UK (the referendum), but that within the UK they want to be represented by people who have Scottish interests as the highest priority (the election). It doesn't seem a contradictory position to me.

apparently, in a group, if 10 people want to go to the pub, but each choose a different pub, but 2 in the group choose the same coffee shop, all 12 of them will happily spend Saturday night drinking coffee)

Not at all, that's confusing democracy with majority rule.

In the situation as you mention it, the two who drink coffee have a moral obligation to meet for their coffee in a pub at least some Saturday nights.

The PR situation is where 2 people only drink coffee, 5 people like lager, but are OK with coffee sometimes and 5 people much prefer ale but also occasionally drink coffee. Every saturday ends up in the coffee shop because it's the only thing that ever gets a majority agreement.

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Phil O'Sophical
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A question of English?

said he couldn’t believe the UK would be mad enough to vote itself out of Europe

I suppose that depends on whether "mad" is interpreted as "crazy" or "angry".

Anyway, I've not heard many people who want to break the economic, EEA-style ties with Europe, they just want to get out from under the political control. The real questions are how to do that, and whether the EU will let it happen. Many of the Eurocrats are just petty enough to do everything they can to ensure that a country which leaves will fail, if only to avoid the embarassment of it being more successful outside of Brussels/Strasbourg's political control.

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Japanese female fish in sperm-producing strangeness

Phil O'Sophical
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Headmaster

That Oxford comma makes all the difference...

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Women are fleeing from the digital sector, reckons UK.gov report

Phil O'Sophical
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Coat

Yes, but I mean if you want to imply that the person was a general guru and had a wide knowledge of older systems.

Fits most of the VAX experts that I know...

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Top Eurocop: People are OK with us snooping on their phone calls

Phil O'Sophical
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"pre-policing"

Is that another way of saying "guilty until proven innocent" ?

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Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder

Phil O'Sophical
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Indeed. Cows aren't sentient, they're just machines to turn grass into milk,with the added advantage that one can barbecue them when they get EOLed.

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Spanish TV journo leaves subordinates cowering after verbal shoeings

Phil O'Sophical
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More like the Linus Torvalds "Getting the best from contributors" class.

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Paper driving licence death day: DVLA website is still TITSUP

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Another mess up with the DVLA paperless scheme....

The sensible Continental system of a new annual number plate seems to have been beyond us,

Which continent would that be? Are you suggesting that other countries issue a new number plate each year? I doubt that many do that.

but then we are the only country silly enough to obsess over personalised number plates.

The US has had them for years, but they're banned in most (all?) EU states. The UK does allow people to sell registrations, so that JUL 1 E and SUS 1 E go for silly money, but those aren't personalized per-se. There are some amusing ones, the Hastings Hotels group in N. Ireland is (was?) run by Bill and Joy Hastings, and they could be seen rolling around Belfast in cars with BIL 1066 and JOI 1066 plates.

UK law still prohibits the use of a license plate that could make a car seem younger than it is (i.e. a 1980 plate on a 1960 car), which can limit the fun & games a bit.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Words fail me.

That's a problem with your insurance company policies (or more likely, their misspecced software). Nothing to do with the EU or local laws, etc. I presume you would still have been able to get insurance, after speaking to some actual human

Oh yes, it was entirely down to the software. The person just said "well, we'll have to lie about when you passed your test". My point is that it shows that the EU does not have consistent procedures where only the UK is out of step and being difficult. Its different in every country, but the tw*ts who write the software, for the DVLA and elsewhere, have no clue. Just like American website software which assumes every address must have a State field.

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Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: And how is this surprising

Isn't diplomacy exciting? Less art, more soap opera.

Who was it said that "diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggy' until you can find a rock" ? Will Rogers?

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