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* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

1380 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

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Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Fuse Blown - I can fix that

Hmm, no RCDs in your installation, then?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Fuse Blown - I can fix that

TskTsk. When you need to plug a Euro plug into a BS1363 socket, you insert the scissors in the Earth hole to push down the shield, then insert the plug pins into the newly-accessible L/N holes. There shouldn't be any need to waste a perfectly good 13A plug.

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Win gorgeous strap-on, enter whole new world with Reg compo

Phil O'Sophical
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You'd never believe that a week before this photo he had a full head of hair, and was clean-shaven.

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Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A brilliant idea!

£4500. Now THAT is style!

No, that is the benefit of 'merkin tourism :)

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 9 to 5

Unless it's in their contract to be available 24/7, why wouldn't anyone in any country do the same?

Exactly. My boss is 6 timezone hours away from me. We both take a very reasonable position, phones have an off switch for a reason. When we're happy to be contacted, during the day or otherwise, we leave the phone on. When we feel it's time to be off-duty, with family or whatever, we turn them off. Anyone who calls can leave a message. In special circumstances, maybe an unhappy customer, we arrange to make an extra effort.

Sometimes I do conf calls at 11pm. Sometimes I decide "fuck it" and turn the phone off at 4pm. My choice, and I'm fortunate to have a boss who feels the same way. So did the boss before him. It's called a "decent job". As long as I get my work done, when I said I'd do it, no problems.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Draconian

Polish your skills, act like a fucking professional and schedule the next person that calls for an after lunch slot two weeks from next Thursday and charge them for setting the appointment.

Would that be after lunch my time, or after lunch their time on the other side of the world?

I know which one will lose the customer...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Allowable overtime means they can creep up to almost 40 hours?

That's exactly why the 35-hour week screwed the very workers that it was supposed to be for, the ones who vote socialist.

Martine Aubry (daughter of Jaques Delors, of Sun headline fame), who introduced it, initially suggested that it would reduce unemployment because companies would have to hire additional staff to make up for the 'lost' hours. After that was ridiculed by economists she changed tack and said it was a "progressive social measure to give French workers more leisure time". At which point the white-collar unions, whose members are not paid hourly, asked how their members would benefit from this increased leisure time. The result was an extra 5-12 days per year of "special" vacation for white-collar staff.

Then the blue-collar unions pointed out that it would be unfair for their staff to have their pay cut by being obliged to work fewer hours, and threatened strikes, result was that they got paid the same for 35 hours as they would have done for 39. This included raising the minimum wage. At that point the employers realised that they couldn't afford to hire additional staff, and the least-worst option would be to offer overtime pay to the existing staff, to get them back to 39 hours. Since this would make it look even more stupid, the government placed limits on overtime to avoid the whole exercise being moot.

Unfortunately, lots of very low-paid people had been used to doing large amounts of overtime, 10+ hours a week, to make ends meet. They got really screwed since they lost almost all of it (or moved to the black market, paid under the table, and hence not paying tax on it).

End result is that the hourly-paid workers who voted the government into power came off worst, the employers' costs went up, and the white-collar workers who would normally vote for the rightwingers were laughing all the way to the beach. Needless to say when Sarkozy came to power and tried to relax the 35-hour rules to make France more productive it was the very people who supported him that refused. Helped by the blue-collar unions who promptly said that if their members were going to work more hours in a week they obviously expected more money...

The only real downside was that those white-collar workers with the extra vacation didn't actually see their workload decreasing, they just had to do it in fewer days, hence each working day got longer. That, presumably, is the reason for this new legislation.

The whole thing is a gigantic clusterfuck, from an economically incompetent government, greedy intransigent unions, and 19th century labour laws. And the government still can't understand why the economy is in the shit, the president has a record-beating 19% popularity rating, and the Front National had their best ever score in the municipal elections.

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

Phil O'Sophical
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Alien

almost 100 posts

and nobody's suggested Iludium Q-36 yet?

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USB reversible cables could become standard sooner than you think

Phil O'Sophical
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The USB standard plug should have been semi-circular in the first place. Or reversible, of course.

Or coaxial, like a headphone jack.

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Ancient Earth asteroid strike that dwarfed dinosaur killer still felt today

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Fascinating

It should be measured in Essex girl knee tremblers.

We'd need a bigger unit than that.

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Apple to flush '£37bn' down the bog if it doesn't flog cheapo slabtops

Phil O'Sophical
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Unhappy

Crap in a box

They don't even need the crap. Just say that the box has Applecrap in it, but can't be opened by non-qualified personnel, and it will still sell. Sad, innit.

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How Brit computer maker beat IBM's S/360 - and Soviet spies

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Plus ça change...

There's the assumption here (it seems) that the ICL 1900 and 2900 were, in some way, poorer hardware/software compared to that being offered by IBM. I can't agree with that idea. I spent about 10 years programming on ICL mainframes (mostly 2900) and when ICL lost bids it was rarely on a technical basis.

They also had a wonderful (for its time) OS, George IV. 1900s were so well liked and used that many (most?) 2900's sold were actually used to run a 1900 emulator to keep old software running.

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Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The needle returns to the start of the song...........

UKIP are the only real option in the next elections

Well the next elections are the European ones in May, and I certainly would ike to see UKIP sweep the board, if only to see the reaction in Brussels and Westminster.

Heaven help us if they ever got elected to a position wiuth any power, though.

I am sure UKIP don't smell of roses, their leader at least has the virtue of not always avoiding the questions

Yes, but only because he takes the Salmond approach: "The answer is Independence. What was the question again?"

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: poacher/gamekeeper

Or trial by ordeal?

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Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

Phil O'Sophical
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If (s)he's sitting on your lap, why do you want to watch TV?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Pincushion effect

Was pincushion distortion, if it exists outside curved TV sales meetings, reduced by the old fashioned curved (outwards) CRT screens ?

Yes. When TVs moved from scanning an angle of 90degrees to 110, to allow a wider and flatter screen without getting deeper, the correction circuitry for things like pincushion distortion got much more complex. Anywhere that you're projecting the image of a sphere onto a non-spherical surface will result in pincushion distortion. It's particularly awkward with colour TVs that have three guns (RGB) in a triangular pattern, since each gun needs it's own, different, correction.

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Wookiee! CHEWIE'S BACK in Star Wars Ep VII – blab Hollywood 'sources'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Mr Creosote

Dare I ask what a "fucking bucket" looks like, and why you would need one if you have three beautiful young leads?

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Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: $25 per year sounds really cheap to me...

When you add in the $10 for your domain, another $12 for email, $20 for hosting, it not only all adds up, but there's no reason why something a simple as a dynamic DNS service should be the most expensive component. Obviously I wouldn't run a business on services at that price-point, but for domestic use looking after the pennies is important.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: So what are the alternatives that people recommend?

When Dyn pulled this on me last year I paid them for a year, while I found an alternative, but have now switched to no-ip. I am now ignoring Dyn's nagging to renew, they'll get the message eventually. One advantage of no-ip is that many of the standard home ADSL routers support it, so there's no need to add some custom server & scripts. Just configure the router as you used to for Dyn.

Sure, there are technically more sophisticated approaches, but for home use to let me connect back to my Mum's network when I need to, KISS is still the best approach.

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USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: even more exclusion?

"content not available in your country".

if its paid for by my bloody TV license then I want access to it.

Which is the whole point, of course. The bits that aren't available to the UK have been paid for by BBC Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm which is legally not perrmitted to supply services in the UK under the terms of the BBC charter. They have not been paid for by your bloody TV licence.

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Driver drama delays deep desert XP upgrade

Phil O'Sophical
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After years of installing Linux on all sorts of hardware I've never had any problems such as you describe - just install a mainstream distro.!

You mean a stable Debian release isn't mainstream? I've spent 30-odd years working with various Unix flavours, and Linux is by far the worst for "dependency hell".

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Phil O'Sophical
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Clearly not, because Linux would have "just worked". :)

Well, "just worked" after 3 hours of installing package A because package B depends on it, but finding that C only works with A version 3, which isn't compatible with the latest B so you have to download the beta B sources & recompile, except the compilation needs header X which uses a predefined keyword only present in a newer update to the compiler, which won't run on your kernel version until you update module Q and spend an hour googling how to configure it. Oh yes, and then there are the 27 Perl modules you need to get from CPAN so that the Makefile runs to completion.

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BT Tower to be replaced by 3D printed BT Tower

Phil O'Sophical
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And a very happy April 1st to all at El Reg

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As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free

Phil O'Sophical
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Z80 was better than 6502

Hey, them's fightin' words, pal...

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Revealed: What the US taxman really thinks of crypto-cash Bitcoin

Phil O'Sophical
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$$$ you spent on that ASIC miner, plus import taxes, and they'd quite happily be taxing you on the electricity supply used to run it too.

But wouldn't those be expenses incurred while earning the bitcoins, and therefore allowable against tax?

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Stop fondling that slab and shag, says lover rubber-glover

Phil O'Sophical
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You can get ones that glow.

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Ancient telly, check. Sonos sound system, check. OMG WOAH

Phil O'Sophical
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Where does the time go?

Time is money, and the TV manufacturers want more of ours. All change!

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HP bypasses Microsoft in device-as-a-service assault

Phil O'Sophical
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And of course "recurring revenue" is "recurring expense" when viewed from the other side.

If this is "device as a service", does a standalone laptop/tablet with all your software and data installed become "service as a device" ? Unplug'n'play, so to speak.

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Ray-Ban to produce Google Glass data-goggs: Cool - or Tool?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Like the Blues Brothers reference

Think of the processing power you could get in a pair of Wayfarers!

Nevermind the processing power, think of the battery life. You could go, oh, hours before having to recharge.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Ooooohhhh Shiny-shiny

Hope I can still get them without Glasshole circuitry.

It will be interesting to see how it falls out. I can well imagine this sort of scene:

"Hey, those Oakley glasses, are they the Google spy ones"

"No"

"You sure? Take them off, I don't want you recording in here"

"No, I need them to see"

"Hah, think I'm stupid? That's a lens there, isn't it? Get outta here, pervert!"

Bit like when MFI (reputation for cheap crap) bought Hygena (reputation for decent mid-range kitchens). Instead of seeing MFI as a more up-market company, people just said "Oh, Hygena kitchens, they're just MFI crap now. Perceptions can go either way...

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Schoolkids given WORLD'S CHEAPEST TABLETS: Is it really that hard to swallow?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: All the world's knowledge

As a teenager I was envious of my neighbour's complete printed set of Encyclopedia Britannica, which cost hundreds of pounds. Now I can get the whole thing on a DVD for £9.99. Forget Encarta or Wikipedia, use a real repository of knowledge.

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The plot to kill Google cloud: We'll rename Windows Azure to MICROSOFT Azure

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: When will the next name change be?

What is so special about azure?

It's a sort of "Little Blue", isn't it? Maybe one day they hope it will grow up to be a Big Blue?

In the meantime it doesn't have so far to go to get to Blue(SOD) when it crashes.

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It's 2014 and you can pwn a PC by opening a .RTF in Word, Outlook

Phil O'Sophical
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WTF does a document format have to have executable capability?

Has anyone suggested that it does, or that this is where the problem lies? Most bugs like this work by corrupting the code of the tool that is processing them, for example by overflowing internal buffers with data whose length is incorrectly declared. The file just contains data which happens to mean something to the CPU, it's the buggy utility that is tricked into executing it.

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BOFH: On the PFY's Scottish estate, no one can hear you scream...

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: This would be funny except ...

an urbane composter

I've heard of refined fuels, but isn't that taking it a bit far?

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Deiberately missing the point???

Did I mention that I would make keeping an empty property a punishable offence?

Sounds like a fast way to create a housing shortage, and push up rents. Are you sure you're not a capitalist landlord in disguise?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Deiberately missing the point???

Tell me you own an apartment in central London

No, nor any desire to own one. I have no desire to live in a big city, and would only live in London as a last resort, if I couldn't find a job elsewhere. If I did have to live there I'd rent so I could get out as fast as possible.

or at least that you can afford the rent there.

Yes, I could. Maybe not for a penthouse, but a decent 2-bedroom one wouldn't be a problem.

Happy now? :)

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Somehow this came to mind....

Firstly, we have a labour surplus -- more workers than jobs.

That presupposes the fallacy that the number of jobs is somehow finite. It isn't. Weatlh creates new jobs, which create more wealth. Not evenly distributed, of course, but the system wouldn't work if it was. It is inevitable that there will be (and always has been) more workers than jobs, otherwise there would be no scope to create new jobs.

And secondly, we have a new "consuming class" who, if they work at all, don't do anything so indispensable that anyone would notice if they withdrew their labour.

That's not new either. The difference is that, in the past, such a class was small and funded from inherited wealth. Today it is larger and a substantial part is funded from redistributed wealth, in the form of social welfare.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Happy

It's worse in France

Amusingly the French press picked up on the report, and looked at the situation under what they described as their "much-vaunted social model". They found that the situation is even worse, the 5 wealthiest French families own as much as 30% of the poorest, with one family taking 20% all by itself. As the paper said "so, the wealth gap is France is certainly abyssal. As much, indeed more, than across the channel".

Ohh, M. Hollande, I'll bet that smarts. Not often France beats the UK when you don't want it to :)

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Unless they're from the lucky sperm club they've got negative wealth

Unfortunately it seems that human nature is that some always want more than others and are not happy being equal.

True, and I personally think that's a good thing, it encourages progress.

Equally, of course, some always are happy with less if they can get it for the least work, and that's fine too. We shouldn't waste time trying to push them to do more if they don't want to, for example by forcing them to go to university if they'd be happier living in a caravan and farming an allotment. Each to his or her own.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Deiberately missing the point???

What they will never do is unseat the landed gentry and prise the majority of those assets out of the hands of the descendants of someone awarded in the dark annals of history for some forgotten act of loyalty.

History clearly shows otherwise. Land today is far more widely and evenly distributed than it was even 200 years ago. My father's often-unemployed dad paid rent for a council house that was on land owned by "the city". My dad eventually owned his own house on land that has previously owned by a Viscount somebody (amusingly, the deeds showed that when the land was sold the original family retained the hunting rights. I'd love to see them try, "Tally Ho! Mind that patio chair."). Here in 2014 I own my own house and land, and paid off my mortgage at a younger age than my dad did. No lucky sperm, no rich benefactor, just taking advantage of opportunities when they appeared, and bloody hard work all round.

Sure, there are still plenty of very wealthy people around, good luck to them. We all have the chance to get there, or part-way at least. Not everyone could be bothered to try.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Capitalist pigs

Get together with a few like minded souls, buy a bit of land, farm it and achieve self sufficiency. Make music, art and love together. Show them you're not cogs in their capitalist machine, and that actually you'd prefer to live, to create, and to play

What a shockingly tedious, mediæval, way to live. I'll stick to capitalism any time, it may not be perfect but at least that way I can earn the money to enjoy my life, not piss it away in a hippy tent on a remote bog somewhere.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I am shocked

I am very surprised to discover that I live in a social democracy. I was under the impression it was a constitutional monarchy

The two terms are not mutually-exclusive

only without the constitution.

Of course there's a constitution, it just isn't written down neatly on one piece of paper headed "Ye Olde Conftitution".

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Star Wars movie to start shooting in UK this summer

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: As much as I loved Star wars

expect music and dancing and laughter

Thank goodness Maria von Trapp just died, we'll be spared the Sound of The Jedi...

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Phil O'Sophical
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Why not bury a RFID tag in them?

Because they're made of metal?

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Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

Phil O'Sophical
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Think out of the box

Willowra may be remote, but it isn't on the moon. Send one guy with a pickup truck or light aircraft to collect all 8 PCs and bring them back to the nearest place with a decent internet connection, upgrade them there in comfort where you know that you can download the drivers that you inevitably forgot to put on the DVD, add extra RAM etc. as necessary. Then send them back all shiny & ready to go.

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PAF! MPs go postal over postal location data sell-off by Coalition.gov

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Ownership matters

wish to assign the main post code to the whole district.

I don't understand how this can be the case. A postcode refers to a street, or part of one, at most. Street number + postcode identifies a house, how can anyone put a postcode for a "district" on a letter?

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Phil O'Sophical
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Headmaster

Re: Another interesting hypothesis

completely decimate the craft

But they'd have found the other 90% by now, surely?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: What now?

An iPad in each plane, connected to the existing satellite transmitter--now completely locked and secured--could do the job. Data sent in the clear for everyone to see.

What are the relative risks of a mysterious plane disappearance being foiled, versus a short-circuited ShinyGadget battery causing a fire and subsequent crash?

Or the advantages of everyone knowing where a plane is, versus the disadvantages of "terrorists" etc. knowing where every plane is?

What's the likelihood of unnecessary panic when some system glitch erroneously shows a flight as having disappeared, or going off course, when it's actually fine?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "The satellite would thus know to keep one of its receiving assemblies aligned..."

ie downward at planet earth.

And for the other dimensions? Omnidirectional aerial, or a beam that can be steered around a 360° compass rose?

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NZ bloke's drunken poker bet ends in 99-letter name

Phil O'Sophical
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Not to mention Maverick, Dakota, Colt, and Scout McNealy, if you want an IT angle...

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