* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

2712 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Corbyn lied, Virgin Trains lied, Harambe died

Phil O'Sophical
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As a friend of mine used to say

<geordie>

Where I come from, it's bums keep seats, not bags.

</geordie>

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Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Simple is best

Given that 10 out of the 12 NI counties voted "remain" by substantial margin and the other 2 only "exit" by a little bit

Your figures are nonsense.

- There are only 6 counties in NI.

- The breakdown of the vote in the 18 parlimentary constituencies was

8 voted to Leave

10 voted to Remain

Interestingly the places that voted Leave were mostly the pro-UK ones, despite the main parties like the DUP and UUP being pro-EU. The ones that voted Leave, sometimes with large majorities, were those that normally return SF or SDLP MPs, despite SF having long been opposed to the EU in its present form.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Challenge to the commentariat

Can people who disgree with the sentiments expressed in the OA provide concrete proposals that could actually address the concerns raised?

Well, it's a little difficult since I don't think I've ever seen so may "what ifs" in any single article. It could perhaps be summarized as:

- It might be OK, but it will take a lot of work

- It might not be OK if we don't put some thought into it.

- Nobody really knows, and anyway the author isn't an immigration lawyer.

so no doubt the militant Remainers will use it as a reason why we're all going to die, and the militant Leavers will dismiss it as a non-problem.

Some of the figures seem exaggerated. A very large number of working people will have a clear recording of having paid tax and NI, since the EU already has rules about how basic pension contributions can be combined, so that should deal with those who are legally working. Spouses who married such a person >5 years ago would also be OK, as would children. Indeed, there would be a reasonable argument that anyone under 18 at the time of the final cutoff should be given the benefit of any doubt.

Retirees should also have a record of who paid their pension, which for the basic state pension will be their country of residence, so there again there will be a record.

I think most of us could provide proof of where we've lived for the past 5 years, so the problems will only really arise for the exceptional cases, of where there should be manageable numbers. Of course someone needs to be working on it now, and it would appear trhe the government is at least thinking about the issue.

I'd say the main thing is to hope they don't come up with an IT-based solution outsourced to Crapita.

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New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Good grief.

shut the fuck up being intolerant about it.

Yes, well...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Good grief.

anyone who believes that aprox 37% of eligible voters constitute a democratic majority for a massive change in direction isclearly an idiot

So that would be everyone who accepted the results of the last several general elections, then?

(like those who set this referendum up without a minimum threshold like that used for the 1979 scottish referendum),

Would have been nice if we'd had such a choice and threshold for joining the EU in the first place, though.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Really ....

>unless their residential rights are revoked as a result of Brexit.

It is really surprising how many people seem to think that it wasn't possible to live in another European country until the EU came along and graciously made it possible. It was not only possible, it wasn't even very difficult.

In other news, the world is not flat.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Really ....

Phil O'Sophical,

When a car full of my kids is being steered towards a cliff by the Nigel Farages of this world, I'd rather try to wrestle the wheel away from him and force a change direction rather than watch people like you postulate on how we should "make a success" of the mangled wreckage.

And I'd agree with you, except that the man at the wheel is Jean-Claude Juncker and he's the one wilfully ignoring all the signs about the cliff because it's his car and he'll be damned if he'll let anyone else tell him how or where to drive it no matter who's inside. In that case I'd probably push my kids out & jump after them, in the hope that we'd have a slightly better chance than remaining in it as we go over the edge.

Farage is just sitting in his MG with a beer observing "well, I wouldn't drive over the edge, ye daft bugger", he's irrelevant.

Brexit, as is clear on these threads, is driven by people who have a romantic view of a fictional Britain which can be made "great again" by breaking our relationship with our closest allies. This is utter bollocks, with more than a hint of xenophobia thrown in, all oiled by decades of breakfast bullshit spouted from the tabloids.

I'm really tired of the remainers characterising anyone they don't understand as racist/xenophobic fools, because that is utter bollocks. I was born before the UK joined the EEC, I've been an expat living outside the UK, in the EEC/EU, for many years, so many that I no longer have a vote in the UK. The individual countries are great places to live, and the common economic ground of the EEC helped build prosperity for all of us, but I've seen how bad the EU is first-hand. I see the rising anger in the people of those countries at the damage the EU is doing to their economic lives. Unlike the EEC, the EU fills no actual need, except the desire by politicians to control everything, to flatter their vanity by "leaving a legacy", and they are driving Europe to a very dangerous place, politically and economically. I fully support Brexit, not from some desire to rewind Britain to an impossible, non-existent past, or because of some imagined hatred of foreigners, but as a way to regain control of our own lives, and hopefuly to encourage an end to EU empire-building before it's too late.

This is not how our children's future should be decided. They are far more outward looking than their elders, and they won't thank you for being driven off a cliff.

And I sincerely believe that Brexit is the first step in securing that outward-looking future for them.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: legitimate democratic outcome

This is often mentioned. You do know there was a previous referendum to leave the EU, right? And people voted to stay in. If it was that bad to have joined it...

That is not correct. The previous referendum in 1975 concerned remaining in the common market, or EEC. That was useful, if not perfect, and I would be happy for the UK to remain in it if it existed today.

The EU, created by the treaty of Maastricht in 1992, extended by the treaty of Lisbon in 2007, is a very different beast. It's a political and monetary union, not a purely economic one, and we were given no choice about joining (by John Major) or remaining (by Tony Blair, despite his election promise of a referendum) because both knew from opinion polls that it would have been rejected. That is what Brexit voted to leave.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: legitimate democratic outcome

A margin of one in fifty when so many lies were told is legitimate?

It's more legitimate than the lies told when we joined the EU, when we weren't even given a vote because the politicians knew the result would be "No".

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Really ....

Thing is, you irreverent anonymous fuckwit, is that we have all lost. Yes, even "winners" like youNo, we haven't. We might, though, if people like you continue to beg for failure. I'd rather work to make it a success.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The big picture

Trainee UK trade negotiators will have to deal with v experienced folk on the other side.

Other countries have already offered us experienced negotiators to get the ball rolling, and train others. Some of the existing "EU" negotiators are British, and may well be enticed back to negotiate on behalf of the UK, especially if they're the type who like a challenge (the EU can keep the ones who just want a soft job).

Call me a pessimist

You're a pessimist. You assume that there's no point in trying because we can't succeed. That's a guaranteed recipe for failure.

but somehow I doubt the new trade negotiators (who, incidentally, would be "unelected, faceless bureaucrats") are going to bring the UK trade deals significantly better than those we have through the EU right now.

They don't have to, they just need to bring ones as good as we have now. They will, where's there's money to be made, people will find competent folks to do it. Provided the pessimists keep out of our way...

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Phil O'Sophical
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WTF?

Re: The big picture

"It's really up to the UK's exporters trade negotiators..." Except we haven't got any;

We had no railway engineers when the railways were invented either, but we trained them when we needed them. We had no computer specialists until we needed them at Bletchly park. We had no jet pilots until we invented the jet engine, and so on.

Why take such a negative view of everything? If everything was run by people like you we'd still be sitting in caves banging rocks together and calling it 'music'.

When an opportunity comes along, expected/wanted or not, there always seem to be two types of people, those who jump at the chance to turn them into something positive, and those who prefer to lie on the couch moaning about how it was better in the old days when they didn't have to work so hard. The latter are part of the problem, not the solution.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @Tom 64: Really ....

Compare the £ to against anything and you will see the HUGE drops.

It goes up and down fairly regularly against the dollar. 2:1 in 2009, 1.4:1 in 2009, that was a worse fall than recent weeks, and it came back.

Against the euro it's at about the same level now as 2013, same is true against the Yen. It's no big deal. Over the past many years I've sometimes made 10% on conversions that I couldn't avoid, sometimes lost 10%.

The next thing that will start falling like hell is the housing market and that will hurt us badly!

Why? Absolute house prices are really only a problem for people entering or leaving the market. If you sell a house for 200K and the one you want to buy is 200K the actual price doesn't matter, could be 100K or 300K. UK house prices are very overheated at the moment, a drop would be a good thing for people trying to enter the market.

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

but it doesn't mean that he didn't commit the offence - it means only that the jury were not sure that he did.

Innocent in fact, or otherwise, he was not found guilty by the jury and he therefore has the right not to be punished for it. It sounds like he should be bringing suit against the police for theft (of his phone, etc.). Hopefully someone will take on his case pro-bono.

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Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Here we go again

For example, trial by combat. Each side picks a champion, and they fight it out.

Could make the next America's Cup interesting. Larry versus Eric, winner gets Java...

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Ford announces plans for mass production of self-driving cars by 2021

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Is there no icon on El Reg...

The UK has one of the lowest rates of road death in the UK

should of course have been "...lowest rates of road deaths in the world". Don't you hate it when you see a stupid error just after the edit window has closed?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Is there no icon on El Reg...

Road deaths are at unacceptable levels.

The UK has one of the lowest rates of road death in the UK, so logically you'd expect other countries with higher rates to be more keen on self-driving cars, yet they aren't.

The (possibly unpalatable) fact is that the level of read deaths is acceptable to most people. Clearly not to the friends and family of any specific fatality, but at a general, non-specific, level we're all OK with getting in our cars and venturing out on the roads in what we feel is reasonable safety.

If a government wants to ban something on the grounds that it saves lives, then banning smoking would have a larger impact with fewer economic effects. In terms of what to spend taxpayers money on, cancer kills 40x as many people in the UK each year as car accidents do. Car accidents are way down the list of causes of death in general, and really don't merit the level of hysteria they often trigger.

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Thieves can wirelessly unlock up to 100 million Volkswagens, each at the press of a button

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: In the 70's

That was the standard almost-joke in the UK in the 70s. If you locked yourself out of a Ford you just popped into the nearest pub & got everyone with a Ford key to try, you'd be almost certain to find someone who could open your car.

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Email proves UK boffins axed from EU research in Brexit aftermath

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Article 50

Ordinarily, changes to a country of this significance are required to jump a far higher bar than a simple majority of the voters on the day.

Although I agree with you in principle, none of the referendums for entry to the EU required such a "supermajority", for the obvious reason that in many cases the politicians knew they wouldn't get one. It would be hard to justify such a condition for leaving the EU when no such condition was required to join.

Then again, we (in the UK) had no choice about joining the EU at all since neither John Major (Maastricht) or Tony Blair (Lisbon) offered one, despite Bliar promising to do so. I'd have been quite happy with a supermajority condition for joining/extending the EU in both those cases...

The 1975 referendum is a good example.

Not really,it only required a simple majority (although it got a 67% one).

Those generations strongly favour remaining in the EU.

So did the similar generation in 1975, yet that is exactly the generation which has now voted to leave. We have learned from the past, others seem not to have done so.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Article 50

The vote is valid. However, completely unlike a general election, it is not binding. I really don't understand what part of the word "advisory" is causing so many people difficulty.

Very little, but "advisory" doesn't mean "ignore it if the people who don't like it shout loud enough". It means "we recommend you do this", and any MP that chooses to ignore the recommendations of their electorate tends to find themselves looking for a new job.

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Phil O'Sophical
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The EU is by no means perfect, but it is neither failing nor a superstate

It's certainly failing. There is increasing discontent in almost all states, even ones that 5 years ago were very supportive. The economies in the eurozone, apart from Germany, are moribund and the eurozone itself is on the route to collapse the next time a Greek/Irish/Italian/etc. crisis comes along. Little of the post-EEC legislation is actually useful, or even unambiguous enough to be helpful. It's all based on fudge and ambiguity so that all 28 countries could claim to be onboard even when they had diametrically opposed views to one another. I'd expect several other states to leave within 10 years, especially if Brexit is even tolerably successful for the UK.

(and actually has no means to become one without significant political changes that would require unanimity from member states, some of whom would veto such changes).

And we've seen how it deals with that, by gradually moving to qualified-majority voting and treaties forced through without popular votes. The politicians who run it are federalists, and they are determined to get their superstate, people like Juncker have said as much.

It is continually evolving union that is changing to suit the needs of its member states as it goes forward to meet new challenges,

It's not evolving, it's regressing, mired in stagnation and less relevant to the desires of its member states with every year that passes. It is changing to suit the vanity of the politicians who created it, while the ordinary people see it as less and less relevant to their daily lives (see the steadily dropping turnout in euro elections).

The free-trade and free-movement aspects of the common market were, and are, extremely valuable in building a cooperative europe. There was never any reason to go beyond them.

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Phil O'Sophical
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just because a bunch of little-Englanders decided they hate Polish people?

Just because you don't understand the economic and political reasons why people don't want to remain in a failing paternal European superstate does not entitle you to categorize us all as xenophobes and racists. It may be convenient to say "I don't understand why they did it, it must mean they are racists" but frankly that attitude says more about you than us.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Article 50

If you're a UK voter, write to your MP requesting him/her to vote down every attempt to invoke Article 50.

That would be a very dangerous precedent to set.

In the 2015 General Election the conservatives got 37% of the vote on a 66% turnout, and 53% of the seats. That entitled them to form a government.

In the Brexit referendum the "Leave" camp got 52% of the vote on a 72% turnout, and carried 68% of the regions that voted. That certainly entitles the vote to be regarded as valid.

For any MP to vote against the result of the referendum on the grounds that it was "bogus" would be to admit that their own status in Parliament was even more bogus.

You don't like the result, fine. Don't try to justify overturning it on the basis that some of the people who voted were wrong/stupid/racist/etc. You could make the same claims for any election.

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Cray profits literally go up in smoke after electrical incident

Phil O'Sophical
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Even internal 'cosmetic' damage from smoke drawn in through a cooling system might be enough. If you'd spent a few $m on a new computer, and when you opened the crate the system smelled of burnt-electrical-component smoke, would you accept it? It's not an easy smell to get rid of.

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Don't want to vote for Clinton or Trump? How about this woman who says Wi-Fi melts kids' brains?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Words starting in Vax

And a brand of carpet washing vacuum cleaners.

Hence the advertising posters once beloved of sysadmins in VAX houses, with the slogan "Nothing sucks like a VAX".

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You think Donald Trump is insecure? Check out his online store

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: But...

Ah, Trump. Making America grate again...

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Hello, Barclays? Why hello, John Smith. We meet again

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Was it it tested with a DVR?

Presumably, a speech synthesiser program which has these 100 variables as parameters is relatively straightforward to create.

It is, but these are variables, each can take a wide range of values, so the possible combinations are huge.

Even so, it's a crap idea. Getting speech recognition to work over the compression and distortion of POTS or VoIP phone lines is non-trivial, and often involves substantial watering-down of algorithms, which makes faking the pattern easier.And as already pointed out, this is useful for recognizing the person (i.e. the equivalent of a username) but it should never be used for authentication (a password). If I had a Barclay's account I'd cancel the telephone banking service now.

Anyone care to take bets on how long before the first exploit is published?

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Server vendor has special help desk for lying, incompetent sysadmins

Phil O'Sophical
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Always mount a scratch monkey: http://edp.org/monkey.htm

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Wrong sized hammer

Let me guess - a 90's half height Seagate Barracuda, probably 4 GB

I'd have guessed a Quantum 105MB as fitted to early SPARCstations. If powering one of of them up didn't work the trick was to lift the front of the pizza box ~ 2" and let it drop back onto the desk while powered. Last resort was 4", after that it was time to replace the disk.

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Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A painless upgrade for me.

My win 7 machine would not upgrade

See, even Windows 7 knows it's a bad idea to upgrade.

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BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Arrgh Beeb

PS, as i do not need a license to pick up radio, will the iplayer radio site be covered in this little facade as well???

You could have found the answer to that by looking at the site linked-to:

"There will be just two exceptions – watching S4C TV on demand and listening to radio. "

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Gartner's hype cycle turned upside down to assess Brexit

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Stages of grief

French farmers LOVE to haggle

If you consider going on strike, and blockading roads with manure or burning tyres "haggling", that is.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Y2K

Y2K wasn't a "false fire drill", it was a very real one which only passed without major incident because of all the hard work done during the years running up to it.

But this is Gartner, of course.

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: To think that...

systemd does do one thing, and does it well -- Manage services.

If it did it well, with some suggestion of valid documentation (other than the source code), it might indeed be useful. As it is, systemd does what it does very badly indeed.

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Tesla's Model S autonomous mode may have saved a life

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: PR stunt

Good thing it was a pedestrian. What if it had been a dog that the 'autopilot' had misidentified as another vehicle and slammed on the brakes, resulting it being rear-ended by a too-close car behind causing injuries to all concerned? In those circumstances the right thing to do would be to hit the dog, then stop & sort out the mess. In this case the driver clearly wasn't driving within his abilities given the conditions. He was just lucky that his gadget didn't make the situation worse.

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An anniversary to remember: The world's only air-to-air nuke was fired on 19 July, 1957

Phil O'Sophical
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Very weird time back in the '50's and '60's. There were even places in Nevada that offered "resort weekends" or something like that to tourists to come and watch the nuke tests

Wasn't there even an Abbot and Costello film where they were in one of the dummy towns and got irradiated, so that every time they passed a slot machine in Vegas it paid out? Weird times indeed.

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Kepler's K2 mission confirms 104 Earth-like planets

Phil O'Sophical
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Birthdays would get expensive quickly.

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Happy 50th birthday, optical fibres for telecoms

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Institution of Electrical Engineers

(And a lot easier to join, from what I hear)

Sort-of. The membership grades don't align, IEEE Member grade just needs a cheque and a photocopy of a degree certificate, a bit like IET Associate Member. The IET Member grade is equivalent to IEEE Senior Member, with a requirement for experience and responsibility. MIET shouldn't be considered as equal to MIEEE.

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Phil O'Sophical
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I had the opportunity to work on a project with the European Space Agency, as part of a project involving Germany and Italy. Are you suggesting that leaving the EU will free up enough funding for the UK to start a space programme?

The ESA is not an EU institution, and funding is separate from the EU, the UK contributes to ESA. The UK has a space programme, worth around £6 billion per year at present, with a strategy in place to considerably increase that (6-fold) by 2035.

One of my friends was involved in work with the Large Hadron Collider - are you proposing we set up our own particle accelerator somewhere under Birmingham?

The LHC is in CERN, which is under Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland is not a member of the EU. It's a much nicer place than Birmingham so I suggest we continue to work with CERN, Brexit or not.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "EU rules still apply until we've actually left."

But if you don't like the way it is then vote to change it.

Anyone who's ever sat in meetings knows that there's a critical number or participants, somewhere around 10, where the law of decreasing returns bites and you get progressively less done because you never get agreement.

With 28 member countries, all with their own concerns, the EU is way past that point. Members can vote all they like, the chances of ever getting agreement on anything but broad, vague, direction is nil. Which is just the way the commission likes it, it's "Yes, MEP" on a grand scale.

Don't just vote to run away. That's what cowards do.

No, it's what pragmatists do. Cowards would just hide in the corner and keep their heads down. Anyone who thinks that taking a decision like Brexit requires cowardice is very confused indeed.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Boo fucking hoo

And I agree with Richard Branson that you need a second referendum based on facts not lies, now.

How very EU-cratic. "You voted wrong, go away and do it again until you get it right."

And people wonder why we voted to leave.

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London's contactless ticket payment system for sale in £15m deal

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A good thing

not one per 'tap'.

True, but if you only make one or two journeys, that $2 fee still stings. For a regular visitor it's as easy to keep an Oyster card in my "sterling wallet".

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Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Phil O'Sophical
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Tupperware is an anagram of "A pure twerp", just like that lawyer.

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Newly spotted distant dwarf planet orbits the Sun every 700 years

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A name

Planet BREXIT would be more politically charged.

They could call it Corbyn. It pops in for a brief flypast, then zooms off into the wilderness again.

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Revolutionary Brit-made SABRE hybrid rocket engine to burn in 2020

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: More Eu funding to be renegotiated

From the European Space Agency, which was created in 1975 and is unrelated to the EU.

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Next big thing after containers? Amazon CTO talks up serverless computing

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: So exactly like mainframe computing 30 years ago...

OK, you had to put your code on a tape and send it by post, but "run this code with this much memory and this much disk space" is old stuff.

Do the results come back in a PDF with 14⅞" x 11" pages, alternating green & white stripes? That would be even more cool...

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4-day Fasthosts outage: Customers' sites go TITSUP

Phil O'Sophical
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That was my first thought, followed by "what penalties does the SLA have?". The answer, I suspect, will be "what's an SLA?"

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Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Phil O'Sophical
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Internet of Ships

“In principle, anybody skilful and capable to attain access into the ICT system could take control of the ship and change its operation according to hackers’ objectives,”

Just don't let D-Link tender for the control systems.

Physically the ships could be very secure, no need for windows, decks etc. Just a big square box, covered in barbed wire and anti-climb paint.

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New DNA 'hard drive' could keep files intact for millions of years

Phil O'Sophical
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invaluable for future archeologists

Pity the poor ET, millions of years into the future, who lovingly recreates a sample of life from long-dead Sol 3, only to find that (s)he's cloned Facebook.

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Behold the ROBOT RECTUM... medics' relief

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Very dissapointed

that's the kind of robot rectum I can get behind.

What can I say...?

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