* Posts by Squander Two

995 posts • joined 26 Mar 2012

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What Ashley Madison did and did NOT delete if you paid $19 – and why it may cost it $5m+

Squander Two
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> This is data they should no longer be holding. A belt and braces approach of holding it elsewhere is a breach of that.

Exactly. Yes, of course they had reasons for keeping the data. Everyone always has a reason to keep stuff that's valuable to them. But wanting something because it's valuable is not a good enough reason to have it. It has to also be yours.

Quite a few comments here about needing data for de-duping or whatever, and addressing the technical issue of how best to store it securely. This completely misses the point. Yes, AM screwed up their security. But only for users who hadn't bought the deletion option. For those who had, AM didn't screw up the security; they screwed up by thinking they were allowed to keep hold of data that they had contractually agreed to delete.

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Squander Two
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Er, what?

> surely for audit/tax purposes they must have to retain who paid them how much and when?

Since when do you need to record who your income comes from for tax purposes? I bought lunch earlier. The takeaway didn't ask for my name or address. And they still gave me a VAT receipt that I can use to make an expenses claim off HMRC.

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Perhaps the AIpocalypse ISN'T imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is

Squander Two
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The Ramtops

The Ramtops may be mountains, but culturally they're clearly based on Lancashire and Yorkshire. Maybe the Pennines when they were younger.

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'Real' vampires reluctant to 'come out of the coffin' to social workers – barmy prof

Squander Two
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Re: Hats off to the guy.

Federal Internet metaphysics?

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Squander Two
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Re: Hats off to the guy.

Tantric rollerblading musicology?

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Squander Two
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Devil

Hats off to the guy.

Seriously. Williams is getting paid for this shit. I wish I was.

I was fascinated to read that his interests include "forensic leisure science". Surely that's not a thing, I thought. So I Googled it and discovered that the only references to "forensic leisure science" are Williams's own book, Forensic Leisure Science: A New Frontier for Leisure Scholars, and links to it.

Credit where it's due: his book starts thus:

Lately when asked what I "do," ...

I love the quotes around "do".

... my reply tends to be that "I'm a forensic leisure scientist." Judging from the somewhat confused looks on many faces, a further explanation is usually warranted.

Yes, that's because you've invented your own area of interest and are literally the only person on the planet doing it.

Forensic leisure science has yet to be recognized as an area of study

Yeah, no kidding.

Have to say, I like this idea of sticking three cool words together and getting paid to do the result. Can I get a job in impressionist martial cuisine?

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Call that a mugshot? Aussie model/fugitive asks rozzers for more flattering pic

Squander Two
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> I doubt that any of our police forces would say that.

Oh, I don't know. A few weeks ago, the PSNI posted on their Facebook page that they'd found the five small bags of class-A drugs someone had lost at a club and the owner could turn up at their nearest police station to claim them back.

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Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

Squander Two
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Re: Sadly this would not work

It was more of a come-hither horse. A fuck-off horse wouldn't have worked.

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Microsoft: This Windows 10 build has 'NO significant known issues'

Squander Two
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Jumping to an app starting with a specific letter.

Does that mean you can no longer find an app by typing its name?

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Why OH WHY did Blighty privatise EVERYTHING?

Squander Two
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Re: A world run by money

> Why it is considered by some that allowing private companies to run essential services is a good idea is beyond me.

So you would like a National Food Service to replace our current free-market system, then?

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> Trains are inherently more efficient than buses - one driver can handle many more passengers

You're assuming every bus and train is near full. But the fact that a train can hold so many passengers is exactly what makes it inefficient. Any transport is pretty efficient when it's full, because the amount of fuel it uses is based on power-to-weight ratios and presumably the engineers who built the thing weren't complete morons who built a flamethrower onto the roof or something. It is empty seats that drive inefficiency, and trains have far more of them than buses do. Peak times, when the transport is full, are a small minority of the operation.

Heard someone from Friends Of The Earth on the radio explaining that even a car is near-enough as efficient as a train, as long as you fill it with people. It's one person driving a five-seater that's inefficient. Five people in a five-seater is fine.

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Re: dishonest bollocks

> But for all we know Northern Irish water hasn't improved much because it had little need to.

I live in NI, and my answer to that contention is "Hahahahahahahahahaha."

Anyway, what's this "for all we know"? You've got the Internet right here. Look it up. I suggest checking two things. First, the amount of untreated sewage being pumped into the sea by NI. Second, the amount of trouble caused by a bit of cold weather a few years back -- and how long it took NI Water to reduce that amount of trouble. You might even be able to find some interviews with the guy in charge at the time and draw some conclusions about whether he got the job through ability or it was the kind of nepotistic sinecure that thrives in government.

If you can't be arsed looking it up, fair enough; just remember that, as a general rule, infrastructure in NI that dates back to the Troubles was not in very good nick because people kept blowing it up. Obviously. The public spending that went into the Province tended to go more on barbed wire and less on things like improving sewage works.

For the same reason, our stuff didn't get privatised, because who in their right minds would buy stuff that keeps getting blown up? Which provides us with a handy experiment. All those people complaining about rail privatisation could look at NI Rail and see how brilliantly it compares to the English rail services [cough cough cough].

> While the English water may have massively improved itself from bloody awful to just mediocre.

Look up the incidences of hosepipe bans in London.

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Google's new free music service is classic Google: Take someone's idea and slap ads on it

Squander Two
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I thought one of the strengths of the Internet was that we could get away from this crap.

you won’t be able to pick artists directly; instead, you have to stream from playlists (or "stations")

Ah, so it'll be shit, then.

"Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don’t have to,"

Ah, so it'll be utter shit, then.

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Even Apple doesn’t mess with Taylor Swift

Squander Two
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Re: Youtube?

> I suppose in breech of copyright but I doubt illegally

Quite a staggering level of cluelessness right there.

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Re: Why's everyone so upset about musicians not making a living

Speaking as a musician for whom the whole music career thing didn't work out, I'm not upset. My band got a small indie record deal and a few quid to spend on equipment, but it never turned into sales. So I have had to do other stuff to pay the bills. Fair enough. Not everyone succeeds at everything.

But I would be pissed off if my music had sold for many thousands of pounds and I'd got fifty quid.

The world doesn't owe musicians a living. People who become mega-rich by selling music owe musicians a living.

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Squander Two
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Re: Supermarkets

While it is true that retailers will ask their suppliers (and usually from a very strong negotiating position) to reduce their prices and provide special offers, I don't think any of them ever tried what Apple tried there: telling them to give away all their product completely free.

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Why is it that women are consistently paid less than men?

Squander Two
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Re: I haven't slept in later than 8am

> Nicely proving that parental self-righteousness really does go up to 11.

What's self-righteous about it? I'm just pointing out that small children need help from their parents. That's a biological fact about humans and a legal fact about our society. If I weren't a parent, it still would be.

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Re: for the benefit of women

> Can you imagine a situation where a politician proposes something on the basis that it will be good for men?

The Olympics?

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Re: Statistics, etc.

If you're a single parent, then your housework is unpaid (except by the state). Otherwise, you are paid for your housework, by your spouse. Which is fair enough.

If both parents do roughly as much work for employers for roughly the same pay but one does way more housework without being compensated by the other, then what you have there is an intramarital dispute that they need to sort out between them. I can't conceive of why the hard-done-by parent's employers should increase their pay to redress the problem.

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Re: I haven't slept in later than 8am

> Your lifestyle choice; no sympathy from me.

Is that what you said to your dad on Father's Day?

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Squander Two
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Re: Next question...

> If anything, in the workplace, there's a discrimination against non-parenthood. Childrens' numerous activities and illnesses are seen as a perfectly acceptable reason for parents to work at home, or to take time off that somehow is never booked as holiday.

Ah, this ignorant self-absorbed bollocks again.

Look, illness happens. Children get ill. And children can't just tell their teachers they're going to take the rest of the day off and go home and look after themselves. They require help. Until they reach a certain age, it is actually illegal to leave them to fend for themselves. So yes, parents often need to go get their kids and look after them at zero notice.

Employers, not being utter fuckwits, recognise this simple fact of life and so cut their parent employees the necessary slack. Because, even assuming said employers are actually hard-hearted bastards like you and don't give a fuck about their staff beyond how much money they make, what's the alternative? If they refuse to allow a bit of flexibility for parents, those parents will simply stop working for them. You cannot bring up a child while working for an employer who makes it difficult for you. And, of course, the ones who will find it easiest to find work elsewhere are the best ones.

You seem to think that refusing to allow a bit of flexibility for parents would lead to some vindictively utopian world in which parents were forced to stay in the office no matter what happened to their kids. It would in fact lead to a mass exodus of staff. Unless of course your idea were enforced across the whole economy instead of in just individual firms, in which case it would lead to the collapse of society. GOOD PLAN.

Or maybe we should just keep women out of the workplace, like we used to. That was an effective solution to your problem.

Try asking your employer for some emergency short-notice time off because your twenty-five-year-old friend is ill and you need to look after him. Not only will your employer (probably) refuse, but they will refuse knowing that it's not something you're going to leave the company over.

> Non-parents just don't have those excuses.

It's not an excuse; it's a negotiating position.

And everyone benefits from living in a society in which it is possible to work and bring up children. You would prefer parenthood to render people unemployable? How much tax are you willing to pay, just to avoid the very occasional moment of seething resentment in your life?

All that being said, in my experience, employers have been quite reasonable about letting me take time off in emergencies that have nowt to do with kids. A friend with meningitis, a girlfriend with a kidney infection, a water leak flooding my flat, and the less alarming stuff like bloody useless public transport: time off, no problem. Shit happens. I'm sure some employers are far less reasonable -- and I'm sure they're unreasonable to everyone, not just the non-parents.

Finally, this:

> that somehow is never booked as holiday.

How do you know? Are you in your firm's HR department, or is someone in HR breaching the confidentiality of your colleagues? Or are you just guessing?

Because I've worked for some extremely reasonable and generous people in my time, and all they've allowed me to do is to take holiday at very short notice or to take time off and then make up the hours some other time.

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Squander Two
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Re: He's got a point.

> Sure, if you're both on a factory production line putting widgets X in boxes Y and operate at the same rate then it's reasonably straightforward. However, once you get out into the general workforce it becomes a lot harder to discern "the same". One person could meet the minimal standard, the other exceed it. One may go beyond the call of duty whereas the other may work to rule.

And a lot of jobs are quite difficult to define merely in terms of tasks performed per time period. In IT, I'm sure we all know people who are valuable because of the large amount of vital information in their brains, even if that information is hardly ever needed. You often see two people whose day-to-day jobs are basically identical, but, faced with a once-a-decade disastrous clusterfuck, one of them will be able to fix it inside a day and the other will take a fortnight. Even if that disaster never materialises, someone with the ability to fix it can still be considered valuable. Like insurance. And such abailities are based on experience, which is precisely what you have less of if you took time off to look after your kids (or for any other reason).

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Farewell then, Mr Elop: It wasn't actually your fault

Squander Two
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I find the Windows Phone app store perfectly good. It's got some amazing imaging stuff on there (largely thanks to the 1020 making it a popular platform for photographers), some great games, map apps that utilise the platform's ability to store maps on the phone itself rather than streaming and add extra bells and whistles (GMaps+ gives you maps built into your phone but integrates them with Google Streetview, for instance), and various tools for most things I need. The one glaring exception for me is an Amazon Music client, but that's become much less of an issue since they integrated the Music app with Onedrive.

There's plenty of dross in there, but then the same is true of the Apple and Android app stores.

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Re: "Windows Phone loyalists today haven’t seen a flagship for 18 months"

I for one will be very disappointed if they choose not to continue the great camera work. I know the 1020 hardly became ubiquitous, but it wasn't really supposed to, and those of us who did buy them are happy and loyal.

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Squander Two
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> I've had Win Phone 7 since it was released on the Nokia 910, and I've had absolutely no problems with it. Win Phone 6, sure, that crashed a lot, but 7 doesn't. It just works.

Couldn't agree more. 7 was an incredibly stable and useful platform.

8 has all sorts of improvements, but I sometimes miss 7's streamlininess.

I used to be a big fan of the Communicators: had a 9500 (still one of my favourite gadgets ever), then an E9. Also had an N810 and and N900. I don't agree with those saying how brilliant Maemo/Meego was. It was fun for geeks. It was unfinished. It wasn't ready for mainstream consumers. It didn't stand a chance against iOS. It wasn't as good as WP7. I loved my N900, but sorry, it wasn't good enough.

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Post-pub nosh neckfillers: Reader suggestions invited

Squander Two
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Bacon and egg pie

Cook it before you go out. It's delicious cold.

Cut a load of bacon into strips (streaky, ideally, because the bacon fat provides the only moisture in this). Put a sheet of pastry in a metal pie dish greased with butter. Arrange the strips in the pastry so that there are seven wells, one in the centre and six around it. Add black pepper, and maybe chopped parsley if you like, but obviously not salt. Break whole eggs into the wells. Put another sheet of pastry on top, and seal the edges. If you're clever and want to show off, cut beautiful delicate leaves out of pastry and stick them on top. Glaze the pastry with milk or beaten egg. Bake for about 45 min, until golden. If you buy ready-rolled pastry, this is about as easy as cooking gets.

Eat with good ketchup or baked beans. The whole egg yolks are what really make it.

My mum claims this was a standard British dish until it was ousted by the Great French Quiche Invasion. But my mum says a lot of things. Whatever, it's fantastic.

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Google – you DO control your search results, thunders Canadian court

Squander Two
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Re: Dissembling

> If they are to follow all the laws of every single country that could access that site then that's a pretty fall order.

Oh, boo hoo. Poor Google, developing an incredibly lucrative business plan based on the assumption that they could operate in every jurisdiction on the planet while only obeying US law (and not all of that).

No-one forced them into this business. They chose it. If it's too difficult, they are entitled to chuck it in.

Every business faces tall orders all the time. There are little corner shops and builders' merchants and restaurants in your town who have to spend a fortune on obeying legislation. Sometimes it's extraordinarily difficult for them. Where's the army of tech geeks arguing that legislation shouldn't apply to them when obeying it is too hard?

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Re: The only reason Google is fighting...

Though you have a good point, it doesn't matter. Even if it were difficult or awkward for Google to comply with the law, tough shit. The rest of us have to comply with it. So can they.

I'm sick to death of hearing reworded versions of "But obeying the law is inconvenient to Google's business plan." A car thief could say the same.

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> Of course removing listings from Google's search doesn't actually make the website inaccessible.

Of course not. But look at what's actually happening here. No-one knows the URLs of these sites, which are being created anew constantly in at attempt to circumvent and existing judgement. The only purpose of the sites is to get search result hits. Without the search hits, the sites may still be accessible, but no-one's actually going to try to access them.

> there are serious implications in suggesting that a legal system can make legal pronouncements on the activities being performed in another country.

Yeah, but they're not really. They're pronouncing on activities being performed with a different set of letters after the final dot in the URL. And, since Google can reliably detect your country of origin, there's no issue here.

Even if they were, this is hardly a new cyber thing. The Nuremburg trials applied some countries' legal ideas to other countries. It happens.

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

Squander Two
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Again, I just had to upvote this comment. Yes, it's tongue-draggingly moronic, but it would be churlish to be ungrateful for such a good laugh.

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Stupidest comment I've read in weeks, but I'm upvoting it anyway for sheer entertainment value.

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So why the hell didn't quantitative easing produce HUGE inflation?

Squander Two
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Re: No inflation?

You must be very young, Ecofeco. Some of us are old enough to actually remember 2008.

My mortgage payments have decreased considerably since then. So have a lot of people's, what with interest rates being at record lows. In fact, 2008 marked the point at which those prices started to decrease. That must have had some knock-on effect on rents. Petrol's about 25% cheaper. My family's monthly shopping budget has indeed increased, maybe by as much as 20%, though I think more like 15%. Definitely not anywhere near 100%. All the tech we buy has of course plummeted in price. My phone bills have gone up a bit, though: maybe 20%.

If your library research is revealing 100% price increases across the board, you may need to sanity-check your calculations.

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Squander Two
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Re: It's simple, really.

Fair enough. I generally just make this stuff up as I go along and hope no-one catches me out. Comes from being raised by a politician.

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Squander Two
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Re: However...

> if the Miners had won

Depends how you define "won". Scargill's explicit aim was to overthrow the democratically elected government and replace it with something more to his liking. He is to this day a member of the Stalin Society.

I suspect a lot of the miners would have been quite unhappy, after "winning", to discover precisely what it was they'd "won".

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Re: It's simple, really.

> Manufacturing has been totally decimated

The UK's manufacturing sector has been growing consistently for decades. It has reduced as a proportion of GDP. You might argue that growing but not growing as much as other sectors is a terrible thing for some reason, but you cannot truthfully argue that it amounts to total decimation.

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Re: No inflation?

> When my local supermarket was Netto I could buy a tub of marge for 37p. When it became an Asda the cheapest same-size tub is something like £1.

Has it occurred to you that there might be a reason why Netto sold the supermarket to Asda?

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Re: However...

> maybe an explanation of how the state owned companies of other states are so keen to own our former state owned companies... that has never made much sense to me.

Well, I'm not Tim, but I'm going to leap in here anyway.

Different countries' governments are good at different things: the Israelis are a lot better than the British at post-earthquake rescuing, for instance; the French are better than the Americans at high-speed trains. The advantage of privatisation is competition: it enables people who are better at doing something to take it over from people who are worse at doing it. There's no reason why those taker-overs shouldn't themselves be state-owned.

Now, we could make the argument that French trains would be even better if the French would privatise them. Maybe that's true, maybe not; I have no idea. But that's an argument for the French to have amongst themselves; there's nothing we in the UK can do about it. In the meantime, French rail firms, even nationalised, are better than British ones. And what we can do is build a system that allows and even incentivises them to run our trains.

Plus, enabling French rail firms to make more money by running some of our trains too -- obviously they can make more money running rail services in multiple countries than they can in France alone -- means they have more money for investing in their own expertise, and thus they get even better at it. And we then benefit from that too.

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Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

Squander Two
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Re: Whatever happened to 'respect'???

> Just as I would expect you to wait while I answer the office phone to a client.

"I know you've gone to the trouble of coming here to talk to me in person, but you're just going to have to stand there and twiddle your thumbs while I deal with people who haven't. Whoever it is who's calling, I know they're more important than you."

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Re: In the 1970's

Sounds very familiar. Wasn't a geography teacher, was he?

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Re: What?

> Last time I was in a school working which was 5 years ago they had something we call LAND LINES which could dial 911 in case of an emergency

The jammer was affecting a wider area than just the school. So a man has a heart attack in the street outside. A helpful passer-by should just run home and use their LAND LINE, should they?

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Re: Whatever happened to 'respect'???

> As a self employed person I have to answer the phone when it rings - it is likely a job

The person standing in front of you right now, the one you're cutting off mid-sentence to answer your phone, the one you're pissing off, is also a job.

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Couple sues estate agent who sold them her mum's snake-infested house

Squander Two
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Old houses

> I've been through the whole old house thing ... I've decided to go for comfort, energy efficiency and low maintenance

And right angles. And enough electric sockets. And no hidden bits containing ten decades of previous owners' DIY clusterfucks.

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Squander Two
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Re: Inspections dont work in the UK

Our surveyor valued the house at asking price minus £x. We negotiated with the vendor and got the asking price down by £y. The bank then phoned the surveyor, who promptly issued a new valuation of asking price minus £x minus £y. £x was clearly the amount of extra cash the bank had told the surveyor they wanted to get out of us, and he was going to value based on that, not on, you know, the actual fucking house.

Switched to a different bank and asked them not to use that surveyor.

Independent, my arse.

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Fanbois designing Windows 10 – where's it going to end?

Squander Two
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> Obviously the author of the article gets pretty worked up about how M$ came to this design choice, because he doesn't seem to like it much.

It's worse than that. Orlowski gets worked up about how they made the design choice even though he says he actually has no problem with the design choice itself:

I think in this case, most Windows 10 users will be actually able to cope just fine. ... The problem isn’t the decision per se

He then claims that this criterion for making design choices outweighs any other criteria MS may have:

Microsoft stressed to me recently that Insider Preview feedback is just one part of the input into a decision. It still runs qualitative UX feedback sessions, too. But Gabe Aul has just demonstrated what really counts.

He quotes as evidence Gabe Aul saying this:

"We also observed that users are 34 per cent more likely to be strongly satisfied with the filtered Taskbar and three times less likely to be strongly dissatisfied compared to the global task bar."

... but chooses not to continue quoting Gabe Aul, just two sentences later, saying this:

The Taskbar will be filtered by default starting with this flight. Don’t worry global Taskbar fans, you can have it your way with just a settings change: Settings app > System > Multitasking > Virtual Desktops.

... which rather undermines Orlowski's whole argument. This is barely even a design decision: the design decision was made back when MS were designing both versions of the taskbar and the ability to switch between them. This is merely a decision about whether a particular setting is on or off by default. Both options have plenty of pros and cons and are going to disappoint as many people as they please, so this is exactly the kind of thing where probably the two best ways to make the decision are asking a bunch of users or flipping a coin. Orlowski's extrapolation from this one trivial instance to his claim that Insider Preview feedback always outweighs qualitative UX feedback just doesn't hold water. I would be astounded if every single aspect of the UI has been designed this way, and Orlowski offers no evidence to persuade me.

Orlowski's actually one of my favourite journalists, and this piece makes a good point about bad sampling of demographics. But, as for the rest of it... well, perhaps he was having an off day.

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Just wondering

How did you feel about Windows 8? That MS were right to forge ahead with their own path or that they should have listened more to users like you?

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Squander Two
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Quite. People who can't figure this out are mainly going to be people who wouldn't use multiple virtual desktops anyway, aren't they? And yes, opening a second instance of an app doesn't matter, assuming Windows 10 will manage memory as well as Windows 8 does.

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KFC takes legal axe to eight-legged mutant chicken claims

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Re: Sounds like I'm the only one...

I fucking love KFC. So nerr.

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Re: You can apply for Nobel prizes?

I'm happy to see that KFC's spokesman has a sense of humour. But I'd have been still happier if they'd said, "What? You mean you're still using the old stringy flavourless four-limbed versions? With HEADS? Yuk."

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This is actually less crazy than most of the stuff people believe about genetic modification.

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Amazon reveals KiddieKindle and pocket money scheme

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Re: “unlike tablets, Kindle is designed just for reading”

I personally have no problem reading on a phone or tablet screen, so use the Kindle app on my phone. I also have it set to white text on black background, which I prefer. However, I understand from others that both these things mark me out as weird.

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