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* Posts by Graham 24

140 posts • joined 27 Mar 2012

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Let's vote on breaking up Google, say MEPs with NO power to do any such thing

Graham 24

Re: Precedent has been set...

If you're that fussed about the analytics, you can always add www.google-analytics.com to your local hosts file, pointing at the loopback address.

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Graham 24
Coat

Re: New Start-up idea: Euoorle / Findo

I'll join - it sounds like it would be cool.

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We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

Graham 24
Joke

It's an oldie but...

... if you're going to do the computer innuendo thing (btw, I don't claim credit for writing this):

Micro was a real-time operator and dedicated multi-user. His broadband protocol made it easy for him to interface with numerous input/output devices, even if it meant time-sharing.

One evening he arrived home just as the Sun was crashing, and had parked his Motorola 68000 in the main drive (he had missed the S100 bus that morning), when he noticed an elegant piece of liveware admiring the daisy wheels in his garden. He thought to himself, "She looks user-friendly. I'll see if she'd like an update tonight."

Mini was her name. She was delightfully engineered with eyes like COBOL and a Prime mainframe architecture that set Micro's peripherals networking all over the place.

He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin, 32-bit floating point processors and enquired, "How are you, Honeywell?" "Yes, I am well," she responded, batting her optical fibres engagingly and smoothing her console over her curvilinear functions.

Micro settled for a straight line approximation. "I'm stand-alone tonight," he said. "How about computing a vector to my base address? I'll output a byte to eat, and maybe we could get offset later on." Mini ran a priority process for 2.6 milliseconds then transmitted 8K. "I've been dumped myself recently, and a new page is just what I need to refresh my disks. I'll park my machine cycle in your background and meet you inside." She walked off, leaving Micro admiring her solenoids and thinking, "Wow, what a global variable. I wonder if she'd like my firmware?"

They sat down at the process table to a top of form feed of fiche and chips and a bucket of Baudot. Mini was in conversational mode and expanded on ambiguous arguments while Micro gave occasional acknowledgments, although in reality he was analysing the shortest and least critical path to her entry point. He finally settled on the old, 'Would you like to see my benchmark routine?' but Mini was again one step ahead.

Suddenly she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal the full functionality of her operating system software. "Let's get BASIC, you RAM," she said. Micro was loaded by this stage, but his hardware policing module had a processor of its own and was in danger of overflowing its output buffer, a hangup that Micro had consulted his analyst about. "Core," was all he could say, as she prepared to log him off.

Micro soon recovered, however, when Mini went down on the DEC and opened her divide files to reveal her data set ready. He accessed his fully packed root device and was just about to start pushing into her CPU stack, when she attempted an escape sequence.

"No, no!" she cried. "You're not shielded!"

"Reset, baby," he replied, "I've been debugged."

"But I haven't got my current loop enabled, and I can't support child processes," she protested.

"Don't run away," he said, "I'll generate an interrupt."

"No, that's too error prone, and I can't abort because of my design philosophy."

Micro was locked in by this stage, though, and could not be turned off. But Mini soon stopped his thrashing by introducing a voltage spike into his main supply, whereupon he fell over with a head crash and went to sleep. "Computers!" she thought as she compiled herself. "All they ever think about is hex."

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The Big Data wrangling CIO you've probably never heard of: But his kit probably knows YOU

Graham 24
Joke

Re: I don't think so ...

>>> also Pearl should be Perl

Maybe it's a new scripting language designed to be run in a shell?

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NetApp cyclists part from storage firm... go to Bora Bora

Graham 24

Re: Hope they've sorted the legals

The car's probably not a problem. Typically cycling teams are sponsored in part by one of the three main drivetrain & component manufacturers (Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM), and there is usually a requirement to black out the names of any component made by someone who isn't a sponsor.

I bet it'll be an interesting discussion if the new team is part-sponsored by Shimano, and the main sponsoring name is the name of a key product by a competitor. Most people watching cycling and seeing the name "Bora" are going to think "I must buy some Campag. wheels" long before they think "I must buy a German kitchen appliance".

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Graham 24

Hope they've sorted the legals

Bora is the name of a rather expensive (£2000+ a pair for top-end) wheels made by Campagnolo, an Italian manufacturer of cycling components.

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Bendy, but hangs loose too: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android tab

Graham 24

Re: John Lewis

The VAT-back offer isn't specific to John Lewis - it's run by Lenovo. Applies to a range of their hardware.

See https://lenovo-offers.com/winter-vatback

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WATCH Rosetta's Philae's SUCCESSFUL drop on Comet 67P

Graham 24

Obligatory XKCD reference

Looks like XKCD is doing a "live" stream too...

http://www.xkcd.com/1446/

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How mobile device management is taking on the BYOD challenge

Graham 24

Re: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Why do you say that software development is not suitable? It's mainly editing text, which is ideally suited for a remote-working scenario (protocols like RDP are very efficient for text).

It's a problem if the devs insist on downloading a 5GB repository to the local client, but provided you keep the source code, compile and link etc on the server end of the remote link, there isn't a problem.

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Boxing clever? Amazon Fire TV is SO CLOSE to being excellent

Graham 24

Re: WiFi?

Try a wireless extender like http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0055Y6PUA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

My parents (why do we end up doing all their tech support?) had to get a WiFi signal up a level, and then through a thick external wall (an extension was added to the house, so an external wall now is inside the house), and the wall was made of granite blocks. Before extender - very spotty, dropped out 10 times a day. After extender, no problems at all. Much less hassle than running an ethernet cable.

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Fujitsu waves 50PB+ MONSTER at hyperscale storage freaks

Graham 24

Re: Where's the corresponding tape silo?

Thing is, a single replica implies twice the cost of hardware, power, cooling etc, never mind the bandwidth to keep the two replicas in sync. Often it isn't cost effective.

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Graham 24
Stop

Where's the corresponding tape silo?

How do you back up that much storage?

"The system’s usable capacity depends upon the number of data replicas, two or three for example, set up to protect against data loss."

Data replicas, assuming they're on the same hardware, don't protect against a fire in the DC, or a few burly gentlemen on a dark and stormy night with sledgehammers and a Transit van.

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Can you really run your business on a smartphone?

Graham 24

Everyone apart from me, obviously...

>>> "I am sure everyone reading this has their email delivered to their phone already. It is just such a no-brainer, and it took me less than five minutes to get my Hotmail, corporate and private email all configured on the Lumia email client."

How does this work? Let's say I have a corporate Exchange Server behind a firewall, and a personal e-mail account accessed via POP3.

How does the phone even get to the Exchange Server?

When the phone connects to my personal ISPs POP3 server and downloads email, it's gone from the POP3 server. If I then connect later on from a desktop home computer, any new mail is then on the computer. Does that mean that half my personal email is on one system and half on the other?

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WHOMP, there it is: Seagate demos Kinetic disk drive

Graham 24

I mst be missing something...

"The idea is that applications can directly use banks of these drives without having to go through complex filesystem software stacks"

Are they suggesting that applications write directly to these disks, rather than using the underlying OS's filesystem?

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Me GIVE you $14 SQUILLION gadziddly-DILLION

Graham 24
Boffin

Customer / Mark Selection Strategy

There is a school of thought that far from being "a creative tour-de-force of logical ineptitude" these e-mails are carefully written, and the style, spelling and grammar are deliberate.

If you are running a business (and that's what this is), you don't want lots of people who ultimately have no intention of buying your product taking up time with your sales people. You want to filter out those who are never going to buy as soon as possible.

These e-mails go out to tens of millions of people. For a scam operation, you don't want lots of people getting hooked with the initial contact, and then for you to invest time and effort only for the vast majority to realise it's a scam at some point in the process and back out.

What you want is a few *really gullible* people to reply to you, so you can focus your efforts on those who are likely to ultimately part with their money. The purpose of the style and content of the e-mail is to provide that initial filtering. You'd have to be a complete idiot to think that there really is a Nigerian price who has just left you $10M in his will - and that's exactly the sort of person they want to contact them.

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EE launches 150Mbps '4G+' in the heart of London

Graham 24
Facepalm

Re: FUCKIN LONDON AGAIN!

A business launches an expensive service in the place where there are lots of people willing to pay high prices for it and the underlying infrastructure is in place to support the back-end network needed.

I can't for the life of me imagine why they didn't launch it in the Isles of Scilly or the Outer Hebrides instead.

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UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw

Graham 24

Re: The questions of communications

SIM card and a cut-down "3G dongle" in the meter itself is the obvious one. The supply side of the meter will always have power, even if the consumer side is turned off.

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Graham 24
Unhappy

The actual government PDF makes for depressing reading

See http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06179.pdf

It contains phrases like

"Demand-side response involves electricity users shifting (or reducing) demand usually prompted by price"

which translated means

"we will charge more for electricity and gas at peak times"

and

"a proportion of savings experienced by suppliers may be expected to pass on to consumers"

which translated means

"We expect the energy companies' profits to go up as a result of this"

The good news is

"Licence conditions allow suppliers to access monthly (or ‘less granular’ i.e. less frequent) consumption data for billing and other regulatory purposes without needing consent. There will be a clear opt-out for daily collection of data, and an opt-in will be required for use of the most detailed half-hourly consumption data"

Whether the companies choose to honour a consumer's opt-out choice remains to be seen. My guess would be that they will encourage people to opt in by "charging less" for opted-in consumers, whereas the reality would be charging more for opted-out ones.

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Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US

Graham 24

Re: Cycling

For cycling, ANT+ is fast becoming the de-facto standard for speed, cadence and power measurements, so provided it speaks to (or more accurately listens to) ANT+ devices, it should be OK for cycling).

You can do speed via GPS, but a wheel sensor is much more accurate.

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Even a broken watch is right twice a day: Not an un-charged Apple Watch

Graham 24

Long-term battery life

My concern would not be the fact it needs charging every night (although that would be a pain without some sort of induction pad, and inconvenient even then - forget to put it on the pad as you go to bed - no watch the next day).

If it needs charging once per day when new, how long will it be before the battery gets "tired" and only has 50% charge capacity. At that point the watch keels over half way through the day, making it useless.

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Doctors urged to adopt default opt-out approach to care.data scheme

Graham 24

Opting out seems to be common

I popped into my local surgery recently, and said I wanted to opt out. The receptionist simply turned round, picked up a form from the shelf behind her, and gave it to me. I got the impression that this was an everyday occurrence for them.

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Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring

Graham 24

Re: Sold

Not sure that's true anymore. It certainly was when ABS first came out, but modern ABS systems don't let the wheels lock up. The reluctor rings provide sufficient speed information to let the system modulate the brake pressure up to 50 times a second as a wheel speed drops, and independently for each wheel, before any wheel starts to skid.

I doubt very much whether a human driver, no matter how skilled can

a) detect a skid in a few milliseconds

b) pump the brake pedal 50 times a second

c) provide different brake pressures to each wheel

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Graham 24

Re: Sold

Yes, but if the Caterham and 2CV had ABS, they'd stop even quicker than without.

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Graham 24

Re: Prices - Need the exact model for a comparision, but...

Does that include all sales taxes? List price in the UK for a base-model X1 is £24,230, but that includes 20% VAT (our UK sales tax), so it's £20,190 ex tax, or about what you paid.

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Graham 24

Re: Sold

It's all very well saying that you don't want all the techy stuff, but when your small child runs out into the road on one rainy afternoon, I bet you won't be thinking "cars don't need ABS".

There are some things that these days cars *can* do better than the driver.

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Graham 24

I agree it's rare - I just think it's bad for a car company to give a journalist a car to review when it's technically illegal to drive that car on the road.

It's the journo who would get fined, not the marketing bod from Caterham who thought it was a good idea for the publicity photos.

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Graham 24

The spacing is wrong. It looks like the actual VRM is S16 OCC, and moving the O to the left is an offence, with a £1000 penalty.

See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2001/561/introduction/made for the whole thing and http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2001/561/schedule/3/made for the precise layout details.

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Graham 24

Was it supplied to you with that number plate? That's a £1000 fine just waiting for a bored traffic cop...

Nice PistonHeads reference, by the way.

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Warning to those who covet the data of Internet of Precious Things

Graham 24

Re: How can IoT stuff help me?

>>> Apart from the 'convenience' of remotely read gas/electricity/water meters (no need to be there to let a meter reader in once a year)

It's not about convenience for you. If the only reason was to make life easier for the householder, the utility companies wouldn't be suggesting smart meters for new builds, which usually have the meters in an external box, so can be read without requiring access to the inside of the property.

It's about:

a) reducing their costs, while not passing those savings onto the consumer

b) implementing demand- and time-based pricing, to further increase their profits and to help load-level the demand.

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Bad news, fandroids: He who controls the IPC tool, controls the DROID

Graham 24

Re: How many

"Strangely, I don't know a single person that's ever had a [malware] problem, and I suspect everyone else is the same..."

Those applications that do things like log your online banking keystrokes tend to keep quiet about it, you know. The whole point of most malware is that you don't realise it's there.

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Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

Graham 24

That would be the sensible thing to do. Two problems with that:

1) The court rulings are being made by judges, and supported by politicians, who think that "Google" and "the internet" are the same thing.

2) Getting the underlying site to remove the content is much more difficult. If it wasn't, the record labels, media companies etc. would have removed all pirated content a long time ago. Going after a big company is much easier, and makes it *look like* the problem is being addressed.

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Reddit trousers $50m to splash on ads, mobile and cash-generating staffers

Graham 24

Re: It takes money

I suspect a lot goes directly into the founders pockets, but in a subtle passes-the-accounting-audit way.

Recently, there was an article on El Reg about Outsourcery - losing £3.6M on revenues of £3.5M, but somehow the two head honchos were paid over £500,000 in the previous year.

(http://www.theregister.co.uk/Print/2014/08/14/outsourcery_salary_sacrifice/)

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Anti-Facebook Ello: Here's why we're still in beta. SPAMGASM!

Graham 24

They may be hoping that the reverse is true:

"All the rest of my social group have paid for super-shiny-whizzy feature X, so I'd better pay as well, or I'll get left out"

The tricky thing with all these things is getting going. I take your point about chicken and egg, but the same could be said of the first telephone / fax machine etc.

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SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches

Graham 24

Re: Fortune 1000 overlords SHELLSHOCKED into Bash patch batch

"all of our critical systems on stable, long-term tested software"

"apply security patches automatically within 24 hours of their release"

The first is sensible, but can't be true if the second is true. It can't be really considered stable if you change it as soon as a security fix comes out.

"The risk of a security patch tacking a system down is trivial compared to the potential consequences of leaving a known vulnerability open."

Not sure I'd agree with that. I'd agree it's probably less, but there's many a bug been introduced because someone was in a hurry to get a patch out. The original ShellShock patch has undergone at least two modifications after its initial release.

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Graham 24

Re: @AC re: MS consultants

I don't know of any Linux distributions (or any operating system for that matter) that offers those either.

There may well be a large amount of "the grass is greener over there" being applied, though, which may well drive some changes.

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Graham 24

Re: Fortune 1000 overlords SHELLSHOCKED into Bash patch batch

The trouble is, you really don't want to get notified every time one of packages that's installed on a typical Linux system is updated in one of the main repos. The signal-to-noise ratio would render such notifications useless.

Very few systems are truly "up to date" in that all the software is the very latest that's available. This is even more true for corporate production servers, which tend to be conservatively managed, with a preference for stability over security.

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A Norsified Linux for Windows and OS X wobblers

Graham 24

Re: Bottom Dock/Panel

>>> So much UI design seems just glossier and prettier but backwards in useabily compared with best 1978 to 1998 designs.

So presumably, you now "design" interfaces that look just like the ones from the 1980's? After all, they are much more usable, apparently. Care to give us an example of one you've designed?

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Samsung lays down PCIe server flash gauntlet

Graham 24

Re: marketing shot

A single PCIe v3 lane runs a whisker under 1GB/sec, so if the memory on the card supports a maximum of 3GB/sec transfer rate, presumably four lanes is enough.

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A spin of roulette in the sporty Ford Fiesta Black

Graham 24

Environment too, not just economy

>>> And it has automatic stop start ... This is all done in the name of fuel economy ... It's a £200 option, so would need to save a lot on petrol-guzzling to justify itself.

It's done as much for people walking past the car as much as those paying for the fuel. Nobody likes breathing in exhaust gases.

>>> it has the highest output per cubic centimetre of any car in current production.

Don't think that's right. Some of the exotica has it firmly beaten (e.g. McLaren P1 at 191 bhp/litre, although strictly speaking not in production any more), and for more mainstream metal, the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG and Audi S3 are ahead (181bhp/litre and 148bhp/litre).

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Aggressive HGST hurls flashy humdingers at online archiving

Graham 24

Re: Pedant/Correction Alert

I suspect all the units are wrong - "DIMM's 2 ms" doesn't look right either. I'm fairly sure I can read more than 500 different locations from main RAM in 1 second!

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Everyone taking part in Patch Tuesday step forward. NOT SO FAST, Adobe!

Graham 24
Boffin

Re: How is it possible for Adobe's software to be so bad?

>>> How is it possible for Adobe's software to be so bad?

>>> They patch it several times a month.

That's *why* it's so bad. Any changes tend to corrupt the original design. A software engineer will tell you that the first place to look for bugs in any piece of software is the part that has had lots of bug fixes recently.

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NO SALE: IBM won't cash in its chips with GlobalFoundries after all

Graham 24
WTF?

Who knows best?

>>> the company retained investment bankers Goldman Sachs to help it put a value on the division.

Am I the only one who finds it odd that a bunch of bankers apparently know more about how much a silicon foundry business is worth than say, a bunch of people who actually run a silicon foundry business?

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Rackspace chases the channel with hands-on 'managed cloud'

Graham 24
WTF?

Odd units

>>> Those who sign up for “managed operations” pay $US0.02 per GB per hour support cost with a minimum monthly spend of $500.

I realise the article is only quoting the Rackspace web page, but how on earth do you measure support costs in GB? GB of what?

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IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Graham 24
Unhappy

Service providers just as bad

We have some servers colo'd with a big ISP. Despite telling them that everything would be behind a single-IP firewall, so we would only need 1 address for our equipment, they gave us a /28 block, not a /30 block that we actually needed. That's 12 "wasted" addresses just for us.

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Chrome OS leaks data to Google before switching on a VPN, says GCHQ

Graham 24
WTF?

The real world is far from ideal, and we need to be practical

>>> I do believe that the military should not have ANY computer attached to the WWW

By WWW, I assume you mean "the Internet" - they are different, after all.

How effective do you think the military would be if it was unable to exchange information with people outside the armed forces via e-mail, and had no access to the vast information available on the many web sites that are out there?

Imagine if you are in charge of specifying a new fighter for the RAF, or a new class of battleship for the Navy. Are you seriously suggesting that the military should type out all communications and post them using the physical mail? That's what "no computers connected to the internet" actually means.

>>> "the computer I use to post on Internet forums is not the one I use for work."

And let me guess - it doesn't send and receive e-mails from outside the organisation and you only ever use the browser to visit intranet sites, don't you?

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Authorities swoop on illicit Wolverhampton SPAM FARM

Graham 24
Coat

Re: Perhaps more publicity needed?

I'd never heard of it either. I think what we need is some way that people could send you messages about things they think you'd be interested in without requiring your permission first.

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Misco Shared Services Centre drone brands customer 'insane'

Graham 24

Language Barrier

It's always wise to make sure you understand if the person you are talking to has your first language as their first language. Quite often, a perceived insult is nothing more than a "translation error".

You get it a lot on programming fora: someone posts a question, someone else posts an answer, and the OP comes back with "I have a doubt about your answer". This gets interpreted as "I think your answer is wrong", and the responder gets offended, when in fact it usually means "I don't fully understand your answer and have a follow-up question", which is completely different.

Given the name of the Misco staffer and the fact they apparently work in Hungary, I'm guessing that English is an acquired language, rather than their natural one.

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Asia's internet in peril as cable network breaks in TWO places

Graham 24
Black Helicopters

Re: cut in two places?

It's easy to explain - two governments were both placing taps on the cable at the same time...

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