818 posts • joined 25 Jun 2007
@Anomalous Cowshed - Re: Beware, O horny IT types!
Wrote:- "You're assigned to baba Samba y Futebol. She's not had a man in over 80 years"
New keyboard from you please.
@James Micallef - Re: spiders
Wrote :- "Adding a few eligible bachelors to a community with a lot of single women"
No chance of that. After this story the place is going to be overwhelmed with men.
Re: Strangely, that is EXACTLY what happened..
Wrote :- "I will only ever sit in an automated car where there is a big fat handle labelled ABORT that does something MECHANICAL to kill the damn thing and open the door.
Same here. My experience with most computer controlled things (operating systems for a start, then word processors as another example) is that I very soon find that I have a scenario that the programmer never thought of, or assumed would never be required. Automated help lines of banks are another example ("Press 1 to increase your overdraft, Press 2 to find out your balance, Press 3 to set up a Direct Debit, etc etc") - I am never calling about anything they have thought of.
So we are to believe that those who program automated cars have thought of every situation that might arise on the road - orders of magnitude more situations than could arise with a bank account?
@ Henry Wertz 1
Wrote :- "Human-driven cars only need $35,000 worth of liability insurance.
I'm interested where you got that figure. What country do you live in? I am in the UK and thought it was several million. I'd be interested in putting up a $35,000 (in GBP equivalent) bond rather than pay my ~300 GBP annual insurance premium. It is a better return than many bank savings accouns.
Wrote :- "You bought a toaster! Here are 57 more toasters that you might be interested in!
That is because they know that the one they just sold you is crap.
Writer paid per word?
" the time it takes for Earth to go around the Sun "
Thanks for using eleven words when one would have done.
Re: I smell a shill
Wrote :- "I've worked for state bodies: but for most of my working life I have been with private enterprise. PE is incredibly inefficient ........ Of course there are exceptions and, of course, some civil servants are appalling."
Agreed - I've seen both sides of it too. Small businesses, supposed to be the most efficient of all, ("nimble", "lean" and all that myth), are the worst. The one's I've seen have been owned and run by people who merely inherited them (from perhaps more capable forefathers) and would not employ anyone who they could see were more capable and intelligent than themselves - out of fear and jealousy I suppose.
My wife, a bookkeeper, (very capable, but in a different field from the companies' main businesses) has worked for several small companies (and through them has dealt with many more), and the stories she can tell of their incompetence would make your hair stand on end. According to Free Market theory they should go out of business, but they don't because their rivals are even more incompetent.
Dangerous and illegal working practices are rife in small companies too. Like where she works now, when the HSE safety inspectors call, they park their illicit bottled-gas heaters off-site in the lorry and move a ton of junk away from the fire doors; the inspectors always forewarn their visits because they have been told to "go easy" on small businesses.
@ Brenda McViking - Re: Mail order deliverers?
Wrote "They tiptoe up to the door ... and then launch your new monitor over the fence"
..... or they take it away and leave a note that you must collect it from their depot. I have been asked to collect from a depot which was further away than where I ordered the goods from.
@Fihart - Re: Doorbells @Ho Ho Hipster
Wrote :- "just seems logical to include a phone number on delivery instructions"
I have a regular gas tank delivery. I have asked delivery guys to phone 5 minutes before they arrive so I can unlock a side gate and get my dog out of the garden.
They told me that the company mobiles they carry can only ring their HQ. This is not uncommon I gather, presumably to stop delivery men from using company phones for personal calls. You can hardly expect them to use their own phones.
FTFA :- "its [US] staff is 55 per cent white .. 15 per cent Asian. ... 11 per cent .. Hispanic, . 7 per cent .... black....
According to America's 2010 census, 77.7 per cent ... white; 5.3 per cent is Asian; 17.1 per cent is hispanic..; and 13.2 per cent is black.
So he must be ranting that there are too many Asians and not enough whites, unless that is a misprint.
My former uni has banged on about getting more girls to apply ever since I've know it. They are now about 55% femail. Yet they still bang on about getting more girls to apply. It is beyond me what their agenda is, unless they see girls as ornaments.
Hoping they submit him to some Chinese torture
No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off
Just what the world needs ...
... another connector standard. As for first post thinking 5 years is a turnover time for kit, my camera is 10 years old and going no-where yet, and bits of my PC kit are >20 years old - I am typing on a 1992 IBM AT keyboard with a PS/2 connector right now. I don't think the world can afford to follow the throw-away cult for many more years anyway.
Saving a few seconds? ... balance that against the time you spend earning the money to replace your all leads or buy cumbersome adaptors, or even new kit itself. Doesn't even take me a few seconds - I glance in USB plugs as I pick them up.
I don't know why they could not have made the orientation of such plugs obvious in the first place. They could have adopted a semi-circular profile for example (my PS2 keyboard plug body at least does have such a flat on it). Oh, wait, I am forgetting there is a fashion for "flat" shapes.
@Richard 81 - Re: Wikipedia Rules
Wrote :- "Nope, it was tea. Tea served us very well in the old imperial days.
Nope, it was cigars, and gin and tonic. The tonic was quinnine and it kept the tropical fevers away; the cigar smoke kept the mosquitos away in the evening.
Wrote :- "When [a soldier] was demobbed after WW2 one was given one's Demob Suit... designed by Montegue Burton. ... he was said to have 'Gone for a Burton'.
I always thought that "Gone for a Burton" originally (and before the end of WW2) meant "gone for a beer", Burton being a brand of it. It was an advertising slogan - like there would be a cartoon of a bus waiting with no driver and one passenger saying in a speech bubble "Where's the driver?" and another replies "Gone for a Burton!". (No drink-drive worries in those days)
It became a national standing joke, with "Gone for a Burton" being used about any absentee, then especially if they had met withan accident. So a mother might say to her 8 year-old going too near a cliff edge : "Careful, or you'll go for a Burton!".
@Captain DaFt - Re: I don't buy it
Wrote : "If the AI is truly intelligent, it'll realise that every link in the chain supporting it requires human intervention. (Power, manufacture, software, etc.)
I would have thought that those functions (manufacture etc) would be the very first areas in which AI would be put to use and make humans redundant - we are halfway there already.
Then humans would be doing nothing but lounging around (like the Eloi in "The Time Machine"), or "at work" attending conferences on how to organise conferences (like we do already), or spending all day posting redundant comments to El Reg (like this one). Sorry, no reliance on humans at all by that point.
@CCCP - Re: @AceRimmer - Will these night time trucking lorries
I wrote :- "It's worse them that"
CCCP wrote :- "You cannot use the Pedantic icon and then spew that. "I must triple check my posts" [repeat]
Sorry. I must triple check my posts. I must triple check my posts
@future research - Re: A few Things that will happen
Wrote :- "if I could spot a google car would just cross the road in front of it expecting it to stop. Can't see them progressing very well in cities"
I thought of that too, not so much me doing it, but more likely kids playing chicken. Especially if there is no-one in the car because there is no irate driver to deal with afterwards (but never mind the cars behind it). It will be great sport in certain urban areas - I'm looking at Southmead in Bristol, once called the joy-ride capital of Britain..
@John Robson - Re: Minister for silliness?
Wrote : - "Strength in cars - erm where are all our manufacturers? Even JLR is now indian ... Strengths in urban design - really?"
Yes, that brought me up short too. I understand that Aston Martin and one or two other niche makers are the only British cars still made. Don't try and tell me that foreign designed cars assembled here are British or you will sound like a politician; such cars have the clever stuff (like design) done abroad, and from the context the Science minister is meant to be referring to the clever stuff.
Ditto urban design. Town and country planning is now a free-for-all ("free market" you see) so how can we have any urban design expertise? Only individual buildings are now designed in the UK, the rest just happens.
Re: AC:- I want a driverless car!
" they can use the car parks at some of those mega supermarkets that are apparently being made obsolete by e-commerce."
That will be no time soon.
I doubt you'd need to have cars cruising round looking for spaces - it seems a small further step to link the car up to something that would tell you where there was a space?"
That facility is not specific to self driving cars. Moreover, when I drive though city streets I very rarely see any spaces, and whenever car pulls out of a space ahead, someone in front of me invariably pulls straight into it. It would seem that most cars driving along city streeets are just cruising for a parking space. waiting for this to happen, so there is zero chance of an empty space half-a-mile away still being empty by the time I reach it. As for city-centre car parks; oh, the GP did away with them becase they were ugly..
"And perhaps to put the car to some good use while you're doing your shopping"
What would that be? Lend it to a neighbour? - no thanks.
@AceRimmer - Re: Will these night time trucking lorries
Wrote "Will ... lorries have special software in them to accommodate the need to pass other lorries in an overtaking manoeuvre that lasts at least ten minutes? .. If (MySpeed - OtherSpeed > 0.00000000000001)"
It's worse them that. MySpeed is often only > OtherSpeed because it is in Other's slipstream. Once past, the situation is reversed and OtherSpeed becomes > MySpeed.
It is even worse than that because each lorry has a bow-wave and tail-wave of air. Once alongside eachother they can get stuck together aerodynamically and can stay like that for miles until one of them throttles right off.
AC:- Re: I want a driverless car!
Wrote "you could send a driverless car off to park itself - no need for ugly city centre car parks"
So ugly out-of-city-centre car parks instead then. Whoopee. More traffic on the roads too with driverless cars cruising around loooking for car parking spaces. Of course, drivers do that now, but at least there is a limit to how far they will go.
If I had set off by car from where I used to live in the London suburbs to go to the centre, I would have ended up parking further from the centre than where I started from. That's why I always used public transport to travel within London, as do most people. However, expect many more people to be using driverless cars in cities, sending them to park miles away (tens of miles away in London's case) until recalled.
Did someone claim this will be green and/or reduce traffic?
Re: Screw vs bolt bs
Wrote :- "I was taught .. Something is a bolt if it is fitted by applying torque to the nut and a screw if torque is applied to the head."
It is true that with a nut and bolt the first option is just to do up the nut if possible, but often you need a spanner on both the nut and the bolt head - when your definition breaks down.
There is some truth in what you say, but in my experience it depends on context. In the store room, a screw is something threaded up to its head and a bolt is only threaded part-way. (Except wood screws). However, once the bolt/screw is in use your definition is partly right - anything with a nut on the other end tends to be called a bolt - if for no better reason than you just cannot tell how far it is threaded once fitted. Like on a ship (I have been a ship's engineer) you might tell a fitter to "take the bolts out of those pipe joint flanges", even if they turn out (though unlikely) to be what the storeman would call screws.
A fully threaded screw in a tapped hole tends to be called a machine screw, and a set screw is a machine screw in a tapped hole protruding beyond it so that its tip locates something, like engaging in a hole in a shaft (eg securing a wheel hub to the shaft). A set screw may of may not be a grub screw (ie a screw with no head, driven by a socket or slot in its body).
Barry Rueger - Re: Robertson Rules!
Wrote :- "I still can't imagine why the easily stripped and screwed up Phillips, or the "Whoops damn it slipped out of the slot" regular screw are so popular."
Never heard of Robertson. A square socket : looks like it's been around a long time in America but no-where else much. Looks a bit crude and similar in function to an Allen (hexagon).
I hope you are not lumping Pozidriv in with "Phillips". From Wikipedia :- "The chief disadvantage of Pozidriv screws is that they are visually quite similar to Phillips, thus many people are unaware of the difference" Pozidriv screw heads have as a visual marker of four radial ticks at 45deg to the main slots.
Pozidrivs are brilliant and Phillips are awful. Phillips screwdrivers are meant to slip out of the screw when "sufficient" torque is reached! They were invented specifically for automated assembly so that the driver would cam out and spin harmlessly when the screw was tight - but in the hand they can of course slip sideways after cam-out, and ruin the adjacent surface (or your other hand), especially as they require a great deal of end force to try to keep the driver in the screw. Even before the point of cam-out, Phillips screws and drivers are made to much lower tolerances than Pozidriv, often being quite sloppy, typified by their use in toys and cheap electronics of Far Eastern design. All leading to a poor and frustrating experience.
OTOH Pozidrivs will not cam out and are an excellent fit. Assembling stuff in awkward places, like up a ladder where I can use only one hand, I often carry a Pozidriv screw just fitted onto the end of the screwdriver; the driver will hold it that way in a horizontal position, and even downwards with a bit of magnetism or grease.
Wrote :- "You can *use* a machine screw as a bolt, but there are penalties for doing so without using a bushing as any proper engineer would know."
An equivalent thing is modern wood screws which are threaded up to the head as opposed to traditional ones the upper half of which are plain. So the modern ones don't have the positive shear location that the traditional ones do - instead of having a tapered pin drawn into it, the upper piece is held only by the tips of the thread, assuming it has a pilot hole.
But apparently Joe Public likes the modern type because more thread looks stronger; he is also more likely to get away with drilling no pilot holes, especially as modern timber is crap (or isn't even proper timber), never mind that the two workpieces can end up being held slightly apart because both get a thread cut in them, but out of phase with each other.
@Frankee Llonnygog - Re: Data vs information
Wrote :- "Poor Frankie - he's but a walking shadow ... [etc]
Are you referring to Francis Maude, or yourself?
Re: It's not Open Source it's an open standard
Wote :- "[documents will now be readable in 100 years time] Only if we keep on shifting them to whatever replaces today's disks and file systems."
Funny you should say that, because I am just transfering some stuff I wrote years ago from WordPerfect format files on floppies to ODF on archive tape. A tedious job.
But at least ODF is likely to last longer than the WP5 format, or the ability to read a present day docx document on future versions of Word. Microsoft have every incentive to keep changing the docx standard in order to force people to keep upgrading Word and Windows - or to buy into their rental software money-making scheme. Indeed, support for ODF should last much longer than MS itself; I'm not betting on MS existing in anything like its present form for more than a few more years.
FTFA :- "In short, ODF is last decade’s battle and the victory has been overtaken by the future.
What a load of bullshit. I don't think this guy understands the issue.
This battle, just won, is about document formats. Not software. Not SaaS. Whether the future is in the cloud or not, and whether MS provide the word processing software or not, is irrelevant to this decision.
If it floats your boat, you will be able to use MS Office to create/read ODF documents, and no doubt some people and offices will remain loyal to MS; goody for them. OTOH you could use Open Office, or LibreOffice, or Star Office, or AbiWord, or any other decent word processing software. They may come or go - it does not matter, the format is a fixed, royalty-free standard, and not under the thumb of one particular company. The ODF format is software vendor neutral. That's the point.
Wrote :- "maybe someone who claims the governments are only using environmental concerns to raise more money can explain why they are giving money away to help people insulate homes"
OTOH I don't believe it is just about money. I think it has a lot to do with the sincerly held crazed obsessions of people who, having become politicians in power, get into a position where they can impose their crazed theories on everyone else. Remember, few of these people have a clue technically. The money, if any, is just a bonus. Actually they would spend the last penny they have (from us) feeding their pet craze.
An example is my local council's
rubbish recycling collection policy. They change the rules every time a new rubbish recycling officer is appointed, according to the individual's pet theories. Each tries to outdo his predecessor, and succeeds - they have even made it into international news with their barminess.
Wrote :- "requires a real education on how to actually write on paper and follow a straight line with no spellcheck to save you from your ignorance of the English language
Let the education start with the use of paragraph breaks.
An Outbreak of Common Sense
While, at the time of the Government consultation, there were thousands of rants on this issue on El Reg, Slashdot etc (mostly preaching ODF to the converted), I was one of the relative few who actually made a submission to The Cabinet Office in favour of ODF - one of not more than a few dozen AFAIR.
I tore the MS (and partners) submissions to pieces, as did most of the other non-MS submissions. The MS submissions were mostly on the lines of "People should be 'free' to use MS Word to read documents if they wished". I basically pointed out that people should be free to use MS Word or any other word processor to read documents if they wished, without a particular company being Godfather and Landlord to the format.
I did not hold out much hope, but nice to see the Cabinet Office concluding on similar lines.
@AC - Re: Better but still a bit of a pigs ear
Wrote :- "lots of competing products that can emulate (generally poorly) the Microsoft Office file formats, but have near zero or outdated support for ODF. This is win / win for Microsoft."
You either do not have a clue what you are talking about or you have some serious typos in that statement. Microsoft would not agree that it is their win - they fought tooth and nail for their Office Open XML (OOXML) format to be adopted instead.
FTFA "He said it was the "civic duty" of technologists to educate the public on how systems work "
Good luck with that, and I've got better things to do
Re: Smart Phones vs Smart Drivers
Wrote :- "good/smart drivers who follow the law, were mostly the ones that were good/smart enough to not use their phones whilst driving in the first place"
Agreed. I don't know about California, but around here (SE Wales) plenty of people ignore the ban. In particular, delivery men make no bones about using their phones while driving to find where I live (I'm in the sticks) and they expect me to navigate them in. OTOH I didn't use the phone while driving before the ban anyway (tried it once and realised how dodgy it was); so little change to either group there.
As for the survey's comparison between before and after the ban, there are so many other things that could have skewed the data in the elapsed time, like the advent of smart phones adding a further dimension to distraction. Just compare driving my own car (1994 design) with driving my wife's car (2012 design). In the older car, I can see all that my instruments have to say at a glance. However the newer car has a digital display with nested menus for stuff like the fuel consumption, remaining range, average speed etc. I have stop find myself looking at this stuff which is really just an entertaining distraction.
Poorly Written Article
The Austin Metro (at least earlier models) could be unlocked by unplugging a connector under a front wing and shorting a couple of the pins.
This article is very badly written. What is "flow design"? What is meant by "pop the doors and engine"? And is this something a thief can do by plugging something in while it is parked (like the Metro above) or is it the perp using a radio link to make the doors fly open or the engine cut or explode ("pop"?) while a Tesla is driving past, as a prank?
"... alter the car functions while it was in motion ". Does this mean by a third party radio link (as above) or by the owner with a plug-in to do things normally disabled in motion - perhaps you can't usually open the sunroof in motion?
No use looking at the link, it's in Chinese.
Re: Personal Responsibility
Wrote :- "Complaining to the EU is the equivalent of buying a car without first having learned how to drive. After [crashing] you then blame the person who sold you the car
Actually, the EU require you (via member governments) to learn to drive before being let loose with a car in Europe. Governments also intervene to prevent a free-for-all on the road by having road laws and things like traffic lights.
So wrong analogy.
Re: No one ever heard of risk analysis?
Wrote :- "deliberately flying an aircraft over war zone for cost saving purposes"
The first question which occurred to me was : "WTF are civil airlines flying over a war zone?"
Watching BBC news on this, I waited for ages for someone to ask to ask this question, and when it was a pundit replied "Because it had been declared safe to do so" - and that seemed to be regarded as a satisfactory answer!
Begged the question : "Why TF had some idiot declared it safe to fly over a war zone?" There seemed to be an assumption that no-one fighting had the capability of attacking a high-flying aircraft, but how could the aviation authorities possibly know what weaponry the combatants had, or might have next week? Or that there was no-one on either side who might not be trigger happy even if they recognised it was a civilian airliner. <irony>Of course, no soldier has ever taken a pot shot at a civilian just for the hell of it.</irony>
Re: No one ever heard of risk analysis?
Wrote :- "Some stories state that the 100 best and brightest AIDs researchers were on this one plane. That scares the heck out of me to think of [the risk]"
And AIDs experts should be risk conscious, no? Similar on the flight that vanished over the Indian Ocean; I understand it took most of China's graphologists with it.
@AC - Re: Hmmm
Wrote :- "Comcast are losing a customer who has been loyal for a decade and it is really useful for a company to understand why"
Now that this is all around the Internet they will lose thousands. However, this time they will know why.
Re: King Canute
Wrote :- "I also insist the local co-op only stocks fair-trade coffee and tea, grown no further than 30 miles of Birmingham"
Makes me think how odd it is that "fair trade" is only ever about foreign farming produce. Perhaps because people find it charming to see pictures of smiling black farmers standing in fields of lush green crops? More charming no doubt than dirty miners toiling underground, clothes makers in sweatshops, or assembly-line workers in mindless Chinese factories. When did you ever see a "fair trade" patch cable?
Re: King Canute
Wrote :- "Our cities are going to look quite different in the near future with so much of our shopping being done online.
OK if it works, but I'd rather see things before I buy. I recently bought some electrical connectors from CPC's website, and the moment I opened the package I could see they were such rubbish that they went straight into the bin. I could have tried returning them, but such hassle and postage.
I have just bought some guttering over the internet. There are three dominant brands, A, B and C. The seller's website pictures looked like Brand A, but I phoned to check and was told Brand B. That was fine, I prefered Brand B. They came and were Brand C.
Acually, they look like Brand C but lack trade marks, so I'm wondering if they are actually rip-offs of Brand C patterns.
So why do I buy from websites? As you say, the local shops and suppliers are disappearing.
@Fibbles - Re: Emails and Announcements
Wrote :- "This is really no different to setting up an email address, not checking your email and then getting mad at people who sent you emails
No, it's like someone sending you letters care of the Post Office in town X because they know you go shopping there sometimes.
@G R Goslin - Re: They are doing it again
Wrote :- "There's an old saying ... that the intelligence of a committee is the intelligence of it's dimmest member
The version I prefer is that the intelligence of a committee is the reciprocal of the sum of the reciprocals of all the members' intelligencies (same formula as resistors in parallel - lower than any one of them). I have come away from meetings where everyone thinks a collective decision was stupid but was accepted because it was the only one which no-one flatly opposed.
Yet companies like mine still bang on about needing "to work as a team".
Wrote :- "I think the obvious solution would be to simply ban the offending words for man bits, then everyone can be unhappy.
The obvious solution would be for people to let Apple decide what they will and won't do within their own premises, and if you want something they won't do then go to a local engraver to get it done. If you have an argument with the local engraver then at least it won't be World news.
Oh, I suppose I've missed the point - the feminists want to manufacture world news wherever possible.
Wrote :- "I think it's a good way of making your device unique and identifiable. Think of it this way.You have 2 .. identical ... iPads, one is your dads and .... the other is yours"
Ever heard of Dymotape?
@Pete 2 - Re: Time for some truly revolutionary GUIs?
Wrote : - "assuming we've learned nothing in the 20 years since Windows 3.1 and Bob ..... is simply wrong"
Well Microsoft haven't.
Re: It's on Bing
AC wrote :- ""Blair's unblurred blurry terrace (sorry this is London, I mean "mews"*)"
Arnaut the less wrote :- "A mews is where birds of prey were kept.
Blair's terrace is not a mews, nor are mews necessarily where birds of prey were kept. A mews (in London at least) is the back alley behind a terrace of town houses where in the 1700-1800s you would find the sheds, stables, coach-houses, accommodation for lower servants and shit-houses that belonged to the houses, at the end of their back yards (and maybe also kennels and birds-of-prey cages, but unlikely in the middle of London).
If you look at the map/satellite view of Blair's house in Connaught Square you will see in fact that there is an "Archery Close" which was obviously once the mews serving his terrace.
Particularly after WWI, many of these mews buildings were converted to (or replaced by) what politicians would now call "affordable housing". It became fashionable for younger people to live there, and they became "vibrant" places. So from being shit-holes, mews became trendy places to live, so much so, that even new housing in towns often gets called "mews" by the marketing people.
@AC - Re: But, but, but...
Wrote :- "The ability to assess the risks of breaking into a house beforehand instead of having to take a look locally ....... Such blurring should be mandatory."
I am not sure this isn't an attempt at humour. The Google street view is equivalent to a glance, nothing that cannot be done by someone walking past with a phone camera for example. Practically everyone who walks past a house these days is waving a phone around anyway.
@AMBxx - Re: But, but, but...
Wrote :- "If you want to publicise the make and location of your burglar alarm, go ahead."
You have already publicised it by ... er ... making it visible to every member of the public passing by.
@You have not yet created a handle - Re: But, but, but...
Wrote :- "Are you telling me that one of these houses is Tony Blairs?
That is really funny. Just goes to show how f#@king ridiculous it is. My opinion of Blair goes down even further now.
Easier to Take Buying Depts for a Ride
RM have discovered that selling services gets higher profits than selling hardware.
There is no logical reason for this, only a psychological one. It is deep in people's culture and instinct to look hard when they buy a physical thing, and are more likely to look for a bargain if they can. OTOH, people lose their bearings when they buy a service because it is an abstract thing, and are afraid if they get into a discussion about it that they will reveal that they don't understand (as they usually don't). Also, they are usually on the rebound from paying for the physical thing.
Another example is gadget shops being so keen to sell extended gurantees - often regarding the sale of hardware as merely a vehicle to sell the extended guarantee. My father-in-law for example always bought a whole raft of paperwork "extras" when he bought a TV or washing machine; he hadn't a clue what they were about but didn't want to admit it. He thought he understood the hardware though - because he could touch it and weigh it in his hands.
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