* Posts by Rol

652 posts • joined 24 Jan 2013

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Score one for the patent trolls: US appeals court says it's OK to shop for patent-friendly judges

Rol
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Texas. The nanny go[a]to state for trolls!

Has anybody ever quantified the true cost of American justice to its own and the rest of the world?

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PayPal probed over Venmo cash-flinging app

Rol
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My first thought was that...

..the competition being beaten on price, had no other recourse than to set the dogs of law off their leash.

because nothing kills a good idea faster than an upset competitor with a fistful of lawyers.

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Rampant robot tries to rip my clothes off

Rol
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Oh, you're all laughing now...

...but once they take over, just how long do you think it'll be before they scan through your anti robot posts from decades ago?

Yeah, expect a drone delivery of lovely things, only to find out it's an unmarked securicell drone, coming to take you away haha.

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E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians

Rol
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Re: I don't know.

Havin_it. You get the star prize. I did wonder if anyone would pick up on it.

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Rol
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I don't know.

It's almost as if Westminster was worried too many people would stop smoking, and hence stop contributing barrow-loads of tobacco tax into their coffers.

Because I can't see any logical reason in preventing e-cig take up, other than the financial hole in tax takings, oh and obviously the profit margins of big tobacco......ah! that'll be the people with a lobbying group so well funded, that if it had a mind to, it could get legislation passed to create an eight day week.

Now we know. Now we know. Now we know.......

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It's 2016 and now your internet-connected bathroom scales can be hacked

Rol
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The Force, with you, it is. marketing force, that is.

"Hey Dave, how's things? I'm off to the jobcentre and thought I'd pop in on the way for a coffee"

"DID SOMEONE MENTION COFFEE?"

"What's that?"

"Oh, it's my new coffee maker, it was the cheapest I could get, but it seems part of the price is it will shout advertising crap at me while making the coffee"

"DO YOU NEED A BREAK, I HAVE MILLIONS OF GETAWAY DEALS, ALL AT AFFORDABLE PRICES"

"Wow, both amazing and annoying"

"Mmm"

"Tastes ok though, just gonna use your loo.....Hey a new toilet as well"

"BUY RAPIDO BLEACH, KILLS EVERYTHING RAPID LIKE"

"You've got to be joking, another cheapest you could find?"

"Yes, I think I've learnt my lesson"

"Any other remarkably cheap, yet annoying new things?"

"Well, I got this Chrome Book laptop thingy, but it seems fine..............

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UK's 'superfast' broadband is still complete dog toffee, even in London

Rol
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Re: +10

As an economically poor, long-time user of the internet I baulk at the idea that my bills will be loaded with the costs of running high bandwidth services to Lord and Lady Mucks country palace.

I'm not against subsidising rural roll-out, but I am against the inevitable regressive taxation if the costs are borne solely by the providers, who in turn will increase EVERYONE'S bill to pay for it.

No. this needs to be a Government led initiative, payed [work it out] out of general taxation and thus a more fairly distributed burden.

After all, I very much doubt Lord and Lady Muck will be happy when asked to contribute toward supplying, poor inner-city households, a PC capable of taking advantage of their superfast internet, which is the next stumbling block in internet access.

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Rol
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Re: re. virgin

Yep. By default of being a Virgin customer, I had my times of woe, but that was mostly down to customer service wanting to take it to the line before giving me the deal I wanted, but that has totally changed, and now it's a pleasure to deal with them.

Speed and availability has never been an issue, and yes, I very much doubt I will ever leave them, but don't tell them I said that.

As for speed in general, I half suspect many speed tests are carried out when the user is experiencing stuttering on streaming services and the like, probably around late afternoon, early evening when everyone and his dog is banging away at their keyboard and hence a low speed report, but later when things are quieter and their streaming of Game of Thrones is perfect, they never think of doing a speed test and thus the overall figures will suggest average speeds are lower than they really are.

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German prof scores €2.4m EU grant to crack software on your bicycle

Rol
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Ownership is highly contentious.

If you don't own the software, for all practical purposes you don't own the hardware either.

A physical switch to stop firmware updates bricking your hardware needs to become standard.

And perhaps legislation that would prevent companies from obsoleting their own products, by introducing a compulsory auction of the software rights to products that they have failed to maintain.

And yes, "I bid minus ten thousand pounds" would be a valid bid.

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Newest Microsoftie Xamarin releases cross-platform mobile SDK as open source

Rol
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Cross-platform

"So, it has come to this."

"You'll never get away with it."

"I'm afraid, you're too late. Even as we speak my minions are hurriedly writing scripts that will bring down this monstrous free for all OS and open up its users to a torrent of heinous criminality."

"It will never work, Linux is impenetrable"

"So it was, so it was, but then you never questioned Microsoft's new found liberal thinking towards open-source, and hence you never saw this coming."

"Open-source is a positive thing, it could never be turned toward the darkside"

"Well, that does rather depend on who is creating it, and how much they utterly despise the whole, give it away for free scene, that has been undermining capitalism for far too long. No your cutsie little OS will become just another FUBAR OS, totally lacking in the resources necessary to pull it back from oblivion"

"Why, o why, are you doing this?"

"Well, retirement isn't sitting with me very well and Melinda suggested an hobby would put the shine back in my eyes. Obviously destroying the competition is all that I know, so hey oh."

"You dirty fuc....."

"Now, now, save the potty talk for your kernel writers"

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The case for ethical ad-blocking

Rol
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Re: First questions first

Just like you, I filter out all adverts, and as with everyone's exposure to them, the advert still gets brain space.

Purposefully ignoring an advert does not stop that advert from subliminally working on your neurons and advertisers have known this for years, hence the furore over ads that ran for only a couple of frames in films and tv. Not long enough to notice them, but your brain still saw them, leaving you wondering, why all of a sudden you craved chocolate.

Short of going all biblical on your offending eyes, I'm afraid only an intensive course of rational reasoning is going to stop you from being influenced by the devil's little helpers.

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A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

Rol
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You should be dreading the next few weeks...

I used to install Ubuntu on friends PC's and laptops, and they loved it. Not only that, they trusted it.

For me, that was a Godsend as all my time around their gaffs was spent socialising and not as it used to be:- ripping bits of Microsoft out; polishing it with some spit and then hammering it back in again with fingers crossed.

Problem was, that unbridled trust of everything Linux extended to them hitting "Yes", when Ubuntu offered up its next incantation and then I'd be back to fixing and not mixing.

Mint has never announced to the user a quick one click upgrade to its new shiny shiny and thus a fixed PC has invariably stayed fixed.

Those of you who fix friends computers with Ubuntu, might be getting fevered calls over the next few weeks as they merrily venture into unknown territory. Unless of course Ubuntu has stopped enticing the feckless into undoing your handy work.

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What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

Rol
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Re: Too little, too late

Yes. The companies who's ass dangles over our side of the fence needs kicking until they get the message; "connecting scam callers to our lines is not an acceptable revenue stream".

Let's hope the lovely people at Westminster have no investments in your telco, as that would obviously be a huge obstacle in getting consumer protection.

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FBI's Tor pedo torpedoes torpedoed by United States judge

Rol
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To be Fair

The magistrate should have immediately pointed out the extent of his jurisdiction, considering the internet is world-wide.

Then again, surely the FBI who regularly get involved in cross state crimes would have something of an insight into these things.

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Websites take control of USB devices: Googlers propose WebUSB API

Rol
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You've gotta be joking!!

So, you rummage around in your IT shed for that gadget you bought back in 2016 and attach it to your PC. All well and good, but then you discover the huge international organisation, the one that has its name proudly emblazoned all over the gadget, has found the cost of hosting a dozen megabytes or so of data, so expensive that the drivers for your gadget are no longer available.

This happens all the time, and with huge names as well, not just the transient companies that disappear as fast as the holding company created them.

And, no, the cost of hosting a dozen or so megabytes on their company servers is so close to zero it is for accounting purposes zero. The reason it disappears is because they wish to obsolete it as soon as possible.

No bundled drivers! No sale!

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Samsung kind of cracks the 10nm barrier with new 8GB DDR4 slabs

Rol
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Re: Contracted auxiliaries

That's JabberWiki

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Rol
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Re: Im not sure why this happened

What's needed is a new block, one that uses all six sides as input/output nodes.

Right clicking on the block would put you inside a 64x64x64 cube where huge redstone circuitry can be laid down.to process the in and out signals to their relative faces.

By compacting the redstone this way, far more creative designs would be possible, without the hideous eyesores that complex redstone comes with.

I think I need to go have a cup of tea .... and leave the Irish coffee alone for a while.

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Brexit: Leaving the EU could trigger UK science patent law rejig

Rol
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Divide and conquer

That has always been the British way of keeping the serfs too busy to see they're being fleeced.

The EU and its namby pamby, caring for the populous, commie tripe, flies in the face of capitalism and Tarquin's inherited right to fuck the poor as and when he wishes.

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Surprise! Magic Kinder app could let hackers send vids to your kids

Rol
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I remember when software sometimes had Easter Eggs

Now it seems a nuclear payload is the only surprise awaiting the unwary.

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Space archeologist discovers new evidence of Vikings invading America

Rol
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Well, I heard...

..flint tools napped in a fashion that almost fingerprints them to a tribe originating in the French region pre-dates any Viking venture by aeons.

It was suggested they took the flimsy fishing boats of the day along the edge of a hugely extended ice shelf during the last ice age, which kind of makes sense, when you consider they were going totally stone age on each other for resources.

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Swedish publishers plan summer ‘Block Party’ to thwart ad blockers

Rol
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My understanding

Is that only some 10% of advertisers pay to be on Ad-block's whitelist, the rest get on by complying with the terms and by virtue of being a small player.

The big players have to both comply and pay and seeing as Ad-block needs funding to continue, then I think this is an excellent model.

All this whining from the big ad execs is to be expected, as they have never featured in the top 7.4 billion of the nicest, most considerate, selfless people on the planet.

Ah, yes, the planet, that being the thing which they are selling to us until it is nothing but ash and dust.

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Brit firm unleashes drone-busting net cannon

Rol
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Re: What happened to the good old way of aerial combat?

Argh!! You beat me to it. Well great minds and the like.

Have a beer on me, just to show I'm not a sore loser.

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Rol
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I don't know? I can cast about 100m or so using nothing other than my right arm, I don't see how a powered projectile would find the same task any more difficult.

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Rol
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Ok Here's the answer

Combat drones!!!

Well, not exactly combat, but rather interceptor drones, high speed remote controlled airplane hybrids.

The interceptor would fly at high speed as a plane to the target and then release a net above the delinquent drone whilst simultaneously rotating its propellers to helicopter mode, whereby it can safely control the decent of both itself and the entangled drone to Earth.

It could even operate under command, and let the on-board gubbins do the intercepting automatically.

As it is only intended to be deployed for a matter of minutes, power considerations are minimal, and a quick swap out of batteries or refill of gas would see it operational again.

Mmm, I'm thinking, pigeon pie could feed the world.

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Rol
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Could be tethered to the gun and wound in?

100metres of 20lb fishing line, what, a couple of grammes

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Rol
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It's not the drones fault

Attacking the drone is the wrong way to go about it.

The operator is transmitting an easily sourced signal, that could be targeted with conventional weaponry, such as Napalm.

My preferred method is a tiger fitted with an Oculus headset, which would guide her by showing the target clubbing her cub to death.

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Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail

Rol
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Re: battery charge times

It doesn't work for everyone, in every instance, but does that really matter?

For probably (hold on I'm pulling on this really hard, urrgh, urrgh, arrgh, there) 90% of the population a vehicle that has a range of 100 miles on an overnight charge, with supplemental charges at work would be perfectly adequate.

The other 10% can stay with the combustion engine.

and of the 90% who occasionally want to slip off to Cornwall for the weekend, then might I point you towards public transport, or car rental services.

Oh, but the cost of having to rent a car, when there's one already parked outside?

Well, for every mile in your leccy car, you could put 5p in a jar, representing money saved, and then spend it on hiring Stig to drive you in a DB9 when the whim takes you.

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Rol
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Re: Hot swapping

Gas canisters slowly degrade over their lifetime, with no loss in storage capacity, until the very end.

Batteries degrade over a much shorter lifetime, with huge losses in storage capacity

So when you truck up to the motorway services wanting to swap out your brand new lovingly cared for battery you might just be getting a real shag nasty replacement with a hundred miles off your range.

To make it work would require some kind of charge counter embedded in the battery, or a customer readable testing meter, coupled with a discounting scheme for those batteries that have degraded.

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We're doing SETI the wrong and long way around, say boffins

Rol
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Re: easy answer....

We observe several dimensions and speculate about many more, it could be that for the last few hundred years we have been merrily transmitting our presence in a dimension we have yet to perceive, and that dimension might not necessarily be bounded by the speed of light, or conventional time.

If so, we could have been on the radar thousands of light years away only last week. Who knows?

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Rol
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Re: Smarter than us

Well the smart thing to do, is to not transmit a big "Hullo" to the universe until after you have built the death star and killed off the potential back stabbing, ingrates, that fester on its protective moon, like the Clangers, oh they look cute, but odds are, the first aliens that truck up for a fight with Earth would be able to buy their loyalty with anything that wasn't soup.

Until then, keep quiet, turn the light down real low and pray the first signs picked up by aliens of humanities existence wasn't Peter Jackson's Bad Taste.

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Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

Rol
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Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

Yes, I have been in a similar situation, where I was detained by company security against my will.

I explained the law regarding illegal imprisonment and how they detaining me against my will was just that, however it was only when the police arrived, in answer to my calling them did security back down and allow me to leave.

Smoke and fire, I smell you thinking. Well no. The company instructed security that no person was to leave the premises until they had lifted the ban, and I was just visiting

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Nearly a million retail jobs will be destroyed by the march of tech, warns trade body

Rol
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Re: Hmmmm

Hmmmm, sheeple, woolly chavs that by their sheer number encourage the least deserving onto success.

It's no wonder that choice and quality has vacated the high street, when people rely on glitzy adverts to tell them what to buy, and divine quality by looking at the price tag.

Then we have the ludicrous situation where most of the high street is owned by just a few parent companies, with multiple brand outlets, that seemingly compete with each other, yet, as pointed out already, exist for the sole purpose of monopolising the place, to the ultimate detriment of the shopper.

Thank fuck I've got a computer and an internet connection, so I can extract myself from this managed menagerie of bird brained shoppers and cat stroking retail barons.

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Tor takes aim against malicious nodes on the network

Rol
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Yep. If someone is interested in you, whether it be the security services or some other nefarious outfit, you can be sure, nothing you do on the net will go unobserved.

Having said that, you would need to be someone of interest to warrant such an invasion, so most of us really only need some reasonable security and a blameless existence....err..how do I turn this off...arrgh..quick quick...

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California methane well leak filled a Rose Bowl a day

Rol
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Re: How many...

Rose Bowl stadiums of crude oil gushed into the Gulf?

Divide the umpty $bn court settlement by that figure and multiply by the ratio of harm methane will do to the atmosphere and that's another bit of American pollution the world has yet again failed to sue them for.

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Science contest to get girls interested in STEM awards first prize to ... a boy

Rol
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Re: Orwell said it (more or less) ...

Sounds ideal, but in practice it is more sexist than Sid the sexist in a stuffed bikini riding a minstrel's cycle in the Tour de Lesbos.

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Samsung off the hook as $120m Apple patent verdict tossed

Rol
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Re: Geez!

Is America the only country in the world with such a piss poor patent scheme, or has Apple got other jurisdictions where it can manipulate the market?

Because, thinking about it, by not even entering the American market, companies could save huge amounts of money avoiding the monopolistic behemoths of American industry in court, while still feeding the beast through the grey market. ie. American retailers buy on the world market, themselves.

The overall saving, by not having to pay the obligatory American court tax, could be passed on to the customer.

I see a time when America no longer controls the markets with an iron fist, and its citizens begin to realise everything they buy is specially priced for retail in America to include:-

Idiot fees - the time and effort that is required to think of every safety precaution necessary to avoid being sued by someone who clearly should be neutered for the sake of the future gene pool.

Waddington fees - The price of passing Go in a country that has mastered the art of complaining that everyone else is protecting their domestic market, whilst doing more than any other nation on Earth to protect its domestic market.

Apple fees- Go on. Have a bite. I dare you.

USPTO fees- Anagram of STOP U, nuff said

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Na na na na na na na na bionic-BATMAN! Boffins build bat-like electro-stimulated drone wings

Rol
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Re: "resembles the so-called Caspian Sea Monster"

I remember my dad telling me about how they would aim the AAA at the ocean in front of low flying attackers during WWII.

Seems the rounds would bounce off the water and more readily make a hit on the much larger surface area presented by the underneath of the plane instead of the slim profile coming right at you.

He also recalled how they would rock the boat so as to get the big guns low enough to join in.

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Rol
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Re: "resembles the so-called Caspian Sea Monster"

"Caspian Sea Monster, an experimental ground effects aircraft developed by the Soviets in the 1960s to fly about 10 metres (33 ft) across water"

Perhaps useful in an attack against Birmingham, what with all its canals that need crossing, but a ten metres range is hardly a threat to civilization.

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European Patent Office heads rapidly toward full meltdown

Rol
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Re: Outdated practices?

"Lemon Ice-cream"

"No!"

"Oh, come on! It sounds fair enough to me."

"No! Not the recipe for Lemon Ice-cream"

"Come on.."

"No! Never never never!!!!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amZsdpLXcIo

NTNON

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Rol
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Re: zero emissions?

"So why not just make alcohol with this clean technology, then you don't need new engines or a new distribution network?"

Why bother fussing around with a job or an education, when alcohol can be had for practically nothing.

We all know, most people went to university so they could earn more money to buy more booze.

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Rol
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Re: @ Rol -- Hydrogen filling

I see your point.

Then again. Remember when we were awash with tied pubs, as in, owned and run for the benefit of the brewery? And the government came along and legislated against it.

Well, if the energy lobbyist could be sent on a long holiday, similar legislation could be applied to petrol stations.

And thank you very much for the compliments.

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Rol
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Re: Hydrogen filling

Steam methane reforming, can take the natural gas that is piped all over the country and converts it to hydrogen.

Domestic fuel cell plants are available, that use this method, to run from the mains gas supply.

Hardly a great leap to consider shoving it in your car instead.

http://energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-production-natural-gas-reforming

This article also goes on to explain how it can also process petrol or alcohol to produce hydrogen.

For all practicality (cost) I see these plants getting installed in existing petrol stations, where the hydrogen infrastructure hasn't yet reached.

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Oz town suffers hairy panic attack

Rol
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Re: IT

Here's your IT angle.

After diving deeper into this story, it does appear that the farmer, far from abandoning his plot, was paid by NASA to encourage the growth of this weed.

NASA is now tracking it across the countryside, and initial results are hailing it a success.

Why? I hear you ask. Well, a new generation of Mars Rovers are being modelled on this very weed.

They intend to deliver a few grammes of seed to the planet and germinate them as and when required. The seeds thus produced are collected for later use and the weed gets fitted with tiny lightweight measuring gubbins and released.

There, feel better?

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A third of Brits would cough up £300 to ransomware peddlers

Rol
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White hat hack

If there are people out there, that still haven't got the message, then I think it's time to send them another message, which again they would ignore, but this one has a payload.

Infect their machines with a benevolent virus, one which goes through their machine, closing all the obvious open doors, putting admin privileges far out of their reach and changing the desktop wallpaper to always have the words, "THIS COMPUTER WILL SELF DESTRUCT IF YOU DO NOT BACKUP EVERYDAY"

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Facebook tells Viz to f**k right off

Rol
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Re: A once brilliant comic....

Whatever you do, don't buy a shed from the small ads.

It has been ten years since I ordered one and all I get from customer services is "wibble, wibble"

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Rol
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Re: These so-called "standards" of Zucks

Or fnar fnar Finbarr. He who hears double entendres in everyday speech, yet can't understand the most obvious illusions to sex.

It must be Finbarr Saunders who moderates the comical, yet sees nothing out of sorts with be-headings.

I wonder if a dozen or so complainants could get religion banned in favour of a more kindly and agreeable world?

'cos when someone professes a profound hatred of comedic foreplay, yet offers up no opinion to chainsaw murder videos, you know you're dealing with a nut warped by religious indoctrination.

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Rol
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Re: A once brilliant comic....

Ha, yes, Black Bag, the faithful border bin liner. I'm going all gooey eyed.

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Rol
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Oh, how true, AndrueC. I remember informing my First Aid class only a couple of years ago on how to deal with a stab/gun shot wound to the chest. Basically place the patient on the side with the wound. This way only one lung fills up with blood.

The teacher and the rest of my co-learners were very impressed, but I think I lost all kudos when I mentioned it was gleaned from the letters page of Viz, some ten years earlier.

I'm thinking of moving to New York to increase the chances of the headline:- Viz saved my life.

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Rol
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How it should be done.

"The page belonging to Viz is absolutely disgusting and should be taken down"

"Thank you for highlighting this. We'll take the appropriate action immediately"

"And what might that be?"

"Well, in this instance, we believe the best course of action is to block you from viewing the Viz page ever again."

"I'm sorry, you're not going to block them, but instead block me?"

"Well yes. Viz has had one hundred million hits, and only twelve people have made a complaint, so, we have come to the conclusion that it is best to censure the viewing options for the few, rather than spoil things for one hundred million people."

"That is totally outrageous. Your organisation is helping to peddle filth and should be shut down"

"Ahem, Yes, Thank you for highlighting this. We'll take the appropriate action immediately"

"Hello? ......Hello!........"

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What would happen if Earth fell into a black hole?

Rol
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Obvious when you think about it

A black hole consists of Higgs Bosun particles and nothing else.

Matter falling into a black hole has their Higgs torn out and the rest passes through to another dimension.

This is because Gandalf cast a spell insisting that Higgs cannot pass, and so the rest of the atom divested themselves of Higg and carried on into a dimension that has no gravity.

If you were to find yourself on the other side of a black hole, it would appear like a sun, issuing fantastical amounts of energy.

Interestingly, this energy, has proved itself to be a great protector of our bit of the universe, because the entities that live on the other side of a black hole, are extremely dangerous, what with their ability to ignore the affects of gravity, they could fly around on a whim swooping down to feast on us, like we were a Cornish pasty in the beady eye of a seagull.

I will be starting a Kickstarter project soon, to try and capture one of them, if anyone is interested.

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