* Posts by TheWeenie

72 posts • joined 29 Jan 2013

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Sad reality: It's cheaper to get hacked than build strong IT defenses

TheWeenie

It's yet another example of biased risk-awareness.

You can take a service - let's say...a calendar. You've got a choice of going with provider A, who will give you a product that's free but with a few adverts and some behind-the-scenes data-slurping and the possibility that any details you give them may end up being sold in bulk by whichever unscrupulous group has compromised the security of that organisation.

Or you go with company B, who don't give you adverts, don't mine your data and invest heavily in their cyber-security platforms - but it'll cost you £10 a month for a product of a comparable standard.

Probably 95% of people would go for the former, and accept the risk that there's a very slight chance that some of their credentials will be compromised. If company A doesn't need your address and bank details, then the compromise is an inconvenience to the average user. If company B is compromised - and let's remember that no connected system can ever be 100% secure - then potentially you'll be exposed to a significantly larger loss - not just getting spammed for viagra and russian brides, but you may lose real beans-and-beers money from your bank account or credit card.

So yeah. I don't like the message but I kind of understand it. It feels like people increasingly see "being hacked" in the same vein as getting a speeding ticket - you do what you can to avoid it, and if it happens you'll be annoyed, but it's not the end of the world.

Interesting.

9
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Hybrid infrastructure: You did it. You switched over. Now lock it down. Yes, really

TheWeenie

Sounds familiar

Good article. Any sysadmin with half a clue has been doing all of these for years. How does this translate to an off-premises cloud deployment though?

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US Marine Corps to fly F-35s from HMS Queen Lizzie as UK won't have enough jets

TheWeenie

I wouldn't dispute that. But its a bit of a niche case, isn't it? How often do we expect to be attacking impoverished land-locked countries with no functioning government, no modern defences, no international allies, but who are surrounded for hundreds of miles by nations hostile to both them and the West?

Based on the things I've seen so far in my lifetime, pretty often, I'd say!

1
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'Second Earth' exoplanet found right under our noses – just four light years away

TheWeenie

Re: I wish they would can "Operation Starshot"

It'd make a great movie!

0
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Google broke its own cloud by doing two updates at once

TheWeenie
Headmaster

Re: Still planning to have these clown in your infrastructure?

Now ask the same question for an on-premise solution.

It's probably just me, but it bugs me when people refer to it as 'on-premise' when it should actually be 'on-premises'. Picking up the Concise Oxford (or rather, Googling it) we have:

noun

ˈprɛmɪs/

1.

LOGIC

a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion.

"if the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true"

...as opposed to...

premises

ˈprɛmɪsɪz/Submit

noun

a house or building, together with its land and outbuildings, occupied by a business or considered in an official context.

"the company has moved to new premises"

So, "on-prem" kinda works, but I guess there's some sort of cloudy cognitive-bias going on here. You're as well saying "on-tomato" - it'll make about as much sense.

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TheWeenie

Re: #Cloudfail

Moral: NOT better management of updates and backups by the Cloud Provider, but if anything is part of your core business, run it on your own servers. Only use 3rd Party Datacentres for your Internet presence (probably core of it your own servers, co-lo to get connectivity) or temporary collaboration.

This, this a million times this!

9
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An anniversary to remember: The world's only air-to-air nuke was fired on 19 July, 1957

TheWeenie

Re: @Mark 85 re: blast radius.

No-one wants a nuclear aerospaceageinferno in their airspace if they can possibly avoid it.

Given what the scores of Russkies were presumably intending to do, I'd say a relatively small nuclear conflagration in the troposphere in a sparsely populated area would be more desirable than a nuclear armageddon at ground level in your cities.

7
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Maxthon web browser blabs about your PC all the way back to Beijing

TheWeenie

I don't understand why - halfway through 2016 - this sort of thing is still a surprise.

14
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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

TheWeenie
Pint

First proper job was supporting OS/2 Warp 4 workstations on a Token ring network, talking SNA back to an IBM mainframe. So all this Windows using TCP/IP over Ethernet is something of a breeze.

We used to have a problem whereby every so often the entire floor we were sat on would just fall over - I remember standing in front of the Madge Networks "Ringswitches" and watching them go into full-on Christmas-tree mode. The relays used to make a great noise when they tripped. Cue many hours of playing hunt-the-knackered-balun under people's desks. One ring per floor, so when one device failed, 300+ people fell off the network. Nothing like a bit of segmentation.

I also remember another issue - encountered as they were upgrading to NT4. Turns out that the new IBM servers had been installed with dual NICs inside them. The primary was cabled to a dedicated 100Mbit HSTR ring, but the second was simply connected to the user ring on that floor, so when the HSTR switch failed (which was about once a month), then all of the servers would fail back to the 16Mbit floor ring, massively overloading it and reducing the entire floor to a standstill. And this was in the day when network management was very much an afterthought, so the usual diagnostic process involved staring at the box and hoping for divine inspiration!

In terms of tools:

1) Ethernet cable joiners - straight-through and XO

2) Assorted screwdrivers

3) Tweezers

4) Scalpel

5) RJ45 plugs and crimps

6) Leatherman (with belt-holster, because the ladies love a belt-holster)

7) Domain-admin password, written on post-it

8) Various network patch cords and fibres

9) Mini-Maglite

10) Vanilla netbook purchased from PC World to get around USB-lockdown

11) USB-to-serial cable plus assorted console cables

12) Aftershave, just in case

2
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Scientists want you to know how to have sex with a hyper-long dong

TheWeenie

Re: #1 proof that penis enlargement pills do not work:

And how would spam filters look like, and how would you install them?

A cricket bat, and manually.

22
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By Jove! NASA's Juno prepares to slip into orbit around Jupiter

TheWeenie
Thumb Up

ElReg needs to have a new unit of disinformation/bollocks. I propose the "Gove". So "Instead, if the spacecraft successfully enters Jovian orbit, it will be descending into its fluffy clouds." would qualify as about 0.2 Goves.

Surely 1.0 Goves would be a constant, like 0K or e. So to deal with mundane stuff like this you'd need to have smaller units, such as the milligove or the microgove.

A minor sexing-up of the editorial pales into insignificance next to the Reference Unit himself. Maybe a couple of milligoves at most.

I'd like to propse the use of the Bojo too - a bit like the Becquerel - but instead of one radioactive decay per second, one Bojo would reflect the number of words spoken by an individual that would generate one lie per second. Obviously that's a tiny, weeny little unit, so we'd need to go the other way with the sequence - the kilobojo, megabojo, gigabojo and terabojo respectively.

2
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When Capita job ads go BAD

TheWeenie

Not a problem we get up here in lovely Clackmannanshite.

No, but we have plenty of others!

0
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North Korea clones Facebook, forgot to change default creds

TheWeenie
Mushroom

I would not want to be responsible for that screw up. This is likely to get some one in front of HR firing squad .

Surely Mr Kim wrote the website himself, just after completing a great work of art and just before composing a new opera...

20
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US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

TheWeenie

Re: Good. Simple is best.

What should they use? USB flash drives? Why not floppies?

Well, I am not 100% sure, but I'm going to guess that the answer to that would probably be "The Cloud".

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Your next server will be a box full of connected stuff, not a server

TheWeenie

We don't, our PHBs do.

22
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Periodic table enjoys elemental engorgement

TheWeenie

Tinkywinkyium, Dipsyum, Lalaium, Poum

4
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It's amazing the UK Parliament agreed to track 22bn Brits' car trips. Oh right – it didn't

TheWeenie

I look forward to registering my new number plate - A123 BCD ''' DROP TABLE *

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Car radars gain sharper vision after ITU assigns special spectrum slice

TheWeenie
Thumb Up

So a new car will have a head-up display and now radar as available options.

Cool.

Can I have a big, red button too please? Preferably with a flick-up guard...middle-lane moron locked on...Fox Two!

7
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We turn Sonos PLAY:5 up to 11

TheWeenie

Re: Comments seem to miss the point of Sonos

The setup of Squeezebox may require more neurones than that of Sonos, but navigating and using it is just as easy.

I made the move from Squeezebox to Sonos about a year ago when I was lucky enough to win a Play:3 in a competition.

Squeezeboxes are great. I've got an original Black 'n' Silver and a more modern Logitech branded wireless version too. Both have given me many, many years of reliable service, and both can be thought of as a very high quality digital source - I was using one with my 5:1 AV amp and the other with some decent speakers in the bedroom.

So why make the move?

The Apple argument is - unfortunately - a good one (I'm an Android user, so resent the implication!). It got to the point that more and more services started to drop off from the Squeezebox platform - a lot of my favourite Internet radio stations stopped working, and it got to the point that I simply couldn't be bothered to mess around adding them manually. I just wanted something that works.

I have quite a few friends who would describe themselves as audiophiles and have spent many hours debating the usual arguments. These devices are quite simply not aimed at them. Likewise, they're not aimed at people who want to rig up a Raspberry Pi as a source, or people who want to spend a grand on a piece of turntable uber-engineering. They're aimed at people who value content. People who want to listen to music with a minimum of fuss. And in that sector, they're peerless. The whole thing feels well made and you can tell that a lot of thought has gone into it, from the quality of the box (yes, really - they make fantastic presents!) to the fact that you really can get it up and running in less than five minutes, and as has been previously stated, the UI is fantastic. You're not paying for a burr-brown DAC. You're not needing to worry about the Thiele-Small parameters of the individual drivers, or the sound stage height and width, or the class of amplifier or any of that stuff - if you care about that then there's a huge industry waiting to separate you from your hard-earned. Alternatively, buy one of the PLAY:Connects and use that as a source - in exactly the same way as a Squeezebox. Then you can fill your boots with all of your audiophile goodies.

If you want something relatively inconspicuous that won't require a dedicated listening room and a second mortgage, then the Sonos range is ideal. It isn't perfect, but it's a damn good product.

I do miss the old VU meter display though. That was cool.

1
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Now VW air-pollution cheatware 'found in Audis and Porsches'

TheWeenie

Every time I hear the term "rogue engineer" in this story it makes my blood boil. The chance of middle and upper VW management not knowing about and approving this type of defeat device is precisely zero, regardless of whether what started it off was an engineer saying "hey, I know how we can pass the emissions limits without urea injection" or a manager saying "come on guys, you gotta find me a way to pass the emissions tests without urea injection 'cos we've publicly said we don't need it and it's too expensive".

Finding documented proof of how far up the chain this went might be more difficult, this is the type of thing where people are often given verbal "don't put anything in writing" instructions so there can be some chance of deniability -- like the phone hacking scandals, nobody believes the denials of Rebekah Brooks and the like but if they say "I didn't know" or "I can't remember" enough times they get away with it.

So from this we can assume that:

1) Governance in the VW group is inadequate and the management weren't aware, and every component of every vehicle they produce should he investigated to make sure that they're fit for purpose;

2) Governance in the VW group is adequate and management were aware, in which case the individuals who sanctioned the change should be fired;

3) VW employs engineers who are dumb enough not to get everything in writing and act on verbal instructions even when they know that what they were being asked to do was amoral and had potentially catastrophic ramifications, in which case the engineers and the management should be fired.

Most organisations won't even let you take a midday dump without raising a change and having half the management team sign off on it. Are we really supposed to believe that some "rogue" engineers can commit several hundred lines of code into the engine management software used in hundreds of thousands of engines worldwide without anyone higher-up knowing about it?

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Hi, um, hello, US tech giants. Mind, um, mind adding backdoors to that crypto? – UK govt

TheWeenie

Dear HM Government

We, the people, will agree to give up strong cryptography when you agree to give up Parliamentary Privilege, and make public any and all correspondence into which you have entered since assuming office. Because that's effectively what you're asking us to do.

You also acknowledge that by doing this, you effectively condemn the digital economy of the UK, significantly weaken our international trading position, undermine the future of the UK's STEM talent and relegate us to the IT equivalent of the dark ages (well, 1997, or thereabouts).

Honestly, who advises the government on this stuff?

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Northrop wins $55bn contract for next-gen bomber – as America says bye-bye to B-52

TheWeenie

Re: "...packed with the latest technology..."

If humans were smarter, we probably wouldn't need to spend $55bn on bombers in the first place.

10
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GCHQ to pore over blueprints of Chinese built Brit nuke plants

TheWeenie

They missed a trick

Maybe they should get Foxconn to build these new power stations. I mean, they glue iPhones together and people seem to be quite happy with those.

Just make sure you don't hold the fuel rods the wrong way.

3
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After Burner: Sega’s jet-fighting, puke-inducing arcade marvel

TheWeenie

I used to play this on holiday when I was a kid down in Swanage. I was hooked, and wanted to play at home, so bought the tape for my ZX Spectrum - that was predictably dreadful so for Christmas that year I got my first computer, and I was hooked. I guess people figured out that it was cheaper in the long run than feeding 50p into the machine every ten minutes!

I still remember completing it - in the posh cabinet version - there was a small crowd of people watching by the end.

Afterburner Climax - despite sounding like a weird, Japanese STD - was pretty good.

Thanks for the trip back down memory lane, El Reg!

1
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German regulator sets VW deadline

TheWeenie

One thing I have always wondered about is where VW group cars which have had aftermarket performance engine maps loaded will sit in all this.

If VW are forced to put out a new map, is it compulsory to have your car flashed with the "fixed" map? If so, would those ECUs then be put into a read-only mode (therefore locking the "proper" map onto the ECU for life), or is it merely a trivial task to take your car to VW for the upgrade so you get a tick-in-the-box on their system and get a nice, official certificate (i.e. so your car is compliant with the type and therefore subject to the correct VED), and then stop off on the way home to have a performance map put back on again?

If the former then that's a big nail in the coffin for car tuning specialists; if the latter then it would appear that this is a completely pointless exercise.

1
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11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

TheWeenie
Joke

Re: Where's the red line?

The red line? At about 3000rpm if you want to meet the NOx emissions rules and you drive a VW!

1
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SPACE WHISKY: Astro malt pongs of 'rubber and smoked fish'

TheWeenie

Re: Acceleration

"I wonder if the take-off/re-entry/landing process has any part to play... normal whisky isn't generally exposed to high acceleration and chucked around roughly?"

In the cask, no. In the bottle...that's an average night out in Glasgow!

2
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TheWeenie
Pint

Re: Scientific newbies

"Within 24 hours the colour had changed and the odour had mellowed. In about 4 years i'll report what it tastes like..."

Is that when you get your eyesight back or when you finally sober up?

1
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Sex app Tinder in public meltdown – because a journo dared suggest it was, well, a sex app

TheWeenie
Joke

Cloud Dating. You just described Relationship as a Service.

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Call of Duty, GTA V DO NOT make YOUTH more VIOLENT

TheWeenie

Re: Individual slaughter

Hard to tell which is the more cathartic - Quake with infinite ammo and God mode enabled or ruthlessly crushing your foes in Civilization. Both incredibly satisfying!

0
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EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder

TheWeenie
FAIL

Re: wobbles on their website?

There's a reason we've nicknamed them "Nothing Nowhere".

2
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Quid-a-day Reg nosh posse chap faces starvation diet

TheWeenie
Pint

Re: It's a gas, gas, gas!

FaaS - Fart as a Service, love it!

0
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Zombie Nortel grabs Cisco by the neck, again

TheWeenie
Pint

Re: Mostly prior art @ Frank Zuiderduin.

you want them to declare their support for U2? I know patent-trolls are scum but...crikey. That seems a little harsh.

4
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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

TheWeenie
Trollface

Re: Arrest him, now!

or if you were a famous TV personality in the 1970s, please STOP thinking of the children!

2
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Mathematicians spark debate with 13 GB proof for Erdős problem

TheWeenie

Re: I smell snake oil .....

As we've not read about an individual winning the lottery five times over, I'd say he's probably still playing with his spreadsheet!

1
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Alcatel-Lucent and BT unveil super fat pipe, splurt out 1.4Tb per second across London

TheWeenie
Pint

A case in point being BBC's website where they try to explain what this really means, claiming that one Gigabit is 1024 Megabits.

Nice.

0
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Space Station bags extra 10yrs of life as SOLAR STORM scrubs resupply

TheWeenie

Also remember how different technology will be in ten years time, let alone fifty. Refitting an ageing warship or aircraft or freighter is already expensive down here on the surface, so I'd imagine it'd be hundreds of times more expensive in orbit.

Sounds daft but it probably is cheaper just to de-orbit your old space station and bung a new one up there.

0
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Apple asks judge to axe ebook price-fixing watchdog

TheWeenie

@ Phil W

You wouldn't expect a traffic warden to insist on performing a full body search of you and everyone in your car after telling you can't park somewhere or giving you a ticket.

Shhh - you'll give them ideas!

0
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Rockstar swells Spherix patent portfolio with 100 new licenses

TheWeenie

Perhaps it's just me but all I can muster is a shrug and a "here we go again".

More millions of $/£/€ into the pockets of lawyers. Yawn.

2
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Desperate MS flaunts UNDEAD SPLAT TALLY to pep Xbox One fans

TheWeenie
Black Helicopters

Re: Bit spooky

@ Moeity - That's what they want you to believe! :)

0
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Darth Vader outs self as iPhone fanboi

TheWeenie

Re: Stupid.

Yup. What next? Befriend Chewbacca on Facebook? Or perhaps Anakin has a MySpace page...

1
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What's wrong with network monitoring tools? Where do I start...

TheWeenie

Not sure I agree with this entirely.

A network monitoring tool - provided it's been set up and maintained by someone that knwos what they're doing - is invaluable. Nested maps, sensible views, common-sense approach to polling and retention, and the right choice of software can all work well. Granted, that's a lot of variables though.

The most common issues I've seen are under-investment, under-performance, and under-specification.

Your network is mission-critical. You have tens of thousands of pounds a year spent on contracts, maintenance etc - spend a few more on some decent monitoring tools. Don't just install a single piece of software on an old bit of tin and expect it to work. Invest in high-performance equipment and the right software (there's plenty out there to choose from), and budget money for annual maintenance and some time (say, 0.25FTE) to administer and update it.

Once you've got your baselines in place you can look at some of the more esoteric stuff out there - remote probes for end-point monitoring; inline taps; netflow; buffer-replay captures etc.

Oh and I'm anal as hell about this stuff, so all maps are drawn by hand. That way I know what I see is actually what's there.

It's like anything we do in IT - you get out of a system what you put in.

2
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SHIVER ME TIMBERS, it’s Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

TheWeenie

The game is really very pretty (PS3 version) and once you get used to the controls it's quite good fun in a sort of kill-everything-that-moves-and-nick-their-money way. A bit like a night out in Croydon. The beautiful scenery is just what you need on a cold, dark Autumn night too. Also, it has some proper British accents for once. Fantastic!

On the downside, it is a little formulaic. Each mission feels kinda like the last. I only paid about £35 for it from Amazon so worth it if you've got some time to kill. I know I'll be going back to Dishonored after a few more hours though.

5
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Does 'Star Wars' casting call hint at DEATH of LUKE SKYWALKER?

TheWeenie
Pint

The Only Way Is Endor!

As anyone who's been there will testify, TOTS-2000 in Saaaarfend on a Saturday night bears more than a passing resemblance to the Cantina scene from Episode IV. Even the description Obi Wan gives of Mos Eisley is appropriate for that particular town!

0
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OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

TheWeenie

Re: Boom boom?

Stay Frosty!

0
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HOLY how-did-we-get-here?: Batman Arkham Origins

TheWeenie

Sorry to be a pedant, but surely the most sensible thing to do with a ticking bomb would be to defuse it, not diffuse it!

0
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EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple

TheWeenie

Why the obsession with plugging your phone charger in when it's pitch black?

If you're close enough to a power socket that you can run a charger, you're close enough that you can turn a bloody light on!

0
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IPCC: Yes, humans are definitely behind all this global warming we aren't having

TheWeenie

Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

You don't own shares in a company called Soylent, do you Vladimir? :)

On an unrelated note I had a dream a few days ago where we reached a situation far more terrifying than Peak Oil.

Peak Bacon.

Terrifying.

0
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Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

TheWeenie

Re: Best Tablet in the World?

10/10 for Sarcasm.

You forgot to mention that you would have to cope with the shame of living a life which lacks the tacit approval of the guardian of the zeitgeist, Mr S. Fry, esq.

2
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Peugeot 208 GTi: The original hot hatch makes a comeback

TheWeenie

Re: The engine

Not sure I agree with that. I've owned Saabs - all of which are turbocharged - and they've always been reliable. A lot of the larger Volvos were turbocharged too and you don't tend to see many of those littering the motorways.

I do take the point about higher boost pressures and tighter tolerances being a recipe for problems though. All depends how the owners look after the cars. Presumably the service interval on the 1.0T Ford unit has been reduced? Wasn't it one of the Mitsubishi Evo models that needed a service every 6500 miles or something?

Also, Wayne is going to have to sell a lot of meth / carry out a lot of muggings (insert your chosen antisocial behaviour here) to be able to spank just shy of nineteen grand on a car.

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