* Posts by John

61 posts • joined 21 Aug 2007

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HP job cuts hit Scotland

John
Coat

My 1st Windows computer...

was the HP Pavilion 3240. As Winders 95 didn't resemble anything I'd used before, I called support in Holland at 28p per minute. Problem wasn't resolved. I went over to the Microsoft website and was still none the wiser. After a bit of faffing about I managed to sort out the problem myself. On another occasion I acquired a Kodak 210 zoom camera (cutting edge tech at the time, but now worth about £10 if that), the install had gone wrong somewhere along the line, and I followed their instructions, deleting the modem in the process. I managed to get it back using the recovery disc (something I worked out for myself), reinstalling the drivers (something I'd never done before). I emailed Kodak and got a reply off one of their engineers apologising for this and they would make it known to folk. I checked back a few days later and the revision was on their site. 11 years later I am still my own tech support/sysadmin. Can't things just work?

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US military shows off hack-by-numbers battlefield gadget

John
Alert

404 not found

Oops.. we've deleted *our* network 'cos the admins made basic errors. A pair of lo-tech scissors will take out wired networks.

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ISPs eye role in Jacqui's mass surveillance system

John
Alert

Garbage In, Garbage Out...

According to Microsoft, 97% of email is spam. Anyway, a few months back I started sending myself spam asking me to buy vi@gra and other mEdZ. Why did I do this? I thought I might be interested in buying these MeDZ. Seriously though, this really did happen, but it wasn't me sending myself stuff. It appeared to be that the webmail access of my ISP had been cracked by spammers, so it looked like I was sending myself meDz mail. As this is illegal under the 1990 Computer Misuse Act, why can't these spammers be arrested and charged? They're probably outside the UK. Oops, WJ fails at life. If copies of all mails are to be stored centrally (whether in teeny databases or one huge one, they are both centralised) how long will it be before hackers crack these systems and delete all the data? Still, if they want my spam (CC to WJ), I'll just configure OE to leave the messages on the server, and hope my ISP provides me with a unviversally sized mailbox. Still, if it stops terrorists...

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UK 'bad' pics ban to stretch?

John
Pirate

The solution...

...compulsory blindness. After all, if you can't see stuff... The three wise monekys spring to mind.

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El Reg suffers identity crisis

John
Go

actually

A friend used stuff off this site for her university thesis (the RFID virus stuff). She got her degree, so it must've been good.

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Conficker seizes city's hospital network

John
IT Angle

USB etc.

All computers could be installed with Windows 95a or b (the version I had) as the USB ports didn't work at all. Even with the USB support pacakge they only worked with limited success. I had to stick 98 on to get 'em working, and there were only 2 to play with, so a hub costing £30 had to be bought for the emerging technology. This had the side effect of slowing the computer down to a crawl. As other posters have said, a group policy would sort this problem out, or (this may have been suggested earlier, but I haven't gone through all the replies) stick a (a hi-tech) sticky label over the USB ports and get the team leaders to check they haven't been used by more savvy admin civvies.

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Mac OS 10.5.6 problems? Apple suggests shampoo

John
IT Angle

is the cheque in the post?

As Chris Iverson says, stuff like this makes news. Its good(?) to see that not just us PC types (for our sins) are immune to corrupt file downloads. SP3 update broke, I just followed a link on this very site which fixed the problem. It appeears that the old fashioned view of stuff "just working" is now invalid.

Maybe El Reg should provide tech support and bill Messrs Jobs & Gates.

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UK.gov says extreme porn isn't illegal if you delete it...

John
Alert

@hostel 2/clockwork orange et al

It's not real. It's only pretend. Sometimes actors in films get killed, naked, etc etc for the purposes of the *STORY*. Anyway, don't the govt get a lot of revenue (i.e VAT) from the sales of porn?

I can just imagine it now. Big hoo ha about some film. Judge agrees with the defendant, throws the case out. Law fails and is never used again. The cost: several million taxpayer pounds.

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Teen-bothering sonic device now does grownups too

John
Unhappy

Dunno about the rest of you guys...

but having Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody's Having Fun(?)" blasted into my lugholes has killed my desire to buy stuff from the local shopping centre. It should be illegal and Noddy Holder should be forced to sing it live *every* Christmas until he is hoarse. Still, 'tis the season to be jolly.

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Financial meltdown hits Hilton where it hurts

John
Paris Hilton

the IT angle

Paris has her very own icon on here, so there's your IT angle. Without it we'd be lost and there would be much less user content. If I were El Reg, I'd consider reducing it's size; as she might charge £25k (about $45K) for it's use.

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UK.gov says: Regulate the internet

John
Paris Hilton

The solution...

swtich the interweb off? After all HMG has had quite a fair whack of VAT on computing devices... not only that, it would save electric too. Nasty terrorists and rogue scientists/states/et al wouldn't be able to blow us up :D "Wacky Jacqui" (and Burnham) aren't educated (she doesn't have enough credentials in reality either) enough to make decisions like this. Firewall United Kingdom anyone?

Paris, cos she looks nice, at least.

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MS roll out exploit prediction with Patch Tuesday

John
Boffin

PATCHy.... to say the least

Ahhh. You gotta love them patches. I got patched up yesterday (along with the rest of the world, I imagine). Windows Update notifcation said the usual click here to download updates. This went quite nicely, but after a few minutes it was still stuck on "0% downloaded". I switched the computer off and tried WU from the start menu, This said it would take about 15 minutes. So I clicked Download. After downloading the 1st program it then ground to a halt. Cutting a long story short the whole affair took 3 1/2 hours and approximately 6 ot 7 restarts as WUn also tried to download the updates itself (this was a bit like War Games, as I couldn't stop it). At one time both WU's were downloading at the same time, and both wanted me to restart. Anyway, I eventually got patched up, but it wasn't as easy as it was on previous attempts.

Microsoft is a global organisation, so why can't it stick some servers in Fiji or in the 24 timezones, so when the world wakes up it can access the servers or it can get it's patches off a local server instead of crashing the network by having everyone downloading of the same servers at the same time, or am I being naive?

"No system is totally secure..." David (Matthew Broderick) Lightman War Games 1983.

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US telco: 'Public broadband is illegal'

John
Paris Hilton

just goes to show

That idiots rule the world. I keep banging on about the "Internet, Internet, Internet" to paraphrase our beloved former Prime Minister, "You gotta have internet", then there's an about turn by the same organisations, in us Brits case, "Ooh, hang on think of the children". Right hand Internet, left hand, No internet. What's it to be? Either we have it or we don't. As Svein says, access (disregarding content) is now part of the economy whether governments telco's, etc. etc. as *they* made it that way.

Paris, as even she has good infrastructure.

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UK.gov and UK.biz pour £60m into IT skills gap

John
Alert

Steve B has it spot on

Having been unemployed for several years and a passing interests in all things computing, I have done several government sponsored courses, the last one being CLAIT in 2000. The computers were running Windows 95 along with ancient versions of Word, Access and Excel the whole qualification (the exam pieces) were completed in 45 minutes. The course itself was for 2 weeks, but I left in 2 days having completed the exercises as well. I mentioned to the rather nice lady in charge that she "was preaching to the converted" as I had already bought a PC and was learning the stuff as I went along. The absolute basics can be taught in about 10 minutes (ie moving the mouse around and opening programs) and it is this that govt thinks turns everyday folk into the next Bill Gates. I can knock up a basic website (should I want to) and did some webmaster work as a volunteer. Currently funded courses are getting a bit more meaty in terms of content due to commercial sponsorship, but cost comes into play. You can do £1000 Cisco entry course, but this excludes the £6000 CCNA part that employers want(?). This is a huge problem that cannot be sorted out easily due to bailouts of banks and other mess that the govt has created. As for AC's list above, very little of it will figure in any govt based programmes. Back in 1998 when our Mr B was Chancellor, he announced PC training for those that wanted it (ie myself), but, after costing MCSE, MCP courses (around 10 grand at the time) this quietly faded into nothing, until now. Hoohoo, £60 million.

Those with knowledge of the stuff on AC's list can laugh at ECDL here: http://bcs.org/

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UK minister looks for delete key on user generated content

John
Stop

we either have free speech or we don't

On one hand they tell parents to supervise their kids, whilst surfing the net, they also have them surfing the net at school too. Kids know what they shouldn't be looking at, but look at it anyway. How many kids have TV's, video recorders, HDD recorders, computers, mobile 'phones in their bedrooms where they can watch all sorts of nonsense *without* supervision? The only way round this is to stop access to it from home, and just have terminals in libraries or exclude us from using the net altogether. Just in case...

They've already made having certain files on your PC illegal (you could be a terrorist), which will have the side effect of stopping research into certain subjects such as nuclear physics (dirty bombs), child psychology (a right can of worms, dealing with kids and troubled youth), politics ( terrorism), chemistry (bioterrorism), religion (yet more terrorism), molecular biology (even more terrorism) etc. etc. Thing is, these are the kind of subjects the govt wants and needs for us to stay ahead in scientific development. If they stigmatise such things questions like "Why aren't there more male nursery nurses?" will never be answered. As other posters have said, the climate of fear will only destroy us. What's it to be, Mr Burnham?

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Google to save US from fossil fuels

John
Alert

surely...

Switching off all these computers that make up the interweb would be a start, but I would have to obtain something I think is called "a life". Joking apart though, I find it ironic that these green initiatives involve vast amounts of number crunching exclude computer models as they need computers to run on, which are made of plastic that is derived from oil, and other metallic stuff which has to be mined or acquired from recycling. I'm aware of the RoHS and the WEEE directives, but no one seems to have audited the various CO2 emissions of the manufacture and use of computers. Surely this needs to be factored into the equation too.

@DZ - mine's a bag of cheese & onion.

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Amanda Donohoe rides into Emmerdale

John
IT Angle

the IT angle

is the fact that it's posted on here. El Reg is tech, after all.

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PM Brown dusts off one interweb per child plan (again)

John
Pirate

If poor folk...

can't afford the 'leccy, then how are kids supposed to learn the art of cut and paste? As I've said before elsewhere, the OLPC project was dumped because there's no profit (either for manufacturers or ISP's) in it. Unless the plan is to get Monolith PLC to give 'em old tech (ignoring the fact that IT budgets are being cut). Anyway, surely if they were downloading stuff the ISP would throttle their connection so folk who can afford BB and the 'leccy would get a (slightly) better service, but restricting the poor kiddywinks to a download speed of 2Kb/minute, making it unworkable, which is what will happen. Ho hum.

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Marketing body condemns 'draconian' Olympic law

John
Go

I thought

that something stupid like this would happen. Pre-planned stupity - you gotta love it.

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Anonymous hacks Sarah Palin's Yahoo! account

John

she looks

like Deidre Barlow.

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Sainsbury's punts 'Innocent kids juices' for £2.99

John
IT Angle

there is a tech angle on all this nonsense

When you get your receipt it doesn't say Innocent Kids juice strawberey flavour. It has to be truncated down to whatever will fit on the 2 inch wide paper strip. You end up with INNOKDSJUICE or something. Am I being too pedantic?

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UK launches major road signage review

John
Stop

Maybe El-Reg icons could be used

Some of 'em are road signs already. Stop 'cos no-one's going anywhere.

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My name really is Ivan O'Toole, admits Ivan O'Toole

John

If I remember rightly

There was a Korean government minister called Bum Suk. I also believe there was a footballer called Bum Soo. Or how about Danny Shittu? On the NVQ spreadsheets test I did in 1994 the grocer's was called Ivor Orange; surely it should've been Ivan....

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Sainsbury's and HP buddy up on recycling jamboree

John

I still have HP hardware

If I could get a PSU for the computer I'd still use it, and if they still sold bits to fix the printers up I'd do that too. Overall they've been pretty good and lasted a fair few years. The P200 3240 Pavilion started me off with Windows and other nonsense. It was either buy that, or do a 2 day course, costing the same amount (£1000).

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Fake Twitter profile punts Orkut attack

John
Go

famous!

Woo! This just in from McAfee

Notice

This is a Low-Profiled Threat Notice for PWS-Banker

Justification

PWS-Banker has been deemed Low-Profiled due to media attention at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/09/twitter_orkut_attack/.

PWS-Banker is referred to as the "OrkutTron Trojan" in article at theregister.co.uk.

Read About It

Information about PWS-Banker is located on VIL at: http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_124984.htm

Detection

PWS-Banker was first discovered on June 6, 2004 and detection, for this particular variant, was added to the 5156 dat files (Release Date: November 5, 2007).

If you suspect you have PWS-Banker, please submit a sample to http://www.webimmune.net

Risk Assessment Definition

For further information on the Risk Assessment and Avert Labs Recommended Actions please see: <http://www.mcafee.com/us/threat_center/outbreaks/virus_library/risk_assessment.html>

For breaking security information from McAfee® Avert® Labs visit:

McAfee Avert Labs Blog

http://www.avertlabs.com/research/blog

AudioParasitics - The Official PodCast of McAfee Avert Labs

http://podcasts.mcafee.com/audioparasitics

Sign up for McAfee® Avert® Labs Security Advisories

http://www.mcafee.com/us/threat_center/securityadvisory/signup.aspx

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Academic wants to 'free up' English spelling

John

I was taught phonetics at primary school

ahh beh cuh duh ehh fuh guh huh luh muh nuh oh peh qu reh teh vuh wuh x (I never worked that one out) zuh. Good for speech, but rubbish when I hit the real world of reading and writing.

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The Google-isation of all the net's access points

John
IT Angle

hands up

all those who closed their browser due to boredom?

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BSF programme boosts schools' IT spending

John
Coat

Politicos...

see the Internet as the magical solution to everything. If it involves tech stuff the kidz iz darn wiv it. Unfortunately that appears to be the thinking behind it all.

There's also in idea of poorer kids having cheapo laptops and subsidised net access, not unlike the OLPC scheme. We all know what happened to that. Give 'em £99 Linux (TV compatible) boxes. Put the net access out to tender. Job done. Maybe I should be the I(C)T minister!

However, it's the same old story, turn the kids into users, (on systems incompatible outside education), constant upgrades with VAT on top keeping the govt in dosh. I had the same problem when I left school: the real world didn't use Beebs, just as it doesn't use BSF. At one of my 1st job interviews I fell flat on my face. "Here's our Amstrad 1512. Make it work". Like others have posted, the teachers themsleves can't perform the simplest of tasks, so it looks in some cases like the blind leading the blind. A final thought, I wonder how many shares said politicos have in RM/MS?

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The BPM Buzzword Bonanza

John
Pirate

O 'n' M? More haste less speed...

Surely T 'n' M. aka Time and motion. My late father worked in engineering in the mid 1970's where he was approached by a university whizz kid with the mentioned clipboard and stopwatch. He asked "Can you make the machine (a large pipework cutting bandsaw) run faster?" to which my father replied "Yes, I can make it go faster". "Okay then - make it go faster". With the manchine cranked up, the blade then shattered, putting the whole joint behind on orders. It took a few days to get it fixed which cost an arm and a leg. The whizz kid was never seen again.

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Hack ushers in the insatiable toll booth

John
Black Helicopters

"no system is completely secure... I bet you Jim could get in"

David Lightman (aka Matthew Broderick) - War Games 1983. This inspired me to get interested in computers. Helicopter cos there was one in the film.

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Cable broadband shines in Virgin Media Q2

John
Happy

compared to dialup

it really flies. I love watching it chonk through the downloads.

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MPs lambast BBFC over Batman

John
Stop

When I was 15

I went to see "Gremlins" with a younger looking friend (he was 15 too) and the amount of messing about to actually get into the local fleapit took about 4 hours. Numerous phone calls were made and the manageress agreed to come and check that we were legit. We went to an early showing so we would be home before 9pm. Thing is, kids can think for themselves, and with a little guidance even younger kids can work things out for themselves. Batman is not real. Neither were the Gremlins who were dismembered, blown up in microwaves etc. Why would I think that a few pieces of melted plastic puppets were real? Why is this even being discussed? Vaz and IDS should be concentrating their efforts on more pressing issues, such as kids actually killing each other. Then again, they're probably going for films as their efforts might actually achieve something....

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UK data watchdog gives Google spycar fleet the greenlight

John
Coat

nets

I do have nets and you can still see stuff clearly from outside. If I see one of the opels I'll have to close the blinds which would draw even more attention.

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John
Stop

Stop!!! Impostor alert!!!

I did not make the above comments! What is an ICO anyway? I thought it was Windowese for an icon file.

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John
Unhappy

On a more serious note

Round these parts it would be fairly easy to get pictures right into my front room which would put all my furniture, TV etc etc. Combined with the satellite view it would make it quite easy to plan an escape route from round the back of the house (I checked it out). I was told by an acquaintance that he used folks' back gardens as a shortcut without being seen. It's all very well plonking stuff on the internet, but you have NO CONTROL over who views it. @ detractors: Remember a couple of years back folk selling houses were told NOT to put paintings, TV's, furniture etc on their profile sites as thieves were using them to steal stuff? This is different because Google has just decided to do it anyway without asking. Wasn't there a lot of lawsuits in America when this went live over there?

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Only 'unlawful threats' would invalidate McKinnon extradition

John
Coat

this was on the radio...

...someone asked why the Pentagon was on the innertubes.

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Free for all on London Underground

John
Pirate

public transport

Just say no kids.

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HP packaging madness continues apace

John
Coat

You need a degree to unpack IBM stuff

We had a large consignment of whizz bang IBM when I was warehosuing, which had their own mini pallets and the boxes of stuff were stapled (with large industrial efforts) to them. It took quite a while and quite a few blokes to unpack it, but (fortunately) we couldn't quite master it, so we gave up. Later in the afternoon we got a phone call saying that the stuff was going to Germany, and they'd put our address on by mistake. We were also told that it must NOT be damaged and forwarded on in its original packaging. Good job I left the boxes stapled to the pallets. Health and safety almost threw 'em out for recycling. All this technogoly fries yer brain.

Mine was the hi-viz one.

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Operation Sprogwatch: Keeping tabs on the kids

John
Coat

flawed 2

Aren't GPS satellites reset without notice? The cost is also prohibitive too. At £299 (almost the same as a sim free top end phone) and £240 pa to keep it connected, wouldn't it be cheaper to give the little darlings a jesusphone instead?

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EU abolishes the acre

John
Coat

imperial into metric doesn't go

As your metric is rounded down. Use of these (imperial) measurements will go on anyway. I was educated using metric back in the 70's, but imperial measures were still being used at the time so I used them instead. I remember going to the tripe shop to buy a 1/4lb of potted beef for me mum. Now I would buy 250g (1/4 kg) of the stuff which would cost me more. If you're not getting 28g to your ounce (often rounded down to 25g) you're getting ripped off! In the USA it's different again as pints are only 475ml whereas in old England they are 568ml. Mine's the 42in one.

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El Reg nails Street View spycars to Google Maps

John
Unhappy

Damn!

If they come round here, they'll be able to see right into my front room.

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Ubisoft pirates game fix from pirates

John
Happy

stuff high prices

Download an emulator and play all the games you used to play years ago.

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And so we begin the tech sector's journey into the Heart of Darkness

John
Coat

Stockmarket bears no relation to reality: it is just seen as an abstract

When the Paxman underpants e-mail broke, M&S shares fell 9 points. However, the other day women compalined about bra prices (i.e. a bigger bra cost £2 more for each bigger size, but not clothes), the share value went up a couple of points. Governments like to think they have control over the economy and jobs, the reality being the opposite, the irony being that most of them studied economics along with politics and philosophy at Oxbridge (the only two that teach such an educational package).

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MS takes Windows 3.11 out of embed to put to bed

John
Coat

29 year old remember beebs?

Where did you go to school? That said I was still using an Acorn Electron (bought in 1983) in 1997 just before I took the plunge into win 95 which I loved straight away, in a fit of childish wonderment. Hard disks used to be called Winchester Rings.

Mine's the straitjacket.

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UK.gov launches data mash-up competition

John
Go

seriously though, puddles are a problem

Where I am we get a lot of lake size puddles due to blocked drains, or poorly civil engineered drains. I had the idea of folk locating said drains (or burst water main) so they could tell their local council or whoever exactly where they were. When the offending drains were fixed a graphic could be uploaded to signify this. I did a set of colour coded graphics in about 2 minutes a year or so ago. All it would need to be is uploaded to your local council's/water company's website using a google maps API (free of charge). It wouldn't require any personal data either, just the location of your puddle/water main. Obviously using the GIGO rule (e.g if every grid was blocked) a lot of time could be wasted. I'll have 15 grand for the idea, 5 grand for someone to code it.

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Siemens siphons off 17,000 jobs

John
Go

Another nail in Western European manufacturing

To be honest, I'm surprised it's taken this long. They can't compete against the Chinese, Koreans or the Japanese, even if they do move production to Eastern Europe. The West prices itself out of the market with minimum wages and high living costs. However, business is business, but for that to happen you need customers.

Go, because it can't be stopped.

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Blighty admits 'national shortage' of nuke engineers

John
Coat

oil be getting me coat then

Elsewhere in the general media I read that the daily use of oil is 1.8 million barrels. I also read that we produce 1.7 million barrels of oil a day. Why are we flogging it when we could use it ourseleves? Or is there something wrong with it?

I also find it odd that we dish out marketing degrees like sweeties (just as there's an economic downturn and crunchy credit) when we actually need nuke engineers. However, due to the political situation, certain groups of the populace are discouraged from entering such professions, but on the basis of equality, they can't be seen to discriminate. Poor planning (as AC MSc Management would tell us) of everything (transport, education etc) by the govt seems to be robbing us of our future.

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Besuited cubicle monkey trashes office

John
Happy

CRT's=happiness

I've got 2 of the things, one in a box and one on the desk. I also have TFT too. I'm saving the TFT for when I eventually go over to Vista. Hum. They are surprisingly easy to throw around though; when I was warehousing in a repair facility we used to see how far we could throw them into the recycling skip (which was the size of a small office). Authorising the destruction of the things was the best part of the job, as was hurling keyboards and other bits of gubbins (from the 3rd floor). TFT's make great frisbees when the stands are snapped off. Us plebs swapped a poxy 14 incher for a 19 incher that was being chucked, as there was nowt wrong with it. Happy days :)

I liked the bit where he took an axe to the photocopier.

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UK.gov plans central database for all your communications

John
Boffin

Very little thought again

Just flood it with rubbish. It isn't difficult to cobble a program to send rubbish to servers. Hell, I get rubbish every day in me inbox. What are these coded messages minister? Most programmable devices (even remote controls) could send enough rubbish to make it the equivalent of a digital landfill (can I have dibs on that phrase please?)

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Yahoo! to post Google ads on Yahoo!

John
Stop

@ tardigrade

yahoogle.com already exists.

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