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* Posts by Si

61 posts • joined 24 Aug 2007

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Millions opted into UK mobile phone directory

Si

It seems I'm on the list

Although I didn't want to sign up to confirm it. I'll be opting out at the first chance I get, but what's the betting they never bother offering people the opt-out?

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Apple adds 'S' to iPhone 3G

Si
Jobs Horns

I'm sold

Sorry, I know it's not cool to like the iPhone, but I do love mine and will definitely be upgrading for the faster CPU, video recording and compass. I still refuse to own a desktop Mac though, especially with the lack of games on that platform.

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Japanese games group to ban twisted 'sex torture' sims

Si
Alien

Of course...

... all the loli tentacle rape cartoons and comics that are made in Japan will still be on sale, business as usual... or at least until someone spots it for sale on Amazon.com.

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12 of the best... mice

Si
Unhappy

MX Revolution

I still swear by my Logitech MX Revolution because of the SmartShift feature it has on the scroll wheel.

Scroll the wheel quickly and it automatically unlocks itself to free-wheel mode allowing you to scroll through large screens of code very quickly. Then when you stop the spinning it re-locks itself to give you the normal clicking movement on a wheel for precision scrolling.

Apparently Logitech aren't putting this on any of their new mice, requiring a manual pressing in of the wheel to switch it to free movement or back again, which is not what I'd want (as middle click is used to close tabs for me). Hopefully eBay will keep me supplied with MX Revolutions when my current one's built-in battery dies!

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Core i7 bumped to 3.33GHz

Si
Unhappy

Why is i7 so #!*%ing expensive?

Is it because AMD don't have anything capable of competing so Intel can charge the earth and get away with it? Even buying low-end components it looks like it would cost at least £400 for just the CPU, mobo and RAM. :(

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Nintendo displays re-hued Wii

Si

Japanese sales numbers

The Wii has been slumping a little in sales in Japan recently, and ever since the original GameBoy the remedy for lowering sales has always been to unleash some new colour schemes. So this seems right on schedule.

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iPhone 3.0 to nix app redownloading?

Si
Stop

Possibly a hoax?

I just deleted an app on my iPhone with OS 3 Beta 5 and I'm looking at the re-download prompt right now and it says "You have already purchased this item. To download it again for free, select OK". Unless there's a newer firmware version not publicly available to developers yet this is probably a hoax or perhaps a bug that has allowed a disabled feature to work.

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iPhone compass evidence surfaces

Si
Thumb Up

Very handy

The one minor drawback when using GPS on the iPhone to get directions in the Maps app is that you can't always tell which direction you are facing, so the addition of a compass to orient the maps to where you're standing should really help.

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Virgin Media cool on cable wholesale plans

Si

Share the Phorm love!

Will they also include their lovely bandwidth limiter with that package?

VM don't have the bandwidth for existing customers you have to wonder how they can have the bandwidth to flog to other people...

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Deadfish iPhones send users into deep freeze

Si
Flame

Wifi is rock solid for me...

... but I find GPRS always craps out after about 5-10 minutes of usage without fail. The only way to fix it is to leave the device alone for a while. I don't know what the problem is, it could be some sort of subtle technique by O2 to prevent people from using their crappy data network or it could be a flaw or bug in the device.

Anyone else have the same problem?

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Worm breeds botnet from home routers, modems

Si

Locking users out of the web interface

Seems like a bad idea by the malware authors to me as it just means you immediately know when the router has been compromised. Far better to leave it seemingly working correctly leaving the users blissfully unaware...

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iPhone 3.0 adds cut-and-paste, search, new dev toys

Si
Jobs Horns

Double tapping text to copy...

I'm a bit concerned about how this copy & paste is going to work in Safari, I'm rather attached to what double tapping currently does, i.e. it zooms into the tapped paragraph so that it fits the screen width perfectly.

If the copy & paste functionality overrides that I will be most displeased. Why couldn't they use tap and hold on a word to start the copy & paste functionality? That seems more intuitive to me...

Still, it's nice to hear about enhanced YouTube support, I'm hoping my account's playlists will be accessible from the device. I just wish they'd made some headway on Flash...

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Secret emails reveal sexing-up of Iraq dossier

Si
Unhappy

They'll never release anything really damaging...

All that stuff is either destroyed or will be permanently vetoed from being released. The only way Blair & Co will get their just comeuppance is if a whistle blower gets their hands on something juicy that can be verified as genuine.

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Apple to show off iPhone OS 3.0 next week

Si
Happy

Features

I don't miss copy and paste much, but I would like to see Flash support (even if it's only basic enough to run the various video websites out there), improved auto-correction on the keyboard and the ability to run some apps in the background (internet radio, Ambience, etc). Oh, and proper YouTube playlists/bookmarks rather than just a giant list of favourites.

More storage would be nice and the faster CPU of the 2nd Gen Touch would be good. Although obviously new hardware is needed for that. I wouldn't be surprised to see a new 32GB model though...

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Firefox 3.1 release date hampered by cheeky monkey

Si
Unhappy

It is pretty buggy

FF3 was a lot more stable for me than FF3.1 currently is at the same stage in development, so it's no surprise they're going to be late launching. My favourite bug has to be the "yellowed jpgs bug", which for some reason causes random images to have a heavy yellow tint to them!

It also crashes quite a lot and I couldn't be bothered to disable all my add-ons in case it was one of them, so I've gone back to FF3 for now, but I'll give the next release a try if it's more stable.

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Mozilla delays third Firefox 3.1 beta

Si
Happy

I don't care how much RAM Firefox uses...

... it's still a million times more useful than IE, Safari or Chrome in my book. The only feature I wish it had is the resizable textareas that Safari has.

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Shane Ritchie poised to 'reinvent' Minder

Si

There's a typo in your headline

'reinvent' is not how you spell 'ruin'.

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PS2 the most played console of 2008

Si
Happy

Personally, I've been using my Dreamcast more than my PS2

I still think it's the better machine too. The Super Famicom and Xbox 360 get the award for most usage last year from me I think. The Saturn did pretty well out of me as well...

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iPhone 3G finally unlocked

Si

Re: O2 - rubbish coverage

I agree, O2's 3G coverage is crap. Even when you can find a good signal it's still barely faster than Edge for web browsing as far as I can tell. I'm certain they throttle 3G right down to Edge level speeds, with only YouTube and a few other apps given full access to the bandwidth.

Worse still, is the unreliability of O2's network. I was trying to use the web and YouTube over Edge last night and it just would not download anything. I'm certain they have outages and don't tell anyone.

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'Jasper' Xbox 360 hardware rejig spied online

Si
Happy

Annoying

I just bought an Arcade a couple of weeks ago after my launch 360 red ring'ed, I'd have preferred one of these as they should be a lot more reliable, as generally it's the 65nm GPU in all older models that has the brittle solder problem. Still, so far the new console is much quieter and totally reliable so I'm happy.

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Apple updates iPhone firmware

Si

Safari fix

I hope this really does improve Safari stability, the damn browser crashes all the time. It's by far the best mobile browser I've used but the constant crashing is a real nuisance (although IE6 on Windows Mobile sounds promising if they can offer Flash support and it doesn't run like a dog thanks to the usual underpowered CPU they put in HTC handsets).

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Brand new Star Trek prequel pics and trailer

Si

The whole thing looks a mess

And why does the Enterprise bridge look like an Apple store?

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Gamers voice NXE woes

Si

So far mine's been fine...

... but it's almost brand new after my launch 360 finally RRoD'ed last month. But I can't see how an update could cause a hardware failure, more than likely it's just coincidence that people's machines picked the moment when they were updating to finally give up the ghost.

Plus, RRoD can signal a whole number of different hardware issues. You have to press the wireless sync button and the CD eject button together four times to get the actual hardware error code. So who knows what the error for these people actually is.

The people missing the avatars aren't missing anything. Aside from customisable clothes the facial customisation is even more sparse than the Miis and I don't want to play any of the games that use the avatars.

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Apple sued over Jesus Phone 'hairline cracks'

Si

3G is fine on mine

When you can find a 3G signal on O2's shit network it works without dropping out for me. However O2's 3G network has got to be the slowest one in the world, I'm certain it's deliberately throttled way lower than necessary, to the point that it's barely faster than EDGE.

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Broadband speed testers fail the test

Si
Stop

Virgin Media claims Virgin Media the fastest shocker

What happens if you run the bandwidth test for more than an hour after midday? You'll soon see who is delivering on their bandwidth promises when the throttling kicks in.

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Microsoft marks Windows' anniversary with Windows 7

Si
Gates Horns

Microsoft stealing from itself?

That's a first!

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Half of Brits abuse apostrophe's

Si

The mistake that pisses me off the most...

... is the your/you're one. I'm really sick of seeing it. The level of illiteracy in this country is worrying.

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Microsoft: Windows 7 ready for Christmas 2009

Si
Gates Horns

Windows 7 = Vista SP2

By the time Windows 7 ships, fast quad-cores will likely be the norm, 4GB of RAM will also likely be standard. So Windows 7, being just Vista with a new name will likely run quite well, and I would expect MS are hoping that people will then just think their new OS is fast rather than just being the same bloated rubbish running on beefier hardware.

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Apple opens Macbook front in iPhone jailbreak war

Si
Jobs Horns

Hey, Apple!

How about fixing Safari on the iPhone which crashes all the time instead of wasting effort trying to stop people jailbreaking their phones? Your adverts led me to believe I would get desktop surfing on the go. Well Firefox doesn't crash every time I want to look at lolcats.

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Mandelson's dept mulls UK internet power grab

Si
Thumb Down

Oh dear...

I feel a twat-o-tron worthy rant coming on about this sort of government involvement.

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Windows 7 early promise: Passes the Vista test

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Hoon: Not building überdatabase would be terrorist licence to kill

Si
Unhappy

Totally unworkable?

I really cannot see how they can even consider spying on all internet communications, the scope is too big to be practicable, and any terrorist with even a modicum of tech savvy will be encrypting his data, sending it via an encrypted connection (possibly with some onion routing) and connecting via someone else's open Wi-Fi network.

No amount of deep packet scanning will break the encryption, unless GCHQ know back doors to every encryption method out there. So really all this system will do is spy on law abiding citizens while the alleged armies of terrorists out there continue plotting our downfall.

Labour are really taking the piss now with all this 1984 shit.

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Next Windows name unveiled: Windows 7

Si

A Vista by any other name...

After MS' early bullshit about the next Windows being a slimmed down, leaner, faster OS it seems they've decided they can't be bothered with all that and that they'll just crap out Vista SP2 with a new name (a name "unblemished" by the Vista brand).

After all the feature cutting of Vista it seems MS can't work out how to put new features into Windows (unless it's DRM). My theory is that no-one there understands the source code anymore and so they just build more shit on top of the old shit instead of re-writing or replacing things. That's why every Windows release gets bigger and slower. A bit like building a house of cards on top of a house of cards.

You'd think they would try to come up with a lightweight OS to cater to the Netbook market, or something geared purely for performance for gamers.

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Harvey Keitel to experience Life on Mars

Si
Thumb Down

What happened to Colm Meaney playing Gene Hunt?

Colm Meaney was Gene Hunt in the leaked pilot, have they kicked him out?

It won't make any difference who they cast, it's on US network TV so Hunt can't say anything sexist/racist/politically incorrect because of all the censorship, thereby robbing him of all his best lines.

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Apple 2G iPod Touch

Si
Thumb Up

I wouldn't buy another Touch

Interesting review, I bought a 1G Touch when they first came out and found it to be an OK video/audio player but the relatively small storage space (I've filled my 160GB iPod Classic so 16GB was way too small) and the fiddliness of the on-screen keyboard meant I rarely ever used it or even switched it on. Mobile Safari is nice (although no Flash is a problem) but finding an open Wi-Fi signal is very rare, so generally I could only access the internet with the Touch at home or at work, at which point I could just use the "proper" browser on my computer.

So I think the Touch is OK, but I struggled to find a use for it. Now, the 3G iPhone I recently bought is a very different story... I took it on holiday with me and the freedom of being able to access the web and my email anywhere was fantastic. I did a lot of hiking so being able to track my progress using the satellite maps and GPS was brilliant. I could then take a few snaps using the camera and check the weather forecast to ensure I wasn't going to be caught in the rain. Plus with a VNC client and an SSH application I was able to get onto the servers at work and remotely resolve a problem.

O2's coverage could be better, admittedly I was hiking in very remote areas in Devon but I would have thought at least EDGE would have been possible down there. The phone transparently switches to the best connection it can get, down there that meant it was dialling up I think but it was still very usable.

The iPhone still has a lack of storage and I'm still not keen on the keyboard, but the always available internet plus the various other features like the camera, built-in speakers (which the Touch now has), GPS, SMS, etc, just make it my favourite gadget at the moment by far.

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Alienware Area-51 m15x gaming laptop

Si
Alien

It's a good laptop

I've got the top end M15X and overall I've been very pleased. I think most of my criticisms (i.e. the touch sensitive buttons) were touched on in the review, although I think the volume slider could have used some more derision, it really doesn't work very well.

My main criticisms after some extended use are

a) It's going to have to go back at some point to have dust removed from behind the screen

and

b) the track pad is horrid. It's made of the same shiny surface as the rest of the laptop so you cannot feel when your fingers reach the edges. Sometimes my finger won't glide over the surface either, making it hard to use. Finally, the trackpad's sensitivity doesn't fully extend to the backlit border around it. It ends somewhere before that, making it hard to slide your finger along the edges for scrolling.

But overall it's an excellent piece of kit, every game runs with max details on at 60fps+ except for Crysis, which runs perfectly for a few minutes until the heat causes the GPU to throttle...

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Teens admit to Grand Theft Auto-inspired petrol bombfest

Si
Thumb Down

"Teens admit to Grand Theft Auto-inspired petrol bombfest"?

More like "Teens blame GTA in the hopes of getting off scott-free by blaming their idiotic behaviour on a game".

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Dud Nvidia GPUs tip up in Dell laptops

Si
Stop

"flash [the] system BIOS to help reduce the likelihood of GPU issues"

Or to put it another way, flash the BIOS so it runs the GPU fan at full tilt all the time to try and keep the cards running until the warranty period has passed and to hell with the customers who have to put up with the fan noise...

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Yes! It's the Knight Rider satnav!

Si
Happy

Sold!

I must have one of those, it's a brilliant idea!

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Microsoft's own chip design blamed for Xbox 360 RRoD

Si
Jobs Horns

ATI designed it, someone else fabbed it

As I understood it, ATI designed the graphics chip but didn't manufacture it, they gave the design to MS who had to get it fabbed themselves. This was always the plan because with Xbox1 nVidia manufactured the graphics and chipset and refused to give MS a price cut. So this time, MS cut the graphics company out of the loop to avoid being shafted again. Presumably though, they didn't have ATI's expertise in the long term effects of high temperatures on system components and have had to go back to them to get the problems fixed.

It's hardly surprising the graphics chip is responsible for the failures, all modern GPUs pump out large amounts of heat, and anyone who has dismantled their 360 can tell you the GPU's heatsink is tiny, it's hidden under the DVD drive and is attached to the main CPU's heatsink. It's not surprising it can't dissipate heat very efficiently in that set up.

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AMD launches external graphics card box

Si

ASUS already did it

ASUS unveiled the XG station last year and since it uses an ExpressCard to connect to the laptop it's more likely to work with more laptops that this proprietary connector. It also lets you put your own PCI-E card in it.

The only disadvantage is that ExpressCard is only PCI-E 1x, so you don't have much bandwidth compared to AMD's custom socket with full 8x or 16x PCI-E. But on laptops with an XGA/WXGA res screen, would you need all that bandwidth?

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Apple store detains teens for installing iPhone game

Si
Jobs Halo

That'll learn 'em

The only applications an iPhone needs are the ones God^h^h^h Steve Jobs gave it. The Apple Store employees acted quite rightly when they saw heathen software being loaded onto the Jesus-phone. Ex-communication from all local Apple stores was clearly the right thing to do.

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Microsoft urges developers to tag sites for IE8

Si
Gates Horns

@Sean

Yes, just what I was thinking. If I delivered a website that only works for about 25% of the browsers out there I'd be fired. It's very commendable to try and promote better web standards but the reality is most browsers out there are some version of IE and if you want to attract those users your site needs to work with their browser.

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Alienware ships 'most powerful' 15in laptop to Brits

Si
Alien

I'm typing this on an m15X

I went a little spend crazy and bought an m15X, it's a great laptop although it does have some faults, like the track pad which is integrated into the surface of the casing. It's hard to use because it's the same shiny material as the rest of the case, your finger doesn't glide smoothly over shiny plastic. You also can't feel when you've reached the edge of the trackpad and in fact the actual sensitive area ends before you reach the edges, making it even harder to learn how to use.

The touch sensitive volume control is also hard to use and varies wildly in how well it works, sometimes deafening you with a sudden jump in volume. On the subject of volume, since it's Vista with individual volume controls for each application the touch volume control only changes the volume of the current app. This is useless if you want to turn up the overall system volume when you're in a game. Turning the game's volume up to full is useless if the main volume is still set to a whisper!

IIRC Alienware only offered 32-bit Vista, which means the 4GB of RAM they'll sell you will be a gigabyte short too...

It might sound like I hate the laptop, but I don't, if you're a gamer it's excellent for games, it's incredibly powerful and very fast. Of the games I've tried so far (Gears of War, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty 4, Bioshock, Sega Rally, Portal) all run with everything on maximum. It also gets over 10,000 in 3DMark06 if you're into that sort of thing. I haven't tried Crysis, but I'm sure it would make a decent job of it.

I went for the 1440x900 screen as it has the shiny X-Black type finish that gives a much nicer picture. The hi-res screen Alienware offer doesn't have that, plus at 15" I think the hi-res screen might be hard to read. The m15X also has a non-MatSHITa DVD drive, so DVD Region Free works again (my last laptop was cursed with a Matshita drive meaning I couldn't watch any of my Region 1 DVDs).

It also has the latest MXM slot so when the next generation of laptop graphics cards comes out it should be possible to do an upgrade. If you're a gamer, the laptop is definitely worth it, but if you don't need the horsepower for games, then you don't need anything near as powerful as this.

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Price cut fails to push Xbox 360 past PS3 in UK

Si

@Anonymous Coward

I'm not an Xbox fanboy, I believe you have to own all the systems if you want to enjoy the best games. But what has anything I've said got to do with the Wii? In my first post I pointed out that the 360's attach rate was higher than the PS3's at the same points in their life-cycle, I made no mention of the Wii.

And what makes you think Microsoft no longer mention their attach rates? It was the first bullet point in their recent press release about US sales!

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Si

@Anonymous Coward

"At launch it must have been zero since bundles don't count as sold games. If they bought 4 with the console then those buyers have only bought 3 over the following 2 years, 1.5 per year.... vs 3 & 3.8 for the Wii and Xbox360!"

I'm not sure that's correct, as you need to take into account people buying new systems all the time. A launch buyer may have bought 14 games after two years, but someone who only bought their system last Christmas will only have a couple of games. That will skew the attachment average to be somewhere between those two extremes.

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Si

@Mark RE: Attach rates

"Of course the attach rate on the 360 will be higher, owners have had 18months more time to accumulate games.. Simple really.."

Assuming the reported 360 attach rates are accurate, then the 360 has always had a better rate than the other consoles. It started at 4 at launch, was at 5 a year later and now apparently sits at 7. The PS3 is only at 3.8 so far so it does seem to be lagging in software sales a bit. I suppose this could be attributed to some PS3 buyers just getting the system to be a Blu-Ray player, so they contribute to the hardware sales total but not the attach rate.

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Apple fans roast Apple fans

Si
Jobs Horns

fine tunes the speed and operation of the internal fan

In other words it turns the fan on full all of the time so your new thin laptop sounds like a hair dryer!

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ICO tells Cabinet Office to release Iraq docs

Si
Alien

It won't do any good

Blair's a liar, not stupid. If there was anything incriminating to be said he would not have said it during official minuted meetings.

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GPS is killing children

Si
Alien

Not what I was expecting...

I thought the report would be claiming that GPS beams harmful radiation down from the sky and is slowly killing the children who don't wear protective tinfoil clothing and that we should all move back into caves.

Sat navs picking stupid routes is hardly news to anyone who has used one...

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