* Posts by Red Bren

1585 posts • joined 17 Oct 2007

ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

Red Bren
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Not just change. These new plastic notes are as slippery as hell and seem determined to slither out of my pockets

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Paradise Papers were not an inside job, says leaky offshore law firm

Red Bren
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"Who gives the ICIJ the right to decide what gets published?"

The ICIJ spread the workload out as there was too much to sift through for any one publication. Each publication will focus on persons relevant to their home turf, as you're about as likely to be interested in the financial arrangements of some minor German celebrity as a German would be in some UK sitcom actor. So on those grounds, it makes sense to localise what is being reported.

The fact that the BBC decided that sitcom actors were a more newsworthy target than some of the wealthier but unheard of entrants on the list, suggests that the BBC makes its decisions based on what the public are interested in, rather than what is in the public interest.

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Jupiter flashes pulsating southern pole, boffins understandably baffled

Red Bren
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Paris Hilton

Just a thought

As Jupiter has a much stronger magnetic field than the earth, is it much better at sorting charged particles, so that the resulting aurora is markedly different at each pole?

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Health quango: Booze 'evidence' not Puritan enough, do us another

Red Bren
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Devil

Re: I Don't Understand The Graphs

An alcohol-related disease doesn't mean exclusively caused by alcohol. Heart disease risk increases with excessive alcohol intake but reduces with moderate intake, compared to no intake.

The secret of a long, happy life is to ensure all your vices counteract each other...

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Red Bren
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Happy

Re: Sheffield Alcohol Research Group....

With all that left-over research booze?

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Boffins befuddled over EU probe into UK's tax rules for multinationals

Red Bren
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Re: This is just part of the dysfunction that Brexit negotiations have become

RTFA it's nothing of the sort.

The EU is telling the UK to make to level the playing field between native and global corporations instead of offering sweetheart deals to the multinationals. The tax that gets collected still goes to HMRC, not the EU. The EU is looking after the interests of UK business and consumers better than their own government, who are more interested in ensuring cushy directorships when their political careers go south.

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Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas

Red Bren
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Re: If it's in Ireland ...

"The fact is that Microsoft U.S. could tell its Irish office to send over the data, and the Irish office could hardly refuse to obey an instruction from head office."

If the US parent company instructs its offshore subsidiary to break local law, wouldn't the local management threaten to resign, sue for constructive dismissal and inform the local authorities? It would then be difficult for the parent company to find new management, when their first task would be to break the law while the local authorities were watching.

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FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

Red Bren
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Coat

Re: 3D

"but 3D adds relatively little to a RomCom"

It depends just how "romantic" the action gets...

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

Red Bren
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American Logic

If we all have more guns, there will be less shootings.

If we all have hacking tools, there will be less hacking.

Perhaps the US government would be get better results by insisting that software must be fit for purpose before being sold?

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Outlook, Office 2007 slowly taken behind the shed, shots heard

Red Bren
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Unhappy

I dislike the ribbon, not because I'm not open to change, but because I like to have some say in the matter. Had the ribbon been introduced as an interface choice, I would have tried it, decided I preferred the old menu buttons and carried on productively, while other people who preferred the new interface could do the same.

But what I really detest is the replacement of all the keyboard shortcuts; years of muscle memory training that now actively slows me down as familiar finger movements now cause unexpected or downright destructive results. And thanks to the simultaneous removal of menu buttons, I have no familiar mouse-driven way of achieving the task while learning the new shortcuts.

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UK Home Office re-bans cheap call gateways because 'terrorism'

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Re: VOIP over VPN?

"The right to privacy is an important part of a democratic state."

How do you describe a state where the population, every 4 or 5 years, choose governments (regardless of political ideology) that openly demand to breach their subjects' right to privacy, in order to catch paedo-terrorists.

This is the news we want you to hear, and we want to know if you hear anything else...

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Red Bren
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Black Helicopters

Re: VOIP over VPN?

Excuse me Sir, but you appear to be publishing information useful to terrorists. Please come quietly, we wouldn't want you to fall over. Repeatedly...

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New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

Red Bren
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Pirate

Recusal

JW (to public): "I will recuse myself from any decision involving Microsoft."

JW (to underling): "It's almost time for your performance review. How are getting on with that thing I'm recused from?"

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UK attorney general plans crackdown on 'trial by social media'

Red Bren
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Re: It's not social media that's the issue

Isn't the problem the overlap between thickies and jurors because smart people tend to wriggle out of jury service and lawyers like thickies who can be swayed by emotional rather than factual arguments?

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Just how are HMRC’s IT systems going to cope with Brexit?

Red Bren
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Re: Ha

Oh they will still find a way to take money off some of us. Who else will pay for the next bank bailout? The rich?

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The Register Lecture: The secrets of power in the digital age

Red Bren
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Thumb Up

The North, we've heard of it...

Any chance of hosting an El Reg lecture in Yorkshire, rather than in a London pub with Yorkshire in its name? The beer is cheaper and we're friendly...

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UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Red Bren
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Big Brother

"...aims to overhaul the UK’s data protection laws and update them for the digital age."

Erm, the 1998 Data Protection Act was written for the digital age. Perhaps you mean the social media age where nothing is private anymore?

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EU court must rule on legality of UK's mass surveillance – tribunal

Red Bren
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Big Brother

Re: The Sooner...

It's called a "Bill of Rights" because you only get them if you can afford the bill!

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Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus

Red Bren
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Iphone owners are in the know

I was listening to radio last week and one of the presenters predicted the launch. When asked how he could be so sure, he explained that the battery in his current iphone always suffered degraded performance about a week before Apple launched the next version.

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Sony remembers it once made a great little phone

Red Bren
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Windows

"US SIM-free prices are $699.99 (XZ1) and $599.95 (XZ1 Compact), while UK RRP will be confirmed later today."

Based on the way the exchange rate is going, £699.99 and £599.95 might actually be a decent RRP, rather than the usual swap-the-dollar-for-a-pound-sign scam that often occurs in rip-off Britain.

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Police deny Notting Hill Carnival face recog tech led to wrongful arrest

Red Bren
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Re: No accountability

He was arrested and released in the interval between the police compiling their list of targets and actually using it, presumably without double checking against the PNC. So there was no outstanding warrant when he was arrested the second time, which by your own logic made it wrongful. One might even go so far as to suggest it was harassment.

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Couple fires sueball at Amazon over faulty solar eclipse-viewing goggles

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Re: This is why

A cousin of mine managed to damage his eyesight because he didn't know how to use a pin-hole camera; he looked at the eclipse through the hole and scarred the fovea in one eye. He now has a permanent squint as he uses averted vision to compensate for the blind spot.

He was lucky; the woman in front of him in the queue(!) was told that the damage to her eye was so severe that she would lose what little vision she had left as her brain would adapt and ignore the "bad" eye.

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Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Red Bren
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Re: Client support, we've heard about it

Our IT department forced my employer to upgrade from Windows XP. Some of the software my team rely on had to be upgraded. Some software was no longer available. It was a ball-ache but we learned, we adapted and in many instances, used the opportunity to improve some long established working processes. Just because you've been doing something the same way for years, doesn't mean there isn't a better way of doing it.

Perhaps we should have pushed back and told IT we were not going to change our way of doing things, just because some unsupported operating system was vulnerable to attack. After all, I only work for a bank...

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Red Bren
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Don't know why you've been downvoted. My boss has insisted we implement a "4D" strategy for email:

1. Deal with it

2. Defer it

3. Delegate it

4. Delete it

Quick steps let me speed up converting emails to appointments for option 2 or tasks for option 3.

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Er, Ofcom, please tell us more about Murdoch's £11.7bn Sky bid

Red Bren
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Trollface

Re: Laser Law

@Peter Christy

Looks like Uncle Rupert has been downvoting...

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Red Bren
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Megaphone

Laser Law

Didn't Murdoch take out US citizenship to sidestep a law preventing foreign ownership of US media? Perhaps the UK government should follow in Uncle Sam's footsteps (as it so often seems to) and enact the equivalent here. Let Rupert choose between Fox & Sky.

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White collar crime prosecutions fall as offences rise

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Privilege

It's only a crime of a poor person did it

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Red Bren
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Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

"Or do these strong female roles have to battle against entrenched favo[u]rites by starting new series?"

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Xena Warrior Princess

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One-third of Brit IT projects on track to fail

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Re: In other news

It's amazing how far the definition of success can be stretched. Roughly proportional to the seniority of the people involved.

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NASA: Bring on the asteroid, so we can chuck a fridge at it

Red Bren
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Mushroom

"Would you stake your life on that statement?"

It could be argued that he already is. Unfortunately, he's also staking everyone else's lives on it too!

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Has riddle of the 1977 'Wow!' signal finally been cracked? Maybe...

Red Bren
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I read the article. It was comets. Bugger.

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Red Bren
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Alien

Lalalalala

I'm not reading the article! I'm not reading other comments. I'm just believing WE HEARD ALIENS!!!

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DUP site crashes after UK general election

Red Bren
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Re: Scotland & Tories

"SF should take seats or get no money."

You'll be pleased to hear SF MPs do not get paid.

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Event horizons around black holes do exist, say astroboffins

Red Bren
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Facepalm

Re: @Symon

Covfefe (adj.)

A shade of orange.

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PAH! Four decades of Star Wars: No lightsabers, no palm-sized video calls

Red Bren
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Je ne c'est pas

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Samsung Galaxy S8+: Seriously. What were they thinking?

Red Bren
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Gimp

Ergonomics v Economics

If Samsung put the fingerprint sensor in a sensible location, i.e. in the centre, below the camera, near your index finger regardless of which hand you're holding it in, LG would follow Apple's example and sue them for copying the obvious.

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Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry

Red Bren
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Windows

Re: Never trust a binary - and never trust a vendor who works with the NSA

@AC

"What about the software that ONLY works on Windows and has no alternative because medical software and equipment is an incredible niche industry?"

If it's that niche, you're only going to have a small customer base. If that customer base starts telling you they're not buying equipment that relies on a consumer grade OS with a designed obsolescence that's shorter than the life expectancy of equipment itself, what are you going to do?

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Red Bren
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@David Webb

"Ease of use naturally has to be one of the highest priority, the people who use the machines will have basic training, if the complexity is too high or there any many disparate systems, ease of use drops which reduces safety for the patient."

You make a good argument for sticking with XP. No ribbons, no metro UI, no having to learn new keyboard shortcuts. Or migrating to a linux with an XP-like desktop interface such as LXDE or Cinnamon.

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MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

Red Bren
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Linux

Re: MP3 vs other formats

"So like AM Radio, FM Radio, CD Audio, 33rpm and 45rpm discs, cassette tapes (yes people still selling new ones!) the MP3 format needs to be still supported both by gadget makers and download providers."

One of the barriers to linux on the desktop has been the hoops that have to be jumped through to rip and store music in a format compatible with other devices. It's no good telling consumers how much better/worthier FLAC or OGG formats are if their MP3 players only support MP3. Now that the patents are lapsing, Fedora (my preferred linux flavour) are including it as standard.

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Linus Torvalds stops personally signing Linux kernel RC tarballs

Red Bren
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Trollface

Has Linus invented time travel?

Mother's day was back in March...

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Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Red Bren
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Who is going to pay for all this?

I assume it will be the UK taxpayer. Unless Chairman May goes all Trump and demands the Irish pay for a wall that they don't want.

Or can we put a penny on income tax for leavers?

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We are 'heroes,' says police chief whose force frisked a photographer

Red Bren
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@albaleo

"Does that work for the police too?"

Yes. The photographer was not breaking any law. The police employee had no legal grounds to detain him. I think that's proof of twattery.

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Australian Taxation Office named as party preventing IT contractors being paid

Red Bren
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Re: Be aware...

In the uk, it's damn near impossible to "cash" a cheque, you have to pay it into a bank account and wait for it to clear before you can get hold of any folding money because terrorists or something.

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Red Bren
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In the land of the free

You can be who you want to be. Unless you can't afford the fees to join a state sponsored cartel.

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Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Red Bren
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Flame

Re: Bog Design

Thanks for highlighting two of my pet hates.

It's a sad fact of life that not everyone washes their hands after heeding the call of nature, but it's no good putting signs on the walls saying "Wash your hands" if you don't provide enough sinks. Who washes their hands but then can't be bothered to dry them?

And why do cheap hand dryer manufacturers think temperature is more important than airflow? A design based on an asthmatic dragon is going to burn my hands rather than dry them.

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Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

Red Bren
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Gimp

Conventional Sex

Bearing in mind the predilections* of the Eton Old Boys club that is the Conservative Party, probably the only thing that will be banned is the heterosexual missionary position.

* I've gone right off my bacon butty now...

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It's paydaygeddon! NatWest account transfers 'disappearing' (not really)

Red Bren
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Unhappy

Don't worry!

The regulator* will fine NatWest** a fortune for this. That will teach those pesky shareholders***

* Part of the government

** Owned by the government

*** The UK taxpayer

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UK.gov throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access

Red Bren
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Happy

Have an upvote

Just for gratuitous swearing in the same paragraph that describes El Reg as "Family Friendly"

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Red Bren
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Pint

Re: depressing...

We'll keep the red wine flowing here...

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US surveillance court declined less than 2 per cent of applications

Red Bren
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Big Brother

Re: The land of the ....?

"The US and UK still have free press; Russia, not so much."

In Russia, the state has too much power over the media. In the UK the "free" press has too much power over the state. And I put "free" in quotes as the UK press is predominantly owned by a small group of tax exiles.

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