* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Gravitational waves permanently change spacetime, say astroboffins

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Catch a wave....

And you are sitting on top of the world!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Emissions cheating detection shines light on black box code

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Re: "CO2 is not a pollutant. "

Yes, there are some things that aren't too compatible with life in general. 5% CO2, in an enclosed box won't hurt you, but get much above 10% and things start to go really bad. The guys on Apollo 13 figured that one out.

As for other things, water is a tailpipe emission. We breathe it every day, and deal with it. I wouldn't want to be in an "atmosphere" of 100% water but for a brief time (I can only hold my breath so much).

Methane escapes into the atmosphere as well, and is a much more dangerous "pollutant" than CO2 as far as "greenhouse gasses" are concerned. I don't see anyone calling for catalytic converters on cooktops any time soon. Then again, don't let the government get wind of it, they may do it anyway.

At the present time our atmosphere is less than 1/2% CO2, less than Argon which nobody has talked about (clue, it is inert!).

Telecoms fail in UK takes down passport scanners in Australia

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Perhaps the problem was...

They wanted to scan the Queen's passport.

Alas, she wasn't traveling.

Horse named 'Cloud Computing' finds burst of speed to beat 'Classic Empire' in actual race

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So many "interesting" horse names...

...so little time. Maybe El Reg can come up with a bunch of names and handicap them in a race for the hearts and minds of the audience.

The best part would be the one line after the horses name that the handicapper describes the abilities.

Would be interesting.

And then you would have "Wannacry" just put a gate across the track, and is awaiting payment to lift it.

Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers

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Fun to watch...

There are MANY you-tube videos of them doing "work" on VMs. Almost all of them use silly things like 'tree' commands to do a "scan" then the guy on the other end pastes in a nasty message at the end saying ...infected...trojan...virus... or some such. One guy salts his VM with all sorts of booby traps and watches the fun ensue.

There is one example where a guy gave a fake credit card number and captured the customer service guy scammer calling up the credit card processing page on HIS VM. He wanted to go in and refund all the charges. Another actually got the remote guy to lock up his own computer (syskey).

Some are pretty interesting.

My one experience was with a guy trying to get a windows command window up (windows-R), but nothing happens on my Linux machine. It took about 5 minutes for him to realize this.

Crooks use WannaCrypt hysteria as hook for BT-branded phishing emails

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Maybe we should bring back plain text email.

It wouldn't hurt. No HTML stuff just plain text and nothing else. This of course goes double for anyone emitting "security" warnings and the like. Then the link ought to be obvious and in the proper domain, and a short one if possible.

ASCII does have its virtues.

Dell kills botched BIOS update that murdered punters' PCs

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Quality? Assurance?

Sure, we've heard of that somewhere. We've also heard of testing as well.

Just words to Dell.

Than again, we've also heard of excuses, and we got lots of those.

No laptop ban on Euro flights to US... yet

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Pilots use laptops as well...

And they are going to ben these as well? The trend now is to have this "electronic flight bag" (Boeing term) travel with the pilot instead of all the paper stuff they would normally carry.

If this DOES go through, and pilots aren't exempt, it might be very interesting.

As for things in the hold, what about Galaxy Note 7's that were the subject of "flame on" switches a while back? In the hold? Not good!

US court decision will destroy the internet, roar Google, Facebook et al

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Ninth circuit court??

I'm not holding my breath. These guys like to be "leaders" in new legal ideas, made up of whole cloth and thin air. While something needs to be done, I'm not exactly sure that the court (and especially the ninth circuit) is the place to do it.

Then again, i'm not holding out for legislative solution that actually works either. There are a BUNCH of vested interests here, and they have many conflicting ideas on what is "proper" for their lobbying group. Whatever solution comes out of this, it will taste bad for ALL those involved. Hopefully the bad taste is small and equal for the participants (we can only hope).

Plutus Payroll finally pays up ... but pays people TOO MUCH!

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Proves the axiom...

The err is human, to really foul things, you need a computer.

If this is anything like the bank error that was made on my account when the company I worked for went Chapter 7 (death of a company, under extreme duress), the bank will suck back anything it thought was in error.

I was (if the company lived) to have an automatic deposit. Well, the deposit happened, but a couple of days later, it was slurped back. Live and learn. The next time I was paid by what I considered a "dodgy" company, I went right to the bank, and got CASH (in the USA, folded nice green paper with pictures of presidents and other elder statesmen) then went over to MY bank and deposited it. They can't suck back CASH!

Live and learn!

Romney tax return 'hacker' Dr Evil gets his sentence reviewed

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They could always...

...INCREASE the jail time from the original sentence. That would be most fitting!

For now, GNU GPL is an enforceable contract, says US federal judge

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Is there a REAL Lawyer in the house?

Maybe they can give insight into the goings on here. As I see it, it is as they say "complicated", and as with most things "legal" clear as mud.

A good lawyer should really go through the decision, and put it in terms we can all understand.

I'm sure that others will argue the details, but for me, it looks like a victory for the GPL, and I can't add much after that as I'm only an engineer, not (thankful;y) a lawyer (or play one on TV).

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

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Weird picture...

Is it just me or did someone else see the opening picture and think that the camera box was an overturned truck lorry on the side of the road.

I must be thinking weird thoughts.

'Jaff' argh snakes: 5m emails/hour ransomware floods inboxes

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Law enforcement??

Absent! When will they get serious about this and go after these guys. I'm sure that if it hit some law enforcement facility they might, but as of now I don't see any action.


Arista cats escape US quarantine, for now: Customs says it's OK to import networking gear

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Thumb Up


I like it. Of course they do more than switches, but the other things are multi-syllabic.

Google buys developers of VR goof-around Job Simulator

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Black Helicopters


All jobs simulated at some time? Yes, virtually all of them...

Which icon to chose... Troll, Joke, I'll get my coat? So many choices.

Of course, this appeals to government workers, as they do little work anyway... What is that noise??

DSL inventor's latest science project: terabit speeds over copper

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This of course begs the Question: How much bandwidth do you need at home?

And as anyone knows, the answer is: More than I have now.

With all the point to point connections demanding bigger and bigger hoses for the data, consumers have demanded more and more data through inefficient connections. At one time we had "Broadcast" technology which if you summed up how much data was consumed by individuals would get an enormous number (sure it was all the same data, but that is what BROADcast means).

Now we have all these point to point links between providers and consumers that want anything and everything on an on-demand NOW basis. Satisfying the bandwidth habit will only get more expensive over time as "replace" happens over and over again.

Sad but most likely true. (*SIGH*)

Well this is awkward. As Microsoft was bragging about Office at Build, Office 365 went down

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Cloud just means...

Somebody else's computer that you have NO control over, and can go down at any time leaving you helpless.

I heard something about eggs and a basket somewhere...

Could US appeals court save us all from 10 years of net neutrality yelling?

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Might not stay with the 9th circuit...

Given that the 9th is the most overturned court of its type, I don't see this ending at this level. I suspect that Roberts & the Supremes will get their hands on it. Time will tell.

We can hope for the best!

Microsoft's .NET-mare for developers: ASP.NET Core 2.0 won't work on Windows-only .NET

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In your best "Ernestine the Operator" voice...

Repeat after me:

"We're Microsoft, we really don't care".

Fake invoice scammers slurp $5bn+ from corp beancounters – FBI

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Yes, it is illegal...

But the federalies do little to stop it.

IRS scammers: Haven't seen them do perp walks.

Ransom ware: Sieze the proceeds? Nope!

Fake Microsoft service: Kill off the 800 (toll free) number? Not a chance?

Spam: Nope!

Yes there is lots of money lost, but is any jail time handed out? Very little (if at all!).

And we all deal with it every day!

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

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Re: Copywriter as IT Support

"It was faster but the data didn't always reach the intended target."

Now days we call this "Packet Loss" in networks.

Australian Taxation Office named as party preventing IT contractors being paid

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Be aware...

While this doesn't apply here (no warning), but if you are UNSURE of the person who is writing the check, and they have written a bunch of them, it is best to CASH (yes, get lots of folding paper, or those new fivers) the check. Once you have the CASH they can't take it back from you. Just go to the issuing bank and say "please cash this check". They may not like it, but (at least in the USA) that's what they have to do. If sometime later (after the money runs out form others cashing their checks), and you deposit the check you thought was "good", they will suck it back from your account. This isn't a pleasant sight, and might lead to the same frustration.

Yes, I've been through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (death of a company!). It isn't pretty!

S is for Sandbox: The logic behind Microsoft's new lockdown Windows gambit

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Should be called "Windows LL"

For "Loss Leader". Get the unit sold, no matter what the cost. Kinda like selling a home computer for $49.99 retail, and offering a $50.00 rebate check (See Texas Instruments). We want market share, no matter what the cost.

For reference, see razor blades/razor for costing.

Unpaid tech contractor: 'I have to support my family. I have no money for medicines'

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Strange goings on, that's for sure!

Currently I'm a contractor as well. The nice company I work for sends money to the contracting agency, and they use that to pay me and the taxes involved. The rate that my agency charges the company has to cover all the expenses, and me as well. If they want to make money, they need to charge a bit more than the total costs, so there is some "overhead" as well.

If something like that happened here in the USA, it wouldn't take long for the general public to find out, and then someone in government as well, usually ones that have keys to greybar hotels. Most states have labor commissioners whose sole function is to make sure you (the worker) aren't getting screwed over, and they come down HARD if there is some malfeasance detected. About the only way the contracting agency could get away with things, is to file for some sort of bankruptcy. Even then (I've been there) the first $2000 or so of wages is one of the "high priority" claims (sadly lawyers are higher).

Yes, I'd rather not be a contractor, but it does provide for cash flow. That is a good feature.

It's Russian hackers, FBI and Wikileaks wot won it – Hillary Clinton on her devastating election loss

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Hillary, email, and Electoral College...

Hillary was a staffer around the time Nixon was president, and saw all the problems with "the tapes" he had. Eventually they were made public, and his downfall came shortly after that. Nixon failed due to a coverup,and Hillary knew all about this. The lesson learned here was if you have the evidence under your control you can do with it what you want even if someone asks for it.

Fast forward to a private email server. Under her control (tick), asked for (tick), destroyed (tick), made unavailable (tick). Yup, learned those lessons well. If they can't get to your evidence, that can't haul you into court. Well done Hillary!

As for the Electoral College, sorry, there are actually 51 (you need to count Washing DC here) separate elections going on. Every one has different importance. Some will always go one way (California for the left), some go the other way (Wyoming for the right). That is the way it is. Some states are close to a toss-up, and the candidates need to campaign there (Wisconsin comes to mind). You can't take them for granted. The "popular" vote is meaningless, as that is how the rules are written. Everybody KNOWS the rules, and the final referee is comprised of a court of 9 wise men. Normally we don't want to get to that point, but it does happen (2000 election).

To change the rules, a changeset is needed, and getting it promoted to the source file takes a LOT of work, including the approval of 38 states. This means that if 13 states don't like it it doesn't fly. Being as there are around 13 small population states that would be "put out of business" in elections, I don't see that changeset being promoted any time soon. So, DEAL WITH IT.

Sure it is a terrible way to elect a president, but in the UK the prime minister gets "elected" by his own party (the one in the majority), which might be just as bad (sorry if I got this wrong, my civics class didn't cover UK elections).

Yup, Hilary defeated herself. She thought she was "entitled", and it showed.

Secret FabricXpress sauce gives X-IO the edge for the edge

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Mention of EBITDA

Makes me want to barf. If you need to mention this funny term to show things "positive" it should be a note of caution. The big mess of a bunch of years ago liked to mention this and look where it ended up.

Just give me nice "Positive Cash Flow" and hope that you aren't doing anything illegal. Things will turn out OK.

As for the actual company product, I really can't say. It looks nice on paper, but lots of things do.

Male escort forgot pregnancy protection, scores data protection instead

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Youse pay your money

Youse take your chances.

Or, you bought it, and now you OWN it.

Apache OpenOffice: Not dead yet, you'll just have to wait until mid-May for mystery security fixes

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Needed feature...

To be able to read/write the 365's cloud files directly into the application. You do your stuff locally, and save it out the those other guys "cloud".

This might need to make sure that the formats work correctly, but that is a continuing effort.

At a previous job, I was in a constant tog-of-war with that other software and LibreOffice. They handled tables and indents differently for me, and every time I read back in the saved file it was mushed up. I might have done something wrong (likely), but it did mess things up.

What needs to be done is to persuade a hardware vendor to include it in the "shipped software" by default. I suspect the Redmond people might object though!

Sneaky 'fileless' malware flung at Israeli targets via booby-trapped Word docs

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Well there is this file "Word.exe" (or some variant) that DOES contain the virus, so maybe we should delete that!

Maybe the "joke alert" icon is off a bot as well, but I'll leave that decision to the reader.

BOFH: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back

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Rutherford Advanced Computing Society.

We're all members, having paid the proper amounts. Now we put it on our resumes and gloat away.

Just remember, if you get a snicker from an interviewing future boss, you have it made.

Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

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Situation Normal...

All Fouled Up.

Can't say much more. Welcome to beta test.

FTP becoming Forgotten Transfer Protocol as Debian turns it off

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Re: Sad but not terrible

Yes, I know no sensible person sends mail by "telnet <mx> 25"

While this may be true, spammers do exactly that programatically. Spew to port 25 and just discard the result.

Me? One of my web cams nicely transfers pictures once a minute to my FPT server and has for over 10 years. Of course, FTP is a really weird protocol (PORT/PASV and all that), but if it is implemented, it DOES work. There is a lot of history around it and the problems/flaws are pretty well known, and for the most part pretty well fixed. It is like the energizer bunny, it keeps going, beating its drum.

Super-secure Pi-stuffed nomx email server box given a good probing

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Must have been made by...

Marketing geniuses, and programmer rockstars that are gurus as well.

Any buzzwords I missed?

Risk-free Friday evenings, thanks to Office 365 license management

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License? What license??

The easiest way out of ALL of this is to use software that doesn't require licenses to work.

LibreOffice is your friend.

Stanford Uni's intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

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Re: Algol-W

The 60's called. They want the chad back.

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What is an "intro" course for??

It is to get young minds full of mush some understanding of what really goes on. Unfortunately the problems encountered in such a course have little bearing on "reality". Stanford has gone through many languages in its "intro" courses, some which really don't exist outside of the given course work. They started out with:

1) Algol on a Burroughs 5500

2) Algol-W on an IBM 360/67

3) Pascal on TOPS-20

(and as the author says):

4) C

5) Java

6) Javascript, the latest.

Most of these are nice "teaching" languages, but are a bit difficult to get going in "real life". The problem is that the techniques taught in the first course of programming just don't translate well. One of my experiences was helping a younger sister (student at Stanford!) with an assignment in Pascal. Kinda obtuse the problem, but it did teach some programming concepts. I also helped out a roommate work the same problem (in a different way, don't want to give it away!) which was based on the notes from the professor. They were two different programs in the end. Now that we all have computers, the problems encountered seem to be along the lines of "how do I format this in Excel" or some such. Most who USE computers don't have a clue about what work goes into the various programs they use. For the most part, it really doesn't matter. Sure we do actual "programs", but being in an IT profession is but a fraction (and a very small one) of the workforce.

Life goes on.

Maybe the intro course should be how to do macros/database in Excel. Combine with "elementary Word" and you might even have a course.

Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

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Rubber Gloves...

Should be in everyones "repair" kit. This example should have shown that.

Given that moisture of many varieties seems to invade electronics on a semi-regular basis, a good supply (they come in nice boxes at surgical supply stores) ought to be on the "buy" list.

As always, your milage may vary.

Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

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Proves the axiom...

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Me? KDE all the way with Fedora!!

Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

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Advertising seems to "work"...

As much as it is annoying to us all, and we all strive to ignore it, it DOES seem to work. This is because we are all talking about it.

Ad blockers are interesting devices. They are but one item in the never increasing battle between the eyes that look and the people who show. I suspect that eventually the result will be a draw, the declared "winner" keeps going back and forth. With ad blockers, comes web sites that detect them and don't display content, and so it goes.

As for TV ads, the wife desperately does all she can to skip over them (via TiVo), or mute them otherwise. I on the other hand seem to ignore them altogether, and assume that it is a perfect time for a potty break as necessary.

In the end, life goes on. If there were no ads, we would have two results:

1) Everything formerly supported by advertising would be more expensive (Newspapers, US TV, magazines, web content...)

2) Nobody would buy "new" things since they wouldn't know about them, which would drive up the costs there (supply/demand).

So, we're stuck with the current imperfect arrangement much as we ALL loathe it.

Life goes on.....

Stop asking people for their passwords, rights warriors yell at US Homeland Security

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Common profile...

So, we all setup a "common profile" that we know the "password" for and everybody refers to it. You might need to make up one for each gender, but we could all refer to it.

Border guy: "This looks like the last one I saw".

Guy entering: "Yup. That's the name I use online."

Guess who's back at Microsoft? Excel, Word creator Charles Simonyi

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Eve of destruction...

Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,

But when your return, it's the same old place,

Apologies to Barry Mcguire

IDF now stands for Intel Ditches Frisco: Chipzilla axes annual tech conf

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Now all you get...

Is dribblings after you sign an NDA or some such, but don't talk about it either.

Maybe this is why ARM processors are gaining traction?

I just put this in my list: If IBM had picked some other processor architecture (say Motorola 68000), it wouldn't be Chipzilla, but just a bit of dust probably making DRAM chips. (Wishful dreaming on my part!).

'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

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Privacy in wire communications??

Please tell the congressman that the equivalent would be a telephone company using speech recognition on telephone conversations and selling people (advertising scum) what keywords you use in everyday life.

That is what browsing history is after all.

He needs to get a clue

Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

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But will it...

Cook Pizza?

In reasonable time?

My nice USA electric oven can whip out a pizza in about 20 minutes from a cold start. If you start the oven as you order the take & bake one, it can take less, as the travel time is about the same as the warm up.

Get out the beer and have at it. Don't need this multi-door monstrosity that thinks it is hot all the time. How do you clean the beast?

Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run

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Good Friday?

You need the proper attitude. You see, ALL Fridays are "good Fridays". This is especially true around beer o'clock in the afternoon. That is when you read the current BOFH episode, and wish you could do something similar with your boss, and groan while walking over to the pub "across the street".

Yup, every Friday is a "good" Friday.

Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

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Of course, will they go after other bad guys?

Like those who fake being the IRS, or "Microsoft" support.

Yes, these guys rake in $$$ every day, from unsuspecting people, but I have yet to hear any FTC action about them (like shutting down the toll free number at first sight!).

Somebody needs to get with the program!

Euro Patent Office reforms hit another stumbling block: Reality

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Improve quality?

One step might be to throw out all software patents. It might be a good start.

After that the more through an examination, the more solid the patent. This goes without saying.

Cyberattacks wipe more than $50bn off big biz value, say beancounters

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Maybe Law Enforcement should take notice too.

With all the scams out there, law enforcement takes little notice. They seem to think that a small $50 or so problem is insignificant. Of course it is, but when you multiply by a big number (a simple thousand will do) it DOES become significant.

You just don't see that many good prosecutions for scams out there. Maybe the FBI could open an office in Lagos. I'm sure they could get some business there!

HMRC beer duty bungle leaves breweries struggling to pay online

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Could be worse...

They could have shut off beer sales for a fraction of the month. It might be the only way to calculate the taxes. Just use one rate for the whole month, and since you didn't make any for the time the new rate was in effect, no tax.

Yeah, real bummer.

Than again, it might start a new campaign: Don't Tax Our Beer!! (of course, good luck with that).

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