* Posts by Franco

250 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

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All the cool kids are doing it – BT hikes broadband and TV bills

Franco
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Re: Once and it went well

That's why I said for the most part, there are the odd few that are conscientious and helpful but they are in the minority IME. The girl who took my cancellation request was very pleasant for example, particularly when she saw the number of complaints in my file and made no attempt to change my mind when she saw that, just admitted they had let me down.

Most of the time though, I have been met with indifference and an utter refusal to deviate from script.

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Franco
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Re: Sport

Sadly the sport is just the start, it'll be regular TV soon. Fox TV was removed from the BT TV package last year, and they own the UK rights to The Walking Dead. Makes no odds to me, but would to a lot of people.

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Franco
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BT's service isn't bad in general, however {Deity} help you if something goes wrong as their support staff are incompetent, rude and unhelpful for the most part.

My contract is up and I've already cancelled it before I heard this news. The Mike-Foxtrots still want £31 to leave even if you are out of contract as well. Awaiting my go-live date from Origin Broadband at present.

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Landmark EU ruling: Legality of UK's Investigatory Powers Act challenged

Franco
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Re: Snooping means snooping

I think Baron Acton had the answer for that one

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dalberg-Acton,_1st_Baron_Acton

To be fair, when the bill was first rejected MPs did a "radical" revision of it, they made themselves exempt.

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Franco
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Re: Appropriate?

I thought Food Standards Scotland's remit was to have everything deep fried?

(I'm allowed to say that, I am Scottish)

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Franco
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Re: This is great news...

I don't know if it is lack of understanding or deliberate subversion of the content of the bill, along with timing it to get lost in the shuffle of the Trump debacle and other news, but El Reg is one of very few news sources covering this at all.

It was mentioned briefly on The Last Leg on Channel 4 when it gained Royal approval. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver can usually be relied upon to cover stuff like this, but it's currently off air until next year.

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BT and Plusnet most moaned about broadband providers. Again

Franco
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BT are utterly awful, but sadly whilst the regulators are showing no interest in doing anything other than telling us BT are awful, they will continue to be so.

I complained to the Ombudsman about BT this year. They misinterpreted my complaint (deliberately, as I corrected them twice and they ignored me), admitted BT's service was terrible and showed complete disinterest in anything I said. They offered me £25 goodwill, which BT paid before I had accepted and when I informed them of this they took this as acceptance and closed my case. Sadly I haven't yet found an Ombudsman to handle Ombudsman complaints.....

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'Upset' Linus Torvalds gets sweary and gets results

Franco
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Re: Linus needs to start looking for his replacement.

Not gonna work, Chuck Norris can divide by 0 but Linux can't....

Judging from Linus's email rants, Malcolm Tucker would be a good candidate though.

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Oracle finally targets Java non-payers – six years after plucking Sun

Franco
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Good time to try this, given that as soon as Flash is finally taken out into the desert, shot in the back of the head and buried in an unmarked grave, Java will then become number one on the most hacked list.

Either that, or Larry has run out of money for his hollowed out volcano lair.

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Men! If you want to win at board games this Christmas, turn off the rock music – scientists

Franco
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To be fair, I find it hard to concentrate whilst also singing THUNDER! AH AH AH AH AHAH AHAHA.

Next week's pointless scientific study. Why the fuck aren't scientists doing useful things with their time and grant money?

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UK.gov has outsourced tech policy to Ofcom because it is clueless – SNP techie

Franco
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Government departments DO NOT want people with technical backgrounds who might ask intelligent questions, because then things like the IPA won't get passed.

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Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

Franco
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Re: 2IC is correct ...

Ah, the joys of the "blame the contractor" game. My current bugbear with that one is the change management team at my current contract, who are so risk averse that they have become Mordac.

They asked me for a rollback plan for a server reboot last week, and were less than amused when I told them that they would need to approve my change request for a flux capacitor first if they wanted a rollback plan for this change request. We're currently rebooting servers when we need to and putting in retrospective change requests, on the "better to ask forgiveness than permission" basis.

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Microsoft says LinkedIn will make Trump, Brexit, voters feel great again

Franco
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Re: And this just in ..

LinkedIn seems to be Chuck Norris according to Microsoft.

LinkedIn can divide by 0!

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The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

Franco
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Very possibly, but might as well sign it. The alternatives are:-

1. Accept it without saying anything, regardless of whether or not it will have an effect.

2. Go off the grid, which would immediately flag me up as an anomaly by being under the age of 80 and having no mobile phone or broadband, and therefore eligible for the sort of holiday where you get strapped down before your daily swim and the leisure attire comes in any colour you want so long as it's orange.

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Franco
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Made a note in my diary on the way here. Simply says "Bugger".

It shows how ignorant most people are of the contents of this bill (and how well it has been subverted by Government) that the petition against tallow in fivers has nearly as many signatures as the petition against this.

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Small ISPs 'probably' won't receive data retention order following IP Bill

Franco
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Being in this country and having an internet connection seems to put you on a watch list anyway.

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Investigatory Powers Act signed into UK law by Queen

Franco
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Re: Words to the Wise which will not Trouble the Foolish

My heartfelt contrafibularities for the Blackadder the Third reference.

I've just installed Opera on all of my computers. It may not be the best browser, but it does have a built-in VPN and I'm not making it easy for these bastards on general principle. Given the history of misuse of law in this country there is no chance whatsoever that "those with nothing to hide" will be safe from anything.

I also very much doubt the legality of this under EU law, but at best that's a temporary reprieve, it'll just resurface in a few years.

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You want SaaS? Don't bother, darling, your kind can't afford it

Franco
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That's Alaster Dabs

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Pythons Idle and Cleese pen anti-selfie screed

Franco
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It's all part of the same look at me, my life is better than yours culture that social media engenders.

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Franco
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I agree whole heartedly with Idle and Cleese personally. Few things get on my nerves more than being at a concert and stuck behind some fucking twat who watches the whole thing through their phone.

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A cardboard desk? I won’t stand for it (actually I will)

Franco
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Re: Cats 'n boxes.

Standard behaviour for pets. Blow in a dogs face and it'll go nuts. Open a car window at speed however.....

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Apple drops dongle prices to make USB-C upgrade affordable

Franco
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Re: How on earth

It's interesting that Microsoft are putting full size SD card slots into their top end kit as opposed to micro and stated that the sort of people they are looking to attract (Photographers, graphic designers etc) to the kit want them.

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Lenovo downward dogs with Yoga BIOS update supporting Linux installs

Franco
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Re: > "Gigabyte motherboard "

The Gigabyte was the one aberration in a succession of ASUS boards over the years, I agree that their BIOS interfaces are pretty fully featured.

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Franco
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No, it's not OK, but there is a world of difference between a malicious act and leaving out a feature because you don't forsee a need for it. Lenovo have resolved the issue as best they can, but you could just as easily accuse Intel of (at best) dragging their heels over providing Linux drivers or (at worst) vendor lockout.

I saw this a lot back in the Windows Vista days. SATA/AHCI was starting to become the default setting for a lot of OEMs shipping Vista PCs, but most businesses continued to use XP for a long time and had to either create new images with the driver slipstreamed in or turn off SATA/AHCI in favour of legacy mode.

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Franco
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Lenovo are far from alone in having crappy BIOS interfaces. If they did do this deliberately then they should be condemned, but IMO it's far more likely no one thought it was an issue.

For example, Dell have long had pretty good BIOS interfaces, at least in terms of features. Back in about 2005 they already had individually controllable SATA ports, options for RAID/AHCI/IDE on their IDE ports etc. I have a Gigabyte motherboard from a couple of years ago with 4 SATA ports (no IDE on board) that labels them as Primary Master, Primary Slave, Secondary Master and Secondary Slave. No control options at all, no RAID and massively incorrect terminology.

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Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Franco
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I tend to think of Leisure Suit Larry and Space Quest personally :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierra_Entertainment

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Franco
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Cortana is much better than Shazam at identifying music (IME), but the only other time I use it is in the car as the SMS reader function works through Cortana now.

On an (almost) related note, I work close to the old Rootes factory site in Scotland which is now a retail park. However the railway bridge at the end of the old perimeter road hasn't been painted in 30 years so still says "Welcome to Talbot. Home of the Sunbeam and the Avenger."

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Franco
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I'm of the opinion that Siri and Cortana are just rebrands of Clippy. Just as "useful" and definitely just as annoying, and also as capable of triggering my technology induced tourettes.

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US govt pleads: What's it gonna take to get you people using IPv6?

Franco
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Got nothing against IPv6, but this current insistence that it's benefit is that every device has a routable IP address has my alarm bells ringing, particularly when it's governments and their agencies playing that card.

I know we're technically "out" of IPv4 addresses (I.e. they've all been issued), but there's no way they're all being used. I'm sure we'll see blocks returned before we'll see significant uptake of IPv6.

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Franco
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Re: A little dig?

Stopped reading INQ a long time ago. W10 quite rightly gets bad press round these parts for it's slurping tendencies, but the articles being written by Chris Merriman went beyond all reason and in to tinfoil hat mode. That and the blatant Apple bias drove me away.

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Franco
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I don't like doing this, but I am going to answer your question with another.

Do the soulless, spiritless, ballless, corporate little bitches, suckers of satan's cock who try to force me to look at pop-up ads for (at best) stuff I don't want or (at worst) infect me with malware feel guilty about it?

I make no apologies for paraphrasing Bill Hicks above. As he once said Not a joke, don't wait for the punchline. If you work in advertising, kill yourself.

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Three outsources staff to Capita

Franco
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I've never spoken to Glasgow (always get India) but IME 3's customer service is better than average for mobile providers. Or was, I should say.

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Franco
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Can you get one with rounded corners?

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You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

Franco
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Re: Security questions

<snip> when I kept refusing to give them information on the phone to identify myself</snip>

I once applied for a job, and when the recruitment company called me they asked me to verify my postcode to prove my identity. I pointed out to them that the postcode they had for me came from the same CV that had my phone number, so if I wasn't who I claimed to be I would already have falsified the data they had. This put them in to stack overflow, repeat question until answered no matter how stupid the question is, at which point I decided that if they were this bad about just speaking to me the job description was bound to be gibberish too and gave up.

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Franco
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As I have posted here before, I have actually been accused in an interview (for an IT Security job) of having something to hide due to my very small online footprint.

If I buy a pizza, it's to eat it. Not take pictures of it. Nor do I have any interest in other people pretending how great their life is compared to mine by the stream of selfies they post in "exotic" locations.

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Dear sysadmin: This is how you stay relevant

Franco
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It's all very well saying sysadmins must be this and that, the truth is most are at the mercy of IT Directors or whoever else and don't necessarily make decisions based on business needs.

Lost count of the number of times I've heard variations of we need to move to the cloud from the higher ups, followed by OK, what do you want to migrate and what business requirements will be fulfilled by moving.

Usually there isn't a (coherent) answer, as the higher ups don't want to say we read it online and it sounded good.

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'We already do that, we’re just OG* enough to not call it DevOps'

Franco
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Alternatively, we could all keep doing what we're doing because any notion of structure goes out the window in the event of shit hitting the fan in favour of I don't care how you do it, just fix it.

I'm going to start my own buzzword driven revolution called WR. I'll think of an appropriate bacronym later, but at the moment it stands for "Wheel Reinvention". Might need to get cloud and agile in there somewhere too though....

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My Dell merger wish list

Franco
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More and more I'm seeing people, once staunchly in the camp of "I'll never use Hyper-V cos it's management is crap compared to VMware" being driven away by poor support and poor product quality.

Just hope EMC don't suffer the way EquaLogic did. I went through months of pain as Dell rebranded the firmware and added new features in the same revisions, none of which worked. One SAN I supported had more firmware flashes in 3 months than the collective total of every other SAN I've ever touched.

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'I'm sorry, your lift has had a problem and had to shut down'

Franco
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Re: Invalid page fault

And you can always tell when a lift door is about to open, from the intolerable air of smugness it suddenly generates.

The ATM at my local Tesco frequently shows a Windows XP log off screen. Haven't seen a blue screen from it yet, no doubt when it gets upgraded that'll be a new feature.

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Microsoft’s Continuum: Game changer or novelty?

Franco
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Re: This has been done with Android by many manufacturers

W10M supports USB OTG, and as of the Anniversary Update also supports USB Ethernet Adapters

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Franco
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I like Continuum and if more apps appear it will get better and better. I've actually used it more for entertainment than business though, and I can it being a useful travel device. BT Sport works, so last week when I was at my cousins house I connected via Miracast and watched the MotoGP on her TV. Netflix isn't a UWP yet but works flawlessly through Edge. iPlayer is a UWP and works.

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Adblock Plus blocks Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook block of Adblock Plus block of Facebook ads

Franco
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Wow, didn't think I needed another reason not to have a Facebook account, but here we are anyway.

Until the day that adverts on the internet are at least unobtrusive and guaranteed not to be malicious, I am continuing to use adblockers. Banner ads along the top or sides, such as El Reg uses, are OK to me, as I can tune them out and the site probably wouldn't be here without them.

However, flash popups forcing me to look at them and stealing my mobile data allowance can fuck off. As can any ad man who accuses me of "stealing" by blocking his content. I did not give you consent to use the small allowance of data my mobile operator gives me. TV , radio and print advertising may be annoying, but at least I'm not going to get malware or worse from it.

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Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

Franco
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If I had a fiver for every time I'd heard variations of "whilst you're here I'll show you this problem. Oh it's not doing it now. I bet it'll happen again 10 minutes after you leave" I could retire. And then only hear it from my family and friends.....

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HMRC's IR35 tweaks have 90% of UK's IT contractors up in arms

Franco
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Re: Interesting...

Can't speak for others here, but I'd like to see some policing of 3rd party companies who are advertising such services as 95% take home.

As a LTD Company contractor, my details are on file at Companies House, and spammers/scammers call me on an almost weekly basis offering services that sound too good to be true. Therefore, IMO, are. I don't pay myself a small salary for the avoidance of tax, I do it so that I can keep a steady and guaranteed income even when I am not working, and top that up with dividends when finances allow.

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Happy Sysadmin Day!

Franco
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My sysadmin day present has been a flurry of emails saying this doesn't work, can you help?

This is only different from every other day by the fact that the emails are not from users, but from the junior techs. Clearly some re-education required....

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

Franco
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Re: Another Brexiter here...

I am glad someone has managed to get a substitute past their engager on an SC Cleared Contract, cos I never have and neither has anyone I ever worked with on one.

I worked with a guy who broke his leg, and was told not to bother arranging a substitute as he would be back before the substitute (already SC Cleared) was cleared for the site.

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Franco
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Re: Another Brexiter here...

One of the things I am going to mention in my response to the document is the ridiculous tests they use.

Using your own equipment simply isn't an option in IT, most Public Sector organisations won't let personal devices anywhere near their network and quite rightly. Similarly the "Right of Substitution" clause is also nonsense in much of the public sector as HMRC (for example) would require SC Clearance or similar and a vetted (by them) contractor.

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Franco
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HMRC: We can't go after Google or Amazon or Starbucks, their lawyers are too good. But we need £400m to make up our shortfall. I know, lets go after contractors. People don't like them, expecially the ones who are too scared to try it themselves, so they're a soft target. Even if we don't get £400m (because we pulled that random figure out of our collective arses) it looks like we're doing something.

You know the law isn't fit for purpose when private companies are insuring against it and beating HMRC, IR35 status should be simple to determine but it's even different if you are a PSC or an Umbrella Contractor.

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Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Franco
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Re: Re BBC

For a real showstopper, the WM10 version of the iPlayer app works perfectly in normal mode. However, it is a Continuum aware UWP app (allegedly) but when you connect to a large screen it tells you the content isn't available without Flash.

Does work via Edge though.

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