* Posts by SkippyBing

1930 posts • joined 21 May 2008

First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum

SkippyBing
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Re: Is "designed by computer" better ?.

'The KC-46 is a military procurement program. It's supposed to go over budget.'

You'd think that, but it's a fixed price contract so the only budget it's going over is Boeings!

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SkippyBing
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Re: Is "designed by computer" better ?.

A lot of the problems with the KC-46 are to do with the refuelling and flight management systems, the latter taken from the 777 and put into what is basically a 767 for some reason. The aircraft bit is fine. Bet the USAF feel stupid not ordering the A330 MRTT though.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Fatal hull loss is more accurate

'Actually the first fatal hull loss is the Asiana flight (pilot error and bad documentation by Boeing) into San Francisco that cost several occupants their lives when the tail was ripped off.'

I believe, and I've used it as an example in Human Factors training a few times, one stewardess was killed when her seat departed the aircraft. Two passengers departed the aircraft because they weren't strapped in*, one of whom only actually died after a fire truck drove over her. The second time.

*Always strap in unless you want to get up and walk somewhere.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Feeling old yet?

'On a different note, with 20,519 flights totalling 49,687 flying hours we seem to be looking at an average flight time of ~2.5 hours, which seems low for a long-haul aircraft.'

I wonder if that's in part due to its test role with Boeing? I don't think Cathay have many short haul routes.

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SkippyBing
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More than 8 hours

The Hong Kong - Pima leg is going to be more like 15 hours if my LAX - Hong Kong experience is anything to go by. I don't sleep well on planes so the last four hours was a bit of a head-f**k.

Incidentally the Pima County Air and Space Museum is well worth a visit, it's right next to the desert boneyard where they store retired warplanes and has an example of everything that's been through there, one offs like the F-107, and some oddities like a Shackleton and Gannet which I didn't expect to see. You can also get a bus tour of the boneyard from the museum.

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Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

SkippyBing
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Re: and on the recieving end...

'(2) walk into office, boot computer, sign in to any number of systems, open email, identify job emails, print each one via whatever convoluted how to find the printer system, then start from above.'

Why do you have to find the printer? My work computer remembers which printers I've used from one day to the next.

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SkippyBing
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'1. Place document on fax machine, type in extension number, send. ... Get receipt.'

You've got a receipt saying a fax machine has received your fax. Brilliant. It's now sat in a tray with whatever anyone else has sent to that number. With an email delivery/read receipt you have a receipt saying the right person has your message and even if they've read it.

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

SkippyBing
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Re: Dead trees never failed anyone

' In reality I suspect its an opportunity to enjoy the journey while you are stuck in the flying cattle truck because its safe.'

I'm generally stuck in the flying cattle truck because I'm f***ed if I'm driving to the middle east or the USA.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Dead trees never failed anyone

'Most aerospace engineers I know will mostly travel by car, or by a private plane (usually one they are piloting, there is a large overlap between working in aerospace and having a pilots licence). Make of that what you will.'

I make of that that they're idiots, they're swapping the safest form of transport per passenger mile for two of the least*. After 6 years of working in Air Safety the main thing I know is that people are rubbish at assessing risk, even if you show them the numbers, actually especially if you show them the numbers.

*Although motorbikes are 1 or 2 magnitudes worse so it could be worse.

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SkippyBing
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Last year I wanted to take my motorbike to Italy, rather than drive through France I thought 'let's take the autotrain, it's French, it's sophisticated, it's overnight so it'll save on a hotel room'.

So it turns out contrary to what some in this country may claim, state run railways are as s*** as privately run ones. A few days before departure I got a phone call saying due to industrial action my train was cancelled. After some prompting I was given some options, i.e. take a train a few days later, or yes, I could get a refund, if I went into an SNCF station, probably the one in Paris. Of course Paris was massively out of my way if I wasn't catching a train there, but I risked going into the station in Calais on the grounds the worst they could say is no. Actually the worst they could say is, we can refund you this bit of the passenger ticket but you'll have to go via a website that doesn't actually exist to get a refund on the bike part. I paid for the tickets by card over the phone, how f*****g hard is it to refund that? People on ebay selling counterfeit software will give you a credit card refund FFS.

Long story short, if you think things in this country are bad, and I've just used a strike riddled SW trains to go to London, go to France things will be worse and they won't even pretend to give a shit.

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NHS smacks down hundreds of staffers for dodgy use of social media, messaging apps

SkippyBing
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Re: Wow

'On a weird note. My local GP surgery has a notice up saying that anyone discussing the practice (or staff) on Facebook or Twitter does so under threat of expulsion from their register.'

Genuine question, is that even legal? What about discussing the practice with my friends while sat in a public space?

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Apple in XS new sensation: Latest iPhone carries XS-sive price tag

SkippyBing
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Ford Called

They want their Fiesta naming strategy back.

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First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

SkippyBing
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'This includes simplified access to .GOV websites that "cut through all the different layers now in place", some of which she said are currently "mind-numbingly petty in their requirements and absurdly complex to navigate".'

Or you know, as she works for the Government she could just get them to remove the mind-numbingly petty requirements and have someone from outside the Civil Service design them so they're not impossible to navigate. Because I don't really see another form of ID solving either of those problems.

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Brit armed forces still don't have enough techies, thunder MPs

SkippyBing
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Lateral recruitment is an interesting one. It won't work for all roles, i.e. it would be very hard to laterally recruit a ship's captain as all his previous jobs would be developing the skills necessary to command a warship in battle, so even a merchant navy captain wouldn't have the full skill set.

On the other hand, if you're only recruiting them into select non-front line roles, you've just removed the chance for someone on the front line to have a couple of years in a stable posting, which is known to increase the outflow rate making the manning situation worse.

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SkippyBing
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'Why would I work as an IT professional directly within the army ranks, requiring certain level of physical training, potentially dangerous missions etc, while being paid less than market rates?'

Or even worse you could do it at Civil Service rates! Which does raise the question of how the Government in general thinks it's going to be able to employ skilled workers during times of high employment?

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SkippyBing
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I'd be surprised if any area of the armed forces was struggling to employ their personnel usefully these days. Certainly the area I'm involved in doesn't have the required number of technicians to produce enough serviceable aircraft to meet the required tasking. This isn't as big a problem as it could be due to a shortage of pilots, caused by a lack of serviceable aircraft on the training unit, caused by a shortage of qualified and experienced technicians...

So if we had more personnel they'd be fully employed doing their primary role. Admittedly this is more of a problem for RAMC etc. as you kind of need bad things to be happening for that to be possible.

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SkippyBing
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Part of the problem is the skills the Armed Forces want are in demand, consequently a not insignificant proportion of new recruits get the engineering training and then leave at the first opportunity for a better paying/more stable* job outside. This leaves a shortage of qualified and experienced personnel. Although on the plus side the MoD's pension bill isn't as big.

*Stable as in you don't find yourself on the other side of the world for an unspecified period of time with only two weeks warning.

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Vodafone cops ads rap over Martin Freeman's vanishing spaceship

SkippyBing
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Re: They're all the same speed

Depends how long your driveway is.

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SkippyBing
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They're all the same speed

Unless someone has found a way of propagating electricity or light through the same medium at different velocities.

Always makes for an interesting conversation when people are trying to get me to change ISP. Bandwidth and latency always seem to be slightly too long words for them to get their heads around.

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Huawei Mate 20 Lite: A business mobe aimed at millennials? Er, OK then

SkippyBing
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Decision Matrix

Could someone just drop all the headline features of the various models into a spreadsheet so we can filter by the feature we're interested in?

And then probably a pivot table because they're always fun...

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Space station springs a leak while astronauts are asleep (but don't panic)

SkippyBing
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Kapton tape good

Kapton wiring not so much as although it's a good insulator it degrades fairly rapidly when subject to chaffing which lead to a number of aircraft accidents. I seem to remember an episode of Panorama or similar about the problem as the MoD had a lot of it in their aircraft.

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Ah, um, let's see. Yup... Fortnite CEO is still mad at Google for revealing security hole early

SkippyBing
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Re: When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers

Making money is our top priority, everything else falls somewhere beneath that as without money you don't have a business.

Remember this whenever an airline says safety is their top priority.

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Cobbler feels the shoe-leather: An IP address is still not a human

SkippyBing
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IPv4

Surely this is just another advantage of IPv4?

I mean for the Adam Sandler 'fan' not the studio.

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Apple leaks rekindle some hope for iPhone 'supercycle' this year

SkippyBing
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Can I be an analyst?

I predict there won't be a supercycle and that outside the usual circles, Daring Fireball I'm looking at you, there won't be any particular excitement over the next batch of iPhone models, certainly none that translates into actual sales.

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Teardown chaps strip away magic from Magic Leap's nerd goggles

SkippyBing
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Re: Feature Comparison Table

I think the difference with Magic Leap is that it, or at least it tries to be, an AR device rather than VR so it's overlaying what you're seeing with extra information rather than just replacing your complete field of view. Shockingly this is much harder if you want it to appear realistic, sure it's possible on a phone but that's really a 2D representation of reality anyway.

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'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

SkippyBing
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On the plus side

They should be able to find everyone to tell them to upgrade their software!

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Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

SkippyBing
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Would have got away with it too

Except at some point someone would have tried sending electricity down some of this material and discovered it's a normal conductor. So exactly what were they expecting to achieve from this subterfuge?*

*I mean it may actually work and this is all just a terrible misunderstanding, but my basic point remains for any faked scientific discovery.

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Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

SkippyBing
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Re: amazon

What's really annoying is when it says Prime, and then you add gift wrap and a message and suddenly it's not next day delivery.

No you need to plan ahead for people's birthdays more.

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SkippyBing
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Re: The Prime Directive

If it upsets you that much you could just shop somewhere else.

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Vodafone's spending pays off - but EE hangs on to UK network crown

SkippyBing
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Re: Vidafone .....

'But for data, forget it. You may as well send a letter if you're not in a big town.'

I'm not saying the plural of anecdote isn't data, but in my small town Vodafone give me such good data I don't always realise I'm not on my home wifi. It was also good enough to stream radio for my commute 50 miles along the A303 when I used to suffer that.

That's not to say it isn't terrible in some places, my parents village for example, but what network isn't?

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Samsung Galaxy Watch: A tough and classy activity tracker

SkippyBing
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Re: Just what I need

'I am thinking about this too much.'

Noooo...

Tell me about your mother.

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Boffins blame meteorites for creating Earth's oldest rocks

SkippyBing
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Confused

Like the great Sheldon Lee Cooper I'm not a geologist, so could someone explain if the rock formations were formed by the 'melting of pre-existing iron-rich basaltic rock', how they can be the earliest?

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9: A steep price to pay

SkippyBing
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Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

Depends what you're doing, my drawings with a stylus are much better than with my fingers. It's basically drawing vs finger painting.

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Hackers can cook you alive using 'microwave oven' sat-comms – claim

SkippyBing
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Re: Risk to people?

'Makes perfect sense to me. That gives command time to be made aware of the fighter sized contact, determine its FoF status, and make the decision whether or not to fire upon it before it reaches missile range.'

If it was the only Radar yes, but 909 was purely to guide the missile to the target, there was a 1022 Air Search Radar for the whole target acquisition and identification phase that could see things several times further away than the 909 could.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Risk to people?

'Even Radar can't cook people. Even though a microwave oven basically uses a magnetron that's similar to some historic Radar systems. You'd have to hug the radar dish.'

As a moderately fresh faced young officer I was asking about the safety line painted just outside the arc of the nav radar on the bridge roof.

'Is that so you don't get irradiated?' says I

'Yes sir, but mainly it's to stop you getting concussed as it's spinning around.'

On the flip side, the Type 909 fire control radar on a Type 42 could seriously f*** you up, something to do with being able to track a fighter sized contact at a classified distance. Which was several times the classified distance the associated missile could fly for some reason.

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SkippyBing
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Re: I truly hope so

'Should we therefore "presume" that none of the control systems use SATCOM, not even as a redundant backup for reason a, b or c.....'

There's really no reason for them to, the control systems don't need to communicate off the aircraft. never mind receive information from the outside world.

There is potential to send false information to the meat sacks charged with programming the autopilot but that's people for you.

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Wondering what to do with that $2,300 burning a hole in your pocket?

SkippyBing
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Re: So they tell us version 2 and 3 are already on the way?

'- there's a really cheap option, an IR emitter you wear on your head to track where you look. I hear it works well with flight / space sims.'

There's an even cheaper option, facetrack no IR which just uses your webcam to calculate the position of your head. It worked quite well when I tried it but I could never get used to turning your head one way to move the view and your eyes the other to keep the monitor in sight, it just felt unnatural but some people swear by it.

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Reckon you deserve a Wikipedia entry? Try getting this bot's notice

SkippyBing
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Re: Sniff snark

'Where will you start your research?'

Probably with the National Geographic map under the perspex on my desk. It handily has the tectonic plates marked out so I can at least pretend I'm thinking about avoiding quake zones.

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SkippyBing
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“As it becomes more and more essential to the world, biased and missing information on Wikipedia will have serious impacts,”

Can I just say, if Wikipedia is becoming essential to the world, you will find me on a remote island in the Pacific distilling my own rum and playing the guitar. Badly.

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UK.gov to tech industry: Hands up who can help cut teachers' admin

SkippyBing
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Exactly, the Govt could save themselves a fortune by cutting back on the form filling they require teachers to do. Less forms to print and no IT to be paid for.

Of course that would involve the Govt machine* admitting it's made a mistake or two...

*I don't think it matters which party is actually in power.

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IPv6: It's only NAT-ural that network nerds are dragging their feet...

SkippyBing
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Re: Obvious need for..

'The solution was to take IPV4 and make the packet size and address field larger, make IPV4 address part of the V6 address space'

Something like this. I'm not up to speed on the technicalities of IPv4 vs v6, but if you want widespread adoption of a new technology it needs to be backwards compatible, because people. As a prior example see the roll-out of colour television, where the signal was backwards compatible with black and white sets, that made it a painless upgrade when you came to replace your set* because that's all you had to change, not even a new aerial.

Now if I wanted to go IPv6 god knows how many not working boxes I might have in my house because they only talk IPv4, and as a consumer I have better things to do than deal with that by buying more boxes or babel boxes that convert between the two.

*Probably in about 20 years because these things weren't disposable at the time.

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Top tip? Sprinkle bugs into your code to throw off robo-vuln scanners

SkippyBing
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hide aeroplanes from enemy fighters by blowing their wings off mid-flight

Not exactly hiding, but it has been done...

http://thanlont.blogspot.com/2012/10/f8f-safety-tipsit-seemed-like-good-idea.html

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... Aaaand that's a fifth Brit Army Watchkeeper drone to crash in Wales

SkippyBing
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Re: Thales

'Do you really think there are people that stupid in the world or especially on the register forums?'

In the world? Yes definitely.

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Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

SkippyBing
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Anything whose name contains "bing" can't be any good!!!

Hey!

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Brit comms providers told: You must tell people when their cheap contract's about to end

SkippyBing
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Not on the best deal

My gripe with the various organisations saying the public could save £X million a year by swapping to the cheapest provider misses the important point that I may not want to be with the cheapest provider. For instance for broadband my cheapest provider would be Talk Talk, but I consider the extra few pounds a month I pay not to be with them money well spent.

It's similar to saying we could save billions by everyone buying a Dacia Sandero rather than an actual car.

On the flip side, they don't appear to be suggesting mobile providers contact you by SMS when you're at the end of your fixed term, which I would have thought would be the best way to guarantee getting in touch.

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Dixons Carphone: Yeah, so, about that hack we said hit 1.2m records? Multiply that by 8.3

SkippyBing
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Have I shopped with them?

The problem with Dixons Warehouse is that they've merged so many companies I have no idea if I need to be worried that the details I used to buy a fridge 8 years ago may have been leaked. Although as I'd just moved at the time I doubt I even got the address right...

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The Solar System's oldest minerals reveal the Sun's violent past

SkippyBing
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Re: but 1/10th mm isn't really that small to a microscopist

I'm so going to date a microscopist...

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As Corning unveils its latest Gorilla Glass, we ask: What happened to sapphire mobe screens?

SkippyBing
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Re: Seems obvious ...

'Couldn't people just stop dropping phones, rather than relying on phones not breaking when dropped?'

Relying on people not making mistakes rather than designing out the problem is doomed to futility. And a lot of expensive mistakes.

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SkippyBing
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On the flip side I bought a Revue Thommen in 1999 with a sapphire dial. Even today it looks brand new while the titanium case is as age worn as I am. The sapphire screen on my 10 year old Breitling is equally clear so it's not a one off.

No I don't have a watch problem...

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British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

SkippyBing
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Re: weight calculation

'Surely they should have done the calculations before letting them board?'

They may not have put anything in the hold though, passengers are fairly homogeneous for any reasonably sized aircraft but then you need to shuffle around the cargo/luggage.

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