* Posts by JimC

1567 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

BOFH: We know where the bodies are buried

JimC
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Re: Where the bodies are...

Funny you should mention ink. Its that big pen plotter you see, it really scatters the stuff around. That's why we need to have that bigpiece of carpet in the server room to stop it getting on the tiles.

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Scissors cut paper. Paper wraps rock. Lab-made enzyme eats plastic

JimC
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Re: I found out how to "recycle" PET bottles years ago.

1 Buy the cheapest bottle of spring water available.

2 Place by the bed and drink as desired.

3 Refill from the tap when empty.

4 Realise how disgusting the local tap water tastes, give up and go and buy another bottle.

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JimC
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Re: Doomwatch... The Plastic Eaters...

Well yes. Its funny how often people forget that crude oil is a natural product so of course there are bacteria that eat it: there are bacteria that will have a go at practically anything.

But for all the doom doom about it escaping, we have a world full of bacteria, fungi, insects and goodness knows what else that happily eat wood, and we manage to live with it quite happily.

Incidentally I am very unsure about this "Plastic lasts thousands of years" stuff. I'm 30 plus years out of date now, but when I was briefly in the industry the problem that was always exercising us was stopping the stuff breaking down ion its own.

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Autonomy pulled wool over Brit finance panel's eyes, US court told

JimC
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Re: It's all very odd...

I suppose if due diligence auditing had to be of sufficient depth to uncover a determined fraud that was good enough to be hidden from the company's own auditors, then the due diligence auditing would be so expensive as to render most deals and takeovers impractical, and in that case executives would have to revert to making a reasonable income running their companies better instead of making megabucks from the deals. And that would *never* do...

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'Our way or the highway' warranty scams shot down by US watchdog: It's OK to use unofficial parts to repair your gear

JimC
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Re: Enough with the replacement part conspiritards.

Oh come on, every damn company in the world is on the cheap initial purchase, expensive parts game. For sure the manufacturers would like to eliminate all competition so they can minimise the purchase price and make a good living on consumables. Like it or not that's standard business pricing these days.

Having said that I'm also completely in line with the companies too. If you pay xyz manufacturing a premium price so all your parts and spares are very tight QC and low tolerance, and then the customer fits crap that you would never pass for use, and then you have to fix it, that's going to be pretty galling. Seen quite a few problems failures caused by second rate pattern parts in my time in the bike trade.

Short of legislation to enforce the same profit margin on new kit and spares though I haven't got a clue what the solution is, especially as any such legislation would be a major vote loser since it would put headline prices up.

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£12k fine slapped on Postman Pat and his 300,000 spam emails

JimC
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Re: The language got them busted?

The language got them busted?

So next time your marketingdroids want to hype up a straightforward customer communication in the usual exaggerated buzzword b******x, tell them to remember the Post Office's fine and b*****r off.

I have a very limited sympathy for the mailmen, in that they were apparently trying to avoid being accused of putting their price cut notification in the usual beware of the leopard branded filing cabinet, but I have little doubt from the report that the marketing morons said, "Yipee, here's our chance to send a marketing message to the opt outs", and seized on it with glee.

[there you are pedants, yes I carelessly typed BT instead of Post Office. Bite me.]

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An easy-breezy attitude to sharing personal data is the only thing keeping the app economy alive

JimC
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kill the money chain

Well that's fine, but the subsidy the net gets from the advertising industry will have to come from somewhere else. And I fear that ship has already sailed. Too many people expect everything on the net to be "free" for alternative payment to work.

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Facebook dynamites its own APIs amid data slurp scandals, wrecks data slurp applications

JimC
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The extent to which Facebook have broken stuff

is staggering. I run a sports club website, and my front page uses/used the graph api to grab (read only) the contents of *public* posts on the *public* group so that those who steer clear of the Z monster can see what's been posted there, and those who can only use it have some avenue of communication outside their ghetto.

I spent yesterday struggling with their appalling documentation and notification to try and find out exactly what they've broken and what if anything I can do about it, and basically just wasted the day. I can screen scrape it of course, but it will be a lot of effort to clear out all the nonsense and structure what I get back properly.

We made a king sized mistake back in the day when we sold our mojo to the advertising industry in the foolish belief that advertising meant everything was free, but I'm damned if I know how we can extract ourselves. The belief that nothing on the net needs paying for is just too deeply rooted...

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*Thunk* No worries, the UPS should spin up. Oh cool, it's in bypass mode

JimC
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Re: the mail for a department got dumped on a table and you had to look through it to find your own.

At the start of my IT career data entry to the major business systems was done by trained typists who could type quickly, easily and accurately. By the end of my career large quantities of that data entry was done by managers who could do none of those at a vastly greater hourly rate...

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Law's changed, now cough up: Uncle Sam serves Microsoft fresh warrant for Irish emails

JimC
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Retrospective - Muddled thinking

There's nothing retrospective going on at all. They are making a request in the present for something that exists in the present.

Retrospective would be fining Microsoft for not handing over the data before the new law came into force. Now the new law is in force companies and people are now required to comply with it.

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Doomed Chinese space lab Tiangong-1 crashes into watery Pacific grave

JimC
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Re: Okay, I'll bite...

It depends on your definition of near. From what I can make out it came down some thousands of miles away from point Nemo.

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

JimC
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Re: Not too bothered..

One might almost wonder, though, if there has been a significant contribution to someone's funds from www.imacybersquatter.eu, who fancy the idea of having all these nice active domains to use to host link farms, malware and other dubious content...

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Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

JimC
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> at some point she was in the headlights,

This strikes me as another weakness of the human monitoring. *If* we take the video on trust, then the car was being driven with dipped headlights which made it difficult for the human driver to spot the pedestrian.

But I just cannot imagine the human driver going along switching headlights from dipped to full beam all the time if the car auto doesn't depend on it.

But there's so much about that video that makes you think WTF. And indeed the whole situation.

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User asked why CTRL-ALT-DEL restarted PC instead of opening apps

JimC
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Re: Feeling Old...

600: pah. We had a Unisys Office automation application that required about 620, and we needed to run a Netware LAN stack as well.

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Fog off! No more misty eyes for self-driving cars, declare MIT boffins

JimC
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Re: FAIL

Have to agree. That should have been an easily avoidable collision. The pedestrian appears to have been crossing the road at a steady speed and direction. Its certainly possible for a pedestrian to do things stupid enough for it to be impossible for any reasonable automated car or human driver to avoid them, but this shouldn't have been one of them.

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JimC
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Re: Red flag laws ...

By 1926 there were nearly 5,000 deaths a year on the roads. Abolishing that red flag law cost literally thousands of lives...

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Internet Society: Cryptocurrency probably not an identity system

JimC
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Identity is horrendously complicated though,

Its not a simple concept like pseudo cash. For the naive, it seems just as simple as currency : 1 person, 1 pseudo dollar each needs to be identified, what's the difference.

Well, once you have had real time experience of the horrendous complexities that you run into with some of the strange things that folk do who are, shall we say, not totally assimilated into the mainstream of society, well... As ever its the boundary conditions and exceptions that get you... And the trouble with something like identity is it really does need to cover 100% of cases.

I''m sure plenty of commentards will pile in saying, no of course its not complicated, don't be ridiculous. But, as ever, they'll be the ones without the real world experience.

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BOOM! Cambridge Analytica explodes following extraordinary TV expose

JimC
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Re: Should be interesting to hear their excuses

The only worry is that I was tangentially connected to an investigative TV exposure once, and while there had undoubtedly been unethical stuff going on, the extent to which a well known program from an advertising free broadcaster massaged the evidence and edited interviews to make things look way worse than they really were was quite astonishing. If you want to make someone look bad, for instance, its amazing how effective editing silence *into* an interview is. Makes straightforward answers look hesitant and devious.

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Crypt-NO-coins: US city bans mining funbux on its electrical power grid

JimC
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Re: market solution

They really ought to be banned. Environmentally speaking its a disaster with large amounts of energy and materials being used to produce precisely nothing.

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Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

JimC
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Re: They fixed it!

You don't understand customers. They did the lash up to get them working while someone ordered the new ribbon, then promptly forgot about it.

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Paul Allen's research vessel finds wreck of WWII US aircraft carrier

JimC
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but after so many years immersed in seawater

How well would they last in an oxygen rich environment?

See this for some of the problems...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43334700

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JimC
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Re: lucky hit

Misuse of the ship. The idea of the battle cruiser was that it could run from anything it couldn't outrange. Going head to head with a battleship was always going to be a losing game unless the battleship was very badly handled. Should have shadowed it and picked off Prince Eugen if they got the opportunity.

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JimC
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Re: MH370?

Impractical. With decent research the WW2 wrecks are pinned down to a reasonably small area. MH370 on the other hand...

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Bots don't spread fake news on Twitter, people do, say MIT eggheads

JimC
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Or to put it another way:

"A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on."

GNU Terry Pratchett

(with nods to Twain and Spurgeon too)

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NASA is sniffing jet fuel over Germany

JimC
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Re: MMGW remains a theory

But rapid climate change inducing massive human consequences is a historical fact.

One of the most disturbing things about the activist/environmentalist driven agenda instead of a science driven agenda is that its completely shut out any serious investigation about what we do to resolve things if, as is more than likely, the greenie stuff, for one reason or another, fails to avoid significant climate change, man made or otherwise.

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Uber-Lyft study author jams into reverse gear over abysmal pay claims

JimC
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The trouble is

Its all about interpretation of a couple of questions. One interpretation gets $3.55, another interpretation gets $8.55, and a 3rd interpretation gets $10. Which interpretation is correct? I submit in my limited experience of these things all of them. If the interpretation of the answers given is subject to misunderstanding how much more so the interpretation of the question by those giving the answers? Especially if we hypothesise limited command of english by some respondents.

It does seem likely that really the data gathering should be done again.

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UK.gov told: Scrap immigration exemption from Data Protection Bill or we'll see you in court

JimC
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And if

The brits can't train their own people to work in healthcare, do they really deserve to plunder the rest of the world for their trained staff?

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Did somebody say Brexit? Cambridge Analytica grilled: Brit MPs' Fake News probe

JimC
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Re: slightly overzealous PR consultant...

To be fair the existence of such is scarcely a surprise. What really ***** me off is when you find said PR consultant has your name in the press against "so and so said" or "so and so commented" in phraseology you'd never want your name associated with. But you can't go issuing denials for your own organisations press releases really can you? Just makes a bad situation worse.

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Oi, drag this creaking, 217-year-old UK census into the data-driven age

JimC
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Re: it removes one leg of incomoeptence from our overssers

You jest, surely. This proposal adds any numbers of layers to the process that are vulnerable to cockup, stupidity, malignity, carelessness and management incompetence.

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Why isn't digital fixing the productivity puzzle?

JimC
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Re: Capitalism isn't perfect,

But are we really in a capitalist society any more? It seems to me that increasingly the capital is held by institutions, and the decisions are made not by the owners of the capital, but by executives who milk an institution or a business for a while, then move on the the next one and milk that.

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Are you an open-sorcerer or free software warrior? Let us do battle

JimC
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Re: Lockin

I wonder just how many non software companies have ever taken advantage of this wonderful way of avoiding lockin. I can just imagine the conversation on the lines of "hey, the xyz system is no longer being maintained, but we have the source code so all we need to do is to create our own project team and we can maintain it ourselves." Actually I can't imagine even bothering to start the conversation.

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JimC
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Re: Windows based version of Wordstar or WordPerfect.

Now then, lets not spoil the argument with exaggeration. Do you not remember how appalling Wordstar for Windows and Wordperfect for Windows actually were? Its my contention that a really good Windows word processor is yet to appear, but MS Word, at least until MS lost the plot on usability, was at least bearably OK.

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JimC
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Re:our idea with moral duty is all fine and dandy but look at Apple.

Well, you see, I don't really care what other people do. That's down to them. If any of the snippets I've released under NCSA get included in a product that someone sells closed source for megabucks then good luck to them. I've chosen to give them the freedom to do that.

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JimC
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Re: GPL is not freedom at all.

But be careful about copyright - copyright is essential to the Stallman vision. Without the copyright on the code the restrictions in the Stallman vision cannot be enforced. Copyright makes the GPL vision work, which is awfully ironic when you consider how ardently Google's anti copyright useful idiots trumpet open source. Yes, Stallman wants you to hand your copyright over to his foundation, but that's again about enforcement - we as individuals are virtually impotent to enforce restrictions on our copyright, which is why its more or less essential to have co-operative or support organisations like the FSF to enforce the restrictions by means of copyright. Or for another example of such an organisation (in order to get a lot more downvotes from Google's useful idiots) the RIAA.

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JimC
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Re: GPL is not freedom at all.

Well, there's more nuance to it than that. The Stallman political vision of "freedom" for the end user necessarily takes away freedom from the developer, who is restricted in how she/he can reuse the code.

I think the problem with Stallman's vision is that its all about the 60s / 70s world where there was no real boundary between developers and end users. Most IT users these days couldn't give a flying **** about modifying the application, nor could they if they wanted to, they only want the bloody stuff to work. Thus Mr Stallman's freedom to modify is essentially worthless to them. By contrast Mr Stallman's restrictions on reuse limit what fellow developers can do with the code.

By contrast the much less restrictive licenses like NCSA are about payforward. You benefited from studying or reusing code other people made freely available, and where possible within your working environment you have a moral duty to pay forward by making your code freely available, but there are not the restrictions on what you can do with the code that there are from GPL. But the point is that because its pay forward you are not seeking to put restrictions on what your sister/brother coder does in the future. Your moral duty ended with the act of paying forward.

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Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

JimC
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Call the speaking clock...

Goodness knows how many times I must have done that - every time I set up a new server and every time I was at a site and they complained the clock was out.

And of course there was also the spoof business card "Want a good time? Dial Guildford 8081"

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MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

JimC
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Re:That wasn't in space. That was on the moon.

I do believe it may have traversed space on the way to the moon...

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Assange fails to make skipped bail arrest warrant vanish

JimC
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Re: A Flagrant Rotten Denial of Justice and a Blot in the UKGBNI Landscape

In other news, campaigners are protesting about the injustices to the late Ronald Arthur Biggs, forced to live in Australia and Brazil for 36 years.

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You're the IT worker in charge of securing the cloud for your company. Welcome to Hell

JimC
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Re: Two - treat your staff well enough that they do not want to steal data

I don't suppose there is a single company in the whole world that could legitimately guarantee they achieve that, especially if there's a sufficiently well resourced bad hat to offer generous bribes.

OTOH there are no doubt millions of managers that would claim that's a legitimate strategy that they successfully operate.

In practice your No 2 is another variation of making nice noises, crossing your fingers and hoping someone else gets hit - always a popular security strategy.

Treating your staff well has an important role in reducing the threat, but never kid yourself it will eliminate it.

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Web searching died the day they invented SEO

JimC
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The two worst things that happened to the net that could have been prevented

Were SEO and Domain name registries

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Cox blocked! ISP may avoid $25m legal bill for letting punters pirate music online

JimC
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I think your headline is misleading. All that's happening is its being sent back to the lower court for a new trial.

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Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

JimC
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Looking closer

The area of the actual exclusion zone appears to be unvisited with one exception.

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IT 'heroes' saved Maersk from NotPetya with ten-day reinstallation bliz

JimC
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Standard builds

AIUI desktops were the least of their problems. Umpteen different systems had to be rebuilt from backups, brought up again and then the data from the emergency processes merged back in. Never underestimate that, its one hell of a job.

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F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

JimC
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Re: It takes very little to be better than tha Harrier...

Well, the Harrier, at least in its pre prototype development version as the P1127, went into service 50 years before the F35. Go back 50 years before that and the new fighters going into service were the Sopwith Pup and Sopwith Triplane.

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NHS: Thanks for the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops

JimC
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Re: NHoS means NHoS is not NHS

The complications and implications of branding, naming, reputation and all the legal implications are so damn complicated that no sensible person goes anywhere near it unless their profession requires it. So changing from NHS to NHoS, when requested to stop using NHS, was, well, maybe not the best decision.

And if you didn't go back and get specific clearance for NHoS from the people who objected to the previous titling *before* you started using it, that would be distinctly unsensible.

Its been well said that everyone is an amateur away from their own field, and sometimes those of us who work in IT need to remember that.

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Heathrow Airport's local council prohibits drone flights from open spaces

JimC
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Re: irritating noises, but so do many other things -

However if your source of irritating noise is 500 feet up in the air then its going to be audible to a whole load more people than a leaf blower at ground level.

But reading the whole document its pretty clear that the order is about a whole raft of what they consider antisocial behaviour, and not intended to target drones specifically. My reading is that noisy motorised toy cars are deliberately targeted.

And honestly folks, the bit about noisy toys is maybe 1% of the document. There's a lot of other stuff in there that s equally dubious.

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JimC
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Re: does this mean...

You're surely not trying to make logical sense out of lawyerese are you?

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Carphone Warehouse cops £400k fine after hack exposed 3 MEEELLION folks’ data

JimC
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Re: With a law like that,

> the proper way to handle such punishment is not to fine them,

>but to force them to put into an escrow account the cumulative

> maximum amount that could potentially be stolen

With a law like that, Directors will plunder as much as they possibly can out of the business and then declare it bankrupt before anything is paid out, and injured parties will get nothing...

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