* Posts by Kevin Johnston

1085 posts • joined 6 May 2007

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

Kevin Johnston
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Difficult

This may be one of the few areas where a blanket ban can be justified to avoid challenges with geo-fencing smaller areas. Line of sight, which is the normal range limiter, would be a risk so on balance I think sadly that they may have this one right.

Not that I think the wording is anything other than offensive, it would have been just as acceptable to say something like 'No unmanned powered aircraft', there is no need to have all the legalese waffle attached

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UK exam chiefs: About the compsci coursework you've been working on. It means diddly-squat

Kevin Johnston
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Re: CompSci without coursework

This...oh so many times this.

I was banned from assisting with homework as my efforts produced good answers but without the critical key words. I was advised that a wrong answer with the keywords was worth more marks than a right answer without them.

How the hell is that right? On a couple of instances in college I produced a more compact working solution than the model answer in digital design work. Under the current rules I would have failed each module for that

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The healing hands of customer support get an acronym: Do YOU have 'tallah-toe-big'?

Kevin Johnston
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Very much on topic (how odd)

A friend and I went to a motorbike dealer (a woderfully named place - Dave Death Motorcycles) as the horn on his had stopped working. The man himself came out and pushed the button with no result so he called his wizened mechanic who came out, pushed the button and the horn blew ours ears off. He then gave us a look and went back to his coffee.

Some people just have it

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Social network smacks back: Accusers say it helps recruiters target age-groups in job ads

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Is some age targeting appropriate?

Why should the kids get away with no adverts...make them suffer like us grumpy old gits

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UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps

Kevin Johnston
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Stringing Fibre

If memory serves there have been two UK-wide projects to spread fibre. One rack along railway lines and the other wound the fibre around the ground line on pylons. I recall seeing an wonderful Heath Robinson device which pulled itself along the cable slowly rotating as it went feeding the fibre out like a spider.

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Autsch! Germany slaps Facebook in its abusive little face for 'limitlessly amassing data'

Kevin Johnston
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Re: If they are breaking the Law

The 'Abuse of market dominance' is a simpler hook to hang the investigation on. Once you start unwrapping the FUD you may find the activity is in breach of laws or you may find that it just keeps within the lines. If you do it the other way round then as soon as you see the law isn't being broken the investigation stops.

Bit like the TV Referee/Umpire....it is all down to how you ask the question as to how much they check

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Former ZX Spectrum reboot project man departs

Kevin Johnston
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I was working in a Systems Test environment when the ZX81 came out as a DIY option. One of the prototyping engineers bought one and it failed to work. He sent it off and when a replacement arrived there was a note saying he had failed to follow the instructions correctly and mis-assembled it

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Brit MP Dorries: I gave my staff the, um, green light to use my login

Kevin Johnston
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Re: What's the password?

.n one of my many (but brief) sojourns on the HellDesk I has a user call who had forgotten their password. After going through the relevant process to validate they were who they said they were (like I could really prove it one way or the other), I told them their password was changed....cue the loop and a quiet word from the team leader that while amusing it was not good form to wind up the users.

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Google to crack down on apps that snoop

Kevin Johnston
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Standards?

So, how much of this is down to sloppy coding standards and how much to opportunists?

I wanted a spirit level app so had a look at the various offerings and most of them wanted 'Access all Areas' permissions. Now I can understand some developers trying it on but that seemed more like the SDK throws in some basic headers which request full access and you are expected to trim it to what you actually need.

Maybe an app dev can enlighten me here?

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the failest mobe of all?

Kevin Johnston
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Missing information

While I understand the idea of Apple vs Android, it would be more usable if the Android side of the house was broken down by Manufacturer. As mentioned above, there is enough variation in the flavour of Android across the manufacturers (and other 'bonus' software) that some of the issues may well be home-grown and despite to OS rather than because of it

edited to remove multiple typos

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Lauri Love appeal: 'If he's dead, no victim's going to get anything'

Kevin Johnston
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Crown Prosecution Service?

As someone who spends too much time watching Road Wars and the like, can we assume that the CPS will maintain their Quality of Service?

On those programs there are repeated instances where a 'Young Gentleman' (other potential offenders are available) is seen on camera conducting himself in a manner which is just not cricket and fails to take into account the wonderful well-reasoned laws of the Land of Hope and Glory. At the end of the program there is then a brief update on the people seen and an astonishing result of 'No further actions as CPS did not offer any evidence' can be heard all too often.

If being able to watch it happen on prime time TV isn't enough evidence for them to get off their chairs then a case based on locating presence of intent to support extradition should have them settling back for another kip on the couch.

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The End of Abandondroid? Treble might rescue Google from OTA Hell

Kevin Johnston
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Re: What About It Moto? @RJ1

Bit like the latest barrage of Mr Bacon adverts for an Apple watch that ONLY works on EE...I'm sorry, what? So this piece of expensive well crafted deluxe wristwear requires me to pay you to check what the time is?

Really don't understand how that is supposed to be encouraging people to buy, sounds more like a Ratner moment.

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Forget Sesame Street, scientists pretty much watched Big Bird evolve on Galápagos island

Kevin Johnston
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So this 'Separate species' question

Where do Lions and Tigers fit in that? The can interbreed (OK, only in captivity due to rather different location) with fertile offspring yet we are assured they are different species.

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Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Telly Tax or Adverts

I tried watching Channel 4 online as I didn't have access to a TV and it would not allow me unless I disabled my Ad-blocker. So, set up a VM and jump through all the hoops, go to the catch-up and not only were there ads all over the page but I had to sit through all the 'broadcast' Ads too as I wasn't able to skip through the timeline to the point I wanted. Made the mistake of trying to pause while I made a coffee and it stopped the session and I had to start all over again.

I'm amazed the BBC haven't bought the site as an upgrade to iPlayer.

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits Microsoft Office exam winners

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Harry who?

Why be unhappy? It means that when they turn to you for help you can offer vague suggestions with the tag 'but I am not sure if MS Office can do that'

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Mythical broadband speeds to plummet in crackdown on ISP ads

Kevin Johnston
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Advertising Standards

It seems those standards are low but the ASA are proudly announcing that they are now out of the gutter and laying in the road instead.

While it is good that there has been a change you wonder how this rates as an improvement as they have been given clear permission to continue re-interpreting words to enhance the appearance of their offerings. Do you think I would get off a speeding ticket if I could show my average speed was within the stated limit?

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It was El Reg wot won it: Bing banishes bogus Brit bank banner ad

Kevin Johnston
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Good job they didn't use a real location like 'The Buildings, West Sussex'...lovely little hamlet although rural enough they probably only have wet string for broadband connections.

It's not far from The Haven and Dragon's Green. Such wonderful names they used unlike up in Cumbria where they have no imagination and there are at least 12 'New Biggings' and two of them are only a few miles apart

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Another UAV licence price hike? Commercial drone fliers rage over consultation

Kevin Johnston
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Stunning Logic here

So, you have a law-abiding section of the community that are willing to pay a fee to comply with Air Regulations yet rather than encouraging more people to join that group you decide to dun them with ever increasing fees. Wow

This comes from the same school of thought as 'All holidays are cancelled until morale improves'.

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

Kevin Johnston
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Actually no....The tax and duties on fuel are around 200% of the fuel value. They way it is talked about is a ruse to understate that since the 61% you mention is the proportion of the pump price. That means when it was £1 per litre, the raw fuel cost was 39p and the tax and duties were 61p. All the companies in the delivery chain from the original refinery got the VAT back from the next in the line but the poor (and rapidly poorer) motorist paid for everyone.

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Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Memory Issues

A couple of medical ones from round our way were

Acopia - Inability to cope

TBC - Total Body Crumble

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Kevin Johnston
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Re: SatNad is really skimping on software testing, isn't he?

Oh, I thought AR was Alternative Reality

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Crap London broadband gets the sewer treatment

Kevin Johnston
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Hopefuly

they will be able to handle an increasing number of data dumps

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EU court advised: Schrems is a consumer in Facebook case, but can't file class-action

Kevin Johnston
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Re: So it seems like the ECJ just outlawed class action

They seem to have contradicted themselves as they first imply that you cannot take advantage of an existing lawsuit (I may not have expressed that well) but then go on to talk about concentration of of claims in one jurisdiction. My reading of that would be that other people in Austria could join yet there were some in the group looking to join the class-action.

Clearly, I am not a lawyer, they would respond to you by saying something like 'that will need some consideration, €500 per hour please'

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BlackBerry Motion: The Phone That Won't Die

Kevin Johnston
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So...

Could 'Blackberry' have found it's new niche?

Good enough phones which can take on the Duracell Bunny? This could actually be a smart move as it will fit a sizable group of people that are fed-up with needing to charge the phone every night to avoid it running out on the afternoon of day 2 and is still able to do everything they need and some more beyond?

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Shiver me timbers! 67cm Playmobil pirate ship sets sail for Caribbean

Kevin Johnston
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Wow

Awesome community project and

"another one for Curtis"

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Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Having been at the ex's this morning

Waaaay back in the stone age when there were only 3 TV channels an ex-colleague was a TV repairman and he attended an old dear whose TV kept changing channel at 4pm.

He sat there with her waiting and she asked if he wanted a cup of tea as she usually had a cup when watching TV. In she came with the trolley and the TV duly changed channel....Drop of oil on the wheels and no more channel hopping.

Have to love the old ultrasonic remotes

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NASA tells The Reg: For crying out loud. We're not building flying taxi software for Uber

Kevin Johnston
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Ah, that style of media bumph

Clearly they are using the same PR house as Easyjet where complete non-stories are published on a regular basis to keep the name in public view regardless of the 'Crying Wolf' effect when they actually have a genuine announcement.

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Vodafone signs deal with CityFibre to connect 5 million homes with full fibre

Kevin Johnston
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Re: What will they call it?

FTTC2*

*Fibre To The County (not to be confused with Fibre To The Cabinet)

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Dumb autonomous cars can save more lives than brilliant ones

Kevin Johnston
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Re: @John Smith 19

Hey

We Moonrakers in Swindon were there first...and ours has 5 mini-roundabouts

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Kevin Johnston
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Must read the sub-head more carefully

I was sure they were suggesting that the self-drive cars should be tanks. This was reinforced when I saw they were a military-industrialist mob.

It would keep the people in the self-drive tanks safer...at the expense of everyone else though

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Paradise Papers reveal Apple moved bits of biz offshore

Kevin Johnston
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Tax dollars meant for Uncle Sam

and has that kindly Uncle seen any of them yet?

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OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

Kevin Johnston
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yes, it's very nice but...

at what point is this advancement for the sake of it?

I know there are some devices where you can (or could) get a dock unit to use them as a PC but how much of this development work is for bragging rights. I see parallels with Formula 1 where there is a theoretical trickle down to road cars but it only seems to show on the >£1million supercars and for phones the advances are very niche since other applications of the tech would not be so space constrained.

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El Reg assesses crypto of UK banks: Who gets to wear the dunce cap?

Kevin Johnston
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Santander

They may get good marks from this mob but from a user login viewpoint I would give them a F or lower.

I have the misfortune to use Santander for one account and they have 7 different validation fields/flags plus unless you use a Linux PC they try to push Trusteer at you every time (unless you are willing to allow them to fill your browser with cookies, great choice there).

I get they want to look like they care about security but it doesn't work.

Why does logging in need more that an ID and password plus a validation code of some sort which could be a OTP sent to the registered mobile, an RSA fob or similar?

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SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again

Kevin Johnston
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So, timing on this is interesting....awoken just in time for Halloween

Are the legal beagles horror film fans?

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Kevin Johnston
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Re: You ended up with a Nissan Puke? Unlucky!

I have to say though that the 2CV inspired one of the best ever Ads for a car I can recall seeing...

They compared the 2CV with a number of higher priced cars (OK, don't think there were any lower-priced)

'As many wheels as a Rolls Royce'

'Faster than a speeding Ferrari (a Ferrari travelling at 45mph in a 30mph limit can be overtaked by a 2CV flat-out at 56mph)'

and so on

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Kevin Johnston
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A Peugeot...something or other

Only had it for a couple of days but in that time I failed to travel more than 100 yards without something cropping up to really P me off.

From the lights/wipers where one was on - off - auto and the other was on - auto - off to the radio where I could change the volume with three different controls but the other radio controls were four menus deep on the central screen which meant either having a passenger or stopping to change station.

As for this fascination with Auto Wipers...just give me back intermittent,. I have yet to drive a car with auto wipers where it and I agreed on when there was too much spray for me to see out safely.

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Which reseller pleased fatcats today and rhymes with let's mute a centaur?

Kevin Johnston
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So..

profits are up, return to major shareholders is up and operating costs are too high...

Thanks for turning things around serfs but take a pay cut or get out. Did I get that right?

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Credit insurance tightens for geek shack Maplin Electronics

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Maplin are an odd store

I still have my old Weller TCP with a varied selection of bits (both size and temperature). Only thing I need more oomph for I used a RS Butane soldering iron which even works well in windy outdoor situations.

Was quite an expense when I bought them but over the years any regret has been well and truly beaten down.

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Please activate the anti-ransomware protection in your Windows 10 Fall Creators Update PC. Ta

Kevin Johnston
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Colour me stupid but...

Intended as a serious question so please be gentle with me.

I was under the impression that it was common for the attack to use the user's credentials so I don't understand how this could be as secure as you suggest. Does this simply act as an internal firewall based on connecting application?

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Vodafone, EE and Three overcharging customers after contracts expire

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Moral of the story

I did this for my most recent phone change. I had been mobile inclusive before but sat down and did the numbers which showed that for the two year cost of inclusive I could buy the phone outright and get better GB/minutes/Texts as a SIM only option. Over the two years I expect to save at least £40 which may not seem a lot but I have now paid for the phone so my costs are £9/month

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Microsoft Azure ████ secret ██ █████ ██ US govt's ███ ███ centers

Kevin Johnston
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Ah but there will no announcements of any breaches as the secrecy rules do not permit discussions of data transactions.

Ergo...no breach.....simples

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Full-fibre ISP Hyperoptic clocked over mock doc schlock shock

Kevin Johnston
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Very specific challenge

I note that BT didn't challenge on the basis that the details were not correct about the continual price rises, just that it was too honest to be an advert

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Dear America, best not share that password with your pals. Lots of love, the US Supremes

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Sadly, a decision which needs more clarity

I think people are missing some of the details in my original post here...

The manager may have given his permission to his PA but under the COMPANY regulations he had no authority to do that. A lot of the documents/emails the manager is sent will be private and encrypted and the sender is under the impression that only the manager is reading them.

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Kevin Johnston
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Sadly, a decision which needs more clarity

In common with many of the dear readers of this website I have worked at many a company where senior managers and the like have given their logins and passwords to their PA to enable them to handle all the stuff which is encrypted to save them the effort. Since each of those companies very clearly stated that such activity was forbidden and a disciplinary offence, I presume those managers/Execs in the US offices will now go to jail?

This is why such decisions need to be carefully phrased (rather than the Facebook style examples) since these PAs could be accessing data which is regulated under various laws while using another person's identity.

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BlackBerry's new Motion will move you neither to tears of joy nor sadness

Kevin Johnston
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USP

Have to agree about the lack of USP since the (albeit brief) review to suggest the author struggled to find enough to write an article. I have made use of BB devices for quite some time as I struggle with a virtual keyboard on phones and I currently have a KeyONE which has a physical keyboard.

This may be a niche but it is one which BB/RIM have good background in filling so why fight the full glass slab battle with umpty seven other companies?

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Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

Kevin Johnston
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Wonder ads

Trying to remember the game but it had adverts for dnL which were white writing on a green background...It was almost subtly ob vious if that isn't too much of an oxymoron.

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Legacy clearout? Not all at once, surely. Keeping tech up to snuff in an SMB

Kevin Johnston
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Ah, the drip-feed of new kit

A contract I was on some time ago (OS/2 Warp had just come out) was to move from dumb terminals to PCs. Finance department went first and got IBM PS/2 Model 56 (55?) with Intel 486 CPUs and we could only buy kit for two weeks of installs at a time. By the time we got everyone done, all the new staff were getting Pentium machines so you have the Finance Director trying to steal the PC from his new office Junior because he demanded he was in the first group to get 'new PCs'

So, a single roll-out project had one brand of PC but 4 radically different models...the supplier loved us as each batch was bought with no discount as there were no guarantees we would be buying any more.

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White House plan to nuke social security numbers is backed by Equifax's ex-top boss

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Obscure number

Really? Really?

Dial your sense of humour back to early schooldays and maybe it will be a little more obvious...as a clue it is also a large (Southern Hemisphere?) bird which tend to crash land rather than float gracefully down.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Leave your password everywhere, or just tattoo it on your face

Once it is tattooed on your face it doesn't matter how bad your memory is as long as you can find a mirror (and you got it done in mirror writing).

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80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35 – report

Kevin Johnston
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Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

Not instead of, as well as.

Just because they decide to tax your company earnings as your salary, doesn't remove the need to pay Employer's NI or to pay your accountant or to pay VAT etc etc etc.

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