* Posts by Tom 7

4565 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Bone-up on machine learning and AI and enjoy your hols

Tom 7
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I'm getting a fortnight in greece for less than that

and transport to London!

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NASA lights humongous rocket that goes nowhere ... until 2019

Tom 7
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Re: 8 million pounds thrust

Two paperless NHS projects? You do realise it would cost nearly £12billion just to cover the paperwork for that.

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Slapping crap bosses just got cheaper: Blighty's Supreme Court nixes tribunal fees

Tom 7
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Re: Why do I have a sinking feeling

"seeing the justice system as just a speedbump " and yet crashing off the road every time she hits one. Managed to keep the Hooked one in the country for years by not getting the date right on forms. It would be laughable but this is probably what brixit is really about - they've spent their lives copying others at school while keeping an arm wrapped over their copying and hate to be exposed for the incompetent idiots they are. This can only be achieved by removing all oversight.

Be warned, be very warned.

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Cassini captures pieces of Saturn’s rings

Tom 7
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"many nanometer-size ring particles”

giggles.

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Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

Tom 7
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Re: anything but python

You can tell it to rely on parentheses rather than indentation - comes in handy when doing things like keyboard/mouse handlers and other complicated things that just wont be broken down into smaller functions in a desperate attempt to fit in 80 chars. I can only thank god that no-one has written a python ASP thing like PHP - imagine following indentions down through that code!

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Tom 7
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Re: I suspect there are quite a few Java devs out there --- Fermat

That's what you get from bloody code completion on a quantum computer.

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Tom 7
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Re: I suspect there are quite a few Java devs out there

If its their first and only language then most probably (but not certainly) not many. Languages are very closely tied to methodologies and seem to tie people into a certain way of thinking about how to solve the problem. People solve problems with the tools they are familiar with - that bloke solved Fermi's last theorem in 100 odd pages where Fermi couldn't quite fit his answer in the margin of his book, Different languages tend to take different approaches to things some will go from A to D via B and C and others via F G and H. My memories of Java were it went from A to B via A1, A2, A3 and A4 for a lot of the time but that may have been just my A and B were not in Java at the time.

If you try and learn other languages you will move into other problem spaces the languages were designed to solve and realise that problem space is not the same as language space and no language fits all but more importantly learn there are many ways to skin a cat and when it boils down to it when you have a job the best way to do it is the way the local cat skinners do it for the local cats and even after 50 years in the job you will still be learning shit your computer language has trouble with because it was designed by some anal retentive genius who had a problem with brackets or camel case or something else really irrelevant to a CPU or GPU, or in the case of Java by a committee of them.

All computer languages are shit but some people can at least drive them off road for a bit before they need a sky hook to get them out of trouble,

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Europe's 'one patent court to rule them all' vision may be destroyed by EPO shenanigans

Tom 7
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Re: "Battistelli may finally face serious consequences"

"A glorious example of the complete and utter failure of management to manage management."

Take of the last word and you have a general statement about most businesses higher level.

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One-quarter of UK.gov IT projects at high risk of failure

Tom 7
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3/4 with extremely hight risk then?

nt

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Openreach asks UK what it thinks about 10 million 'full fibre' connections

Tom 7
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Re: 27 years too late, after Thatcher killed it

Mad Mike - not 10km of it in one go though - well not through existing ducting.

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Tom 7
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Re: 27 years too late, after Thatcher killed it

If someone could have worked out a way of feeding 10km of fibre down a duct the cost of 2.4Gb end to end would have been less than £100!

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Tom 7
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Re: Not here methinks

My dad passed away a few years ago and just after we sold his house we got an email from the neighbour letting us know the news about the small community there and informing us they'd got B4RN to help them fibre up. 1G each way! He was complaining he could only get 760MB when busy though.

I'd like to do similar and was thinking of doing so when our local exchange went FTTC - it was two miles to my cabinet and we could have fed fibre with only a little digging along a few farms. The bastards de-cabinetted the cabinet and decided my cabinet was at the exchange 6 miles away and even now some of the older openretch engineers call the old one 'your cabinet'.

What really gets my goat is BT had the capability to fibre up all the premises in the UK nearly 30 years ago for less than they spend maintaining copper but shelved it.

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Tom 7
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ADSL acceptable?

If only - that would require web site to stop polluting their feeds with redundant shit because 'it works in the office'.

El Reg with an addblocker is fine on 512k, BT.com needs 70M just to get to your account in less than half an hour so you can complain about how shit your service is.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Tom 7
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Re: Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

Canon? This is Doctor Who! Can you hear Tom Baker - "You have the tentacles of a woman. I bet those tentacles have never been blown off by a force 9 Exterminator"

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Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident

Tom 7
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Re: Well

He'll never eat maltezers again!

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Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

Tom 7
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Re: Instant space travel

If you were to take all life on earth and convert it into dna mass wise and blast it into space by the time it got to Alpha Centuri their would be 1 dna molecule for every 100km2 or so. So the chance of a single viable cell landing on a planet even at that close range is pretty slim. For it to find a viable habitat...

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Tom 7
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Re: The power Tidal Locking

It will be about 50 BILLION years before the earth is tidally locked to the moon by which time neither will exist.

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Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

Tom 7
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Re: Trolley problem.

While the trolley problem is an interesting distraction I think it might be possible to produce systems where the trolley problem is very unlikely to occur. Unlikely to the point of being largely irrelevant. If we have an electric CAV fleet driving around London saving many thousands of lives a year who dies when one of the vehicles quantum-tunnels onto a disused railway line is another address space all together.

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Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

Tom 7
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Re: No longer in post -> Can speak truthfully

We need a bulletproof whistleblower law so people who know can speak out in just that situation.

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Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

Tom 7
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Re: Mixed feelings

And talk like an ""Illegal copying" or "Illegal sharing" day is going to be a bit shit too!

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Tom 7
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Re: I don't see a problem.

Really - Run up a VM and watch something DRMed in there. You can record the screen and sound with ease and you have an un DRMed copy of whatever it was. The only way round that is to make VMs illegal. You have open source browsers all over the place and the code can be hacked to record video and sound.The only way round that is signed browsers from signed sources and here be dragons.

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LHC finds a new and very charming particle: the Xicc++ baryon

Tom 7
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Re: The XICC++ baryon?

Baryons with inheritance? Perhaps quantum effects are the kids fighting over the assets.

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Tom 7
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Re: Awe

"I would offer them a beer but I suppose they would be too busy looking for the next quantamy quarky higgs thingy to come along."

Its very important to remember the brain is a complicated system and like all complicated systems it can get locked in unideal states. This is cured by annealing and the brain is best annealed with beer and similarly annealing company.

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Roland McGrath steps down as glibc maintainer after 30 years

Tom 7
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Re: @ allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

ISTR a lot of 'open source' software in the 80s. A lot of things were available for the cost of a tape to copy them to and delivery. From academic institutions largely and too bit to run on early PC's but loads of it.

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BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

Tom 7
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Re: Not scary - true

As someone who likes to get things right where possible I'd imagine half the code I've written has been done in secret so it got done rather than whirling around in meetings. I even wrote about 10,000 lines of code in my own spare time to save my sanity as I knew this was the only way to get the job done. And then deleted the office copy. No one ever worked out how the fuck I achieved it even though I'd asked them to let me write if from the off. Laziness truly is the mother of invention.

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Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

Tom 7
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Re: Frozen winter shit.

Not IT or cold. During a hot summer we had been away for a few weeks and this had caused the outlet to our cesspitt to dry out and block up. For various reason this was in out neighbours garden and they came to complain about the smell a couple of weeks after we returned. The outlet was accessible next to a bridge where a 2ft wide concrete platform let you access the hole about 6' off the ground and maybe 10' below the cesspit and 30' long, the platform being 3' above the river. My dad, another neighbour who had rods and a house guest who had just given his first public orchestra conduction and had all had drinkies afterwards decided it was now time to sort this out. The blockage was too hard to get anything other than the rods up it. The three of them forced the rods slowly up and eventually the rods reached the far end of the cesspit. They withdrew the rods and scratched their heads over what to do next when they noticed, like very thick black toothpaste, the blockage was creeping out of the hole. They stood there transfixed until it started to noticeably speed up when they reaslised their error and, panicking on the 2' wide platform tried to get out of the way asap at which point the blockage releases and a 6' wide fan of ordure (like the ones the firebrigade use for putting out chip shops) let loose and the observers were damn near hospitalised with hysterics,

Fortunately it was still a roasting hot summer so they weren't too unhappy to stand outside while we passed out drinks and their tuxedos (WTF??) dried out and the rest of us continued to roll about in tears.

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Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

Tom 7
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re The bureaucracy droid

I worked for one company that, after privatisation, was flooded with accountants. Before that I could have spent £5k and explained it later. After that everything went though an ever increasing cabal of accountants. We worked out that at one point it was costing them around £100 to asses whether I could have a £5 item. It got the the point where we spent £30k on overtime to meet a timeslot we had arranged with a supplier only for the work to be done on time but the slot was missed because I could no longer sign to have the tape with the design sent to the US ($24!!!) and those up the tree refused to even think about it. Apparently I should have known the procedures would change randomly and taken that into account.

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Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Tom 7
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Its true

my sense hat is showing a rainbow at the moment!

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One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

Tom 7
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Re: Confused units

@technicalben My brain cells have been replaced by plaques. Most noticeably a blue one with 'Tom lived here'

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Don't panic, but Linux's Systemd can be pwned via an evil DNS query

Tom 7
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Re: Hang on, all y'all ...

@swarthy - your £5 can be claimed when you install systemd in your wallet.

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Tom 7
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Re: the desktop-grade init system strikes again...

Put in an ssd - my laptop shows me the grub thingy and then flashes a couple of times and is ready to go. Even without systemd I've not worked out why I turned it on yet let alone sat down comfortably,

I could get grub to go quicker but I really cant be arsed.

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America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Tom 7
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Re: Paris Agreement coal steamships

I guess he's secretly planning ahead so when his golf courses sink he can provide an 18 hole armada for his rich customers amusement.

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Tom 7
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More screening techniques?

If they are actually checking the stuff they punt into the hold then we will have to arrive at the airport a day or two before the flight!

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O Rly? O'Reilly exits direct book sales

Tom 7
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Re: As long as they're still publishing dead tree books ...

Nothing digital surpasses dead trees? Well given that most digital stuff is in fucking PDF or other paper and book shaped form its not surprising. But good web stuff pisses all over paper shaped stuff.

We live in a bizarre world where everyone makes their documentation in railway carriage form and is surprised when it doesnt fit into the matter transporter.

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Astroboffins dig into the weird backwards orbit of the Bee-Zed asteroid

Tom 7
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You cannae break the laws of physics Capn.

It transparently doesnt so its not weird to me. Unusual but not weird.

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Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

Tom 7
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Re: QueSST isn't Concorde..

A couple of hrs in short legroom is acceptable. The four hours getting from the car park to the plane is another matter. And the champagne - thought the idea was self important business people could hop over, do some work and be back in time for tea. Drinks dont come into that anymore.

Its a bit like HS2 - if you dont live at one of the railway stations and need to visit another one the 20 minute saving is facile.

I used to travel a lot for business but of the things I'd consider travelling long distance on business a day trip went off that list many years ago. If it really is important jet lag and the deleterious effects of air travel take too much of an edge of to make it worthwhile. If it really is an important meeting getting to it at 100% is a must.

A lot of people do like to feel important by flying all over the place and I've accompanied them a lot but most of the time ssh would have got the work done before we left the work car park.

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Australian govt promises to push Five Eyes nations to break encryption

Tom 7
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Re: Conservative = tech-illiterate ?

I must admit a large number of the conservatives I know seem to want things to be simple, even though the evidence shows that simple is not the possible answer.

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Researchers solve screen glare nightmare with 'moth-eye' antireflective film

Tom 7
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Sunlight

is gods way of saying put the phone down and get to the pub.

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Tom 7
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Re: Here's one

Had the reverse of that. In early Nmos design we had a circuit that had been tested to pump a current into the chip substrate to reduce leakage. It was used on many test designs and worked perfectly and was chosen to be used in some chips for a serious demo. The cct board of chips worked fine and was boxed up for the demo. And promptly stopped working, The cct board was removed for testing and worked flawlessly. Rinse and repeat. Then the light bulb moment and indeed a lightbulb was put in the demo box to provide the photons needed to make the pump work until the demo was over and then a frantic redesign of the pump so it could work in the dark like the rest of us.

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Tom 7
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Re: Sea-skimming microwave

A microwave beam has a bit of spread. When the tide is high some of the edge of the spread is bounced back to the receiver - when the path length of this bit is some multiple of half wavelength.s it weakens the signal. If you imagine a wave trough as a concave mirror you can see how it could actually focus enough out of phase signal to cause it to drop out.

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Tom 7
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Re: Solution (was: You want toast!)

For some random tamper proof fixings that trick with the elastic band and an Alan key can work - if you can find something to jam the thing holding said fixing safely against while you apply the enormous pressure required to force the key and band firmly into the available space. Use one on a 1/4 inch driver and not those right angled ones that can pop out the back of your hand alien style!

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Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

Tom 7
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Wouldn't the target therefore know that he was under fire,

You do some sighting shots that are close to the target but not close enough to give the game away. My uncle was an artillery major in Burma and he used to try and work out cross winds and temperatures from different heights - you cant do this when sniping but when laying wast to areas you can get enough shots in to get some feel for it apparently. I guess modern shell would tell you all you need to know just before they hit now. Wont be long before a 0.5" can do that too!

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Numbers war: How Bayesian vs frequentist statistics influence AI

Tom 7
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Both methods have merits which are mathematically based.

So I can only think the arguments between the two sides are to try and confuse the punter to ensure they dont get far enough into the subject to realise when they are on the wrong side of a dutch book.

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Scottish govt mulled scrapping £178m car-crash IT system

Tom 7
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Re: UGHHRGHGRUHHUGR

Sorry mate - you'll be waiting for your money for eternity. One of the problems with these things is, once the UK gets hold of the stuff from the EU, the lawyers earn their keep making logically and mutually exclusive modifications to what is probably a simple system. When you point out the logical inconsistencies you will find it is your fault not theirs.

As far as I can tell the rest of Europe seems to manage its stuff OK. I used to receive some money from CAP as the whole thing was started as a way of giving small farmers a chance against the global mega corps. In the UK and only the UK are small farmers now excluded. I actually have more land than I require to receive the CAP but one of my fields was removed as I didnt want to claim in case I was being dodgy and they refuse to allow it back in, unless I let the farmer next door manage it for me?

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2 kool 4 komputing: Teens' interest in GCSE course totally bombs

Tom 7
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RE: Its a bit like

no it bloody isn't. Its more like saying 'If we teach you how to read a road map, some engineering, some civil engineering, some geography, and most of all some common sense and the logic behind many many human constructs, you may be able to understand why we need all the above jobs, how to fit them into an efficient system to help people move forward'

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Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

Tom 7
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Re: The Middle of Nowhere is not in Cumbria

I'd recommend going up there in the depth of winter, or when there's one of those Desmond thingies about.

Use to live an hour from the Lakes and when its feeling moody its fucking dangerous! Use to get pissed in Glenridding then up Catstycam and up to Helvelyn. I wouldnt dare do that sober on a calm day now!

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Tom 7
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Re: Everyone missed the classic one

I was wandering around a telephone exchange and waved my finger near a unit and a 1/2" spark took out 400 lines to London. Seems leather soled brogues can generate quite a bit of static on anti-static carpet.

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Tom 7
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Re: not necessarily

I had a saline injection recently - to test a canula prior to a CT scan and it caused me to pass out and when I came round (thinking I'd just blinked) every bit of the room was filled with crash crew. So no only is saline not a placebo it can transport matter too.

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You'll soon be buying bulgur wheat salad* from Amazon, after it swallowed Whole Foods

Tom 7
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Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?

Yup - it takes the little bugs that really make up your digestive system by surprise. Treat like Guinness and consume till the nasty minority effects go away.

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BA passengers caught in crossfire of Heathrow baggage meltdown

Tom 7
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@AC amsterdam klm

I've been through Amsterdam with KLM over a dozen times. On every occasion either mine or the person I was travelling with lost baggage.

I had the joy of coming down Kilimanjaro having climbed in borrowed gear (when you are 6'5" its fucking cold at 19000' wearing shorts!) to find my bags finally arrived at the airport.

And always seem to have to run from one end of the airport to the other.

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