* Posts by Richard 12

2579 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Mac Pro update: Apple promises another pricey thing it will no doubt abandon after a year

Richard 12
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A Wintel equivalent would be one with a nice case, so no Mac price uplift necessary.

The trashcan design is what happens when the inmates take over the asylum.

There are plenty of examples of striking PC tower designs that are portable, expandable, easy to work on and yes, beautiful.

Many PC case designers have succeeded at this - they aren't cheap, they are good.

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Richard 12
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Re: Apple

Are playing a very dangerous game.

You need a Mac running OSX to legally develop for OSX and iOS.

Right now, there are no professional-grade Macs, so you have to develop on consumer-grade kit.

If this continues for much longer then there will be no professional applications for OSX or iOS.

In the long term, Apple will either have to allow development on Linux/Windows, or Hackintosh, or there will be no professional-grade iOS apps and iOS will start to die.

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Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone

Richard 12
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Re: A long time ago

Unfortunately such sockets also wear out very quickly and rarely get replaced, leading to the same end result.

It's a shame the US doesn't have any decent sockets. Twistlock is fragile and jams, Stagepin is OMG dangerous, Edison is fragile and falls out...

Most US electrical regulations are about preventing fire, very few states have regulations intended to prevent electric shock.

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Richard 12
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Re: so much wrong here...

US "Edison" plugs fall out of the socket if you turn your back on them, or look at them too hard.

Also, nearly all of the earthed/grounded variety get installed upside down because it makes them look like a face.

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Richard 12
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Zombie! Help! It speaks!

Electrocution means dead. Dead dead dead.

I think you mean "shocked" or suffered an electric shock.

110V-120V is certainly sufficient to kill, so he's quite lucky.

Fortunately this is an impossible occurrence in the civilised world, as the UK electrical standards used in much of the globe were designed for safety of the user, not just reduced chance of fire.

EU plugs and sockets vary rather a lot. They just aren't standardised.

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Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

Richard 12
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True.

If El Reg goes down I will be very sad.

On the other hand, everything I own will be unaffected, and I can still go to the pub.

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Richard 12
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Many tears will be shed

By everyone who's ever bought one of these devices, because they will all stop working.

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Richard 12
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Re: There's a reason some of us call this stuff IoS.

That's two-factor.

Something you have (the TX) and something you know (the sequence).

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Mediaeval Yorkshirefolk mutilated, burned t'dead to prevent reanimation

Richard 12
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'Twas effective, far more zombies down int' big smoke than in God's own county.

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SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

Richard 12
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Re: ULA

The cargo plane approach is the only one that's been successfully tried, as far as I know.

The success rate is a national secret because it was done for spy sat film canisters, so who knows how many payloads plunged - or even aircrews died.

So I guess maximum payload mass of maybe 50kg?

And now they want to do it for a hundred times larger payloads...

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Richard 12
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Re: Question: How many engines does....

Oh, and the camera for that photo is at the top of the first stage facing downwards.

You're seeing the flame from the main engines, looking down the length of the stage.

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Richard 12
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Re: Question: How many engines does....

The RCS thrusters normally aren't considered engines per se, as they are very low thrust and specific impulse.

They are only for steering in the vacuum of space, where aerodynamics arr irrelevant.

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Richard 12
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Re: Congratulations to SES and SpaceX

Or indeed the first time.

Masten, Armadillo (now Exos) and Blue Origin have put exactly nothing in orbit so far. Of them, only Blue Origin even hope to do so within the next few years.

NASA and SpaceX are currently the only entities to have ever re-used significant parts of an orbital space launch system.

The leap from suborbital to orbital is very significant.

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Richard 12
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Re: I'm ... not sure

Rocket engineering, like many things, always looks easy from the outside when it's working.

Rockets are particularly fun because for the most part they either work, don't work or explode.

Rest assured that the actual rocket engineers are working their socks off to make it not explode.

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Richard 12
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Re: ULA

In-flight refuelling involves gently inserting your probe into a tube that's being helpfully dangled exactly where you want it by the other aircrew.

It's not really any harder for the pilots than formation flying, and the technical challenges of pumping the fuel and cutting it off without fireballs can be tested without risking an aircrew - eg in a wind tunnel.

Mid-air retrieval involves grabbing a falling parachute that your aircraft is actively blowing away, without collapsing it before you have a good hold, then pulling away without hitting the ground or ripping bits off the aircraft or payload.

With a payload that's very near the absolute maximum that the airframe can carry.

You can't test very much of this without risking an aircrew.

The financial cost is minimal, possibly even cheaper than a droneship, but the risk to the aircrew is insane.

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Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

Richard 12
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Re: Well I'm currently crowdsourcing funding

That still wouldn't be the strangest production of Swan Lake.

The classics have been "re-imagined" in almost every way imaginable. And will continue to be so.

Still waiting for the zero-G edition.

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Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

Richard 12
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Re: Robot wars?

Yes, the machines on Robot Wars are all ROVs. Though some of them do have a small amount onboard intelligence, a few teams have tried automated weapons that "fire" when they detect an object in the area-of-effect.

Obviously these are ungodly dangerous so have to be remotely armed and disarmed.

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Ford to build own data centre to store connected car data

Richard 12
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Because it shouldn't leave the jurisdiction!

There is no such thing as a cloud. It's just somebody else's computer.

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

Richard 12
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At least the plastic ones are cleaner.

Just don't iron them.

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Samsung Galaxy S8: Slimmer bezels, a desktop mode – and yet another me-too AI pal

Richard 12
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Such a waste of a button

The assistant itself probably is a USP in Korea if it supports Korean usefully, as I bet Cortana, Siri and Google don't.

But blowing a button on it is a complete waste in the rest of the world.

And putting the fingerprint sensor on the back sounds like a good idea - until you try to use it. I don't know about you, but I look at my smartphone from the front, and don't have x-ray vision.

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Astroboffins stunned by biggest brown dwarf ever seen – just a hop and a skip away (750 ly)

Richard 12
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Re: At 90X Jupiter's mass, and fairly pure hydrogen, how did this not ignite into a star?

Brown dwarves are MACHOs, and we have been pretty sure there aren't enough of them to account for the discrepancy for many years.

WIMPs remain plausible, and IIRC the Standard Model even predicts a few possibilities for them. Detection remains a problem as (by definition), they don't interact with the electromagnetic force.

Then there are various possibilities that have yet to make testable hypotheses but might.

And then hundreds of discredited or simply crackpot ones like MOND and others that might fit in some circumstances but do not work for smaller scales - like within a solar system.

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Did you know: Crimelords behind DDoS attacks offer customer loyalty points?

Richard 12
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The question is more "Who's buying them?"

I guess it could be cover for intrusion attempts or revenge for a slight or insult, but otherwise what do the purchasers want to get out of it?

"For the LOLs" doesn't really work if you just pay a few hundred USD, it's a bit expensive for a laugh and not visceral enough for a "to prove I can".

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Ofcom wants automatic compensation for the people when ISPs fail

Richard 12
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Re: Not thought though

So the ISP passes this cost onto Openreach.

Simples!

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'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

Richard 12
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Re: Re. 10

That may well be FTDI drivers deliberately nuking non-FTDI hardware. Actual physical damage in fact.

One of several reasons we don't use FTDI anymore.

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Richard 12
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Even if that were true (it isn't), those who were upgraded to Win10 automatically did not agree to the Win10 EULA as they were not guven the opportunity to reject it.

MS (and others) will never go to court to enforce the EULA on a consumer because they might lose, and if they did it would quite possibly be the end of the company.

You don't bet the farm unless you really have to.

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Richard 12
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Except that doesn't work

I personally know of at least two systems where the Win 7 > 10 in-place upgrade failed and would not roll back successfully. In the end the only apparent possibility was a full nuke'n'pave. Fortunately there wasn't much data lost, but there was some.

I am certain that there are thousands of similar cases.

I am also equally certain that there are tens of thousands of people who tried to reject the upgrade but were forced into it, eg by the complete lack of a "Cancel" button in later stages.

Many of those will have wanted to return to Win 7, many of those will not have been able to find out how, and many will have been unable to because the "downgrade" process was not 100% reliable

Even a 1% failure rate would be many thousands of failures.

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Pure Silicon Valley: Medium asks $5 a month for absolutely nothing

Richard 12
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Re: So they got $135m for this bo***cks?

Many companies selling real, physical custom hardware and software have an order of magnitude fewer staff.

I nearly said these companies have higher revenues as well, but then I realised that I have higher revenues than Medium.

As does the busker down the road.

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Carnegie-Mellon Uni emits 'don't be stupid' list for C++ developers

Richard 12
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Re: Good advice but

Guidelines are there to make you think when you break them.

Almost of of these recommended practices will have occasions when they should or indeed must be broken.

- The classic "access uninitialised memory" reason is when the memory content in question comes from another device, whether by DMA or other means. Initialising it yourself would be a bug - but reading past where the DMA has currently reached is also a bug.

So yes, break the guidelines - but when you do, think about why you're breaking them. Is it the right thing to do, or just the easy thing?

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Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals

Richard 12
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Re: We've been there before .. in 1991

Yet my several thousand unique image scrolling display scrolls smoothly and quickly on Windows.

Also on Linux.

It took an hour or so to write, and less to port and reuse.

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Coppers 'persistently' breach data protection laws with police tech

Richard 12
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Re: Simple solution...

Where are the consequences?

There clearly aren't any, as they either don't think they'll get caught, or don't care if they are.

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Richard 12
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Some people can be trusted with that ability

Many people would abuse it - occasionally, and with what they thought was good cause - if they believe that they can get away with it.

The only way to avoid that is to have Consequences with a capital C.

The organisation can only be trusted if those who transgress are rapidly, publicly and always prosecuted, and fired.

By their own numbers, 2% of the police force break these rules every year. So it is clear that there are simply no consequences for transgression as either 2% of the force are repeat offenders or most of the force have done this at least once.

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Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears

Richard 12
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Re: Not to be taken at face value

So doubly stupid.

The same "we're on to you" message would have been far more effective by saying "We're on to you".

Instead they chose to make flights demonstrably more dangerous in the name of fake security.

When even air security consultancies are asking WTF, you know the Government have lost their minds.

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Richard 12
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So now large, fragile batteries must go in the hold

Where several of the tens of thousands of innocent batteries will get crushed, start a fire and bring the airliner down.

Either they think the security at these airports can find prevent bombs getting onto planes, or they don't.

This ban greatly increases the overall risk of a plane falling out of the sky.

I won't be flying to these places because I don't want to be in a plane where the hold is filled with Li-Ion batteries.

Lithium batteries aren't permitted in airfreight. What kind of idiot forces them to be?

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Plusnet slapped with £880k fine for billing ex customers

Richard 12
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El Reg has a long history of completely unrelated stock photos.

I sometimes wonder which RNG they use to pick them.

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Richard 12
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We'll do you

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Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

Richard 12
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Re: 5 times more likely to be hacked

Perhaps because Linux makes up about 99.999% of Internet-facing devices?

Including a lot of IoT crap that isn't even pretending to be secured.

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User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

Richard 12
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Re: On where power buttons are...

They used to be good. The "cheesegrater" desktop was indeed very good.

The current keyboards are poor laptop ones. No feel, too small and so many keys missing.

Charging the mouse means flipping it upside down or resting it on the charge cable.

There's no indication of charge level whatsoever - when is it fully charged? The paired Mac will warn you if it's nearly flat if it's running, but there's no other indication at all.

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Richard 12
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Re: On where power buttons are...

I despise Apple desktop design.

It's clearly only for looking at, not for using.

The keyboard and mouse that come with them are almost unusable, and charging the mouse is ridiculous!

Yes, I also wasted 20min trying to figure out how to turn it on. Why hide the power button? TVs have put them on the edge for decades.

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Europe will fine Twitter, Facebook, Google etc unless they rip up T&Cs

Richard 12
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Re: Long overdue John Brown

No, courts don't.

The law is the law, and (at least in the EU), T&Cs and contracts cannot remove any consumer protections whatsoever. (Businesses are assumed to employ lawyers)

What happens is that they either drag it out until the consumer gives up, or they settle out of court.

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Face down in a Shoreditch gutter: Attack of the kickstarting hipster

Richard 12
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Duct tape works perfectly

As long as they have a beard.

Unfortunately it only works once, as the second time they don't have a beard.

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National Insurance tax U-turn: Philip Hammond nixes NIC uptick

Richard 12
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Re: Old Tom

You must have voted in a different referendum to the rest of the country then.

The ballot papers I saw said "European Union".

There was no mention of the Single Market or the Customs Union for that matter.

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Richard 12
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Re: I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

"safeguard British interests in the Single Market"

Direct quote from page 72. It's in the header and in bold, right after the "run a referendum on membership of the EU"

May has annouced her explicit intent is to remove all British interests from the Single Market. The exact opposite.

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Dark matter drought hits older galaxies: Boffins are, rightly, baffled

Richard 12
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Re: Dark Matter? WTF?

For a while there were competing WIMPs and MACHOs. MACHOs have since lost, but WIMPs haven't been found or disproved.

I live in hope for another "that's odd!?" Perhaps this observation will get us somewhere!

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Richard 12
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It's from before the photino birds evolved

Obvious, right?

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SpaceX yoinks $96m GPS launch deal from under ULA's nose

Richard 12
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Re: reusable rockets

It's also a long way from land. With a boostback burn, SpaceX are landing around 200miles out to sea. That's within the (eg) Sea King endurance but doesn't leave much margin for time on-station.

And very heavy, orders of magnitude heavier than anything previously attempted.

Helicopters aren't particularly stable at the best of times, and the airframes aren't designed for shock loading.

Ditching a helicopter is not fun.

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Richard 12
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Re: reusable rockets

It has the advantage of being something that the US military have tried before.

They've even successfully done it once or twice, and so far no aircrews killed! Majority of payloads lost of course.

Frankly the FAA should shut them down. This operation is ridiculously dangerous and simply cannot be considered for routine operations.

Risking an aircrew is just stupid. There's a reason SpaceX use a robot barge.

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Headphone batteries flame out mid-flight, ignite new Li-Ion fears

Richard 12
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Hurray for wireless earpods!

Or maybe not. Maybe I'll stick with headphones that take alkaline AAs.

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NASA finds India's missing lunar orbiter with Earth-bound radar

Richard 12
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Re: Puzzled

So it covered a fairly large part of the expected arc, not the very tip.

My ASCII-art is terrible, but think on a circle and draw a line.

If the line is a true tangent (touches the very edge) to the circle you get one moment, and if you miss a little high you never see anything at all.

If the line crosses slightly inside, you get two chances and if you miss a little high you still see something.

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Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We've got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans

Richard 12
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@Matt Bryant

Die.

Go bankrupt.

Go bankrupt and die.

Lose your job, go bankrupt and die.

Those aren't choices, stop claiming they are.

Under the rules you're recommending, if you get sick and are not incredibly wealthy, you die. In many cases painfully and slowly.

If you're lucky, you bankrupt your family to pay (or even "co-pay", what a term!) for your treatment. You then can't get any insurance at all ever again, and next time, you die.

When you get sick, think on the thousands of people you have doomed to die. Then die, alone, in pain and having spent everything you have.

A civilised society cares for its sick.

A civilised human being is happy to pay into a central pot to care for all the sick.

A self-interested human being is happy to pay into said central pot because they themselves may get sick.

Only a fool thinks that pot shouldn't exist. Only a psychopath thinks the only pot is for them alone.

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Volkswagen pleads guilty to three Dieselgate criminal charges

Richard 12
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Re: That was never the test

Yes, the only conditions that matter are those defined in the regulations. That's what regulations are.

You are saying that if you can run 100m in 15sec at sea level, then I can also demand you do the same at 5km altitude. Or 10km.

According to you it can be done under any conditions at all!

If you don't like the regulations, lobby your politicians to change them. I think that they could and should be improved, specifying behaviour under some range of conditions that covers all expected European driving conditions.

But they don't. In fact they explicitly exclude low temperatures and high altitudes. The reason is probably clear by now.

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