* Posts by I ain't Spartacus

5191 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Romania suffers Eurovision premature ejection

I ain't Spartacus
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Devil

The sad thing is, I think the Germans and the BBC put up a huge chunk of the money, with other broadcasters paying much less, and the hosts footing the rest of the bill. I guess it guarantees that we don't have to go through qualifiying, but just think how much of a service to music it would be if the BBC were to spend that money on something (anything!) else. Although taking out a hit on Justin Bieber would surely be the best use of license fee payers' cash.

I'm guessing that the, more effective, option of assassinating Simon Cowell would be frowned upon by Ofcom, due to the damage it would do to ITV's Saturday evening ratings.

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Dutch students serve up world's first 'drone café'

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Happy

I'd be interested in a drone that I could dispatch from bed for a pint; a pizza; and the 5 metres of catheter tube at the front door that has just arrived from eBay; but not really interested until that point.

This is what sold me on Mr Tickle at the age of 4. The first couple of pages of the book, where he yawns, and stretches, and stretches, and stretches... And then reaches down the stairs to the kitchen with his amazingly long arms, to get a biscuit from the tin. He was my favourite Mr Man from then on. The less said about the pervy touching people through windows, the better.

Of course, as an adult, I realise that despite the crippling handicap of not having twenty foot long arms I can simply have a biscuit tin on the bedsite table. I already own a teasmade (hooray! for being woken up with fresh tea) - so why I don't add biscuits to the ensemble is a continual mystery to me. I can only conclude that it's guilt, trained into me by my parents mother. Perhaps I should seek psychiatric help, to get me over these appalling feelings of guilt, and allow myself the bedside biscuit-y pleasure I so richly deserve?

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Happy

I seem to remember that it took about 8 helium balloons to send one (full) glass of wine across the room at my Aunt's wedding anniversary. But I guess a mini-airship is no solution, since it'll gain too much lift as soon as it delivers its pint.

Altough, on the other hand, as long as there is a ceiling, and it's not too obstructed by whirling fans and light fittings, it could zoom up there and drag itself back home across it - so long as it's bouncy enough. The airship, not the ceiling obviously...

But a wheeled drone seems more appropriate for drinks delivery. Even if it requires a cattle prod to make it's way through the crowded bar to the tables. But that's also useful for dealing with fights and drunks. Or people who put rubbish music on the jukebox. Or suggest karaoke. Or drink WKD...

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Megaphone

Please pay for your drinks

You have 20 seconds to comply!

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How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

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Re: 'Ow Yorkshire?

Luxury! We used to dream of having a Brian Cox (with his ooh so lovely hair). We had to make do with a Brian Blessed.

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Happy

Re: How IT are you?

Strange. I drink my gin with breakfast...

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Airport drone 'plastic bag'

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Happy

Did the airline pay their 5p?

If I'm now forced to buy bin liners, I don't see why they should get free ones falling out of the sky...

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Blighty ranks 38th in World Press Freedom Index

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You cannot hope to bribe or twist

(thank God!) the British journalist.

But, seeing what the man will do

unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

Seems appropriate somehow.

It's a hard survey to quantify. In some ways the UK has some of the most free press in the world. They're much less restrained by taste or social pressure than in many other countries. Our politicians get a lot shorter shrift from our press in general than do American ones, or most of the rest of Europe. So it's a bit more anarchic, and elements more likely to kick the establishment. We've also got a comparitively wide variety of viewpoints - even though there are two really big players in the Murdoch press/Sky and the BBC. On the other hand we've got tough libel laws, a new system of press regulation that's still only half completed, and some dodgy legislation like RIPA - which the police and government too often abuse. So it's a bit of a mixed bag.

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Re: *China* is ahead

I'm surprised to see North Korea comes out ahead of Eritrea though. I'd have thought they'd be bottom of the pile - given there's not even the opportunity for journalists to print disobliging things about the government. And they'd much more likely be shot, than imprisoned too. If not them and their whole families being sent to the gulags.

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Larry Ellison's Brit consortium in 'advanced talks' to buy Aston Villa

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Devil

Re: Pity the Villa fans

I'm looking forward to all the comparison adverts on the back of The Economist, that show a graph with Aston Villa in a huge claret and blue bar which is double the size of the red bar labelled Manchester United - and says when benchmarked on the same grassware Aston Villa performed twice as the competion.

Presumably if they win an silverware, there'll be an open-top yacht parade round the canals of Brum.

I look forward to Larry holding aloft the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in two years time...

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Snafu! BT funnels all customers' sent email into one poor sod's inbox

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Re: Once they've got this sorted out...

The bit in my post that mattered, got deleted. If I thought they were competent, I'd blame a BT conspiracy.

The domain that btinternet emails were dropping with, and vice-versa was btconnect. Their own small business service, that one of our clients was with.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Once they've got this sorted out...

I had a 2 month gremlin back in about 2003 with BT. Btinternet email was not working properly (either sending or receiving) with... It mostly arrived, but delays could be as long as a month. I actually got as far as BT third line support, some outside consultant rather than an internal bod who was already aware of the issue, and they resolved it.

But I'd already resolved the problem myself, by suggesting that it was about time the company stopped using a micky-mouse ISP address, and got us a domain. Although I just got an email through on that old address last week - from a customer we've had for years, I'm amazed it's survived in his Outlook autocomplete for so long.

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Censorship FTW! China bans Paris Hilton, minor Kardashians et al

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Happy

Re: Censorship bad, m'kay?

Does anyone know what a Kanye West is?

It's the only one we've got left, after that house fell on Kanye East...

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Boaty McBoatface 'wins'

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Re: An easy cop out...

A lifeboat volunteer was in B&Q with his Mum, when he got a mobile call from a friend. This guy was on a crewing job in the Caribbean, on someone's yacht, they were in hurricane force winds and had lost power and pumps, and were taking on water. So he grabbed his receipt and a pen to take down the details, position etc.

"What's the boat called?"

"MY Titanic"

"Ha ha. Very funny! Now stop taking the piss!"

Except the panic sounded genuine, and his mate wasn't taking the piss. He described his next actions as, deciding not to phone this one in, but to go to the lifeboat station and call it in from there. As he was much more likely to be believed coming from an official line.

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Re: Got what they wanted

Mark Rogers,

That's certainly true. It was a one-off joke / social media thingy, that will pass and nobody will remember. But of course, there is ongoing free publicity. They'll be able to get at least their first 2 or 3 press releases decent publicity on the back of the name alone, so if they ration them carefully they could get something useful from it.

Of course, there's also the downside of, "it is with regret that we have to announce the sinking of the RRS Boaty McBoatface - all her crew are feared lost."

I guess as a compromise they could give it a "proper" name, then paint a big face on the front, so everyone knows what it's really called. And I'd be surprised if the crew don't end up calling it Boaty McBoatface anyway.

Or perhaps a compromise. Go for an Iain Banks theme, and call it Grey Area. That gives the crew an even better nickname.

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Furious customers tear into 123-reg after firm's mass deletion woes

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Devil

Re: Too little, too late.

There's nothing wrong with closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. So long as there are going to be more horses along in future. At least you'd hope people might now have learned something...

So the correct quote should be: "Management, meet stable door. Bang! Ouch! Stable door, meet management. Bang! Ouch! Now, have we learned our lessons? No? OK. And again, management, meet stable door. Bang! Ouch! And for some variety, management, meet anvil! Clang! Next, pair of bricks...?

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What's wrong with the Daily Mail Group buying Yahoo?

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Re: The Daily Mail & Yahoo!

Is this the problem? Perhaps The Mail have been burning with jealousy for ages, because News International made such a success of Myspace. And they're desperate to get in on the action...

Come to think of it, didn't ITV do so well with Friends Reunited too - and the less said about AOL Time Warner, the better.

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Devil

Re: I am a bit worried

I'm sure the Daily Mail would love to run email. If they could only get enough people to use the service, say by ceasing to screw it up horrible drastically improving it, they could sack all their journalists and just rely on all the lovely info passing across their servers.

Oh Ethics? Yeah, that'th the plathe just to the East of London isn't it...

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I am sending pouting selfies to a robot. Its AI is well buff

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Happy

It's called Saddr.

Does a comparison with the nearest other person who has the app, then detonates the batteries killing the loser. The idea is to gradually increase human happiness - or at least train people to be able to pretend.

It's billed as a "synergistic human lifestyle improvement paragidm"

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Trollface

Re: Another quality piece

but it'll need something like AWS in computing power to handle my face.

Is that why Google's cloud crashed this week?

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Happy

Re: You clean up nice!!

Alistair,

No problem. So long as you're still getting rogered more, and you can go like a rabbit...

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Re: How dare they?

I've got white hair. Whilst growing a beard now is OK, the confusion come Christmastime is too much of a problem. Hence I am destined to remain soup-catcher free. Unless I ever find myself in dire need of employment come December...

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URL shorteners reveal your trip to strip club, dash to disease clinic – research

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Re: Beware Pron ahead

Both the QR code reader apps I've used showed you the link first. Or I'd have deleted them instantly. So sane ones do exist.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: Beware Pron ahead

Exactly. I think URL shorteners are fundamentally insecure for exactly the opposite reason. You don't know where they go to, and you can't go to say bit.ly's website put one in, and find out. And it ain't safe out here on the internet, I like to have my eyes open when I go somewhere.

I've seen too much - having been a forum Mod a few years ago, for my sins. Mostly it was just 2 Girls 1 Cup and Rick-rolling. But you never know...

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Czech Republic to rebrand

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Happy

Re: kidding aside

You soon learn. After you've skied into your third kangaroo...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: How about

And Czechzuki...

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I ain't Spartacus
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Devil

Re: Will the Czechs change their name to Czechians?

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - erm... Englishman?

Other than British person, the only mention of British in naming I can think of is "Britischer schwein! Achtung! Spitfire!" And I don't think that's ever appeared outside a speech bubble...

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BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

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Happy

Stapler tracking is a great idea, as mine is always getting nicked. Along with the hole-punch.

But the projector kill switch is in dire need of a new feature. It needs to automatically operate on any Powerpoint that's gone on for more than about 90 minutes, be able to shut down on detection of Comic Sans (I don't actually mind this font - it's just usually a fearful sign of doom whenever it turns up in a business context). And possibly have an optional feature to introduce porn slides to any presentation that I don't want to sit through any more of, say when the pub's open.

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This headline will, in part, cost pepper-spraying University of California, Davis $175k

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Happy

Re: While you are spewing cash...

Your SEO service is rubbish. Only $5k? Pah! Amateur.

Now if you pay me $500k, I'll do it properly.

Why is the fee so high you ask? Well vintage champagne doesn't buy itself it's complicated. The multi-million pound option is simply to bribe Google. You could also try blackmailing Google, but given all the data they've been hoovering up for the last decade, that's probably a very bad idea.

So what you need to do is own those search terms. Not a problem. Your money will buy you access cookery show on national television. Pick whichever chef our marketing shows resonates with young people.

Next he'll be cooking in a show at UC Davis. The recipe? Pike, pepper with a spray of green herbs.

Job done. Search laundered. Now hand over the cash.

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South Korea to upgrade national stereo defence system for US$16m

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Mushroom

AHA!

The reason for this is obvious. The DPRK is just a cover.

The real reason is that South Korea are going to stage a Disaster Area concert.

They just don't want to pre-announce it, in case the environmentalists find out.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Re: £16m

No that's just the bill for the speakers. The oxygen free quantum stablised EMP shielded platinum cabling is an extra $15 billion...

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Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

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Devil

I'm rather disappointed at the lack of BOFH potential in this threat. And the lack of people who voted for "blackmail both parties". Personally I would have voted for having the email projected onto the front of the building in foot high letters, but that option was mysteriously missing...

Then again, the BOFH would never have foolishly created extra work for himself. And simply set up an search of the email database to bring any interesting or useful items to his attention automatically.

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Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google

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Pirate

Surely piracy be about the dubloons!

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I ain't Spartacus
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The record companies paid their artists, and would organise their marketing and studio time for them, if they wanted. As well as hunting down new talent and offering these services to them. Including taking a punt on new acts, and giving them free access to studio time for a first album. OK, not free, they'd pay out of the sales, but not a loan either, as the record company would eat the losses if the album stiffed.

Sure the record companies sliced off profits, some of which got spent on cocaine and hookers. But they actually put real money into developing new bands, and provided some services. And they weren't the only game in town, you could go off with the independents, or self-publish.

They can't have done too awful a job either, because top bands stayed with them, who had the ability and finance in place to go completely independent if they so chose. But obviously decided it was less hassle to let someone else do this stuff, but get less cash.

So they were at worst symbiots, rather than parasites.

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TalkTalk broadband customers continue to flee

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Re: Not great

Ah well, many is the complaint that I've fielded from my Mum about how shit their service is. And how their call centre is awful, and how she keeps having to reboot the telly-box, because it forgets to talk to the router-box.

Oh, and she's had a call from someone with her details claiming to be from them - and only got suspicious when they tried to get her credit card number, rather than sticking it on the exisiting direct debit).

But despite all that, she's just signed a new quadruple play deal with them, to take their (admittedly insanely cheap) mobile tariff, and re-signed for another year of brroadband, phone and TV.

The phone is about £7 a month for 200MB data, infinite texts and 600 minutes.

But Oh Good God what processor have they shoved in that YouView box? Is it a 286? You press the EPG button, and it takes twenty seconds. Changing channel takes over a minute, and the bugger takes about 5 minutes to boot. Modern Sky+ boxes boot in 5 seconds, and channel changing is almost instant - although I admit the last time I used a Virgin box (3-4 years ago) it was pretty shit.

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Happy

Re: Dido Harding

She's doing a great job! In the 4 years before she took over, they were the worst rated for customer service in every quarter. Now they're...

...

...

...

Second worst.

That's improvement that is!

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Badges for Commentards

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Re: Upvotes only?

A badge was suggested for "achieving" 2,000 downvotes. I think it was going to be brown...

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US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

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Thumb Up

Surely we (ahem) come to El Reg for things like the excellently chosen article picture. And of course, the sense to inform us that the arrest took place in the perfectly named Johnson County. Unless the Americans have a town called Todger Springs...

Does Lester ever write sensible articles?

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HTC 10: Flagship goes full Google – but the hardware's top notch

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Re: The price is out - it's £570

This is weird. Flagship phones haven't got any cheaper. Yet I can have a brand new iPad for that, and still have change for Motorola G, or Lumia 735. Or 2 7" iPads.

Or I can have 2 of the rather nice Lenovo Android 10" tabs - and enough change for a really cheap phone.

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Google cloud TITSUP

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Re: The Cloud...

That's why I use it. We're a very small company, but we can get a lot of benefits from IT that we're simply not competent to manage ourselves. So our choice is to go with a small local company, and get more cock-ups but more personal service - and we've done that and it was fine. Or a larger company, and get less personal service, but benefit from economies of scale and better uptime, hopefully only one major outage every couple of years.

IT problems land up on my desk, along with my real job, and I know my level of competence - so just keep the laptops and phones running. Everything else gets outsourced - or we do without. Companies like ours couldn't have mobile accessible CRM 10 years ago, and it's worth it - even with the odd problem. So far one 25 minute outage, since we dumped our own server two years ago. And Office 365 hasn't noticeably let us down once. Yet...

Virgin killed our server's network access about 5 times in the last year we had it. The last one for 6 hours. If the office network or power goes down, we can just work from home or use 4G. So we're more resilient than having the server onsite.

Were I running a company large enough to have a decent sized IT department, I'd want the control and ability to manage risk that comes with your own kit. Though even there, I bet there are some things that aren't so critical, and it may be worth some cheap cloud. But you've got to be a pretty big company to be able to afford a backup datacentre with fail-over so that you can theoretically avoid all outages. If you've got the balls to actually test your fail-over system regularly, so that it actually works when needed...

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GCHQ dabbles in dark arts

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Re: Oh really?

There was a definite elementn of "Wow my children are reading books!" Which is obviously a good thing, and it got some friends' kids into books. Not read any of it myself, and only watched about five minutes of one of the films, so can't comment - but then I'm not the target audience.

GCHQ didn't release the story themselves, though I did like the witty press release. But I guess on balance, I'd rather they were poking into some of the darker corners of the net than not. Though there's unlikely to be financial loss involved, as the publishers are only going to make money selling into countries that already protect copyright - where the leak would do little harm. But once they've found the stuff they may as well warn people.

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Re: Oh really?

GCHQ are also supposed to be helping out against corporate hacking. It's always been assumed that China and Russia use still use state espionage resources to help state-controlled companies. As they did in the Cold War. And that includes all the government cyber-war toys.

I've never seen it suggested that we did the same, at least with stolen product designs. But I know the Yanks were accused of using info from ECHELON to help US firms win big international contracts. So I assume the same accusation has been levelled at us.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Happy

Re: If GCHQ really wanted to help

I'm not sure if I shouldn't downvote you now. You've suggested removing the lesser evil here. When surely our national security organs should be fighting the real battle of our times. Against the Da Vinci Code and Fifty Shades of Grey. Oh, and while we're at it, Adam Sandler films. And...

It's a good job I don't work at GCHQ, or there'd be a huge outbreak of hacking destroying vast swathes of the publishing, film and music industries. Those rumoured sequels to the Matrix would never get off the ground for a start...

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UK cops trial £250k drone squadron

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Happy

That's not a drone you fool. That's Sergeant Detritus' thinking hat.

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Happy

Re: Lewes?

I'm not sure I'd want to take on the Lewes bonfire societies with just reapers. You'd need at least the SAS and some armoured infantry, with a bit of tactical air support thrown in.

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We're not in Kansas City anymore, Toto ... Google axes free fiber internet

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I heard someone say "learnings" the other day. And it wasn't Borat. It was a spokes-weasel for ACPO. Which appears to be an organisation that requires destruction with extreme prejudice.

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I ain't Spartacus
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Ah good old Google. Random acts of pricing and end-of-lifeing* since 1998.

*Did I really just type that? Well I suppose it could be a word...

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NASA gives blacked-out Kepler space 'scope the kiss of life

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Trollface

Are you sure it's not just because they haven't patched Adobe Flash? Now that's done, everything's hunky-dory until the next one is needed. Say in about 17 minutes...

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Aluminum-wrapped robbers fail to foil bank

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Devil

Mysteriously, it also made their house prices double overnight...

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