* Posts by Tom 38

3236 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Inept bloke who tried to sell military sat secrets to Russia gets 5 years

Tom 38
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Re: "while in jail he had had a religious epiphany."

I can't help but think that not all of these poor souls are being entirely honest.

And the mercy seat is glowing

And I think my head is smoking

And in a way I'm hopin'

to be done with all these looks of disbelief.

A life for a life

And a truth for a truth

And I've got nothin' left to loose.

And I'm not afraid to die

And the mercy seat is smoking

And I think my head is melting

And in a way that's helpin'

to be done with all this twistin' of the truth

An eye for an eye

And a tooth for a tooth

And any way I told the truth

But I'm afraid I told a lie.

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The developers vs enterprise architects showdown: You shall know us by our trail of diagrams

Tom 38
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Troll is obvious

The whole article is written in a style to insinuate that EA are hopelessly out of date dinosaurs who just cannot survive with DevOps. Split people off in to binaries, and then insult both of them - It's a good troll, I see it, but I'm still failing for it.

The truth is different. DevOps does not mean not planning your architecture. The worst kind of DevOps is unplanned, with developers slapping instances without thinking of why or how.

Even when you have a DevOps team doing things brilliantly, you still need someone who has that top level view of projects and systems, how they interconnect and talk to each other, and what the effects of modifying those systems are. That's the EA. If that EA is causing problems for developers, probably he is preventing the developers causing problems for the business.

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TfL hackathon showed data can keep transport running and people safe

Tom 38
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It produces a lot of these data using its connected Split Cycle Offsets Optimization Technique (SCOOT) system, which uses embedded road sensors to see how traffic is flowing on the street, and what omissions are like.

E&OE :)

Normally I go straight for the "Tips & Corrections", but this is too good a typo not to highlight.

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US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

Tom 38
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Re: America is in decline! Go elsewhere

I always get putain and poutine mixed up. Which one does Canada have again?

In the very best Montreal bordellos, you can get both!

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Tom 38
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Re: America is in decline! Go elsewhere

Go to Canada, eh? Friendly folk, poutine and maple syrup. What's not to love?

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Tom 38
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Re: "People of color"?

Actually, white is a combination of primary colours.

Its not strictly a colour, like black isn't a colour.

"White" people aren't actually white though are they, its various shades of pink and brown. There is no-one whose natural shade is #ffffff.

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AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

Tom 38
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Re: I've thought of this often

You evidently know little of the complexities and immense costs of district heating systems, nor of the very limited uses of very low grade heat.

But I'm not, I live in a house using district heating, powered by burning wood pellets to generate electricity to heat the water. The source water for that comes in at (say) 10 C. Would we use more or less wood pellets if the water instead came in at 40 C from the large DC that is also served by the district heating? Would that make it cheaper or more expensive?

By the way, I find the district heating a lot more efficient than my previous boiler/radiators. It's roughly the same price, but I'm warmer in winter and have virtually infinite hot water, whilst before I had enough for a shower, and to the do the washing up, each day

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Tom 38
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Re: I've thought of this often

You don't even have to cool the rack, as long as you are moving the heat to somewhere you can extract it.

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Facebook let advertisers target 'Jew-haters'

Tom 38
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Re: “How to burn jews”

Not really, Facebook provides tools for you to target people based upon what they have filled in on their profile. So you can target people who have "Software Developer" as their job title, or work at "HSBC". TFA is saying that they found people who had put things like "Jew burning" as their profession, apparently because Facebook was not monitoring those fields for unacceptable content, which allowed them to be targeted.

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UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Tom 38
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Can you make a word have the same meaning in different contexts just by saying it has

Sure. Remember, this is English, where we can make the word spelt "Happisburgh" be pronounced "Hayesburra".

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Apple's 'shoddy' Beats headphones get slammed in lawsuit

Tom 38
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WTF?

No opinion on the headsets

They seem expensive and are apparently shit, but that's not the interesting part.

$5,000,000 damages for having bought them? 5 MILLION? What the fuck could the headphones have done so badly that caused $5 million in damages?

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Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

Tom 38
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I'm fairly certain he was high as fuck when he made the original post.

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Trello boards the desktop with Mac and Windows apps

Tom 38
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Re: That helps, does it?

See also: Flowdock's "native" application; webkit and a slow JS implementation mean that it uses even more resources than it did in the browser.

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This article has been deleted

Tom 38
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Re: Spoilsports

Yep, that's why they were asked to leave Europe in the first place.

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Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Tom 38
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@Eddy Ito

Never looked at a map on your phone? Listened to music? Checked a price online? Looked up the latest sports scores? Checked the weather forecast? Used a whatsapp group?

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Tom 38
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Re: My wishlist

Return the old way of unlocking the phone so I don't have to do two actions or use my fingerprint to unlock it

ISTM this is to encourage purchases of the fingerprint sensor enabled phones.

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Tom 38
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Re: Windows Phone Type Tiles

4. Ditch Itunes, I'd rather pay spottily than use Itunes.

I'll admit, its been 3-4 years since I had an iphone, but I cannot recall needing itunes for anything.

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Another reason to hate Excel: its Macros can help pivot attacks

Tom 38
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Re: Waddyamean 'Another reason to hate'?

I'd love to hate Excel at work, but sadly I'm only allowed to hate LibreOffice Calc. Cheap bastards.

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If you wagered Bet365 would buy up Basho's remains, you'd be a big winner right now

Tom 38
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Re: I guess this is okay?

It's a damning indictment of how Basho ran the company, as effectively Bet365 have just said "This technology is important to us, we're prepared to spend a lot of money now and each year on preserving and growing it, we just weren't seeing any benefit from giving the money to you first".

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

Tom 38
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Re: Best Description I Ever Read of Python....

Python's a great language for people who aren't programmers and never intend to become full-time programmers. I'm a systems engineer; I can knock shit together in Python fairly quickly and easily. I know network engineers who learn it. Hell, I know architects - not systems architects, actual building architects - who have learned a bit of python to help with scripting in Revit. Actual programmers who specialize in Python as their main job? Not so much.

Well this is just wrong. Python's ease of use for the novice is a benefit for the pro as well. It is an extremely expressive language that allows you to write a lot of functionality with a small amount of code. You can prototype faster in python, and the expressiveness means that refactoring is simple and, if following the pythonic style, simple.

The speed of python is not really relevant in most scenarios as anything cpu intensive can be written as a C extension, with a pythonic API added over the top. This usually makes the underlying library much easier to use, for instance it is much easier (less typing and clearer to the reader) to write XML and XPath manipulations using the python lxml library than it is to use libxml2 in C, but the speed of operation of both is virtually identical - python is just the plumbing around the boiler.

I don't think the criticism of the python open source libraries is particularly fair, as it applies to all languages with lots of open source libraries; you have to assess the quality and reliability yourself before using it. There are a lot of rubbish ones, but there are a lot of good ones also.

PS: The term "pythonic"; lots of people don't seem to like it, but this is what it stands for (verbatim from the language spec):

* Beautiful is better than ugly

* Explicit is better than implicit

* Simple is better than complex

* Complex is better than complicated

* Readability counts

Argue against any of those points..I'm guessing bob will try

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Tom 38
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Re: Extinct

Well, not really that clean.

b = [1,2,3]

a = b

[ ... complaining about assignment by ref ... ]

That's clean. Everything is assigned by reference. It's working out how "x += 1" works that's a little different.

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User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

Tom 38
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Re: PC fail

A nurse girlfriend told me that A&E patients had found that BabyCham bottles were not as ideally shaped as they looked.

Guys, please practise safe sex and remove the cork first.

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Tom 38
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Gimp

Re: PC fail

No homophobia here please. Kindly report to your nearest re-education camp.

Oh, you poor poor sheltered AC...

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How alien civilizations deal with climate is a measure of how smart they are. Just sayin'...

Tom 38
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Boffin

ISTM that (almost?) every living entity has symmetry, and the more complex the organism, the more likely its bilateral symmetry.

So probably no uneven numbers of boobies.

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Smart cities? Tell it like it is, they're surveillance cities

Tom 38
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Re: Cough

If you took the entire cost of the the London CCTV infrastructure and staffing and invested it in the NHS you'd probably save far more lives.

Maybe. Maybe not. What would be certain however is that after the next terrorist attack, we wouldn't know what happened, where it happened, and we'd have scared tooled up cops running around confused about what to do and where to go.

As someone who lives, works and socialises in places terrorists seem determined to attack, I'm OK with a little video action. No, its not going to stop the attacks, but it might minimise the effects and prevent another Bataclan.

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Tom 38
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Re: Cough

London, with more cameras than anywhere else in the world [..] unfortunately still gets attacked.

Surveillance only works if you are looking in the right place, at the right people.

During the June London Bridge attack, armed police were dispatched before the first 999 call came in because of CCTV monitoring, which probably saved lives.

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Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist

Tom 38
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Re: What Is The Point of Facebook ?

Yes, easily. Your arguments to the contrary are nonsensical. At best you are just pointing out that people are lazy creatures of habit and unwilling to learn anything new.

Your social network is "email" and the people using facebook are the flies wallowing in shit unable to learn anything new? We get it, you don't like facebook, and are insular enough in your own life in order to reject communication with anyone who does use facebook as a means of communication.

In my age group(s), 25-34 and 35-44 - I'm on the cusp - it is the usual method of arranging things between multiple people. Having a party? Going camping? Its a facebook event, with its own page, map to the venue, information, list of guests etc. We invite people to our parties whose emails and phone numbers we don't have nor want, and they don't have to share them. We don't have problems that someone invited last minute is missing the first 100 emails in the thread.

We also don't do this horrific practise of sitting down with people and tediously passing them our holiday snaps, like they could give a fuck. We don't email them around or create mailing lists to distribute them, we just post them to facebook and anyone of our friends who cares to view them can do so.

Facebook does a bunch of things that I don't like, but it does a lot of things that simplify communicating with my extended friends and family. I'm capable of learning new things (like this "email" thing, do you have a link?), but I'm also capable of utilising a tool that provides benefits whilst minimising its negative aspects.

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Google puts the last coat of polish on Chrome 61

Tom 38
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Facepalm

adds native support for JavaScript Modules via the script type=module element

Crap, does this mean now that I finally have yarn, npm, webpack and all these other shite making a single bundle for my website, I've now got to unpack them all again and serve as single modules?

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Tom 38
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@Gruezi

Have you found any settings for your PC that can maybe help with errant designers? I wonder if it is possible to fuck around with colour settings so that when a program requests X shade, it instead displays Y shade, that is less pastelly and more likely to have good contrast.

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Tom 38
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Re: Personally

And the Sky EPGs are the worst. I suspect they take at least 20 times longer than they need to to find anything. And why on earth will they not provide an alphabetical list so you can find a particular channel quickly.

Money. Channels pay for their positions in the Sky EPG, if you could just search for them by name, then they wouldn't need to.

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Stealth, lightweight Android breaks cover

Tom 38
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Apps are more of a problem

Lazy rich app developers who test on the latest 2.5GHz octocore flagships with 8GB of RAM cause devices to become "old" much quicker than they actually are. My current phone is not shit, 4 1.5GHz cores and 3GB of RAM, but if I load and leave the facebook app active/backgrounded, the phone is ridiculously sluggish, because the phone is out of RAM and is swapping.

There is no reason for the facebook app to use that much RAM, its laziness, lack of botheredness, and in some cases, deliberately doing things a slow way in order to spy as much as possible on your behaviour*. They could write the UI in an efficient manner, but they'd prefer to write it using React and javascript and HTML.

* Click a "link", it won't open in your browser, but instead in a less efficinet chrome view window that allows them to track what you do...

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UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

Tom 38
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Re: So?

Yeah, God forbid you have to spend an extra 10 seconds at a checkout, when you could be using that time to make the world a better place.

Let's be f***ing serious here, coal mining is an onerous and time consuming task.

Foam a bit more, you completely missed the point. Compared to swipe and leave [kudos on trimming the quotation to omit that part], chip + pin is onerous, but that doesn't mean that we should move to swipe and leave. There is more to choosing authorization mechanisms for payment cards than convenience.

But no, keep frothing, a bit more hyperbole. Sigh.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: So?

I don't normally ask for downvote explanations, but wtf? Am I missing something? In the US, you do just swipe your card, no PIN, no signature, no nothing. This is obviously a more convenient system for paying, but is also obviously insecure.

Point being, just because a country has a more convenient system of paying doesn't mean that every other country will flock to follow it, there are more reasons than convenience for using a payment method.

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Tom 38
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Re: So?

Compared to what they use in the US, chip and pin is an onerous and time consuming task. Type in a PIN or sign a bit of paper? Nope, just swipe the card and leave....

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It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

Tom 38
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My latest work dell (Latitude E7470) has a clit mouse and 3 mouse buttons above the trackpad and 2 mouse buttons below the trackpad. Keyboard is still rubbish for vim users though, the escape key is the size of a microdot.

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Oracle has to pay top sales rep stiffed out of $250,000, US court rules

Tom 38
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Re: I wonder if...

But Sales you want to be competitive. Because daily, they are going out and trying to snatch the meat from the jaws of your rivals. They're your front line. So you have a pay structure that rewards competitiveness.

Yeah but no. Sales people stealing leads from other sales people within the company? Extremely poor form. The only thing they should be competitive on is on how much new money/renewals they bring in, which is based upon how good at convincing the various people within the target company that the deal is good.

There is huge variance of luck involved, you are allocated leads and if the leads allocated to you are more likely to buy than the ones allocated to your colleague, you won't have to do as much work to land them. A sales person working hard should hit 100% of target; a sales person working hard and getting lucky might hit 900% of target; they aren't working 9 times as hard as the person hitting 100% of target, they just got lucky.

However spin that around; the one making 100% of target is working flat out to do that, because one of these days he's going to be the lucky one and have a massive quarter; it encourages them to all work like dogs.

And by work, I mean swan around drinking coffees and talking to people on the phone 24x7. I couldn't do it.

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Tom 38
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Re: Larry will sooner be shafted on a 50' pike than admit wrongdoing

Sure it's not his boats, islands, mansions and swimming pools of money keeping him afloat? If Oracle collapsed in a heap tomorrow, Larry would be just fine I think. Given he is 73 (lots of hair dye), I don't think he is too worried about how he will stay afloat in comfort until the end.

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Tom 38
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Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

But what happens to traffic generated before the VPN is established? Does it get routed insecurely, or is it blocked until the VPN is up?

Yes, insecurely, unfortunately. Same as if the VPN happens to disconnect temporarily, or you lose coverage, etc etc.

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Tom 38
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Black Helicopters

Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

I wish you could add a flag to a WiFi connection to say 'connect to this, but don't allow any traffic out until the VPN is up'

On my phone, I use VyprVPN client, it has a setting with a list of "trusted" wifi networks. If I connect to a wifi network not on the list, or over wireless data, it fires up the VPN. Choice of 10s of countries around the world to terminate in.

Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

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China's cybersecurity law grants government 'unprecedented' control over foreign tech

Tom 38
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Re: Just stop buying Chinese made kit...

won't stop them nicking evey bit of IP developed in the rest of the world and then suing the companies they nicked it from in China to stop them from using 'our Red Flag Developed IP illegally'

Shocking!

Also, identical to how the US used to behave; before they had much of their own IP, they thought using and abusing European IP was a-OK.

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Police deny Notting Hill Carnival face recog tech led to wrongful arrest

Tom 38
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And yet arrests per thousand attendees are higher at Glastonbury than at Notting Hill.

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Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

Tom 38
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Re: a matter of pride?

But injecting someone with a substance that they do not want to be injected with is assault. If it's done by the government, that's still assault.

This is really not that tricky a concept; in society, it is a dick move to endanger other people. Not vaccinating your spawn endangers other people. Don't be a dick.

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Tom 38
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Stop

Re: a matter of pride?

My kids are vaccinated, but I completely disagree with what is basically forced vaccination in some countries or states (eg California) with the excuse of "it's protecting everyone else", when that is not so clear-cut.

...

When I was young we weren't routinely given a measles vaccination. I caught it in my early teens, was home for a few days and was back on my feet without a problem. Most of my peers had it at one point or another and we just enjoyed the days out of school, got ourselves teh immunity and that was that.

This is why forced vaccination is required; even seemingly intelligent people have stupid reactions to things which are not in their area of expertise. Measles is an horrific disease which we have fought and beaten, solely due to vaccination - there is no cure for measles, and approximately 1 in 10,000 infections leads to a usually fatal form of the infection. Because of its extreme virulence, you need >95% of the population to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.

In the modern world, particularly the Americas, we'd managed to basically eradicate measles. In 1990, there were 218,000 cases in the Americas. This reduced to 1,700 in 2000, and only 66 cases in 2005. However, due to vaccination rates in newborns falling below 95%, in 2014 there were almost 20,000 cases. In 2015 globally there were over 134,000 measles deaths, with vaccinations preventing another estimated million deaths. Prior to vaccinations being introduced, it is estimated that 7-8 million children died from measles each year.

In 2014, there was an outbreak in the US traced to Disney theme parks in California, infecting 258 people. Of those people, 48% were not vaccinated, and 38% did not know if they were vaccinated.

Don't be a dick, get your kids vaccinated.

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Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

Tom 38
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Re: Please

I think the Sir Pterry logo should be just the words "Millenium Hand & Shrimp", and it would not be a selectable logo, but would instead be applied to whomever the community votes as their current Foul Old Ron, eg aManFromMars.

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Tom 38
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Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

Richard Coyle was an epic Albert Spangler/Moist von Lipwig, however the absolute standout from Going Postal was the inimitable Charles Dance as Vetinari.

I'd always fancied Rincewind as a younger Rhys Ifans; tall, thin, scraggly beard, early 30s in age, slight look of failed academia and desperation, not some bumbling old man who looked like he could barely run 5 metres before collapsing. A Rincewind that cannot run, oh my days...

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Tom 38
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Re: The Salmon of Doubt

Would you ignore the wishes of your parents on how they are buried / cremated etc after they are gone?

Maybe. Depends on what those wishes were. As it happens, as you say, after they are gone, their wishes don't really come in to it that much because there is no "them" anymore.

This actually has legal precedence, if the wishes of the deceased affect the living unduly, the executor can set them aside. Eg, you might want to be buried at sea in a burning Viking ship, but your executor may as easily decide to bury you in the local cemetery to save money.

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Tom 38
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Flame

Re: I'm touched by the weirdness of this request...

I would also like to put forward David Jason as Shadwell, I reckon he's made for the part

I would like to put forward David Jason for the Actor Who Most Destroyed Their Character award for his atrocious portrayal/betrayal of Rincewind.

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Samsung gains ground on smartphones

Tom 38
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Re: "some 90 MegaPhones in Q4, 2016."

Wireless charging - would not touch anything without it.

Isn't that the point?

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UK.gov to treat online abuse as seriously as IRL hate crime

Tom 38
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Re: Slippery slope?

It has to be hate specifically directed at a person because of their ownership/association of a protected characteristic

Case law would differ, R v Viscount St Davids, convicted of menacing communications for a post in a private facebook group of which the victim was not a member.

Although I guess not specifically a "hate crime"...

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Tom 38
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Re: TLA?

I didn't think hardcore members of the online gaming communities had any concept of 'RL'.

Sadly, there are at least 3 essential bodily functions that cannot be satisfactorily performed in the game yet; maybe one day as DLC..

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