* Posts by not.known@this.address

265 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009


Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

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Re: Actually...

You can blame the beancounters, not the Tories - they're mostly innocent for a change.

"Look, you can save all this Pension and National Insurance money if we outsource" is a powerful motivator to someone eager to make their mark in history. Just ignore the increased cost in time and money from all those extra layers of bureaucracy and bulls***...

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

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Wasn't it Du Quesne's whatsitron (or itaintsotron) interacting with Seaton's magically shrinking coating that powered the bathtub?

IIRC, Crane was only there because he was (a) Seaton's friend and (b) incredibly rich. ;-)

Oracle's in-house lawyer denied access to Uncle Sam's procurement docs in JEDI legal battle

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Black Helicopters

How does the DoD ever get any work done?

With lawyers needed due to Boeing suing every time they lose a contract bid and now this, how much longer can the DoD keep going?

Is this anything to do with them suddenly telling Croatia they can only have F16s with American avionics aboard - are they that short of a few dimes? I mean, I knew they'd wasted a lot of money that should have been spent on the armed forces in fighting Boeing over the tanker and helicopter contracts but has it really got that bad?

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

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Re: Environmental Protestors?

Can you imagine what most people will do if they/we get our hands on the person or persons behind this?

I haven't personally been directly affected by this but if it was my holiday being ruined by some [expletive deleted] then I wouldn't be adverse to showing my unhappiness through physical means. And with the number of people who have been affected being enough to fill over 800 aircraft, that's an awful lot of unhappiness.

And you wonder why they want to stay anonymous?

Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot

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Re: Great Scott!

"'a queer'? Nice one, bigot."

Dangerous opinion here, but why do you let silly people calling you names hurt you so much? Just ignore them, they aren't worth getting upset over. I was crap at sports at school and wore glasses, so you should be able to work out what my childhood was like most of the time.

I didn't go crying to teacher every time someone called me a nasty name, I IGNORED THEM. It's only words and if you refuse to let them get to you then guess what? You can survive. You will survive. Even if they refuse to use your real name, calling you whatever makes them "happy", let them get on with it. Their words do not make you any more or less valuable as a member of society, it just shows them up as small-minded bullies.

We don't need laws and committees to stop verbal abuse, we just need to show the "victims" that they are not the ones with a problem.

When selling security awareness training by email, probably a good shout not to hit 'reply all'

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They let him loose on customers BEFORE his own training?

Barn door, meet horse... oh, too late.

Congrats to Debbie Crosbie: New CEO at IT meltdown bank TSB has unenviable task ahead

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Here's a suggestion...

Keep local branches open and have site-specific databases for all customers within 25 miles which communicate with the Head Office DB but can run in local-only mode when the link goes down.

This would have the benefits of customers being able to get their money when the comms go down again, and would increase local employment because they would need to re-employ all those counter staff they have laid off recently.

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

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Big Brother

Re: Implanting chips in employees

David, nobody that will admit to it - although I know of at least one company where the Desktop Support Manager looked quite impressed with the idea of being able to chip "his" staff - although he didn't seem so keen when I suggested if it was good enough for us, maybe he should have one too....

Scare Force: Pakistan military hit by Operation Shaheen malware

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Re: A nuclear risk, certainly

He's been "in charge of the big red button" for some time now and has managed to resist the urge to press it.

Yikes. UK military looking into building 'fully autonomous' killer drone tech – report

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Re: Missiles, Torpedoes, Mines etc.

So what does this mean for all the WW2 mines getting caught in fishing nets or washing up on beaches?

At least a drone can be programmed to look for specific targets like AFVs before attacking. The old mines breaking or being dragged free as their chains rust away may as well be addressed "To Whom It May Concern"...

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

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"We don't have any tech that aliens want"

Just because we seem to think science advances at the same speed in all disciplines doesn't mean any prospective aliens would agree - if they only have shallow oceans then they would never develop submarines, and if they are vegetarian then they might not have developed any weaponry since few plants run away...

US government charges two Chinese spies over jet engine blueprint theft

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Um, no. The Concorde had, like all commercial jets at the time, that strange invention called a Flight Engineer who did all the hard work at his panel at the back of the cockpit while Captain Speaking and First Officer Here flew the jet (or at least backed up the analogue - not digital! - autopilot)...

They might have fitted DECU later but the Olympus originally flew without...

Mine's the one with "Coneheads forever" patches...

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Re: The US government should fund 'fake plans'

They did - it's called the F-35. Unfortunately someone forgot to tell Blockhead Martin and friends it was all a scam.

And now it's an even bigger scam.

Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex

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Demons are a ghouls best friend

You lot are all going to be laughing on the other side of your faces if any of the religions are right, you do realise that don't you?

Or better yet (or worse, depending on your point of view) - what if that "quantum theory" thing that allows every possible universe to exist in parallel is true? That would mean that not only do some gods exist, but ALL OF THEM do!

Blasphemy is so much more fun when you have an infinite number of deities to annoy...

Britain's rail ticket-booking systems go TITSUP*

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"Stop using cash. We have all these wonderful electronic systems for your comfort and convenience"

Okay so I'm paraphrasing a bit, but my local stations are all trying to phase out cash transactions as quickly as they can and force everyone to use electronic payment systems.

Most of my travel is on one network but my 'home' station is on another; as a result, I can't use any sort of discounts or their equivalent to the Oyster card because ONE station is part of "the Opposition"s network unless I buy at my DESTINATION station. I've tried paying on the train but apparently the remote terminals can't cope with anything except tickets at full price, so I have to hope the ticket office is open in the evening and that the queue isn't so long I miss the train home and have to wait nearly an hour for the next...

Add to that the fact that my rail ticket is approaching the cost of the petrol to drive in for the week (it started off at about 20% of the cost!) and the rail company is looking increasingly likely to lose my business...

'BMW, Airbus and Siemens' get the Brexit spending shakes

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BMW and Airbus have more to worry about...

It's all very well these companies threatening to pull out completely, but there is a reason they were so keen to buy up and asset-strip part or all of their British competitors - they may have moved nearly all the manufacturing work away from the UK but most of the designers still live and work over this side of the Channel.

Once Macron and the other short-sighted feudal dictators have kicked all the Uk-sians off the mainland, who is going to still be there to come up with the new stuff for the tech companies to produce?

On a slightly related matter, why does Macron think he can threaten to deport all Brit ex-pats from France but then expect us to treat French people over here with kid gloves? Why can't we all just act like grown-ups and behave nicely rather than acting like a playground bully upset because someone dares to suggest a Federated States of Europe might not be what we want to be part of?

Tech world mulls threat as new round of US China trade tariffs looms

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Foot, meet bullet

Here's a thought - if these companies had spent less time trying to squeeze every penny saving from their suppliers, they wouldn't be totally dependent on China for the vast majority of their manufacturing. And since most of them are also heavily invested (or, more accurately, *not* invested!) in Lean Manufacturing and Just-In-Time ordering, it's not like they have any stockpiles they can fall back on is it?

It's big, it's blue, and it'll be raining down on you – it's 3200 Phaethon

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Problem solved...

It's the Hellik Olav.

(just so long as Balor isn't a member of the crew...)

US and UK Amazon workers get a wage hike – maybe they'll go to the movies, by themselves

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Re: I Say!

"the rest of" the UK is inferred even if not explicitly stated.

UK.gov asks biz for ideas on how to 'overcome' data privacy concerns in NHS

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Lost in translation... what they really mean.

"...digital tools or solutions that can be used to improve healthcare provision or clinical decision-making..." means empowering beancounters and Manglement to overturn whatever the medical staff say and order the cheapest possible option ('improve healthcare provision') without having to go through the long and dreary hassle of building up the real-world knowledge and experience that would make them capable of safely controlling someone's healthcare ('clinical decision-making').

"...patient-led management..." means allowing the patient to decide what they think is best for them - so the NHS bill for painkillers and methadone will skyrocket in the short term and then tail off as the patients medicate themselves into drug-induced comas and shortly thereafter remove themselves from the NHS lists by overdosing. And it also means hospitals no longer need to employ Doctors on vastly inflated salaries* because the patients, in collaboration with the beancounters and manglement, will be controlling their own care.

*Your definition of "vastly inflated" probably differs somewhat from that of a politician...

Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

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Re: The future is coming!

Pete 2, most of the banks support REMAINING IN the EU so would be doing all they can to publicise that aspect of things if that was their aim.

But as they want people to forget that it's the oh-so-smart, oh-so-wonderful banking institutions that have been responsible for every financial collapse since they were allowed to set their own rules, they will carry on doing everything they can to minimise publicity while maximising profit.

Just like normal.

Sunny Cali goes ballistic, this ransomware is atrocious. Even our IT bill will be something quite ferocious

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Black Helicopters

"Never forget your (insert name of weapon system here) was made by the lowest bidder"

"The US Navy does not strike me as the kind of organization that will hook into civilian IT for potential cost savings"

Tell me honestly, Pascal - did you manage to say that without laughing? If the Congresscritters thought it would save a few cents they would probably demand the Navy manage with a couple of abacuses between the fleets...

Braking bad: Mitsubishi recalls 68k SUVs over buggy software

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What did we do before they invented ABS?

Oh that's right, we had to keep our eyes open and think about how fast we were going and what was in front of us... So while the silicon brain is having a hissyfit and not doing what it should be, what the heck is the meatsack behind the steering wheel doing?

I can see the ABS locking might be a bit of a problem since the car might skid but are people really relying completely on the automatics to do their braking for them? If they can't control their vehicle then they shouldn't be trusted to drive it... well, aim it anyway. It really doesn't sound like they are driving at all...

Brexit campaigner AggregateIQ challenges UK's first GDPR notice

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retroactive lawmaking at it's finest.

Wasn't there some sort of protection against being prosecuted if there was clear evidence that the law you "broke" was invented *after* you committed your crime?

Or do the (literally) "Get Out Of Jail Free" rules only apply if you are a politician or a Big Business?

iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

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Re: Slavish followers

Um, I wonder if Apple ever heard of the De Havilland Comet jet airliner?

Rounding corners to relieve stress is NOT a new innovation and as an apprentice I was taught to drill small holes before cutting material to prevent stress building up in sharp corners.

I also like the revisionist history of the PC as well - although my colleagues didn't really appreciate my splorting coffee all over the desk...

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

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Black Helicopters

"Press 'F1' to Continue" and "Click 'OK' to continue"

IBM PCs and their "Keyboard not found - press F1 to continue" and its very irritating cousin "Mouse not found, click 'OK' to continue" are funny on the way that clonking your funnybone or touching an HT lead when messing around under your car bonnet with the engine running, is funny. As in, you have to laugh because screaming obscenities loudly is not considered acceptable behaviour in the modern work environment.

As the OP has obviously never experienced either of those errors, we should take pity on him or her and explain that you could swap the "broken" keyboard or mouse to another PC and all would be fine on that one, and the keyboard or mouse that had been working without problem 'over there' would also give the same error when attached to the offending machine.

As a Conehead in a previous life, I found percussive maintenance often resolved the issue...

Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

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Re: Foul Language?

Since we swear like [EXPLETIVE DELETED] sailors, I really, really want to know what you ****'d out!

Flippin' heck, just previewed this reply and I see No20's been at it again. Pinback, put the Beachball down!

Techie sues ex-bosses, claims their AI avatar tech was faked – and he was allegedly beaten up after crying foul

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Re: Needs work

"Also, what if the user is in fact a ghast? That's an untapped market."

I see a Gug, I see a Ghast, is Lovecraft now mainstream? At last!

(Drat, I wanted a Shoggoth but all I got was this giant penguin. Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!)

UK.gov ploughs cash into creaky police technology

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Yes, *UK* Police

Once the Thin Blue Line in the rest of the UK realises how easy this will make the lives of their English compatriots, they will be falling over themselves to adopt it. Well, the men and women who join up in a desire to make the country a nice, safe for the rest of us to live in possibly not so much, but certainly those holding the purse-strings.

No need to talk to the public any more, just direct them to the online reporting system. So no need to have all those police stations cluttering up the cityscapes, sell them off and put the criminals under house arrest since we've got no cells. And if we can do it for the less-serious crims, then we can extend it to the slightly worse ones. And when that doesn't go too wrong*, we can expand the scope a little further. Then we can sell off all the prisons as well. And build a few new golf courses and country clubs.

*Care in the community is the prime example of this - when it works, it's a good thing. Unfortunately not everybody is able to behave in the manner necessary to live in a relatively uncontrolled environment.

Boffins build a NAZI AI – wait, let's check that... OK, it's a grammar nazi

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Re: The problem

What Spanner said.

And how is it going to cope when it starts coming across things like quotations in foreign languages? Convert them to English even if the whole point of it being there is to inform the reader that the speaker *might not* be an honest, deity-fearing English Gentleman but could be one of them damn furriners in dsguise...

It's bad enough I have to suffer spiel chuckers that try to change every spelling to Leftpondian without them starting on grammar and sentence structure too.

Here's a really radical idea - how about teaching children how to do this properly at school, rather than filling their heads with trendy nonsense like phonetics to teach spelling.

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

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Re: This smells like BS.

Steve Button,

I have. Especially after we had a large number of calls from one of the buildings we looked after where a large number of PCs were suddenly crashing and some were not rebooting.

It turned out that two of "our" onsite engineers were doing PAT testing and hadn't thought about all the possible effects of pulling the plugs without shutting the machines down first. After that, we made sure to shut everything down before letting them loose - even after their Manager gave them a rather stern talking-to.

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Re: One move and we shoot


aka sacking, meaning retirement benefits are void

In a civilised society, that can't happen except for gross indecency or criminality..

(end quote)

It's amazing how one person's "extremely serious misuse of corporate IT facilities" is another person's "nothing to see here, move along" when They decide They want to get rid of you... and when They have a ££££s/hr lawyer and you have yourself it's quite likely the outcome will NOT be in your favour.

Industrial tribunals aren't any help when They define "Gross Misconduct" as "ever used any computer at your place of work for anything at all not directly work related" when They know the Client site you worked at specifically allowed such use outside of working hours, and that you *and all your colleagues* did so... Strangely, none of my ex-colleagues were dismissed, even those who had been downloading American movies and TV shows before their European release date or who had large amounts of, um, dubiously-sourced music on their work PC... "That will be investigated separately and has no bearing on your case", I was told. By said ££££s/hr lawyer.

But then none of my colleagues had been TUPE'd across from the same original employer, and my Ts&Cs (and salary) where somewhat better than theirs... although I never did figure out quite how they found that out.

Crooks swipe plutonium, cesium from US govt nuke wranglers' car. And yes, it's still missing

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Unmarked cases stolen froman SUV in a hotel car park?

Wow - never saw that one coming. Expensive (or just expensive-looking) cases unattended in a car park over night got stolen?

I can only imagine the disappointment on their faces when they realised it wasn't stuff they could easily sell on... it's probably been dumped somewhere as they couldn't sell it. Either that, or "Here ya go Meemaw, a nice shiny rock for your mantelpiece!"...

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

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There is a bit more to it than a few sums, and I think people would rather be late to their destination than Late as in "the Late DentArthurDent".

They could, of course, go back to the old-fashioned way of doing the load calcs but (a) it would take longer, (b) people would need to remember how to do real mathematics instead of just typing in numbers and (c) people might realise automating everything might not be such a really good idea after all...

Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech

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Just a thought or two.

If a fax goes from your machine to the destination machine down a phone line, how easy is it to intercept?

How many Viruses are spread via fax machines?

If a scanned document goes out over the Internet via email, how easy is it to intercept?

How many viruses are spread via emails?

I see you're trying to leak a file! US military seeks Clippy-like AI to stop future Snowdens

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"I'm sorry Citizen, you'r not cleared for that!"

What happens when The Computer decides the dumb meatsacks cannot be trusted with any of it and withholds ALL access?

Alpha Complex, here we come...

Every step you take: We track you for your own safety, you know?

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Re: Corporate Security

I Upvoted you as you've identified a good use for the App and related systems - I suspect the downvoters are either too cynical and paranoid (yes, such *is* possible) to understand that everything (even politicians and Big Brother apps like this) can have a positive use or are Management types who don't want the plebs thinking they should be getting anything good at all out of this.

You can get "card protectors" that (allegedly) stop people activating your contactless cards - does anyone make pouches that do the same for Smartphones?

IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

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Big Brother

The 'other way' is even worse...

Many years ago, we had a visit from some of the higher-ups normally based Oop Narth.

It's a bit unnerving for a relatively young Desktop Support technician to be recognised by the 3rd most powerful man in the UK organisation with the words "Oh that was *you*, was it?"...

Cops: Autonomous Uber driver may have been streaming The Voice before death crash

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As seen in *which* Air France crash?

The one where the autopilot incorrectly interpreted an approach path into a forest as an approach path into an airport?

The one where an airliner stalled because the pitot tubes iced over, the pilots failed to understand how slowly they were flying and the autopilot handed control over to the meatsacks because it thought they had a better idea of what was going on?

The one where they lost a Concorde, crew and passengers because the accountants refused to fit fuel tank liners?

There is no excuse for not paying attention to the road if you are driving, or even if you are "only" providing a safety backup to an automated system. But if you really think automated systems *always* stopping if an obstacle doesn't move is a good idea, I hope you never meet a Bad Guy standing in the middle of the road in the middle of the night...

Audi chief exec arrested over Dieselgate car emissions scandal

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Bureaucracy rules...

Can anyone explain the "logic" behind emissions tests which require an infernal combustion engine - either petrol or diesel - to be stuck in a small area with no through-flow of air for cooling while the tester has to rev the guts out of it? Cos as well as no cooling (which isn't good for the car or the environment), there's also nothing moving all those nasty emissions away from the poor buggers doing the testing, and the (audio) volume in the enclosed space is not going to do their hearing much good either - they can't wear ear defenders as you need one to thrash the engine while another reads the test machine and the two need to be able to shout to each other...

And shouldn't someone be liable to refund us for the fuel wasted whilst our vehicles are mistreated like this just so some pencil-neck can claim to care about the environment?

Cloud-in-a-box? Bo-ring! How about cloud-in-a-tank?

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Re: I'm likely being highly ignorant....

Korev asked

"Which shell do you think they'd use?"

APFSDSDUBSOD? (Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot Depleted Uranium Blue Screen Of Death)

Computer Misuse Act charge against British judge thrown out

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Black and white or various shades of grey?

I always thought the Computer Misuse Act was pretty clear - if you had no legal reason to access something on a computer, it would be illegal for you to do so. It's like a speed limit - either you stick at or below the limit and within the law, or you break the limit and the law.

How long until we see prosecutions for speeding thrown out because the driver was only above the limit for 9 minutes?

Maybe the judge who made this somewhat misguided decision should reconsider the precedent he is setting?

Astroboffins trace mysterious noise from hard rock in space

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Monotonous background noise in outer space?

Oh great, they've discovered Space Elevator Music...

Or is it Erich Zahn just getting started?

England's top judge lashes out at 'Science Museum' grade court IT

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There is at least one big advantage to hardcopy.

It's a lot harder to pretend you actually said something else when it's printed out and anyone can read it...

Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions

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Re: Lira?

You beat me to it! We probably shouldn't Panda to bad jokes though....


You lot are much Brava than me...

Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

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see also PEBCAM/PEBMAC (Problem exists between Chair and Monitor / Monitor And Chair) for display-related issues and the "ID-ten-T" error for problems that are due to neither hardware or software issues.

Tor-forker Joshua Yabut cuffed for armoured personnel carrier joyride

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El Reg 1, world media 0

M577 is the Tactical Operations Center command variant of the M113.

It is NOT a fscking tank!

It's less of a threat than if the muppet had stolen a Caterpillar digger or bulldozer and gone on a rampage with that.

Calm your conspiracy theories, latest glimpse reveals Planet Nine may just be a pipe dream

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Eat your heart out, Copernicus - the Flat-Earthers were right!

There is no ninth planet, and certainly no tenth. And no intelligent life outside the solar system. I know this cos my mate told me last night.

Yuggoth is a small town outside Guildford, right?

'Moore's Revenge' is upon us and will make the world weird

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Re: Getting more and more off topic ...

Charles 9, you obviously live near some interesting motorways/freeways... the ones I am familiar with only have one slip road or on/off-ramp at a time, there are no 4-way-stops when vehicles are (legally) doing 50-70mph.

Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

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You-all might be joking but I wouldn't be totally surprised if they did end up blaming GDPR. If this doesn't affect the rest of the planet then someone's gonna have to find something else pretty damn interesting to blame...


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