* Posts by Terry 6

2201 posts • joined 31 Jul 2009

Sysadmin unplugged wrong server, ran away, hoped nobody noticed

Terry 6
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Re: its like the leads at the back of my desk at work.

You don't need house spiders to explain this - or rather, they don't explain it, because wire tangling is an essential property of the universe. If physicists weren't too busy messing around with trivia such as dark matter, string theory and quantum entanglement they'd be getting to the bottom of this. Cable entanglement is far more fundamental to understanding the universe. The real fundamental rule is that cable entanglement (e) = total mass of cable (t) multiplied by the square of the time unobserved (c). i.e. e=mc squared

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There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Terry 6
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Re: Yo Dabbsy

I wasn't sure, having lived in the South for so long. So I asked my sister - also in the South, but she has Manchester engraved on her heart. And "Train Station" it is. Because trains stop there. Railways don't. TBH mostly though, yes it's just the (or possibly name of place) station.

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Terry 6
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Dr Syntax. Agreed. The "unknown unknowns" strike again.

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Terry 6
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Re: Education is no longer designed to teach.

Precisely. For about two decades the school system has been getting narrower. Politicians deciding what needs to be taught, based on what they think is good for the working classes and what they learned at school 40 or 50 years ago.Then their imposing Behaviourist/rote teaching methods. All enforced by endless "high-stakes" testing.

So; knowing times tables is very useful - but not the best approach for all kids*. Not everyone learns well by rote. So sensibly teachers should teach it, and if it takes move on, If it doesn't there are other approaches. And maybe for some kids there could be a narrower or more limited focus - such as making sure they at least know multiples of the primes to 7 and how to work with them. . But instead kids now all have to sweat to learn tables to 12x12 for a government test. Teach and test because of the Behaviourism and control. 12x12 because that's what the politicians had to learn** in the days of £s Shillings and pence and feet and inches (when we needed those calculations)..

* The more pressure and anxiety there is to memorise something the harder it becomes to do so.

**This being El Reg someone will now write about how useful 12x12 can be for some obscure reason. But that's not the point.

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Two's company, Three's unbowed: You Brits will pay more for MMS snaps

Terry 6
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Which forces a depressing thought. There are suits who deliberately and openly ( at least with each other) are prepared to sit in a meeting and decide to behave in a way that almost all normal ( however that is defined) people would consider outrageously dishonest and disreputable. And somehow these parasites are able to sleep at night, presumably not seeing themselves as being little different from smugglers or fraudsters, other than that the law hasn't found a way to stop them yet. And that these are not even particularly exceptional since Bhopal, the Volkswagen emissions scandal, subprime loans, Tesco's accounting issues, the Ford Pinto and so on seem to suggest that they're all at it in their corporate office towers.

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Terry 6
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Re: Crazy Prices

When I first got a 3 contract I got hit with some charges. I think I sent a text to two people at once, something like that. And replied to a message with a photo, forgetting it was SMS not Watsapp they'd sent to me. After that I simply blocked any out-of-contract use.. Stuff 'em. These charges are just exploitation - an excuse to charge extra on the same service. I'm on a month-by-month contract. I'll switch after the Summer ( their definition of "Europe" for charging purposes is convenient). Trouble is they're all a bunch of ganefs. But I'll look around.

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BOFH: We know where the bodies are buried

Terry 6
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Sounds a good idea

But only if they actually want the company. If they just want the IP or to remove/replace a competitor and close the whole lot down this would be a bit of an open door.

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CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

Terry 6
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Deleting emails

Some folks seem to want to keep every email they've ever received, for ever, just in case. Others (mia culpe) hate having cluttered computers and delete them asap - though sometimes it means not having the email you do need. I had to force myself to be disciplined and keep some where I might need them for evidence/reference later. .But also to have filing rules that put the blessed things into appropriate folders. The e-mail hoarders, at least the ones I had to deal with, just let them lie where they fell.In a very long in-box folder.

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Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

Terry 6
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That's kind of what happens in an auction. The seller gets less than the buyer thinks the thing is worth. And the buyer pays more than the other buyers think it's worth. But the auction house rakes cash off both of them. This is called market economics.

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Terry 6
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Like most El Reg commentards

I never see adverts unless I deliberately allow some through to reward a favoured site. So I don't want bloody Facebook following me through the activities of my friends.

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Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

Terry 6
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Trollface

Just a thought. Cut out the middle persons. I bet the Kremlin has lots of good IT people and plenty of storage capacity and would offer a good deal for ready cash.

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Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

Terry 6
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Doctor Syntax Yes 100% true. It's an area I used to cover and experienced ( when I was receiving training ) in both parts of my work. Whether training teachers and support staff to help kids with learning blocks, or working with trainers who had to pass on instruction about how to use some new software package I had to put in a bit about making sure that every step was explicit. But it goes beyond that. I like reading books about (popular level) maths and science. But the books about maths almost always seem to lead me to a place where a sequence of steps is illustrated, and somewhere in the sequence I'll find myself scratching my head because there is a sudden jump from one line of calculation to the next, which is totally different, - and where it's within my capabilities I'll have to actually work through the calculations myself instead of just reading them. And inevitably there will be a line that's been omitted as (presumably) too obvious to include, as in a couple of pairs of terms that cancel out after a little bit of manipulation. It almost feels like a conjuring trick, sometimes. Except that it isn't intentional misdirection, just the writer doing that bit automatically in his head. I always told people I was training that "If you haven't said it they don't know it".

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Terry 6
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Re: subfolders hell

I seem to remember, some years ago now, I'm guessing Win 98 machine, deleting characters from within a file name until the name was short enough to delete the files. And it wasn't one file. But, in my memory at least, a job that seemed to take an awfully long time.

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Terry 6
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Doctor Syntax

I also note that some people showing users ( or running training) will omit steps, because they are "obvious." In reality they're only obvious to someone who if totally familiar with them.

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Terry 6
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Worse when they don't

My late mother bought a PC. But instead of asking me she asked a "friend"- and so called friend got her to buy a PCworld machine ( not too bad as it went) with a shit load of other crap she didn't need. Said friend then abused the machine for her own purposes. Nothing too terrible, but when I visited I spent most of a day clearing clutter, locking things down and putting an icon on the screen that said "help" and launched teamviewer.

My sister, who lives 5 minutes away got one of those scam "tech support" calls and let them into her machine.

Then, realising what she'd done took her machine to a local computer repair shop who replaced her HDD and lost all her data.

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'Well intentioned lawmakers could stifle IoT innovation', warns bug bounty pioneer

Terry 6
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well intentioned lawmakers could stifle innovation.

Agreed. yes Pleeeease.

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It's April 2018, and we've had to sit on this Windows 10 Spring Creators Update headline for days

Terry 6
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Re: Revamped user interface

Well, the Win 7 start menu needed some improvements. It's just that the Win 8.x fiasco and the ghastly Win 10 fudge has made us forget it's faults. The 7 start menu needed to be made easier to organise for a start. Instead they made it hard-to-impossible. F***ing idiots.

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Terry 6
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If

If they're making sure it all works well before they release it that's to the good. Previous updates have proven dodgy. Sometimes failing. Other times installing but failing to admit it's installed and trying over and over again..

Personally I'd be pleased if they just provided error messages that had useful information. There's something about an error message for a failed install that decodes along the lines of " installation failed to instal because there was a problem installing it..." that is somewhat infuriating.

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'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Terry 6
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My kids, both young voters, would like election material from local candidates. Especially the younger one, who's only recently eligible .

OTOH we've lived in this house from before they were born ( so over 20 years) and we still get post for previous residents occasionally.

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Terry 6
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Re: Dear valued donor...

Nice idea auto-recycling.

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Total WIPOut: IT chief finds his own job advertised

Terry 6
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Re: Anyone doing any actual work there?

tip pc

I think you've pinpointed the problem. In any international organisation where a significant proportion of member states see corruption as being a way of life there is very little chance that the oversight is going to be honest, (ditto for enforcing employment rules etc) and the result is that the management is not going to be kept honest. You can't accuse them of hypocrisy at least. It's clearly a case of " Do as I do."

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It's April 2018 – and Patch Tuesday shows Windows security is still foiled by fiendish fonts

Terry 6
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I don't want to be in the Microsoft Haters group but...

It seems that month by month there is nothing that Microsoft does that doesn't make me even more fed up by their failures. In all the various versions of Windows they haven't found a way to keep resources ( fonts, images etc) separated from and behaving in ways that can interfere with functional components.

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Fear the Reaper: Man hospitalised after eating red hot chilli pepper

Terry 6
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Mushroom

Re: Not the worst of it

Oh dear. yes. a few years back having pizza at one of those places that has a pot of dried chillies on the table. And at some point I needed a wee. And made the awful error of not remembering to wash hands first. Ouch.

As an undergrad at Bradford Uni a good curry meant "burnt at both ends". But as noted with the YMMV, when, in my second year I had a curry with some Birmingham students on a visit I made there they kept boasting/warning me how hot their curries were. I found mine surprisingly mild so I spooned some chilli powder on. Then I noticed that the table had gone silent. They were all staring at me, blowing through their mouths and making panting noises, while turning red.

In Bradford we often got these "macho" types of visitor who announced they could eat the hottest curry there was. We always tried to discourage them, genuinely. Telling them to go for something mild. But usually we failed. (Though sometimes, if the were really obnoxiously boastful about what they thought they could take, we'd deliberately start to make it sound like a challenge.) And enjoyed the fun. To put that in context; in my first term I did the inevitable visit to the campus GP, who had a stack of prescriptions ready written, followed by a visit to the chemist shop, who had a large box of brown bottles (Kaolin I think) ready....

Icon appropriated for this topic....

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Please no Basic Instinct flashing, HPE legal eagles warn staffers

Terry 6
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Re: Sounds like...

The sad thing is that 20 years on these things still need to be said.

Sadder still is how many teachers over the last couple of decades have had to sit through presentations by highly paid government and local authority approved external " trainers " that fail to meet these simple rules.Sometimes delivering an officially designed "training package". There probably isn't a teacher in the land that hasn't come out of several of these sessions over a number of years feeling truly gob-smacked at the appalling PowerPoint presentations packed with dozens of complicated, difficult to see, slides- full of lines and lines of print, read out to them word-by-word, and full of newly-minted acronyms that are never explained, in a monotone by a power-dressed trainer who has clearly no idea of what goes on in a real classroom and who isn't able to offer any evidence to support the assertions that the teachers are required to use in their practice.

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GoDaddy told off for reeling in punters with 'misleading' prices

Terry 6
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Re: Welcome to U.S. marketing practices

The UK version ( UK commentards are only too familiar with this) is that a campaign is occasionally ruled illegal some time after it has already ended. And that's all. More often than not the the merest excuse is sufficient to find that "oh no they didn't mislead the public" because obviously no one would really believe that claim and anyway they had the truth on the bottom of the second page in yellow print on a pale green background".."

There are some very tightly defined adverting rules. But these don't seem to apply to business models invented later than about 1980.

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Terry 6
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Re: Wider picture

Err. By the regulator's official view of what is acceptable, I meant.

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Terry 6
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Wider picture

ISP and hosting services have been getting away with misleading pricing adverts for years and it's considered acceptable. Whenever a service is advertised in big print as being at a very low price but the smaller writing says it's for a short period at the start of an annual contract it's misleading.* Otherwise why would they do it like that?

*They may be charging 10p a month for the first three months. But since the customer is committed to the contract all they are doing is redistributing the annual cost.

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Take the dashboard too literally and your brains might end up all over it

Terry 6
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Data sources

Unless the "dashboard" is actually tied to a flow of realtime data the information is going to be an approximation. I know nothing of measuring systems and automated data collection. But I know a lot about people supplying data that is fed into systems. First off, you can't rely on the data being complete when it was input. And if the data recording system rejects inputs that are incomplete someone is going to "fix" it by adding a few extra numbers. Next some of the data points may well have been guesses by any of the string of people who did the original data collection, because they lost/couldn't read the original information. Then there is rounding error caused by not bothering to actually look at the digits properly. (Remember £9.99 = £9.00 in real life). And finally there is polishing of data. Which can be consciously trying to make data look better or unconsciously giving the benefit of the doubt. The best (worst) example of the latter was many years ago when primary schools first started collecting attainment data. In one school the information passed on about a class made no sense. The levels of reading at age 8 didn't seem to match those from age 7. Discussing these with the previous year's teacher and it became apparent that she'd "fixed" the data to match what she thought they should show. She even said things like "Well X is brighter then Y but they both came up as 2s so I've made her a 3".

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There are 10 types of people in the world, but there is only one Melvyn

Terry 6
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Unhappy

Not great for car radio

I really ought to listen to these podcasts. I only ever seem to hear bits of IoT/Monkey Cage etc. I don't know why it is but they always seem to begin on R4 a few minutes before I start a car journey or end a few minutes after I get out.

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Manchester Arena attack: National Mutual Aid Telephony system failed

Terry 6
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Re: Outsourcing

And that's the point. The gap between buying in specialised services or components that you can't realistically provide yourself and buying everyday services in from a supplier who can somehow provide these things at less than it would cost you while paying the extra admin/management costs and making a profit on top. If they are that much cheaper then someone somewhere is cutting corners.

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Terry 6
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Re: @hans neeson

to allow a company to focus on its core business,

When companies say that they often seem to be breaking their routine process into a set of discrete activities then elect to label some as non-core, as far as I can see. It's less about buying in gear boxes and more about getting rid of the wages department. Which is fine if a payroll company can do the job cheaper, I guess. Until the staff don't get paid. Because cheaper isn't always better.

(Wife works for local authority who outsourced pay to our old Friend Crapita with the usual outcome).

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Terry 6
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Unbelievable

Contractor ( in this case the government) pays a company to provide a service. Said company then pays another company (some of the money) to do the work. Which raises all sorts of questions, including;

1.) Who was responsible for quality control?

2.) How was it specified?

3.) How was the contract priced if the subcontractor could ( in theory at least) do it cheaper - and cheaper to the extent that it could support not just one, but two sets of management and profit? and so

3a) Was there a fair competition to get the initial contract and

3b) How did the subcontractor get the job? On what basis?

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Meet the open sorcerers who have vowed to make Facebook history

Terry 6
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Pure nonsense

The point about Facebook is that it's ubiquitous. How it works is of no relevance. It's a big space that people use. And they are not bothered by how it works, at any level. But the fact that anyone can access it, and be seen by anyone they want ( or don't for that matter) is its sole purpose. Whether the general public will continue to value it enough to sell their souls to it is another question. But no local, small scale start-up will provide what the public want from it.

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Five things you need to know about Microsoft's looming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Terry 6
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Re: 'A Microsoft spokesperson refused to tell us what was actually arriving in the Spring release'

We've (several of us) said that here in El Reg too.

Most people have no use for a proper computer of any sort. Unless they are doing office work, in which case a decent keyboard, HDD and screen are important, they just need a tablet or phone. Which is fine for sending emails, posting cat videos, revealing their secrets on Facepalm and storing their family photos. And probably safer in terms of not losing the contacts and photos when the device dies or gets pinched. Being in the cloud this is perfect for photos that will never be backed up.

But that does not mean that people's proper PCs and software can be treated like tablets with "apps".

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Terry 6
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Re: This Timeline thing

No. The point about Journal was that it worked and was useful. So they removed it. I found it really useful, years ago, in Office 2003 I think. It was the fall back when someone couldn't find a document. Search and for that matter the Start menu's search rely on knowing what the thing is called. But document ( and programme ) makers don't always choose sensible, function related, names.

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Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser

Terry 6
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Re: Fucking idiots

I had another go at leaving that accursed programme last night. But dammit, the calendar thing has me pinned. It's the one way I've found that keeps my calendar synchronised across PC/laptop/tablet/phone. And it can't synchronise calendars with it's "big brother" programme -Outlook 2010.

The email and contacts are no problem. Thunderbird does fine for the rest of the family

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Terry 6
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Re: When you have exhausted all legitimate ways to show growth...

I think you've nailed the point. So many users thinks it's just " the internet" and are barely, if at all, aware that they use a browser. To users the browser is no more than a frame round the outside of the Amazon page (or the office intranet). These are the same people that we've quoted here, so many times, who call us because "The email isn't working" ( BSOD) and call the thing with pictures "the computer" and the box that does the computing "the hard drive".

Hobbyhorse moment coming......

All those people who complained that ICT in schools was rubbish, because it just showed kids how to use WORD and they needed to be taught to code were far off the mark IMO. ICT needed to teach kids how computers worked, what they could do, how they did it (including how to use OFFICE/Windows/LINUX etc.) and what the implications are for how we live our lives. Actually writing code should be a small, but interesting, part. Knowing what happens to your data is far more essential.

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Terry 6
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Re: Perfect timing

The Windows Mail App and calendar app are so shitty they beggar belief. I'm sort of tied into these on one home machine, at least until I have time and not too may events, and can switch because I started to use them to see what they were like compared to Outlook, because Thunderbird just isn't great with calendar integration and functionality.. Somehow, though the calendar app contain two versions of the account. One shares events with proper Outlook. One doesn't ( It'll import from Outlook, but not export to it). There doesn't seem to be any easy way to tell which is which. But once you start getting appointments in the wrong one it gets hard to go back. Someone got paid for writing that shit.

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British Level 4 driverless pods are whizzing along ... er, a London path

Terry 6
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Devil

Re: Pedestrians Getting in the Way

"but they risk cyclists hitting them, shouting at them, or just pushing them out of the way."

Which is what happens on the pavement where I live!

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Terry 6
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Yay, way to go. Brick Lane - not merely bearded hipster millennials, but tourists in narrow lanes. All thinking the road is a kind of fringe at the side of the pavement.

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Terry 6
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Thank you Dr. Syntax. Has the article writer actually been on/near a British road recently. Never mind "some of the roads". My part of North London (not even in the worst three according to today's news) is a network of holes connected by patches of tarmac.

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Brit retailer Currys PC World says sorry for Know How scam

Terry 6
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Re: I asked why did I need a recovery on a new laptop.

I don't know who thinks themselves " l33t" these days. Pretty bloody pretentious self-regarding term even a few years back IMHO.

And even a moderately techie minded person can make their own image with readily available free, easy to use tools (Macrium etc).

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Terry 6
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Re: Bought laptop from Dell online - pre-configured with Linux

Gotta watch our for John Lewis price match. It may have changed, but they hd a habit, a few years back, of using their own models numbers for the same item. As in, we can't price match the W11zzB model because we are selling the ( identical ) WW11zzA model.

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Maplin shutdown sale prices still HIGHER than rivals

Terry 6
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Two of us have said this;

"Your contract is with the seller, not the manufacturer. Any warranty offered by the manufacturer continues to exist but that is separate to your statutory rights.".

I've quoted the other person's. That person got no votes, up or down. I got a down vote. For stating the simple truth. In the UK you have a contract, a civil contract, with the supplier. When that contract fails, because the supplier ceases to trade, you become just another creditor. And since the hierarchy of creditors runs, insolvency practice, government, preferred lenders (banks etc), everyone else there is little chance of getting redress from the insolvent supplier. You join the back of the queue.

Unless you have a manufacturer's warranty that gives you the same protection ( it's unlikely to offer yo a refund). You can claim on a credit card against the card issuer if you paid for part or all of the item by card.

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Terry 6
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Re: In a complete about face...

Statutory warranty. Not in that sense. There are strong protections about the durability and fit-for-purpose of the goods. But the contract is with the retailers ( and/or credit card company where applicable). If the retailer goes the warranty goes. Unless the manufacturer chooses to give a warranty.

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Terry 6
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Closing down sales

This does seem to be a thing. When stores or chains close the closing down sales seem, these days, to be no more than a come-on to sell more stuff at high prices before the doors close. I've assumed that the idea is to make as much profit as they can from the gullible, then move the remainder to a factor who will just take it off their hands for a guaranteed price.

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Windows Mixed Reality: Windows Mobile deja vu?

Terry 6
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Re: Just the usual then ....

Of course that's also part of my anger with Microsoft - on top of Ribbon, advertising/data collection, Win 8.x, hiding and splitting up control panel items, default actual folders for user data placed in virtual folders then buried in with system folders in "Documents and Setting" as if these were compatible items, the Win10 version of a Start menu and omitting Publisher from Home and Student versions of Office, (like home users don't need to make greeting cards and posters etc). That they created this mobile platform with much fanfare, made it nice to use with plenty of useful features then instead of improving it over time they seem to have vandalised it. The early version of Windows Mobile had network support, which was very useful, so they removed it. The later versions of WinPhone were in a world where people wanted "apps" so they went out of their way to discourage producers instead of making sure they could provide them. They bought Nokia's phone line then priced it so that there were horrible cheap versions and expensive overpriced versions, but nothing in between until it was too late. Dammit, when they have a good product they seem determined to f*ck it up. And when they have a crap product they seem determined to force it on everybody.

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Terry 6
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Re: Just the usual then ....

No Daniel B. If you haven't noticed there are plenty of us, not by any means generally Microsoft fans, who really liked our Windows phones and egret their passing. Basically, those who actually used the things, instead of carping ( or crapping) from the side lines liked them.

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