* Posts by Alien8n

832 posts • joined 15 May 2007

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Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

Alien8n
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Alien

Letters to Iwo Jima

I liked the fact that the black actor's union (can't remember the actual name of it) in America tried to call Clint Eastwood racist for not having any black actors in his film. His response? There were no black soldiers in the battle, so there's no black actors in the film. One guy who's more than happy to let historical accuracy stay ahead of political correctness...

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Cloud iTunes DESTROYS music business FOREVER!

Alien8n
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Alien

That's not large

I think I left school with around 100 albums, 50 CDs and close to 300 cassette tapes. A further 20 years of music collection and I'm now close on 2000 albums with everything from classic rock from the 60's through to the latest death metal with everything from irish folk to drum and bass mixed in. Mind, it also helps that I'm about to start up a local metal disco, so having such a wide ranging taste in music is a good thing there :) Just because a few people only like 5 or 6 bands at a time doesn't mean everyone can only listen to 5 or 6 bands. My iPhone must have at leat 30 different bands on it right now, one or 2 albums from each (Iron Maiden being the exception, every album on there).

When your collection is basically music from the last 40 years a single band can add over 20 albums straight away.

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Virgin Media TV Powered by TiVo

Alien8n
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Alien

Land of the free?

You're talking about the USA, where everything is more expensive except the oil. Think mobile phones are bad here, trying being charged for receiving calls as well as making them (the US pricing model)

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Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

Alien8n
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Alien

Book version

Agreed, when I saw they were making a film of the story I thought "great!" until I actually saw the film. That's not to say it was total hash, but I felt the original ending of seeing the USA turning into a totalitarian state and the main character's attempts to join the good fight would be a much better ending than "seeing the future causes end of the world". Although the book would probably have been seen as too close to a documentary than science fiction nowadays...

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US admiral reveals safety plan for Zombie Apocalypse

Alien8n
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Alien

Which of course...

... is a Douglas Adams HHGTTG reference

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Agency worker rights should be set in comparison with staff, says gov

Alien8n
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FAIL

BMW could learn from this

Did a stint temping at BMW several years ago. Not sure what it's like now but back then you had agency staff who had been there for over 4 years on temp contracts and earning 20% less than guys who had been made permanent after a year. Add to that the ridiculous position regarding illness where if you were ill twice within 3 months you were out of a job. I actually witnessed one person vomiting into the bins rather than be sent home because he'd been off ill with flu the month before.

In contrast another firm I worked at would send home anyone who had even the slightest cough or sniffle rather than allow them into the factory as the factory floor was a clean room so anyone working while ill could very easily infect an entire shift.

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Use of Weapons declared best sci-fi film never made

Alien8n
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Alien

2013

Listed on IMDB as a possible 2013 release. Director apparently Ridley Scott, so it'll either be very very good, or so full of "set scenes" to be unwatchable. Also, just looking at the IMDB summary, it looks like they're taking just the very base plot of the book and throwing out pretty much all of the book's storyline (much like they did with I Robot)

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Boffins herald end of stiff screens

Alien8n
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Go

Earth Final Conflict

Also had a similar thing in mind for their phones, the screen pulls out of the side of the phone and snaps itself rigid.

Like the idea of effectively painting a TV onto the wall though. Imagine that with glasses free 3D at the same time and you effectively have a virtual window. Add angle recognition so if you walk upto it and "look down" you effectively look down out of the window and you can create a virtual scyscraper effect, so your humble living room in South Peckham now becomes a virtual New York penthouse. Or even a window on the ISS if you really want :)

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No, iPhone location tracking isn't harmless and here's why

Alien8n
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Black Helicopters

Reminds me...

I used to work for a firm that did GPS tracking of trees, but there was an application being tested on similar kit to ours by a professor in Sunderland. Police tried to do him for speeding, but as he was testing his GPS kit at the time he was able to use that as evidence and prove he was within the speed limit at the time the police were trying him do him for.

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So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

Alien8n
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FAIL

Lensman

was made into an anime film, mid 90s? I think.

Was nowhere near as good as it could have been, was more DBZ in space than Akira with aliens.

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Alien8n
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Alien

Gotta love

all the people who can't read.

Best sci-fi film NEVER made, not ever made. I can understand posting in the comments, but if I comment I will also be emailing (as requested).

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Got a buck to send M Night Shyamalan to film school?

Alien8n
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WTF?

To be fair...

To be fair, if you've ever seen the cartoon series it's very clear that the film follows the cartoon, but unlike LOTR that chopped a few bits that you don't really miss unless you've read the books, TLAB chops vast amounts of essential plot out leaving the viewer wondering wtf?

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Red Dwarf to blast off on new adventure

Alien8n
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Stop

WBAC

Should be "We screw any customer"

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Alien8n
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Stop

Sounds like Rentaghost

was the same, started off with some good subtle humour then just turned into yet another slapstick and gunge children's show.

Seriously hoping they go back to basics with Red Dwarf, was always meant to be more adult comedy.

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Punter bags 500GB SSD, finds 128MB Flash inside

Alien8n
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FAIL

Not just flash

I used to work in semiconductor manufacturing, making mosfets, igbts and diodes. Part of the job was also buying chips from other vendors and taking them apart. Was quite shocking seeing just how badly designed some of the competitors chips were. Mind, the biggest culprit seemed to be Ford who would take a good design and remove key components to save cost, then complain when it didn't work...

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BOFH: In distributed denial

Alien8n
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Go

Been there, done that

Also the hours of fun that can be had dropping random text files onto the user's desktop, followed by the phone calls and blackmail down the pub to ensure deletion of the offending screengrab that has been taken of their machine...

Amazed the user in question never realised that the only reason he was still allowed access to the internet was the fact he was saving the head of IT hours of downloading time every week when the latest episode of Star Trek Enterprise hit the file sharing sites...

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Anti-religious campaigners smack down census Jedis

Alien8n
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Alien

religious donations

We all donate to the largest religion in the UK anyway when we pay taxes. Or does everyone forget that part of our taxes go to the monarchy, and as such to the head of the Church of England?

Tempted to put Church of Discordia down this year...

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Diary of a Not-spot: One man's heroic struggle for broadband

Alien8n
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Grenade

Fibre? pt2

It's only overkill if you have to pay for it :)

Reminds me of my mate's house. House actually had about 3 buildings scattered around the property, each one connected up to a server room in his barn. Reason for the overkill? A purpose built lan party setup and the mother of all broadband connections. Used to have anywhere upto 20 people playing online games during the weekend. Was fun playing black hawk down :)

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Alien8n
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Fibre

Or alternatively forget the cat5 and shove a Gb fibre optic switch in at each end.

Company I used to work in had 3 buildings less than 50m apart from each other and about 3 different 1Gb connections between each building

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Xbox modder prosecution dropped like white-hot potato

Alien8n
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Pirate

Modding?

Here's a scenario:

Chav 1 modifies his mate's car with some power boosting kit (induction kit, turbo and ridiculous spoiler that actually makes the car less stable at speed) and in the process removes the limiter that stops the car from speeding.

Chav 2 then gets clocked doing 60 in a 30 zone by the police.

Who deserves to go to jail?

Okay, in reality the answer is both of them but the point is, yes he's modded a couple of xboxes. That should not in itself make him a criminal. Now if he'd been caught modding the xboxes AND selling the pirated games that would be a different matter as the modding is then specifically to enable him to commit the offense of selling counterfeit goods.

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NASA to make MAJOR ALIENS REVELATION this week

Alien8n
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Alien

amanfrommars?

Where is he nowadays, not seen him posting in ages...

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Yes! It's the Reg Top 5 FUTURISTIC GUNS Thanksgiving Roundup!

Alien8n
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Thumb Down

Plod?

Unfortunately the evidence around here is firmly in the camp that the plod see everyone as the enemy. Even more so if you happen to be one of the few to wear black and have long hair. Not nice witnessing a copper choking someone until they pass out. Then when it's reported every single one of them say "we didn't see that, he must have inflicted the bruises on his neck on himself" and then get let off by the IPCC. Also overheard them waiting for people to come out of pubs stating that they're going to deliberately arrest someone for no reason except they hate the person. Even seen one person get arrested for asking to see their warrant number because the cop was arresting someone else that they'd harrassed into swearing at them. Cetainly seems that their method of "protecting" the public is to instill fear in them as it's become widely known that the police can literally do whatever they want and get away with it. They even let off the copper who was caught on video beating up a woman in the police station.

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Gamers demand CoD: Black Ops money back

Alien8n
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FAIL

My PS3

My PS3 outperforms my mate's Xbox any day. Not that hard when his Xbox won't even start because of the ring of death, lol.

Seriously though, I won't be buying Black Ops or the new MOH game simply because they're overpriced for what I like playing. Would much rather buy an old copy of Assassin's Creed and play that (I want single player games on my PS3, if I want to play multiplayer I have a PC for that). If I'm putting the game down because I've finished it within a week then it's not worth buying. Plus multiplayer COD is just too frustrating as a casual player, sorry but I have no interest in seeing just how many times I'm going to die because I don't have the latest hacked version of the game that allows me to own every player on the server, or because everyone else has put several hundred hours into getting all the unlocked content that allows you to shoot round corners/see through walls/ fire bullets through concrete etc....

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Money for nothing – and your (gambling) kicks for free

Alien8n
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Missing the point

The point is that if you place 2 bets of £50 your intitial outlay is only £50, not £100.

Imagine you find somewhere willing to take a bet on a coin being flipped, they offer odds of 2/5 (so stacking it in their favour regardless, so if you were to simply place matching bets as you suggest you would always be down £10 per £50 bet) but they also offer a £50 deposit bonus. Now you find another site that does the same. You deposit £50 in each and bet heads on one site and tails on the other. So far you've spent £100, after the first bet you get £90 back, so £10 down. After you repeat with the deposit bonus you get another £90 back, so in total £80 profit on 2 bets.

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Rethinking the iPhone

Alien8n
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WTF?

iPhone touchscreen?

So it doesn't work when you prod it with a biro or your fingernail? Ever think that might actually be a deliberate feature?

I now have a SE Xperia and while I find as a phone and such it's just as good (if not better in some places) the iPhone still wins for 2 things.

1. The touchscreen. No accidentally dialling people when you put the phone in your pocket and forget to turn off the screen. The fact that it only recognises your fingertip as a valid "pointing device" is actually a very clever bit of tech.

2. The browser. The iPhone's web browser is far easier to use and the zoom function a lot more functional than on the Xperia. Forgotten how many times I've ended up zooming on the screen on the Xperia when trying to click a link that's at the bottom of the screen.

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Supremes poke Schwarzenegger's 'violent' game ban

Alien8n
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Grenade

Parents

As stated despite the fact that the game is aimed at a more mature market it's down to the parents to decide what's suitable for the kids to play. I have no problem with my 12 year old daughter playing CoD or MoH, she's more than capable of realising that however graphic the depiction it's just a game and unlike some americans I'm more than confident that she will not be going on a killing spree in the town centre as a result of playing as a WW2 sniper.

Resident Evil 5: It's not a game, it's survival training ready for the zombie apocalypse.

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Shut up, Spock! How Battlestar Galactica beat Trek babble

Alien8n
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FAIL

News?

This is The Reg, you're obviously confusing it with a serious news site. In all the years of reading The Reg (or El Reg if you prefer) I can honestly say it's always come across as a site more about "news articles of interest to IT geeks", rather than "news for IT professionals". The fact that a lot of the stories are also for IT professionals is purely coincidence and based on the fact that many (but not all, I recall an IT director at a previous company who clearly was not a geek, he seemed to assume you needed a degree in order to find the on switch for the PC) IT professionals also happen to be geeks

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Sage Pay upgrade glitch forced poor password picks

Alien8n
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FAIL

Wrong story

As stated it's how you use SagePay.

We use both the mysagepay virtual terminal and server integration and the server integration works fine.

The mysagepay upgrade however has given us no end of problems. We probably notice it more as we have about 30 vendor accounts throughout the country and they've all been saying the same thing:

Logins failing randomly (they're all alphanumeric, no strange characters at all)

Very slow loading pages (possibly browser version though)

User Interface appalling

Reports almost unusable

The main complaint is just the number of times the system falls over, but the other complaints include increased time to actually enter details and the lower functionality of the reports. Why on earth did they get rid of the daily transaction report?

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Why Bono is wrong about filesharing

Alien8n
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Pirate

Been there done that?

No one would do as you suggest, but something close to it used to exist before mp3s. It was quite common in the 80's and early 90's to setup "music rings". Everyone would take it in turn to buy an album and then make copies for their friends. This wasn't as frowned upon as you might think. When Guns and Roses released Use Your Illusion as a double album you'd get friends buying it in pairs. One would buy disc 1 and the other would buy disc 2 with a couple of blank tapes to go with it. Rather than discouraging this it was actively promoted by the record shops. It was also helped by the band making the albums just long enough that they fit on both sides of the tape with just a few seconds to spare. this was while some other artists were deliberately making sure that their albums were just too long to fit nicely on a tape.

And for anyone who seems to think the music industry is some benevolent patron of upcoming artists, google two names. Poe and Aimee Allen.

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Angels can't fly: Official

Alien8n
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Alien

But...

But everyone knows that angels are actually Vorlons in disguise...

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Windows 'openness' hailed in Nintendo game defeat

Alien8n
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Go

Pentagon

An option being used by the Pentagon for installing Linux in order to chain the PS3s together and create a giant supercomputer.

Just need someone to write a dual boot program for the PS3 and I'm all sorted :)

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Lord Carlile: Police are taking the proverbial on terror

Alien8n
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Police State

Define a Police State:

In a nutshell, a State where the Police act with impunity knowing they'll never be held to task.

We are in a Police State, the only check on Police powers seems to be in the event of an officer actually killing someone as they arrest them, and even then they seem to get away with it.

I'm still currently waiting for an official report from the IPCC regarding an incident where an officer strangled a friend of mine while arresting him (I made the complaint as I was the main witness to the incident). The official line from the IPCC is "we can't do anything as all the officers involved deny it happened." This is depsite CCTV footage that shows the officer was heavy handed (unfortunately you only see the inital few seconds as the camera is very poorly located) and photographs of the bruises to my friends neck the next day.

In addition, at least 2 witness statements were never passed on and one key witness statement was made up by the police (the claim is that my friend's girlfriend was being raped by him, while being surrounded by at least 20 independent eye witnesses, none of whom saw anything more than a heated argument).

Added to all of this is the police's general attitude to anyone who looks like they might ride a motorbike and the arrogance they show. The officer who arrested my friend was even caught bragging about it and about how he was going to get away with it.

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Win 7 users shout: Where's my bloody ballot screen?

Alien8n
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FAIL

@ the standtards

Ok, why is it important that IE conforms to web standards?

Because otherwise you get the issue we have with a website written in "standard" MS compliant code (asp.net with sql backend on win2003 and IIS6).

And yet we still have issues due to a bug in IE8 that still hasn't been fixed by MS. Yes, IE8 doesn't work with a website designed to be fully compliant with it. Ironically the site was never designed with other browsers in mind but works 100% in all other browsers except IE8 for which it was actually designed for.

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UK.gov backs ID scheme with peanuts promo spend

Alien8n
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FAIL

@ a457nvf

Actually you're wrong. For the Labour party to have voted him as PM there would have to be a vote. There was no vote, there was simply Tony Blair saying "I want Gordon as the next PM" and then everyone else was too scared to stand against him. With Gordon Brown's history of bullying and smearing anyone that stands in his way it begs the question just what has he got on Tony Blair that Blair would actually say he wanted Gordon as his successor? Remember back to when Tony Blair resigned, whenever anyone looked like being a possible candidate against Brown they were immediately smeared in the papers "sources close to Downing Street say" kind of stuff that was meant to discredit them in any way possible.

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Alien8n
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FAIL

@ Cameron Colley

What makes you think you need to thank anyone?

Simple fact:

Not one single person actually voted "yes I want ID cards"

Not one single person actually had any say in Gordon Brown becoming PM

Only 20% of the country actually voted for Labour in the last election.

This government has the lowest mandate of any "elected" government in the last 100 years. And people say that PR is bad for democracy! It would at least have ensured that the current lot were kept under control.

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Nation's moral guardians snap over 'shag bands'

Alien8n
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Gates Horns

First I've heard

Kids at the local school here are far too busy sacrificing goats and selling their souls to satan...

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New accounting rules to juice IT numbers

Alien8n
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WTF?

@ amanfrommars

And just when I thought his posts were becoming legible...

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Secret teen hacker army ridiculed

Alien8n
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Coat

@ Chris 116

If installing rootkits is what's needed then surely they just need to outsource our hacking to Sony?

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Sony and BBC clash over PS3 problems

Alien8n
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@ Mike Bird

What you say is pretty much what I said, but longer. I simply paraphrased it.

For what it's worth, all electronic goods imho should be guaranteed for 25 years. You know why? Because that's the industry standard lifetime for all semiconductors that have passed qualification. To pass as a qualified part they have to pass stress testing the equivalent of 25 years use. So people who seem to think a PS3 should last 2 or 3 years before it goes bust have a very low expectation. For any failure outside of pouring water inside it, wrapping the entire PS3 in plastic so it's airtight or dropping it from a height, then there must be an inherent fault with the goods. It could be a weakness in the silicon, or a poorly bonded wire, but that fault is inherent. In fact about the only thing that could fail and be even reasonably expected to fail is the fan bearings.

And before anyone says it, I was an electronics engineer, my job was testing semiconductor components before then moving to optical components. The most common cause of failure is bad design, not bad products. Don't buy a Ford from 1998-2000 ;)

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Alien8n
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Sale of Goods Act

Under the Sale of Goods Act all goods are covered for 6 years anyway. If you bought it from Argos, simply take it back, show them the receipt and state that you're demanding it to be repaired for free under the Sale of Goods Act. The important thing here is that the Act deems that your contract is with the shop you bought it from, not the manufacturer. There is no need to pay Sony even 1 penny in order to get it fixed.

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Apple sends iPhones into 'Coma Mode'

Alien8n
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@ Alex C - warrenty

You don't need a warrenty.

Sales of Goods Act guarantees your goods for 6 years (as that is deemed a reasonable lifetime for electronic goods) so long as it hasn't been stored in full daylight, left in the bath, dropped from the top of buildings etc...

What's important to realise is that it's not the manufacturer that guarantees your goods for this time, it's the shop that sells you the product. It's then upto the shop to reclaim their costs from the manufacturer.

As a general rule if less than 6 months old you can demand repair or replace and it's upto the shop to prove the goods are working.

After 6 months you can demand repair, but it's upto you to prove the goods are faulty and that you haven't broken them accidentally.

The 1 year warrenty simply states the minimum amount of service you can expect outside of the Sale of Goods Act.

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Tomorrow's World comes back to the future

Alien8n
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Joke

@ AC 11:47

Yeah, it was great stuff back then.

Mind you, nowadays kids have Mythbusters, which while not looking at the future is an excellent way of teaching kids how not to do science :)

Discovery Channel, all the best bits of YouTube rolled into one :)

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Tory MP to sue over sex smear email

Alien8n
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@ AC 18:56

So you're perfectly okay with a plot to libel several prominent MPs so long as someone else gets the blame because they broke the story that Labour were actively supporting a smear campaign running from within No 10?

And get your facts straight, Guido Fawkes did NOT publish any emails, he handed them to a newspaper (much in the same manner in which he was handed them to start with) and it was the newspaper that ran with the story.

In fact if I didn't know better I'd think you were Derek Draper or Damian McBride yourself, as no one else with the slightest bit of sense could ever condone their actions.

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Alien8n
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Missing the point...

Gotta love it when everyone misses the point.

True, the allegations weren't published. However they were intended to be published, the only reason they weren't was that the blog site never went live due to them being caught out. When they were first confronted about the allegations they denied all knowledge, and then tried to spin the story as "we were only going to publish information that's in the public domain".

To add to the story these emails were deliberately kept out of Downing Street's email system. It is a criminal offense for a civil servant or MP to use private email for parliamentary work. By using their private email they showed that they had contempt for the rules of their job.

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No more Eurofighters for RAF, despite 232-jet pact

Alien8n
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Grenade

@ AC 13:13

"Low level bombing by RAF Tornado was a real fiasco in Desert Storm, 5 losses against a relatively (compared to the Soviet Union) mediocre opposition."

Compared to the US figures yes. However you also have to take into account the fact that the UK was bombing 24 hours a day while the US bravely dropped their bombs only after the sun went down.

Our losses in Desert Storm had nothing to do with the Tornado and everything to do with tactics.

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Besieged by attacks, AT&T dumps celebrity hacker

Alien8n
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WTF?

@ Witty

Have you actually read the story?

You're given an 8 digit password for authentication. Do you memorise it immediately or write it down to remember it as you go along? Dunno about you but I have trouble remembering my own mobile number as I've only had the phone a month or so. And no, I'm not going to tell you how I remember important numbers, but it's not on a piece of paper in my wallet that's for certain.

His issue with AT&T is that they're unable to keep his password secure. Forget the script kiddies, someone at AT&T is handing out someone else information when asked without adequate security measures being taken. He hasn't given that password to anyone, no one else has seen it on a bit of paper he's written it on or hacked into his computer and pulled it from a .txt file handily named "Kevin's secret password stuff". His security measures are exactly the same as what anyone else should be doing. It's not his responsibility in this case to keep his details secure, he is doing, it's AT&T's responsibility not to hand other people's details out to all and sundry, either by computer hacking or by social engineering.

And believe me when I say how easy it is to get into someone elses account, especially if the account happens to be a business account. I've had to do it myself when the previous techy where I work left without leaving any of the account details for our telephone systems.

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Alien8n
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FAIL

@AC 23:34

"sKiddies suck, but you gotta love the irony here. I'm sure that the former victims of Mr. Mitnick are happy to see the poetic justice in action."

Are you for real? Do some research into what actually happened to Kevin Mitnick and how he was arrested. He was actually done for "phreaking", hacking phone lines to make free calls. It was the media that made him out to be some kind of uber hacker. His sentence and his treatment by the US Penal service was as a direct result of the media hype. And the reason for the media hype? He refused to allow a journalist to write a bullshit book about him.

He was never a hacker in the modern sense, his skill was in persuading people to do what he wanted, not in forcing his way into a system.

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Lad passes gruelling 'getting on bus' test

Alien8n
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Life skills

What a lot of people miss is that for many severely disabled people they need to know they'll get the appropriate care when they're older. In many cases these qualifications serve a dual purpose.

Firstly, it awards a child who may struggle with doing even the simplest things a sense of achievement. My wife is dyslexic and has just completed an adult numeracy course. I can honestly say the sense of achievement for her in earning a pass in adult numeracy is far greater than any sense of achievement I ever got for passing my O Levels. My eldest daughter is also dyslexic and I'm always immensely proud when I see her even reading a book as I know she finds reading difficult. I'm also proud of my youngest daughter's achievements but not to the same degree as I'm acutely aware that she finds the level of school work that she currently has to be beneath her ability.

Secondly, for the more severely disabled who will remain with some sort of long term care it allows the authorities to tailor their care. A good friend of mine has 2 children with brain damage. They'll never be able to live independently. However they both have good life skills. It's important to know how well they can cope so that the health services know how to look after them. An award in making a cup of tea seems a joke but it tells a health care worker that the person they are looking after can be allowed to do some things for themselves. An award for dressing themselves may mean they don't need someone there 24/7, they can at least wake up and go to bed on their own with some dignity.

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Alien8n
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WTF?

Certifivates?

All of a sudden my Cambridge Certificate of Computer Literacy doesn't seem such a Mickey Mouse qualification anymore.....

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Ditching ID cards would save £3bn

Alien8n
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Stop

@ AC 11.02

"The actual number of terrorists trying to blow things up is so small as to be insignificant and the Government is causing mass fear, panic, and terror for no reason."

You obviously don't know how to think like a politician. You're an authoritarian wanting to pass a law that gives you unprecedented powers in order to control dissent and basically tell the country how and what to think. How do you do it?

Read 1984 and there's plenty of educational material in there. Any government can pretty much do anything it likes in the name of "security", but only if the population believes it needs security. China can do what it likes, you can't vote for anyone else. Here in the UK you need to persuade the population just long enough to get your new law passed. Strange thing about UK laws is that once passed it's incredibly difficult to repeal, even if there's a change of government. Reason being that while the Commons may change, it's the Lords that actually has the final say and the makeup of the Lords is usually 5 to 10 years behind the Commons. It will take at least 5 years before all the laws brought in by Labour can even start to be repealed. That means we need at least 10 years of Tory rule to regain the right to protest against the government. But don't expect the Tories to suddenly demand the police let people protest. They were worse under the Tories than they are under Labour. May actually get them to turn up after a burglary though...

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