* Posts by JimmyPage

2336 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010

Big data boffins crunch GPS traces, find altruistic route planning is good for everyone

JimmyPage
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Boffin

The easiest solution ?

Just tweak the satnav software to offer a random pick from the 3 top routes. This should spread the traffic out enough to realise some benefit with fuck all investment.

After all, how many people have any idea if the route the satnav has chosen is the best ?

As an aside, am I missing something, or is there no feature on any satnav where you can press a single button to say "give me the second choice route - the first is blocked". I noticed this after driving from Eastleigh to Birmingham. The motorway signs on the M3 warned the A34 was blocked. However, trying to turn off just had the satnav redirecting me *back* to the A34. No satnav/software I have seen allows you to "X" a road and circumnavigate it. Certainly not while driving :(

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Judge orders Universal Credit internal reviews must be disclosed

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

Where do you get the Roman gladius these days?

I have a vague memory that Roman soldiers had to buy their own kit.

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JimmyPage
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Mushroom

I disagree with your opening statement ...

"The jury is still out as to whether Universal Credit will go down as one of the major IT disasters of our time. "

Who cares what this "jury" thinks ? I know what *I* think.

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Heartless hackers break into Florida cancer clinic network – 2.2 million records exposed

JimmyPage
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Stop

Patients *and* employees ?

Is it just me, or does this suggest a system not fit for purpose in the first place ?

Let's hope some of the employees exposed were the CEO and board of directors ...

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State should run power firm spam database, says... competition watchdog

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Who on earth is running this asylum anyway ?

I do price-check. Every so often, the differential between my tariff, and the cheapest makes it worth switching.

However, since 2012, when I did this, and within 2 weeks, the tariff I moved to became the most expensive, I am far less likely to switch when the difference between top-slot and my present tariff is c. £50-60 per annum.

It simply isn't worth my time.

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NatWest tightens online banking security after hacks' 'hack' exposé

JimmyPage
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Re: Amazing how cheap a multi £Bn company can be

FTFY

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JimmyPage
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Re: Are Barclays...

No. Nationwide do too. In fact I thought it was standard in UK online banking.

If it isn't I suggest folks move to banks where it is, and apply some market forces.

With 2FA, even if you physically managed to take control of my session, you'd be scuppered as any transaction out of my accounts requires me to re-validate it with the reader.

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Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Once again, I read "peeple"

but think "menshn"

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Outsourced Virgin Media techies botched this infosec bod's Poodle fix

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Two minds about this ...

What was a seasoned IT professional expecting from the outset ?

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Google risks everything if it doesn’t grab Android round the throat

JimmyPage
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£5/£35 unlocking fee ...

I can't say why they quoted that figure. And once they had taken the position that they should charge, I immediately lost any and all interest in EE/the-artist-formerly-known-as-Orange providing me with anything more than junk mail I can use as fuel. I'm sure if I had challenged/escalated they would have "waived" it (don't forget, the phone - bought outright - cost £5).

So I'm a *big* fan of unlocked handsets being sold new. And Wileyfox is worth a big-up (although their customer service isn't. Where's my free case ????).

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JimmyPage
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Bring it on ...

Up until a few weeks ago, I had a box with all the old phones family Page had ever had - 12 of the buggers. They all worked, in that they powered up.

And I could not get single one working. All due to network locking.

The one which made me see red was a £5 Alcatel originally from Orange that refused to work with an EE SIM (remind me again, where EE came from ?). EE wanted £35 to unlock it.

So a network-free, telco-free phone sounds grand. Having had 3 months use of my Wileyfox Swift, it's the way to go.

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More and more Brits are using ad-blockers, says survey

JimmyPage
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Facepalm

I'd rather pay £25 a year and have an ad free service from all the sites I visit.

But the "model" from subscription TV is not only do you pay for the content. You're *also* paying for the ****ing ads !

Why pay for GoT - with ads - from Sky, when you can download GoT - without ads - for free ?

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Wakey wakey, app developers. Mobile ad blocking will kill you all

JimmyPage
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Pint

The real prize will be for the Telcos

not having to pay to upgrade their networks to handle the additional "unlimited" traffic they are selling.

It's rare, but fun (for a while) when you see two diametrically opposed juggernauts of "the market" collide with such momentum.

Popcorn and --->

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Cameron co-opts UK mobile industry for EU Remain campaign

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

I'd be more inclined to listen to companies

that paid UK tax ...

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Gov must put superfast broadband along HS2 rail line, says Parliament

JimmyPage
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Coat

Maybe, just maybe

if broadband provision was markedly better, there would be less need for HS2

I have a sneaking feeling that the world of work in 2032 will be a generation different to now.

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NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails

JimmyPage
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Boffin

It's true - what goes around ....

older El Reggers may remember a very decent sci-fi/fact magazine of the 80s, called OMNI (had occasional interviews with Feynman, et al). They devoted a lot of column inches to alternative ways of getting into space - including laser sails.

Sadly the ultimate conclusion then (as I suspect now) was aiming beam at the target - when a 1cm laser beam diverges to 400m over the 250,000 miles to the moon ....

They even suggested bulking up the laser to shorten acceleration times !

So, 30 year old "news".

The upshot - and possible Holy Grail - of laser sails is you are accelerating towards the speed of light. I vaguely recall in terms of efficiency, laser sails the best bet of getting to a decent speed.

I notice a poster has asked how you slow it down. Back in the 1980s, the solution was proposed to ..... turn it off at the halfway point, and let deceleration take over.

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Uber is bombarding us with painfully probing subpoenas, cries Lyft

JimmyPage
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Holmes

Ah the UK

petri dish to the world ....

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OnePlus X: Dinky little Android smartie with one or two minuses

JimmyPage
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Having owned a Wileyfox Swift since Xmas ...

My shopping list for a new phone is:

1) Dual SIM

2) No carrier/manufacturer bloat of any description

3) No network lock

4) removable battery

5) MicroSD slot

I arrived at this list, after my son lost (another) phone, and going through my box of 12 *working* phones, not a single one could be used. (The most annoying was a little 5 year old Orange phone bought for £10 that refused to work with an EE SIM - EE wanted £35 to "unlock" it).

So, I'm rocking a Swift with 2xgiffgaff SIMs. But, if I decide to change networks, I will.

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Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

JimmyPage
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Weight ?

Surely all that hardware weighs something ? So you need to factor that into your calculations ?

What is the maximum plated weight on a 53 seater coach ?

Also, it might be an idea to spread the ammo out over several coaches ?

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Eurovision Song Contest uncorks 1975 vote shocker: No 'Nul point'!

JimmyPage
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Pint

If someone wants to go through adding them all up themselves

I once shared a house with an Irish chap, whose brother spent all 1985s ESC with a pad, drawing a grid to "prove" the rest of Europe was out to "get the Irish".

Well, I say all ESC, we went down the pub. But when we got back, he had filled it all out ....

Only one icon for that memory ....

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

JimmyPage
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Stop

Driving at 60 ...

I'd rather drive at 60 for 2 hours, than 70/40/50/20/80/70/60/55/56/55/54/30/25/50/65

Better for the car. Better for me. Better for the environment. And I would probably get there *faster* than 70/40/50/20/80/70/60/55/56/55/54/30/25/50/65 anyway.

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JimmyPage
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This concept is described as <shudder> "mobility as a service".

Which is where we're headed anyway, with autonomous cars. Even if private ownership of an autonomous car will be possible, the rewards for people who pimp out their cars in their downtime (e.g 10:00-16:00 weekdays when they are at work, and 19:00-06:00 when they are at home) will blur the boundaries further.

However, for MrsJP, whose sight isn't good enough to drive, the idea of mobility as a service isn't as cringeworthy as the (presumably fully able) author suggests.

Where's the "bring it on" icon ?

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Instagram rolls out two factor authentication

JimmyPage
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Google Authenticator

have it protecting my Lastpass, GitHub and Google accounts already. Quietly impressed.

Also, don't forget Facebooks 2FA verification system.

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Europe's Earth-watching satellite streaks aloft

JimmyPage
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Boffin

thanks to AC and MAF

nice to see some reasoned exchange of physics here, along with the "gotcha" about decreasing mass.

But then I did laugh/appreciate the scene in "The Martian" where Matt Damon forgot to factor in his exhalation to the calculations for burning hydrazine ....

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JimmyPage
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Impressive, but a sad reminder

that the biggest challenge to space exploration is the earths' gravity.

Is there any work on a space elevator ?

<daydreaming>I wonder how trying to drop a 100km wire from orbit would work out ...

alternatively a stupidly long slightly inclined (magnetic ?) runway to accelerate a capsule to escape velocity (a la Netwons cannonball orbiter).

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Boffins' 5D laser-based storage tech could keep terabytes forever

JimmyPage
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Re:1974 film Zardoz

not that I am aware of.

The ACC half baked ideas reference is from an interview I read with him, where he commented he had floated so many ideas in fiction or speculation that had become reality.

The most famous idea being the geosynchronous communications satellite.

In a nod to another comment I have made today, he also proposed a space elevator, to reduce the energy required to get into LEO.

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JimmyPage
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Ah, Arthur C Clarke "half baked ideas"

over 30 years ago, I vaguely imagined a crystalline lattice that could be addressed by laser to act as main storage. TBH, I'm surprised it took so long ....

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Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

JimmyPage
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Flame

Ah, VB ... "variants"

I once worked on a sizeable project in Weath Managment.

Written in VB (I hail from a C/C++ background) they had tried to be "all grown up" and name variables correctly. So you had iCount, dblPrice, strName etc.

Problem was, they were all variants.

Which meant, if there was a fuck-up in the chain, and a string got accepted for a numeric value, the error could be propagated a long way from the source.

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Samsung now pushing Marshmallows into the Galaxy S6, Edge

JimmyPage
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Re: I wonder what Google have broken this time ...

Here's an example

https://www.truecaller.com/support#/Android/a23

"Google introduced a limitation on Android 4.4 (Kitkat) and above, which unfortunately prevents the SMS blocking feature from working."

Can't speak as to Google Messenger blocking, as I gave up.

As usual, the Windows Phone implementation of this feature is flawlessly perfect.

Here's a whole thread on how you can't block SMS on Android post KitKat.

http://forums.androidcentral.com/nexus-6p/618966-blocking-sms-marshmallow.html

Admittedly, SMS blocking might be regarded as a niche feature by some. But Googles making it impossible without any warning, consultation or workaround is reason enough for me to stand by my assertion that Android is OK for toys, but not ready for business.

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JimmyPage
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It's a shame one can't install a base OS and then the options you want/need...

Cyanogen OS ?

Wileyfox ? (Although I can happily plug the phone, as a *company* Wileyfox need to get their act together sharpish).

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

I wonder what Google have broken this time ...

Last year, I looked to implement WP8 "Block" feature on MrsJPs MotoG.

That's block *SMS*s - not just calls.

A deep trawl of the Play Store revealed an abundance of "Call & SMS" blocking Apps.

A deeper trawl revealed that SMS blocking had become impossible when Google went from KK to LL (if memory serves) they changed the architecture so apps couldn't access the SMS stack *before* they were processed. Meaning there were (are ?) shedloads of "sms blocking apps" which have to state upfront they don't actually work.

WTF ?

That's Android for you.

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Facebook tells Viz to f**k right off

JimmyPage
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Pint

Re: Hawker Siddeley Twat

you are of course right, dear sir --->

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JimmyPage
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Happy

1993 (or thereaouts)

I find myself leafing through my copy of Viz, on a bus. I got to "Jump Jet Fanny (and her magic minge)" and had to get off and walk for laughing.

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Boffins' gravitational wave detection hat trick blows open astronomy

JimmyPage
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Coat

Michelson-Morely ?

Anyone else find the LIGO setup vaguely familiar ?

Have we found aether :)

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Met Police wants to keep billions of number plate scans after cutoff date

JimmyPage
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Boffin

returning to the DNA issue*

Dr. Wibble is pretty much echoing my thinking, about the birthday paradox (the recent Challenger anniversary is a stark reminder of how easily statistics can be misunderstood).

However, it goes a lot deeper than that. Starting with the problem that until such time as the UK has a credible life/death/in country register, there's no way to CLEAN the fucker.

So slowly, and surely, the database will grow.

And grow.

So, fast forward to 2026, when the DNA database contains (say) 60,000,000 records. Including some dead. Some left the UK. Some moved.

(Remember, the DNA database is a *hash* of the genome, not the entire genome itself).

So a crime is committed, and DNA recovered. SOP runs it through the database, and - horror of horrors - 5 matches are returned. (The real horror is that it means the police now have to do some fucking police work). Of course the 4 spurious matches are a god-given gift to a lawyer who remembers that "reasonable doubt" is all that is needed for an acquittal. So the police have to try and eliminate the 4 spurious matches.

My explanation of the DNA database it that it's like a surname, house number, and area-level postcode. Which means there will be lots of SMITH-16-NW in there.

*presumably, the ANPR system has a link with the DVLA so scrapped cars are archived off. Or will it face the same degradation issues ?

All this, in the face of my assertion that *any* non trivial database of personal data can never be more than 95% accurate. A rule of thumb I devised after seeing thousands of man-hours in a commercial organisation devoted (over summer) to calling every customer to update their details, and seeing the accuracy improve (from 90%) to 95%, only to slip to 90% within 2 months. Databases being snapshots of a transient reality.

None of which is understood by the bottom-feeders in parliament, and their lickspittle civil servants who all dodged anything vaguely technical as "for the proles".

We'll all be well fucked if it becomes possible to make DNA from scratch.

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Amazon UK boss is 'most powerful' man in food and drink

JimmyPage
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Re: If Amazon/Google can disrupt your business

I live in SW Brum. There's a massive ASDA 15 *walk* from my house (I used to walk there and back as a morning constitutional when the weather wasn't shit).

There's a Morrisons 10 minutes drive, and 5 minutes beyond that a Sainsburys.

5 minute drive gets me to Harborne, where there's a Waitrose (2 miles from the Asda). And 5 minutes drive to Quinton gets me to Tescos.

And in the past, just to prove to SWMBO, I have gone to all 5, and we have seen (apart from own-brand, obviously) they stock (or *don't*) stock exactly the same things.

So, as with genomes that get lazy, and are all susceptible to the same disease, the big supermarkets appear to have become so homogenised it should be childs play to differentiate from them, and steal their customers. And the smaller more niche outlets can stop being so smug. (Looks at the "delicatessens" in the West Midlands who also stock identikit products - and not what I'd want).

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: When I pay full price for a sandwich

But is that "groceries", or a snack food ?

"Groceries" (to me) are what you buy, usually weekly, to stock your cupboards with.

Which is not what you were on about ....

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: I can choose the things I want.

No you can't. You can choose what you want from what the supermarket wants to stock. Bearing in mind I suspect their priorities will centre around delivering maximum £/cm2 of floor area. What are your priorities.

As I mentioned upthread, there are varieties of *already stocked* brands we can't get at *any* of our local supermarkets.

If I had time, I could draw you up a weekly shopping list you'd be unable to fulfil from Sainsburys, Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, or Waitrose in a single shop. And (if it comes to Ainsleys Shropshire Pea soup) not even then.

Example of market fail: Sungold tomatoes.

And that's quite before you deal with Sainsburys endemic stock control problems (ongoing since 1982 when I worked for them).

My only pause to defend the big markets is that they are very driven by *what they can sell*, which is function of fashion (Bake-off, etc). Being of Italian extraction, stranded in the wastes of the Midlands, I am well aware of how shops are forced to stock what Jocasta and Sebastian saw on "Come Dine With Me" last week. Which is also a factor in farmers markets (still no Sungold tomatoes). That's *if* you live near enough to one. (Luckily, bohemian Harborne, Birmingham, has a monthly one).

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JimmyPage
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Mushroom

If Amazon/Google can disrupt your business

then I humbly suggest you aren't very good at your business.

The only reason I shop at Sainsburys is geography. It's not the closest supermarket, but it's next to a nice Costa for a post-shop latte. That's the only difference between Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose. All of which are less than 20 minutes drive from me.

When 5 *massive* businesses are (a) shit and (b) indistinguishable, then it's time for Amazon or whoever to show them up.

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JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Couldn't be worse than the bricks & mortar stores ...

MrsJP is a fan of Ainsleys "Shropshire Pea soup" (no accounting for taste)

Unavailable at any of our local megamarts (I mean *big*).

Had to order from Amazon !

I would welcome Amazon "disrupting" the grocery market. It might mean I can buy what *I* want, not what the supermarkets want to sell to me.

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Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

JimmyPage
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Flame

Vague reminds me of all those police/politicians

who "discover" the War on Drugs is a crock. Just *after* they retire ...

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Silent Nork satellite tumbling in orbit

JimmyPage
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Re: Kwangmyongsong

+1 for the Jethro Tull reference (so soon after Tom Lehrer too) ...

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Government hails superfast broadband deal for new homes

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

You see, it's nonsense like this ..

which leads me to doubt the "end of the world" rhetoric that (some) politicians try to use to extract more $$$$s. God knows what the emissions consequence of having to cable *after* building are.

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JimmyPage
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The size of UK houses should be measured in area

Oh yes !

We currently pack 1,400 sq. feet in our 2-bed bunglalow. (OK, we have a toilet/cloakroom, bin store, utility room plus a hall to access them).

Currently I have yet to see a *4* bedroom house (which, don't forget has an EXTRA FLOOR) with more than 1,200 sq. feet.

Get fed up of looking at new builds in 2014. Best way to shut the sales droid up was to ask which room they suggested we lose to move into the new build.

And as for "garages" ????? Can't we have a law forcing developers to call them what they are: "external storage units" ?

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Boffins smear circuitry onto contact lenses

JimmyPage
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Anyone who is partially sighted

would probably think of an application immediately.

In my wifes case, the ability to focus a small image onto the part of her retina that still works in a way that current optical technology can't ?

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

JimmyPage
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Surely this makes the UK

a world leader in ad-blocking ?

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Re: Won't make a bit of difference.

Will all the USA snatch squad subscribers please fuck off back to Facebook ?

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Mall owner lays blame at Apple's door for dragging down sales

JimmyPage
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WTF?

Oh FFS !

was my initial thought on reading this ....

We really need a "FFS !" icon.

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Bill for half a billion quid lands on Apple's desk in Facetime patent scrap

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Apple spoke to El Reg

of course they did. It suited them. Would have been poetic justice if El Reg had refused to print what they said.

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Samsung trolls Google, adds adblockers to phones

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: Something like this?

"not available in your country"

so no. Nothing like that.

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