* Posts by John Brown (no body)

10868 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

John Brown (no body)
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"Electronics were much too freaking expensive for our parents & grandparents to let us get off with a mild scolding for destroying them..."

They still are. And usually more expensive to repair, even if they can be. Whole board or panel swaps in most cases. It's rare for a repair shop to do component level repairs these days. AFAIK, the stuff we deal with gets sent back to the manufacture in China, Taiwan, Thailand, wherever and we get repair or replace boards back. Labour is obviously cheaper there, it's just not economic in most developed countries where workshop time costs £100+ per hour and the board is worth sub-£100.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Red Dwarf

"Sadly, my desk neighbour showed little care while ham-fistedly opening a litre carton of orange juice which split and dumped its contents into the keyboard/desktop processor. "

Most places back then, it was a disciplinary offence to have food or drink anywhere near that sort of kit.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Monitor

"I've had a power supply go bad in such a way that it killed a motherboard, which would then destroy any other power supply it was tested with. We got through four PSUs and three motherboards before we worked that one out."

And then there's the, admittedly quite rare, DOA parts right out of the box.

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NASA's Chandra probe suddenly becomes an EX-ray space telescope (for now, anyway)

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Failure modes

In any case Chandra is in a bad orbit for recovery."

...and went up in a shuttle cargo bay, so you'd need a working shuttle to bring it back. Even if the Shuttle was still flying, could it bring back that amount of mass to a safe landing?

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Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "You are being served by Jesus."

"A true miracle. He was working at Costa turning the coffee into water"

That's not a hard miracle to pull off!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Irish names in Irish or English.

"Yup. AFAICR babies get to smell stale very quickly."

Yes, you should always eat them on the day of purchase. They don't freeze well either.

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With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

John Brown (no body)
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Paris Hilton

"Once it is on the fringes of SPAAAAAAAACE and the balloon pops, manoeuver said drone via remote control towards the ISS..."

El Reg already tried that. Sadly they only managed to climax at 89,000ft.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: was always the risk

"Says a Brit who's govmt retired all the aircraft carriers well before the replacements where built, never mind operational"

The same government who had a launch vehicle and then abandoned it too. Are we seeing a pattern developing?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Dirac shield

"Yes - a bit like the Podkletknov gravity shielding at Tampere in the early 1990s."

Pah, it'd be cheaper and easier just to coat the capsule in Cavorite and be done with it!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Still mad about the Shuttle program...

"Like Excel, the Shuttle was a bad idea implemented badly."

No, it was a good idea implemented badly. Mainly due the the "special" requirements of the military causing huge added costs and complexity which, IIRC, was never used, ie the ability to launch, deploy and land cross range in less than one full orbit (or however they described it)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: No worries

"Obviously international treaties can be flouted, but as long as the other side aren't flouting them, why be the first to embark on what is likely to be very public, very expensive, militarily pointless piece of wilful disregard for legal norms?"

There are two responses to that.

1) Militarily, owning the "high ground" is almost always a winning strategy.

2) Trump.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: No worries

"lolled = past tense of loll, to hang or lie down, the verb has been used for 100s of years :P"

Lolled is almost as good a word as lolloping, which I try to use as often as I can :-)

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Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

John Brown (no body)
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"Temporary destaffing is probably -- like most things involving humans in space -- a political decision that may not involve a lot of logic."

All assuming that only the USA doesn't accept the Russian finding on the "anomaly" whilst others do and are still prepared to go up. It is, after all, the International Space Station :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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"Both SpaceX and Boeing have to send unmanned capsules up to the ISS anyway to prove they work, before they will be allowed to launch a crew in them."

...and likely have to come back unmanned to, to prove that bit works. Probably a couple of times at least.

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You can hear a PIN drop... All quiet on the mobile broadband speed front, says network watcher OpenSignal

John Brown (no body)
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Sweating the current assets while waiting to see who blinks first on starting 5g deployment?

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Huge ice blades on Jupiter’s Europa will make it a right pain in the ASCII to land on

John Brown (no body)
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Re: According to Mirriam Webster

Is that Merriam Websters younger sister?

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World's largest CCTV maker leaves at least 9 million cameras open to public viewing

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

Re: Security? We've heard of it.

"They seem to set up complete with a default IP address and admin user. I'm not sure why."

Because China wants to expand it's CCTV network to the whole world and realised that cheapskate muppets would do the job for them and even pay for the privilege?

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Chinese Super Micro 'spy chip' story gets even more strange as everyone doubles down

John Brown (no body)
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"In fact, at the NSA (Ft. Meade) there is a small room about the size of a typical bedroom that has three technicians that specifically de-solder chips from intercepted motherboards and put the modified chips in and resend them out to specified destinations. "

That's a very specific piece of information which you specify as a fact. Care to share how you came by it?

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John Brown (no body)
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"Elbonians?"

Nah, they don't know their Arseonions from their....

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John Brown (no body)
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Devil

Re: How can I put this?

@StargateSg7

Are you BombasticsBobs evil twin?

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Don't make us pay compensation for employee data breach, Morrisons begs UK court

John Brown (no body)
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Re: For those against Morrisons

...but you can have systems in place which record who access the data and what they accessed and maybe even flag up when one person access large amounts of data.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: I do have some sympathy for Morrisons

"Not sure I do - he was an auditor for gawds sake. Surely he should have been monitored more closely? Its the accounting version of not monitoring your sys admins."

You can't argue with an Auditor

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On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me: A file-munching run of DELTREE

John Brown (no body)
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Re: On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me:

"Mince pies sighted in the local Co-op about the same time."

With an expiry date long before Xmas Day :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me:

No idea. I've noticed differing clothing styles and food in shops when I've been in Bradford where there's a large population descended from the Indian sub-continent. Maybe they have a seasonal Diwali aisle in the supermarkets there. Are there special presents/food/ornaments bought in large numbers for Diwali?

Gatesgead has a large Jewish population and I've seen some shops with window displays for hanukkah although I'm not so sure that's as big an event in terms of consumerism as Xmas is.

I suspect that it's because in Western countries, Christian holidays have been taken over by the marketing departments of various corporations so we see the massive consumerism effect and ignore the religious bit, especially those of us who are not religious but still enjoy a party and piss up. Despite what the Daily Wail might have us believe, there's not really much of a market selling to non-Christian religions in a predominantly Christian country because the numbers are very small and the adherents are more likely to honour the religious beliefs than the consumerism side of it.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Microsoft needs to fix this ongoing bug and fast

"It's the only way users will get sufficiently fed up with Windows and move to Linux once and for all.

Then we will finally have world peace."

Nah, the Distro Wars would just intensify :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me:

"One holiday at a time, please."

The local supermarkets have Halloween and Xmas stuff in the "seasonal" aisle, but on opposite sides.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Not a good look here.

"C:\Users\%USERNAME%\Documents folder is a bit cumbersome."

To be fair, many Linux installers create /home/%username% as a standard and NOT as a separate slice/partition. The option is there of course, but many users just choose the default which hangs everything off /

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On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "oh boy"

"Steve Jobs wasn't a genius 'inventor, designer' or anything else... although... He was a genius at marketing bullshit and convincing people to follow him."

I'd not go quite that far. Genius inventor? Probably not. Genius designer? Maybe. Marketing genius? Definitely.

He was very, very good at re-developing and re-packaging others inventions in a vastly improved way. I'm no fanboi and have never actually owned any Apple products, but on the whole, they look good and work well and are usually better than the originals incarnations or others current competition if you can stomach the price.

Yes, tablets, mp3 players and smartphones all existed before Apples products came along, but Jobs and Apple improved them considerably. There doesn't appear to have been anything new out of Apple for a many years though. Just step changes and incremental improvements. (note that I differentiated there. Not all changes are improvements.)

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John Brown (no body)
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Flame

"He then went on to say that Jobs now has a full head of hair, sleeps on a floating hover-bed, and if he wants to eat, one of twenty servants immediately brings him what he would like, and if he thinks about his favorite song, it starts playing."

The corollary to this is that this self-same Jobs Nirvana is the eternal hell that El Reg journalists go to where they have be Jobs servants for all eternity.

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John Brown (no body)
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"It is irrelevant that he might've been good one day. Any criminal or other bad-behaving individual in this world might've been good in the past. What matters is his later positions and actions."

So all the bad things Bill Gates has done in the past are now irrelevant because he does so much charitable work with his money?

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Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Barrel Bottoms

"I was thinking a red shirt with the register masthead and logo on it.

El Reg wins 'cos advertising, and low costs due to volume discounts on shirts.

Writers win 'cos free shirt only available through posting good story."

Are you really wanting to be wearing a *red* shirt when attending an emergency?

"Win-win-lose"

FTFY

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Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

John Brown (no body)
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Re: USB Raid array

"I always wanted to find 4+ similar USB drives and plug them into my old USB hub and see if I could make a RAID array out of them. Watching IO light up the access LEDs would be fun."

Done it. 3x32GB USB sticks formatted as a ZFS volume on FreeBSD. It was practice on how to do it while waiting for the 4x2TB spinning discs to arrive. USB 2.0 interface and whatever speeds the sticks were. I can't remember how fast it was.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: re. micro sd, etc.

"Anyone know what that might be called?"

It's just a short length of re-purposed cable trunking. The cheaper sort you use in non-visible places and cable tie stuff in/to.

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Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how

John Brown (no body)
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the routine reauthorization act

If it's just a routine reauthorisation, how come it's allowed to add changes? I'd have thought "routine reauthorisation", by definition, meant they were re-authorising existing rules, not changing them.

That sounds like an excellent way to introduce legislation by the back door.

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Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

Re: Her Indoors

"That's what I did with my friends and family years ago, and it worked out great for me!"

If living alone in a 1 bed flat with no friends or family is what floats yer boat...

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Apple forgot to lock Intel Management Engine in laptops, so get patching

John Brown (no body)
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Re: the security of our products is a top priority for Intel

"Desktop motherboards should be a no-brainer. A jumperDesktop motherboards should be a no-brainer. A jumper if you WANT the ME, off by default. if you WANT the ME, off by default."

Probably because the vast majority of desktops are sold into corps. and government (local and national) and they want ME on in many/most cases.

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Google is still chasing the self-driving engineer that jumped ship to Uber

John Brown (no body)
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Facepalm

Re: Spazturtle

"No one in the right mind would risk hiring someone who sees nothing wrong with stealing."

Uber did the hiring, wait...what?

"Trust is an actual thing"

We're still taking about Uber.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Spazturtle

"They're not hounding a guy that's simply using his experience, they're chasing a guy that downloaded drives worth of their internal documents and then, effectively, tried to flog them onto a competitor (throwing himself into the bargain)."

It must be an interesting experience for anyone in that sort of position of responsibility who happens to have an eidetic memory.

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What do Zuck, Sergey, @Jack and Bezos have in common? They don't want encryption broken

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Dabbb

"For all retarded downvoters who think that it's better to deal with transnational corporation not accountable to anyone than with your local governments - smash that button on the right as if your life depends on it. It will make you feel better and you clearly need it."

You really should not take "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" quite so literally. The fact that somone may oppose a policy of their government while at the same time the likes of Facebook also oppose that same policy does not mean that same someone is a Facebook fanboi. All it mean is that their aims (NB aims, not motives) happen to align in that instance.

Another, more down to earth example for you. If I vote against the Tories for some reason and some knuckle dragging fascist also votes against the Tories, that doesn't mean I support the knuckle dragging fascist.

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Sun billionaire Khosla discovers life's a beach after US Supreme Court refuses to hear him out

John Brown (no body)
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"You could ask Donald Trump what he thinks about it when it comes to people wandering alongside Turnberry golf course."

Thanks for the downvote! Now Google the following terms:

scotland trump golf course trespassing

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John Brown (no body)
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"Just for the sake of argument: What if I argue that someone else's very presence constitutes "damage"?"

Other than someone being highly contagious, I'm struggling to think how mere presence could constitute damage in and of itself (unless you consider wear and tear on the ground, treading on grass, weeds or creepy crawlies as "damage"). At a stretch, causing an obstruction.

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John Brown (no body)
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"Hmm, I wonder what America would make of Scotland's no law of trespass.

You basically can't stop people walking across your land as long as they're not damaging it"

You could ask Donald Trump what he thinks about it when it comes to people wandering alongside Turnberry golf course.

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MIMEsweeper maker loses UK High Court patent fight over 15-year-old bulletin board post

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "Imagineer"?

"What's wrong with "re-imaging"?"

I suspect he meant "re-imagining" and his brain was ahead of his fingers when typing.

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Manchester nuisance-call biz fined £150k after ignoring opt-out list

John Brown (no body)
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Re: 0161 = block

"Mine is auto-reject for most dialling codes around Cardiff & Swansea, Manchester & 0203."

A bit like blocking entire country codes from emailling you. It's sad that important communications links can be so abused by a few that the many users have to resort to severely restricting the use of the system they pay for.

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The ink's not dry on California'a new net neutrality law and the US govt is already suing

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Why companies can regulate interstate commerce, and States cannot?

"Without net neutrality, you can't have a free interstate commerce. Companies will be able to regulate and set policies about what and how goes in and out their networks, and at what price. What if a regional provider makes some services outside its area more expensive?"

Exactly this. The outcome of abolishing net neutrality will become akin to granting the individual States the right to control their own borders and introduce tariffs on imports and exports. Or charging out-of-State trucks an entry fee if they want to drive at the posted limits instead of being restricted to half the posted speed limits.

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Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub

John Brown (no body)
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"I still have the original MSDOS 2.0 disks that came with the IBM PC I bought in '83 or '84. Would be interesting to see if they are still readable."

I think the oldest MS-DOS I have disk for is 2.11 that came with a Tandy 1000 (A PC clone with the sound/graphics/joystick ports of the IBM PC Jnr added.)

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Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

John Brown (no body)
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Re: @big_D

"they filled the empty holes with solder to make it harder"

They would be otherwise unused but still be plated through holes so when the board goes aver the solder bath, that's what happens. It wasn't done to sypie you, it was just, from their point of view, a pleasing side effect.

On a similar note, back in the day I added am extra scart socket to my TV by adding just the socket and a few resistors, found a slow motion playback button hidden behind the fascia of a video disk player and upgraded an analogue satellite receiver with a switch and a crystal to get the newer birds and all the newer channels.

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Location, location, location... technologies under the microscope

John Brown (no body)
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Coat

Re: BlueTooth? No Thanks

"Enough is enough. No more."

Hey Steve! You need to calm down. Why not have a Moke Coke?

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WWII Bombe operator Ruth Bourne: I'd never heard of Enigma until long after the war

John Brown (no body)
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"Second, my late mum did this in Washington as a WAVE. She never really got into detail about what she did and whose codes she worked on, and we didn't think to grill her, but she could recite the alphabet backwards and always did the crossword in the morning with her coffee."

If you've not yet seen it, you might enjoy both series (seasons) of The Bletchly Circle, a sort of detective story where the heroines are Bletchly almumin using their skills to solve the case, the second series being set when two of them follow a lead to the US and meet one of their opposite numbers who they only knew through a code name and telegraph messages.

It's not really directly related to this story of course, but shows a little of how women who were important and doing vital war work were often "pushed back into the kitchen" after it was over.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Standard German and Dialects?

"Of course the heros of Bletchley Park are rightly lauded, but I don't think the Poles who got things rolling are given their due."

FWIW, ever since I first heard of all this, pretty much every story has included mention of the Poles and how the British built on their knowledge.

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