* Posts by Kubla Cant

1986 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors

Kubla Cant
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Re: Easy juice? Sounds good to me.

are you really trying to argue that there isn't evidence of useful nutrients being contained in vegetables?

The weasel-word here is "nutrients". In spite of what self-styled nutritionists tell you, here's nothing intrinsically good about nutrients.

Most food consists of a mixture of nutrients, things absorbed by the body, and non-nutrients such as fibre, that pass right through. A bag of white sugar contains nothing but useful nutrients. It also delivers plenty of energy - another weasel-word. But it's not really a wise food choice.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Juicing is bad

If you eat the fruit, do those sugars not get digested in the same way?

The same amount of sugars, but not digested in the same way. The problem is with the time it takes for your blood sugar to rise. Whole fruit has a lower glycaemic index than fruit juice. Many fruit juices deliver the same glycaemic load as a glass of Coke.

Also, a recent study reported that prepared, bagged salads could carry a dangerous risk of salmonella because the juices on the cut ends of the leaves are an ideal growth medium for bacteria. I would guess that the juices in a bag of cut fruit are salmonella heaven.

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(You can't) buy one now! The flying car makes its perennial return

Kubla Cant
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Trollface

Re: Calories (or whatever measure of energy expenditure you prefer)

one will ruin one's new suite when going to the club after the gym

Myself, I prefer a club that supplies its own furniture.

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Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

Kubla Cant
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Re: My thoughts on this ...

I recently worked a contract where all the developer machines ran Ubuntu. I really, really tried to get on with Unity, but after a couple of months I called it a day and installed the latest Cinnamon. You had to select the desktop at startup time, but apart from that it ran pretty well. There were occasional glitches, but that may well have been a result of running the bleeding-edge Cinnamon on a slightly old version of Ubuntu.

For home use I occasionally run through the latest and greatest distros and desktops, but I usually come back to Mint/Cinnamon.

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30,000 London gun owners hit by Met Police 'data breach'

Kubla Cant
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Allegedly, the guns on HMS Belfast would score a direct hit on the M1 "London Gateway" motorway services if fired.

I remember reading that when I worked in an office opposite HMS Belfast, but it can't be true. I mean, if they could shell a Welcome Break, why wouldn't they?

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PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

Kubla Cant
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Re: Pack your bags?

a publicly used telephone

Telephone sanitisers mostly cleaned phones in offices. I think they're unfairly vilified. The real culprits were the people who employed them - a bunch of snake-oil merchants selling a solution to a non-existent health risk.

I dare say somebody used to clean public phone boxes, but you'd never have guessed.

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'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

Kubla Cant
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Mushroom

Re: Senior Moment

That seems to be the opinion of many people over the age of 70. These are people who didn't make their money using a keyboard.

As a person over 70 currently making a decent living as a developer of internet applications, I object. You are confusing over-70s with idiots, who can be any age.

This man's an ill-informed fool because he's a politician. Ignorance and bluster are the main qualifications for his job.

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HMRC beer duty bungle leaves breweries struggling to pay online

Kubla Cant
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Re: Clearly this tax change has taken all the devs by surprise

They had plenty of notice. But as a result of the new IR35 regime, the devs no longer work at HMRC.

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

Kubla Cant
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Re: AGA do

But I was going to say "AGA Khan't"

Hey! That's my pun!

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Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

Kubla Cant
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Re: I think the point is

Artery-attacking mega-chain Burger King

I've spent the past 45 years avoiding saturated fat, so I was more than a little annoyed to learn that current medical opinion is that there is no link between dietary cholesterol and arterial disease.

But what a strange world admen inhabit, where the best way to encourage people to buy your product is to cause them annoyance and inconvenience.

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Apple wets its pants over Swatch ad tagline

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Tick Different?

In related news, 'MacDonald's" have trademarked every word in the English language, with Mac prefixed.

Why would McDonald's want to do that?

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Eric S. Raymond says you probably fit one of eight tech archetypes

Kubla Cant
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Architect

Unfortunately, the term "architect" has taken over the unlovely role previously occupied by "analyst". Time was, you could just be a programmer. Then that job title became a bit infra dig, and anyone whose job didn't involve floor-sweeping became an "analyst programmer".

Last year I worked in an office where everyone was either an architect or a business analyst (except me - as a contractor I was allowed to be just a developer). I think it's a way of providing a chimerical career path for the permies.

Nothing against real architects.

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Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

Kubla Cant
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@oldtaku Unity is still a worthless piece of crippled crap that nobody ever wanted but Canonical

QED.

I've used Unity professionally on a number of projects. It's not my favourite desktop environment, but it has good points as well as bad. So do all the alternatives, including Windows and OSX.

The belief that expressing polar likes and dislikes in intemperate terms is a way to prove their validity is one that most people grow out of by adolescence.

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

Kubla Cant
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BS 5216C:2005 Proof correction marks (Pack of 20)

In the nine months between school and university, I worked as a technical editor*. In those days we had to make our own proof correction marks with a pencil. I don't think the option to buy packs of them was available. For much of the stuff I corrected, 20 marks would have been hopelessly inadequate.

How does a pack of correction marks work? Do you get five carets, five of the loopy deletion mark**, a couple of feet of underlining for bold and italic, and assorted subscript, superscript, caps, lc marks? What do you do if you need something exotic like wrong font?

* For a company that built nuclear power stations. In the intervening years I've been looking out for a "nuclear accident caused by faulty operating instructions" headline.

** Does it have a name?

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We know what you're thinking: Where the hell is all the antimatter?

Kubla Cant
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Re: No charge

the scientists should avoid rubbing balloons against their jumpers. And wearing polyester-mix trousers

The carpet and balloon requirements can be met, but I'm afraid polyester-mix trousers are non-negotiable for scientists. There may even be the odd nylon shirt in there.

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Kubla Cant
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Windows

Re: I thought

@Patrician Please show me how to play Mass Effect:Andromeda on anything other than Windows

This thread started with a post saying "I could probably move about 60% of my staff to running on Raspberry PI's running Nix with OpenOffice". I don't know what business the OP is in, but I'd be surprised if it involves an office full of people playing Mass Effect:Andromeda.

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Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

Kubla Cant
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Re: re Why do you need the intermediate server, which is just another thing to go wrong?

Last week we had to keep bumping the thermostat manually up a degree. A few weeks before that the heating never came on because the house was at 19 degrees for several days.

Why did you have to alter the thermostat when it was cold? Isn't the point of a thermostat to maintain a constant temperature by switching the heating (or individual radiators) off and on? The fact that your heating didn't come on when the weather was warm suggests that the thermostat is working as expected.

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Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

Kubla Cant
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Lochs, locks

Perhaps the massive budget over-run was partly a result of confusion. "No, no, no! I told you to build a lock, not a loch."

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Hundreds of millions 'wasted' on UK court digitisation scheme

Kubla Cant
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Megaphone

a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to modernise the criminal justice system

This point of view seems to embody the characteristic failure mode of these monster public-sector projects. Instead of building on what's already in place, they have a megalomaniac urge to throw everything away and start again.

My experience (admittedly on a relatively microscopic scale) is that this attitude is common among people who lack the patience, or the ability, to examine the existing solutions properly.

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Y'know CSS was to kill off HTML table layout? Well, second time's a charm: Meet CSS Grid

Kubla Cant
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What's new?

How is this different from the various display: table CSS attributes that have been part of the standard for years? Even Internet Exploder supported them from version 9.

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Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

Kubla Cant
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Re: Pavements

The thing in the picture looks like it would have the classic Dalek Problem with kerbs and steps. If delivery robots are programmed to avoid pedestrians it should be easy to herd them into the gutter.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Robot wars?

I've only ever caught the last few minutes of Robot Wars. It looked to me like the warring machines were being guided by fat blokes with remote controls. Was I mistaken, or are there in fact no actual robots involved?

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How about a nice game of ... Tetris? Oxford eggheads slow PTSD onset with classic game

Kubla Cant
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How did they settle on Tetris?

Did they try other computer games?

Even better, did they try non-computer games? Like getting the people waiting in A&E to play snakes and ladders, or squash, or hide-and-seek. A game of British Bulldog would take your mind off things.

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

Kubla Cant
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Seeing a list of options starting "Palm Oil, Tallow..." reminds me of a system I once worked on. It was a billing system for storage of bulk liquids in the company's tank farm. Running "select * from products" was guaranteed to make you feel queasy. The results included palm oil and tallow, and much, much worse things.

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Creators Update gives Windows 10 a bit of an Edge, but some old annoyances remain

Kubla Cant
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Re: WS_EX_TOPMOST

I hear the next version of UWP brings back CGA graphics compatibility.

Ah, but will it have the authentic on-screen snow when refreshing.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: 'Hang on! Ads in Explorer?'

Win-10 bypasses Hosts file requires blocking at Router level!

Presumably you can use an ad-blocking proxy server such as Privoxy. You might need to run it on a separate box, but any old retired computer running a basic Linux would probably suffice.

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'Trash-80' escapes the dustbin of history with new TRS-80 emulator

Kubla Cant
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LET

The latest manifestation of EctoplasmECMA Script has introduced a "let" keyword as a fix for the tragically ill-conceived "var". To anyone with experience of early BASIC this is an unfortunate choice, as it indicates variable definition, not assignment. Using "let" more than once on the same variable causes an error. You'd think ECMA could have found a keyword with less history.

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Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Sense of Fun

Kubla Cant
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Re: "the drug-induced stupor makes it difficult"

strange virtual wolds in your brain

I think it's known as Lincolnshire.

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UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

Kubla Cant
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Re: self-employment check

Their house their rules?

Yes, but it seems to be more a case of "We're big, you're small, so we can do whatever we like". When I've been approached about public-sector contracts recently, I've been told "You will have to work through an umbrella company rather than your own limited company". If true, this clearly implies that the public sector is discriminating against small business.

I bet Crapita doesn't have PAYE/NIC deducted at source.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Kubla Cant
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Re: Read more

Progress bars that are just an illusion are my pet hate.

You'll love this then. I worked on an application that did lots of long-running database operations. The thing about those is that there's no real way to monitor progress, so I had to resort to Zeno's progress bar. In the first minute* it gradually increases to 50% done. In the second it goes to 75%. And so on, never actually reaching 100% until the result comes back from the database.

* The actual time for each increment is based on an estimate of the likely total time. It's also a bit more convincing if the initial increment and the progression aren't 50%.

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Kubla Cant
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Re: Best traps

The edible doormouse is the European vermin from hell

It's actually illegal to trap your own glis glis (edible dormice) as they're protected. Doesn't make them less of a pest.

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Welcome to my world of The Unexplained – yes, you're welcome to it

Kubla Cant
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I once read a book called The Naked Island by Russell Braddon. The latter part was a harrowing first-person description of the torture, deprivation, disease and death suffered by Allied servicemen interned in Changi prison by the glorious forces of Nippon during the war.

Perhaps "a visually arresting Japanese drama" is their way of saying sorry.

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Windows 10: What is it good for? Microsoft pitches to devs ahead of Creators Update

Kubla Cant
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Mushroom

Windows 10: What is it good for?

Pulling pictures off a Windows phone? Apparently not.

Yesterday a friend who uses a Lumia phone asked me to back up her photos to her PC, running Windows 10. Windows talks to Windows via USB - should be a no-brainer. After all, I've often copied stuff from Android to Windows and Android to Linux with no problem.

But Windows 10 refuses to acknowledge that the phone is connected. The phone sits there making a bleeping noise every five seconds, so it knows there's some kind of connection.

When I research the problem on the internet, it seems it's not uncommon. The forums are full of "try this" posts, but no definite solution. Microsoft don't seem too interested - Windows can't connect to Windows, so what?

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Free smart fridges! App stores in fountains! Plus more from Canonical man

Kubla Cant
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Re: I dunno...

@Neil Barnes: In general, I agree with you. But:

- Fridge: requires a thermostat and a little switch to turn the light on. Many fridges now have a frost-free feature that presumably relies on some kind of timer. I don't suppose anyone is perverse enough to be nostalgic about freezer defrosting.

- Heating: requires a thermostat to turn the heating on and off. And a timer.

- Lifts: requires a little control logic and a set of buttons to select a target floor. True only for small buildings. Moving large numbers of people around tall buildings requires logic that controls all the lifts, and sometimes the slightly annoying feature where you select a floor when you arrive in the lobby, so the system can optimise each lift's stops.

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Could a robot vacuum cleaner monitor your data centre?

Kubla Cant
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It never quite produces the crisp appearance that comes from a really good human-powered Hoover session, but will save you a daily sweep.

Do I understand from this that you, or somebody in your house, vacuums the floor daily? I'm impressed.

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Poor software design led to second £1m Army spy drone crash

Kubla Cant
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Re: When R/C hobby models now come with autoland, these folks are simply pathetic.

You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes. -- JBS Haldane

How about a whale? (With or without a bowl of petunias)..

The whale would get stuck. For it is written: "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a whale to fit down a mine shaft."

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If only our British 4G were as good as, um, Albania's... UK.gov's telco tech report

Kubla Cant
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(I haven't heard that one for a while - there can't really be any factories still using pre-war machinery).

Want to bet? I know of at least one place where they are still using a punch press that has the manufacturers metal label on the front, stating it was produced in 1931.

Actually, while writing the above, I kept thinking of Whitechapel Bell Foundry, established in 1570 and manufacturing on the same site since 1738 (and now, sadly, facing an uncertain future). They must have some pretty old machinery.

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Kubla Cant
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The problem with the UK is that because we were early users of 2G, the majority of cell sites were put in place to suit GSM coverage

This is the invariable excuse. We have a crappy, badly-planned rail network because ours was the first. I imagine the same excuse is applied to the road network. It used to be claimed that German factories were much more efficient than British ones because theirs were all destroyed during the war, so they started again with new machinery (I haven't heard that one for a while - there can't really be any factories still using pre-war machinery).

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Rogue One: This is the Star Wars back story you've been looking for

Kubla Cant
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Re: Tape?

"Then, to our dismay, we were confronted by another crisis. Nearly five thousand highly skilled men had been selected to serve the Analyzers and had been given an intensive course at the Technical Training Schools. At the end of seven months, 10 percent of them had had nervous breakdowns and only 40 per cent had qualified the course, 90 percent of them left to become freelance contractors."

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Kubla Cant
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Tape?

the colossal tape library on which the Death Star plans reside

I know it's a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, but tape hasn't been seen in SF films for 40 years. Do they have the old banks of big IBM tape drives twitching their reels?

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WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas

Kubla Cant
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What's the formula for gaining an advantage when playing Diplomacy then?

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'Emoji translator' sought by translations firm

Kubla Cant
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No discussion of tube stations is complete without this:

[emoji of sunrise][emoji of huge weight][emoji of new moon]

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Kubla Cant
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Saving space

The name "Seven Sisters" uses 13 bytes. As far as I know, emojis are implemented as Unicode multi-byte characters, so the rebus of seven pictures of a woman probably consumes between 14 and 28 bytes.

What's more, it doesn't specify that they're sisters. They're all identical, so it should be the little-known station Monozygotic Female Septuplets.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Competitive Salary

Any job advertisement that relies on expressions like "competitive salary" or "market rate" instead of specifying an actual figure is effectively admitting that they hope to get away with under-paying.

That's my experience, anyway. When you ask "How much is your competitive salary?", the answer is always a disappointment.

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ESA to try tank-to-tank fuel switch on sat that wasn't designed to do it

Kubla Cant
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Re: Er, there's a better way...

Not, I suspect "better" in the sense of cheaper, easier, simpler or quicker.

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HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Kubla Cant
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Re: overhaul?

If you make a chocolate bar that looks too much like a Cadbury's one, you'll be in trouble.

I think this shows where the problem lies. The Cadbury's trademark applies to a fairly narrow set of products, whereas the HBO one covers "clothing, mugs, drinking glasses, hats, bags, mouse pads and similar tat" *. The HBO trademark applies to a commonly-used sentence on a wide group of products that often carry messages.

If I sell a chocolate bar in purple foil, then it's reasonable to claim that it's counterfeit Cadbury's. If I sell a hat with "Winter is coming" on it, but no knights in armour and women with their tits out **, then it's absurd to suggest I'm passing it off as an HBO hat.

* I suppose it's too much to hope that the registration actually uses the phrase "similar tat".

** I'm afraid my knowledge of Game of Thrones is entirely second-hand.

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Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Common sense required

What's next..."this is the winter of our discontent".?

I think you mean "Now is the winter of our discontent". Or have you changed the wording to avoid a take-down notice from the Royal Shakespeare Company?

I wonder who's bagged "Sumer is icumen in"?

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90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

Kubla Cant
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Re: Maybe they should consider going over to Linux?

If the NHS had sat down, formed an OS development team, taken a base Linux distro, and gone on to build their own bespoke system on top of it they could by now be sitting on a highly developed, relatively very secure and stable OS that they would be in control of and that would offer a common platform for the whole NHS to work with.

Sounds good.

But back in the real world, they'd outsource the development to Monster IT Inc, extend the scope to refactoring the world, and end up with a bill of £100bn for a "free" operating system. By the time it was delivered (if it ever was), everyone would have installed XP.

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Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

Kubla Cant
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Re: estimated net "benefit" of £5.7bn by 2020

like utilita witch...

What kind of witch is Utilita? A Wicked Witch or a Good Witch?

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Qualcomm, Microsoft plot ARM Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs, tablets, phones

Kubla Cant
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Re: "How do you license something.............."

AFAIK Microsoft do not charge a license fee for devices with screens under seven inches.

Sounds like a good way to acquire cheap Windows server licenses, for those that want them. After all, it's a server, so a titchy screen should do.

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