* Posts by A K Stiles

498 posts • joined 16 Jul 2010

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The future of radio may well be digital, but it won't survive on DAB

A K Stiles
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AM ? Luxury!

Some of us can remember listening to "Longwave Radio Atlantic 252" with a signal to noise ratio on a good day of approx 1:1.

Not old enough for Radio Caroline though!

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Swiss sausage sizzler 4.0 hits 200 bangers per hour

A K Stiles
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Mushroom

specific sausage style

from the picture, it'd struggle to deal with something like a cumberland or a boerewors, but maybe they're not standard bbq fair in Switzerland.

( icon for what usually happens when I get let loose on the bbq/braai )

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It could be you: National Lottery hands £16m to England's Jodrell Bank

A K Stiles
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Re: Money transfer

Last you recall was possibly the jackpot odds of 14ish million to 1? It's gone up since then! Now it's around 45 million to 1, for a jackpot of 2 to 4 million quid per £2 spend (obviously smaller prizes also pay out on better less bad odds but, you know). It's such rubbish odds that it usually rolls over a couple of times to get to 8 or 9 million (best I can see for the last 6 months was 24 million).

Okay, okay - mine's the one without the lottery ticket in the pocket, thanks.

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Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

A K Stiles
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Honest advertising?

Or at least, 'more reflective of reality' advertising - who'd have thought that was a good idea (from a consumer perspective at least)!

And who would have thought that the self-regulation model from a few years back wasn't going to work in terms of more accurately reflecting the likely outcome of the advertised product...

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Surface Hub 2: Microsoft's pricey whiteboard gets a sequel

A K Stiles
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Re: Inevitably...

At least you CAN scrape a CRT...

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A K Stiles
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Devil

Re: Inevitably...

"Have you tried turning the whiteboard off and using an erasable marker..."

How long before someone tries writing on it with a (possibly not erasable) marker? or pokes at it with a biro? So many of the screens in a previous job had little blue and black poke marks all over them...

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Bowel down: Laxative brownies brought to colleague's leaving bash

A K Stiles
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Joke

Giving a crap

Well that seems like a shitty thing to do...

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No top-ups, please, I'm a millennial: Lightweight yoof shunning booze like never before

A K Stiles
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IT Angle

Re: Side-effects

Possibly people are realising that kids are expensive (along with almost everything else, including booze) and they actually can't afford to have 3 kids.

Or maybe falling religious participation and improved healthcare over the last 50 - 100 years means there is no longer the need / encouragement to have many spawn to bolster future member counts?

Perhaps some complicated combination of multiple causal factors that are difficult to quantify with neat categories?

IT angle? Well, there's booze involved, so that's good enough!

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Machines learned to assemble IKEA’s semi-disposable furniture

A K Stiles
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Joke

Instructions

And here I was hoping that the system was starting from scratch and using the instruction sheet to determine the correct assembly procedure - in my experience the most time is taken trying to understand the hieroglyphics in an IKEA instruction manual (well second only to the time it took to get around the IKEA store to find said item and then pay for it and leave again)

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NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

A K Stiles
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Re: re-orientated itself

"That's how language works: people invent new words, and if people use them then they are correct."

Unless you're French apparently... </sarc>

From the OED link above,

Orientated, adj (1857). Oriented, adj (1875). Unlike many 'Americanisms', it appears that this one isn't actually a case of America retaining an older usage whilst the British evolved the language further. Interesting.

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A K Stiles
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Re: It took an hour to reboot?

28 minutes to send the reboot command, 4 minutes to reboot and self-test and transmit the reply message, 28 minutes to send the response back to earth, or thereabout I suspect.

Did I miss your joke icon?

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A K Stiles
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Headmaster

Re: re-orientated itself

Orientate as a word has been in usage in British English for approximately 200 years. After that length of time I'm not sure there's any validity to the suggestion that it is not 'correct'. In my UK experience, it is much more common than 'orient' which I've only ever heard uttered by folks from the ex-colonies (US, Oz, Southern Africa).

from The OED

"ORIENTATE: More commonly used in British English than orient, while the latter is the more frequent of the two in American English. Orientate is commonly regarded as an incorrect usage in American English."

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Data watchdog fines Brit council £120k for identifying 943 owners of vacant property

A K Stiles
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Re: I apologize for being ignorant in this...

I think you can get the name (and possibly contact address) of the owner of a property from the land registry (for a nominal fee), but that doesn't tell you whether the property is occupied. The council will know this from the council tax record for the property (single occupant pays less than multiple people occupying, zero occupants pays less again I believe), but that isn't a matter of public record.

Knowing how many properties in an area might not be a DPA problem and be in the public interest, but knowing which properties those are and therefore to whom they belong may well be.

In the UK I believe you have to have a recognisable reason (and possibly be registered?) to be able to request a vehicle owner's details e.g. controlling local parking restrictions, so this isn't considered public information.

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A developer always pays their technical debts – oh, every penny... but never a groat more

A K Stiles
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Re: If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand!

"One of the basic rules of XP is "Don't repeat yourself." This is a central tenant of maintainability."

Sorry, I think the word you are looking for is 'tenet'. I only point this out because another tenet of maintainability is clarity of communication.

going now...

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I say, I say, I say: What's the difference between a king penguin and liquid?

A K Stiles
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Re: What's average airspeed velocity

Um, airspeed... in a vacuum...

No tea yet so running at full pedant.

The one with the box of Yorkshire Gold in the pocket please.

(Guessing it'll be a close approximate to 1.0 Sheep)

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User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

A K Stiles
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Meh

Re: "Mangers feature prominently in the Christmas story"

"My cousin is married to a vicar - who in the 1960s was one of the more trendy types. She is appalled that I am an atheist - and said that she couldn't countenance any of her many children being atheists."

Friends had their child christened/baptised/whatever the catholic equivalent is. Mother was born and raised by a fairly ardent catholic mother, father a somewhat uninterested atheist. My (atheist) wife and the mother's notionally catholic brother (one of them *HAS* to be a catholic apparently) were named as god-parents and when it cam to the bit about renouncing and casting out satan (satin / santa?) and all his works, 3 of the 4 voices could only be heard to utter "mhmhmmm hmmhabbm m ms tm emem".

During the post ceremony gathering (in a pub) the brother freely admitted to having actually said "Mumble mumble mumble" because "who has time for all that crap?"

Kid's father apparently mostly went along with the whole thing for an easy life and because he'd had to promise to christen any kids when they'd got married in the same catholic church - so he wasn't prepared to break any of his wedding vows.

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Slap visibility beacons on bikes so they can chat to auto autos, says trade body

A K Stiles
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Headmaster

Re: Reality Check.....

"Condensing the jargon down to the taught..."

presuming you meant "taut" rather than "taught"? There didn't seem to be any lesson in the statement?

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NASA fungus problem puts theory of 'Martian mushrooms' on toast

A K Stiles
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Re: Suggested title...

Took a couple of reads to get where you were going with that - presumably you're pronouncing the 'g' and the end of 'among' in a more hard / glottal way to match the 'g' in fungus, rather than a soft/ringing way like an example I can't think of if you pronounce all your 'g's the first way...

Meh - it's too early on a Monday for fully formed thoughts!

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Sysadmin held a rack of servers off the ground for 15 mins, crashed ISP when he put them down

A K Stiles
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build around them or open front and back and slide it in whilst 2x4 support staff steps though the cabinet?

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Veteran NASA probe Dawn: Winter is coming on Ceres (sort of)

A K Stiles
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Re: Another extended mission coming to an end?

but more fuel means bigger tanks and more fuel required to get to the destination - it's all a bit Zeno's paradox with diminishing returns for your money.

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Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

A K Stiles
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Boffin

It's printing upside down!

Several times (now in history) I've had to deal with people complaining that the printer was printing the letters upside down, to go to the print room, pause the print run because clearly leaving it to carry on printing 100 letters in the meantime was the best plan, open the paper drawer and rotate the sheaf of headed paper by 180 degrees so the heading was in the correct location - as stated by the large label I'd previously affixed to the front of the paper drawer ("Headed paper only, heading this end, face down"). Also removing the plain paper from the headed drawer, readjusting the paper-size margins and the old classic of pressing 'resume' on the printer to compel it to print the 'letter' format document onto the A4 sized paper when it has "stopped working again". Amazing the number of times one could resolve a problem by simply reading the information displayed on the LCD screen and doing what it said.

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Most IT contractors want employment benefits if clobbered with IR35

A K Stiles
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Re: Re. "Why don't they just get a proper job"

To those of us outside this thrilling discussion, it just seems like there's one AC with multiple-personality disorder who's let their mental turmoil loose on the keyboard!

Oi Reg, any chance we can identify all the posts from an AC together within on forum thread? AC1 / AC2 etc...

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Administrator PwC chops Maplin staff

A K Stiles
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Velleman can only do so much I suppose - time to cable-tie up the loose ends.

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'A sledgehammer to crack a nut': Charities slam UK voter ID trials

A K Stiles
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Re: Doesn't seem to understand how voting works

"Switch the right 68 votes and the Conservatives are down two MP's http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/mps-maj.htm"

and actually it's only 35 votes, as those numbers are majorities so it not only comes off their majority total but gets added to their opponent total - 14 votes taken from Davies and added to Labour total, 21 votes from Solloway and added to Labour total and neither would have had their seats in 2015 ( Both of them lost their seats to Labour by 2000+ majorities in the 2017 debacle / general election )

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A K Stiles
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Polling card

My recollection is that I've always received a polling card through the post before a local or general election, which I've presented to the officiating officer at the polling station prior to voting.

As has been said, you don't need the polling card to vote, it just tells you where and when you should go to vote. It also tells you that you don't need to take the card with you to vote. If you can't be arsed to read all of the information on the poll card how much other information don't you read? Maybe don't be arsed to vote and express an opinion that is likely to be not fully informed? (unless your voting opinion agrees with mine of course, then you should definitely go and vote at the earliest opportunity!)

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La, la, la, I can't hear you! Apple to challenge Bose's noise-proof cans

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: Wait - am I a weirdo?

"Coo, Mavis - look at that Cock in the fancy car there!"

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A K Stiles
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Thumb Up

Re: MacGuyver solution in the wild

Similar concept - squishy earplugs then (sub £50) noise cancelling headphones. Engine drone gone, plus some good practice lip-reading the cabin-crew when they ask what kind of booze you want!

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Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ brings the pane for unobservant workers

A K Stiles
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surely every pane of glass will shortly have a giant frosted Apple logo on it, or will it need to be some sort of clever thing where the asymmetry in the chomp and leaf look correct whichever side of the window you are?

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Reg man wraps head in 49-inch curved monitor

A K Stiles
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Re: Stuck with training wheels if you need them or not

...place your frequently used actions just one click away...

I want them to be no-clicks away. I'm using the keyboard to enter the data - I don't want to have to move my hand all the way to a mouse, move it to a toolbar icon, to expand another window, to select an option. Just leave me with the keyboard control.

I've previously done (company mandated) excel training and it was terrible - if you tried to use keyboard shortcuts to menu options it complained you were doing the wrong thing, even though you were applying the same ultimate controls, just not using the mouse!

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A K Stiles
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Re: Stuck with training wheels if you need them or not

ALT-E, S, V Excel hackery 101 - still use that frequently, even though there is no longer an 'Edit' menu.

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Apple 'wellness' unit launched for staff: The genius will see you now

A K Stiles
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Joke

But isn't it "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" ?

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Intellisense was off and developer learned you can't code in Canadian

A K Stiles
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@CrazyOldCatMan Re: I've never quite understood

I think it depends where you grew up and who you learned your English from..

Or indeed from whom one learned English.

Would have chosen the Grammar Nazi icon but for a softening in my resolve against the mutation of the language - After all, it's not French!

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A K Stiles
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Facepalm

Re: I've never quite understood

As a child from the frozen wastelands beyond the north of England, who's family moved south during his school age, I have experienced the blunt end of juvenile delight at the fact I made an audible pronunciation distinction between the nation 'Wales' and a school of 'Whales'.

I have also spent far more time than necessary attempting to determine the problem with an OAuth routine I was writing, which eventually turned out to be because I was passing a header requesting 'Authorisation'.

Oh what a frabjous day that was!

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Fender's 'smart' guitar amp has no Bluetooth pairing controls

A K Stiles
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Joke

Maybe they need to transpose it to a different key?

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That microchipped e-passport you've got? US border cops still can't verify the data in it

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: chipity chip chip!

And those filthy reds aren't getting in! No way!

Unless it's republican red of course...

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A K Stiles
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Re: Just a TSA anecdote

But what if it had been Hydrogen Hydroxide, or worse - Hydric Acid! - Have you seen how high the pH of that stuff is!

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Farts away! Plane makes unscheduled stop after man won't stop guffing

A K Stiles
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Re: Ah that might explain it

Ooh - do share (the food items, not the after-effects), for... um... science? not at all for the potential of relative welcoming.

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A K Stiles
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re: Beans

It bemused me on recent(ish) long-haul flights that the food served was a bean based dish, with a bean salad for the side - never mind the fact that it didn't seem terribly varied, just the sheer volume of beans being consumed on that aircraft with still 10+ hours flying time remaining was horrifying!

The one with the respirator in the pocket please...

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Japan's Robo-Bartenders point to a golden future

A K Stiles
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Pint

It's a soft roll by any other name, as any fule kno!

I was thinking it was just about doing okay with the head, and was giving a brief pause to let it settle slightly before finishing the pour, then it did a dodgy Mr. Whippy impression all over the top - the only saving grace being that it was clearly lager and thus not of great interest in the first place.

And you can top that up too! --->

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MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

A K Stiles
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I believe the accepted style is "Golf-clap" and maybe an "Oh, I say, jolly good show chaps!" ?

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A K Stiles
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Pint

Re: That simultaneous landing

Watched the live stream with a giant idiot-grin on my face!

Noticed that the 2 booster feeds were actually from the same booster - you can see as the approach the ground that both views are heading for the same pad and you can see the flame from the other booster in the top edge of the view, but they both landed almost simultaneously and I was very impressed.

Slightly disappointed for SpaceX that the centre core failed its landing - hopefully the boat fix isn't too expensive (certainly cheaper than replacing 3 F9 stage 1s!). It certainly doesn't look like any shade of failure from my point of view. Round of applause and a round of beers for everyone involved!

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Assange fails to make skipped bail arrest warrant vanish

A K Stiles
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Meh

Free to leave the Embassy

Julian has been free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy at any point he chose in the last 5.5 years. It's self-imposed exile, not incarceration.

Okay, once he steps outside he gets arrested and has to answer for skipping bail (which may or may not have had a financial security posted and ultimately forfeit). After that is resolved they can talk about any other charges he may be required to face in the UK or elsewhere, and whether the UK should or should not extradite him to those places.

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Look on the bright side, Pebble fans. At least your gizmo will work long enough for you to get beach body ready

A K Stiles
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I'd add a point 1a. to your list

Customisable watchface.

My Pebble has a vague time watchface operating almost constantly - If I need to know the precise time I can find it readily enough, but generally all I want to know is that it's 'about quarter to ten', or 'nearly half past three'.

By the looks of it, I'd have to spend £50 more than the original cost of the Pebble to replace it with a device which advertises a shorter battery life, doesn't seem quite as customisable and, by default, contains a whole lot of *crap* I don't actually want.

*crap being heart rate monitoring, breathing guides, cardio-fitness indicators. Fitbit - the detail is in the company name - based around fitness tracking with some 'watchiness' and notifications tacked on. I want it from the other direction, but without the fitness stuff tacked on.

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Job ad for designer proves its point with MS Paint shocker

A K Stiles
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Joke

Re: Polygraph Examiner

"Tea-leave readers?"

Is that a subtle term for native Brexit supporters?

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Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

A K Stiles
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Boiled Sprouts

Me too.

Preferably boiled what would technically be called "for a little bit too long". I was the only one at christmas that actually likes them, but still the preparer (I wasn't allowed in the kitchen) insisted on trying to cook them so they were still crunchy, and also some stir-fried with various spices. They still didn't like them, and I didn't get to enjoy them they way I like them. Everyone's a loser!!

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Ofcom cracks on with spectrum auction rules, despite Three's legal challenge

A K Stiles
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"Whatever you want"

So if it's Status Quo after the ruling in February, does that mean that BT/EE will have to relinquish some of their current spectrum anyway, or at least just not buy as big a chunk of the new stuff to bring their 42% down to the 37% cap?

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PPI-pusher makes 75 MEEELLION nuisance calls, lands £350k fine

A K Stiles
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Mushroom

Jail time

Send the Managing Director(s) to jail.

They've clearly ignored regulations and attempted to evade any penalties by closing the company - demonstrating awareness of their wrongdoing.

Prison time and forfeiture of assets seems the only way to get the message through.

(I may have started 2018 angry)

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Beer hall putz: Regulator slaps northern pub over Nazi-themed ad

A K Stiles
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re Barmaids in skimpy lederhosen

You should probably also include some Herren in lederhosen or possibly dirndl for a bit of equality!

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UK Data Protection Bill tweaked to protect security researchers

A K Stiles
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Joke

So essentially..

You manage to identify people from a supposedly anonymised dataset, but as long as you didn't do it with malicious intent and then flag it to the ICO or the publishing organisation's data controller (or both simultaneously) within 3 days, you probably don't get prosecuted (successfully) for doing so. Best not do any of that sort of research just before a bank holiday weekend then!

At first glance it does seem to be a more sensible and pragmatic approach...

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Military alliance NATO adopts official hymn

A K Stiles
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Re: Does the Hymn mention the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch ?

I was going to suggest a Sousa's "The Liberty Bell" - though more for the connection to it's popularised version

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