* Posts by Cpt Blue Bear

472 posts • joined 2 Aug 2010

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Oz intel committee: Crypto-busting is only bad if you're a commie, and we're not by the way

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Hashes are not encryption

"There are rather huge differences though..."

and

"Well, if that's your definition of encryption..." *

I think you have both missed my point. Its not my definition that is important here. Its the definition used by Oz lawmakers - a group well known for playing fast and loose with definitions.

That definition came from a Google search. I was a little surprised at how vague it was myself, but it is the sort of wording that non-technical people are going to use.

* Actually its not - you are replacing information not converting it. But again, that is not my point.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Hashes are not encryption

"WTF? Hashing is not encryption."

Actually if you take a broad, layman's definition (and we are dealing with some of the layest of laymen here) it is. A quick shuftie at Google suggests something like: the process of converting information into code to prevent unauthorised access. That sounds like hashing to me.

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Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

Cpt Blue Bear

"I would be quite cross with you had I discovered the stock shenanigans."

You were obviously not working in the industry in that era. Getting cross with, or indeed threatening murder of, a junior storeman would have got you marked down as a dangerous lunatic who needs to be kicked into line or got rid of.

It was a very different time to now. :-)

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Cpt Blue Bear

"Working for a retail chain doing shop fit out and maintenance. I visited stores in various places and had some interesting experiences with "stock"."

In my youth, and possibly for my future sins as kama works in strange and non-euclidian ways, I worked in the warehouse of a now defunct local supermarket chain. The stock control system had almost exactly the flaws you describe and it was indeed seen as a perk of the job and compensation for low pay and crap hours.

That was until someone discovered a bug that generated spurious stock movements, the judicious application of which could make stock vanish on command. Cue a sudden spike in "shrinkage and spoilage" but only on the most expensive lines. I suspect the last straw was when cartons of cigarettes started disappearing...

The front end staff got an interview with Mr Plod and a few were "let go" extremely sharpish. Fortunately I was in the warehouse and thus above suspicion. I have no idea why - the stores were the source of all serious pilfering. So we quietly got on with our games of under counting (to ensure a supply of snacks and drinks) or over counting (to generate errors that could be reported with much indignation while covering up more serious stock take discrepancies)

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Dead trees never failed anyone

"I make of that that they're idiots"

You are assuming their motivation is safety. In reality I suspect its an opportunity to enjoy the journey while you are stuck in the flying cattle truck because its safe.

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Fast food, slow user – techie tears hair out over crashed drive-thru till

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Very Good Answer...

"Christmas time - tinsel on monitor. Often ending up with bits of tinsel _in_ monitors :("

I walked past a row of CRT monitors draped with tinsel and commented that they shouldn't do that because its a fire hazard. I was not actually serious, I figured the strands are so thin and contain so little conductive metal that should they bridge something high voltage they would vaporise before any harm was done.

I seems I was wrong.

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VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Outboarding

"After that I invited our lawyer to each event with the promise of good food and a fun time."

Damnit! I cannot find or think of a suitable Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas quote about taking your "attorney" to Las Vegas.

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Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The boss owned up? Apologised, even?

"I actually had this happen when I was in the military."

I've seen two bosses apologies publicly. Both were ex-military so I presume it was something they are taught in officer training. Take it on the chin, clear the air and move the !@# on is a pretty good management strategy.

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Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Unpaid walking advert for someone else's company

"Sad to see RR Motors and Bentley ending up as the modern equivalent of Ghia. How long till we see "Bentley" as a trim level on the VW Golf Mk23?"

Rolls Royce hit that point in the late 1970s selling what was, fundamentally, a rebadged Austin Maxi with some wood trim glued on. My uncle hid one in my dad's shed during while getting divorced.

I'd not miss RR or Bentley: the former has always been a marketing driven company and the latter's glory days were 90 years ago.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Unpaid walking advert for someone else's company

Crikey! They saw you coming didn't they. 200 squids and they didn't even change an O-ring and pressure test it (that's all that seal is, seriously). I get this done (clean, lubricate and pressure test) on Seikos about once a decade and it costs under 100 Ozzie Pesos.

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Dixons Carphone: Yeah, so, about that hack we said hit 1.2m records? Multiply that by 8.3

Cpt Blue Bear

"Look here, el Reg. I'm fed up with you just rolling this sort of statement out like that."

Agreed with bells on.

I'd also like to ask what they are actually doing beyond issuing vague statements of intent.

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Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: One move and we shoot

"It's amazing how one person's "extremely serious misuse of corporate IT facilities" is another person's "nothing to see here, move along" when They decide "

When they say "civilised society" I think they mean with real labour laws. Generally they spell civilised with an s.

Here in Oz* your "gorss misconduct" argument fails a simple test: is your definition of "gross misconduct" consistent with both the rest of the industry and historical example within the company? If not, then please sign this cheque with A Very Large Number(tm) written on it and we will go away and never bother you again.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: One move and we shoot

"We're moving your job/team role(s) to India. Who want's to emigrate?"

The correct response goes:

"Excellent - I always wanted to go there. You'll be paying relocation I presume."

"What?!"

"Well, you've made me an offer. Now we are negotiating terms."

Check and mate.

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Oh boy: MPs prepare to probe UK.gov's digital prowess and tech savvy

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

"I didn't vote for any of them"

I infer from this that you didn't vote at all rather than you voted for someone who didn't win your quadrennial (is that even a word?) popularity contest. If I am wrong then please take what is below as a general statement rather than aimed at you.

By not voting you increase the value of the votes of those who do. This is A Bad Thing(tm) because it increases the influence of those motivated by fringe ideas and general fruitloopery. This is why the religious right have so much influence on American politics - they get out and vote. If much of the "normal" population are too busy, apathetic or disinterested because "whoever you vote for a politician always wins" then we get the governments that appeal to the lunatic fringe. This is precisely why voter suppression is such an evil and why the RWNJs and libertarian fruitloops alike are so enamoured of it. This is why what Cambridge Anal did was so evil.

This is also why compulsory voting, like we have in Oz, is desirable.

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Politicians fume after Amazon's face-recog AI fingers dozens of them as suspected crooks

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The fact that Amazon is actually trying to sell this crap in its current state...

"Regarding police high-ups willing to buy this, I'd say they're split 50%-50% between sociopaths and morons."

Having met a few senior police I can tell you they are neither. They are the product of the prevailing police culture of the 1990 and 2000s filtered through the following decades management training. I find your suggestion less scary.

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I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

Cpt Blue Bear
Trollface

At the risk of being accused of trolling...

Is it just me or is the standard of english in this thread much lower than usual on El Reg? There are several posts on the first page that I cannot parse at all. Incoherent blather or bad translation?

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Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Magical policing

"When it comes to old ladies and black men with big knives, Sigmund Freud is your go-to."

Ah, the good Dr Freud. Someone once summed up his career as having started out in animal husbandry until someone caught him at it, at which point he switched to diseases of the rich. The first part sounds more like Jung but I can't fault the second.

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PayPal's pal Venmo spaffs your pals' payments – and yours

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Weasels

Or a nice passive aggressive "If we caused any distress".

I'm becoming thoroughly sick of these statements getting no push back from reporters. What I'd give for spokesmorons / politicians / whatever to be confronted with questions like "Your actions show the complete oposite, how do you explain that?".

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UK taxman outlines its CHIEF concerns for customs IT systems

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The fallback position SHOULD be...

Its not saying how much you have to pay that is the issue. That is easy. You can do that with a piece of paper pinned to the notice board at customs.

Its enforcing it that is hard.

Hardest of all, and most important, is proving you have paid.

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Brit privacy watchdog reports on political data harvests: We've read the lot so you don't have to

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: interesting

And we'd have got away with it if it wasn't for those pesky unelected bureaucrats and their stupid dog.

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Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Fs#king Pisa Airport!

"So tell me - how many litres to fill the tank of this Fiat I've rented, based on the tank being 50L and the needle on the dial (which is of unknown accuracy and non-linear scale) showing somewhere between E and 1/2?"

About 30l will be fine. Now do you want me to cut up your eggs, too?

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Fs#king Pisa Airport!

"cash only works if you know how much you need and it is exactly a note"

Or maybe you could just fill up to the paid amount? A radical idea I know...

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: What pumps need is an

They have 'em here in Oz too. Doesn't stop some people doing the opposite: when I worked for transport company one of the drivers put 200 litres of unleaded into the tank of his truck before noticing...

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Might be the compass

I've had one and seen several that went spastic* at some point. There is (or was) a thing on the store called GPS Tools that can force a recalibration. All worked perfectly after that.

* Before anyone takes offense, I feel this is a perfectly accurate description of the device at this point. It is thrashing about due to internal problems beyond its control.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: *shrug*

Walking a mate's dog one night the thought crossed my mind that cutting across the park near his place might not be the smartest move. Then I thought: I'm a big lad wearing a motorcycle jacket, a black beanie and walking a big, black dog. The scariest looking pedestrians out tonight are probably us.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Similar experience in the USA

"They're especially evil if you have a motorcycle."

They're a bugger when you don't know they even exist. Last time I filled a bike in the US the "attendant" had a old towel with a hole cut in it for the filler that he put over the tank before even lifting the filler. That was somewhere in south east LA below the foothills where the locals speak a patois of english and spanish (something I thought was a movie cliche until then).

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Similar experience in the USA

My experience of the USA is, along with much of the world, to keep your credit card for the hotels and tourist shops.

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Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: My shop a long time ago had a rather large outage

A mate worked for a (read only) hosting centre in this one horse town. One morning the sparkies come in to test UPS batteries. They take them offline and test each and all is good. Then they decide to test the failover. Only issue is they didn't put the UPSs back on line first...

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Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Entering New Zealand

"I had taken a break to do a bit of travelling. While walking through New Zealand airport pre-border control I was stopped by two police."

I heard the following story from a guy I met at a party in Sarf Lundun some years ago. It was mostly ex-pats and the topic of Customs and Immigration was hot at the time. The teller was a slightly dodgy Canadian "security consultant".

He arrives at Sydney airport early one morning having just skipped out of somewhere in Central or South America one step ahead of the authorities or death squads or somesuch, slightly hung over, very jet lagged and with a passport that may, or may not, have been completely genuine. At Immigration they take one look at the passport, one at his face and invited him for a private interview. He's expecting the third degree, a couple of days in lock up and summary deportation to Canada. Embarrassing but could be a lot worse, eh.

Instead he got ten minutes of general questioning, a cup of bad coffee and a half hour wait before being told he was free to go. A nice man from the AFP even walked him down to baggage claim, out to the taxi rank and expressed the wish that he should "enjoy your stay in Australia, Mr Mattheson".

Half way to his hotel he twigs that Mattheson is not the name on his passport. Its his real name. They had held him just long enough to work out who he was, that he was no risk, then sent him on his way with a subtle tip that his card was well and truly marked.

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Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: many chop up their corporate distribution for legal reasons

It occurs to me that the GDPR along with pretty much every other data protection law contains a clause banning transfer of data to jurisdictions with weaker protections than their own. This law gets California into that club.

I wonder if this might have occurred to anyone else?

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Google leaps on the platform formerly known as Firefox with $22m splurge for KaiOS

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The Most Dreaded Words in IT

In reaction to all of the above I will simply quote Joseph Goebells via Mission to Burma and Moby: "That's when I reach for my revolver".

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A year after devastating NotPetya outbreak, what have we learnt? Er, not a lot, says BlackBerry bod

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Bollocks

"When hacked companies say things like this you have to wonder how much of that was spend putting in place the defences they should have had all along."

You fail to understand the corporate management mentality. Security is a real and immediate cost which generates no return if it works as planned. Disruption costs are mostly potential and should they become actual, will be covered by insurance. Plus you get to attach your name to the valiant recovery operation thus furthering your career.

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Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Memories

"At least some of the Greybeards here, must remember the battles that arose from IRQ confilicts..."

Not if you knew what you were doing and by the time I had a Soundblaster* , a NIC**, a serial card and a "Hi-Speed" IDE controller playing nicely together I bloody well did.

All of which was 10 years before Windows 98 reared its ugly head. By the end of the 90s you really should have sprung for PnP (Plug and Pray) gear, you cheapskates.

* And none of your fancy SB16 nonsense, please. This was an ISA card with jumpers to set.

** A NE2100 clone that came in a white box with a red diagonal stripe or maybe a red box with a white diagonal stripe. I miss the days when PC parts came in small, sturdy plain boxes that looked like spare parts boxes, not huge things full of air with pictures of half naked barbarians and and spaceships all over them. Not that I have any problem with half naked barbarians, they have their place just not on the box for electronic parts.

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Uber's London licence appeal off to flying start: No, you cannot do driver eye tests via video link

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Okaay...

"never knowingly compromise public safety"

Knowingly is the important word in that sentence.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Cough, cough....

"...individually licenced as Private Hire drivers..."

There is the problem. They are not actually licensed.

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Asylum seeker spreadsheet data blurt: UK Home Office loses appeal to limit claimants

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Ripe For False Claims

"I agree with the ruling in part, but I believe this could open up the flood gates for a lot of false claims.

If a lead complainant was to make a claim and suddenly 10 members all suddenly come out of the wood work, where do we stand ?"

A fine piece of What-iffery.

You'll stand exactly where you are. Applicants will still have to prove they are affected by being outed to their murderous former-rulers when their known associates whereabouts were splashed about for the whole world to see. All this ruling does is slap down the Home Office's defense that only those whose names are on the wrongly released documents are to be compensated. Nothing more.

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Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: tamper-proof screws aren't

Pedantically speaking you are correct but out in The Real World(tm)* you'll find "countersunk" used for any recess at the top of a fastener hole. Most of them are neither "sunk" nor "bored" but cast, moulded or, in the case of almost all I produce, 3D printed. :-)

* A scary place. I recommend avoiding it as much as possible.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: tamper-proof screws aren't

"You don't even need that much torque. A couple passes with a needle file and they usually back right out like a normal screw."

Not if they are used correctly and If you managed it like that than they definitely weren't.

They should be countersunk to stop tampering with the head. They should also be torqued past the plastic deformation point so any serious force applied snaps the head off. For bonus points, make them harder than the case metal so a hand drill tends to skate sideways and break the bit.

Like all security measures, it comes down to how serious an attacker you need to keep out.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: tamper-proof screws aren't

"There are such things as tamper-proof screws."

I hate those feckers. Just drill them out and replace with allen screws. It invalidates the warranty but I'm guessing that ship sailed some time ago.

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Low AI rollout caused by dumb, fashion-victim management – Gartner

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: AI Customer service bots

"From now on, my SOP when dealing with voice-activated answering systems is going to be "I want to close my account, please." That'll get me a human to speak to like a shot."

This sort of thing is exactly what I find so profoundly depressing about the world just now. Find someone who grew up in the Soviet Union or one of its satellites. They will have numerous stories to parallel this of ways people actually got things done in spite of the system.

On the upside, the "Saves Dept" inmates will get their service stats up and probably get a bonus.

Franz Kafka didn't know the half of it.

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Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10 woes

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Good luck with that.

"I got a desperate call from a blind friend who uses screen reading software to use his PC"

I got a similar call after the big update last year. Fucking thing reset accessibility settings. Fortunately I could talk his daughter through re-enabling them.

"...ordinary just a Realtek HD ..."

A while back I came across a string of cases where Windows 10 was automagically installing the wrong driver for one of the Realteck sound chipsets. A client had a bunch of Asus (I think) laptops that suffered from it and I also saw it on some deaktops. From memory it required manually removing the incorrect driver and manually installing the right one. It sounds like the Windows driver library is still borked.

None of which helps you if don't have access to the PC but.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: MS abandoning Windows??

"Surely you jest about the stability of windows? Experience tend to point in the direction of instability especially with the latest offering."

Your experience must be limited to old and crappy hardware then 'cause stability hasn't been a serious issue for any OS in the last 10 years. Kids today don't know what instability is...

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Amazon can't or won't collect sales tax in Australia

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Counter intuitive

Mate, those have always been the rules. Well, for values of always of about 20 years. Whether they have been correctly applied is another question (to which the answer is a very definite no). My guess is you fell foul of some kind of lack-of-activity purge system. Nothing to do with GST other than BAS returns are are used (incorrectly) as a flag of activity.

But none of this has anything do with Mrs Diogenes who is still not liable to account for GST but is now having to pay it on purchases at the border.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Counter intuitive

I suspect there is more that story than you are telling because as that stands it simply isn't true.

You have to submit the BAS paperwork if you are registered for GST not just because you have an ABN. You have to register if your turnover is more than $75,000 excluding GST. If you don't turn over that amount, then you don't have to account for GST.

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Cpt Blue Bear

"I recommend us Aussies who used to do yearly road pilgrimages to QLD, instead go on a nice OS shopping trip. Maybe this would get reversed pretty quickly..."

It won't because its purpose is to stop Jerry Harvey pissing in the PM's ear about how unfair it all is to multimillionaires and give Scott "Happy Clapper" Morrison a way to claim he's being hard on multinational tax avoidance.

What I haven't seen any sign of is the massive increase in Customs personel and infrastructure necessary to actually enforce this...

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Counter intuitive

"@ Diogenes - in your example, she should pay no GST (or get it reimbursed) on the purchase because she is on-selling. As the final-stage seller, she collects the GST."

That's not how it works.

Everyone who sells anything or supplies a service to anyone and is registered for GST collects it. I then get to deduct any GST I have paid and remit the difference. There is no such thing as a final stage seller, everyone in the supply chain is collecting GST. This is what makes it an administrative nightmare.

In this case it probably moot because I doubt Mrs Diogenes turns over more than $75,000 (excluding GST for some reason) so she should not be registered for GST, submitting a Business Activity Statement or remitting any money. She is also unable to claim any GST paid.

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US judge won't budge over Facebook's last-minute bid to 'derail' facial biometrics trial

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: There's a little bit of me ...

At the time it struck me as exactly the sort of thing Randy would do. He wanted to watch the circus while while he attempted to tamper with evidence. He could hardly have seen all the shenanigans if he'd been hiding in the back of the car, and by extension it couldn't be conveyed to the reader in nearly so entertaining a manner as this sequence is written from Randy's point of view.

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TSB meltdown latest: Facepalming reaches critical mass as Brits get strangers' bank letters

Cpt Blue Bear

"....most people in IT have known this for at least 3 years now"

Three years?! If they are in their early 20s maybe but the rest of us knew this after thinking about the process for about 30 seconds.

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Your F-35s need spare bits? Computer says we'll have you sorted in... a couple of years

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Two for the price of two?

I'm guessing pretty much anything up to the XJs and driving one of those was a sign you were a real estate agent or similar and also best avoided.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Turkey shooting

"I'm the spirit of 'Chicken Tax'-avoiding Utility Vehicles from Turkey"

A big thank you for sending me on that history lesson. That bit of history goes straight into the arsenal.

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