* Posts by PhilipN

527 posts • joined 12 Oct 2010

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SpaceX gives free ride to replacement for Facebook's fried satellite

PhilipN
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Bottom of the class

Write 100 times :

“I must not split infinitives.”

“...also to pay....”!!

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Argh, my loafer just fell down the rope ladder! Yes, I'm in the Microsoft treehouse

PhilipN
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Re: I See A Big Gender-Bias Lawsuit Ahead...

UV the Calvin and Hobbes reference

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I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

PhilipN
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Bill Murray

I fancy Dabbsy could deliver his first sentence - “Would you...” - at the same totally deadpan and p***-taking level of BM.

Thought of it because the photo reminded of the gopher in Caddyshack or - no - Punxsatawny Phil ...

Or maybe my mother-in-law.

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Fuming Qualcomm smashed with 23 BILLION DOLLAR fine in monopoly abuse probe

PhilipN
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23 B

Tch! Tch! El Reg. Markets have been roiled many a time by such (playfully or not) misleading headlines.

I hope Google News’ crawler reads the sub-heading too.

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Apple's iPhone X won't experience the joy of 6...

PhilipN
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Gorilla(s) in the room

Sales of iThingies are driven by phone companies, not by punters buying over the counter.

My phone company has been begging me to be an early adopter of the 8 or the X for weeks.

I don't even see the prices which are being bandied about. All they quote is the monthly cost less rebate plus/minus whatever.

Probably means either that the phone company buys in bulk, gets a discount, writes the net capital cost off over a period of two years OR works in cahoots with Apple to ease in the supply in an orderly fashion, or both.

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Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

PhilipN
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Digital UI

Recall Steve Jobs was reported to have said (words to the effect) “If their phone has a stylus we have won.”

Somehow he knew we would all take to using fingers tapping on a screen instinctively. How the f*** to compete with that level of intuition (if that is what it was)?

By comparison Ballmer in the interview in which he pooh-poohed the iPhone, was stuck on the notion of having a keyboard.

Remember the time not long ago we would all have felt like idiots jabbing an index finger at the screen. Now it is completely natural, and a primitive form of gesturing which made the smartphone the dominant technology of the 21st Century (so far).

If anyone knows where Jobs got his insight or inspiration from I shall be happy to hear it.

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Hipster disruptor? Never trust a well-groomed caveman with your clams

PhilipN
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2001

Damn! Now I want to watch the whole film.

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Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday

PhilipN
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Transnote

Friend of mine gave me his.

I wanted to love it I really did. A really good idea. But fundamentally a pig of a machine.

And a far-too-heavy one at that.

On the other hand I have a working T30 with XP loaded which I fire up occasionally to enjoy the keyboard. But only briefly - I have to blow hard into the air vent to clean out the cooling fans before they seize.

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ISIS and Jack Daniel's: One of these things is not like the other

PhilipN
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Re: Ignorance knows no borders

Mentioned JW partly to make sure the riffraff stick to Supermarket Scotch and keep their barbaric mitts off the single malts

But I agree Green Label is sooooo good.

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PhilipN
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Re: Ignorance knows no borders

Couldn't agree more. I used to drink JD until I wondered through the haze how it could possibly be that every sip ...uhh... yeah ..... tastes exactly the same. How do they get round Hisen...Heizen..that unshertainty thing.

Then realised it must come from a chemical factory.

Which is why, natch, their ads just HAVE to show a good ole boy in work pants and rough hewn barrels.

Haven't touched a drop since.

JB about the same.

Take my advice and the no brainer is JW. Rotate the labels and take your time to decide which one is behind the bar in heaven.

P.S. When drinking in China don't kid yourself it is the real thing. I have ordered bottles of Chivas Regal to get my business associates drunk (welcome to China) and it was the right shape, the right label, but one sniff and it was definitely certifiably not Chivas Regal. At least, up till now, in China they don't know the difference so you still get whatever brownie points there are to be got for ordering a (moderately) expensive hooch.

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Hollywood has savaged enough sci-fi classics – let's hope Dick would dig Blade Runner 2049

PhilipN
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Visual and audio poetry

Spot on!

Recommend to wear a good set of headphones and listen intently to the soundtrack.

Then watch in hi-def and try - most likely through several sittings - to see everything that is going on.

There is in fact so much going on that it is almost impossible for the conscious mind to get it all even after several sittings.

For example the interrogation sequence near the beginning with Brion James is superficially simple but incredibly complex. Masterful use of cigarette smoke and a hundred other things.

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Microsoft may have its groove back but it's binned 'Groove'

PhilipN
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Re: Like I care

Pogues and Blossom Dearie in the same list? Good God Almighty.

Back to your 78’s you .... you ... Analog Addict!!

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Nobel Prize for boffins who figured out why you feel like crap after long-haul flights

PhilipN
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..why you feel like crap after long-hail flights

Thanks.

Now all I want to know is why I feel like crap most of the rest of the time.

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China cools on Apple's high-priced iBling

PhilipN
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Far too early to call

Good points made about local phones in effect achieving parity with regular iPhones in most respects - and the Great Firewall of China ensuring a level playing field (up to a point).

But Apple must have been miffed that black or grey marketeers were making vast profits on its phones sold at retail, partly because they could have sold a thousand dollar phone a lot sooner. So they now ease their phones into the market place in a much more orderly fashion, making sure they rather than the “iPhone day traders” pocket most of the profit.

The real test will be in due course, whether Huawei can come to market with an iPhone X killer around the same time. That will be interesting to see. Until then I would say all bets are off.

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Geoboffins claim to find oldest trace of life in rocks 4bn years old

PhilipN
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Life on Earth, Santa and the Easter Bunny

Those of use who can count our years in decades need to remember how those small humans who cannot comprehend time : they can't, and don't. Whether it is X thousand or X m/billion years it is an unimaginably bleeding long time when you have only a handful under your belt.

And again, those of us who can, don't pretend we comprehend either. A few m/billion is an unimaginably ******g long time even though the multiple of our own lives it represents is much much smaller.

So the problem is not the duration it is the preaching of creationism.

I was not intending to present this as a diatribe ....... but .....cannot ....... resist ..... :

Water into wine anyone?

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'Dear diversity hire...' Amazon's weapons-grade fail in recruitment email to woman techie

PhilipN
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Diversity : easy

My Club have a committed diversity policy. We place invitations for new members in the Daily Star. Applicants are told to send their footmen to deliver the application and references from three existing members to the tradesmen's entrance. We even warn them that we set the dogs on anyone not attired in proper livery showing the regiment and coat of arms.

Proudly doing our bit!

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My name is Bill Gates and I am an Android user

PhilipN
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Re: Visionaries!

The first time I saw “The Road Ahead” in a bookshop it was in (and I am NOT kidding) the “New Fiction” section.

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Limp Weiner to get 21 months in the hole

PhilipN
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Full of it?

Nope. I can assure you that most Brits (and let's not turn this into a trans-Atlantic slanging match) do not give a toss who - including you - is Democrat and who is Republican. AND El Reg is consistently neutral on the point. Indeed, there was no bait but you rose to it anyway.

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If you need to replace anything other than your iPhone 8's battery or display, good luck

PhilipN
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Usual whining

Today's phones are not consumer durables. They are consumer disposables.

End of story, except to respond to the whingeing here :

- Today's phones are miracles of materials and production technology. If you want to buy a phone 3 mm thick then recognise the limitations

- If you don't want a phone that can't be fixed, then (rolls eyes) don't buy it

- if you want a phone with the durability of a walkie talkie on the streets of Fallujah then don't buy Apple or Samsung

- if you want to buy a high-end phone that is out of date 48 hours later that is your privilege so what is the problem?

- if you buy a high-end phone there's a better than 50-50 chance you will replace it a year later

- if you are in the less than 50 per cent then buy a rubberised case and a screen protector and DON'T DROP IT

- Apple's business model is spot on since they make so many millions of phones the marginal cost of each one coming off the production line is effectively zero, so instead of setting up a massive and expensive service and repair system they give a replacement phone and everybody's happy

- otherwise a phone designed for ease of repair will not be so slim, or light, and whiners will still whine about cost of repair.

Sheesh!

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Google's Big Hardware Bet: Is this what a sane business would do?

PhilipN
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Re: There must be a game plan, but what is it?

Sorry to "reply" to my own post but I missed the edit time-out.

So in future Google are not just going to say to manufacturers "here is the OS now go and build it". They will be able to say "This is the latest and greatest hardware tweak and this is how you add it to your production line".

An interesting idea generally.

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PhilipN
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There must be a game plan, but what is it?

At first I thought this was an example of "we are the smartest people on the planet so we can do anything better than you" mentality. Now I am not so sure.

To build a phone hardware company would be complete madness. The supply chain management issues alone are a challenge for even the best companies. And Google are not even picking up the right management team for that, so at least on the surface they are not going to try and compete with Apple and Samsung on that end of the business.

So they are bringing in-house a development team - why? Because they want to move ahead with phone technology in leaps and bounds - creating and bringing to realisation new features with complete privacy. (OK I know "complete" is relative but you get the point)

Which means in turn they believe phones have in no way plateaued in terms of features and functions - or if they are going to plateau when left to the manufacturers Google are going to continue introducing weird and wonderful features to (aim to) leapfrog Apple and put an Android phone in the hands of everyone on the planet. I am sure a lot of us thinking laterally and not just "I wish my phone did not suck doing a ..b..c.." could come up with something entirely new - what we might be using our phone for in 5 years time, or 10 years. Now we don't even have to bother trying - Google are going to do our thinking for us.

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Noise-canceling headphones with a DO NOT DISTURB light can't silence your critics

PhilipN
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Warning

Pete Townshend sees major problems coming for kids who live with earphones stuffed in their lugholes. He blames his hearing loss at least in part on using headphones throughout his career*.

I hope today’s technology is better but the advice is:

Get the best phones you can.

Have them professionally fitted if the manufacturer offers such a service.

Use noise cancellation avidly when necessary so you ..,

.... DON’T PLAY EM TOO LOUD.

*’Course, Keith Moon setting off explosives in lifts didn’t help. Nor did playing in the band which for many years held the record for the loudest in history (Charlton Athletic football ground if memory serves - 1974?) BUT his warning should still be taken at face value.

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Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

PhilipN
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Video history

Don’t think anyone posted this link yet :

https://youtu.be/Inog40YZcYs

Various interesting items such as the skirt was not part of the original design but made all the difference when it came to real world use

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PhilipN
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Dover

SRN4 used to go from their own terminal there run by Sealink, an associate of British Rail. At least believe it was the SRN4.

Noisy buggers because as mentioned in the article all the forward propulsion was in the open upstairs (on the roof). Ergo being inside could be a bit uncomfortable. Partly also because of vibration.

On the other hand for those liable to seasickness even on the short trip to Calais it was a godsend.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

PhilipN
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Place holder

Damn good point.

One day my phone will know it is me. 3D Facial? Maybe, but let's get back to the time we just have to pick up the frigging phone when it rang and answer instantly without faffing around. So it knows it is me because of - I dunno - use your imagination : handprint? The way I move? Body (hand) temperature contour? The grip - strength of, or where I put, each finger? Animal magnetism? Aura? Bad breath? All of the above?**

Or maybe I need a doggy-style (stop sniggering at the back) chip* implanted in both palms.

*Could double as a sim card, but let's not get carried away.

**Edit : come to think of it those fancy scales which measure mass/muscle/bone/fat etc do a pretty good job of identification through your feet and palms. At the moment you still tell the machine who is using it but that hardly seems necessary.

Ok I am getting carried away.

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Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'

PhilipN
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Apple Pay

This is already a p-in-the-a with the fingerprint sensor. Now am I going to have to go into contortions* to show my face to the frigging phone cam down where the cashier keeps the payment terminal?

*Here's a clue - No. Flashing a Visa card is soooo much easier.

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PhilipN
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Re: Gentlemen.

All hail - Ave!

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Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

PhilipN
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Sound

Try this one then:

https://www.hk.onkyo.com/Product/GRANBEAT_DP-CMX1/index.html

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Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus

PhilipN
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Not sure whether this is news-worthy

Been getting regular updates of the public beta iOS, at shorter and shorter intervals. More could change between now and ... tomorrow... so no-one knows whether this is the one which will inhabit the new phone.

AND teasers found in the code do not necessarily mean the feature will ever happen.

I’ll wait for the real thing, thanks, the more important item being when the phone will go on sale!!

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Facebook ran $100k of deliberately divisive Russian ads ahead of 2016 US election

PhilipN
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Where's the substance?

FB trying to present itself as the innocent intermediary by using the "R" word?

So tenuous and tentative I find it difficult to believe any of it.

I use a mail app which is good but which happens to be from Russia so all my emails have a sig (if I do not bother to delete it) "sent with Mail.ru". Is that a sufficient connection even though I have never been there?

A few years ago the slimy monster at the root of every ill besetting humanity was Al Qaeda (or, in England, briefly, Boris Johnson). Now it's the Russians.

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Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook

PhilipN
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Homework on phones

I used to do maths homework on the bus. Took a while for the teacher to accept the untidy writing but teachers are easily trained.

Plus ca change.

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UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US

PhilipN
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“Pop” the kettle on

Nice one. Thought this expression went out with the Ark.

Thanks, “Gran”.

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Thousands of hornets swarm over innocent fire service drone

PhilipN
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Re: 200 Queens?

..and 200 mothers-in-law? in one nest?

No wonder the working drone hornets are so pissed off.

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Mega VR roundup: Lots happening in the virtual and real worlds

PhilipN
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Movies please

I can think of quite a few movies* I would like to watch through a VR headset. As an indication, when I first watched a movie wearing good stereo earphones** it transformed the experience. More than once I turned my head having heard something behind me.

*And stop sniggering at the back. I did not even mention p***

**Many years ago Sony made wireless 'phones using infrared. Bloody uncomfortable but good sound (see above).

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SanDisk's little microSD card sucks up 400GB

PhilipN
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Dustbin lid

Rhyming slang for baby goat*

*Just, for fun, maintaining perplexity on the part of all Cross-the-Ponders here. After all, they have problems distinguishing between braces and a garter belt.

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Instagram's leaky API exposed celebrities' contact details

PhilipN
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Justin Who?

Saw the little whippersnapper amble into the Arrival Hall at Hong Kong Airport a few years ago. Such a monumentally ordinary-looking kid his management told him to carry a skateboard under his arm, and still would have faded into the background if it weren’t for the fact that his minders were walking 5 yards behind trying their best to look cool and aloof. Did not matter one way or another ‘cos there was no crowd of screaming girls waiting for him.

If he arrived tomorrow on the same plane as the latest K-Pop idol it will be the K-Popster getting ALL the attention.

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China to identify commentards with real‑name policy

PhilipN
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Re: People needs privacy sometimes

“They” may not care whether or not you register. Fact is those who don’t will be found, targeted and have their traffic monitored more closely. And if push comes to shove they will be the ones who get (what the leftie media used to call in the ‘70’s) the 4 o’clock knock.

To be safe, assume “they” know who you are already, play in the open, and avoid certain words, such as ¥€£_^[]{} - hang on a sec, it’s the front door.

‘Course we all know (don’t we?) that the online services which prosper in the P.R.C. are the ones which automatically share everything?

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PC sales to fall and fall and fall and fall and fall for the next five years

PhilipN
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Re: PC plugging shills

I thought they were up voting the bleeding obvious (and simplistic).

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Can North Korean nukes hit US mainland? Maybe. But EMP blast threat is 'highly credible'

PhilipN
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Re: The main point is this :

Urrrrmmm ... do you have the faintest idea what you are talking about?

Hong Kong is part of the P.R.C.

The USA has previously dropped Taiwan like a hot brick.

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PhilipN
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The main point is this :

China wants North Korea to be there, for two reasons :

1. As a buffer between itself and a strongly-American influenced South Korea. They would not want hostile military just the other side of its border - nobody would - any more than Kennedy wanted Soviet missiles on Cuba 50-some years ago.

2. Mash together South and North Korea and ethnic Koreans in North-East China and the Eastern tip of Russia. There's maybe as many as 100 million of the energetic little buggers. Just look at what the rump of South Korea achieved in the 50 years after WWII and the Korean War, after which it was left an even more devastated mess than Japan. All together a force to be reckoned with, to put it mildly.

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Wisconsin advances $3bn bribe incentives package for Foxconn

PhilipN
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Re: ..wouldn’t consider it a sure thing

I did not say People's Republic of China or Taiwan or China. You did.

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PhilipN
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Re: ..wouldn’t consider it a sure thing

It’s the Chinese way of business. See what is put on the table; bank it; then ask for more... ad infinitum.

And when it is built, who knows? Having got all the freebies Foxconn may find it financially advantageous just to flip the project to another manufacturer. It wouldn’t surprise me if they already shook hands on such a deal with a smaller player which does not have the clout to get the freebies. One of their hungry sub-contractors, for example. Win-win except for Wn.

- End of Asian Business 101.

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75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2

PhilipN
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Greatest generation

An acquaintance of my grandfather left Uppingham in 1913 and bought (or possibly a gift from well-to-do emigre Jewish parents) an Open Torpedo. All of 16 hp. Could have gone on to live the life of Riley.

Instead one year later war broke out and he joined up.

One year after that - 2015 - he was commissioned and sent to the Front.

Three years later - three years!! - he succumbed to wounds from an action for which he was awarded the M.C. Age 22.

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FTC wants AT&T to kick in $4bn to help balance US budget. Why? Some dodgy ads or something

PhilipN
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Small print

Free legal advice : The smaller the print, the more carefully you have to read it.

You’re welcome.

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Microsoft president exits US govt's digital advisory board as tech leaders quit over Trump

PhilipN
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The Trump Effect?

/Pulpit mode on:

Comments in these forums has become untenably knee-jerk reactionary and it is way past boring.

/off.

I confess I am watching American acquaintances for signs of stridency deriving from the new national personality emanating from the White House. So far, no. The national stereotype is still open, smart, engaged and enlightened. The stridency seems to come from us foreigners.

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New MH370 analysis again suggests plane came down outside search area

PhilipN
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Re: Whales?

My thought too. If this mystery has proved anything it is that the plane went down in the Middle of Nowhere.

'Course, France has a property, Reunion, "nearby" and this is going off-topic but :

http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/french-forces-in-indian-ocean/

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PhilipN
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Re: Now this is intersting

And will there not, somewhere, be satellite photos of the plane* itself, as opposed to just non-natural artefacts floating on the surface of the ocean?

*or recoverable images of what could conceivably have been the plane?

Still more questions than answers.

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Russia's answer to Buckminster Fuller has a buttload of CGI and he's not afraid to use it

PhilipN
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Russia - could happen?

I am all in favour of what used to be called lateral thinking (now thinking outside some box or other) and originally "mad Victorian inventor" as a general motivating force but this could happen because the central priority lane is for commissars riding in ZIL's, yes?

Or does that no longer happen in the New Russia? Oligarchs in Mercedes then?

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President Trump to his council of industry CEO buddies: You're fired!

PhilipN
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Fascists marching in the streets

Freedom of speech - what a bitch!

P.S. No weapons (guns, cars etc.) please - I'm British.

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She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

PhilipN
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Fine photo

Hats off to the cameraman

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