* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

3124 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

The 'DUP' joins El Reg’s illustrious online standards converter

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: invaded by the Normans

I've never understood why "Unionists" celebrate William of Orange

Because after William defeated James at the Boyne, the Catholic landowning classes that had supported James fled to Europe to avoid execution. William, like most victorious Kings, confiscated their lands and gave them as prizes to the people that had supported him. That had the effect of turning the Irish landowning classes Protestant practically overnight. That had a much more direct effect on the fortunes of the planted Scots protestants than almost anything else.

Even so, the Orange Order itself didn't come about until 100 years later, when there was a burst of civil disorder, so there was probably an element of rosy memories involved there as well.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Dane Geld

I think you'll find Ireland was invaded by the Normans (Mr Strongbow, take a bow)

Strongbow was invited in by Dermot to help him get his throne back, married Dermot's daughter, and stayed. It was when he & his pals started having so much fun that Henry got worried they might challenge him, so he sailed over and demanded they swear fealty to him. That was what brought Ireland under English rule (with some connivance by the Pope as well).

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Dane Geld

English/Dutch protestants invaded the island in the 1680s,

No, there wasn't an invasion. William was invited to take the English crown, if he agreed to defeat the Catholic James. James was in (Catholic) Ireland recruiting, so William headed there to defeat him before he could raise an army & return to England. After the defeat William sailed back to London and shows no sign of ever giving Ireland a thought afterwards. Not an invasion, just a convenient battle strategy (which happened to turn Irish land ownership on its head as the Jacobites fled ahead of the excecutioner).

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Good call

The DUP is clearly Imperial.

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Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

Phil O'Sophical
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Thumb Up

I remember returning a hire car to one of the off-airport rental companies out where T4 is now. I was driving round the perimeter road just past the end of a runway when the world started to shake. I looked up through the sunroof - into the reheat cones of a Concorde as it went overhead. That gave me a buzz for the rest of the afternoon :)

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Working in maintenance? Stop reading, we need you in the server room

Phil O'Sophical
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therefore will reduce costs long term

That doesn't necessarily matter to a company. Maintenance has to be paid for out of operating money, and is clearly a regular cost. Purchase of new equipment after the old has been written down, say 3-5 years, comes out of capital budget. It can be offset against tax and doesn't have an immediate impact on the bottom line. Long-term it can be cheaper. Daft, I agree, but we can thank the tax laws for that.

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Northern Ireland bags £150m for broadband pipes in £1bn Tory bribe

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Not a bribe?

But it will all end in tears.

Of laughter in Dundela Ave (DUP HQ)?

The really daft thing is that it's probably unnecessary. No unionist MP, of any stripe, is going to vote in a way that would let hard-left Corbynistas into power. That wing of the Labour party has long been enthusiastic about a united Ireland, and what better way for Corbyn to pay for his economic delusions than by cutting NI free and leaving the RoI and (post-Brexit) EU to pick up the tab (and the pieces). With or without that 1bn, the DUP wouldn't let May lose a confidence vote while there's the slightest chance of Labour forming a government.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: It's unusual

Isn't that the difference between Sadism and Masochism?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @ Martin

so everyone can be fairly treated.

You're confusing "fair" with "equal", they are not the same.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Details

There is a breakdown at:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/dup-tory-deal-new-1bn-allocation-breakdown-where-will-the-money-go-in-northern-ireland-35866269.html

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Braking news: AA password reset email cockup crashes servers

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Interesting AA facts?

it was AA practice NOT to salute if there was some copper up the road monitoring driving habits.

They used to signal drivers if there was a copper up ahead, but that landed them in hot water so instead they adopted the model that they would always salute members. Of course, sometimes they would forget, or not notice the badge, or... hence the instructions to stop and ask what they were playing at.

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Researchers blind autonomous cars by tricking LIDAR

Phil O'Sophical
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An autonomous car is going to rely on more than the reading from a single LIDAR; It's going to be combining readings from multiple ultrasound sensors, multiple optical cameras, radar, wheel position and speed sensors, etc, etc, etc.

Set it up your attack so that the camera sees a holographic child standing in the road, the LIDAR senses a stopped lorry, the ultrasound detects a sinkhole and the radar says there's nothing there. What happens? The vehicle falls back to wetware mode: "Oy, driver, wakey wakey, I'm confused. All stop.". M25 grinds to a standstill.

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Yank here.

from when VHF-only TV sets had to have a downconverter box added when UHF transmissions were introduced.

Converters long predate that . The original ones were added to single-channel TVs so that they could receive Band III ITV as well as the original Band I BBC. My grandparents had one.

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Queen's speech announces laws to protect personal data

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Ex-queen

She could abdicate.

I'm not so sure. When Edward VIII abdicated it was conditional on any heirs being barred from the succession. The fundamental basis of her role is supposed to be that of an unavoidable duty, not something that can be done or not for convenience like a political post.

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Darkness to fall over North America from a total solar eclipse

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 'Snot fair

Could we ask that nice Mrs May to include something in the wonderful forthcoming US-UK trade agreement to make the USians share their 2024 eclipse,

I think she'll be experiencing a very personal eclipse much sooner than that.

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Tesco Online IT meltdown: Fails to deliver THOUSANDS of grocery orders

Phil O'Sophical
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I detect a sixth sense

I suppose you're in seventh heaven now?

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Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: That said ..

So in this case, if GPS would be unavailable, I only have to hook up my Garmin to a laptop and have a nice interactive map in BaseCamp

Which presupposes you already know where you are, in which case you wouldn't need GPS/GNSS anyway.

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When corporate signage goes BAD

Phil O'Sophical
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As you would expect

There's a website that collects such things. http://www.signspotting.com/

I've always liked this one:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/Travel/galleries/travel/picturegalleries/signlanguage/The-best-of-Sign-Language-February-2012/signlanguage-book_2025925a-large.jpg

(SFW in case you're wondering)

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Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Survivors

Joking apart, I can't help wishing I'd worked on systems that had saved 6000+ lives. Decent job satisfaction there. A beer for MB.

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Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Of course there's a right answer!

You tryin' to put spaces in your FORTRAN source, you're living in a state of SIN

Fortran ignores spaces, except for those essential first 6 columns. No TABs there.

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BA passengers caught in crossfire of Heathrow baggage meltdown

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: add CDG and FRA and ATL to the list

Even an 8 hour transfer time was not enough at CDG last year.

A friend of mine had her bags lost (well, delayed) twice on Air France flights. She complained, and they gave her a free ticket as compensation. Lost her bags on that flight, too.

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Now you can 'roam like at home' within the EU, but what's the catch?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: High HIDDEN COST for calls INSIDE a roaming country

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/faq/frequently-asked-questions-roam-home

"Roam Like at Home" See question 4:

Do my new rights also cover the calls I make from home to friends abroad?

No. Calling from home is not roaming. The new rights cover communications (calls, SMS, data) made when roaming in the EU, which means when travelling abroad in the EU. The prices of calls from home to a foreign country, including in the EU, are not regulated.

(My emphasis)

Any calls you make when roaming will be treated as calls from home. Check with your provider if you don't believe us.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Brexit

"If you roam to Germany and call a German number" - do you mean if you call Germany from the UK?

With the new rules you will always be treated as if you're at home, no matter what EEA country you are in. If you travel to Germany with your UK phone and call a Gerrman number it will be treated as a home (UK) to Germany international call. Basically, whether you are in your home country, or another EEA country, you'll always be treated as if you're at home. 'Roaming' now does not exist within the EEA any more. International calls are still counted as international calls.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Brexit

When you are roaming in the EU, all calls to mobile and fixed numbers in the EU will be counted against your national volume of minutes (or will be unlimited if you have unlimited calls at home), exactly as if you were calling within your home country.

That is not the case. With the new rules you will treated as if you are "at home" no matter what country you are in. Take a UK mobile to France and call a UK number, it'll be treated as a domestic call. Call a German number and it will be treated as a UK-Germany international call. What you pay for that will depend on what your contract says about making international calls, but it is specifically not covered by the new rules. The FAQ you pointed to is clear "The prices of calls from home to a foreign country, including in the EU, are not regulated."

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "even if there was no technical reason why it would."

And although a single international call will only be negligibly more than a local call, if 20% of the calls you are terminating originate from other countries that is a 20% increase in bandwidth required to service them, along with billing mechanisms, negotiation teams, accounts staff etc.

True, but there's a swings&roundabouts situation where outgoing international calls usually balance incoming ones. that's why, in the past, phone companies didn't cross charge. A call from, say, UK to France was charged at an international rate, and BT kept all the money. In the reverse direction the same thing happened, but France Telecom kept the money. It was assumed to balance, and apart from the Greek sexline case in Australia years ago that usually worked. Digital networks changed all that.

In general the main cost of a call, manual or automatic, is setup and billing. Once the call exists the per-minute cost isn't much different no matter what the distance is, but we still pay per unit time.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Typical: the EU showing muscles, where you DON'T need them

the question of when the EU citizens can enjoy 1 tax system or 1 unified prize for petrol or even the right to buy (good) products which are sold in 1 country but not in the other is something which has never been discussed so far.

Oh. but that's too hard, they'll never get 28 countries to agree on something like that, which is why they only go for the easy, pointless stuff that makes good soundbites. They are politicians after all, wouldn't know a hard day's work if it bit them in the arse.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Brexit

Yes, you're right about Switzerland, thanks for the correction. There's also no regulation about calling the country you're in. If you roam to Germany and call a German number (say to book a restaurant) you'll still be billed for an international call from your home country, and if they call you back they'll pay international charges.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Typical.

Roaming costs them nothing, but is a cash cow. And now the cow is gone.

Much the same was true in the past for long-distance and international fixed-line calls, they only cost a few percent more than local calls but phone companies charged more for them because they could. It was intuitively believeable that a call to a distant place should cost more than a local one, even if there was no technical reason why it would.

Now that such cross-subsidy is banned we see the situation where international calls are cheap, but line rental and local call charges are increasing all the time. It's no surprise that the same will happen with this move. Unintended consequences, and all that. The folks who can afford foreign holidays will pay less for their calls, and those that have to stay at home but need a phone will pay more. But the politicians will look good because they have made it "fair".

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Phil O'Sophical
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Brexit

Non EU countries like Norway and Switzerland are already included in this new roaming setup, and Vodafone have already said it would be commercially very foolish to exclude the UK post-Brexit, so why not wait until some facts appear before getting one's knickers all in a twist?

I'd say that for most people data charges when roaming are much more of an issue, I doubt if many non-business people spend that much time on the phone when abroad on holiday, but they probably do keep up with email, farsebook etc. Technically speaking that should be an easier problem to solve since there's no need to track the phone number, nor to handle inbound conections, you just want to use the data capacity of whatever network you're on. There's even less reason to charge more than a nominal fee for data roaming than for call roaming.

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Labour says it will vote against DUP's proposed TV Licence reforms

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I Think We Need The BBC

Is it acceptable that Buckingham Palace only need to pay a single licence fee

The over-75's don't pay one at all.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: N.I.

You forget that they only have a majority of 2

In practical terms they would have a majority of 6. Sinn Féin members refuse to take their seats and the speaker doesn't vote so the actual number of voting members is 642, needing 322 to make a majority of votes cast, and Sylvia Hermon in N. Down would probably side with the Tories as well, or at least abstain.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Why can they pull the strings?

What happens if no one can form a majority, because no one wants to deal with the 10 DUP members?

You get a minority government, where each vote is taken on its merits. It makes the government extremely vulnerable to a confidence motion, which if lost would customarily result in an election. It's why parties with a plurality, but not a majority, generality prefer a coalition.

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From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

Phil O'Sophical
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Can't afford police and nhs

Nobody can afford the NHS. You could dump the entire GDP into it and it could still spend more. That's the problem with open-ended issues like "health", there's always a limit, and someone is always on the wrong side of it.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: First Past the Post

The Tories got a little over 40% of the vote in the election but 48% of the seats.

42.5% of the vote, but that's splitting hairs.

More interesting is that in the constituencies with the closest results, only 400 switched votes made the difference. 800 more Tory votes shared out around the right places (like Kensington) and the Tories would have had a majority of seats.

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Phil O'Sophical
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So when will the politicians learn?

Which really just shows that it's time the politicians stopped making policy based on polls, and tried actually promoting what they believe is the right thing to do. It will make them leaders, not followers, which is much harder work since it requires principles and the ability to defend them, but it would be a far healthier system. It is one reason that so many people voted for Corbyn, whom they like despite his ludicrous economic policies, and against May, who is widely detested even by people who support the Tories.

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Oh snap! Election's made Brexit uncertainty worse for biz, says BT CEO

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The gargoyle’s mouth is a loudspeaker

"as much as we like the Brits, there's no way they should get a special deal"

I'm glad to hear it, we don't need a special deal, just an ordinary fair deal will do fine. Unfortunately Tusk, Juncker & co undoubtedly have plans for a very special deal, inserted into the most painful place they can manage. Especially now that May has dropped our pants & bent us over ready for them.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The gargoyle’s mouth is a loudspeaker

So we're a year down the line, and *STILL* Nobody in either Labour or the Conservatives can agree on what the hell this Brexit thing is about and what to ask for at the negotiations. And it looks like we'll be no closer to knowing in another year.

So you'd have published your negotiating strategy in advance?! The golden rule for any negotiation is never to let your opponents know what your final position is. The only way to get a good deal is to convince them that you're prepared to walk away, anything else and you get screwed.

When you go into a car showroom, if the dealer sees that you really want the car then he knows he doesn't have to try, just offer you a little sweetner to make it seem like he's playing the game. Only if you convince him that "no deal" is a likely outcome will he really try.

That's what all this hard Brexit nonsense was about, posturing to convince the EU that tearing up the treaty and walking away really was an acceptable outcome. I doubt if it was ever likely to happen, and certainly wasn't the actual final position of the government negotiators. Now, of course, thanks to May's almighty cockup she's possibly blown any chance of a decent settlement. Bloody stupid woman.

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Phil O'Sophical
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It took them over a month to get my phone line activated when I moved house (didn't even have a dial tone!)

And yet some people pine for the "good old days" of the nationalized GPO, when it would only have taken 6 months, and you'd have had a party line.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Stability, certainty?

1) ditch May and the Tories

May, certainly, but you don't really want to see how quickly the country would go titsup under a Corbyn labour administration. Too many of us remember the last time we had that sort of government.

2) ditch Article50

That would be an even bigger disaster than not triggering it would have been. Imagine the next time we objected to some new EU rule like mandatory Euro membership, or abolition of the rebate. The answer would be "You don't like it? How sad, what are you going to do, leave? We've heard that before HarHarHar, screw you."

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DUP site crashes after UK general election

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Interesting Times

Bloody difficult woman? Bloody stupid woman, more like, throwing away a working majority out of pure hubris. Never mind when there'll be an election, what are the bookies offering on when we'll see PM Boris?

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The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path?

Phil O'Sophical
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Yep, telco systems regularly deliver 5 or even 6 nines, decade after decade. They've been designed to do that. VoIP and cellular won't get close, but since they are what most people have experience of now they are becoming the norm. Soon 5-nines will just become a myth.

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Utah fights man's attempt to marry laptop

Phil O'Sophical
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Happy

Re: 18+ years old

Well, at least you can't fault her taste in partners.

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Interesting

the tail, rather like the good old Vampire, would be fried by the launching rocket,

Not sure I'd want to be flying that if the rocket were ignited while still attached, though. I'd been assuming more of a 'light the blue touch paper & retire" operation where they'd start a delayed ignition sequence and then drop the rocket, so they were well clear when it lit up (or blew up).

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BT considers scrapping 'gold-plated' pensions in bid to plug £14bn deficit

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Never bothered with a pension...

Property, a string of "hoes" under a pimping business and/or a bit of candid gun-running should suffice for me ;-)

I hear that politics is pretty profitable these days, and less work too.

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EU axes geo-blocking: Upsets studios, delights consumers

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Axed Geoblocking

And I thought they spoke Maltese, the only Semitic official language in the EU according to my Maltese friend. But what would he know?

Both are official languages: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/language

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Axed Geoblocking

"When the UK leaves the EU there's going to be no native English speaking countries".

I would consider Ireland a country.

Emglish is also an official language of Malta, another EU member.

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Seminal game 'Colossal Cave Adventure' released onto GitLab

Phil O'Sophical
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Back?

now, courtesy of Internet luminary and software-preservation enthusiast Eric Raymond, it's back.

It never went away. I still have a paper tape copy from the late 70's somwehere, there's even an Android app. There are useful pages (out of tens of thousands) at http://rickadams.org/adventure/ and http://www.mipmip.org/advfamily.html

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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Really a power failure?

Let me guess, muppet manager got tweet saying there was a huge DC (meaning Data Centre) problem, and never having heard of anything other than "laptop" and "cloud" decided that it must mean a power supply problem? He's probably wondering why it takes so long to replace a fuse, and whether they've tried B&Q yet.

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Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Placed underground you say ?

A full-size passenger aircraft from 50 years ago - not the same thing.

First flight of the 747 was 1969 - 48 years ago.

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Dodge this: Fiat-Chrysler gets diesel-fuelled sueball from DoJ

Phil O'Sophical
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Test cuycles

The report says "during certain normal driving conditions than on federal emission tests, " which is a clear admission that they know the federal tests do not mimic real driving conditions. That makes the whole test model pointless, just like the EU one.

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