* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

3301 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Digital minister: We're still talking to BT about sorting crap broadband

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "recoup by further hiking"

BT's blatant profiteering

BT's quoted profits are, as usual, operating profits, before all those deductions like expenses, tax, interest, investment, etc. If you look at its actual profits in relation to its size you'll see that it makes very similar profits to any other company of its size, and less than some of the bigger telcos.

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As Google clamps down, 'Droid developer warns 'breaking day' is coming

Phil O'Sophical
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FAIL

The way Google want it done is some server backend which connects to the mailbox for you and notifies Play Services via GCM.

Which is strictly forbidden by my company's IT policy, so if that is the only way to make it work it would be the end of company-provided Android phones.

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Don't sweat Brexit, big biz told: Your shiny data protection sticker will remain intact

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Assured?

If the ICO approves the corporate rules as being GDPR-compliant, and if GDPR doesn't change, the rules must necessarily continue to be GDPR compliant. It's the same situation as would apply to a country that isn't in the EU today, if their rules are accepted as GDPR compliant, they'll continue to be unless something changes.

What the ICO is saying is that it isn't going to strip anyone of approval post-Brexit.

Obviously the EU can change the GDPR rules if it wants to screw around, but that would upset a lot more places than the UK.

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AT&T wants to bin 100,000 routers, replace them with white boxes

Phil O'Sophical
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Stop

I don't have a good feeling about this

Faster introduction of technologies, designs, and features by means of a collaborative ecosystem of hardware and software component vendors

And not a mention of security anywhere. What could possibly go wrong?

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Massive US military social media spying archive left wide open in AWS S3 buckets

Phil O'Sophical
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US military messing ... = good.

Russian military messing ... = bad

I think it's more generic than that:

Us messing = good

Them messing = bad.

It's always been like that, and always will be. No news here.

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MPs slam HMRC's 'deeply worrying' lack of post-Brexit customs system

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Nope, I'm still working, and plan to return to the UK when I do l retire, "

But you don't live in the UK. For you "Britain" is actually more a place inside your head, whose climate you don't experience and whose taxes (it appears) you don't pay.

You really shouldn't make assumptions on things you know nothing about. I spend part of each year in the UK with my family and pay UK taxes on my UK income. I've spent more than half my life there so am very familiar with the climate.

I've often wondered how many UK elections have been decided by absentee "subjects" whose actual knowledge of the country is decades out of date.

Not as many as have been decided by people who have lived there all their life and still don't have a clue about the world beyond their own town, let alone lived in other countries to really understand how the world works.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "what happens..native UK farming industry if..reduce import tariffs to 0?" " ...

those who voted Leave would still see this as Brussels dictating to the UK

And those in other EU countries would see it as Brussels siding with the UK. That's why the EU cannot work, there will never be agreement on the serious issues. They'll keep rearranging the deckchairs while the ship continues to sink under them.

Economic co-operation works, and is accepted by most people, but the spectrum of social and political views is simply too different across Europe (which is its huge strength). It's a classic case of the whole being more than the sum of the parts, but a central government will never see beyond that simple sum of parts. They can't even commit to one place for the parliament for fear of offending the French, most MEPs would prefer to be in Brussels full-time,but they still have to have the Strasbourg-Brussels commute to keep the French sweet.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "what happens..native UK farming industry if..reduce import tariffs to 0?" " ...

But the UK had to "industrialize" it's farming during WWII.

As a result it's got a relatively small number of very large (by European standards) farm holdings in a small number of hands.

It's not that simple.

It's been a tradition in England for centuries that the eldest son inherited the farm, and other children had to do something else (hence the stereotype that the 2nd son went into the army, and the third entered the church). That model ensured that farms remained intact, and large, and over time, as people bought neighbouring farms, the overall size increased.

In other countries, France as an obvious example, that practice is illegal. The law requires that all children inherit equally, so when a farmer with 4 children dies the farm is necessarily cut into 4 pieces and shared out. Even if one child can raise the money to buy out a sibling this still tends to keep farms small, fragmented, and uneconomic. It's almost impossible to create a large farm in such countries, hence the huge tax subsidies handed out to keep such small farms going. This imbalance in the CAP is one of the reasons that the UK rebate was negotiated, because UK farmers received far less in subsidy than their continental equivalents. If left to operate solely on their own merits the UK farming sector would be in far better economic health than those in most of the EU.

Standardizing inheritance rules across the EU would of course be a way to "solve" this, but would clearly be politically impossible. Like so many things (taxes, pensions, etc.) it shows why the "union" is just a pipe dream, and why all those tax-funded eurocrats can only nibble at the edges of a true common Europe by tweaking the trivial stuff, like mobile phone roaming charges.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Brexit will take years of hard work to undo the damage "

"Personally I think it will be worth it. We'll see."

And if not you're retired on a good pension already, so who cares, eh?

Nope, I'm still working, and plan to return to the UK when I do l retire, so I care very much.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @ ZSn

Apart from this one, you mean?

That was a vote to remain in the European Economic Community (EEC), otherwise known as the Common Market. The political entity called the EU wasn't created until almost 20 years after that, and there was no UK vote to join it. Only one to remain in it, which resulted in a choice of "leave".

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Phil O'Sophical
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all we heard was how bad the EU was and lies like they banned bendy bananas,

If that's all you heard you have very selective hearing.

The old common market (whose banana policies were replaced by the EU, FYI) worked pretty well. It solved a real post-war need. The EU brought in an unwanted and unecessary political dimension, purely to satisfy the vanity of politicians. Even the French barely agreed to join, we wouldn't have had we been asked (which is why John Major didn't ask).

Since the EU was created we've seen a drop in growth, a monetary system stumbling from crisis to crisis, and a massive Europe-wide increase in support for extremist and populist parties from people who see mainstream politics as offering no alternatives. If it goes on like that it will implode, messily.

Leaving is a drastic solution, it's a great pity that it became necessary and it will be painful, but at least we'll have a chance of a better future.

We don't want to work to dig you out of the hole that you made.

Fine, we'll do the digging for you, and maybe your kids will appreciate it. In the meantime it would be good if you at least wouldn't throw the dirt back in.

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Phil O'Sophical
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those morons in charge who campaigned to leave thought that Article 50 contained a complete & comprehensive guide

I'm more surprised by the morons who seem to think that Leavers expected everything to be just perfect the day after we leave. Of course it won't be.

Brexit will take years of hard work to undo the damage and establish a decent result, especially if the remainers just sit back saying "Told you so" instead of doing something constructive. At least those of us who never wanted to join the EU in the first place did our best to make it work, untill we could get out.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to get some real improvements. Personally I think it will be worth it. We'll see.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Why do we need to import anything...

<cough> https://tregothnan.co.uk/

Indeed, how could I have forgotten. I was in that part of the world this summer & saw the ads. Thanks for the reminder.

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Dick move: Navy flyboy flings firmament phallus for flabbergasted folk

Phil O'Sophical
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Facepalm

Re: Number of people offended

The Navy apologizes to anyone who was offended by this unacceptable action.

So political correctness has now reached the stage of pre-emptive apologies even before anyone is offended?

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New UK aircraft carrier to be commissioned on Pearl Harbor anniversary

Phil O'Sophical
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It's time we called a ship, "The Lion's Whelp" again

For heaven's sake don't start a poll, it would probably end up as The Lion King. If not Whelpy McWhelpface.

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The are still used!

It's called Windows Insider. And obviously is optional.

And I'm not signed up to it. I'm using the "released" Windows 10, and believe me it's Beta quality. I'd still be on Windows 7 if some lowlife hadn't stolen my laptop, and the new (company-supplied) one won't run W7.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The are still used!

Microsoft seems to have stopped testing its Windows updates and relies on their users to do the work now...

Not just updates, it seems standard for all of Windows now. See the Windows 10 "continuous beta" model.

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Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: @Zog

recharging that to 80% full in 30 minutes is going to need a 1MW supply.

Exactly.

Of course, recharging it over the 12+ hours of mandatory rest (with only one seat you can't have two drivers working shifts) would only take ~50kW, and a 50kW diesel genset could be tucked in the back of the trailer along with a 100 gallon tank without sacrificing too much cargo space. Diesel-electric: no range problems, and much more efficient than a straight diesel.

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Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Grammar!

As I bit the baby Jesus' head off, I did wonder if this was some weird kind of blasphemy...

That might depend on whether it came back on you.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Wait a mo

Not to mention getting their daily bread from them

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Spineless of them to give in

who would consider that such piss taking deserved a violent response,

And deciding not to take the piss because of that is giving in to them, which is exactly why they do it. The only way to stop them is by not being intimidated.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Spineless of them to give in

We need more companies to take the piss out of religion. After all, if Coke can get away with dressing St. Nicholas in corporate red & white, what's wrong with a festive sausage roll nativity scene?

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Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Phil O'Sophical
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Those who DO have more money than the 'working class' will hate the idea of supporting these 'freeloading plebs'

You've put that in deliberately imflammatory terms. I suspect most people's thoughts go more along the lines of "Those who work hard to earn money will hate the idea of supporting these freeloadiers", and I can't say I blame them. No need to bring class into it.

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World Vasectomy Day: 15k men line up for live vent-blocking

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: men opting to take birth control in their own hands

No, apparently it just makes your eyes water...

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Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, look out for must-have toys that are 'easily hacked' ♪

Phil O'Sophical
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Facepalm

"a number of very specific conditions ... included redesigning the toy's firmware and then uploading it within Bluetooth range."

So, a pretty routine hack, then. They should see the tricks our in-house white-hat hackers get up to when they are testing our products,.

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IBM asks remaining staff to take career advice from HR-bot

Phil O'Sophical
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This will end well, I'm sure

Emails sent to staff ask them to get going with Myca, ASAP, to train it up.

Haven't they learned anything from Microsoft's attempts to let the twitterati teach their AI bot (Tay?) some social interaction skills?

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Openreach fibre plan for 10m premises coming 'before Christmas'

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Isn't Wifi/5G a viable and cheaper option

wouldn't it be a better option to concentrate on Wireless solutions rather than digging up roads and pulling expensive cables/fibres..

High-speed wireless connectivity can only be achieved by installing a very large number of wireless transmitters, all of which need to to be connected to the network somehow. It doesn't matter if the last 100 metres is wireless or fibre, you still need a core fibre network in place to support those final links. This is why Openreach wants to install the microcells that the article refers to; by installing one fibre network and connecting both homes and microcells to it, they can get both FTTP and 5G. As noted, though, the large number of cells means that they need to be hidden somehow, most likely in "street furniture" (which means 'lampposts")

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Intel's super-secret Management Engine firmware now glimpsed, fingered via USB

Phil O'Sophical
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FAIL

PCH – Intel's Platform Controller Hub, which manages chip-level communications – has offered USB access to JTAG interfaces

Permanent, non-airgappable access to an internal chip-level hardware debug interface via an external port. What a monumentally stupid idea.

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Pixel-style display woes on your shiny new X? Perfectly normal, says Apple

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "warming-up time of valve TVs was an improvement"

Let alone the dot, I miss the squiggle.

And the Closedown.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 'most modern cars will struggle to reach'

had dashpots. I have no idea what they did

IIRC they damped the movement of the needle in the carburetter jet, to allow smoother acceleration/deceleration.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: 'image persistence' or 'burn-in'

Though you would need to be an ape to turn over a 2l diesel

The hand-cranked diesels I remember had a lever to open a valve so there was no compression, you cranked to get the flywheel spinning and then closed the valve. At that point it hopefully burst into life, belching black smoke as it burnt off the overfuelling.

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Seldom used 'i' mangled by baffling autocorrect bug in Apple's iOS 11

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Such minor annoyances wouldn't exist under Steve Jobs

Such minor annoyances wouldn't exist under Steve Jobs

He wouldn't have noticed, but you'd think TA☐m Cook would have.

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Post-Brexit economy SAVED: Posh-nosh truffle thrives in Wales

Phil O'Sophical
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Pint

Re: Imagine.....

A world where Blighty wins the First Prize for Premium Quality Truffles

Or beats the French at making sparkling wine.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/20/english-sparkling-wine-beats-champagne-in-paris-blind-tasting/

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: UK truffles

You still haven't twigged. This climate change is a cunning plan engineered by British boffins to ensure that, come Brexit, we'll be exporting truffles and vin rouge to the world, while the froggies stare in dismay at their parched domaines. Next up, olive tree plantations in Lincolnshire.

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Those IT gadget freebies you picked up this year? They make AWFUL Christmas presents

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Horrible green stuff

When I saw the first mention of this green liquid I immediately thought "Green Chartreuse", which I have to admit is something of an acquired taste.

Not half as bad as that abomination invented by French ski stations, the Green Chaud. Hot chocolate with a shot of Chartreuse added. Just say no.

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Official Secrets Act alert went off after embassy hired local tech support

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Many Years Ago

The early 1900 series computers had (possibly germanium) transistor memory and nil cores,

I remember using a 1906S at uni in the late 70s, it had plated wire memory, which was like core but faster. Didn't see semiconductor memory until we had Apple IIs and VAXen to play with (and 6800 development boards, great days)

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Phil O'Sophical
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Unhappy

No wonder, when an "official scold" and a year without promotion is the only punishment for something that had the potential to compromise the embassy network(s) and expose government data to other, possibly hostile, interests. If I'd done that with my company laptop I'd have been demoted or fired, but no doubt the UCS cretin will end up as a cabinet minister with a fancy pension. They don't live in the same world as the rest of us.

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Black Horse Down: Lloyds Banking Group goes TITSUP*

Phil O'Sophical
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After all, most beancounters does not realize that "outsourcing" is the same as "timesharing" - the sharing of resources such as IT techs, IT sysadmins and IT gurus.

Or as we call it today "The Cloud".

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Car insurers recoil in horror from paying auto autos' speeding fines

Phil O'Sophical
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So I'm liable for my Volkswagon exceeding CO2 emissions?

The VW scandal concerned NOx, not CO2, which is important because NOx has a legal maximum limit (analagous to a speed limit) whereas CO2 is just used as a tax lever by governments.

Whether you're liable will probably depend on how the law is written. It it says that you can't drive a car with emissions above a certain level then yes, you're liable (but will have a very good claim against VW for selling unfit goods). If the law simply says that it's not legal to sell cars that exceed the limits then you're probably not liable.

It's not really the same issue as speeding. Consider the current situation with a hire car. If you get stopped for speeding, you'll get fined. If you're caught by a camera the notice goes to the owner (the rental car agency) and there's always small print in the contract which says that they will pass your name as driver to the authorities, and if you don't pay they will bill the fine plus an "administrative charge" to your credit card. I think it likely that the same approach will be applied to autonomous vehicles, the "registered keeper" will be the end of the line for the ticket.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Surely the owner of the device would be liable? Insurance isn't the first line of defence, even today, it's there as a protection for the driver or owner; the driver/owner is responsible, and the insurance policy indemnifies them. If the small print in the policy says "no indemnity for speeding" then the owner pays.

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Fake tech support 'scam' husband and wife banned FOR LIFE from computer repair world

Phil O'Sophical
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Bah a a real punishment would to have them work a hell desk position.

Indeed, far from banning them for life they should have been sentenced to spend the next 5 or 10 years doing nothing BUT cleaning PCs and removing malware for real. Hard labo(u)r, 21st century style.

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Say what? Another reCaptcha attack, now against audio challenges

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Fuck CAPTCHA.

Your vitriol seems entirely justified. There are supposedly ways to make captchas comply with Section 508, the US federal law for accessibility, I wonder if any of these sites bother to consider them, and if they are any more or less immune to captcha-breaking algorithms?

See https://www.section508.gov/blog/CAPTCHA and https://captcha.com/accessibility/section508-captcha.html for examples.

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Robot takes the job of sitting on your arse

Phil O'Sophical
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The outcome is a better-designed seat, in this case for the Ford Fiesta.

When they're done, perhaps they could lend it to British Airways?

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Possible Solution

Alfa engine, Nissan body... it was not a wonderful mix.

But surely better than the other way around?

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AMD sales soar, actually makes a profit, beats expectations, share price... decimated

Phil O'Sophical
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Headmaster

Decimated

Extra points for correct use :)

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Windows 10 Fall Creators Update tackles IT's true menace: Cheating gamers

Phil O'Sophical
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I don't use Windows 10 but I hate it

I do use Windows 10, and hate it more every day,

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DXC slashes meal allowances for travelling troops: Please sir, may I have some more?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: One of the few things the US Govt does well...

I always considered the per diem as an "inconvenience allowance". During a normal week I'd have to buy & cook my own meals, and might eat out occasionally. The per diem isn't supposed to replace that, just to cover the extra costs and hassle of eating out every night.

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Tell the public how much our tram tickets cost? Are you mad?

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Eh?

for next year's tram ticket prices, which are due to come into force in January 2018

So they've beeen asked for next years business plan, whch they decline to provide on the grounds that it might give their competitors an advantage? Doesn't seem that crazy to me.

How would, say, Dell react if Lenovo called them and asked how much next year's laptops were going to be selling for?

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Your data will get hacked anyway so you might as well give up protecting it

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: “a Fitbit for the stomach”

Gutbit? Fitgut?

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