* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

3816 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Sysadmin misses out on paycheck after student test runs amok

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Naming Scheme

I worked with a supplier that used Prime systems, named "beef", "lamb", etc. When they ran out of suitable cuts of meat some wag named the next system "winalot".

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PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

Phil O'Sophical
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Calls from "international" may be friends who don't use Skype. AFAIK there's no qualifying CLI data to differentiate them from cold callers.

Calls from "withheld" can be the doctors' surgery or the local council.

All of whom can at least respond to a call-screening answering machine with "Hi xxx, this is yyy from zzz, I'll call back in 5 minutes". No need to give away anything personal ("It's about your STD check") and you can either pick up during the message, or answer when they call back.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Too late

They'll then move on to something else to continuously mither you with at mealtimes.

Has your personal data been used in contravention of GDPR? You could be entitled to compensation, contact Sue, Grabbit & Runne solicitors today.

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Post-silly season blues leave me bereft of autonomous robot limbs

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: and Brexiter politicians fuck off abroad to check on their offshore tax evasion schemes

Outgoing, surely?

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I've seen the future of consumer AI, and it doesn't have one

Phil O'Sophical
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An "AI powered cooking assistant"?

WTF? No wonder the guy in front of the panel looks embarassed. I'm surprised they got anyone to agree to give the presentation.

We learn that "consumers may have had to open up six or seven apps to get the help they need cooking, including nutrition information, recipes, shopping lists, how-to videos, and remote control apps for various devices", but now they can "enjoy a single elegant journey".

They have a bot that asks "Do you want fries with that?"?

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Conference alert: Think you can save money by going Serverless?

Phil O'Sophical
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by allowing you to move to a pay for what you actually use pricing model.

Offshoring your hardware to the lowest bidder. What could possibly go wrong?

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Huawei Mate 20 Lite: A business mobe aimed at millennials? Er, OK then

Phil O'Sophical
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WTF?

Re: castrated

It can only film videos in 1080p@30fps.

And that really matters? On a phone?

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Microsoft takes a pruning axe to Skype's forest of features

Phil O'Sophical
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Unhappy

Unfortunately "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is never going to work as a corporate mantra for big business. They need to find something for their developers to do, and buying other products and 'updating' them is easier than inventing something new & useful.

Still, I suppose it keeps a place for the start-ups that really are inventing useful stuff.

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UK getting ready to go it alone on Galileo

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: All a bit unnecessary?

If they'd started off with "Technically we'll lose access once we're no longer in the EU, what would it take to come to a deal similar to Israel/Norway/Switzerland/Ukraine/China*/etc.?", it would most likely all be sorted by now.

That presupposes that the EU wants it sorted, but there is nothing to suggest it does. No matter what the UK asked for, the response would have been "Nope". The EU believes that it has to make an example of the UK to prevent anyone else trying a *exit in the future. The UK cannot be allowed to win from Brexit, so fair negotiations are not on the table.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Cooperation

The referendum presented two options: the status quo (remain) vs a blank canvas (leave).

There is no "status quo" in that sense, that would imply some static situation. In or out, the future is constantly changing. The choice was between remaining in and letting the direction of that future be set by Brussels, or leaving and setting our direction ourselves. Neither has the clear predictable outcome that "status quo" would imply.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Cooperation

I find it difficult to understand that the EU aren't happy to agree a simple treaty with us to continue partnership on this.

The EU doesn't want partnership, it needs victory. A partnership would suggest that a post-Brexit UK is a serious partner worth working with, which undermines the worldview that only the EU can save Europe. Any suggestion which accepts that Brexit might work creates too much risk that other countries would eventually follow.

It's a perfectly reasonable point of view from the EU, survival-wise, but doesn't lend itself to meaningful or fair negotiations. Theresa May seems to be too naive to realise this.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: UK has the resourcesy

Give me SECAM anytime.

Ah yes, the Système Essentiallement Contre les AMericains... So awkward to handle that the studio editing and switching was done in PAL and only converted to SECAM immediately before broadcast!

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: £92m on a feasibility study

Going straight from taxpayers' pockets to government's friends.

You'd prefer it go to their enemies?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Is their hardware history better or worse than their software history?

After that the arts & PPE graduates took over and they didn't like these little men in brown coats with pens and screwdrivers in their top pockets.

So tell me again why it's better to have a central political government like the EU controlling R&D? Apart from a large unaccountable taxpayer-funded budget, I suppose.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I say chaps, where are we going?

You make a good point there, how on earth is NATO supposed to function if everyone is using their own GPS?

Well, presumably if the armies all show up in the right place at the right time no-one will care. Just like they did when they used their own maps in the pre-GNSS days.

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Phil O'Sophical
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How did that turn out?

For Hitler, not so well. For Germany, though? I'd say they're doing nicely now.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: UK has the resourcesy

Remember all the products that were NTSC only because it just wasn’t feasible to make a PAL offering based on market size?

You mean the PAL system designed by the Germans and used all over Europe (except in France), in parts of S. America, and in much of the Middle East?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: That is going to be one hell of an expensive failure

So let's see, what is the UK Gov history on hardware accomplishments ?

You mean like building the bits of Galileo that work, unlike, say, the Swiss-built clock modules?

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Surprise! VAT, customs likely to get a bit trickier in a Brexit no-deal world

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Can anyone

which is essentially pessimistic in nature. This is your Project Fear.

Oh, I don't know about that. Countries abandoning the Euro and going back to their own currency seems quite an optimisic idea.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Can anyone

The alt-right have been predicting the imminent collapse of the EU to happen in a couple of months on a regular basis since 2008, from what I remember. So far it hasn't happened.

The alt-right?? It's been predicted much more widely than that, but as you say the EU still stumbles along from one crisis to the next, while anti-EU feeling grows steadily (I saw the first "vote for Frexit" posters in France recently!)

Predicting's so hard when it involves the future, isn't it?

Yes, which is why I said as much. I'd still rather take a chance that we can do better than sit on my hands assuming it'll all be OK.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Can anyone

dumb ass

You're repeating yourself, but I'm not the one who forgot to tick the AC box this time... :)

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Can anyone

@phil o'idiot

"Look at how most ex-British Empire states are doing now"

yeah Zimbabwe are doing real well....

what a dumb ass..

I do love the intelligent debate you get here. Let me guess, you voted remain?

You think one example of failure disproves the whole theory? Take a look at the other ex-colonies, those in commonwealth and those not.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Can anyone

And yet the whole Brexit argument is based on alleged predictions which, on your own admission, must be non-concrete.

As are the doom & gloom Project Fear ones from remainers. The OP asked for some reasons Brexit could be a good idea, I'm an optimist so I offered a few possibilities. It'll be 5-10 years before we really know the answer, but now we havce a chance to change things.

This is what governments do. e.g. we, as UK taxpayers, send billions a year to the NHS to be spent by someone else, NHS trusts, on what they think good for us.

Very true, and it's always a question of boundaries. UK tax money being spent on UK citizens by a UK government elected by UK voters is the boundary we're familiar with, and accept. Europe's huge strength is in its differences, the fact that not every country thinks the same way. Trying to have money from all of Europe collected by an unrepresentative central EU government and spent across all of Europe on issues that European people see very differently just doesn't work.

It deals with the new bureaucratic red tape that has to be introduced as replacement for the existing lack of bureaucratic red tape involved in transactions with what is currently our home market.

What it really does is put the EU in the same position as all the other countries we deal with, with the same red tape that apples to them. Not new red tape, the same red tape covering a larger area. Yes, it means more work for people and companies which only deal with EU countries, just as a purely UK company will have to allow for more red tape if it expands to, say, the US. It's the cost of freedom of access to a wider market. Will it pay off? I think it can, but we'll have to wait and see.

The alternative of saying "we'll only ever shop at Tesco because I can walk there and I'd have to get a bus to go all the way to Waitrose" isn't one that appeals to me. Maybe you're willing to accept limited medocrity of choice in return for an easy life, I'm not.

And I'll leave you to reflect on the leverage we'll be able to exert in setting up these trade deals that will benefit us with some selfless but unidentified countries that won't be wanting trade deals to benefit themselves.

Why would it be so one-sided? Good deals should benefit both sides, provided they have the freedom to negotiate freely. Today we have to accept deals that the EU feels will benefit the EU, even if they don't work for us or other members. Why is that preferable?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Can anyone

give one clear example of how we'll be better off after brexit?

A lot depends on whether you think the EU and Eurozone will survive the next few years. I suspect the Eurozone will go first, with Greece & the like crashing out & inflation/exchange rates suffering, followed by rising unemployment (already much higher than in the UK). A post-Brexit UK will have some chance to avoid the fallout.

It's always hard to come up with concrete predictions for the future, but some thoughts? On the "big is not better" basis:

- We can set up trade deals that benefit us, and not be told what tariffs/taxes to charge to benefit someone else.

- Our future isn't tied to a one-size-fits-noone economic model.

- We don't have to send billions a year to be spent by someone else on what they think is good for us.

- We can deport undesirables (hate speech preachers, for example) without the ECJ telling us that we have to keep them because deportation would spoil their family life.

- We can avoid bureaucratic red tape that is deliberately written in an overcomplex way so as to avoid offending 28 countries that all have a diferent take on things.

All of those could have good or bad outcomes, of course, but that's the cost of freedom, you get to make your own mistakes. Some people don't want to risk that, of course. It's the general question: do you want a peaceful life of mediocrity doing what you're told by someone else (i.e. still living at home when you're 35) or the chance to control your own life (make your own mistakes, sure, but also earn your own successes). Maybe it'll be good, maybe not, but personally I'd prefer the freedom to choose myself. The past 25 years have shown that the EU empire is just a money pit that consumes our taxes, and the best it can show for it is essentially trivial "victories" like mobile phone roaming. Do we really need a huge staggering political behemoth that can't even decide where to make it's HQ, just to achieve that? If we don't leave, we'll never know.

It's the same situation for any country that gets independence from an overly-controlling master. The first years are painful and difficult, but most manage to come out better in the long run if people are willing to put the effort in. Look at how most ex-British Empire states are doing now, despite the protestations from imperials at the time that they were throwing away their place in something wonderful.

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Southport: Come for a round of golf, stay for the flesh-eating STIs

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: ???

I was expecting some twee comment about a Donner kebab shack and the subsequent knee-trembler round the back with a loose morals local bike at 3am after 15 pints.

In Southport?

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Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Hmm

Absolutely - what actually IS social class?

No-one's mentioned the Frost Report yet... Does anyone look up to Jeremy Corbyn?

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Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Even their "good" practice is bad.

the only rational interpretation of Verizon's "policy" is that emergency serives have no throttling, ever. <

And did the fire service have some identified "emergency services" contract with Verizon which contained that clause, or had they just signed up to a standard data plan and assumed it would be OK to exceed the limits if they needed to?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: What do you expect?

So are you saying they should over buy in a long term contract that exceeds their needs most of the time?

They should have negotiated a contract which would meet their needs. In this case, one that allows for steady low background levels with occasional big peaks for emergencies, which is a pretty standard telecoms pattern. My guess is that no-one thought to put it out to tender with a proper RFP process, they just signed up for some off-the-shelf contract that looked OK. It wasn't.

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Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

Phil O'Sophical
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Happy

Re: It's Christmas!

so I can say "Alexa, it's Christmas!" and the tree lights will turn on and Slade will start playing.

Interesting demographic niche there: old enough to like "Merry Christmas Everybody", young enough to think Alexa is a good idea.

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Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Pessimist

people ask me why I am so pessimistic I reply "Simple. It saves time".

It is Friday afternoon. Almost beer o'clock. The weekend is looking good.

That seems pretty optimistic to me. Shouldn't you be assuming the pub will be shut, or that your other half will have too many jobs lined up?

Me, I bought barbecue charcoal, even though the forecast is rain. Life's too short to be pessismistic. Or is that too pessimistic an outlook?

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Intel: Yeah, yeah, 10nm. It's on the todo list. Now, let's talk about AI...

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: I Wish Them Both Well

new and exciting products

Spectre and Meltdown weren't exciting enough for you?

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Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

Phil O'Sophical
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The reviving of copyright raises the further question of what happens after Brexit; can copyright still be revived in the UK after that date?

The current rules are defined by UK law, the 1995 act. Brexit won't change that.

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Phil O'Sophical
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how exactly were the school to know of the copyright in the first place?

It's very simple. If you don't own the copyright, someone else does, so you don't use it without permission.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Prepare for...

Well, I'm sure every school in the world will be able to afford to employ full time copyright compliance staff to hunt down and pay the copyright holders of every image on the web that every pupil uses in every one of their projects.

Don't be ridiculous. Just using it in a project within the school would come within "fair use" exceptions for teaching, as the court noted. The problem arose because it was then placed on the school's public website. Whoever administers that website should certainly have had the wit to ask where the picture came from, and if they weren't able to get an acceptable answer, or permission from the source, they shouldn't have re-published the image. You don't need to be a copyright compliance expert to work that out.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Prepare for...

Seems harsh that it was some kids school project though.

True, but better to sue the school than sue the kid. Arguably the school should have had someone with the nous to say "maybe we should ping the owner of the photo & ask permission" (which, for a school project, I hope would have been freely given for no charge). Now it should be seen as an opportunity for some teaching about copyright law, which can't be a bad thing.

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IPv6: It's only NAT-ural that network nerds are dragging their feet...

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Mobile devices / 4G networks

And you are left with something that routes far slower than IPv4 since every router on the internet would need to have to check a flag followed by the prefix,

Is that likely to be significantly different from having to check 128 bits for an address instead of 32?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Second class netizen

CG-NAT cannot be considered "Internet." At best, it's a glorified proxy. A true Internet connection is the full 65535 ports bi-directional.

But since few machines ever need more than a few dozen of those ports they can effectively be considered as adding 16 bits to an IPv4 address field, which is what NAT does. It might be ugly for the purists, but it works.

We've only ourselves to blame. We've had two decades to address (sorry) this yet we're still arguing about what colour the bike shed should be

Well, perhaps the people who designed the bike shed should have asked themselves whether we needed a new bike shed in the first place, or whether a bigger garage would have been better. IPv6 was proposed at a time when completely changing the "whole internet" was a smaller and still possibly manageable task. It's a lot harder today.

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Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Communist leaders and their sensitivities

And as for Trump...

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Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: We're the ones to blame

We're the ones to blame

What Amazon is doing is unethical.

So when you fill in your tax form each year, do you ignore all the deductions you're allowed, because it's unethical to to take legal advantage of tax law?

If not, how can you criticize Amazon? As noted above, they pay huge amounts of NI and VAT, and business rates for their office/warehouses. Their employees pay income tax. If the government also wants them to pay more corporation tax the solution is very simple - change the corporation tax laws to make them pay more.

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HP Ink splashes out on Brit print provider Apogee

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: In a former role we played name substitution dependent on performance that week

It does seem odd to name your company for the highest point in a trajectory. There's nowhere to go but down after apogee...

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Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: That's what they want you to think...

My wife lets me watch it because it's the only time I get to shout at the TV without her telling me "IT'S ONLY A STORY"

Has your wife met my wife? I think they'd get on very well together...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Brown note

It's no coincidence that "resonates" is an anagram of "arse notes"...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Correlation, causation, and all that

Any structure built with some degree of regularity will have resonant frequencies, that's sort of implicit in the laws of physics. Finding what those frequences are doesn't necessarily mean that the structure was built specifically with them in mind, though.

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The internet's very own Muslim ban continues: DNS overlord insists it can freeze dot-words

Phil O'Sophical
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Joke

Re: Playing with fire

Perhaps the TLD .CNUTS would be appropriate.

What have Danish kings got to do with it?

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Ecuador's Prez talking to UK about Assange's six-year London Embassy stay – reports

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "rape charges sound like bollock"

given that Sweden's definition of "rape" in this case is a broken condom,

No, Sweden's definition of rape is just like other countries', sex without consent. The girl consented if Assange used a condom. He didn't, so there was no consent, so it was rape.

Clearer now?

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

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: haven't ad's died yet?

I really don't understand the business model of websites that rely on adverts for revenue.

They don't rely on adverts for revenue, they rely on advertisers for revenue. As long as advertisers think they're getting something, they'll pay, that's what finances the websites. When the advertisers go bust due to adblockers no-one cares, another one will be along in a minute. PT Barnum had it right.

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BBC websites down tools and head outside into the sun for a while

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Scary

There was a break between the end of the children's programmes at 17:35 or 18:00 - restarting again about 19:30 to 20:00

Known as the "Toddler's Truce", IIRC, so you had time to put the kids to bed.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Scary

We had to explain to a friend what the test card was

See: http://www.meldrum.co.uk/mhp/testcard/

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

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: make up your minds

but not to expect such nice terms as the EU is getting.

Mainly because the EU have threatened them with reprisals if they offered such terms.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Alien Parasite

It's like a kind of alien parasite (or symbiote, depending on your point of view)

It started out as a symbiote, but has evolved into a parasite. And like many parasites, it is evolving further into something that will ultimately kill its hosts.

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