* Posts by MonkeyCee

845 posts • joined 16 Apr 2013

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ARG! A GHOST SHIP! Pirates sunk by UK cops return from watery grave

MonkeyCee
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Re: Another strong arm tactic based on lack of knowledge

See above regarding police and courts.

The short of it is the legal system, parliament for adding or removing laws and the courts interpreting and applying them, is separate from the policing of those laws. A great deal of the time the fuzz relies on their own interpretation of laws (see taking pictures of cops) or their ability to book you for something provable.

It can be argued that it's not up to the cops to decide which laws to enforce, they just book 'em all, and let justice (in the form of the CPS and the courts) to decide who actually gets taken to trial.

In general, in the western world, most cases never see a court. You are often punished for insisting on your right to trial, in that the maximum charges will be brought against you, as compared to a lessor plea.

Courts are expensive. Investigations less so. If making a request solves the "crime" rather than getting a court order, it seems like a fine use of taxpayers money to me. Then again, I'm pretty much against most prison sentences. Either the crime is trivial enough to be managed with fines, serious enough to require intervention but the person can be changed (which may be a prison like situation) or the person can't be changed, so hang 'em.

Off topic, I presume the whole death drugs issue in the USA being solved with gassing or shooting rather than hanging is because seeing lots of black chaps in nooses might show how little things have changed.

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The quid-a-day nosh challenge: Anyone fancy this fungus I found?

MonkeyCee
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Re: Re. Silent Spring

Just make natural fly traps :)

Take a jar, punch holes larger than fly in top. Fill jar with small amount of fly tempting liquid. Vinegar or stale booze often works wonders.

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Why two-player games > online gaming: See your pal's shock as you bag a last-second victory

MonkeyCee
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Re: Must be the hippy in me...

Ah Bubble Bobble :)

In an old flat we'd play all sorts of games, the PS2 was the mainstay for console stuff in the livingroom. While the various fighting games got most of the attention, nothing brought out rivalry and swearing quite like Bubble Bobble.

Maybe it's the inevitable cycle of A drops a pile, dumps on B, B swears, wrangles way to dump some of pile thus dumping more on A. Repeat until police are called. We then toned down the insults to no longer include threats of dismemberment or bodily harm, although "Why don't you just STAB ME IN THE FACE!" stuck around as a general statement of complaint, ideally about the smallest thing. That was coined by my darling ten year old niece.

Oh, and I'm not allowed to babysit her around my "rude" friends, after she called her dad a "fuck knuckle". Well, she used it in a full and descriptive sentence, but I'm pretty sure she knew the rest of the words prior to that. Don't think it helped that my sister laughed when the kid went off :)

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'Maybe I'll go to Hell, but I think it's a good thing' says plastic Liberator gunsmith Cody Wilson

MonkeyCee
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Re: A better alternative

Switzerland has a low gun crime rate for a variety of other factors than gun ownership. High wages (for everyone) means greater equality, hence less property crime.

Also it's very rarely the Swiss chaps who are the ones I'd be worried about harming and getting shot. Swiss ladies are often better shots than the gents. Plus the required home defense and food storage makes most US "preppers" look like the amateurs with guns they are. Does your house have a bunker and a months food per person? :D

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Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

MonkeyCee
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Re: 85000 XP!

You'd almost think that it was a deliberate act by a group of individuals who benefit from less tax enforcement that pushed through austerity measures that involve cutting the workforce that collects the government incomes.

IIRC there are roles for assessing tax evasion/avoidance that where paid 30k and produced the best part of a million quid a year in extra revenue. So a role that gives the government an extra 900k a year (I'll allow silly money for pension and employment costs) from the 35 billion a year that is lost would seem to be something you'd hire more off in a recession. Instead they get their numbers cut.

But then I've got odd notions of the country being governed for the benefit of the masses, rather than for the few. UK plc has gotten a lot meaner to it's serfs in the last few years, I'm glad I now live in NL plc, where at least the bilderburgers in charge here make sure the serfs have cheap booze, fags and high quality ganja to keep us pacified.

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AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'

MonkeyCee
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More stats needed

Most importantly, what's it's hash? Better than a pair of 290x?

Because no-one in their right mind buys an AMD card for gaming. For mining and gaming, sure :)

I use r9 270, since you can often get 270x performance out of them, if you're lucky 500 khash/s, for ~130 watts. Depending a bit on what undervolt and overclock you can get out of them.

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Money? What money? Lawyer for accused Silk Road boss claims you can't launder Bitcoin

MonkeyCee
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Re: would have thought it would count as a bond or certificate

According to the IRS it's property. So is a bond or a stock. A treasury, gilt or other government bond is "money" in the sense that it can function as a deposit from a retail bank to a central bank.

Essentially it's money if you can pay your taxes with it. If you need to sell it to an intermediary to get the cash then it's property.

I'd like to turn up to pay my tax with goods. Maybe a head of goats, just drop them at the office :)

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Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

MonkeyCee
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Speed is also part of the problem

As a 33 year old who's currently a student of the econometric arts, I got to write a wee paper on HFT. And explain it to 18 year olds, who often believe I'm pulling their leg when describing various financial instruments or mechanics. Some of the poor dears even look lost when we're just describing futures markets. The definition of a HFT order (a least in academia) varies, but generally that it is in existence for a very short period of time, usually microseconds. It's this rapid cancelling of orders (and high cancellation to fill ratio) and their affect upon prices that is missing from the article. When HFT is making all it's trades, all is well. When it pulls the plug, or only trades one way then bad things can happen.

A HFT trader gets to act like a market maker (like an exchange), by trading across the spread as explained in the article. This increase in competition has lead to a reduction in spreads (yippee!) without the requirement for the HFTs to trade in adverse conditions (boo!). The ability to withdraw liquidity from a market without any responsibility for being a market maker is not a good thing.

I presume the point about front running is that is hair close to insider trading (which is also hard to pin down exactly) which is A Crime. Stuffing order books, momentum ignition and stop hunting are unethical, but are impractical to stop with legislation, maybe with anti-dumping or anti-competition laws. But they do allow HFTs a great deal of not-outright-illegal ways to tamper with prices. Sometimes just the combination of speed, volume and lack of oversight means that laws are being broken, if only because those laws assumed a person at some point was involved. Events like the full flash crashes to the ongoing micro crashes (or deliberate dumps) show the issues, and each time things get a bit more fixed.

The suggestions I've seen for "fixing" it where: introduce high cancellation fees on orders or longer minimum offer times; requiring anyone with over a certain threshold of trading volume to have to act as a market maker (or a supplementary liquidity provider I believe it is termed); resolving transactions at regular intervals rather than in a continuous fashion (I've seen this suggested for values from 100ms to five minutes); and various forms of circuit breakers suspending trading if price moves too rapidly.

Of course, the idea that even if the various technical toys are taken away that the financial mafioso will suddenly not find more perfectly legal ways of fleecing all the other players is laughable. It isn't even a conspiracy (that would be hard to pull off) just a group of smart people who are given rules by a group of less smart people, and then seek to make the best individual profit within the rules given. HFT exists in part because of the legal requirements to give "the best" price (best value rather than fastest to close), which means getting some amount of the order book from each exchange, so everyone is all about getting the quotes around as fast as possible.

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

MonkeyCee
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Protected title

In the Netherlands (and Germany too I believe) there's a lot less fuss about this. Because there are plenty of natural health shops and woo sellers, but homeopath is a protected title. It is legally a medical specialty, so you can't call yourself a surgeon, a cardiologist or a homeopath without actually possessing a MD.

Now I'm not a fan of woo, or legitimising quackery. My dad's a GP, and as far as I'm aware most of the time you get better through a combination of rest, drinking and eating. A small amount of the time it will require an intervention. So visiting a homeopath who will be able to refer you if something does require further testing, and has had a proper education is quite valuable.

It's also a good use of those with a MD who aren't up to practise. Not intended as a criticism, a MD is a very intellectually challenging qualification, the medical profession attracts those who want to heal and help, but you can't really test how well someone copes with losing patients until they do. So some will not be good because they become too detached, and some will break because they can't detach enough. So having a place for doctors who generally like having patients who are not really sick is a good idea, especially as on the odd times when they are genuinely ill then they can actually spot it.

I would also trust far more to the ethics of a MD than an evangelist for homeopathic remedies.

The other thing that annoys me about defenders of homeopathy is when you bring up the money, they defend it by pointing out the pharma industry profits. Yet big pharma can still manage to get me medications for most things at the cost of 1-3 cents a pill for generic paracetamol and antihistamines. Maybe 10-20 cents a pill for vitamins and minerals, gets cheaper each year, Yet homeopathic sugar pills go up in cost each year.

Worst scam for it I heard was my old landlady in the UK. After spending nearly three thousand quid on treatments over six months, her homeopath "discovered" that her tenant was also getting homeopathic treatments, and so convinced my landlady that these where interfering with her treatment. Thus all the medications had to be repurchased, and the tenant had to transfer the to homeopath to "synchronise" the treatments. Glad to see my rent money was going to a noble cause.

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Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

MonkeyCee
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The Boston solution. Shot in the back of the head after "attacking" the security.

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LogMeIn: We're stopping our free offering from now

MonkeyCee
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I thought the whole point of "free" software, was when you get to the point of it's actually important to doing a particular function, then pay for the full version. First time I used Teamviewer to do something I got paid for doing, I upgraded to the full version. I borrowed a copy of Spinrite, saved a drive, so I forked over for my own copy.

I tend to think of free software as trial versions.

Open source is different, but I still support paying the people who make me useful things a buck or two.

The risk with not paying/being prepared to pay for a product is unless it serves someone else a purpose, it will one day either go completely (google reader) or become a pay for product. If it is then not worth paying for, then perhaps it's worth researching a product that will stick around.

I use plenty of "free" Google products, and a few paid for ones. I am under no illusions, based on the ads I get served, that my "free" products are mainly extended market surveys to better flog my eyeball views. But that's fine, fair trade I say.

I even prefer the free newspapers to the paid for ones. Same pile of bias and guff, both bring the windows up in a lovely shine :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Hmmm

They'll be using Teamviewer? Or Remote Desktop?

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Want Google to erase your data? Just wait for it to kill off one of its apps

MonkeyCee
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Already happened

I have a friend who is a military historian and there are already honking great gaps in the documents due to changing technology. He reckons he knows far more about the actual workings of say the US civil war armies, as there are large amounts of records that are still readable (orders, inventories etc) as they are on paper. However US records from the late 60's and 70's are stored in electronic forms, on magnetic tape, and either have been corrupted, the reading tech doesn't work, or the documentation for the formatting is no more.

Plus paper is magic in legal areas :)

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How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

MonkeyCee
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Motivating assets

From my in depth knowledge gleaned from Le Carre, I thought that assets are motivated by a variety of causes, idealistic or financial being the "best" in terms of keeping control. Honey traps are pretty darn tooting too.

So whilst those who have strong feelings towards the homeland/against the enemy might be great, often those who need the cash are even better. Even going as far as to get those useful persons into debt in order to make them more malleable to a bribe.

Like in Blackadder goes Forth, turns out the chap called Fritz with the strong German accent is in fact not a German but a British spy, whilst the German spy speaks perfect English. So the Chinese-American with Chinese grandparents might get more scrutiny than the 10th generation Irish-American.

As the Middle Kingdom has been playing this game for longer than pretty much all the nations it is facing, I would also suspect that it could manage to smokescreen it's spying through, I don't know, a corporate espionage front? You might not be willing to spy for the Chinese, but for a competitor? Damn spies, being all tricksy and stuff.

I thought the age old issue of espionage was you never quite know exactly who is working for whom, or where your stuff might end up. Hence the plethora of double, triple agents, and the preference for turning an enemy asset into a false feed rather than removing the asset.

LOLs at the AC on this. Because the spooks totally cannot get through the reg's awesome securitah!

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Gay hero super-boffin Turing 'may have been murdered by MI5'

MonkeyCee
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Re: Delusional...

My understanding is that the secret service tries to save the taxpayer money buy recruiting it's hired killers, uh, I mean contractors, from a pool of already trained and vetted killers known as the armed forces. Who are also pretty good about doing bad things in service of the greater good and keeping quiet about them.

Certainly it is what appears to have happened in colonial actions and Ireland. I mean, there would be no way british soldiers would be performing drive by shootings on civilians in the midst of the troubles.

Personally I'd put Turing's death down to accidental poisoning. There are plenty more convenient suicides and accidental deaths that have the fingerprints of the security services on them. Wrists cut with a blunt knife, hung from a print-less rope without a means to reach the elevation, glass with prints, empty bottle of booze wiped clean, being found zipped inside a bag etc. I have heard it suggested that a hit and run, being run off the road or a straight up collision with something more massive would be a suitable way to assassinate someone without it being investigated as a murder.

I suppose the security services could always "contract" out to a third party by passing on information. Lots of political assassinations (I'll put journos in that group too) again are very convenient to the current political structures but can be blamed on criminal groups or corruption.

I live in the Netherlands currently. Just over 10 years ago the leader of a political party who was actually seen to be making changes in the political landscape was shot and killed in the run up to an election.

No point being AC. The spooks already know who I am :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: @Don Jefe

I do see your point about how a cultural identity can be "mainstreamed" like the various attempts to sell the gay lifestyle (metrosexual lolz), assorted black and latino culture etc. And while for some in those groups, the acceptance isn't what they where after, what they want is to be recognised for their special identity, in fact most people in those groups would really like to just be accepted into society as a whole.

As you write articulate and often thoughtful posts, I'd like to pick apart a couple of your points. As a (presumably) white person, globally you are a minority. Certainly if you have a net worth of 25k or more, than you're in the richest 20% of the world. However, not to be too much of a prat about this, I assume you're talking from a perspective of the UK, where being white, straight, mono-lingual english speaker, and non-practising CoE would put you in the rough majority. Pretty much any of those things not being the case, you'd be in a technical minority. So quite a lot of people are in minorities, but don't get much stick, because they 'fit in" with the majority. Religious tolerance has also been a cornerstone of modern societies due to the great amount of persecution and wars that have been , and are currently being waged with religious justification. I imagine because it's very hard to argue with "God told me to murder the bastards" which leads to prolonged hating on each side.

The other point was on the news focusing on someones skin color means there are less "must promote black people" stories, but you would have to admit that it still comes up a great deal. Perhaps a bit between the lines, or in the decision to use say a particular athlete to promote team GB because they "tick the boxes" (ie are black and female). In the US it still is very much an issue, perhaps to to whitey becoming a minority, or the greater amounts of mixed race children. Obama was the first "black" president, despite the fact that apart from his father's genes, his cultural upbringing was pretty much upper-middle class. If a major UK political party selected an indian, black or asian as it's leader, you could measure the columns written on it in meters. Hell, even a female leader is a rarity. So I find it hard to believe that there is real equality, except perhaps under the law. It's like saying there is gender equality, just only applied to those under 40 (well, not quite, but it's closer) because despite law changes, there is still a strong cultural attachment to certain roles.

On a slight side track, it should be noted that gender equality is pretty bad for younger blokes (on average). I've joked about seahorse workforces where you get 90% male over 45 and 90% female under 35, caused by a combination of hiring practises (got to balance those numbers, can't arbitrarily fire half the staff 'cos they are blokes, thus strong emphasis on hiring ladies) and the fact that women are usually better employees than males. Heh, that will get me some stick, so perhaps if I phrase it as women in general are more open to criticism of their work, better at defusing social tensions, more able to admit mistakes or seek assistance, better able to compromise, change jobs less, have less of a need to assert their ego at work, all of which make them more desirable as employees. Oh, and are more likely to undervalue their own skills. Of course this is a massive generalisation, there will be tons of men who are like this, and tons of women who aren't. But much like saying on average women are more agile and men are stronger, there will obviously exist women that are stronger than most men.

Back to the main topic, another key issue about minorities is how easy they are identified. Because in some ways that is the only way you can actually test the bias. If you have a different skin tone or gender than the "norm" then it's pretty easy to notice. If you're gay or follow a religion without strong outward identification (skull cap and curly locks, turban, big arse beard, or just it being the first thing you say to someone) then you get to see the change in reaction as you get mentally moved from the majority to the particular minority. You do get a bit of the race/gender thing these days, especially in tech. I have a friend who is a very good coder, who has had several roles where she pretty much had the job sealed (based on her exsting work, references and email) but when she turned up to interview the sudden change because she "might not be a good fit" in the 100% company. Funniest was when they had actually sent her a formal job offer, and had to work out how to retract it without admitting their sexism. Turns out Regan is suitable a name for either gender, but sexist blokes assume that only men code.

There is some interesting research on how people react differently to the same piece of work depending on the perception of whether the author was male or female. The two studies I recall are both done in academia, by groups who strongly identify as gender equalists and firmly in the PC camp. Turns out they are still pretty sexist. One was on how a paper was graded, with a male name earning about half a grade more, the other was on career advice based on a CV. What I personally found more interesting than the research itself (which pretty much confirms social norms) was that the academics who where used in the study rejected that they where sexist, despite the results. The CV advice was especially telling, since a number pretty much said "of course my advice is different to a male or a female" whilst denying that it was evidence of sexism.

Anyways, went way off topic there. In general I would say that unless you spend some time as being identified as a minority, then telling them that they "pretty much" have equality doesn't really cut it. You can experiment if you like, just tell a few workmates that you used to date men*. Then see who refuses to eat at the same table as you. Or when reporting an assault to the police, mention you where holding hands with another bloke.

No offense intended. It's a touchy subject after all.

* unless you actually want to deal with the backlash, stick with this as a thought experiment. I got written up by HR (and subsequently left the company) after I had a go at a colleague after he suggested that "hanging was too good for fags". Now I stick with the loud "Ha ha, murdering people different to us is funny. Give us another, I hear you've got a good line in rape and nigger jokes"

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Beastie Boys parody sueball tennis ends after toy firm yanks Girls

MonkeyCee
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Re: Arrogance, they haz it

"So GoldieBlox blatantly rips off the song, then has the balls to say they felt they had no choice but to defend themselves by counter-suing the creators?"

Preemptively counter suing too. So since no-one had actually sued anyone at this point, Goldiebox sued the Beastie Boys after the Beastie Boys reps contacted them to say "you used our song"

Step 1: Create campaign stealing an artists song. Ensure you choose an artist who won't sue you for damages

Step 2: Initiate court case against artist

Step 3: After public outcry, drop suit, play nice.

Step 4: Success. Campaign has more hits than ever, video gets watched by millions, and many articles are written.

So without paying the Beastie Boys anything, Goldiebox gets to use their song, and their brand, to push their product.

Pink construction sets telling girls they can be princess engineers is still sexist crap.

Are we really still having to persuade ladies to be engineers etc? All the STEM courses I see (plus business, law, medicine and accounting) have over 50% female by the end of first year. I joke that a number of engineering workplaces seem to have "seahorse" staff, where it's 80% male for the 45+ and 80% female for the 25-35 group.

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'MacGyver' geezer makes 'SHOTGUN, GRENADE' from airport shop tat

MonkeyCee
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Re: Theater, indeed

This is exactly my point about AQ attacks and 9/11. If a group is so well organised they can pull off simultaneous multiple hijackings, but are unable to attempt "simple" terror attacks in the following years, then what changed?

Surely a Mumbai style attack (maybe no grenades) is possible in the US, being as weapons aren't that hard to come by. But that wouldn't have had enough impact to justify on going war and a massive expansion of the security state.

It's almost like that was the goal, waiting for an excuse...

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The ZOD FILES: Climate documents from 2007 'must stay secret'

MonkeyCee
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Re: Will CAGW alarmers step up?

While undoubtedly climate change is happening, if we are pushing it faster then the problem is can we ever stop? I'm all for a bunch of the technologies pushed by the greenies, but on their own merits. So not windmills, hydro and more efficient plants. Even if they're coal burning.

In fact, if we're REALLY keen on this stuff, then we'd all be paying massively more for our stuff, so that all countries can scrap inefficient plant. Oh, and pay for the improvement of the poorest couple of billion. Call it reparations. No? Not enough you say. You'd be right. There is only one "solution" to AGW, and it's a very final one. It's on a giant sundial in Georgia :)

We'll just adapt. Probably start living in burrows, purifying our air and water.

Oh, and the climate busybodies are never going away. Nature of institutions, whatever they get set up for, their main purpose is to continue existing. Anyone who has a nice tax free gig (I work for the world! No tax for me! See also UN, IMF etc) with no actual results needed is hardy going to walk away. Get some promises, get sad when they get ignored when job votes trump green votes. Continue cashing the cheques.

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Google SO CAN scan ALL BOOKS onto its sites - judge

MonkeyCee
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Re: 30M Down, 100M to Go @jnffarrell1

How would that work? The coffee and the spliff go together before posting on the reg.

It's the half pint of whiskey and half a gram of meth before posting on the daily mail that you've got to do in the right order :)

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Dark HEAVY METAL star fires up jets, vomits hot ROCK into space

MonkeyCee
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Re: Lots of it about

Gravity.

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'F-CK YOU GOOGLE+' ukelele missy scoops BIG WAD of $$ - for Google

MonkeyCee
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Re: yea google F*ck you

Logic fail by Not that Andrew.

You have been able to use your gmail account to sign into youtube.

Now you are required to.

These are different things.

If you are having trouble with this, imagine you have been able to use your credit card to buy food at the supermarket. Now you are required to, no credit card, no service. Not to help consumers, but because it makes gathering marketable data on you easier.

Of course, expecting Google to do anything other than get more marketing info to sell is a bit like being shocked that BP want oil out of the ground and not left in it. There is no such thing as a free lunch. A free product means the consumer is the product.

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Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

MonkeyCee
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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

Or you bring a bag that you re-use. If you're walking your food any distance a pack is nice.

Works just fine in the Netherlands. 25c gets you a decent quality plastic bag at the supermarket, or there are boxes for free, or they sell re-usable shopping bags. Retail stores just pass it on in general prices, much like gift wrap. It's not like you buy a laptop, and they stick 25c on the bill for the bag.

It is of course a very Tory tax policy. Lots of small bits from the many, rather than collecting from the wealthy few. It's why even the mere suggestion of a wealth tax caused them to both deride it, and then flip the same policies back onto the Labour/Lib voters. Doing too well of the public teat? That's fine if you live in a Mayfair mansion, but you're out of luck if you live in Brumly and your kid is serving in the 'stan. That spare bedroom is paid for by the taxpayer don'cha knowit. We're a bit short of cash after spending unimaginable fortunes bailing out the gamblers when they lost. When they won they bought mansions in Mayfair. Or careers in politics.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: That's Theresa May for you.

"I wouldn't be so annoyed about laws checking tennants if there were also laws forcing the 'landlord' to prove who they are and that they own the property or room they are renting out. I've been burnt by that particular fraud myself."

There are surely? I know at least where I live now that for a couple of euro I can get the details of who owns a property. I did find in the UK that as soon as anyone realised I might know anything about rental law, the place would become unavailable. Even asking which deposit insurance scheme they use ("that's not any of your business") has caused me to be asked to leave.

The whole "fake rental" scam seems to work because normal renting is so scammy. Hand me you rent, your rent in advance, and your contribution to my pension fund, I mean deposit. Then I'll only see you again if someones being turfed out or the rents not shown up. It's one of the reasons to pay by credit card or cheque, if they insist on cash walk away.

Just signed the paperwork on my first house. Cannot wait to be done with landlords.

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OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

MonkeyCee
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Re: "From a physics POV..."

Is there a difference between physics and chemistry? I've only poke around at undergraduate level, but it seems that it's all the same stuff, just differing focus. Physics is modelling all the parts, chemistry is focused on the low to mid level complex systems resulting from this (and can obviously be observed prior to "discovery" and often are the methods of discovery), and biology is the study of the mid to high complex systems. All physical scientists. Then we get to medicine, the first social science :)

Then again, I know people who still feel it was an insult to give Rutherford the Nobel for Chemistry :D

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10 Types of IT managers from hell

MonkeyCee
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Re: Actually, there are a couple more types

I thought the way to deal with the expert is to let them be paid (and have rank) of management, but just delegate all actual management tasks that are not directly in their expert role to someone else. Call them a compliance manager or something.

If they are mission critical, just move them off the org chart, and add them as an asset ;)

Tokens are morons shurly :)

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

MonkeyCee
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Didn't you just load like 75 quids worth of ink into it? Any reason you didn't get a colour laser for 500 quid instead?

Only inkjet I ever saw the use of where plotters. Everyone else needs a laser.

Unless you're in publishing. In which case, you should be intimately aware of what your printer needs in order to get you stuff to come out how you want.

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Do dishwashers really blunt knives

MonkeyCee
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Re: Ceramic

Never saw the point in Global. Looks cool, average steel quality, no bolster. Handle is OK in normal position, but lack of bolster means (for me anyway) when holding it with the blade in a pinch, the side of my middle finger is against a straight and rather uncomfortable edge. Hardly sold any either, but that's more just bad price point. You could get a forged one for the same price, or comparable one for a quarter of the price.

A steel is a steel. Cheap works just fine :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: corrosion

Since I managed to miss it in my spiel above, you are absolutely correct. High carbon needs more frequent sharpening, but can hold a finer (thus sharper) edge. It's softer, and will also take more abuse before snapping or cracking.

Even if you decide they are too unhygenic for the kitchen, they work great as hunting or butchering knives :)

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MonkeyCee
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It is indeed much more about what you do with it, rather than quality of your tools.

I worked in a catering shop that did a large range of knives (House of Knives in Petone) when I was at school, so got to see the people buying the full sets of forged Wusthof for looks, as well as lots of actual cooking professionals. Best way to sell someone was to let them chop up some carrots with a good example of each knife type, and let them decide. We also supplied the local catering college, and made sure they got good knives rather than the shit they get palmed off on some others.

Also lots of demonstrating steels and sharpening. Steels is nice and easy, you are drawing the blade across the lines in a smooth cutting motion at a 20 degree angle (roughly a quarter of a right angle) with firm but not hard pressure. The "safe" way is to put a steel vertical point down on a chopping board, and cut down it, so you should not cut anyone. A steel "realigns" the fine edge of the blade, pushing it back into alignment. Sharpening is cutting a new fine edge. You can steel your blade on pretty much any hardish metal, I've used the spine of other knives before in a pinch (and steel worktops, palette knives, pan lids etc)

As far as sharp knives go, proper butchers are the fussiest. It's the literal profit margin. But short of the cleaver and cooks knife, pretty much all butchery knives are flexible. Hence tend to be steeled often and sharpened more than any other knife.

For kitchen work, either a light, narrow high grade stamped steel blade or a more weighty forged blade will suit, depending on your budget and feel. Handle comfort is important. I've had professionals swear by each, the lighter blades need to be steeled or sharpened more often, but are less tiring and cheaper. If you need a single large cooks knife (over 10") then you mainly need the length as leverage, so a $30 Victorinex is as useful as a $400 for splitting pumpkins.

My biggest problem with Wusthof is they started making rolled steel stuff that looks like their forged stuff. I've spent a few thousand hours in kitchens using a Wusthof as my workhorse, with Victorinex for my paring knives.

My last work knife was a 9" Classic that was about 5mm thinner from repeated sharpening, and so the bottom inch or two worked as a cleaver (with a wider edge ground on it), and the rest as a normal knife. I won it in a poker game, and traded it away for bag of weed. That was a proper cooks knife :)

As for not being able to tell the difference, I've always been the one with all the kitchen kit in flats, and after the "knife talk" (I have plenty of normal ones, so the few that I'll get mad if you break I'll highlight, and the others can be wrecked) the flatties will use them. And have strong preferences for the Wusthofs. And when flats have moved on, and we run into each other, they always mention that they missed having sharp knives.

Going back to selling them to people, if they are both sharp, you'll notice the difference with a forged knife over a non forged one. Not one that by itself justifies paying 5-10x the price, but there is. If you can't tell the difference, then either they are blunt, or they are rolled steel Wusthofs. In which case, then there isn't any real difference, apart from the handles.

Dishwashers blunt knives when they get knocked against other things, as well as all the other noted parts. In general, knives need sharpening after a bit of use. At home, the wear on the edge from the dishwasher (assuming it gets washed after making dinner for 4) is probably as much as it gets from cutting things. All in all, probably going to have sweet FA effect on the blade. Handles, maybe a different story. Wood sucks for dishwashers, but is less problematic if ignited.

In terms of bang for your buck, a rolled stainless steel cooks knife (german, french or chinese) with a handle that fits your paw, ditto for a paring knife, is perfect. For a knife that will outlast you, forged ftw. I swore I'd never get a forged paring knife (frippery! It'll get thrown away with the peelings!) but got given one as a gift and use it for everything.

As for high carbon knives, I can't think of anyone who sells them for cookware, other than handmade stuff. You want harder, more brittle for cutting. And if you wanted flexibility, you just make a massively cheaper rolled steel. They have a use (easy to resharpen, hard to snap), but they rust like buggery.

TL, DR: Get Wusthof Classic or Grand Prix forged knives if you can afford it. All good rolled steel knifes are basically equal. Handles are important. Dishwasher safe knives are fine in dishwasher.

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Mac OS X Mavericks 'upgrade' ruins iWorks

MonkeyCee
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Re: They have done this before, haven't they ?

"There's very little to choose between Micorsoft and Apple as manufacturers of iTech tat."

MS make computers now? I hear there tablets where a great success, so obviously laptops and desktops next.

And yes, think like a meercat. Never be the first one out of the burrow, or a x.0 user as the case may be :)

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Want to keep the users happy? Don't call them users for a start

MonkeyCee
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Re: These work for me...

IT advocates, power user, 1st level support, the secretary who does all the bosses computing....

Many names, similar principle. Find people you trust, and give them more ability/authority to fix or report things to you. Gives you the handy 2 way filter, and more ability to get the truth of what happened. I don't care _who_ broke a thing, but knowing _how_ means hopefully it can be avoided in the future.

Same happens for passing things up (if you are a helldesker), having people in storage/server/networks teams (and problem management if they exist) that trust your judgement so that you can raise issues to them informally, and who won't ignore you as being a phone muppet.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: I can't see it catching on

You realise that most service providers, be it IT, banking or insurance, have at least one or two levels of "Customer Service" you have to go through until you can reach an actual fully qualified staff member. Your best bet is to get it logged with all the info needed, and wait for a call back.

Unless you already pay (or your custom is worth) a direct line to the specialists you need. Much the same way that if you walk into a bank, the counter assistant isn't going to give you a loan. But if your Sir Moneybags, then the manager whisks you away so you never actually deal with the counter assistant or loan officer.

In my time on assorted varietys of service desks, a lot of the improvements consist of getting the people who can do the complex tasks to ONLY do those, and get the simple tasks done by those who can't handle the more fiddly stuff. Even if it means making all the people calling with complex problems have either run the gauntlet of ensuring it's not a known issue, or know enough to insist the call is handed to person/group x. Since your high value staff are busy, it's almost certain that you can't just call them. However, when your job gets to them, they can in fact fix it. Or you fault is one of many stemming from the same root cause, and all that's going to happen is that will be fixed, and then your job closed.

As for getting internet providers or phone companies to do ANYTHING it's beyond me. Almost nothing can actually be changed by anyone short of selling you something. If you're paying top dollar for your service, then they should be excellent (and usually are, like most premium services), if you've taken the cheapest option (and not checked what their support is like) then don't be shocked when you're talking to Bangalore and being given the run around. Because that's the support you paid for. Not that I've anything against Indian call centres, at least I can go off script without losing my job as compared to those poor buggers.

My personal gripe is people blaming IT for business decisions. Especially outsourced IT, since that seems to be one of the "advantages" from management perspective. Approval for new laptop denied? I can tell you what the policy is, and even who said no (sometimes we couldn't tell them that). But I can't issue you one without the right sign offs. System is too "slow" (unresponsive) because it's now all done on a TS, yelling at me that your home computer is faster and that "I don't know IT" will not suddenly make me reverse the policy. God forbid that I point out where this should be raised, they are far too busy to actually write a complaint but can chew my ear off. Oh, and if I put this feedback in, it gets ignored ("staff are to use the correct feedback methods").

"Bad" customer service can be a deliberate policy. If you know it's going to be 45+ minutes before your ISP answers the phone, why ever bother calling? If feedback on decisions is made too difficult, then you never have to deal with negative results. Ryanair as a case unto itself...

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Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed

MonkeyCee
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Re: Do they know what ''science'' means ?

Since I'm studying the damn things, I'll stick my our in and say econometrics is a science, and economics is the creation of models based on that science.

It's often the lack of willingness to change those models that seem to be the problem. A frequent example is about how rational a decision is, when faced with choosing a short term outcome or a greater long term outcome. In theory, the rational choice is the long term payoff, so everyone will do that. In practise, most people prefer short term rewards. If you start plugging in the bias towards immediate results and neglecting long term rewards, then some models collapse in a race to the bottom.

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Cannabis can CURE CANCER - cheaply and without getting you high

MonkeyCee
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Re: Bloody adulterators...

genesis 1:29

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Pathetic

's called hospitality bro :)

Never seen so many high functioning addicts outside of the legal profession :)

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Hemp?

Hemp is made from the stem of the plant. The fibres are long and strong, and can be woven, braided etc.

Cannabis are the flowers of the plant, especially the females.

Generally the strains differ based on what you are focusing on. Fairly sure most industrial hemp flowers will be pollinated, unsuitable for smoking. Maybe possible to separate some hash mechanically, but in general you would grow the species you are interested in, not sure if many dual breeds would be grown industrially. I'd imagine some of the big outdoor cannabis strains might have usable stems.

Generally canaboloids are concentrated in the flowers, with very low levels elsewhere in the plant.

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MonkeyCee
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"Actually, what I'm more concerned about is that when it comes to cancer, I'd really rather get treated with the most effective drug - not the most cost-effective one."

If you're paying, then by all means. Customer is always right etc.

But when it comes to public health, the most cost effective is often the most effective. Because it can actually be used, rather than having to restrict it.

In much the same way as I'd prefer to always eat at the nicest restaurants, I accept that my budget only stretches to a kebab.

For quite a few forms of cancer, I'd just live with it. Same choice that a rather large number of physicians make. Perhaps volunteer to test this weed cancer treatment. You're going to die of something, I'm a bloke, so it'll probably be heart failure. Cancer in the guts or on the skin I'd have chopped, in the organs I probably just accept my fate.

My guess would be that it might offer a "kinder" chemo. So you chop it out, then follow up with large infusions of cannaboloids to try and cause any other bits to reset their cell death timer.

It's certainly good for pallative care. A vape and half a gram a day can make a hell of a difference to someone who has lost the will to eat from the side effects of the other stuff they are being given. With chemo, it's hardly shocking (you're poisoning yourself to kill the cancer) and the lack of nutrition can end you faster than any disease.

But I jest. Commen sense dictating drugs policy? When Dr Nutt is a drugs tzar I'll believe it.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: @ Don Jefe

"Don't know what would happen if I ate 1/2 Oz. (~13 grams)THC's worth of hashish, though"

You fall asleep. Smiling. For about 15-25 hours. And you wake up very hungry.

Sometimes you trip your balls off for an hour or two first.

A very important fridge rule is don't eat Mark's chocolatey treats. Certainly don't eat half of them....

Works for dogs too. Once they scoff some hash, they often suddenly stop eating everything, and will then on stick to just dog food. All that seeing in colours freaks them out ;)

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Mac fans: You don't need Windows to get ripped off in tech support scams

MonkeyCee
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I like to act as a confused buffon, then "find" another family member to help out. Best I've done is four (father, son, grandson, daughter), although I think they cottened on at my Jamie Oliver mockney attempt for the grandson :)

If they claim to be from MS, I'll just ask them about actual genuine support tickets I have with MS. And point out that they have my payment details on file already. Or just put them on hold.

My work colleague uses her rape alarm on them. After first donning protective headgear. She even did it to someone trying the bank scam (call on landline, don't disconnect) by blasting the fake dialtone (which then disconnected). Lovely lady, but don't sneak up on her either.

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Tape never died, it was just resting

MonkeyCee
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Re: Long lasting

I thought it was paper made from cotton rags.

Had a military historian complaining the other night (boardgames attract a certain crowd) that they had far more detailed records of the US civil war than of the US action in the 60s and 70s. Due to orders and logistics not being written down, but in now obscure data formats.

There are punched card machines that are still weaving a good hundred years after they started, so maybe that's the standard :)

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

MonkeyCee
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This is exactly my problem with Word (and other MS presentation products).

When I throw anything big at it, 10k+ pages with 300+ diagrams at word for example, it starts failing. Not dying, just inducing layout errors. So Word is fine up to about 1000 pages, so you end up just splitting any important document up into chunks of a chapter or topic. Pretty much all the researchers I know do their writing* in LaTex

The uni where I worked had an academic printer, who would do a bare bone print run, or the more normal typesetting and layout. They also did presentation posters with a similar deal, so you didn't have to have access to publishing tool.

For myself, I tend to use google docs or text edit (or wordpad) for anything I'm writing.

I started on Wordperfect on a 286, and got a hand me down "laptop" 386 black and white that had Word 6.0 on it. Which may be nostalgic, but I'm not sure there's really been any real improvement since then. Of course the most important program on that 386 was Civilisation.

* They actually write on all sorts of programs on all sorts of inputs, then dump it into txt and then into Latex. Several do it long hand. One dictates it and has their grad students write it up :)

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Dear Apple: Want to stay in business? Make an iPhone people can afford

MonkeyCee
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

They decided to start paying dividends like a normal company in like 2012. A lot of the value in Apple is it's whopping great cash pile, which it uses as a bargaining tool (lower price for upfront payment) and control (buying out certain tech), or if a tax holiday is given, shareholders.

So come a tax holiday, massive dividends. Until then, keep clamoring for more, and I suspect the board might even listen.

Did make me laugh when they where valued at more than Exxon.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: "Where are the cheap Ferraris"

Agreed, as I understood it cars are the best "razors and blades" model. The car causes you to chose which spares, the spares are what drives your long term profits. Hence why companies that use as many interchangeable parts (and the complaints that you end up driving the same car with facelifts) makes it both more convenient for the consumer and more profitable for the company.

It's also why unofficial (fake) parts are a big problem. Also why your nice generic cars get nicked, since the bits can be chopped and flogged easily.

Ferrari is worth more as a brand than in car sales. Probably more profit in the merch :)

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Shadowy drug fans threaten FBI agents, vow to 'avenge' Silk Road shutdown

MonkeyCee
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Re: Chalk one up for the War on Drugs

Quiet! If you start applying logic and economics to drug problems, you start to realise that it's much more efficient to not have to fund two (or more) paramilitary groups in the costs of your product, then it's just cheaper to cut out all the middlemen.

As in, the state just buys all the production of narcotics. *cough* like they do in certain countries *cough*. Hell, legalise it under state licence, and tax it like it was petrol/booze/tobacco. State monopoly on controlled substances, masses of raw material for pharma.

That's how you win the war on drugs. Just co-opt it, buy in bulk. But you don't get the side benefit of being able to raid or bust anyone at will. One could even suggest this was an intended result.

There will be some who claim that this already happened many years ago, and that the international trade in pretty much all illegal goods is run/controlled/taxed by the various intelligence agencies as being sources for the illegal things they do care about. No way would the CIA or MI6 run drugs or guns to suit anyones ends or make a buck. I hear ex-KGB are all quietly retired doing gardening and playing chess, no Antonov's running guns here sir.

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Payday loans firm rapped for failing to register with Info Commissioner

MonkeyCee
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Re: Payday loan companies......

I'm no fan of Wonga etc, and I use them as case studies for business ethics (would it be ethical to start a fairer payday loan company? Would it be ethical to invest? Would it be ethical to not invest if you are a money manager and the company is returning better than market rates?) but APR on short term loans is a bad comparison.

As in, you can only have a short term loan rolled over into another three times, and you can only get charged your massive interest for 60 days. If you still owe then, you get put onto a more normal 6 month loan, at rates close to "acceptable". About the same as credit card or car loan rates. If you compared the effective APR on going into overdraft with your bank by a penny, you'd get an APR in the millions of percent. Of course, no bank would ever charge a fiver a day for an overdraft of less than a hundred quid now?

So the payday lenders are scum. At least they're not actual loan sharks (with actual 5000% APR compunding) just predatory lenders. Like pawnbrokers, check cashers, pre-pay meters, hire purchase etc they are the mechanisms of how the poor pay more, it's crap, but it's how the market responds to bad credit.

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London plod plonks, er, pull request on EasyDNS

MonkeyCee
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Re: This is nothing new - and standard practice

It's always interesting how the letter of the law, the bit that matters, always seems a bit over done, but we're assured that the spirit will be remembered.

Like declaring all Icelandic entities (companies) terrorists and seizing their assets.

Anti-terror and money laundering laws give even low level LEOs pretty much all the details of your life. I'm still fascinated at how there's these insanely powerful tools that they never role out. Maybe I should become a financial cop, until they bribe, er, hire me off.

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Wheels literally FALL OFF solar race contender

MonkeyCee
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Ha! That's not English, a good 10 degrees too hot ;)

I always liked in NZ how the sun burn time could sometimes be best expressed in seconds rather than minutes....

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

MonkeyCee
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Re: Over here

Ah, the ancient art of bag packing. My wife teases me about it, but will admit that we actually get to eat all the eggs and have bread that doesn't have huge dents in it if those items get put in the "right" place (ie on top with the squishy delicates).

Always confused me how bag packers can mess this up. I know supermarkets employ anyone (well, get them to stack shelves on workfare, employ implies paying) but surely heavy on bottom, squishy on top, so you can carry it for more than 10 meters isn't that hard to figure out.

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MonkeyCee
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Re: Waitrose FTW

While I shop at AH a bunch as it's just around the corner, and apart from the bakers is the only thing open before 8:30am if I missed breakfast on the way to uni, I'm not 100% about them.

Maybe it's just my local store, but it's fairly frequent that the price on the shelf is less than what it scans as. At least with the portable scanner you see what you'll be paying. It's annoying when to get the price that is advertised, you have to pay the wrong price, then go to the customer service desk. At least a couple have started just correcting the price when it's me, since I just tell them I don't want it, and they get more guff to deal with.

As for being rescanned, hah! Every time here. I have long hair and a beard, which apparently means I'm a petty crook, so l get followed by store detectives. Not that I mind, it's just funny to watch them try and act natural when I wonder around randomly. Actually, the funniest was when one got asked by another customer where to find x product, the security chap claimed he didn't work there, and the customer didn't believe him.

Never really understood plainclothes store detectives (or at least the way they do them here). I'd either have to be blind and stupid not to notice I'm being followed, so they may as well wear a uniform.

Been a little while since I was at the sharp end of retail security, but back in the day the majority of shrinkage came from internal sources, certainly all the regular and large cases. A lot seemed to be abuse of processes (noting two broken bottles instead of one etc) or fiddling/fake invoices/picking slips.

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