* Posts by Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

847 posts • joined 22 Jul 2014

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Life's a beach – then you're the comms nexus of the British Empire and Marconi-baiting hax0rs

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: OT

Staying OT regarding the main topic, and sticking with Gift Aid...

There was an interesting bit on "Simon Evans Goes To Market" on Radio 4 recently, where someone explained the consequences of Gift Aid as part of the bigger picture. Basically, when you tick the Gift Aid box, the government pays some more money (out of your taxes) towards that charity. But that has to come from somewhere - basically it comes from where your tax money would have gone to, like the NHS, education, policing, etc.

The pundit was saying that when you consider ticking that Gift Aid box, are you really saying that you care more about Ely Cathedral than you do about healthcare?

I'd always just assumed that ticking that box was a Good Thing to do, but this did make me stop and think.

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National Museum of Computing rattles the bucket: Help shift war-winning proto-puter

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Tourist Trap

the pigeon war

Never heard of that - was it some sort of military coo?

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BT backs down from charging millions in phone book listing fees

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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They still have paper phone books?

Indeed. I get a new phone book delivered to my door once a year. This delivery prompts me into my routine of putting the old one in the recycling bin. and putting the new one in its place on the shelf where it will remain untouched until it, in turn, gets replaced.

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Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases by credit card customers

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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> But I can still place bets on race horses and football matches with my credit card

> > Because there's a reasonable chance of you winning those bets.

Also, the bank will start to charge interest immediately for any thing spent on gambling, as it does for credit card cash withdrawals from an ATM - no interest fee period for an initial month

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Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Excellent news

they will then be torn to shreds in our courts for their totally inadequate security

I don't see how adequacy of security could be used as an argument by the defence. It's a bit like saying that because you only had a Yale lock on your front door rather than a 5-lever mortice, then my burgling your home is defensible. I would expect that the prosecution would focus on the fact that a deed was done, rather than how difficult (or not) it was for it to happen.

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Disengage, disengage! Cali DMV reports show how often human drivers override robot cars

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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These figures relate to California, and a lot of the stuff that I've read about driverless cars relates to tests being conducted in relatively sunny climes. I wonder if any info is available (or even how much testing has been done) for how well the tech copes in rain/sleet/snow/fog/British weather conditions?

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So you accidentally told a million people they are going to die: What next? Your essential guide...

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Management Mantra

I have genuinely worked on a project where an agenda item for the project kick-off meeting was identifying who would get the blame if the project when wrong

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Forget cyber crims, it's time to start worrying about GPS jammers – UK.gov report

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Phones transmitting even when off

I'm pretty sure the whole thing about phones transmitting even when switched off (so the government can track you) is bunk, put around by the tin-foil hat brigade. My only evidence thus far is that had an old fully charged phone which had been put to one side, and when I picked it up months later it still had 99% charge - basically what I'd expect an elderly battery to lose just by sitting on the shelf.

I'm tempted to set up a little experiment....switch off a phone and leave it next to a speaker in a very quiet place. Set up some audio recording equipment and leave it overnight. Should be easy enough to review the recorded WAV file and see any spikes where the speakers have picked up activity from the phone (better than listening to 12 hours of audio anyway)

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Big Brother is Watching You

Not just noises being picked up through a speaker. I've had instances where I've been somewhere and recording audio either on a camera or dedicated digital audio recorder and have forgotten to put my phone in aircraft mode. The recorded audio is punctuated with occasional beeps and burps as my phone picks up emails or whatever in the background.

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Your man on the bus could have been demonstrating the Pauli Effect

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Just can't catch a break, can ya, Capita? Shares tumble 40% amid yet another profit warning

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Panic stations!

I still expect this ship to sink or shrink dramatically

To put things into perspective, they have significantly underperformed compared to expectations but still made a triple-digit-millions profit. So long as the beancounters are using black ink at the bottom of the accounts, shrinking seems more likely than sinking

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Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Water movement?

I guess they bombs were in boxes to avoid the propeller being free to turn. But if they were wood-made, they will have decayed.

Possibly not as decayed as you might expect. I think that so long as the wood is constantly submerged it actually fares quite well - it's when it keeps getting wet then exposed to air that the rot really sets in

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PC not dead, Apple single-handedly propping up mobe market, says Gartner

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Not rocket science

Keyboard, mouse, monitor - still the best way to get things done, at least for me

The one factor you don't mention is processing power. Yes, phones and tablets are getting more powerful, and there seems to be an app for everything, but some tasks need the sort of horsepower that only a "proper" computer can provide.

For example, editing photos, audio or video. The sort of Apps for these tasks aren't up to full-fat use. I've tried plenty of photo editing apps on my phone/tablet, but nothing comes close to Photoshop (or equivalent) running on a PC/Mac. Pro image editing means working with multiple layers, and there simply isn't enough oompf on a mobile device for that sort of work. Ditto, tasks like audio or video editing where you're working with multiple tracks, etc.

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Firefox to emit ‘occasional sponsored story’ in ads test

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Firefox should get money from UK's TV licence...to save it from ads.

404 error pages to be replaced with a short film of the potter's wheel?

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Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: UAT Testing

I know that some companies employ a team of specialist testers who are, basically a bunch of people who hate the industry, the people who work in it and everything that they do. They get so much satisfaction from finding faults in products that they will approach the task of "here's something - try to find a way to break it" with unparalleled zeal.

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: C64 Joysticks

Was the phase of joystick failure related in any way to the release of Daley Thompson's Decathlon?

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Virgin Media skulks in disused public toilets

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Thanks to a very obscure corner of Virgin Media's website detailing all of its local infrastructure sites, Turnbull was able to have a shufti at some of the weirder buildings that Virgin has taken over in its reverse-Bazalgettian mission.

Even if the corner of the website is obscure, I'm still surprised that they're so open about disclosing the location of of points of their infrastructure. I thought companies were usually fairly protective of this sort of information to protect against people doing nefarious things.

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New Sky thinking: Media giant makes dish-swerving move on Netflix territory

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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There are plenty of places in the UK where a dish will work, as there is line of sight to the sky, but broadband performance is so poor that it won't be practical to watch TV over the Internet

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£60m, five years late... Tag criminal tagging as a 'catastrophic waste' of taxpayers' cash

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Back to the old ways

What's wrong with the traditional tagging system - a large iron ball, weighing a couple of stone, secured to the ankle by a chain?

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NASA is sniffing jet fuel over Germany

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Market distortion

A lot of the alternative energy stuff is based on renewable energy being used to charge rechargable batteries. As these become more prevalent, are we going to hit peak lilthium before we hit peak oil?

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We're cutting F-35 costs, honest, insists jet-builder Lockheed Martin

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Sensor fusion?

I thought "Sensor Fusion" was a type of razor from Gillette (which, whilst it might be the best a man can get, still seems overpriced)

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Nervy nuke-armed nation fires missile with 5,000km range

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Dr Abdul Kalam Island,

My actual thought was that no man is an island

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F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: VIFing?

"VIFFing was never used during the Falklands:"

I read Max Hastings & Simon Jenkins "Battle for the Falklands" last year - an excellent account of the conflict (as well as the political shennannigans in the run-up an during) and I'm sure I remember something about how the Harriers unique capabilities (i.e. vectoring) were used to their advantage in combat with Argentinian aircraft

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: I think it was well known....

I've thought that a few times. I'm inclined to think that the airframe would be up to snuff - the difference would be that the control commands would be coming from a computer rather than a human.

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: VIFing?

IIRC, that's the sort of thing that gave the Harriers a significant edge over Argie planes the Falklands conflict. The Mirages might have outperformed the Harrier on paper, but in practice the Harriers' superior maneuverability helped it win the day.

There are those, however, who would argue that the days of plane-on-plane dog-fighting are over, so such a capability is redundant today.

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Heathrow's air traffic radio set for shiny digital upgrade from Northrop

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: They should be as secure as ...

The article said "a surprising amount of internet connectivity baked into them", so I'm guessing it's going to be connected. Just a hunch, mind.

It may be significant that the article refers to "internet" with a lower-case 'i'. I read that as meaning the kit will work on LAN/WAN, but it doesn't necessarily imply connectivity to the public Internet

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UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Also unrelated to data breach stuff

My inner pedant finds the use of the term "takeaway" in this context a little jarring, as the customer isn't taking anything away as such....it's more of a "bring to"

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Junk food meets junk money: KFC starts selling Bitcoin Bucket

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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I fully expect to see wide spread commercial adoption of these technologies in the coming months and years as they solve real world problems, the 'internet of value' is here to stay.

Personally, I don't. All of the financial advisers that I have heard talking about this speak of it as a bubble waiting to burst, and are steering people away from it. When financial professionals have that amount of scepticism then I can't see big corporates in too much a hurry to embrace it.

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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[...] while transaction fees can exceed US$50. The latter sum is more than the cost of the chicken

A poultry sum then....

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Butcher breaks out of own freezer using black pudding

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: This is a serious problem.

I suspect he let frost build up around the control which physically prevented the mechanism from moving. It would be near the door of course, and thus subject to frequent bursts of warmer, moist air. Melt, refreeze, repeat for years on end.

Could have been made worse by not shutting the door fully each time he was in...keeping it only slightly ajar wouldn't hurt the temperature inside too much, but would allow moist air from outside to settle around the control

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1980s sci-fi movies: The thrill of being not quite terrified on mum's floral sofa

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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monkey business

The recent Apes movies were excellent, the CGI was almost perfect, but it's the almost that takes me out of the story and leaves me marvelling at the FX

I think quite a bit of the CGI for the Apes movies is based on live action motion capture, so likely to be more convincing than some other CGI which is, let's face it, like watching a cartoon

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Boffins use inkjets to print explosives

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: This might not bode well

I think it falls into the shed-tech / kitchen table end of things. I seem to recall one of those popular let's-blow-stuff-up-and-pass-it-off-as-science programmes on the tellybox, where they mixed up a batch on table (although they obscured some details so you couldn't just copy the recipe yourself)

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Burning 200K cooler is a 'sacrifice'?

I thought the burns from airbags were not thermal burns but 'carpet' burns from the material dragging across your face.

Correct, I believe, so deserving of an upvote, but..

AI could be introduced to punish bad drivers though so a choice of explosives could help moderate drivers.

Worthy of a downvote for referring to AI. What you;'re described is a simple algorithm.

Sorry, but it really boils my p*** that these days everything is getting caught up in the hype about AI. If all you're talking about is getting a machine of some sort to just do a thing, you are describing an algorithm.

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Smartphones' security enhancements just make them more dangerous

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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A few months back, as I queued for a flight, I handed the check-in staff my smartphone, expecting they’d scan the QR code representing my boarding pass. They waved it away. “We’d prefer you scan your code yourself - just in case we drop it. People get very upset. They lose their whole lives.”

You're going to be flying with an airline whose staff have a track record of letting things hit the ground badly. Enjoy your flight.

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Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Is nothing sacred?

Not to mention the deep-fried mini-pizzas.

I think the most Scottish comestible I ever encountered was the deep-fried curry pie. Sadly, I was sober at the time I encountered it, so I don't really think I got the optimum experience.

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Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: And what about the DVLA?

Due diligence check was probably done initially against the company, so that any requests from them could be honoured without having to go through the rigmarole of a check each time.. Once initial trust has been established, the trusted party can (if they are so inclined, and he was) abuse that trust.

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Soz, guys. No 'alien megastructure' around Tabby's Star, only cosmic dustbunnies

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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A light signal would be noticeable by any old astronomer looking at the star who would notice the unusual activity.

True, but that presupposes that the alien species in question has evolved some form of optical sense, in a similar way to how we Earthlings developed eyes.

Considering the countless ways in which things could evolve, I don't think *any* form of communication could be taken as a given.

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Captain Morgan told off for Snapchat lens: That grog be aimed at kiddies

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Beer goggles

I have never made my alcohol choices based on what a filter can make me look like.

Likewise.

I have, however, made a number of my bad choices based on what alcohol made other people look like.

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Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Whats in a name

It's not a boat, it's a ship. Hence the "S" in HMS.

Although submarines aren't called HMB, and they are boats.

I'd assumed that the 'S' stood for submarine in the case of subs

(Also note that a number of shore establishments, AKA stone frigates, carry the "HMS" designation, e.g. HMS Raleigh, HMS Calliope)

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Security catch-up: Nigerian prince email ring cops collar ... Louisiana OAP?

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Intel sharing

The bill includes requirements that the government provide states with any intel it has on possible election-hacking threats as well as sets up a procedure for state officials to get security clearance to view these intelligence reports.

Very laudable, but this is the sort of thing which I would have expected should happen anyway. I'm reminded of the words of the late great Bill Hicks - "the USA is the only country in the world where common sense has to be legislated"

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How much will Britain's next F-35s cost? Not telling, says MoD

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Eurofighter

I think the navalised Eurofighter came up in discussion on these forums the other day. To say it was "canned" makes it sound like it was more evolved than it actually was - it was more of a concept/proposal rather than an actual thing (which is a shame, as it would been interesting to see how it stacked up against F35 in the naval role)

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Subs?

I believe you're correct about our nuclear deterrent being at sea. However, I think you're incorrect in referring to subs in the plural - only one on patrol at a time.

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Google Chrome ad-blocking to begin in February – but what is it going to block?

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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We reached out to the Internet Advertising Bureau for clarification

Please don't do that.

Ask them for comment

Send them an email

Try to telephone them

But "reaching out" is one of those phrases that I'm hearing more frequently these days from less technically-minded people.

It's management-speak, and I expect better of El Reg

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Facebook flashes ramped-up face-recog tech. Try not to freak out

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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likens worries to those expressed about the social impact of photography toward the end of the 19th century.

Like worrying that someone taking your photo is going to steal your soul? The way users get their lives harvested by the social media companies, I think users' souls have already been stolen.

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Ey-up, mardy Rochdale council has dropped plans for ban on swearing. Thank f$ck!

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Simple solution

"bring back free parking if they want to attract more people to the town centre"

Northumberland did that a couple of years back, with mixed results.

"Paid-for parking is damaging our businesses by discouraging people from coming into town and buying stuff from us" said the local traders.

The council introduced a parking disc system (buy a disc for a one-off quid and use it every time for free-of-charge parking).

The local traders then complained "Free parking is damaging our businesses - people come to town, park for free all day and jam up the car parks, so there's no flow of people during the day."

Damned if you do, damned if you don't

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HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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As this was exactly how I dealt with the problem of making some welds on the bottom of the counter of a (shortish) narrowboat

Before you commenced work, did you say to those on board "hang on a minute lads, I've got a great idea..."

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Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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God bless her...

...and all who bail in her.

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'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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I remember one day during a quiet moment in a chemistry lesson, when one of the kids in my class observed that the gas tap and the water tap had the same size fitting. They proceeded to connect a bunsen burner to the tap, and turned on the water. A rather spectacular fountain effect was followed by a fairly harsh bollocking.

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Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: I'd happily own a phone

without a front-facing camera. Unless you video call or take selfies, not sure what the need is.

I've had at least one Samsung which had a feature whereby it would suppress the screen lock timeout if it thought you were still looking at the phone, and I'm assuming it used to front-facing camera for that. No ID of specific faces, just knowing that the phone was being looked at.

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EE Business Broadband digital transformation: Portal offline until July

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
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Re: Code review?

>Someone did a code review....

I think that's the odds on favourite too.

I agree, biut since when did something like a ton of gaping security holes stop a company from making a service live over the public Internet?

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