* Posts by CrazyOldCatMan

3241 posts • joined 6 Oct 2015

Submarine cables at risk from sea water, boffins warn. Wait, what?

CrazyOldCatMan
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California has an earthquake and disappears into the sea, but that might be considered a good thing

Even better if there's an earthquake and the rest of the US disappears, leaving only California.. (and Canada of course - I'd recommend that Canada start deploying nukes along the border in order to snap the continent in half..)

That way, the 49ers might finally win a Superbowl again.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Exterior cables in ground

These are pretty resistant to water, but the polyethylene does become porous over extended time periods

And, as the article (and my house[1]) shows - the problem is where the cables terminate.

[1] Exterior connection is on the pavement, in a water runoff area. The connection either wasn't sealed properly when installed ot (more likely) something went wrong afterwards. After about 3 years occupancy of the house, I started to get DSL drops and bad line noise every time it rained for any length of time. If the runoff got deep enough, it reached the line connection in the pavement and proptly filled it up. At which point, DSL became unusable as did the landline. BT (after many attempts and logging it as "no fault found" because of how long it took them to investigate) eventually fixed it. But only after I poured several watering-cans of water over the area to simulate the rainwater runoff..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Total Malarky. This is abject stupidity

it's that the land is sinking. It's built on weak sediment from the Mississippi river

It's also resting on a swampy floodplain that people are sucking all the water from - which makes the land drop, thus making the problem worse..

The same is happening in parts of China, India and Bangladesh.

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Sub-Prime: Amazon's big day marred by server crashes, staff strikes

CrazyOldCatMan
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dialogue..

we are committed to dialogue, which is an inseparable part of our culture

As long as you accept the definition of "dialogue" as "we tell you what to do and , if you don't do it, we fire you".

Not quite modern slavery but pretty close. And, as numerous other US companies[1] have discovered, the employment rules in the EU are somewhat different..

[1] Like a certain cellular basestation company I used to work for. New (utterly un-needed) IT manager is deployed to us from the US[2]. He decides that we all are now going to carry pagers[3] and, no, he won't pay us extra for doing so. We refused. He threatened to sack us. We laughed at him. He went apoplectic and went into HR to 'get you all fired'. Senior HR person spends the next hour reaming him a new one. We laugh at him. IT director does the usual thing that they did with incompetent managers - promoted him and gave him a role with no power or responsibility (or staff). After about a year he gets tired of this and quits. We laugh at him.

[2] They never, ever seemed to sack managers once they got to a particular grade. Even if they were utter morons or sociopaths.

[3] We already had a callout system where one of us carried the team pager for a month - with a nice bonus for doing so and double-time if we were ever called out. I think that I got called out once in 18 months. The only downside was that it meant that you couldn't drink when you carried the pager since you had to be available at all hours and it was a strictly 'no alcohol' site.

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Crooks swipe plutonium, cesium from US govt nuke wranglers' car. And yes, it's still missing

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Bin (Dumpster) Diving

Or even the car itself.

Or, in my case, a motorbike. Picture if you will, two English motorcyclists riding down into France to meet their Dutch friends at Chartres, in preparation for a week of zooming round the South of France on ridiculously fast motorbikes.

The nice man at reception tells our two English heroes that 'their bikes will be fine in the front carpark' so they duly leave them there, albeit locked together (and to a nearby pole) with proper sucurity-grade bike locks and chains.

Our two Dutch friends arrive some hours later and (unbeknownst to us) are told that their bikes shouldn't be left out the front but should go into the rear, locked and secure, carpark. Beers are had and a good evening is had by all.

Imagine our surprise when, in the morning, the two bikes[1] in the front carpark are conspicuous by their absence and the only sign that they were there is some bits of heavyweight security chain which show signs of being professionally cut. Imagine also our surprise when the recenptionist from yesterday isn't in, having gone on holiday somewhat early.

Also imagine our surprise when the French police just give a Gallic shrug. They do, however, give us a crime number that we can use in our insurance claim.

That put an end to that bike holiday as we couldn't hire bikes in France (being English and all, they would only hire bikes to people with French residency and licences) so had to make do with riding round southern England instead. Which made our progress a tad slower as we could lose our licences this side of the Channel..

Still, on the plus side, I got to ride a Honda PanEuropean for a week. Which was nice, even though it had the same rev-range as yer typical tractor. But it could corner ridulously fast for such a big bike..

[1] A fairly new Honda VFR750 - the nicest bike I ever rode. Fast, nimble and comfortable. Replaced with a Honda VFR800 which was none of those things (apart from maybe fast - although the linked brakes made it pretty dangerous in the wet). And a new Suzuki Bindit^W Bandit.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: That dirty yard in the neighbourhood

slight radioactivty in my kitchen due to the granite countertop

Yup - granite is a known source of radiation due to the low levels of Potassium-40, thorium and (in some granites) low levels of uranium.

My wife's parents both died of cancer - her father was a stonemason who worked with granite for most of his life and her mother was exposed to granite a lot for most of her life. I'm hoping that my wife's years away from it will reduce her chances of cancer..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Uh, no.

and they were mostly OK decades later

Apart from the mutant superpowers and randon extra limbs of course..

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Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: To be honest

I have been told I am driving in Brussels while driving in the UK countryside

Manchester City Centre has some interesting GPS blackspots (or did 5 years ago) - one of which caused my GPS to insist that I was suddenly in Leeds..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Thanks for the tip off.

wild goose chase round the M25 on a loop

Or, more accurately, a slightly-annoyed-duck stop-and-start round the M25..

(Anyone else remember the old days when people could use the M25 for illegal races to circumnavigate London? I suspect they'd be lucky to get 5 miles now..)

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Thanks for the tip off.

A cheap Chinese GPS jammer will..

... end you up in $LOCAL_PRISON if you get caught..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: All roads lead to the pub (or not)...

self-driving British Racing Green Lotus

I know that the build quality was a bit iffy but I didn't think you could describe a Lotus[1] as 'self driving'. 'Proceeding in an average direction'[2] maybe..

[1] Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious

[2] If one takes into account all the bits that drop off. They should be fitted with a dragnet to catch all the bits - although the dragnet itself would probably partially disconnect, wrap itself around a handy lamp-post and guide the car into a firey, doom-filled collision with a handy wall.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Luckily

Real men navigate with a bulldozer

Or a Corps of Engineers and copious explosives.

For when you really, really don't want that mountain to be there..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Luckily

until I see some signs for where I want to be and follow them

Which is fine, right up until you want to navigate across Birmingham..

(Even though I was born in Brumagen, we left there when I was five. So I've not had an opportunity to aquire knowledge about the various boroughs[1]. So who knows if Selley Oak is near Kings Norton? And, unlike London where the roads signs point you to not only the next borough but also to the ones beyond that[2], in Birmingham they don't appear to.)

[1] Or the delightfully idiosyncratic accent.

[2] Plus, having grown up in London, I have some idea of the layout of the various boroughs. In the proper, civilised bits anyway - I know very little about Sarf Lunnon.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Luckily

cross staff

Maybe you should provide them aircon if they are that cross?

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Luckily

Listen to the radio, look at other cars and what they are doing and following the yellow diversion signs

Just like every driver around you then. Welcome to traffic-jam heaven.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Luckily

If I'm driving anywhere, I read a map a couple of times, memorise it and go there

Good luck trying to get across London using that method - unless you have a few years spare to do the Knowledge..

(And yes - my GPS[1] recently took me on a jolly through South London[2] instead of round the M25. Yes, there was traffic on the M25[3] but I'd rather be sitting on traffic there rather than trying to dodge insane cyclists and taxis in Greenwich.)

[1] Quite possibly operator error (although I'd deny that if pressed) - once you put in the destination it shows you potential routes and there is a vague possibility that I selected the wrong one. In my defense, I had just attended my mother's funeral..

[2] Which, as we civilised people from North London know, is a vast and wailing wilderness, full of subhuman denizens who grunt at eath other in a debased form of LondonSpeak.

[3] As always. And the extra two hours that it took me to get back out of London onto the M25 meant that we hit it at 16:30 rather than 14:30. On a Friday. Lucky us..

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Kremlin hacking crew went on a 'Roman Holiday' – researchers

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Alleged Kremlin-linked hacking waffle

waffle about neocons, whatever they might be, doing on a technology website?

Sush - the poor guy needs to earn his daily roubles..

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Privacy Shield under pressure as lawyers back MEPs' call for suspension

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Trump to fix toxic U.S. political air

What Turmp doesn't represent is the interests, beliefs, ethics, or sensibilities of US citizenry

Actually, he does (unfortunately) represent the views, beliefs and ethics of a substantial portion of the US population.

Unfortunately, it's the authoritarian, anti-science, racist and fascist portion.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Art of Modern Warfare Chapter 1

Personally, I blame the EU for not wanting to continue the charade

Personally, I blame the US for their utter contempt of privacy and the security of other people's data..

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Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: NO CARRI~@~~~$

Don't UK solicitors still use Fax machines still ?

What do the NHS use them for ? I am certain they have e-mail, telephones etc.

Up until not that long ago, email was not a legally-allowed method of delivering information (for use in a court of law anyway - it's too easy to forge).

Fax on the other hand was legally-allowed in a court of law. Which is why solicitors still have them since they deal (a lot) with other solicitors and they are, by nature, a slow-moving bunch..

I understand that email is now a legal method (despite still being ridiculously easy to forge).

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Farewell then, Slack: The grown-ups have arrived

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: It basically makes the hipster devs never have to leave it.

Slack is hipster EMACS

And thus must DIE BY FIRE!

Vi Forever! Vive Vi!

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Have an extra upvote for…

Tempting

We're watching you y'know..

Signed,

KLF

(Kitty Liberation Front - reclaiming our food dishes, one human at a time)

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: If you have cold dead fingers

"send more brains"

My experience with Notes is that it tries to make your brain die from sheer frustration..

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Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

CrazyOldCatMan
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management had declined requests for aircon in the equipment room

One place I was at we were combining two computer rooms into a new building. I'd (privately) done the power and heat calculations and so requested a certain UPS and aircon setup. Unfortunately, they'd already bought the UPS and aircon setup as part of the building fit-out.

Both of which were nowhere near enough. They would have been OK for either of the old computer rooms but not for the new, merged, room.

By the time we got to 60% of the move the UPS went into power bypass because the power draw was too high. And because of the room configuration, we couldn't add extra capacity even the the UP was expandable. And the aircon was a two-chiller design that, in an ideal world, would have let the whole room run off just one chiller so that we could take the other one down for maintenance. But again, we had to run both units of full to dissipate the heat - and soon discovered that the 'architect' who had designed the room had put the chiller drip-tray drainage above the server racks..

Not one of the finest fit-outs that I was involved with - I left that place two months later.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Have you hit upon an interesting way to cool your tech systems?

Do you vote conservative?

Either that or is from the US..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Why is this even a story?

No need for a space heater in winter when you've got a couple of those in your workstation

Ditto for a Dell server with 8 15K RPM drives in the front. The acoustic case mostly muffled the noise but didn't do much for the heat generated. Still, it kept upstairs nice and warm in the winter..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Temperature ratings

6 years worth of dust isn't good for the lungs

How about 10 years-worth of cat hair and associated dried mud? That's what I vacced out of an old server once (at home I hasten to add).

These days, my home computer room door is kept shut[1][2] - prompted by one of the cats being sick all over the network switch. Which meant buying a new one since half the ports stopped working once the stomach acids had done their work on the circuit board..

[1] Much to the annoyance of senior female cat - she regards any closed door as a personal affront to her dignity.

[2] Just as well that many years ago, we had aircon fitted to that room - back in the days when I was a contractor and had my own limited company. Which paid for my then motorbike and the computer room aircon.

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Mastercard goes TITSUP in US, UK: There are some things money can't buy – like uptime

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: How's that Cashless-Society looking now Sir?

Seems to be a lot of corporate tools around here these days.

Disagreeing with someone != 'being a corporate tool'. Get a life eh?

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Backups and redundancy, FFS

Not so long ago the emergency backup process was the old style carbon-paper slips and rollover machines

.. which pushes back the liability for fraudulent card use onto the retailer. So, understandably, most places won't use it.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Cashless society

Notes and cans of tuna are real currency

My cats don't accept notes..

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UK.gov is ready to talk data safeguards with the EU – but still wants it all

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Or put it another way

joyfully riding unicorns

Please tell me that's a euphamism..

On second thoughts, if it's a Trump euphamism, I probably don't want to know.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: the same status as Puerto Rico

no good at balancing the books

Something that Trump is also notoriously bad at given the number of bankruptcies his companies have been through.

After all, he is one of the very few in history unable to make money running a casino!

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BT's Patterson keeps his £1.3m wheelbarrow of bonus cash after all

CrazyOldCatMan
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The average wage in Poland is still 1/3 of that of the UK

And what are the cost-of-living comparisons? It's *utterly* meaningless to compare incomes unless you also compare how much it costs to buy food, transportation and so on.

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A curious tale of the priest, the broker, the hacked newswires, and $100m of insider trades

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Priest you say?

You literally worship money and you call yourself a priest?

Unfortunately, the US has a particularly pernicious heresy - that God approves of people chasing money to the exclusion of all else and that getting rich is a sure sign of his favour.

It's extensively practiced in the Evangelical community there - especially on the Conservative side.

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Boffin botheration as IET lifts axe on 20-year-old email alias service

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Email forwarding services are passé

but running a mail server is hardly beginner level

Well - it was the first[1] thing I did on my first linux config (back in the mid-90's) so it can't be *that* difficult. Admittedly, I had lots of FAQs to read on how to do it and I had Demon configured as a smarthost..

[1] Well - actually the second. First was to get the PPP configured to actually connect and then set up to do dial-on-demand. Ah, the heady sound of a 14.4K modem actually connecting..

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Nissan 'fesses up to fudging emissions data

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: 1.6 litre!

aggressive dog breeds

PS: No such thing. Only aggressive dog owners. Any dog can be trained to be aggressive.. I speak as someone who has owned Boxers, half-rottweilers and half-Staffies. None of whom were aggressive - although the Miniture Dachshund was..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: 1.6 litre!

Same as sports bikes

I deg to biffer here - sports bikes are for frightening oneself silly and making one realise that some things just are not Big or Clever (like crashing)

Unlike kill-switch backfires in tunnels. Those *are* both Big and Clever.

Sadly nowadays, my access to sports bikes is nil since the arthritis in my hands means that I can't ride bikes any more. Which is a bit of a bummer.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Holy carp!

And, as an aside, the electronics on Nissan's are also French

Could be worse - they could be Italian..

Fine when the sun shines but gives up at the first sight of rain - much like old British electrics did)

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Every step you take: We track you for your own safety, you know?

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Being on Stage is stressful

a pet fountain

I don't need a fountain that spouts pets - I seem to manage to collect them adequately myself..

(And lets not go into the subject of cats 'owned' by a neighbour that all seem to want to come and live at my place. If we let them all stay, we'd be up to 10 cats and that's too many - even for me. As I've always observed - cats will live in a place that they want to and those ovbiously rate my place above their nominal home. Even though my house contains an angry dog that doesn't like any cats other than his own..)

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: "Safe place"

It's just that he's funny about it

As in "ready for the funny farm"?

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Insecurity by anti-virus

it was neigh on impossible

Unless you start horsing around.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Compaq 'security'?

You had to know the original virtual cylinder/head/sector values - to be able to access the data on the disk

Which were, pretty often, written on the disk drive itself..

On enterprise-class drives anyway.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Only cracking I have done is

Took the information to our high street independent key maker - a week later he supplied a key that worked

We recently had our front door replaced and the new one had uprated "security" locks - for which the supplier wanted £35 per duplicate key (it only came with two keys) and assured us that we couldn't get them anywhere else.

One swift trip to our local independant key cutter and we had 6 extra keys - for the princely sum of £10. All of which worked.

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United States, you have 2 months to sort Privacy Shield ... or data deal is for the bin – Eurocrats

CrazyOldCatMan
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Nice easy land war.

.. that the US has lost every time they tried..

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Hoping for Microsoft's mythical Andromeda in your Xmas stocking? Don't hold your breath

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Definitions time...

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Or, to use the modern term "end-user IT support".

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Andromeda? Far out!

Microsoft... Andromeda. Chained to a rock.

Sadly, with no sea monster eating her liver.

Maybe Prometheus could lend a few vultures?

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Hurry up and make a deal on post-Brexit data flows, would you? Think of UK business – MPs

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: UK government policy that Boris Johnson announced of "Fuck business!"

That's what you get when you hire a lazy ex-journo with a dregree in Classics for a Foreign Secretary.

Well - it does mean that he knows all the many and various ways that countries and empires have fallen apart in the past and has got a ticklist to make sure that he tries them all..

We are currently on "destroy trade with nearest neighbours". I assume that, after that, it'll be onto "deploy involuntary serfdom to the general populace". Because that worked so well for the Spartans..

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Ha

You should really stop taking all that codeïne

Oi! Nowt wrong with codeine - I've been taking it for years and my pink elephant friend insists that it doesn't harm me!

I'm not sure I believ him since the faries that live at the bottom of my garden disagree.

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CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: Ha

Lets just get out and focus on our own country instead of the EU's needs and desires.

You really, really don't understand the word "negotiation" do you? Especially one where the two paries have a huge disparity in negotiating power..

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Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

CrazyOldCatMan
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Re: I got to press the red button for real.

recently arrived, worryingly blue-grey infant

That was me <mumble> years ago - well before red buttons were invented. A combination of Rhesus incompatibility (mother was O-, I'm O+ and this was well before RH+ injections) and having the umbilical cord wrapped 3 times around my neck..

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