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* Posts by John Brown (no body)

4806 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Wild Python?

Is that you Gerald?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: They smashed the toilet?!

Same here. The beat the system/cistern thing first, then another thought occurred, maybe another euphemism along the same lines as "bashing the bishop"

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Is it just me, or...

"...is anyone else trying to figure out the IT angle to this story?"

The number of Todger Entanglement stories bear a direct relationship to the frustration at the LOHAN Failure to Launch. Expect more. Many more.

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Bearded Baron Shugs hired by Gov.uk to get down with the kids

John Brown (no body)
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Re: apprenticeships

"If an employer won't put a clause in the apprenticeship contract guaranteeing 5 years employment upon completion then they're not worth bothering with "

Also worth noting that the old style apprenticeships such the one my dad did umpty ump years ago was that it was indentured, but on both side of the contract. Not only did the company guarantee a job at the end of it, but dad was contracted to take that job for x years. Training up an apprentice properly over 5 years was a big investment for a company and they expected some loyalty and payback from that investment.

Employment law and human rights is what killed those old style apprenticeships. Less ethical companies simply did away with taking on apprentices at all and then poached the newly trained one that other companies had invested in. The law of unintended consequences.

Whether that style of apprenticeship was good or bad is another question, but I wonder how many of the current generation choosing careers and training would be prepared to start right at the bottom of the ladder sweeping the floors knowing they won't be qualified for 5 years. Looking at the generation of supermarket "trainee managers" doing shelf stacking and expecting to be managing a shop in a year or two at most.

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ISS 'nauts to inflate pump-up space podule

John Brown (no body)
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Re: How about...

"You can't float up to orbit."

I refer the unlearned gentleman to the widely respected reference book, The Ragged Astronauts by that world renowned scientist Robert Shaw.where he demonstrates with practical examples how to achieve interplanetary flight using a hot air balloon.

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Labour scores review of Snoopers' Charter's bulk powers from UK.gov

John Brown (no body)
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"And I now have commented as such."

You're far from being the first and very unliklely to to be the last.

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British cops to film you with 59k body-worn cameras by end of year

John Brown (no body)
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Re: video evidence from a freelance cameraman

"Don't overlook the possibility of unhelpful bodyworn camera evidence "going missing" or a particular camera being found to be faulty."

According to the previous story here the other day about the Met and BWC, the officer has full control over whether or not the camera should be operating. IIRC they are not capable of recording non-stop over a standard shift length, nor can the battery last that long. So, what we are seeing are cameras which, in terms of a "bad" officer, will only ever be switched on if s/he thinks it might support their case. I'm sure there will be a well populated list of ready made excuses as to why the camera was not switched on at the crucial moment.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: @Vimes

"If a copper wants to "ask you a few questions", the correct answer is "NO COMMENT"."

Oddly enough, they don't often ask questions. They make statements along the lines of "I put it to you that...." and since they didn't ask a question, there's nothing to answer. Then copper says "suspect did not respond", as if that implies something. They make leading statements to get you to say things without them having to actually ask outright or make specific accusations.

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Citrix bakes up Raspberry Pi client boxes

John Brown (no body)
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"I believe that two-screen output using the GPU for both screens is possible using either one of these or one of these"

Thanks, didn't knoe about the VGA adaptor. I suspect both options are not quite ready for mainstream yet to run as dual large screen. And may be a drain on resources making other stuff slow. But it's nice they are there and that they may well work.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: First thing I thought

" if could be PoE, even better."

I was thinking that too. In a pass-through VESA mount and a slightly larger case with an adaptor inside to take the power around to the micro USB port. And if the case is going to be a bit bigger anyway, maybe bring the connectors all to the same side internally. Yeah, a little extra cost, but in the corporate world of PHBs, that minor detail isn't really a worry when it;s going to be offset against taxes anyway.

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John Brown (no body)
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"If this little puppy can drive a couple of decent sized displays,"

Are there any USB based display devices that are supported by Linux? The Pi has HDMI and composite video outputs but they are exclusive. You can't drive two displays that way

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Internal Power Supply?

"Because there are buyers who could never in a million years convince their boss that it is a good idea to pay $35,000 for a thousand Raspberry Pis"

Not to mention the 1000 PSUs, the 1000 HDMI cables, the 1000 cases, possibly the 1000 keyboards, screens and mice and the labour costs to put the Pi's in the cases and then attach them to the backs of the screens either via pass though VESA mounts where the screen actually allows for that, or just gluing them to the back of the screen. They won't last 5 minutes on a users desk with wires coming out of three sides.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Internal Power Supply?

"yet I was charged £1 for a bag which couldn't have contained more than two mid sized potatoes"

Christ, that must have one ginourmous bag of crisps. IME, you can make at least three bags of crisps from a single medium sized spud.

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Pepper robot acts like real teenager, gets job at Pizza Hut

John Brown (no body)
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Facepalm

Oh great!

Gentleman, we have the techology to build robots to enhance the lives of every human being in the world. Any suggestions as to where to deploy them first?

<raises hand>How about we build salesdroids sir?

Excellent, Smithers, get to it right away!

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French authorities raid Google's Paris HQ over tax allegations

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Google doesn't have sales in France

"They're hoping to find proof of contract negotiations, or something like that."

I'd bet that that is exactly the sort of thing they are after. Google and others are almost certainly doing the final "sign off on the deal" bit in Ireland, but "sales" means a lot more work up front than just the final sign-off. It looks like the French are looking for evidence that a significant proportion of the sales process is actually happening in France.

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US 5th graders have a pop at paper plane record

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "Equivalent to year 6 in the UK"

Ah, so final year Junior school kids just before they go to "big school" ;-) I was wondering too!

(ignoring those few holdouts still running a "middle school" type system)

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Don't tell the Cabinet Office: HMRC is building its own online ID system

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "..will yield £1bn in extra tax revenue.."

"I'm often amazed at the low sums involved in corruption. I mean, I'm sure it all adds up and everything, but the amounts are peanuts for corporations."

And in most cases, so are the fines, if caught. The risk analysis is probably a no brainer.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: HMRC Copy, paste and send this

"On a positive note, £1.3Bn overhead to raise £1Bn - HMRC are starting to get better. Soon they will be down to just £1.05Bn costs to raise £1Bn."

To be fair, the claim is that a one-off dev cost of £1.3B will then annually generate an extra £1B of tax revenue.

Of course, we all are aware of the accuracy of Govt. estimates and time scales. It'll probably cost at least double and only raise £250M annually. if it works at all. Assuming it does, that an ROI period of more like 5 years instead of the estimated 14 or so months.

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Want a better password? Pretend you eat kale. We won't tell anyone

John Brown (no body)
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Re: If only you could type commands and have each output to the next...

"Is there an equivalent to Godwin's Law for non-Nazi-inspired analogies?"

You've been Car-ed? Forded? Toyotad? (because car analogies abound and rarely work well)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: If only you could type commands and have each output to the next...

"You don't have to outrun the robot swarm, you just have to outrun the first 10,000,000 users."

UK population of ~60,000,000, the majority of whom are online and using passwords. Most are uneducated in security techniques. Keeping ahead of 10,000,000 is easy. Most "hackers" are after the low hanging fruit, obviously. But some are after the higher hanging fruit because it's likely to be juicier.

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Gillian Anderson: The next James Jane Bond?

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "they should reboot Bond to be MI6s top agents 'identity' and not just a single person"

"The main issue with casting Anderson is she's 48 this year. This has nothing to do with her being a woman and everything to do with the role. Roger Moore's later movies were made when he was in his 50s, and he was something of an embarrassment in them. I wouldn't want Anderson to suffer the same fate."

Funny you should mention Moore and Anderson in the same sentence. I was just thinking how she has a similar acting style and range of facial expressions.

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India launches hypersonic space shuttle precursor

John Brown (no body)
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Alert

HEX?

Is it powered by ants?

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LinkedIn mass hack reveals ... yup, you're all still crap at passwords

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

I think the first thing I was ever told was "Aaaaaawwwwww, don't you look cute!". It was a number of years later before I was told anything about passwords. Probably some while after I after I learned to speak.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Genuine accounts?

"I mean, a lot of people just knock up an account on sites to get access to view something they can't without an account."

I must have done that at least a dozen times on LinkedIn over the years. I have no idea what names or passwords I used because I never have any intention of ever accessing those accounts ever again. The question is, does LinkedIn or similar sites ever do housecleaning? Or are they, like man "social networking" users all doing the same thing and using numbers of "friends" for bragging rights?

Anyone who creates a social media account then either never uses it or doesn't even log in for more than 3 months really ought to marked dormant then deleted after 6 months. (The account, not the user!)

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Coders crack Oculus DRM in 24 hours, open door to mass piracy

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "Red Queen Race"

"When I use a word, it means exactly what I choose it to mean",

Up to? Unlimited? Open? :-)

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Safety, pah! Digital Dukes of Hazzard have robot cars powersliding

John Brown (no body)
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Many years ago...

I put track sensors into my Scalextric set and used the computer to control one of the cars. One sensor per track segment, then made "unbeatable" code to race the car. It was fairly primitive in that it was an 8-bit Video Genie (TRS-80 clone) 1MHz Z80. It "knew" where on the track the car was and my code, really just a look-up table, set the maximum speed for that section of track without the car coming off. Hand optimised and unique to each layout. If anyone is interested, it was basically a copy of the keyboard circuit with sensors in place of the key switches, ie a row/column matrix. Each of 8 rows was rapidly pinged through one 8-bit port and the result of the column reads read in through another 8 bit port for up to 1-bit 64 inputs.

Not as clever as what these guys have done, but when I was 16 that felt like quite an achievement and it (mostly) worked :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Magic Roundabout

"Magic Roundabout in Swindon "

The first time I "discovered" the Hemek Hempstead one I was pretty apprehensive and ended up going the "long" way around because I really wasn't sure how to deal with it. But the original Swindon one looks utterly insane by comparison. I'm guessing it was designed when the road weren't quite so congested as nowadays. It seriously looks like it needs to be converted into a standard, if rather large, normal roundabout, possibly with traffic lights at the junctions.

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Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

John Brown (no body)
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Re: That Video

"I found the chanting and arms in the air of the passengers scarier than I would have the turbulance.."

I thought it was the local Roller-coaster fanclub off on a trip

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John Brown (no body)
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Facepalm

Re: Betteridge's law of headlines.

farsideplane.jpg

For some reason I read the end of that link as Farsi Deplane and was expecting some sort of word play on Farsi speakers getting off an aircraft.

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Malaysians using South African cards pinch US$12.7m in Japan

John Brown (no body)
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Yeah, he's been snookered!

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Google-backed solar electricity facility sets itself on fire

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Archimedes' Laser

"Archimedes had a laser? And a satellite? Do please tell us more! ;-)"

Well, he launched his satellite by using a very, very long lever....

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Hypersonic flight test hits Mach 7.5

John Brown (no body)
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"I'd rather not spend most of my trip stuck in the "hurry up and wait" system for boarding and leaving and I'd definitely prefer more comfortable seats, a bit of leg room, larger windows and not having the flight crew keep waking me up to see if I've changed my mind about buying a blow up model of the plane."

There's a few options. One is to be a rich celebrity who arrives and whisked through to Frist Class. Another is to be stinking rich and use your own plane.

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John Brown (no body)
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Pint

Wow!

We get to see so many "slow" launches of big rockets, usually from a distance so reducing the perception of speed even more, I'd almost forgotten just how amazingly fast a rocket can actually go! That one went off like shit off of shovel! I wonder what the max G force was?

Drinks all round for all involved.

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China caught astroturfing social networks

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "303 See Other"

Hmmmm...down voting facts? What are you, some sort of creationist?

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John Brown (no body)
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So, the Chinese...

...have an official Govt. "nudge unit" too, just like the UK and probably every other Govt. in the world.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: "303 See Other"

"Good grief. You do realise hentai is a Japanese term?"

Historically, the Japanese migrated from China originally :-p

Of course, we're all Africans under the skin anyway.

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Modular phone Ara to finally launch

John Brown (no body)
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Re: too much bother

"I can't see the average consumer adopting it either because there will inevitably be a price premium over a cheap but 'good enough' phone from other manufacturers."

Especially when your average consumer can pick up a "good enough" smartphone for 25 quid from Amazon or Argos. Most nether know nor care if it's the latest "foodstuff" version of Android or if it can be upgraded.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: There are severe technical limitations

"However, if it's not something you can easily buy silicon for (or microcontrollers with), it's going to hamper the small volume products. Hopefully, there are other lesser buses on that connector."

Maybe each module just needs cheap and simple power connections and then each device would have a WifI, active RFID or bluetooth and it would all work over a micro IoT wireless network. Simples!

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'Acts of war in a combat zone are not covered by your laptop warranty'

John Brown (no body)
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Re: sceptic

Hey, downvoter, are you saying you *don't* put that info in a CV these days?

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BBC's Britflix likely dead before the ink has even dried on the news

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Expect very little commercial activity

"This still misses the point that the BBC has to risk licence payers' money to make "innovative" programmes."

Well, yes and no. Part of the BBC prime directive is to innovate and lead on broadcasting standards. Making new and popular programmes is part of that. Ending said programmes when they reach "end of life" and/or are "copied" to the similar or better standards by commercial operations drives the overall quality upwards. Without the BBC doing that we'd have a US style TV market with 10 minute ad breaks, ads on screen during the programme and lowest common denominator in most other aspects. The BBC have forgotten much of their reason for being and in some instances are copying the commercial outlets instead of leading.

I'd also argue with your reductio ad absurdam paragraph and say that the opposite is true. Creating good, interesting and educational programmes is paramount, not more daytime chat shows and farcical game shows. Creating stuff people want to watch without dumbing down maintains and improves the standards. Chasing ratings while cutting costs is what leads to crap.

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

John Brown (no body)
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Re: It Bodes

"Only valid unless you move house, then you have to return it and they will charge you for a crappy plastic one."

It's not actually clear from the gov website if it's free or not. It's free to get a replacement if you change your name or address but £17 if want to change the photo. I'd argue that changing my name or address but having to add a photo is not changing one so ought to be free ;-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Just for balance ...

"They won't accept my notification without me going and paying someone to confirm the change, something which on principle I refuse to do."

Assuming you use it on the road, won't the next MoT test demonstrate the engine chnage at no additional cost to you? Either that or it's going to give some wild emissions test readings based on the expected ones :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: driving licence is NOT an ID

"Thank you sir, I note that your engine is still running therefore here is a ticket for using your phone whilst driving!"

There was a local case of a district nurse fined for user her phone. She was parked up with the engine off but still classed as "in charge" of the vehicle. I can't remember the exact details. Maybe the ignition was still "live".

It was the local BBC news a year or two back, Look North for Tyne & Wear/Cumbria but my GoogleFu is failing me this evening.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: It Bodes

"Presumably all that the government wants is to avoid the cost of printing a secure plastic card and mailing it out every 10 years (which we already pay £14-£17 for, by the way)."

It cost me a fiver to replace my driving licence the last time I lost it. I got one of those horrible new pink paper ones instead of the nice green paper one I unfortunately lost. It's valid until about 2032 IIRC. No need to pay for an update every 10 years.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: OK, I'll bite

"If everyone has a smart phone, then everyone has their driving licence on them, so everyone effectively has an ID card on them."

Except, of course, not everyone has a driving licence amd/or a smartphone.

On the other hand, this move towards more and more digitla ID/digital only documents falls down when you need to present two forms of identification, one must by photo ID at various places such banks when opening an account, or dealing with a deceased affairs and they must by original, printed hardcopy documents.

With no passport, no driving licence and all the household bills in my name, the only way to get around "the system" when my wife wanted to change her bank account to same bank as me, on the advice of the bank manager, we opened a joint account then made an application for my name to be removed from the new joint account. Then we opened another joint account so we eventually got what we wanted :-)

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Being an IT trainer is like performing the bullet-catching trick

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "Captain Haddock cosplay contest at a Geography teachers’ convention"

"No, that would be butt hair."

Lighting your farts can cure that. Or so I've heard. A friend told me. Yeah, a friend. Honest.

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Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380

John Brown (no body)
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Re: But can you talk to God on one?

"Listen to these two defending their right to private jets"

Oh my, oh my! And these people not only belive what they say but manage convince people to donate to them too? I think I'm in the wrong business. Mind you, the one in the maroon shirt did admit they are in "show business". And they have actual conversations with god? With real words and stuff? As I understand it from conversations with real vicars/priests, the Catholic and Anglican version of god seem to "answer" by instilling a feeling or emotion to help guide. Not actual words like "do you like this plane". FFS!!! Maybe he was channelling Mr Learjet?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Impressive

An Ekronoplane isn't really an aircraft since it can't "fly" above the "ground effect" limit.

A novel idea, but with typical USSR "styling" :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Love the A380

"and higher humidity than previous planes."

Apparently, you can thank the carbon fibre body for the higher humidity. And the higher ambient pressure too. Both are results of not using aluminium. Carbon fibre is stronger so supports the higher pressure and not susceptible to corrosion from the humid air so no need to dehumidify to such uncomfortable levels.

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John Brown (no body)
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Happy

Re: Not a patch on a Vulcan at full scream.

"I know you're talking about the airplane but I still got a mental picture of Spock with a ghost pepper up his exit ramp."

The fact you wrote "airplane" instead of "aeroplane" tells me why you thought that :-)

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