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* Posts by John Brown (no body)

5012 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Chatbot lawyer shreds $2.5m in parking tickets

John Brown (no body)
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Re: A small omission?

It appears from the article that the bot is simply walking users through the same standard procedure that a live human on the phone would do. I suspect the only real difference is that it "knows" the correct way to submit a dispute claim in a way that it will be accepted, eg by quoting any relevant laws, legislation or regulatory points.

Phoning up and saying the yellow lines are faded/worn/illegible will likely have them deny it by reflex and make you jump through hoops to try to get redress. If your contact with them includes reference to Act of Parliament X, section Y, paragraph N.N, they will more take it more seriously. They now have no legal option other than to follow the correct procedure of holding the fine (and putting the "discount period" on hold for the duration) while they investigate the claim. If the claim has merit the fine is rescinded. If not, the clock starts ticking and you pay it.

Some people will game the system of course by betting that the cost of them processing your dispute will be more than the fine is worth and so rescind it anyway. But people already do that anyway.

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John Brown (no body)
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"But no, I bet there's a team of dozens set up purely to handle parking infringement disputes."

There are. I was fixing a printer in one the other week. And yes, it's pretty much people ringing up and going through the same sets of questions.

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Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

John Brown (no body)
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Re: My new facebook

I just heard it tonight (the wonders of a PVR) and that's a nice coincidence :-)

Tommy Cooper had some great lines and I expect he'd have laughed at that round singing "My Way" in the style of Tommy Cooper. The final curtain line was almost in bad taste considering his demise.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: My new facebook

"I was just thinking that I would have to create farcebook, twatter etc accounts (I don't have any) so I could visit the US. "

I tried to use an escalator the other day. There was a sign saying "Dogs must be carried" I didn't have a dog so I had walk up the stairs.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Good idea

"But both vote for politicians that deliver misery to others, and they don't care,"

Sadly, it seems these days you have to rich and/or from the "right" school/college/university to get the seat of power, so the rest of us plebs are left with a shitty choice such as Johnson/Corbyn or Clinton/Trump.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Is there a kickstarter fund i can contribute to....

Confederate Flag ..."symbol of hate"

Does that mean the top of the General Lee is blurred out now when they show re-runs of The Duke of Hazard?

MMmmmmm....Daisy Duke. Need a cold shower now.

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MPs of Europe unite: Listen up big biz, air your tax deals in public

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Bad move

"And what has a UK body got to do with the EU??"

For at least the next two years, just as much as any other member countries governmental bodies.

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Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Democracy of one

"From now on, one vote per degree you hold."

I can tell you from experience that having a degree is no indication of a lack of stupidity.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: wtf?

"... unless you've moved to an EU country, then the UK leaves the EU and fails to negotiate permission for you to stay."

Vienna convention.

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'Leave EU means...' WHAT?! Britons ask Google after results declared

John Brown (no body)
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Re: buyer's remorse

Yes, I think there is a significant element of that. I suspected it, then my wife mentioned that a few people on farcebook made comments along the lines of "I thought my vote wouldn;t count" and "I was just voting against Cameron". Since then I've seen similar comments in TV news interviews, including on pro-Brexit Murdochs Sky News. One guys comment was "I woke up, saw the result and was in shock, now I'm worried" (this was another leave voter)

Whether it's relevant or significant I shall leave to the various campaigners and their inevitable legal challenges.

As for the petition, it does raise an interesting point. The last Scottish independence referendum had conditions attached based on turnout and minimum percentage of eligible voters who mist vote Yes for a valid result.. Note particularly that world "eligible" used in place of "actual". Since the EU referendum was for a very similar "separation", why were similar conditions not placed on it? I suspect that will be a prime point in any legal challenges.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: run crying to the teacher

Almost 2.7million now. And even more interesting is that looking at the voting distribution map, there isn't a single part of the UK left in grey to indicate no petition signatures from that area.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: A few thoughts...

"Now, will the yanks want nuclear weapons in Holyloch - billeted on another country so to speak?"

The Scots already said that an independent Scotland won't have nuclear weapons on it's territory. I assume that means that if they do vote for independence in the next few years (likely IMHO) and choose to join the EU, they won't be joining NATO.

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Disco, Pogs, and the Microsoft Surface 3

John Brown (no body)
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Facepalm

Ummm...what?

"Since launching Surface 3 over a year ago, we have seen strong demand and satisfaction amongst our customers," Microsoft said in a statement to El Reg.

"We can confirm that by the end of December 2016, we will no longer manufacture Surface 3 devices."

Cogitative dissonance alert!!

If demand and customer satisfaction is strong, why are they stopping production? Have they got money to burn? Is it a tax write off? Have they not pissed off their full quota of customers for this year yet?

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Patriotic Brits rush into streets to celebrate… National Cream Tea Day

John Brown (no body)
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Re: “Never use whipped cream. It’s utterly improper.”

"For shaving, yes; for a scone, definitely not."

Just tried it in the hope my wife would lick it off. The cat got there first :-(

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John Brown (no body)
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What weird accent do you speak that gone rhymes with fawn and pawn?

FWIW pawn rhymes with porn, which means you appear to be saying scone rhymes with scorn!

Well, I pour scorn on your weird accent and give you scone not only to rhyme with "on" but make sure that the joke still works.

Q. What;s the fastest snack in the world?

A. S'gone.

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John Brown (no body)
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Trollface

“Never use whipped cream. It’s utterly improper.”

Is spray on cream from a can ok?

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Gartner: Brexit to wipe $4.6bn off tech spending in Blighty

John Brown (no body)
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Re: In truth they haven't a clue ...

"quietly forgetting the ones that are disasterously wrong."

Is anyone keeping score on Gartner predictions? I get the feeling they wrong more often than they are right.

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Brexit and data protection: A period of shock and reflection

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Theresa Stasi May was in the Pro-EU camp

"Yes, that's so funny, the UKIP/Leave EU anti-democratic thing. Theur supports will now have a PM that was never elected in to office and a whole new set of policies that weren't voted for too."

You do know that Cameron was not elected as PM either, don't you?

It may have escaped your attention in the deluge of US political campaigning the UK news is swamped with, but we don't elect our leaders. We elect our local MPs and they choose who the PM will be. Most of the time that's the current party leader, but there's no rules or laws which says that must be the case. In theory, the PM could well be an unelected person if the party leader doesn't win their seat and the party chooses to retain them as leader. For that matter, the winning party could specifically choose someone to be their new leader, and hence the PM, who never even stood as an MP. Of course, this is one of the Queens few remaining powers. She ultimately has the final choice in the matter and can choose anyone she likes. A little over 100 years ago was the last time a none-MP was PM.

The likelihood is that whoever is the next PM will in fact be a currently sitting, elected MP, just as Cameron is.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: 5 eyes will not be happy

"Theresa May backdoors"

OMG! NURSE! Brain bleach! STAT!

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Vendors suspend tech orders as Brexit slaps Brit pound

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Hedging

I'd not trust a traders predictions at all, especially a currency trader. They are the ones making a profit out of the fluctuations so it's very much in the interests to talk it down so they can short it and buy another Ferrari.

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Technology shares slide with Brexit vote, except ARM

John Brown (no body)
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From the reference to mountain men and Mason jars, is it safe to assume you are a colonial? If so, you may not know that in the UK, White Lightening was a cheap commercial brand of white "cider" that used to be something over 8% alcohol and so very popular with the under-age drinkers and homeless. It was reduced in strength a couple of times over the years before being abandoned as a brand 5 or 6 years ago.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: *facepalm*

"Well now the leave voters have wiped £100bn off the economy. They can now put the £6bn saved in EU fees into the NHS."

Most of the UK money paid into the EU came back as grants to "deprived" areas. How much confidence do any of us have that the UK government will spend that money in those areas now?.

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PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

John Brown (no body)
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"All I can say is "Well done you" to all of the political 'elites' That highly paid cadre of supposedly intelligent savvy people whoes whole lives are based around negotations and compromise on our behalf."

Actually, I suspect you can lay the blame for Brexit and the possible downfall of the EU on a single Tory spin doctor/campaign manager.

"Yes David, if you promise an EU referendum it'll go down really well with a big demographic. What's that? No, no, no, you'll never have to actually *have* a referendum, we don't stand a chance of a majority in the next parliament, we'll be in another coalition and can just blame the "partners" for everything again."

Oops!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: "As a pensioner myself, I note the broad sweeping claim"

"I remember a pre-EU England racist from top to bottom, police happy to beat confessions out of the innocent while collaborating with crooks, governments little better, a society riddled with class discrimination."

I heard quite a number of people complaining how they remembered that joining the EU put all the prices up, especially food. I suspect they didn't realise that the prices went up because the "markets" don't like change.

Well, welcome to 2016. Leaving the EU is change and guess what? Prices are going up and the £ is falling. It'll take a while to stabilise but already the Petrol Retailers Association and The AA are saying fuel will be up by 3p a litre (13.5p/Gall) by next week. Since pretty much everything is shipped by HGV these days then everything will go up in price based on the fuel costs alone. Here in the IT industry, ALL of the hardware is imported so that's our industry into a high risk mode now. But when will the pound stabilise? There a couple of years before we actually leave the EU and all those trade agreements to negotiate. It's going to be a rocky course for at least the next 4 years.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: If I hear a single pensioner...

"On second thoughts, will the country be able to afford to give me my pension at 65? "

You what? That's already changed because no, they can't afford to pay you a pension at 65.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: A new hope ... for a group of countries not very far away

I simply cannot understand the mindset of those who downvoted you. You have said nothing negative or contentious. Have an upvote for doing something positive.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Nice

"On the plus side we'll be out of TTIP :)"

Hah! You wish. TTIP is not a bilateral agreement between the EU and USA. It's a pan-Atlantic treaty and they want as many nations as possible in it, including us. But now we are just little old UK with little economic or political clout to use as negotiating tools. Trade treaties take years to negotiate and we have a maximum of 27 months to get some new UK ones in place of the EU ones we will out of by then. In particular, we need new treaties with the USA in that time because most of the existing ones are EU treaties which won't apply after the exit.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Gutted

"I suspect that we'll be seeing the relaxing of regulations requested by the US corporations in TTIP the second we have left the EU as a way to try to rescue our fucked economy."

Yes, I also think that will be one of the first results. We have a "special relationship" with the USA and the UK now needs to hurriedly start setting up new trade agreements. Article 50 has to be invoked sometime over the next few months then there's a maximum of two years to negotiate the exit from the EU. That's no time at all in terms of negotiating trade treaties. The US will know this so we'll almost certainly end up with a TTIP agreement with no time or real economic power to curb the worst of it. And after 40 years in the EU I doubt the Commonwealth countries will clamouring to offer us any favoured trade deals.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: On days like today...

"Lester, I miss you. Rest in peace in whichever afterlife you've ended up."

Hopefully one where wings are compulsory and there's no FAA deciding whether you can fly or not.

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John Brown (no body)
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"For the young who will have to live in the future, it's a bit of a slap in the face."

They all pissed off to Glastonbury and other similar gatherings. I wonder how many of them thought enough about the issue in advance and did a postal vote?

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Mandarins plotted to water down EU data protection regs

John Brown (no body)
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Re: And these are the people...

Snoopers Charter? Full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes!

It's been the EU and the LibDems who have kept the Snoopers Charter and it's previous Tory and Labour incarnations at bay. Now we've voted to leave the EU and the LibDem supporters self destructed, we have only ourselves to blame when governmement spying is fully legalised and TTIP in it's worst form arrives on our shores.

I'm considering emigrating to Scotland before they leave the UK. It might be more complicated after they vote for independence.

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Let's Encrypt in trademark drama

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Oh, they've replied now.

Sorry, I think I missed something crucial in that post. Just how long does the Comodo free SSL certificate last?

Sheesh, that guy sounds more like a petulant child than a CEO.

And anyway, isn't 90 days somewhat ingrained in the US consumer psyche? It's the standard warranty period so a fairly obvious number to pick.

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Raspberry Pi 3 tops SBC poll for self-brew hackers and Linux folk

John Brown (no body)
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Coat

Re: The Pi is an inferior product

"aptitude install motion && goodnight"

Surely if one is off to bed for the night it would be more appropriate to uninstall motion otherwise things might get messy.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: My nipples implode with despair

Really? Mines full of Penguins!

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Germany: If Brits vote to Remain, we'll admit Hurst's 1966 goal was a goal

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Filling shoes

Thanks Paul. I've noticed a few articles approaching Lesters style in recent days under various by-lines so am glad to see that his spirit lives on at El Reg. If it takes more than one of you to become the sum of Lester Haines then so be it and more power to you. I doubt he'll be forgotten for a long time and I for one am glad that you and others are stepping up to the plate to keep that writing style at the forefront of El Reg.

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John Brown (no body)
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Trollface

Re: Goal line technology?

Not interested in football, but if McEnroe can claim the chalk dust cloud evidence, then I'd say that was a goal. The ball clearly hit the white line and so at least part of the ball was over the line.

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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

John Brown (no body)
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Re: When I shop I want a flat playing field. not a supermarket selling eye-space

I go to a local couriers every day to collect parcels for work. It's rare there isn't someone there collecting their Chinese import parcel and moaning about the extra charges for VAT and import duty. It's not always that much cheaper, especially if there's something wrong and you have to ship it back to China.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Repeating the same mistakes

"employing moderately knowledgeable staff."

A few people have made this point. I agree, but I suspect part of the problem is there are far fewer knowledgeable hobbyists and even fewer of them want low paid retail jobs. The student-age hobbyists of today have been infected by the expectation of getting their education while building up a huge debt and then going directly into a high paying job so can service their debts and seem less inclined to "work their way" through college or university.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: BBC Micro

"When I asked the assistant for directions to where it might be, he thought the BBC Micro was some kind of Freeview box."

Well, to be fair, he probably wasn't born until many years after the BBC Micro ceased production. He probably didn't know which shelf held the steel gramophone needles or the blank wax cylinders either. For that matter it's probably the first time he'd been asked for DIN plug of any kind.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: @Paulf

"Gotta say though, my local B&Q still has old happy DIY people wandering the isles to help customers so maybe your local is more the problem than the brand as a whole."

Same here. Good help and advice from both the plumbing and the electrical departments recently.

On the downside, they are heading a bit more down the same route as Maplin in that the actual DIY bits are reducing in both range and stock levels to give more shelf space to self assembly kits or ready made items

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Dell tempts hordes with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs

John Brown (no body)
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"Maybe there's a certain kind of seller that would rather bury stock than sell it at a smaller margin."

Is that the Atari model?

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Parliament is building a new website – and it doesn't want GDS anywhere near it

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Referendum

"What London needs is to leave England behind. We could have a referendum to leave England."

How much are Spindizzys these days? Can we have a whip round and buy a dozen for City of London?

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Boffins map Netflix's Open Connect CDN

John Brown (no body)
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Whether or not you are referring to Virginmedia, I would imagine that most VM customers would be watching Netflix via the STB and so are probably not even represented in this data so yes, it's not likely to be accurate at all in terms of the hard numbers. On the other hand, using the same measuring techniques across the whole network might be say more in terms of relative traffic levels.

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Queensland creep cops charged with snooping through police records

John Brown (no body)
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Holmes

Re: What is rare about this ...

!is that it has been exposed. A lot more like this happens but no one ever knows about them. The current spy's charter going through Parliament will make this harder to detect."

Yes, that's what I came here to say too. You only ever hear of these cases when the "victim" does their own research and makes a complaint. So where is the Police access monitoring system and what is it doing?

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Holy kittens! YouTube screens go blank

John Brown (no body)
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Re: bald chimp

Naked chimp porn? OMG that's SICK. And so are YOU!

Signed

Outraged of Cheltenham

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Netflix picks fight with internet exchange industry

John Brown (no body)
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others have argued it will serve as a useful entry for long-needed discussions.

...prusumably in a nice beach front hotel in an exotic location.

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Telia engineer error to blame for massive net outage

John Brown (no body)
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"Too easy to make a typo on the commandline and sink a bunch of ships."

It's just as easy to get distracted and click the wrong button on a GUI too. Most GUIs are not well designed and those that are are usually quicker and easier to use from the keyboard anyway.

Unless you are drawing, most GUIs will usually let you do pretty much everything from the keyboard but there does seem to be a trend to "mouse only" GUIs which can be a pain when you have to type some text in then get the mouse and click "submit" when the previous version let you use ALT-S without having to move your hand so far to find the bloody mouse!!!

GUIs are great at keeping the learning curve shallow but can be draining on productivity once the user is familiar with the software. And beginners who need a hand-holding GUI probably should not be messing with tier 1 routing tables.

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Astroboffins discover rapid 'electric winds' blowing on Venus

John Brown (no body)
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Pint

Re: So is Venus

In memory of the esteemed Lester Haines, El Reg ought to remove "scientists" for their editorial spell checking dictionary and set it to auto-suggest "boffin" as the default correction.

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Grab a pick: Space mining's the next generation gold rush

John Brown (no body)
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Alien

Re: grab a pick? not if you want to get rich

"In short, Musk and his competitors are focussing on the only money making space industry, launching satellites. That this will make doing real science research cheaper is a nice side benefit only."

Isn't Musks long term plan to live on Mars?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: grab a pick? not if you want to get rich

"The people who own the rockets will also own the mostly/fully automated equipment that mines the asteroid."

The current commercial model is that the "stuff" owned by one company is boosted into orbit by another company. Building and launching rockets is a very different industry from building and deploying satellites and probes. To keep the whole process in-house would need one or more of the megacorps who own disparate industries to take note and join in. For example, Samsung or Hitachi who do everything from consumer electronics to heavy duty industrial plant

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