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* Posts by Charlie Clark

6659 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Tech to solve post-Brexit customs woes doesn't exist yet, peers say

Charlie Clark
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Re: Yesterdays news

So not all of it needs to be legislated for at national level. In fact probably not that much of it.

That's naive. It's been clear from the start that unanimous agreement of the 27 is required and that any deal will require ratification. Otherwise there would be no push to try and get stuff done by November and then hopefully railroad it through parliaments before the end of March.

I'm beginning to feel that the Commission have not been negotiating in good faith.

The Commission has been consistent throughout the period, which is more than be said of the UK, which for about a year had no position on most aspects. Presumably, the idea was that everything could be done at the last minute at a summit as previous compromises with UK concessions have. But this is a very different kind of negotiation and something the UK simply wasn't prepared for.

Legally, and I suspect also politically, it would have been fine to take the necessary time to prepare for negotiations before asking to leave.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

But someone trying to insult someone else in an online forum and failing is forever

I'll stick with my ad hominem and you can stick to your passive aggression, shithead.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Yesterdays news

But the EU currently say they will not allow Northern Ireland to leave the customs union.

An open border betweern Northern Ireland and the Republic is a requirement of the Good Friday agreement. This has been stated repeatedly all through the process.

EU negotiations only ever get agreed at 4am the day after the final summit was due to finish

Matters less this time: the real problem will be getting the member states to ratify any agreement on time. Personally, I think that trying to do this after October won't be possible before the end of March 2019 and that we're essentially seeing the motions that befor an acceptance of the transitional plan becomes inevitable. But no need for a conspiracy theory where incompetence and arrogance are to be found in such abundance.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

I was pointing out how sensitive the EU is to disruption to their exports.

Which country apart from the US isn't? But having a trade deficit doesn't necessarily give you the better hand when it comes to negotiations not least because the deficit has to be financed some way.

Like I said, better get back to your fox-hunting. You don't understand international trade and, worse, you don't seem to care about those whose livelihoods depend upon it.

The time for posturing passed when May sent the application to Brussels to leave the EU. Anything that doesn't preseve as much of the existing arrangements as possible is going to very disruptive for all concerned.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Yesterdays news

The current approach to leaving the EU along with the government's history of managing projects reminds me of this Smith and Jones sketch. Gets closer to the truth every day.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Majority of trade already outside of EU

Majority of trade already outside of EU

Falls at the first hurdle. Better stick to fox-hunting.

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Never mind Brexit. UK must fling more £billions at nuke subs, say MPs

Charlie Clark
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Re: Simplistic solution to two problems

Tidal, wind and solar power were shit in the past, are currently shit, and will always be shit.

Nonsense. In the right places they have great yields and are relatively inexpensive to maintain. The problem is, as you point out, baseload but this is as much a problem with the network as anything else. The larger the network, the greater the likelihood that conditions in one place will to some extent balance out those elsewhere. The move is from baseload to transitory backup, which can come from storage or gas.

Clean nuclear has been just around the corner for years. And still hasn't arrived. Meanwhile we have to deal with the legacy of decades of nuclear power and the, mericfully few but still very real, catastrophic accidents there have been.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Simplistic solution to two problems

if it's cost effective, make nuclear reactors. if it's not, don't.

Depends a lot on how you define cost effective. Historically costs have excluded decommissioning and processing waste because if they did private industry wouldn't touch it.

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A spot of Python in your Azure automation? Step right this way, sir

Charlie Clark
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Re: Python 2 support

True! So I'm still using Python 2 ...

Time to start planning your migration. I will be dropping support for 2.7 in future versions of my libraries and I suspect others will, too.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Python 2 support

MS is nice to support Python, but doing 2-only is an odd choice

You'd think so but I think Python 2 is still standard for lots of the infrastructure stuff (openstack, et al.) Probbably won't make a lot of difference when Python 2 is no longer officially supported for this kind of stuff.

It's only about 250 lines of code and I've tried hard to wring any performance I could out of it. 3.6 surprised me by cutting Python2.7's time pretty much in half.

That does surprise me because 3.6 isn't noticeably faster as far as I can tell, unless you can take advantage of asyncio. 3.7 has faster dictionaries.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Python 2 support

It's taken a long time for Python 3 to provide reasons to switch but 3.7 finally includes speed improvements on top of things like asyncio.

But, yeah, I want my print statement back, too.

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Now here's an idea: Break up Amazon to get more shareholder cash

Charlie Clark
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Re: Stuff market analysts - Bezos can do what he wants

It IS his company

Which sort of highlights some of the problems with Silicon Valley companies going public: the boards are supposed to run the company.

Of course, everyone's happy as long as the share price keeps going up but that is no excuse for poor governance.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Controversial?

@Roland6

Right, but Amazon is not really a conglomerate in the classical sense, or even the way Berkshire Hathaway is. The retail side relies heavily on tax rules and arbitrage to remain competitive and the whole construct is based on Bezos saying "trust me…" a lot. The share structure doesn't provide enough oversight in my view.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Predicted

Bezos clearly doesn't want to do this and the share structure gives him a controlling interest.

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Charlie Clark
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Controversial?

Controversially, May is reported as saying that Amazon ought to break itself in half, separating AWS from the online shopping business.

People, me among them, have been suggesting the split for years. There may be some financial advantages in keeping the warehousing and distribution parts with the digital side but it's difficult to see business advantages.

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Charlie Clark
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No, the current structure encourages a higher share price at the cost of dividends. A normal business would never be allowed to operate at such a high price to earnings ratio but people keep betting that Amazon will just keep getting bigger.

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Put your tin-foil hats on! Wi-Fi can be used to guesstimate number of people hidden in a room

Charlie Clark
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Re: CCTV

CCTV isn't used for footfall, you can just use motion detectors for that and you can passively detect mobile phones fairly easily.

However, there are apparently tests using cameras to read behaviour and interests…

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Charlie Clark
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more useless as a radar.

Except for rain. I thought there was research being done using base stations to get very granular data on humidity?

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Charlie Clark
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It’ll be a while before something like this is practical, but there are obvious areas where it would be useful.

I can't think of any areas where this would be more useful than other existing approaches. In particular, the example of bodies in a building shows a lack of understanding of how the technique works: you can't just point a wifi beam at something, you need a baseline.

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Watt the heck is this? A 32-core 3.3GHz Arm server CPU shipping? Yes, says Ampere

Charlie Clark
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Re: Drivers ?

ISA = Industry Standard Architecture as in the IBM PC. This is what enabled the clones and hence entrenched the x86 eco-system. SoCs, which make up the majority of ARM chips, don't come with an ISA which is one of the reasons why it's so hard to get drivers for them.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Drivers ?

Why should we assume that? The lack of an ISA for ARM has been the biggest hindrance to wider adoption, of which I'm a great fan.

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Charlie Clark
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If you're used to cross-compiling code, playing with exotic architectures, and are patient, then you've probably had a smooth journey.

The problem isn't really cross-compiling. The toolchains for this across x86, x86_64 and ARM v7 and v8 are pretty well-established. And if the target market is large scale then compile-time tweaks are less of an issue than ease of deployment and power consumption. The bigger problem that has held ARM back in data centre is about drivers, which can't just be cross-compiled.

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Microsoft pulls plug on IPv6-only Wi-Fi network over borked VPN fears

Charlie Clark
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Re: "IPv4-only hosts are unreachable without either a dual stack or an address translator"

The packets hit an IPv6 router and my address becomes 10.10.10.10.214.31.49.16 - yep, that's rather long to type.

You're basically pushing NAT. If you want to know the problems with that then you might want to talk to some engineers in east Asia who hit the real problems with IPv4 years ago. Europe, and particularly the US, have yet to experience the fun of multiple layers of NAT.

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Charlie Clark
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What?

But it does explain how come Microsoft's main webite – Microsoft.com – is not IPv6 only.

It has nothing to do with that. And websites don't need to and shouldn't be IPv6 only. IPv6 should be, as indeed IPv4 is, invisible to the vast majority of users.

I read the article as indicating that several vendors still have work to do and now have an added incentive to get IPv6 support working. Wouldn't surprise me if the switch to IPv6 only at Microsoft happens within the next year.

PS. Chrome UX Report provides more representative global data, Alexa has a heavy US bias.

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Check out this link! It's not like it'll crash your iPhone or anything (Hint: Of course it will)

Charlie Clark
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Re: Probably snobbish, but...

Actually, I think that CSS may actually be Turing complete. But, yeah, writing HTML & CSS isn't programming.

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UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

Charlie Clark
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Re: Y2K all over again

Disaster probably not. That should be reserved for, well, real disasters. But there consequences could vary from inconvenient to downright severe. I'm sure the transitional arrangement with the backstop will kick in come what may but supply chains, customs, flights, banking, etc. are all likely to be disrupted to an unknown degree.

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UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

Charlie Clark
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Not as part of an arrangement to stay. I'm sure it will be part of the terms to rejoin.

Probably on the same terms of the never never than Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Sweden have (and that Britain itself signed up to): "when the time is right". The Eurogroup has to do some reforming which, due to consensus being required, will be easier to do with a smaller group.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

Don't even bother posting on The Reg.

Yeah, why bother when you've got the BBC's HYS and The Mail to vent your brainfarts.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: But Nigel was in favour of a second referendum!

It was always a case of do what I say not what I do. The whole idea of leaving was mainly a way of putting pressure on the Tory party to adopt particular policies and losing the referendum closely would have given them the opportunity to claim that it was the wrong question or that the government fiddled the process.

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Charlie Clark
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If it's possible to cancel Article 50, then that's viable and can be sold to the public. But joining the Euro is economically insane

I don't think that joining the Euro would be forced on the UK should some arrangement to stay in the EU be drafted. Apart from the politics of selling the deal to the Brits (everybody would scream right up until they found the coins still had a picture of the queen on them), there are politics of the Eurozone and the future direction of the currency to deal with. But I also don't think it would be economically insane either. UK fiscal policy is closer to that of Germany than that of Italy and it hasn't favoured devaluation for years because it has a labour market that is flexible enough to deal with competitive pressures directly.

But let's not put the cart before the horse.

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Charlie Clark
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The UK was involved in drafting the treaties and has since decided to walk away in full knowledge of the consequences. To complain is to be disingenuous.

But maybe Putin ready to make an offer May can't refuse?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Remind me...

Cake? I'm sure I heard something about everybody getting to have their cake and eat it.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: TL;DR

The only possible way to get unfucked is to hold a second referendum

Not in a supposedly parliamentary democracy it isn't. I was against the referendum on principle and remain so. If parliament decides against deal then it is entitled and actually required to come up with an alternative. The will of the people is catchy but has no basis in law.

Sensible policy would be to press for the transitional arrangement to last as long as necesary so that all the issues can be worked out.

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NHS smacks down hundreds of staffers for dodgy use of social media, messaging apps

Charlie Clark
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Flame

… FFS

More than a thousand NHS staffers

The NHS has employees not staffers. The linguistic overspill from US election coverage is really annoying! (Electoral campaigns staffed by staffers. The term is used because they are often unpaid volunteers without employment contracts.

I'm really going to annoy myself by, like, imagining the article being read, like, by someone frying their vowels, like, a lot.

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Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators

Charlie Clark
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Re: I can see some of the US networks

Apple has already battled with the US networks and won: it carries more weight with consumers who will leave a network if it doesn't support their shiny-shiny.

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The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Time to switch platforms

I really don't like iPhones and iOS but use one because it's the only choice.

How do you figure that. Android isn't perfect but it's perfectly good for nearly everything I need.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: It's the Oxfam effect in action.

Apple and Samsung can still make money selling a new phone to somebody every 5 years for £1000

I don't see that happening. Once you stop "upgrading" every two years because you're happy with what you've got, the money you're not spending on shiny, new phones gets spent on other stuff and, when time comes to replace the phone, for whatever a reason, a premium device probably won't be on the shopping list.

If Apple can convince its users to continue spending then good luck to them but I think they will start losing a few.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: SE gone - so am I :-(

The big Xs is the same, just bigger. You pay a bit more for the size.

Nice definition of a bit more! Still, it's your money.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: SE gone - so am I :-(

They sold a lot of the original X

Not as many as originally expected, but still a lot. As Andrew says, it was the cheaper phones that they sold more of and these are being pulled to try and force people who want to stay with Apple to buy a more expensive phone.

My ideal scenario is that the best selling device Apple has in the next 6 months is the iPhone 7 or 8

I suspect you may be disappointed because of the notch. Apple is making it clear that all phones should have a notch. Personally, I think Jobs would not have been happy with the notch. But time and the market will tell.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Eff off Apple

This year does seem to be a one-way bet: bigger, more expensive and with a fucking notch. I think the notch will have a particularly polarising effect on the market with the fanbois fervently defending the flaw with others actively looking for display without one.

Oh, and topping out at 512 GB hands Samsung a win for the storage freaks, and making the Note 9 look like a bargain.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Apple ecosystem

Any accessories, content and services you use with the device all add to Apple's revenues and make it harder for you to leave. You'd think this might discourage people from choosing Apple but it seems to encourage them because choice is hard.

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You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

Charlie Clark
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Re: not yours

My BluRay player is not connected to the Internet so no, it can't.

Even if mine was the "smart" functionality was removed a couple of years ago because the licence expired. Oh, the irony!

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Charlie Clark
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Re: File sizes

1080p quality runs around 2-4GB

No point in 1080p copies of DVDs… But, yeah h265 and VP9 will give you pretty good rates, though without HW encoding support just buying more storage might be preferable.

MakeMKV and Handbrake are your friends.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: not yours

It's not quite an absolute right though - it's as long as you don't circumvent any copy-protection technology in doing so.

That's where it starts to get tricky but at least in Germany you can. But basically, as long as you're not distributing, the point is moot.

And, again, the market is moving on with Netflix's streaming model proving remarkably successful, and more worringly for the copyright owners, its massive move into content creation.

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Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design

Charlie Clark
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Different XSL transforms produced mobile and large screen html

Ugh! XSLT now there is a language I hate with a passion! But each to their own.

Nicely fits model of content & presentation separation of concerns.

Not as much as HTML & CSS does.

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Charlie Clark
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Go

Stick with your convictions

I'm not 100% with the new design but from memory it seems better than the last time I looked. Whitespace and contrast remain a problem, especially when scanning the page. But sometimes you just have to press the button, and, as long as you continue to review feedback, and make improvements things will be fine. Moving to a single codebase will certainly help there.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: m.theregister.co.uk

Always hated "m" based sub-domains: they create more problems than they purport to solve.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Its ok

I think it's getting there. The homepage still has problems with whitespace and contrast. I think a more material design of the "cards" would make this less jarring: tone down the # comments and article time because they are not distinct click/touch targets.

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Charlie Clark
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MS went full on mobile first without developing a full set of widgets and ignoring the mouse. Responsive web design doesn't have to be binary but having the same HTML and using CSS (and some JS) for different screen sizes is how it's supposed to be done. Having less code to manage should mean fewer bugs…

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We're doomed: Defra's having a cow over its Brexit IT preparations

Charlie Clark
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Alternatively, there is a very hard Brexit, and you'll find yourself in a cattle truck taking you from Germany back to a suitable Channel port for forcible repatriation.

Tempting as that is, I already had permanent residence rights before I got dual nationality. And, as we all know, revoking residence rights can only be done to darkies.

The rise of the AfD makes me sad to have seen it coming.

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