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* Posts by EddieD

1085 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

EddieD
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A lesson from Dave Allen about the perils of automating your house...

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Audio spy Alexa now has a little pal called Dox

EddieD
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"and, worst of all, broadcast Dire Straits whenever asked to play a song"

Kill it with fire.

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Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

EddieD
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No reason? The series is camper than a Boys' Brigade jamboree - how many female characters are there in the original, and how much "page time" do they get?

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Black Horse Down: Lloyds Banking Group goes TITSUP*

EddieD
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Salutory warning

It shows how delicate the electronic finance infrastructure can be, and why the dream of a cashless society is probably best tempered (for the time being) with a healthy dose of scepticsm and a wad of twenties in your wallet.

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Legends of the scrawl: Ordnance Survey launches augmented reality tool for maps

EddieD
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Paper...

Much as I love the magic of GPS and associated technology, you'll have my 1:50000 Landranger and 1:25000 Explorer maps and my venerable Silva compass when you prise them from my cold dead hands - probably at the bottom of the Cuillin ridge when I've walked over the edge because a sudden gust of wind blew the map over my face...

The Ordnance maps are incredible creations - I was taught to read them at school, and I have seen no other maps that allow you to visualise the landscape in your mind quite like they do. One of the best perks of my current job is access to the complete Edina library of OS maps, down to 1:5000 scale (and historic...and geologic...and maritime...)

I'm glad to see that the OS are moving with the times.

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Vodafone, EE and Three overcharging customers after contracts expire

EddieD
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O2, too.

I had a contract with O2 and they didn't tell me about the end of my contract, and being an inherently lazy bastard, I didn't do anthing.

Then, I lost my contract phone and bought a replacement on Amazon and thought "bugger this for a game of soldiers" and stalked down to O2 prepared to wax greatly wroth upon them, but they meekly, okay, willingly, gave me a new sim-only contract - half the price and far better terms.

Now, here's the thing. Up until then, when I'd been meekly paying for a phone I'd paid off well over 18 months earlier, I'd never heard a dicky bird from O2. Immediately after I switched to a much better deal for me, I started getting rung about 3 times a week with "incredible offers on new hardware" which I ended up having to block with Truecaller.

Odd that.

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Tell the public how much our tram tickets cost? Are you mad?

EddieD
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Edinburgh doesn't have a tram network, it has a tram line.

A very, very expensive tram line.

That was took nearly half a decade longer to complete than advertised.

That was badly laid and had to be dug up and repaired before it could be used.

That was so badly thought out that in spite of advice from many parties was laid in such a way that it crosses cycling lines in a very awkward fashion which has necessitated some odd road markings. If you want to see the fun that the council had trying different things out, use the history settings.

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SpaceX gives free ride to replacement for Facebook's fried satellite

EddieD
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Aviation industry hits turbulence as Airbus buys into Bombardier’s new jetplanes

EddieD
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Re: Missed a point...

And it possibly won't work. The BBC website website says that it could be ruled as "trade circumvention", and therefore not be allowed.

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I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

EddieD
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Hmm.

SQL. Discuss.

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Royal Bank of Scotland customers say digital services gone TITSUP

EddieD
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Re: Critical resource sub-optimality

Sobers up?

In Scotland?

That'll mean sometime next week. If you're lucky.

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Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

EddieD
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Favourite?

Can you have a favourite dystopia?

All far too different, and I'd have trouble choosing one. I liked the first robocop as it touched on matters of identity and memory, I enjoyed Blade runner as it touched on the idea of memory and identity, but from a completely different angle.

I think I prefer both of the above over e.g. Star Trek, as they are set, in the words of "Max Headroom" "20 minutes into the future" and address issues in a society not far removed from our own.

They're all good fun though.

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Microsoft Edge shock: Browser opts for Apple WebKit, Google Blink

EddieD
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Re: "Microsoft said it hasn't ported its EdgeHTML engine"

"Edge on Windows 10 Mobile is the biggest piece of shit around. Nothing fucking works properly. The text rendering with its bullshit random font size generator is garbage."

Quoted for truth - I always have to start Edge twice, because the first time I start it, everything is rendered in a font you need a microscope to read...

Not only that, but it's inability to stream audio under the lock screen in its recent incarnations is infuriating... I need my fix of Radio4...

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Hipster disruptor? Never trust a well-groomed caveman with your clams

EddieD
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Douglas Adams already pondered thusly...

"MARKETING GIRL:

When you have been in marketing as long as I have, you’ll know that before any new product can be developed, it has to be properly researched. I mean yes, yes we’ve got to find out what people want from fire, I mean how do they relate to it, the image -

FORD:

Oh, stick it up your nose.

MARKETING GIRL:

Yes which is precisely the sort of thing we need to know, I mean do people want fire that can be fitted nasally. "

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Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

EddieD
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Re: What about...

Aye, but how much fuel will it cost to get the fuel to Ascension island?

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HPE server firmware update permanently bricks network adapters

EddieD
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HP are getting good at this

Earlier this year they bricked a whole bunch of laptops with an update, they already bricked Proliants in 2014 with an update, marvellous QC there chaps...

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Hollywood has savaged enough sci-fi classics – let's hope Dick would dig Blade Runner 2049

EddieD
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Re: The Thing?

Sweet...thanks!

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EddieD
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Re: The Thing?

Preference is an individual thing, but the Carpenter version far better captured the paranoia of Campbell's short story "Who goes there" - which if you can find it is well worth a read.

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European Commission refers Ireland to court over failure to collect €13bn in tax from Apple

EddieD
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"The Register has asked Apple for a comment. ®"

Hope beats eternal in the cynical hearts at Vulture Central.

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What is the probability of being drunk at work and also being tested? Let's find out! Correctly

EddieD
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Depends what you do for a living:-

Bus driver - 100%

Banker - 0%

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HP users moaning over 10-minute login lag during 'Win 10 update'

EddieD
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Lucky sod.

In March, HP pushed out a BIOS update that killed the motherboard on over 100 of our HP 840 G3s, and their customer service is crap to the point of insanity - one of the contracted engineers they eventually sent was only able to replace 3 motherboards in a day and was an utter prima donna. The contrasts with Dell customer service are night and day - Dell send polite, punctual, efficient chaps who get the job done.

At the time I was in hospital, bewailing my lot, but when I got back I found my poor colleague had it far, far worse than anything I had.

And that was just one incident - there have been others

Unfortunately the equivalent Dell on HE list is over £300 pounds more expensive, so we can only get them in special circumstances.

Bugger all to do with the 10 minute login black screen, but I need a good rant of Saturday, gets me set up for relaxing the rest of the day.

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SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

EddieD
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Pint

Kudos to SpaceX

Have one of these --------------------------->

It takes balls to show your mistakes - and style to set them to music.

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Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

EddieD
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Re: hmm

It just means that gynecologists like to have good sounds to listen to whilst they're working.

Who doesn't?

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EddieD
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D'oh - it's obvious

As Schrödinger pointed out, cat's occupy two states - solid and liquid - and just collapse into the required state when observed.

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Cops' use of biometric images 'gone far beyond custody purposes'

EddieD
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Re: Napolionic

"The police would even ask participants if they wanted to be present to witness their destruction.

What happened to that practice?"

They got computers.

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

EddieD
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Re: Verbing weirds nouns.

Aye, but that was from someone who thought that GROSS was an initalisation of Get Rid Of Slimy girlS, so what does he know.

Verbing embiggens vocabulary

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EddieD
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Re: Hmm..

This is why I'm a crap programmer - syntax and spelling and tenses are mysteries to me.

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EddieD
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Hmm..

When I worked in Linguistics I once read an excellent academic paper entitled "I've never met a noun that can't be verbed".

I can be bothered googling it through Google Scholar, but amen to that.

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Microsoft fixing Windows 10 'stuttering' bugs in Creators Update

EddieD
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Re: Facepalm! Windows 10 1607 Aniversary Update "Defer Updates" setting is back to front.

No, I didn't miss it, and offered you a beer.

The problem is, in the 1607 update, the defer update has been removed from the Update section of settings in Enterprise (and by extension, Education) versions of Win 10, and can only be accessed via GPEDIT, and using that has had no effect.

And, I am on the insiders program at work, but this is about the first Creators Update being applied to my home machine, not the second.

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EddieD
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Reasons to be cheerful

That Microsoft have fubar'ed the pushing of Creators Update and I've not received it.

(I'm beginning to suspect it's because I'm running the Education variant, from the Imagine site...Business and Education users need not apply...)

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Microsoft says it won't fix kernel flaw: It's not a security issue. Suuuure

EddieD
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Re: Facepalm! Windows 10 1607 Aniversary Update "Defer Updates" setting is back to front.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

With thanks!

(EDIT: I just had the bizarre thought that may that flip is how they're limiting the rollout of Creators, folk think that they're set to auto-update, but a hidden setting somewhere is reversing the logic)

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

EddieD
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Re: Very revealing

"Why should coding be any different?"

"Atari or Amiga?"

"PC or Mac?"

"Windows or Unix?"

(I'll get downvoted for that last one than a greyhound on steroids...)

Folk like to justify that which they have chosen as correct.

(For the record, I had an Atari, but missed the games on the Amiga, I don't see the distinction these days and have both, at home Windows for games, at work Unix for work...)

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Retail serfs to vanish, all thanks to automation

EddieD
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Re: Spanner in the works?

A Wickes tilldroid once asked me for my postcode, mobile number and email address when I was paying 69p cash in a store for a packet of mug hooks.

I just said, and I was remarkably restrained, by my standards, no.

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UK.gov unveils six areas to pilot full-fat fibre, and London ain't on the list

EddieD
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Re: Two Britains?

" Are Londoners special?"

They seem to think so

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User thanked IT department for fast new server, but it had never left its box

EddieD
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Re: Praise or accusations of work not done?

You can put Failed Under Continuous Test, which I believe was a genuine soak test fail status at a major computer manufacturer.

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Microsoft sets the date for Fall Creators Update

EddieD
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Re: A new creators update?

I'm wondering the same thing.

No creators update here "Good news! The Windows 10 Creators Update is on its way. Want to be one of the first to get it?" has been in my updates dialogue for months now. But it never arrives here.

I wonder if El Reg can ask Microsoft about how many machines are going to be even further out of sync after this update.

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EddieD
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Re: Will this turn out to be

I still haven't got the Spring Creators Update.

Not rushing for it though.

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China: Cute Hyperloop Elon, now watch how it's really done

EddieD
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Re: Something I think people have missed:

"So how do passengers embark? How do they exit? How do they breath?"

I belived Robert Stephenson was asked the same questions...

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EddieD
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I remember Eric really well.

He did about the best Royal Institution Christmas lectures "The Engineer through the Looking Glass" - it was that, and Attenborough the year before started me on the downward spiral into science.

EDIT: A short excerpt

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Stephen King's scary movie reboot provokes tears from 'legit clowns'

EddieD
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Re: Spawn Spawnned An Evil Clown

Nah, Frasier Crane even before Sideshow Bob...

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US government: We can jail you indefinitely for not decrypting your data

EddieD
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Re: And yet...

Not quite, the naked rambler was always arrested on a new charge of public indecency/breach of the peace after he'd served the time for his last charge of public indecency. Sometimes they vary the charges by finding him guilty of contempt of court when he turns up naked to defend himself in court.

An example "In July 2009, Gough, once again standing in the dock naked, was jailed at Perth for a further 12 months for breach of the peace. Sheriff MacFarlane was told that the bill for dealing with Gough had cost the public an estimated several hundred thousand pounds. The court heard how Gough had finished a previous jail term at Perth Prison and was released to enjoy freedom for the first time in several months. His freedom lasted less than 30 seconds after he walked naked from the prison door to Edinburgh Road. Gough was also sentenced to four months for refusing to dress before the trial"

From wikipedia...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Gough

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So what's in the new Windows Insider build? Bug fixes, an AR goof-around, and a font

EddieD
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Re: Windows 10 Updates? What's that?

"They are also still on the November 2016 update, not seen any sign of the April 2017 Creators update, but they are still getting security updates. This uncertainty over updates doesn't help planning or customer relations..."

About a third of the folks I know with W10 (including me) haven't received the Creators update.

I don't think any of us are missing it, but as you so rightly say the uncertainty is extremely jarring. You can go to the hassle of downloading it and manually installing the update, but a lot of SMEs, rightly or wrongly*, rely on the AutoUpdate to simplify their workload.

*Almost certainly, for a business, wrongly, but a lot of SMEs are single digit workforce, and employing someone to update the machines just won't happen.

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Headless body found near topless beach: Missing private sub journalist identified

EddieD
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Re: Obvious and stupid mistake

"And best of all: an ounce of gold does weigh more than an ounce of feathers!"

But a pound of gold weighs less than a pound of feathers.. 5760grains vs 7000 grains (only 12 troy ounces in a pound...)

Gotta love imperial, it makes you have to think.

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Germans force Microsoft to scrap future pushy Windows 10 upgrades

EddieD
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Re: "Optional"?

It's weird about these update thingies.

I haven't yet had the Creators Update (which is a bloody stupid name for an update), and neither have about a third of folk I know. With the Fall update coming soon, I have to wonder if a) Microsoft have stopped making OS updates for my age of machine (Haswell refresh) and will require me to go to their website to update in future, or b) they've mucked up the roll out.

I'm not too fussed - it's working okay on the current iteration and I'm not missing the "features" of the upgrade, but what is concerning is that if I go to "Update History" in the settings all it says is "No updates have been installed yet". So why do I have forced restarts every month? Am I getting security updates?

Methinks Microsoft has a few issues these days with their updates over and above quality control

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Spotify cleared of exposing kids to self-love innuendo in TV spot

EddieD
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Obligatory

When the ASA were asked what they thought was a suitable double entendre they gave them one...

For goodness sakes - this is the country that gave us Carry On, Mrs Slocombe's pussy, Round the Horne, I'm Sorry I'll Read that again/Haven't a Clue and many, many other such purveyors of innuendo and entendres. Filth that the whole family can enjoy.

Have we really lost our sense of humour to that extent?

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Don't throw away those eclipse glasses! Send 'em to South America

EddieD
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I kept mine

I got given a set by the French Astronomical Society when I went to see the eclipse at Haguenau in 1999, and I still had them when I went to Turkey in 2006.

Alas, they're long gone now.

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US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

EddieD
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Weird feeling of deja vu...

Earlier on this week I posted on another forum about the pirates in the Asterix cartoons, once again I think of them, this time the lookout in the crows nest - even if the US navy had one, he'd probably be ignored just the same.

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Virgin Media customers complain of outages across UK

EddieD
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Aye, but for us customers of VM he's a convenient Emmanuel Goldstein.

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EddieD
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That's a wee bit unfair - I'll admit that when my internet supplied by VM cuts out, I'm the first to grab the Uzi and yell "MY INTERNET OR YOUR FIRST BORN YOU BEARDY BASTARD", but if truth be told, the service is pretty reliable - I've had no outages that have lasted more than an hour for a long time, and normally I get within 10% of the notional speed.

There was a time - around 2007ish, when for period of about 1year I was getting about 10% of my notional speed, and being blanked by customer service, but since then it's not been bad.

Of course, if, when I get home from work, things aren't working, I'll be looking for a phase plasma rifle in the 40W range, or failing that, a General Electric Minigun.

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Science fiction great Brian Aldiss, 92, dies at his Oxford home

EddieD
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Re: The 1920s onwards

"However he made a significant contribution to sci-fi in 1909 with the short story "The Machine Stops". An uncanny prediction of the social effects of the World Wide Web."

Radio4 made a stonkingly good adaptation of that story.

On the same lines folk should read "The Shockwave Rider" by John Brunner - his vision from 1973 about how our lives would be online, and we'd run our lives from our mobile phones, was really quite prescient. It's a shame he died in such obscurity.

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