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* Posts by Loyal Commenter

2976 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

Loyal Commenter
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Re: Bah!

Offence can never be caused; it's a choice the offended person always makes to be offended.

Whilst this is undoubtedly true in some cases, I wonder whether you would agree that, for instance, daubing racist graffiti on someone's door, in human excrement, would be deliberately causing offence, or whther the victims are just being "snowflakes", because you'd have a hard time defending that position in front of a magistrate.

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Re: Bah!

"Please do not adorn your house with optimistic depictions of male genitalia as having all the windows in your house broken by passing neigbours can cause offense can cause arrest of the perpetrator for criminal damage".

FTFY

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Re: Well done students...

...of if it's an 'assured shorthold tenancy', as I believe most are these days, assuming they have been there for the tenancy period on their contract (6 or 12 months usually), give them 1 month's notice of termination of their rolling contract without need for a reason.

One of the bad things about the UK is how little protection tenants have compared to other European countries, especially when it comes to things like rent increases, or the landlord deciding to sell up to someone who no longer wants to let the property.

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Re: "It's deeply offensive" says 53 year old man

I think his thesaurus may be broken. Offensive? Maybe. Deeply so? Only if you think 'deeply' has the same meaning as 'marginally'.

In a world filled with things that are much more offensive in many different ways (I mean, seriously, I can think of several off the top of my head), one wonders why we still have people who seem to get offended just for the sake of being offended. $Deity only knows how this person would react if he had to take a bunch of schoolchildren to a city farm. Presumably, he would have the blindfolds ready?

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Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly

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Re: Why use a revision control system?

Your tapes shatter on spin up?

You're holding them wrong.

Maybe not shatter, but tape can demagnetise or otherwise degrade over time. Plastic becomes brittle and perishes with age. Do you know what state the tape from a 1990s backup is in right now without trying to restore from it?

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Re: Why use a revision control system?

If there's something broken, one would restore from tape (or at least, restore the offending file from a tape).

Hahaha. No.

The reason why this is wrong is nicely illustrated by the following hypothetical situation:

You get in at 8am and find there is some urgent configuration work to do and your cient needs it all working by the end of the day. The changes aren't simple, and after making and testing several revisions, you're finally ready to go at 4:30 pm. You're just about to run your scripts, and you discover that you've accidentally deleted the folder they are in because windows explorer had the focus when you thought you were hitting the Delete key in a Word document (because you are documenting everything, and you are working over a laggy connection to a VM in another office). Do you:

a) Restore from a tape backup and repeat 8.5 hours work. This will take 24 hours to retrieve the backup tape from the secure off-site storage, followed by 3 hours to verify, find and restore the file in question. Or it will do, once you have got management authorisation to make a request to have the tape retrieved. Lets hope the backup compelted succesfully, eh?

b) Retrieve the last good version of your script from version control and reapply the last 0.5 hours of work.

Tape backups and version control systems are different tools, for different jobs, and both have their places. I wouldn't use a git repository for database backups, and I wouldn't use tape for version control.

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Mystery sign-poster pities the fool who would litter the UK's West Midlands

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The country is heading for disaster and you're spending your time thinking of clever names for each other.

Well, there's not a lot else we can do until we get a Poeple's Vote is there?

Also, in typical school playground style, "they started it". Quite frankly, anyone still standing up for Rees-Mogg after all he has done to push this country down that road to disaster deserves a little push-back against their nonsense slogans. After all, they won, so they should get over it.

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US told to quit sharing data with human rights-violating surveillance regime. Which one, you ask? That'd be the UK

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This was my thought too. The US has a not-great record, but the failings of the US govt. shouldn't preclude others who happen to hail from that country from criticising others. Even if it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, that doesn't affect the blackness, or otherwise, of the kettle. In reality, nobody is squeaky-clean, but that shouldn't preclude us from getting the Brasso out to brighten things up a bit, and stretch this analogy to death.

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You know you're doing something wrong...

...when voices from the US say you're holding onto too much information gathered from spying on your own citizens.

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NASA's Mars probe InSight really has Mars in sight: It beams back first pic after touchdown

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You may jest, but it is a bit of a bold statement. The Moon*, for instance, is generally not thought to contain an iron core, due to the mechanism of its formation. UNless you define a "rocky planet" as havingthat structure, you can't really claim that it applies to *all* rocky planets, everywhere.

*Yes I know the Moon isnt' technically a planet, but if it was in its own orbit aroud the Sun, it would be considered to be one. It's not a lot smaller than Mercury.

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Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

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Re: History lesson

A super-rich, arrogant little twonk sets himself up against the government that invented modern democracy several hundreds of years ago and has been dealing with run by super-rich, arrogant little twonks ever since.

FTFY

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Re: Off to the tower with Zuck

Whilst the sentiment here is somewhat appealing, I'm not sure you could make the case for trying someone for treason who isn't a subject of the country doing it. The last time I checked, Sugarheap wasn't a British subject.

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Well that's just spliffing: UK Amazon merchants peddling Mary Jane

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Re: What a waste of time

Oh, that was a bit knee-jerk.

The original commenter was only quoting from, you know, what actually happened.

I suggest you allow a little leeway for other opinions.

The OP was being a little selective with the truth, picking one instance of where the police let the community down badly (and I won't argue that they didn't), and drawing a biased conclusion about the ethnicity of those involved, largely because although this sort of crime does, very sadly, happen too often, it makes more headlines when those involved happen to be of Asian ethnic origin.

This is exactly what the convicted football hooligan "Tommy Robinson" (an alias he uses to hide his identity) was doing - "reporting" only on crimes committed by non-whites, and doing so in such a way as to prejudice (and therefore jeopardise) ongoing trials. He was convicted of contempt of court, because if he'd kept up his "free speech", sooner or later one of those trials would have collapsed as a result.

As for what the police were doing "instead". I suggest you look at some crime statistics. A big old portion of police time is spent dealing with domestic violence, which, given that most of the population of this country is white, consists largely of white-skinned scumbags beating up their partners. Sadly, this is so common, and goes on so much, that it never gets reported in the media because it's non-news.

It's not a case of "allowing leeway for other opinions", its a case of calling out bullshit.

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Re: Blarg skunk

...and hope that the local police helicopter doesn't spot the suspicious heat signature from your shed, followed by a visit at 4am from a squad with the Big Red Door Knocker.

Happened to an acquantaince of mine, who keeps reptiles. Apparently the signature from their heat lamp was suspiscious enough to get a visit from the plod.

My advice would be to not smoke so much weed that you need to grow your own. I've no problem with people smoking the stuff, but by f*ck does it make you a boring person if you smoke a lot of it.

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Whilst there is such a thing as police incompetence, I think the root cause of the above is that fact that if you slash police funding, you end up with fewer police. That's political incompetence...

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Re: What a waste of time

I tihnk you need to join some different Facebook groups, rather than the "FREE TOMMY ROBINSON!!eleventyone!1" and "IMIGRUNTS RUINING ARE CUNTRY!!" ones you seem to be engaged with.

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Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

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Re: Starship

@ WonkoTheSane - beat me to it!

I'd suggest "Proft Margin", "Screw Loose", "Funny, it Worked Last Time...", or possibly "Revisionist"

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TalkTalk hackhack duoduo thrownthrown in the coolercooler: 'Talented' pair sentenced for ransacking ISP

Loyal Commenter
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I carry my lathe and mill in and leave them in the kitchen every night, it's true.

I certainly wouldn't keep either of those in a shed in a field. I'm thinking more like a properly secure warm, dry workshop attached to your house, and if it is anything other than a tatty old foot-operated pole lathe, a decent alarm system too.

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Earlier this year, Harding attributed the hack to legacy technology she described as "the IT equivalent of an old shed in a field that was covered in brambles."

I don't know about you, but I don't keep anything of value in a shed.

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A 5G day may come when the courage of cable and DSL fails ... but it is not this day

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Re: Dead birds?

Simple solution for those who get mysterious ailments 'caused by' mobile masts / wi-fi / bad energy, etc.:

1) Put up a great big dummy mast somewhere obvious.

2) Wait for all the loonies to be attracted to it

3) Meanwhile install the real masts in peace and quiet.

4) Publicly announce that the mast that all the loonies have been protesting about and camping outside is in fact a dummy mast and that their illnesses are all psychogenic.

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Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

Loyal Commenter
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Re: One argument in YAML's favour: a good DIFF

In JSON, whitespace is irrelevant, so you could put the comma on the same line as your new item. Not that I'd recommend doing it, but it would be valid JSON.

On balance, whether it shows as one line or two in a diff isn't the highest thing on most programmers' agendas.

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Loyal Commenter
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Is it Turing Complete?

Nope? Move along...

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Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again

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Re: @A.P. Veening Economists - In 1889?

it's heavier than led

That's because LEDs are light...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Sad case of science ignoring the evidence

I don't know, but I would guess that the economists and others would had been against it much because 40 prototypes were produced to start with.

Except both platinum and iridium are more expensive than gold.

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Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office

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Re: What about Windows 10 that Office is sitting on?

It's 4% of turnover... still a not small amount.

Technically, it's either 2% or 4% (depending on teh type of infraction) of global turnover. One wonders how easy it would be to actually calculate MS's global turnover, and also where the limit is on determining what applies (i.e. parent and related companies). I expect MS's corporate structure is less complex than some (for instance, a different legal entity in each jurisidiction it operates in, rather than the labyrinthine structures employed by some multinationals to avoid tax), but if they do get fined, this could be an interesting test case.

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Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

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Re: Security overdone

People may not be aware that in general, embedded chips are *dumb*.

In general, these things work by picking up a small amount of induced current via their aerial (the coily bit round the outside), doing something with that in the chip in the middle, and re-emiitting the result. They are only limited by the computational limits of what can be achieved with the power induced from the supplied pulse. This certainly doesn't limit them to responding with a fixed response. If they did, your RFID bank card would be trivial to clone.

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Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges

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Headmaster

Re: Fractured

A similar "statistic" is the quite odd one that the average person has less than two arms.

Not strictly correct; the average person has two arms. However, on average, people have less than two arms. The first is the average of people, the second is the average of people's arms. It's a subtle, but important, difference in semantics.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Wrongdoing

So if some nutter came up to you in the street, and told you they were going to sneak into your house and murder you, and then asks you for your address. So you say "10 Downing Street". Now, are you guilty of a) nothing b) being a dick or c) attempted murder?

If there's a genuine expectation that the nutter thinks that's where you live (he is a nutter after all) and will murder you, then yes. Especially if you don't immediately report the threat to kill from the nutter to the police.

With the example you give, you also have to take into account that "the man on the Clapham Omnibus" would know that you won't live at 10 Downing Street, so for this reason, a court would probably exonerate you if the nutter went ahead and killed the PM. I think in this case, there would be a number of bigger questions to answer anyway!

If you gave a false address where it is not reasonable to expect that the nutter knows it isn't your address, then I think at the very least, you would facee some grilling about why you didn't report the threat.

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Loyal Commenter
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I can't see why these guys aren't being prosecuted for murder

The guy who called in the SWAT did something deliberately that he knew could cost someone their life. Qualitatively, that's no different to firing a gun into a crowd of people.

The guy who egged him on and gave a false address also did something he knew could cost someone their life.

As for the cop who shot the victim; I don't know how it works in the US, but in the UK, there has to be an investigation every time an armed officer fires their weapon.The officer is suspended automatically, whilst the IPCC investigates, even if it is clear-cut that they they acted correctly, such as shooting someone who is rampaging with a knife, in order to disable them.

Some responsibility also has to lie with the police call operator who took the 911 call, or with the people in charge of their operations. The call came from another state, it should have been easy to verify that it did not come from the alleged perpetrator.

I know for instance, that if you call the police in the UK on 999, the first thing you get is confirmation of the number you are calling from, because everyone here knows that false polcie reports are a thing. I can't believe that they would not be able todo the same in the US, so there is a systematic failure there somewhere.

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We definitely don't need more towers, says new Vodafone boss scraping around for €8bn savings

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Re: Age discrimination?

My thoughts exactly.

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Cheeky cheesemaker fails to copyright how things taste

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Let me tell you about latex...

Technically, latex is a sol (solid marticles in a liquid medium), whereas cream cheese is an emulsion (liquid-in-liquid). Both are colloids, but then again, so is smoke.

Latex can cross-link to become rubbery, in which case it forms a gel (liquid in solid). If your cream cheese does this, I'd suggest it's time to throw it out. Although technically soft and medium-hard cheeses are probably gels as well to some degree or another.

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Given that the product in this case was a cream-cheese, I'd hope that it isn't rubbery...

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France: Let's make the internet safer. America, Russia, China: Let's go with 'no' on that

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Re: "And I also have a bridge to sell you..."

Anyone who thinks letting the EU have a say in how the internet is controlled is a good idea, especially within a few days of the same person suggesting the creation of a Central European Army controlled by Brussels

Do you have a citation for Macron suggeting this? I'm not being funny about it, but this doesn't ring true. Not least because any such motion would require unanimous assent from all 28* member nations, and any national leader proposing it is likley to find themselves in prompt receipt of 27 vetoes.

See history for the trouble they had getting approval for the Maastricht treaty, which, for all the bickering was not much more than a broad agreement that everyone should agree. Whenever anyone brings up an 'EU army', it usually has a very strong smell about it.

*28 for now at least.

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Re: "Macron said he will keep trying to bring the US back on board."

I'm sure he watches "Dr Strangelove" at least once a day

This leads me to wondering which character he most associates with? I'm torn between General Ripper and Major Kong. Not, presumably, President Muffley...

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Re: The Likelihood of Macron's Macro Meanderings becoming a Reality for CyberSpace Flight Crew

There are green flashes in the sky, run for the hills.

Don't look at them, unless you fancy being stung by a triffid!

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Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

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Re: Did you accept the USB?

But of course (b) requires that you know how to reformat it and that you are running an OS that gives you the option of reformatting a USB device before its filing system is accessed.

That's little use if it presents itself to the USB bus as something other than a file system, for example as an input device.

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Loyal Commenter
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But these utterly despicable abortions of nature respond to a boss, who in turn responds to management, who in turn responds to upper management, who in turn responds to the board who in turn ...

...more often than not come from a background in marketing and PR.

There's your problem, right there, and it's cultural, not technical or political in nature.

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Junior dev decides to clear space for brewing boss, doesn't know what 'LDF' is, sooo...

Loyal Commenter
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Not familiar with that particular engine but one possibility is that it contains the log of current transactions, i.e. WORK that's STARTed but not yet COMMITted or ROLLed BACK.

Pretty much spot on. Depending on your database recovery model, it either contains the data for uncommitted transactions, or a log of everything that has been done in the database since the last full backup (enabling a restore to any point in time since then, and fancy things like database mirroring / log shipping).

The former should mean small(ish) log files, which usually contain a fair amount of empty space, corresponding to the largest transaction in the file's history. That space can be freed up by using the database commands to shrink the file.

The latter means big log files, especially if you're not regularly backing up the database.

On a modern file system, the log file will be locked while the database is online, safe from errant presses of the Delete key in file explorer. I'm guessing that on Win2000, not so much...

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Bruce Schneier: You want real IoT security? Have Uncle Sam start putting boots to asses

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Re: 6 years (and counting) for a fridge

It's not the old Freon anymore. The stuff is supposedly environmentally safe.. and expensive. Horribly expensive.

Unless your 'new' fridge was manufactured before the mid '90s, it won't have contained CFCs. My understanding is that the freon most commonly in use nowadays is 1,1,1,2-terachloroethane, which is prety cheap stuff, probably less than £10 to fill a fridge. I've also seen fridges with cyclopentane in them, which is also dirt-cheap, but flammable.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: 6 years (and counting) for a fridge

£300 for a re-gas. Fucking hell what sort of freon are they using? Unobtainium?

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My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

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Re: Power adaptors are always useful

If the gizmo says 12v / 1A , and your psu says 12v / 5A - it wont blow it up

But if the label on the psu, written in 1pt flyspec font actually says 19V 1A, but it has the plug on the lead that fits the gizmo and you plug it in in error, it probably will blow up the gizmo, and possibly the psu as well.

The one that has annoyed me recently is the power supplies that come with cheap home dehumidifiers. They seem to put out an unusual voltage (IIRC 13V) and also have a plug that isn't the same size or shape as any other standard power supply (a rectangular thing with two 'female' pins and a notch in the side) and seem to burn out after a year, with nowhere you can get a replacement...

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Data flows post-Brexit: 'Leave it to government to make sure you've got a smooth run in.' Er, OK

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Joke

Re: There really is no hope

After the warm summer and sudden cold snap in the last few weeks, we've had quite a few mice come into our home. Sadly, the only real solution to this is to use traps.

I realise now that my partner was only half joking last night when she suggested that rather than dispose of the bodies, I should be freezing them so we have something to eat after brexit. I could be setting up a proud all-British enterprise in the spirit of CMOT Dibbler selling mouse-onna-stick.

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Loyal Commenter
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It's that typical thing of sending thick people to very expensive schools. It doesn't produce geniuses, it just produces very confident idiots.

It's interesting you should say this. I was 'fortunate' enough to be schooled at a reasonably expensive school (not a very expensive one, mind), largely for the better quality of teaching. Having previously experienced the teaching quality at the local comprehensive, I can confirm that this was undoubtedly of better quality.

However, there was an atmosphere even here whereby achievement was measured not by academic success, but by who you were, and how well you did on the sports field. For instance, the head boy in my year just happened (purely by chance I'm sure) to be the son of the school's bursar (which is a posh word for accountant). Even in a relatively unknown private school, there was a culture of preference towards 'breeding' - in other words the posh boys got away with whatever they liked and were handed privilege on a plate.

At the time, I thought I was lucky to get a better quality of education than the masses, but in hindsight, the whole experience really just illustrates how private schooling feeds social division. The money pumped into such schools would instead be much better spent on giving the same level of education to all, so that those with the greatest ability get the support they need to achieve to their potential, instead of, as stated above, ending up with more very confident idiots.

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Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

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Re: Yeah sure

"Avrio is manana without a sense of urgency"

And Metavrio is the day after that...

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Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

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Re: Noted scientists

Go here to vote on the new £50 note.

https://app.keysurvey.co.uk/f/1348443/10fc/

I've gone with Dorothy Hodgkin, the Nobel prize winning developer of x-ray protein crystallography. Both ebcuase she was very smart, and because women are sadly underrepresented on bank notes.

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Re: The name 'Tesla' has been hijacked

When you ask someone what a Tesla is unless they are an old skool Electrical Engineer they might say 'oh, that's a funny car that runs on batteries'.

I'd go with something you shouldn't go near with your keys in your pocket, unless you want to be stuck to whatever is causing it.

As a unit of measurement, the scale is a bit off of most practical uses.

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US Republicans bash UK for tech tax plan

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Re: "Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee"

That said, I was wrong in my expectations as to votes twice in 2016.

You forgot to take into account the fact that, since you are commenting on a story on a tech news site, you are probably significantly "smarter than the average bear", whilst, by definition, 50% of voters are dumber than average.

You made the mistake of thinking that others would follow the same logic as yourself, rather than swallowing whatever bullshit was piped into their faces. Like some sort of reverse Dunning-Kruger effect, where you don't realise how stupid everyone else is.

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This one weird trick turns your Google Home Hub into a doorstop

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The most significant words in this article:

without any authentication.

Quite frankly, I should think that's a sackable offence for at least one person at Google.

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Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

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Re: Harmless

I'd guess that most cars on the road have a tape player.

Not any cars made this century. I'd be surprised to even see a CD player in anything made in the last couple of years.

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