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* Posts by H in The Hague

376 posts • joined 17 Jan 2013

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FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...

H in The Hague
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Re: Think of it this way

"While DJI do make consumer drones, they're hardly toys anymore, they've made a huge dent in professional markets."

Yup. Currently working with a drone company and learning a lot about this kit. Just over a grand will get you a DJI drone with a pretty good camera. Perfectly good for many photography and video applications, and some surveying jobs.

Also gets you DJI geofencing. Stops you from accidentally flying your done into restricted airspace (potentially saving you thousands in fines, and zillions in damages if you shut down a major airport with a drone incursion). But the geofencing is not perfect. One operator I know is based at a _former_ military aerodrome and for ages the geofencing map wasn't updated and stopped them flying a DJI drone at their home base. Also means that DJI can potentially map your whole country as restricted airspace and shut down your drone operations completely. So perhaps not the best brand to choose for public services applications (go on, call me a cynic).

Here's to a good weekend - may your pints and drones have a safe flight.

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

H in The Hague
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Re: I still get wound up...

"Unlike the French system of law, where technically nothing that is not explicitly legislated as being legal is allowed"

Do you have a source for that statement? As far as I'm aware most other European countries also have the principle that "anything that is not specifically disallowed by law is allowed". (But I'm no lawyer.)

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Someone's in hot water: Tea party super PAC group 'spilled 500,000+ voters' info' all over web

H in The Hague
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Although at first the large number of parties in NL and the fact that you always need a coalition might seem a recipe for chaos, it does seem to work quite well. One of the advantages is that there is more consensus within each party, fringe elements can move to another party.

A few weeks ago Mrs H (recently arrived in NL) and I watched the presentation of the budget. What stuck us is the modesty of the politicians, a welcome absence of selfaggrandisement. Specifically the Minister of Finance started his speech by praising prudence, he then mentioned that the economy is doing well but that this wasn't just due to their hard work but also that of previous governments and the world economy doing better. And it seems that NL is one of the few countries to run a budget surplus and paying off the national debt. Guess Mrs H and I will be staying here for a bit longer.

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Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

H in The Hague
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"The cardboard boxes do the same thing by crumpling the way a car body in a crash would."

And I _think_ that the boxes are strapped together so the crumple rather than scatter.

Icon as it's almost that time of the week.

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Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

H in The Hague
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Re: Why is it always the cleaners?

"These days Dutch hospitals are designed so that a ward can be pressure washed"

Are you sure about that? Our Elderly Dutch Friend has been been admitted a few times in the last year (now seems to have fully recovered) and although we were impressed by the hospitals (v clear, tidy, efficient and calm) his rooms didn't look suitable for pressure washing. Anyway, pressure washing would probably spread germs everywhere as an aerosol.

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H in The Hague
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Re: It's not always the cleaners

"Ok, now explain why a surveyor working in the middle of a field has to wear a hard hat, hi-vis vest and steel toe boots. "

They don't. But to avoid arguing it's easier to get people to wear them all the time. And many folk think they know health and safety law but actually only know fragments of it, and many myths - resulting in them focussing on talismanic, visible stuff like hi-vis, but igonoring real safety.

My personal bugbear is pointlessly wearing hi-vis vests when working inside buildings on a site where there are no vehicles operating (inside or outside). But that's mostly a UK thing :) (In NL they wear hi-vis too rarely, which also annoys me - guess I'm easily annoyed.)

Mine's the one with the stack of safety certificates in the pocket.

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H in The Hague
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Re: C

"So in the UK you have to stand there breathing in the carcinogenic fumes from the evaporating petrol "

No: vapour recovery system, captures those fumes where the dispensing nozzle meets the vehicle.

https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/144898/summary_guidance_note_for_service_station_operators_on_petrol_vapour_recovery_requirements_under_ppc.pdf

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Sync your teeth into power browser Vivaldi's largest update so far

H in The Hague
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E-mail alternative

Like many of you I've been looking for a good e-mail program for a while and I'm happy to pay for it. Have Thunderbird now but not entirely happy with it, find it less convenient than Eudora. A colleague mentioned she uses The Bat and likes it. Have downloaded it myself but not had time to play with it. Are any Commentards using it: good/bad/indifferent?

https://www.ritlabs.com/en/products/thebat/

Costs EUR 40 which I'll happily stump up if it's any good.

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US JEDI military cloud network is so high-tech, bidders will have to submit their proposals by hand, on DVD

H in The Hague
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Single what?

"Because the Pentagon wants to keep the entire project under the roof of a single provider ..."

At first I read that as "... single point of failure ..." - call me a cynic.

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US government use of AI is shoddy and failing citizens – because no one knows how it works

H in The Hague
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Re: re. no one knows how it works

"well, I suppose AI does know how it works!"

I don't think it does - that's the crux, it can't explain the reasoning behind decisions. And I get the impression that often there's no reasoning/intelligence, just statistical analysis. That can be a useful tool to make statements about a population, but not for making statements about individuals. Furthermore, using inappropriate training data is a clear example of Garbage in - Garbage out. I thought that most of us would have learned enough at secondary school to appreciate both the statistical and IT flaws but I'm probably naive.

Incidentally, today's populists seem to complain a lot about "unaccountable bureaucrats" (who actually implement rules set by the legislature) but not about "unaccountable AI" (which implements opaque rules, if any). Why?

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How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

H in The Hague
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Re: Console? What console..

"Luckly, we transported the inner workings of the ASR35 ..."

Just looked that up - made me feel v sentimental. At school we had occasional access to a PDP12 (I think) with mark-sense card reader and one of those Teletype terminals with tape punch. Regret not keeping a few of those cards and a bit of paper tape - those were the days when you could hold bits and bytes in your hand and look at them.

Thanks!

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'I am admin' bug turns WD's My Cloud boxes into Everyone's Cloud

H in The Hague
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Repeating myself

Now feeling even better about refusing my supplier's kind offer of a cloudy drive and opting for one with local access only than I did when this issue was first reported on El Reg.

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Scrapping UK visa cap on nurses, doctors opened Britain's doors to IT workers

H in The Hague
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Re: What's that sound ? Brexiteers expoding.

"I and many like me voted specifically to leave the whites-only immigration club and open up immigration to fellow Commonwealth people."

I'm afraid I don't quite understand that line of reasoning - being a member of the EU does not stop the UK permitting immigration from the Commonwealth, or anywhere else, on whatever terms the UK wants. Or have I misunderstood you?

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UK networks have 'no plans' to bring roaming fees back after Brexit

H in The Hague
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"I never fucking apologise for anything I write. "

Hmm, interesting. Suggests you're most likely not English, probably not British. So, wherefrom hailst thou?

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H in The Hague
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Interfering with the free market?

"The government would pass legislation to ensure that charges remained capped £45 ..."

Errmm, is that Conservative government proposing to interfere with the free market??? When Labour proposed something similar (price caps for energy) they complained loudly about that being socialist idiocy. Can't see JRM and friends being in favour.

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Milton Keynes: Come for roundabouts, stay for near-gigabit broadband

H in The Hague
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Re: Openreach

"- 640k will be enough!"

Young people - don't know how good they've got it.

When I was a young lad 64 kB was the bees knees!

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A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds

H in The Hague
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Re: computer merry-go-round

Ah, you've met my friends' builder! Mind you, his quote came in lowest.

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A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

H in The Hague
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Re: Noisy phone lines in building

"They'd just stuck the welding earth clamp where it was handy and were roaming around welding the joints ..."

A process plant a friend used to work at suffered more serious effects. During a shutdown the welders extended the steelwork and also didn't bother to attach the earth clamp close to where they were welding. The resulting stray currents burned out a rack of instrumentation and the start-up was delayed by a few weeks, at a cost of millions of lost production per day.

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H in The Hague
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Interfering with ceiling tiles can be dangerous

Jason's story reminds me of a tale a colleague once told me (paraphrased as this was a few years ago):

"I got an on-site gig at XXX (sensitive government site). Four of us working in a room meant for twenty, so a bit chilly due to the assertive mechanical ventilation system. Figured I could just go into the corridor, pop up a few ceiling tiles, stick my head up the void/plenum and adjust the damper in the ventilation duct. Then decided against this, might give the security guards patrolling the corridors the wrong idea. I did mention they were assertive, armed security guards, didn't I?"

Time for a G&T or other adult beverage. A good weekend to all Commentards and good luck to all of you on call this weekend (I'm not), may we read about your exploits in these columns.

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UK.gov's no-deal plans leave HMRC customs, VAT systems scrambling to keep up

H in The Hague
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Re: Annual?

"Currently i work for an EU based company and invoice EU reverse charge VAT. I have no clue how this will work post March 2019 and currently it seems nobody else does either."

If the UK's out of the EU by then you just follow the same procedure as for other exports outside the EU. Simply means entering the amount in a different box. (In NL it would go into section 3a rather than 3b of the VAT declaration form.)

https://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/business/vat/vat_in_the_netherlands/vat_relating_to_purchase_and_sale_of_goods/export_from_the_netherlands_to_non-eu_countries

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Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price

H in The Hague
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Re: How much?

"WRT "Always connected" I've been seeing laptops with 3G and LTE connectivity for years. What kills them utterly is the telco fees."

Depends where you live. Here in NL 4G data is very reasonably priced, with roaming throughout the EU. On my Vodafone business contract I get unlimited calls in NL + EU + 15 GB data + 2 extra SIMs (for my laptop and mobile hotspot) for EUR 36 (exc. VAT) per month. Including roaming in Canada and the US would cost me EUR 29 extra. Haven't used WiFi for more than a decade.

https://www.vodafone.nl/zakelijk/shop/mobiel/abonnement/?icmp=nav-subs-simonly

There are also consumer contracts for about the same price with unlimited data.

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VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

H in The Hague
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Useful info

Now we all know which hotel chain and software vendor to avoid. Foot, meet gun and Streisand effect.

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Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

H in The Hague
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Re: Some of this IoT Automation does have uses

"X10 kit since the mid 1980s"

Fond memories, though I never used it.

Now using something very similar for where cables are difficult to run: easy to set up, fits into standard Dutch wiring boxes and the Internet gateway is entirely optional.

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H in The Hague
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Re: I have a "Smart TV"

"I found a "dumb" version of the 4k smart tv I wanted"

Could you let us know the make and model? There might be quite a few of us out here interested in something like that.

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Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

H in The Hague
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Re: Oh so familiar

"Mythic Beasts. UK based and give excellent service."

Thanks for the tip.

Here's one for the weekend.

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Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

H in The Hague
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Re: They had hiyigh hopes......

"And if (when) we don't get a deal, they'll be in a lorry parked up in Calais."

Actually, I _think_ that company's printing plant is based in the UK. But where are the paper and ink coming from? Hope they've ordered them early and they get delivered before stuff starts happening.

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

H in The Hague
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Re: Is that legal now?

"AFCIs are not standard equipment in most of the world"

Actually, they've just been introduced in the 18th edition of BS 7671 (the UK requirements for electrical installations). This is because arcs can have a relatively high impedance, so you can get an arc which causes a fire but does not draw enough current to trip the circuit protection.

https://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail?pid=000000000030342613

"Protection against thermal effects - A new Regulation has been introduced recommending the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDDs) to mitigate the risk of fire in AC final circuits of a fixed installation due to the effects of arc fault currents."

http://www.hager.co.uk/news-exhibitions-case-studies/18th-edition/arc-fault-detection-devices/89766.htm

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H in The Hague
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Re: Plot twist? What plot twist?

"Unusual to have 3 phase in domestic premises."

Depends on the country. Here in NL it's usually 3 phases into the consumer unit/distribution board, with single outgoing phases to the house wiring. (Though you could fit a 3-phase breaker if you want to install some nice large machine tools in your home workshop :)

Talking of breaker panels, had a beer a while ago with a chap who refurbished an old house (in the UK I think),he turned the power off at the first fuse box and at the second one. Then started cutting the old cables, cue flash, bang and molten wire cutters. Eventually he found the third fuse box behind some wallpaper.

Here's one for the weekend.

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Rights groups challenge UK cops over refusal to hand over info on IMSI catchers

H in The Hague
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Policing by consent

As I've mentioned before I'm a techie not a constitutional lawyer. However, I was rather under the impression that the UK has a system of "policing by consent".

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/policing-by-consent/definition-of-policing-by-consent

"... a philosophy of policing ‘unique in history and throughout the world because it derived not from fear but almost exclusively from public co-operation with the police, induced by them designedly by behaviour which secures and maintains for them the approval, respect and affection of the public".

How can the public consent to a policing tool if they are denied information about it? But perhaps I'm quaintly old-fashioned about British constitutional affairs.

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Probe Brit police phone-peeking plans, privacy peeps plead

H in The Hague
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Re: How do these work?

"The good thing about Napoleonic/Roman/EU law is you cant do anything unless specifically permitted ..."

Source for that statement, please?

I'm a techie, not a lawyer, but I've read enough legal textbooks to be familiar with the basics of both English/common law and NL/civil law. As far as I'm aware in both legal traditions you can do anything, unless it is specifically prohibited.

I'm getting really fed up with this bit of nonsense cropping up regularly. And whenever I challenge folk about it, they can never provide a source to back up their statement.

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Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

H in The Hague
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Re: Additional cooling

"My suggestion to dump a few buckets of white paint on the roof, or tack a couple of rolls of alu-coated foil ..."

The top floor of H Mansion has a flat roof with black bitumen roofing felt. That floor used to get uncomfortably hot but I assumed that most of the heat came in through the windows and not through the roof as that's insulated. But applied special aluminium bitumen paint to it last week and it's made a real difference. Unfortunately I didn't measure the before and after temperatures.

Tip: paint the roof before the weather gets too hot. In hot weather the primer, even when dry, is very sticky and that makes work difficult.

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What can $10 stretch to these days? Lunch... or access to international airport security systems

H in The Hague
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Re: Agreed

You could try hunting urban foxes instead. From their front door a friend in Twickenham once managed to spot six of them at once.

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UK taxman outlines its CHIEF concerns for customs IT systems

H in The Hague
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Re: A new golden era of prosperity

"... a golden age of marmite-smuggling off the coast of Norfolk."

I for one salute our Marmite-smuggling overlords!

Is it still smuggling if you carry the stuff from Holland-on-Sea or Great Holland (Essex), or the Parts of Holland (Lincolnshire) to plain old Holland (admittedly on the other side of the North Sea)?

https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/inspire/dutch-links-with-norfolk_norwich.aspx

Bloody immigrants, coming here to do our drainage works and introducing their Friesian cattle.

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Vodafone emits new wearable ... kid-trackers

H in The Hague
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Re: Lone worker tracker

Thanks - that's a beautifully simple solution. Have 'Find my device' turned off on my main phone, but happy to turn it on on a back-up phone. Now Mrs H will know where to look for me in the woods when I don't return home in time :)

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H in The Hague
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Lone worker tracker

As it happens I've been looking for an Android lone worker/person down app. I do some conservation volunteering, sometimes in remote areas, and it would be handy if the team leader or Mrs H could check my location if I go AWOL. Unfortunately the affordable apps I've found look rather dodgy or ineffective, and the ones that might work only come as part of an expensive corporate package. So a dedicated pet or kid tracker might be a better option (albeit without the person down function). And more convenient in terms of privacy as I'll only switch it on and carry it with me when needed.

Does anyone know of a good Android lone worker/person down app? Or general tracking app? Happy to pay for it but don't want ads.

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Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

H in The Hague
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Re: HS2 and the Galileo replacement

"How many jobs have already gone to Europe or other - because the UK company was bought out by another company ?"

I rather get the impression that when a UK company gets bought by an overseas investor that generally saves and creates jobs in the UK. Look at the car industry: Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Mini and Dennis Eagle have all benefitted from significant investments by their overseas owners, without which they might have gone under with massive job losses. Unfortunately these companies have very complex supply chains across the Channel, and also exort a large part of their production so the UK leaving the single market is likely to hit them (and their UK suppliers and contractors) very hard.

"What may happen is that new opportunities will arise due to the restrictions of the EU being lifted from the UK."

Could you mention some of those restrictions? Something specific? Which markets/opportunities will they provide access to?

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H in The Hague
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"I propose that we brick it by scrambling the encryption software that we wrote."

Not software you wrote. Software successful private companies wrote under contract. Or are you an extreme left-winger who wants to nationalise industry? Incidentally if your proposal was put into practice, no UK software company would ever get an overseas contract again - another great way to f*** British businesses. You are Boris Johnson and I claim my five pounds.

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H in The Hague
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Re: HS2 and the Galileo replacement

"The EU cooked the books to get Greece into the Euro."

Errmm, thought it was the Greeks who allegedly committed the creative accountancy.

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H in The Hague
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Re: HS2 and the Galileo replacement

"Look at Greece - the people have suffered severely under the EU - the Government may have been bailed out, but the people were treated disgustingly."

It strikes me that has to do more with the general weakness of the Greek economy than with the EU. As far as I'm aware the country has few natural resources and successive governments don't seem to have been that effective (get the impression there's a lot of tax avoidance). Without seamless access to EU markets and EU support for poorer areas their economy would probably be in an even worse state. And without a bail out the country would have gone bust - that doesn't help "the people" either. Please explain how they would be more prosperous outside the EU and without its support.

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H in The Hague
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Re: Lets just get on with it . . . .

"Don't forget Lawson (Nigel) getting French citizenship"

He's hardly my friend (pro-Brexit climate change denier) but I think your claim is incorrect. As far as I'm aware he's applied for a "carte de sejours" (spelling?) which I gather is something like the UK Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Something which only becomes relevant now that freedom of movement for UK nationals is about to end. :(( Which I find v upsetting as many of my friends and colleagues and their children and myself have benefitted from that freedom. Particularly upsetting for the young Brits I know who grew up in NL and could have gotten an NL passport (while retaining their UK nationality) but didn't bother with that as they already had an EU passport - now they're truly stuffed. I am v p**** off with wealthy older folk like Lawson who have benefitted from freedom of movement, etc. and are now denying that to others.

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Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

H in The Hague
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Re: What pumps need is an

"Would you like me to help put the wrong fuel in your tank, "

Thank you for reminding me to ask Shell why they have hinged flaps marked "Diesel" over the diesel nozzles at service stations in NL but not in the UK. Seems an effective, low-tech solution to make sure folk don't fill up with the wrong type of juice.

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Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space

H in The Hague
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Re: Bravo madam!

"A government which does not believe in the invisible hand of the free market is left wing."

Having been in business for over three decades I respectfully suggest that the effectiveness of the invisible hand of the free market is somewhat overestimated. Yes, I believe in mostly free markets, but sometimes we need a bit of regulation to lubricate them, and to protect the vulnerable in society, and the environment.

Incidentally, although the term was coined by Adam Smith (who used it only once in The Wealth of Nations), he also advocated a range of state interventions in markets. See the leader article in one of the sections of this weekend's edition of the Financial Times, that famously left wing newspaper.

So, by your definition Adam Smith is left wing!?!

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Tesla fingers former Gigafactory hand as alleged blueprint-leaking sabotage mastermind

H in The Hague
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"Compared with what "renewables" producers are being paid, those nuke plants are going to be selling bargain basement priced electrickery."

Don't think that is correct. Here in NL the government used to subsidise offshore wind energy. But the new wind farms no longer need that subsidy for generation (think there is still some support for the link to shore). And in my view one of the key problems with nuclear is that eventually there will be very high decomissioning costs, which might well fall on the taxpayer :(

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

H in The Hague
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Re: Residency registration and national identity cards

"When done without the sort of draconian nonsense attempted by UK government, ID cards can be quite useful."

That's crossed my mind too. Esp. as at present to prove your identify for, say, a bank account, you're dependent on the credit reference agencies. Which are private sector businesses (unelected, unaccountable, etc.) I would rather have a basic identity system operated by an accountable government. During our lives most of us have to deal with the state in one way or another (tax payer, benefits claimant, holder of a passport of a driving licence) so extending that to a basic ID system would not be unreasonable.

(That would also prevent problems such as those described by a Commentard a while ago who upon returning to the UK after a long period abroad couldn't open a UK bank account as he wasn't listed with any of the credit reference agencies. By contrast, after Mrs H registered here with the council, she was immediately able to open a Dutch bank account - no questions asked other than "Could I see your passport please?")

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Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

H in The Hague
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"Does running something again when you get something unexpected seem like a bad idea?"

Probably.

Is it something many of us do regularly?

Definitely.

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H in The Hague
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"... ISO standards might seem boring in the extreme."

I've now reached the age where I consider that far preferable to the wrong kind of excitement.

(Anyway, those standards mostly say: think about what you're doing, do it consistently, and make sure you can prove it - common sense really.)

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

H in The Hague
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Prevention at the pharmacy

Accompanied our elderly Dutch friend to the pharmacy. Pharmacist apologised for the slow service due to a new computer system being set up. Wandered over to have a look and noticed that the label printer's network cable was bent double right by the connector. Figured that might eventually damage the cable. Mentioned it to the pharmacist who immediately understood the issue, rerouted the cable and secured it with a sticky bandage (effective strain relief, but not a pretty sight).

Here's one for the weekend.

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No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

H in The Hague
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Re: Well

"Whatever we export must meet the importers regs. We do not have to apply those rules here."

Brilliant - now manufacturers potentially need even more, different standards to adhere to. That's going to make manufacturing so much more efficient.

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Tech firms, come to Blighty! Everything is brill! Brexit schmexit, Galileo schmalileo

H in The Hague
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Re: The Enigma to Embrace, Expand Upon and Enjoy .....

Adjusted medication?

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