* Posts by Loyal Commenter

4621 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Somebody is destined for somewhere hot, and definitely not Coventry

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Re: Hot Stuff

I thought the Simpsons had already shown us that they all are.

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Re: Having access to the system logs ...

I would have thought that any sensible person reading the thread would have seen that the previous two posts referred to Tom Lehrer. Even if the reader had never heard of him (and if not, why not?), I think that a basic level of reading comprehension would suggest that that was a quote.

Edit - just to add; not that it's my thing, but there's a world of difference between whatever consensual (and legal) activity gets you off, and abuse. Conflating the two is just stigmatising the sexual preferences of others, which is a course of behaviour that everyone should steer clear of, under the adage of "mind your own business".

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Paris Hilton

Re: Having access to the system logs ...

I guess someone here really doesn't like Tom Lehrer.

That, or it’s just my "fan club" downvoting again.

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Gimp

Re: Having access to the system logs ...

I yearn for the touch of your lips, dear, but more for the touch of your whips, dear...

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item

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Chen mused: "Who among us can say they never created a new class or project by copying an existing one, and then deleting everything inside?"

If I had a pound for every time I have had to fix copypasta code filled with misleading comments that come from the original bit of code it was copied from...

It's right up there next to code that has been commented out by surrounding it with the equivalent of "if (false)", or left in "for reference" after replacement code has returned from that method. The cruft that shows up in code searches when you are looking to find where a class or method is used, and wastes your time, and is unreachable, and thus untestable.

Windows 11: What we like and don't like about Microsoft's operating system so far

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One of the reasons Apple as a company didn't die in the '90s when it was seriously floundering was because Steve Jobs decided to partner with Microsoft rather than continue to oppose them. There were boos from the audience when he announced it, but it arguably saved the company. Before then, your average office PC made an Apple computer look like a dated beige box from the 1980s, with incompatible hardware. Remember SCSI interfaces that had the exact same connectors as parallel ports? I've seen at least one instance of a Macintosh (as they then were) being bricked by plugging a parallel-port version of a Zip drive into the SCSI port.

They then went the way of the computer as consumer electronics, with the "boiled sweet" iMac which arguably significantly changed their customer base.

GitHub Copilot auto-coder snags emerge, from seemingly spilled secrets to bad code, but some love it

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Re: Shy

Beat me to it! I was going to suggest 10 digit salaries are already the norm, it's just that five of those digits are after the decimal point, and three of those are taken up by the floating-point rounding error because the AI didn't think to use a double.

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Trollface

If it's trained on openly available code...

...presumably, it will automatically add buffer overflow flaws into any C it finds.

Devilish plans for your next app update ensure they never happen – unless you start praying

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Re: Crime of the century

The actual issue boils down to a government minister whose behaviour and therefore his character, is patently dishonest.

There, FTFY

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Re: Crime of the century

Not to overstate the obvious, but I believe the actual issue here is of a Health Secretary making rules that affect everyone in the country (rightly or wrongly, I'm not getting involved in that debate, for there be idiots), and not following them himself.

That, and using personal email for government business, thus sidestepping necessary accountability, giving out work to the guy who runs his local pub without proper procurement procedures (again, an issue with accountability), then pretending to not know the landlord in question, despite being on Zoom calls with a picture of the same pub on the wall behind him, which subsequently mysteriously disappeared, and all sorts of other instances of Tory donors mysteriously getting "fast-tracked" for lucrative government contracts with the health Department, with no oversight, or proper procurement procedures, despite being very demonstrably not the best choice in many cases.

And if you think "Door Matt" (as John Crace likes to call him) is the only one up to these sorts of shenanigans in the corridors of power, I've got a selection of very nice bridges you might like to take a look at. Act fast, as they're selling out.

Are we getting close yet?

One good deed leads to a storm in an Exchange Server

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Use of private email aside

I'd say that Lucas's prime mistake was not testing his changes before leaving. "Change something and hope it's okay" is not a sensible course of action.

Go to L: A man of the cloth faces keyboard conundrum

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Old Habits Die Hard

The typewriter on which I learned to type, at a tender young age before personal computers were really a thing, was the same one on which my mother had learned. It had no number '1', and may have not had a '0' either. You were expected to use 'l', which, being Roman type, had little serifs on it like a '1'.

I believe this was not uncommon in the age of the electric typewriter, and the vicar in this story had probably learned the same way.

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage

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Re: Reminds me...

I swear the heads on some of those cheap screws are made of cheese. Any amount of torque above that which a small child might produce, and the screw head is a neat inverted hemisphere.

Three things that have vanished: $3.6bn in Bitcoin, a crypto investment biz, and the two brothers who ran it

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Re: $10 million

Banks want to give loans to people who can afford to pay them back, plus interest.

If you can't pay, they won't give the loan. That's what "credit ratings" are for - a way of establishing whether a person is likely to repay a loan or not.

Banks actually want to give out loans that people can only just afford, so they can get the maximum profit in interest payments, without the payee defaulting. Once someone defaults, they have to either write the debt off, sell it to a debt collection agency, or try to get it back via the civil courts. After a certain time, it gets statutory barred, and if the person who took out the loan has managed to evade the bailiffs and debt collectors, they walk away.

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Re: $10 million

That system works, because banks make loans that they think people will be able to afford to repay, or at least pay the interest on.

Large loans are typically "secured", for example, if you have a mortgage, it is secured on your house. If you default, the bank gets the house, as well as any repayments you've already made.

Now, arguably, a bank might secure a loan on a yacht with the yacht itself, but they'll probably look at the rate of depreciation on that yacht, which, unlike property, is unlikely to go up in value, and do the maths, and work out that if you defaulted after your first payment, and they repossessed it, they'd probably only get 40% of the value back. If they were in the business of giving loans for yachts, and there were enough customers out there, they might amortise that risk by charging a high rate of interest to cover the defaults, on the assumption of a certain rate of defaults, but they'd probably decide that the risks were too variable, and go into a safer business. So yes, if you walked into a bank and asked for an unsecured loan on an expensive veblen good like a yacht, or a "luxury" watch, they would either laugh at you or try to fleece you for an interest rate that rivals a pay-day loan company.

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Re: Bitcoin mixers and tumblers

And when that "mixer and tumbler" is operating in one of the other 194 countries in the world, how do you propose that your law enforcement agency does that?

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Re: Ha ha

The lack of regulation does make cryptocurrencies very much a "Wild West" situation, and you do have to assume every other player is a bad actor, unless proven otherwise.

However, whenever I see a comment like this, I feel compelled to ask how that is different to, for instance, the US Dollar, the favoured currency of black-market arms and drugs dealers worldwide?

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Re: BCCI

I think legally you have to tell them, or you are technically committing fraud.

I think the standard form, for when a financial institution makes a mistake in your favour, is to write them a letter, either sent by recorded post, or asking for a confirmation of receipt, telling them that they have made a mistake. No need to tell them it's in your favour, and if they don't respond, the money is legally yours.

IANAL so don't take this as bona fide legal advice!

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That's not why Barings got shut down. It collapsed because they essentially allowed a single trader to make a bunch of long-shot bets with more money than they had to back them with. No "intrusions", as such, and it wasn't "shut down" by any authorities, it folded due to insolvency.

This particular story sounds like a run-of-the-mill "get rich quick" scam. They sued the word "crypto" in there, but there's nothing to indicate that this was the nature of the scam, except that when the perps ran off with the cash, it was in the form of Bitcoin, rather than a suitcase full of high-denomination notes, or bearer bonds, or frozen orange juice futures, or whatever.

Bitcoin itself might turn out to be a massive investment bubble, but this fraud isn't related to that.

To compare to another famous bubble, this is like a couple of guys telling everyone that they could get rich, if they only give them money to buy a load of tulips, buying a load of tulips with that money, and then rather than waiting to see if the price goes up, just running off with them, selling them, and keeping all the money. Hell, there might not even be any tulips involved, or only just enough to string the "investors" along by waving a bag of bulbs in their faces to encourage them to part with more money, and get their friends in on the act.

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Re: $10 million

Yes, but if you go to the bank and say, "I'd like a loan to buy a super-yacht," or even, "I'd like a loan to pay my rent / pay employees / buy food," they first thing they'll ask is how you intend to pay it back, before laughing you out of the room. Yes, our economy is based in large part on the circulation of debt, but a lot of people will see that as a problem, not a great selling point. Just take a look at every major financial crash in recent history for a lesson in why.

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Re: $10 million

Money is not for creating more problems. If you have more money than you can spend, you're fine. Stop trying to find excuses to spend more money.

From the perspective of societal good, this is the exact problem with capitalism.

If you have vast sums of money, and hold onto it, it means that money is taken out of the economy and the supply is reduced. There's slightly less to go around for everyone else, and less taxation to fund public services. This harms everyone.

If, however, you spaff it all on yachts, that money goes back into the economy. The agent takes his cut, pays taxes on it, and spends it to pay for food and bills. The yacht builders pay their employees, pay income taxes and national insurance contributions, buy other goods and services, and so on. The money continues to circulate in the economy. The government gets their cut, so there is money for rubbish collections, road maintenance, pandemic vaccination programmes, armed forces, and so on.

Once you get people hoarding personal wealth on a scale similar to a country's GDP, you have a problem.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with saving for a rainy day, saving up to buy a house, etc. but you have to ask how many zeroes on the end of those savings are necessary to insulate yourself against the unforeseen and how many are just down to pure avarice at everyone else's expense.

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Holmes

Re: Sometimes, I just can't believe the gullibility of some people.

...but even if they have to lose 50% doing so it makes them the two of the most successful criminals in history.

I think you'll find, that once such sums are involved, these people are no longer considered to be criminals.

What, you think all those multi-millionaires and billionaires out there are squeaky clean and got their money by being super hard-working and good at their jobs? Hahahaha.

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Re: Yay money laundering!

I'm not sure how people are trading in cryptocurrencies for cash, to be honest, at least in the UK.

Find vendor who accepts payment via BitPay. Transfer cryptocurrency to BitPay. Pay vendor. Receive goods. BitPay also convert various crypto into vouchers for Amazon, major supermarkets, etc. I've not tried that route, but can confirm that it works with vendors who accept BitPay (e.g. Pimoroni)

Now that China has all but banned cryptocurrencies, GPU prices are falling like Bitcoin

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Re: Mining...Isn't this essentially nerdy fraud?

f I recall - and this is going back a while, well before the current hype - one of the early hopes for bitcoin was that it might allow one to convert or transfer money into other currencies, thus avoiding the retail price-gouging and/or exchange-rate "tweaking" of traditional banks and exchanges; i.e., an attempt to avoid unfair behavior. If that had worked out - would that have been fraud?

As such, it does have some utility as a means of payment. For example, there are sites (Pimoroni is an example) who will allow you to pay with Bitcoin. The mechanism for doing so is via BitPay, and I suspect what Pimoroni get is actual cash from BitPay. From my perspective though, I have to transfer some BTC to a wallet held by BitPay (which costs me a transaction fee, so the amount arriving at BitPay is less than what I send), and then pay the current BTC price to Pimoroni via the BitPay app, plus another transaction fee, which is taken from that wallet. Because of the size of the transaction fees, it’s really not worth it for small purchases, and part of the problem here as I see it, is that the transaction fees, although a very small portion of 1 BTC, correspond to several pounds of "real" money because the value of one individual BTC is high. The process does work, though, and I've bought several things from them this way (usually several things at once to make the transaction fees worthwhile, and on a day when the price of Bitcoin is spiking). I "spend" my bitcoin, and Pimoroni get cash. Who's being defrauded here?

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When China's economy is based in large part on producing goods to be sold elsewhere, that seems very unlikely.

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...and "untraceable" probably applies less to Bitcoin than it does to the USD. The blockchain is in essence a ledger containing every single transaction. The only thing that may be untraceable is *who* is making those transactions, and even then, de-anonymisation of wallets is not impossible, especially when Bitcoin is transferred to exchanges that require user verification and authentication.

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Untraceable, easily transportable. Can be used to launder money, transfer money cross borders, pay for contract killings, drug shipments, kiddie porn, arms dealing terrorism.

And this is unlike, *picks random example*, the US Dollar how exactly?

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Except, that it has now bounced back to slightly higher than it was before China made this announcement. The sort of thing you might expect from lots of Bitcoin holders suddenly trying to sell their holdings, people buying them up cheap, and then this stopping. The exact pattern you see after the mass sell-off of any asset that still holds value for others.

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Re: Oh, Irony...

See also: Mussolini didn't get the trains to run on time.

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Re: Phew that was close!

I'm not going to claim that Bitcoin's environmental impact isn't horrific. As I said, it's not without its problems. The name "cryptocurrency"is a misnomer, because it has a lot of features that are un-currency-like. For example, the fact that it generally takes an hour to confirm a transaction (if you take six blocks as confirmation against double-spending), the engineered-in block time is ten minutes, transaction fees are high, you have to rely on "exchanges" of varying trustworthiness, "lost" Bitcoin being unrecoverable, and thus reducing the supply over time, and so on.

None of these are an argument about whether fiat currencies are backed by anything more real than the same consensus that Bitcoin is backed by, though. Bitcoin can, and most likely, will, crash again at some point in the future. Real currencies crash too, for some of the same reasons, and also for others that Bitcoin is "immune" to, such as hyperinflation from a central bank issuing vast quantities of new currency to prop up a failing state.

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Re: Buy the dip!

If you look at the price of BTC over a day, it's often all over the shop (today is no exception). If you look at the last five days, it looks like a poor investment. If you look at the last month, equally so. Last year... hold on, that's a 200% increase, 5 years, 4,000%.

None of this actually means anything though, the price could fall back to £100 tomorrow, and anyone putting their life savings into BTC is either a fool, or knows the future.

I wish I'd bought some when 10,000 BTC bought you a pizza, rather than now, when 10,000 pizzas gets you 1 BTC.

I have a small amount of BTC, mostly out of curiosity when I bought some USB miners at the time when such things could still mine a measurable share in a mining pool. Even with the recent price fall, what I have now is still worth about 10 times what I paid for the hardware, and that includes having spent some of those mining profits to buy some hobbyist electronics and a Raspberry Pi 400.

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Re: Phew that was close!

Just because some of the world's major currencies are controlled by countries with armed forces (Dollar, Renminbi, Sterling, etc.) doesn't mean the two are in any way linked. I don't see the Icelandic Króna under threat because Iceland has no standing armed forces, and unless you're one of those that believe that by leaving the EU, we somehow dodged the bullet of being conscripted into a fictitious EU army, the Euro isn't backed by armed forces either.

Like it or not, most fiat currencies are accepted because users of them mostly don't have a choice (try buying a pint of milk with shiny pebbles, and you'll find the shopkeeper much more likely to accept Sterling), and, to varying degrees, trust the issuers. The stability of the GBP is backed by the stability of the Bank of England, not the British armed forces. Control of supply is also a big part of this. Anti-forgery techniques have grown in sophistication since the original hand-written pound notes.

Interestingly, Bitcoin, and some other "cryptocurrencies" are designed to be cryptographically secure in a way that controls the supply (there will only ever be a finite number of Bitcoins, Ether is another matter), and prevents "forgery" (network consensus on the blockchain means that you can't make a so-called "double-spending" attack without controlling more than half of the entire network).

Assured value is a definite weakness of BTC, but at the same time, fiat currencies sometimes spiral into hyperinflation too. All it takes is reckless management from the currency's central bank, and to be honest, in this country, all it would take is for Johnson to appoint Dido Harding as the head of the Bank of England.

There are valid arguments against cryptocurrencies, but the argument that they have no inherent value, whilst fiat currencies do, is questionable at best. If you don't believe this, I'd be happy to exchange 1 trillion Zimbabwean Dollars* for 1 BTC. Even with Bitcoin dropping in value like last week's warm sausagemeat, that would still net me a millionfold profit...

*The old ones, not the current Zimbabwean currency, which hasn't (yet) caught fire.

Updating in production, like a boss

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Re: Clever

If you *must* use an arbitrary field length, make it a power of two, then at least it *looks* like you know what you're doing.

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Why have one version of the truth, when two or more, possibly conflicting versions will do?

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And if you're extra paranoid, you'll do a

SELECT * INTO BACKUP_TABLE FROM ... 
as well before screwing with that data in the table you're doing the DELETE or UPDATE on, and keep hold of that backup table until you're certain you've not screwed up. There's nothing like a fallback from which to retrieve the records you accidentally deleted, although you might need to do a bit of jiggery-pokery to disable identity generation when putting them back where they came from...

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nvarchar(max) is not as bad as you might think in terms of performance. If the data is small (for example 'Y'/'N') then it is stored in row, not off-page.

However, there are other fundamental reasons why it is the wrong field type if you know the maximum length of the data. In the case of a single character for gender, or a short identifying code (e.g. 8 character account number), storing it in the right field type (in these cases, char(1), or varchar(8)) means you can include it in an index*. nvarchar(max) cannot be indexed, so if you have a transactional table with a lot of records where you need to retrieve or update a single record quickly based on such criteria, or do some filtered reporting, you're looking at table scans if you don't have appropriate indexes.

*Of course, there's very little point in indexing on a column that might only have two evenly distributed values, such as 'M' or 'F'. The query engine will look at your index, laugh, and do a clustered index scan anyway. If you have a small number of possible values, and they are not evenly distributed, an index might be useful in finding the rare values though.

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

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Re: Not all is well

The main problem here is that the OS is just looking at the file extension, and not the initial bytes of the file, to determine the file type. This may of course be one of those occasions where the type of system file in question would be unstructured, and not have predictable initial bytes, but that begs the question, "why?" when determining the type of a file isn't exactly a new problem to solve.

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Re: With Windows 10 and it's Successors in Title

You profile tells us that you have had an account here for over six months. If you haven't figured out that the "profile pic" is actually the icon that gets used for anonymous posts yet, then maybe you'd feel more at home shouting your rage into the face of readers of the Daily Heil, or Daily Excess instead?

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Re: Was going to be Windows 10 forever?

I think they also wanted to avoid the bad publicity potential of, "Windows? Nein!"

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Re: Here here

I'd have to ask why a CCTV system is running anything as heavyweight as Windows. You could probably get away with controlling it from a Pi Zero, or even less. After all, what does it have to do? Manage recordings, view playback, maybe some sort of backup? If it needs a full-blown OS at all, then a flavour of Linux is going to be more than sufficient. It could probably provide all the functionality you needed with no OS at all, and the software running directly on embedded hardware like an arduino, wired up to some buttons and a monitor. The only thing you need the OS for is programming the thing in the first place, and even then, once you written the software, you could probably push it onto the device from anything that can talk to a serial port.

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request

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yup, with an albedo of 0.12, it's pretty dark all round [sic]

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Assange is just a publisher

So is Rupert Murdoch.

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RW is currently 77. Assuming he has a fair run and lives another 20 years, and never has any more income, that's $1.3M spending money per month for the rest of his life, or a little over $42,000 per day, £30,500 at today's exchange rate. I think most people would be hard-pressed to spend that much money every day for the rest of their life.

Perhaps he should enter politics and campaign for "none of the above"?

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Re: re. That doesn't mean that the citizens of Israel are responsible for those things.

Just like the Brits, all Brits, are collectively responsible for the (current) and all previous wankers ruling the UK

I'd dispute that I am in anyway responsible for the current shower of *expletive deleted*s. I've never voted for that party, in any election. I never voted for their policies (including *that* referendum) and actively oppose many of the things they come up with. I bear zero responsibility for any of that.

The reductio ad hitlerum disproof of your argument would be to blame the citizens of 1930's Germany who were rounded up and murdered for their own extermination, since it was done by their legally elected government. Such an argument would be both crass and entirely wrong.

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One of the myriad problems in the region is that Israel does not officially recognise the existence of Palestine as their neighbour at all. It's hard to argue that there is an official policy of destruction of something they claim does not exist. They just bulldoze Palestinian houses and build their own settlements on disputed land, then wall it off.

None of this excuses the actions of Hamas, but to claim the situation is one-sided is simply untrue.

As I said, I don't claim to have any solutions to the situation, but selectively denying that problems exist on both sides of the argument is one of those problems.

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Joke

Re: Pedant alert.

Who?

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The problem with talking about Israel is that in people's minds they don't separate the actions of the state from the people living there. The Israeli state has done some pretty dodgy things, and has been sanctioned internationally from them. That doesn't mean that the citizens of Israel are responsible for those things. This is further muddied by some who would claim that any criticism of the state is a de facto argument against the existence of that state, and thus antisemitic.

No state, and no government, should be beyond criticism, and trying to divert that criticism into an argument about race and religion is deeply disingenuous.

Don't get me wrong - the situation between Israel and Palestine is a bloody mess and I don't claim to have any solutions. I've no idea what Waters has said on the matter, but I suspect it's a good deal more coherent than some of those who shout the loudest on the matter, such as Israel's new far-right Prime Minister.

Waters may be opposed to the actions of Israel as a state, but that does, of course, have no bearing on whether he should visit the country and play to the people there who want to hear his music. If that were the case, should all left-leaning musicians in the UK (which I suspect is a majority) stop playing whilst we have a right-wing populist cabal in power here?

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

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Re: Exploring cemetries

I can also highly recommend Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol, as a fine example of a Victorian cemetery, in the same vein as Highgate and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. It has many interesting graves, including those of all-round good eggs Mary Carpenter and Raja Roy.

A hotline to His Billness? Or a guard having a bit of a giggle?

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Re: Not in the same league but...

I don't know how it is where you work, but in my experience, most of those dumpster fires are because the sales and marketing people lied to the clients about what the software does in order to make a sale, and it falls on the "little people" to make their lies into fact so that they don't lose their bonuses.

It's only the author's assumption that the techie in question in this story was lazy or incompetent, and that the marketing person with whom he had a business relationship was entirely honest with him. Both are, in my experience, unsound assumptions.

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