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Comment: Re: The real crime here (Score 1) 465

by arwel (#47737131) Attached to: 33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

The bloke was an idiot. Apart from camcordering a movie in a theatre rather than pirating a better-quality DVD, he was stupid enough to continue selling copies after he'd been arrested and showed his contempt for the legal system, showing no (not even fake) remorse. He was asking to have the book thrown at him, and it was. Anyway, this is Britain we're talking about - even though he was sentenced to 33 months, if he's a good boy in prison he'll be automatically paroled after half the sentence is served.

Comment: Re: You can't travel anonymously... (Score 1) 127

by arwel (#47664981) Attached to: DEA Paid Amtrak Employee To Pilfer Passenger Lists

Where do you get that "can't board anonymously in Europe"? I do at least once a week, and millions do every day. The only check is that I'm carrying a valid ticket which I may have paid cash for 5 minutes before getting on the train with no ID (though long distance travel is considerably cheaper if you buy your ticket at least the day before).

Comment: Re:UK coins are very inconsistent and get redesign (Score 1) 943

by arwel (#42160701) Attached to: Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?

The UK coinage is perfectly logical:
Smallest value coins, 1p, 2p - round copper-coloured (actually now copper-plated steel) in increasing size.
Smallish value coins, 5p, 10p - round silver-coloured in increasing size.
Medium value coins, 20p, 50p - rounded heptagonal silver-coloured in increasing size.
High value coins: £1 round, gold-coloured very thick coin; £2 round, thin, bimetallic gold/silver coloured coin; £5 commemorative - round huge silver coloured coin.

And the redesign a few years ago was the first time the designs on the reverse had been changed in over 40 years - it was time for a change; the queens' portrait of course has changed several times as she's got older, but the same happened with Queen Victoria.

Comment: Re:Strike a zero, keep the dollar (Score 1) 943

by arwel (#42160663) Attached to: Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?

Err, no. When you have a redenomination you apply the same factor to all denominations of notes and coins. When Turkey did this to the lira in 2005, they simply chopped six zeroes off everything (they'd been preparing for this by printing notes with the last six zeroes in a different colour, or smaller figures on coins). When 2005 came around, instead of printing 20,000,000 lira notes (then worth about $13), they printed 20 "new lira" notes instead, and four years later when everyone was used to the new values they dropped the "new" and went back to talking of their currency as liras.

Comment: Re:Not yet... (Score 1) 943

by arwel (#42160565) Attached to: Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?

Yes, you also had 2.50 guilder coins, and 25 and 250 guilder notes, which were a bit strange when you first came across them but you soon got used to them - I remember wondering what on earth I was going to do with the two 250 fl notes I was given at the GWK at Amsterdam CS once, but strangely enough my hotel had no trouble accepting them!

Comment: Re:Not yet... (Score 1) 943

by arwel (#42160503) Attached to: Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?

A few corrections here. The half crown (a very nice coin to receive when you were a kid - you knew your relatives really liked you when they gave you one!) was actually withdrawn in 1969, the same year as the old halfpenny. The 50p coin was introduced and the old ten-shilling note withdrawn in 1969. Decimal 5p and 10p coins were issued from 1968 in place of old one and two shilling coins, which were the same size and weight and which remained in circulation until the 5p and 10p were reduced in size in 1990/1992. The Crown (5-shilling) coin was only issued as a commemorative coin and didn't normally circulate; they continued to issue coins of this (huge) size as commemorative 25p coins until 1990, and since then commemorative coins of this size are still sometimes issued, but with a face value of £5. The decimal halfpenny was withdrawn on 31.12.1984.

20p coins were introduced in 1982, and £1 coins in 1983, with the Bank of England ceasing to issue £1 notes in 1984 (there were also large, thick £2 coins occasionally issued from this time, similar to the £1 coin, but they were commemoratives and rarely found in circulation). £2 circulating bimetallic coins were issued from 1997 (the earliest coins are dated 1996 but introduction was delayed because London Transport couldn't modify their ticket machines in time).

1p and 2p coins are the same weight and diameter as when they were first issued in 1971, but they are slightly thicker as they're now made of copper-plated steel, since fluctuations in the world price of copper occasionally made them worth twice their face value for their metal.

Comment: Re:Not yet... (Score 1) 943

by arwel (#42160435) Attached to: Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?

If you mean Bank of England £1 notes, it was much closer to 30 years ago. £1 coins were introduced in 1983, not initially to great acclaim, because people didn't much like the royal coat of arms design on the back rather than the size and weight of it, which is why they introduced the idea of changing the design every year between each of the constituent nations in turn. The Bank of England stopped issuing £1 notes in 1984 and withdrew them all from circulation in 1988 (though if you still have one you can still get it exchanged for current money at face value by returning it to the bank, as you can for any note it has issued since 1695).

Comment: Re:Science Fiction Fans don't Watch Ads (Score 1) 742

by arwel (#35322532) Attached to: Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi?

Unfortunately for us British TV viewers, the regulators of the main broadcast commercial channels (ITV, Channel 4, Five) sneaked in an announcement this week that from Monday 28th February the maximum amount of commercials allowed will increase from 7 to 12 minutes per hour. :( Fortunately we still have the BBC.

Comment: Re:Wow, live stargazing is a TV show in England? (Score 1) 116

by arwel (#34800938) Attached to: BBC Astronomer Misses Meteor During Live Show

Actually the ratings were very respectable for BBC2:-
1st night : 3.393 million, 11.7% share
2nd night: 3.048 million, 11.8% share
3rd night: 2.706 million, 11.3% share,
plus about an extra 200,000 each night watching on BBC HD. The BBC views it as success, so expect something similar in the future.

Comment: Re:18 weeks? (Score 1) 321

by arwel (#34077000) Attached to: Manchester's Self-Described 'Internet Troll' Jailed For Offensive Web Posts

You can go bottle someone (break a glass bottle over their head) and you get an average of zero days in jail (suspended for two years). You can go mug someone and get only a week of "hard time" with a year of parole. I mean heck you can go run someone down in your car and still get a lighter sentence than 18 weeks...

[Citation needed]. I think 18 weeks is fine, if there's an issue with anything you've said it's just that those sentences are obviously too light, but I've never heard of that (perhaps beyond exceptional cases).

Of course, the way the English system operates, because he was jailed for 18 weeks he'll be paroled in 9 weeks.

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