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Comment I volunteered for it. (Score 1) 179

At my old place, the company had a deliberate policy of trying to demoralize the staff so they would leave. By the end of my 10 years there, people were fighting to be let go. The fact that we were all outsourced Civil servants and our government contracts had transferred when we were outsourced helped. I walked away worth a years salary tax free and straight into a new job (I had to take leave to start early). I have colleagues who took VR that walked off with £100k cash and promptly went straight into retirement.

Comment Re: Coffee (Score 1) 307

You say that jokingly, but my first job back in 2001 was for a parcel courier company supporting customer placed technology (pc's used to print tracking labels and send pre-advice data) we had one faulty machine come back one where the customer complained the machine wasn't working, the cdrom drive was covered with coffee stains, when we opened the drive (with a paperclip) the entire inside of the drive was covered in coffee and when we flipped the machine over, the bottom of the case was rusty. Frankly, coffee anywhere near a machine gives you problems. Needless to say, the PC ended up in the bin, and the customer was charged the replacement costs.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 2) 273

I wax always really pro open source I used Linux since the days of Debian potato, libera/open office was the software that convinced me to give up on open source and buy a mac. It's just bloody awful if you have to do anything remotely technical, mail merges suck worse than anything I have ever known. Even with the latest libra office you still have to use a database rather than a spreadsheet, and don't get me started on the running that is base. It makes access 95 seem good

Comment Re:Missing option (Score 1) 201

If you are into astronomy in London, do you know about the Baker Street Irregulars? They meet once a month at Regents Park (They open a gate at the park near the hub late for them) I never quite got back the love of astronomy I had as a teenager so don't go regularly, but my flatmate goes every month, I have been a handful of times and am always surprised by how good a view you can get of deep sky objects from the capital. Normally you get one hundred or so people with about 20 - 30 telescopes of various sizes. They are a friendly bunch and always welcome new people.

The society website is



Comment Re:What people are really like (Score 1) 489

I know I'm responding to a troll, but Social Darwinism, has been largely debunked as a theory , the great secret to the human animals success has been cooperation. If you actually look at how hunter gatherer societies that still exist opporate, food is shared out among the entire tribe and people work together without screwing over their neighbours.

Comment Re:Stop pretending Snowden is competent. (Score 2) 381

I used to work for a UK government contractor, some of the people I worked with are very very talented people, the problem is the massive layers of useless middle management and procedures designed to stop anything getting done not the coders and techies. That being said, despite being one of those "pinko commie" types, I'm far happier in the private sector where I can actually get stuff done.

Comment Re:UK Coal Miner Strike (Score 1) 674

Thats utter rubbish, I'm from a mining town near the Notts/Derbyshire boarder, most in Derbyshire struck and many in Nottinghamshire didn't, as a result we were the frontline of the Miners strike, and I know a lot of former miners that were part of the strikes.

Thatcher closed the mines because she wanted to break the political power of Trade unions, the unions had brought down the previous Tory goverment. The pits would still be economically viable today if they had not been closed.

As you can see from , we are now importing a large amount of our coal to fuel our existing stock of Coal fired power stations.

To claim the miners were luddites who didn't want change is untrue, they were fighting to save the communities they lived in from a political attack, not to lock the country in the industrial dark ages.

Comment Re:Without restraint (Score 4, Informative) 165

In the UK this week our Prime Minister lost the vote to bomb Syria because MPs from all sides (even his own party ) rebelled due to the strength of public opinion. The last time a PM lost a vote to go to war was the US war of independence. Democracy can work in the age of the Internet.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.