Re: [OT] Car insurance craziness

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On Sun, 20 Jul 2003 08:01:23 +0100, John Rumm

At least. The voters in this country really are very gullible when it comes to swallowing government spin.
After all, National Insurance went up by less than half the rate of inflation in April - moving from 10% to 11%. That 1% rise was very well considered by Gordon.
But hang on a minute - if you were paying 10 pounds NI each month and it increased to 11 pounds then it's gone up by 1 pounds - which is a 10% increase, or 4 times the rate of inflation.
Unemployment figures are another one that really annoy the hell out of me (and I happen to have direct experience with this one in the last 12 months). Gordon keeps beating on about how unemployment is less than 1m and the lowest for 40 years.
However he's not measuring unemployment at all - he's measuring the number of people who are able to claim Job Seekers Allowance. Under the New Deal a few years back he changed all those rules so that you are only entitled to JSA by right for a maximum of 26 weeks, which is different to the "dole" which was not limited by time. After that JSA is means tested, and very, very few people get the means tested JSA because of Gordons rules - if you attend a training course (which you are required to do if the Job Centre ask you to) then you are moved off JSA onto something different - and no longer considered to be unemployed.
If we measured people actually looking for work then Gordon would be looking extremely silly, because real unemployment is the highest it has been since the 1930's (if memory serves me right). Week on week we hear about another few hundred jobs being lost or transferred to remote countries. We don't hear a comparable number of new jobs being created.
Andrew
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geoff

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OOH! MORE FLATTERY! Capitol
geoff wrote in message ...

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Sorry, Huge has a point on this one:
1: Consistency (bottom, OR top) aids readability. Everyone doing different makes it very difficult to follow a thread.
2: Bottom posting is the accepted way of doing things in practically every newsgroup since the year dot. (Ok, "post" posting is more like it; the principle of replying *after* the bit you are replying to is what counts)
3: Almost everyone on this ng bottom posts, and many will correct previous top postings, so the occasional top poster *really* mucks things up.
4: A short 1 or 2 line top post is often missed (unless I'm unusual) when there's a large posting history, as I see the history and automatically page to the first non-indented bit of text (my reader colours the indents differently, first indent gets green, second red. Non quoted text is black and thus instantly recognisable).
Having said all that, he did rather bombard you with it, so perhaps he could have been a bit more gentle.
Hwyl!
M.
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???????
He's consistently top posted despite continual requests, but refuses to comply with the convention. He repeatedly comes up with the childish arrogant reply of this is how I do it, like it or lump it.
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Yeah, ok, point taken. Sometimes I'm too pacifistic for my own good.
Not sure all the bad mouthing and swearing helps though - perhaps a simple tactic of ignoring him (or killfiling him) will help regulars.
Hwyl!
M.
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Hi, as about the only reasoning response, I thought you might like to hear some reasons. The current standard of newsreader is Microsoft OE. This is a top posting protocol. Bottom posted replies are a pain in the butt for quick reading of the letters in a theme. Many responses are in fact mid posted where the topic is more complex. If you want to see the problems of mid and bottom posting in a crap news reader, simply look up a complex thread in Google and try to follow it. It is much easier to follow in top posted OE.
I have seen a number of responses to various other posters in this newsgroup from a particular pedant who endeavours to promote yesterdays newsgroups standards as the Bible for tomorrow. When he attacked my style of posting I responded and will continue always to do so. IMO There is no style of posting which is best. If the news reader cannot cope with OE style correspondence, then I regret to say, that it is a minority taste. Whether the content is worth reading is another matter. However, I was very impressed with the generally low literary and intellectual quality of the response I received. The education system is certainly failing. If the DIY skills are down to this level, then IMM is right! I shall continue to post in my current style, particularly if it upsets the usenet pedants who are still Canute like, refusing to accept that the present standard is Microsoft and top posting. Congratulations on being the only respondent with a sense of reason and proportion. Regards Capitol
Martin Angove wrote in message ...

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Two of a kind eh?
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Pity you had to quote it all...I've already killfiled the Capitol Crap...
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Sorry about that -I'm ignoring him too from now on as, I understand are quite a few others
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Bob Eager wrote:

"Killfile" is such a childish response, you guys love all this macho stuff don't you?
Steve R
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wrote:

Not at all, I just can't be bothered to wade through his confused postings.
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You don't have to, that is the point, what he has to say is at the top
Bob Eager wrote:

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I'm with you Capitol, though the reason I tend to top post is twofold:-
1. every office I have ever worked in MOD or government the latest correspondence is placed on top of the file and that has been a convention since before the computer was invented.
2. those people who insist on no top posting tend not to snip resulting in my having to scroll through piles of clutter before I get to the point. It really F***s me off! It's a bit like the guy who, when you ask him a question, he repeats it the question before he answers. Damn that is so annoying.
As for the arguement that top posting places the answer before the question what a load of crap. When I read a top posted answer I have already read the original question in the previous post I don't need to read it again.
That fact that some people 'killfile' top posters makes them very childish. Just because a person top posts doesn't mean he has nothing to say. However, having said that we may end up talking to each other.
Steve R
Capitol wrote:

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Welcome! Regards Capitol
Essjay001 wrote in message ...

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Funny. In my experience it's top posters who simply quote the entire post for a one line reply, because they are always inexperienced. Those with experience eventually go with the majority way. And, of course, learn to snip.
The real problem with top posting is that it is answering the question before putting it. If you don't see this, why quote a post at all?
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Now that I've finished polishing her copper pot. OK, here's tonight's treat. Hopefully most of this will be heresy to the usenet pedants, but as most of them will have gone into ostrich mode, I guess I'll just have to bear the disappointment ungracefully.
I obviously didn't bother to read all the replies, other than Martin's but lets try and dispel a few myths which seem to have occurred.
Myth 1) a large percentage of newsreaders are bottom oriented.
1) The current newsreader used in say 98% of PC's world wide is OE. 2) OE ( and now Mozilla) are top and middle posting systems. 2) If this group does not show 98% of users using OE, then for a public consumer information oriented group it is a failure! Think about it!
Myth 2) Bottom posting is the necessary thing.
1) Bottom posting is an historical accident of news readers which have become obsolete. 2) The minority news readers are the only filing system which works backwards. 3) The new standard is Microsoft, by virtue of market penetration. You may not like it, but it's the real world. ( It's also sometimes got better spell checking than some other products!) 4) For short queries top posting is to be preferred using the majority OE newsreader. 5) For long questions, middle posting is used, but it is read from the top, like any other document. 6) When did you last see a book which you read backwards. Right to left, yes, backwards, no!
Myth 3 Rigid rules of conduct are necessary.
1) The average information content is less than 1% of the posts. ( Make that 0.1% if it's an interchange between Andy and IMM) 2) The content is the important factor not the position. 3) It's a public news group with a free will user base. Rules, and rudeness are totally unnecessary.
Myth 4) Snipping is always necessary.
1) Memory and bandwidth are now such that snipping is totally unnecessary in a top posting system. 2) Maybe we can get some of our readers back to work if we all try to use more bandwidth and force telecomm companies to increase their capacity! 3) Snipping can on occasions distort the reasoning of the participants.
Myth 5) We should never consider change.
1) There is a term for the people who think in this way, Luddites, if I recall correctly. I watched much of British industry applying this strategy. It no longer exists! 2) The new standard is Microsoft, perhaps we should consider change. 3) Mozilla did it!
( Aside, amongst my other systems,( and no, I'm not a computer buff) I also have a Linux system using Mandrake 9, it's about as consumer friendly as Windows1, which was never issued. Linux will not be around for at least 3 years, and the consumer version will use a top posting newsreader!)
Myth 6) You want everybody to read your post.
1) If I wanted everybody to read my post, I'd buy newspaper advertising. 2) Reading is a free will activity. 3) Book burning is a long established tradition of pedants, I've never noticed that it changed anything, but it keeps them happy for a while
. Myth 7) People can be changed.
1) Forget it! I've tried to change her for 50 years! 2) Cooks leave kitchens. Good laugh this one, you people are amateurs at the flaming cooks game! Go and play in the international big league, get some experience and try again. (I'll apologise in advance for this next bit for the softer readers. I quite liked the concept of the "asshole" comment, but felt it could only earn a mark of "could do better", otherwise described as crap!)
A couple of other points which I noticed, 1) AIUI Argos changed their website because the original used cookies and many users didn't! 2) Microsoft don't own the internet. No, they don't, but like it or not, MS (and not always for the better) have made it the success which it is today. 3) A large number of the contributors are computer or engineering people. This next comment is meant to be helpful.
I suggest that you
a) Don't use your own name on a news group, particularly if you are going to be abusive. b) Don't( if you are a contractor or somebody selling to others) put your website address up. c) Don't put your CV on the net.
The reason for saying this is that businesses now regularly run a Google check on names to see what this turns up. You may be the best thing since BOFH, but remember that the MD of the customer is generally a cunning, talented and ruthless bastard, and he is terrified of the Chairman. Your new contract can be lost if you have been observed to write the wrong thing. If you put up your website address, the second thing that the software manager does is to inspect it for content and spelling. Next they dissect the TML --AND-- the comments. Try it on a few others!! I know, I've done it! I've taken decisions based on the way the information conveyed hit me. If you put up your CV, under Google, it's there for ever. If you change it, then two CV's exist! The customer will read it/them and it may not be the same lies that you are using on this contract bid. All successful contractors ( and I have been one for 30years) rewrite their CV every few months but they don't publish it!
d) If you are going to be in the contracting business, join the PCG, not perfect but better than nothing and recognise that you need to be able to survive for up to 3 years with only very low levels of income. I worked like a dog early on to get the reserves to meet this requirement, they were tough to build, but it can be done! Be prepared to take a permie job for 6 months to retrain in an additional line of work (e.g. programmer becomes video artist). You don't have to tell them that you're looking for the next contract! I've known contractors who have had a sideline in car repairs! If you're prepared to get your hands dirty, the money is there! Of course, you have to tell the Inland Revenue about it.
There, I hope that those who were waiting for the next piece of comment are not too disappointed. Regards Capitol

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Hello again! Nice to hear from you. I'm going to start by taking rather huge liberties with the order of you posting:

Not that I was particularly "waiting" for it, but I am interested to read your comments. "Disappointed" may be an appropriate word, but that's not the point. You are entitled to your opinions - for most of them are simply that - and I to mine. We may debate the issue for eternity and never come to a conclusion and, at the end of it, what does it matter? Having said that, your inability to grasp certain facts does make your preaching at the end of your post rather less impressive.
Back to the plot.

To be pedantic, a large number of newsreaders *are* bottom oriented. This being the case when Outlook Express is one of maybe 13 or 14 different newsreaders observed in this group, and many more in use worldwide. 1 out of 13 is less than 8%
But I know that isn't what you meant :-) You were talking about the population of newsreaders as a whole:

even heard anyone claim that 98% of the world's PCs run Microsoft OSes, let alone OE. Even if 90% of the world's PCs (those directly facing users and not "behind the scenes" machines) use a Microsoft OS, I find it doubtful that as many as 90% run Outlook Express. I doubt you'd get to 90% even with OE and Outlook combined.
I'm sorry if this hurts, but unless you can back up your suppositions with figures then your assertions are no better than IMM's. Mine aren't much good either, but I haven't claimed they are.
You've started from the wrong end. We're not worried about the total number of PCs, we're worried about the number of PCs which are used to access usenet directly and not via a web interface.
Again, this is personal experience and not enumerated fact, but of the people with internet access I know well (maybe 10 or so) not *one* reads the newsgroups, via a newsreader or the web. It would be an interesting survey to do but I think you would find that if you could survey all those who regularly used usenet over a period of (say) a month, your sample would have a larger proportion of long-term computer users than the internet-using public as a whole.
You have to *know* about usenet before you can use it, and no-one goes out of their way to publicise it, certainly not the web-based content providers who would rather you used their own services than get the information for free. Likewise, most "green" internet users feel safe in the environs of a web browser or email client, but not when asked to start doing something unusual. Having said that, usenet is getting a boost now that Google has brought deja under its banner and access is easy via the world's most well-known search engine.
*If* my supposition is correct then I think you will find that even if the proportion of OE users as a whole is as much as 90%, the proportion of OE users among usenet users is much lower, because these people are more willing to be different.

middle-posting is often a Good Thing.

No, it doesn't show that this particular group is a failure, it just supports my proposition above that Joe Public doesn't (generally) read usenet. One day when I am *terminally* bored I may survey some of the other groups I read to see if the spread of newsreaders is similar.

people who first decided it should be like that would disagree, but calling newsreaders which support it "obsolete" is a bit like when IMM called my Diesel car various names because "Diesel is dirty and noisy and expensive to run" - he obviously hadn't realised that engine technology has moved a *heck* of a long way in the last 15 years, and far from being an "old, dirty technology", Diesel is (apart from the particulate thing) one of the cleanest forms of propulsion in common usage.
Unix clone users can help here, but I bet you could find, if you looked, half a dozen newsreaders whose default mode of operation is *not* top-posting, which have been launched *since* Outlook became widely-used, and which are still being actively developed.

it is subject-oriented :-) Neither does it expire purely based on age in the same way my newsreader does.

Microsoft may have been the dominant market player for the last 15 years, but that's not to say it will stay that way. For 30 years prior to that, IBM was the dominant market force. Where are they now? (Did I spot someone on this thread using OS/2?)

A properly-spaced answer may work well top-posted, but it works just as well post-posted.

posting (posting the answer after the question) *not* top posting (posting the answer before the question)

A:
or B:

?
Which of these is top posted?

Not sure how you worked the figure out, but the principle I agree with.

Absolutely. However, *access* to the content is even more important. A thread messed-up with a mixture of top and post-posting is a *pig* from which to extract information. I speak from experience. And there's no guarantee that you will see every post in a thread, so you may need to read information buried deep in the quoting.

*could* degenerate into a mass depositry for everything from personal adverts to binary images of sex with power tools (ouch!). There is no law enforcement agency, no moderator, no group of "guardians" cancelling off-charter posts, but there *is* a certain courtesy among users that certain ways of doing something are normal for this group and hence should be followed.
It's a free will society (I guess you could argue that one, but accept it for now). However, I don't have the inalienable right to crank my stereo up to 90% and play awful 1970s Welsh pop music in my living room as I know for a fact that it would not be as interesting to my neighbours as I find it myself. I restrict my music to volume levels which they cannot (usually) hear, or play it loud when I know they are out.

I'll tell you why in a second) then you must also accept that snipping is unnecessary in a post-posting system. After all, it takes but a quick tap of the "End" key to skip it all, doesn't it? ;-)
But I have to come back to it; bandwidth *is* still an issue, for many internet users. Where I am now there is no cable and no ADSL. ISDN is possible, but I really can't spare the cash. I can't even justify spending 30 on a new 56k modem since my 33k6 modem works perfectly well.
I will be moving soon, 200 miles away where there is *still* no cable, no ADSL and I'll have even less spare cash. I'm going to be stuck with 33k6 for several years to come. To return to my internet-using friends mentioned above, they *all*, except two, use modems. Granted, they're 56k modems, but some of them have better lines than others and I've yet to hear reports of connection speeds above 48k (mind you, some wouldn't know how to check it :-)
Even memory can still be an issue. I recently spent a year away from home. My only internet access was via a Psion Series 5mx - I didn't take my main computer for space and security reasons and a laptop was a: too much money and b: even less secure. 16M of RAM and a 30M CF card. Hmmm...
...and my home computer is now on its third hard disc. It took me *months* to save up for the 20G drive I installed about 18 months ago. Prior to that I had a 1G6 drive with never more than 10M free. A couple of weeks on holiday and downloading email and news would fill that right up until I could expire some.
Not everyone is able to upgrade every 18 months. The average age of kit among my internet-using acquaintances is probably somewhere around 3 years. No, honestly.
To be fair though, a page of text is hardly anything, even to a 3-year-old computer (my own was bought 9 years ago, though it has been upgraded a little since then).

all. The very worst im my opinion is the newsreader which doesn't quote properly - leaving out the "Joe Bloggs wrote" things and not indenting.

Rising to the defence of the Luddites is one of my hobbies. The myth is that they were "anti technology". They were not. They had absolutely no problem with the technology per-se, but they *did* have a problem with the way it was applied.
Jacquard loom installed at' mill. Five operators doing the work of twenty. What happens to the 15? "I don't care" says the mill owner, "they can rot on the streets as far as I'm concerned. This is the new way of doing things and if you don't like it you can lump it."
*This* is why the Luddites were protesting. Does it sound familiar?
And to say that the reason British Industry has all but disappeared is because it refused to "change with the times" is a complete misunderstanding of the way it really happened, at least in some places. I won't mention specific examples now, but if you would care to take a look at what has happened in South Wales since the miners' strike, and particularly what has happened in the last 18 months or so I think you'd be surprised.

a missionary of post-posting if next year's standard uses that by default?

Windows 2 was dire too, and I did actually use that.
Sinclair BASIC was about as user friendly as a punch-card and pin, but that didn't stop people doing incredible (for the time) things with it. It depends on your perspective. Someone brought up on and understanding the very core (literally) of a 1960s computer would either have found a Spectrum trivial ("because it is not a serious cometitor to our mainframes") or confusing (because it operated in "immediate" rather than "shared" or "batch" modes). A 13-year-old holding his gleaming new Spectrum on the other hand sees possibilities limited only by imagination and a bit of money. "Batch" mode to him is as confusing as the workings of parliament.
"Trivial" and "confusing" are accusations regularly aimed at Linux and similar OSes and in some cases the accusations are correct. Where now AmigaOS and TOS? But until time has tested them, you cannot tell.
For example, are you aware that a supplier of computer equipment and software to schools has reported Microsoft to the Office of Fair Trading? He does not install Microsoft products but has found that schools where there is a mixture of Microsoft and other things are being forced by MS to buy MS licences *even for those computers with no MS software on whatsoever*.
It wasn't so long ago that schools were supposedly "standardising" on Microsoft products "because that is what is in the workplace". This seems not to be the case any more.

check in three years and b: care is a matter for time to reveal. I dare say there will be half a dozen or more newsreaders competing happily when the time comes, too.

Nobody writes here *expecting* everybody to read a post. BUT, everybody writes here realising that everybody has the right to read a post and should not be denied that right because of personal preference. Would you consider posting HTML only? No? Why? Isn't that OE's default behaviour?

Granted. I'm not trying to change your beliefs, just your attitude :-)

success before MS even realised it existed. They may have brought internet useage to a wider and less technically-able audience, but this is by the simple act of insisting on the use of their own software when previously people were free to choose.
If anyone should get credit for "making the internet a success" I reckon it should be first the share/freeware writers for making it possible to connect any ol' thing to the internet and forcing big companies to take notice, secondly AOL as their "easy" software predates MS by a long way, thirdly (in this country) Freeserve for being the first to offer a "free" connection; even though it wasn't really free at all, people believed that the internet had suddenly become affordable.
That's enough ranting for now. I'm all "ranted out" so you probably won't see anything from me until I've recharged my batteries :-)
Have fun with the lifestyle :-) (Vague DA quote)
Hwyl!
M.
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On Fri, 25 Jul 2003 09:15:14 +0100, Martin Angove

Is that _another_ reason not to get cordless stuff? ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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