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Gus Binnie
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Lives in Elgin, Scotland
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Gus Binnie

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I've just looked out of the window and seen the light dusting of snow on my neighbour's car. Late April/early May is usually shorts (or taps aff) weather in this part of the world. Normally if I'm cold, I'll put a jumper on, but my feet feel like blocks of ice, so bugger it - the heating is being switched on again. 
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Gus Binnie

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Operation Joint Warrior. A bi-annual military exercise that tests our armies, navies and air-forces. It's a regular thing, and having lived in close proximity to two RAF bases for most of my life, I wouldn't normally give it a second though.

This one seems to be a bit different, though.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-36000072

This year's second staging of Joint Warrior, which will also take place in Scotland, will include what the Royal Navy has described as its first "robot wars".
Unmanned Warrior 2016 will involve drones, including unmanned aerial vehicles and machines that can operate underwater.

As I was returning home from the local hostelry tonight, I heard a strange buzzing noise, and observed some moving, flashing lights in the sky. The Sea-Kings have gone from RAF Lossiemouth, as far as I'm aware. We have the occasional Hercules flying around, but there's not much else that flies with propellers these days. The Shackletons disappeared from our skies a long time ago.

Was it a drone that was flying overhead tonight? Was I the bright object on the infrared screen as I innocently walked home from the pub? I reckon we should all be a little bit afraid.

via +Craig Nicol
 
A #mustread written by someone on the US kill list that has been attacked by drones.

"My friends began to decline my invitations, afraid that dinner might be interrupted by a missile."

[...]

"I know the Americans think me an opponent of their drone wars. They are right; I am. Singling out people to assassinate, and killing nine of our innocent children for each person they target, is a crime of unspeakable proportions."

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/i-am-on-the-us-kill-list-this-is-what-it-feels-like-to-be-hunted-by-drones-a6980141.html
I am in the strange position of knowing that I am on the ‘Kill List’. I know this because I have been told, and I know because I have been targeted for death over and over again. Four times missiles have been fired at me. I am extraordinarily fortunate to be alive.
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It was bad enough in Fahrenheit 911 with soldiers playing war games, this is just going to take them a step further away from compassion. I thought Ender's Game was fiction.
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Gus Binnie

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When the smoking ban was first introduced, I was of the opinion that it should have been down to the individual licensee whether their premises were smoking or not. However, while customers can make a choice between smoking and non-smoking hostelries, it's not such an easy choice for the staff. Is it really so hard to nip outside for a quick puff?

Or maybe old Nige just wants to ensure that he can have a smoke the next time he gets trapped in a pub! :-)

Nigel Farage unveils party’s manifesto for Scottish elections, promising to raise drink-driving limit and provide free town centre parking
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Gus Binnie

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Our government continues to dither over the details of High-Speed 2. Meanwhile, the Swiss have been building this. 
At the heart of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA) lies Switzerland’s largest ever construction project, the Gotthard Base Tunnel. With extensive tests already underway across the length of the newly completed project, a look inside the...
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And it's good night from him.
Television star known for his work in the Two Ronnies passed away surrounded by his family, his publicist said
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Aaaaaargh!

Come back, DropBox, all is forgiven. When I first began using cloud storage, it was all fairly simple. I had one folder on my computer that was synchronised with another in "the cloud", and all was well. All sub-folders would be suitably copied across and there were few issues to begin with.

Along comes Google Drive. Nice, but I already have Dropbox. Besides, by then I was experimenting with various flavours of Linux and there was (is) no Google Drive for Linux. Then I buy a Chromebook with its free 1TB storage. I was beginning to outgrow the free storage I had with Dropbox, and it made sense to switch...

It's the photos I'm having issues with. Now I have Google Photos. Stuff that I took with my tablet doesn't seem to have downloaded to my PC, despite the fact that it should all seamlessly synchronise. I can create an "album" online, but it does it create a corresponding folder? And if so, where the hell do I find it?

I'm now in the situation where I've got files all over the place. Yeah, sure - the online services are supposed to make it easy to organise things into albums, but I also want to ensure that I have a proper folder that is available on my computer - a) in case I have no internet connection available, and b) in case the online service should go tits-up at some point in the future (fotopic?).

Right now I feel like creating a folder on my desktop, copying every single photograph I've ever taken, and going through them one-by-one, renaming according to date, place etc. If you want something done properly...


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Gus Binnie

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Had to say goodbye to my wee pal today. Sleep well, Bonnie

:-( 
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I was saddened to hear about Victoria Wood's passing. She was one of my favourite comedians.

I'll just leave this here...
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Cameron also admitted he did not know whether the £300,000 he inherited from his father had benefited from tax haven status due to part of his estate being based in a unit trust in Jersey.

I'm not sure if my unit trust benefits from tax-haven status either. It is based in a known tax-haven, though. 
PM sold stake in Blairmore investment fund, which featured in Panama Papers, for £31,500 four months before entering No 10
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Hmm. All we need now is for Nicola Sturgeon and Willie Rennie to come out of the closet, and we'll have the complete set! 
Scottish Labour head becomes fourth party leader in Scotland to come out as gay
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ha! Yerra a right cynic so'yarr!
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Gus Binnie

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It's all very well closing down satellite plants and moving to a more "efficient"* facility, but we've all seen what can happen when we have adverse weather for prolonged periods of time.

When I worked for the Co-op, much of our bread came from Warburton's depot in Aberdeen, and the milk came from Wiseman's (now Muller) depot in Keith. If it wasn't for the fact that the shelf-life of milk is so much longer than it used to be we'd have been screwed.

Are we not supposed to have a Competition and Markets Authority that is supposed to prevent one supplier gaining such a stranglehold on the market, or have I ventured over the border into Cloud Cuckoo Land?

* Big Dairy wants to charge the farmers extra for delivering milk to the processing plant, and the customer ultimately picks up the cost of sending it back to the shops. Efficiency? 
German-based dairy giant Muller announces plans to close its Aberdeen and East Kilbride plants and is warning of 229 job losses.
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I'd agree with boycotting, but unfortunately the choice is indeed somewhat limited. When it comes down to consumer products like yoghurts etc that can be bought in the shops, it may well be possible to choose other brands, but when it comes to buying the basic milk product, it's the retailer that chooses.

We're fortunate in that there is an alternative supplier in the area, and they still do doorstep deliveries, albeit on a far reduced frequency. However, the doorstep prices are far higher, and if we happen to run out, we still have to visit the local shop which has a contract with the Big Guy.

It's not just dairy, though - it's everything. All it takes is to have a look at the websites of the big food companies and you'll see a list of the "brands" that they're proud to own. The trouble is that the vast majority of people who do their weekly/monthly shop have no idea that if they choose tin of beans x over tin of beans y, the likelihood is that the money still goes into the same big pocket! 
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I've heard a lot about BrewDog via the web and various news articles - not all favourable - but I don't really know that much about them. I've never tried any of their beers, nor have I visited any of their pubs.

Sure, they've ruffled a few feathers along the way, but it's a business that has grown over the last few years and has become hugely successful. They've also created rather a lot of jobs.


The long read: Once known more for its stunts than its beers, the ‘punk’ Scottish brewer is now the UK’s fastest-growing drinks company. You have a problem with that?
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+Gavin C I'd have thrown a bit of cash during their last fundraiser if I wasn't so skint at the time. I just like the fact that they stick two fingers up to Big-Beer. 
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