* Posts by Mephistro

1179 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007

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Curiosity rover rendered armless by short circuit

Mephistro
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The poor bugger...

... probably cut a buried power line. It happens all the time.

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The spy who leaked me: Ex-CIA boss Petraeus 'fesses up to blabbing intel to his mistress

Mephistro
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But... but... He did it willingly!!!

I mean, he did it for his Willy, didn't he?

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'The troll stats saddened me as a human, but didn't surprise me as a boffin'

Mephistro
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Re: I used to have an old dictionary

"Concise Oxford, from about 1950. ..."

My Merriam-Webster 11th edition says that the word "computer" originated in 1646 and it doesn't list the word "computor", so one of these two publications seems to be wrong.

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Mephistro
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Holmes

Re: I used to have an old dictionary

"I would be interested to know the language, probably a pre-77 version of Fortran."

Ermm... no.

From the article:"Oh we didn’t have any programming languages. They weren’t very common back then.”

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Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

Mephistro
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Re: Simple infinity

Well spotted!

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Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

Mephistro
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Linux

Re: Next week's news:

Your first counterpoint may be true, but I find your use of the Little Devil's icon a little bit too minoritary.

Your second counterpoint does nothing to prove or disprove my second point. I said already that "open-source is no panacea" though with different words. The methods you describe to corrupt open source are much more difficult (i.e. more expensive) than simply slapping some NSL on, say, Google or Microsoft, ordering them to add a backdoor in their -more or less- closed source products, and also imply bigger risks.

And before you say it, yes, I know they could bribe/blackmail/fool/waterboard some member of Opera Software's staff to surreptitiously include the backdoor in their product, but by doing that they'd be running a serious risk of exposure and of being arrested by the Norwegian Police or the EU institutions. This would be bad for NSA's business, wouldn't it?

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Mephistro
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Re: Next week's news:

"They actually went after the WebKit engine"

Two points:

a) - "Citation needed".

b) - WebKit is distributed under BSD and GNU and its source code is available for review by anybody. Not saying it's impossible to compromise it, just that it's orders of magnitude more difficult than compromising proprietary software, and any vulnerabilities in the engine have a far bigger chance of being discovered & dealt with by the developer community.

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Mephistro
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Next week's news:

"Following Admiral Mike Rogers suggestions that the NSA would order backdoors installed in web browsers, Norwegian company Opera Software's share prices rose a 200%. "

Yep. He is an idiot.

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Iran hacks America where it hurts: Las Vegas casinos

Mephistro
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Well, I hope they paid him well...

... for explaining "HIS" opinions, where the word "HIS" stands for "coming from a huge gang of lobbyists*".

I hope the FSM or the Karma or Yahveh or whoever will bury him under tons of shit, most of it of his -own creation.I wonder how much financing would that idea receive at a Kikcstarter campaign. This way we wouldn't need to bother any deities!

Mhhhh... Got it!: "Throw Clapper down the ..." Ermm... Does anyone know a word that rhymes with Clapper? TY for your help.

*Note: you know, Big Money, the Industrial-Military Complex, Mafiosi, ... The usual suspects. :-)

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Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

Mephistro
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Re: Good (@ doctariAFC2)

How do you know "net neutrality" was "enforced",...?

Probably by knowing the implications of considering the Internet as a "Title 2" comms service.

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Mephistro
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My hope is that...

... these events are the beginning of a Sanity Outbreak regarding Internet and its governance and laws, worldwide.

Yeah, I'll keep on dreaming. :-)

Anyway these are really good news. At the very least a step in the right direction. Perhaps the pendulum is bouncing back at last?

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

Mephistro
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Re: @Mephistro (tl;dr)

"There was no infamous brouhaha back then"

You know that the word 'infamous' has several meanings, don't you? And I remember reading about this particular SNAFU in some computer magazine several months after the fact, and reading comments in forums during the 2000 outbreak of bad capacitors. So it wasn't the Capacitorgeddon, but neither was it a trivial matter.

Capacitor failures have happened since their invention, for any number of underlying reasons

Yeah, but if you see at least one of them -probably more- failing in every mobo served by a company, you can safely conclude that said company's quality testing process is crap.

And an equipment vendor that'll repair things outside the warranty period is a rare sight

Actually, the failures happened always in the first fortnight after purchase, with two systems being directly DOA. The replacement machines exhibited the same behaviour. The amount of work we had to do in order to move the data and reinstall the OS's was simply unbelievable.

Must be a truly known and endemic issue (like it was in 200x) to get free service.

Not in Europe. And I thought that the USA had similar rules, but I might be wrong. The reseller finally took away the systems and reimbursed my customer, after receiving a copy of the technical report and letter from the company's lawyer.

"15-20 years is a very long time..."

Sure. But I operate following a simple rule: No company screws me twice, if I can prevent it. The incident related in TFA seems to hint strongly towards Lenovo's current management having the same philosophy the company had in the nineties.

Seriously, the most infamous -or disgraceful, if you prefer- part about this incident is the way Lenovo tried to elude their responsibility. At first, they claimed the issue was caused by failures in the customer's leccy supply and/or the grounding. Luckily, the customer's electrical installation had been certified a few weeks before the purchase, so Lenovo and the reseller had to look for a different explanation.

The next step was a meeting full of weaselspeak where they hinted -without saying it clearly- that the affected computers had been sabotaged. We had none of it, of course, and shortly after sent one of the units to an electronics firm for the forensic examination.

After the events, I learned that other people had been having the same issues MONTHS BEFORE MY CUSTOMERS ORDERED THE MACHINES!!!

When Lenovo acquired IBM's PC division, my first reaction was of incredulity and a lot of profanity. ;-)

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Mephistro
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Re: @Mephistro

Not to give too many details, but Lenovo was selling computers and mainboards under that brand since the nineties, in my country at least. They weren't very known or popular then, but they were there nonetheless. One of my customers was bitten by the above said trouble with capacitors and Lenovo and their resellers denied everything. And yes, it was due to defective capacitors. To put it short, we had to learn the truth by ourselves, by sending one of the affected mainboards to an electronic engineering firm.

And yes, there was a similar outbreak -I think the one you refer in your post- a few years later.

And FYI, Lenovo was created in 1984 and started pushing their kit overseas sometime around 1992.

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Mephistro
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Re: They shot themselves in the head (@Shadow Systems)

people doing the buying have the power to say "Loo, that program is crap. Don't include it or we'll take this purchase order somewhere else."

Not all business grade computers are purchased by big quangos, and I'd dare to say that not even a majority of them are. Disclaimer: I don't know if they're actually adding crapware to systems sold to small/middle sized companies, as I haven't purchased or advised to purchase any Lenovo kit since the infamous brouhaha with the bubbling capacitors in the nineties.

And yes, Microsoft 'should' forbid the installation of crapware in systems sold with Windows pre-installed, but I somehow doubt they will do that. Instead they seem likely to add their own layer of crapware and force it down the user's throat, the same they tried to do with Win8 and they'll apparently do with Win10.

Fuck'em both with a shovel!.

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El Reg chefs whip up Post-Pub Noshographic

Mephistro
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Happy

The first step is missing

"Are you able to understand a simple flowchart in your current state?

YES: Continue.

NO: Collapse discreetly upon something soft and warm (excluding wife and dog) . "

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Hellooo, NSA? The US State Department can't kick hackers out of its networks – report

Mephistro
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Devil

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch

Nuff said.

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Violin-fiddling boffins learn that 'F-HOLES' are secret to Stradivarius' SUPERIOR sound

Mephistro
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Re: Pointless fact:

Thank you!

I always thought that Stradivarius was just their mid-range line of products, with the same luthiers making also the Stradirareus -luxury product- and Stradimanyus (the economy model).

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Mephistro
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What??? Violins also evolve???

That's a rotten lie! All violins were made by God!!!

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TITANIC: Nuclear SUBMARINE cruising 'Sea of KRAKENS' may be FOUND ON icy MOON

Mephistro
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After watching the design of this submarine...

... I think space boffins should get over their obsession with anal probes. Nuff said.

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ANOTHER US court smacks down EFF's NSA wiretap sueball – but won't say why

Mephistro
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If there was a Nobel Prize for circular arguments...

... this judge would deserve to win it several years in a row.

' ...the government's arguments in favor of the legality of the program were "persuasive, and must remain classified." '

The 'government's arguments' in this case are probably a brown envelope containing a thumbdrive with pictures, videos and sound recordings of what Judge Jeffrey White did in his last visit to Las Vegas, sprinkled also with his preferences in Internet porn. Persuasive arguments indeed.

From my point of view, nowadays the USA is about as democratic as Venezuela or Iran, i.e. only in a very superficial way.

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Snowden leaks LEGALISED GCHQ's 'illegal' dragnet spying, rules British tribunal

Mephistro
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@ poopypants

" As soon as it becomes public knowledge, a determination is made, and it becomes one or the other"

So, following some interpretations of quantum mechanics, there is another universe where they took the other way and justice was served, and the citizens weren't treated like sheep . And, further down the line, there is another universe where the perpetrators receive more than a slap in the wrist.

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Ross Ulbricht, in the library, with the laptop: Silk Road boss found GUILTY of all charges

Mephistro
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Re: What defence?

“There were no little elves that put that evidence on [Ulbricht’s] computer,”

The problem with this assertion is that the elves in question have been spotted in the wild and are routinely employed by, amongst others, the FBI.

I'm not saying that he isn't guilty. But, if he wasn't, how could we possibly tell?

</AdvocatusDiavoli>

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Mephistro
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Happy

Re: Other than

Free Hat!!!

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Microsoft's Nadella: Congratulations on 12 months of not being Steve Ballmer

Mephistro
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Devil

Barrack Obama???

I know for a fact that WWIII will be caused by an auto-correct error. ;-)

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Avast there: MEELLIONS of Androiders scuttled by 'adware' game app

Mephistro
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Re: Malware Solution

"it doesn't have any unwelcome side effects like turning you into an arsehole, sheep or barista"

"Excusatio non petita accusatio manifesta"

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Spent the weekend watching Game of Thrones? You're a FAT LONELY SADDO

Mephistro
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Happy

Re: Surprise(@ AC) (tl:dr)

"No difference when you compare with WoW"

On the contrary, there are several important differences.

- In WoW you have to be continually thinking and finding ways to improve your gameplay/equipment, strategies, etc. . Meanwhile the telly usually just feeds content into your brain. That delivery method (TV) very often surpasses our brain's 'filters', 'antimemes', bullshit detectors and similar defensive processes.

-WoW is a social game, in which interaction with other players is fundamental. You get valuable training in planning, collaboration, collective problem solving, haggling and the working of markets, you name it. WoW also works often like a social network, with people discussing/chatting/frolicking through chat channels and voicechat. On the other hand, the TV includes no way to interact with other users, so there are married couples who watch their favourite shows in different TVs or families where every member has a TV in their sleeping room. TV favours isolation, while WoW creates an almost velievable simulation of a human society.

And yes, WoW is addictive as hell, but that addiction usually cures itself in a few years, when players get finally tired of the game. I know because that's what happened with me and my WoW addiction. Have heard the same history from other ex-players. For the first years, it was really funny too.

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

Mephistro
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Re: Begun the Ad Wars have

I'm using Privoxy on Windows. Nice, fast and does everything I need it to do.*

* That is, after several hours spent learning the workings of the configuration file. Sigh...

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chickpea stew à la Bureau des Projets Spéciaux

Mephistro
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A suggestion

Lester, please include 'fabada asturiana' in your next post-pub article. That is, if you survived the chickpeas.

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FIVE Things (NOT 10: these are REAL) from the WINDOWS 10 event

Mephistro
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Unhappy

Re: I don't get Cortana either! (@WP7Mango)

You can write to her too, and as you're writing she automatically tries to pre-empt what you want to do with intelligent suggestions

Hmmm... Some of the probable effects of such text pre-emption programs on the way people writes are quite terrific. Users would end up writing like Cortana, in subtle -or not so subtle- ways. The effect could be weaponized by including subliminal messages in the list of suggested words, and making access to 'sensitive' words slower or more prone to errors, so as to make it more difficult to write/express dissenting opinions. Sorry, excuse me for a minute while I change my underwear.

The first thing I'll do if/when I install a Windows 10 machine at home will be to disable that bitch for good!. And I'll advice all my family, friends and customers to do the same.

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Saudi govt pauses flogging dad-of-3 for Facebook posts – after docs intervene

Mephistro
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Devil

You know that saying about...

... having the camel inside the tent shitting outside?

It seems that Saudi Arabia is a camel with two arses.

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Uber BLOCKS COPS to stop stings

Mephistro
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Oopsiee...

I just re read your post. My most abject apologies and a virtual pint if I misunderstood your comment, but I think it can be interpreted both ways. Nevertheless, If you meant that Uber was on the right because all Uber drivers were driving wihout a license before Uber appeared on stage, I stick to my words.

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Mephistro
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"Uber drivers were clearly already acting outside of the law"

Disingenuous. You'll find that most Uber drivers weren't driving illegally until Uber provided them with simple and easy to use tools for contacting customers, billing them, etcetera . It's almost like building a chemical factory and distribution network with the sole purpose of leasing said facility and service to crystal meth producers and 'distributors'. It's about as -legally and ethically- wrong as a business model can be.

Cab drivers have a higher level of driving licenses than normal drivers, a more expensive insurance policy, are subject to more frequent inspections, more health tests and harsher rules on alcohol-drugs consumption, and the cabs themselves are subject to very thorough technical inspections periodically.

In 30 years of using cabs relatively often I've only once suffered a drunk licensed taxi driver. I read in some forum several months a go a comment that stated that the commenter -a frequent Uber user- experienced that situation in Uber cars four times in the last year. Join the dots...

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Mephistro
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So, let me see if I'm getting this right.

Isn't that a clear case of obstruction to justice? On top of all of their other crimes? Or is there any convenient/convoluted loophole in the laws? Why haven't these Uber dudes been jailed on charges of basically wiping their arses with -simultaneously - the Laws, citizen's safety and citizen's rights?

Uber, please, FOAD!.

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Mephistro
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Re: Fuck Uber. (@ AC)

"Fuck 'em with a SmartPhone."

Given the way smartphones have been increasing their size lately, in a few years more, whoever has to choose between being fucked with a smartphone or with a pineapple would be wise to choose the pineapple.

Remember, you read it here first!

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Warning: Using encrypted email in Spain? Do not pass go, go directly to jail

Mephistro
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Re: > Navajo

Sorry, Mr. fruitoftheloon, but in my opinion the OP is a masterfully sarcastic piece. Because it concisely describes several of the processes and justifications used by TPTB to steamroll our rights, and an example of the motivation for the baddies is also covered in the post.. I want someone else's riches, someone else's wives or girlfriends, or someone else's lands or...

The current political climate reminds me of the preponderant climate before the beginning of the Great War. People (that is, most of us), Governments and TPTB had their heads so deep into their arses that they started a war that killed sixteen fucking million people and indirectly was the main cause for WWII. Due to some terrorist attack that killed X people, the 'lawful, honourable and just' countries- the most advanced countries in the World - engaged in a war that killed ~16,000,000 X people in both sides of the 'issue'. That was the ratio for WWI.

And episodes like the French terror attacks have a big potential for becoming the seed of the next World War. We can hear the wolves howling in our own backyards. Badly disguised Nazi chums are preparing the next cycles of ethnic cleansing, and the only difference between different bands of said Nazi chums will be the human 'races' they want to make disappear and use their suffering as a source of peerless profit & power.

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Mephistro
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Re: Time to re-introduce (...Spook Fodder)

<Spook Fodder>{Goebbels, politicians, civil servants, security services, weapon traffickers, cleptocracy, banks, narcs, terrists, child molesters, search engines, social networks, tapeworms}</Spook Fodder>

Trying to kill two birds with a stone here. ;-)

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Mephistro
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Re: > Navajo (@Marketing Hack)

Seconded!!!

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Mephistro
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Re: Another reason for Google to leave Spain

I must disagree, because the Internets is full of articles discussing how the encryption scheme that Google is using can be/is being broken by national security services and other interested parties. It has been discussed in these same forums.

A Tor relay would probably do zilch regarding the security of your encryption, at least for some of the known attack methods, more so when those attack methods are applied by a national entity, that can bully/order/bribe their way into the "encrypted" data, by controlling several steps in the communication process .

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Mephistro
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Re: Cameron can go do one (@ Gordon 10)

"Vote Lib Dem, UK, SNP basically anyone except Labour or Tory."

The Spanish version of this sentence would translate to English as "Vote any fucking body who hasn't had any political power in the country", as all parties with some kind of political power, both at local and national levels, have been found with their dirty hands in the cookie jar once too often.

Yep, sometimes this country sucks. The weather and the food are nice, though.

"Always look on the bright side of life..."

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Mephistro
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Fuck yeah!!!

About forty years of democracy thrown overboard in a few years. And I don't want to think about the way they are using the terrist attacks in France as a vindication for the removal of several (more) of our rights and freedoms.

The last government made me ashamed of being Spanish, the current one is doing the same thing.

Fuck 'em all!

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NSA: SO SORRY we backed that borked crypto even after you spotted the backdoor

Mephistro
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Angel

Re: What a...

"... Hoopy Frood!"

Doesn't that sound a bit like "Happy Fraud"?

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'F*** you', exclaims Google Translate app, politely

Mephistro
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Joke

Re: Finally !! (@ AC)

I get to speak to my Chinese wife's parent!!!!

Sorry to tell you, but you'll probably end up regretting this. ;-)

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Mephistro
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Devil

Re: costly

"but "Big Mac" is the same in all languages isn't it?!"

Well, in some places they call them corkburgers and shitburgers and even worse!. ;-)

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Mephistro
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Re: Well...

These Klingon dudes didn't get the memo about the correct use of upper case letters, did they?

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Mephistro
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Well...

jIHvaD vemmoH ghorgh laH mugh chaH vaj tlhIngan!

;-)

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Preserve the concinnity of English, caterwauls American university

Mephistro
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Re: funny

Mr. Wojcik, your three last posts are informative, well written and concise. After reading them, I feel cleverer*.

Thank you!

Note*: Probably a figment of my imagination, but still... :-)

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Mephistro
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Re: funny (@ Lars)

"I told him it's because there is no grammar in the language,"

There is very little of it, indeed, if you compare English with languages derived from Latin, or with 'proper' Germanic ones.

Other things I like about English are:

1- The almost absolute lack of 'case' in declensions. Case should be considered a crime against humanity and forbidden. I started liking English at thirteen, when I had to attend Latin classes at school. Coincidence? Nah! :-)

2- The scarcity of Tense-aspect-mood (TAM for short) in verbal forms. In Spanish we have gazillions of TAM verbal forms that are a true PITA for any foreigner trying to learn the language and for Spanish youngsters who had to memorize several dozens of expressions like 'Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto de Subjuntivo' and learn when and where to apply them. The same is true about French and Italian and other Latin-derived languages. You can get a taste of this nightmare here.

Yes, I like English because I'm a lazy arse. :-)

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Acer slips Wang Andresen into senior Euro slot

Mephistro
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The best headline in ElReg EVAH!!!

Top work, Mr. Kunert (or whoever wrote the headline).

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5G needs new connectivity methods, say Spanish boffins

Mephistro
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Re: Italian or Spanish?

Yep! And, hard as I try, I can't remember when Milano was moved to Spain. Nice city, too. Wouldn't mind having Milano in Spain (as long as they remove first all those pesky Italians ;-).

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Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

Mephistro
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In a few decades...

... when their oil finally runs out or gets replaced by better and cheaper energy sources, these countries will revert to their natural status, i.e. poor, ignorant, fanatic feudal kingdoms where the preferred methods for succession are knifes and poisons. It won't be pretty neither for the ruling classes nor for the plebs. And the only thing that can save them from that grim future is a revolution where beliefs in sky fairies get finally thrown overboard and human beings are allowed to believe (or disbelieve) in whatever they please.

This process took 'Christian'* nations almost two millennia. I hope 'Muslim' nations use our former experience to speed up said process a lot, or the rest of the world will end up fixing the problem in some really unpleasant way, probably by completely isolating them and letting them drown in their own bloodbath.

And "Je suis Charlie".

*Note: I wrote the words 'Christian' and 'Muslim' between quotes because for the ruling classes religion is only a useful tool, and said ruling classes usually pay only lip service to the tenets of said religions.

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