* Posts by Mephistro

1639 posts • joined 8 Oct 2007

Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

Mephistro
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Unhappy

Software patents, the gift that keeps on giving!

Patenting code, patenting numbers, patenting basic geometric shapes...

What could possibly go wrong?

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Why XPoint SSDs won't meet original speed claims: A guide

Mephistro
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Nice article, Mr. Mellor!

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Legend of Zelda cracked with 6502 assembly language glitch

Mephistro
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This reminds me of a funny exploit ...

... I found in the Donkey Kong JR arcade machine.

In short, you could input some text in the high scores board after beating the game and then delete more characters (I think it was 10) than what you did input. The possible results included the main character's sprite inverted, random scan lines, inverted sprites movement and random colour blocks in the screen. All this suffered by the poor sod playing after me, of course! :-)

I usually did this only when the guys waiting waiting to play after me were a little too pushy. Some free education for them!

I checked a few years ago and the exploit works also when the game is run using the MAME emulator, so you can try this yourselves.

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Apple's tax bill: Big in Japan. Like, $120m big

Mephistro
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"If the ruling was available to any company / broad category of companies, it won't be a competition case at all"

The EU Competition Commission says that's not the case, and if it were, every company in the country would be paying a 0.0005 tax, and there would be money to pay (a minimum wage) only to one Minister, two Gardai and a nurse (to do the Irish NHS work).

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Viacom, Mattel and pals busted for stalking kids with creepy web ads

Mephistro
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Mushroom

"...pay an astonishing $835,000"

Yeah, truly astonishing!

Multiply that amount by one hundred -for each of the companies listed- and they may start paying attention.

The fine is ridiculous and the two years investigation probably costed the taxpayers several times the amount fined.

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US Congress blew the whistle on tax-dodging Apple, claims Europe

Mephistro
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Re: Not sure what these senators had to gain

" ...but why should US senators support Apple paying $14.5 billion less to the IRS?"

Though is not clear enough in the article (IMO), the speech the Competition Commissioner gave to the Copenhagen Business School says literally: "And it was their investigation into Apple - and US transparency rules - that tipped us off that the company might have received State aid."

So it's not that US senators contacted the EU Competition Commission and told them about the scam, just that the EU read the Senate investigation reports and used them as a base for their own investigation.

Regarding your first paragraph, I think the issue here is not those $14.5 billion not going to the US Treasury, but not a single $ reaching the US, unless the Government drops its pants and bends over by lowering the corporate tax to Third World levels, instead.

Of course, any honest Senator* could/should have called The EU Competition Commission and told them about this, but the Occam's Razor suggests that it's far more probable that the EU Commissioner read the reports and acted accordingly, without any need to include unicorns, fairies and honest Senators.;-)

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CIA-backed big data firm Palantir says secrets pinched by investor

Mephistro
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Mmmhhh...

A firm of TLA's toadies fighting a [patent troll/crony capitalist/IP thief] in the mud! What a great time to be alive!

Where's my popcorn?

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HSBC: How will we verify business banking customers? Selfies!

Mephistro
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Re: Simplify the process?

ROFLMAO++

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

Mephistro
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For 150 millions...

...I would consider slashing my wrists too!*

Fuck! I'd probably do it for a third of that amount!**

*: With an emergency medical team by mi side, of course.

**: Yeah, I'm shit at bargaining.

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Appliance-maker Liebherr chillin' with Microsoft, prototyping another Internet fridge

Mephistro
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Angel

Re: What could possibly go wrong...

"...add 'effect' to one's indoor games..."

"I prefer to call them front door games"

James Comey

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Mephistro
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All right then

So one of these days we'll be able to purchase a fridge that:

a) Is connected to "the cloud"

b) Rats us out to anyone willing to pay MS for the data regarding things like the products and brands we consume, when we are or aren't at home, how long do we sleep, when we are away on holidays...

c) Rat us out also to anyone able to hack said cloud service, including dishonest employees, retarded script kiddies and even some secret service agencies ;-)

Sounds good to me!

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FBI Director wants 'adult conversation' about backdooring encryption

Mephistro
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Re: not really an adult conversation here

"are secure devices and communications worth it?"

No, they aren't. If we lose them, we only need to sacrifice very minor things like security, privacy, e-commerce, free speech in the web, banking -including teller machines and credit cards-...

</sarcasm>

FYI, your debate was probably carried out more than two millennia ago, and there was a clear winner.

Seriously now, this stupid debate would also be a massive exercise in futility, as the bad guys won't give a flying fuck about the outcome. They'll simply keep using cryptography themselves and robbing blind anyone who doesn't.

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Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

Mephistro
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Re: I don't get it.(@ Luke Worm & AC)

I'd like to add that Eire also has laws against such "tax arrangements". Funny, the way politicians sometimes wipe they arses with their own countries laws and then shout bloody murder when they get caught.

Fuck'em all with a cactus!

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

Mephistro
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Re: Change in contract terms ?

To those who disagree with Mr. alain williams comment:

I'd be really surprised if the cost of services 'over the bundle' wasn't clearly specified in the original contracts. If this was the case, the contract would be saying, basically: "We will charge you whatever we want for services not included in the bundle", which would make the contract invalid in most (civilized) countries.

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Ancient radioactive tree rings could rip up the history books

Mephistro
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Re: Wasn't this done decades ago? (@ YAAC)

Nicely explained!

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Mephistro
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Re: "...God has *planted* the evidence."

Terry Pratchett included a similar theory in several of his books.

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Penetration tech: BAE Systems' new ammo for Our Boys and Girls

Mephistro
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Coffee/keyboard

"...achieving better penetration and pleasing the customer."

I see what you did there.

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VeraCrypt security audit: Four PGP-encoded emails VANISH

Mephistro
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Devil

"...then who cares if Google can read the "Hi Jim, here's the information you asked for" in plain text ?"

True, but if the email's title is "Vulnerability found in module XXX, please fix asap!" or "NSA backdoor found in function YYY!" then "bad things maywill happen".

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Native Skype for Windows Phone walked behind shed, shot heard

Mephistro
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Re: I've been dragging my heels over Skype...

The "Personal" version is free. The free trials are for the "Enterprise" paid versions. Not that this info is too easy to find on their site. ;-)

Crossing my fingers on that they'll keep the Personal version free, though.

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More gums than Jaws: Greenland super-sharks live past 400 years old

Mephistro
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Re: Typical specimen is older than America

Totally agreed, but what Iain probably meant was "Typical specimen is older than the USA". That would fit with the sharks "average lifespan of 272 years".* :-)

In a more serious note, I don't think that calling USA's citizens "Americans " is correct or admissible, even if mostly everybody does it.

*: Which was probably the point of your comment. ;-)

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$200,000 for a serious iOS bug? Pfft, we'll give you $500,000, says exploit broker Exodus

Mephistro
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Devil

$60000 for a zero day in Flash???

These guys will go bankrupt in three months at most!

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Londoner jailed after refusing to unlock his mobile phones

Mephistro
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Re: Petty crime

You beat me to it!

" Consecutive: following one after the other in order : SUCCESSIVE *served four consecutive terms in office*"

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Microsoft buries the bad Windows Phone news: Mobile sales collapse

Mephistro
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Angel

"Never assume malice when a confusing interface will suffice", I guess.

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Russia reports RAT scurrying through govt systems, chewing data

Mephistro
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After reading the description of the malware...

...this sound like something from a state actor. It could be either an American tool -probably outsourced to Israel- or a FSB deployed tool that somehow broke free from its constraints and controls, up to the point that the FSB itself had to address the problem.

In a distant third position, China. :-)

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Server vendor has special help desk for lying, incompetent sysadmins

Mephistro
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Re: In the middle of the noughties...

That's true, but one would expect the managers or owners to perform some due diligence, find some geek consultant with good references and ask (and pay) for his/her advice. If you are unsatisfied with said advice, you can ask for a second opinion. To a different guy, of course! ;-)

Alas, even doing this would probably give them a 50-50 chance, as lots of the people who claim to be geek wizs shouldn't be left alone with any piece of machinery more complex than a baby rattle. ;-)

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Mephistro
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In the middle of the noughties...

... I had a call from a company that had contracted one of these "external support services" for their smallish - ~25 seats - shop. After suffering some issues with their file servers, they called "support" and spent several hours on the phone, to no avail. After several days of tests and checks, the customer called me to be their "interface" with the support service, as the guy in charge of that was more of a power user than a professional IT guy, and paid accordingly (peanuts, monkeys, management cutting corners, ... you know the drill).

I went there, studied the issue for a while and told the customer I could fix it myself, but the customer insisted I call the support service, as that would supposedly save time.

To put it short, their setup included two servers, one of them a Windows 2003 server and the other a Debian file server. The support guy wasn't even aware of the existence of the Debian server (or the existence of Debian OS :-). To add insult to injury, all the bushwhacking with the Windows server had caused more issues. At that point, I told the support guy that I needed to leave the premises for several hours and would contact him later. I was lying through my teeth :-).

I went straight to the management and explained them the issue, i.e. that the "support service" they had hired was basically a bunch of noobs with scarce knowledge of Windows servers and no knowledge at all of anything else IT related. My Unix/Linux was a little bit rusty back then, so I had to google the fixes for the Debian server. It took me another three hours to fix everything.

After being profusely patted in the back by the customer, I advised them to drop the contract with the "remote support". To this day, I still use this as a cautionary tale against those scams "remote support services".

More recently, I had another funny experience where the support service was trying to use Teamviewer to fix a problem with a raid array. I had to explain the poor sod at the phone that you can't access the system BIOS using Teamviewer. :-D

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Kaspersky so very sorry after suggesting its antivirus will get you laid

Mephistro
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Re: Kudos, Kaspersky

"It takes a real human to apologize."

T,FTFY

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The return of (drone) robot wars: Beware of low-flying freezers

Mephistro
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Devil

I'd like to propose a more efficient method.

Instead of drones, that are expensive, complex and prone to self-destruction machines, Amazon should use artillery shells, with containers of various sizes. With this method yo could send anything from a fresh egg to a small car. The cost savings could be spectacular, allowing Amazon to "Create Value For Our Shareholders" (TM).

And a great way of mailing brochures, as well!

But I can imagine the naysayers: ... insurance costs... civil unrest... true mail-bombs... yadda yadda...

Fucking Luddites! It's because of them we don't have flying cars!!!

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Mephistro
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Coffee/keyboard

Alistair, ...

... this article should be saved for posterity!

Kudos to you, Sir!

Post data: by the way, you owe me a new hernia.

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Glassdoor spaffs users' email addresses in bcc fail

Mephistro
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Facepalm

Re: Questions

What astonishes me is that CC is the default, instead of BCC. If you use BCC when you should have used CC, you only need to resend the email, perhaps with a small note of apology. If it's the other way round..."It's raining shit, Hallelujah...".

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World religions stake out positions on Pokemon Go

Mephistro
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Angel

"No message from the Druids?"

Fuck the druids! I want to hear the FSM's Church opinion!

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Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Mephistro
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Re: To think that... (VinceH)

Have you tried updating the BIOS? I remember having read about a similar problem in some forum a few years ago, and the guy fixed it with a BIOS update.*

*Note: Unless it's one of those Chinese no-brand laptops they sell in the 'net, in which case you're probably screwed.

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How's this for irony? US Navy hit with $600m software piracy claim

Mephistro
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Re: Yikes!

"Looks like our friends over at JAG have got their work cut out with this one."

Yes, they're sending a commando force to Germany! To investigate the matter, honest, Guv.!

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Did mock cop bot trot on fraught tot? Maybe not

Mephistro
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Devil

Re: That bot looks suitably menacing

'...why doesn't it have "cop bodycams"...?'

Because the robot keeps disabling them and claiming they're malfunctioning!

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Boris Johnson 'NIGHTMARE'

Mephistro
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Devil

As some German politician said...

"After this, I wouldn't be surprised if they appointed Count Dracula as Health minister"*

*Or words to that effect, as this is a translation of a translation.

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Software bug costs Citigroup $7m after legit transactions mistaken for test data for 15 years

Mephistro
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Facepalm

"...and it must pay the largest penalty to date for blue sheet violations."

Seven million dollars? You fucking kidding me?

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European Commission straps on Privacy Shield

Mephistro
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"...a short guide for citizens explaining the available remedies..."

It'll be short, indeed!

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Facebook deleted my post and made me confirm pics of my kids weren't sexually explicit

Mephistro
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Angel

Re: Interesting

" ...share where you got that info from."

God told him, obviously.

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Theresa or Teresa May? Twitter confuses nude model and new PM

Mephistro
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Re: Gaping chasm

"...it's full of _____ and ________"

Yeah, the similarities with a brothel are just amazing!

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Mephistro
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Re: It's not just Twitter

"...has to be quite deflating to anyone..."

Kudos to you, Mr. Zanshin, for your extremely accurate use of the word 'deflating'!

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Ad agency swipes 'unnamed bloggers' for calling out its cynically fake 'save a refugee' app

Mephistro
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Coffee/keyboard

"...so there is not even the hint of impropriety or a question of our integrity."

HA HAHA HA HAHAHAHA etc. etc.

These feckers should leave advertising and go into comedy!.

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Bloke 'lobbed molotov cocktails' at Street View car because Google was 'watching him'

Mephistro
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Devil

The guy is clearly a nutter!

He owned a VW Touareg, FFS!!!

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Maybe China's on to something: Clickbait articles now need to be 'verified' by officials

Mephistro
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Re: Already happening folks!

"Like the story of the ETIHAD crew visiting France..."

I found this regarding that incident. An interesting read. Lots of similar articles in aviation sites, if you care to Google them.

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Mephistro
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Re: Already happening folks!

Have you tried the Internet Archive?

Use the date when you read it and some text/names you remember from the article, and please post the link if you find something, and thank you.

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Mephistro
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On the other hand...

... Trump and Murdoch would love to have control of this Ministry of Truth.

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Sterling's post-Brexit dollar woes are forcing up tech kit prices

Mephistro
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Re: and yet still (@ veti)

"@Mephistro: nice strategic use of cutoff points there"

Ehh... yes and no. The page only allows for fixed periods of time-day, week, month...- counting back from the present. If you use the sliding bar below the graphic to move/change the length of the time period, it doesn't show on the linked URL.

So I revisited the page and checked again for that time period and... the graph didn't even look like what I remember. :-(

Possibilities, in order of relevance, as perceived by me:

1- First and foremost, I screwed up! If this was the case, it was a honest mistake. Could be that I didn't press the chart refresh button. Actually I was a little bit surprised that the € had recovered so fast, but didn't bother to check the graph's data.

2- Being ~2 AM and in the weekend, the site could be using old data or test data. Next time I link one of these websites, I'll make an screen capture and store it, just in case.

3- The Illuminati did it!

I'll go and commit seppuku now.

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Mephistro
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Re: and yet still

Right now (2016/07/02), Euro/dollar exchange rate has recovered the levels it had before the Brexit referendum. It's even higher now!

http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=EUR&to=USD&view=1W

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UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000 if teens watch porn vids

Mephistro
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Angel

Re: To be honest, who cares?

"If you put her brain into a Jackdaw..."

That's a great idea for a Kickstarter project!

Perfectly doable, as long as you add some padding so as not to allow her brain to bounce too much inside the bird's skull.

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Mephistro
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Devil

From the Department of Redundancy Department:

"UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000 if teens watch porn vids full stop."

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

Mephistro
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Windows only for games.

ROFLMAO!

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