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* Posts by Faceless Man

54 posts • joined 10 Oct 2007

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Lower prices are BAD FOR CONSUMERS, says Turnbull

Faceless Man

There's your problem

"The letter, co-signed by finance minister Matthias Cormann, warns the ACCC that varying the price of Telstra wholesale services puts the government's NBN model at risk"

This would suggest that there is a problem with the government's NBN model, since it seems to depend on pacifying Telstra at the expense of the consumer.

I'm not saying Conroy's wholesale model was better, but didn't it depend on taking Telstra out of the wholesale business, and shifting it to NBNCo, so that such double-dipping wouldn't happen?

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Faceless Man

Re: some suggestions

Your comment proposes another motto:

Meum est hovercraft anguillarum

Appropriately enough, taken from said online translation service. So probably wrong.

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Faceless Man

It's so black...

...even the white bits are black.

It's going to be a right bugger to keep clean, though.

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Tell us about your first time ... on the internet

Faceless Man

Early 90s

My brother had just bought a cheap run-out model Mac II, and borrowed a 300baud modem from a friend, while a friend of mine who was a sysop at one of the university computing units gave me an account on one of his boxes. Spent hours running through a terminal, using mostly Usenet.

Of course, as the international connection was sponsored by NASA for the Deep Space Network, some groups were periodically blocked due to their policies on appropriate material. This meant that some groups would only get content that was crossposted to groups that weren't blocked.

Then my brother, who had his own account through his friend in the same computing unit at the university, heard about this whole "World Wide Web" thing, using the Lynx browser.

Eventually, they upgraded the dial-in to SLIP and eventually PPP, enabling a full internet connection, moved all their off-book accounts to a spare pyramid server, and finally had to shut it down after the club they set up to manage it imploded. By then we could finally get commercial dial-up accounts.

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

Faceless Man

Use it all the time

I use contactless payment with my credit cards all the time. I find it handy to be able to just wave it and go. Of course, it is open to a number of security issues, but most of them are protected against, or overhyped.

On my phone, though? I'd rather have it in the driver's side wing mirror of my car so I can get in and out of carparks on cold mornings without having to open the window.

As for an "analyst" predicting it will take off because of Apple. It's true that Apple can drive technology adoption. We had PCs with USB ports for years before the first iMac came out, but no-one had any USB accessories available. But they have shown absolutely no interest in NFC. They've been using a combination of QR codes (in Passbook) and Bluetooth LE (in iBeacons) to do all those amazing things people said NFC could do, so what's the point?

Basically, I don't expect it to happen, and the people who say it is "definitely going to happen with the iPhone N+1[S] are just extracting the information rectally. This guy is just trying to shift the blame onto Apple for his own incompetence.

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PEAK APPLE: Mystery upstart to hurl iLord from its throne 'by 2020'

Faceless Man

Re: Really? Again?

Apple Deathwatch - now in its 38th year...

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Come to Oz for sun, surf, ratting on co-workers and surveillance

Faceless Man

Re: He's a what?

"He's not a traitor; he's a bleedin' hero, you silly nong!"

Do you mean Snowden or Brandis? Just want to be clear.

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Faceless Man

Can't Wait...

..for the first attempt to dismiss someone for being overly critical of the government on Twitter. I expect it will lead to a lengthy, and expensive, court case which will, with any luck, show the government up. (Let's be honest, in the current political climate, it could go either way, but we live in hope.)

Of course, I should be safe here, since this isn't social media, I can say what I want...

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In Australia, protesting against Brendan Eich will be a CRIME

Faceless Man

Re: Want democratic freedoms? Put up with democracy. Brendan rocks, actually.

"But don't say that Brendan had no RIGHT to speak or act as he did. He too has passions. He too is a citizen. His ideas, too, will be sifted by the (imperfect, sure) democratic machine - he will not be exempted from that, nor will you suffer to be exempted either, if you value any democratic freedoms at all."

Is anyone actually saying this? Have I missed something? He is perfectly within his rights, as was stated in parliament recently, to be a bigot. What I think most people are saying, though, is that he then has to face the consequences of his bigotry, which I think you also admit.

If he finds a company that is willing to either overlook his stance on gay marriage, or even support it, good luck to him. I'm sure people will then want to boycott this hypothetical company too, which is currently within their rights to do.

And that's the point of the story. Under proposed Australian regulations, organising a boycott of a company because of its or its employee's practices will be made difficult, if not illegal. So the one weapon people have in a free market capitalist economy is taken away from them because it might hurt the Coalition's corporate masters.

As I find myself so often saying, "Everyone loves capitalism until it happens to them."

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Mechanical monster macropod LEAPS out of the lab

Faceless Man

There's your problem...

I can see why it doesn't quite look right. They've got the tail rigid, while if you look at the video of the actual kangaroo, you can see it moves, and flexes, during the hop to stabilise the centre of gravity. Also, the arms should tuck up when it's not using them, as with a real 'roo.

Oh, hang on, I'm supposed to say something "funny" and not particularly relevant...ahem..."Are they sure it wasn't *Austrian* scientists that built it?"

Was that OK?

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Big Content wants Aussies blocked from Netflix

Faceless Man

Re: buy dvd on holiday ...

Dont believe so. In fact, many DVD players are sold as multi-region players. I've never had to actually change anything to play Region 1 and 2 disks on any of my DVD players. Or my parents', and they buy name brands, and not the cheap ones from the electronics shops in Chinatown.

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Qantas' biggest problems are … Apple, Samsung and Google?

Faceless Man

I've flown overseas a few times over the years, and I have found the experience much worse when not flying Qantas. BA seems less well maintained (in the sense of cleaning the cabin, rather than keeping the plane flying), and Virgin made me check in separately for each leg of an international flight.

The latter is my fear if they re-separate the domestic and international arms of Qantas. And if they do separate, will they both be called Qantas? Or will they come up with a new name for the domestic carrier? How about "Trans Australia Airlines"? That has a nice ring to it...

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Faceless Man

Re: Keep Pointing, QANTAS

Uh, what? Ansett did it all to themselves. Or, if you prefer, Air New Zealand, who owned Ansett at the time, did it all to them.

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Beastie Boys parody sueball tennis ends after toy firm yanks Girls

Faceless Man

Good point, well made.

Where did they find an advertising agency that was willing to use a song in the ad without first getting clearance from the original artists?

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Australia's States in online shopping tax grab

Faceless Man

Well, that seems to have blown over...

Just saw this morning, that plans to lower the threshold have been shelved until at least 2015. (Computer Daily News 28/11/2013).

It seems the plan was to get the carrier to collect the GST, be it Australia Post or a courier company. How they would go about that is unclear.

It seems that in the scenarios presented at the Treasurers' meeting, there wouldn't be an increase in GST revenue for at least a couple of years, during which time it would actually cost the Federal Government (and consumers) money.

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Mobile price competition stirs in Australia

Faceless Man

"Beleaguered Australian mobile users might be about to get some price relief, if research from Goldman Sachs proves accurate."

i was feeling optimistic until I read the second clause of that sentence. Accuracy is not a common trait of market analysis.

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Myst: 20 years of point-and-click adventuring

Faceless Man

Buggy as hell...

I remember getting Myst because of a friend raving about how brilliant it was, and the video, and the 3D, and the Behind The Scenes video clips.

I joked about them having to fill out the CD somehow, which was Not Appreciated...

So I played it on my new PowerMac 6100/60AV. (Or maybe it was before the upgrade when it was still the Macintosh Centris/Quadra 660AV.)

I was not impressed with the game play. It took ages to move around the island. And you had so few options of things to do when you got there. The puzzles were a combination of obvious and tedious. Easy to see the solution, but sometimes difficult to implement it.

But the real problem was the bugs. Cyan had done all their development on Quadra 700s. If you had a Quadra 700, or a machine with the same chipset (I believe the LC525 was one) everything worked fine. On my machine, and many others as reported on the Internet, the sound cues didn't work properly, meaning my brother spent a weekend or something left handing around the railway to map a solution. And there was one fairly simple puzzle, you had to visit three different positions to get the code to operate the way out of the age, where you couldn't get to one of the clues. Which meant trying all the remaining combinations once the others had been set.

I believe they fixed all these problems before they ported it to Windows.

The only game I think was worse to play, although it was over much quicker, was The Journeyman Project.

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Hey, Bill Gates! We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS to be the next Steve Ballmer

Faceless Man

Re: Someone with customer focus

"Obligatory Henry Ford quote: If I gave my customers what they wanted, I'd be making faster horses."

I'd have argues that Microsoft have been trying to sell faster horses to a customer base that wants rocket packs.

It's just that, to make the horses faster, they've cut off the head and stuck an extra pair of legs on that get tangled in the other four. And then telling the public that obviously a rocket pack needs a horse in order to do the job properly anyway...

Maybe this analogy doesn't work after all.

What MS needs in a CEO is someone who will come in, tear down the development silos, make the Office team play nice with the rest of the organisation, kill the practice of trying to compete with everyone who makes software or hardware for their OS, and focus on making their software suitable for purpose. That will include stop trying to force everything to run exactly the same OS, and acknowledge that phones and tablets are different from desktops and laptops, which are different from servers.

I think it needs to be someone fairly young, and who will stick around a long time to force the required philosophical changes through the organisation. That or they need to look at an interim CEO to tear down the silos, and then replace them with someone to build the company back up again.

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Bill Gates's barbed comments pop Google's broadband balloons

Faceless Man
Megaphone

Missing the pont, as usual

What I think Bill, and a number of the commenters above, is missing is that getting connectivity, be it the internet, or even telephony, to the areas that are affected by diseases like malaria and polio will essentially make it easier for the charity organisations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to work out where they need to go, what they need to do, who they need to talk to, as well as enabling them to make those connections and do their charitable work when they get there.

Yes, curing malaria is more important than getting videos of cats riding Roombas. If Google's plan is just to give everyone in Africa access to YouTube, then they are doing it wrong. Gates should be going to Google and saying "Give my people those balloons, and together we can do some good", but either he still can't look past Google as the enemy, or he still doesn't get the Internet. (Likewise, Google could approach Gates and other charities about using their technology for similar work, and then cynically claim the higher ground.)

Using the technology to facilitate education, improve local services, and entertain people with cat videos become bonuses on top of improving the health of the people.

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The Tomorrow People jaunt back to the airwaves

Faceless Man

Re: Jaunting?

I believe the use of "jaunt" in The Tomorrow People was a deliberate reference to Bester who had influenced some of the ideas.

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Animal Liberation drone surveillance plan draws fire

Faceless Man

Re: Mid Air Collision?

I believe that's the Wedge Tailed Eagle that feeds on roadkill then gets hit by trucks. It's less to do with stupidity, and more to do with being a large raptor with a full stomach and not being able to move fast enough.

Galahs really aren't very big, and not particularly carniverous. Although they are just about stupid enough to sit in the middle of the road and get run over.

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Tracy brothers are back: Thunderbirds Are Go! again in 5... 4... 3...

Faceless Man

Re: F-A-B

I was pretty sure it was just a way of saying "Fab!" that might fit with a para-military operation. Still comes in handy in SMS conversations..

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Faceless Man

Re: UFO

It won't be the same without Ed Bishop's hair.

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Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA

Faceless Man
WTF?

Re: Microsoft can't win

Yeah, the lack of AD and Outlook is killing it. The one thing everyone, even the staunchest fanperson, has to give them is that they have, rightly or wrongly, got business and the enterprise sewn up, and a key part of that is AD. Not having AD integration is throwing away their key advantage, allowing iOS and Android to entrench themselves further in the market.

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Faceless Man

Re: Deadly

It is the only way to preserve one's Purity of Essence, after all.

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NY Museum of Modern Art embraces 14 video games

Faceless Man

Well, given that, in the original version, the big maze in one age was dependent on sound cues that were broken on anything other than a Mac Quadra 700, it's not surprising a number of people gave up. I made it through only because someone more obsessed than me mapped it out manually.

Oh, and then there was the puzzle that was broken altogether, and required just ticking through the different combinations until one worked.

Myst looked pretty, but had very little else to recommend it. The colourised HyperCard engine would have been more interesting as its own product, and in terms of playability it was pretty dire.

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HDMI hitch hounds Mac Mini holders

Faceless Man

So that's what it was

Been having that problem, thought it might be the cheap HP monitor I had it hooked up to Still, just turn the monitor off for a second, and it works fine.

If I cared enough, I'd spring for the Mini Display Port to DVI adaptor, but it's really hard to get worked up over. I am a little concerned that Apple let a known and fixed problem get out into the wild like that.

As a point of interest, did it get this much attention when it was affecting Linux and Windows PCs?

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Why James Bond's Aston Martin Top Trumps the rest

Faceless Man

Re: Didn't Bond drive a DB3 or DB4...

It was a DB3. I always assumed the change to the DB5 was down to the DB5 coming out between the book and the film, and them wanting to go with the more modern car.

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Conroy wants telcos to wear undies on heads

Faceless Man

Re: What a coc.

"I have no doubt he will lose his seat at the next general election."

Extremely unlikely, he's a senior senator for one of the major parties. By default, if the Labor Party gets one quota, he's elected. The only way for him to be unseated, short of being rolled by his own party, is for everyone in Victoria to direct their preferences away from him, which means voting below the line, and numbering every square. That's not likely to happen in the current electoral environment.

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'Stuff must be FREE, except when it's MINE! Yarr!' - top German pirate

Faceless Man

Re: Never heard of this nobody...

I wouldn't even go that far. Think of the fun you could have downloading it, and then dragging it to the trash/recycle bin over and over...

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Content convenience squeezes freetards: Swinburne Uni

Faceless Man

Re: As one of the 65% who look for...

"I'm an afficionado of classical music and buy my share of CD/DVDs, but there's no way that, for example, the ABC is going to show the 10~15 or so BBC Proms Concerts that get televised in the UK every year. If we're lucky, we get the Last Night of the Proms sometime around Christmas or New Year (ie 4 months late) and that's it."

The Proms are available in Australia, direct from the BBC, via the Global iPlayer App for an annual fee.

Likewise a number of BBC documentaries. (Unfortunately, for some reason best known to the Beeb itself, not their radio programmes, which are available free on the web, but can't be played on mobile devices outside the UK.)

Things that aren't available are current release BBC productions, presumably due to broadcast rights issues. Unfortunately this means programmes that might be only available on our ridiculously overpriced Pay TV options, or shown on Freeview two years from now at one am.

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RIP Harry Harrison: Stainless Steel Rat scurries no more

Faceless Man

He also claimed to have ghosted "Vendetta for the Saint" for Leslie Charteris, which does explain some of his favourite topics, particularly Bugatti, creeping into the text.

For mine, he was always at his strongest in his satire of other people's work. "Bill the Galactic Hero" has already been mentioned, but also "Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers" is a clever, if somewhat over the top, pastiche of E. E. Smith's work, particularly the Skylark series.

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Tax proposal could change Aus hardware lifecycles

Faceless Man

Uhh...there is...

What did you think "Aus" refers to. You know, in the title there?

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HP must throw its PC biz overboard to survive, says analyst

Faceless Man

Be an industry analyst, The Burkiss Way

Do you have poorly thought through ideas on how various tech companies could be doing things differently, but no-one listens to you? You should consider a new career as an industry analyst!

Through our simple 3 step programme, you too can prognosticate with the pros.

1) Find a company that's having problems. Or doing really successfully. It doesn't matter which.

2) Announce loudly to everyone how they could be doing better if they just listen to you.

3) Wait three months, and tell them how their sudden turnaround, or unchanged performance proves you right.

I've clearly been listening to too much Radio 4 Extra.

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Internet's first 'Hall of Fame' REVEALED

Faceless Man

Re: No Kibo?

I can only assume the ISOC is still angry at him over the whole HappyNet thing.

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'Find My Car' iPhone app finds anyone’s car

Faceless Man

Not quite sure...

...how either of the above amounts to any special threat from the app.

If you're waiting for someone to leave home so you can ransack their place, watching the house is a better option because you'll know if there's anyone still there, and have more time to go about your nefarious deeds, since you won't have to wait for them to get to the shopping mall to head off.

If you're a violent ex, and a mate calls to say they've seen your ex at the shopping centre, then you can still go and lie in wait for them in the car park.

Really, the "private" information this contains is that a particular car was parked in a particular space in a particular carpark. It does not include information on the owner of the vehicle, the assumption seems to be that anyone wanting to use this for evil purposes already knows everything they need to know about the target, except where their car is.

So, yes, I see it as embarassing, but I don't really see how it's a actually a violation of privacy, anymore than letting people wander about the carpark is.

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Harvey Norman drops HP’s TouchPad

Faceless Man

Really?

They don't stock Apple gear? Someone better tell them that, since they keep advertising it.

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GE brings holographic storage back from the dead

Faceless Man

Ahh...holographic memory

The data storage technology of the future. Always has been, probably always will be.

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Oz gov kicks off censorship review

Faceless Man
Big Brother

Nice in theory, but...

Just being in a minority won't be enough to kill the Firewall. The opposition leader, Tony Abott, and his shadow cabinet have a heavy religious bias, and would probably support it.

The only reason they might oppose it is that they tend to oppose anything the government proposes. But here I think their complaint might be that it doesn't go far enough.

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US forces drop dead drug-poison killer mice from helicopters

Faceless Man

Technically...

It's toxic to most things, including humans. That's why you can only take so many a day, any more than that, your liver packs it in, and you die a few days later.

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Steve Jobs in iPhone bitchslap to creationists, Tea Party

Faceless Man

Just don't mention Lot...

If you really want to stump them on incest, ask about Lot and his daughters after the destruction of Sodom and Gamorrah. It's not like they had no other options, they just thought it was a good idea.

Actually, Genesis is full of pretty dodgy sexual mores.

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Fat cat fanbois' obscene dream bling

Faceless Man

Practicality?

Do we know what impact replacing the lid of the Air (not to mention the back of the phone) with gold and/or platinum is on the antenna? The old Titanium PowerBooks had no end of trouble, I believe.

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Bill Gates goes (mini) nuclear

Faceless Man

Small point, but I think a valid one.

The article claims that there is no Plutonium in the reactor, while the reactor cycle diagram on the Intellectual Ventures website clearly shows that the reactor cycle is in fact driven by the fission of Pu239 (you may know it as "weapons grade Plutonium).

Anyway, there are a lot of people looking into this style of reactor, only using less problematic fuels like Thorium.

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Men at Work appeal Down Under plagiarism ruling

Faceless Man

"Educated musical ear?"

Seriously, it's pretty bloody blatant. It was one of the first things I noticed about the song when it was released. But it was clearly in the sense of an homage, not an attempt to rip off the original.

Does the 10 note limit still apply? (Did it ever apply?) A quick check shows that the snippet in question is 11 notes, so if they expect 40% over a one note infringement, then they ought to be thrown out of court.

Finally, as others have said, why now? Did it really take 30 years for anyone to notice? If so, it hardly seems reasonable for them to jump in now. Especially as they are not the original writers or copyright holders for the song, and are jumping on it now.

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Glenn Beck loses and wins domain name case

Faceless Man

Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke...

Sorry, I mean *shouldn't* happen to a nicer bloke.

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What do you call a flash-based super?

Faceless Man

Different perspective?

Maybe it's just my cultural heritage and upbringing, but I'd have thought Harry would be a better name.

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Australian media group rejects Amazon's Kindle

Faceless Man

Really?

They think Amazon are trying to screw them, so they're waiting to see what Apple do? Are they thinking they're going to get screwed anyway, so they might as well get screwed by professionals?

I mean, I'm an Apple fan, but at a rough guess, they aren't going to be a better deal than Amazon.

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Science-boosting thickie questionnaire backfires

Faceless Man

They've fixed the range.

They've fixed the range given on the website so it's now bracketed the correct answer better. And they fixed the answer they give afterwards to say "71%".

Still, when they conducted the phone poll, did they only give people who said "70%" as correct? What about people who said two-thirds? Or three-quarters? They're each common estimates given, and roughly equidistant from the correct answer.

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Aussies: Eat roos, save the planet

Faceless Man

Mmmm...tasty

Roo is actually pretty good. It's widely available, but is still being treated as a niche thing.

Really, we should have started doing this 220 years ago, and we wouldn't have caused half as much damage to the environment by unleashing ungulates on the continent.

Milking roos would be a problem, though. Marsupials in general would be difficult. Placentals are much easier to hook up to the machines. That would leave us with bats or dingos...

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King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim

Faceless Man

@Stephen Coshott

"...I was more impressed with that film were Helen Mirren got her kit off."

Sorry, you'll have to narrow it down for me a bit more.

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