* Posts by Daniel B.

2800 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

SimCity 4

Daniel B.
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Happy

Re: Can anyone explain the railways to me?

Except for the original SimCity, you had to put railway stations for people to use 'em. And even then, the 3 tile max distance rule applied as well. Basically, make the railways link Residential, Commercial and Industrial areas and the railways would get usage.

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Fake fingers fool Brazilian biometrics

Daniel B.
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Re: In other news

hehehe. The one I use has two modes of operation: the main one where you stick your finger and it will grant access directly, showing your employee number, or the second one where you first input your employee number, *then* stick your finger. The first mode will sometimes go "timeout", while the second method will rarely fail. Maybe biometrics take too much time to match against the database?

Oh wait, I've also had "matching error" even with my emp ID. More like scanners suck....

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Smartphone users prefer LOVELY apps to fiddly mobe websites

Daniel B.
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Boffin

A series of apps

Actually, "the internet" *is* a series of apps. We got our chuckles back in '98 when a teacher told to his class that the lab computers now had "the internet" blocked. Netscape now was password-protected. We got a great laugh, and then proceeded to telnet off to our favorite MUD. Of course, we wouldn't correct our teacher's idea of "the intertubes" as this misdirection would mean he wouldn't prod on our MUD/BBS stuff.

Interestingly, many of those "series of apps" are actually using the web anyway; Web Services are usually the interface used for many of them. So there's no love lost with the series of apps, and mobile devices are coping better with the native apps anyway. Hell, even Steve Jobs found out the hard way about that, remember the iPhone was originally devoid of native apps.

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Sony chairman Howard Stringer set to retire, explore 'new world'

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Hm, that explains it...

This guy seems to have been in the helm during the whole time that Sony started turning anti-consumer, and he's the first gaijin CEO.

Maybe the problem is precisely that? Japanese culture is usually better at the whole consumer's rights than the typical US company. Maybe having CEOship return to Japan might get Sony back on track, and off the stupid root kit/ban OtherOS path. Hopefully.

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Marvel: 'Come and get 'em! 700 first-issue comics! FREE!'

Daniel B.
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Meh

Meh.

Comixology suspended the promotion, due to their servers crashing.

It cannae take it much longer Captain!!!

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Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Daniel B.
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Re: Pandorum

Oh yes. Though this movie is best watched without knowing what it is actually about, other than "spaceship going to colonize Earth-like planet".

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Daniel B.
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Re: Any love... @sisk

You should actually see it. It sheds of the artsy-fartsy stuff from 2001 and is actually watchable by non-artsy types. Arthur C Clarke did two more books on that series: 2061 and 3001. While 2061 was still fairly good, 3001 seems to have been more of an ass-pull though.

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Daniel B.
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Cloud Atlas!

I'm guessing that Cloud Atlas hasn't been out for long, and thus isn't yet being considered as worthy of a top ten list yet. It's pretty good, though.

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Daniel B.
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Re: s/10/20/

Westworld. The movie where you get Yul Brynner to make a Terminator impression ... at least a decade before Terminator came out!

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1 in 7 WinXP-using biz bods DON'T KNOW Microsoft is pulling the plug

Daniel B.
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Re: They keep saying that... @Gordon Fecyk

Start Menu wasn't a bad change. In fact, Win95 was merely MS catching up to do a complete ripoff of the Macintosh System 7 interface, instead of the half-assed, DOSSHELL-based thing they used for the 3.x versions.

XP activation theoretically would've done the trick, except the corporate keys started making rounds on the internet and thus the feature was defeated.

Of course, the rest of the stuff you mention should've theoretically made people jump ship, but Linux hasn't quite got up to scratch on the install part, and lack of MS Office is a dealbreaker in many companies. But jumping ship to OSX does seem to be a real possibility...

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Microsoft backs law banning Google Apps from schools

Daniel B.
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Boffin

ALU IXDANB RESUME

I would probably swap OS360 for OS390 a.k.a. z/OS as most financial institutions using mainframes are running that these days. But yeah, I remember graduating as someone who knew more than average because I actually dabbled around with Linux, AIX and HP/UX.... only to find myself confronted by a 3270 terminal 10 months after graduating.

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Daniel B.
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Facepalm

Re: The bill sounds good

... and Eadon would be right. It is obvious, even for the article's author, that bill is obviously aimed to whack out MS competition.

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Uni profs: Kids today could do with a bit of 'mind-crippling' COBOL

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Dijkstra

As bad as COBOL might have been (ok, still is, it's still in use) there's a worse abomination that didn't have a Dijkstra to axe it like COBOL.

Visual Basic.

That particular language has caused far more damage to programmer's brains than COBOL. People who learned to do the "On Error Resume Next" trick evolved their nasty tricks to the Diaper anti-pattern on both .NET and Java. So now you can see a VB or former VB dev having breaky code that can't be debugged nicely thanks to this.

COBOL is probably a minor offender by now. At least the language did teach you basic stuff you needed to know, especially in the 60's when most coding was basically assembly stuff. Oh, and it was much better than the other monstrosity out there: MUMPS.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Proper programming language

"More importantly, I think it is important to teach the students programming rather than teaching them a programming language."

My degree involved both things, in fact. The whole data structures, algorithm analysis and similar courses were actually designed for teaching them without relying on a specific programming language. At first I thought "cut off the stupid pseudolanguage stuff, let's C how it's really done!" but when we hit complex stuff like binary self-balancing trees, I saw the advantage of doing stuff using this approach. It also led in the long run for me to actually appreciate OO; it's much easier to implement a data structure class and just create instances of that than go on doing the funky function juggling that comes with the lack of OO support in a language.

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Microsoft exec selling his Surface tablet

Daniel B.
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Boffin

@Simon Barker

Because it lacks both the actual apps you find for iOS/Android/Playbook while posing as a Windows device that can't actually do what "traditional" Windows devices can do. When we got Windows CE, nobody expected it to do much; but MS itself sold the idea of WinRT as basically Windows on ARM. And on those expectations, it's horribly limited.

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Chaos Theory causes password entry pandemonium

Daniel B.
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WTF?

Re: Cor blimey! @Captain Hogwash

I just saw someone do exactly this in a public restroom. Seems to be something of an older guy thing though...

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Amazon yanks SimCity download from store

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Steam works offline in Mac

If you have saved your login/pwd on the Steam login screen, it will ask you if you want to go "offline mode" if you're w/o internet. Just tested it.

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Pirate Bay to world: We're not really off to NORKS

Daniel B.
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Trollface

hehehe

Now I get to tell all those pro-DPRK suckers on Twitter "you've been trolled!".

No really. The same guys who praise Stalin were praising North Korea as a shining star in internet freedom. I wonder what they'll say today...

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Intel, Apple forging chip-baking deal?

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Shittel

Not quite expecting Intel to jump to the cold water, but at least not force Apple to switch over their ARM stuff (the iGadgets) to x86.

Their Itanium (Itanic) venture actually failed because they were originally trying too hard to keep the x86 compat layer, and their first chips were real slow. Apple had a better way to jump from one arch to another, and they've done so twice: Motorola 86k -> PowerPC -> Intel. Maybe they should've relied more in the OS manufacturers to port stuff instead of trying to emulate everything?

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Shittel

Hopefully, this will mean Intel would bake ARM-based chips, instead of the awful alternative that is having yet-another-PC-disguised-as-something-else in the iPhone.

Maybe it is time for Intel to switch to more promising architectures.

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Gone in 30 minutes: Chinese tweets purged by army of censors

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Cryptography @AC

It's called SSL, end-to-end encryption is part of that system. Nobody in between should be able to read it, and in fact Twitter *does* support SSL comms.

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Carl Icahn may be planning to block Dell buyout

Daniel B.
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Devil

Icaaaaaaaaaahn!

The closest thing to a Wall Street Troll there can be. Shareholders should stop selling to him, and should stop listening his poison. He has shat all over the companies he's manipulated.

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Bank whips out palm-recognition kit - and a severed hand won't work

Daniel B.
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Alert

Duress code

I actually set that code up for my mom's home alarm. The trick in setting such a code is that it would be something inconspicuous, maybe even a code that they'd expect it to be (such as your birth date or something like that).

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New IBM storage chief Ambuj Goyal: I like all-flash and I cannot lie

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: So long, SAN

SAN is for consolidating storage. You'd have to read tech articles from the early 2000's when the concept was floated up.

Hell, even my makeshift home SAN did serve its purpose for a time. I was able to just plug in HDDs on my NSLU2, make that an iSCSI target and then just expose a couple of LUNs to my PCs. Instead of growing the PCs HDDs, I simply would expand the LUNs themselves and add more HDDs when needed on the NSLU2. Unfortunately, I also overclocked the NSLU2 and it died a horrible overheating death sometime around 2011. But while it was running, I did get a lot out of it, especially on the PCs that didn't cope with the larger, TB-range HDDs.

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Brit comic-book-guy-vs-gangsters film goes straight to Xbox Live

Daniel B.
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FAIL

Meh.

I'm not buying a shitbox to see this movie. Bad move!

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Cruel Microsoft will drive us into arms of iOS, Android, warn resellers

Daniel B.
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Facepalm

MS shills make Eadon sound right

Really. Even if MS ends up being "cheaper" ... what I know MS to be cheaper is on the support part of the contracts. "MS Support" consists in some Indian call center and remote support. RedHat at least will send you a local person for support issues, extra points with being someone I can actually understand!

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Incoming comet will probably miss Mars, says NASA

Daniel B.
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Re: Big flash if it hits mars?

At least now we know to shoot the damn cylinders as soon as they land!

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Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL

Daniel B.
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Icaza has a point.

A couple of years ago, one of my hardcore Linux friends switched back to Windows for the same reasons: hacking around for WiFi, graphics card, sound, and well that mucking with Office files with OpenOffice will fuck up the format.

And then, I had the same issue this December; I needed a work lap, but also MS Office, OmniGraffle, Merlin and those are Win/Mac or Mac only. Of course, I went for Mac as any other lap would pay the MS tax which I didn't want to do.

I do acknowledge that Linux has been user-friendly for quite some time, and even user-install-friendly as of late, with WiFi finally being supported out of the box. But it still gets hobbled by stupidity, like "no mp3 playback" and Adobe has recently stated they're no longer going to upgrade the Linux Flash plugin. I've demoted Linux to VM status on my Mac, though my main PC at home still has Linux and does a lot of the geeky stuff I want it to do. But as a desktop OS? Maybe, if I were to work in a 100% Linux shop. And even in some of those, I've seen people have windows as a VM...

Oh, and the irony: Miguel de Icaza was the Mexican champion on IT circles. A lot of Mexicans started doing Linux just because a prominent Mexican had got into the international limelight, and he was doing some stuff for Linux...

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Sony: Can't beat Apple and Samsung, so let's be the Other Guy

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Blu-Ray

Um... you do know that HD-DVD was the "renegade" format? Only supported by 2 manufacturers vs. the BD being supported by the rest? Not to mention it was the crappiest of the two, with lower storage space *and* hobbled by a fugly MS-backed menu system.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Sony and past, good AND bad @Bodhi

Sony did a lot of pretty good stuff in the past; in fact, my circa 1998 Walkman is still in working order, I used it yesterday. The three PS3's are pretty good as well; the Trinitron TVs (our 1981 Trinitron made it to the 21st century!) and same with my Sony stereo. Oh, my 2007 W300i is still seeing some use, now on its third owner in the family.

But one thing I won't do is call OtherOS "a feature used by 3 people". I was hit by that boneheaded decision; it left me at least a year off PSN, and I finally ended up "solving" the situation by buying another PS3. The irony is that the OtherOS nixing only hit the people who both used OtherOS *and* played games, that is, the segment that was actually giving Sony the $$$ for games. That said, Sony is a lesser evil vs. M$, who pimps off ki'box360 players on HDDs (selling overpriced HDDs to 'em, banning OTC HDDs) and charging for multiplayer. So I'll keep on giving Sony my gaming money, even if I disagree with their OtherOS stance.

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Sergey Brin emasculated after HORROR smartphone disaster

Daniel B.
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Go

@NumptyScrub

So I see someone has been playing Shadowrun... :)

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SimCity 2000

Daniel B.
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Re: May have required the next version of the game

Yipes. That city looks like the Limbo landscape in Inception. Heh, I do remember doing some cities with less roads; subway stations were pretty good for this thanks to the three tile limit. Put the subway stations at 6-tile intervals, layout a grid of these stations and you could build up a pretty dense population zone in the area...

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Daniel B.
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Happy

@sisk

The way I was able to pull off a 120k population was pretty easy:

- Before starting, create the city with the terrain editor and flatten *all* terrain. Mountains and stuff will rob you from valuable building spaces. But you must have at least a river or something as a water source.

- Zone *everything* as dense. Dense residential, dense commercial, dense industrial.

These two tips should get you a 120k population city. :)

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Daniel B.
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Re: Playing it on a 386 SX 40?

It used VESA for graphics, and yes it did SVGA, or 800x600 for the kids who don't know what SVGA is.

It also required a better graphics card; I remember it running like ass on my 486, but it ran well on my friend's 386. Of course, once I switched to our first Pentium 133, it ran decently.

I have the original CD somewhere ... it was a strange thing to have on CD, the game was 2Mb, so most of the CD was basically wasted!

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Yet more world+dog patent suits, this time over encryption

Daniel B.
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Re: Not a Troll

Encrypted filesystems/containers have been out there far before this company. And given the method they patented (intercepting I/O calls and encrypting data on that point) pretty much covers any kind of whole disk encryption systems. There's a program that predates this patent for more than a couple of years, and it worked on DOS.

It is a troll. As trolltastic as Apple's "phone as a hyperlink" patent, which patents a feature found on a lot of phones predating that patent as well.

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Trekkies detect Spock's Vulcan homeworld ORBITING PLUTO

Daniel B.
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Re: Kerberos ...

I'm both thinking of an authentication system and a fluffy plush toy bear from Sakura Card Captors...

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North Korean citizens told: Socialist haircuts are a thing... go get some

Daniel B.
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Facepalm

@boltar

"When was the last time your saw a right wing pressure group trying to prevent a guest speaker at a university from speaking?"

Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, Tec de Monterrey Campus León circa 2001? 2002? A teacher brought over a guest speaker explaining how the Guadalupe Virgin was actually made up by the Catholic Church using an Aztec goddess as a base model. Most of the people left the auditorium and the ultrarightist religious nutjob organizations *demanded* an apology from said teacher for daring to bring such blasphemous people to talk. And that's just the one case I know about; I'm pretty sure there are a lot of those cases in that particular Mexican state.

Extremes are extremes. They happen on both sides.

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That Firefox OS mobe: The sorta phone left behind after a mugging

Daniel B.
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Happy

Re: JG Ballard?

I'm guessing that he's referring to High Rise, not Soylent Green.

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Daniel B.
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FAIL

Bad advice!

"because the network operators fear Google so much, they’re backing every conceivable alternative, except the one that can succeed, which is Windows Phone."

M$ has shat over and destroyed most if not all of the mobile phone manufacturers that have dared to sell their soul to the Borg: Sendo, Palm, HTC to a lesser extent, and now Nokia. Any operator or mobile phone manufacturer going down the Microsoft way would be infinitely stupid by now! Also, note that Symbian's history goes back to a Nokia+world coalition precisely to *stop* MS from taking over the mobile OS market.

I'd rather see the coalition go for something like webOS, or probably reviving Maemo/Meego or Harmattan as an alternate platform.

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Google Chrome feature helps you silence noisy tabs

Daniel B.
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Happy

Oh so needed

It is extremely annoying to have a random tab start playing sound, especially when it's an obtrusive ad. I'd like to have a feature that pops up "tab X wants to play sound. Allow/Deny?" so that I can shut up said tabs...

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Microsoft latest to 'fess up to Java-based Mac attack

Daniel B.
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FAIL

Re: Stop using bloody Java

I'd be out of a job, then. It isn't like PHP, which can be replaced by other stuff, or Ruby on Rails (which has much more exploits every day, and of the serious, "server pwned" kind of exploits.) Lots of "enterprisey" stuff is built on top of Java, so it isn't something you can rip out. And even if you could, the only alternative to it is .NET, which is probably worse as you'd end up tied to the MS ecosystem. yeech!

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Daniel B.
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Re: Eh? @dogged

Heh. At first, I also read that as "wait, Macs in a MS campus?" but then remembered Office for Mac.

That said, it still reads as funny.

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Official: More than 7 million Brits have NEVER accessed the interwebs

Daniel B.
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@Nuke

"As for what disabled people thought 40 years ago, I can remember when I was small that there were still quite a few old soldiers around who were disabled in WW2."

Disabled soldiers aren't the same as regular disabled people. They've been trained for far more physical stuff than regular people, and they are definitely not *born* with said disability. Your high and mighty attitude says a lot of you. Get off your high horse!

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US woman cuffed for 'booking strippers for 16th birthday bash'

Daniel B.
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Re: This is called ...

It *still* appears in current US immigration law. Comitting a crime of "moral turpitude" will be a reason for visa denial.

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Happy birthday, LP: Can you believe it's only 65?

Daniel B.
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Re: People forget...

This is why I chuckled when the "audio snob" culture came to be about hating MP3s. The true audiophiles despise any digital format, so MP3 vs. Raw CD is kind of like trash vs. trash to them.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

variable capacity

While cassette tapes did have a fixed "capacity" rate, both vinyl and VHS/Betamax tapes had differing quality/capacity. vinyl: 33.3, 45 RPM. VHS had SP, LP, and "SLP". But besides that, the capacity would still be fixed.

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Daniel B.
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Happy

Re: Introducing a new definition of "a few"

I also agree, the Walkman kept marching on for *decades*, not just a couple of years. In fact, it ended up being more portable than its CD counterpart, the Discman. I have a 1998 Walkman, it still works, and I still use it from time to time.

The place where cassette did get displaced was on the car stereo.

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BOFH: Climb the corp ladder - and use your boss as a bullet shield

Daniel B.
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Nice

Just yesterday I noticed that there hadn't been BOFH episodes since November...

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SimCity Classic

Daniel B.
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Original SimCity

Heh. My first observation was OMG those screenshots are in color! Because the first SimCity I played was on Mac, and it was black&white. Oh, the one disaster that couldn't be triggered by the player but was mostly random was the nuclear meltdown.

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Daniel B.
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SimTower

The fun thing about SimTower is that it was deemed kinda "boring" once you topped out the building. But there's now an iGadget game that plays like an 8-bit graphics version of SimTower, and it is now a moderate hit on the mobile world...

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