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* Posts by Marvin the Martian

1492 posts • joined 2 Mar 2007

Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment

Marvin the Martian
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"Like Ferrari hiring Jeremy Clarkson"

That's only partly a good comparison --- an Everyman like me isn't close to having a Ferrari, but I did use Dropbox --- but for all that:

As a Ferrari owner or dealer you BET you'd be incredibly cheesed off if the company would put up such a chavvy figurehead, devalueing your possession/business interest; drop it like a fibreglass stone and get a Maserati (geographically the closest equivalent, since they moved HQ from Bologna to Modena).

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Marvin the Martian
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@ Q:"What does she bring to the table?" A:"Playing the piano. Badly."

This implies you use the grand piano as a table. You, sir, are a barbarian.

What's going on? First Eich at Mozilla (at least he made himself scarce before I looked up what the equivalent Chrome plugins are to AdBlockPlus and NoScript, saving me some work migrating). Now a 'Security Czar' at the least privacy/security minded company in the world (they give their employees no-questions-asked plaintext access to your files (e.g. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/16/dropbox_ftc_not_good_enough/ ).

What's next, Al Gore as product chief for Apple's Keynote (after getting the Nobel Powerpoint Prize, geddit)? Tony Blair peddling mediation and conflict avoidance? Tell me, who's next?

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Apple to flush '£37bn' down the bog if it doesn't flog cheapo slabtops

Marvin the Martian
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Re: apple .... cheap

With my first budget to get a laptop in 2000, the clamshell iBook was by far the best choice (what punishment that thing has suffered!), so I left the pc world (temporarily).

MacMini has always been cheap... A few clones appeared at the same price or higher, that was it; self-built comes to a very similar price for a worse-looking, worse-finished, warranty-less thing.

The original iPods weren't cheap, but comparable competitors (Creative Zen, etc) did cost the same or more.

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

Marvin the Martian
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Re: he must have loads of meetings on tuesdays

Every day is Tuesday for Torvalds? I don't get it.

Also for the sub-title, I think a Fuming Finnish Doghouse is actually called a Sauna.

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Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

Marvin the Martian
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I think the nappies is explainable

I think Amazon has realized from your spending pattern, that you've reached that midlife crisis point in life where you consider getting a motorbike or a flashy car, decide against it but instead get a mistress, are a bit careless, and have a second litter.

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Alcatel unveils 'cheaper-than-Chromebook' Lapdock-alike phablet-powered laptop

Marvin the Martian
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Hero we go again

I thought the name "Hero" was already licenced by HTC was a model, about 6y ago?

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HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Any incentive to get the right answers?

Guilty as charged. Especially if it's not multiple choice. And even with an incentive, YMMV a lot with mood.

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Twitter: It's JUST LIKE Elder Scrolls (no it's not)

Marvin the Martian
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"the level of detail you’d get with the History Channel" !?!

The Channel-Formerly-Known-As-The-History-Channel (now it's branded "History" tout court, since at least 5years) is known for its shoddy documentaries, and presentation of away-with-the-fairies stuff as fact.

Case in point: My wife thought she bought the "Rome" series (as seen on BBC). Not so, it was similarly titles and from History. After a good fistful of strong drinks it becomes funny to watch. Apparently, the famous legions AND their opponents, throughout Roman history, consisted of the same two dozen of Baltic reenactors; Rome's enemies wore over time three different hats, shields and swords (so, using all combinations, 27 different enemy armies can be made). Similar for the locals, the same five people with varying hats and dresses. Every battle was lead by the XX Legion, even as the voiceover says e.g. only the VI and VIII were involved (I'm making up numbers here -- I only remember the XX as that was what I saw). They only fought in three different locations: A clearing in a forest, a forest path along a stream, and a village. And so on.

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Coming in 2014: Scary super-soldier exoskeleton suits from the US military

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Bounding over the highest buildings

So, mr kroes, if I follow the calculation correctly, what we need is a popcorn armour? Skinny when jumping up towards the building, then *pop* near the apex and a gentle floating down?

On the battlefield, the big polystyrene bubble will attract small-arms fire but should also absorb most of their damage... Landing in an obviously-visible spot and then sneaking out of the crust may be a dangerous moment.

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Factories are too DULL for Google's robo-dreams: Behold the GATAMAMs

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Google, take this deal please

Or aiming lower, you could get robots to swap out faulty drives in a data center rack.

They should give off less heat than a human (is it 800w?) or could even work in uncomfortably breezy/cold rooms, say 15C with a draft, without continuously having snotty and feverish colds.

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.3: the Apple G4 Cube

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Foldable British 3 pin mains plugs...

My £10 Nokia came with a foldable-like-this UK charger (all black -- the red is a good warning of the fragility of this one)... Of course it does not need earth so the plastic pin is no problem.

Why would such a connector not work with a laptop charger? They don't need earth (I had a Toshiba with earth, but that's 10-15y ago).

The UK connectors always try to fall with their teeth up, trying to spear unshod feet; the round EU ones fall on their sides... It's typical maximum-mysery UK design. Have you noticed UK bathrooms are always the coldest room in the house, presumably because it's the only one where you're naked?

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Marvin the Martian
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Re: PSU external

I always wonder what those are doing inside the machine: It's better to have the minimum of dust inside there, so why not keep that rather insensitive block outside? You could probably clean it with a hose! Saves a lot of bother in the quietness tradoffs (e.g. mesh on sides -- let in more dust, have quieter fans but the fans are more audible, etc).

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We MUST be told: How many Bitcoins do I need to kill a melon-head?

Marvin the Martian
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Re: It adds another layer of gambling.

The volatility is such that if you transact money in bitcoins, it may arrive as 10% less or more (on average, more -- for now) even if the recipient re-dollarizes (or whatever's the verb) the sum within hours.

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Marvin the Martian
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Re: You stupid, lanky, melon-headed cunt

Fine, but I wouldn't tweet the death threat he added at the bottom box... People have been jailed or at least extensively tried for far less specific threats.

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OMG, Andrex KILLED the PUPPY! Not quilty, exclaim bog roll boys

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Goose or swan

Stick to goose; swan is illegal in the UK, them belonging to the queen and all that.

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IBM turns plastic bottles into life-saving 'ninja' MRSA, fungus fighters

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Biodegradable? More: what's the rest's charge?

Are fungi and bacteria the only negatively charged cells and molecules going around? Is the rest neutral or positively charged? Are there other baddies that are not

The whole thing balances on relative timescales and abundances: If you're dying from MRSA then this stuff destroying e.g. all vitamins it comes across is a fair tradeoff --- provided it biodegrades away in hours, and effectively kills MRSA in the hours before. If it scoops up only the odd MRSA here and there while wreaking wholescale destruction on the balance of other things, and then persist for months before biodegradation, then that's not so superior. "Biodegradation" implies your body is actively attacking it, so it's not 'neutral'.

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'Don't hate on me for my job!' Googlers caught up in SF rent protest ruckus

Marvin the Martian
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Re: "...causing additional congestion"

Please explain exactly how congestion will decrease if you replace this bus full of working employees with the same lot sitting hurriedly/frustratedly/tiredly alone each in their car in this 50mile stretch of traffic jams, furtively checking their messages every few minutes.

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Marvin the Martian
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Re: RAMMING SPEED!!

Funny, you actually believe that "Germany" story?

So if there's any road accident in front of you, and you go out of your way to run over any survivors, no charges will be applied? Truly, a most believable yarn.

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Mexican Cobalt-60 robbers are DEAD MEN, say authorities

Marvin the Martian
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Re: slow death...

Alternatively you can read it as "we cannot be arsed to look into it; it will solve itself; we live in a war zone anyhows:

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What is thy bidding? Han Solo’s shooter goes under the hammer

Marvin the Martian
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Re: "First doesn't enter into it"

So on those grounds, America isn't the first nation to land on the moon until the Indians or Chinese get around to it? Let's not mention Eric the Viking's wait for glory until 1492.

Peculiar, this is.

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Inside IBM's vomit-inducing, noise-free future chip lab

Marvin the Martian
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Re: What are you doing tonight Emanuel Loertscher?

... stroking his persian cat ...

No, what worried me most about his probable evil plotting is that it was called a "nantechnology center" in the text. That made my mind boggle, and required a stiff drink to unboggle.

Which meant that I started to worry his concrete air spring would spring a leak, so to say; just outside of the warranty period, leaving them sitting on solid bedrock. Not sure how they'd send it in during warranty cover either.

All in all, more questions than answers.

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Think Amazon is CHEAP? Just take a look at these cloudy graphs...

Marvin the Martian
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Re: those graphs are pointless if you don't label your axes properly!

That doesn't matter for comparison or analysis --- 20% more expensive stays 20% more expensive.

For acquisition, looking at any specific online offer (vendor/RAM/cost) as you would anyway if interested, that would let you pinpoint the scaling since the graph wouldn't overlap (from 60x scaling between minute and hour, down to 7x between day and week) with such a ballpark figure.

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Calling Doctor Caroline Langensiepen of Nottingham Trent uni

Marvin the Martian
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Two years is a long time in computing.

It's not like there's no rash of historical articles --- there's old computer hard & software almost weekly, there's the recent 2-part article on running a porn site through the ages, etc etc.

But we should be told if he was writing the Estonian article in 2011 El Reg style, or anachronistically in 2013 style. That should be the difference between a 1 or 2:1.

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Marvin the Martian
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Re: £500 is optimistic

There's a bureau across the pond, there's spatial shenanigans in Spain, and there's Vulture South. Only on postage you're going to spend that much, let alone medium-class drinks.

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Shouldn't we have self calibrating Y-fronts and smart bog roll by now?

Marvin the Martian
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If you think the loo isn't sufficiently complicated or open-to-malicious-hacking, install a japanese toilet.

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Climate change makes phones obsolete: ITU

Marvin the Martian
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ITU is always on topic & on target.

Their big promise a decade ago was to get all our mobe chargers to be the same --- no more "Oh, I've got 2 types of Nokia charger, a Motorola and an LG here at hand, but I can't help you with that Sony Ericson there"...

At the beginning I thought all gizmo makers would standardize to the old-type Nokia charger --- so ubiquitous, on no trip whatsoever I took one as a colleague, host or receptionist would always have one at hand --- but no. So the ITU started designing one, with good specifications e.g. efficiency, and I hear it (from my beauf) was finished over 2years ago --- just in time to have about every gizmo charge from varieties of mini-USB.

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Elon Musk scrubs lucrative MONEY RING debut again on Thanksgiving

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Mr. Musk's attitude

"If these fail, he goes out of business"

Yes, his pride and self-confidence may be scorched a bit, but the point made was that he set up business with other people's money -- if he fails, it's mostly govt money that's burned, not his own.

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Chinese iPhone thief returns SIM, contact list to rightful owner

Marvin the Martian
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Re: "periodically back up any important data stored on the device"

Eh, given that you can reset about every single password to websites by clicking an email link, the browser suffices to give all your precious data (and money) away. And there's not that much point to having a smartphone if the browser isn't configured -- so only doable if you have a dumbphone (and then the data -- texts, call history and phone book) isn't remotely wipeable.

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Beastie Boys parody sueball tennis ends after toy firm yanks Girls

Marvin the Martian
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Re: "where did they find an advertising..."

They call it viral guerilla social marketing.

It's not like they work in a highly-skilled branch of engineering; they're barely evolved from estate agents.

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Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Prove him wrong once and for all.

Nice try, but I'm not going to fund his retirement in exchange for a second-hand shipping container filled with odds and ends. It's not like this is the one-and-only looney that can be finally shut up, so it makes zero (=0.0001% minus entropy) difference to society at large.

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Marvin the Martian
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Why the scepticism?!

Why would they refuse to actually sell a unit? What other scam has the operator saying "nah, I'm not really going to take the punters' money because then I'll be found out"? So why would this one?

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'You're BEAUTIFUL when you're angry' 'You SEXIST PIG!' Xbox One's fresh brouhaha

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Wow, Microsoft just cant get

Monopoly is the right word --- yesterday's dominant but infuriatingly badly designed board game.

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Marvin the Martian
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It's like their "scroogled" campaign. They make these actually funny mugs with "keep calm while we steal your data" and a Chrome logo, then ruin their own joke by cluttering the reverse side with their campaign logo and slogan. I'd have [tried to have --- sold out!] bought one otherwise, even with the delicious pot/kettle irony.

Humor is not their thing.

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'MacGyver' geezer makes 'SHOTGUN, GRENADE' from airport shop tat

Marvin the Martian
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Holding the "shotgun"

Why hold it, and not just wedge it in a specific place, turn on, and go to the most beneficial place for your plan?

As a device for threathening people it doesn't work, as before operation nobody believes it will hurt, and after demonstration it doesn't (look like it can) work anymore (and the threathener has lost his eyebrows and hands probably)...

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SILENCE of the OWLS may mean real-life 'Whisper Mode' for Black Helicopters

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Cavitation.

Twin Peaks is possibly an old reference, but definitely not very old, and far far from very very old.

Now, the owls' three chief silent-flight attributes are: Tough leading feathers, soft trailing feathers, down at the top end, and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope. Hence the surprise.

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iPad 4 is so OVER: 5 times as many fanbois now using iPad Air - survey

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Or ..

The newsflash is that people with new computers/slabs install more things than people with old ones. Yeah, who woulda thought it?

For me, I installed 50-80 apps on my phone the first week, then deleted all but maybe 10 as well as deleting 10-20 pre-installed ones, and since then only one has been added over say a year at somebody's suggestion.

If I had a new phone, I'd probably have another wander around the app store and/or check friends' phones for suggestions; until then, not really bothered.

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Crack our 'military-grade' email encryption and we'll give you 5% of our firm

Marvin the Martian
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Or: Why 5%?

Is it because the other 95% is in NSA hands?

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Aussie bloke hacks way to top of music charts with MIDI-based tunes

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Proof that the GreatUnwashed sheeple ...

Eh... sorry Jake, where do the Sheeple enter into the story? I don't get it.

1/ Man programs bot to play nonsense songs to the extent that they reach the bottom of the charts; this goes on due to lack of automatic detection (some get manually reported and removed);

2/ ???

3/ Sheeple!

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DON'T BREW THAT CUPPA! Your kettle could be a SPAMBOT

Marvin the Martian
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Re: picture

Ah, it's on russian state TV. That makes it clearly legit.

... Coming to think of it, if asked to name who would construct a clunky wifi bot so heavy that you notice it in an iron, "Russia" would spring to mind much much earlier than "China". They'd probably do it with leftover Mig or tank parts.

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Is it barge? Is it a data center? Mystery FLOATING 'Google thing'

Marvin the Martian
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Re: They're going to do it!

The binary counting scheme suggests B&L will never own more than 15 (=2^4 -1), as they started with 0001, then 0010 and 0011.

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Hard-as-woodpecker-lips MOUSE GOBBLES live scorpion, LAUGHS off stings to face

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Grasshopper? Surely.....

Chuck Norris?! You seem to have never heard of David Carradine, if that were possible?

" If that is our destiny, you cannot change it. But do not go with fear, Grasshopper; fear is eternal darkness. Go instead with inner strength, for it is like a deep river into which all streams flow. It increases, always moving forward; and soon, there is nothing that can stand in it's way. " -- Master Po

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How to find OS X Mavericks' 43 hidden photogenic beauties

Marvin the Martian
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Re: verry nice

I think you're trying to re-invent Flickr. Why would "RegReader" be a significant category in photography, out of thousands and thousands of groups?

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'With free Mavericks, we are turning the industry ON ITS EAR'

Marvin the Martian
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"Going forward, we ask that people who share graphic content for the purpose of condemning it do so in a responsible manner, carefully selecting their audience and warning them about the nature of the content so they can make an informed choice about it."

Wait... Now just about anything is allowed. Put on any naughty video, add a condemning voiceover "What a baaaaad boy this is! Naughty naughty! He should be spanked shouldn't he!" etc etc, sorted.

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Vulture 2 paintjob: Kim Jong-un battles flag-waving Brits

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Ariadne Ariadne Ariadne

Reluctantly my vote goes there too.

I'd been trying to coach my 3y old this morning to come with a competing design, but sadly his "pirates" period of last month is over, now it's all "steam locs" 24/7 -- wholly inappropriate here.

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Reply-all email lightning storm STRIKES TWICE at Cisco

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Blame the originator

"That would depend on what you're trying to achieve": NO.

If you want to share info with a lot of people and get their input: REPLY, with the list as said in BCC.

If you want the above, but share the input with all the others: GET A WIKI/FACEBOOK/FORUM/whatever. You can even stick in a poll. It's like the future, you know.

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Anti-food startup Soylent pours sugar daddies' $1.5m into its gloopy mix

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Flavour, texture, visual appeal.

If in doubt, add chili. The british way.

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Deploying Turing to see if we have free will

Marvin the Martian
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Re: confused, moi?

It may come as a surprise, but philosophy is an actual field of research... After reading a one-page writeup on Fermat's last theorem and the proof thereof, do you expect to understand how elliptic functions tie to diophantine equations? No. You cannot hope to get more from a sketch like this than an idea of what direction the researcher is digging in.

This holds for most fundamental research (stamp collecting needs no such depth), although sometimes the difficult bits are easy to gloss over in a writeup.

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11m Chinese engulfed by 'Airpocalypse' at 4000% of safe pollution levels

Marvin the Martian
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Keep calm and carry on.

Moving on from fossil fuels? Whatever next!

What this article needs, instead, is Lewis Page who says it's all nonsense; it's all panicky nimbyism; like radioactivity it's harmless and like global warming it's not there at all.

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Name-squatter fails to flog @roma Twitter handle to City of Rome

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Rome city council is too busy to answer your call right now

To be fair, breakfast is the only thing fast in Italy (that, and the time between buying a Ducati and having to return to the garage): an espresso with a pasty, standing up at a bar, between home and work.

Seems more a lack of linguistic skill in the seller, to me. If an italian says 'Roma', there's a better than 50-50 chance he means AS Roma. The city in a political sense is both the capital community (with clear tourism-advertising interests) and the political capital; just like "Brussels" more often means "The EU council" than "the local government".

So why switch from a clear name to an ambiguous one, except if you'd already have happened to build up a large following? The length of the name doesn't matter, there's nobody that's typing it out.

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BOFH: Welcome to Helldesk, ma'am, may I take your bags?

Marvin the Martian
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Re: Separate CV's into 2 piles arbitrarily

Given that with almost certainty, the 'cute girls' vastly outnumbered the 'rest' (male & female), if you spent more time with them they were either a bunch of incredibly troublesome employees, or you didn't have enough work to do by far.

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