* Posts by Graham Dawson

1574 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

'Aaaah FFS, 'amazeballs' has made it into the OXFORD DICTIONARY'

Graham Dawson
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All right, you know what? I'm getting tired of this. Dictionaries record the language as it is spoken. They are not a set of rules. If a word gains traction and becomes part of the language, it will be put in the dictionary.

How many of the words you all use every day were once considered vulgar, silly or impertinent? 150 years ago there were complaints about new words entering the language - words like curry and thug, and constructions like "slice of life". Prior to that, practically the entire modern English language was invented from whole cloth by Shakespeare, and the complaints and mockery his words generated as they entered the language were legion.

Language changes. Get over it.

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Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

Graham Dawson
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Re: yeah but what about the jobs...?

Some form of economy would still exist, though. People would exchange value for value in some form or other, even if it's just uptwinkles on facetwat.

Ignoring the consideration of value is the failure of all central planning. The value I place on some old toys I still have hanging around is immense. Some people wouldn't pay pennies for them. Someone else might value them enough to offer me a lot of money (or something else that I value), which I might consider a worthwhile exchange.

That's all an economy is, in the end. Exchange of value for value. Money is simply one means of measuring value but it is not the only means of measuring it. In a post-scarcity society we may not need a medium of exchange for commodities that can be manufactured on demand, but there will still be items that are valued by people and they will still want to exchange other things of value for them. A painting by a great artist. He may give it away for free. He might not. He could be induced to part with it for something of sufficient value. Or someone helps their friend move a couch around their living room, and in exchange they get a few beers. Exchange of value for value. That's an economy in action.

The claim that the notion of economy would be absurd in some far-off post-scarcity society is itself absurd, because it ignores that central element of what forms an economy in the first place. Forget "utility" and grand theories of things. Economies form from the bottom up, through transactions between entities. They emerge from the value those entities place on things.

That's why central planning fails in the end. It has no notion of value outside of what the planners consider to have value, and what they consider to have value has no relation to what you or I or anyone else considers to have value.

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Beware WarKitteh, the connected cat that sniffs your Wi-Fi privates

Graham Dawson
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@Fibbles Re: Noooooooooooooooooooooooo

There are no remedies in law holding the owner of a cat responsible for the actions of their pet. Cats are exempt from the laws governing animal trespass. They can also look at the king.

Speaking as the owner of two cats, your best solution is a good soaking with a hose. One of those spray fittings works best.

I'd also suggest putting a cover on the bike. It's a reasonable thing to do anyway. Keeps the bird shit off.

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Crypto Daddy Phil Zimmerman says surveillance society is DOOMED

Graham Dawson
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Black Helicopters

Re: John Q. needs to realize that...

I know Cameron's a bit paranoid on the matter, but is it really such a terrible thing to say Boris?

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Graham Dawson
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Re: John Q. needs to realize that...

It's a well-attested fact that if you hand the state a power, it will use it. Governments don't legislate new means to intrude in the personal lives of their citizens unless they intend to make those intrusions. It doesn't matter how much oversight might be placed on those intrusions: the fact is, once they exist, they will inevitably be abused.

RIPA in the UK is a good example. It was legislated to give the police, the security services and government the means to secure evidence against suspected terrorists without going through the usual process of getting warrants and such. In the years since it was passed it has been used to spy on what people put in their bins, find out whether they live in the right catchment area for a school and to gather evidence against people who let their dogs crap on the pavement.

As for the last point, let me ask you something: do you have covers on your windows? Curtains, blinds, some sort of concealment? Do you wear clothes? If you answer yes, then why? After all, you have nothing to hide...

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Defeat of slavery

Maybe, but it ignores a few issues. We were quite late to the slavery game, and there was always an undercurrent against it in England. The abolition movement began before the US war of independence and had its first major victory in 1772, when a court rules that no man who stood on English soil could be a slave. At that point the Americans were still arguing about whether they should establish a local parliament and send representatives to British parliament.

Also worth noting that the United States banned the atlantic slave trade entirely from 1775 to 1783 and the first abolitionist movement in the US sprang up one year before they declared independence.

Abolition was entirely coincidental to the american revolution, and in fact became one of the forces that brought the USA and Britain toward more friendly relations in the aftermath of America's independence.

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Vulture 2 strapped to speeding van before delicate brain surgery

Graham Dawson
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Re: > This is science and not chidren playing

And explosives!

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END your Macbook SHAME: Convert it into a Microsoft SURFACE

Graham Dawson
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Megaphone

there was only one matrix movie what are you talking about

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It's official: You can now legally carrier-unlock your mobile in the US

Graham Dawson
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Re: A glimmer of hope

The sheer volume of assumptions, logical fallacies and strawmen in your post is staggering, anon.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: A glimmer of hope

Standard. Any norm, convention or requirement

Technical standard, an established norm or requirement about technical systems

International standard, standards suitable for worldwide use

Standards organization, an entity primarily concerned with maintaining standards

Standardization, the process of establishing technical standards

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Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

Graham Dawson
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Re: Quite true

Lets just say I meant act rather than directive.

The comparison with the US constitution isn't particularly apt. Their constitution outlines a list of very strict, tightly defined negative rights without any exceptions or special cases and was aimed squarely at telling the government what it wasn't allowed to touch. The ECHR delves into far different territory (and also spends a lot of time inserting caveats and exceptions to its various rights, but lets ignore that for the purpose of this argument), framing so-called positive rights - rights that require some sort of social interference - and also spends a fair amount of time telling people what they aren't allowed to do. It assumed rights extend from the state, whereas the US constitution assumes that the state only protects what already exists.

The point is, regardless of all that, the treaty isn't the target. The act is. It was badly framed, badly implemented and is generally a bit shite.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Quite true

They want to repeal the human rights directive, not the treaty.

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Mars rover 2020: Oxygen generation and 6 more amazing experiments

Graham Dawson
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Re: Bring back samples?

As long as they don't send up Clooney and Bullock...

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DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

Graham Dawson
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Re: power grid

The odds aren't just based on the last time such a CME hit earth but also on the last time the sun produced a CME of the magnitude of the carrington event. The last of those was in July 2012 according to wikipedia.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: power grid

Other way around. The threat of a CME is that it sets up induction currents in large-scale conductors, unlike an emp. Your electrical goods will be fine, especially if they’re switched off. The grid will fry no matter what.

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in for plutocrats

Graham Dawson
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Re: Bunk

True. We don't even get the benefit of warmth.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Needs a boggler boggler noise..for stealth mode

I've had people walk out in front of my jeep. It is not quiet at all, being a late 90s diesel (great fuel economy though, all things considered). The problem is that people are just dipsticks who seem incapable of paying attention to their environment.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Bunk

In fact that's pretty much the ideal hybrid design. You can tune the engine to its greatest efficiency, you can run the electric motor from batteries as well, and you don't have to faff around with complex differentials and dual drive trains. The current trend of putting the IC's power to the wheels instead of using the electric motor for motive power strikes me as rather silly and only makes sense if you want a car that goes vroom vroom when you put your foot down.

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NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'

Graham Dawson
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Re: US Immigration

The reason for asking all of those obviously daft questions is actually very clever: say you're a terrorist, but you answer no to the "are you a terrorist?" question. Now when they catch you trying to set off your underpants in the loo they can add immigration fraud and lying to government officials to your charge sheet. Worth another 30 years in prison at least.

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June Whitfield and EE to old folk: Would you like a nice cup of tea and some internet, dear?

Graham Dawson
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Re: You miss the point....

The french take plenty of advantage. For them it's a giant market protection scheme that serves to keep the farm subsidies flowing.

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HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert

Graham Dawson
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Re: @nematoad -- For security - consider BlackBerry

Ending a sentence with a proposition is something up with which we shall not put!

The phrase "cave in" is a non-hyphenated compound word that, whilst it might apparently contain the preposition "in", is not itself a preposition. A sentence ending with "cave in" is grammatically valid, though for clarity it might be best to hyphenate it as "cave-in".

Never say never.

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Party like it's not 1999: Cry FREEDOM for a better web

Graham Dawson
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Re: "Responsive Design"

What's "new" is that the use of css 3 @media queries to alter the stylesheet depending on the dimensions of the window or the device it's being used on. They're an expansion of the css2 @media query, which was rather limited.

As for your tablet, try turning it from portrait to landscape and back. The difference should be enough to fire off the media queries.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: For those that don't remember the browser wars

IE was also a memory-hungry bug-ridden monster. MS was able to hide the memory issue by spreading IE's components throughout the OS, making it appear lean and light when in reality it tied up system resources even when it wasn't running. And of course the bugs all became holes in the OS, rather than remaining holes in the browser...

It was ever thus.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

Police tend to be better drivers?

In what universe?

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Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad

Graham Dawson
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I have so often found that when people start flinging personal insults, they usually draw them from their own personal insecurities.

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Plucky Rockall adventurer prepares to leave islet

Graham Dawson
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Re: says:

Given how far the Antarctic ice sheet has spread the last couple of years, perhaps they're just playing safe.

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LG unfurls flexible SEE-THROUGH 18-inch display

Graham Dawson
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Re: Fit inside double glazing windows

Not necessarily. All sorts of magic can be worked with polarising filters and the like. Arrange things right and the people outside would only see a white screen.

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Man FOUND ON MOON denies lunar alien interface

Graham Dawson
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Re: Some of those redditors...

Didn't you hear? The moon's fake!

And I wish I was joking. google "holographic moon" and weep for the sheer idiocy on display as people try to prove that the moon blew up in 2009.

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Graham Dawson
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WTF?

um...

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We've just unboxed our Google Android Wear. We're not appy

Graham Dawson
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Re: Paid apps tied to specific devices?

I think the issue is a little less than that. I believe the app is encrypted to the device that downloads it when the download takes place in order to prevent someone downloading and redistributing the apk. You can download it to all your devices from the store without issue, but you can't sideload it from one device to another.

The problem here seems to be that this is exactly what the Wear devices are doing. The phone sends the apk to the Wear device over bluetooth rather than the Wear device downloading the app directly. The apk is encrypted to the phone's device ID, the Wear device has a different ID, the install fails. If the Wear device could download the app directly it wouldn't be a problem, but unless I'm seriously mistaken, it can't do that.

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Reg reader fires up Pi-powered anti-cat garden sprinkler system

Graham Dawson
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Generally jokes have to be funny.

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Graham Dawson
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Happy

Evidently the mod isn't one of them.

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Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets

Graham Dawson
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Re: Different brand for ISIS?

Oh you gotta be real, man. They've got to pick something that would maintain continuity.

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Star Wars: These are the 'unknown' actors we were looking for

Graham Dawson
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Re: Fan Bingbing?

Whatever her parents were thinking, it would have been in Chinese.

Because that's a chinese name.

And she's chinese.

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You need a list of specific unknowns we may encounter? Huh?

Graham Dawson
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Pint

Re: school days

They also speak like that in Essex, Herman.

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Graham Dawson
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Headmaster

Re: school days

It is grammatically incorrect, but not illiterate. Illiterate implies a lack of ability to read or write. Since he's apparently capable of both, he's not illiterate. Just wrong.

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New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'

Graham Dawson
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Re: Why did it take them so long to start

They expend those millions looking for the craft so that they can determine what exactly brought the plane down. You can say pilot error was "most likely" but you can't know that's what brought it down.

There are plenty of instances in which pilot error was assumed to be the cause of a plan crash, only for the subsequent investigation to discover extremely dangerous flaws in the aircraft design, or in operating procedures, or flight operation manuals, or any number of other things.

The possibility that there are planes flying around with potentially fatal design flaws is why they keep looking until all options are exhausted.

Even if it turns out to be pilot error, the money wasn't wasted. They can then understand why the pilots made their mistakes and mitigate that in future with improved training.

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Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Graham Dawson
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This is going to birth more copycats than any of you can conceive.

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That's no plane wreck, that's a Google Wi-Fi balloon

Graham Dawson
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Re: Compensation?

Ok, late as it is, I'm going to explain this to my downvoter because apparently they don't understand money.

There is a pool of tax money extracted from the general population, corporations and so on, from which a small amount is taken to pay for this service. That money is taken and paid no matter what.

Assume Google don't offer to pay directly. The tax money - which includes taxes that Google paid already - is used to pay for the costs of this excursion. Google theoretically pays indirectly for the outcome.

Now we take the reality: google offer to pay directly. Their money pays directly for the whole thing. Lets assume they then write it off at 100%. In this scenario the amount of money sloshing around hasn't changed. All that has changed is that google directly pays the emergency services rather than paying that money into the general tax pool, from which the services are subsequently paid.

Either way, google pays.

The only way to see this as a net loss is to assume that the government deserves the tax money that google hypothetically wrote off, which is such a bloody stupid assumption that I don't even know where to begin.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Compensation?

Google. Google are paying for it.

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Chap builds rotary dial mobile phone

Graham Dawson
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Re: Simply wonderful

There are dozens already.

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'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

Graham Dawson
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Re: Pound sign

In Unicode it's referred to as the Number Sign.

Just thought that worth mentioning.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Oxford’s destruction of English continues unabashed

Quite so. English is a living and evolving language, and as long as it remains free of that awful urge to artificial limitation, it shall remain a living language. Oh Homer is probably the sort that would be complaining about Thug, Curry and Doolally entering the language in the late 19th century.

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S is for SMACKDOWN: Samsung takes Galaxy Tab slab war fruit-side

Graham Dawson
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Re: Yawn

And a thousand elephants!

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Japan's DOCOMO suggests wearable SIM cards

Graham Dawson
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Why bluetooth? Surely this would be the ideal use-case for NFC?

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Come off it, Moon, Earth. We KNOW you're 60 million years OLDER than we thought

Graham Dawson
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Re: Gentlemen NEVER discuss a lady's age

That's just the thing, there are almost never any creationists arguing their side on these articles, just lots and lots of whining about creationists.

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Graham Dawson
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For the love of...

Every time an article like this comes up all the comments go right for the same tired old clichés about creationists. I get it. You don't like them. Well done. Now go and have an original thought for once instead of just rehashing the same boring rubbish and crap "jokes". Or better yet, talk about the thing in the article. You know, the science? The actual interesting stuff?

All this blathering gets old, guys. It gets really, really old.

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Yes. Facebook will KNOW you've been browsing for smut

Graham Dawson
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Re: will ignore the do-not-track mechanism in browsers including Internet Explorer

How is that anti-MS? If anything the phrasing of the sentence implies sympathy with Microsoft against facebook's blatant ignoring of the do-not-track feature.

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PICS ON GROUND: Cabbies PARALYZE London in Uber rebellion

Graham Dawson
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Re: Doesn't hide the major problems with Uber, though...

All their drivers are licensed. They just hook punters up with cab companies.

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We're ALL Winston Smith now - and our common enemy is the Big Brother State

Graham Dawson
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Re: Niven has this one covered

Not comedy; satire. The very best satire is nearly indistinguishable from the thing it is satirising.

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