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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1446 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Mozilla to open - gasp! - Firefox add-on store

Graham Dawson
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Beer and freedom?

It's fair to say that having one usually makes up for a lack of the other.

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WebGL draft spec brings 3D interweb future one step closer

Graham Dawson
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Megaphone

Two things

I was shite,

It required a plugin,

The plugin was also shite - THREE things...

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IBM thinks outside the box with containerized data centres

Graham Dawson
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Except...

Finding the ruddy great crane they used to lift it would be fairly easy. It's not like these things can just be pushed up a pair of planks.

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Combat walker machines: $3m for new studies

Graham Dawson
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Star Wars? Forget that...

Battletech all the way. Perhaps we'll finally get a working TimberWolf.

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RIPA III: A legislative turkey comes home to roost

Graham Dawson
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@ac 12:52

What if they don't have a warrant but just wander in one day because you had your door slightly ajar and then demand to look in the box? That's what this law amounts to. The police.security services, under this law, have the power to demand anything from you without actually having any particular reason for it. They can demand you hand over the keys to the box, so to speak, and then arrest you when you refuse to do so, and take your DNA for their database at the same time.

But, it's been the right of the English to refuse that demand for centuries. This is just another case of the government criminalising something for the sake of making a new crime. You get a shiny new criminal record for something that IS NOT A CRIME, no matter what "the law" says. The law is simply wrong.

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Boffins try to get closer to hot bodies

Graham Dawson
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Annihilator

Energy is never created or destroyed, you're right, but it does become less useful as time passes. Energy is only useful as long as there's a gradient, with areas where there is high energy and areas where there is low energy. Once the gradient disappears and the energy is evenly distributed everywhere, you can have all the energy in the universe and not do a thing with it.

In realistic terms that isn't a problem for us. We have sources of energy that can be prompted to release that energy with very little hassle.

One area these things might come in useful is extracting solar energy. Every exposed rock and lump of concrete soaks up the sun's energy during the day and radiates it again, as anyone who's leaned on a building that faces south in the later afternoon will be able to tell you. Especially in the summer. Imagine being able to harvest all of that heat energy. Of course it would only work most effectively in the summer and in hot countries.

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Hotmail imposes tracking cookies for logout

Graham Dawson
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WTF?

MS seem to like typos

Whenever I plug my keyboard into the only MS box I have left it tells me it's installing a USB Keykoard.

Sloppy.

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Firefox keeps Microsoft 'honest' on 5th birthday

Graham Dawson
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@matt5

Is that why they stuck with IE6 for years and then went from six to eight before Vista was even released? Three browser releases on a single OS release. Granted, 8 was a beta but, even so, I don't recall there being two desktop operating systems in between XP and Vista. Of course I might be missing something...

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Sony to bring Risk to the big screen

Graham Dawson
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Grenade

Of course, it has to be...

MINESWEEPER: The movie!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHY8NKj3RKs

Years ago. Sony are behind the times.

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Whitehall plans 'White Noise' phone network collapse

Graham Dawson
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@AC 13:47

Actually, now the Lisbon constitutional-in-all-but-name treaty has been signed, Whitehall *is* redundant. Whilst I oppose the EU in principle I have to say, if we're stuck in it, at least lets acknowledge the fact and get rid of the useless show-parliament. No more Brown, no more Cameron, no more expenses fiddling. Well... none *here* at any rate.

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Think you're tech savvy? You won't be when you're old

Graham Dawson
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Don't agree

Dad has often said that he'll only start using computers when he can talk to them. You'll find that a lot of these "oldies" are only avoiding computers because they're still basically the same as they were in the 1980s, they just look flashy and shiny but you still have to use a keyboard and mouse. Try using one of those when your fingers are curled round from arthritis. My 79 year-old grandmother manages it but that's because she's a persistent... person.

This idea that the fogies of the future won't be able to keep up with technology is rubbish, if future technology is actually going to make its own use easier then they'll be able to keep up far better. I know I will.

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Guardian loses half a million CVs

Graham Dawson
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WTF?

Confusing it is

I was apparently one of the people affected by this, even though I don't remember signing up to the Guardia in the first place. It must have been years ago.

Anyway, I tried signing in on the e-mail address they'd contacted me at and lo and behold, my account was gone. Had they expired it before the attack? Or had the attack somehow deleted it? But if it had, how did they contact me?

I get the feeling they haven't just e-mailed the people affected. they've emailed everyone who was ever registered even if they don't have sensitive details on their database any more. Of course the alternative to that is that they're holding my information without providing any way for me to remove it, which I understand is somewhat illegal...

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BOFH: Baitin' switch

Graham Dawson
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Black Helicopters

Oh crud...

And I was just considering applying for temp work in IT support...

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Giant megaships to suck 'stranded' Aussie gas fields

Graham Dawson
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@Sir Runcible Spoon

Mostly, though there was a yellow one in the 60s, and a pink one ridden by Carey Grant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2ttd48u0J0

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Google (finally) adds protection for common Web 2.0 attack

Graham Dawson
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@nickrw

"What exactly makes CSRF exclusively a 'Web 2.0' vulnerability?"

Marketing.

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Baroness Scotland fined for failing to follow own law

Graham Dawson
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Grenade

Last sentence is easy

They're checking to see who else in the cabinet has screwed up on this so they can shuffle it under the carpet.

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Rich people cannot feel pain, don't care if they're liked

Graham Dawson
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How about that...

I guess money really *does* buy happiness.

The armni with the rolls of fifty quid notes in the pockets. And step on it!

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Tory surveillance backlash: Worthy, but is it workable?

Graham Dawson
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@Jason Bloomberg

The problem isn't so much "zero tolerance" in and of itself, but the fact that the government created entire new categories of crime and then pursued the prosecution of those new crimes with a vigour that would have been commendable, if only it were applied to *real* crime.

Zero tolerance for crimes against physical property and person is all you need as a foundation (for instance, graffiti taggers, who are causing physical damage to private property). Everything else falls into place behind that. In theory...

What I'm trying to say is, they should get rid of all the rafts of arbitrary new "crimes" they've created in the last decade. Calling someone a name isn't a crime. Hitting them with a lump of wood is.

Of course, removing all that legislation would mean that the government suddenly lost thousands of income streams and a similar amount of ability to threaten people and control their lives, so you know it's not going to happen any time soon.

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NO2ID beats off ad complaint

Graham Dawson
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@Dazed and Confused

Ask the train conductors, they'll know.

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Heidemarie 'Toolbag' Piper resigns as NASA astronaut

Graham Dawson
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FAIL

@lansalot

Go read a dictionary.

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Teen kidnapped over Sony PSP

Graham Dawson
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FAIL

@everyone latching on to "in a video game"

Duh. This thing called sarcasm? Heard of it? Apparently not.

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Street View in a jam over Swiss roll-out

Graham Dawson
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@John Chadwick

"The bigger these databases get the more unlikely it is that you would even be found by someone who knows you."

That would be true if everyone were trawling through the entire database to look but you neglect that Street View is a geographically linked service. It's very easy to go looking around your local area in the service so in effect it increases the chances if people being "caught out" (whatever they might be doing) by someone they know.

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Handset makers, the criminal's friend

Graham Dawson
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FAIL

@pctechxp

A very similar justification was used for the implementation of a variety of surveillance schemes allegedly designed to prevent terrorism.

The three justifications for any bad legal creation are:

It's for the sake of the children

It only affects a tiny minority

The innocent have nothing to fear

I am absolutely mystified by the attitude behind this idea. One of the reasons Microsoft is attacked so often is because its software makes it trivially easy for people to snoop about in your computer. Now we have an author on the Reg complaining about software that's been built in such a way that it doesn't have these problems? Make up your minds for god's sake!

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EU to pour €18m into next, next generation mobile

Graham Dawson
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Black Helicopters

One possible reason.

Pulling the app layer off the phone onto centralised systems, turning the phone into a dumb terminal. You'd need low latency and high bandwidth to achieve that. It would also make monitoring for "security" purposes much easier.

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Campaign for official Turing apology gathers steam

Graham Dawson
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Why should anyone get an apology?

The people who were persecuted are dead, the people who did the persecuting are dead. Apologies are meaningless if they are carried out by people who have no stake in the matter. It would be like me apologising for the fact that some of my ancestors once implemented the danegeld.

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Stargazers spy retrograde planetary bloater

Graham Dawson
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@ac

If it's less dense it'll be lighter. Easy.

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Half-ton space watermelon hints at habitable Martian past

Graham Dawson
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Footprint eh?

Well the Hoaglands of this world might zero in on that, but think about it for a moment: a lump of iron soft enough for someone to make a visible footprint in would have to be hot enough to turn that foot to so much chared long pork in the time it took to make the print.

The one with the blacksmith's apron please.

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Will Google regret the mega data center?

Graham Dawson
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@Phill

Better yet, put them on a boat. Google surely has the cash to invest in a set of geostationary satellites with big fat data pipes on them, or perhaps they can just trail a cable to the nearest piece of coastline...

Actually that could work. Some sort of floating platform, like an oil rig only bigger. you could call it Fat Caroline. Where's the patent office?

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Powered robot suits make debut on Tokyo streets

Graham Dawson
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Terminator

WHAT

They're actually called *cyberdyne*? Good grief...

(in anticipation of everyone else who said the same thing, I thought of it first! I'm just slow.)

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Boston student fined thousands for Napstering

Graham Dawson
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WTF?

Napster? Kazaa?

Oh my god, I've travelled back to 1998! I must warn people about 9/11 and global warming!

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Anti-Sec spoof threatens s'kiddie mayhem

Graham Dawson
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Paris Hilton

@Eponymous Cowherd

No, it's because they're a bunch of little sh... ow-offs.

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Goodbye to physical Fibre Channel

Graham Dawson
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All this talk...

... about fibres, fibre channels and fabric puts me in mind of two cups and a piece of string. It's a grossly unfair idea but... it's just stuck, I can't help it.

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Democratic rep fathered alleged Palin hacker

Graham Dawson
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@public business

The whole point of what this guy said is that she WASN'T using the account for public business! Why are people still spreading this idea?

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Symbian: Linux unfit for mobile phones

Graham Dawson
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@Charles

Methinks you missed the point, good sir.

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Royal Society says goodbye to creationism row vicar

Graham Dawson
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Has no place?

Well I would assume that teachers need to be able to discuss the subject when it comes up. To simply say "it has no place here!" would just encourage the typical child to start chasing up on the subject whenever they could, out of bloody-minded rebelliousness. Blanket censorship of an idea gives it a cachet. It's also unscientific.

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The EU is out to get you, after all

Graham Dawson
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Alert

Of course he voted against it...

But, so what? The EU parliament can't prevent the passage of a directive and the commission can simply ignore any amendments it proposes. I really don't know why anyone is surprised when such a thoroughly undemocratic organisation - instituted on undemocratic principles, if you read the treaties that created it and the words of the people who wrote them - behaves in an undemocratic fashion to preserve itself at the expense of the people living under its thrall.

What gets me is that this didn't seem to become an issue until the US was involved. So, the sharing of all this date between European countries is fine and dandy but the minute the Americans take a peek it's an infringement of civil liberties? It was an infringement of civil liberties the minute it was thought up! Crossing the US border just widens the scope for abuse.

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Lenovo drops web sales of Linux machines

Graham Dawson
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@AC

My wife uses linux. I wish I could tell you what I got when I installed it but this is allegedly a family-friendly forum, so I'll leave it up to your obviously rather skewed imagination.

Incidentally:

"I run both XP and Vista at home, and as someone who knows what they are doing have NEVER had a problem with either that isn't fixable in less than 5 mins."

I run various flavours of Linux and windows at home and, as someone who knows what they are doing, never have a problem with any of them that wasn't fixable within five minutes. The key point is: someone who knows what they are doing. I know what I'm doing with windows and linux (and I could probably hak it in OSX, too, though I hate the thing - personal reasons, read nothing into it). Linux, in my view, is easier to maintain than Windows largely because it presents all the configuration files in relatively easy to read text format, usually organised in an easy to manage way, rather than forcing you to go into the registry and search for things like HK_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/whatever/{1231211b12318a8zxz89a7sa9-32h98ad98h32h97dhq8dq3qdq}/configuration or muck about with the security policy doodad or, you know, whatever. Maybe people like to do things that way. I don't particularly care.

Most users faced with a problem with their computer will either: call in help, or go visit a forum on the intertubes. That doesn't matter if it's linux or windows, or whatever OS happens to be out there, they'll most likely find a forum or a website and say "It's broke!". Or are you saying that Windows has some sort of magical cure system built in that automatically plays soothing music while a Microsoft representative oozes out of the monitor to examine and repair any problems you might have?

All this "windows is easier to get fixed" rubbish is meaningless. Maybe when windows came with a manual the size of a small moon - back when it was still a window manager on top of MS DOS - you might have had a point. But it doesn't. People go on the internet to fix their problems and they will do exactly the same thing when they're using Linux.

Or, if they're my wife, they'll come and ask me. Not that she's ever needed to. I'm tempted to make it break on purpose so I can get the credit for making it work again.

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NASA mulls nuclear Moon reactor

Graham Dawson
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Bye bye moon!

Remember, it was an exploding nuclear dump in the inimitable Space: 1999 that sent the moon hurtling off across the galaxy at improbably high speeds...

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Boffinry bitchslap brouhaha: Higgs and Hawking head to head

Graham Dawson
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There's a reason they call it the "god particle"

The Higgs Boson is supposed to be the "thing" that gives other particles their mass, begging the question... where does it get its mass from? Some other particle?

The standard model seems flawed to me for this reason alone, the idea that you need some special "particle" to give mass to thing just strikes me as an attempt to fill a hole in the model. A "god particle" of the gaps, you might say.

You know if they don't find it there'll be about half of them saying the thing is obviously even more elusive than we thought and that they need to build an even bigger accelerator to see it.

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Google cedes Belgium to Germany

Graham Dawson
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Not only that...

Great Britain seems to have grown a secondary Wales just a bit north of the first one. One was bad enough...

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Neo-Nazi forum hacked

Graham Dawson
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@Steve

"but "do unto them as they have done unto you" is a direct corollary."

You didn't study logic much did you.

"Do unto others" means behaving in the way you want others to behave toward you. That doesn't translate into, as others have put it, sinking to their level if you don't get your way. That vengeful act negates the act of taking the superior road in the first place.

If you are going to do unto others then you have to bloody well stick to it and not throw a tantrum of revenge merely because the other side acted like arses. You can't throw away your convictions about law when they become inconvenient otherwise you are really no better than the people you say you're standing against. You have to draw a line, and say "I will not do these things."

And so back to my original point: Breaking the law whilst claiming to protect the law makes a mockery of the law. Not so long ago people on this very site were rightly berating the illegal activities of several western governments, actions taken in the name of protecting law and liberty. Where is that demand for the rule of law now? The fact that this group are undesirable to you doesn't mean you can throw away all that high talk of justice and the supremacy of law. It works both ways.

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Graham Dawson
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@Jimbo

"How, exactly, is giving a few boneheads a good hiding equal to the systematic murder of ten million people ?"

Ok, so beating up a few people is fine, but when do you stop? ten? thirty? a hundred? When does it become wrong?

Anyway I said the antifa people are as bad as the people they say they're fighting against - neo-nazis. Losers. They don't just beat people who "deserve it", they attack people who they smear as far right without any reason. They attack women and children in their own homes simply for having a remote connection to organisations called "far right". They destroy people's property for no reason at all, assault anyone who disagrees with them and then claim they're doing it for the "greater good" or some bullcrap.

You may find it a little interesting to learn that the standards of these antifa people would class just about the entire British body politic from the 1940s as fascist. People who fought and died to fight the real nazis would be called fascist today, precisely for the reasons they were called heroes in the war.

As, I believe, Henry Morgenthau predicted, the new fascists call themselves anti-fascist. They are thugs and bullies, violent, cruel and uncaring of any laws they break and if they had any real power there would be blood in the streets.

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Graham Dawson
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Breaking the law to uphold the law...

Makes a mockery of the whole thing, really. As the old saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right.

And, to be frank, these Antifa people are no better than the fascists. They beat people up, destroy property and threaten murder to get their way. They're both scum.

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Elon Musk might deliver new plasma drive to ISS

Graham Dawson
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@AC

I would think the time they mention includes deceleration as well. They aren't that daft.

Also, didn't you see the news? Martian soil is stuff full of the chmicals needed to make rocket fuel. All they'd need to do is drop a manufacturing plant on the surface and have it make fuel before the ship even lands. Of course the first trip would probably want to take its own fuel with it for the take-off, just in case the production plant isn't working...

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Psychologist invents new uber-wiki

Graham Dawson
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I read it...

ME! ME! MOI! RRRRRRR!!!

But that's just me me me me.

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World+Dog predicts new iPods, Macs imminent

Graham Dawson
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Company to announce new products

A company may be announcing a new Product soon. In other news, ursine predators defecate in areas marked by high density tree-growth.

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NASA's Ares V may crush Kennedy crawlerway

Graham Dawson
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@myself

I was wrong! Never underestimate the Register Readership's ability to go off on a complete tangent... :D

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Graham Dawson
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Cue whining...

... about how the miniscule NASA budget could be better spent "saving the world" in some way. Perhaps they want to spend it on change this time around.

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Intel hands out rose tinted polarizing glasses to chip geeks

Graham Dawson
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@Alistair

If you want to judge something by its very worst output then please be equal about it. The French may well have made some inspiring film but the majority of what they put out is utter, pointless trash that nobody - especially the French themselves - actually wants to watch.

As for american film, Magnolia, anyone? Though I doubt that one would work in 3D...

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Wireless browsers shut out of the Olympics

Graham Dawson
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@Andy

"In this IT day and age can we not have User ID's linked to License fee's, anti fraud in place to ensure user ID's are not pinging up all over the place at the same time??"

Did you just find a new role for the Government ID Card project? I think you did!

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