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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1511 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Ex-Microsoft man plans brand of consumer marijuana 'fine cigars'

Graham Dawson
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Re: I'm not sure what the rules will be

And that's why everyone grows their own tomatoes.

OH WAIT

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How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

Graham Dawson
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Re: So in summary..

Fanboy's tantrum? The author's article history makes it pretty clear where he stands on Linux, the GPL and open source in general and he is no fanboy. I really rather suspect you haven't read the article at all.

And how do you define "recently" anyway?

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Kinky? You're mentally healthier than 'vanilla' bonkers

Graham Dawson
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Re: Found an explanation

Given that higher intelligence tends to correlate with a higher instance of autism spectrum disorders and a higher chance of displaying particular classes of mental illness such as schizophrenia and - if you count it as a mental illness - sociopathy, I'd say no, it's not likely at all.

Of course education and intelligence don't correlate all that well these days. You only have to look at the prevalence of poorly researched statistical metastudies that "prove" everything is bad for you and good for you in quick succession to see that. Perhaps it depends how you define education.

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Revealed: Google's plan to float BLIMP NETWORK over Africa, Asia

Graham Dawson
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Re: Is this before or after

Starvation in africa isn't caused by a lack of food. The majority of the continent is so fertile that you can find something to eat all year round without really trying.

The problem is surviving the disease and war endemic to vast swathes of the continent long enough to eat your lunch. Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of Africa until it was torn apart by an authoritarian madman. The most fertile piece of ground on earth reduced to starvation.

Even in the north of the continent food grows quite easily. The perpetual ethiopian famine was caused by the wars with eritrea and somalia. It's hard to grow food to survive when infantry battalions keep yomping over your field and dropping landmines everywhere. There would be little starvation in africa were it not for the dictators and warlords that we prop up with all that feel-good foreign aid we keep sending.

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Oi, butterfingers! Drop your mobe in a pint? Hope it's not an iPhone

Graham Dawson
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Re: Thought I had seen every Fandroid excuse why not to buy iPhone

Hear that whooshing sound? That's the point going right over your head.

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Hey, you, dev. What do you mean, storage is BORING?

Graham Dawson
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Meh

Re: Torvalds is bored by storage

Nobody can be 100% right. If more people realised this then there would be far less idiocy in the world.

On the other hand that would be very boring...

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Stand by for PURPLE KETCHUP as boffins breed SUPER TOMATOES

Graham Dawson
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Re: Boffin: Good news everyone...

You made the tomato purple? Why not Zoidberg!

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The Tomorrow People jaunt back to the airwaves

Graham Dawson
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Jaunting?

The Stars My Destination did it first. :D

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'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test

Graham Dawson
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The plans for nuclear weapons are available on the internet, the materials are generally easily sourced and you can manufacture a crude but functional nuke for next to nothing.

... provided you have access to some uranium.

Sit and think about it for a moment and you'll realise that freedom of information doesn't automatically translate into threat.

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Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming

Graham Dawson
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Re: Proof?

The scientific consensus held that the sun orbited the earth, ulcers were caused by excess stomach acid, plate tectonics was a silly myth and that piltdown man was the genuine article.

Consensus is a good predictor of a group of people agreeing on something. Any relation to truth and reality are entirely coincidental.

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Mobile tech destroys the case for the HS2 £multi-beellion train set

Graham Dawson
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Re: HS1/HS2 link not HS capable

It's more likely that they'd want a direct freight link from the continent to Liverpool. At the moment it' cheaper to take freight across the north sea to Hull, drive it along the M62 and re-load it at Liverpool for transport across the atlantic than it is to sail around the country, but it would be cheaper still to load it on a train somewhere and freight it up to Manchester for transshipment via a local train or trucks to Liverpool.

Just consider it from the strategic perspective of the EU as a whole and the economic reasoning becomes blindingly clear.

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Graham Dawson
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There may not be an economic case at the national level, but at the European level there's certainly a political dimension to HS2. It links the major UK cities into the european rail network. The whole project is built to a continental loading gauge and will be running continental freight as well as passenger services. This is because it's all part of the ongoing process of transport integration across the EU.

In that light there might be a better economic argument to be made than "it'll get us to London a bit faster". Better-integrated transportation links within the EU can be argued to have a very positive potential economic impact, though of course the primary drive of everything the EU does is "ever closer union"... perhaps that's why our politicians are so leery about giving credit where it's due.

And of course transportation policy is an EU exclusive competence anyway. HS2 would likely go ahead no matter what.

You may think this is a good thing, you may think this is a bad thing. What annoys me is that our alleged betters in Westminster feel the need to lie to us about the source of it all. They take credit for things they haven't done- oh wait, they're politicians, that's all they ever do anyway...

tl;dr an economic case can be made if you realise that HS2 has an EU dimension; it's the EU wot done it anyway. Why won't talk about either of these things?

Incidentally, it's worth noting that travelling first-class off-peak with Virgin is only £15 more expensive than standard class and you get free food and booze for that, plus access to the first-class lounge in Euston and all the free hot chocolate you can consume while you wait for your train to finally turn up after all the delays. No mortgage required.

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Acorn founder: SIXTH WAVE of tech will wash away Apple, Intel

Graham Dawson
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Re: "the incumbent always misses the next wave"

Canals had 100% of the bulk transportation market for a very long time. Didn't stop the railways eating their lunch. And the railways had almost the entire long-distance and bulk transport market overland for about a century in Europe and the US, but that didn't stop the car and the aeroplane eating *their* lunch.

When a clearly superior technology arrives (and we're not talking about competing similar technologies like VHS or Beta, which were essentially the same thing - this is video tape vs DVD), it will eventually dominate even when an incumbent uses force (either directly or via influence over the state) to try and prevent it.

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Who is Samsung trying to kid? There will NEVER be a 5G network

Graham Dawson
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Re: There will never......

Point of order, the phrase was "the sun never sets on the British Empire". It had no temporal quality; it was a statement of the fact that the empire spanned the entire globe, and therefore had sun shining on some part of it all the time.

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'Hotmail, since you changed to Outlook, you've been a massive pr**k'

Graham Dawson
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Re: Android is not a saviour

Likewise. Maemo was a great thing, but it suffered the problem Nokia always seems to suffer: every time they have a great thing they shoot it and re-invent it a week later.

If you could say nothing else good about Elop you could say this: he forced them to dopt a platform and stick with it. It may not be the best (personally I think windows phone is shite but others obviously disagree) but at least they're being consistent now. Consistency is what Nokia needed to supply, rather than Maemo turning to Meego-but-it's-really-still-maemo-underneath turning to Meego with a different packaging system turning to Meltemi or whatever they were doing next...

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UK MPs tell Google: Get back here and bring your auditors with you

Graham Dawson
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Re: WTF

You know I avoid paying huge amounts of income tax all the time? I don't earn enough to qualify for the top bracket so I avoid paying that tax.

I also avoid paying VAT on items that I don't buy and I avoid paying inheritance tax by being alive.

Go read a dictionary. Learn what these words mean before you spout your nonsense again.

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Builder-in-a-hole outrage sparks Special Projects Bureau safety probe

Graham Dawson
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If only you'd somehow contrived to include a raspberry pi...

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ZX Spectrum cassette player lost? There's an app for that

Graham Dawson
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Re: Love it

Oh look, it's eadon's mirror-universe counterpart.

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Scramjet X-51 finally goes to HYPER SPEED above Pacific

Graham Dawson
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Pint

Re: Reminds me of Spaceballs

Hadn't you better buckle up?

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Impoverished net user slams 'disgusting' quid-a-day hack

Graham Dawson
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Coat

Re: here comes Godwin

Actually he wasn't a veggie at all, that's a popular but untrue legend. He liked a good knackwurst now and then.

The one with the rolled up painting disguised as a german sausage in the pocket please.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Bloody luxury.

You had a belt! My dad 'ad to thrash us with a strip of our own flesh torn from our backs cause we'd eaten our belts months ago. And he'd make us cure it with our own teeth first!

@Brewster I didn't mean feeding the freezer, that's too expensive. Bulk dry goods and tinned food, that's what I'm talking about. They last longer than frozen foods too.

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Graham Dawson
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Yet there is at least a valid reason for this experiment: he's raising money for charity. Most of those idiots taking a gap year don't do that, they just sort of hang around and make a nuisance of themselves while getting ripped off by the locals.

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Graham Dawson
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When I was a kid my dad owned a chip shop, until he lost his business to a combination of recession and a bypass killing half his trade. While he retrained and looked for new work we were broke and dirt poor. We lived on beans half the time.

You can however get a very varied diet on a pound a day if you shop right. My parents learned the skill and taught it to me - buy bulk, shop at Aldi, look for all those sales where they're trying to clear out stock. Sell-by and use-by dates on a lot of things can be safely ignored for anything from a week up to a month depending.

Oh, and shop at the cash and carry for staples like rice and salt. It's a cliché but if you make sure to stock up on lentils and oats you can survive (not thrive but certainly survive) on significantly less than a pound a day.

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Forget choice: 50% of firms will demand you BYOD by 2017

Graham Dawson
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Re: The next step

A government license to print money.

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Thousands rally behind teen girl cuffed, expelled in harmless 'explosion'

Graham Dawson
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Re: unintended f*c*i*g consequences.

"Yeah well the Yanks seem to have this obsession with treating anyone older than 6 months as an adult,"

Except when it comes to alcohol. And a few other things that I can't remember at the moment.

It's the inconsistency that really does it. They get told to grow up and then get treated like children when they try. Unfortunately it's not a problem limited to the states.

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US Senate vote to add internet sales tax this week

Graham Dawson
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Re: Long live...Die poor.

@AC I get the feeling you don't quite understand how a federal government is supposed to work.

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It's official! Register hack is an alcohol-flushed cave dweller

Graham Dawson
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Re: Neanderthal DNA

The claim is commonly made that our DNA differs from chimps by less than 4%, or 1% depending on who you ask. In a sense is an irrelevant statistic; whilst we share 97% with chimps we also share about 50% of our genetic code with the humble banana, and about 98% with piggies.

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Notebook makers turn to Android in face of Windows woes

Graham Dawson
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Re: WTF?

Given the screen sizes involved I'm not sure that multi-window interfaces would be all that efficient. Most people will use netbook-style devices as single-task devices in effect and rarely muck about with individual windows. Many of the earlier netbooks defaulted to single-task-style behaviour because of that. Even the windows ones.

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The fast-growing energy source set to replace oil: Yes, it's COAL

Graham Dawson
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Re: REminds me of a report in the 1970's "Coal Bridge to the Future."

Why? Improvements in the efficiency of generation, that's why. You think generation technolog has been static since the 70s? It hadn't reached an efficiency peak back then so it's safe to assume that there have been improvements in the meantime.

That's why.

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Google Glass will SELF-DESTRUCT if flogged on eBay

Graham Dawson
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Re: What gives ANY company the right...

It doesn't stand up to legal scrutiny INSIDE the US. There's a substantial body of law and precedent dating back to before the US was even founded (US common law is descended from English common law with very little modification and much of it is unchanged since the 1700s) establishing that a company or person has no right to contractually prevent a second party from reselling goods or items they have purchased.

The contract is void and unenforceable in law. If they try and enforce it they're acting illegally.

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Apple branded porno-peddling perverts by Chinese Pravda

Graham Dawson
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Re: Dear 'The Register'

Aye. If it really gets annoying perhaps they should cancel their subscription. I'm writing to do that this very moment!

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Ofcom: Parents, here's how to keep grubby tots from buying Smurfberries

Graham Dawson
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Re: How Did We Survive

Teeth? Luxury! Why my dad knocked each and every one of my teeth out when I were six and used em in a slingshot to kill a rabbit! I used to have to gum things to death. Teeth...

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... time machine. Iranian Dr Who claims he invented a ...

Graham Dawson
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Re: Interesting

No reflective surface is 100% efficient. All it'll do is slow down the effect. Maybe sufficiently to prevent damage, maybe not, but I'd be tempted to say maybe not given that a laser can have its wattage upped with relative ease.

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Building the actual real internet simply doesn't pay

Graham Dawson
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Re: "Only people who "Can Do" get to make the rules"

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. — C S Lewis

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Graham Dawson
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It's problems like this where an end-to-end monopoly provider would theoretically be able to provide a better solution than a bunch of independent operators. A monopoly would be able to leverage income from profitable parts of the network to subsidise necessary infrastructure elsewhere in order to improve services.

In theory.

Unfortunate that real monopolies, whether state or private, rarely have any incentive to improve their service in this way.

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The healing hands of guru Dabbs

Graham Dawson
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Re: The disappearing computer problem...

Never ask for a bananana daiquiri then.

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Graham Dawson
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Re: Apparently, we are special

Whenever I go away on holiday, if I make the mistake of mentioning that I'm an electrician (though not for much longer!) I invariably end up getting asked to fix the lights.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Systems architect here

"I have a feeling they might..."

My uncle is a civil engineer and he found a way to stop such questions pretty sharpish. He starts with the foundations. 2 metre floating slab steel-reinforced concrete, he says. You'll have to do a site survey he says. You'll need to do soil quality tests he says. Then he starts recommending quantities surveyors and suitable suppliers of RSJs for the core structural supports.

Then again, he once built a 3 ft extension to his house using the same design techniques he uses for bridges, so perhaps he was serious...

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A lightbulb that does IPv6: You know you want it

Graham Dawson
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For now, halogens in a "standard" bulb envelope will do that. They're more expensive than the incandescents were, but you can get two with an eddie screw at Ikea for about 2.50 (last time I checked anyway) and you can buy them with bayonet fittings from other suppliers.

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Living in the middle of a big city? Your broadband may still be crap

Graham Dawson
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Re: Four Yorkshiremen

You think that's tough? Our internet is two cups on a piece of string. If you want to download anything you 'ave to get aunty mabel to go look it up in t'newspaper an then warble into t'cup for an hour and hope you don't get a lost packet.

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I've got a super free multi-petabyte storage box for you: /dev/null

Graham Dawson
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Re: But, but...

For all practical purposes assume /dev/cloud is mapped to /dev/null and act accordingly.

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Microsoft begins automatic Windows 7 SP1 rollout

Graham Dawson
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Re: Errm

Which part of "NFS is a network file system" don't you understand?

And whether it was included by default or not, Microsoft's POSIX subsystem was still a steaming pile of shite that was only partially compatible and only lumped in to claim it was there. It was useless.

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Graham Dawson
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Windows

Re: Errm

Well of course you can inflate those numbers quite nicely if you include the security issues in every single userland package and compare it to only the OS flaws in windows.

Windows had a POSIX-compatiblity subsystem up to windows 2k. It was optional. They had to buy in a proper POSIX compatibility layer to replace it and even that was marketed as a stand-alone product until recently. It was only included in windows by default from 7 forwards. Windows therefore has not been "POSIX-compatible" from the start. It has been at best optionally, partially compatible and if you knew anything about POSIX you'd understand that MS's own subsystem was a steaming pile of shite. Which is why they had to buy in another.

NFS is a network file system...

I give up. You haven't a clue.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Useful Service Pack

You can set up a local repository and configure your machines to update from that. If you're setting up your machines from a standard install image then this will be a trivial addition.

And Mint uses Apt, not yum. Yum is for RPM-based distros.

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Wind farms make you sick … with worry and envy

Graham Dawson
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I can think of a lot of much better reasons to pillory windfarms (or perhaps tilt at them... ;) ) such as their devastating effect on local bird populations - especially raptors and other large predatory birds. Or the way they mash bats. Then there's the problem of inefficiency, the fact that wind power is rarely around when you need it, has a very limited operating potential when the wind is blowing and requires equivalent conventional power generation as backup.

They aren't a viable source of energy and they cause immediate environmental harm. Getting sidetracked on silly things like "wind farm sickness" rather misses the point.

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NASA chief: Earth is DOOMED if we spot a big asteroid at short notice

Graham Dawson
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Re: Earth is doomed?????

No. Worth is an intrinsically human concept. Without humans around, the planet would have nobody to grant it the attribute of worth, and would thus have none. It would merely exist.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Err...not sure 'the planet' is at risk...

Yeah, those damn sea kittens...

Oh you mean the human race? Well if you think it's an infestation why don't you do your part to reduce it and remove yourself?

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Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

Re: So NASA is prone to self induced rover spasms

... seriously?

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Paying a TV tax makes you happy - BBC

Graham Dawson
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Re: TV Licence

Go read your license next time they send you a nastygram about it. You'll find that the Television License is to receive live broadcasts, not "to fund the BBC". Yes it's used to fund the BBC, but that isn't its stated purpose. It's a tax. And a regressive tax at that.

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