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* Posts by Frumious Bandersnatch

1295 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007

BOFH: Resistance is futile - we're missing BEER O'CLOCK

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "Dueling Banjos played on bagpipes is bloody brilliant!"

I do, however, have "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana (AKA "the Old Spice music") played on a banjo. Now THAT'S good.

Hey! I've got that one too (off Uncut: Strange Currencies). It's pretty good.

Toy Doll's Beethoven Song is good too.

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Mystery traffic redirection attack pulls net traffic through Belarus, Iceland

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Datacentre Question

Iceland - Democracy, member of NATO, not overly friendly with the US (offered asylum to Snowden ...,

and Bobby Fischer before him. Based only on those two facts and the film 101 Reykjavik, it seems like a good place.

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Richard Stallman decides Emacs should go WYSIWYG

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: @ Rampant Spaniel (was: I use VI! ;-))

No offense meant but using the word "grok" makes you sound like an utter bellend.

I downvoted you because it's not the word "grok" that's the problem. jake does a fine job of making himself sound like an utter bellend all by himself.

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Bill Gates orders HITMAN to KILL right-hand man STEVE BALLMER

Frumious Bandersnatch
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naggers

Enough said ... oops! too much.

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UK defamation law reforms take effect from start of 2014

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Headmaster

Re: Doesn't seem to be much different

The "sic" could be OK if he meant that he didn't consider UK society as civilised. Like when Gandhi was asked what he thought of western civilization: "I think it would be a good idea."

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XBOX ONE ROUNDUP-of-the-ROUNDUPS: Everything YOU need to know

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Just what every household needs

A big Monolith for the sitting room. What could be cooler than that? Oh, I'm not allowed to stand it vertically? Bummer :(

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Ballmer: Microsoft stronger without Bing and Xbox tinkering

Frumious Bandersnatch
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It's also rather noisy I hear.

Really? I just don't know, but I'd guess that it should, in theory, be quieter than the PS4 due to not having an internal PSU to heat things up. I guess I'll wait until both boxes are released and make a decision based on actual reviews rather than AC hearsay, TYVM.

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Vint Cerf: 'Privacy may be an ANOMALY, now over'. And it's no secret I think that

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: If you want your private life to remain private

In the future with more cloud storage this data will be duplicated enough that it cannot be taken down.

There are plenty of places you can buy fake social networking profiles. These days they're used by PR companies to give their sock-puppet comments some sense of verisimilitude. If things get that bad, I'm sure that companies will step in to fill a gap in the market to provide fake profiles for people who want to protect their privacy. You might not be able to take down all the shit that mentions or shows you, but you can splatter enough fake stuff that you cast doubts about whether that dodgy page you'd rather not have people see is real or whether it's even you. As Lou Reed (channelling Poe) put it, "don't believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear". Facebook? "Stick a fork in it--it's done"

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Delia and the Doctor: How to cook up a tune for a Time Lord

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Excellent article

I've read bits and pieces about Delia Derbyshire's amazing work in the BBC and on the Who theme around the place, and it's nice to see her front and centre in this article, and getting some well-deserved recognition.

I've been listening to various versions of the theme as I read the article, from the original to Orbital, to Coldcut to Bill Bailey. It probably sounds a bit sacrilegious to mention the Bill Bailey "version", but it always makes me smile :) I also thought of him when I was reading the "Tape your time" section, as he explains what U2 would sound like without the delay effect on the guitars.

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Brit graphene maker poised to go public: Yes, wonder stuff WILL float

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: to IPO

Good point! And good I'm not a hack ;-)

Starting a sentence with "And"? Tut tut!

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: to IPO

(Is there no grammar Nazi icon?)

I nominate a screen grab of the Roman centurion giving Brian a good telling off for his "Romanus aeunt domus" graffiti in TLoB.

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Why not build a cluster out of WORKSTATIONS?

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: I don't get the use of this.

What use is a curved wall of graphics output linked to a supercomputer?

Why, a brainwashing room, of course. Like in The Ipcress File (with Michael Caine) and lots of other films from around the same time.

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Sony scoffs at the Microsoft EX-BOX: A MILLION PS4s sell in ONE day

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Badly misread headline...

Sony in the sex-change market?

I read it as XXY, so I can totally see the confusion.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: COD - killing

Go play Dishono(u)red with a no kill run.

Now that is an achievement

Pah. Go play Nethack as a Samurai, wear a blindfold right from the start and ascend without eating any food for the entire game. Now that's an achievement :)

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Nvidia reveals CUDA 6, joins CPU-GPU shared memory party

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Unified Memory

If anything this could make the situation worse for NVidia. Before this, when the programmer had to do their own data transfers, the latency was explicitly there in the source code

I got the same feeling on reading the article. The latencies are still there, but now they're just hidden behind a software translation layer. I'll agree that doing explicit DMA or other main memory <-> device memory transfers is annoying, but we already have a technique for hiding DMA latencies(*), namely double (multi) buffering.

Multi-buffering can, for many problems, not only "hide" the latencies, but effectively eliminate them for all but the first block to be transferred. If this new feature does automatic loop unrolling and transparently adds multi-buffering (or even just double-buffering) when it detects it should be used, then that would be pretty nifty. Unfortunately, judging by the description in the article, this isn't what it's doing, and all we get is blocking, full-latency access to the "shared" memory, with "shared" in quotes because it's only a software abstraction, not a hardware feature. I could be pleasantly surprised, but from the article, it seems like it's only a sop to lazy programmers, and not real shared memory at all.

(*) I'm not actually up to speed on CUDA, so I'm assuming it uses DMA to do data transfers?

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Acer's new Haswell all-flash Chromebooks sip power for less than $200

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Overpriced

Chromebooks, phones, glasses, watches ... what's next - wifi tatoos ?

Haven't you heard? Wifi tattoos are so last week (give or take a day or two).

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Pwn2Own crackers leave iOS and Samsung mobe security IN RUINS

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Factor installed software

The newer versions are still Java on top of Linux. Trying to keep that secure is like trying to secure water with a sieve and a cheese grater....

So, you're saying it's easy, then? (hint: freeze the water first)

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Is it all up for LANDFILL ANDROID? BEHOLD, the Moto G

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Confusing

Well actually, there was a rumour going around a while back that a certain Sam Sung was working for Apple. I don't know if it was ever properly confirmed/denied.

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New Retina iPad Mini not sold out HOURS after launch - world REELS

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: You missed the step

about as statistically reliable as a glass sandwich is edible.

Sorry. I couldn't resist the urge to dig up this link.

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New wonder slab slurps Wi-Fi, converts it into juice for gadgets, boast boffins

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Watch out there's a lawyer about

prosecute someone with solar panels on their roof

Just goes to show what a scam electricity generation is. You know those electrons the electric companies supply on one wire? They suck them back to their plant on the other wire! (then sell them back to you again--the cheek!)

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Don't cancel that new nuclear power station just yet.

You'd be better off with a coil of wire around your hat generating power as you move through earth's magnetic field.

Yoink. I'm off to the patent office to register my new "power-generating cycle helmet". Ta muchly.

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Snowden: Hey fellow NSA worker, mind if I copy your PASSWORD?

Frumious Bandersnatch
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"they've got their digital fingers in the till"

Whaddya mean, "digital" fingers? Fingers are digits, you numpty :)

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: And this is security?

Wonder Woman's lasso of truth (or whatever it's called--actually that was a lucky guess) is more believable. Bizarrely enough, the same guy who invented that also contributed to the invention of the polygraph.

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KRAKOOM! iPad Air EXPLODES in FIREBALL, terrified fanbois FLEE Apple store

Frumious Bandersnatch
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saw a "burst of flames" shoot out of the iPad's charging port

Thunderbolt and lightning---very, very frightening!

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Brit spymasters: Cheers, Snowden. Terrorists are overhauling their comms

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Another DEVASTATING Chelyabinsk METEOR STRIKE: '7x as likely' as thought

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Instant climate change

Time to "dust off" Wilhelm Reich's machine, maybe? You've probably heard about it: Kate Bush wrote a rather excellent song about it

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You've been arrested for computer crime: Here's what happens next

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Image hash database

Is this publicly available so that sysadmins can run preventative measures?

You don't need it. Just put a few junk bytes at the end of your files. Should work. Unless they do block-level hashing, of course.

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Brazil makes it official: Gov email must be state-run and on-premises

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Joke

Re: "NSA's influence waxes"

Wanes, surely?

Or is that what THEY want us to think?

Wanes? Glad to hear someone's thinking of them.

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We've invented the FONBLET, says Samsung

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: trouser pockets

Is it time for the thigh pocket ('sadlebag') to escape

I think they're called "cargo pants".

I'll chip in with a previous poster and mention that my Nexus 7 fits in my front jeans pocket just fine.

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OK, maths wonks: PRIME TIME has arrived

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Not prime, but...

Since we seem to have a lot of number-loving commentards (numeritards?) today

Or, as Moss from the IT crowd put it in the Countdown episode: "overnumerousness".

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Unix time

Has prime number dates all the time: Since π(x) ~= x / ln x, just plug in Unix time (seconds since 1 Jan 1970) for midnight today and midnight tomorrow and subtract the two π(x) values. There are thousands of prime times each day.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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What integer is it divisible by, other than one, and itself?

To use the lingo, being divisible by no other number except 1 and itself is necessary but not sufficient to describe what a prime number is.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: It is a lot more complicated than that.

Ha. Patenting the number is nothing. The US took crazy one step further by decreeing a prime (4856...[over 1,000 digits elided]...9443) illegal.

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SCIENCE and RELIGION AGREE! LIFE and Man ARE from CLAY

Frumious Bandersnatch
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So

I can haz golem now?

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Anonymous hacktivists' Million Mask March protest hits London

Frumious Bandersnatch
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the police's failed kettling attempt

maybe anyone with tea leaves

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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re: "revolutions are bloody affairs"

Not always. See the Carnation revolution for one. Granted, I do agree with you about the opportunists ...

"There goes the mob... I must follow them, for I am their leader."

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Microsoft's Windows Azure Plan B: A hard drive, a courier and a data-centre monkey

Frumious Bandersnatch
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why not extrapoloate?

If it's so efficient to upload by physically shifting disks around from place to place, why not go the whole hog and implement this "cloud" thing like a mobile library? I'm sure customers would appreciate the extra bandwidth, and if the disks are large enough, any latency issues (waiting for the van to arrive) can be ignored because it'll still get to you before a full download would finish.

I think these tech companies are doing things wrong.

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Horrific FLESH-EATING PLATYPUS once terrorised Australia

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Platypi eat crustaceans and shellfish...

re:... a proto-platypus with a Koala in its mouth!

Or perhaps a drop bear?

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Watch out, MARTIANS: 1.3 tonne INDIAN ROBOT is on its way

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Martian Robot Wars

It should be fun when it arrives on Mars and finds out where the US bots are located. I'm sure that a 1-tonne, six-armed golden giant of a bot will make quick work of the pathetically puny, trowel-wielding US bots. Any news on whether Craig Charles will be commentating? If he's not available, David Lamb would do in a pinch.

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Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Billions and billions

Hmm... now that you mention it, I've got Orbital's "Are We Here?" in my head(*). Not that that's a bad thing :)

(*includes Carl Sagan samples, I think)

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Facebook fans fuel FAGGOT FURY firestorm

Frumious Bandersnatch
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I was once told

That the Spanish for "I see the sea" sounds like a pretty bad curse in Finnish. Maybe I misremembered cos the Internet tells me that the Finnish "Katso merta" means something disgusting in Italian.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: 'Twas ever thus

Yep, 'smoking a fag' is apparently also a euphemism for performing oral sex on a homosexual man's phallus. Cue red faces all round.

And yet talk about people's fannies is totally socially acceptable over there...

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Crypto boffins propose replacing certification authorities with ... Bitcoin?

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: 'Nuff Said

So (IIUC) with this system in place we could prove that all messages supposedly coming from "Frumious Bandersnatch" do come from you, but not who you are?

In a nutshell, yes. The big difference in the paper is that the network provides a decentralised identity system, unlike here, where the "Frumious Bandersnatch" nym is controlled totally by the Register (well, and me).

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: 'Nuff Said

Is that enough for you?

Let's not confuse anonymity with pseudonimity. The paper describes a method for building the latter upon a network that assume the former as a building block.

There are two routes to proving "identity" (ie, ownership of a particular pseudonym) as outlined/mentioned in the paper. The first is through ZK proofs. Using this, you come up with a secret and then convince some other party (the ZK proof part) that you know the secret or some property of it. When the paper talks about "identity", it's talking about a pseudonym, and when it talks about an "authority" it's talking about something that's acting as your delegate in proving that you own that nym (via a credential that you issue). ZK proofs mean that you can prove that you know the secret key, but never reveal any knowledge that could be used to reconstruct it.

The second kind of identity is group identity. You can prove that you're a member of a group by using one-way accumulators. A CA will generate an accumulator (like a hash table, but more compact and opaque) for each member of the group. Then each member can use that to identify themselves as being part of the group without revealing the other group members. This preserves the essential anonymity of the group (even to other members, though the CA knows the signing keys), while still allowing nym-to-nym self-recognition (and even proving membership to non-members).

It's pretty amazing the things that can be done these days with the crypto primitives we have. It's totally possible to set up an identity (read: pseudonym) system that is totally (well, computationally, to any degree you want) anonymous. That's why I called you out on your initial comment.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: analogy fail? (@ Frumious Bandersnatch)

But that's just chicken and egg reasoning. It doesn't demonstrate any intrinsic value proposition for non-members. It's like saying, "if you have a fax machine, you can fax other people who have fax machines". If the network isn't there (or is shrinking, as I assume is the case for fax users) then there's no point in joining it. At least Bitcoin does have a clear value proposition (you might convert electricity into cash).

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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analogy fail?

The sole reason that Bitcoin works is that peers have a vested interest (money) in doing one of two things: minting new coins, and proving that the ledger is correct. There's a delicate balance struck between regular users and those with vastly more computational power available to them. Bitcoin is structured in such a way that it's more likely that the latter can gain more virtual currency by playing by the same rules as the regular users rather than trying to subvert the system. This leads to the question of how a distributed identity system like this one is going to convince users that it's in their own interest to be "provers" in this system. For Bitcoin (and similar) the answer is obviously monetary, but the paper makes no mention of compensating peers at all.

The paper describes all the machinery, but completely misses out on the reason why anyone would want to devote their resources (CPU, network, electricity) to implementing it.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: 'Nuff Said

"to make assertions about identity in a fully anonymous fashion"

No, please do say more. You do realise how zero-knowledge proofs work? Or algorithms like Dining Cryptographers? Just because people hide behind masks it doesn't mean they can't make true statements (statements about identity included).

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Could Doctor Who really bump into human space dwellers?

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Time delays are the major difficulty

Perhaps instead of linear video logs, they could use "choose your own adventure" style updates? The sender would try to anticipate the kinds of questions and scenarios that the nauts might have, then package up all the data into something like an Infocom or SCUMM format for playback in a non-linear way up on the ship. They could also have Max Headroom-style virtual actor software (complete with tunable voice synthesis a la Hatsune Miku) sent up with them, so that the nauts could interact with something that looks and sounds something like the people back home (all without wasting valuable transmission bandwidth).

The CYOA games that they send up might have a bit of replay value, too, and would give people a bit of entertainment value (both watching/playing and crafting their own modules to be sent back) for the long journey.

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Fiery bits of Euro satellite to rain down on Earth this weekend

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Ohhhh, The Irony... (x2)

Not only that, but they don't even know where their gravity experiment will land... would have thought the equations were well known at this point.

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Dead PC market? In the UK? NEVER

Frumious Bandersnatch
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like a dead mule?

"Beaten(*) like a borrowed donkey" was the phrase that sprang into my mind.

* By netbooks tablets, obviously, though that sense of "beaten" kind of ruins the analogy.

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