* Posts by Christoph

1975 posts • joined 24 Dec 2007

Wait, STOP: Are you installing Windows 10 or RANSOMWARE?

Christoph
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It would only be surprising if this had not happened. And Microsoft must have known this when they set up their upgrade system and sent out all those registration messages.

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Magnet-wobble wireless charging system dishes out a respectable 10 kW

Christoph
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Re: "...a way to use this technology while the vehicle was moving,..."

"Overhead wires & pantographs!"

Precisely. London had "fully-electric double-deckers" in the 1950s.

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UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

Christoph
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You must do this voluntarily.

That didn't work, so we'll bring in a law that you must do it.

That didn't work, so we will bring in a law that you must use filters.

That didn't work, so we will bring in a law that you must use the government approved filter list.

That didn't work, but we will still expand the filter list to anything we don't like - unions, protest groups, and other terrorists.

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Christoph
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Re: Safer places for children

Government run Children's Homes

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US to rethink hacker tool export rules after mass freakout in security land

Christoph
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Don't worry, they will amend it so that security companies can still use these tools.

Only registered, regulated, licensed security companies of course.

Part of the regulation being that their tools will not detect any malware containing the string "© NSA".

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Your voter-trolling autodialer is illegal: The cringey moment the FCC spanks a congresscritter

Christoph
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WTF?

"Of course, claiming they don't need to abide by the Telephone Preference Scheme opt-out as they aren't selling anything,"

My answer tends to be along the lines of:

So you know full well that I have stated that I do not want these calls, and you have decided on my behalf that I want you to use this get-out to call me anyway.

Do you seriously expect me to vote for someone who does that?

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YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

Christoph
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Any Kuiper belt object big enough to be round is a planet!

OK, how many planets are there in the Solar System?

Err, we don't know. We have a very vague guess at lots and lots.

OK, how many planets do we know about?

Err, we're not sure. Some of them are just blobs of light. We don't know how big they are. Or how massive they are. So we don't know whether they are big enough to be round. And anyway some of them might look big but actually be two or three separate small bodies orbiting each other.

OK, what sequence are they in, counting outwards from the Sun?

Err, we have a rough idea, but we're not sure of some of the orbits, and the orbits are so angled that the distances overlap.

But we do have a list of definite possibles we can put in school textbooks?

Err, no, because the list keeps changing as we get better observations.

------------------------------------

We need a word to describe the eight inner planets - the four rocky planets and the four gas giants. The things we usually think of as planets. Now we could invent a new word for those, and use 'Planets' for those plus Ceres plus the Kuiper belt plus anything else we haven't found yet. But that would mean persuading the public to use that new word. Ain't going to happen.

So call those eight 'planets', and use a new term for all the rest. Anything else just isn't going to work.

So do we include Pluto? Even though there are almost certainly many K-belt objects that are larger and more massive?

It just doesn't make sense. It needs a much better justification than some US States made a law about it, or lots of people saying "I want it to be a planet, and I'm going to hold my breath until you change your mind, so there!"

It seems to be pure sentimentality. So are schoolchildren in a few hundred years time going to ask "Why is Pluto a planet when all the other similar objects in this Solar System and other Solar Systems are not?" and be told "Well some people in the 21st Century screamed about it, so we messed up the whole classification system just to shut them up."?

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Moneybags Bloomberg whips out checkbook to gobble spoof website

Christoph
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Joke

Is wunch.bank still available?

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Contactless card fraud? Easy. All you need is an off-the-shelf scanner

Christoph
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Re: Who's laughing now???

"Official fraud figures show losses attributable to contactless fraud are less than 1p per £100, a very small percentage of the overall figure."

If the banks behave the same way as they usually do, they won't just refuse to acknowledge fraud is possible, they will have their defrauded customers arrested.

So it's hardly surprising that their official fraud figures are low.

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NASA briefing in HOURS: 'We are upon the CUSP of finding ANOTHER EARTH'

Christoph
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Re: A bankrupt country's tax payer's money well spent?

"Don't the US Government have anything better to spend their tax payer's very hard earned cash on?"

Back to the trees!

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Cyber poltergeist threat discovered in Internet of Stuff hubs

Christoph
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Re: "But you can still be a Hotpoint."

They're Dyson with death there.

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Christoph
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"the testing was done using an old 2012 version of their firmware."

Then they should immediately supply the researchers with an up-to-date, fully patched version of their latest product so that the fix can be checked.

"Any audit would only be meaningful if performed on a secured controller (users & account info/ unit settings/Secure Vera: enabled"

And is that the default configuration as supplied to naive, non-technical users? If it isn't then the above statement is pure refined bullshit.

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Facebook fails to block NY DA's fat warrants for profiles of suspected September 11 fraudsters

Christoph
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"suppress any evidence they revealed"

That might be very much too late. Way back when anon.penet.fi was about the only anonymous remailer for posting to Usenet, someone posted some information which the Scientologists claimed as copyright. They got a search warrant for the real name of the poster to be revealed. Except the warrant actually was for the entire database of users.That would have revealed to the Co$ things like the actual names and emails of posters to a sexual abuse recovery newsgroup.

Very fortunately the operator managed to persuade the police to only take the single entry. The possible consequences if he hadn't don't bear thinking about.

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Christoph
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"Robot surgeons kill 144 patients

"there were 144 deaths during robot-assisted surgery

The second statement does not imply the first. If someone dies during surgery that may be because the surgeon is unable to save them, not because the surgeon made an error. Hopefully that's the reason for the great majority of deaths during surgery.

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Ashley Madison invites red-faced cheats to bolt stable door for free

Christoph
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"It’s unthinkable for any business, especially one that runs on discretion and trust, to betray its customers’ confidentiality,"

ROFL!

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Driverless cars banished to fake Michigan 'town' until they learn to read

Christoph
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Re: Scotland?

Or Swindon. How would they cope with the Magic Roundabout?

Or a Dorset Juggernaut.

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Whitehall maps out Blighty's driverless future

Christoph
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Re: I still want to know...

Plus things like badly laid out roadworks. I once saw a massive jam caused by badly placed temporary traffic lights. I stopped at the red (at the correct place as marked), and then realised that I was blocking traffic in the other direction and had too much traffic behind me to back up. The queue from that went back at least a mile. Lots of other roadworks need careful thought to negotiate properly. And even if the car can read the signs, sometimes those are wrong.

These cars are going to have at least some failure modes where they get confused. And once those become widely known, people will set them up deliberately - for 'fun', or for carjacking.

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Reg top tip: Don't have the same name as someone else if you use Facebook's Instagram

Christoph
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"I think if Instagram had responded in time all this could have been avoided."

Or if Instagram had realised that people generally do not have unique names, and had bothered to check before assuming that someone with the same name as a celebrity must automatically be a fraud.

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What goes up, Musk comedown: Falcon rocket failed to strut its stuff

Christoph
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"Before every flight I always email the entire company saying that if anyone can think of any reason to hold off then to call or email me immediately, whether their manager agrees or not," Musk said.

NASA let management structure be more important than engineering. That's how they lost Challenger - the managers overrode the engineers. Then they didn't fix it properly and let it happen again - that's how they lost Columbia.

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Reg reader casts call centre spell with a SECRET WORD

Christoph
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And if that doesn't work, try 'shibboleet'

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Hackers invade systems holding medical files on 4.5 million Cali patients

Christoph
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Of course not. They just have a law passed making it retrospectively legal for them to do it.

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Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT

Christoph
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The obvious main problem is older and non-standard systems which can run the release version of W10 but will later suddenly become unusable due to an update. There's already plenty of old systems (some XP!) which have deliberately not been updated so that old software and hardware will still run.

But there's another problem when most people can't refuse updates. They will be forced to take anti-piracy updates which disable important functions because the copyright agencies demanded it. And updates which disable security and encryption because the NSA demanded it.

So you won't be allowed to fully access your system, but the NSA will.

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India reveals plan to fix poverty by doing ANYTHING-as-a-service

Christoph
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"a new generation of workers with the skills India needs"

Or a least a piece of paper saying they have the skills. The Beeb had an article recently saying that there is massive amounts of cheating on exams.

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Behold: Pluto's huge ICE MOUNTAINS ... and signs of cryovolcanoes?

Christoph
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Re: Vulcanism

It would have had to have been kicked out extremely recently, or it would have picked up some obvious cratering. But it would then have had to settle into a stable orbit, with all other traces of the kicking also vanishing. Considering the time it needs to do even one orbit, I don't think it's anywhere near possible - the time to settle into the orbit is longer than the time to pick up obvious cratering.

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Europe a step closer to keeping records on all passengers flying in and out of the Continent

Christoph
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Why could they possibly want to store meal choices, unless it is being used as a proxy for religion?

Presumably they know they will be deluged in a shitstorm if they come straight out and admit they want to record everybody's religion and politics, so they are getting as close to it as they can.

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Mozilla's ‘Great or Dead’ philosophy may save bloated blimp Firefox

Christoph
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If you don't like Firefox bloat, use Pale Moon.

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Mighty CHASMS, craters FOUND ON MOON of Pluto

Christoph
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If it's a perfect monochromatic sphere, that's really interesting.

(And possibly means "That's no moon!")

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WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?

Christoph
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Re: Ion-engine

What will you use for power? Dawn's ion engine is powered by solar arrays. That's not going to work at Pluto!

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Christoph
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Re: Need another mission...

It would be much easier (but still very difficult) to orbit Uranus or Neptune. You could even use aerobraking.

About the only way to stop a probe at Pluto would be to use lithobraking, which tends to limit the amount of returned data.

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PLUTO SPACE WHALE starts to give up its secrets

Christoph
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Whale

Have they spotted the bowl of petunias yet?

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Christoph
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Do they realise that the sun is shining on their sports ground without permission?

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China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

Christoph
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Would you rather spend 24 hours on a train, or 24 hours in airport security/waiting while they fix the plane?

Are they going to link this with Eurostar?

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PLUTO: The FINAL FRONTIER – best image yet of remote, icy dwarf planet REVEALED

Christoph
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" a portion of this region will be imaged at about 500 times better resolution than we see today"

There will be major problems if the highest resolution photos show any detail that can conceivably be enhanced and twisted into looking vaguely like a face. The conspiracy theorists will have a field day, since there will be no possibility of later higher resolution images which show them up.

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Hacking Team: Oh great, good job, guys ... now the TERRORISTS have our zero-day exploits

Christoph
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Or the US government definition.

"If the US government does it, it's ethical. If anyone else does it, it's terrorism"

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Christoph
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Re: "Before the attack, Hacking Team could control who had access to the technology"

"Who's for making knowingly concealing a vulnerability from the developer concerned a crime?"

Not unless you first make shooting the messenger a crime. Far too many people have tried to report vulnerabilities and promptly been arrested.

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Crap crypto crackdown coming as FBI boss testifies to US Congress

Christoph
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Do the impossible or you are unpatriotic

"this country wasn't made up of people who said 'It can't be done'."

"insisted that American innovation could find a solution."

Just make some vague patriotic sounding statements, and anyone who disagrees with you is Unpatriotic!

Dear Director Comey, perhaps you could demonstrate how trivially easy it is to do the impossible just by being patriotic? Go stick your head up your arse.

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Norks execute underperforming terrapin farm manager

Christoph
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He might genuinely believe it was the manager's fault. If nobody dares report problems to him, and everywhere he goes he sees happy cheering crowds (because anyone not happy and cheering will be shot), he could be so cut off from reality that he simply does not believe excuses of problems and shortages.

Apparently some refugees from North Korea say that they did believe that it was the best country in the world, because they saw nothing but propaganda.

He wouldn't be the first dictator to not realise what's really happening (unlike the Tories, who know exactly what they're doing to the poor and revel in it).

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Furor rages over ICANN and Facebook's bid to publish home addresses of website owners

Christoph
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Besides activist sites there's help sites for all sorts of personal problems - rape and abuse survival, stalkers, etc. where the person running it may have very good reason not to have their details exposed. If they ask even for donations to help with paying for the site hosting they will get hit by this.

Similarly for lots of other things. Someone running a web comic featuring gays or transexuals might not want their boss to know about it.

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Export control laws force student to censor infosec research

Christoph
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"it is not possible to release the exploits publicly or even to other researchers outside the UK without an export license"

Does this imply that you can't tell foreign software companies about security holes you have found in their products?

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Reddit meltdown: Top chat boards hidden as rebellion breaks out

Christoph
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Here we go again

Hugely popular system, multiple discussion boards run by and entirely relying on unpaid volunteer moderators.

Admin treats the moderators with contempt, and then wonders why they are complaining and why the system is falling apart around them.

It must be the 90s again - Compuserve is back!

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Looking forward to getting Windows 10 the day it ships? Yeah, about that...

Christoph
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"Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users."

That sounds to me like: Each day of the roll-out we will find and try to fix more bugs.

I will wait.

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Facebook prepares to STRAFE the developing world with FRICKIN' internet LASERS

Christoph
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Alien

The advance of technology

It used to be Orbital Mind Control Lasers. Now they don't even have to be in orbit!

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IPT: Sorry we confused Amnesty International with Egyptian group

Christoph
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It wasn't us that didn't do it but you're not allowed to know what it was anyway.

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NASA's New Horizon probe rudely fires its thruster at gnome planet

Christoph
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Have they chosen the next target yet?

If they want another flyby, will they be able to change course enough after the encounter? Obviously they can't mess up the Pluto pass, but I would have thought they might tweak it to make it easier to get to the next target.

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Script-blocker NoScript lets in ANYTHING from googleapis.com

Christoph
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Re: Googleapis.com

"So why do people link to Googleapis.com to get jquery or whatever instead of taking a known version and hosting it locally?"

Makes the page quicker to load. The Google copy is probably already in the cache from another site. Also avoids some maintenance hassle.

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NSA continues mass slurping of Americans' phone metadata

Christoph
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"they can track who made the call, and the metadata of anyone the call recipient contacts, and anyone those people call."

Everyone who gets calls back from the same takeaway, the same travel agent, the same bank, the same government office ...

Not much of a limitation then.

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Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

Christoph
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Re: Welcome to the 19th century

Kinetic Energy = 1/2 mass * velocity squared.

Mass scales approximately as volume.

Volume scales as radius cubed.

So the mass difference alone accounts for it, let alone any difference in velocity due to different approach angle.

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WikiLeaks docs show NSA's 10-year economic espionage campaign against France

Christoph
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Re: Sorry Julian....

".... but until you go and face your rape charges in Sweden, I'm not really very interested in what you have to say."

So it does work then? If a whistleblower releases inconvenient evidence, charge them with a crime, preferably embarrassing and sex-related, and everyone will ignore the evidence that they produced.

It's been used lots and lots of times. I gather there are major holes in the evidence against Assange (though I don't personally have hard information either way).

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That man told me to stuff a ROLE up my USER ENTRY!

Christoph
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Re: Login names

"(lastname * 6 chars, then first and second initials)"

I saw a story about another place that did that, and point-blank refused to vary the policy. Mary Elizabeth Cummins was NOT amused.

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Bloke called Rod struck by lightning for second time

Christoph
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One more strike and he gets superpowers.

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