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* Posts by Steve Crook

385 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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Cable guy, Games of Thrones chap team up to make Reg 'best sci-fi film never made' reject

Steve Crook
Mushroom

Cancelled...

Half way through season 2 despite fan protests and a big seller on DVD rivalling Firefly, leaving everyone to wonder why on earth it was cancelled. Especially as NCIS had just been renewed. Again.

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Starship Troopers beat Aliens, Robots AND Chuck Norris to WIN in a FIGHT

Steve Crook

Daleks

Leaving aside their utter inability to cope with stairs, they're continually thwarted by some bloke with a screwdriver and a phone box. Nowhere near hard enough for #8.

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Read The Gods of War for every tired cliche you never wanted to see in a sci fi book

Steve Crook

Re: Want to see the film version?

"The idea of a film version is just too horrible to contemplate."

We all know that film versions are never as good as the book.

Also, consider the possibility of being able to buy the film of "The Gods Of War" and "Battlefield Earth" as a DVD double bill.

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Slough isn't fit for humans now, says Amazon. We're going to Shoreditch

Steve Crook

Slough - Paradise on Earth

Well, it wasn't bad when I lived there during the late 50's early 60's. It went downhill rapidly after my family took me away to Bristol.

But that's probably a coincidence....

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Enigmail PGP plugin forgets to encrypt mail sent as blind copies

Steve Crook

Re: I don't even know anymore

This is probably the best laugh I'm going to have all day.

All I could see was some massive compound 'if' statement and an 'if' that really ought to have had braces.

Brave of him to own up to it. At least he didn't try to claim that the NSA had hacked his repository...

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Limits to Growth is a pile of steaming doggy-doo based on total cobblers

Steve Crook

Re: Enery is the secret

"cheap, abundant clean energy would be utterly awesome"

Not to those who believe we are a plague upon the Earth despoiling the once beautiful face of Gaia.

The deferential way the Ehrlich's prognostications are received reminds me of the treatment of sports 'heroes' who do something utterly brilliant once, then live off that one event for decades afterwards. People seem unwilling to believe that someone who did a wonderful thing is incapable of similar brilliance afterwards.

Oddly, in the music business they're called one hit wonders, and everyone is happy to forget about them until the next pop quiz comes around. Hohum.

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California blue whale numbers soar to historical levels, say boffins

Steve Crook

It's a success story with an important lesson...

Life is more resilient than we are inclined to think and that given half a chance, recovery from what appears to be a dire situation is possible.

Not implying that we don't have to make an effort, but just that the glass is half full not half empty..

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NASA finds ancient films that extend Arctic ice record by 15 years

Steve Crook

Ancient?

"An ancient and now public trove"

From 1964? Ancient? Thanks ever so much, I'm ancient too!

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Six of the best gaming keyboard and mouse combos

Steve Crook

Re: citóg

Gave up using a mouse left handed about 25 ago when workstations with mice were rare, and I always had to change the system config to get them to work for lefties and was shouted at by righties when I left them that way...

It took me about a week to get used to the idea, and I've never gone back, mainly because I found it more useful to be able to type with my left while using the mouse in my right....

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Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

Steve Crook

Re: Recent news on Page 2

With increasingly automatic cameras it might be difficult to justify copyright on grounds of creative input, but you can always argue intention.

In this case the photographer did have the idea to give the simian the camera to get it to take a selfie, switched the camera on and presumably had to direct the simian's finger to the shutter release to get it to take a picture of it's face and not its genitals...

So I think he has a claim.

As for the last remark. Pooh.

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Jarvis versus Jarvis: Don't DISRUPT the DISRUPTION GURU!

Steve Crook

I wish to remain in blissful ignorance

I know this sort of bollocks goes on and that there are pompous dickheads more intent on self promotion or protecting their reputation than doing anything useful. But I'd rather not read about them.

A bit like necrophilia or men with their knobs stuck in picnic tables...

Could you please start the article header with Contains Thrill Suckers or something. Then at least I'd know only to read it when I'm feeling strong...

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'iPhone 6' survives FRENZIED STABBING. Truly, it is the JESUS Phone

Steve Crook

Re: bull...

@Mike Bell

You complete swine. I'd never heard of Rado, went to the site and looked at their watches and found one that's just what I've been looking for, elegant and incredibly understated. As far as the price goes, *ouch* is an understatement, and I'd be afraid to wear it in case I lost it.

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Google de-listing of BBC article 'broke UK and Euro public interest laws' - So WHY do it?

Steve Crook

Re: not illegal

@Kristian

Yes to most of what you say, but you're not saying it's illegal.

Some aspects of Google manipulating its search results could be anticompetitive where the removed or demoted items concern competing services (think the recent Springer complaint). But after that, I'm not sure Google have any *legal* obligation w.r.t free speech, censorship or telling the truth than the BBC, Daily Mirror or any other media organisation.

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Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Steve Crook
Coat

Fail.

"The cover for the game also features a woman holding a mobile that could arguably be said to look like Lohan"

It's going to fail. The mobile looks nothing like Lohan.

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British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

Steve Crook

Re: Mathematician vs. a "Real" Scientist...

Absolutely right, a mathematician can know nothing detailed about climate change and can only be an amateur. After all, it's not like he's had a paper published in Nature Climate Change or other reputable climate change journal is it? Ohhh, hang on...

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

Steve Crook

Re: Niven has this one covered

It sort of worked in East Germany.

You only need enough commitment from a few to get the ball rolling, once everyone else thinks there's no escape and that any transgression will be discovered and punished they'll be more compliant. Even to the extent of becoming part of the system.

The message from the wall was, in essence, "no-one gets out of here alive". It works for the Norks and would in the UK too given the right resources.

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Glacier's hot butt melts ice, boffins say

Steve Crook

Re: Verification

Agreed. However, we're talking about the degree of the effect, not if it exists. The paper isn't news because they've found geothermal heating, but because they've tried to quantify it, and according to their calculations, it's significant.

As an earlier commenter pointed out, it would be good to see these effects accounted for in GCMs.

So, the more we know, the more we know we don't know. That's science.

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Jupiter's Great Red Spot becoming mere pimple

Steve Crook

Damn, you shot my fox.

The post is required, and must contain letters. Obviously.

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Giant pop can FOUND ON MOON

Steve Crook

Re: 'Pocari Sweat' - whaa?

The Pocari is a small gazelle found in Southen Africa. Originally the sweat was scraped from its sides after herding and drunk by thirsty herders. The Japanese found a way to synthesise it during the 1960's and the rest is history.

There's no truth in the rumour that the great Pocari Sweat shortage of 2011-2012 was related in any way, shape or form to the failure of the nuclear reactors at Fukishima.

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Boffins run iOS apps on Android hardware

Steve Crook

Stop gap

At the rate mobile processors are improving, it won't be long before virtualisation is preferable. Given the fruity firms aversion to cross compilers, I doubt this'll ever escape from academia...

The main result will be IP/copyright lawyers everywhere wondering if they can afford another beach front property...

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Gigabyte Brix Pro: You don't need no steenkin' Xbox... when you have 4K-ing amazing graphics

Steve Crook

Re: A shame

Try building one based on a Mini ITX board. You'll be able to get all of those goodies into a small ish case, run an I7 with a decent mid range graphics card and keep it relatively small and quiet. Nowhere near as small as a Brix, but the Node 304 case I'm using is tiny when compared to a full sized system.

Of course you'll probably end up paying slightly more, but not much. The system I'm building will come in at under £800 including SSD, HDD, OS and 16gb RAM.

It's still early days for Steam OS and Valve have been clear about it. Games are going to be developed with Steam OS support from the start. At some point I'm expecting to have a box that boots into SteamOS and runs Windows in a VM.

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Scientists warn of FOUR-FOOT sea level rise from GLACIER melt

Steve Crook

Re: Disappointed

Trouble is, the article didn't contain scientific observations, it was a review of a paper and it didn't include the vital information on the projected time it will probably take for the glaciers to completely slide into the ocean, or how long it would be before we saw ANY noticeable effect from their slide.

If anything the article bore more resemblance to the breathless and overheated Suzanne Goldenberg review in the Graun. For a more grounded alternative, try reading Andy Revkin in the NYT.

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Steve Crook

Re: Hard to cope with?

According to what I've read the paper says that they're not expecting this four foot (metre?) rise for several hundred years, possibly a thousand. The Graun also said the report tells us that the decay of these glaciers *cannot* be stopped even if we take drastic action to curb emissions.

We have no alternative but to do something about it. In fact, in the face of a 4m rise, we'd probably be better off going hell for leather on developing the under developed world to make sure that as much of the globe has the opportunity to adapt.

Unless the authors of this paper are wrong. I know it's been peer reviewed and all, but it's just one paper. It might never happen or be faster, slower. It might be that the glaciers *would* slow if we dropped global temps, or that other changes in climate will cause more ice to form elsewhere in the Antarctic.

More research please...

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Samsung will ... sigh ... appeal $119m Apple patent verdict

Steve Crook

Charles Dickens would be proud

It's not often that life imitates art so brilliantly...

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All men are part of a PURE GENETIC ELITE, says geno-science bloke

Steve Crook
Joke

"They've been selected and purified over time."

Just like a premium larger. Cor, I'm so proud....

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EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?

Steve Crook

Testing the algorithms?

"To minimize systemic risk, the algorithms used would have to be tested on venues and authorized by regulators"

So they're going to set up an artificial market, install all that software and specific hardware that the companies have practically under armed guard because it's so secret, test it and then write a report? Really?

Regardless of the sense or otherwise of actually implementing controls, the practicalities of having a central body that checks the software and authorises it as fit for purpose is mind boggling.

What happens if the auditors mandate a change and their change to the algorithm actually causes problems that cost money?

It sounds like a massive pigs breakfast in the making...

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Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

Steve Crook

Re: Possible problem with the questions, rather than Americans.

Can't help feeling that the headline figures should also have included the somewhat confident people. After all they still think it's likely that the theory is true, but they may just not know enough about the subject to express a string degree of confidence.

Just seems to me to be another stupid survey and press release designed to make a point that really doesn't need to be made.

After all, the universe is currently thought to be 13.8 billion years old, but wasn't not so long ago that they added a few hundred million years. We didn't have dark matter, now we have dark matter, we didn't have dark energy, now we do. But that's the beauty of science...

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Steve Crook

Re: Up the creek without paddle...

@Don Jefe

Wow, did I touch a nerve?

You manage to infer an awful lot from a couple of sentences. The the point I was making, but that you chose to ignore, was that the French economy is not working in splendid isolation (or indeed working much at all), the French people aren't expecting to sacrifice standard of living to avoid an inconvenient phone call from work. So far at least, they're not doing more with sufficiently less to be able to prop up the fat, comfortable and bloated state and associated political class that they are lumbered with.

In my last job I didn't *expect* to receive a call from work during the middle of the evening, but as the company had customers in the US and far east I had to accept that it was a possibility and be prepared to deal with it. That said, I have never wanted to devote my life to work, I have other, better, fish to fry.

Hollande has an economy that's struggling. He needs to do *something* about it, and has to date, done not much at all except enact legislation that will make it that little bit harder to attract inward investment.

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Steve Crook

Up the creek without paddle...

You have to admire the French for sticking to their guns. But someone really should let them know that most of the rest of the planet isn't operating according to French working hours or playing by the same rules. God help them if this is Hollande's big idea for turning around the French economy.

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How Brit computer maker beat IBM's S/360 - and Soviet spies

Steve Crook

Re: Plus ça change...

@John Hughes

Agreed, but the 2900 dealt with all that and with a far superior architecture. My brief exposure to CICS programming and comparing it to ICL TPMS made me wonder how anyone ever got anything done on an IBM machine.

My main experience working within ICL was a five year period spent developing software using CAFS. We really struggled to get technical information on CAFS despite us being in the same company. Everyone lost out.

When combined with CAFS, we had something unique in the market. It didn't sell well because customers almost always had to buy hardware to run it (special disk drives at least) and ICL wouldn't bundle the software to sell the hardware or vice versa. Despite the potential to get them a foothold in otherwise solid IBM sites.

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Steve Crook

Re: Plus ça change...

There's the assumption here (it seems) that the ICL 1900 and 2900 were, in some way, poorer hardware/software compared to that being offered by IBM. I can't agree with that idea. I spent about 10 years programming on ICL mainframes (mostly 2900) and when ICL lost bids it was rarely on a technical basis.

ICL had problems. They had far more to do with rivalries between different groups and generally poor senior management.

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Bendy or barmy: Why your next TV will be curved

Steve Crook

A massive reason not to buy yet.

I'd like a 4k screen and something substantially larger than my current 40''. But this is just turbulence in the market that means I'm going to wait until things have settled and prices have dropped. Unless the breakdown timer in my TV runs out before then.

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Lycamobile launches 'unlimited' 4G for £12 a month. Great. Now where can I get a signal?

Steve Crook

It'll ride up with wear sir....

"Lycra undercuts Three’s “unlimited” £12.90"

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Steve Crook

Re: Confused

Part of the organic thing is that it tastes better and, because there aren't any pesticides, it's supposed to be better for the eater and the environment. As far as the first is concerned, I couldn't say that organic was any better than anything else.

As for the other two, there appears to be no cancer risk from non-organic, as for what other benefits organic might offer in other health terms, perhaps these will be tested too.

Finally, organic farmers *are* allowed to use chemicals, it's just that the range of them is restricted, and they can't use modern pesticides. There's an argument to be made that, because the chemicals they use are less effective than modern pesticides, they have to be used more often.

Possibly the best argument for organics might be the wildlife angle, everything else looks doubtful to me.

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Panasonic slaps Freetime EPG on 2014 smart tellies

Steve Crook

EPG not so hot, requires work

I've got a Humax pvr with the freesat/freetime epg on it. I set up my favourites channels, but it's not possible to have the EPG default to showing the favourites. I display the EPG, press list, select favourites and press enter. Every time.

It's not possible to search the EPG for programmes of a particular genre, so looking at a list of films for the coming week (or the evening) isn't possible. When I queried this, I was initially told that it was impossible to do because it would require an enormous team of people to collect and collate the information about the programmes to be able to classify them. Strange because Humax freeview PVRs have been able to genre search more more than a decade.

There are other usability issues and the Freesat/Freetime people seem to be reluctant to do much about them. I'm not sure I'd consider the EPG in its current state to be a bonus...

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Heroic Playmonaut wowed by LOHAN's bulging package

Steve Crook

Oxygen supply?

Don't see any tanks or does the suit incorporate a rebreather?

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SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

Steve Crook

Repeats?

But with all those extra programmes there'd be no room for the repeats of Porridge, The Good Life and Dads Army in the BBC 2 schedule. Whatever would happen to Egg Heads? Or Great British X

I've decided to boycott any programme that has "Great British" in it. I'm expecting an apology from the BBC and a rapid change to their schedules. I won't be able to tell you about their apology because it will be embargoed under the Chatham House rule.

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Steve Crook

Re: Just a News Operation

I'll reserve my judgement on the new doctor, but based on the last two, I wouldn't lose any sleep if Dr Who was returned to the crypt he was packed into post Sylvester M. In fact, if pushing a button to perma death all the modern Dr Who and Torchwood episodes meant we could recover the remaining missing Dr W episodes I'd do it in a flash.

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HELLO LENOVO. Do you really, really want to make smartphones?

Steve Crook

Stock Android

I'm looking for a new phone, and I'm only considering phones with stock android. All the stuff added by the manufacturers gets in the way and delays or prevents updates to later versions of android.

Life would be better if the manufacturers just made it easy to uninstall their stuff and go back to native android

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BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

Steve Crook

Re: Easy come, easy go

Agreed, the BBC has to earn its money. It should go subscription.

As for the programme quality, can't agree with you. Fact is that much of the drama coming out of the US is superior to BBC content. There's also too much celebrity twaddle and too many shallow documentaries.

I don't listen or watch anything like as much as I did a decade ago and I'm almost at the point where, if the BBC did go subscription, I'd choose not to bother. I resent paying for an organisation that is poorly organised, spends its money unwisely and refuses to be open about its internal operation.

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Boffins claim battery BREAKTHROUGH – with rhubarb-like molecule

Steve Crook

Re: Optimistic - Given the right components

Poach it gently in red wine. Add Muscovado sugar to suit your taste buds. When the rhubarb is just softening take it out of the wine and then reduce the wine to thicken it a little bit so you can use it as a sauce. You can use a little powdered Arrowroot to help the thickening if you like.

The trick is to use the younger Rhubarb stalks before they develop that really acid taste.

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Google tells EFF: Android 4.3's privacy tool was a MISTAKE, we've yanked it

Steve Crook

Fools

Anyone who expresses any trust in any corporation or government probably deserves everything they get. Both should be approached with continual and complete distrust because they are there to make money, wield power.

Both will happily tread on our throats if it suits them and think it won't hurt their future prospects...

From this you can probably tell that I'm old and cynical :-|

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I want virtualisation on my iPhone, and I want it NOW

Steve Crook

The Third Man

I'm reminded of this quote:

In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

With Apple being Switzerland. Not in the original innovation, but the way in which their desire for complete control of the ecosystem is stifling further innovation...

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Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes

Steve Crook

Re: Recovery?

Why would anyone want to recover it unless it has something onboard that's sufficiently classified to make it worth the effort and its self destruct fails. Even if each launch costs $1m, it's a drop in the ocean of US military funding. It's disposable.

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Martians yet to retaliate after Curiosity's 100,000th laser strike

Steve Crook
Coat

This is the voice of the Mysterons

We know you can hear us Earthmen....

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Gadget world's metals irreplaceable, say boffins

Steve Crook

Re: Shortage scaremongering

It just looks like the merchants of panic are up to their usual sales tricks...

Even so, if there's a cost effective way to make this stuff more recyclable we should be doing it. As Timbo Worstall is always keen to tell us, there are slag heaps full of interesting stuff which can be extracted if there's a viable market.

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Bring Your Own Disks: The Synology DS214 network storage box

Steve Crook

Re: I use...

I've been running a DS411j for a few years and Synology issue regular updates to their software. They don't appear to be a company that has problems with long term memory when it comes to supporting their product.

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While the BBC drools over Twitter, look what UK's up to: Hospital superbug breakthrough

Steve Crook

Re: Ooooh Shiny shiny

@Badvok.

Rofl yourself all you like.

The British bit implies ownership not the spectrum of its new content. Contrast the quantity of coverage of the Twitter IPO with the forthcoming Chinese Plenary Session due to start more or less now. Twitter may be important to the BBC, but what happens in China over the next week or so is far more important to normal people. Coverage? What coverage?

The main reason I have a subscription to the Economist is the parlous state of BBC foreign news.

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Steve Crook

Re: Ooooh Shiny shiny

The BBCs coverage of the Twitter IPO is symptomatic of much of its news coverage. Shallow, repetitive, pointlessly speculative and largely without balance. Still, at least Twitter stories will struggle to be the UK centric nonsense that normally makes up 80% of BBC news.

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Spies and crooks RAVAGE Microsoft's unpatched 0-day HOLE

Steve Crook
Coat

"Spies and crooks BOTH ravaging"

I'm off to lunch, and won't be ravaging again until 14:30 at the earliest. Also, it's Friday and I want to make an early start for home, so I doubt there will be much ravaging after 16:00. Did I mention that I don't ravage from home?

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