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* Posts by Fibbles

1024 posts • joined 28 Jan 2008

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The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

Fibbles
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I was taught French for two years by a number of substitute teachers who could not speak French. Needless to say, I did not do well in my GCSE.

I had this experience as well. One the the exams involved listening to a recorded tape of questions all in French whilst filling in a multiple choice answer booklet. My understanding of the language was so bad that I couldn't tell where one question ended and the next began. To my embarrassment I closed the answer booklet a good 10 minutes before the tape finished playing.

Surprisingly, I got a D grade for my French GCSE. I'm still at a loss as to what would be required to achieve one of the four grades below D.

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Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody

Fibbles
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Re: Overrated

As I said, he is a brilliant crafter of worlds. The peoples he describes are richly detailed each with their own customs and history. This is mostly what kept me reading, though there was also the nagging thought that "I've come this far, I may as well finish" each time he released a new book.

I just think his ability to create a cohesive narrative is severely lacking. He has good ideas and then he writes and writes and writes, ad infinitum. There's no consideration for pacing or whether he's repeating himself or even if what he's writing makes an interesting story arc. He puts words on a page and, presumably, when his manuscript is so large that his word processor keeps crashing, he publishes it as a book. That doesn't mean the book is a well rounded story.

Don't get me wrong, Erikson has written some stories I enjoyed thoroughly. The book that introduced Karsa Orlong (I forget its title,) was particularly good. I've never read a book before or since that has conveyed the idiosyncrasies of tribal life in a warrior culture quite so vividly.

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Fibbles
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Overrated

Am I the only only one who thinks Steven Erikson is massively overrated? After struggling through the 10 main books of the Malazan series it's obvious that he's a brilliant crafter of worlds but by god is he in desperate need of an editor. He makes some interesting points in his books but then he insists on retreading that same point from the perspective of four or five more characters all in succession until I just want to scream at the book "OK, I fucking get it!".

Also, would it kill him to throw in some more proper nouns? I realise that in real life when people converse that we're not constantly using each others names but in a book it becomes increasingly difficult to figure out who is saying what.

The Malazan books seem to suffer from what I can only term 'philosopher syndrome'. Essentially every character, regardless of age or education seems to be able to soliloquise eloquently on the deepest meanings of life, the universe and everything as if they were some wizened sage. Obviously every character should be capable of some level of insight but when they become so blatantly a mouthpiece for the author then I just lose any suspension of disbelief I once had.

And finally, 'dissembling' and 'precipitously' are nice words but that doesn't mean you have to use them every other sentence. Buy a thesaurus.

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Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

Fibbles
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Oh Leonard...

Perhaps people would be more polite to you if you weren't such a twat...

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Gotham gets the Smallville treatment with Jim Gordon in lead role

Fibbles
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I quite liked The Flash pilot. Having never watched Arrow I found the crossover to be confusing and, well, pretty cheesy. It was definitely the low point of an otherwise decent pilot.

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Fibbles
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Three episodes in...

And I still can't decide if I like this show or not.

The Jim Gordon focus is interesting but the writers really need to flesh out the rest of the Gotham PD ASAP if they want to continue down the police procedural route. Harvey Bullock (Gordon's partner,) especially is in desperate need of rounding out so that he's not just a one dimensional jobsworth.

Fish Mooney's sole purpose in the show seems to be to provide everyone with convenient answers. I'd much rather see less of her and more actual detective work.

The whole Barbara Gordon thread just seems to be descending into 90210. I realise that comic book wives/girlfriends are usually just there to look pretty and listen to the protagonist's monologues when they get home and I appreciate that the writers have tried to make her more than that. Still, her storyline so far just feels so out of place in comparison to the rest of the show.

The main reasons I'm still watching are Falcone, the gloriously old school mob boss, and Penguin who's storyline is going from strength to strength.

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Hardened Hydrazine the source of Galileo satnav FAIL

Fibbles
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Re: Only if

But....he only launches through windows.

That's not strictly true. He also launches chairs across conference rooms.

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It's not you, it's Three. Mobe network goes titsup across UK

Fibbles
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Re: remember for a lot of people

I've just looked at that Down Detector site. Their map of outage reports shows a big red mass over London and sod all anywhere else.

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Fibbles
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Can't say I'd noticed. Three's network has been working fine all day in the West Midlands.

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Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Fibbles
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Coat

Re: cynical remark

Should've just gone all the way to 11.

Mine's the one with the guitar picks in the pocket.

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Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS

Fibbles
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Re: while it may look cheesy

I'd be surprised if steering behaviours / flocking wasn't involved somehow. It's just simple vector maths.

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Fibbles
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Re: Defeats the whole purpose....

Did somebody say toast?

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Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9

Fibbles
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Fibbles
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Re: Autocorrect?

hire_a_proofreader@theregister.co.uk

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Titan falls! Blizzard cancels World of Warcraft successor

Fibbles
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Re: I say good for them

Blizzard is one of the few companies able to look at a product being built, after a lot of work done, and say "not good enough". They've done it before, with the adventure game that was supposed to be about Thrall's youth.

Blizzard really aren't the same company they were 14 years ago, especially since they've been bought by Activision.

I'd also point out that a large factor in the cancellation of Lord Of The Clans was that the market for point and click adventures had pretty much died during development.

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Fibbles
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Re: In unrelated news...

Realising it won't work and refusing to throw good money after bad in an attempt to save face is still a bold move. Cutting your losses can be applauded sometimes.

Nothing at all to do with Titan being way too similar in concept to the recently released Destiny then?

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4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM

Fibbles
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Black Helicopters

Re: From the 4chan /tinfoilhat/ channel

NSA is pretty far fetched. The FBI is at least plausible though.

> Set up website incriminating 4chan

> Reveal site as hoax and call for 4chan to be banned

> Await DDOS from angry b-tards

> Arrest DDOSers

> Make claims to the mainstream media about 'cracking down on those nasty guys at 4chan who leaked all those nude celebrity selfies'

> Enjoy PR coup

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Emma Watson urges UN to back feminism – trolls threaten to leak her 'nude selfies'

Fibbles
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False Flag

The website emmayouarenext.com was allegedly created by the viral advertising firm Rantic Marketing.

http://imgur.com/NhFVA2X

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Fibbles
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I don't know how MS have implemented it but on XFCE I can have, for example, a web browser and file manager open on one desktop whilst having an IDE and and command line open on another. I then just use the mouse scroll wheel over an exposed area of desktop wallpaper to switch between them. That's far easier than switching users.

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Fibbles
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Re: Case Sensitive File Systems...

Absolutely false. User type the file name when they create files, and they may send them around and get them back after they've been modified - if the file for some reason change case they may screw up when saving it back.

That's such a ridiculous example. If the file name is different then it will be saved as a separate file. The user won't have lost any data, they'll just have "file1.txt" and "FILE1.txt" both existing in their file system.

Imagine a situation where the user sends out "file 1.txt" and receives back "file_1.txt". Would you suggest that the file system should conflate underscores with whitespace?

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spɹɐʍʞɔɐB writing is spammers' new mail filter avoidance trick

Fibbles
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Re: So...

Who in their right mind is going to click on a link in something that they can't read?

Never underestimate ignorance and naivety. I remember being 14 and receiving an email from a Nigerian prince. How my dad laughed when I tried to tell him how rich we were going to be...

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Fibbles
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I thought they already moved on to encrypted ZIP archives which can't be extracted by automation since the password to decrypt them is hidden carefully in the text of the message

Surely there comes a point at which the usual tech-illiterate victims of email malware become unable to actually open the payload?

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Fibbles
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For the few people who can mirror read and write

Wait, wait, wait... You mean most people can't?

Time to update my C.V.

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Not pro Bono: Apple's audio junk mail made spammers' lives easier

Fibbles
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Re: "...it's my device..."

It really isn't.

My rooted Android device says otherwise.

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

Fibbles
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Re: Let's try to see if coding works @ El Reg

Goto?

Do we really want to be teaching kids how to program spaghetti?

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EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

Fibbles
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Re: I left EE when my Loyalty had expired apparently...

For the love of $deity stop saying good things bout Three! The last thing we need is a congested network.

Ignore the above posts, Three is terrible! *boo* *hiss*

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Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Fibbles
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Re: Sex Sells

Nowadays?

* cough *

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Fibbles
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is hardly a positive image for loving relationships between two equal women

Perhaps not, but not all characters in fiction have to be role-models.

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Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws

Fibbles
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Re: Not surprising

I don't know why C is getting so much flak. It's not a particularly difficult language, you just need to be attentive to what you're doing. That said, I prefer to use C++ because of RAII (amongst other things).

As mentioned above, bad programmers will produce bad code regardless of what language they're using.

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GitHub.io killed the distro star: Why are people so bored with the top Linux makers?

Fibbles
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Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

You're reading the graph wrong IMO. Assuming the frequency of search queries correlates with interest in each distro and assuming that the sum of the distros listed on the graph represents total interest in Linux distros as a whole:

- Interest in Linux was flat from 2004 to 2006ish.

- Interest roughly doubled around the release of Ubuntu and stayed that way for a few years.

- Interest in Linux has fallen and flattened out back at 2004 levels.

This goes against MIller's assertion that interest in Linux distros has waned since 2004 - 2005. It just happens that interest in his preferred Linux distros has waned since that time.

You'd be able to see this more clearly if Google Trends allowed for plotting a line representing the total of all the others. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to give that option (or at least I can't find it anyway).

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Fibbles
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Facepalm

Re: Maybe the answer is that people are moving from base linux flavours

Agreed, it's amazing how bad you can make a graph look when you exclude the most popular distro...

Without Ubuntu.

With Ubuntu.

Oh no, the sky is falling!

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AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else

Fibbles
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In terms of general 4k gaming this new AMD card just doesn't have the chops. Even a Geforce Titan struggles to stay above 30fps at 4k in Crysis 3 using the highest settings with AA enabled.

Crysis 1, which is what I assume we're talking about, is a much older game so in theory should give better framerates. In reality however, the first Crysis used the superior MSAA instead of the cheap post-processing AA that the sequels used. This means that playing without jaggies incurs a much higher performance cost because you're asking the GPU to generate up to 8x more depth info than it would without AA. Doing this at 4k is probably well beyond this card's capabilities.

TL;DR: Unlikely but you can't know for sure till you benchmark it

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Fibbles
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Most mid-ranged cards have been able to do this for the past couple of generations. Since the R9 285 is supposedly the fastest of the current gen's mid-range, I'd say the answer is probably 'yes'.

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Sony DENIES PlayStation Network WOBBLES despite gamer GRIPES

Fibbles
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Re: pwnt

Is it? Back when I was heavily into FPS games, anything less than a dedicated server was regarded as sub-standard. Everyone in the clan used to chip in £1 per month to rent our own server.

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The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?

Fibbles
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Re: still early days

Game developers switching to OpenGL will benefit you even if you're determined to stick with Windows as your OS.

With OpenGL, the only thing that limits graphic features is the hardware support. If a game ships with the latest OpenGL 4.x graphical bells and whistles then you can use them so long as your hardware supports them. It doesn't matter if you're using Windows XP or Windows 8.1.

With DirectX, it doesn't matter if your hardware supports the DX12 features that the game ships with. If Microsoft won't release DX12 for your version of Windows then you're stuffed.

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US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Fibbles
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Re: Jurisdiction..?

Because that's not how copyright law works?

Every country signed up to the Berne convention has to give automatic copyright to the creator of a work. However, it's up to each individual country to determine who the creator is and how long their copyright can be enforced (though newer signatories must provide a minimum period of 50 years for most types of work).

If you want an example; 3D objects in the UK are only subject to a 15 year copyright, unlike most other countries. This means that in the US and elsewhere George Lucas still owns the copyright to the Stormtrooper helmet design, whilst in the UK it is now public domain.

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Fibbles
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Re: Almost, not quite

I am not aware that paying someone NI or being responsible for paying their tax in any way impinges on the employees personal rights unless they specifically signed away those rights in the employee contract they signed when joining the company.

If you're not an contractor then the copyright belongs to your employer unless you've signed something that specifically states otherwise.

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-ownership/c-employer.htm

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Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again

Fibbles
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Trollface

Re: The internet is shit

To prove that, imagine an infinite sequence of numbers, each one formed by adding the digit '1' to the previous one. So that'd be 1, 11, 111, 1111 etc.

That infinity will never have the number 2 in it, not if you bash away at that infinity for ever

It will if your integer overflows.

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Revealed ... GCHQ's incredible hacking tool to sweep net for vulnerabilities: Nmap

Fibbles
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Re: Misdirection

nmapping the internet is a fast way of attracting attention, no matter how stealthy you might think you are.

If you scan everyone then your actual target becomes obfuscated.

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Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people

Fibbles
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Re: So, how much energy was wasted...

Exercise bikes are considerably less portable than these patches. If we're not concerned with portability why not use a nuclear power-station...

A fair point about gyms though. They should be using their punters to power the lights.

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Totes AMAZEBALLS! Side boob, binge-watch and clickbait added to Oxford Dictionary

Fibbles
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Re: OED is trolling you

The dictionary reflects the language as it is currently used, so additions and deletions are just a natural part of that. Only the aspies demand that it stay static, like some sort of standard specification for the language.

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Fibbles
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I was somewhat bemused to discover 'neckbeard' is attributed the mouthbreathers from TOWIE. I'm a geordie and have been using it for at least a decade. I suspect it's been around considerably longer than that.

Also, I thought mansplain was something coined by the "social justice" / feminism lot?

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Fibbles
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Trollface

Re: YOLO

YOLO!

lol, j/k idgaf

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Stanford boffin is first woman to bag 'math Nobel Prize'

Fibbles
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Re: Professor??

Professor is a title awarded because based on level of education and occupation. Generally it's someone with a PhD in a teaching position (though the exact definition varies from country to country). Age doesn't even come into it.

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Fibbles
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Apparently the winners have to be under 40 because Fields wanted the award to encourage the recipients to strive for further achievement (something he presumably thought was less likely amongst those reaching retirement age).

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Fibbles
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Re: I'm wondering ....

Is there a branch of mathematics which describes the hyperlink paths that are followed by someone reading mathematical articles on Wikipedia? If not, there ought to be.

Back at uni there was a game we'd play when bored after hours of 'studying' in the library. Basically, you pick a random topic on Wikipedia and see how many articles you have to go through before reaching Adolf Hitler's. The person with the least number of pages between their random topic and Hitler is the winner.

I've always been tempted to write a program that would work out the optimal paths to Hitler from any given Wikipedia article (possibly using Dijkstra's algorithm or something similar).

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Beware WarKitteh, the connected cat that sniffs your Wi-Fi privates

Fibbles
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Re: Noooooooooooooooooooooooo

Just bill the owner for repairs. Their animal, their responsibility.

If they refuse to pay up they can look forward to paying for repairs plus your fees in the small claims court.

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Farmville maker Zynga delays new games after losing 57 MILLION users

Fibbles
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Re: Are golfers...

I suppose if we're getting technical, only people who compete in one of the athletic sports are athletes. Though in the US the term athlete seems to apply to participants of any sport.

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London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

Fibbles
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Re: Jolly good work.

The simple truth is that a good number of movies are crap and I'm bugger if I'm going to pay 15-20 squid on a new release to find that out. The crap ones get deleted and usually not-fully-watched.

Well if they're crap, I guess that makes your actions acceptable then?

The actions of pirates don't suddenly become morally justified just because the big corps going after people for copyright violations act like complete bellends.

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