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* Posts by Ralph B

1193 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007

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Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU

Ralph B
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Waiting for the day

I'm waiting for the day when someone manages to sneak the Article 29 equivalent of "rm -rf /" passed Google.

Do you suppose Google does backups of their indexes? Or would they just crawl it all again?

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Nokia's N1 fondleslab's HIDDEN BRILLIANCE: The 'Z Launcher'

Ralph B
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Some People

I imagine that some people aren't going to be so happy to have their porn app appearing automatically on the home page, rather than staying wherever it was they hid it.

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We come bearing internet: Google sends up Project Loon balloons in second test

Ralph B
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Astronomers! Wake Up!

If they thought light pollution and current electromagnetic interence was bad, how's it going to be when there are few thousand (or million?)* of these Google Loon balloons floating around, blocking the light, radioing to each other and the ground users & basestations. I predict that astronomers will mightily annoyed when they take their eyes off their viewfinders and finally notice.

(Maybe we'll have to just give up Astronomy, when the Loon Cloud renders the rest of the Universe invisible to us.)

* Has anyone actually calculated how many balloons Google will need for the final, working system?

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Japanese boffins build rounders-playing ROBOT SCHOOLGIRL

Ralph B
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It's only a matter of time ...

... before all your base are belong to us.

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FIRST for HUMANITY: Fridge-size PROBOT headed for COMET TOUCHDOWN

Ralph B
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Comet-Seeding

If it possible that life here was seeded from comets, may we ponder from where this proto-DNA might have come? Might it be that some other civilisation, remote in space and time, faced with the impracticalities/impossibilities of sending actual living bodies on such a journey, decided to send just amino acids?

If not, are there any grounds to think that the natural formation of such building-blocks of life is more likely to have occurred elsewhere than hereabouts, cosmically speaking. (I guess so, since there is vastly more of everything elsewhere than there is hereabouts, cosmically speaking.)

Do we know if this particular comet originated from the Kuiper Belt or the Oort Cloud? (And don't these both count as fairly local, cosmically speaking?)

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The Pirate Bay co-founder exits jail, now, er, free to eat vegan food

Ralph B
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Copyright

> he has long been interested in promoting his anti-copyright agenda.

I look forward to reading (a stolen copy of) his autobiography one day.

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How Hollywood film-makers wove proper physics into Interstellar

Ralph B
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Re: 3hrs in IMAX?

Thanks for the downvotes for saying it might be expensive to see this movie in an IMAX cinema. Even though it will be.

My "local" IMAX charges between £12 and £14 for the 20 minute films. There's no sign of Interstellar appearing there any time soon, which may be because they don't want to lose the 9x£14=£126 they could be earning in the same time (OK, more realistically 6x£14=£84, allowing for audience swaps), or because have no chance of charging that much for screening Interstellar.

So, downvoters, I'm not knocking the IMAX experience, just pointing out the mathematical / economic facts involved in screening a 3hr movie in an IMAX cinema.

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Ralph B
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3hrs in IMAX?

A 3 hour movie in an IMAX? I can't imagine the ticket price for that, considering the price they charge for the standard 20 minute IMAX film. (Well, I can imagine 9x the price, but I can't imagine many being willing or able to afford it.)

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Pop starlet Taylor Swift DUMPS Spotify: It’s not me, it’s you

Ralph B
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Seems Reasonable

> An artist may make between 70p and £1.20 from the sale of a digital album on iTunes or Amazon, but only fractions of a cent from each play on a streaming service.

So, if the artist thinks their music will get selected for streaming time and time again, then they should probably use Spotify. But if they think their music will get played one time only then they should probably stick with iTunes and Amazon.

Taylor Swift would appear to share my opinion of her music.

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Pixel mania: Apple 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display

Ralph B
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Re: Looks like a lovely machine....

The computer you really want always costs $2500.

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Lenovo completes Motorola purchase for $2.9bn – $10bn less than Google paid for it

Ralph B
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Re: In my dreams

> Moto +Lenovo = Melon

Or Lenovo + Moto = Lemon.

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Multi Jet Fusion: THAT's HP's promised 3D printer, not crazy 'leccy invention

Ralph B
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Re: Can't wait....

Not a problem. You'll be able to print yourself new cartridges, won't you?

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FIFTEEN whole dollars on offer for cranky Pentium 4 buyers

Ralph B
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Mass Protest Opportunity

> The claim form doesn't require a receipt.

$15 doesn't sound a lot, but if the entire population of the USA (except Ohio) could be pursuaded to make a claim ... ?

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Turnbull: Coding skills 'will be almost as important as literacy and numeracy'

Ralph B
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Times tables?

> How can you teach this sort of subject to students who DON'T even know their times tables when the depart for High School.

Why would they ever need to learn their times tables when they know how to write:

int m, n; for (m=1; m<=12; m++) for (n=1; n<=12; n++) printf( "%d times %d is %d\n", m, n, m*n );

(I wanted to code that in Python, but the indentations don't survive El Reg's forum comment formatting.)

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Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness

Ralph B
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Re: I can confirm

And I've just given in my mid-2012 MacBook Pro with exactly the same symptoms for a logic board swap. Since it's out of guarantee, not under Apple Care, and not (yet) subject to a recall or legal case, I'll have to pay myself.

Combined with iOS 8's recent debilitation of my household's iPad2s and iPhone 4s, you can imagine I'm not so happy with Apple at the moment.

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PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY

Ralph B
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Re: Regrets

I agree that iOS 8.0 on an iPad 2 or iPhone 4S is a disaster. However, it is a wee bit less of a disaster with iOS 8.1.

If you're stuck with iOS 8.0.x at the moment then an upgrade to iOS 8.1 is definitely to be recommended. And turning off all the effects & spotlight search extensions, etc.

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Banksy denies Banksy impostor's claim to Banksy.com – which isn't owned by Banksy

Ralph B
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Erm, How?

How did Banksy convince WIPO that he was actually Banksy when he was challenging the takedown by the imposter? Could this not be ANOTHER Banksy imposter challenging the Banksy imposter who was trying to takedown the domain of a Banksy imposter?

I'm not even sure that I am real any more.

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Speaking in Tech: Amazon's Fire is being snuffed out

Ralph B
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First And Last

Tried this podcast for the first time today. So far a rather dull chat about airlines followed by an extended (feels endless) advert for Equinix.

Is is usually more interesting than this?

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MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer

Ralph B
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Boffin

@Paul re: Stuart

> try to perform experiments to disprove said theory

So, Paul, am I to understand it that you are an ugly bloke willing to sleep with lots of women to test Stuart's theory, in the pursuit of Science?

I think you'll have to join a queue. In order to get a statistically significant sample, I mean.

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Fanboi-and-fanfare-free fondleslabs fail to fire imagination

Ralph B
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Ah!

Ah, so that's why iOS 8 had to make the user experience on my iPad 2 so bad! It's to make the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 user experience look good in comparison!

Funnily enough, it made me take a look at Android tablets instead, but I ended up buying a touch-screen Chromebook. I recommend it.

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Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet

Ralph B
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Fake Queen

The Real HMQ would have written "We" rather than "I".

And She would have used a "wePad" rather than an "iPad".

Or got a butler to do it for Her.

Or her Prime Minister.

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

Ralph B
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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

> Give people what they want, not what you want to give them.

However ... “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” as Henry Ford said.

What I find more interesting here is how Ballmer, Sinofsky and Nadella are all so, erm, follicly challenged. Is there a Conspiracy of the Bald in charge of Microsoft? Or was Ballmer such a leader that all his minions chose to shave and polish their heads in emulation? Or is it just chance that the last three middle-aged white males at the top of MS have been slap-heads?

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Adorkable overshare of words like photobomb in this year's dictionaries

Ralph B
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Textonym

> “textonym” – “one of two or more words that can be generated by pressing the same key combinations on a mobile, e.g. kiss and lips”.

That definition baffled me until I realised it was talking about predictive text input. When Urban Dictionary can write a definition better than Collins and Chambers, it's no wonder the publishing industry is dying.

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Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST

Ralph B
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Re: Pebble still seems the best

Agreed. Still wearing and using my Pebble.

(Not that I can ever understand the need to bring information about the current weather to my wrist. I can look out of the window for that.)

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Whisper tracks its users. So we tracked down its LA office. This is what happened next

Ralph B
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Might be a CIA front….

You mean, just like Facebook ... ?

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Careless Whisper? Anonymous messaging app accused of stalking users, blabbing to Feds

Ralph B
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> This sounds like a government sponsored app that's used to collect data in an innocuous way. If that's the case then it's a clever ruse.

You mean, just like Facebook?

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Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know

Ralph B
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Re: I think there's a missing word here...

Maybe she's older than she looks.

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Aboard the GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, there's a Mobe and a Slab and a TELLYBOX

Ralph B
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Re: Nexus 6

Ditto.

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Ancient Brits 'set wealthy man's FANCY CHARIOT on FIRE' – boffins

Ralph B
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Shouldn't Worry

You can still buy the exact same model from the Morgan Motor Company.

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Finnish PM: Apple has DESTROYED FINLAND

Ralph B
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Re: Ignore him

> This is the same Alexander Stubb who said early this year that the UK had to wake up and understand that the EU is good for them.

Every Finn can probably hear the irony and sarcasm in that one too.

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Sh** just got real: Amazon to open actual shop in New York City

Ralph B
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Re: Argos!

(Maybe we should explain who Argos are to any non-UK readers. (I'm amused to see they've now added an Amazon style "smile"-underline to their logo. Maybe they're hoping for a takeover.))

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Breaking news: Man with Apple shares really wishes they were worth even more

Ralph B
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Zune killer?

Surely it was Microsoft that pulled the plug on the Zune. Apple merely produced a product that was competitive with it.

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Put down that shotgun: Wi-Fi's the way to beat Zombies

Ralph B
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Here's Hoping

Here's hoping the zombies remember to keep their phones charged.

(Although users of #RIVALPHONEPLATFORM have managed so far, eh? Eh? Eh?)

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No one wants iOS 8 because it's for NERDS - dev

Ralph B
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Not the only reason to avoid iOS 8

It also makes your iPad or iPhone (especially, but not only, the only models) almost unusably slow and breaks copy/paste between apps (even Apple apps.)

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Toys fly from prams as HP rivals stoke FUD fires on its split

Ralph B
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Headmaster

Re: I'm so excited

> I've been loosing sleep

How do you loose sleep? By slipping Rohypnol in someone's drink?

Or have you actually been losing sleep?

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Apple and GT: Sapphire glass is cracked, but still not broken

Ralph B
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Me Confused

In one place the article says:

GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, causing its share price to crash and burn — falling by 93 per cent to a measly 80 cents.

In another:

Since the release of the iPhone 6, GT's stock has plunged from $17.38 to $14.94.

So, which is it? $0.80 or $14.94? Or was the latter passed on the way to the former?

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Woman says narco-cops used her PICS to snare drug lords on Facebook

Ralph B
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Re: Paid by the hour...

> This can only happen if the agents involved feel no risk to themselves from doing so.

I rather imagine they thought it was highly unlikely that she would ever find out that they had used her photos. I wonder how she did find out.

[Goes off to check the complaint]

Jeez, the cops used her real name as well as her photos for their "fake" Facebook entry.

Lock 'em up!

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How much is Microsoft earning from its Android taxes again?

Ralph B
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Strange World

If you make an Android phone you have to pay Microsoft $3.29. If you make a Windows phone you have to pay Microsoft nothing at all.

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Yahoo close to investing $20m in disappearing chat app Snapchat

Ralph B
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Was it $20 billion?

I wonder if it would have been $20 billion before Apple copied the Snapchat picture-expiry functionality into iOS 8 ... ?

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Apple's iPhone 6 can REVERSE BALDNESS (and cause it, too)

Ralph B
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Before and After

Surely we're missing a key piece of information here: Were these people bald before they got their iPhone 6?

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Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts

Ralph B
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Re: Down Under

Nevermind. Maybe the Ozzies will be able to catch some bandwidth from an occasional wayward Loon balloon.

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Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR

Ralph B
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Re: Maids a milking

Apple appear to have had trouble getting a fully-working piece of software out the door to meet their hardware deadlines.

Judging on how that sticky-out lens camera lens cover on the back of the iPhone 6 looks like an tacked-on solution to an unexpectedly large component within, I'd say that Apple appear to have had trouble getting a fully-working combination of hardware AND software out the door to meet their marketing deadlines

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Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize

Ralph B
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Oh, stick it up your nose!

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Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight

Ralph B
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Re: Thermos

Actually, maybe it's not too late. How about, when you have everything in place, you fill the remaining space in LOHAN with expanding polystyrene foam? That might be able to keep LOHAN's innard's from getting too cold too quickly as she soars skywards, no?

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Ralph B
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Thermos

I guess it's a bit late in the day to replace the main body of LOHAN with a thermos flask ... ?

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Drones CAN'T deliver goods ... oh. Air traffic control system backed by NASA, you say?

Ralph B
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Alert

A theoretical problem

Given the average drone's 20 minute maximum flight time limit, putting a number of them in a holding pattern over a busy location is hardly going to be workable plan, is it?

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LOHAN tin-rattles to a whopping £27,000 on Kickstarter

Ralph B
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Headmaster

Tankard?

Shouldn't a tankard have a handle? Isn't El Reg's one actually just a glass?

(Not complaining. I've got one on order. And I'd have another if I could.)

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Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

Ralph B
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Pirate

Thief Magnet

Now that the Find-My-iPhone location/disabling tech has started to reduce iPhone thefts, I can see the next target-of-choice for muggers is going to be that big, shiny & expensive Apple Watch.

So, I won't be buying one. :-)

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Tinder sexual harassment suit settled in undisclosed deal

Ralph B
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Re: objectivifies potential sexual partners

Humans can have sex without "objectifying" each other. There's nothing wrong with an app that allows consenting adults to find sexual partners. I think the assumption that it requires objectification says more about you than it does about other people.

Well, since the Apple version of the Tinder app would have been written in Objective C, the company has certainly been "objectivying" the data of the potential sexual partners, at the very least. I think the assumption that I, as a Register commentard, might have been using the term "objectivying" in any other than a programming sense, says more about you than it does about me.

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Ralph B
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Quelle Surprise

So, it looks like the developer of an app that objectivifies potential sexual partners has been objectivifying his business partner. Who'd've thunk it?

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