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* Posts by Stevie

2682 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

Stevie
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Bah!

All this talk of cutting the cable and going internet seems to miss the point that for many the Cable *is* their internet connection, and that to get it at an affordable price you usually get HBO bundled in.

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Hacker-hunters finger 'Keyser Soze' of Russian underground card sales

Stevie
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Re: All this stuff emphasises...

You missed the part of the article that spoke of the criminal not compromising local (ie Russian) credit cards then?

Fraud is prevalent in the US, but it is often rooted in the digital misdoings of Russians who know better than to defecate where they eat (a habit various US domestic mineral resource exploitation operations could learn to emulate). I understand that Russian prisons knock those in the US into a cocked hat when it comes to unpleasantness of stay, and Russian police are not hampered by many of the laws intended to restrain the more enthusiastic of our own boys in blue.

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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

Stevie
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Bah!

Is Her Gibberishness aware that a good 50% of the water in the UK is made by men?

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A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers

Stevie
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Re: Oh, please...

If you want to learn to fly, don't waste time with machines at all, simply learn to grow wings and hollow bones.

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Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!

Stevie
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Bah!

My hat is off to these organizations. They have finally found a way to get people to put their genetic information into the cloud and place it into the hands of those who have a history of treating other peoples data as their own.

When can we look forward to the Facebook Femclone* army duking it out with the Apple Femclone army for control of America, nay the World?

*Assuming they go the direct-to-haploid route here and don't get all icky with Zuckerjizz and Jobsjuice first.

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Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function

Stevie
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Bah!

FrontPage for the Twitterati.

Meh.

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Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE

Stevie
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Re: Misleading Language

The word 'deprecated' does not mean 'obsolete' unfortunately. Perhaps a little more backbone is called for when deciding how long to deprecate stuff before making it obsolete (I'm dancing hard around the non-verb ' to obsolete' as you can tell).

There's graceful degradation of the internet and there's disgraceful degradation of the internet. The question is, which one do you want?

Browser writers! Have some gumption and get rid of useless, dangerous stuff!

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Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER

Stevie
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Re: As that would mean cheap 4K monitors

4K is NOT cheap for a computer monitor.

Such equipment should cost no more than $99.

How on earth are we to afford our Oracle licenses if you keep spending thousands on bloody monitors?

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Stevie
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Re: Seems pointless.

My younger SA colleagues all agitated for, and got, double widescreen PCs with added marrowbone jelly.

They use them for out-of-job-spec YouTube viewing when the boss isn't looking and displaying console output in 3 pt font.

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White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

Stevie
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Bah!

I'm sick of hearing how LED lights are cheaper and "better for the environment" but somehow the costs of making the things and the environmental impact of fabbing the semiconductors involved is never factored in. Isn't is a bit suspicious that the figures for that are "unknown" in the same way the true costs of ethanol production are "unknown" thirty years and more since it was introduced into gasoline? I mean, you'd think the people making them would have some sort of handle on how much it is going to cost them before they start the production line, wuncha?

I'm also sick of hearing how durable LED lights will be. Busses in my neck of the woods have had them for years and every day I see one with clusters out in its stop lights, and the red traffic light at the end of my road has been LED for three years and burns out once a year where the old style light never failed until a hurricane brought the bugger down hard onto the road.

FACT: At a local DIY superstore a domestic LED bulb costs about 3.5 times as much to buy as a heavy-duty incandescent one of the "equivalent" output does, and I don't have to run around the houses trying to get someone, anyone to tell me where I recycle the f*cking thing when against all reason it *does* fail (just like the "longer life" fluorescents do).

Said bulb will also work just fine in dimmers that employ thyristors because there are no electronics to get upset by the buggered-about waveform of the supply, and an actual example I owned ran for three years in an extractor hood whereas the fluorescent I replaced it with lasted six months. I'm not even tempted to spend ten bucks to try LED lighting there instead.

I wonder how much hazard these bloody sci-fi lamps add to a fireman's lot when they burn with the rest of the house. Old-fashioned incandescents typically just collapse in on themselves and drip a bit. No noxious gasses from frying semiconductor gubbins or plastic housings/envelopes to worry about.

I suppose the big question is: what does some shadowy industry need all the tungsten for?

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Air-slurping solar battery will slice energy costs – boffins

Stevie
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Bah!

So, "light creates electrons" eh?

Any more insights from Dr Stephen Fry?

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Influential scribe Charles Petzold: How I figured out the Windows API

Stevie
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Re: Was it him?

And here I thought OS/2 died because it was tied into the proprietary microchannel architecture that IBM refused to license and ultimately dropped as a Waste Of Time.

IBM are good at Aiming At The Wrong Target. From the Wikipedia page on OS/2

"At the launch of OS/2 Warp in 1994, Patrick Stewart was to be the Master of Ceremonies; however Kate Mulgrew of the then-upcoming series Star Trek: Voyager was substituted at the last minute"

So instead of the "captain" who rebooted the Star Trek franchise with nitromethane, they picked the one to whose show's theme you could sing:

"Boring song, it's a boring song,

A boring song,

A boring song,

What a boring song

Boring song, it's a boring song,

A boring song,

And *what* a boring show."

Consider:

ST:TNG - people exploring out beyond the limits, ever outward and upward.

ST:V - people running for home and the familiar as fast as possible.

Which metaphor do you want nailed to your product?

I had a colleague who lost a hard-won and prestigious CIO position when his support of OS/2 outpaced IBM's.

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Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

Stevie
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Re: Is that a bad assumption to make?

It is my understanding that yes it is a bad assumption to make, at least in New York.

If you want the tape to be admissible (ie of any use whatsoever in a legal proceeding) you must inform the other party that you *are* recording the conversation.

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Oracle to DBAs: your certification is about to become worthless paper

Stevie
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Re: Bah!

'So would you be happy to take your nice new car for a service to a garage where the mechanics had only been trained on engines over 10 years old?"

Define "qualified". If you are comparing apples to apples my answer is:

Perhaps, perhaps not but I would certainly have no qualms about taking my twelve year old car to the mechanic certified to work on that year's model.

I don't put as much stock in a piece of paper as you seem to, and everyone has a dealer/new car horror story that would seem to counter the "new certification = damnfinething" line of thinking.

The reality is that the mechanics haven't changed much and the changes can be understood by anyone with the ability to read and retain what they've read.

The reality is that anything that requires the levels of oomph an Oracle certification *should* deliver are the sorts of things that Oracle Corp want you engaging their support personnel for and the sorts of things for which if you wing it Oracle will start the hand-washing process and the making of regretful noises when you *do* call.

Save your money and train your personnel on-site. Retain your workforce and craft their training to your needs. Sometimes you need a full toolbox and a plasma physicist. Most times a couple of spanners, a decent manual and a Gunson's Sparktune will get you through - if you know how to use them.

When was the last time an Oracle certified professional saved you a call to support when the chips were down, and did that save you money in the long run?

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Stevie
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Bah!

I fail to see why an Oracle 9i certification should expire (and no, I don't hold one: I'm too busy doing the job to take exams that "prove" I could if I wanted to).

If I have an Oracle 9i installation, that knowledge is just as good as the day it earned the paper wallhanging, no?

I urge all Oracle certificationified professionals to simply add the words "Certificate Expired, Brain Still Working" to the end of their old certifications when they list them on a resumé and forget about it.

Besides, every manager I know is complaining that a certification from Oracle tells them nothing about the skill-sets of the people holding them out for their approval.

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Behind the Facebook DRAG QUEEN CRACKDOWN: 'Anonymity soon!'

Stevie
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Bah!

Surely it would be simpler to identify those people doing the bullying or whatever and simply block that account and all accounts set up using the same references?

Pseudonyms are the standard on the internet and have many useful, legal and un-nefarious purposes. Journalists often go under a pseudonymous by-line, authors have pen-names, musicians and actors have stage names.

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

Stevie
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Bah!

%s/Release (Wads_Of_Cash)/Release (Cloud_Of_Phosgene)/g

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AT&T fires insider for slurping customers' social security numbers, driver licenses and more

Stevie
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Re: Bah!

The problem that *I* see is that the harvesting gets any information at all.

Stop keeping data around as tuples and the attack doesn't go away but it ceases to return information, only unrelated data. That data should only BE related when accessed through proper channels by authorized persons using encrypted meta data to do the job.

The day of the relational database would seem to be over.

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Stevie
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Bah!

"If the wrong person or the person in the wrong frame of mind decides to use that access badly, what can you do?"

Seriously? "File criminal charges" would seem to be a good start.

Publically disseminating the perpetrator's name so he/she never works in the industry again might be appropriate. Let them sue. I'm sure the public will be supportive when the first press conference is given.

Sue in civil court to recover costs of all the measures that must now be paid for to guard those affected from future fraud.

I have more ideas, if anyone from AT&T needs them.

I'm an AT&T customer and I'm fed up with computer criminals making my life difficult.

Next up: Why can't Chase f*cking Bank learn to encrypt their data on me so when it gets stolen again (and again) it can't be properly associated into dangerous information?

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PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

Stevie
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Bah!

"No, although I know most of you refuse to believe it, the fact is that the future is phone, period."

I hope so, because then maybe some money and R&D might be spent on making these devices fit machines for making a telephone call.

I don't believe the future is in any of the devices mentioned here. The fact is that the phone is portable but unusable as a workstation due to the tiny viewing area. The tablet is a marginally useful workstation that is only portable if you carry around a bag in which to port it. The "Pocket/Useful Screen" dilemma will not be solved by anything currently available.

I suspect the answer will lie in a several-generations-of-development-distant descendant of Googleglass coupled with freehand micro-gesture capture and voice-interaction. When the input area is anywhere someone isn't standing and the viewable area is a virtual heads-up illusion the dichotomy will not exist.

And Azathoth help us all then. One sneeze and the fridge defrosts all your Chipwiches into inedible sludge while you are twenty miles away at work, your Netflix account closes itself and your cloudy music library is erased.

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The Maze Runner – a merry teenage dystopian adventure that doesn't make you cringe

Stevie
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Re: No comparison to The Cube?"

"everytime you feel it getting monotonous or predictable, it goes off on a tangent."

That would make it a circle though, wouldn't it?

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Man brings knife to a gun fight and WINS

Stevie
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Bah!

" as the related stories at the side of this article will confirm."

The most prominent sidebar story on my monitor is something about how some dunderhead perched on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and had the nerve to be surprised that half his stuff blew away in a storm one night.

I suspect the automated page markup software is secretly undermining the author in an attempt to discredit him and get him replaced with an RSS feed.

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MAC BOTNET uses REDDIT comments for directions

Stevie
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Re: Bah!

Wow, I got roundly down-thumbed for showing sympathy for mac users. No wonder no-one likes 'em.

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Stevie
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Bah!

My sympathies, Mac users. It was bound to happen eventually. 8o(

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Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

Stevie
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Re: If you just want a 'time jump changes history, ruins everything' thing,

Jeepers creepers try reading for context occasionally!

City on the Edge of Forever was not just the plot, it was the writing which was of a quality not often met in those days and that particular episode was written by Harlan Ellison who knows a bit about plotting and character development. And, as it happens, about Skiffy too.

What I want is a quality series of scripts from people with genuinely new ideas who can write them intelligently without recourse to "timey-wimey" or "waves sonic screwdriver, problem goes away", and who don't fall prey to the "special effects will substitute for plot" thinking that characterizes every f*cking visual SF B movie. It's the difference between "Quatermass and the Pit" and "The Blob" or "Alien" and "Aliens Vs Predators".

Azathoth on a bike, we have a robot about as scary as a Nerf Drone and a math teacher who does Wire Fu in the last but one episode. Even the odd clever ideas are being swamped in stupid, and wrapped in holey-woley plotting.

What I want is an episode or two more like the "Dalek" story from the Eccleston season: clever, well-written and scary as a visit from the taxman. I believed Eccleston was terrified, because for a brief time I was too.

Of course the writers fell prey to the "if one Dalek is scary, fifty thousand will be scarier" Hollywood-style wuckfit thinking and there went the franchise back into meh in a welter of ill-advised CGI.

Footnote: Star Wars is an outlier, but the later retouched efforts have started pulling it back into mainstream Hollywood SF meh so it soon won't be. SFX never trump story and writing.

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Stevie
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Bah!

The series has suffered from terrible scripts for years. Britain has many highly-skilled, world-renowned Sci-Fi writers, so why in the name of Roger Delgado don't the BBC spend some dosh on going the Star Trek route instead of using the same staff writer to churn out tat week after week?

To put it more succinctly:

Where is Dr Who's "City on the Edge of Forever", and how much longer must we wait for it?

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Vanished blog posts? Enterprise gaps? Welcome to Windows 10

Stevie
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Re: Live Tiles are just icons

Hucking fuge icons that take up acres of screen real estate for no useful purpose on a device *NOT* using a tiny touch sensitive screen and a fat finger as its primary input peripheral.

They are also butt-ugly, too big, unwanted, too big and butt-ugly. They add no functionality over the standard icon or the cascaded menu item (my own preferred way of digging stuff out of the machine) on any device which can provide the mechanism to unfold the menu.

Tiles work for fingers on screens. They are, even then, too big and butt-ugly, but at least there they serve a useful purpose. They serve no such purpose on a conventional keyboard/mouse/screen computer and I SHOULDN"T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEM IF I DON'T WANT TO IN THIS F*CKING DAY AND AGE FOR F*CK'S SAKE!

Have a shouty too. >Bo@

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Stevie
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Re: Bah!

Jeeze, it's like listening to stereo twonks back in the 1970s rave about wow, flutter and rumble.

It will be a hassle because I use many, many, many, applications every day that do not appear as yet to have Linux versions or "equivalents"* to do things I care about.

Which you could have figured out for yourself in a trice if you were half as clever as you believe yourself to be.

It might interest you to know (but probably won't as it will involve the sound of a rapidly deflating windbag) that I maintain a bunch of Unix servers for a living and understand how they work, mostly.

"Computers are tools. So are some of the people using them."

* Which anyone who has taken one out for a drive will know usually encompasses definition of equivalent" that covers only basic functions obvious to an IT bod rather than those a business specialist will need.

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Stevie
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Bah!

"Live apps"

So I must have a persistent internet connection to use this abortion?

Nope. I hate the tiles because they use up real estate to no useful effect on my laptop. McAffee is now a thing of the past largely because their shift from a tabbed page of controls to a bedsheet of uninformative tiles jarred me out of the laziness I'd been suffering from the last time the sub came up for renewal.

I think this is the inflection point that makes Linux worth the hassle.

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Ice probe peers at hidden BOTTOMS of oceans from SPAAACE

Stevie
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Bah!

So why did they suppress all the data on the positions of submerged crashed starships from the dawn of history?

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FLASH drive ... Ah-aaaaaah! BadUSB no saviour to plug and play Universe

Stevie
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Bah!

Is BadUSB as big and as present an annoyance as the zero-story all-add "content" waiting under the "You don't have to be mad to work for Apple" link on the Register's main page?

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One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?

Stevie
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Bah!

We've been doing that "one codebase library carved out at compile time to fit the platform" thing for decades on Univac-then-Sperry-then-Unisys 1100/2200 family mainframes.

We use a scripting language called SSG and the sensible use a front-end/database called COMUS to manage it all.

What, you thought mainframe OS's were hand written for site specific platforms?

What, you thought that mainframe utilities were one-size-fits-all (nearly) like they aren't on Unix?

Unisys OS2200 is also Open Source, or was when I last worked with it, and had been for most of it's decades old life.

What, you thought you invented Open Source *and* sex?

Kids. Tch!

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

Stevie
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Re: M$ - THE TRUE TRAILING EDGE OF TECHNOLOGY

"The web browser."

But they *were* first to make the "proper*" web browser free - or did you miss the sticker price on Netscape Navigator?

I can make a very good case that MS shaped the development of how the web should look and feel.

But no-one needs all those knee-jerk downvotes, so I'll sit on my fingers.

* there were many ways the cognoscenti could browse the web for free in them days, of course, but doing so was a pain and involved giving up what most people would expect in terms of ease of use and functionality.

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Stevie
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Re: Bah!

Agree. Upvote.

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Stevie
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Bah!

"Nice idea; but do users actually want live tiles on their Windows desktop?"

This one doesn't, and can't understand whay anyone else would either.

"...skips a version number to signify a new generation of Windows..."

But...even numbered Windows releases are always infested with problems of the most virulent stripe and abandoned a year or so later in a flurry of "let us never speak of this again". Look at Windows Millenium Edition (yesyesyes the real millennium was 2001 but you lost that war along with the hacker/cracker one Mr Pedant) and of course Windows 8.

Far better to have dumped 10 and stayed with 9 or gone with 11.

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SLOSH! Cops dethrone suspect - by tipping over portaloo with him inside

Stevie
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Re: "one my post "

one MAY post. Tsk. 2/10. See myself after class.

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Stevie
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Bah!

From where I sit tipping over the bog was OK. On TV a missed pistol shot usually does no harm. In the real world we pick up the bodies of children killed by such stuff every month, and who's to know what the guy in the lavvy is up to or how much artillery he's carrying.

Kicking the suspect is where the suspension kicks in. Ahahaha.

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Stevie
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"Well at least they'll have some manure"

Yeeeees, the reporter did that one already.

To save further embarrassment: The text of an article often extends below your screen's display area. One must use the "scroll bar" or some other "scrolling" method to pull up the text and see what lies under your taskbar or perchance your phone keyboard.

Once one has properly read all the text one my post a smart-arse one-liner safe in the knowledge one isn't unwittingly doing the echo song instead of breaking clever.

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Ice, ice maybe: Evidence of 'Grand Canyon' glacier FOUND ON MARS

Stevie
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Bah!

Is anyone involved in this excellent project from a place or organization I can figure out how to pronounce from the spelling?

Like "Cleethorpes" or "UEA"?

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George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests

Stevie
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Bah!

All the negatards here would be first to jump all over any story that pictures had been leaked with "helpful" after-the-fact advice like "they should have secured their environment".

Azathoth on a bike, give the man a break. He did what the security "experts" here always tell people they should have done - got a clue and put some serious dosh behind a serious attempt to secure the digital environment surrounding his wedding.

As for where he chooses to sell his pictures of the event, that is his affair and not that of some nosy twat with a ridiculously long focal length lens or a team of haxxors on the payroll.

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Bad boy builds beastly Bash bug botnet, boxen battered

Stevie
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Re: Linux doesn't have Bourne shell,

...but uses an emulator for #!/bin/sh, and that emulator is usually bash.

I did not know that. Now I do. I die less dumb. Result!

Thank you Nick.

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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

Stevie
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Bah!

Hey, the tech sector finally grew a pair. Who'd'a thunkit?

Now if the politicians can remember why they were put into office maybe this country can, you know, "function" again.

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Latest Firefox and Thunderbird updates plug CRITICAL SSL vuln

Stevie
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Bah!

Oh well. There goes my Thunderbird calendar plugin again. Every update seems to make it "invalid".

But what do I expect; it's free!

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iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?

Stevie
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Re: That would never happen as PUC's (Public Utility Commissions ...

... across the country would have blocked that move. As soon as someone tried to rip the copper out, PUC's would be asking what they will be replacing the copper with.

Possibly. I have little faith that any laws would protect the public against the Great God Profit during the heady days of the late 1980s and early 1990s though. Everyone was distracted for some of it by the catastrophic failure of the Savings and Loan industry for one thing and the corporate raiders seemed unstoppable at the time.

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Stevie
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Bah!

"Perhaps now more will begin to understand why profit, far from being evil, is a necessary thing."

Profit is never an evil thing. Excessive profit often is, or did you miss the slash-and-burn of the 1980s? I remember the quote by an AT&T executive who said that throughout that era he was terrified some corporate raider would realize how much copper AT&T had, and would acquire the company to strip mine the phone infrastructure for short term profit.

Shareholder profit quite often is, as it is all-to often the altar on which the core business of the public company in question is sacrificed. Only this morning yet another radio commentator was surprised at the number of private companies that outspend and outperform their larger publicly-held rivals in R&D.

As with all "isms", capitalism works well until it is allowed free rein, when the wheels come off alarmingly quickly. You must have noticed the events of 2008 (including the snouting-at-the-public-trough that went on in bonusland).

The key to profit != evil is the invisible qualifier *reasonable*. The problem is that in the new something-for-nothing millennium, people's definition of "reasonable" is "whatever I think I can get away with".

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Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

Stevie
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Re: Bonus: not much of a gravity well so leaving and going to points more interesting is easy

Agreed. It's just that gravity is so thunderously useful most of the times it is helpful to have some around. Microgravity makes a case for less human occupation of space, not more.

Its such a shame that Neil and Buzz weren't taken prisoner by Selenites. There'd have been a fleet of Heinleinesque proper space rockets c/w fins sitting in launch cradles around Luna City as we type.

That's why the general public hates space. It is boring to anyone not involved in post graduate science because there is nothing to excite the popular imagination. They haven't the faintest idea how cable TV, worldwide communications or weather reporting works and NASA et al have made no effort to educate them.

Try "It costs less than a penny per person per day to ensure you get Game of Thrones and an early warning of any hurricanes coming your way".

A bit more punch than wittering on about the cost of a space craft you won't get to ride taking people you won't know to places you won't get a chance to visit so they can do things you don't understand.

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Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed

Stevie
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Bah!

"Apple is working on a new music format that will make buying music “irresistible” all over again"

Arr, be they packaging it in a gatefold 12 inch cardboard sleeve with a nice paintin' er two and a lyric sheet to look at as y' listen to the sounds? Mebbee a five page booklet bound into the spine like Fragile had? Perhaps a clever 4 square foot pop-up, fold-out design like a certain Man album had? Cunnin' cutout "inner sleeve seen through the outer" art like Physical Graffiti had? The fascinatin' pictures inside the ELP Pictures at an Exhibition sleeve? Geiger art?

"Multimedia experience". We had that back in the 1970s so we did, an' y' didn't need no electron microscope to read the sleeve notes neither blast ye fer a pasty-faced landlubber!

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Damien Hirst, eat your heart out - these guys chop up TAXIS

Stevie
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Bah!

A scooter made from bits from a 3d printer?

So you can ride to the shops *and* knock off a plastic gun on the way with which to hold them up?

Brilliant!

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Top Gear Tigers and Bingo Boilers: Farewell then, Phones4U

Stevie
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Bah!

No phone for Victor?

UNBELIEVABLE!

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Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

Stevie
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Re: take my hat off to those crews

Absolutely. Actually, I take my hat off to all servicemen and servicewomen, indeed everyone who for whatever reason got stuck in.

But if a hat is coming off it should be mentioned that one Russian anti-Tiger tactic I came across was to have a soldier run alongside a moving Tiger while feeding barbed wire into the roadwheels.

I mean, how much Vodka would *you* need inside you to contemplate that?

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