* Posts by Neil Barnes

2177 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

A Quid A Day for NOSH? Luxury!

Neil Barnes
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Re: If you know how to cook ...

Thanks, Jake.

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Neil Barnes
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Holmes

Re: If you know how to cook ...

If only there were, say, a cook book entitled something along the lines of 'Food for a Tenner a Week'...

Last year, Jake, you challenged me on this. Consider it answered.

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

Neil Barnes
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Re: Visit websites and it becomes all too obvious

Correct. It costs too much and takes too long to receive the goodies.

I have bought from the continent when I have had no other option, or when I have access to a delivery address in the same country, but on the whole it is simply uneconomic to do so, particularly for toys.

Also, I want instant gratification and I want it *now*.

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El Reg reforms the Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse

Neil Barnes
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Pint

Re: Easy

Only problem is... all the fruit has been on the ground since November... you had to start your cunning plan six months ago.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Fair warning...

Hmm. If I sell you a jar, can I add any profit to my fiver?

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Nutrition?

But unnecessary.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Moral dilemma

Pro-rata is the only way to do it that makes sense, if you want any sort of variety. It's how I priced things in the book, too: if you've only got a tenner or so for a week, you don't blow it all at PapaJohn's (best delivery pizzas round here) - you think about what you're going to eat, and if necessary, you try and save something so you can afford herbs and spices because that's what you use to make things different.

My minimum spice list: salt, pepper, dried basil, tandoori masala, worcestershire sauce - but even that will eat up most of your tenner if you buy it in one go. Nonetheless if you get them one at a time every week or two, it's doable... and they all last a lot longer than a couple of months.

The actual cost is pennies or less; some the quantities are just too small to measure.

I'm planning on eating mostly from the book, having done all the research, though I'll perhaps scale things a little. Home-made muesli and sourdough bread (not at the same time) and jam for breakfast and lunch, lapsang souchang tea!

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Fair warning...

Yes, of course. 340g jars are about 140g sugar, so 9 pence.

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Neil Barnes
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Fair warning...

I've got jam from fruit gathered last year, and just planted some saved basil seed for fresh herbs next month. Beansprouts will be started the week before.

Anita will be helping again this year, so a tenner for the pair of us.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Neil Barnes
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Re: Bad training

Ten thousand hours, though - that's potentially half a million miles. That's fifteen years even at the stupid miles I drive...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Another nail in the coffin...

Indeed - I'm currently trying to fend off an attempt to change the limit in my road from 30-with-humps-and-traffic-calming to 20-but-we'll-take-the-humps-away.

I have still not yet had a response to my request for the evidence for the *need* for this (there have been no incidents in fifteen years I've lived there) and plenty of anecdotal observation that what is required is actually no more than a couple of zebra crossings...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: If you need to be seen, sidelights.

Correct. If you need lights, you need headlights - dipped or main as appropriate. There shouldn't even be a switch position for sidelights when the engine is running; they're parking markers and nothing more.

I won't mention driving with fog lights when it's not foggy...

One thing, though - the need lights situation is not helped by full-time illuminated dash panels (e.g. the wife's Seat) but I don't know how to avoid this (my Fiat Bravo's instruments are unreadable in some lighting conditions due to the depth of the dial in its binnacle, when external lights are not generally applicable). Perhaps we should just take the approach of leaving the headlights on all the time when the engine is on, as some of our continental cousins do.

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Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

'the first time mammoth genes have been alive'

Were they ever alive? After all, genes are just a collection of base pairs on an exon...

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Mono Magic: Photography, Breaking Bad style

Neil Barnes
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Re: Such a complex subject

I've used the same OM-1 for nearly forty years... it is indeed a lovely thing in the hand.

Colour photography happened very shortly after black and white; ignoring hand tinted daguerrotypes, the early developers were using colour through a number of impressively complex procedures: triple exposures through three filters; triple simultaneous exposures; random-scattered filters on the image (Autochrome using coloured starch grains as a filter screen was available from around 1907).

But until Kodak and Agfa started producing subtractive colour films, years later, any colour method was either prohibitively expensive, prohibitively complicated, or both, for the run of the mill user. It was also often much slower - in exposure terms - and that tended to be an issue too.

I suspect that given the chance, many photographers both professional and amateur would have leapt at colour - but they didn't really have the chance until the 1940s and so what we remember from the first century of the art is largely black and white.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: It is techno-Luddism

I have to agree with Nigel here: the challenge is not to make a picture, it's to understand how you have made the picture within the constraints of the medium.

I can solve a crossword by looking at the answers, or I can solve it by looking at the clues...

It's interesting that so many images are actually spoiled by the lack of control by the photographer. I recall a not-too-long-ago exhibition of images which were all stunning, but all subtly *wrong* - over-chromed, over sharpened, over-contrasty, and in a couple of cases it was immediately obvious that an autofocus had selected the wrong part of the image on which to focus...

But what do I know? I use a fairly basic digital camera for run of the mill record shots, and most of the time it does a pretty decent job. But when I want to play at the art of photography, I prefer to use a 4*5 camera (sometimes a home-made one) with emulsions developed seventy years ago and developers from two centuries ago.

p.s. Novatone has come up with wonderful neologism: nottalgia.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: Cibachrome

Yeah, but anyone who had worked through the colour negative colour corrections invariably got their head confused when trying to work out which way to adjust the filters... and if they worked RGB in television at the same time...

Lovely results, though, and pretty much fade-proof.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: "Knowing you only have 36 exposures at a time can impose discipline."

Roll of 36 * 35mm? Two good shots.

Roll of 12 60*45mm? Two good shots.

Two sheets of 5x4"? Two good shots...

Funny, it's always been that way for me.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chana masala

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

So...

You're going to be eating a bit better next month, then, Lester?

Archetypal boffin with pipe -->

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LOHAN chap serves up 'tenner a week' e-cookbook

Neil Barnes
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You should be able to get them from Lulu in the States - it's a US company and I'm sure they print over there.

The way the finances work is that if I allow Amazon and the other bookstores to sell it, they will take half the cover price, then Lulu will get their bit, and then Malaria No More will get what's left - which will be negative, at this price.

There are no photos largely because they'd double the size, and therefore the cost, of the book.

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Neil Barnes
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Bugger...

Sorry about that, folks. I forgot about it. Bloody VAT law that thinks it's the medium that matters and not the content, and then manages to charge for a medium that barely exists.

Unfortunately it's out of my control, but thanks for flagging it up.

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Amazon issued with licence for delivery drone madness

Neil Barnes
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Re: So why is Amazon pursuing the idea?

Which, as a paraglider pilot, will probably rather upset me.

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Neil Barnes
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Re: So why is Amazon pursuing the idea?

Still can't see it; you need to be awful sure of your safeties.

Extreme example: Amazon, please deliver to my work address - Control Tower, 1 Airport Way, Heathrow...

For the back of beyond delivery it might make sense, but they're going to have to solve the range problem and if it's not autonomous it defeats the object.

(Oh, and an AI so it can wait until you're out and *then* attempt the delivery...)

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Rosetta SNIFFS molecular nitrogen on Comet 67P

Neil Barnes
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Coat

I suppose

It's better to nitrogenate than never...

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LOHAN chap compiles 'tenner a week' cookbook

Neil Barnes
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Re: Micro Review

Thanks KP.

Might I ask which side of the pond you live? Oatmeal seems uncommon in the UK - though there is the recipe for oats in Muesli (and indeed, I eat them regularly largely for their low GI).

I did have a recipe for oatcakes but testers didn't like the result, so out it went.

If I do it again next year it might be a selection of other people's ideas...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: @Neil - epub

Imagine if I'd remembered to post the link...

http://www.lulu.com/shop/neil-barnes/food-for-a-tenner-a-week/ebook/product-22087085.html

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Neil Barnes
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Re: @Neil - epub

Right, finally persuaded Lulu to accept/make an ebook.

It is not formatted as nicely as I would have wished, and there are extraneous entries in the TOC, but the TOC does at least work on my Kobo.

It's an epub.

£2.99 to make the same dosh for the charity.

Thanks,

Neil

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Neil Barnes
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Re: @Neil - epub

It's already a valid ebook, checks out with all the verifiers, and works fine on my kobo, but Lulu's verifier won't pass it, and the error messages are no bloody use at all.

Still trying alternate options.

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Neil Barnes
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Flame

I'm having serious difficulties persuading Lulu to accept a perfectly valid and verified epub file.

Not a happy bunny.

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Noobs can pwn world's most popular BIOSes in two minutes

Neil Barnes
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Re: This wouldn't be (much of) a problem...

As you say, UEFI in particular is *way* too complex for what it needs to do - basically, provide a way of loading and running the first sector of the disc (ooh, look, two options to lie to the user already!) and a list of peripherals and their states. Making the bios also responsible for approving the operating system image is not really helpful (and of course, a pain if you want to run something other than what came in the box).

There's an awful lot to be said for a little switch on the motherboard to make the bios chip writeable. It shouldn't be possible to rewrite the bios from userland at all.

(Apropos of which - what's the situation if you've turned the UEFI off for a standard bios boot? Is it a standard bios, or is it UEFI pretending?)

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Shock development: Darkweb drug n' gun dealers are untrustworthy

Neil Barnes
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Holmes

So evolution *is* real, then?

Now we've evolved a more efficient predator, it won't be long before the criminals evolve a better defense (or disguise) against it.

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Delving into Office 2016: Microsoft goes public with new preview

Neil Barnes
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Facepalm

Indeed - and as they still insist on wasting space with the ridiculous 'menu disguised as a big fat toolbar) aka the ribbon... they can still wait for me to install it.

All the disadvantages of both menus *and* toolbars and the advantages of neither.

(And yes, I know about ctrl-f1)

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Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

Neil Barnes
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Boffin

Re: energy for cloud-cuckoo land

Presumably, the trick is to select a microwave frequency to which the atmosphere and its soggy bits are transparent.

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Well.That.Sucks: New rude dot-word sparks outrage

Neil Barnes
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Headmaster

I'm sorry?

"is no longer purely a pejorative term"?

When was it ever? Is this some leftpondian aberration of the lanquage?

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Neil Barnes
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Re: Reading order

All the above are excellent suggestions - my taste would be for Guards! Guards! and the other Sam Vimes books - but no-one has mentioned Soul Music... which is worth it for a two-hundred page lead-up to an absolutely appalling pun on the last page (and incidentally gives an interesting cross section of Pterry's taste in music).

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Forget viruses: Evil USB drive 'fries laptops with a power surge'

Neil Barnes
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WTF?

Re: Things a bit out of order...

And be very wary of one that just 'happens' to have metal plates on either side...

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Neil Barnes
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Re: I don't think you need a circuit diagram for that.

+1 for the Nixie clock; I'm currently looking for some ZM1210 tubes and Ask Jan doesn't appear to have them.

I like the negative supply, so everything is reverse biased. I have to go to great lengths in the day job to stop USB serial adaptors cheerfully powering the system through the chip protection diodes...

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RIP Sir Terry Pratchett: Discworld author finally gets to meet DEATH

Neil Barnes
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Unhappy

Something...

of an embuggeration.

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Nest seeks audio talent to delight … someone

Neil Barnes
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Stop

Hifi that talks to me?

No, I don't think so, thanks.

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Australians! Let us all rise up against data retention

Neil Barnes
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There is no reason why *any* putative 'democratic' election should not include a mechanism for removing a candidate from contention, as well as for supporting a candidate.

I favour the 'non of the above' route, whereby NOTA votes are counted just as for the candidates - and if NOTA wins, that's who is returned. Voting should never be compulsory, but in such a system, a non-vote automatically counts as a NOTA.

The whole democracy thing is actually debased by two-party states (or worse, by one-party states) where people see little point in voting because they can't vote for the fellow they want with an chance of seeing him elected. Here in the UK we have the delightful system that while we can vote for the chap(ess) we want, because his views are aligned with ours - but the minute he's elected he is required to toe the party line *whether or not he agrees with those particular views*.

Come this year's election, if the candidates can be bothered knocking on the door, the first question is going to be "What is your stance on bulk telecoms data collection?".

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Ad bidding network caught slinging ransomware

Neil Barnes
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Re: Do you realise how hard it is to find good quality ASCII porn?

Does X still have an ascii-video driver?

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Neil Barnes
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The first thing on a new windows machine

Install firefox

Install noscript

Install adblock+

On a linux machine, the same, except that firefox is probably already installed.

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Neil Barnes
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Regarding F**kAdblock

I find it rather amazing that while the parasites, er, fine upstanding advertisers have access to a tool which can tell if I'm blocking their adverts (hint: I am), important sites that still insist on flash and/or cross-site scripting (e.g. banks, and pretty much anywhere if you want to pay online) don't seem to be able to detect that you're not running them until it's too late...

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Can't pay $349 for an Apple Watch? Get a Chinese knockoff for less than $50

Neil Barnes
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Re: Manufacturing costs + distribution + reasonable mark-ups

"Plus maybe $50 more, assuming a warranty."

Why on earth should it be necessary to pay another fifty bucks for a warranty?

Either the maker puts his name behind it and fixes/replaces it if it breaks, or it's a pile of poo that should be avoided. Doubling the cost to warrant it is saying 'there's a 50% chance of this thing dying in a year'...

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HAPPY 20th Birthday MICROSOFT BOB

Neil Barnes
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Re: "We offer it here without any warranty, guarantee, or prospect of support"

Don't be silly, we all know there's no sanity clause.

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Neil Barnes
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Re: Wonders what planet has 18 hour days....

They're going to have to do some serious engineering - at the moment we have to stick leap seconds in every now and then.

Still, the easiest way is probably just to move the moon nearer. Conservation of momentum will do the rest. The eclipses will be impressive.

(And since '10 hours' is all day, does that mean the watch lasts nearly two days?)

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Apple Watch: HOT WRIST ACTION plus slim $1299 MacBooks - and HBO TV

Neil Barnes
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Re: An 18hr day sounds like...

No, no - it's just that the battery lasts 18 hours, then it catches fire and burns your arm off.

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OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

Neil Barnes
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Re: Negatve comments

A new conjugation perhaps?

HE is at the leading edge of technology.

YOU have an unexpected IoT issue.

I have a headache.

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Uber XXXs itself out of South Korea

Neil Barnes
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What's in the other hand?

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggy' while reaching for a big stick...

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Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

Neil Barnes
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Re: Why the fuss?

That's it indeed. What is *required* is a mechanism by which one can prove one has the right to certain facilities (e.g. medical care, social security) and perhaps the right to be in certain places (this person is over 18 years old), but without the need to identify the person and emphatically without the need to carry the mechanism unless and until one wishes to use it.

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NASA: Curiosity rover's BROKEN ARM doesn't SPELL DOOM for Mars mission

Neil Barnes
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Are they sure

it wasn't some juvenile Martian wondering 'what happens if I...?'

If they manage to shoot another selfie, they could find a graffiti: Valentine Michael Smith was here.

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