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* Posts by frank ly

3245 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Venus EXPOSED in predawn threesome with Saturn and Mercury

frank ly
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Re: Get some, already

What is it they say about people who 'protest too much'? :)

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Gangnam Style beats Bieber Baby, becomes biggest timewaste EVER

frank ly
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Ummm, ..

"With K-pop, we had a whole industry of extraordinarily high quality music ... "

Is it just me whose brain did a back-flip? (I may be getting too old; if so please forgive me.)

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Cambridge boffins fear 'Pandora's Unboxing' and RISE of the MACHINES

frank ly
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Re: The solution is ...

How about a small and powerful, remotely controlled cutting tool that is built around the main power feed to the intelligent machine? I can't see any problem with that.

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Microsoft applies for patent for 'Google Goggles'-type AR specs

frank ly
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When submitting a patent application ....

... is there a requirement that you use 1950's style artwork and diagrams? It seems to be a common theme.

I'm not saying it's 'wrong', just wondering why it always looks that way.

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The secrets of spacetime revealed - on your workbench!

frank ly
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I'm having problems understanding this

"Photons interact poorly with matter – but they do interact. If the photon moves the block by more than the Planck distance (1.616199 × 10-35 meters), it will pass through."

If the photon passes through, surely it has not interacted with the matter of the block and so will not move the block?

If the photon is reflected or its path deviated by interaction with the block, resulting in movement of the block (which I assume is suspended and free to swing), how can such a small movement be detected? Does the detection rely on a build up, over time, of a 'classical' wave interference pattern? If so, surely the wavelength of any photon we can produce would be far too large to be effective in detecting such a small movement?

I'm lost here.

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Google, Apple, eBay shouldn't pay taxes - people should pay taxes

frank ly
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Re: I run a company....

You need to license your company name and logo from a Luxembourg head office and buy exquisitely priced computers, hard drives and blank DVDs from a specialist Swiss supplier. I'm sure the tax authorities would accept that way of working.

The again, they might jump up and down on you with hobnailed boots. Do you run a very, very big company?

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The ‘subversive adult Disneyland’ where iPods track your every move

frank ly
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Re: Tasmania !!!

The next development will be 'immersive telepresence'; so you don't need to travel to 'see' it.

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Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox

frank ly
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They need to be careful out there

The last time I tried mining asteroids, I was jumped by suicide gankers on my way to a space station. It's a widespread problem.

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Just bought an Apple product? Need support NOW? Drop an F-BOMB

frank ly
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Happy

The Reg looks forward to reading your comments ...

I've left my comment on your office voicemail. You'll probably want to deal with it quickly.

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Dogs would say: SIZE is IMPORTANT, shape - not so much

frank ly
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Re: Fundamentally distinct?

"... if humans picked up most objects with their mouth, ..."

Yes, puppies especially seem to explore the world by grabbing things with their mouths and licking them until them get bored. I've never tried it myself but I'm sure it would give me a different perspective on things.

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Huawei hawks hundred quid handset hupdate

frank ly
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More than good enough for me (and many others I suspect)

If I'm realistic about what I use my Android phone for, (a few phone calls, e-mail, calendar, Wi-Fi file transfer), then this would be more than good enough for me.

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Pirate cops bust LITTLE GIRL, take her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop

frank ly
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Crime often occurs in clusters

Did they also check to ensure that her Winne-The-Pooh laptop had proper licensing agreements from the estate of A.A. Milne and/or the Disney corporation? It would have been a real feather in their cap if they'd found any infringement there.

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Assault on battery

frank ly
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Coffee/keyboard

...the ‘A’ key still doesn’t work. And now neither do ...

Are you sure you're not pressing them wrong?

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Reg boffins blow lid on sheepsecs

frank ly
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Coat

Re: and the music...

" ...it's a constant, an immovable fact ..."

There are variations depending on the region of space in which the sheep is travelling. The effects of dark matter entanglement in the wool can result in a significant reduction of maximum velocity. If you'd studied sheep as closely as I have, you'd know that dark matter entanglement is widespread and can be a problem.

(The woollen one with dark bits entangled in it.)

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South Korean convicted for tweeting Pyongyang propaganda

frank ly
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@urinmizone

A much better Twitter handle for them?

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Hexing MAC address reveals Wifi passwords

frank ly
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Re: Just wondering

Yes, every MAC address I've ever seen has been in hex. However, it may be that some manufacturers have started using decimal notation; but that would be weird because surely MAC address entry fields all use hex?

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Italians deploy fearsome SPY MANNEQUINS to win Fashion Wars

frank ly
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Re: Do they

No, they are fembots. They have tastefully concealed machine guns.

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Extreme teleworking: A Reg hack reports from the internet's frontier

frank ly
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The cold cottage

I'm thinking thermal rendering, double glazing (tastefully done of course) and loft insulation. I'm also thinking thermal underwear, easily ordered on e-bay.

If you get round to it, please post the pictures for us (but not of the thermal underwear; no, no).

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CERN rushes to install new anti-matter hunter

frank ly
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The antiproton 'traps' were installed last June. I assume that these traps act to divert antiprotons towards a pathway that sends them to the detector, which will be placed away from the main ring and its tunnel. While the ring is running, people can still work in locations away from the main ring tunnel.

I'm wondering how they make antihydrogen from antiprotons. Does the proton 'pick up' an ordinary electron, which stays in orbit due to normal processes, or do they give it an antielectron?

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PGP Zimmermann teams with Navy SEALs, SAS techies in London

frank ly
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Re: Looks like China will have some new rules to add to its firewall

They could connect to a randomly selected forwarding server, that is part of a randomly changing collection of forwarding servers. (Change pattern controlled by encrypted data of course). Sounds expensive though.

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Pocket Wi-Fi hotspots paralyse Chinese metro lines

frank ly
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Easily fixed

The Chinese version of Ofcom should allow the metro stations to switch to 5.8GHz (or whatever makes sense) and waive licensing fees but require a check for interference with any existing local users of that frequency.

It's a public safety risk and officialdom should respond by being flexible and sensible. Ah ........oh :(

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LAST EVER British typewriter manufactured in Wales

frank ly
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Happy

Re: and no more secure then than today

That's what matches and metal bins are for.

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BT: Olympics cyber attackers were amateurs

frank ly
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Kids nowadays, eh?

"... while another replied incredulously to a colleague giving them a hard time “what do you expect, I’m only 12?”

I can't decide if that's a wonderful thing or a terrible thing. The calm, mature and responsible part of me (a small part) thinks it's terrible. The other part thinks, 'I want that kid working for me when he grows up'.

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4chan founder Moot threatens site for using his handle

frank ly
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@AC 22:10 Re: In American English, "moot" means "irrelevant"

From the online Oxford English dictionary entry for moot ...

adjective:

1. subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty: (e.g.) whether the temperature rise was mainly due to the greenhouse effect was a moot point.

2. (North American) having little or no practical relevance: (e.g.) the whole matter is becoming increasingly moot

Further definitions for use as a verb and a noun are also given. Note the following especially ...

noun:

2. (Law) a mock judicial proceeding set up to examine a hypothetical case as an academic exercise: (e.g.) the object of a moot is to provide practice in developing an argument.

Do you see what the Americans did there?

I suggest you learn about the real world. It's very big and varied but it may be too complicated for you.

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German city dumping OpenOffice for Microsoft

frank ly
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What amazing modern MS Office facilities do they need?

I can't think of any reason why a town council couldn't use Libre Office or MS Office 2000 for all its needs.

Can anyone think of anything?

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World's oldest digital computer successfully reboots

frank ly
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The first line of output was ....

"I remember when it was all valves round here"

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Swedish woman cuffed for sex with skeleton SHOCKER

frank ly
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Gimp

I was going to make a serious comment ..

.. about the self imposed emotional prison of fetishism, sexual dysfunction and social alienation ....... then I remembered where I am.

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Glorious silicon globes could hold key to elusive PERFECT kilogram

frank ly
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Re: Easy?????

The gramme was originally defined as the mass of a certain volume of water, yes, but this leads to the problem of how you construct a container with that volume. Easy, you say, use accurate rulers to construct and measurer it. Do you see the problem there? It's a lot better and easier to have a lump of stable metal as your defined standard.

As a side note, "a certain number of atoms of a certain substance (i.e. Water)" - water is not atoms, it is molecules. Even then, there are different types of water molecules that have different masses due to containing different isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen: not good for extreme accuracy.

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frank ly
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Re: Definition of a metre

OK, so the 'caesium second' is so accurate and repeatable that it's good enough to be used to define the metre. Thank you for explaining that.

As for Avogadro's number, we can know that as accurately as we can define and measure the kilogram ...........aha.

It doesn't matter what Avogadro's number is, as long as it is accurately linked to the 'best' standard kilogram available at the moment. After that, we all agree on that value of Avogadro's number and we don't need a standard reference mass any more.

After that, everything can be linked back to a carefully constructed caesium clock and he ability to count.

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frank ly
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Definition of a metre

" .. one metre is equal to the distance travelled by light in vacuum in a 299,792,458th of a second."

The problem with this is that you need an accurate clock to measure the fraction of a second.

I thought that the 'latest' formal definition of a metre is a certain (large) number of wavelengths of a particular emission line from some named element isotope. Using this method, all you need to do is count them, not measure anything else. (Similarly, the second is defined as the time taken for a certain number of cycles of a caesium spectral emission line; only counting is involved with no reliance on other standards.)

The idea behind the definition of the kilogram as a particular number of a certain type of atom has the same principle, obviously.

Once you have the metre, kilogram and second defined in this way, every other SI unit can be derived from them, which is why it used to be called the MKS system (or mKs if you want to be picky).

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Microsoft's OWN tests on Kin 'social phone' foretold its doom

frank ly
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I found the original/traditional one

(NSFW?) http://www.fprintf.net/isms.html

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Swollen SUPER-GIGANTO PLANET sighted in Andromeda

frank ly
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Alien

As the sensitivity and resolution of our instruments improves......

My god, it's full of planets!

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EE touts 4G Sim-only tariffs

frank ly
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Re: So

3's SIM-only One Plan gives 2000 mins, 5000 texts and 'all you can eat' data with tethering allowed; for £25 a month on a rolling one month contract. I'm seriously thinking about going for that next May, when my VM cable contract reaches its expiry date.

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Kobo Glo illuminated e-reader review

frank ly
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A few points ...

"... you’re forced to connect it to a computer onto which you’ve downloaded Kobo’s library software before you can use it. This despite the fact that the Glo has single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi on board and could easily verify its activation that way."

I had mine up and running over Wi-Fi in a very short time, after I stopped making typing mistakes on the oh so slowly responsive on-screen keyboard. (Just learn to type slowly). I loaded up some 'test' e-books onto an SD card, plugged in it, powered it up and there they all were, ready to read. :) I'm sure I registered with Kobo over WiFi but it's not important for me so I can't remember properly.

It was the next day that I tried the Kobo PC app and Glo connection to a PC via USB. USB gives you direct access to the onboard storage and the plug-in SD card. The only reason I would use the Kobo PC app would be to buy books from Kobo, or try their freebies, because that's all it does for you.

I found .pdf files to be quite poorly presented, especially if they were scanned pdfs. Anything that relies on what is effectively a 'photographic' representation is bound to be poor compared to internal fonts.

The built in browser is stated as being 'beta' so in theory you can't complain about it. In practice, I was satisfied with it, except that the screen size, resolution and e-ink are not suitable for just about any website you might want to look at; but it does work.

I did some digging around in the internal sqlite database and found the storage location names. If you want to set up a local website (for whatever reason), you can set the browser home address to be:

file:///mnt/onboard/{dirpath}/{startfile}.htm or file:///mnt/sd/{dirpath}/{startfile}.htm

Note: the browser will not start unless WiFi is on, but you can turn WiFi off after the browser has started running. Also, if you load up some .htm files, they will all be listed in your Library which could be messy. I've tried 'hiding' them in LOST.DIR and tried other tricks I thought of, but nothing worked. All you can do is manually mark each one as 'read'.

I haven't tried file:///192.168.1.xx/{dirpath}/--- yet, but it should work because it works on my Android devices, so I'll give it a go soon.

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Oprah Winfrey too late to save Microsoft's Windows 8

frank ly
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Alert

@RISC OS Re: The kind of people who care....

You try mugging the Valkyries for their laptops and see what happens to you.

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No hiding now, fandroids: Smartmobe chip STALKS YOU INDOORS

frank ly
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Great for supermarkets

Goes into supermarket with phone turned on. Ten minutes later....

"Welcome back Mr. Ly. I notice you've spend quite some time standing by the wine and spirits display. I've consulted the customer purchase records for the past three months. Would you like the address of the local Alcoholics Anonymous meeting room?"

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London gets huge Defecator Enthroned statue for World Toilet Week

frank ly
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A giant squatting man has been erected ...

I stopped reading at that point.

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Chinese cloud firm offers 'love bonus' to amorous staff

frank ly
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I assume that's a tight fitting latex coat you're using.

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US paper spaceplane disintegrates at 107,000ft

frank ly
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A missed opportunity

Why didn't Felix Baumgartner take a paper aeroplane up with him, then throw it out at 128,000 feet?

I realise that a manual PARIS release would not count for the record attempt, but valuable data on low pressure flight characteristics, as well as giggles, could have been obtained.

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Apple iCloud collapse forces fanbois to shower, meet face-to-face

frank ly
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Why don't they have failover ..

.. to Google Messaging in cases like this? It seems an obvious solution to me. Spread that cloudy goodness and use the redundancy.

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Astronauts (or other 'nauts) could find life on Mars quite healthy

frank ly
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Happy

Mars may be more hospitable to life - ...- than had been feared,

I think that should be 'than had been hoped for'; unless it's the possibility of native Martian lifeforms we're worried about. How much do you know?!

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Boffins biff over ‘twisted radio’

frank ly
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Unhappy

Re: Actually

So, after all that time at MIT and Bell Labs and becoming known as 'The Father of Information Theory', it turns out that Claude Shannon was wrong?

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frank ly
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Facepalm

As well as infinite sensitivity and infinite resolution and zero noise. It sounds very unlikely. They say that the 'spin' can be varied infinitely; what they mean is that it can be varied continuously. Well, the amplitude and frequency of a radio signal can be varied continuously but nobody would suggest that this implies an infinite number of detectable states that can be used to encode data.

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How can the BBC be saved from itself without destroying it?

frank ly
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On the other hand ....

... I, and just about everybody I know, do share the mentality you describe. Maybe I should get out more and meet a wider variety of people.

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'Mount Doom' rumbling ominously

frank ly
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Theories about why this is happening

I'm looking forward to reading them over the next 24 hours.

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What are quantum computers good for?

frank ly
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Pint

Re: Do what? !!

"Smacks of smoke, mirrors and magic to me!"

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from smoke.

(Beer: to have with your smoke - assuming you do.)

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Boss wrong to demote man over anti-gay-marriage Facebook post

frank ly
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@AJ Stiles 16:58 Re: Outrageous

"The actual, official, wedding should take place in the town registry office."

That is what happens in this country as well. It's just that for the C of E (i.e. the official church of our Monarch), the building is legally a sub-office of the town registry office.

Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Jedi, etc, can have whatever ceremony they like (as can CofE adherents if their vicar is 'progressive') but they have to make an extra journey to the town hall registry.

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Boffins: Proto-humans had stone spears HALF a MILLION YEARS BC

frank ly
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Happy

Re: I know I'm being picky, but ....

Thank you Psyx.

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frank ly
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I know I'm being picky, but ....

"... the case is proven that the makers of the South African points used them attached to spears. .."

The case is not proven. They didn't test other possible forms of damage/wear processes that may have indicated different usage. Did they find any stone points still attached to spears or adjacent to remains of wooden spears? It's a reasonable theory backed up by some very convincing evidence. In the absence of any competing theory, it's as good as any and worth accepting.

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Reader input required: review our reviews

frank ly
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I once bought a product based on a Reg Review

It was (and still is) a Plextor NAS box. As I started to use it, I found that it had several important characteristics that had not been covered at all by the review, some good for me, some bad for me. (Please note: I'm not complaining, I'm observing.)

It took me a week of detailed furtling and fettling to figure out everything (more or less) about the operation and characteristics of this NAS box, and with a bit of detective work on the internet I deduced some interesting facts about its origins. (It was actually based on a previous Japanese product)

The thing is, we can't expect you and your colleagues to spend a week doing detailed digging and operational observations. However, I'm sure many Reg readers would be willing, at least once, to perform a detailed review task for you. I'd be prepared to do serious work reviewing a product (of my choice) if I got to keep it.

What do you say? (I don't mind if you're amusingly rude.)

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