* Posts by Annihilator

3124 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Firing a water rocket to 1km? Piece of cake

Annihilator
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Headmaster

Re: "uses only water and air – very environmentally friendly"

"The water rocket competition is very exciting, as it uses only water and air – very environmentally friendly"

Technically speaking, the Space Shuttle Main Engines only used water (well, its component parts anyway). Wouldn't call it environmentally friendly though.

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When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

Annihilator
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Re: Any chance of a solution?

"it should say: while(status == SUCCESS) {"

I was half expecting it to be a case of "while(status = SUCCESS)", the classic schoolboy C-style error of assigning a variable, not testing. Why I was always taught to have "constant == variable" as the test, so that any missing = would throw an error.

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The planets really will be in alignment for the next month

Annihilator
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Go

Re: But...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaCaEcMF86o

Or the 8th house of aquarius...

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Seagate floats out 10TB HDD filled with lifting gas

Annihilator
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MTBF is a nonsense statistic anyway.

What's rather odd is that Seagate don't even use MTBF anymore, they use Annual Failure Rate

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/174791en?language=en_US

Quite how that extrapolates into subsequent years, I don't know.

Your 6 years is rather good though. More often than not, the drive failures I get are Seagates

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The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

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Hmm..

A more serious version of the Register? Isn't that what the Inquirer is for?

Seriously though, who are the writers that have moved on and what are the changes made to date? Can't say I've noticed much? But I can take from this that the Yahoo! headlines! will! stop! having! exclamation! marks! now! So that's an improvement anyway :-)

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UK ISP Sky to make smut an opt-in service from 2016

Annihilator
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Re: Ambivalent

"Which is all Sky is asking you to do - decide to open up a certain class of content, or decide to leave it blocked."

No, they're providing a stunted Internet connection and then asking you if you want to unblock it.

They emailed me a while ago saying it was there if I wanted it, I politely ignored it. But now they're forcing it onto new users and giving them the choice to undo it.

"Opt out" effectively assumes you want this switch on. It should be my choice to select something, not my choice to not select something. Email spam sign ups are exactly the same.

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The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

Annihilator
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Excellent, looking forward to this extending the range of their planned drone delivery service. Falcon 9 landing in my back garden to drop off a book would be quite exciting..

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EE Power Bar recall: Telco will waive £5 fee for laggards

Annihilator
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2nd hand battery?

"When your EE Power agreement expires or terminates (for mobile or broadband customer this will happen automatically if you choose to cancel your agreement with us for mobile or broadband services), you must return the Power Bar to an EE store within 60 days"

Why? What on earth were EE going to do with presumably well-used rechargeable batteries? Give them out again?

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What the world needs now is Pi, sweet $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

Annihilator
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Windows

Re: Overpriced

"Informal Reg pole: How many of you here have these doodads already kicking around, taking up space in desk drawers and shoeboxes?"

Loads, but can never find the right one when I need it. Mini-USB cable? Not today, all I can find are 5 micro-USB cables... Tomorrow I'll inevitably have the opposite problem.

But I'm sure that one day I'll find a use for that 3-port IEEE1394 PCI card!

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Cryptowall 4.0: Update makes world's worst ransomware worse still

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Re: world's worst ransomware

Yeah I wondered that. Worst ransomware, or best ransomware? All a matter of perspective...

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Assange™ offered 'plans for escape by flying fox to Harrods'

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Joke

I don't know - this sounds like a cunning plan. Harrods is an absolute warren, no-one would be able to find him in there!

On the other hand, he'd never find his way out either.

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Google Chromecast 2015: Puck-on-a-string fun ... why not, for £30?

Annihilator
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Re: We used the old version on a projector

"but what USB port nowadays delivers 1A?"

USB3.1 (5A). There are also "charging ports" which have been available for years now.

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Testing CarPlay with Apple’s most expensive ever accessory

Annihilator
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Re: Head unit obsolesence.

"There is another issue with older cars and modern head units. On older cars you cannot use touchscreen safely. Touchscreen pretty much requires you seeing where your fingers are. This means that you need the display within the field of view of the driver"

I'd argue that on any car you can't use it safely. Having the display in the field of view is irrelevant, you would still be switching your (literal as well as figurative) focus. Try setting a touchscreen satnav while driving and you're practically taking your eyes off the road.

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Apple files patent for long-rumoured iRing-type bling

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Re: What not How?

Karl Pilkington: "I've come up with an idea, of a watch that tells you when you're gonna die"

Ricky Gervais: "Hang on, how would that work?"

KP: "Well, you'd just wear it on your wrist"

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Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

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Unhappy

Always short term

Blackberry was a solution to a problem that was always going to be short-lived. Phones in the late 90's/early 00's had limited computational and network resources and required a middleware layer to do the heavy lifting and pushing of emails. It was as limited as the WAP/WML web equivalent, but combined with an epic UI helped it string out it's demise a bit longer.

I'll miss it though.

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Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'

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Re: Doesn’t pass the smell test

@Irony Deficient "Diesel cars are much less prevalent in the States because emissions have had a higher priority here than fuel efficiency"

Emissions of things that only diesel engines emit...

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Annihilator
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Re: Dieselgate

"So are you suggesting it should have been called Iranwatergate instead of Irangate? That's the first scandal I can remember to get the "gate" ending."

Nope, Iran-Contra scandal is fine. Irangate makes as much sense as Iranwatergate.

"If there's another scandal at the Watergate Building, then the internet will probably explode."

Exactly. If "-gate" meant "scandal", then that would have been Watergate-gate.

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Annihilator
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Re: Doesn't pass the smell test

1) They're only very low for diesel engines and the nitrogen-oxide emissions they produce. Ironically enough, the CO2 pumped out by their 5 litre V8s are fine. It's not that they don't want diesel cars, it's that they don't want foreign cars.

2) Wouldn't surprise me

3) The MOT wouldn't pick up a "dirty" car, because they're not dirty, they're just at higher levels than the US allows (and the MOT doesn't measure NOx, but particulates). Even if it were, given the MOT test is to red-line the engine in neutral, it sounds exactly how VW are able to game the system by altering the fuel mix in that mode - an easy state for the engine management system to identify.

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Annihilator
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Re: Dieselgate

Personal bugbear of mine - Watergate wasn't a scandal about water.

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Overheating iPhone 6S+ BLINDED my cam, cries flashgate fanboy

Annihilator
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Re: Tucson is also hot

"on a (relatively) cool September day, with an outside temperature of 88F (31C)."

Indeed.

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Anthropology boffins solve 9,000-year-old headless body cold case

Annihilator
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Re: Impossible

Universe?? There is only the earth and the heavens

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Indianapolis man paints his ball every day – for FORTY YEARS

Annihilator
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Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

"and more to the point, does his insurance company know he's risking giving visitors lead poisoning?"

Presumably only if they were stupid enough to lick it. Though some people like that.

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Hate noisy jets above you? What if they were charging your phone?

Annihilator
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Re: Air

"The filing does not estimate just how much power could possibly be generated by such an array."

Because the answer is slim-to-fuck-all.

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Apple working on 3D mapping at secret Swedish hideaway

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Paris Hilton

"Since it can't read street signs"

Why on earth not? I would have thought that would have been one of the most trivial parts of the problem to solve.

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128TB SSD by 2018? Toshiba promises much, delivers ... a little

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Re: Dear SSD manufacters

"My god, it's full of stars!"

Upvoted just for that

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Glaring flaw in Apple car hype-gasm: The iGiant likes to make money

Annihilator
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Re: What I'd like to see...

"Is auto companies providing a display that gives you the option of using whatever platform you want"

It used to be so. Clearly it didn't make enough money for the car companies though:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_7736 (single or double)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_10487

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Annihilator
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Re: Wait a minute....

"Bizarrely, some roads that cross from England to Scotland have signs saying "Drive on the Left". I wonder if there was ever an incident that prompted these signs for the bleedingly obvious?"

Because tourists will rightly see that they're changing country and naturally wonder if they also drive on the left.

China to Hong Kong, for example, switch when you cross the border.

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Ashley Madison hacked potential competitor, leaked emails suggest

Annihilator
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Re: Pen test

"If the pen test was not authorised by nerve.com, it's illegal. Simple."

Implication is that it was authorised though. Could well be a steaming pile of PR though.

This is the problem with taking emails and reporting them without context. It doesn't give full details of why they were doing it, whether they were allowed, what the outcome was...

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Annihilator
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Pen test

"Avid Life Media was approached with an offer to partner with Nerve.com in the weeks leading up to this exchange, according to other emails in Biderman's leaked archive."

The response they've given elsewhere (Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/25/ashley-madison-discussed-hacking-competitor-site-nerve-com-emails) suggested that this was the case, and that effectively the "hack" was a pen test as part of a due dilligence. The 'other emails' kind of back this up.

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Android in user-chosen lockscreen patterns are grimly predictable SHOCKER

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Re: PIN generation

I just entered my RSA token into an online password strength checker. The result was "It would take a desktop PC about 0.00025 seconds to crack your password".

And can a desktop PC type all those pins into a phone in 0.00025 seconds?

You can do the old "lock/wipe phone after x tries". On a bank card, it's 3 attempts. On an iPhone for example, you can do 10. But assuming a 4-digit pin, and assuming you can see the grease marks of which keys are involved, there are only 24 permutations if you know the 4 digits used, so with 10 attempts, you've got an almost 50% chance of unlocking the phone.

The really strange quirk, it's harder to guess if you have a repeated pin number (1123) as the grease marks only show 3 keys, but not which is repeated - there are 36 permutations if you only know the pin contains the numbers {1, 2, 3} (12 permutations if 1 is repeated, 12 if 2 is repeated and 12 if 3 is repeated). If there are only 2 digits used, there are 14 permutations, as you don't know if both digits are doubled, or if one is tripled.

It's not intuitive to think, but for 4-6 digit passcode, use 1 fewer digits. For 7+, use 2 fewer.

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Apple recalling iPhone 6 Pluses to correct their iSight

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No, Steve Jobs allegedly responded to someone saying to *avoid* holding it that way. i.e. on the edges:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/apple-responds-over-iphone-4-reception-issues-youre-holding-th/

So while not a direct quote, "you're holding it wrong" became the paraphrase of "just avoid holding it in that way"

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Annihilator
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Headmaster

"The cameras are almost always a module bought in from someone who knows about optics, like Sony for example."

And Sony buy lenses from someone who knows more about optics, like Carl Zeiss AG - well, for their good ones anyway.

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

Annihilator
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Paris Hilton

NSFW?

At first I thought you were referring to a different parody, but no. What's NSFW about that song? Unless you work at MS I suppose...

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Ashley Madison spam starts, as leak linked to first suicide

Annihilator
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Re: Spam started... @PLee

"Why would you bother? If you signed up, you should assume that you're in there. What are you going to do about it?"

Well if you bothered to read the comment, this is the "if you *didn't* sign up, but someone else used your details" scenario that was being checked. Sign-up details weren't validated in any way by AM, so there's a lot of presumably fake data in there..

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Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

Annihilator
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Dr Cornelius had heard about "2 chimps, 1 cup" but regretted googling it immediately

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: Why should they ban them?

"Why should I have to put up with exhaled chemical vapours being blown around me, nicotine or not?"

What, like CO2?

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Annihilator
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Paris Hilton

Re: Why should they ban them?

"Same as I'd rather people not have fish and chips or curry for lunch in small spaces."

Yes, but no-one's made that illegal yet, as far as I'm aware...

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Annihilator
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Nicotine-free?

Funny there seems little mention of the users of e-cigarettes that have weaned off to 0 nicotine liquids. You would think that would be championed.

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The Ashley Madison files – are people really this stupid?

Annihilator
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Re: "The Ashley Madison files – are people really this stupid?"

"I wonder if the site's owners can be sued"

Well there will surely be Data Protection niggles, in the UK at least. Namely that information help be accurate (clearly not the case in the "Tony Blair is signed up" example) but also not be kept longer than necessary - given the, erm, dating website charges you to remove your old details (even if it wasn't you) suggests they're not doing this as a matter of process. Also fake data (signed up, never used) could arguably fall into the latter category.

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Adulterers antsy as 'entire' Ashley Madison databases leak online

Annihilator
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Holmes

Re: Ain't gettin' nuthin here!

"No, its because it appears that "90 - 95% of the users are male". So, either the implied 5 - 10% of female users are *extremely* busy, or - and this seem more likely - most of the blokes on there are very dissatisfied cos they ain't gettin' nuthin'."

This site, most dating sites, most nightclubs too in my experience... This is the way it's always been!

Related to the same reason that Take Me Out is structured as 1 guy, 30 women. Were the genders reversed, there would still be 30 eager men with their lights on at the end of each segment.

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Don't fight the cistern: Voda takes the plunge with plumbers’ parking app

Annihilator
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Re: "OBD-II port is mandatory on all cars sold since 1995"

It should read "mandatory on all cars sold in the US since the end of 1995"

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Annihilator
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Re: OBD II

I wondered that. My only guess is that it's to figure out what kind of vehicle it's currently attached to, as parking costs can vary on vehicle size (vans costing more than cars etc), but it's a stretch.

Other advantage being it's an easy way of keeping it powered without leaving it visible.

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'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos

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Pint

Anecdote

On holiday in Seattle, was with my wife at a hotel bar when a big Amazon conference was on. Some (drunk) guy claiming to be on their grad scheme imposed a conversation on us about how amazing Amazon was and how he was proud to work there, as he had a team he managed (in distribution I believe). He regaled us on how he berated them when they failed to meet targets and how many people he'd fired because of it. He was around 20-24, arrogant, yet astute enough to realise his team hated him. He didn't know or care why.

My wife and I came to the conclusion that we agreed with his team.

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Annihilator
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Meh

"does not mean bad people managers don't exist in the company and do turn someone's workplace experience at Amazon into a special kind of hell."

Yes that's the problem - the NYT stated Amazon is "conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions", implying it's the whole company. All Bezos has to do is show a token non-jackass which effectively refutes that claim.

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Monster Scalextric Formula 1 circuit to go under the hammer

Annihilator
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Re: Cornering

At full-pelt, yes. That's the challenge. Of pretty much any car racing thinking about it...

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ANIMALS being CUT UP to make Apple Watch straps

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Re: @Graham Marsden

"I get some of your point, farming gators etc is fine, But how do you farm sharks?"

You don't, you fish for them, like tuna, cod, haddock etc.

Fish and chips in Australia is quite often shark, and the ones they go under aren't remotely under threat (Least Concern on the conservation rankings)

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W is for WTF: Google CEO quits, new biz Alphabet takes over

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Re: Bad boys

Alex Nussbaum:

I'm not sure about Google, with their slogan: 'Don't be evil.' That's their slogan: 'Don't be evil.' ... Why bring it up? That's suspicious. That's like being on a date and hearing, "Hey, I hope you're having a good time! And don't even think about the possibility of me being a serial killer. Put it out of your mind!"

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Audi RS3: Keep running up that hill, with no problems

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Trollface

Re: Golf R

"So how does this car compare with the Golf R"

You'll get nearly £20K change if you buy the Golf R? Almost £50K for the RS3 is nuts.

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Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

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Free

Until you try to change the handle and the brush of your broom in a year's time. Then it's far from clear what you're position is with regards to a Win 10 product key.

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NASA: 'Closest thing yet to ANOTHER EARTH' - FOUND

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Re: Back of Envelope Calculations

Not sure where you got 1.6 from? The mass is 5x that of earth, the radius is 1.6. Surface gravity is G*m/r^2. Gives you ~19m/s^2, or roughly twice our planet's 9.8.

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