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* Posts by Annihilator

2904 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Bees use 'electrical SIXTH SENSE' to nail nectar-stuffed flowers

Annihilator
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Re: Sixth sense?

Agreed wholeheartedly. And while we're at it, aren't all senses based on electric eletrical signals?

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Happy birthday, LP: Can you believe it's only 65?

Annihilator
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Pint

Re: Diamond Rio PMP300

Rio was a cracking player, limited to 32MB IIRC which is insane to imagine! I had the next generation 500 and loved it (a heady 64MB). Not convinced by the claim of inspiration of the iPod though, Jobs wanted to do a portable player, Rubenstein said it couldn't be done yet, until he saw Toshiba's 1.8" hard drive. It was more a combo of the PMP500's form-factor, and the Creative NOMADs capacity if I recall the presentation.

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Annihilator
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Re: Introducing a new definition of "a few"

> >Also the iPod wasn't originally flash - it had a 2.5" HDD in it until (I think) the iPod Mini in 2004.

>The iPod had a little 1.8" Toshiba disk in it

Aye, and the iPod mini had a 1" microdrive in it

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Annihilator
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Happy

I was so excited with my first tape-to-tape deck. It was very advanced and featured "fast dub", 5-band equaliser and detachable speakers! Oh my giddy aunt, memories...

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SimCity Classic

Annihilator
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Go

Re: Donuts

"Is there anything they can't do?"

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Over 100,000 sign White House petition for handset unlocking

Annihilator
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WTF?

"Erm, people who buy *initially* subsidised mobile phones still have to pay for them over the term of their contract. Exactly what, I wonder, is the potential loss that they are talking about?"

^ That. 100x that. You'd think that unlocking the phone was equivalent to the act of not paying your contract. Why on earth do they care what you do with the phone, as long as you're paying them. The only thing they can possibly be aiming for is effectively locking you in beyond the contract term, as the only option you have of leaving after contract expiry is to buy a new phone.

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Curiosity Mars rover flashes pics of GREY drilled powder sample

Annihilator
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Boffin

Define "drilling"

"Curiosity bored into the planet nearly two weeks ago, making a 2.5-inch (6.4cm) hole in the Martian bedrock, the first time any rover has ever drilled into a rock beyond Earth."

Not quite true, the Mars twins Spirit & Opportunity had the Rock Abrasion Tools and allowed them to drill 5mm into rocks. Granted this is the first time anything's analysed the rock fragments (Spirit/Opportunity just analsyed the layer of rock that was exposed), but let's ditch the hyperbole - Curiosity is impressive enough without the made-up records.

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Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

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Facepalm

Re: Sony have dropped the ball

I have never, ever bought a console based on what it looks like. That is all.

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Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for just one PC, FOREVER

Annihilator
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Paris Hilton

Re: So if the PC dies

"You have a license to install, not a license to use."

Interesting point... does that mean that Office won't come with an End User License Agreement anymore, and will be an End Machine License Agreement? The machine is licensed, but not the user?

I can kind of understand it if the software comes installed OEM, in the same way that you usually can't transfer a Windows license from a PC you buy in a shope, but it appears this is wider than that.

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Annihilator
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Facepalm

FFS

Presumably they'll be quick to inform us what a new computer constitutes. Or what happens if a hard disk fails, or the OS becomes corrupt and needs reinstalling.

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Clarkson: 'I WILL find and KILL the spammers who hacked me'

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IT Angle

Indeed, still, well worth making an article out of a single tweet that was parodying a well-known film, eh?

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Is it a bird? Is it a cloud? No! It's just a new Seagate biz NAS box

Annihilator
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USM

"In other words, eSATA with a makeover."

Or in even more accurate/cynical words, eSATA with a proprietary convertor dongle required.

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The word "NAS" also adds about 30-40% to the price too.

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AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach

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WTF?

Re: Holodecks aren't just about processing power

"Ok smarty pants... how are they going to achieve that? Or make it possible for two people in the same room to travel at the same time to opposite parts of the world?"

You know it's called science fiction, right? But you don't have much of an imagination clearly. You can't "see" the walls of the holodeck, so why couldn't the room block your view of the other person in the room, making it appear they are the other side of the world? Besides, I don't recall them having a holodeck where the people were miles from each other.

Nothing in the holodeck idea is beyond the laws of physics as we know them today, it's just very very difficult and impractical. In the same way we could teleport things today, we can only do particles, but it's all a matter of scale.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: we don't need *that* much processing power

@daveeff - pretty sure the pilot episode explained most of it. The replicators created the near/solid objects, the further away parts were holographic. The solid parts were rendered-on-demand, if you like. :-)

Moving beyond the limits of the room? I can run on a treadmill for miles and not leave the gym.

As for just wearing specs, regardless of how immersive it is, you'd always be aware you were wearing specs!

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Iceland thinks long and hard over extreme smut web ban law

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Meh

Re: The interesting thing here is that, from everything I have read, the Icelanders..............

They've finally realised that hardly anyone in Iceland agrees with their ideas on internet censorship so they've taken to the classic "Think about the children" argument hoping to gain enough support through that. This is simply a "gateway law" that will allow the "violent porn" definition to be widened by a minister at any given time, probably dropping the "violent" part sooner rather than later.

Strange, because I was thinking about this the other day. While I agree with that sentiment, it's the same statement that the gun proponents in the US are currently spinning.

Making no point one way or the other, but the realisation did make me stop and think...

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Own a drone: Fine. But fly a drone with a cam: Year in the clink

Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: "....make the act of attaching a camera to a flying machine illegal."

The ones photographing in "great detail" aren't satellites - the resolution only goes down to about 0.5m, I think due to US restrictions already! The ones taking high detail stuff is aerial photography, and are licensed

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Alert

Re: "....make the act of attaching a camera to a flying machine illegal."

I dunno, but I'd be pretty annoyed if I'd spent £300 on a Parrot AR.Drone and then told I couldn't fly it. Presumably selling R/C helicopters, camcorders and gaffer tape in one purchase will be illegal too?

The thing that struck me as the most alarming though, is that bills can be introduced anonymously in the first place??

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Annihilator
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Go

Re: Well, it would certainly kill

I think if LOHAN drifts into Oregon's airspace then the mission will have wildly exceeded Lester's expectations :-)

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Earth escapes asteroid flyby, boffins want lasers aimed at next one

Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: Orbit now well known?

Unit cock up. 28000km, or 17000 miles.

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Annihilator
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Re: Didn't see it

Was good out west. The ISS was brighter than an aeroplane at about 7pm to the naked eye, but didn't have any binoculars with me to see anything else :-(

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iOS 6.x hack allows personal data export, free calls

Annihilator
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Re: Just tested it on my phone: You get access to the phone app

I couldn't listen to the (visual) voicemails, but could dial any number I liked.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: Cutting edge bugs

Yeah that Sky Crane malarkey was positively pedestrian....

There's a difference between "cutting edge" and "tested and built to extremes with redundancies" :-)

Nokia phones have had their share of bugs too though.

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NBN Co coffee budget brews caffeinated controversy

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Unhappy

Re: No free drinks in our FTSE 100 company

Most companies I've seen have those free coffee vending machines, but I've never seen inside them to confirm it's coffee. It's my theory that they've employed someone with a prostate problem to stand in the machine all day, p1ssing into cups on demand. All evidence certainly points that way anyway.

The alternative theory regards the plumbing system and the machines' proximity to the lavatories.

I'm no coffee snob (well I am, but can happily drink instant), but "free" coffee is usually free for a reason.

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Inside Microsoft's Surface Pro: A fiendishly difficult journey

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Re: Any justification for it being this way?

I assume MS saw that the iPad was non-upgradeable and that was doing well, so instead of making their's non-upgradeable, they just welded it shut as tightly as they could. :-)

Bit of a half-assed attempt at making their device like Apple's, but gotta love it when they try

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Spanish boffins increase GPS accuracy by 90%

Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: GPS for Dummies

"If the cheapy GPS receivers in a mobile phone are only accurate to 10m, how does it (usually reliably) know which lane I'm in"

Sorry, which GPS is actually giving you an indication of which *lane* you're in? It might know "northbound" vs "southbound" or similar (which is carriageway information, not lane) but it knows that purely from your actual direction. Sat navs "snap-to" roads, allowing them to be very accurate. Try coming off a road onto a farm track and watch it lose its way quite quickly.

Even when not snapping-to a known location where it expects you to be (roads), it can use fuzzy logic to determine where you are, as the 10m accuracy will vary over time, and a GPS knows that you'll roughly travel quite consistently. If your reading jumps from 5m side to side, it's more likely the error has varied rather than you've moved erratically.

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Ask Google this impossible question, get web filth as a reward

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Unhappy

Re: @Annihilator There are multiple complex roots

@frank ly - bugger! School boy error of assuming root(i) was -i :-(

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: There are multiple complex roots

There are always 4 roots of a quadratic root (^1/4). In this instance the answers are:

1 + i

1 - i

sqrt(2) . i

- sqrt(2) . i

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Re: according to my parsing...

And the answer(s) to -4^(1/4) is +/-sqrt(2)i from my memory, where i is the imaginary number equal to sqrt(-1). There is also 1 +/- i.

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Samsung laptops can be NUKED by ANY OS – even Windows: new claim

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Go

Re: Sweet Jesus H Christ On A Bike

Yup, it's retro, therefore cool to code badly like that I suspect.

Unless you're a raving anti-Linux type, in which case it's all Linux's fault for existing. :-)

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Stop

Re: QA whats that then

Easy as it might be to call this a QA issue, it probably wasn't in their spec to test LINUX installs on this hardware.

However, if this is indeed exploitable via one of the "supported" OS'es,

Ah, excellent, *still* trying to suggest that a bad or unsupported OS could be to blame. This isn't about an OS, it's about conforming to the UEFI spec. QA at this level doesn't involve an operating system, the test harness around this level of hardware interaction is and always should be OS independent.

Even if this was a case of an OS making a bad or malformed UEFI call (it wasn't), the laptop shouldn't be damaged by it. This is basic bounds checking, and falls firmly into the category of QA. In this particular instance, it appears to be a buffer overrun, which has been bad programming since forever.

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Re: Why Linux could trigger a bug that Windows might not

@Khaptain "Linux was written by inquisitive programmers that like to hack any and all given APIs, interfaces in the quest for knowledge or functionality."

This wasn't a hack or an unusual use of an API or interface though. At a basic level it's a buffer overflow issue with Samsung's implementation of the UEFI.

Incidentally, I think what you point out (Linux more likely to trigger a bug) isn't quite correct, I think it's more nuanced than that. I suspect that Linux is more likely to trigger a bug that the public can then hear about. Windows devs working for MS were just as likely to trigger this overflow (especially as it's an acceptable UEFI call FWIU), but the symptoms, bug report and fix wouldn't be made public.

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Annihilator
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Meh

Re: I'm not Eadon...

But I recall that any anti-Windows comment he may have posted on this particular topic was overwhelmed by a flood of 'AC's with such helpful suggestions as "Well if you will run freeware crap, you get what you pay for...".

Yeah I'm also noticing the rather muted response from the anti-Linux crowd on this article. It's like they've applied logic and realised they're wrong.

Or they're just not up yet - give it time.

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Only way to stop the iPad: Flash-disk mutant SPEED FREAKS

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Re: Sooner?

@Fred Flintstone - we're talking about the pre-Momentus range from Samsung that didn't really show much of a performance boost.

@Dana W - that's not a hybrid drive, so unsure of your point?...

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Annihilator
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Sooner?

"So Seagate started the hybrid disk drive ball rolling, with its Momentus XT in May 2010"

We're ignoring the failed attempt to get hybrid laptop drives in about 2007 then? I recall they were a bit of a flop mind, but the idea was there.

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Seagate: We'll bring down HAMR in 2014 ... this year, you get shingles

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Boffin

Re: SMR has its uses

Not to mention the rather obvious use-case of putting SMR into a hybrid flash drive which it seems perfect for.

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Annihilator
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Coat

Pimental said SMR drives would be introduced later this year, and enable a 20 - 25 per cent areal density increase. Taking a 4TB 3.5-inch drive and giving it an SMR upgrade would bump capacity up to 4.8TB to 5TB.

Thanks for working out what 20 and 25% of 4TB is for me ;-)

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iOS 6.1 KNACKERED our mobile phone networks, claim Vodafone, Three

Annihilator
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Re: @Ru

@PaulR79 - I assume we silver badge holders are just considered impotent*.

Edit: *important.

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Annihilator
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Meh

Re: Updates

Indeed. I do like the ominous advice that just says "don't download it", and no mention of "you've downloaded it? bad luck then"

It's tricky to strike the balance though. On my desktop I allow the autoupdates to apply themselves, primarily due to MS having a surprisingly good track record of these updates of late. 5 years ago, maybe not, but today I'm reasonably confident MS won't blow my machine out of the water, and in the world of zero-day exploits it's worth that risk.. Plus I can usually roll-back a patch if need be.

However on my good lady wife's iPhone, I believe it's set by default to notify you of any updates, and ask you whether to install or not. She clicked "ok". Fingers crossed there's no issue, as on that particular platform there's no rollback possible.

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Microsoft needs to keep visible under waves of Blue

Annihilator
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Re: this is not by choice

iOS upgrades aren't "free", certainly not forever. There is a limited number you get included with any device, about 3.5 by my reckoning (3 full ones, then a "limited" version that doesn't have all features, like multi-tasking, or Siri as two prime examples).

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George Bush's family emails, pics ransacked - and spewed online

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Wrong Bush

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Seagate squeezes out 4TB desktop monster

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Headmaster

Re: best buy a couple

Repeat though, "RAID is not a backup, RAID is not a backup..."

The bitrot problem is going to be heeeeeuuuuuge on that array.

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Earth-like planets abound in red dwarf systems

Annihilator
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Stop

Re: If there is life out there, they're keeping quiet

"If so, why haven't they found us and made contact yet?"

Easy, because we've only made an outwardly observable presence for the last 100 years or so (EM signals). So at most, they'd have to be within 100 light years to have been alerted to our presence. Half that for them to signal us. Not to mention we might not even recognise the contact.

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NASA deep space probe sends back video of 'Comet of the Century'

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Can't wait

"so spectacular that it may achieve a brightness of an apparent magnitude of -16, which would greatly outshine the brightest Moon"

Looking forward to that, if only so I can point up at it and mutter ominously "that's no moon..."

If only it were due to happen on May the 4th...

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Boffins find 17,425,170-digit prime number

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Boffin

Re: Why are we paying for this research?

"39 certainly used to be prime. "

But then the number 3 came along, and divided the sceptics. And the number 39..

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Annihilator
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Go

Re: Note the time for the GPU vs the 32 core server.

"Usual caveats, highly specialised problem, highly tuned code probably non portable etc"

Yup, testing a prime number is an "embarrassingly parallel" activity I believe, so translates incredibly well to CUDA. When you consider the number of cores in a GPU it's rather unsurprising.

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BIS, bash, bosh: El Reg solves BlackBerry 10 email bafflement

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Great name

T'COK-A-RIM, great name. And if they do formally change, I trust you'll call them Blackberry - Otherwise Formerly As RIM - or BOF-A-RIM

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Kirk to beam up chat with ISS astronaut on Thursday

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Re: Guitar

This would be the only thing that puts me off going the ISS, someone playing the guitar somewhere. Though I think it's a rule of any property where you have flatmates - one of them is going to be a musician. Glad to see it's a universal law that extends beyond our atmosphere.

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BANG and the server's gone: Man gets 8 months for destroying work computers

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WTF?

Re: Acidic revenge...

^^ that. I can understand him being p1ssed off at missing out on a bonus, and at a stretch imagine him doing it once. But to hold a grudge for three years and keep up that level of malice?? That's bordering on, erm, "difficulties in the gray matter"!

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