* Posts by Annihilator

2999 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Netgear ReadyNas Duo v2 network storage

Annihilator
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@Luke McCarthy

How's the noise levels on the CFI A7879 case? I like the look of it but suspect it's not very quiet and reverbs with the hard disks?

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Fans goad Valve for Half-Life 3 gen

Annihilator
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@MJI

People do get it that it's a good game, they just don't know why you even had to criticize parts of the game that were irrelevant, especially at the time it was released. It's like saying Quake is a great game, shame there wasn't any anisotropic filtering.

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Annihilator
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Facepalm

@Brangdon

D'oh, yes I meant to say that, I was trying to draw a parallel to a similarly teched game at the same time.

I'd argue Far Cry was technically better than HL2 in terms of its engine - more so when the HDR patch was released.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Dated

I haven't downvoted you, but I imagine many people rightly will. Of course HL2 is "dated"! It's bloody 8 years old now. Feet were an absence from most FPS games until quite recently - Crysis being the first example I can think of. Far Cry (released after HL2) didn't have them either, where hands had only just progressed to being on guns (and were part of the gun model itself)

The "importance" of it that you quote isn't seminal in HL2 either. A silent protagonist with health pickups you say? Sounds very much like you can trace the all the way back to Wolvenstein. I'm not sure why you draw parallels to ID and say Gordon Freeman is representative of that - HL2 had bugger all to do with ID. Your equivalent of Sonic or Mario is either Bitterman, Doom Guy/Marine or B.J. Blazkowicz.

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Annihilator
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Happy

@Barry Tabrah

That sounds very much like something Cave Johnstone would say...

"They're telling me I should stop making these pre-recorded messages. That gave me an idea, make more pre-recorded messages!"

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Annihilator
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IT Angle

I wondered that

"Waiting patiently for over four years is a daunting task"

Suggests that there are people out there who can't get on with their lives until they know if a game sequel is even planned.

I would love for a HL sequel to come out, but it's not like I'm ignoring other game franchises until I know for sure...

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Mars attacks! Morocco pelted with rocks from the Red Planet

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@ravenviz

I get your point, but we missed being eaten by dinosaurs by about 65 million years. Have you been watching the Flintstones again?...

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Dizzy: the Ultimate Cartoon Adventure Part Deux

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Paris Hilton

Is this it?

No mention of Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, or Bubble Dizzy then? Or the truly abominable Dizzy Down The Rapids?

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Rumoured 'GarageBand for e-books' to bulldoze textbook biz

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Alert

Kinda

But bear in mind that digital publishing is massively controlled and curtailed by publishing companies that are yet to move with the times (digital copies roughly the same price as the existing hardback) and is very hard to tap into as an unpublished author. If Apple can remove the barriers to entry for "regular" people to publish, mainly removing the cost, then you'll flood the market with crap, sure, but with a lot of diamonds that would never see the light of day.

It really could change the market, but yes it would shift the power to Apple. A bugger, but no real alternative yet for people to get into the market in the same way that some developers have now managed to make a living from the App Store.

Positive, but with a large caveat attached!

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Boffins quarrel over ridding world of leap seconds

Annihilator
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re: Slowing Down

Varying the length of a second doesn't really work, as it's not that it's currently wrong, but more that it's getting more and more wrong as the earth slows down - a variable second dependent on the Earth's rotation doesn't really work.

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Storage Forum

Annihilator
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Paris Hilton

Is it?

Is it a forum, or merely a topic?..

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Fanboi Wars

Annihilator
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IT Angle

The accidental fanboi...

There's the case to be considered where <b>I</b> can become an Apple fanboi purely by reacting to an Android fanboi/gurl. It's an easy trap to fall into, and simply by virtue of arguing against something, you become a fanboi for the other team.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't think of any examples where there is a single-entity fanboi status? (Apple vs MS, iOS vs Android, PS3 vs Xbox etc)

Can't seem to work out these darned tags though...

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Porno cyber-squatter landed in Branson pickle

Annihilator
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Meh

Looks like fun

I can't wait to see the system explode once the .<anything> kicks off.

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Apple offers cash for old kit

Annihilator
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Alert

Human CentiPad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdR7hCjQNwA

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Woz praises Android, blasts iPhone limitations

Annihilator
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Go

If only

Shame Woz can't post that summary in every flame war on the Internet around iOS vs Android, he's summed it up brilliantly: for those who like tinkering, get an Android; for those who just want a instant gratifying/usable (but inevitably restrictive as a result) experience, get an iPhone.

It's why I use an iPhone. I *could* put the effort into an Android (and did try for 2 months - one of the few people I talk to that has honestly lived with both devices) but ultimately don't have the time or inclination to do such a thing for my phone.

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Crossley cops two-year suspension

Annihilator
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Meh

Two years suspension??

I'm surprised it's not more of a punishment (ignoring his fines that he'll clearly never pay) - surely the charge of "he took unfair advantage of the people to whom he sent letters of claim" is tantamount to fraud? Can someone please just criminally prosecute him?

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Tiny frog claimed as smallest vertebrate ever

Annihilator
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Coat

Kissing

If we accept that kissing a frog turns it into a Prince, are we to assuming that kissing such a small frog would turn into pint-size-pop-star Prince?

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Dutch clog up The Pirate Bay (again)

Annihilator
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Pirate

re: Err?

"Don't TPB also run the torrent trackers? In which case, they are providing the service."

Get with the times, TPB trackers have been offline for over 2 years now. Magnet links and distributed hash tables for the win...

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GAGA prepares to munch some organic rug

Annihilator
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Holmes

*cough*

And so much simpler than, say, an actual mirror....

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Annihilator
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Meh

Or

Ensure it's radio controlled, and call it Radio GaGa. Y'know... where she stole, sorry, took inspiration for her name.
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Bond Blu-ray box set marks 50 years on film

Annihilator
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Guardian says "yes"

The equivalent Guardian article indicated they'd be re-mastered.
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X-Dream Rocker wireless gaming chair

Annihilator
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Boffin

How else would it be powered?

Methane power plant in the seat to trump your way to power? Regardless, it's 12V, says right there in the review. It also mentions a "power adapter" which would be an awfully fancy way of saying "plug" - it's a mains transformer plugged into the wall, 12V trailing across the floor. Even if it were 240V running across the floor, it would still be plugging into a double insulated transformer and I'd be more than happy to sit on one of those.
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Hubble shows images from record-breaking 13.1 billion light-years

Annihilator
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"Um, below"

There is no "below" on the balloon surface for a 2-dimensional object.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

We are here, there and everywhere

The centre is both everywhere and nowhere. The cosmic microwave background radiation is the extremely redshifted "glow" from the initial big bang and can be seen roughly uniformly in every direction you look in space.

The easiest way to think about the expansion is like living on a surface of an inflating balloon where you can only perceive the 2-dimenstions, and trying to figure out where the expansion originates from.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Not quite

It wouldn't have been as successful, but the HST results before the first service mission (remember, it operated "broken" for three years) were still considerably better than ground-based telescopes at the time. Things have changed, in that ground-based systems are pretty much able to rival Hubble by using adaptive optics.

If it weren't for the initial design of Hubble, it would have likely been replaced within 3-5 years anyway. There have been about 40+ space telescopes to date, Hubble is only well known due to its longevity and by operating in the visible spectrum, which also has its limits. That's also the reason there are no direct successors to Hubble - it's far more useful to look at the more red-shifted frequencies.

Without a space shuttle, they would simply have made them more frequently - the cost of the HST programme (including it's 5 services component costs) could have been split into multiple, especially if you remove the cost of the Shuttle programme.

Without the Shuttle programme, the space programme would certainly look different, but not necessarily any less advanced! :-)

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Annihilator
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Headmaster

Smithsonian

A fair chunk of the "original" HST is already in the Smithsonian. COSTAR (Hubble's "glasses"), the Faint Object Spectrograph and Wide Field & Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC1 was used to create WFPC3!) are there at least, and the Faint Object Camera is somewhere in Germany last I heard - Dornier museum? Not sure where the Goddard Spectrograph ended up, but it came back to earth.

The telescope itself, as you say is likely to fall out of orbit in the next decade, but on the last servicing mission, NASA installed a glorified "hook" to help any robotic mission that might go get it. The original plan was to get it back with a Shuttle, but that plan's long gone out the window now :-(

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Nuclear Mars tank prepares for 8-thruster dance

Annihilator
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Boffin

Key phrase

"increase by". They're piddly little directional thrusters really, designed to subtly alter the trajectory by a fraction of a degree, not speed it up significantly.

Bear in mind it's already hurtling towards Mars at ridiculous speeds.

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Annihilator
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Headmaster

"Artist's concept"

Pretty awful artist if he doesn't understand shadows properly. Maybe I'm just overly critical but the first thing I thought when viewing that picture was "the Sun's in the wrong place"...

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Mars rover seeks perfect suntan spot to survive winter

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Pint

@Andus McCoatover

"Supposed to last about 3 months, and one of them is still up for the challenge almost 8 years later! Imagine if the Rovers' construction had been outsourced...."

You say that, but if NASA had built it to last *only* the spec'ed 3 months, it'd have been a heck of a lot cheaper...

Still, impressive that you managed to get a jibe in about outsourcing in this story!

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Free iPhone 4S deal tempts Chinese fanbois

Annihilator
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Stop

Adage

"Sure, we're losing money – but we'll make it up in volume."

Not quite, it's closer to "sure, we'll lose money on day 1, but we'll make it up over the life of the 3 year contract - and then some"

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Sir Howard's days as Sony prez said to be numbered

Annihilator
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Coat

"last year he shared a stage with Taylor Swift, who looked visibly uncomfortable when he suggested they go shopping together"

From what I've seen of that lass, she looks visibly uncomfortable pretty much 24x7.

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US 'space warplane' may be spying on Chinese spacelab

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@AC

"Read the first couple of paragraphs again"

Try reading everything. "would have" as in "they would have seen it without being told about it, so let's tell them about it first". No-one's saying they haven't found it.

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Satnav mishap misery cure promised at confab

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Facepalm

@SP

I suspect you missed the heavy dose of sarcasm in the original post, try reading it again with that in mind :-) Unless there really has been legislation brought in recently that forces drivers to unquestioningly follow satnav directions that I've missed of late!

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Annihilator
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Paris Hilton

Subtle change

I should start out saying I agree with all the comments above, namely people who get into danger with a satnav are just bad drivers, full stop.

I can understand the slight difference though, in that humans are generally inclined to "trust" a "human" who has earned it. In this case, the satnav is (to all intents) a human voice and has earned trust through hours of being correct, the natural human instinct is to trust the satnav's voice.

Although having said all that, even if someone was navigating with a map next to me and told me to turn left, I'd still notice if it was a no entry sign for example and explain I can't do that. I'd also be able to figure out if a road I was about to enter was too narrow for the vehicle I was driving, recognise a grass field followed by a cliff and notice a user-operated level crossing when I saw one.

I also don't see how updating map-makers data will get to my mother's satnav without me intervening, taking it out the car, plugging it into a PC, updating the maps, hopefully not buggering it up... Satnavs live in the car, and without OTA updates will seldom be updated.

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Arctic freshening not due to ice melt after all, says NASA

Annihilator
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WTF?

ODFO

Agendas aside (and I'd say el Reg is agnostic bordering on denialist in its agenda), the people who proved the "hippies" wrong were "boffins", both terms equal in being able to take as an insult or a complement. If anything, the word hippie was self-invented by hippies for hippies. Boffins, it's less clear of the etymology, but still applied affectionately or derogatively.

If you want news stories written about scientists and Greenpeace, with measurements in yards, feet & inches, would suggest not el Reg. If you want stories about boffins, hippies and measurements in brontosauri, buses and linguine, then you're in the right place.

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iOS 5's iMessage chops carrier SMS routing traffic

Annihilator
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Meh

"Free" mesages

I'm enjoying the delusion of many posters who think "I get free messages, so it doesn't matter". You most certainly DON'T get "free" messages from your telco. The mobile companies charge each other fractions of pennies to route between their networks and pass that cost on to you somewhere, probably in your monthly contract.

SMS is possibly the biggest rip-off on the planet - the average is about 4p these days I believe, for 1120bits of data, often unused. No wonder it was initially dismissed by telcos as a service no-one would want, they must have thought to themselves "surely we can't get away with this?"

Be sure that they are bricking it regarding their revenue streams in the same way they don't want Skype or Facetime on their networks. I'm amazed they let this, BBM and WhatsApp to exist too.

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Sleep Cycle

Annihilator
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Meh

Sensitivity

It's sensitive enough, there's a demo where it beeps when it's detecting movement (to calibrate it), but yeah, it's still snake-oil. As much as sleepyti.me is (free) snake-oil too - there isn't an "average" sleep cycle for people in general. For a specific person, yeah, but not people.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Pretty much everything works as placebo if your believe it will

The suggestion isn't that it therefore "works", it needs to "work better than placebo" in order to be deemed worthwhile. By your standards, homoeopathy works

The science behind it is non-existent. The app infers that when you're not moving, you're in deep sleep and vice versa. It's been shown that this is largely flawed logic - there is no direct correlation. Sleep labs use these devices to measure rest-activity cycles, but have to rely on electrodes to measure EEG in order to determine "deepness" of sleep.

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Dizzy: the Ultimate Cartoon Adventure

Annihilator
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Go

Magic(land)

Awesome, been waiting for this! Favourite was Magicland, I imagine still to come in the "TBC" article. Bubble Dizzy was an interesting concept I seem to remember.

Share wholeheartedly the half-assed story lines that were invented under the same conditions that Magic Roundabout was conceived - it weirdly added to the charm, and as a child it seemed amusing and feasible!

Not to mention the new Yolkfolk: http://www.dizzygame.com/

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Early Bell recordings live again (kind of)

Annihilator
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@mootpoint

"stored the recordings" doesn't equal "made the recordings available to the great unwashed on their website".

Besides, they're now in 44Kbit PCM wavs

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Annihilator
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Boffin

Shape

The discs will most probably be in the same state they are now, it's not like they'll get dusty or rusty in outer space.

The instructions for playing them are engraved on the discs as far as I'm aware, plus a stylus to demonstrate the tech.

In the massively unlikely scenario they're found, it should be fairly trivial to decode.

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Wi-Fi desk rodents break free from oppressive cabling

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@Steve Knox

Indeed - I think it's damn near impossible not to have a pair of AA batteries knocking around the house, even if you borrow them out of a lesser-used device as a short-term solution. AAs are ubiquitous around this house anyway.

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Annihilator
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Boffin

And those off-brand wireless mice...

all require a fugly USB dongle poking out the side.

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Pluto's blushing complexion riddle solved by boffins

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Boffin

re: COSTAR

You know COSTAR was made redundant, right? The original cameras and spectrographs have long since been replaced with new ones that corrected for the misaligned mirror. They're all sitting in various museums around the States.

The real question is why COSTAR was left in there for 7 years doing sweet FA - may as well have taken it out in 2002 when they took the last original camera out.

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Ofcom maps out what 'psychics' are allowed to do on TV

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Coat

Cainer is real??

I assumed he was a character like Ask Elvis or Barry from Watford - who knew??

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Christmas cosmonauts set out safely for ISS

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Go

Lisa

"How doth the hero, strong and brave, a celestial path to the heavens paved...

Go Dad, go."

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Software bug fingered as cause of Aussie A330 plunge

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Boffin

@Will

The general advice when flying is to keep your seatbelt loosely fastened - precisely for this reason. The pilot will even say this in his pre-amble, along the lines of "later I'll switch off the fasten-seatbelts sign so you can move around the aircraft, but we recommend keeping them loosely fastened for your safety and comfort".

Two reasons I do this personally. 1) unexpected turbulence is a b1tch on the best days, 2) when I'm sleeping after three bottles of wine, I don't want to be disturbed if they decide to switch the signs back on.

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Three more 'nauts prepare for space station housewarming

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Alert

Scary

I know that there's an impressive record with Soyuz, but man that picture doesn't inspire confidence! Looks more like it was knocked together with some rusty scrapped scaffolding...

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Samsung hauls Apple into court over emoticon patent :-(

Annihilator
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Doubt it's actual emoticons

I'm guessing that it's not the display of ":-)" that is the target, more the parsing of text messages that contain ":-)" and substituting it for an image of a smiley face.

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Comet Lovejoy survives brush with fiery solar death

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Boffin

the surprise

Because it's a "dirty snowball" that's constantly shrinking due to it's tail. If it's got a tail, it's losing mass and stability, and the prevailing opinion was that this one had shrunk so small as to not survive going so close to the sun *this* time. No assumptions were made on it being a first time pass (a hyperbolic comet - very rare) and how well it survived any previous times has little to do with how well it survives this or the next time.

There's only three fates for comets - extinction (nothing left in them, but stable enough that they're just a lump of rock - effectively an asteroid), break-up/disintegration (what was expected here) or hitting something else like a planet, like the one that we got a cracking view of hitting Jupiter back in the 90s.

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