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* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

859 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Visas

It's Sysadmin Appreciation Day...sounds like *somebody* in State didn't sufficiently appreciate their sysadmin.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Yeah? Just try to leave Israel!

Last minute business trip -- problems with the testing of a controller PCB I had designed by our Israeli subsidiary -- getting in was no problem. Getting out, however, had me spending an hour with a nice officer, explaining who I was, what I did and why I had only spent 40 hours in their wonderful country.

Luckily, I had a lab notebook, schematics and a wealth of detail to bore the nice officer with. Turns out, if I had had a written letter of invitation from the subsidiary, it would have been "have a nice day and enjoy your flight"

I played it straight, they let me leave. On a Lufthansa flight, through Frankfurt, which I thought was a bit surreal.

// Oh yeah, I had to pay import duty (a couple hundred dollars IIRC) on the replacement board I brought with me.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Don't generalize

Yeah, with our drivers, you take your life in your hands every time you cross the road...at a crosswalk, or otherwise, so jaywalking really doesn't have any significance.

// watch the cabs -- most drive like they're still in the old country

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Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Pay no taxes post no profits

You forgot...and ship nothing during the month of August.

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US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Withholding information

Erm, isn't that what three letter agencies (are supposed to) do ?

You're probably confusing NSA with SSA

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Vote now for LOHAN's stirring mission patch motto

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Ða Heofenas Beacnian

When in Britain...

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Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in

Peter Simpson 1
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Boffin

Thanks for all the help this year

"Hello, IT. [pause] Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

Mine are getting an "Edible Arrangement" -- fruit and chocolate

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Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

Peter Simpson 1
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Omnia Gallia in partes tres divisa est

And frankly, that's all I remember. Except that my Latin teacher confirmed the stereotype: of advanced age, extremely well educated, deadly boring and barely tolerant of we young whippersnappers who couldn't see the use of learning such a beautiful languiage.

Two years...wasted. Oh well, not much Latin required in Electrical Engineering, thank God.

// This has been a memorably good thread.

// The one with the Cassell's in the pocket, please

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Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Now write it out a hundred times

If you're not finished when I come back, I'll cut your coeli off....

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Comcast bosses: THAT pushy sales rep was only obeying orders

Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

Re: re. recording calls

That's an interesting (and completely valid) interpretation of that sentence. It actually gives permission for you to record the call.

Have a cold one!

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Turing biopic with Cumberbatch, Knightley to premiere at London Film Festival

Peter Simpson 1
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Cheap shot.

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Peter Simpson 1
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Stop

Re: Red X

Heh. We have you beat by a mile (or is that a month) here in Massachusetts. They're called "phantom work zones".

They have work zone signs, "Fines Doubled in Work Zone" signs, cones, barrels, etc....but no work.

Oh, maybe once a month, you'll actually see workers doing something, but the rest of the time, nothing at all. The best ones last for multiple years. Six, in the case of a bridge which was "under construction" on my commuting route.

// Stop sign, because there wasn't a "Work Zone" one...

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Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

Peter Simpson 1
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Flame

Fireworks?

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute vessel Knorr

We see it when it's in port, every time we take the state ferry to Martha's Vineyard.

...they set off a barrage of fireworks in my honour from their rear deck...

All fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts (hah!)...so they must have stopped at a port at which it was legal to buy them (any southern state), right? Kidding...it's important to celebrate an achievement like this and I commend the crew of Knorr for being prepared to do so!

Well done that man...or was it just an excuse to remove himself from modern life for a month and a half? Either way...Thoreau would be proud!

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Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Sad, but hardly surprising

"And it has just occured to me that the absence of actual fans might be the problem that Microsoft has."

At some point, the idea might occur to someone at Microsoft!

The problem with being the default operating system on every computer shipped.

// have an upvote

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Peter Simpson 1
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Hmmm....

It appears there may be an off (*very* off!) chance of having the lovely lady herself at the launch.

She'll be in the area this year:

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28271691

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Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

Re: Some thoughtful(?) submissions from marketing...

Caricature Lindsay Lohan astride the El Reg vulture (ala Heavy Metal) with a caption of "Going my way, boys?"

Nose art?

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LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Why, we might as well have been buying AIR

The whole thing was stupid from the start.

The whole thing was a scheme thought up by sharp businessmen (aka "job creators"), who thought they could get rich by pulling a bait-and-switch on the FCC.

They got called on it.

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El Reg nips down IKEA's 'I've Got A Screw Loose Street'

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: For extra bonus points...

@nbauers: But my hovercraft...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Hang on..

You've made a wrong turn. You're in the "red light" district...

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Kickstarter unplugs iFind miracle battery-free locator

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: Whatever next?

The lack of any demonstated experience by the technical lead, the sketchy, unverifiable bios provided and the "identity theft" excuse (a full Linkedin profile can't be used to steal your identity, because those folks want home address, national number and DOB, at a minimum, none of which I have ever seen on Linkedin).

If *I* was asking for $250k from Kickstarter, you'd better believe I'd have a Linkedin profile and some information that would lead potential investors to believe that the gadget I was basing my company on would actually work (like a list of similar projects and pointers to papers on them)

Energy harvesting is real, and you can power devices from harvested energy. But physics is also real, and it *always* trumps wishful thinking and marketing optimism.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: NOT A SCAM!!!

Methinks they doth protest too much.

Just show us the working prototype, with independently verified numbers, and we'll decide if it's a scam or not.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: I have no opinion on this project, but

...and would be considered energy theft by both the power company and the law.

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Another Samsung supplier fingered in new 'child labor' probe

Peter Simpson 1
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Chinese government?

Shouldn't the Chinese government be watching out for this kind of thing? Unless, of course, the appropriate "campaign donations" have been made, I guess.

Isn't capitalism wonderful?

// the one with the thick envelope in the pocket

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: Violating the laws of other legislatures

Surely the fault lies with the authorities in the country where whatever you have posted is regarded as a violation.

The authorities only act when political pressure requires them to. They are an instrument, not the problem. Well, they are the problem, but only because they are a blunt instrument without any sense of judgement.

The problem, to poorly paraphrase the Bard, is not in the authorities, but in ourselves. We need to get a grip on reality before it's too late. Surely there are bad people in this world, but they can be dealt with appropriately, without penalizing the vast majority of us, who want nothing more than the chance to let our kids run around without clothes on and not go to jail for it.

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Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

...the NSA doesn't care what _American_ politicians...

That's because they know whatever happens, *they* have jobs -- important ones, like defending the free world against the forces of evil, and stuff like that.

Unlike the poiliticians, who drift in and out of the government at the whim of the voters -- along with their investigations and reforms.

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Peter Simpson 1
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I'm contacting my MP and MEP....American criminal gang...

Right - you're on the list!

// "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal."

-- Richard M. Nixon, TV interview with David Frost, May 20, 1977

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Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Well then-

Yeah, but the paintjob is far better than the human version.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Well then-

No worries...the aircraft looks nothing like its namesake, and contains far fewer banned substances.

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Experts suspiciously eye LOHAN's cantankerous canards

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: I told you so...

^^^ He's AC because his real name is Murphy.

// Capt. Murphy to you

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OMG, sorry about 'poor comms' on Facebook secret emoto-meddle tests. Laters!

Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

I lie to them

at every opportunity. My DOB, place of birth, age, university and place of residence are all false.

If they're going to mine my data, I see it as my duty to pollute their database as much as possible.

Why yes, I am over 50. But you're welcome on my lawn -- as long as you bring refreshments.

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FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

Peter Simpson 1
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Stop

Unfortunately

not all none of these third-party providers acted responsibly

FTFY

// I'm sure there were one or two legit companies in there somewhere

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PayPal says sorry: Fat fingers froze fundraiser for anti-spy ProtonMail

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: A fat finger...

Right. And when the company called and asked for an explanation of why the account had been frozen, they were told, on two different occasions, that they needed "permission from the US government" to offer their product

That doesn't sound like fat-fingering, that sounds like a long arm getting caught in the act.

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And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

boffin of the highest order

super-duper-über-boffin?

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You want a medal for writing a script? Sure: here it is!

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

It sometimes amazed me he could walk and talk at the same time.

Why would it amaze you?

He's a boss.

// "I'm in Management. I don't actually do anything." - Dilbert

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Send Bitcoin or we'll hate-spam you on Yelp, say crims

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Pizza Restaurants as extortion targets?

That seems...inadvisable.

// Vito and Tony here would like a woid wit youse...

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iFind: Critics slam Kickstarter campaign for miraculous battery-free phone finder

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Very, very fishy

Strike 1 - No demonstrable prototype

Strike 2 - Back of envelope calculations conflict with claims

Strike 3 - Principles are reluctant to disclose qualifications and verifiable backgrounds

Also: size of device is unreasonable, given that they claim RF energy harvesting on multiple bands. It can be done, but antenna size is key. I'll give them the storage medium but the device shown would need to be all antenna and energy storage to work.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: Dr Paul McArthur

He does seem to be a bit of a non-person. Claims to have taught at Univ of Utah, worked in management at Freescale and Philips, but of him there seem to be few traces on the net. Claims to have had his identity stolen and that's why he doesn't have a Linkedin page. One would expect such a high flier to have left more of a footprint.

Perhaps he is not all that he claims to be?

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Microsoft's Online Exchange fixed after going titsup for NINE HOURS

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

"a portion of the networking infrastructure entered into a degraded state"

Isn't that why we have redundant infrastructure and switchover?

// must have been a VERY LARGE portion of their network infrastructure...

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Fearful of the drone-filled skies? Get some protection

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

quadcopter, not Reaper?

Barrage balloons? Acoustic sensor and pneumatic chaff dispenser? PTZ camera and image processing software? This could be a lot of fun. Short range guided missiles would probably be overkill, huh?

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Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Reminds me of the "Cat stuck in a tree" call.

Nah, but I've seen plenty on the ground, under trees.

// squirrels under telephone wires as well

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Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: A *very* small step on a very long road.

^^^thank you for posting this.

9/11 did far less damage to the US than the legislative reaction to it did. In the aftermath of 9/11, the security and law enforcement agencies reacted quickly...to get everything they'd ever wished for enshrined in the USA PATRIOT Act. The great thing about the US, used to be that there were limits on police power. No more...the excuse for any overreaction is "It's all different after 9/11".

The 9/11 terrorists got exactly what they wanted...a US afraid of its own shadow, and seeing terrorists under every bed. The best way to fight these people is to refuse to be terrorized, while taking prudent measures to catch them.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: I am delighted to see this...

As am I.

Now, maybe we can get something done about the USA PATRIOT Act...like getting it repealed.

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Barack Obama was ALMOST EATEN by a ROBOT GIRAFFE

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Where's a WASP when you need one?

[Gabby Johnson]

He said, the sheriff is NEAR!!!

[/Gabby Johnson]

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LOHAN in FIGHT to DEATH with brace of cantankerous canards

Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

Nice to see safety first

With the fire extinguisher guy.

Good luck...it would appear you're learning a lot in the process of getting LOHAN ready for her maiden voyage

// two words not normally seen together

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Non-Practising Entities: USE IT OR LOSE IT

...index the damages on the amount of income the patent-holder makes from selling objects that use said patent.

I like that. But average the income over the three (five, seven) years previous to the filing of the suit.

That way, they can't claim they were just about to make a profit...

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A future queen, the spy chief behind the Iraq 'dodgy dossier' – and a war base rendezvous

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Bletchley vs. NMC

As somebody once said: "why can't we all just get along?"

I realise there are tremendous egos involved at the management level, but wouldn't some kind of synergy be better than building walls? Can we, the nerds who support both institutions, work to cause a breakout of common sense?

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'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Bell Labs

Best history I can find...

http://www.shadycharacters.co.uk/2011/05/the-octothorpe-part-1-of-2/

http://www.shadycharacters.co.uk/2011/05/the-octothorpe-part-2-of-2/

Also of interest: the # symbol, above the "3" on my keyboard, is replaced by the "script-L pound" symbol on UK keyboards...

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Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog

Peter Simpson 1
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Pirate

Not subject to copyright laws?

"Twitter is a social network platform which is available to most people who have a computer and therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain."

So is Pirate Bay...

:-)

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NASA scrubs FLYING SAUCER over Hawaii ballocket mission

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Ballocket? Sounds familiar

Lester and the rest of SPB are on the payroll (and on site, of course) as technical consultants.

// no surf baggies icon???

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Spaceplane design nipper Ariadne gets a promotion

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Holdy Ony! "Dr."?

It's an honorary PhD...you know, like they give to politicians (pardon my French), who do a heck of a lot less to "earn" them.

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