* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

1423 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Watch six tiny robo-ants weighing 100g in total pull a 1,769-kg family car

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: says:

The real breakthrough will be obvious tomorrow morning, when the car is found up on blocks, and the "ants" are missing, along with all four wheels.

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IBM to erase 14,000 people from the payroll – Wall St analyst

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Maximizing Shareholder Value

...where the only shareholders who count, are the top management and the investors.

You see, they know the company's not long for this world. So, the name of the game is to grab as much as you can, before strapping on that golden chute and bailing...preferably with a sweet, sweet retirement package to boot. The employees? Well, they should have negotiated a better deal when they were hired, shouldn't they?

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Monster motor breathes fire in Mississippi

Peter Simpson 1
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Bulgarian airbags

1.13 Olympic swimming pools = 4910480.7455 Bulgarian airbags (C cup)

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I beg you, please don't back up that secret directory full of photos!

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Re: In the olden days

I actually paid for a copy. Good tool.

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German lodges todger in 13 steel rings

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Fire! Burn baby burn!

The other half of the technique is to soak the shaft in ice or liquid nitrogen, so it shrinks.

They should have brought some LN2...

...bet the shrinkage would have started when he saw them come in the door with it :-)

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Peter Simpson 1
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Points for the image

...and the imagery :-)

"Right. That's two. Henrik, get me another blade, and another five gallons of cooling fluid, will you?"

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IBM pimps Watson out to Hilton robot for concierge duty

Peter Simpson 1
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The Robot

dubbed Connie after the Hilton founder...

Better choice than "Paris"...

// the leather flying jacket, please

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Austrian mayor spunks €40k on virgin-eating dragon

Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Re: Hopefully the virgin-eating dragon...

Has a bureaucrat-eating cousin.

I think that's what's pictured in the town square.

Ugliest virgin I've ever seen...unless there's been a loss in translation.

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Californian tycoons stole my sharing economy, says Lily Cole

Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Re: Not sure about the tomato

Rather like the Braille on drive-up ATM buttons.

But there's no Braille on the screen...

// yes, I do realize you can also WALK up to them

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Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: The real reason Peeple is back:

We've also learned that they:

1. Don't take "no" for an answer

2. Can't recognize a bad idea, even when it's pointed out to them

// If at first you don't succeed, quit. No sense being a damn fool about it.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Oh yeah--BRING IT, PEEPLE!!

For an almost insignificant donation, I'll provide objective support of these claims.

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Greybeard monobrow baldies rejoice! Boffins comb out hairy genes

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Ok, so this all is genetic

Lack of use?

:-)

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Peter Simpson 1
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Yea, call me when they figure out how to keep the hair on my head from moving to my chest and my back.

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Ad-blockers are a Mafia-style 'protection racket' – UK's Minister of Fun

Peter Simpson 1
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My browser...my choice

I understand that ad revenue helps support websites. However, I choose to decide, using an ad blocker, which ads I will see and which will be blocked. That is my decision to make.

We won't even go into the proportion of ads that aren't relevant to me, those which are scammy or those ad brokers which act as conduits for malware.

My browser, my computer and I will use whatever tools I like to decide what runs on it. If content providers choose not to allow me to view their content when I block some or all of the ads on their site, I'm absolutely fine with that.

// run Linux

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Bill Gates can’t give it away... Still crazy rich after all these years

Peter Simpson 1
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Won't someone think of poor Kanye West?

Who has been forced to start a gofundme campaign to raise $53M to pay his bills.

// mine's the one with the tiny violin in the pocket

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Assuming they vote trump as their next president ...

Many of us are doing our damndest to prevent that from happening.

// we're not all barking mad

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Gartner to FBI: Stop bullying Apple and the tech industry

Peter Simpson 1
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Private Data

I heard the FBI director this morning on the radio getting all worked up that "these manufacturers" were unilaterally creating places inaccessible to law enforcement, without first asking "the American people" if that was okay with them.

Mr. Director: NOWHERE in the Constitution does it say that law enforcement has a legal right to read all my data. You are allowed to obtain it under court order, but it's not required to be readable. To lay the blame on the device manufacturers for this is to ignore the fact that they wouldn't be offering the product if there wasn't a market.

I, for one, appreciate that my data (and everyone else's) may be made inaccessible to law enforcement. YOU may not like this, but there's no law against it. And that's a Good Thing.

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Confirmed: IBM slurps up Bruce Schneier with Resilient purchase

Peter Simpson 1
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No Such Agency.

// they have a very nice museum...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Sure hope he will be allowed to continue publishing CryptoGram...

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Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Birds Eye?

Imagine Whirled Peas

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Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Re: In Italy, you should not take photos of railroads and stations...

AFAIK there's still a 1942 - wartime - law forbidding it.

As Italy LOST that war, why aren't those regulations null and void?

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You're a cybercrime kingpin. You need a new evil lackey. How much do you tell them?

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Pfft.

second requirement: unquestioning obedience (in the face of overwhelming odds, while the Evil Genius runs to his escape pod).

// if they issue you a red shirt, run away!

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Google cloud wobbles as workers patch wrong routers

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Refinements

You'd think...

Google might have automated tools to change router configurations remotely, based on some kind of master network configuration tool.

Apparently, you'd be incorrect. That's probably intentional. Having a "man in the loop" might be a way to prevent automated chaos. Perhaps manual chaos is easier to fix.

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Nearly a million retail jobs will be destroyed by the march of tech, warns trade body

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Hmmmm

I was going to say the death of retail (including "big box" stores) due to the fact that whatever you're looking for is available online.

Annoyed from walking into clothing stores and finding that yes, my size in the color I want is again "out of stock" and no, they don't know when or if they'll be getting any more of them,

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Toaster cooks network and burns 'expert' user's credibility to a crisp

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Sparky's Magic Fusebox

I blame Murphy.

Don't you mean Morphy, as in Richards?

If it's in the UK, I blame Lucas, Prince of Darkness.

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Verizon only cares about fiber, lets copper nets lapse into ruin – gripes

Peter Simpson 1
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Verizon sees no future for the copper plant, and, except for the fact that they are legally required to maintain it, wish it would disappear. So, it's not being maintained. Verizon will claim it doesn't have enough money, time or people to keep it in working order, and that it is degrading.

I know, because they played this little game in my suburban town of 15000 people, filed for permission to abandon their copper plant (which was granted by the state Public Utilities Commission) and informed me that my copper line would be disconnected come March. I was advised to schedule an installation date for fiber (which, not coincidentally, can deliver the high profit FIOS multimedia and networking services). So, with no option to keep copper, I now have fiber. Which, needless to say, does not work if the power goes out.

Let me hasten to add, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the copper plant in Holliston, Massachusetts. Except that it cannot provide broadband services. Since I moved in 35 years ago, we have had zero problems with our copper landline. It has been as reliable as one would expect, given the careful system design from Bell Labs.

It's all about money and competing with Comcast, at least in the high population density areas. The rest of you are "F"'ed.

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My devil-possessed smartphone tried to emasculate me

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: There's no problem, only solutions

Belt holster.

Keeps the RF away from your delicate bits as well.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: As for the RAZR..

The first Nokia I had (circa 1995) was endowed with absolutely brilliant firmware. Its UI was perfectly tuned to the way I wanted to do things. The menus were logically arranged, so that the function I was most likely to want to do was the one on the main button. It was a joy to use.

The second Nokia I bought had menus designed by a chimpanzee. It was not a joy to use, it was crap. Worked well, but the menu system was similar in design to that of a Chinese microwave. Obviously, the chap (or group) who had designed the firmware for the first phone had asked for too much of a salary increase, and had been sacked.

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Barking spider prompts Spanish clan shoot-out

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Sensitive, aren't they? And remarkably quick to anger over insignificant things. Much as certain Americans seem to be overly concerned when others "disrespect" them.

Harden up.

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Lonely bloke in chem suit fuels Mars orbiter

Peter Simpson 1
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Stop

Have they checked that all the bolts are present and tight?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/NOAA-N'_accident.jpg

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IT boss gets 30 months of porridge for trashing ex-employer's servers

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: iPhone

Have you ever tried to crack anything using a phone - it's really tough due to the small screen?

Not like the old Western Electric phones. You could use their handsets to crack walnuts.

// my lawn. off it.

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'Kalamazoo killer' gave Uber rides in between shooting six dead

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Re: We have reached out to the police...

'reached out'

I also despise that phrase. It seems to be one of the current popular ones in "organization speak". Companies, HR departments and concerned groups seem to be doing quite a lot of "reaching out" lately. I hope they don't strain anything.

The phrase seems to be meant to evoke personal concern, when, in fact, there is none.

// no 'fingers holding nose' icon available

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MIT boffins' code scans your health claims, tunes plans for bosses

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: The next step

Don't know about you, but I wouldn't be able to recall details like that. And that's what I'd put on the form: "I do not recall any"

// Hey, it seems to work for politicians and corporate directors

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

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Re: I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but...

Looks like there was a Citroen in the woodpile...

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US software biz fined $28 million for bribing Chinese buyers with free vacations, gifts

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Directors are liable

Unless, of course, they're deemed "too big to fail".

In which case, [slightly smaller, but only for one year] bonuses all around, and a stern "don't let that happen again", then business as usual continues.

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Philae comet lander officially dead

Peter Simpson 1
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...and the NEXT one will be BETTER!

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When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Peter Simpson 1
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Linux

Linux

Friends called me because they'd picked up a (multiple, actually) virus on their PC.

I told them I could reinstall the OS, save all their stuff, but that it would probably happen again.

OR, I said, I can install Linux. Don't panic, I said, it's not that different, and I will keep your old HDD, so if it doesn't work out, you'll have lost nothing. And, I continued, Linux is much less susceptible to all those viruses out there.

They went with Linux for 5 years, then scraped up enough to buy a Mac.

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Silent Nork satellite tumbling in orbit

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Re: No telemetry

Knowing the US, they've probably LOOKED at it, and noticed that it looks more like a refrigerator than a satellite. And that it has no antennas.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Mushroom

Once the rockets go up,

Who cares where they come down?

That's not my department,

says Wehrner von Braun.

-- Tom Lehrer

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

Peter Simpson 1
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Never mind Assange

I'm drooling over all that HF radio gear in the background...

73 de KA1AXY

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US taxmen borked in computer cockup riddle

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Assuming you're serious...

Dammit, John, I'm an engineer, not a tax accountant!

I did not know that. I do know that I am required to make quarterly estimated tax payments, but that's a separate issue (too much income from investments or something).

Thanks for the info. And yes, it must be a huge loan...interest free.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Assuming you're serious...

...you're constantly paying estimated tax bills. That only happens here if HMRC are actively pursuing you for suspected evasion.

Ahh! You see, that's (one) difference between you and us. IRS ASSUMES you're evading and acts accordingly.

Well, that, and you can't know what your tax will be until all your annual income and deductions have been determined. IRS also doesn't want to get to the end of the year and find that you don't have enough money to pay your taxes. The rule here is that IRS gets their money first, before anyone else can touch it.

// wish I was kidding

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Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Re: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

What I never understand about US taxes is all this talk of "refunds". Why are so many people overpaying in the first place??

Assuming you're serious -- it's because the tax rate varies by your annual income and you're allowed to deduct certain expenses before the tax is calculated. A prorated part of your estimated tax is withheld from your weekly/biweekly/monthly paycheck. At the end of the year, all your deductions (unpredictable things like mileage, business and medical expenses) are deducted, any profits from investments are added (but these may be taxed at a different rate, depending on how long you've held the investments) and the actual tax due is calculated on the total.

So, you never know exactly how much tax you owe until the year's over, but you must pay an estimated tax (based on what you earned last year) during the year. Whatever's extra, you get back. Without interest, natch. If you've erroneously underpaid, you owe the difference, with interest, of course.

// death and taxes, and I'm not too sure about death

// ask Cratchitt, he knows

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

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: What are the odds?

...what happens after a power cut?

The switch is bistable, so it retains its state through power failures. At least they got *that* right...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: What are the odds?

Good idea.

The Germans (or Chinese) had thought of that. The button, which is located on, and sits proud of, the mating surface, fits into a carefully crafted recess in the door itself, meaning that the cover would need to fit into the space between the button and the recess, in order for the door to close.

I haven't crafted the custom cover yet :-)

I'm puzzled that someone even thought an on-off switch was necessary on a refrigerator. At least, they put it high enough so that inquisitive little fingers couldn't reach it.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: What are the odds?

CSB:

I have a Bosch refrigerator. It's very nice. However, it does have one feature which I have never before seen on a refrigerator: an on/off button. We installed the refrig, and were surprised to see that the light didn't come on when we opened it. Read the manual, found the button (at the top, near the hinge, marked with the circle-with-a-short-line power symbol), pushed it, and all was well.

Fast forward now, to the day we came back after a long weekend. Cleaners had been in and one of them had thought it a good idea to press the power button, thereby turning off the refrigerator. They do a good job cleaning, but frequently do something random like this. Luckily, it had only been off for 24 hours and things had not thawed.

There is now a prominent label next to the power switch: "DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON".

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'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Oh, for a sensible cable...

Quality Chinese Engineering, at its best.

Backed up by 100% inspection (if the customer is watching) and rigorous agency testing by "Random Chinese Testing Agency You've Never Heard Of"

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How many Surface power cords are a fire risk? 2.25 million in the US alone

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Oh, balderdash!

I have extension cables in my garage that have seen abuse no human would survive, and they work just fine. No visible damage at all, and they're 20 years old.

Of course, they're made with many fine copper wires in each conductor and have neoprene insulation, as opposed to cheap thermoplastic and ten strands of heavier gauge copper-tin alloy wire per conductor.

You get what you pay for.

(or not) When I was a kid, we had these things called "telephones", made by a company named Western Electric. The part you talked into was connected by something called a cord. Constantly twisted, never replaced and always worked. It is perfectly possible to make a cable that will last almost forever.

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For sale: One 236-bed nuclear bunker

Peter Simpson 1
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Internet connection: multichannel 5-level Teletype.

Over wired or HF, your choice.

Antennas may need repair.

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Hackers mirror 250GB of NASA files on the web

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Re: Chemtrail fuckwits

Yet global warming is a "myth"...

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