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* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

950 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

How I BLEW my co-workers' HEADS OFF ... without going to jail

Peter Simpson 1
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Office rowing team

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9eqnc6EM_o

Points for coordination...

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Vulture 2 paintjob: Four-year-old nipper triumphs

Peter Simpson 1
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Araiadne FTW

I think it would be a nice gesture if you could send Ariadne a signed photo of the actual craft, painted in her design, along with a team photo.

It may not mean as much to her now as it will in a few years...

Well done, SPB, for encouraging the next generation!

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Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: It just goes to show....

"You don't need to spy on your own population. For any reason."

I'd modify that to say "You may not spy on your own population".

Because the security services certainly feel justified in what they're doing...it's just that the masses aren't privy to the tippy-top-secret reasons that support the "justification".

Oh, it *is* against the law to spy on US persons, except in these special circumstances where the security services say that the law doesn't apply, and their "yes man" secret court agrees.

Security organizations always seem to have an elevated sense of their mission, which makes them the only possible arbiters of what's legal and what's not...and very little is "not", from their point of view. It's them against a world of evil-doers..a thin blue line, as it were.

Nixon had the same view. And look what happened to him.

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Vulture 2 paintjob: Kim Jong-un battles flag-waving Brits

Peter Simpson 1
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Ariadne!

Even the US wants Ariadne's design!

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HP CEO Whitman: We've built the PC that GOD wants

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Oh?

Ooh! Does it have a SMITE key?

// Far Side icon appears to be missing

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Forget Wi-Fi, boffins get 150Mbps Li-Fi connection from a lightbulb

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Uplink?

Twenty years or so ago, I worked with some folks who had tried something similar in the office environment.. They were plagued with coverage and multipath problems, as well as the low signal-to-noise ration and the large size of the required detectors. Uplink wasn't an issue, as the transmitters weren't in the lights, but tacked on top of cubicle walls, using the ceiling times as passive reflectors.

It never worked to spec. I don't think networking-by-light has ever worked in free space, at least I have never seen a successful multipoint network with anything but carefully aligned lasers on rooftops.

// light meter in one pocket and telescope in t'other

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Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

Peter Simpson 1
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Bright

Why do the makers of bedside clocks make them bright enough to light the room...even on the dimmest setting?

A cellphone alarm would never work with me, I'd knock it off the table while attempting to silence it, then step on it as I got out of bed.

My alarm's in the bathroom...to force me to get out of bed to silence it.

// The wife gets up when I get out of the shower...

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US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Not to be racist

Not in the US -- it's a MONTH before 9/11 :-)

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CEO of Brit fashion bods Burberry lands Apple job for retail, online sales

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: A day to celebrate

Now, the only question will be: gold? or chav-tartan?

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Computer Chess: Geek, gaming and retro-tech movie of the year

Peter Simpson 1
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Teletype

The bottom picture on page 1 ("even Teletype machines get a look in") does not show a Teletype. However, the bottom picture on page 3 does show a Lear Siegler ADM-3 "glass teletype".

When you're writing for geeks, it's important to get these details right :-)

// roll of yellow paper in the pocket

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Moscow cops cuff suspect in Blackhole crimeware bust

Peter Simpson 1
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Payoffs?

Sounds like someone didn't make the right payoffs in time.

// envelope in the pocket

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Poor miserable Ballmer's pay SLASHED to a measly $1.26m

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Re: Ballmer’s bonus was just 79 per cent of his eligible total

I suspect bonus calculations are done with an Excel VB script.

// author of which is long gone, so no-one understands the inner workings

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Most fun I ever had

When I bought a $6 item and was issued $40 in change!

They had apparently mixed up the $1 and $10 cartridges in the base of the machine.

// yes, I told them, but I think they were more worried about how many previous customers hadn't...

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The Vulture 2: What paintjob should we put on our soaraway spaceplane?

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Register Red of course!

Silver fuselage and orange wings/tail.

You'll want the wings to stand out as you try to maneouver it...silver will be harder to see than orange.

Safe flight, good luck!

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The life of Pi: Intel to give away Arduino-friendly 'Galileo' tiny-puter

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: 5v 3A

A bit piggish with the power, innit?

No heatsink shown, though.

Wonder if I'll be able to pick the chips up at Digikey?

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Missing Brit SPACE HEDGEHOG RISES from the GRAVE

Peter Simpson 1
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Chin up!

(underlines the importance of weatherproof labels with name and phone number, I'd say)

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Our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane: Intimate snaps

Peter Simpson 1
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I, too, suggest a going over with some fine grit sandpaper before painting. Otherwise, you'll have a lumpy, painted surface. She deserves the best, so don't succumb to the temptation, take a while and get the surface glossy smooth before you paint...

You won't regret it!

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Boris Johnson's ex-right-hand man's right hand lands johnson in web slip

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Pix or it didn't happen.

As a friend once said: "If it's a digital photo, it'll end up on the web...so DON'T TAKE IT!"

// rolls of film in the pocket, thanks

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Oracle sued over $33,000 bill for SaaS: STRIPPERS as a SERVICE

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: This does not surprise me

AVN shared the building for many years and offered discounts to CES goers....

...the very definition of synergy :-)

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'Occupy' affiliate claims Intel bakes SECRET 3G radio into vPro CPUs

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Re: Serious Business

Sorry, I don't have an hour and a half to find out what they're spraying.

Could you summarize, please?

(and while you are at it, please explain how spraying stuff at 30000 feet gives you any control at all of where it lands)

// Hmmm...maybe *that's* why Canadians are so mellow?

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Our LOHAN rocket ship team exits Spain with a bang

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: vid opening

Anyone worked out the Morse code?

"SPECIAL PROJECTS BUREAU"

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iPhone 5S, iOS 7 misery: Only JORDAN HATCH, 19, can SAVE APPLE NOW

Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Hottest 25 under 25 -- at 30

Please, oh, please: come back in five years, with a second look at all these folks, and tell us how they have changed? It will, I guarantee, be worth the effort...

// old guy, wishes them all well

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Our second attempt to give LOHAN a good banging: Live tomorrow

Peter Simpson 1
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Here's wishing you a successful launch, safe flight and easy, goat- and tree-free recovery!

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THE TRUTH about beaver arse milk in your cakes: There's nothing vanilla about vanilla

Peter Simpson 1
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Google for "beaver vanilla"

This is what you get -- vanilla bean dyed beaver fur trooper hat:

http://www.glacierwear.com/fur-on-sale/men-s-and-women-s-dyed-sheared-beaver-trooper-style-fur-hat.html

// folks, you can't make this up!

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Vanillin

"...vanillin makes such an effective flavouring agent...very little of it is needed."

Ahhh...so one beaver's worth will flavour *how many* containers of ice cream, then?

I think I smell a new Reg measurement standard here.

// and it smells like...[where's the beaver icon got to?]

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Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: Come on

I call BS.

There's no way catching beavers is easier or cheaper than growing vanilla plants. The number of beavers required to meet the world demand for natural vanilla flavor would be astronomical.

Sorry, but this has "urban legend" written all over it.

// Bull $#!#, not "beaver scent"

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DRAMA at 75,000 FEET: Our Playmonaut's TERROR PLUNGE from EDGE of SPACE

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Well done!

The dashcam was a teriffic idea. Sorry we missed the hike, though.

Best of luck on the second mission.

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LOHAN hero playmonaut STRANDED on Spanish mountain

Peter Simpson 1
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Well done, the SPB Mountain Rescue!

Playmonaut safe, debrief to be held in the nearest pub, ASAP!

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Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Re: SPB Drone?

+1 for an SPB drone. It's just not an option -- you NEED one (with lots of cameras, please)!

Thrilling video from the chase car, great fun watching the comments scroll by in one window as the tracker updated in the other and the scenery flew by. Well done (except for the whole not-getting-to-the-landing-site-before-dark thing), but there's always tomorrow, and that climb will be easier after a few beers, a good dinner and a night's rest, which I hope you got!

//drone is cheaper and more portable than a gyrocopter

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LOHAN test flight LIVE: All the launch action

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Keeping up the family traditions...another LOHAN in the news.

You go girl!!!

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/13/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/dina-lohan-arrest-lindsay/index.html

"traveling at 77 mph in a 55 mph zone"

So, just barely keeping up with traffic flow, then?

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Peter Simpson 1
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Two major engineering events!

LOHAN test flight and someone's trying to flip some boat in Italy :-)

Good luck to our intrepid SPB team!

(the guys with the boat are on their own)

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Torvalds: 'We're not doing Linux95 … for a few years, at least'

Peter Simpson 1
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He does have his "quirks", but think of what the man has accomplished in twenty years:

not only did he produce an open source UNIX-compatible OS, but he catalyzed an entire community to help him. Perhaps it was only a case of him being the right person in the right place at the right time, but he has certainly stuck with it and built Linux into something that I doubt he ever could have envisioned at the beginning.

// flunked out of charm school, he did, though.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: "Suicidal squirrel”

I just read about the Tufty Club (isn't the web wonderful?)

Someone with a warped sense of humor decided on a squirrel for a road safety mascot, methinks.

Here in the northeast US, they are usually seen on the roads in their two-dimensional form...

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Vulture 2 autopilot reports for duty

Peter Simpson 1
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The SPB

(and Lester in particular) seem to be having *way* too much fun with this project!

Keep up the good work, guys.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Reprogramming

"I must have missed the article where they drove to Tesco's because there was a 2 for 1 sale on C4."

I've just go back. It was yesterday.

It always works that way...by the time I get there, the sale's over.

No way I'm paying their regualr prices for C4.

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We made the iPhones, now we want OUR 'UNPAID' WAGES – student Pegatron toilers

Peter Simpson 1
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I get "valuable industry experience"...

...every time I have to repair something.

Seriously, these are university students taking summer jobs. If they're of average intelligence (and there's no reaon to believe they're not), they pick up what they need to know to do the work in the first couple of days on the job. And mandatory meetings should be paid meetings.

Deducting 20% of their pay *for the entire summer*, because they're "interns" is nothing but straight out robbery.

Good on them for standing up and saying so.

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Kamikaze Moon mission on track as NASA grips its tumbling LADEE

Peter Simpson 1
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Just like the old days

I, too, stayed up to watch the moon landing. I'll never forget the thrill of hearing "Tranquility base here, the Eagle has landed."

Friday night, I stayed up again, with NASA TV on the computer, some red-filtered lights and a pair of binoculars. I even cajoled my wife into staying up. Two minutes after launch, in the south-east sky, I saw the rapidly rising point of light that was LADEE. We both watched, fascinated, as the second stage burned out and LADEE headed off towards the Moon.

The thrill was still there. Go, NASA!

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Verizon finally drags FCC into court fisticuffs to end one-speed internet for all

Peter Simpson 1
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"Information Service Provider" vs Common Carrier

When I signed up for Comcast, they made clear (in the fine print of the Service Agreement) that they were operating as an Information Service Provider rather than a Common Carrier. The difference being that they claimed (rightly or wrongly is open to debate) that they were providing me information, not carrying my packets. They also claim that I can't deliver the information "they" provide me to anyone else, and that they retain the right to do pretty much anything they want. It's written more like a cable tTV contract than an internet connection contract.

Were they operating as a Common Carrier, they'd be obligated to carry whatever packets I sent and to deliver whatever packets were sent to me. And this requirement would be enforced, just as it is for wireline telephone companies, of which Verizon is one (although they are trying very hard to get rid of the "wireline" part right now).

The problem with ISPs, IMHO, is that they are generally not considered Common Carriers, that they claim to provide some additional value. This, too, is open to debate. Basically, yes, their suits have won and gotten themselves classified so they can have fewer regulations and make more money with less oversight. I guess that seems fair, if you're Comcast or Verizon, but maybe not so fair if you're one of their customers...

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Enterprise storage: A history of paper, rust and flash silicon

Peter Simpson 1
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IBM cards

Make great bookmarks and shopping lists. They also fit neatly into a shirt pocket. At Christmas time, they can be made into decorative wreaths when spray-painted gold.

Paper tape for Teletypes came in both 5-level (Baudot) and 8-level (ASCII) widths (along with some other special-purpose formats for typesetting and from other manufacturers)

Kids nowadays will never experience the joy of seeing their names spelled out in holes on tape or cards.

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Autogyro legend Ken Wallis hangs up wings at 97

Peter Simpson 1
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That's the mark of a great man - one who takes time to explain what's going on to interested kids.

What a life -- but I disagree with the poster above that those days are gone. There are still folks building electric motorcycles in their sheds, along with electric conversions for cars and the random homebuilt aircraft.

And let's not forget our own SPB team!

The spirit is still alive, and we owe it to the meomory of those like Wallis (and ourselves) to get back in the shed and keep building!

// the one with the aircraft drawings in the pocket...

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'Peeping while you're sleeping' NSA parody T-shirt ban BACKFIRES

Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

Re: Who really owns the seal?

The NSA do, and by law it's only allowed to be used for official purposes...that's why it's called a "seal".

They have no right to the letters NSA, regardless of what TFA says. It's the same for most government agencies with seals -- they and they alone have the right to determine how they're used.

//proud owner of a coffee mug with the NSA seal (purchased at the NSA museum, just outside the gates...

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Keep on truckin'... Qualcomm sells OmniTRACS for $800m

Peter Simpson 1
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It's not that *no one* wants satellite phones

It's more that the intersection of those who want them and those who can afford them is quite small. Small enough that there aren't enough customers to sustain a satellite phone business.

You'd think they would have researched that before starting the biz...

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Another big SAP project hits the rocks in Oz

Peter Simpson 1
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An asset management system for a government?

Surely, these have been done before? 250k people can't require too many assets, can they? And how much managing can these assets require? Geez! Any medium sized town probably has software that could be converted or used directly.

SAP seems to have done an epic fail here. If only because they didn't check their files to see if they had recently done something similar for someone else.

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Zuckerberg: I want the WHOLE WORLD in my hands

Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Re: Dear Mark, they don't exist

Hey Mark -

How about working on literacy and equal rights for women first?

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Reg hack battles Margaret Thatcher's ghost to bring broadband to the Highlands

Peter Simpson 1
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I hope

...that the long-suffering and generous Claire is receiving something for her trouble. A portion of the contents of the warehouse you mentioned might be appropriate. Claire is the personification of the Good Sport.

And well done, for finally getting your broadband -- bigger antenna, higher up = Good Thing!

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Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: @Roo - There are some brilliant technical minds out there

"If they have brilliant technical minds, why do they seem to think..."

Because, while they do employ many brilliant technical minds, they also employ the not-so-brilliant. And they outsource hard-drive smashing to the Police, who employ include a much smaller percentage of brilliant technical minds.

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Cool cars, cat-crushing chronometers, cashmere ... is this your IT boss?

Peter Simpson 1
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Black card

There's nothing like the "clank" of a titanium Centurion card hitting the table to announce yourself...

// don't have one, don't know anyone who does

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Behold, replica Nazi-code-cracking Colossus computer IN LEGO FORM

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Wow

So...the Space Shuttle had cupholders, then?

America...yeah!

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Arrr! Comcast working on new tech to nudge PIRATES to go straight

Peter Simpson 1
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Priorities

I wish Comcast would use their "considerable engineering resources" to do something about the way my cable throughput seems to drop every evening from 5 to 9, as the online gamers chew up the shared bandwidth.

Is it too much to ask that they just provide a big tube to the interwebs, and stop trying to "add value"?

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