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* Posts by John Smith 19

9492 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Decades ago, computing was saved by CMOS. Today, no hero is in sight

John Smith 19
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Re: DRAMA!!!!

"2) At present the lower bound on latency is set at the speed of light (C). So far we haven't found a way to increase the value of C."

Actually a lot of the time stuff propagates at about 1/3 c on PCB tracks and normal wiring however by impedance matching the lines (which can be done on PCBs as well) you get close to c transmission speeds, and (AFAIK) that can be done at the chip level as well.

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Men have LARGE APPENDAGES, are OXYGEN THIEVES: Science

John Smith 19
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Conversly I find women with sharp beaky little noses

Tend to have sharp beaky little personalities to go with them.

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Lavabit founder: Feds ORDERED email providers to stay open

John Smith 19
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Re: "Forced" to stay open .. running up masssive losses

"Works for the banks."

Not quite.

They convinced the mugs politicians they were "Too big to fail." In some cases the senior managers of said bands were then hired to run the regulators (in the US).

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Brit graphene maker poised to go public: Yes, wonder stuff WILL float

John Smith 19
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At last. An IPO to raise capital for actual *stuff* assuming of course...

That the share will be being sold by the company (so the funds go into the company bank account, not the senior staffs).

Thumbs up for this but it will take a very strong management to remain independent and not get bought out by some American foreign conglomerate.

This could be one of the 21st century success stories of materials processing, in the way that say Gore Tex was in the 80's.

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Nanowire laser is a GaAs, GaAs, GaAs (with a bit of arsenic)

John Smith 19
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Clever mfg tech. But they talk about IR lasing in sub 1micrometre geometries

It's clever but the question the question is how well does it fit into a chip fab process flow.?

Thumbs up for practical work.

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FBI sends memo to US.gov sysadmins: You've been hacked... for the past YEAR

John Smith 19
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Re: What's the big deal?

"Mitt Romney Style!"

Indeed.

Pro.

A politician you can't bribe.

Con.

Everything else?

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John Smith 19
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Re: Such enticing data

"Just wait until the fattest database gets hit "

Indeed.

When people find how much the Legislature is trousering for expenses I think they will be suitable annoyed.

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Google, Microsoft to drop child sex abuse from basic web search

John Smith 19
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Joke

Re: Good News!

"They Daily Mail often slavers over pictures of scantily dressed 15 year old actresses, so their "campaign" could backfire on them horribly."

Ssssh.

The last time anyone mentioned the DM's secret code for JB their site crashed for hours with all the search queries running.

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John Smith 19
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Gimp

Re: A view from the other side

"It is NOT victimless, but the victims are not (just) the children in the pictures.

Anon, because I personally have been affected by this."

What makes you think this has anything to do with "protecting children?"

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John Smith 19
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Re: We all know where this is going

"Claire Perry - Your ideas may be very noble but you are being used."

All because she could not hire someone to set up her browser filter.

<sigh>

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John Smith 19
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@Bill the Sys Admin

"Mixed feelings on this. The disgusting things that are being blocked in this example is obviously good, but cant help but feel this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to deciding what people see and don’t see online."

That's why the TOTC routine works so well.

Whenever someone talks about "Saving the children" you better ask "For whom?"

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John Smith 19
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Gimp

And so it begins

I hear Call-Me-Dave is keen to get GCHQ involved in this.

Any excuse, eh?

this has f**ger all to do with protecting the children.

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'FELSIC materials' find on MARS could rewrite Red Planet's history

John Smith 19
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"lacks plat techtonics"

AFAIK the only way that happens is if Mars is solid all the way through.

OTOH that would also seem to kill any sort of magnetic field (no molten nickel iron to generate a current), but Mars does have one (although IIRC it's not very strong).

So a Mars with no volcanoes ever would be a very surprising beast.

thumbs up for the analysis.

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Why not build a cluster out of WORKSTATIONS?

John Smith 19
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A lot of applications benefit from seeing the big picture

People like chemical simulation, magma flow and seismic viewing

Excellent idea.

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TrueCrypt audit project founder: 'We've set our sights high'

John Smith 19
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Sounds like hotel reservation systems need to upgrade their security.

Admitedly they could just be snaffling the email.

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GCHQ tracks diplomats' hotel bookings to plant bugs, say leaked docs

John Smith 19
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Re: all your base belong us

"When Nikita Khrushchev visited Vienna in 1961, for a summit meeting with Kennedy, the CIA allegedly rented the hotel room below his and tapped (groan) the plumbing to gather K's bodily waste."

Adds a whole new meaning to the phrase "Side channel attack" does it not?

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JESUS battery HEALS itself - might make electric cars more practical

John Smith 19
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Boffin

Not that interested in rubber and batteries but expansion and contraction *three* fold

That spells MEMS actuator technology to me.

I'm thinking of an on chip container will etched pillars and sacrificial supports to create the "pellets" in the chamber and the use of flexures to maintain the activating fluid within the chamber. With the etched volume being less than 2/3 of the volume of the chamber as the Silicon is exposed it expands and exerts pressure on the membrane used to transmit force, effectively the "cylinder head."

The attractive feature of this is that (potentially) high pressure could be excerted without needing to transmit high pressures by some sort of micro hydraulic system (which AFAIK does not scale down well).

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A steam punk VDU ?

John Smith 19
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Meh

The *only* absolute rule is *no* electricity

BTW the idea of an EL with a memory device (or more accurately a layer) was discussed in a big book on photoconductivity I cam across some years ago.

The system used (IIRC) an EL panel backed by some kind of Ferroelectric storage device.

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Infosec bods scorn card-swiping Coin over security fears

John Smith 19
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FAIL

Another firm that wants to turn you *into* the product?

Thanks but no thanks.

Should be popular with the ignoranti.

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CEO of bloated outsourcing firm Capita quits after 26 years

John Smith 19
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Meh

CEO states "I have lined my pockets well. Now get back to work you scum."

Not so diplomatic.

Considerably more honest.

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Fukushima fearmongers: It's YOUR FAULT Japan DUMPED CO2 targets

John Smith 19
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@Itzman

"Anybody who says renewables are the future

- hankers after the Dark ages

- wants to kill most of the human race (not an unreasonable position given how crowded with green idiots its getting)

- is lying

- has an interest in a renewables company"

Or maybe has a very narrow definition of what "renewable" means.

Can include

Anerobic digestion

Micro hydro

Geothermal from every oil well that has ever been dug and is no longer producing.

Space solar.

But these options are a bit complex and "industrial" for the wigwam living Jades.

And of course if you want large scale compact, no CO2 then logic --> nuclear systems.

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John Smith 19
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Re: No middle ground for the hard Greens...

"This just goes to show how ignorant your average person is about CO2. Whether you believe in global warming or not - the third world cranks out *a miniscule fraction* of anthropogenic CO2 - because they don't have any bloody industry. "

That depends where you put India and China.

I'd say both countries have quite a few people with "3rd world" living standards.

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Budget decay kills NASA plutonium drive project

John Smith 19
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"Adequate" production of U238?

I doubt that.

Historically only certain kinds of "high neutron flux" reactor have been used to make the fuel for NASA's TEG's but I think people are realizing that the US has a lot of commercial reactors that could take a specially loaded fuel pin or two. Individually their output would be small but with 10-20 of them it adds up to a tidy haul.

That said this technology did give about 28% output over the 7% currently.

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

"I predict that the only productive output of all the recently announced rich-guys-mining-asteroids projects will be U-235, enabling an end run around the pussies who won't let us put more reactors up on rockets."

NASA does not put nuclear reactors on rockets.

The US has not flown a nuclear reactor in space since 1965.

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Deep beneath MELTING ANTARCTIC ice: A huge active VOLCANO

John Smith 19
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Ooops. Can you say "Tipping point"?

Very large quantity of ice + very large quantity of molten rock spewing over it --> trouble.

This is not a problem now but for those with a worst case planning turn of mind it's definitely not a happy discovery.

However thumbs up to the team for field work and finding this out before a whole bunch of people wake up one morning and find they need a boat.

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Boffins warn LIMPWARE takes the pleasure out of cloud

John Smith 19
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So need some kind of "node profiler" tool?

I guess up to now most HPC systems have been by assuming that identical hardare == identical performance.

A reasonable idea.

But wrong.

Except I can't help think that things like Tivoli and what was CA Unicenter were meant to have tools like that a decade ago.

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Cocky Microsoft strokes soft tool in public for 3D printing on Windows 8.1

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Any colour as long as it's white?

Just that seems like a theme with all these 3D printed things.

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Boffin says astronauts could hitch to Jupiter on passing asteroids

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: If you can form a viable biosphere inside an asteroid...

Because "viable" does not necessarily mean sustainable indefinitely

Because most people like a permanent up and down?

Because it would feel like you're living in your parent basement?

Things like that.

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John Smith 19
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Why spend *decades* hauling rad shielding up hill when it's *already* there?

With a big enough asteroid you have bags of room for closed cycle life support.

The challenge would be the propulsion to move that lump.

And of course the obsession with having a spaceship that looks like a spaceship.

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MANUAL STIMULATION: Whack me with some proper documentation

John Smith 19
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And in case you were wondering....

Yes I have had to write such a manual, for a mixed group of native and non native English speakers.

The company had fallen for Lie #1 of the software house's game. "This program is so intuitive it does not need staff training to use (or online help either IIRC)"

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John Smith 19
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*Properly* written user documentation is *tough*.

I learned most of a computer language from the examples in a manual. This was possible because of the examples in the code.

I wonder how many people here have actually had to write a user manual for a substantial piece of software?

It comes down to 2 questions. 1)What do you want to say? 2)How do you want to say it?

Cookbook style? What we're going to do before doing it (so in future readers will know why they are doing it,and won't be completely lost when they deviate just a little from the script)?

Is it written for native languages speakers? People for whom this language is a 2nd language? Better be very careful with anything that might be ambiguous in comprehension. Better make sure those sentences only parse 1 way.

It's expensive, time consuming and difficult to get right and of course no one wants to do it and those who get roped in tend to think it's pretty easy, because its just words, right?

They are wrong.

All software can be classified into 2 types. Those that allow you to do a job and those that help you do a job.

The systems that help you do your job tend to understand something about your job and express that is some (usually arbitrary) set of commands. If you're lucky it's based on something the user is familiar with and it's commands do the same things in (more or less) the same way.

Of course to really f**k users up you need to make the UI work almost like a UI they are familiar with, but not quite. The "BOFH School" of UI design. :(

A case in point (between allowing and assisting) would be the use of Excel by Sales staff, when a CRM package could help them make much better use of their time, but means they have to learn how to use it.

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John Smith 19
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"My card number is presented on my card with a space between every group of four digits. A computer is very capable of stripping out such card numbers when processing the number. So why the **** do so many websites insist that the number is put in without any spaces? Or, as is often the case, just error when you do and don't indicate why."

True.

Imagine this.

Four 4 digit long (with only digits allowed) with automatic moving between the boxes.

You can't believe there isn't some bit of pre fab'd code to do this, and that it wasn't written a decade ago.

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Space hotelier Bigelow wants capitalists to FIGHT comm-MOON-ist takeover

John Smith 19
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Re: If

"The Chinese establish a base on the moon, which they probably will in 20 years it will make Obamas project cancellations at Nasa seem very foolish."

Firstly the SLS is going ahead and is bit enough to go to the Moon.

However because it's mostly sized to keep a bunch of Mormons in Salt Lake City employed at just about the worst place in the country to build a very big SRB it'll only launch about once every 2 years.

If the Legislature dumped SLS and re-structured a programme around LV's which already exist and have flight records (the EELV's and F9) the same funding level could probably get America back to the Moon in 5 years.

Once you know the biggest single item that's transported is propellant, which is also the easiest to sub divide into pieces for transport, you have to ask WTF would you build a big rocket at the start of your development when it's the vehicles that carry that propellant (the EDS, living module, landing module, service module etc) that matter most.

The only honest answer is politics.

e

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John Smith 19
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The treaty *will* need to be revised.

In 1967 only a govt could launch LEO or BEO vehicles.

All going well that will change and "sub national"organizations will need to be allowed to take responsibility and the rewards of both transport and ownership. If a private LV crashes that's not the responsibility of the country their HO is based in, it's the companies. Likewise if a company lands on the Moon it would seem fair to have rights to an unclaimed area (and what about any "salvage" scrap they happen to pick up there?).

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'I'm BIG, I'm BALD and I'm LOUD!' Blubbering Ballmer admits HE was Microsoft's problem

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Steve Ballmer was Microsoft.

"But nobody can dispute that Steve Ballmer is a good man; or that he loved Microsoft. Indeed, for three decades he was Microsoft -- body and soul."

And lets not forget he was a hell of a chicken dancer.

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Dr Wolfram touts coding language to revolutionise mankind ... just like Wolfram Alpha did

John Smith 19
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Boffin

Re: So long as it's better and cheaper than Matlab...

"After having to learn the basics of it for my degree, and after looking up licensing costs, I agree; Matlab is way overdue an alternative."

You might like to look up "SciLab"

It's free, developed in Europe and (as far as I can tell) is very powerful (and yes it does have options for code generation).

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Such a simple task

What could possibly go wrong?

And how many $1000s for this?

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If this doesn't terrify you... Google's computers OUTWIT their humans

John Smith 19
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Facepalm

computer software models human brain, develops human like ability at pattern recognition

Who knew that would happen?

The clue is in the term "neural net"

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Facebook, the BIGGEST WINDBAG on the planet? It'll blow $300m trying

John Smith 19
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Re: After thought

""Why should the poor person have a better view than me", etc... Some people would rather prevent others from having something simply out of spite and jealousy. It's quite sad."

And that I guess is the "Politics of envy," American style.

I mean seriously, who would want to live in temporary accommodation in an office block unless the alternative was worse?

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Google SO CAN scan ALL BOOKS onto its sites - judge

John Smith 19
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@poopypants

"More like two seconds, I would think. A paragraph here or there is only a very tiny percentage of an entire book."

But who sets the limits of what is a fair sized excerpt?

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Historical Google Books

"What I found was extraordinary, a person from Farnborough Hants England played an important role in the formation of the USA during the Stamp Act and the 'War of Independence' and also was considered important enough to sit on the council in New York."

How fascinating!

What was the title of of the book you found that in?

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

Funny how all the Google support is AC, is it not?

Guess you don't want to burn a good sock puppet without cause, eh?

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Google spaffs $80m on Sun-powered kit: Calm down, Oracle. It's SOLAR

John Smith 19
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Meh

Still won't help at night of course.

Or when the clouds cover the sun.

Now a satellite solar power station at >800Km would always be in sunlight.

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Apple, for one, welcomes its ROBOT factory OVERLORDS

John Smith 19
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Meh

Yes. it's "design for mfg" gone wild

SMT took care of the problems of through-hole components in the 80s but that left all the fiddly mechanical bits.

Looks like Apple reckon its time to take care of those as well.

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Linux backdoor squirts code into SSH to keep its badness buried

John Smith 19
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Trollface

Lots of negative commenting AC.

I wonder who they work for?

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How d'ya make a JP Morgan banker cry? Ask him questions on Twitter

John Smith 19
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"Miss another payment, and we take the blanket."

LOL.

What's the matter? Did the nasty man paint you as grasping b**tards who would run whole economies into the ground, as long as your bonuses got increased or the bank assets did not have to be auctioned off (thereby showing the world how stupid you were to fall for buying those worthless CDO's )?

There's a reason for that.

Because you are.

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Canadian teens cuffed over alleged Snapchat child sex pics ring

John Smith 19
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Happy

"It's more like $300k, even with the fantasy offer from the fantasists."

In an honest world probably not even that...

But in this world Fapbook were ready to blow a $3Bn wad in cash (no paper-for-paper deals. The stuff with dead presidents on it).

Anyone whose read Joe Nesbo's novel "Headhunters" will know it's all about their reputation, in this case for not leaving recoverable photos on someones phone.

And their reputation for doing so is currently in the toilet.

Depending on how they recover from this could decide if their estimated value breaks $10Bn or they end up having to move back into their parents basements.

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Smartphone addicts go floppy under the sheets, warns DOCTOR WANG

John Smith 19
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Happy

I refuse to believe that is the doctors name!

Nonsense.

This is Korea.

I think you'll find Suk KoK is also perfectly valid.

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Goodbye cruel world: Robot 'commits suicide' in KITCHEN FIREBALL

John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Motive

"Actually, it was in love with the refrigerator, but he would not return her affections."

Ah.

Suicide.

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Coroner suggests cars should block mobile phones

John Smith 19
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Amazing. 99% of Australia is uninhabited and people still manage to have accidents.

Unf**kingbelievable.

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