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* Posts by AndyS

251 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Want to see at night? Here comes the infrared CONTACT LENS

AndyS

So...

A proof of concept has been developed which has a sensor thinner than a contact lens.

Cue sensationalist headlines.

Just out of interest, where does the battery live?

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Microsoft frisked blogger's Hotmail inbox, IM chat to hunt Windows 8 leaker, court told

AndyS

I'm struggling. Can you give me a TL:DR?

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Monkey steals iPod touch, loses interest in minutes

AndyS

Re: Everyone knows...

> Everyone knows that monkey only like banana's, it's no surprise he turned his little nose up at an apple...

Which monkey? Banana's what?

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Malaysia Airlines mystery: Click here for the TRUTH

AndyS

Re: It's obvious!

I thought Xenu flew DC10s?

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Proper boffins make your company succeed, even if you're not very technical

AndyS

Re: Ah, but...

Actually I disagree. I am, I suppose, squarely the sort of techie the article is on about - PhD in mechanical engineering, and working for a large vehicle manufacturer in Northern Ireland.

I'm no Obama when it comes to communication, however, when our customers (large fleet operators) or suppliers visit, they much prefer a presentation from an engineer, working on engineering solutions to engineering problems, then a polished, high-tech, all-signing all-dancing presentation by someone in a suit, who doesn't actually work at the sharp end of development. Even if I say "um" and "like" too much.

I think the article is spot on. Stick intelligent, educated people into traditional industries, and they'll get to know everyone relevant in their sector, they'll attend seminars and meetings, they'll spot opportunities and they'll attempt to solve problems in larger, more integrated ways than simply "get that guy to drill that hole there."

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20 Freescale staff on vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

AndyS

Re: Very sad indeed...

"The odds of dying per mile are

by car, 1 in 100,000"

Going by your numbers, the average trip in a car is 16 metres, and the average driver dies after about 10 years on the road.

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NASA's orbiting space-broadband probe LADEE beams back Moon snaps

AndyS

Re: Maybe just maybe (@ Boltar)

Four points off the top of my head, every one of which shows your theory not to be plausible:

1. There is drag, just less of it. But for a microscopic dust particle, it would be enough to bring it back down eventually. Even if that 'eventually' is years (very unlikely), there wouldn't be enough dust suspended like this to cause a visible haze. There would also be a hell of a lot of collisions between bits of dust, since there would be no uniform orbit direction, and the 'orbitting' dust would cause one hell of a constant storm for anyone on the surface.

2. Mountains. If this theory was true, there would be no dust below the levels of the highest peaks. This would be very easy to show.

3. Luck. Certainly impacts can throw stuff out of the lunar gravity well, but how many bits of dust would land exactly in the orbit level which aligns to the speed they have? Basically, none. So the orbits would all decay, and the dust would clear.

4. If this did happen (which it doesn't), there would also be rocks of all shapes and sizes doing the same. There aren't.

The point is that just because there isn't consensus about what exactly is happening, there are some things which are clearly not happening. A lack of an understanding of the physics is not the same as a lack of the physics.

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Intel Labs 'geeks' flash Edison kit to El Reg: We do it for the BIRDS

AndyS

Re: The paper notebook computer sounds intriguing.

The applications listed all sound interesting, but can anyone with more foresight than me explain why it needs to be a pluggable form factor? I'd have thought maybe you'd want your bird-feeder and notebook both working at the same time. Isn't part of the idea that things like this will become so cheap that we can have lots of them, each doing one specific task?

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Cisco coughs up to patent troll, smacks down IP laws

AndyS

Re: $13,000,000.00

Honest question - is the loser not ordered to pay costs in US civil cases?

Because to me, it would seem absurd to not order the loser to pay costs.

In the UK, the level of costs to be paid is determined by the judge, and is split according to what's deemed reasonable, and where the fault lies (not always entirely with the losing party), which seems like a pretty sensible way of handling things.

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Syrian Electronic Army: We hijacked FACEBOOK ... honest, guv

AndyS

I'm struggling to see the point of this

Dropping barrel bombs on Aleppo neighbourhoods may be dispicable, but at least there is a military purpose (you know, once you've killed everyone, there won't be any rebels left. Much like the WW2 bomber command tactics). Attending peace conferences while continuing to drop barrel bombs? Again, I can see the point - it might just convince some people that you aren't heartless murdering bastards, or at least wish you didn't have to be.

But hacking facebook? What could that actually achieve? How would it benefit the butcher and his henchemen holed up in Damascus even one iota?

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Amazon mints a BILLION BUCKS from its cannibal cloud

AndyS

Re: because of dumb shits like this

I'm struggling to see why that automatically counts as clueless. They're a computing company, selling computing services for customers with computing needs - of course a large chunk of their costs are going to be for computing.

It's as if you just pointed at First group, and said "They spend 25% of their revenue on diesel! Clueless." Yeah. They run buses & trains. They need a lot of the stuff.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but a company spending a lot on one thing, even if it's a thing you don't personally use much of, doesn't make them automatically clueless.

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Ditch IE7 and we'll give you a FREE COMPUTER, says incautious US firm

AndyS

Re: No Brainer

Refusing to serve your site to someone using a specific browser that you haven't tested for?

Why yes, that seems like a sensible way to behave.

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Snowden speaks: NSA spies create 'databases of ruin' on innocent folks

AndyS

Re: The NSA is just a symptom ot a (corrupt) Corporatist obese and evil government

So what you're saying is... you need more guns? So, how's that working out for the USA so far?

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Light, fast ... and pricey: Toshiba's Portégé Z30 – now THIS is an Ultrabook

AndyS

Re: Bit surprised about the weight

I have a Portage R500, bought for a similar price in 2007. It has an optical drive, similar resolution of screen, and weighs under 1 kg. Now 6 1/2 years old, and comprehensively abused for every miserable year of its existence, (including 20,000 miles through Africa, recording images and data while shoved under the passenger seat of a hilux) it's still running well. I'm actually very impressed with it.

The only down side is that, to get the weight to 997g, they made it of the cheapest plastic they could find. For the last 3 years it's been held together by araldite and duck tape. As the abuse continues, the quantity of duck tape slowly increases.

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Chinese Jade RABBIT SIGHTED ON MOON by NASA probe

AndyS

Re: Well done China.

You mean other than the fact that they weren't there in the 'before' shot?

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AndyS

Re: @fink

Are you serious? Those are boulders, so when the light source is to the left, the shadows are to the right. Just like the lander and rover. The other shadows are from craters, so the shadow falls on the side of the crater nearer the light source.

Simple language: Sticky up thing has shadow away from light. Dippy down thing has shadow towards light.

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iOS motion control iRing here at last ... but it's NOT made by Apple

AndyS

Re: Hmm

I suppose the advantages of it not being a ring are that one size fits all, and it's very easy to put on, take off, and pass around for others to use.

I guess it would be easy to drop too, but if that's a real problem it would be pretty trivial to create a version that is, actually, a ring. Or for an owner to mod one themselves.

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Virgin Media spanked by ad watchdog over 'in your neighbourhood' fibs

AndyS

Re: Some people have too much time on their hands.

3) Comment about it on a website, slagging those who chose option 2

Since, as you say, you've never even had one of these leaflets, your ratio of time spent to time wasted by Virgin is now infinitely higher than the two people who chose to contact the ASA.

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

AndyS

3D

No doubt once this is out, there will be 3D 4K (maybe it's there already?). Then there will need to be a new generation of media formats to replace blu-ray, as it will only be able to hold 25% of a film. So on top of your £5,000 telly, you'll need a £1,000 player, and a fibre-to-the-house data connection. You'll need to wear annoying, bulky glasses (only 2 people can watch at once, unless you want to spend £150 more per person). And of course you'll need to to re-buy all your existing films again at £45 each (remastered yet again, so they'll have to be much more expensive).

So remind me again, what's the real benefit to the consumer? Where's the problem needing solved?

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Panasonic will go Firefox OS for TVs

AndyS

Re: Why cant I buy

Feeling a bit paranoid? (that's maybe fair after the LG phone-home reports mind you)

There is no reason you can't use a 60" TV as a 60" monitor. That's what HDMI is for. Plug in the raspberry pi (or solution of your choice), ignore all the built-in stuff.

Let's face it, the 'smart' bit in a TV probably only adds a few quid to the cost of an already extremely expensive bit of kit, so the manufacturers will always do it if it's a cheap way to convince a large segment of the market that their TV is worth having. It doesn't mean you have to use it.

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Analogue radio will CONTINUE in Blighty as Minister of Fun dodges D-Day death sentence

AndyS

Re: Vested interest

Shamelessly hijacking the top comment to kindly ask El Reg to make available the results of the "how much boost does it give an article to have a random thumbnail of girls in bikinis beside it" experiment.

Go on, we all like a good graph.

I saw an example of the same once where someone uploaded a youtube video explaining how to get more hits, but a shot of a hot girl as the very middle frame in the video. He uploaded it twice, once with and once without. The number of hits on both versions made the point nicely.

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Yahoo! boss! Mayer! sez! soz! for! lengthy! mail! outage!

AndyS

99.9% uptime?

Not this year. 4 days down in a year is closer to 98.9%. Or, if we pick our period (like they are obviously doing), then 43% up time last week.

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Facebook-owned Instagram morphs into messaging service to please admen

AndyS

Re: Ads, Ads and yet more [redacted] ads

Line breaks are essential

To the flow of a poem

Without them it's mental

Trying to find your way home.

I've rearranged your attempt a bit

Sort of polished the chrome

To give it more of a hit.

Like a hip-hop rhyme

It's more of a chore

But bro, you gotta take your time

Else you're gonna hit the floor.

------

Your scansion, sadly, sucks. It's no defence

to play the humour card. When writing verse

both form and rhythm must align to sense.

Though rhyme and scansion may invite a curse

it should be from the author. I would deem a

failed attempt at scansion rather worse than blank verse.

Writing in a formal schema

at least can help at focussing the brain

(my favoured form, like this, is terza rima)

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Fisher-Price in hot seat: iPad bouncy chair lets APPLE BABYSIT tots – parents

AndyS

Re: What is the issue?

Are you serious? OK, let's pick apart your post:

1. Your children are 3 and 5. This is aimed at infants, well under 1.

2. At the age this is aimed at, infants haven't yet learned to interact with the real world. An ipad is NOT interactive in the same sense as a mobile, beads on a string, etc. There is nothing physical about interaction with it, which is what babies need to learn.

3. This is clearly aimed at the "shove them in a chair and leave them" style of parenting. Also, ANY screen time for infants is counter-productive to development, so this should NOT form part of any selection of activities for an infant.

4. Granny doesn't need the baby strapped into a seat with the ipad inches from his face. Granny needs to see you cuddling the baby. She's got more sense than to think something like this would be a good idea.

I'm also a parent of two children, but mine are 6 weeks and 20 months old. If anyone gave me something like this for them, the angle grinder would make very short work of the ipad arm.

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EC antitrust cops raid offices of Philips, Samsung, others

AndyS

Re: Price fixing?

I think the problem is more like this:

I can manufacture a McGuffin for £19.93. My three main competitors can manufacture them for £19.94, £19.95 and £19.96.

My McGuffins are fitted to all new Ford cars. My competitors have cornered GM, Toyota and Peugeot/Citroen. And we're all broadly happy with the market share we've got.

So we all decide to charge £160.

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Hear that? It's the sound of BadBIOS wannabe chatting over air gaps

AndyS

Re: Not that easy to stop

But an attack of this sort wouldn't be aimed at the average user - hence all the talk of military, power stations etc in the article. It would be aimed at highly secured, air-gapped systems.

The administrators of those systems would have no trouble at all disabling the microphone/speakers, so I'm not sure why the obvious conclusion isn't just to remove them. Are they likely to be regularly used in these sorts of environments?

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MPs back call to boycott low-taxed tat from Amazon over Xmas

AndyS

Re: HollyHopDrive, Just a geek etc

Moan moan moan, life's so hard in my comfortable first world country with free health care, education, social care, state pensions, security, policing, safety nets etc. I wish I was a bit richer (but still had all that free stuff).

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Sysadmin job ad: 'If you don’t mind really bad work-life balance, this is for you'

AndyS

Re: ..I don't need to apply..

The best job advert I have ever heard of, which undoubtedly trumps this article, was for Shackleton's expedition to the South Pole in the early 1900s:

"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success."

The story goes that he was inundated with thousands of responses, similar I suppose to the talk of one-way manned missions to Mars in recent days.

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Who wants a Xeon-powered, 12-core, RAID 10 … LAPTOP?

AndyS

Maybe not even, I didn't read notice a mention of a touch-screen in the review.

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From Dept of REALLY? Sueball lobbed at Apple over crap iOS Maps app

AndyS

Re: So in the UK

I was with you right up to your last paragraph, when you went off on a mind-bending feminist fantasy-spree.

Have you read the register much? It doesn't tend to be very kind to a lot of people. Many of them are men, too. Get over it.

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World's first selfie found on Wayback Machine

AndyS

Re: Evolution

I like the way he developed his particular duck-face too:

1. Hit face with ground

2. Get stitches

If every duck-face had that history, it would be a trend I could get behind.

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Dropbox: We're worth $8 BILLION and we'll sell you a 3 per cent slice

AndyS

Re: In which case

Why are you valuing your UK company in that nasty foreign currency?

Pounds are what we use here, sir.

Now that's dealt with, where can I send my money?

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Autopilot guides Texan plane home from a dizzying 30,000m

AndyS

It was pretty high. Not much air up there to do the ripping apart.

Aerodynamic forces are proportional to density, and speed squared.

Air density at 16,000 m is about 0.1 that at sea level, so a speed of 790kph at 16,000m, all else equal, will produce similar forces to a speed around 250kph at sea level.

Still fast, but certainly not difficult to manage.

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AndyS

Re: Good to know. lol

It's pretty easy to get to those sorts of speeds in the upper atmosphere. You know that Red Bull fellow who jumped out of a balloon? 1,342 kph, and he wasn't particularly aerodynamic.

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Tales from an expert witness: Lasers, guns and singing Santas

AndyS

Re: Beware of these so-called "Expert Witnesses"

...USD$11,000.00...

Uh, you do know this is a UK site, and we're talking about UK courts and UK expert witnesses here, right?

Other than that, nice rant. It could have done with a few more random capitals, but it's a good start.

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Mixed bag of motors lifts India's budget Mars shot

AndyS

Re: @Lars

Lars, I accept the horrendous situation that many in India live in - it sounds like you've got a decent amount of experience working in that sort of environment, and I deeply respect that. I've worked a year or so in some similar places, and I know the effects of poverty. I'll put the rhetoric aside and explain why I disagree.

There are two things to consider here. Firstly, a country is lifted above the poverty line not by aid (which can reduce short-term disaster situations) but by an improved economy. Granted, aid can help stimulate and repair an economy to the point where it is functioning, but domestic industry, education, learning, infrastructure and opportunities for people to excel are vital for a country to improve as a whole. Advanced science projects like this do a massive amount to improve the economy. They give Indian scientists a reason to stay in the country, they stimulate local high-tech industries, they improve aspiration of Indian students.

The second is the straw-man argument that a country can only do one thing, or another. It's possible to do both. India is already spending many times as much on sanitation, infrastructure and other projects to directly improve the lives of the very poorest. Can they can continue working on these things, which cost many billions of pounds, while also stimulating the economy (remember, all that money stayed in India - it wasn't burned, or spent on US missiles) and making genuinely amazing achievements? Yes.

This thing cost about half as much as one jet fighter, or about 20% of a brand new A380. Really, saying they can't afford that is like telling someone on income support in the UK that their children can't have an ice-cream once in a while. It's just not relevant.

Please don't interpret this as unsympathetic to the poor. I just think condemning this frankly incredible achievement is akin to telling a child off for painting a masterpiece, because they've still got Maths homework to do for next month. There's time and space for both.

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AndyS

Can we please give this tired pseudo-racist straw-man argument a rest, and congratulate them on progress?

Realistically, there are poor people everywhere, and £45M is spare change in a country that big. In fact, it's around 4 1/2 pence per person.

Should America sort out its poor before sending technology space-wards? What about Russia? China?

Should the UK have sorted out all it's poor before extending outwards? Surely exploring the Americas was a complete waste of money when there were peasants starving in the fields, right?

Should the Victorians have sorted out the poor before investing in the industrial revolution?

Did you fill your petrol tank this morning, while there are 10,000 dead people yet to be burried in the Philippines? How uncaring are you?

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LG's curvy Flex phablet and its self-healing bottom escapes Korea

AndyS

Re: LG - Lame Goods

...also, please cancel my subscription etc.

Disgruntled, Milton Keynes.

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MPAA, RIAA: Kids need to learn 3 Rs – reading, writing and NO RIPPING

AndyS

Re: Careful what you wish for.

It's a trick though. If you're a major industry-backed "artist," you get to sample, re-use and re-mix existing ideas, songs, visuals etc to create something new. If any regular member of the public tries the same, they are infringing copyright. Make a nice video and set a well known song as a sound track? Or even record a section of it while a song is playing in the background? Blocked.

Since such a large part of creation is about re-use, and since the various Asses of America have pretty much done their best to ban that to their non-members, what they're really interested in encouraging people to be is consumers, not creators.

*Edit: Woohoo, editable comments!

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Bloke named 'human' demands 'COPSLIE' licence plate

AndyS

I've never heard of this - hilarious. Extract from Wikipedia:

"Freemen believe ... a court is a place of business, and a summons is an invitation to discuss the matter at hand, with no powers to require attendance or compliance."

Also, "this procedure has never been used successfully."

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Reply-all email lightning storm STRIKES TWICE at Cisco

AndyS

$600,000?!

Anyone care to enlighten me as to how a flood of emails add up to that much damage? I mean, that's some fairly hefty pocket change for what, a few minutes pressing delete one morning? A mild nuisance?

Or is this one of those silly-bugger accountant sums from never-never land where you say 35,000 employees (citation needed) each had to spend (citation needed) an 30 minutes (citation needed), at an average cost to the company of $35/hour (citation needed)...

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Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson battles bullfighting

AndyS

@Chris Miller

This is like arguing that Lee Rigby had it easy, as there's kids in Somalia who don't have enough to eat.

In other words, bullshit.

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THIS is the kind of clout a British Prime Minister has: Facebook pulls ONE beheading vid

AndyS

Re: Responsible behaviour

What are you smoking?

No, it's not fine to kill someone. And no, it's not fine to post videos of someone else killing someone.

See how that works? Independent actions, both wrong.

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AndyS

Re: is this the same Facebook

That and breastfeeding pictures. Can't see boobies being put to use in that depraved, warped way. Might corrupt the young'uns innocent minds.

Killing though? Yeah, that's cool.

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AndyS

Wait a minute, so in response to a massive public outcry, reaching as far up as the PM, against beheading videos, FB responded by removing ONE such video?

----->

That was the point, over there. I think you missed it.

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Pimp my office: 10 cubicle comforts

AndyS

Re: Shock, horror, gasp etc

It's a list billed as "shouldn't involve breaking too many eggs," and the number one item is a £265 mouse.

I'm not sure what eggs the author is worried about, whether my own or those of the purchasing department, but either way that strikes me as a whole lot of eggs.

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ICANN approves Arabic, Russian and Chinese global domain spaces

AndyS

Re: Not really

@ AC 06:59 - you do know there's countries other than your own, right? And that some people in those countries not only speak, but also type, in languages other than your own? Are you one of those 70% of Americans who doesn't own a passport by any chance?

Oh right, you're joking. Right? Good.

This doesn't diffuse the phishing potential pointed out above, but "my keyboard can't do it" isn't a valid argument.

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'Donkey-tugging' EU data protection law backed by MEPs

AndyS

"Ad lobby group, IAB Europe, bemoaned the committee's amendments"

Sounds like the amendments are a step in the right direction, then.

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LOHAN's vital statistics splashed across fruity display

AndyS

This needs a name.

May I humbly suggest the "Main Interface between LOHAN and Expedition Yobs"?

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Germany: We're willing to use 'instruments of TORTURE' on Amazon

AndyS

Re: Agree with Germans on this one...

Not quite sure what you're getting at here, maybe there's a subtlety in the German that I don't understand, but you are aware, presumably, of the history of the cross?

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