* Posts by Valerion

333 posts • joined 12 Oct 2009

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Land Rover's return: Last orders and leather seats for Defender nerds

Valerion

I once

Spent 3 days offroading in the Malaysian jungle in a convoy of Defenders (old, beat-up, heavily customised ones). Best trip ever. Crossing ravines on bridges made of nothing other than 3 tree trunks, fording rivers, climbing up ridiculous inclines over boulders and camping out under the stars (in mozzie nets...). There was also a fair amount of drinking, but that didn't seem to affect the driving much. If they broke down (which they did), the one of the amazingly competent mechanics would fiddle with bits, whack some other bits, and they'd always come back to life. (On a previous trip they'd broken a driveshaft, so went back to an abandoned Land Rover they'd come across a couple of miles back, stripped the driveshaft from there and put it on their one!).

Also we took a trip to the Cameron Highlands. That place is literally full of old (S1 and S2) Land Rovers. There is not a new car in sight. They just keep them patched up and they go on forever. They're used on the tea plantations.

Luckily a good friend of mine runs the owner's club in Malaysia (and helps organise the Rainforest Challenge). Good place to go if you are a LR geek!

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Celebrating 20 years of juicy Java. Just don’t mention Android

Valerion

Today Java is among the world’s most popular programming languages

In the same way that Herpes is among the world's most popular sexually transmitted diseases.

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Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

Valerion

Foreign equipment

My father-in-law had some wireless headphones he had bought in Malaysia. Whenever he used them the remote locking for my car would not work if parked outside.

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Apple threw its TV out the window after years of research: report

Valerion

Re: What a tool

>>He is therefore an idiot or should be investigated for attempted share manipulation.<<

I don't see why they are mutually exclusive.

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Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight

Valerion

Roads?

Where we're going we don't need roads...

Nice soft fields to crash into though? Yeah, we need those.

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Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Valerion

Profiting from crime

If Sony have acknowledged this was a fraudulent transaction and are still insisting to be paid on it, they are profiting from a crime, which sounds fairly illegal to me.

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Valerion

Re: Rubbish driving

...a surge caused by a rubbish lorry driver crashing into a utility pole...

Shouldn't have employed a rubbish driver

Or at least not give him a rubbish lorry to drive - invest in some good ones!

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Valerion

Or if some goon holds up a 20 sign in view of the car's cameras…

That's going to be the best way to get tailgating cars of your arse on the motorway. Get one of the kids to hold up a replica 30 sign in the rear window and watch them disappear...

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A Brit in California moves to the Lone Star State – just swerve the TexMex grub

Valerion

Friend of mine

Moved to Texas a few years back. He was never religious at all, but nowadays he sometimes put some religious nonsense on his Facebook. I can't work out if he has actually been converted or just does it to fit in.

Incidentally he remains the only person I know who has shot and killed a man (who broke into his house).

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Uber snaps up hip map startup

Valerion

Startup?

deCarta have been around for almost 20 years! Not sure that qualifies as a "Startup" anymore.

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'Hi, I'm from Microsoft and I am GOING TO KILL YOU'

Valerion

I've never had one.

Been waiting for years but never got it.

What I will do when it finally happens is give my name as Mr Cameron, then ask them to call me back on my landline. I will then give the phone number for Downing Street.

Hopefully it'll eventually get annoying for whoever mans the phones there, and MI6 will sort it all out once and for all.

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Forget 1,000 lashes for Facebook posts, Saudis now want to behead blogger Raif Badawi

Valerion

Do we even need Saudi oil anymore?

Serious question from my position of ignorance. The US produces more than Saudi does, especially now the shale oil is being produced in vast quantities. Sure, the price might go up a bit if we cut them out of the supply chain, but given it's come down a lot recently we can probably live with that.

They could go, what, 10 years without oil revenue on existing cash reserves? Then they'd have nothing. No economy at all. And we could ignore them forever.

Of course oil from the rest of the world will run out eventually, but science will have solved that before then.

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Valerion

Re: Trouble , nothing but trouble

If you can't tell the difference between Mother Teresa picking a dying child out of the gutter, and an totalitarian state torturing its citizens, you are short of MIPS.

Why do you have to be religious to pick a dying child out of a gutter? It Mother Teresa did that it was because she was a nice person, not because she was religious.

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Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Valerion

Re: Devices

"Give me a "B", give me an "A" give me an "N" give me a "D", give me a "W"....."

Bandwagon? Ok, I see what you did there.

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Samsung buys LoopPay ... to be better at bonking than Apple

Valerion
WTF?

Looppay? More like Loopy!

So I have to buy a special case - for $59.95?? Why the hell would I do that? Are these people mad? Who is going to buy one of these?!

If it's embedded in the phone a-la Apple Pay then people will use it. If they have to pay extra, they won't. This is using outdated, insecure technology and people have to outlay a not insignificant sum to use it. Mag stripe is dead and gone. This will be too within 2-3 years.

Then they have the gall to say "yes, but we work at 90% of all retail locations!". Yeah, and cash works at pretty much 100%, so what's your point?

Well done Samsung. Trying to get out of the "copycat" label just got a lot harder.

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Lashed Saudi blogger Raif: Prince Charles has word with new king

Valerion

One day

The oil will run out, and then Saudi can go back to being a desert backwater, and we won't have to pretend to be friends with then anymore.

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Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

Valerion

Stampe

Many years ago, early on a sunny summer Friday afternoon my boss (owner of the company) - an amateur pilot - came over and said "enough work, we're going flying".

And sure enough, we drove down to the airfield and spent a glorious afternoon flying around the south-east of England in his Stampe - which is a very similar plane to the Tiger Moth.

Best afternoon ever! And also slightly terrifying when he gave me the controls. I gave them back rather quickly. Of course he then did a bunch of aerobatics which didn't exactly stop the terror!

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Robot vacuum cleaner EATS WOMAN

Valerion

Noise

This must be a newer model than mine, because when mine comes on it's so noisy it can almost wake the dead. Sleeping with one working away right by your noggin would require extremely large amounts of alcohol.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Valerion

Re: One born every minute

Another point I'm wondering. I recall electrons can move at different speeds through different solids. How much an effect would silver have on the speed of electrons vs. copper? And how would that translate into a lag savings?

I imagine its the same as playing your 78s at 33.

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Supersonic Bloodhound car techies in screaming 650mph comms test

Valerion

Re: Joking aside...

My simple calculations tell me that the car will (hopefully) be travelling at up to 447 m/s

The radio signals will be travelling at something in the vicinity of 3x10^8 m/s

Therefore the doppler shift will be..... miniscule. ~1.5ppm. Well within the PLL compensation of most radios.

I see this test as more of a publicity thing for the comms suppliers than anything else.

I was wondering the same thing. I in no way claim to know what I'm talking about here, but it seems to be if we can communicate with commercial aircraft pilots in real-time whilst they whizz around earth at 700 mph then this seems quite straightforward. Hell, we communicate with astronauts in spaaaaace at about 17000 mph quite happily.

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UK Scouts database 'flaws' raise concerns

Valerion

Data Aquisition

We recently got sent a form from Cubs that we had to fill in with out son's and our details on it. I presume it was to get the data into this database.

The form itself was ridiculous. Mainly because instead of allowing space to write a Title, they had a list of titles that you had to pick from when frankly "Mr/Mrs/Ms" would have done. I have never seen such a huge list of titles, ever*

For the record, I selected myself as a Rear Admiral and my wife as a Duchess. It will be interesting to see if we get any correspondence addressed as such.

*And yet they missed out Sheik.

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SECRETS of the LOST SCROLLS unlocked by key to HEALTHY BOOBS

Valerion

The Sun

I really hope that, given the equipment involved, the scrolls turn out to contain Roman Page 3 girls.

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Give ALL the EU access to Netflix, says Vince Cable

Valerion

Re: how about all content globally?

I'm tired of UK netflix having so much less than USA. Surely streaming should give everyone the same stuff.

You know that. I know that. The entire general public knows that. The studios, for some reason, don't.

Give everyone in the world access to the same content for a reasonable fee and piracy will pretty much disappear.

For example - my wife and I have long enjoyed The Amazing Race (you may keep your opinions on that to yourself). But there is NO way to watch it legally in the UK. No channel carries it and their online service won't allow anyone from outside the US to watch it. The ONLY option I have is to download it. I am happy to pay. I am willing to pay. But nobody will take my money.

In the meantime the Netflix problem is solved with Hola, or with Unblock-US which works on any device.

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Crap broadband holds back HALF of rural small biz types

Valerion
Facepalm

Re: Here's a solution

Stop whining and move. Sure, it doesn't look as nice and it costs a bit more. That's life. The reality is that high(er) speed broadband costs me the cost of living in a place where it exists.

Good idea. I'll just pick up the farm, or the industrial complex, and put it down in the middle of the nearest large city. I might have to demolish hundreds of millions of pounds worth of buildings, but at least I'll get better Facebook access.

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So, these guys turn up with AK47s and offer me protection ...

Valerion

Close to home

My wife grew up in Johannesburg. The tales of the driving test are not exaggerated. You had a choice: Bribe the examiner and pass, or fail. She, and most others, just didn't bother taking the test and a few rand to the cops if they pulled her over was all that was required. She took her test when she came here and passed straight away with flying colours.

The reason she left? Her dad - who owned a pizza place - was robbed at gunpoint on 3 occasions. The "trick" was to keep cash in 3 or 4 places as they would never believe that was all of it if it was all in the till.

She can reel of names of several people she knew who were murdered, including one fairly well publicised case where they were tied to a tree, shot and their throats cut. Jo'burg is in general worse than Cape Town though, I believe.

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It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

Valerion

I'm holding off upgrading as long as possible

Why? My current TV is a lovely 50" Panasonic plasma. Currently about 4 years old.

And you can't buy plasma anymore. I don't care if it makes me old-fashioned, I think it's a far better picture than the over-bright, over-saturated LED stuff that seems to be pushed everywhere these days.

Will OLED bring decent pictures back?

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The weirdly-synched life of the Google Nest household

Valerion

Re: Smart Thermostats

I ain't arguing.... Welcome to winter in my house, where the heating is on stupidly high. Honestly, half the time I end up in a t-shirt, opening windows as I'm so hot, whilst SWMBO is still shivering in a jumper with a blanket around her.

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Valerion

Re: Smart Thermostats

Try Tado.

It learns how long your house takes to warm, and gets weather details from t'web so it knows if it's going to be a bit colder the next day and therefore comes on earlier. When you configure it you set a temperature/time setting, i.e. from 8am-8pm I want it at 23C. Then it will warm the house so it is ready at 23C for 8am, and then maintain that throughout.

You run an app on your phone and it detects when you leave the house and turns off the heating. When it detects you're coming back it fires up the heating again so it's warm when you get back. Obviously how successful this is depends on how far away you were and how quickly you get back.

I've had it for nearly a year now and like it a lot. They promise 30% savings or your money back (or something like that). I'm not sure I've got that much saving as it's hard to quantify, and they haven't taken into account the fact that my wife can now adjust the temperature up to ridiculous levels without having to get up whereas before laziness might have kept her on the sofa. But overall it's a pretty good bit of kit.

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UK.gov STILL won't pop a cap on stolen mobile bills

Valerion

Proceeds of crime

I came to post exactly this. It is not legal to profit from crime, yet the phone companies are doing exactly that.

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Gaming's driving ambitions: The Crew and Grand Theft Auto V

Valerion

Re: Always online requirement? No sale.

[i]Or if you had been using them too much and they had overheated well past their baking point?[/i]

So what you're saying is, they went past their baking point and therefore reached their breaking point, just as he reached the braking point?

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Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then

Valerion

Dumb

By definition now, a search engine is not allowed (in their eyes) to be "commercial"? So a search engine cannot make money? How does it survive? I've no idea how much it costs Google to run search, but I'd imagine it's in the billions of dollars yearly now.

And I also don't see this is any different to my in-flight magazine. I picked that up the other week to see what was for sale. And don't you know everything was being sold by BA! They had no option to buy anything from Emirates duty free at all! Outrageous!

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

Valerion

Re: Sub it out

If you'd bothered to read as far as the article's second paragraph you would know that "the unhappy drivers work for Loop Transportation, which has a contract to ferry Zuck's staff to and from the Facebook campus".

This is a fair point. I blatantly missed that!

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Valerion

Sub it out

I'm seriously surprised that Facebook operate this themselves. Bit of a distraction from core business. Sub-contract it out and forget about it.

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Lights OUT for Philae BUT slumbering probot could phone home again as comet nears Sun

Valerion

4cm pushup?

That's about the same as what I can manage.

And 24 hour battery? They shouldn't have used the battery from an iPhone...

I kid - amazing mission, amazing results, more of the same please!

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Sarong it's right: Coining it in Thailand without a visa

Valerion

The "where does he work" question is interesting

And undoubtedly why he is able to keep renewing his Visa.

He is not employed by a local company and not taking the job of a Thai. He is employed by a US company and working for them whilst living in Thailand. Frankly that's a win-win for Thailand as he gets good money which he can put into the local economy without taking a job from a national. He could be based anywhere and give them the same benefit.

It makes me wonder though - I'm not allowed to work in the US (or anywhere outside the EU I suppose), but if I'm on holiday there and answer a work email, am I now working? Where is the line drawn? Methinks that remote working and the normal concept immigration/visas don't really fit well together, like many laws in this digital age. Seems like there should be a new type of Visa "remote-working migrant" or something, that allows paying of local taxes and flexible staying conditions.

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Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

Valerion

Oh, FFS!

Why?! I've purposely avoided reading too much about it (mainly to avoid the temptation to buy it pre-release), but I've been looking forward to it. But only as Offline, single-player. Why?

1 - I don't want to play with a bunch of schmucks on the internet. I don't care about interaction. If I want that I'll go out to a nice restaurant with my friends. I'm nearing 40. Talking to teenagers on the internet is not something I want to do, thanks.

2 - I don't want one of aforementioned schmuck teenagers deciding to interfere and blow my shit up just for fun. Whilst putting it on Twitch or making a YouTube video with a title like "Elite n00b gets owned!!??!!" Leave me alone and let me play my damn game.

3 - I want it to stay the way it is when I turn it off. I don't want to turn it back on and find out the entire Universe has changed because I haven't played in 3 months.

4 - Sometimes, games are what I do when the broadband goes down. No Netflix? Fancy a game of something? Oh not, we can't, because that doesn't work either now.

5 - I don't care about beating other players. I care about beating "the game". Beating "the game" is something I can probably do, given time. I am then "the champion". Beating all of Japan's Red Bull addicted, 24-hour gamers just isn't going to happen. I will never be "the champion".

Use an offline thing for my savegames - that's great - but let me play the game alone, dammit.

If I had pre-ordered I would be asking for a refund. If I had backed it, I would be taking them on for not delivering.

Such a shame, was looking forward to reliving some BBC-Micro days.

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The Toyota Aygo is PARKtastic ... but it is very much a City slicker

Valerion

Re: Wonderful little cars

I've got a '56 plate one.

Clutch went after 35,000 miles.

Exhaust has just gone (rusted apart) after 46,000 miles.

Last time I replaced a clutch in a car was at 130,000 miles and that was in a Rover built by a slovenly Midlander. I have literally never had to replace an exhaust.

Parcel shelf is flimsy as hell, aircon switch broke, adjustable wingmirrors no longer adjust, speakers were pathetic (made out of paper, but £25 on some Pioneer replacements improved sound matter a lot). Very uncomfortable to drive and noisy, too.

The Mitsubishi 7-seater I bought a few months before that has done twice the mileage has not had a single thing go wrong. Ever.

It may be convenient and easy to park (strangely my wife who normally drives the MPV which she can park like a pro, can't park it because it's "too small"), and cheap tax/insurance, but I can't see myself buying another on the strength of the one I've got. Fortunately my daughter has just turned 18 so I can palm it off on her and buy something new!

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VINYL is BACK and you can thank Sonos for that

Valerion

Up The Irons!

Iron Maiden just re-issued all of their vinyl. I really really want the set, but I don't think the wife would be approving of a fairly expensive purchase that's realistically just going to gather dust.

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Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title

Valerion

Dawkins

The God Delusion.

If I ran education it'd be mandatory reading.

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

Valerion

Re: Tesco's problems aren't just economic

Their problems are because they treat their customers like shit.

I bought an Xbox game there for my son a few months back. Turns out when I got it home and he tried to play it that it needed an Xbox Live subscription. Given that the only wording on the box that indicated this was obscured by the sticker-covered opaque case they put the games in to prevent you from nicking them, I thought returning it would be no problem.

But no, this was entirely my fault for not having x-ray vision, and they would not accept a return. I would've happily accepted a voucher or swapped for a different game, but no they were having none of it. I asked the store manager if he would really be happy to lose my custom forever because of it. He said yes. So I handed him my club card and haven't been back to any of their stores since. At £100 per week per average shop that's now about two and a half grand that Sainsurys now have and Tescos don't. I actually sold the game to CEX for what I paid for it.

If I had bought from Amazon, I'd have been protected by Distance Selling Regs, and also Amazon's customer service is actually pretty damn awesome. I had a delivery from a 3rd party not arrive the other day. Instant refund and extended my Prime by a month for the inconvenience. All accomplished in 2 emails.

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The late 2014 Apple Mac Mini: The best (and worst) of both worlds

Valerion

Refurb store

I’m going to get one to keep in the office, to save me carrying a laptop back and forth. I just think I might see if I can find a discounted 2012 model, its initially wobbly HDMI output now long fixed, rather than the current one and grab some extra memory for it. ®

That is precisely what I have done this morning. The Apple Refurb store is selling them, but they are appearing and disappearing VERY quickly. Twice I got as far as adding into the basket, only for it to be taken out again as someone else had nabbed it. You literally need to be F5'ing every couple of minutes and acting immediately.

So I got a nice quad-core I7 with 1TB drive for £479. I've then splurged another £100 on 16GB of RAM from elsewhere. The old base models are in there (when they appear) for £339. Bit of a bargain, really.

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FIFTEEN whole dollars on offer for cranky Pentium 4 buyers

Valerion

Is there a limit?

I definitely recall buying 1,000,000 of these. Can I claim $15m?

I've lost the receipt but you say it isn't needed.

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Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

Valerion

Great article

I've worked in Kingston for a few years now and never knew any of this!

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Philip Morris seeks pay-per-puff patent to help you STOP smoking

Valerion
Coat

Bad joke

So does this product actually exist? Or is it just vapourware?

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I'll show you the D next week – billionaire space baron Elon Musk

Valerion

Batteries

Surely D is just the size of batteries (not included) the new model will run on?

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One Windows? How does that work... and WTF is a Universal App?

Valerion

VB6

Any word on whether Win10 will support the VB6 Runtime?

There's a LOT of business stuff out there still written in that.

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Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

Valerion

>>PS why do the British insist on calling towns and cities in Flanders by their (hated) French names)<<

Stoopid Flanders.

(Need a Homer icon)

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Microsoft's rumoured $2.5bn Minecraft gobble expected on Monday

Valerion

Merchandising

They will make a bomb from merchandising. Minecraft is currently very poorly merchandised compared to other IPs (Moshi Monsters, Angry Birds etc). Every kid 8-12 that I know (and I mean EVERY kid) is Minecraft mad. My son most of all.

Once they sort out the merchandising, make Minecraft: The Movie (and its sequels) and so on, they'll certainly recoup the cost.

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Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Valerion

Freudian

>>You can transmit a pre-programmed Watch code that your partner will know means "Fancy a quickie?" But winking remains cheaper.<<

Totally misread that last sentence the first time.

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Hawking: Higgs boson in a BIG particle punisher could DESTROY UNIVERSE

Valerion

Re: Hmm,

Maybe it already has. It then expands outwards at the speed of light. So if happened 200,000 light years away, 200,000 years ago it should be night night time any time now.

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