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* Posts by Big John

177 posts • joined 28 Oct 2009

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Just when you thought you were alone in the bath: Hi-res mapping satellite ready for launch

Big John
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Re: What's the point

"I'm struggling to think of uses for this resolution, apart from military ones. "

I use Google Earth very often to track down places where good x-country hiking can be found. Really sharp images will better reveal the condition of road and trail surfaces (or lack of same), vegetation types, and many other little features that could make a difference. I'm looking forward to it!

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Big John
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Re: 30cm?

"On a flip side I wonder about the infamous zoom/enhance technology and if that would allow those sub-30cm full glory members to be visible."

Sure, if seeing humongous pixels is what yer wantin'...

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Uber and Lyft sitting in a tree, 'c-a-n-c-e-l-l-i-n-g each other's rides'

Big John
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All the strategy the market will allow

"The best result for investors would be if one firm either outpaces or purchases the other to create a dominant force that can set prices. That may not be best for fares, but allowing market competition is not an attractive strategy in this IPO-driven business landscape."

For "dominant force" read "monopoly." Much better than unattractive strategies like market competition, for sure.

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Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Big John
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We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

4.4x1012 x 0.2mb = roughly 1 billion gigabytes per second.

Forget the camera, how is that kind of bandwidth possibly handled? They must be taking extremely short movies.

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NetScout sues Gartner over magic quadrant placement

Big John
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Gartner says...

The problem here is that Gartner produces 'opinions,' not something more official. This has been challenged in court and it was upheld:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Quadrant#Criticism

So the real source of anger about Gartner is that industry players pay attention to what Gartner says. Thus the real purpose of this lawsuit is not to win, but to educate those industry players about how biased (presumably) Gartner really is, a noble endeavor.

My question is, how does Gartner command such high ground in the first place?

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Why hackers won't be able to hijack your next flight - the facts

Big John
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Pirate

Attacker vs Attacker

"It might be feasible to send false messages to an aircraft's collision avoidance systems Polly said, but it would be very difficult to do effectively. An attacker would need to be travelling at nearly the same speed as an attacker to fool the aircraft for any appreciable time, the directional antennas used by commercial aircraft would make getting a bogus signal to the pilots difficult, and again they could always ignore it."

Say what?

Are we now vectoring our hack attacks THRU the the radar system?! Let's see, fly ahead of an airliner and squirt your dodgy data payload directly down the pipe. Yeah, that's the stuff!

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IBM boffins stuff 16 million-neuron chips into binary 'frog' brain

Big John
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Reinventing the flat tyre

If they manage to simulate biological brain activity (like we use), won't the resulting computer become, er, unreliable, just like us? Do we WANT that?

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Intel forced to shoot down viral 'Israeli boycott' whopper

Big John
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If my computer had a label saying "Satan Inside," that would indeed be veritas.

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Cracker takes control of 200 rooms in Chinese hotel

Big John
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Wait, what?

Are we to believe this highly motivated supergeek cracked open a hotel's furniture control system, thru a found iPad no less, and DIDN'T use this new power to have a little fun, before informing hotel staff? Yeah right.

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Your fitness tracker is a SNITCH says Symantec

Big John
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Happy

How does this work?

I mean the part about tracking sexual activity? Is a button pushed? (on the phone I mean...)

Or is the phone strapped to the arm and then detects frequent acceleration while in a prone position?

Or.. is there a way for the app to accurately detect pleasurable moans and groans?

Inquiring minds want to know!

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Quicker, easier to fly to MOON than change web standards ... OR IS IT?

Big John
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Nobody knows de trouble I seen...

"Even if you were going to only support browsers that update every six weeks, like Chrome and Firefox, you’re still waiting a minimum of 24 weeks for new features to progress from experimental builds to actually shipping."

Oh boo friggin' hoo. IE6 hung around so long it had barnacles! Cry me a river...

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What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

Big John
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Specless master of the web

I see this development as the end of a golden age. Before, the horror of PHP was the stuff of legend. Now it will be down in black and white, and so, subject to being "improved." In time, PHP will become just another adequate programming language, and in the process we'll have lost a big piece of the crap that illuminates our lives and cuts thru the bland pudding of existence. Alas...

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Fear a terrifying killer robot revolution? GET A GRIP: Boffins invent cyborg hand for humans

Big John
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Some implications...

Rude hand gestures will get very creative...

The need to compose keyboard music for 2.8 hands...

Going to the bathroom could get interesting...

Ditto for hand jobs...

Nose-picking etiquette will have to be debated...

No more excuses for weak guitar chords...

Which of her fingers do I put the ring on again?

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Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS

Big John
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Paris Hilton

Not enough data

If MS is going to go 'white-rat' on these poor coders, why not include a plethysmograph too? Then they can tell when unauthorized pr0n is being viewed...

Paris, because.. just because.

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Big John
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In reference to mascot...

"Lutum In Caelo"

Scavenger of the Skies

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Lyft hits the brakes: Ban threat stalls taxi app's New York City launch

Big John
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Excess cabs, really?

"BTW, the city limits the number of medallions for mainly practical reasons: the streets of New York, especially Manhattan where the cabs are mainly used, are crowded enough as is; no need to pack them further with an excess of cabs."

That is not quite true.

These medallions started in the thirties, and altho the cities have grown a lot, the cab companies fight to keep the number of medallions from increasing proportionally so their profits per car stay at the max. It has nothing to do with crowding, in fact crowding would be lessened by having more taxis, keeping more people from having to drive their own car.

http://blog.priceonomics.com/post/47636506327/the-tyranny-of-the-taxi-medallions

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Big John
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Windows

Re: ".....its driver has not been subject to the TLC’s required drug and background checks,"

"I'm more concerned my driver may not be a psychotic crackhead, and I'll miss out on an essential part of the New York experience.."

That can happen with Lyft too!

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Read the proposed US ASTEROIDS Act to green-light mining IN SPAAAACE

Big John
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""you'd have to intercept, board, probably overcome-if-not-kill the crew, make off with the booty."

Very unlikely. Most space mining that returned metals to Earth would be bulk metals like iron. Gold and other rare metals would be very minor, because for asteroids the processes that concentrate rare metals (gravity, weathering, bio) are absent.

Rather, picture a stream of metal chunks or something similar, routinely aero-braking and dropping onto a bare patch of desert. Not much booty to be had there, but plenty of room for government to step in and do what they do best, namely screw things up.

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Plucky Rockall adventurer prepares to leave islet

Big John
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Re: Brit adventurer?

"You can tie things down as much as you like but if the elements want to rip it away there's very little to stop it."

Okay, but in this case the straps were fine. However he allowed a weak link in the connection between the barrels and their handles, which was the failure point. Easy to point out after the fact, I know. Still, had he strapped up the barrels themselves, rather than just the handles, he might have retained that food.

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World Meteorological Organization says climate data is uncool

Big John
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Re: Pedantry misses the point

that article you linked to suggests that 99% of ocean plastic may be being eaten by fish. did you read it?.. or are you saying thats a good thing?..

I did read it, and all they know is that the plastic they were assuming was there is not there. Every other claim they 'suggest' turns out to be totally unsupported by facts, which they finally admit. You were saying?

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Big John
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Re: Pedantry misses the point

"So, what about all the... heavy metals in the ocean? depletion of nutrients in the soil? drilling? fracking? destruction of rain forests and habitats? species? cancerous levels of smog in asia? poisonous rivers in india? huge plastic rubbish island floating in the ocean? etc, etc..."

One at a time.

"heavy metals in the ocean" - Um, yeah. whatever you say.

"depletion of nutrients in the soil" - Granted, in places, but that's just farmland, a tiny fraction of the biosphere, and rather temporary in the big picture.

"drilling" - So?

"fracking" - You say that like it's a bad thing.

"destruction of rain forests and habitats" - Okay, but stuff has always happened to habitats. Life adapts. Besides, all that new CO2 is engendering lots of green growth worldwide! Aren't you happy?

"species" - Ah, lots of niche species going extinct, the horror. Like there's a dearth of competition for those niches? Get real.

"cancerous levels of smog in asia" - Oh noes!! Whatever will we do! Those poor helpless Asians need OUR help! Um, no. They will solve the smog issue the same way we did, or die trying.

"poisonous rivers in india" - Well no wonder, with all those dead bodies and *ugh* floating down to the sea. Again, they will deal.

"huge plastic rubbish island floating in the ocean" - Turns out that's way overblown:

http://news.sciencemag.org/environment/2014/06/ninety-nine-percent-oceans-plastic-missing

Aaah. The two minute panic is at an end. Nice, but wouldn't want it to go on all day...

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Big John
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The proposal won't junk 1961-1990 data, which the WMO advocates retaining “as the base period for monitoring and assessing long-term climate variability and change … over the course of this century and beyond.”

So they intend to enshrine a random 30 year period of Earth's 4,500 million year existence as the "base period" for all ongoing climate studies? I guess this means the climate finally got off the couch only in 1961? Who knew?

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Cosmic dust riddle BREAKTHROUGH: Study tackles stuff of the universe

Big John
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Re: What is the 'shockwave' made of?

"During the actual core collapse massive numbers of neutrinos are generated; these are not adsorbed..."

According to the main theory they sometimes are, and are responsible for the bulk of the visible explosion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova#Core_collapse

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What the world needs now is... a Bluetooth-enabled baby's dummy

Big John
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Re: Throw down

Kirsten, it was sarcasm. I actually think the whole monitor idea panders to the sick "helicopter mom" pathology. Should have used the /s I guess.

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Big John
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Re: Also perfect for the offfice environment

Buddy, if your boss needs a pacifier, you need a new job!

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Big John
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Throw down

"The device also has a “leash” feature. Using the app, it can be set to sound an alarm if the Pacifi gets beyond a configurable distance, typically because the child has thrown the Pacifi out of its pram."

I don't get it. If the idea is to monitor the little germ factory's vitals, just strap it on! Guaranteed not to lose contact.

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That 'wiped' Android phone you bought is stuffed with NAKED SELFIES – possibly

Big John
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Re: Happened to me twice.

"As for scrubbing phones : can anyone suggest the best way of doing it then??"

With extreme prejudice, AKA a 50 cal round or two thru the old touch screen. Works every time!

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Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

Big John
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Solid as a rock

Main SLS site:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/

Pretty rocket art:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/SLS_Concepts.html

Not so sure the solids idea is that bad if it reduces the cost per launch. Okay, they can't be shut off, but they can be jettisoned pretty quick if needed, and they won't hit anything while they run free. And the lack of moving parts is a big reliability factor.

The main stack looks fairly orthodox, should get the job done. Hope Boeing doesn't screw it up...

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LONGER flights burning MORE fuel can CUT planes' climate impact

Big John
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Alien

Seriously?

"...if aircraft were to generate fewer contrails, a tiny bit of steam would be taken out of “chemtrail” conspiracies."

This statement has GOT to be tongue in cheek. NOTHING of the sort would occur! Fewer 'chemtrails' would be interpreted in some new and twisted way, probably only driving things further along. We aren't discussing the open-minded, after all. Get real, Richard.

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Splash! Three times as much water as ALL of Earth's oceans found TRAPPED underground

Big John
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Re: Re Christoph: Equilibrium?

Actually there was a near-global flood, sea level rise at the end of the last ice age:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundaland

It wasn't fast but it probably adversely affected a large fraction of humanity at the time.

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Big John
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Mushroom

Equilibrium?

The question is, what's happening to that water? Is the Ocean leaking into it slowly, or is it giving up water to the surface? Or, if it's in balance, then where is the implied cyclic transport system? A good guess is the subducting oceanic plates vs volcanism, but volcanoes mostly appear as arcs near subducting oceanic plates, implying a short trip for the water.

I wonder if this water layer could have to do with those 'hot spots' like Hawaii and Yellowstone? Maybe the base water layer isn't enough to produce rising magma normally, but if something gets a plume going then it might draw in water from the surround and be self-sustaining. If so, then the water layer might be "useless" but it's hardly unimportant!

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Poison PDF pusher released to public

Big John
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Happy

"SecRecon freelance security bod Claes Spett developed the tool while building a private exploit kit to help him pop organisations during penetration tests."

Is it just my dirty mind, or is that sentence rather suggestive?

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Wedding tackle started out as PROTO-SHARKS' LEGS, boffins say

Big John
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Bony fish

Since they say the line died out, I assume this is an example of parallel evolution, so to speak.

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Ukrainian teen created in lab passes Turing Test – famous nutty prof

Big John
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Re: How long before...

I suspect that has already occurred. As for telling the bots from the trolls, what's the point?

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Strategy Boutique ultimate 'tech'-gasm: 3D printer drone GoPro vid stream QR code

Big John
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Relativistic Bus

From the video:

"It's like, if you're on a bus moving at the speed of light, then, you have to be, like, ahead of the bus now. You're like, waiting to catch the bus."

But if the bus driver turned on the headlights, would anything happen?

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SCIENCE explains why you LOVE the smell of BACON

Big John
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Yank my chain

"Our Yank staff prefer the crisp and fatty American rendition, while the Brits maintain that their leaner, more chewy bacon is tops."

Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear! "Chewy bacon" indeed. And how did it get that way? Does this mean American pigs eat better? What are the Brit pigs eating, kale? Is it just a straight-out calorie thing? Maybe a few shiploads of good old Iowa Corn are in order.

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US citizens want stricter CO2 regulations by two to one – Yale poll

Big John
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Re: Yale Poll=Tainted Goods

"Do you think that a poll by Yale means a poll of Yale students and staff?"

No, what it means is a poll, taken somewhere of their choosing (they don't say where), that is heavily weighted towards Democrats as usual (454 vs 354), and with biased question/s.

Further, a quick look at their polling site reveals massive bias toward the AGW theory.

http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/article/americans-support-limits-on-co2/

From the first paragraph: "Each year in the United States about 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions – the primary cause of global warming...", which is situated alongside a scary photo of cloudy emissions from smokestacks.

A modern coal plant produces very little pollution other than CO2 and H2O, but hey, all that water vapor forming sinister clouds from the stacks sure LOOKS scary! Particularly in black and white, as this one is.

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Big John
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Headmaster

Re: This one is predictable

Got plans to ram thru cap n' trade controls and taxes without benefit of congressional approval? Don't forget to call your local ultra-liberal ivy league college for some timely push-polling!

We all know how that game is played.

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Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Big John
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Re: This adds in my driving to the shop to buy the disc?

It smells worse yet. They seem to have included the energy costs of a 'van' to deliver rental disks, but generally that van is the postal service, which would be coming around regardless.

I wonder how many more dodgy 'factors' they felt justified to include?

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Poll: Climate change now more divisive than abortion, gun control

Big John
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Re: *sigh*

Setting aside the question of who is wrong, I dispute the term 'debate' used in this context.

A debate needs two sides that are advancing arguments towards their position. What we actually have is one side doing that, and the other side declaring preemptive victory, that the "debate is over," backed up by the politicians and the press, plus of course certain 'scientists,' many of whom have been exposed as liars and cheats.

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Oracle shoves aside NoSQL upstarts with smart 'Fabric' tech

Big John
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Confusing

I need advice. I've just begun really learning databases and decided to concentrate on NoSQL, since I already know JS pretty well, and NoSQL appears to be the wave of the future. But is this correct? If I devote hundreds of hours into NoSQL will I regret it, given what is now happening in SQL?

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Robotics evangelist: 'Personal robots' should be invisible beings

Big John
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19 years late

"By the year 2020," she said, "your household robot will be your house."

"Open the front door, House."

"I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave..."

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California gives green light to test self-driving cars on public roads

Big John
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Tech is the easy part

The whole of transportation liability for cars is based on the driver, except for cases of product failure. Now enter the driverless car. Absent actual product failure, what happens when things don't work out the way the car planned?

That liability must be attached to some person or legal entity. If it's the passenger in the 'hotseat,' will they still be willing to entrust their legal future (and their actual future!) to the machine?

If it's the car maker, how will they protect themselves financially? Try to imagine the deep-pockets lawsuits that would result. Will they pull strings, changing laws to limit their exposure? Will the public stand for that?

If these cars are to be legalized, will the public even have any input, or will we be kept out of the debate, since such a "good thing" ought not be lost due to baseless "fear of the machines?"

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No such luck: Apple, Samsung say peace talks are off – way off

Big John
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WTF?

Legalese

"Samsung's refusal even to agree that it will not argue that Apple's participation in the ADR process can be used in future injunction or royalty proceedings makes clear that Samsung has no interest in entering into a meaningful ADR procedure or ceasing use of Apple's intellectual property," Cupertino's statement to the court reads.

Would someone mind explaining just what that statement means? Near as I can tell, Apple thinks that agreeing to negotiate will somehow weaken their position in future litigation, and they want Samsung to agree in advance not to take advantage of said weakness, whatever that might be.

Huh?

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Bitcoin blockchain allegedly infected by ancient 'Stoned' virus

Big John
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Re: the whole message

So this virus (presumably written by pot smokers) infected a machine which then stopped working, without even 'taking care of business' first. Why am I not surprised?

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Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

Big John
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Blades of Death

How many people will want to sit almost directly over two whirling macerators that are trying to suck you in?

Better not have ANY loose objects frequented about your person, and stay far away from swarms of bees, birds, overhead branches, banners and flags, confetti...

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Nintendo says sorry, but there will be NO gay marriage in Tomodachi Life ... EVER

Big John
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Re: Who?

Says Anonymous Coward:

"So, no, nothing wrong in my assertion, just your ability to understand the difference between a single thing working in solo and groups of things working in tandem."

You must be aware that "gay gene" has always has been a catchall term for whatever might cause (or not cause) sexual orientation, so your attempt to cast me as ignorant of this fact I find laughable, not to mention pathetic.

But if you really did think that "gay gene" meant just one gene specifically, then I apologize for my earlier remark. Given such ignorance, your original remarks make perfect sense and I should not have taken the tone I did.

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Big John
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Pirate

"..arseraiders 5.."

I'm trying to imagine such a game...

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Big John
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Re: Who?

Says Anonymous Coward:

"I'm sure there isn't a gay gene, but I am sure that your genetics do make the way your brain is wired to make you attracted to the same sex. Ergo, the comparison to interracial marriages is valid as it is two people, who have no choice about their situation not being able to be married. In that way both are the same."

You seem to be a bit confused about genes 'n stuff. See, "genetics" is a term that refers to genes. Your statement agrees there is no gay gene, then goes on to assert that very thing, and you then assume your weird assertion equals proof and thus justifies your earlier comment.

I would advise you to stay anonymous.

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Big John
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Re: Who?

"How about if it didn't allow interracial marriages?"

Oh oh, I can play that game too!!!

How about if it DID allow bestiality? Plural Marriages? B&D?

In other words, please stay on topic and avoid conflating homosexual behavior with race (whatever that is), okay? It has yet to be proved that there is any "gay gene," and I for one am tired of seeing it assumed that there is one. The day such a gene is shown to exist unequivocally, I will be happy to change my tune.

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