* Posts by Ugotta B. Kiddingme

812 posts • joined 23 Dec 2009

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Pull the plug! PowerPoint may kill my conference audience

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: A perfect Friday Afternoon Treat

Thanks, JP. As a Yank unfamiliar with some of the less well known (over here, anyway) British bands of my youth, you answered the question I intended to ask. Have one on me.

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Shopkeeper installs forecourt khazi to counter mystery Dublin dung dumper

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Coffee/keyboard

Thank you, said the reader gasping for air

Thank you for starting my Friday on a bizarrely humorous note.

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TV industry gets its own 'dieselgate' over 'leccy consumption tests

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Eco Mode

And even if Full Garish mode, my current LCD TV uses significantly less electricity than the smaller Plasma TV it replaced. That assessment is based upon actual power consumption readings from one of these

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AT&T tries broadband over power lines again

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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And another thing...

How do they plan to address areas like mine with UNDERGROUND power distribution?

The neighborhood I live in is rather large. At just over 2200 discrete single family homes (i.e. no condos, apartments, duplexes, or other multi-family structures), the area was once the largest such development in the southern US and covers several square miles. In fact, living close the the geographic center of it, I often have trouble getting a decent cellular signal inside and must step outside to use my mobile phone. For that reason, I must maintain one form or another of "land line" phone. Yes, there is a power transformer pedestal in my back yard. However, if the wave is propogated along the lines themselves, most of that is roughly two meters below grade.

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Rosetta probe's final death dive planned for just after last call next Friday night

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"So long and thanks for all the science"

Somehow, I think Douglas would understand and approve such a misquote.

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Uncle Sam rules on self-driving cars

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"Who it is?"

"It's Marvin. He just phoned up to wash his head at us."

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: "self-driving systems can be considered a driver"

"This is something the US courts will agonize over for years" in one of those all-too-frequent situations where the only winners are the lawyers.

OK, clarified my comment.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"self-driving systems can be considered a driver"

IANAL, but... This has very interesting implications in the lawsuit-happy climate over here. And by "interesting" I mean pretty calamitous for everyone except those in the legal profession. If the car itself is legally considered a driver, then it could be legally responsible for any accident or injury it causes. Since the car is not legally a "person", then one presumes the owner and the manufacturer become jointly responsible. On one hand, the manufacturer probably wouldn't be held 100% responsible for the same reason that firearms manufacturer Colt isn't (currently) legally responsible for person A using a Colt firearm to kill person B. On the other hand, the car in this scenario is, by definition, capable of autonomous action, something the average firearm is not, and therefore COULD render the manufacturer and vehicle owner fully responsible. The only real argument would be which percentage of responsibility is applied to the owner and which to the manufacturer. And then, of course, there is the probability of "remote control hack/attack" which may or may not be provable in a given situation.

This is something the courts will agonize over for years and the practical upshot for us regular folks who just want to get from point A to B is that a legal quagmire could set this entire process back decades. I sincerely hope to be proven incorrect.

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Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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scheduled power down actually went well, until...

In the mid 1990's, I'd been on the job about two years and was stuck on nights in the corporate data center. We had a scheduled power maintenance event that was properly planned and executed. Everything went perfectly fine until the power came back on...

The high rise I work in was erected in the late 1960s and was built without a sprinkler system for fire suppression. A year into my gig, we were told that our "grandfathered" status no longer applied and the building would be getting sprinklers on all floors, including mine which housed the corporate DC. We were told we would get a "pre-ack" system - no water would be in the pipes over (or under the raised floor of) the DC. Instead, those lines would contain pressurized air which held a rubber stopper in place against the water. In the event of an alarm, the pressure would automatically be bled off and water would then and only then be allowed into the pipes. This pressure was maintained by a small compressor housed in a room across the hall from the DC.

It is important to point out that the entire DC had a massive UPS that could keep the whole thing running for about half an hour. The UPS itself was backed up by a diesel generator which activated within a minute or so of power loss. All in all, a reasonably well thought out setup. Monthly testing of both the UPS and generator ensured that both worked properly. At the beginning of that night's shift, I switched everything over to the generator feed and notified the building maintenance people they could begin.

It is equally important to point out that the aforementioned little compressor maintaining the pressure in the DC sprinkler lines was NOT on the UPS/generator feed. I was blissfully unaware of this fact until the power came back. Only two of the overhead light fixtures were on the backup power feed so light levels were significantly subdued. I settled in for a quiet shift and, in between hourly checks and overseas helldesk tickets, I relaxed with a good spy novel. And when I say relaxed, I mean getting quite drowsy.

So imagine my surprise at 4:45am when the power came back on the the HOLYMOTHEROFGODWHATTHEFUCKISTHAT?!? ear-splitting klaxon alarm, which I hadn't previously noticed was thoughtfully placed directly over my workstation, announced the fact that the pressure in the pre-ack lines had dipped during the outage. So jolted was I that I was out of the chair (book flying), 20 feet across the room, and hand on the exit door before my brain actually registered the sound. If I hadn't been a reasonably fit 30-something at the time, I probably would have dropped right there from cardiac arrest. On the bright side, my heart had received a week's worth of cardio workout in about 20 seconds so I could skip the gym for a while. A day or two later, my co-workers noticed the pair of gym socks and several feet of duct tape covering the pre-ack pressure alarm...

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Curiosity rover likes big buttes but it cannot lie around

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Just to stop the sophmoric "humo(u)r" ...

no blame assigned. We generally DO mispronounce it. And if your use of "bute" is intended to rhyme with and use the same implied "y" sound as "cute" then please note that is, in fact, the way most of us pronounce it. "byoot"

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"If it's shoes, we might be in trouble..."

Oh, I don't know about that. I can think of quite a few politicians who could do with a run through the Total Perspective Vortex.

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NASA's OSIRIS-REx is off to nick some rocks from asteroid Bennu

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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OR...

"Of course anyone who doesn't know/remember the Benny Hill end episode sketches will be wondering wtf is he on silly and wonderful entertainment have we been missing?"

Which can only be answered thusly

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Star Trek film theory: 50 years, 13 films, odds good, evens bad? Horta puckey!

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Abrams made it very clear his films were a different timeline

"But there was really no need to "reboot" ST such a way - there was ample space for new stories - it just demonstrates the lack of new ideas in Hollywood"

100% agreement from me. I was merely pointing out that at least Abrams acknowledged that's what he was doing and clearly pointed that out inside the story.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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liked them all up to but not including Enterprise

What galled me about ST:Enterprise was the total disregard for "history." There were plenty of times where ST:E strayed from established "canon" and usually not, in my opinion, for good reason.

The ONE thing positive I can say about the recent films of JarJar Abrams (thank you for that, LDS!) is that Abrams made it very clear his films were a different timeline and that everything else previously DID in fact occur, albeit in a different reality. Using the two Spocks to differentiate one from the other was a well conceived and executed attempt to placate long time fans who don't like rewriting existing stories. That being said, his "Re-wrath of Khan" story blows chunks.

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Asteroid 'FreddieMercury'

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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no pleasure cruise either.

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Reports: Autopilot will go on strike if you're not paying attention

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: one possible but definitely PARTIAL solution

"Does the US not have different limits for different vehicles?"

some places, yes, but not all

"Likewise, we have a "keep left unless over taking" rule (that would be keep right for most of Europe and the US of course)"

Again, some but not all places. As I have stated elsewhere in this forum, the US is not one homogenized unit with uniform laws that many outside the US are led to believe. The 50 state governments wield considerable power within their jurisdictions, including traffic laws. Some adhere to the common sense rules above and some don't. In a few remote places such as Montana and some parts of Texas and Arizona, the controlled-access freeways or toll roads adopt the Autobahn model - right lane for slower traffic, left lane has very high speed limit or none at all.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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one possible but definitely PARTIAL solution

is to limit the maximum speed while autopilot is engaged. Under human control on the Interstate (motorway), I can legally drive 70 MPH (~113 KPH). Reality is usually 5-10 MPH above that, if one doesn't mind risking an expensive citation. If speed under autopilot were limited to, say, 50 MPH (80 KPH), that would allow more reaction time for the meatbag to resume control. Definitely NOT a perfect solution, but a workable one. And while I can't speak for anyone else, I would certainly be willing to occasionally trade some travel time for the ability to do something other than watch the countryside roll by. Not every time, but definitely some time.

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FAA powers up an invisible hand, groping the skies for rule-busting biz drones

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Drone bullets

proximity or altitude fused fragmentation devices designed to be fired from a 12 bore - essentially, consumer-grade Anti-Aircraft munitions

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: "Try the Series 4 Deatomizer"

The Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator is vastly superior to the Series 4 Deatomizer. However, there are occasional difficulties in achieving that Earth-shattering Kaboom...

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Pump-priming the new ampere: NIST works to count electrons in silicon

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"Show me the way to go Ohm"

definitely best sub head in quite some time. Have one of these ---->

In about an hour, you might need a lie down.

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SpaceX Dragon capsule lands in Pacific carrying 12 moustronauts

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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mouse organ?

Will the mice be arranged on a rack so that they can squeak 'The Bells of St. Mary'?

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Mozilla's trying on seven hot new spring/summer logo looks

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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need an eighth option

"None of the above and where can I send my optician's bill?"

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Ford announces plans for mass production of self-driving cars by 2021

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Fusion Hybrid?

unless you simply forgot the Joke icon or thought it implied and therefore unnecessary, "Fusion" is a Ford product line of passenger vehicles available with conventional petrol engines or hybrids with smaller petrol engines and electric propulsion together.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Is there no icon on El Reg...

"And into which market will they be selling these cars exactly?"

The same one in which the offices are truly paperless...

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NASA dumps $65m into building deep space hutches for humans

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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@Baldy50 - Re: 'All The Mod Cons'

"...and you might look good with an extra head."

Arthur Dent was pretty clear about that. Although, unless you go by Phil or Zaphod, you should be OK there.

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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or perhaps

someone's Starkiller Base has a really slow charge rate.

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Avoiding Liverpool was the aim: All aboard the world's ONLY moving aqueduct

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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@phuzz - Re: fascinating read

yes. Love them all. I am particularly delighted that actual location information and directions to the sites are given so that when I finally make it over there for a visit, I will be able to see some of these in person.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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fascinating read

I simply love reading articles like this on The Register. Please, sir. May I have some more?

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Huge double boxset of Android patches lands after Qualcomm disk encryption blown open

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Everything is just

yep, soup cans and string at the ready!

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FBI won't jail future US president over private email server

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: @Ralph B: "If both candidates were to be indicted..."

"I believe that the US Constitution is hot on "States' Rights", so I guess that in other states a convicted felon could hold office?"

Pretty sure that's correct. Couldn't tell you which, off the top of my head, but with 50 states to choose from, I'm sure you could find at least one where a felony conviction is a non-issue for political office holders and/or aspirants. All I can say for certain is that Article 1, section 10 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974 specifically prohibits convicted felons from holding public office unless they have first received a full pardon of their conviction. One of the few things (in law) that Louisiana does correct.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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@Ralph B: "If both candidates were to be indicted..."

Ralph B: The short answer is "probably not."

The longer answer: In my native Louisiana, politics is our second most popular spectator sport (topped ONLY by "American rules" football). One of our most "colorful" politicians and longest serving governor (four non-consecutive terms) Edwin Edwards was well known for his total disregard of the law. He was corrupt as the day is long BUT fiercely loyal to his state and his backers. He is the embodiment of the old saw "an honest politician is one who STAYS bought." In Louisiana, he has always been enormously (and inexplicably) popular. Many people would proudly proclaim "Yeah, he's a crook, but he's OUR crook!"

The FBI and Department of Justice tried to prosecute Edwards on many occasions for many violations. After several failed attempts, they FINALLY got him and sent him away for (IIRC) eleven years. After his release from Federal penitentiary, there were people who very seriously attempted to get him to run for office again. It was at that point we learned that a felony conviction did NOT disqualify one from seeking or holding office at the Federal level. State, yes. Federal, no. I weep for my country...

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BAM! Astroboffins now have a second way of picking up black holes' collision super kicks

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"remnants of the black holes..."

"...remnants of the black holes are flung out of the galaxy and cast into the emptiness of space."

What, according to theory, becomes of these remnants? One would suppose they are now insufficiently massive to continue as a black hole. Does the matter in that remnant "become visible" again or "return to normal" for lack of more precise terms OR does the remnant evaporate in much the same way as we have been reassured would happen to quantum or nano-scale holes created from LHC collisions?

Regardless of the answer, I am delighted at the pace of recent scientific expansion. If this keeps up, we might actually find a reason to stop killing each other long enough to get off this little blue ball.

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Mystery black hole hides by curbing its appetite

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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missing mass (or at least some portion thereof) found?

Disclaimer: I most certainly do NOT lay claim to knowledge or credentials to make the text below a statement. I am trying to expand my own learning and therefore continue presenting it as questions.

"could be thousands or millions more 'covert' black holes out there waiting to be discovered."

I've asked this for several years: How do we know there aren't many more black holes that we simply can't see for one reason or another and THEY are, at least in part, the so-called "missing mass" of the universe? There may well be many black holes from the early universe that have since consumed everything around them (therefore not emitting x-ray death screams) and with not much behind them (from our perspective, therefore not giving away their position with gravitational lensing/distortion). I readily grant that it would take an AWFUL LOT of these to make up the required total mass to fit the models but, it would certainly lessen the need to rely on exotic theories. And this may also help to explain the uneven distribution of matter in the universe. Perhaps in some of the particularly empty regions sit one or more black holes that have digested everything within reach and sit quietly and darkly waiting for something else to eat.

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Hubble spies rare cosmic tadpole galaxy

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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@Lars: "Our galaxy does things like this"

Lars,

If only there was a some way to put such useful information into an easy to remember format like, for example, a song or something.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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but no indication how far away it is?

not that it greatly matters but inquiring minds and all... So, what is the size of the "local universe" in any acceptable ReSUMe*?

*Register Standard Units of Measurement

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Shi heads Huawei UK

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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I just LOVE it...

...when Shi does that.

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IRS kills off PINs citing increasing suspicious activity

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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flat tax form

Here's how * the flat tax would work. A simple 3x5 card form:

Name:

Address:

Telephone:

email:

1. How much did you make last year, including all forms of income?

2. send that in *

* only HALF joking because some politicians on both sides really would like to see that - if for no other reason than to torpedo such a common sense argument as "flat tax" or any other tax system that people can actually understand.

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Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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well done to the flight crew and ground personnel

I raise my glass to the flight crew and emergency personnel on the ground who performed as trained and handled the situation well, ensuring the safety of passengers. Bravo.

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Physicists build simulator, hope to stand up beautiful Standard Model

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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wow

came to make a snarky comment along the lines of "c'mon lads! This is for SCIENCE! We can afford more than four calcium ions."

Then read the article, picked up my jaw, and slunk away in awe. Hooray science.

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Germany: If Brits vote to Remain, we'll admit Hurst's 1966 goal was a goal

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: And here's me...

"Two peanuts valk into a bar. Vun of zem vas a salted. peanut."

It's been around for many years but much more amusing when recently told to me by ein Deutscher mann who worked in my division. Yes, this was after much bier.

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Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"freedom of (my and others') movement"

As a Yank, I must say that freedom of movement is a glorious thing. Many of you lot over there might not realize that while from without, the US appears to be one homogenized unit, from within it is actually 50 individual states each with their own culture and unique characteristics. The overarching Federal government structure gets all the press but, a huge amount of the governmental load-bearing is done at the state level - each with its own bureaucracy, etc.

As to the subject at hand, freedom of movement, this affords us the opportunity to see a wide variety of different areas and people where the only common denominators are language and currency. Perhaps this is why we frequently get such a bad rap as tourists abroad - we are so used to going wherever we like and getting what we want when we get there that when we don't we become obnoxious about it. I freely admit to being a sterotypical Yank tourist and unapologetically so. I am, however, actively trying to tone it down and play nice with others... Cheers.

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Tim Peake to return to Earth after six months floating around in space

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"accidentally mis-dialled a wrong number from space."

Wait, I'm confused. Does this mean he dialed the correct number by mistake or that he got a wrong number even more wrong?

Either way, job well done!

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Lester Haines: RIP

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Fair winds and following seas, good sir.

Deepest condolences family, friends, and colleagues. Although I only knew him through his often brilliant writing I, too, am lessened at his passing.

Thank you Lester for everything. May you rest comfortably and eternally. Cheers, mate.

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Amazon music stream splash

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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could be good, could be very bad

depends upon whether this new $9.99 fee is for those who DON'T have Prime or includes those who DO as well. If the latter, then Amazon can FOAD. I already pay $99/yr for Prime which includes streaming music and TV. If they want to offer the music to those not subscribing to Prime for $10/month, then fine.

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Study of asexually reproducing honeybee ponders: But why the mass murder?

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Hang on there

That was my question as well. If the parasitic bees and their offspring are still doing "bee work" then, apart from the scientific curiosity and genetic diversity implications, is this a problem or not? And if so, why?

If, on the other hand, they are NOT doing "bee work" then I understand the problem and withdraw my question.

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Cold space gas? Sure, supermassive black holes can eat that. Nom, nom, nom

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Joke

And now we have a general idea...

of exactly how "Black Hole Sun" comes to "wash away the rain."

I just love it when science explains song lyrics, don't you?

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Get ready for Google's proprietary Android. It's coming – analyst

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Orealy?

"Just don't expect that £80 phone to be upgraded past the OS it has, it will only get security updates."

If we actually DO GET the security updates then that, in my opinion, will be a satisfactory outcome and vastly superior to what many get now.

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New periodic table names

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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always good for educational value

Thanks to this story, today I learned that Nihon is the semi-official word for what we call Japan. Like many, I always thought it was Nippon (and it sorta is. See link for disambiguation or possibly FURTHER ambiguation as the case may be). My research enabled me to learn the differences between and story behind the whole Nihon/Nippon/Japan thing.

I am now ever so slightly more enlightened than before. Thanks, Reg. This is one of the reasons I come here.

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Tivo's new owner ponders binning its own boxes

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: I always feared the worst

" I fully expect that one day, my lifetime subscription will turn in to the lifetime of the device which means that once they end-of-life the product, the subscription will expire."

That could be difficult to do for existing boxen. Not impossible, but certainly difficult, at least in the US. I have papers on all my Tivos, going back to an ancient and not currently in use Series 2 box which plainly state that the Lifetime Subscription is for the life of that unique and serial numbered hardware device. When that discrete and physical box dies, the subscription dies with it. Not before. Altering that is almost certainly tantamount to altering a contract. Because I have actual paper and not some stupid and alterable web link, it's theoretically harder for anyone to alter it until that contract expires upon death of the device.

Now, that being said, they could certainly change that for any NEW purchases and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them do it. This is why I plan to buy the latest model very soon before they enact any such shenanigans.

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Astroboffins create music from SPAAAAAAAAAAACE

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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with apologies to Kraftwerk*

"Wir fliegen fliegen fliegen auf der Astrobahn"

*given the electronic nature of so-called "space music", the reference seemed appropriate.

pint for our musically-inclined astroboffins

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