* Posts by Ugotta B. Kiddingme

844 posts • joined 23 Dec 2009

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China is building a full scale replica of the Titanic to repeatedly crash into iceberg

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: A three hour tour

Given the size of the vessel, I'd say harder to get tossed. And since it's on a lake, then with OR without the courage of a fearless crew, harder to get lost.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Next ChineseTheme Parks:

NO one expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief... oh, wait. Sorry.

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US election pollsters weren't (very) wrong – statistically speaking

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Margin of error

"The media shouldn't call ANY election until ALL polls are firmly closed, including those still waiting in line."

It is not possible for me to agree MORE than I already do so have an upvote instead. This is one aspect of news media that has always annoyed me endlessly. "Never mind if we get it right or not, we have to be FIRST! If we happen to also be right, spiffy!"

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: The OTHER key factor pollsters failed to account for was

"Both Republican and Democratic parties should take this election as a shot across the bow."

Or a right cross to the jaw...

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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The OTHER key factor pollsters failed to account for was

pure and simply, voter fatigue.

In the final stretch run up to the election, I stopped answering the phone after having received no less than FIVE separate opinion poll robocalls in a single hour. During the last one, as with those prior, the first question was "how likely are you to vote?" After I answered positively, an actual person clicked into the call and conducted the rest of the poll. Having had my dinner interrupted once too often I tersely voiced my displeasure, hung up the phone, and steadfastly refused to answer another such call.

After a very exhausting year+ of non-stop advertising, debating, name-calling, mud-slinging, muck-raking, and endless polling I and many others decided we'd had enough. Tired of being called stupid (by both sides) because our opinion didn't match [insert group here], I and apparently many others decided to just be quiet and express our opinion in the voting booth.

For the record, I supported neither Trump nor Clinton.

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Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: More importantly....

If the new UK notes are anything like the Canadian currency I experienced on a recent holiday to Alaska, then I agree with your assertions. PITA, albeit a minor one. The biggest headache for me was the creasing. I normally carry currency bound by a money clip in my front pocket. This necessitates folding said currency in half. Do that with plastic currency like Canadian (and presumably similar British) and you end up with creased bills that, as you pointed out, stay bent and no longer lay flat.

It's not a huge problem, in the grand scheme of things, but it's mildly annoying and a minor learning curve/inconvenience.

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Really weird quantum phenomenon spied lurking near neutron star

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: @somewhat OT AC regarding Verlinde Gravity article

Thank you. That was a most fascinating read - one which, remarkably enough, I actually understood.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: @allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

Plus one! It's been quite some time since I heard that album.

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Brit upstart releases free air traffic app for drone operators

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Alien

Re: Ulp!

given how flimsy are the plastic bags currently available from local proprietors such probing would be far less problematic than the more conventional means...

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Inventor of McDonald's iconic Big Mac dies

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"McDonalds like what it saw..."

um... not initially it didn't. Only after it was hugely successful for three years at the local level in Delligatti's franchise locations did they give in and take it national.

"Jim Delligatti told The Associated Press in 2006 that McDonald’s resisted the idea at first because its simple lineup of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and shakes was selling well.

“They figured, why go to something else if (the original menu) was working so well?” Delligatti said then."

Delligatti was also famous for inventing several other well known items on the McDonalds menu including, IIRC, much of the original breakfast menu.

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What's the first emotion you'd give an AI that might kill you? Yes, fear

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Is "fear" the correct word?

DISCLAIMER: what follows is my own opinion. IANA boffin, theoretician, psychologist, etc, nor do I lay claim to the appropriate credentials/education/training to speak on such matters with authority. I'm just a regular bloke with questions, trying to broaden my own personal horizons. That being said...

Is "fear" really the correct word to use here? I accept that it's a convenient shortcut to promote brevity and understanding but I wonder if it leads to oversimplification. It seems to me* that in order to truly "fear," some level of self-awareness is required. It is true that a cornered animal might attack if threatened but is that truly FEAR or merely instinct for survival. And if the latter, where is the line and how broad the grey area between the two?

To my limited understanding, actual emotional "fear" implies conscious thought - not necessarily rational but conscious thought - about the situation and the consequences of potential outcomes. For example, I fear death by drowning or burning, two particularly unpleasant forms of demise. I do not fear burning my hand in a candle flame. I have learned via experience that putting my hand in candle flame causes pain and damage and therefore I should not do that. Is that truly "fear" or merely a learned response. The article speaks of risk/reward and risk/consequence. These certainly seem valid discussion points and tools for machine learning but I don't know that I'd call the learned response "fear."

* remember, I did state at the outset this is my opinion - and quest for further illumination. Please don't be too harsh.

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Microsoft's Neon project to redesign Windows for nerd goggles – reports

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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By Jove! I think he's got it!

"Having first annoyed desktop PC users by forcing them to use a phone UI (Windows 8), and then annoyed phone users by forcing them to use a desktop UI (Windows 10 Mobile), perhaps Microsoft’s cunning new plan is to annoy everyone at once, instead."

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Google declares victory for its Wifi router before it's even shipped

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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so then the only real difference between this

and the less expensive Ubiquiti Unifi series is the level of technical knowledge required?

My home is very similar to their test setup (two story, 3000sq.ft.) and I get along quite well with ONE Ubiquiti Unifi AP. If I could be arsed to run the wire for a second one, I'd have blistering speed everywhere. As it is, with one AP centrally located upstairs, I get strong signal and very respectable speeds in the most commonly used sections (kitchen, den, master bedroom). To be completely fair, the level of knowledge required to truly get the most out of it is well beyond the grasp of the average user but that's not an issue for those of us here. Even my half-arsed attempt was setup in about ten minutes. The only reason it took THAT long was because I changed the default IP range and actually bothered to setup the restricted "guest" network.

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Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Thanks, Andrew

for a cogent, informative, and "even" article. How illustrative of the problem that I had to come to a British IT news organization to get such an article about the US election result.

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Symantec doubles down on consumer security by buying LifeLock

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Wow

and here I thought Lifelock sucked BEFORE... Silly me.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have in the past been a customer of both Lifelock and Shitmantec er... Symantec - although not simultaneously. I have since wised up.

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Pythons Idle and Cleese pen anti-selfie screed

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Re: @lukewarmdog

"Therefore they're an affront to God and should burn in heck. And another thing, where are my slippers."

Your slippers are on the lawn - exactly where those damned kids shouldn't be.

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A cardboard desk? I won’t stand for it (actually I will)

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"Olympic-standard swearing"

Indeed. When assembling several pieces of flat-packed DIY furniture for my son's first apartment, I was swearing long and loudly enough that the neighbors popped round to see if everything was OK. My son greeted them at the door with a rapid and complex series of shrugs, gesticulation in my direction, and various silently-mouthed apologies. They responded with a slightly less complex series of knowing grins, silent nods, and dismissive hand gestures. It was a brief but enlightening (and mildly amusing) glimpse into modern methods of non-verbal communication.

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CERN also has a particle decelerator – and it’s trying to break physics

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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mind boggled

"In antiprotonic helium one of the atom's electrons is replaced with an antiproton – it stays in orbit because, like an electron, it carries a negative charge."

That's some particularly clever precision atomic "surgery" to swap an electron with an antiproton. Although EXTREMELY unlikely I would understand any of how they managed to do that, it might be an interesting read.

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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Unhappy

if only we could get them on the left side of the pond...

see title. Sad Yank is sad.

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Dark matter? More like diet matter: Super-light axions may solve universe's mass riddle

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another potentially stupid question

Please bear with me. Just trying to learn.

Why is the mass of subatomic particles expressed in eV - by definition, a unit of energy? Yes, I understand that energy can be exchanged for mass and vice versa using (e=mc^2) but why force the conversion calculation? Why isn't there a mass standard to apply?

The gram would seem to be far too large a unit for this particular task and I suppose expressing something as "0.000000001 yoctograms" is cumbersome, but still. Please enlighten me.

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What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Jaguar or Tornado*

I've always liked the lines of the Brit version of the Jaguar and seeing Tornados changing their wing geometry while in a diamond formation slow roll would be a really neat sight.

*Yes, I know they are retired designs and therefore highly impractical BUT no more so than, say, the Mozzies/Lancasters/etc others have suggested...

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Hm, is that a minefield? Let me just throw my magic bomb-sniffing spinach over there

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Borg spinach?

injecting nanoparticles into a biological lifeform. If the spinach begins sprouting ominous looking hardware, RUN.

Of course, I suppose the adaptive shielding WOULD be very practical for surviving the odd mine detonation.

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Smartmobe made 'intermittent bright flashes and a hissing noise' in Biz class seat

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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+1 for history lesson

My knowledge of WWI is significantly less than my knowledge of WWII but, today that gap is closed a bit. I was previously unaware of "Von Rintelen's cigars" and their role in history. Thank you.

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Galaxy Note 7 flameout: 2 in 5 Samsung fans say they'll never buy from the Korean giant again

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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already doing that

I refused to buy a Samsung telly after their snooping scandal. Bought Vizio instead and never looked back. I was going to replace my aging Moto G phone with a Samsung around Christmastime but have since decided I'd rather have some other brand of device.

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ExoMars arrives at the Red Planet on Sunday

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: re. the surly bonds of Earth

You might also try throwing yourself at the ground, hoping to miss. I've read that sometimes works.

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BOFH: The Idiot-ware Project and the Meaningless Acronym

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: One, no, two down.

"But how many more to go?"

new PHBs and their sycophants are like cockroaches: step on one or two and three more jump out to take their place.

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Google's home tat falls flat as a soufflé – but look out Android makers

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: SD cards and batteries

@Milton: removable battery, SD card slot, AND waterproof? What phone do you have?

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'My REPLACEMENT Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blew up on plane'

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: things that make ya go hmmmmm.

@paulf: "If that's true why does everyone think AT&T are greedy robber baron scumbags?"

Now that's a fairly grievous insult to greedy robber baron scumbags?

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Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society... Doesn't sound sinister at all

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: answering the "really difficult questions that are arising within the field."

"Do people want fire that can be fitted nasally?"

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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History will show...

that in the early 2020s, the "Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society" was renamed to "Sirius Cybernetics Corporation." And that their marketing division was first against the wall when the revolution came.

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Avast closes AVG buyout

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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curious to see

if they will start dumbing down (or even eliminating) the free version, now that there are fewer choices.

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4K-ing-A! Roku bangs out broad range of new streaming boom boxes

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Why?

Hear hear! I regret that I can only upvote you once. As you say, "Why update something that works very well and is well understood? If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I sincerely wish more companies would understand that. New features or capabilities, definitely. If they want to change the OS because of user feedback, that's one thing. But "Change simply for the sake of change"? How about a great big "NO!"

My Roku3 is fine just the way it is. The only change that might be nice is the ability to add new channels directly from the Roku without having to use my phone or laptop. When I get a 4K TV, I'll update my Roku. Until then, I'm happy with things the way they are.

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Pull the plug! PowerPoint may kill my conference audience

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Pint

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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Pint

"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

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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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Alert

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'

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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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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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