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* Posts by Urh

77 posts • joined 8 Jan 2010

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R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph

Urh
Pint

3,600 mph...

...or 0.0537% of the maximum velocity of a sheep in a vacuum for those using Reg units. By my estimates, the probe would have struck the lunar surface with a force of about 40,000 Norrises. I still haven't tried estimating the size of the impact crater, but I'm confident it will be significantly smaller than a nanoWales.

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Turnbull Twitfight - we're backing Mal this time

Urh

Ugh....

While Turnbull did not explicitly tell Keady to move house, I agree with other comments that have concluded that Turnbull's response implied that she should move in order to get better broadband. For a minister whose job it is to oversee telecommunications policy, this is unacceptable. Instead of expressing concern that there are still premises without fixed line service (in 2014, no less), the minister tries to paint Keady as a fool, even though (as others have rightly pointed out) it is virtually impossible to know for certain what services are available at a property until after you've purchased it and attempt to have services connected.

This entire farce has highlighted yet another one of the ways in which the telecommunications sector is failing to serve the Australian public, yet this message is being drowned out amongst the frantic s***-flinging that has become Australian political discourse (thanks in no small part to Tony Abbott and his rabid supporters in the media).

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NBN to be built even if cost-benefit analysis shows no ROI

Urh

Re: Labor's plan for 50% at 12Mbps

The prediction of 50% at 12mbps was a conservative estimate, much like many of NBNCo's figures. Actual uptake figures showed that 44% were opting for 100mbps plans. You are clearly ignoring reality, matthew. HFC is painfully congested - it can't even meet CURRENT customer requirements, much less future requirements. If anything, it's the Liberals who should be fearing a CBA, however they've just said that they'll ignore any negative outcomes (considering how farcical the strategic review turned out to be, I'm expecting the CBA to be yet another steaming load of bollocks).

0
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Tasmanian Liberals fear NBN policy will kill their election hopes

Urh

Re: Lala Gidding knows...

Abbott only hates FTTP because Rupert told him to hate it. Murdoch must have been filling his trousers at the prospect of what a ubiquitous FTTP network would have done to his precious pay TV monopoly.

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Google promises 10Gps fiber network to blast 4K into living rooms

Urh

Except...

...the current government basically went to the polls telling porkies by promising a minimum of 25 mbit via FTTN - as far as I know, not a single ISP on the planet makes such guarantees for FTTN. Furthermore, the projections NBNCo made in regards to service uptake were exactly that - projections, and early uptake figures demonstrated that their estimates were quite conservative.

And before you go around calling the previous government idiots, there are buffoons among the current mob who are claiming that fibre has been superseded by copper! I'll just let that sink in...

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Urh

Meanwhile, in Australia...

...we're being told by the f***wits in power that 25 mbit is "all we'll ever need", which is why they want to piss away billions on FTTN under the pretense of saving money that was being "wasted" on FTTH.

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Australia's new year tech headlines … for 2015!

Urh
FAIL

This is my prediction for May 2014

"NBN to be scrapped, sold off, in bid to end budget crisis"

Ever since Turnbull assumed the role of Comms minister, he has been sabotaging the NBN. Step 1 - sack the NBN board and fill it with cronies. Step 2 - deliberately fudge the numbers in that pathetic joke he called the Strategic Review (the review claims there are no irregularities with NBNCo's reporting, then proceeds to pull numbers out of its ARSE to make FTTP look bad from a financial perspective). Step 3 - propose a half-arsed alternative plan in order to keep up the appearance of giving a toss about the public. Step 4 - have aforementioned plan vetoed by Joe Hockey under the guise of being fiscally responsible. Step 5 - Sell off what little infrastructure has been built.

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'Mixed tech' NBN needs a super-sized HFC net

Urh

Re: shared bandwidth

Yes, it was shared bandwidth but:

1) The share ratios were far, FAR better (32 users for FTTP vs. 600 or more for HFC)

2) Improving said ratios would be far easier and cheaper for a FTTP network.

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Online shopping tax slug not worth the effort: National Australia Bank

Urh

The price difference isn't the point...

...the point is that local retailers refuse to compete on price, so they want to frustrate smart consumers with bureaucracy. The convenience of online shopping is somewhat diminished if you have to file papers with customs (and pay the ATO their 10%) every bloody time you want to avoid getting reamed by the local oligopolies.

Some online retailers may even think that the bureaucratic wrangling isn't worth the hassle for such a small, remote market, and may simply choose not to sell to Australians at all. Which is exactly what the local extortionists want. It's funny - these bastards were all about embracing globalisation for the purpose of improving their bottom lines, now that consumers are able to do the same, they're crying foul and are demanding a regime of neo-protectionism.

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Australia's Silicon Beach is a wipeout

Urh

Let's not forget the importance of state-of-the-art communications infrastructure in fostering the development of startups and ensuring international competitiveness. Good thing we got that NBN project humming along....oh, wait. Malware Bullturn's busy demolishing it. Whoops.

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'I WAS AN ADMIN FOR SILK ROAD': Alleged hit-man target tells all

Urh

Actually....

The case against Ulbricht is pretty strong. The feds aren't just throwing around hearsay, they've managed to establish that Ulbricht is DPR. He did make it kinda easy though, seeing as he made a number of jaw-droppingly stupid mistakes such as:

-using an email address of the form "firstnamelastname@gmail.com"

-using an internet cafe less than 200 metres from his home

-telling the DHS about Silk Road while being questioned by them over a bunch of fake IDs he had ordered

While I concede that some of the evidence is circumstantial, you have to be somewhat delusional if you still genuinely believe that Ulbricht != Roberts.

I was wondering if/when the targets of Ulbricht's attempted assassinations were going to crawl out of the woodwork. IIRC, the second one (whom Ulbricht allegedly coughed up $500k to have whacked) was Canadian. I'll be interested to hear what they have to say...

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Australia's proto-NBN now decaying in the desert

Urh
FAIL

I'll give you lack of vision...

Fluffy Bunny - Howard's plan was little more than a band-aid which would have done next to nothing to solve the much bigger problems of Australia's telecommunications sector (said problems were largely the result of Howard's grossly mismanaged privatisation of Telstra). Now we have Malcolm Turnbull attempting to fool the nation into thinking that it is more prudent to solve the problems of tomorrow with yesterday's technology (FTTN). Labor's NBN was the first time I've seen anything resembling vision from our politicians in years. That vision will probably be completely f***ing dead by the next election, and Australia will cement its place as a telecommunications backwater.

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NBN review team looks like old Telstra board

Urh

I thought he was quoting Sir Humphrey. Although I did come across one from Jim Hacker which is relevant to Turnbull's claims that his plain is faster and cheaper:

"The three articles of Civil Service faith: it takes longer to do things quickly, it's more expensive to do them cheaply and it's more democratic to do them in secret."

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Ziggy Switkowski appointed NBN Co executive chair

Urh

Obvious choice?

"Switkowski was the obvious choice as chair..."

....if the objective is to demolish the NBN. Yes, Ziggy was in charge of Telstra and Optus, but his tenure at both companies was at times when neither company was engaged in large scale infrastructure rollouts (unless you count the joke that was HFC a large scale rollout). So his "experience" if worth precisely bugger all in the context of the NBN rollout. This is once again a shameless display of hypocrisy by Malcolm Turnbull. During his time in opposition he lambasted the (now previous) NBNCo board for lacking relevant experience. So naturally the first thing he does is appoint a CEO who lacks relevant experience, and as other comments have already stated, he was rubbish at his job when he was at Telstra.

I've still yet to hear a word from Turnbull in regards to the latest numbers showing a complete absence of a cost blowout in the fibre deployment, which was the last nail in the coffin of the LNP's utterly preposterous $94 billion estimate.

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How long will the next NBN Co board last?

Urh

Enough with the talk of cost blowouts already....

....because they're simply not there. If the project costs are out of control, why is NBNCo's contingency fund completely untouched? Plus there's the latest report which shows that costs are *lower* than expected. It's high time that Malware Bullturn face reality and leave the FTTP deployment alone.

1
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Limbaugh: If you hate Apple then you're a lefty blog-o-twat hipster

Urh
WTF?

Funny...

...I've traditionally associated Apple products with hipster doofuses (doofi?). Even by Limbaugh's standards, this rant is fucking retarded. Sounds like he needs to cut back on the hillbilly heroin (oxycontin to us civilised folk). One thing is bugging me - are his fans really called ditto-heads? Do they not realise how stupid that makes them appear?

I am going to make a note of 'blog-o-twat' - I like it, and would love to use it in conversation (I can see myself using it to describe somebody who has a tumblr account).

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Modern-day Frankenstein invents CURE for BEHEADING

Urh
Trollface

I'll make the obvious comment.

Anybody care to volunteer for this procedure?

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Reg to Australia: Here's your chance to find NBN answers

Urh
FAIL

Too bad this study will be completely useless...

....At least when it comes to helping voters make up their mind, because there's no way that this study will be completed before the election. If this crowdfunding campaign had been initiated when the election was announced, I'd be right behind it. As it stands, it's too little, too late. When you consider the sheer arrogance and intransigence of their leadership, I very much doubt that a future Coalition government would listen to an independent study (that they didn't fund) which says that FTTN is a crock of shit.

Under Howard we had the World's Biggest Luddite(tm) at the helm of telecommunications policy. Expect more technologically misinformed blunders under Abbott.

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Urh
Flame

Re: What's your planned outcome ?

"Any form of informed debate on *any* Australian political issue will be welcome."

The thing is, the NBN really isn't a political issue at all, it's the closest thing you can get to a pure engineering problem in public discourse. The fact that such an important infrastructure project is being debated (and put at serious risk) by a bunch of technologically ignorant fuckwits simply re-affirms my belief that we are entering an age where politicians are becoming increasingly obsolete and are actually becoming an impediment (rather than an enabler) of human progress.

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Australia downloads a limping 13 Mbps, says Ookla

Urh
Alert

I am curious....

....as to where Australia ranks when it comes to upload speeds. I wager it'd be lower than 45th. Oh, and Goat Jam, go take your Liberal Party propaganda elsewhere. There are plenty of News Limited circlejerk sites that will blindly swallow up such nonsense. The 90 billion estimate is based on assumptions which were either plucked out of thin air or are actually refuted by available data on the NBN deployment.

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First, the bad news: EA bags Star Wars games rights

Urh

What about Bioware?

Knights of the new republic, anyone? Yeah, probably won't happen. Although it'd be pretty awesome if it did. What I can see happening is Disney trying to get the games to be released at around the same time as the movies. And we all know what that means....

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The NBN questions Malcolm Turnbull won't answer

Urh
Stop

Re: It's not that bad of a plan

Not that bad? Rubbish. For a start, the FTTN proposal requires the use of infrastructure well past its use-by date. Furthermore, a FTTN network which allows people the option to upgrade to FTTP is going to add to the cost (each node cabinet will have to have both FTTN AND FTTP gear inside them). And despite their policy document, we're still lacking a detailed breakdown of costs - except for the ludicrous assumption that the Liberals expect Telstra to just give them free use of the copper network (this issue alone could take a year or two to resolve, thus making it impossible for the Liberals to deliver on the "quicker" promise).

Also, what happens when your copper line finally bites the dust? Will you have to cough up 5 grand for a fibre upgrade?

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Urh
FAIL

The biggest question he won't answer...

...is regarding uploads, because he KNOWS it's one of the biggest weaknesses of FTTN. The reasons he has given for not discussing uploads are purely a smoke screen.

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Australia's alternative NBN plan: some taxpayer-friendly questions

Urh
FAIL

Re: Too late now

The 90 billion estimate that the Coalition are throwing around is based on a completely arbitrary worst-case scenario using assumptions that have little to no basis in reality. But of course you'd know that if you'd bothered to read the background information to the Liberal Party's policy document. And even under the Liberal's preposterous scenario they assume Labor's network to be completed 4 years behind schedule.

As for the "off-budget" argument - the NBN actually belongs off budget. The NBN generates revenue, and is therefore counted as an INVESTMENT, not an expenditure. Any accountant worth their salt will tell you that investments do not count as expenditures. Even Malcolm Turnbull has conceded that Labor's NBN does indeed belong off budget, as per standard accounting procedures.

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Urh
WTF?

The big question for me...

...and it could equally be pitched at David Thodey:

Why does Malcolm Turnbull think that zero is an appropriate price to pay for access to Telstra's copper for a FTTN?

4
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Australia's coalition launches new broadband policy

Urh
Paris Hilton

Re: It's all John Howard's fault.

Every time my mum (a devout Liberal supporter) complains about slow internet speeds, I always make it a point to blame John Howard.

Paris because she needs fat pipes too.

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Urh
FAIL

Re: Hmmm

Let's also take a look at the Coalition's claim that their network will be delivered quicker and cheaper. Let's start with cheaper - Turnbull has explicitly stated that they expect Telstra to grant them access to the copper for the same compensation that they're presently getting as part of the SAU. This is just preposterous, as the current SAU calls for the decommissioning of the copper and the migration of customers to FTTP. Telstra will almost certainly demand more money in exchange for such a radical change of the terms. How much will Telstra ask? However much they bloody well feel like, and there is nothing the Coalition can do about it. So right off the bat the coalition estimate fails to account for the possibility of billions more in payments to Telstra. Furthermore, since FTTN is reliant on the last mile of copper, the potential for cost blowouts due to repairs is far greater. So will the Coalition's plan deliver cost savings? It *might* save a few billion in the short term, but, in the long term it will end up costing more as it will merely delay and complicate the eventual upgrade to FTTP. There's also the increased OPEX associated with FTTN to consider.

Will the Coalition's plan be quicker to deploy? Their 2019 completion date assumes full scale deployment of FTTN commences in late 2013. So once elected, the coalition will have about a year to renegotiate with Telstra, get regulatory approval, negotiate new contracts for FTTN equipment and construction and do pilot scale deployments. So right off the bat their quicker promise all depends on a herculean effort.

In conclusion it can be said that the coalition's proposal is technologically inferior, will eventually cost more money, and will probably take just as long as FTTP. This has hardly won me over.

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Urh
FAIL

Re: Hmmm

Ugh, I can't believe you actually swallowed that piece of Liberal Party propaganda. The 90 billion estimate that the Liberals are throwing around requires ALL FOUR of the following assumptions to be true:

1. Revenue (ARPU) growth is to be significantly lower than NBNCo projections (for their estimates, they assume that ARPU growth is only 3.5% per annum).

2. There has to be a minimum 40% cost blow-out in the average per-premise cost of FTTP installation across the duration of the project.

3. There has to be insufficient take-up of fixed line services (i.e. a significant portion of households have to go "all wireless").

4. The project is completed by 2025 rather than 2021.

While I admit that number 4 is a remote possibility (NBNCo is already 3 months behind schedule), number 3 is ludicrous (a significant portion of wireless users in Australia are on wireless simply because their fixed line service is useless), there is currently no evidence to suggest that blowouts on such a scale will occur, and statistics on NBN seem to suggest that NBNCo may have underestimated ARPU growth.

Also, the NBN isn't being paid for with taxes - it's being paid for with government bonds. Considering that Australia has a AAA credit rating, borrowing for an essential public infrastructure project that will create a profitable national asset is hardly irresponsible - in fact it's a sound investment. On the other hand, assuming that our existing copper network can still be used as meet our future needs is highly irresponsible. Just remember this - in 2003, Telstra told a Senate inquiry that the copper network would need replacing in 15 years. The Coalition wants to keep using this same copper well past 2019.

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'Australia's so big freight costs are high' claims don't add up

Urh
Facepalm

Do keep up

While you have a point about wages, you may want to keep up with the times. Telstra is now a good ol' fashioned 100% private monopoly, and has been for nearly a decade. It's why the telco sector in this country is a complete joke.

0
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Bill Gates offers big bucks for better condoms

Urh
Trollface

This is the one time....

....where a single-install EULA would actually make sense for a Microsoft product. Will I use one? Probably not. Considering the reputation Microsoft products have when it comes to viruses, I'm understandably cautious.

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Dongle smut Twitstorm claims second scalp

Urh
Flame

Re: Idiocy

And even if what you hear is so incredible offensive to your ears, is it really so difficult to just talk directly to whoever is offending you? Over at her blog, Amanda Blum has recounted her personal experiences of dealing with Adria Richards. This dongle incident is by no means an isolated incident. If anything, it's part of an established pattern of behaviour. Richards gets offended by something and instead of expressing her concerns directly to the people involved, she deliberately engages in histrionics and tries to create an internet shitstorm. The only difference is that this time her antics have spiraled out of control, and now herself and a father of three have both lost their jobs (in an American state with one of the highest levels of unemployment). The mainstream media have made things worse by largely failing to investigate the incident in detail. And let's be honest, the fact that a joke about dongles (in essence, a dick joke) is being reported in the press is just ridiculous, especially when you consider that Richards has made dick jokes on twitter in the past.

This whole incident has become a farce, and essentially nobody has acted correctly. Should the developer have made the joke? I don't know, seeing as nobody has bothered to actually repeat the wording of it. Was Richards' response to the joke appropriate? Holy shit no. She could have at least tried to talk to them directly, and instead she chose to escalate things way out of proportion. Should PlayHaven have sacked the joker? Fuck no, it was an overreaction to an overreaction. Should Richards have been sacked by SendGrid? Once again, no - it was an overreaction to an overreaction to an overreaction. What's especially tragic is that Richards will likely see all the unwarranted hatred that's being directed against her as vindication of her actions. I very much doubt asking herself "could I have handled this differently?" Hell, she's already said that her actions have made her "feel like Joan of Arc."

I know it sounds ridiculous, but the internet has actually allowed people to engage in what I describe as passive-aggressive bullying. Don't like something somebody has said or done? Why deal with the problem yourself when you can summon an angry mob with a twitter post or an outraged podcast!

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NBN Co trials migration incentives

Urh
FAIL

Re: I'd sign up without incentives

If/when Dr No gets into office, I'd start praying that one of Malware Bullturn's FTTN cabinets gets plonked right on your doorstep, because unless you're already in the fibre footprint, that's the best you can hope for.

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Urh
Flame

Re: Minimum levels of service

When Telstra was privatised (one of the biggest government blunders in recent memory IMO) the USO was put in place to guarantee a minimum level of service. Too bad that said minimum is a f***ing joke, and not a particularly funny one at that. To compound matters it's enforced by the gutless regulatory body that is the ACCC.

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Google fills in the blanks on North Korea map data

Urh

Unsurprisingly...

...there are already trolls posting reviews on landmarks in North Korea. One of my favourites is for the Golf Course of Yanggakdo Hotel:

"Communist Great Leader defeated Capitalist President Tiger Woods in sword fighting on this course. Capitalist President Tiger Woods then lost his wife, his family and his groove. His game has never fully recovered from the sword beating received by Great Leader."

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Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

Urh

Re: Fluorescents

The only other UV emitter I know of that's used commercially is deuterium, and AFAIK deuterium arc lamps are almost exclusively used in scientific equipment. One thing that's guaranteed to warrant a bollocking from a lab manager is some fool leaving a UV spectrometer switched on overnight.

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Epic e-tail fail down under

Urh
Facepalm

Re: Retail in Australia: C+, could try harder

I only heard about it on the evening TV news, but because I live in Western Australia, the frenzy was already under way when the news story ran. You'd think that an online retail sale would want to promote itself rather heavily online, rather than relying on a last-minute blurb on the "old media."

I was fortunate enough to have a (painfully slow) shufti before the site crashed. It was mostly garbage (as sites like gizmodo had already mentioned), but I did manage to snag a decent deal on a laptop. It was within my price bracket (the overwhelming majority of the "discount" laptops were expensive high-end models), and a significantly better model than I would have gotten otherwise.

I wonder if anybody is going to use this meltdown as an argument in favour of the NBN....

0
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Scientists: 'Castration is the key to a longer life'

Urh

Quantity vs quality

I think I speak for most men when I say I am perfectly happy to sacrifice a decade or so of life expectancy if it means I can live out my days with a sex drive.

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The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

Urh
Coat

I'm kinda surprised...

...that no mention was made of Apple arbitrarily changing the connector on the iPhone 5, or why Apple has never used standard connectors like everybody else other than to make sure people come crawling back to Cupertino for replacement cables.

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Scammers exploit wannabe demon-slayers hyped by Diablo III

Urh

Re: Real Money Auction

And the only reason they bought in the auction house was because of all the item trading (i.e. selling for actual money) that happened way back in Diablo 2's heyday. Blizzard have basically acquiesced and said "Screw it. If people are going to be item/gold farming, we should at least get a piece of the action." What I want to know is how Blizzard plans to deal with people who will try to game the system for financial gain (and let's not fool ourselves here, people are going to try, especially when there's real money to be made).

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Urh
Flame

Re: As far as I can tell...

It was the revelation of the always-online bollocks that lead me to avoid Diablo 3 (that, and experiencing how bad the always-online bollocks was with Starcraft 2). As far as I'm concerned, the Blizzard I knew and loved died years ago. I don't give a toss about how my computer spends over 99% of its time connected to the internet, that connection shouldn't be necessary for single player. I have no problem with developers tacking on some bells and whistles which require you to go online, but the core single player experience should not be gated by a bloody login screen.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to disconnect my computer from my router and play some Diablo 2. Because I bloody well can.

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1TB USB stick shoved into Swiss Army knife

Urh
Joke

Somebody remind me...

...how many terrabytes are there in a porn year? I think it should be a goal of a budding electronics firm to produce a storage device that can store a whole porn year and also fit snugly between a pair of Bulgarian funbags.

1
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Beeb rescues old Who episodes

Urh
WTF?

What I found most amusing...

...is the ABC's reasoning behind their heavy censorship of The Goodies. Apparently it was in an attempt to make it more suitable for children.

1
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Mythbusters cannonball ‘myth-fires’

Urh
WTF?

Hang on...

"And yes, they still intend to screen the episode the cannon was built for." To me, that implies that the balls-up in question is going to be shown. Now that it's been reported, they'd be hurting their ratings if they *didn't* show it.

1
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No Samsung ban for Apple in US

Urh
FAIL

What I found particularly funny...

...is some of the design alternatives that Apple proposed as part of this legal farce. According to Apple's crack(pot) legal team, tablets and phones don't *have* to be rectangular - hell, they don't even need to be square shaped! It would seem that Samsung could've saved themselves a world of bother if they had just made the Galaxy tablet triangular, or circular, or trapezoidal even. Just anything but Apple's patented rectangle with rounded corners, for which no prior art clearly exists.

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Nude lady recreates Star Wars tauntaun scene in dead horse

Urh
Coat

Correct me if I'm wrong...

...but I thought the tauntaun was already dead from exposure to the cold when Han sliced it open. But with all the changes Lucas keeps making, who the hell knows. Maybe in the 3D re-re-re-release the tauntaun will take a pot shot at Han first?

Mine's the fur coat...the one lined with fresh entrails.

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Turnbull storms Paris with NBN’s doom

Urh
Flame

Ugh

It really, really, REALLY pisses me off whenever Turnbull talks about trying to stimulate competition at the infrastructure level, as though it's never been done before. Except that it has, and it was a fucking joke (and not a particularly amusing one at that). Remember the HFC rollout? About a quarter of the country (i.e. the best parts of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) got to choose from either the Telstra or Optus cables running down their streets, and the rest of the country got fuck all.

0
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US breakthrough in Oz bomb hoax case

Urh
Stop

*Yawn*

I must confess that I hadn't even heard of this news "story" until Mediawatch last night, in which they covered the borderline stalking that the media engaged in. I'm already sick of hearing about it.

1
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George Lucas defeated by Stormtrooper helmet man

Urh
Coat

Wow

A New Hope washed over me when I read about the outcome of this case. I hope Mr Ainsworth is able to make a few quid before the Empire Strikes Back. Perhaps he can mass produce some uniforms an orchestrate a pre-emptive Attack of the Clones.

Mine's the one with the lightsabre in the pocket.

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News of the World TO CLOSE

Urh
FAIL

All this talk of toxic brand names...

...and still no mention of Union Carbide? What about Edsel?

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