* Posts by sisk

1746 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

Cash-strapped Chicago slaps CLOUD TAX on Netflix, Spotify etc users

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I predict an imminent increase in BitTorrent traffic going into Chicago.

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Original LIZARD JESUS is found in Wyoming

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Re: More data, please

Very quickly if it's anything like the modern Jesus lizards. They pull off their water-walking trick by moving so fast that their broad feet don't have time to sink. And at 2 foot, MUCH bigger than it's modern descendants, that would have to be very fast indeed.

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Infusion pump is hackable … but rumours of death are exaggerated

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Re: We have hundreds of attack vectors that never get used

The big concern with the 3D printed gun was the plastic gun, one that can pass metal detectors and allow for the killing of high-profile targets. Combined with a carbon fiber casing and a ceramic slug (also nonmetallic), this has the potential for political instability, which means even the chance of it passing is enough to trigger alarm bells.

That's not what the hype was about, and even if it were the lethal range on the things is so short that the threat was already there in the form of ceramic throwing knives. Which, actually, are far deadlier than any 3D printed gun yet. If you can get close enough to reliably kill someone with a 3D printed gun then you're close enough to spit in their eye.

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Re: We have hundreds of attack vectors that never get used

Someone dressed as a doctor or a nurse could easily add extra chemicals/drugs to a drip.But no, we freak out about the new electronicy thing.

No they couldn't because hospitals have this thing called security. The whole "put on a lab coat and walk through the hospital unchallenged" thing is pure fiction. My mom used to get stopped and questioned if she took a shortcut from the cafeteria back to her own nurse station through a different ward, and that was before the world got all paranoid.

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Re: Dongle?

Someone dressed as a nurse or doctor passing from station to station with a pocketful of these could easily compromise every pump in an infusion centre.

Wouldn't happen. Despite what you see on TV hospital staff generally know each other and will challenge a stranger who's messing with the equipment or looking at patient charts. A strange doctor or nurse going along visiting every patient is going to arouse suspicion real quick.

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Silly Google's Photos app labelled BLACK PEOPLE as GORILLAS

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a proctological exam photo as 'middle management?'

In some cases that one would be right.

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This isn't that surprising a mistake really. It probably uses a couple hundred reference points compared to the hundreds of thousands a human would use to determine what it's looking at. Mistakes are to be expected. Honestly, it's not like the machine is actually capable of racism. I mean it mistakes white people for dogs for crying out loud. How does that happen? At least gorillas are primates.

Anyway, I'll bet if you got the same people with a different angle or different lighting it'd be able to identify them with no problem.

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Why SpaceX will sort out Sunday's snafu faster than NASA ever could

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Anyone else find it mildly odd that this is the second time a rocket carrying the same equipment has blown up?

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Re: Well, I guess we'll never... What? You've figured it out ALREADY?

So if you're going to bash anyone, bash Washington DC.

Oh come on. We can't bash DC. What fun is bashing when all the good bits are served up to you on a silver platter?

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Massive police 'heavy equipment' robot drags out suspect who hid inside television

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Re: It is better to send robots

The cops in the UK that are armed are as trigger happy as their US counterparts (if not more) and shoot to kill in nearly all cases.

Any firearm-wielding law enforcement officer in the world is trained to shoot to kill. Most of them (including in the US, though you wouldn't know it from the recent media hypegasm) are also trained not to shoot unless there are lives at stake.

Shooting to disarm is something that snipers who can shoot dimes out of the air at 200 yards occasionally get called in to do. It's surprisingly hard to do and not something a beat cop armed with a .45 or a 9mm is expected to be capable of.

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Re: Where's a frackin...

I want to see a picture of the TV that can somehow accomodate a grown man.

Ask your grandparents about the TVs they had growing up. My grandparents' TV (which they kept well into my childhood) wasn't particularly big for the time, but it could easily accommodate a grown man. Possibly even with room for a second if said man were on the leanish side.

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Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

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I can only assume this is either A) They're so arrogant they think its easy or B) They know its hard and don't want to look stupid - and potentially lose clients - when they fail.

I kinda get the impression that the thought is "I can run a computer so I know the basics of IT". Sadly I think we all around here know that the ability to run Windows is not indicative of a basic understanding of technology. If you don't understand that yet work the helpdesk for a couple weeks and you will.

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Devs, welcome your EVIL ROBOT OVERLORDS from MIT

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Terminator

I for one

welcome our new bug patching AI overlords.

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KRAKKOOM! SpaceX Falcon supply mission to ISS EXPLODES minutes after launch

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Well that's a shame, but at least it was unmanned. Hopefully they figure it out and fix whatever when wrong in the next iteration.

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GM's cheaper-than-Tesla 'leccy car tested at batt-powered data centre

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Re: Don't believe it

In theory the Li-ion batteries are suppose to have a useful life in the vehicle of 10-12 years. If they already have a supply of used batteries, did they fail before 10-12 years?

A lot of people don't keep vehicles more than 5 or 6 years even if there's no real need to replace them yet. That's particularly true of trend chasers, some of whom were no doubt among the first group of people to buy Volts.

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Abort, abort! Metal-on-metal VIOLENCE as Google's robo-car nearly CRASHES

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So basically a Google car was being rude to a Delphi car but both managed to avoid a collision anyway. In other words, treat Google cars like drunk drivers and all will be well.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

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This isn't entirely accurate. True no battery today can handle the demands of renewable energy, but modern flywheels handle it just fine and scale to pretty massive levels. And the only reason it's so blasted expensive is because the prices are artificially inflated. True we're never going to power the whole world with the current crop of renewables, but we can do a whole lot more with them than what Bills giving them credit for. And, frankly, we have to do something. Even if climate change isn't man-made (I swear one day I will sit down and do the research to figure out which side of the debate going on in the scientific journalism is full of hot air) we still have to worry about pollution and whatnot.

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NOD32 AV remote root wormable hack turns corporate fleets to meat

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The patch was released 3 days into the 90 day timescale. The article doesn't say when that was. It could well have been 3 months ago.

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Microsoft sez soz over Windows 10 'freebie' balls-up

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The only Linux distros I know of that only release one version are....um....yeah, can't think of any. All of them I'm familiar with offer at least a 32 and 64 bit version, many of them have versions supporting various different (and sometimes obscure) architectures, and most of them have multiple versions with different default desktops.

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So, in other words:

"We want good press so we said Windows 10 would be free. We want money so we're going to make it hard to get Windows 10 for free."

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THIS TIME we really are ALL DOOMED, famous doomsayer prof says

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Maybe he's working on the theory that if you predict the end of mankind enough times eventually you'll be right? Either way people are about as likely to listen to him as they are to listen to Harold Camping...and Camping isn't even around anymore.

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Version 0.1 super-stars built the universe – and they lived all the way over there, boffins point

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Re: God is bigger than the Bible

Yes. Science concerns itself with testable facts. God is inherently untestable. Any attempt to prove his existence is pseudoscience at best and there is no way to prove a negative. Therefore God's existence or lack thereof is not a matter for science.

Think of it this way: Prove scientifically that spitting on someone for having the wrong color of skin is morally wrong. You can't do it, nor can you prove the opposite. That's because morality is not a scientific matter but a philosophical one. It's the same thing with religion.

If you're a good scientist your belief or lack of belief in God is irrelevant, as a great many religious scientists throughout history have proven. If you're a bad scientist who also happens to be religious....well how did you think we got young Earth creationists with PhDs (yes, there are some out there)?

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Coat

but we do know that systemd is now capable of launching it

Ah, systemd. That explains why the karma subsystem doesn't seem to be working right.

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Re: God is bigger than the Bible

First, demonstrate that God exists.

Unnecessary unless He is invoked in a scientific argument, which would be inappropriate. Like morality, the subject of God's existence or lack thereof is a matter for philosophy, not science. The origin of the universe, however, is a matter for science. Even if you believe God created the universe good science still demands looking at exactly how to determine the origins of the universe.

Basically what I'm saying here is that neither "God did it" or "Prove God exists" are statements of good science. Good science would be more like "God? Meh, who cares."

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Black Helicopters

"Hey guys....is it just me...or does that look like a glass blower from a marble factory?"

Black helicopter because it's as close as I can get to a MiB icon.

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How swearing at your coworker via WhatsApp could cost you $68,000

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Re: Work in a third world backward nation...

...third world, a term so thoroughly debased as to be meaningless

Not to mention pretty useless since the end of the cold war. Honestly how many nations have risen or fallen since the planet was divided into three worlds? For that matter how many didn't even exist yet when the second world fell apart?

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Re: Freedom of Speech....

So you are going to send profanities to someone for the sake of it?

I know quite a few people who do just that. Their speech is peppered with profanities every other sentence, not usually directed at anyone in particular. I don't like it, don't let my kids around them, and try to avoid them myself, but hey they've got a right to speak that way if they want.

However if you think you can go about saying whatever you want with impunity try swearing on a street in the UK but don't be suprised if you find yourself in a police cell.

As for insulting the monarchy, don't do it in some European countries otherwise you will also find yourself in a police cell.

Both examples of why you just think you have freedom of speech. Insulting the monarchy in particular (or government in general) is one of the things the guys who wrote the US Bill of Rights had in mind.

Think the US is any better, try defiling, defacing, insulting or even satirizing the US flag and see where it could lead you.

It's not illegal despite several efforts to outlaw it. All laws prohibiting the desecration of the American flag were invalidated in a 1989 SCOTUS decision (Texas v Johnson) and again in a 1990 decision (US v Eichman). At this point the only way to make flag desecration illegal in the US would be with a Constitutional Amendment, and none along those lines has ever passed the Senate. You don't get arrested for it, as evidenced by the fact that people are posting YouTube videos of themselves stomping on it or burning it and aren't in jail. Do it in the wrong crowd, however, and you are likely to wind up paying a visit to the nearest ER.

There is one particular exception to all the above in the US: Cops get special protections. If you cuss out a cop you're going to jail. All the more reason to treat them with the respect they (usually) deserve in my opinion.

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AdBlock aims to send filthy malverts on one-way LSD trip

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I find that NoScript blocks most ads for me. That was never why I run it, but it has been a nice fringe benefit.

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Pirate Party founder: I wanna turn news into a series of three-line viral gobbets

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Re: The Consumer.

Well I would say look through a list of Asimov's short stories, but that could take all week.

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How much info did hackers steal on US spies? Try all of it

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Trollface

Well at least they don't ask if you're gay. Some secrets are safe!

Wait....they know whether your ex was Bob or Megan? Or both? Well so much for that.

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Nobel bro-ffin: 'Girls in the lab fall in love with me ... then start crying'

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The way he stated this wasn't the best, but I will say this much: There's a reason that most people who could be considered experts in such things advocate avoiding romantic relationships with coworkers. I don't think there's any need to go so far as to make single-sex labs since adults should have the sense to either avoid letting the relationship get un professional or request a transfer if it is headed that way, but there's a lot to be said for avoiding romantic entanglements in the workplace, be that a lab or an office or a server room.

I once had to request a transfer to another work area because a romantic relationship was budding with one of my coworkers. Another time I made a go of it with a coworker without requesting a transfer. I've been there, and trust me. It's better not to work in the same area as your SO.

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Chips can kill: Official

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Oy, don't get me started on the scientific misquotes I've been seeing on FB lately. I swear someone's glancing at headlines and making "This week in science" infograms without even understanding what they're writing.

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Don't forget the nasty burns caused by it's gaseous form!

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LIFE causes cancer

If you start avoiding everything you could that causes cancer you're going to have a very dull, bland life. Heck, even AGING causes increased cancer risk. You can spend your life worrying about cancer and avoiding everything that increases your risk or you can just get on living and deal with the blows life sends you as they come. Personally I'll take the latter.

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Soon your car won't let you drink. But it won't care if you're on the phone

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What if I'd taken NyQuil (which has alcohol in it, too)?

Personally I'd never dream of driving after taking NyQuil.

Well, OK I might dream about it, since dreaming is basically all I'm capable of doing about 15 minutes after taking that stuff. It's pretty much the only thing short of hospital grade anesthetics that can reliably knock me out.

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Isn't this technology already around? I know that around here they will sometimes require habitual drunk drivers to get a device in their car that requires them to pass a breathalyzer test before the car will start. It's been around for years. It doesn't get used terribly often because it's a whole lot cheaper to just revoke their licenses, but every once in a while they do it.

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Ed Snowden should be pardoned, thunders Amnesty Int'l

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he has not committed any crime.

By the letter of the law he did. However it should be noted that under the circumstances it was impossible for him NOT to commit a crime. As he was aware of national secrets that revealed crimes committed by the NSA his choices were to ignore his legal duty to reveal those crimes (in which case his crime would have been ignored) or reveal those national secrets as is his legal duty and thereby commit the crime of revealing national secrets (which, as we all know, is what he did).

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I've been saying he should be pardoned since the beginning. I've been called some pretty nasty names for saying it in the wrong places too. Sadly a lot of people seem to not get that all he did was expose the illegal activities of the government.

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New US bill aims to zap patent trolls with transparency demands

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Re: I'd hate to see some trolling venture capitalist lose his claim for "imaging technology"

I think any troll should need to put up a large sum of money (10 times demanded?) and be ready to forfeit if they lose the suit.

That would work except for one slight problem: not all infringement claims are trolling. It's already hard enough to wring money out of a major corporation that violates some independent inventor's patent because of legal fees. This idea would make it downright impossible for the little guys, the ones who need the patent protection the most, to enforce their patents. Sure, it'd stop trolls too, but at too high a price.

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Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

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Re: @AC

You're losing touch with reality. My wife was fired from Wal-Mart (long story - the short version is that even the store manager said it wasn't her fault but the termination came down from the corporate headquarters so his hands were tied), then a couple years later flunked out of her fourth attempt at college (after having dropped out 3 times - Don't get me started, but it's her own fault). Now she works a very good job in a retail back office.

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Bethesda all out for 'Fallout 4', fallout for global productivity foretold in countdown

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Re: Fallout 4 In China

Fallout 2 had a significant "Chinese presence" in that the later parts of the game

I never got very far into Fallout 2 actually. That was about the time this wonderful thing called "Real Life" decided to slap me upside the head and more or less force me to stop spending more than a few minutes a day playing games for a couple years.

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Re: Fallout 4 setting confirmed

If we're looking at non-American settings I would think China would be the most likely other nation. After all China and the US were the opposing sides in the nuclear exchange that flattened the world, so it stands to reason that they'd be the two most torn up. Plus being set on the other side of the planet in a world where very few people have the ability to cross an ocean opens up a lot of possibilities. China would likely have very different mutations than the US, so instead of death claws and radscorpions we may have some completely different monsters.

All that said I think it most likely they'll stay in America. There's a lot of backstory to build on that way.

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What a Zuckin' drag! 'Frisco queens protest outside Facebook HQ over 'real names' policy

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Re: Why not

It is disturbing how many people see fb as compulsory

Not cumpulsory. Just very, very convenient. Especially for performers, who use it as an advertising tool. I know one indy musician (who doesn't use a stage name so it's a non-issue for him) who got a record deal just because he had a Facebook page with demos that a talent scout found.

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

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Re: Evidence.

How else do you interpret 60 million year old rocks?

Quite simple: First, the 5000 year mark is based on genealogies which contain NUMEROUS gaps. The time of Genesis could therefore quite easily be much, much further back on the timeline than what these young Earth idiots believe, say around 4.5 billion years ago or so.

Second, Genesis has an account of the creation of the universe as given to Moses, a man who by his own admission wasn't very smart. Don't you think that rather than try to make a not-very-smart man from a time before anything smaller than what you can see with the naked eye was known understand the complexities of cosmology that God might have dumbed it down into a metaphor that sufficed to get across the point that he created the whole thing?

In short, I interpret 60 million year old rocks as proof that (shocker) young Earth wonks contribute to giving my religion a bad name.

Now as to how a young Earther would explain it, I believe the standard explanation is that various factors (such as volcanic activity) can throw off carbon dating and therefore render it unreliable. That claim doesn't hold up under scrutiny though.

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WOODEN computer chips reveal humanity's cyber elf future

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Re: This is so exciting

Someone will no doubt find some problem with this to bark about.

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Your CAR is the 'ultimate mobile device', reckons Apple COO

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Oh dear lord no. That's the last thing we need. A car that you'll have to take to the dealership and pay twice as much as you would anywhere else every time it needs new tires or an oil change.

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Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

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can you point out some of those examples

I actually can point out some of the examples he's talking about. There's the numerous mentions of dragons and/or serpents. I think it's safe to say those are all metaphorical. Unless, of course, you're ready to believe that dinosaurs breathed fire. There's Jonah's great fish, but that was more likely a whale. There's the Leviathan, which is only vaguely described but was definitely sea-bound and probably metaphorical.

Then there's the Behemoth of Job. That one I can't explain. The language around it makes me think it's not meant to be a metaphor and I'm not real sure what it's supposed to be describing. Still, I have trouble accepting it as the only dinosaur described in all of recorded history if they ever walked beside us.

And, frankly, I think only a fool would discard all the scientific evidence we have to say that man and dinosaur walked together based on an incomplete genealogy and one obscure passage. In fact the very idea that God would even try to explain the process of creating a universe in detail to a man who had no idea that subatomic particles existed is absurd. I think it's safe to say the whole account is dumbed down to an extreme degree.

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he is on the verge of proving that dinosaurs and humans coexisted only a couple of thousand years ago

Yes, absolutely. Because a historical record that talks about cats and dogs and freaking dodo birds and the various animals our ancestors hunted would totally leave out any and all references to dinosaurs.

I may share their religion (in a very broad sense, apparently), but sometimes I have to wonder what these guys are smoking.

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Shuttleworth delivers death blow in Umbongoland dispute

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Um....correct me if I'm wrong....but isn't this somewhat like if Stallman were to tell Torvalds that he was no longer the head of the kernel dev team? I mean I get that Kubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu, but surely forking an open source project doesn't give the original control over the derivative's community structure.

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Backpage child sex trafficking lawsuit nixed thanks to 'internet freedoms'

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Faith in humanity....

Gone.

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