* Posts by launcap

272 posts • joined 16 Jul 2010

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Don't shoot the Messenger: NASA's suicide probe to punch hole in Mercury

launcap
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Re: "its final contribution to the scientific canon"

> "its final contribution to the scientific canon" most fittingly will be KABOOM!!

Aha! That's where the penguins from Madagascar went..

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Google’s plan for WORLD DOMINATION takes shape. And it begins with a patent

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Re: I'm impressed.

> Computer-controlled taxis lorries and trains

Even the London Underground - especially when they used carboard punch-card to control things..

(And lets not forget DLR - one of my brothers helped write the early sinalling and control stuff for that. Probably one of the reasons I never use it..)

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Life after Nokia: Microsoft Lumia 640 budget WinPho blower

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Happy

I hope..

..that they offered that Boxer a good deal to appear in a Lumina ad.. free milkbones for life? As many Scooby Snacks as he can eat?

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Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

launcap
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Re: Ah

> buy a shotgun though" ...who for, the MIL or bloke?

Yes.

The armadillo probably needs an improved stealth field and a minigun.

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launcap
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WTF?

Re: IT Angle

> I'll refer you to their menagerie: http://www.oreilly.com/animals.html

So - enquiring minds want to know - how do they select the animals? German Shepherd for Mac OS X pocket guide?

Some make sense (the Tsetse fly for one of the Oracle guides for example) but I get the sense that they have a bunch of animal names in a random generator and press the button whenever they bring out a new book..

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Incomprehensible boffins bring quantum computers a step closer

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Go

So..

.. will this give us ansibles[1]? Imagine - two entangled photons captured in separate wafers and (until they de-entangle) changes to one instantly affect the other..

I want my flying ansible!

[1] Tips hat to Ursula K Le Guin who originated the term. As well as NAFAL.

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Struggling through the Crystal Maze in our hunt for a spare CAT5

launcap
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Stop

Re: WiFi

> Wifi is for lazy people who can't be arsed with running CAT5e through the building.

And people that work in listed buildings[1] where immeasurable paperwork is required to add CAT5/6 ducting or make holes in walls that date from the 13th century[2]..

[1] Obviously though not the ones made when a 12" wall was considered a flimsy temporary structure. Especially with lots of granite in the mix.

[2] This is, of course, the classical definition of an edge case. Unless it happens to be *your* working environment.

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ALIENS ARE COMING: Chief NASA boffin in shock warning

launcap
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Re: Predictions...

> He is a she...

And walks on the wild side?

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launcap
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Re: Sir

> all we need to do is crack fusion

Nah. What we really, really need is to discover thiotimoline! Or (reaching even further back in my reading habits) discover how to negate inertia whilst simultaneously discovering/being given personal devices that enable telepathy..

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launcap
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Mushroom

Re: Actually.... @AC, and the Power of Global Operating Devices

> A fully operational battle station, I presume?

> I vote for one which could be mistaken for a moon.

Maybe (gasp) we already have! Those are not random craters y'know..

Either that or the egg of some myserious space creature that can (equally mysteriously) generate an egg that weighs the same as it did without causing eddies (hi Eddie!) in the space-time continuum.

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Oh no, Moto! Cable modem has hardcoded 'technician' backdoor

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Happy

> As far as I'm concerned, a modem or cable router or ADSL router is just a modem. It's also the >"hostile" side of the network.

Indeed. As a certified paranoid (what else do you call someone who has a background in networks and security?) I'm very, very loathe to trust a manufacturers idea of security.

Might be a bit OTT for a single home-user though. I suspect there a few of those on El Reg though

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Bone-tastic boffins' breakthrough BRINGS BACK BRONTOSAURUS

launcap
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Happy

Re: Not what I expected...from the headline.

> porcuswine burger...

A man/woman/being of taste! Slippery Jim DiGriz for President!

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Halifax's '24/7' online banking service is down YET AGAIN

launcap
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FAIL

Re: So what's new?

> apart from when you get a message saying "there's been an error, try later"

Sounds like they have been taking lessons from Vodafone and/or Three..

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Nuclear waste spill: How a pro-organic push sparked $240m blunder

launcap
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Re: Three points

> they didn't have a proper specification of materials? It just said "mix it with some cat-litter." ?

Specification was presumably read from a marketing handout..

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Re: Why not organic kitty litter?

> Got to have something to do with all the newspapers and Weetabix byproducts...

Ours is compressed wood pellets - once the (ahem) solids are sieved out, the remainder can go into the compost heap where it makes a quite nice accellerator..

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It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

launcap
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Re: I'm disgusted!

> The only consolation is the penguin is strangely fresh due to a touch of gamma irradiation ...

Oh noes! Does that mean we'll shortly be invaded by giant mutated dachshunds?

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Devil

Re: Bloody stupid ...

Who knows? Dachshund owners are a strange lot..

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Mushroom

> Or option D: burying nuclear waste in cat litter.

With one of our cats, I'd rather take the nuclear waste..

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Encryption is the REAL threat – Head Europlod

launcap
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Re: This is the stuff of Blake's 7 'Federation'....

So where is my spaceship? And while we are at it, I want a slightly sarky supercomputer-inna-box..

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launcap
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FAIL

Re: Encryption is not the problem.

> then one might as well become one

"Might as well be hanged for a man as a sheep"

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Unhappy

Re: AT WHAT POINT WILL THEY STOP?

> After the revolution of course.

Which will then need protecting from the anti-revolutionary reactionary forces. And to do that, they will need to read all your communications..

Ad infinitum, ad nauseum. So the wheel turns.

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Prostrate yourself before the GNU, commands Indian DEITY

launcap
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Re: Nice fit

> Pantheism and linux distros. What can possibly go right/wrong?

Steady on - the systemd developers accept no other deity than them..

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Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure

launcap
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Re: A very clever piece of social engineering by these corporations

> The Islamic world was generations ahead of the western world in science, medicine, art, culture, and engineering.

>Then they got religion.

If they didn't have religeon before then how come they were (to use your words) 'The Islamic world'?

Hint: Your statement is utter nonsense - the Islamic renaissance was in the 8-th to 14th centuries, well after Islam itself arose. And was in huge contrast the the reactionary and backward-looking 'Christian' west.

Then after the 14th century, the situation flipped around with the Renaissance starting in the west and increased resistance to scientific thought in the Islamic world.

Nothing to do with "getting religeon".

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Police ICT company finally lurches off the ground

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FAIL

> However they don't seem to have even one person working for them

>that has been educated to degree level in an IT related subject. Not one

Or even someone who knows what they are talking about and/or doing..

(Hint: a degree isn't needed in order to be IT-capable or competent. In support, the reverse is often true!

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Short circuit at Large Hadron Collider slows return to matter-mauling

launcap
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> A carelessly discarded KitKat wrapper

Should have upgraded to lollipop then. Nice plastic wrappers!

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Frayed British Airways plays down mega hack attack on frequent flyer accounts

launcap
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Re: I'm just amazed that

>AF persistently lose my bags at CDG

Try shipping servers as hold luggage then - CDG -> Amsterdam -> Bergen with two Sun servers (E450s - t'was a while ago!).

Half our hold luggage arrived. But no servers. They were going for a nice holday in Rome!

Still - it got me an extra 3 days in Bergen so not all bad :-)

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

launcap
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> test when you have to renew your licence, every ten years

What is this 'renew your license' of which you speak? I don't have to..

(Still got the old-type license. Sure, it's held together with document tape, still has the [now very expired] speeding points on it and is pretty battered from years of bike-jacket occupancy, but they'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands before I'll 'upgrade' it to a photo license.

I object to the fake 10-year renewal money scam and the common stories of allowed vehicle categories somehow failing to get migrated to the new license.

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launcap
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Re: Bad training

> Ten thousand hours, though - that's potentially half a million miles

The 10K hours rule is also a myth..

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Re: Another nail in the coffin...

> you don't have to be a "petrolhead" to understand that it is *inappropriate* speed for the conditions that is the real danger,

*ding* *ding* *din<crash>

Oops. Broke the ringer..

The only times I ever got caught going a tad too fast on the bike was by bike cops. And mostly they were more concerned about whether I was riding safely (according to the conditions) rather than obeying the (sometimes) arbitrary road limits.

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launcap
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Re: Human nature

> massive barbed spike sticking out the middle of the steering wheel

Or disallow someone from taking their car test until the have a certain number of hours on a motorbike or scooter (with potential medical exemptions).

Nothing like being on two wheels to teach you that you are not invulnerable..

(amusingly, I've never had a crash over 10mph* and had more in the car than I ever did on a bike)

*Yes, yes, queue the jokes about 'you need to drive/ride faster then.

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launcap
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Re: If you need to be seen, sidelights.

> When I passed my test my parents rightly said 'now you will learn to drive properly'.

Indeed. Likewise.

I'm also firmly of the opinion that people who have just passed their tests shouldn't have automatic access to motorways since they require a different degree of forward thinking and anticipating than town driving.

All it needs is a follow-on lesson from someone to hammer home the difference.

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launcap
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Re: If you need to be seen, sidelights.

> I won't mention driving with fog lights when it's not foggy...

froth, froth.. Kill them, kill them all!

Anyone fancy inventing a nice IR laser that can auto-target improperly used foglamps? I'm sure that a nice sudden burst of focussed IR should be able to blow the bulb.

And while you are at it, a nice focussed EMP device to kill the doof doof merchants.

All of a sudden, I feel positively middle-aged.

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Re: Is this a lost in translation

> And also I don't know how you fail for not speeding up at the end of a 30 zone, the limit is a limit, not a requirement!

However, you are also supposed to drive in a way that does not impede other road users. Which mean (usually) travelling at or near the limit.

So I guess that it would come under the heading of 'not driving appropriate to the road conditions'

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El Reg reforms the Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse

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Happy

Re: Moral dilemma

> Am I allowed to take the cost at the bulk price I normally buy at

I don't see why not. Especially if you buy them at a proper Asian/Indian wholesaler and not the ripoff prices that the supermarkets sell at..

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launcap
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Pint

Re: Any other 5 Eyes El Reg readers forming vulture teams?

> unable to afford 50 year old whisky..

You poor thing you, I feel your pain! I know, it's terrible having to subsist on fermented and distilled sprouting barley that's only been aged for (shudder) 21 years.

In other news, I've discovered that gin can make a respectably decent drink (neat naturally - none of yer poncy quinine-based tonics - unless you live in malaria alley of course).

Hic, haec, hoc!

(In my younger days I've been tempted to drink spirits in icon-sized glasses..)

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Scientists splice mammoth genes into unsuspecting elephant

launcap
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Re: I'm thinking that a mammoth is itself

> you need smilodon to control the exploding mammoth population

And velociraptors to control the exploding smilodon population.

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BT set to undercut rivals with return to mobile biz

launcap
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Mushroom

Re: OMG

> I have major history with BT

Likewise. They are, however, better than the foetid devils toenail clippings that are Virgin Media or TalkTalk.

Only just mind, only just..

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Dear departed Internet Explorer, how I will miss you ... NOT

launcap
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Re: Ahh, the old days...

> All we had was a NAND gate made from twigs, and two delay lines made from old thermometers.

Or in my case - a shiny *new* 12/75 non-autodial modem. And my parents phone line :-) And the eternal optimism of a 13-year old..

And a selection of fidonet BBS systems that I could get to without incurring huge phone bills. Using my BBC Model B..

Ahh.. The old days were the oldest!

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NHS England has some sneaky plans for Care.data acceleration

launcap
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FAIL

Re: The price of failing to cooperate...

Which brings us on to the electronic prescriptions - the chemist where I pick up my diabetes medication recently informed me that they (and my GP) were going over to (exclusively) electronic prescriptions which may involve the chemist sharing my details and prescriptions with other companies in their group.

I objected.

They said "tough".

I objected

They said "tough - oh and if you want to carry on getting prescriptions from here there is no other option - you can't stay on the current system because we are no longer doing it"

Sadly, none of the chemists available within reach are going to be doing the old-style prescriptions either. So now I have a choice of:

1. Use electronic dispensing and allow my medical details to be shared with the group of companies

2. Don't get prescriptions.

It didn't help that all the people I spoke to, both in the GP and at the chemists, were utterly ignorant of both the DPA and the concept of data security.

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Home Office splashed £35m trying to escape e-Borders contract

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Trollface

“serious irregularities”

Mostly in large brown paper bags I suspect..

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Not in the Budget: Spooks beg UK.gov for £111m brown envelope

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Mushroom

Hmm..

Maybe the Laundry expenses have gone up a bit this year. Too much time spent checking new electronics for summoning grids.

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Google Glass DIED from TOO MUCH ATTENTION, Captain Moonshot admits

launcap
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Re: Captain of Moonshots?

> Is Google+ less picky?

Don't be silly - he works^w is employed at Google so (of course) their rules don't apply to him,

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Google adds evil-code scanning to Play Store

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Coat

Re: billions?

> I was one of the many who spent a billion last year...

He says, posting from his luxurious penthouse^W^W cardboard box.. :-)

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Respect mah privacy! EU delegation begs US to play nice with data

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Unhappy

Re: Lip service..

No - they might get a pat on the head and a 'good boy'.

And then a stick thrown for them to chase.

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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

launcap
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FAIL

> Sadly, tabloid readers seem to dictate government :(

Ah - the old "don't want to see a headline in the Daily Fail" mantra. Used by timid, non-conviction politicians(1) everywhere who determine their policies according to what the latest opinion poll says and are more concerned with ensuring re-election rather than doing what they perceive to be right.

Can you spell "tyranny of the commons"?

(1) And even worse - career Civil servants trying to make sure that they don't do anything 'bold'..

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.Free domains at Amazon while Google says bye to .family

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Mothers day..

TAHH!

(Yet another Halmark Holiday - yes, yes, I know there is some antiquated Catholic celebration called Mothering Sunday but that has virtually nothing to do with Mothers Day other than having been co-opted in a vaguely amusing reverse of the traditional process of assimilation..)

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Data centre dangers: Killing a tree and exploding a UPS

launcap
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Many years ago..

I worked at a big company with several mainframes and a nice generator house very close by. They had regular generator tests and all was well.

Until one day when the mains power really did go down. The UPS's did their job, then the generators took over. For about 10 minutes. Then died. Cue much screaming and cursing as all the IBM mainframes went down hard..

Subsequent investigation revealed that the main fuel tank (under a car park) had had a leak for quite a while. There hadn't been a policy of testing the level of fuel (the fuel gauge measured how much fuel had been put into the tank, not how much was actually there) so no-one had actually checked.

Opps..

After that, there was a swift change in procedure. And a large fine paid for environmental cleanup as all the soil under the fuel tank was now absolutely soaked with diesel fuel..

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We're not sure what it is, but we like it: Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV

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Happy

Re: @Ivan Not sure what it is

> why some people prefer higher vehicles

And people like me do too - because the psoriatic arthritis makes it a real pain (literally!) to get in and out of a low-slung vehicle.

My FR-V is about as low as I can go (although - the occasional trip in my wifes Morris Minor isn't too bad).

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Yay! Wearables! It's the future! Uh-oh! I'm going to be sick

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Re: I've already got all of the monitoring of my body I need.

> In theory it is possible to measure pulse, blood pressure, blood

>oxygenation and temperature from the one earbud, or split the functions into a

>pair of buds.

If only it could check blood glucose too.. I'd actually pay good money for a blood glucose monitoring system that didn't involve sticking needles in various body parts on a regular basis :-(

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RIP Sir Terry Pratchett: Discworld author finally gets to meet DEATH

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Unhappy

Re: Turtles all the way down

> Instead, it sidles up to you gently, purrs gently, and watches intently

Much like cats then. Pterry was (for all his faults) a man of impeccable taste in pets(1)

RIP.

(1) And indeed was the inspiration of the names of two of our furry overlords(2). One of whom (Kelda) has indeed lived up to her name.

(2) There is no (2).

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