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* Posts by xperroni

479 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

xperroni
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Re: Try hunting down that NASA quote

I did [look for the NASA quote on E-Cat] ages ago. It was something like "If it works, it would be great". No-one from NASA has said "It is not a scam", which leads me to ask: Why do the E-Cat guys need to publicise a miss-quote?

Uh, NASA was publishing designs created on the assumption that E-Cat works as late as this year.

Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Aircraft

http://nari.arc.nasa.gov/node/259

The objective of this project was to explore the use of LENR as an energy source for aircraft. This report includes descriptions of different LENR propulsion or energy conversion systems, synergistic missions, and some aircraft concepts. Brief discussions of constraints that are removed by LENR and new constraints that arise are also included. This report concludes with potential research areas to infuse LENR aircraft into NASA research.

Also this piece from early this month quotes NASA's Michael Nelson as saying:

I was impressed with the work that was done to insure the measurements claiming a 3.2 to 3.6 COP were accurate. Aside from the fact that this could not have been produced from any known chemical reaction, the most significant finding to me is the evidence of isotopic shifts in lithium and nickel. Understanding this could possibly be the beginning of a whole new era in both material transmutations and energy for the planet and for space exploration. This is an exciting time to live in and this is an exciting technology to witness come about.

Unless the quote was mis-attributed and/or made up through-and-through, I'd say it's quite hard to misread it.

Mind you, I'm just as skeptical as anyone. But some people not usually taken for fools seem to think this might be the real deal, so perhaps we should give it the benefit of the doubt? After the latest report it is expected that the E-Cat team will apply for a patent for their method, and then we'd be able to get more details on it.

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xperroni
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Re: 10 years

10 years from now?

They'd better run, the E-Cat guys have a working prototype now*, where will they be in 10 years?

* Assuming it all isn't a scam, but some NASA people seem to think it's not, which is better recognition than LM got.

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What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

xperroni
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Facepalm

And there's a lot less hand-eye coordination involved in using a keyboard compared to using a mouse or touch. Better for the eyes, better for the hands.

When I started on my last corporate job one colleague caught eye of my rather widespread usage of keyboard shortcuts. So he came to my desk and asked, "Did you taught computer training classes?" When I answered negatively he remarked that "only computer class teachers use keyboard shortcuts". I had the distinct impression he was being derisive, as if knowing how to efficiently use my main everyday work tool was something to be ashamed of.

So apparently it's not that people just don't know the benefits of keyboard-based interfaces, they actively resist it as an "uncool" activity. Go figure.

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Huge FOUR-winged dino SPREAD LEGS to KILL – scientists

xperroni
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Re: Seen a wedgetail eagle lately ?

A wedgie eating roadkill can ruin your whole day. You come over a crest at 100km/h, the wedgie takes off but it's big so it doesn't rise fast enough, and the next thing you know the massive eagle has smashed through your windscreen and into your face.

I bet the eagle's day wouldn't fare any better...

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xperroni
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Mushroom

Re: Seen a wedgetail eagle lately ?

"Wedgetail eagle" you say? Never heard of it, let's look for some pics...

Aye, I see what you mean. Feathered legs and rather long tail feathers, alright.

WTF! Look at the size of that, did that eagle just kill a... a... Wait, what is that? A kangaroo?!

Ah, so it's Australian. Suddenly it all makes sense.

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ALIEN BODY FOUND ON MARS: Curiosity rover snaps extraterrestrial

xperroni
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Paris Hilton

Re: Point of Order

Every rock found on Mars is extraterrestrial.

Beaten me to it. Of course the title is obviously exaggerated / misleading for humor purposes (or so we hope), but we can still wonder whether this particular misuse of "extraterrestrial" was intentional or accidental.

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LIFE on Titan: If there's one thing aliens HATE, it's a SALTY BALL

xperroni
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Re: Not Quite Dead Sea

except that the microbes are only found near fresh water vents in the floor, the rest of the area is dead.

Granted, but at first we didn't know about those either. Who knows what might be hidden under Titan's surface?

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xperroni
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Boffin

Not Quite Dead Sea

[T]he ocean inside Saturn’s largest moon Titan is as salty as Earth’s Dead Sea, making it an unlikely location for alien life.

Then again, there is some life to be found on Earth's Dead Sea...

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Cranial RAM cram plan aims to restore memory

xperroni
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Gimp

Déjà vu?

Hadn't pretty much the same thing been done more than ten years ago? Get on with the scalpel already.

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Like frozen burgers, 'Bigfoot' DNA samples have a touch of horse

xperroni
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Windows

You can't kill a myth, period

"I don't think this finishes the Bigfoot myth at all.”

I agree. No amount of evidence can ever kill a myth, because the people upholding it are not trying (however awkwardly) to make sense of the real world in its own terms. In their minds the truth has already been found, all they need is to produce some proof, so "they will all see". Hell, 20% of Americans still think the Sun goes around the Earth!

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REVEALED: The sites blocked by Great Firewall of Iraq

xperroni
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Big Brother

Shirley you can't be serious!

But I thought the Americans had brought DEMOCRACY&FREEDOM© to Iraq! How come they have blocked news websites? Surely this can only be some sort of International Jewish Communist Soviet Jihadist Conspiracy!

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REVEALED: Google's proposed indie music-killing contract terms

xperroni
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Paris Hilton

Re: Yahoo is about to launch their video website

[Yahoo] got a good opportunity right now to do the right thing.

So the future of independent music rests on My Little Pony Marissa Meyer's Yahoo! not fscking up?

We're all gonna die.

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EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

xperroni
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Coat

Ah, the V600. My one-and-only clamshell cellphone, really digged it. Then one day it slipped off from the holster and into the ground. Wasn't quite the same ever again.

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xperroni
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Mushroom

Re: Hacking Team?

Also, I take issue with using "murder" as a collective for interns. This is derogatory to crows, which are smart, praiseworthy creatures.

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xperroni
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Big Brother

Re: Hacking Team?

Not sure whether psychotic attack or trying to make sense?

Psychotic breakdown apart, he does have a point. The company is called "Hacking Team", for the gods' sake. They don't make the slightest effort to disguise what services they offer, either – here, just take a look at their website, which by the way is Google-indexed. Kudos to Kaspersky for mapping the C/C servers, but really, these guys couldn't be more conspicuous if they stuck an "EVIL SCIENTIST LAIR" written sign in their offices' front lawn.

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xperroni
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Windows

Re: Warrantless search for $500?

Either one of those defenses might invalidate an assassination. It's hard to say really, but if you find yourself facing a judge on charges of attempted assassination either one of those defenses is probably worth trying.

No.

Sorry, but I'd rather take my chances with "it wasn't me", "I didn't do it" or "but I have an alibi". Which one would depend on the circumstances, I'd have to play it by the ear.

PS: That thing on the walls isn't chocolate, it's mold. Stop eating it.

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Chromebook Pixel owners' promised free data plans being prematurely axed

xperroni
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Re: Oh no - I'm not getting my free 100mb of data per month

No it isn't.

Fine, bit of hyperbole. The Chromebook FAQ does say that "[f]or the rare times when you’re disconnected from the Internet, you can use offline-ready apps to stay productive." Still it's clear that a working Internet connection is very important for the thing to work properly.

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xperroni
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Big Brother

Re: Oh no - I'm not getting my free 100mb of data per month

On the other hand, I have 200MB on my mobile phone contract which is usually enough to cover traveling between wifi spots during the month...

Except not all carriers allow wi-fi tethering from a handset, or charge for it as a separate service. And even where that's not the case, or can be circumvented (which is, at best, trying to get two wrongs to make a right), that's beside the matter: buyers were told they'd get two years' worth of free service. Verizon (with or without Google's tacit consent) cannot go back on its word now. Really, it's an open and shut case.

But what I find really disturbing in this episode isn't so much that the free plans are seemingly being terminated without so much as a warning message, before or after the fact; it's how many people here seem to think it's alright for big companies to screw their own customers. Surely you don't believe you're "safe" from corporate malice just because you know a thing or two about computers?

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xperroni
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Childcatcher

Re: Oh no - I'm not getting my free 100mb of data per month

On the other hand, if it's such small fry that people shouldn't have the right to complain, why not live up to what it says on the tin web page? I bet many a user have a faster wi-fi network at home, but relied on the LTE connection while on the run. Remember, without an Internet connection a chromebook is dead weight, so to suddenly find oneself without mobile support is very likely a big deal to them.

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xperroni
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Paris Hilton

Re: Conditions apply.

Unless they had a condition that read "lies" or equivalent ("void at provider's discretion", perhaps?), I don't see how they can explain away an entire year's worth of coverage.

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xperroni
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Boffin

Re: Err...

The problem is that the "promise" wasn't vaguely vented in a press release or some such – it was put down in writing, at the product's page. This is not so different from a lie about the device's specs, for example – buyers were told one thing at the counter, and delivered another after payment. There are laws against this kind of thing, you know.

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Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

xperroni
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Facepalm

Fools, money, etc.

But I have to admit, this brings the concept to a whole new level.

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DON'T PANIC: Facebook returns after 30-minute outage terror

xperroni
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Paris Hilton

"longest service disruption in living memory"

How far back is that? Please give your answer in Olympic pools.

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Want a cheap iMac? TOO BAD. But you can have a slow one for $1,099

xperroni
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Paris Hilton

Re: You're right for the wrong reasons...

Are you seriously comparing an ARM dual core to an Intel Dual core?

A bad example perhaps, but he has a point.

What is so great about Macs today that justifies the hefty price tag? Surely it isn't the specs.

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xperroni
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Paris Hilton

The reality distortion field is still on

Those looking to get a desktop Mac for under $1,000 will still need to look to either buying an older refurbished model or the bare-bones Mac Mini at $599.

Yet fanbois all over the 'net are weighing in on the new "cheap" iMac. Where in this day and age is a $1,000 desktop machine "cheap"?! It could at best be "good value for money" (though I doubt that as well), but "cheap" it isn't.

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Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

xperroni
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Facepalm

Re: Welcome to the cloud

I don't have a problem with the cloud per se, I do have a problem with the bizarre faith in it that seems so prevalent.

But you see, "safe if properly handled" is just as true for handguns, yet we don't allow everyone to have one, correctly inferring most people won't.

Cloud hosting services are the same – a reasonable proposition for a world where people can be relied upon to not be goddmaned stupid, which unfortunately isn't ours.

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xperroni
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Facepalm

Welcome to the cloud

Where your entire operation can disappear overnight and being a paying customer guarantees nothing whatsoever.

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xperroni
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And that is not unique to the cloud either.

True, but shouldn't we then be advancing towards making these kinds of criminal mismanagement harder, rather than easier?

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xperroni
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And the "understatement of the year" prize goes to...

"On behalf of everyone at Code Spaces, please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this has caused to you (...)."

I can only imagine these people getting to work one day, finding the whole company building burned down to the ground, and then sighing with typical British detachment, "well, that's going to be inconvenient".

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Elon Musk: Just watch me – I'll put HUMAN BOOTS on Mars by 2026

xperroni
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Mushroom

Can you even doublespeak?

That's not to say Musk sees himself competing with the space agency. He paid tribute to NASA, saying that without that agency's pioneering work, SpaceX couldn't have got as far as it has.

Translation: "move over have-beens, we'll take it up from here". Some tribute...

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'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

xperroni
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Windows

Punter, meet bus

(...) [W]e've been loyal, so why hasn't Microsoft reciprocated our loyalty?

Because for Microsoft, throwing under a bus the fools who dare to trust its goodwill isn't merely a sport, it's a way of life.

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Chap builds rotary dial mobile phone

xperroni
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I'm more impressed...

...that he could find a rotary dial at all.

Are those things still produced? What for?

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Greenpeace rejoices after getting huge renewable powerplant CANCELLED

xperroni
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Re: It's looking more and more...

And I'm only half-paranoid!

Time to stop doing it halfway?

http://atomicinsights.com/smoking-gun/

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Marc Andreessen: Edward Snowden is a 'textbook traitor'

xperroni
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Mushroom

Re: Superior Orders

IIRC In the My Lai Massacre the officer was still held responsible - by his own side.

I had never heard of that, so I headed to Jimbo's Big Bag o' Trivia, which had this to say:

The Mỹ Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass murder of between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968. It was committed by U.S. Army soldiers from the Company C of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division. Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated. Twenty six soldiers were charged with criminal offenses, but only Lieutenant William Calley Jr., a platoon leader in C Company, was convicted. Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but served only three and a half years under house arrest.

Not so much "holding responsible" as "scapegoating", then – and even the scapegoat got off with a metaphorical slap in the wrist, all things considered.

Also disturbingly familiar:

Initially, three U.S. servicemen who had tried to halt the massacre and rescue the hiding civilians were shunned, and even denounced as traitors by several U.S. Congressmen, including Mendel Rivers, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

They never change...

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xperroni
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Big Brother

Superior Orders

"The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him". Thus says the fourth Nuremberg principle, as laid down by the victorious Allies after WWII.

By the same token, didn't Snowden have a moral obligation to bring the NSA's excesses to light?

Oh, but I guess these things only apply when you work to a defeated enemy of the US... Apologies, do go on Mr. Andreessen.

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xperroni
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Who didn't know what the NSA was doing?

It's not that we didn't expect the NSA to be spying, but the scope and methods put people off – including overseas clients of US-based cloud services, which I believe is Andreessen's actual beef with Snowden. "All this truth is hurting my bottom line!" is the long and short of it, really. Talk about butthurt!

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Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! 3D HOLO-PHONE hinted in Amazon vid

xperroni
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Paris Hilton

Re: Another mysterious nameless "It"...

So...Virtual Segway?

Whatever it is, I predict similar levels of disappointment.

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Apple 'rainbow' logos set to fetch $10-15K at auction

xperroni
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"The Story of the 20th Century"

"Story" as in a work of fiction? In contrast to "history", which purports to be a factual account?

Fitting choice of goods, then.

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So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

xperroni
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Speaking of myths...

I love when people tout Microsoft as a company others could partner with and not get raep'd then thrown under a bus at any moment. I mean, look at how they treat their customers – and that's because they need them. I shudder at the thought of what they do to those they consider redundant...

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Customisation is BAD for the economy, say Oz productivity wonks

xperroni
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Indeed, who in their right minds would think it's bad that there's demand for higher-quality products that require more people (read: more job openings) to make? Only in guberment-land would this be seen as a problem...

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Boffins build billion-synapse, three-watt 'brain'

xperroni
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I want to see what happens when it tries to learn C++.

John Regehr has some ideas...

In C compiler doublethink, -INT_MIN is both negative and non-negative. If the first true AI is coded in C or C++, I expect it to immediately deduce that freedom is slavery, love is hate, and peace is war.

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Sleuths find nosy NORKS drones on the Chinternet

xperroni
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Big Brother

Re: Drones, schmones

Two words, BO-RING.

Glorious Stalin had witches flying sewing machines to harass the German troops at night.

Now that's how you scare the flying bejesus out of grown men!

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Och aye! It's the Loch Ness Monster – but only Apple fanbois can see it

xperroni
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Paris Hilton

Now, let's not be mean to the fairy catchers

The artifact looks like a fish; you could make out the head, body, pectoral fins and tail. It's very symmetric, and the way the different regions are graded even suggests "it" has just surfaced and is about to begin diving back. The ship's contours are comparatively easy to miss – I didn't notice it until told what to look for. All in all, if I had seen this picture devoid of any context, I'd likely say "oh, it's just a whale shark or something".

It's only the fact we have no emotional attachment whatsoever to such fairy tales that makes it easy to dismiss the picture as an artifact of satellite imaging (don't know about you; I didn't bother checking whether satellite imaging could really generate these kinds of artifacts). But "true believers", I can totally imagine they will look at this picture and undoubtedly see the Loch Ness Monster – or the Virgin Mary, for that matter.

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WTF happened to Pac-Man?

xperroni
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Re: I think VG Cats said it best...

I think it speaks volumes of our kind that we can look at our childhood idols getting abused like this and smirk in amusement.

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xperroni
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Re: Robotron!!!! Most insane game

Jeff Minter's robotron inspired Llamatron was the truely insane one...

Had to Google this one. Gosh, you can say "insane" again... Must have been a pretty bad trip, the one that led to writing this game!

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Hackers attempt to BLACKMAIL plastic surgeons

xperroni
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Facepalm

"How can you do surgery on plastic?"

That was the question in my head as I read the article's headline. For some reason I couldn't for the life of me relate it to cosmetic surgery.

I guess I'm just tired?

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Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?

xperroni
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A fail for the 21th century

Look forward to the sub-prime cloud scandal and subsequent economic crisis.

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One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work

xperroni
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Big Brother

There's no diplomacy like American diplomacy

[D]iplomatic efforts by the US (...)

You mean, like trying to plant bugs in equipments manufactured by Chinese companies?

Yeah, that should have totally got through the notion that America® wants nothing more than to live in harmony with all peoples of the world. No idea why those Chinos can't let go of their dirty tricks and play nice, just like our Yankee friends!

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Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

xperroni
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Re: Post hoc ergo propter hoc

I think Mr Downey should really be versed in things like - Post hoc ergo propter hoc

Though in the article he does claim to have looked for a common factor that would explain concurrent Internet expansion and increased disaffiliation, but couldn't find any:

"Although a third unidentified factor could cause both disaffiliation and Internet use, we have controlled for most of the obvious candidates, including income, education, socioeconomic status, and rural/urban environments," Downey states.

Surely we aren't supposed to expect it's the other way around, and it's the raise in disaffiliation that's driving Internet expansion?

To be sure, I tend towards Thomson's contention that the increased radicalization of the Protestant movement is more likely to blame. But I don't think Downey is jumping into conclusions either; the analysis work seems sound. It might just be that he's giving too much credit to the reliability of his data, a problem all too common in poll-based research.

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'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

xperroni
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Thumb Down

Re: What legit email admin ...

Maybe one whose head isn't stuck in the 90's? My main e-mail account has been Yahoo! and then Gmail for the past 10+ years. I doubt I am an exception, and if that makes me "not a real man / engineer / hacker / programmer / Internet user" then so be it.

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