* Posts by PassiveSmoking

551 posts • joined 29 Aug 2010

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

PassiveSmoking
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EE (T-mobile at the time) are the reason I ditched term contracts, switched to rolling contracts and just buy the phone myself.

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Kindle Paperwhites turn Windows 10 PCs into paperweights: Plugging one in 'triggers a BSOD'

PassiveSmoking
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Remember the Windows 98 demo where they tried to plug a USB device in and it bluescreened in front of an audience of hundreds?

You'd think MS would have learned a thing or two about programming USB drivers since then.

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Why Oracle will win its Java copyright case – and why you'll be glad when it does

PassiveSmoking
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Re: A bit surprised...

If you think writing an API is in the same intellectual league as doing concurrency that doesn't a) stamp all over its own state and blow up in a shower of corrupted heap and mangled stack frames, b) deadlocks or livelocks, c) do so much locking that it might as well be non-concurrent, d) leak memory/sockets/filesystem handles/any other finite resource and/or e) degenerate into an unmaintainable mess of spaghetti code then you're obviously not suited to API design, and I'd be inclined to doubt your qualifications to write concurrent code as well. All a good API takes is a bit of common sense (for example, always return an array if your call can return 0, 1 or n results. Don't return something other than an array if the output is 1 result (and yes, I have had to work with an API that did exactly that, resulting in having to do a lot of jumping through hoops that wouldn't have been necessary otherwise)). I'd seriously doubt the credibility of any developer that claimed API design was remotely as hard as concurrency.

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PassiveSmoking
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So basically what the AC is saying is you can only build a drop-in replacement for a system if the maker of the original will allow you to? Well that's great. What if they won't? Or what if they no longer exist? One thing API reimplementation is used for is replacing legacy systems if the original vendor went out of business.

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PassiveSmoking
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Re: Author is Dead Wrong

"Just because something falls under copyright, doesn't mean you can be used in to assert infringement"

Isn't that EXACTLY what Oracle were trying to do? Waah, Google copied our headers! They've made billions out of Android! Therefore they owe us billions!

The logic of that literally escapes me.

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PassiveSmoking
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No.

You are aware the PC as we know it wouldn't exist if re-implementing an API was illegal, right? Oracle had nobody's interests at heart but Oracle's, and any attempt to try to spin what Oracle are trying to do is a good thing is deluded. If you can't reimplement APIs, then that's the end of Linux, of WINE, of the PC BIOS, and so on.

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Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out

PassiveSmoking
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Re: Google should have got a license.

Are you a developer?

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PassiveSmoking
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First, 11K lines of actual code is tiny. 11 classes of 1000 lines each is pretty typical for a small blogging system or simple time logger or some such.

Second, this isn't even executable code. It's 11K of interfaces! In java an interface is like a dummy class (oversimplification, I know, but it will do) that contains nothing more than method signatures (What the method is called, what argument(s) it takes, what it returns and what exception(s) it can throw). An actual class has to implement the methods described in the interface. All it does is provide interoperability, because I don't have to care about the specifics of a given class other than knowing it implements a given interface. How it implements that interface is not relevant for me to consume the class's services.

Basically Oracle are trying to take Google to the cleaners for using a language feature designed to encourage interoperability to interoperate with their language.

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PassiveSmoking
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My impression is that it's just Oracle's lawyers bitching about failing to outlaw what's been common practice for decades (if you're not allowed to reverse engineer an API then the PC clone would never have happened and the world of computing would look very different, and probably be way more expensive than it is now), and they're clutching at straws.

The fact is that Google has done zero harm to Oracle. If anything they've revived their flagging fortunes regarding Java. It was already sinking into irrelevance by the time Android rolled around, and when it did suddenly there was demand for people with Java know-how again.

Fair use is fair. Deal with it.

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PassiveSmoking
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Re: I don't get it

It wouldn't. It's called "clutching at straws".

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UK's mass-surveillance draft law grants spies incredible powers for no real reason – review

PassiveSmoking
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Unhappy

Farewell, liberty

You will be mourned by all decent non-Daily Mail readers everywhere.

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Viscous liquid oozing down the walls? You must have hives

PassiveSmoking
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This sounds like a job for..

DOCTOR BEES!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYtXuBN1Hvc

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Researchers crack homomorphic encryption

PassiveSmoking
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Re: can't resist

I can only assume you do all your online banking and shopping in the clear then, if you don't think encryption is useful. That or you're Donald Trump or Theresa May.

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Oracle to shutter License Services division – source

PassiveSmoking
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Who gives a shit about Oracle? As long as they stop trying to totally fuck open source projects by throwing a shitton of money at them and then letting them die of neglect, or trying to totally fuck the entire software development industry with lawsuits against developers doing shit that developers have done for as long as there's been a concept of software engineering, I don't care if they fall into a black hole or if a U boat torpedoes Larry's stupid catamaran or anything else. Their influence ranges from irrelevant to toxic.

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Revealed: How a weather forecast in 1967 stopped nuclear war

PassiveSmoking
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I guess you could say that the solar storm of '67 really had the top brass... BMEWS-ed!

.... sorry. Mine's the one with radioactive lumps of glass in the pocket.

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Apple says banks can't touch iPhone NFC without harming security

PassiveSmoking
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Not really, this thing is a fingerprint scanner after all. If it leaks data it can potentially leak a very sensitive piece of personal biometric data that you then can't subsequently change. I think caution is warranted.

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Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that golden backdoor keys are a terrible idea

PassiveSmoking
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The policy was effectively deactivated on these products

I don't know, doesn't sound that effective to me!

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Reactive? Serverless? Put to bed? What's next for Java. Speak up, Oracle

PassiveSmoking
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If they put as much effort into their own Java as they do into suing over APIs...

... we'd have God's own programming language by now.

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AdBlock Plus blocked in China: 159m forbidden from stripping adverts

PassiveSmoking
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Re: Hah Ha. Fuck off AdBlock Plus.

How much malware does your computer have on it? Because if you don't use an ad-blocker I'm betting it's got a lot.

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The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

PassiveSmoking
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Time to lawyer up, it sounds like you went above and beyond to even get their system as far as you did. To be given that kind of treatment in return is simply unacceptable.

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How the HTTPS-snooping, email addy and SSN-raiding HEIST JavaScript code works

PassiveSmoking
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Malicious ads can potentially masquerade as people

"Malicious ads can potentially masquerade as people online and grab their personal information from HTTPS-protected websites"

And this is why I'll never uninstall my ad blocker. I don't block ads because they're annoying (which they surely are), I block them because they're an untrustworthy menace.

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Crocodile well-done-dee: Downed Down Under chap roasted by exploding iPhone

PassiveSmoking
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In his pocket, burns like a rocket, his butt-hole's singed tonight

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

PassiveSmoking
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We can't let you use this system yet...

... because the fact that we've sold you yet another overpriced lemon is "classified".

God I hate this plane and the money grubbing fools behind it.

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The dev-astating truth: What's left to develop? Send in the machines

PassiveSmoking
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Yawn

New day, same old crap.

I've been hearing predictions about how programming is going to cease to be an intellectual pursuit for years. Either it's going to be replaced with a load of pre-build modules that any idiot can assemble into some kind of super-uber-application (*cough* BPEL! *cough*) or it's all getting outsourced to India and now we're all going to be replaced by robots.

None of this has happened (except for some outsourcing to India for stuff that doesn't really matter that much, because most code produced at outsourced software houses is crap). BPEL and other such attempts at lego brick programming have all been abysmal failures (Seriously? A programming language implemented in XML? Couldn't anybody working on that see that it was an idea that should have been drowned at birth?) and I doubt AI is going to be any threat to my job so long as Siri can't tell "Play the song Ruby" from "Play with your boobies" (true story, Siri really did think I said the latter when I asked it to do the former once).

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All roads lead to Rome as Irish seminary gripped by Grindr scandal

PassiveSmoking
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Facepalm

Catholics

Fool around with consenting adults of the same gender, scandal.

Fool around with choir boys, swept under the rug.

What a lovely organisation.

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You think Donald Trump is insecure? Check out his online store

PassiveSmoking
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@cd

Would you like some soothing cream? Because that was a burn

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Death of 747 now 'reasonably possible' says Boeing

PassiveSmoking
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ETOPS

Engines Turn Or Passengers Swim

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Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

PassiveSmoking
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In Soviet Russia...

blueberries squash YOU!

Sorry...

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Wavering about Apple's latest security fix? Don't, says Talos

PassiveSmoking
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It's not too much complexity that's led to this

It's the same old mistakes that programmers keep making over and over and over again, namely a buffer overrun. So long as we insist on using C and its descendants and other languages that make the programmer manage memory themselves errors such as buffer overruns, stack overflows, heap corruption, dangling pointers, null pointers and double-frees are always going to be here.

What we need to acknowledge is that programmers are fallible and that some of the more mundane yet error-prone aspects of programming should really be taken out of the hands of programmers wherever possible. Managing memory yourself is something that you should only need to do in performance-critical code.

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What will laws on self-driving cars look like? Think black boxes and 'minimum attention'

PassiveSmoking
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Re: Pointless and expensive technology

I've got eyesight so bad I'm forbidden from ever holding a driver's license.

From my perspective, this tech would only be pointless if it always required a qualified driver sat in front of it for liability purposes. If it can be made to work with no human intervention at all then for me it becomes a shot at freedom.

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UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

PassiveSmoking
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They can in theory disconnect your services without a smart meter. However they never actually do cut you off because:

a) If there is somebody dependant on medical equipment at the address and they disconnect the electricity, they could be liable should they die as a result of being deprived of that equipment.

b) If they reconnect the gas supply while an appliance is on and there's nobody in the house, they could trigger a gas explosion.

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New Mars rover is GO for 2020 says NASA

PassiveSmoking
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Come on guys, there's 4 outer planets, dozens of moons and a cornucopia of kaiper belt objects, go and have a look at those for a while! I mean after the excitement New Horizons generated why isn't there a second Pluto/kaiper belt mission on the drawing board?

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Huge double boxset of Android patches lands after Qualcomm disk encryption blown open

PassiveSmoking
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Pass on the updates to their customers

"Meanwhile, Google is issuing a second string of patches that aren't going on general release: they'll be pushed out to Nexus owners and to hardware manufacturers who are expected to then pass on the updates to their customers."

Hahahahahaaa! Oh that's a good one. Especially if you own a Samsung device.

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Wealthy youngsters more likely to be freetards than anyone else – study

PassiveSmoking
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Re: Someone forgot a Golden Rule

http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

I love the one about Nicolas Cage movies.

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Dolphin fans freak, blast browser's bumbling bundles of bloatware

PassiveSmoking
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Dolphin Translator app

Eck eck eck squeak whistle click click click eck *

* So long and thanks for all the fish

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400 million Foxit users need to catch up with patched-up reader

PassiveSmoking
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Foxit? The referendum to exit a fox?

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Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

PassiveSmoking
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Why is American security so depending on reading about how much I hate First Bus?

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RIP ROP: Intel's cunning plot to kill stack-hopping exploits at CPU level

PassiveSmoking
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Re: Silver Bullet

There is no silver bullet because computers are operated by humans and the fact that "password" is by far the most common password shows you just how badly they fail at security. Until you can give humans a hardened stack there will always be malware of some sort, it will just rely on social engineering and tricking users into giving it the privilege it wants instead of trying to steal privilege with clever programming hacks.

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

PassiveSmoking
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Thorium fission

Why aren't we looking at that? In theory it bypasses at least some of the issues with uranium/plutonium fission (with the added benefit that thorium is far more common than either and doesn't require isotope separation), and in the short-medium term it's far more achievable than fusion.

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That didn't take long: Shareholders sue Oracle in 'fake cloud sales' row

PassiveSmoking
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They probably thought that they only had to provide an interface and not implement it because interfaces are obviously so vital to their business and must be protected at all costs.

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Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter and Pinterest password was 'dadada'

PassiveSmoking
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That's the same combination as I have on my luggage!

Set a course for Druidia, and change the combination on my luggage!

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GNU cryptocurrency aims at 'the mainstream economy not the black market'

PassiveSmoking
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Mining?

So presumably you can't just magic money out of thin-air by mining it, the cryptocoins in this system have to have a corresponding amount of real money to back them up, correct? So if that's the case, isn't this more of a money transfer system rather than a full-fat cryptocurrency?

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Air-gapping SCADA systems won't help you, says man who knows

PassiveSmoking
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Re: Air gapping won't help you because.....a non airgapped system is insecure

Hang a sign on the air-gapped system.

WARNING:

This system is high-security and MUST NOT be connected to any wired, wireless or any other form of network. ATTEMPTING TO DO DO WILL BE CONSIDERED GROSS MISCONDUCT AND GROUNDS FOR INSTANT DISMISSAL AND MAY ALSO RESULT IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTION

You may need to change employee's contracts to allow the above to actually be enforceable, but in any security system, the technological solution (firewalls, airgapping, etc) are only part of the solution. Making sure the system's users don't do anything stupid is a part of security as well.

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Kraftwerk versus a cheesy copycat: How did the copycat win?

PassiveSmoking
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You keep claiming copyright is to protect the little guy

But this is a perfect demonstration of an attempt at the exact opposite, and far more common, use for it. Copyright is usually used to try and slap the little guy down. Never mind that pesky "fair use" stuff.

Also, nice ad hominem there (grumbly bass players, et al). Those kinds of tactics are usually the last resort of people without a good actual argument so you know you're in for a ride when the article opens with one.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

PassiveSmoking
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Good luck if you've got a Samsung craptop. You won't be able to not install Windows 10 (without drastic action) and you won't be able to use it once it's installed because Samsung don't give a crap about you once they've got your money and won't update their drivers.

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Brown boffins brew eye-tracking Javascript

PassiveSmoking
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I've got nystagmus. Good luck tracking my eye movements, bitches.

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One ad-free day: Three UK to block adverts across network in June

PassiveSmoking
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I'm really in two minds about this.

On the one hand, I've raged against ads. I hate them and I believe them to be downright dangerous as currently implemented, and I see no reason to take a risk of exposing myself to malware just to see flashy annoying ads for crap I don't want anyway. Seriously, stop shoving dog food ads at me, YouTube, I don't even have a dog.

On the other, if networks start blocking some content at the network level, there will be increased pressure on them from other parties to block other content at the network level. We'll get a lot of government pressure, especially, to block "ideologically impure" sites that they don't like and when the networks say they can't/won't, they'll retort "Why not? You block ads". It'll also play into the anti net-neutrality crowd. "Why won't you throttle sites? You block ads".

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$10bn Oracle v Google copyright jury verdict: Google wins, Java APIs in Android are Fair Use

PassiveSmoking
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Oh thank fuck for that.

Now about overturning that whole "APIs are copyright" nonsense that started this whole mess off in the first place...

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Three UK: Our MMS prices are up. Get around us with WhatsApp or Skype

PassiveSmoking
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They are? The main (only?) reason I stick with them is the all-you-can-eat data.

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Cisco retires Nexus 6000 switches

PassiveSmoking
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I've... routed things you people wouldn't believe.

Cat videos on fire off the YouTube of Orion.

I've watches XXX-beams glittering in the darkness by the Pornhouser Gateway.

All those packets will be lost in time, like sketchy Twitter posts by politicians.

Time to kill -9.

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