* Posts by Pen-y-gors

1302 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

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Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

Pen-y-gors
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Hurry up and build that wall

But not just at the Southern border - all the way around the country, and designed to stop emigrants.And there must be enough offshore US-owned assets (Facebook?) that can be seized to pay for it. Probably an idea to cut all the fibre pipes as well.

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IT boss 'set up fake companies to charge his employers $2.4m'

Pen-y-gors
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I need new glasses

When I glanced over thois headline I read it as "set up fake companies to charge his EMPLOYEES $2.4M"

Curious I thought. But it does make you think...how would you go about it?

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World religions stake out positions on Pokemon Go

Pen-y-gors
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Help me...

An old fart writes:

Other than the fact that it's some sort of computer game (which gets its players killed for real) I have no idea what this Pokemon Go thing is.

The question is - do I need to know? Will my life be richer and happier by knowing? Or can I just ignore it like all those other transient phenomena like MySpace, FriendsReunited, Twatbook etc.

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All you need for quantum computing at room temperature is some mothballs

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Interesting

<fx exploding brain>

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Pen-y-gors
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Interesting

Sounds like it could be an important step. But why does my brain want to explode whenever I try to understand quantum computing?

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Google tests its own quantum computer – both qubits of it

Pen-y-gors
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Quantum Software Engineer

Wonderful - am I at my desk working or am I drinking cocktails on the Riviera - or maybe both simultaneously!

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DDoS, the cloud and you

Pen-y-gors
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Nothing new here

Nothing new really. Same problems and risks have been there for years with shared hosting - who else is on your physical server and IP address? Had a couple of problems some years ago when dodgy site elsewhere on the server was busy spamming and we all got blacklisted for a while.

Cloud just makes the problem a bit vaguer and fluffier.

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BT customers hit by broadband outage ... again

Pen-y-gors
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Some sympathy -but not a lot

Having recently had a 5-day outage at the bods who do some of my hosting (how often do both drives in a RAID setup fail at the same time? And with a dodgy backup?) and spent time placating customers for cock-up by third party, I feel a teensy-weensy bit of sympathy for BT when they are affected by a supplier's kit going titsup. (We're currently migrating all our customers to someone more reliable anyway - they really should have been more apologetic!)

BUT - BT is not the same as a small One-man-and-a-cat rural welsh IT company specialising in bi-lingual web development. They're several times bigger, and should surely be able to afford truly redundant kit that just keeps working, although I will allow them a hiccup or two in the event of meteorite strikes or Brexit.

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40 years ago today the US govt sent a taxpayer-funded robot to invade an alien hostile world

Pen-y-gors
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And the lesson is...

Never rely on remote updates. If it's important, send an engineer out on site.

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Hacker shows Reg how one leaked home address can lead to ruin

Pen-y-gors
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Simple solution

Don't have an address! Keep all you own in a few plastic bags and sleep each night under a different hedge. And to be extra safe, don't have any bank accounts (or cash).

Or, in the real world, make sure you bank with someone with decent security, and don't use a phone for banking.

Actually he missed one really sneaky trick for getting names and addresses. I've got this big bundle of paper called "The Phone Book" - it's just chock full of addresses AND NAMES just ripe for identity theft - or not as the case may be.

Another good trick is to get someone to pay you with a cheque. The fools don't realise that it shows not only their name but also their bank account number and sort code. Surely this means you can now withdraw all the money from their account?

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Google's Nexii stand tall among Android's insecure swill

Pen-y-gors
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Yes, but, no, but...

My first-gen Nexus 7 is very secure. That's because the latest Android updates are so big and massive that it runs like a dog and is pretty well useless. Even reading an e-book sometimes takes seconds for the page to turn.

To be honest I'm have preferred an Android version that was a little less secure but could actually cope with the hardware. Shame on you Google!

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UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Domestic?

Yes, but how easy is it to get an Icelandic ISP to provide a service to a dwelling in rural Cumbria?

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Pen-y-gors
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Idiots!

Breaking encryption - I don't think so.

Blocking encrypted connections - that would be possible (but bloody stupid!)

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Shocker: Computer science graduate wins a top UK political job

Pen-y-gors
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What about me?

I passed second year Comp Sci and made it to Chairman of the parish council!

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Space station to get shiny new ringpiece for automatic penetration

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Passive?

No, no, no...all Earth standards are immediately adopted throughout the Galaxy. Remember how easy it was to plug Jeff Goldblum's laptop into an (RS232?) connector in Independence Day to upload the virus?

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Student Loans Company burns £50 million in IT project superfail

Pen-y-gors
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How the fec....?

do you spend £50m on something like this and not deliver anything?

Surely the spec isn't that complex?

There are customers

They take out loans

They repay the loans in stages - you may want a direct debit facility

You need to keep track of changes of address etc

You need to be able to write off loans

You need to be able to produce reports and interrogate the system

There may be annual(?) peaks in usage.

May need to interface to some outside systems to check student status

Okay, a bit trivial, but that's surely the main points.

Whether you have 100K customers or 10million customers doesn't have a massive impact on the underlying requirements, rather on implementation and system capacity/resilience.

To be honest I would have thought that is a fairly standard finance company system spec - which wouldn't cost £50m to implement and has presumably been written 100 times already.

Could we please have some sackings.

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Revolutionary Brit-made SABRE hybrid rocket engine to burn in 2020

Pen-y-gors
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2020?

Yep, only 4 years away. But then that's (hopefully) a working engine. When does it actually make orbit with crew? 2040?

By 2020 Elon Musk will probably have an operational manned space station around Mars!

Sad difference between public and private projects.

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UK.gov flings £30m at driverless car R'n'D, wants plebs to speek their branes

Pen-y-gors
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"Some of the safest roads..."

To say that the UK has 'some of the safest roads in the world' doesn't cover the half of it! Globally the UK is 3= in the list of lowest fatalities per capita, on a par with Kiribati, and narrowly behind Sweden and Micronesia (and does Micronesia actually have any roads?)

That is something to be pretty proud of.

If properly used (N.B. important phrase there) I suspect driverless cars may reduce this further, but only in certain situations, and the software/driver must know which situations AREN'T appropriate. Motorways probably very good. Mountain roads in rural Wales with the odd wandering sheep and timber lorry, probably not so good.

Driverless could be nice on long journeys, but I'll miss slamming the accelerator down on the 944 and zooming past some blasted sunday driver!

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Florida U boffins think they've defeated all ransomware

Pen-y-gors
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Next gen ransomware

...and in the next release of the ransomware there's a new step

1. Infect machine

2. Detect and switch off crypto drop

3. Carry on encrypting

ho hum...

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Don't doubt it, Privacy Shield is going to be challenged in court

Pen-y-gors
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No problem for the UK then

Thank $deity for Brexit then. I'm sure our nice new PM with her well-know concerns for data protection and individual privacy rights will swiftly negotiate a nice treaty with the US to allow them to take any UK data they like when they like and do whatever they want with it, and the UK will be allowed to say OK.

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Cycling paramedics in epic rush to save patient who ate stale sandwich

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Swiss Mountain Patrol

Not forgetting the British Army Cyclist Corps in WW1, which had 14 battalions. And they didn't get sexy lightweight carbon fibre mountain bikes with a zillion gears.

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Pen-y-gors
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Excellent job folks

I'm sure they're doing an excellent job, like all our wonderful NHS paramedics. Pity about the idiots they have to go to.

One question though, how do they balance a stretcher on a bike?

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Got the Brexit fear? Keep calm and keep using AWS – Amazon UK boss

Pen-y-gors
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But do we want a UK region?

Given the predilection of UK governments to want to access any and all data owned by its citizens, ideally without their knowledge, a tendency that will probably get worse if Theresa 'Call me Stasi' May ends up as our PM, then maybe keeping our data offshore may be no bad idea. When are they setting up an Iceland region?

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UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000 if teens watch porn vids

Pen-y-gors
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Wait! This is actually an improvement!

" its definition of “pornographic material” covers video, still images and even sound-only recordings."

I seem to remember from when they banned all the kiddie-fiddling stuff, that they also included cartoon depictions (like the Olympic logo of Lisa Simpson being naughty), text-only items and even thinking about young persons in a certain way (although saying aah, isn't he cute at picture of naked baby on bearskin rug is okay, but not Phoah, isn't he cute)

I despair at our politicians, I really do.

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Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

Pen-y-gors
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Are you 18?

Asking a simple question won't work - they might lie. No, the question needs to be

Do you PROMISE on Cameron's grave that you're 18, cross your heart, hope to die.

That would be sure to get an honest answer.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Thank you, Sir

and Cough

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Pen-y-gors
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10Mbps is easy

This is interesting. Bog-standard broadband has traditionally been 'up to 8Mbps' (YMMV). Since I complained about some problems and got the last 200m of my line replaced I've been getting about 7.5Mb, from an exchange about 1.5 miles away.

We're still waiting for FTTP (yep, FTTP, not FTTC - they've promised), which has been promised for many months - but it looks as if it's very, very close now. The exchange was enabled last year, now we're just waiting for our cabinet to get sorted.

Mysteriously though, a month or two back, I happened to check my connection speed on the hub, and it had gone up to 17.5Mbps down, and 1.25 Mb up (was 400k). No notice, no trumpeting of the change. Is this a side effect of enabling the exchange for fibre? Either way, it means that it looks like a fairly easy job to hit the 10Mbps target without much extra work. Having said that, other users on our cabinet are still only getting about 5Mbps or less.

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Pen-y-gors
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Fines for spammers?

I'd be more impressed if there was an automatic fine for each spam message that was split with the recipient.

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Alleged Brit hacker Lauri Love bailed amid US extradition battle lull

Pen-y-gors
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Legal in the UK?

If what he did is legal in the UK, there's no case for extradition

If what he did is illegal under UK law, prosecute him in the UK, again no case for extradition.

If the Merkins won't provide the evidence to prosecute here, then throw the case out.

It's not a difficult concept, surely?

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My plan to heal this BROKEN, BREXITED BRITAIN

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What are the odds...?

Anyone know what odds the bookies are offering on the UK still being a member of the EU in, say, 5 years time?

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Gartner: Brexit to wipe $4.6bn off tech spending in Blighty

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Gartner again?

Ah hah, a down vote! That means at least one Gartner employee reads El Reg. is this where they get their ideas from? Should we be getting paid?

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Pen-y-gors
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Gartner again?

If El Reg is going to keep on publishing Grtner's wild prognostications, could we perhaps have a daily horoscope and a series on the best tea for reading tea leaves? (I think Lester might have liked writing that last one)

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Botnet-powered ballot stuffing suspected in 2nd referendum petition

Pen-y-gors
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Bit late but..,.

Okay, the actual petition has a definite whiff of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted or, to use the rather more evocative Welsh phrase "Codi'r pais ar ol pisio" (Lifting one's skirt after pissing)

But having said that, the basic idea of having a threshold of votes/majority for any referendum on constitutional change is a very good (essential?) idea. Obviously not to trigger never-ending referenda, but a simple requirement for 60% support on a 75% turnout (or 55% of the electorate or whatever, but something clear) for any decision to change the status quo. They had that in the first devolution referenda back in the 70s. Why on earth didn't that idiot Cameron include a similar requirement this time?

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Germany: If Brits vote to Remain, we'll admit Hurst's 1966 goal was a goal

Pen-y-gors
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Re: See what can happen when you work together?

It's sooooo difficult....

every time I see or hear Gove or Johnson I decide to vote remain

Then every time I see or hear Cameron or Osborne i decide to vote leave.

My head is spinning!

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Cash-strapped English and Welsh cops prepare to centralise all 43 forces' websites

Pen-y-gors
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Local bobby?

"find out what your local bobby is doing,

<fx>Hollow laugh</fx>

What's a 'local bobby'? All ours spend their lives sitting on their fat arses in an expensive car, looking out for minor traffic offences. I suppose it beats working for a living.

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: In theory a nice idea...

Possibly something to do with the appalling security risks and vulnerabilities posed by all those damn plug-ins. Wordpress started out as a good blogging platform. It still is. Wordpress itself gets patched quite quickly when problems are found and the sites can update themselves automatically. That's good. Problem is all the dodgy plugins that people use to try and turn a blog into a 'proper' website, and which never get patched. Wordpress is such an inviting target. Look at any server logs and see how many robots are trying to log in to Wordpress admin on sites which don't even use Wordpress!

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E-books the same as printed ones, says top Euro court egghead

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Not translaed into English

The Irish may still want to read it you know.

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Pen-y-gors
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Stains?

Think yourself lucky they're just coffee stains!

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Voter registration site collapse proves genius of GDS, says minister

Pen-y-gors
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Evidence?

"We’ve spoken for many years about evidence-based policymaking,"

or to put it another way...We look at the evidence and either completely ignore it or do the opposite of what it suggests, 'cos our knee-jerk gut reactions are so much more reliable as a way of developing coherent, integrated policies.

N.B. the above quote applies to politicians of most of the big parties, in most countries. Sigh....

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SpaceX winning streak meets explosive end

Pen-y-gors
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Re: One wonders

When you're only 10 seconds from touchdown? Quite a lot of redesign!

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Cork data centre will offer super-speedy US to Europe data times

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No help for us Brits

<poliitical rant mode on>

If the lunatics take over the asylum and we leave the EU, then we won't be able to transfer data to the US via an EU country, as the Tories will have dismantled all the data-protection legislation! Alternatively we could keep EU-compliant data protection legislation, but without having any say in what that actually contains. Seems a bit silly, no?

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Surveillance forestalls more 'draconian' police powers – William Hague

Pen-y-gors
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There is another option. They are afraid

Good point. Inability to assess evidence and risk seems to be a prerequisite for being a career politician. Have a +1

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Pen-y-gors
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What is it about this people?

Are they genuinely stupid? or genuinely evil? or a bit of both? What is it about 'privacy' that they don't understand? The role of the citizen is not to make life easy for the government, whatever their reasons. Yes, technology can be used by criminals as well as the good people. That is no reason to ban the technology and stop good people from gaining the benefits. Dick Turpin used a horse to assist in his highway robberies. Did any MP in 1739 suggest banning horses?

Criminals will communicate. That's a fact of life, get over it. They will always be one step ahead of the goodies. If they need to make their plans and have a whispered conversation in a rowing boat 12 miles offshore, how will MI5 intercept that? Should we all be required to wear a continuous recorder, just on the off-chance that we might want to fiddle with a kiddie or BLOW UP a photograph? After all, it may help to prevent a serious crime, and please think of the children. Personally, I don't think it's a good idea, and I suspect a lot of other people might not think it a good idea, but it's no different in principle to government demands to provide encryption backdoors to russian mafia bosses.

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Marauding monkey blacks out Kenya

Pen-y-gors
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Don't give Network Rail ideas

First it was leaves on the track and the wrong sort of snow...

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FBI tries again to get warrantless access to your browser history

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Why are they so scared of getting a warrant?

I'm sure the FBI et al. have a long list of friendly judges who will put their bottle of Jack Daniels aside long enough to sign anything put in front of them without reading it. So why are they so afraid of asking for a warrant?

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: You don't understand what they're asking for

Very true - and it will show a long list of https connections to a VPN server in Iceland

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Scots denied Saltire emoji

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Re: "sadly no deep-fried Mars bar"

haggis lasagne, mmmm

Tried some in Newton Stewart a couple of years ago. Definitely a step too far as fusion cookery goes. Don't get me wrong, I love haggis, but in lasagne? No.

But what about the haggis quiche the St Andrews Students Union used to make many moons ago? Now that was yummy!

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Space exploration: Are Musk and Bezos about to eclipse Gagarin and Armstrong?

Pen-y-gors
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International Space University?

I refuse to take any institution calling itself the International Space University seriously until it has a campus on the Moon and a field study centre on Ceres

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: The answer is no...

Nazi? Schmazi!

+1 for Tom Lehrer reference

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Unicode serves up bacon emoji

Pen-y-gors
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Useful

The Pakistani Quranic marks will make it easier to issue a fatwa on the bacon.

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