* Posts by Terry Cloth

189 posts • joined 7 Feb 2011

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The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

Terry Cloth
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Unhappy

Can I have my vertical space back, please?

That immovable thing at the top that says

``[vulture] DATA CENTER SOFTWARE [...] WEEKEND EDITION''.
The width is limited by the sidebars, and now I can't have the full height of the screen, either. I can find my way to the top of the page in numerous ways, none of them requiring a fixed area waiting to attack should I push my cursor out of the way, and end up there by accident. (Admittedly, the delay is a help if you're just passing through, but I'd like to see the whole thing go away.)

Maybe it's time to learn to do site-specific CSS. :-(

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Judge bars dead Steve Jobs from appearing on TV news FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

Terry Cloth
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A jury decides standing???

In every case I've read about in several decades of paying attention, the question of standing is one of law, to be decided by a judge, and appealed if someone doesn't like the answer.

Jurors are deciders of fact, not of how the law applies.*

----------------

* With the notable exception that if a jury decides the law is draconian, or misapplied, they can refuse to convict and there's an end on't.

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Pitch Black: New BlackBerry Classic is aimed at the old-school

Terry Cloth
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Do they encrypt transmissions

Voice (presumably BB to BB until a standard develops)?

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NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

Terry Cloth
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Stop

I am fairly confident there will be no more hijackings

Now that the public knows what's in store for any hijacked airplane, the passengers will tear any wannabe hijackers to shreds before they get to the front of the plane. (Ref. Flight 93.)

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Pirate Bay admins 'couldn't care less' about police raid

Terry Cloth
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Boffin

Or to most of the world, Mr. 1312

And to the computergentsia, Mr. 0x520.

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The internet is less free than last year. Thanks a bunch, Snowden

Terry Cloth
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Devil

Now _that's_ a conspiracy theory!

It must be something terrifying for the 0.000000000000000000001% of the global population to go to all this trouble for.

0.000000000000000000001% = [counts on fingers] 1e-21 people

x ~7e9 humans alive now = 1e-12 people

x ~1e12 cells/person = 7 cells.

I guess they've really gotta be the right 7 cells. Are they all in the same body?

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US govt tells ICANN: No accountability, no keys to the internet

Terry Cloth
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Joke

Re: […] that the internet community would have free reign to decide […]

Oh, I dunno. Up until ICANN was spawned, the Internet community did indeed reign over DNS, IANA, &c. Didn't seem to do such a bad job, either.

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Sony Pictures struggles as staff details, salaries and films leaked

Terry Cloth
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Devil

Is this Sony ``rootkit'' Corporation?

Yes, I know this could be a disaster for many people working there (and their families), but somehow I can't help but think ``What goes around comes around''.

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Terry Cloth
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Thumb Up

Re: freeware?

I consider ``Free Software'' or ``open source'' to be a requirement to distinguish black boxes of unknown (and too easily malevolent) content from transparent boxes within which I can have a fighting chance of getting a known quantity. This distinction is not a ``GNU/Linux'' thing, but a real, non-philosophical, distinction necessary to protect my system.

It's not being ``ultra-specific'' to want to know whether you're being handed a box or dynamite or of nitroglycerine. One's a useful tool; the other's too likely to blow up in your face.

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EE's not-spot-busting small cell trial delights Cumbrian villagers

Terry Cloth
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What security are they building in?

Unless they've really made an advance in identification, verification, and authorization, I fear this is just an invitation to GCHQ to build a nifty box to play in the mesh. ``Oh, look! A new node! G'day, mate.''

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Terry Cloth
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Re: Pi ... its full value has never been expressed...

I suspect it has something to do with this, even though it lacks even the decency to cover itself with puff pastry.

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Device fingerprinting tech: It's not a cookie, but 'cookie' rules apply

Terry Cloth
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Terminator

Lie to them

Is there a browser plug-in that allows you to specify the info supplied? I remember Mozilla used to have an about:config string that let you set the User Agent string, but my current Firefox doesn't seem to have anything of that sort.

It would be nice if we could get a plug-in that returned a ``standard'' set of identity strings, so all of a sudden every browser would look like IE 12 on MS Windows 10, say. Or even have a number of such standards, and rotate them pseudo-randomly. What fun!

Icon: mask, because we'd all be hiding behind one.

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Part 3: Docker vs hypervisor in tech tussle SMACKDOWN

Terry Cloth
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And now for something slightly different

CoreOS has just announced a shift in emphasis on containerization called Rocket. According to the blurb, they're not happy with Docker's generalization, and they want to keep something simpler. Interestingly, they point out that Docker has removed its standard container definition.

Please compare and contrast.

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ESA finds FOURTH comet touchdown for Philae lander

Terry Cloth
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Alien

Was Philae able to stabilize itself in any way?

The 13-second to 24-second rotation change by sideswipe suggests not. In that case, how the hell did it happen to land shiny side up? Pure luck? Alien intervention?

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Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?

Terry Cloth
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Devil

Lose/lose proposition?

From what I’ve seen of one-framework-to-rule-them-all efforts, this’ll be a 20 M£ waste of money. And if, by some miracle, they get something in place, that means “all law enforcement agencies” will be vulnerable to a single attack (and you know there’ll be multiple holes in anything this large).

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Look out: That data protection watchdog can bite

Terry Cloth
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Stop

Pure invitation to over-enforcement

All enforcement fees should go into the general fund; the agencies should get their money through appropriations.

For any regulatory body (police, patent office, ICO, what have you) to get the money from its actions guarantees that in short order they'll be reading the law for profit, rather than justice.

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El Reg reanimates Cash'n'Carrion merchandising tentacle

Terry Cloth
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Go

Add the Reg version of the classic

A nice, hefty mug with El Reg's logo on one side, and ``Keep Calm and Carrion'' on the other. I'd pay £10 for one.

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Terry Cloth
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It leaves you wanting more.

Or if not here, then how did it start there? Panspermia is ultimately unsatisfying.

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Net neutrality, Verizon, open internet ... How can we solve this mess?

Terry Cloth
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And remember how you paid?

Not so long ago (at least for old geezers like me), you paid for long-distance by the minute. Which is identical to pay-by-byte, with increments at (3 kbps1 * 60 sec / 8 bits per byte =) 25 kB.

And then it got too cheap to meter.

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1 Remember, this was before Hz had been invented.

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Terry Cloth
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Pay for the steak, not the sizzle

Boo-hoo, Netflix uses more so they should pay more.

Absolutely. But they should pay the same per byte as every other user of the pipes.

The distortion that net neutrality must remove is the selling of alleged bandwith (``You get up to 3Mbps for this low, low price.'') rather than actual data.

As it is, the carriers don't have to build more capacity so long as they can sell ever-shrinking slices of pie at the same price. Pay-by-byte would mean the customer got fair value, and the carrier could only get more by making more product available.

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Remember that internet sales tax? Wasn't that a great idea? It's dead

Terry Cloth
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Sales taxes are too complicated. Damn' straight.

In another life I was an IT consultant running my own company, and had to register with the state for sales-tax collection. I made it simple by only charging for my services, and any equipment needed I effectively had the client buy and pay tax for—thus no liability for me, and all kosher.

The real eye-opener was when they’d send me a monthly missive on changes to the tax. Tires taxed this year, but not next. Redefinitions of what was considered taxable clothing. “Clarifications” of changes they’d made earlier. This was a whole sheet of (pre-electronic) 8½"x11" paper each month. If you think any service could keep that straight for 45 states, plus counties and cities continuously, correctly, I have a pony for you.

I really pity anyone who’s a wholesaler, and has to keep track ot that morass. I suspect this is one of those situations where, if the state wanted do, it could audit anyone and nail them with a fine and penalties.

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Virgin 'spaceship' pilot 'UNLOCKED tailbooms' going through SOUND BARRIER

Terry Cloth
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Unhappy

Why is no one mentioning the software?

As soon as I heard about the feathering extension, my first thought was software failure. The pilot unlocked feathering, but didn't activate it. Maybe the activation was triggered by Mach 0.95 forces the extension mechanism couldn't withstand, but that's a mechanical design with decades (centuries?) of mechanical-engineering experience behind it, and far less likely to fail than software.

As a software engineer I'm all too cognizant of the non-linear failures it's capable of. On my first job, designing embedded software to drive a new piece of hardware, I was all too aware that I needed to look closely at my code before I suggested the HW engineer might step in. In my decades of experience since, that never changed.

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Disney wins Mickey Mouse patent for torrent-excluding search engine

Terry Cloth
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FAIL

Google accuracy/desirability metric

Show of hands: How many of you have used ``I'm feeling lucky'' in the last month? In the last year?

It's been multiple years in my case, up until I simply quit using Google.

When they first came out, I was blown away by how good they were, and easily 1/4--1/2 the time, the Lucky button took me to what I wanted. If, as I suspect, its use has been dropping steadily (or even precipitately), that drop is directly related to the quality of their results. Too bad their usage hasn't dropped accordingly.

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UN takeover of internet postponed indefinitely

Terry Cloth
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Could someone forward this to Jacques Derrida's ghost...

...and ask him to deconstruct it?

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'It's NOT a fishing expedition', say police over random spot checks on gun owners

Terry Cloth
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Can you satisfy without letting them in?

Suppose I asked the nice policeman to wait a minute, then brought my firearm (in its locked case) to the door for inspection, would that be OK?

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Tor exit node mashes malware into downloads

Terry Cloth
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Doesn't this mean every TOR user should run her own exit node?

Seems to me, if you run an exit node that talks solely to your internal network, you're safe from this particular problem. Of course, for anonymity you also need to run an ordinary (transit?) node so your traffic gets mixed in with the general flow.

And, of course, it doesn't protect you from an evil entry node, if vulnerable to the analogous problem. Hmmm, also problematic if you can't choose your exit node, or if that choice makes you identifiable. Could someone better informed on TOR internals comment?

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Cashing it in: Personal finance apps – the best and the rest

Terry Cloth
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How about a cash replacement?

It's always seemed odd, in this capitalist, dog-eat-dog arena of business competition, that all the prepaid cards insist on ridiculous fees. Why doesn't someone see the opportunity to simply live on the float from the time the company gets the cash to the time the cardowner spends it? All I want is to buy my morning coffee without everyone from my card company to my government (and probably everyone else's, too) knowing about it.

I wonder how long it'll be before retail stores quit accepting cash, and everyone knows about every pence you spend?

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Routine WHAT NOW? Bank of England’s CHAPS payment system goes TITSUP

Terry Cloth
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Paris Hilton

Any update?

I haven't seen any stories about the collapse of the UK housing market, so I presume they got it fixed, but I don't see the promised Reg followup. If I'm just blind, I'd appreciate somebody pointing it out to me. Thanks.

(Paris for the big question mark.)

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US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports

Terry Cloth
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Unhappy

``[W]ho ... do you think you are to legislate ... the right to read my private ... emails?''

Her Majesty's government?

(I'd use a Joke Alert icon, but it's for real.)

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

Terry Cloth
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Who profits?

Those who think Digital Restrictions Management is a win.

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Look ma, no hands! The machines are speaking our language

Terry Cloth
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Go

Killer app

Some years ago I tried Dragon Speak for conversational speech recognition for my increasingly-deaf father. It couldn't hack it (or I didn't know what I was doing).

In a continually-aging society, a small handheld capable of displaying speech of one person while ignoring that of another would be a Godsend to many otherwise-isolated people.

Extra credit for handling conversations of more than two speakers; the Nobel for handling background noise in a loud restaurant.

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Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes

Terry Cloth
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Headmaster

Alternate grammar

True fact: when I read this comment, I thought a comma and a letter had been dropped:

[I]f you were drowning Messrs Gates and Ellison, I would throw you an anvil!

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Terry Cloth
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Happy

God doesn't think he's X

I first heard this in the 70s about Berlin Philharmonic conductor Herbert von Karajan. Anyone got an earlier citation?

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Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

Terry Cloth
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FAIL

Fines for Microsoft---they're shaking in their boots

According to the first report I could come up with (USA Today), MS had some $78G in cash 18 months ago. They could pay a $250k/day fine for over 800 years (or probably forever, since that stash would yield $2.1k/day at 0.1% annual interest).

Of course, the judge could go with contempt of court and jail time for executives....

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EU dangles $6bn threat over Google in endless search abuse probe

Terry Cloth
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Boffin

Gold standard available

It's the frequency of ``I'm feeling lucky'' use. When Google started, I was blown away by how often it got me just what I wanted. I hadn't used it in years when I switched over to DDG.

So, the EU should require Google to raise use of IFL to the level it was in their first years as compliance metric.

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Sex is great in books, lousy in apps, says Apple

Terry Cloth
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Stop

Not a chance

Your correspondent wonders how Apple will respond to news that Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulators on iOS can run the cold war classic Raid over Moscow, which offers a chance to blow up the Kremlin.

Sounds like a new aspect of the Halting Problem to me.

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Terry Cloth
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Boffin

Can someone post app counts from the store?

Going by these rules, there must be a whole heap of existing apps due to be pulled. I'd just like the before and after statistics, please.

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Neutrinos lay bare solar proton reactions

Terry Cloth
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Re: I'm confused here a bit...

Got it in three. A photon reacts with all sorts of stuff, notably electrons in atomic orbit, boosting the electron to a higher state, and is re-emitted when the electron reverts to its previous condition. Something like that in the middle of the massively-dense sun can just wreck a photon's speed-of-light plans (and presumably enforce a random walk).

Whether you can call the outgoing photon ``the same'' as the incoming one is an interesting philosophical question. In any case, the energy created at the center of the sun does filter outward excruciatingly slowly, so conceptually it works.

OT: There was an SF novel in the 1960s which opened with a paragraph or two tracing just such a photon over its thousand-year journey, finally escaping the shackles of the mean free path and regaining its birthright at the speed of light. Only to end up irritating our hero by hitting his eyelid the morning after a bender, bringing him unwillingly to consciousness. (Well, I thought it was amusing.)

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Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

Terry Cloth
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Unhappy

Can someone please release the source code for Multics?

I bet there's a lot in there to learn. On the other hand, the last backup was probably discarded in the '90s.

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Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away

Terry Cloth
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Cute tardigrades

I take it this comes under the heading of practice, rather than theory?

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Terry Cloth
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Coat

She wanted to lay it on the line

(Does that parse in British?)

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Spooks, cops, say Oz metadata push is for consistency, not data grab

Terry Cloth
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Childcatcher

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds....

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Australia's metadata debate is an utter shambles

Terry Cloth
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The envelope analogy

I find it odd that no one has asked the citizenry how they'd feel if the postman put all addresses on their paper mail into a database for the government's perusal.

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Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

Terry Cloth
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Stop

Erm, don't those graphs say two different things?

Or am I just misunderstanding?

The Netmarketshare graph indeed shows XP down and 7 + 8.1 up. The Statcounter graph, on the other hand, shows 7 essentially flat with 8.1 taking up the slack, the opposite of the premise of the article.

Huh?

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Terry Cloth
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Linux

They weren't sent through the ringer for _including_ stuff

They got slapped down because you couldn't remove the ``freebies'', much less replace them. With Brand L you get multiple apps for each tool's purpose, and can pick and choose.

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Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins

Terry Cloth
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Coat

Yosemite (yo-SIM-uh-tee) Bears

After trying to build a bear-proof trash can, one ranger noted

There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.

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KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer

Terry Cloth
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Flat look

It's not that I dislike any default other than my own idea of Perfection. It's that I object to making things harder to distinguish. 3D/2D, either's OK, but what's with this lack of contrast? I don't want to have to go carefully examining each icon or notification to determine what it is. I want some variation so that various pieces stand out. I really feel sorry for the visually-impaired users---what a crock!

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Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket

Terry Cloth
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Headmaster

That's ``Gov't _Accountability_ Office'' these days.

Not to be nit-picky or anything: gao.gov.

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Fear a terrifying killer robot revolution? GET A GRIP: Boffins invent cyborg hand for humans

Terry Cloth
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Joke

``Now you can ... fight off androids''

Hello, MIT? This is Apple---I'll take your entire output until further notice.

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NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'

Terry Cloth
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_Lies My Teacher Told Me_

This disturbing, and disturbingly well-documented, book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong covers a lot of this. I thought I was reasonably well-informed about American historical cover-ups, and I knew about some of it, but .... This book should be read by every American, and by everyone else who wants to know a) how the U.S. bolsters its self-image, or b) how to dig for the truth about their own country's background.

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