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* Posts by PT

327 posts • joined 22 Jun 2007

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MoD braced for painful weight-loss surgery next week

PT
Grenade

Air superiority anywhere?

I'm surprised Lewis hasn't taken the argument to its logical conclusion - cancel the RAF altogether. What's the point in having an entire - astronomically expensive - service branch that no longer has any real mission? Its fighters don't have the range to get where they can be useful and they no longer have an aircraft capable of bombing Port Stanley. Let the Navy, with its mobile airfields, take care of air cover, and let the Army take care of the Reapers. I suppose for sentiment's sake one could keep a few squadrons of fighters in Britain, for air shows and the like.

The idea of abolishing the air force was mooted a few years ago here in the US, where the Navy and Army are practically self-sufficient in air power and the USAF is truly redundant. I was disappointed it didn't go any further.

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Spycam school to pay damages for kiddie snaps

PT
WTF?

@Ross7

Ah, lack of intent doesn't _usually_ inhibit prosecutors in the US. The prisons are stuffed with people serving lengthy sentences for what would, in civilized countries, be considered accidents. This case was no accident - they didn't accidentally leave the cameras on and accidentally record thousands of covert pictures of juveniles, so intent is a no-brainer. Normally in America the prosecution would threaten them with 5000 years in jail, and let them plea-bargain it down to a year, a year's income fine and life on the sex offenders list. That they didn't do so in this case is pure politics, and deserves to be protested.

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EFF backs political site's Righthaven counter-suit

PT
WTF?

Background info

Missing from the article is the information that the Las Vegas Review Journal takes a rabidly partisan political line, and the actions of Righthaven seem to be intended predominantly against bloggers of opposing political views. The effect is to prevent people drawing attention to errors, inaccuracies and downright fabrications published by the RJ in the runup to a bitterly fought election. Rupert Murdoch can only dream of having such control.

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Steve Jobs in iPhone bitchslap to creationists, Tea Party

PT
Paris Hilton

@Title

"She did say "masturbation and all other forms of lustful behaviour outside marriage are sinful" but she was at high school when she said it."

No, she was not at high school at the time. She didn't choose the paths of righteousness until she'd indulged her appetite for the pleasures of the flesh for several years. Rumours that it was because "those beastly fraternity guys never call me in the morning, but the voice in my head does" could not be confirmed at the time of writing.

Paris, O'Donnell - one enjoys sex and the other is a liar.

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Linus Torvalds outs himself as US citizen

PT

.. and wants to continue to live there ..

Becoming a US citizen is simple prudence for people with property and family here, kind of like locking the front door when you leave the house. It wasn't always so, but since 2001 very large numbers of long-term legal residents (myself included) have gone through the tedious and expensive process as a matter of self defense.

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Microsoft: IE9 will never run on Windows XP

PT

Are you serious?

"Although it's tempting to believe the latter I don't think anybody at MS is so stupid as to believe that would work."

Apparently they thought it would work when they imposed the loathsome W7 "starter edition" crippleware on netbook users. Among a long list of simple tasks it won't allow, it won't connect to a local (home) network that isn't running on Windows 7. Fortunately, such crippled netbooks can be made fully functional by upgrading them to XP or Ubuntu.

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PT

@JDX

"If they gave free copies of Office2012 to everyone they'd be criticised because it doesn't run on XP"

If they gave me a free copy of Office2012, I wouldn't criticise them - I'd appreciate the gift of a free coaster. I haven't upgraded Microsoft Office since Office97. When later versions started using incompatible file types I had a moment of confusion, but a quick upgrade to Open Office took care of it.

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Symantec Snoop Dogg rap contest site rickrolled

PT

As many as 7 entries?

The intersection of the sets (Has Heard Of Symantec) and (Likes Snoop Dogg) must be larger than I thought.

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Intel chief: Obama (still) driving US off cliff

PT

Can't disagree

The tax rate on small business and self-employed is iniquitous to the point that it's not worth working*. However, I fail to see how this is the fault of the Obama administration - it's the way things have been forever. Those bold tax-cutting not-liberals we just threw out of office could have done something about it, if they gave a fuck; but they didn't - forgive me then if I dismiss their current enthusiasm for small business as cynical electioneering. So, Obama hasn't done anything either? I'm shocked - SHOCKED! Damn it, the man's had 18 months and it's not like anything else has been going on.

* Except for the increasing number of jobs that are now being done for cash

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PT

(untitled)

Otellini is incorrect that the US is heading for second-rate status - it's already achieved that as far as domestic industry is concerned. Maybe he meant third rate. Certainly Government policies need to be changed to correct the situation, but I doubt if Ortellini would like the medicine, which would be a shift in taxation policies away from favoring unearned income such as capital gains and stock dividends and making it more rewarding to put in an honest day's work actually making things in the USA. The present situation, where managements prefer to pay themselves in stock and thus pay a lower tax rate than their receptionists, has been the driving force behind decades of internal asset stripping with the objective of pushing the stock price higher and higher. Now with the stock market looking distinctly wobbly and the specter of dollar hyperinflation feasting at the door, these vultures expect the government - sorry, the taxpayer - to step in and rebuild the industrial base they gutted in pursuit of private wealth. After all, they claim, we did it for the banks.

I'm not quite sure how blaming the Obama administration figures into this, but then I guess it's an election year. Perhaps if things go Ortellini's way in November, then after the new representatives have been introduced to all the lobbyists and taken their free trip to Israel, maybe they'll direct the Federal Reserve to print a bail-out for Intel too.

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Wikileaks double dares Pentagon hawks

PT
Thumb Down

@Trevor_Pott

"So screw the Afghani, eh?"

_I_ have not screwed the Afghani. I have, however, been screwed myself on their behalf and I've had enough of it. I've had enough of being lied to by my own government, and having my pockets looted by the military and their private contractor pals for no good purpose. If you, sir, think the ongoing effort and expense has ANYTHING AT ALL to do with the welfare of the Afghan people, then you are abysmally ignorant of politics. If you think the United States is even capable of making any positive difference in that country, then you are abysmally ignorant of history. Every day and every dollar we spend in that region is just destabilizing it more and creating more problems for the entire world in the future. The best way to stop screwing the Afghani is to get out, now, and leave them alone.

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PT

@1-300,000

On the contrary, Trevor richly deserves the thumbs-down for using the massively abused "support our troops" argument at the start of the comments. The only thing in his favor is that he didn't continue with the ".. because we can't tell them it was all for nothing" corollary, though he did take a step in that direction with the fatuous argument that we're there because we care about the Afghans. Perhaps we do, but that's not why we're there. In fact nobody seems to know why we're there. Well obviously some people know, but they're not saying, and the regular media is complicit not so much in in banging the war drums and covering up - though some are - but in suppressing dissent, for what reasons I can only speculate. Even the New York Times, which published the initial Wikileaks, is part of this publishers' cabal. Last week it published an editorial similar to Trevor's first comment and incautiously opened a comment thread, which was prematurely closed after less than 100 comments were submitted, almost all of which were strongly negative.

As a commentard with a son-in-law in harm's way, I strongly believe the best way to "support our troops" is to get them out of there. This appears to me to be the majority view of the citizens of the "democracies" involved in this imbroglio. How are we supposed to get our so-called "representatives" to pay attention, except by embarrassing them in every way possible? Go Assange, go Wikileaks. Extra credits if you can find and publish the order to let Bin Laden get away.

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Perseid meteors 'thrill star-gazers'

PT

Probably not a Perseid..

I saw a good one Tuesday, a few days ahead of schedule. It was traveling north to south, nearly horizontal, with a fat silver spark trail that covered about 30 degrees of sky. I figure it probably wasn't a meteor, since I didn't see anything like it last night. Probably one of those new-fangled satellite-killing satellites that were in the news recently coming back in from a polar orbit. Or perhaps it was a victim.

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UK.gov smiles and nods at commentards

PT

Yes, minister

Everyone _knows_ that Whitehall finds a way to carry on doing what it wants, no matter what the public wants or what the politicians tell them to do. But looking on the bright side, at least you don't have the American system, where after every election the civil service is restaffed with clueless campaign contributors or political apparatchiks who serve only the party. The British civil service may be conservative (small c), but in the main it puts what it believes to be the national interest first.

"Make it so the twain might never, ever be confused again."

Twain (Mark) was not confused, he knew exactly how things work. As he wrote so many years ago, "If your vote mattered, they wouldn't let you do it".

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Wiki crew launch attack on FBI official seal bluster

PT

You didn't quote the best bit

"While we appreciate your desire to revise the statute to reflect your expansive vision of it, the fact is that we must work with the actual language of the statute, not the aspirational version".

A response worthy of Private Eye at its best.

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Software emulation copyright case bumped to ECJ

PT
FAIL

deja vu all over again

I wonder if SAS has ever heard of Ed Esber* and Ashton-Tate, which Esber destroyed in a similar battle over the dBase scripting language? I think they should be told.

* They will learn little from his remarkably selective and revisionist Wikipedia bio.

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Watchdog rules on Hull Daily Mail 'porncoder' exposé

PT

You guys are amateurs

"IS DAVID CAMERON A TRANSSEXUAL?"

(continued page 94)

p94

no

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UK's Watchkeeper drone 'can see footprints through cloud'

PT

How long?

"... to be fielded in Afghanistan within two years ..."

So they don't expect to withdraw from this futile waste of lives and money anytime soon, then.

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NZ government makes software 'unpatentable' (for now)

PT

Patently obvious?

I guess the news hasn't yet reached the software lawyers, who regularly claim both, as well as claiming that your purchase is really a rental so you have no right of first sale and may not examine it.

Still, bravo New Zealand! I hope you're strong enough to stand up to the trade sanctions.

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UK.gov slams Facebook over Moat fan clubs

PT

Well, it worked!

I don't follow what goes on in the former home country much these days, so I first heard the name Raoul Moat today in The Register. Of course I immediately went looking for the FB page, but was notified it had been taken down after complaints from someone called David Cameron.

By the way, how's that firearms ban working out for you guys over there?

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Cotswold police stage panty ID parade

PT

Moon shine washing line

Glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers the classics.

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It's not the end for stop and search

PT

"Enemy Combatants"

"Even in the US Joe Bob only has 96 hours to make his "suspect" squeal like a pig"

Unless they declare him an enemy combatant, a flexible definition that can be applied on one man's say-so without any evidence or court involvement, and which cannot be appealed. Then you can toss him into solitary confinement in a military prison for six or seven years while you see if you can scrape up or fit up some evidence.

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NSA setting up secret 'Perfect Citizen' spy system

PT

Relax!

You misunderstand the motives. While this may look on the surface like some Machiavellian plan to enslave us all, at the bottom it's just simple economics. As with many other projects - for example, Reagan's cruise missiles spring to mind - the objective is not that they should perform the functions listed in the spec, but that they should siphon worthwhile amounts of taxpayers' money to the private sector. Projects like this can't be stopped by protests and appeals to civil liberty, they have to be completed and paid for before they can be abandoned. This one is no particular threat, it will just generate more terabytes of data that nobody ever analyzes or acts on, since hiring people is expensive. It will be like a huge golem wandering around blindly and aimlessly - sure there may be a few innocent casualties, but pretty soon people will just learn to get out of its way. The only Orwellian thing about it is the need for continual war to maintain the paranoia level, otherwise the politicians can't be threatened with being "soft on terror".

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Why we love to hate Microsoft

PT

Netbooks and business

There are all kinds of business uses for netbooks apart from traditional desktop tasks, but all of them involve being able to get on a network. If they come with Windows 7 Starter crippleware out of the box you have little option but to replace the operating system.

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Meryl Streep to tackle Margaret Thatcher

PT

Re: I'm guessing you're not a fan then :-)

That would put me in the large majority, then. At the time General Galtieri saved her ass, Thatcher and her government were enjoying the lowest approval ratings (25% and 18% respectively) since opinion polls began. The wave of jingoism that is presumably the subject of this film pushed her up enough to win the next election, but she was ignominiously sacked by her own party to avoid a Tory holocaust in the one after.

I guess you had to be there to understand.

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PT

Comedy?

I don't know why people think it should be a comedy. There was nothing amusing about trying to run a business during the Friedmanite hag's economic experiment. I didn't notice people laughing when their mortgage payments doubled and then doubled again within a few months, or when unemployment ramped up to several million. Export industries weren't rolling in the aisles while she held the pound at $2.40 and made it impossible to sell anything overseas. I imagine the banks didn't chuckle either, with the numbers of people just abandoning their homes, though the fly builders probably grinned as they looted newly-foreclosed properties and ripped the bathroom fittings out. Even, I would think, genuine Friedmanites would pause at the way this supposed small-government conservative left office with the total tax burden, as a percent of GNP, several points higher than when she came in.

I hope the movie is a serious hatchet job, as serious as the hatchet job she did on the British economy. It needs to be recorded for posterity. It might help prevent the greater tragedy of a new generation of since-borns picking up the right-wing nostalgia and ignorantly repeating the same mistakes.

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Google scores major victory in copyright fight with Viacom

PT

@ Lee

"I disagree. If you own the rights to something that includes the rights to ref use to publish and refuse to allow anyone else to publish."

You say that as if copyright is some intrinsic human right, instead of a special right granted by law for a limited time and a particular purpose. Anyway you're wrong, in principle if not by the letter of the law. The underlying assumption of copyright is that the creator will publish, otherwise what would be the point of reserving to them the exclusive right to profit?

This whole copyright matter could be settled to the satisfaction of most people on both sides by simply stipulating that after some initial period, say 17 years, rights holders are required to renew copyright periodically with some agency to retain it. Unrenewed works would automatically enter the public domain. Thus anyone who cared strongly enough could keep their work in copyright for whatever grotesquely extended term was permitted, without destroying the public domain for everyone else.

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PT

Oh please...

Yes Viacom, appeal! This travesty of justice cannot be allowed to rest until every avenue of appeal has been exhausted, or the money runs out.

(This comment sponsored by the American Bar Association, Rolex, Porsche and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce)

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HP and Yahoo! team up to print ads in your home

PT
Coat

Ah, excuse me..

The opinions expressed so far appear to be unanimous, both about HP/Yahoo! and Reg hack Myslewski's inane paragraph about newspaper ink. There's no need for someone else to say exactly the same things, so I'll just collect my coat and leave quietly.

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Pakistani lawyer petitions for death of Mark Zuckerberg

PT

arrest warrants?

This is why Turkey will never be allowed to join the European Union.

Well, that and the fact that it's not in Europe. Plus of course the argument it had with a member country over Cyprus.

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US Senator wants Internet seizure rights

PT

Senator Lieberman

Lieberman isn't known for representing the interests of the fools that vote for him. Indeed, when people refer to "the Senator from Tel Aviv", everyone knows who they mean.

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Cops cuff coke-smuggling lingerie model

PT
Joke

And no doubt ...

... Based on a novel by Bret Easton Ellis?

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Statistics prof nails Blackpool hoopla scam

PT
Thumb Up

Re: Citation Required

Here's one -

Scarne, John - "Scarne's New Complete Guide to Gambling"

http://www.amazon.com/Scarnes-New-Complete-Guide-Gambling/dp/0671630636

A whole section of the book is devoted to explaining why the sucker can never win at sideshow games.

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Usenet's home shuts down today

PT
Paris Hilton

Let's not forget...

Along with emoticons etc, usenet was the nursery of trolling and spam. In any event, it's still up. If anything deserves to die it's botnet-friendly IRC.

"One Night In alt.rec.bin"

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UK polling stations turn away 'hundreds' of voters

PT

Luckily...

... there were sufficient ballot papers available in Redditch.

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Pirate Bay dishes up Iron Man 2 ahead of US release

PT

@ Sir

I'm sorry, I left out the <sarcasm> tags.

By "fit for innocent American teens", I meant of course censored to suit the prejudice of the handful of vocal religious retards that set standards for American public morality. One such scene in Harry Brown would be the one immediately preceding the one of the head being blown off in gory detail.

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PT

Not the first time

The movie distributors really are their own worst enemy. What do they expect, when they offer "jam tomorrow" but we know how to get it today? Never mind that the "jam" so often turns out to be high fructose corn syrup with artificial flavor and coloring, and not worth the wait.

After seeing Michael Caine interviewed on US tv last week, I decided to go and see "Harry Brown" on its US release day last Friday. Unfortunately, "US release" didn't include any venue within a thousand miles of where I live. During my diligent search for a way to give money to the movie industry, I discovered "Harry Brown" had already been widely released elsewhere in the world, and available as a torrent for about six months!

If I had downloaded it - which of course I wouldn't dream of - I would probably have found it was a very high quality copy of the original British version, including scenes which have undoubtedly been Bowdlerized out of the US release to make it fit for innocent American teens. I would probably also have discovered there were so many seeds that I could have downloaded it in less time than it takes my wife to get ready to go to the theater.

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Palin email witness decries 'dog and pony' prosecution

PT
Grenade

Re: Palin is just the Republican equivalent of Nancy Pelosi

I'd have to disagree with that. Pelosi (and for that matter Harry Reid also) is fairly unremarkable, not an extremist by most peoples' standards. She's only an object of right-wing hate because she holds high office in a Democrat administration. If she were not Speaker you'd hear nothing about her at all.

Bible Spice, on the other hand, has gone out of her way to identify herself with the worst kind of right wing extremism. She's become a rallying point for people who loudly advocate the violent overthrow of the government, and has come within a hair's breadth of endorsing that position herself. THIS, Keith, is an extremist.

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Microsoft FAT patent appeal upheld in Germany

PT

Don't Panic

As someone else already pointed out, the patent only covers long file names. The FAT system itself is old enough that if it was ever patented, which I doubt, the patent is long expired. Which is fortunate, because for SD cards, thumb drives etc. the FAT format is part of the spec, so using a different file system is not an option.

The LFN patent must only have a few years left now anyway.

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Lucky Lib Dem punter could clear £800k on Clegg victory

PT

Deadlock holiday

As an ex-pat who has no intention of returning, even for a visit, it makes little difference to me who wins. But for sentimental reasons I'm hoping for at least a decade of deadlocked, hung parliament that can't get anything done. Everything will still keep running, and things can only get better. The UK has been effectively governed from Brussels for a long time, and the regional government in London only seems to use its remaining powers to bleed the country dry with expensive military projects and tighten its control over the people that elected it. A pox on them all. By all means elect some *cough* representatives *cough* to sit in Westminster fiddling their expenses and pretending to be important, so long as they don't pass any more laws.

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Cartoon Law goes live

PT

So, Mike Bell 2...

...You have not seen "Kill Bill".

I could explain Bilston's reference, but will not until I hear from my solicitor whether a written description (a "word picture") of a cartoon drawing of a pedophile sexual act constitutes an offense under the Act.

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Paypal freezes Cryptome

PT
Coffee/keyboard

@ Dead Men Walking

Hmmm. Do you perhaps work for a bank, Philip Cohen? You sure sound like an interested party.

I used to have a merchant credit card account. It cost me a bloody fortune, including a fraudulent "lease agreement" for equipment that I never had. They snatched a payment back out of my bank once on a customer's word, then when I proved the customer was a liar and demanded my money they told me it was too small a sum to be bothered with. Now I use PayPal. I have a couple of hundred at risk most of the time, but if they were to freeze my account and steal that it would STILL amount to less than a month's blood-sucking bank, merchant and "lease" charges. Fuck the credit card companies, I'm never going back. If PayPal goes tits up, something else will come along.

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US sorority girls in booze-fuelled orgy of violence

PT

"family studies and human services"

Assuming a degree is awarded in this "discipline", for what kind of job would you be qualified?

Ah, professor. Of course.

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PayPal suspends India service

PT

Me too

I agree. For a real example of scam artists you can't top credit card merchant services. If a user claims fraud or a lost card, they'll yank the payment right out of your bank account regardless of whether you have funds to cover it, AND charge you penalties on top. If you complain, even with proof that the customer is a bare faced liar, they just shrug and say the amount is too small to bother about. And let's not even mention the extortionate monthly fees. PP may have its problems, but I wouldn't accept online payments for anything if I still had to use a merchant account.

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Nuke-bunker-nobbling US megabomb delayed

PT

Not their fault, actually

According to www.fas.org, work started on the original bunker buster - the BLU113 - in February 1st 1991, and the first operational units were "delivered to theater" on February 27th, during the first Gulf War. That was with the air force doing its own development.

However, you are right about the USAF being a colossal waste of money, and when the Obama administration took over its dismantling was actually mentioned in public.

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Vatican awards self 'unique copyright' on Pope

PT

In the immortal words of Tom Lehrer...

"Do whatever steps you want if

You have cleared them with the Pontiff

Everybody say his own kyrie eleison

Doin' the Vatican Rag"

Just make sure and get the clearance first.

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Space 2010 - the future is fantastic!

PT

Glory

Since Glory appears to be a NASA project to investigate man-made global warming, they could save a great deal of money by canceling the mission and just making up the results they're looking for.

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Overstock's Byrne claims $5m scalp over short selling

PT

@Richard30

"1) how can you flood a market with anything non-existent? Perhaps this was supposed to be amusing but it reads more as idiocy than comedy."

Surely that's obvious. It's a futures market - you don't have to deliver anything today. Nobody knows whether the shares really exist until settlement day, and by that time - if things go according to plan - you will have placed a buy order for the exact same number of shares at a lower price. Meantime, the fact that your shares may really exist drives down the price for everyone, by supply and demand. On settlement day, the aggregators add up the totals and find you neither have to deliver nor accept any shares, but you are owed a sum of money for the difference in price.

"Naked long buying" works exactly the same way and is not illegal - it is just offering to buy shares you have no money for, and selling them before settlement if they go up. Stockbrokers offer this service all the time to creditworthy customers. The difference is, they tend to make sure you have collateral they can liquidate if things go wrong. This is called "making a margin call" and is the reason people jump out of tall buildings when markets crash.

Short selling can go wrong, too. Famously, William Sharon's Bank of California went bust in 1885 because he was short in mining shares on the day that a major silver strike was announced. He jumped off a bridge.

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PT
FAIL

Ooops

Beg pardon, it was William Ralston's Bank of California, and it collapsed in 1875 not 1885. Sharon was his even-more-evil partner who had given up private plundering and gone on to greater opportunities as a US Senator.

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Europe's ISPs object to secret copyright treaty talks

PT

@Aha

Yes. Glad to see you got it at last. Their responsibilities are purely commercial, to provide the service for which they have been paid.

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