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* Posts by Anomalous Cowshed

435 posts • joined 16 Aug 2012

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Rejoice, Blighty! UK is the TOP of the WHOLE WORLD ... for PHISHING

Anomalous Cowshed
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Yihaaaa!

Britain is tops when it comes to phishing! That means...Britannia rules the waves again! Suck on that, American capitalistic piggies!

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Apple gives fanbois The Sweetest Thing: A delete button for that U2 album

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Worried sick from Giggleswick

<sarcasm on> O foolish Commentards! U2 are icons, they are modern-day saints! How dare you so lightly criticise their heavenly music after all they've done for the world - nay, for you in person! Without U2 what would you be? Compared to U2, what are you? Next to nothing. Today they offer you music to soothe your nerves, nay, manna from heaven, free of charge, like all the best things in life! And instead of praising them, and thanking them on your knees for this precious gift, you ungratefully blaspheme against them. The devil has clearly wrought its work among you screen-worshipping heretics!!! <enough sarcasm for today>

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Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

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Mamaaaaaa!

An American billionaire crisis in one act, by William A. Cowshed, the unsung playwright of the Internet in the early 21st Century

[Paul] Mama, I want that tank! Gimme that tank!

[Paul, repeating himself several times] Mamaaaa, I want the tank! I want the tank! I want the taaaaaaaank!!!! Waaaaaaa!

[Papa, trying to watch the baseball game] Darling, take some of this cash and go get him that tank, for heaven's sake, I can't concentrate!

Mama grabs a wad of cash and pops to talk to the owner of the tank. The owner is cheeky. He says Paul can have the tank, then changes his mind. Probably because he wants more cash.

[Paul] Mamaaaaaa! Papaaaaaa! I want my taaaaaaaaank! Waaaaaaa!

[Mama] Don't worry, we will get you another tank!

[Paul] No I want this one!

[Paul] Waaaaaaa! Waaaaaa!

[Papa] That's it, I'm going to sue that tank owner for disrupting my baseball watching!

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SanDisk's record-busting 512GB SD CARD will fit perfectly in your empty wallet

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: "and will still work after being run over by a five-ton truck."

Well they're no good for me then, with my six-ton truck.

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TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

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Beware mutant fish!

Mutant brainy fish capable of cooperating together? This is clearly the outcome of the Fukushima nuclear disaster! And mark, this is happening just a couple of years after the event. If they go on improving themselves at this rate, they will soon become cleverer than us and then...

Of course it would be comforting, but foolish to assume that this disaster in the making is confined to trouts: watch out, O people! Here come the cleverest sharks you've ever seen, with naturally developed laser mounts, to rule the seas; massive, armoured mosquitoes able to fly through concrete walls; slugs with brains running at no less than 25 Petaflops. Giant spiders that are able to argue the philosophical implications of your forthcoming demise in ways far beyond your comprehension while preparing to eat you...

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New Lumia mobes nudge Microkia ever closer to biz customers

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Microsoft Windows phone 8.1

It's a decent phone operating system, but why did they have to make people wait for so long to get it? And why miss out features that are obvious, especially when other operating systems have them? For instance, in Office, which is made by Microsoft, there is no way (no way that I can see) to get a word count of a Word document. Whereas on the Android AND IOS platforms, neither of which are made by Microsoft, you can do it. It's details like this that cause it to be not considered as a serious alternative...even by those people who don't care about the 'app stores'.

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DREADNOUGHTUS: The 65-TON DINO that could crumple up a T-Rex like a paper cup

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As big as a house

Claims that a dinosaur had been found which was as big as a house have elicited comments from prestigious scientific associations in England

North Wigan Palaeontology Society

"This is clearly an uninteresting find. An animal the size of a 2-bed terraced house in Wigan is nothing to get excited about."

Her Majesty's Paleontologist Royal

"If the claims of its being as large as one of one's houses are true, then this is a most unprecedented discovery which will revolutionise the field of paleontology."

Tetley Chair of Paleontology, University of Michael Mouse, London

"That beast must have been capable of drinking a lot of tea! I wonder what size teacups they had in those days..."

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Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy

Anomalous Cowshed
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My experience is that these kinds of business models distort the expectations and value judgements of customers and end up costing them more if all factors are taken into consideration. What are relatively high cost luxuries (taxi ride, flight ticket) become commodity, budget items. Instead of occasional high-quality purchases, they become frequent, budget experiences.

People start expecting things to be cheap, and start consuming these things more; they then balk at the lack of frills (service, comfort, convenience, security, possibly safety). In the end, they become used to saving money, but in many cases the money saved does not offset the stress and extra hassle caused by having to make up for the shortcomings of the service: they think they are saving, but they end up paying extra in terms of time and health. Not to mention the fact that these business models are often skewed by massive subsidies, which means they are being sponsored by taxpayers (take the example of Ryanair).

I'm not saying that paying £5 for a long-distance flight or train journey within Europe, or paying less for a private individual to pick you up by car, is a bad thing. For many people it is the only way they will be able to afford such services. What I am saying that in the long run, it is a business model that makes people lose out, if you factor in all the aspects. It's just a business model designed to lure people by the appeal of lower prices.

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Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media

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Re: IN MY HEAD THE SPEECH WENT LIKE THIS....

Or:

Bla bla bla...freedom...blablabla...privacy...blabla...rights...bla-di-blah...not good...bla bla bla...exterminate...bla.

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MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS

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Beware, O horny IT types!

Bear in mind carefully these clues, as you pack your bags full of condoms and head out to meet the sirens of Brazil's lost city of Amazons for the orgy of the century!

First: the town was founded in 1891

Second: everyone is a cousin

Third: you'll have to do WHAT WE SAY

In your dreams, you recline on a couch as a bevy of naked nymphs feed you grapes, play harps and lyres, and massage your sore aches (to put it in polite wording).

In reality...

Oy, come here, you! Yeah, no. 67538. You're assigned to baba Samba y Futebol. She's not had a man in over 80 years, because...well, because...as we said, we're all cousins here and it can result in certain, er, unique physical and mental attributes. You'll see when you get there. She lives in Casa de los Tarantulas e Crocodylos, at the edge of the village, so called because, er, well...there's lots of them around. Your duties include having sex 10 times a day, filleting and cooking the tarantulas, feeding the crocodiles and cleaning your owner'slove's dentures and the rest of the home. Get moving!!!

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Loss of unencrypted back-up disk costs UK prisons ministry £180K

Anomalous Cowshed
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Ministry of prisons...

"Ministry of Prisons"

"Ministry of Justice"

The very wording is oppressive.

What's next? Ministry of Propaganda? Ministry of Truth? Ministry of Repression? Ministry of Crime and Punishment? Ministry of Thought Control? Ministry of Facebook?

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Huawei: 'Tizen has no chance', Windows Phone is 'difficult'... it's Android all the way

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Re: Twice as keen on Africa compared to The Middle East?

Bastard cousin Blowhard! You beat me to it!!!

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No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate

Anomalous Cowshed
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Isis?

What's the world coming to! I used to go punting on the Isis with a pretty young lady, a bottle of bubbly and some strawberries and cream, in summers long gone by. Now it seems the days of punting are over, and everyone's fighting around the Isis! What's next? World War III on the Cam?

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Bright lights, affordable motor: Ford puts LED headlights onto Mondeo

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"Slim headlamps can make a vehicle’s exterior appear more determined and aggressive"

Speaking as a non-car owning pedestrian:

Now that's really what we need, cars that look MORE aggressive and determined. What a great step forward, made possible by science and innovation.

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Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years

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outraged from Giggleswick

Dear Sir, Madman,

I am absolutely revulsed and distraught about the pictures showing broken bottles littering the floor and reports of tomatoes rolling off the kitchen counter. Are there no limits to the lengths you will go to turn people's suffering into salacious stories? You should be ashamed of yourselves. Fi!

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BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

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If you want to read some scary and not-so-scary stories about spiders...

I recommend this web site:

www.graziella-greenwich.net

Warning: includes scary graphics and material the mere viewing of which may constitute a capital offence under the anti-terrorist laws of Liechtenstein, for which perpetrators may be extradited from any country in the world.

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True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

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No good any more

This business of "we are all terrorists" or "the people are the real terrorists" is simply not good enough any more. We cannot cope with so many terrorist men, women, old age pensioners and toddlers. The system needs to be refined. It is clear that there are different degrees of terrorism. I propose the following scheme, to keep everybody happy:

To keep the police and government happy, we will no longer be known as 'British subjects' but as 'Terrorists of the British Isles' or 'Her Majesty's Terrorists'.

We will be graded according to our terrorist rating (TR). This will be calculated by Terror-Rate, a new quango set up by the government.

Thus, "Mr. Bloggs, a resident of Giggleswick"

Will be replaced by:

"Mr. Bloggs, a terrorist with a 55% Terror Rating from a British town whose name cannot be disclosed for security reasons..."

And when discussing the relative opinions of different people, we will proceed as follows:

"Mr. Sloggs, who, as a terrorist with a 77% Terror Rating, outranks Mr. Cloggs, who hasa a Terror Rating of a mere 45%..."

In day-to-day use, such as in the pub, 'Terrorist' will inevitably be shortened to 'Terry'. As in:

"Oy, you, Terry over there!"

- "Who, me?" (someone unfortunately named 'Terry' by his parents before the name was banned for security reasons)

- "No the other Terry over there, the one with the 30% Terry Rating!"

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US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Anomalous Cowshed
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This is not a clever decision...

... but one which will be very convenient for those who want to nick this man's work.

This man did not accidentally stumble upon a mobile phone containing the 'selfie' while on an expedition with his mates in the middle of the jungle. He did not find a mobile phone containing the picture in the street, and then attempt to peddle it in order to make money and become famous; he was not part of a group that witnessed the monkey taking a photograph of itself, and then decided to appropriate the outcome for personal gain, beating everybody else to the mark.

The photograph was taken:

- Using the man's equipment

- In the absence of any witnesses

- Under circumstances known only to and controlled solely by him

- And the photograph was introduced to the world by him, and could only have been introduced by him.

In view of the circumstances, and given the wide range of media and installations involving various forms of trickery and techniques, including in the realm of photography, that are accepted and protected nowadays as works of art, this photograph should surely be considered as a protected work belonging to the man, regardless of his claim that a monkey took it - which in any case, I regard as suspect on account of the clarity and quality of the image, when compared with the 'selfies' that I myself have taken (I am not comparing my photography skills to the man, but to the monkey). This is of course merely a personal opinion...

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Get ready: The top-bracket young coders of the 2020s will be mostly GIRLS

Anomalous Cowshed
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Evolution of GCSE grades in Britain

2040 REPORT

The following table charts the tremendous improvements in Britain's educational system over the past 80 years, through the grades achieved at A-level:

1960 - 10% A, 20% B, 30% C, 40% D and below

FAIRLY AVERAGE AND RATHER THICK

1970 - 8% A, 22% B, 35% C, 35% D and below

STILL FAIRLY AVERAGE AND RATHER THICK

1980 - 12% A, 20% B, 27% C, 41% D and below

YET AGAIN FAIRLY AVERAGE AND RATHER THICK

1990 - 17% A, 25% B, 30% C, 28% D and below

STARTING TO IMPROVE

2000 - 30% A, 35% B, 30% C, 5% D and below

BECOMING CLEVERER

2010 - 55% A, 40% B, 5% C, 0% D and below

AMAZING, HISTERICAL PERFORMANCE

<introduction of new A* grade! Yippee!>

2014 - 5% A* 80% A, 15% B, 0% C and below

TREMENDOUS ENTHUSIASM ABOUT THE NEW GRADE - A NEW CHALLENGE!

2020 - 80% A*, 15% A, 5% B and below

WOW, IT'S OFFICIAL: MOST SCHOOL PUPILS ARE BRILLIANT!

<introduction of new A** grade! Wowee!>

2030 - 57% A**, 23% A*, 20% A and below

THIS SHOWS THAT TODAY'S PUPILS CAN RISE UP TO ANY CHALLENGE

<introduction of new A*** grade! Wowsers!>

2040: EVERYBODY gets an 'A'.

MOVE OVER EINSTEIN, OUR KIDS ALL GENIUSES!

NB: I hereby acknowledge and own up to the fact that all the above figures are grossly inaccurate - Please be understanding. Signed: A. Cowshed

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Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices

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I'm not surprised they are increasing their prices

I receive so many glossy brochures from them, sometimes ONE A DAY in the post. They must have spent tens of £ on me alone, and I'm just one of millions of their non-customers. I now recognise their letters just by the standard markings on the outside and bin them without opening them, but oh, what a waste! I mean, apart from alienating their potential customers, bombarding every potential customer like this must surely cost them even more than running their fibre optic service...

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Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you

Anomalous Cowshed
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Future conversations

In the pub, conversation openers:

"You can find amazing mushrooms in them forests...I mean, you know...around wherever..."

"The other day I went to...er...I went somewhere, like...er...Did you say you support Man United?"

"My boss...I mean someone random I met the other day, says that...er...says something."

At home:

"How was work, dear?"

"Work? Er...I don't know...I mean, swell, darling. I sold lots of widgets and I might get promoted to deputy assistant sales executive next year!"

Wife (muttering to herself) - "What's all this 'swell' business about? I bet he's been hanging out with some American woman!".

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Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER

Anomalous Cowshed
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its production line isn't

This clue tells us that it is mere propaganda. Apple doesn't have a production line.

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Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?

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"People shouldn't be afraid of their governments; Governments should be afraid of their people!"

But that's precisely the problem: all governments are afraid of their people, which is why they spend so much time, money and resources, one might even say, ingenuity, in attempting to control or repress them. Because as government inevitably tends towards "government of the masses by the elites" it becomes increasingly important to the elites to remain in government and avoid being lawfully or violently demoted to the ranks of the governed masses.

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Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: Not a Dragon....

Not all dragons are mythical creatures that breathe fire.

There are dragons which breathe fire metaphorically.

In fact, there are quite a few of those living in cities around us. Some of us even have one or two lurking around our very own homes. One particular species is known in pub jargon as "@%!?!!" *.

* In English = mother-in-losorus.

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Dozens of COPS cuffed in Turkish Prime Minister's wiretap probe

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It's weird

This morning we hear of cops being puzzled about a chicken crossing the road.

This evening cops are being arrested over a Turkey.

Is there a weird conspiracy going on, or am I stoned?

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

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Re: because...

Old McDonald had a farm, Eieio

And in this farm there was a pig, Eieio

And "step out of the car"

And "you're under arrest"

"Don't this, do that" - "That's it I'm out of here!"

Old McDonald had a farm, Eieio.

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Anomalous Cowshed
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because...

It's Friday, and...it's not Friday? Oh yes it is. In this universe, today is Friday...the 42nd.

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A-level results: Before you smile at that jump-for-joy snap...

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Bad news for the AMMU (Association of Mickey Mouse Universities)

News that A-level students were opting for apprenticeships in IT was greeted with scorn by the Chancellor of Michael M. Ouse University, Champagne, Indiana.

"Our Media Studies MA and pre-Doctorate degree course is the best in the world and applications are up 50% over 2013, in spite of a 30% rise in fees. The syllabus, which keeps changing to keep up with sociological and technological developments is unique and is constantly being emulated by the other members of the A.M.M.U. worldwide."

YEAR 1 SYLLABUS:

Core courses

- General Facebook studies

- Analysing Facebook posts

- Advanced (multimedia) posting on Facebook

- How to make the most of your/somebody else's iphone

- Paper shuffling for beginners

Optional courses

- An introduction to farting apps and why they are important

- Google+ studies

- An introduction to Blue Ray Recorder (formerly VCR) programming

- An introduction to iphone Apps

- Intermediate paper shuffling

Not Recommended but available on request:

- Foundation Course in Common Sense

- Developing a realistic attitude of one's job opportunities upon completing this course (includes yoga and meditation)

- Setting the clock on any oven

YEAR 2 AVAILABLE ON DEMAND

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FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'

Anomalous Cowshed
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i disagree

I disagree with the sarcastic statements of my fellow commentards. For me the shape of the new Samsung Alpha and its intuitive and deeply democratic design is a revolution and ushers in a brave new world. I have never seen such perfection, such attention to detail, such a courageous departure from the boring, endlessly replayed conventions of the smartphone industry. Laugh now while you can. Over the coming months, the tremendous marketing and legal brains at Samsung and countless firms of great renown in these august fields will be laying bare the unique genius behind this amazing design, confounding the cynics and paving the way for sales of millions of Galaxy Alpha. Then we will see who will be laughing all the way to the bank. The world will never be the same again.

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Crypto Daddy Phil Zimmerman says surveillance society is DOOMED

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Defeat of slavery

I've always wondered why an anti-slavery movement began in Britain at the end of the 18th century and became so popular in this country, which had built many of its greatest cities and fortunes on the money made from trafficking black people across the ocean - and which continued to build its prosperity on the back of the exploitation of the poor around the world, including of course in Britain itself. All of a sudden, a movement arose against slavery, with heroic proponents of an end to this barbaric trade. Could this have anything to do with US independence, I kept wondering? The dates certainly appeared to line up, roughly: 1776 (US Independence); 1787 start of a mass-movement which culminated 46 years later in the abolition of slavery in the British colonies. Could it be that the fact that the slave trade was a key element of the prosperity of the new US state, which was repeatedly aligned against Britain, might have had anything to do with this sudden moral fervour on the part of the British establishment? Cut off the supply of slaves...that's almost like cutting off the supply of oil today, no? It's a cynical way of looking at something which, eventually, did a lot of good for a lot of people.

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Intel forced to shoot down viral 'Israeli boycott' whopper

Anomalous Cowshed
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De Tchooten!!! Again!!!

Chronology of ze evil Tchooten

0 AD - Zey kill Tchesus

800-1600 AD - Zey kill babies and eat flat bread baked von ze blood von ze babies

1933-1945 - Ve gently try to convince zem to stop being naughty

1948-today - But insted, Zey continue killing babies and vomen in ze Middle East with ze help of zeir evil Amerikan frends.

Vot is rong mit dies people?

Und de Sauerkraut mit de Viener Schnitzel von die Tchooten!!!

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Anomalous Cowshed
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Tech skills

As usual, a nice dollop of bollock[s] coming from the world of officialdom.

In other news:

Cats more savvy than their owners at using cat-flaps

Dogs more savvy at fetching sticks and bringing them back

Cows more savvy than gardeners at eating grass

Yuppies more savvy at driving BMWs than their bosses

A 6-year-old IS more savvy using various iphones and what-have-you. But this is consumption of technology. The 45-year-old might be a master system designer or programmer, responsible for designing the technology used by the 6-year-old, but not particularly versed in or interested in being versed in using such technology to enhance/dampen his life. That's OK.

The problem is this: will this alleged 'tech-savviness' lead the 6-year-old to want to explore further, and him/herself become a master system designer or programmer? Or will the availability of countless convenient devices and applications designed by 45-year-old master system designers or programmers lead the 6-year-olds to grow up in such a comfortable and convenient environment that they wrongly believing that using iphones and what-have-you is the be-all and end-all of tech-savviness?

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REGULAR FISTING is GOOD for your HEALTH, says respected surveyor

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: "When Barack Obama and his wife fisted each other"

BREAKING NEWS:

People around the country woke up this morning with an extremely strange feeling - a mixture of relief, freedom and harmony, as politicians from around the world took to fisting and shafting each other for a change, leaving people in peace after millennia of interference, self-interested mismanagement and murderous exploitation...Analysts blame a shady gang of marijuana traffickers who are said to have infiltrated political circles at the highest echelons.

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Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: "When Barack Obama and his wife fisted each other"

Next step: politicians shafting each other.

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Anomalous Cowshed
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"When Barack Obama and his wife fisted each other"

How refreshing to hear of politicians taking a break from fisting all of us and doing it instead with their spouses. This is a positive development which will bring many benefits, not just halt the spread of germs. It should be encouraged. Let Mr. and Mrs. Obama be an example to all of you in Capitol Hill / Westminster / ...

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Tesla and Panasonic to build NOT-SO-SECRET GigaFactory in US

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Hello?

Tesla Bod - Hello? This is Tesla Motors. Am I speaking to Factory Zinc? I mean Factories Inc?

Factories Inc. - Yes. What can we do you for today?

TB - Well we want a factory, to make batteries, like, if you see what I mean...for cars.

FI - Aha. What kind of factory were you thinking of?

TB - Well, a biggish one, like, big, you know, kind of thing.

FI - Can you be more specific? Do you want a maxi factory, a mega factory, a giga factory? Or a monster factory?

TB - Er...I don't know, tell me how much do they cost?

FI - The maxi is $ 50 million. The Mega is $ 200 million. The giga is $1 billion and the monster is $10 billion.

TB - We were thinking more around the lines of $ 12.5 million.

FI - Oh I see. Well, actually, we've got a special promotion on giga factories running next week. If you can do without a few unnecessary bits and bobs, we can bring the price right down.

TB - What, you mean like no car park, no lobby, that kind of thing? It would be difficult for us to cope without these things.

FI - On the contrary, this would be a US factory. There's got to be a car park and a lobby. But do you really need a production line?

TB - Er...I thought that's the whole point of a factory.

FI - It used to be, but these days many of our clients are opting for new-style PR factories. You can do away with the production lines, the machines, the safety equipment, the big shed that normally covers it all, and of course the pesky blue-collar workers. All you need is a nice car park, some landscaping and a lobby with a few offices behind. You can import the goods from China. We can set it all up for you for $ 12 million. That means you get your giga factory AND you have some change to buy yourself some cake and eat it.

TB - That's amazing. We'll go for that!

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NASA boffin: RIDDLE of odd BULGE FOUND on MOON is SOLVED

Anomalous Cowshed
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has anyone ever wondered why they call it the MOOn

Cheese, lemon...please, all this is rather trivial.

There is an ancient tale...archaeologists, astronomers and other experts, sifting through the remains of ancient libraries are said to have unearthed evidence that once upon a time the moon was much closer to Earth, and much smaller than it is today.

It is said that a species of bovine is known to have, at least on one occasion, 'jumped over' it, under suspicious circumstances - with certain animals of the feline family acting rather unusually in respect of specific musical instruments, and cutlery behaving in a rather unbecoming manner with items of crockery, all suggesting a kind of primordial situation, with much lower gravity, but higher magnetic forces and far greater concentrations of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere.

Before any pedantic and well informed commentards pull me up on this, I hasten to add that there were other symptoms of this general disruption in the conditions we take for granted these days, but they appear to have slipped out of my mind.

Some people believe that at least part of the text is symbolic, and not meant to be taken literally, but there are many, especially among the young, who consider that this is a true story. Therefore it deserves to be treated more seriously and maybe even analyzed by boffins.

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Too rich for an iPhone 6? How about a gold-plated Brikk?

Anomalous Cowshed
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the article fails to mention one advantage

If the phone gets brikked, it's no longer a fault, it's part of the design! Saves a lot of frustration, well worth paying a bit extra for. After all it's only pocket change.

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Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN

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Re: Fauna.

Someone once rang the bell at my house. I opened the door, looked around, there was nobody there. Then I looked down and saw the most massive slug on my doorstep. I was so shocked, I gave it an almighty kick that sent it flying all the way down the street.

One evening, 25 years later, I'd just come back from work, when there was another ring at the door. I opened it, and imagine my surprise when I saw...a huge, ancient and battered-looking slug, slithering on the doorstep.

It stared up at me and suddenly said reproachfully: "Why did you do that, mate?"

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Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London

Anomalous Cowshed
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what's all this about weekly capping?

What if you only use the tube, train or buses 2 or 3 days a week, but a lot. Are you going to get nailed for the cost of up to 2-3 travelcards each time? How will you be able to check? And how difficult will it be to get money back if you think they've overcharged you? And what about the fines if you forget to tap the card at one end of the journey, as can easily be the case at stations without barriers if you happen to be absentminded? Will they be capped too? Or are we going to have a ball, as with parking fines? The paper ticket insulates you against such worries, surely it's better just for that reason...

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

Anomalous Cowshed
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Certain cuts will have to be made, say the bean counters

Bean counter final report (20000 pages). Ultra-summarised conclusions:

1. "Er, do we really need 7 crew members? Surely we could do with 6...what about 5? 4? I mean, it's the symbolic value that counts, right? It doesn't matter how many of them there are, at the end of the day. Let's say we settle for just 1 crew member, that should slice $ 200 million off the price".

2. "Now, 2 solid fuel boosters, that's expensive, mate, and also difficult to sort out, as you've seen. Let's assume we were to drop one of these troublesome boosters. That would slice another $100 million off the price. Isn't that cool?"

3. "Just imagine the savings if you were to remove that other annoying booster! But we'll get to that later."

4. "I hear you say: cutting the booster means we cannot afford to have any astronauts on board. Well, the fact that you've already agreed to remove 6 out of the originally planned 7 astronauts, means that quite clearly, that last one is not all that important after all. If you were to cut that last astronaut, it would merely be equivalent to 1/6th of the cuts that you operated before (see 1 above). What's the big deal? Cut the last astronaut, replace him with a robot arm and a camera, and you can slice $ 50 million off the shortfall."

5. "Having taken out the last astronaut, I'm sure you'll agree that according to your calculations, we can now run the rocket without any of the boosters. That means we can now take out the second solid fuel booster, saving a further $ 100 million!"

6. "We've now saved $ 450 million, which means we've covered the saving of the $ 400 million shortfall, and a small part of our fee. Now for the rest of our fee, we need to think outside the box, and brainstorm. Ready? Think about it for a moment. You ain't gonna have any astronauts on your rocket. So at the end of the day, you don't really need it - the rocket I mean. After all, there are other people out there, Russians, Indians, Chinamen, who have rockets of their own. You could ask them to lend you their rockets. Think how much you could save and how happy people would be, if you cancelled that rocket of yours outright, and replaced it by a nice corporate video explaining the savings you've made!"

7. "Well, we'll tell you how much you could save, because we've worked it out: you could save another $ 1 billion! That should enable you to meet our fees for the consultancy and accountancy work we've been doing for the past 5 years, culminating in this work. Absolutely spiffy, no?"

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

Anomalous Cowshed
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The definition of terrorism is too broad

I protest, the definition of terrorism is not broad enough.

Let us consider a few salient facets of the definition of terrorism:

Average person's definition of terrorism: an act committed by a nasty man, most often dark of skin, involving shooting or bombs, most often 'in the Middle East'. We are protected from terrorism by 'police', 'the security forces' and CCTV cameras.

Government definition of terrorism: Potentially any act committed by a terrorist, i.e. a member of the public. Acts of terrorism are to be repressed by passing laws rubber-stamped by what is known as a 'parliament'. They are to be repressed by 'police', 'the security forces' and CCTV cameras.

Press definition of terrorism: Any act committed by any person whom the government contends is a terrorist.

Terrorist* definition of terrorism: the government, acting through the 'police' and 'the security services'.

* Member of the public arrested by the 'police' or 'the security forces' or what-have-you, for committing whatever-it-may-be.

Drunken bastard's definition of terrorism, sitting dazed on the pavement outside a pub at 11:30pm on a Saturday night : "f*** off you c***!"

Taking all these definitions together:

Global definition of terrorism: anything done by anyone which you don't agree with. So f*** off you c***!

As you can see, there is room for an even wider definition of terrorism.

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GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: "... We are operating at the limits of physics,"...

... Professor Wagadogo of the University of Balaloosha grunted.

"Now look at this, youngsters!"

He pulled a tiny square box from his pocket. He pressed on one side of it, and a section of the box slid out, revealing row upon row of minute little sticks each topped with a reddish blob at the end. It was a matchbox. Some of the students in the audience had seen similar ones before, in the 20th century section of the Balaloosha District history museum.

Then Wagadogo pulled one of the matches and struck it against the box. A bright flame appeared at the end of the tiny stick, drawing muffled gasps of amazement from the lecture theatre.

"How does this magic happen? said Wagadogo, pushing away one particularly reckless and annoying student who was about to get his hand burnt. "Don't touch it you id...Brilliant Hope of the New Generation! We are at the very limits of Chemistry!"

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CAIDA to survey peers, colo sheds and ISPs for new map of internet

Anomalous Cowshed
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Breaking news - CAIDA announces its new artificial intelligence system

University of California, July 21 2015

CAIDA today announced its new artificial intelligence system, christened "AI-CAIDA", which it is hoped will increase government and press awareness of and interest in this laudable initiative.

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The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots

Anomalous Cowshed
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Ah incandescent lightbulbs!

In response to the foregoing commentard's mention of incandescent bulbs:

O lightbulb, incandescent !

Thou shining beacon

Lighting the many sleepless nights

of my misspent youth!

How I miss your brazen filament

Your faithful brightness

Your prompt response

Whenever I invoked thee!

No longer do men look

Upon your shining light

As a blessing in the dark

But as a blight upon the world

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Financial wizardess joins Apple board, air of coolness noticeably diminishes

Anomalous Cowshed
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Re: "fruity fuhrer Tim Cook"

Cor that's both extreme and hilarious. But it also probably means 10 more years in the wilderness for The Register with no invitations to Apple press dos. Or as Mr. Cook might say, "If ve had our vey, zose inglish bastards vould spend zoze ten years in a konzentration kampf"

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

Anomalous Cowshed
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Not a popular hypothesis, but what if...

A few years ago, I recall the US authorities issuing public warnings to US corporations and executives about the need for greater encryption, stronger passwords and more awareness of computer security in general.

I don't think their warnings were heeded much.

What if they realised that the problem was getting out of control, and decided to find a way to set it right?

It makes sense that given the universal prevalence of intellectual property, business secrets and connected computing devices, any cyber-espionage wars will be won or lost on the millions of computers, connected devices and networks in the USA, UK, France, Germany, etc. No one government agency can possibly counter all the possible threats, all the time.

So far we've been assuming that Mr. Snowden is a genuine whistleblower, who has somehow managed to escape the USA with masses of 'incriminating' documents, which sow terror in people's minds about the fact that big brother is watching them and listening to them all the time, collecting our personal data, reading our e-mails, listening to our phone calls...and now looking at and sharing our naked pictures. Whatever rocks our boat, really.

However, what if Mr. Snowden is just a plant by the US Government, precisely to sow fear into our minds and make us sufficiently concerned about the threat of cyber-surveillance and spying to encourage us to start paying more attention to computer security? In other words, to enlist us in this war?

After all, the net effect of the 'Snowden Affair' has been to make us more aware of these threats, and of the need to pay more attention to computer security...

It's just a possibility. Outside the reality distortion field of the media, I find it difficult to take this story at face value. It just doesn't smell right.

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Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad

Anomalous Cowshed
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Places that are bad for your skin

You complain about nickel being bad for people's skin? There are bigger problems out there. There are whole regions - even countries, that can get your body irritated.

For instance:

Russia gives me rashes

Greenwich makes me itch

Catarrh gives me...er, sorry mistake here

Please continue the list as my mind is a bit rusty this morning...

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MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws

Anomalous Cowshed
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Slowly slowly, little by little...

Our governments are entrenching themselves further and further away from the people, using endless arrays of rules, coercive measures and repressive weapons to increase the chasm of power between individuals and the barely legitimate, increasingly bloated and nebulous organisations that purports to have the authority to govern them at will.

We are being increasingly encouraged to live our lives under permanent semi-voluntary surveillance (smartphones for convenience, Internet connections for work and entertainment, CCTV cameras "for our safety"). Does anyone wonder, nowadays, about the reason why governments are so keen to ensure that everyone has access to an Internet connection?

Meanwhile, the means of coercion and the weapons of repression are getting increasingly sophisticated. We are potentially monitored and tracked all the time. And if we step out of line, there are endless ways in which we can be controlled and repressed. Having read about the smart bullets with a range of 7 km and the drones and all the other repressive technology only available to the organised gangs in uniforms, you can imagine how difficult it would be to make a stand against them-for instance if they were to somehow change their attitude and decide to get a bit heavier with us, as we are told is the case in some so-called primitive dictatorships. If we were to suddenly have a rude awakening from the morass soporific consumerism and mind-addling entertainment in which we are mired, how far would we get trying to stand up to the system? How can the individual hold his own against "the boys in blue/green/grey/name it"?

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D-Wave to bust 1,000-qubit barrier with new quantum compute device

Anomalous Cowshed
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Introducing the new homeopathy computer

A computer produced by immersing a top of the range processor in hydrogen fluoride acid for a year, then diluting the outcome 100 times, until there is no more evidence of the presence of a single molecule of silicon in the mix, then adding sugar and smacking the resulting mixture in the bowl three times very hard to make it "superconducting" and "clever".

This computer can solve any problem.

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