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* Posts by skeptical i

637 posts • joined 30 Aug 2007

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It's BLOCK FRIDAY: Britain in GREED-crazed bargain bonanza mob frenzy riot MELTDOWN

skeptical i
Meh

Sad, but it works. So it will continue.

If china-crap-mart and the rest see that the annual cheap-tat flog-a-thon boosts sales figures to an appreciable level, it will be repeated. The consumers get their bread and circuses all under one roof. Win-win, right? Alas, I don't see this turd being shoved back whence it came.

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Google Chrome on Windows 'completely unusable', gripe users

skeptical i
Unhappy

Chrome has become bloated and slow.

Installed it on my XP box (yeah, yeah) late last year, and it always took a while to launch and get up to speed, but once up and running it was generally OK (even on bloated pig websites like Fecebook). The project that spurred the Chrome install ended, and I stopped using it but recently I had to fire it up and it took over ten minutes (wall clock time) to get from launch to a useable state; two windows (one regular, one incognito) opened a half-dozen separate processes, and my machine was more or less locked up for the duration. Just to go to one website that refuses to work with Opera or Firefox. I had heard that once upon a time Chrome was a lean, mean, snappy browsing machine, but I am not seeing this at all. I always clear all browser history "since the beginning of time" on exit, only have two extensions (ghostery and a no-script thingy) installed, so I am a bit flummoxed. Forced ten-minute breaks should be welcome but are mostly inconvenient. Pah.

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Oh BOY! The MICKEY MOUSE Apple Watch is no heart-throb

skeptical i
Meh

Not for southpaws, alas.

My amigo is left-handed. Extremely left-handed. Many lefties simply make due with using their right hand for most tasks, however suboptimally, but my amigo does not. So imagine my surprise to hear that the iWatch is not designed to be ambidextrously used: the crown and magic button are both on one side (instead of the crown centered on one side, the button centered on the other opposite, and the display able to be flipped 180 degrees). Granted, extreme southpaws are likely only a small fraction of the potential market, but for a company known for its attention to the UI experience and whose trademark is "it just works" this seems an odd oversight.

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Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'

skeptical i
Pint

Let the crazy parade commence

as anyone looking for a job decides to run for president. The old lottery ticket jingle -- "all you need is a dollar and a dream" -- may need some adjusting ("all you need is a fat donor list and a delusion") but is generally still apt. Cushy chair and bucket of popcorn at the ready, awaiting the starting gun.

And a beer, gotta have beer. ==>

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BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity

skeptical i
Pint

Food, glorious fo--, wait, what ARE all these ingredients?

re: "Food is vastly cheaper than it used to be and food only makes up 13% or so of the family budget these days as opposed to 40% in 1900." Respectfully suggest that more of the food in 1900 was "real". Sure, we have made great strides in sanitation and ensuring some sort of purity of the ingredients used, and we have economies of production scale not available then, but a loaf of bread in 1900 had four or five ingredients (water, flour, yeast, salt, sugar) whereas now the average grocery store loaf has a long list of polysyllabic words. Many of these ingredients are of value (added vitamins and minerals) but many are, I suspect, cheap replacements/ filler to compensate low quality main ingredients. Would this be more or less healthy (per gram of product, per dollar spent) than a 1900s loaf? Back to the cost comparison, are the above figures comparing a relatively "real" diet today versus a typically preservative/ filler/ additive- free diet in 1900s? If not, do we have any ideas what it would cost today to have a diet comparable to that of the 1900s?

Beer = liquid bread.

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SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS

skeptical i
Devil

Who ya' gonna' call?

EGON: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes! Volcanoes!

WINSTON: The dead rising from the grave!

PETER: Human sacrifice, seals and penguins living together, mass hysteria!

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I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm

skeptical i
Pint

Just in time for the helliday shopping season

the Matt Taylor shirt knock-offs. I hope the artist who gave him the shirt (someone above said she made it?) can cash in on the McFuror, some good has to come from the twitstorm. Hells, I'd buy one.

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Google DoubleClick goes TITSUP. ENJOY your AD-FREE WORLD!

skeptical i
Meh

Bye-bye bloat

Back when bandwidth was precious and rare, pages were built to load fast (much time spent leaning out JPEGs to find the balance between acceptable image quality and download speed).

Then broadband and other fat pipes got cheap(er), and it appears that web-page jockeys then threw in any and all gew-gaws into webpages without a care to weighing them before setting them live. Video on news sites is important (and beefy), as are security precautions on banking ones, but the rest of the lard? Nah.*

Now my colleague tells me that with the immense usage of mobile devices, webpages must again be writ lean and mean so that the devices' batteries don't get sucked to 'E' trying to load the latest eyecandy to decorate a news article.

This would be a welcome development, but as a quick "view source" on too many pages will show, that day has not yet arrived. When the text of a news article comprises 20 percent of the page code -- the rest of the words being/doing dawg-knows-what -- we have a problem, Houston.

* I don't begrudge publishers putting up adverts to pay their expenses, but I DO object to huge-ass animation and other files that eat up download time without adding anything useful to their message. If I am not in the market for product XYZ, all the blinking bold font on the planet will not help.

Rant over, carry on.

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Mystery Google barges TORPEDOED by US govt: Showrooms declared death traps

skeptical i
Devil

Re: The REAL problem was building it in San Francisco, California

In America, 'liberal' and 'conservative' seem to be more about product branding and/or name-calling than internal consistency, at least as seen from my armchair. Some examples:

- "Liberals" are generally in favor of restrictions on the ability to possess firearms while "conservatives" want guns for all; it seems it should be the other way 'round.

- "Conservatives" who bang on about keeping Big Gubmint out of our business seem quite content to have (nay, urge) same Big Gubmint mucking about in how women oversee and maintain their lady parts.

- Ditto on who can enter into a marriage contract with whom.

- "Conservatives" don't often have much positive to say about conservation -- forest lands are for turning trees into money by campaign contributors, not for the public to access and enjoy.

- Many "liberals" have been branded as NIMBYs ("not in my back yard") who are BANANAs ("build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything"), sometimes with justification and sometimes not.

Caveat that these are gross simplifications, but still, it keeps politics interesting.

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skeptical i
Pint

But if they acted sensibly we would not have a story. [was: Shouldn't they have seen this coming?]

Just as we can not have a horror movie without someone doing something stupid ("instead of calling 911 and getting guys with guns over here, I'll go down into the basement in nothing but my pyjamas and a flashlight to see what that loud rumbling and shaking is about"), companies have to also do stupid stuff to keep their names in the news.

No popcorn icon, but beer's better anyway. -->

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Microsoft's TV product placement horror: CNN mistakes Surface tabs for iPAD STANDS

skeptical i
Meh

If MSFT spent 400 meeellion dollars building a better tablet

instead of further enriching the NFL bozos (and now the CNN ones), they might have more luck shifting customers away from Apple and/or newbies to tablets generally. Focus groups and other customer research are not cheap, but 400 mill could likely round up some college students around a keg of beer (or kids around pizza, or geezers like me around double-espressos and donuts) for a discussion of what sucks about Surface, what does not, how could it be better, and so on.

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Oh, dear! Scientists uncover Afghan VAMPIRE DEER

skeptical i
Coat

Stinky, bad dental work, worth more dead than alive ...

... co-workers?

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El Reg spends One Night in Hell with Queen's Brian May

skeptical i
Happy

Just in time for Dia de los Muertos, wheee! :^)

If the guy with the horns is supposed to be the PHB I guess that could be kinda' hellish.

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Planning to fly? Pour out your shampoo, toss your scissors, RENAME TERRORIST WI-FI!

skeptical i
Thumb Down

tracking the wifi hotspot

@Henry Wertz 1: I was thinking the same thing. Instead of holding up the entire flight, why didn't someone just track down the hotspot and give the operator a stern talking to? I'm sure some of the more tech-savvy passengers could have done this if the TSA couldn't figure it out.

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Breaking records: Google exec in terrifying SKY PLUNGE DRAMA

skeptical i
Pint

That is so cool. :-)

As Mark 85 said above, a class act. It's always great to hear about people of means using their funds to quietly do amazing stuff instead of being publicity whores.

Have another pint, sir.

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Doctor Zuck, I'm so poorly right now! Facebook examines healthcare biz: report

skeptical i
Meh

Aren't there already fecebook pages for various ailments?

Sounds like the same old w(h)ine in a different bottle: besides pretty window dressing (red ribbons for HIV/AIDS, pink ribbons for breast cancer, &c) what will the new stuff do that the existing stuff does not?

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SLOSH! Cops dethrone suspect - by tipping over portaloo with him inside

skeptical i
Meh

Re: Why

@ma1010: Agreed on CCW permits in states where permit-holders are required to take a safety class and show proficiency. However, at least Arizona (and possibly other states) now has greatly reduced the requirements for a CCW permit -- no safety class or proficiency test required, IIRC. Does not sound like a step in the right direction, but, as has been pointed out, the batshit criminal element wouldn't bother with no steenkin' permit either way.

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SPECIAL iPHONE TROUSERS will ease Apple into the fashion world

skeptical i
Coat

Re: I feel left out :(

Hammer don't hurt 'em!! (Can't touch this.)

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skeptical i
Meh

While I generally agree with wearing the correct[-ish] size trousers ...

... be aware that most clothes designed for vagina people have either no pockets or little details that are pockets in name only (they may hold two coins and a lipstick, but nothing useful like a wallet or celphone). Presumably this has something to do with wanting nothing so cumbersome as a moneyclip to detract from the wearer's natural form, but it is still surprising that so few items of female clothing have functional pockets -- not everyone is a supermodel every waking hour.

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WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?

skeptical i
Thumb Down

True, but ... [was: Mirror]

Sure, he was a dopey idiot to unsheath his blade for the camera, but unless he got voted into office vowing to smite all such activities from atop his moral high horse (and there's a hypocrisy angle), what is the news value? "Prime Minister does something stupid, film at eleven" doesn't exactly make one reach for the TiVo, does it.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

skeptical i
Coat

Re: Can't quite put my finger on why...

Looks of similar dimensions to a whiskey (or whisky) flask to me, should fit nicely into a jacket stash pocket (see illustration -->). Sounds like a decent piece of kit, looking forward to further reviews when it's been put through its proper paces.

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Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR

skeptical i
Meh

Kinda' sad, Apple used to wear the "it just /works/" crown ...

... now it's fallen a bit. Hope whatever money they saved by not doing more pre-launch testing was worth it. [* casts apprehensive glance at my iPad, which has just upgraded to 8, and hopes '8' is not interweb-speak for 'ate' *]

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Emma Watson urges UN to back feminism – trolls threaten to leak her 'nude selfies'

skeptical i

Why, oh why, in this the twenty-first century common era ...

when we have put people in a space station (and brought them back -- alive), we're still hung up on pee-pees? Brown eyes, blue eyes; white skin, brown skin; left-handed, right-handed; vagina, penis -- honestly, who cares?

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Finally, a USEFUL smart device: Intel boffins cook up gyro-magneto-'puter bike helmet

skeptical i

Re: Viddie feed

*snrk* Nah, I'll leave the stunt- cycling crashes to those with gold-plated insurance policies. ;)

In my area, an incident doesn't happen unless a cop sees it (or if there is too much resulting damage to ignore) and video footage of yet another near-miss might convince TPTB that the dodgy intersection of Zig and Zag needs more patrolling (or better signage or something). Such is the hope, anyway.

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skeptical i
Thumb Up

Viddie feed

As stated above (by Dave 13), having video of the impact would be VERY helpful since too many scum/ perps simply drive away and cyclists don't always have the wherewithal (or ability) to note the license plate number as they greet the concrete. I'd also suggest considering an option for continuous (or "slap on/ slap off") video during a ride: there are MANY incidents wherein drivers will cut across the bike lane in front of cyclists (or do other stupid stuff) that causes the cyclist to swerve (and curse and use sign language) but does not cause an impact. While likely not prosecutable, such evidence would be useful in suggesting where police could be more effectively deployed (if it can be demonstrated that a large number of such incidents happen at such-and-such location), whether any signage or street striping would help reduce these incidents, et cetera. Yes, this is likely beyond the scope of what these brilliant interns have devised (thumbs way up, guys!), but might be a "next phase" option.

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Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus

skeptical i

Not to blame the victim here ...

... but perhaps if she didn't act like such a silly git so often her press coverage would not be so ego- bruising? She certainly has the right (some would say "obligation") to act in ways that provoke media coverage, but it is disingenuous at best to feign shock -- shock, I say! -- that some of the resulting coverage has been less than positive. Such is the price of celebrity. (Caveat, of course, that one can lead a saintly life of good works and still get busted down by some internet troll.)

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

skeptical i
Meh

Re: Governments should be afraid of their people?

@KeepRefrigerated, re: "Of course 'Governments should work for their people' unfortunately does not quite sound so dramatic."

Problem is, for /which/ people should my government be working? We the people who elect our representatives? Or them the people who fund the campaigns? Very occasionally these two constituencies have concerns in common, but ....

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Stephen Hawking biopic: Big on romance, not so much with the science?

skeptical i

Hmmm.

Missed opportunity to educate moviegoers on even a dumbed down version of the science? Check.

Overemphasis on romance (yawn)? Check.

So I'll likely either give it a miss or wait for my library to get it on DVD.

However, if a "Hawking for dummies" flick piques people's interest in his work and prompts them to seek it out (and accidentally learn something), maybe it's not entirely a bad thing.

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Beware WarKitteh, the connected cat that sniffs your Wi-Fi privates

skeptical i
Holmes

I note the piccie was taken with the accomplice's face not visible.

Keeping the beastie anonymous(e) for future missions? This is not the cat you seek ....

AC motorbike: perhaps if you precariously set a trayful of clattery things (pot lids, tin cans) on the seat and tank of the bike, the monster will upset them when she/he/it jumps on the bike and might get enough of the bejabbers scared out of it that the problem is solved. Not the most aesthetically appealing solution, but one of the more humane ones. Good luck!

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Check your Clungene, Irish women warned

skeptical i
Pint

"13 Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS" article link to the right.

Well placed, that.

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Sneaker-maker Reebok cooks up performance-enhancing BACON

skeptical i
Flame

I guess if it ends up being really nasty you could resole your sneakers with it.

Double your pleasure, double your fun.

Might need to vulcanize it, though. -->

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skeptical i
Devil

Re: What the hell is CrossFit?

Walking in 6" heels will exercise muscles you never knew you HAD, girlfren'. ;)

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Russia: There is a SPACECRAFT full of LIZARDS in orbit above Earth and WE control it

skeptical i
Devil

Get Samuel L. Jackson on the phone ...

... the Russkies have seen our Snakes on a Plane and raised us Reptiles on a Rocket.

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NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

skeptical i
Thumb Down

Re: Oldies but goodies

Ayuh ... what should be a simple "Find ______________ and search by [ ] name [ ] parcel/ case ID" form (text box + radio selector) form on almost any public information site is a raft of pages and pages of who- knows- what. Some sites that were designed a while ago are still fairly simple, lean, and fast, while many newer ones seem to have used the latest canned bullshit from the "Need to build a website? Have no HTML skills? Have we got the product for YOU!" snake oil sales vermin who get a kickback on whatever click-through and/or other tracking bullshit is buried in the aforementioned who- knows- what. Hangin's too good for 'em.

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Unbridled BONKING and rampant ROGERING at YOUR office!

skeptical i
Angel

Re: Stereotypes

T-shirt is NOT faded, it's, um, DISTRESSED, all us hipsters wear 'em, you know ....

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MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

skeptical i
Devil

Welcome to my underground lair.

The Pacific volcano lair is being remodeled with upgraded shark tanks and other evil accoutrements, so we relocated to the Siberian summer lair for the duration.

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Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery

skeptical i
Pint

Re: Dammit Lester!

Someone in Delaware might have gotten some shrimp burrito, or maybe it was beefsteak, the article didn't go into detail.

Cerveza to wash down the burrito, mi amigo. -->

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What do we want? CAT VIDEOS! How do we get them? TOR!

skeptical i

Re: "Only terrorists want privacy. Apparently."

re: "fiddling their expense accounts" -- or their interns, although I don't think anyone cares much about that anymore either.

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Facebook 'manipulated' 700k users' feelings in SECRET EXPERIMENT

skeptical i
Devil

Not to give fecebook a pass, but ...

The _Atlantic_ article states, in part: "The backlash [against the research methodology] in this case, seems tied directly to the sense that Facebook manipulated people -- used them as guinea pigs -- without their knowledge, and in a setting where that kind of manipulation feels intimate." The outrage, then, seems to be hinged on people thinking that fecebook does NOT manipulate people, that a company whose revenues derive in no small part from adverts would not manipulate its users. Hokay. Not sure how this is different to measuring the effectiveness of said adverts (using illustration A, 24% of viewers clicked the link, while using illustration B only got 15% of viewers to click") -- viewer sees stimulus, viewer takes action, fecebook keeps track, and correlations are hypothesized -- as someone posted above, if a service is free you are not the customer you are the product. Having said that, if fecebook does manage to gets its hands slapped this time, hallelujah.

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Creepy battery-operated TEDDY BEAR SEX TOY. Sadly, this is for real

skeptical i
Devil

The thumb of the lass on the right

looks like a less, um, complicated sex toy -- pure coincidence, right? Just wow. Now I fear the adult version of Hello Kitty -- Hello Pussy -- is not far behind, eeeeeyuuuughhh.

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App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a FREE SPEECH issue

skeptical i
Thumb Down

MonkeyParking creates two classes, those "in" and those "out".

In theory, everyone is "in" on public parking -- first come, first served, luck and happenstance dictate when a space opens up in front of you. If I am trawling for a parking space, and one opens up in front of me, happy day, I wave to the departing driver in thanks, and life is good. If I am trawling and see someone in the front seat of a parked veehickle not move until a blue XYZ model with plate number 123 shows up out of nowhere so the XYZ-123 can park there even though I've clearly been waiting longer and visible to the driver of the parked car, how is that fair? I pay the taxes that make the public parking available as much as anyone else, yet the open-to-all crapshoot that is finding parking in any downtown now has the dice loaded for some and not others.

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You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

skeptical i

Re: Rights? Rights? We don' got no steenkin' rights.

That'd be the U.S. Supreme Court -- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/25/supreme_court_ruling_mobile_search_needs_warrant -- d'oh! Which means it applies nationwide, not just in one state or judicial circuit, does that sweeten the deal?

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skeptical i
Meh

Rights? Rights? We don' got no steenkin' rights.

Y'all really bought a pig in a poke, didn'cha.

Although it was just decided in one of our courts (don't recall which) that police need a warrant to search cellphones, the reason being that they often hold more personal data than one's home. So not entirely useless, eh? Eh? Where'd you go ...?

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EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

skeptical i
Big Brother

*sigh* I suppose it was just a matter of time, huh. :\

"We gave you myspace, fecebook, twaddle, and so many ways to make it easy for you to give us your info on your timetable and think you were still in control, but not all of you fell for it.

So now we're getting Serious.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

All your everything are belong to us, citizen."

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San Francisco issues SMACKDOWN on parking spot sale software

skeptical i

City's doing it wrong, they should ask for a cut of the action.

At the very least they should monitor the auction results; this could be a good source of data that might be of interest to City land use and transportation planners. If people are bidding ginormous amounts for parking in one area, perhaps the City should adjust the transit routes to better serve this area so folks have more options.

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Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

skeptical i
Pint

Now the fun begins, as world+dog says "Hey, what about MY stupid idea?"

"I and my mates thought it was crackin' uproarious over beers -- we even took a couple of hours to code it up -- and if this jimmyjoebob can pull in millions on 'yo', why wouldn't [* insert name here *] also rake in some dosh?"

Might as well laugh, the ship's going down anyway.

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Assange™ makes fresh bid for FREEDOM from Scotland Yard's 'physical encirclement'

skeptical i
Pint

Re: Escape

Until he runs into a real washer woman who exposes the ruse, that is (viz, Mr. Toad, _Wind in the Willows_).

--> Suds, yum.

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Smartphone SEX APPS will give you CUPID'S MEASLES - study

skeptical i
Coat

Nokia 3390 is good for what it is

(mine worked fine for ten years before I upgraded to something with a camera), but it ain't hardly "smart" in the whiz-bang cellphone sense. Unless that's some other type of hardware that's happy to see me (and wearing a disguise so as not to frighten the children) ....

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Supermodel Lily Cole: 'I got a little bit upset by that Register article'

skeptical i

Re: I got a little bit upset by that Register article

Might be more inclined to agree with you, Daggerchild, if she weren't getting wodges of tax money for the project. How do I get over a quarter-million to faff around promoting a "stuff wanted" site?

(Need a crocodile tears/ boo-freaking-hoo icon.)

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YouTube will nuke indie music videos in DAYS, says Google exec

skeptical i
Thumb Down

edits required

"While we wish that we had 100 per cent success rate, we understand that is not likely an achievable goal and therefore it is our responsibility to our users and the industry shareholders to launch the enhanced music experience in time for filing quarterly financials."

Fixed now.

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