* Posts by John Gamble

374 posts • joined 6 Sep 2007

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Hollywood vs hackers: Vulture cracks Tinseltown keyboard cornballs

John Gamble
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"By the way, on a related note...

http://moviecode.tumblr.com/"

That was an enjoyable read, thanks. Interesting that "Person of Interest" uses real exploitation code in its screen shots.

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Spotty Ceres baffles boffins with bright patches

John Gamble
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Re: Perhaps we have it wrong....

Yes, this.

I now feel a need to re-read my Hal Clement books.

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STOP! Pebble Time: New color watch clocks up $5m on Kickstarter

John Gamble
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Re: Wait, what?

"I like my phone on silent in the office, so my pebble steel is awesome for letting me know when I have calls or texts."

And in one unusual use case, I was in a home where the phone could barely pick up a signal if it was in the kitchen (the closest room to the road) and nowhere else. So I left my phone in the kitchen, and my Pebble could notify me if I had a text come in.

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(Re)touching on a quarter-century of Adobe Photoshop

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Pascal ? Really ?

"For the Mac history buffs out there, check out the original (interpreted) Mac Pascal, Lightspeed/ThiNK Pascal and the classic Turbo Pascal (yes, there was one for the Mac)."

Yeah, Mac Pascal was ... adequate, but it was also the default compiler, so everyone used it.

Lightspeed/Think Pascal had a terrific interface and a better resource syntax, so if you could afford it that was the one you got (and the Think C compiler as well). Turbo... well, it came in a distant second to Think, although I imagine people comfortable with the DOS/Windows version of Turbo were happy with it when they sat in front of a Mac for the first time.

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BLOOD STAR of the NEANDERTHALS passed close to our Sun

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: No Boffin reference? For shame!

He's appeared here before: Boffin the boffin and his boffinry pals in double dwarf super-prang alert.

Clearly we have not, as its sub-title asked, reached Peak Boffin yet.

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'Net neutrality will turn the internet communist – and make Iran's day'

John Gamble
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Childcatcher

Golly!

Oh gosh, a Shrub appointee is horribly concerned for his corporate masters everyone's safety. How ever shall we deal with this.

(For those who aren't familiar with it, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page is notorious for crackpot pronouncements, in contrast to the news reporting, which is fairly solid).

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Drinking games: Tapper 1983, this Bud's for you...

John Gamble
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Re: I had the game, but don't remember the name...

Yeah, there was a modification for those establishments that wanted a video game, but didn't want it promoting evil alcohol. The tea-total one that I remember was Root Beer Tapper.

No one who played it was fooled, of course.

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World's mega-rich tax dodge exposed: Meet the HSBC IT bloke at the heart of damning leak

John Gamble
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Stop

Re: Appropriate

"He wasn't trying to prevent tax evasion, he was trying to profit from data theft."

Cite please? The only ones claiming that are the Swiss authorities, who seem to be working for HSBC in this matter. The other affected European governments seem to have different opinions.

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Why 1.6 million people will miss Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 date with fate

John Gamble
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Boffin

Or Not The Ender's Game Technique

Except I clicked on the name and it does appear to be a genuine AC, sending me to the "we allow anonymous posting" explanations, instead of a list of postings by AC+blank.

So the point about the pint still stands. Unless there's a bug in El Reg's name-tracking.

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Yahoo!'s Firefox search hook-up pays off as it nicks Google's US clicks

John Gamble
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Re: dirty tricks

Weird. Duckduckgo is my default, with no complaint from Firefox.

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Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

John Gamble
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Boffin

Adding Bluetooth Totally Makes This Not A Fraud!

The Straight Dope dealt with this nonsense eighteen years ago: Do laundry balls really work?.

"Taking all this into consideration, I figure laundry balls aren't just the name of the product, they're what you need to sell it."

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You heard this Chicago electro underground sound? ... Yeah, it's 4G

John Gamble
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Re: Rahm doesn't take the train

Yes and no. There's some ancient support there, but then again the L was over-built when it was constructed (because back then they didn't know how strong the materials were, so they over-compensated).

So aged they may be, but a) there is a re-build going on, and b) the parts that haven't been replaced are in remarkably good shape.

What deserves more comment is that Mayor Emmanuel is running for re-election, and a sizable portion of the city -- perhaps enough to force a runoff election -- hates him. Announcements like these, just before the election, have one goal only.

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Death becomes it: Grim Fandango Remastered

John Gamble
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Re: There was another game that came out a year earlier...

"...there was talk of a kickstarter sequel, i know my wife backed it but can't remember if it hit the target"

It did, it's called Armikrog, and it's in alpha testing now.

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Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, Dead Girl Walking and Chasing the Scream

John Gamble
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A New Brookmyre!

And it reaches the States in... May.

Shakes fist at publishers in impotent fury.

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Tearful boffins confirm grav wave tsunami NOT caused by Big Bang

John Gamble
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Mushroom

Re: "This pic shows dust emission from the Small Magellanic Cloud"

Damn you, I was going to make a Van Gogh comparison. Have an retaliatory upvote as part of my revenge.

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

John Gamble
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Re: hmm

Typing "Serbian" at the IMDB find box got me the movie (plus one TV episode and one documentary), and it looks like the IMDB message boards are in complete agreement with you.

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John Gamble
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Two Movies I've Walked Out On

Both of them I went to see based on the reputation of someone involved in the movie.

Going Places. I'd heard Gérard Depardieu was an excellent actor, and thought I'd see him during a revival of Going Places. He may indeed be an excellent actor, but unfortunately this was a demonstration of what happens when humor doesn't age well. Those "funny" scenes didn't translate well twenty years later.

Switch. Blake Edwards! Director of Pink Panther, Victor/Victoria! There's no way this is going to be a movie that repeats the same joke over and over, right? Right? Oh dear...

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John Gamble
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Re: No one saw Zardoz?

Oh, yeah, that was pretty bad.

I saw it with great expectations -- it had been praised pretty regularly by the then-reviewer of F&SF -- and good lord just how awful can one movie be. I understand that there was a metaphor about overthrowing a decadent ruling class, but that metaphor was realized with rape scenes and manly men going around shirtless for no apparent reason (okay, I can guess the reason, but it's still terrible).

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Your anonymous code contributions probably aren't: boffins

John Gamble
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Re: students

It can go in the other direction too. My coding style certainly changed over the semester as I learned what worked for me and what didn't. Begin/end and brace placement changed heavily over the semester, as did my indentation width.

It happens as one learns a new language as well. I could definitely look at an early program in a new-to-me language and tell what other language was influencing my style at the time.

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Canonical goes all Internet of Stuff with Ubuntu for DRONES

John Gamble
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And Obviously There Are Alternatives To Using Linux

After all, if one can make a NetBSD toaster, then a drone should be a snap.

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Tor de farce: NSA fails to decrypt anonymised network

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Seems to me: how to get free unrestricted comms in 'autocratic' regimes

I haven't talked to my friends at Microsoft recently but the entire history of Skype, (written in Eesti by Kazaa P2P programmers who actually remembered life under the Soviet Union), meant that it was originally the "compromise free" version!

Except the original version had a self-rolled crypto system, which was about as secure as one would expect. If Skype's crypto has been unchanged since it first appeared, it has been insecure from day one. And if its crypto has been changed as it changed hands... well, it is almost certainly even less secure now.

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Q*bert: The Escher-inspired platform puzzler from 1982

John Gamble
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Randomness

"As an emerging programmer, Warren Davis used the project to practise code routines like randomness, producing balls that would bounce down from the top of each pyramid unpredictably."

Which on an 8086 was quite an accomplishment. Creating pseudo-random number generators that weren't awful was an art form back then, and to do it on an 8086 took quite a bit of skill.

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Hipsters ahoy! Top Ten BOARD games for festive family fun

John Gamble
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Re: a board game isn't just for Christmas

"The best Go but if you insist Chess"

Chess has been improved (really), so it may deserve better than second place, but your mileage may vary of course.

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Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'

John Gamble
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So. Living in the 1950s ... how's that working out for you?

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Git thee behind me, Git crit security bug!

John Gamble
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Boffin

Also Git Bash

This should not be confused with the git bash download for Windows, which is a git client from the git community (as opposed to github). They also have a GUI, although I can't compare the two as I use the bash shell almost exclusively.

Hmm, looks like git bash for Windows has also had a very recent update -- and looking at the release notes, it's for much the same reason.

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Dr. Dobb's Journal sails into the sunset - yet again

John Gamble
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Goodbye, DDJ

Behind me, as I type, are a couple of decades worth of DDJ, stored away in protective containers. In them are articles on the Small-C compiler, Cortesi's columns (in particular the one excoriating an over-priced book telling us how to get past 1999 safely -- he summarized the solution in one paragraph), the introduction of 386 BSD, and the name-and-shame of the guy who was holding up the ANSI C standard.

But as noted above, Windows articles became the majority subject, source code became harder to list, and one columnist... how should I put this ... became more interested in proselytizing than in informing. I'd have to dig to check, but I don't believe I own a 2000-era issue.

Farewell, DDJ.

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American bacon cured with AR-15 assault rifle

John Gamble
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Re: Wacky the lot of 'em

Feh. I'm an American, and I'll say flat out -- bacon is terrible. Cooking it to a crisp is about the only way one can make it edible enough to choke it down.

There are edible pork products out there, but bacon as it is practiced in the States isn't one of them.

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Is there ANOTHER UNIVERSE headed BACKWARDS IN TIME?

John Gamble
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Re: @Mark 85

"The Tea Party is also fragmented; it is a series of anarchistic local chapters that each believe something slightly different."

Just to augment that point a bit: at the same election year that gave Tea Party loyalist Ted Cruz a senate seat, Tea Party affiliation was used as a negative campaign ad point in my own area -- and it worked, the incumbents lost. I find that the "slightly different" beliefs are effectively insignificant, but the districts that they run in do affect their campaigns, since being labeled as loons doesn't help.

And in fact, several Tea Party organizations have already changed their names to avoid looking like Tea Party organizations.

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Real Ale TWATS: In SPAAAACE, no one can churn your cream

John Gamble
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Re: Headline

The problem with that strategy is that no headline writer has ever been known to get sober.

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Ford dumps Windows for QNX in new in-car entertainment unit

John Gamble
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"An F22 would be nice for X-mas"

If we get you an F22 young man, you'll have to promise to feed it and take care of it yourself.

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Why, hello there, Foxy... BYE GOOGLE! Mozilla's browser is a video star

John Gamble
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a) That's not a bug.

b) If it really bothers you, you can easily pin your homepage in the new tab's screen. It doesn't require a plugin.

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FBI warns of disk NUKE malware after Sony Pictures megahack

John Gamble
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Re: Doubt it's the norks who did it then

Shrug. Movie's coming out regardless. It's in their interest to see that Sony doesn't profit from it.

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Google's Chrome to pull plug on plugins next September

John Gamble
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Re: Wow, I'm way out of touch...

"How the hell is Sliverlight even in the list, let alone #1?"

Streaming sports, at least here in the U.S. I don't know how widespread it is -- I still use the television for such things.

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Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

John Gamble
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Re: Anytime the KKK are mentioned...

"KKK - so 'powerful' a comic book was enough to decimate them."

Radio show actually. Stetson Kennedy had infiltrated the group, had information to pass on to the FBI, and ... couldn't get them interested (cue comments on FBI).

He did know writers on the Superman radio program though. Wikipedia has a brief summary on "The Clan of the Fiery Cross".

(Hmm, it's not on archive.org, although there is a fan rebroadcast there.)

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FCC to Obama on net neutrality: We work for CONGRESS, SIR, not YOU

John Gamble
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Re: Reports to Congress?

No, Congress acts as a middle man between the FCC and the corporations. There's more plausible deniability that way.

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Samsung slams door on OLED TVs, makes QUANTUM dot LEAP

John Gamble
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Quantum Dots (About To) Arrive, But Now Where I Thought They Would

Huh. I've been waiting for QD in LED lighting, as they are predicted to give better color rendering at lower wattage. I wasn't expecting to see an article extolling them for televisions.

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Race is on to touch down on COMET 67P before WHIFFY SPACE DUCK breaks up

John Gamble
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Alien

Re: It would be embarrassing

"... and, er, we broke it..."

Wait, no, that would be great! A new game: "Comet Crush".

Pity the price is a bit extreme.

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Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY

John Gamble
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Re: I'm getting a Fiio X5 for my birthday.

Hmm. Plays FLAC files, looks sturdy, has a thumb wheel. Okay, adding it to my list of possible iPod replacements. Thanks.

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Storage, probably like a college girl buying a belt. Be ready for the freshman 15

John Gamble
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Re: Still waiting for someone to invent an "engine" for "search"...

Although when I was in college, it was the freshman 10. I blame candy bars advertising themselves as food.

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Reg hacks see the woods or the trees In the Forest of the Night

John Gamble
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Re: Gallifrey 90210

Hmm, interesting. Thanks, I've just backed the Ministry of Chance project even though it looks like it might fall short. At the very least I hope to get updates on the state of the show.

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Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape

John Gamble
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Re: 718- 387-xxxx

Hmm. My earliest TMBG CD is a 1987 release, and it has the 718-387-6962 ("Free if you call from work") number.

I suppose it's possible that this is a re-release (I bought it in the nineties) with the booklet updated. And of course your point on the area code stands.

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Watersports-friendly e-reader: Kobo's Aura H2O is literary when wet

John Gamble
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Re: e-ink

Yes, but... while I love my now-aged Kobo, I've also said that I'd upgrade once it had some features that I've been wanting.

In particular, EPUB3 support (I read a lot of math texts). So finally, a reason to buy a new e-reader.

(Plus, back-lighting that doesn't have to be used until actually necessary is a plus as well.)

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Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box

John Gamble
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A Little Extra Bit Of Information

For those who are wondering why the heat treatment is required on the shipping boxes, see the links here on the asian long-horned beetle and the emerald ash borer.

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LOHAN crash lands on CNN

John Gamble
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"Backronyming"

No no -- that's how you define mission scope.

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Gotham gets the Smallville treatment with Jim Gordon in lead role

John Gamble
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Before They Reached Their Peak

Comparing this to Smallville is definitely damning it with faint praise. At least this show isn't littered with people who can't act pretending they're still teenagers.

It's a bit early to make a judgement here. Yeah, the future Catwoman isn't a very good pickpocket yet, but that's probably because she's still a kid. I'm more interested in how they're sorting out the characters from Gotham Central that they're using -- Bullock, Montoya, and Allen were all fully-drawn characters, and I'm just hoping that they're not being used as cliched antagonists (unfortunately, after only three episodes, I'm already concerned about how they're using Montoya).

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Woman says narco-cops used her PICS to snare drug lords on Facebook

John Gamble
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Re: Forced to use their real name?

"So how do you go about differentiating between the various people called John Smith..."

Not using John Smith's photo, nor photos of John Smith's children, would be a good start.

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

John Gamble
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Re: Reducing Electricity Consumption???

"LEDs will also be sold for fashion rather than practicality, their size and low heat output allowing a whole new generation of lighting which will be exploited because it looks different, ..."

Until it goes out of fashion, that is. Fashion is inherently over-priced and costly, but it is also transitory.

In the mean time, using an LED for its basic purpose -- light -- will always be cheaper than the equivalent incandescent, even if you add a few extra bulbs1. This is what the Defenders Of Incandescents (a tinfoil hat subsidiary) keep trying to draw our attention away from.

---

1. I doubled the number of bulbs in my kitchen, bringing the wattage to ... 24. Still a bit less than the original 175 watts.

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Doctor Who becomes an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera in Kill The Moon

John Gamble
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Re: It's Dr Who

"As far as I can recall ACC never had FTL travel in any of his stories"

You do not recall correctly. He didn't dwell on it -- he didn't have anyone try to justify the travel in-story -- but he certainly had characters moving from point A to point A+many light years.

His best stories were all either on Earth or within the Solar system though, so that may have contributed to your not recalling this.

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The elegant, strange and fascinating world of Three Body comes to English readers

John Gamble
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Re: Point of clarification?

Perhaps you could clarify this comment yourself, and provide links? Why should El Reg provide links to books by a different author?

The Tor website link (provided in the article) was informative, and there's a Wikipedia article for Liu Cixin, which in turn provides external links for more information on the author.

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Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead

John Gamble
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Meh

Re: Hopefully there is no nuclear reactor involved this time.

Like it wasn't totally screwed before he got into power?

Didn't you know? Everything is the fault of Keynesian econonics -- volcanoes, manufacturing errors, programming languages we don't approve of, and so on.

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