* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Phorm: How it went down

Herby Silver badge

Whack-a-mole in disguise...

This is just the first step. Another one will likely "pop-up" and we will need to be ever vigilant with the big mallet.

Keep up the good work!

TechCrunch dubs Linux a 'big ol’ bag of drivers'

Herby Silver badge

Getting out of the way...

Two weeks ago I was in a nice all inclusive resort in Hawaii (very nice by the way). They had two "public" machines that people used to surf the net (and print out boarding passes for their flight out). One was Ubuntu with Firefox, and another was a Mac "all in one" that people used Firefox, or Safari. No IE (sorry Orange) in sight. Both had a nice HP printer networked in as the preferred printer. Iw was weird, but all the time I was there (10 days, I would have liked more!) nobody complained ONE BIT. They just poked at the proper icon, and got on with their task.

So, there are systems that do "get out of the way" and seem to be easy to operate. Neither one was named Windows.

Oh, I didn't see a crash (forced reboot) while I was there either. Must be reliable. I did see some people connect cameras up and send pictures back home to show off their tans! I gotta go back someday!!

Orange UK exiles Firefox from call centres

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Ah... Revenge of the PHB's

Why isn't there an icon for PHB's. This would be quite proper for this type of story, and its comments.

What we need is an "inside" story, published over at http://www.thedailywtf.com !

Microsoft forbids changes to Windows 7 netbook wallpaper

Herby Silver badge


Maybe they can't change the wallpaper. Typical netbooks have limited resources (disk, memory) so it may be that the netbook after loading the Windows 07 operating system and all the other junk that comes in an OEM version has there isn't any room left over to load some simple wallpaper, or the program to make it work. What with Windows 07 being a resource hog (what version of Windows isn't!) it will barely work anyway.

Upgrades available, please send money to: upgrade OS, more memory, more disk! But it isn't a netbook then (oh, well!).

US city demands FaceSpaceGooHoo log-ins from job seekers

Herby Silver badge

Why doesn't the city attorney...

...publish HIS details for all to see. He has nothing to hide does he. Maybe all his open cases. We won't look that stuff up. No Sir!

Lead by example is a reasonable way to go if you ask me.

Of course, a good BOFH doesn't need this information!

Intel tears up CPU branding scheme

Herby Silver badge


These guys are the ones that trademarked the number 2010 in roman numerals (MMX).

All the nice people who put things like "Copyright MMX" next year might have to say: "MMX is a trademark of the intel corporation.

Buggy 'smart meters' open door to power-grid botnet

Herby Silver badge

I guess this is Friday, so it is OK

This development has BOFH written ALL over it.

Clicky clicky Lights off, Clicky clicky lights on. What fun. Can we light up the houses in an obscene pattern? Clicky clicky clicky...

Apollo 11 - The Owners' Workshop Manual

Herby Silver badge

Low "surface" miles, one owner.

Available for pickup. A decent stage, with optional excursion vehicle. Stored in "pristine" environment .

Could be considered a "parts" vehicle. A couple are available, see used vehicle lot.

Snow Leopard kisses ZFS bye-bye

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Apple Server!!

Look, Apple server is better than Windows Server.

Of course, Linux server (as in LAMP) is much better!

Mars projected to collide with Earth

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Danger (Will Robinson)

We all know the collision will happen before any effects of Al Gore's global warming, so we ought to prepare for the worst spending a couple of Exadollars on the problem. a couple of rockets timed properly ought to do it.

AT&T jettisons the last of its Usenet

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Of course, there will always be an alternative.

One of these days, NNTP will be new and improved, where spam can be tracked and eliminated at the source. Hopefully IETF will assign a new port to NNTP2, and we will all point newsreaders there. The posts will be thoughtful and intelligent, and helpful.

Until then we must coexist with the "tragedy of the commons", where the bad brings down the good. (*SIGH*).

Larry Ellison relives reveals network computer netbook dream

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It was called the NIC

They used CD-Roms and booted in Linux. They ALMOST worked OK, but when you pay silly sales droids (I know someone who worked there!) to have pipe dreams and not sell anything (a good market was Libraries) it is going to fail.

If you want to know about the hardware, go to http://www.nicrevival.com where they try to support the hardware, but the links are broken (*SIGH*).

Oh, I have one of the machines as well.

Microsoft takes hard line on Win 7 hardware

Herby Silver badge


Microsoft Hardware (that "works").

Yes, they can make keyboards and mice, but that appears to be about it. Put any complexity in it, and it will probably only work with XP. If you want to upgrade to Vista, or Windows 07, you will need to spend $$$$$. Oh, well..

Windows 7 to ship October 22

Herby Silver badge

Windows "07"??

Maybe it should be called "Windows 07", as it is based on a 2007 version of things. This marginal 2009 version is a bit late if you ask me.

So, Windows 07 is the name!

BOFH: Snout, meet trough

Herby Silver badge

BOFH found a Hottie??

Why there might just be a BOFHess, then junior BOFH's that happen later in the life cycle. Always fun!

Microsoft loses NZ Windows government deal

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In related news.....

OpenOffice.org released version 3.1 this week. It has a newer faster spreadsheet among other things.

Geez, releases in less than a year that actually work, and are responsive to the user community? Who could ask for more!

If they can break the law, why can't we?

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Remember: The court of public opinion...

...elects those who "serve" (in Parliament, or Congress where I'm at). The best thing to do is to THROW THE BUMS OUT.

Unfortunately, the power of the incumbancy lets most prevail at their current jobs, usually buying the votes necessary to keep them in office (with taxpayers money!).

Welcome to the 21st century!

Microsoft set to reveal Windows 7 pricing mid-June

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Obvious pricing model

Pretty simple if you ask me:

How much do you have to spend? Send it on in!

Governments have LOTS of money charge more!

Third world cretins have lots less, charge less!

They make money on every sale so what difference does it make. It all eventually goes to Bill Gates charity/wealth distribution anyway, so we might as well laugh while it is being done.

European 'standard' e-car power connector details emerge

Herby Silver badge

Why not a magnetic connector

Like those on an Apple laptop. They would "break-away" if you tripped over them, or drove away. None of this locking silly stuff.

Look, it works for a laptop, why not a vehicle.

You could use those nice little cables as well, they ARE cute! :-)

Linux group, Microsoft form unholy alliance against US lawyers

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Microsoft and Linux foundation on the same side?

It all goes back to the old saying:

The enemy of my enemy is my friend (if only for a moment!).

That is why we allied with Joe Stalin in WW2! (probably a BIG mistake)

Unsafe at any speed: Memcpy() banished in Redmond

Herby Silver badge

Microsoft.....Security.....Coding Standards.....

Is this a humor column or something? Those words together usually make me laugh.

As for "banned" things: doing this usually makes everyone VERY devious in ways to work around the banned item, no matter how "good" it is. We here in the USA tried to ban alcohol, and you know what that did. These "great ideas" (I use the term loosely!) are just the latest in a series of "feel good" promotions. We all know that it will do nothing to enhance the security of the coding, no matter what the language.

About the only thing that MIGHT help is a tactical nuclear strike close to Redmond, Washington (after the residents are warned so they can get out). The buildings and copies of Windows sources need to be wiped off the face of the earth, not the people responsible for them. Those need to go into some other line of work ("would you like fries with that?").

Yes, a humor article.

Archaeologists unearth oldest known 3D pornography

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The worlds oldest profession (obsession) is SEX!

Gov 'smart meter' plans: Sky box in charge of your house

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Smart Meters, Stupid Users, etc...

While there is a cost of delivering electricity to customers, at times the "cost" of generating it varies WILDLY. In fact, on some power grids (at the proper time), the "cost" of power can be NEGATIVE (they pay you to consume it). While it doesn't happen much, there are times when this is the case. Unfortunately the "market" of electricity isn't that developed, and there is no over supply (the system needs about 10% over peak demand to have a proper market). These "smart" meters are as everyone has pointed out just a way to charge users more, and give them less.

Yes, a side benefit might be to remotely turn off the dead beats, but that is a secondary function. I will note that in some jurisdictions here in the USA, it takes a couple of people to turn off power, including an off-duty policeman "packing heat!".

Smart meters are nothing new. I worked on some examples over 20 years ago.

Google blames cheeseburgers for destroying the planet

Herby Silver badge

With spin like this...

...the sun could rise in the west any day now. What has the world come to when EVERYTHING has to be "green" (or any other color for that matter). Look, life on this planet ISN'T green anyway. Only a lifeless planet (Mars is a good example) can actually be "green", but in fact it is reddish-brown.

Get Real!

Ofcom works out why Wi-Fi doesn't work

Herby Silver badge

There is a phrase for this

"The paradox of the Commons".

Not everyone is "nice", so the bad people "win". Oh, well. On to 802.11n. Up to 5GHz.

On microwave ovens: They are SUPPOSED to contain their emissions. Most do or some regulatory agency would be like white on rice, not to mention the government...

SCO threatened with Chapter 7 destruction

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Chapter 7 ans lawyers...

Ah, lawyers. The sad part is that the eating order in Chapter 7 (been there...) is the trustee gets first lickings. Then come the trustee's lawyers, then the people employed (are there any?) up to about $2k. Then it goes downhill from there. Hopefully the lawyers who are filing the lawsuit(s) against us honest (Linux/Unix) people are a bit further back in the cafeteria line. The food is running out fast, and "secured creditors" should be higher up in line than the sharks.

My take: A fitting end. Now lets get on with killing software patents.

Trade in secondhand BlackBerries booming in Nigeria

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We need a new business...

Just create a "personality" on an obsolete device and offer it for sale. Sounds like a BOFH idea if I ever saw one. Random number generators and large account balances ought to make for a tidy profit. Of course they could be pointed to honeypot devices to catch the crooks, but I doubt that banks would go that far. Way too costly for them, being easier to pay off the suckers that got taken.

Can you talk and drive?

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You get off cheap in the UK

50 quid? That is a pretty cheap citation here in sunny (well, it did rain yesterday) California. Minimum fines for anything involving a moving vehicle will set you back over $200 before you can say "traffic school". If you don't, the price goes up.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending) the enforcement isn't that good, and yes people keep blabbing away!

The only thing that is that cheap is a parking ticket, which varies quite a bit, but usually less than $100.

At current exchange rate of $1.50 to the pound (or so).

Homer Simpson 'nuclear waste spill' panic at nuke sub base!

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On scaring people.

When they first came out, what we now call MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) was called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, or NMR imaging. It was called that because the atoms at the nuclear level were excited by a large magnet. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with any decaying material that is associated with things like Nuclear power plants (or atom bombs). To have something called "nuclear" in a hospital providing images people thought of X-rays and the like and assumed that it wasn't healthy for them so they refused to take part, even though is was probably safer than a normal X-ray. With a small name change (removing the work "Nuclear") and Presto-Chango, no problem.

I am also reminded of a picture my brother-in-law took of a remote monitoring station that was unattended for most of the year. In an effort to reduce vandalism, they put up a sign that said "Danger xxxxxx Radiation" (I don't remember the xxx Part). It was a statement of the radiation from the Sun, but with a large number and the word "Radiation", it did the trick.

Normal people just don't understand. These things are ALL around us, and they aren't going away. Sure if you have ingested micrograms of Plutonium, you will possibly die, you can also die from other stuff, Cyanide comes to mind.

We never learn! The sad part is we probably never will.

Love on the buses: The S-100 and me

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First liar doesn't get a chance...

My early entry into computers of the age (1976 or so) was with 6800 (Motorola) processors. I ended up designing a floppy disk interface (using a 5 1/4 "minifloppy") with then a wonderful single chip controller (WD 1771). I ended up writing an "operating system" that used the floppy disk as secondary storage, and it worked quite well, even adapting to any memory size it was given (8k bytes up to 60k bytes). I even adapted the Basic of the time (not Bill's) and a text editor. It was a going machine. I ended up making test fixtures for Qume Daisy wheel printers, and all was well with the world. The system was based on the prototype boards I had at the time (44 pin cards). Pretty simple for the day. A few years later I had boxes working as answering service computers based on this design. That lasted for a few years (1983) until the company went Chapter 7. Oh well, life in the big city, in a galaxy far far away, a long time ago.

It was FUN though!

Minnesota calls for 200-site net gambling blockage

Herby Silver badge

Old saying.....

"The internet treats censorship as breakage and routes around it."

Why don't they try to fight SPAM first, then attempt to get the gambling problem. There are some priorities to attend to.

US Congress inspects deep packet inspection

Herby Silver badge

Doesn't anyone understand the term "Common Carrier"?

If they allow ISP's to inspect content, why not allow a phone company "inspect" the voice channels (voice recognition is improving) and sell the "keywords" found to telemarketers. It IS equivalent.

Of course, "inspection" on voice channels is VERY illegal, and wouldn't be tolerated by anyone, so why would digital information be any different.

In a word: DUH!

US lawmakers to de-silence electric cars

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Obvious solution?

Just have the electric vehicle emit the voice:

"Danger Will Robinson".

Pretty obvious if you ask me!

Microsoft records first ever revenue drop

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Oh, well. Better luck next year!

Maybe they can use some of their CA$H to help the rest of the world. They seem to have a bit in their money bin to pay off everyone that gets in their way.

Maybe Windows 8 will be the money maker. If it exists, or gets off the ground. Time will tell.

Ireland scraps e-voting in favour of 'stupid old pencils'

Herby Silver badge

Electronic means...

Here in the wonderful state of California (left coast) we have a silly lottery that collects a "stupidy tax" from its users. I feel that this is a similar means to "voting" and it has (look, money is involved!) lots of audit trails. This shows that it CAN be done if there is a will. The bigger question is if it NEEDS to be done. The obvious answer to that is NO, as compared to the Stupidity tax collector (yes, I contribute as well), voting takes place a fraction of the times per year. Since going away from the punch cards and their hanging chad (which is almost impossible to purposefully make unless you spindle the cards) we have had the e-voting methods (touch screens) for a couple of elections, and now we have decided to use optical mark readers (pencils anyone!). Original ballots that my parents used before the punch cards were the big old fashoned ones that you used a dumb rubber stamp to put an 'X' in the proper box. The optical readers then were human, and all was well with the world. Now we are back to square one, which is probably a "good thing".

The more things change the more they stay the same. (*SIGH*)

It's US vs Europe as world e-car plug standard race nears end

Herby Silver badge

Three phase in the USA?

Well, we don't have that at our homes. Sorry. We have these nice little plugs that supply 120 volts to our electric devices and those work quite nicely. Our lights and TVs don't flicker either being that they are at the proper frequency of 60Hz, not some french idealism frequency.

Sure we have 240 volts for those items that slop up the amps (like kitchen ranges), but those are mostly wired in place.

As for three phase, even here there are two standards, 120-208 'Y' three phase, and 240 'Delta' three phase, where there is a "hot leg" that is 208 bolts above the neutral, which is actually the center tap of the 120-0-120 size. And yes, I've worked with both of them. Sure three phase is nice to have if you are making DC for the battery, but if you don't have it, why bother. The problem is that when you make DC from the mains, you don't conduct over the entire cycle (power factor stuff), and the utilities don't like that. Three phase makes it a bit easier, but it is still a problem. There will always be incompatibilities in any system, and as was said before the "refueling rate" is terrible with electric means.

Electric cars are probably a passing fad anyway, so let the bickering begin. By the time it is all done, we won't need it.

Microsoft gears up for Windows 8

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Let's see, Windows 9, or 10??

Who knows the release could happen in about 2 years. Of course as the release go on, they will get less and less relevant. What is the relevance of W7 anyway? It is just a mish-mash of "features" that Microsoft is pushing on us. Most of these are really unnecessary so we just continue with XP as always.

Then again, if you want releases that ARE relevant, most Linux distributions have two releases a year, not two years between releases.

One of these days we will have "Office 2010 for Linux", then we can all go home!

Boffins build super-accurate atomic clock

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But what happens when a leap second happens?

Oh, we need to speed up this silly planet to eliminate those pesky added seconds. Make sure you account for them, as some operating systems think that there are always 31536000 seconds in a non leap year. Then there are those that keep time by pairs of seconds.

Oh, well.

Tick, tock, tick, tock, etc.

Microsoft extends Red-Ring-of-Death cover to fresh Xbox fault

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Maybe Microsoft should take this "testing" thing seriously?

From the looks of it they really don't care much. Unfortunately, with hardware products, a "patch Tuesday" is a bit difficult to do. The "other" vendor who DOES make hardware (based in Cupertino, CA) learned the lesson long ago. Being "cheap" doesn't help when you need to spend the money five times.

Oh, well. Lesson learned (by the customer, NOT the vendor!).

Businesses will postpone Windows 7 rollouts

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Sur-prise Sur-prise Sur-Prise (Gomer Pyle voice)

This is "news"? Windows is going downhill. Microsoft's profits are "flat". Its stock price hasn't gone anywhere since Windows XP was released.

When the smoke clears, there will be another "service pack" of XP, and it might even last a couple of years. What everyone understands now is that they DON'T need another operating system every two/three years like in the past. XP has lasted now for over 7 years, and why change. You just don't get anything for it, and in troubled economic times, there is no compelling reason to upgrade. This is even reinforced more when the "cost" often includes faster hardware that used to be pushed out by Intel, but just doesn't come out that fast any more.

Slower and slower software and hardware that just doesn't keep up. Why bother!!

Sur-prise Sur-prise Sur-prise!

New Navy SEAL minisub's IT-system specs released

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One word:

Somalia. Right now!

Microsoft conjures imaginary 'Apple Tax'

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Oh, another thing that Microsoft ALWAYS mentions:

TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). The need for a home user to hire somebody to keep the machine up to date with all those "patch Tuesday's" that are going to happen, just to name one.

Then again, I don't want Vista, can I get a refund?

I also have a friend who us brand new to using a Mac. With the Apple store nearby, he gets all his answers very quickly, and some instruction to boot. He is a happy customer. I doubt a Vista customer would be as happy with the service. Similar to shopping at WalMart for a PC, and Nordstroms for a Mac service wise (with the prices posted).

Tesla Roadster runs for 241 miles in Monte Carlo e-rally

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Then there is the Top Gear Episode

They thrashed the Telsa around on their track, and it barely survived a day. Of course, they were trying to set a course record. The problem they had was the battery died or some such.

So much for LapTop batteries.

Me? I just like the 356 (1962 model year). Vintage, and very nice with the top down at 90+ MPH. Unfortunately it is a ticket magnet at that speed (*SIGH*).

Animal rights group protests seal clubbing in World of Warcraft

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But I thought that PETA stood for

People Eating Tasty Animals. I hadn't heard of "Please Eat The Animals".

Written by a true carnivore!

Beef, its what's for Dinner! Mmmm Tasty!

Acer sued for shipping Vista-book with GB of memory

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Problems with this.

I can name a few:

1) WalMart. Look EVERYTHING at WalMart is CHEAP. They insist on it. If they didn't have the laptop at 1Gb, with minimum configuration, WalMart wouldn't have sold it.

2) Vista: Enough said.

3) Class Action Lawsuit. Just another money grab by a lawyer looking for plaintiffs. While it might be a good thing, the net effect of this is that the ones that actually were "harmed" will get some silly coupon for another purchase (that will expire in 30 days), while the lawyers (and the "lead plaintiff") will rake in the dough.

4) 1Gb of memory. Time was when this was a large hard drive. Yes times have changed, but the real fault is that the operating system and environment needs this much ram just to boot the thing. The fault is that software expands to fill up the space available, and then some more for good measure. While ALL software suffers from this, it seems that operating systems from Redmond are by far the biggest offenders!

So, we wait for the legal process to wind its way through the courts, and nobody will win in the end (almost, the lawyers will make a buck or two). Life will go on and eventually W7 will appear, with more lawyers getting rich. (*SIGH*)

Put down your pens: Cartoons next on censor block

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What about bathroom walls??

If "possession" is the crime, then what happens to the depictions that are scratched in the stalls of public (or no so public) bathrooms? The "owner" of said bathroom would be the "possessor"of such items. To continue, if these depictions are in the nice parliament building then won't the members of parliament be the guilty ones?

This goes into the category: "Be careful for what you ask for, you may just get it!"

Drunken BOFH wreaks $1.2m in Oz damage

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Just checking

Yup, Simon lives in New Zealand. Please resume normal reading of BOFH.

Asus keyboard PC due May. Or maybe June

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"Keyboard PC"??

HUH? I thought those were called "LAPTOPS". In fact they show adverts on TV for one here for $499 or so, and that includes a screen. Oh, you want to connect it to a display? Most Laptops I see (and use) have a nice VGA connector for just that purpose.

Am I missing something here?

Oh, these "Keyboard PC's" are also portable and battery operated. How about that!!

Child porn suspect ordered to decrypt own hard drive

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What about Miranda rights don't they understand?

Look, if you watch any crime TV show here in the USA, you surely must know the standard Miranda warning "...anything you DO or SAY can be used against you in a court of law...". Well, to me "entering a password" is something you DO, so you don't get me to do it.

Of course, if you offer me immunity for all prosecutions related to my actions (like the stuff on my hard disk!) I might give it up. Until then, don't talk to me.

Brit nuke subs exposed on Google Earth

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Why is this so special?

In a simple test, I entered "pentagon, arlington va" into Yahoo's mapping service. It gave me a nice map of the point that is commonly referred to as "ground zero", the center of the structure. As I understand it, it was the place where the Soviets had a missile targeted during the cold war. In addition I understand there is a hot dog stand (or similar) there (called "ground zero cafe", as I understand it) that the "locals" take lunch breaks. From the looks of it it is a nice sunny patio.

No I have never been there.

Of course, when the Mac first came out, its map "desk accessory" had the coordinates for "Area 51" in it. They were asked kindly to remove that point. They kept the "middle of nowhere" point though!

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