* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Green Grid pollutes environment with more white papers

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Department of Redundancy department

Or at least that's how it sounds to me!

If someone wants "white papers", the local stationary store sells it by the ream (500 sheets).

Ink/Toner optional.

Of course if they want it "green", the local hardware store (OSH here) will provide the proper color of pigment (1000's to choose from).

SCO details bleak future

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So we take up a collection...

Just to buy the corpse of the company and then take ALL their IP and give it to the public domain. Then use a convenient WMD and obliterate anything that remains. I'll contribute a single penny ($0.01) to the cause, which will probably go a long way toards the goal.

Bye Bye...

Physicists go nuclear with online protest at funding cuts

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Easy way to get the $$$/£££

Just call it "Global Warming Physics". The money will come flowing in.

Gotta go...

Is Verizon gaming Google in US wireless auction?

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"Can you hear me now?"

Good, now go away.....

Reference is to a silly Verizon TV(us) ad with an 1D10T who keeps asking the question. He is supposed to be some sort of engineer/technician. Of course will they publish accurate coverage maps?? NO!!

'Crash tested' e-voting machines spread doubt on Super Tuesday

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There are people who have done this...

We here in California have a silly "stupidity tax" department (its really called the Lottery). They have ALL sorts of machines that are VERY accurate, produce paper trails, and seem to get the job done. Why they can't use that technology in voting amazes me to no end. For some reason they chose the ATM people to do this job, and then used windows based machines to do the actual work. Oh, well.

We used to have nice punch card based boxes, but there were some idiots in Florida that mucked THAT up. I understand that it is EXTREMELY difficult to produce hanging chad unless you really mis handle the card (fold, staple, spindle, or mutilate). It seems that all it takes is one instance to foul things up.

Personally, I feel that having the counting function the same box as the voting function is a conflict of interest (security). The ideal solution would be to separate the two functions, but it seems that nobody wants to do that.

Life goes on, candidates are elected, taxes increase (*SIGH*).

Microsoft forgers get jail time in Taiwan

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Microsoft software is worth money? You could have fooled me!!

Ballmer! explains! hostile! Yahoo! bid!

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Black Helicopters

Is it just me, or is this a coincidence...

Vista SP1 and Yahoo! merger talks.

You be the judge!

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! play pots-and-kettles 2.0

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Famous last words, 2008 edition

"I'm from Microsoft and I'm here to help you".

Doesn't seem good to me.

Of course, one can always do: s/Microsoft/Google/ quite easily.

FTC and DoJ will fight for the right to rule on YaMicrohoosoft!

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What happens to The Register's Yahoo! headlines?

More importantly, will Steve Ballmer's picture have a big exclamation mark right in the middle of it (in addition the devil horns and halo). There is already the warning mark in a triangle.

Do I get carbon credits for this??

Man buys MacBook Air, pulls it apart, takes pics

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Mac Air vs. ASUS Eee PC

It all comes down to this: Nice model on beach using device, or bland inter-office envelope.

Anyone with half a brain will make the obvious choice: THE MODEL!

Enough said.

Gotta go.

Gov. war gamers hack servers to stay ahead

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Wasn't this done a while back...

In the movie War Games.

I see: Lets play a game: "Global Thermonuclear War".

Cue Lights and WOPR computer.

Now, how would you like to play a game of chess..........

Rocket train smashes world land-speed record

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Land speed record...

While the sled was said to go Mach 7 (whatever the media), the official way to do land speed records is to take the average speed of TWO runs going opposite directions within a specified time (1 hour?). If the thing is going Mach 7, just say the thing goes only 10 mph on the way back, the average is pretty good. (Mach 3.5?), then again how is the average measured? Total time across the course runs (both ways) divided by the total distance (2 miles), it might not be too good then.

As for amusement park ride, it might not work, as the attention span of a typical bloke is shorter than the time traveled. I still wonder how the current ones stay in business. Then again I have strong doubts that anyone would survive the acceleration.

Hamster-in-rain emergency prompts 999 call

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Wrong numbers

Yes, We've all had them. It is more amusing to actually KNOW what number they were dialing. At one time I had a number that was close to a real estate guru (bozo, I could care less). I was tired of people calling me up so I just went ahead and confirmed all the golf dates he had. It didn't take long before the guy handed out the correct number. I have also done this with a eatery, taking reservations (lots) for 7pm or so. So much BOFH type fun!!

Yes, here (USA) we have the 311 service (non-urgent alternative) and 911 (emergency). A local late night talk show plays the "idiot tapes" every once in a while. Quite interesting.

Swedish plods cuff remote-access robbery ring

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"advanced technical equipment"

Probably something like an iPod, or a C64 knowing the law enforcement people. To them anything is "advanced".

Of course, it could have been a USB dongle plugged into a bank terminal and hacking Windows, but given how banks work, I doubt it.

How to lose $7.2bn with just a few Basic skills

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Passwords, get your passwords here...

"embed usernames and passwords into applications, especially Excel report sheets".

Is this looney, or just plain DUMB. It seems to me that the people ABOVE IT in the banks food chain just want to see nice clean spreadsheets on paper. Never mind what the numbers are, just print them out. Oh, the numbers say "LOSS", change it to say "PROFIT". Print and show to the next person up the chain.

Won't anybody learn? (Somehow I doubt it!)

IT problems force HMRC to extend tax deadline

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And you thought it was difficult...

Here in the USA, we take our bloody time. Our I(Internal, nor Inland)RS lets us get away with waiting until April 15th. Of course, we have these silly things like deductions that are slurped out of our paychecks before we get the money so they get it "real fast". I suspect if everyone had to pay their taxes without withholding, there might be a small revolt, but that is another matter.

Sales tax is sucked out by the several states, and here in California, in the county where I exist, the rate is 8.25% on just about everything that you can't eat. If they taxed legal bills, the state could lower it by a couple of points. I think back to when I was growing up, and the rate was a mere pittance at 4%, then reflect on the fact that with TWICE the tax, I don't get much more from my government.

Out the door...............

How to speed up Windows Vista: official and unofficial tips

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Speed up Vista?

Pretty simple if you ask me. Switch to XP!

Chinese make Olympic weather bow to Party's will

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Suggestion for the Chineese

Try: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045152/

It might work!

Low-tech hack was behind $7.2bn SocGen fraud

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It is all Microsoft's fault (obviously!)

If someone is "manipulating the production of Excel spreadsheets" they DESERVE to be found out. Anyone who relies on computer produced spreadsheets to do audits is out of their mind. Back long ago (a previous life) the person who was doing the books needed a summary, and got ahold of a spreadsheet program (it was Spectaculator for the Radio Shack Color computer) and just fudged the numbers until it worked out. Then with a simple "print" command a nice "Computer Printout" happened. The boss looked at it and said "all is good". What a fool, as he believed anything that was a computer printout. It could have said that the company was actually making money (sadly it wasn't). To this day it amazes me that people believe a computer printout, when all you can say is that "it appears that the printer was working that day".

Sad, but true!

Secret bidding for US airwaves tops $3.3bn

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Now if this were on Ebay, we could all see the action!

Just think of it companies like V***n and A***t and S***t, all bidding on something. It would make for a very interesting auction. It will even have a "reserve not met" line there.

I'll bid $1.93 or so. What was that opening bid? Does it have a "Buy it now?", can I put it on PayPal? What fun!

What I really want back is TV channels 56-69. Let these people go somewhere else! They have already wasted 800-890 MHz (channels 70-83 in the USA).

Maxdata Belinea s.book 1 sub-notebook

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How much would it have cost WITHOUT windows?

It might be interesting to see just how much this would have cost if they didn't have windows installed on it. For now it appears that there is some cost involved with placing Windows (Vista??) on the machine, but we can't derermine it. At least the Eee box is pretty honest. Put your own windows on the machine, and don't bug us about it.

How hard is it to get Linux running on the machine, and can the version that comes with the Eee box be moved over.

Personally, I'd rather have a Via chip instead of an Intel one, but that is a different story.

The 'blem wit' error messages

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Apple's "Bombs"...

The handler was called "Dire Straights" because it had the same initials as the "original meaning". It was used in the 68k versions of their operating system (two CPUs ago). I don't know if it has been carried over, but...

On another front, the ROM monitor of a machine I have (before I changed the ROM image) had the error message "WTF?" which was emitted when it couldn't understand the console entry. The official explanation was "With Trace Flag" (and I have some swamp land to sell!).

IBMs error messages from the OS/360 era usually had a nice 6 character message number (prefix indicated which program, the other stuff told what). They had an entire book of error messages. It was before the idea of "internationalization" took over (it was the 60's).

FCC unveils NudeTube

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Then there is the "almost porn" (but not!)

One commercial (I think it was a candy bar) showed a close up of two bald men with their heads together. If you were first looking at it, you would have sworn that it was the part of a single body mentioned here. Then the camera zooms out and you see two bald guys then you fall over laughing at yourself for having such a mind. It was a wonderful commercial.

Why is the FCC worrying about this stuff, get back to the orderly business of really screwing up things up like this junky "Half Definition TV (aka HDTV)".

May it reminds me of Steve Ballmer too much.

Tighter controls likely after SocGen debacle

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Two Words:

"Equity Funding". It has happened before, it will happen again. Get used to it. Equity funding was done back in the late 60's/early 70's. Today we have larger computers, and even larger frauds.

Remember: Ethics is what you do when nobody is looking!

Spy satellite to slam Earthside

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On Plutonium batteries...

Yes, Apollo DID have plutonium batteries. They were used to power the science pack that was left on the moon. These are nice simple things that use the heat of decay to warm up a thermocouple. Since Plutonium is an Alpha (He without electrons) emitter, it is easily shielded (almost paper will do). These devices are used for sustained power requirements that have a very small load. The main power source for Apollo WAS a fuel cell, as they needed quite a bit of power for a shorter (1 week or so) time. The spy satellites need power over a longer period, and solar panels can do the job, but nuclear batteries are a more compact design. The other problem is that solar panels only give power half the time (daylight), so you need something to sustain the other half, which usually wears out.

In remote places, nuclear batteries are used, but they are usually Uranium based, and need LOTS of shielding and weigh TONs (been there, done that!). Just as a note, the way these things are shielded, you can sit on top of them with no effect (we left a dosimeter there for a couple of days and it didn't even register!).

UK.gov on Galileo: We can't stop it, just sign the cheque

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Galileo belongs...

In Jupiter orbit where it served quite well as an orbiting observatory (until they crashed it). Jeez, this must be another project from the redundant office of redundancy. They would be better if they did the "right thing" and sent the money over here to the USA and helped pay for the GPS they already have. Look, we could use the money, our $$$ is worth less every day, and at around $2 to £1 it would be a bargain!!

DRM in latest QuickTime cripples Adobe video editing code

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Once again, DRM is RESTRICTION management.

I'm not saying that Apple has it wrong, but why can't we just get rid of all of this.

Gone for the weekend. Got my coat.

Growing virus production taxes security firms

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But problems will always exist.

Social engineering is at the top of the list. That door will ALWAYS be open somewhere. It always has been. The internet just scales the problem to a larger venue where even a small probability of a scan working (1/million) allows for big bucks to be "earned". We are all a greedy bunch, and I don't think human nature is going to change.

Sad, but true.

eBay's CEO throws in the three kitchen towels in a jute bag - $4.99

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Price a bit low...

According to my research, the price for a Jute bag is $8.49 and three kitchen towels is $6.00 for a total of $14.49 (price does not include shipping). A bit more than the $4.99 suggested.

Of course this may reflect the recent Fed interest rate drop of .75%

Then again, Meg has a dollar or two to spare.

IBM hits back against over-timers with pay cut

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Be careful what you ask for

You may get it. In this case the workers got overtime. Then the pay cut. They should have kept their mouths shut.

As was said "Saps!".

This is also called the law of unintended consequences.

Hogging the Trough: The EFF Strikes Back

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Why doesn't Comcast have their own Torrent box?

A simple solution to me would be to have ComCast have their own BitTorrent box at the head end of the cable. That way it doesn't need lots of uplink speed, and all the users can have a go with the downlink speed they like. I suspect that this is a much nicer solution than shooting out the tires of people who exceed the speed limit by 1MPH (forging reset packets).

It looks like the Tortoise (the Slowskys aka DSL) is going to beat the Hare (ComCast).

p.s. I have DSL, no problems!

EU president sets green plans in stone

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"Tiny changes will save millions of lives"

Was a comment to the Stern Report (see URL above). The problem is that "saving millions of lives" adds to the total carbon output (the graph ignores the direct human contribution when we exhale). In addition having to service fewer humans takes less energy, so that will balance out.

A "Modest Proposal" if you ask me.

p.s. Carbon credits for sale, inquire within (the fact that I don't have any makes little difference, I'll just breathe less).

Spotted in the wild: Home router attack serves up counterfeit pages

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Default passwords

Are unfortunately a fact of life. The crazyness abounds. In my case, I take it as an advantage. My mother-in-law's condo has someone nearby that has a nice wireless router. When I went there about 1 year ago (it could be more) I opened up my laptop and found it. Nice and open. Not wanting to spoil the party, and to insure that the door STAYS propped open for me to come by next time, I found that I could access the router thru its defaults. Wonderful things these wireless routers! Just to insure that the next time (I was there last month, and it was still open) it would be wide open, I went into setup and added a password, made sure WEP was off, and set the SSID as well. I suspect that the "owners" of the router have no cares at all, as their computer works quite well (wired, or not I just don't know). I'm happy as a clam, and provided a service to those around who want a nice wireless connection.

Of course, on my router, it has a non-standard IP address (not 192.168.x.1), has uPNP off and has a password. The access is limited by the range of the wireless (minimal in a stucco house!). Haven't had a problem!

A green solution? So what?

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Remember Kermit the Frog

He was (is) green too.

If "green" means getting more done for less power, I suspect that everyone will be for it. The big question is "how much will it cost?". If the cost is more than the savings (net present value and all that), it doesn't make much sense.

I do some "green". The local grocery store is a small walk away (15 minutes). If something isn't time sensitive and is easy to carry, I take the walk. It gets me some exercise (which I need) and I don't burn (now very) expensive gasoline. If I need to do a whole bunch of shopping (shopping cart full), I take the bug SUV. Makes more sense. IT is much the same way. If it fits in, and works well, "green" it is (nobody wants to pay a big power bill!). But spending $100s to save pennies per day is a bit crazy. The "payback" is years away, and by then the kit will have been retired.

Pretty simple if you ask me.

Vista is another matter................

Major HTML update unveiled

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Microsoft, eh?

If they support the standard (standard, that is what we do, just ask us!), maybe IE will follow it (not bloody likely if you ask me).

The standard needs to say something like: If it is broken, you must reject it! Only then will you get standards based stuff.

Just makes more trouble for web developers, more browsers to support.

Please bring back plain text! (especially for email!). Gotta go now...

Israel electric car project aims to wipe out oil

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Oil's reserves

@Shroudy: "Oil will not last forever with some estimates giving it 30-35 years". It has ALWAYS been around 40 years of proven reserves. It was that way 40 years ago, and guess what, we found more of the black goo. Israel just doesn't want to enrich its evil neighbors so it goes on. Nuclear power is OK if you can build the plants correctly and have competent people running them. As for disposable vehicles and having a plan like mobile phones will that mean that "Can you hear me now" will translate to "Can I haul my stuff now" or some such.

If you really want to be green, ride a bicycle, it worked quite well about 100 years ago.

EU moves to establish gibberish as lingua franca

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North America's problems...

At least we don't have too much of a problem here. Unfortunately, other languages creep into our country (it happens!). In many places we have "Spanish Subtitles" to stuff (I note it in banners in a couple of home improvement stores). Luckly there are only a few dominant languages: English (more rightly "american"), Spanish, and (luckly only ONE country has it as a sole language!) French. I suppose we are lucky.

Unfortunately, the French won't give up on their language being "pure", which limits things a bit. There will always be "The French"!

Caffeine doubles miscarriage risk

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How was I ever born?

Given all the things that can go wrong with a pregnancy these days, it is a wonder that I am healthy these days. Being a product of the 50's (there are some of us that old here), and born to a mother who (at that time) both smoked, drank, and had coffee, it is a wonder that I am alive at all. The only explaination I have is that these problems didn't exist in that era (or it is global warming). The statistics that are thrown about these days (50% less...) let the reader assume the original problem rate, which in this instance is probably less than .00000001%. All I can say is that there are three things we all know: Lies, Damn lies, and Statistics, you can say anything!

p.s. Mom quit smoking when I was quite young. Still living to this day! Must have been the coffee!

Viva VBA - alas

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A way to get rid of it...

Just make it calculate things with a randomized error added. Of course, it could already have this, but will we ever know? That could be the reason we have this credit mess. Conspiracy theorists can probably comment further.

Do we need computer competence tests?

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Legislating common sense

Just doesn't work. It never has, and never will, which I guess is most fortunate at times. While we here in the USA attempt to do this all the time (low flush toilets, etc.) it never works. Having a license to "operate" a computer isn't going to make the user more competent. There are companies that attempt to do this by conjuring up certificates that imply some sort of competence (MSCE, or some such). All this does is build up a budding industry of selling books and test helpers (MSCE made easy, MSCE in n days, etc).

The best suggestion I saw was to eliminate all the warnings and let the Darwin awards take over. Unfortunately in our (USA's) litigious society it won't work too well. Witness the number of stickers that are on a step ladder next time you use one (or pass by one in the hardware store). Ladders have been around for thousands of years, but with all the warnings you think they were invented yesterday. Oh, well.

Common sense can't be legislated, and it is useless to try. Lord knows the French system of laws makes an attempt.

Mashups haunted by past experience

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Comments in code??

Surely you jest...

The current project I'm working on dates back to the 60's (so I'm told, and I believe it!). It is a giant group of Fortran programs (remember those) that have been pieced together step by step to produce an income generating system (yes, money is made on it!). Now nice people like me are brought in to add features to it, or otherwise alter the code, and while I pride myself in being a reasonably competent programmer, I wonder how this code ever got off the ground. Comments are few and far between, and most of the code (including some recent additions in C) look like they have been written by a Basic (the language) programmer (who learned on a C=64). In any event I persist as I know I will have "full employment" for quite a while.

The only saving grace is that there is some sort of version control, and we can always point a finger at the person who "broke it".

Life goes on.

Advice to budding programmers: Comment for yourself, in 6 months you won't have a clue what you were doing, and the comments will be your OWN salvation!

Nude Italian models in kit-on protest

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IT Angle?

We all wonder, but the truth is that any description of a beautiful female form ALWAYS has an IT angle. It is implied. The more pictures, the more the IT angle. Everyone in the deprived IT sector knows that (or should know it!).

Out the door....over to the pub/donut shop/etc...

Jobs: Blu-ray wins HD format war then loses to downloads

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It is all about bandwidth

Just remember...Netflix has delivered quite a bit of it using the postal service, and it works out quite well.

Or as Carl Sagan said "Billions and billions".

Downloads can't compete with physical media. The physical media is getting better (9 track tapes to BluRay discs) than non physical media (300 bps modems to DSL speeds). A 767 (like the one that just crashed at LHR) loaded to the gills with BluRay discs is so far ahead it isn't pitiful. Latency is another problem, but for most movies that isn't a problem.

Wireless industry slams NAB's white space 'misinformation'

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Tresspassers are Trespassers

If if they detect something "unused" and say they will go away if someone else wants to (lawfully) use the space. No, this silly idea just won't work. The whitespace bozos need to go to 2.4 GHz where they belong.

If they don't accept the part 15 (FCC) rules of non-interference they are bad. Of course, if their technology was so good, why not hide out in some police dispatch frequency when it isn't being used? Besides, if two devices decide upon different places to hide out, how will they find each other? No, it won't fly, and sugar coating it with some lobbying effort won't make it any better.

Former DEA agents sue over American Gangster

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Based on a true story (but mostly fiction)

Seems to apply to quite a bit of what is shown at the cinema these days. I give as an example _An Inconvenient Truth_. One of many. TV shows are even worse.

Showdown over encryption password in child porn case

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How to get someone convicted:

If this goes thru, all you need to do is send someone a file of garbage maybe with the first characters in plain text that say 'this is child porn' (or equivalent). If the name of the file is equally incriminating, they will try to compel you to give up the password. Nice try, but I don't know the password. Why is the file on your disk, obviously it is bad, etc...

This is a very slippery slope!

Hungarians unleash dog bark translator

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My experience...

I wonder if it would properly translate the barks that my dog emitted while he attempted to cool down his food. Believe it or not, he thought they worked! We (well most of us) know that not barking would have produced the same result.

Patience is a virtue!

Dip into concept programming

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Wirth's Law...

Interesting concept. It seems to have applied to Microsoft operating systems for quite some time. Now that Vista is here, we can see it in action.

Tom Cruise Scientology vid leaks onto net

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A fool and his money...

are soon parted. Even quicker for a person like Tom Cruise.

I thought this was obvious, but some people are fools. You split the universe into fools and non-fools, and find out where the money is. It becomes very obvious.

US boffins create darkest material ever

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Now we need this for Automotive paint

Hopefully it will absorb radar, but even if it didn't, when they take a picture for exceeding the limit, all they will see is a black blob with no details. What fun! Now if they can get light to bend around it somehow. Wonderful cloaking devices these things.

Ah, but to dream.

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