* Posts by Joe Gurman

256 posts • joined 21 Dec 2007

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Republicans want IT bloke to take fall for Clinton email brouhaha

Joe Gurman

Re: He should take the fall

Sorry, pal, FISMA is not a law that carries penalties. It was meant to spell out normative behavior and enable federal agencies to put those behaviors into practice. So please don't go down to the hardware store and buy a length of rope just now.

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Joe Gurman

Re: He should take the fall

Obstruction a federal investigation is a crime in the US, one of which Scooter Libby, an aide to Dick Cheney, was convicted. Whether what Mr Suazo did (some news stories claimed he wiped disks to avoid their being subpoenaed) constituted obstruction is up to the folks that understand that "subpoena" mean "under [the threat of] punishment" for failure to produce the desired testimony or evidence.

I have no sympathy for the Republicans in any of their whacko forms, but the law does apply to everyone, which is one of its redeeming features.

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Crafty Fokker: Norfolk surgeon builds Red Baron triplane replica

Joe Gurman

I suspect....

....any replica built from modern plans will be sturdier than the original. The workmanship at the Fokker works was so poor that several Dr. Is simply fell apart in flight.

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Beijing deploys facial scanners to counter public toilet abuse

Joe Gurman

An American visitor to London during WW II....

....complained about the rationing of (small) squares of bog paper, but the attendant told him all he needed was three: "One up, one down, one for polish."

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1.37bn records from somewhere to leak on Monday

Joe Gurman

Re: Vickery, of MacOS security software house MacKeeper

Precisely. Please research a little about your sources for stories before publishing. MacKeeper is considered Malware by everyone I've heard or read on the subject in the Mac consulting community. See, for instance: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/lawsuit-challenges-mackeepers-clean-computer-claims-012114.html .

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Uncle Sam probes SpaceX – but crack nothing to be alarmed about, we're told

Joe Gurman

Is it wise

....to accept the Wall Street Journal as a source for any tech news?

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Apple eats itself as iPhone fatigue spreads

Joe Gurman

Re: It's the headphone jack, stupid

No doubt that ate into their record quarter. Uh huh.

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Joe Gurman

Re: Well....

I know it's tacky to reply to my own post. I swear I'll never do it again, but Apple's quarterly results just came out and I'm certain the author will want to correct his prognostication.

He's probably been resisting that stock-in-trade of the tech press, stories on how Apple's peaked and is heading for the gutter since 1997 (when it nearly happened), for so long, he couldn't resist. I mean, they're bound to tank at some point, right?

What would be more interesting for a tech site would be some serious reporting, maybe with (horrors) someone who writes about marketing in tow, on why a company that sells non-innovative, overpriced bling has done so well the last 16 years or so. If it's really not innovative If it's really just bling, that is. Now that would be interesting reading, and might actually help some of the younger readers decide what kind of employer to seek/startup to join.

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Joe Gurman

Re: Told you so

Er, seen their latest. Quarterly results then? Gnash those teeth, mate. They continue to do quite nicely selling ice to Eskimos.

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Joe Gurman

Well....

....there's much true in this (peak smartphone, not just iPhone), but Wall Street doesn't appear to believe Mr. Moskowitz, judging from the share price activity over the last week. We'll know next Tuesday when Apple reports earnings for the last quarter of last calendar year. Saying iPhone 7 sales are sluggish is probably predicted on reports from parts providers that Apple has cut back.... because so many people have purchases phablet-sized 7 Pluses instead. Let me just guess which phone has the higher margin.

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Apple kills activation lock check, possible dirty stolen device hack

Joe Gurman

Wonder what all that kit costs

....and whether the resale prices of obviously stolen Apple iThingies can possibly make it worthwhile. But I suppose old heat guns, custom cracking devices, solvents (carcinogenic, of course), and the like are easily available in countries where this stuff is manufactured in the first place. Add cheap labor and you don't even need to start your own company manufacturing cheap knockoffs while camping the indigenous trademark for the likes name of Apple's next fondlewhatsis.

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NASA honors Apollo 1 crew 50 years after deadly launchpad fire

Joe Gurman

Re: The agency is recognized the world over as the most careful and risk-averse space agency.

Where does this comment come from? From what thought processes?

Feynman was speaking as a scientist and only as a scientist, when he wrote that, "Nature cannot be fooled."

His only foray into management science was asking Marshall propulsion managers and engineers, separately, to write secretly on a slip of paper how many missions they believed, on average, it would be before a catastrophic failure of the shuttle because of issues with the main engines (not the solids). To a man (and they all were), the engineers wrote numbers between 10 and 100 the managers, including some who had been working as engineers as recently as a few weeks before, to a man, wrote the NASA party line number, 10,000. You didn't need to be an expert on anything other than self-delusion to see what was going on.

The Challenger and Columbia screwups (calling them "accidents" is dignifying poor engineering management without justification) were the result of the same kind of management-ignores-high-risk issues behavior as caused the loss of Apollo 1.

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Anti-theft kill switches in smartphones just got a little less creepy

Joe Gurman

Re: Lower level than OS

Given the. business with the FBI and a pre-Touch ID iPhone last year, I rather doubt Apple has built one in.

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Joe Gurman

Re: Effective?

Don't know about the gamut of Android phones, but with an iPhone equipped with Touch ID, the run of the mill thief would have had to prepare pre-theft by copying your fingerprints on a gummi bear. As for government spooks, it's yet to be proven they can get around Touch ID/limited PIN guessing, but one suspect's it will happen eventually.

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Peace-sign selfie fools menaced by fingerprint-harvesting tech

Joe Gurman

Re: Not that it matters much with most Brits...

After all, Churchill always gave the "V for victory" using a two-fingered salute most of his countryman would have blushed at.

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Soz fanbois, Apple DIDN'T invent the smartphone after all

Joe Gurman

Re: Apple stole the iPhone

Apple was making a dazzling confusing no array of mostly mediocre Macs as the '90s wore on, to the point in 1997 that they had only enough cash to keep the firm afloat for a few weeks when Steve Jobs was made CEO for the second time.... and he picked up the phone to ask Bill Gates for a loan and a commitment. The next year, App,e started selling the iMac, and the rest is history that many here apparently wish had never happened.

I used some good Apple hardware in the early 90s, but 1997 they had a hundred models and no way to tell them apart, aside from dome nice hardware at the very top end. To get a really good macOS machine at a consumer price, you had to buy a clone, preferably from Power Computng. Mr. Jobs cancelled the clone agreements and started producing decent products again.

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CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers

Joe Gurman

Really?

"One of the most consistent complaints Apple fans have had about the new MacBooks (besides the poor spec, high price, and lack of upgradability) is that they have no touchscreens."

Care to name three?

I keep seeing this claim in odd corners of the IT press, but I talk with Mac users on a daily basis, and not one has so much as mentioned this as a feature they want. If it were, I suspect Microsoft would have made off with a lot more MacBook customers than they have.

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Could YOU survive a zombie apocalypse? Uni eggheads say you'd last just 100 days

Joe Gurman

Of course I wouldn't survive

I ditched my LP albums decades ago.

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Slim pickings by the Biggest Loser: A year of fitness wearables

Joe Gurman

Sorry for your loss

Nothing gets to us like the loss of a parent. Hope you're doing OK and the fitness bit helps.

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

Joe Gurman

Finally

After 33 years, we finally get a Star Wars movie that's true to the original vision of the force we got in Star Wars (no, not A New Hope, I mean the one where Han shot first) and The Empire Strikes Back. The Force is something everyone can share in not just prospective Jedi knights with a rare blood condition. Consider me corny and old-fashioned, but that, and the willingness to [spoiler deleted] every last character you care about, to demonstrate they were serious about their business, make this the best one yet. "I am one with the Force. The Force is with me."

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50 years on, the Soviet-era Soyuz rocket is still our favorite space truck

Joe Gurman

Oh come now

"For the past five years, the rockets have been our only means to resupply the International Space Station." As indicating by the correct reporting in the rest of the article, this sentence is clearly in error.... or SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and Orbital have been spending a lot of cash on spitballs.

The Soyuz spacecraft has been the sole method of crew transfer since the end of Shuttle operations, but there are lots of options (Progress [a Soyuz derivative], Dragon/CRS, Cygnus, Kounotori, ATV, and maybe someday Dreamchaser) for unmanned resupply/trash disposal.

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Apple unplugs its home LAN biz, allegedly

Joe Gurman

Re: Oh - I quite liked the Airport range

There is indeed an incredible breadth of WiFi access points available, but none in my experience has been anywhere near (as in orders magnitude near) as simple to set up as the AirPorts I've had or set up for others the last 15 years. Other than one that got fried in an electrical storm, none has even failed.

Compare and contrast that with the utter rubbish kit I've purchased (or been wheedled into working on for friends) from multiple vendors, and Apple wins hand-down. I confess fully and freely to not having tried every router now on the market (who has the time, energy, or money?), but for what it does, the AirPort Express is arguably the best WiFi access point out there, for simple home installations. For traffic shaping, latest (unofficial so far) protocol, whatever, undoubtedly not but (uh oh, prepare for Apple haters' apoplexy), it just effin' works.

I'm truly sorry Apple felt their new quarterly earning were going to be affected by the volume of sales of this product line.

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Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

Joe Gurman

OK, I get it

Mr. McCarthy doesn't like the new MacBook Pro, thinks he's going to jump ship on Apple, and likes the MacBook Air of a few years ago. Cool.

But why the inaccurate tirade (the cheapest model of the MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar is $1799 in the US not $2400)? He admits he didn't even get a chance to try it out before deducing it was useless for anything but emoji. I think I'll visit an Apple Store when they have ones to, you know, use, and decide whether I agree.

Oh, and I use a three-year old MacBook Air. Its CPU, graphics, and storage (a mighty 128 Gbyte SSD) pale in comparison to the base model MacBook Pro's with Touch Bar. I think I'd like to look at a performance comparison and try it what the Touch Bar, an unfamiliar technology, can do before I make a decision. Mr. McCarthy's rant hasn't helped me make a decision, not one little bit.

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Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

Joe Gurman

Erm....

Mr. Callus, whatever his qualifications may be (and however appropriate, nay, Dickensian his name may be for a member of the bar), he clearly reads only hyper inflated news of US Supreme Court cases. Far more of those are decided by 9-0 votes (or at least were, back when there were nine Justices) than by 5-4 ones: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_breakfast_table/features/2014/scotus_roundup/supreme_court_2014_why_are_most_cases_either_9_0_or_5_4.html .

Just like UK Supreme Court Justices, the Chief Justice of the United States and the other Justices of the Supreme Court, whatever else they may be, are supremely knowledgeable about the law. The US Supremes have it slightly easier, of course, because, well, we have a written constitution they can use to crib from.

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Britain's fight to get its F-35 aircraft carriers operational turns legal

Joe Gurman

While on shore....

.... the US is a very litigious country indeed, our idea of law of the sea appears to be, "Anywhere we have a carrier battle group, we can do pretty much what we want." Cuts down on extraneous legal costs, and is pretty much in line with RN practice when Britain ruled the waves.

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The exploding Note 7 is no surprise – leaked Samsung doc highlights toxic internal culture

Joe Gurman

From this side of the Pacific....

It looks as though Samsung is grooming its executives to run for high political office. But maybe that's just a US perspective.

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3,500 Verizon call center workers can't hear you now

Joe Gurman

Complete bollocks

"We value our Customer Service employees," Verizon said. "They are highly trained, skilled and experienced and they will be encouraged to stay with the company."

Anyone – anyone – who has had to deal with Verizon Customer Service reps know that however well meaning and desirous of being helpful the first-level reps may be, their accumulated knowledge is close to zero. Their positions appear to exist solely to deflect customers from speaking with knowledgeable support personnel unless they nag politely (or act out over the phone, which brings s supervisor on the line). They are by definition what customer service ought not to be.

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Google hires comedians

Joe Gurman

Can you say, "Bob?"

I knew you could.

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Boffins eschew silicon to build tiniest-ever transistor, just 1nm long

Joe Gurman

Re: Shirley

Grease, as in lubricant for machining, chain lube, &c. Search on "Climax mine."

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Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel

Joe Gurman

Perhaps

Mr. Torvald the megacurser refers only to ARM in a desktop. Perhaps he's right, today. If a major vendor, say from California, decided to market desktops based on ARM chips, he might be wrong. He's certainly dead wrong when it comes to mobile devices. Why do we bother listening to experts speaking on subjects outside their areas of expertise? He's a software guy.

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

Joe Gurman

Could the gaoler be convinced to lose the key to his cell?

In the interests of keeping scum off the streets?

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Joe Gurman

Re: 20 wks in prison! He's a kid for fucks sake!

Nice try at troll bait. I won't vote either up or down, since it was neither meant as a serious comment nor successful as comedy.

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Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Joe Gurman

Guilt? At not seeing ads?

Are you effin' serious? I believe the correct response, to quote the film version of The Man Who Would Be King, is, "Not bloody likely."

If adverts were no more obnoxious, either in appearance or by giving evidence of slurping and sharing personal information, than newspaper ads; if ads did not therefore follow me from site to site, even if I only visited site A once in six months; if ads actually tried to sell me something rather than serving as a way for tracking my surfing habits.... maybe.

As it is, I pay for ("subscribe to") to major US news outlets' online presence, instead of seeing ads. Through Patreon, I also pay for content on a couple of much lower budget sites. My conscience is clean, mate.

And in answer to the most obvious question, yes, I'd pay a quid or so a month to keep reading The Reg. There's nothing immoral about partial paywalls in return for spyware-free viewing. And make no mistake: that's what online ads are, spyware.

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Forget Khan and Klingons, Star Trek's greatest trick was simply surviving

Joe Gurman

Brings back memories

As a teenager, I watched Star Trek with a somewhat skeptical eye: I liked good science fiction, and it wasn't; I liked social comment with (what passed for, at that age, in the US, as) a little style and wit, and ToS generally lacked it, and only rarely were the signatures of real SF writers visible. But the author, who's done a very nice job in relating the socio-historical significance of the series, leaves out perhaps the most moving incident: Nichelle Nichols, looking for roles with a bit more substance than Uhura (cue Galaxy Quest clip with Sigourney Weaver saying it's a dumb job to repeat what the computer says, but it's her job and she's going to do it), was thinking of leaving the show, when she got a call from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., asking her to stay because she was such a positive — and unique — role model. That kind of thing, I think, is, in the US at least, the key to Star Trek's survival: it represents our aspirations for a better society (no money, no racial or ethnic strife on the planet) and our willingness to look for new and different cultures. Compare and contrast with Donald Trump's appeal now, *cough*.

And a personal reminiscence: in the 1967 - 1968 academic year, I was applying to colleges, and was shocked to find that I'd been accepted at small but rather well-known science and engineering school in Pasadena, California. I was also shocked by a dean's pointedly explaining that I;d done well enough in non-STEM subjects that I might change my mind about what I wanted to do, and while they had excellent humanities courses, it was difficult there for people who decided not be nerds. While trying to make up my mind, I read about a protest of 500 of the (then all-male) student body at NBC's Burbank headquarters over what turned out to be the final cancellation of ToS. As noted in the story, Star Trek was on on Friday evenings that year, which led me to the conclusion that 2/3 of the undergraduates at that noted institution had nothing better to do on a Friday night than watch a (barely) sci-fi TV series with cheesy production values. I gave the school a pass.

OK, one more personal connection: Leonard Nimoy, like me, was a native of Boston, Massachusetts. His father owned a barbershop in the Dorchester/Mattapan neighborhood.... and cut my grandfather's hair. How could I totally dislike a series with a homeboy in it?

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Life imitates satire: Facebook touts zlib killer just like Silicon Valley's Pied Piper

Joe Gurman

But is it middle out?

And can Dinesh find a girl who will hat with him over it?

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Making us pay tax will DESTROY EUROPE, roars Apple's Tim Cook

Joe Gurman

False arithmetic

For one thing, I'm certain Apple's employees in Ireland, being in the tech sector, make somewhat more than the average salary. But the really failure in your reasoning is that €1 in salary ends up being a lot more than €1 in the economy. An Apple employee buys a pint (or anything else with VAT), and the government collect son that. But the pint also pays part of the barman's salary, and he spends money on things with VST as well, and so on and on. I suspect it still comes to considerably less than the billions cited, but perhaps a bit closer.

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Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

Joe Gurman

[Citation needed]

Where is the proof Apple has been asking for lower manufacturing costs? From something a Megatron executive told Labor Watch? From something a factory manager said? (OI ask because I can't reach the PDF.) Have they asked Apple to confirm or deny.

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'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

Joe Gurman

Re: Dearth of content

Or just the availability of great, steaming piles of bandwidth and spare cash to pay for it in the urban and suburban areas where punters with the 4K kit reside.

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Joe Gurman

Really

Not too surprising if you didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday, but "4K" TV isn't. Not by 'arf.

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Joe Gurman

Re: quality..

Several years ago, I mentioned to a religiously audiophile [*] individual that I could not possibly hear the difference between digital and analog recordings, simply because of the loss of high-end hearing response as one ages. He assured me that real audiophiles could. It was at that moment that I realized that I was totally satisfied with my penis size.

[*] As certified by his arising articles for audiophile magazines. (Yes, paper ones.)

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Joe Gurman

Really

"We've got two more words for you: Ethernet. Cables. What are you going to do about TVs physically wired into their routers?"

One man's 1984ish enforcement scheme is another man or woman's business opportunity. I foresee an uptick in Cat-5e cable, crimping tool, and RJ-45 connector sales.

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Virgin signs up record ultrafast broadband subs

Joe Gurman

Just curious....

Do any of you lot in the UK know what "triple play" means?

– Fan of minor, Olympics-shunned sport enjoyed by hundreds of millions of fans worldwide

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Seattle Suehawks: Smart meter hush-up launched because, er ... terrorism

Joe Gurman

Re: @ Sir Runcible Spoon. One reason is because of the dogs

No, actually, the certainty (fear implies some level of doubt) is that the utilities' databases with information on when one is home and when not will be hacked, Wikileaked, and used to aid breakers and enterers (government as well as more overtly criminal). Smart meters enable the destruction of a reasonable expectation of privacy.

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Linus Torvalds in sweary rant about punctuation in kernel comments

Joe Gurman

It's not amusing

....when an abusive person suffering from OCD verbally abuses other people with OCD. Or not enough OCD for his tastes.

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You. Comcast, TWC, Charter, DirecTV, Dish. Get in here and explain yourselves – Congress

Joe Gurman

And Verizon is left off the list because....

....why?

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Revealed: How NASA saved the Kepler space telescope from suicide

Joe Gurman

Er, no.... but it's a good idea anyway

Kepler is in a heliocentric orbit, so not much direct help for it, but if a space elevator were feasible, it would be very useful for servicing things in geosync orbit of which there are lots) or "tipping off" payloads with boost motors to head elsewhere.

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Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

Joe Gurman

Re: Requirements for US Political Office

Actually, thanks to the Teabaggers =, there are lots of people with business, and not legal, backgrounds in the US House of Representatives, at least. One could argue that having Senators and Representatives with at least a law degree (regardless of whether they have practiced law) is helpful in, you know, writing laws.

This draft legislation was written by Intelligence Committee staff members, also lawyers, not the named Senators nor any other members Congress. I'd be willing to bet a stack of iPhones none of the staff lawyers has a clue as to how encryption works or what you lose if you weaken it.

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Bezos defends Amazon culture in letter to shareholders

Joe Gurman

Not all that different from where I work.... er, not

Hypothetically (because I can't post statements that might be taken to imply that I speak for my employer), I work for a US government agency, that for want of a better way of putting it, launches things into space. Things that observe and measure things we've never measured before, that see things we've never seen before, and that expand our mental horizons about the world we live in, its neighborhood, and the cosmos. And to get those things done, there are certainly times when lots of people on a project put in those killing hours, BUT they are recognized for their work, managers generally try to turn around weaker performers, and we aren't expected to work that long every week of every year. If you see us crying, it's because our own mistakes led to friends and role models getting killed, which seems a much more valid reason for tears than a tinhorn dictator of a manager putting you down.

And if you see us cheering and lifting glasses of champagne (sorry, non-alcoholic; the real thing isn't allowed at work), it's because we think we accomplished something more meaningful than a good quarter.

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Google tries to run from flailing robotics arm

Joe Gurman

And the buyer is....

Cyberdyne systems, of course.

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NASA celebrates 50-year anniversary of first spaceship docking in orbit

Joe Gurman

OK, I'm a pedant

....and proud. "50-year anniversary" is redundant, repetitious, and tautological (see what I did there?).

Anniversary comes from the Latin for "turning of a year," so all the head needed to say was, "50th anniversary."

Mutter, mutter, kids today. Why, in my day.... mutter, mutter.

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