* Posts by Arthur the cat

582 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009

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HMS Frigatey Mcfrigateface given her official name

Arthur the cat
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Type numbers?

Can anyone explain how the type numbers work, because they're obviously not monotonic?

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We're all saved. From the killer AI. We can live. Thanks to the IEEE

Arthur the cat
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Obligatory xkcd (what if version)

Robot apocalypse

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$30 million below Parity: Ethereum wallet bug fingered in mass heist

Arthur the cat
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Those who don't learn from history

I think it was Tim Worstall, late of this parish, who remarked that cryptocurrencies seem to be heading towards faithfully reproducing every mistake ever made down the centuries by conventional financial systems.

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Why the Kubernetes Kids can't hurt Bezos' Amazon beast

Arthur the cat
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the concern is a waxing Amazon Web Services

Amazon does Brazilians now???

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NASA whistles up electron noise from the Van Allen belt

Arthur the cat
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Re: Does that make the Van Allen belt

Whistler's mother?

Up vote for beating me to the joke.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Arthur the cat
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you wouldn't have Miss Marple played by Brian Blessed

God, I would absolutely love to see that. It would be car crash/cult TV at its extreme.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: If you're all in favour of strong female roles...

If the new Doctor was an orca or an elephant or some other intelligent species, it would be fun and weird.

Time loop TV - an elephantine Doctor goes back in time to appear on Blue Peter.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: Overstated importance of fans

I doubt many fan or those who watched the original series are even alive to care all that much if the Doctor is a women or not.

FFS, the original series was in 1963, not 1863! That's only 54 years. A kid who started watching at episode one (like me) is going to be in their 60s, which is well below life expectancy. Or do you live in Glasgow?

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Nearly three-quarters of convicted TV Licence non-payers are women

Arthur the cat
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Re: TV License

Its ok paying for something if you actually use it. I dont see the point if you don't and thats where you should have a choice

You do have a choice - if you don't have a TV you don't need a TV licence(*). It's a licence to receive broadcast TV. The fact that the money from it mostly goes to the BBC and C4 doesn't change the nature of the licence. I'm old enough to remember when you needed a radio licence, and back then nobody whinged about "only listening to Radio Luxembourg so why should I pay for the Third Programme".

(*) Although that doesn't stop the bastards hassling you endlessly.

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Arthur the cat
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If I were a sky subscriber and I stopped paying, they'd cut off my service. If you are a BBC subscriber and you stop paying, you eventually go to prison.

Strictly speaking you don't get jailed for not having a licence, you get jailed because you didn't pay the fine the court imposed for not having a licence.

If someone is too poor to pay the licence, it's bloody stupid fining them, expecting them to hand over cash they haven't got. WTF they don't get community service is beyond me.

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UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

Arthur the cat
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The government will give UK ISPs a list of banned sites they are to block. Similar to the blocked pirate sites, but without any judicial review of the list.

The government will give a few big ISPs a list of banned sites they are to block. Smaller ISPs (who are generally more competent at providing a service as well, without £1/minute help lines) will remain unaffected. My ISP doesn't block anything and is always in the top three for customer satisfaction.

A thought just occurred to me: does the existing block list of pirates apply to all net connections, or just consumer ones?

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Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

Arthur the cat
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Re: You're being downvoted

Take Physics for example. They do not know what 90% of the Universe is made up of. They can't measure it, they can't see it.

Would you let a baker lecture you on baking if they didn't have a clue what 90% of the cake they're trying to sell was made up of.

Bakers make cakes, so should know what's in them. Physicists don't make universes. (Yet. :-)

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Arthur the cat
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Re: Having had Dengue Fever,

But I do worry about the knock-on effects: there's an awful lot of other life out there in the food chain, and a lot of it starts with either the mosquito or its larvae. I wonder what they'll do a couple of years down the line?

I can't remember the exact figures, but there are something like 200 species of mosquito, only a handful of which suck blood, so eradicating the latter shouldn't have much of an overall impact on the food chains. However, considering humans have god knows how many hundreds of millennia of adapting to malaria (e.g. our blood groups are such an adaptation), the possible elimination of malaria is liable to have interesting results.

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IETF moves meeting from USA to Canada to dodge Trump travel ban

Arthur the cat
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Devil

many pro-Brexit commentards would not be so outraged by others pointing out the current PM is an uncaring cockwomble

I thought that was the one point of clear agreement between the sides? Especially if you s/uncaring/incompetent/

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Wi-Fi firm Purple sneaks 'community service' clause into its T&Cs

Arthur the cat
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Re: Purple

Personally I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. My local coffee shop across the road uses Purple, and they (Purple, coffee shop people wouldn't know how to) intercept everything and blatantly rewrite search results to Purple redirector links. It's one of the few places where I make sure my WiFi is off and stick to 4G, and I'm always surprised by the number of people working there, handling what looks like corporate stuff, when the pub down the road has a truly open WiFi. (I know it's not intercepting anything, the landlord gets me to help with it.)

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Guess who doesn't have to pay $1.3bn in back taxes? Of course it's fscking Google

Arthur the cat
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Re: So..

Google are really going to have to learn how Politics works.

I suspect they do. They also know very well how international tax law works, which is more important in this case.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: 700 employees in France but Google does not have an office in France.

Google doesn't have an office in France. Google France does. Different companies under law, as are Google Ireland, Google UK, etc. That's the way national and international law is set up, and of course multinationals use that to best effect. If you want multinationals to pay more tax, then international law has to be changed. Satan will be on his third pair of ice skates when that happens.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: Basic accountancy problem

So you want to move the tax burden even further from the corporates onto our own shoulders? That doesn't sound like a very good idea...

The incidence of corporation tax (and employers' NI here in the UK) falls mostly on the workers (and customers) anyway, that's standard economics(*). Abolishing corporation tax totally would be more honest about the realities of taxation, but completely unacceptable politically, because most people don't understand the difference between statutory and actual incidence of tax.

(*) In the UK & the EU. In the US more of the incidence is on the shareholders as US capital cannot be off-shored in the same way, because the US claims the right to tax foreign earnings before repatriation of the money. That's why Google, Apple, etc have off shore subsidiaries that "earn" the money for accounting purposes.

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Blighty's prosecutors slammed for failing to deliver savings on electronic tagging

Arthur the cat
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Facepalm

An inappropriate gavel again

See here.

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Multics resurrected: Proto-Unix now runs on Raspberry Pi or x86

Arthur the cat
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"Primos, was based upon Honeywell's development of Multics for super-minis."

I don't think so. Take a look at the comp.sys.prime FAQ entry on Primos.

TL;DR version: written at a NASA research centre because they needed a time sharing system; originally called DOS(*); in the public domain because it was done with US government money; the company was set up to sell hardware running the OS; finally called Primos when V mode came along.

(*) As were most OSes in those days.

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Semiconductor-laced bunny eyedrops appear to nuke infections

Arthur the cat
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Re: copper, the miracle element...

Copper is an excellent bactericide, we used to know this as all door handles in hospitals used to be copper, glad to see they have taken this into the 21st century.

I've seen the suggestion that cruise ships should have copper handrails on the stairs and other public areas to help reduce norovirus outbreaks.

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Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

Arthur the cat
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seems the water had got into the power trunking

1980, I'm on a training course at Pr1me Computers in Hounslow. Suddenly every terminal starting showing the message "please log off now, there's water coming out of the 13 amp plugs, we're shutting down". Turned out a guy on the top floor had drilled through the main water pipe(*), which was in the same ducting as the power circuits. Fortunately it was about 30 minutes to (lunch) pub o'clock, so a long lunch was had to allow the mopping up.

(*) I've had several incidents of drills through pipes in my career, and have never managed to work out exactly how they always managed to hit dead centre as if laser guided.

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Arthur the cat
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Systems have a malevolent intelligence of their own.

It's known as Resistentialism.

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Oz government wants its own definition of what 'backdoor' means

Arthur the cat
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Orwell had it right

“Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

From Politics and the English Language.

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Virgin Media admits it 'fell short' in broadband speeds ahead of lashing from BBC's Watchdog

Arthur the cat
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Re: "Up to" may not go up to. News at 11

If you act to make some customers much less profitable than others, the market will decline to serve them.

The market isn't monolithic, different parts have different business models. A friend of mine lives in a newly refurbished block of flats in Sheffield. ADSL into the block is pitiful, even though there's a fully equipped FTTC cabinet in the next door, derelict block. BT refused to move the cabinet or hook up to it, so they've just lost a lot of business to a company that's using line of sight microwave, giving speeds similar or better than FTTC at a slightly lower price. The market served them, even though one part of it declined.

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Arthur the cat
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"Up to" may not go up to. News at 11

"Up to" speeds should be banned. Make them specify a minimum as well as a maximum with cash compensation for failure to reach the minimum and the market would shift in the consumers' favour.

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It's time for a long, hard mass debate over sex robots, experts conclude

Arthur the cat
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Knowing my luck I'd end up with one stuck on headache mode

Reminds me of the Terry Pratchett joke about the necromancer who'd been trying to summon a succubus with no luck, but had finally succeeded in summoning a neuralgia.

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Arthur the cat
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Whatever happened to "teledildonics"?

Everybody realised it was a bloody stupid word.

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Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Arthur the cat
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I mean, Christians, everybody mocks them and their fairy stories, so that's ok.

Personally I'm an equal opportunity mocker.

Mithraism - what a load of bull.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: Bible?

Moses dropped two of the tablets on the way down and, well, we've been at war ever since.

An old joke: Moses comes down the mountain and announces to the Israelites "I've got good news and bad news. The good news is I got him down to ten. The bad news is adultery is still one of them."

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Arthur the cat
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Flame

I've got a PiBow case for one of my RPis. Very nice it is too.

Icon for where this idiot probably thinks I'll end up.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: Oh what a Gay Day...

From the time when Gay meant happy.

And you know the petitioner would have disapproved of that as well.

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Arthur the cat
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Next ...

this loon will propose a petition against the Nyan Cat.

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Why, Robot? Understanding AI ethics

Arthur the cat
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The problem with academic exercises in ethics

is that they are academic exercises. Has anyone in the real world ever faced a clear cut choice like that of the Trolley Problem? Yes, real people in tough situations can face horrid choices, but never one where they are given a clear either/or situation that they can sit on their arse and think about for as long as they like.

If you're driving a car and two nuns walk out in front of you and the only way to avoid them is hitting a bunch of kids, you don't have time to deliberate rationally, you react instinctively and hope for the best.

[And if you want an interesting take on AI ethics, read Peter Watts' short story Malak.]

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GnuPG crypto library cracked, look for patches

Arthur the cat
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An error

That should be Dan(iel) Bernstein, not David

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Male escort says he gave up IT to do something more meaningful

Arthur the cat
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Re: "I get to make a genuine difference to people's lives"

Because [IT workers] are rarely thanked for what they do

To misquote Charles Schulz: doing a good job in IT is like pissing yourself in a dark suit - it may give you a warm glow, but nobody seems to notice.

When I worked as a sysadmin I only ever got asked two questions from the users: "why isn't X working?" or "what do you do all day?"

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Exposed pipes – check. Giant pillows – check. French startup mega-campus opens

Arthur the cat
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Anyone else notice

the slogans on the rear wall are in English? The Académie française will be having a hissy fit!

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Mozilla dev and Curl inventor Daniel Stenberg denied travel to USA

Arthur the cat
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Re: I think I've found the problem

Do we trust BA's IT not to screw things up?

Do we trust anybody's IT not to screw things up?

T,FTFY

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Ever wondered why the universe only has black holes in S or XXXL? No? Boffins have an answer

Arthur the cat
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An alternative theory

All the black holes in this universe were bought in a sale. Just like clothing or shoes in sales, there's lot of the very small and the very large, but nothing in the medium sizes because they were sold before the sale.

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What? What? Which? Former broadband minister Ed Vaizey dismisses report

Arthur the cat
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Re: RFC 1149

She will need to check there are no peregrine falcons around

That's what the acknowledgement windows in TCP are designed to handle. UDP you expect some data loss.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: "...able to legally request 10Mbps..." - oh whoopie

A huge number of UK exchanges are now FTTC-ready, […] but people aren't rushing to upgrade

My sister-in-law in the wilds of Powys has an FTTC enabled exchange, but that's sod all use. She's 17 miles from the exchange and BT's own site rates the cabinet as "up to 1Mb/s". She tried it but actually only got ~300 kb/s intermittently which even BT admitted wasn't any use.

In theory BT are slinging fibre along the poles to deliver FTTP, but every time the date gets within 3 months of the supposed deadline it gets pushed back another 6-9 months, and no slinging has been seen. She'd probably be better off implementing RFC 1149.

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Blunder down under: self-driving Aussie cars still being thwarted by kangaroos

Arthur the cat
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Identification problem?

when it's in the air it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer

Are you sure Volvo aren't confusing kangaroos and boomerangs? The latter do have that sort of behaviour.

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Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs have nasty hyper-threading bug

Arthur the cat
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Thumb Up

the fit's hitting the shan

Tip of the hat for a Roger Zelazny reference.

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Cheeky IT rival parks 'we're hiring' van outside 'vote Tory' firm Storm Technologies

Arthur the cat
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Re: a sufficiently motivated person could in fact find out exactly how I voted.

They do this despite my patiently explaining to them the problem I have with them doing it.

I believe it's required by law, and can be used to discount votes when a) there's been personation and b) the result was close enough that individual votes could matter.

As for the ballot being secret, it's secret from Joe Bloggs, but not necessarily the state. I don't know whether it still happens, but back in the 60s and 70s observers at counts reported seeing the bundles of votes for the Communist Party (and similar far left parties) being handed to known police officers who were thought to be Special Branch.

Finding out who someone voted for is hard, finding out who voted for someone is a lot easier.

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Humanity uploaded an AI to Mars and lets it shoot rocks with lasers

Arthur the cat
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Re: Such a shame...

testing work on the Mars 2020 rover being carried out a few miles outside London

Hell, if it's got a big enough laser, test it round Westminster.

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Darkness to fall over North America from a total solar eclipse

Arthur the cat
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Re: 'Snot fair

Why do the Merkins get all the good eclipses?

They don't, this is the first they're getting in a century. I was at the 2006 eclipse in Libya, which occurred after Libya had stopped being a political pariah state but before it had collapsed into anarchy. Great fun except for the lack of booze.

If anybody wants an obscure pub quiz question: "when did a four hour traffic jam happen in the middle of nowhere in the Sahara".

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Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

Arthur the cat
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Re: That's why the EU has started Galileo...

Perhaps it's time for someone to build an NTP-disciplined oscillator. :)

(NTP has lots of short time yitter, but obviously no long term drift, so it might work)

Isn't that what my time servers are?

And to reduce the jitter, use Precision Time Protocol.

"It is also designed for applications that cannot bear the cost of a GPS receiver at each node, or for which GPS signals are inaccessible."

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Yeah, if you could just stop writing those Y2K compliance reports, that would be great

Arthur the cat
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A Friday afternoon joke

Told to me back when Y2K was nigh, by one of the filthiest minded women I've known.

The K-Y2 problem: when you absolutely have to have four digits in your date.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: I guess it'll depend how people "fixed" their problem

33 bits however... Y2K38 is coming

Actually it's 32 bits that's the problem. Roll over into the top bit of a signed time value. Even if the OS is 64 bit there will be file systems or data formats that use 32 bit time values. For some cases treating the value as unsigned kicks the problem 68 years down the road, but for anything using historical data before 1970 that's not possible.

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Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

Arthur the cat
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Re: not necessarily

The real wtf thing is that there is still clinically measurable effect when the patient is told it is a placebo.

And the more expensive the placebo is, the better it works. That why these guys(*) offer gold and platinum placebos as well as their more normal ones (with virtual SMS placebos for the cheapskates). Even better, they've now got a homoeopathic placebo you make yourself from anhydrous placebo.

(*) One detects a distinct placement of the lingual muscle in the buccal cavity.

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