* Posts by Arthur the cat

755 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009

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There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Arthur the cat
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Trollface

Re: Thickies...

This how we get people choosing stuff like "our little life is rounded with a sleep" to advertise beds

Perfect for Dr Kevorkian's Sleep-Tite™ range of beds.

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Arthur the cat
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Facepalm

Re: That takes me back

--?-- --?-- - made to make your mouth water!

Once upon a time a finger of fudge was all you needed to give a child a treat. Try that nowadays and a mob of tabloid readers will have lynched you before you can say "it's confectionery".

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Size does matter, chaps: Oversized todgers an evolutionary handicap

Arthur the cat
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Coat

Re: Cock size

Apparently the human penis is much larger than would be expected from a comparison with other primates.

I know a guy with a 12" penis, but he doesn't use it as a rule.

See icon.

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Wow, braking news: Overworked, tired ride-sharing drivers declared a public health risk

Arthur the cat
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Full time drivers doze off too

I've had full time taxi drivers pick me up from an airport and then start microsleeping while driving on the motorway before now. It doesn't matter whether it's a primary or secondary job, you simply shouldn't be driving when tired. We need cars that detect doziness and apps that check reaction times.

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Rudd-y hell, dark web! Amber alert! UK Home Sec is on the war path for stealthy cyber-crims

Arthur the cat
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Re: Lots of our money being spent

But not a word on exactly how they propose to implement this.

Undoubtedly they will attach the appropriate hash tags(*).

(*) ™ Amber Rudd.

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Fear the Reaper: Man hospitalised after eating red hot chilli pepper

Arthur the cat
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Re: Not the worst of it

... and remember if you need to use the toilet while preparing a meal with chillis then the "now wash your hands" instruction needs to be acted on first

Ditto if you need to clean a contact lens (also discovered the hard way).

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How life started on Earth: Sulfur dioxide builds up, volcanoes blow, job done – boffins

Arthur the cat
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Re: EU's metrification?

OTOH, try doing construction work using the metric system.

Easy peasy, if you think about it. Just use the metric foot of 300 mm and it can be divided 16 ways rather than the piddling 4 ways that twelve can be divided. Also 2x4 is only 2x4 when rough cut. After planing to a smooth surface it's smaller (which caught me out as a teenager) so 50x100 works.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: EU's metrification?

And don't forget thous, links, rods and leagues ...

You forgot poles and perches. It was always rods, poles and perches on the back of the book when I was young.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: Curse you, Noah Webster!

In return, USians have agreed to spell aluminium correctly :).

<pantomime>Oh no they haven't!</pantomime>

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Virgin spaceplane makes maiden rocket-powered flight

Arthur the cat
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high quality microgravity?

"This is not just microgravity, this is M&SVirgin microgravity"?

Just how does Virgin's offering differ from plain old microgravity?

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2001: A Space Odyssey has haunted pop culture with anxiety about rogue AIs for half a century

Arthur the cat
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Re: For more details....

cast it from Lucite (whatever that is …)

Poly methyl methacrylate, aka Perspex on this side of the pond.

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Hip hop-eration: Hopless Franken-beer will bring you hoppiness

Arthur the cat
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Re: But... "hoppy" _is_ an unpleasant flavour

That's completely contradictory, since hoppy _is_ an unpleasant flavour!

De gustibus non disputandum est.

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Arthur the cat
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Great sentence in the Nature paper

Ultimately, sensory analysis performed with beer brewed in pilot industrial fermentations demonstrates that engineered strains confer hoppy flavor to finished beer.

The scientific way to say "we tasted it and it worked like we hoped".

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Millionaire-backed science fiction church to launch Scientology TV network

Arthur the cat
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Re: Sounds familiar

Some years ago there was a strong meme in the SF community that the legendary White Hart pub meetings of the late 40s and early 50s had a hand in this:

The version I've heard blamed a remark from Heinlein during a poker game.

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Tim Berners-Lee says regulation of the web may be needed

Arthur the cat
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Re: Frying pans and fires

Still, you may have more controls on your politicians than on the Google board...

I admire your optimism.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: Frying pans and fires

So Arthur, do you always favor corporate oligarchy over democracy, or only when your "Democrats" lose the election?

Whatever makes you think I get to vote in US elections? I'm the same nationality as T B-L.

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Arthur the cat
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Frying pans and fires

I'm not sure letting politicians decide what can and can't be done on the net is an improvement.

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Sneaky satellite launch raises risk of Gravity-style space collision

Arthur the cat
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In space no-one can hear you scream "Alexa!".

In space no-one can hear Alexa laughing at you.

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Uber-Lyft study author jams into reverse gear over abysmal pay claims

Arthur the cat
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In my youth, I worked as a car-courier for a few months. I lost money every day.

So why did you do it? I presume nobody held a gun to your head, so why do a job that loses you money? (This is a serious question.)

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Brit semiconductor tech ended up in Chinese naval railgun – report

Arthur the cat
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Headmaster

Names

Dynex produces, as its name suggests, semiconductors

The name doesn't suggest anything to me. A quick Google for Dynex comes up with (as well as the power semiconductor firm) health systems, hydraulics, consumer cables, remote controls, batteries, plastic extrusions, TVs, paper shredders, drugs, a Venture Capital outfit, an eBay tat seller, a Canadian construction company, climbing gear, …

Most company names these days seem to be designed to be as bland and meaningless as possible.

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It's ALIIIIIVE: Boffins detect slow-moving zombie star

Arthur the cat
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Re: Really?

Whether there will be any humans around in five-six billion years’ time to witness the event is also very much open to question.

I thought the current theory was that increased insolation would strip most of our water in the 0.5-2 Gyr timescale, so any life forms will be rather thirsty long before 5-6 Gyr unless someone does a Larry Niven and turns Uranus into a gravity tractor to move the Earth.

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RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

Arthur the cat
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Re: Well at least

Amazon can deliver same day - via Prime Now.

Not where I live. Anybody know what percentage of the population is covered?

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Inviting nearby exoplanet revealed as radiation-baked hell

Arthur the cat
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Re: Doesn't sound any worse

than Britain after Brexit.

I wouldn't describe any of the muppets currently infesting Westminster as having flair.

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Chilly willies: Swedish nudie nightclub opens in -11°C to disgust of locals

Arthur the cat
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Re: Swedish Winter..

But it'd not so bad in the summer..

Err, mosquitoes, horseflies, biting midges, wasps, ticks …

I'd probably be less likely to get my kit off during a Swedish summer than winter, unless there was a swimming pool full of DEET.

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A game to 'vaccinate' people against fake news? Umm... Fake news

Arthur the cat
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Re: DIY version

There is a reason why it's called The Torygraph.

It always was, but the recent changes are something different. I have no problem with a right leaning journalist who makes a coherent argument backed by hard facts, anything that makes me think about my own position is good, but the Telegraph seems to have lost most good journalists it had and sacked the rest over the last year or so, to replace them with what seems like a mix of high profile Rentagobs and unpaid interns.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: It's not censorship. It's editorship.

If the original poster and the moderator are different people, you can call it what you want, but it is still censorship of one by another.

Censorship attempts to stop material appearing anywhere at all. Editing/moderating merely stops material appearing in one place. The difference is qualitative as well as quantitative.

If I stop you spray painting your slogan on my living room wall it isn't censorship.

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Careful with the 'virtual hugs' says new FreeBSD Code of Conduct

Arthur the cat
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Happy

Re: consent forms in triplicate, notarised and submitted to court

Ooooh, queuing as foreplay!

Well, that's got us British breathing heavily.

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Magic Leap's staggering VR goggle technology just got even better!

Arthur the cat
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"everyone goes to [Magic Leap's HQ in] Florida, signs an NDA, and says: it's amazing but I can't talk about it."

This reminds me of the teachings of A Certain Religion of an SFnal Nature proselytised by A Certain Actor of Short Stature(*). Any connection perhaps?

(*) Not to mention any names, just in case.

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Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we... oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

Arthur the cat
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including one for the CRISPR gene-editing tool

Why would a video patent pool company have that?

"All Disney™ films are pre-engineered into your offspring's DNA, you just have to pay $20.00/month to let them have their choice of Disney Entertainment whenever they think of it."

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Sorry, Elon, your Tesla roadster won't orbit for billions of years

Arthur the cat
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Elon Musk remarked that he liked the idea of it orbiting for a billion years.

Liking an idea isn't the same as expecting it to happen. I like the idea of having a harem of supermodels but I'd expect the wife to veto it.

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Hate to ruin your day, but... Boffins cook up fresh Meltdown, Spectre CPU design flaw exploits

Arthur the cat
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Re: Consistent

"The Meltdown and Spectre design flaws are a result of chip makers prioritizing speed over security".

Which is just another typical instance of modern business prioritizing marketing over quality.

More a case of business listening to their customers. Everybody wants faster CPUs, almost nobody(*) screams "make my CPU slower and more secure".

(*) Maybe a few security types did, but they're such a small minority they rarely get heard until it's too late.

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US govt staffers use personal gear on work networks, handle biz docs on the reg – study

Arthur the cat
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"Federal agency"

That can cover a lot of ground. I doubt (well, hope) the TLA agencies are that slack about security, especially post-Snowden, but why would it matter that much for agencies like the US National Park Service or NOOA?

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IBM's chief diversity officer knows too much and must be stopped!

Arthur the cat
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Re: @Arthur the cat ... This isn't that unusual in the U.S.

If you don't sign the new agreement, you're gone.

You live in the US, land of the corporate lawyer and no employment rights. Here firing someone for not signing a new contract would be constructive dismissal which would cost them dearly.

Also, at the time all software companies in the area had major problems finding staff, which meant that a) getting a bad reputation for mistreating staff was a total no-no, b) I could have got a new job with a couple of phone calls, and anyway c) I was essential enough to the company that the local UK management would have flatly refused to fire me.

As to the lawsuit. That was predictable. Because you worked for them and are now creating a competing product?

Nope, not a competing product. They'd canned the project because "it wasn't core software". We moved into an area they weren't in. A few years later when we were succesful they did want to be in that area - so they came to us asking nicely for a partnership.

(Yes, it sucks, welcome to America where lawyers can be found under any rock... )

Which is why I'd turned down a couple of US job offers a few years before and remained in the UK. I think you missed that I originally said "When I worked for the UK subsidiary of a US corporation"?

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Arthur the cat
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Re: @Arthur the cat ... This isn't that unusual in the U.S.

You should have signed it.

Why? It was simply my original contract plus a US style non-compete clause and a tripled notice period. No benefit to me whatsoever from the change, just extra bureaucracy.

Now... in your case... specifically to your case... you claimed to be working on a piece of software that your old company was working on. They could sue you for IP theft if your new work was based on anything taken from the old company. (e.g. notes, docs or code) You're a direct competitor.

No IP whatsoever was taken over. The work done in the old company suffered badly from having to cobble up the new software over the existing products, which weren't at all suited for the task(*). In the new company we had the luxury of doing a clean sheet design, using technologies the original company didn't possess.

(*) It was almost as bad as trying to write a GUI in COBOL.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: This isn't that unusual in the U.S.

Non-compete clauses are common in employment contracts in the U.S.

When I worked for the UK subsidiary of a US corporation they tried giving us new contracts with US style non-compete clauses. I pointed out such things were illegal under EU employment law and HR said "sign it anyway, you can ignore the clause". I refused on the grounds that the Yanks would try suing me even if it wasn't legal for them to do so and I didn't want the hassle. A year later some friends and I set up a new company to work on software in an area that our original company had been working on but which was scrapped by the US owner. Guess what the bastards did. They failed of course, and paid for our legal costs.

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Icahn't get right Xerox Fuji merger spoils, cries activist investor Carl

Arthur the cat
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My heart bleeds... Not!

As Oscar Wilde remarked, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

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UK Home Sec Amber Rudd unveils extremism blocking tool

Arthur the cat
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Trollface

This blocking tool

As an alternative title to Home Secretary that's not bad.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: 99.995% is impossible

A minister wouldn't lie would they?

If a minister speaks an untruth about something they are too stupid to understand(*), have they lied?

(*) Or their job depends on them not understanding it.

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NASA budget shock: Climate studies? GTFO. We're making the Moon great again, says Trump

Arthur the cat
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Re: Moon? Mars? Moon! Mars!

Presidents don't want to commit the funds to really make a manned mission to the Moon happen

Maybe Trump wants to go to the Moon because someone told him that people have played golf there?

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Arthur the cat
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Re: I really hate that man

I suppose if you elect a moron you must expect more than usual political stupidity.

I think you might be putting the cart before the horse.

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It's official: .corp, .home, .mail will never be top-level domains on the 'net

Arthur the cat
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One company I used to work for used intra.<company>.com as their intranet domain, where the "intra" subdomain only existed internally. Seemed to work quite well.

I do something similar, with machines on the internal LAN being in the subdomain home.mypublic.domain. However, there are a few gotchas when an externally visible server has one (NATted) address to the outside world and an internal RFC 1918 address internally. Nothing that the knowledgeable can't handle provided they understand DNS and have a sensible gateway, but not for the average punter. This is one area where IPv6 will make life simpler, as all internal addresses will be globally routable without NAT. (I really must sort out IPv6 this year.)

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Arthur the cat
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Re: .int

Sadly tpc.int is no more. A pity for those of us old enough to get the reference.

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Arthur the cat
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Re: as an alternative to '.local'

Post RFC6762 it's officially reserved for mDNS. Wheee.

And if you actually read that RFC:

Multicast DNS designates a portion of the DNS namespace to be free for local use, without the need to pay any annual fee, and without the need to set up delegations or otherwise configure a conventional DNS server to answer for those names.

[My emphasis.]

In other words .local is exactly what it should be and anybody can use it for their local network. Nobody's going to come round to verify you're actually running mDNS rather than having a DNS .local domain or just putting the addresses in your host file.

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Arthur the cat
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Reserved Top Level DNS Names

For that matter there are the user assigned code elements of ISO 3166-1 alpha-2. OK they are country codes rather than ccTLDs but we can be pretty certain that they won't get used as ccTLDs as it would cause too much confusion.

TL;DR version: the following two letter combinations can currently be used as non-conflicting TLDs and are highly unlikely to ever conflict in the future - AA, QM-QZ, XA-XZ, and ZZ(*).

(*) Long beards optional.

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Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Arthur the cat
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Re: Surely the necessary comparison

is to train a *real* nematode to balance a stick on the end of its tail.

C elegans is only about 1mm long, so it would have to be a very tiny stick.

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ASA tells Poundland and its teabagging elf: Enough with the smutty social ninja sh*t

Arthur the cat
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Joke

I'm trying to figure out how Twinings determined it was their tea bag

"I like my tea like I like my women - loose"

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CLOUD Act hits Senate to lube up US access to data stored abroad

Arthur the cat
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So, the US can just claim jurisdiction by saying it wants it?

That's what they've done for the last 50 or so years. Why would they stop now?

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LISA Pathfinder sniffed out gravitational signals down to micro-Hertz

Arthur the cat
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Quiet

The scientists reckon the end result is that the Pathfinder was, for a while, the “quietest place in space”

And then some flash bugger in a Tesla roadster went past with a Bowie song blaring out at 120 decibels.

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Arthur the cat
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Table football

Did anyone else casually glance at the first image and wonder why there was a table football game between the cubes?

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