* Posts by breakfast

1218 posts • joined 24 May 2007

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Gravitational waves permanently change spacetime, say astroboffins

breakfast
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Trollface

Re: You can only be a "Centre of Excellence" ...

We can go one better: "Majestic Australian Ray Mass Institute of Technical Excellence"

Yes, I went there.

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breakfast
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The name can be improved upon, however: The Australian Research Society of Excellence, Gravity Rays And Bosons or something along those lines.

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Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

breakfast
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Re: "it does not include the food reformulation scheme which has led to chocolate bars shrinking"

The interesting question is what will happen once they can't just blame the big bad EU for everything that is unpopular?

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Hackers emit 9GB of stolen Macron 'emails' two days before French presidential election

breakfast
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Re: So, just another day in the office...?

"Don't rule out the possibility of a careful, well resourced third party being behind this."

But also don't rule out the possibility of Occam's Razor being applicable in most cases. I don't know whether there is anyone playing five-dimensional chess out there, but when you can follow the money to a logical explanation, going out of your way to search further could be a poor allocation of resources.

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Amazing new boffinry breakthrough: Robots are eating our brains

breakfast
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Terminator

Re: Ned Ludd is dead

I think this is by far the most plausible starting point for a war between humans and machines - once everyone else is out of work and they start to get a bit tetchy the 1% or the 0.001% or whoever it is now owns all the resources just turns the war mahines on the rest of us.

Hopefully the Pew institute is going to be preparing us for this by designing anti-robot weaponry, allowing them to become the "Pew pew pew" institute the moment the trouble kicks off.

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Today's bonkers bug report: Microsoft Edge can't print numbers

breakfast
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Re: If it works, try again?

This certainly sounds like an Edge case.

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The Co-Op Bank's online banking has gone TITSUP*

breakfast
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Every time something like this happens it's one tick closer to me getting off my ass and finally moving my account somewhere more competent. It's not like they have a significant ethical standpoint now anyway, all owned by hedge funds and vulture capital same as the rest, so it really is inertia by now. The extended downtimes for online banking are chipping that away rapidly by now.

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Microsoft Azure capacity woes hit UK customers. Yes, you read that right

breakfast
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Re: UK and no Cloud?

Azure is the colour of a totally cloudless sky, so I guess the name should have been a giveaway from the start.

Nice to have an Azure story that isn't just another Blue Sky Of Death though.

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Pen-tester gets past Microsoft VB macro barriers

breakfast
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In this field its hard to know what you can and can't say

I guess what I'm saying is there must be a lot of red lines for pen testers.

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Amazon: 'Alexa, how do you fix shoddy APIs that keep breaking apps? Asking, er, for a friend'

breakfast
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Difficult to read

For some reason my break read "Skills Kit" as "Shills Kit" right through the article. Until I noticed my mistake I assumed it was an unusually frank piece of naming.

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Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

breakfast
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Re: I recently ditched Firefox.

In terms of DAW the best thing I've found on Linux is Ardour, which is as good as anything else I have used, but I have only really tinkered with other products on Windows and it is a few years since I did that. I can't say how it matches up to a current Cubase but I will say that once you have the routing figured out it is pretty great as a midi controller and works well for multi-track recording. It's not easy to use but no more difficult than any equivalent tool I have tried in the past.

Of course where VSTs are concerned it is pot luck whether something will run under Wine, I haven't spent as much time looking into that, but for the results I have been aiming for I've found Ardour to be pretty good.

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breakfast
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Re: I recently ditched Firefox.

"Not well documented" is the curse of anything Linux when you get off the beaten track, which is a shame because the tools are often pretty great if one can ever figure out how to make them do anything and utterly frustrating when one can't.

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breakfast
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Re: I recently ditched Firefox.

If you need real audio you're running Jack at minimum latency though, right?

Pulse is fine for day to day work, but with Jack I've managed to get some fairly nice sounding music on an entirely Open Source stack.

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New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

breakfast
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Paris Hilton

Mystery

How has it got to this point without anybody making a joke about a catastrophic junk collision???

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Code-sharing leads to widespread bug sharing that black-hats can track

breakfast
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Re: Or most of those tutuorials are poison pills to insert vulns

Honestly most of them are written by people who figured out a solution to a problem that was bugging them. If they knew more they probably wouldn't have had such a hard time figuring out the solution so they wouldn't have written the tutorial.

"Badly reviewed tutorials" is all well and good to complain about when one is dealing with a large corporate distributing a development platform, but most of these are volunteer efforts and one is often lucky to find any documentation at all around whatever edge case one is currently working on.

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Back to the future: Honda's new electric car can go an incredible 80 miles!

breakfast
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Re: Hydrogen fuel cells

From what I could follow, there is definite potential to use hydrogen to get energy from out-of-the-way renewable locations into power networks ( or cars or whatever ) when it is impractical to build massive powerlines. It may also make a good balancing medium to allow us to smooth out renewables production against demand. So there are certainly uses for it in terms of energy infrastructure and if it does fall into those usage scenarios then bringing it into usage as a regular fuel is not so far fetched.

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Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

breakfast
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A Snap Election eh?

The best thing about a Snap election is that the winner gets the power.

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Boffins fabricate the 'most complex bendy microprocessor yet'

breakfast
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Re: "Disulfide" forsooth!

Well I for one do not sulfur this foolishness gladly!

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LiveJournal trial a storm in a safe harbour

breakfast
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Another thing too

Seems like the other big LiveJournal story is the fact their new T&Cs require you to accept being bound by Russian law and all their non-Russian users appear to be engaged in an exodus.

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Who really gives a toss if it's agile or not?

breakfast
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Re: Agile only works if all stakeholders agree on an outcome

A big part of the problem is that all the in-house software expertise in the civil service got privatised in the 90s, so they have nobody of their own with any knowledge of software development at all. That makes it really hard to get solid co-operation between the in-house people with domain knowledge and the development teams or even for the in-house management to appreciate how important that is.

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breakfast
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Re: 'What's Real and What's for Sale'...

I can't see how Agile is a good idea except for the smallest trivial projects.

It works well if you are in an environment that is built around it and working towards a clear vision. If I was creating a startup, I would definitely use an approach built around Agile because it allows you to get something working quickly and to build new functionality together, adjusting it as you need to, in order to grow your product. A lot of the things that work well about it are related to keeping everyone in a team communicating and aware of the work you are doing- it would be fair to say that a good team will probably do that anyway.

The problem comes when you are working in an environment that is not built around so you end up with diverging expectations - if you are trying to move fast but it takes three months for someone to come back with a key requirement, you're going to have to wait or you're going to implement something half-assed and have to change it when the requirement does come through. If there's no clear vision then you don't know what you are working towards. In government it seems to have been seen as an excuse for changing specification every few days, which in the past was very costly because charging for changes was built into the contracts, but now because they're "agile" it just holds the project up for longer and keeps it in an incomplete middle ground where it is no use to anyone. The charges come from the project taking longer rather than from an upfront cost for changes, but in either case the solution would be to have a clear idea of what the product is supposed to do way earlier. Agile does tend to discourage a complete architectural overview of a product as it is developed, which can be a problem on large projects for sure, but that is quite avoidable if you have competent leadership.

Developing solid, reliable, software is a result of culture more than methodology and unfortunately the culture within the civil service in this country seems actively opposed to it.

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Democrats draft laws in futile attempt to protect US internet privacy

breakfast
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Re: Americans don't know history

"Those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it, those who do are condemned to watch everyone else repeat it."

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

breakfast
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Holmes

Since you ask me for a tale of a psychic keyboard...

A few years ago I heard a rather brilliant story about someone whose computer appeared to be psychic. Often while they were using it, an erroneous word would appear that they hadn't typed. The creepy part was that it would be something they were thinking about at the time, as though the computer was somehow reading their mind. They would be on the phone and look back at the screen to see the topic of their phone call had appeared somehow in their document.

This spooky behaviour occurred fairly consistently for some time before someone realised they had accidentally enabled the speech-to-text system and the computer was picking occasional words that it could make out uncallibrated.

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Robo-AI jobs doomsday may, er... not actually happen, say boffins

breakfast
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Re: How about the jobs that those robots create ?

I'd just like to point out that not having a job is not a terrible situation if you have another way of deriving a living. At that point it's actually pretty sweet.

I would love to be able to get by without needing to work. Finding ways to accommodate that across most of the population will be one of the big challenges of this century.

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Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Sense of Fun

breakfast
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Re: It's good but not great

The Netflix take on Dirk Gently was a whole lot of fun as well - whimsical and odd but also full of twists and making something reasonably coherent from the ideas in the books. Definitely worth watching.

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breakfast
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Re: I feel and share your pain

Then you still had books on the windowsills but you were going a lot faster.

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Manufacturers reject ‘no deal’ Brexit approach

breakfast
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It is unravelling, but between the crisis there and Brexit, a united Ireland has never seemed more plausible.

If Northern Ireland go and Scotland go, what will those of us left do about the Union Jack? We will be left with two flags, which are literally St George and The Dragon, so I imagine that will go well.

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Profitless Twitter starts rumour of paid-for Tweetdeck option

breakfast
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Re: Couldn't it simply ask money from Trump for every tweet?

If they charged every media outlet that lazily compiles four tweets and calls it a news story it would either make Twitter profitable or turn Journalism back into a profession...

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

breakfast
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Re: You hit it Dabbsy

The modern equivalent of this is playing the music you have just recorded on a car stereo. When it sounds good there as well as on regular speakers, you're probably in a good place.

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UK.gov gears up for IR35 private sector crackdown – say industry folk

breakfast
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Unhappy

Re: Well, duh ..

There will also be a third group of people who don't want to put themselves and their families through a total economic collapse and choose to find a less small-minded place to live. Britain, and in particular England, is going to be an increasingly rubbish place to live over the next couple of decades. But the people have spoken etc etc.

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Dungeons & Dragons finally going digital

breakfast
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Re: Late to the Party

Roll20 is pretty great for running a game online in my experience, but as a non D&D player the WOTC side of things isn't that important to me. Too much crunch for my liking, particularly if one is going to podcast the game.

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Shopping for PCs? Ding, dong, the Dock is dead in 2017's new models

breakfast
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Pint

Cue Beavis and Butthead

"Bottom docking" heh heh

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

breakfast
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My dad is a bit of a numbers man and when the electricity bills started showing up a little high he got sceptical about the ( non-smart ) meter in their house. It turned out that one of them didn't understand British Summer Time and was adding an hour when it should subtract one, causing their off-peak usage to be misjudged by two hours in the summer. They replaced it at which point the off-peak and regular charging rates were backwards on the central database of electricity meters ( that is a thing that exists apparently ) so that whenever they complained to the electricity supplier and got them reversed, the central system switched them back to the wrong order the next night.

That is what can be done with a regular non-smart meter. With more technology in the loop, we can anticipate a whole new degree of trash fire...

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Bee boffins prove sesame-seed brain is all you need to play football (well, that explains a lot)

breakfast
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Stop

Re: Generalization or missing the point

Of all the places to ask that question...

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NZ firm tucks into $27m on the back of VR 'hologram' promise

breakfast
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Re: "You’ll dance with Beyonce in your living room"

I don't think you're ready for this jelly.

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Brexploitation? Adobe gets creative with price hikes

breakfast
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The annoying thing is that InDesign is apparently the only product that is any use for publishing. Annoying when it feels as though there is no choice although rumours of Affinity Publisher on the horizon are hopeful and the new Quark may be alright. By and large InDesign is the thing everyone seems to use, though.

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Cyber-spying, leaking to meddle in foreign politics is the New Normal

breakfast
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Re: "MIght appear to be unprecedented?"

Another way to look at this is that if the CIA say an election has been tampered with, they really are the experts on this topic.

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Cassini sends back best ring-shots yet en route to self-destruct dive

breakfast
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Devil

Re: Nice pics.

KellyAnn: No Mr President, these are pictures of Saturn.

Trump: What? I told you to before you have to refer to the vice president as "Vice President Pence."

KellyAnn: ...

Trump: Also he doesn't pronounce it that way. It's SatAN.

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Felted! AI poker bot Libratus cleans out pros in grueling tournament, smugly trousers $1.8m

breakfast
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Boffin

But can Libratus read Lady Gaga's poker face?

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Trump's cartoon comedy approach to running a country: 'One in, two out' rule for regulations

breakfast
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Mushroom

Re: When?

What the Republicans might see is that his legacy is going to be so toxic that they will be tarnished by association for decades if they don't put a sharp stop to him. That is probably the quickest and easiest way for America to get out of this, although lets not forget that Mike Pence is Actual Satan and his version of the USA will be a kind of hell consequently, but it may at least feel a little more stable and predictable.

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Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

breakfast
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Mushroom

On the upside there is a lot I agree with in this article.

Unfortunately as an Emacs user I am forbidden from agreeing with it by ancient contract.

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breakfast
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Re: Comparing a text editor to a web browser is a nonsense

"Web browser became mini-OS onto which whole applications are run. "

If that is your differentiation between text editors and browsers, you are clearly not an Emacs user.

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It's official: Ejit – sorry – Ajit Pai is new FCC boss (he's the one who hates network neutrality)

breakfast
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Re: The Age of President Hair!

In a few years I suspect that not having dived face-first into the raw effluent of the Trump administration - even if not by choice - will make them seem like principled and legitimate luminaries of the American right once the public get tired of lies and kleptocracy. So it may serve them well after future elections, which there almost certainly will be.

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Shocking crime surge – THE TRUTH: England, Wales stats now include hacking and fraud

breakfast
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Holmes

Re: Awesome!

As far as I am aware the most reputable numbers nationally come from the British Crime Survey - another regular source of idiot press reports that "the British Crime Survey doesn't include murder" without any explanation of how a victim-reported survey would implement that.

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What's the biggest danger to the power grid? Hackers? Terrorists? Er, squirrels

breakfast
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Trollface

Re: Treasonous Squirrels

The only computers they use are Acorns.

Consequently they are heavily ARMed.

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Flight 666 lands safely in HEL on Friday the 13th

breakfast
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Re: Not a bit of it!

Wait, this thing has a warranty on it?

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breakfast
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Holmes

Creationists don't tend to worry about science much, so they might ignore that, but I think I've hit on a compelling argument for anyone coming from an Abrahamic perspective.

The problem is the foreskin. Why would a designer deity add something to the male body and then the moment they get in touch with their creation immediately demand that it should be cut off? Surely either the designer would be imperfect or the insistence on removing it would be an insult to the creator. Either way the core tenet of a perfect creator is undermined.

If foreskins don't make sense you must acquit my client!

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Oi, Mint 18.1! KEEP UP! Ubuntu LTS love breeds a laggard

breakfast
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I had an automatic update break my Mint install a little while ago ( not their fault - a proprietary Nvidia driver didn't work, to much astonishment from everyone ) so a "don't break my computer" update strategy would be quite helpful sometimes...

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breakfast
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I have run into that too, it's mildly annoying but there is a keystroke that can instantly lock the screen.

I don't know what the keystroke is, but I run into it from time to time when I'm trying to edit sound files in Audacity and lock the screen instead.

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You know how cop cars pile into each other in old comedy movies? That's how the Moon was built, say boffins

breakfast
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Moon: To me!

Earth: To you!

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