* Posts by Loyal Commenter

2962 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Well that's just spliffing: UK Amazon merchants peddling Mary Jane

Loyal Commenter
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Re: Blarg skunk

...and hope that the local police helicopter doesn't spot the suspicious heat signature from your shed, followed by a visit at 4am from a squad with the Big Red Door Knocker.

Happened to an acquantaince of mine, who keeps reptiles. Apparently the signature from their heat lamp was suspiscious enough to get a visit from the plod.

My advice would be to not smoke so much weed that you need to grow your own. I've no problem with people smoking the stuff, but by f*ck does it make you a boring person if you smoke a lot of it.

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Loyal Commenter
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Whilst there is such a thing as police incompetence, I think the root cause of the above is that fact that if you slash police funding, you end up with fewer police. That's political incompetence...

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Re: What a waste of time

I tihnk you need to join some different Facebook groups, rather than the "FREE TOMMY ROBINSON!!eleventyone!1" and "IMIGRUNTS RUINING ARE CUNTRY!!" ones you seem to be engaged with.

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Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

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Re: Starship

@ WonkoTheSane - beat me to it!

I'd suggest "Proft Margin", "Screw Loose", "Funny, it Worked Last Time...", or possibly "Revisionist"

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TalkTalk hackhack duoduo thrownthrown in the coolercooler: 'Talented' pair sentenced for ransacking ISP

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I carry my lathe and mill in and leave them in the kitchen every night, it's true.

I certainly wouldn't keep either of those in a shed in a field. I'm thinking more like a properly secure warm, dry workshop attached to your house, and if it is anything other than a tatty old foot-operated pole lathe, a decent alarm system too.

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Earlier this year, Harding attributed the hack to legacy technology she described as "the IT equivalent of an old shed in a field that was covered in brambles."

I don't know about you, but I don't keep anything of value in a shed.

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A 5G day may come when the courage of cable and DSL fails ... but it is not this day

Loyal Commenter
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Re: Dead birds?

Simple solution for those who get mysterious ailments 'caused by' mobile masts / wi-fi / bad energy, etc.:

1) Put up a great big dummy mast somewhere obvious.

2) Wait for all the loonies to be attracted to it

3) Meanwhile install the real masts in peace and quiet.

4) Publicly announce that the mast that all the loonies have been protesting about and camping outside is in fact a dummy mast and that their illnesses are all psychogenic.

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Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

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Re: One argument in YAML's favour: a good DIFF

In JSON, whitespace is irrelevant, so you could put the comma on the same line as your new item. Not that I'd recommend doing it, but it would be valid JSON.

On balance, whether it shows as one line or two in a diff isn't the highest thing on most programmers' agendas.

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Is it Turing Complete?

Nope? Move along...

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Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again

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Coat

Re: @A.P. Veening Economists - In 1889?

it's heavier than led

That's because LEDs are light...

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Re: Sad case of science ignoring the evidence

I don't know, but I would guess that the economists and others would had been against it much because 40 prototypes were produced to start with.

Except both platinum and iridium are more expensive than gold.

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Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office

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Re: What about Windows 10 that Office is sitting on?

It's 4% of turnover... still a not small amount.

Technically, it's either 2% or 4% (depending on teh type of infraction) of global turnover. One wonders how easy it would be to actually calculate MS's global turnover, and also where the limit is on determining what applies (i.e. parent and related companies). I expect MS's corporate structure is less complex than some (for instance, a different legal entity in each jurisidiction it operates in, rather than the labyrinthine structures employed by some multinationals to avoid tax), but if they do get fined, this could be an interesting test case.

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Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

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Re: Security overdone

People may not be aware that in general, embedded chips are *dumb*.

In general, these things work by picking up a small amount of induced current via their aerial (the coily bit round the outside), doing something with that in the chip in the middle, and re-emiitting the result. They are only limited by the computational limits of what can be achieved with the power induced from the supplied pulse. This certainly doesn't limit them to responding with a fixed response. If they did, your RFID bank card would be trivial to clone.

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Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges

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Headmaster

Re: Fractured

A similar "statistic" is the quite odd one that the average person has less than two arms.

Not strictly correct; the average person has two arms. However, on average, people have less than two arms. The first is the average of people, the second is the average of people's arms. It's a subtle, but important, difference in semantics.

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Re: Wrongdoing

So if some nutter came up to you in the street, and told you they were going to sneak into your house and murder you, and then asks you for your address. So you say "10 Downing Street". Now, are you guilty of a) nothing b) being a dick or c) attempted murder?

If there's a genuine expectation that the nutter thinks that's where you live (he is a nutter after all) and will murder you, then yes. Especially if you don't immediately report the threat to kill from the nutter to the police.

With the example you give, you also have to take into account that "the man on the Clapham Omnibus" would know that you won't live at 10 Downing Street, so for this reason, a court would probably exonerate you if the nutter went ahead and killed the PM. I think in this case, there would be a number of bigger questions to answer anyway!

If you gave a false address where it is not reasonable to expect that the nutter knows it isn't your address, then I think at the very least, you would facee some grilling about why you didn't report the threat.

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I can't see why these guys aren't being prosecuted for murder

The guy who called in the SWAT did something deliberately that he knew could cost someone their life. Qualitatively, that's no different to firing a gun into a crowd of people.

The guy who egged him on and gave a false address also did something he knew could cost someone their life.

As for the cop who shot the victim; I don't know how it works in the US, but in the UK, there has to be an investigation every time an armed officer fires their weapon.The officer is suspended automatically, whilst the IPCC investigates, even if it is clear-cut that they they acted correctly, such as shooting someone who is rampaging with a knife, in order to disable them.

Some responsibility also has to lie with the police call operator who took the 911 call, or with the people in charge of their operations. The call came from another state, it should have been easy to verify that it did not come from the alleged perpetrator.

I know for instance, that if you call the police in the UK on 999, the first thing you get is confirmation of the number you are calling from, because everyone here knows that false polcie reports are a thing. I can't believe that they would not be able todo the same in the US, so there is a systematic failure there somewhere.

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We definitely don't need more towers, says new Vodafone boss scraping around for €8bn savings

Loyal Commenter
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Re: Age discrimination?

My thoughts exactly.

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Cheeky cheesemaker fails to copyright how things taste

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Let me tell you about latex...

Technically, latex is a sol (solid marticles in a liquid medium), whereas cream cheese is an emulsion (liquid-in-liquid). Both are colloids, but then again, so is smoke.

Latex can cross-link to become rubbery, in which case it forms a gel (liquid in solid). If your cream cheese does this, I'd suggest it's time to throw it out. Although technically soft and medium-hard cheeses are probably gels as well to some degree or another.

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Given that the product in this case was a cream-cheese, I'd hope that it isn't rubbery...

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France: Let's make the internet safer. America, Russia, China: Let's go with 'no' on that

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Re: "And I also have a bridge to sell you..."

Anyone who thinks letting the EU have a say in how the internet is controlled is a good idea, especially within a few days of the same person suggesting the creation of a Central European Army controlled by Brussels

Do you have a citation for Macron suggeting this? I'm not being funny about it, but this doesn't ring true. Not least because any such motion would require unanimous assent from all 28* member nations, and any national leader proposing it is likley to find themselves in prompt receipt of 27 vetoes.

See history for the trouble they had getting approval for the Maastricht treaty, which, for all the bickering was not much more than a broad agreement that everyone should agree. Whenever anyone brings up an 'EU army', it usually has a very strong smell about it.

*28 for now at least.

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Re: "Macron said he will keep trying to bring the US back on board."

I'm sure he watches "Dr Strangelove" at least once a day

This leads me to wondering which character he most associates with? I'm torn between General Ripper and Major Kong. Not, presumably, President Muffley...

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Re: The Likelihood of Macron's Macro Meanderings becoming a Reality for CyberSpace Flight Crew

There are green flashes in the sky, run for the hills.

Don't look at them, unless you fancy being stung by a triffid!

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Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

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Re: Did you accept the USB?

But of course (b) requires that you know how to reformat it and that you are running an OS that gives you the option of reformatting a USB device before its filing system is accessed.

That's little use if it presents itself to the USB bus as something other than a file system, for example as an input device.

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But these utterly despicable abortions of nature respond to a boss, who in turn responds to management, who in turn responds to upper management, who in turn responds to the board who in turn ...

...more often than not come from a background in marketing and PR.

There's your problem, right there, and it's cultural, not technical or political in nature.

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Junior dev decides to clear space for brewing boss, doesn't know what 'LDF' is, sooo...

Loyal Commenter
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Not familiar with that particular engine but one possibility is that it contains the log of current transactions, i.e. WORK that's STARTed but not yet COMMITted or ROLLed BACK.

Pretty much spot on. Depending on your database recovery model, it either contains the data for uncommitted transactions, or a log of everything that has been done in the database since the last full backup (enabling a restore to any point in time since then, and fancy things like database mirroring / log shipping).

The former should mean small(ish) log files, which usually contain a fair amount of empty space, corresponding to the largest transaction in the file's history. That space can be freed up by using the database commands to shrink the file.

The latter means big log files, especially if you're not regularly backing up the database.

On a modern file system, the log file will be locked while the database is online, safe from errant presses of the Delete key in file explorer. I'm guessing that on Win2000, not so much...

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Bruce Schneier: You want real IoT security? Have Uncle Sam start putting boots to asses

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Re: 6 years (and counting) for a fridge

It's not the old Freon anymore. The stuff is supposedly environmentally safe.. and expensive. Horribly expensive.

Unless your 'new' fridge was manufactured before the mid '90s, it won't have contained CFCs. My understanding is that the freon most commonly in use nowadays is 1,1,1,2-terachloroethane, which is prety cheap stuff, probably less than £10 to fill a fridge. I've also seen fridges with cyclopentane in them, which is also dirt-cheap, but flammable.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: 6 years (and counting) for a fridge

£300 for a re-gas. Fucking hell what sort of freon are they using? Unobtainium?

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My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

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Re: Power adaptors are always useful

If the gizmo says 12v / 1A , and your psu says 12v / 5A - it wont blow it up

But if the label on the psu, written in 1pt flyspec font actually says 19V 1A, but it has the plug on the lead that fits the gizmo and you plug it in in error, it probably will blow up the gizmo, and possibly the psu as well.

The one that has annoyed me recently is the power supplies that come with cheap home dehumidifiers. They seem to put out an unusual voltage (IIRC 13V) and also have a plug that isn't the same size or shape as any other standard power supply (a rectangular thing with two 'female' pins and a notch in the side) and seem to burn out after a year, with nowhere you can get a replacement...

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Data flows post-Brexit: 'Leave it to government to make sure you've got a smooth run in.' Er, OK

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Joke

Re: There really is no hope

After the warm summer and sudden cold snap in the last few weeks, we've had quite a few mice come into our home. Sadly, the only real solution to this is to use traps.

I realise now that my partner was only half joking last night when she suggested that rather than dispose of the bodies, I should be freezing them so we have something to eat after brexit. I could be setting up a proud all-British enterprise in the spirit of CMOT Dibbler selling mouse-onna-stick.

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Loyal Commenter
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It's that typical thing of sending thick people to very expensive schools. It doesn't produce geniuses, it just produces very confident idiots.

It's interesting you should say this. I was 'fortunate' enough to be schooled at a reasonably expensive school (not a very expensive one, mind), largely for the better quality of teaching. Having previously experienced the teaching quality at the local comprehensive, I can confirm that this was undoubtedly of better quality.

However, there was an atmosphere even here whereby achievement was measured not by academic success, but by who you were, and how well you did on the sports field. For instance, the head boy in my year just happened (purely by chance I'm sure) to be the son of the school's bursar (which is a posh word for accountant). Even in a relatively unknown private school, there was a culture of preference towards 'breeding' - in other words the posh boys got away with whatever they liked and were handed privilege on a plate.

At the time, I thought I was lucky to get a better quality of education than the masses, but in hindsight, the whole experience really just illustrates how private schooling feeds social division. The money pumped into such schools would instead be much better spent on giving the same level of education to all, so that those with the greatest ability get the support they need to achieve to their potential, instead of, as stated above, ending up with more very confident idiots.

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Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

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Re: Yeah sure

"Avrio is manana without a sense of urgency"

And Metavrio is the day after that...

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Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

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Re: Noted scientists

Go here to vote on the new £50 note.

https://app.keysurvey.co.uk/f/1348443/10fc/

I've gone with Dorothy Hodgkin, the Nobel prize winning developer of x-ray protein crystallography. Both ebcuase she was very smart, and because women are sadly underrepresented on bank notes.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: The name 'Tesla' has been hijacked

When you ask someone what a Tesla is unless they are an old skool Electrical Engineer they might say 'oh, that's a funny car that runs on batteries'.

I'd go with something you shouldn't go near with your keys in your pocket, unless you want to be stuck to whatever is causing it.

As a unit of measurement, the scale is a bit off of most practical uses.

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US Republicans bash UK for tech tax plan

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Re: "Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee"

That said, I was wrong in my expectations as to votes twice in 2016.

You forgot to take into account the fact that, since you are commenting on a story on a tech news site, you are probably significantly "smarter than the average bear", whilst, by definition, 50% of voters are dumber than average.

You made the mistake of thinking that others would follow the same logic as yourself, rather than swallowing whatever bullshit was piped into their faces. Like some sort of reverse Dunning-Kruger effect, where you don't realise how stupid everyone else is.

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This one weird trick turns your Google Home Hub into a doorstop

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The most significant words in this article:

without any authentication.

Quite frankly, I should think that's a sackable offence for at least one person at Google.

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Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

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Re: Harmless

I'd guess that most cars on the road have a tape player.

Not any cars made this century. I'd be surprised to even see a CD player in anything made in the last couple of years.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Escalation

Or Station's most bodacious creation, the good robot us-es?

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AI can predict the structure of chemical compounds thousands of times faster than quantum chemistry

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I can remember Glaxo getting the first 750 MHz machine in the UK

If that machine was based in Stevenage, I may have actually used it, in around '99 or so, back when they were GlaxoWellcome, but not yet merged with Smithkline Beecham to form GSK.

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When I was a student, I remember seeing a number of 2 pence coins placed edge to edge suspended in mid-air following the field lines of an NMR spectrometer. It gives you an appreciation of the field strengths involved, especially considering that 2p coins are not ferromagnetic..

Powering down (and restarting) the magnets on those things is not a trivial task, especially when you consider that (at the time at least), they were cooled with liquid helium (at -269°C), which itself was surrounded with liquid nitrogen (at -196°C). Getting those things up to room temperature so that foreign objects can be accessed and removed, and then cooling them back down again is a serious undertaking.

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Loyal Commenter
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Admittedly, it is the best part of two decades since I've used an NMR machine. IIRC, 13C spectra are weak (due to low isotope abundance) and messy (due to lots of coupling in anything but the simpelst compounds), so require much higher fields to get a clean spectrum. At the time, the cutting-edge machines ran at about 400MHz (with field strengths of around 10T), and the one in use at my Uni was 100Mhz. I suspect the frequencies (and corresponding field strengths) have gone up since then towards the 1GHz range.

You're absolutely right about the 2D spectra - I'd totally forgotten that deuterium isn't spin-neutral! If my memory serves me correctly, the peak from trace amounts of un-deuterated solvent at the machine's native frequency was used as the reference point, as the solvents were usually 99+% deuterated, not 100%.

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Loyal Commenter
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Groups of atoms oscillate at a specific frequencies, providing a tell-tale sign of the number and location of electrons each contains.

This is not strictly true; NMR works by flipping the nuclear spin on unpaired protons in the atomic nucleus (hence the 'N' for 'nuclear' in 'NMR' - which is also why the same technology used in the medical field is called 'MRI', because the 'N' bit sounds scary to patients).

Normally, the nuclei of atoms are oriented in space in random directions, but in the presence of a strong magnetic field (and these things contain very strong superconducting magnets), it is energetically favourable for nuclei containing unpaired protons to line up with the field. Pulsing the sample with a radio-frequency burst (typically in the hundreds of MHz depending on the field strength) gives the nuclei enough energy to spin freely. They can then re-emit radio frequency photons to settl back into field alignment, which is what is measured by the spectrometer. The type of nucleus and environment it is in (other nearby atoms bonded to it) affect the frequency of those radio photons.

Atoms with an even number of protons (such as carbon and oxygen) don't give any signal at all because the protons go round in pairs with their spin aligned opposite to each other, efectively cancelling each other's spin, and therfore not lining up with the field. It is also why expensive solvents containing deuterium, rather than hydrogen (such as heavy water) are used for samples, otherwise the signal from the solvent swamps the signal you are actually interested in. In most organic samples, NMR is only looking at the hydrogen atoms, although IIRC, compounds with nitrgoen or phosphorus can give more complex spectra.

So, the tl;dr; is that NMR gives information about protons, not electrons. Although the electron density of nearby atoms can shift the signal to a lower frequency (known as down-field shifting), the interesting signals come from 'coupling' between other nearby atoms with odd numbers of protons, which splits single peaks into patterns of multiples.

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Boffins have fabricated microscopic sci-fi tractor beams for real

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Re: using beams of light to manipulate atoms.

...and I don't know who down-voted the OP. For someone not versed in relativistic mechanics, it was a perfectly reasonable question. It seems a bit off to down-vote someone for wanting to learn.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: using beams of light to manipulate atoms.

But ( and I know I'm wrong about this, but that doesn't mean I understand ), if they're massless then the force they exert is their speed multiplied by zero?

Newtonian mechanics (F=mv) applies pretty well at non-relativistic speeds (i.e. anything travelling at under an appreciable fraction of the speed of light). Photons travel at the speed of light (in a vacuum, anyway), so Einstein's pesky general realtivity comes into effect, and those equations get a whole load more terms in them.

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'BMW, Airbus and Siemens' get the Brexit spending shakes

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Re: BMW and Airbus have more to worry about...

No-one ever promised that Brexit would be anything but hard work

I recall a lot of promises from the likes of Farage, Johnson, Gove, et al. None of them were promising hard work, the promises we did get took the form of "£350 million a week", "taking back control", "controlling immigration", "the easiest deal in histroy", etc., etc. All total bullshit. You must have been observing a different referendum campaign to the rest of us...

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: "Keep calm and carry on"

The UK has given notice, and the EU has set a deadline.

Not strictly true; The Prime Minister gave A50 notice to the EU parliament, and herself set a pretty arbitrary deadline. There are pretty good indications that the other EU nations would have little trouble agreeing to an extention of this limit, or indeed a withdrawal of the A50 notice entirely. The only reason May won't do this is the impression she has given herself that she is in control and competent, and won't have to backpedal when she can't get a deal involving magical unicorns for all - in other words she doesn't want to lose credibility, not realising that she doesn't have any left anyway.

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Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

Loyal Commenter
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I think Norman's problem is with padding words

You like know, like some people like use like like like every like other word like in a sentence. Like.

Unlike.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: Actually ...

... here in the US, we still spell them correctly. You lot bastardized them.

Whilst this may be historically accurate, in that the US retained one variant spelling, whilst the UK retained the other, back at a time when either was probably considered to be perfectly acceptable, would you care to explain, on behalf of your fellow Left-Pondians, why you decided to start arbitrarily dropping letters from words like colour, labour, etc.?

I have heard (and I'm not sure how much truth there is to this, or whether it is apocryphal), that this was done to save money on newspaper adverts, when they were paid for by the letter, and free newspapers being one of the few printed things that many Americans were able to get hold of at the time, these spellings became common usage as a result.

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BT, beware: Cityfibre reveals plan to shovel £2.5bn under Britain's rural streets

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Meanwhile Virgin Media's response...

...will be to wait for them to go out of business on the back of the huge debts incurred when the digging-up of pavements doesn't go entirely to plan, and buy the company's assets for £1.

*cough* NTL *cough*

*cough* Telewest *cough*

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London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

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Re: Lets Get Real

Perhaps the allegations were fabricated, but then is that not the case in many rape claims?

No.

Next time, actually bother to find out whether the thing you are typing is true or not before hitting that 'post' button.

The evidence suggests that the vast majority of rape/serious sexual assault claims by women against men are true. To claim otherwise is basically blaming the victims. The thing is, human beings (en masse) are a nasty lot, and do all sorts of nasty things to each other. Men are far more likely to do more and nastier things than women (that is not to say that women can't be violent criminals, but on balance, most of those are male). Many rapists commit their crimes knowing full well that there will be little evidence to prove that what they did was not consensual, and that it will be hard to prove a case against them. Bear in mind that most rapes are not the violent dragged-off-into-the-bushes kind, but happen when men take advantage of someone they know, often when under the influence of drink or drugs, in a private situation. You (probably) are not a rapist yourself, so wouldn't believe the sheer number of women this happens to. The odds are that several women you know have been raped, and you know nothing about it.

Anyway, rant over. Short answer:

No. You are wrong.

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Loyal Commenter
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Re: I really hope he gets the boot

He's a human being after all. Would any human being "want" to get arrested by a TLA notorious for prisoners going poof?

Those two women he allegedly raped in Sweden are human beings as well. It's worth remembering that he was in Sweden for some time after the leaks he is allegedly worried about, without any apparent concern about rendition to the US. He only seems to have become worried about this after he ran away from Sweden to the UK after these allegations came to light, and he only 'sought asylum' in the Ecuadorian embassy after being picked up by the UK police so that the Swedish prosecutors could catch up with him, and bailed - which he promptly skipped out on. it's also worth remembering that the UK has a far less stringent extradition treaty with the US than Sweden does, so if he was, as he claims, seeking to avoid extradition there from Sweden, the UK is about the last place he would have wanted to come.

Occam's Razor would suggest that, rather than a vast conspiracy against him by US TLAs, the Swedish Government, the British Government, and the Ecuadorian Government, to lock him up (and lets not forget that the person who actually leaked those documents has already been freed), it seems much more likely that here is a guy with an inflated sense of self-importance running from justice from a country where the idea of sexual consent is a bit more rigorous than his home nation.

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