* Posts by Homer 1

455 posts • joined 18 Nov 2010


Apple appoints top Obama legal eagle as antitrust watchdog

Homer 1 Silver badge

Job Description

Position: "Self-regulator"

Apple is excited to offer this unique opportunity to well-motivated team players capable of effectively hiding Apple's corrupt business practices from the government and the public at large. The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in legal council for similar business operations, such as narcotics or arms dealing, and will have a well-rounded understanding of money laundering.

Candidates should apply in person after midnight, in the alley at the back of the Cupertino building, wearing a trench coat and dark glasses.

Man+iPhone versus artificial intelligence: Anki robot racer slot cars

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: Anki Panki

Right, because only Apple's iThings could possibly run RC apps, right?

Oh wait...

Somebody call Cook, because apparently the Church of Apple's scriptures need a revision.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Anki Panki

Why oh why oh etc. do companies insist on tying their products exclusively to one vendor, especially one with a tiny minority market share like Apple, whilst ignoring the largest demographic?

That's politics, not business. Call me old fashioned, but I always, perhaps naively, assumed that the whole point of a business was to make as much money as possible, not to piss it away on puerile fanboyism.

Whatever. Wake me up if Anki ever stops its Anki Panki with Apple.

BSkyB profit knocked by BT footie struggle and O2 broadband costs

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "having a computer requires a TV licence"


Watching a streaming broadcast over the Internet requires a TV license, not merely owning a computer. Indeed no activity other than "watch[ing] or record[ing] TV as it's being broadcast" on any sort of device requires a TV license - not owning a computer, or owning a TV, or even owning a TV antenna or satellite dish.

That minor point won't stop the TVL goons from harassing you, though. They have to: it's the only way they can establish if you're actually watching TV.

In that sense the TVL are basically just "salesmen" ... in the same sense as Al Capone, or possibly Scientologists. They've just missed that whole inconvenient "sales" thing and gone straight for the debt collection.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: @Homer1

Ah yes, Horsey, I stand erected. TV viewers do in fact get gouged in a multi-dipping scam, where they pay for essentially the same content over and over again, in each separate medium in which it exists.

You could also add the cinema and ye olde plastic disc media to that list. Think about it: same film, one "license", multiple payments.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "free!"

I think you meant £145.50 a year, whether you actually watch any of their junk or not.

I gave up on TV years ago, around the same time as the introduction of "reality TV". I figured why watch people getting pissed in Ibiza when I could just go there and do it myself?

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs muzzled by delays

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"building franchises"

From the linked BBC article:

'Chief executive Yves Guillemo called the move a "tough decision". "We are building franchises that will become perennial pillars of Ubisoft's financial performance," he added.'

Maybe Ubisoft should consider making decent games, instead of "building franchises", then perhaps its stock wouldn't tank, and 95% of its users wouldn't "pirate" its software.

Free Cocaine giveaway from Russian search engine Yandex

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So Dilbert, what do you do for a living?

I develop Racket programs, mostly on Cocaine.

Oh, and sometimes I write software too.

Kids hooked up with free Office subs at Microsoft-addicted schools

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "FOSS = platform agnostic"

Actually I wrote "vendor-agnostic", which is something else entirely, although it is coincidentally true that Free Software is also platform-agnostic. The important point of agnosticism, in this case, is to ensure that we don't offer what amounts to "state aid" to a single vendor, by granting it the privilege of a monopoly on supply to tax-funded schools.

Teaching the "underlying principles" still requires some tools, nonetheless, and in order to maintain vendor neutrality those tools should be, essentially, vendor-less (i.e. non-commercial). For academic reasons they also need to be Free (open access to knowledge), although actually I'd argue that security is also an important reason (no back doors).

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "the right thing to do"

But Free Software is vendor-agnostic, both in the commercial sense and in the sense of open standards. In fact I can't imagine anything other than Free Software that would be, so if you're going to be vendor-agnostic then you've really only got one option.

Although I quite agree: schools (especially public, tax-funded schools) should not be prostituting children to commercial vendors, especially not convicted monopolists like Microsoft, they should be teaching children the underlying principles of computer use (at least), if not actual computer science (I live in hope).

Schools are for academia, not company training. If people want to specialise in some proprietary tool then they should do so after graduation, as mature adults in the workplace, not impressionable children in a classroom.

As for the argument (made by the usual, albeit rapidly declining, throng of Microsoft apologists) that children should be taught what's currently used in the workplace, that's a self-fulfilling prophesy. If children were taught something other than "Microsoft 101" in schools then maybe companies would be more inclined to choose alternatives. Although given the plummeting PC sales, it seems they already have. Will those same Microsoft apologists now advocate that children should be taught "Android 101" instead, I wonder? After all, it's what "most people" use now, so that fits the "logic" of the Microsoft apologists' argument.

Dead Steve Jobs' Apple donut SPACESHIP HQ gets permission to land

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Cult builds spaceship

All they need now is the Kool-Aid.

Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: institutionally distinct

OK, substitute "from" with "associated with".

Although actually the worst thing about this award is the fact that it exists at all, regardless of who issues it. It's like issuing a prize to those who devise the most effective method of enabling the rich to screw the poor. They should call it the "Bernie Madoff" award.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: choice of icon

Well it was the closest visual representation I could find to "I question the author's integrity".

Homer 1 Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: "haven't read the article"

Well, take this juicy morsel, for example:

"This is the first principle of even having a State in the first place: to make sure that the populace is protected from the depredations of the foreigners who would do them harm."

Except the thing that's doing the most harm to the American populace is not some foreign bogeyman, it's their own corporate tyrants and their political lackeys.

Also, surely the point of a (democratic) state is to enact the will of the people, not mindlessly attack anything that's not American. It should be about welfare, not warfare.

Oh wait, I forgot, America isn't a democracy.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Credibility: Zero

So, the blogger who gleefully endorsed one of the greatest violations of civil rights in history, PRISM, now celebrates a bunch of narcissistic libertarians winning an award, from the same dubious organisation (founded by an arms dealer dubbed "The Merchant of Death") that awarded a warmonger called Barack Obama a "peace" prize, whilst stigmatising egalitarianism as "theft".

Colour me unimpressed.

Apple's Oct 22 WORLD-SHAKING San Fran party: New iPads or what?

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Apple announces more of the same, but plastic.

Crowd goes "yawn".

Thousands! of! Yahoo! Mail! users! driven! crazy! by! revamp!

Homer 1 Silver badge

The "tilt"

Must be to represent Yahoo! falling over.

Streaming TV Aereo's enemies lob sueball into Supreme Court

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Re: "they have no ability to procure a warrant"

"if they can find an unlocked door or ground floor window they are allowed to make peaceful entry"

However, they cannot force entry.

The TVL can.

That minor distinction means Capita employees are the only private citizens in the UK with police powers.

Even worse, at least debt collectors are pursuing a genuine, established debt for tangible goods. The TVL, on the other hand, is merely engaging in a fishing expedition to determine if you owe them money, in many cases without even knowing the name of the occupier, and in the total absence of any documentation that shows the occupier even requested any goods or services from the TVL in the first place, much less received them then failed to pay for them.

The TVL is literally a racketeering operation.

Homer 1 Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: "they have no ability to procure a warrant"

That's what I assumed, until someone, more knowledgeable on the subject than I, pointed out that the magistrate awards the warrant directly to the TVL, not to the police, who are only present (at the TVL's request) to prevent a "disturbance of the peace" (i.e. to stop you smashing the goon's face in).

Shockingly, this means the private citizens who work for Capita (the private company that operates as the "TVL") can in principle be awarded warrants to force entry to your home, and search and seize property (i.e. police powers), which may be the most startling example of corporatocracy and anarcho-capitalism I'm aware of in the UK.

Although apparently that sort of corporate vigilantism is very common in the US (the land of the "free", as in "free" to be gangsters).

Post-PC world? POST-MAC WORLD more like

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Re: "Apple did not invent idea of a tablet. Microsoft did that."

Oh and another thing, Mr. Successful, might I suggest that, while you're off learning English, you also learn how to copy and paste, so that next time you don't make it appear that I don't know the difference between "You're" and "Your" by misquoting me?


Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "key dates."

I'm not sure what your "SuccessCase" is, but it's obviously not basic arithmetic or even basic English comprehension. To spell it out for you, the year the Linus Write-Top was released, 1987, plus 4 years, equals 1991, which is the year the Newton began development, not 1993. 1987 is also 6 years before 1993, the year the Newton was released, which is why I wrote "six years before", not "six years after", as you seem to believe for some unfathomable reason.

"Newton was conceived on an airplane. That’s where Michael Tchao pitched the idea to Apple’s CEO, John Sculley, in early 1991. The company would announce it the following year, and the first product in the Newton Line, the MessagePad 100 went on sale twenty years ago this week in August of 1993."

Apparently someone called Steve Sakomen had "the idea" for the Newton in 1987, if one believes the typically vague anecdotal evidence that always seem to accompany any description of Apple's history, but "an idea" is not development, and this particular "idea" was just a vague notion for a "platform", not even the specific design for an actual device. Moreover this "idea" was only just being formed at a time that another product of the same type had already entered the market, which presumably had been in development for some considerable time before that, unless you think "ideas" magically transform into products in the blink of an eye.

Apple, it seems, is very good at having other people's ideas.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "Apple did not invent idea of a tablet. Microsoft did that."

You're both wrong.

The "idea" of a tablet has been around for over 120 years, since at least Elisha Gray's patent on an "electrical stylus device for capturing handwriting" in 1888, and the "first commercially available tablet-type portable computer was the GRiDPad from GRiD Systems," in 1989.

Meanwhile, the touchscreen was invented by "E.A. Johnson at the Royal Radar Establishment, Malvern, UK, around 1965 - 1967."

The culmination of these two technologies into a portable touchscreen (sans stylus) device was first made available as a commercial product in 1994, with the release of the IBM Simon Personal Communicator, the world's first smartphone.

Incidentally, not only was the Apple Newton not the first portable touchscreen device (with or without a stylus), but indeed it wasn't even the first such device with handwriting recognition, the award for which actually goes to the Linus Write-Top, released in 1987, some four years before Apple even began development of the Newton, and six years before the Newton was finally released.

The first touchscreen tablet (that worked both with and without a stylus) was also not an Apple invention, but was in fact the Acorn NewsPAD, which was released on a limited basis in 1994, under a European Commission initiative.

For the next decade there followed a series of touchscreen tablets, none of which were "invented" by either Apple or Microsoft, but most of which ran Windows, and notably a multi-touch capable device by Asus, before the iPad was finally released in 2010.

Multi-touch technology itself was invented in 1982, by the University of Toronto's Input Research Group.

None of this has anything to do with either Microsoft or Apple, neither of which are "inventors", they're merely implementors and commercial exploiters of other people's technology.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: But

Or just count. Period.

The headline; "Fewer Vendors have Bigger Share of Shrinking PC Market" would have been more accurate. A more Reg-esque equivalent might be; "Last 5 OEM Survivors Spread Out over Sinking PC Island".

Microsoft wants to 'move beyond' the Cookie Monster

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Re: Oh joy!

@JDX: Oh excuse me, I forgot that this is the magnificently benevolent and trustworthy Microsoft, that shining knight of the tech industry that saves puppies from fire-breathing dragons, not a belligerent corporate despot hell-bent on monopolising the entire industry.

So clearly I should just implicitly trust that they'll allow me full control of the data they harvest from me, and trust, with equal conviction, that they won't make backups, retain those backups for extended periods, gleefully pass my data on to the NSA (even under penalty of prosecution for violating an NSL), then ultimately sell-off my private bits for profit.

Because, you know, businesses aren't really interested in profit, especially not the profits required to cover the costs of the service they're offering, and especially not when that business is one as benevolent as Microsoft, as opposed to, say, a company with a four-decade history of anti-trust violations, extreme hostility, patent racketeering and clandestine behaviour. They're certainly not interested in staying in business, or moreover staying out of prison, by doing whatever the NSA tells them to, then keeping quiet about it like the nice gag order thingie tells them to.

So I humbly submit my unreserved apology for doubting your beloved Microsoft for even an instant, along with an invoice for payment, as per your instructions.

Love 'n Kisses,


Homer 1 Silver badge

Oh joy!

Cookie-substitutes you can't delete. Ever. And - bonus - they're owned and controlled by The Beast, who will sell them to the highest bidder (and just give them to the NSA).

How could anyone refuse such a tempting offer?

Turkish TV presenter canned for flashing too much cleavage

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "a world of difference"

Yes, the difference is that my appreciation of her beauty didn't get her sacked, whereas the sort of self-righteous do-gooders who think the human anatomy is "offensive" did.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "I'm trusting you were being ironic"

No, I was referring to the fact that the Turks responsible for making this woman unemployed seem to be a bunch of prudes, like you.

Homer 1 Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Before joining the European Union...

Maybe Turkey should consider joining the 21st century, and not only in terms of its sexual attitudes, but also its kitsch 60s music, for example.

I award the boobage 6/10, and the babe 9½.

Electronic Frontier Foundation bails from Global Network Initiative

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EFF should have known from the outset

Rights and corporate interests do not mix.

Apple ban win: Now you can't buy Samsung gear no one was buying

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Re: '"foreign" prior art [not accepted] as evidence against novelty'

Really? So foreign prior art is inapplicable to your alleged foreign infringement?

That's astounding hypocrisy, even by the Yanks' already low standards.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "What's fair about Samsung continually copying..."

You mean like Apple does?

What's fair about Apple oppressing an entire industry with patently bogus claims to "invention", such as "rounded rectangles"?

Any system so corrupt that it supports something as ridiculous as the monopolisation of basic and wholly unoriginal geometric shapes, or any other palpable trivia, is clearly untenable, and therefore its rules should rightfully be broken, assuming that corrupt system can't simply be abolished.

Although it's worth noting that, as broken as the patent system clearly is, it only seems to be certain companies, mostly Apple and patent trolls like Nathan Myhrvold (along with his many thousands of fake companies), that abuse it so brazenly with utter trivia, so maybe it's those dubious companies that should be abolished, not just patents.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "Samsungs term were proven, in court, to be neither fair nor reasonable"

OK, so the royalty rate was too high and Samsung tried to tie the agreement to cross-licensing of Apple's non-FRAND patents, both of which are violations of FRAND conditions, but remember Apple struck first with its belligerent litigation (or "thermonuclear war", as that tyrant Jobs put it), based on utterly trivial claims ("rounded rectangles" and other nonsense), so under the circumstances I believe Samsung was perfectly justified in defending itself with the only measures it could, to try to balance a profoundly unbalanced patent system that allows trivial and obvious "inventions" to be used as monopolistic weapons.

I just find it ironic that the company that decided from the outset to play fair, by voluntarily dedicating its technology to a standard, thus losing any patent leverage, should be attacked by a corporate thug like Apple, which "invents" nothing of consequence and thus has nothing to dedicate to any standard in the first place (even if it were so inclined), and the company that played fair ends up with no legal recourse, and has to break the skewed rules just to restore some semblance of balance.

What's "fair or reasonable" about that?

The fact is this case would never have happened had Apple not had the opportunity to patent such trivialities, then wield them with such aggression. The USPTO is a joke, little better than a vending machine that spits out monopolies for cash, with absolutely no due diligence whatsoever. Corporate thugs like Apple then gleefully capitalise on this lax system, whilst the US administration chuckles on the sidelines, stroking the big wads of greasy cash the "IP" lobbyists slipped into their back pockets.

The stench of corruption is overpowering.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

@SuccessCase: So basically Samsung is being punished for not patenting utter trivialities like Apple does.

I'm quite prepared to believe the possibility that Samsung has no patents that aren't either "standards essential" or irrelevant to Apple, but personally I believe that if one is being attacked by a company as hostile as Apple, using such trivial claims, then all bets should be off, and any entitlement the attacker has to FRAND terms should be revoked, thereby giving the victim the means to defend itself. See the patent provisions of the GPLv3, for example.

The other point to consider, as another poster already noted, is that Samsung did in fact already offer Apple a license under FRAND terms, but Apple rejected it and demanded preferential terms, which is itself a violation of FRAND licensing conditions. I wouldn't exactly characterise that as "brazen" behaviour on Samsung's part.

But as I wrote in a comment to an earlier article, this was never about what's "fair or reasonable", it's purely about the fact that Apple is Too American To Fail. If recent events have taught us anything, it's that expecting justice from a county like the US, which actually reveres its monopolistic gangsters instead of punishing them, is utterly futile.

Homer 1 Silver badge

Exposing the true purpose of patents

So once again we're reminded that anything which might actually be a real invention, i.e. that which is "essential", is not afforded the privilege of a state-protected monopoly, specifically and paradoxically because it's "essential", and meanwhile the only things that do qualify for this protectionism are trivial aesthetics.

Patents are therefore about meaningless trivialities, not invention.

I suppose we should really thank the US government for being so honest, for a change.

Now, perhaps they'd care to explain why such trivialities deserve this monopolistic "protection" in the first place, but actual inventions don't?

The patent system is beyond broken, it's literally backwards.

Do-it-yourself Dropbox: Western Digital's My Cloud 2TB NAS box

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: Or...

Or just get any PC, any HDD and use any transfer protocol, directed using a free service like DynDNS and port forwarding on your router.

One ultra-cheap example would be a Raspberry Pi running OwnCloud, which has the added benefit of not only supporting file storage, but also acts as a rudimentary media server, as well as a CalDAV and CardDav server (calendar, contacts and tasks) - Android client included. Adding services like E-mail, BitTorrent and so on is also fairly straightforward.

For a bit more money you could use a self-built Mini-ITX system with RAID instead, but really for the purposes of phoning home over the Internet, with its typically slow uplink speeds, the cheap option is probably good enough, as the slow uplink will be the weakest link anyway, even for vDSL customers (448Kb/s -> 20Mb/s, compared to 1000Mb/s over the LAN).

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: Oh dear. Oh, um... dear.

Don't forget OwnCloud.

PC sales continue meteoric death plunge through 3rd quarter, drop another 8.6 per cent

Homer 1 Silver badge

Where are all the denialists now?

"The PC isn't dead."


Nokia tears devs' hearts out, shutters Symbian and Meego stores early

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Paris Hilton

Burning Platforms?

That would be Microsoft's Tiles®, surely.

Microsoft store staff to hold all night vigil for Surface 2

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Microsoft's Midnight Rap?

I can smell the cheese already.

Meg Whitman asks HPers to drag their asses into the office

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Paris Hilton

Memo to HP

The PC is dead.

This is the root of your problem.

Try moving with the times instead of clinging to an archaic business model.

Regards, Mr. Reality.

Thai kids find free tablets hard to swallow as govt scheme hits trouble

Homer 1 Silver badge

Sounds like Intel is spreading FUD again

Last time it was to sabotage the AMD-powered OLPC, this time it's to sabotage the ARM-powered OTPC.

Nothing to sniff at: Cisco finishes $2.8bn gobble of Snort'ing guy's Sourcefire

Homer 1 Silver badge

Cisco and Security in the same sentence

Must surely be an oxymoron, especially given their likely conspiracy with the NSA.

The other bad news is that Roesch also owed the only GPL-licensed antivirus product in existence, ClamAV, which he acquired in 2007, so he's not only sold out himself and his principles, but also two of the most quintessential GNU/Linux security tools (although arguably ClamAV is actually a Windows security tool, that's merely administered by GNU/Linux, since viruses on GNU/Linux are rarer than hen's teeth).

What is it with these proprietary vendors buying the rights to Free Software. Why on earth would they need to do that, when they can simply use it and even modify it for free like everyone else?

It's predatory.

Be prepared... to give heathens a badge: UK Scouts open doors to unbelievers

Homer 1 Silver badge
Big Brother

OK, so that's the fictional deity out of the picture

But what about the imperialist dictator, are we expected to continue swearing allegiance to that too?

NSA data centre launch delayed as power surges 'melt metal, zap racks'

Homer 1 Silver badge

No sympathy

True or not, the fact that the NSA released this "information" seems like a lame attempt to generate sympathy. Personally I think I speak for many people when I say, in all sincerity, that I hope the evil bastards die in those electrical fires.

Hollywood: How do we secure high-def 4K content? Easy. Just BRAND the pirates

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Re: Expect this to be cracked

If it can be read then it can be removed.

This has always been the fatal problem with silly "security through obscurity" methods. Certainly it won't be trivial, but it will be done.

But as others have noted, watermarks won't actually stop unauthorised distribution anyway, because correctly identifying the copier won't be trivial either, and taking legal action might be impossible, depending upon the legal jurisdiction, even if by some miracle they could identify the culprit.

So basically the next generation of torrents will all be watermarked in the names of various temporary and untraceable Ukrainian iTunes accounts, or whatever other video distribution service, and no one will care.

Perhaps the Content® manufacturing industry should consider spending its our money on a more pressing matter, like, oh I don't know, say improving the quality of their garbage Content®, instead of wasting it on desperate and greedy DRM measures that never work.

Two years after Steve Jobs' death, how's that new CEO working out?

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: Apple

The fact that Apple makes obscenely vast profits on such a tiny minority of the market, is merely a testament to how far Apple ruthlessly exploits its weak-willed, easily-indoctrinated cult members, who clearly have more money than sense.

These are typically the same mindless consumer zombies who spend hundreds of dollars per yard on Van Den Hogwash digital A/V cables.

Are we really supposed to be impressed by their stupidity, or by Apple's malice and greed?

To the person who asked "Why do people hate Apple so much", may I first say good morning and would you like a cup of coffee, because apparently you've been sleeping for the past several years. Then I would bring you up to speed with this summary, to save me having to repeat the vast litany of Apple's extreme hostility.

Valve uncloaks prototype Steam Machine console specs

Homer 1 Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: asking for trouble

As others have commented, a "varied selection of hardware" never stopped people playing games on Windows, so I see no reason why it would have any impact on the relatively modest variation of standard PC equipment used in the SteamBox.

As for drivers, on both Windows and GNU/Linux, Nvidia uses the same unified driver architecture across its entire range of hardware, so pretty much any (modern) Nvidia graphics solution will Just Work®.

Also, you've got that whole "breaking compatibility" thing back to front. It's proprietary software that breaks compatibility with Free Software, by failing to keep up, not the other way around. That's just one of the many disadvantages of proprietary software. But then I expect Valve to standardise on an LTS version of Ubuntu, and only provide updates for graphics components when both xorg and Nvidia's proprietary drivers are in sync, so I don't anticipate much problem there either, especially as Valve is unlikely to push updates it hasn't tested first.

Ultimately the SteamBox is just a PC running Steam on GNU/Linux, which we already know from experience works, so there's no reason to assume it won't continue to work, especially on PCs explicitly certified by Valve as compatible.

Microsoft: We're nearly OUT OF STOCK of Surface 2 and Pro 2

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: So...

Yes, Vole sold all three of their Tiles Slates. They came whizzing off their PlayMobil production line faster than Sweaty Ballmer's underpants skid across the kitchen floor on wash day. It was epic. I cried with joy. You had to be there.

Poor miserable Ballmer's pay SLASHED to a measly $1.26m

Homer 1 Silver badge

Re: Not to Worry Steve

"There's always prostitution."

No change there then.


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