* Posts by Brewster's Angle Grinder

1798 posts • joined 23 May 2011

Boffins trapped antiprotons for days, still can't say why they survived the Big Bang

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: anti-particles "moving backwards in time" ?

"...then presumably it is created at the end of its life...So this would mean the anti-verse starts out running backwards from a Big Crunch.

There is one "explosion". Antimatter particles zoom off backwards in time, building ever more complicated structures (antimatter atoms, antimatter stars and antimatter galaxies) while normal particles do the same in the forward direction; i.e. the antimatter universe is created at the beginning of it's anti-life. (More formally, "both" "universes" are created in a low entropy state and entropy proceeds to increase in their respective time direction.)

Typically a Big Crunch is seen as being akin to being sucked into a giant black hole: it's a merger of complicated systems (i.e. it's a high entropy event). So, yes, we would see antiparticles converging at our big bang from some point in our distant past. But it wouldn't look like a Big Crunch as we'd experience it. And to argue that's what's happening would be to argue that negative numbers start at minus infinity and proceed to increase until they reach zero: it's technically correct but not practically useful; better to say negative numbers start at zero and decrease towards (minus) infinity. In particular, intelligent life composed of antimatter and living in the antiuniverse would see cause and effect rippling outwards form the same big bang that created us, just like we do.

Time reversing Big Bang-Big Crunch scenarios do exist. I think yours has the added disadvantage that all matter has to be converted into antimatter. At any rate, the idea of there only being one electron travelling backwards and forwards was proposed by Wheeler to Feynman, and inspired him in the design of Feynman diagrams, which is where we started.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: anti-particles "moving backwards in time" ?

The idea of antiparticles being particles travelling backwards in time is built into Feynman diagrams. (Let me quote Wikipedia, "Thus, antiparticles are represented as moving backward along the time axis in Feynman diagrams.") So, yes, when an anti-neutrino arrives at a beta decay it is arriving from the future. Whether this is true in reality or a convenient fiction is another matter, but it's consistent with relativity where time is only a coordinate and makes the maths work.

Where Bob goes wrong is speculating that antimatter isn't created. The semi-rigorous take on this is that anti-matter was created but went backwards in time. So the Big Bang spawned two universe one with positive and one with negative time.

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National Audit Office: We'll be in a world of pain with '90s border tech post-Brexit

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"...and adapt the framework."

I'm already foreseeing setbacks and delays.

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Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

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@boltar "Not entirely true. If the air pressure and hence density is so low that gas molecules have little chance of hitting each other and hence passing on sound waves then the speed of sound is close to or at zero."

To put flesh on what Cynic_999 says, the speed of sound in the interstellar medium is around 1000m/s (at 100K), about three times faster than the speed of sound through air at ground level on earth. And it gets faster the hotter the medium gets.

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"The speed of sound in air is NOT dependent on pressure, only on temperature and composition of the air."

I refer you to wikipedia. it's dependent upon √ (dp/dρ). Although for an ideal gas, which expands isentropically, it only depends upon temperature, and for everyday use air doesn't depart enough from ideal to really worry about pressure.

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Microsoft concedes to Mozilla: Redmond will point web API docs at Moz Dev Network

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Re: MDN? Never heard of it.

"So, this has been around 12 years? Might want to work on their search page ranking."

That bit I can agree with. I have to prefix my searches with "MDN" to avoid the noddy sites.

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Re: this

Using Chrome to develop doesn't stop you using the docs on MDN.

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Man prosecuted for posting a picture of his hobby on Facebook

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Re: Cosplay banned in Scotland?

That would call for the Chewbacca defense.

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Night out in London tonight: Beer, Reg and platform wars

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Re: I hate each and every platform/language/etc.

And another group of users who hate a platform for the technical equivalent of "not being available in pink."

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When Irish data's leaking: Supermarket shoppers urged to check bank statements

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Re: Ouch

Presumably credit card numbers have to pass through the company's system to get to the bank. And, as nothing but credit card numbers have been nicked, I'm wonder whether it was that "centralised IT system" that got pwned.

TL;DR it doesn't have to be "data at rest" that was snaffled.

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Q: How do you test future driverless car tech? A: Slurp a ton of real-world driving data

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"This is an international race to get to that goal [of level 5 automation]. If we don’t get there, we’ll be importing it.”

And if we do get there first, it will be bought up by foreigners and we'll still end up importing. Welcome to UK Plc, an open global economy; please make sure your self-driving car drives carefully.

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Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

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How long before they start using the camera to make sure you're watching?

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Avast urges devs to secure toolchains after hacked build box led to CCleaner disaster

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Mount hobby horse. Charge!!!!!!

"You commit your code - the build server checks out the code and performs the build in a clean environment.",

*cough* From the article: "...the hacker gang infiltrated Piriform’s build server..." i.e. it was the build server that was compromised. *cough*

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Sole Equifax security worker at fault for failed patch, says former CEO

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Re: Patch checking - initial basic scheme

If the first step fails to happen, then the remainder aren't worth the time they took to type.

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Hollywood has savaged enough sci-fi classics – let's hope Dick would dig Blade Runner 2049

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"I think it's because Philip K Dick mostly wasn't a brilliant writer."

Disagree strongly. Some of the early stuff is a bit lack lustre and trite. But he's a brilliant prose stylist and a shrewd painter of character.

If all you can get out a book is the plot, then, yes, you're in trouble, because writing books while high isn't conducive to producing well-reasoned plots. (He famously wrote The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch in a fortnight while on amphetamines.) But reading PKD for the plot is like reading Greg Egon for the prose. Or for the characterisation. Or without several maths text books handy. Still both can mindfuck, if you let them.

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Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

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Re: Then it's not a simulation.

TL;DR There is only one true map: the thing itself.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: The whole point of simulating a universe

Been done. To death. And back again.

Definitely Hegel. Arguable Spinoza. Possibly Berkeley. Probably others, depending on how you want to split hairs. Most forms of idealism were grounded in "God". (Some of the related "Omega Point" ideas were spawned by a Jesuit.)

The simulation argument is a form secular idealism for realists: you can claim to be a realist who believes in an external, material world; it's just that the world that surrounds you is only an "idea" (data) in the "mind" (processors) of the real world.

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3D selfies? What could possibly go wrong?

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Re: Above the belt?

Mage is kinda right. You can run a lighting model backwards to infer the geometry of a scene without CNN special sauce. That pretty much astronomy, but people have been doing it with photos of daily life.

I think ML is just, in essence, deriving a more optimal model. Instead of a naive phong model it derives a complicated set of cases. Again, look at astronomy, where if a particular patch of light with a particular colour flashes in a particular way then we know it's distance. If the patches of light around it are a particular form, then they will be about the same distance away, and so on.

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El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes

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Re: I'd love

I'd love to apply, but one look at my comment history would bar me.

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It's high time we extend Freedom of Information Act to outsourcers

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I agree.

But the thought of an "International Conference of Information Commissioners" just made me laugh. It something about the rhythm of the words coupled with the alliteration.

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Ethereum-backed hackathon excavates more security holes

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Economics 2.0: the contract as a self-aware life-form. Aka businesses are people, dontchaknow.

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Has science gone too far, part 97: Boffins craft code to find protesters on social networks, rate them on their violence

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Re: The Minority Report

The Minority Report TV series was done far better with an AI in Person Of Interest.

But who will be our Hoodmaker?

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CCleaner targeted top tech companies in attempt to lift IP

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Re: I still don't understand how this happened

We'd all like to know how. They could have corrupted the source directly, corrupted the build processes, or patched and resigned the executable. But as security gets tighter, these kind of attacks are going to get more prevalent.

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Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

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The RISC OS drap and drop was really good. In all the years since, I've never seen it done half as well.

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Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

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Re: More AI hype

As Red Bull shows, you can be consistently in the top ten with Renault. And the McLaren does seem to have a nice chassis. But given Alonso's judgement, Honda will ace it next year and a Torro Rosso rookie will be fighting for the championship.

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Downloaded CCleaner lately? Oo, awks... it was stuffed with malware

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It's not an argument for or against it. If the build gets compromised, you're shafted.

Okay, manual updating will have reduced the number of people who installed the infected copy, and allowed the ultra-paranoid to avoid it. But it leaves a bunch of non-tech users completely unaware they have contaminated software. And those copies will remain infected until they're upgraded. At least those on automatic update now have a clean copy. And if they didn't run the infected copy, they're safe.

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The architecture for sharing tokens across blockchains promises traction

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I've recently bought some betamaxcoins. I think they'll be sire winners in the coin wars.

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Unloved Microsoft Edge is much improved – but will anyone use it?

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Re: Memory Utilisation

How much do you block? Because I can't get a browser near that level. The largest Chrome process I've got is 10meg; the rest are below that. Firefox might be eating a gig. But 10 gig?

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Weird white dwarf pulsar baffles boffins as its pulsating pattern changes over decades

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Re: a teaspoon ... would weigh 15 tons.

It won't matter. A properly calibrating "weighing machine" gives you the mass of the object being weighed.

But, obviously, if you use a balance calibrated for earth if will give a silly answer. And there are various caveats about relativity and non-inertial frames.

I'll leave you to write your own jokes.

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Boffins' satcomms rig uses earthly LEDs to talk to orbiting PV panels

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Terminator

Having read the paper...

The LEDs are only used for the downlink. (A 140W laser is used for the uplink.) They transmit using 1000 lumens worth of LEDs with a peak power of 140W and use lenses to focus the beam. It is reckoned it will emit a 19.9 dBW signal -- that's visual magnitude of 1, so naked eye visible under ideal conditions.

Those fins are a conventional aluminium heat sink. But the LEDs only transmit for 2min/orbit and then they let the heat dissipate. Radiation benefits from surface area every bit as much as convection, so perhaps.

The signal is received using a commercial 30cm telescope. Accounting for losses that's a -107.3 dBW signal giving a speed of 8.85E4 bit/s or 700 photons per bit. But they plan to use "deep learning" on both ends to develop a modulation scheme -- they haven't done so,.

They don't say much about the uplink to solar panels, referring to other work. But it uses a laser mounted on the receiving telescope.

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Pains of giving birth to stars gives heft to elliptical galaxies

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Linus Torvalds' lifestyle tips for hackers: Be like me, work in a bathrobe, no showers before noon

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Re: One word springs to mind

"usually involves somebody standing over you and pis....."

That's the pee-er to pee-er version.

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Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas

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Joke

Re: Because

"Yet more proof, if any was needed, that bean-counters kill basic research."

In their defence, have you seen the price of a CERN?

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Developer swings DMCA sueball at foul-mouthed streamer PewDiePie

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Re: Oh Really?

And not just streaming. Standing next to someone as they're gaming is infringing: you can use the DCMA to deport anyone in the same room without a blindfold. In fact, one gamer, playing outside, can have everyone in America not in a building, deported. I racial slur you not.

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

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Re: Extinct

"(yes, once you're familiar with Python this is less surprising)."

I'm more surprised when languages don't do that. Javascript and lua both do it, and PHP and perl quickly grew the ability to do it.

It's not just the performance -- references are a fundamental part of programming data structures and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've wanted to create a copy of an array (and all its subobjects, and all their subobjects...)

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As Hurricane Irma grows, Earth now lashed by SOLAR storms

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Indeed. "Crossed keys" is a valid defence in any English court of law.

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Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook

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So, for the mean to be 210 seconds, think how often some people must be checking it.

Which reminds me, I haven't checked my Facebook account in the last 10 seconds.

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Dear rioters: Hiding your face with scarves, hats can't fool this AI system

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It's okay, if the face recogniition fails...

....the gait analysis will succeed. It's just a question of which set of cheeks they match.

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Flying electric taxi upstart scores $90m from investors

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You also forgot to saw off the tail fin.

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

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Re: Semi visible text

Actually, I find black on white headache inducing. My text editor is light grey text on a blue field. If I have to read printed black text, I prefer the matt beige of a musty paperback to the glossy white of a text book. I seem to recall, back in the day, there was a lot of research to support this. (Although both are high contrast by modern standards.)

There's also the practical issue that white backgrounds use more power than black, which matters for mobile.

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Re: A serious question.

Each test image shows pictures of three anniversary wedding gifts: one for the first year's anniversary, one for the second, and one for the third. They're laid out like a glossy magazine advert. Each gift has a title, under which is a paragraph of descriptive text, and beneath that is a click-through link. In the low signifier version, the click-through link is not underlined and is the same colour and font size as the paragraph of text above it. In the high-signifier version, the links are a underlined and in a brighter blue. That's the scale of difference we're talking about. We're not talking about putting 3D buttons around the hyperlinks or the kind of design you're outlining.

You could pull apart the test in multiple ways. For example, the heat map shows the user looking at the title the most. So if the title had been hyperlinked, all would have been well. It was insisting users use a piddly hyperlink under the page was caused the problems.

But the design is more suspect than that. Because a shopper is not going to go, "You know what, I won't buy the second year's anniversary present this year, I'll buy the third." So it didn't need complicated exposition. It just needed to get the shopper to answer the question, "How many years have you been married?"

As for Windows, you'll have to ask the haters. I barely noticed the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 10. But I don't user Microsoft's dev tools or Office, so I'm not deeply exposed.

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Solaris update plan is real, but future looks cloudy by design

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Re: Sparc Emulator?

Why interpret it? Why not translate it into x86 on the fly?

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Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

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Re: It's not about saving you money, it's about enabling *green* energy

They inject green ink as it passes through the pipe or cable.

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Coat

Re: easy pickings

And the second rule of fishing for upvotes is to use a bigger internet.

Mine's the reticulated one, thanks.

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Crypto-busters reverse nearly 320 MEELLION hashed passwords

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"The hashes are already out there and that's all you need for real-time filtering."

All the hashes "out there" are using a busted hash algorithm you wouldn't want to use in a production system. (And a different algorithm will produce a different hash.)

You could, I suppose, hash it with the broken algorithms at the same time as computing the real hash, and then filter the list. But it's easier to just check it against the plain text before hashing.

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'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

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Re: Positive externality

"To reduce congestion you introduce road pricing."

We have such a system: it's called fuel duty.

Making it reflect the true cost of motoring would probably be economic suicide. It would likely price poor people out of cars, with the reduction in car sales and job losses in garages. It may be that "public" transport couldn't pick up the slack---outside the cities, there are plenty of places I can't get by train, bus or walking---so labour may dry up for a whole bunch of firms. And it would definitely drive inflation and make our goods more uncompetitive on the international stage.

But even if it did make economic sense, it's politically infeasible. We have said, as a society, we do not want motoring to reflect the true costs. We want the government to find other solutions.

Any anyway we're not, as far as I understand it, we're not giving this money to firms. We are spending money on testing to see whether it is safe, and what the legal parameters should be. That's not something that can be delegated to private firms; part of the legislative process is to research what is safe.

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Positive externality

Iff it reduces congestion, it will benefit other road users, as well as reducing spending on building and widening roads. Iff it reduces pollution, there's benefit to the people living near the road and it will, over time, reduce the costs of healthcare associated with breathing conditions.

So we can consider the narrow, selfish interest of individuals agents or the wider interests as the system as a whole.

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Fewer than half GCSE computing students got a B or higher this year

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Comprehension test

1. @anon asks, "Was your mother qualified in Computer Science..."

@argo writes, "My mother...started her career in the days before there was such a thing as a computer science degree."

Therefore, I think, we can safely deduce that, no, she wasn't qualified in Computer Science.

2. @anon continues speculating about things "Business Studies graduates" did "during the '90s".

There were most definitely Computer Science degrees in the 90s---I used to tutor a CS undergrad on the side---so I think we can say argo's mum predates the 90s, probably by decades.

So I think, anon, we'll award you an /A*/, where the * matches zero times.

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Trollface

Re: Isn't C supposed to be average?

"As were doing puns I thought it would be rude not to.[C++]"

I couldn't figure out how to do it with without restarting the C++ is better than C flame war. (It is. Obviously.)

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Isn't C supposed to be average?

"But we started with B, then C and now have D"

The mistake, here, was going to D instead of P

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