* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

3041 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Stanford Uni's intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: US courses are more modular

The big advantage of JavaScript is its low cost of entry. Notepad and a browser? You're ready to program.

So it's the BASIC of the 21st century? Fair enough, if we remember that the B stands for Beginner's.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Pascal had the same problem, great for teaching but crap for actually implementing"

Being able to set up a "jump table" in a high level language is a very efficient way to call such things

It's also a very easy way to send your program off into the weeds if you get it wrong, which is why Pascal (designed as language to teach good programming techniques) didn't have it. If you need such a thing (and yes, it can be useful) use a language that supports it natively, such as Pascal's successor Modula-2. Don't try & kludge it into one that was never designed to have it, that just leads to crappy, non-portable, undebuggable, code.

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Irish Stripe techie denied entry to US – for having wrong stamp in passport

Phil O'Sophical
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what the fuck do they expect you to write

They expect you to write "no", and then if they find out that you in fact were a terrorist they can just boot you out for lying on the immigration form. That's much quicker and simpler than a long and expensive civil rights court case to prove that you might still be a threat or otherwise undesirable, and should be deported.

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Dark times for OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source Solaris project

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: It was designed to fail

The only odd thing with Sun Solaris was that if you switched off the console the whole system shutdown.

That was because switching off a terminal was equivalent to sending a <BREAK> on the console serial port, and the default config for <BREAK> caused the system to drop to a boot prompt. It didn't shutdown, just halted, you could usually just type "go" to continue. Lots of workarounds for what was basically operator error, but the default was eventually changed, probably to limit the support calls.

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Uber sued by ex-Lyft driver tormented by app maker's 'Hell' spyware

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Unlike Lyft, Uber changes the tokens it uses..identify drivers, to prevent such tracking."

Which explains the UK's 3rd world bus service.

Have you ever taken a bus in the 3rd world? or in the US? UK buses may not be perfect, but they really aren't that bad..

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Exploding femtocells: No need for a full recall, says Vodafone

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Is it just me?

How does any of this stuff pass any safety tests? All electrical devices are supposed to be tested and certified by a qualified test house by the manufacturer or importer

In a word (or two): "self-certification".

Not worth the paper it (isn't) written on.

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SPY-tunes scandal: Bloke sues Bose after headphones app squeals on his playlist

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: $5M...

Yes, but if he'd asked for only $5 Bose might have paid and the story probably wouldn't be in El Reg. Ask for $5m, he might get $100k, but Bose gets some really bad publicity. Which I suspect was his aim.

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Data trashed? When RPO 0 isn't enough

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: RPO 0 is good, but...

One thing that many people forget when promising RPO 0 is that it's a double-edged sword.

True RPO 0 means that no data you write can be lost, i.e. it is always written safely to the secondary data centre as well as the primary. Implicit in that is a requirement that your secondary data centre must always be available. If it goes down, or offline (even for maintenance) any writes at the primary won't get saved at the secondary until it comes back and catches up, so you don't have RPO 0 during that period.

To put it another way, if you need to guarantee RPO 0, you have to halt primary site operation if the DR site isn't available. It makes the secondary site & network a single point of failure. Is that really what customers want?

As the article points out, you can get nearly to RPO 0 with 3-site solutions where data is written synchronously to a backup in the metro area, where speed-of-light latency is manageable, and parallel asynchonous replication to a distant 3rd site. Lots of banking organizations are doing this to meet regulatory rules. There are some clever tricks you can play with database log shipping so that you don't actually need 3 full copies of all data, one at each site. Even so, I'd be very wary of any salesman who promised me permanent RPO 0. It's a good sign that he doesn't understand what he's selling.

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Silicon Valley tech CEO admits beating software engineer wife, offered just 13 days in the clink

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Cuberon

Indeed. Compare with the Drupal case where a developer got dumped because of consensual BSDM roleplay, yet for the real, violent, thing this guy gets 13 days jail & apparently keeps his job?

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Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The brexit party is over

There is only one way to deal with the EU, take part, make it better, stop whining, it's a work in progress.

20 years of taking part has only confirmed that it will never change, and is a work in decline. Every time anyone highlights a problem the only response is "we just need 'more Europe', that will fix it". It's a pity that things have reached this stage, but right now the only way to fix it is to break it & start again with just common market & not a political/fiscal union, painful though that may be.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Who to choose?

So if it's tactical we have to vote Labour

If you assume that the UKIPpers vote Tory for the same reason it won't really change things no matter which way you vote, will it?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Trump congratulated Erdoğan

Making England grape again?

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Don't Blame Me...

Shirley acceleration would make them as bad as possible, as quickly as possible? Otherwise you're just a velocitist.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Workers

Workers

Never vote Tory

Working-class Tories are a lot more common than you might think, especially post-war and even more so in recent years (who else buys the Daily Fail?). The classic example is Alf Garnett, although I suspect if they could make 'Til Death Us Do Part now (which they couldn't, the BBC is far too PC) he'd probably be having a hard time deciding between UKIP and a Tory party with a female leader.

The most telling thing about that series was that Johnny Speight wrote him to be a figure of ridicule, and was siad to be quite upset that so many people identified with Garnett.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Poor is poor is poor.

Nor really. There's poor as in "I can only afford a second-hand Fiesta when my neigbours have BMWs", and poor as in "my children are cold and starving". There's even Dickensian poor, where the workhouse was the only option. We can never realistically hope to remove everyone from the first category, working to fix the others is of course important.

A country as rich as ours shouldn't have poor

It will always have poor, simply because we can't all be equal.

or at least should have something in place to give those in that situation the best chance to get out of that situation.

No argument there, and a good education system is paramount. You can't always make people take advantage of it, though.

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Phil O'Sophical
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I bolded the last one because it really is a WTF moment.

As in "WTF are you talking about"? Even CPAG, who have a vested interest in boosting the numbers, put it at 3.9m, and they define poverty as ".. lack resources to obtain the type of diet, participate in the activities and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, " which is what most authorities define as "relative poverty", rather than any absolute measure.

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US military makes first drop of Mother-of-All-Bombs on Daesh-bags

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Stupid bastards

With ISIS, I think people in Britain who could potentially be convinced to join them are slowly figuring out that (a) what ISIS does is incompatible with being a human being, and (b) joining ISIS will bring you in situations that are deeply unpleasant, just by being with them, and quite likely to kill you.

And that same realization by the communities that originally sympathized with the IRA is exactly what brought an end to their support as well. Those people realized that it wasn't a solution, and wasn't improving the world that their children would inherit. Even if they didn't like the political status quo, they had come to the conclusion that it had improved enough to be bearable while they talked to their neighbours about making it better.

It was always known that military intervention wouldn't help. When the Catholic civil rights marchers went to the then Home Secretary, Jim Callaghan, in 1968 and asked him to send the army in to give them the protection that the local police were not supplying, he famously commented "it's easy to send them in, it'll be the devil's own job to get them out again". A 30-year history lesson that Tony Blair failed miserably to learn.

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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Phil O'Sophical
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The thing is, the people who react with hostility are a relatively narrow set. They're people who: (a) currently use Windows, (b) know what a "version" is, (c) don't like the changes in W10.

Sadly true. Most of the people who use PCs think they run "Google" and that their browser is "the internet". They likely wouldn't know the difference between XP and W10, and they're Microsoft's primary target customers.

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Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: * Get it over with and read it.

I just need to understand my own place in the Sun.

As long as it's not Page 3...

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: But the real issue is

..Though the chocolate crucifix wasn't a big seller...

Too many people worried it will come back on them?

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

Phil O'Sophical
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Holy fucking shit $13k and the next model up is $18k

Ah, you get the cheap models...

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Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Shout through the letterbox

https://xkcd.com/1807/

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Blighty's £1.2bn space industry could lend itself to tourism – report

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Spaceport in the UK

Branson's own island is much closer to the equator than Prestwick, he could just build a launchpad there...

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Apple wets its pants over Swatch ad tagline

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Daft thing is ...

One wonders what would happen if you lost access to TehIntraWebTubes for a day or three ...

It's called "a vacation". Doesn't happen often enough.

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Oracle and Fujitsu SPARC up M12 big iron

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Liquid to vapor cooling

Like steam, really.

Clouds of it...

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Microsoft wants screaming Windows fans, not just users

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Uhm, right.... suuure.

Exactly. I signed up as an Insider to get W10 preview builds. Having previewed it I then gave up, but no doubt I'm still listed as a "participant".

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "“Have you ever heard of a Microsoft user group?”"

Microsoft User Group

That would be a MUG, yes? Seems apt.

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Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

Phil O'Sophical
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It'll be fine until some prat creates V2.0 and replaces the run levels with systemd

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Phil O'Sophical
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If it's IKEA the bulbs will be LED, they've stopped selling any other type. Still a good place for cheap bookcases, though.

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How Ford has slammed the door on Silicon Valley's autonomous vehicles drive

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Security ???

In fact the drivetrain-related modules run on a different frequency to the HVAC and ICE related frequencies, so a car's drivetrain modules won't even listen to its own ICE modules.

Except that the guys who hacked a jeep a few years ago were able to reload new firmware into the ICE module so that it acted more like an EMU and had full read/write access to some of the drivetrain modules that an EMU does.

Having software-defined differentiation of functionalities is not a replacement for a physical airgap.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Security ???

Indeed. Never mind "Imagine manipulating Spotify via your steering wheel controls", think about "Imagine someone manipulating your steering wheel controls via Spotify"

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: It's crazy, but it's very Miele

Our Bosch DW is about 12 years old, and no probs so far either.

If I were to type something like that, I would inevitably get home to find the kitchen flooded, and the glassware in small pieces.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Headmaster

I suspect you mean 1,400 rpm, not 14,000

And 10³ cc, not 10 cm³

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Who in the FUCK ...

people have asked for a dishwasher that can be turned on remotely,

And then they got home to find they'd forgotten to put any soap in, so they had to run it again. Their smart meter will then email them to warn then that running a dishwasher twice a day is wasteful.

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Trump's America looks like a lousy launchpad, so can you dig Darwin?

Phil O'Sophical
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the European Space Agency launches from French Guiana,

Not at the moment they don't. The whole country's called a general strike. Flights cancelled, no fuel deliveries to the airport, Kourou space centre is closed. Might be useful to have a backup location where the French national sport isn't so popular.

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Blinking cursor devours CPU cycles in Visual Studio Code editor

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: The solution -

vi

My fingers still have EDT keypad commands ingrained in them. I even have a customized version of microemacs where they work.

Mine's the anorak with the PDP11 in the (large) pocket.

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Disney plotting 15 more years of Star Wars

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Who is Hans Solo?

He is Han's German half-brother.

Pal of Vladimir Kuryakin, whose Dad used to work with their Uncle Napoleon.

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Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: A question

What is the cause/mechanism that gives 'never drinkers' a worse outcome than moderate drinkers?

I've seen other studies that relate it to your social situation. Moderate drinkers tend to drink in company, enjoying time with friends, and it's that social relaxation that's good for you.

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Airplane bomb fears spark America's laptop, tablet carry-on ban

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Terror intel sparks... cabin ban.

Yes if you're an American, you have the constitutional right to bear ARMs.

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Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Dont fly Emirates/Etihad/Turkish/etc...

US to Saudi or UAE must be popular business routes? Or am I assuming that there is trade when there isn't that much?

They're very popular connecting points for airlines flying between India and the US. It's one way to limit H1-B visas, I suppose.

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Phil O'Sophical
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No need for actual bombs

The TSA are doing the terrorists' job for them. No need to actually do anything, just suggest it and the department of Homeland Nannying will inconvenience everyone for you. They'll soon be asking us to strip off and put disposable gowns on before we're allowed on a plane.

If I can't have my laptop safely with me, and my Kindle available on the flight, I'm not flying. Let's see how long US business can afford that sort of inconvenience for their travelling employees.

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Fix crap Internet of Things security, booms Internet daddy Cerf

Phil O'Sophical
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demonstrating that car seatbelts were worth paying for,

The IoT, unsafe at any speed? Ralph Nader's still around, I think...

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Europe will fine Twitter, Facebook, Google etc unless they rip up T&Cs

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Long overdue

Can we trust them?

That's the wrong question. It should be can we trust Westminster politicians more than Brussels ones? I do, if only because they have more skin in the game when an election comes around.

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User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

Phil O'Sophical
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jam

attempting to type 'N' produced it and the letter B.

Well, at least give the user some credit. Their password obviously wasn't "Password1"

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Van Allen surprise: fewer nasty particles than NASA expected

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: "Houston...we have a problem"

sent a dozen humans to the moon and back without apparent ill health due to radiation

They just zipped though the VA belts on the way, I think NASA is more concerned about craft like satellites that spend their life orbiting within the belts.

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Canonical preps security lifeboat, yells: Ubuntu 12.04 hold-outs, get in

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Poetterix beckons

It is just different from the old system.

Indeed. The old system was simple and stable, systemd is overcomplex, buggy & flakey.

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Headphone batteries flame out mid-flight, ignite new Li-Ion fears

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Selfish reason

It's described as a "China - Australia" flight, so maybe an Alibaba-special "bargain" bought in the duty free before departure?

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Brit infosec's greatest threat? Thug malware holding nation's devices to ransom – report

Phil O'Sophical
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Look at Volkswagen.

I'm not sure I'd use VW as an example of how that works, though.

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Phil O'Sophical
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paying developers to write secure code might mean a gadget is late to market and costly. Ultimately though, insecure products will lead to greater attacks.

There's one fix to that. Make the manufacturers financially liable for their security holes, so that proper security is cheaper.

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Tesla, Atlassian told to go through front door in effort to save Australian industrial civilisation

Phil O'Sophical
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Re: Tax payers won't be slugged.

They didn't say it would be their budget surpluses.

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