* Posts by Suricou Raven

1384 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

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Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Suricou Raven
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Soft border?

Everyone wants a soft border. But the single biggest issue driving the leave vote was immigration - legal, illegal, and asylum. If you have a soft border, how is that going to change? Anyone wanting to sneak into the country need only get themselves as far as the RoI as a visitor and can then simply stroll across the border. Ferry to the mainland after optional. The pro-exit forces are going to be very unhappy when they realise just how easy it remains to get in.

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US copyright law shake-up: Days of flinging stuff on the web and waiting for a DMCA may be over

Suricou Raven
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Re: Lawyers arguing for money over sound and light waves

I've had three takedowns.

One was actual infringement - of a cartoon from 1928, which at the time was not available through legitimate channels, and which I'd used to practice by video restoration skills.

The second was for a piece of music which, I am absolutely certain, was public domain. It was the backing music for another cartoon, this one predating sound, and contemporary with it. This one was picked up by youtube's automatic music identification thing, on behalf of a collecting agency who had purchased the rights to that piece back when it was actually under copyright, and later inserted the lot into youtube's filters without regard for if it had expired or not. It's interesting that youtube has no procedures in place to handle this situation: You cannot file a complaint or request a review, such an option is just not available in the drop-down box.

The third was a textbook case of fair use in which I used a few short clips, totaling maybe thirty seconds, from a pokemon episode in order to make fun of certain scenes which could be interpreted in ways the producers did not intend. The entire episode had been uploaded by several other youtube accounts without consequence, so I think my vulgar humor may have offended someone at the studio personally.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: *Sigh*

Accessible, affordable and convenient legal options do seriously reduce piracy rates. I'm part of the piracy community, and I've seen first hand the effect that Netflix and Steam have had. It's cost us a lot of members.

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

Suricou Raven
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Re: The real problem?

And do what about it? Declare cyber-war? Fire the nukes?

There's only one thing which can be done, and that is what is being done: Try to improve security, send a strongly-worded letter via the UN condemning the hacks, ignore the inevitable denials, and maybe impose some sanctions that will make the common people miserable but do nothing to harm those who are in charge.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Noobs

The last time Russia decided to invade a country they did so by first using some highly skilled political manipulations and organised propaganda campaigns. When the need for military action came the ground was so well-prepared that their troops were able to simply stroll into Crimea with barely a shot fired - and officially still in a state where there was no formal war and their presence could be denied. Faced with a lack of support from the rest of Ukraine due to the aforementioned political manipulations the defenders mostly surrendered, allowing Russia to secure control with a minimum of resources expended. They then proceeded to establish a government effective enough to maintain peace, and embarked on a well-run campaign to win the support of the people through both open means such as investment in infrastructure and more repressive means including controlling the media and ensuring critics of the new regime were removed from positions of influence.

Now compare that to the total clusterfuck that was the US's invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sorry, but while I have to oppose Russia on the grounds of being an oppressive tyranical regime bent on world domination, I still must admit: They are *good* at it.

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

I wouldn't call Wikileaks a Russian front. More a convenient tool.

Wikileaks exists in part to reveal state secrets to the common people. Russia knows that often, making sure their right secret leaks is to their advantage.

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KickassTorrents kicked out again, this time by Australia

Suricou Raven
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Re: In related news...

If God's Not Dead 2 can turn a profit, it can't be that hard to finish in the black - though not on paper, for tax reasons.

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It's a question worth asking: Why is the FCC boss being such a jerk?

Suricou Raven
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Re: Bigger Government is never the answer

"When you enable packet prioritization for a fee, for example, so long as it only marginally affects the normal flow of unprioritized traffic, the ISPs can use the extra revenue to improve their services overall (which they will)"

No, they won't, because if their non-priority traffic is a good enough service then why would anyone pay for priority? It creates a perverse incentive, in which ISPs soon realise it is in their best interests to refrain from upgrading their network in order to protect the prioritisation revenue.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Bigger Government is never the answer

Government is a tool. Free market economics is also a tool. Simply doing nothing can also be a tool, of a sort. You must pick the appropriate tool to use for each specific problem.

You don't get far if you rule out the use of a specific tool for ideological reasons. You can take a screw out with pliers if you have to, but a screwdriver works a lot better.

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Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

Suricou Raven
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Re: Kids and pr0n

It'll be worse than that.

In the olden times, it was not unknown for teenagers at school to swap a few naughty magazines.

Now imagine them swapping 64GB USB sticks.

That's a lot of smut - and they can be copied, so the collection will be constantly growing.

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Suricou Raven
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It won't cost them much. ISPs already have censorship systems in place - they are required for the voluntary* child abuse imagery blocks (BT calls it 'cleanfeed') and to block websites which are subject to a court blocking order. It would not be difficult to just add another set of entries to the list. They can group together to establish an industry body that processes complaints and generates the block list collectively.

*Parliament made it quite clear that if any major ISP doesn't voluntary comply, legislation will be introduced make it no-so-voluntary.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Age verification

"To verify your age, please identify the following 90s cartoon characters."

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Suricou Raven
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Re: The Ruling Class

It's getting too late for that now. It could have worked if it was put in place a few years ago, when almost everything on the internet was cleartext. But these days? Encryption is the default for a lot of things. Including this forum. Including all major websites, and most applications too. If you block everything that can't be read, you break the internet to a point that, even in a repressive state, the angry users are going to be a problem.

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Suricou Raven
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Organised crime? How? The legal porn industry can barely make any money off of it these days - no-one pays any more, and advertising money is hard to come by when all the big networks shun the industry. There's no way that organised crime can compete with free, and no reason they'd want to.

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Linux Mint-using terror nerd awaits sentence for training Islamic State

Suricou Raven
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Re: Low tech

Hamas does, but their missiles are not very well guided. Israel has a defense system, but the first thing it does is estimate where an incoming missile is going to come down and ignore all the ones that are just going to hit some empty desert or mountain.

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Don't listen to the doomsayers – DRM is headed for the historical dustbin, says Doctorow

Suricou Raven
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Re: Convenience is the enemy of intrusive DRM.

There are some DRM schemes that work so well that the user doesn't even notice them. Steam comes to mind - DRM, user identification for policing multiplayer games, recommendations and download market all seamlessly integrated.

I do note that all major Steam games can also be torrented though, so obviously it's not an entirely effective DRM system.

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Republicans want IT bloke to take fall for Clinton email brouhaha

Suricou Raven
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The emails have already been gone over. She never sent or received anything classified at the time. There were a few things which were later retroactively classified, but that's about it. A bit of government business discussed, but only at the very vague level of making appointments and directing people to contact her through official channels.

Some of it might technically be illegal, but it's not the treasonable offense that her opponents keep claiming.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: I'm ignorant! But I'm commenting anyway!

Remember that even before the primary campaign starts, the majority of voters have already decided who to vote for: The D or the R. Party loyalties go back generations. They are part of cultural identity, and they are largely unshakable.

That's why a key part of any campaign isn't just to win the undecided voters to your side, it's also to make sure those who already support your party are sufficiently enthused to actually go down to the polling station and do the vote thing.

Plus, as should never be forgotten, Trump actually got fewer votes than Hillary. He won only because of the electoral collage, a system which was established for the sole purpose of ensuring that certain states (ie, mostly southern states with lower population density) would have an influence upon the election disproportionate to their number of voters. He won according to the rules that constitution lays out, but those rules are arcane relics from a time long-past.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Bah!

You are judging by European standards. To us, Fox is extreme right wing. But by American standards, it's merely right-wing, no extreme. Everything is shifted.

The extreme right-wing are the ones upset that Trump isn't trying to expel all Muslims from the country like he promised, and stockpiling guns and ammo for the time when Obama's secret army rises up, overthrows the government and starts trying to round up Christians for the gas chambers. They are pretty nuts.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: He should take the fall

Trump using twitter is government business now. He uses it to publicly announce policy positions.

Imagine if someone hacked Trump's phone and got access to the twitter account. What fun could they have? They could swing the stock market however they wanted with ease. They could embarrass the country on a whim. Or just go all-out and announce the US was initiating an immediate invasion of North Korea, then sit back and eat popcorn as they watch NK immediately start shelling Seoul into a smoking crater.

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Come celebrate World Hypocrisy Day

Suricou Raven
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Re: It ought to be.

Micky is a work-for-hire, not a work of individual authorship, which means in the US and most other countries (though not the UK) it's a fixed term. For the US, ninety-five years from publication.

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Canada says yes to net neutrality – and no to Trump advisor, eh?

Suricou Raven
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America tried that back in 1812. They lost.

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Peer pressure, not money, lures youngsters into cybercrime – report

Suricou Raven
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Game modding?

Game modding, as it involves learning actual technical skills and applying them in a non-economically-productive manner, is now considered a gateway to becoming an internet criminal.

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Stop asking people for their passwords, rights warriors yell at US Homeland Security

Suricou Raven
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What about those of us who don't use Facebook?

Do I have to spend two hours convincing some guard that really, I'm not holding back, I really do have no accounts on social media? Such s claim might be met with disbelief these days.

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Official science we knew all along: Facebook makes you sad :-(

Suricou Raven
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Re: Interesting research

It's worth noting that, prior to the iPad, there had already been numerous portable ultra-portable computing devices. The Psions, iPaqs, even the old Newton. All of which were either dismal failures, or saw adoption only among the tech-loving market or executives looking to show off their business toys. At the time the iPad was introduced, it was reasonable to view it as a risky venture - another attempt to do what had failed many times before. Apple's success was down to a combination of improved technology allowing for a better product and a business model which ensured the product would be at least somewhat useful for the mass market buyer.

Most successful products are foreshadowed by a series of failures, which the designers of the successful product then learn from.

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Trump's govt hiring freeze means there's no US Privacy Shield chief: We tracked down the woman filling in for now

Suricou Raven
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Other possibility.

She'll spend weeks on delicate negotiations, then the government will finally get things in gear, appoint an official replacement, and said replacement will then throw it all away in an instant in favor of some policy more aligned with the current American dogma that all regulation is evil.

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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

Suricou Raven
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Re: Brilliant

Hybrid. Diesel engines and batteries. The diesel engines could only run on the surface, as they needed a lot of air, so they'd be used to charge up the batteries. Then when it was time to go stealthy, they'd switch to batteries and dive. They could also run a lot faster on the surface. WWII subs actually didn't go underwater very much - it was only for stealth and attacking, due to the limited dive duration and the reduction in speed.

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Suricou Raven
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Oh, it'll take off just fine. The issue is keeping it in the air for more than ten minutes.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Reality check time?

No, but just as bad - batteries. Batteries have awful energy-to-mass ratios when compared to good old flammable liquids.

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Payday lender Wonga admits to data breach

Suricou Raven
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They can try. These are Wonga customers - most of them are going to be in overdraft already, otherwise they'd be using that rather than going to Wonga.

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Is this a solution to Trump signing away your digital privacy? We give Invizbox Go a go

Suricou Raven
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Re: Comparison

"I'd hazard a guess someone's got a PHP way for you to HTTPS into a web page and have the server grab the resulting page you type into an address bar in the page"

You mean a CGI proxy. Common services, funded by the adverts they insert into the page - much beloved by school students, as they can be used to get around the web filter and access games. I won't link any here, but it's about thirty seconds on google to find one. I'm sure the free ones log everything though.

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After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

Suricou Raven
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Re: But but but....

It might include a few useful common-sense suggestions, but nothing that a few minutes thinking wouldn't. Like the importance of renting a big, heavy vehicle, rather than trying to crush people in a smartcar.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: History - repeating itself

"This sort of shit, blowing up people, mowing people down in cars because of a religion didn't exist 15 years ago."

Ah, we have young 'un here! Do the letters I-R-A mean anything to you? Their violence had both religious and political dimensions.

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Suricou Raven
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Simple solution:

1. Wait for self-driving car tech to improve a little more. It's almost there.

2. Mandate that all cars include, by law, a front-mounted camera that will halt the car if it's about to hit a pedestrian, and which cannot be turned off.

3. Enjoy a new generation of drivers complaining that their car won't start because the garage is too dark and the camera thinks someone put tape over the lens.

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Alabama joins anti-web-smut crusade with mandatory opt-out filters

Suricou Raven
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Just spotted more idiocy.

It actually gets a lot worse. If you read the law itsself, you can see that it's really badly written - due to some very broad definitions within the law, it's scope is actually far, far wider than you might think.

"Section 2. (a) On and after January 1, 2018, a person may not sell a device unless it contains an active filter that blocks or restricts Internet access to sites containing any of the following: Blah"

Look up the definitions.

"DEVICE. A cellular telephone, computer, data communications device, or other product manufactured, distributed, or sold in this state that provides Internet access."

"DATA COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE. An electronic device that receives electronic information from one source and transmits or routes it to another, including, but not limited to, any such bridge, router, switch, or gateway."

So it's not just computers and phones. It includes every bridge, router, switch and gateway, by the above definitions contained within the proposed law. Devices for which it is impossible to install a filter. Nor can the manufacturer simply pay the $20 it's-not-a-tax-really on the user's behalf: The user needs to request in writing that the filter, which does not exist, be deactivated first.

Oh, and it gets worse.

"COMPUTER. An electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions and includes any data storage facility or communications facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device. The term includes: Any online service, Internet service, or local bulletin board; any electronic storage device, including a floppy disk or other magnetic storage device;"

Congratulations, Alabama. You have a law which, if passed, will impose a one-year jail term for anyone who sells a blank USB stick. Ten years if to a minor.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Now watch Alabama's taxes dry up.

The online retailers can simply withdraw all their operations from Alabama. It's already common practice to locate the business in whichever states offer the lowest tax rate, regardless of where the goods are bought or sold.

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Suricou Raven
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Ridiculous.

So a retailer provides a device, and now becomes liable for a fine of $500 for every porn site on the internet that their filter fails to block? That's one hell of a fine.

If this passes - which it may well, because Alabama works hard to maintain its reputation - then it's just going to be tied up in court for years. Once it gets out of that, no retailer in the state is going to be able to risk selling computers, phones or games consoles any more - unless they have the big pockets to defend themselves in court. You'll see a lot more people buying from Amazon - and no Amazon warehouses in Alabama.

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Carnegie-Mellon Uni emits 'don't be stupid' list for C++ developers

Suricou Raven
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Re: Good advice but

C is a powerful and dangerous language. The ability to manipulate memory at such a low level without any form of bounds checking makes it one of the fastest languages around - which is why C and C++ remain the language of choice for any situation where performance is absolutely critical.

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Tip for darknet drug lords: Don't wear latex gloves to the post office

Suricou Raven
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Re: Progress

There's a sampling bias here: The less-competent the criminal, the greater the chance of getting caught. You hear about this one because he made a stupid mistake, but you don't hear about his rival drug dealer who uses full-device encryption and does not wear latex gloves to the post office.

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The priest, the coder, the Bitcoin drug deals – and today's guilty verdicts

Suricou Raven
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Re: Insert Title Here

It's a public ledger, but determining who owns any specific address is tricky - and bordering on impossible if the owner is trying to hide it, as it's trivial to run it through a few shell addresses, tumblers and gambling sites.

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Oxford Uni boffins say internet filters probably won't protect teens

Suricou Raven
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Re: Block Facebook & Twitter

Facebook is for the parents. Twitter still has some youth appeal. Snapchat is very big in the teen demographic. Instagram, whatsapp, but certainly not facebook any more. And pretty much no-one of any age uses google+.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Anon for reasons - Basically to avoid the SJW'ers

"Unfortunately, violence (and more generally degradation, humiliation and objectification) towards women is pretty much the norm for internet sex; pleasure doesn't really seem to enter into (not even for the men)."

Porn is an industry built on niches and targeted appeal. No matter what your taste, there exists a site somewhere that will fill it. It is simply that violence and degradation are popular subjects, and so made in corresponding quantity. If you put a little effort into searching you will have no trouble finding something a bit more acceptable.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Anon for reasons - Basically to avoid the SJW'ers

"I walk in to your room without a bra on ( . Y . )".

You're not going to get any action with a half-arsed pose like that. Put some effort into it, show that you can at least write decently.

---

Suricou approaches, and joins you upon the sofa - not to sit, but instead to fall over backwards over the arm and land forcefully sprawled across it with the cushions softening her landing. She shifts herself along until she can rest her head in your lap and look up towards you. Comfortable there, in that casual closeness. A little more shifting gets her feathers safely flattened, and her feet hanging over the end of the sofa with those long bird toes curled in the air. "Much better."

---

If you're going to do it, do it with pride.

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Suricou Raven
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Showing each other disgusting pics to observe the reaction is a favourite teenage pasttime.

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US Marine Corps chiefs declare WAR on stolen sex snap sharing scum

Suricou Raven
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Bah. This will be spun politically.

I've already seen one column arguing this proves that women should not be allowed in the military.

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Engineer who blew lid on Uber's toxic sexist culture now menaced by creepy 'smear campaign'

Suricou Raven
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Re: Well without a doubt UBER is paying for it

Not necessarily. Yes, it might be Uber - but there are also a lot of nasty people on the internet, especially in these politically divided times.

I can easily imagine some people digging up dirt for fun. People with a certain cartoon frog on their desktop, who declare that she is 'salty' and revel in 'feminist tears.'

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Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

Suricou Raven
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Re: HTFU? - people have taken saws to PCI-e cards

In my experience, some are not all. This is true for desktops. I can't say for servers because I've only worked with a very small number of models.

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Pulsating white dwarf described as a 'dynamo' found, no, not in the back pages, 380 LY away

Suricou Raven
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Re: Earth's location is mapped

If they can play that record, they probably aren't coming.

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'Celebgate' nudes thief gets just nine months of porridge

Suricou Raven
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Nothing too unusual here.

Guilty plea often means a comparatively light sentence. It's if you profess innocence and force the prosecutors to go to trial that they will throw the book at you. A lot of innocent people end up pleading guilty on the advice of their lawyer because they'd rather accept a few months in prison than crippling legal costs and ten times as long inside if they lose anyway.

I'm expecting this case to be cited by politicians in future as proof that pornography is addictive and damaging, and the government has to step in and censor the internet to protect people from it.

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President Donald Trump taken on by unlikely foe: Badass park rangers

Suricou Raven
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Re: About time

"He can't be any worse than Democrats, who overlooked Obama's record on drone strikes (ten times as many as Dubya), Wall Street fraud (fewer prosecutions), and use of the espionage act to intimidate whistle-blowers (he's used it more than any other president in US history)."

I disagree: Trump will be worse, and I am confident of that because I am in no doubt he will continue with just as many drone strikes, just as few fraud prosecutions, and probably even more intimidation of whistle-blowers.

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