* Posts by Suricou Raven

1501 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Berkeley Lab proposes 4D clock

Suricou Raven
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Interesting mathmatics, but not a practical clock.

Heisenburg says no.

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Google acts against prostitution app after complaints from Congress

Suricou Raven
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The 'tell-tale signs' of trafficked victims?' What exactly might those be, that they can be spotted just from advertising?

Surely it couldn't be National Association of Attorneys General, an organisation composed entirely of polticians, might be shouting 'trafficking!' at the slightest excuse in order to give its members a political boost? Their full letter provides no more of an explanation.

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iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

Suricou Raven
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Lightning?

The one advantage that the dock connector had over the standard-for-every-other-phone micro-USB was the analog audio and control channels for accessories. And now no analog audio. So they might as well have just gone to micro-USB.

So why didn't they?

Start the conspiracy theories here. Mine is very simple: They like all those iphone-exclusive accessories, even the third-party ones, and would hate to see them turn into accessories that will take any manufacturer's phone.

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Australian tabloid decides to fight trolls ... with trolls

Suricou Raven
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It's just like everything else in society then.

It's only a crime when the little people do it.

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UK kids' charity lobbies hard for 'opt-in' web smut access

Suricou Raven
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Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

If a kid can figure out how to do that, they can handle the porn.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Im so sick and tired of the word twisting...

When politicians call it 'opt-in' now, I can't even tell if they mean 'opt in to the filtering' or 'opt in to the porn.'

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Suricou Raven
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Re: How hard is this really

Followed by The Parents coming round to visit, curiously checking if the connection is pron-enabled and commencing a huge row with the offspring they now regard as a deviant pervert.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Title should've been

The test to see if the censorware works is obvious: You go to sex.com, and see if it works.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: accidentally find smut

I've never seen any real evidence that the 'awful, awful stuff' is really damaging. Distressing for a while, yes. It can send the kids running to Mummy and give them nightmares for a while. But lasting psychological trauma? No. I don't think children are that delicate that a few images are going to ruin them, and I shall continue to think so until I get to see some credible (ie, not-from-a-pressure-group) child psychologists show that this happens in more than a tiny minority of cases.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

'I presume you actually mean "all OSs..."'

Politicians. I doubt they know the difference.

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Lawyers: We'll pillory porn pirates who don't pay up

Suricou Raven
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Re: Arkell v Pressdram 1971

You want to start a lawyering fight with a law firm? I think they might have a slight advantage there. Even if your arguments are infinitely better, they can still make the case drag on for a decade and cost you several times your lifetime earnings.

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Windows 7 hotspot hacker turns to software bonding

Suricou Raven
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You could do it if you used a computer somewhere on the internet as a relay. It's let you pool bandwidth effectively, but at the cost of latency.

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Disney sitcom says open source is insecure

Suricou Raven
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Re: Guys, I think you're missing the point...

Disney does know this. They made an episode of The Proud Family dedicated to telling children that if you download music illegally you ruin artists, collapse the economy and will end up with a SWAT team smashing your door down and arresting you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eP_i2ZBqYo <-- Here's the proof, if you can stand to watch the horror that is Disney's idea of children's programming.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: the best bollox i ever saw was:

I've seen similar stunts pulled in an anime, Battle Programmer Shirase. Except they knew it was utterly ridiculous, and played all their hacking as comedy.

My personal favorate is from Sliders, because it shows the writers actually admit that they know how silly this is. In the episode, a political scandal is broken by taking an image from a TV broadcast. The hacker character then does the 'enhance' thing by zooming in on a wine glass and attempting to process the hidden reflection into a view of the room behind the camera. So far, so standard. But then another character points out that they 'are limited by the resolution of the image.' Our hacker responds: "Only if it's a bitmap. If it's a JPEG, we're only limited by how lossy the compression is." A few seconds later up pops the behind-camera image, crystal clear. Even the writers felt they need to offer some excuse as to how that would be possible. A poor excuse, but an excuse.

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Suricou Raven
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Attributable to incompetance.

Disney is certainly not above using it's childrens' programs for political or social campaigning - there is a somewhat infamous episode of The Proud Family which starts with a character being lured into a pirate music site called 'E Z Jackster' (this was back during the Napster days) by a shady dealer and ends with a SWAT team smashing the house door down to arrest her for copyright infringement.

However, in this case, any attempt at attacking open source was so ineptly done that I can only conclude it was unintentional. Lazy writer with no idea what he was talking about. It's also a mixed message, because aside from the Pixar release the begining of Tron Legacy contains some elements of open-source idealism, with our noble protagonist breaking into a transparent Microsoft substitute to steal the code to their latest OS and release it free onto the internet (With the required action movie breaking-and-entering and absailing off a building involved).

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eBay invites mystic wrath over ban on spells, potions and lotions

Suricou Raven
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Re: Can anyone tell me

Where were all those psychics on 9/11? You might think that a major event like that would cause *some* disturbance in the force.

Maybe any who saw it coming were sensible enough not to come forward, knowing they would likely be declared a suspect and be disappeared to an overseas prison camp for some extralegal interrogation.

A sensible psychic would just happily win the lottery and then confine their ability to predicting the questions at the next pub quiz.

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AntiLeaks group claim responsibility for WikiLeaks attacks

Suricou Raven
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Re: Who really cares how allegedly secret documents are leaked ...

Anyone knowledgeable enough to launch the attack will know that they cannot hope to keep any leaked information locked away forever. This can only lead to two obvious conclusions.

- Either they are just trying to buy time on some particular leak, slowing the release long enough to perform their damage control and find the source of the leak.

- Or they are, as they claim, politically motivated - they don't want to stop any specific leak, just to harm wikileaks by forcing them to spend as much money as is possible on counter-DDoS measures and hosting.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Depressing

Not the first one by any means. People feel very strongly about political matters, and easily form like-minded groups. It's a common occurance for activists to get together online and go on a campaign to further their rightous (as they see it) cause. Sometimes via DDoS or hacking, sometimes via coordinated trolling, sometimes by social media manipulation (The DiggPatriots, who worked out how to game the Digg algorithm). It's just an extension of offline protesting: Sometimes it involves a peaceful picketing, sometimes a disruption of a business by blockadeing the enterance, and sometimes those logging machines just look like they could use a few cups of sand in the oil tank.

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Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Suricou Raven
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Makes no difference,

Every cat owner will insist that *their* cat is different, and would never hurt a fly. People get very attached to pets, both individual pets and just pets in more general concept. It's an irrational type of attachment that defies all attempt at argument.

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Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

Suricou Raven
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Re: Linux on a stick

Quite possible. Also, Apple is one of the few companies around that likes Lots and Lots of Pixels. Performance is very much of importance when you're trying to draw frames at high resolutions.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: M$

Vista destroyed the search functionality, and MS never even admitted it.

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Suricou Raven
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Of course they don't like MS right now. Valve has Steam: A successful, popular infrastructure for application marketing, distribution, updating and DRM. Now Microsoft is going to bring in their own marketplace: An infrastructure for application marketing, distribution, updating and DRM. Which will instantly be a huge hit, because it comes bundled with the operating system. That puts Valve in the position once occupied by Netscape, or Winamp: They have a decent product, but Microsoft is about to become their competitor, and no matter how good your product you can't compete with Microsoft and their bundling advantage. For the Steam division, it's a bet-the-company moment: Either try to survive as a niche market beside the incoming Microsoft giant, or try to move into a niche where Microsoft has no interest or advantage. Like linux.

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Microsoft 'didn't notice' it had removed Browser Choice for 17 months

Suricou Raven
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Re: Mac's seem to dodge this - antitrust?

Antitrust only applies when a company holds and abuses a dominant market share in specific ways, such as using it to unfairly gain advantage in another market. In this case, Microsoft dominated (still does) the desktop operating system market, and unfairly used that dominance to give themselves a massive advantage in the browser market (Still a market, even if they are all free!) by bundling IE with Windows and thus ensuring it would be installed on almost all PCs. Apple do not hold sufficient market share in the desktop sector to have power to abuse. They can't even make it to 50% on smartphones, where they are the big success story.

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Suricou Raven
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The EC finally sorted the brower wars, after microsoft had won.

Now maybe they can do something about Microsoft's attempts to block linux with secure boot, refusal to support any video codecs they don't own patents for, their likewise policy on filesystems to promote their patent-covered and restrictively-licensed ExFAT, the ASF format license that only permits saving in ASF format, and all of the hundred other things they do to make life harder for their competitors. Shouldn't take more than twenty years or so to get through the legal system.

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Olympus MEG4.0 smart glasses will photoshop the REAL WORLD

Suricou Raven
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App ideas:

- Facial recognition cue: Now you don't need to remember the names of your coworkers and clients, as they appear in your HUD every time you look at them.

- Nudievision: The illusion that all women are naked.

- Anti-nudievision: The illusion that all ugly women are wearing burqas.

- Family finder: Shows direction indicators to those in your group, for locating lost children in crowds.

- Web browser: For reading The Register at work.

- Adblocker: All billboards and advertising flyers removed from vision.

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Metro, that ribbon, shared mailboxes: Has Microsoft lost the plot?

Suricou Raven
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Re: As always,

I think he shouldn't have been fired. But then, I *want* Microsoft to fail. It is not good for one company to define an industry.

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Move over Raspberry Pi, give kids a Radio Ham Pi - minister

Suricou Raven
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Re: Computer club

Four of them: A counter, a chip of NAND gates to reset the counter when it reaches six, an adder (the counter does 0-5, the adder makes that into 1-6) and a seven-segment decoder (with latch). The final part was to be the astable, but we ran out of term-time before that bit was done. Used a mini-siggen for testing purposes. They also watched me build a power supply (Battery, regulator, MCB, caps, USB port) to run it, but couldn't build that part themselves because it needed the soldering iron for almost everything.

During the upcoming holiday I will be moving the die from breadboard to stripboard (again, they can't use the iron) for display purposes.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Computer club

That's what I'm trying to do - I'm in IT support at a school. But I am running into two problems: I am not good at teaching, and the students are inattentive and uninterested. I do not have the skill to keep them focused or inspire them. They all went into the club wanting to build a big robot-wars-style robot, and it's clear to them as well as me that they won't be ready for that for a long time. It took many weeks to build a simple electronic dice. They really did build it though - not just assemble a kit, but make it all from 4000 series chips on breadboard. Most of the schematic was my design, but they put it together, reading pinout diagrams from datasheets.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Not as good idea as it sounds...

One of these?

http://www.electronickits.com/kit/complete/science/mx906.htm

I searched for 'electronics spring kit' and found a few such things. I remember one too. I also remember designing my own circuits before I had gotten the concept of current limiting resistors and blowing every LED on the thing. The first circuit I designed was a relay oscillator driving the audio transformer as a step-up and source of extra inductance. Good for shocking my sister.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Not as good idea as it sounds...

No, it's poke-your-friend-with-the-soldering-iron. I actually teach a group of children electronics once a week, in an after-school club, and I have two observations:

- They are all thick as two short planks.

- They have the combined attention span of a goldfish.

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Suricou Raven
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The CVBS video signal used by most DVD players to send the picture to the TV is based upon radio modulation technology. It's the only way to cram three color channels into one signal. Once you move from DVD to blu-ray, HDMI takes its place and the radio legacy is gone.

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Disable Gadgets NOW says Redmond

Suricou Raven
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Re: the moaning bandwagon must be close to capacity...

I have a complaint: The search is very unpredictable! It's also laggy for me, because it covers some spun-down drives. Whenever I use it, I find I have to wait for the spinup before Windows presents the result I seek.

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Suricou Raven
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Executing code from untrustworthy places can be dangerous?

I guess we can all thank Microsoft's newest employee, Captain Obvious.

This isn't even a security flaw - it's the gadget stuff doing what it's supposed to. Just because Microsoft calls them gadgets doesn't mean they stop being programs. Still, I don't think many people ever used them. It does sound plausible that MS is killing them off though as part of their shift to Metro, with it's increased use of web-based HTML5/javascript rather than native code.

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Indian software pirating suspect faces US extradition

Suricou Raven
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Piracy or counterfeiting?

I don't trust the source to make any distinction, but to the still-evolving 'internet morality' it's very important. If he was just burning discs and labeling them with a marker pen for low price, that is piracy and not really objectionable, but if he was doing them with labels, boxes and manuals to pass them off as a genuine product with support from the vendor than that would be fraud and the internet will give him no sympathy.

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Religious wars brewing in ICANN gTLD expansion

Suricou Raven
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Re: rewire the brain

I'm guessing he doesn't look at any. But he has people who told him about it, and they heard from others, who heard from others, who looked at some themselves. At each stage, only the juiceiest and most scandalous stories get passed on... like a concentrator.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: proven to rewire the brain - and that's a fact bitch

The argument from poor design says that the human body could not have been designed by a perfect creator, because it's full of really obviously stupid mistakes. Like fitting the retinas backwards, wiring the larynx up via the heart and the inclusion of an appendix that serves no function except to become fatally infected.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: @Oliver

IIRC, that's the ritual required for those suffering from skin conditions. The KVJ translates 'leprosy' but the ancient hebrew word actually includes a wide variety of skin conditions as well as leprosy. It wasn't exactly intended as a cure, more a ceremonial cleanliness thing.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Unlike, say, religion?

Think religious. They use an absolute morality system: God is right at the 'top' as the standard to aspire to. So 'defining down' means 'defining the common perception of decency as further away from the ideal that is God.' It's a bit tricky to follow them sometimes if you don't understand how they think.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: "Do not even the tax collectors do ..."

More or less the same thing with Herod. Real king, puppet of the Romans, and very well documented too. By most accounts a rather nasty piece of work with a few murders to his career, but no-where other than the gospels is there any mention of him ordering his army to slaughter all male newborns in his domain... and that is one hell of a thing for historians to forget about. The writers of the gospels, or one of those who edited them, put in the slaughter of the innocents as a piece of propaganda to tell the Jews how ruthless and murderous a monster the Romans were willing to put in charge. Even if the story was completely made-up, it's still good propaganda. Nearly two thousand years, and he is still best-known for ordering a slaughter that never happened.

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Apple unveils tightened Mountain Lion requirements

Suricou Raven
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Re: @Shardik

He is referring to an issue with some models of iMac. The fan controller reads the temperature from the hard drive, and sets the fan speed accordingly, but it reads the drive temperature using a non-standard protocol supported only by Apple branded (ie, overpriced) drives. You can fit a non-Apple-branded drive, and it'll work, but the fans will be stuck continually at their highest speed.

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Door creaks and girl farts: computing in the real world

Suricou Raven
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Thiner?

Why are they so crazed over making it so thin? Shaving off a few milimeters isn't going to do anything for useability, and the macbook series are already thin enough to fit into any bag. What possible benefit is there to making it any thinner, even ignoring the compromises of reduced functionality and increased cost that such dimensional squeezing demands?

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Shuttleworth: Why Windows 8 made us ditch GPL Linux loader

Suricou Raven
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Re: I think it's time we let EU decide

Good idea. And when the legal case finishes in about ten years, Microsoft will face another billion-dollar fine. But by then they will have destroyed all competition and indirectly made tens of billions, so for them it'll be a net win.

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Suricou Raven
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None. I've read of bootloader rootkits being produced by researchers as proof of concept, but I haven't heard of one actually being used for a real hack, ever. There were viruses once that used the technique to infect floppy disks, but those died out with the floppy.

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Facebook phone app attempts to seize ALL YOUR MAIL

Suricou Raven
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I've noticed when installing apps that almost everything demands access to almost everything, often for no apparent reason. I don't know of this is also the case for users of iPhone or the five people who own Windows phones, but it seems to be how it works on Android. I suspect that, with most of what I install being free, all those apps are loaded with spyware. That is what droidwall is for.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Simple.

But it also, like the iPhone, doesn't let you install any app that hasn't been explicitly approved by Microsoft. When it comes to mobile phones, customers have plenty of choice: They can choose which company they would rather be screwed by.

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ITC denies Apple an emergency ban on ALL HTC PHONES

Suricou Raven
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Re: "Software petents" - WTF ?

The cost of checking for potentially problematic patents fully could exceed the cost of designing the phone.

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US federal boffins insist that mermaids DON'T exist

Suricou Raven
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Re: The truth about MERMAIDS:

Reminds me of a very similar program a while ago (Same studio?) about dragons, presenting the fictional-but-blured story of a discovery of a dragon corpse and 'scientific' explanations of how such a creature could evolve and function. I blame the Da Vinci Code: That book showed that blending truth and fiction together to the point they are hard to distinguish can make for a very popular and profitable work.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Damn. And I was hoping they'd answer the age-old problem - how do you actually

The only time witnesses would get a good look at the tail is when the mermaid is on land (It may be assumed they frequently rest upon shore or exposed rocks, perhaps to interact with humans or escape sharks). On land the mermaid would have to twist her (do they even come in male gender? Maybe they breed via amazonian reproduction, thus explaining why they need to seduce human men) body around ninety degrees to lay her tail flat, to prevent uneven stress from damaging the delicate fin. This slightly-uncomfortable position would present anyone watching with the illusion of a horizontal tail, rather than the vertical shape it would take when in water.

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ICANN's overlordship of the internet confirmed again by US gov

Suricou Raven
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Of course.

What could be more in line with American values than shamelessly exploiting a government-granted power for financial gain at the expense of everyone else?

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