* Posts by JeffyPoooh

4165 posts • joined 28 Jun 2013

That's Numberwang! Google Cloud staffer breaks record for most accurate Pi calculation

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Normal numbers

CM wisely noted, "Not merely irrational (like root 2), but transcendental..."

Yes, but also: Is it Normal?

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Re: Pi day

notamole mentioned, "Only America uses month-day-year."

Canada uses all possible formats at random.

We've standardized on: "All of the above."

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Puh!!

I only needed a few minutes to work out the exact value of Pi last year on 'True Pi Day', the 22nd of July.

It's equal to 3.142857... (repeating).

Exactly.

They're BAAACK: Windows 10 nagware team loads trebuchet with annoying reminders to GTFO Windows 7

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False promises...

I was promised peace and quiet with the supposed ending of support for Windows RT 8 (.1) on my Surface 2 tablet. But no... Bloody updates just keep coming. Update this, update that, blah blah blah.

Leave me alone!!!

Open-source 64-ish-bit serial number gen snafu sparks TLS security cert revoke runaround

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Re: Why is this a big deal?

"...supposedly 64-bit serial numbers in its certificates were in fact one bit short, the top bit being always zero to indicate a positive integer."

They've corrected it, and are now feeling smug. The top bit will now NEVER be zero.

;-)

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Jeffy's Theorem of Binary Digit Distribution

Jeffy's Theorem of Binary Digit Distribution: Approximately 50% of all 64-bit numbers have a leading '1'.

A closely related conjecture, as yet unproven. This may have some bearing on the present issue.

Jeffy's Conjecture of Binary Digit Distribution: Approximately 50% of all 64-bit numbers have a leading '0'.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

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Re: Already a patch available?

AC, "A flight controller that prevents unsafe flying regime is much better than trusting your well trained pilots will always understand and do the right thing."

If a car has Automatic Braking (to apply the brakes automatically when it detects that a crash would otherwise occur), then that may be a very good thing. Nothing but good.

But if that system started slamming the brakes on randomly, then please turn it off. Not so "nothing but good" now.

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Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

AC wisely noted, "Detecting the failed indication via cross check of other instrumentation (sensors) is more nuanced and complex than it might appear at first glance."

Yes. That.

'Connecting the dots' to integrate Avionics can take 10 minutes. Dealing with the failure modes can require the other 99.99% of the engineering budget.

I've seen it done very well; it took over a year.

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Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

big_D "...was on an icy road..."

My neighbourhood includes a small hill which can be perfectly icy. My car (W211) is 4Matic and I use Nokian studded tires.

Sometimes the slippery ice is covered with fluffy snow, and that can result in the tires 'rafting' (or 'tobogganing') on the compressed snow, so the tire studs fail to reach the ice. Under these conditions, the ABS is the worst pssoble thing because it keeps regenerating endless new rafts of compressed snow under the tires.

Thankfully, the ABS on my car allow me to press the brake pedal harder and lock up the wheels. Yes, it's true.

I presume that this obscure ABS override feature is only available under certain conditions, such as very slow speed.

With the wheels locked up for a couple of seconds, the snow rafts are ground away and the studs can then bite into the ice. It's possible to creep down the hill safely.

This whole process of getting safely down the hill under these conditions is highly obscure. Without the ABS override it would be much worse.

(Going up the hill is easy as momentum is your friend.)

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months

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"...a grand piano crashed into the ground..."

The ground?

That's odd. Usually their fall is cushioned by a Morris Marina.

Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?

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Backhaul...

Once upon a time, visiting a beauty spot in rural Nova Scotia, I was pleased to find a solid 3G mobile signal from a brand new tower.

I was less pleased to discover that the tower installation was apparently so new that the data backhaul gave every indication of being via a dial-up modem.

My theory fits with the fact that the only infrastructure in that area was power and telephone lines. Zero broadband of any description.

Presumably they got the microwave backhaul up and running a bit later, once additional towers were installed to allow connecting the dots.

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability

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Harvard vs von Neumann

I *told* (<- high pitched "told ya so" voice) you that the Harvard CPU architecture was best. I *told* that the von Neumann architecture, with its dangerous mixing of data and instructions, was a huge mistake. But noooo...

;-)

It's not your imagination: Ticket scalper bots are flooding the internet according this 'ere study

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The Art of War

Offer for sale event tickets, very expensive tickets, that permit the ticket holder to (for example) watch a MAJOR CONCERT EVENT video on YouTube.

Provide clear notice, written in bold letters on an embedded PNG image (not easily Bot readable), that humans should not buy these Bot-Bait tickets.

Even once, trap the Bots. Just for fun.

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow

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Jeremy Clarkson

He knows how to leave car-as-pen sketches of 'gentleman sausages' in various locations around the world.

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?

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If these conclusions are...

If these conclusions are shocking to you, then you're an AI fanboi.

Although being a fanboi gives a warm and pleasant syrupy feeling inside the skull, it is not actually a good thing as it's the exact opposite of actually keeping your brain switched on. Many parallels with cults.

(The AI-propelled spell checker in my device keeps insisting that the word fanboi should be spelled 'cannot'. Artificial Imbecile.)

Secret mic in Nest gear wasn't supposed to be a secret, says Google, we just forgot to tell anyone

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Well, ...

Well, thank goodness that all these Android smartphones aren't equipped with microphones.

Context: Last year I was browsing around in the depths of Google personalizations / settings, and found a collection of audio snippets that had apparently been captured by my phone. Most were random room noises. All a bit weird.

Now excuse me, got to go. It's time for me to spend a few minutes refreshing my pretending to be shopping for skimpy ladies' bikinis, so that the Google advertising that follows me around everywhere will be reset to all 'Lovely and Beautiful' for the next few weeks.

Germany, US staffers to be hit hardest as SAP starts shedding 4,400 bodies

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Inscrutable Icons

Good news. SAP's 'Inscrutable Icons' creation department is to be disbanded and shut down.

The next release will just use ever-changing randomly-selected highly-obscure Unicode characters as icons, instead of those customised inscrutable icons traditionally used by SAP. This change is expected to be completely unnoticeable to most users. They'll continue to flail away until something happens.

The little-known Business Workplace feature that disables the Internet in Albania for 3 hours will continue to be assigned to random icons, exactly as before. Apologies to the people of Albania; I was merely trying to approve an ECO.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

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Re: On the subject of ancient history

Puh. In the year 1067, my great^N grandpa made a NAND gate out of twigs and moss, and used insects to implement the multiphase delay lines. It was Turing complete. He wrote the first video game, but the insects got bored, and the moss dried out before the first line of code was fully executed.

What did turbonerds do before the internet? 41 years ago, a load of BBS

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Once upon a time...

Circa very early 1980s, my dial-up access to the pre-Web Newsgroups stopped working. I tried 'everything', but I was offline for days.

Finally I tried actually listening-in to the telephone line. "The number you are calling has been changed. ..."

(For some reason, the terminal emulation software of the early 1980s failed to offer voice recognition.)

I thus learned to extend my troubleshooting techniques to always include all layers of what would later become formalized as the OSI seven-layer model. The root causes of failures are sometimes simply not visible through the screen and keyboard. Very helpful lesson.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

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There will be a market for bespoke Contractor Keyboards and Mice

The keyboard will be programmed to constantly type "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer...", and then backspace it out again in a semi-random fashion.

The mouse would be programmed to wiggle back and forth when not otherwise in use.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

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"Nice tabloid you have there..."

"...It'd be a shame if a 'wayward' Blue Origin rocket accidentally landed on it at 10,000 mph."

;-)

Fake fuse: Bloke admits selling counterfeit chips for use in B-1 bomber, other US military gear

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Counterfeit Electronic Components Process

An example video of the process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vN_7NJ4qYA

I've seen another video (can't find it right now), where the harvested chips were cleaned, their leads repaired and retinned (appearing like new), and then painted black and remarked as higher grade chips with fresh date codes.

Several decades ago, it was not uncommon to find namebrand (e.g. TI, National, etc) ICs with silver paint on top and marked with black lettering. Once upon a time, after I cleaned (with solvent to remove flux) a freshly assembled circuit card assembly, I happened to notice that all the chips were now the more common all-black. I tried again with a 2nd example while closely watching the component side, and I saw the silver paint disolving revealing an alternate manufacturer underneath. The circuit card assembly went from about 5% silver ICs to 0% silver ICs with a solvent wash. Weird. Yes, issue raised and dealt with at the time.

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

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Dodgy Nutritional Analysis

I took a cheek swab right after lunch.

The results came back that I'm: 45% hamburger, 37% Guinness, and 18% chips.

I hope that there's no violent criminals that have also had a nice lunch.

Bringing the Houzz down: Home design website tells users to reset passwords after copping to breach

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"...urged..."

"...urged users to reset their passwords..."

'Next time you visit our website, please reset your password.'

...vs...

'Next time you visit our website, YOU WILL BE DIRECTED TO reset your password.'

It's trivially simple to avoid "urged".

For consideration.

P.S. Yes, they could allow a certain number (or period) of 'Not Now' escapes, to overcome the obvious objection.

Dear humans, We thought it was time we looked through YOUR source code. We found a mystery ancestor. Signed, the computers

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Re: Many mysteries

"Species" is one of those words that attempts to draw lines in continuous spectrums.

Sharp lines in spectrums are inherently troublesome. Even the slightest zoom into the transitional or boundary cases leads to endless issues in the definition *of the boundaries*.

We need to acknowledge this most general of points to minimize pointless arguments.

A solution is: NEVER BIFURCATE A SPECTRUM.

Always provide at least a third middle option.

This is a highly-useful clarification of thinking. It should be taught in Elementary school. Yet hardly anyone is aware of it.

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Re: A clue?

"...Brexit's continuing popularity?"

Reportedly linked to Mad Cow. Look it up.

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Re: Projection much?

If you want more words of explanation, look up: 'The Inevitable Eve'.

On average, couples have about two kids. Each kid has one-half of the DNA from each parent. Two kids, each with 50% of each parents' DNA, independently selected of course, = 75%. Thus about 25% of *your* (keyword: your) DNA will not make it to the next generation. YMMV, it's based on typically two kids.

It's not "extinction", it's an extinction *RATIO* of about 25%. (Leave out words and yes you'll be confused.) MLER relates to mtDNA topic.

It's really trivially obvious that if each of your kids has only 50%, then two would get you to 75%, etc. You'll never get 100%, but you might get close with a dozen.

Taking into account gender, there's obviously a maternal and paternal lineage extinction ratio; no room for argument. Witness the antics of Henry VIII trying to overcome PLER and bad luck. The concept is trivially simple, but it and its implications have not yet been widely hoisted aboard.

And yes, there are secondary and tertiary effects. This is merely the primary effect.

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Re: Projection much?

Alan Brown, "...overwhelmed..."

With each generation, about one-quarter of your genetic code is lost forever. It's caused by the Maternal (or Paternal) Lineage Extinction Ratio MLER or PLER being about 25% per generation. This is the same 'force' that causes speciation (making species).

End result, if your bring two populations together, they'll merge and one will be overwhelmed by the other.

Same thing explains the Out of Africa observation of population 'necking'. No need for near-extinction events, the observed DNA 'necking' will be a moving attribute.

Gripe to UK, Ireland, Poland: Ad tech industry inhales, then 'leaks' sensitive info on our health, politics, religion

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Perhaps a Tech News journalist...

Perhaps a journalist working in the Tech News field could setup an advertising account to enable them to participate in these Real Time Bidding auctions, for the true purpose of gathering personal data on web-surfing members of the public.

For bonus points: Specifically targeting certain political and industry leaders.

If even moderately successful, it could be highly effective.

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars – by staying as dead as a doornail

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If we include the non-functionals...

Seeing as how Opportunity is not actually working right now, then I guess we can celebrate the anniversaries of other non-functionals.

'Mars 2' has been "on Mars" for 47 years; since late-1971. Yay!! ;-)

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

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Clearly they're overlooking something...

Prius? Puh...

The official FCC coverage maps are clearly based on the perfectly reasonable assumption that the subscriber is in a helicopter, hovering at a height of 1000 feet above ground level.

Signals are much better up there...

Happy Thursday! 770 MEEELLLION email addresses and passwords found in yuge data breach

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Re: Interesting, but. . .

Permidon suggested, "changing your password 'just in case'..."

The password 'just in case' has been pwned. Not kidding.

Oh, I misread your suggestion. LOL

Iran satellite fails: ICBM test drive or microsat test? Opinion is divided...

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Joe: ULA's Delta, Atlas, And Vulcan Rockets

"Iranian space launch vehicles (SLVs) incorporate technology that is virtually identical to that used in ballistic missiles, including in intercontinental ballistic-missiles (ICBMs).”

'Answers With Joe' (YouTube) *just* [Published on Jan 14, 2019] did a video on the commonality of missiles and rockets. Not limited to any particular country.

Reportedly, the Saturn V was the very first rocket specifically designed for peaceful purposes (as opposed to being a converted misssile).

Video Title = "ULA's Delta, Atlas, And Vulcan Rockets - The Past And Future Of Space Travel"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11mOke9fvkU

IBM to kill off Watson... Workspace from end of February

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"...AI tool Watson Workspace..."

"IBM to kill off....AI tool..."

The AI should have seen this coming...

Cops told: No, you can't have a warrant to force a big bunch of people to unlock their phones by fingerprint, face scans

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3D mugshots and 3D printers

The police are allowed to take pictures of those arrested; so they could quite easily take 3D (stereoscopic) images.

Then, load the file into their coming-soon 3D Colour printer and print out the phone owner's face in 3D. Use that to unlock the phone.

Any unlock requirement for live eyeballs might need a bit more thought. Perhaps high resolution LCD screens inserted into the mask.

No plain sailing for Anon hacktivist picked up by Disney cruise ship: 10 years in the cooler for hospital DDoS caper

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LL boasted about twice not needing a lawyer to "...attend small claims court on my behalf..."

Reportedly, in some jurisdictions, lawyers are explicitly discouraged from attending Small Claims courts. The purpose and intent of the entire Small Claims concept is to minimise costs.

It's easy to win if the facts are on your side.

Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them

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Re: A 'proper' use for the buttons

Dr Sin Tax, "...push Prime in my face. I don't want it."

But but but... How do you watch the 'Grand Tour' ?

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Amazon could add a wee screen...

Having seen the teardown videos for these gadgets, adding a little 0.96-inch OLED screen to the next version is certainly within the range of possibilities.

SpaceX sends Iridium-8 into space while Musk flaunts his retro rocket

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Employee Reviews: -10 to +10

P2, "...'dead wood'... [versus] ...work done by the incompetent?"

Emplyees shoudl be ranked on a scale that runs from -10 (actively does harm), through 0 (harmless dead wood, does nothing, not at work), to +10 (does much good, perfectly).

Dead wood rank a zero on my scale. Almost a passing grade.

The incompentent doing things wrong rank minus on my scale.

It's a more useful scale than 0-10. The added negative range (-10 to 0) helps to clarify thoughts.

If you replace somebody that never even shows up (in rehab, again, thus "0") with somebody that shows up and does significant harm (errors, mistakes, disasters, thus -10), then you've gone backwards.

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It looks like it was built outdoors by a water tank assembly crew...

"...the final version would lack the, er, ribbed appearance of the VTOL test version..."

Oh...

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

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Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

TStT: "I can't find condoms anywhere. / Have you tried Boots? / Yes, but it all runs out of the lace holes."

I arrived here with the following extract in my copy-and-paste buffer.

El Reg wrote, "UK-based smut viewers seem to be filling their boots..."

Impressive...

CES flicks the off switch on massager award… and causes a buzz

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Quoting BBC and others...

On this very topic:

"So you put it in for an award..."

"It fills a space..."

"The device was withdrawn..."

"The product does not fit..."

"Ose [<- the device] clearly fits..."

"...women....should be....claiming our space..."

El Reg, "[N] thumbs up" Careful now...

Gyro failure fingered for sending Earth-gazing Digital Globe sat TITSUP (That's a total inability to snap usual pics)

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Magnetic torque thingies...

Some LEO satellites have used magnetic coils to torque the satellite against the Earth's magnetic field.

Others have booms with weights extending down to make use of the differential gravity to keep the satellite pointed in the right direction (i.e. down); but no control as such. That wouldn't be ideal for a satellite with cameras (boom protruding into the camera's field of view), so perhaps they could use a helium balloon on the other side. ;-)

Chinese rover pootles about... on the far side of the friggin' MOON

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The other thing worth celbrating...

The far side of the Moon has been far-too-often been incorrectly referred to as the "dark side" of the Moon. Idiots.

With this landing, most reporters have recently been very careful to refer to it as the "far side".

It's suddenly (and thankfully) gone from worse than 50% "dark side" nonsense to nearly 95% "far side" correct.

That alone makes this a highly successful mission.

Thank you.

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Why is the far side of the Moon so red?

The near side has always been shades of grey; and the Apollo 17 crew got all excited when they found any traces of colour at all.

Now the Chinese have landed on the far side, and all the images are distinctly shaded red.

Insert Red = Communism jokes here...

This is the final straw, evil Microsoft. Making private GitHub repos free? You've gone too far

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Free Unlimited On-Line File Storage ?

I'll rename my wife's dozens and dozens of TB of snapshots from JPG to BIN (or whatever, as required) and upload them all.

Florida man stumbles on biggest prime number after working plucky i5 CPU for 12 days straight

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There is a much more efficient algorithm to find primes (and factor very large composite numbers)...

I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this comment box is too narrow to contain.

FCC tosses aside rules, treats Google to a happy ending following request for handy tech

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We rarely see such precisely-accurate lowercase and uppercase...

El Reg wrote, "...+10 dBm, rather than -10 dBm (Section 15.255(c)(3)), peak....+13 dBm, rather than +10 dBm, and +13 dBm/MHz power spectral density. ...WiGig devices and Soli sensors....57-64 GHz band. A Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000 802.11ad access point, ..."

Perfection in case. Even the minus isn't a hyphen, and the pluses are recognized as usefully-informative. A joy to behold.

Appears to be transcribed from God, like Mozart's music.

Thank you.

EU politely asks if China could stop snaffling IP as precondition for doing business

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Dumb...

So Apple stops using Foxcon. Now somebody has to actually buy an iPhone and take it back to Shenzhen for examination and disassembling.

Delta: One month.

Same with electric cars.

There are very few counterexample where the critical IP can be secured within an IC that cannot be penetrated or bypassed.

Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password

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Solution...

Arrange for North Korea to extend automatic Nork citizenship to all elected Aussie politicians. A one-page memo on Nork letterhead is all that's required.

Thus, immediately upon election, any and all Aussie politicians are disqualified from holding office, because of their ingenious anti-dual citizenship law. They'll have to resign. All of them.

(The Norks can be motivated by offering revocation ceremonies in Pyongyang at US$1M per new Nork-Aussie citizen.)

By this means, it would clearly show that Aussie lawmakers aren't very bright... Even they'd have to admit it, as they're dangling from their own petard.

You're welcome.

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