* Posts by Voyna i Mor

1772 posts • joined 3 Nov 2015

'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Analog(ue) Computer Engineer

"As the day progressed the settings would drift due to temperature fluctuations and this made the system unreliable. I think D/A and A/D converters have taken over for this reason."

Er no, because those D/A and A/D converters still need analogue amplifiers - and A/D converters need sample and hold as well.

Modern analogue circuitry can be extremely temperature stable - but digital circuitry can do useful tricks like short inputs to ground and measure offset, thus becoming self calibrating. The reason we don't build circuits with hundreds of op amps is because they are a complete pig to rewire to change function, versus a software change, recompile, download to flash and continue.

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Voyna i Mor
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Landgrab again

The original engineers did not have degrees or official titles. It was a generic term. Unlike, say, doctor which meant someone had passed a specific degree at a university.

I know it irritates "real" engineers when technicians are called engineers, but at least in this country and the EU we have the specifics of chartered status. Oregon seems to have gone in for landgrab. The position that only a chartered engineer is allowed to sign off on projects seems to me entirely reasonable, but this is a ridiculous extension.

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A sensible Internet of Things investment house? Breed Reply looks like it

Voyna i Mor
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Re: "wearable device to be fitted to cattle"

The difference is that the actual bovines won't be prepared to pay their own money to be monitored.

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Another career suicide as reporter leaves The Register for broadcaster

Voyna i Mor
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Re: So,

"He's off to News International. I think he has more chance of finding Alien Life/Elvis/Honest Politician/Shergar/Unicorn Poo/Broadband in rural areas of the UK."

Be fair though, he'll raise both the average IQ and journalistic standards, so he's doing the world a favour.

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

Voyna i Mor
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Re: What a weak little dip shit

I am assuming that the word "paranoid" came from the court and not the headline writer. If it is correct this is just another example of how our failed mental health policies expose us to unforeseen risks. As I recall the perpetrator of the Brick Lane nail bomb attack was a paranoid schizophrenic, though it was ruled he was sufficiently sane to know he was murdering people. He was also white. Would you have told him to grow up, or would you suggest that a better system for identifying people with mental health problems and ensuring that they get monitoring and medication might be a better idea?

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Low tech

Hence my inclusion of the phrase "whatever you think of Israel". I just don't intend to go there.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Low tech

"getting sufficient pure U or PL is not easy. "

Oh, you can get quite pure uranium all right - just dig around in shell craters in Iraq. The problem is that it's the wrong kind of uranium, and it's the extraction of the 235 isotope that, fortunately, presents a difficult problem. If anyone ever invents a simple, cheap means of isotopic separation, goodbye civilisation. A gun-type uranium bomb won't, however, fit into any guided missile whose construction wouldn't attract a lot of attention. Those things are big.

Fortunately too, not only is Pu hard to obtain, it's hard to make it into an effective bomb.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Low tech

"You know, when you sit and think about it, they kind of are, nowadays."

I believe Hamas does it. Whatever you think of Israel, directing inaccurate missiles against civilian targets is a shitty thing to do.

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Apple fanbois are officially sheeple. Yes, you heard. Deal with it

Voyna i Mor
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Re: I am a sheeple too now - Just bought an iPhone on eBay.

Just do check the approvals on the power adaptor.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: More Apple ClickBait

"Yeah, El Reg been doing this for years, having a crack at pretty much any IT company you can think of from HP to Intel to Microsoft to BAE"

Non-left-coast companies seem more often to abide by the rule that there is no such thing as bad publicity. It is said that Lord Beaverbrook rewarded the cartoonist Jak very well for a cartoon involving the Duke of Edinburgh, Beaverbrook and a number of Yeoman Warders. The caption was, IIRC:

"The Express is a bloody awful newspaper" said the Duke.

"Ah well," said Lord B as they trotted him off to the Tower, "At least he reads it or he wouldn't know it was a bloody awful newspaper."

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: More Apple ClickBait

Did you fail to notice the "Biting the hand that feeds IT"?

It has been on the masthead for rather a long time.

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BOFH: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Yes

I am upvoting assuming this is a clever pun on an oral exam (viva voce) since someone of your depth of knowledge could not have failed to know that official Latin would be "Vivat Jacobus".

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Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Voyna i Mor
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"IEnron's London office had great bogs when I visited them in 1998"

Establishments where people go to spend other people's money, such as advertising agencies, investment banks and Ponzi schemes, tend to have good facilities.

Establishments where people go to spend their own money tend to have tighter budgets.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Sticker manufacturer opportunity

"Are you sure they were for reading, and not as a softer alternative to the military Izal?"

The "Please replace after reading" stickers were a bit of a giveaway. Also, wasn't Izal, as I recall. Like I say, officer bogs not OR.

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Voyna i Mor
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Sticker manufacturer opportunity

In the UK, which was invaded by the Vandals who then never left, those screens are going to be covered in waterproof felt tip pen tags in no time. That's if they aren't "disrupted" by a sharpened screwdriver.

There is therefore a market opportunity for Avery labels or similar in the correct format so vandals can give themselves a new, pristine surface to write on. That's assuming they can get near enough because some hacker has modified the machine to run constantly at full power.

At the other end of the scale I remember visiting a REME base long ago and being allowed into the officers' bogs without an escort (nice people, very trusting). There were racks of military magazines for reading while defecating, in just about every mainstream Western language other than English. Now that's showing off.

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Reg reader offered £999,998 train ticket from Cambridge to Horley

Voyna i Mor
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Re: More guidance needed

"I think Rosa Parks is the real hero when it comes to an integrated transport policy."

Upvoted.

Of course nowadays they'd just charge her $999 998 for a ticket.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: More guidance needed

It's the one where you have to hope the ballast layers filled in the area under the curve.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: More guidance needed

"And how, pray, is one meant to differentiate?"

Assuming you missed A level maths, you start by placing a tangent to the (rail) line and moving it till it intersects two points. Then you work out the x and y coordinates of the points, and work out y in terms of x. Then subtract the coordinates of one point from the other (X). Then extrapolate what will happen as the value of the interval delta-x approaches zero. You have now calculated the gradient of the line, dy/dx at the point X. While at the points, please make sure the bolts are tightened correctly. Also ensure the line is continuous. That has led to problems in the past. Extra marks will be given for handling the case where the line has the wrong kinds of leaves on it.

Rail tickets? Sorry, that's senior wrangler stuff.

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Voyna i Mor
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£10000 Taunton to Trowbridge

Sounds about right to get away from Taunton.

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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Was I dreaming...

But the Swiss railways were right; it was a straight landgrab. As is this one.

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UK.gov throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access

Voyna i Mor
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Re: You keep using that word...

"They seem to find this all very funny, but I think it's dreadful.""

....."so find out what it is they're actually doing and put a stop to it.

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Voyna i Mor
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"My opinion on Robert Hannigan is that he’s undoubtedly a very good classicist "

But everybody knows classics is the degree for top civil servants just as PPE is for politicians. Because not knowing anything that happened after the 1st century AD is an obvious qualification for running a modern state. It means you're not prejudiced by facts, and therefore are well suited to advise people who did PPE and so avoid bias by not being any kind of expert in anything.

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Ewe, get a womb! Docs grow baby lambs in shrink-wrap plastic bags

Voyna i Mor
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"I can't help looking at that sack and think of The Matrix."

Makes me think of Brave New World.

But then while Huxley thought he was writing about a dystopia, most people would actually have wanted to live in it, had it existed. No genetic defects, every child wanted, free medicine. Being incubated in a jar would be a small price to pay.

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Huawei P10 Plus: The bigger brother is the real contender

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Small point

"Large apertures also aid in portrait photography, since the background will be in softer focus."

Perfectly true when you are using a 50mm or 80mm lens at f/2, as you would be using 35mm or medium format. I actually keep an old 70mm f/1.8 lens for the rare occasions it is needed as I normally use a short f/2.8 zoom. But unfortunately depth of focus is related not only to NA but also to the ratio of subject to object distance. For the short focal length lenses used on phone cameras, this ratio is high with the result that depth of focus is also quite high. Even at f/1.8 the depth of field of a phone camera is quite large. This effect is, in fact, made use of to avoid the need to have an iris diaphragm as on a larger format lens.

The out-of-focus effects of the latest phone cameras are largely done in processing - not by the lens. What us old-timers used to call "diaphragm images" and the new generation calls "bokeh" is to a considerable degree an after-effect.

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Voyna i Mor
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Small point

The difference between f/2.2 and f/1.8 is about half a stop and is not enough to make a significant difference to low light performance. You could probably do better than that just by selecting sensors for low noise floor.

As an example the difference between noon sunlight and a cloudy English day in winter can be around 6 f stops.

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China 'hacked' South Korea to wreck Star Wars missile shield

Voyna i Mor
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Re: No thanks

"The problem with a tin foil hat it that it makes you easier to track."

You have to bend it into a stealth shape. That minimises the radar profile.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: @Voyna THAADD

"There's got to be a way to get a Snowden (Catch-22 version) reference in here too, but I can't see it."

Ou sont les Snowdens de la Chine?

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Cardboard Tanks

"if your cardboard tanks cause the enemy to ramp up production of its own tanks or anti-tank ordnance."

Fortunately shells tend to go straight through cardboard tanks without exploding.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: @Voyna THAADD

What could possibly be more Milo than selling weapons to allied countries which make them more likely to be attacked, thus requiring more weapons and so on?

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: What kind of numpty ...

Well, South Korean phone companies don't have a tremendous record of issuing security updates. Perhaps it's a cultural thing.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: THAADD

Milo Minderbinder called, he wants royalties on your acronyms.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Samsung Note 7 probably deserves a spot

It's too soon. We don't know how many they will ship in places like Vietnam (with the smaller battery) and the fiasco may benefit Samsung by forcing them to do a lot better next time. Though I guess you could say that deciding "let's put an ultra-dense battery in our flagship product without very thorough testing" was itself an epic failure.

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Ministry of Justice scraps 'conviction by computer' law

Voyna i Mor
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Re: the government's aim...

Integration. @Outsourcer fines you, collects the money, or if you don't pay collects you and takes you to their private prison, from which you emerge with STDs and possibly HIV and go to their private hospital from which you get a bill which you present to their medical insurance scheme which refuses to pay out because you didn't disclose to them that you were a criminal.

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Shooting org demands answers from Met Police over gun owner blab

Voyna i Mor
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Re: it's happened before, a few times

"We ^used to have a different approach to firearms, and to data privacy."

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Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

Voyna i Mor
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Non-obl Kipling quote

"No more mines remain

Send back Unity [Claribel, Assyrian, Stormcock and Golden Gain]"

So there's the naming scheme for the next 4 unsuccessful desktops on Ubuntu.

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Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

Voyna i Mor
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Re: James May

This is a good point, and it's also worth mentioning that the lowest cost of all involves buying a nearly new car when the model has been out a couple of years (so you're not buying one of the first production run with all the bugs). With a lot of modern small autos and cvts, the computer basically prevents people from abusing the engine and transmission so the risk is much lower than with older manuals. External signs of abuse are easy to spot.

I read somewhere that one reason cars depreciate very quickly to start is because if you sell a car which is only a few months old people assume there is something wrong with it.

tl;dr, cars are very different from phones (partly because they are much easier to service and you can replace the battery cheaply).

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Apple's zippy silicon leaves Android rivals choking on dust

Voyna i Mor
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Re: What's so wrong with a Ferrari engine in a metro?

"That is why you don't have any small cars with 8 or 6-cylinder engines either. "

Completely OT but a former colleague had a small Mazda with a tiny 1.8l V6. It and many of the traditional US V8s produced no more power than you can get these days in a four-cylinder supermini.

The number of cylinders tells you nothing about the power output and these days, the capacity doesn't tell you much either when some engines are churning out 170BHP/litre and the top of the range new Smart produces about 4 times the BHP of the original Mini from about the same engine capacity.

Same with phone technology; number of cores is pretty meaningless when they can vary so greatly in performance.

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Have we got a new, hip compound IT phrase for you! Enter... UserDev

Voyna i Mor
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"I just wish someone would tell my boss we need at least half a dozen extra people to support a 2 person development team :)"

I believe AT&T did some research that suggested that required support varies roughly as the cube of genuinely creative people. One such person can work on their own; two require 23 or 8 (which gives your 2 to 6 ratio); 3 requires 24 for a total of 27 and so on.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Reminds me of Pete

"He never adequately explained what he hoped to gain from that."

If he was a security researcher, he'd be writing it up as a major attack vector in Windows.

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So few use Windows Phone, Microsoft can't be bothered: Security app is iOS, Android only

Voyna i Mor
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Re: the mobile Windows team won't run up the bill too high

"At this rate, it could be cheaper to take out for dinner the customer base instead of the developer team."

Or perhaps gain some really good publicity by buying the remaining customers the Android or iPhone of their choice - like for like in spec terms obviously - and then closing down the operation. It might well work out cheaper.

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Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Crooks caught in a RAT* trap?

"I smiled a lot after watching that"

So you agree with him that heart surgeon isn't a proper job? I hope your arteries are in good shape.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: This goes to show one thing

"It is not so much a matter of getting their shit together, it is a matter of people starting to hate Tory's guts to "Poll Tax Level" of hate once more. "

Exactly, I have just been reading up on the elections of the 1920s and 1930s where sudden swings were common. Personally I tend to agree with the people who think that Labour are now in the position of the Liberals post-WW1, i.e. permanent decline. Basically English politics consists of the Conservatives being the party of power, but moving their goalposts to suit the conditions, while other parties rise and fall. But the Conservatives are vulnerable to protest parties at times - as they were in 1997 when the economy was actually improving but they were wiped out.

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Astro-boffinry breakthrough: Loads of ingredients for life found on Saturn's Enceladus

Voyna i Mor
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Re: From the article...

"Unusual planet in so, far, unique solar system, with very unusual star, in unusual location in not standard galaxy in very quiet galactic cluster."

I refer you first of all to Douglas Adams's famous "Space is very big" quote.

Now I refer you to the word "Exceptionalism". You're doing precisely that by emphasising how unusual the Earth is and how its solar system is unique. Based on a sample of how many?

Until telescopes there were supposed to be 7 bodies orbiting the Earth. And then more and more kinds of space rock turned up, upsetting traditionalists. Bode's Law turned out to be just Bode's Observation. As telescopes get better it turns out there are far more small stars than anticipated. Thus the universe isn't just bigger than we can imagine, it is more complicated than we can imagine. Eddington thought a star was a pretty simple object, then it turned out that no, it wasn't. The long refusal to admit the possibility of water on Mars is an example of scientific resistance to change; the discovery of cold places on Mercury, and that Venus has tectonics, they are just different from ours, shows how our understanding of things tends to be oversimplified and based on "if it isn't like this it doesn't exist".

The tl;dr is that you are trying to generalise from a known almost infinitely tiny sample of what's out there, and that is exceptionalism, i.e. we must be special therefore anything not like us isn't.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Remember Miller

If you are following the literature you will see that someone has carried out a more advanced set of experiments which have included conditions more likely to resemble those on the early Earth, and obtained RNA precursors including the bases. Now try doing that for a billion years or so.

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Voyna i Mor
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From the article...

"scientists have uncovered the best evidence yet that life could exist somewhere beyond Earth."

Since we have absolutely no a priori reason (other than some pre-scientific books that make statements without evidence) for believing the Earth is in any way an unusual planet, the best evidence for life on other planets is that it exists on this one.

Exceptionalism is still a big thing in people's minds (like, why do we measure interstellar distances in light years or parsecs, which are based on the orbital period and diameter of the Earth's orbit?). But, as I say, we have no good reason to believe we are exceptional.

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Switch on your smartphone camera and look how fertile I am

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Disruptive

There's your problem right there - it's only OK to be "disruptive" if you are a sociopathic, customer-exploiting, Ponzi-scheming, customer-screwing, VC-banging CEO. The job of the rest of us is to submit to being disrupted.

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Voyna i Mor
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"Should someone point out to the EFF that the US constitution for free speech covers individuals and not organisations? "

Hasn't the SCOTUS already ruled that corporations are legal persons? As Mitt Romney put it, "Corporations are people, my friend". And they were part of the 53% that he thought were worth listening to.

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