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* Posts by defiler

767 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

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Re: The current scheme is not too bad.

People seem to be attacking MachDiamond for copyright terms here, but he/she did include this gem:

The life of the creator plus 70 years covers the author and their children even if they die at a young age. Life plus 40 years could be even better.

That's not an absurdly long term for copyright. This is somebody who makes a living from their copyrighted works actually arguing for a reduction in their own protections.

Seems pretty same to me.

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Tech support made the news after bomb squad and police showed up to 'defuse' leaky UPS

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Re: We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Yes, if that is the same Charlotte Sq.

Yep. Same one.

It's EH2. If they get a report of even a small fire then it's a 4-5 engine job because fire spreads so quickly in these old buildings with wooden floors.

Aye, Wee Eck was about 1/4 of the way round the square. Maybe it was running up to budget meeting time...

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Re: We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Ammonia in a mini fridge? How old was it?

Dunno, to be honest. I started there in 2001, and that office didn't change prior to... Well, the company closing I think. I'd previously been involved in quoting to move that company into that office in 2000, so I imaging the fridge was at least that old.

But looking around, it looks like ammonia-charged fridges were still being sold new during that time.

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We shut down central Edinburgh with a fridge

Strange smell coming from the Chairman's office, and since IT covers everything that's not the core business I was asked if I knew what it was. Popped in, had a sniff. Smelled like ammonia, so we phoned the fire brigade. Not a 999 call or anything like that, and I was in the room when the call was made, so I know that our end of the call sounded like:

"Hi, we're looking for some advice on who to call about this. We have a strange chemical smell in one of our offices - smells a bit like ammonia. No, nobody in there just now. Okay - we'll see you when you get here." They said they'd send someone over to take a look.

That someone was 4 fire engines, a fire control unit, two police cars, four police bikes, a police serious incident unit, two ambulances and an ambulance control unit. Shut down Charlotte Square for over an hour and made the papers. I was one of two "treated at the scene", which meant I got a seat in the back of the ambulance while everyone else had to stand outside.

The firemen were absolutely fuming that we hadn't evacuated. We'd just expected someone to come round in a car... Turns out the chariman's mini-fridge in his office had leaked.

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Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

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But why does the first chip of a new generation need to be top of the range?

This is what I'm thinking. It's a very middling chip, so if they have problems they can pull it without making massive waves. I think this is eminently sensible. If it hits the ground running and shows positive qualities, expect the i5 and i7 range to come in quickly behind it. If there are issues, expect this to be quietly sidelined until they are fixed.

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It's true – it really is grim up north, thanks to Virgin Media. ISP fined for Carlisle cable chaos

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@damien c

starters, not starter's

PSEs, not PSE's

standards, not standard's

gets, not get's

brakes, not breaks

weeks, not week's

That said, VM do a moderate job of running a very high speed consumer network. It's not perfect (of course). I wouldn't regard them as "very good" either. Right now we have customers getting notifications that VM will be cutting their services during core hours to perform maintenance. Well that's no use for businesses (and yes, they're on business contracts). They are notoriously bad for the quality of SIP/RTP connections, and they seem to have a fetish for mangling SMTP sessions heading out of their network (even if you start playing musical port numbers). But you know what? They're cheap for the bandwidth you get.

But yes, they are ultimately responsible for the conduct of their contractors. Just like McDonalds is ultimately responsible for the quality of their burgers. Just like my boss is ultimately responsible if I bin an email server by mistake. The buck stops at the top. That's how it works. That's how it needs to work.

If VM have appointed a contractor that does a piss poor job, they have to get that contractor in line. If the contractor can't do a good job for the price then that's the contractor's problem, but it's ultimately VM's responsibility.

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@damien c

I have no issue's with my VM connection, and the one time I did it was sorted inside of a couple of week's

Damien, I'm not going to downvote you, or criticise your view of the contractor relationship with VM. What I will say, though, is get a grip on your apostrophes, man. It's an infestation!

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Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

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In this instance users were able to fall back on the manual methods of unlocking doors

But what of those 'pioneers' who have eschewed their keys in favour of their phones? Stuck on the doorstep for half an hour? Sounds a bit shit.

Also, adding the everyday spice of watching your phone's battery run down on the bus home, wondering whether you'll make it through the door in time. Or do you keep a USB cable hanging out of the letter flap? :-/

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Off with e's head: E-cig explosion causes first vaping death

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Re: limit vaping to 20 watts

Firstly - how the hell did you have time to roll and smoke 60 a day?

Who says he was rolling them himself? You gotta have *something* for the kids to do...

"Roll faster, you little bastards, or it'll be the strap!"

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America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you

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You're lookin' at him!

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Openreach consults on shift of 16 MEEELLION phone lines to VoIP by 2025

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Re: So, can somebody clarify for me?

If they design their hub correctly

If they put an ATA in it, you mean. And for those of us with our own routers? Those without broadband?

I'm alright, Jack - I'll find a couple of SIP handsets kicking about, but you seem to be assuming a certain level of competence on the part of BT and the consumer that may be absent here.

I'm just wondering if we are all going to be required to have broadband to have a phone (ironically), or if they'll be an option to push IP back to the exchange.

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And that, my boy, is why you'll never have a career in management!

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So, can somebody clarify for me?

I'm presuming that this means "simply" switching off the analogue signal on the last-mile copper and shifting the call termination to an IPPBX in elsewhere-land, and then having everyone use an IP handset? Did they fix the automagical inbound-SIP-to-the-first-listening-device "feature" of the Homehubs? They used to get scanned by everything going... And is anybody pushing for IPv6 now, since we'll have to have IP active on more endpoints that currently only have a PSTN device? I mean, Plusnet are still on IPv4 and didn't have any plans to change when I last changed them.

Or do they mean basically having an ATA for each line at the exchange, and propagating an analogue signal from there into the home? (Because that doesn't seem awfully far removed from the way it is just now.)

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Wah, encryption makes policing hard, cries UK's National Crime Agency

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Re: Dark Web...

Only if your friend kept the receipt. And then you can only get store credit.

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Boffins build a 2D 'quantum walk' that's not a computer, but could still blow them away

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Re: Are you serious? ....

Have I just cracked the code?

I posit that amanfromMars1 jots down his/her post, and then substitutes each word with the last synonym listed in the thesaurus, burying the meaning.

Do I get a prize?

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Airbus windscreen fell out at 32,000 feet

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Re: Hero ?

sharks with lasers on their heads

Nah - just laser pointers. Fishy bastards were shining them through the open cockpit window...

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Cheap-ish. Not Intel. Nice graphics. Pick, er, 3: AMD touts Ryzen Pro processors for business

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half the time you were stuck with choices of low memory and / or spinning disks

This. I've lost track of the number of times I've seen a decently-specced AMD machine neutered by putting in a peculiarly shit hard disc. I replaced one with an SSD (in an HP laptop), and it became a flying machine!

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Citrix snuffs Xen and NetScaler brands

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XenServer always felt like one of their weaker products

At the same time, XenServer pushed VMware pretty hard for a free hypervisor, back in the day. They chucked in live migration between hosts, which everyone else wanted you to pay for, and you could remove snapshots without powering down the VM, which also kept it well clear of the bottom-end of the market.

The problem I had with it is that it nevery actually removed those snapshots. The disk image ended up as some ugly Logical Volume chain, and once you hit 255 snapshots the whole damn thing stopped. The VM would still run (slowly), but it wouldn't snapshot again.

And there are those who'd say "don't use snapshots for backups", but I had a very good system running based around Bacula, which did both file-level and VM-level backups. Wasn't the nicest for restoring, but it was cheap!

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Bombshell discovery: When it comes to passwords, the smarter students have it figured

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I'd create a password creation system that doesnt allow proper words from a dictionary at all.

Which dictionary? And how short do the words have to be to be excluded?

"A"? "I"? How about "is", "at", "to", "on" and "or"?

Not trying to pick holes...

Ah shit, it's Friday. Of course I'm trying to pick holes. But all facetiousness aside, my point about "which dictionary" is still valid.

Also, the more rules you put on a system, the more you reduce the search space for brute-force attacks.

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Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

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Pint

Emulated peripherals

I have to say that this stuff does please me greatly. The Pi has a lot to answer for here.

I was reading about the various 6502 Second Processor modules for BBC micros that are still being run off. Initially using faster 6502 variants, then FPGAs, and some fella blew them all out the water by hooking a Raspberry Pi to the Tube...

Sheds all round!

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Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed

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@Wilseus Re: I'm impressed

You're right. There were (from memory - it's been a _long_ time) 16 basic operations, and each one could be run conditionally based on the status register (allowing you to inline a few instructions that you'd normally have to JMP over), and there was a flag to have the instruction _set_ the status registers too. It wasn't mandatory. So, whilst there were many permutations of these options, it all came down to 16 simple instructions (which was ideal for learning assembly).

Yep, all commercial ARMs had MUL, but I'm pretty sure I recall there being a debate whether they would at the time. The thinking was that it might be too CISC-y, and you could multiply in software. Compared to other instructions on the chip it took a long time too.

I miss my Archimedes.

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Re: "Can anyone offer a reason for using this segmented crap "

There's a misconception about segments, because Intel used them for two separate tasks. One was to map physical memory to virtual one, and this can be handled better by pagination.

A-ha. I'd assumed that the segmentation was for the nasty old 16-bit-style memory paging, which (in my opinion) should be dead and gone by now. If it's actually still used for memory protection then I can't really complain.

Told you I wasn't a programmer!

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Re: Most importantly...

...and a dramatic theme tune?

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Re: I'm impressed

Could we please go back to IBM/370 ARM2 Assembler

There - FTFY. 16 instructions, and a debate over whether to include Multiply...

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Re: So....

it should hardly ever come up, No?

Firstly, I am not a programmer. Secondly, it strikes me that you're correct in normal use.

However, somebody intent on causing trouble can pop this into a malicious program to cause havoc. It's like saying the bullet will be safe so long as it's kept in the box.

Can anyone offer a reason for using this segmented crap in any 32-bit system? If we're needing backwards compatibility for shitty old 16-bit applications, surely that can be isolated in an emulator or something these days?

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Intel to preserve Moore's Law with startup land's fresh young blood

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Coat

Re: According to this presentation Lycean has already built one.

"Inverse Compton scattering."

So, if it's not scattered, does that mean it's Straight Outta Compton?

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Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it

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Re: C'mon, Dr. S, this kind of trolling is beneath you.

Macs are tingley.

Same with the Surface Pro 3 I'm using just now. It's a figure-8 mains cable, so it doesn't have an earth.

A mate of mine had a Philips DVD player. Metal shell, but marked as "double-insulated". He kept getting shocks off that, and when tested it came out above 100V...

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Sir Clive Sinclair dragged into ZX Spectrum reboot battle

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Re: Answer me this

And Blackjack! And hookers!

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My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

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You ever wonder?

...whether in 10 years time some poor bugger is going to submit an anecdote to this feature about accidentally making a total arse of a bank system migration?

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Reg man straps on Facebook's new VR goggles, feels sullied by the experience

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Re: Corporate tool?

but for example a Moto Z in a Daydream has significantly higher resolution

Then you're hammering against fill rates. I guess for a virtual desktop environment you don't care a whole lot about polygon counts, as the "screens" will effectively be two triangles with a high-res texture map applied. If the whole lot ends up looking like Job Simulator then so much the better - you can have people work without realising they should get paid for it. I'll not take my car to that workshop though... :)

You know, it's crazy but it might just work!

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Re: Corporate tool?

Then, instead of buying your techie or coder multiple screens and wondering where to put them, just buy them this VR set-up which models multiple windows floating in space (or whatever) around them

No-go at the mo...

The resolution on a Vive (for "decent-ish") is too low for detailed displays in a virtual environment, and until we get eye-tracking well-established, there's no way to crank up the resolution without adding the kind of rendering hardware that would make Crysis buttery-smooth.

Not to say it'll never happen, but it's way beyond the current generation of hardware. And the current generation of hardware is way beyond the old Virtuality kit from "days of yore".

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Re: Glasses

I'm going to guess because it's easier than fitting a plug into your spine like in The Matrix.

Let's be honest, if that (or the squishy things in Existenz) were on the table, a hell of a lot of us would be all over them.

For myself, I bought a Vive. It gets less use than I'd like, but DCS World is awesome in it. Just being able to look over your shoulder, or being able to peer down from the edge of the cockpit rather than having your POV swivel around a totally fixed point is absolutely great. Plug in the old Thrustmaster and you don't need to worry about hand tracking.

It really is very good for some things.

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If you get Gloveone/ Avatar VR and Leap Motion

And if I get wings grafted to my back I can fly to Cancun.

Let's keep our imaginary realities within the bounds of believability here, eh?

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More Brits have access to 1Gbps speeds than those failing to muster 10Mbps – Ofcom report

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@AC

Even if I stay at work late ~ 11pm. And as I work at one of the top 10 universities in the UK, that should be a total f***ing embarrassment to the IT / network team.

Yeah. You'd think they'd be running backups and stuff offsite at that time of night. Bastards.

Also, we used to head into university to download Quake mods en mass, at 11pm. We'd hammer the Janet connection as hard as we could. Besides which, nowadays we put per-device caps on the line to stop people being stupid and greedy...

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Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

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Re: TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes...

who else were they gonna call?

Ghostbusters? Not sure they'd do any worse by this point.

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Re: Fight Club

The first rule of Project Mayhem is you don't ask questions.

The second rule of Project Mayhem is you don't ask questions.

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Re: not a customer

Customers should just be patient and not get agitated.

Day 1, I agree completely. Day 6, we're running headlong into the end of the month.

Missed direct debits is one thing (I'll have a few between now and Monday, and I'd be miffed if they failed), but the bank can generally explain the problem to the recipient, handle the penalties etc. But what if I (not banking with TSB) were unable to get paid by my employer (hypothetically banking with TSB), and I am the one stung with penalties? Will TSB reimburse me?

Yes, it's a complex task. It's a huge task. And it needs huge planning, and regular checkpoints with back-out plans already in place. It seems that somebody skimped on the planning, and they committed to a course of action that didn't have a back-out plan ready to go.

I'm not saying I'm perfect. I've committed to system changes without a fast back-out that ended up biting me before, but we had a workaround already on the back burner before it happened, and were able to keep users running on that for the couple of weeks it took the devs to sort the latency issues with us. But this is beyond amateur hour. It's a bank. Not a small bank. They claim to have over 5 million customers. That means that a small disruption is a big issue.

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The tech you're reading these words on – you have two Dundee uni boffins to thank for that

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Re: Worrying...

Hahaha - flushed out the 4 Dundonians :D

Don't worry, chaps - I don't really have anything against Dundee. On the other hand, I did accidentally end up in East Kilbryde once at night. Had to think hard before stopping at red lights...

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Joke

Worrying...

Every time you use a smartphone, [...], you experience a little bit of Dundee.

You get the wheels nicked off your car? Thank god it wasn't invented in East Kilbryde...

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PC recycler gets 15 months in the clink for whipping up 28,000 bootleg Windows 7, XP recovery discs

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Re: Heavy handed indeed

What is "Win-10-nic"?

I'm going to reach here, but I think it's a play on Titanic (Ti-10-nic / Win-10-nic). Yeah. I'ts pretty rubbish. The sort of thing you expect from somebody who bought a nuclear bunker to live in and only comes out to buy canned goods, to vote and to foam at the mouth.

Hmm. Hi, Bob!

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Twenty years ago today: Windows 98 crashed live on stage with Bill Gates. Let's watch it again...

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Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

I never had that many problems with ME. I'm sure other people did, but the hate it got and still gets seems to be a bit over the top.

I put Windows ME on my home PC. Between the Diamond Monster MX300 sound card an a Gainward Geforce2 video card I never got the thing to stay up for more than 15 minutes.

The next day I put 98SE back on it and got back to enjoying it. Fuck Windows ME and everything it ever stood for. I think I saw it on 3 machines ever, and those three caused more headaches for me than Vista.

(Also put 2000 Workstation on my PC later and it was great until I finally went with XP x64.)

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Re: Bill Gates

Its no use hoarding your money if nobody else benefits from it - once you go past a billion it makes absolutely no difference

Or as Andrew Carnegie put it, "A man who dies rich dies in disgrace."

Sadly some people seem to think that looking at a big number is the thing that will satisfy them. I know some of these people.

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Soyuz later! Russia may exit satellite launch biz

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Re: 2 billion in today's market

The Shuttle was an economical failure, but not a technical one

I'm going with this. It was a folly. A white elephant. I'll not argue against that, but what a tremendous achievement. NASA pushed the boundaries of what was actually possible, which was wonderful.

Did it work? Yes.

Did it work well? Yes.

Did it work as advertised? No - not really.

Did it achieve great things? Yes, look at the Hubble repair as the prime example.

Did it achieve its quick turnaround? Not a chance.

Did it achieve its reusability target? Not even close.

Was it the most insanely expensive way to put a payload in orbit? By far.

Was it flawed? In both design and execution.

Still, when I was a lad I made a model Space Shuttle. Didn't want an Atlas. And I would have had a Buran before a Soyuz. I wonder how many bright minds turned to aerospace just off the sight of something so ludicrously magnificent.

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France building encrypted messaging app for politicians

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Plus ça change...

The haves setting different rules for the haves and the have-nots. The French have prior form on this sort of thing. I seem to recall it got a bit choppy.

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Re: |matrix| ?

That's hard to say, because unfortunately noone can tell you what the matrix is.

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The law of run Nintendo consequences: Sega brings out mini Mega Drive / Genesis

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i've started buying all the originals right when everyone is going for the minis.

Snap. The lad like his retro games, so I just organised a SNES. Thought about the Mini, but it doesn't take carts so that's a bit of a waste. Looking forward to Play Expo now - he'll be coming along this year!

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Re: So exactly what they've been letting AtGames sell for years?

I suspect an official Sega version will have any sound problems that crop up in emulation ironed out.

Or they'll just ship a set of games that don't exhibit the problem, with no way of adding more...

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Boeing CEO takes aim at Musk’s Starman-in-a-Tesla stunt

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Re: When the a leader slags off a competitor...

First they ignore us

Then they laugh at us*

Then they fight us

Then we win.

*I reckon on that performance, we're about here.

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Donkey Wrong: Arcade legend Billy Mitchell booted from record books amid MAME row

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Re: All is right with the world.

this is the ending that documentary needed!

Quick! Crowdfund the Director's Cut!

To Indiegogo!!

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Re: Donkey Kong...

Wow - that's, like, totally Mexico!

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