In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Sableagle » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:22 pm UTC

Ginger wrote:Women can fix cars now who knew?

Chris Hazelton did.

http://www.misfile.com/?date=2004-02-22

Also it's quite a popular theme in pin-ups. Even if they didn't already know, you can't expect that many pretty young women to bend over that many engines without at least a few going: "Oh, hey. I get it. That's not so complicated now I see the parts."
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby addams » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:24 am UTC

Banned from beauty contest because Botox was used.
That's not very funny.

The click bait Got me with who the contestants are.
They are Camels! They are an ugly beast Botox or Not!
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Sableagle » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:39 pm UTC

taftakhirna 'anna'l-jamalu gheyr jamiyli?
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:41 am UTC

50 cent fortune found in sofa cushions.

Ok not quite but I want a snarky headline.
50 Can't forgot about a remembered he had 700 bitcoin from album sales years ago. Currently worth $8m. Not bad, just remember you gotta declare that as long term capital gains.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby sardia » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:32 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:50 cent fortune found in sofa cushions.

Ok not quite but I want a snarky headline.
50 Can't forgot about a remembered he had 700 bitcoin from album sales years ago. Currently worth $8m. Not bad, just remember you gotta declare that as long term capital gains.

There are tons of people like that... Except the interesting stories are the ones who forgot their long ass passwords. Which reminds me that bit coin can easily lose coins forever.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:05 am UTC

£4m, or $7.5m (at 2013 prices, when it hit 'just' $1k/bc) was once physically lost. I haven't heard anything of it since. Presumed still inaccessibly gone.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:48 am UTC

It's almost like a currency linked to something that can vanish into the bit bucket at the drop of a hat is kind of stupid or something.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby sardia » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:07 am UTC

commodorejohn wrote:It's almost like a currency linked to something that can vanish into the bit bucket at the drop of a hat is kind of stupid or something.

You have a point, but the password part is the least stupid part of bitcoin. I'm still struggling to see how they can take blockchain software and turn it into something actually useful. I haven't heard of anything yet besides blackmarket stuff.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Angua » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:24 am UTC

Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:31 pm UTC

sardia wrote:You have a point, but the password part is the least stupid part of bitcoin. I'm still struggling to see how they can take blockchain software and turn it into something actually useful. I haven't heard of anything yet besides blackmarket stuff.

There are tons of ideas floating around. This company is trying to revolutionise supply chains. This one is trying to do the same with cloud storage. And, of course, many companies such as this one are trying to revolutionise financial transactions in third-world countries.

Some of these ventures will be scams, and many will be genuine but fail, but blockchain tech is going to bring about a revolution because it enables trust between strangers without need for an centralised, agreed-upon third-party.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:35 pm UTC

Maybe base it on protein folding or something else in the science world that's computer and analysis intensive?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby sardia » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:36 pm UTC

I know currently, it's slow, energy intensive, and expensive. Does it have to be? Like what was blockchain like at the beginning of bit coin? Like I thought I read that the intense computations were a part of the security.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:52 pm UTC

It's one of the features for Bitcoin to be costly to calculate (to slow down the creation of new coins). But plenty of the alternative currencies have the opposite philosophy.

Bitcoin was the first virtual currency to really go mainstream but personally I think it's unlikely it will win out in the end. There's advantages to being the second-mover in this field just as in every other.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:09 pm UTC

Maybe I'm just stupid here, but what exactly is the value added by making the bitcoin transaction so energy intensive? Things are not worth the sum of their parts, if I cook a meal over a campfire, it's not a better meal if I replace the birch logs with Rembrandts. If the concern is that people get bitcoin too easily, just make the payment in satoshis instead of bitcoin so that mining is still barely cost effective but transaction is cheap.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:41 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Maybe I'm just stupid here, but what exactly is the value added by making the bitcoin transaction so energy intensive?

I am no expert, but I think it's all to do with the idea that there will only ever be 21m bitcoins in existence, which is enforced via 'the more there are the harder it is to mine the next one'.

And the reason for having a hard limit is to create deflationary pressures / artificial scarcity - encouraging bitcoins to grow in value - making more people want them - making it more likely for such a novel currency to grab attention and become a success.

That was probably an important feature for something that had to blaze a trail, but now that the concept of virtual currency has gone mainstream, the virtual currencies that replace bitcoin are free to have different priorities.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:50 pm UTC

But why make it difficult to mine and process transactions? I mean, you could make it easy to mine and complete a transaction, and just give people satoshis instead of bitcoin.

Let's say each block of transactions is 100 trillion calculations, after which 10 bitcoins are created and given to the miners, and the next block will be 102 trillion calculations. What's the real difference between that and just making the block of transactions 1 million calculations with no increase next block and creating just 10 satoshis or whatever instead?
Last edited by CorruptUser on Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:57 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:56 pm UTC

Do you mean 'instead of making it harder and harder to mine, keep it taking the same effort but return less and less coins per successful mine'?

If so I think that's a common criticism and one reason why other currencies got created.

(Once again I am no expert though; I am sure there are plenty around here who know a lot more about this topic than me)
Last edited by elasto on Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:57 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Thesh » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:57 pm UTC

Mining is about verifying transactions. The security of bitcoin requires that it be computationally expensive, or else it cannot function. The larger the network grows, the more expensive it must be to verify transactions. Proof of stake currencies do not have that problem.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:00 pm UTC

I'm not sure I understand. The network has computers "vote" on whether or not a transaction occurs, or something, but that shouldn't require enough computers running to power a moderately sized country.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:39 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I'm not sure I understand. The network has computers "vote" on whether or not a transaction occurs, or something, but that shouldn't require enough computers running to power a moderately sized country.

As I understand it, the idea is that the bad guys are unlikely to control more than 50% of the compute power. I don't get why not, given you have state actors involved in cybercrime, but that's the theory.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:54 pm UTC

But it doesn't mean you need 100 trillion calculations, or whatever the scale is, just the computer network capable of doing so. E.g., if 1000 computers could do the work in 10 minutes, still have the 1000 computers but only 1 million calculations. Same power, tiny fraction of electricity, pay the network proportionately less so that bitcoin is still just as profitable yet inflation is much slower, something that I'm sure current coin owners would love.

Alternatively, you don't transact bitcoin, you put them all in a vault and transact the right to a bitcoin, let's call them brights, so you can buy and sell those brights without ever having to pay transaction fees. I can then lend out those brights to someone who then deposits in other vault, or perhaps my vault. Maybe only let me lend out 80% of the brights in my vault. Oh, I'll pay depositers a smidgen for the right to loan out brights. Thus, I just invented the bank.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Weeks » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:22 pm UTC

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Liri » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:41 pm UTC


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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:43 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:But why make it difficult to mine and process transactions? I mean, you could make it easy to mine and complete a transaction, and just give people satoshis instead of bitcoin.

It takes time for blocks to propagate through the network. The closer they are together the more orphaned blocks you get (orphaned blocks are blocks that are valid but someone else beat the miner to a valid block sometimes you even get a short chain that is orphaned the rule is that the longest valid chain wins). Orphaned blocks cost electricity but accomplish nothing since they are discarded. Not raising the difficulty wouldn't reduce power consumption. People would just mine quicker and once you are talking about blocks every second, there will be an insane amount of wasted effort on orphan blocks. This is assuming that blocks aren't being generated so fast that the network can't even resolve which chain is the longest and orphan all the others.

CorruptUser wrote:I'm not sure I understand. The network has computers "vote" on whether or not a transaction occurs, or something, but that shouldn't require enough computers running to power a moderately sized country.


It makes transactions pretty close to immutable. If I have 2/3 of the processing power and want to remove a transaction from 24 hours ago, I have to do 24 hours worth of work to get back to the current state but I only have 2/3 of the power so it takes me 36 hours. In that time the rest of the network has done 36 * 1/3 = 12 hours more work. This continues until it takes 72 hours to roll back that transaction and in that time you have thrown away a massive amount of potential earnings. This is just to remove a transaction from 24 hours. You can't just all agree to use less resources because one person can cheat and hijack the system. Anonymous trust-less transactions are not a trivial problem.

As for the power usage, it is not as bad as it is made out to be. Due to the low data transmission requirements of mining it can locate almost anywhere in the world. A lot of mining centers locate places with excess power production that is currently just being wasted because that is where you can get electricity real cheap (this is one reason a lot of it is in China). In some cases they even help pay for green energy. Off the top of my head there is a very large operation by a hydro plant in China that generates a lot more power than is needed with no grid connection and Hydro Quebec is currently in negotiations with a large mining operation.

CorruptUser wrote:Alternatively, you don't transact bitcoin, you put them all in a vault and transact the right to a bitcoin, let's call them brights, so you can buy and sell those brights without ever having to pay transaction fees. I can then lend out those brights to someone who then deposits in other vault, or perhaps my vault. Maybe only let me lend out 80% of the brights in my vault. Oh, I'll pay depositers a smidgen for the right to loan out brights. Thus, I just invented the bank.

Okay. Now send a bright to someone on the other side of the world in a verifiable manner that requires no trust between parties and takes less than half an hour. By the way, I might want this transaction to be less than a cent so please don't let the fees get too high. The less than a cent trick isn't there yet but the rest is and tech which may well be able to accommodate less than 1 cent transaction is currently being developed on top of bitcoin. As an added bonus this tech could make it take only seconds.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:11 am UTC

idonno wrote:As for the power usage, it is not as bad as it is made out to be. Due to the low data transmission requirements of mining it can locate almost anywhere in the world. A lot of mining centers locate places with excess power production that is currently just being wasted because that is where you can get electricity real cheap (this is one reason a lot of it is in China). In some cases they even help pay for green energy. Off the top of my head there is a very large operation by a hydro plant in China that generates a lot more power than is needed with no grid connection and Hydro Quebec is currently in negotiations with a large mining operation.


As far as I'm aware, hydro plants very rarely just release water due to a lack of demand; half the point of the dam is to act as a reservoir, effectively creating a battery for an entire region, but electric use has soared far beyond what hydro plants can deliver so the reservoirs are almost never full. There are some issues with wind power, as wind power can spike very quickly, making it best used near a hydro dam or in combination with natural gas, but yes, occasionally a wind farm has to be shut down and I suppose having a warehouse with a bitcoin mine next door is not really any worse than simply shutting down the wind turbines. But I'm willing to bet that at least 90% of bitcoin's electricity is NOT waste power, it's relocating in China next to the cheapest, dirtiest coal plants there are.


idonno wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Alternatively, you don't transact bitcoin, you put them all in a vault and transact the right to a bitcoin, let's call them brights, so you can buy and sell those brights without ever having to pay transaction fees. I can then lend out those brights to someone who then deposits in other vault, or perhaps my vault. Maybe only let me lend out 80% of the brights in my vault. Oh, I'll pay depositers a smidgen for the right to loan out brights. Thus, I just invented the bank.

Okay. Now send a bright to someone on the other side of the world in a verifiable manner that requires no trust between parties and takes less than half an hour. By the way, I might want this transaction to be less than a cent so please don't let the fees get too high. The less than a cent trick isn't there yet but the rest is and tech which may well be able to accommodate less than 1 cent transaction is currently being developed on top of bitcoin. As an added bonus this tech could make it take only seconds.


We'll do it through a reputable company, like paypal.

People already trust banks to hold on to their money. Maybe have a central reserve vault for these brights, so that if my vault has an issue the other vaults can cover it?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:58 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:But I'm willing to bet that at least 90% of bitcoin's electricity is NOT waste power, it's relocating in China next to the cheapest, dirtiest coal plants there are.

Wait, wait, wait, you mean most Bitcoin miners probably aren't environmentally-conscious persons willing to shoulder the cost of using only renewable, environmentally-friendly power sources?

I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:56 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:As far as I'm aware, hydro plants very rarely just release water due to a lack of demand;
According to what I ahve read, the one in china has a constant flow of water. Also, if any dam's reservoir currently builds up more supply than it can use, there is free power there. According to the power consumption at this one hydro plant, base on the high end estimates of network power consumption, that one facility is probably at least 1.5% in clean energy consumption for the network and it might be closer to 10% depending on who is right about how much power is used.

CorruptUser wrote:But I'm willing to bet that at least 90% of bitcoin's electricity is NOT waste power, it's relocating in China next to the cheapest, dirtiest coal plants there are.

I have some troubling news for you. It is my understanding that those cheap dirty coal plants are generating a lot of wasted power too. China doesn't have a good power grid and you can't just shut plants off and on. Also, I'm willing to bet that the banking industry consumes a lot more energy than you think but it is pretty much impossible to audit that while bitcoin is pretty simple to approximate.

CorruptUser wrote:We'll do it through a reputable company, like paypal.
How many days does paypal take to clear? What is their minimum fee?
How often do they have your $2,500 violin destroyed and confiscate the money? What happens if the U.S. tells them not to bank you? What happens if you are one of the massive number of unbanked or under banked? What happens if your government mismanages money so badly they decide to help themselves to yours? You might be in a privileged country with a stable currency but that doesn't mean that the world is or that you will always be.

I am not saying this is the right solution and there are certainly issues but it is fascinating and there are actually a lot of compelling arguments for why it is desirable.
If you are interested here is a talk about some advantages of decentralization. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plDP4bqv740 This guy is overly optimistic in my opinion but I think his talks do a good job of framing the pro bitcoin point of view.

Also, there are a lot of fascinating things you can do once transaction rely on cryptography and math that any computer can perform (this is the signing of transactions not the hashing which requires specialized equipment) rather than middle men and I suspect current endeavors are just scratching the surface of this potential.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:14 pm UTC

Amy Lee wrote:Just what we all need... more lies about a world that never was and never will be.


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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Liri » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:11 pm UTC

I think we all need a good dose of Donald Rumsfeld's poetry
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Coyne » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:19 am UTC


Owen Smith does not know what he is talking about.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:48 am UTC

Well, I didn't facts check my articles for truthiness, I just thought it was humorous. And I think he mentioned it might leave a funky tastes on your chocolate bars in the refrigerator? Which I believe... may be true? Your experiences may vary?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Coyne » Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:55 am UTC

Ginger wrote: Your experiences may vary?

Exactly. His piece is just an opinion piece and I don't agree. Matter of personal taste. And I was trying to be wryly funny and I see it fell flat.
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:06 pm UTC

No worries I would've laughed if I got it? Ha-ha. See? You funny meow Coyne I laughs. <3
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Coyne » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:24 am UTC

Long "dead" NASA satellite discovered alive by amateur astronomer

A long lost NASA satellite has been found alive, if not necessarily well. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has confirmed that an amateur astronomer looking for a missing spy satellite stumbled across radio transmissions from NASA's Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) science satellite, which lost contact with mission control over 12 years ago.


Okay, let's try to find the government's spy satellite. What's this? Well what do you know there's the satellite the government lost 12 years ago.

The lengths government agencies will go to keep people from snooping their satellites...
In all fairness...

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:46 am UTC

Coyne wrote:Exactly. His piece is just an opinion piece and I don't agree. Matter of personal taste. And I was trying to be wryly funny and I see it fell flat.

I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure the primary issue with refrigerating chocolate is caused by condensation. If you seal it in a zip lock bag with as little air as possible it should be fine.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:28 am UTC

I'm not sure whether to laugh or gasp in horror:

U.S. soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging

BEIRUT — An interactive map posted on the Internet that shows the whereabouts of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit also reveals highly sensitive information about the locations and activities of soldiers at U.S. military bases, in what appears to be a major security oversight.


Spoiler:
[...]

The Global Heat Map was posted online in November 2017, but the information it contains was publicized Saturday only after a 20-year-old Australian student stumbled across it.

Nathan Ruser, who is studying international security and the Middle East, found out about the map from a mapping blog and was inspired to look more closely, he said, after a throwaway comment by his father, who observed that the map offered a snapshot of “where rich white people are” in the world.

“I wondered, does it show U.S. soldiers?” Ruser said, and he immediately zoomed in on Syria. “It sort of lit up like a Christmas tree.”

He started tweeting about his discovery, and the Internet also lit up as data analysts, military experts and former soldiers began scouring the map for evidence of activity in their areas of interest.

Adam Rawnsley, a Daily Beast journalist, noticed a lot of jogging activity on the beach near a suspected CIA base in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Another Twitter user said he had located a Patriot missile system site in Yemen.

Ben Taub, a journalist with the New Yorker, homed in on the location of U.S. Special Operations bases in the Sahel region of Africa.

[...]

Lines of activity extending out of bases and back may indicate patrol routes. The map of Afghanistan appears as a spider web of lines connecting bases, showing supply routes, as does northeast Syria, where the United States maintains a network of mostly unpublicized bases. Concentrations of light inside a base may indicate where troops live, eat or work, suggesting possible targets for enemies.

At a site in northern Syria near a dam, where analysts have suspected the U.S. military is building a base, the map shows a small blob of activity accompanied by an intense line along the nearby dam, suggesting that the personnel at the site jog regularly along the dam, [Tobias] Schneider[, an international security analyst based in Germany,] said.

[...]

“Big OPSEC [operations security] and PERSEC [personal security] fail,” tweeted Nick Waters, a former British army officer who pinpointed the location of his former base in Afghanistan using the map. “Patrol routes, isolated patrol bases, lots of stuff that could be turned into actionable intelligence.”

By no means is all the activity discovered related to U.S. forces, Schneider said. The perimeter of the main Russian base in Syria, Hmeimim, is clearly visible — as are several routes out of the base that are presumably taken by patrols, he said.

Other Russian bases also show up, but Iranians either don’t use fitness trackers or prudently turn them off, he noted.
Last edited by ObsessoMom on Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:51 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby addams » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:01 am UTC

That's Funny.
And; A little scary.

Thank you for the food for thought.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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flicky1991
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby flicky1991 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:47 am UTC

ObsessoMom wrote:I'm not sure whether to laugh or gasp in horror:
Note: your incorrectly-nested tags have broken the formatting - I think you need to swap a quote and a spoiler end-tag at the end there.
any pronouns
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ObsessoMom
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:52 am UTC

Thanks, flicky. It looked okay on my browser, but perhaps my browser is more forgiving of bad code.

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Ginger
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Ginger » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:05 am UTC

What an unusual story. Fitness technology use for tracking? It makes my spine shiver.
Amy Lee wrote:Just what we all need... more lies about a world that never was and never will be.


Azula to Long Feng wrote:Don't flatter yourself, you were never even a player.


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