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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel


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stainsteelrat
Twenty five years of the IBM PC. Happy 25th birthday to IBM compatibles!

Dell sued over 'false' ads claims. Dell China are being sued after specifying a certain chip in their laptop advertising, only for users to spot a different lower specification chip was actually being used.

'Stalemate' for high-def DVD war. Screen Digest magazine predicts that neither of the new formats will win the HD war, and it will end in stalemate until dual format players are released. They also predict that the two competing formats will actually damage the HD market, due to consumer reluctance. Other experts are also questioning whether consumers are ready for a new format, even though DVD sales are levelling off. I suspect these experts are right.

Cabin baggage ban hits musicians. Following the banning of hand baggage on planes from the UK, musicians are suffering particularly. One particular groups of Russians are having to skip their short plane journey in favour of a long overland trip, as by contract they cannot be separated from their expensive instruments which are borrowed from Russia's state collection.

Warning of online drugs 'danger'. No great surprise that buying medicine on the Internet may well mean that you don't end up getting what you thought (what, you mean that Viagra *isn't* real!?). Aside from the issue of not having the medicine prescribed and monitored. A Thai woman, resident in the UK, bought steroids over the Internet after self-diagnosing herself with chronic fatigue syndrome. After four years of taking the drugs she ended up in hospital with cataracts.

Mornings 'best time for surgery'. US researchers studied the timing of 90,000 operations and found that the success rate of the operation itself increases, and post-operative issues decrease, for morning operations. The researchers think that natural changes in the body's pain tolerance, and staff fatigue, could be the reason.

More babies becoming overweight. Babies in both the US and the UK are getting fatter, with newborns showing the highest rise, caused by increasing obesity levels of the mothers.

UK seeks role in Moon missions. UK scientists are in talks with China to produce scientific instruments for their moon mission, which will use robotic spacecraft.

Greenland melt 'speeding up'. More bad news in the global warming stakes, as US researchers have calculated the melt rate of Greenland ice is increasing, and is three times that of a previous prediction. The current estimates are a melt rate of 239 cubic kilometres (57.3 cubic miles) per year. Should the ice caps melt, anyone not 6.5m above current sea level better put their swimming costume on.

And some Brazilian news...

Brazil woman hired killer to get son's wife (Washington Post). In Rio de Janeiro, a mother who felt her daughter-in-law was humiliating her son hired a killer for US$500. Although the relationship had actually split-up at the time, they were trying to reconcile, when the wife was shot and killed. The mother admitted having a "sick love" for her son.

12% of Congress faces expulsion for taking bribes (Mercopress). One of the biggest political corruption scandals in even Brazil's history has been kicking off the last few weeks. Over 12% of Congress have been implicated in taking bribes as part of an inflated contract for purchasing ambulances. Several organisations are trying to get Brazilian voters to stop voting for corrupt politicians, but despite the size of the scandal it's made little headway in Brazilian press, and corruption issues tend to get ignored by the majority of Brazilian voters. I don't see anyone in Congress being expelled either, due to rampant croneyism. In another recent corruption scandal 30 businessmen, government officials and soldiers were arrested for overcharging on military and school meals, netting those concerned around US$157 million over the last 6 years.


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I'm quite safe from the flooding here. Though shopping in Liverpool might be a problem.

I remember a geology professor at University would often "jokingly" tell us how his house was on the 6.5m above sea level contour, by choice.

Sure, you're safe from the water. But what about all the displaced people that will now be living in your back garden?

Just because you're above the guessed sea level, doesn't mean it won't pretty much change your life forever.

Just ranting. :)

Well peterb does mention not being able to shop in Liverpool, which does sound pretty lifechanging... ;-) Mind you, I shouldn't be a hypocrite as I recently nagged someone for not making jokes about very serious topics.

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