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Comments

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How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off

ColdWetDog Re:Well. (188 comments)

Even the slightest impurity can cause it to fail. That certainly does not sound shatter resistance

The slightest impurity? On an Apple device?

Not on your life.

yesterday
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VK CEO Fired, Says Company Under Kremlin Control

ColdWetDog Re:Surprised? (142 comments)

Probably doesn't know what cope d'etat means, either.

yesterday
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Expert Warns: Civilian World Not Ready For Massive EMP-Caused Blackout

ColdWetDog Re:Nevermind - I'm an idiot (270 comments)

Memo to self: Do homework fist, THEN post to /.

Trying to stand out by yourself, are you?

2 days ago
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Google: Better To Be a 'B' CS Grad Than an 'A+' English Grad

ColdWetDog Re:*sigh* (350 comments)

Totally untrue. Check out your local Starbucks.

2 days ago
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Expert Warns: Civilian World Not Ready For Massive EMP-Caused Blackout

ColdWetDog Re:One word: FUD (270 comments)

I like the statement that, in the worst case scenario, 500,000 people would die in the first half hour.

That amazes me. I would think that even in 2014, it would take a couple of hours before people went into a terminal heart rhythm because they couldn't log on to Facebook. Maybe I'm just old and slow...

2 days ago
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Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

ColdWetDog Re:They're just avoiding liability (330 comments)

If you're in Portland, I would suggest just drinking pure grain alcohol . .

I take it that you have been following your own advice....

2 days ago
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$42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

ColdWetDog Re:Sunk Costs (285 comments)

- and since it is a commercial product, a couple of million dollars getting it approved by the FDA.

It all adds up.

3 days ago
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Google Aids Scientology-Linked Group CCHR With Pay-Per-Click Ads

ColdWetDog Re:CCHR has made some valid points... (185 comments)

This is precisely how crazies work. They take a perfectly reasonable statement - The practice of psychiatry has problems / Vaccines CAN cause harm, etc and then push their agenda far and beyond any rationale discussion. Yes, the practice of psychiatry is primitive and has been subject to considerable abuse in the past (lobotomies, insulin shocks to name a few). Yes, this country is overmedicated - but not just with psychoactive drugs - and this isn't just the 'fault' of psychiatrists but instead involves doctors, patients, drug companies, government and bog knows who else.

But the victrolic, angry and anti intellectual approach of CCHR and Scientology in general should continue to be exposed for what it is - a scam. They should be allowed to express their opinions and, if the IRS says they are a 501C3 corp and Google gives something extra to non profits, well then, let'em at it. But it's still a scam. Along with quite an number of other 'non profits'.

3 days ago
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Google Aids Scientology-Linked Group CCHR With Pay-Per-Click Ads

ColdWetDog Re:Credible Source? (185 comments)

Ah, thank you.

These are not the Evils you are looking for.

3 days ago
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Google Aids Scientology-Linked Group CCHR With Pay-Per-Click Ads

ColdWetDog Re:Credible Source? (185 comments)

Yes, interesting. It's an unsourced statement from somebody's blog. But it has two of the Slashdot keywords - 'Google' and 'Scientology' so, as someone mentioned in the last thread about some other Slashdot keywords (Guns, 3D printing, drugs and The Feds), grab your popcorn and super size your Mountain Dew.

3 days ago
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Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

ColdWetDog Re:Getting attention at the expense of 3D printing (206 comments)

Look at the forums devoted to 3D printing. To print anything more complex than a spoon, you have to get a significant degree of expertise with the systems. Using a lathe and mill isn't all that hard - we have taught it to high school students for decades and the newer, computer controlled ones are even easier.

In any town large enough to have an auto mechanic, there is probably somebody familiar enough with standard metalworking tools to make a gun. And a far better one that the 3D printers are making.

Is there a future for 3D printing - sure, as an evolution to what we are doing, not a revolution.

3 days ago
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Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

ColdWetDog Re:Idiot (206 comments)

They were. There were definite concerns about letting computing resources out to the hoi polloi.

Remember when encryption was considered 'military armaments?

3 days ago
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Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

ColdWetDog Re:Why are we giving people like Cody any attentio (206 comments)

Cody is a gun nut, a pothead, and an anarchist. He is pro-crime, anti-police, anti-government. He wants everyone armed with every manner of illegal weaponry possible.

What's not to like?

3 days ago
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Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

ColdWetDog Re:Why? (126 comments)

You're describing Bokeh. And yes, it is one of those techniques that done well, can greatly enhance a picture. There are entire web sites and discussion groups devoted to the topic - which lens, camera, technique is best and who is a total poser. There have been numerous attempts to do this in software, all of which have yielded meh results. I suspect that Google's attempt will be another one of these, but who knows. Perhaps they will finally figure out how to let photographers match their $15,000 DLSR rigs with an $800 smartphone and a .99 app.

4 days ago
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DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

ColdWetDog Re:Pilots crash planes (75 comments)

Makes me wonder whether the engines shouldn't have pivot mountings so that they can be tilted up and down and even sideways.

Talk to the V-22 engineers about just exactly how easy it is to do that... It took them literally decades (the original V-22 was designed in the 1960's) to do that and the thing still crashes more than is desirable. Once you make the engine move, you change the aerodynamics of the entire aircraft. Continuously. Not a trivial problem and one that would likely create more problems than it solves.

4 days ago
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DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

ColdWetDog Re:OMG! (75 comments)

When things are going bad, they tend to go bad quickly. Not the time to punch up the videogame. Remember the pilots are trying to do lots of things.

The reason why you can reconstruct an incident like this is that you can spend literally years going over every little detail. That's an advantage that the pilots certainly don't have.

4 days ago
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DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

ColdWetDog Re:Slashdot = DARPA publicity agency? (75 comments)

While this is sort of true (you can turn off flight laws in a Airbus), it's not a bad thing. We don't know which approach is better - or if indeed either approach is always better or worse. It's a large scale experiment.

And since both Airbus and Boeing aircraft rarely plummet to the ground, a rather successful one. Yes, there can and should be improvements but the jury is out.

The turn of events that caused AirFrance 447 might well have been interrupted with a Boeing autopilot system. Conversely, the idiot junior pilot that crashed the 777 in San Francisco would probably have been unable to shut the engines down completely before actually landing.

Murphy's law. Remember it.

4 days ago
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Microsoft Plans $1 Billion Server Farm In Iowa

ColdWetDog Re:Is it far enough away ? (86 comments)

Time zone I understand. Growing zone is a little harder.

So it's really a server farm?

4 days ago

Submissions

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Photo Geek 2013 Contest Results

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about 5 months ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "If you are at all interested in the mechanics and physics of photography, you can do much worse than spend a few minutes perusing the weird and often amazing pictures of the Photo Geek 2013 contest. If you're still not sated, you can read some more of Roger Cicala's LensRentals blog and learn more than you ever thought possible or necessary about testing and evaluating modern cameras and lenses."
Link to Original Source
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How to warm up your Christmas - "Cold Fusion" for sale

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about 5 months ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Be the first on your block (or country for that matter). Amaze your friends and confound the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first cold fusion power plant is now available to pre-order. The E-Cat 1MW Plant, which comes in a standard shipping container, can produce one megawatt of thermal energy, using low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) — a process, often known as cold fusion, that fuses nickel and hydrogen into copper, producing energy 100,000 times more efficiently than combustion. It sounds like E-Cat is now taking orders for delivery in early 2014, priced fairly reasonably at $1.5 million. Has cold fusion — the answer to all our energy needs — finally made its way to market?"
Link to Original Source
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Obamacare going to the dogs.

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about 5 months ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes ""Fort Collins, [Colorado], resident Shane Smith told a local Fox News Affiliate that he received a letter last week informing his dog,Baxter, that a health insurance account had been opened for the pup through Connect for Health Colorado. Smith told the station he had to sign up for coverage through the state exchange because his health insurance plan was cancelled under ObamaCare. He isn’t sure how Baxter wound up getting enrolled instead, but he said he did give Baxter’s name as a security question as part of the registration process." First the NSA backs all all your data. Now the Feds insure your security questions. What's not to like?"
Link to Original Source
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Nothing new under the sun

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about 7 months ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Recent revelations surrounding the documents leaked by Edward Snowden and Chelsea / Bradley Manning have painted the US intelligence services and the US military in a less than flattering light. A recent short article on the Atlantic website points out that secrecy, duplicity and a narrow, near paranoid view of the world existed in the minds of the US military and intelligence communities during the Kennedy administration.

From the start of his presidency, Kennedy feared that the Pentagon brass would overreact to Soviet provocations and drive the country into a disastrous nuclear conflict. The Soviets might have been pleased—or understandably frightened—to know that Kennedy distrusted America’s military establishment almost as much as they did.

TFA puts a bit of historical context into the recent discussions we have been having. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". (George Santayana)."
Link to Original Source

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Is this YOUR policy? Would you like it back?

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about 10 months ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Recently IS at my small hospital created an "Acceptable Use Policy" for our institution. Being the sort of anal compulsive guy that I am, I actually read it. That prompted me to attempt to figure out where it came from which led me to the SANS site. This purports to be "the most trusted and by far the largest source for information security training and security certification in the world. It also develops, maintains, and makes available at no cost, the largest collection of research documents about various aspects of information security, and it operates the Internet's early warning system — the Internet Storm Center" Be that as it may, I thought at least the Computer Use Policy had some real dumb features. I'm most concerned about the section on information ownership:

Hospital’s network administration desires to provide a reasonable level of privacy, users should be aware that the data they create on the organization’s systems remains the property of... Hospital.

Not sure how that is going to work out overall, seems a bit over arching — like what, precisely, is 'data'? But the thing that really has me annoyed because it clobbers my work flow is the fun statement:

All PCs, laptops and workstations should be secured with a password-protected screensaver with the automatic activation feature set at 10 minutes or less, or by logging-off when the host will be unattended.

My point being that a generic, hardcoded time to lock the workstation is a dumb idea, especially when many of the computers are located within a controlled environment. Logging in a couple of dozen times per day is not how I would define a productive use of my time. Has anyone else found an 'authorative" pontification of these ideas, especially in regards to healthcare systems in the US? (Hopefully the rest of the world isn't as batshit insane as we are)."
Link to Original Source

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Supremes nix gene patents

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about 10 months ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "The ongoing story of Myriad Genetics versus the rest of the world has come to an end. In a 9-0 decision, the US Supreme Court has decided that human genes cannot be patented. From a brief Bloomberg article:

Writing for the court, Justice Clarence Thomas said isolated DNA is a “product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated.” At the same time, Thomas said synthetic molecules known as complementary DNA, or cDNA, can be patented because they require a significant amount of human manipulation to create.

Seems perfectly sane. Raw genes, the ones you find in nature are, wait for it — natural. Other bits of manipulated DNA / RNA / protein which take skill and time to create are potentially patentable. Oddly, Myriad Genetics stock actually rose on that information."

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Lizard named for Jim Morrison; Hunter S. Thompson comes in second.

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about a year ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "The LA Times has a quick article on a newly named giant lizard:

"An ancient plant eating lizard that looked like an iguana but was closer in size to a German shepherd has been named after Jim Morrison, the late troubled and charismatic lead singer of the Doors.The lizard's name was chosen by Jason Head, a paleontologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a hard-core Doors fan since college."

Hunter S. Thompson, who hallucinated presumably somewhat more carnivorous lounge lizards, was also considered for the honor. Perhaps next round."

Link to Original Source
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Another Weird Shiny Thing on Mars.

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about a year ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "The Mars Science Laboratory (AKA Curiosity) seems adept at finding curious items on the Martian surface. Not withstanding the little incident with the Madi Gras beads, there are been a couple of other unidentified objects found in the rover's path. The latest object appears as a small, half centimeter metallic bit sitting up in a rock. Part of an ancient Martian civilization? Part of Curiosity? Part of the sound stage in Arizona?

At least this one doesn't appear to be hoax."

Link to Original Source
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Outrageous picture - Curiosity parachute over Mars

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Just a short submission, but this is too good to miss. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shot this incredible picture of the Mars Science Lab (Curiosity).

On top of the near perfect landing, this is just icing on the cake but the visual is outstanding."

Link to Original Source
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Martian Terror Movie

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about 2 years ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Forget the scary bits in Prometheus. JPL has it's own planetside terror trailer. 7 Minutes of Terror is a well done video short describing the difficulty of landing the Curiosity Lander on Mars.

Watching this thing, you have to be impressed with JPL's risk taking. Certainly a step beyond the usual NASA conservative thinking.

It's going to be a scary ride in August.

We have obviously covered much of this before"

Link to Original Source
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Electron Porn - A teardown of the Chevy Volt

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about a year ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Forget those stories about disassembling iPhones and little tablets. These guys got to disassemble and entire Chevy Volt. While not as detailed on the electronics end as some of the teardowns typically described on Slashdot, it's pretty interesting.

Basically, the thing is handbuilt and seemingly overengineered. Oh, and it doesn't really turn off. Ever."

Link to Original Source
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Skydiver imitates Rocky the Flying Squirrel

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  about a year ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "British stuntman Gary Conway whose professional credits include stunts in Harry Potter and Batman films became the first skydiver to land safely without the aid of a parachute.

Mr. Conway leapt 2,400ft from a helicopter while wearing a specially made "wing suit" and swooped towards a "runway" of 18,600 cardboard boxes in an field near Oxfordshire, England.

Five seconds before he hit the target he flared his suit to decrease his descent and glide angle before plunging into the boxes to break his fall.

Definitely a gutsy move. Not a bright one, but gutsy."

Link to Original Source
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Is Dropbox the next Google?

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ColdWetDog writes "The Dropbox file storage and synchronization service has managed to attract 50 million users and $250 million in venture capital. The founder of Dropbox, Drew Houston, says he is determined to build the next Google or Apple, not to sell out to them. Even for or a guy whose paper valuation is around $600 million, seems like the best he could hope for is another Facebook level company — file storage isn't that sexy. I wish him luck in his bid to remain independent. I'd rather see Dropbox remain fairly agnostic with regard to other Internet services."
Link to Original Source
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Arctic Methane Releases Could Be Larger Than Forec

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Methane released by warming Arctic permafrost has long been considered a wild card variable in climate change calculations. Since it is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, even relatively small increases in methane releases can cause significant changes in modeling results. Russian scientists who have been studying the Siberian off shore regions for years and now report unprecedented subsurface discharges of methane with 'torches' of methane bubbling up from structures up to a kilometer in diameter.

"In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed," Dr Semiletov said. "We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale – I think on a scale not seen before. Some plumes were a kilometre or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere – the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal."

Given that current climate data is indicating that the consensus models may be underestimating the rate and extent of climate change, additional rapid rises of another greenhouse gas may foretell faster and more dramatic changes than are currently being envisioned. Hold on to your butts."
Link to Original Source

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No Russian Water Tentacle

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Slashdot has recently reported that the much reported "Cyber hack" of a Springfield, IL water treatment plant was, in fact, not due to a computer intrusion. But the story gets better:

Cyberwar watchers took notice this month when a leaked intelligence memo claimed Russian hackers had remotely destroyed a water pump at an Illinois utility. The report spawned dozens of sensational stories characterizing it as the first-ever reported destruction of U.S. infrastructure by a hacker.

Except that the report was a completely untrue and the reality much more prosaic. The pump burned out, as they do from time to time. The mysterious Russian connection was due to one of the designers of the system calling in to check some logs after he was urgently contacted about some issues with the plant five months before the pump eventually failed. Normally this would not create a problem except for the small detail that we was on vacation at the time. In Russia (insert 'In Soviet Russia' jokes here). The fact that someone had logged into the system from a foreign country fully five months before the pump failed was somehow conflated into a Stuxnet-type operation in the bowels of the American security watchdogs. And we think we're paranoid."
Link to Original Source

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Fukashima fission still continues

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Evidence of continued low level fission has been found in the Fukashima #2 reactor. Reported both in the Japan Times and the New York Times (registration required). Continued fission is considered the most likely reason for recent measurements of Xenon 135 (half life eight hours). However it is possible that the measurements are simply erroneous. Both articles reported that TEPCO has started to inject Boron into the reactor to stop the chain reaction, indicating that they feel concerned enough to act on the data. Intermittent fission reactions were assumed to be occurring immediately after the reactor failure but according to the NYT article,

But even in their most dire assessments, some experts had not expected even bursts of re-criticality to occur, because it was unlikely that the fuel would melt in just the right way — and that another ingredient, water, would be present in just the right amounts — to allow for any nuclear reaction. If episodes of fission at Fukushima were confirmed, Mr. Koide said, “our entire understanding of nuclear safety would be turned on its head.”

This view does not seem to be supported by some experts. A report in Nature News Blog notes that

... experts say that small amounts of fission in the reactor core would not be that surprising, and there seems no danger of either a self-sustaining critical chain reaction or significant release of fission products into the environment.

and further

"This does not look like a major release of radiation from the plant, but it is worth noting that even if the fuel is cooled, there is still a small amount of residual natural fission of the large amount of uranium fuel in the core," said Paddy Regan, a nuclear expert at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, adding that the amounts released would be far less than were the fuel to go critical. The detected xenon, he said, "does not appear to show any new radiological hazard from the disaster.”

Any one else want to chime in?"
Link to Original Source

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Adobe admits to using 'synthetic' deblur images in

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "Adobe has admitted an image used in its 'image deblur' presentation was artificially blurred for the purposes of the demonstration. The company said the blur on the image was 'more complicated than anything we can simulate using Photoshop's blur capabilities.' It described the move as 'common practice in research' and defended the use of the image because 'we wanted it to be entertaining and relevant to the audience.' The other images shown were the result of camera shake, it said.

Adobe has photoshopped Photoshop."

Link to Original Source
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To Boldly Go Nowhere

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ColdWetDog (752185) writes "A brief note in the Atlantic notes that Congress has failed to supply funds to continue Plutonium-238 production, needed for radioisotope generators for NASA's interplanetary probe programs. No PU-238 means no more missions like Cassini-Huygens and pretty much anywhere that the sun doesn't shine enough to power the satellite via solar cells.

The article notes that the only other source of PU-238 is Russia — either through the government or through trolling through Siberia and the Russian coastline looking for old Soviet Era lighthouses and power stations."

Link to Original Source
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The Uncanny Valley Explained

ColdWetDog ColdWetDog writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ColdWetDog writes "Scientists now believe they’ve figured out what causes the uncanny valley response. By using functional MRI and comparing scans of volunteers when watching images of human appearing androids or the humans that the robots were created to mimic, they noted that

"The results suggests that the uneasiness we feel could be caused by a “perceptual mismatch between appearance and motion.” Basically, the brain seemed to negatively react like crazy when the robotic motions of the android didn’t match its human-like appearance.""

Link to Original Source

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