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What was highest label on your first car speedometer?

  • 80 mph
  • 88 mph
  • 100 mph
  • 120 mph
  • 150 mph
  • it was in kph like civilized countries use you insensitive clod
  • Other (please specify in comments)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:68 | Votes:281

posted by hubie on Friday February 02, @09:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the subscription-everything dept.

Sometimes, it's worth taking a moment to note the end of an era, even when that ending might have happened a long time ago. Today, Apple announced that it considers the mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro obsolete. It was the last MacBook Pro to include an optical drive for playing CDs or DVDs.

This means that any MacBook Pro with an optical drive is no longer supported.
Apple stopped selling the mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro in October 2016 (it was available for a while as the company's budget option in the Pro lineup), so anyone doing the math saw this coming.
The exclusion of an optical drive in subsequent MacBook Pro models was controversial, but it's now clear that whether Apple was jumping the gun at that point or not, optical drives have fallen away for most users, and many Windows laptops no longer include them.
That's a sign of just how irrelevant optical drives are for today's users, but this seems like a good time to remember a bygone era of physical media that wasn't so long ago. So farewell, mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro—honestly, most of us didn't miss you by this point.

[Do you still have a collection of Blu-rays/DVDs? Do you use an Optical Disc drive anymore?] I do.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday February 02, @04:50PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-see-the-light dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Known as SKAMPI, the [tele]'scope was designed by a team whose members hailed from ten nations and built in China. The model tested last week was assembled in 2018 in the Karoo region of South Africa, which will host some of the SKA's thousands of 'scopes.

Tests commenced in 2019, and the SKA org last week explained that technical commissioning work such as "system evaluation, radio frequency interference testing and performance testing took place until early 2022."

That effort helped the SKA team to create system design qualification documentation. SKA boffins have since worked to enable robotic operations of the instrument, and Docker-based software tools to make that possible.

"We have performed first-light observations with SKAMPI in the S-band at frequencies between 1.75 and 3.5GHz, demonstrating the telescope's spectral and pulsar capabilities with imaging of the radio emission of the Southern Sky and detection of the Vela pulsar," reported SKAMPI project scientist Hans-Rainer Klöckner of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR).

[...] While SKAMPI has been a success, much remains to be done. Work on this 'scope will inform development of the 197-dish SKA-Mid telescope – currently under construction in South Africa.

The project will also see the SKA-Low facility built in Australia, which will house 131,072 log-periodic antennas spread across 512 sites.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday February 02, @12:04PM   Printer-friendly

New research from University of Utah psychology researchers is helping prove what American authors John Muir and Henry David Thoreau tried to teach more than 150 years ago: Time spent in nature is good for the heart and soul.

Amy McDonnell and David Strayer are showing it is good for your brain, too. Their latest research, conducted at the university's Red Butte Garden, uses electroencephalography (EEG), which records electrical activity in the brain with small discs attached to the scalp, to measure participants' attentional capacity.

"A walk in nature enhances certain executive control processes in the brain above and beyond the benefits associated with exercise," concludes the study appearing in Scientific Reports. The paper contributes to the growing body of scientific literature on how natural settings contribute to a person's physical and mental health. The university itself has recently established a new research group, Nature and Human Health Utah, that explores these issues and proposes solutions for bridging the human-nature divide.

Many researchers suspect a primal need for nature is baked into humans' DNA, and diminishing access to nature is putting our health at risk.

"There's an idea called biophilia that basically says that our evolution over hundreds of thousands of years has got us to have more of a connection or a love of natural living things," said Strayer, a professor of psychology. "And our modern urban environment has become this dense urban jungle with cell phones and cars and computers and traffic, just the opposite of that kind of restorative environment."

Strayer's past research into multitasking and distracted driving associated with cellphone use has drawn national attention. For the past decade, his lab has focused on how nature affects cognition. The new research was part of McDonnell's dissertation as a grad student in Strayer's Applied Cognition Lab. She has since completed her Ph.D. and is continuing the attention research as a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Utah.

The study, conducted in 2022 between April and October, analyzed EEG data recorded on each of 92 participants immediately before and after they undertook a 40-minute walk. Half walked through Red Butte, the arboretum in the foothills just east of the university, and half through the nearby asphalt-laden medical campus.
"The participants that had walked in nature showed an improvement in their executive attention on that task, whereas the urban walkers did not, so then we know it's something unique about the environment that you're walking in," McDonnell said. "We know exercise benefits executive attention as well, so we want to make sure both groups have comparable amounts of exercise."

What sets this study apart from much of the existing research into the human-nature nexus is its reliance on EEG data as opposed to surveys and self-reporting, which do yield helpful information but can be highly subjective.

Journal Reference:
Amy S. McDonnell et al, Immersion in nature enhances neural indices of executive attention, Scientific Reports (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-024-52205-1

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday February 02, @07:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the like-a-grape-not-cheese dept.

Moonquakes due to shrinkage. The moon is shrinking and by doing so is putting future moon plans in jeopardy.

[...] A new study estimates that the circumference of Earth's only natural satellite has decreased by about 45m over the past few hundred million years.

That isn't a lot of shrinkage, but apparently enough to lead to problems.

[...] ... the shrinkage causes potentially severe "moonquakes" around the lunar South Pole

[...] Right where they, NASA, want to land and build their new moon base.

[...] Its diminished outline is a result of the moon's iron core cooling and contracting over time. In much the same way as a grape wrinkles as it shrinks to become a raisin, the lunar surface

And the analogy explanation. The moon is like a grape ... not cheese. Do you know what goes with cheese? Wine. That is made from grapes. See it all ties together.

How much has earth shrunk or grown in the past few hundred million years?

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday February 02, @02:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the all-your-pixels-belong-to-us dept.

The US Justice Department said Wednesday that the FBI surreptitiously sent commands to hundreds of infected small office and home office routers to remove malware China state-sponsored hackers were using to wage attacks on critical infrastructure.

The routers—mainly Cisco and Netgear devices that had reached their end of life—were infected with what's known as KV Botnet malware, Justice Department officials said.

[...] "To effect these seizures, the FBI will issue a command to each Target Device to stop it from running the KV Botnet VPN process," an agency special agent wrote in an affidavit dated January 9. "This command will also stop the Target Device from operating as a VPN node, thereby preventing the hackers from further accessing Target Devices through any established VPN tunnel.

[...] The takedown disclosed Wednesday isn't the first time the FBI has issued commands to infected devices without the owners' knowledge ahead of time. In 2021, authorities executed a similar action to disinfect Microsoft Exchange servers that had been compromised by a different China-state group tracked as Hafnium.

[...] In 2018, researchers reported that more than 500,000 SOHO routers had been compromised by sophisticated malware dubbed VPNFilter. The mass hack was later revealed to be an operation by a Russian-state group tracked as Sofacy. In that event, the FBI issued an advisory urging people to restart their routers to remove any possible infections. The agency also seized a domain used to control VPNFilter.

[...] This month's takedown comes as the Chinese government has stepped up attacks in recent years to compromise routers, cameras, and other network-connected devices to target critical infrastructure. warned of the trend in May last year. Researchers in the private sector have issued similar warnings.

Previously on SoylentNews:
Backdoored Firmware Lets China State Hackers Control Routers With "Magic Packets" - 20230930
Microsoft Comes Under Blistering Criticism for "Grossly Irresponsible" Security - 20230805
Malware Turns Home Routers Into Proxies for Chinese State-Sponsored Hackers - 20230518
US Warns of Govt Hackers Targeting Industrial Control Systems - 20220415
State Hackers Breach Defense, Energy, Healthcare Orgs Worldwide - 20211111
Microsoft Exchange Server Zero Day Hack Roundup - 20210316
Breached Water Plant Employees Shared Same Password, No Firewall - 20210211
Iranian Spies Accidentally Leaked Videos of Themselves Hacking - 20200716
Hackers Can Seize Control of Ballots Cast Using the Voatz Voting App, Researchers Say - 20200215
Microsoft Takes Court Action Against Fourth Nation-State Cybercrime Group - 20191231

"state actors" search on SoylentNews for even more:

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday February 01, @09:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the selling-out-to-the-microsofters dept.

Vlogger Jeff Geerling has an analysis of rumors of a future IPO for Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd.

But long-term, will Eben's vision for what makes Raspberry Pi change? Will there be turnover and some of the people who make the Pi a joy to use be gone?

Will the software side start leaning on subscriptions to increase revenues to make shareholders happy?

And ultimately, could Eben be replaced, and would that change things? Yes, probably, but I won't speculating about any that here. See my blog post about enshittification from last month if you wanna read more about that topic.

What I will do is answer some misconceptions I've seen about Raspberry Pi and the IPO.

The Register covered the IPO discussion the other day and while bankers have been appointed to the task, the CEO asserts that nothing will change.

"The business is in a much better place than it was last time we looked at it. We partly stopped because the markets got bad. And we partly stopped because our business became unpredictable."

"Unpredictable" is an understatement for many who attempted to acquire certain models of the computer during the supply chain crunches of recent years. "The public markets value predictability as much as they value performance," said Upton.

(2023) Arm Acquires Minority Stake in Raspberry Pi
(2023) Eben Upton Interview on Raspberry Pi Availability Update and Painful Decisions
(2023) Raspberry Pi Produced 10 Million RP2040s in 2021, More Pi Stores Likely
(2022) 10 Years of Raspberry Pi: the $25 Computer Has Come a Long Way
(2021) Raspberry Pi Raises Price for First Time, Reintroduces 1 GB Model for $35
... and many more.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday February 01, @05:08PM   Printer-friendly

The Register

An apocryphal tale regarding the late, great footballer George Best being interviewed by a reporter just after getting suspended from Manchester United offers an apt description of today's tech industry right now.

Best was the finest footballer (or soccer in Freedom Language) of his generation during the Swinging Sixties and was one of the first big-money athletes to transcend sport and achieve celebrity. He was handsome, ferociously talented on the pitch, and famously debauched off it. He was once quoted as saying "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars – the rest I just squandered."

According to the tale, the journalist was ushered into his hotel suite – strewn with empty champagne bottles after a wild party. A former Miss United Kingdom was freshening up in the shower and George sat in an armchair with a cigar and a huge glass of Scotch in his fist. The journalist's first question was: "So Bestie, where did it all go wrong?"

The same question can be asked of today's tech industry which, like Best, experienced initial greatness but has arguably wasted the spoils with loutish behavior and cashing in on past achievements.

Attracting customers and then exploiting them is a phenomenon that's as old as capitalism, but it's become endemic in the tech industry where it has earned a new name: "enshittification."

The coiner of the term, author and activist Cory Doctorow, described it thus.

Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

Doctorow gave a speech on the topic at last year's DEF CON infosec conference, and his analysis is gaining traction on all sides of the political and technological spectrum.

[...] Doctorow suggested enshittification of services happens due to the kind of management that such mega-companies demand.

Traditionally, CEOs progress in a large company by taking a new idea and growing it into a valuable business unit. It worked for Microsoft's Satya Nadella in developing cloud platforms for Redmond, and Andy Jassy followed a similar route to success with Amazon after pioneering AWS. Meanwhile, Sundar Pichai oversaw the growth of ChromeOS before taking leadership at Alphabet.

Doctorow thinks that the same process might also harm innovation. Uneasy lies the head that bears the crown, and CEOs might be unwilling to promote major new innovations – he cited the failure of social network Google+ as a classic example.

[...] In the end it should be possible to reverse the current trend and reintroduce a more competitive technology industry environment that can spur innovation, spread the wealth, and grow more efficient for users, employers, and investors.

YouTube Talk

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Thursday February 01, @12:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the Here-Here dept.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has proposed creating a new top-level domain (TLD) and never allowing it to be delegated in the global domain name system (DNS) root.

The proposed TLD is .INTERNAL and, as the name implies, it's intended for internal use only. The idea is that .INTERNAL could take on the same role as the 192.168.x.x IPv4 bloc – available for internal use but never plumbed into DNS or other infrastructure that would enable it to be accessed from the open internet.

ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) advised the development of such a TLD in 2020. It noted at the time that "many enterprises and device vendors make ad hoc use of TLDs that are not present in the root zone when they intend the name for private use only. This usage is uncoordinated and can cause harm to Internet users" – in part by forcing DNS servers to handle, and reject, queries for domains only used internally.

[...] ICANN's board still has to sign off the creation of .INTERNAL. But if you want to get ahead of the pack, there's nothing stopping you. Indeed, some outfits already use ad hoc TLDs. Open source Wi-Fi firmware project WRT has used .LAN, and networking vendor D-Link has employed .dlink.

There's nothing stopping you doing likewise.

But as ICANN's proposal for the idea noted: "Operators who choose to use private namespaces of the kind proposed in this document should understand the potential for that decision to have corresponding costs, and that those costs might well be avoided by choosing instead to use a sub-domain of their own publicly registered domain name."

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Thursday February 01, @07:36AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Apple has attacked what it calls the UK's "unprecedented overreach" in proposing that it have the power of veto over all Big Tech security features across the globe.

The UK's House of Lords is due to debate an update to the country's Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016 on January 30, 2024. In a much earlier form in 2015, the IPA was slammed by Apple for how it then proposed breaking encryption.

According to BBC News, Apple is now attacking the latest update proposals. Apple is against the UK having a veto over security updates, and also over how if the country were to exercise that veto, no Big Tech firm could even say that it has.

[...] Separately, in September 2023, the UK backed down from a nonsensical law after firms including Apple and WhatsApp said they would cease operating in the UK if the government passed a law requiring the breaking of end-to-end encryption.

The issue of Apple and others not being legally allowed to reveal that a government had vetoed a security update is similar to how the US forbade the company from revealing push notification surveillance.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Thursday February 01, @02:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the may-or-might? dept.

Great whites, the largest predatory sharks in the world with the most fatal attacks on humans, are tough to imagine as newborn babies. That is partially because no one has seen one in the wild, it seems, until now.

Wildlife filmmaker Carlos Gauna and UC Riverside biology doctoral student Phillip Sternes were scanning the waters for sharks on July 9, 2023, near Santa Barbara on California's central coast. That day, something exciting appeared on the viewfinder of Gauna's drone camera. It was a shark pup unlike any they'd ever seen.

Great whites, referred to only as white sharks by scientists, are gray on top and white on the bottom. But this roughly 5-foot-long shark was pure white.

"We enlarged the images, put them in slow motion, and realized the white layer was being shed from the body as it was swimming," Sternes said. "I believe it was a newborn white shark shedding its embryonic layer."

These observations are documented in a new paper in the Environmental Biology of Fishes journal. The paper also details the significance of having seen a live newborn white shark.

[...] "Where white sharks give birth is one of the holy grails of shark science. No one has ever been able to pinpoint where they are born, nor has anyone seen a newborn baby shark alive," Gauna said. "There have been dead white sharks found inside deceased pregnant mothers. But nothing like this."

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Wednesday January 31, @10:05PM   Printer-friendly
from the so-is-time-faster? dept.

By clocking the speed of stars throughout the Milky Way galaxy, MIT physicists have found that stars further out in the galactic disk are traveling more slowly than expected compared to stars that are closer to the galaxy's center. The findings raise a surprising possibility: The Milky Way's gravitational core may be lighter in mass, and contain less dark matter, than previously thought.

The new results are based on the team's analysis of data taken by the Gaia and APOGEE instruments. Gaia is an orbiting space telescope that tracks the precise location, distance, and motion of more than 1 billion stars throughout the Milky Way galaxy, while APOGEE is a ground-based survey.

The physicists analyzed Gaia's measurements of more than 33,000 stars, including some of the farthest stars in the galaxy, and determined each star's "circular velocity," or how fast a star is circling in the galactic disk, given the star's distance from the galaxy's center.

[...] The team translated the new rotation curve into a distribution of dark matter that could explain the outer stars' slow-down, and found the resulting map produced a lighter galactic core than expected. That is, the center of the Milky Way may be less dense, with less dark matter, than scientists have thought.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 31, @05:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the peering-into-the-abyss dept.

Spreadsheet blunders aren't just frustrating personal inconveniences. They can have serious consequences. And in the last few years alone, there have been a myriad of spreadsheet horror stories.

In August 2023, the Police Service of Northern Ireland apologized for a data leak of "monumental proportions" when a spreadsheet that contained statistics on the number of officers it had and their rank was shared online in response to a freedom of information request.

There was a second overlooked tab on the spreadsheet that contained the personal details of 10,000 serving police officers.

[...] In 2021,, an online provider of cryptocurrency, accidentally transferred $10.5 million (£8.3 million) instead of $100 into the account of an Australian customer due to an incorrect number being entered on a spreadsheet.

The clerk who processed the refund for the Australian customer had wrongly entered her bank account number in the refund field in a spreadsheet. It was seven months before the mistake was spotted. The recipient attempted to flee to Malaysia but was stopped at an Australian airport carrying a large amount of cash.

Industry studies show that 90 percent of spreadsheets containing more than 150 rows have at least one major mistake. This is understandable because spreadsheet errors are easy to make but difficult to spot. My own research has shown that inspecting the spreadsheet's code is the most effective way of debugging them, but this approach still only catches between 60 and 80 percent of all errors.

[...] To break the cycle of repeated spreadsheet errors, there are several things organisations can do. First, introducing standardization would help to minimize confusion and mistakes. For example, this would mean consistent formatting, naming conventions, and data structures across spreadsheets.

Second, improving training is crucial. Equipping users with the knowledge and skills to build robust and accurate spreadsheets could help them identify and avoid pitfalls.

Finally, fostering a culture of critical thinking toward spreadsheets is vital. This would mean encouraging users to continually question calculations, validate their data sources, and double-check their work.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 31, @03:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the moving-forward dept.

We are running very short of time for creating a new site. We have one member of staff who has already volunteered for a post on the Board; other staff are already busy with their existing roles. We are looking for an additional 2 community members who wish to serve on a temporary Board so that we can create a new company and purchase the data, domains and other assets from the current site. But perhaps I should explain a little further....

The Board should, as a minimum, consist of 3 people, A Chairman, a Secretary and the site's Accountant. These people will be named at the creation of the new company and will each assume one of those formal roles. There are implications to this. Firstly, the company data is not publicised widely but we can make no guarantee that it will always remain hidden from public view, either by a change in US law or by, for example, the action of an hacker. Therefore, any volunteers must be prepared to waive his/her anonymity although as things stand it should never actually be compromised. Secondly, this is a temporary post. The latest draft of Bylaws is a very good starting point but it has become apparent that they are not perfect. There will be changes required to the Bylaws and, when they have been changed and accepted by the Community, all posts on the Board must be filled by people who have been elected by the community. You could, of course, stand for election at that time if you so wish.

Currently, we are only looking at putting names to roles so that we can create a company. Your experience and skill level are not the most important aspects. We will employ an professional accountant to produce the annual formal account reporting and it will not simply be left to our own 'Accountant'. Rather, the role is one of providing checks and balances for any expenditure and the management of the site's accounting records.

How long the 'temporary' role will last is not something that we can currently forecast. But I would estimate it to be weeks or months rather than a long term responsibility.

I think any sensible person would agree that we cannot simply pass control of the site and finances to unknown people so we must limit applications from those who have held an account for at least 6 months and have contributed to the site. The staff will treat all applications as sensitive data and we will only refer to individuals by their user name in any discussions or at subsequent meetings. We will, of course, need to know your true identity and contact details for the creation of the new company.

This is a chance for us to move the site to a new start and to ensure that we can provide continuity of stories each day for everyone to enjoy. We will all be involved - Board, staff and community - in producing new policy documents that are a reasonable balance between discussions and freedom of speech. We are almost at our 10th birthday. Many people did not expect us to reach our 1st birthday. I would like to see the site looking forward to many more birthdays to come.

We can only achieve this with your help. The are approximately 250 unique accounts, excluding ACs, active on the site each week although not all commenting in stories. We are only looking for 2 volunteers.

If you wish to volunteer please send your email giving your username to with the word "volunteer" in the subject. All emails will be treated in the strictest confidence. Time is of the essence so please don't delay in contacting us should you wish to volunteer.

UPDATE: 31 Jan 2004: We have the volunteers that we need to create a new company, many thanks to them for stepping forward. However, if you feel that you have something to offer and you wish to volunteer also then please do so.

There is still some preparatory work to be done but I am doing that as quickly as I am able within my current time limitations.

Another point worth noting which may, or may not, be related is that the number of active accounts has gone over the 300 mark for the first time in many months. There are probably many more who are lurking or posting solely as AC.


posted by janrinok on Wednesday January 31, @01:05PM   Printer-friendly

Now that the poles are melting, and that seven of the world's ten biggest shipping companies have suspended transit through the Red Sea, and that deforestation is drying up the Panama Canal, the site Modern Diplomacy raises the question, how viable is Arctic shipping? Even with the ice eventually out of the way, it is not necessarily the best option for transportation.

Increasingly, yes — and for a worrying reason. The Arctic is warming four times faster than the global average. Since 1978 ice cover has shrunk by roughly 78,000 square kilometres per year. In June 2023 a study in Nature Communications, a journal, suggested that the Arctic's first ice-free summer could come as soon as the 2040s, even if the world significantly reduces its greenhouse-gas emissions. As ice thins and cold-water shipping technology advances, Arctic waters will become more easily navigable.

They are already getting busier, if from a low base. The most popular shipping route in the Arctic is the nsr, which is controlled by Russia. Trade volumes along the route increased by 755% between 2014 and 2022. Russia wants traffic to increase ten-fold from 2022 levels by 2035. In October it announced a joint venture with DP World, an Emirati logistics company, to develop Arctic container shipping. That month NewNew Shipping Line, a Chinese firm, completed its first round-trip on an Arctic route between Shanghai and St Petersburg.

[...] The Arctic will struggle to rival established shipping routes. Extreme seasonal weather limits its potential for commercial shipping. But as the ice cover shrinks, its waters will become busier — and Russia will make ever greater use of them.

Back in September, Nature had an article about updating the Polar Code as shipping through the region increases. The Polar Code is a regulatory framework to try to reduce the likelihood of shipping disasters along the Arctic routes.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Wednesday January 31, @08:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the noone-knows-how-the-cloud-works dept.

A nearly invisible dwarf galaxy is challenging the model of dark matter. An international team of astronomers, led by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in collaboration with the University of La Laguna (ULL) and other institutions, discovered this fascinating galaxy dubbed "Nube."

Nube, which means "Cloud" in Spanish, was named by the 5-year-old daughter of one of the researchers, aptly reflecting the galaxy's ghostly and diffuse appearance. Its discovery is significant because its faint surface brightness allowed it to remain undetected in previous sky surveys, despite its considerable size.

"With our present knowledge we do not understand how a galaxy with such extreme characteristics can exist," says study first author Mireia Montes, researcher at the IAC and the ULL, in a media release.

Nube is unique in its properties, being ten times fainter yet ten times more extended than other dwarf galaxies with a similar number of stars. Its discovery is akin to finding a hidden treasure in a well-explored attic. Nube is large and yet faint, a ghostly apparition in the universe. To put it into perspective, it's about one-third the size of the Milky Way but has a mass comparable to the Small Magellanic Cloud.

What sets it apart is its significant amount of dark matter, an invisible substance that does not emit, absorb, or reflect light, making it undetectable by traditional telescopes.

Related: Bizarre Galaxy Discovered With Seemingly No Stars Whatsoever

Original Submission