* Posts by Faceless Man

75 posts • joined 10 Oct 2007

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Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

Faceless Man

Re: @ Gordon 10 Re"Now imagine the towel slips........" Thank you for that image, NOT.

...and in the meantime, try to convince people that there's no point in doing it.

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Picking apart the circuits in the ARM1 – the ancestor of your smartphone's brain

Faceless Man

That's what always bothers me when people list the Newton as one of Apple's failures. The platform itself was more succesful than most people acknowledge, but the key thing is that it is singly responsible for ARM becoming the mobile processor of choice for everybody since then.

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Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

Faceless Man

And your point is? People with depression should have carte blanche to talk nonsense when they have a position of trust (as a National Treasure) but not the faintest clue what they're talking about?

Well, no, but you might what to consider reasoned criticism instead of badgering a known depressive who has shown suicidal tendencies in the past.

There's nothing wrong with criticising him for making mistakes, although one wonders about the newsworthiness of him getting an explanation of GPS wrong on an entertainment programme, but this reads like a small child poking someone repeatedly just to provoke a reaction.

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Mall owner lays blame at Apple's door for dragging down sales

Faceless Man

It's important to remember that these numbers exclude tennants using over 10000 square feet, such as any major department stores. That's because, like Apple, they're able to get a better deal on their rents due to high turnover and desirability. It would be interesting to see how Apple Stores compare with the larger tennants. I suspect, but I'm not certain, that adding Apple to those numbers would have the opposite effect. (Apple stores are insanely profitable, and their baseline turnover skews the metric somewhat, so it's possible they're doing better than a Macy's or a Nordstrom.)

It's a pretty meaningless measure anyway, unless you're the CEO of a building management company whining about how you can't just demand more money from some of your most successful clients.

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After Death Star II blew: Dissecting the tech of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Faceless Man

Re: 30 years is nothing

As for civillian craft, the Millennium Falcon is like a DC-3, which is currently in its 80th year of commercial operations, and is expected to make it to 100 years, despite not being manufactured since 1945.

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Kids' TV show Rainbow in homosexual agenda shocker

Faceless Man

Re: You missed the sarcasm tags

'"Same as the word gay - it had a completely different primary meaning when I learned English a few decades back"

I'm not so sure about that.........years ago I found a reference to Shakespeare using "gay" as homosexual description, but I can't remember when/where. It was cited as the first known use'

It did have a completely different use in Victorian times. It meant "on the game". Which is possibly where the modern usage comes from, as male prostitutes seemed to cater mainly to other men, it could be assumed that a "gay boy" was, well, "gay". (Or even "well gay".)

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Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent

Faceless Man

Re: I was worried about the return of the tedium...

Moore's eyebrows are binary: Up or Down. Capaldi's can convey every emotion known to man, and a couple I don't think we've discovered yet.

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Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

Faceless Man

I've said elsewhere, it was an opportunity for Capaldi and Moffat to show off, while Rachel Talalay didn't need to, she just continued to do excellent work.

I felt at times it was a bit like being trapped inside an Infocom game (Trinity particularly came to mind), but that didn't really detract from it in any meaningful way.

I worked out he was on a loop when he came across the clothes drying by the fire. I didn't quite get all the details, but it became apparent he was in some way retracing his steps. Presumably the first version to arrive continued on naked, or in his Question Mark underpants.

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Faceless Man

Re: @d3vy

He seems to straddle Pertwee and Baker (oo-er). He goes for his Tom Baker voice when he wants gravitas, but the velvet coat, and even the shirt in this one (not ruffled, but the detail on the front was suggestive), is very much a Pertwee thing.

At times he even seems a bit Peter Cushing.

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NBN mulls capacity charge revamp

Faceless Man

Re: Incentive for NBNCo to improve the network

"Labor created NBNCo as a monopoly with the intention of privatising the network close to the end of the build when the risky parts of the project are complete and profitability of the network reasonably well understood."

This was always my biggest problem with the whole endeavour. They should keep it as government owned infrastructure. Basically a backdoor way of re-nationalising the non-retail bits of Telstra, that should never have been sold off in the first place.

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Rosetta probe delivers jaw-to-the-floor find: Molecular oxygen

Faceless Man

Re: I love the sound theories make...

Maybe we have been assuming that life is only associated with planets, but there maybe other types that wake from deep freeze on comets.

Great, now I'm thinking of some Elder God sleeping in there, and we're only going to wake it up if we keep flying probes past it...

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Deluded Aussie geeks hail Turnbull's elevation to prime minister

Faceless Man

Re: Failed privitisation

Or at the very least, if they'd done it right, and only privatised the retail business, and kept the wholesale business and infrastructure in government hands.

Personally, I'd have preferred it if they'd kept the whole thing, but if they had to privatise it, they could have at least done it right.

And this is my problem with the NBN as well, it's always had privatisation built into the plan. The government builds the infrastructure, and then sells it off, when it was a perfect opportunity to return the country's communications infrastructure to public ownership, while still allowing competition at the consumer end.

And I agree that the whole speed thing is a farce. The base level is ADSL1 speed. Not enough to use the network to stream video, and downright painful if more than one person is trying to use it at once. There ought to be one speed tier - maximum available. (And don't get me started on data limits...)

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New nbnTM roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4

Faceless Man

Here we go again...

This probably means they'll put my place back on the roadmap to be done just after the election, then hold off while the dust settles, and cancel it again. Just like last time. What I get for living in a safe Labor seat, I guess.

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Apple pulls Civil War games in Confederate flag takedown

Faceless Man

Re: Fast track to offense

Actually, it's been offensive all that time, it's just now there seems to be the political will to do something about it.

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Attack of the dinky drones! US military creates ROBOTIC CARRIER PIGEON

Faceless Man

Knife Missiles?

Iain M. Banks would be proud. Or possibly not.

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Australia cracks tech giants' tax dodge code

Faceless Man

Re: Taxing the wrong thing

'As individuals, we don't pay tax on some portion of our income deemed to be "profit": we pay income tax on the whole lot, give or take some special cases like child tax credits.'

Actually, we do. It's just that, by default, all our income is determined to be profit, unless we prove otherwise. This is what deductions are. If your deductions outweigh your income, you make a loss, then put an "L" in the appropriate box on your tax form, and get most (or all) of your PAYE refunded.

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Faceless Man

Re: Let's flip it round

If you do not have any business presence in Australia (IE all done through mail order or a web site), then no.

You don't even have to pay GST on products under A$1000 in value. (About GBP500) (For products over the limit, the GST is usually paid by the importer, so you don't even pay it then.)

If, however, you manufacture your goods in the UK, then ship it to an Australian company who then retails it, the Australian company is liable for corporate tax. This applies whether the Australian company is a subsidiary of your UK company, or a totally separate entity.

To put it simply, corporate tax applies to companies doing business in the country. Apple Australia is a subsidiary of Apple Inc, which does business in Australia, therefore it is liable to Australian corporate tax laws.

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Windows 10 bombshell: Microsoft to KILL OFF Patch Tuesday

Faceless Man

Remember when...

...Microsoft introduced "Patch Tuesday" to put an end to the constant stream of updates and releases, and allow you to plan properly for configuration management purposes?

Everything old is new again...

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The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all

Faceless Man
Thumb Up

Thank you...

...for finally saying it. It's not a law.

Unfortunately, I keep hearing stuff from people who should know better about how Moore's Law drives technology forward. (In particular, I'm thinking of an aging "rocket scientist" and hack SF author who can't help but mention it when discussing technology.)

It's bad enough we have to explain what "theory" means whjen dealing with the evolutionarily challenged.

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NBN Co adds 'burbs to copper map, claims 'speed up' rollout

Faceless Man

There's sooner, and there's later...

'The company's chief customer officer John Simon says the announcement will bring “fast and reliable” broadband to 200,000 premises sooner than expected, since the locations were “not earmarked to receive the NBN in the coming 12 months"'

So, what about those of us who were scheduled to get FTTH by this time last year, only to be taken completely off the schedule after the election? And we're still not back on it.

I suppose, that's what we get for voting Labor. This government is nothing if not vindictive.

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Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility

Faceless Man

Re: Last time I checked

This is true, but there's no reason it has to be. With all the IP treaties and international negotiations going on (all intended to protect the big content providers from any kind of competition, of course) we should have been pushing for standardised licensing. But, of course, we didn't. We just extended the copyright on "Steamboat Willy" and let it go at that.

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Lower prices are BAD FOR CONSUMERS, says Turnbull

Faceless Man

There's your problem

"The letter, co-signed by finance minister Matthias Cormann, warns the ACCC that varying the price of Telstra wholesale services puts the government's NBN model at risk"

This would suggest that there is a problem with the government's NBN model, since it seems to depend on pacifying Telstra at the expense of the consumer.

I'm not saying Conroy's wholesale model was better, but didn't it depend on taking Telstra out of the wholesale business, and shifting it to NBNCo, so that such double-dipping wouldn't happen?

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Faceless Man

Re: some suggestions

Your comment proposes another motto:

Meum est hovercraft anguillarum

Appropriately enough, taken from said online translation service. So probably wrong.

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Faceless Man

It's so black...

...even the white bits are black.

It's going to be a right bugger to keep clean, though.

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Tell us about your first time ... on the internet

Faceless Man

Early 90s

My brother had just bought a cheap run-out model Mac II, and borrowed a 300baud modem from a friend, while a friend of mine who was a sysop at one of the university computing units gave me an account on one of his boxes. Spent hours running through a terminal, using mostly Usenet.

Of course, as the international connection was sponsored by NASA for the Deep Space Network, some groups were periodically blocked due to their policies on appropriate material. This meant that some groups would only get content that was crossposted to groups that weren't blocked.

Then my brother, who had his own account through his friend in the same computing unit at the university, heard about this whole "World Wide Web" thing, using the Lynx browser.

Eventually, they upgraded the dial-in to SLIP and eventually PPP, enabling a full internet connection, moved all their off-book accounts to a spare pyramid server, and finally had to shut it down after the club they set up to manage it imploded. By then we could finally get commercial dial-up accounts.

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

Faceless Man

Use it all the time

I use contactless payment with my credit cards all the time. I find it handy to be able to just wave it and go. Of course, it is open to a number of security issues, but most of them are protected against, or overhyped.

On my phone, though? I'd rather have it in the driver's side wing mirror of my car so I can get in and out of carparks on cold mornings without having to open the window.

As for an "analyst" predicting it will take off because of Apple. It's true that Apple can drive technology adoption. We had PCs with USB ports for years before the first iMac came out, but no-one had any USB accessories available. But they have shown absolutely no interest in NFC. They've been using a combination of QR codes (in Passbook) and Bluetooth LE (in iBeacons) to do all those amazing things people said NFC could do, so what's the point?

Basically, I don't expect it to happen, and the people who say it is "definitely going to happen with the iPhone N+1[S] are just extracting the information rectally. This guy is just trying to shift the blame onto Apple for his own incompetence.

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PEAK APPLE: Mystery upstart to hurl iLord from its throne 'by 2020'

Faceless Man

Re: Really? Again?

Apple Deathwatch - now in its 38th year...

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Come to Oz for sun, surf, ratting on co-workers and surveillance

Faceless Man

Re: He's a what?

"He's not a traitor; he's a bleedin' hero, you silly nong!"

Do you mean Snowden or Brandis? Just want to be clear.

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Faceless Man

Can't Wait...

..for the first attempt to dismiss someone for being overly critical of the government on Twitter. I expect it will lead to a lengthy, and expensive, court case which will, with any luck, show the government up. (Let's be honest, in the current political climate, it could go either way, but we live in hope.)

Of course, I should be safe here, since this isn't social media, I can say what I want...

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In Australia, protesting against Brendan Eich will be a CRIME

Faceless Man

Re: Want democratic freedoms? Put up with democracy. Brendan rocks, actually.

"But don't say that Brendan had no RIGHT to speak or act as he did. He too has passions. He too is a citizen. His ideas, too, will be sifted by the (imperfect, sure) democratic machine - he will not be exempted from that, nor will you suffer to be exempted either, if you value any democratic freedoms at all."

Is anyone actually saying this? Have I missed something? He is perfectly within his rights, as was stated in parliament recently, to be a bigot. What I think most people are saying, though, is that he then has to face the consequences of his bigotry, which I think you also admit.

If he finds a company that is willing to either overlook his stance on gay marriage, or even support it, good luck to him. I'm sure people will then want to boycott this hypothetical company too, which is currently within their rights to do.

And that's the point of the story. Under proposed Australian regulations, organising a boycott of a company because of its or its employee's practices will be made difficult, if not illegal. So the one weapon people have in a free market capitalist economy is taken away from them because it might hurt the Coalition's corporate masters.

As I find myself so often saying, "Everyone loves capitalism until it happens to them."

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Mechanical monster macropod LEAPS out of the lab

Faceless Man

There's your problem...

I can see why it doesn't quite look right. They've got the tail rigid, while if you look at the video of the actual kangaroo, you can see it moves, and flexes, during the hop to stabilise the centre of gravity. Also, the arms should tuck up when it's not using them, as with a real 'roo.

Oh, hang on, I'm supposed to say something "funny" and not particularly relevant...ahem..."Are they sure it wasn't *Austrian* scientists that built it?"

Was that OK?

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Big Content wants Aussies blocked from Netflix

Faceless Man

Re: buy dvd on holiday ...

Dont believe so. In fact, many DVD players are sold as multi-region players. I've never had to actually change anything to play Region 1 and 2 disks on any of my DVD players. Or my parents', and they buy name brands, and not the cheap ones from the electronics shops in Chinatown.

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Qantas' biggest problems are … Apple, Samsung and Google?

Faceless Man

I've flown overseas a few times over the years, and I have found the experience much worse when not flying Qantas. BA seems less well maintained (in the sense of cleaning the cabin, rather than keeping the plane flying), and Virgin made me check in separately for each leg of an international flight.

The latter is my fear if they re-separate the domestic and international arms of Qantas. And if they do separate, will they both be called Qantas? Or will they come up with a new name for the domestic carrier? How about "Trans Australia Airlines"? That has a nice ring to it...

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Faceless Man

Re: Keep Pointing, QANTAS

Uh, what? Ansett did it all to themselves. Or, if you prefer, Air New Zealand, who owned Ansett at the time, did it all to them.

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Beastie Boys parody sueball tennis ends after toy firm yanks Girls

Faceless Man

Good point, well made.

Where did they find an advertising agency that was willing to use a song in the ad without first getting clearance from the original artists?

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Australia's States in online shopping tax grab

Faceless Man

Well, that seems to have blown over...

Just saw this morning, that plans to lower the threshold have been shelved until at least 2015. (Computer Daily News 28/11/2013).

It seems the plan was to get the carrier to collect the GST, be it Australia Post or a courier company. How they would go about that is unclear.

It seems that in the scenarios presented at the Treasurers' meeting, there wouldn't be an increase in GST revenue for at least a couple of years, during which time it would actually cost the Federal Government (and consumers) money.

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Mobile price competition stirs in Australia

Faceless Man

"Beleaguered Australian mobile users might be about to get some price relief, if research from Goldman Sachs proves accurate."

i was feeling optimistic until I read the second clause of that sentence. Accuracy is not a common trait of market analysis.

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Myst: 20 years of point-and-click adventuring

Faceless Man

Buggy as hell...

I remember getting Myst because of a friend raving about how brilliant it was, and the video, and the 3D, and the Behind The Scenes video clips.

I joked about them having to fill out the CD somehow, which was Not Appreciated...

So I played it on my new PowerMac 6100/60AV. (Or maybe it was before the upgrade when it was still the Macintosh Centris/Quadra 660AV.)

I was not impressed with the game play. It took ages to move around the island. And you had so few options of things to do when you got there. The puzzles were a combination of obvious and tedious. Easy to see the solution, but sometimes difficult to implement it.

But the real problem was the bugs. Cyan had done all their development on Quadra 700s. If you had a Quadra 700, or a machine with the same chipset (I believe the LC525 was one) everything worked fine. On my machine, and many others as reported on the Internet, the sound cues didn't work properly, meaning my brother spent a weekend or something left handing around the railway to map a solution. And there was one fairly simple puzzle, you had to visit three different positions to get the code to operate the way out of the age, where you couldn't get to one of the clues. Which meant trying all the remaining combinations once the others had been set.

I believe they fixed all these problems before they ported it to Windows.

The only game I think was worse to play, although it was over much quicker, was The Journeyman Project.

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Hey, Bill Gates! We've found 14 IT HOTSHOTS to be the next Steve Ballmer

Faceless Man

Re: Someone with customer focus

"Obligatory Henry Ford quote: If I gave my customers what they wanted, I'd be making faster horses."

I'd have argues that Microsoft have been trying to sell faster horses to a customer base that wants rocket packs.

It's just that, to make the horses faster, they've cut off the head and stuck an extra pair of legs on that get tangled in the other four. And then telling the public that obviously a rocket pack needs a horse in order to do the job properly anyway...

Maybe this analogy doesn't work after all.

What MS needs in a CEO is someone who will come in, tear down the development silos, make the Office team play nice with the rest of the organisation, kill the practice of trying to compete with everyone who makes software or hardware for their OS, and focus on making their software suitable for purpose. That will include stop trying to force everything to run exactly the same OS, and acknowledge that phones and tablets are different from desktops and laptops, which are different from servers.

I think it needs to be someone fairly young, and who will stick around a long time to force the required philosophical changes through the organisation. That or they need to look at an interim CEO to tear down the silos, and then replace them with someone to build the company back up again.

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Bill Gates's barbed comments pop Google's broadband balloons

Faceless Man
Megaphone

Missing the pont, as usual

What I think Bill, and a number of the commenters above, is missing is that getting connectivity, be it the internet, or even telephony, to the areas that are affected by diseases like malaria and polio will essentially make it easier for the charity organisations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to work out where they need to go, what they need to do, who they need to talk to, as well as enabling them to make those connections and do their charitable work when they get there.

Yes, curing malaria is more important than getting videos of cats riding Roombas. If Google's plan is just to give everyone in Africa access to YouTube, then they are doing it wrong. Gates should be going to Google and saying "Give my people those balloons, and together we can do some good", but either he still can't look past Google as the enemy, or he still doesn't get the Internet. (Likewise, Google could approach Gates and other charities about using their technology for similar work, and then cynically claim the higher ground.)

Using the technology to facilitate education, improve local services, and entertain people with cat videos become bonuses on top of improving the health of the people.

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The Tomorrow People jaunt back to the airwaves

Faceless Man

Re: Jaunting?

I believe the use of "jaunt" in The Tomorrow People was a deliberate reference to Bester who had influenced some of the ideas.

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Animal Liberation drone surveillance plan draws fire

Faceless Man

Re: Mid Air Collision?

I believe that's the Wedge Tailed Eagle that feeds on roadkill then gets hit by trucks. It's less to do with stupidity, and more to do with being a large raptor with a full stomach and not being able to move fast enough.

Galahs really aren't very big, and not particularly carniverous. Although they are just about stupid enough to sit in the middle of the road and get run over.

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Tracy brothers are back: Thunderbirds Are Go! again in 5... 4... 3...

Faceless Man

Re: F-A-B

I was pretty sure it was just a way of saying "Fab!" that might fit with a para-military operation. Still comes in handy in SMS conversations..

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Faceless Man

Re: UFO

It won't be the same without Ed Bishop's hair.

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Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA

Faceless Man
WTF?

Re: Microsoft can't win

Yeah, the lack of AD and Outlook is killing it. The one thing everyone, even the staunchest fanperson, has to give them is that they have, rightly or wrongly, got business and the enterprise sewn up, and a key part of that is AD. Not having AD integration is throwing away their key advantage, allowing iOS and Android to entrench themselves further in the market.

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Faceless Man

Re: Deadly

It is the only way to preserve one's Purity of Essence, after all.

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NY Museum of Modern Art embraces 14 video games

Faceless Man

Well, given that, in the original version, the big maze in one age was dependent on sound cues that were broken on anything other than a Mac Quadra 700, it's not surprising a number of people gave up. I made it through only because someone more obsessed than me mapped it out manually.

Oh, and then there was the puzzle that was broken altogether, and required just ticking through the different combinations until one worked.

Myst looked pretty, but had very little else to recommend it. The colourised HyperCard engine would have been more interesting as its own product, and in terms of playability it was pretty dire.

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HDMI hitch hounds Mac Mini holders

Faceless Man

So that's what it was

Been having that problem, thought it might be the cheap HP monitor I had it hooked up to Still, just turn the monitor off for a second, and it works fine.

If I cared enough, I'd spring for the Mini Display Port to DVI adaptor, but it's really hard to get worked up over. I am a little concerned that Apple let a known and fixed problem get out into the wild like that.

As a point of interest, did it get this much attention when it was affecting Linux and Windows PCs?

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Why James Bond's Aston Martin Top Trumps the rest

Faceless Man

Re: Didn't Bond drive a DB3 or DB4...

It was a DB3. I always assumed the change to the DB5 was down to the DB5 coming out between the book and the film, and them wanting to go with the more modern car.

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Conroy wants telcos to wear undies on heads

Faceless Man

Re: What a coc.

"I have no doubt he will lose his seat at the next general election."

Extremely unlikely, he's a senior senator for one of the major parties. By default, if the Labor Party gets one quota, he's elected. The only way for him to be unseated, short of being rolled by his own party, is for everyone in Victoria to direct their preferences away from him, which means voting below the line, and numbering every square. That's not likely to happen in the current electoral environment.

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