* Posts by David Hicks

1243 posts • joined 22 Apr 2008

Baffling barcode-on-steroids stickers plaster the EARTH

David Hicks
Linux

So do people actually scan these things?

I've noticed them popping up in ads all over the place recently, but I've never seen anyone actually use one.

It also opens up the possibility of hard to detect advertising redirection or trolling. Overpaste the QR of your choice with a sticker containing either competitor information, or a link to a shock site... It's only a matter of time.

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GIANT KANGAROOS wiped out by humans, not climate change

David Hicks
Pint

The Diprotodon...

... is most often described as something like a grumpy-looking Wombat the size of a Humvee.

I think that would be great!

Also can we bring back the Thylacine?

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Megaupload boss: Site popular among US government users

David Hicks

Wrong end of the stick?

It's not that he has to name names, it's that he's threatening to, as part of his defence.

Which he should, IMHO, as it would be funny to watch the cockroaches scurry out of the light when it turns out many of those that are pushing the laws he's facing have actually used his service.

I don't say this because I support piracy, I say this because I support exposing hypocrisy.

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David Hicks
Go

The guy seems like an arse

But at least he is an arse through and through, no pretension. Look at ma guns, cars, houses and babes! Unlike politicos, who hide the fact that they are enormous buttholes for as long as possible.

Exposing a bit of hypocrisy from those in power would be an awesome way to utilise your arsehole powers Mr Dotcom!

Also, clearly he's doing something right to have made all that money...

5
1

Top Brit authors turn flamethrowers on barmy IPO

David Hicks
FAIL

Re: Abso-bloody-lutely

I'm not talking about novels, I'm talking about text books which do not require creativity in anything like the same order, and can be commissioned to order.

I'm suggesting that these are written like software - to order, by employees or contractors, so that the commissioning party owns the result. As a software engineer I don't own the IP to the software I create as part ofd my job. I don't see why this model can't be applied to textbooks.

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David Hicks
Devil

Abso-bloody-lutely

I don't see why they don't do this now. Pay some people to create the books for them, then copy as many times as they like.

No problem.

These authors probably ought to shut up quick-sharp, before everyone realises they're unnecessary.

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5

FCC ponders: When is it OK to switch off networks?

David Hicks
Devil

Re: @jake - "strawman?"

None of which makes any of the previous argument a straw man, you idiot.

A straw man fallacy is the construction of a synthetic argument, characterising (inaccurately) your opponent's position, such that you can easily knock it down.

Answering a question, even if you feel the answer is incorrect, is not a straw man.

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David Hicks
Devil

Sickening

Seriously, they shut off the network to try and disrupt protests? When did the powers that be take on this siege mentality? Why must people be stopped protesting?

Suppressing protest *just because* seems to be the way to go at the moment. that and sending the police in with non-lethal weapons and kettling techniques. It's no surprise that these thing occasionally go wrong and end in confrontations and property damage - the authorities consider protest to be wrong and the police seem to be bristling for a fight.

You know, except when it comes to stuff like the London riots last year, where there's the actual chance of someone other than pacifist hippies getting involved in a dust-up, and there's not an officer to be found for miles.

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Moles say Sony will kill Cell CPU for PlayStation 4

David Hicks

Re: Re: Doesn't make much sense now.

IBM stopped development of some variants of Cell, and they haven't announced anything new for over 2 years. They did make some that were beefier that what's in the PS3, Cell PowerX8i I think was the name, but I'm not sure they really went anywhere except a couple of custom supercomputers.

The Sony prediction that Cell would be in all sorts of consumer tech within a few years seems to have gone nowhere.

It's an interesting architecture, but a strange one.

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Steve Jobs' death clears way for '7.85-inch iPad prototype'

David Hicks

Like Samsung's?

And HTC's? And Lenovo's?

Of course, after it's released, history will have to be rewritten to make it the first.

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8

Microsoft drops 'risky' Windows 8 preview on World

David Hicks
Linux

XFCE for the win

I'm actually being serious. With GNOME and Ubuntu gone crazy in the Linux world, and this interface from MS, I'm more firmly than ever in the old-fashioned resource-light geek interface corner.

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David Hicks

@ Steve Foster

ARM devices usually require some device-specific code or variables outside the purview of the OS in order boot, as they don't have anything like a bios that's needed to discover the hardware config. And that's not to mention the various processor family differences etc

It's pretty likely (IMHO) that Windows for ARM will only ever be available pre-configured on devices.

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Aussie soldiers let rip on Facebook

David Hicks
FAIL

Yup, the pc brigade

Terrible lot, suppressing free speech. They have a lot to answer for. Just look at tech industry conferences! Imagine, the PC brigade shouted at those poor developers so much that they had to start admitting women! And stop using pornography in their presentations, sexist remarks and a myriad of other things! And they pushed out booth babes! Outrageous. The lengths they'll go to in the pointless endeavour to try and fight prejudice!

And now they're getting all upset that our brave boys, only over there to help out the damn foreigners, are posting hateful, sexist remarks about the place!

Seriously, why are you upset with people fighting prejudice?

And if you can't discuss sex or politics with insulting and belittling entire classes of people based solely on their race or gender then it's you that has the problem mate.

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David Hicks
Devil

Err, yes.

We ask that you shoot a specific subset of armed, militant lunatics. Not hate the whole population of the country we are allegedly in to HELP.

Two different "them"s in there. If the soldiers can't tell the difference then they probably shouldn't be there. (Arguably they shouldn't be there anyway).

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CBOSS puts out operator bait: Dinner date with 'booth babe'

David Hicks
Facepalm

Do you grok unix? I like unix....

Have you heard the one about touch, unzip and finger?

Yeah, I forsee some incredibly painful conversations, and a lot of purchasing commitments that get forgotten about when the glamor wears off and the geek is out of range of the mind control device.

5
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Mobile net kingpins v the world: 'Why should we pay the 4G tab?'

David Hicks
Devil

Same tune as the ISP

Why do we have to pay for the BBC delivering iPlayer to their customers? They should pay us!

Made about as much sense too.

You are paid, by me, to provide the pipe to the internet. If you can't do that at your current price point then put the price up and allow me to choose between you and your competitors. Don't go and put the shakedown on service and hardware providers because your business model is flawed.

1
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Molesworth and the New Latin

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Re: Comp Sci

No, it's not.

Entry into programming is as easy as ever in this modern world of the 'App' on iOS and Android. At the very least an intro to programming course is needed to teach kids that programming is possible, and not some magic done by high wizards.

Computers play a huge, huge part in everyone's lives these days. It's irresponsible not to give them a foot in the doorway to the huge world of manipulating and programming them. We don't teach kids just to read, we teach them to write as well. Intro to programming is the equivalent.

0
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Optus snaps up Vivid for 4G build

David Hicks
Meh

heh, maybe speeds will improve...

Vivid left a lot to be desired in terms of available download speeds, being at best unreliable and at worst reliably just a little faster than 56k modem speed. And this was a backhaul problem, not a wireless connection speed issue. Customer service seemed most inclined just to deny the problem existed.

I think they had a case of too many subscribers too soon. A good problem to have, but about a year ago people seemed to be leaving in droves.

Nice idea, lets see if the new owners can resource it properly.

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Dick estate gets stiffed

David Hicks
Pirate

Irony?

One of the main lobbies behind perpetual copyright extensions (the movie industry) went to court to defend its use of public domain works.

Irony or just further proof that they're motivated by nothing other than greed?

IMHO the movie studio and the judge are in the right here. But then if I had my way and could set sensible terms all of PKD's work would be freely available in the public domain, because he's been dead for 30 years.

1
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PlayStation Vita OS in your phone and telly - Sony's saviour?

David Hicks

Re: Re: Sorry but its Sony...

Add to that already impressive list that the user agreement for the rebranded Sony Entertainment Network (SEN, was PSN) says, pretty explicitly, that they can and will give your user data to whatever third party they wish, and if you disagree then you can't have service...

Yeah, sorry, no thanks Sony.

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UK cops cuff suspect after RnBXclusive takedown

David Hicks
WTF?

SOCA ?

Shouldn't they be dealing with human traffuicking, sex slavery, drug running, gang crime etc?

You know, actual threats to the British public?

This seems a little beneath their remit.

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Debian, Ubuntu patching up rocky romance

David Hicks
Boffin

MS Secure boot only for devices sold with Windows 8

I already have a half dozen or so debian on ARM devices, and have been running it quite happily for more than five years.

Personally I'm hoping that MS saying to manufacturers "If you want Windows 8 on your tablet you need to do all this stuff" results in the manufacturers responding "O RLY? We'll stick to Android then, thanks all the same"

But I guess the market will do what it wants to do. Currently that does seem to be "give MS Win Phone 7 the finger", which is quite pleasing in itself.

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Asus UX21E Zenbook 11.6in Ultrabook

David Hicks

Or spend 300 quid less on the same thing

Brought in from the US. Amazon US price on the UX21 is $899.

In other news, the UK is still ripped off at every turn.

Hell, for the price difference you're only about 50 quid off a return flight London->New York....

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Five ways Microsoft can rescue Windows Phone

David Hicks
WTF?

Erm

Surely the memory card is extra storage, and you have the basic amount either way? So a card reader/slot is always an extra benefit?

Removable storage does come in handy in various ways...

Sounds like that handset sucked though if it kept eating cards.

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David Hicks
Devil

Little Brother a modern classic?

It read like he was having one off the wrist under the table while he was writing it, so excited did he seem about the possibility of an oppressive future, and a young protagonist all set up to resist it heroically. Entirely one dimensional IMHO.

I owned a Win phone in the days of the Orange SPV. I still have the scars.

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TripAdvisor: OK, not all our reviews are trustworthy or real

David Hicks
Terminator

I heard that

I also heard hoteliers who had some legitimate complaints about blackmail, but mostly just hated the idea of customers being able to review them at all, for fear of getting anything less than a glowing report.

It's a review site, some people will go on there with an agenda, hopefully other people realise that. Some people are never, ever, ever happy with a hotel. My mother is one of them, and these picky people that give terrible reviews over a single speck of dust are useful to her. I'm a lot easier to please so I'll take more of an overview. We can both spot the fakes though.

I think if trip advisor stop marketing themselves as infallible, then where's the issue? It's a forum for collecting reviews from the public.

The real problem is that there are so many hotels in the world, particularly the UK and Australia IMHO, that are terrible quality, were last updated in the 1960s, and are charging the same price (and claiming the same rating) as genuinely good, modern and pleasant hotels. And don't get me started on the kinds of place that think they're worth 3.5 or 4 stars over here in Oz, it's ludicrous!

This is one thing the US has right. Their motels are overwhelmingly clean, modern, functional and cheap. Other places if you go for anything but luxury you're playing a game of chance, and this is where tripadvisor really comes into its own. IMHO, YMMV, etc etc

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Drink diet pop all the time? Look forward to VASCULAR DEATH

David Hicks
FAIL

Mercola.com?

It's a hive of quackery, conspiracy and utter misinformation.

I'm not going to say aspartame is completely harmless, because I don't know. But never, never, ever get your information from mercola.com.

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David Hicks
Pint

Not quite true

You're right when it comes to simple sugars that the yeast can eat, but there are still a lot of other sugars in there. Complex, longer chain stuff that our bodies can digest perfectly, but yeast can't.

Also it's usually enzymatic starch conversion during the mash, not addition of refined sugar, that is where the sugars come from to feed the yeast. At least in 'real' beer. The temperature of this mashing process determines which enzymes dominate and exactly which sugars are produced by the malt. A slightly higher temperature and you'll get some of the more complex dextrins (IIRC) which is one factors in the varying tastes of beer.

Some styles (milk stout, for instance) do also specifically add in non-fermentable sugars like lactose to sweeten and thicken the brew without making it stronger.

Beer is a complex and wonderful beast :)

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Online ad body: Let's slather 'opt out' icons everywhere

David Hicks
Pint

Something else adblock will block for me then

Yes, I know, they can still track my IP. Fine. But they'll not get anything else out of me, and I'm damned if I'll look at their opt-out buttons any more than I'll look at their ads.

Besides which, isn't the opt-out link pretty much always a scam to collect more data anyway?

(Beer, because it's time fore the pub now)

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SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

David Hicks
Pirate

Absolutely

The movie industry need to follow the music industry.

Music is now available at a reasonable price, with extreme convenience, from multiple outlets. As a result music piracy is on the wane.

Movies, OTOH, are not. They are kept ludicrously expensive (especially for HD content) for no good reason, and there are few services that have poor selections and poor pricing models. As a result, movie piracy is still huge.

The shutdown of mega-upload demonstrates that we don't need new laws. The tech industry is surely perfectly correct to 'shotgun' criticism at the lawmakers - WE DON'T NEED MORE LAWS!

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Xmas actually accelerates Dixons sales drop

David Hicks
Pint

Do you think it's time

For a new tech chain in the UK?

One that has reasonable prices, modern stuff (perhaps minimal stock), a few very knowledgeable (and recognised as such) staff in the store.

Currys/PCWorld get that wrong on every count. The hardware is often last-gen, overpriced and sold by by people who know nothing about it. There has to be a gap in the market for someone to do it well, perhaps in smaller premises or something.

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Mullumbimby’s plan to save the world peters out

David Hicks

It's still a one-man show

Until these things are actually deployed and used somewhere that's not under the control of the showman and his crew, I'll happily shout it down as a load of old cod.

It's Orbo all over again at this stage.

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Pirate Bay dropping torrents after magnetic attraction

David Hicks
Boffin

Bittorrent not necessarily designed for this

The protocol was just designed as a way to distribute stuff fast and without straining the bandwidth of the originator too much.

It's become a cliche to talk about linux ISOs in relation to bittorrent, but this really was the targeted use-case - allow organisations like linux distro-makers to distribute disc images to many, many people without having to pay for the associated bandwidth, as the downloaders distribute to each other.

I won't disagree - it did always seem odd to me that it took off for P2P, when it requires a tracker - but that's more to do with the folks adopting it than the design.

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Oz skeptic offers prize if Rossi’s E-cat works

David Hicks
Pint

err, that would be Iron

Iron is at the bottom of the energy curve, Anything lighter will give some energy for fusion, heavier and material will give off energy on fission.

That's probably also wrong as it's been a while.

Either way I'm pretty sure the energy rewards were greater at the extreme light and heavy ends, and that most atomic nuclei are more than happy with their weight...

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Australia should head-hunt Michael Gove

David Hicks
Boffin

Why run putty from another box?

Just attach the display, keyboard and mouse to the Pi directly! It can drive an HD display, it's got USB and HDMI, job done.

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ICANN snubs critics, opens domain extension floodgates

David Hicks
Devil

185 Grand?

Doesn't look like I'll be able to buy youremywifenow.dave anytime soon...

1
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Apple accused of extortion by rival tablet biz

David Hicks
Meh

-1, not enough Florian rage

Not only should they be able to claim actual damages, but it's about damn time that someone gave apple a good whipping for claiming ownership of the rounded rectangle. The iPad is an extremely innovative product, but only because someone finally managed to cram all the bits in for the light, flat, futuristic, sci-fi computer pad thingy that we all though was cool when we first saw its like on the telly 20 years ago. It's not like the whole idea was revolutionary, and they surely shouldn't be able to stop others from making similar things.
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Nokia sheds light on latest Lumia

David Hicks
Meh

I've made a few video calls from my phone

But that's 'cos my Nokia N900 has integrated skype, and people occasionally call me from their PCs. It's a bit shit to be honest.

1
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HD JuiceBox HDMI over Powerline kit

David Hicks
Alert

Four hundred quid?

Jaysus!

Get yourself some homeplug (or similar) kit and just network straight into your tv/blu-ray player/ps3, or grab a little media box as well, you'll still come out ahead.

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UK space agency to boldly send techies ... behind a desk

David Hicks
Boffin

Yes but how much do they pay?

"A2/A4 grade band of the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale." is less than useful information to me.

0
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Rhino horn price spike drives record poaching

David Hicks
Meh

Sad state the world is in.

It really puts a downer on your day. They're probably right that sustainably managed wildlife with an eye to selling 'hunting' licenses and 'hunting' tourism is the only way some of these animals will survive.

How screwed up is that?

It makes me sick. Also, I have 'hunting' in quotes because AFAICT the industry sells an easy shoot of an exotic animal to rich fat men, it doesn't seem much like hunting to me.

2
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Microsoft mum on leaked Phone OS plans

David Hicks
FAIL

Nobody cares

It doesn't even matter that it's a day late and a dollar short compared to all the competition. Nobody cares about windows phone.

I can't even think of what MS would have to do at this point to make people change their minds, but windows phone 7 is not even on the radar. Apple for quality and brand recognition, Android the same to a lesser extent, and lower end smartphones, Blackberry for enterprise or planning riots... that's about it. Unless MS do something spectacular to get people interested, they're out in the cold.

I weep for poor old Nokia.

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Security mandates aim to shore up shattered SSL system

David Hicks

Err, except for the fact that SSL is used in a far wider context than initiating 'secure' HTTP connections with previously unknown parties, you'd have a point.

SSL/TLS is used for a lot of private comms between systems using private CAs, where this stuff is not an issue.

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David Hicks

Not the only SSL System

SSL/TLS is widely used in many circumstances other than the the public CA infrastructure. There are many, many in-house systems in the world, private CAs used to secure comms within or between companies for non-public data transfer.

*An* SSL system is broken. Perhaps you could even say the Public HTTPS system is broken, perhaps. But not that SSL or TLS is broken.

2
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David Hicks
WTF?

Not really SSL is it?

We're talking about the infrastructure of trust, certificates and authorities. This is not really part of the SSL/TLS protocols.

Like so many ways that SSL has apparently been broken of late, we're talking about exploits somewhere else that affect the preconditions for starting a secure session.

1
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Android malware victims offered free WinPhones by MS

David Hicks
Devil

Giving away five windows phones?

Well that ought to double the user base nicely. Why not give away 10? Then they could report a 200% increase in users!

It could be the best phone platform in the world and (to be completely honest) I still wouldn't think of going near it. MS have been downright evil over the years, and the sheer number of Win Phone 7 shill you see on the internet has put me right off.

No, I don't mean anyone making the slightest comment in its favour. I mean the people who have been part of a concerted campaign, since before the platform was even available for preview, to paint it as the BEST THING EVAR for user and developer alike, and clearly the natural heir to the entire smartphone arena, no contest, and continue this blind optimism in the face of continued indifference from the public and total market failure.

3
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'Why the hell are we paying elite crypto crackers £25k?'

David Hicks
FAIL

I suspect we are not.

I suspect we are paying peanuts and (as the saying goes) getting monkeys.

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Copyright Act could defang infringement notices: iiNet

David Hicks
Devil

I've torrented the odd linux iso in my time

But I really don't have much of a problem with idea of three notices, a couple of 'final' warnings and then people being chucked off the net.

And then when that's in place maybe the music and movie industries can work together on a decent, low-cost, worldwide, fast, online media delivery service.

You know, two or three bucks for a movie, no DRM or time limits, fast downloads or streaming, transcodes for mobile devices (at no extra charge). Given today's technology this stuff is cheap and trivial, clearly two such forward-facing industries will be quick to embrace it as soon as they have the time to spare when piracy is gone?

(ROFL)

1
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Ten... colour laser printers

David Hicks

I have that first Brother on there, 3040CN or something...

It's quite good. It doesn't really like being fed thick label-paper through the manual feed. It'll take it and do an ok job, but it doesn't like it much.

Decent quality and cheap though. Comes with an (x86/x86_64 only) driver for linux, which is better than nothing, but irritating for someone who has a variety of arm devices he'd like to print from too.

(yes, I know, CUPS should mean that the can all print via an x86 box but that requires leaving the x86 machine on, and setting up CUPS properly, which seems to be something of a black art)

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Hybrid clouds 2012: the private cloud myth lives

David Hicks
Stop

Indeed

I thought the whole point was that you didn't care about the implementation or provisioning or anything else, just that you get to run your stuff as needed. Then the cloud provider measures the required capacity, loads etc, with the cloud software automatically using the available hardware across a lot of different customers, so everyone benefits from the economies of scale such a flexible setup allows.

A 'private cloud' has to be a misnomer. At that point it's just a rack with VMotion...

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