* Posts by dshan

34 posts • joined 3 Nov 2009

Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

dshan

Bus Superiority

Why 470 London buses instead of a smaller number of F35s? Let me list the reasons...

1. Buses are cheaper, the Conservatives are all about saving money you know.

2. Buses are more reliable, the Conservatives are very reliable about reliability.

3. Bus drivers are cheaper to train than fighter pilots (see point 1 above). These drivers won't be unionised (Conservatives all let out a big sigh).

4. Buses, London buses in particular, are more manoeuvrable than the F35. Who knew? Not the RAF and RN that's for sure...

5. London buses are faster than the F35, can sustain supersonic speeds for longer while using less fuel in the process (see point 1 above).

6. London buses have a proven kill record, one considerably better than the F35 in fact. So far the F35 has only been proven to kill budgets, London buses have killed actual people!

7. Buses are basically more airworthy and mission-capable than the F35. Who knew? London commuters, that's who.

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Fibre to YOUR premises NBN still on table pending telco talks

dshan
FAIL

Art of the Non-Answer

I get no sense of reassurance from NBNCo's answer to your question. It was a non-answer, they didn't answer the question! We already *know* they're working on FTTN and HFC "solutions", that's what the new, "improved" Mal-and-Tony's-cheap-and-cheerful NBN is all about after all. That's not what was asked, the question was ignored for meaningless PR-speak.

Why would anyone get any reassurance from that? In six months they could turn around and announce their wondrous new "solutions" which just happen to not include any fibre-to-YOUR-premises options, or fibre options that are absurdly expensive and of very limited availability, and still claim to have met their announced obligations. Because they never committed to anything in this area, aside from their pre-election blatherings of course, and we all know now what they're worth...

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Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment

dshan

GWB is the Issue

Forget whether she should have know the Soviet Union was going to collapse, heck, forget even that she thought invading Iraq and Afghanistan was a good idea, and kept defending it long after the truth became obvious to everyone. Forget Gitmo, black sites and torture.

All you need to remember is that she thought George Bush would make an excellent president! She knew him quite well, and she still thought that! No one who has proven to be so utterly clueless, so totally unable to see the real nature of someone she worked with every day for years, should be on the board of any significant company, let alone one with the aspirations of Dropbox.

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Stewardess first to book $250k Virgin Galactic 'space trip' with BITCOINS

dshan

Re: Ryan Galactic

Good to see that optimism about human rationality and common sense involving money is not dead! It's totally misplaced, but at least it's not dead...

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Poor Intel TV dies on vine, its fancy pop-up shops turned into cafes, cinemas

dshan

Coffee 'n' Trash

So an freeware coffee shop in the mornings, free (?) cinema in the evenings, and a place to get rid of your Surface and Android "mistakes" all day. Hey Intel if the chip business ever runs dry it's good to know you have a plan B.

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Meet the 'KARDASHIAN Phone' – what Apple bods nicknamed the iPhone 5s

dshan

A Lot of Kardashians

Well, given that the gold iPhone has been such a hugely popular model that Apple have had to expand production by around 75% as fast as possible then either there are a hell of a lot of aspiring Kardashians out there or it actually appeals to a much wider segment of the market than the nickname suggests.

Apple thought the gold 5s would be popular in Asia; they were wrong, it's wildly popular everywhere.

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

dshan

Supermarkets? Seriously?

How amusing to know that people still go to supermarkets and endure "checkout hell". I have only very rarely entered such establishments in the last ten years, ever since I discovered that you can do your supermarket shopping online and have it all delivered to your door. It saves massive amounts of time, the need to queue up with other sleep-deprived and often tetchy citizens and makes doing the food shopping almost a pleasure.

A well-designed (or even reasonably designed) website running on my desktop or iPad beats the hell out of battling with the crappy stupid tech these self-serve checkout systems employ. Once every four to six weeks I sit down and knock out my supermarket shopping online in less than 30 minutes while sipping on a home-made coffee and sitting in my most comfortable chair. The next day a nice chappie lugs it all up three flights of stairs and wheels it into my kitchen for me to unpack and store in the fridge, freezer and various cupboards. The only things I usually need to physically go out and buy are fresh fruit and a loaf of bread now and then. The internet's not just about pr0n you know...

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Murdoch machinations mean Microsoft must rename SkyDrive

dshan

Windows MurdochDrive RT, SosumiDrive or DOSDrive.

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BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results

dshan

Cinema?

Ha, ha. The BBC thinks people still go to the cinema!

Trouble is the cinema has always been 3D - full of all those dreadful 3D people who talk through movies, text and eat loudly, endless ads, etc. The beauty of streaming movies to your HD set at home is there ain't none of those 3D distractions (and it costs a lot less). There are very few movies I'm so keen to see that I can't wait until they come out on DVD/Blu-ray/iTunes. I can wait Hollywood, I can wait...

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Australian 'Apple tax' repealed for MacBook Air

dshan
Thumb Down

Pro Pricing?

Pricing for the new Mac Pro hasn't been announced yet, this comparison is using the current pricing for the current model, not the new one "previewed" yesterday. Given that it's sales will now be virtually zero until the new Pro ships later this year, why bother?

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Facebook's first data center DRENCHED by ACTUAL CLOUD

dshan
Thumb Down

Re: But they do have...

First you need to look up fascism, learn what it is and comprehend why environmentalism is nothing like it.

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dshan
Happy

Re: Thank you, Westboro..

Yes, I do.

-- God

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Sneaky new Android Trojan is WORST yet discovered

dshan
Unhappy

What Security?

So Google will soon issue a fix for the vulns that allow this malware to infect Android devices, and in about two years about 50% of Android users will be on a release that includes the fix. Excellent.

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Australia's 2013/2014 budget full of sci/tech goodies

dshan
Thumb Down

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea?

How in God's name does millions of dollars spent to attract filmakers to Aust. to make yet another Jules Verne movie count as sciene/education/IT/whatever funding? Surely this should go under funding to the Arts? (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

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One of the world's oldest experiments crawls towards a fall

dshan
Holmes

For the Google impaired (actually I used DuckDuckGo, but anyway...):

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/Glass/glass.html

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NBN Co coffee budget brews caffeinated controversy

dshan

Catering to Drug Addicts

Excuse me while I slip into my Tony Abbott costume... I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, and outraged, extremely outraged, to hear that taxpayers money is being spent to help drug-addicted contractors and NBNCo staff indulge their disgusting weakness for chemical stimulants. I gave up such sinful stimulants when I was a seminarian, why can't they?

This is typical of Labor, encouraging the use of addictive and destructive drugs in the workplace, and making the good, honest and hard-working Australian taxpayers pay for it! They should all drink more water, and pay for their own coffee at an Australian-operated small business out of the money they charge the Australian taxpayer for their services. That's the virtue of a free enterprise drug trade.

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dshan

Re: No free drinks in our FTSE 100 company

Well I've seen inside them to confirm they are roach motels. Worst job in any office is maintaining the Caffe-Bar, it'll put you off coffee, tea, hot chocolate, anything that comes out of them in fact.

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Adobe's revenge on Steve Jobs: HTML5

dshan

Doing What Jobs Urged Them To

When Jobs criticised Adobe over Flash he also made a point of saying they should get involved in HTML 5 and produce tools for it like those they had already built for Flash. In short, he wanted them to do exactly what they are now doing.

Jobs is the one having the last laugh re Flash. He would be very pleased to see how right he was about Flash (dead on Android, dead on Linux, dying on OS X and Windows), and that Adobe are (finally) waking up to the opportunities HTML 5 presents and getting involved with it.

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Internode's Hackett to fly new jet around the world

dshan
Facepalm

A Pussy Boy's Plane

A single-engine prop plane? C'mon, the really rich dudes laugh at those toys for poor people. A Saudi prince or a Wall Street hedge fund manager wouldn't been seen dead within 100m of anything with a propeller, let alone a single-engine jobby. Paris Hilton wouldn't let the owner of a Pilatus give her a lift to her Pilates class.

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Microsoft to bake Windows 8 in three flavours

dshan
WTF?

Recycled Technology?

"Windows RT: Windows Recycled Technology (with Genuine Metro (tm)) takes the best features of Microsoft's over-hyped, under performing Windows Phone 7 operating system (little tiley things all over your screen and a touch screen/keyboard/mouse mashup UI) and combines them with the worst-in-class marketing Microsoft are famous for as well as some random bits from Microsoft's previous desktop operating system (no, not Vista, the other one) to give users who are too stupid to buy an iPad something to play with."

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CA handles La Perla's substantial assets

dshan
Happy

Vital Data Needs Offsite Safety

I'd be happy to offer some of my spare HD space as extra backup for La Perla, heck I'd be happy to configure an Apache instance for their use on one of my machines - can't have a vital site like this at risk of disaster.

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Parallel import argument turns toxic in Oz

dshan
Happy

Free Markets vs Monopolists

I'm shocked, shocked I tells you, at the way these huge multi-national corporations are so keen to ignore the wonderful benefits of the free market, free trade and all that palava they love to go on about.

They should be overjoyed at the opportunity to sell their products everywhere in the world on an equal footing, going head to head with their competition and demonstrating the wonders of free market capitalism. Instead they want the government to legislate them their own little monopoly where they can charge what they like where they like.

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Kindle Fire: An open letter to Jeff Bezos

dshan

It's Google Not Amazon

Exactly right, the lack of Google apps on unlicensed Android implementations like the Fire is a Google restriction not an Amazon one (though I'm sure in this case Amazon are quite happy to not be allowed to install them).

Android itself is 'free' and open source but the Google store and other Google apps are not.

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Devs still frozen out of Android ice cream source

dshan

Wrong Question, Wrong Problem

"Is Android open?" isn't the issue. The correct question is "is Android a good mobile OS?" The short answer is "no", the slightly longer answer is "no, and it's not improving nearly fast enough for the vast majority of users".

Nobody outside the CompSci and IT world knows or cares what open source is, they only care about what devices do and how reliably and easily they do it. Twenty years of failed attempts to mainstream Linux have failed on this rock and still the advocates of failure insist on continuing that failure. The FSFs strategy on software is like the Morman church's strategy on drugs, no matter how often it fails they refuse to try a new approach.

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Aussie fans of old BBC fodder get paid iPlayer offering

dshan
WTF?

Why Bother Developing Own App?

Why don't the Beeb simply put their content for foreign markets up on iTunes (and other services when/where available) and save the bother of having their own app? No, it wouldn't be streaming, but they'd get AU$1.99 per viewer per show (after Apple's cut) and probably make much more in the end than trying to persuade a limited number of tight-fisted expat Poms, who own a particular iDevice, to fork out for a monthly or yearly subscription.

The time, money and hassle of developing and supporting their own player app, for multiple platforms, simply isn't worth it.

Some of their shows are already available this way (e.g. Dr Who and that Attenborough chap's recent efforts), why not the rest?

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Mozilla cranks out Firefox 5 with cross-platform 'Do Not Track' feature

dshan
Facepalm

Silly Version Games - Mine's Bigger Than Yours!

My only complaint is the 5.0 release number. One thing Mozilla shouldn't copy from Google is incrementing the major version number every time they release a fairly minor feature, bug fix and security update. Chrome's double digit release numbers already make them look silly, why copy a daft idea Mozilla?

C'mon this is really a 4.1 or 4.2, not 5.0. And 6.0 due in a couple of months? Madness.

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Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade

dshan
Thumb Down

Can't Have It Both Ways

The idea that the sun has been getting brighter over the last hundred years or so and thus warming the earth has been often quoted by global warming doubters. The evidence has clearly mounted against this idea, but they keep pushing it anyway. Repeated studies failed to show any measurable increase in average solar output, just the normal variations as the solar cycles progress. This new research seems to indicate precisely the opposite is in fact happening - the sun *may* actually be reducing it's output, getting cooler not hotter. What we do know without a shadow of a doubt is that the average global temperatures have been rising at an accelerating rate for the last century or so.

Do I really have to point out the contradiction here? On the one hand the hotter sun is supposedly the real cause of global warming according to some, but now evidence indicates that the sun may actually be cooling (temporarily). So, the earth has been warming while the sun's energy output was steady, or possibly falling; therefore the sun can't possibly have been responsible for the warming that has occurred already.

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Daleks given a well-earned break

dshan
Thumb Down

Bring 'em Back

Bring the Daleks back pronto, this season has been very poor so far and a return of the old pepper pots might be the only way to save the show. Even the Neil Gaiman episode was fairly unimpressive, but at least it was better than the rest of the season. The other episodes have ranged from poor to simply awful.

If not the Daleks, then please let at least the Cybermen put in an appearance!

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AT&T ends illicit freetard handset tethering

dshan

That's (Broken) Capitalism

Every time I read about the low behaviour of American telcos I shake my head in disbelief, and decide that maybe ours aren't so bad after all (same with banks actually). At least our telcos are mostly content to eat you one digit at a time instead of tearing you limb from limb! Thank God for GSM and MVNOs.

It really is a case of (deliberately engineered) market failure, thanks to mess of incompatible mobile standards and the almost universal use of obscene lock-in contracts and ridiculous "exclusivity" deals with hardware companies in the Home of Free Enterprise it's difficult for consumers to vote with their feet and go elsewhere. The market is broken, gummed up with sand and monopoly pieces. Time the government stepped in and unleashed the anti-trust dogs, but as the US government is now a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate interests I can't see that happening.

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The Register and Australia-New Zealand

dshan
Happy

One In, All In

It is my firm belief that all readers of the Register should be committed, not just those in Australia and New Zealand.

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Jackal novelist blames NSA for wife's laptop hack

dshan
Happy

Sorry About the Report Boss...

The NSA ate my computer.

Now why didn't I think of that?

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Australia unbans the internet

dshan

Filter Feeders

It will only reappear after the election *if* the independent, creationist senator Steven Fielding gets reelected. This filter was never a government idea, it was always driven by Fielding who holds one of the two deciding votes in the Senate. Without his vote the government can get no legislation through, they are government in name only. Is anyone surprised that Labor have therefore done as much as they can to please the religious nutter from Victoria? Is anyone silly enough to believe the opposition would have acted any differently in the same position?

The key point is that although they've talked the talk on the filter the government have taken every opportunity to delay it as long as possible - first endless tests and trials, now a review of classification standards just before the next election. An election at which Fielding has to face the people again. Clearly the government is hoping (with good reason) he will lose his seat and they can then drop the whole mess.

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Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx: A (free) Mactastic experience

dshan
Thumb Up

Upgrade Works!

10.04 is the first version of Ubuntu I've installed that could successfully upgrade my Dell laptops from the immediately prior version and remain useable when finished. Hooray! It even found my Inspiron 1545's Broadcom WiFi and successfully upgraded the driver for the first time ever. Nothing crashes so far, all apps seem operational and all data is intact.

It took them long enough, but now Ubuntu is almost as easy to upgrade as my Macs. Better ten years late than never I suppose.

Of course the key problem with Ubuntu remains, despite window controls on the left and much nicer default colour schemes and icons, etc., it isn't significantly *better* than the competition in any respect, it's just not much worse anymore. It used to be very Windows-like, now it's more Mac-like, but it isn't better than a Mac so why should anyone using a Mac (or Windows) switch?

It needs a quantum advance over the other systems, some totally new and revolutionary features that make using Ubuntu more fun and more pleasant, easier and more reliable, than other computers. That's the only way to get people to switch systems. It needs something revolutionary like multi-touch, iPhone OS and the Apple app store. But simply aping that would be too late now, they'd only be chasing Apple again instead of leading. That's open source's Achille's heel - design by committee doesn't produce innovation, only emulation of what's already been tried. Like MS they're too scared to knock over the table and switch to Boggle in the middle of a Monopoly game.

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Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

dshan

KK 9.10 Install

I did a fresh install of Ubuntu 9.10 on a Dell Inspiron 1300 over the weekend, straight after a fresh install of Win 7 on the same machine. Ubuntu install was *much* more straightforward than Win 7, I spent hours searching the Dell and Intel sites looking for and downloading the latest Windows video, WiFi and touchpad drivers for the Dell as out of the box they weren't supported by the Borg's latest bastard child. Eventually got it working using old XP/2000 drivers as there are no Vista/Win 7 drivers available for this hardware. It doesn't support Aero of course but it runs, albeit slowly.

Ubuntu 9.10 on same the hardware installed smoothly and it recognized all hardware out of the box. The only issue was some initial issues getting it to connect to my WPA2 WiFi network, aside from that it was probably the smoothest Ubuntu install I've ever done (WiFi drivers used to be a big problem with Ubuntu, but not any more).

As a rule I don't do upgrades of either Windows or Linux installs, they are often more trouble than they're worth. Only Apple seems to be able to write proper reliable OS upgrades, the others really need a fresh install each time (and sometimes even then you still have problems).

MS of course deliberately makes upgrades unattractive both economically and technically because they need to drive new hardware sales to satisfy their partners, who are their real customers. Ubuntu is getting better but their upgrades are still not up to snuff, usually they sort of work but leave certain apps not loading or crashing on startup or something like that.

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