* Posts by Tac Eht Xilef

78 posts • joined 2 Mar 2010

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'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: I guess it...

Well, not those exact words, but ... Sol Trujillo at Telstra, 2005.

Of course, what he meant was that they weren't the right kind of arseholes...

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Australia: your real comms minister is George Brandis

Tac Eht Xilef

"He's been unable to carry out the Prime Directive of most telecommunications ministers, the at-all-costs protection of Telstra ..."

Oh, I dunno about that - Telstra is the big winner out of Turnbull's reversal of the NBN rollout. And it's been evident for years that Telstra doesn't actually want to be in the communications business - they want to be in the 'charging people for communications' business.

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Australian Government hopes to untangle NBN migration mess

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Why force people to move?

Because, in many cases, the copper is already rotting away?

(One of the silly things about Malcolm's version of the NBN is that it replaces the bit that isn't rotting away, and then tries to run high-speed data over the bit that is rotting away...)

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20 years ago this week, Microsoft just about killed Australian PC manufacturing

Tac Eht Xilef

Osborne did well at first in the government/corporate world, thanks to "buy Australian" pressures & high IBM prices. However, I suspect the typical government 90/180 day terms didn't help their cash-flow at all...

"... “Australians are not known for their preference to buy products via telephone or mail-order catalogues.”

Dell changed that, selling PCs at prices local manufacturer couldn’t match even though it was shipping them in from Malaysia. Before long, Australian buying habits changed, ..."

From memory, that preference almost smothered Dell's local ops in the cradle too. After a year or 2 of poor sales the local management convinced a very reluctant Michael Dell that they needed showrooms in Australia. They eventually opened a few - just in time to be too late for the latest round of government & big corporate purchasing.

The showrooms struggled on for a couple more years, but by then IBM & others had sewn up government & corporate sales & leasing which mostly killed that market. Local computer shops had sprung up everywhere and computers were becoming common in the big-box retailers, which meant the casual buyer could head out on a Saturday morning & come back with a new computer.

Eventually Dell did get a bit of a foothold in the gov't/corporate market, but they never approached anything like the powerhouse they were in US sales.

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YOU ARE THE DRONE in Amazon's rumoured new parcel delivery plan

Tac Eht Xilef

Never underestimate the human ability to be conned...

>"El Reg can't help but think this idea is somewhat less viable than mass delivery-by-unmanned-aerial-vehicles, as humans will surely realise that the pittance they'll get from the company won't be worth the time or fuel."

Really? I think it's more viable.

Ask yourself which is more likely:

* cargo & battery capacity, as well as self-navigation & object-avoidance technology, will advance fast enough that drones will soon be able to quickly, accurately, & reliably deliver reasonably-sized packages within metropolitan areas, OR

* some people will do anything to earn magic beans & get items on their Amazon wishlists for "free"?

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The Martian: Matt Damon sciences the sh*t out of the red planet

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Movie adaptations

>"We had trouble nitpicking the science - Weir did his homework, with a little glitch about RTGs' dangers and something about breathing mixtures caught by a scuba diver."

Having discussed the book with a few different people from a few different science/engineering domains - who, I will say, all enjoyed it despite its several faults - the biggest complaint seemed to be 'I was happy to let the science be slightly iffy - right up until he got some fundamental of my domain wrong, and it all fell apart!".

For me it was the Arduino-level understanding of electricity / electronics displayed, which lead to some consideration of the thermodynamics issues it raised, which then started the whole thing unravelling...

0
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ASUS reveals 'Zensational' style-over-substance kit

Tac Eht Xilef

Looks like that ZenAiO took a little too much "inspiration" from Jony Ive's favourite fruit...

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Web tracking puts lead in your saddlebags, finds Mozilla study

Tac Eht Xilef
Facepalm

You know what's amusing?

The one site that years ago broke the camel's back & drove me to permanently install an adblocker (and later NoScript & a cookie manager) was none other than theregister.co.uk.

I got sick of waiting quite literally for 2 or 3 minutes (on an ADSL link!) for DoubleClick to wake up and serve their shit just so the page would render. Installed AdBlock, and I haven't looked back since.

Sorry guys - love your content, but that's when & why you lost me as a revenue-generating reader...

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Australia forces UberX drivers to become tax collectors

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Here comes the drill...

^This^

Division 144 of the GST act has always stated that taxi drivers are required to be GST registered regardless of turnover, or even whether they supply other goods or services (e.g. you can't run a low-turnover business selling cat pictures with a sideline in taxi services and claim exemption under the $75k limit), and several other determinations have clarified that the same applies specifically to services that are 'similar to and essentially in competition with the taxi industry'.

i.e. Uber drivers are required to be GST registered & remit GST payments because they compete with taxis, but wedding limo drivers aren't because they don't.

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1998 asks to speak to Turnbull about local calls

Tac Eht Xilef

Oh dear...

I'm guessing that this it's all part of the Government's plan to drive people to VoIP & companies like Skype etc. - then try and hit those overseas companies for the sweet, sweet GST...

As cunning plans go it's not the brightest, but it fits right in with everything else they've mumbled & grumbled about.

0
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House of Cards UI central to Mozilla's plans for Firefox on tellies

Tac Eht Xilef

Let me get this straight

Firefox reckons the way forward for their OS on TVs is to let their UI designers decide how it should be structured?!

It's like they haven't listened at all to any of the complaints about their browser. Which is probably the case...

7
1

TV networks peck at sun-bleached skeleton of Aereo, come away with $950,000

Tac Eht Xilef

Exodus 22:18 - 20 (Authorised Media Version)

18: Thou shalt not suffer a competitor to live.

19: Whosoever recordeth with non-approved DVRs shall surely be put to death.

20: He that shareth by any means, save the NTWRKS only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

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Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

Tac Eht Xilef

Sooo...

I take it MelbourneIT's profits are down the shitter?

Good. DIAF.

0
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Videogame publishers to fans: Oi, freetard! STOP RESURRECTING our dead titles online

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: very fair and balanced

Google-sponsored "digital rights" group the Electronic Frontier Foundation...

I guess IHBT but really, I expected more from the media-sponsored "online magazine" The Register...

(Hell, I don't even agree with or like the EFF very much - and yet you've caused me to stand up just a little bit for them. Well done!)

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All Mac owners should migrate to OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 ASAP

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Great

What, the links at https://support.apple.com/downloads/ aren't good enough for you?

Now you have that, you can do your own search for cheese to go with your whine...

15
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Bigotry posted by your Facebook account? Use this, Mister UKIP MP wannabe: 'I was hacked'

Tac Eht Xilef

"I was hacked!"

No, you were pissed. Different thing altogether...

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Metadata laws pass so it's time to STOP READING LISTICLES

Tac Eht Xilef

Link to interview

"The AM interview we've linked to above ..."

Errr, no you haven't...

Here it is: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2015/s4205850.htm

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Telstra copper at crisis point, endangers NBN, says union

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: All Telstra's fault

Upvoted - but Telstra stopped maintaining it's copper network well before that. They'd pretty much given up on it long before I left ~10 years ago, and were doing only absolutely essential maintenance e.g. repairing/replacing sections when there were no working spare pairs & they'd run out of even broken pairs to rig.

I was saying way back then that their plan was obviously to let it rot then find some way of getting paid to fix it. Looks to me like they've managed to do that quite nicely, and even get paid twice for it...

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STINKY nerds: Sick of horrifying chums with your terrible BO? Nosey Google wants to help

Tac Eht Xilef

Missed opportunity

Does it then send you targetted ads for Elon musk?

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In India, Facebook and chums boil the internet down to 38 websites

Tac Eht Xilef

Robber Barons

Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Melon, J.D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, etc were known for their philanthropy too.

Doesn't change the fact that they were the original robber-barons, after which everyone since is compared...

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THREE vans and FIVE people: that's what Telstra needs to fix one fault

Tac Eht Xilef

'Tis but a scratch!

So, only a little strike then? No, not being sarcastic; that looks fairly gentle as lightning damage goes. You often see much worse in areas prone to direct ground-strikes.

Trees - Mother Natures' MOVs.

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Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: It's about ethics in games journalism, right?

Hmmm... Gaming's littlest foe vs gaming's biggest dickheads. And two weeks too late to the story.

I'm gonna need more popcorn...

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Tac Eht Xilef

Re: It's about ethics in games journalism, right?

SamuraiMark, your logic is both impeccable and unassailable, and your eloquence has touched my heart and moved me to tears.

Now, when you finish your latest round of self-'congratulation' (in about 10 seconds) the tissues are in aisle 3, and I'm sure mom won't notice if you grab some clean socks too (aisle 5). Wristguards to help with the inevitable RSI can be found up the back of the store in the computer & AV section...

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Tac Eht Xilef

It's about ethics in games journalism, right?

Just when you think outraged gamers can't get much dumber, they go and surprise you.

Target & Kmart AU's book sections are pretty shit, and I can't recall ever seeing a bible in either store...

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Privacy-loving BOXING KANGAROO BIFFS DRONE out of the sky

Tac Eht Xilef

'Roos have a history of this

You forgot to mention the obligatory : http://www.snopes.com/humor/nonsense/kangaroo.asp

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Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: revolutionary - forward looking - modern

Funny thing, though - the old Active Desktop was actually a reasonably good idea that had useful potential. Arguably the most innovative thing MS had ever done, in terms of UI & general-purpose utility of the desktop.

Implementation sucked, though, and coming right at the time that IE holes were being revealed at the rate of about one a second it was a security nightmare...

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If 4G isn’t working, why stick to the same approach for 5G?

Tac Eht Xilef

"Already, 4G is showing its limitations for the business models of the modern carrier."

That quote tells you everything to need to know...

5
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Turnbull: Box-huggers are holding back cloud

Tac Eht Xilef
Boffin

Understanding Turnbull

The first thing that you've got to understand about Turnbull is that he's a c*nt.

The second thing that you've got to understand about Turnbull is that he's a self-interested c*nt.

The third thing that you've got to understand about Turnbull is that he's a very patient self-interested c*nt - he's got a long-term plan, and he knows that people have short memories, so all he's got to do is be the most acceptable man at the right time and he's in. Last time was too soon - but next time...

In short, he's the Liberal Party's smarter, more self-centred version of Kevin Rudd...

1
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Mozilla remembers 2013. Y'know, back when it still gobbled at the Google money-trough

Tac Eht Xilef

I'm wondering ...

WTF does a software company that ostensibly relies on volunteer contributions for product development and evangelisation spend nearly $300 million a year on?

12
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Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Zug Island, between Detroit and Windsor

Obviously you've never tried your suggested method of triangulating the source of sounds yourself.

Utrasound? Easy.

Audio frequencies above ~1KHz? Fairly easy.

LF sound above a few 100's of Hz? Getting difficult.

LF sound from 20Hz to a few 100's of Hz? Bloody difficult.

Subsonic/infrasonic? Fuckin' difficult (excuse my French).

It's also very difficult to triangulate repetitive signals you don't control (e.g. from rotating blades...) by TDE / TDOA (time-correlation) - you don't know which individual pulses correlate across receivers. Single-shot is much much easier, which is why infrasound triangulation works for detecting unauthorised nuclear tests, avalanches, and (I believe) large artillery emplacements.

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Australia Post goes a little bit grey with parcel forwarding service

Tac Eht Xilef

They need a slogan

How about

"Australia Post's ShopMate: cheaper than eBay's Global Shiping Program.

Just..."

@P. Lee: a lot of places ship UK->Eire->Aus; for some things at least it's cheaper than Royal Mail.

(Cut-price logistics is a dark and mysterious art - I've had stuff that's been shipped from Shenzen to Sweden then posted from Malmö to Brisbane, because apparently sometimes the cheapest way from A to B is via Q...)

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Mozilla hopes to challenge Raspbian as RPi OS of choice

Tac Eht Xilef

"What does FirefoxOS offer apart from being produced by an organisation that is crippled by political correctness and a desire to employ as many so-called minorities as possible?"

Crippling pointless featuritis and a bigger "f--- you" attitude than David Cameron crossed with the Sex Pistols?

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Reg hacks see the woods or the trees In the Forest of the Night

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: This is getting a bit samey now

Well ... that's the thing, isn't it?

At the time you cringed at wheelie bins gobbling kids and old ladies, and Zoë Wanamaker's taut bottom speaking to you in ways you had never imagined before.

Now those episodes look like classics...

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Australia puts itself back into Beta

Tac Eht Xilef

Two-step guide for improving your departmental website

1) Look at www.acma.gov.au

2) Don't copy that.

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Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months

Tac Eht Xilef

Every cloud etc.

On the plus side maybe it'll mean the end of the Christ-awful PDF.js, which achieves the rare feat of making Adobe's Acrobat Reader plugin seem zippy and stable.

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Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

Tac Eht Xilef
Headmaster

Re: At the third stroke

>"wristwatches became popular during WWI when GIs worked out that it was much more effective to check the time (to synchronize military movements) on their wrist vs. pulling out a pocket watch."

Apart from them being favoured by British officers (and therefore not GIs) before the time of the Boer War (and therefore 20 years or more before WWI), you're absolutely correct.

11
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What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Destroyed

"One copper told me years ago the reason they had not implemented a computerized system was because paper is tangible"

Well that, and mailing in a paper cheque also gives them access to your name in it's most human form (signature), your true essence (DNA from licking the envelope or shed skin cells), and your trapped breath (the air sample inside the envelope).

Traditionally, in witchcraft, any one of those things could be used to control or harm you or your family...

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Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Did the BBC just troll people?

"... served no purpose in the story, didn't do a whole lot in the way of character development, and was rather clumsily shoehorned into the writing with an excuse."

Welcome to StevenMoffatLand!

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Your Bitcoins aren't money – but it is barter, so we'll tax it, ta ... says Australia's taxman

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: The first problem....

To quote the bitcoin folks themselves:

"All Bitcoin transactions are public, traceable, and permanently stored in the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin addresses are the only information used to define where bitcoins are allocated and where they are sent. These addresses are created privately by each user's wallets. However, once addresses are used, they become tainted by the history of all transactions they are involved with. Anyone can see the balance and all transactions of any address. Since users usually have to reveal their identity in order to receive services or goods, Bitcoin addresses cannot remain fully anonymous."

> "So bitcoins are traceable? Well that's great news for the exchanges that got knocked off....."

You might like to look at how they happened:

Ignoring the cases where bitcoins were destroyed & nobody realised any value, most were "move magic beans from other wallets to yours, grab cash & run before anyone notices". The more sophisticated were "make magic beans disappear from other wallets, make them again & put them in yours, grab cash & run before anyone notices". In both cases, the weak point in traceability is the "grab cash & run" bit - just like with real world dollars/pounds/renmibi/shekles. The equivalent of faking your VAT statements or not declaring your income...

Of course, you could always live like Lee from The Magnificent Seven - sitting on your big pile of bitcoins, and never being able to spend them...

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Tac Eht Xilef

Re: The first problem....

"Considered they are virtually untraceable, I can't see many people declaring them to the tax office."

Untraceable? Whuh? The whole point of bitcoin is that it is traceable. By anybody. Publicly...

At best, all you can do is try and stymie that traceabilty by playing a shell game with disposable bitcoin addresses and wallets. Which starts looking a lot like tax evasion.

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ALP email SNAFU spaffs campaign plan to world+dog

Tac Eht Xilef

A wasted opportunity

"To Vulture South this looks like a boo-boo: someone picked the wrong email list."

To this antipodean resident, "Stop The Cuts" looks like a typo short of a slogan...

11
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Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

Tac Eht Xilef

Real men use ed

No, no, it goes like this:

Real men use ed.

!q

/q

/quit

.quit

.

Q

~$ ed

a

Real men use ed.

.

w reply.txt

Q

~$

0
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Mozilla axes HATED Firefox-ad-tab plan ... but will try again

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Sounds to me like...

Given the widespread dislike of Australis and all the other feature-removing "improvements" they've made to Firefox over the years ... well, perhaps it would be better if Mozilla was paid to stop developing it?

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I've seen the future of car radio - and DAB isn't in it

Tac Eht Xilef
WTF?

Re: In 2014?! A new service "offering" 48Khz?!?!?

"If it's AAC-HEv2 then 48 kbps is a good compromise and more than sufficient for FM-quality audio."

Really? All the subjective and objective studies - note 'studies', not 'claims' - of HE-AACv2 I've ever seen consistently rank the sound quality @ 64kbps as worse than marginal FM reception, and well below the quality of average FM reception.

On top of that, coming from a country where HE-AACv2 at 48~64kbps is common on DAB+, I can tell you that it sounds like shit for music, and is distinctively noticeable even on speech.

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Oz couple get jiggy in pharmacy in 'banned' condom ad

Tac Eht Xilef

CAD is a department of Free TV Australia. They make and police the rules about television content.

Free TV Australia, by the way, is 100% owned and operated by the commercial TV networks. "Puerile shite" is all they do.

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Turnbull takes aim at telecom, broadcast regulation

Tac Eht Xilef

"Broadcasting Services Act, the Telecommunications Act, the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act, and the Radiocommunications Act."

I'm reasonably familiar with all of those, and the funny thing is that - apart from some changes to the second by the last Labor gov't to bring it into line with other existing consumer legislation - I can't think of a single onerous thing in them that isn't a product of the previous Liberal government.

2
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Online shopping tax slug not worth the effort: National Australia Bank

Tac Eht Xilef

F' 'em...

"on more than one occaision shops have told me that they dont have my item in stock and get it for me in a few days."

A few days? You're lucky!

I've not long come back from an attempt at buying some stuff (electronics bits & pieces) with about 1/2 of what I was after. For the other 1/2, I was told - quite seriously - "we can order those in for you, they should be here in about two weeks, but maybe after Christmas". I came back, ordered them from a US wholesale/retail supplier, and they're already in the hands of Fedex - I expect them to be delivered to my door on Friday, maybe Monday.

The price? Including shipping, it comes to 1/3rd of what the locals wanted. Genuine quality parts too, not the random chinese knockoffs the local mob sells. And I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of ordering them as samples from the manufacturers; it would've been free (including delivery in the same timeframe).

And it's not just tech bits, or overseas sales vs GST that's hurting local retailers - my parter was chasing some new clothes last week, knew exactly what she wanted (a local label), and hit the high-end stores. Again, nothing in stock, two weeks or more until they get their next order in. She ordered them direct from the label's website Tuesday lunchtime; the courier turned up Wednesday morning. Price? Several hundred dollars, but still ~1/3rd cheaper than in-store retail price.

Local retailers have many problems with being competitive, and some of them aren't even their own fault - I'm looking at you, ridiculous retail rents - but shit, if you're expensive and don't carry stock then the GST threshold on imports is the least of your problems...

3
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Why a plain packaging U-turn from UK.gov could cost £3bn a year

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: So make it in a plain box

"So are cigarette cases illegal in Oz?"

No - just ones that contain or mimic any tobacco product branding or advertisements. Oh, and you can't give away a 'free gift' with a cigarette purchase, or sell cigarettes with the plain packaging covered up.

(an Australian smoker who's only problem with the legislation is the government's hypocrisy in continuing to pocket the sweet, sweet tax money. Ban or ban not, there is no try...)

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Richard Stallman decides Emacs should go WYSIWYG

Tac Eht Xilef
Pint

Free as in "you're free to go and get your own beer"

Whatever happened to the open-source credo? Namely:

"If you have a very strong desire to see a particular feature implemented, your odds of success of ultimately having it become a part of the tool are dramatically increased if instead of asking for it to be implemented, you check out a copy of the latest source code tree, code it yourself (even if slightly incomplete or somewhat buggy), and submit it for peer review by the existing developer pool. Other technical parties are far more likely to help you complete a worthwhile code enhancement that you've clearly put time and thought into than they are to remotely consider doing what you want from scratch just because you want it."

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Oz gov sysadmins ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

Tac Eht Xilef

Re: Sticking your head in the sand

Not ostriches - in Australia, they'd be emus.

About the emu: "Some scientists consider emus to be living dinosaurs" - sounds about right for the Government. "Their ability to store fat allows them to go without food for long periods of time" - sounds right for many public servants and sysadmins, too...

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