* Posts by factor

11 posts • joined 30 Apr 2012

Australian car-share biz GoGet working on autonomous vehicle

factor

"celebrated Australian car-share company" ??

You mean the company run by a couple of spivs who phoenixed their bankrupt first attempt ("Newtown Car Share").

Ask Go Get if they still have their booking system programmed in Visual Basic or did they eventually get it contracted out to get it done properly. I suspect Go Get has nothing to do with the research program at UNSW other than loaning a car.

Sounds like they are just hoping for some cheap marketing. Just a suggestion the reporter has been led to portray a particular view by a delicious press release :).

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ENTIRE NBN BOARD offers to walk the plank: report

factor

All of the installation targets for the full FTTH deployment have been a fantasy.

The board had a huge deficit of construction experience for the biggest building project we have seen since the Snowy scheme.

The weekend Fin Review detailed well the stuff ups in managing contractors & labour force. The revolving door for head of construction had much to do with an inept CEO.

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TPG floats fibre cherry-pick

factor

The job done right & fast.

This is great news. NBN has had enough difficulty just connecting free-standing homes to fibre.

Multiple-dwelling-units (MDUs / apartment blocks) were always too difficult. Run fibre to the basement, body-corporate provides the power, VDSL up the existing cables over very short distance. Minimal construction, efficient deployment.

There should still be a fair amount of FTTH in a nation wide roll out -- but all MDUs are best served by fibre-to-the-basement. FTTH is great for moderate density free-standing homes (ie: efficient to roll-out appropriate cost/benefit/longevity).

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Comrade! If you dare f$%^ing swear on the internet, WE'LL SHOOT

factor

Vodka ban?

Banning vodka too I presume? The leading cause of Russian profanity & nudity.

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Asbestos finds interrupt NBN preparations

factor

Re: RTFA

@Neoc - perhaps I am pointing the author to the area he is missing. This article is not the only source of information about NBN construction issues. Indeed, most of the media has missed the *why* of this event. It is normal for most of the media to miss the *why* of most situations, but quite often The Reg can apply logic that other reporters cannot.

Asbestos is a known problem. Execs can't outsource the blame when they setup the conditions for such a safety breach.

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factor

Lack of construction experience by NBN execs

The NBN is headed by a bunch of sales and marketing folks. Sure, some of them were sales and marketing for tech firms -- but none of them have any experience with construction.

The asbestos is a well known issue by all in construction. Contracts between NBN, Lend Lease & sub contractors are poor -- they lead to the unintended consequences of shortcuts. It is normal that asbestos be a chargeable variation when found, this allows the person actually doing the work not to lose money to do the job legally. In the case of the NBN sub-contractors appear to be expected to magic the problem away .. which they tend to do in one way or another.

Media is missing the main culprit here - Lend Lease is the lead contractor for this work.

NBN is the biggest construction project in Australia is many years. In implementation terms it is barely a technology project - that bit is really straightforward. It is a construction, financing & marketing project.

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'SHUT THE F**K UP!' The moment Linus Torvalds ruined a dev's year

factor

Re: midlife crisis what crisis?

I just read that same thread - I fundamentally disagree.

Linus complaint was:

* a patch in the audio code had been accepted by Mauro that changed the error return codes of a function, this changes the interface which other applications could rely on.

* this patch in the audio code broke a kernel release candidate, the fault was not picked up by testing tools Mauro also had responsibility for maintaining.

* having broken a RC & received explanation of the problem error code he questions whether the userspace code is wrong rather than his code -- he allowed the interface to be changed!!

* Linus suggests he should shut up before he embarrasses himself further.

* then Mauro keeps talking .. have a funny feeling this has happened before. There is no excuse. Revert to the previously returned return codes. And larger changes require discussion first.

* Mauro suggests that it is ok to make a change to an interface (which is in production) to gain consistency with something else. This is absolutely wrong, once the interface is set it cannot be changed, other applications are relying on it. This is the source of Linus frustration - Mauro hasn't learnt the first rule of kernel maintenance - you can't randomly change shit others could be relying on. If you do & something breaks it is the kernel's fault.

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Apple updates maps to remove Australia’s ghost-city in the desert

factor

Re: Centre of local council area

Depends what data Apple could source for a country & the ability of their people to determine which sources are valuable to real users.

I suspect no locals were employed by Apple to interpret the data. The local council districts will be in some government database of official names. Yay cheap/free names -> GPS coords data. That section of the government database is of little interest to normal people .. but the computer doesn't know that.

Google Maps doesn't display local government areas at all, instead it displays suburbs. Real people use these when describing where they live. Google Maps shows both the area of interest and a point of interest within that area when you search for a suburb. The point of interest tends to be an intersection near the highest density of businesses (ie: the local shops / local shopping strip). Smart. Unlikely pulled from any database, can be inferred by other points of interest already in their database.

For cities (cities with multiple suburbs) Google Maps appears to place the marker at the place road distances are measured to. Usually the original post office for the city (for Australia). In the US that appears to be "city hall".

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factor

Centre of local council area

It appears Apple Maps has been using the geographic centre of the local council area as the "point of interest" whereas a local council area is an "area of interest" -- not something you can navigate to when they can be enormous in Australia. This is not a single problem, they've stuffed up over this entire continent.

Google Maps handles this far better -- when you search for a suburb in Google Maps it outlines the area, with boundaries, of that suburb.

Apple needs to allow a Google Maps app to replace the Apple Maps app as the default (fully integrated). It is now an essential part of the phone for me, not an added extra.

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EMC denies big server biz plans ... but IS building servers

factor

Sounds like the acquisition of Isilon is already changing EMC thinking.

An Isilon node is a server. An Isilon "Accelerator Node" with no storage is a *nix box with access to coherent cache across all nodes & blazing fast disk via the Infiniband backend. I'd love to install my bioinformatics processing software directly on that box.

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Optus’ free broadband: the details

factor

Fine print - you are locked in!

"You will receive 50GB of broadband usage for free, when you sign up or recontract your existing service to the Optus Home Advantage plan over 24 months. When your contract term expires, you must recontract to keep receiving free broadband."

https://www.optus.com.au/shop/broadband/bundles/homeadvantage

Not just one 24 month contract, perpetual 24 month contracts. A telco wet dream.

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