* Posts by Mike Green

62 posts • joined 15 Feb 2007

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What We Do In The Shadows? Laugh ourselves silly, mostly

Mike Green

Saw this a few months ago here in Oz, and it was very amusing all the way through with some killer bits scattered through it. Not the funniest thing ever, but well worth a look!

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Oi, Android devs! Facebook wants your apps to be more secure

Mike Green

Re: Security? How about letting US have a choice...

One of the more useful applications of QR codes is the ability to store contact info. I've seen business cards (not updated mine yet) which have contact details and a QR code which you scan to then add those details to your phone, no fuss, easy peasy, hence the permission.

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

Mike Green

This isn't going to help retailers.

When Borders Australia went bust, they had a closing down sale. I went there with the wife with the hope of getting some cheap text books. Even with a 50% price cut, Amazon UK was still 10 or 20 quid cheaper, and at the time they were doing free shipping to Aus. With that kind of price difference, expect a few more retailers to go before prices get reasonable. These companies were loving it when they could outsource labour to cheaper markets, but when the consumer outsources their purchases, they don't like it so much...

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Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS

Mike Green
WTF?

What took them so long?

I saw a programme on the BBC about 10 years ago all about the Russian use of Phages on bacteria. They would find a new bacteria in a hospital, go to the sewage effluent of the hospital and find a corresponding phage which eats it. The only reason it was a Russian secret was all the research was published in Russian in Russian journals, which western scientists hadn't been reading. They've been using them since the 60s or 70s...

Not complex....

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Lawsuit: Infosys abuses visas to discriminate against US staff

Mike Green
Stop

Check out Wilco and H1B visas for a similar case going on.

I guess there's a lot more out there that have yet to come to light....

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Boffins hide cute kitty behind invisibility shield

Mike Green

@Wise

Except with the goldfish you can see the shadow of the stirrer thing move in the first video. Still, until we get verification, I'm a bit doubtful...

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Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only

Mike Green
Holmes

If you can cope with a Photoshop-like product without it actually being Photoshop, I can heartily recommend Photoplus from www. serif.com. It is by far the closest I have come across to a clone, and is only 70 quid. They even have a cut down version free on their website. I tried GIMP and it is just so behind on features and development is so slow I just gave up on it in the end. PSPlus is so much faster than PS for batch editing pics too. Inkscape is very nice for an AI replacement. It's lacking in some features, but better in other areas, so it's swings and roundabouts. Make the break for it while you can!

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UK's first copyright swap-shop for cat pics (etc) still yonks away

Mike Green

The Waco Fertilizer Explosion

There's a video on YouTube which a guy filmed from his car which shows the explosion, and has appeared on all the news in Oz. I wonder how much he's getting, if anything, and how much he would have got 20 years ago when he would have been the sole possessor.

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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Mike Green
Thumb Up

We used to play this at Team17 regularly at lunch and in the evening

So so much fun.... Then I got addicted and they all started playing other stuff so I went online to feed my hunger, and got my head kicked in so much. Still I persevered, and got better and better till I could hold my own. When the teamsters took it up again, I massacred so many players with diving round the corner headshots and pin point accuracy it really shows you how much harder it is when you go international after playing a local team!

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Dell Inspiron 17R SE 17in Ivy Bridge notebook review

Mike Green
Thumb Up

or pay 300 less

http://tiny.cc/g66lhw

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Congress puts PIPA and SOPA on back burner

Mike Green
WTF?

Terrible foreign thieves!

Interesting how all the thieves must be foreign... I can't imagine anyone in the US downloading...

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Australia should head-hunt Michael Gove

Mike Green

Need some programmer teachers before teaching programming...

The trick here is getting the teachers. Like many have said, all the teachers I knew knew faff all about actually programming. I taught myself how to program both sets of the school's computers, without any help from the nominal teacher who just supervised the kids who could barely type. Anyone capable of programming is probably going to be lured away from school by industry/university wages. Maybe that's changing with all the outsourcing to India/China though.

I'm no way against the idea, but there are some big hurdles to overcome.

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The cure for US job woes: More immigrants

Mike Green
FAIL

My friend and his girlfriend have been on both sides of this equation.

He moved to NY from London when she (a native of the US, but indian ethnicity) moved back there after a couple of years in the UK. They quickly found that their company was hiring indian programmers for 1/3 of the americans, bringing them in under very dodgy visas, setting them up in apartments the company owned (and charged them rent for) and getting the americans to train them up before firing the yanks. They have been tied up in a class action for 10 years trying to get the company to admit to it (he on the immigrant's unfair pay side, her on the american unfair dismissal side!). They even interviewed an indian, who admitted he was only taking the 1/3 of the wage so he could get into america. Who could blame him? The company's representatives almost had heart attacks at the deposition. They kept one indian on even though he regularly turned up for work drunk, while she got fired for visiting her father in hospital on a Sunday. She's even given evidence before the senate about the abuse of the visa system. They tried to give up the case due to ill health, but the company is refusing to let it go now, it's become a vendetta on their side. They have managed to get some 'revenge' though, they told the top one hundred company investors of the company's wasting money on this vendetta and so many companies have pulled out it caused the shares to lose 500 million. They're still fighting the case even though they've lost so much money and through the ill health. So I would be very suspicious of these companies who want the visas expanded.

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Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy

Mike Green
Facepalm

In Oz the level is atrocious....

Really, I thought we had it bad in the UK, but adverts can easily double the length of a movie over here. I wouldn't mind if it was limited to 4 breaks per hour, but it can be literally 2 minutes and then the ads come on again. It's okay though, there's very little worth watching on Oz TV that we don't already watch via the interwebs and then DVDs (absolving our guilt!) They've got digital freeview here now, but have yet to go through the sort out we went through in the UK, with the Beeb taking it over and making it half decent. 2/3rds of the channels are just clones of the remaining 3rd, not even usefully time shifted like the +1s in the UK.

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2011's Best... Smartphones

Mike Green
Thumb Up

Acer Liquid Metal for AU$128 (84 quid)

I got this phone pay as you go in Oz and while it's not the fastest chip on the market, it handles flash pretty well on it's 480x800 screen, has a 5MP camera with HD video recording and a micro SD slot so you can stick as much memory as you like in it. I was seriously suprised by the price for those specs.

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Parallel import argument turns toxic in Oz

Mike Green
Holmes

with certain exceptions (these days, chiefly books).

Which is why all the book shops are going out of business, and even when Borders had its closing down sale with 50% off all books, you could STILL get them on Amazon for half those proces. The price cartels are basically killing the Australian retail industry, and their own ridiculous margins.

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Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Mike Green
Thumb Up

The other two were soooo good...

But I think this will have to wait till Christmas, or at least till I've finished Arkham City....I am in a gamer's dilemma!

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Neil Armstrong: US space program 'embarrassing'

Mike Green
Mushroom

Nasa's budget

18.7 Billion dollars in 2010.

Military budget for 2010? $685.1 billion

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Geeks Guide2... Badass Lego Guns

Mike Green
WTF?

A guy called Fletcher almost blinds himself with a cross bow and no one notices?

That's got to be Darwinian Nominative determinism in action! Glad to hear you made it okay though with only a little impairment!

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Dead bloke reanimates in mortuary

Mike Green
Stop

Possibly not the best idea Thomas....

For an example, see Zombieland and Bill Murray's attempt to carry off this gag...

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EA angers fans over Battlefield 3 pre-order exclusives

Mike Green
Thumb Down

Not just consumers EA likes to screw...

But devs for EA have long been complaining about working conditions, overlong work hours, etc. Basically treating the people who make them all their lovely cash like rubbish and not paying them much.

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Engineering student cracks major riddle of the universe

Mike Green
WTF?

That's how I read it too.

What exactly did the student do apart from gather huge amounts of data and then bring it to a doctor who actually figured it out?

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Apple seeks anti-snoop display patent

Mike Green
Joke

Didn't this already exist?

We spent all that tech and money on displays which had ever wider viewing angles and now they want to go backwards again :)

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Royal Weddings, PCs and Cameron's brass balls

Mike Green

Half a dozen of one, 6 of the other....

The problem is government is supposed to save during rich times (when money is freely circulating on its own) and spend in depression (to get money circulating) and neither chancellors seem to understand that. 'Frugle' Brown overspent when there was lots of money in the coffers, and sold the gold at the worst moment. Now Osborne is going too far the other way.

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Android malware attacks show perils of Google openness

Mike Green
Pirate

VIrus/malware checkers

So are there no virus checkers/malware shields available on android? I would have thought the AVG et al would be jumping into this new market...

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Qld police warn against Windows service scam

Mike Green
FAIL

This scam isn't going to last long hopefully....

My mother in law got called the other day by a guy claiming to be from Microsoft and saying there was something wrong with her pc. Fortunately she'd been told about it by a friend, and she immediately said 'No you're not! Aren't you ashamed of yourself?' and proceeded to tell him off till he hung up!

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Security shocker: Android apps send private data in clear

Mike Green
FAIL

Surprise.....

Both Apple and Google seem to be in the business of harvesting user's information as a matter of course, they really don't seem keen on keeping their user's data private from anyone else either, and this has put me off getting a so-called smart phone till they've had a little time to work at least the most obvious of their quirks out.

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Microsoft sends IE9 'do-not-track' tech to W3C

Mike Green
WTF?

Hmmm, MS might have it right

Mozilla is asking advertisers to respect a header and not scrape your info as you browse their web sites.... MS is withholding the info altogether unless you allow a site? That kind of sounds more trustworthy to me..... I MUST be confused...

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Apple tightens rules for iPad news delivery

Mike Green
Thumb Down

A land grab from Apple? Shurely shome mishtake,,,,

So Apple are going to take over the subscription lists of newspapers, and setting up their own news delivery service... Nothing fishy there then....

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Mike Green
Jobs Horns

Hmmm....

'What is next? Apple telling their customers that they can only get software for their Mac or Mac Book from iTunes also?'

As soon as they think they can get away with it? I'd bet on it...

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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Mike Green
Thumb Up

I've been enjoying it

I've only quested vash, uldum and a bit of Twilight, but I've enjoyed it a lot. Lots of diverse questing, funny stuff in the goblin zone (including the Zoolander tribute) and the worgen area looks like dark fun, though I've yet to get too much into that. Levelling was fairly quick, but the dungeons are really hard on Heroic, as they should be. The only problem is everyone seems to have forgotten how hard dungeons should be when you don't have all epic gear and I've yet to actually get through a boss, or even keep a team together without someone ragequitting. Figuring out the encounters has been the most fun, when no one knows what to expect and didn't look it up on wowwiki. I thought I was going to hate the changes as I mainly play a mage, and I enjoyed the huge talent trees we had to configure, but they seem to work quite well, with enough talents to keep it interesting.

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People's Republic says it will purge self of illicit software

Mike Green
Pirate

No doubt this is to build their own software industry.....

I haven't really seen the chinese do much which isn't at heart in their own self interest in some fashion.....

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Amazon launches book gifting service

Mike Green
FAIL

It's GIVE not gift

Please someone, nuke this defiling of the English language...

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Facebook developers exiled for selling user IDs to brokers

Mike Green
FAIL

Don't sell our product's-- err customers' details...

...that's our job!

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Zuck buffs image ahead of Facebook movie

Mike Green
Boffin

It's written by Sorkin...

But directed by David Fincher of Fight Club, Zodiac and Panic Room fame....

Still doesn't really appeal to me...

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Google pays $8.5m to settle Buzz privacy invasion suit

Mike Green
FAIL

Why not actually pay the people whose privacy it violated?

Surely the class action should mean it pays everyone whose email it exposed since these were probably scrapped by every bot in the world... Which probably means it owes everyone with an email address...

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Apple states tax take on UK iPod pricing

Mike Green
WTF?

Adobe is a far worse offender.

At the pound's peak of almost $2=1GBP a couple of years ago, Adobe were still selling Photoshop in the UK for 600 quid, while it was $640 or thereabouts in the US.

Quite a stunning mark up for basically a shiny disk. Makes Apple look fair in comparison.

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Mozilla's next Thunderbird gives Gmailers hope

Mike Green
Alien

Umm..

I'm running 3.0.5 and it's sitting at 44Mb in memory so has it really jumped that much?

The speed could be a lot better though.... I keep getting occasional several second waits switching between boxes. And it doesn't get rid of the letter notifier if I read all my mail but had it filtered out of the inbox beforehand, which is most annoying. Still prefer 2 atm....

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Europe exposes new data share deal with US

Mike Green
FAIL

And the jet engine..

Where the americans agreed to share info about jet engine development, and came over to see our working version, then never returned our calls after that...

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IT Crowd gets fifth series run

Mike Green
Thumb Up

re: pctechxp

But remember, they started off slagging off friendface too, then were sucked into it....

Yay! 2 more series to watch. The second was a bit iffy, but the 3rd was even funnier.

Damn these electric sex pants!

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Reg reader applauds World's Crappiest phish

Mike Green
Thumb Up

This is why I come to el Reg....

For the witty commentaries after the stories! Thank you all for the entertainment!

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US satellite returns first hi-res snap

Mike Green
Stop

Don't believe the lies...

I moved here from blighty last november, and the weather has been rubbish. My Aussie GF lived in the UK for a year before that, and she was always saying 'When's the summer coming, when's the summer coming?' and then I moved to Sydney, and ever since then it's been about as hot and wet as England... Now I ask her 'When's the summer coming?'

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UK.gov serves up GM food as price hike fix

Mike Green
Boffin

Too much food.

I've been saying for months that restaurants at least give us too much food by at least a third. Plates are definitely bigger nowadays, and when I get takeaway, I can usually only manage about half what they give me. Everyone I ask agrees with me, and I always see half eaten meals when out at restaurants. When I had a meal in the US at TGI fridays, I was astounded with what they expected me to eat, I thought it would easily fill 3 people. So that far I at least believe to be partly true. Having dinner last night I had a portion more in line with what I reasonably expect to eat and believe it or not I ate it all, and didn't feel hungry afterwards. If restaurants provided half the food, we'd pay half the price (well I can dream), end up with less waste, or less waist, and double the capacity.

I do agree with pretty much everything everyone says here too, the UK could probably feed most if not all its population locally if they'd stop screwing the farmers into the ground, and got more local market buying. Over in Oz, they have Farmers markets, which are just like supermarkets, only 'run' by local farmers and all the produce is grown locally. The government should start getting a clue.

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Byron review calls for computer game ratings

Mike Green
Thumb Up

Only reasonable really.

I'm very anti censorship, but pro classification. It's just bringing them into line with dvds. When are they going to hit books and magazines though?

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Patent Office loses software not a patent case

Mike Green
Happy

I own the methodology for filling out web forms...

So you all owe me a drink!

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US Congress members push Gates's line on visas

Mike Green
Stop

This is being tested right now.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1714614/posts

http://www.kavitachhibber.com/main/main.jsp?id=legal-Nov2005

Wilco is using temporary visas to bring in Indian labour at reduced costs to replace the Americans who train them. It's not a myth, it's absolute fact. I know Sona personally and she's as able and hardworking as they come. This is not a lazy American thing, it's a cut cost boost profits thing.

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Public don't want internet filters, MS tells MPs

Mike Green
Boffin

Byron

Actually I seem to remember reading some of Byron's views on this sort of thing and she seemed quite reasonable. She wasn't a 'all video games should be banned' kind of person as this quote from the Observer illustrates.

'She told The Observer why she believes portable games devices should be part of daily schooling, suggests a likely link between violent games and violent behaviour in CERTAIN CASES (my emphasis), and stresses the need for parents and children to balance virtual world risks as they would real world dangers such as crossing a road or talking to strangers'

Seems fairly rational to me. She might suggest that the current voluntary classification of video games becomes a law in line with video/dvd sales, so it becomes a duty of the shop to ensure they're not selling it to a child. This is better if shops hold up their end, because mommy can't sue the shop for selling it to jimmy, they have to sell it to her, and it's then her fault that jimmy got hold of it (if the shop sells the 18+ game to a 10 year old anyway, they've screwed themselves).

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Flanagan reads riot act on police IT

Mike Green
Alien

Less bureaucracy does not always equal less accountability

It just means less forms to fill in. And why all the complaints about webcams on police helmets. They're only going where the police go, and will back up statements made by both the police and public. i should imagine that cuts a lot of red tape. That's not to say the police can't take them off, but then that's the situation we're in nowadays anyway.

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UK teen is world's youngest certified ethical hacker (maybe)

Mike Green
Thumb Down

Degrees are useless...not

A lot of people moaning here about the quality of degrees being not as good as experience, that's certainly true in a lot of cases, but equally true the other way around. I've met lots of 'experienced' people who've written badly optimized, barely comprehensible or maintainable code, even (probably mostly!) by them, because they didn't have the faintest clue about the theories of writing good code. Degrees aren't just about theory though, they do real world case studies. What's worse is when these 'experienced' people go on to teach others their bad habits.

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Customers peel away from Orange broadband

Mike Green
Stop

Rubbish CS again...

I became unable to log into Orange for 3 weeks. During this time I phoned and phoned and phoned 'Technical Support' and each time I got the same 'Lets try this series of tests' before they claimed they would do a line test. Only after 3 weeks did i manage to get some help from their Customer services, who said 'Oh there's a note about a modification to your line'. DOH! What is Technical support if it's a monkey reading off a card each time you call them? The one british guy I managed to get through was completely sympathetic, whilst when I told one guy I'd done this 6 times, said he wouldn't be help me if I was going to get irate... And then read off the card. they have you over a barrel too, as you have to have 3 MONTHS of 'support' before you can get arbitration and get your migration code to go somewhere else. Who can be offline (when you run a business online) for 3 months??

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