* Posts by Faceless Man

123 posts • joined 10 Oct 2007

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Australia commits to establish space agency with no budget, plan, name, deadline …

Faceless Man

Re: Adelaide?

Adelaide is the closest state capital to Woomera, which is in South Australia. If you watch old footage of rocket launches there, you'll notice they start at a fairly significant angle.

As a bonus for non-Australians, Woomera was also the site of one of our "state-of-the-art" immigrant detention centres. (The "art" being locking people up to no great purpose in sub-human conditions for long periods. An art we no longer practise in this country, we outsourced it to small islands.)

The fact that Christopher Pyne and a few of his South Australian colleagues are sliding in popularity may also have something to do with the decision.

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Faceless Man

Re: A name?

More like "Australian Rocket Science Establishment"

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GoDaddy gives white supremacist site its marching orders after Charlottesville slur

Faceless Man

How bad do you have to be...

...such that GoDaddy will refuse to take your money?

I'm surprised they didn't have a discount code.

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Gov workers told their social posts are more believable than politicians' statements

Faceless Man

I was going to comment on this...

...but apparently I'm not allowed to...

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Snopes lawsuit latest: Judge orders disputed cash can flow to fact-checking site

Faceless Man

Re: Snopes is a Damaged Brand....

What's that saying? Reality has a left-wing bias?

I'm not a big fan of Snopes getting into political fact checking, because I just want an urban legend checking site. Let PolitiFact et al do the politics stuff.

I can see why they're doing that, though. It's a natural step from debunking that stupid story about the guy who put his RV on cruise control, took a nap, and is suing the manufacturer to debunking the claim that Hillary said something once that kind of looks like something Hitler might have said (the truth is that neither of them made either statement attributed to them).

I know of a couple of people on the right who've found it inconvenient, like the guy on Facebook who posted a thing about how people should fact check before they post (mentioning Snopes as a useful resource by name) and then got upset when I linked to the Snopes debunking of the aforementioned Hillary/Hitler comparison that he had shared.

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In the red corner: Malware-breeding AI. And in the blue corner: The AI trying to stop it

Faceless Man

Re: Hmmmm...

And it looks like he got the crack in his screen fixed.

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Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Faceless Man

About lunchtime round here. And many people see lunch time on Friday as being "beer o'clock" anyway. Not a lot gets done on Friday afternoons.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Faceless Man

Re: "Let's start with a classic: the Apple Newton"

You forgot - convinced ARM to create a low-power mobile version of their struggling RISC platform, which is now being used as the basis for every mobile device.

The biggest problem the Newton had was that the handwriting recognition system had to learn your handwriting, and people were disappointed it was confused by unusual words. Even so, it was impressive for what it could do straight out of the box.

Plus, it survived for a really long time if it was that much of a failure. After all, they were still making them 5 years after introduction when Steve came back and killed off the line.

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Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Sense of Fun

Faceless Man

Re: I feel and share your pain

You must miss her terribly...

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nbn™ is installing new hybrid-fibre coax cables

Faceless Man

Finally on the map

I've mentioned on other threads about the NBN that leading up to the 2013 election, my building was scheduled to get FTTP (a fibre run to each unit), with planning including meetings with the body corporate to discuss logistics. Shortly after the election we disappeared completely from the schedule.

Well, we're back on the schedule, and it's currently saying we will now get FTTN (this despite claims by one of the writers for this site that no-one had been so downgraded). Maybe we'll actually get HFC, since we're in the right sort of neighbourhood. (Although we're a whole block away from a whole bunch of FTTP, so if they were to backfill with similar technology...)

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The Register's guide to protecting your data when visiting the US

Faceless Man

Re: Don't accept it, act on it

"BYOD is dead. It's pushing up the daisies. Pining for the fiords. Didn't you get the memo?"

Not before time. Unfortunately, it is before my workplace implements it, and I don't see them changing their plans. It's all about making their poorly compensated employees front up for basic IT infrastructure rather than the organisation paying for it.

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Nice NBN rival you built there. What a shame if someone taxed it

Faceless Man

Backhaul

Which is another argument for either nationalising the infrastructure, or at least stopping Telstra from pulling that kind of stunt. It's almost the definition of Monopolistic Behaviour.

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Faceless Man

Or another idea

Keep the charge, but waive it for companies that provide equivalent (or better) rural services to the NBN. Motivate them to build out infrastructure in the places that are more expensive to get to.

Or, another crazy idea, renationalise the communications infrastructure complete with a full functional separation of Telstra, and don't then put it up for sale after the government has spent all the money on it. Keep it as a national asset, maintained by the government, and charge access fees to re-sellers to offset the cost of maintenance...

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WDC loads its belt-fed drive cannon, blasts out disks 'n' cards galore

Faceless Man

Re: Helium!

I think the problem is the materials used in the external housing. We should probably be using aluminium or even some kind of composite, rather than a thin layer of latex. On the other hand, it does come in a wide range of colours.

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

Faceless Man

Re: Is that Jesus's middle name?

I thought it was "Haploid".

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NBN costs creating budget time bomb: Deloitte

Faceless Man

Re: All's fair and good, but

Because the Coalition needed to be seen as having a different policy to the ALP. And by coming up with the FTTN model they could fudge the figures to make it look like they were saving money.

And when I say "fudge the figures" to a certain extent I mean "outright lie about costs".

Still waiting to hear if/when my building will get NBN, and what form it will take. Last document I heard had us changed from the FTTP we were promised would be installed by the end of 2013 to FTTN with work starting before the end of this year. No word from anyone about it, and no sign of any work going on.

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Gawker settles with Hogan

Faceless Man

Let's face it, there are no good guys here.

Gawker were scum, but they had a right to exist, and you could always ignore them. I won't pretend they had any form of journalistic integrity, and would even argue that what they did to Peter Thiel was pretty deplorable.

On the other hand, Peter Thiel has basically taken a personal vendetta and created a precedent for the extremely rich to bankrupt companies they don't like. There were other ways to take this, and other solutions he could have sought, but he wanted the company dead.

Neither side is to be admired, here. I won't miss Gawker, but I don't want rich bastards like Thiel being able to just bankrupt companies on a whim.

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Australia spending AU$4.8m to do something about revenge porn

Faceless Man

Re: Buying The Porn?

Because, of course, the alternative is that people behave like decent human beings and respect other people's privacy, and we all know that's too hard.

Might as well argue that if you don't want to be robbed, you shouldn't have any possessions, because theft is just one break-in away.

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Sextortion on the internet: Our man refuses to lie down and take it

Faceless Man

Re: Duct tape...

"lying in bed pleasuring youself with a cup of hot chocolate and an old episode of 'The Good Life' on DVD"

That sounds like it might be painful. And somewhat messy. Still, takes all kinds...

(Oh, you mean like *that*. My apologies. Still, you shouldn't have said it that way, you might confuse a stupid person...)

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Faceless Man

Re: Charlie Brooker HAS SIGHT BEYOND SIGHT

I suspect in this instance, it's more a matter of hindsight. It's not like this kind of thing is new, any more than the idea that reality television exploits hopeful talent in really depressing and disgusting ways.

The pig thing, though, that was a fluke. Even he said he didn't mean to make a documentary.

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Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Faceless Man

Users abusing it...

"You know, we offered them free, unlimited space, and some people actually had the temerity to think they could store as much as they liked on it..."

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Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Faceless Man

I was going to be all sarky about this...

...and then he went and apologised. I presume someone pointed out he was basically saying "It's your responsibility to not go against the employer's biases" rather than "Employers need to do something about their biases".

This is the thing about blind auditions for orchestras. It's not about women pretending to be men, it's about removing gender from the equation, so that any bias the listener might have is nullified.

I was actually discussing this yesterday with a colleague, in much more general terms not confined to gender. The problem is we have a brilliant solution to the problem for one type of job. Orchestral musicians need to be able to play well, and the audition is how orchestras determine that. As a general rule, most other jobs aren't amenable to that kind of extreme anonymisation.

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Smartphone lost on QANTAS 'began hissing, emitting smoke and making orange glow'

Faceless Man

Re: Is it just me

Eighth class, they actually land the plane.

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Faceless Man

Want to chat on public transport?

You don't need to find someone wearing a badge, just look for the nearest nutter. There's one on every bus and railway carriage across the world. They'll happily while away your long commute with explanations about how their ex-wife was working for a secret multinational organisation above the UN and put thought control wires in all their underwear, and replaced the dog with a robot.

And always remember, if you don't know who the nutter on your bus or train is, it's probably you!

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Great British Great Bake Off gets new judge

Faceless Man

I just presumed that Channel 4 would get Jimmy Carr to host it, like they do everything else.

Or perhaps that should read "a Jimmy Carr" since they probably have a whole bunch of clones or LMDs or Replicants in storage in case there's a hosting emergency.

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

Faceless Man

Re: I'M SUPRISED THAT NO ONE HAS MENTIONED THE CUMBERBATCH!

Thank goodness for that.

I like Cumberbatch. He's my favourite Holmes, and he's a fine actor.

But, really, we need a break from him. He's turning up everywhere. I'm looking forward to him as Doctor Strange, but I still can't help but feel maybe they should let someone else do the acting.

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Faceless Man

I'd upvote you twice if I could. Agree with both points. Dalton nailed the "shoot you in the back without blinking" aspect of Bond, but the scripts were terrible.

Also, I think Ejiofor would be a better choice than Elba. I like Elba, but I always see him as too bombastic for Bond. Bond isn't a booming voice, he's a quiet menace. Ejiofor can really do quiet menace (as mentioned above, Serenity shows that), and the trailer for Doctor Strange shows him capable of the casual one-liner, as well.

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Good job, Oz feds: Conroy wants you investigated for privilege and contempt

Faceless Man

Whose fault is that, then?

Ultimately, the responsibility for public scrutiny lies with, well, the public. If we're not happy with the level of openness, then we should elect people who are more open.

There are obstacles put in place to protect the two party system that limit our ability to do so. And far too often the alternatives to the major parties are even less palatable, but it is ultimately our responsibility to hold the parliament to account. The current press don't seem to want to do it. What we need is better organisation.

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BSODs at scale: We laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail

Faceless Man

Re: "This copy of Windows is not genuine"

I first encountered that error on the Windows PC Lab at MS TechEd 2008 in Sydney. As you'd expect, it was a network issue causing all the lab PCs to periodically declare they weren't genuine, but you'd expect that MS might have tried to ensure that their PCs at their big Tech Conference worked properly.

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Faceless Man

Re: Embedded XP terrifying?

Indeed, XP was relatively stable and robust. If they were running embedded Vista, I'd be worried.

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Labor's new comms spokesperson Michelle Rowland gets off to a bad start

Faceless Man

Re: Connect the dots yourself, author

Well, in a number of suburbs, including mine, scheduled FTTP installs were stopped and have not been resumed since the 2013 election.

To be specific: Torrens Street in Braddon was on the NBN plan for 2013. The Body Corporate of my building had been in talks with NBN Co about the rollout plan, and the impact on residents, particularly having to install Fibre to each unit in the building. Someone had been down the street marking the pits out with spray paint (could have been for a number of reasons, but they seemed to particularly mark comms pits.) Shortly thereafter a federal election was called, there was a change of government, and the remainder of Braddon disappeared off the NBN schedule. Information on the NBN website suggests that when work does recommence (now saying Q4 2016, over three years later) it will be FTTN.

Maybe having the work scheduled, discussions with the management of the residential properties on the street, and surveying work don't count as "meaningfully planned", but up until the Federal Election in 2013, we were being assured that we would be getting FTTP by the end of that year, and now we're being offered FTTN.

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First Wi-Fi box ever is chosen as Australia's best contribution to global history

Faceless Man

Re: Just a short list... (not meant to be comprehensive)

What about the Stump-Jump Plough?

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Faceless Man

Re: The French Connection

That might explain why it was harder to find somewhere to get a decent cuppa in France than in the US. I suppose I should have been suspicious when the waitress was polite.

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Faceless Man

Re: Tea in the kettle?

I've had the opposite problem in airline lounges, hotels, and catered gatherings where they provide pre-brewed filter coffee and hot water for tea drinkers in urns. The labels sometimes get swapped around, so you put your piddly little tea bag in your cup, and add hot water that turns out to be coffee.

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Faceless Man

Re: Earl Grey?

If you'd consider drinking Earl Grey, then I'm afraid it will be absolutely necessary to screw my face up in disgust.

Horrible, soapy muck.

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Eat me, Michael: 98% of EMC shareholders back Dell mega-gobble

Faceless Man

That old trick...

...of tying two rocks together and seeing if they float.

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It's not our fault we don't hire black people, says Facebook

Faceless Man

A key problem

A key problem with the logic of "We hire on the basis of skill, not ethnicity/gender/minority status" is the implicit assumption that your recruitment practices are perfect, and that the best candidates for your workplace are usually straight, white males. (Unless, of course, you have a richly diverse workforce, in which case well done you.)

In a work environment that is primarily of one ethnic group, it makes sense to wonder if there might be a bias towards that group in your recruitment practices. On a wider level, if genuinely there are no suitably qualified candidates outside that group, there may be issues around opportunities and education that need to be addressed.

Ultimately, Affirmative Action and quotas aren't about hiring unqualified people to tick some boxes, it's about ensuring you are hiring the best people, and giving people who might ordinarily miss out opportunities they have been excluded from in the past.

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Microsoft's cringey 'Hey bae <3' recruiter email translated by El Reg

Faceless Man

Re: Ah...

"Innocent young college kid goes for a "meeting" with a stranger and then wakes up the next morning, in an unfamiliar box, with a massive, alcohol-induced headache and suddenly realises that someone has ...

... installed Windows 10 on their laptop."

I think you mean "wakes up in a bathtub full of ice with a note on the mirror saying 'Welcome to Windows 10' scrawled on it."

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YouTube Red comes to Australia

Faceless Man

Re: ten bucks, not twelve

I did, and they said A$12. I must have been looking in the wrong place. Apologies.

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Faceless Man

Re: ten bucks, not twelve

No, twelve. Google Music in Australia is A$11.99. And A$11.99 is less than US$9.99, anyway. (At least it is at the moment. And that's including GST.)

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Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

Faceless Man

Re: Reanima-tor...?

Presumably they're working for the research labs at Miskatonic University.

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Faceless Man

Re: Obligatory Princess Bride quote

"With all dead, there's usually only one thing you can do."

"What's that?"

"Go through his clothes and look for loose change."

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Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing

Faceless Man

We spent 18 months ensuring all our systems were Y2K compliant, which a number weren't, particularly recently purchased PCs had dodgy BIOS that needed to be patched, so from a software point of view we were pretty safe.

Nevertheless, it was decided we should power down as much as possible on New Year's Eve, and power it all back up on New Year's Day (which was a Saturday, as I recall), just to make sure. This included every PC, which wasn't as silly as it sounded since the PCs we had at the time had a failure rate of about 10% on power cycling, due to dodgy power supplies (part of the problem with a competitive tender process for PC supply driven by line item accounting).

So on Friday afternoon, a group of us go around telling everyone to shut their computers off and go home, until we get to our Comms guys who refused, on the grounds that all this Y2K work was unnecessary and nothing was going to happen. So we moved on.

Saturday morning, a group of us comes in to power everything up, and make sure it's all working, including all the PCs, so we can replace any that die before people return to work on Tuesday. Thanks to our preparedness everything was working fine, except the phone system. Because the Comms guys who had decided there was no way anything could go wrong, did nothing to update the ancient system the PABX was running on.

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Telstra being paid to fix Telstra's network for NBN – AGAIN

Faceless Man

Re: How Corrupt Can It Get

To be fair, when our parents paid for it (or some of us who are a bit older, for that matter) it was state of the art. Now, not so much.

But, yes, it would be so much easier to deal with all of this if we'd never sold off the infrastructure in the first place.

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Half of people plug in USB drives they find in the parking lot

Faceless Man

They tried this as part of a penetration test on our network. They left thumb drives and CDs with "Payroll" written on them in marker in meeting rooms, and the carpark.

Seemed kind of obvious they were a plant, plus the fact we knew it was going on, made us suspicious, although I believe some people were stupid enough to just plug them in.

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Waleed Aly's NBN intervention is profoundly unhelpful

Faceless Man

Yeah, ADSL coverage in North Canberra sucks. My brother's in Watson and can't even get ADSL2, so he has to pay more for an ADSL1 connection. (Not just ADSL1 speed, actual ADSL1.)

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Faceless Man

'Well, at least that was the case in late 2013 - right before the Government changed and Abbott & Turnbull brought FTTP to a screaming halt. 2 1/2 years later, and we've seemingly been bumped off the end of the list - the NBN's website says "Not currently available. The nbn™ network rollout has not started in your area. Keep checking the website for more information".'

You're not in Braddon, by any chance? Exactly what happened here, although my ADSL2+ is a bit faster than that, usually. One street over is all FTTP, and despite being promised we would have it rolled out by the end of 2013, and all the initial work being done, nothing. What we get for being a safe

Labor seat, I guess.

I don't really understand why The Reg gets so upset about what are basically minor errors on the part of entertainers. One might dismiss Aly's claims about buffering as a mere rhetorical device (hyperbole, for example), but instead we have to be told he doesn't know what he's talking about, and how he's doing more damage than good to the argument.

Is this going to turn into another public feud like the Stephen Fry thing? I hope not.

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Apple hasn't announced the new iPhone 5SE and pundits already hate it

Faceless Man

People still don't seem to get it

Everyone thought the 5C was supposed to be a budget phone, and complained that Apple would fail when it turned out it wasn't. while ignoring the fact that it did exactly what it was meant to do: replace the 5 in the line up because of manufacturing issues.

The 5SE isn't meant to be a budget phone, it's meant to, again, replace an earlier model (this time the 5S - the clue is in the name) with a model capable of Apple Pay, and to keep a 4" phone in the line up. I predict they will sell at least as many of them as they would normally expect to of the phone in that slot. (They may sell more due to the people who have held off due to the size of the 6 series.)

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Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

Faceless Man

Re: @ Gordon 10 Re"Now imagine the towel slips........" Thank you for that image, NOT.

...and in the meantime, try to convince people that there's no point in doing it.

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Picking apart the circuits in the ARM1 – the ancestor of your smartphone's brain

Faceless Man

That's what always bothers me when people list the Newton as one of Apple's failures. The platform itself was more succesful than most people acknowledge, but the key thing is that it is singly responsible for ARM becoming the mobile processor of choice for everybody since then.

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