* Posts by GrumpyOldBloke

317 posts • joined 5 Mar 2011

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Smash up your kid's Bluetooth-connected Cayla 'surveillance' doll, Germany urges parents

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: @ Dwarf

Who would give their kid a Theresa May doll. You just know that is not going to end well.

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Turnbull transforms tech right off his agenda

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: He screwed NBN and now it's renewables.

Yep, can't wait for my sooner, cheaper, faster electricity.

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GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Non-synchronous generation

Going forward we may need a different clock distribution model. The traditional solution of heavy inertia laden systems to time the rest of the network doesn't work too well as we move to many GW's of small scale or low inertia distributors who can change their frequency and phase on a dime. It is getting close to time when the big coal and nuke plants will have to change the way they generate and consume clocking rather than persisting with the current system where a big failure knocks out all the little guys as well.

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Trump signs 'no privacy for non-Americans' order – what does that mean for rest of us?

GrumpyOldBloke

Do we have any constitutional lawyers in our midst. I would think that if we are to be subject to US law, even as foreign citizens, then that law derives its legality from the constitution with all the restrictions and protections that this implies including unreasonable search and seizure or privacy protections. Does the constitution allow two legal systems. One for US citizens with restrictions on government mendacity and one for the rest of the world that simply says 'go crazy'?

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Oz government on its Centrelink debacle: 'This is fine'

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: How long before scammers get wise on this??

Those notices would be identified as fake straight away. The Australian government would never settle for half when it has its boot on your neck. The notices would be better written demanding full payment and promising additional ruinous penalties if proof is not offered as to innocence in some impossibly short time frame. That is the way Australian governments work. The daily tele reported this morning that there is now a whole new faux security apparatus to pay for modelled on the highly successful US DHS. Bring on the debt collectors!

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Oz regulator trims broadband prices

GrumpyOldBloke

I still have problems reading "superfast broadband access service" and "25Mbps" in the same sentence. I fear that this is destined to become one of those Australian cultural jokes like jobs and growth, agile and innovative or what an exciting time to be an Australian.

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NSW government drops a Catch: Bus Wi-Fi is a privacy nightmare

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Free country?

Don't worry. I am sure the NSW police will have warrantless access to this data - the old essential for fighting crime excuse like opal. So the police will be well placed to stop any bad guys, or at least to identify the victims. Per your Moscow story - recent trip to NZ was an eye opener as well. Walk into a shop with a bag and not be treated like a criminal. Buy a local sim without 100 points of Id. Go to the library and logon to the WiFi, no id or email addresses required. Though they still have mandatory plastic hat laws for cyclists :-(. Looking at the people at SYD airport happily skipping through the worthless but mandatory full body scanners I do not think many Australians' understand how incompetently the country is run. I think they rather enjoy all the demands for compliance. Like a good crossword puzzle, I can do it I must be smart.

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Australia's future technology headlines … for 2018!

GrumpyOldBloke

Australia sniffs around the UK's Snooper's Charter

Further faux security will be waved through by a useless government and a spineless opposition bipartisan on National Security. What will be interesting is One Nation, the emerging third force. We have seen Pauline in parliament helping to justify the ridiculous new national security fence - which should be called the don't abseil into the forecourt and embarrass the big talking government and its muppets in shiny uniforms memorial fence. Pauline also speaks positively on a national ID card. I think that she will be someone that the LNP can work with to further the national security narrative. Tony Abbot in a skirt.

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Australian Internet policy remains years behind reality

GrumpyOldBloke

The LNP has been entirely coherent and consistent in its approach to the internet during its term in power. It is a thing that threatens the established gatekeepers and rent seekers that define the Australian economy. It is a thing people use to download pron. Further, looking at events as evidence of donor based policy and the business of politics we find an approach that is again entirely coherent and consistent. If the nations security services didn't wan't to protect Australia by destroying its democratic foundations through 5-eyes and mass surveillance it is unlikely the LNP would tolerate the Australian internet even in its current crippled form.

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Dear hackers, Ubuntu's app crash reporter will happily execute your evil code on a victim's box

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Apport

I normally disable it in /etc/default/apport but removing it sounds like a better idea.

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HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: This website has ruined my life

Localisation failure, please check your browser settings.

The correct tag line for NZ should have been: Earthquakes are coming.

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The case for a police-civilian cyber super-agency in Australia

GrumpyOldBloke

> a civilian-led agency with police powers obtained by the secondment of police offices

Have you seen border farce and the embarrassment they have become at the airports. A tribute to low recruiting standards replacing previously friendly and efficient immigration and quarantine officers. Sorry but the nut jobs holding the reigns of power in Canberra haven't seen a uniform yet that they don't like the look of. We are treading the path of a totalitarian police state with the destruction of civil liberties and the inevitable destruction of the economy that follows. Civilian-led, not in Tony's life time.

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Trump's taxing problem: The end of 'affordable' iPhones

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: In Trump friendly Texas...

A century ago the European elites were drowning in debt maintaining their extravagances and their standing armies and needed to cull large swaths of the population or risk being swept aside as their economies crumbled. Completely different to now.

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Copyright crimefighters FACT change tack after Hollywood calls The Terminator

GrumpyOldBloke

> How Hollywood can police this more effectively from Brussels is a mystery.

No mystery. Hang around politicians and public servants, tell them tales of woe with $B's of economic hurt, rub hands in glee, get draconian laws passed, get tax payer funded law enforcement to do your work for you. Less cost and less risk of reputation damage than suing old ladies.

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Australia again ponders making attorney-general netadmin-in-chief

GrumpyOldBloke

The stupidity continues

Australia takes another 2 steps back and no steps forward. NZ had a problem with SDN because of stupidity such as this. I suppose it is difficult to conduct covert surveillance on your population on the pretence of fighting [insert scary thing here] if the network topology keeps changing. Veto over network gear is understandable since the muppets have created the mandatory data retention honeypot and have no doubt tightly coupled the government surveillance systems into it like rats to a corpse. Reading between the lines I guess this highlights the technical limitations of the spooks. Yeah sure they can crack encryption in a few seconds and can prosecute you if they can't but their big data systems are not good if things move around or route around them. Poor dears. Like the defence trade controls act, lets cripple the productive economy for the sake of the parasitic one.

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Uber's robo-truck makes first delivery of ... Budweiser in Colorado

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Robot delivered beer

Remote control the tricky bits out of a dark room somewhere until such time as the truck learns to do them itself. The more interesting part is getting the truck to consume bud as its human occupant would have lest some of the estimated $50M savings be flushed away as lost sales.

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Oz gummint's de-anonymisation crime is as mind-bendingly stupid as we feared

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Morons … ?

Definitely the electorate. The government is bright enough to give itself exemptions.

Recent ANU poll 2/3rds support mandatory data retention to combat night terrors. Pity the bill wasn't written that way but is rather an open slather by government thugs on what should be private data. It is very disingenuous of ANU to try and skew the public into the belief that the bill was to created to fight terrorism when a whole grab bag of agencies can access the data and more can be granted at the whim of the AG. But the electorate brought it. 2/3rds support.

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18 seconds that blacked out South Australia

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: RET plan

> Why is nuclear power not even considered in Oz

If Dick Smith is right and the federal government are lying to us (again) and the French nuclear subs that we will order off the plan with a small tweak to convert them to diesel electric propulsion are really going to be nuclear then this may open the way for further debates on nuclear power in Oz. Indonesia is also planning nukes which, once they are on our doorstep, could open debates here.

However, throwing away 90% of a rare and non-renewable energy source that then needs to be stored for 10's of thousands of years at great public expense seems like a crazy way to generate power. The building, decommissioning and nuclear fuel cycle is also very dirty and generates lots of greenhouse gasses to the point where you might as well burn coal or preferably gas. We need a better option that the current crop of civilian electricity generating reactors before we should count on public acceptance. We also need much greater trust in our business leaders and body politic before we should entertain nuclear reactors in our backyards (eg Lucas Heights gas leaks). Figuring out how to store energy from renewables might be a more productive use of our time.

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Zuckerberg to spend $3bn+ to rid world of all disease by 2100 (Starting with Facebook, right?)

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Yet another rich asshole's vanity project

So all vaccines are good and beneficial and have no harmful side effects? No child has ever been harmed or killed by vaccines? No vaccine manufactures has ever been involved in corporate fraud?

Mass vaxxers is an appropriate label. They make profit by selling a product as widely as possible using fear as a marketing technique. It takes a great act of faith to believe that all the product they supply is benign or even necessary simply on the assumption that vaccines == good. You would not make that assumption for your food. Why would you make a blanket assumption for medical products.

From the FDA website drugs development and approval process

ADRs (adverse drug reactions) are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in health care. The Institute of Medicine reported in January of 2000 that from 44,000 to 98,000 deaths occur annually from medical errors. Of this total, an estimated 7,000 deaths occur due to ADRs. These statistics do not include the number of ADRs that occur in ambulatory settings. However, other studies conducted on hospitalized patient populations have placed much higher estimates on the overall incidence of serious ADRs. These studies estimate that 6.7% of hospitalized patients have a serious adverse drug reaction with a fatality rate of 0.32%. If these estimates are correct, then there are more than 2,216,000 serious ADRs in hospitalized patients, causing over 106,000 deaths annually. Also, it is estimated that over 350,000 ADRs occur in U.S. nursing homes each year. The exact number of ADRs is not certain and is limited by methodological considerations. However, whatever the true number is, ADRs represent a significant public health problem that is, for the most part, preventable.

But I am sure all vaccines are safe.

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GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Zika isn't "don't spray"

The CDC website lists zika symptoms as being mild and many people do not even realise they have it. There are suggestions that the microcephaly was as a result of widespread spraying of pyroproxyfen in the affected towns rather than the zika virus. This of course is dismissed by anyone who might have legal liability for these actions. Zika seems to be a perfect example of a well hyped threat for which a bio-hub might influence governments to act based upon a potentially faulty or corrupt diagnosis.

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GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Yet another rich asshole's vanity project

Looks to be a purely commercial play. $3B over the next 80 years won't go far. But if he has a team of scientists who can quickly analyse perceived threats and onsell that information to the mass vaxxers while opening the wallets of fearful governments then he could be onto a winner. After a couple of wins he might even be able to start harvesting national health data. However, like H1N1 before it, Zika as an example seems to be a way overhyped threat with the prize being billions of dollars in vaccination contracts rather than any public health issue that can't be explained as don't spray crap in poor people's drinking water. This also highlights the threat to the rest of us - do no harm will be discarded for some manipulated perception of the social good.

To see what's coming check out the past: Uncle Bills involvement in India's mass polio vaccinations and the massive costs and consequences that arose from a small (few million dollars) donation.

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NBN HFC scaled down to stave off financial disaster

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: In other words...

And that's the killer - the opex costs of running the sooner cheaper faster network mean that they will never have enough money to move forward. Power is just the start. There will be flooding and failures under summer heat and battery maintenance and disposal and problems with lightening when the eld's trip and the cost of additional or upgraded wan side cards in the node if we ever migrate off national 12/1 adoption. As the money runs out they will have to start squeezing the rsp's which will drive the low usage members of their customer base towards wireless which in turn will cause the rsp's to decrease cvc commitments frustrating the more profitable users who will signal to the marketplace that they are prepared to pay for alternatives. The sad end to yet another failure managed out of Canberra will be the disposal of the network (probably to Telstra unless there is a generous foreign donor who catches their eye) for cents in the dollar. On a positive note, as this will probably take a decade to play out the NBN will remain a millstone around the neck of the LNP for at least the next few elections.

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Will US border officials demand social network handles from visitors?

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: That's good to know.

Hmmm, some sort of vigilante are you.

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Conviction by computer: Ministry of Justice wants defendants to plead guilty online

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Report's opening paragraph

The paid for version of the justice app will have an undo button.

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Phones exploding in kids' hands, shares tanking – but it's not all good news at Samsung

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Hot

Down at this end of the world we had combusting Samsung washing machines. Would have been nice to get the dryer as well just to live on the edge. Murderous home appliances are about the only fun left in this police state.

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Telstra wins AU$39 million for data retention costs as grants revealed

GrumpyOldBloke

Unless telco mandatory data retention is just smoke and mirrors and the real action is happening with the hidden servers per the Confidential Commodities List (rept in el Reg) and the ASIO/DSD/AFP business collaboration centres being opened in our state capitals are really about receiving the live feeds. The AFP and the spooks are not bound by the 2 year retention limit. We then have a clear case of win-lose which is how our bought and paid for government works. Canberra can claim that they only approach the telco's a small number of times for the very worst drug dealing child pornographing terrorist cases and the spooks get to throw proportionality and targeting out the window with the rest of their 5-eyes (+1) rabble. I just can't see 1.4M covering the costs this legislation is imposing. The 600+M that Abbott gave to the security services during his rein of terror seems closer to the number required to sell out a nation of this size.

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GrumpyOldBloke

Properly protect? Not a chance. If DoD was successfully hacked what hope is there for the rest. This is another Canberra policy disaster Arrogance with ignorance - thanks Bill and Tony. TPG's grant is interesting (only 1.4M) despite being the countries 2nd largest ISP. While I understand the top 3 have a multi technology mix of networks and applications and these are more expensive to support (eh Malcolm) what is a small company like Exetel (1.8M) doing that TPG is not. 1.4M suggests that TPG is off shoring and or dumping to tape at major network aggregation points. If the former - give up on the idea of security. If the later then there is some hope as access beyond the tape online storage boundary will require a physical presence at wherever the tapes will be stored.

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Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablets recalled immediately

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: This:

My sympathies are with Samsung on this one. it is possible that the supplier was screwed down to the last cent and took short cuts. It is more likely that the failures have highlighted a manufacturing process or quality control issue that once identified will be fixed.

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Uber lost $7m a DAY in the first half of this year

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Nuke all the things

Never is a long time, especially with governments being influenced to sign up to TPP and TTIP to protect the intellectual property and business practices of said yanks. The only problem at the moment is without profit there is no tax so the US government isn't getting a cut. Once that changes the lure of having a percentage of half the worlds point to point journeys will be too much for fhe US 'lawmakers' to ignore. One day we may find ourselves invading Italy for their WMD's and their ride sharing and taxi profits.

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UK's mass-surveillance draft law grants spies incredible powers for no real reason – review

GrumpyOldBloke

The trick is to understand that security does not mean the same thing to you and I as it does to the spooks. In spook talk security means nothing changes. They are the ultimate conservatives. Hence whenever a new political movement or agitation for social justice arises the police and the spooks are always the first to join / infiltrate / surveille to ensure that nothing can threaten the established order - ie security. When something bad happens these agencies are always the first with the cover ups to ensure nothing can threaten the established order - again security. If a foreign country becomes a strategic competitor rather than adjust and improve, undermine and destroy to protect the established order - security. The sad thing is that the sort of people who join these agencies probably believe that they are playing a vital role protecting the realm rather than realising that they are a wart on the nations butt stopping any and all sensible reform. Unfortunately there is no known cure for this sort of nonsense. Once infestation starts you are stuck with the consequences.

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Turnbull's Transformers intend to test single sign-on to Gov.au on the offshore, public cloud

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Since Malcolm is my local member

Been there, done that, it doesn't work. The inventor of the internet is way out of his depth trying to lead his party of rabid cats. I am convinced that they lock him in a small room where he dreams of innovation and agileness while remaining completely divorced from his responsibilities to represent the views of Australia's civilian population. Turnbull is probably not liked by the traditional LNP donors (or voters) and is not going to score a win in anything of consequence politically. Letting him play on github and public clouds is probably seen as a safe way of not offending the guy who stumped up $1M for the LNP's partial reelection campaign, just in case they need him to do it again. We are still a long way from being bound by law to actually put data into his creation. The conservative branch of the LNP is starting to make noises about privacy as if after the census they have just discovered it is a thing and possibly even a vote winner. Turnbull is a lame duckling so I would not be too worried yet.

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IBM makes meek apology for Oz #CensusFail, offers no fail detail

GrumpyOldBloke

Sorry Dan, I can't see your appeal to reason falling on anything but deaf ears. The Westminster system has completely failed in Canberra. With senior members of parliament like Dutton and Brandis being ex public servants and others having never known life outside the public sector we now have a system where the public sector is representing itself and no one is speaking for the civilian population. The public sector are making out like bandits with every power grab they can get their dirty mits on. Turnbull has compounded his failure as a politician by not recognising what the issue was with the census. No one cares about a site going down, this is Oz it could have been laughed off. But 'the most significant invasion of privacy ever perpetrated on Australians' flys right over his head. The LNP almost lost an election by pandering to their worst impulses and those of the Canberra elite and they still haven't figured it out.

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What next for the F-35 after Turkey's threats to turn its back on NATO?

GrumpyOldBloke

Sorry, it was not clear from the article. Do we give Turkey the F35's to encourage them to stay with NATO or to encourage them to leave?

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Australia hires former head of controversial UK care.data plan

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: how in the world

The first requirement of working with the public sector is not success or failure but fitting into the public sector way of working. In this context someone from the the motherland is like a god here.

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Norks hacks 90 Southern officials, journalists

GrumpyOldBloke

If you pull the plug how will the Western hackers keep an eye on them?

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Australia to spend a billion bucks and seven years on SAP project

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: SAP = Stupid As Phuck

Given the history of government SAP projects, no one expects the proposed solution to actually work. SAP, in a political context, is not a system for building solutions but a system for testing opponents. Does the next government pull the plug and become responsible for the total loss of $B's or do they stiffen up, push on and risk accusations of incompetence for what was always going to be a total failure. Occasionally things go wrong, as in NSW where it has taken a little longer for the public to wake up to how truly terrible the state government is. The LNP were returned to office to face their own trap - the student management system. Property developers will do well out of that one and that was always the end game.

At the federal level It is unlikely the current government will still be in power in three years let alone six. But in a few years time and from the safety of the opposition benches the LNP will be able to point to ongoing mismanagement and cost blowouts as evidence of Labor's [insert inadequacy here].

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China decrees it will grow world-class enterprise vendors by the year 2025

GrumpyOldBloke

These things come and go in cycles. Human rights issues and certified exceptionalism applied to the European super powers of old or the American's of late. China's future is not all plain sailing. It has to balance the absolute power of a one party state, social expectations for growth and liberty, resource limitations, an ageing population, massive debt and corruption issues and constant provocations by its competitors. Much like the European super powers of old or the American's of late. As for international law, countries have a habit of only invoking the law when it suits them. The US for example does not recognise the jurisdiction of the Hague when applied to their own else there would be a number of high ranking US officials in cells now for war crimes. The big issue with the Spratley islands is what value an alliance with the US if China can simply move upon resources as it pleases. We are used to reports of the US containing China and Russia. China has just slipped this containment - now what? Is the US world wide network of military bases a bluff, a tool to keep vassal states in-line, an expensive exercise is self aggrandisement or a mechanism for geopolitical control.

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Tintri 'consolidates' Australian office to Singapore

GrumpyOldBloke

The defence trade controls act and penalties for unlicensed R&D collaboration with foreign parties?

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Australian Banks ask permission to form anti-Apple cartel

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: The more things change

Bail-in legislation was agreed at the G20 summit in Brisbane. All signed up to reward the banks for their lack of financial acumen and to protect their bond holders from same, including NZ. You may have dodged a bullet in 2008 but rest assured the banks are now better prepared.

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nbn™ talks up HFC upgrades to gigabit speed

GrumpyOldBloke

They better hope that gigabit services aren't needed in the foreseeable future. Given fibre and wireless competition targeting the high density sites, the higher opex costs of the Malcolm Turnbull Mess, the poor performance experienced by those at the wrong end of the cvc debacle leading to the wide adoption of lower tier / lower revenue plans and the inflexibility of the whole sorry mess to ramp-up ramp-down on demand. nbn co will struggle to realise any sort of commercial return. There won't be any money to upgrade to the glorious multi gigabit future that they are spruiking. This albatross is not resting on its perch it is already dead.

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Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

GrumpyOldBloke

As packets exceed the speed of light ...

But you could use the transition back from mass to energy to charge your battery.

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TAFE's troubled TITSUP tech terminated AT BLOODY LAST

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Popcorn please

Be surprised if we see much of it at all. Releasing this news now means that it will be overshadowed by the federal election. All that has happened is one cash cow has died after having been tended by a bureaucracy used to fiefdoms, unthinking compliance and incapable of the reform needed to simplify the underlying processes. Overseen by politicians that only have a job because they say yes to the right people. Life is not created without a good reaming and government projects are no different. Cue the next one.

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Study of asexually reproducing honeybee ponders: But why the mass murder?

GrumpyOldBloke

I am sure there is a lesson for human colonies in there somewhere.

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Government regulation will clip coders' wings, says Bruce Schneier

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: "We are going to see...more trusting of the government"

> When people start dying and property starts getting destroyed, governments are going to have to do something,

No government likes competition.

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Lexus cars suffer Purple Screen of Death – code bug turns the air blue

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: And again.

When time comes to change if you bork the OTA updates the car will probably lock the doors, roll up the windows and drive you to the dealers while the audio system alerts the authorities and plays the terms of your software licence agreement over and over again. Do it a second time and it may be a long drive on quiet country roads with the air control system on recirculate. There will be no third time.

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GNU cryptocurrency aims at 'the mainstream economy not the black market'

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Mining?

'Real' money is magic'd out of thin air anyway. What happens to the crypto coins when the government comes in an cleans out the stash of real money under some pretence of drug smuggling child pornographing terrorists. Or do we end up back at the goldsmiths tale where far more money was issued than was secured because no one ever wanted to withdraw their gold and who doesn't want to be rich.

As others have pointed out this is just a prepaid money transfer system and we already have those. I can see advantages for off the books organisations who want to run a private bank and use this as a transfer payments system but I can't see a lot of advantages over a prepaid debit card.

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'Whites are taking over': Race storm hits heart of Africa's internet body

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: both previous comments are valid but...

>But this has scant to do with Internet Governance

Just as banks decide winners by electing who to loan to, who to foreclose on and the terms of trade. Internet governors can pick winners by deciding who the gatekeepers are and the rules that must be followed - think China. The Africans' are right to take ownership of the issue with the advantage that any mistakes will be their mistakes and they will have no one to blame or applaud for the outcomes but themselves.

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Victims stranded as ID thieves raid Aussie driver licences

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: circumvent

There is only one road rule in most of Oz; smile for the revenue camera / collector. Not too hard to master. Everything else is flexible and is resolved with an exchange of insurance details.

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Australian Federal Police say government ignorant of NBN raids

GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Raises more questions

He will be shocked. Shocked I tell you. Right up until the time he again grasps the levers of power and then these laws will be valuable tools in the fight against [insert latest bogey person here].

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GrumpyOldBloke

Re: Tin foil had required?

nbn staffer is getting in on the act with taking photos of the seized documents: and sending them back through his phone to his masters. It was either a political raid or this was amateur hour at the AFP. We need a name for this sort of maleficence. Something original that suggests the official story doesn't hold water. Maybe watergate.

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