* Posts by iLurker

35 posts • joined 5 Aug 2011

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

iLurker

Easy... this isn't about space.

It's an excuse to pour money into hi-tech boondoggles in South Australia - i.e. a pork-barrelling exercise to win some votes in marginal seats.

For those unacquainted with South Australia, it is basically an arid desert state, very isolated from the eastern states, in dire need of anything to boost its economy, and also happens to be the home of Woomera (rocket range used by the Brits 60 years ago) and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

The Australian federal government has a history of large boondoggles in bizarre locations that frankly don't make any rational sense in order to prop up a state economy that would otherwise have failed long ago. Sheep farming in a desert (why, you might ask, as many perished in the attempt), Woomera (abandoned decades ago), car manufacturing (sense finally prevailed at the hands of accountants), a submarine base (on the wrong side of a very large continent)

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Mobe reception grief turns LTE Apple Watch 3 into – er, a dull watch

iLurker

Off should mean OFF. Totally.

If Bluetooth is still on and polling for connections it's going to cause chaos in the car as we frequently want only 1 device to pair with the cars sound system - not three.

I can see us reverting to a USB cable to determine which device is - or isn't - connected to the cars system.

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Australians still buy 100,000 feature phones a quarter

iLurker

This market segment is not limited to drug dealers - people who work in high security environments such as defense and defense contractors - cannot take a smartphone into a restricted area. A dumb phone is generally ok (no camera, no storage, no wifi or Bluetooth, no USB or other ports, no apps).

They probably account for most of that 5%.

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Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

iLurker

Really Ancient News, El Reg...

The details of the tablet - and its mathematical significance - were published by Otto Neugebauer in 1945, Neugebauer being a professor of astronomy, a mathematician AND sufficiently well educated in classics as to translate it directly.

And republished https://arxiv.org/pdf/1004.0025.pdf

Tsk Tsk Reg, almost as bad as Pythagoras himself.

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Australian Taxation Office named as party preventing IT contractors being paid

iLurker

If the contractors have any sense - one who is properly incorporated can employ the rest and take over the business, be paid by customers and pay the other contractors. The contractors might lose a few weeks pay but that's a heck of a lot better than waiting many months - years possibly - for the court process to drag out.

Australian courts are incredibly slow to reach obvious conclusions.

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eBay threatens to block Australians from using offshore sellers

iLurker

The real reason most people here in Oz buy overseas...

... isn't the GST - the cost of shipping small items exceeds this.

The real problems are twofold:

1. Geoblocking by multinationals like Panasonic, Sony and many others not to mention car companies, whose local prices are often double or even triple the price of the same item elsewhere.

2. Local companies that have managed to stitch up "sole supplier" deals with foreign companies, and who likewise jack up the local prices outrageously knowing that the original manufacturer won't sell indidividual items to retail buyers. A similar trick is a minimum order quantity of tens hundreds or thousands to protect these arrangements.

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iLurker

Easy way round it

Just have a buyers agent purchase the goods in US or Europe and ship it here. Their business will boom thanks to our stupid government.

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nbn™ gets its wish: Australian ISPs' performance to be rated

iLurker

$7 million ?

A better idea would have been to give Simon Wright a modest donation and have Whirlpool do it.

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Oz regulator hauls Apple to court over iBricks

iLurker

Disagree - it's not "grey" at all

The issue lies with the third-party repairers - if they mak a half assed attempt to fix an iThing - and it is bricked as a result - they are the ones responsible - not Apple.

The ugly part is they try to shirk all responsibility for their bodgy repairs and try to shift the blame to Apple. And stupid customers go along with that.

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Mini-VODAFAIL hits Australia

iLurker

It's worse, actually...

Not to mention it failing - without fail every year - at times of peak demand such as Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Melbourne cup etc.

Wifes employer uses it and she hates it.

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Pack your bags! NASA spots SEVEN nearby Earth-sized alien worlds

iLurker

Someone will be beaming "mars attacks" and soapie TV shows to them by now. We're all doomed

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Pacemaker maker St Jude faces new security flaw claims from biz short-selling its stock

iLurker

Yes some people need glasshouses.

Yes they do break if you insist on throwing rocks at them.

I'm wondering how long before the idiots in the community get tired of this, and those who need pacemakers can sleep easily at night without wondering if some fool is messing with it.

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What's not to love about IoT – you can spy on customers as they arrive

iLurker

Sounded to me like a solution nobody wants looking for an application to solve. And yes agree with the above - since when to we throw data security out the window for the sake of merging everything to solve a problem that hasn't been identified ?

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Australian national census fails in the IBM cloud

iLurker

Paper forms don't have bandwidth limits, nor limits on the #connections that can be handled concurrently.

Likewise unable to log in for hours. Going to bed.

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Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

iLurker

Sounds like Max Headroom.

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

iLurker

On the flat is one thing but going up long hills is quite another - that thing is going to run out of puff very quickly.

Hardly novel, as anyone driving a hybrid will already be aware.

And why so ugly ? Seems uk wannabe carmakers still dream of the Reliant Robin.

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Australia threatens to pull buckets of astronomy funding

iLurker

Might as well kill off all funding for the whole Australian education system now and be done with it, saving the taxpayer a huge bundle. Hey we might even get a tax cut !

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Australia's marriage equality vote should take place online

iLurker

Re: Online voting should happen when online voting can be trusted

Polling places - and staff to run and count the poll - are still needed for the non-digerati to have their say. And the government is legally obliged to provide this opportunity.

An online poll solves nothing.

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Scammers going after iOS as fake crash reports hit UK

iLurker

Similar persistent popup messages have been reported by users in Oz as well. Fairly tricky to escape from.

Looks like Apple will have to deal with this one in a future update.

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Female blood-suckers zero in on human prey by smelling our breath

iLurker

Not convinced.

If this was true mozzies would be primary attracted to the head - or near to it. Possible perhaps if the victim is lying in bed covered in bedding.

But in Australia at least this doesn't explain why mozzies have a clear preference for exposed ankles and feet if these are available, not the face or head.

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Vicious vandals violate voluminous Versailles vagina

iLurker

Offensive "art" deserves an offensive response.

It's high time the Yarty-Farties learned confrontational pieces making a political statement are not art.

If you wouldn't live with it in your backyard it's not suitable in a public place, either.

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Bird of HEY.... that's MY DRONE! Hawk attacks geek's quadcopter in nature v machine clash

iLurker

Add sea eagles and wedge tailed eagles (at least in Oz..)

http://www.news.com.au/national/eagle-gets-within-metres-of-hang-glider-hitches-a-ride-on-top/story-e6frfkp9-1226551800288

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

iLurker

Even with revision markups Word is notoriously unstable, likely to crash or corrupt the file irretrievably.

Never, ever rely on markups in Word - the safe way is to compare two versions, before (accept all changes) and after.

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iLurker

Re: Not WYSIWYG

Agreed Word is not WYSIWYG. It never can be (oh and wait till you change languages).

Use a pure text editor, as if it were a typewriter, or a nonlinear text editor.

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HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, say many Americans

iLurker

Hehe more like earnest twits set the survey not realising that 50% of the respondents would find the survey rather stupid and deliberately fluff the answers., just for fun. I certainly would have.

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Undeterred by Snapchat's snafus, upstart Confide punts self-destruct selfies

iLurker

Er... what's wrong with a good-old telephone ... while there is a record of the call being made (at the telco), the talker can (optionally) request the listener authenticate him/herself, there's no trace of the contents (the conversation) as soon as its received. The talker can also request and obtain immediate confirmation that the message has been received and understood.

And if you're worried about the record of the call, use someone else's - or a phone box.

Even better, meet in person.

Sounds like a better solution...

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Samsung whips out 12.2-inch 'Professional' iPad killers

iLurker

They're playing to the dummies in the market...

Ill-conceived - bigger isn't always better.

There is really no point building big tablets that approach laptop screens, when comparable laptops will slay this Samsung on every technical score (eg MacBook Air or similar ultralight notepads).

The whole point of the iPad3 and iPad Air is they are big enough and fast to do what is asked of them, and their weight gives a huge advantage over the bottom end of the laptop market (Macbook Air and similar).

OTOH going smaller doesn't achieve much as the weight of most various forms of physical protection- plus the bag you carry it in - (backshells, sleeves covers etc) approach or even exceed the weight of the device itself.

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Drone owners told: stay out of bushfire skies

iLurker

Re: Let's be realistic here ...

As a paraglider pilot who has had a collision with a styrofoam model aircraft in the air, the risk is real.

At the speed a paraglider file its just painful, but no lasting injury. As the speeds of real aircraft or rotating blades the damage will be catastrophic and the consequences quite serious.

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Analyst says Brit rail broadband plan is TRAIN CRAZY

iLurker

From firsthand experience over the summer on 3 networks... the broadband on trains is crap - anyone with a smartphone or tablet with a 3G connection already has a better connection with more bandwidth.

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Apple iOS 7 remote wipe: Can it defeat the evil scrumper scourge?

iLurker

Half-assed implementation.

Not so great - its easily defeated because both Siri and the Control Panel are accessible while its locked.

Any thief can ask Siri to activate Airplane mode immediate, after that it can't be deactivated.

Without His Steveness Apple is clearly slipping on the quality of their designs.

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El Reg casts a weather eye over Bureau of Met's new baby

iLurker

For mobile devices...

For iOS there are apps that do this much better - starting with OzWeather (iOS). No need to use tat awful web page.

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Your Flying Car? Delayed again, but you WILL get it, says Terrafugia

iLurker

Forget about the vertical take-off/landing nonsense - it is not necessary as well as technologically impractical and hideously expensive.

There are small personal flying machines that can take off and land in as little as 6 metres - as small as your average lounge room, have a useful ceiling for commuters and good rate of climb: powered paragliders. And there are even electric-powered paragliders, which are reasonably quiet.

As a paraglider pilot, it is possible to fly these low-speed machines in reasonably tight gaggles and formations which suggest some sort of airborne analogy of "thoroughfares" and "traffic rules" might work. Even better, these things glide reasonably well and are even able to survive (continue flying) and land safely in very small spaces with some pretty serious malfunctions in the "airframe (canopy). Their low flying speed implies a collision with the ground is usually survivable and the pilot is even equipped with a reserve parachute, for emergencies - more than can be said for most light aircraft.

That the use of powered ultra-lights, hang-gliders and paragliders is forbidden over large urban areas should give you landlubbers a clue: large numbers of flying machines over urban areas is a really, really bad idea.

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YouTube Trends Map pokes tacky underbelly of American psyche

iLurker

Faulty logic...

Just because something is popular - as measured by the number of views - doesn't mean it's worth watching.

All it means is that millions of morons watched it.

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'Australia's so big freight costs are high' claims don't add up

iLurker

From personal experience...

Sorry but I don't agree with the article - from first hand experience sending individual parcels via Australia Post you CANNOT post a parcel for $1 in Australia for delivery to the door. Then there is the little matter of insurance.

It is more likely to cost upwards of $20 for say a 10cm cube, and it could be over $100 depending on its weight.

Posting a DVD to someones home is likely to cost $20 - doubling the cost of the DVD.

Posting a valuable camera lens or a small article of clothing will be $50 or more - assuming you include registered post and insurance.

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Cheapskate Aussie net-shoppers safe from GST for now

iLurker

Wholesalers are just one part of the problem

Even if retailers wise-up and bypass the local wholesalers - and buy stock directly from foreign discounters - they still face a problem of paying for the overheads associated with a shopfront and staff.

One outcome will be that goods that can be easily sold over the Internet and safely delivered should cease to be sold in streetfront retail stores - exactly as iTunes and Amazon have killed CD and DVD stores, with bookshops to follow.

The only retail areas that are somewhat safer are those where the buyer really needs to inspect/try the goods (fresh food) or it must be tailored to suit the customer in some way (men's suits) or service industries like fast food, dentistry etc.

The ugly consequences of Paul Keating's 'level playing field' are finally happening. It was a fantasy and it will slowly lead to the destruction of the incomes and quality of life of ordinary people in many industries - starting with retail - the result being to drive their income and conditions of employment to parity with China and India.

The only real long term solution is a hefty import duty levied on all sales overseas at the point of sale - ie collected via the credit card or bank handling the transaction - where the transaction can be traced offshore - and the level of duty should vary according to the country of origin. This spares customs form the ugly task of opening parcels and the paperwork to collect minuscule amounts of tax on the majority of items - and it will also collect tax on items delivered electronically such as music, video/movies, and software and e-books.

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