* Posts by Martin Usher

473 posts • joined 8 Dec 2006

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Mozilla Labs pops out JavaScript language tool for coders

Martin Usher
FAIL

This is getting way out of hand

Javascript was a nice idea, a way of making web pages more interesting. Its morphed into a monster because try as you may you cannot stop armies of programmers trying to make a buck by piling on script code to try to guess users' intentions. The result is a mess -- browsers are in some kind of arms race with the programmers and the users lose out with bloated applications that run sluggishly that sport web page 'features' that may or may not work.

If we're going to have web page extensions then they should use something like LISP, something that will thin the ranks of wannabe browser extenders. Code is too easy to write and too difficult to write properly, there's too many people out there clagging up the system with garbage.

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Podgy Googlers get shrunken plates

Martin Usher
Thumb Down

Its the computers, stupid....

Food's not the problem. Its parking people in front of computers for 40+ hours a week. Its really bad for your health.

Q. Why feed people?

A. If you don't then they go out to lunch and this cuts down on productive time.

Q. Why not provide workout facilities

A. Many companies do. However, running them at 6:30am so as to not interfere with work time tends to reduce the takeup a bit. Something to do with lives, families and stuff like that

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eBay boss outbids everyone in election spending

Martin Usher
Happy

We've got the Best Democracy Money Can Buy

You have to ask yourself what's so fantastic about being Governor that's worth $115million or so of your own money.

She's a bit vague about policy issues which is a bit of a red flag. Her contender, Jerry Brown, is not much better (if at all). Definitely Hobson's Choice. She's running as a Republican and given the nature of many of the Republicans in the state legislature (if you want to see really weird politicians, this is the place to look) I'm not looking forward to her being Governor at all. (The fact that Carly Fiorina is a fellow Republican, seeking to replace Barbara Boxer in the Senate, suggests that something's really, really, out of whack in our politics.)

She's got nice posters, though.

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Police spent tens of thousands on failed BitTorrent probe

Martin Usher
Thumb Down

Spot the Trend....

1) The government acting as proxies for commercial interests, setting up laws conceived by those interests for the benefit of those interests.

2) The police as enforcers for commercial interests.

The taxpayer, as ever, gets stiffed. Both ways.

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Microsoft strolls into white space

Martin Usher
Happy

Radio ait wot it used to be...

A .lot of spectrum regulation dates from a long time ago, back in technical pre-history. Back then radio transmitters broadcast a continuous signal on a fixed frequency and you tuned your receiver to get the broadcast. Regulation of transmitters was designed to stop transmitters from interfering with each other. (In the UK at least the regulations also seemed to be designed to make it difficult for spies to communicate secretly with the Central Powers....)

This type of regulation, like the technology its designed to manage, is very wasteful of resources. Modern radios are so different from them that it is going to take some time for the regulatory bodies to catch up. I'm not a MSFT fanboy but I do appreciate their efforts to push things along. They were, after all, primarily responsible for making WiFi usable and they did this by pushing out the technology campus-wide (and dragging the various IEEE groups along by getting the technology deployed).

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General Motors bitchslaps Tesla with Range Anxiety™

Martin Usher
Go

Its real

I know someone's who's been lent a Tesla to use. Its an interesting car, a piece of very advanced technology that excels at smoking traditional sports cars (and rapidly wearing down its rear tires in the process). Its quiet, small and rather nice. But the battery life thing is a problem. One of the most prominent displays is the screen that gives you the estimated range which, when I looked over this car said "151 miles" (about 85%). That's OK for a commute but its not going to get you anywhere in California. Charging is also very well done but if you use the small cable shown in the picture you're going to have to wait maybe 12 hours -- you need a high current 220v outlet to charge in less than an hour.

The Volt appears to have all the right ingredients -- it looks like a winner. Its electric for day to day, fuel powered for longer trips. I daresay that over time the motor/generator will be replaced by a fuel cell but for now the mechanical system will work fine.

The Tesla's got one other drawback. Its made from a lot of custom carbon fiber parts -- even a minor crash is going to be rather expensive to deal with.

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Wikileaks founder blasts reopening of rape probe

Martin Usher
Stop

This kind of BS brings the legal system into disrepute

(As if it wasn't there already.)

There's a really high probability that this is all politically motivated BS. Vague charges, all hinting at moral issues -- its sooo retro you'd think we're back in the 50s. Expect the media to run pieces that use a fair bit of innuendo to not only smear this guy but anyone who dares to defend him. Its so sick.

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Game-addicted man scores rare win over software lawyers

Martin Usher
WTF?

Upside Down / Inside Out

No longer able to dress, bathe and so on -- but apparently able to file lawsuits.

This is not David vs Goliath. Its the tort industry trying to find new ways to extort money.

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Underweight passport pic left traveller stuck in Amsterdam

Martin Usher
Black Helicopters

His problem was that he was African

A friend had her passport stolen in Stockholm last summer. It got stolen in the evening and replaced the next day at the embassy. Two big differences:-

-- She's white

-- She's American

Unless this person got their original passport under fraudulent circumstances -- unlikely if he's domiciled in the UK -- then someone's jerking him about.

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Pentagon confirms attack breached classified network

Martin Usher
Black Helicopters

So it wasn't a Network Breach after all

Using social engineering or similar tricks to get access inside a network is not a breach of network security. Its just human error -- the weakest link in any security chain.

The question here was why were executables allowed from a removable drive? (Also, did the drive autoexecute from the media?). Most problems from malicious software can be eliminated if you just move plain text around. Its not as spiffy as multimedia but its pointless opening up a system to all sorts of vulnerabiliites and then trying to individually fix each one as you notice it (the signature feature of Microsoft's software). These systems aren't home computers, they've got work to do and they should be working with a very well defined set of data, not running any old rubbish that they happen to come across.

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Java daddy says Sun engineers ran 'goofiest patent' contest

Martin Usher
WTF?

Mixed compled and interpreted?

This deserves a giant "WTF"....I'm surprised that piece of nonsense got past the article's author.

All instruction codes are interpreted by a processor. Sometimes these codes are interpreted by a formal microcode engine, sometimes they're not, sometimes its a bit of both. It depends on what you're trying to achieve -- trade offs between complexity, size, power, die size.

Nothing to see here....

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Mozilla Thunderturkey and its malcontents

Martin Usher
Unhappy

The problem is the methodology....

I usually associate bloat with object oriented programming techniques. There's nothing wrong with these techniques, of course, except that a surprising number of programmers haven't a clue how to design with objects ("like giving a chainsaw to a three-year old to play with...."). The result's invariably a mess because the bottom-up design that these techniques encourage end up with programmers lacking a clue what their software's doing.

(I do real time. My stuff has to work and I have to know at all times what my processor's doing, you can't just fire and forget or you'll end up with a car going out of control or something. We need more of this discipline in the apps world -- put the programmers on a diet, reduce their memory and processor size.....)

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Ellison wrestles Google to strangle 'unofficial' Java

Martin Usher
FAIL

Bzzzz....er, wrong

>Let's also look back and see that C was inspired by Pascal.

No, the great-grandfather of all this is Algol. Pascal was originally a teaching language designed to be implemented on a single-pass compiler. (That's why it did so well on early PCs.) Pascal was implemented so it could run on an intermediate code and that p-code was at one point given a dedicated hardware engine but that's just a trick of the light, its just a TIL (i.e. Forth) lurking at the bottom of things.

Personally I hate people filing patents on stuff that should be common knowledge. I haven't a clue what Oracle's claiming against Google but I'd guess its some flavor of BS, the sort of thing that only lawyers could love.

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London tenders for speed cameras

Martin Usher
Stop

Why not just put up a speed display?

They're common where I live. Effective, too -- the thing lights up with your measured speed as you pass and will flash if you're going to fast. Time to slow down....

Of course, they don't make anyone any money.

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Documents show CAA fears over powerline networks

Martin Usher
FAIL

The problem will be mitigated

Its simple. PLN generates so much crap that people stop using the affected frequencies, thereby making the problem go away.

Its a mystery how this technology was ever allowed to see the light of day. If this was a generic west African country I'd suspect a good bit of dash changing hands (but I suppose that sort of thing doesn't happen in England, does it?).

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'Eternal' sun-plane still aloft after 7 days, aiming for 14

Martin Usher
Happy

We end up using those things where its sunny all the time...

Last time I looked we were not fighting insurgencies in Canada. We're stuck in places like Iraq and Afghanistan where its sunny far too much of the time.

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Sluggish corporates ill-prepared for death of Win XP SP2 support

Martin Usher
Pirate

Applications vulnerabilites imply "connected to the Internet"

In the real world of work if systems are connected to the net at all then its behind some serious firewall equipment. You just won't rely on an individual's desktop system to be inherently secure -- no matter how much crap you put on it the mere fact it has a user is going to be a serious weakness.

So in the real world we discover things like NT4.0 still trundling along (I know someone who's using it). Software doesn't wear out, you see - if it does a job now then it will continue to that job for ever.

As for SP3, its not a very nice solution to a problem that doesn't bother a lot of people. Its a typical MSFT kludge.

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I own Facebook, claims New York fuel salesman

Martin Usher
Gates Horns

There might even be something in this one...

The tale of Facebook is one of those things where someone hired someone to write some code to do a "Facebook-like" website, then someone may or may not have delivered it, figuring out that maybe they could do a whole lot better with the idea, made up the product and went on to fame and fortune.

Its not an unusual tale in the murk of startups. My understanding is it was one of those QD-DOS/Microsoft things but with a lot less attention to the legal niceities, which given the current book value of Facebook's going to make for a legal pig-out.

Oh well, makes a change from "SCO, the (zombie) company that wouldn't die....". Maybe it'll give Groklaw something new and interesting to do.

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Fanbois end Judas Phone 'Death Grip' with, um, SIM tape

Martin Usher
FAIL

But they do a nice display....

The neat thing about the software fix is that it really summed up the non-prettystuff engineering in this unit -- "never mind the functionality, look at all those pretty pictures". Apple have been able to steal a march on the other manufacturers because they sell a second-rate phone disguised as a first-rank hand-held computer, and people tend to overlook the shortcomings provided the unit "more or less" works. The more traditional phone manufacturers have a lot of investment in the phone engineering so we've come to expect that "it just works", even if the UI sucks somewhat. Now the phone boys know what consumers want they'll just buy and interface.

Apple should have bought a phone company....

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Mother faked ID to 'disappear' child from school waiting list

Martin Usher
Coat

Fix the schools?

It might be cheaper than implementing a PKI infrastructure (or ID card system).

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Russian spies dumped in Vienna after swap

Martin Usher
Alien

No spies here

The FBI were unable to get any evidence of espionage despite tracking the group for 10 years. The best they're able to get them on is being an "unregistered agent of a foreign country" and, of course, being in the country illegally.

There are lots of Russian immigrants in the US (there's quite a few in the UK, I hear). Any or all of them could be sending information back to friends and relatives in the old country. I'm at a loss to figure out what made the difference here; it was possibly that they suckered the Russian government into keeping paying them (despite producing zilch).

Vladimir's theory (above) suggesting that its a scam to allow the offspring of well placed Russians to live well in the west on the Russian taxpayer's dime sounds credible. I can't imagine what kind of investigation into this is going on in the FSB at the moment, I've love to be a fly on the wall, because I suspect its only the tip of an iceberg.

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El Reg marks Steve Jobs for termination

Martin Usher
Alien

Welkum to 'merika

Tinfoil helmets are de rigeur among the more right wing of our number these days. Conspiracies are everywhere, they usually involve the guvmint treating some hapless multinational oil company or bank in a less than deferential way being proof that we're in the midst of a Marxist takeover.

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RAC prof: Road charges can end the ripoff of motorists

Martin Usher
FAIL

He hasn't thought this through...

So the Treasury makes a serious profit by taxing road users. Ending the direct tax on road users isn't going to stop the Treasury making a serious profit, they'll just get the money from somewhere else.

Like VED, fuel tax and mileage charges....(after all, the VED and fuel tax infrastructures are already in place). Now you all know that after a new tax is introduced the old tax might be reduced a tad but it will creep back up. (Remember VAT? It replaced purchase tax but because it was on everything it initially collected a lot of extra money. That was back when it was 7% or less.....remind me....what it is now?)

...and, of course, the mileage charge infrastructure will need paying for.....(good eatin' for the well connected)

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IT recruiters warn over migration caps

Martin Usher
WTF?

That's not the point of immigration...

You've got loads of out of work graduates (70:1 ratio of applicants to jobs, I hear) and this fellow is saying "if we can't import labor then the world will end".

Something doesn't add up.

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First true submarine captured from American drug smugglers

Martin Usher
Grenade

New use for redundant Trident subs...

...there's customers down there for them willing to pay cash....

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Russian spy ring bust uncovers tech toolkit

Martin Usher
Unhappy

Budapest is not in the Eastern Block, BTW

It all sounds very Cold War, doesn't it.

Am I in some kind of a time warp?

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Apple denies iPhone 4 antenna glitch, blames inaccurate signal bars

Martin Usher
FAIL

Neat solution to the problem

Its obviously makes more sense to tell people that they can't use their phone than have them try to use it and discover it doesn't work. I suspect that serious phone users will carry a backup -- you flash your iPhone to show you're leading edge but you've got a GSM klunker in your back pocket to actually make phone calls with. (Use a Bluetooth earpiece and nobody will ever know....)

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Why we love to hate Microsoft

Martin Usher
Big Brother

Easy...

1) Stop reinventing the wheel (and claiming it was all your own work)

2) Embrace open standards -- you don't need to do open source, just adhere to standards (and stop screwing around with them)

3) Build an OS that's made from components that have well defined interfaces.....leave some room for third party innovation

The problem with MSFT at the moment is that its oddball and doesn't play well with others. Its weird that, for example, Linux knows what a NTFS is but Microsoft refuses to have anything to do with anything that's not their own product (and preferably something they own).

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Computer grads can't even get jobs offering personal services

Martin Usher
Thumb Up

CS is just a means to an end

I don't think they teach run of the mill CS students about real life problem solving. The truth is that most anyone can write program code these days but that's not programming. The essence of programming is understanding the problem you're trying to solve, not knowing which of the tens of thousands of API calls is the one that will solve it for you.

My son recently graduated with a fairly mediocre degree in Applied Math. I was looking forward to enjoying his company for the indefinite future while he found a succession of meaningless jobs, the sort that my friends graduate kids have ("barista", anyone?). Two weeks later he's in work, allegedly temporary but (according to the boss/owner) likely to be full time when they can swing it. He's programming, of course. They employed him because he had math skills, then discovered in very short order he could program......

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The Linux Chronicles, Part 1

Martin Usher
Go

Dual purpose

The nice thing about Ubuntu is that its a nice, well polished, easy to use OS that still retains the bleedin' edge capabilities of a full-on Linux distribution for those who really want to experiment. Its installation, upgrade and peripheral support has been superior to Windows for years now -- Windows is fussy and frustrating, Ubuntu "just works".

One thing I am starting to really resent about Windows is the amount of downloading and upgrades it does -- everything's a fix for the previous fix. Most of this -- starting with AV software -- is just MSFT refusing to fix basic design flaws, instead using a patch 'n kludge mindset to keep filling the cracks. I can trace a lot of contemporary WinWeirdness back to MS-DOS!

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Dutch send submarine to fight Somali pirates

Martin Usher

They're used for inshore work

The Israelis have submarines, too, and they're diesel-electrics. Nuclear submarines are used for long distance patrols in deep water, these are used for inshore work, patrolling coastlines and harbors. The submarine is unlikely to intercept any pirate, it will just hand off intelligence to a surface ship.

(About Q-ships) There's apparently some maritime law that prevents people from arming merchant ships. Pity, because a few sunk Zodiacs would send a message -- the pirates would never quite know what they're coming up against until it was too late.

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ToryDems add up bill for Labour's ID scheme

Martin Usher
Unhappy

You need to figure out a breakdown for these costs

There are few projects out there that can use this amount of money to deliver a product. Its a sign of monumental inefficiency, even fraud. You might be able to justify this if you were developing new technology but this isn't -- its an application that uses existing technology.

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Google claims Wi-Fi slurp legal in the US

Martin Usher
FAIL

Don't Comment on what you don't understand!

I'm amazed at the general level of ignorance on how wireless networks, or even just networks, work. Wireless works by broadcasting traffic and everyone -- not just Google -- but *everyone* within range listens in to your traffic. That's how their MAC knows when to transmit. The fact that most of that traffic is discarded immediately is irrelevant; you transmit anything over WiFi and everyone who can hear it will hear it.

Now this BS about passwords. Script kiddies who play with Javascript or such like may transmit "passwords" as text strings but in the real world passwords are never transmitted. At its most elementary a typical exchange will be to receive a challenge string which you concatenate with your password, digest using a hash function and you send the digest back. The other end knows what should be transmitted back so knows if you've got the password right.

If you don't like the way wireless networks work then don't use them. Otherwise that's the technology, live with it.

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Google's Wi-Fi sniff probe reveals 'criminal intent' - PI

Martin Usher
WTF?

Don't you just hate it when non-technical people....

...get involved with technical matters? They have at best a superficial understanding of the issues but they talk it up like they're really on top of things, convincing a whole coterie of fellow non-technical people that what they have adds value. Then they wrap a mantle of legalese around themselves to further enhance their credibility.

All Google did was what my PC will do before I tell it I'm not interested in the neighbors traffic.If you broadcast then, by definition, your traffic is public and -- if you've got your head screwed on right -- should contain nothing confidential. Google's only interested in the SSIDs -- it wants to know what access points are where -- because it can use that to refine location information and (possibly) publish maps of open access points, things like coffee shops that offer this service.

I detect the grim hand of commercialism here, anyway.....got to get Google anyway, anyhow. Screw the public interest -- only money matters. You don't have a decent product so you chisel and chip away at the market leader, spreading FUD around, whispering in the right ears. Its all BS of the most fragrant kind.

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Unarmed Royal Navy destroyers: French missiles blamed

Martin Usher
FAIL

This just isn't right....

Two boats, two billion pounds. They may be fantastic boats, state of the art but a lot of their capabilities are going to have to be for defending themselves because should one get blown up that's half the navy down the drain.

You need a larger number of somewhat less capable and a whole lot cheaper boats.

Didn't the Falklands war teach you anything?

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Ballmer says Windows will shame iPad

Martin Usher
FAIL

Microsoft already has Tablet Computing

Been using it for years -- I use a Motion 1400 tablet. Very nice machine, well made.

Played with an iPad. Chalk and Cheese. In theory there's nothing to stop a tablet doing things exactly like an iPad but in practice there's Microsoft. Upgrading from SP2 to SP3 nearly cost me the system -- had to quadruple the amount of memory in it just to get the thing to boot. Microsoft don't do "small" and "slick" -- its all big and corporate.

Its the same in the Mobile space. MSFT had Windows CE on phones a decade ago. They never did anything with it.

Disclaimer -- Not A Fanboi.

1
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Watchdog backs Google antitrust complaint with (more) data

Martin Usher
Stop

It just works

Google's success is not because its controlling the market in some sinister, underhand, way but because what it offers is both useful and works. Their classic search page is a work of art (from a web design perspective), their maps are flexible -- everything works.

One other reason why they're successful is that they don't try to wring the last dime out of everything. There's a big difference between offering some targeted ads and filling the web page with so much cycle-stealing crap that you can't find anything.

1
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Finnish police raids target virtual thieves

Martin Usher
Coat

What's with the wetware?

You'd expect the Finnish police to become virtual and perform the raid virtually (don't tell me that the game doesn't have administrative access to users' clients).

I can just see it....you're minding your own business when suddenly a Finnish version of the Keystone Cops bursts into your environment, clowns about for a bit then disappears to the next environment.

0
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iPeds, iRobots, and the Chinese iPad clone machine

Martin Usher
FAIL

..and the iPad is made where?

If you outsource the manufacturing to China then it takes a feat of mind-boggling arrogance to think that the Chinese can't fill in the software bits - they've got all the technology (we gave it to them) so expecting them not to use it is a bit optimistic.

0
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Murdoch's paywall: The end of the suicide era?

Martin Usher
FAIL

Murdoch's missing the point

These days a single newspaper --- print or on-line -- isn't any use as a news source. There's insufficient information there, you need to check several sources to get a real picture of what's going on. That's why on-line search is important -- each thing on its own is useless, its the aggregation that makes it important.

So goodbye Times and other Murdoch rags. They're no use anyway -- Murdoch's news empire is chronically unreliable as a news source, in the US at least it makes stuff up.

I don't have any objection to paying, though. I subscribe to a print paper or two because its my way of feeding the system and I buy news magazines -- this is where the real information is to be had and money's to be made.

2
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Beeb, British Museum face smut issues over saucy pot

Martin Usher
FAIL

The American Infection

Your problem is that the UK's turned the "special relationship" into a full-on cargo cult. You copy everything from here regardless of whether it makes sense or is relevant to the UK. This kind of BS is normal in the US because people are free to speak and act, and that freedom extends to bigots and busybodies. We have defenses against such people, though. The UK's allowed itself to be raped by such people but you are relatively defenseless -- your ACPO seems to make the laws there with lots of other NGOs chiming in about what's good for you and no Constitutional constraints on their worst excesses.

What's weirder is that Australia, the country I used to associate with a rather laid-back attitude to life, has gone hyper-bigoted. Its like they got the worst of the UK's small-minded surbanites on those five pound assisted packages and the damn things have *bred*!

4
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'Lost' iPhone 4G brouhaha: Jobs gets on the job

Martin Usher
Stop

Phones get lost

Its a real-world scenario...

Apple's mistake was putting something on it that said "Hey, everyone, this is special.....you need to take notice of it RIGHT NOW!" A smart company would have made it look ordinary, even defective.

0
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Google: Street View spycars did slurp your Wi-Fi

Martin Usher
FAIL

You're Wasting our Time!

Its not important -- its about as relevant as logging the color of your front door. Its not private, its not secret, its just a way of telling one network from another.

All this fuss leads me to believe that the technology has got beyond those who make it their business to understand -- and worse still, control -- it.

People have been mapping wireless access points from the beginning of time. Google's just doing what everyone else has been doing. Leave them alone.

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1

Exam board deletes C and PHP from CompSci A-levels

Martin Usher
Alert

They're all Algol variants anyway....

All the curly brace languages started out life as variants of Algol, a language which (I believe) predates computers. Algol's quite a good language to learn the trade with but its now not used by anyone I know.

Pascal/Delphi's an odd one -- I know that Pascal was conceived as a teaching language that could be compiled in a single pass, just right for lots of student jobs through an old timeshare system, but its hardly relevant to modern programming. 'C' is a systems programming language that's good to learn on, especially as mistakes get punished severely.

What these guys don't realize is that any language that has keywords is really just a kludge so they really shouldn't be learning stuff like BASIC or 'C' to start with. Since its probably not a good idea to spring books like "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" on high schoolers is probably OK to teach them a practical language -- provided you don't dilute the work by confusing programming theory with knowing how to work different flavors of GUI.

0
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US prosecution of McKinnon 'spiteful', says ex-top cop

Martin Usher
FAIL

The US is amorphous

The US's government and legal system is an overlapping set of individual fiefdoms that are bound together by the Constitution. The result is that its fairly easy for what used be called "Little Hitlers" in England to get themselves a slice of the action and start personal vendettas. (Look what happened to Michael Jackson in Santa Barbara -- pure theater put on by someone looking for political advantage.) There are mechanisms to deal with this, often involving money or publicity (essentially the same thing) but it is imperfect. The first line of defense is to "just say no" -- in this case don't pander to some power-crazed sub-sub-assistant-attorney out to make a name for him or herself by taking down McKinnon. Like any nuisance, don't encourage them and maybe they'll go away.

Don't debate the ethics of the crime. Its at worst trespass. Hyping it up to be some serious crime is just pandering to them.

1
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Boffins turn Bunsen burners on Frank Skinner

Martin Usher
FAIL

Its the word "boffin"

I really hate patronising gits. Just because they couldn't "do math" at school they feel they have to put down everyone who can. Its not as if its a particularly difficult subject, either.

9
0

California's 'Zero Energy House' is actually massive fossil hog

Martin Usher
Unhappy

Where in LA?

You energy needs vary greatly depending on how close you live to the coast -- a matter of a few miles makes a huge difference. If this house is to the west of the 405 --likely -- then it can probably get by with little heating and no A/C.

This sort of thing is giving environmentally friendly stuff a bad name. The typical Los Angeles tract home is a nasty piece of work, its a wooden shack that has minimal insulation in the walls and roof space and single pane windows. You can do a lot by changing the windows and venting the roof space, adding some insulation improves things more. You'll get tax breaks on this, of course. Airflow management helps as well and if you've got a pool it makes a nice heat sink.

2
0

Microsoft FAT patent appeal upheld in Germany

Martin Usher
Pirate

Microsoft is asking for trouble

The Flash file drive already has intelligence in it to simulate a file system -- in other words, to make the host operating system's life easier. We stick with FAT because its cheap and dirty, not because its good, but if Microsoft makes it not cheap then we've got a whole bunch of alternatives, up to and including making the stick look like a network drive.

The point about Microsoft deliberately not supporting alternative file systems is well made. Its a good lock in for people who run Windows -- except that these days there's less and less reason to run Windows. Its got a lock on business applications but for most users its more trouble than its worth (it hasn't improved significantly from Win2K -- it doesn't do more, its just bulkier).

0
0

Apple in shock public attack on Adobe

Martin Usher
Unhappy

Six to One

Apple might have some commercial motive but OTOH Flash has got very obese in the last versions, so much so that it won't run properly on a smaller computer. Why it should be this way is anyone's guess since functionally it doesn't seem to do anything different. Its either bad code or Adobe's got into the spyware business....

0
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C language inventor spurns Google's language exam

Martin Usher

Ahhh...algol!

Had a quick look at the Go language, its nice and clean.

It looks remarkably like Algol. Its got a particular favorite of mine, an explicit distinction between assignment and equality -- ":=" versus "=". Such pedantry makes for clean code. Its therefor a bit surprising that he's bowed to the fashion of trying to eliminate semicolons where possible. These tokens separate clauses; I know they're redundant from a human perspective but we're not parsing the code, the computer is.

I think I'd probably fail a language test as well. Its like driving -- I bet most people who read this would fail a road test if they had to take one this afternoon. They can drive, obviously, but that's got nothing to do with it.

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