* Posts by Murray Pearson

50 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Nov 2007

Boffins: Ordinary lightbulbs can be made efficient, cheaply

Murray Pearson

Another advantage...

Femtosecond-zapped tungsten doesn't have the hideous environmental impact of mercury.

Yahoo! shuts! failed! social! networking! site!!

Murray Pearson

I have a suggestion

Instead of referring to them as "Y!", refer to them as "Y?"

Y indeed.....

Net closes on NZ bank error fugitives

Murray Pearson
IT Angle

Use of a computer...?

Um, wouldn't it be the BANK's use of the computer which gave them access to the cash?

Why isn't the bank facing charges in this case? Or, better yet, why aren't they being compelled to swallow the result of THEIR unilateral cockup?

iPhone apps - the 10 smartest and the 10 stupidest

Murray Pearson


While Jared is staggeringly pointless and yet strangely amusing, you completely overlooked Freeverse Software's single greatest asset: their side-splitting documentation.

Also worth a peek (though just on a Mac, not an iPhone): SimStapler. If you don't have a Mac to run it on, just read the docco. The program itself is just as pointless as you'd think.

Smiley because he's the nearest approximation to Jared.

Geeks make least selfish lovers: Official

Murray Pearson
Paris Hilton


I'd be interested to see how often "manual workers" masturbated.

Paris because she makes me feel like a manual worker.

Jacqui's secret plan to 'Master the Internet'

Murray Pearson

"National Security"

"GCHQ does not discuss 'how' we use data, as this may lead to revelations about our capability which damage national security."

In other words, if you knew what we were doing, you'd throw a revolution. Ever notice how modern Western "democratic" governments are fond of invoking "national security" to avoid revealing their criminal plans? I thought they worked for the people. Ha ha ha! Silly me.

Love on the buses: The S-100 and me

Murray Pearson

Reminds me of Dad

In 1981 or so, I went with my father to his office at a satellite campus of UC Berkeley. He showed me an 8" floppy and said, "This thing can hold almost a megabyte!" It was the very first time I heard the word "megabyte". I was about 10 years old, and SOME kinda impressed.

US lawmakers to de-silence electric cars

Murray Pearson

This isn't a new problem

When the Pennsylvania Railroad introduced their sleek brown electric locomotives in the 1930s they painted a brilliant gold stripe on them. It wasn't just for aesthetics, it was for safety; the stripe was intended to heliograph and catch the attention of rail workers on the tracks who were accustomed to hearing great thundering steam locomotives from miles off and simply didn't notice the 'leccy locos bearing down on them at 60 mph.

Personally, I'd say the solution is to change the laws to make drivers explicitly responsible for pedestrian fatalities they cause, with colossal penalties. That'll cause responsible drivers to PAY ATTENTION DAMMIT and eliminate the irresponsible ones.

Apple medical leave halts Jobsian jet-setting

Murray Pearson

Here's to you, Steve.

I, too, hope The Black Turtleneck Man continues to surprise, delight and/or infuriate us all for a long time to come. The world will be a duller place when he's gone.

Boffins build super-accurate atomic clock

Murray Pearson

Even more inaccurate terminology

Saying "it doesn't need to be wound for 300MY" means it needs no power input, which is clearly wrong. You mean it doesn't need to be SET for that time period, assuming it has power input — meaning it's being CONSTANTLY wound up for that entire time period. Winding ain't the same as setting.


Researchers dissect world's first Mac botnet

Murray Pearson

Trojan Schmojan.

This is a sucker-punch purely for suckers.

I'll just continue using open source software, rather than warez, on my Mac, and use my brain when I use my computer. Problem solved.

Student sentenced for F-ucked up grade hack

Murray Pearson


Now that's what you call higher education: were those tw@tdanglers on crack?

How the government uses dirty data to legislate morality

Murray Pearson

The effect is not restricted to sexuality

You raise many valid points about biased and blinkered statistics dictating public "justice" policy, which results in the vilification of people not engaged in dangerous activities.

This effect is by no means restricted to pornography (which I recognize is the subject of this particular article). There is another, similar, and equally widespread bias against men when domestic violence is discovered. In essence, when police are called to domestic disturbances, almost invariably the man is removed — even when he is the victim, not the perpetrator. After that, there is basically no way for a male victim to receive police protection. This continues into the family law courts, where the violent perpetrator is typically given custody of the children; she may claim nonexistent child support arrears to cause her victim to be harassed and criminalized without recourse; the victim may, in fact NEVER have an opportunity to testify about their situation or treatment.

I am well aware of this phenomenon, as I was homicidally assaulted by my ex-wife in August 1999 after two previous assaults. All three times I was removed, the third time despite the fact my neck was ringed with bruises from when she strangled me in front of our daughter. I have not been allowed to press charges — ever. I have never seen a judge — ever. I have had no contact whatsoever with my two daughters since August 2005. My ex has committed perjury, fraud, contempt of court and physical and emotional child abuse: none of this matters. I have permanent physical health issues arising from this, and was recently told the only reason I am not appropriate for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder is because the trauma continues unabated to this day with no prospect of stopping. I was dragged to the hospital a week ago because I was suicidal; of course, they just imprisoned me until I promised I wouldn't kill myself, while doing nothing to remedy the actual problem.

And they wonder how the cycle of abuse continues from generation to generation? How 'bout because THEY ENSURE IT DOES WITH ALL OF THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO THEM?

Statistics Canada has reported that, in the general population, 7% of women and 6% of men will experience domestic battery. And yet, an Canada, there exists 3,200 battered women's shelters and two battered men's shelters. 85% of convicted domestic violence perpetrators are male. And, here in Quebec, the suicide rate is 80% male. All coincidence? You decide.

The skull and crossbones: because this experience should have killed me seven times over by now. I cannot explain the fact I have a pulse today.

Kiwi telecom inks contract with convicted hacker

Murray Pearson

Well, maybe he’s "rehabilitated"...

...but it's still obnoxious for a downtrodden ethical bloke like myself to behold. SPLITTER!

ISS space bio-experiment freezer to return on Discovery

Murray Pearson

Hanging it out the door

Would be a really lousy way of keeping it cold. You see, there's that big bright yellow thing called the sun that would cause the freezer's external temperatures to fluctuate wildly.

Martian volcano could harbour hot underground pondlife

Murray Pearson
Paris Hilton

Another use for Olympus Mons.....

....since Mars's atmosphere is tenuous at its thickest, and since Olympus Mons rises 76,000 feet above the surrounding plains, its caldera must be damn near in outer space.

So put a Gauss gun in there and use it to launch iron-rich ore into orbit, to build interstellar spacecraft or orbiting power stations, or what have you..... the savings in bulk material delivery to space would cover the exploration and development costs many time over in the long run.

Plus, it would satisfy mankind's deep-seated desire to rape and plunder nature for a looooooooooooooooong time to come.

Paris because, well, it's Paris.

Apple fights iPhone unlocking (again)

Murray Pearson

@ Cody: Macs ain't "locked down"

Cody clearly has not a stuffing idea what he's talking about. OS X — every single copy of it — ships with XCode, a complete IDE. I've been using it to learn Objective-C. Why on Earth would Apple do that if they didn't promote the idea of developing for Macintoshes? So can the FUD, bonehead.

Now, as far as Apple's iPhone behaviour, I think it's obnoxious, heavy-handed and hypocritical. I'm 100% with the EFF here. So can the FUD, Apple.

I wish there was a way to put TWO icons on a post; instead I'll settle for none.

Ticketmaster and Live Nation forge unholy alliance

Murray Pearson

Ticketmaster and scalping

The Canadian charges are worse than you imply: Ticketmaster in Ontario is charged with diverting tickets for fast-selling shows not just to "a scalping site" but to THEIR OWN scalping site — with price increases as much as 1,000%.

"They'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes" — Douglas Adams

Apple banishes Macs to old folks home

Murray Pearson

By an interesting coincidence...

...I found a still-functioning Power Mac 7200/120 in the hall today. Not fast, but still working and twelve years old.........

Mac malware tide on the rise

Murray Pearson

Low-hanging fruit...

....deserve to be picked.

If you can't be bothered learning a legitimate open source option (which abound on Macs) and you don't want to pay for commercial software, well, then, I guess you're nailed.

I'm no Mac hater either; I have been using them since before the days of Scores, nVIR and WDEF..........

LaCie showcases hella-expensive display

Murray Pearson

The colour of God's green Earth...

...is a pretty good approximation of Pantone 348C.

However, I no longer need that sort of accuracy; alsom I don't have five friggin' grand burning a hole in my pockets.

However, many many moons ago, I once approximated the effect of that hood by placing a big black keyboard case over my head to overcome hideous glare on a bright winter day in Edmonton, Canada.

Mine's the one with four Pantone books (regular, metallic, pastel, and tinted varnish) in the back pocket. And not $5,000 with nowhere to go.

La Cie's quiet fans

Murray Pearson

Humpback whales...

...Frank beat me to it.

The bumps on the front of humpback whale fins (called tubercules) greatly extend the range of windspeeds at which laminar airflow occurs. There is a company called Whalepower ( http://www.whalepower.com/ ) which is testing wind turbine blades with bumpy leading edges; they apparently work quite well.

2008 goes into one-second overtime

Murray Pearson

Re: John Widger

You forgot to account for continental drift. That's 5 cm a year on average!

Apple more closed than Microsoft

Murray Pearson

Apple ain't so bad, but could be better

I've been using Macs since there was exactly one kind to choose from. In the meanwhile I've used just about every flavour of Windows as well as Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris and AIX.

My machine right now? A Mac Mini, with a Samsung 24" LCD, a Logitech gaming mouse and Altec Lansing speakers, generic network and an HP LaserJet. (My only Apple hardware besides the CPU is the keyboard, since my reflexes expect the splat key at the THIRD from the left.) I do almost everything using open source and free software: Firefox, MacMegaPOV, XCode, TextWrangler, MAMP, MacPython with Numpy and Scipy, QCAD, Qucs........... The only exception is my occasional use of Illustrator and Photoshop (I used to be a graphic designer; they're familiar, and no software has a better Bézier curve tool.)

Who says Apple's closed? You're a power user? Go ahead and power-use. (Boffin because, well, RTFM.)

Now I won't hesitate to lambaste Apple's business practices. Since I agree the appreviation A$ is MFG, why not A$$?

Royal Society of Chemistry requests 'Italian Job' ending

Murray Pearson
Thumb Up

It's easy.

Just ask the aliens flying past in their UFO to hold up the end of the bus!

The latest EDI money saver? Paper invoices

Murray Pearson

To save even more money.....

Instead of blowing a quarter-million bucks on a document reader, hire cheap human labour to enter the data. As I understand it, human beings work rather well with paper.

I for one welcome our new accounting-department overlords!

GooTube snubs McCain's call for DMCA favoritism

Murray Pearson
Thumb Up


That'll show the fossilised old tw*t to maybe consider RAMIFICATIONS before he votes.


Bebo users release interstellar spamgasm at Gliese 581

Murray Pearson
Dead Vulture


With any luck I'll be on my death bed, or incinerated and scattered across the Rocky Mountains, before the response arrives.

Say hi to Haumea - our fifth dwarf planet

Murray Pearson

These Hawaiians are crazy!

'The second is "Namaka", a water spirit who emerged from Haumea's body.'

Hawaiian is a weird language. I call the water spirit that emerges from my body 'recycled lager'.

Northrop offer supersonic robot stealth raygun cyber-bomber

Murray Pearson

9/11 and American Treason Against Humainty

'Sure, a planefull of fuel exploding in a tower would certainly not be enough - the conspiracists had to imagine lasers to "melt" the steel supports.'

The jet fuel could NOT melt steel, it was an oxygen-starved hydrocarbon-and-office-material fire burning about a thousand degrees too cold for that. The raygun stuff for 9/11 is absolute hogwash. There is a perfectly feasible explanation which is ACTUALLY SUPPORTED BY PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, and that is high-tech thermate of a type possessed only by — guess who? — the Pentagon.

@Pete and others: Being nice is for chumps. That doesn't thickly line the pockets of your "defense" contractor friends. And, besides, everyone knows the Americans are the GOOD GUYS, remember? It has nothing to do with their behaviour, it's by f*cking definition.

I'm not AC because, well, it's pointless pretending I can hide.

Caterpillar plans 600 tonne godzilla-lorry robots

Murray Pearson


"asking no more than an occasional few thousand gallons of diesel as recompense."

That would make it the most highly-paid staff member, with today's fuel prices.......

Mine's the one with the Terex Titan in the extra-large pocket.

Erotic artist urges spanking for Jacqui Smith

Murray Pearson

I can't say it better than that!

"We cannot just lie back and watch this ludicrous Act slip in the back door."

Not without poppers we can't!

IT pay jumps as skills gap widens

Murray Pearson

This is all no mystery, people!

I could tell seven years ago that IT was a totally dead field for those in the west, simply because there is no way to compete with outsourced labour. Granted, India's getting expensive; but they'll get undercut by Bangladesh or some other place where people are hungrier and the cost of living is lower.

For that reason professional IT is a fool's game. The only way to avoid the imploding-job-market trap (which, in the case of the print industry in the 1990s, caught me and wrecked an apparently good career) is to get in an industry where you CAN'T be undercut. In order for that to happen there must be (a) stringent local standards, and (b) no possibility of foreign competition. If you can get (c), an expanding future workload and (d) an elderly, retiring incumbent workforce as well, you've got a golden opportunity. THAT is worth working for!

And that is precisely why I'm going into civil engineering.

Anatomy of a malware scam

Murray Pearson

Social engineering knows no OS bounds

It's already been pointed out that this is not so much a technical cracking job as a social engineering racket, and it'd be straightforward (given the effort these thugs are clearly willing to invest) to use the browser user-agent string to make transparent Mac and Linux versions too.

And Mac (or any OS) users can be PEBCAKs too; a few weeks I tore a strip off my mom when, FOR THE FOURTH TIME, I found out that her Macbook Pro was running with NO PASSWORD WHATSOEVER, and then she asked me to set the password to an identical string to her user name, which is her real name! Needless to say I lectured her long and hard about that; which will probably mean she doesn't have her cheeks to the wind for system hijacking for, oh, a few weeks.............. until she gets tired of typing in a password again! *banghead*

Mars suitable for growing asparagus

Murray Pearson

@ Chris C

We *CAN* assume that the laws of physics, and thus chemistry, apply; it's a totally reasonable statement.

Bell Canada chokes P2P and privacy?

Murray Pearson

*ALL* P2P is legitimate in Canada...

Since we pay exorbitant fees on CD-ROMs, the government has okayed music sharing. So isn't Bell's deep packet inspection flat-out illegal?


W3C 'clarifies' HTML 5 v XHTML

Murray Pearson


XHTML/CSS = extensible HTML, built on a coherent logical basis, with equally extensible styling. How much REAL need for breaking the codebase of the entire World Wide Web is there?

Colliding galaxies mark Hubble anniversary

Murray Pearson

Re: Redshift

Attn: AC

The universe did not start at any one "single point" that is identifiable. The ENTIRE universe was that one point, so we can say this was the point of origin of the universe or anything else. The expansion of space does not imply that no matter will ever meet any other matter (good thing, that, or we wouldn't exist); it just implies that ON AVERAGE and particularly on large scales things are flying apart at an impressive clip. If what you said was accurate then there would exist NO blueshifted objects at all in the cosmos which is not the case. There are simply more redshifted objects than blueshifted objects.

A good example of an approaching body is the Andromeda Galaxy, which is moving towards the Milky Way at an impressive clip and in a few hundred aeons or something it'll collide with our own galaxy.

A380 passengers to enjoy 'military-style' urinals

Murray Pearson

I can't believe nobody's said this yet...

...but this really adds a dimension to "whizzing off on an adventure."

Apple sued over 'inflated' iMac claims

Murray Pearson

@ Steve Todd

Thanks, Steve, you're right on the money in terms of colour intensity vs. fidelity. A low-bit-depth monitor will not look "flat", it will have posterized gradients.

I know what I'm talking about; I'm prepress journeyman with 20 years experience, using a Mac Mini with a pretty decent (but *not perfect*) Samsung 24" widescreen that cost under $500 Cdn last fall. I wouldn't use this display in a demanding professional environment (I'd stick with CRTs still if colour REALLY matters), but at home it's Jim-dandy.

Snort coke, shaft the environment, say boffins

Murray Pearson

Unfair comparisons

Your points about the environmental destruction of the drug industry are correct, and not at all limited to the rainforest, cf. the toxic mess of a methamphetamine lab.

What would be the fastest way to correct this? Legalization and regulation, FFS. Prohibition means the most short-term-lucrative and easily concealed producers are the ones who succeed, and toss the rest of the planet.

Meanwhile, you compare the worst-practice cocaine labs with the most sustainable coffee plantations, then act like you're stating a significant fact when you point out that the latter has less impact than the former. If coffee was banned like coca, would it be cultivated the same way? Not on your life.

The GWOD is antithetical to human nature and is as unlikely to succeed as Prohibition. It's also responsible for the colossal epidemics of violent crime in the US and for the fact that one PERCENT of their entire population is now incarcerated.

Meanwhile, the GWOD places substantial barriers to the economic feasibility of hemp, which could singlehandedly reduce humanity's planetary impact. But it remains banned despite the plainly obvious fact it was banned in the first place because it threatened the wood pulp industry. THC was a scapegoat.

When will this lunacy stop?

Apple forbids Windows users from installing Safari for Windows

Murray Pearson

That's not impossible!

You just have to install Windows on your Intel Mac.

Then you'd be compliant. And totally stupid.

Sequoia attack dogs kill review into e-voting discrepancies

Murray Pearson
Thumb Down

That reminds me of the old song...

"And They Call it Democracy" by Bruce Cockburn.

Trade secrets? Like the fact the &*^$%@)#$ voting machines are totally rigged, f'r instance?

Cambridge brain touts wind-n-server combo farms

Murray Pearson

The Québec Solution

We have cheap, clean hydroelectricity coming out of our ears here in Québec; that's why we have so many aluminum smelters here. Why not drop a massive data centre out in James Bay? It could service all of North America *and* Europe, and save colossal amounts of carbon emissions.

This is a uniquely northern advantage; tropical hydro dams actually have methane emissions that make them about as bad as coal-fired plants but it's clean as a whistle in cold climates.

Antarctic meteorite points to smashed dwarf planet

Murray Pearson

An actual serious suggestion

Might these meteorites be part of the protoplanet that crashed into Earth 3-4 billion years ago, resulting in the formation of the Moon?

IBM clubs nano noise with graphene sandwich

Murray Pearson

No headwhacking

Well, of course. The problem is the boffins couldn't say "whacked in the head" and still sound sagacious.

Judge accuses hacks of hacking cannibal ruling

Murray Pearson
Paris Hilton

It's her own fault.

Hasn't she ever heard of a USB memory stick, FFS?

PH because Paris could outsmart this judge!

Rendition lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary tossed

Murray Pearson


I wonder if these plaintiffs were sent down the rabbit hole on a Jeppesen Airplane? Just ask Alice.

My coat's the green ski jacket, thanks.

DHS accepts buggy Eye-o-Sauron™ border scan towers

Murray Pearson

Re: Postcard calc

I love the idea of hiring illegal immigrants to work as border guards. What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Ha ha!

Tasers can be instrument of torture, says UN

Murray Pearson

I was threatened by a Taser....

.....because my ex-wife's father, who has a history of pedophilia, was interfering with my visitation with my daughters, and he hit me with his car; but since he had a cell phone and I did not the first indication the cops had arrived was the Taser pressed against my spine. At the time, November 2004, I was seriously ill (two weeks later I would be admitted to hospital for an ailment that would prove almost lethal) and discharging the weapon would undoubtedly have killed me on the spot. The cops made no effort whatsoever to determine my side of the story. Instead, they handcuffed me and let that fücking pedo leave, unquestioned, with my daughters.

So, how, exactly, did I "earn" that treatment?