* Posts by Stuart Duel

149 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Mar 2007


Apple kept us waiting while it searched our packages every day, claim shop staff

Stuart Duel
Big Brother

Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Indeed. Who watches the watchers?

Carbon capture to biofuel process gets go-ahead

Stuart Duel

Carbon is the building block of life

There was a story on Landline (abc.net.au/iview) about this very process of turning captured carbon into algae. They discovered the most efficient species for doing this are found in Australia and the carbon dioxide can be used to produce a number of different species, some which produce stock feed, others various forms of beta-caratine used for supplements and natural food colourings amongst other things which is profitable in itself, plus a by-product can be used to make biofuels which improves the bottom line even further and is icing on the cake, as the scientist put it.

Obviously, a good proportion of the stock feed passes through the other end of the cow as manure which is then collected and sold to the gardening trade as soil improver where it stays locked up as carbon-rich bio-matter. We still have cows farting and belching, but that's another problem for which someone else has to find a solution. Which reminds me of some other research where Aussie scientists are working on transplanting bacteria from a kangaroo's gut into a cow. Apparently this roo bacteria is much more efficient at breaking down feed without producing much methane in the process.

Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

Stuart Duel

Re: New Dr.

Worst Doctor ever!

Turnbull 'flat out' seeking NBN killer blow

Stuart Duel

Re: @mutatedwombat

Oh yes, the whorey old chestnut of "competition". Yes, makes so much more sense to have a half-dozen companies building parallel and incompatible fibre optic networks than having a single piece of infrastructure open to any company to sell bandwidth on.

With the Tories line of argument, we would never have had a nationwide copper phone network because why would EVERYONE need a telephone? What's wrong with using morse code, smoke signals and runners? That's proven technology!

This is investment in infrastructure that will future-proof our comms network. The Tories want to build yesteryear's technology for yesterday. Well actually if truth be told, the Tories don't, won't and never want to build anything at all. A market economy might work well in a small country with a huge population to supply the needs of the people, but in a large country with a tiny population, government intervention and investment is critical. Otherwise, we'd have still have a dirt road from Adelaide to Perth.

Stuart Duel

Re: The "Tone and Mal" show rolls ever on

Hehe, I got the Leyland Brothers reference :)

"Where do you think we are Mike?"

"Buggered if I know Mal!"

Stuart Duel

What do you mean sub-space comms don't exist?

People might remember at the start of the NBN debate, that the Coalition was banging on about how the NBN would be "obsolete" by the time it is completed because a faster technology will "no doubt" be the new standard. The chief anti-NBN cheer-leader at the time was the curious creature from Queensland, Senator Barnaby Joyce although someone who should have known better, Malcolm Turnbull, couldn't resist from that illogical and just plain wrong line of attack for some time.

I think the Coalition was watching way too much Star Trek and confused science fiction with science fact.

Obviously, someone with a pinch of a clue informed the Coalition that nothing known to science can travel faster than the speed of light - which is what the NBN uses. As such, that whole line of attack has vanished faster than Barnaby's sanity, but its worth reminding people just what a bunch of luddites the Tories are.

Australian Parliament issues summons to Apple, Microsoft, Adobe

Stuart Duel

Aim those pitckforks...

...at Adobe - they are the kings of price gouging in Australia. Apple's prices are consistent with allowing for the small differences required for localisation, taxes and shipping small numbers of boxes into a small market sitting on a huge and sparsely populated continent.

Adobe has no excuses for their blatant rip offs especially the price of their downloaded software - no packaging, no localisation, no media, no local hosting and no local support staff.

Apple's testimony should put Adobe in a tight spot.

Seize your moment, Microsoft: iPad is RUBBISH for enterprise

Stuart Duel

Re: The 95% Rule.

I only use numbers because Excel can't express time as a unit of measure, only a point on the space-time continuum, unless I convert it to decimal format. Urghh!!

Stuart Duel

Re: Still more Microsoft marketing propaganda...

I want multi-user accounts on our fleet of company iPhones (3GS) and I'd want it on an iPad too if I ever get one. And I will get a few if the Mac software our company uses for invoicing ever gets an IOS release.

US space programme in shock metric conversion

Stuart Duel
Thumb Down

Re: Bah!

No, it is spelt METRE. A "meter" is a device for measuring usage such as gas or water.

Boy wrecks £22k worth of MacBooks by weeing on them

Stuart Duel

When you've gotta go,...

…you've gotta go.

Battlefield Earth ruled worst film EVER

Stuart Duel

Re: Am I the only person that quite enjoyed

That Speilberg film adaption of WotW was such an heinous abortion of a film H.G. Wells classic masterpiece he must have been spinning in his grave.

I had such high hopes of a decent modern interpretation, a foolish thought given Speilberg's appalling track record. I think the world needs to collectively pretend this film never happened and for Peter Jackson to do a faithful melding of the book and Jeff Wayne's musical version, particularly the awesome artwork.

Doctor Who girl Amy Pond axed in 'heartbreaking' exit

Stuart Duel

While we're at it...

...could we get rid of that dweeb who currently plays the doctor too?

Is Bill Gates mulling a return to Microsoft throne?

Stuart Duel

Bill Gates...

…is no Steve Jobs.

Gates: Novell are sore losers, Word trounced WordPerfect

Stuart Duel
Thumb Up

WP was King

I used Word Perfect from DOS days through Windows 3.1, 3.11 and 95 in the admin jobs I had at the time. I absolutely loved the script writing ability of WP - you could simply and quickly write mini-programs to deal with fiddly tasks such as filling in fields to print on pre-formatted form paper instead of writing it out by hand.

I worked for the Housing Commission (public housing provider) where we had to manually write out an initial five rent deposit slips for the new tenant to use until their printed book arrived. There were six fields to complete on each slip - name, address, account number, reference number, and a couple of others i can't recall. The fields were small, so it was a time consuming, diabolical tasks to do 30 times a day x 5. Then I wrote a WP script (took me about 20 minutes to write it and get it working perfectly) which allowed staff to type the info up in 20 seconds to have 10 slips printed in about the same time, down from the 5+ minutes to hand print 5 slips and eliminating the hand cramps everyone complained about. That was the power of Word Perfect.

Word Perfect was a better program. It was a more powerful program and as noted by someone else, had a reveal codes function which actually revealed all the hidden stuff, allowing you to quickly identify and remove unnecessary formatting codes that were causing a document to not preview as expected.

I currently use Pages and occasionally MS Word 11 but if Correll released a new version of Word Perfect for Mac, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Apple applies to patent a SIM you can't remove

Stuart Duel
Thumb Up

They're applying to make it a STANDARD

As such, it would need to be transferable and open to every operator/manufacturer to adopt. If it is a standard, how could it possibly be a lock-in?

It makes sense to me - the SIM only holds data after all, and a pitifully small amount of data at that compared to the capacities of today's phones. Why not have the data sitting on the internal storage and do away with the SIM altogether?

It would also allow multiple accounts on the one phone without the need to physically change over a SIM, auto-switching between providers as required, and even have multiple user accounts on the one phone with each different user having a different network provider if needed and without any fuss.

Oh, and also means reducing the weight and complexity of the gizmo. And we all know how compulsive-obsessive Apple is about 'thin'.

Seems like a win all the way around to me.

iOS upgrade swells iPhone battery-suckage grief

Stuart Duel

Or a software problem

It could be some odd interaction between some Apps and the OS or perhaps Apps which need to be updated and should have been updated three updates ago that are causing the problem.

Adobe confirms mobile Flash Player's race is run

Stuart Duel

Flash is crap

Unless you're a web developer. But for the end user, Flash is useless, annoying, buggy, intrusive crap. It is only a matter of time before it dies on the desktop. And good riddance.

Common brain parasite 'can affect host's actions'

Stuart Duel

As the saying goes...

The only good cat is a dead cat.

Tsunami Trojan: First Mac attack based on Linux crack

Stuart Duel

Use common sense

I know there's nothing so uncommon of course…

But anyway, it's fairly easy to avoid these things on the Mac anyway.

* Don't visit dodgy websites and download things from them.

* Dodgy email? Delete, delete, deleeeeete! (said in my best Cyberman voice).

* Have some anti-malware software installed - the Apple supplied one, ClamXAV, etc and run them occcasionally (and every time you get a memory stick or disc of unknown virtuousness.

* Turn off all but the most essential things on your social networking tools/accounts.

There may be no Mac OS X viruses out in the wild but as someone else said - never say never - and hopefully you won't be sorry.

Windows 8 to boot in 8 seconds

Stuart Duel

BIOS is dead

Well, at least Apple shot it between the eyes when they walked in Intel's front door and jumped into bed with the all new, modern EFI.

Wikileaked cable: AFACT was MPAA’s cat’s-paw

Stuart Duel
Big Brother

They know its their own fault - and that is AFACT

There have been a number of movie and music titles I have tried to source locally in Australia, only they were never released here. Music isn't such a problem, I can just buy it from overseas. Oh, but wait! Often I'm presented with the helpful message when trying to do this: "the manufacturer does not permit export to your country" or "We are not able to ship this item to your default shipping address" or some such nonsense.

My favourite movie, "The House of the Spirits", isn't available in region 4 DVD format, on iTunes or any other legit online service that operates in Australia.

The recording industry leaves me no option but to find a pirate copy on the internet.

So AFACT, come banging on my door and I'll slap you in the face with the fact you won't allow me to legally own it.

Australia Institute: we’re all mindless sheep

Stuart Duel

Re: Another leftie fail

@ Chris 96

Not another "leftie fail" at all. Just another mouth hired by Microsoft to push their interests in the guise of "better public policy".

Russia: 'We'll dump the ISS into the sea after 2020'

Stuart Duel

Cost of stupidity

Whatever the cost of periodically stabilising the orbit, surely it has to be an order of magnitude cheaper than building a new space station of that size from scratch and putting that in orbit? Far from having money to burn, the various space exploration outfits currently need to pinch pennies until they bleed.

Aside from that, the ISS is massive. How could you possibly have any guarantee of control over how it breaks up and where all those big chunks will splash down - or crash land.

I can just see it now:

"Authorities have ordered the immediate evacuation of the Australian city of Perth and the South African city of Cape Town after the controlled re-entry of the ISS went awry.

"We're not exactly sure how many cities are at risk, at least two for sure, but we're currently tracking a half dozen pieces of the ISS which unfortunately have not followed their intended course and pose a major threat if they crash into population centres", stated NASA.

"We've scrambled fighter jets to intercept the debris, but we can't be sure we'll be able to destroy it before it hits the city. It's simply outrageous that they could have allowed this to happen at all - what were they thinking?", the Australian Defence Minister said. The minister refused to comment on whether the Australian Government would demand compensation from the United States and other ISS partners for any deaths and damage.

Won't happen, can't happen? It almost did once before - remember what happened to Skylab.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Blu-ray extended edition

Stuart Duel

Actually I don't believe for a moment...

...you tried to read The Hobbit, unless you have the reading ability of a 4 year old. I found it a pleasure to read and an easy read which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone since it was a children's book afterall.

The middle earth languages were a pain and translations would have been handy because it's otherwise meaningless gibberish.

LotR was a much harder slog to read but also well worth the many hours of exercising my imagination. Some bits didn't really add anything to the story - ol' Tom - but an adventure will have odd little diversions.

'Wilful blindness? We've heard of it,' says Murdoch

Stuart Duel

Power corrupts

Now if this had been any other company, any non-media company, engaged in such corrupt behaviour, their offices would have been raided and executives arrested. What is even more extraordinary is that even after reports Murdoch's minions were frantically destroying documents and deleting email records, still no raids have taken place.

Best to not kick the dog too hard I guess. Especially THAT dog!

'Lion' Apple Mac OS X 10.7: Sneak Preview

Stuart Duel

Core Solo/Duo has been dropped...

...probably because Lion (including the Finder) is 64 bit and requires a 64 bit processor. Hardly a surprise there.

MS advises drastic measures to fight hellish Trojan

Stuart Duel

And yet...

It has been over 10 years since OS X was launched and we are YET to see a real, self replicating in-the-wild (not theoretical, proof of concept in-the-lab) virus.

Who is the failure again?

Apple's new Final Cut Pro X 'not actually for pros'

Stuart Duel

Before; BEFORE?! You're living in the past Marg, quit living in the past!

The original code base for FCP was written back before 1998 by Macromedia. For this type of software, where the technology surrounding it has advanced considerably, you'd have to say 13+ years is a pretty good run but you reach a point where it is too long in the tooth and you have to start over. Remember, this software was released before OS X was on the scene, so bear in mind the jump from OS 9 to OS X, Carbon to Cocoa, PPC to Intel and the jump from 32 to 64 bit (CPUs and the OS), so there would be all sorts of legacy crap gumming up the works after jumping through all those hoops. It was no doubt impractical, inefficient and/or impossible to bring the existing code base to 64bit goodness without further bogging it down.

It should come as no surprise that it would, at some point, need to be completely rewritten from the ground up. It is also reasonable to expect, with such a major exercise, the release of this rewritten app would be missing a lot of features present in the previous version.

Sure, sometimes you just want to slap someone at Apple. There's times where you think they're just doing things to deliberately piss people off. Sometimes they're so anal they risk disappearing up their own orifice. Keyed USB extension cables designed to ONLY connect with their own keyboards/mice comes to mind. But sometimes they do things, however inconvenient, because they simply have to. I think FPX falls into the latter.

It's not like FCP has suddenly stopped working.

If you're so keen to be on the bleeding edge, then you'll probably get a bit bloodied yourself. Me? I tend to sit back and wait for the dust to settle before venturing into the unknown. Maybe they will make a complete pigs breakfast of it, but it's a little early make that call.

Bloke pissing in reservoir prompts 8m gallon flush

Stuart Duel

Treated water in an OPEN reservoir?

Are they completely nuts? What is this, the third world?

Note to self: Do NOT touch the tap water if I ever visit Portland.

Alice: The Madness Returns

Stuart Duel
Thumb Up

I have the original...

...Mac OS 9/X release of this game.. I'm not really a game player, particularly if there are a gazillion button combinations to remember, but this is one I still play from time to time.

I look forward to the Mac version for this latest incarnation.

A peek inside Apple's iCloud data center

Stuart Duel

Non-Apple branded computers

We may not be permitted to run OS X on non-Apple branded computers, but Apple is free to run OS X on any hardware they feel like.

But it might not be OS X. It could be some other Unix, heaven knows there's plenty to choose from. But it won't be Linux and certainly not Windows.

Apple pilfers rips off student's rejected iPhone app

Stuart Duel

So what...

The guy created an application which activated functionality Apple had, up until WWDC, decided against including in the iphone for whatever reasons, including security.

The guy "created" a logo by combining the Apple icon for syncing (the chasing snakes) with Apple's logo for Airport (the radiating wave).

He accessed APIs or used them in such a way which was not permitted, and unsurprisingly had the app rejected. He then sold this rejected app in an "renegade" store in defiance of the agreement entered into with Apple.

And in the wash up, he has made a bucket of money, but now the sun is setting on that particular little venture.

Don't look for any sympathy here.

NASA 'deep space' ship: Humans beyond orbit by 2020?

Stuart Duel


If Richard Branson can knock up a sub-orbital reusable space plane in a few short years, how could it possibly take so bloody long for NASA to design, test and build what is essentially just a very big rocket?

Plague of US preachers falsely claim to be Navy SEALs

Stuart Duel

Nutters, the lot of them

"Plague of US preachers falsely claim to be Navy SEALs

Well, at least it's not the other way 'round."

I'm pretty sure you'd find a plague of current and former Navy SEALs, and other military types, proudly proclaiming at the very least their religious nuttiness, since a disturbingly high proportion of Yanks can be defined as religious nutters. Which is a large part of the reason much of the west + world views the U.S. with a high degree of suspicion, concern and distain. The other part of the reason is the obscene mixture of capricious, fundamentalist capitalism with absolutist Christianity to form the U.S. state religion which the U.S. insists on imposing on others at every opportunity.

Harman Kardon SB 16 soundbar

Stuart Duel


I'd really like to see Harman Kardon update their gorgeous Soundsticks system with 7.1 digital surround sound, remote and wireless speakers. I'd pay a $1k for that!

Kindle beats Apple's closed book on choice

Stuart Duel

Outrageous Price!

I looked at some titles on the iBooks store but was turned off by the outrageous prices the publishing houses are forcing Apple (and I imagine others) to charge.

Take away the cost of printing, storage and distribution of a physical book and the price should be significantly lower for an ebook.

Sometimes I'm faced with the same choice when buying a music album.

For an extra couple of bucks, I'll just go to my local book store until they get real on the price.

Reviewers slam BlackBerry PlayBook software

Stuart Duel
Thumb Down

What the majority of uses need

Apple gets it right by offering the right mix of features that the majority of everyday users need. Their products aren't just slapped together, an enormous amount of thought goes into absolutely every minute detail, right down to balancing the weight of the device so it sits and feels comfortable in the hand.

Where other manufacturers get it wrong, is to offer everything under the sun, regardless of whether the majority of users will ever use those features. They stick in a video out port, USB ports, SD slots, physical buttons here, there and everywhere. They add complexity, just because it's a way to differentiate or to add bullet points to a spec sheet, and the result is more weight, more things which can go wrong and more things which can break. They also produce multiple models which quickly get superseded and dead-ended by the latest version, resulting in poor support for owners of the previous models. People really don't want a bewildering array of models, as championed by the likes of Dell in the traditional computer space, each with only minor or incremental differences between them but wildly different physical designs which add no value to the product and no real benefit to the end user.

More complexity means more support costs to the manufacturer and less money for R&D, testing, fine-tuning and divining the optimum user experience. Ultimately this leads to a poor product for the end user.

Microsoft breaks own world record for IE nonsense

Stuart Duel

I guess the questions are...

...what does MS actually mean by "native HTML5" and what are they actually up to?

I'm can't answer the first question, but I think I can answer the second question: No good if history is any guide.

Carriers vs cops: Australia's spectrum conundrum

Stuart Duel

Not just emergency services

It is my understanding that the new national railways wireless communications network requires a dedicated chunk of this spectrum. There has already been considerable good work and expenditure testing and preparing to move the current fragmented railway communications systems to one national standard but this is now at risk because the Government is listening to the wrong people about how to divvy up this new money pot.

Fukushima fearmongers are stealing our Jetsons future

Stuart Duel

slowly winds down??

What alternative universe are you getting your information from Lewis???

Berlusconi calls George Clooney to his defence

Stuart Duel
Paris Hilton

That's entertainment!

nuf said.

US Navy to field full-on robot war-jets as soon as 2018

Stuart Duel

Hello, Earth to U.N.?

Isn't about the the U.N. put a complete stop to this nonsense before it all ends in tears for humanity?

Artificial leaf produces electricity through photosynthesis

Stuart Duel

sink without a trace

A few years back the slither photovoltaic solar cell developed by the CSIRO was to revolutionise solar energy production, as power is still generated when more than 90% of the cell was shaded whereas a traditional cell cuts out after a small percentage is shaded. It was also flexible rather than rigid, used significantly less materials and therefore cheaper to produce, and could be coated onto almost any surface including the glass panels of high-rise buildings whilst still allowing significant light to pass through. The only hurdle at the time was the need to hand cut the slithers, which was to be achieved with large scale automation.

This would have proved to be hugely disruptive to the traditional power generation industry. Needless to say the technology, which was bought by a large coal burning power company in Australia, sank without a trace. The last reference to this technology is from 2006.

Cue large traditional power generating company with a promise to develop this technology to large scale deployment, and quick as a flash, this artificial leaf technology will also disappear without a trace.

Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate

Stuart Duel

There he goes again!

Mr Page taking at face value without blinking every reassuring utterance issued by the discredited, secretive, dishonest, and deceptive disinformation campaigns of the Japanese nuclear power plant operators and government regulators. It's all been carefully stage managed and has been for so many years that the people have little faith in what they are being told anymore.

There was sufficient evidence even before this accident that the extent of "damage control" activities undertaken by these bodies was first and foremost aimed at shoring up the public perception rather than the physical risk to the people and the environment.

It's worth noting the independent nuclear watchdog in Japan hasn't been allowing to say a thing. Now why do you suppose that is?

Apple bashes 'gay cure' app

Stuart Duel
Jobs Halo

Offensive to a large group

It would, of course, be offensive to the GLBT community, but also to the supportive parents, siblings, relatives, friends and colleagues and offensive to the vast majority of health professionals who find such "gay cure" nonsense dangerous to the well being of vulnerable people this app is aimed at.

Thank you Apple.

Apple Mac OS X: A decade of Ten

Stuart Duel

@ Andy Christ

Actually, Snow Leopard was originally slated for both Intel and PPC G4 and G5 processors above a certain GHz rating and with 2+ cores or physical processors but all references to Snow Leopard on PPC were mysteriously pulled. No doubt an infuriating situation at the time for relatively new G5 owners and after Steve Jobs' promise of supporting PPC for "many years to come".

I have no doubt that Snow Leopard was meant to be the last hurrah for PPC and would have given this platform a mighty boost in performance. Someone decided otherwise unfortunately. We are left to imagine what could have been.

The Power Mac shown on Page 2 of this article, is from the same family of machines I'm using right now, the "Quicksilver" (mine upgraded to a dual 1.73 GHz G4 processor), almost ten years old now itself, still going strong and still running rings around my three year old Dell XP desktop at work.

Radioactive Tokyo tapwater HARMS BABIES ... if drunk for a year

Stuart Duel

You'd have to drink a lot of water

But humans DO drink a lot of water in a year. Not to mention the fact water is a major component of practically everything we eat and drink.

What was your point again Mr Page?

Paramount buries Dune remake

Stuart Duel

I vote for a trilogy...

...directed by Peter Jackson. I'm sure he would do the story justice so long as he doesn't try to make it "family friendly".

Extended Lord of the Rings Blu-rays to hit Blighty

Stuart Duel

Lazy, greedy

What is the point of including the extras on DVD instead of Blu Ray? Were they too lazy to remaster and rejig the extras? Or did they have a bazillion left over extras discs from the first pressing they needed to get rid of?

As someone else pointed out, wait a few years and there will be a remastered 3D version. A few years later there will be a super edition containing everything from The Hobbit and LOTR trilogy.

No doubt a few years after we can roll our eyes at the news that Peter Jackson has secured the rights to the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, and yet more rounds of re-re-re-re-re-releases.

Hopefully Jackson will have the good sense to leave the Middle Earth prequel and sequel knock-offs well enough alone.