* Posts by David Shanahan

12 publicly visible posts • joined 26 May 2008

Aussie election results: Firewall wobbles

David Shanahan

The Firewall is Dead Baby, Dead

It's dead because the Family First senator that formerly held the balance of power in the Senate lost his seat in the election and the Greens (who oppose it) now hold the balance of power. Senator Fielding (an infamous creationist and fundie Christian) was always the driving force behind the internet filter, the government only pushed it to keep him happy so he'd pass their other legislation.

Mozilla's next Thunderbird gives Gmailers hope

David Shanahan

Nothing (Much) Wrong With 3.0

I've been using TB since the days of Netscape Communicator and TB 3.0 since it came out on Mac OS X, Ubuntu and Win7 and I've had only minor issues with it (the main one being 3.0 newly acquired inability to use the system alert sound the Mac to indicate new mail's arrival. Sadly not even 3.0.5 has fixed this.). It's been great otherwise, the upgrade was smooth on all platforms, the speed is fine and it handles Gmail IMAP as well as my ISP's IMAP server just fine. I haven't tried 3.1 yet, I'll let others debug the pre-release versions, but as soon as the real 3.1 is released I'll be installing it.

I have no idea what the writer of this article is talking about re lots of bugs and high resource usage, it's fast and stable and is still the best email client available, particularly if you need cross-platform software as I do.

Adobe euthanizes Flash 10.1 for 64-bit Linux

David Shanahan
Thumb Down

Death to the Great Satan Adobe

SJ is just sitting there in his Californian lair laughing his head off. Everything Apple say about the disaster that is Flash is true, and then some. More security holes than Windows, crashes more often than Windows, and Adobe can't seem to get a 64-bit version out the door to save their lives. Adobe thought they'd really pulled something big off by buying Macromedia when in fact all they did was piss a whole load of money down the toilet.

Too thick to boil an egg? Buy 'em preboiled

David Shanahan

I Only Watch Her For the Recipes

Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and that swearing guy must be crying into their caviar at the thought of this product.

Authors Guild to Amazon Kindle: Shut up

David Shanahan

Amazon Breaking Rules

While it might seem mad that the Authors Guild would make a fuss about this the fact is that all other ebook readers and stores that support in-copyright purchases (e.g. eReader, MobiPocket, MS Reader) and have text-to-speech facilities (most do nowadays, Kindle's done nothing groundbreaking here) have always disabled this feature for those titles (printing is always disabled too). Look at any of the DRM'd books on www.fictionwise.com for example and you'll see it noted that text-to-speech is disabled for all DRMed ebook formats.

I thought it was odd that Kindle had unilaterally switched it on and suspected the copyright owners might object, and now they have. They're simply trying to enforce the same rule for Amazon as all the other players. It is a stupid rule though, let's hope Amazon are brave enough to take them on in court, and win, so all the other ebook vendors can enable this too.

Mozilla hastily shoves Firefox updates out door

David Shanahan

Rushed Out?

How do you justify the headline for this article claiming Mozilla "rushed out" this security update? FF security updates are regular events, nothing new or "rushed" about this one I can see. No zero day vulns like IE just had - now that update was rushed out. Just because MS have rushed out a fix doesn't mean anyone else's updates have to be described as rushed. If you have any evidence for this claim then please provide it.

Swedish transsexuals offered prosthetic todgers

David Shanahan

Free Dick

In the recent US election John McCain repeatedly warned of the dangers of socialised medicine, if he'd known about this his head would have exploded! Palin's eye tic would have gone into overdrive. I'm sure the Republicans will raise it when the new administration eventually gets around to trying to implement health care reform.

Academic wants to 'free up' English spelling

David Shanahan

No Surprises Here

To all those who seem to think continuing to make English spelling difficult, illogical, and utterly unreasonable is somehow a good thing, character building and other such absurdities, all I can say is I'm not surprised - the British still can't see the advantages of adopting the metric system, the Americans could see the advantages of partially reforming their spelling many years ago now, but lost their bottle when it was only half done and have totally failed to adopt the metric system also. And you wonder why the world is increasingly passing you by...

Ossified societies incapable of making even such logical and advantageous changes as spelling reform and metrication have little hope of making the much bigger and harder changes required to survive in the 21st Century, such as carbon reduction, giving up their oil addiction, coping with biotechnology and so forth.

Bush makes last-minute grab for civil liberties

David Shanahan

The Shrinking Gap...

Between the USA and China, North Korea, Burma, etc. Soon you'll need a microscope and DNA tests to tell them apart. The news that McCain is now leading Obama in the polls is just bitter, bitter icing on the cake - tragically it seems the American people have become too stupid for democracy.

Final Arthur C Clarke novel on the way

David Shanahan


"not to be pedantic or anything, but wasn't Fermat's "Last Theorem" recently SOLVED?"

Yes, but from early info released when this book was sold it apparently involves a Martian mathematician who comes up with a simple, short proof of Fermat's theorem (the famous proof of Andrew Wiles runs to hundreds of pages and is incredibly complex), rather like the one Fermat famously claimed to have found but couldn't fit into that margin.

Deadly Oz snake bites tourist's todger

David Shanahan

The Black Mamba

Used to be one of the world's deadliest, but fame and Hollywood did their usual and it's fallen off the list of the "world's sexiest/deadliest" recently. Alcohol, drug-fuelled parties, a failed romance with Naomi Campbell, all these and more mean the once lauded black mamba is now auditioning for a minor role in the next Paris Hilton video, while both Tarantino and Uma Thurman refuse to take its calls.

Climate profs 'can't recommend' enormo-space-parasol

David Shanahan

It's Not (Only) the Temp

Sunshields in space, painting all roofs white and using lighter coloured road surfacing would all help lower the global temperature but they do absolutely nothing to reduce the increasing acidification of the oceans by CO2. That is already killing off corals all over the planet and negatively affecting many species of small marine plankton, etc. that form the basis of the ocean food chain (and thus the basis of much of the human food chain too).

A world that's cool(er) but unable to produce sufficient food to sustain the human and animal population is just as doomed as one that's too hot. There is simply no alternative to reducing CO2 emissions if we are to survive as a relatively prosperous civilised species on this planet.