* Posts by John Griffiths

28 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Apr 2007

Work for beer, Neil Gaiman's wife tells musicians

John Griffiths

As she says in her lengthy response to this issue Amanda Palmer chooses to operate in a barter system.

She played a show for my friends last year in Canberra that was as much a party as a performance.

It never occurred to us to offer payment, and she didn't ask for any.

A good time had by all.

There is a slippery slope here but for someone who gives a lot back for free I think there are better targets to pick on than Amanda Palmer.

We're not talking huffpo levels of exploitation here.

My 2c.

John Griffiths

And another thing..

I knew a few musicians who've toured with Amanda Palmer.

All of them would jump at the chance to do so again.

Hardly a salt mine we're talking about.

PARIS soars to Guinness World Record

John Griffiths
Thumb Up

Well done!

Congratulations to you and a massive can hoisted in your honour!

NASA deep-space ship gets 2014 unmanned test flight

John Griffiths

Why does a deep space vessel do re-entry?

Seems like a massive waste of weight surely?

Aussie Sex Party in evangelist head-to-head

John Griffiths

Witches and wiccans

Speaking from Canberra, the local wiccan and pagan community are sure what rev danny was looking at was spilt red wine rather than blood.

How they can be so sure is a very different question. But it's a popular spot for kids to hang out at night.

Rev danny this week also declared that the push for an australian bill of rights was proof of satan's influence over the parliament.

It's going to be a very interesting afternoon up on the top of the hill.

What if IBM doesn't buy Sun?

John Griffiths
Dead Vulture

Where Sun went wrong

In terms of selling hardware they went off the rails for mine when you could no longer just buy a Sun machine.

Working for a smallish business with heavy internet related needs in the mid to late 90s Sun was a good decision. We'd pick a model, order it, it would be delivered, and then configured. I'd argue that was when the company was reaching its peak.

A few years later trying to replace those machines we got sent a sales consultant who tried to load us down with crap we didn't need and produced a price point we couldn't afford. We had to bring in outside expertise (at more expense) to find a suitable configuration of all sorts of crap.

We bought that one, then had to pay Sun for a man to put it all together on site.

After that we started preparing to migrate away from Sun for the next generation of hardware.

R2-D2 robots with frikkin lasers on them in development

John Griffiths


I know in the RAN the phalanx is known as the dalek.

Much more appropriate surely?

Could the Airbus A380 be the new Air Force One?

John Griffiths

gas guzzler

Talking to an international pilot a few weeks ago he was extremely unimpressed with the A380, apparently they really suck down a phenomenal amount of juice.

Not a good thing for the needs of AF1

Aussie protests over Great Firewall

John Griffiths

Canberra Protest

Looks like the Canberra numbers were pretty good then.

Pics and video here:


Did the width move for you, darling?

John Griffiths

@ DZ-Jay

So it's your "right" to use El Reg's bandwidth and server resources to take free advantage of the work of their reporters while stripping them of the means to pay for either?

Fascinating philosophy you've got there.

John Griffiths
Black Helicopters


As a web-publisher myself I'd like to ask the ad blockers just what they're trying to achieve.

I'm not talking about obnoxious roll-outs and interstitials, just ads which sit on the page hurting no-one and paying the bills.

You'd like to have no web-content to read that isn't subscription based or Government funded?


Have you thought about this?

Oz minister walks plank for dancing drunk in his smalls

John Griffiths

Tragedy for Matt

I'm on first name terms with Matt and, having spent a year in his electorate of Kiama (contemplating Seven Mile Beach from a three bedroom house for $250(AUD) a week) I was really surprised by this.

Mostly because Matt's a smart, reasonably attractive guy, who wields quite a lot of power. And his partner in this scandal, <a href="http://images.google.com/images?rls=en-us&q=noreen%20hay&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi">Noreen Hay</a> is the frequent answer when journos in the region ask each other over drinks "who is the most repulsive human being in the world?".

As he's a youngish bloke having just shot his stellar career to pieces with a bush-pig I've got money on fatal a leap into the Kiama blow-hole in the next couple of days.

But I hope I'm wrong about that.

As Gates strides into the future, we wallow in the past

John Griffiths

*cough* charity!

While not wishing to decry anyone's charitable giving; it's important to remember that by endowing his foundation Mr. Gates has avoided paying hundreds of millions in tax dollars that could otherwise be building hospitals (or tanks, or tax cuts, or whatever his elected goverment might choose to spend it on).

He only has to disburse (IIRC) 5% of it each year so if it's invested half-way decently it will still grow, still gives him the power that comes with controlling that kind of money, and also makes him look like a *great man*.

His motives may well be good, but lets not pretend he's given up much.

'Loitering Munition' prowler-bomb in Welsh test

John Griffiths

obviously I'm a thickie

But how does this loitering munition actually hang around in the sky??

Hovering rockets? Anti-gravity?

That's the bit I'm interested in.

Northrop: battlefield rayguns to demo this year

John Griffiths

missing the point

Gentlemen (and yes you do all seem to be men) I think, once again, we need to get our minds out of 1917.

They don't want this sucker firing once or they'd use chemical lasers. Environmental concerns??? Come on they use depleted uranium as ammunition!

The use of these things will be to be able to continually fire away clearing the skies as long as the power keeps up.

If the possibility that you might have one of these in the field forces your opponent to undertake countermeasures they otherwise wouldn't have undertaken then it's worthwhile, doubly so if their countermeasures cost more than your weapon.

I know nothing about this system but don't take for granted that they're even using visible spectrum and as noted above good luck keeping a laser-impairing shiny coat on everything you want to keep safe.

As for loitering HARM style missiles backtracking the IR trace, well they'd be the first to go wouldn't they?

Maybe, just maybe, we should consider the possibility the people who are working on this aren't actually stupid?

Bill Gates chuckles at Google Apps

John Griffiths

distributed offices

Actually I use google apps heavily.

I do contracting for a couple of businesses who have staff working from all over Australia, having working documents with a single reference copy makes our lives much easier than flicking different versions all over the place, parts of work get completed or updated the person responsible fills it in and it's all there to see where we're up to.

Yes I could have built a wiki but the google app tools are nicer and easier and they can worry about backup instead of me.

I find for putting words on a page (or in boxes) it works smoothly and is in many ways a more polished experience than even the newest versions of Office.

My 2c.

Oz admits $85m p0rn filtering FAIL

John Griffiths

Not quite as it seems

El Reg needs an Australia consultant it seems, I'm quite happy to provide this service for a reasonable fee but lets move on.

The previous Government understood the danger of effective filtering and the uselessness of everything else. But they were under a lot of pressure from nutjobs who would like to live in a world where their shrillest demand can govern the lives of the rest of the citizenry.

So the fig leaf program providing filtering programs was created and had to be well budgeted so as to look like a sizable fig leaf.

Did it achieve it's publicly stated objective? No, of course not.

Did it calm down the nutjobs without shutting down the internet in Australia? Yes, it did.

Not courageous politics but as lesser of two evils go it wasn't so bad.

Labor also are being disingenuous in their proposal for the sake of the kids.

Their plan is to create a whitelist of approved websites (referred to as a "clean feed") and then force ISPs to only serve pages from sites on the whitelist UNLESS the customer specifically requests the perverts and terrorists feed, a choice which would no doubt be used against them in all manner of future situations.

It's got much more to do with taming the 'net than protecting children.

But as Pratchett observed "We did it for the children" is prominently carved out on many a cobblestone on the road to hell.

BOFH: Carbon neutrality

John Griffiths

Carbon Credits

The best thing about carbon credits if you're Bono or a PM is that they let YOU continue living exactly as you did while forcing those less well off to bear all the pain.

I'm sure they weren't looking for such a solution but it's handy that it came up!

US Marines: Osprey tiltrotor doing OK in Iraq

John Griffiths

think of the uses...

Forget this as death-tek, it's the logistic uses where it will really shine.

Most battles aren't won by the side with the flashiest guns but the side that gets the most bullets to the front.

Heavier loads over longer distances to helipad sized landing fields is a very, very important improvement.

Motorola motivates movie makers with mobile

John Griffiths

useless sliders

Why do they insists on making sliders with the top row of buttons almost totally inaccessible?

Nokia do it too!

Hundreds of US fighter aces reassigned as drone pilots

John Griffiths



See how well a manned modern plane would perform in the face of serious innovative EW and the removal of GPS.

The meatbag in the cockpit isn't adding much.

Supersonic stealth jumpjet rolls off production line

John Griffiths

Top Gun

Nice to see the gun advocates rely on 40 year old conflicts and the veracity of a 20 year old movie to push the case.

You no longer have to point the plane at the target to hit it with the missiles guys.

John Griffiths


Just a shame the Russian simulators are crap and their (as a result) under-trained pilots will be plucked from the sky in their flashy beasts by missiles coming from targets they can't even see.

Like cavalry charging at tanks.

John Griffiths

It isn't WWII anymore

As the informed readers have noted, dogfighting is as dead a military art as fencing.

Yes, in some conceivable situations someone on a battlefield might wish they had a sword, and a pilot might wish they had a machine cannon.

But it's just not worth the weight anymore, or the training time that could be spent on something more useful.

Also on the subject of stealth. If it was just a coat of high tech paint then there would be no problem with external stores, just give them a lick of the magic paint.

Stealth technology has far more to do with the shape of the aircraft deflecting radar rather than reflecting it.

Finally on the subject of AEW&C (we've moved on from AWAC peeps) I imagine you've defined an excellent use of an unmanned vehicle which will be able to cruise for a long time at a great height without needing to carry the weight of a toilet or food, let alone the meatbags who need these things.

Finally on the Falklands an organic taskforce air capability of just a handful of planes held off a large land based air force reasonably well. That would seem to be a pretty good argument for it.

Gene Simmons blames college kids for ruining music biz

John Griffiths

Ace Freely

wasn't ace the one with the giant tongue?

Ubuntu chief bids for prima-donna status

John Griffiths

Shuttleworth the cheapskate

I had a graphic designer doing a website for me about 18 months ago.

He was an ubuntu volunteer and work kept slipping because "Mark" kept asking him to fix things ASAP.

I found it more than a little annoying because with my tiny budget I was actually paying the dude and millionaire mark wasn't paying a damn cent.

I think the lesson here is "don't pay graphic designers".

Little bear harbouring isolated neutron star

John Griffiths

Kelvins eh?

So if the difference between Kelvin and Celsius is a paltry 273 degrees at the bottom end does it really make that much difference around the 10 million mark?

Or was that some techno bable with which to force us into idiot mode?

Engineers write defence against aliens manual

John Griffiths

Umm, why are we fighting?

Agree with most of the other commenters here but why not throw out some other ideas?

1) Ludicrously remote chances of any alien coming all this way for anything on the surface of the planet that requires leaving us alive.

2) As we haven't heard from any aliens we should assume that either they aren't out there or they're trying to keep very quiet (possibly just to let us enjoy our infancy?)

3) Why fight? If they do want to come here and run the place they've obviously got a vastly superior civilisation, where do I sign up? Say goodbye to gravity and say goodbye to death!

Brian Hall's predator theory is problematic, mostly because it misunderstands predation for aggression.

Also any society which can lob a dinosaur killer at the speed of light across the cosmos can probably put a wobble on it's planetary orbit (or stop living on planets) to make sure it's not where it was expected to be when the killer rock was sent on its way. Global warming also solved!