* Posts by Glenn Alexander

34 publicly visible posts • joined 9 May 2007

Google+ bans real name under ‘Real Names’ policy

Glenn Alexander

I should try to join

Australian here with two given names and no family name (the FN field on my birth cert is a dash). Every government department, bank, et.al. deals with this differently, which suits me fine - tracking me across disparata databases requires human intervention.

Have another mono-namer here where I work too. It's common enough that when I was a student, the student union already had an in-place procedure for forcing uni admin to acknowledge lack of a family name.

Oz minister ties privacy law review to PSN hack

Glenn Alexander

Just goes to show...

...If you give a million politicians a million microphones, you will occasionally get sense out of them. Very occasionally

Woz snubs Paul Allen, praises pea soup

Glenn Alexander
Jobs Horns

Quite true.

Though my impression is that while Woz is very enthusiastic about Apple's products, he has a bit of a love-hate relationship with their management (even with his long-time friend Jobs). I imagine his comments were directed as much at Apple as any other patent troll.

Japanese boffins build internet kissing machine

Glenn Alexander

Norton has detected a virus.

Girls germs!

Pakistani IT admin leaks bin Laden raid on Twitter

Glenn Alexander

I used to wear a big bushy beard in the Chinese winter

while over there teaching in the early 2000's. All the locals swore I looked like Bin Larden. I don't even have any Mid-east ancestry - a mix of Germanic, Norse and Celtic, so it may have been a case of "all foreigners look the same" though.

Facebook 'stalker tracker' tool just makes you a spammer

Glenn Alexander

Facebook already waves your stalkers in your face.

My ex's name started popping up in the friends-suggestion box regularly, despite us having no friends or activities in common (the account in question was empty other than her name). I assume if some stranger is regularly hitting your page FB thinks you may want to be their friend.

Since the only things I talk about on FB are the most innane things about my life - such as how good my laundry smelled when I put in too much bleach; my new web page about my great new job. I hope she enjoyed it. I spiked in a few commenes on why my ex is my ex, for good measure.

Brisbane's sewer fibre plan goes down the pan

Glenn Alexander


Google did it first.

How to build your own Watson Jeopardy! supermachine

Glenn Alexander

Sounds nice, but

I think I will stick with mine:


(Shameless self-plug alert!) :-P

When one oligopoly screws another

Glenn Alexander

Have you ever noticed that:

The bigger the capatalist, the louder they scream for government protection when someone starts out-competing them in a fair market?

Thanks Harvey et.al. for the full-page adverts for where to get stuff cheaper than at your own stores. You can't write comedy that good!

A decade of techno-sex: Look how far we've come

Glenn Alexander

Been there done that... twice :-(

"For those who really do like the idea of simulating sex with a partner who lies there and does nothing."

They make marriage dolls now?

Apple joins campaign for real breasts

Glenn Alexander

Is is just me?

Or did that second vid just start getting tedious by about 1/3 in?

I love female bodies - and they can do a lot more than jiggle bits unrealistically. Even better when a brain is attached (and switched on*)!

*To be fair, if all women had brains attached and switched on, there would be a huge shortage of men with the same. Hmmm. I can dream can't I?

Euro court blocks Lego trademark bid

Glenn Alexander

I am not sure how old...

...the Lego-like bricks I have here are, but they are made of Bakelite!

(And I am so glad no-one - so far - has tried to call them 'Legos'.)

Feds cuff blogger for Guns N' Roses leak

Glenn Alexander

When the feds are finished with him...

I believe the UN wants to have a word. Something about crimes against humanity (or at least their ears), I believe.

Rude Tintin pulls out

Glenn Alexander

Women? TinTin? NOOOOooooooo!!!!!!!

I can only recall one woman appearing in the entire original series, though my school library may not have had the whole set so maybe there were two or even three women in the entire Tin Tin world. Surely having all these woman actually existing in the Tintin world is the real problem with the new version(s).

US retailers start pushing $20 Ubuntu

Glenn Alexander
Thumb Up

Basic manuals are good for noobs

I generally recommend new users spend the extra money the first time on a version with the manual. I got into Linux back in the late '90's with a $10 RH book+CD from the local newsagent I bought on spec after I got jack of Steve Jobs. I am vary glad I had the manual to get started, though haven't needed one since.

Asahi premiers pint-pulling robo-barman

Glenn Alexander

Just what we want!

After a day of beating our collective heads against consumer-grade technology, do we really want to be served a drink by a machine (beyond the novelty value that will last about one visit to the bar)? Or do we want to see a human being, preferably an attractive one of our preferred gender?

'Magnet boy' freezes Xbox

Glenn Alexander

Personal bests...

I was quite good at popping street lamps when I walked under them as a teenager :-(

First time it happened it freaked me out quite a bit.

The second time it happened some months later I was also rather unnerved. The third time it happened was the very next streetlamp after the second. Needless to say at that point I ran! Happily the rest of the streetlamps on the 4km route from my school to the train station were all fine. I was quite sympathetic to the worse-suffering main female character in Douglas Adams' "Long Dark Teatime of the Soul" when I read it several years after.

I have since met two other people who have had one streetlamp blow as they passed under, buy my two-in-a-row still stands as a record amongst everyone I have ever met in person.

My other favorite personal coincidence was when I was a teacher and pointed out the classroom window at the construction site across the road (forget exactly what I was pointing at or why) just as a gas cylinder on the site blew up in a bright, noisy but (happily, for the construction workers) harmless way. I never did manage to convince that class I didn't do it but at least they were easy to manage for the rest of the day!

Intel will flush Xeon line with six-core Dunny

Glenn Alexander
Paris Hilton

A Hex on you James!

The Hex community would be those that sacrifice virgins to keep the servers up.

Bloody waste of virgins!

(Paris is long-since immunised against virgin sacrifice... sadly)

Billg quits Facebook

Glenn Alexander


The only facebook friends I have are also people in my email address book. To be honest, I would prefer they email me direct, but they insist...

Designs for SpaceShipTwo displayed in New York

Glenn Alexander

My brain keeps parsing "Virgin Galactic" as...

"Virgin Catholic..."

I think either I need to get a p2p client with better spam filters soon or else take this opportunity to sell something to a casino via eBay?

Couple sue over Shanghai metro snog vid

Glenn Alexander
Thumb Down

Jealous Geeks

Your average geek (myself included apparently :-( ) hasn't a hope in hades of getting such lovin' themselves, so of course they are going to post derogatory comments on U-bend about those who do!

Space brains resign over efforts to attract ET attention

Glenn Alexander

What would they want from us?

Reproduced with author's permission ;-P


"I don't give two shits for humanity just now," Steve shouted. He calmed down. "Besides. Currently Mars and the asteroids are being strip-mined. How long do you think that will take? I'll tell you - about 200 years. Then Earth? Not while Venus and Mercury are still full of minerals. We have several hundred years before they'll consider a big treaty violation like coming here."

"They might want slaves."

"A few teleoperators for robot equipment? Humans are hopeless at even that. We can't be interfaced to their computers properly."

"Food then."

"None of these species would find us tasty. We'd probably poison half of them. Besides, abducting cattle is less trouble and has more meat."

"You're saying we're safe, for now."

"I'm saying the aliens couldn't care less about us. If they stick to mining. Unfortunately this is looking like blowing up into a local resources war with us helpless in the middle."

"What can we do?"

"Very little."

"Nuke them," proposed the president of the RSA (Reunited States of America, otherwise known as USA2, USA TNG or USA - the sequel's never as good!).

"How long would it take to send a missile to Mars?"

"I don't know. Not long."

"Try six months. That's a hell of an early warning. They'd just knock it into the sun and call 'PULL'."

"We should have kept at StarWars."

"They made six movies. That's enough."

"I meant the weapons system." The RSA President hissed through clenched teeth.

"I know what you meant!" Steve hissed back. "Star Wars is just what we want to avoid here."


...This lack of awareness was probably for the best, since the present prime inhabitants of Earth have a rather unhealthy obsession with things being blown into tiny little bits, particularly each other, which is likely a long-term benefit for the galaxy on the whole.

And no, aliens are NOT about to come down and run your planet for you for your own good. If you can't sort out your own problems without a nanny-patrol, why the hell would Galactic civilisation be the slightest bit interested in anything you might think you have to contribute to the universe? Your planet has been fully assayed and the gene pool archived. It can be easily decontaminated, stripped of artifacts of civilisation, and re-stocked less the primate species groups should you make the ultimate balls-up. It wouldn't be the first time it's been done down there!

Oz Santas suffer no 'ho ho ho' blow

Glenn Alexander
Paris Hilton

@ jam-filled pastry

Nothing I like more than a Custard Tart, except possibly a couple of tarts wrestling in custard!

Girls' school head condemns bubblewrapping of kids

Glenn Alexander

Choking hazard!

Bubble wrap is not a toy. Keep away from children!

Of course hours of fun popping all those bubbles was worth getting into a low-grade fight with siblings for a piece of the stuff!

SanDisk pitches Flash cache tech at PC makers

Glenn Alexander

Stuff caching the OS

Can I just format it as an ext2/3 drive and keep GRUB, my kernel, /boot, /sbin, /root, etc. on it?

Tutankhamun: the boy king comes to London

Glenn Alexander

Ms Qian!

Come back with me coat!!

Hehe - I had quite forgoten I wrote that so long ago!

Australian court rings to the sound of satisfaction

Glenn Alexander

Those were the days...

...when someone would replace the error chime on all the Macs in the uni lab with a sample from 'When Harry Met Sally'.

China's 'elephant man' goes under the knife

Glenn Alexander

Chinese hospitals

Chinese Public Hospitals (not private ones which are generally the ones you read about for really dodgy practices) are - from personal experience having a few minor tumors removed while I was living there - rather like Western public ones: shabby and underfunded but clean and competently staffed. Also, while heavily subsidised by the government, procedures are not free - like in the US, if you have no money at all you go without for the most part. Chinese people do tend to respond generously to TV stories about people needing life-saving procedures they can't afford.

From other reports around, I gather that while relatively benign, the said tumor is packed with blood vessels and even with latest operating procedures presents a serious bleeding-to-death-on-the-table risk during the operation, which might also explain why it took so long to act.

Core 2 Duo: Intel's insecurity blanket

Glenn Alexander

Land of the free

"In 2003 his public criticism of the US-led occupation in Iraq cost OpenBSD a $2m grant from the US Defense Advanced Research Project (DARPA)."

Regardles of one's personal opinion of the war, this says a lot about how far the US has come in respecting the concept of freedom of opinion and speech!

Not to mention tarring-with-the-same-brush (known -- and prohibited -- in more legally consistent regions as guilt-by-association) of the other project members who may or may not have agreed with one outspoken part of their group and are probably mostly guilty of the most un-USian* act of respecting his rights to have and voice a personal opinion.

*I refuse to lump Canada and Central and South America in with this lot! ;-)

Cell hack geek stalks pretty blonde shocker

Glenn Alexander

I imagine the phones aren't 'off'

I imagine the phones aren't 'off' but in standby mode and the people in question just don't differentiate between the two states and consider their phone 'off' when they are not on a call.

China runs out of surnames

Glenn Alexander

I am a human Phishing site (apparently)

My name is Glenn Alexander (note the two n's). Someone at my college called Glen Alexander (one n) dropped out and so my student record gets accidently trashed %-S

All fixed now :-)

BTW- Glenn Alexander are both given names - I have no surname. You should see what THAT does to this 'multicultural' country's computer infrastructure ;-P

Jobs chucks Leopard titbits to Apple masses

Glenn Alexander

BSD, yes

Apple's smart move (and I say that as someone who dislikes the company greatly - used to be an indi Apple Dev, so that sort of follows on naturally ;-) was to take a generously licenced, well tested, respected OS core and put all their effort into plugging the "Apple Experience" over it. The core OS is a commodity these days and this is how it likely should be done and everyone benefits - Apple (less core dev costs allowing them to focus on user experience) customers (better, lower cost OS) and even the BSD community somewhat (a high-profile implementation and Apple occasionally throws useful scraps of code back upstream).

Creationists open biblical history museum

Glenn Alexander

The Mountain

Lets assume God exists in some form or other.

God creates a mountain. The mountain (created directly by God) contains ample evidence of millions of years of existence.

Man creates a book that he claims is the word of god. The book says the mountain can only be a few thousand years old.

Given a choice between the word of a direct creation of God and a man-made work claimed to be the word of god, I know where my belief would lie!

Compost your shredded bank statements today

Glenn Alexander

Recycling the non-sensitive bits

I tend to rip off the name/number/address bits from the top of the paper work and dispose of them securely (via a shredder at work) and put the bulk in the recycle bin unshredded (living in an apartment where 3 bins are shared between 9 units helps spread the ID out a bit too ;-)