* Posts by Cathryn

15 publicly visible posts • joined 11 May 2007

Heavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap


Africa's Sun

The problem with planning to import solar power from Africa is that Africa will need it's own renewable energy sources. Now maybe there's enough to go around, but I'd like to think that we in Africa get first dibs on our own solar resources.

Big TV flips ad blockers the bird

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Not welcome

I'm apparently not welcome anyway, ad-blocker or not, since I happen to live in a bit of the world that isn't the US.

Most 'malfunctioning' gadgets work just fine, report claims


@Jamie: RTFM

The problem with saying RTFM, is that you can't until you've bought the product! :)

Often there is no way to tell whether it will do you want, or what you expect, without getting it home and trying it out.

Never mind peripheral issues: if I buy a washing machine that washes perfectly, but is very noisy... well, no way I could have found that out without buying it. Same as a DVD recorder with a crappy interface, or a TV with a low sound volume.

Bangladesh cuts off anonymous handsets


A close second

South Africa's been planning this for a while now, but they haven't got around to putting in place yet.

The kicker is that all foreigners coming in will have to register before they can use international roaming!

Global-warming scientist: It's worse than I thought



You left one out - GW is (or isn't) true, we try to fix it, and screw everything up even worse. Not to say we shouldn't try, but some schemes that they've come up with seem to be a little bit risky, given that we don't understand very much about all this yet.

US switches off the incandescent lightbulb

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How about...

What if I just switch off 3 of my 10 lights to achieve the same effect? I hate CFLs - they take forever to come up to bright.

HSBC pins hopes on Borat and IPO-pimping ATMs



@Solomon Grundy - they're talking about micro payments, not micro loans. So if someone wanted to buy a loaf of bread from their neighbour, they'd use their mobile to transfer the money.

Canadian cable giant slips Yahoo! name onto Google home page



Can't help laughing at AC complaining about his 15Gb cap in New Zealand. Here in SA, the average is a 3Gb cap, and most people have 1Gb. The most common speed is 384Kb, with the highest being a non-guaranteed "up to" 4Mbs, which is generally nowhere near that. And the cost for a 384Kbps line with a 1Gb cap starts at ZAR170.

Don't get a "who's got the worst broadband" competition started, because us saffers will always win :-)

Facebook CEO capitulates (again) on Beacon


Only via links?

I seem to remember seeing, somewhere in all the hype, that they can only get your purchase list if you've visited the store via a link on their website? So if you go to Amazon by typing in the url, you're fine and anonymous; it's only if you use the same email address for amazon as for facebook, *and* do your shopping via clicking on affiliate links on facebook. Which makes it a bit less scary. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, though, because that factor doesn't seem to be getting much attention.

Google fitted with (temporary) Digg implant

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Unpersonalised Searches

I really don't want personalised searches. I want the same results if I search from home, where I'm sometimes logged into my google account (via gmail); if I search from work, where I'm sometimes logged into my google account; or whether I search from a friend's house, where I'm never logged in.

It's frustrating when you know what you were looking at was one of the top few results - except that now it's not.

Of course, google's answer to this would be to be logged in all the time. I'd prefer (a) to delink my google login status from my gmail login status, and (b) be able to turn off personalised searches and tracking and all that. Option a is actually preferable, because then google would stop auto-signing me into google groups based on my gmail address, when I'd really rather not use that one for posts!

Universal tests DRM-free future



The advantage is, you don't have to buy the whole album if you only want one track.

Jobs: one more thing... a browser war


Tabs & iTunes

"... offer a browser that lets you drag tabs around ..."

So? Firefox does this already.

"...As a matter of fact, there have been over a half a billion downloads of iTunes to Windows machines. Over half a billion. And so we know how to reach these customers, and we're going to do exactly that,"

Hmm. If they're thinking of including a Safari download in the iTunes download... well, that's just a bad idea for a whole lot of reasons.

South Africa mulls reining in roaming


Sim, not phone

Us locals will have to register when buying a sim, not just a phone. Contract or prepaid, doesn't matter - you have to register. Not registering any sims you may have lying around and forgotten about will not only result in them being disconnected, but you could be liable for a jail sentence as well.

All in the hopes of fighting terrorists and criminals, who of course aren't clever enough to think of giving a fake name and address.

Software piracy rates remain stubbornly stuck


Cost of conversion

"UK figures have remained the same for the last three years prompting the BSA to call for tougher government action. It suggests that current penalties are not a sufficient deterrent against the use of counterfeit or unlicensed software."

It would seem more likely, given that the rate is steady, that the current penalties discourage new users from installing pirated software, but aren't enough to make companies already using pirated copies to switch to legitimate copies. Or, of course, that the legitimate cost of those copies are so ridiculously high that it's not a viable option.

(Besides, as others have said - those figures of theirs aren't exactly accurate anyway)

Exam papers tagged to deter cheats



'It reckons the system should enable it to detect suspicious submissions from students by comparing their previous results for anomalies where a candidate "performs significantly out of line with expectations".'

There goes any motivation for studying hard and doing better next time...