* Posts by James 63

43 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Aug 2009

MyHealth Record privacy legislation published

James 63
Big Brother


"Under the amendments, records can only be accessed under a judicial order."

I hope all the black hats read that sentence. We'll all be safe now then.

Biker nerfed by robo Chevy in San Francisco now lobs sueball at GM

James 63

Regardless of who's legally in the right or wrong, a self driving car hitting another vehicle is a problem. Just because one party has right of way they should still be doing everything possible to avoid a collision with someone in the wrong - saying "I have right of way" and then ploughing into the side of another vehicle isn't clever.

No matter how this one turns out I hope GM are looking closely at their code...

Commonwealth Bank: Buggy software made us miss money laundering

James 63
IT Angle

Re: Note Denominations (@keith_w)

Biggest note in Australia is $100. So two tranches of the max of 50 notes at a time to hit the $10k.

Getting metal hunks into orbit used to cost a bomb. Then SpaceX's Falcon 9 landed

James 63

Re: Real numbers would be interesting

"- but sitting on the pad does the fact the rocket underneath has done 17 trips already make you feel more or less confident?"

Corollary: Would you rather be sitting on an airliner that's done 500 flights, or none?

Germany says Ja to data-slurp law 2.0

James 63


As an Australian now living under much the same regime, it'd be nice to see of what benefit these data slurping schemes are. Some sort of review that says we caught XX baddies, we incorrectly invaded the privacy of YY innocents, and it only cost you the tax payer ZZ billions. Guessing the results of that equation doesn't look very favourable, and hence gets kept fairly close to the chest's of those who push these schemes through...

Human sacrifice. Android Wear syncing with iPhones. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!

James 63

Re: Still waiting for at least a week of battery life

Pebble? Works with both iOS and Android. Get about 5-7 days out of it, with at least a day's warning it's getting sleepy...

On yer bike: Hammerhead satnav for cyclists – just don't look down

James 63

Pebble is good too

NavMe running on a Pebble watch is my current solution to this problem. Google Maps to plan route, then Pebble displays directions (with phone safely tucked away in a pannier). Watch vibrates when approaching a turn, quick glance tells you where to go.

Data retention saves Australia from TERROR says Labor MP

James 63
Black Helicopters

Nope Nope Nope

Given that the NSA with all its snooping failed to stop the Boston Marathon bombing (and being warned by the Russians to keep an eye on the suspects, if I recall), I am somewhat skeptical that

" an attack “of the magnitude of the Bali event” ... would be prevented by data retention laws."

Possibly useful after the event to catch those responsible, but prevention - not a hope.

Content control freaks are peddling futility, says iiNet

James 63

Likelihood of sanity: < 0

Haven't seen a single move by the current government to favour the consumer. Everything seems to be beneficial to corporate interests (big media, big banks, mining etc). Don't see this one going any differently.

When the backlash comes, it'll be all the sweeter.

NYC attorney seeks mobe-makers' help to curb muggings

James 63

Block by IMEI

In Australia carriers can block the phone by its IMEI, which means it can no longer make or receive calls on any network in the country (http://www.amta.org.au/pages/Lost.and.stolen.phones). The existence of the ability to remotely lock down any phone means that kicking them in the first place becomes a waste of time.

The technology already exists to solve this problem, just need the carriers to get on board.

TomTom brandishes new strap-on in Amsterdam: The wristnav

James 63

3D display

That'll be handy when I get my flying car. Until then, I might just consider it a gimmick.

Vatican subtly shifts its position on The Blues Brothers

James 63

They're getting better...

Only 33 years for the Vatican to admit they made the wrong call on this one. A vast improvement on the treatment Galileo got. That's progress.

Sony Xperia P mid-range Android

James 63


This phone has NFC, but didn't see it mentioned in the review. Don't think the One V or the Galaxy S Advance do.

Swings and roundabouts...

Cloudy QR code bike theft stopper gets Police thumbs up

James 63

Frame No?

Why not just have a website where you can register your frame number? Police find bike, check frame number against website - bike reunited with owner. Not very web 2.0 I'll admit...

CERN boffins to lift LHC beam power

James 63

"More power Igor!"

I really hope there actually is a wall of big old fashioned breaker switches, and they have a hunchbacked dwarf to pull them whilst cackling maniacally.

It won't really just be a person (not even in a white coat) tippy-tapping on a keyboard.

And they wonder why the lay-person can't connect with science...

Shark versus shark in Barrier Reef DEATH MATCH

James 63

Someone has to do it...

If only the brown-banded bamboo shark had a fricken laser...

iiNet swallows Internode a month early

James 63

Speaking only for myself...

"iiNet CEO Michael Malone says the acquisition has been “well received” both by Internode’s customers and its staff."

I can't speak for internode staff, but as a lot of Internode's customers have stated, if they'd wanted to be with iiNet, they would have chosen to be. I picked 'Node over iiNet for a reason, and I just hope they can remain different for as long as possible.

Thanks MM, but I didn't want to be iiBorged. Nervous times ahead...

Asus primed for 7in tablet outing

James 63

Too damn thin...

"Asus is also said to be readying a 3D version."

Or is that 3G?

Robot ostrich spy outpaces world’s fastest sprinters

James 63
Thumb Down

Je suis sceptical...

Evolution has had quite a few goes at getting ostrich legs just right. Less efficient designs get eaten. I'm surprised these peeps think they can just study some video and "devise a more efficient mechanical system". Ostriches will have muscles in their lower leg for a very good reason, which so far seems to have eluded this crowd.

And as for "In simulations, it can already outpace human sprinters", well, in simulations I can land a 747 on an aircraft carrier. Come back when you've actually got something to tell us...

NASA releases stunning new moon-landing snaps

James 63

That's because...

if you'd watched Apollo 13 you'd know that Tom Hanks never got to land...

Samsung outs 5in Galaxy Note as new smartphone concept

James 63

Join the Dots

It's been a while since I did any Join The Dots games, but I'm guessing it's the flag of the Isle of Man.

Do I win a prize?

Sony brings its online bank to Aus

James 63


Pull the other one, it's got bells on.

Icon, because it must have been missing from some Sony exec's memo...

HTC does the ChaCha with Three and Vodafone

James 63

Not quite a baby unicorn..

It's got "Android 2.4" tho'. Which doesn't exist on any other handset. That's gotta be worth something?

HTC Sensation dual core Android smartphone

James 63

Single core, less bling = better battery

I've almost doubled the battery life on my HTC Desire by moving to a custom rom. Not sure if it's a result of the Froyo -> GingerBread transition, or ditching Sense, but I can get two days of decent use from it now.

NASA funds commercial Shuttle-replacement spaceships

James 63

Recycled = proven

"Musk and his team have their own rockets, designed from scratch, unlike the recycled Apollo and Shuttle tech offered for the manned space requirement so far"

Isn't one of the reasons the Russian launchers are so reliable and cheap is they've basically stuck with the same setup since the beginning? A bit of tweaking and improving, but they don't throw everything away and start again from scratch every 20 years, unlike the US approach (not sure if that's been purely intentional or merely caused by economic constraints).

Fair play to Mr Musk tho', he's ahead of the competition at the moment.

Firefox 4 debuts: The last kitchen sink release

James 63


"The browser is only as good as the operating system it runs on and a browser running on a ten year old operating system tethers the web to the past..."

FF4 on linux is fine, and that's been kicking around for >10 years. Maybe if MS concentrated on writing an OS that wasn't so spaghetti, they might find they could update core pieces of it as required to make it run better over time, without complete borking the whole thing.

But then I suppose they're happy forcing their users to install complete OS upgrades every 3 years, keeps the cash coming in...

Vodafone Aus web portal credentials escape, media panic

James 63

Information wants to be free

Part of the issue is the amount of information on each customer that is made available through the portal. It makes sense to have some information available to vodafone workers for customer support (phone model, plan etc), but having absolutely everything on show is just daft.

Home addresses, dates of birth, drivers license numbers (needed to register a sim card to show you're not a terrorist, as terrorists don't drive as everyone knows), voicemail PIN number - it's all available.

The muppets who designed their web portal should be hit with a stick, and told to figure out what resellers, agents, vodafone shop workers etc would realistically need to see to do their jobs, and limit the information available to only that. Giving everyone a full database dump is just asking for trouble, which they've now got.

Ubuntu demotes Gnome for Unity netbook look

James 63

@John Sanders

Crunchbang linux is going the same way.

It used to be Ubuntu with an Openbox WM, but due to the release cycle of Ubuntu they're making the decision to jump to Debian Squeeze as the source. Rolling updates for thems that like a system that they don't need to bork every six months to stay current.

US raygun jumbo fluffs another test missile-blast attempt

James 63


Isn't there also the issue that this whole thing will only work through clear air? What happens if it's raining, or cloudy? Surely the aiming laser's going to be having a pretty hard time pointing in a straight line through all those water drops?

Or do the North Koreans/<insert current baddie state> have to agree to only launch a suicidal ICBM attack on a clear day/night?

Oz greenies rattle politico cage with robocalls

James 63

Climate Change vs Internet Filter

One of these two things needs support of the current opposition party to get enough votes to get passed into law, and they've said they're not supporting it, so it's not going ahead regardless of who wins the upcoming election.

The other thing contributes nothing to overall greenhouse gas levels, as all that's happening is bio mass is being converted back into CO2, which will in turn be sequestered back into plant form over time. Net change = zero. It's burning fossil fuels that causes the problem.

See if you can guess which one is which?

Satnav leaves family stranded in Outback for three days

James 63

It wasn't the SatNav

As it's already been said, if these people had swapped their sat nav for a map they'd still have got stuck. The fault was not doing their homework about where they were going, and was it possible at that time of the year. If they're going to ignore big warning signs it doesn't matter what navigational aids they're using, they're still going to need to be rescued.

Driving across the outback without clues is not a smart thing to do.

Conroy pledges to stop spams infecting Aussies' portals

James 63
IT Angle


What is it about the state of Victoria producing retarded IT ministers? Richard Alston was bad enough (another Victorian senator), and now we've got this arse-hat. Out of a population of 5.5M people there's got to be someone who has some smarts.

While I'm doing my bit for getting rid of this clown, I wish I wasn't a Victorian voter...

IT angle? - this man has none.

V-22 Osprey downblast scatters spectators like skittles

James 63

Where should the exhaust go?

Err - where should the exhaust be sent then? It's probably hard enough trying to balance the 20-odd tons of hovering imminent death without having the jet exhaust swivelled off the thrust vector.

Mac spyware infiltrates popular download sites

James 63

Code repositories

Surely the problem behind this one is people getting code from untrusted sources - you have to take at face value that an application found on a website does what they say it does, and it only does that. No matter what OS you're running, if that's where you have to get your software then you're opening yourselves up to a world of risk.

At the risk of fanning the flames I'm guessing most linux users get their software from a repository only, so they don't need to go off and download and run random bin/deb/... files from www.warez.com.

HP teases with smartbook spec

James 63
Thumb Up


As an owner of an eee701 I'm glad to see a netbook getting back to what netbooks should be: light, small, cheap devices.

How long before this vision gets corrupted again and we're seeing 14" screens, 250GB HDD and an ARM port of Windows7 on these?

Stupid consumers...

Muso turfed off train for 'suspicious' set list

James 63

Why, oh why?

Dear terrorists,

you can pack your (exploding) bags and go home, you've won. When crap like this is is going on there's nothing more you can achieve.

Do you think our kids will believe us when we tell them we used to have freedom?

Aussie anti-censor attacks strafe gov websites

James 63

Re: Scary

"That is effing scary... how the hell did Australia vote in a bunch of censorship crazed lunatics?"

You should have seen what the other lot were offering. At the time they were the pick of the bunch. Not so sure I'd say that now. Pirate Party or Sex Party might be getting my vote next time around (the nice thing about the overly complicated voting system here means it sends a message to the big parties, but your vote doesn't get wasted).

Knuckle rap for riot shield sledging coppers

James 63

Bah humbug

...this would be Supt Andrew Murray of the fun police obviously.

Spam filters stuff Canadian Beaver

James 63


Why don't they just rename it to Be4v3r - or do trappers not do 1337?

'World's largest' BitTorrent tracker Mininova kneecapped

James 63

@bexley - Don't give them root access!

bexley writes: If i am to judge (insert name of sudo corporate anti piracy police force here)...

Do you mean "pseudo", or is this a corporate anti piracy police force with temporary root access? Which implies that normally the corporate anti piracy police force can only potter around in their own world and not make any lasting changes to the system. Actually, you're right.

Australian Pirate Party sets sail

James 63

Not all or nothing...

"The danger, within the Australian system, is that there are now three very distinct parties with overlapping agendas, all likely to be competing for the same core anti-establishment vote: the Green Party, the Sex Party and the Pirate Party."

Australia has a wacky preferences voting system, you get to specify a 1-2-3- etc choice of who gets your vote. If your number 1 mob don't get enough votes they look at who you put for number 2, and give it to them, and so on until someone's got over the 50% mark. Hence a vote for the Pirate Party can end up getting a member of the Greens into power, and the parties get to see all the preferences, hence they can see what the electorate like. While it's ridiculously confusing it does allow you to send a message to the pollies (e.g. when your local Labor MP gets voted in he knows 30% of his/her electorate voted for the Sex Party at #1, and thus getting all cosy with the Christian right might not be such a good career move...)

Lawsuit seeks to tag WGA nagware as spyware

James 63
Big Brother

WGA == malware?

It walks like malware, and quacks like malware - it goes sniffing around your computer doing things you'd rather it didn't, dials home, borks your system, and takes a bit of fiddling to get rid of.

WGA was the straw that finally made me go the way of the penguin. An OS is supposed to not get in your way of doing what you're trying to do with your computer, and after a couple of false positives from WGA my mind was made up.

So many icons seem appropriate - Fail, Pirates, Black Helicopter, Big Brother, Penguin, Evil Bill...

Robot cauliflower harvesters to replace vanishing migrants

James 63
Thumb Up

I can just imagine...

Is it just me, or does this sound like the perfect storyline to a Wallace and Gromit episode?