* Posts by stuartnz

360 posts • joined 26 Sep 2009

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Technology does widen the education divide. But not always in the way you expect

stuartnz

Re: REAL books! Aaaargh!

Exactly, thank you. The hyperbolic description of paper was mostly for my own amusement and to poke those who didn't get the point so deftly summed up in the cuneiform reply :-)

stuartnz

Re: REAL books! Aaaargh!

No, that is not what I said,not at all. ALL books are real books, regardless of the delivery medium. The educator could have said that the kids were going back to paper book, but she did not, she said "real books". To call one type of book "real" is to say that other types are not. Paper books are real, but so are ebooks and audiobooks. I find it fascinating that making this point as I did in my initial comment generated so many down votes. I have nothing against dead tree books, but it seems many who prefer them DO have something against other forms of books

stuartnz
Mushroom

REAL books! Aaaargh!

<rant> "They really fell in love with real books again" - I absolutely HATE that expression "real books". In the last two years, I have read over 350 books, every single one of them on my Kobo. They were very, VERY real, despite not being carved into the dessicated flesh of slaughtered trees.

"Real book" is a hideously judgmental phrase, implying (barely implict, actually) that any book not printed on paper is NOT real, and therefore inferior. An educator should realise that many people either PREFER to read by other media, or have physical challenges that make doing so necessary/easier. Or, as is true in my case both. < /rant>

Lenovo blames 'firmware' issue for blank-screened Smart Displays, says Google's working on a fix – 6 months after complaints started

stuartnz

Re: Smart Clock?

But they ARE smart - as in, "to cause or be the cause or seat of a sharp stinging pain" Seems a remarkably candid description, I'd say.

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like

stuartnz

Less is more, maybe?

I like that the new startup sound is barely there - which also kinda sums up the extent of the changes, it seems. After viewing the screenshots though, The BIG question, one I'm deeply embarrassed to have to ask, is - what are the official El Reg units of temperature?

A keyboard? How quaint: Logitech and Baidu link arms to make an AI-enabled, voice-transcribing mouse

stuartnz

Re: So where does the speech recognition happen ?

I was thinking "Winnie the Pooh" - perhaps "Winnie the Pooh visits Tiananmen Square" would guarantee the police arrive double quick?

NASA writes software update for Ingenuity helicopter to enable first Mars flight

stuartnz

Adaptive learning

Many are asking "didn't they test the software before sending it?". Since NASA is not Boeing, I'm going to assume they did, but it also seems reasonable to assume that conditions on the ground 15 light minutes away may not be replicable with 100% exactitude. If the slight hiccup was caused by a local variable that could not have been replicated Earthside, then rewriting the software to factor in the new data would seem to me to be evidence of sensible engineering, not the opposite

NASA's Mars helicopter spins up its blades ahead of hoped-for 12 April hover

stuartnz
Pint

Boring? DEATH says otherwise

"HUMAN BEINGS MAKE LIFE SO INTERESTING. DO YOU KNOW, THAT IN A UNIVERSE SO FULL OF WONDERS, THEY HAVE MANAGED TO INVENT BOREDOM"

Flying a freakin' drone from 12,583,588,262.0564 brontosaurii away - that is JUST AMAZING! Yes, the world's a helluva mess, and just down the road from Mission Control, the bridges, roads and other basic infrastructure are all falling apart, but still, this deserves applause, and at least 2 Olympic Swimming Pools of beer

Indian defense chief admits China’s cyber-weapons would ‘disrupt large number of systems’ whenever Beijing presses the button

stuartnz

Re: Frenemy?

There is plenty of collaboration, by force of circumstance as you say, but despite following their interactions fairly closely, I've seen no sign of either side making any effort to "pretend to be best buddies while doing so". It suits each side to use the other more as a bogeyman than a faux friend.

stuartnz

Frenemy?

Really? Historically and currently, there's not much of the "Fr" between these two enemies, surely? Frenemies don't generally engage in actual mortal combat as has happened between these two in the last 12 months.

Atheists appeal to higher power for intercession over alleged sins against privacy

stuartnz

Re: I wonder what the split was over.

Exactly why Small Gods is my favourite Pratchett by far - some of the jibes thrown at atheists in that book seem almost prescient reading of this spat :)

stuartnz

PLEASE TELL ME

That one of these august bodies has an official called Oolon Colluphid. That would about wrap it up.

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead

stuartnz
Thumb Up

Re: What?

In the spirit of this zombie lawsuit, Abe Lincoln should be suing Einstein for stealing his quote.

If you can't log into Azure, Teams or Xbox Live right now: Microsoft cloud services in worldwide outage

stuartnz
Happy

Re: Tell me again...

Hands up if "don't google Google" came to mind after reading the above post. (apt, since many El Reg longtimers probably ARE The Elders of the Internet)

Staff and students at Victoria University of Wellington learn the most important lesson of all: Keep your files backed up

stuartnz

Re: The only things

This is how it was reported in non-tech NZ new sites too - desktop PCs, not users' desktops. Still very much shared responsibility, imo - yes the Uni IT team screwed up, but who spends years working on career make-or-break research without any personal, off site backups?

UBports community delivers 'second-largest release of Ubuntu Touch ever'

stuartnz

Waiting to land my Sailfish

If Sailfish extends to Oppo/RealMe devices, I'd be keen to give it a go. Especially now it's up to Android 9 in its compatibility mode, that's close enough to the 10 my phone uses.

Microsoft customers locked out of Teams, Office, Xbox, Dynamics – and Azure Active Directory breakdown blamed

stuartnz

Re: I guess they are going to miss their SLA?

"Open 24hours (although not in a row)"

Upvoted for the presumed Steven Wright allusion. :)

Out of this world: Listen to Perseverance rover fire its laser at Mars rocks as the wind whips around it

stuartnz

Re: Whispers in the wind

Or perhaps, a soft, plaintive lament "the chances of anything coming TO Mars, are a million to one, they said..."

LibreOffice 7.1 Community released with user-interface picker, other bits and bytes

stuartnz

I checked out Collabora's sample offer, abut it seemed more aimed at businesses who want online access, hence "Collabora", I guess. Like you, if they offered a paid version available for download that was "gussied up" a bit, I'd happily give them my money.

stuartnz

Lacks Polish? Partly true, by extension

One of the main reasons I update today was the promise of the new Extension Manager interface. I am now running 7.1.3 and there has been no change at all to the Extension Manager. The Release Notes direct readers to a blog post about the new dialog https://yusufketen.com/post/2020-08-31-libreoffice-gsoc-final-report/ that seems to confirm the "lacks polish" problem. As I get older and lazier, I'm a big fan of "it just works", so even though I'm sticking with LO because it's "Local Office" not "Cloud Office", it would be nice if some of the sharp geeky edges could be smoothed a bit.

If you're a WhatsApp user, you'll have to share your personal data with Facebook's empire from next month – or stop using the chat app

stuartnz

Re: Telegram

"For the paranoid there is Signal, and for the cautious but still like convenience there is Telegram"

A fair summary, I think. I installed Signal before Telegram, but the almost no-existent uptake among people I need to communicate with made Telegram a more viable option. It may not be as good as Signal, but it's definitely a better choice than anything owned by FB.

Why make games for Linux if they don't sell? Because the nerds are just grateful to get something that works

stuartnz

Re: lovely Linux games

Sigh! I have CP, so games have never been my thing, but I simply LOVED Tux Racer on my Mandrake installs. So much fun, even for someone whose skill level could best be described as subcraptaneous.

Amazon makes big bet on New Zealand to crack Indian market

stuartnz

" anything that isn't scheduled for at least three days isn't proper cricket" May I be Waldorf to your Statler?

Paragon 'optimistic' that its NTFS driver will be accepted into the Linux Kernel

stuartnz

Re: Whatever for?

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes: "I fear Geeks when they come bearing Gits", perhaps? :) (In Sean Connery's voice, ofc)

DDoS downs New Zealand stock exchange for third consecutive day

stuartnz

"DDoS downs New Zealand stock exchange for third consecutive day : So much for NZ as the last refuge of civilisation"

Some may consider this as strengthening NZ's claim to that title, not weakening it.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Winking red supergiants sneezing hot gas 650 light years away

stuartnz

Re: Ford! Zaphod! Don't go home.

Perhaps it's not an outgassing event, nor a sneeze, but a Hrung, collapsing.

Aw, Snap! But you should see the other guy – they're in dire need of a good file system consistency check

stuartnz

Re: It can be done

"1 LD from Earth = November 18, 2026

so a while yet to get the balloons ready."

Given that NASA is a government agency, barely enough time to find the disused filing cabinet the balloons are in, I'd say.

stuartnz
Thumb Up

Re: It can be done

"We still have some devices floating out in space, very far away at 150+ AU, and still sending data."

Apropos of SFA, this comment led me to Voyager site to confirm the distance gap between the 2 Voyagers. I said out loud, "oh, Voyager 2 is only 124 AU away" then smiled at the absurdity of that statement. I also noted that Voyager 1 is now 20.75 light hours away - I hope that someone's planning a party for the light-day milestone. :D

Chinese tat bazaar Xiaomi to light a fire under Amazon's Kindle with new e-book reader

stuartnz

Re: Is there a point to eReaders that I'm missing?

Most of the other replies have covered most of the key "points to eReaders", especially e-ink, which really IS all that for sustained reading, but there is one feature only mentioned in passing and by someone who doesn't see the need for it - that they are DEDICATED devices.

An e-reader is (effectively), a single use device. Having gone through several iterations of Kindles before switching to Kobos, I know that both do allegedly have web browsers, but DIY dentistry is more fun and less painful than trying to use e-readers' browsers. Which is GREAT, actually.

An ereader is for those people who want to "curl up with a good book" or two (thousand), and not have to worry about distractions from any other apps.They are especially great if you have any sort of physical impediments which make paper books difficult and/or unappealing to use. The Count of Monte Cristo was a delight to read (more than once) on my Kobo, especially since I would struggle to hold such a large book in paper format. I gave my old Kindle Paperwhite to my octogenarian Dad and its simple single purpose functionality meant that he found it easy to get the hang of and enjoy using, unlike his cellphone, which ended up basically just being a tracking device for us to keep tabs on him as his memory became more erratic.

So while they are undoubtedly niche products, it's a viable niche and a valuable one, although as the article suggests, whether it can accommodate another player remains to be seen

stuartnz

Re: Few books are sold in an open format

Thanks for the clarification, that's very useful to know.

stuartnz

Re: Few books are sold in an open format

" Kobo refused to load the last few of about 1300..."

That's surprising to me. My Kobo (Aura H202) is now down to around 1300 books on it, from a peak of nearly 2100. It wasn't lightning fast, but all of them opened OK. Others have many more than that on their Kobos too.

If you can read this, your Windows 10 2004 PC really is connected to the internet no matter what the OS claims

stuartnz

Re: Cortana can't be activated

Cortana is not available here in "The Land of the Long White Cloud" (at least if NZE is default language) , definitely a big silver lining, imo

Press F2 to pay respects. New Xiaomi Poco Pro has 5G, top-drawer Snapdragon chippery, 64MP camera

stuartnz

My F1 just got the April security patches now, making it the most current I've ever had afaik (given that I can't remember what my S3 was like for frequency of patches).

stuartnz

My F1 is running Android 10, security patches dated 2020-01-01. That's 4 months ago, I don't know when the latest Google patches were released, but 4 months is not bad for me, LG was much worse.

stuartnz
Meh

I like my Pocophone F1, but a big part of that was the "bang for bucks" equation.It offered good specs at a great price, especially since I don't care that much about the camera. The price/performance balance seems to have shifted markedly with the F2, making any upgrade decision less straightforward.

Paranoid Android reboots itself with new Android 10 builds

stuartnz

Re: Don't post spoilers like that

Neither have I, but I wouldn't past El Reg to be teasing, and that it's actually Lore who comes back :)

Star's rosette orbit around our supermassive black hole proves Einstein's Theory of General Relativity correct

stuartnz
Happy

Re: Proven genius

Does this strip prove your theory?

SMBC

stuartnz

Proven genius

I'm sure that Einstein himself would insist on his work still being called a theory, not a law, for all the reasons so clearly and concisely outlined above. That said, I wonder how many other theories have had so many data collected which all say if not, "he was right", then very loudly say "he was not wrong". Given the difference between what is known now and what was known when he formulated his theories, the fact that "proves Relativity" type headlines (however imprecise/inaccurate) continue to be written is an impressive legacy and a testament to his genius.

RAND report finds that, like fusion power and Half Life 3, quantum computing is still 15 years away

stuartnz

Re: Even if an iPhone . . .

Um, sorry but the OP was talking about, and here I quote, "the IBM PS/2" - not the Sony PlayStation 2 The IBM PS/2 did not wipe out either Nintendo or Sega, nor was it introduced by Sony.

Hi, Google Duplex here, trying to book a haircut for a socially inept human. Sorry, 'COVID-19'?... DOES NOT COMPUTE

stuartnz

Yeahnah

The fact the writer "ain't from around here" can be seen in their treating the said phrase as it if were two well known separate English words, separated by a comma. It is OF COURSE, one word, yeahnah - as every Kiwi knows :)

stuartnz

"Late last year, Google introduced the service in a limited form in ****New Zealand****, where it was used to check the opening hours of businesses during the holiday period. How Google trained Duplex to understand the quintessential ****Aussie****-ism of "yeah, nah"

A friendly reminder - this is a dangerous conflation, on either side of The Tasman. :)

Twitter takes away twits' ability to limit ad data sharing – after telling investors its own privacy settings hurt revenue

stuartnz

Re: A lucky escape

You offered practical, helpful advice, delivered without irrelevant ad hominem slurs - not sure that IS what the original AC meant, tbh. :)

stuartnz

Re: A lucky escape

No mewling, nor any seeking of congratulations. I meant just what I said, that I feel I've had a lucky escape in minimising my use of Twitter before its data theft reached new depths. I'm not sure what "problem" my almost non-existent and passive use is part of, but congratulations on being right about one thing - my skull really IS unusually dense, in a very literal sense, confirmed medically at the age of 12 and again some 40 years later. Well done you for divining that trivium. Noho ora mai.

stuartnz
Thumb Down

A lucky escape

After years of active Twitter use from 2009, I nuked my account late last year ( a yr after axing FB and a couple of months before ditching Insta), and my new account follows only 7, 5 of whom are NZ meteorological and emergency management accounts. The account is linked to a throwaway email, and because it was created so long after escaping FB, Twitter's Scylla ought not have fed my (largely faux) data to THAT Charybdis. The sheer brazenness of the Twitter announcement makes me glad my footprint there is now only a toeprint.

Cloudflare dumps Google's reCAPTCHA, moves to hCaptcha as free ride ends (and something about privacy)

stuartnz
Happy

You're NEVAH alone on Da Interweb Tubes

"PS: I had to re-read "botherders" as I couldn't work out what a "bother-der" was" So VERY relived to learn I wasn't the only one!

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK

stuartnz

It IS a conspiracy!

In my view, 5G IS a global conspiracy - one designed to entirely exsanguinate wallets, leaving its victims feeling weak and woozy as they wonder what the hell they have to show for jumping on the latest voyage of the Planned Obsolescence Express, aka HMS Emperor's New Clothes. I ain't wasting no perfectly good tinfoil protecting myself from 5G, I'll use it the way The Cosmos intended, for making chickens extra crispy.

Stuck inside with nothing to do? Apple fires out security fixes for iOS, macOS, wrist-puters... and something weird called iTunes for Windows

stuartnz
Facepalm

Re: Stuck Inside With Nothing to Do?

As another longtime WFH here, I'm hoping that NZ's lockdown will FINALLY teach my friends and family that WFH is still W, and that being home != being available. Le sigh!

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Black hole quasar tsunamis moving at 46 million miles per hour

stuartnz

Re: Mindboggingly fast

Yes, working out how long it would take to cover an AU was fun, leading to calculating how long to catch up with New Horizons and The Voyagers - roughly 4 days and 11-12 days respectively iirc. VERY impressive

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