* Posts by paleoflatus

16 posts • joined 26 Oct 2009

ACCC goes beyond recall, bans 'hoverboards'


If you bought a car and didn't read or learn the instructions on how to drive it, you'd almost certainly have an accident. If you buy a hoverboard and don't read the instructions, the same applies. Also, I'd no sooner buy a hoverboard for a kid and leave him to charge it overnight in his bedroom, than I'd buy him a loaded pistol or hand grenade to take to school.

I'm 88 years old and my knees are failing, but I get around fine on my hoverboard and I'm not a "douche-bag", as a previous article suggested. My board is very manoeuverable, much more portable and less intrusive in crowded places than a wheel-chair and it's safe (I carry a long walking stick to aid balance when out on it).

The instructions clearly state that it charges completely in 1 1/2 to 2 hours and that it should be unplugged soon after the green light appears on the charger, to prevent overheating. I also charge it outside, in a fireproof location.

Most of our leaders are glib, rather than being deep thinkers!

Writing about an Australian Snowden would land Vulture South in the clink


It looks like a good time for more encryption and anonymisation - if you haven't done that already.

If we all did it, they'd never be able to handle their surveillance case-load.

Want to legally unlock your phone from its network? The US Senate says that's A-OK



Are they also now allowed to change channels on their TVs in "The Land of the Free", or do they have to keep watching the same commercials on a designated channel?

Come to Oz for sun, surf, ratting on co-workers and surveillance


What's so special about "democracy"?

The US and its friends keep banging on about "democracy", but I'm increasingly confused about what their "democracy" really is. I know that democracy originated in ancient Greece, where over half of the population were slaves who weren't given a vote. I know that British "democracy" gave inordinate power to the aristocracy and the wealthy and American "democracy excluded Negroes and now excludes many Latinos. I know that increasingly universal franchise has been accompanied by increasing secrecy, surveillance and the loss of free speech over more recent decades.

I'm no longer sure that democracy (the number of political parties and the way government is chosen) is anywhere near as important as the big three:

1. Transparency and honesty in government.

2. Freedom of speech.

3. Tolerance of alternative viewpoints.

We Australians are/have losing/lost these and we're living in a very fragile glass-house, when we criticise other countries.

Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1


Re: Better than Android then?

Yes, there's worth-while comfort and convenience in Apple's walled garden, although the slightly dated-looking little iPhones, the inflexibility and the lack of configurable keyboards with far better predictive text (like SwiftKey and Swype) are a cross to bear for some. I can type proper English e-mails faster on my phone with these than I can on the keyboard of my desktop machine!

As for updates, my Nexus 5 phone regularly updates (now running Android 4.4.2) and updating apps is a breeze. My Android pad runs Cyanogenmod and I could update it to nightlies - if I ever got that keen. I don't think you should compare older Android devices with recent Apple ones, as both systems are changing rapidly.

Millions of unloved iPhone 5Cs gather dust in warehouses – report


Don't overlook the bling factor.

Since iPhones have always cost far more than they are worth, they're analogous to wearing a diamond ring. The value in each is simply that people around you can see that you've spent a lot of money on it, although the intrinsic value may be quite low.

In that context, the 5c was always doomed to be a failure, as flashing one in public is similar to wearing a cheap stone, rather than the real thing.

Online shopping tax slug not worth the effort: National Australia Bank


Well said!

The price differential of most Australian goods is well over the paltry 10% that the GST would add.

The main difference would be increased red tape and consequently slower service. That's obviously what the Australian retail lobby want.

I'm prepared to wait, so my buying habits would not change, although my vote certainly would. I object strongly to my government being pushed around by lobbyists.

New iPhones are latte-sipping inner city elitists



Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

An iPhone is like a large diamond ring. The diamond adds no useful function, but everyone who sees it is impressed, because they know it was expensive. Likewise, an iPhone has similar functions and quality to any of the better Android phones, but everyone knows it cost you heaps more - and they're similarly impressed!

Apple used to be innovative, but, like most ageing corporations, they're now playing catch-up and the iPhone 5S is almost as good as an HTC One, or a waterproof S4, apart from its dated look and its small screen. I suspect that cheap little screen is so that you need to buy one of their tablets as well.

A fool and his money are soon parted - and there's no shortage of those.

Who did Apple LIE TO: Australia or America?


I think the Australian government should put a duty on all such imported goods and software, equal to twice the difference between the Australian wholesale price and the American one. If they, for example want to jack up the Australian price by $100, an added duty of $200 would seriously hurt their sales - and perhaps enable the government to subsidise or train local software developers.

NZ bloke gets eel stuck up jacksie



I remember a verse from that student ditty "The Good Ship Venus"....

"The captain had a daughter

Who fell into the water;

Delighted squeals

Revealed that eels

Had found her sexual quarter."

Mobile carriers face big ticket spectrum costs



We currently have a Labour government in Canberra, that handles money badly. Consequently, our surplus has turned into debt and our taxes and charges are sky-rocketing. This includes new taxes on resources, CO2 etc. The higher spectral cost is only an increased tax on communications, after all. There will be more of the same until our next election in a year or so.

Greens Senator champions Assange cause


What else would you expect from cheap and misguided sound-bite politicians?

I'm a small-L liberal by nature, but the Union-based "Labour" Party repels me at present. At last there's a reason to vote for the Leprechauns!

Mint Linux freshens up web searches



In 15 years of linux use, I've always regarded the default search engine as being as transient and changeable as the default wallpaper, cube background, browser, software choice etc. These things are so easy to change - at least in Debian sid, where I use non-default KDE, wallpapers, Google chrome (previously Firefox), Ixquick (previously metacrawler), moc etc. It's a trivial issue. I had trouble with k3b trying to burn an iso image recently, so installed brasero (a quick and easy apt-get command and Hey Presto!), rather than keep fiddling with it. No problem!

Oz gummint looks into seniors’ cyber-safety



I'm only 83 years old. I use Linux debian sid, regularly updated with the smxi script. Where security is an issue, my passwords are at least 12 characters long, with a mix of numbers, upper case, lower case, punctuation marks etc. My passwords contain no word, or part of a word. My e-mail is encrypted and I use an encrypted search engine. I have phishing and malware protection and avoid opening hypertext links and attachments, unless I'm happy about their origin. I have tor installed and use it, occasionally. Nobody has ever gained administrator privileges in my computers in 15 years of using Linux.

I relinquished my seniority when I retired, but I hope internet security doesn't become too arduous a problem for me, if I ever become Senior again!

Apple's 'App Store trademark': A farce of Jobsian proportions



My Windows programme has been KDE for over a decade, but I omit the (TM) that makes it proprietary.

I can't think of a better generic term for any store that sells apps than "app store".

I did think of patenting the act of introducing a todger into a willing orifice, however, but decided against it when I became aware of a considerable amount of prior art.

Think you're tech savvy? You won't be when you're old



I don't understand. I turn 82 in a couple of months, use my computer frequently every day, read most of my news, communicate with businesses and friends, bank, trade stocks etc. on line. I assemble my own boxes from discount parts and run Debian sid, dist-upgraded every week or two, with the Liquorix kernel.

I also have a Sciphone i68 with Net connection.

I didn't discover Linux until I was 68, having used DOS, then OS/2 before that.

Am I missing out on my senility, or something?


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