* Posts by KrisMac

119 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Jul 2010


Dutch chip-making specialist ASML rifles through pockets of rival XTAL: Nice IP. We'll be having that


It's not us it's THEM..

"..The paper suggested that ASML could have been a victim of Chinese espionage.."

..The Wookie of "Chinese espionage" being thrown out to mask the truth that a fairly large chunk of the most egregious IP theft is perpetrated by US companies....

Space Data dudes say Google lifted Loon balloon tune


Re: I just forked your ballon, guy!

True that patent extortion is clearly the game being played here, but Google are probably just about big enough to be able to buy the referees - as in, they might just about have enough weight to overcome the Patent Office inertia and force a review of the patents in question...

...maybe... that is a lot of inertia...

KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST


Why cant they add a 'catcher' to the barge?

The targeting computer for the rocket seems to be extremely accurate - why cant they add something like a, (fairly tall), flexible inverted cone wire cage on the deck that the rocket can settle into and clamp around the body of the thruster when it gets low enough, (and presumably prior to impact with the deck itself)? The accuracy of the targeting should be enough to get the booster reasonably central in the cage and the cone shape would take care of the final few feet of lateral displacement..

It seems to me that would negate the need for actual hard landing capability and provide the booster with stabilisation after the rocket engines are shut down... might also allow for landing in rougher seas too if the cage were to grab the booster high enough up the tube..

What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?


Re: Green Rectangle

The Green Rectangle is not only highly symbolic, but completely on-message and correct:

We will all be boxed in to the same shit that we are feeling sick about right now.

Flexibility will be limited to the infamous slide-ways slide to the point of collapse. Yes kids, you can test this at home with your very own open ended rectangular cardboard box - just place it on the floor with the open ends pointing sideways and place your hand on the top. Allow your hand to move in any direction left or right of the open sides and the box will collapse into a heap on the floor under its own weight. Just like this rebadged monster is likely to do..

If your enterprise is boxed up inside that collapsing metaphor, you will probably be feeling just as green as the colour that Meg has chosen especially for you...

Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset


Hell Officially Froze over for me on the 21st of January 2015...

..because Microsoft announced something that made me feel excited to be in this business again, and left me with that 'I can't wait till this hits the shelves' feeling. It has been a long time since that has happened.

The HoloLens device may not be ready for prime time yet, but just the existence of the API that developers can base independent development on will give this technology a real kick in the pants. Augmented Reality, (no - this is not a hologram!), is truly going to be the next battleground for display and user interaction. Even if the headset device ends up tethered, (via high speed Bluetooth or similar), to something like a smartphone in the wearers pocket to give it some battery life and processing grunt, the potential for integration of physical and digital visual representations in a single user experience is going to be huge.

Microsoft's HoloLens is much, much more exciting than Oculus Rift, (which is also fantastic technology IMHO BTW).

And I can't believe I just wrote that...

Elon Musk: Wanna see a multimillion-dollar rocket EXPLODE? WATCH THIS


A RUD? Yep - Know all about those...

.. we had one of them in our Prime Minister's chair a couple of talking heads ago... He spelt his name with two 'D's, but the impact on the local economy was pretty much the same as this RUD on Elon's rocket...

Welcome to 'uber-veillance' says Australian Privacy Foundation


Re: Simple solution


It is not so much a lack of balls on the part of politicians that worries me, it's complicity...

You only have to look at what is going on back in the 'mother country' to see how the ability to track, trace, profile and categorise people is very much in the self-interest of the political classes. David Cameron's latest little brain fart about banning messaging apps that enact strong encryption without backdoors for him and his cronies tells you all you need to know about where things are heading in that arena.

That sort of intrusion into people's privacy is not about countering external threats - it's all about being able to micro-manage your internal population and to punish those who commit 'thought crime' against the State. Add in the ability for politicians to tap into the vast pool of biometric data that wearables are going to provide and you have a scenario that the Stasi could only dream about.

Once you know not only what someone thinks in the privacy of their own home, but also where they go when they leave home; who they talk to and how much they have to pay to insure their unfit, unhealthy lifestyle - how hard might it be to 'persuade' them and their friends that they might be better off just doing as they are told in return for a bit of a discount on the power bill for their home use defibrillator?

How long before Tony Abbot catches on to that game?

Politicians are not sitting on their hands because they don't understand the tech - they are doing so because they very much DO understand the tech and see that it is absolutely in their personal best interests to let things develop just they way they are...


The electronics island where COPS shoot ARMY and workers are rioting


Re: I kind of expected more focus on Simon's fake iPhone

Except that its not sustainable... the inequality gap in global incomes is widening, not closing. This effect is happening because the minimum level of skill and training necessary to maintain even a basic standard of living is rising faster than the ability of low income earners to gain those skills. It is also, (in smaller part), due to the relatively lower number of labourers required in order to deliver goods to market.

If the bottom rung of the labour pool keeps rising, and the middle tier keeps disappearing, then we will end up in a situation where the vast majority of the global population are completely left behind. Its a bit like getting into the housing market - if the average price of a house rises faster than the earning capacity of first home buyers to get on the ladder, then eventually the entire system collapses since no one can afford to participate..

A excellent resource on the problem can be found here: http://www.mtnmath.com/banana/solutions.html


I kind of expected more focus on Simon's fake iPhone

As a symbol of what is happening as a result of globalisation, it speaks volumes: that we exploit low income workers to keep our toys cheap, while at the same time driving demand for high-value bling that those same workers can never afford... allows those of us in stronger economies to maintain a sense of superiority and to keep the labour pool quiescent by holding out a faint glimmer of hope of a better life...

Sad that nothing has really changed since the start of the industrial revolution - we just relocate the factories whenever the local wages rise above a pittance..

Edit: Icon because he reminds me of Charles Dickens... Charley recognised exploitation when he saw it...

Purple glistening plasma, you say? Orion plummets back to Earth

Thumb Up

Awesome imagery, one camera is still missing...

I recognise the heat shielding problems it would raise but I would love to see the footage from a 'down' view camera...

The view from the front-side plane of the heat-shield as the capsule skimmed through the atmosphere would be awesome, (right up until the glare from the plasma washed out the CCD's filters completely). And actually seeing the planet getting larger and closer as the machine falls through the atmosphere once it comes back under attitude control would make the zoom function on Google maps look totally pathetic.

I guess I'll just have to wait until someone can work out how to make transparent ceramic heat resistant tiles.

SURPRISE: Oz gov gives itself room to NEVER finish the NBN


Well at least now..

..the pollies wont have the inconvenience of having to explain dumping FTTP for FTTN any more... irrespective of the technology the service will be shit and the plebs won't know the difference..

Telstra must be pissing themselves with laughter... they get paid squillions to dump their aging copper liability so that Malcolm's boys can stick in kit that is not going to be any better than the ADSL2+ that Telstra used to drop on that old copper... Brilliant!

Under the Iron Sea: YES, tech and science could SAVE the planet


What happend between @1940 that might have pumped up the iron concentration in the sea?

... fair number of huge iron concentrations dumped in the mid-Atlantic around then by way of unfriendly torpedoes... and 'Iron-Bottom Sound' in the Solomons only earned its name in 1942/43....

Given that it is much shallower than Atlantic I wonder if anyone has tried to measure how much new rock has formed around Savo as a result of all that corroding metal...

Woman who stung Tinder with sex-pest sueball stings again – with rival Bumble app


That name suggests to me...

... that these Bee's might be for the Birds...

NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators


@Rick Brashe Re: Do I care enough to comment???

Passive aggressive? Possibly - but also perhaps you might concede that I could be more interested in the conversation surrounding the event rather than the event itself?

None of these things occur in a vacuum, and the inability of the USA to reign in its rapidly emerging police state is of concern to the whole world. I happen to live in a Westernised, developed economy in a relatively peaceful part of the world, (Australia), and for much of that I have to thank the past good works, intentions and invention of the United States. And I AM very grateful for all that the US has done for this part of the globe.

But being grateful for past actions does not mean that I have to like what I see happening to the US today - nor the creeping osmosis effect of that police state being inserted into my own country by local politicians who appear to act in 'monkey see, monkey do' lockstep with the way things are progressing Stateside...

So, NO: Not interested in this vote since it has achieved nothing of substance, but critically interested in the overall situation.


Re: Do I care enough to comment???

I agree, Ms. Tuchman's thesis that Governments quite frequently take actions that are against their best interests is rather on the money in the case of the NSA dragnet spying. In effect, taking that action has lead directly to an increased level of paranoia, distrust of American intentions and reliance on encryption amongst the rest of the world which only serves to make the US security intelligence mission harder to achieve - so certainly self defeating in the long run.

Irrespective of the relative merits of the legislation that was voted down, (other posters have noted that it was really just a piece of political theatre designed to entrench the status quo rather than true reform), I feel this latest vote also aptly demonstrates Group Think in action. From an outsiders perspective, (and I do understand the weakness of such a perspective in the lack of details), there appears to me to be very little to differentiate the two sides of American politics. Both sides effectively reinforce and continue the policies of the other with what appears to be very little reference to any mandate they each might receive from 'the people'.

It seems to me that the Vision of '..by the People, for the People..' put forward by the USA's Founding Fathers is these days mostly adhered to only by exception...


Re: Do I care enough to comment???

You may be right for all I know - as an outsider I only see the effects of ill-advised American policies such as the global NSA data dragnet, not the intricacies of how they are enacted. That policy has now been in-place for what, over a decade now? (That we know of?) And if I am not mistaken was created by a Republican, and then only strengthened by a Democrat?

What makes you feel that the next Republican in the seat will do anything different?

Also, it seems to me that no matter who is ensconced, (I won't presume to use your pejorative), within the Whitehouse, the 'few out-of-control bureaucrats' who seem to be taking the blame for enforcing those policies will still be there - doing precisely what they are doing right now...

Changing the figurehead at the pinnacle of power rarely if ever does anything to alter the corruption within the edifice upon which that power is based... it is only the fact that Americans in general seem to be willing to turn a blind eye to that corruption that allows it to continue - that and the willingness of a seeming majority of Americans to sell their Freedoms in return for Security... something which I believe one of your early Presidents commented on as undesirable??


Re: Do I care enough to comment???

Those 300,000,000+ have not done enough - and are continuing to not do enough - to bring those few out-of-control bureaucrats to heel.... complaining about the effects of your apathy on yourself does not win you an awful lot of sympathy from those outside of your cosy walled garden who are also impacted directly by the effects of your apathy...


Do I care enough to comment???

not much.. Americans get the government they deserve... they happily shit all over the rest of us anyway by assuming that through self-professed "American Exceptionalism" they can claim license to employ unrestrained surveillance wherever the hell they like - so long as its not in their own back yard...

Bouncy bouncy: Comet probot Philae landed twice


Re: What is the pull of gravity of that rock?

you forgot Yummyness (or does that epithet only apply to attractive soccer mums in SUV's?) :-)


What is the pull of gravity of that rock?

Given that the comet itself isn't big enough to pull itself into a ball I would assume the gravity is very low? So the (second) landing would have been potentially quite slow and soft?

Consumer group SLAMS NASA for letting Google rent $1bn 'playground'


Re: 60 year lease - What makes you think...

.. that Google didn't pay the lease in cash from their chump change so that they can use the prepaid expenses as an ongoing tax deduction for the next 60 years?


GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim


Thats a nice piece of research you have there... pity if something should happen to it...

My research indicates that this latest Danish research is not actual research at all, but is actually 'techni-research' composed of 'techni-data' that, (collectively), mimic the behaviour of real research in every way such that it is indistinguishable from real research.

I therefore submit that I should be paid umpteen quintillion dollars in order to refine my own research so that I can fully identify the nature of this 'techni-research' in order to be able to distinguish between 'techni-' and 'real' research...

AMD pays new CEO $150K LESS than her male predecessor


Given AMD's annoument of layoffs and losses..

...I don't think there is going to be as much of a business to manage for the new incumbent. They could try to argue that the salary reflects the troubled times... Although you could just as easily argue that the difficulties ahead are going to deserve better compensation since they will require very real business acumen to deal with...

That's no – actually it is: DEATH STAR MOON 'could be full of life-friendly water'


The fourth possibility??

...residual vibration from whatever smacked the planet hard enough to leave the 'Death Star' crater... (heavy bits of which might still be embedded under the surface)

Can do better: Tech industry report on Australia's tech curriculum


Not entirely sure this is all as bad as is being made out...

While I would like to see computation being taught earlier, I tend to agree that numeracy must come first. Discrete mathematics is the absolute foundation of our industry, which probably comes as a surprise to those who think that the only thing you need to know to be successful in IT these days is how to search Google or mash up a web site...

To my way of thinking it is better to do a few things really well than to be mediocre across the board. Lets get the kids to the point of understanding what they are reading, and able to perform the most basic mathematical calculations without the need for a calculator to pave the way for more advanced studies in cryptography, algorithm development and algebra.

Jumping in with both feet at primary school might suit the 1% of kids destined for Mensa, but the basic numeracy skills of the average Australian High School student are woefully inadequate at best and leave me worrying for our economic future..

'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder


Re: So basically...

/Me *Points Up to the Register Banner at the top of the page*

See that motto? Biting the hand is precisely what is required more often than not. Unquestioned obedience to authority figures leads to only one destination.

Noblesse oblige actually cuts two ways - it's not just about showering largesse around and basking in reflected glory - there is a certain humility expected as well. Unfortunately big corporate hasn't yet learned that full implications of the role they have stepped into since the demise of the autocracies.

The dictionary of the French Academy, (don't start - that's another nasty discussion entirely), puts it this way: "Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly". Accepting that, then it is up to every one of the new nobility's followers to remind their overlords when they are slipping below that high threshold.

This lady has done absolutely the right thing, and the rest of her Board should do the same...

LOHAN Kickstarter bid IS GO: Back our Vulture 2 spaceplane launch


Another Excuse for an elReg Launch Party?

I was lucky enough to get to the Aussie Register Launch Party and meet the Vulture South crew.... ('nuff said, headache lasted the weekend...)

Now that I'm standing by the letter box eagerly awaiting my LOHAN Pint Pot I'm thinking that getting like-minded individuals into a bar with their respective LOHAN Loot in tow to watch the launch live and toast the accent might be an entirely different, (but appropriate) excuse for a Launch Event all on its own?

Oh bugger... now I will have to watch the mailbox for my invitation to a party as well.... hadn't thought of that...



SHT is commonly used in SMS's

to mean SHiT... I guess prescience happens...

Poll: Australians hate government data retention plan


Metadata == Data

The problem space is entirely defined by two questions:

* Who is using it?

* What are they using it for?

As soon as Metadata becomes a source of Information in its own right, rather than being a description of data located separately, then it becomes data in and of itself..

Blighty in SPAAAACE: Brit-built satellite films the Earth


So that's what causes...

..the squiggly lines in the signal interference noise pattern...

*No worries: I'm just jealous that the Overlords won't get to see my name up there :-( *

LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms


Oh! My GAWD!!





Ground to




Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?


Sorry Mr Kunert - You lost me at...

...'Gartner's Special..'

Gartner may indeed be 'Special' but nothing they have ever produced deserves that title..

Lawsuit claims SpaceX laid off hundreds without proper notice, pay


My Guess? Stack Ranking in action...


Many organisations have tried to energise their workforces through use of stack ranking performance metrics - all have failed eventually. One of the prime boosters of this concept was Microsoft, who only finally gave it up late last year: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303460004579193951987616572

Stack ranking forces the concept of large scale dismissals on an annual basis because it presumes that there will always be a percentage of 'under performers' in any population of employees. In theory culling the drones out leaves space into which higher performing individuals can be employed improving the organisation incrementally over time. On the face of it that argument might not seem far wrong, especially if one looks at government departments where if you sacked all the under performers you might get down to the one person actually doing anything, (likely the cleaner).

But it is too simplistic, and fails horribly in practice since it creates an environment where internal competition, back-stabbing and brown nosing become the only means of keeping a job - performance suffers and the organisation either wakes up to itself, (have to give Microsoft small kudos for that even if it was very late), or it implodes.

If SpaceX is using Stack Ranking then it is a business in which I for one would not want to work...

Help Australia's PM and attorney-general to define metadata


Voice or No Voice - not much has changed...

"after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked,and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country"

Hermann Goering - Nuremberg Trial 1945: http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Hermann.Goering.Quote.65D2

I guess this guy might have been able to help define metadata for the new guard in Canberra...

The Register editorial job ad


We need a new El Reg Unit of Measure

RFC: 04082014 EL Reg Journalist Productivity Gauge

Productive Output of a Novice El Reg Journo == 3 Beers?

Productive Output of an Experienced El Reg Journo == 12 Beers and a couple of Whiskey Chasers?

*This RFC for Unit of Measure open for Public Comment for 24hrs following date of issue.

Kiwi satellite earth station recycled – as radio telescope


So pleased to see this!

I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Warkworth station as a teenager - it was still an (almost brand new!) operational earth station at the time and I remember the chills up my spine when one of the technicians flipped a switch and someone's phone conversation started coming through the control room loudspeaker... I thought at the time it was both spooky and kind of cool - half a lifetime and an Edward Snowden event later it would just be creepy..

It is fantastic to see such an iconic piece of New Zealand's technological heritage being repurposed for worthwhile science - it would have been a true shame if the gas axes had come out for it...

*Edit: Spelling

FREE PARTY for TEN lucky Australian Reg readers


Party Party Party

A REGISTER Party in Oz?

I reckon it must be because

We'd all like to think

That we know how to drink

And our business aint really that stink

Lower prices are BAD FOR CONSUMERS, says Turnbull


We need a new elReg Unit of Measure?

"...somewhere between unusual and unprecedented..."

All I can suggest is that this new Unit of Measure needs to reference the length of the snouts in the trough somehow....

NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years


"..If we ever wish to live on another planet, we should first send our bacteria, and give them a few hundred million years to get things set up for us..."

So you are suggesting that our new alien overlords might be only a few years away from arrival after having sent their bacteria on ahead a few hundred millenia ago to prepare the planet for them??

Surprise! NSA's first ever 'transparency' 'report' is anything but


Re: Perfect transparency

We know we are in trouble when transmissions from amanfromMars are more transparent and coherent than those of the NSA....

Information Technology Supplier Advocate job abolished


Umm... just another QUANGO?

Is it possible that since the "CEO of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA), was unaware of the position's existence" it wasn't actually having any effect?

If the people meant to benefit from the role dont know anything about it, it speaks volumes for what was actually happening behind the scenes... The road to hell being paved with good intentions and all that...

When will Microsoft next run out of US IPv4 addresses for Azure?


..it probably could not foresee the need for quite as many addresses..

"640K ought to be enough for anybody."

Is it the end of Big Data? Quarta Horribilis for high-end storage


I had to laugh at The Reg's choice of links on the right of this article:

"HP: You know what's hot right now? Cloud* storage "


New IPCC report: 8 ways climate change will throw world into peril


..everyone can identify with slower maturation of wine grapes as an issue worth tackling! ..

Not really... I've always found the Late Harvest Rieslings from Western Australia's Southern Coastal areas, (Denmark + Mount Barker particularly), to be the most delicious and refreshing of all the great tipples... if there's more of it, all the better :-)

NSW government gets into the smartphone case business


Re: *The "Opal" name is consciously modelled on London's "Oyster Card".

ermmmmm.... 'cos you gets Opal's from Oysters perhaps?

National Broadband Network (NBN)


Re: National Broadband Network (NBN)

Athough the NBN is (maybe) going to have an impact on internet bandwidth, (depending on the level of idiocy built into the Plans that the vendors eventually decide to push on us), the rollout is defiitely having an impact on my commercial ISDN contracts around the country.

Telstra don't seem to have an actual Plan B for what to do when they have to hand over the copper once a zone has been designated as an NBN area, but I have been supplied with a list of dates by my account executive indicating that 'something' needs to happen at about half of my sites around the country over the next year or so... I'm not that worried about what the 'something' might be so long as it works and I don't lose connectivity anywhere...

Seems like a disaster waiting to happen to me...

HOLD THE PHONE, NSA! Judge bans 'Orwellian' US cellphone records slurp


Months might not be far wrong....

It took Hitler less than two months following the burning of the Reichstag to get the Enabling Act passed by the legislature - thereby effectively ending the Weimar Republic and installing himself as Dictator...

I wonder what sort of shenanigans the US Legislature might get up to in order to sidestep this decision? After all having to stop spying on people and destroy all that potentially incriminating, (read intimidating), 'evidence' must constitute an enormous threat to US National Secuirty in some people's eyes - surely a bigger threat than the burning down of a single building in Berlin all those years ago....

Astroboffins spot HOT, YOUNG GIANT where she doesn't belong


..possibly a silly question..

...but given the system is 'only' @18 million years old, is it not possible that it is a binary system that is still in the process of forming? The exo-plant could be a proto brown dwarf that is still accreting material and coud light up once it gains sifficient mass?

- assuming there is any quantity of gas still available in the vacinity for it to hoover up of course...

Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m


A better than Stellar solution???

If fusion of nickel (atomic weight 28) with hydrogen to produce copper (atomic weight 29) is so energy efficient....

...wouldn't you think that natural physics would have equipped STARS with the capability of extending their lives by doing just that, instead of choking at the iron (atomic weight 26) production stage and exploding into quintillions of teensy weensy bits????

I can almost see the mushroom clouds on the horizon now.....

Sysadmin job ad: 'If you don’t mind really bad work-life balance, this is for you'


..I don't need to apply..

...that sounds like that job I'm being paid to do right now!! My current employers just weren't quite so honest about it in the PD though :-(

I absolutely commend these guys for recognising exactly how tough a gig it is to be that person "at the epicentre of all". Whoever gets the job will have no excuses that they weren't warned about hat they would be walking into, I just hope they have the balls to ask to be paid what the role is truly worth...