* Posts by flibbertigibbet

76 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Jan 2011


The Australian Bureau of Statistics has made a hash of the census


> It's a mess that the ABS created for itself.

> It takes a lot to make me say “security is now no longer the primary consideration”, but that's what the ABS has achieved.

The first statement is true. Their steadfast refusal to describe in concrete terms what their security arrangements are is bewildering, given the importance the place on getting accurate data. I suspect they haven't cottoned on to the citizens becoming accustomed to instant fact checking, so we where before we were happy to make do with assurances from people in power we now expect to be able to verify what they say. The ABS thinks it can get away without providing that verification, as they have done in the past.

The second para is a bit of a stretch given the first one. If you take what they have said, stitch it together (it's strewn across a wide variety of web pages), and then fill in the blanks in a positive way, you end up with a fairly secure arrangement. Well as secure as it can be given ultimately it's all down to the whim of a minister. It isn't overly different security wise to what they did in the previous census.

For now I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and calling this a public relations disaster, caused by old men not realising people expect a greater level of transparency now we have the internet. Not only that, the same internet has given them a voice to complain loudly and widely if that transparency isn't delivered, allowing them to chip away at the trust the ABS needs from the populace to do it's job well.

They don't really have a choice here - the problem is this is a new thing, and they haven't figured this our for themselves yet.

Samsung: Thought your PIPE was FAT? Check our 4.6 GIGABIT WiFi


Heard of WiGig?

For those of you who haven't head of WiGig and don't want to go to Wikipedia to look it up, here are it's specs:

IEEE name: 802.11ad

Frequency: 60MHz

Max speed: deliver data transfer rates up to 7 Gbit/s

How it works: propagate off reflections from walls, ceilings, floors and objects using beamforming built into the WiGig system.

Sound familiar?

NSW to expand e-voting

Paris Hilton

And it works .... how?

As a citizen wishing to stay informed, I'm interested in how it works. Why should we trust it over the current system?

We already have other electronic voting systems, designed and implemented in Australia, that I know do work. (The one designed by the Victorian Electoral Commission.)

Who knows, the may work too. Or it may be another Diebold disaster. There is no way to know from this article.

(Paris because after reading the article, I'm left feeling like I don't have a clue.)

Bitcoin bust litigants fling sueballs at Japanese bank

Black Helicopters

Run for the hills

Hmmm. So some Mt Gox victims are angry enough to sue a Japanese bank. Given enough anger and desperation some people will do anything.

When $350M has been lost there will be no shortage of anger. People will be angry enough to chase these bits down down, for years if needed. Some people might waste their time on suing Mt Box banks, but others will be clever, and technically literate.

Hence the icon. If it was me, heading off to my Montana bunker complex would be my very next move.

MtGox remedy worse than the disease says Kaspersky researcher


Re: Le résumé de la situation

In other words, over a five-year period the bitcoin bank went from a (presumably) 100% reserve ratio to holding less than 3% reserves… and no one noticed!

Firstly, it wasn't five years. It was at most one, because 1 year ago was when the miners started rejecting the badly formatted transactions created by Mt Gox. While the miners were accepting those bad transactions there was no window created by the "malleability" problem to exploit.

Secondly, it almost certainly wasn't one year. For most of that year Mt Gox handled the rejected transactions manually. You had to contact a human and ask them to fix a problem. So if you are right Mt Gox manually authorised $350M worth of double spends. And no one noticed?!?!?

I don't think so. To err is human. But to fuck things up on this scale requires a computer, and only a computer, in the loop.

I'd give the time period two months at most. Which puts it over the Xmas / New Year period.

Black Helicopters

Re: Bravo

Are you sure? Because surely social engineering at it finest would manage to steal bitcoins. As you say yourself "I wonder how many bitcoins that guy got?" No one knows. All we have here is Kaspersky releasing a media statement saying what every bitcoin bulletin board had in big red letters around the links to the file. If the goal of media statements is free publicity I guess that has been a success.

There are few more paranoid communities on the planet than bitcoin owners. If you have paid any attention whatsoever over the past few years to the bitcoin headlines, I'm sure you would regard this as justified.

And who does little piece of social engineering this target? The most paranoid of that choice crop. The goods maybe odd, but I'm not sure the odds were good.

NBN Co tells iiNet: Use Broadcom chips in VDSL routers

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And openwrt supports it


But no WiFi. Which is a shame. ISP's around the world are handing out modems with an open WiFi ESSID other subscribers can use when they are out and about. I haven't seen any real sign of that happening in Australia. I wonder if it is because the dominant carriers are also mobile phone carriers.

Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO


We have it so easy

Today's world is so complex.

The headline notwithstanding, my son is a computer programmer. He immediately decided the browser is today's computer, so almost all of his time has been spent wring javascript, html, and the backends that serve them up.

One day he described what his world was like. His backend served static files; HTML, javascript and later the data via AJAX. The javascript effectively implemented his GUI - by rewriting HTML. Granted using bltbit or curses is harder - but not by much. Effectively, every time he wrote a AJAX backend, he was designing his own database protocol, complete with queries and transactions. I don't think he realised that. He had to write it in two difference languages of course - javascript and whatever he was using in the backend.

He used firefox to get it work because it had the best development tools. (Now he uses chrome.) The next step was the worst. It had to work in IE 6. So he would fire up IE in a VM, point it at his server, and be confronted with a blank screen. His javascript had died somewhere, so nothing was rendered. IE 6 had no debugger, no way of examining the DOM, no guaranteed way for is code to communicate with him. It reminded me of when you first load a microcontroller and it just sits there. You struggle for the next few days to debug the initialisation sequence so you can flash a LED, or something.

Once he had done that, his next problem was different javascript leaks in different browsers. Getting acceptable performance was a new struggle for with each browser.

Apparently it's much better now. There are even useful javascript libraries that actually reduce the amount of code you have to write - at the expense of leaky abstractions and API's with the code as their only documentation. Maybe one day they will even get a to having tools like Access that mean you don't actually know have to write code. But that's a long way off, they haven't even settled on a way of talking to a database. And once they do, they don't have Mores law to absorb the overheads.

So yes, we have is a new generation of coders using CPU's and storage many magnitudes better than we had. And with all that power, what did we give them? A facsimile of the same world we lived in. Same limitations, just more complex.

Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

Paris Hilton

Linus is being far too polite. Transistor counts on these SOC's are in the multiple of billions. Reserving a couple of thousand so the software can detect the hardware it is running on and configure itself appropriately is a no-brainer.

It makes everyone's life so much easier. It means the kernel writers can take on the burden of identifying and configuring the hardware, so the manufacturers, retailers and what not can just have one firmware image that runs on everything - just like Microsoft and the Linux distributions do. "How to find the board revision number of your hardware" becomes unnecessary.

Arsehole doesn't begin to describe the mentality of these hardware designers. Absolute arrogant pricks. Paris because they are high maintenance, just like her.

Turnbull floats e-vote, compulsory ID


Just to put things into context

I don't know what Turnbull is proposing, but my guess it isn't Diebold. Or if it is, we can assume his department will educate him.

Electronic voting can be reasonably secure. There are voting schemes that are "end to end" verifiable, meaning that every voter can verify their vote was counted accurately, and they manage to pull that off while preserving anonymity. Google "end to end verifiable voting" if you are courious. These schemes were developed in about 2009. You don't need a math or computer background to understand them.

Victoria was/is in the developing voting machines based on such a scheme. As I recall the major driving force was to make voting possible for non-english speakers and the disabled, but when confronted with a federal senate ballot most Australian's feel intellectually feeble. And to answer one criticism above, yes these machines DO allow an informal vote.

As for Turnbull's ID proposal - he hasn't thought it through. It can't be something you only use to vote, because no one will remember to bring it. It has to be a photo ID or other biometric, otherwise your friends can still borrow your ID and vote for you. Hmmm. Sounds like an Australia card, all over again.

The solution for the senate debacle is simple. Enforce preferential voting, below the line. But you only get to number 6 boxes - the 6 people you want to represent your state.

BAN THIS SICK FILCH: Which? demands end to £1.50-per-min 'help' lines


Re: So misinformed it has to be trolling from Which

Thanks for the clarification. This was difficult to believe.

We have the same problem here in Australia. Companies publish 13 and 1800 numbers because they are in free - for land line customers. Mobile carriers charge them at a premium. I am buggered if I know why, but it pisses me off something chronic.

As it happens, just like the UK it costs Aussie companies a pretty packet to provide those "cheaper" numbers, so they often publish the normal land line number beside them. They are the saviour of savy mobile users.

Silicon daddy: Moore's Law about to be repealed, but don't blame physics

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He is effectively predicting 3D won't work out

At say 10um, a 1mm high chip can have around 2^16 layers. If we double every 2 years, that's another 3 decades after 2020.

A few weeks ago, I would of said maybe a bet against 3D was reasonable. Then Samsung released their V-NAND with 24 layers.

Oracle launches paid support for 'free' NoSQL database


Re: What have you got against the de-tivoization?

I'm against it because as far as I can see it actively harms the adoption of open source software. Can we use GPLv3 software in an app store environment? Nope - Google / Apple / Whoever control the keys. It is compatible with TPM anonymous attestation? Nope - the hardware manufacturer controls the keys.

And for what? Does the anti TiVo provision somehow force even greater contributions by companies like TiVo to open source software? Nope. If anything the reverse, as TiVo may decide to use something else. Does it prevent someone else from using TiVo's software on their own hardware? Nope.

The bottom line is that anti TiVo clause has done more harm to the FSF that anything in recent memory. If it wasn't there, the GPLv3 would have been adopted by all GPLv2 users without a whimper. It is a far stronger licence, and beautifully written. But it does have the TiVo clause so that hasn't happened. Which is a shame, because the world would be a better place if we had a suite of GPL licences everybody who likes copyleft could stomach.


Of course Google doesn't like it

If Google's paid for AppEngine used some AGPL code, they would have to publish all of its source code on the same basis as the person they "borrowed" the AGPL code from. Horror or horrors. That means the person they borrowed it off start up a competing AppEngine. Ekkk!

The AGPLv3 would be my favourite open source license, if it wasn't for that TiVo clause. Unlike AGPLv2 it includes a patent clause, and unlike GPLv3 it works in a cloud based world.

Gawd, how I hate the TiVo clause.

Fancy some mobile filth? New logo tells you when not to bother


Re: Is porn a problem?

@Mycho: Porn is not the problem - you are.

Don't confuse the argument with facts. This has nothing to do with facts.

These people don't like porn. It's a simple thing. Logic, reality or reasoning has nothing to do with it. Porn is bad. They want you to just accept it with without thinking. Can't blame them really, as it's a bit like my attitude to Brussels sprouts.

The nasty bit is they don't care what you think have to because they have the reigns of power now, so they will do what's good for you even if you don't like it. You'll be better off for it, they swear.

Don't worry, just be patient. if you are the same as them, you will get to have your revenge when the pendulum swings the other way.

WTF is... LTE Advanced?

Thumb Up

Awesome article

Just wanted to say thanks.

A backdoor into Skype for the Feds? You're joking...


The sooner the better

Introducing this legislation won't change anything, any more than introducing legislation allowing the NSA to put mass taps into AT&T's exchanges didn't change anything. They were already doing it.

Likewise anybody who thinks communications that passes through a central choke point (Microsoft, I'm looking at you with Skype traffic) that can decrypt it won't be decrypted is living on a different planet to me.

To put it another way, Companies that advertise snake oil like secure communications will have a new road block in their path. If this legislation passes they effectively have to claim they are breaking the law. Hopefully that will make a debacle like Hushmail a lot less likely.

That's got to be good, surely.

Oh, if you really want secure communications, it isn't hard. You just need end to end encryption implemented in open source software. That's another thing this legislation will make plain - at least to those who think about it.

CSIRO scales up solar cell printing


Other things it would be nice to know

If this stuff approaches the price of paint, then they have a winner.

Alternatively, it has to last for a long time. Organics typically don't, and nowhere I've seen mentions it. Silicon is already at $1/Watt, and it lasts for 25 years or so. Regardless of how easy it is to apply, if this stuff only lasts 5 years and costs the same as Silicon, maintenance costs will kill it.

Hemp used to make graphene-like supercapacitors


Re: Define your units please

Oh - sorry then. Maybe a "Joke Ahead" icon would help next time.


Re: Define your units please

Sorry FlyingPhil, I didn't realise there were people here who didn't know SI units, didn't know how to use google, and didn't know that they didn't know.

So here, let me help you out. Since theregister sets "nofollow" you will have to copy & paste this link into your browser: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule#Megajoule

I trust you know how to copy & paste. If not report back. I sure there will be sure to many willing helpers if you don't.


We are all saved!!

Well, it's either that or there is a typo. 46 KW*hr per kilo corresponds to specific energy of around 165 MJ / kg, which is extraordinary. Diesel is only manages 46 MJ / kg.

If it is true I predict electric cars and renewables will be running the world by the end of the decade, and global warming is henceforth a non-issue.

That's what the beer is for: Here's hoping!

Google forges BigTable-based NoSQL datastore

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Jeeze, where did you spring from?

The tightest, most information packed review of competing cloud systems I've seen. Where the fuck you did you come from?

Apache attack drives traffic to malware


Re: As vague as the last post on this subject....

It's a cpanel vulnerability. It has nothing whatsoever to do with apache other than this particular virus replaces the apache daemon with its own version after it has exploited the vulnerability.

BT unleashes SIP licensing troll army


How does this work?

One of the patents listed in the licence agreement, 8,032,656, was filed in 2007. The SIP RFC is dated 2002. How does that work? In fact about 1/2 the patents were filed after the first SIP RFC was published in 1999.

BT - Brittan's Troll.

Nokia: OK, Q1 has been weak, but there's 'underlying' profit


Re: @Spoddy

@Thomas 4: if Microsoft allowed its hardware developers a little more flexibility when it comes to designing the phones, they'd be a lot more successful.

WP achieves some remarkable things. It is crisp and fast, and gets good battery life, and achieves that on cheap hardware. In fact, out of Android, iOS and WP, WP achieves the best results with the least hardware. And it is also very stable for a newly released OS.

But this comes at a price. The API's are so locked down it's hard to achieve anything that Microsoft plan for you to do. Yeah, it means the app writers have far less opportunities to drain the battery or compromise the system, but it also means if you want to write the some unusual app that needs to do stuff in the background - you are out of luck.

All old the WinCE stuff I've used was about as stable as jelly in an oven. Yet WP7, which was WinCE based, is solid as a rock. The reason WinCE was so bad is it isn't open source, so when your driver or hardware went wrong it disappeared up into it's own digital arse into a binary blob Microsoft never allowed you to see, leaving the OEM without a clue what happened. With WP7 Microsoft fixed that by ensuring no one but them was allowed to design the electronics or write a drivers for it. So that means there will be no Samsung style double sensor touch screens, or any other hardware device until Microsoft has put it into one of their reference designs and written drivers to support it.

So you end up with a fast, stable, power sipping OS & hardware combination that does what it's designers planned and nothing more. For people who like their things stable and familiar I'm sure it works a treat.

Australia's alternative NBN plan: some taxpayer-friendly questions


What happens to the current POTS system?

1. One of the big changes the NBN is going to bring about is abandonment of the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS). The replacement is going to be SIP (VOIP) everywhere. This is a profound architectural change. When everything becomes SIP a phone number no longer has to terminate at the end of a wire. Suddenly your Smartphone with a SIP stack can also be your home phone - and while you are at work. And SIP doesn't just support voice, it supports video as well. Does the NBN plan continue with this?

2. Another change is the NBN was going to deliver several ports to the house. This meant pay TV could be on one, your ISP could be on another, and your work's VPN could be on a third. The major effect of this is to break the cable companies monopoly on the delivery of pay TV. Does the new Libs NBN have an equivalent?

3. Telstra has disabled multicast on their fibre rollout in South Brisbane, presumably to shield FoxTel (which they own part of) from competition from the Internet. Will the Libs NBN include provisions to ensure specialised IP routing like multicast and anycast are available to all ISP's?

'Australia's so big freight costs are high' claims don't add up


NZ shows the way ...

Being an Ozzie I don't normally go looking at NZ posts web site, but today I did so for a friend. And bugger me, one of the products listed is a USA Shipping address:


Those Kiwi's are sneaky bastards. And yes, in this case bastard is an Ozzie term of endearment.

Foxtel cries wolf at the threat of fast broadband


Spin, spin, spin

I'd lay odds piracy is only a minor concern, and here is being used as a foil for what their real problem is: competition.

They have an effective monopoly on terrestrial pay TV because of their tie in with the owners of that cable. With the NBN anyone can set up a pay TV network, and undoubtedly quite a few will try their had at it.

There goes the cosy monopoly. Now that's really going to hurt.

Apple 'insider' explains why vid adapter hides ARM computer


Copy & Paste from /. ?

The exact same post appeared on /., earlier:


It looks to me like some kind soul copy and pasted it to Panic's blog.

News Ltd's Australian chief demands copyright overhaul


Maybe they could try selling something...

Observation: from Seven West Media's 2011 annual report, Channel 7's revenues was $225 million last year. They are by far the most profitable, so if you combined Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10, and Foxtel, I doubt their yearly revenues would hit $1B/year.

Put your hands up if you would be willing to pay $20/month for 150 hours of video content (ie 5 hours/day), without ads. If every house the NBN passes did that, the total would be $1.4 Billion - ie more than they are making now, and being legit would be far easier than pirating it! See - it doesn't take much imagination to fix the problem and make money.

PS: Where did Kim pull that $1.37 Billion figure from? (That is purely a rhetorical question - I have a fair idea where it was pulled from.) He appears to be claiming TV's would be more than double what they do now if only piracy was stopped. Yeah, right.

NBN could cut $AU600m+ from telco maintenance bills

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And thanks to Richard ...

For bring this torch out of whatever dark hole it was hiding in so we can all see it. It's nice to have numbers to quantify things.

Nokia CEO: No shift from Windows Phone


If you want to be remembered as the Captian that went down with your ship

... then you absolutely have to make sure the ship goes down.

Australian government gouged on PC software prices


And Dell joins the club.

Take the Dell Precision 4700 laptop, in the one default configuration offered www.dell.com.au:

From www.dell.com: $1549.

From www.dell.com.au: $3599.

That's a 232% increase. I wish it was a joke, but I think they are serious.

Huawei Ascend P1 Android review


Re: Samsung

@Matt Ryan: "Actually, the Samsung additions aren't too bad. The email client for example is better than stock."

Are we talking about the same Samsung - you know the Korean company that dominates the Android smartphone landscape? Because I have a Galaxy Nexus, and my wife has a Samsung phone, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind, Samsung's customisations are shit.

Since you pick out the email client, I'll tell you a thing or two about it. Samsung decided to add a feature to the email client - push email. Sounds reasonable. So how did they do it? What they do is ask you for all your login details, and them store them in some server in Korea. That server then downloads all your emails, and then pushes them to phone. Maybe you think that is OK. Well bear these two facts in mind: the IMAP protocol already supports push email, and in order to support this feature they got rid of every other feature IMAP supports. Like server side searches, or viewing any folder other than the Inbox.

Maybe you don't mind having your cleartext email being copied to a remote country without your knowledge, along with your credentials. But what you will mind is they have a bug. The system occasionally deletes emails it doesn't like. They aren't copied to the trash. They just vanish.

How do I know all this? Well I run my own email server as a hobby. My wife complained of a missing email, which I of course blamed on her "girling" it. But then I tracked it down (because I archive every email that passes through my server), resent it, watched it hit the IMAP inbox folder on disk, then watched to my amazement as it disappeared. It was an IMAP client deleting it, whose domain name turned out to be apac007-egress-a.fra.samsungsocialhub.com.

Australia on path to social media regulation


Fuck, I hope not.

I have to live in this country.

And to be honest, with Tony Abbott championing the canonization Andrew Bolt as patron saint of free speech, it seems very unlikely.

Microsoft Surface slate: Acer, resellers predict a riot


Clam down people

The surface is based on the same OS as WinPhone. Why are they panicking? No one is going to buy the thing anyway.

Climate change behind extreme weather, says NASA


just to correct a few miss understandings

Australia's carbon tax indeed isn't revenue neutral. The nett effect on the treasury was to reduce(!) the governments tax income to the tune of 4 billion over a few years. It could even be described as a tax cut.

And tes there must indeed be an overhead for collecting the tax, but in this case it is probably negligible as it only effects 300 corporations.

The first audit of the carbon tax appeared in the news today, and the effects on prices were less than predicted by treasury. There is some speculation this is because the utility bill's (it mostly effects electricity) haven't hit businesses yet. The more likely explanation in my is it is having bugger all effect because it does bugger all. It planned to transition to a European like trading scheme in the future, and like the European scheme it is supposed to get some real teeth in the future too, but that will require more legislation.

For the most appropriate description on the carbon tax is it is more an attempt at income redistribution. The poor have been overcompensated, and those earning above $90k (average wage is $60k and the mode is lower again of course) will end up paying more. This probably isn't a bad thing. It isn't welfare (as you only pay tax if you are earning something) and Australia's GINI index has been going up over the past decade.

As for the long tailpipe argument going on here, yes electric cars won't make much difference is you get the electricity from fossil fuels but that misses the point. They are one of the few things ideally suited to the intermittent power produced by renewables, and when you power them with renewables there emissions are close to 0. Still, they aren't useful while batteries suck, and it looks like batteries will be sucking for decades yet.

Finally blaming the fortunes on the Gillard government on the carbon tax is a bit of a stretch. Gillard is a lousy politician (after all she gave most people a tax reduction and yet _she_ labelled it a tax) and she has the charisma of a lamp shade. It's a pity people judge her on that, because she has puledl the budget back into balance during a period of declining tax revenue due to a world wide downturn. To me she looks like a dull but effective administrator.

Online retail drives card fraud in Oz


Surely we will get rid of CNP transactions one day?

With most cards being smartcards now, surely one day the vendors will insist they can actually talk to the card even during an online transaction. It's not exactly rocket science.

Aus cyber-safety unit loses punters' info in the post


> You couldn't make this up.

Actually, it gets better. The government contractor that lost the DVD was our very own AusCERT.

Users still slack about passwords: Trustwave


Pot calling the kettle black

Here we have a company that sold a signing cert berating individuals for sloppy password management? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/14/trustwave_analysis/

Well I guess they would know a thing or two about sloppy management of secrets.

Asia needs US$1.1 trillion telco spend this decade to stay digital


CEO of firm tells region they must spend $1.1 trillion on products his firm manufactures.

Clearly El Reg went to some lengths to find a completely unbiased source for this article.

Google to FCC: Protecting Street View coder didn't derail probe


Re: Kismet

> However I'm sure this could have been gathered by simple scanning for broadcasting SSIDs, without slurping all traffic on any unencrypted WiFi network within radio range.

They were after mac addresses, not SSID's. That aside, you only get one shot at this. If you WiFi sniffing doesn't work sending the Street View car on another trip around the world isn't really possible, is it? Engineering wise if you want something to be reliable you make it as simple as possible. In this case the simplest thing to do is write all captured WiFi frames to disk. You then analyse it offline. That way if there is a bug in your analysis code you only notice a days or weeks later nothing is lost - you just re-run it.

It is a pretty simple design decision, and privacy law aside the Google engineer got it right.

TV Now was too good, and that was its downfall


Ye Gods, how many ways can a hair be split

Jeezz, technology is straining things to breaking point.

Their Honours have jumped through some heroic loops to put this little train of logic together. I can't help but think is because they know in their heart the drafters of the law did not intend it to wipe out commercial sporting codes, and so they have tried to interpret in a way that doesn't.

All they've done is delay the inevitable. Anyone with a decent DVR can record these shows now - I do. Surely with the advent of the NBN device as simple as a toaster that can record it and play it to your phone can't be more than a decade away.

> These sports are funded in part by the broadcast rights they sell. Optus were not paying for this.

No, but the entity that broadcast the data and have gave it to Optus for free did pay for it. As @P.Lee said, Telstra paid for diddly squat. I am not sure how they managed to convince themselves the footage was worth something after it has been broadcast on free to air.

Nokia's fontastic Pure wins 'design Oscar'


@Ragarath: that's a seriously good spot

+1, an unbelievably good spot that destroys the integrity of, well, someone. I wonder if the award is based on a fraud?

Post-iiNet ISPs may celebrate, but hosts should fret


Hosting companies

Surely there is no argument DMCA was always intended to cover hosting companies and the like. This isn't a surprise, it is how it's designers intended it.

Kiwi three strikes law closes on first victims


NZ$15,000 for downloading songs that sell for $1? I thought the Kiwi's had lost lost all sense of proportion when they starts jailing parents for smacking their kids, but clearly not. There was still some left to lose.

Nokia on 'brink of failure', warns analyst


Amazing how they consistently get it wrong

Blind freddy can see Nokia's WinPhone experiment has been a total failure (with even the N9 outselling the WP7 models), Elop's judgement calls in the smartphone area a complete train wreck, and yes Google's 20 man Android dev team leaves Microsoft's WinPhone team eating it's dust. I assume even Nokia now realises their smartphone platform is dead.

However this does not mean Nokia is dead. Nokia is primarily a feature phone maker. They make most of their revenue from feature phones (obviously, since they don't sell significant numbers smartphones any more). Nokia's survival hangs on whether they continue to do this. They are fighting tooth and nail in this area. (As one wag pointed out in another forum, Nokia's feature phones actually do more than their smartphones do now.)

So this "analyst" has it completely arse about. Nokia's survival doesn't depend on WinPhone 7. It depends on Meltemi, which is what the next generation of Nokia's feature phones will running. It is a Maemo / Meego derivative, ie Linux. It never ceases to amaze me how these people manage to get it completely wrong, and still manage to make the news headlines. Brickbats to ElReg for putting them there.

Oz parliament may investigate tech price discrimination


You know the game is up ...

It's been a great scam while it lasted, but you know the game is up when even the pollies have caught on.

I recall many years ago our federal Government enthusiastically supported the creation of these dirty little back room cartels by clamping down on "grey marketing". I think that was back in the Frazer years, but while Hawk & Keating tore down most of it, the most recent example of it was the Labor governments continued support of the ban on parallel import of books.

Retail is in for a rough ride as these cosy little back room relationships are torn apart by competition. We will all be better off because of it.

iPhone 5 gets a 5in screen


Phones? What phones?

I remember mobile phones. They were quaint little things. You could fit 5 of them in your pocket, they lasted 2 weeks on a single charge, and you could leave them on the car roof, watch them bounce down the street, pick them up and they would still work. If people wanted phones they would still be buying those things. I hear some people still do.

The rest of us are buying mini computer than allows us to browse the web, read emails, draw pictures, take and edit videos, play movies, navigate down a street, be a wifi access point, yada, yada, yada. Oh yeah, you also make phone calls on them but compare those old mobile phones they aren't too good at that - too big, too power hungry, too fragile.

Turns out for most of the things you do with these newfangled things big is good. People get over their shock at the Galaxy Note by using the thing to browse the web and read emails, and rapidly come to the realisation that it is really, really good at doing those things. And it does actually fit into a pocket or handbag and is light enough to carry around all day without noticing. Yes it sucks at making phone calls - holding something that big up to your ear looks funny and feels awkward. But then again, if making phone calls was the priority, you would have bought a yesteryear mobile phone, and you didn't.

Canberra fire demonstrates emergency messaging limits


Ah, another reason for the NBN

If it survives the NBN will eliminate this problem. It replaces the current switch fabric with VOIP - ie the internet. The circuits in the exchanges that clogged will become land fill. And the volume of traffic that caused them choke will barely be noticed on the internet backbone, as it already carries orders magnitude more traffic now.