* Posts by leeCh

35 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Apr 2012

New Yorkers react to strikingly indifferent statue of Elon Musk with cheerful hostility


Suitable for rocket fuel?

Well if rubber can be used, why not grind up this polyester resin and turn him into a solid fuel booster rocket?

Although would you still have to put the allergen warning on the outside of such a rocket - "May contain traces of nuts"?

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops


NZ Themed

So that would be:

"Flight of the Dischords"?

To hack Australia and learn its secrets, buy second-hand furniture


Even charities get this

I was once buying some stuff on tender from a charity, they had closed down one of their offices. When I turned up to get what I had bought they were busy drilling out the lock on an old safe (no key) just to make sure there was nothing important inside it.

The only thing that could have been in there was old financial data or patient records, but they still wanted to make sure - in the end it was empty.

A charity in a 3rd world country thought that checking what was in a locked old safe was appropriate, yet a locked cabinet in a 1st world country (that weighs too much) doesn't warrant the same care...

Spanish village celebrates Playmobil nativity


Lego / Playmobil - which would the baby cheesuz have played with?

Cos if you've ever actually read it, the Magi (AKA Wise Men, really astrologers) took a couple of years to get there, found the Toddler Cheese (no longer baby bel) in a house, gave him his 3 pressies - which DID NOT include either Lego or Playmobil - yeah I know he's 2, choking hazards and all that, but come on...

Then they bogged off without telling Herod, who did have a tantrum and threw all of his Lego / Playmobil all around, before getting every toddler 2 and under slaughtered.

Gotta love Xmas - it's called xmas cos it's like a skin rash.

Battery-free IoT sensor feeds off radio waves

Black Helicopters

Speaking of Tesla

I vaguely remember something from the '80s about Texas Instruments fabbing the circuit of a Tesla coil onto a chip.

The thing ended working like a broadband RF receiver and could pull a little power from radio waves.

No idea what happened to it ... (looking over my shoulder at the Union Carbide man)

Power your temperature sensor with this BONKERS router hack

Black Helicopters

Let's not forget Tesla

Well you did show a picture of a nice Tesla coil.

Back in the early-mid 80s some techies in Texas Instruments supposedly stuck a Tesla coil circuit onto a chip. The thing turned out to be a broad band RF receiver and could rather nicely suck small amounts of usable power out of ambient EM noise. Which is probably why since then I've never been able to find anything more about it (hunting for my tinfoil hat to protect the conspiracy theories).

It was published in Science weekly in the above time period. Hopefully not an April 1 issue.

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence


Apparently Ham never read his Bible

Kind of ironic that a man sporting the name of one of Moses' sons never appreciated that what was written in the New Testament (Hebrews chapter 4 for those playing at home) which is referring to the Old Testament (Psalm 95:11 and of course the Genesis account) and makes it pretty plain that the seventh day (the 'Rest day') was still ongoing several decades after Jesus' death. In other words, the creative 'days' are epochs not literal 24 hour periods.

No wonder 'Creationists' get such a bad name, they don't even know their own reference work well enough to explain it properly.

Sigh ...

Mad Max: Fury Road – two hours of nonstop, utterly insane fantasy action


Re: Buzz Words

"Just non stop fun. Makes me almost want to lie down in the middle of a road and take a long nap......"

So you live in the Northern Territory then?

Presumably that's after you've done your bit to keep up the Territory's average alcohol consumption.

Haven't seen the movie yet, but the vehicles in the promo look like they're based on the one they used to roundup wild buffalo that's currently rusting outside of the Bark Hut (which is a pub of course) on the Arnhem Highway.

Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows


Here's my suggestion for AV + some others

Go here first: AV-Test.org

I resorted the results (Protection, Performance, Usability) and turned up 360 Internet Security as a really good free option. What I also like is that they list the default Windows AV option as 'the baseline'.

VLC - don't get the Windows 8 version (it's still too crappy) - go for the classic.

I'd also recommend WinDirStat for finding what's taking up all the room on your disk. And Auslogics DiskDefrag (but none of their other stuff).

The other tool I always have is XVI32 - best freaking hex editor out there.

Patch Windows boxes NOW – unless you want to be owned by a web page or network packet


Welcome back Windows!

With all of these super nasty andROID, iOS, OSuX and *nix exploits out there I was starting to get disappointed that you weren't keeping up.

And will whomever is dishing out the OSuX malware actually target the financial credentials of their users - 'cos let's face it, if you got that much money to burn, you ain't going to notice a bit missing ...

El Reg's Deep Outback XP upgrade almost foiled by KILLER ARACHNIDS


Re: Air con - for the computers I hope!

120% humidity for Top End (top of the NT) sounds about right for the wet season, which is where Batchelor is, Willowra is a bit further south and not quite so sticky, but potentially a lot hotter.

In that kind of humidity you take around twenty steps out of your A/Ced office and you are literally soaking in your own sweat. And I do mean literally, not figuratively.

Which is why an NT stubby holds around 2 litres of beer (although no local drinks that rubbish, go for mini-kegs instead). 'Cos you gotta stay hydrated or get inebriated enough that you don't care. Plus there's a lot of renal care facilities up here just in case...

Microsoft Australia slashes price of Surface Pro 128GB by $AUD400


I'd put my money on a Toshiba Encore

I bought one at the end of last year (boxing day sales naturally). Fantastic little unit that runs full Win8.1 for around $300 + another $80 for an extra 32Gb SD Card. $120 cheaper than either of your options. It's my preferred portable option now.

My 17" laptop (also new - thanks JB HiFi for screwing up your pricing so spectacularly well, I REALLY appreciated that) is also portable, but at just under 3kg it normally lives on my desk.

Qantas' biggest problems are … Apple, Samsung and Google?


Five Words ...

Alan Joyce and the Board

As the old saying goes: "The fish rots from the head".

When the problem is this bad there's no one else to blame but those in charge. And when they (especially Alan Joyce) blame everyone and everything else, then that's the clear marker that the blame really lies with the one doing all of the finger pointing.

Hopefully, as another oldish saying goes "Alan Joyce. You are the weakest link. Goodbye"

Passenger jet grounded by two-hour insect attack


Nothing New

Some of the original touch screens used arrays of lightbeams across the screen to identify where you've left your grubby fingerprints.

Unfortunately the little holes in the monitor surround for the light beams happened to be absolutely perfect for certain species of tiny tropical wasp to nest in.

HP TouchScreen 0 - Tiny Tropical Wasp 1.

How my batch process nightmare was solved by a Wombat


Mmmm - Roasted Wombat - maybe not

Wombats aren't exactly small - sorry VMS help - and I wouldn't recommend eating the wombats, not the tastiest.

Then there's the old joke to offend 'nature loving' Victorians - I just love Koalas, they go great with Bacon.

Although Koalas ain't that great either.

Kangaroo (especially the tail) and Emu are both OK. And Croc is definitely good.

But in the end, when it comes to consuming Australian Fauna, it's gotta be Rainbow Lorikeets - although you will need quite a few because there's not much meat on the cheeky little things.

Denver robocops fit Nasal Ranger to perceive potent pot puffing pollution


Lock, Stock and ...

Two smoking barrels, from your double barreled snot gun.

Apple bags top Windows feature: Blue Screen Of Death arrives on iPhone 5S


Hey! Not Fair!

I bought my Windows Phone in good faith that I would experience BSODs.

Now I found out that I should have got an iPhone 5s.

How long before MS fires off legal action against Apple for infringing its "Look and Feel"?

Dell ‘xpands XPS line with 'WORLD-FIRST' MEGA-RESOLUTION laptops


Meh - When it comes to resolution ...

What you really want is one of these from Panasonic.


Fanbois shun 'crappy plastic' iPhone 5C


All of this reminds me of "Black Books" and the Goliath Books" episode


"Huddle Time"

Life … moves … in … slow … motion … for … little … critters … like … flies

Paris Hilton

Found the IT angle.

<quote>As another of Jackson's colleagues put it, "Flies might not be deep thinkers, but they can make good decisions very quickly." </quote>

Maybe we've been looking at this quantum computer thing all wrong. We need networked fly brains instead.

Paris - because it seems that flies can make better decisions, faster.

Sloppy call data gets Telstra an ACMA wrist-slap


Never surprised

This quote from a very senior executive of a national Telco (many years ago):

"Telephone companies only have to do two things. Connect two people, and bill them for it - and they usually get at least one of those wrong".

Considering the many thousands of Telcos there are around the planet there's an extraordinarily small number of them that treat their Call Data Records (including those for data) with any respect. For prepaid, CDRs are your primary audit trail, for Postpaid, they are your actual revenue. The great majority of Telcos just don't want to know. And obviously that includes Telstra.

SolAce, Team Arrow inch towards Solar Challenge starting line


I hope those things have air con and roo bars

The "Build Up" has come early this year to Darwin. That's the time of year between the Dry and the Wet season that sends all the locals mental (or to the pub, or both). Temperature and humidity are really starting to crank up.

Looking at the SolAce entry it seems that they want to do the best job they can at steam-cooking their driver.

Plus, I had a reminder this weekend of how poorly roos and wallabies judge speed and distance this weekend when one of them decided to commit suicide by diving headfirst under my car. Thankfully it wasn't an endangered species and it was killed outright, also it was a small wallaby so collecting it didn't kill us. Big reds in the center of Australia are well known for obliterating trucks and cars that run into them. I don't think a solar car would have any chance at all against one of them.

First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials


You can't think of too many uses!?

What planet are you on!

Most of the Pacific Islands would be substantially more cheaply served by these things. They're too far away to use helicopters, many of them are too small to put a runway on or the runway takes up most of the island (e.g. Nauru) so getting that land back would be enormously valuable, and many of them don't have any kind of deep water port, or even safe anchorage.

That same pattern of isolated communities with difficult access occurs over the entire planet. Making those communities viable, or at least less dependent would only be possible with something like practical airships.

If they want a real test they should try a trans-pacific run that stops in at Anuta. It is the hardest permanently inhabited place on the planet to reach (when someone leaves they have a funeral service because they will probably never return). If they can get there then there's a massive market of small places to cover.

Good Tech: Windows is as secure as a rooted Android mobe


Pwnies? It's not just windoze machines and droid mobs

So has this guy never heard of pwn2own? I love people mouthing at windoze when a still sizable chunk of Macs are still running 'hacked in 5 seconds' versions of OS(u)X.

YouTube app returns to Windows Phone


Just get one of the multitude of other YouTube Apps

Like the one from esunoka - the free one turns up at the top of the list, and works really well.

Microsoft unveils push-button app generator for Windows Phone


I love the irony

I still have IE8 on this machine for testing legacy stuff, and of course the windows phone app studio won't run in something so old and clunky (but it won't tell you either).

Fired up chrome, no problems.

Lawsuit: Infosys abuses visas to discriminate against US staff


Not just in the US

There's some fairly similar stories here in Australia of similar practices.

I was knocked back for a position (in Sydney) with a prominent bank. The recruiter was trying to find the most polite way they could to tell me that the reason I didn't get the job was that my name didn't sound like it came from the sub-continent.

A few other recruiters at that time (around 18 months ago) told me that a practice was emerging that once someone from South Asia (India in particular) got into the hiring position that the great majority of new hires were then subsequently also from that part of the world.

Maybe its time to actually get this one researched properly, you could start with the big four banks here in Australia.

Australia shuts up shop for tech temps


Re: So just take the usual solution then

Well ... some sacrifices must be made ...

But if you're afraid of sheep then why move to Australia? There are more sheep here than in NZ. Plus for all the South Africans here, the butt of sheep shagging jokes (pun intended) are Australians.

There are some benefits to NZ. They mostly revolve around food, alcohol and extreme sports (bungy jumping with hobbits etc.). So actually it makes a nice stop off for the required number of years until you can get the keys to the front door of Oz (AKA NZ passport).

Why the guy from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Because he was Australian, although why he simply didn't drug the little tykes by force feeding them XXXX I don't know.

And also because they don't have an icon of Pauline Hanson (and no Paris won't do as a substitute for Pauline).


So just take the usual solution then

Do what everyone else does in this circumstance.

Move to New Zealand

Get your Kiwi citizenship (there are fast track options that don't need bribery)

Move to Australia any time you want, NZer's get an automatic 444 visa. Plus you're automatically someone's friend - It's a requirement that all Australian's have to have a Kiwi mate.

Added bonus:

As a Kiwi citizen you get to go pretty well anywhere on the planet without the visa hassles that UK, US and now Aus citizens get. . . . Akthough a lot of those places you probably don't want to go to anyway.

Motorola shows off tattoo and swallowable password hardware


Just to make things clear here

The JW's avoidance of blood is based in part on verses from Acts which purports to be a historical account of early Christianity, in other words it probably should be taken literally if you are a christian.

The mark of the wild beast though is from Revelation, which does use more than its fair share of symbolic language. <troll_alert>PS. The various 'beasts' are all symbols of political entitiies, so may be we should be worried if governments start mandating these things.</troll_alert>

And for pity's sake stop using the King James version in your biblical quotes. It's using 400+ year old English and was translated from Latin (not from Hebrew or Greek). It makes great poetry, but it's time to move on people.

IBM puts supercomputer Watson to work in ROBOT CALL CENTRE


About time

After setting up several call centres and then watching the 'management' interfere in the definition of the workflow so much that irate customers became the norm, I'm looking forward to talking to Watson.

Just one question though, will all of its answers be in the form of questions a la Jeopardy?

"My phone is on the fritz"

"What is Optus?"

Sculpted 66-pound jubs survive lightning blast, 26ft drop


Well it was Finlay's

This is the same stonemasonry business that has a prominent sign you can see from the main road that says: "Get stoned with Tom".

Another trans-Pac fibre mooted


Re: Just more SPIN

I would suggest that you are well more than five years (if not ten) out of date in your opinions. I personally know staff or executives in almost all of the Pacific Island Telcos and Regulators and have worked for one of them for over five years.

Most of the Pacific Island states no longer have monopolies, in particular in the mobile area. The explosive growth in mobile and data in most of them has opened the eyes of the local carriers to the need to get access to a hell of a lot more data bandwidth. They can smell the money to be made but not one of them has anything like the financial wherewithal to lay the cable themselves. Meanwhile they are subject to the whims and fancies of various organisations who never seem to have the right motivations to get this job done. I've met several of these guys, great rhetoric, lousy follow through.


Just more SPIN

Like this one will happen NOT

At the time that SPIN was being promoted as SPIN East, there was also SPIN West (a complementary line of fibre), plus another couple of offerings.

The french really want this but they just keep shooting themselves in the foot every time they try to get it.

The primary motivation should be for the Australian East coast to not be so utterly dependent on Sydney. Run some major backhaul from Cairns to PNG (replacing the hopelessly inadequate PoC that's there now) and also on to Guam and then from PNG go West to East as far as possible through all of the Islands before tracking straight for somewhere in the Americas (forget Hawaii). Main problem, lots of earthquake fault lines. Main advantage, nice big pipe going in a different path from all the others, with a nice bonus of getting a large number of the small island states (10 million people roughly) off Satellite.

Global chocolate crisis looms


Choke on the Cocoa

Mmmm I think this is just a chocolate coloured smoke screen.

Normal practice is to buy low Cocoa-liquor (and often low-grade) chocolate from Africa and Asia and then mix in the high Cocoa-liquor content from Melanesia (the focus of this article).

The problem has been that the local Melanesians haven't been too fussed about consistency and quality.

Get them to grow better quality Cocoa and you can then really make the other rubbish go a lot further, charge more for it ('cos it tastes and smells better even though it really isn't), and still rip off the farmers and consumers.