* Posts by julianh72

118 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Oct 2012


No surprise: Britain ditches central database model for virus contact-tracing apps in favour of Apple-Google API


I assume the ditched UK app is based on similar technology to the COVIDSafe app in Australia, which in turn was based on the Singapore TraceTogether app, etc. According to recent reports https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-06-17/covidsafe-contact-tracing-app-test-documents-rated-poor-iphone/12359250 , the effectiveness of the Australian app on iPhones has been improving over several recent updates - although it still seems to have been of no practical use in tracing any actual community-transmission contacts to date.

(Note that community transmission is very low in Australia at present, so this may not be a meaningful test of effectiveness - and there is no Google / Apple app in Australia, so there is nothing to compare the effectiveness of the two approaches.)

The Foot of Cupid emits final burst of flatulence in honour of fallen Python Terry Jones


Re: Captain Buzzkill

"By the way, the language is named after the BBC show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and has nothing to do with reptiles. Making references to Monty Python skits in documentation is not only allowed, it is encouraged!"


Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly

Black Helicopters

Using helicopters (not necessarily black)



Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!


Yes, legality / illegality can be a grey area globally in some cases (abortion, sexuality, political comment, drug use, etc), but there are a couple of key principles which I think even Mark Zuckerberg et al should be able to understand if they actually made the effort to think about it:

1. Legality is measured in the country of origin. This might mean you have to make some tough decisions about whether to allow access from some countries, and how you will police censorship of "offending" material in such countries, particularly if you want to be an agent for change in some "oppressive" regimes. However, you shouldn't even be thinking of operating the service if you haven't first addressed your policy to these sorts of issues.

2. Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal - and even if they're not, your own human decency should commit you to managing this sort of content, even if national laws were not in place.

Tim Apple. Larry Oracle. Ginni Layoffs: It works so why the heck not?


Re: Donald Moron?

President Donald Yuuuugebullshitartist

Computing boffins strip the fun out of satirical headlines


"Boffins conclude AI humour not very punny"

Stairway to edam: Swiss bloke blasts roquefort his cheese, thinks Led Zep might make it tastier


"Personal Cheeses" (by Johnny Cash or Depeche Mode - take your pick)

"My Whey" (Frank Sinatra)

"Buffalo Mozzarella Soldier" (Bob Marley)

"I'll Be Your Babybel Tonight" (Robert Parmigiana)

"Life on Marscapone" (David Bowie)

Anything recorded by Emmental As Anything

(Sorry if any / all of these are duplicates.)

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others


Re: It's not April 1st, is it?

Wow! Does a Reg article actually need a big bold headline "WARNING: SATIRE AHEAD" to avoid being misconstrued?

I thought that the simple fact that a piece appears in the Reg would be warning enough for most readers - finding a non-satirical piece is the real challenge!

No, that Sunspot Solar Observatory didn't see aliens. It's far more grim


Of course, if you wanted to hush up an imminent alien invasion, blaming it upon a routine criminal investigation would be the perfect cover!

Australia on the cusp of showing the world how to break encryption


And in other news ...

... the Prime Minister, Mal.com Turnbull, declared that "irrational numbers are an abomination in the eyes of the Government", and are henceforth banned from use within Australia.

nbn 's CVC discounts worked - ISPs splashed for 38 per cent more bandwidth


Re: not worth the nondelivered promises

Average FTTN speed might be 68 Mbps - but one third cannot get better than 50 Mbps, and 6% can't get better than 25 Mbps:


Australia Bureau of Statistics may wind back internet usage data collection


Re: Let me get this straight...

Yep - call me cynical, but scrapping the collection of statistics on household internet usage just when the NBN is approaching "peak monumental cock-up" status sounds awfully convenient to me.

"Move along people - there's (literally) nothing to see here. (Because we didn't measure anything.)"

Microsoft: We've made a coding language for a quantum computer that may or may not exist


Surely the headline should be ...

"We've made a coding language for a quantum computer that both exists and does not exist"

Blame Canada? $5.7m IBM IT deal balloons to $185m thanks to 'an open bag of money'


Hmmm ... I'm begging to sense a trend ...

Queensland Health payroll debacle - AU$6.19 million contract won by IBM; balloons out by AU$1.18 billion. (Yes, billion, not million.)

Australian Census-fail debacle; IT services supplied by IBM.

Pennsylvania unemployment benefits debacle - services provided by IBM.

Canada payroll debacle - services provided by IBM.

Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'


Re: Apple copying Microsoft?

"Well, they skipped the 9"

And in other breaking news - next year's iteration won't be the "S" update, it'll be called the iPhone X "Creator's Update".

nbn™ blames cheap-ass telcos for grumpy users, absolves CVC pricing


Re: Oh FFS

">80% on 25Mbps or slower should be considered mediocure."

You won't get any argument from me on that one (although "mediocre" is probably overselling this polished turd) - but that is all the MTM is delivering for a lot of people.

"If you accept that a technology change is less than a kitchen renovation or moving house then it is not that significant for owners. "

That is a joke, right? Are you seriously arguing that something in the order of $10,000 - $20,000 (or more) "is not significant" for a home owner who would like to upgrade to FTTP to get a decent internet connection?! Or that moving house "is not significant"? I assure you - that would be a VERY significant cost impost for everybody that I know. Where do you live - Kirribilli House?

"This is entirely due to Labor's policy decisions not MTM."

I'm not sure whether you've noticed - but the LNP has been in power since 2013. They own the current MTM _AND_ the funding arrangements. If they can change the technology, they can also change the funding model. (Indeed - it can be argued that a different technology, which was promised on the basis of "sooner, cheaper and more affordably" HAS to have a different funding model!)

Retailers would love an NBN backhaul tariff restructure


Re: Contention ratios are poor guide to congestion

@mathew42: "Fibre fanboi FUD. If this was happening in the real world then you would see articles about it everywhere, instead we see that people are reporting speeds of 80Mbps and higher on FTTN."

You must be reading different newspapers, and watching different news and current affairs shows to me - we ARE seeing articles about the growing level of dissatisfaction with the under-performing NBN everywhere, and this is just the tip of the iceberg as the NBN deployment picks up speed.

Yes - SOME people on FTTN are seeing 80 Mbps (the lucky ones who won "Node Lotto"), but the vast majority are not. In fact, most people are signing up for 12 Mbps or 25 Mbps services, and the RSPs are down-grading them to those speeds, because the technology simply cant deliver 50 to 100 Mbps to many households.

Did you miss the fact that this week all the major RSPs have stopped advertising their services as "up to 25 Mbps", but are now referring to "between 5 and 12 Mbps", "between 5 and 25 Mbps", and "between 12 and 100 Mbps" services. Why do you think they would call it "between 12 and 100 Mbps" if it could reliably deliver 80 Mbps or higher?

Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'


Re: And ther rest...

"no one paid any attention to the adults being an inter-racial couple, so *some* progress has been made."

Well spotted! Time for another change.org petition - we can't have these liberal do-gooder so-called charities pushing multiculturalism down our throats!

China launches aircraft carrier the length of 13.6 brontosauruses


Re: Bollocks

I reckon a Chinese Aircraft Carrier would be a perfect serving platter for sliced brontosaur.

nbn™ trials 10 Gbps fibre tech most of you will never see


"Something doesn't add up."

That was my thought exactly - why is NBNco trialling a technology that it won't be able to deliver to the significant majority of connected customers, delivering speed that they believe nobody wants?

Maybe somebody at NBNco just noticed the CEO's new clothes are something of an illusion?

Fireball in Tasmania: Possible CubeSat re-entry sparks alien panic


Re: Swamp Gas!

"So why doesn't this happen every other day?"

It does - I suggest you do a Google search for "contrail fireball", and check out some of the linked videos and images.

(Of course, all this "evidence" that these fireballs are really just jet planes is EXACTLY what the global governments want us to believe - when in fact, they are in direct communication with the aliens.)

Black Helicopters

If you watch the video of the event, you can see that it is in fact a jet contrail, being under-lit from a very low angle by the dawn sun.


And yes, there was a confirmed Emirates A380 flying over Hobart at the time the video was taken. (But of course, the government WOULD say that, wouldn't they, if they wanted to keep the truth under wraps.)

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg


Re: Large Satellites?

So how do you deal with the Pluto - Charon system?

Charon is spherical, and has half the diameter of Pluto (and about 1/8 the mass), making Pluto - Charon a binary system (much more so than Earth - Moon, for example). And the barycentre of Pluto - Charon lies WELL outside Pluto.

In colossal shock, Uber alleged to be wretched hive of sexism, craven managerial ass-covering


Re: Bad Uber

"Also, how can you be sure that an Uber driver is insured to carry passengers?

By the taxi licencing authority plate affixed to the rear of the vehicle, eg picture. If it isn't plated it isn't licensed and isn't insured, and is breaking the law."

What Uber does and does not require of its drivers varies according to what the local regulators insist upon. The evidence suggests their business model is to enter a new market with no requirements whatsoever ("We're not a taxi service, so taxi laws don't apply"), and then tough it out until the lawmakers buckle.

Perhaps in some jurisdictions, they carry and display some sort of "commercial vehicle" plate, but in my part of the world (Queensland, Australia), Ubers have been deemed to be legal, but don't carry any physical evidence of being licensed or insured for commercial use. I won't catch an Uber for this reason - I don't want to find out the hard way that my driver isn't insured for commercial use (I know that's what my car insurance policy says), and so they aren't covered for any injuries I might suffer in an accident.

Mozillans call for new moz://a logo to actually work in browsers


Surely if you're an internet company ...

... and you create a new internet-themed type-able logo, you'd make an effort to make sure the internet could take your logo and direct people to your site.

I just highlighted "moz://a" in the article, right-clicked and chose "Search Google for moz://a" - The-Company-Formerly-Known-As-Mozilla comes a long-way down the search list.

(But a company called "Moz" is probably wondering why hits on their site have increased dramatically in the last day or two. Ironically, their business seems to be based on the concept of "being found" in internet searches!)

HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'


Re: I have an idea



Adolf Hitler: Speech to the Nazi Party in Munich

(February 24, 1941)


"Winter, General Winter is coming, and he will force Germany to her knees."


Winter is coming

I'm gonna download the image and get it printed on a tee-shirt - just because it will really piss off the HBO lawyers!

'Data saturation' helped to crash the Schiaparelli Mars probe


Re: Pathetitudinous

"the mission was mostly successful because the lander almost reached the ground"

A bit like the poor sod who fell from the top of a 100 metre tall radio mast - he was 99% successful in surviving the fall.


Re: Welcome to embedded system engineering

Re: Deploying a parachute at negative altitude:

This happens just about every day to Wile E. Coyote: pursues Road Runner, falls off cliff, tugs desperately at rip-cord, hits the ground, making a coyote-shaped hole - and then the parachute pops out of the ground, and settles gracefully down over the coyote.

I'd like to think that is how Schiaparelli's last moments transpired!

IBM botched geo-block designed to save Australia's census


Re: I call bullshit on this

Yes, there are roughly 10 million households in Australia, but you would have to wonder why the ABS claim the Census website was supposed designed for "up to 1 million forms per hour" (by their own website publicity before the Census night debacle).

The vast majority of the Australian population live in the eastern states, which were all in the same time zone on Census night (and South Australia is only half an hour behind). Common sense should have told the ABS that most households would try to fill in the form "after dinner" - between say 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, so "up to 1 million forms per hour" was simply nowhere near enough capacity.

If the ABS can't even get simple "order of magnitude" estimates right, what chance of success did the Online census ever have?


IBM probably won the Canadian job because they were able to demonstrate relevant prior experience with the Queensland Health project.

(It's just a shame that nobody in Canada bothered to ask Queensland Health for a reference check, to see if it IBM's work was well-received by the Client!)

Microsoft can't tell North from South on Bing Maps


Maybe this is just a Chinese propaganda tool?

Putting Melbourne just off the coast of Japan, would place a large amount of the Australian mainland inside the disputed South China Sea - we should probably expect an angry diplomatic statement that Australia should immediately hand over all the iron ore mines in Western Australia that are on traditional Chinese land?

Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat


RE: "our calculation on the effects of dark energy could be wrong"

"Firstly, our calculation on the effects of dark energy could be wrong. Dark energy, which can't be detected on current instruments, is already causing the expansion of the universe and may have additional properties that theorists haven't accounted for."

Surely the fundamental problem is that we don't know what Dark Energy is, or have anything like a coherent theory of how it works - so what chance is there that our "calculations" (guesswork?) would be right?!

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone


Re: "Absolutely no one can make sense of the United States' infatuation with firearms."

"You need guns because you're scared of Koalas? WTF?"

Drop Bears are not exactly "cute and cuddly" - I suggest anyone contemplating visiting Australia should read this paper first:

"Indirect Tracking of Drop Bears Using GNSS Technology"


Guess how much IT spending slumped last year? $216 billion


Surely the headline should be ...

... Guess how much IT spending slumped last year? 216 BEEELION dollars

Millions of people forget to cancel Apple Music subscription


What about Google Play Music?

I'm surprised that Google Play Music doesn't feature in your market analysis. It has both free and paid-for "All Access", and surely they must rank in the Top 5?

Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again


Re: ... discovered gleaming turds



Re: He has a couple of favorite holes

... and the Turd Hole ...

Happy NukeDay to you! 70 years in the shadow of the bomb post-Trinity


"highly unlikely that such destructive devices would ever be used"

"It is the power of thermonuclear devices that convinced Dr Brownlee that test explosions should be resumed and held regularly with the world's politicians watching the spectacle first hand. Once you have witnessed something that powerful, he explained, it would make it highly unlikely that such destructive devices would ever be used in anger."

Witnessing a nuke might be all a rational person needs to convince themselves that such weapons must never be used, but for megalomaniacs and dictators, the evidence that it CAN be done is all it takes to fund a program to develop one of their own.

Anyone remember "The War to End All Wars", dynamite as a weapon so terrible that it would never be used ...

Airbus confirms software brought down A400M transport plane


"Partly filled with wrong"

When I read this:

"Handelsblatt beats Google's translation with the sentence “Die Software für die Steuerung der Motoren sei bei der Endmontage falsch aufgespielt worden” "

Well ... I had to see what Google Translate offers up:

"The software for controlling the motors had been partly filled with wrong during the final assembly"

"Partly filled with wrong" - my new catch-phrase for every time somebody cocks something up!

Wheely, wheely mad: Petrolheads fume over buggy Formula One app


Bernie wonders why F1 viewer numbers are falling ...

TV coverage is being pushed from FTA to over-priced Pay TV (in Australia, only ten races will be shown live on FTA, and they're not covering the qualifying or practice sessions; Pay TV is only available through Foxtel at $50 per month for SD or $60 per month for HD), and they can't even get their mobile app to work reliably, or link your subscription to the web-site so you can get the data stream there.

I was promised linked app / website access for the first race in Australia; then they said it would be ready in April, then they said they couldn't process registrations which were made on the Google Play store when you buy the app, then they said it would be working in time for the Spanish Grand Prix (10 May), so I'm not in the least bit surprised its still not working for Monaco.

I'm a massive F1 fan, but getting access to my fortnightly fix is getting harder and harder ....

Australia forces UberX drivers to become tax collectors


Re: Here comes the drill...

By the same logic, there should be no GST on a Domino's pizza, because each of the hole-in-the-wall outlets is a separately franchised "small business", and the guy who delivers it is an independent contractor (not an employee) who makes at the most a couple of hundred dollars a week.

No, these are global multi-billion-dollar businesses, and they engineer their income structures to gain a competitive advantage by declaring all their income in low tax havens. They should be collecting and paying their taxes, insurances and licence fees in whatever countries they operate.

NO, Joe Hockey, a 'Netflix tax' wouldn't raise 'billions'


Re: yep thats right

"The Thick of It" is a better reflection of wheelings and dealings in government / bureaucracy in the 21st century! (I would love to be a fly on the wall when Malcolm Tucker gives Joe Hockey a bollocking!)


Google and GST

If you scroll to the bottom of the page on the Australian Google Play site, it clearly says "All prices include GST" for apps, books, movies and TV shows, etc, so hopefully this is a true statement, and the GST is indeed rendered to the ATO.

Interestingly, if you click on "Devices", it takes you to the Google Store page, and there is no statement about GST there as far as I can tell. I have bought a few Nexus devices from the Google Play site in the past (before they moved "Devices" to the new Google Store). The dealings were with a Google Singapore subsidiary, and while some of the invoices stated that the invoice price included Tax, some indicated no tax was collected. Where Tax was shown, the amount was not always 1/11 of the full invoice price, which it should be for the Australian GST of 10%. Also the Invoice was not labelled as a "Tax Invoice", and there was no ABN, which suggests to me that the invoice would not meet the requirements of a GST Receipt for Australian Tax purposes. In other words, it would appear that Google Singapore sometimes collected some tax for somebody, but it isn't clear where that tax was sent.

Stop climate change by drinking Coca-Cola says Oz government


The answer is obvious, really ...

Everybody knows that if you leave a bottle or can of soft drink (Australian term for "soda") open, it loses its fizz. This is true for both flavoured carbonated drinks and unflavoured Soda Water.

All we need to do is have a big Soda Water plant attached to every coal-fired power station, making gigalitres of soda water. The soda water can be dumped into a holding pond for a few days until it loses its fizz, and then the fresh water can be released for other purposes, or even recycled to make the next batch of soda water.


Apple Watch 'didn't work on HAIRY FANBOIS, was stripped of sensor tech'


Re: We are only thinking of your health

"I think you have discovered a new source of green energy! We can use treadmill-generators to run our data centres."

No ... given the reported battery life issues, you need to be on the treadmill to keep the Apple Watch powered up. Some commentators have noted that this tends to limit the portability of the device, but Apples Execs have been keen to highlight the health benefits of a smartwatch which requires you to be constantly active to keep it charged.

$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience


It's nice to see that they offer Finance, so even schmucks who don't have $10,000 to spare can still afford one.

(And it includes free delivery in the UK.)

ALIEN fossils ON MARS: Curiosity snaps evidence of life


Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

Perhaps you should at least peruse the paper before decrying it as bunkum. The author absolutely does NOT make any claims that:

"- there is only one way these bumps could have been created - namely bacteria

- the mud bumps on Mars were created by the same exact process as the mud bumps on Earth"

What she DID say is as follows (taken from the abstract):

"In this paper, the similarities of the macroscopic morphologies, spatial associations, and temporal succession of sedimentary structures on Mars to MISS preserved on Earth has led to the following hypothesis: The sedimentary structures in the <3.7 Ga Gillespie Lake Member on Mars are ancient MISS produced by interactions between microbial mats and their environment. Proposed here is a strategy for detecting, identifying, confirming, and differentiating possible MISS during current and future Mars missions."

Notice anything about that last sentence?

"... a strategy for detecting, identifying, confirming, and differentiating ..."

That's called Science!


Re: Unconvincing hype

That debate is far from closed!

E.g. "Mars Meteorite with Odd 'Tunnels' & 'Spheres' Revives Debate Over Ancient Martian Life"

By Megan Gannon, News Editor | February 28, 2014 01:00am ET