* Posts by LaeMi Qian

320 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jul 2007


German strato-sperm airship prototype flies

LaeMi Qian

All sing along...

Riders on the Sperm

US politico calls for cancer warning on cell phones

LaeMi Qian
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The Sun causes cancer.

We need to put a label on it.

And what about all the cancer caused by breathing the particulate output of cars? I think the MoFo lobby might be behind on its payments in certain states.

Oz anti-censorship site is censored

LaeMi Qian

Time for a change

to ad-hoc mesh networks via wi-fi and private cable runs between neighbours.

The internet is dead (well in the process of being aggressively crippled anyway). Long live the intermesh.

Research suggests Wii Fit is no flab fighter

LaeMi Qian

You cannot spend yourself thin.

Technically you can - just spend so much on IT/books/accommodation/Uni.fees that you have nothing left to buy take-out with.

I was a very thin Uni student. Then I got an income. :-/

NZ gal's Bulgarian airbags halt traffic

LaeMi Qian

The driver

was obviously temporarily blinded by the oncoming high-beam headlights

Watchdog mauls Disney woman's breasts

LaeMi Qian

USA solves global warming.

That generator on Ol' Walter's grave must be pumping out gigawatts by now!

Philip K. Dick's kid howls over Googlephone handle

LaeMi Qian


Also, "The Nexus" was a safe(ish) place between the 4 artificial worlds created from the remnants of the destroyed Earth and the death-maze into which the loosers of the war that did the said destruction were cast in the "DeathGate Saga" by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman.

The Great Aussie Firewall is dead: Long live the firewall

LaeMi Qian
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The old Testament

already fails RC on numerous counts - child abuse, terrorist acts, etc.

The New Testament is probably safe - for now. Until Jesus' particular brand of communism (yes it is, by any reasonable definition - go read it) is deemed anti-establishment (that is largely why the Romans staked him out in the desert to die* in the first place).

*Rome didn't use crucification as a method of execution until a good time after that particular Judea-based political discenter was publicly executed. But that just happens to be about when the passed-down oral histories made it to paper (the idea that fishermen and shepherds were actually book-writing literate in 1AD is rather amusing too, but some out there will believe anything if it saves them the effort of having to think?)

LaeMi Qian

A lot of us Ausies feel

that we are in an effective one-party system these days. Even if the opposition wasn't a joke recently, the policy differences between the two major parties have largely come down to details of rhetoric for several terms now.

But it is, in the end, our own fault for letting it get that way.

LaeMi Qian

If you were living high on a monopoly on morals and ethics,

with all the choir-boys/lonely-housewife-parishioners you could poke... um..., wouldn't you fight to protect the status quo? If the MPAA/RIAA think they are doing anything new they are deluded.

Western Digital gears up for mighty formatting

LaeMi Qian

the 'i's have it

Of course there is a 2-based standard notation. It is written kiB, MiB, GiB, etc.; (note the lower case 'i'). Most people, even in the trade don't seem to know this: I have been called a geek* by other IT professionals for my insistence on using the correct units in internal documentation.

*I have never eaten a live animal as a circus act. Honest. ;-D

Mozilla man sends Firefoxers to Microsoft Bing

LaeMi Qian

All sing along...

"My search engine is less evil than your one/

My search engine is less evil than yours/

Mine's less evil 'cause its less evil/

Mine's less evil than yours."

'Friends with Benefits' sex does no psych harm - profs

LaeMi Qian

I've always found...

...the long-term committed relationships to be the damaging ones.

BOFH: Made of win

LaeMi Qian

I can recall

TOWARDS 2000, its public-TV predecessor of the 80's (in this country at least).

Kids today. Sheesh.

Boffins: Stress of family Xmas can cause fatal diseases

LaeMi Qian


I vaguely remember some old pagan Sun-worship festival recycled as a Christian festival then ransacked into a festival of commercialism. Thank goodness I am civilised enough to not get involved in such things anymore.

'Alien spies live among us' says Bulgarian gov space boffin

LaeMi Qian

The real question...

...is not if aliens are observing us. It is: are these aliens legit anthropologists taking the opportunity to document the latest iteration of the most prone-to-societal-collapse species ever; or reality-3D producers filming for "Galaxy's dumbest soon-to-be-extinct species" (the title is catchier in galactastand).

And if they can please let me in on the secret of coping with living amongst modern humanity without going ga-ga it would be much appreciated.

LaeMi Qian

The real question...

...is not if aliens are observing us. It is: are these aliens legit anthropologists taking the opportunity to document the latest iteration of the most prone-to-societal-collapse species ever; or reality-3D producers filming for "Galaxy's dumbest soon-to-be-extinct species" (the title is catchier in galactastand).

Combat games disrespect war laws, report claims

LaeMi Qian

Nuke them from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

Santa menaced by sex offender postie

LaeMi Qian

To quote Andy T Weir

Santa is, in a way, a religion. A faith-based "god" that is all-knowing and watches you. Culture after culture has come up with the same concept. "Be good, because a great and powerful being is watching you, even when no mortal is, and there will be a reckoning."

At a young age, you get told it was all a lie. Isn't that messed up? At age 6 or so, you discover that something you took to be true was not only a lie, but a carefully maintained conspiracy perpetrated upon you by the entire adult world. Millions are involved in the conspiracy, as are major corporations and the press.

And people wonder why the youth of America are cynical.

-Andy T Weir

Users howl as Fedora 12 gives root to unwashed masses

LaeMi Qian

Just because MS-Windows did it (many years ago)...

Even MS has been trying for years to get their 3rd party devs to wake up to the fact that it isn't 98 any more and these sort of things need to be locked down.

IBM lab builds computerized cat brain

LaeMi Qian


I see this sort of CPU being useful in solving issues with String theory.

Windows 7's dirty secrets revealed

LaeMi Qian
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Very interesting stuff

Good to see some positive stuff out of Redmond.

I most liked the bit about getting the 3rd parties to write stuff that works on a restricted user account - full-access-requiring softjunk is the bane of my day job. In *NIX land (where I live when not being paid) such programming gets laughed at.

LHC starts beaming Saturday: Collisions Dec 3

LaeMi Qian

The world won't end in 2012

because the LHC will get in first.

How the Dunning-Kruger effect will stop techies buying houses

LaeMi Qian

Having done the (primary-school-level) maths,

It is cheaper for me to rent than pay interest on a mortgage. In Australia where housing prices are ridiculous by global comparison, I wonder just how many people get sucked in to 'the great Australian dream' when they would be better off renting and putting the saved money towards a bigger deposit (and hence a first interest payment below their rent on a suitable property).

And don't bother telling me that if I buy I end up owning a valuable asset. If I rent and bank the difference at decent rate of interest, by the time the deposit is big enough and loan is small enough to be cost effective I am way ahead. Also, even while I might buy a larger place for future-proofing, while renting, I can safely fit my accommodation to be as small as I can get away with and upgrade/downgrade at short notice and little transfer expense quickly and as needed.

This assumes my rent doesn't go through the roof suddenly. The week my rent goes over the first week's interest payment on a suitable long-term living space, I bail to the other side. My landlord knows this. ;-) I'm not going to hock myself up to the eyeballs and spend a good chunk of my life as a debt slave just because the government and their corporate sponsors want me to. I will sit down and do the maths (well I have a spreadsheet that does that for me now - juggling interest gained vs lost; first home buyer's grant, tax offsets, and several other factors is tedious more than twice through).

...Much like car ownership. Everyone needs a car right (particularly in non-metro Australia where public transport is pretty non-existent)? Well I don't. Not right now. When I need one, I own one. When I don't, I bank the savings. Some of my (almost always male) work colleagues are actually uncomfortable with my attitude to this. %-S

NASA maps Mars with child labor web games

LaeMi Qian
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Dang Kids Today!

>helping to improve Mars map data earns participants "points" and "badges" as well as a heady sense of aiding humanity's exploration of distant worlds

They should be outside... breaking shop windows and mugging pensioners.

Microsoft ordered to halt Win XP sales in China

LaeMi Qian

@Pot calling the kettle black

As far as I am concerned, China, the US and the UK are Evil states and as such have no protection.

I advocate the use without payment of all Chinese, US and UK IP's and Pattents

Web manhunt child abuser gets 20 years

LaeMi Qian

I have no problem...

...with countries dealing with their own citizens mis-behaving in other people's countries.

When they start assuming responsibility for foreign nationals behaving legally in their own foreign countries but against local country laws (I'm thinking of a certain Russian security researcher) that takes the biscuit!

Messenger beams back colour snap of Mercury

LaeMi Qian

If there were people on other worlds...

...I guarantee there would be huge budgets allocated for getting over there and subjugating them in the name of propping up our unsustainable last-century economic systems.

German boffins produce sim of 'invisibility carpet' in action

LaeMi Qian

Riminds me of...

The Predators' cloaking armour.

Facebook scoffs at hacktivist stunt

LaeMi Qian

Depends on your definition of 'Hacking'

Leaving aside that we are actually talking about 'Cracking' and 'hacking' traditionally referred to the recreational alteration of software or hardware*, what exactly do people actually mean by the term?

Does it require the exploitation of security weaknesses in a software system over the wire only? Is social engineering and target research to get or guess usernames and passwords included? (ie: is 'phishing' a part of of 'hacking' or a separate thing?) Is reading the password off the post-it note under someone's keyboard enough to count?

Both sides are right and wrong depending on who's definition of 'hacking' you use.


* I doubt the annoying change in meaning will ever go away - can anyone think of a new word to describe us old-school 'hackers'? Preferably one that doesn't sound dorky but also isn't so cool that Hollywood will want to make movies about not-it. ;-)

Boffins boast newfangled rootkit blocker

LaeMi Qian
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Nice work

and nice to see Microsoft contributing to Linux Kernel security. ;-D

I imagine the reason the researchers chose Linux was mostly to do with the fact that Linux [the kernel] is easily separated out from the userspace parts of the OS making it a much easier research target - the problem itself is pretty OS-agnostic.

NASA: the world will not end in 2012

LaeMi Qian

Hollywood made a movie about it!

Ergo, it must be true. Hollywood is well known for making films about true things, as opposed to entertainment-oriented fiction.

My favourites are the books and sites that tell you how to survive the impact of this planetoid. I'm pretty sure the energy created by such a collision would wholly liquefy the crust of the Earth, so surviving it would require a sustainable off-planet habitation. I am doubtful such exists and even more doubtful buying a book or a website entry would get me a place on one anyway.

Cambridge Uni cheerleaders in naming FAIL

LaeMi Qian
Paris Hilton

Yesterday I did't know this meaning of 'cougar'.

Now I are one.

(Actually, it will be another few years before I qualify, and I'm not sure I go for the 'good looking but rather immature' type anyway - been with too many of them in my own facile years).

Apple under Jobs: from muck to mountaintop

LaeMi Qian
Jobs Horns

I loathe him

@James 55: I loathe the slimy so-so - he makes BGIII look nice (in his business role, of course - I have no opinion of him in the personal sense). But yes, it is all the things I loathe about him that have made him such a good CEO for Apple. I think the award is fair.

Google opens up OAuth to tackle password chores

LaeMi Qian

One passwod to find them

and in the darkness root* them.

*now now children, I mean in the IT-security sense.

Mac art project game destroys aliens files

LaeMi Qian

some idiot...

...will always touch the fence to see if it really is electrified. I guess that is what passes for 'art' these days.

If the BOFH ever gets caught with an occupied carpet roll, he can always plead 'art'.

Woman rings cops to decry daughter's superior BJ skills

LaeMi Qian

Don't worry Ma'am...

...we'll have several officers out to your house immediately.

(Sorry, couldn't resist)

The x-texting Metrotextual comes out of the closet

LaeMi Qian


are they just suggesting in wife-proof code that they meet up later at the local strip club?

Early adopters bloodied by Ubuntu's Karmic Koala

LaeMi Qian


I had all sorts of these issues with the upgrade to Jaunty 6 months ago forcing me to do a clean install. Managed to miss any huge headaches this time (so far - still have to upgrade my mum's word processing terminal).

Giant iPhones invade Florida

LaeMi Qian
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Not my thing (ether Halloween or iPhones), but very nicely done all the same.

PC Refresh Equals PC Disposal

LaeMi Qian

Wipe, reinstall, auction

A part of my job is to wipe old machines (full format - multi-pass-random if they are from finance or records) and re-install whatever OS version they are stickered for (internally we have a standard version site licensed) before the things are boxed up and shipped off to auction. The returns are barely more than shipping costs but covering disposal costs is enough.

If the machine is unbootable, the HDD is removed and destroyed creatively (I have permission to dis-assemble them on-site then take them home and make sculptures of the parts).

Facebook enshrines dead people profiles

LaeMi Qian
Dead Vulture

I would hope...

.... they contact the primary email to give the holder a chance to object, which I realise is nowhere near perfect but better than nil.

Faking... um... 'face'-ing one's own death may be an interesting sport though.

Yahoo! nukes GeoCities

LaeMi Qian

@Ed Blackshaw

Yes, it takes a bit of effort to find it, but there is a message buried in all the blinking cruft presently on XKCD that the site's current format is celebrating the closure.

Atheists smite online God poll

LaeMi Qian

Where is the checkbox for...

"God could exist but the chances of it having even a passing resemblance to anything humanity has dreamed up in their own image/beliefs/powerlust is so remote as to be not worth considering."

Japanese bloke gets arsey over artificial rectum

LaeMi Qian

He got a little behind...

...over the weak-end.

Court kicks YouTube rant missus into touch

LaeMi Qian

So how much...

...of her 750k did she blow on having that little piece of vanity publishing produced?

Like Chris Tierney (above), that sort of money in a term deposit account would support me and my hobbies for life.

Beeb gets grief for Humpty Dumpty rewrite

LaeMi Qian

@Graham Bartlett

There is some evidence that the Cinderella story goes way back to ancient China to a story originally extolling the virtues of foot binding* - the whole 'small foot wins the prince' thing fits. Also, pre-Disney, Cinderella was rather a nasty little bitch in most interpretations.

(*Note that foot binding done 'properly' doesn't just involve restricting the growth of the foot from an early age - the foot is first crushed with a rock and curled around itself!! Thank goodness in this enlightened age we just have the fashion-shoe industry to mangle our feet for us.)

El Reg launches 'Skinny Fit' fashion range

LaeMi Qian


...I think "fashion" rags should be under-the-counter-sold-in-brown-paper-bag material. Forget soft porn mags* -- THESE are what is damaging to women.

I suggest a gulag be created from which all such fashion designers must work. The hunger pains will be good for their art.


*going by the porno mags my brother kept through his teen years, I didn't really see anything degrading to women in the paper-shop nuddie mags - just nudity, which is natural. The "men's" mags that are not explicitly porno are much worse for attitudes to women (possibly this is more so in Australia which has a noticeable us-and-them gender divide enforced from both sides). Men's mags are still not a touch on the "fashion" rags, though, if only because the misogyny of the former is laughably obvious.

Security boss calls for end to net anonymity

LaeMi Qian

Great idea!

Cyber criminals gain another way to profit from the Internet.

"Anyone want to buy a fake 'Net ID?"

There are already ample provisions for ensuring that the people party to an Internet transaction are who they say they are. They are available on an opt-in basis to those who can be bothered, as they should be.

Aussie Sex Party in evangelist head-to-head

LaeMi Qian


Who left the gate open and let the Southern State US nut cases in!

OTOH: while they are wasting their time countering magic spells (what century is it again?), they are not polluting humanity in other ways.