* Posts by Brendan Sullivan

59 posts • joined 6 Jul 2007


Amazon outage whacked Netflix US customers on Christmas Eve

Brendan Sullivan


I would swear that they ad a problem earlier this year with the exact same AWS 'region'. Is there some reason that they haven't spent the intervening time implementing a back-up for this type of failure?

Mobile devices bring back that old client-server feeling

Brendan Sullivan


I am heartened to finally see one analysis of 'cloud' computing not just drawing the parallels to the old C/S systems but also, and somewhat more importantly, pointing out that the infrastructure that this entire concept depends on doesn't exist (at least not in the state and ubiquity that the pitch-men seem to think it does). Mobile data and even wireline connectivity in many countries (especially the US) do not provide the bandwidth that most of this new breed of client-server systems depend on, until they do the 'Cloud' utopia cannot exist and even cloud-like systems in an office will only be able to provide anything like the promise of constant access to centralized storage while the user is in the building.

Troll sues Apple for daring to plug headphones into iPhone

Brendan Sullivan

Re: Not gonna win that one

More importantly purely in the telephony realm:

My Nokia from '99 had a headset jack.

Western Electric (manufacturing arm of the old Bell System) had telephone subsets fitted with headset jacks at least as far back as 1965 and switchboards and call-director sets even earlier.

Amazon cloud knocked out by violent storms in Virginia

Brendan Sullivan

Re: Netflix outage site takes hours to notice cloud is missing.

Yes, yes it is a bad idea.

Users enraged by Cisco's cloudy 'upgrade' to Linksys routers

Brendan Sullivan

If it isn't connected...

If the router is not connected to the internet and it requires a 'cloud' based management system to configure it... how do you configure it to connect to the internet so that it can connect to the remote management system?

Not to mention the whole thing about only including configuration tools and manuals on a CD that requires Windows or Mac OS X in order to run the basic setup and access the documentation about setting it up.

UK spectrum row: What we need is more national disasters

Brendan Sullivan

Re: "move to GSM and use the commercial networks?"

I remember the impact of 7/7 on both GSM and POTS services, even without the writeups, having experienced it first hand. Mobiles reported signal but actually trying to use it resulted in failure and occasionally, if you were lucky, a recording apologizing for line congestion. 9/11 in New York had similar results except that since most US mobiles at the time were AMPS devices many carriers lost signal entirely in the areas near the Trade Center due to the loss of trancievers, switches and power from the attack; POTS service was also affected to a lesser extent since the PSTN exchange under the towers kept working after the collapse of the buildings until they lost power.

A similar effect could be observed in Washington DC a two years ago during John Stewart's rally on the National Mall (so many people packed into the area that mobiles were fighting each other to reach the local towers).

During an emergency all public (civillian) accessible communications networks (wireline or wireless) will see sudden dramatically increased use. Military and emergency networks will as well but they have built in prioritization (the now retired US AUTOVON network used DTMF A, B, C, and D tones to set call priority to allow urgent commands to get through by kicking lower priority calls off the network).

Menaced cartoonist raises $60,000 for copywrong

Brendan Sullivan

You also ignored that fact that FunnyJunk does not have a Registered Agent for processing DMCA notices, which is required by the DMCA process. Since FunnyJunk has not taken the steps necessary to be able to receive DMCA notices how is Inman supposed to have used the DMCA to request the removal of his content?

FunnyJunk lawyer doubles down on Oatmeal Operation Bear Love

Brendan Sullivan

Re: Double trouble

Unfortunately for FunnyJunk and Carreon the claims of DMCA safe harbor protections may not be upheld if it were to go to court since it seems that they may not be in compliance with the DMCA's requirements for those protections (see The Oatmeal's lawyer's response to the initial demands from Carreon and FJ http://www.scribd.com/doc/96850920/FunnyJunk-The-Oatmeal-Response ).

As that letter also points out that the initial claims of defamation are rather thin and FunnyJunk is still slow to comply with takedown requests (which is all they are since DMCA Takedown Notices require an agent to be registered with the Copyright Office, which FJ does not seem to have done. (Copyright Office listing of DMCA Registered Agents here: http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/list/f_agents.html note the lack of funnyjunk.com on the list).

Apple seeks resurrection of HTC importation ban

Brendan Sullivan

RE: TangD Re: Crybaby Apple cries like a baby

I seem to recall PalmOS devices being quite popular for a while prior to the iPhone, and you could leave the stylus in it's sleeve if you just let your thumb nail grow out.

There were also many x86 based tablet and convertible tablet computers around prior to any iOS device, even predating the Newton with the IBM 2521 ThinkPad released in 1992.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 'a harmful drug', says Apple in ban bid fail

Brendan Sullivan

Re: Black rectangular case with rounded corners, touch screen.....

IBM 2521 "ThinkPad" (later the ThinkPad 700T) - 1992

Apple quietly reveals iOS security innards

Brendan Sullivan

Re: Calm down dear(s)

They seem to be referring to the fact that most iOS devices can be recharged through standard USB ports (such as on a laptop or desktop), which also exposes a data interface between the device and anything running on the computer it has been connected to.

Instagram-owner Facebook emits in-house camera app

Brendan Sullivan

Re: Zuck will spend most of that money, however, on a gigantic tax bill.

The US officially has a tax rate of between 30-40% on income, capital gains and many other non-payroll sources on money are taxed at different rates, usually 15% or less. And don't forget that the 30-40% (or even the 50% that was quoted elsewhere) is only the official base rate, the effective rate varies wildly with those earning five figures annually paying up to 35% or so while those earning high six or seven figures paying some 15% or less in many cases. This only considers Federal tax rates so State income taxes may add to that but in at least some states your Federal tax bill can be taken as a deduction from your state tax bill.

I pay an effective negative rate but this is due to the fact that I am earning almost nothing and most of that goes to deductible expenditures like tools and occupational training.

Google warns against ISPs hard on web filth

Brendan Sullivan

Re: TalkTalk's Heaney

An inability for parents to effectively monitor their children's behavior and activities is not an excuse to restrict, in any way, the freedoms of others to access material of their choosing, it is an argument to provide parents with educational material and tools so that they can more easily or effectively monitor and control their children.

Any measure which defaults to preventing access to otherwise legal materials is impinging on freedoms of speech and expression. Protecting a child requires that the burden of whatever actions or tools are needed fall to the parents first and foremost, to do otherwise is unfairly burdening the rest of society in order to cover for the parents limitations.

Met cops' CSI mobe-snoop tech sparks privacy fears

Brendan Sullivan

Re: Phone encryption

Android already has SIM and storage encryption built in, at least it is on my stock Motorola XT862. Check under your Android devices Settings > Security or Settings >Location and Security menu.

Lenovo intros carbon-fibre ThinkPad Ultrabook

Brendan Sullivan

Exactly. I can accept the changes to the keyboard between, for example, the 365xd and the X60 or X201, lose ~50% height and you don't have the space for full height keys, but this new "island" keyboard is rubbish. First saw it on the Thinkpad Edge from last year when the office gave me one to work on during the winter holidays, it was unusable. I had hoped that the premium lines (like the real X series) would have kept the proper keyboards but this looks like it won't be happening.

Worst bit is that since they are primarily bought as large institutional orders there isn't likely to be enough of an impact from any drop off in sales from the people who refuse to accept crap replacements for real laptops.

Colour Kindle incoming says mole

Brendan Sullivan
Thumb Up

Amazon already has colour versions of at least some of it's catalogue since cover images and magazine content is provided in colour on tablet Kindle apps.

SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

Brendan Sullivan

So you think that ignoring significant market factors in favor of restricting rights will reduce piracy? Adjusting price in response to market demands encourages people to buy your product. Is it hard to compete with free? Yes, but you don't have to make it harder by setting prices that are beyond the budget or value threshold of your consumers.

Similarly making your product available in the location and format that is useful to the potential consumer reduces the incentive to 'pirate' your content. DVD's Region system and pricing drives low income consumers and consumers in regions where those DVD's are not allowed drives those customers to seek other ways of obtaining that content, whether by buying bootleg discs from street vendors or downloading a ripped copy from a website they get the content they want at a price they can pay and without jumping continents.

Actively offering licensing (at terms that are agreeable to both sides) and participating and innovating in new distribution channels and technologies further reduces incentives for 'piracy'. Why would I go through the trouble of ripping my otherwise unused DVD collection into files I can watch on my tablet and laptop if I could simply go to a website and buy digital copies of the films for a /small/ amount and download a copy right to my device just as I am able to do with music offered by Amazon's mp3 shop. Don't offer me streaming rentals instead either; most of the time I would actually make use of such a service is exactly when I cannot because of connectivity issues (subterranean trains, airplanes and just in a mobile deadzone will prevent any sort of streaming while limited bandwidth degrades the quality to the point of useless yet these are exactly where I would want such a collection because I don't have connectivity or tasks occupying me).

Far too much of the discussion of piracy leaves out economic factors and purchasing concerns and instead concentrates on the largely spurious method of handing control over to large media companies.

Xerox CEO's cure for US educational woes: 'Cool' and cash

Brendan Sullivan

I think there is also a serious issue in the US education system with how long they put off study concentration. 3 years into university programs and students are often still taking 'general studies' courses and non-elective courses unrelated to their degree field. It doesn't help that primary education doesn't teach any practical skills and spends most of it's time on rote memorization of theory and facts that are needed only for schooling but inapplicable to real-world use.

Ultrabook prices to fall as manufacturers slash margins

Brendan Sullivan

Except where it is explicitly stated, like in the article you are commenting on.

CTIA wins battle over cancer labelling on phones

Brendan Sullivan

Is there anything that isn't...

known to "the state of California" to cause $badthings? I am having a hard time thinking of things I have bought this past decade that didn't carry one of those labels.

Father of Lisp and AI John McCarthy has died

Brendan Sullivan

Waiting for the third

Ritchie and now McCarthy makes two and these things have a tendency to come in threes. Then again I am still wondering who the other two cult leading CEOs will be.

Jobs was 'working on future product day before he died'

Brendan Sullivan

@PJI Re:Really?

I think it probably has something to do with the way that Job's death was covered on every news outlet as the loss of a 'great innovator', a 'world-changing' person or the person personally responsible for every major gadget or technological advance of the past 20 years while Ritchie was lucky to get a mention in the obituary section with no one making any serious mention of his contributions to the modern world and the technology we have today.

Just remember, Jobs gave us shiny white and chrome toys (or rather, approved and occasionally contributed to the appearance and interface design of said toys), Ritchie created the language that is used to write much of the software that makes those toys actually do anything (or at least created the language that the objective-C used for iProds was based on) and co-created the operating system and associated specs that all of Apple's products use to actually work in addition to all of the other places UNIX is used or has served as the basis or inspiration for some other system or product.

Which one made the bigger contribution to the world we live in? Which one humbled himself and kept on giving? Which one tried to be a genuinely good person? Which one got all the public eulogies and memorials and 'he will be missed' and 'the world is worse off without him?

The answer to the first three questions is different from the last one.

Stallman: Jobs exerted 'malign influence' on computing

Brendan Sullivan

Gates invented the Tablet?

What about the IBM ThinkPad? The Model 2521, later branded as the Thinkpad 700T when the Thinkpad name was extended to the whole range of portable computers instead of the one device. That was released in October 1992, a full decade before the cited XP Tablet experiment (which was a horrific experience). Granted the tech has progressed significantly since then (tablets are carrying multi-core gigahertz mobile optimized processors instead of 20MHz 486 desktop processors and the storage options are much larger (16+ GB inbuilt flash storage instead of the original 10MB PCMCIA cards) and weight and size has dropped considerably. But the only real change has been the Human-Machine interface changing from stylus driven to full-on touch interfacing. My Asus TF101 (or my friends and cow-orkers iPads) have the same basic features, capabilities and purpose.

Windows 8 ribbon entangles Microsoft

Brendan Sullivan

@sab0tage Re: What's wrong with the ribbon?

The question is what constitutes a "logically organized" menu. For people who have been using Windows for close to 20 years the File menu is fairly logical (File operations under 'File", help items under 'Help', etc) while the Ribbon interface rearranges everything into a more contextual or task specific menu system which requires people to cast aside years or decades of experience and learn the menu structure from scratch (which becomes even more difficult when the Ribbon becomes 'adaptive' and starts arranging itself based on your interactions with it). Also consider that the File Menu interface is either shared with or similar to the menu interface used by many other OS interfaces (I have seen versions of AT&T Unix from the early 80's with similarly structured UIs); for people who have to move between multiple OSs and interfaces (I generally deal with at least 5 different OS/Windowing systems in a normal day) having at least some similarity between them is extremely important.

If a ribbon interface is your first UI experience then you might well find it easy to pick up but for people with 10, 20 or even 30 years of GUI use behind them it is extremely disruptive.

BlackBerry Messenger archives open for inspection

Brendan Sullivan

@Andy 73 RE:RE:RE: Struggling to find sympathy...

And here I was thinking that this was about the possibility of a /private/ company handing over /private/ communications data that is stored as part of a service that is advertised as offering /privacy/. But since these supposedly encrypted messages sent by people to specific other people through a service that sells itself on privacy and security protections are now (at least if I read your response correctly) considered to be "public communications" then there is no need to go through any of that 'requiring a court order to search your private messages for evidence'. Because of course, you have just redefined private communications to be public.

Now if these searches were performed in a manner that at least made it less likely that innocents would have their privacy invaded it would be less of an issue. A few minutes of thinking about the process will I am sure come up with a series of questions that you can ask the mobile carriers and RIM (when combined in the appropriate sequence and accompanied with a few limited court orders) that would give you decent evidence for use in capturing and prosecuting the criminals while avoiding unnecessary violations of privacy or presuming guilt without evidence.

Also, it would be appreciated if you could check the spelling of the name of the person you are responding to, especially when it is displayed directly in front of you.

Brendan Sullivan

@Andy 73 RE: Struggling to find sympathy...

The issue is that outside of such events as these riots there is a reasonable need for effective privacy protections. Situations such as these riots or any other sort of criminal investigation are the precise reason for allowing a judge to issue investigators with a warrant (or similar writ varying by circumstance and jurisdiction) to allow the investigators/police to intercept, collect or otherwise access private property or private communications.

Data privacy, as with any other legal protection, must be defended at all times. If such protections are not defended during an emergency or other extraordinary situation then they can be stripped away (under the argument of temporary emergency measures) and not be restored ("Oh, we got rid of that search warrant business because in one case we felt it took too long; and, don't you know, we didn't want to have it get in the way should that once in a decade event reoccur tomorrow.")

Systems are already in place to allow extraordinary measures to be taken during the time when they are appropriate and necessary without making those powers a permanent fixture of the law. During an emergency is not a time conducive to reasoned debate.

Rogue character space tripped Scottish exam results

Brendan Sullivan

@AC 20110804:1642 RE:Actually in my original post

I offer no disagreement with your post. My disagreement was with Version 1.0's response to your original post in which the point of both the article and your post seemed to be completely lost.

Brendan Sullivan

re: And it often is

What do Word and Access have to do with it? The question was why was MS's spreadsheet editor used instead of a competing tool (Open/LibreOffice, etc), not why was a spreadsheet editor used.

Linus Torvalds dubs GNOME 3 'unholy mess'

Brendan Sullivan

@The First Dave RE: untitled

While quite a bit of Widows 3.x was likely taken from the early Apple GUI system, Apple had taken all of that from Xerox PARC. Not to mention the fact that the UI design introduced with 95 and continuing through to 2K (and even hanging around somewhat in XP, especially if you switched the theme to 'Classic') was very different from the design that Apple has been using since the late 80's and which MS used for the 3.x series of Windows.

Microsoft vs Google patent ding dong gets stuck on repeat

Brendan Sullivan

@Richard 102 RE:Funding Increase?

That in fact would not really help the USPTO. They are severely understaffed, underfunded and are constantly under pressure to accept any patent that gets submitted, regardless of it's validity under US Patent law (see the incident with the patent for crustless sandwiches). Conveniently for people who like to use poor performance (especially when it is caused by them removing needed resources) as an excuse to argue for stripping worker protections and rights; the massive backlog and wait time for USPTO submission processing started around the time that it was decided that the USPTO couldn't hold on to the revenues it generated, had it's budget and staff slashed and had US laws amended to allow 'Process' and 'software' patents in addition to the existing categories of patent (leading to a huge influx of applications which tend to be invalidated by things like 'prior art' and obviousness.

What would help is doing away with the software and business process patents altogether (remember software is already eligible for copyright as is a book on business processes) and restoring the USPTO's staff and funding to the point where it can actually keep up with the demands for it's services.

RIM launches five BlackBerry smarties

Brendan Sullivan
Black Helicopters

re: Because...?

Aside from personal preference and potential cost and power savings the most common reason for desiring camera free handsets is that in both industry and government sensitive and secure areas tend to have bans on cameras and/or recording devices. This frequently means that phones with cameras are confiscated and held by security while you are in said area. This presents a risk for the handset owner/user (someone with access to the area holding the confiscated phones might try snooping around on them, they might be stolen, bugged or otherwise tampered with). There are also meetings, parties and press events which have similar bans on cameras which pose the same issue.

Since a significant part of any computer's security is protecting physical access to the device such situations present a serious risk of compromise.

BOFH: This buck's for you

Brendan Sullivan

Now it is Friday.

I always find myself wondering when we will get another installment, it just isn't a proper Friday without one. It's almost always worth the wait though.

Intel chief: Obama (still) driving US off cliff

Brendan Sullivan

When in the early 90's?

Not to be too pedantic but, from when (and possibly where) in the "early 90's" are you comparing employment figures? As I recall the period surrounding the opening of the border between the DDR and the Bundesrepublik and the ensuing reunification of East and West Germany was not a great time for German employment figures, unless you are using pre-reunification Bundesrepublik employment numbers. Things certainly picked up fairly well not too long afterward.

Regardless, I do have to agree that the Germans do seem to have things right at the moment.

Novell targets netbooks with latest OS

Brendan Sullivan

The best yet

As a SuSE user since 8.1 Ihave to say this is probably the best yet. The new version of KDE 4 has finally made me stop caring about my old KDE 3 desktop and how can you say now to those lovely shades of green?

US carrier in shock 'wireless pipes make money' claim

Brendan Sullivan
Big Brother

For once they almost sound like people.

It's nice to finally see a US carrier actually acknowledge this, without being forced to and/or having it be an obvious PR gesture that will amount to nothing.

When ISPs hijack your rights to NXDOMAIN

Brendan Sullivan

@HUH? By Stuart Boston

DNS responses tell your computer where the host/server you were looking for is located. When these DNS record responses are changed (from NXDomain or non-existent domain to name exists) they cause whatever application made the DNS request to attempt to communicate with whatever machine the falsified record points to as if it was the intended recipient machine.

If you try to send an email and your ISP hijacks the DNS request your email still gets sent, but it goes to the ISP's ad server.

When you attempt to login to a domain based system who's DNS record was hijacked your login credentials get sent to the ad server, not a legitimate recipient.

When you try to print to a hostname based print server and the print queue's DNS record (or lack thereof) gets hijacked , your computer still sends the document to be queued (because it thinks it's found the printe queue) but instead the document gets sent to the ad server.

If all of this is new to you then your "15 years" of "IT" must have been with DOS boxes or something and you should really try looking up this stuff on wikipedia or try looking at the resources the the previous commenters have pointed out.

T-Mobile lays ground for embedded SIMs

Brendan Sullivan
Black Helicopters

Good for Operators=bad for Customers

As an American who has to put up with the Carrier lock-in resulting from the lack of device/network openness and portability I have to say, any move to allow non-removable SIMs in mobile handsets, even "smart phones" and the like is a bad idea for consumers.

Here is the U.S. wireless carriers have little to no incentive to be competitive once a customer has signed up with them. Since most of the carriers are CDMA (even the carriers that do use GSM rarely have customer removable SIMs) devices cannot be moved between providers, even if they use the same standard, primarily because of this lack of customer removable SIMs (or SIM equivalents). Once devices are no-longer portable between different carriers, carriers stop trying to compete on prices or quality of service and start competing on flashy phones with features that are ever more proprietary.

Pirate Bay loses trial: defendants face prison time, hefty fines

Brendan Sullivan

@Lee Jackson RE: In my opinion

The P2P crackdown was not exactly a spotless crusade of righteousness either. P2P and Torrents are technologies that allow individuals to share data and to efficiently distribute many copies of data. Technologies, like inanimate objects, are not good or evil.

The people who are in fact breaking the law are the people who make the infringing content in the first place.

>Downloading copyrighted material is stealing no matter how rich the company is you are stealing >from. People are employed by these big companies, and when profits go down, innocent people >loose jobs!

This does not change the fact that the Pirate Bay; much like Google, Yahoo, telephone companies and many others; are not actually responsible for the content that users put on their site/system. The Pirate Bay operated as a content aggregator, they did not host the infringing content themselves nor did they create the infringing content.

Also the major media companies that the prosecution represented have actually been reporting consistently good profits and haven't (that I know of) made any big layoffs.

Ballmer hails Windows Mobile for Welfare™

Brendan Sullivan

Bit of a turnaround then

Normally Redmond seems to love introducing as many distinct (but not actually different) versions of their products as possible. Why not jump on the possibility of having at least three versions of Windows Mobile (Windows Mobile "Basic", W.M. "Touchscreen"and W.M. "Touchscreen 'Premium'"? Sure, each version would just be the same basic OS with drivers/support for the different interfaces, but that seems to be the way they do everything there.

Ethernet — a networking protocol name for the ages

Brendan Sullivan

@Stu Reeves

"Wow must get one of these special ethernet cables. We just use generic RJ45 Cat5e's."

In many (I'm even tempted to say 'most') large electronic retailers in the US Cat5e and Cat6 network cables are labeled as "Ethernet Cable" and only occasionally do the cable's actual type or spec appear anywhere on the package. In keeping with the general hiring policy of these sorts of stores the dim-witted high-school drop out sales people will generally respond with either blank [dummy-mode] stares or confused face scrunching and head scratching if you ask for a "Cat5e cable" or anything that doesn't exactly match the label their company puts on the inordinately marked up and rebranded Belkin patch cables.

Story withdrawn

Brendan Sullivan

Luser is a NET neologism?

The Jargon File says it originated ~1975 at MIT on their ITS system, neologism maybe but not exactly a 'net' neologism. Unless you mean Usenet and the Scary Devil Monastery.


Ubuntu documentation in shreds

Brendan Sullivan

Paid documentation better than F/OSS documentation?

Try using any of the help files in any MS program

Try using any of the help files in any Windows program

Try using the MS "knowledge base"

Try shelling out fistfuls of money for a book on how to use/fix the software your company just paid hundreds/thousands for and trying to find the answer to your problem

Now try using a Linux distro's user guide wiki (Try openSuSE or one of the other 'big' distros for best results)

Try googleing "[distroname] [problem]" or "[distroname] [error message text]" then look at the first few results

Which actually answers your question? Which rarely asks you to empty your wallet just to communicate with a human being who can try to help you? Which one usually bears some resemblance to reality?

Anatomy of a malware scam

Brendan Sullivan
Thumb Up

Very good article

I encountered this scam last week at work when I had to remove some spyware from a lusers machine in another office (eventually we ended up scrapping the machine and replacing it).

I will definitely be recommending this article to both colleagues and friends ( I might even see if I can't get my boss to make some sort of notice for the company. Well written and helpful to both IT professionals and users. I hope we see more of this sort of writing.

New York lawmakers approve 'Amazon Tax'

Brendan Sullivan

New York Taxes

To the one who commented on the high price of petrol/gas near the beginning: Current prices in New York City are approximately $3.34 (according to the sign on the pumps around the corner from my home), at the current exchange rate that works out to about 1.67 GBP.

As for my biggest gripe about this proposed tax is that I already am being taxed at well over 8% (or more if it's liquor, cigs, prepared food, hotels, communications, etc.) for nearly everything I buy, and that is just the local and state taxes, then there are the federal taxes (which aren't really appearant because they get factored into the MSRP/sale price of items they apply to). I pay a minimum of $7.50 (3.75GBP) for a pack of smokes, I have about 14-15% added onto my tab at restaurants (because prepared food is taxable here) and about 8.5% tax added onto my groceries (because somehow subsistence items became taxable as well). This is in addition to paying city, state and federal taxes on my income, interest earned by my bank accounts, value accrued by bonds and other funds (which are actually essentially loans to the government) all applied to an income that is considerably below my national government's idea of poverty level for my marital and familial status (and which completely ignores the differences in cost of living between New York City and the 'average' part of the country).

I already pay the government more than I can afford and they continue to provide less service than I want or need, and then they tax me some more.

Ban using mobiles while crossing street, says US legislator

Brendan Sullivan

In some places...

in the US some states (many in fact) have laws which give permanent right of way to pedestrians (you can't jaywalk if you have right of way) over vehicles. However many of these states are populated with motorists who have no concept of this (or even what "right of way" means) and routinely ignore traffic laws (much less general niceties such as not stopping with the middle of their large 4 door saloon car or SUV in the crosswalk or not leaning on their horn when you cross the street while they are several hundred feet and two intersections away).

If there is an issue with pedestrians on mobile phones being "nearly" hit by automobiles why not legislate against reckless driving, failing to take proper care when driving in urban areas and pedestrian crossings and make stiff penalties for hitting pedestrians the norm. Oh... wait, that's what things like charging drunk/distracted drivers with negligent homicide and manslaughter (both carry penalties of 15+ years of incarceration in state or federal prisons) or reckless endangerment are for.

Apple sued over 'inflated' iMac claims

Brendan Sullivan
Jobs Horns

@ Mac forever

Apple is the great innovator? The ones that will innovate so much that we will see "the future standing still"?

Sorry I must have just dreamed the whole thing about how a Xerox PARC team invented the mouse and the GUI desktop which Apple bought off of them.

Or the bit about how their "advanced phone that works and does more for the average user than any other phone" offers fairly similar features to my Palm T|X (which has been on the market since 2005) and is (yet again) based on an interface purchased from another company.

Oooh, how about the way Macs used to be so ultra-proprietary in every way that it's pretty much impossible to recover data from the special Mac-format disks without very specific kit.

Maybe it was the way they were so innovative and unique in combining the monitor and CPU into a single unit...oh, wait Amiga and Atari and a bunch of other early PC makers did those too, and did them earlier.

And what is this about Macs being PCs? Personal computers they might be but PCs they aren't, well the new Intel chip ones are in a way, before the changeover no Mac was a PC since PCs were x86 architecture computers based on the design of the IBM PC (which gave them the original name of "PC Compatibles").

Brendan Sullivan
Jobs Horns

Why am I not surprised?


On top of lax security patching, inflated prices and its fan's everest-sized martyr-complex (as well as any other fruit related idiocy in the past couple weeks) now there's inferior monitors.

Wait... Why do I care? I don't own a single piece of their hardware and I only go near their temples to grab a bit of free wi-fi.

Google 'not interested' in bidding for UK spectrum

Brendan Sullivan

@ leslie

As poor as those services may be in the UK they tend to be even worse in the US in terms of speed and coverage (at least in my experience).

US man dies in Taser incident

Brendan Sullivan

The problem is normanclature...

at least in part. Because TASERs and similar "stun gun" type weapons are marketed as "Non-Lethal" or "Less-than-Lethal" people think they are safe and will never cause a death. The fact is that such weapons should be classified as "Less-Lethal", that is they are less likely to be lethal when used properly, much like shotgun bean-bags and other crowd-control devices.

Combine that with insufficient/poor training and the basic fear and confusion experienced by most people (including police) in any confrontational situation and you get deaths because the so called "non-lethal" weapon wasn't used the way it was supposed to be.

Girls' school head condemns bubblewrapping of kids

Brendan Sullivan
Thumb Up

The issue is reasonable risk levels

The problem with the "risk-averse" culture is that it seems to have lost sight of what is a reasonable risk. Children need the chance to learn about danger without being exposed to unreasonable amounts of it but the "won't someone think of the children" types seem to think that any risk at all is too much. Their biggest problem (this is also a problem with the lawsuit-happy types) is that they can no longer tell the difference between preventable accidents (ie falling bricks and masonry on poorly maintained buildings) and unpreventable accidents (ie little Johnny skinning his knee after tripping on a curbstone). Preventable accidents should leave someone open to liability, unpreventable accidents should leave no one to blame (except possibly the person who should have known better but did it anyway and got hurt).



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