Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Like little children (Score 2) 359

by NewtonsLaw (#48655685) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

Not such a bad idea... just look at what Lee Kwan Yew did for Singapore -- turned it from a backwards island state into one of the world's most sophisticated, modern countries with low tax rates and enviable prosperity.

Benevolent dictators are sometimes a whole lot better than corrupt (faux) democracies controlled by the movie and defense industries behind the scenes... don't you think?

Who gives a damn if you get caned for chewing gum anyway :-)

Comment: Like little children (Score 0) 359

by NewtonsLaw (#48654705) Attached to: North Korean Internet Is Down

Is this the USA's response to the claims that N.Korea hacked Sony?

Why am I reminded of petulant children squabbling over who gets to pat the new puppy?

Imagine how much closer we (as a race) would be if we could eliminate all the stupid waste that politics and warmongering produces. Hell, I'd have my jetpack, my flying car and my holiday on the moon all lined up for Christmas!

Instead, unbelievable amounts of money, time and effort are wasted on silly games and squabbles -- while huge swathes of our population suffer at the hands of disease, war, religious zealots and political gaming.

Hard to believe it's Christmas eh?

Comment: Quick response (Score 1) 245

When the nice Indian gentleman tells me that my computer has a virus I simply scream "OH MY GOD NO! NOT A VIRUS? Aaaaarggghhh!" and start making loud banging noises with my hand on the desk.

After a short moment I then say in a breathless voice "I have destroyed the computer, can you suggest a good place to buy a new one?"

That usually leaves them dazed and confused -- whereapon they hang up.

Lots of fun for all the family :-)

Comment: The right to be presumed innocent? (Score 4, Insightful) 90

Are you kidding... we lost the right to be presumed innocent years ago.

The police can set up a road-block and demand that drivers provide a breath test and proof of their license at any time. Isn't that a presumption of guilt rather than innocence?

The taxman can deliver an assessment that says you owe $xxxxx in taxes and you are presumed to be guilty unless you can prove you don't owe that much in tax. Where's the presumption of innocence there?

Citizens of the USA have given away most of their constitutional rights after being duped by a government that says that those rights must be surrendered to avoid massive terror attacks and Australia (plus NZ) have becom little more than lap-dogs to the US government.

Here in NZ, Kim Dotcom (love him or hate him) has had his assets seized and was incarcerated at the US government's whim -- even though he has not been convicted of any of the charges laid against him. Where's his right to be presumed innocent?

I'm afraid that the world in 2014 is a very sad place where most Western governments consider all their citizens to be enemies of the state unless they can prove otherwise.

The terrorists have won this war completely -- they have done what the Germans could not do in WW1 and WW2 -- they have taken our freedoms from us and we have surrendered them without a fight.

As Midnight Oil so wisely said: It's better to die on your feet than live on your knees -- what a shame our politicians don't get it.

Comment: Re:Riiiiight. (Score 1) 233

by NewtonsLaw (#48584339) Attached to: Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

That mirrors my experience also -- albeit we're talking about the versions that were around up to about 2003. It was one super-cool, very elegant and lightweight OS that just worked and worked (as most RTOSes are required to).

It's a shame that its lack of applications (outside the realm of process-control and bespoke code) so restricted its market.

And the company that wrote it was pretty cool too. I recall that they used to include a bag of choc-chip cookies in the boxed editions that I bought -- a nice touch!

Comment: Sense And Avoid development banned by CAA (Score 1) 129

I've been working on an active/passive "sense and avoid" SAA technology for about 18 months and it is showing great promise.

Despite being a little larger than a deck of cards and weighing under 200g, the sense element can now accurately detect and track objects within a 1.5Km radius and the tracking system interpolates the trajectories of other craft to detect potential collision with the craft to which the system is fitted.

The goal is to produce a system that can be sold for hundreds (rather than thousands) of dollars and could therefore be fitted as standard equipment to a huge percentage of the unmanned (and manned) aircraft that fill our skies.

Unfortunately, here in NZ, the aviation regulator (CAA) has been hijacked by the national model aircraft group and, because I dared to criticize the latter, I my development work has been effectively halted by the former.

Never underestimate the ability of bureaucrats and bullies use claims of "safety" as a blunt weapon to "deal to" those they don't agree with. Their motto should be: "Safety At All costs -- no matter how many innocent souls must die".

Sigh!

Comment: Yes, NZ's political system is corrupt and broken (Score 0) 151

by NewtonsLaw (#48462905) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of KD's actions, one thing has been very strongly lighlighted by his arrival in NZ and the actions that have followed from that.

When he first arrived, he was welcomed with open arms by the government, despite his shady past.

Why?

Well he had *lots* of money and was prepared to give some to the government and spend the rest locally.

Yes, you *can* buy your way into New Zealand -- despite claims to the contrary.

Then many people of power and influence hob-nobbed with KD, hoping perhaps that they'd get favours from him -- as indeed one politician did, to the tune of thousands of dollars contributed to his funds but not declared (later resulting in a conviction for that MP for filing false returns).

Once KD had given huge sums of his money to the NZ government he was then of little further use to them so they were more than happy to help out their US overlords (the FBI and MPAA) by engaging in *unlawful* surveillance and an unlawful raid and asset seizure. Despite the illegality of these government-organised activities, nobody involved or responsible has been censured for breaking the law. How convenient, and another sign of deep-rooted corruption.

Once KD dared to meddle in local politics by funding a party which stood at the last election, this was the final straw. The Prime Minister (whose office has been engaged in some *very* shady dealing with our Security Intelligence Service recently, prompting that agency to apologize to another opposition MP) has now obviously decided that it's time to kick KD to the curb.

In any *real* democracy where people's rights are respected and the government and its agencies are required to obey the laws that they pass, there would be little problem. However, as has been seen by the massive trail of graft and corruption, plus the ongoing lack of accountability for wrong-doing on the part of the PM, his office and its agencies, it's unlikely that KD will get a fair deal at all.

As I said... I don't give a damn whether KD is an angel or the devil incarnate -- his mere presence in this country has exposed the lie which is a claim that we are the least corrupt country on Earth. No... the truth is that, until now, we've been the best at covering up huge levels of corruption that are now exposed for all to see.

Comment: Yeah... right! (Score 1) 82

by NewtonsLaw (#48267481) Attached to: "Ambulance Drone" Prototype Unveiled In Holland

Given the huge hurdles that airspace administrators are presently placing in the way of *any* non-recreational use of drones (witness the way the FAA has repeatedly tried to shut down those being used for search-and-rescue activities), can you possibly imagine the red-tape involved in getting clearance to launch one of these life-saving drones?

By the time the paperwork was done, the corpse would have already rotted away to just bones and parchment-like skin.

Governments talk about the "huge potential" of drones -- but the regulators say "no, no... you can't do that".

Crazy, crazy, crazy!

Comment: Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 95

by NewtonsLaw (#48267475) Attached to: Secret Policy Allows GCHQ Bulk Access To NSA Data

Can someone remind me why it is that we, the people who elect and pay the wages of the politicians and public servants who seek to destroy our right to privacy in this way, continue to allow such outrageous behavior to continue?

Has the concept of a democracy been replaced by one of serial fascism where voters are lulled into a false sense of empowerment by governments which collude with the *real* power-brokers to simply look after their own best interests and for who "voters" are synonymous with taxpayers -- a necessary evil required to keep the oily wheels of government turning?

They say we get the governments we deserve -- if that's true, we must be truly evil bastards!

Comment: Re:Oh yeah, that guy (Score 5, Interesting) 289

by NewtonsLaw (#48216245) Attached to: Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

Well if you'd been holed-up in a small room for years under the threat of extradition (ulitmately) to some US holiday camp where waterboarding is considered a social activity, wouldn't your outlooks and perceptions have been somewhat altered by the experience?

Let's not forget that Assange, through his Wikileaks disclosures, has done a hell of a lot to wake the people of the world up to the nastiness of those who forget they are in the public service and instead believe they are rulers and demigods by right.

While Assange is open to criticism on many fronts, never forget that he *has* done a lot to help preserve what few freedoms we still have.

I more strongly criticise those who see the wrongs that have been done and do nothing to right them. That's the *vast* majority of the great unwashed out there.

Comment: Re:Crash Test? (Score 2) 203

by NewtonsLaw (#48080233) Attached to: A Production-Ready Flying Car Is Coming This Month

What a load of BS. Moller's "flying car" is a joke -- a bit like Stan Meyer's water-powered car was. It's always easy to create a conspiracy to cover up a complete lack of substance when you're busy trying to milk gullible investors!

As for the flying car referenced in this article/video -- it's just like all the others and will never "fly" from a commercial perspective because:

  - it's a crappy car (too many compromises in order to make it fly)
  - it's a crappy plane (too many compromises in order to make it drive)
  - it's a death-trap (because of the two points listed above)
  - it's probably going to be *way* overpriced -- such that you could buy both a *good* car and a *good* plane for less money and without the compromises.

Comment: Re:C=128 (Score 2) 167

by NewtonsLaw (#48011147) Attached to: Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

The problem with the 6502 was that if you were writing code for someone else's environment then your use of Page 0 (which many of the index-based instructions used intensively) was restricted because the OS often took up most of that space.

If you were writing code that was totally stand-alone (ie: no bios or OS to worry about) then the 6502 environment was *very* nice and could perform incredibly well. However, if you were writing code that sat atop a BIOS/OS layer then the Z80 was just so much simpler and less frustrating to code for.

Speed-wise, the Ohio Superboard (6502) would roundly trounce a TRS80 Model 1 in single-precision floating point math run through the relevant BASIC interpeters and ultimately and tightly coded 6502 code would also trounce the same written for the Z80 -- unless Page0 was already used up on the 6502 system.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

Working...