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Comment: Re:Way for *any hacker* to brick your phone (Score 2) 298

I want a kill switch, in fact I have one on my phone right now in the form of an IMEI blocking scheme by my telco. If someone nicks my new phone it will be worthless within a day.

So far the schemes seem to be working fine and has been adopted across most of Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It's not actively enforced in many parts of asia and as such has become a hotspot for stolen phone sales.

Comment: Re:IMEI Blocking in Australia (Score 2) 298

Lots of countries do this already. The US is one of the few that doesnt, and seem to be getting their panties in a knot trying to figure it out. I dont know if it's a "not invented here" issue or just a deep seated mistrust of their government.

The fact is:
- IMEI blocking has generally been working fine. There are supposedly methods to reflash the IMEI on *some* phones but it's quite difficult.
- We are not seeing reports of governments abusing the feature.

Comment: Re:So let me get this Straight. (Score 2) 219

by aXis100 (#47645149) Attached to: Point-and-Shoot: TrackingPoint's New Linux-Controlled AR-15s

It's easier to aim a laser tag with a small switch - and correct it if you've got it wrong - than to aim and fire using the trigger perfectly the first time.

It's all about repercussions and sensitivity - the target probably wont get alerted by the tagging beam, and you can correct it as many times as you like whilst maintaining stealth. Once you have it right, the first real bullet will hit it's mark and the show is over.

Comment: Re:Why do CS grads become lowly programmers? (Score 1) 637

by aXis100 (#47618719) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Like it or not, a significant portion - maybe even a majority - of multi-million dollar software projects fail dismally.

Maybe the problem is the (lack of) software engineering. Maybe it's the project management. Most likely it's really poor requirements gathering from clueless users who fill the scope full of edge cases. Either way, the industry has a shockingly poor reputation.

Until the software industry can get their shit together, I'm hesitant to use the word "engineering" anywhere near it.

Comment: Re:Govt panders to short-sighted voters, news at 1 (Score 1) 291

by aXis100 (#47480791) Attached to: Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

You're missing the point.

The existance of the chaplancy program is not the issue. I don't agree with it in principle because the government shouldn't be funding non-secular activities, but I can see the merit in some sort of school counselling and support.

The real issue is the Liberals have cut science and environment funding, but retained a controversial religious based program. It appears to be inconsistent with responsible, secular government.

Comment: Govt panders to short-sighted voters, news at 11 (Score 5, Informative) 291

by aXis100 (#47479757) Attached to: Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

Voters love the environment until it costs them money.

The Australian economy is having some troubles, but by world standard we are doing OK. Some poeple are genuinely doing it tough and struggle to afford the higher prices caused by the carbon tax, so they want it repealed. More poeple still *think* they are doing it tough, but can still afford ciggies and pay TV. These are a prime demographic for swinging votes, so the government loves to give them a price cut too.

Fearmongering and a brutal budget this year have made things worse, we are going into Austerity mode (when it is arguably not required) so poeple think that doing something responsible for the environment like the carbon tax is just a "nice to have" and easily discarded.

Makes me sad to be an Aussie sometimes. The current government has agressively wound back the clock on science and social responsibility:
- Abolished Australian Renewables Energy Agency, worth $1.3 billion.
- Stretched $2.5 Billion Emmisions Reduction Fund over 10 years instead of 4
- Cut $460 million from Carbon Capture and Storage
- Scrapped the National Water Comission and the Standing Council on Enviroment and Water
- Cut $110 milliion from CSIRO (the research group that developed WiFi and lots of other cool things)
- Cut $75 million from the Australian Research Council
- Cut $80 million from the Cooperative Research Centres program
- Cut $8 million from the Australian Institute of Marine Science
- Cut $120 million from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation
- Cut $28 million from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
- Cut $36 million from Geoscience Australia

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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