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Comment Re: encrypted file on flash drive (Score 1) 208

Setup automated "are you still alive?" checking with Have it email your password if you don't respond to a few checks in a few months. In lieu of the password, enough clues for family to reconstruct it if you're worried about these guys seeing it should do the trick. E.g First pet name + second pet name + wedding anniversary + favourite color etc etc.

Comment Re:I have a better idea (Score 2) 645

I'm amazed someone hasn't organized a Survivalist Cruise Ship of some sort and loaded the boat up with a bunch of trigger happy types who will pay hard cash for a chance to be shot at and return in kind (and then some). A few innocent looking luxury ships that suddenly bristle with well armed "sports fishermen" itching to test out various high-powered ballistics would no doubt go a long way towards curbing the problem in a pay-for-itself kind of way. Insurance would be an issue, but perhaps at this rate it already is if you say where you're planning on sailing. Perhaps a deal could be cut there anyway given how beneficial the insurers may see this activity...

Comment Re:Did the author completely overlook,,, (Score 1) 289

The problem with Nokia is that their customer is my Telco, not me.

Apples customer is me.

My Nokia E51 is skinned with the Telco's branding and for a non-techie is pretty hard to remove. It's menu/button arrangement results in me spending money/credit with my Telco if I hit the general "exit" button one time to many getting out of the sub-menus.

It still crashes after a few days and won't show the main menu until after a reboot. Is there a firmware update? Probably, if I go hunting for it. Have Apple been auto-distributing firmware updates since day one? Yes.

The infrastructure is not only provided by Apple to do so, but it's slanted towards the customer not the Telco in what it delivers.

Comment Re:Apple "It Just Works" (Score 1) 595

I reckon you're on the right track.

Throw in the infrastructure in place in Apple OS and their willingness to let any application use that infrastructure.

An address book in windows that all apps can interact with because they know it will always be there and comply with a set standard? Hell no, Microsoft Only ftw!

Apple isn't reliant on competing over software so they leave the welcome mat out.


Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment Re:Hmmmm. (Score 1) 835

I usually recommend friends spend the extra AU$40 and go for 4GB even though they're running XP. It'll make the improvement that much more pronounced when I throw Ubuntu on there a year or two when XP becomes (more) unusable.

Strange, no hits here searching for McAfee, that's usually the source of sudden performance issues on any machine I've had the misfortune to be running it on...


Submission + - 100 MB Connection Over Existing Phone Lines (

Opticalus writes: IDM are reporting that an Australian researcher has discovered a way of running VDSL over existing copper phone lines. This would mean the broadband speeds you currently see on Verizon and AT&T's fiber networks could be achieved on standard copper phone lines. The technology is still in testing phases and is based around reducing line interference to almost nothing in order to achieve 100 MB connections.

Submission + - Australian piracy scare campaign begins (

draxbear writes: "To kick off a new advertising campaign against piracy in Australia, local newspaper The Age reports that winning a local music award (ARIA) could result in unemployment for Australian musicians thanks to illegal downloads. To round out the spin a trove of industry loss statistics are bandied about, capped off with veiled threats of impending lawsuits."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The human race is likely to split into two races 5

Colin Smith writes:
Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said. Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.

Presumably most Slashdot readers are already in the process of evolving into Morlocks.

Submission + - The Economics Of Giving Things Away For Free

An anonymous reader writes: Lots of people think that giving stuff away for free somehow goes against "capitalism" or basic economics. However, what if that's not true? Techdirt has a detailed post going through the economics of free content and how it can be used to grow a market. When read in context, it shows why things like open source software actually are an important part of a thriving free market economy. Seems like a useful thing to read if you're in any business that relies on "intellectual property."

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department