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Comment: Re:Yay for government!!! (Score 3, Interesting) 137

by mjwx (#46775865) Attached to: Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

The carriers already can (and do) block stolen phones. Each phone has a unique IMEI number, in addition to the SIM card number.

The carriers are already required to do this in some countries, and do it voluntarily in other countries. They just don't do it in the US.

IMEI blacklists are common in many countries, including the UK. When a device is stolen the IMEI number is put on the list and carriers reject the device and (potentially) notify investigators.

Blacklists are useless.

Steal phone in the UK, sell it in Poland or Hungary where the carrier doesn't have a blacklist.

Or better yet, change the IMEI.

A remote wipe will be equally as useless as the criminals will just learn to immediately turn the phone off and then give it to someone who can disable the remote wipe. There's always someone willing to sell their knowledge/skills with no morals. Why would you think this doesn't extend to people who hack phones.

Comment: Re:Same old, same old. (Score 1) 790

To this day I'll never understand why teachers were so blind to the fact that the bigger stronger "athletic" kids constantly harassed the weaker kids.

You're lucky, since in your case the bullies were actually considered to be part of the party at fault.

And the teachers actions are easy to understand when you realize that they're not interested in justice - they want peace in the classroom.

In modern times, the teachers hands are tied. If a teacher stands up to a bully, that bully's father is in the administrators office threatening lawyers.

I got bullied a bit in High School, one of the teachers was good with it. He'd let the bully get away with a little bit, but after he thought enough was enough he'd start using inventive forms of punishment (I.E. he'd put a dot on the blackboard and the student had to stand with their nose touching it).

Ultimately I defeated the bullies by becoming part of the clique. I developed a sense of humour, started cracking jokes and that ended up making friends. Once that happened the bullies (who are really, inherently cowards) realised that if they continued to pick on me, they'd be the ones outside the clique.

I really do feel for teachers these days, it's not that they want to tolerate the bullying, quite the contrary they'd love to toss the bully's out by the scruff of their necks with a swift boot to the pants for good measure but the shitstorm that would create would make WWII look like a school yard scuffle. Its getting to the point where helicopter parents and tiger mums are so aggressive with the layers that they cant even give them a negative report. The worst thing a teacher can write is "Little Johnny needs to pay more attention in class" which has become teacher code for "Little Johnny is a right little shit".

I used to share a house with two teachers, top blokes, always had good pot but their work was shit. If any parent made trouble with the principal, they'd get it dumped down on them two fold.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 790

1. Kids shoot up schools. Why schools?

Because your targets are guaranteed to be unable to shoot back?

Same with theatres, shopping centres, cafe's and MickyD's.

I know many Americans have this fantasy about everyone being John Wayne packing a six shooter and picking off a gunman at 1000 yards but the reality is, very few people carry and most of them wont be able to shoot straight at the best of times, let alone in the heat of an attack and they have no idea which person is the shooter.

You need to go back and re-read the GP's post, people who shoot up schools pick schools for very specific reasons.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 790

1. Kids shoot up schools. Why schools? Why not shopping malls before Christmas or movie theaters during blockbuster premiers? If it's body count and fame you're after, that's where you'd have to do your killing spree. Schools are rather meh for either. Not very cramped, lots of exits, before you can rack up a sensible body count most of the people already hit the exit. Now try a movie theater with 2 exits for 200+ people. Shot 10 or so and a body count of at least 50 is certain due to the stampede! So why schools?


Terrorists in Israel target theatres, buses and other places where they can kill a lot of people without having many escape. Blowing up a school doesn't make sense because campuses are large and open (ergo requires a lot of explosives).

It's not a killing spree. It's revenge. Plain and simple.

This, and why are kids feeling the need to get revenge?

Like you said, politicians, parents, news media are all very quick to blame video games, comic books, movies, rock and/or roll music but never look at the real cause. The society that created them.

The kids who go off the edge are reacting. You have to remember that the Columbine killers had lists of people to kill and they even let some people go because they were nice to them. Until the US abandons the Lord of the Flies culture in schools, until the US stops encouraging popularity contests by elevating mediocrity and finally admits that allowing those elevated by this system to ostracise people they don't like the US will continue to suffer from extreme violence in schools.

But this means the parents, politicans and news media need to admit the society they created is horribly wrong... and that's harder than blaming the people who got shot.

School shootings are not prevalent in other countries that have a higher rate of violence (violent crime, specifically shootings) because the same culture does not exist.

Comment: Re:my situation is similar (Score 1) 385

by mjwx (#46775403) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I'm not forced to pay the $30 fee. I could do my taxes by hand, if I wanted, and avoid it. TurboTax also has a free option which I could *probably* use, but for the $30 you get more hand-holding and sanity checks to make sure you didn't screw something up. To me, $30/year is worth it if it reduces my chance of being audited even slightly. Plus its way cheaper than what I'd pay an accountant or tax preparer.

Sure you could do it by hand, but then you risk all kinds of mistakes and increases the chance of being audited, so in effect, people are being forced to pay to submit their tax returns.

I find this to be criminal, keep your assault rifles, I'm happier with a sane tax code and working tax office.

In Australia, via the e-tax program you have to be retarded to stuff it up. Most companies submit your group certificates (the record that details how much you paid and the tax withheld) to the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) so most of your tax return fills itself out. Even filling one out as a small business isn't difficult (quarterly Business Activity Statements). People hate the ATO, but they do go out of their way to make doing your taxes easier and in effect I guess this makes their job easier too.

Comment: Re:Because nobody wanted the crummy battery life?? (Score 1) 43

by mjwx (#46763327) Attached to: Ubisoft Hands Out Nexus 7 Tablets At a Game's Press Event

While I love my Nexus 4 and especially the, now discontinued, Nexus 10, the 7 is a piece of junk, IMO. I run the same software on all of them (actually, less on the 7), and I have to charge it as often as the 4, which I use far more and is also receiving a cell signal.

The 10 is pretty sweet though. I can get almost two weeks, as compared to one/two days from the 7, with similar usage. I've wanted to throw the thing away myself. I don't blame Ubisoft.

Sounds like theirs something wrong with your Nexus 7.

I've never heard of battery problems with any Nexus 7 and I did a metric crapload of research before plonking down A$440 for the LTE variant of the Nexus 7. I realistically have to charge it once a week with normal usage or once every 5 days with heavy usage.

You've probably got a rouge app that keeps draining your battery life.

Comment: Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (Score 1) 297

by mjwx (#46763289) Attached to: Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

"Finally, would the British Empire accept a referendum by residents of it's colonies in the new world, for example, on breaking away from motherland and becoming independent?"

New Zealand,
Sri Lanaka,
Papua New Guinea,

This is just a short list of countries that voted for independence or gained independence from England using diplomatic means. Countries like Australia and New Zealand are quite proud that we gained our independence with a vote, not a war.

In fact the states that have been actively fighting the British have remained in British control the longest (Ireland).

You might be able to add Scotland to this list, after centuries of fighting the English for independence, it looks like they'll get it just by voting.

Comment: Re:Android ... (Score 1) 193

by mjwx (#46762947) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

Yes. I'd love to hear an unbiased review from a site that doesn't sell them. ...bought myself a WiFi hotspot and a cheap service plan (FreedomPop) today to start down this path.

There is an unbiased site, but you need to own a unicorn to get membership.

I'm still looking for a wiring loom for a Honda Integra (Acura RSX for the Americans).

Comment: Re:my situation is similar (Score 1) 385

by mjwx (#46762905) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Live in Texas, pretty simple tax return. I've always used TurboTax online and never had any complaints. I think I chose the $30 option.

Ever since I've been old enough to pay tax, the Australian government has offered free software (e-tax) to allow me to file tax free of charge (e-tax looks like it's interface is still in Windows 3.1). I find it to be criminal for the government to force a charge for you to file your taxes.

Even though I opt to pay an accountant to do my taxes for me, I have the choice.

Comment: Re:Overseas comment (Score 1) 385

by mjwx (#46762859) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I like the UK system - if you're an employee and you're happy with the tax your employer has withheld on your behalf, you don't have to do anything. You get a statement at the end of the year telling you how much you've been paid and how much tax has been withheld - if you think they've got it wrong, or you want to claim deductions, you file a tax return saying so.

Its the same system in Australia, but everyone has to file a tax return.

Where things get complex is when you have investments that are earning money, property, stocks, term deposits and the like.

Comment: Re:Automating taxes (Score 1) 416

by mjwx (#46762775) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

It would not be hard to make it clear to people how much "The Man" is taking.

You'd think so but I'm an accountant and I do our company payroll. You would be *amazed* at how seldom many people look at their paycheck, particularly if it is direct deposit. I get asked all the time how much vacation people have left even though it is printed right on our paystubs every two weeks.

I'm not amazed at how few people look at their payslips. Most employers in Oz send them electronically these days, it's nice to have them sent to my Gmail account where they automatically get tagged and filed.

The solution for people asking you how much leave they have left is to get a system that allows users to check this for themselves. Most employers I've worked for have an Intranet page where you can put in your preferred leave dates and it will tell you how much leave you will have accrued by that date.

Comment: Re:The Real Breakthrough - non auto-maker Maps (Score 1) 193

by mjwx (#46762647) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

Since Apple has no control over quality of implementation

But one great aspect of CarPlay has already done something I thought would not happen for a while - breaking the car manufactures monopoly on in-car mapping.

These two points contradict each other.

If Apple has no control over implementation, then implementation is till reliant on the good will of the car manufacturers to put it into _THEIR_ in car entertainment systems.

I don't know if CarPlay will gain any traction.

It wont, precisely because the manufacturers don't want to give up their monopoly.

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner