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Comment DSE = Radio Shack (Score 5, Interesting) 128

For those who don't live in Australia or New Zealand DSE is like Radio Shack but has suffered a worse decline in to just another appliance store. Like Radio Shack DSE used to sell electronic components to the general public and like Radio Shack they have shifted focus to selling appliances. The biggest difference is that if you spend long enough looking it is still possible to find and purchase a resistor at Radio Shack, but at DSE you can't anymore. While the staff at DSE are nice enough people they are low paid drones who often would not think of issues such as formatting returned media. While there may be a company policy on the issue it is probably just one of dozens the staff are meant to follow but, as minimum wage workers, may forget or ignore.

Comment Re:When? (Score 1) 93

It would help if you look at the Wikipedia link in my earlier posting, When you use a corrected map with the South Pole at the top you will find the East is on your left. With summer pretty much started here and straddling the New Year it is unclear if it should be called the Summer of 2011 or 2012? Doesn't the W in W3C stand for World? So using a season for a time frame is ambiguous. Not as bad as saying 'Fall' which has to be translated from American to the English 'Autumn' then possibly reversed to 'Spring'. Q1 or Q3 is so much easier!

Comment We already have them in New Zealand (Score 1) 235

I'm not a fan of CCTV being over used but as it isn't normally available for access when used in a taxi the abuse potential is pretty small. We haven't had them long but they have already caught one scumbag http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10764246 on video. Used in this limited fashion I support their use.

Comment China leads on EV usage (Score 1) 242

I am in China now and the rate of change here is amazing. The amount of development in roading and new building is nothing short of impressive but what I really noticed the high rate of EV usage. In the 'developed' world we talk about how great EVs would be if they were both practical and cheap but in China they just get on with it because here EVs are both very practical and cheap. For USD $250 to $350 you can buy the functional equivalent to a 50cc scooter which is cheaper to run and can take you anywhere in the city and back home on a charge. What more do you need? It seems to me the difference is the Chinese will use something if it's good enough for what they do most of the time where as we have to have a vehicle that does everything we might want to do, even if we seldom have the need. I guess the truth is there is many factors at play but the bottom line is in the cities I have seen here the EV scooters significantly outnumber cars but back home (New Zealand) I have never seen an actual EV in use on a public road. I should add I don't count half assed hybrid like a Prius as an EV unless it can be used without petrol.

Comment In New Zealand (Score 1) 467

Here in New Zealand it would only be a problem for a small number of bigots but for the most part is likely to be positive. In my case it has clearly been a good thing. When I worked for the TAB (horse racing) it required high quality audited code, which looks good on a CV. When I worked for a casino I had be police interview and certified as a reputable citizen which is also good on a CV, and I always thought I was certifiable ;-)

Comment General advice from Auckland, New Zealand (Score 2, Informative) 5

The market here in New Zealand has been heavily hit by the down turn and it's hard to find good paying jobs but is showing signs of recovery. Compared to the US you will find pay is low but that is partly offset by a lower cost of living. You may want to give some thought to where you would want to live. The type of work you are seeking is most likely found in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, in that order. Auckland is the clear leader in terms of market size and has the advantage that more companies have their development work done here but is the most expensive place for housing. I have lived in all three and Auckland is my preference based on climate and resources but all three cities have their merit so don't rule the other two out. To find a job or just more about the job market try http://www.seek.co.nz/ and http://www.trademe.co.nz/Trade-me-jobs/index.htm. I would also strongly recommend you check out our government immigration websites as the right to work here is much like your green card system, complicated. Check out http://newzealand.govt.nz/browse/immigration/ Good luck ;-) P.S. First post?
Biotech

Novel Algae Fuel-Farming Method Gets Big Backing 176

Al writes "Dow Chemical has given its backing to a Florida startup called Algenol Biofuels that hopes to produce commercial quantities of ethanol directly from algae without the need for fresh water or agricultural lands. Dozens of companies are trying to produce biofuels from algae, mostly by growing and harvesting the microorganisms to extract their oil. Algenol has chosen instead to genetically enhance certain strains of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, to convert as much carbon dioxide as possible into ethanol using a process that doesn't require harvesting to collect the fuel. Algenol's bioreactors are troughs covered by a dome of semitransparent film and filled with salt water that has been pumped in straight from the ocean. The photosynthetic algae growing inside are exposed to sunlight and fed a stream of carbon dioxide from Dow's chemical production units. The goal is to produce 100,000 gallons of ethanol annually."

Comment Kind of happened to me too (Score 1) 263

I was looking thru my web server logs and noticed one of my photos was being referenced often from another site. I turns out some guy was using a photo of me on a motorcycle as his icon/avatar on some motorcycle forums. Since he was referencing my site directly I was tempted to change the image to something wacky for a laugh but since I couldn't be recognized behind the helmet I thought it was harmless and was kind of faltered so didn't change it.

Comment Why bother? (Score 1) 169

When I heard about WiMax I was excited about the idea of long range WiFi as that's what the name and technology implied. But reality killed that when I found it was licensed space so could not be freely used like WiFi and name was a classic case of false advertising. I'm not sure who owns the spectrum where you are but the cases I have heard of are all telcos are buying the rights. Given the screw every cent you can out of the customer attitude of telcos in this part of the world it's clear that WiMax will offer nothing that G3 doesn't already. I couldn't care less what happens to WiMax, it's just another acronym in the soup of big business.

Comment The real fun will be later (Score 1) 414

It will be popular with that significant group of consumers who just buy things without think about the future. Microsoft has always done well out of those customers. Where it will get interesting is when those customers are asked to repurchase all their music because they have a new phone. The response in different countries will be interesting and expensive for Microsoft. In the USA I guess there will be a class action lawsuit that will take years to resolve. Here in New Zealand consumer law will force them to fix the problem promptly or face large fines and I suspect the EU will be the same but take longer and fine them even after they have fixed the problem.
Digital

Submission + - The history of the digital camera

An anonymous reader writes: CNet is running an interesting article about the history of the digital camera, "From theoretical beginnings as a space-travel navigation aid, the digital camera has developed from roots in tapeless analogue cameras, through sky-charting behemoths and consumer concepts. We've charted the milestones, the innovators, the groundbreakers and the downright strange. Take a look to see where your camera came from, as we visit Grandad Kodak, Uncle Apple and a whole family tree of camera cousins".

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