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Comment Touch Screens Suck for a lot of things. (Score 4, Interesting) 305

I remember the local performing arts center getting new stage managers' consoles. The stupid thing was that the que buttons were on a touch screen. So their was no non-visual feedback as to wether it had been pressed or not. A stage manager has to keep their focus on the stage. They went back to the old push button system. This is just one example where the lack of kinaesthetic feedback makes touch screens a bad UI choice. There are many more examples. Wherever one needs to operate a control without looking directly at that control touch screens are a bad choice.

Comment Balinese Hash (Score 1) 100

How can a strange Balinese dance perform better than SHA2 as a hash algorithm. I'm sure that hash had something to do with the creation of the Kecak dance, but not the cryptographic sort.

Submission + - Climate Debate Suffers from Godwin's Law (

Melibeus writes: The climate change skeptic, Lord Christopher Monckton, has bought the climate change debate to the conclusion derived from Godwin's Law: ('s_law)

According to the ABC report: "Footage has been posted on the internet of a speech Lord Christopher Monckton gave to a conference in Los Angeles earlier this month. In it he displayed a Nazi swastika next to a quote from Professor Garnaut."

Professor Garnaut is the Australian Government's primary climate change adviser. In the video Monckton claims that Garnaut has a "fascist point of view".

It seems the debate is at an end with the invocation of Godwin's Law.


Submission + - Evony and Libel Tourism (

Melibeus writes: ABC Radio National's Law Report has a this program on the defamation case brought by Evony (a U.S. based company?) against a blogger from the U.K.,Bruce Everiss in an Australian court. I forebodes some interesting times as in an increasingly globalised world companies choose their battlegrounds based on variations in local laws and how difficult it is for the defendant to access the court.

Evony is seeking damages to cover it's worldwide loss of reputation in the Australian court, not just the losses allegedly occurring in Australia. Evony has also threatened to take the U.K. Guardian to the N.S.W. supreme court too based on this article published in July.

One of the deciding factors in this case is the claim that Evony is a company with less than ten employees, worldwide. That's some mighty outsourcing.

Comment The last cycle. (Score 1) 600

The Mayans have no idea of scale, pah! cycles of only 3000 odd years!
The Abrahamic religions with their piddling 6-8000 year timescales are also damn narrow thinkers.

Now, according to the Hindu teachers we're in Kali Yuga.
This is the last of 4 cycles, the one of dissolution and degeneration. (They've got the mood of the time right.)
Hurry and get your things in order! There's only some 427000 years or so left!

I admire a belief system that has a long view of history...still nowhere near geological timescales though.

Comment Re:Environmentalism means losing your mind (Score 5, Insightful) 942

In reply to your points,

1) On CFLs. You have this one right. It's a ery obvious case of greenwash.

2) Getting plastic bags out of our waste would be a very good thing. I've seen how many end up in the ocean and affect sea life. I agree though that the
supermarkets cynical approach is to sell us plastic bags that should be cheaper to make. Today I bought a 'biodegradeable' bag made from corn starch or some such thing for 15c. I can't see how cornstarch is more expensive than using oil to make plastic. Someone is profiteering, supermarkets or bag makers?

3) I don't see your point with solar hot water systems. My parents had one since the mid 1960's. It was replaced once and has given them hot water for four decades. They don't take much in the way of materials to make. Its only a metal and glass panel on the roof and a tank. The booster uses much less energy since on a cool day it's only usually having to heat the water from 30 or 40 degrees C. Most of the time the problem was that the water would come out TOO hot.

4) Water scarcity. You obviously don't live in marginal land. The current round of drought in Australia is getting critical. I do agree though that de-salination is not the way to go. Here in Australia we should be pouring less water into cattle, cotton and rice and growing more water efficient crops. Also it's mostly a distribution problem.

Your conclusion is spot on. Exponential growth in a finite world will lead to catastrophe. As far as I can see there's not a politician on the planet other than the Chinese communist government that have made any attempt to really address that issue.

Comment Joystick control is used all over the place. (Score 1) 609

(Pun intended in title)

I've driven forklifts, knuckle-booms, scissor lifts and loaders all with various forms of joystick control.
Joystick controlled forklifts are the best!

Still, I'm not sure it's right for a car. All the vehicles above go slowly and need to manouver (sp?)
in tight spots. Joysticks would not seem so good for fast travel, though aircraft use them.

It might be good to have a joystick as an auxilliary control for parking and doing donuts...

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