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Comment Re:This is what passes for innovation (Score 5, Insightful) 595

If I had mod points I would mod you up.
My phone contract expires in about 8 weeks. With a contract renewal I will get a new phone. I have a bunch of criteria that I have around what I need but being 1mm thinner than the previous model isn't on my list. With Apple having issues with bending phones with the last release I would be tempted to think that unless they make the whole phone bendable a thinner phone will simply mean a fragile phone.
Removing the audio jack is design wank. A bunch of "creative types" has decided that they want a thinner, sleeker phone and that it would be cool not to have the audio jack. Marketing thinks it's great because they get to sell lots of Beats by Dr Dre headphones at vastly inflated prices. Customer think it's a con because they have wired headsets and are still smarting from having to replace their expensive Bose speakers because of the Lighting Connector. Change for the sake of change.

Comment Re:Satellite imagery of wildfires is so 1990. (Score 1) 289

It's not central Australia that's the issue. Have a look at some of the images from the Black Saturday fires in Victoria, Australia in 2009. 1.1 million acres burned and 173 people died. Victoria is Australia's most densley-populated state. Melbourne's temperature reached over 46C, (115 F).
If you have a look here you will see the cloud of smoke from the fires, the land mass on the right of the picture is New Zealand, and the cloud is covering most of the South Island. Entire towns were virtually destroyed by the fires. So the issue isn't just central Australia, it's the populated areas.

Comment Re: BBQ (Score 5, Informative) 289

Yep, I had Kanga Bangas for dinner last night. Not as succulent (fatty) as regular sausages and with a stronger flavour but not bad all the same. Kangaroo burgers rock, and Kangaroo steak is great when done quite rare, but overcook it and it goes tougher than a pair of Chuck Norris's boots.
Kangaroo meat is also much better for you and the environment than beef. Kangaroos need to be culled in many parts of Australia due to rising population levels (there are considerably more kangaroos in Australia now than before white settlement, due to agriculture), the meat is very low in fat, and kangaroos fart far less than cows, so we don't get the methane output that cows produce. If you can get kangaroo meat, try it.

Comment Re:So you'll feel the same way about Bradley Manni (Score 1, Interesting) 278

You're on Slashdot. I think a high proportion of the people on here will not have a remote chance of having children. But if any of the neckbeards on here want to justify their lack of children by saying they lived in fear of one day having kids used against them by the FBI, rather than the fact that no sane woman with most of her own teeth would sleep with them, then you have helped the less fortunate of the world and done your good deed for the day.

Comment Re:new yorker (Score 3, Informative) 647

John Brown is an amazing character that is held up as a hero by the far right and the far left and of whom even the "middle" stand in awe (if a bit uncomfortably). The things that happened at Harpers Ferry are still affecting us today.

If you like historical romps the whole "Flashman" series by George MacDonald Fraser are excellent, and they even include one that centres on the events of Harpers Ferry. The concept is that Flashman (the bully from "Tom Brown's School Days") is expanded on and his life after being expelled is explained. In his memoirs he describes how he became a hero and celebrated soldier all the while he was a scoundrel, coward and cad. Excellent series of books. Apparently when it was first published, at least one reviewer thought it was a real memoir.

Terry Pratchett, Robert Rankin, Jasper Fforde are all great, quite British but I'm sure an American wouldn't be too put off by anything in there.


Submission + - iPhone Self-Combusts on Plane (

nfras writes: The Melbourne AGE is reporting that an iPhone 4 was "glowing red hot and emitting a significant amount of smoke" on a plane in Australia. Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) are investigating.

Submission + - Europe's Largest IT Company to Ban Internal Email 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos, Europe's Largest IT Company, wants a "zero email" policy to be in place in 18 months, arguing that only 10 per cent of the 200 electronic messages his employees receive per day on average turn out to be useful and that staff spend between 5-20 hours handling emails every week. "The email is no longer the appropriate (communication) tool," says Breton. "The deluge of information will be one of the most important problems a company will have to face (in the future). It is time to think differently." Instead Breton wants staff at Atos, an international information technology corporation which operates in 42 countries worldwide, with over 78,500 employees, to use chat-type collaborative services inspired by social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter as surveys show that the younger generation have already all but scrapped email, with only 11 per cent of 11 to 19 year-olds using it,. For his part Breton hasn't sent a work email in three years. "If people want to talk to me, they can come and visit me, call or send me a text message. Emails cannot replace the spoken word.""

Submission + - Free Software activists take on Google search (

alphadogg writes: Free software activists have released a peer-to-peer search engine to take on Google, Yahoo, Bing and others. The free, distributed search engine, YaCy, takes a new approach to search. Rather than using a central server, its search results come from a network of independent "peers," users who have downloaded the YaCy software. The aim is that no single entity gets to decide what gets listed, or in which order results appear. "Most of what we do on the Internet involves search. It's the vital link between us and the information we're looking for. For such an essential function, we cannot rely on a few large companies and compromise our privacy in the process," said Michael Christen, YaCy's project leader.

Comment Been using it for years (Score 3, Interesting) 444

Came to Australia in 1998 and thought the polymer notes looked like Monopoly money. Having used it for a while it's so much better than the paper stuff. Hardly ever tears, is easy to see how much you have in your wallet just by opening it. Stands out from a wad of receipts.
Whenever I have to go the US I hate having to use those crappy bits of toilet paper that feel like they been stuck to some homeless guy's arse since 1973.


Inventor Creates Flotation Device Bazooka 144

Australian inventor Sam Adeloju has won the £20,000 ($32,000) James Dyson Award for inventing the coolest piece of life-saving equipment ever. The Longreach is a modified bazooka which can fire an expanding flotation device up to 150m to a person in distress. From the article: "Mr Adeloju told that the Longreach was inspired by a grenade-launch training session with the Army Reserves. Weighing just 3.5kg, it shoots the rescue device 150m in a manner similar to the way the army uses a grenade launcher to deliver flares and aerial observation devices. Hitting the water activates an expanding foam unit in the Longreach rescue unit, which also incorporates LED illumination and a vortex air whistle."

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