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Comment Re:Hey US... (Score 2) 650

Except that you can't unilaterally outlaw the use of USD in transnational commerce without utterly fucking yourself, unless you're massively powerful. China could, maybe, though the fact the Yuan is pegged to the USD would be challenging. The EU as a bloc could, probably, but no single member could. Nobody else has a currency that is accepted in the way that the USD is accepted. If you're not planning on trading with anyone else then, sure, outlaw the USD by all means.

Comment Re:Hopefully... (Score 1) 612

The Australian Government might be thoroughly in the pockets of the United States, but their courts appear to treat being an independent judiciary with appropriate seriousness. The Australia-US extradition treaty doesn't provide for Assange to be extradited, and extradition is a legal process that is overseen by the Judiciary.

Comment This article from 1996 never gets old (Score 4, Interesting) 188

Titled They Write the Right Stuff it looks at the coding practices at the company that wrote the control software for the space shuttles. If you want to know about documentation as a bug-finding tool, this is pretty much the holy grail.

Consider these stats : the last three versions of the program -- each 420,000 lines long-had just one error each. The last 11 versions of this software had a total of 17 errors. Commercial programs of equivalent complexity would have 5,000 errors.
Take the upgrade of the software to permit the shuttle to navigate with Global Positioning Satellites, a change that involves just 1.5% of the program, or 6,366 lines of code. The specs for that one change run 2,500 pages, a volume thicker than a phone book.

Comment Re:September 12 (Score 1) 340

New Zealand's law on extradition requires that the extradition offence also be a crime under NZ and be punishable by a maximum sentence of at least one year in jail.

Since our copyright law restricts criminal infringement to "in the course of business" (ie: you're in the business of selling infringing copies), or "distribut[ing] otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner", he'd be safe here.
The penalty qualifies, but the actions would not be criminal under NZ law.

Comment Re:For non-US readers (Score 1) 83

Strict geographical boundaries are stupid, because you'll end up with irregular numbers of voters in each electorate. If a vote is meant to be equal in every seat, you need roughly equal numbers of voters otherwise voters in sparsely-populated electorates have far more power than voters in heavily-populated ones. So the number of voters is important if you care in the slightest about equity in voting influence. That said, the drawing up of the boundaries should not be influenced by those for whom the voter constitution of the electorates matters. Where I come from, that's called corruption and there are criminal penalties.

Comment Foxes designing the hen-house locks (Score 1) 83

The process of letting those who are elected determine the boundaries for the electorates is so unbelievably corrupt that were it anywhere other than the US I would be surprised. But your entire system of government is corrupted beyond recognition, so we just shrug and say "Fucking Yanks!" Here in New Zealand, appointed officials with statutory independence from the elected government handle the issue of electorate boundaries. It just makes sense. There's no benefit to them in gaming the boundaries, so they do an objective job instead of making decisions based on keeping their noses in the trough.

Comment Re:Rubbish (Score 1) 253

Oi. You've been around long enough to know the rules. Knowledgeable, informed posts are contrary to the T&C. Go back to your porch. Sheesh. It's geezers like you that give whippersnappers like me a bad name. I'll be getting off your lawn now.

Submission + - New Zealand u-turns, will grant software patents ( 2

ciaran_o_riordan writes: Due to lobbying by a group called NZICT, New Zealand's parliament is now set to let go of its proposal to ban software patents. Patent attorney Steven Lundberg announced the details in a blog entry. This was quickly deleted, but not before it got stored in Google cache. Here we can read that "Hon Simon Power has asked MED [Ministry of Economic Development] to work with the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office to redraft the section along the lines of the European Patent Convention." Which is exactly the opposite of March's announcement that "computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques" The background to this case gives every reason to be hopeful, if computer users in New Zealand get active again.

Comment Re:Someone forgot the rules... (Score 1) 230

Weight. Unless you're building from scratch, with a hefty engineering budget, putting heavy shit higher than the foundation level means lots of load-bearing components. That means losing lots of space in the floors below, due to the greater size and/or density of pillars, and also increases significantly the cost of the floors that must take this weight.

If your DC is in the basement, or whichever floor is closest to the foundations, you've got the in-built load-bearing functionality of the whole planet, and it's free. Justifying the extra construction cost for an above-ground-level DC is hard unless the purpose of the building is to act as a DC. Consider how much a full rack weighs (a rack full of fully-loaded Sun Thumper systems is over a tonne), and then think about what's involved in engineering to carry that load many times over. Even if you only top out at a half-tonne per rack, that's still a significant load in a small footprint. It's not hard to engineer to deal with that, but it is expensive.

Comment Re:It should read 'stoopid people hath spoken' (Score 1) 982

Come again on that one? If you have access to the hardware you can set the password to anything you want. You don't need the old password.

That's all fine and dandy if the configuration of the devices is stored in non-volatile memory, and/or you have full documentation that will allow you to rebuild the network configuration in a reasonable (this was the FC network for a major city's government, so "reasonable" is probably a couple of days at most) time.
In this case there was no certainty that the configurations were saved to NV memory (I think I read that they were actually known to have not been saved permanently), and certainly no documentation that could've had the network rebuilt inside a period of weeks. Password recovery on Cisco boxes, where it's even possible (new versions of IOS allow it to be disabled), requires reboots. Reboots lose unsaved configuration. Where you are unsure that the configuration has been written to storage and lack documentation of the network configuration, you cannot safely undertake password recovery.

Physical access has limits where you are dealing with systems that don't automatically write all configuration changes to non-volatile storage.

Comment Re:Flawed system. (Score 1) 108

Their "whining", as you put it, is exactly right. The aid organisations have millions of dollars to spend on rebuilding Haiti, and that money is, according to fundamental principles of humanitarian aid, best spent in the local community. That means spending it with local businesses to procure goods and services for use in the aid effort. That means, in this case, paying local ISPs for service. It's not whining at all, it's an observation that there's local capacity that's not being used, or, in the cases where it is being used it's being used without payment. Donating services to the aid effort at the outset is being a good citizen, but it very quickly becomes unfair for the aid organisations to use those services and continue to not pay. The money is there, it is meant to be used.

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You mean you didn't *know* she was off making lots of little phone companies?