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Comments

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NASA Considers Autonomous Martian Helicopter To Augment Future Rovers

MichaelSmith Re:Lift? (83 comments)

There is a lot more Methane in the two smaller giant planets.

3 days ago
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NASA Considers Autonomous Martian Helicopter To Augment Future Rovers

MichaelSmith Re:Lift? (83 comments)

The only place in the solar system better for balloons is Venus

You forgot the gas giants.

3 days ago
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Could Tizen Be the Next Android?

MichaelSmith Re:Wat need does it fulfill better (241 comments)

It would be like TinyBASIC or MicroVMS. A temporary solution to take advantage of cheap hardware but a year down the track, good hardware would be cheap enough to run the real thing.

about a week ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

MichaelSmith Re:The Dangers of the World (783 comments)

Or more to the point they are more likely to suffer from not learning how to take care of themselves.

about two weeks ago
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Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

MichaelSmith Re:The Dangers of the World (783 comments)

At 10 years old I was getting up at 4:30 in the morning to deliver newspapers (1980's Los Angeles County). I would never allow my children to do this today

Why do you think "today" is any different?

about two weeks ago
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Rust Programming Language Reaches 1.0 Alpha

MichaelSmith Re:Not dependently type (161 comments)

How did they get dominant in the first place

Less work to do up front makes it easy to get started. Not your problem if a 100000 line code base is unmaintainable down the track

about two weeks ago
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Sloppy File Permissions Make Red Star OS Vulnerable

MichaelSmith Re:Good ol' 777 (105 comments)

Yes I agree thats way more secure.

about two weeks ago
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Sloppy File Permissions Make Red Star OS Vulnerable

MichaelSmith Re:Good ol' 777 (105 comments)

What I mean is that cat /home/me/www/path/to/index.html will say Permission denied but it won't say Permission denied reading /home/me

about three weeks ago
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Sloppy File Permissions Make Red Star OS Vulnerable

MichaelSmith Re:Good ol' 777 (105 comments)

Unix doesn't help much. I mean if apache can't read /home/me/www/path/to/index.html the OS isn't going to tell you its because of the permissions on /home. Meanwhile you have given up and gone chmod -R 777 /

about three weeks ago
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Rust Programming Language Reaches 1.0 Alpha

MichaelSmith Re:Not dependently type (161 comments)

But with python and javascript being so dominant we are headed in a totally different direction for the bulk of our applications.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

MichaelSmith Re:Not just the high pitched whistling..... (790 comments)

My brother and I used to clear the static charge off the screen of our TV if we had been watching it when we weren't supposed to. Our dad was a tech and would pick up straight away that it had been operating.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

MichaelSmith CRTs (790 comments)

The high frequency whistle they made. About five years ago my son switched our old CTV TV on and asked me about that sound. I realised that I had lost the ability to hear it just as the CRT became obsolete.

about three weeks ago
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Heinlein's 'All You Zombies' Now a Sci-Fi Movie Head Trip

MichaelSmith Re:Intersex and time travel (254 comments)

Friday wasn't intersex. Maybe you are confusing it with I will fear no evil. Friday was solid cyberpunk though.

about three weeks ago
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Netflix Denies There Was a Policy Change With VPNs

MichaelSmith Re:They don't do it now (67 comments)

They have just started a service in Australia and probably view Australian customers of US netflix as competition they don't want. So they have started to clamp down on VPNs

about three weeks ago
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How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

MichaelSmith Re:Linus should try git (449 comments)

The only locks in git are within single repositories. The locks which control distributed merging are controlled by the hashes which identify change sets. They tell a repo about the origin of the data being merged in. So rather than thinking about a static blob of data which changes sometimes and needs to be preserved while other nodes are working on it, you think of a graph which extends into the future, each node identified by its hash. By working this way it is easier to find places to reintegrate the results of processing which takes place remotely.

about a month ago
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How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

MichaelSmith Re:Linus should try git (449 comments)

My point is that git knows how to merge. It knows when a merge is required, when it is not, and when it can be done automatically. If you design your data structures properly, the same behaviour can be used in massively parallel systems.

about a month ago
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How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

MichaelSmith Linus should try git (449 comments)

...a tool which he may have heard off. It does connectionless, distributed data management, totally without locks.

about a month ago
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Kim Dotcom's Mega Again Announces Encrypted Browser-Based Chat Service

MichaelSmith Secure? (40 comments)

How can it be secure if it runs in a VM and OS provided by an unknown agency?

about a month ago
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An Open Source Flat Pack Robot Arm That's As Easy To Build As Ikea Furniture

MichaelSmith Re:good grief (39 comments)

Any more of this shit and you will stop eating entirely.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Android web browser can not upload files

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "I have an android phone and wrote a photo blogging application so that I could upload pictures directly from the phone. When I finally got around to testing from the browser on android the <input type=file> tag turned into a message Uploads Disabled. So I googled around and found this hilarious bug report which unfortunately confirms that Android can not upload files."
Link to Original Source
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Aus internet filter delayed for election

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Australian communications minister Stephen Conroy has delayed the planned implementation of internet filtering until 2011. The likely reason for this is to neutralize it as an issue in the 2010 election, which is expected to happen before October. Interestingly Optus, Telstra and iPrimus have pledged to block child-abuse websites voluntarily but the article doesn't say how they plan to do that."
Link to Original Source
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Transport ticketing system as job creation

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Screw ups in the new Melbourne ticketing system are so common they aren't really funny any more but this one almost had me ROFLing.
Staff at the firm making myki have had to manually add one cent to 87,261 cards so that they can be used on Sundays, when seniors are entitled to free travel. The myki system requires all users — even those getting a free ride — to have a positive balance on their card. 'This exercise took several weeks and was carried out by existing myki customer service staff...."

Geez guys write a loop. Learn some perl. Or fix the original requirement."
Link to Original Source

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The Wifi AP names people use

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "I code on the tram, going to and from work and I noticed that there are a lot of wifi access points along the way. So one week I made it my job to write an automatic scanner which runs from a cron job every minute during commuting times. My backup script pushes the new AP names to my web server and you can read it on line.
It is a mixture of the straightforward, naive and funny, with a few pop culture references along the way. The first column in the file is the number of access points with that name. The second column is the AP name, in brackets to pick up white space."

Link to Original Source
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Could the Mono Lake arsenic prove there is a shado

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Scientists think that there might be arsenic based life in Mono Lake, California. If it shown to exist such life could have evolved independently from our own, or it could have forked from ours at a very early stage."
Link to Original Source
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Look out for paragliding terrorists

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  about 5 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "Intelligence sources are reporting that south Asian terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba has purchased 50 para gliders from suppliers in Europe. This article in the Indian Express discusses possible attacks in India using this novel vector, but other targets can't be ruled out.

One possibility would be to use a high building or terrain to fly right over perimeter security at a public event. Para gliders can use convective lift as well, but the pilot needs to be experienced. The article discusses suicide attacks so this may put a limit on the sophistication of the flying involved."

Link to Original Source
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MP horrified by altered bin Laden pic

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  about 5 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "The FBI has apparently used elements from a photograph of Spanish member of parliament Gaspar Llamazare to help compose an age advanced image of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The FBI says:

"FBI special agent Jason Pack said a forensic artist had been unable to find suitable features from the FBI's database of photographs and used a picture from the internet instead.
"The forensic artist was not aware of the identity of the individual depicted in the photograph," Mr Pack said, adding that the image would be taken off the FBI website."

Mr Llamazare is not happy about his face being used in this way and has complained to the US Embassy in Spain."

Link to Original Source
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Nine containers of PETN punctured in Nth Carolina

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  about 5 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "A major US port was shut down after nine containers of "highly explosive material" were accidentally punctured, officials said, urging that part of the city be evacuated.

The accident happened around 4:45am (local time) when a forklift punctured the imported containers during offloading in Morehead City, North Carolina, Mayor Jerry Jones said.

The chemical involved was pentaerythritol tetranitrate, known as PETN, he said, adding it was "highly explosive, but not airborne"."

Link to Original Source
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US Army files found on second hand MP3 player

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  about 6 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "A New Zealand man who bought a second hand MP3 player from a store in the US found it loaded with the names and personal details of American soldiers, as well as a mission briefing and information about equipment.

Chris Ogle says he will return the unit to the US Defence Department if asked, and that it never worked as a music player anyway.

A slightly different version of the story is available from TVNZ."
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MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 8 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "More than a year ago a former member of the Australian Defense Force set up a web forum for ADF members. Recently the site was blocked by the Department of Defense, presumably as part of routine workplace filtering. The interesting bit is that the the head of the Australian Army, General Peter Leahy wants the block removed. In the process he blames the "geeks" in the DOD for filtering the site, though I, for one, am not taking that personally. From his perspective a geek is probably anybody not in the ADF."
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MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 8 years ago

MichaelSmith (789609) writes "The Mars Rover Opportunity is now only 45 meters from the rim of Victoria Crater. The rovers navigation camera has taken a great picture of the interior of the crater. NASA seems keen to drive the rover into Victoria to do some geology but by the look of it I think they will be unlikely to be able to drive out."

Journals

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One openmoko phone still available

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I bought a five pack of GSM-900 openmoko phones. One I am keeping (very happy now that I am running OM.2009). Three I have sold to other people. The price for the last phone is 336.42 Australian dollars. That is exactly one fifth of the price I paid for the pack, including GST and customs charges. The price includes shipping within Australia.

This phone is unopened, still in the original packaging.

Please reply here if you are interested.

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Anybody want to split a five pack of openmoko phones in Melb

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 5 years ago As my sig says, I am interested in buying a pack of five openmoko phones ans sharing them with other people. This journal article is here so people can communicate with me about it.

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Technocrat.net shutdown

MichaelSmith MichaelSmith writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I am the person who posted with the userid smithm and display name "Michael Smith" on technocrat.net

After Bruce shut the site down I sent him an email offering to take over the domain name. He indicated that he doesn't want to sell it.

I am interested in setting up my own site. In theory an online community can be very cheap to run. You can do it on google groups for example. But being a software guy myself I have a few ideas for how to build a system. I want to use the Mercurial DSCM as a backend and build it around individual user web logs with RSS gluing them together.

I am of the view that discussion sites should almost never be edited. Mercurial has features which make it easy to see changes in revision history, which is why I want to use that tool.

I have a few projects on the go over Christmas. I am closing my co-lo and installing a server at home. The web log software is project number two over the holidays.

If you are interested in hearing more about this project, please leave a reply.

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