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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

aXis100 Re:meh. (285 comments)

Some private schools in Australia are focing parents to buy iPads, plus an insurance plan, plus the maintenance plan, at a cost approching AU$1000 ($US900). And if you break it or lose it in one of several commons ways that kids love to break and lose things, the insurance wont cover it! Hilarious!

about a week ago

Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

aXis100 Re:Govt panders to short-sighted voters, news at 1 (291 comments)

You're missing the point.

The existance of the chaplancy program is not the issue. I don't agree with it in principle because the government shouldn't be funding non-secular activities, but I can see the merit in some sort of school counselling and support.

The real issue is the Liberals have cut science and environment funding, but retained a controversial religious based program. It appears to be inconsistent with responsible, secular government.

about two weeks ago

Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

aXis100 Govt panders to short-sighted voters, news at 11 (291 comments)

Voters love the environment until it costs them money.

The Australian economy is having some troubles, but by world standard we are doing OK. Some poeple are genuinely doing it tough and struggle to afford the higher prices caused by the carbon tax, so they want it repealed. More poeple still *think* they are doing it tough, but can still afford ciggies and pay TV. These are a prime demographic for swinging votes, so the government loves to give them a price cut too.

Fearmongering and a brutal budget this year have made things worse, we are going into Austerity mode (when it is arguably not required) so poeple think that doing something responsible for the environment like the carbon tax is just a "nice to have" and easily discarded.

Makes me sad to be an Aussie sometimes. The current government has agressively wound back the clock on science and social responsibility:
- Abolished Australian Renewables Energy Agency, worth $1.3 billion.
- Stretched $2.5 Billion Emmisions Reduction Fund over 10 years instead of 4
- Cut $460 million from Carbon Capture and Storage
- Scrapped the National Water Comission and the Standing Council on Enviroment and Water
- Cut $110 milliion from CSIRO (the research group that developed WiFi and lots of other cool things)
- Cut $75 million from the Australian Research Council
- Cut $80 million from the Cooperative Research Centres program
- Cut $8 million from the Australian Institute of Marine Science
- Cut $120 million from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation
- Cut $28 million from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
- Cut $36 million from Geoscience Australia

about two weeks ago

More Forgotten Vials of Deadly Diseases Discovered

aXis100 Re:Smartphones (55 comments)

I had a mate who kept a container of crushed pineapples in his fridge for about 7 years. We called it Alfred.

It grew mould and went though all of the colours of the rainbow, in a magical cyclic dance of self sustainability. Then his sister came over one day and threw it out. :(

about two weeks ago

BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones

aXis100 Gasp! (139 comments)

When I read the summary I though "It cant be that bad...."

Man was I wrong, that is a shocking size and form factor. I literally gasped.

about three weeks ago

DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

aXis100 Re:What (249 comments)

I'd say there is.

The kid loved to dress up in superman outfits. The juxtaposition between an invulnerable superhero and mortal, terminally abused kid is quite poignant and will get people's attention.

about three weeks ago

Consciousness On-Off Switch Discovered Deep In Brain

aXis100 Re:Consciousness (284 comments)

Dude..... so what you're saying is:

1) Scientific principle
2) ....
3) Magic happens

Let me know when you've figured out #2 thanks.

about three weeks ago

Austrian Tor Exit Node Operator Found Guilty As an Accomplice

aXis100 Re:It'll come down to an opinion (255 comments)

So a better analogy is payphones then.

Most poeple have mobile phones now, and payphones are heavily used by ciminals setting up deals. It might even be a majority of their use now.

Does that mean that telcos are acomplices?

about three weeks ago

Chinese Company '3D-Prints' 10 Buildings In One Day

aXis100 Re: Is it safe? (118 comments)

There is a simpler option, which is to replace the rebar with another tensile option, such as fibreglass or plastic.

Rather than a welder, it would be much simpler to have a spool of fibreglass/plastic ribbon which is then laid down at intervals in the 3D print.

Even simpler still is to add chopped fibres to the concrete mix, which make the concrete more durable and stops the propagation of cracks. Considering how long we've managed with brick walls that have practically zero tensile strength , a fibre reinforced concrete could be more than sufficient. See

about a month ago

Shark! New Sonar Buoy Will Warn Beachgoers When Large Sharks Are Near

aXis100 Complicated much? (55 comments)

Not sure why it requires a satellite link and a smartphone. I can understand the versatility but wouldnt a whip antenna and 900MHz line of sight radio to a reciever on the beach work just fine? Seems like expensive overkill and less reliability as you have to have someone monitoring the phone.

about a month ago

Boston Trying Out Solar-Powered "Smart Benches" In Parks

aXis100 Re:how long before (119 comments)

There are chips available that monitor the USB data lines for all of the available charging protocols (shorted - chinese, fixed resistance - android, fixed voltage - apple) and will then current limit appropriately.

I'm also sure that i've seen a USB charging "condom" on slashdot before, which had two of the USB current limiting controllers back to back to allow charging to occur, whilst providing isolation of the data lines to prevent malicious data exchange.

about a month ago

Privacy Worries For 'Smart' Smoke Alarms

aXis100 Re:The Cloud is Ruining Home Automation (90 comments)

The problem is it can be up to an order of magnitude different in price.

There's not a lot of good reason for home automationto be that expensive, the technology has been capable for a while. The trouble has always been user base and and making it user friendly enough for a muggle to install. That's where the big tech companies have an advantage and are making some cheap, attractive devices.

Unfortunately the way this is going will set up two distinct camps - subsidised cheap devices that are cloud connected and leak privay data, or expensive self contained ones. It would be nice if there was a middle gound.

about a month and a half ago

How To Make Espresso In Space

aXis100 Short black with one (192 comments)

How do they add sugar!!!

Look, I love coffee as much as the next guy but when they are replacing 20kg of scientific payload with a 20kg coffee machine (plus the pods and waste management), they might have their priorities a little skewed. If they'd spent the money on produging a better freeze dried espresso, all of humanity could benefit.

about a month and a half ago

How Dumb Policies Scare Tech Giants Away From Federal Projects

aXis100 Sounds like the rest of the world (143 comments)

I get the feeling that it's nothing to do with being a Government agency. I've seen more than 50% failure rate on very large IT projects for other regular businesses and corporations.

There seems to be a major problem with sotware projects producing an accurate requirements spec, and following that though to implementation. End users have no idea what they want, fill the requirements full of edge cases, and keep moving the goalposts. Programmers often have no idea how the software will be used so whenever there are gaps they improvise with the most ridiculous schemes. And software architects always say "technology XXXX will save us, it makes YYY so easy", forgetting entirely that you still have to produce a sensible user interface with a sane workflow and that takes 80% of the effort.

Personally I cant see this getting better for a while. It's not the fault of any one person, it's just human nature when trying to deal with highly complex systems. We need to use a radically different design approach and employ exceptionally good project managers, and even then we might still want to cross our fingers.

about 3 months ago

Dropbox and Box Leaked Shared Private Files Through Google

aXis100 Re:Not technically a leak (92 comments)

Yeah, that's how I saw it too.

Dropbox and Box should be quite embarased by this, it's shamefully lazy design in a world where online security matters.

about 3 months ago

ISS Studies Show Bacteria From Earth Could Colonize Mars

aXis100 Re:Article summary doesn't match article content (103 comments)

But we wouldnt be sending extremeophiles to Mars. They would be regular "goldilocks zone" contamination, like from someone's skin or a sneeze. These bacteria would not be adapted to Mars and would die instantly.

about 3 months ago

Stanford Bioengineers Develop 'Neurocore' Chips 9,000 Times Faster Than a PC

aXis100 Re:crysis? (209 comments)

The article is misleading - they are not 9000 times faster than a PC for general tasks. The chips can simulate neurons 9000 times faster than a PC can simulate neurons, but there's no mention of how fast those simulated neurons can solve a problem for you.

about 3 months ago


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