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Looking Back At Australia's First Digital Computer

dingram17 Re:Patents? (88 comments)

BTW, the Maori in NZ gained the right to vote in 1840 with the Treaty of Waitangi. From that point, Maori and Caucasion/Pakeha were all treated the same. If you needed to be a land owning man to vote, then race was irrelevant. When universal suffrage was granted in 1983, all men and women could vote in the national elections. If an Australian colony (there were no states in the 1800s) gave the vote to all before NZ did, then that's great, but which was it (I'd like to read up on that history)?

more than 2 years ago
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Looking Back At Australia's First Digital Computer

dingram17 Re:Patents? (88 comments)

Umm, no. What I said is that you are entitled to your opinions, not your own facts. If you think don't Australia is a racist country then that is your opinion. Whether you are right or wrong is simply someone else's opinion.

I didn't think Australia was all that racist until I travelled out west. It was a shock to me the way that people spoke (black & white people) of other races. It is my opinion that in the cities Australia is multicultural and quite tolerant, but in many (but not all) of the small country towns they party like it's 1912, not 2012.

more than 2 years ago
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Looking Back At Australia's First Digital Computer

dingram17 Re:Patents? (88 comments)

You are full of wrong. Australia gave women the vote in 1902. New Zealand gave women the vote in 1893.South Australia gave women the vote in 1895. Aborigines had the vote in some states prior to Federation, but this was not universal until 1962. Read Wikipedia and the Australian Electoral Commission. You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

more than 2 years ago
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Students Looking For Easy A Target Online Courses, Where Cheating Is Easier

dingram17 Re:Nonsense! (241 comments)

Depends where you do high school. We had a month or two on matrices in 5th form (now Year 11) and that was it. The more 'interesting' matrix mathematics was taught at university. On the other hand everyone had to do calculus in 6th Form (Y12), and it was an option (along with statistics) in 7th form (Y13).

Small signal stability (modal) analysis using eigenvectors etc does the head in of many engineers. It is a rare breed that actually enjoys it. I picked it up because I needed to, but testing the stability of generator is a lot more fun for me. It is a nice feeling though when the recorded results match the modelled results, and you can do the check in close to real time. For some reason people get a bit twitchy about delays when a 150MW generators is running on diesel (using 1000 litres of fuel per minute).

more than 2 years ago
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Students Looking For Easy A Target Online Courses, Where Cheating Is Easier

dingram17 Re:Nonsense! (241 comments)

Are you really surprised that someone with 12y experience can outperform someone with a 3 or 4 degree and a couple of years experience? Come back in 10y and see who is outperforming who. There are many tech level jobs that engineers are rubbish at, and many engineer jobs that techs are rubbish at. Occasionally you'll get a person that is the exception to the rule, but on the whole, you need a mix of people in your team.

Me? I'm an engineer than doesn't overly like maths, but can connect test equipment up to large generators (>400MW) and not break anything or kill myself in the process. I'm not as fast as connecting gear as an electrician/electronics tech, but I can do machine stability analysis that you need university level maths to understand (unless TAFEs and polytechs are teaching eigenvalues and eigenvectors + linearisation of non linear systems these days).

more than 2 years ago
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Mammoth "Metal Moles" Tunnel Deep Beneath London

dingram17 Re:GPS? (294 comments)

All a GPS repeater tells you is where the repeater receiving antenna is. Only good for rough positioning, but still very good for timing. This is why they are used in hangars and bus tunnels -- near enough is good enough.

TBMs are generally navigated by laser surveying instruments. This is a real example of the surveyor's craft, and even in ancient times (i.e. pre laser) tunnels generally met in the middle.

more than 2 years ago
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Publisher Pulls Supports; 'Research Works Act' Killed

dingram17 Re:Typeset your own papers (72 comments)

The IEEE also convert nice vector graphic illustrations to bitmap format too :-( The only publications that remain vector are conferences where the authors have to make their own PDFs (and then jump through the IEEE hoops to get it validated). The text in IEEE journals is slightly denser than the LaTeX class. I saved a page on my most recent journal paper and avoided the page charges, so I am happy about that.

IET Journals will take .tex files, but really are after the text. The same goes with Elsevier journals. The Elsevier LaTeX class does not approximate the typeset format, but contains the basic formatting that they can make use of.

more than 2 years ago
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Publisher Pulls Supports; 'Research Works Act' Killed

dingram17 Typeset your own papers (72 comments)

Engineers and Computer Scientists have this sorted with LaTeX. Others can take advantage of graphical editors for LaTeX like LyX, and generate publication quality manuscripts. The typeset output from the LaTeX IEEE template is not identical to what the IEEE finally typeset, but it is a very close copy. Similarly the Microsoft Word template is pretty good too.

I know many journals only want 'plain text' and then do the typesetting. There is a lot of skill in this and it does cost money. Perhaps if the journals received LaTeX formatted text then the paper could be open access for free? Fat chance.

Open Access is required at my university, and we are required to publish the 'accepted version', but not the 'published version' (with some exceptions). OAKList provides a reference for publication policies.

more than 2 years ago
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Australia's Telstra Requires Fibre Customers To Use Copper Telephone

dingram17 The phone line is only copper from the NTD (217 comments)

The poster needs to go to the NBN website and read the tech docs.

The telephone service will be provided over the NBN using a dedicated channel and the UNI-V interface. This interface provides the standard copper connection that a POTS phone expects. Some providers may enable the voice circuit to be routed to a UNI-D data interface for an Asterisk PBX or the equivalent.

Using copper lines as the phone connection makes no sense as the NBN is replacing the copper network, and in greenfield areas like rebuilt Grantham will be the only network.

more than 2 years ago
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Scamming the scammers – catching the virus call centre scammers red-handed

dingram17 Glad someone else thinks like I do (1 comments)

I have a Virtual Machine with Win2K on it for this exact reason. It's all setup with a clean copy to restore for the next time. This video should be interesting watching.

more than 2 years ago
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Pasadena Police Encrypt, Deny Access To Police Radio

dingram17 Re:UK police have had TETRA for yonks... (487 comments)

That would involve spending money ... As it stands, in the rural parts of Brisbane, the SES using the council radios have better comms than the police. Both use motorola radios, so it all comes down to implementation

The systems are not trunked, and just like analogue radio, trunking makes phone patching easier (the radios have a dialpad for a start by default). I've used MPT1327 trunked radio with phone patches and ham radio with patches (in NZ, not Australia where they are still illegal).

The Queensland Police don't even have automatic position reporting, so the bus company has a better idea of where the buses are than where the police are

more than 2 years ago
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Pasadena Police Encrypt, Deny Access To Police Radio

dingram17 Re:APCO-25 (487 comments)

Google 'encryption'.

All P25 is digital, but not all P25 is encrypted. There are P25 ham radio repeaters in Australia, but these are not encrypted.

When the Queensland Police first announced they were moving to P25 many tow-truck operators bought P25 scanners from the US, but found they wasted their money when the Police bought the encryption option.

more than 2 years ago
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Pasadena Police Encrypt, Deny Access To Police Radio

dingram17 Re:UK police have had TETRA for yonks... (487 comments)

TETRA is not necessarily scrambled. Plain TETRA is still hard to listen too, but I guess a TETRA scanner could be made. TETRAPOL might have encryption as standard

Motorola operate a TETRA system in Australia called 'Zeon' which companies, councils and universities can subscribe too (each with their own fleets). I use the Brisbane City Council radios as part of the State Emergency Service. The phone patch capacity makes the police jealous since they can't manage it with their P25 radios.

more than 2 years ago
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Pasadena Police Encrypt, Deny Access To Police Radio

dingram17 Re:Key management? (487 comments)

Most encrypted (analogue or digital) radio systems have a remote stun/kill feature. When the radio is reported lost it is sent a message that disables it, or the disable code is sent regularly until the radio gives a stun/kill acknowledge. At that point the radio is a brick.

Queensland Police have been using encrypted P25 radios (not trunked) for some time in Brisbane & the Gold Coast. The media cannot monitor, but neither can tow-truck operators, which improves safety at road crashes. The clear-speech audio is recorded at Police HQ for later review or in court cases. The people that oversee police behaviour (Crime and Misconduct Commission) have access to this. Despite their own opinions, it is the CMC that keeps the Police honest in Qld, and that's why the CMC has access to the audio and the media do not.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tech For Small Library Automation?

dingram17 Re:Gift, not treasure (188 comments)

Apologies. It has been a very long time since I was in a te reo class, and I got my words for nice things mixed up. I guess should have used the dictionary :-)

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Tech For Small Library Automation?

dingram17 Re:Koha? (188 comments)

If you are going to use Koha, I suggest going to the community based library that developed it, not the company that grabbed the source and grabbed trademarks all around the world. The 'original' developers are at http://koha-community.org/. LibLime (the other guys) have even tried to stop the Koha developers using the name Koha - the very name they came up with. Koha is Maori for 'treasure', and this free software is certainly a treasure for libraries that don't want to spend a fortune on software.

more than 2 years ago
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The 'Cable Guy' Now a Network Specialist

dingram17 Re:fluff don't read (235 comments)

Another rant is you don't need certifications in network engineering such as my long expired CCNP to ... crimp a F-connector on a cable, or yank cat-5 thru a wall.

In Australia you do. :-( Permanent cabling requires a cabling licence recognised by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. No you can't just do the test and show that you know how to crimp cable, or what the spacing from AC wiring is. You have to do the courses, pass the tests and then do 6-12 months work under the supervision of a cabler. Having a degree in communications engineering doesn't exempt you. http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=IND_TECH_TEL_CABLE

Most technically inclined people do their own wiring, or if they are brutally scrupulous they use wireless, PLC, or leave the Cat5 draped around the walls.

Australia over regulates things. The Queensland Government puts out a brochure warning you of the dangers of DIY electrical work and has mandatory signs that have to go up in shops selling power sockets and light switches. The New Zealand Government puts out a booklet on how to do your own wiring safely. Queensland and New Zealand use the SAME electrical wiring rules (AS/NZS 3000).

My Dad had two power sockets that didn't work last week. He was able to clean the ants out of the wall, spend $10 on two new sockets and fit them himself. It would cost me about $150 to do the same here.

more than 2 years ago
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Verizon Adds $2 Charge For Paying Your Bill Online

dingram17 Re:Ah, America! (562 comments)

What we need here in the US is a good aliasing system for covering the account info. Paypal, Serve, Venmo, and Dwolla all try to offer this service but it is disjointed and requires a middleman holding account (i.e. your paypal account) at the very least on the receiving end. The banks should just get together and come up with a system that lets you alias your checking account with your email address so people can send you an ACH deposit or *REQUEST*

That would be the BPay system in Australia. Each BPay biller has a unique code and each bill has a customer reference number. We pay the bill through our bank (phone or internet) and the money goes to the merchant without them ever knowing our account details. Competing systems like BillPay operate similarly, but accept payment at Post Offices or via credit card from the internet.

I know it isn't the US, but the US could learn from the ways that other countries do things. Telstra (just as evil as Verizon) tried to charge people to pay bills in person with cash, but the backlash stopped that. Now they charge a premium for credit card payments, as do the water company, the council (rates), el-cheapo internet companies and airlines. Most surcharges are 0.5% to 1.0%.

more than 2 years ago
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Computer Virus Forces Hospital To Divert Ambulances

dingram17 Re:We're in a sad state when... (213 comments)

By being 'in a sad state', I think the GP meant 'in the United States'.

more than 2 years ago
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Police Encrypt Radios To Tune Out Public

dingram17 Why weren't comms encrypted beforehand? (242 comments)

APCO P25 supports encryption out of the box, and that's what 'backwards' forces like the Queensland Police Service have been using for YEARS. When word came out that the QPS were moving to digital many truckies and tow-truck operators went and bought P25 scanners from the USA. This turned out to be an expensive exercise, with encryption rendering them useless

The local media bitched and complained, but the biggest benefit is that you can have a car accident and not be swamped by tow-trucks vying for your business (and their 'gentle encouragements'). Oversight was achieved by having the clear-speech conversations all recorded at police HQ.

As for interoperability, New South Wales police were up in Brisbane following the floods helping with law and order and they had their radios too. I guess it is just a matter of authorities sharing keys, or having a common key established up front. When Australian police forces went to New Zealand to help following the Christchurch earthquake in February they could use their radios. Tait Electronics and others set up programming stations and as long as the frequency coverage was there, the radios could be used.

I use an 800MHz TETRA system with the State Emergency Service (like the US CERT, but state based) in Brisbane. This is not encypted (not all TETRA is), but there are very few scanners out there. Unfortunately this is incompatible with the 460MHz UHF system that the rest of the SES in Queensland use, so when we have teams from out of Brisbane we need to operate two networks. The text messaging feature of TETRA is very good for passing job information (flood evaculations, storm damage to houses, missing person details) that is not audible to people around you. Having an encrypted radio is not private if the volume on the speaker is very high and the media are within earshot.

about 3 years ago

Submissions

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Recording Industry stealing from YouTube creators

dingram17 dingram17 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dingram17 writes "Bruce Simpson from Aardvark.co.nz has found that the automatic pattern matching used by YouTube to identify copyright violations has flagged his videos. As he says "if the dull monotone voice you'll find on my RCModelReviews channel now qualifies as "music" (as they've claimed it does) then there can be little hope for that industry". Homeshot videos without any music at all are being flagged. The sinister aspect to this is that the 'claimant' then gets the advertising revenue from the video, not the creator that spent all the effort making the video. In Bruce's case, this ad revenue puts food on the table."
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