FryUp: No! Pigs fly!

TelstraClear is in the black, SP1 spruces Vista up nicely and a sub-prime primer

— You Loggy — No! Pigs fly! — A Google Docs Treasure — Whither Vista SP1? You Loggy My very good friend Nat would love the language in this Aussie gem, which means that everyone else's ears will turn blue and fall off listening to it, especially towards the end.

- Chaser's Eulogy Song No! Pigs fly! You're not going to believe this, but TelstraClear has actually made a profit. No, really: one point one million smackers in the six months to December. That's a whole heap better than the consistent losses reported until now. Is it all good, sweet, nice and sorted though? Well, revenue is down some $5.2 million, and while EBITDA was up $10.2 million, capex dropped $30 million. Costs dropped a tenth as well. It's a mixed bag in other words — while it's good to see TelstraClear make some headway in New Zealand, it still has its work cut out to become a real force in the country's telecommunications industry. For that to happen, there needs to be something else than cancellations of network rollout projects and cost-cutting in general. The 950-kilometer fibre-optic network ring in the South Island that TelstraClear completed recently is an example of what the company is capable of. Where's the Auckland fibre to the premises pilot though? Or Alan Freeth battling to get a network "spur" from Sydney to Auckland, so that New Zealand can hook up with Telstra's new trans-Pacific cable, due to go live this year? TelstraClear results best in firm's history Fibre network gives TelstraClear options A Google Docs Treasure I can honestly say that I never understood sub-prime loans fully until I saw this presentation. Yes, my very good friend Nat would like the language in this one too. You've been warned. - The Subprime primer Whither Vista SP1? I've been quite happy with Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista, as it does seem to sort out the worst problems with the release code of Microsoft's new operating system. Actually, it's not really that new, is it? However, apart from the eye-candy and Vista now being pre-installed on new machines, it's been hard to tell people to upgrade from Windows XP SP2 because unless they're gamers desiring DirectX10 with its admittedly lovely effects, there's no compelling reason to move up from the old OS. Vista SP1 doesn't look like it'll change that. It does however make Vista much nicer to use, which is welcome as you won't be able to avoid it for much longer - support for XP runs out next year, apparently. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes: Vista SP1 vs XP SP2 Part Deux XKCD

Cartoon: Robert X. Cringely Spy in the sky: What tech is the US trying to hide?

This whole "shoot the spy satellite out of the sky and win a kewpie doll" story is more interesting than it first appeared. It turns out Uncle Sam isn't particularly worried about the satellite landing in somebody's pool and/or spewing plutonium all over your neighborhood ("today's little league game has been canceled because the coach has grown a second head"). It's because the feds are worried about their high-tech secrets falling into the hands of the commies evil-doers terrorists competition. Or so some believe. Also: the Army's got a big new shiny gun and they're just itchin' to fire it. Russia and China are understandably nervous about having U.S. missles whizzing overhead. Whether you lean red or blue politically, you have to admit that we haven't exactly been knocking the ball out of the park lately. Imagine your drunk nearsighted second cousin squatting in your backyard with a shotgun, trying to knock a hummingbird off a high-voltage wire. You might be a little nervous too. So what is the high-tech secret they're so worried about? Conspiracy theories abound. My take: They shot it up there running an early version of Windows Vista Service Pack 1, and now they can't get rid of that “Accept or Cancel” dialog box without blowing the damn thing up. Happens to my Vista laptop every other week.

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