purpose of the net

some sites serve only to remind us that the net is vast and for all intents and purposes impossible to fill. no matter how much crap you fling at it. it's like Guybrush Threepwood's overcoat*. so anyway: Sandals & Socks 4 Ever.

* Monkey Island reference, i mean, duh! if you don't get it, you should have got out less when you were a kid. look! behind you! a three-headed monkey!

worthy sculpture

The Angel of the North does not look so grand in these photos... I first saw this on one of Billy Connolly's World Tour shows, which used helicopter flyarounds to get some really amazing shots. I'd like to see this for real someday. With all the crap that gets shoved up in the name of "Art", it's good to see something that really works - uses its site perfectly, relates to the area's history...


tripod, how google loves thee

i'd heard that tripod sites received extra rank on google due to its link structure - something about thousands of sites automatically linking to each other; or something. i didn't really think it was true until i had a look at the traffic stats for my Funny Shit page.

you see, a while back the page was getting 1gig+ of traffic per month; thereby hitting tripod's limit and going offline until the month ticked over. to get around this, i turned the page into a frameset and loaded the content off my dialup account's webspace. the vast majority of that site's traffic came from google; plus a few other searches. the tripod address has now dropped out of google's index... and you can see exactly when it happened. jan 15th. traffic to the site has gone from a steady flow of 50-100+ per day, to about 5-10 per day.

same content, different host; frameset in the same location as the old page (so no links were lost)... massive drop in google rank.

so now the question - put the content back on tripod? well no, i don't think i'll go that way since i did move the content off tripod for a reason. instead i've whacked appropriate meta-data into the frameset, which i forgot to do at the time. then i put in a copy of the old homepage as index.html, which contains links to all the old and eventually autoloads the frameset, humour.html (named a long time ago before i knew what i was doing). blatantly sneaky, if you know what i mean.

my theory is this: if google indexes index.html (and it should since i just submitted the URL to the directory and index.html should automatically load) then the hits should increase again. all the old files are actually still there on tripod, hidden behind the frameset; google just didn't have a link to them.

i don't know how long it is until the next google dance, but i'll be interested to see what happens to the site's traffic stats when it happens :)

of course the results won't be scientific. the act of blogging about the page creates a link from blogger; which has a similar effect to tripod. on top that, this will syndicate out to some livejournal friends lists; and i don't know where lj stands in google's estimation.

boing boing

  • Joel on Software - Getting Your Résumé Read. Having sifted through a few stacks of resumes myself, trust me - this is good advice. You might be the brightest person applying for the job; but you'll never get to an interview if your resume sucks. I can tell if you didn't so much as run spell check; and if you didn't run spell check why the hell would I think you can create valid markup?
  • IKEA walkthrough. IKEA done like DOOM. Doing the rounds because it is funny as hell.

news bits

  • Latham set to coach parents and citizens - / The Australian: Parents face cane with ALP [January 27, 2004] / Latham defends parenting proposals. 27/01/2004. ABC News Online. YES, it's a good idea. Where I grew up, some of the worst troublemakers were underage. So all the cops could do was pick them up and take them home - but the parents had completely given up, so the kids were straight back out. If parents won't or can't get their children under control; they need help doing it and in some cases they need to be forced to act. Howard is attempting to argue that the government can't take over the role filled by family - conveniently ignoring the situations where the family isn't filling that role either. The key to this idea is providing support - if that doesn't happen, then it won't work.
  • Nearly all WMD claims wrong: Kay - The Central Intelligence Agency's outgoing chief weapons inspector, David Kay, has concluded that the US was almost certainly wrong in its pre-war belief that Iraq had any significant stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. I can just see the US standing around scratching its head... "shit man, we sold you WMDs... where the fuck did you put them?".

i stand corrected. a bit.

to my surprise i got feedback on that last post; to my greater surprise from someone who knows their stuff. the basic point was that RSS isn't a standard; while Atom is going to be ratified by the IETF.

i do not share blogger's optimism about Atom, any more than i think RSS is perfect (long way from it). basically what we get is the most virulent contender; and that's what we live with. some tech goes basically unopposed so we get a relatively stable technology (FTP basically hasn't changed in years, it just went GUI). on rare occasions a badly-abused standard will fight on to achieve a shaky version of stabilty - like (X)HTML.

then you get the hell of competing options; none of which will fucking die. like instant messaging - we have ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, AIM and - depending on whether you include this in the same category - IRC. although quite happy with ICQ; i had to sign up with the evil that is MSN, since i have a few friends who refuse to jump over to ICQ... because they have too many friends on MSN to switch.... and so it goes. so instead of being able to go with the majority of my friends on ICQ; i have the pain in the arse option of running multiple clients/systems. thankfully Trillian rescues me there; but not all situations have a solution like that.

[to be honest; billy connolly is about to grace my tv so i'm rushing this post out here.]

so, anyway, i'm going to enable the Atom feed: since i'm on blogspot and not a server of my own i can't actually track hits to the feed (at least ; so if you decide to use the feed please drop me an email (see the link at the top).

may the best feed win ;)

it's never simple

blogger finally went back to offering a Site Feed function. sadly, they have shunned RSS in favour of Atom; which I've never even heard of before. why the hell...?! RSS is the closest thing we have for a site feed standard; yet apparently the Pyra/Google crew decided Atom was the way to go.

STANDARDS, people. they exist for a reason.

problem with the web: it's global. all those nations which did things their own way now clash directly. australians drive on the left-hand side of the road; americans drive on the right-hand side of the road. that's fine, since the roads are on different continents. the net is one big road with people trying to drive on the left and right sides at once - everyone thinks their way is better and cannot see the sense in standards.

so, i have not enabled the Atom feed. if i actually hear of anyone who wants it; i'll consider it. if i find a way to convert Atom to RSS 2.0 then i'll set that up. it won't change the original dumbarse decision; but at least i'm not supporting it.

stop press! greer never to sully australian shores again! | PM blasted for 'ignoring arts' (January 23, 2004): Renowned Australian feminist Germaine Greer, author of 'The Female Eunuch', said she would never return to Australia because of its slide into humdrum suburban mediocrity, best personified by long-running soap opera 'Neighbours', set on the fictional 'Ramsay Street'.

This from someone who lives in Britain - where the exact same thing could be said, just substitute "Eastenders" for "Neighbours". Fuck Greer and the desperate attention grabs she rides in on.

Microsoft Takes on Teen Over Web Site (

Microsoft Takes on Teen Over Web Site ( VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Mike Rowe thinks it's funny that his catchy name for a Web site design company sounds a lot like Microsoft. ... Microsoft Corp. and its attorneys have demanded that he give up his domain name.

Seriously, who is going to confuse Microsoft and MikeRoweSoft? Maybe the M$ crew are worried about losing the redneck market. I can't believe they offered US$10 for the kid to give up his domain - that's insulting. Then calling his US$10,000 a "big settlement" and claiming he was "forcing them" to pay... come off it, that's petty cash to them and it's not like a 17yo has enough clout to threaten them.

Update: Business World | Teen scores victory over Microsoft. He hasn't won yet though; he's just got them talking. has the details, at least for now...

oi oi oi

TOP AUSSIE GUIDE. So strine it hurts, maaate: The Kingswood is a top Aussie vehicle. It was originally designed for military use as a tank but Holden decided to remove the cannon and called it a car. There are several hundred thousand million Kingswoods in Australia and lots now go faster than originally intended because apprentice mechanics have stuck massive donks in them.

public service announcement

for anyone who ever has to pick up or drop off passengers at QUT Garden's Point... you may have gathered, between the profanity, that i am not entirely happy with the traffic and parking situation at QUT. particularly as it led to a $60 fine, etc etc.

i have since been informed (by QUT parking people) that if the setdown zone is full, you can pull around to the security gatehouse and ask them to let you in to drop off your passenger(s).

i am yet to test the theory; but damnit, i'm not going to stop in that nice safe closed-off sliplane if it means a fine. i'll take up the security guard's time, since that's the way it's gotta be.

decaf computing

so i have (most of) my computer back. turns out my machine had a basically-dead hard drive and a stuffed stick of RAM. so, i'm running on what was going to be my secondary hard drive; and half the usual amount of RAM. plus i got them to install a new cdrom to replace the one that karked it ages ago, but i was too lazy to replace.

it is hardly optimal, but i am back up and running. the replacement parts are being replaced under warranty and so will take a couple of weeks. besides, they saved my data* which wins them a lot of points :)

so now i'm sitting here waiting for the agonising process of windows update to complete. not to mention downloading the latest virus definitions.

* ....yeah, i broke my own backup rules; didn't have enough backups. seems i should have taken my own advice.

long live self-publication

w00t! w00t i say! my copy of Mark Driver's book Just Another Empire arrived.... signed, with a handwritten note saying thank you for buying his book. The man is true to his word: We'll do a pre-order and the first run of copies will be autographed, personalized, and probably bled and vomited upon. Does this sound reasonable to everybody?.

Thankfully he skipped the bleeding and vomiting.

quote of the day

QDB: Quote #205824 -
·Berrik· I swear I hate German
·Berrik· You take some 3-letter word in English
·Berrik· and in German it's "Schtuffwaftefloswhosit"

Anyone into industrial music knows how true that is...

news bits

  • | Man admits cyber election prank (January 15, 2004). Thought one: at least doesn't think the guy is a hacker. Thought two, after reading it: for FUCK's sake. People have no clue what's going on here. For a start; if a polly registers a web domain they should at least by using .au addresses. The idea that the guy has anything to answer for to the Feds is total bullshit - it's his site, he can do whatever the hell he wants (today he's got some kind of NASA content up there?!). Whether you think it's lame or not; it's free speech. Getting worked up over it just shows that the politicians are clueless about technology.
  • Howard defends 'Son of Star Wars' talks. 16/01/2004. ABC News Online

seek ye the truth in the groves of academus

Electron Band Structure In Germanium, My Ass: Abstract: The exponential dependence of resistivity on temperature in germanium is found to be a great big lie. My careful theoretical modeling and painstaking experimentation reveal 1) that my equipment is crap, as are all the available texts on the subject and 2) that this whole exercise was a complete waste of my time.

The conclusion is priceless.

hey i'm a hacker

Hacker creates Queensland premier poll chaos - Yes indeedy. Registering a domain, that sure makes them a "hacker". It's a fucking prank, not a hack. I'm also curious how this constitutes "chaos" since the Beattie camp are probably - just a wild guess - promoting their OWN domain and not the prank domain. So it's only people who try to find Beattie by typing a direct URL who will see this site.

But no, it's chaos and hackers as far as the SMH is concerned. Pretty good writeup for what is actually a very poor bit of political activism - registering a domain and whacking up an "under construction" notice..... brutal stuff.

news bits

it's the stats game!

Nedstat Basic 3.0 - How did they get on my site (last 100 pageviews max.). How indeed. As this blog reaches 11,000 hits; I note that not just one but two of the last 100 were Googling for "girls snogging". While it's not quite up there with the search for stripper jobs at a specific bar (I'll never understand how that one got here) it's definitely amusing. Perhaps I should start seeding the blog with references to really obscure fetishes; then see if they turn up in the referrer stats.

Nah. Too much effort, really. I note however that all the snogging has knocked the Tippman Hellhound off the list. I mentioned that sucker a couple of years ago and it's still getting hits.


news bits

  • | Crackdown on explosives sales (January 13, 2004): The Government wants to restrict sales of chemicals which can be used to make explosives after an amateur enthusiast exploded a huge bomb near Sydney at the weekend. ... the court accepted that it had never been intended to cause any damage or injury and Avery himself was the only person at serious risk of injury from it. If this was America the guy would have been jailed as a terrorist by now. I suspect the court accepted the guy just wanted to blow some shit up, to see what would happen :)
  • Sellers get desperate as flats glut hits suburbs - I'd expect the same thing in Brisbane in the next 1-2 years. Two blocks of units/townhouses have just been built across the road from my place; and a couple of streets away three enormous tower blocks... The units across the road aren't selling though - seven nice units, on the market since last November; they just can't shift them at the ludicrous price they're asking. The developer missed the boom by a matter of weeks - they got to market just as people started talking about a bust. The other problem with nearly all of the units being built - they're fucking tiny. Expensive broom cupboards; packed into small sites. Why the hell would you pay half a million for a tiny 1-bed-plus-study, with 45 neighbours?
  • | Graduate prospects brighter (January 13, 2004). Err, actually the IT job market is still fucked in Queensland. The Courier-Mail IT jobs section a couple of weeks ago had zero real ads - just a couple of resume writing courses. Maybe they're seeing something that I'm not. Or maybe that was just the Christmas slump while everyone was on holidays, ie. not hiring.


  • Slashdot | Doom 3 Vaporware no More. I think most people have realised by now that it'll be time to get interested when - and only when - stores have Doom 3 boxes with actual games inside. But I'm linking this mostly for the comments this thread has attracted. So far it's had an argument about date formats and the arrogance of Americans thinking their MM/DD/YY system is the "right system" (same kind of arrogance that means American domains don't have a country code like everyone else [on the date thing - International Date Format Campaign]). Then there's the Christian (probably a troll) who complained that iD's "dark and evil" games are bad for children; and "why can't they do a game where American soldiers kill evil terrorists". Apparently that's a much healthier thing for children to do.
  • What's Next: A Virtual Cash Register Rings Up Tiny Transactions

LED lighting proof-of-concept

The Vos Pad, an apartment lit entirely by LEDs. This technology really needs to be explored - incandescent bulbs are tremendously inefficient, turning most of the electricity into heat and only about 10% into light. Meanwhile, LEDs use far less power to produce the same amount of light. Plus they last longer... and you can do some really neat tricks with them :)

paranoia reigns supreme in america

The Register: A mother's enquiry about buying Microsoft Flight Simulator for her ten-year-old son prompted a night-time visit to her home from a state trooper. That ten-year-old must have looked mighty fucking threatening. After all, being ten years old is a key sign of terrorist intentions!

If this is what the US calls "Freedom", they can keep it (well ok so I've said as much plenty of times already). Plus, I'd like the UN to step in and stop this evil rule from imposing its will on other countries. Ha. Ha. Ha.

If the US started fingerprinting *everyone*, how long would it take for the rest of the world to follow suit? It took just days for the world to start fingerprinting travellers for no other reason than travelling to the US. Australian airlines took on the instruction to prevent passengers lining up for the toilet - because "clustering" might mean terrorist activity.

Now I'm going to go play a game of Ghost Recon - that'll teach me to be a sniper. Then I'll play some Gran Turismo, which will teach me to drive like a pro and get away from the scene of the crime. Then I'll play Getaway to learn how to sink into the underworld without a trace. While I'm hiding out I'll play Microsoft Flight Sim to learn how to pilot a jumbo; then I will hijack a plane and WREAK HAVOC!

Or perhaps I'll stay in the real world and have some HARMLESS FUN on my PC and PlayStation2.

news bits

ha ha only serious

Dilbert Comic Strip Archive - 2004.01.11. I worked for a boss like this. Well actually, my version would not have let the issue go as easily as that. There would have been a lot more yelling and a really time-consuming, stupid "solution" which - at best - created more problems. Probably some more insults, too.

I'm glad I don't have that boss anymore.

i think it's time to discuss your philosophy of drug use as it relates to artistic endeavour

Acid trip 1, a series of 9 drawings apparently done by a person doing LSD; during a test by the US Government in the 1950s. A couple of them are truly amazing.

dive into quoting mark

There are no exceptions to Postel's Law [dive into mark]: [T]he things I write in this weblog are not spec text. Apparently there has been some confusion about that. Specs are things with important-sounding words like "W3C Recommendation", "RFC 2616", or "ISO 8879" at the top. Weblogs are things with cat pictures at the top. If specs are unclear, they should be fixed by things with ?errata? at the top. If weblogs are unclear... hey look, cat pictures.

Of course, this apparently means I need a cat. Or at least a picture of one.

Also via DiM: Just Is a Dangerous Word.

self-publishing driver

Mark Thompson, aka Mark Driver, as in Driver Down, finally has a bunch of boxes of books. One of them now has my name on it, courtesy of Relapse using his PayPal account for me :) Sweet! Especially with the current exchange rate :)

news bits

news bits

what you already knew: coffee is good for you

Long-Term Coffee Consumption Significantly Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risk, press release of Monday, January 05, 2004, Harvard School of Public Health. As always, they don't specify what they mean by "one cup" of "caffeinated coffee". It's like saying "one glass of beer" - it's vague (do you mean a pot of light or a pint of stout?). Coffee varies massively in terms of strength; eg. you idio^H^H^Hpeople who drink instant coffee "for the pick-me-up" are probably getting less caffeine than a can of Coke. People who drink real, brewed coffee are getting substantially larger amounts of caffeine (and whatever else is in coffee).

So anyway, I'll keep drinking coffee, green tea, red wine, beer, scotch and whatever else I like. If some of it is healthy, then sweet. If not, shucks.


news bits

  • Google gives float plum to Morgan and Goldman - Shades of the dot-com boom? There's no denying that Google is popular and successful so far - but will that translate to growth in its share value? It's going to be interesting to watch.
  • Aussie dollar reaches new high. 07/01/2004. ABC News Online... and here's me without any extra cash to buy stuff online! :( Ahh well.
  • Singapore set to lift oral sex ban - Critics have pointed out the irony of the law in a country where prostitution remains legal. Ho said the law was mostly used to prosecute cases involving minors, or mentally and physically handicapped people. ...sounds like a case of badly drafted law, more than anything else. If the intended application of a law requires a specific interpretation of generic wording, that law should have been more specific in the first place. But then, I don't think like lawyers - I think like a human.

masks on or leave the field

MSNBC - Study: Paintball injuries on the rise: Injuries to adults and children playing paintball have tripled in recent years ... Many injuries occur because players are not wearing goggles or face masks, said researcher Dr. David Listman of St. Barnabas Hospital in New York.

Solution: sit back and watch Darwinism in action. Paintball fields require masks for a reason. Running off and playing paintball without mask/goggles is the same as riding a bike without a helmet. Get hurt and it's your fault.

it's just not cricket

Well done, the brains trust at Baggy Green. Last time I wanted cricket scores I hit BG and was watching live updates with about three clicks. This time around I was asked to register; but since it's a big match their server is so swamped it's impossible to complete their multi-step registration process. It's kind of impressive to see a site fuck up so completely.

So I cruised over to Fox Sports, not my favourite news outlet, but to my surprise their coverage is great. You end up with one small window with all the details... the only downside is no "runs to win".

news bits

blown valve zone

murder, death, kill.

To the driver of the removal van that illegally blocked the ONLY passenger set-down zone at QUT on December 19th, 2003: If I ever find you, I will rip your fucking head off and shove it up your own arse. Thanks to you, I got a $60 fine because I had to stop in a No Stopping zone to drop my girlfriend off.

To the Local Laws officer who issued a parking fine against me on December 19th, 2003: If I ever find you, I will shove the removalist's still-twitching body up your arse, then rip off your head and spit down your throat. You know what I did was not dangerous; did not cause a disruption of traffic; and was a completely reasonable thing to do given the circumstances. Your failure to exercise discretion proves without any doubt that Parking Nazis are one of the lowest possible forms of life. Next time I will simply block all traffic into QUT by stopping in the one inbound lane. If I'm going to get a fine, I will at least get my money's worth by not having to drop my girlfriend 100m out of her way on a steamy Brisbane summer day.

end blown valve zone

the links go 'round and 'round

After a very long period with no collaborative activity*, I've joined Brisvegas Bloggers. I've posted about Brisbane and everything ;) I was particularly inspired to join when I realised I knew one of the other people who'd just joined.... that is so Brisbane.

* Unless you count Team Random as collaboration... which it is, strictly speaking, but somehow that makes it sound way too organised :)

where do you want to crash today?

The joys of modern computing. My mum gave me a printer while I was visiting at Christmas... basically new, good printer, she just didn't like it basically - it was destined for the bin unless someone claimed it...! My Mum has an interesting approach to computers :)

Little did I know what trouble was brewing. Near as I can tell, installing the drivers has caused the dreaded ntoskrnl.exe stop error. In fact, my computer is demon possessed and refuses to boot or even install Windows 2k on a completely fresh hard drive. This problem does not make any sense whatsoever. I might be taking the computer in to the shop for help; which is a last resort I've not needed in some years. Microsoft's incredibly helpful support pages admit the problem exists, then tells you the only way to fix it is to ring them to obtain the fix. Then they say they *might* not charge you for it, basically depending on the mood of the person you get on the support line. Hooray for M$. Think I'll give my dollars to the local shop instead.

So anyway, I'm posting off a laptop picked up from work in order to give me some form of net access. Who knows, I may yet discover a fix for this problem that doesn't involve paying money.

Anyways, I hope everyone had a good christmas and new year's... mine was.... yeah, mine Was. Not bad, just not good either. A combination of happy, disappointed, pissed off and sanguine. All at once. I'm an emotional gumbo right now, yes indeedy. But I did receive some good loot; including way-funky Industrie shirts and two new Red Dwarf DVDs and even some homemade pressies.... so things can hardly be described as all bad, eh :)