around the traps


from footpath to skyline

footpath to skyline, old and new - the demolition site in the mall (where the cinema used to be, near the information booth) and the latest sky-scraper creeping upwards in the background.


you know you've been on the scene a long time when... flick throught he latest issue of fiend magazine and find:

  • an article on a band your own two-gig-wonder group once shared a gig with (dead inside the chrysalis). it wasn't hard to tell they'd go further than us, considering our band more or less self-destructed after that ;)
  • a feature on a band that swaps remixes with the band you run a website for (real life). talks about the gig that kicked off their tour... i posted photos of that gig at the time.
  • a pic of a band you met after a gig a few weeks back (angelspit). scary thing is they look just as good in real life as the do in photos. *nobody* should be allowed to do that.
  • a guy you buy cds from reviewing an artist you were about to ask him to order in (jarod/gup and klinik). i guess he won't think i'm odd for being interested in their old stuff :)

none of it is big stuff, but at the same time it's different to the usual magazine experience (people you've never met and bands you'll probably never hear). it's not remote or theoretical. i guess it goes with the territory after something like nine years on the scene. odd but nice, i guess :)

around the traps

news bits

  • ISPs forced to join child porn crackdown - Breaking - Under the new laws, an ISP or ICH will face penalties of $11,000 for the individual and $55,000 for body corporates if they are made aware that their service can be used to access material that they have reasonable grounds to believe is child pornography or child abuse material and they do not refer details of that material to the AFP within a reasonable time. I hope the actual requirements are worded far more specifically than that - otherwise every single ISP must immediately notify the AFP that their service gives access to the internet. I am hoping the reality and intention of the law is that if ISPs discover that sort of material hosted on their servers their servers they would act immediately.
  • Apple unveils new mini iPods - Breaking - I would have given the shuffle a bit longer without opposition, personally. Unless they're sacrificing sales of the 1gig shuffle to the new-price 4gig mini. About AU$50 more for 3 gigs more...? Hmm.
  • Warning: artistic aliens at work - National - Grass art. It would have to be tsunami-related.
  • ABC Sport - Rugby League - Newcastle Knightmare now a police matter. Even if you were such a fucking rock ape that you thought that sort of behavious was acceptable, wouldn't you at least restrain yourself to save your own arse? Ultimately people have to stop blaming the club, because that implies that the players are excused - which is bullshit. They are adults responsible for their own choices and actions; and they should be treated that way... which means criminal charges, loss of contracts, club-based fines, league-based bans from playing. The NRL clearly wants this shit to stop and - trust me - the fans want it to stop. I do find it interesting that people blame the sport though - if these guys were brickies, accountants or chefs would people be up in arms for their employers to control their bahaviour at 3am? Did these guys really turn into morons the moment they got a football contract, or did their attitudes get formed years earlier? The guys who do this stuff remind me of the jocks at high school - literally. They don't seem to change and the only thing that professional sport adds is money and a bigger audience.

around the traps


Velvet Revolver...

  • Start late? Check, although someone should tell them Axl Rose isn't in this band.
  • Row of rock god poses, guitars slung so low they're nearly on the floor? Check.
  • Singer flanked by two guitars, major posing on feedback wedge? Check.
  • Guitar played behind the head? Check.
  • Dual-neck guitar? Check.
  • Huge banner behind band, "Rock'N'Fuckin'Roll"? Check.
  • At appropriate moment, banner drops to reveal band's name up in lights? Check.
  • Singer wanders off in the middle of a song for no reason, band covers for him? Check.
  • Slash came out for the encore in The Hat? Check.
  • Slash is a bitch for not then playing cheesy Gunners smash hit? Check. Bitch.

The rock and roll classics have been observed :)

boing me up, scotty*

* note that despite this post title, i am not a trekkie. not all geeks are trekkies, ok?

around the traps

Microsoft pretends to care

IEBlog | IE7: [Microsoft is] committing to deliver a new version of Internet Explorer for Windows XP customers. Some immediate thoughts:

  • This is only for Win XP SP2, so MS is still trying to force users to upgrade their OS just to get a better browser. To put it another way: MS is still saying 'fuck you' to anyone who hasn't upgraded to their latest, greatest and soon-to-be-replaced OS.
  • It's unlikely that they would have bothered with this unless Firefox had started gaining marketshare. Firefox, Opera, hell even Netscape 7 are all far superior browsers and have been for some time.
  • It's also unlikely that they would have bothered if Longhorn's release date hadn't slipped.
  • MS will no doubt claim they are wonderful for adding features which long ago became 'standard' in other browsers... eg. popup blocking, tabbed browsing, easy plugin controls.
  • I hear that this IE7 release uses a new/modified rendering engine so I guess we'll have to figure out all the new bugs.
  • That said, the press release etc all focus on this being an 'improvement for security' so this could all just be a massive security patch with added marketing.

So... overall... I guess it's better for MS to at least roll out a new browser for XP, even if they're not making it available to existing customers with other products. That said, there's no indication yet as to whether IE7 will support web standards or isolate itself from the OS a little better.

It's just MS scrambling to stem the flow of users moving away from IE... MS doesn't like that because they want their users to remain docile. The do not want people to think for themselves, or - worst of all - consider and switch to non-MS alternatives. Once people switch from IE to Firefox they're that much more likely to switch to OpenOffice or an email client like Eudora or Thunderbird. MS is the AOL of software - as far as they are concerned the less their users have to think, the better.

news bits

  • Govt accused of breaking family election promises. 15/02/2005. ABC News Online: The Northern Territory's Labor senator says Australian families have been cheated by the Howard Government's pre-election promises on family benefits. Wow. There's a surprising development. Johnny didn't mean it, really? Say it ain't so.
  • Australia urged to press US on torture claims. 15/02/2005. ABC News Online: Amnesty International says the Federal Government is obligated to question the United States further on allegations Australian detainees have been tortured.
  • Doing time for cyber crime - Icon - Not a bad writeup actually - discusses the sorts of crimes landing hackers/crackers in jail and also touches on the hysterical things people are willing to believe: During one of his prison sentences, [Kevin Mitnick] was thrown in solitary confinement for eight months because the prosecutor convinced the court he could start a nuclear war by whistling into a telephone. The article also gets into the vastly different sentences which are being handed down - some too hard, some too soft, some totally wrong. Imagine spending 16 months in prison for trying to get a security flaw fixed in your own company...!
  • Telstra takes another look at Lifeline - National - I guess even Telstra realises when they'll look like utter arseholes. What really shits me is the tiny amount they're talking about - $1m is petty cash to Telstra - and the way they keep talking about 'paying' for free calls. Telstra is the fucking phone provider. The only way they 'pay' for calls is by maintaining the fucking network, which is their job in the first place. So the dollar value of supplying 'free calls' is questionable at best.
  • More on this... Australian IT - Telstra ponderous over Lifeline (Correspondents in Canberra, FEBRUARY 15, 2005): Telstra, which last week posted a $2.3 billion profit, told Lifeline three years ago that it would pull its $1 million in annual funding on June the 30th this year. This one quote sums up the two big issues. Telstra acts like it somehow can't afford $1m after posting a $2.3 billion profit; but yes, Lifeline was told three years ago. There are many other corporations that could have coughed up $1m.

news bits


clear imprint of a tyre on a column

[eagle street pier carpark] this must have shaken the driver's teeth out. the imprint of the tyre is at about chest height - clearly someone backed their 4WD into this pole; and the spare tyre slammed into it with enough force to leave an imprint of the text written into the rubber. they're using Bridgestone Desert Duellers, from the look of it.


whole lotta boing

around the traps, and some news bits

around the traps

i think i've solved the mystery

Why Does Windows Still Suck? / Why do PC users put up with so many viruses and worms? Why isn't everyone on a Mac? OK, great question: why do people put up with their computers fucking up? Then it turns into Mac zealotism. Shit man, you started out so well.

This go me thinking about the whole Mac vs. PC thing (again) and I think I've finally worked out what's going on: this whole Mac thing... it's a conspiracy.

I have to say, I've always wondered what MacHeads were getting out of Macs that I'm missing. Sure, they might look pretty (the Macs that is) but I've never found the ones that these people clearly use - you know, it directly stimulates the pleasure centres of the brain, makes you a coffee and gives you a blowjob (alter this to your relevant beverage/body parts, work with me people).

See, I hear people talk about how their Mac has never crashed and never needed any maintenance. Ever. Plus they knew how to use it instantly and never once screamed at it in frustration. Then they say how it's so cool that there's an update to the OS every other week which they've just installed, you know the one with the feline name? OSX Kitty or something. Doesn't matter that they dump on Windows for having an OS update every other week, their updates are Good Updates. Plus they're now claiming that Macs are 'cheap'.

None of this matches my own experience. The Macs I've used crashed just as much as any other computer. They all cost substantially more than any comparable PC (unless you're fucking stupid enough to buy a Dell or whatever name brand). I once spent an hour trawling the help files looking for the answer to a simple question... only to discover its help files assumed I already knew where to find Panel X. I assume Panel X existed somewhere on the machine, but I'll never know since I reefed the power cable out of the wall and asked a MacHead to test the damn website on their laptop (why do so many MacHeads drag their personal laptop into work, only to run it next to their work-supplied G5-from-hell?).

I've tried, really. I've used Macs. Only once as a workstation - *twitch* the G3 crash-o-matic *twitch*twitch*. But we have Macs at work for testing purposes. I've used a G3, G4, G4 dual-chip, PowerBook and an iMac (first generation). I've used OS 8, 9, 10. Maybe 7, not sure. I have not found any iteration to be 'intuitive' - ever since my first Mac experience, I've found them annoying. The power button was placed on the keyboard (I call it the 'cat key') and marked with a left-pointing triangle. WTF? The floppy drive had no eject button. WTF? I have to drag my disk WHERE on the desktop? WTF? Are you fucking crazy? On my Amiga that meant FORMAT.

My overall position is this: Macs are no more reliable than anything else. They are no more intuitive than anything else (that's probably the key point actually). I *hate* the Mac 'floating window' paradigm. I hate the way Mac OS comes up with radically different interface features in every new release (where did that weird little pop-out configuration bar thing go?). I definitely hate the way everything on a Mac is bloody *round*. Apparently corners scare Mac people. Games... need I say more? A lot of the software I like doesn't have a Mac port (the major stuff, yes; but not the various utilities). Most file compatibility issues I've come across were related to going between Mac and PC. Sure, there aren't many Mac viruses out there... but that isn't going to make me switch. I do, however, want an iPod. Please also note that I'm not saying Windows is good or doesn't crash or any crap like that. I think Windows sucks, but I don't have the time/energy to learn Linux and I don't have the money or inclination to buy a Mac.

I've just watched a workmate go through the joy of getting a brand new iMac G5. Sure, it may have taken several attempts to get his files off the G4. Sure it might have taken hours even over the apparently-magical firewire. But hey, it's nifty and one piece and runs nice and fast! Two days later he was logging a support job to replace the monitor since it had fucked pixels (some dead, some 'dark'). Massive runaround ensues since not even the people who sold the machine to our organisation know what the tech support deal is. He's told he'll have to ship the damn thing off site for at least a week - hang on, it's an iMac so doesn't that mean he will have NO COMPUTER? You can't just borrow a monitor off someone. Eventually they are forced to come out and replace the monitor on site. The new monitor only has one fucked pixel.

Of course, he still defends his Mac. It has not actually wronged him, he still feels the love. Although not a tattood iSoldier in the OS frontlines, he remains a Mac advocate.

Then it hits me - the people who sold this Mac didn't know who was getting it. They didn't know they were going to harm a Brother. They shipped.... an evil Mac.

You see, finally realisation has dawned. There are two kinds of Macintosh. There's the kind I've come across... then there's the kind that they sell to people who go to Mac showrooms with their Mac t-shirts, Mac tattoos and the blue iPod which is the Work iPod (nothing in this sentence is a joke). These people get ushered out the back, to the room with hundreds of Mac Ninja training for.... well, who knows? Even Mac Ninja are Ninja. So anyway, in this secret room they find rows of............... the Other Macs.

My guess is these Other Macs have the fuckup chip removed. These Macs actually have a Panel X, a screensaver and an eject button on the CD drive. All games run on this Mac. Even Microsoft applications run perfectly on this Mac (or maybe not, if you read the article...). This is.... The Mac.

The Zealot is then initated into the next level of the cult, sworn to secrecy and sent home with their cheap, perfect Mac. They are given DVD manuals on how to annoy the piss out of everyone by talking about their Mac all the fucking time. They actually earn money for defending the price of their own Mac, thus coming out with a profit over time.

The rest of us get Evil Macs.

web stuff for web geeks

around the traps

gmail weirdness

more on gmail's sudden storm of invites... one person i know has 50 invites, two others have just a couple. from what they've told me about the invites they've sent, it doesn't seem to correspond with successful invites. maybe it's based on total number sent regardless of result; or perhaps it's based on regularity of login. but it's not obvious.


pile of bricks arranged in a careful stack

someone carefully stacked these broken bricks into a kind of informal lantern shape. i saw it several mornings in a row, then decided to stop and take some photos. that afternoon, it was gone.