the roundup of stuff

  • happy whatever-you-celebrate. happy and safe.
  • good christmas all up.
    • day one: drove to L's parentals, drank, ate.
    • day two: opened presents, ate, drove to my sister's place, drank, ate, drank more. huzzah for going around the world in whiskey (scotch, irish, american).
    • day three: eventually got up, ate, played with cats, went home. in case you're wondering, my family has a policy of no presents except for small kids. which is brilliant, since we can afford the best food/booze :)
  • ratchet & clank threeeeee!!!!!!
  • was pondering whether to go to the gold coast big day out, but that is now academic since it sold out. as in tickets. damn. damn. chemical brothers/carl cox/beastie boys probably won't do a brisbane gig. fuck. damn.
  • will be throwing ourselves at the mercy of public transport on new year's eve. while this may be folly, it will at least allow me to drink for once. again, so soon? gasp.
  • have nearly found the unit underneath all these fucking boxes. unpacked enough to start putting the flattened boxes into storage. yay. hot, sweaty and shitty work though.
  • lots of digital camera joy lately, although i am highly jealous of a sony i saw over christmas. super-super-macro *drool*

lies, damn lies and browser statistics

The question is: how much marketshare does IE still have; and how much have Firefox and Opera gained?

around the traps

  • Road Rage Cards. An old concept with a new buzzword. What grabs me most about these is the double versions - some have just the message, then another with an insult added.
  • iPod My Photo. The person who gave me this link commented "this is what's wrong with Mac heads" :) People willing to actually pay US$20 to get a photo made into the outline style of the current iPod advertisements. On the one hand I can see this is sort of cool (and congrats to the guy making money off the idea). On the other hand, US$20 is a lot of money to turn your life into an iPod ad.
  • The Graphing Calculator Story. Speaking of Apple, this is the story of a guy and his buddy that worked at length for Apple without being paid. They just wanted to finish the product. The work culture described is shithouse, so you can see why subverting it was more effective. This also shows how easy it is to use social engineering in a large firm - nobody really gives a shit. Look bored, you'll get anywhere you want to go.
  • Boing Boing: India freaks out over amateur teen sex phonecam video. Where it gets *really* bad: the video was put up for sale on India's eBay. The CEO of India's eBay has been arrested even though the sale item was pulled upon identification.
  • Joel on Software - Camels and Rubber Duckies. A very interesting read, concerning software pricing. Sounds a bit dry, but seriously - this is worth reading whether you need to price something or not.
  • Bush won't "negotiate with himself". GAAAAAAAH this fucker has access to nuclear weapons, for fuck's sake...
  • Boing Boing: Kevin Scanlon's heavy industry photography. Wow.
  • Marquesate's Historical Pirate Flags. Arrrrr.

news bits

around the traps

news bits

stoopid quiz time

You are a double espresso at 3 AM.

You are a double espresso at three AM. You are the tortured, nail-biting essence of coffee. You see visions. You could change the world if only you were up at the same time as everyone else. You have created a programming language that throws errors if the code is not written in iambic pentameter, and you are infuriated by the typos in the new edition of Ulysses. You practice sarcasm as a form of tantric sex, and your cats have doctorates. You believe in virgin sacrifice in a good cause.

What kind of coffee are you?

around the traps

news bits

news bits

  • A land of wasted web opportunity - Next - Of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) 368 members, only five are from Australia. It has to be noted that there may be many more Australian individuals who are involved in the W3C in smaller ways than becoming a full member. The W3C includes a great deal of open/public discussion and comment for all of its proposed standards; meaning anyone can join in, without having to pay to join. I figure what they are talking about here is the high-level stuff, getting in as a big player. The only problem is that you shouldn't expect to shape the new tech in order to profit from it - the W3C aims to create the best possible specification for the new tech, then it's out there for people to use in their business. To put it another way; they figure out the best way for the tech to work, not the best way to make money off the tech. The two goals are entirely compatible, but the latter should not drive development of standards.
  • Ban on high-powered cars for P-platers - National - P-plate drivers will be banned from driving high-powered cars from next year in a NSW government crackdown on young drivers. ... P-plate drivers would [also] be restricted to carrying one passenger only. I think the ban on high-powered cars is fine, but I'm not convinced there's value in limiting the number of passengers. That sounds to me like trying to avoid media splashes about carloads of kids being killed; that is, setting the scheme up to appear successful regardless of the reality. One passenger or four, it doesn't matter if the driver has not really thought about what they're doing. With a full car you have to realise you are responsible for four other lives.
  • | Nats done over on Telstra: Beattie (December 15, 2004): RURAL Australians were being treated like mugs over the full sale of Telstra, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said today. Well yeah, but the Liberals and their voters don't give a shit.
  • Teenagers are just cavemen and women at heart - National - After three decades of the feminist revolution, this is where attitudes have evolved to: teenage boys want a future of wealth, sex with many beautiful women, fast cars and sport. Girls dream of romance, a career, meeting Mr Right and shared parenting.
  • | Bin Laden joker shot (December 15, 2004): Costa Rica: A startled taxi driver shot and wounded a jokester wearing a plastic mask of the al-Qaeda leader, police said today.
  • Lap of the nods - Unusual Tales - A pillow shaped like a woman's lap has become one of the best selling Christmas gifts in Japan.

around the traps

  • The Chaser News | SRC takes meaningful stand: Wollongong University?s Student Representative Council shocked both constituents and community members last week, when they unanimously voted to censure the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Ahhh, student unions, how useless they are.
  • Calving & Hobbes - Christmas...
  • Who says safe computing must remain a pipe dream? | Perspectives | CNET I am regularly asked what average Internet users can do to ensure their security. My first answer is usually, 'Nothing--you're screwed.' But that's not true ... You're screwed if you do nothing to protect yourself. What I really need is a detailed how-to version of this article to give out to the many friends/family that ask me the same sort of question. It's complicated, but it's simple. If you know what I mean. On another note, I don't know that deleting and cmd.exe is actually a good idea. Windows will use files/routines in ways humans cannot fathom; it also doesn't protect itself from certain disasters. For example if you uninstall every single font (and although I wouldn't, I can understand someone wanting to do so), Windows is screwed. It does not hide or embed a font to use if the user decides to get rid of the extra fonts - personally I would have though the OS should have a few things like that built in as a fail-safe.
  • Most Hated Advertising Techniques (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox), including some actual stats on which methods users hate the most.
  • The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation.

news bits

around the traps

  • CSS Pencils v3.1. This is a demo, not a concept to be used in production - ever. That said, very cool.
  • Lithuania Discovers Belarussian Liquor Pipeline - NEWS - MOSNEWS.COM: Lithuanian border guards have unearthed a three-kilometer pipeline for smuggling in moonshine liquor from neighboring Belarus, Reuters reported on Friday.
  • Violence in Animal Rights: [T]hose engaged in lawful protests are finding increasing police aggression, banning orders and arbitrary arrests part and parcel of the day. Consequently lawful protest is seen as increasingly ineffectual and indeed dangerous by many protestors. Interesting post; although I remain unconvinced about the real motivations of many "activists" (not just in animal rights).
  • Robbers scared off by Playstation game get jail time: The burglars apparently heard audio from the video game Grand Theft Auto and thought police had them surrounded. Funny :)
  • Retro Refrigerators by Big Chill Fridge. Cool. Err.. I mean, funky.
  • Your contributions to the clean airwaves of the nation :: Reagan's Destructions. BandAid Dilemma - a site for those who support the cause, but can't stand the song. Solution: buy the CD, destroy it in a creative manner. Post the results.
  • - Electrical brainstorms busted as source of ghosts: Studies showing that magnetic stimulation of the brain induces spiritual experiences are being queried by researchers who cannot reproduce key results. There has been a fair bit of lazy research in this area, so it's good to see people questioning the results.
  • Britain for Americans - Food & Drink: Mix with the locals. These 'toffs' often put on a coarse accent after a glass or two of beer; do not be intimidated, they are resting their throats after talking 'posh' all day. They will be glad to play Eton college word-games: 'Get Up, That's My Seat', 'You look a puff-to-me!' and 'Is-she-for sale?' Call out one of these games to any large chap, and have fun.
  • [Happy] - I Like To Watch has apparently been arsed, now; the domain contains content again :) - I woke up freezing cold and very drunk in a chair I didn't recognise, in a backyard I didn't recognise, and surrounded by a skyline I didn't recognise. "Oh crap!" my first thoughts were. These thoughts were duly followed by "Where am I?", "How did I get here?" and - the most terrifying threat of all - "Where the fuck is my camera?"

Several links via linkfrenzy.

goody goody yum yum

The Official Goodies Rule - OK! Fan Club Website - News: MEDIA RELEASE December 7, 2004 The Goodies ? British Comedy Legends Go LIVE in Australia! ?.Tim, Bill and Graeme live up to their catchphrase ?We go anywhere anytime!? Legendary British comedy trio The Goodies will appear live in their first ever touring stage show at Sydney's Big Laugh Comedy Festival in March 2005. The most-loved and prolific of all the UK?s great comedians, The Goodies - Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Graeme Garden ? are creating a live show which will have its world premiere at The Big Laugh 2005. The Goodies will open the Big Laugh Comedy Festival at the Riverside Theatres at Parramatta on March 3, and at State Theatre on March 4 and 5, and will also play in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane. [my emphasis :)]

news bits

author meme

Instructions: Take this list of authors, remove those whose efforts do not grace your shelves, and bring the list up to ten by adding some more that do. New paragraph indicates newly-added authors.

  • Neil Gaiman
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Douglas Adams
  • William Gibson
  • Neal Stephenson
  • Iain M. Banks/Iain Banks
  • Rudy Rucker
  • Darren O'Shaugnessy (aka Darren Shan when writing childrens' fiction)
  • China Mieville
  • Sean McMullen

Note: I limited responses to those authors have more than one book on my shelf. For example, I do have Philip K Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep but I figure that doesn't really qualify in this context :)

Taken from drjon.


around the traps

accessibility, web standards, usability, oh my

australian phone directory

I get this email every so often... it's worthy, so here it is:

Sensis, as you may or may not know, is a subsidiary of Telstra. The 1234 number is replacing the Telstra 12456 directory assistance number, but this time with outrageous costs attached: 40c to call the number, then 4c A SECOND! With this sort of pricing structure in place, it's no wonder so many Australians hold Telstra in the same regard as the major banks. By law, Telstra have to provide a FREE directory assistance number, because they are still majority owned by the government. They choose however not to pass this number on to the public. What's the number? 1223. Thumbs up to Telstra for finding a way to charge for a service that is supposed to be provided for free.

Being ever-cynical and suspicious about Telstra, I did a quick search to see what more I could find about this (and to check whether it is actually free). According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 1223 number is free - Telstra admits confusion over directory inquiries - National - Australian Consumers' Association policy officer Charles Britton said it would be more useful to consumers if Telstra promoted the free directory assistance numbers 12455 and 1223 instead. Telstra is compelled to provide a free directory service to residential phone users.

So. Program it into your phone (note that it's not free on mobile phones, since almost nothing is free on mobile phones). 1223. Note that the 12455 number is NOT NECESSARILY FREE, even if you are an existing Telstra victim.

Be ready to write the number down since it doesn't offer a connection service. Also note that you'll get Telstra's pathetic and useless voice recognition bullshit when you call 1223, so clearly and loudly say "operator" as soon as it picks up (I found that "let me talk to a fucking human" also worked on one occasion). Otherwise you will NOT get what you need, since it only recognises 2500 numbers and if the number you want is at all phonetically similar to a Telstra service... guess which one you'll get.