Monday, July 7, 2008

Korea vet joins the motivational speaker cicuit

Buckley warns children on the hazards of fast food

Sunday, October 28, 2007

a sockful of instant karma

Had a boozy dinner party on Saturday. was awesome. woke up with a serious throbber and just enough time to dress and drive out to the temple to meet up with the folks for "pray for whatever day" (yes yes! I know, my atheist ass will burn in hell) . I lost an hour due to daylight saving, that would have otherwise been used to sober up a little. damnit.
anyway I get there. mumble incoherently through some prayers. then it hits me.
The contents of last nights indulgences.
I rush to the toilet. Now monks must be a masochistic lot because the toilet at the temple you need to take your shoes off and walk down an infinitely long corridor of the coldest concrete floor outside of Siberia; while busting. I get to the toilet, slam the door and realise, some bastard has urinated all over the floor. first things first, i do my business. relieved, my mind wanders...
should I saw off my foot at the ankle before frostbite and gangrene set in?
what did I do recently to warrant this dose of instant karma? was it
My thoughts are interupted by a brusk rap on the door. and again... and yet again. impatient loser. I flush and to my horror the bowl fills but does not recede. I decide its best not to think about whether I'm standing in number 1 or number 2. (Doh too late!).
The elderly lady gives me the hairy eyeball, to which I return a wry smile. Spread the love!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Next fad please

I've over Facebook, yawn! okay, next fad.
Facebook was fun when I started. but the novelty quickly wears off and its now just annoying. The two biggest problems is clutter and privacy.
My facebook is weighed down by clutter due to all the add-ons. Its just like spam. its off putting. You get so many requests to install this add-on, install that add-on. I hate how the default for most of the add on programs is to notify all your friends to install it. A lot of the programs are just crap and some are almost impossible to remove. I've started deleting unwanted add-ons but it still get spammed. ARGH!
Then there's privacy. it was cool at first, you have your core group of friends, some you don't see that often because they're overseas and its easy to communicate with them, everythings cool and fun. Then fringe friends and acquaintances infiltrate your facebook. guys you didn't really like back at school. I'm the kind of guy who thinks its rude to decline a friend request. even worse to accept and only give a limited view profile. that's like confirming yeah I know you but I don't really like you. Hence I've got all these fringe dwellers in my friends list that are ruining it for me. first you have to answer their messages, reciprocate drinks and gifts etc... but more annoying is that you don't really want them to know what you are up to. I'm comfortable with the core group knowing what I'm doing, but the fringe dwellers, its kinda creepy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

whoo! we men might still useful

Back in high school I had a militant lesbian / female supremist biology teacher who single-handedly put me off a career in medicine. She was relentless in trying to prove female superiority. She had the schools science classes segregated on gender and then proceeded to deduct marks off the male class for mucking around with our dissection lab subjects. Yes she had found our gender's great weakness. A gender biologically conditioned to hunting can't possibly resist the urge to celebrate a kill by throwing its internal organs at one another.
Her dream future was one in which the human race had perfected itself to a super-species of assexually cloned Amazons and men had become *gulp* extinct.
No good for me. like couldn't we just hang around to be sex slaves, 'breeders'?... NO ... in her vision of the world men had to become extinct. it was the only way to achieve world peace and amazonian utopia.
but all is not lost. recent research has shown that stem cells can be harvested from testes. (cue our favourite pic again) So? that doesn't help the Amazonian super-race I hear you say. well, yes it does.
So if my high school biology teacher ever assumes control over the world I can have this scenario to present to her on behalf of MAN-kind ... you can use to stem cells to grow organs. Men can be kept around as testicle farms in battery cages so our organs can be harvested. so Ms ********* HA! you can't kill us all off just yet!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Walking the wheelie bin

last week my green waste wheelie bin filled up due to all the weeding I've been doing in the back yard (no not THAT kind of weed). There still another weeks wait to have it emptied and I've still got half the block to do. I had this brilliant brainstorm to sneak over to my mother-in-law's place and 'swap' bins without anyone being any the wiser. It's only a 1km walk. easy. so easy that I decided to take alonger scenic route to get in some more exercise. It's a pretty good work out, towing 100kg of garbage for 1.5kms.
The problem is all the strange looks from the neighbours, while I was dragging the big green bin around the neighbourhood. you'd think i was hauling body parts around or something. I'm sure one of the old farts has tried to dob me in to the police, neighbourhood watch, Today Tonight and ASIO. Yeah they're pretty alert, alarmed and senile in my part of the woods.
I'm starting to think that this wheelie bin thing can catch on. like its a great way to intensify your workout, you don't have to pay for expensive designer weights, everyone has a wheelie bin.A wheelie bin is much better behaved than a dog and you don't have to pick up after it. Its also the perfect way to discard any unwanted evidence(dead bodies, tax evasion documents, old boy band posters) by swapping your bin with someone else's. Just keep mum when ASIO comes and drags away your neighbours.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rotten lawsuits

Two currently running lawsuits are annoying me today.
Firstly the Patent Trolls at NTP are at it again. Secondly a small company from Queensland is trying to set a precedent in shutting up critism of a product.
1. Die Patent Trolls!
now the patent system is broken in a very bad way. the system that was designed to promote innovation and protect inventors is instead doing the exact opposite. It thwarts innovation and has turned the Tech sector into a Casino of frivolous lawsuits. Companies are set up that don't create new research, don't produce anything, they just buy up patents on the cheap, usually from failed companies/inventors and then try to extort others when they successfully commercialise a product with a loosely matching description.
You can get just about anything patented, regardless of quality of your claim. Some things are just plain obvious and others just plain stupid. Example, the famous patent for the bald dude comb-over. The reason being a lack of resources at the patent department and political pressure leading to the default position being to approve new patents without full investigation by qualified experts.
NTP after successfully extorting Blackberry for patent infringement is at it again. this time they may have bitten off more than they can chew (well one lives in hope). NTP are taking on AT&T and Verizon and anyone that delivers email wirelessly.
Now a wireless network is really just a regular IP network delivered through a different medium (okay give or take a few extra protocols but essentially the same). So isn't it obvious that any application that is deliverable via a wired network will be eventually delivered in wireless? So NTP's patent is rubbish because it is too obvious and should be scrapped.
hopefully the lobbyists at the big Telcos will be able to push for some long needed patent reform.

2. My 2Cents on 2Clix
Little known (until now) Australian accounting software company 2Clix is suing popular Australian tech forum whirlpool for 'injurious falsehood' for user comments posted on 2 forum threads. if 2Clix wins it will set a dangerous new precedent on web use. we all will have to think twice about criticising products online. which is a shame because I personally find frank first person reviews from the online community valuable in making purchase decisions.
Having read the threads out of curiosity, I find it difficult to see how 2Clix has a case. The users were either expressing an opinion or telling their personal experiences of the 2Clix product. sometimes with additional colourful language but hey they felt strongly negative about their experience. I can't see how they could prove that the statements constituted 'injurious falsehoods'. take one of the offending statements in 2Clix claims
"I was put onto this forum recently after discussion with peers, about how frustrated, dissatisfied and ultimately ripped off I feel after purchasing 2clix earlier this year"

thats a statement of their opinion and its most likely fact the individual who posted it is frustrated, dissatisfied and feel ripped off. Now if they claimed your product turned their workstations into a botnet propagating kiddie porn, then that's 'injurious falsehood'. you'd think that the prerequisite for an injurious falsehood is that the statement is indeed false! but hey I'm not a lawyer.
You can't build a bad product and expect unhappy customers not to complain. The old saying in marketing goes 'A happy customer tells 5 friends, an unhappy customer tells 20'. Sooner of later feedback from unhappy customers will catch up with you. Whirlpool just provided a more efficient medium for those unhappy customers to warn the public. You can't blame whirlpool for accelerating what was going to happen through word of mouth anyway. Now if you have evidence that the postings on whirlpool were a smear campaign initiated by a competitor then I take my words back. If not then 2Clix should fix its software and stop blaming others for its problems.
The greater danger is that if 2Clix succeeds, this will only encourage the big bully boys to exploit it to shut up critics. Imagine Microsoft closing down every 'My Vista won't work and it sucks' thread. yes folks you can bet on it!

Monday, September 10, 2007

new music. its all noise

No, I don't hate the current crop of chart toppers. I'm feeling old but I'm not quite yet a geriatric complaining about "what young people listen to these days!".

I'm talking about the current trend by record labels to artificially compress music to make it "louder". Ever get really tired or headaches while listening to music? the culprit is the over-compression that makes the music "louder", but it also doesn't allow your ears to relax during the song. hence after a few songs your ears are too stressed leading to tireness and/or headaches.

Its yet another reason why live music is so much better than any recorded music experience (unless you're watching Britney), but thats rant for another time. For a good explanation on how it all works check out this article.

There are 2 main reasons for the current loudness war.
  1. To get noticed.
  2. Our listening environments have changed. most people enjoy their music in their cars these days. The inside of a moving car is typically a very noisy environment. Music in cars has to overcome other noises ie engine, road/tyre and wind noise. thus the louder the music, the easier it is to hear over the other sources of noise.
Now I can agree with the 2nd reason for digitally remastering tunes to sound better for where you listen to them. but with the current digital formats it isn't difficult for this to be done at a hardware level instead of in the music format.
The 1st reason won't work and will lead to catastrophe. the reason being it disregards the fallacy of composition. That is if one person does something its good. If everyone does it then its usually bad. This is exactly what's happening in the music industry at the moment. There's a loudness war, everyone is compressing the bejesus out of music to gain loudness.
The end result? nada! no one gets an advantage out of something that everyone is doing! What the current loudness war will give us is a generation of iPod users who are destined for deafness. (maybe a good time to invest in Cochlear shares). perhaps this is a window for someone to forgo the loudness and compression and dazzle us with unadulterated music with some dynamic range!