Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Flying with Virgin: Dilbert Perspective...

Microsoft Tech.Ed 2005 Progress Update: 1

Hey all, I am writing this from the laptop recharge station in the Expo Hall at Tech.Ed. So far today we have seen sessions of Visual Studio Foundation Server, Visual Studio Team System and Data Driven Websites in ASP.NET 2.0.

Visual Studio Foundation Server (VSFS) will be great for managing a project from start to finish. The ability to run your source code control, bug lists, tasks lists and management reporting all from one place and one product, and also integrate with Project, will allow people to do their job without having to continually give progress updates or switch to other products like Bugzilla, etc.

We have also seen some demonstrations on the abilities of Visual Studio Team System (VSTS). VSTS has integrated unit testing, load testing, code analysis and code coverage.
  • Unit testing - Automated running of test procedures that can comprehensively test each function you write and publish the results back to a VSFS for viewing by a project manager or other developers.
  • Load Testing - Currently only supporting web applications, traditional application testing capability to be added in SP1. This tool allows you to simulate high load conditions on a web application. You can specify a myriad of parameters to test your web app to the n'th degree.
  • Code Analysis - Helps developers detect coding and security related issues earlier in the development cycle thereby reducing the overall cost of fixing code defects. All the rules that are used are totally customisable and extendable.
  • Code Coverage - This tool allows you see to see after testing how much of your code has been actually tested. It uses colour coded highlights to show areas of code that were not exercised by the testing scripts.


ASP.NET 2.0 has added a heap of new features that allow much easier use of data binding in your web app. Some examples we have seen have shown how to implement an editable master-detail page structure without writing a single line of code if you want. Of course you would actually write an intermeditiary object of your own to manage data validation and some custom methods to obtain the data, but that is the only code you really need to write for a fully functional web app. Really cool stuff.

More updates to come over the next few days...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Out for Tech.Ed...

I'm flying out tomorrow morning to the Gold Coast for Microsoft Tech.Ed 2005.

I am really looking forward to hearing about what is happening in the world of .NET and SQL Server 2005. Makes me sound like a royal nerd doesn't it? At least being a nerd pays better than being a bogan.

I will try to update the blog with what is going on each day if I can get some connection to use, whether it be the hotel network or any wireless network I can find to 'borrow'.

I hate to say it...

I hate to say it, but I have to agree with the PM on this.
PRIME Minister John Howard did not support a push by Liberal backbencher Bronwyn Bishop to ban Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in public schools, he said today.

The current trend to attacking muslims for their religion, culture and general beliefs is disgusting. The threat of terrorism has people scared and they are searching for a scapegoat, and muslims seem to be it.
Ms Bishop has backed the view of outspoken Liberal MP Sophie Panopoulos in calling for the ban, describing the wearing of the hijab as an iconic act of defiance.

Of course it is an 'act of defiance', muslims continue to wear the hijab because of their beliefs, and unsurprisingly, they believe in them and won't let someone else's misguided blame stop them from living the way they want. Was it an 'act of defiance' before Sept 11? Or was it just a hallmark of a people proud of their culture and religion?

Once you start walking down the road of banning religious articles, things get very fuzzy. As the PM said, if you want to ban the hijab, do you ban turbans? Do you ban orange robes? Do you ban crucifixes on necklaces or ear-rings? Do you even ban white shirts and black ties?

Is Google the new Microsoft?

Google is changing. It is changing from a small technology company into a massive corporate entity.

Google has brought some new thinking into the tech world but they seem to be slipping into the traditional big company mentality. A CNET reporter used Google's own search engine to find out lots of personal, yet public, information about Google CEO Eric E. Schmidt.
Last month, Elinor Mills, a writer for CNET News, a technology news Web site, set out to explore the power of search engines to penetrate the personal realm: she gave herself 30 minutes to see how much she could unearth about Mr. Schmidt by using his company's own service. The resulting article, published online at CNET's News.com under the sedate headline "Google Balances Privacy, Reach," was anything but sensationalist. It mentioned the types of information about Mr. Schmidt that she found, providing some examples and links, and then moved on to a discussion of the larger issues. She even credited Google with sensitivity to privacy concerns.

When Ms. Mills's article appeared, however, the company reacted in a way better suited to a 16th-century monarchy than a 21st-century democracy with an independent press. David Krane, Google's director of public relations, called CNET.com's editor in chief to complain about the disclosure of Mr. Schmidt's private information, and then Mr. Krane called back to announce that the company would not speak to any reporter from CNET for a year.

Has everybody's favourite tech company turned into the tech company everybody hates?

Google Anything, so Long as It's Not Google - New York Times, login available here if required.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Cool, but utterly useless...

World Sunlight Map

Maybe if they produced decent product...

Hollywood is in trouble, their summer blockbuster season is coming to an end and the results are not good.
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 23 - With the last of the summer blockbusters fading from the multiplex, Hollywood's box office slump has hardened into a reality that is setting the movie industry on edge. The drop in ticket sales from last summer to this summer, the most important moviegoing season, is projected to be 9 percent by Labor Day, and the drop in attendance is expected to be even deeper, 11.5 percent, according to Exhibitor Relations, which tracks the box office.

They give a few reasons why people are staying away and surprisingly piracy and file-sharing is never mentioned. Some of their reasons for people not going to the movies:
  • a failure of studio marketing
  • high petrol prices
  • commercials before the movie
  • mobile phones annoyances
I really don't think these things really impact on why I don't go to the movies, the main reasons I don't go are:
  • recent movies have been fairly crap
  • high ticket prices, cheaper to rent a DVD at home
  • high, or rather criminally high, prices for popcorn and drinks
A trip to the movies these days is a $25 outing, minimum, for two people. I can sit at home, in my comfy recliner, and watch a DVD at the volume I want, eat the snack food I want, pause the show if I want and for a lot less coin.

It seems the movie studios are starting to cotton on to the idea that making crap movies does not pay off:
At Universal, Mr. Shmuger said he intends to reassert "time and care and passion" in movie production. Some of his own summer movies, he conceded, should never have been made.

He declined to name them.

WMDs found in Iraq...

This may seem like a little bit of old news but The Washington Post has reported that WMDs have been found in Iraq. Finally the trail of lies and deception can be put to rest:
BAGHDAD, Aug. 13 -- U.S. troops raiding a warehouse in the northern city of Mosul uncovered a suspected chemical weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals believed destined for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians, military officials said Saturday.

This means that George W. Bush wasn't telling porky lies all along. Does this mean that the war in Iraq was justified? I just might have to eat my hat. But wait...
[Lt. Col. Steven A.] Boylan said the suspected lab was new, dating from some time after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Oops...

So the removal of Saddam actually helped these people start up their own chemical lab. Nice work guys.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Another IM comes to towm...

Google Talk has been released.

I bet Cerulean Studios are rubbing their hands together...

Question...

If you could put together a Happy Meal of your own, what would be in it?

Don't restrict yourself to fast food and also don't forget to put a toy in there with the main dish and side serve...

Depressed PM and the generosity of Aussies...

A public servant, on his way home from work in Canberra traffic came to a dead halt and thought to himself, "This is unusual." He noticed a police officer walking between the lines of stopped cars, so he rolled down his window and asked, "Officer, what's the hold-up?"

The officer replied, "The Prime Minister is depressed, so he stopped his motorcade and is threatening to douse himself with petrol and set himself on fire. He says no one believes his stories about why we went to war in Iraq, or the connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda, or that his tax cuts will help anyone except his wealthy friends. So we're taking up a collection for him."

The public servant asks, "How much have you got so far?"

The officer replies, "About 200 litres, but a lot of people are still siphoning."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Say cheese...


Cheese!!!Posted by Picasa

Teachers accused of anti-US bias

I am really getting sick of the bullshit flowing from the mouths of members in the Howard Government. Do they have any idea what they are talking about? Or do they have someone pulling their strings from the back stage?

The treasurer Peter Costello, not the foreign minister, has come out with a great one this time. He is accusing teachers of Anti-US bias in the classroom and this will lead to terrorism.
"If your teacher's carrying that bias it tends to get passed on," he said yesterday. "…Anti-Americanism can easily morph into anti-Westernism. Particularly you've seen that with terrorists. They don't really draw distinctions between Americans or Britons or Australians; they just like to hit anybody who they consider to be part of the West."

I don't believe teachers are carrying a specific anti-US bias. I believe they are analysing the actions of the US in a critical way in order to clearly illustrate the consequences of such actions on a global scale.

The US, Britain and Australia by close association, has shown itself to be quite deceitful to the world in order to further their own imperialistic agenda. The evidence leading up to the 2003 Iraq war is quite volumous and damning. One of the main cornerstones of the neoconservatives now running the US is to bypass diplomacy with military action, either overt or covert, to install democracy globally. I believe this has done more to further the terrorists cause than any other reason. Sticking their nose into other nations and affecting their governments has pissed of many people.

And if I remember correctly, international terrorist attacks in recent times have targetted the US, Britain or Australia in particular. The western world is not made up of just the US, Britain and Australia. Has Canada been attacked? Has Germany been attacked? Spain was attacked due to their involvement in the Iraq war but they pulled out of the war and they have received no other threats.

Teaching some kids in schools about the imperialistic nature of the US is not going to turn them into terrorists, it is more likely that these kids might start to think about the actions of nations like the US and thus think more about who they vote for when they turn 18 and their opinion suddenly matters.

To give the above comments some context, Costello was speaking at the Australian American Leadership Dialogue on Saturday night, so a fair bit of arse-licking was probably going on. Costello should really apply for a green card with comments like the following though:
"If the world is to have a hegemon, the modern United States is the kind of hegemon we would like to have: democratic, respectful of human rights, with strong and genuine belief in individual liberty," he said.

Costello's supposed modern US qualities:
  • Democratic - The fact the leader isn't even voted into power directly, but by a council of hidden members with their own agendas seems really democratic to me.
  • Respectful of human rights - Does that explain the incarceration of many 'illegal combatants' in Guantanamo Bay without access to legal representation and a fair trial?
  • Strong and genuine belief in individual liberty - At a time when the US government is eroding individual liberties in the name of terrorism seems strong and genuine to me... If you don't come from a european background, expect some 'special' treatment.


After all the US loving, I found this quote from Costello a little amusing:
"Unfortunately, America has found it much easier to spread its mass culture than to spread its high principles," he said.

You can't spread something that doesn't exist...

Seems like a simple choice...

RSI or lung cancer...

A silver lining has been found in the mobile phone addiction of teenagers: they are so broke after coughing up the money to pay their phone bills, they can't afford to smoke.

The connection has been made by health officials in Japan who yesterday announced an unprecedented drop in the rate of smoking among teenagers.

Mobile bills put teenagers out of puff - Technology - smh.com.au

The final line in the article has me a little worried though:
This year a policy committee of the Finance Ministry was reported to have said "smoking is a non-essential grocery item of individual taste, and reduction of cigarette consumption should not be sought".

Why should a reduction in smoking it not be sought? Is it a means to keep Japan's rapidly aging population at a sustainable level? Is it cheaper to deal with the effects of smoking than keep millions of extra pensioners fed and housed?

Arselickers Inc.

PM earns his stripes in a star-spangled manner - National - smh.com.au

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bulletproof iPod?

Is this the world's first bulletproof iPod?

After his iPod was crushed to death in his pocket, jammed against the handrail of one of those famously cramped Japanese commuter trains, one enterprising guy has taken protecting his iPod to the extreme: a veritable vault milled from solid aluminium.

Canon launch their new digital SLR

Canon have launched their new EOS-5D.

Pitched somewhere between the 12.8 megapixel EOS-1D and 8 megapixel EOS-20D, the EOS-5D has the following features:
  • 12.8 megapixel CMOS sensor
    (EOS-1Ds - 16.7 MP, EOS-1D - 8 MP, EOS-20D - 8 MP)
  • Full frame (35 mm) sensor
    (EOS-1Ds also has full-frame sensor, EOS-1D and EOS-20D have smaller sensor)
  • 3 fps continuous shooting
    (EOS-1Ds - 4 fps, EOS-1D - 8.5 fps, EOS-20D - 5 fps)
  • US$3299 RRP
    (EOS-1Ds - US$7500, EOS-1D - US$4200, EOS-20D - US$1400)

One of the coolest things that is now being utilised is wireless communications...
Connectivity

With the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E1, photographers can work cable-free as full-frame image files can be transferred automatically through a wireless LAN to a computer in seconds.

But knowing most camera manufacturers, any optional item usually runs into the hundreds of dollars. But if you are doing studio or limited area work, the wireless comms would make shoots so easy. I suppose if you had a nice power efficient laptop, you could also use the wireless out in the field. I wonder what the power consumption is like...

DP Review has published a preview of the Canon EOS-5D and sample images from Canon can be found here.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

WA Said No! - What Bollocks!

If you have been watching any commercial free-to-air television of late, there is a good chance that you have seen the 'WA Said No!' advertisements.

At face value the ads seem to make a good point that in the state referendum last year WA voted against Sunday trading and now a parliamentary committee is recommending that liquor stores be allowed to open 12 hours on Sundays.

But at the end of end it shows the ads were authorised by the Australian Hotels Association (AHA). Now it all becomes clear. Under current WA Liquor Laws, liquor stores aren't allowed to open on Sundays unless they are connected to a pub or tavern. So instead of the ads being a push to make the government accountable for their actions, they are a piece of propaganda to protect AHA members. Industry protectionism at the very best.

If the AHA truly did care about the referendum result, they would voluntarily shut the drive thru bottle shops connected to pubs on a Sunday. But I reckon the chances of that happening are somewhat limited...

Friday, August 19, 2005

If this happens now, imagine the future...

If this happens now under a system where workers have some protections, how much worse is it going to get under the planned IR changes that Howard wants to put in place?

A former Krispy Kreme staff member, Thea Birch Fitch, 22, told the Senate inquiry into AWAs she felt she was left with no choice but to sign an AWA.

"I did not wish to be employed on an AWA but I was compelled to sign the agreement," Ms Birch said in her submission.

She said the contract she signed expected her to work 10 consecutive days without overtime pay, more than 12 hours without overtime and split shifts without overtime.

The company has denied it forced anyone onto AWAs.

Forced is a fairly strong word, but giving the worker a choice between 10 hours a week on an award agreement or a full working week on a crappy AWA is choice. You can choose to earn hardly any money, or you can choose to have a full time job. You just get raped on the conditions.

Computer characters mugged in virtual crime spree

From the article (New Scientist):
A man has been arrested in Japan on suspicion carrying out a virtual mugging spree by using software "bots" to beat up and rob characters in the online computer game Lineage II. The stolen virtual possessions were then exchanged for real cash.

Is this really a criminal action?

Sure what the guy has done is cheating, but most definitely not criminal. The article doesn't give any details about what charges have been laid so it is hard to know exactly what he did wrong.

This sounds more like an issue with game design. The whole fact you're able to mug someone in-game makes this a non-crime. If the developers are worried about mugging then they should take the 'looting other Player Characters (PC)' out of the game. It seems to me the only thing 'wrong' this guy did was to use a Bot (making his him unbeatable), which is probably outlined as a no-no in the EULA. Show me where in the manual is says, "If you use a Bot you will be arrested." If they don't want Bots in-game, then track down the offenders, ban their accounts and give the loot back to the rightful owners.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Techno-loser...

"Schlake (William Colburn)" schlake@nmt.edu
Thu, 4 Aug 2005 15:24:23 -0600

My phone made me look like an idiot

The first time I tried sending an SMS message on my new phone, I was horrified at what happened. Attempts to type in a word generated huge blocks of garbage text, beeping, and a refusal of the phone to continue. I was trying to do it the "old way", by hitting a key multiple times to tell which of the three letters I meant.

"That would make me happy." -> "8442809666885553062553304427 79991"

The space represents a pause in my typing to wait for it to reset the letter selector. The new phone has smart spelling, so I can type a single number for each word and it will magically spell the word I want. I resisted, but the lure of magic won me over, and now I can SMS faster with many less key strokes. I'm very happy with it almost all the time. Magic is great stuff!

Today I sent an SMS message.

"That would make me happy." -> "8428096853062530630427791"

Except....

"8428096853062530630427791" -> "That would make if happy."

My cat is named "If", so now it suddenly looks like I'm talking about my cat (and I misspelled his name), and not me.

I immediately sent a followup message where I manually corrected the spelling of "me" and appended a second sentence: "I have to pay more attention to the auto speller."

The reply was: "You mean pay more attention."

First thought: Oh no, what I did I send? Thankfully, I only sent "I must pay more attention to the auto speller."

It is embarrassing that I made the same error in my message correcting myself. The risks are that magic isn't a DWIM. If the phone could 'do what I meant' then I could talk to my phone in plain english to transmit my message to someone halfway across the country[1], and not have to manually type my message into it. Another risk is complacency: I have grown to depend on auto-spelling, which is right so often that I've stopped reading what it is doing and I just continue merrily typing away assuming that everything is golden.

[1] I find it surprising how many people I know who consider their phone to be a text-messaging platform that happens to have voice-chat capabilities instead of a voice-chat platform that happens to have text-messaging capabilities.

His phone didn't make him look like an idiot, I think he did a fine job of it himself.

He seems to be a tad disapproving of people who think of their phones as messaging devices:
If the phone could 'do what I meant' then I could talk to my phone in plain english to transmit my message to someone halfway across the country[1], and not have to manually type my message into it.

Why don't you ring the person and leave a voice message? Idiot...

Surprise, surprise, they fucked up...

Another reason not to believe anyone in power in this so-called 'war on terror'. An investigation into the death of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes has revealed what really happened on the day he was shot.

Fuck-up 1:
The plain-clothes officer charged with photographing the suspect, however, was answering a call of nature when Mr Menezes emerged and did not have a free hand to operate his video device.

As a result, no reliable visual identification was made. The officer reported to colleagues that a male of the appropriate age had left the building, but advised that it would be worth someone else looking to obtain a positive identification.

Scotland Yard's gold command nevertheless declared a code red, and placed a team of heavily armed officers on high alert.

Fuck-up 2:
Contrary to subsequent reports, he was not wearing a bulky coat or carrying a bag. In keeping with London's spell of warm summer weather, he wore a light denim jacket.

Fuck-up 3:
Nor did he, upon arrival at the station, vault the ticket barriers - as claimed - in an attempt to evade his plain-clothes pursuers.

Instead, the leaked documents say, he used his season ticket to get through the barrier, collected a free newspaper from a nearby rack and proceeded calmly down the escalators, breaking into a run only when he saw that a train was preparing to depart.

Fuck-up 4:
Upon boarding the train, however, he was approached by a group of the police officers. One seized him while a second discharged 11 shots from a hand-gun at point-blank range.

Graphic: Fact versus fiction - www.smh.com.au

And people want the shoot-to-kill policy to stay in place?

Not with stupid gung-ho fuckwits like these guys in charge.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

When life imitates electronic art

This is what happens when geeks are willing to pay REAL money for virtual items sold in a game.

I'm not sure where my idignation and distaste rest in this case. I'm not a big fan of large corporations encouraging people to spend their money on useless things (e.g. SMS voting for some reality TV show).

What has happened here is that a game publisher has enabled people to spend money on items that exist only virtually. I'm not sure how this benefits the company.

What is next?

XBox 360: Top 10 most important launch titles

Xbox 360: Top 10 most important launch titles - Joystiq - www.joystiq.com



This really bodes well for the XBox 360, that most of the Top 10 imporatant launch titles are sequels...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Unintelligent Design...

Brendan Nelson is to education, what Richard Alston was to communication...

Article here

Education Minister Brendan Nelson supports the teaching of a controversial new theory of creationism, but only if it is balanced by the instruction of established science.

While you're at it why don't we teach the kids that Rapunzel was real, giants live in the clouds and cats can wear boots. Maybe I am being facetious but if you want your kids to learn faith based teachings, send the little Damiens to a religious school. It is not a job for the state to teach religion.

For some added amusing reading on intelligent design, see here.

Then look at this image.

The power of mind control...

I reckon ASIO should be watching those Hillsong fruit loops, with the sort of money they have at their disposal, they could finance a crusade.
With more than 18,000 members, Hillsong is the largest Pentacostal church in Australia. Last year, Hillsong Church posted revenue of $50.8 million, of which almost half came from donations and offerings.

With that many people willing to give that much money away, their dedication to their beliefs is quite strong. When the muslims win, the Hillsong mob will be the terrorists...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Passion of the Clerks

The ultimate slacker movie, Clerks, is getting a sequel.

The Passion of the Clerks

The sequel picks up 10 years on from where Clerks left off. "It's about what happens when that lazy, 20-something malaise lasts into your 30s. Those dudes are kind of still mired, not in that same exact situation, but in a place where it's time to actually grow up and do something more than just sit around and dissect pop culture and talk about sex," Smith said during an interview at his Hollywood office.

Jay and Silent Bob were supposedly laid to rest after 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back...' was made. That was true, but Kevin Smith made a promise to Jason Mewes (Jay) that if he could stay off drugs for a period of time he would let Jason play Jay one more time. Gotta repay the drug debts somehow.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

New Cars

America's hottest sports ute has arrived Down Under. A local company is converting the Chevrolet SSR to right-hand drive.

Probably one of the best looking utes ever made (big call I know), the Chevy SSR would be a great car to have. I think the load rating for it is a crap 300kg which is about the same as a sedan which tells you about the base platform it is built on.

Article


The day of the $100,000 LandCruiser is rapidly approaching as Toyota defies waning sales of large four-wheel-drives and pumps its luxury LandCruiser Sahara flagship full of computerised technology.

I wonder if the irony of calling something that will never see sand the Sahara is lost on the customers...

Article


Maybe the makers are worried the vehicle will be viewed as a sexless family transporter — an image that has killed off a lot of the people mover segment.

If all wagons looked as good as the BMW 530i Touring then the people mover segment might not have issues it does.

I really don't think car makers take into consideration the wants of both drivers in a family car purchase. They target small econoboxes to single females, sports cars to impotent older males, jap rockets to young males, but the family car segment is mostly made up of 5+ seats and large load space wrapped in a boring body with 'compliant' suspension. The new advertising for the Honda Odyssey is trying to sex up and very non-sexy car which is a start.

Although if I was in the market for a good size family wagon (budget be damned), it would probably be the soon to be released Subaru Liberty 3.0R-B wagon.

Article

PCI card to end crash problems...

I dunno how this device works, it seems all very secretive, but I would be interested in having a play. Article here.

From the company blurb:
RecoverPC changes all of this. From the moment a desktop system begins to experience any kind of sudden software issue, even if Windows cannot boot, a simple procedure of Recovering the system will restart the PC with the problem gone. Windows starts normally. Whatever the problem was, it has vanished and the system has been instantly returned to its previous baseline state.


I am guessing it takes an image of the system memory in a normal state and if there is any issues it copies the 'working' image of the memory back into system memory.

There is absolutely no detail on the site as to how it works. I get the feeling if they let on how it works the company directors might get ejected from the Magic Circle or something liek that...

Couple Cleared Of Child Sex Charges

Isn't this so fucking stupid?

I really hope the coppers that decided to pursue the charges lose their jobs.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Parents "Win" But Not Really. Or do they?

The media are saying that parents have "won" something here.

I'm not sure how this whole IRC thing works, but it sounds like this "win" is only a win if the Howard government adds these conditions to the minimum conditions, enforcable by law.

The only thing parents have won is the right to ask for part-time employment until their kids are of school age.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but you have the right to ask whatever you like of your employer don't you?

Google urged to drop nuclear site images

THE head of Australia's nuclear energy agency has called on the owners of an internet satellite program to censor images of the country's only nuclear reactor.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation executive director Ian Smith said he would ask internet search engine Google to remove the Lucas Heights reactor from its Google Earth program. The online program combines satellite images with aerial photographs and maps to let users zoom in on almost any building in the world.

I have a few issues with this article.

  • ANSTO wants Google to remove Lucas Heights from Google Maps, yet by their own admission it isn't well concealed anyway.
    Dr Smith said the Lucas Heights facility was clearly visible from the road, or from commercial aircraft flying overhead and noted Google's image was about two years out of date.

  • Oh, we all know terrorists are from somewhere else...
    "The question comes down to, if you put it on the internet, does it go to Pakistan or Afghanistan and make it easy for them?"

    In all of the major terrorist attacks in the last few years (NY, Bali and London), the attackers have lived in the country of the attack for at least a few years.

  • Why are they so worried about Google showing the reactor site?
    Despite the construction of a new reactor and a five-year, $36million security upgrade announced in last year's federal budget, Dr Smith admitted that trespassers could enter the site "if they really want to".

    "There's a small area near the middle of the site which is quite secure, but the bulk of our site isn't all that secure," he said.

    "We don't have the guarding or the hardware to stop someone from getting in to the site if they really wanted to."

    So let me get this straight... Because ANSTO haven't put a decent amount of security in place they want to make everyone else cover the installation up from the 'terrorists'.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

19 yo faces 17 years in prison for videotaping movies...

A 19 year old Missouri resident, is facing up to 17 years in prison for secretly video taping "Bewitched" and "The Perfect Man" and distributing them on P2P networks...

I may have actually felt sorry for him facing up to 17 years in prison, but his choice of movies nearly deserves life imprisonment.

read more

Hello world!

Wikipedia has an article on the history of the classic Hello world! program.

They have even compiled an almighty list of example Hello world! programs in nearly all the programming languages out there...

Top 10 dot-som flops...

Top 10 dot-com flops @ CNET.COM

It still amazes me how much money was thrown at dodgy business in the dot-com boom days and it (nearly) all went down the drain...

Cheap HDD anyone?

Want to get a 160GB HDD for only $6?

Check this thread on how to pull it off. Requires some piss farting about with price matching and mail-in rebates but to get a drive for $6, I think it would be worth it.

The onbly problem is that it seems to be a US only practice. I have never heard of retailers in Australia doing rebates on hardware like that.

Linux vs Windows

Hey Tom, this comparison of Linux vs Windows might help you on your quest...

GoogleX

The GoogleX interface makes all of Google's goodies - such as Gmail, Froogle, Maps, and more - accessible via a nifty Mac OS X-like toolbar.

Originally designed by a Google researcher, the toolbar disappeared shortly after being posted on the Google Labs site (most likely due to objections by Apple), but not before some smart bastard saved a copy for our use...

30 Hornets Vs 30,000 Bees

Ever wanted to see 30 Hornets take on 30,000 bees?

The Worlds Worst Website

This website was designed to graphically demonstrate the most common mistakes made by new Web Page designers. Please whatever you do, use a pop-up blocker...

You have been warned!

Look here

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Ultimate Keyboard

A group of geniuses from Russia have developed an awesome keyboard. They have called it the 'Optimus keyboard'.

Each key is a seperate OLED display meaning you can show different language characters on the keys, show individual icons on the keys for software (Photoshop is an example shown) or even show key mappings in games.

Now that OLED displays are rapidly coming down in price, we should start seeing more innovative uses of the technology.

I want one.

Google It You Moron.

For those times when someone asks you a supid question without consulting Google first.

Appending the search term to the end of the URL will show the 'Google It You Moron' page and redirect them after 10 seconds.

e.g. http://www.googleityoumoron.com/?go=navel+contemplation

"Here I come to save the day"

The new Apple Mighty Mouse has been released with some funky new features. Just like everything else Apple (the 'salad bowl' iMac excepted), it is a nice looking piece of hardware.

But AU$79 for a tethered mouse is a bit ridiculous...

UPDATE: Little Gamers has made reference to the Mighty Mouse in a very broken way...

Thump, thump, thump...

Hooray, the Christians are at it again...

Bush wants alternatives to evolution taught in school. Although he didn't say it, I think it is commonly accepted that he particularly wants Intelligent Design taught at schools as well as evolution and creationism.
Intelligent design (ID) is the assertion that empirical evidence supports the conclusion that the initial life on earth, and perhaps some of its present details, was deliberately designed by one or more intelligent agents; additionally, or alternately, it may include the idea that different empirical evidence supports a similar conclusion regarding the universe itself.

Is it just me, or is the concept of ID extremely flawed as a Christian principle? The Bible says that man and woman were created by God in his own image, blah blah blah, nowhere does it say that God created a couple of things and let them finish off their creation by themselves.

Either you believe what is said in the Bible or you don't. You can't go and pick and choose what areas of the Bible are correct and which parts aren't.

I am just waiting for some more parts of the 'Dead Sea Scrolls' to be uncovered saying God really only created bacterium, hit the accelerate key in SimEarth v0.1 and took a week off...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Auto Code Commenting

What a very cool product The Commentator is.

What is 'The Commentator'?
The Commentator uses revolutionary real-time language processing to actually grok your code and add the necessary comments on the fly. No more doco to slow you down. Just install The Commentator and watch as your coding elegance is eloquently decorated with insightful, nuanced commentary ...as you type. What's more, The Commentator's powerful Personality Controls allow you to tweak it's output so completely that it's as if The Commentator is speaking for you. In your voice. Explaining to those that need it, so that you can get on and get busy.
It does a wonderful job of commenting your code. Take this simple piece of code:
int sum = 0;
for (int i= 0; i < a.length; i++) {
   sum += a[i];
}
With some tweaking of the personality controls you can end up with the following examples of great commenting:

relevance=2,humour=8,verbosity=5
//okey dokey, lets sum the elements of a
int sum = 0; // the sum of all fears
for (int i= 0; i < a.length; i++) {
   sum += a[i]; // all your a[i] are belong to us
}
bitterness=9,profanity on
int sum = 0;
//don't even fucking *think* about asking
for (int i= 0; i < a.length; i++) {
   sum += a[i];
}
verbosity=3, relevance=0, religous references on
int sum = 0;
//goddamit I need some freaking coffee
for (int i= 0; i < a.length; i++) {
   sum += a[i];
}
If you have heard about Xtreme Programming, you may find the linked office chair quite amusing also.

Oh, and this product is only available for sale on April 1...

The Definitive BIOS Optimisation Guide

A handy little resource for all you tweakers...

BIOS Optimisation Guide

Home-made flamethrower...

This is more than a tad dangerous...

Using PVC for the compressed air/alcohol storage tank would be the first replacement. But as a kick-arse water pistol, PVC would suffice.

read more

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

US Fitness Centre...


They say a picture tells a thousand words... Posted by Picasa

US veterans attack Windows Vista name

They couldn't just say that the Windows Vista name was infringing on their trademark and leave it at that. They had to go and bring in the veterans that gave them their 'freedom' in much needed wars like Vietnam...

One of my favourite quotes:
"The confusion created by Microsoft and its choice of the word 'Vista' is an affront to the people who take care of our nation's veterans," Barbara Boykin, chairman of the VistA Software Alliance


In other words, 'give us pity, we make money off your old soldiers'...

Techworld.com - US veterans attack Windows Vista name

Why?

Some guy in what looks like Japan decided to take an NSX and turn it into a Ferrari.

The result comes out looking damn good, seems to be a nice combo of F50 and F40 themes. I have to wonder how much weight all that fibreglass added to the NSX and dulled its performance.

Unidentified Sea Creature Found After Typhoon

Unidentified Sea Creature Found After Typhoon

I find it hard to believe that a major Asian country has such a shortage of decent cameras so they can put a decent photo in a newspaper.